Saturday, July 9, 2011

Green - a Poem

Green the grass rolls yonder
Setting fragrance free
Breezes flower, blooming
Bursting at their seams

Honeysuckle, Daffodils
Roses, creep like Myrtles
Draping. Swing. Mad Willow
Bend and show the world

Bend and show to everyone
The Oak is not so strong
She holds her ground,
But breaks to Wind's harsh song

Sing your songs sweet Sparrow
Counter speak the Doves
Listen Willow, feel them
Hiding in your gloves

Green your leaves drape covering
Busily sweep the air
Not for me to question
Not for me to care

Creep the Myrtles purple
Bloom and give to green
Willows kiss the future
Winter hands off to Spring

-- Jude Stringfellow
2010

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Zen Baby, Zen!



It's so funny! These babies, they think they can get one over on me. No way. Please, I've been zenning babies since 1986. I have it down to a science. Within a minute or so after I pick a screaming squealing kid that simply won't shut up I can have him or her flat on their backs resting in their cribs and either sound asleep or in that hazy-lazy spot of zen-perfection. Easy stuff. All I have to do is put my little ipod on New Age music, maybe something Celtic, maybe something Oriental with dings and pings and little tinkling bells....that's it. Happy, cool, calm, collected baby. I set the leathery soft over-the-ear headsets on large so they don't fit tightly, but snug enough they can hear it all. I can hear it too, so I turn it down just a notch as not to hurt the tiny eardrums, and before I can say "Highland's March" the baby is out!

I asked Caity to assist me with this project of course before Copeland was even born. When she was 3 or 4 months along I asked her to put the headsets over her belly bump so he could feel the vibrations. I wanted to spend the extra money and get her some wireless headsets but never got around to it. I do watch the cords when I set him down to be sure he's not tangling himself in them. He's gone - - out. I can hear him every now and then cooing something or making a very satisfied sound such as to say "Don't bother me Granny, I'm listening to David Arkenstone at the moment and can't be disturbed." He even moves his arms around like he's conducting. He wants to have his music played for him, he cries for it..literally. If I had to guess I'd say his favorite are the Celtic Christmas tunes or the band 2002, which is more New Age zenny and he likes the harp. That much I know.

So, go on you old-fashioned grannies out there rocking, carrying, pushing, strolling, and driving your grand babies around to shut them up, not me..we zen. We zen, and we zen, and we zen. As soon as he's old enough we'll meditate and I'll take him to a rock store so he can pick out pretty rocks for presents instead of guns and knives. That's just the way it is - - until Reuben brings him something else. Of course I'll get him a football to suck on, as soon as he can hold one.

Happy Daddy's Day














I have a father of course, and I want to take a minute and acknowledge him today as it is HIS day. It is Father's Day and he is a wonderful father. He and I didn't (and don't) usually agree on anything whatsoever, but I still consider him to be wise and wonderful. He's fantastic in so many ways. Happy Father's Day Dad!!

I have another father I want to think about today and congratulate. Brandon! My grand baby's father. Brandon is just a young man, a very young man in fact, but he's a daddy, and today is his very first Father's Day. Today he was served his breakfast in bed (thank you Caity) and he was allowed to lay around, not do much, and watch anything he wants to on television - - it's HIS day!! He's choosing to spend his day of course with Caity and Copeland. They're going to go on a walk later on I imagine. It's too wet here in Indy to go to the Zoo, but he'll make up for that soon. He's going to be watching movies with them, playing, and hanging out. I told them about a new trail that Laura and I found, so I'll watch Copeland while he and Caity explore that. It's concrete and doesn't have all the slippery slopes that the nature trails have, so the rain outside shouldn't be too much of a factor. He's not made out of sugar, he won't melt.

So, Happy FIRST Father's Day to Brandon - - he's been a great daddy to Copeland since before he was born and I think he'll be a winner for a very long time. I have to really stand tall on my tippy-toes to hug him, he's about 6'4" but I did manage to get it done!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Apparently I am Jeff Saturday!


It must have something to do with the fact that my son loves Jeff Saturday's beard, or because Saturday wears number #63 on his Indianapolis Colts jersey. Whatever the reason is, it is only known to Reuben, but he has donned me to be "Jeff Saturday". Whenever I need to make a point to Reuben I do so by using football analogy. If I can't use a comparison to something dealing with football I try to use the next best thing; war. Somehow football and war are close enough that no matter what my point is, I can usually make it by finding something to relate it to using either of these two subjects. Well, today I was telling my son that I need to be more of a team player, more blended and less noticed. I recently lost another job because I was curious and asked too many questions about how the operations ran -- and in some cases you just can't do that and keep yourself employed. It wasn't as if I was being nosey, I was simply asking why the school I taught at (Brown Mackie College) was allowing students into the school who didn't have the mental capacity to complete the given curriculum ...it's a valid question.

Reuben looked at me from the driver's seat of the car and said "You know Mom, I'm getting a little tired of picking you up early and finding out that you lost your job because you think something isn't legal, or you think something could be done another way. You need to be more ... you need to be more like Jeff Saturday and less like Peyton Manning. Peyton has a right to know what's going on down the field, he's the leader, he's the quarterback, he's the one with the win or lose on his head. YOU, and Jeff Saturday, need to keep your head down, one hand on the ball, one hand on the ready to guard, and listen to full count before making your move. You never know, the QB may just call an audible at the last second." And with that I realized my son was actually being more like me....and I understood everything he was saying to me.

