Drug of Choice? Natural Highs Suit Me

I never cared much for pot. Although I was a teenager in the 70’s and lots of folks were smoking it, I just never liked the “i know they know what I’ve been doing, are they talking about me, watching me?” type of paranoia. Oh, I smoked it from time to time- maybe two tokes or so, but never got what I would call “over the line high” on it. I just didn’t like it that much.

However, once I met a guy at the State Fair of Texas- Clyde. Man, was he hot! Raven hair, steamy blue eyes and dimples so deep one could fall into them. We rode rides, ate cotton candy and generally bummed around at the fair with our best friends in tow. There was a bit of a drawback. Clyde lived in Houston and I in Richardson. He had been in Dallas on some kind of job and was going back early the next morning. We kept in touch and he invited me to spend the week with him in Houston. I eagerly said yes – anticipating a great spring break.

The first few minutes after my arrival, Clyde lit up what I thought was just a joint. It was more than that. It had opium rolled up in it- black as tar opium. Oh my. The opium seemed to soften the paranoia I felt with regular ol’ pot. We all stayed stoned for the duration of the week, smoking opium every chance we got. One fine, sunny afternoon, we smoked some and went to the zoo. I had the best time I’d ever had at the zoo – or at least that’s what I thought. It’s been so long now, I don’t remember. Clyde sent me home with some pot/opium joints and I thought it was very nice he did that.

When I got home, though, there was no one to smoke it with and it didn’t seem like so much fun. I realized while by myself, looking down at  the joints, I could become very addicted to this opium high. I really enjoyed it and I felt very mellow with it in my system. I remembered hearing that those who drink alone were generally addicts and figured it worked out that way for those who smoked alone too. I never wanted to be dependent on anything or anyone and I chose to throw it down the toilet. I know! I know! I am so glad I did, though. It was a difficult thing to do, but for me- it was the right decision. My friend, Kim and I always had a saying of sorts… or really just an understanding that we were on a natural high and didn’t really need anything to provide that for us. And we were right.

I tell this story to say addiction is hard. If you are not addicted yet, to whatever your drug of choice is, get rid of it. A natural high is much better in the long run. Already addicted to something? You can get help at your local N/A or AA programs. They used to say addiction is a monkey on your back. I haven’t heard that in a long time, but that is exactly what it is. Addiction is a tough thing to beat, but it can be done. Don’t go down that road… alone or with a friend. It just isn’t worth it. Find a meeting and run, don’t walk to get your life back. Be strong . Have courage.

I Don’t Want to Step on Any Paws…

One night, after working at Tom Thumb with my best friend Betty, we decided to go to Denny’s (our after work hangout). We worked the 3 pm – 12 am shift and we were generally hungry when we got off. Besides, we both dated cops and that’s where they ate dinner. First, we went to my parents house to get my daughter, Amanda. It was fun to take her with- she was about four. Oh, and I also had my dog with. Muffin loved to go riding. We all ate and flirted and talked and drank coffee.- coke for Amanda because I thought I was being “cool.” Betty was always so funny. She’d pause in the middle of her breakfast , light up a cigarette , breathe a long sigh and say, “Woo, I’m getting full. I’m just going to let it all settle,” and she’d finish her cigarette. I always giggled when she’d do that. Betty was about 20 years older than me and more fun than anyone had a right to be.Sometimes, We laughed and laughed so many times about so many things. Just thinking of her makes me smile.

Anyway, I digress. This one particular night, when it was time to go home, Amanda, Muffin , Betty and I jumped in the car and I pulled out on the service road to LBJ Freeway at Preston Road. I was in the far left lane and it was the lane in which you could make a kind of u-turn on the overpass to get to the other side of the freeway . A drunk guy drove up to the u-turn lane and turned in, hitting my left front quarter panel. In those days, no one wore seat belts and even though Amanda was in the back seat, she fell forward and poor Muffin was thrown into the front seat. We were all okay, but this brings me to the reason I don’t want to step on any paws. Fast forward to the present.

I just saw a commercial for pet car seats. Really? I mean, as a animal lover, I can see the reasons for having such an item. But, I have to wonder how many people actually invest in a dog or cat car seat? What if you are taking your hamster somewhere, is there a seat for that? Or your pet rat? I once had a rabbit. Hmmm.

would you buy one?
would you buy one?

Surely people have a sense of humour about this notion, right? Some do anyway. Don’t they? oops. I may have to crawl back into my hole now. I may have stepped on some paws.

