Just Like Lookin' In A Mirror

They say, "Everybody has a twin."

My second ex husband once removed is one of those gentlemen that shave their heads. Not all men can pull off that look but I think he carries it rather well. He uses a product called Bald Guyz.

X2’s Brother from another Mother, Tim, was beboppin’ down the aisles of Walgreens late one Christmas season night. Doing what everyone else does during any shopping season, not really shopping, but keeping an eye out for the perfect gift. They’re easy to find in Walgreens, it’s that kind of a store.

Suddenly, Tim stops, mid epiphany, and says “Well, I have to buy that for X2.” It was sitting there on a shelf, one of those misty sunbeams around it, little cherubs fluttering around. It was as if it had been custom made for X2, it was fate, karma, kismet and just plain iconic.
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Well, X2 loved it, he became a regular customer, after emptying his gift, he went to the store and began searching for himself. His little doppelganger on the blue box made him grin. What a find!

Then, as happens so many times, it was over as suddenly as it began. Though his shiny bald guy head moisturizing lotion polish stuff still made him well conditioned, still provided that just right sheen, not glaringly bright, not just naked flesh. It had changed, you know. X2 could see it from down the aisle as he made his way to the Bald Guyz section of Walgreens. He’d been replaced.

It was like they was twins, reverse dimpled twins.


Cuh-ray-a-zee, Daddio


Here I am, almost 50 years old and I still get pimples. Another thing, I have no elasticity, skin wise. And I gots enlarged pores. I get little catfish hairs on my chin that must be plucked upon discovery or I will Fweek Owt!!!

Actually, my Freak threshold is pretty low. About 12 years ago I began having debilitating panic attacks. It took 3 years to finally get the right medication to bring me back to sanity. If you’ve never had a panic attack, first of all, congratulations; they feel like a heart attack, which scares you, which makes the panic attack worse. You can’t breathe and your heart races. The only thing you can do is pace and wring your hands. I have been known to scream and beat on the wall during one particular spell.

My mother used to get what she called “sinking spells” and I am sure she was suffering from panic too, now that I understand it. It does manifest itself in different ways. Some attacks have made me only want to lie on my bed in darkness, not speaking. However, when you think you are having one, you need to get on the phone with your BBF or your aunt, and get them to talk you down. There is something so comforting about a familiar voice groaning “OMG, you’re not having a heart attack.”

Thankfully, panic attacks are few and far between these days. Now, something has to trigger an attack, back in the day, they just randomly happened. I have been known to have a meltdown or two, but I do pretty well, I think. I hope my kids don’t remember the times I went a wee bit wonky. I think most of the horror went on inside me. I am cursed with an overactive imagination, and it runs wild constantly. A couple of my co workers have seen me in a pretty emotional state, but we can joke about it now. Read this next part in a French accent, “She was screaming and crying, all over the place.”

I’ve always been a bit of a worrywart, I think too much, I mull, chew over, and contemplate. Sometimes, it builds up until I can feel it. Just writing about it has me a little edgy, so let’s take a deep breath. That really does help sometimes. I worked up a little routine I followed that kept me stable. Take in a breath, deep, breathe in as much air as you can, and then blow it out slowly, until you have to breathe, then rinse, repeat. Concentrate on the sound of your breathing; it takes your mind off the panic. After you feel a little calm, you can go to your “happy place”. I’m serious, that happy place theory is not bullshit. My happy place is the color blue. I do the breathing thing, inhaling deeply, forcibly exhaling slowly, then I just think of blue. A blue pond in a meadow. Blue waves lapping at a beach. You can feel the tide just wash away. The trick is, getting so involved in creating this ideal scenery that you forget to descend into madness. It sounds goofy, but it works for me. Sometimes. But I can’t be too far gone.

If you’ve not experienced this stressful affliction, I hope you never do. I feel certain a few readers will be able relate in some way. You know what helps, chocolate. And TCM. Maybe a tudge of Gentleman Jack chased by ice cold Coke (no ice please). These are not to cure the attack, but to pamper yourself once it’s over and the world is right again. Of course, one must leave out the whiskey if one came by their calm pharmaceutically. One must be responsible and civilized, even when tottering on the brink of madness.


How Ya Like Them Apples?

