Sunday, April 22, 2018

Waiting on a Woman.....

I know I’m what some would call an excessive person. I have excessive feelings and responses according to my children, I have excessive buying impulses my husband will say, and as some of my girlfriends will attest, I purchase certain items in excess, i.e.; tubes of lipstick of which I admittedly have every single shade from Amazing Apricot to Zesty Orange.

But I’ve never really considered myself as a high maintenance gal until the other day when I took one of those tests on Face Book. You know, one of those that works off a point system for all these things that you do, and depending on your score, it will surmise the level of your personal maintenance.

Now before any of you get all cranked up about me taking a test on Face Book and the whole world knowing my business – I think most of the free world knows a lot of things about me already. The test wasn’t intrusive and I didn’t share any “real” personal information with anyone. And while I’m all up in that subject of Face Book and Congress – I’ll just say this – Face Book was created as a social tool for people to get to know one another and to reconnect with those that they might have left behind. It was never intended, in my humble opinion, for many of the things it has become.

But back to my original point – I took this test and my grand – I was most undeniably in the high maintenance column once it was done.

Yes, I do joke about it a lot, but in all honesty, I do shave my legs every single day of my life; all the seasons of the year, all the time. I absolutely cannot stand for my legs to scrub on each other with that rough stubble that comes with a day or so of growth.

I also shower every day - twice. I know. It’s a thing. It just is. Leave it alone.

I put on make-up every day that I plan to make an entrance in public because I was not blessed with a face that wouldn’t scare all small children and some adults if I did not.

I do wash and “fix” my hair every day; and good gosh almighty, yes I do have it colored once a month as well. I’m not sure what this new craze is with “going gray” or “natural” but it’s just not for me – not anytime soon. My mother is 77 years old, born and raised in the state of Alabama, the home of sweet tea and the original steel magnolias of life; and I can assure you, her face will be “fixed”, her lips will be “on”, and her hair will be colored and fixed until her last days on this earth; I expect mine will be as well.

If just those few things threw me in the high maintenance category – well then – I guess that’s my lot in life. My thoughts are, if you’re sitting around waiting on a woman who still takes pride in herself, then it’s time well spent, and you ought to be mighty prideful as well.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Brings Fresh Beginnings

I took a few days off the week before Easter and a day or so of the week following. It had been December since I had taken any time off and I felt like I need something close to a resurgence in my life. A re-awakening if you will of energy, thoughts, and peace of mind. And almost as much as my mind and body needed all of those things, just as importantly, my house needed the same.

I don’t know how many of you can relate, but when the seasons change, my house and my yard are doing the same in their own ways.

The leaves on the trees are beginning to shine when the light hits them just right, the buds on some of the blooming bushes are just peeking forward, the grass is trying to change colors before our very eyes it seems; day by day the changes are clear and obvious.

Well, all this newness, and the beautiful sunlight and warmth that brings it to our attention, comes some other things that this newfound lightness brings to notice: DIRT.

There’s a reason I’ve heard it referred to as “spring cleaning” all of my life. As that one term can cover SO MANY activities that are about to happen in one’s life.

From, warm clothing being boxed up and stored for another season far away, to cleaning and scrubbing your home down from the inside out.

Clearing the cobwebs from carports and front porches that have lain dormant for months from little to no activity at all. Wiping down the front porch rockers that have a combination of both dust and now pollen mixed-in, that needs to be cleaned so that family and friends can sit down for a spell, have a glass of sweet tea, and pick-up where they left off last January when it was too cold to visit outside.

And my windows, oh my goodness at my nasty windows! How in the world was I going to be able to see all that beauty outside if I couldn’t see through my windows?!

And with the cleaning of the windows came more clear, and concise sunlight, shining on those dusty baseboards and dull carpet from months of tracking in dust and such from outside to in.

Well, as you can imagine, I saved up a day for most ALL of these things to happen at once – a shared day off between my husband and myself. I had the carpet cleaned, he did the same to our yard, and we shared the inside duties of cleaning together.

Now as I stand at my big double-window at the front of my house, the glass is shining from a fresh cleaning and I can see all the beauty, far and wide, across my yard. Every single color is as vibrant as if I were standing next to it, and the view of my birdhouses is clear enough that I can practically see the food in their beaks as the birds land to eat.

Just as much as anything physical you might imagine; spring cleaning is good for the heart, the soul and the mind.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Hard Work Brings Blessings and Beauty

As promised, I’m about to tell you about the bulbs that were boxed-up and hiding in my shed, ready to be planted. Now I’m gonna stop right here and tell you that my husband was NOT prepared for what he would see when he opened that box. Inside, were bags upon bags, labeled by color, and numbered with the quantity of 10 on the outside of all 10 bags.

Now before all of you lose your breath from gasping out loud, or hyperventilating like my husband did, you need to know that I had a plan. A good plan, and that plan did not include digging 100 holes with a hole digger as his expression seemed to reflect or explode – as either adjective works.

Back in October, before I got ready to order my bulbs for spring, I was Face Book conversing with a friend of mine who owns/runs a plant nursery.  I was telling her about the difficulty I have with some of my flowering bulbs, as in once they bloom, the tops are heavy, and they can’t seem to stand on their own.

