Wanted: BFD

best-friends-iWhat did we do before Pinterest? I really don’t think my life had meaning before this amazing little site came along and organized everything in the world for me. No matter what I’m looking for, I can find it on Pinterest. It’s like the new Google, without Justin Bieber.

I was looking for a quote the other day to send to someone and I ended up reading a lot of really inspirational, gooshy, completely depressing quotes about friendship. Why, do you ask, would friendship quotes be depressing? Well, mostly because I don’t have friends. I mean, yes, if you look at my Facebook page(s) you will see that I have many many people listed under the ‘friends’ tab, but….they are not the kind of person I can call to eat chocolate in the middle of the night, bemoan about my love(lack of) life, or to move a dead body. How did this happen?

I have pondered about this for quite some time. I look at others people and their best friends from high school or elementary school or childhood neighbor, and I think….where was I? It’s true, my family moved around a bit as a kid, but we didn’t move far once I got into high school. After I got married, we continued the tradition of moving around until I moved home five years ago.

Somewhere along the line, you’d think I would have made a lasting friend I could call and talk to in the middle of the night when I’m afraid I’m being stalked or gaining weight. But alas, I have not.

I have decided it is because of two possible reasons. Number one, I was married to my best friend for 19+ years. Maybe I felt like I just didn’t need anyone else? Number two, I’m too chicken to share my life with anyone. By chicken, I mean, I’m too afraid to show any weakness to anyone in fear they will use it against me, call me stupid, or somehow destroy me with their subtle, subconscious death ray. Issues? Yeah, I got those…..

Now that I am single, the fact that I have no best friend is really getting to me. I’ve decided to hold auditions/interviews. I will put a list of ‘requirements’ on here and if you are interested in applying for the job, just contact me. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Requirments:

Must not be easily offended, must laugh at my jokes, must not judge me by my messy house/hair/face/waistline/etc., must be able to support me even when I do stupid things, must also do stupid things, must honestly desire to be my friend and not just be using me for research for their psychology paper, must live close enough to go for walks when I want to jump off a cliff, must have a sexy male friend they can introduce me to (okay, that one is optional), …..must be able to tell me what a best friend does cuz I really don’t have a clue. Maybe this is a mythical creature like the hydra….? Maybe I’m safer on my own? Maybe I’ll go back to watching Netflix…..where my real friends are….cause I said so.

Rainy days and Tuesdays….

pink-flower-in-rain

It’s been a while since I last wrote. In fact, it’s been a lifetime. So many things have happened. The format for my blog for one…what the heck is this blue screen?

My daughter got married. I know….how am I old enough for that to have happened? And it wasn’t like she was an underage mail order bride or anything. She is the ripe old age of 22. She married a terrific guy that laughs at my jokes and doesn’t get upset when she throws fits.

The day of the wedding was full of miracles. My hair looked amazing, everyone made it safely to the event and the weather was perfect. It had rained most of the day before. This might not be a big deal in Florida or other non-desert parts of the world, but here in Arizona it was a freaky day. When I say it rained, I don’t mean it just rained…it literally poured buckets from the sky. Torrents of rain came down. We had more rain on that Monday than we normally have in an entire year here. The rain washed the world and made everything sparkly and beautiful for the wedding. It wasn’t even very humid. Everything went off without much of a hitch.

The reception was Tuesday night. I drove over to the reception hall, nervously glancing at the dark clouds circling above. Surely it wouldn’t rain again….not after we had gotten more than our fair share the day before. It wasn’t in the rule book. Someone would oppose. It rained. It was that beautiful dark, cloudy, mysterious, everything-looks-better-in-this-kind-of-light afternoon but, I couldn’t enjoy it. My hair still looked good but would cease if it rained. There was a lot of stuff to carry in and set up, including a photo booth and cake. Both of these items rebelled against rain. I got a bit worried.

I sat in my car, wishing the rain would stop, and knowing it was in reality getting darker and wetter. I did the only thing I could think of. I put my hands together and said a prayer. “Please Heavenly Father, just one more blessing today. Please make the rain stop.” I’d said a lot of prayers over the last few weeks and I felt a bit guilty asking for one more. Was it really important for the rain to stop? In the grand scheme of things?

Heavenly Father cares about what is important to us. He knows us and wants to help us. He knows what we need, but wants us to ask for it. I asked. The rain stopped. It literally, slowed, and stopped. The clouds parted, held back, and obeyed. We were able to move everything in, including my hair, the cake and the photo booth. People came, instead of hiding at home from the rain. We had pictures outside in the amazing light. All in all, it was a perfect evening.

