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,

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 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.

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,

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


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)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Forward, Don't Fall Back

Spring Renewal
Spring is in the air here in the River City. Although I fancy myself a fall maiden, something about the springtime gives way to so many mixed emotions. I feel hopeful, elated, sentimental, a bit empty and depressed sometimes, excited, yet sad. On one hand, as the weather evens out to warmer temperatures (depending on rain), I get more opportunities for motorcycle fun. However, I still pine for the fall chill and pine a bit for the holidays past (memories-sigh). Maybe it's a perfect time to recall some of my warmest memories of the season. Flow with me as I wax poetic, won't you?

Growing up, Easter was a big part of spring and a time when we still got excited for that holiday, since we would gather as a family (dinner like Thanksgiving and Christmas), and of course get our Easter Baskets and usually we looked forward to a new Easter dress (sometimes shoes and a purse to match). So there was a special feeling for the time of year and everything it meant to us as a family. For us, as kids, there was a general "harummph" feeling of disgruntlement at the very thought that we were being dragged to church, since our little sweet-toothed minds were rather focused on digging into our candy and getting on with the Easter egg hunt we would soon have in Mom's front yard.

One year in particular sticks out in memory. It just so happened that not all of the eggs were found, and we eventually ran across the unfortunate 'forgotten' treasures some months later, or maybe even the next Easter, when they had turned into 'Stink Bombs' more or less. That was not pleasant, I must say, though extremely funny in retrospect.

Many of the memories I have of springtime include my Mother's deep love of gardening and the outdoors, as well as Dad's always busy 'Working Man" nature. The grass cutting, the planting of so many flowers and vegetables in the gardens, the magical southern mud that comes with so many spring rains, In fact, I remember vividly after one such 'good rain', the yard already holding on to a bit of moisture, and our well had backed up so there was extra water soaking an area around a fixture my Mom had sitting out for use as a 'bird bath'. My Dad was working feverishly to finish up his yard work as he came upon this spot with the mighty intent to 'Weed Eat' around it so as to clean up the tall grass and weeds that build up all-too-quickly after these mystical southern rains. As he rounded the edge, his weed eater hit a pile of dog poo, unfortunately spattering him from head to toe in the unholy excrement. No, he was not a happy camper.

It was moments like those, looking back, that I dearly wish I had a video camera prepped and ready for every single antic or incident he got himself into (whether or not he found them funny, I'd love to be able to revisit them).

A word about bugs... ahh yes. Insects, of course were and still are my least favorite sign of the season. Since we don't get nearly enough winter weather here in the Mid-South, we are simply overrun with wasps, ticks, fleas, flies and mosquitoes (just to name a few).

Oh and crickets... cue the crickets...

Aside from all the good memories, I have to take a moment to pause. For some reason I have been struck with the blues as the afternoon has worn on and I have been in thought trying to add to this post. You see, my brain is always running 90 to nothing, and it doesn't take much to trigger a whole messy episode of me wallowing in my sorrows over wishing I could go back to 'when life was good, and we were all happy'.

Well if you think about it, the times that you remember as being so amazing and trouble-free are only so in retrospect. If you were to be truly honest with yourself, at those particular moments we were all worrying or upset about something, thinking we were unhappy over some event. They were better days to us now because we're remembering back, and perhaps missing the people, the places or the times we shared at that point in time, but the "us" of the moment was just as dissatisfied over circumstances and feeling like it wasn't going our way. Now we can look at that a couple different ways. On one hand, it is just life, and we're always dissatisfied looking over thinking the grass is greener in another yard. We can also take that to mean, things are always good, it's just up to US to perceive it that way.  Then we could take it (joking voice) that 5 or 10 years down the road THESE days will look to us like "The good ol' days" Yikes! ha-ha... Oh I digress. Just trying to make it a little humorous. Hey, I can say that because I've been through a helluva lot, and I refuse to give up. Keep going!!  All of our life, even the serious or painful parts should be coated with just a bit of humor anyway. There's no good reason and no benefit to making it all morose and serious, is there? The only way to survive any of it with a grain of sanity is to find the funny hidden between all the dark lines. That's how I feel about it. I'm not saying I've got it down to an exact science, hey nobody's perfect. We're all here to learn, to grow, and to realize that nothing here is permanent, it's all rented so enjoy it, take care of it and get the best experience you can out of it all. It is all about the ride, the journey, and obviously the thrills that make the memories (otherwise what would I write about)? Let's keep growing and learning together. If you're reading this and you're going through a hard time, take this as your sign. I'm here to tell you that your presence here is important, you can't give up, you can't check out early... you can, but I'm not letting you. Come on, let's rock this bitch!!!

“Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway”  ~Sydney J. Harris

Monday, March 20, 2017

Scents You've Been Gone

Something began to stir me around in my unabashedly peaceful slumber. My eyes, sealed shut were not yet ready to awaken, yet as I slowly floated back toward my small, pleasantly plump little Earth costume to which I was currently assigned (harumph!!), 'Wait what was that? What was I thinking about again..." my shifting thoughts faded into a fog as I transitioned and unwillingly continued waking from the heavy, cozy child's dreamland...

My Mother, who at the time had a standing weekly appointment to get her hair done ('teased'), was letting me know it was time to get up and get our big Saturday started. The hour was early, and most times I got my fill of the early morning "Saturday Cartoons", which always included Bugs Bunny and friends, and several other classics.

I remember making a 'couch cushion fort' and taking in as many of the cartoons as I could before we had to leave to run errands and go to the Beauty Shop. Like it was yesterday, I can still see us in her big black truck with the red interior, songs on the radio and pulling up to the window at the old bank, and the old place she paid the electric bill. Then when we arrived at her salon (which was run by my aunt at the time), I couldn't wait to get a cold drink out of the machine (one of my favorite thrills of going with her). I imagine I was flipping through magazines and sipping on my TAB, watching as the ladies got lacquered solid by the Aqua Net and becoming drunk on the heavy scents of "Natural Beauty".

Now this sticks with a young girl, and to this day those smells can take me straight back to my Aunt's beauty shop. These moments often accompanied by music as well, once again riding in my mother's black truck, on our way to get my hair cut for 7th grade class photos. I had spent the last several years growing it long and gorgeous, but finally decided to try and go a little trendy and get a cut (always a terrible idea before these class photos). However, as we cruised down Main Street, I fondly remember the sound of Toto's "Africa" playing on the radio. That song and the delicious scent of Apple Pectin shampoo will forever cement that day into my memory.

There are so many songs and scents that can have the same affect on me. Without sniffing, I'll do my best to recall a few of the olfactory triggers:

Waking up to the smell of early morning rich Folgers black coffee - Mom, Mom and more Mom

Wind Song Perfume - Mom all day long.

Vanilla or baking smells - Kitchen with Mom (cooking anything can be a combination of Mom & Dad both as we all baked, cooked and prepared so many things there).

Gasoline and/or Tractor smoke smell - Spending time with Dad, or Dad running around outside on his Tractor.

Campfire Smoke, or someone burning anything near fall - Both Mom and Dad, roasting marshmallows, and the excitement of fall

Freshly Cut Grass - Saturday Morning with Dad outside early, already mowing in the summertime until he'd have to take a break from the heat, walk in and open his big jug of cold water, take a drink and proclaim, "Awww that's good stuff!" I would take a sip after him, and I can still remember the taste of our well water and the cold jug.

Certain colognes will connect me to memories of old boyfriends (not enough time or blog space to go over all that junk) ;-)

The deliciously strong scent of paint, paint thinner, printing inks, or permanent markers - I may as well be sitting in art class with Mrs. Pegram or Mrs. Varnadoe, windows open, breeze flowing, music playing in the background, peace in my soul.

Paint thinner can also remind me of my Mom's experience working with "Plaster of Paris" in the carport.

Pine Scented Candle - My first kiss with "Z".

Cinnamon-Apple air freshener - My first real place I lived on my own, which was a house I rented from a friend's family in town for $200 a month (why did I move?)

At any rate, growing up in the country is a magical and scintillating thing for any kid, and my childhood and youth was full of many fond memories. Too bad we're left with having to hang on to them so tightly with these music and scent reminders, but it also reinforces the fact that I feel so lucky having so many great things to remember.

Besides, as a motorcycle enthusiast it is even easier to come across all of the nostril-induced memories you want, as they are everywhere, in every thing, on every road and breeze. Spring is in the air, time for a good, loud ride down the amazing Memory Highway. **Revs Engine and Screeches Off*

What Warm, Delicious Scents Take You Back??

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In Time Of Daffodils

I was reminded of this poem, and 
felt it was a perfect time of year to recognize it.

In time of daffodils (who know the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why, remember how
in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so (forgetting seem)
in time of roses (who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if, remember yes
in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek (forgetting find)
and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me, remember me

E.E. Cummings

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Can You Believe the Gall?

