Thursday, January 31, 2013

Childhood “Heroes” Sonny & Cher


When we were young many of us had “heroes” we looked up to. Often times, these “heroes” weren’t really heroes, but entertainers that we looked up to and admired. I had a few of them myself, not many. When I was around ten years old, Sonny and Cher hit the music scene with “Baby Don’t Go,” and “I Got You Babe.” My brother and I loved the songs and all the ones that came after. So, by the time they starred in their own television show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour in 1971, we were pretty much diehard fans. I loved their show and if there were VCR’s at the time I would have recorded every one of them. Though I loved their music and comedic style, there was something I loved even more, the way they portrayed themselves as a loving couple.

My brother and I loved their hits so much, we got a couple of albums and played them all the time. My brother would even imitate Cher. It was hilarious the hours of fun we had singing their songs. We would switch roles back and forth and knew all the lyrics. Of course, my mother hated Cher. She could not stand her voice. She told us to play the albums when she wasn’t home…which was a rare occurrence. She would complain incessantly that Cher could not sing. That only gave us more pleasure and added to the laughs we had. Thinking back, I can’t blame my mother for feeling the way she did. Her idea of great singers were Doris Day, The Andrew sisters, Connie Francis, Patti Page, Patsy Cline, Judy Garland, all with very beautiful, melodic voices. Cher’s voice was very deep by comparison and her music did not suit my mother’s taste at all. I can tell because she started cursing every time we put a record on.

One day we heard that Sonny and Cher would be performing in New York, not far from where we lived. You would need a car to get there. There was no way for my brother and I to go. We were upset. I would have killed to see them in a live performance. My mother, “hater” that she was, made the supreme sacrifice. She wanted to make my brother and I happy. She couldn’t take us herself, but she called my cousins, who lived near the venue and asked them if they could take me and my brother to the show. She offered to pay for their tickets as well as ours. I was filled with hopeful anticipation. I knew they would do it if they could. I just had to wait for them to get back to my mother. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be because my cousin had to work that day. My dream of seeing my favorite singers/couple, live on stage, was crushed. But then they got their television show and I was delighted. It would be like seeing a live show every week! I loved the opening dialogue where they would playfully tease each other back and forth. Then, at the end, they often brought they baby, Chastity, out on stage to say good night. They looked like the perfect family, or so I thought.

Somehow, it meant more to me to see them as a devoted loving couple than entertainers. That is what I admired most. Maybe because my own parents’ marriage was so turbulent I was seeking proof that happy marriages do in fact exist. I think that was why I invested more than the average fan in Sonny and Cher. When they announced that they were splitting up I wouldn’t believe it. When I realized it was true, it hit me hard. I didn’t even understand it myself, but I felt betrayed. I thought their passing themselves off as having a happy marriage was an act and none of it was real. I felt angry. It was stupid I know, but I really wanted to believe in happily-ever-afters and I pinned my hopes on those existing on them. My opinion of them changed after that. I wasn’t so enthralled with them any more. I still liked their music, but I held a kind of grudge against them for not working things out in their marriage and causing their show to go off the air. There would be no more “I Got You Babe” on stage or off.

After writing this, I’m not even sure I am over it yet…insert chuckle!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When Parents Fail...

…what’s a child to do? Often times, when kids get into trouble and experiment with drugs and alcohol, we blame it on hanging out with the wrong crowd. Peers that are bad influences. What’s a parent to do? But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the parents really are to blame. I made the mistake of not changing the channel fast enough on Monday and I left Dr. Phil on. There was a 19 year old girl in some big trouble. She has made some terrible choices and has an eating disorder, bulimia. Some people might blame her for her miserable life, until you hear her talk about her parents, who were both there to “defend” themselves. Kylie developed her eating disorder at 12 years old. Her mother taught her how to “throw up” and bought her laxatives. The mother, Paula, modeled anoxia and bulimia for her daughter. The mother’s excuse is that she struggled with weight her whole life and has been on all kinds of diets. The daughter says her mother is an alcoholic and a mean, abusive drunk at that. She calls her daughter a “whore” and wishes she was dead. Kylie also says her mother steals her prescription drugs. Kylie started experimenting with drugs at the age of 14. Right now Kylie lives with her dad. Her father, Cory, has OCD which creates a lot of anxiety for Kylie. On top of that, he abuses alcohol and smokes marijuana with his daughter, he even has a bong. He admits to that.

