Monday, November 23, 2009

Don't waste your time

I was reminded today of an episode of “The Twilight Zone” that I saw years ago where a man was left in a desert alone with a robot. He was left there for an experiment and the woman robot was to be his companion. He knew that the woman was not real and although she had the attributes of a person, her emotions were manufactured.

Time went by and the robot approached the man with love but he rejected her knowing that she wasn’t real. Eventually though, he gave in and would spend time with her playing games of chess, even embracing her lovingly. He was lonely and he needed something to fill his time and his life. They continued with this seeming relationship for months until suddenly the men that had left him in the desert returned.

When the men returned they told him it was now time to leave. He immediately thought about the woman and said they couldn’t leave without her. The men looked at him like he was insane. Why did he want to take this robot? Did he not remember she wasn’t real? He insisted on taking her when the men reminded him that she was only a robot. He argued with them saying that she was real and he pushed them away running to find her. Then one of the men took the robot and exposed all the machinery inside of her. The man who’d been left in the desert with her was shocked. In all the time that he was in the desert with the robot he had forgotten she wasn’t real. He left with the men and returned back to his former life before the desert.

As I sat before the Lord today, I realized that I have forgotten where I came from. The things of this world have too easily distracted me. I want to confess that although I have been walking with the Lord for twelve years now, I have allowed the world to distract me from the things I am called to do. I wept before the Lord today because like the man in “The Twilight Zone,” I often forget that all that is around me is not reality. I’m not talking about not enjoying a good movie, or laughing, dancing, or hanging out. That is all part of life and we should enjoy those things. And yes there are problems in the world and things are crazy right now. But didn’t the Bible talk about all of these things? Is it really a surprise? If the “things” that we do ever get in the way of spending time in God’s presence and growing in our gifting and callings then they have all become a false idol. They are a replacement for greater intimacy and time with the Lord. They become a deceptive tool to keep you distracted from what God is trying to tell you.

God is a God of second and third chances but there may come a time when you lose out on all that He has for you because you simply weren’t ready. How do you remedy this? Don’t forget about God. And don’t be like the man in “The Twilight Zone” who forgot that the desert he was in was only temporary and for a purpose, and that the robot that was sent to keep him company was only for a time. Don’t let the “things” in your life take your time away from being in His presence. Don’t let those “things” keep you from being all that you can be and fulfilling your purpose for such a time as this. Our days on earth are numbered…don’t waste them.

-Lynda H.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A clue for the over-spiritual Christian

I saw this on the latest issue of "Christianity Today." It is so true.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"The Pursuit of Happyness": Gaining back what was lost and seeing the fruits of your labor

"The Pursuit of Happyness" is one of my favorite movies. The story of a man not only in search to succeed in life but a man who want to provide for his son and be the best father he can be. I watched this movie for the second time on television recently and was struck by something that stood out to me. At the end of the film, when Chris Gardner learns that he has been hired by Dean Witter his new boss calls to him before he exits the room and gives him $10. Earlier in the film, this same person had asked Chris to let him borrow $10, which was all that Chris had in his wallet. At the end of the movie he pays Chris back the money. I found this to be really symbolic.

How many times do we feel like we are giving of our time, energy and efforts to see no fruits in the end. We labor and labor and at the end of the day we gain nothing. Perhaps the biblical character of Job felt this way as he worked hard all of his life and was faithful to God and his family but later lost it all. I'm sure he felt betrayed by God. But the important thing is that in the end like Chris he got it all back ten-fold.

As I wrestle with God and time with my gifts, abilities, and career goals I often feel like, "what's the point?" because I fail to see the success I'm searching for. But it's important to remember that God always rewards those who are faithful. And even though "happyness" is delayed for a while it will come and will be sweet in the end. Perhaps even sweeter because it was delayed for a while. But I think of the character I've gained in the meantime...Could that be the purpose?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Check out my page on!

I have a recently revamped page on, which I'm really excited about! My new topic is Kansas-City-Inspirational-Womens-Examiner I love any writing dedicated to women who inspire, overcome hardships, and work to help others in need. Take a look at my page and show some support!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Fashion Conscious Monkey!

