Friday, April 28, 2017

Kiss the Ring of Truth

When you're a teenager, there is this little 'magical, electrical' feeling you get sometimes when you're excited about something that, in my own personal experience, just doesn't happen later in life, or at least not past the 20s. Maybe it's just me. Crushes and fun moments always felt that way though. Originally, I started this post yesterday to recognize "Remember Your First Kiss Day", but I got busy and didn't get to finish. So we'll still say that we are celebrating "First Kisses", and you get a fun story to boot.

You see, during High School, when we got our class rings, there was some sort of ritual about 'turning our class rings', which I believe I misunderstood. I thought it was that you turned your ring when you received your 'first kiss'. How I came to this conclusion, I am still not sure. Because in searching a bit about it on the internet, there is a 'ring turning tradition' but it has nothing to do with first kisses. I sure wish I had known this back then, as the turning of the rings, might have given me some better luck (I say, sounding very superstitious, thanks Mom!). As it is supposed to go, per my research into this tradition, you'd begin by wearing the ring facing yourself (if you have some sort of crest or verbiage on the ring, I guess this makes it easier to determine). With the ring facing yourself, it denotes impending graduation (meaning you have not yet graduated). Then, as we all know on your Graduation Day, it is customary to turn your tassel to the other side once you've officially walked and received your diploma, and as far as your class ring goes, it would then be turned outward, facing away from you, which lets everyone know then that you have graduated.

Now on the subject of "Turning the Ring". This is the truth of the tradition as I have found, and as mentioned above, this is something that goes on once you receive your class ring, but before graduation. I'm not sure about the direction, I believe that depends on what you choose, or a specific school might determine the direction you turn it. Most likely it is more about the social side, doubtful that the institution would make a ruling on this, unless it had to do with specific traditions of the school involved. Once you choose the direction, however, you continue to turn the ring in that same direction. Anyways, your friends or classmates, family and even your teachers can take part in the turning of your ring. There are cases where you set a meaning to the number, like the first person could be a parent, or your BFF, etc... and you might set a specific number for your significant other. In most of the references I have read, however, the most significant is the very last person who turns the ring... for this, it is almost always stated that you would choose someone very special or significant to perform the final turn.

This must be where my confusion came in during high school. I always felt behind in the romance department anyway, always felt like a late-bloomer, left out of the dating game and never really had a boyfriend, and never had anyone 'crushing' on me (to my knowledge). I was painfully shy, and also felt awkward, fat and unpopular... Looking back, I have discovered it wasn't exactly as I saw it. That's the way we all feel I think, and then discover later that we were wrong.

Well, even though nobody ever seemed to have a crush on me, I certainly had my fair share of crushes on others. One of them, in fact turned out to be my very first romantic kiss. I discovered him in the midst of some shenanigans my best friend and I were getting into. She dragged me along to visit this guy that SHE had the hots for, much to his dismay I am sure, as I always felt that we often showed up unannounced, and in a somewhat harassing manner. It is pretty funny looking back, and she and I often laugh about this when we recall our teen adventures over lunches and what have you.

As the story goes, on one particular occasion, as we were busting up into RR's apartment so that she could harass him, we were met at the door by my soon-to-be crush LR. He answered the door, fresh out of the shower in nothing but a towel. Bear in mind that what might not stir us as adults (having "seen it all" if you will) was sensory overload to my then 16 year old brain. He had auburn hair, and lifted weights so he had quite the build at the time, and I was instantly smitten. (Looking back I can't imagine why, as I laugh--seriously, he was not that good looking). Oh how crazy are those teenage hormones, they can make you think you're in love with Shrek. But for the sake of my story, imagine he looks like one of those dudes on the cover of a sexy romance novel.

I'll curb the long, drawn out details for now, but basically you know that Bestie and I, now both having a vested interest in harassing this specific residence, were full force in what we thought happened to be perfect seduction techniques. So we went by every chance we could, and I'm sure we wellllll wore out our welcome. In fact, I am convinced that they packed up and moved to get away from us, as they never told us the plans, but we happened to "pop by" one day when they were in the middle of prepping a waterbed and packing for the move. Reluctantly, they told us they were  moving to Coldwater (which was just a town over), and did not tell us the address, shockingly. Once they were gone, of course our trouble-seeking urges took over, and we were obligated to ride around the town until we figured out exactly where they moved. Keep in mind this was before you could actually "Google" and zero in on the whereabouts of someone with the tiniest piece of information. In defense of the county we grew up in, it's no New York City. So it didn't take long, nor did it take much gas to discover one of their trucks parked in a driveway on a narrow road off one of the main streets in town. So what do you think we did? Stealth around and gather more information just to be on the safe side, as well as not to look like complete stalkers? WRONG. We immediately descended upon their new abode with great fervor, as if we had been invited to a housewarming party. Yes, where did all of that boldness and confidence come from? I would be petrified to do anything of the sort now. Kids will be kids, am I right?

So here we all are, in the same situation as when they were living in the apartment near campus: Us dropping by whenever we felt like it and most likely them trying desperately to think of escape tactics. You know how men are, though, they will take advantage of a situation or a naive young girl as quickly as they'll order cheese in their grits. While in the midst of one of these unsolicited visits, my crush happened to be out late, and my Bestie was in full seduction mode with RR in the back of the house. According to her story, they had some fun, and some making out happened, but it did not go all the way. I, myself sat patiently on the couch, watching some weird t.v. show, and an hour or so later HE finally arrived home. Some flirtation and conversation was exchanged, he complained about his back, and bold young me somehow worked in a half-joking suggestion of performing a massage to help him feel better. This was, in my mind, a way to finally make physical contact with him, and get him where I wanted him.  Well he beckoned me back into his bedroom, took full advantage of my offer, and for a while the situation was going along as smoothly as a Danielle Steel novel, of course if you know me, you know the story had an awkward moment, or a bumbling sort of ending, and also did not go all the way, but let's just say I got some experience that night, thrilling to me and I wasn't even at Band Camp! Zipping to the magic moment, however and avoiding the most juicy of the details (sorry guys, another time?).

The Kiss!!! (cue climactic music)

LR slowly leaned up, grabbed me with his strong, muscular arms and pressed his lips to mine. Floating on a cloud, I felt like I had to be dreaming. Was this real? My feverish crush, here, holding me, actually kissing me, definitely an adult kiss, just like in the novels and the movies. I was in shock, disbelief and heaven all at the same time. His mouth moved over my tender and inexperienced lips, his confident tongue found my timid one, and for several moments we were locked in an embrace  that for me, at least was the stuff of my teenage dreams. In the midst of my bliss, and due to the misconception about the ring tradition, with my eyes closed and a little 'thank you' silently spoken.