Kylie says she always wanted her parent’s approval. She had intentions of being a model, but got sidetracked into working in porn. Her mother says she doesn’t want her daughter doing that, but Kylie says all her mom cares about is if she got paid for the job. Paula says she takes her daughter to the doctor to make sure she hasn’t contracted any diseases. Kylie says her mom takes her because it’s required before she can be in a project. Kylie hates her life and wants help from Dr. Phil for her eating disorder and addiction.

And this is what led me to start thinking about Lindsay Lohan yesterday morning. I have been hard on Lindsay, like most people, because she has the financial means to help herself out of her problems and get the proper treatment. Lindsay was a bright and beautiful child. She was talented and had a lot of potential. But, like poor Kylie, her parents left a lot to be desired. Her modeling career began at age 3, her acting career began at 10. Her mother became her agent. By the time she was 16 (and maybe before that), she was successful and out partying in the fast lane. Her family was so dysfunctional. Her father, Michael, in and out of jail and an alcoholic himself, while her mother Dina abuses both alcohol and drugs. Her parents divorced and fought over Lindsay’s money. I think it’s safe to say the girl had no parenting, and her lifestyle and money gave her too much freedom. Now, 10 years later, she have been before a judge at least two dozen times and only by the grace of God is she still alive. I always got the impression her parents only cared about her money and what it could do for them.

Now, if reports are true that Lindsay started abusing alcohol and drugs at age 16 or 17, and you believe what Dr. Phil says, then her brain never matured. She is mentally stuck at that age. We see a 26 year old who acts like a reckless teenager because her brain hasn’t continued to develop. On top of that, her addictions warp her way of thinking, and she can’t make good choices for herself. She has “yes” men all around her who tell her what she wants to hear. We have seen this scenario all too often, and it almost always ends in disaster.

Why does this bother me? Lindsay was born in 1986 and has been spiraling downhill for ten long years. She had little to no parenting that I have read about. Maybe even the roles were reversed and Lindsay had to be the “parent” at one point. My daughters are close in age to Lindsay. They were raised very differently and maybe with a little too much parenting. They have worked hard and done well for themselves. They have been allowed to be children and they were loved, as all children should be loved. It bothers me that no one on this world cares enough about Lindsay Lohan to get her to see she needs help. Not even the two people who brought her into this world. Instead they led her on the path to self destruction, from which she can’t seem to extricate herself. I find it sad. I fear that one day I will wake up and hear the news that she died of an overdose or in a car accident. Once a beautiful, innocent child with so much potential and her whole life ahead of her, is now headed for a tragic ending. No one seems to care whether she lives or dies. Maybe what started out as “partying” has turned into a way of coping with that realization? I don’t know. But I find it sad when people have children and then failed them miserably as parents.

Lindsay and Kylie deserved better than that. Kylie is going to get help and hopefully will start over, on her own, without her toxic parents. I wish I could say the same for Lindsay.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It’s nothing new, but the awareness of this online nightmare is growing. Years ago, a man named Nev Schulman did his own documentary on a hoax that was being played on him by a woman named Angela. He coined the term “catfish” to describe Angela and people like her. I watched the movie, which if you haven’t seen it, you really should. Basically, it’s a wake up call to everyone who meets people online, develops a “relationship” and yet has no idea who this person really is. In Nev’s case, Angela not only pretended to be someone she was not, but created fake accounts, with stolen pictures, to represent her “family” and “friends” who also chatted with Nev.

Recently, there have been shows done on this crazy phenomenon by Dr. Phil and Katie Couric because of a story in the news concerning Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o. The story is very complicated, but someone created a fake---then dead---then not dead girlfriend which turned into a scandal. It was thought Manti made up the whole story just to get sympathy in the media and improve his chances in the NFL draft picks. I don’t think anyone, even with the best of  imaginations, could come up with a scheme like this. It seems Manti did not conjure up this story, it really did happen to him, but after getting suckered into what he and his family believed was an online relationship, he did a little lying to extricate himself from the embarrassing situation.

According to Nev Schulman, The term "catfish" comes from a story in which catfish were mixed in with cod to force the fish to swim around during shipping, to keep them from getting mushy and remain tasty. People who are “catfish” keep others moving or on their toes.