My husband and I recently visited the Kansas City Zoo, which we absolutely love to do! What can I say, we love animals. This little guy was attracted to my purse for some reason. Everytime I put that bright pink bag down he'd follow it! It was hilarious! Somebody has a great sense of fashion! I'm entering this in a photo contest...


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beautiful Thailand Parrot Flower

Things like this remind me of how unaccidental we all are; and this includes animals and creatures of all kinds. God is super creative! : )

Monday, July 13, 2009

Michael Jackson...

I want to start by saying that I was saddened to hear Michael Jackson died. With that I also want to say that I was also conflicted with my emotions. After wondering about his soul I also wondered how people would speak of him now. Would they focus on his career, obvious talent, or the controversy that followed him most of his life? How will this “idol” be remembered?

I have to admit that I stopped listening to Michael’s music after all the pedophile charges. I occasionally listened, watched a video or two on youtube, and would sing along to one of his tunes on the radio but I always felt conflicted about it. I felt a hesitancy or perhaps guilt because of the child molestation accusations against him. I felt like I was somehow supporting him if I listened to his music. As a passionate lover of children I am always infuriated when I hear of any situation where a child is harmed in any way. A holy anger arises within me. And so because of this I laughed at Michael like the rest of the world.

After hearing of Michael’s passing I tried to figure out how to process it. It was hard not to think about it when he was on every television channel I turned to and all the streets of South Florida where I was vacationing played his music. A man had died after all and not just any man but an innovator, someone who changed the style of music and in some ways created a genre. He was one who although obviously troubled did do many positive things and through his music highlighted social issues such as poverty, racism, and homelessness. But I’ll tell you what broke me. It was the repetitive images of Michael as a five-year-old boy singing his heart out. One look at that and I was reduced to tears.

Whatever you believe about Michael Jackson I think we can all say that we lost someone who was unique. Michael was also a little boy in a man’s body. This observation by many who briefly encountered or personally knew him shed a different light on this man for me. It made me wonder about him and all the allegations against him. I decided I would watch the famous interview with him in 2003 where he discussed sleeping with little boys and the abuse he received from his father. As I watched this video I realized that Michael was a very fragmented man. I decided to try to look at the circumstances through his eyes and I came up with the conclusion that we may have dealt with a grown man who felt he had to create a fantasy world for himself because he felt lonely and misunderstood. With that said I believe that because Michael saw himself as a child and because of this he didn’t see anything wrong with him sharing a bed with other children. Perhaps in some way he felt like he was one of them. You may disagree with me and that is fine.

I will say that our world doesn’t cater to the needs and hurts of the broken famous or not. It nearly teaches us to survive. I think that Michael Jackson felt a compassion for the hurting because he looked at them through the filters of his own pain. Something I believe MJ taught us is to dare to be a voice for the voiceless and forgotten. I think that he often lifted himself high to feel a sense of importance. Did he have pride? I’m sure he did. But from my experience those who speak too highly of themselves are often the most insecure of all.

I watched the memorial service for him and was touched by the music and words. But I couldn’t help but think that no one in that room really knew Michael. Even Brooke Shields whose words were perhaps the most honest, real, and heartfelt out of everyone seemed to be somehow dated. Her memories of Michael all seemed to be from the late 80s and early 90s. I don’t believe that she was in contact with Michael in his later years. I don’t think I would be too far from the truth if I said that Michael Jackson died a lonely and broken man. All the money and fame never brought him healing or restitution.

We live in a world where idols are lifted high and later broken down. The media lifts these public figures up to unreachable places and later laugh when they fall. In reality we were never meant to be famous. Man was never created for worship. That’s God’s place. At the end of the day we are all merely people. God is no respecter of person’s so to Him Michael Jackson wasn’t exceptionally special. He was merely another one of his children gone astray. A prodigal son if you will. Michael Jackson stood before God like the rest of us will and had to give an account for his life. I hope that he made peace with God and himself.


