A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Witches Warlocks and Stevie Nicks

At work today I saw a woman who reminded me of Stevie Nicks. The long frizzy/curly hair. The outrageously high black boots. The flowing dress made of handkerchiefs or rags. And of course, being reminded of Stevie had me rummaging through the old iPod for one of my favourite duets.

Are you familiar with the song "Leather and Lace" sung by Stevie and Don Henley? Don't worry if you're not. Melon and Dr. S remember it. Anyway, during the opening lyrics of the song Stevie's singing that Don the male voice thinks she's fragile and she goes on to sing, "I have my own life and I am stronger than you know."

So, because I have too much time on my hands, I started thinking about how funny this song really is as it relates to Stevie Nicks.

The first thing I thought is Stevie actually carries the song which is okay because it's on her album anyway. The second thought was during the duet part, Stevie actually makes Don sing the high part or the part usually done by the female in a duet. Thus the power of Ms.Nicks-able to overpower even the great Don Henley-Mr.Eagle himself. And although I don't like much Rock, I will admit to a weakness for Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. If I'm further pressed I'll admit to liking Bryan Adams, a little bit of Whitesnake and just a taste of the Eagles and that's all. I don't want to jeopardize my "sista card".

Anyway, as the title suggests, this is also about little witches. I had to work late tonight and unfortunately missed the parade of ghouls, witches and princesses and warlocks.

It was warm this evening so sweaters were not needed. Nothing to impede or hinder blinking lights where eyes should be. No heavy coats stifling flowing satiny skirts. I know some of you had snow this Halloween and while I don't want snow or freezing temps, I would have liked cooler haunting weather. I believe the high today was in the low to mid 90's again.

So, to all the parents and relatives of humans that annually turn into ghouls, witches and princesses, I leave you with a picture of one of the cutest little witches I've seen in a few years. I'm biased, don't judge me. I've also included the lyrics to my all time Stevie Nicks duet.

"Stop Dragging My Heart Around"

Baby you'll come knocking on my front door

Same old line you used to use before

I said yeah, well what am I supposed to do

I didn't know what I was getting into.

So you've had a little trouble in town

Now you're keeping some demon down

Stop draggin my

Stop draggin my

Stop draggin my heart around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ebb And Flow

Ebb and flow.
Ebb and flow.
Life brings tears,
Ebb and flow.
Life brings joy,
Ebb and flow.
Man finds a woman, a love begins,
Ebb and flow.
Children are born and so they grow,
They leave home.
Ebb and flow.
We grow old and try to teach our young
That life is precious and love is a gift.
Man holds his woman, holds her real tight.
But death still parts them,
Ebb and flow.
Children are shocked, angered and sad
But they'll soon learn that it's just life.
Ebb and flow.
Just something I was feeling and wanted to share.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Winding Down

Hear that? If you hear the low rumbling of the oscillating fan sitting across the room and Herb Alpert is playing softly through iTunes, you're almost as chill as I am right now. A great weekend after a horribly long and tedious week.

The Triplets came down-two from Vegas and one from Jacksonville, FL. Last July my eldest niece "Bean" was married and moved with her new husband to Jacksonville, leaving her two sisters in Vegas. This weekend she came down to be in her childhood friend's wedding so her sisters decided to surprise us all by coming over to be with us. This led my brother to bring his two children over to spend time with their cousins and "Wilhela's" little one year old Mariah or "Puntin" as she's nicknamed. S0 imagine if you will, three children under eight, running around outside and inside the house, lots of laughter, catching up and holiday planning, cooking something everyone wants and deciding where to eat the two times we went out.

I love having my family around, hence my decision to move to Boise if my employment is severed. Jeni asked for an update about that but I don't have anymore information than I did a month ago. We're all just waiting to see where the axes are going to hit and wondering how we're gonna make it w/o our jobs.

Fred Hammond's on now "You Called Me Friend". I'm excited and scared at the same time about the upcoming layoffs. The first question on every one's lips is "Have you heard anything yet?" or "Has there been any news?" I'm not sure what the hold up with the announcements is because the company announced that we would lose personnel so why not just tell us and put us out of our collective misery? Speculators think the company's waiting 'til after the election, but I think they're waiting to see how much of that bailout pie they'll be able to get their hands on before deciding who gets gone. Lamar Campbell's now playing "I Don't Care What It Looks Like" and that's just what I have to remember-I don't know what my future looks like, but I know what it's going to be.