Remembering the Shops

As one gets older, memory seems to be selective at times. Tonight , I am selecting to remember my parent’s beauty shops. Wonder why? Well, whether you do or not, I’m going to tell you . The other day, I went into Sally Beauty Supply to get some rubber bands for my horse. My friend and I were going to style her mane. I love beauty supply stores. I tend to see some, but not many of the products my mother used as she styled many a womans hair. Even more than seeing the products, I love going into older beauty shops because I smell the smells my mother’s shop had- permanent wave solution, hair spray, the smell of the hair dye as it processed on the women’s hair. The warmth and sounds of the hair dryers. I begin to think how the dryers were so nice and warm the motor and the heat lulled you sleep just before they went off. After the dryer went off,the women would slowly and sleepily open their eyes, lift the bonnet up and wait for the hair dresser to come get them.

“You dry, Mrs. Gifford,?” my mother would say, taking a roller or two out , feeling the warm curls. She’d guide Mrs. Gifford to her chair and begin taking rollers out of her hair and brushing it, carefully, but quickly back-combing it into a bouffant – the style all women wore at the time.

My mother was working when she went into labor with me. Her blood pressure had gone up so high the doctors knocked her out. She was out for three days when at last, she opened her eyes to my dad saying they had another girl. Denying she’d had any baby yet, she had slept through my delivery and first few days of my life. No matter- I didn’t know the difference. I’m pretty sure, although I don’t know exactly, that my mom must have gone back to work just as soon as she could. She loved her job most of the time and after all, she did own the place. I’m sure these beauty shop smells were among the first I inhaled.

Well, growing up, my sister Martha and I were constantly in the beauty shop. On Saturday afternoons, Mother fixed our hair for church. I wore a pixie cut when I was little, but as I grew, so did my hairstlyles. I wore a pageboy for a long time and then a neckline. I was always envious of my next door neighbor’s ponytail , but was not old enough to realize I had to grow the hair out instead of my mom “cutting one.” Being young is nice sometimes. You can’t be blamed for what you don’t know or understand. It’s funny to everyone though. By the time I was in junior high, I sure didn’t want a bouffant anymore. It wasn’t in style and I was becoming all too aware of what the styles were, what people were wearing and what they were laughing at. I was the object of the laughter with those poufy hairdos. So, I began to grow my hair out and since it was the 70’s , after all, I made sure to blow dry it as straight as I could. Never mind I had the curliest hair -especially when it was humid. Ringlets were mine unless I blew my hair dry.

My mother worked until three weeks before her death. She was 82. I loved going to the shop to shoot the breeze with her and smell those smells. Beauty shops, these days, don’t really smell like that anymore. Hair sprays don’t smell the same and as for those old hair dryers- not many exist in most shops these days- there is no lull of the dryer to put one to sleep.  I miss that. I miss going into a beauty shop, smelling those smells and seeing my mom standing over a head of hair brushing and back combing. But, oh, how blessed I was to grow up in a place with such memorable smells and visuals.

these dryers could lull you to sleep in minutes.
these dryers could lull you to sleep in minutes.

Those Alaskans!

Did you hear about the reporter in Alaska who quit on air because she has  a stake in a cannabis club and wants to further the cause for the legalization of pot in Alaska? She dropped the F bomb as she announced her resignation from her position as a reporter.  Interesting things seem to go on in Alaska. I hear they have the most eligible, good looking bachelors, Sarah Palin is there, touring Russia from her back door and this lady has pretty much burned all possible bridges in her communications career. And I thought Texans were into doing things up bigger and better.

The door is now open for questions to begin firing away. Questions such as – “Does this mean this reporter was stoned more often than not on the air? Off the air? In her sleep? ” I don’t know, but this one has to wonder -well, just for a moment anyway.

I’d love to hear your brief thoughts on this news item. If you heard it, what did you think? I admit I thought it was a bit amusing.If you have not heard about this, here is the link. Let me know what you think.


I Was Thinking …OW!! That Hurt My Head

This morning I woke up with an interesting (I thought) idea. You know how it is when someone is in their teens and 20’s and dating. This age group is interested in going to dinner, going to the show and/or other venues – at night. That’s usually because they can sleep during the day, take an afternoon nap or even an early evening power nap before the date.

dinner dates
dinner dates

This goes on for a while until we approach our thirties and forties.