Monday, June 8, 2009

A Wish on a Dandelion

Since I was a little girl I have always loved picking dandelions out of the ground and putting them in my hair. I think dandelions are pretty. Sure, they kill grass and they can make a mess on your lawn but there is something sweet about them.

I have good and bad memories of dandelions. I remember blowing on them as a little girl and thinking of peace, joy and laughter. But I also remember being told to wish scary things. So when I look at a dandelion I have bittersweet memories.

Today I picked up a dandelion and I made a wish for my future. I wished for hope.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Forgiveness can be a hard pill to swallow

By now the world has heard of the first ever face transplant woman whom in 2004 was shot in the face by her own husband. For years Sherry Blank lived with a terribly disfigured face often scaring children on the streets and labeled a “monster” by strangers. This year she was introduced to the media as the first ever face transplant patient woman.

Blank has spoken about the traumatic day she was shot on several interviews and press conferences with unusual optimism. In a recent interview as she described the trauma she has experienced since the day of her shooting Blank shared something that has shocked many. She forgives and still loves her husband.

Now, she’s using her experience to inspire people to not only forgive but to use a traumatic, life changing experience to motivate and to challenge people not to judge others by face value.

How could she forgive the man who has scarred her for life? How could anyone forgive someone who caused them physical or emotional harm?

Darell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott who was shot and killed in the Columbine tragedy had a choice to make after losing his daughter and watching his son suffer the trauma of surviving. It was an essay titled, “My Ethics, My Codes of Life” about kindness and forgiveness written by Rachel a year prior to her death that caused Scott and his family to forgive the shooters. He is now leading thousands of youth and even adults by his example of extending kindness and mercy to others.

In several interviews throughout his career Tyler Perry, has spoken about the importance of forgiveness. Famous for writing, directing and acting in films that star Madea a feisty grandmother with a whole lot to say. Perry has often credited the start of his success to the time he decided to forgive his father for the physical abuse he inflicted on him throughout his childhood. Perry has appeared and shared his story of forgiveness on shows like “CNN,” “Dr. Phil” and “The View.”

I once heard a minister describe forgiveness like playing with a Yo-Yo. When after you have forgiven you feel the emotions return you extend the Yo-Yo (forgiveness) another time? Sometimes you may have to forgive a person multiple times. Forgiveness can be hard especially when you feel you have not received justice for the harm done to you but in forgiving you are setting yourself free of the emotional burden. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smedes

Friday, May 15, 2009

Suspended for Dancing? The Art of Christian Legalism

It’s not every day that you hear about a student suspended for wanting to go to a prom but that’s exactly what happened to Tyler Frost from Heritage Christian School in northwest Ohio. Apparently, Frost wanted to go to his girlfriend’s prom and was threatened by his school with suspension. The school has a rule about dancing, rock music, and even hand holding on or off campus.

When I came across this story online my heart went out to this poor kid. You see I went to a private Christian college in Nyack, NY where we weren’t allowed to dance either. We were asked to sign a contract where we were forbidden to dance on or outside of school premises. Being young to the faith and wanting to stay at my school I signed. I remember a girl who had to give up her beloved ballet classes because of the rule.

Keeping young Christians from all that is secular is like forbidding a lion from entering a forest. Animals and people have to experience life and trying to keep them in some bubble will only create frustration. This is called legalism and legalism will only create rebellion in the end.

I thought not being allowed to dance was a big joke since I grew up in a family of dancers. My mother is Cuban and we were raised with Salsa, Merengue and a whole lot of Gloria Estefan. Our holidays never had a dull moment. And when Hispanics have parties we’ll start at 3 p.m. and end at 3 a.m. The motto for my college was “social dancing equals babies” which always made me laugh. I remember the look of horror on a friend when I told her that I broke the rule and went to my sister’s “Autumn Soray.” She looked at me like I had committed the unpardonable sin.

In John 2: 1-11, Jesus went to a wedding at Cana in Galilee where he performed his first miracle. Jesus went to a wedding and I highly doubt that he sat in the corner watching everyone laughing and dancing. I bet you Jesus enjoyed himself and may have even had a dance with the bride herself.