It wasn't that I wanted to cause trouble by asking the administration why they were allowing students into the college who were unable to pay back loans, or the fact that they were letting students into the college who had not even graduated from high school -- I just wanted clarification; and understanding of the situation. What I got was an ejection from the field for being up in the Head Coach's face during a play when I should have been on the field minding my own business. I get it.

Reuben explained that Saturday, as the Center, is in the middle of it. He's strong, quiet, paying attention, forceful but controlled, and he's the one the ball belongs to until he gives it away. I'm suppose to give my knowledge, training, and experience to the students not fuss with the coaches or the managers about the rules of the game. I get it. Besides, Saturday is a Pro-Bowler and he's cute too. I can be cute. I'm not gonna rock a beard like his anytime soon, but I can do this. I can be Jeff Saturday...even if I am Bears fan. I can do this. So....when do I get to be put back in the game?

What an Absolutely Wonderful Day

I have to tell you, I woke up this morning from an amazing dream about having found new friends and old friends. We were all sitting at a table and talking. It was as if nothing had ever happened between us that was bad - - only good. Steve Carroll was there, don't ask me why, we've never met.

When I'm given the opportunity I try so very hard to make things as positive as they can me. Some of you know I run an EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) workshop when called upon to do so. You can find the site easily at: www.positivepower.weebly.com where I'm asked all the time if EFT really works. Well, this morning I woke up feeling great and I had about a 12 minutes EFT session last night with the dogs before going to bed. Oh, you didn't know? Yes, doing EFT, yoga, anything with dogs can help your meditation -- and theirs. They get petted, you get the stress out of your life. It's a win-win.

So, there I was meditating, candles going, soft Celtic music in my headsets(Not blasting Van Halen when I meditate) and five of the six dogs all around me just breathing and making those "gotta go to bed soon" sounds that dogs make. It just occurred to me that lately I've been sleeping with five of the six dogs and that's not fair. I don't even get the standard 14-inches of my full sized bed now. What is this? Reuben should take his Molly back, and Caity and Brandon should at least call one of their dogs to their room - - wait, I have too many kids living with me too! No wonder I'm using EFT and meditating!! LOL I love my family, I really do. Soon it will happen, and all the kids will go their ways again. It's been great to have them under the same roof this past year. Most families fight about that sort of thing, but thankfully my kids get along, love and help each other. Having Reuben home from the war is absolutely fantastic...can't say enough about that. He'll leave again in October, but it's been great to have him as the man of the house again.

Caity and Brandon of course have their new baby Copeland and within a few months they'll move out. I'm not sure Laura will ever leave me, but she always sleeps with her own dog! LOL...there's that.

So, yes, I woke up, I felt good, I prayed, made coffee, took the kid (Laura) to work, and sat down to write. My book "FAITH WALKS" is finished, and it's now time to get 200 of my blogs together to make another book - - the Blog Book. Appropriately titled "Jude's Almost Daily Blog Book - Volume 1". Should be out by Christmas, should make you laugh...and if not I don't know what I'll do; work a little harder maybe? Gotta run, but let me leave you with this - - the day is what you make it. The hour is what you demand, the minute is what you accept of it, and this second is not to be wasted. Love someone.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Copeland Elijah Wayne Stringfellow

Caity woke up April 26 with a bit of a pain in her back, but thought she would be sent home if she went up to the hospital to be checked. She had been checked a couple of days beforehand, and was sent home. The nurses told her that Copeland wasn't going to be coming for at least a week, but Caity felt that she was already a week overdue. She was trying to get the nurses to understand that she had made a mistake in her previous calculations - - she felt that the baby was now overdue. (She was right!)

Baby Copeland Elijah Wayne Stringfellow came into the world at exactly 3:26 p.m. weighing just under 9 pounds. He was 8 pounds, 15.6 ounces and he was 21 inches long. He wasn't all that happy about being out of the warm belly either. He has a sort of serious minded expression most of the time. I'm not sure he's still really happy with us, but we sure are happy he's here! We currently all reside together until the kids get their feet on the ground; this gives everyone a chance to bond with Cope and give him the secure family feeling he needs. He has been a blessing from the beginning and we thank God for his health, his safe entrance, Caity's health, and all the stuff that goes with being a new member to the family.

Reuben wanted to be at the birth, but had to finish working. I can't even explain the look on Laura's face as Copeland was being born -- she was hiding at the top of the bed behind Caity. Oh, and Caity was something else too - - let me tell you. When the midwife came into the room and checked her, asking her if she needed pain meds or the epidural Caity wasn't sure she wanted anything. I spoke up and told them yes. She was dialated and ready to start getting serious; when I was in that position I was begging for help. NOT CAITY...if you know the girl you'd know she doesn't cry much, and even has a tattoo on the inside of her lip! She just doesn't feel pain like the rest of us...like normal people.

Copeland was born, we all relaxed, and Caity has been just the best mommy. She's a natural. For his part, Copeland is a good baby, a bit fussy, but he's a Taurus. We get that..just like his Aunty Laura and my dad. Can we survive another one? As long as nothing changes we should be fine huh?