Well, you can’t please everyone, so you’ll just have to please yourself. Along the way, those who think like you get lucky.

Recently, I was disagreed with in one of my blogs, I offended someone by saying I would come to their state and fly a rebel flag.

Look, with all the dreary stuff going on these days, the worst thing you can think of is a rebel flag? I was born in Mississippi and lived there most of my life. The flag of this state incorporates the rebel flag. I was told that the rebel flag was not a laughing matter and that people in Arizona might not appreciate it. The rebel flag certainly is not a laughing matter. Nothing that means something to anyone is a laughing matter.

“Thousands of people lost their lives to fight what this flag stands for.”

I guess that’s true of many things. For each flag that flies above battling factions, one side is fighting for it, the other side is fighting against it. After the battles are long over and graves of the fallen are consumed by time and progress, later generations fly the flags of their fathers. Years have maybe altered definition and sentiment. Flags and other “symbols” mean different things to different people.

I can’t speak for everyone, of course. For me, the rebel flag means The South and that means Home. If I have a rebel flag bumper sticker on my car, as I have been known to do, I’m telling the world, “I am from the South and I am proud of it.” I wear a silver cross at all times; I’m telling the world “I believe in and love Jesus.” The day before Ash Wednesday, I am wearing green, gold and purple beads, I’m telling the world “I wish I was at Mardi Gras.” March 17th finds me flaunting green letting the world know I am Irish and I’m a pincher. Fourth of July, I’ve got an American Flag pin I like to wear, it says I’m an American and thank God for it. Around the end of October I like to wear whimsical Halloween geejaws. Christmas has its own set of jewelry I use to say “Merry Christmas” without opening my mouth. Sometimes I wear an Ernest P Worrell button, just cuz I wanna.

My inner Redneck, Myrtle May, would like to address the audience.

“Hey. Ah’ll fly whatever flags suits me ‘n them that don’t like it kin kiss mah fat ass.”

Thank you, Myrt.


A Tale of 2 Kittehs

We are now kittified. The newest additions to Joyous Gard are Ninja and Mitzi, littermates. Thanks PRGF. Humans in this house have achieved kitty Zen.

What’s softer than baby kittyfur? Nothing. What’s no fun? Waking up to a baby kitty attacking your legs and looking for a nipple in your hair. Ninja found a mole on my neck and decided that was close enough. It’d be okay if I could get rid of them like that.

N&M think Emma is their wet nurse. Emma is not down with this concept. She is a spinster Aunt, if she’da wanted kittens, she’da had them, Thank You.


Oh, Promise Me

Easter is a good time to reflect on promises.

First, there’s the promise of the crucifixion and resurrection. A lot of people don’t believe. Even if you are not a Christian, I think you can still appreciate the idea of so great a love that it gives up everything so that you can be free. Fighting in war is like that too, isn’t it? Men and Women in our Armed Forces put their lives on the line every second of everyday to protect freedom.

Next, the promise of a beautiful, sunny Easter morning. In the almost half-century I’ve called this earth home, I’ve found that usually no matter how rainy or gloomy the days leading up to Easter are, Easter is a perfect day. Sure, there have been years where an indoor egg hunt had to suffice, but not that many. A sunny morning can lift your spirit. My mother used to say “Nothing smells like a Mississippi morning.” I love to take in a deep breath of sweet country air. I usually don’t care for birds unless they are cooked, but, their chirping heralds the new day.

Check me out in my Easter finery, 1962 with 2nd cousin Bill and my Grandmother Louise

Third, Spring. Spring promises us that life goes on. Spring means baby animals and trees sprouting delicate green leaflets on bare branches. Spring is a reprieve from dreary winter, a sweet preface to sultry summer. Field trips and proms and end of the school year concerts.

D. Promises that do not have to be kept, they just are. Stories passed down generation to generation, the promise that you will persevere, because you come from hardy stock. My cousin, Clara Mae, who was a mother to teenagers when I was six, says that the secret to living a long life is reading every day. It does not matter if it is the newspaper, a novel or a recipe on the back of a soup can. Learn something new every day. She is in her eighties in this 2004 photo. She had recently recovered from breaking something from falling off her barn. I don’t remember why she was on her barn, let’s just say she’s a character and there is no telling.