One thing we all know from history is that unreasonable rules will always be broken. When people feel forced to comply with absurd rules and regulations they will rebel against them. This is why it is widely known that the first kids in the church to stumble are often the pastor’s kids. We are susceptible to trouble in one way or another but keeping people in a bubble won’t make them compliable.

So my words to Tyler Frost good for you for determining to go to your girlfriend’s prom! Enjoy yourself. These are the best years of your life. And shame on Christian institutions that think that holiness means you can’t wear any makeup or have to walk on the opposite side of the street of the opposite sex or that you can only listen to Praise and Worship music to be holy. Hopefully the Christian legalists will one day learn that having a little fun and dancing won’t send you straight to hell. Now, I’m going to listen to some “Nightwish.” I love their version of “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Eagles Soar...and Sometimes Crash

A few nights ago I was getting ready for bed when my dog was acting funny. "What Basco?" I said to him. I followed him out of the bedroom trying to figure out what this anxious animal was trying to tell me. Then he led me to my "office" where my computer is. He opened the door with his nose and settled down on the floor beside my desk. Well, I turned my computer on wondering if there was something I should look at. Okay, you may think I'm crazy but remember the post below this one. I'm always open to signs, okay? I never overlook things that could lead me to an answer especially when I'm seeking them. Well, I go to to check my e-mail when I come across a very unusual story.

According to a news story on a golden eagle crashed into the windshield of a tractor-trailor in Nevada. While the two drivers, one dosing off on the passenger seat, drove on U.S. Interstate 80 an eagle crashed into the windshield landing on the floor. The men, including the officer who arrived at the scene were so taken aback by the unusual situation that they waited for a specialist from a nearby Wildlife Center to care for the bird who had a swollen head. The eagle was apparently "feisty" and upset for his unexpected fall and crash. The owner of the trucking company was quoted as saying, "Never in trucking history." : )

I thought this story was amusing. Here are these two tough guys driving their tractor-trailor when out of nowwhere they're startled by none other than a big beautiful eagle who literally crashes into them. As they went about their business on an ordinary day the last thing they expected was this beautiful endangered bird, that you have to travel to Alaska to get a really great shot of to suddenly end up in their truck. How hysterical!

The reason why I was touched by this story is that I have always loved eagles. My life verse is actually Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." This passage has been a source of hope and encouragement to me for years. And just recently as I have encountered some difficult situations in my life I have revisited this verse and its meaning. It never seizes to renew hope in me.

Reading this story brought a smile upon my face. It was sort of a "wink" for me. After reading it and e-mailing it to myself I went back to my bedroom where I settled quietly to bed and Basco lay contently on the floor beside me. Now, how's that for a sign! : )

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Believe in Signs

“During times of great uncertainty, coincidences are signs of comfort and personal reassurance.”
-Squire Rushnell, “When God Winks”

I believe in signs. I believe that sometimes God uses signs or coincidences in our lives to get our attention. The quote above is from a book written by author Squire Rushnell, called “When God Winks.” The book holds stories of coincidences in ordinary lives as well as in the lives of celebrities. The author explains coincidences as a wink from God meant to encourage and guide. I believe that there are times when God will go the extra mile to get an important message across to us. In a loud world God will use silent clues to communicate with us.

Hollywood has played with this notion as well. In the 1997 movie, “Fools Rush In” starring Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry, Hayek’s character believes in signs. Perry’s character is skeptical until he begins to see signs after she has left him. As he walks down the street searching for Isabel he hears a priest say, “There are signs everywhere.” After this he encounters a series of events that make him a believer in signs. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the ring of the bell signifies Clarence getting his wings. In “Patch Adams” the butterflies represent the woman whom Patch Adams loved who passed away. Signs are everywhere if we choose to pay attention.

For instance, when I was graduating from college and making major decisions about my future I called a friend whom mentioned to me a school in Virgina Beach that I was already doing some research on. I remembered her telling me about this school years ago and it seemed to have the programs I was looking for. Well, I continued to play with this idea as I began to see more and more about Virginia. I ran into a girl who I hadn’t seen in a long time and she happened to be wearing a shirt that said Virginia Beach on it. More “signs” continued to play out in my life as I decided to apply to the school. I was accepted and low and behold I met my husband who happened to have parallel dreams as me. How’s that for direction.