Copeland's daddy's name is Brandon Wayne, so that's where the Wayne comes in. My dad is also Reuben Wayne. They came up with Copeland on their own; I think it's the name of a band they both like. We call the boy "Cope" or "Copey" and of course he's perfect....of course.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Attitude of Graditude.

Wow, I sound like a broken record when I go on and on about being filled with joy and gratitude rather than being happy. Trying to make yourself laugh is one thing, but to think you can be happy in all situations is just silly. The key to being really full of the RIGHT emotion, the one that keeps your heart from worry and your head from spinning, is to THINK about it. THINK, think, think good and precious thoughts. By allowing your mind to think about the things you most appreciate, you bring on a sense of belonging for yourself within that thought. It's a place you go when you need to. It's a place you go when you want to. It's such a private club too; no one else is allowed in. Just you. You are it. You! You! YOU!

I try hard every day to think about the dreams I just had. I wake up and think hard about them, sometimes I can recall pieces. It's as if my mind is shutting off the access to itself and even I am not invited back into it. This morning I remember being out on a Sunday. Why I knew it was Sunday I don' know. There were very few others out, and I was in a mall or theatre; lots of doors, things to see. I rode around on a little motor-box, it was cute really and I felt the need to explain myself to another woman who was walking with her kid next to me. I think I said my daughter made me do it. It made her laugh -- and before she departed and went into another theatre or door she said "have fun" and you know - - I did. I was just in the place riding around having fun. I can appreciate that.

Appreciation is the bomb! That statement just showed my age. OK -- having the right mind set is everything. You start the day out right, you're able to work that day out with more grace toward others. I know when I'm being hurt by someone I sometimes feel like I could conjure up words to just blast them back where they came from, but then it hits me...that's not what they need. Remember the saying "Kill them with kindness"? It works. Gratitude brings harmony, it brings peace and you know what, I don't know about you, but I just don't see a lot of that peace stuff these days. So let me be the one to start it on its way back!

Take 3 minutes and just make a mental or real list of all the things around you right now that you can touch if you had to, that you appreciate. Just looking to both my sides and in front of me, without seeing the bed and comforts of sleep behind me; I could say: the computer, technology, books, chimes, food (I'm eating) and that stuffed monkey my son bought me from Alaska that's three-feet tall! I can think of other things like lotion, my cell phone, a flash light, and oh look...my glasses. You know I appreciate those. Give it a go. Find joy surrounding YOU. Bring back peace to yourself in the process.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Joy! Find it!

When someone asks me if I'm happy, or how I'm feeling, I sometimes answer "I don't know if I'm happy, but I am joyful". I don't want to sound overly religious when I say that, I'm not trying to convert anyone, but JOY is so much more beneficial than happiness. Happiness depends on your emotional state. If you're not upbeat or gitty about something than being HAPPY is just not going to happen. HOWEVER, you can be joyful in most situations even the ones that seem desparate or sad.

JOY isn't giggles and rainbows. Joy is the understanding that it will be fine,it will work out, it will be honored, it will have a final good ending. JOY is knowing that no matter what you are still worth something to yourself and/or to someone else, and certainly (here is the conversion part) you are worth something to God. He wouldn't have made you if you didn't have some sort of purpose, be it big or small. JOY is the goal for all of my achievements. I can't begin to say that too often, because it is true. Without joy there is no hope; without hope there is no reason. We all have some desire, put joy in gear and if you don't have it, look for it.

I watched a show the other night where a boy about aged 4 told his mom over and over that he couldn't do something. "I can't do it" he said..and not surprisingly the mom sad up straight, crossed her legs and said "I know, let's blow 'can't' away and it can never come back!" Then she asked him if he was ready -- he was, and they both drew up all of the breaths they could hold and pushed out all the air and along with it, the CAN'T that had been inside...all of it. Can't is not welcome. It just isn't. It was fun to watch, and fun to do a little later on when a negative thought hit me. I was in the store, and yeah, maybe I looked like an idiot for a second, but I drew up my breath and blew out all the can't. IT LEFT ME...and I laughed. JOY.

So yes, be daring enough to make your neighbor wonder just a second or two if you haven't lost all your marbles. For no reason, and for every reason, find JOY in the things you overlook every day. You'll be so surprised, or maybe you won't be, how great you feel afterwards. Besides, happiness lets go sooner too. Joy hangs around.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Can the Law of Attraction Bring You That Someone?

I'm sure you know all about the Law of Attraction. You've heard the words buzzng around, and maybe you've gone so far as to buy a book about it, or you looked it up and thought it sounds too good to be true. It's not too good, it is good, but it is as true as the brain in your head or the decision you make in your heart to do what is necessary to apply the law to your daily and even minute-by-minute needs. I know, I know, it's new-age right? No, it's not. The Law of Attraction may have been recently named but it a force that God created a long long long time ago. It's a LAW so it won't change. Think of the Law of Gravity, it does change, but not on this Earth. The Law of Attraction - reaches to the moon! (and beyond actually)

Can I really THINK a man into my life? One that I want, one that I think will be the best candidate to be that one, that right guy? Sure, and I'll tell you why? We spend too much of our time remembering things that didn't work out in relationships and we think out loud to our friends and those who will listen, that NEXT TIME it's going to be different. I don't know about you, but I have waited over 12 years this time and you know that by God and all things Holy, the next one is be nothing like that man I married; but I won't use negative thinking to make that happen because the Law of Attraction is very powerful, respectful of your thoughts, and obedient! If you think about it, negative or positive, it comes to you -- that thought (thoughts) create braided vibrations in time and find other vibrations out there being sent out by those types of people just because they live the way they do, and THEY are the ones to be attracted back to you -- whether or not you pick one to be a mate, that's up to you, but you will certainly ATTRACT one to you. DON'T think negatively - - just don't do it. Acknowledge that you have those thoughts and move on...fast.

