Friday, October 30, 2009

Strange Brew

Have you ever noticed that all of the old remedies taught to you by your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (or the fathers) and so forth work better than any over-the-counter product you can buy?

Well if you are saying "No" right now, then you need to get in touch with your roots child!

I was just thinking about this today as I read this prevention.com article entitled: 19 Bizarre Home Cures That Really Work.

One of the ones that stood out from this to me was about Duct tape. You know we have all made the joking generalization at times that Duct tape works for everything.

In fact a popular saying is, "There are only two things you need in life, Duct Tape and WD40. If doesn't move and should, use WD40. If it moves and shouldn't use the Duct Tape." lol It's funny but in a lot of ways kind of true! :) So just when I thought I knew all of the uses for the stuff, besides the obvious ones, we find:

Home cure: Duct tape

Use it for: Warts

Yes, this really does work! Covering warts with duct tape eliminates them better than freezing them off, according to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. In the study, the duct tape eliminated 85% of the warts after 2 months, compared with 60% with the freezing method.

To use duct tape safely, clean the area. Then cut a piece of duct tape to a size slightly bigger than the wart. Apply the duct tape to the site and rub into place. Every 3 days, remove the tape and file down dead skin with a pumice stone or nail file. Repeat until the wart disappears. Chemicals in the tape suffocate and kill the wart.

Can you believe it??

If anyone has a wart, please give this a try, or I will if I get one anytime in the future. I must know the outcome of this "home remedy".

Other natural remedies that I have been taught throughout my life are:

1. Hiccups - A spoonful of sugar. This one works. Of course the 9 swallows of water works too, but either way, give em a try. Beats getting the Bejezzuz scared out of ya.

2. Ringworm - Once my nephew had a ringworm, and my Mom used a Green Walnut on it. She simply opened it up, and placed one of the sides of the unripe pod over the ringworm, worked like magic.

3. Zits, Burns, Irritations, Cuts - Anything related to skin is solved easily with a pinch off the ol' Aloe Vera plant. You can get the stuff from the store, but nothing works quite as great as the leaf itself. The plants are very easy to grow, so even if you don't have a green thumb, you can still most likely grow an Aloe Vera plant. It's worth it!

4. Coughs/Colds - Mom always has her "remedy" made up for this, which consists of "Old Charter Bourbon Whiskey", Glycerin (preferably vegetable glycerin) which is a lung healer, rock candy or honey/lemon etc... something to sweeten the bite of the Old Charter. It really does help... or you'll end up drunk, whichever comes first. ;)

What are some natural remedies that have been passed on to you from your elders, or that you have learned in your life that truly work? Why not share and pass along a bit of wisdom. We could save a bit at the Pharmacy to boot!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Dionysus

Dion for short... lol I know it is an oddball name. :) So be it.

Have a look at the latest edition to our family!


I think he's picking up HBO with those ears!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Whatever, Whatever

Today being Friday seems like a good day to just ramble... get "whatever" off my chest. Whatever, I say, because I don't know what will come out and I will just play it by ear (like I do most stuff).

I've already mentioned on Facebook that we decided to adopt a new puppy. He is a German Shepherd and supposed to be full-blooded. However, I don't quite know if I trust my husband's assessment of these things because when he surprised me with our first dog, Sal, he asked me "Do you want a German Shepherd puppy?" and I pictured this cute little 'tootsie-roll' looking baby dog, all fuzzy and cuddly, and he brought me home a full grown "Something-or-another". LOL :) Sal (short for Salvador, after Salvador Dali, is some sort of cross between possibly a German Shepherd and I think maybe an Akita. He has a thicker coat than a regular GS, and has a fluffy curly tail. He is also shorter in stature. His markings are very similar to the Shepherd though, and he is very cute, obedient and smart.

I have seen a photo of this one though, and I guess you could basically call him a 'teenager'. His ears are already up, but he has yet to grow into them fully. I can't wait to meet him. We're just thinking of names now, and we are famous for goofy names... especially me. Hopefully we won't humiliate the little guy too badly. Photos and updates to come soon rest assured.

The whole month of October has been quite rainy mostly here in the Memphis area. We had pretty nice weather last weekend when we were in Hot Springs, of course. Then the first part of this week was nice, and I neglected my motorcycle out of sheer laziness. The mornings were chilly, and I didn't want to go to the trouble of "suiting up". Then the rain returned yesterday, and I still made the most of it by sitting at the park with the engine turned off and meditating to the raindrops falling on the top of my car-Talk about relaxing! Today began as kind of rainy, but it supposed to clear off and make way for another very nice weekend. I will definitely be riding Jimi some then over the weekend. Maybe I will take some nice photos too.