These sorts of things happen all of the time in my life. Like a friend that I had in college that was from Queens like me, whose mother’s name was also Elsa, who was also very petite and who had scoliosis like me. Another coincidence in my life was when I took a magazine writing class in college, which was taught by a woman who looked just like my 5th grade teacher who inspired me to write. On a class trip we went to Manhattan to see a scriptwriter by the name Linda Seger, my maiden name was Seijas. I ended up concentrating in script/scriptwriting in grad school.

Before I met my husband it seemed that every man that I came in contact his name started with the letter “J.” I told my sister that I was going to marry a man whose name began with “J.” I kept meeting these “J” guys so often that I called it the “J factor.” Low and behold after entering school in Virgina I met a man by the name of Joshua. We got married in 2006. God has a funny way of directing our path.

I like a quote I heard on the show, “Touched by an Angel,” that said, “A coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous." The next time you see a coincidence or a series of signs in your life don’t just write them off. Play close attention because God may be trying to tell you something. Don't miss out on your wink. WINK.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Healing Power of Words

On Sunday, February 15, 2009, a day after Valentine's Day Miep Gies, the last living survivor, one of Anne Frank's "helpers" when she and her family were in hiding turned 100 years old. This extraordinary woman, who helped provide food and books for the Frank family as they hid celebrated her special day with her son and three grandchildren.

Though Miep humbly denies making a great difference it was she whom gathered up Anne's scattered papers and notebooks after the "hiding place" was raided in 1944. She hid the writings in a desk drawer for safe keeping until Anne's return. After Anne's death Miep gave the collection to Anne's father Otto, who published it in 1947. It became "The Diary of Anne Frank."

These seemingly simple pages written by a young girl survived beyond the horrors of the holocaust becoming a best seller, selling millions of copies and inspiring millions of people. Though her words did not erase the evil actions of the Nazis it did encourage those who survived. Thanks to the courage of one woman a young girl's journal by the name "Kitty" became a light in the midst of a devastating time. Years later Miep protected Anne's writings by defending its validity from those who accused it of forgery. She also answered letters sent from around the world from those who were inspired by Anne's writings.

I remember reading "The Diary of Anne Frank" in high school not wanting to put the book down. Though the writings originated from the hands of a girl who barely reached puberty and never saw womanhood there is wisdom, and an innocence and beauty about it. I remember wishing that my journals would one day be read by someone and I often wrote entries with an invisible audience in mind. I must admit that I still do this at times.

It's amazing what words can do. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, that "the tongue holds the power of life and death." Anne's words were a source of hope and healing for many. I recently came across a quote from the film, "Schindler's List," which I found parallel to this notion. "There will be generations because of what you did." Hitler birthed death with his words Anne sowed life with her journals. Our words and actions breed destinies. What kind of legacy are you leaving behind with your words? May the words you speak or write inspire hope like Anne's in a dark and scary world. This is a prayer for me as well.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Words Spoken to a King are a Legacy

She stood up before hundreds and spoke up. A townhall meeting filled with countless people, a planned event for question and answer became the opportunity for one woman to speak to the most important leader in the nation. She simply asked, “Please, help”

In a moment in time Henrietta Hughes, a 60 year-old woman from Fort Myers, Florida became the “face of the financial crisis” after boldly asking the president to help her and her son who found themselves homeless and living in their car. She asked him for a kitchen and a bathroom. The president planted a kiss on her cheek while onlookers gasped and the paparazzi competitively rushed to take the first pictures of this eventful display. In a moment this simple woman became famous and her name and face the topic for countless news services and websites.

Henrietta, a simple, homeless woman stood boldly, in a broken state before a “king” and made a petition. Many questioned her appearance. Was she picked to be there? Was this a planned display to add to the president’s already high approval rates? How did she get to the front of the line anyway? Was it pure determination or was it was it all a con?

