Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Rendezvous Among Friends

Yesterday was a perfect day.  The daffodils waved and bowed in the breeze in homage to the sun; the sky shimmered a deep shade of blue; and I met two friends who were both old and new.

Bea (Wanderer) was one of the first people to welcome me to J-land when I began this journal in September 2006.  She left me such encouraging comments that I was immediately drawn to her personailty.  Bea is as sunny as any daffodil I've ever seen.  Upon visiting her journal, it was confirmed that she is indeed a woman of heart, mind, and soul. I met Caroline (A New Adventure) through Bea.  Thoughtful, warm, and with a delightful sense of humor, I quickly added her journal to my alerts.

Both of these women are dedicated teachers and I think that the entire crisis in public education could be resolved if we could clone them.  Their faces light up when they talk about their classrooms.  Their students are so fortunate to have such intelligent, caring, and highly skilled teachers.

I was delayed by traffic on I-40 and called Bea from the road to tell her that I was running late.  Bea said that she and Caroline were further out than I was.  I decided to to take a roundabout route to the restaurant so as to take a nostalgic look at the apartment building that I lived in for fourteen years in Chapel Hill, NC.  Of course, they arrived at the restaurant before I did!  Bea had told me that she would be wearing purple and black.  When I entered the restaurant, I noticed a petite woman wearing a lovely purple shawl and a stylish black plants outfit but I couldn't see her face.  Thinking that I had arrived first, I waited.  But when she turned and I saw the friendly face, the bright smiling eyes, I knew that it had to be Bea. Then I noticed Caroline beaming beside her and I knew that I had found my party!  Bea and Caroline and I exchanged hugs all around and then we were seated.

I had suggested that we have lunch at Mama Dips, a Chapel Hill, NC restaurant known for down home southern cooking. I had sent Caroline and Bea a review of the restaurant that included pictures of some of the food.  Naturally, we wanted our own pictures of the food, and Caroline whipped out her camera and did the honors.  Check out her journal for pictures of our delicious luncheon dishes. I've borrowed my favorite to post here; the three of us sharing a dessert of peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream.

We chatted nonstop for nearly three hours about everything and nothing, on topics ranging from the serious to the silly.  We laughed a lot and even giggled.  We further commemorated the visit with pictures taken outside next to the restaurant sign. 

Thank you and hugs to my friends Bea and Caroline for a wonderful afternoon.  I look forward to a future rendezvous!

P. S. Thanks to everyone who responded to my previous post about the poetry contest.  A lot of people have asked if it's okay to vote more than once.  Yes, but you may only vote once a day.  So if you vote on Monday, you can't vote again until Tuesday.  Please  vote as many times as the site will allow you to do so.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Greed, pure greed

This is a sorry excuse for a journal entry.  It's a repeat of an email that I sent out to family and friends.  I promise to write a proper entry soon about my lovely lunch with Bea and Caroline, but I have more pressing things on my brain at the moment.
I need your help. I need you to help me win a prize of $1,000. Here's the deal, there is a monthly prize of $1,000 and a daily prize of an ipod.  I don't care about the ipod, but I'd love to win the $1,000 March prize.  All you have to do is follow the link and rate my poem. 
I didn't select which poem to feature.  The poem is one that was published in an anthology released via and it selected that poem to be in this rather silly competition.  The link will take you to my poem and I expect you to give it a rating of 10. (Pretty please! It doesn't matter whether you like the poem or not, this is for the money.) Oh, and please send the link to other people that you know and tell them to rate my poem (highly). I really want the $1,000.
Friends, Family, CoWorkers, and Associates please 'Rate My Poem' by going here:
Thank you,
P.S. No, I do not plan to share the prize but I will think of each of you very fondly if I win.  No, this is not a scam. runs this contest every year and I've never bothered to beg people to rate my poem before.  I usually forget to do so until it is too late to possibly win!  No, it's not really about the quality of the poetry; it's about who has the most thoughtful, caring, helpful friends that are willing to go to the website and rate the poem over and over again.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hearts, Cupid, and Nonsense

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In six minutes it will be Valentine's Day.  Ever wonder why there is no Valentine's Day Eve?  There' s Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, All Hallows Eve, why not an official declaration that February 13 is Valentine's Day Eve?  It could be set aside for all of the folks that don't have a true love.  We could get together, imbibe heartily and bemoan our single state.  Hallmark could design special Valentine's Day Eve cards with a sad looking cupid on the front clutching a broken heart.  I think that this idea has real potential as a money maker or perhaps it's just that it's midnight and I need sleep.