I reached over and I turned my ring... what a lovely, fairy tale ending, I thought.

Just then, I came to my senses and realized that I was tasting something gritty, bitter and disgusting... It was being transferred from under his tongue and inside his lip into my mouth. I was fully back into reality at this point as I sickeningly realized that the boy dipped SNUFF (Skoal, you know that tobacco product people put right inside the lip)!!! I was completely horrified and turned off, and to this day it affects my attraction and/or decision making about who I would date. Yes, oh you read it here, ladies and gentlemen, my first kiss, and part of my innocence, "Snuffed Out" in mere seconds. Ain't it the way life goes?  ;-)

Have a romantic and Skoal-Free weekend y'all!!!

Your favorite Aunt,

Jaxxxxxx

Read the Wiki Article on Class Rings



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Special Brownies

We talk about our Moms a lot here on the blogs, but that's because to Chelly and to me, our Mothers were such role models and strong, hard to forget women, just like we aspire to be.

Now, to know me as an adult, you would never even imagine me outdoors doing anything remotely close to building a fire, setting up tents or learning to cook in the ground or over a flame. Stepping on a snake, or lying awake all night under the stars while getting eaten alive by Mississippi's state bird (Mosquito) are things that I avoid with every ounce of my soul. I mean, my gosh. Girl Scouts are always doing things like cleaning up trash on the highways and getting stung by bees, singing "Kumbaya", hiking in the swelter, mucking around outside in the stinky, muddy, sweaty outdoors. However, there was a time that I, Auntie Jax braved the elements and did my time learning survival skills, earning patches and of course, selling those famous cookies we all know and love. Things have changed a lot over the years, I know, but once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout (if nothing else, by being traumatized by the experiences, or being thoroughly enriched by some of the strengths and habits we were instilled and left with).

My sweet, adoring and sometimes fanatical Mother, you see, was a Girl Scout Leader, eventually earning herself a lifetime membership. She was all things outdoors, loved the lifestyle, adored primitive camping and was in my honest opinion, the epitome of what a true Girl Scout should be. "You always leave things better than you found them." She delighted in passing these values and skills along to us, her daughters and grandchildren too. However, some of us were not quite as enthusiastic about it (mostly me, I think lol). But the principles and lessons learned in Girl Scouts, I admit are wonderful building blocks for us as young women. We could do with a lot more of that today. But alas, I wasn't that happy about it back then. I felt forced, but I appreciate now what my Mother was truly trying to do, ain't that the way it goes?

A word about the Girl Scout Motto: The Girl Scout motto is "Be prepared." In the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook, the motto was explained this way: "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency." The same holds true today. We began our meetings, always, holding up the Sign with our hands, and reciting our Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor, I will try: 
    To serve God and my country,
    To help people at all times, 

    And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

(Read more about Girl Scout Laws, Promise and Traditions)

Day Camp, for me was a particularly dreaded nightmare. All the interaction with other troops and the chores, outdoorsy events and tasks we were charged with, all in the name of scoring those badges to go on our sash. These events were always in the dead heat of a Mississippi / Memphis summer, which you've heard me tell before is something akin to Malebolge.

One particular summer, we were attending our usual Day Camp at Arkabutla Lake. It was the usual uncomfortable 'fun' and fanfare, when we planned that Thursday to be an overnight camping stay. Needless to say, I was less than enthused about this. However, that evening rolled around, and our sleeping quarters were set-up, supplies in place. It was not just our troop, but girls from others as well. My niece Stacey (1 year younger than me as I always remind you guys because I was an Auntie at such a tender young age) was in attendance. Once the campfire songs were over and we had cleaned up after our dinner, everyone set out for bedtime. All was quiet until one of the girls from Tunica, Mississippi pulled a knife on another girl, and had to be dealt with. My Mom moved us out of the tent with the 'violent Tunica girls' as she referred to them, and Stacey and I ended up having to rough it outside on a picnic table. As the night drew on, the Mosquitoes descended upon the camp and Stacey and I were both prime targets.

My Mom, The Forever Girl Scout
I am struggling to remember if we had any "Off" or other spray. I know that my Mother also knew of the merits of Avon's "Skin So Soft" bath oil, that repels the little blood sucking varmints for some odd reason. However, we must not have had any at our disposal as they were literally trying to carry us away. It was a miserable night. One poor girl was covered in big 'whelps', even worse than me.

This ordeal got so bad, that my Mom pulled out these packs of industrial cleaning rags that she had packed away, and began to burn them in pans in an effort to smoke the hordes of mosquitoes out of camp. At one point the Park Rangers came over to see about us and thought we were performing some sort of weird rituals since they spotted the burning rags. Haha! Eventually, the night was over, and we had to power through the very last day of camp on virtually no sleep, little energy and wanting to go home and get back to the comfort of our central AC so badly we could taste it! (or was it the taste of smoke?)

Either way, I think that was one of the last times I remember going camping with our Troop. Mom somehow kept me in Girl Scouts up through Brownies (which is around middle school level). I never went further than that.

Though these experiences were harrowing while we were going through some of them, we really did have a lot of fun times too--I just rarely admit that since I am not much of an outdoorsy gal. There were many laughs, good friends, good food (like S'mores, I adore them to this day!) and of course those famed Cookie Sales. Girl Scouts really is a great thing for many women, and I hope it continues to be something meaningful for girls everywhere throughout the ages, just like it was for my beautiful forever Scout Mom. Hope you're up there in heaven Mom with your fire ring and roasting marshmallows, because I still miss that, and always will miss everything about you. What I wouldn't give to have a weenie roast out in the pasture with you right now.

Enjoy these shots of my Mom, a little later in her life, still playing with her fire ring, and reveling in her love of all things outdoors. Kumbaya Mama, Kumbaya anytime! xoxo

My Mom, while she and I were walking back to her "Fire Ring" she kept at home. 

Mom with one of her mighty
German Shepherds enjoying the day

A Scenic Spot off the highway near my home in
Northern Mississippi, Home of my Girl Scout Mother


Monday, April 24, 2017

Keepin Those Pigs Warm

Well, happy "National Pigs in a Blanket Day" everybody! I'm not one to lay heavy on the pork, well I know some folks use various ingredients on those little 'delicacies', but just thought I would share as it's one of the more prominent things to celebrate today.

Since it's a Monday, I figured it would perk everybody up a bit, who doesn't love party food? Or if you've a respect for farm animal life, we can honestly celebrate the cuteness of an actual real adorable Pig in a blanket, I kinda prefer that myself, anyways, how bout you?