Halloween is coming up too, and I would like to decorate the house a bit, and look festive. Last year was a bad year for us during the holiday season due to my Dad's health issues getting worse, and this year has been very hard since his passing in January. This year meant that every holiday we have endured has been the first of each without Daddy. Although I am dealing quite well under the circumstances, and taking each day as it comes... working (I think) in a healthy way through the grief process, and knowing that he is happy and doing well in such a better place, the worst part is always Mom.

She is trying, and she is adjusting but at a very slow pace. I guess it is completely different when it's your spouse, partner, soulmate-the person who you made a life with for 48 years. She knows he is better now, and she would never wish him to still be here and in such a painful or suffering state, but still she can't yet seem to want to find reasons to go on LIVING herself. She is not the same fiesty woman with boundless energy as she was. She stays so very lonely, and just doesn't have any interest in doing much of anything, or going anywhere. I know it is a process, and I do what I can to help.

Rarely do I know the right thing to do or say.

So back to what I was saying about my home and the holidays, and decorations, etc... I want to really try to fix up and make things look festive. Whether I accomplish this or not is anybody's guess!

Happy weekending y'all. ;-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ear Pain

Sylph shared This Funny Video today on Facebook.



Ahhh the auto tuner. It's funny, when they do spoofs and all, but I don't quite understand why they want so much to use this. It may have its place, in parts of songs for effect, but now artists are getting lazy and beginning to use it all the time.

When did it happen that it is not necessary to carry your own tune, be able to sing in order to be a singer? It just kind of sucks if you ask me. But nobody is really asking me.

Certainly, I have had zero calls from these multi-million dollar recording artists asking my opinion on singing technique and whether or not they need to incorporate the auto tuner into their work. They have enough cash, they're not even worried about it.

Now, they even have this I Am T-Pain iPhone Application so people can sing right into their phone and get the same effect. More money... Interesting. Why can't I invent something useless like that?

Where did this Auto-Tune phenomenon come from?? Click Here To Read More Shocking Auto-Tune Info and Even Confessions From Your Favorite "Artists".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sit and Fall (WWC)

That's right, I am going to dive into some of my Hot Springs Photos and participate in this week's Weekly Words Challenge (WWC) brought to us by the ever-amazing Tink (formerly of Pickled Beef, but still on the net).

This week's words are, as you may have guessed, "Sit" and "Fall".

I'll try my best to get a few in here.

Fog on Lake Hamilton, Chilly Fall Morning


Fall Is Beginning To Show In The Trees


Caught A Cool Spider Web.
But the Stairs Would Be A Nasty Fall!


A Comfortable Place To Sit And Eat Your Dinner


Fall Sunrise At Lake Hamilton


This Little Guy Decided To Sit And Enjoy The Sunrise With Me

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nothing and Nowhere

So I broke my posting vows for October on Friday, and I am not going to do a "make-up" post. We were in Hot Springs, and I only had my Crackberry, and honestly just didn't feel like typing up any blog posts from the tiny little excuse for a keyboard. On top of that, really didn't have anything to say. Hard to force out something all the time. Usually I am very good at these "post-a-day" rituals, when I choose to partake, but I just haven't had much of interest on the brain lately. Nothing that ought be shared with mixed company anyway. ha-ha I jest... sort of.

The weekend sped by alarmingly fast, and honestly we didn't do anything. We ate lunch, we ate supper, we watched movies. I made coffee on a chilly fall morning and drank way too much of it. I took photographs of the same views of the lake as I took last time. I especially love the mornings in October there on Lake Hamilton when it is foggy.

However, I still feel like I did not capture much of interest, but I will still share some of what I did photograph probably tomorrow. Maybe there will be something you like.

Oh there was this very lovely crane sitting on top of the little dock in the early morning which I caught a cool silhouette of at sunrise. So that was neat... I love birds.

We thought about taking one of the "Duck Ride Tours" around the lake, but that fizzled out. We were going to see the "Gangster Museum", but found ourselves far too lazy to go and get cash for the parking in Downtown Hot Springs. We are such duds.

Then again, maybe a relaxing uneventful weekend of doing mostly nothing was just what I needed. At least it was a break from the "Drop In Without Calling" visitors... It's nice sometimes to be too many hours away to be bombarded.

Kind of didn't want to come home this morning. Who can blame me for that! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hot Springs

We're hanging out in Hot Springs for the weekend. We thought it was about darn time to be spontaneous again. Having to plan for every little thing and slaving to a clock sucks, so it's nice to get away... I'll be snapping photos and posting more. Happy weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's This Life For?