During out thirties and forties, we realize lunch dates are the best. Often, you’ll hear, “I’ll have my people call your people and we’ll do lunch!” Or- if neither party has “people”, you might hear, ” Wanna go to lunch?” or maybe even more appropriately, “Let’s Do Lunch.” – which is always funny phraseology to me.

"doing " lunch
“doing ” lunch

I’ve heard of having lunch, eating lunch, going to lunch, but “doing” lunch brings a weird visual to my mind. I won’t go into detail. I’ll let your imagination run away with you if it still can. You can always go home afterwards and take a nap. I know lunch always makes me sleepy and I love a good nap- and there is no better way to pass an afternoon with nothing to do.

Even later in life, say the mid-sixties, seventies and onward- breakfast!Now, if you are a semi- oldster, don’t take this personally, but it seems like people in this age bracket “do” breakfast much more often. No lunch and definitely no dinner dates- breakfast is just fine, thank you. I suppose it is a concerted effort in that one can take a mid-morning nap AND an afternoon nap, and of course, the after dinner nap.

Seniors eating breakfast
Seniors eating breakfast

Of course, I say this all in jest- but it does make sense if you think about it long enough. hiho

Dream Weaver, Dream Reader

Always filled with imagination and wonder about every little thing, my grandmother thought it a good idea to teach me to read when I was only three. By doing so, she opened a whole new world for me.  Let me backtrack a bit and give you some history regarding this decision.

My parents owned a beauty shop (a whole ‘nother story) and while my sister was six years older than me,she had to attend school- leaving me with my grandmother while everyone was busy going about their day. My grandmother, “Mama” and I had so much fun and I never thought I loved anyone more than her. We played outside, we watched “As the World Turns” after lunch, she gardened, I rode my faithful ol’ red stick pony around the yard- we had fun. Once, while gardening, she fell right down on her backside. “Don’t tell your daddy,” she’d said. The minute he came home from work, I blurted out, “Mama fell in the yard today,”- touching off a bevy of worry for my dad. To say I was a busy body child ( and adult), capable of creating all kinds of havoc would be an understatement. It must have been after I locked Mama out of the house because she was going to spank me when she decided to teach me something that might occupy me for at least an hour.

I can remember sitting at the hearth while Mama taught me the words. She taught me to read with my finger- you know, following each word with my index finger as though it was a word magnet. Maybe not then, maybe not just as I was learning the words, but later, those words began dancing off the page and into my vivid imagination. Oh, how I loved to read.

In later years, after Mama had gone to live with my aunt Lorene, it was sometimes all my mother could do to get me to go outside and play. Many was the day I would curl up in Mama’s rocking chair, beginning a book, only for my mom to urge me to go outside and “get some sun.” And many was the day I begged to read “only  3 more chapters” because I was almost finished.

And now, although I still love reading, the love of words tumble out of my head and onto paper (in the old days), and now, on , my computer screen.

So, if I had my “druthers”, it would be my grandmother whom I would want to read my posts most of all. It is because of her I kept out of trouble by reading (well, not all trouble, don’tcha know!) and in reading, being able to express myself in the written word the way I sometimes cannot orally. Thanks Mama!

Mama with my granddaddy and sister, Barbie. Mama was the light of my life.
Mama with my granddaddy and sister, Barbie. Mama was the light of my life.

New Blogs to Read

I love learning. I figure when you quit learning, you might as well be dead. Learning should never stop when one formally leaves high school or whatever level of college you may have been in. So, when my Blogging 101 course suggested we say howdy to our neighbors and add five blogs to our reader list, I already knew I wanted to add some horse blogs and a couple of crafting blogs. Those are the things I do that I know the least about.

I bet you are all like (a phrase I hardly EVER use), “How can you own a horse and not know everything about it.” Well, my horse – I know. I know her little habits and quirks and stuff, but previous to adopting my horse, Licorice, I had last ridden about 30 years ago. Owning a horse has always been on my bucket list. So, now that I own Licorice, I want to learn all I can about the horse.The riding part is fun and relatively easy, it’s the rest I need to learn about!   So, adding horse blogs seemed only natural.

I also do crafts- I paint, make clocks, frames, home decor and other things. I do not draw. I’ve never been able to draw and it’s weird  that I am able to paint, but not draw! However, I want to learn new crafts, so I added a few of those . I came across a blog which teaches how to make duct tape jewelry. Such fun!