The other holidays we can celebrate today are:

Administrative Professional's Day
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
National Pigs-in-a Blanket Day
World Meningitis Day

So, as you can see, I felt like the Pigs in a Blanket thing was the best choice to make something cute out of it... Not that "Administrative Professional's Day isn't cute, but hey they all get enough attention. Pigs go unappreciated, in my honest opinion.

Now Armenian Genocide and World Meningitis are not to be taken lightly by a long shot, so let's take a pause to think on those and remember as well as think of ways to prevent the both. (insert silent moment here).

Other than that, I just wanted to pop in and make a short blog entry, and I'd like to add that I have continued to write, jot down ideas, brainstorm and still trying to improve, de-clutter and pep up my space, as well as my life. Each day a little better... Momento al momento, right? I'm trying to keep myself on the track of being more positive, more confident and really just enjoying each moment as it comes and letting it flow. Life is too short to stress or really let anything get to us or beat us down. We gotta hang in there and stop fighting against the tides, and holding on to the bank, relax and go with it. Things get so much easier when we do that and have faith in where we are and where we are going naturally, I believe that 100%.

Now let me finish out this afternoon's tasks, and get hold of myself, after all, I still hate Mondays.

Just me,


Jax (Aunt Jackie)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Don't Use That Tone With Me!

Karaoke?! Let's Go!!
Well for starters, Karaoke has been on my mind lately... some friends and I have been discussing this, and there is a place that is having Karaoke tomorrow night (Thursday). She asked if I wanted to go, I said maybe but I think I should make it a definite, what'cha think? After all April 16th - 22nd is National Karaoke Week (Set for the Fourth week of April). So if I do go, what song(s) do I sing? Do I sing at all? I haven't done this in quite some time. Sometimes I'm very confident, sometimes I'm not. My voice is craaaackly at times, and I get all respiratory-itchy, and other moments, I'm all clear. We shall see. I've always kind of taken it seriously, like I wanted to sing as best I could... but I think many find the point to be making a fool of yourself and singing badly is the point? I'm not sure... I still like to try to sound good though.

It's National Karaoke Week Y'all!!!

The movies have depicted some fun Karaoke scenes, like "My Best Friend's Wedding" where Julia Roberts tries to shed some ugly light on the guy's non-singing fiance by showcasing her terrible karaoke skills. Didn't work, guy still loved her. Then "Lost In Translation" where they did karaoke into the night, which isn't it actually of Japanese origins? Oh and even on T.V.'s "The King of Queens" where the gang goes to karaoke, and Doug thinks he has a stalker, but it's really Spence, who's tired of always being the one getting bullied so he pulls a fast one on Doug? Yes all so good... but my favorite movie karaoke scene (not due to comedy just performance and song) would have to be from "500 Days of Summer" where Tom sings "Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies... feel good performance.



Remembering Karaoke times past, I can think of some funny moments and great times, good songs and fun. Used to go to a place in Memphis with my friend Kim called the "Cockeyed Camel" where I remember this one drunk bozo belting out "New York, New York". Not quite a hit with me. I sing various songs, just usually go through the book and find something I like and think that I can handle. One of my friends once took me to a "Crazy Karaoke" at a local bar, and that was interesting. You think of a song, write it down on paper, fold it up and put it in their little "lottery shuffler" (can't think what it's called, where you turn it and then draw out an entry). So you don't get to choose the song, you submit, they draw one for you and you have to sing it. Ha-ha. So the song I got there was "Paradise City" by Guns & Roses. I did the best I could, but let me tell you. Axel would not have been proud. Finally a guy jumped up on stage to help me out, and I was so grateful that I let him finish the last chorus by himself lol.

The last one I'll mention is when I was still with my ex-husband, and his friend KB took us to a little juke joint out in the middle of nowhere, and there was Karaoke. When you mix rednecks, Budweiser and Karaoke, hilarity ensues. One guy jumped up and did his not-so-magical rendition of "Hard To Handle" in the style of the Black Crowes. Let me just say, he was not in key NOR was he in time, and my ex-husband, who is a bit of a music snob anyways had to leave 'on that note' stating if he didn't get out of the building right then, he was going to throw up.

Now you may think that he was just saying this to be an asshole about the guy's lack of musical talent, but he was actually being serious. He stated that the guy's performance literally made him nauseous and he had to go... like right then.

Then there was the time that we went to the Lesbian bar in Midtown and I had a female admirer who loved my "Trisha Yearwood" number. That's fine with me, I don't mind anyone's admiration, and I dislike anyone who is homophobic or closed-minded, so If people hang out with me everyone must treat everyone with respect. There is never a good reason to be callous and intolerant, or to act out unless someone tries to harm you. So there. Love everybody.

Other than that, just catch an event once in a while with various friends when we can find a place that has one, or find one on certain nights. They can be pretty fun. I love to sing, even though I don't really consider myself having a great voice, it's all about enjoying life and the people in it.

Have a great Hump Day! -Jax

Check out these Funny Karaoke Word Plays!

Daily 2017 Holidays that fall on April 18, include:

Adult Autism Day
Animal Crackers Birthday
International Amateur Radio Day
International Day for Monuments and Sites
International Juggler's Day
Last Day of Passover - April 18, 2017 (movable date)
National Columnists Day
National Golf Day
National Lineman Appreciation Day
National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day
Pet Owners Independence Day
Tax Day (still??)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On a Day Like Today


"On a Day Like Today"
We would awaken at Dawn
and sit out on the lawn
drink your coffee, extra strong,
on a day like today...
As we watched our butterflies,
shaping clouds, in blue skies,
as the breeze blows, gentle sighs,
on a day like today.
There would be talk of old times,
remembering nursery rhymes;
thoughts of those who'd left us behind,
how we missed them, how they shined;
Now it's just me here, I rewind
picturing this, tears leave me blind;
But for all those thoughts that stray,
watching April chasing May,
I think of all I'd love to say (to you)
On a Day Like Today <3 span="">

By Jacqueline Wood
 For Mama (my butterfly)
April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rotten Eggs

I meant to post a little something for Easter Sunday, and I jarred my back while riding my motorcycle over the weekend, so I was mostly resting with heat and meds.

My childhood years were spent being spoiled to so many family traditions that I guess I thought would never end, and as we grow up, we are forced to realize that "Nothing Gold Can Stay" (just as Robert Frost  tried to tell us).