I found Henrietta's actions to be parallel to that of many heroic women mentioned in the Bible. From the woman who poured her expensive perfume on Jesus and wiped the tears she wept on him with her hair, to Esther making her request before the king and his men, to the crippled woman who didn’t speak but simply touched the robe of Jesus.

Henrietta Hughes will be remembered in history for her simple boldness. There is currently a website, ( created in Henrietta's honor to highlight the circumstances that many others like her are suffering because of the weary economy. This simple woman will be forever remembered simply for speaking. When was the last time your bold actions earned you recognition before man? Something to think about and perhaps aim for…

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Potential of Life

Do you remember this intense commercial from Super-bowl night? Think back to all the commercials you saw that night. Those who got a glimpse of that random pornographic image you're in on this too. Give up? Don't worry you don't have to scratch your head anymore. This add was not included in the many commercial adds to help fund the eventful Super Bowl night. It was actually plugged by NBC. Why exactly did NBC ban this video from being played? Is it because it uses the image of our new president or because it depicts the importance and potential of a life in the womb?

I don't consider myself a political commentator, although I like to give my opinion here and there on hot topics. But this is something that is dear to my heart and I just couldn't keep my mouth shut or my fingers down. I am one of those people who believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live. It's just my opinion and billions of others. But I have a problem with the notion that because I hold to this belief I am instantly against the freedom of choice.

Pause. I will not get into a debate about "pro-life" and "pro-choice" although you already know where I stand. But I do have some questions that kind of nag at me. We are a nation that is divided about war. Many have made themselves vocal about the fact that we should never have begun a war in the first place. I personally am one that wasn't against the start of war but I'm not a fan of the longevity of it or our seeming lack of success. But I have to wonder why the same people who complain about the death of thousands of innocent soldiers and civilians are the very same people who would not think twice about having or encouraging an abortion.

I think the object of this video is to portray the potential that every life has to become something special. That whether or not it is fully human when inside the womb (this is debatable) it could have been something. So my question to those who oppose war but would check off "pro-choice" (as they like to call it) is, "When does life really count?" When did we begin to reserve the right to decide someone else's fate when many believe life was given to them by a superior being. How does one decide whether one child should live or another should simply be confiscated before it ever has the chance to breath its first breath. I don't know about you, but now I'm scratching my head....


Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Extinction of Barbie

"Our culture, a culture that takes children and makes them grow up too fast, is also to blame. Tweens are bombarded with images of hip and cool--with adult-like images of themselves in movies and on television, and in popular music. Tweens, instead of wanting to be children, want to grow up immediately into little adults. They wear revealing clothing (short, midriff blouses and low rider pants) and makeup, they see PG-13 and R movies, and they listen to edgy music--and, for the most part, their parents let them! Naturally, they no longer see themselves as playing with dolls."

I came across the quote above in an online article titled, "Why do Girls Outgrow Barbie Dolls At Such a Young Age?" and I immediately said, "Exactly." You see after working with children for more than ten years I have personally observed the fact that our little girls are putting Barbie on the shelf a lot faster than my generation. I remember playing Barbies with my sister when we were both 13 years-old, the same year I got my first period mind you. Here we were in junior high school playing Barbie dolls. Today, the thought of playing with a Barbie doll past the age of 8 is unheard of in our society. Why do our little girls feel the need to put away their childhood? What's causing them to want to grow up so quickly? I think that our culture and the lack of positive role models are to blame.

It saddens me that in our culture being childlike is often associated with being dumb or "frail." I believe that this extends to women's femininity. We so often dissuade women from expressing their feminine side as if being a woman or being “girly” is a sign of weakness. I treasure movies like “Legally Blonde” where Elle succeeds while wearing stilettos and a neon pink dress. Why not? Who told our little girls to put down their Barbie doll? Who told them they shouldn’t wear their tutus anymore or have sleepovers? Maybe we’ll decrease the pregnancy rates if we’ll just allow our little girls to hold on to their femininity and purity a little longer. Why are we teaching our young women that to be strong and to succeed in this world they have to shun what naturally makes them who they are? If you are a woman, be proud! And if you want to buy a pretty Barbie doll go ahead! You'll make Mattel happy and you'll also remind yourself that there's nothing wrong with staying in touch with that inner child. Heck, I still own my Barbie dolls!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do What???