Last year we went to Lowes and bought some plant holders, which seemed especially made for that. It worked, but also made my garden area look cluttered with other things besides pretty flowers.

During this conversation my friend Sissi told me how to avoid all of that. Even as she was saying it, I thought, WOW, how did I not figure that out on my own!? She told me the secret was to plant at least 4-5 bulbs all in a cluster together in the ground. The weight of the group bunched up, would help hold each other up once they started to bloom. And actually, when I thought back to all the pictures I had ever seen of these particular bulbs/flowers, that’s exactly what they looked like – bunched into a cluster.

So, nothing to do but create my plan and go forward with what I needed for that plan to succeed. I ordered 10 bulbs of 10 different colors, which of course equaled to a total of 100 in those 10 bags he saw once he opened that huge box.

Once I had my husband calmed down, his breathing became regulated again, and I could get a word in edge-wise, I explained how all of this would work. There would only be TWENTY-FIVE holes, not ONE HUNDRED, and nobody was going to die that day from over-excursion. 

We loaded it all up in our wheelbarrow, he dug the 25 holes, and I gathered one color from various bags to make-up a multi-colored bouquet for each hole.

Now you may be doing the math and know that mathematically it should be only 20 holes for 100 bulbs at 5 bulbs per hole. Well, I already had one bulb in the ground, which would be dug-up and combined with 4 others, making the 5 per hole, and 25-hole total.

I know. Nothing is ever simple with me. My Gladioli’s will not be blooming by this coming Easter Sunday, but when they do, they will be beautiful and worth the extra work! 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Mind Your Manners Please

There is a reason that I don’t work in customer/public service – I am simply not genetically made for it. When I was a teenager, my second real job was working in a grocery store. I had several responsibilities, the main one, being a cashier. I was young and fresh out of high school; my life was about to change forever. I was just about to realize my limitations as a human being, that would change the landscape of my life.

The store where I worked was on the main drive, Slappey Blvd in Albany Georgia. Behind it, most of the neighborhoods housed people that had lived there most of their lives, now in their late 60’s and 70’s.

I cannot tell you the things I learned about people just by working in that store. It was quite possibly the best eye-opener for any person my age to experience. But that’s not how I know I shouldn’t work in customer service or maybe even with just people in general.

I was a Purchasing Manager for 20 years. I didn’t work with customers, I worked with sales people. Which meant that basically I was in charge and I didn’t have to listen to foolishness. That job came to an end when the company closed down.

Thankfully, some wonderful folk were looking out for me and I was able to roll right into another job with no time standing still to fret or worry. However, that job opening was for a Human Resource Manager.

Now I don’t have to step out far and wide to tell many of you, just how far that job is from my particular salty/sassy no-holds-barred personality. I’ll just leave you with this funny example of how most of my days go now.

Typical day:  I came to work one morning, locked the front door behind me because I needed to go to the restroom first. A minute or so later, I hear the door unlock and the bell jingle that's attached to the door; as several supervisors also have keys.

The door to my office is still shut and the light is out because I didn't make it that far. My bosses door is shut, and the bathroom door is shut with the loud fan going in there that sounds like it's about to explode and sling shrapnel.  And all of this you can see (and hear) as you stand right inside the entrance of the front door.

One of the supervisors begins to shout my name. I almost lost my good graces when I came out of there. I was like dude, you can obviously see where I MUST BE, and this isn’t your house where you come inside hollering for your wife or kids - even though you also know THEY are in the restroom - so why would you do that EITHER - because what can they do for you in there? He just stood there and looked at me like I had lost my mind. I was like " some courtesy please, would be appreciated". 

Prayers are appreciated that I make it to retirement. Because it is highly questionable some days!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Thief In The Night

It’s almost a week later and I’m still worn out. My feet are still draggin’ and my eyes are still burning and wanting to nap at weird times of the day. Everything is all out of whack and it’s going to take at least another couple of weeks for me to level out and feel normal again.

It’s black as smut when the alarm goes off, and internally, my body knows it should not be time to rise and shine; especially when there is absolutely NO shine going on. The afternoons are far too bright for far too long, making me ashamed for not being productive longer and later into the evening.

I keep hearing these nasty, nasty rumors/ news reports, talking about this is the way it will be / should be all the time! For goodness sake – whose bright idea was that? I mean what good could possibly come from that?

We already don’t have four real seasons in the state of Florida. We have about three weeks of what some people would call winter. I mean seriously folks, what do we need with year around daylight until 9pm every night?

My body and soul looks forward to the Fall Back time regression. I need that down time to regroup from the long, awful summers we have here. When you have temperatures up near the 100’s for the last several months of summer, you should be ready for darkness to fall a little bit sooner by the time November gets here.

We barely even have a fall season; as a matter of fact, it goes from straight up burning-flames-hot to winds that feel like the heat from the flames of the dying embers.

I need the comfort of the difference. I need a break with the time change so that I know that winter is really coming, whether we ever see a real one here or not.