When I think about it, I want a man who respects me and what I am currently involved in. I am a writer, a playful soul, a happy woman. I expect a man who expects me to be this way. I think on the intention of his thoughts, he intends to be with me, he intends to find someone like me, he's looking for someone like me, and I'm thinking of someone like him. It will happen simply because of the Law...it has to. There is no way out of the circle - - round and round it goes. You think, it attracts, you receive....so, since you're the creator of your thoughts,it only stands to reason, and good thinking, that you would think intentionally, deliberately, on purpose, for the things you truly want. THAT is the key to the gate. OPEN IT.

Oh, and as for that man that I'm thinking about, I'm not thinking about 100 of them like him - - just him. There is only one. God made him, He can bring the man around. He's better at it anyway. I messed up the last time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

4-D Ultrasound - - No One Can Hide!


Poor baby Copeland Elijah Wayne! He's just a little over 31 weeks along inside his mother (my daughter) and already we're spying on him. Surveillance cameras probing his every move already. He doesn't stand a chance. I bet by this time next year someone will have developed a way to fingerprint babies inside their mothers and then they'll match those prints with the ones they take when they come out so that they are sure the right babies go home with the right parents. Watch, you heard it here first.

Caity went to the Precious Peeks location in Avon, Indiana where we live, to get a closer and very personal look at her unborn baby boy Copeland. He's in there alright, and at 31 weeks he's finally decided he can't hide from the ultrasound tech. Nope, not anymore. Mr. Santiago, the owner and operator of the machines that allow us such a great look into the life of our little guy was just as glad as we were that he was able to capture little Copeland. Caity, Brandon and I have been to the facility 4 times to get the procedure done, which takes 30-40 minutes if you do it right; but he was always turning away from the camera. Shy of the paparazzi I suppose, but we're his family!! Caity was asked to move to the left, then to the right, then she was asked to stand up, and even once to do a hand-stand with the help of her sweet and extremely patient boyfriend Brandon. I didn't like hearing that she was doing that, but you gotta shake the kid from the corner every now and then!

Today he was forced to show his pretty face after she drank 16 oz of freezing cold water which eventually made its way to the placenta and Copeland instinctively moved the cord away from his face; the cord he had been using in the past to shield him from the wide eyes of the ultrasound probe. AHA!! We found you Copeland. You cannot hide any longer we know your weakness.....and of course, being a normal and perfect baby, he adhered to our begging and came out just long enough from under his warm folds of tissue to peek at us, literally opening his eyes, opening his mouth several times, and even sticking out his tongue. Naturally we laughed. Brandon got a little emotional and his eyes welled up - it's usually me that does that, but this time it was DADDY!!!

I will say that it's a bit expensive, and it's a bit of a luxury to take this step at this point and have your baby's portrait taken even before he or she is born, but the tech made it all worth it. He made Caity a DVD of the 35 min. session, he assured us that other facilities make you pay EACH time rather than guaranteeing you that you will have a good session. He recorded Copeland's heartbeat and put it inside a little fuzzy teddy bear for Caity, and made her 36 individual pictures showing her how he stretches, yawns, winks, blinks, and yes, sticks his finger in his ear to show us he's had about enough of us staring at him. Well, he had better get use to it - - we Stringfellows have cameras attached to our hands. If he thinks he's being invaded now, he hasn't seen the start of it.

April 27, 2011 is the due date. Drivers, start your engines!!

Priority! Priority!

Oh, it's all about getting our heads screwed on right, isn't it? Remember your grandpa telling you that you had a screw loose in your head? I think I actually thought we were all put together inside our bodies like some sort of machine, a Frankensteinish thing where maybe you couldn't see it unless you were a doctor, but people actually had screws and bolts, and they could possibly come loose! I didn't want that to happen to me. LOL

Over the years, and more precisely over the last few years, forcing myself to prioritize my goals, dreams, and desires has been both a challenge and a process. I'm one of those believers in thought, believers in positive motivational thinking. I believe something can happen simply because I believe it. Remember when you picked up the phone to call someone and they were on the phone already calling you? How does that happen? Sure, there's the logistical explanation that you may be holding to a routine of calling a certain person at more or less a certain time, but for the sake of this point I'm putting it out there that you sent out a thought to the vast and wonderful universe that you personally had an intention to connect with someone and that thought, backed by intention, fortified by positive motivation, put a real vibration into the world and it matched up with another thought just like it -- you may have read about it in the popular book "The Secret", but it's been going on forever. This world of ours, a gift like no other, has a way of producing exactly that which we think about mostly or most strongly.

