about giving people flowers...

My Grandaddy, my Mom's Dad, used to always say, "Give people their flowers while they're living." He was a passionate preacher and hard-working patriarch who did not take no mess. He lived by strong spiritual truths and convictions and he held up the plumb line for others as well.   Before I tell you about the flowers scenario, I want to make sure you know that my  Grandaddy was gangster.  Seriously. He was too legit to quit decades before M.C. Hammer was even born.  Let me share a few gems from the treasure chest of memories:

When hoodlums vandalized our church, he got on the news with his shotgun and said he would shoot the people if they came back.  He was not joking.  And he may or may not have locked and loaded his shotgun during the interview...

tulips from my garden :)
Early meant on time for him.  He worked a job for 40+ years and was late by two minutes ONE time.  Yes, late one time in 40+ years.   An accident on the freeway brought traffic to a complete stop for 30+ minutes and this is the reason why he was two minutes late.  You'd think one slip up in 40+ years would be acceptable, ok even.  No.  He felt like that was a mar on his record.  Anytime he was going somewhere, he left waaaaay early and had NO problem leaving you if you weren't ready to go.  He left me and my Granny *plenty* of times before we finally gave up on the notion of riding anywhere with him. LOL

He sang loud and changed the key of the song whensoever he pleased.  We were song-jacked in church all the time.  And like idiots, we would continue to start out singing congregational hymns in the key of G only to be redirected to the key of C whenever he decided to come in singing, which was usually around the second stanza. 

He would call you out in front of Jesus, Mary, Saint Peter, Joseph and whoever else was present.  If you were doing foolywank, he had no problem letting you know the error of your ways and that he would not and could not co-sign on your foolery.  He meant it in love, but that did not stop the sting of the truth.  

So now that you know and understand his gangsterness, let me tell you about this sweet, tender and endearing flower saying.  It is the ultimate challenge to express love and appreciation to folks on the daily.  A reminder to let people know how I feel about them and what they mean to me while the blood is still running warm in our veins.  It is a reminder that I do not need to wait until someone has passed away to declare my love and their importance to me because I can do this everyday in many, many ways.  All that matters is that I do it.  I really try my best to let people know exactly what they mean to me. That I love them.  Dearly.  When my Grandaddy died and when my brother died, we did not buy flowers because we had already given them their flowers while they were living.  

Why don't you give someone a flower today?  Let their heart savor its precious scent knowing that unlike flowers from the store, these special flowers my Grandaddy was talking about will last forever and ever and ever. 

yeah, I suck my thumb... so what?!

I don't suck my thumb, but my kiddo does and when people make uninvited comments and antiquated assessments about it, I am momentarily baffled.  Why?  Mainly because my child is Minding His Business (perhaps these people need to take a page out of that book?) and  neither of us asked for personal opinions on thumb sucking.  I've noticed that people just trudge right on in to uninvited territory to say, you're too old to be sucking your thumb or stop that.  We just look at the offender like they're a fool.  And they are.  Because offering an opinion when no one cares what you think--evidenced by the fact that they didn't ask-- is synonymous with foolery.  Typically I want to offer them a warm glass of shut the hell up or quip off some uninvited advice of my own: yeah, you're too old to be tanning and orange isn't a good color for skin anyway... or  maybe you should try thumb sucking instead of smoking, drinking, overeating or whatever... or Hey there Stranger, thanks for the ten second voluntary parenting tip, but no thanks. Really.  

But then I remember that 
a) mean is ugly
b) I need to treat people the way I want to be treated
c) responses like that are not representative of my best self      
d) it's best to respond with the truth in love

So, I end up saying (with a smile!) something along the lines of you know, we're not worried about it, so you don't need to be either... or he'll know when it's the right time to stop sucking his thumb... or my husband sucked his thumb when he was a kid and he's an awesome guy, so pretty sure, he'll be just fine too. 

Sounds much better than shut the hell up, right?

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So me and my cute lil' thumb sucker move right along happy and carefree as ever.  And then later on I started to wonder: Why do we think we have the right to tell someone else-- who we are not in charge of-- what to do?  While I am a fan of encouragement and challenge even (when relationship warrants it and it is absolutely necessary) I do not believe we have the right to verbalize indignation and concern over the personal preferences of another, especially when these personal preferences are not hurting or infringing upon the rights of others.  When and why did we stop taking the time to care, question and perhaps understand rather than make swift comments and  harsh judgments about such trivial matters?  It's foolywank.  So please, let's stop offering our uninvited opinions and stop attempting to boss the lives of others, which will help us all look a little less foolish, really. What do you say we all get outraged, undignified, bossy and nosey about the things that actually matter like poverty, prejudice, sickness, disease, and injustice?  United we could do so much to exact change in a positive and meaningful way.  I wholeheartedly believe we could make a difference where it counts, and if a thumb sucker is in our midst, so be it.  

naming things

I really like to name inanimate objects.  Been doing this my whole life.  I have named every car I ever owned:

Dakota 
Piccolo ("pick-uh-low") 
Isabelle 
Bruno 
Bella 
Big Blue (this name came with the car, actually)
Bessie
Moose
Charles Xavier
Lucypearl

I even nicknamed two of Neighbor's cars:
Delores
Comanche



I also nickname my favorite people:

Mig
Wee
Sithy
Neighbor
Mendell
Reet
A.Y.A
CUZIN
Muffy



This list is not comprehensive because there are too many names to list; however, these names may come from shortened or extended versions of original names. Sometimes I add an extra syllable or make up a new name altogether. I may call them by their last name, first and last name or first name with a faux middle name (usually Lee, June or Mae).  Why do I do this?  Because...