I find this whole thing fascinating, but also frightening. Any one of us can easily be drawn into a fake relationship/friendship by people who have too much time on their hands. Their motives can vary from creating a fantasy world for themselves, to perpetrating a fraud or scam for money, or playing a complicated hoax for fun. Now, with all the publicity being generated by Te’o’s situation in the media, I expect more cases will develop by copy cats, the mentally unstable, people seeking a warped revenge on frienemies, and who knows who else? The idea is out there and it’s intriguing and challenging. Attention seeking people may want to created a more elaborate hoax and see how long they can perpetuate it, for fun or notoriety. And if it does, we can thank the media and television shows for giving this case a lot more attention than it deserved. For my part, I heard the initial story and forgot about it. Now, thanks to all the coverage from every angle, I am learning more and more of the particular details. I’m sure others are too.

Maybe, it would be a good thing to read Te’o’s news story and watch the movie “Catfish”
just for the awareness of how easy such a hoax can be played on unsuspecting people. You don’t need to meet a catfish online to keep yourself on your toes, just knowing they are out there should be enough motivation to be cautious and vigilant in your online relationships.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beyonce: Lip Sync or Live?

The big question of the day, the latest scandal, the most serious concern on everyone’s mind is did Beyonce lip-sync the Star Spangled Banner or sing it live? Apparently, people can’t eat or sleep until they get and answer to this burning question. It’s all anyone can talk about and frankly I don’t get it. I watched her sing it. It was her voice. It looked like she was singing live, but I don’t care if she was lip-syncing to her own pre-recorded tape or singing live. If she wasn’t singing live, you could have fooled me.

What’s the big deal? It was her voice, she sang it, it was flawless, it was an awesome arrangement and an inspiring performance. So what if she was lip-syncing? If she sang live and made a mistake, everyone would be talking about that today instead. Whether it be a flat note or she forgot a word or got a lyric wrong. Do people really have nothing better to do and nothing more important to think about. While they are harping on this “controversy,” while they are embroiled in a debate of “did she or didn’t she,” another shooting took place yesterday at a college in Houston, Texas. While they are criticizing Beyonce, some of the victims of storm Sandy still have no heat or money to repair their homes. While they are waiting for answers to lip-syncing, the families of Sandy Hook are still grieving their loved ones. While they shine a spotlight on Beyonce’s “disgrace,“ Lance Armstrong’s 13 plus years of lying, coercion, cheating, intimidating, suing get swept under the rug and Oprah’s saying he can come out of all this a “hero” goes unnoticed. All I can do is shake my head. I just don’t get it.

What is wrong with this country that makes so much ado about nothing while serious matters fall to the wayside? Are we really that superficial and mindless that we can’t focus on important matters and we make something trivial the number one news item of the day? I think she did an outstanding job with her rendition of the song. I don’t care how it was delivered. She did justice to the solemnest of the inauguration. Honestly, while people were all a buzz about Beyonce, my mind was on the shootings in Texas, the fiscal cliff, the people freezing thanks to storm Sandy, the families still crying for their precious children in Newtown…Beyonce was the last thing on my mind.

And what if she was lip-syncing? Does that put a black mark on her record? Does that tarnish her career? Will Pepsi take back their 25 million dollar contract? Will her record sales drop? Will fans think less of her? I don’t think so. It’s over. It’s done. She was amazing. Let’s move on!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Lance Armstrong Confession...

First of all, before I begin, let me just say I only watched an hour and a half of the interview. I have read a few things and heard some in the news. I think this is just the beginning of what we are going to see. I do not think he was being totally honest or said anything that was not already out there and investigated. He just finally got around to admitting it or some of it. As for Oprah, I love her, but she used this interview to put her network on the map. People who didn’t even know what channel she was on were searching to find it to watch this huge interview. I can’t blame her for that, but people use each other to get what they want in this world.

Now what do I think Lance wanted or had to gain? Well Lance got to tell his story in his own terms. He got to do it where he could refuse to answer questions he chose not to answer. He was able to tell it without anyone to refute or correct what he was saying. And, Lance Armstrong is a professional liar. Let’s not forget that. He has been lying, manipulating and controlling things for a long, long time. He is a cheater. He cheated his way to winning seven Tour de France competitions. He single handedly ruined the reputation of cycling, which has been synonymous with his name for as long as I can remember. He claims he bullied people. He didn’t just bully them, unless you call death threats and intimidation bullying. It was pure coercion and it was used to stop people from telling the truth. He did it many times. He also sued people who came forward to tell the truth. He ruined careers and lives.