In those early years though, dying Easter eggs with my father on Saturday night (ahh the newspaper, the smell of vinegar, using Mom's cups, those little wire thingys, and mainly just Dad showing me how to do all this), helping with the cooking, and waking up to those baskets full of pretty eggs, candy and goodies was magic. We were always so distraught when we were dragged away from our Easter morning fun to attend the church service (which to us as kids seemed to drag on for hours). Once back home, it was time for the family to all meet there at my childhood home and eat dinner together, and inevitably do the Easter Egg hunt in the front yard (mostly).

The "Adults" would make everyone stay in the house while they went outside to hide the eggs in easy as well as crazy-tough spots to make the game challenging at least. Once they came back in, the kids (including me until I was probably about 14) would descend upon the yard in a frenzy, searching high and low, trying to 'one up' each other, and gather the most eggs. Don't really recall having any huge prize, we just enjoyed the process as it was. The funniest thing would be, occasionally the next year one might find an egg from the last year's hunt, which would at this point become a grave stink bomb, if stepped on. That could become quite a nightmare, but something we laugh about even now.

Those growing up years had a magic, so inexplicable and strong, the residue of which I still smell from time-to-time (when I close my eyes and think hard enough). Some days it's stronger... or is that the smell of those Rotten eggs? Maybe one of em' is still out there in the yard, undiscovered and protected by the elders of time.

There was a mix up on dinner, as I was intent on eating with one of my sisters and her family, whom I don't get to see often enough. The mix-up was just one of those things, when something comes up and their plan switched, so I wasn't aware. I could have gone anywhere to share dinner with any of my family, but with my back pain, I just elected to rest up and go ahead and allow my back to recover.

Things happen, as adults we know this, and we know it can't be the same as when we were all fairy dust flinging, magic wand waving little believers. We come to realize that sometimes we may step on a rotten egg, one that may have once been freshly colored, covered in glitter and sparkled with hope at the time, but that we overlooked, so we just clean up the mess and move on.

Besides, things are not always as they seem, and occasionally you find a prize inside an egg that was decorated in a way that only appeared to be rotten.

I Miss My Childhood,

Aunt Jackie



Thursday, April 13, 2017

All Our Wrong Todays

Short one today... I think I have figured out a really cool premise for a book or short story. Depending on what it decides it is. It could think itself magnificent and gargantuan and decide it is to be a novel, but presently it is the birth of an idea. Maybe this is the progressing of my creative journey. I have been really thinking and planning many things lately. I have been taking down a lot of notes on ideas and meditating within for answers, ideas and direction.

There are whole other Universes out there...
I think this is the time, that things are beginning to move forward more. I am excited. I'm beginning to feel less depressed and aimless and like I have some direction for my journey. I'm extremely glad for this, you just don't know. Now that is if I can whip myself into shape and take care of myself better so as to be able to make it to where I want to go... or well, enjoy my journey.

I am presently reading the book (well, listening to the audiobook) "All Our Wrong Todays" by  Just starting it but it is pretty interesting, has some elements of time-travel, and I'm always a sucker for time travel. The book I am kind of simultaneously working through, and not having much success, as I am skipping around a lot, is called "Tuesday Nights In 1980" by    --This is a cool book, I just keep getting scattered. However, one of the small little blurbs from this book is what zinged my brain with the idea for MY book... so you never know where your messages are going to come from, so always be listening to the Universe everywhere you go... there is always something to see or hear. Observe... Listen... Be quiet enough at times to actually be affected by the miraculous world around you. It's not all shit, though I know it feels like it sometimes. That's why you have to stop and "Teleport" to places unknown and find your happy place and be silent and still, even if it is just 10 minutes out of your busy day.  Okay--that's enough of my psychobabble... Do what I tole ya, and then you can check out today's fun crap for April 13th. Have a good weekend y'all!!

Jax 

 Famous Birthdays for today (Just as a side-note of interest) are:

1735 - Isaac Low, American businessman who founded the New York Chamber of Commerce (d. 1791)
1743 - Thomas Jefferson, American politician and 3rd President of the United States (d. 1826)
1852 - Frank W. Woolworth, American businessman who founded the F.W. Woolworth Company (d. 1919)
1866 - Butch Cassidy, American train robber, bank robber, and leader of the Wild Bunch Gang
1946 - Al Green, American singer-songwriter, producer, and pastor
1950 - Ron Perlman, American actor (Vincent - Beauty and the Beast)
1951 - Peabo Bryson, American R&B soul singer-songwriter
1970 - Ricky Schroder, American actor and director
1972 - Aaron Lewis, American singer-songwriter (Staind)

Oh, and last but certainly not least, I bring you the...

2017 Daily Holidays that fall on April 13:

Celebrate Teen Literature Day - April 13, 2017 (Thursday of Library Week)
International Creativity and Innovation Day
International Special Librarian's Day
Mamba Day
National Peach Cobbler Day
Plant Appreciation Day
Scrabble Day
Support Teen Literature Day - April 13, 2017 (Thursday of Library Week)
Thomas Jefferson Day

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pink Moon

Full Moon tonight... It's called the Pink Moon!! Yayy! But is it really pink? Well, not exactly. There are reasons we call it the Pink Moon though, read the above link, or also This Article Still, very cool though. I always love all Full Moons.

We have several interesting holidays that fall on April 11th, which I have included below just for fun information for you guys, well, whoever is actually out there listening to me =)

The one that I really suppose I have the most interest in is "Eight Track Tape Day", as I remember being little and my sisters, who were all grown-ups pretty much already, they actually had some 8 Tracks. So I remember finding something I could play them on, and being enthralled over these weird cartridges, but as a music lover, I still loved it all. As long as I had music, I was happy. This was, in fact, thanks to my Mother who reportedly had music playing even when I was an infant in my crib. There was never a moment growing up that I remember, Mom didn't have music playing somewhere in the house. She listened while she cooked, cleaned, worked or whatever she was doing. We would sit at the breakfast table drinking coffee and her favorite tunes would be playing pretty much all day long.

So this is why I remember fondly, music all through the ages, and chose to recognize the 8 Track, today... yes, perhaps one of the oddest phases in our Musical history... Very interesting indeed. I was so thankful that we had CDs... but even now, I've become a 'brat' of the digital age with my iPod and my Bluetooth in the car, in my motorcycle helmet, music, music everywhere.

Thank you Mom! <3

Now, here's a little history lesson on the 8 Track... enjoy!