Heavenly Father knows. He cares. He answers prayers. Was having the rain stop important in the big picture? Maybe not, but to us….it was a big deal. Not because we got to take pictures or stay dry or have a huge amount of people show up. It was a huge deal because we were given a witness, once again, of how much He loves us.

Prayers are answered.

Photo credit: http://www.blog.newscom.com

Mean, medium, and mood

sand heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I have learned the hard way.

 

1.  Time does not stand still.

2.  Working out doesn’t last as long as the donuts you ate for lunch.

3.  Friends are easy to lose, but very hard to find.

4.  Good moods can be as fleeting as clouds.

5.  Shrimp doesn’t have Mercury in it. (It’s still a sea bug)

6.  Saying yes does not build ability. (or add time)

7.  Johnny Lingo could never have stayed in Mahana’s village.

8.  It is possible to feel alone in a room full of people.

9.  Prayers are always answered…even when we ask for the wrong thing.

10.  I can come up with nothing profound when my heart hurts.

 

photo credit: http://www.jbryantwrites.com

Toe chops

happyfeet10toes

 

This week was brutal. I am just plain exhausted. It is only the third week of school and I feel I have been fed through a meat grinder, stuck in a blender, pounded with a jackhammer and then pushed through an old time clothes washer. My whole body aches. So, this is what it is like to be a real, full time, from the beginning of the year, nobody else to blame, teacher. Holy heck.

I love what I do, I really do….but it is not a small feat to teach thirty pre-pubescant-just-barely kids all day. They would all much rather be home playing video games, running around like animals, eating Cheetos, or sleeping. I have to constantly change my ‘dog-and-pony” dance to keep their attention. We did a ton of testing over the last two weeks and everyone’s brains were fried by the end of the week.

There were many high lights, but the one I will share happened today. I had invited a friend from the community that is running for City Council. Should I mention him here as an endorsement? Okay, I will. It was Trevor Hansen from Mesa. I kinda knew him because I kinda knew his wife a while ago when I kinda knew her mom at church. So, yeah, we are reeeeal close. We’re talking, Facebook close.

I messaged Trevor on Facebook and asked if he would come speak to the kids about being a leader in the community, the importance of making a difference, how to give a speech, and how to write a speech. My admin gave him two five minute slots and a half hour Q&A with the fifth grade. I really had no idea what to expect, but figured it made me look good to have community involvement. yay me!

He was basically amazing. He talked to the kids like he was one of them, bloody toes, gross stuff, acting tough, anti-bully stories….the works. The kids ate it up and didn’t want him to leave. The clencher was when he showed them a picture of his toe which he almost cut off.

Trevor wasn’t there to get votes or tell kids about issues or even to sway any parents lurking in the background. In fact, he was speaking to an audience that lived outside the city he was running to help lead. He came and talked to them because he really is a great guy that really does care. He gave them examples of how to be a leader and a good follower. At one point, I got chills. It was exactly what we wanted…and we didn’t even know it.

My kids came back to the room fired up and ready to run for mayor of our city at our JABiztown field trip. I had about three wanting to run before he came, now I have fifteen. I’d say he did his job well. For free.

I’m not here to promote anyone or be all political or anything, but this is a guy that is a real guy that really cares and….I just may vote. Cause I said so.

 

Photo credit: http://ibpf.org/blog/importance-strong-toes

flapjack pie

The-Power-of-Laughter

 

Today was a good day. I love being with my family and having a big group at my house. I do find that I am the odd man out most times. Being single isn’t all it’s cracked up to be at times. 

My #5 child turned 15 this week. He is one of the best people I know. He is trustworthy, true, and faithful. I can count on him to do the right thing almost all the time. He isn’t perfect, yet, but he makes me happy. 

Parenting can be a roller-coaster of emotions from one moment to the next. Children, like adults, have their agency and the opportunity to choose. Sometimes they make good choices and we sing their praises and sometimes they make seemingly stupid choices and we want to bang our head against the wall in frustration. 

Over my years of being a parent, I have come to understand that no matter what I do, these wonderfully unique children are going to make choices I sometimes don’t like. They are going to stress me out, frustrate me, break my heart, and make me wonder why I ever thought I could be a mother.

But sometimes, these uniquely wonderful children will do things that make me feel like all my tears and prayers and sleepless nights have been worth it. They will amaze me with their intelligence, kindness, humor, strength, and forgiveness. I look at them and see all my hopes and fears, tears and laughter, rolled up into a big beautiful tapestry and I thank my Father above for every moment with them. 

Life without children? Is that even a life? For me, it would not be. Cause I said so. 