Okay, first of all I want to say that I really do love the South. I love the Southern hospitality, the trees, the "The Cracker Barrel," the sweet little Southern lady who calls me "Honey" everytime I stop at the gas station. I love all of it, I really do! But there's one thing that really irks me about the "dialect" so to speak in the South. It's the question I have heard countless times and sometimes unnecesarilly in my opinion. "Do what?"

What does that mean anyway? Where I come from, Queens, NY we said things like, "Excuse me?" or "Pardon?" or "I'm sorry, what?" and "What was that?" when you didn't hear something someone said. You know the normal responses. But here in TN and other Southern states I'm learning "Do what" seems to be the typical response when someone wants you to repeat something you've said. I don't know what annoys me more, the question or the deep Southern sometimes unrecognizable to my Big City ears accent that comes with the response.

As much as I love TN, I'm literally lost in translation at times. Like I said before, I love the Southern hospitality but there are days I find myself missing the push and shove, the bluntness, the accent and the overall culture of the "Big City." I guess as much as my ears sting at the sound of that "phrase" I will have to put up with it. But something that I've declared to all who surround me here in the little world of hills, biscuits, honky tonk, and country ham festivals is that I will never say "Do what?" or my other "favorite" phrases, "Doggone" and "Y'all." My Southern-bred husband will second that.

Now, I hope I've made myself clear. So don't you dare ask me that question!

Mrs. H ; )

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Love My Backspace Button!

One of the reasons I love to write other than the fact that it is therapeutic and fun is that sometimes it is easier than talking. I find sometimes that the realtime verbal use can be overrated. You see in real conversation you can make all kinds of mistakes like saying something really stupid or making faces in a conversation (I'm guilty of this) you'll regret later. But these issues rarely arise when writing. No one sees you when you write and you can delete as many things as you want and get rid of all that extra stuff before anyone sees it. This is why I've come to love my backspace/delete button.

I'm one of those people who takes 20 minutes to write a paragraph long e-mail. E-mails don't have to be grammatically correct you may say. But as a former college English major these things matter to me okay? I'm not swimming in debt for nothing! (Whatever) Plus, I like all that I write to make sense, which is why my e-mails are throughly proofread before I send them out. (Did I mention I'm also OCD? That's another story I may or may not get to) ; )

Anyway, blogs are included in the tweaking process. And even after I've finished a blog I will come back time and time again and change, eliminate, or add words and necessary corrections. Don't worry this blog entry will not be neglected.

Why am I so meticulous? Because I care about what I put out and simply because I can. So if you see anything here that's misspelled let me know so I can DELETE. It's only a click away!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Weekend Spent in a Palace

I slept in a princess’ room last Friday night on January 16th. The room was filled with books that spoke of fairytales and dreams. The pillows on the bed were covered with wild flowers and dandelions while Princess Belle smiled at me with her big brown eyes glistening as she sat on a shelf against the wall. I thanked Princess Kinsley for allowing me the honor of sleeping in her palace.

Princess Kinsley is the daughter of a dear friend of mine who hosted a very fun ladies night for our closest friends. She made me feel welcomed as she brushed and made knots with my hair. I'm not one of those who dislikes having her hair brushed and done so I enjoyed the combing, brushing, and sometimes pulling. : ) I felt pampered and comfortable. The ladies and I danced, ate pizza, played games and watched chick flicks until 2 a.m. It was the ultimate ladies night. And God knows I needed it!

After weeks of non-stop work and exhaustion I took some time out and enjoyed myself. The busy part of my head hesitated but I’m glad I listened to the voice that said, “Have fun and don’t think about the list of to-dos you created for this weekend.” In the end I was glad I listened to the other voice because I had one of the best weekends in a while. Yea for girlfriends! And yea for fairytales and princesses that remind me of who I once was before I became a “busy” grownup.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Starbucks: A Place for Inspiration (I wonder what the guy behind me is reading?)