2017 Daily Holidays that fall on April 11, include:

Barbershop Quartet Day (couldn't find them singing "Louie Louie" and was disappointed)
Eight Track Tape Day
International "Louie Louie" Day (maybe it's available on 8 Track)
National Be Kind to Lawyers Day - April 11, 2017 (Second Tuesday in April)-Eh
National Cheese Fondue Day (Mmmmm, Let's Fondue It!!)
National Library Day - April 11, 2017 (Tuesday of Library Week)
National Library Workers Day - April 11, 2017 (Second Tuesday in April)
National Pet Day (Go Hug Em, Give Em a Treat)
World Parkinson's Disease Day

Monday, April 10, 2017

For The Love Of Sisters

Happy National Siblings Day! 

 My sisters were all pretty much 'grown ups' by the time I graced this world with my awesomeness. They were busy looking for their own paths and trying to chase their dreams, and flying off from the nest before I could find my feet and learn to walk. However, that never stopped any of us from loving one another.

Top row: My sisters (l to r) Jeanne, Debbie and Vickie
Bottom row: Vickie's oldest, Stacey (left) & Kristie (right)
(That's Me in the Middle)

We may have not always shared the same views, lifestyles or interests, but we all shared two people (Mom and Dad) who taught us all more about strength and love better than anyone else ever could begin to. So Mom and Dad left us here with hardcore values, big hearts, stubbornness, amazing spirits and strengths (all four of us), and a love for one another that is there, even though we may not see one another often. I for one, love you, all of my sisters and will always be here for you, will talk to you and see you when I can, but above all please know I appreciate you and will always love you more than you ever know. That's way, way further than the moon and back!!

Friday, April 07, 2017

In Seven Words

"Write a story in seven (7) words".


You Kissed Me.
Sadly, I Woke Up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Sounds and Confusion

Little bit of randomness today. Still not very many impressive daily holidays that I take a liking to for "April 5th", but I still listed them down below, if you are interested.

My thoughts are filled today with freedom, and confusion, and creativity, and feeling stifled. I want to do my own thing, like have a little shop, or art studio that  makes money, or that I can live and survive doing, without being part of the corporate grind. I am going stir crazy, I don't know what to do, and things have got to change soon. I am trying desperately to figure out an idea that would work for me. When I pass a small shop in an older part of town, or pass through the South Main Art district, my soul leaps out through my chest, and I think 'this is home, why am I not here?'

--Anyone want to weigh in on that, I'm open to suggestions, advice or inspiration.

So, I was looking through my other blogs, and started wishing that I could just combine the two (the Just Me Jax and this one, like merge all the posts together, and use the other color scheme). I don't want to lose any articles, and there were a few good ones over there too. I'm just feeling frustrated and chaotic today. I feel the need to get organized, get free and enjoy life.

To finalize my post for today, I am going to list for you My 10 favorite sounds... then you can check out the weirdo holidays for April 5th... Have a Good'Un... Jax

My 10 favorite sounds:
(No particular order)

1.   Thunderstorms / rain on windows
2.   Dead silence after a long day
3.   Birds singing outside on gorgeous spring day
       (bird noises of all kinds really, owls, etc)
4.   Sexy deep male voice (if my partner, I like their
       voice close to my ear, whispering)
5.   Airplanes passing overhead or close
6.   Cat purring
7.   Crackling Fire
8.   Crickets at night in the country
9.   My Mom and Dad's voices
       (though they are no longer here)
10. Wind Chimes jingling on a breezy day

--and finally here are those holidays--

2017 Daily Holidays that fall on April 5, include:
  • Childhelp National Day of Hope - April 5, 2017 (First Wednesday in April)
  • Go for Broke Day 
  • Gold Star Wives Day
  • National Caramel Day 
  • National Dandelion Day 
  • National Day of Hope - April 5, 2017 (First Wednesday in April)
  • National Deep Dish Pizza Day 
  • National Raisin and Spice Bar Day 
  • National Walking Day - April 5, 2017 (First Wednesday in April)
  • Paraprofessional Appreciation Day - April 5, 2017 (First Wednesday in April)
  • Whole Grain Sampling Day - April 5, 2017 (First Wednesday in April)

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Take A Recess

Taking a small break today... I've decided to skip using one of the oddball holidays to inspire my post today. None of them are really that interesting or noteworthy to me. We'll try again tomorrow. I'll still include them at the bottom though, since I think I found a page I like more than the others that lists these little known days.

Nope, I'm not really here today.
Been feeling a lot of emotions lately, which is par for the course for me, honestly. So the writing more has felt pretty good to me. I really need to figure out that whole "what to do when I grow up thing" because nothing I'm doing as of late is making me happy. I know it's time to transcend these cubed boundaries. I just haven't figured out how to do that. So anyway, today's post is short and sweet but I still popped in to say hello. Besides, earlier, I already posted a new thought-provoking post over here called Feeling Like an Outsider over at I Miss My Childhood. So if you feel the need to travel back in time and sit in my high school English class for a while, go over and take a seat. You can also read my last few posts and catch up. Oh and come on, please leave me a comment, it's nice to know you were here.

As I was thinking about writing, or music, well okay, all things creative, I thought up my own quote about it.

"If it weren't for the fact that most humans write, and/or sing the things we cannot say, we would have no books or music in which to lose ourselves and to celebrate." ~Jax Cutler Wood

So here I wanted to pass this along for anyone who might feel like checking it out:

Check out 38 things that will take 80s kids back.

And here is my favorite page so far that lists those obscure holidays, even though I didn't use one today, you can still go and see what you might feel like celebrating.

April 4th Holidays and Observances

There's always, always something to celebrate!! See that? I'm not so negative after all... Life is not easy, but it is magical, even in its darkness, light will eventually shine through. Keep going!! You're doing great!!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Sowing the Seeds of Love

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~Nelson Mandela

That quote above is one of my favorites, and oh so true. There is so much potential for love in this world that all that ugliness is just sad, and a terrible waste of time here on earth because in my own experience, there are so many amazing people from all over the world in every imaginable color, shape or size, culture and religion too, that I know in my heart if I had wasted time hating people for no good reason, I would have missed out on beautiful friendships and family.

However, today's selected holiday, entitled "Weed Out Hate, Sow The Seeds of Greatness Day" made me think of hate in a different way. One of my own vices (or two), road rage, and just encounters with assholes that cause me to rage and feel boiling hatred. That's right, I hate people based on who they are inside, as a person, I severely dislike closed-minded, rude, snobby, ugly-hearted people... yes you got it, I am severely Anti-Asshole.