Getting my mind to separate thoughts, separate dreams, and to separate what I want, now that's the secret if there is one. I have to identify my idea and sit myself down to think about them sometimes. It helps to write it out, pray over it, write it out again, say it out loud and yes, tell someone so that the vibrations of what I want actually come out from my mouth and into the ever-all listening universe. I say God..I always give Him that credit since He actually made the universe. Priority is everything...because that's where the universe begins. It won't jump in the middle, it goes straight off the top - - whatever you are thinking in THAT moment, THIS moment, is what begins the force behind the manifestation which will eventually create that which you are thinking. EVERY time. It's called the Law of Attraction and it works. It really works. REALLY REALLY...it works.

Now what? What do you do first? Simple - - breathe. It's what you do next that counts.

Women's Radio Columnist - - ME!!

That's right, I'm on the big screen -- depending on how big your monitor is. I'm working my fingers and writing for the Women's Radio syndicated publications online. I'm a real live columnist folks. People will read my work,fall in love and simply have to know more. Well, they can read my work now, and that's a start. I'm a blogger here, a writer out in the world, and now I am a syndicated columnist. You'd think I'd be paid. Why am I not being paid? LOL

Women's Radio has a great and long following of millions literally - it is one of the most respected women's sites known. If you get the chance to see it please do. Simply go to www.womensradio.com ad listen, read, write, contribute, comment, be a part of one of the largest and more exciting sites dedicated to women and their views. I know men are out there reading and even writing for the site. That's allowed, sort of like when a good looking, blonde, sexy, woman of mystery walks through a gentleman's club and every head turns. OF COURSE IT TURNS, she's a beautiful, blond, sexy, woman walking through a club full of men. Simple decision for you -- go to www.womensradio.com and read a little. I can't promise you that your head will turn at everything I write, but mine did. I wouldn't have written it otherwise.

The site is a great place to listen to shows, read blogs, read articles, and if you have the skills and desires you can be a columnist, a blogger, and/or a person who shares YOUR point of view through comments. We welcome you! Look at me saying WE. Wow, it's true, I'm ONE OF THEM!!! YEA. Thank you to Pat Lynch, President and Editor in Chief at Women's Radio. She found me on LinkedIn, another great social networking location where both men and women hook up and find professionals in their line of work to assist and be assisted. I've found so many wonderful and experienced people through these sites that they warrant being bragged about. PLEASE, if you are willing to help, or you need help with a project, gig, finding work, just put your fingers to the plastic and join a few social networking sites. BE a part of something. GET OUT THERE and make the difference ONLY you can. WE can do this. All of the WE in the world.

What Are Best Friends For?


Some best friends take you shopping when you’re feeling bad and they bring you chocolate. Mine gave me the “eye” and told me to get over it. Being a life-long Cher fan, I’m just lucky she didn’t slap me across the face now and then and scream “Snap out of it!”. I say that, I may have just opened myself up to a rude awakening next time Jeannie catches me in a mood.

There are women out in this giant and wonderful world who climb corporate ladders, close multi-million dollar deals, create and maintain enormous budgets and hire and fire employees when necessary. Other great and powerful women run for office, run an office, write for syndicated columns (had to add that) and some are law enforcement agents, senators, who are always in the public eye or splashed across headlines in newspapers - - or on Nancy Grace selling their new book which will certainly forever change the way the world operates. Other women, other great women work hard behind the scenes, setting things up, getting things ready, and being there when we need them -- this is my best friend. Sometime back in the 1980‘s Jeannie felt a call to help children. It was a call that led her to her current position of educator, teacher, supervisor, and ultimate child care-giver at a fabulous Oklahoma City based facility called appropriately, Special Care. Working with minor to severe handicapped and/or challenged children comes incredibly easily to this woman, she almost makes it look as if she had given birth to the hundreds of kids I have personally witnessed her ministering to. It literally begs the question “what would they do without her?”

For me the question is moot. I don’t have to ever worry about being without my best friend even if we are geographically challenged for now. Jeannie has finally learned from her daughters Julie and Kristen how to set up and use her Facebook account! No worries, right? I can even get her to post a picture with just the slightest of instruction, she’s really coming along. To be honest with you Jeannie and I were instant soul-mates. I know I am taking a chance at embarrassing her by saying this, but it won’t be the first time; Jeannie and I were literally forced into our relationship as besties when her best friend and my best friend walked off together from the cafeteria table we were perched at on that first day of school. My sophomore year, her senior year, just the two of us alone but together - alone. I think it went something like this: “Hi, I’m Jude. I like the Bee Gees” to which she answered “Oh, yeah, OK I’m Jeannie and I like Barry the best.” Liking Barry the best, and telling me so was key to everything - I was a Maurice Gibb fan. We were both Oklahoma Sooner fans, so that was all it took to seal the deal. Maybe it took two or three more minutes of discussion for it to happen, but we both realized our friends weren’t coming back for us. We were stuck there in teenage hell at school but at least we had each other. That was August 22, 1978. Those two other friends never returned to claim us. Jeannie and I are best friends.