I will be looking forward to reading these blogs and appreciate someone nudging me to actually add blogs to my list! My hat’s off to ya!

New Look, New Tagline

When I began this blog, I was really uncertain that I would stick with it. I am great at starting things- not so great sticking with it or finishing it. So, I didn’t make it fancy – I didn’t really make it mine. I believe I have customized it now so that it is more me.

See, we live on three acres in Texas and we have a little red barn, we have 3 pastures- one severely overgrazed. We have animals -lots of animals- six, count ’em, six donkeys, 2 horses, 3 cats, 9 dogs, 7 puppies I’m trying to sell, several wild bunnies, a roadrunner family and assorted other wild animals. Some people wonder why we want to live with all these animals. Well, we love them all. We are out in the country, so why not help take care of God’s creatures?

Anyway, I  digress. In the beginning, when I began the blog, the tagline was ” The beauty is in the imperfection, and baby, I’m imperfect.” But, today, I changed it to “Beauty lies in imperfection.” I left it at that. It sounds more classy – or something.

So, per Blogging 101, I now have an updated blog that  represents more of what I am and what I love.

this old barn may not be much for some people, but we sure love it. oh, and that is my husband, Stephen.
this old barn may not be much for some people, but we sure love it. oh, and that is my husband, Stephen.

Who, What , Where, When and Why- the Basics

… these are the basic questions a good journalist would ask  They are the most basic questions … or are they?

I am, at almost 57 years old, just finding out who I am. I have been a daughter, a mother, a wife, an ex wife, a wife again, an ex wife again and a wife once more to the guy I divorced the second time.

I find, though, at almost 57, not a senior citizen, but a woman just coming into her own. A woman who has discovered art, rediscovered horses and owns her own now, rediscovered life and living and rediscovered a love for God. The newly discovered love for God rivals those days as a preteen and teenager at church camp when God’s light flooded the tabernacle and we all were on fire as we trudged back to our everyday lives.  Only now, I find the fire is lit wherever I go. I find that I try to treat people as Jesus treated people. I try to be kind, empathic, I try to be loving towards those who cannot be. This is what I strive to achieve.

Who I am , who I’ve been have changed with time. I have no reason to think who I will become in later years will be subject to change as well.Things I know will never change about who I am is that I am a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a friend, a lover of beauty and a person who looks for beauty in the imperfection that is life. That is who I am, who I strive to be and who I will always be.


Writing is like a Prayer

just say what you mean.
just say what you mean.

“To write is to pray.”- Paula Walker Baker- yep, I think I made that up all by myself- just now as I thought about what I was going to write.

I wonder if you have ever read blogs or stories in which the language is flowery, using unnecessary words, phrases, cliches or what have you? Well, I have and I have heard people who pray in that same language.

Me? Well, I like to write like I talk. I don’t want any pretense when I write- just want a good conversation piece- even if it is only with myself.

We had a guy at a church I attended once who would pray frequently. I guess the pastor loved his prayers, because he was called on an awful lot- but I found them boring, flowery and somewhat presumptious. Because I was a teenager, I wondered to anyone who would listen why this man insisted on praying like that. I mean, doesn’t God know what you mean to say? Doesn’t He already know our hearts and isn’t He just waiting for us to come to Him and tell Him our issues or requests in our own words, sans flowery agenda. No, when I write, it may not be in the “correct ” form for – say- an English teacher- maybe not even for a publisher- but it is the correct form for me.

I like writing like I talk. I realize that folks who don’t know me have no idea how I sound- where my inflections are or if there is any inflection. Maybe they think me monotone. But, I get the idea they know from how I write what I mean. If I want to say something, dadgum it, I’m just going to say it. I don’t want to pussyfoot around it. I just want to say it and have done with it. And I have done so- many times! And when I pray, I want to speak to God in easy conversations. It’s difficult for some of us, me included sometimes to pray. When I go to God, I don’t want to complicate it with a lot of words I may not be sure of the meaning. What’s the point in that? No, I want to say, “Hey God, help me with this deal. I’ve tried to figure out how to handle it and I’m at a loss. So, I need your help now. Oh and if You could see Your way clear to heal (insert name here), I sure would appreciate it. I’m kinda scared and I need You to help me out there. Thank you and forgive me of my sins.  Amen.”  That’s it -done. No flowery words, no what-not. I think He gets it.

pray  simply; easily
pray simply; easily

Do you?