He was asked why he decided to come “clean” now. According to what I heard, he said he heard his oldest son was defending him and he suddenly felt compelled to tell him not to defend him and to tell him the truth. But, the truth was about to come out anyway. The proof and evidence had been found. The USADA already has all it needs without this “confession.” The evidence is massive and includes irrefutable laboratory test results and eleven of his team members now willing to testify. Lance Armstrong simply ran out of ways to deny any wrong doing. So when he says he was moved by his son defending him, that may be only because he knew the truth, which came to a head in October 2012, was going to result in prosecution and become public. So I don’t think he wasn’t being so honorable by admitting to “everything,” he is still trying to control the outcome of the charges against him by garnering sympathy from Oprah, her audience and the world before this all explodes in court.

Someone with an ego as huge as Armstrong’s, who is a professed liar and intimidator, who is extremely controlling, is not going to turn into an innocent lamb over night. I got the sense he was using Oprah and her platform to try to get a leg up on the criminal case pending. To plead his case to the public before dealing with all that messy legal stuff. Can you even begin to imagine the number of charges against him? I can’t. If every single incident of cheating, coercion, bribing, doping were documented, the number would be staggering.

Now, I actually heard him say a couple of things that riled me up as he tried to insult our intelligence and manipulate us. He said, he considered all his lies just ONE BIG LIE. So he wants us to reduced those massive charges down to one lie, one continuous lie. Right. It ain’t going to happen. Then he had the audacity to say he wanted to or should be allowed to compete again. Yes, I heard that. Who in their right mind is going to say that right before significant, irrefutable evidence is about to be released? He brings up his five children and how it isn’t fair for them to live under this cloud he has created. He wants us to feel sorry for them and say, “Oh well, we forgive, now go play?” One second he says he deserves to be punished, but doesn’t say how, the next second he wants to compete again?

I don’t think many people thought he was really sorry for what he had done, as much as, sorry he has to face the consequences for all his crimes. Don’t forget, millions of dollars were spent on this team of his. Don’t forget he got tons of endorsements. He made plenty of money from cheating and lying. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to figure out how much. He even offered to make a deal with the government, but they turned it down. He offered them 5 million dollars and his testimony. Five million must be a drop in the bucket for all the money he pocketed. Why would they need his testimony anyway? At this point lab tests and several team witnesses are more than enough to convict him without him having to say a word. It’s outrageous that he wanted to be let off such a big hook by offering so little bait!

Now for the lies he is said to have told Oprah during the interview. Yes, they say he lied to Oprah too. First, he said he stopped doping in 2005. There is evidence in the report to show he doped in 2009 and 2010, but he denies it and is upset by the accusation and alleged proof. Investigators say that Armstrong’s blood shows evidence to the contrary.
Why is Lance picking 2005 as the last time he doped? Well because the statute of limitations may have expired on criminal charges against him if that is the case. Even without a criminal case, there are three civil cases against him which will cost him millions. Is that really enough?  Not for me.

The next thing I expect to hear from Lance is that the public humiliation is punishment enough. He can plead his case, make excuses, create his own justifications and truths, but he isn’t going to change my mind about all the despicable things he has done over the years. It wasn’t just ONE BIG LIE. It was a well thought out, premeditated series of ongoing actions, on his part, that created this miserable mess, this web of lies, that involved so many people for so long a period of time. What is a fair punishment for something this huge? I have no idea.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year, New Happenings…

New Diet...

It’s a new year! New diet! Well it’s not a new diet exactly. I went on the 17 Day Diet two years ago and lost my 15 or so pounds. I felt great and it even fixed two other problems that may have been cause by the extra weight and what I was eating, namely my lower back pain and water in my left ankle. I had every intention of sticking to the maintenance plan, but didn’t. I thought that I really didn’t eat enough, even with wrong foods, to gain it all back. I was wrong. The act is my body doesn’t burn off the calories the way it used to and I am not exactly an active person. Suffice to say I am back to square one and so nine days ago, with a bunch of facebook friends, I started the diet all over again.

I will admit I have not stuck 100% to everything that is required. While I am able to easily alter my food intake to the healthy foods on the list with no carbs, I am stalling about drinking the 8 cups of water and doing the exercise. But, already nine days into the diet I feel a lot better. The holidays meals had upset my stomach too no end. The big, rich meals were not easy for me to resist or tolerate. I was so looking forward to the salads and foods from the diet because I already knew I would feel so much better, and I do. I have to work on getting the rest of the diet’s requirements into my routine. I have been drinking more water, maybe 4 cups not 8. I haven’t even weighed myself yet, so I don’t know what I started at or where I am. I think my first priority was to fix my poor stomach, which took a beating for six weeks.