It may seem trite or simple for me to make the decision to interview my best friend for one of my first articles with Women’s Radio, and I assure you it was an easy decision. I wanted you to know Jeannie and to get the opportunity to celebrate her along with thoughts, prayers, and memories of your own best friend. It was an awesome experience to sit on my couch watching crime shows with her, texting sarcastic remarks about which CSI character would or wouldn’t do what they just did in public. If there’s one thing we do really well its texting and being rude to each other at the expense of television reality show character, an opposing football team, or in most cases a real life criminal being exposed on Headline News. Every day Jeannie and I text for hours - our way of keeping in touch. Sitting on the couch I asked her through phone messages what her ideal job would be, what her goals were, what she thought were some of the biggest highlights of her life. She knew she was being interviewed so she told me to do what I do best and just embellish! WHAT? WHAT, me, embellish? OK -- I thought I’d tell my readers about the time Jeannie broke into the Whitehouse before it was popular to do so, and how she danced with the President - - but it never happened. Jeannie’s most memorable moments involve watching a child without the ability to speak give their parents a sign saying they were loved. She helped a kid without legs skateboard, she moved a family once in the freezing cold weather because they’d lost their power and their child, her student, couldn’t be without electricity -- I half way expected her to say her goals were world peace and for all the animals to find homes where they could be safe. I wanted to slap her! If all the goals and aspirations my best friend have weren’t true or weren’t real, I may have suddenly become a Cher fan too; but they are -- that is WHO she really is.

Jeannie has it all really. She may not know it, but she does. She is loved by her family, she has a good home, a good job, a really cute car, and a dog that thinks she bakes treats just for her. Oh, and she has a really super cool best friend who loves to watch football with her and text rude and inappropriate things every night - - she really is THAT cool.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Perfect Haunted House

I'm an author of fiction (as well as a couple of memoirs) so I'm always looking for the perfect place to murder someone and stuff the body, right? You and I both know I'm talking through my pen, or my keyboard, I have no intention of really hurting someone. I don't actually, as the author, have to be the one to do the killing either, I was thinking about writing about someone, or a few someones who had already been killed -- say in a house, and then the main characters in my book moves in to the house and has to deal with the ghosts living there. That to me makes more romantic sense -- the forensic loving, cop-show-watching side of me says it's best I don't try to get too involved with the actual event of death as I'd just screw it up. I'd be thinking too much about it in the 21st century terms and end up bumbling a perfectly good 19th century killing!

So, I was online today looking at houses I may want to buy for myself when I move out to an area that's a bit more rural, but still close enough to Target and Starbucks. There's a city called Kokomo in Indiana that fits the bill. No, I'm not making that up, it really is called Kokomo, and it has TWO Starbucks! I like Kokomo! Just west of the city is an area with more corn, more farms, more nothing, and in the late 1800's farmhouses were popping up everywhere out that way -- some of them are still there, have great barns, land, horse property; and for me the author, it has a great bunch of forests, woods, streams, and gullies to kill someone on paper and stuff their bodies somewhere between Chapters 2 and 3.

I found a house that fits me. Two-story with a creepy creepy basement. It was built after the Civil War, but I want to think it was build on land that was fought over. It was the homestead of someone interesting and I'm going to find out who. It's a flat-faced colonial house with pocket windows, wide plank hardwood floors and it has great heavy wooded banisters and baseboards. I bet if I looked, it would have one of those awesome little closets under the stairway to store your vacuum and old papers in. I love those little closets, you can hide in wait for hours and scare anyone who comes in to visit -- WHY don't people check there first when they hear spooky sounds? I do!

So, I'm hoping the place is available for a lease purchase, and I'm hoping it has a nice ghost or two hanging out either in the barn or the house itself. I'm not opposed to living with those in the past as long as they don't try to force me to join them too soon. I may want to write about murder but I don't think I want to participate or volunteer too soon. When I think about it, the basement has a fireplace in it; that would be an awesome place to hide too -- say on Halloween when the kids come by for a party or something...no, I'd get stuck and the video to get me out would show up on YouTube. Never mind!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Ravenclaw Among Griffendors

For the longest time I thought Caity was with me in the House of Ravenclaw, but after thinking about it, she's just another Griffendor. Truth be told, she is one of the smarter LIONS out there, but she is still one of THEM. LOL

My own parents would fall into the House of Hufflepuff; mom with her painting, green thumbness, and desire to make everyone happy -- and dad, who I think had too much compassion to fish, would have spent another four years on that ship in Korea rather than being asked or required to shoot someone for any reason. Don't get me wrong, when backed into a corner the man would fight like hell, but since Pop is more or less known for walking and talking in circles, that just doesn't happen very often at all.

What did we do before J.K. Rowlings put us all in Houses? I'm amazed really, because she nailed it. There are 4 types of people out there -- me, I'm a Ravenclaw. What I'm doing in a house full of egomaniac, strong-spirited, combative, sporty types, I have no idea. Those of us who are more intellectual, more apt to run than fight, more apt to write about it -- we get it. There isn't a one of us that would FIRST pick up the knife to fight; there simply has to be a sensible way to negotiate peace, right? Well, that's me...I'm a peacemaking, peace-loving, peace-hoping, peace-wanting, peace-finding person, WHO happens to live among a bunch of fist-clinching, grab-a-weapon-now people, who stand on couches with remotes in their hands screaming at each other as they blast their opponents to hell with their thumbs!

Ravenclaw! RAVENCLAW!!! (Where are my headphones?)