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." ~Albert Pike

What brings meaning to your life?

We are all selfish individuals to a degree, that's the flaw of human nature. It's the raw and basic want for survival. So, we do not always think clearly enough to realize how much happiness it brings back to us when we do selfless things for other beings in the universe.

Work, I guess is one of those things we do for survival, but in the course of our careers I am sure we have all had our moments when we helped others and it just made us feel good to do so.

My jobs? Some might say I have been the "Jackie-Of-All-Trades"...

  1. Babysitter (13 years of age) -This totally sucked. The kids were bratty, they found their Dad's Hustler stash, asked me questions. I was marred for life. I never babysat again.


  2. McDonald's - "Drop some fries, clean the bathroom. Drop some fries, clean the bathroom" after going home smelling like fry grease and industrial cleaner for 2 months, I quit the fast food biz to 'concentrate on my senior year in high school'.


  3. Wal*Mart - When you work at a Walmart store, you really get the chance to be on the front line of the freaks and weirdos. I saw some very interesting characters. However, This is where I really cultivated my Customer Service skills. Even today, if I have had a terrible day and want to smash the living daylights out of someone, I can still slap a smile on my face and help someone get through their crisis. It makes me feel good to know that I really came through for them.


  4. Local Newspaper - I took a 25 cent pay cut to leave Walmart and go into my 'chosen field' of graphic design. I thought newspaper work was a good first step, but in a small town like I lived in, stepping stones are made of cheap plaster so I never got far. The manager there ended up resenting me for leaving to better myself. Which leads me to...


  5. Magazine Printing - I remained in a similar field, printing, which would pay the bills for some time. I actually enjoyed learning all about different types of print media. Made some good memories there too. Times were still relatively simple, until I was Blindsided By Love.


  6. Casino Services - High Rollers, VIPs, very tough pit bosses? Casino was certainly a far cry from the world of printing. Once again, my customer service skills came in very handy, and met a lot of interesting people. My adventures here were cut short, however from issues with my crackhead boyfriend.


  7. Series of directionless temp jobs - Nothing much to say here, legal secretary, receptionist stuff, this and that. It helped pay the bills.


  8. Radio Station - You know the spiel here, cool tunes, fun people, lots of free stuff like CDs, bumper stickers, tickets to concerts... Occasionally met a Rock Star, the GM took a dislike to me, I think because I wasn't "POSH" enough for her, who knows but she let me go. She was subsequently fired herself some time later. Karma bitches.


  9. Printing Company - Back in the ink well I was, this time "short order" printing. Books, Making copies, proofing, binding, whatever needed to be done. Had my share of fun there... eventually, better salary came along.


  10. Label Printing Company - I was hired on as a proofreader. The head proofreader, Phil, hated me from the start. Phil was a typical "Midtowner", he was a marathon runner, biked, he listened to Dylan, he thought his shit did not stink. I never could figure out what about me pissed him off, I honestly tried to work hard and do my best. We ended up with a new manager that must have buddied up with Phil because he let me go too, and was subsequently fired himself some time later. Karma strikes again.


  11. Series of directionless temp jobs while going back to school for I.T. - Blah blah blah, la-de-frikkin-da. The only one of note was a relatively long assignment at a law office. The son of the lawyer, who just hadn't quite passed the bar exams yet was quite the secretive soul. I had to get something out of his desk one day and found a whole stash of "Black Tail" magazines hidden in his drawer. He thought it was just his little dark secret. ;)


  12. Contracting at a local Shipping company in Marketing Department - Politics, snotty people, stiff environment except for my co-workers. It wasn't bad, but it could've been better. Eventually I tried for a permanent position but was dissed in the name of PC and forced to move along, which brings me to...


  13. Programming and Web Development in the big city (current). I'm living the dream.


Anyways, that's the run down for today.

I still try to do what I can to uplift, or help people when I can, and I try to remain calm, cool and selfless. Of course some people, some days make it very, very hard to keep that smile painted on.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Funny Girl

All of my life, I have been funny. Not funny as in "strange", although I am also strange, but funny ha-ha. I enjoy making people laugh, and I seemed to do that easily since a very early age.

Then I began blogging. Originally, I wanted to make my blog a compelling literary work, one of great humor and inspiration. Sometimes that falters though, and I feel like my humor waxes and wanes. I am jealous of those who have such witty commentary and enthralled followers, and I often wonder why I don't have more than I do as long as I have had this blog.

If everyone knew me in daily life, I am honestly the one who keeps people laughing, so I don't know what happens between there and here. I guess I just get tired and find more solace and relaxation in venting my feelings, and occasionally emotional or inspirational posts.