This thought spurred in my mind just today as I was walking along to go to the cafeteria to grab myself a cup of soup. (Rainy today in the big M, so I thought soup sounded perfect... it's a nice, hot, delicious organic vegetable soup.) Well anyway, I am passing through the gate, and other times I am walking along and just meeting people in the midst of any of these actions, and smile, speak and try to say or do something cordial, and sweet (which is my nature). When said gesture is met with a cold look, sideways glance and/or no response, not even "Thank You", my blood begins to boil, and I sometimes cannot hold back a sarcastic, "Or Not!!", or a very audible stream of cursing them out as I am walking on.

My issue is, why are people so cold, ugly and rude? They'll jump in front of you in a NY second, just to stand in some lame, slow line. Oh and if you're not looking "Barbie Doll Perfect" (as it can make you feel), they can't even meet eyes and speak with you? It's not like you're going to catch fire from exchanging some general cordiality with the likes of me. Then I find myself wishing bad incidents on these people for the rest of the day.

No, it's not healthy, and no I'm not proud. One should think on this type of thing, however. Even if you aren't an asshole, and maybe you are just shy or something, it takes two seconds to speak to someone, smile and tell them to have a nice day. When you don't, remember the thoughts I just described. The low mood, or the ugly thoughts and hostility spread, and spread. Just one small kind gesture or word will spread the same way, and it will go forward and make everyone feel better. Now, wouldn't you rather spread a smile and a good mood than have someone wishing you'd break a limb after you passed by? I know I would.

Attitudes are Contagious... Is Yours Worth Catching?

Listen to Kid President - He's got the right idea.

Speaking of Attitudes, coincidentally, today was also "Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day"... Darnit!! I found that one out a bit too late... Anyways, HAPPY MONDAY--GO SPREAD SOME LOVE!!!  Love, Jaxxxxxx
Other 2017 Daily Holidays that fall on April 3, include:
  • Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day
  • Find a Rainbow Day 
  • National Chocolate Mousse Day 
  • Pony Express Day 
  • Tator Day (Sweet Potatoes) - April 3, 2017 (First Monday in April)
  • Tweed Day 
  • Weed Out Hate, Sow The Seeds of Greatness Day 
  • World Party Day 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Happy Birthday Mama

Mama was always happy to celebrate her birthday, not really because of the number. In fact, if anyone made mention of how old she was, asked or told, she would get blazing mad. She remained "39 and Holding" until her daughters began to turn 39. She was strong, beautiful, passionate about life and her family, and just one of the most amazing women I've ever known in this world. She used to say that she felt like she was really born on April Fool's Day (April 1st) and that she was just told her birthday landed on April 2nd to make her feel better.

Mom, anyone who ever encountered you learned quickly you were anything but a fool.

You were and always will be my beautiful, fierce, beloved mother and hero.

No fun celebrating without you... I love you so much. Happy Birthday Mom.
Hug Daddy for me.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Crayola Daze

Life is uncertain, so let's continue finding something to celebrate every day. Now, I am not the most consistent person when it comes to my trends, or my writing. I am trying hard to make the effort. You can keep encouraging me. I have included today's list below, and out of these, I chose "National Crayola Crayon Day" as it peaks my inner child's artistic enthusiasm, as well as reminds me of a funny story about myself and my heart-thumping 5th/6th grade crush, Ken.

Oh lord, Ken... He and his family were from deep in the heart of Texas. Ken was the middle son of three boys, and six years my senior. With that rich, Texan drawl, and his sky blue eyes and sandy hair, he was the wild child star of my middle school dreams (insert hilarious giggle there). His parents and my parents were best friends, they hung out and visited one another, had dinners, coffee, played dominoes, all that.  Funny how you think at that age, but I was convinced that if I could just have one good opportunity to sit down and talk to him, that I could surely win his heart!

I was just a young girl, Crayola Dazed and Confused.

Christmas was upon us, with its frosty air and magical miracles, making just about anything possible. Just as luck would have it, Christmas Day, Mom and Dad's friends (his Mom and Dad) had invited us to come by a little later for snacks, or dinner, or something I don't quite remember exactly. You see, my family always had our big dinner and gift exchange on Christmas Eve, so Christmas morning was spent, each of my sisters individual families, home with the children opening up their own "Santy-clause gifts". Therefore, we were free for visiting.

In a mad panic, I flew to my room, and began to "gussy up", as the old folks might say. I dug into my collection of play make-up, and began to paint myself up to the height of glamour with my sexy "Crayola brand Eyeshadow" in Birds Egg Blue, nonetheless. Rarely had I gotten my makeup so perfect, I thought in my childish little brain. I was set. This was it, the night that I would bend my destiny to be the next Mrs. Ken ___man. He would surely fall prey to my Crayola magic spell.

Not sure if anybody remembers this stuff, but funny.

We jump in Dad's car, and descend down the driveway, my mind racing, my heart pounding. 'I'm going to see him, this is it. Oh to be near him, breathing the same oxygen.' I thought, frantically in my heaving panic. As we rolled up their driveway, my knees grew weaker... praying I would know what to say, what to do, and even to get the proper moment alone with Ken to weave him into my web of love. What could possibly go wrong? The timing was so right, there wasn't a thing to worry about.

The ___mans greeted us with smiles, inviting us in. Of course the parents were all in their usual, nonsensical, adult holiday banter, I nervously stood in the living room (the t.v. buzzing in the background, some now-ancient football game). Looking around, I see his younger brother Craig, sitting on the couch. Feeling so nervous and shaky that I could tip over at the slightest breeze, turn my head just as Ken comes out of the Kitchen. He meets my gaze.

"Yew wanna siddown, Jaacckie??" he bellows, in his thick as Texas oil accent.

After all that smooth-talk planning, I could not find a human English word in my body, my throat was dry and I couldn't seem to muster a sound from anywhere. 'What is wrong with you, Idiot? This is your destiny, your chance. You're screwing up, SAYYY SOMETHINGGG!!!' I simply stood there breathing, as I looked around at the chair he was gesturing to... teetered backwards, and sat as I nodded, retardedly, staring up into the overcast sky that was his eyes.

Mesmerized, I attempted a sexy smile (as if, with my awkward 5th grade goober self).  The room suddenly felt ice cold as my heart thumped heavily in my chest. Ken stepped into the kitchen for a moment, and I tried to gather my senses, and straighten up and act like the grown-up I so wanted to be in that moment. Suddenly, he emerges back in the living room with his glass of sweet tea in his hand. With a lovely southern smile, he looked at me and velvetly beckoned  "Jaaacckkieeee? Yew wawnnt som' Chicken an' Dressin??" His voice... his words swept over me like some delicious tropical breeze. At that very moment, the gods shined upon me and there was nobody else in the room except Him... and Me. 'Oh this is just like I planned it. I am going to talk to him now, and tell him exactly how I feel. Once he understands how much I love him, he will realize he feels the same way and he will be mine!! This is it, okay... Ken, get ready to fall in love. This is so meant to be...' I thought, madly, as I moistened my throat and finally found words.