So yes, not only am I tired and worn out from the hour that was just stolen from me with all that Spring Forward mess we choose to participate in, I am also worried that I will be expected to Spring Forward for the next 365 days and beyond.

I’m here to tell you all, it may not seem like much to some, but for us older folks, a lost hour is a lot. I already sleep in a hit and miss fashion as it is; you know with menopause and all. I’m up some nights staring out windows and wandering the floors looking for something that will send me to sleepy-land. 

And now, I’m not only losing normal sleep at any given time, but I’ll also be lacking that one hour that was thieved in the middle of the night.

No, I’m not happy at all. I’m not 25 years old anymore, loving the extra light added to the daytime hours. I’m old, I’m tired, and I’m grumpy; which leads to sleepy, dopey and whiny as well. I’m basically the entire Seven Dwarfs all rolled-into-one. But I’m mostly just mad, and by golly, I want my hour back!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Until the Air Clears......

As I look over into the lane next to me, the driver of the bright blue vehicle, also sitting at the red light, patiently waiting for the light to turn green, is staring at me with a sad look on her face. I turn my head back forward to check the light status which is still red, then I glance bank to my right again, and she is still staring.

My vision isn’t as clear as it could be on this fine, beautiful day, but there is no mistake about it, she is indeed staring.

As I pick up my tissue to once again, dab these crying eyes, and blot my snotty nose, it suddenly occurs to me what is happening. I have been crying and snotting all up and down HWY 90, and the sweet person riding parallel to me the whole time, thinks that I’m upset and am crying!

I tried to smile when I thought she was looking again, to assure her I was fine. Because I don’t know about you all, but when I see things like that, I sometimes make-up my own story as to what is happening; and it sticks with me the rest of the day. I’m pretty sure whatever she had in her head, my smiling didn’t convince her as I was having to dab my eyes and nose through the entire smiling performance.

As the land and its entire atmosphere is coated with shades of green and yellow, so is my head, eyes, and my nose. I knew the seasonal ritual had begun weeks ago, as each morning, I would see smaller doses of coverage on my vehicle each morning when I was leaving for work.

As a matter of fact, I had my annual eye appointment about that time and I was actually “crying” in his office that morning as well. He asked me what was going on, and I told him, “oh just the normal allergy thing that happens every year”. He said “No, I think it’s still a little too early for all that.” I looked at him with my face saying what I was not – which was – think again Doc, it’s happening.

And now, oh my grand, absolutely everything is covered. I attempted to sit on my front porch last night, and ogle at the birds that are all but attacking my feeders once again; and I was out there barely 10 minutes before the sniffling began. So back inside I went, camera and all, and hoped for another small rain shower to settle it down again.

  For all who took a science class, you know that every living thing needs pollen to procreate; without it, there would be no beautiful flowers.
But pollen has a wonderful purpose albeit it can feel deadly and debilitating for us mere humans.

So, I’m thinking we can all live in distress for a short period of time each year in exchange for the beauty it affords us. So keep plenty of Kleenex on hand, eye drops in the medicine cabinet, and allergy meds to keep the sinus infections away.

Friday, March 2, 2018

You Can Always Go Back Home

It’s hard moving to a town where you know no one but the people that you work with; the people that work for the company that you made a decision to transfer to, twenty years ago. Especially when the town that you leave behind, holds all the people that you grew-up with, went to school with, and learned how to become an adult with.

All those people who knew you as a chubby, snaggle-tooth young girl, then as a teenager who was slowly slimming-up and wore braces, to the high schooler who had finally come into her own skin and was comfortable with most any group she should find herself standing in.

All those people, all those kids/teenagers/now adults, know you better than most anybody. They know your sense of humor, your shortcomings, your failures and your successes. They were with you through skipping classes and getting caught and through figuring out what school was supposed to be about and how to make the most of it.

They were with you through your break-ups and heartbreaks, and cheering you on when you made editor of the high school newspaper and wrote an article that would turn the school on its head and show the adults that “kids” did have something to say, and that sometimes it paid to listen.

They were there when a gang of you went to see Halloween at the movies in 3D and you were too scared to drive home alone afterward.

They were with you when you got your first real job, your first real car, and made your own money while still in high school.

They were with you for summer trips to the beach, getting too much sun, and meeting so many cute boys. Cooking out on camp fires and sleeping in tents on St George Island. And for you people who didn’t know, it really used to be a pretty desolate island. No houses of any kind, no hotels, no food places; just one general store and place for showers. All that ever came there were people to camp, either inside mobile campers or on the beach itself. What a time that was to be a teenager!

All of those things and so much more, I left behind when I moved. All of those people I left behind; my friends who went on with their lives making families, making babies, and working jobs.

By the time you all are reading this, I will have already been back home to have lunch with a few of my girlfriends from home. I try and go home for those lunches a couple times a year, because I miss those people, my friends.  I miss the familiarity, I miss the laughter, and I miss the girls who know me the best.

I miss the folks who can tell by my tone over the phone when something is wrong, and who won’t rest until I open-up about it and they try and help me out.  I miss the girls who loved me first, who love me now, no matter the distance in between, whether it be in miles or minutes of time.