 

photo credit: http://www.evolutionezine.net

Forgotten

Rear view mirror

 

I found myself hurrying home from school yesterday. I had to get home so he wouldn’t be alone. He’s just a small boy, not ready to be left alone. He spends a lot of time alone when he has all of us there. He prefers his ‘private time.’ Many times I’ve gone into his room to see what he was doing and he has chased me away with ‘you’re intruding’ looks. He likes his private time.

He’s the baby of my brood. He’s the one that gave me the biggest run for my money. He’s the one that would disappear; silently, with no warning. One minute he was there and the next he was just….gone. It gave me gray hair, ulcers, panic attacks, and a whole new vocabulary that included ‘where is he’ every other sentence. He’s the baby.

He’s smart, but not necessarily street smart. I remember the day a total stranger took him by the hand and walked him all around our neighborhood, asking him if each house was his. None of the houses belonged to him, even the one with his brothers and sisters playing in the fully open back yard. He just wanted to go to Grandma’s house. He had only been at Grandma’s house once, when he was a few months old. He’s smart, but not street smart.

I didn’t like leaving him home after school because I knew he would just get on the video games. Anything he learned would be drained out his ears before I could get home. I had to hurry home. He’s the baby. He’s smart, but not street smart. He shouldn’t be home alone.

I needed to change lanes and head home. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw…..my baby. I’d forgotten. Forgotten he’d grown up and joined his brother at the Junior high. Forgotten that he could navigate the campus alone. Forgotten that he was rocking out with us to Metallica in the car. 

It’s not fair. The bittersweet joy of our children growing so fast. I’d forgotten how fast, how far, how soon…..He’s my baby……he’s smart…..he wasn’t home at all.

Cause I said so.

 

Photo credit: http://www.shutterstock.com

mind games

mic-pink

It had to happen one day. I think it happens to everyone, or it will. I thought I was still too young for it, I hoped I was still too young, but I’ve run out of time.
I’ve lost my mind.
It happened somewhere towards the end of last week. I can’t pin point the exact moment, but the clues are all there.
It might be due to all the new information I have been attempting to stuff into my brain lately. I honestly feel like one of those soft sided suitcases that you jump up and down on, sit on, have your friend lay on, and grunt openly while you stuff that last pair of pants from the Gap into. The zipper is holding on by it’s teeth as you cautiously roll it over to the security line, hoping a praying they don’t choose your bag to ‘randomly search’ because you are sure you will be arrested for attempting to bring an explosive device on an aircraft. Yeah, that’s my brain.
Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t have a zipper, so it’s more like stuffing marshmallows into your mouth. You may get a lot in, but eventually you are going to gag and they will all come shooting out across the table. Mind blown.
In the interest of educating my readers, I will tell you the symptoms, so you will know what to watch for.
The first symptom was made evident Saturday night while I sat listening(seat dancing) to Rick Springfield in concert. The man looks AH-mazing for 64, Seriously?? He may even look better now than 20 years ago. There you go, first sign of dementia. I was sitting, listening, letting my mind numb with the beat, when I suddenly remembered having the revelation of a lifetime just the day before. I had been at a writer’s conference and the speaker had shared some thing that had caused me to write down the best ideas and plot builders ever. I had been so excited, I could still remember the words I had written. They were going to spur the best book yet! Except….it never happened. I had slept in til 10:30 or so, and had dreamed it all. It was so real in my mind, I was panicked when I realized the careful notes I had taken, were still on that pad of paper in my dream.
The second symptom came last night as I went to Groupon to check the times for the awesome event I had bought tickets for this week. I had scored 6 tickets to be in the audience at The Voice. I was totally stoked, and wanted to make sure I had the times right and location and all that business. I looked on Groupon…..no evidence of me having purchased said tickets. I did a search of Groupon…no evidence of there ever having been tickets to the event. This one I knew happened because I had called my sister about it last week. Unless, I dreamed that call….My mind was seriously starting to trip at this point. Was I really so sleep deprived that I was living a second life whenever I finally hit the pillow? Possibly great book fodder, but rather anxiety induced thoughts.
There had to be payment proof if I had actually purchased something, right?? I checked my Paypal account. Nothing. Panic rising. I went straight to my bank account. Rather large purchase amount to Groupon….could it be??? I called the number.
The sweet girl on the other end told me she could see the vouchers on her end….why couldn’t I see them? Was I still sleeping?
Apparently, there is a difference in some websites depending on how you view them. My ‘smart phone’ isn’t so smart. It can’t see Groupon vouchers that ‘aren’t available until July 23rd.” Holy crap. I could see them when I looked on my laptop.
I know it may seem like a little thing, losing your mind, but I’ve grown rather fond of mine. I mean, in my squishy little mind, I understand most everything, and all my jokes are funny. I really need to hold onto it…..cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.crystalskins.co.uk btw, please don’t google monkey brains…it’s not pretty…..

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