But back to my wonderful weekend: the wedding was beautiful. It started out with a Scripture reading from the book of Genesis, when God puts Adam to sleep and removes a rib, then a beautifully rendition of the Lord's Prayer. This wedding had a lot of music-the bride sang as she came down the aisle and the groom sang after they exchanged vows. It was simple, sweet and truly lovely.

So, here I lay typing away, listening to my iTunes and just relaxing. Bean left this morning for Florida and her sisters left after dinner to Vegas. Leon Patillo just came on "Don't Give In". I'd forgotten he's in this mix of "quiet" sounds but it's a good surprise. Have a great week everyone. I'll be around to your sites more often this week I hope. Last week I missed some great happenings over at Dr. S's and Jeni's which means I have to visit more often than every four days.

And by the way, the Cowboys won (shout out to Dr. S) and the Steelers didn't. This was a REALLY GREAT WEEKEND!!

PS-Jennifer and Julia Hudson, we're praying for you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My brother from Idaho came down last Friday and stayed with us 'til early Sunday morning. Aside from driving construction trucks and hauling hazardous materials he's also a pastor so he had to cut the trip short in order to get back to his congregation.

I took Friday off from work to spend more time with him because we just can't afford to see each other as oft as we would like. As a pastor he travels a lot, then he's working and I'm down here working and traveling when I can so we call each other or share emails. So, if I get this downsizing package from work, I'm moving up to Boise as quickly as possible. But back to his visit.

While all four of us were together (my sister and two brothers and I) we decided to take formal studio pictures because we haven't had formal sittings, all of us together, for about two years so it's time.

On Friday when he got in we all went together with him to run his errands, and really spent all day together from 8:30a 'til midnight and didn't fight or snap or snarl. First because we each wanted our short time here to be sweet and we agreed we wouldn't talk about politics -my brothers are ardent Obama supporters, my sister and I are not-, or any aspects of each others' lives -don't point out my shortcomings and I won't call you a loser-.

Saturday we had to separate because of other commitments but we all came together again at dinner, this time with nieces and nephews and other friends. I spent the night with my two brothers and we stayed up 'til 2am, then had to get right back up at 5am to get my brother to the airport by 6a. My little brother lives in Scottsdale road right off of the 101 (Keith, you know the area right?) which is about 45 minutes from Sky Harbor airport.

I didn't go to church Sunday, slept through every alarm and unfortunately woke early enough to watch the Cowboys get played like a craps game in Vegas! My cowboys! My cowboys! And what's worse is a work w/a bunch of HATERs who are suddenly Cardinals fans just because the Cards are having ONE good opening season. Let's see how supportive these people are during playoffs.

It's still early here, about 8:45. I awoke around 7am because of a horrible dream. So I got up and cleaned the bathroom. Now normally, cleaning does nothing for me. It's not a tension breaker or method of relaxation for me. I just couldn't stand looking at that filthy shower and sink another day. Well, after 45 minutes of scrubbing and wiping, I went back to bed for about 45 minutes. Now I'm up drinking Macadamia coffee my friend Pete brought me from Hawaii and reading my blogs.

Hope your week gets better or is going well, folks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bittersweet Memories

I don't know if you've seen the weather reports but here in Phoenix we've had some wonderful weather the last few days. The high temps were only in the low 80's, breezy bright sunshiney days.
It used to be my parents and I, my siblings and cousins and my aunts and uncles would begin preparing for our annual pilgrimage to visit my grandfather Pastor E.T. James in Brinkley, AR and to attend the Annual conventions of the COGIC. We'd all crowd into that little four bedroom shack complete w/woodburning stove and eat, laugh, sing, remember and just love being together.

We here in Phoenix knew that as soon as 1)the weather fell below 90 degrees and 2)the Arizona State Fair arrived and 3)Halloween decorations were being sold it was time to start thinking about what would be worn in Memphis and Big Daddy's house. Momma always began the first onslaught of cooler weather by cooking a big pot of greens and chitlins (chitterlings) but after Daddy had his stroke in '92, Momma replaced the chitlins with a big pot of beef stew or beef oxtails.

Airline tickets were purchased, trips to the dry cleaners and shoe repairman became frequent. Hair appointments were made. Vacation time scheduled at work and that requisite call to Big Daddy to ask permission to come up.
I can't remember when that call became a ritual and I've just remembered it while writing this. I would call Big Daddy about two or three weeks prior to our arrival and ask if it was okay if my parents and I would be able to come up. Big Daddy would respond nonchalantly "Yeah. Y'all come on up and I'll see if I can find some space for you here." We knew that he'd be so excited about us coming but it was a sweet ritual.

