Gratitude 30April17 Sunday Morning 

Today I am thankful

  • So, so glad I left some winter clothes out! Minnesota weather.
  • I am excited to meet with a group of women I am fond of.
  • The articles I am working on are finally saying what I want them to. The fine art of juggling words. It seems like a jigsaw puzzle at times. 

Stay warm and dry. Remember, beyond the clouds the sun is still shining. ☀️

affectionately yours, Laura 

Gratitude 29April17 In The Vault

201637-king-westIn the 2008 movie version of The Women, the leading women are about to have a conversation, and one friend says to the other, “This is in the vault, right?” The meaning of that exchange was that the conversation was to remain private.

By the way, the movie is fantastic. It is an all-female cast, including extra’s,  directed by Diane English with an all-star cast of leading ladies. But, I digress.

In the vault. It is a phrase I have used over the years. Well, not anymore.

When I am with my best friend or with my circle of women, who I MV5BMjIwNjg2MTk1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODQxMzk3MQ@@._V1_trust implicitly – in the vault – never needs to be said. There is an unsaid code among us. An honor system. We protect each other. We trust each other. We allow each other to tell our own stories to people.

There have been times I have had conversations and had a hesitation of “Do I trust this person?” and I will say “In the vault.” to ensure they understand the friendship code. 

Most of the time, it’s not a blazing hot piece of information. Predominately, it is about myself. And I do not want my business repeated, and yet my gut tells me, this person could. So, like a little girl, it was my version of cross your heart or a pinky swear.

Last fall I got burned badly in an in the vault situation. I, mean, not just burned, I got fucking deep fried in hot grease. I gave an unfiltered opinion on what were already public facts. I knew better. I was pissed. I lost a lifelong best friend and a few women I associated with in a social setting behind it.

The severity of the consequences of those three simple words — in the vault — made me do some deep soul searching and work in therapy. I learned several valuable lessons. Aside, from looking both ways before I cross the street for the karma bus.

Foremost, I did not listen to my inner voice. When a hint of doubt comes about the trustworthiness of someone, that is a blazing red light on my life dashboard to close my lips. You should never ever doubt the security of the words you share.

Second, friendships change. Pay attention to your respect levels and talk honestly to friends. If I feel comfortable discussing a friendship without the respect of talking to them directly, it is like a Kmart blue light special light going off. My respect and feelings about the friendship have changed. Address it directly.

Today I am thankful

  • I am excited for a few things happening today.
  • I wrapped up my Saturday house cleaning and laundry chores.
  • Looking out my window and absorbing the sights of green emerging.
  • The smooth jazz music channel on cable is jamming today.

I used to struggle with life lessons and bitch about how hard they are. Now, I am just grateful. As each one comes and goes, I grow, I accommodate, and I move on.

I wish you well. I wish you happiness. I wish you peace. 

So, before I go — in the vault — I am partying at the Minnesota Music Cafe tonight. Come join if you are able.

affectionately yours, Laura

 

Gratitude 27April17 Your Kiss

There are many things a body can fake. Being the amazing machine it is, we can make a smile look genuine, a wink look flirtatious, or an addicted body function at normal capacity. 

Hell, people fake orgasms all the time. With Academy Award winning sound effects, like from the scene in When Harry Met Sally. Well, I heard that from a friend. 

But, very few people can fake the connection of a kiss. 

There is a depth of intimacy to a kiss. For me, personally, there are several kinds of kisses.

First, there’s a one-of-a-kind kiss that sends a crazy lightening jolt through you to your toes, and while you’re in the moment your mind is screaming “Red alert! This isn’t a drill! Get ready for launch.” You silently hope your body isn’t steaming anywhere if this is your first kiss.

Or, the second kind. You feel like you stepped into a tub of lukewarm bath water. Pleasant, comfortable, and polite. You’re thinking “Okay, this isn’t bad. I kind of like the feel of this. Not too forceful or slobbery. I wonder what time the playoffs start? Are the Warriors on? Or the Cav’s tonight? Do I have a chance to finish that blog before bed? Oh! Damn, he’s still kissing me.” 

And lastly there is the kiss that for numerous reasons before it comes in or if it makes an unfortunate lip-to-lip connection, your internal voice is screaming “Duck, dodge, bob, weave to the left, to the right. And you make a swift stage left exit.

There is a reason people who sell sexual favors don’t kiss. It is that raw human exchange of emotion in a kiss. You can add a few moans and creative tongue twists. But, human chemistry has a life of its own.

You can’t fake that unexplainable dynamic when the conduit of a kiss is in full force.

Today I am thankful

  • It was a busy and productive day.
  • I am researching for an upcoming article. I always like a challenge.
  • Despite the dreary rainy day, I am looking forward to May flowers.
  • Happy Birthday to our Annie

In the infamous words of Prince, “I just want your extra time and your kiss.”

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 25April17 Yay! Spring!