I looked him square in his baby blues, opened my mouth, and in a shy, high-pitched mouse's voice, squeaked out raggedly...

"Nooo thank yeww!!"

The moment was gone, lost in a glimmer of 'just my luck', my timidness and ultimate stupidity, never to be found again, I was sure.

Just as full, warm and larger than life as he had been standing before me, in a fast ghost breeze he was gone, muttering something to his parents about leaving for his girlfriend's house and that he would see them later. I sat there, heart sinking into my stomach, wondering why I was such a scared little loser and why I couldn't have just done everything right like I had rehearsed in my head. 'Maybe next time, I'll have more time, I can win his heart... I'll get it right... next time.' If there is a next time... I don't think there really was.

Numbly, I sat, waiting for my parents' visit with the ___man's to be over, and we rode home, my visions of how I could have done better skipping through my head. We walk into our still Christmas glitter laden house, and I mope back to the bathroom, look in the mirror and to my horror, I see that my trusty and glamorous "Crayola Eyeshadow" has half melted off, sometime in the evening, and that I had bared my soul with shadow only on one eye, and smeared lipstick. Looking like a greasy little baby who'd been playing with Mom's make-up.

So much for mesmerizing him with my womanly wiles. Childhood, isn't it just funny looking back?

Happy Crayola Crayon Day, Other favorite holiday, or whatever you choose to remember and celebrate today. Hey, it's YOU, it's LIFE. That's all the reason we need to clink glasses and cheer. Enjoy, and read about the rest of them below.

Just me,
Jax


Some of these little 'obscure' or little-known holiday observations are pretty self-explanatory and some of them may boggle the brain, and leave you unsure of their origin. There's always Google.com but I will try to cue you in if I can (in parenthesis).

Today's Oddball Holidays (3/31):
  • César Chávez Day
  • Dance Marathon Day
  • Eiffel Tower Day
  • National "She's Funny That Way" Day (female comediennes and other ladies who make your day just more comical and easy to smile thorugh, like me)
  • National Bunsen Burner Day
  • National Clams on the Half Shell Day
  • National Crayola Crayon Day
  • National Farm Workers Day
  • National Tater Day
  • No Homework Day (Observed the last Friday of March and annually on May 6th)
  • Terri's Day
  • World Backup Day (back up all your data, well do this regularly anyway)
Actually, from another source, this Facebook page dedicated to "Holidays that Might Get Overlooked" I cite the following, "Today, Friday, March 31st, 2017, is National Clams on a Half Shell DayWorld Backup Day, National "She's Funny That Way" Day, International Hug a Medievalist Day, International Transgender Day of VisibilityTater DayNational Prom DayThe Eiffel Tower Day, Oranges And Lemons Day, Terri's Day, Caesar Chavez Day (California), Thomas Mundy Peterson Day (NJ), Feast Day of Saint Balbina (patron against diseases of the lymph glands, scrofula), Lunaria (ancient Rome), and Sacred Drama Day (ancient Babylon)."  Might provide a little more info if you're interested.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Grass Is Always Browner

Yes, you read that right. As Chris Brown might say, "Grass Ain't Greener". Most times, we learn this in life the hard way. We live in a day and age where people treat everything as disposable. You don't like your job? You quit. You don't like your house or car? You sell it, even though you might go upside down financially. Hate your job? You quit... Hate your husband or wife? "Hey, it's been fun!! I'm outty." Then you pack a bag and go off to spend the night somewhere else, and never come back. Wait, I'm getting a little personal there. Back in the old days, people worked through hard times, made a steel commitment to things in their lives, not a plastic one. So in my recent interest in these 'interesting' obscure holidays, I decided to place focus on "Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day", celebrated annually on March 30th.

Origins:
This holiday was created to honor the people who never left their old life just because they thought the "grass was greener on the other side." It was also created to inspire people to be happy with what they have, rather than selfish and greedy and envious of other people.

That's not a bad reason to celebrate a day and remind ourselves to be happy right here, right now, and be happy instead of looking for happiness, searching nonstop when it's always within, so that can happen anywhere you are. Be Happy!


You may be asking yourself why I have been digging up these oddball holidays and incorporating them into my blog notes? Well, since I am encouraging myself to write more, I find that they are pretty good writing "prompts", and many times they remind me of something that may turn into a story that will end up enhancing my post. At the very least, we are learning some things we didn't know about, and some of them are kind of fun to boot. So roll with me, eh? I'm going to keep writing, and eventually one of these days I'll have my book. (Nods, makes sassy clicking noise with mouth and winks).

"Okay Jax, that's cool. We'll roll along. So what were the other holidays for March 30th?"

Oh yeah I'm sorry, I thought you'd never ask. When I was looking these up, I found these other unique holidays recognized for today:

-National Doctors Day (Hmmmm, play doc?)
-National I am in Control Day (Is that so?)
-Clams On the Half Shell Day (No brainer, feast out)
-Pencil Day (I draw the line on this one)
-Take a Walk in the Park Day (Unless you're like me, too lazy)
-Turkey Neck Soup Day (Another yummer, gobble up!)
-World Bipolar Day (Nevermind I changed my mind about it all, now get out of my face!!!)

Have fun you guys, and make of these what you will. I have more work to do before the day is done, so see you on the flip side.

Just me,
Jax

Monday, March 27, 2017

There's a Tear in My Beer

Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye! No, I'm not going through some gut wrenching breakup, or yet another heartache, I'm celebrating today's chosen obscure silly holiday. Of which I listed below, my choice to recognize is "Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day". Why? Because it reminds me so much of my Dad always singing silly lyrics and making up just that, funny country song titles (or perhaps repeating those he had heard)., that and several other song titles I've seen around are pretty funny. Enjoy the video below (one of many funny titles in country music you can find)... just for a little early-week laugh.



Observed annually on March 27th:

Celebrate Exchange Day
National Joe Day
National Spanish Paella Day
Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day
World Theatre Day

Enjoy the rest of your week... smile.

Just me, Jax

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hollidazed

Everyone loves a holiday. I happen to prefer the type of holiday that gets you a paid day off from work. However, any cause for celebration can be fun. If you're a regular on Facebook, or any other social media tool, you've likely seen people post up trivial "national  (    fill in the blank    ) day" at some point. I've seen some interesting ones lately. Yesterday, evidently I missed "National Puppy Day". There's always some interesting, crazy, or funny holiday that someone has tagged up, and I'm not saying they're not legitimate, but pretty odd at times, you have to wonder.