Truly, I wish my blog was funnier and that people enjoyed it more.

Now, where was I? The other day I took on the self-appointed exercise to write a "letter to someone I needed to forgive". I stated that the person would be ME... So let me go ahead and give this a try.

Dear Jackie,

I'm sorry for all the times I have failed you, or put you down, or made you feel like a loser.


I am sorry also for dragging you through so much pain and getting you involved with people who were beneath you, or abusive to you.

You are always there for me, I have failed you.


I will try to do better, I promise.


Love,


Jackie


(The Tears Of A Clown)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Small Town

I was born in a small town.

No, this isn't the intro to a John Mellencamp song.

Okay, so I wasn't actually born in the small town, I was born in Memphis, which is not the largest city, but certainly much bigger than this Mayberry-like utopia that I grew up in.

Mine was a dry county (still is). I just find that so funny in a way, how many counties are really still "dry" these days? That did not stop people from drinking of course, as the nearest liquor stores were only 7 miles either way across the county lines.

Small town life, although it seemed so lame and boring as I was growing up, had its 'advantages'.

Everybody waves at everybody.

Traffic was never that bad.

It's annoying sometimes, though because everybody knows your business. If they don't know, someone else does know and tells them. So nothing is ever much of a secret around those parts.

I don't know... As I was on my way home from Mom's the other day, riding my bike, I went down old Main Street and breathed in the "oldness" of the town. There is a peaceful simplicity in the air, things just move slower. I sometimes really wish I could rewind and get back to that simple time when nothing was really that big a deal, we didn't really worry about much and everyone seemed so much happier.

(sigh)

Here, Lou Reed, You take it from here...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Gospel Of Ginger

The Sound Of My Neice's Voice is...
Hauntingly beautiful.


We have been singing at my piano together since we were kids. We've always enjoyed music together like that, and today was no different. We did this for an old-fashioned church event for my Mom, well, they keep requesting us back and we do it not just for Mom but because it's also nice to uplift people just by the sound of our voices.

Ahh to move a room with just a song.

I love to sing, singing anything really. Rock, Blues, Soul, R&B, Punk, Grunge, etc... as long as music moves the soul, I am in! Ginger's voice moves the soul.

Whether you like Gospel or not is not something I am asking, nor am I interested in. I don't wanna hear anybody's religious views, that's not what this is about. Seriously, don't "God" or "Anti-God" me.
Gospel music is not my forte either (you can thank the little ol' blue-haired, tone deaf church ladies for that). However, I do like Soul, R&B and anything with feeling and emotion.

She has all that and more.

The girl's got a set of pipes. I am very proud.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Saturday Make-up Post

Please excuse Jackie for not blogging on time Saturday, she had explosive Diarrhea.

Signed,

Jackie's Mother

No I am only joking.

I did not have explosive Diarrhea... I was nowhere near a computer keyboard though, so I have been unable to post until today.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Brainstorms


Am I o.k.? Yes, I'm fine... nothing wrong here that I can't take responsibility for myself. I know that everything is up to me, and when I am stressed or dissatisfied, it is up to me to make the changes that are necessary to get me chewing the greener grass. So no worries, I don't need any strange advice or bleeding ears to bend, I know you all have your own grievances, so keep on rockin.

In other news, the search for blog ideas took me to another generator, which I am guilty of playing around with sometimes just to lift me out of a creative rut. I found a few that I have been using lately to get my topic going. Ain't no shame in it ;)

This one is the following challenge:
Write a letter to someone you need to forgive.

Recipient? Yours Truly!

Coming later tonight... or maybe tomorrow. Depends. I have to gather my thoughts and get it together. So, check back!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pretty Wings

This is a very cool song by Maxwell. I love what it says. For all those who have loved and lost, fly your pretty wings...

[Click Here To See Official "Pretty Wings" Music Video]

Time will bring the real end of our trial
One day there'll be no remnants no trace
No residual feelings within ya
One day you won't remember me.

Your face will be the reason I smile
But I will not see what I cannot have forever
I'll always love ya
I hope you feel the same.

Oh, you played me dirty, your game was so bad
You toyed with my affliction
Had to fill out my prescription
Found a remedy
I had to set you free.

Away from me
To see clearly
The way that love can be
when you are not with me

I had to leave
I had to live
I had to leave
I had to live...

If I can't have you,
Let love set you free
to fly your pretty wings around.

Pretty wings, your pretty wings, your
Pretty wings. Pretty wings around.