Despite the fact we didn’t have a bitterly cold and snowy winter, it sure seemed like a long one. After much anticipation, I think we can safely say spring has finally arrived.

sending <3 from me 2 youI took a huge leap of faith, for a Minnesotian, over the weekend and put away my winter clothes, coats, and boots. Well, I left out one jacket, just in case. It is Minnesota, don’t cha’ know?

Every day I have been outside soaking up these spectacular warm golden rays of sunshine and crisp, fresh air. I have been walking, playing in the dirt, and out visiting family and friends.

Saturday at the Earth Day rally, I, unfortunately, got a sunburn, my yearly reminder to wear sunscreen at all times. I imagine my white raccoon rings around my eyes from my aviators will be reminding me for quite a while!

There are many positive things to our well being from being in the sunshine and fresh air. Livestrong.com states that being outside provides the following benefits: Greater energy, Improved overall health, Reduced stress and depression, and Improved sleep.

Here is the link to the site for an excellent article: http://www.livestrong.com/article/436651-the-effects-of-sunlight-fresh-air-on-the-body/

Today I am thankful

  • I am writing. It is good therapy for me.
  • The view out my window is spectacular. The landscape is turning green.
  • I have an appointment set up for Mother Day pictures with my grandbabies.

If you are sitting in the house reading this, consider heading outside when you are done. Even a few minutes <img width="2592" height="1944" alt="sending can make a difference in how you are feeling.

affectionately yours, Laura

Gratitude 18April17 Feminism 101

I am reading a fascinating essay by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called “We Should All Be Feminists.” Her premise throughout, which turned into a small book, is focused on the stereotypes that come with the label feminist

“I am a feminist. And when I looked up the word in the dictionary that day, this is what it said: “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

All of my life I have actively participated in women’s rights and activities. I never gave much thought to the harm or innocuous nature of a title or lack of. Be it advocate, activist, or feminist. 

While in college, I minored in Women’s Studies. At the time, the buzzword wasn’t to be a feminist. We were activists for women’s rights. My memories were more of fighting for rights of sexual liberation, control of our bodies with birth control, and women’s independence rights.

It was just in 1979 that it became law a man could not rape his wife. Put that in context — 38 years ago a husband could legally rape his wife as his property. But, I digress. 

Somewhere in my Pandora box of long ago treasures, I have a Gloria Steinem tee shirt that said Girl Power with her fist raised. ✊🏼 Now, I have my pink pussy hat, i came here to see women rise hoodie and my This is What a Feminist Looks Like tee shirt. 
My standard outfit for marching and participating in rally’s and how I identify myself has changed over the years. Lol. 

Like Adichie, I believe the word feminism in and of itself got a bad rap. When in reality, feminism references and it has no innduendu or hidden agenda other than a woman who believes in equality for all.  

Today I am thankful

  • I love everything about being a woman.
  • Netflix. I am becoming a binge series watcher! 
  • Isn’t it lovely to finally welcome Spring? I even welcome the rain.
  • I am hoping to score a ticket to Wicked. Bucket list item.

I take great pleasure in the combination of my femininity and strength. 

And, like anything positive in life, change begins with each one of us. Adichie writes,   “And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”

affectionately yours, Laura 

*forgive grammatical errors, written on my cell*

Gratitude 13April17 I See You in There

I have been blessed in my life to have had positive roles models for aunts and uncles. I have good memories of them from family functions I have experienced over my life.

thumbnail_FullSizeRenderRecently, upon learning an aunt and uncle has Alzheimer’s, I have been going to visit them. Neither initially had a clue who I was.  Although, on my last visit my auntie said “You know, you look familiar. Do you work here often?” And my uncle is content if I tell him I am family. But, both, are happy to see me when I arrive.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes.  Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)

Despite the loss of memory and self Alzheimer’s has stolen from them, a spark remains. My uncle is just as charming and witty as always. My auntie is sweet and kind. In talking with them, you will get peaks into the past. It’s as if their memories open up a brief window with a view. And for each of those moments, I say a silent “Thank you.”

Each time I visit one of them, I walk away thinking, “I see you in there.”

Today I am thankful

  • I got a haircut. It’s always that time when I start humming Beatles songs. Thank you amazing hair genius, Josh – I adore you.
  • I must be in need of strange comfort food – a grilled swiss cheese tuna sandwich on whole wheat toast – go figure.
  • I am visualizing a future Fairy Garden. I have the pot. Let the creating begin.
  • Tomorrow is Good Friday. It begins Easter weekend.

There is a joy and freedom during my visits with my auntie and uncle. Their focus is relaxed and simplistic. Both are blessed to be in nice memory care facilities, which is comforting as someone who loves them.

I never leave without thanking them. I say how special each is. That not just when I was growing up, but now — each continue to make a positive difference in my life.

They both laugh at me; uncomfortable with the compliments. My uncle told me, “We better get you a room here” and with that off he went down the hall.

Take a moment in your day. Visit someone. It will be a gift to both of you.

affectionately yours, Laura