So after googling it... Today, March 24th is apparently recognized for the following:

-National Cocktail Day
-National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day (yum!)
-International Day for Achievers

--and last but not least--

World Tuberculosis Day

So interestingly enough, today in history reflects the following amazing and wonderful fact:

1882 Robert Koch discovers the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis

The German scientist, who is regarded as the father of modern bacteriology, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1905.
That's pretty cool, and well mostly likely why they tagged the day "World Tuberculosis Day", so I didn't mean to try to illustrate that it was a coincidence. It doesn't say so, but one could logically deduce this possibility. So I figured in honor of today's great observance, maybe I would just recognize all of the people everywhere (including myself) who cough a helluva lot. No, we don't all have tuberculosis, as bad as we may sound.

In fact, I guess we are lucky in this day and age, tuberculosis is not really as prevalent as it used to be. Yes it is still out there, however. A total of 9,557 TB cases (a rate of 3.0 cases per 100,000 persons) were reported in the United States in 2015. I guess it is just funny (but not funny, no I shouldn't laugh) that anytime we hear someone sporting a really vicious-sounding cough, hilarious thoughts come to mind about "Doc Holliday" and then of course I make unflattering and distasteful jokes. I believe that this stems from my obsession with a particular Billy Crystal movie entitled "Forget Paris", where Billy Crystal plays a professional basketball coach, and while on the road, he gets a hotel room next to as he calls it "a professional cougher". Thus, while he's on the phone with his best friend, going on over how lonely and bored he is while on the trip, his friend (played by Joe Montagna asks, "So where are you?" to which he replies (with the cougher hacking up a lung in the next room), "l don't know. l have to check my itinerary. I'm either in Denver or Charlotte. And l got a room next to Doc Holliday." --just makes me laugh every time, and it's what enters my mind anytime someone anywhere near my 'space bubble' gets cranked up sounding like this. Yes, I know it's ugly. Heck, we've all been there, so why is it still so hard to be sympathetic and understanding when someone else is going through it?
“A most malicious cough” ― Charles DickensOliver Twist

Not all coughs are infectious. I get a dry one quite often, I believe due to allergies or respiratory irritations. It's not productive, but I'm sure it sounds amazingly attractive (not). Living in the Memphis area does very little for anyone with allergies or sinus problems, in fact, almost everyone I know that lives here has some sort of related complaint. 
Better safe than sorry, I always say (and of course my over-protective Mom always said, and though she's been over two years since passed, her voice still rings in my head). We just try to wash our hands like crazy "OCD" folk, keep our hands out of our faces, stay at a nice distance (like a couple of states over) from known sick people, and even wear a mask I guess if we are feeling overly-susceptible. 
No matter what we do, we'll still catch a little bug every once in a while, all you can do is your best. Besides, if you never get sick at all you miss out on the best opportunity ever to take an entire day off and make your very own holiday out of it, "World YOU Day". Ahhh come on, you gotta live a little, take my advice, before that innocent little cough kills ya. ;-)

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." ~Ferris Bueller

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Heels Of Winter

Memphis weather is fickle if not bitchy at times. One day, spring has sprung with all of its warmth, color and glory, and the next day Mother Nature is on her period and brings us a cold snap complete with ice and snow. Everyone rushes out to the stores to pick up their emergency stock of bread and milk in case they die in the tragic freeze (which lasts until about 6 p.m.), then it's back to business as usual. Spring comes in on the heels of winter, rarely a smooth transition but once it begins to even out, the short magical spell lasts maybe a week or two before rushing head first into the melt of summer, which is hotter than the hinges on the gates of Hell (with a side of mud and bugs).

Through this sweet handful of days where we get to feel that hope, perfect temperatures and spirit of renewal, I am usually reminded of a few delightful childhood memories.

This morning I was reflecting on just one particular such memory, which I am pretty certain was about 6th grade (I wanted to say fifth but I am embarrassed to say I can't say for sure).

When you're 10 or 11, and your Mom takes you for that first pair of official "heels", the excitement is just immeasurable. In fact, everything you get to do as a kid seems magical that way. They were little, tan leather "slip on" heels (my first "Candie's"). I couldn't wait to wear them, learn to walk in these heels. I felt like such a grown up. Though they were slip-ons, I remember trying them out with hosiery. Back then, I always thought my legs looked so great with the stockings on since I've always been pale, the stockings made me feel tan. Not so much now, I hate tangling with them, profusely! You might catch me giving in to the need for hosiery on special occasions, if you're lucky. So anyways, little me... I clomped around in my amazing grown-up little high heeled shoes, really thinking I was 'somethin else' as we say in the south. I practiced as much as possible, and tried feverishly to get as good as my mother at walking in these big girl heels.

When I say my mother amazed me, seriously, she had a closet full of so many types of heels (all classy, my mother was indeed no slouch). Some had the tiniest little 'nail-like' quality to them, some were normal, and some of course were thicker. I wonder if she had ever thrown away a pair of shoes. It looked to me like she kept every pair from all eras, and I was just hypnotized.

I think her favorite shoes to wear were these cute little black boots, not but just over the ankle, guess you could call them "granny boots". She settled on a pair and wore them, thus actually rocking them with almost any outfit. She wore them during her time working as one of the "demo ladies" at Walmart, she wore them with jeans, pant suits, skirts. You name it. She wore them so much the heels wore down to a frazzle. It was at this point that I, being the admirable doting daughter I was, took them to a local cobbler near where I worked, and had the heels redone so she could wear them even longer.

As much as I admired my mother's ability to completely win at the heel game, and even though she taught us to always dress as classy as possible, I still never really got the hang of heels, nor did I develop a very big passion for shoes, or shopping. To this day, the thought of having to go pick out new outfits and shoes leaves me in dread, my attitude quite lackluster. It's really sad because I would give anything to carry it all off the way she did.

So here I am at work on a pretty warm day, still early in this season just thinking of all of these delightful things that such a hopeful time of year can bring to mind. Missing my Mom and Dad, because they're the two biggest reasons I had such an amazing childhood. Yes, here I sit in my not-truly-appropriate for office flat tennis shoes, reminiscing on a time (some lovely time somewhere in the south in spring) that a hopeful "young lady", still unscathed by the harsh realities of life was there, trying to find a little glamour and grace, trying to learn to walk or rather, 'spring in' to young adulthood on the cool heels of winter.

I Miss My Childhood,

Aunt Jackie (Jax)

(repeat of this post as contributor for I Miss My Childhood)