I came wrong you were right
Transformed your love into lie
Baby believe me I'm sorry I told you lies

I turned day into night
Sleep till I die a thousand times
I should have showed you
better nights, better times, better days

And I miss you more and more

If I can't have you
Let love set you free
To fly your pretty wings around

Pretty wings, your pretty wings, your
Pretty wings, your Pretty wings around

So Pretty wings, your pretty wings, your
Pretty wings, your Pretty wings around

Pretty , Pretty , Pretty

Someone better is gonna love you
Someone, Someone is gonna love you baby

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Loners, Rebels and Barcodes

How do you feel when you are by yourself?

This morning found me thinking about the times in my life that I have truly been alone. In retrospect, it has not been all that often.

Siblings notwithstanding however, because as I have stated before, I grew up more like an only child since my sisters all married and moved out by the time I was age 4.

They were adults, I was a baby.

...'The Baby'

The good point about that was that they had children, and made me an aunt at a very young age, so I still had plenty of company as a child, or "all I wanted" I guess you could say.

I rarely had a multitude of people around, so I got kind of used to being a loner. My husband, on the other hand, grew up with hordes of people around whether he liked it or not, and he is used to that. He's comfortable with people just helping themselves, stopping by unannounced, and crashing all over the place (people he knows, that is, not as much on people he doesn't know very well). I'm not.

Aunt Jackie likes her privacy. When people pop by without being invited, or come knocking on the door when you aren't expecting them I get highly agitated. I find it rude and over-assuming, inconsiderate really. Basically, one might as well be saying 'I know you have nothing going on in your life, and nothing better to do than stare at my lovely face today. You couldn't possibly have any plans that I am stomping all over. Let me make myself at home.' Arrrgh.

Honestly, at some point I would probably invite any said parties to do something, or to come by and visit, but they don't give me that luxury. Then, of course I am labeled 'bitchy' when this behavior overflows my 'fill line'.

In the morning, I leave for work before Mr. J, he has a relaxing day of surfing the web at work, then he gets home before I do (cushy right?). So when I get home from my hectic stress ball of a day, he's already rested up. He doesn't seem to require the same amount of peace of mind I do either... so he doesn't understand my need for "me time" or any amount of R&R upon my return home. He simply calls me "Lazy". Go figure.

Now, thinking back on times when I lived alone, that's a different experience.

When I rented Bo's house, I remember getting extremely sad. I mean, I was officially "Moving Out" of my parents' home, and it was a big move (even though I was paying just $200 /mo. Remind me why I ever gave this up?) I'd moved into this house during the winter season, so it is marked for me by the scent of cinnamon air freshener and incense, and of course youth. I remember the feeling of dread as I imagined myself sitting alone in the living room of my new abode listening teary-eyed to the song, "Dust In The Wind". (Overdramatic much?)

Of course some circumstances eventually led me to move back in with my parents temporarily until I could figure out something else. I was adamant about trying to make it on my own and had the idea that no girl in her mid-to-late twenties should be living at home with Mommy and Daddy. So that led me to the next apartment, which was about 30 minutes away (the furthest I had lived from home).

My income was not much, so I was in a low-income apartment. I had no furniture besides my bed, a small t.v. which was donated by my big sis, and a CD Player / Radio of course. That apartment was so bare bones, it is embarrassing looking back. Eventually I was donated more things like a couch and chair, so it wasn't SO empty... but it really kinda sucked. The funny thing about it was that I didn't care. I was rarely at home, as my friends and I stayed out and about more than at home. I came in to change clothes, sleep and go again...

Ahhhhhhh sweet energy of youth.

My time renting Bo's house was probably lonelier than that of the apartment since I stayed by myself more there. My friends and boyfriends came to visit of course, so I wasn't always alone, but maybe it was just the mood of that house.

It seems like I was able to live alone sometimes, but usually I sought out the company of my friends, boyfriends or family more often than not. Still, I dislike huge crowds and being bombarded. There are worse things than loneliness, that's the bottom line. ;)

On to other interesting factamundos... Today's Google Logo (if anyone noticed) was a bar code. Yes, today is the anniversary of the invention of the bar code. Isn't that fantastic?? Think of what this has done for our society. I know, this is not one of the biggest things you might have thought about today, but still I found it fun and interesting. One, because I enjoy how Google always incorporates special events into its logo, and two, because I found This Fun Barcode Generator with which I created my very own barcode for "Aunt Jackie" (see above). So try it out and make one for yourself too!

Lastly, I have one more fun little activity for you to try today (assuming you have read this far and are still with your boring old Aunt Jackie).

1. Go to www.google.com.
2. Type in "Google Chuck Norris" -do NOT hit enter or send.
3. Select "I'm Feeling Lucky", and see the result.

Make sure to read it all, and of course feel free to pass that little fun tidbit on to friends.