If I had to think about it further, and I do, Laura was born a Hufflepuff, perhaps even raised as one, but after a while even she became a warrior type princess. She much more prefers to fight, kick, kill, and die for the cause, over and over again on her anime games and sites. I think she has 15 avatars....shamefully I admit, I don't have an avatar. I'm secretly afraid to make one. I think it will come to life and start running my life somehow. What if it doesn't think like me, but wants to take over the world or something? Can we really control an avatar once it's out there? Reuben - - oh my son Reuben....GRIFFENDOR....conceived, born, raised, will certainly die a full fledged 100% warrior-soldier - - no doubt. I think he was whispering battle cadences inside of me. Pretty sure of it. No chance he'll change houses EVER. Even Brandon, Caity's boyfriend, my new son, he's a freaking Griffendor! He's more of a follower, but he has great ideas, bright happy attitude, and he's there, a good friend always in the corner, just waiting for his chance to shine, and he does. He's perfect for my little girl.

FINE! Good thing we Ravenclaws have WINGS...at least I can fly up to the corner of the ceiling and think about pooping on them when it gets crazy. LOL I will survive. I am the MOM.....hahaha..I WIN. One point Ravenclaw!!

Sex and the City of Celebacy!

Hahaaha....so, since I'm the blogger does that make me Carrie? I actually met Cindy Nixon once when I went to NYC with my dog. Cindy actually walked across traffic where SHE was causing a crowd to gather, and came over to kiss Faith. She's almost too thin in person, but on television looks about right. Makes me think not only how not thin I look on television, but how scary it must be for actors to feel that they have to maintain ridiculous figures to be loved from their always-looking-for-them-in-public-to-see-if-they-really-look-like-that-in-person audience. Cindy was very sweet, and Faith adored her shoes...she told me later.

This March, (and not that I'm counting), will mark the 12th anniversary of my decision not to be sexually active. I can think of better anniversary titles; but not one of them hits me in the face quite as abruptly. I mean, this morning I woke up and realized that because of the flu symptoms I've been fighting for over a week now, I've not had any coffee to drink....save one good sip that reminded me why I wasn't drinking coffee until I'm better. Being caffeineless is a lot different than being without a man....I really don't think I'm going to wait on the right cup of Joe to come around; and EVEN if I had to wait, if I was FORCED to wait on the right cup of JOE to bring me to myself again, I'd only have to go as far as the nearest Starbucks.

That's it! We knew it all along, it was in the back of minds! MEN can be manufactured to specifications and then poured out and served correctly if we so desire. NO NO NO...do not wake me up, I'm thoroughly enjoying this fantasy. If I want to equate men with coffee, it wouldn't be the first time. I remember once in Seattle, when I hadn't been thinking much about anything else but the fact that I was still not having sex, and someone from behind the counter asked me and asked me if I preferred a tall, hot, robust Italian or Pike's Place. I almost answered that I'd meet the man outback; then realized he was offering me choices of coffee flavors that were brewing that morning....still, I think I get points for a quick mind.

It's really not as bad as people think. I don't really REGRET the decision, it's just gone on so long that when or if Mr. Forever comes along and I try to go in reverse I'm just wondering if the gears will need to be replaced for lack of action or if they'll break from pressure. You can only imagine the thoughts that run through my head as Valentine's Day approaches. I think to myself, SOMEONE has to be sane and not have sex, so that the whole world doesn't spin and roll off it's axis! I'm just so proud to be called upon AGAIN to save the freakin' planet from RUIN! Brave, brave solider...LOL

Oh, I didn't tell you WHY I decided to be without men, without sex, without all the headaches attached to both -- it's a good story. I had kids ages 13, 9, and 8 and knew that they needed me and they certainly didn't need me bringing a man, or men, into their lives making manly-fatherly decisions, or statements to them, about me, about them, about us. We were in the middle of a bad ugly divorce, custody battle, then I won custody, and it just seemed that the word "MAN" was associated with everything that I had been fighting. It might not be realistic to think that all men were the enemy, but it was helpful in continuing my decision and keeping the promise to myself that I could make it on my own - - at least until my heart had given into a different way of thinking.

Well -- it's been 12 years. Will it be a Baker's Dozen before I find the ONE? Is there a ONE? I want to think so. I mean, I want to think that there's this guy -- a tall, curly haired, light eyed man, with a shy and quirky smile, maybe he's from back East, and he's been thinking about me for say.....29 years. LOL....leave me alone, I told you I haven't had any coffee in 6 days. I'm dying; I know I am. If I don't get to the roast soon I'll shrivel up....they'll find me in a corner wide-eyed and drooling which wouldn't be all that embarrassing, not as long as they don't take pictures and post them. What is it that I'm hoping to find this year in terms of the right MAN anyway? Is it necessary? Probably not, but the ONE thing about the ONE is that I don't need any help finding him. Infact, I would reject help finding him.

Believe it or not I get upset when a man starts off a chatty little small talk conversation with me. If you could see through the air-invisibles you would see horns sprouting all over me, red-flags flying all around, and air-horns blaring out the sound of "BACK OFF! BACK OFF! SHE'S ABOUT TO EXPLODE". It's not that I'm a shrew, nope, far from it, but I am just a Scorpio woman who absolutely chooses the man, it's never going to change, never ever ever never, and there's no reason for anyone to KNOW that....so I don't attack them if they sweetly, or gentlemanly approach; I simply smile and make some excuse to walk away. Sometimes I wish I was an Aries (but that only lasts about a second!) LOL

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pardon Me If I Don't FEEL Old

So, it's what, a little after 1:00 in the morning, and I'm still cranking the volume up a bit louder than my mom says is healthy for my ears. I take in consideration that I probably lost most of my youth-hearing in the 80's during the more than 300 concerts I went to. I worked for Concerts West, it was my JOB to go...I showed up early, I stayed late. I enjoyed my job. What can I say?