Nicknames are love.  



when god bless you goes wrong


I have noticed an oddly disturbing, awkwardly interesting trend.  People throwing a fit, acting a fool, lashing out or just being plain hateful and then tacking a good ol' God bless you at the end.  I don't have a problem with people throwing fits as I have been know to throw my own from time to time, and hey, we all act a fool now and again.  Lashing out and being hateful can happen to the best of us if the irritations align just right.  To have our differences, air our grievances and live with the consequences, this is just part of the human experience, I guess; however, tacking God bless onto the end of such foolishness is what I find to be intolerable.  "I don't like you.  I never did and you smell like poop, so stay away from me.  Forever.  God bless." 


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Can we stop doing that already? If someone smells like poop, talk about it, deal with it, offer soap, deodorant or whatever.  Address the issue.   And if you can't, agree to disagree and keep on truckin'.  There is no need to do life with people who irk the dickens out of you or insist on rocking the stink.  And by all means, if you aren't received, shake the dust off your feet and keep it moving, but in the name of all things holy, do not tell somebody off and then throw in a God bless at the end for some semblance of good measure.  Keep the faux-grace.  Why?  I don't know... maybe because telling people off and God bless you don't go together.  Or perhaps that God bless you makes vitriolic comments seem justified and palatable.  A faux God bless you takes the ugliest behavior and attempts to pass it off as sanctified.   So please, save the God bless you for a truly sincere, loving and heartfelt expression.  You know, one that is not  crass, caustic, and childish with rapid-fire emotionalism on display.  Let's work through our differences with a deep reserve of love and respect, patience, an openness to seeing the other point of view, and mindfulness.  Because really, to say God bless you is to say, You are God's child and you are loved.  And something about that statement just does not mix well with an attempt to rip someone to shreds. I love you and God bless!!! (hahahahaha I HAD TO!!!) 

But really, God bless.  

dear daylight savings time, you suck

Can anyone tell me why in THE hell we still carry on with this Fall back and Spring forward nonsense?  It's 2am and I'm sitting here wide awake.  (sidenote: I did accidentally drink an iced coffee around 8:45pm which has further exacerbated the situation.) Feels like I read somewhere that all this time travelling changing is to help the farmers.  You know, give them maximum daylight hours for sowing and reaping. And if that is the case, well, OK because I love to eat and I sure do appreciate the farmers who help to make that  happen.  But so help me sweet baby Jesus, if there is no doggone good reason for this chronological tomfoolery, I am going to do something like move to Arizona because at least there they have sense enough to leave time the hell alone.  

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we all have super powers... for reals

The other day on Facebook, someone that I barely know messaged me asking where they could hear my music.  I am in the process of copyrighting my original music (not to mention the ongoing saga that is life: dishes, family time, honey time, self time, home school, dinner, play time... I know you get the drift...) and in the midst of singing and speaking gigs that come to me by word of mouth, it just hadn't occurred to me to put myself out there like that until BAM!  Someone that I didn't know was a'asking.  So, I got my Google on and figured out how to tack some musical goodness onto my Facebook page, which got me to thinking how easy it is to hide our light under a bush for whatever reason.  Whatever the reason--whether it is intentional (you know, playing small to try and make others feel better about themselves), false humility (aka low self esteem) or whatever else that's been pulled from the bag of tricks-- it is wrong.  Wrong.  We are supposed to let our light shine and share our giftedness as a beacon of light, love and encouragement.  *Please note that shine is not synonymous with narcissism.*  It's more of a I shine, You shine, We all shine sort of thing.  That we share our love and passion (whatever it may be!) with others and then listen closely for theirs.  

Thank you, Laura & Tony

There is tremendous freedom in knowing and honoring ourselves and each other. It is a life long discovery, an evolutionary process of course, but as I look back over my life, I realize this: I repeatedly find myself using truth and the power of my voice.  Shushed repeatedly throughout school (Kindergarten to college, no lie!) and even at home, I realize now that this voicebox is my gift to the world.  My money maker.  Effortless and as easy as breathing because it is who I am.  And hate it or love it, I ain't going no where.  Neither are you.  See, we all have a special something to contribute to this mixing pot.  So I really want you to think about what you have to offer.  What consistent threads remain throughout the test of time in your life? Focus on the good (not the bad!) and herein you will find the secret, the truth, really, of who you were born to be.  I change and positively impact the world with the power of my voice by singing, writing and speaking authentic truth.  

That's my super power.  What's yours?


is it ever too late to apologize?

"Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone -- profusely. But don't apologize for being who you are." -Danielle LaPorte

I am smitten by this quote.  I find it equal parts encouraging and validating with whipped cream and a cherry of truth on top.  It is the bomb. 

Apologize.  Sincerely.  Profusely.  Somehow, the word apology and all that it encompasses and entails has become watered down.  These days apologies come bound with a back hand slap and a hardcore responsibility shrug thrown in for good measure.  What if we really took the initiative to own our stuff?  To say, this is mine.  I own it and if I did it wrong, I apologize and I will do my doggone best to make it right.  When a necessary or overdue apology lingers, it inhibits real relationship, connectivity, love and growth.  These things simply cannot flourish unless forgiveness abounds.  

You see, a sincere and humble apology can begin the healing process. For a severed relationship.  For those who were affected.  For you.  

Sometimes our actions (that later warrant an apology) may be unintentional.  Other times, they may be maliciously intentional. Apologize either way because if it's your dung, you need to claim it before it gets super stinky or rapidly dispersed by the fan.  

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"Don't apologize for being who you are."  I'm loving that right now.  I'm living that right now and the wisdom of Dr. Seuss reminds me: the people who matter don't mind and the people who mind don't matter.  So profound.  So simple.  So true.  I gotta be me and you gotta be you.   Let's remember to ask forgiveness when we need to.  That is all.  xo


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