That's about all I have time for today, so have a good one and please come back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next!


Today's Cool Links:

Find Chuck Norris? Not On Google You Won't!

the barcode printer: free barcode generator
by Barcodes Inc

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Warmth and Depth

I have once again had such a busy week that I wasn't able to collect any photos for this week's WWC (Weekly Words Challenge). This Haunts me ;)

The last photos I took were from the Bowling Green trip, and I haven't been able to take any fresh ones, I even tried to archive dive but none of the existing ones would do either. This sucks. I'm just doing terribly! :(

If I happen to get anything and am maybe able to do a late one, then I will try. We'll see.

So nothing to see here ladies and gentlemen... just a broken down, tired-azz blogger. The spirited girl full of life formerly known as Me. A Dead Bulb.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Shining Moment

I might have time for another post later this evening, but in the theme of NaBloPoMo's "Haunting" I thought we could take a moment to remember one of the best scenes from "The Shining". Roll On October! :)



If you can't see the video, Click Here

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Unforgettable

This subject chased me down and made me promise to address it, so today I will tell you about moments in my life that I always remember, in essence moments that Haunt me.

10 Unforgettable Moments
In My Life


Yesssss...

Where to begin? I guess I should try this chronologically, so allow me to rewind for a moment.

Unforgettable Moment #1: Being Potty Trained
Early memories are fuzzy for most people, and I'm no exception. I don't recall any of my infancy, but I do have a toddler memory or two. I have a vague image in my mind of my parents and this green potty chair, I remember thinking that the potty chair was kinda gross. I also remember getting to graduate to the 'big toilet'...

It was a moving experience.

Unforgettable Moment #2: Shopping for a Beanbag
My Daddy was one of those Dads, you know this because I have written so many things about both my parents. Good things, loving things... because for my parents there are no other words but good ones. I was still a toddler, somewhere between 2 and 3 years old I think, and my Dad took me to Memphis with him on a mission to buy me a Bean Bag. I don't remember everything about it, but I do remember the trip, and being in the store to pick one out. We visited a photo booth too, and got one of those classic '3 frame black and white photos', which I still have (although I can't remember where it is right this second). I made a copy once and used it as the border for a poem I wrote for my Dad, entitled "My Daddy and Me". If I can get it all together, I'll share it with you.

Unforgettable Moment #3: The Death Of My Pony, "Penny"
Penny was the first horse I ever rode, my first horse ever. Although she was a wild thing, for some reason Mom and Dad allowed me to ride her by myself, which I find odd now in retrospect of how over-protective they were with me. Horses are mostly supposed to be able to swim. I must have been all of 5 or 6 years old, when Mr. Butler's dogs had apparently chased my Penny around the pond until she fell in and was perhaps too exhausted to swim. My parents informed me very carefully, I suppose thinking that I was going to be devastated or have a fit. It was not because I wasn't sad, I was... but I was very curious too. The only request I made was, "Daddy, can I touch her?" He said yes. I moved forward and gingerly placed my fingers on her lifeless body. She felt very weird to me. That was my first real taste of death.

Unforgettable Moment #4: Starting Kindergarten
Most of my childhood up until this moment was spent either with my parents and their adult friends and other family members, or simply with my two neices, "The Kids". So a classroom full of children was something I knew nothing of. The day finally came with my true childhood innocence would be replaced by that of a school aged pupil. I didn't want to go, I didn't know what to expect. She took me into the building (the site of a Methodist Church) where I met Mrs. Lewis, a wonderful older lady with pointy glasses. Aside from Mom and Dad, she was my very first official "Teacher". Although Kindergarten was only half days, they seemed like forever at first. As time went on, I adjusted. As far as grades go, who fails Kindergarten? I did well, but I think my highest score was on my appetite. Go figure.

Unforgettable Moment #5: Discovering Black & White
Kindergarten had been all white children, for some reason. Perhaps it was because it was part of the Methodist Church. However, when I started first grade at the Public School, it was my first integrated setting. I was curious about the black children and liked them. Although in my innocence, I didn't see anything strange about other skin colors, I was intrigued. They were pleasant and fun to play with. Once I remember talking to a girl whom I'd befriended, and I accidentally grazed her arm with my fingernail. It made a little white scratch, and made me wonder if the color simply "scratched off". The girl and I both looked at each other curiously. Then, my very first crush was actually on one of the black boys, and I was quickly corrected by my Mother and informed that races should not mix. It wasn't their fault, you understand, my parents themselves were raised by very old fashioned and very strict parents, and they didn't mean any harm I don't think. It's just all that they know. Old habits die hard I guess, and I was "cured" of my colorblindness.

