Silence Is Golden

This morning between the airplanes on final approach and the humming air conditioners, birds were gossiping and making weekend plans, water giggled its way around the fountain and the rich, round laughter of the wind chime entertained me as I sprayed it, like a little kid, while I watered plants on the patio. All was right with the world. Of course, I’m not a kid anymore, but rather than mourning the passing of my youth, I’ve been celebrating my arrival at mid-life all month with a mini-party every day.

Today it’s official, assuming I live for 90 years, I’m halfway there. I appreciate each person who reads and comments here. Many of you have given me high praise. Truth is, it is you who keep me motivated. If my assumption is correct, I am going to be around a while and we still have a lot to talk about, but everything I want to say today has already been said by people much more eloquent than me. So, enjoy this music by the talented James Taylor.

In celebration of my birthday, be sure to take advantage of the discount code GN65A this weekend for half off a copy of Summoning the Strength at I hope you’ll read it and share your thoughts with me and maybe even share it with someone you really love.

Here are the answers to yesterday’s words with Honie. 

How To Use Simple Math To Become Something We’re Not

Some will argue that boys are better at math than girls. Others will counter argue that boys are given more opportunities to strengthen their math skills than girls. Still others will further argue that girls are to be expected to be weak in math because, well, simply because they are girls.

The arguments are endless and pointless.

I say, like I say for all ridiculous arguments, really? We don’t know by now that math skills, like all other skills, are not gender specific? With the exception of certain biological functions, there is nothing that any person willing to put forth the effort cannot do, learn or become.

Skinny? Add calories to your diet. Fat? Subtract some calories, add exercise then multiply it over time.

Lonely? Add positive people to your life and invite them over for pizza and Yahtzee!

Note: If you’re also fat, divide pizza between your guests and add a salad.

Stressed? Divide your time more equally between work and Yahtzee!

Depressed? Subtract negative people from your life and add some exercise like walking or Secret Agent Laser Obstacle Yahtzee!

Note: If you live with negative people, add Bose headphones to your shopping list. Be advised, you will have to subtract around $300 dollars from your bank account to do this.

If you have excellent math skills or any other skills, why not volunteer to help someone who doesn’t? If you need different skills to get your dream job but you think you can’t afford to go back to school, blogging is free and if you’re reading this post, you already have everything you need to start a site for skill trading.

Hey, it worked for Craig. And Angie!

If this sounds simplistic, that’s because it is. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to change your life. You can read. Otherwise this post is pointless. The information any of us needs to help us be the person we want to be is as close as the nearest internet browser or library or senior center filled with people who have faced just about anything life can throw at a person. Chances are they’re willing to share their experience with someone who needs information or motivation.

When I get to the point when I’m almost ready to declare the “Os” have it, that’s the Doritos or Oreos, I have to decide to do what it takes to get it together, snap out of it. What ever “it” happens to be. No one can do it for me. That could mean I need to take a moment, take a stand, take a walk, take a trip or take a nap. I’ve never been one to take comfort in the knowledge that there are others in the same boat as me. Taking comfort in that doesn’t add up to anything for me but a bunch of sad sacks. I’m better with words than numbers.

It is true we’ve all been there…or somewhere else. Life is puzzling.

Words with Honie

Check tomorrow’s post for answers.

Gilding The Chihuly

Last night we attended the United Way leadership appreciation event at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden where the amazing work of Dale Chihuly is currently on display. This gifted artist’s work is a must see at least once in your life. The event included a private concert by the Limelight Band and a picnic dinner from Highland Park CafeteriaUnited Way provides financial support to organizations that help families leave poverty permanently and live healthy, responsible lives. We are fortunate to be able to participate in their efforts. Here are photos I took as we strolled through the arboretum and pretended it was our own private garden.

It was a magical evening.


The Price Of Fatherhood

My one and only public apology. Just for you, Happy Father’s Day.

Dear Daddy,

That time when I was nine, and your Mercury Head dimes went missing, Granny gave ‘em to me and sent me to the store to buy cigarettes. Sorry.

That time when I was ten, and you took me to New Orleans and I accidentally wet my pants and you had to spend money you didn’t have on some new clothes for me. Sorry.

That time when I was eleven and you spent an entire day taking me to boot stores in Birmingham, and I just couldn’t find ones I liked, I knew once I found them we would just go home, and even more than I wanted boots to tuck my jeans into like one of Charlie’s Angels, I really wanted to spend the day with you. I liked a pair in the first store. Sorry.

That time I wrote my initials and drew a heart around them on the fifth wheel of your truck just after you had it greased. Sorry.

That time when I was twelve, and I needed a dress for the Valentine’s banquet and you took me to the Warrior Mercantile and the lady told you I also needed a bra. Sorry.

That time when I went to Murphy’s furniture store and picked out a recliner and had it delivered to you for Father’s Day, and you liked it so much and asked me how I paid for it and I told you I charged it to your account. Sorry.

That time when you took off work a whole week to stay with me before I had David and then I went into labor the day after you left. Sorry.

All the times you had to whip me and all the times you had to do without, so I wouldn’t have to, I guess I should be sorry for those too. I’m really more grateful than sorry.


The “good” One

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What Did You Say?

Twenty-three years ago I was on a road from nowhere to somewhere else, and of course, I had to pee. I stopped at the first place I came to, a Dairy Queen, only not the full service kind. No, this one was a walk up window for soft serve only. I got out of the car, walked up to the window and asked the guy in the paper hat where the bathroom was. He replied, “we aint got one.” This might not be an issue for most people, but it was particularly problematic for me. I was pregnant.

This guy did not fully understand the situation.

“Can’t you see I might have a baby right here, any minute? Where do YOU pee?” “We aint got no bathroom,” he said as he tried to ignore me. “No, really, I’m not kidding, where do you pee, are you telling me you never have to pee?” He pointed to the woods across the parking lot.

It wasn’t funny.

When I was pregnant, I wore combat boots and maternity BDUs to work. (no joke) Camo pants with an elastic belly band and a camo smock top. I looked like pup tent with hair. One day after work, I took my car in to have the tires rotated. After waiting two hours, I asked the mechanic standing at the service counter what was taking so long, he took one look at me and started laughing. I asked, “Where’s the ladies room?” “Sorry lady, we don’t have one, you’ll have to walk across the street.” I asked him if he knew the difference between lug nuts and his nuts, then I told him where he would find all of them if he didn’t have my car off the rack by the time I got back. I wasn’t kidding.

He stopped laughing.

My father came to visit the week before my son was born. He wanted to be there for the big day and he asked me EVERY day, “When are you gonna have that baby.” Summer was a busy time for my dad. He stayed as long as he could, but had to get back to work. So, he left. The next day, I went into labor. Eighteen and a half hours later we welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our lives.

When my son was in elementary school, a kid on his baseball team showed up to practice with casts on both his arms. Someone asked what happened. The kid said he didn’t obey his mom. When his mom came to join us on the bleachers, someone repeated what her son had said. The mom laughed and explained. He broke his arm jumping out of a tree. I told him not to ride his bike with a cast on his arm. He had a wreck on his bike and broke his other arm. Later I heard my son telling this kid he’d never had a broken bone. He said the worst thing that ever happened to him was childbirth.

That was funny.

Who knows if he really did remember those eighteen long-suffering hours. He was there. It’s possible. All I know for sure is that we’re both still here. A little wiser, maybe, a little stronger, definitely, a little more alike than either one of us can stand. Hopefully someday we can laugh about it. Although probably not without peeing my pants.

Happy Birthday David. Love, Mom.

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