I read this article that suggested that you send yourself flowers if you don't have a valentine.  According to the author, you can perk yourself up by sending yourself a dozen roses at your office and smiling coyly when everyone asks you who sent them.  Have you priced a dozen roses lately?  Seems to me that for far less money you could send yourself a nice box of chocolate truffles.  You can't eat roses but a pound of fine chocolates will certainly take some of the sting out of not having a valentine.

On my way home from work today, I listened to the Michael Basden Show on the radio.  He invited single women to call in and tell the listening audience why they are happily single.  I was impressed by one caller who read a lovely poem entitled, "I Cleaned the Trash Out of My Life," dedicated to her ex. I think that the title was a metaphor. All of the callers read poems that they had written.  Evidently, women without men are very creative.

AOL Personals is running a series called Countdown to Love.  Tonight's topic is "Learn to be Focused."  I think that this is different from stalking. I've been focused on Denzel Washington for years but my sister says that even if I could find out his address that lurking outside his door is not a good idea.  According to the tips, in order to find love, one should get out more, tell your friends that you're looking for love, and engage in positive thinking.  So here goes, tomorrow I'm going to hang out somewhere all evening, you're all on notice that I'm looking, and I positively believe that Denzel Washington is just waiting for me to find out where he lives!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I'm Alive and Well

I have been back at work full time for two weeks.  I was on sabbatical for nearly six months.  I have discovered some interesting things about myself.  (Maybe not interesting to anyone else but I'm fascinated.)

I was born to be a lady of leisure.  Clearly there was some mix-up at birth and I was intended for a wealthy family.  I have wealthy family sensibilities.  If there is a wealthy family out there missing an adult child, contact me.

I like my job, but I like having my days to do exactly as I please better.  My mother has always said that she can't understand how anyone can do nothing all day.  She's a very busy lady even though she's retired.  Five days a week, she's up and at the mall before 8:00 am to walk three miles with her walking group.  She maintains a lovely flower garden, grows beautiful roses in her own yard, and is a member of the Wilson Rose Society which necessitates that she take care of her assigned rose bushes in the beautiful rose garden located at the Wilson Public Library.  In addition, she is always cleaning something. 

I call my little respite a sabbatical but the truth is that my employer of nearly six years and I had a disagreement about the direction that my job was taking.  I would tell you all about it but in exchange for a separation settlement, I agreed not to discuss the details.  It's killing me to keep my big mouth shut but the financial remuneration allowed me to pretend that I was a lady of leisure for six months.

Just in case my mother reads this someday, I did not simply sit around all day for six months.  I made some rules--no daytime television viewing.  Okay, that's only one rule, but it's a big one.  In six months, I only watched part of one Jerry Springer show and that was my brother-in-law's fault.  He called and insisted that I turn on the television.  I don't recall the exact topic that day but I feel pretty certain that it involved bizarre sexual interactions, some partial nudity, crazed family members, and Rusty having to restrain someone.

Instead of watching trash television, I began this journal and began writing a book.  I also learned a bit about using HTML code and created a web page for my poetry.  I've discovered that I do have the discipline to write a book.  It's not finished but it will be by the end of this year.  I'm a rather slow writer and I constantly revise.  The book is a memoir about growing up black and southern, partly humorous and partly serious.

I've also discovered that it is a lot easier to write when you have endless time on your hands.  I've had to work on being much more disciplined about setting aside writing time now that I am employed full time.  I suggested to a good friend of mine that he could support me while I was finishing my book.  He laughed at me.  I think that he doesn't see the merit of my suggestion.  So for now, I'll continue working until my real family (the wealthy one) discovers that I am alive and well in Raleigh, North Carolina.