We'd get to Brinkley and Big Daddy would have squirrel, catfish, chickpeas, pepper, sorghum molasses, green tomato slaw and whatever else he thought Momma would want or need. Back then, we always traveled with an empty Igloo to hold all this food we would ship back to Phoenix.

The picture above is my mom in green, my big brother and his wife in pink and my aunt Mary.
Today Big Daddy is gone. Most of those who traveled with me to Brinkley are gone. So when the weather became cooler this week we didn't eat greens, nor chitlins. There are no plans to travel to Brinkley. There is no one waiting for that phone call, no one to pick us up at the airport. No travel plans, no empty Igloo.There is steak thawing for a big pot of stew though. And time to make a new cooler weather memory.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Not Feeling Well

Left work early tonight, my throat that started as a bit scratchy and tender yesterday is full of that yucky white puss that coats my tonsils and makes turning my head a real pain. And then I had a coughing attack and thought I was going to pass out! My sister thinks it's streph throat but I don't think so. I've had streph before and this is no where near that pain.

So here I sit in my favourite chair, listening it iTunes (they've just changed their format to the new Touch display so the site looks AWESOME!). Right now Alabama's "Forever's As Far As I'll Go" is playing. Sade's next.

I tried watching T.V. but I don't have the patience. Most of you know I work nights and don't Tivo anything so this evening line up of shows is foreign to me. And, I'm one of those people who change channels during commercial breaks to watch other shows. One show did catch my interest only because of how stoopid it seems to me- "Pushing Daisies". I've never seen the show, don't know anything about it except that tonight two nuns were in the convent cursing and drinking while in Prayers, and everything seemed like a Forties radio show with pictures. I won't be seeing that one again.

"The Practice" was the next and that seemed too dreary to watch. Warning: playa-hating upcoming...Here I am sick and tired and I have to watch these thin rich doctors who work in this fabulous-looking doctor's office lament about their lives? Nope.

So here I am, reading blogs and playing Mahjong.

If you haven't already done so, stop over at Jeni's and wish her a very peaceful, very happy birthday. She's amazing!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Smart Me

Okay, this will probably cause an overwhelming desire to roll your eyes and think, "This woman really doesn't have a life, does she?" Well, roll them if you must, but I'm sitting here in 90-degree weather feeling very pleased with myself. You see, today I discovered that shopping with coupons and buying only items that are on sale will indeed help you lower grocery costs. Now here's where the post gets boring....here are my items purchased today:

4 lbs of grapes at .88cents per lb
Jennie-O ground turkey (BOGO)
Apple Jacks cereal (BOGO)
Sobe drinks at $1 each (bought about 6)
Arizona tea @ $1 each (bought about 6)
5 lbs of ground beef at $1.98 per lb
Pkt of six chicken breasts (skinless/boneless)
Vitamin C & Iron (BOGO)
Chicken broth 4 cans at .75 cents each
Chewing gum $1 each (bought 2)
Northern tp. We normally use Charmin but it wasn't on sale.
Phoenix magazine
Broccoli crowns at .99 cents per lb
Cauliflower (forgot price)

I saw this lady on one of the local morning shows boast about how much money she routinely saves by using coupons and only buying sale items and decided to try it myself. So, packed with the sale circular and a grocery list, I headed to my local Safeway grocery store and purchased above-listed items, saving a whopping $60 bucks! Yeah, I know some of you will say Wal-mart would probably still beat those prices but when you add up the additional gas to get to my nearest Wal-mart, find a parking space, wander around the store trying to find everything then waiting 20-30 minutes just to check out, you'll agree I saved money and time.

And I'm feeling smart and very pleased with myself.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ode To My Falling 401k

Autumn has come
Nights are cooler
Leaves are falling
Just like the value of my 401k.

Sleeves will become longer
Sandals will be left behind
Sweaters will be repaired
Just like the next few years of my 401k.

The holidays are coming
And the AZ State Fair
Shorts will be put away and remembered
Just like the previous amounts of my 401k.

Time to start planning Halloween decorations
Voting on Halloween themes at work
Time for endless consumption of candy and sweets
And the occasional sleeping pill because I can't stop wondering if I'm gonna end up homeless and broke because experts are now warning that mutual funds and money market accounts are not as iron clad as previously perceived.

Okay, so it doesn't rhyme or match
Maybe after today's Congressional vote I'll have more to cheer about.