New House...

As you may recall, last summer I put my house up for sale. The real estate brought a few people and they were all turned off by the neighbors across the street. I can’t fix that. My family took a trip to Universal Studios in September and in October I decided to get six new windows to replace the old ones in the front of the house. Hurricane Sandy put a damper on them coming as fast as I thought. They weren’t put in until January 4th. A couple of days later I contacted the Realtor to tell him he could start showing the house again and that I wanted to go on MLS so more people would see it. He said fine, he would stop by with the paperwork, but he had a couple who was very interested in seeing it. I told him if they don’t mind some clutter, bring them by. What the hell do I have to lose? I straighten out a few things and vacuum, that’s all I have time to do. So last Wednesday he drops by with a couple and their three year old son. I make myself scarce, like an owner is supposed to do. They whisk through the house in about 15 minutes and leave. I figure that’s the end of it. But, on Friday, he calls me and says they want to make an offer. I can’t believe it really. They are pre-qualified for a mortgage and they like the house and the area. The neighbors across the street don’t bother them and they are willing to give me time to find a house. It all sounds too good to be true, right? Then he calls with the offer. It’s on the low side. We will probably have to do down more then they can afford to go up if the deal is to go through. It’s a matter of financial circumstances and how much I am dying to get out of here. I have wanted to move for a very long time, so I am going to consider their offer and not discourage them. We count offer with a nice drop in price. I am hoping we can work out a deal. The realtor gave me reason to believe they can go up, by not by much, because they are only qualified for a certain amount. At this point I am seriously considering whatever they can afford if it gets me out of here sooner. The problem is that right now there are not many houses at all on the market in this area. I may have a huge problem finding something I like and I don’t want to settle. So I am hoping they are sincere about waiting. They will get a great deal and I will finally get the hell out of here.

New Jobs...

My girls are both working hard at their new jobs. I hardly see them any more. I don’t exactly have an empty nest, but my nest has a revolving door. They come and go at different times, different shifts, social lives, and I feel like a short order cook. The diet isn’t helping me with this problem, because now, in addition to having three dinner times, I also may have to may two or three different dinners. This is the life…NOT! But, things are moving in the right direction for us. And I will probably be blogging a lot more about it if things go well. I guess you could say I am following my dreams.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Follow Your Dreams...

It’s not often a blog idea wakes me up at three in the morning and my mind tells me what to write. Today, I woke up ironically to the idea of following your dreams, which ended any dreams I was having in the middle of the night! A young business woman, Michelle Ann Wiley, once answered a question I asked her about what my daughter should do in looking for a job and to be successful. She told me that she should find what she is passionate about and pursue that, without any thought to the salary. She said if she loved what she was doing then the future would take care of itself. It seems like a simple concept and yet I think our society is all about making money, not following dreams. When you pursue your dreams and the things you are passionate about, it really does make you happy and feel energetic. It creates excitement and enthusiasm. It can be revitalizing. And who among us can’t benefit from those things?

I am going to give you some examples from the every day lives of people I know. Some people are more inclined than others to pursue their passions and you can tell the difference between those that do and those who don’t. I know a pair of cousins, single, in their late 30’s who have different interests. One is a poet, we’ll call her Elizabeth, and has been writing and reading her poetry for years. She loves it. She expresses everything she is and feels in her poetry and she does it most times for no compensation. She has another job, a regular job, to pay the bills. Her cousin, Camille, has always had a variety of many interests including languages, philosophy, traveling, history, art, religion, education and on and on. Elizabeth pursued her poetry and in recent years has been asked to do readings at various colleges across the country, she even opened for Maya Angelou one time and went to Paris, France to read. She does bi-weekly poetry slams where other poets get together and also read. Suffice to say she followed her dream and passion and her journey has been very fulfilling. Her teenage daughter has developed the same passion for poetry, which now mother and daughter share. Months ago Elizabeth met a successful, professional man and they fell in love. Recently she announced she is pregnant. Having a baby is another desire she has had for a very long time. Elizabeth is very happy. So Michelle’s advice seems to have paid off for Elizabeth. Now Camille never really cared for poetry, she didn’t like to write it and even less to read her intimate thoughts to a crowd. She is more private, but she gave it a try for Elizabeth, and it never really happened. Camille’s passion was the pursuit of foreign languages and she had planned to get her Master’s one day and pursue teaching at the college level. However, Camille never did follow through with continuing her education. Instead Camille hitched her wagon to her cousin’s and spent time with poets instead of following her own dreams. She attends poetry readings with Elizabeth and collects the cover charge at the bi-weekly poetry meetings. She listens to the poets read. And I can’t help but think she might have been much more fulfilled sitting in a French or philosophy class on those evenings. You can’t follow someone else’s dreams and find your own happiness. 