Anytime I want to get out of the house and clear my mind Starbucks is the place to go. I don’t know what it is about this coffee brewing environment that provides such adrenaline for my imagination. Is it the artsy setting? Or could it be the odor of the coffee beans as they’re being fragmented and ground for the next expectant patron? As I sat one day taking a sip of my favorite White Chocolate Mocha I realized that Starbucks isn’t just a place to drink coffee it’s a place to get away. It’s a hangout for friends and family, a place to escape to on a weekday after a long day of work, but I found that for me Starbucks is foremost a place for inspiration.

I remember as I sat drinking my coffee one night notebook in hand a man entered the coffee shop with his daughter. I noticed that he dragged a small suitcase with wheels, which I like to call the roley poleys. Immediately my mind began to work as I created a story. What if he and his daughter were going away on a trip because he just separated from his wife and is now a single dad? What if after being laid off from work he had no other refuge than to visit his very favorite coffee shop and he brought his daughter along for distraction. What if...well, you get the picture.

As I took notes for possible story ideas I smiled to myself. This is why I go to Starbucks. Not only to have a tall cup of my favorite coffee. I go to Starbucks to dream, brainstorm and to exercise my creativity. And my inspiration is not only the setting but also the people who like me are there to dream, talk, relax and escape. Thanks to them I’ve now created a new blog.

Hey, maybe Starbucks will give me some Royalties or a free drink for this Advertisement I mean, blog. (wink wink) : )

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Evangelize Me

This poem is for all those who have been wounded by the love-less evangelists of our day:
Evangelize me
I am only a number
Befriend me
And tell me you love me
And then boast to your listeners
Of how you got me
Rebuke me for my weaknesses
And cover your hypocrisy
With spiritually coated words
Speak to me of that higher power
As you break your vows with another
Then I’ll pose a question to you
“Tell me Saint,
What makes us so different?”

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why of all things did I have to inherit this?

As a child I laughed at my mother for always carrying around shopping bags.  Whether we were taking a walk to the convenience store or to the local park she always had a bag in her hand.  When we shopped at department stores like JCPenney, Macy’s or KB Toy Store my mom would always ask for the largest bag at the register.  Even if all we purchased was a pencil she needed her shopping bag.  It was a sight to see a woman standing at barely 4’11” carrying bags that at times she dragged across the floor.  My sister and I would shake our heads and giggle.  I’ll never be like that I said.

            One day my husband of two years and I were cleaning our house when he asks me a question that catches me completely off guard.  “Why do you leave so many bags lying around the house?”  “What are you talking about?” I said. “All these bags everywhere.  What do you have in them anyway?” “Stuff that I need,” I said.  “Well, maybe you can empty some of them out and put everything in one bag,” he said.  “Okay, I will,” I muttered.  There that fixes that.  Or so I think... 

Recently out of the blue my boss asks me if I want to leave my “bags” in her office. As I'm laying my things neatly on the floor beside her chair  she turns to me and asks“What do you carry in those bags every day anyway?” “I, uh (sigh).” I uttered the words I never thought I’d hear come out of my mouth.  “I guess I’m a bag lady…just like my mother.  Not the homeless kind though…” I said nervously.  She laughed and walked away as I slumped my shoulders over. 

Okay, so I’ve become the kind of person who carries the “just in case stuff,” you know the napkins left over from a meal at a restaurant (That’s another story we won’t get into now).  I carry a notebook for inspirational purposes, a light snack for when I get hungry during the day, and other necessary items.  Okay sometimes I leave junk from a week ago that I no longer need in my bags.  I’m a clutter bug as my husband likes to call me.

            I guess whether we like it or not we always end up inheriting something from our parents even if it’s something as neurotic as carrying a shopping bag to the local coffee shop.  So, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am now heading the new generation of bag ladies in my family.  She inherited it from her mother and now it’s passed down the line to me.  Well, I’ll carry my bags proudly! 

So  the next time someone asks me why I carry so many bags I’ll say to them, “Because I never know what I’ll need.”  I can almost see my mother nodding with an “I told you so” look on her face.