Ahhh yes, hospitals are so much fun. The cuisine is amazing, right? The beds and accomodations, oh so comfy. Now admittedly, I have not been in and out of hospitals at all throughout my life, with the exception of a couple outpatient type things, and my tonsil surgery when I was 5. I fancied myself one of those strong Amazon Vixens that went through most if not the entirety of life without being hospitalized, or having to deal with medical issues.

Though I don't really speak about it in very much detail publicly, and may have briefly given an overview on the blog, will for the sake of my own history timeline detail a bit of what transpired.

Everything started this past fall (September to be exact) when I had some issues, and went in to the doc, and was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. Yes that big C that can scare the crap out of anybody really, but once you gather yourself together, realize that you have no choice but to make quick decisions, hopefully the best ones that you can, then just do what you have to do in order to stay positive and try your best to beat (whatever condition or issue you are facing).

So that's what I did. After battling it out in my mind, with the fear that comes from hearing so many horror stories, I made my choice to undergo the recommended Radiation and Chemotherapy regimen and just hoped for the best and made the command decision to keep a positive attitude and negate the idea that I even had "C".

Although I cannot explain truly why, I got through these treatments without getting sick, losing my hair or some of the worser side-effects that we expect in a situation like this. I did experience fatigue, and some effects on the ol' bladder (t.m.i.) but for the  most part, it went better than expected. Then the last stint of the treatment was a weekly scheduled "internal" radiation treatment, and the medical staff was amazed at how well I went through that as well.

Treatments were completed at the beginning of February, and I was elated at the fact that I would then be looking at only follow-up appointments and tracking the progress to see if everything was effective and I was moving toward the 'free and clear' hopefully eventually be considered "The Cure"... which of course, is still what my aim and thoughts turn to daily. One day at a time, as my Mom always said. It's part medical, and a great big percentage OUR OWN ATTITUDE and EFFORTS. We have tools at our disposal, but we have to do our part, is all I'm saying... I'm trying my best to do better and take care of myself well. We're all works in progress.

The best part to the story is a couple weeks after finishing up the radiation treatments, I was blessed with a fun and exciting Gall Bladder attack, paid a visit to the ER and found out that it was time to have it removed. So I was admitted and spend a short little stay in the hospital waiting to be operated on, and then a day or so recovering. That was the first time I had any real "surgery" since I was five years old having my tonsils removed, honestly.

Therefore, all of the aforementioned events and conditions pretty much wiped out my aspirations of keeping my visits to the doctors or hospitals nil. But I am still here, and for that I am grateful.

Funny how I see people who drink their liver into oblivion and smoke like freight trains until the ripe old age of 133, and I do neither. Life is a crap shoot though, so honestly everything you do is a gamble, and you get what you get... right?

Great, that's settled. Now on to other exciting events, or back to your regularly scheduled programming, whichever you prefer. --Yes that's the point I allow you to stop reading if you wanted to. If you're still with me, then you are locked in for the long haul of my ridiculously long, sometimes insanely random train of thoughts, which frequently goes off track.

You've been warned.

All of that timed pretty well with my being a contractor and having a couple months off between projects. Financially, no it has been challenging, schedule wise, great. I just keep a positive mindset and try to relax knowing that everything falls as it should. So last week, I started my latest working gig, which is mostly charts, reports and technical writing. I can dig that for a while. In the meantime, I am sure that something just right will pop up just around the corner.

I ventured over to the cafeteria for the first time today, grabbed a salad and I am at my desk talking to you and munching on bleu cheese coated veggies. Oh, go on, roast me I had a craving.

Though I want to do very well here at this new position, the first week or two can be a little intimidating until you're familiar with the info and what to do with it all. I will get it though. I could be making better use of my time today, but I had the urge to do some 'nervous writing', and even though it is probably not my most inspiring or titilatting piece, it has helped me feel a little more chilled out. You're probably asking yourself, "But why are you nervous at all?" I can't give a good reason for it. I'm just one of those people who, although I work through it well enough that you'd never know it unless you were my close friend or partner, just get anxiety and sometimes will overthink / overstress and get all bent up about things that I know don't amount to much of anything, and that by tomorrow I will wonder why I ever worried about them in the first place. It's just one of those crazy little traits I have, hell even I don't like dealing with it but I'm kind of stuck with me. Ha-ha!

To be honest, though, I am a pretty cool chick to be stuck with.

Better get you one,

Jax ;-)