Tonight, well it's Friday. I'm dancing and dancing, and just really moving, not doing too much. I mean, I don't wear the big-hair wigs anymore and sing out loud into the curling iron, those days are gone. I say they're gone, my daughter hid my curling iron; says it's not good for my OLD hair. HA! I laugh at her 21-ness. She can have the gorgeous locks, I don't care. I'm dancing, right? That's right. I'm dancing. YES, it is true, I have a Mueller knee brace supporting my right knee cap, but only because I don't want it buckling on me in the middle of a great Van Halen song, and stopping me from jumping off the bed and...oh, OK, that was a lie. I do manage to keep my feet on the floor most of the time now, but I can dream!

I got my new little 16gb iPod the other day and filled it up with 4000 songs -- I didn't know I have that many, but YES I did. The good news is I like the sound the needle makes on the vinyl as it scratches, so I played "Going Down for the Last Time" by Head East on the turntable, recorded it, then converted it to an Mp3 and now I can hear it the way they intended you to hear it -- SCRATCHY! ROTFLMAO...can I say that in a blog? Sure I can, I'm dancing! LOL

If the kids come into my room and catch me, then hell they catch me. They'd also better be prepared to join me, because even though they can't hear .38 Special riffing guitars and blasting out their Southern Comfort, they can at least interpret what they see me doing as being lots of fun, joyful, and it's motivating. Laura was hilarious, I walked by her earlier this evening while she was on her webcam explaining my actions to her boring dork nerd friends on an anime 2nd life game -- and she thinks I'm crazy! They stared at me....open mouthed, just sat there in their chairs eating potato chips and stale pizza rolls....I'm dancing!!! "Put on a little Dylan" HOOTIE!!! HOOTIE!!! That's right, I'm not feeling that old tonight. I just feel like dragging the yellow dog out from under the bed and making her do a two-step. Ever see a yellow armless dog dance? Well, she's awesome at it, she doesn't care if I look and act like a fool -- she's into me! She loves me! I'm her best friend.

Hey, what's that? Can't hear you! Can't HEAR YOU...sorry, nope, not now either, sorry, something about going to bed? I don't think so! No now, I'm hungry! LOL What I really think is awesome about my kids thinking I'm too old to stay up late and kicking back with my Credence, Bread, Bee Gees, Billy Joel, and Journey -- the best part, is they don't know what I know about these bands. They weren't there! They WERE NOT THERE -- I was, and this isn't a dance-fest, it's a TIME MACHINE! (I'm 17)

Be blessed!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Beginnings for 2011

Can't believe it's been this long since I last wrote. I'm going to have to change the name of the blog to "Whenever Jude Gets Around to Writing it Blog!" Wow. Thanks for your patience.

Since the last post I've been with family for the holidays. My son Reuben came up to Indiana, where we are living now, and he had himself a heck of a time. We were concerned whether or not we would be able to show him a good time because a client of mine didn't get around to paying me, and it set me back -- not like Bernie Cornfeld, the Overseas Investments guy was set back in the 70's when he lost over $30,000,000 or even like Bernie Madoff has been set back -- but still not being paid the $5000 owed to me meant a number of things couldn't happen. Things like rent! LOL

Well, God is big right? He's GIGANTIC infact, and Reuben came up this way expecting to be happy and he was. He had a lot to think about when he got back to Oklahoma. Eventually he's thinking of moving here and opening up a fitness center. He's planning on finishing at least one more year of college in Oklahoma, then completing his studies at IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis) There's a reason they use initials...wow...that's a long name. If they had class rings and had to put that on the top it would weigh too much on a person's finger, possibly causing an accident.

Since we last spoke and/or you read what was happening in my life, I have met a great man named Derek Britt. Now, now, don't be thinking that I'm thinking that -- nope, his body, and his heart are taken! But I can still use his mind and connections. Derek is going to become my new production partner. He's going to write the children's books for me about Faith's life. His beautiful girlfriend Silvia is going to illustrate them. Derek is going to lead the production on the film about Faith, take my memoir to the right publishers, and just be the hero I need! (Put that in a bottle and you don't need gunpowder!)

Laura and Caity are getting to the point of realizing that an education could do them some good. When the Fall semester rolls around all three children should be attending some college somewhere. Caity is having a baby in May or late April, so she may decide to go online. Laura will no doubt put in a few classes at the local junior college and then transfer over to IUPUI as well. She and Caity are interested in Business, but I know Laura will attack the animal world of science as well. Caity may pick up a class on pottery, she's really very (amazingly) good at it. Caity use to do my homework for me in 1998 when I went to Oklahoma City Community College and she was only 8. She's good.

Animals are fine, friends are good. I'll write more tomorrow so you'll be able to feel like you're reading an almost daily blog - - something about that just makes me feel great. I'm writing again. I'm talking and I'm walking, and I'm working...now, someone please...pay me!!