Now I have other friends who are pursuing their dreams too. One of them, Kalinda, lives in constant pain, has a chaotic life at times, but she is an author. She loves to write. She had put aside her writing to raise her two young boys. Last year the younger one started school. She took out her first novel and let me read it. It was a psychological thriller and I couldn’t put it down till I finished it. She had the desire to write again and one night, in a dream, an outline for a novel came to her with characters and all. She wrote down all she could remember and then started her novel. I have no doubt she will be published one day. She has a wealth of imagination that I find remarkable. Her writing may well change her whole life one day, but for now it excites and energizes her; it takes her mind off her pain and life’s problems; it makes her a better mother to her boys; it gives her hope and something to look forward to. I wish her much success and I can’t wait to read her book when she is done.

I have another friend, Leslie, who has two children, one a special needs child. It can be exhausting to be a full time caregiver. Then one day she was determined to pursue a healthier life style. It wasn’t easy for her to find the time, but she found a website and followed their rigorous workout regimen and diet. She stuck with it and eventually became a coach to others. She has her own page online. I could see how this helped her both physically, mentally and emotionally. Then, she went out and applied for a job in retail. She really wanted it and she was hired. I knew she would move up the ladder in no time, and in a few months she already has gotten a promotion. When you want something and make up your mind your are going to do it, you make things happen.

Another friend, Cynthia, I have known for many years is amazing in that she instinctively pursues the things she loves. It’s second nature to her somehow. When we met she was a hairstylist and had just gotten her license for a massage therapist. Two separate careers that she enjoyed and did both very successfully…for other people. She looks a decade younger than she is, at least, and she has a very outgoing, friendly personality which is perfectly suited for businesses like this. She would have repeat clients coming back all the time. One day I told her she should have her own business, but I think the timing wasn’t right. Soon after getting her license, she met the man of her dreams. He is very loving, kind and supportive. Then she became a five year cancer survivor, another major hurdle accomplished. And last year she actually opened up her own salon, for hair and massages, which I am sure will be very successful. On top of that, she loves riding her bike for miles and miles, whenever the weather permits. She takes trips with her husband and spends time with her children and grandchildren. I think she knows the secret to a happy life…do the things you love!

Now I have many other friends who love to write and are very good at it too. Virginia, for instance, told me she wanted to start a blog combining two of her passions, food and music, but so far I haven’t seen any sign that she has started it. Maybe she will recognize herself in this blog and go for it? I know it will enrich her life to have this little hobby.  I have another friend, Julie, who loves archaeology, but she isn’t going on a dig any time soon. However, Julie could audit a class at a local college maybe. What I would like to see her do is write her memoirs and family history and dig up information that her grandchildren will appreciate some time in the future, when they have children of their own. Another of my friends, Amy, lost all her family pictures in a fire. Amy was a stay-at-home mom who wanted to be there for all her children’s milestones, and she was. The images and memories are now stored in her mind. I have tried to encourage her to write down all her memories to preserve them while they are still pristine and not faded with time. I imagine it’s been too painful for her, she tells me she wouldn’t know where to start. Last night it came to me, she should start with her wedding and work up to the present; then go back in time to her childhood and fill that in. If Julie and Amy wrote just one page a day, they would have 365 pages by the end of this year. It would be priceless. 

There is yet another friend, Stella, she loves animals and lives on her own ranch, with horses, dogs and cats. What began as a 4H project for her granddaughter, turned into a little profitable business. Stella got her granddaughter a goat one day, after doing a lot of research. That little project earned her a blue ribbon and things escalated from there. They bought more goats to raise an breed and every Christmas season there is another group of babies born. Stella never has a minute to herself, but she always sounds happy to me because she has surrounded herself with the things she loves most, her grandchildren and animals.

I think I could go on and on because when I wake up at 3:00 AM and my mind is working overtime, it just dictates the blog for me. I guess I made my point though. Don’t waste another minute putting off the things you love to do because you are too “busy” with things you “have” to do. If you want to make 2013 really count, turn over a new leaf today. Figure out what makes you happy and make sure you work it into your life, even if you have to neglect other things to do it. See if you are happier at the end of 2013 than you were in the beginning and let me know.