Childhood purity... melting away.

I made it through school, a lot of that is a blur I guess, I never attained any popularity. I was always a bit of a loner and an oddball, although I did embarrass myself totally once by trying out for Cheerleading. I couldn't even turn a flip. What was I thinking?

Unforgettable Moment #6: My First Taste Of Freedom
College was a whole different ball game, and although I didn't get to move far away from home and go to Art School, I made the best out of my local Community College. Those turned out to be the most care-free and fun times of my life. Daddy was teaching truck driver training there at a JTPA program, so I got some financial benefits there too. Even though the dorm that I moved into was considered the crappiest one, I made the small room my home away from home (which was really less than 15 minutes from home, ironically). My roommate and I fixed up our little haven and I began to enjoy the non-stop party of college, and the freedom that came along with moving out of parents' houses. Like most things in life, however that too was temporary. It would be some time before I would officially leave my Mom and Dad's nest. College, the most fun I may have ever had. I miss those days.

Hard to believe I survived!

Unforgettable Moment #7: Falling In Love For The 1st Time
Although I had learned a thing or two before then, barely, I had rarely dated in High School. I just barely skimped by with an escort to my senior prom, and even he and I didn't quite see eye-to-eye. That's probably because my nose came up to his armpit, which was thick and putrid with body odor. So when I met Lee, we shared an almost instantaneous ignition of what I thought at the time was true love. Met on a Saturday at the Dairy Queen in the food court of the Mall Of Memphis, and by the end of our first weekend together he proposed and we'd begun making plans for our future together. Our fairy tale was short lived, however, as his "ex" girlfriend back home had dropped the news that she was pregnant, and his devoutly religious minister of a father nearly forced him to do the right thing. A couple of months after it started, it ended just as swiftly and of course painfully.

I cried in my Mother's lap for a week, my last bit of innocence replaced with grief and hostility.

Unforgettable Moment #8: Falling In Love For The 2nd Time
My job experience with Walmart thus far had virtually disintegrated my once painful shyness, and I made friends much more easily in adulthood than ever as a teen. Well into my 20s, I began working in a "plant" environment... Magazine Printing. I really liked everyone I worked with, some more than others. I'd had a few "suitors" there, nobody that I had more than a fleeting interest in. Then one day the friendship that had developed between Z and Me erupted into a boiling hot lava cake of love. It smacked me so hard I couldn't see straight. The feelings that happened between the two of us was something I had never before experienced, and even now sometimes I wish I didn't know those feelings and possibilities existed. The first kiss was every bit and more like that of the slow-motion, drugged and star struck movie kiss. It really was a kiss to build a dream on. Time really slowed down, and the heat went from my skull to my toes. I was in way over my head. Everything about the two of us, our love, was completely wrong and so very right, all at once.

As beautiful and magical as he'd made me feel, when it ended I felt worse than ever. My soul was eternally ripped. This I had to endure alone, I couldn't cry in Mom's lap this time.

Unforgettable Moment #9: From Dark To Light
After Z, my self-esteem hit an all-time low. I had many dark moments in that time period that were unforgettable, and also unspeakable. Even though I may detail them in my Memoirs some day, a long way down the road, they remain in the blackest corners of my heart and mind, hush hush. These were the Dark Ages.

Then came Richie a.k.a. "Mr. J" (although I didn't realize it at first)... he shined his bright light and his positive and magical laughter on my dark and dying soul. He threw out a lifeline and reeled me in. Did he save me from worse fates? We may never know. I would've never met him if it hadn't been for my niece Jolie (R.I.P Girl) dragging us to see a metal show... so maybe She saved me. Either way, yes I fell in love for a third time. He was another soul mate that I was fortunate enough to find in this lifetime... how many people get that gift? He meshed right in with my family, and he's been my family ever since.

Unforgettable Moment #10: The Death of my Father
Who could forget a moment like this? I had received the news earlier that day while I was at work that he was not doing well and the words you don't want to hear, "you might need to come on home and be here with the family". I had that feeling of dread, I knew it was the final countdown. I felt so guilty for not having spent the last few days right by his side. It had been a long haul, his illness had gotten the better of him, and he was very tired. He was so ready to go, even though he really didn't want to leave US, he was exhausted. I sped home as fast as I could, and was approximately like thirty seconds too late. He had passed before I could walk through the door and say my last goodbyes. I looked at him, I felt his skin (still warm), I touched his huge, loving hands and for the last time ever, I would sit by his side in the spot where he spent so much time watching all of his favorite shows. Although "his chair" had been replaced, we'd hoped temporarily, by the hospital bed I had still leaned down next to him and put my head on his shoulder, or held his hand and visited with him. Now, this giant man who'd been the hero all of my life lay there small and frail, without breath in his body, and all I could do was look at him and try to memorize every detail so I would not lose his face. The thing about my father though, Jack Cutler, was that to know him and love him was also to commit him to memory because he was truly a strong, honest and loving man, one that was and will always be Unforgettable.

"Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed." ~Corita Kent

"One doesn't recognize the really important moments in one's life until it's too late." ~Agatha Christie

Friday, October 02, 2009

I Want To Break Free

Today I have conjured up a whole slew of cool junk to blog about this month as I begin trying to make it through the entire month of October for my NaBloPoMo theme of "Haunted". The rules of course are simple, just blog every day for the month. It's not forced, of course, it's a choice to become a part of the blogroll. I do it some months, when I feel I can, and others I know I won't I just do not participate. However, I enjoy it, so here it is. October!

I will begin to tackle a lot of cool topics which might help you to get to know me (Aunt Jackie) better in the coming days, so I invite you to join me and read, comment and bring your friends!

For today, though I would simply like to remember a one-of-a-kind, musical genius. The man, the legend, "Freddie Mercury". A voice like none other, and his song is still so haunting to me.

Long Live Freddie Mercury

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Kentucky Rain and Other Pain

I thought aside from my WWC photos the other day, I might share with you the other few photos I captured, which were nothing to write home about but at least some documentation of the trip. I'll get to those in a minute... first I'll blog.

Well it is the first of October... my favorite month of the year! It denotes fall, which is officially here, but not quite painted up in all its glory just yet. I love the colors of fall. There's just something magical in the crisp cool air that breathes new life into our tired souls (mine anyway).

Yes, 2009 has been a rough year for so many of us. More trials, more lessons and if you are reading this then you are winning. You are still here, and you still have another day and another chance to do something that makes a difference... whatever that may be for you.

We have a tendency to get so caught up in what is wrong in OUR lives, and what WE don't have, or for the shiny bauble that we can't seem to afford that we forget there are so many other people less fortunate, or in need. It's those people less fortunate than us most times that seem to have it all together, and even seem to be MORE thankful than we are.

That's just sad.

I think about these kinds of things on a nearly day-to-day basis, but it was driven home from something that my B.F.F. Tamra said in an e-mail earlier to me. Her words made me very proud of her, she has come such a long way in her own life with her thoughts and attitudes and actions.

Hopefully, she won't care if I share this blurb... we were discussing a lot of things, one of which was animals and animal rights because we both feel very strongly on the subject.

She said, "I really get sick of humans always worrying about how they look or how much they've got.... at least they aren't crammed into a cage, then tortured and killed because someone thinks the more pain the animal endures, the better the meat will taste... every time [my daughter] starts up on feeling down about stupid shit, I remind her of other bad things in the world and that she doesn't have it bad at all. Right now as I speak, some animal is being tortured for food or their hides, and some little kid is lying up with cancer, not ever knowing what a normal childhood is... oh well, don't get me started on that either... most people are so selfish and its always me me me... get over yourself... RAH! People are also lazy, there is so much that could be done and not done, but most people are not willing to let go of their egos."

I dig that... it is so F'ing true.

Although she and I don't totally sit in agreement with every single issue, or our tastes on things vary I can still sit and admire the things that she is doing in her life, and the efforts she works toward. She is trying to make a difference, and I like to take a page or two from her book of life.

Tamra, I want you to know that I am very proud of you, and how glad I am that we are still "sisters", even if we don't get to be around one another much these days, you really rock.

So the rest of this week, I've just been trying to get back on schedule after the trip, and that's always hard it seems, to "switch modes". I feel more and more every day the true urge to just pack it all up, sell what I can't take with me and hit the road running. We wrap ourselves up so much in the daily grind. It's nobody's fault but our own. Once we get what we thought we wanted, we just start moaning about it so it just goes to show you the grass is always greener.

Like "BBC" says, we really ought to learn to live simply... when was the last time you felt unadulterated JOY because you didn't have a thing to worry about? When was the last time you felt you could just do something spontaneously because everything else could wait? I am willing to bet that it has been a while, or it's not that often. Why then?? What is stopping you?

Guys, truly... the only thing we really HAVE to do while we are here on this Earth is die, and by that I mean merely changing vehicles and scenery (when our time comes), and that time is really short. We should take pages from these fine people's books and start back "Living Simply" and "Letting Go Of Our Massive Egos".

Let's do something positive, something to make someone else happy today. Let's make a difference, while we can!

With that, I'll leave you with my Road Trip Slideshow... enjoy!