Thursday, December 13, 2012

Women of a Certain Age



 
I recently celebrated a birthday and I find myself constantly thinking back to my younger years. Of those years the only words that I can use to describe myself are bold, adventurous and brave. Funny enough, it is those times that I prayed the most for boldness! As I get older, I have become more mild and calculated in my decisions.
 
I had the occasion to visit with a fairly new friend. We laughed and squealed with glee as we talked about our undergraduate years.  We bonded over our desires to make a mark on this world. We also bonded over our desire to create a household conducive to having an orderly family life. Though she was a few years my junior, I listened to her concerns and marveled at how similar our plight were. I realized that we were women of a certain age. Our priorities had shifted with time. We were shells of our former naïve selves, and even though we relished our youthful times, we did not mind the grace and dignity that time and age had afforded us. You can recognize women of a certain age because they are endowed with the wisdom to appreciate their past (the good and the bad). Women of a certain age have the ability to look back at their experiences and realize that more experiences and lessons will come.
 
As I left the gathering, I realized that though at times I lament the passing of my youth,  I continue to hold on to the opportunities that being a woman of a certain age has afforded me! To all Divas and Divos of “a certain age” out there, relish and treasure your time. Live and be in the moment!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Jamhuri Day!



Today, my beloved Kenya celebrates
Jamhuri day. December 12 marks Kenya's independence from Great Britain in 1963. Kenya has had 49 years of independence! This tough journey is being celebrated and commemorated by various agencies worldwide.


Check out Google’s tributeà



Also check out Jackstone Ambuka's



Though I am not there, I am celebrating my roots and humble beginning by honoring those who fought for me to be able to live and travel freely.



Today, I celebrate frrreeeeeedooooom!(in my Braveheart voice).

I wish everyone in Kenya and abroad a happy Jamhuri day!

In true Kenyan fashion, I celebrate and toast this occasion while sipping a cup of piping hot Kenyan tea!

I leave you with the Kenyan national anthem.

 
 
 
                Happy Jamhuri day!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On Singleness


Here is another honest and insightful guest post by the Sophisticated Socialite on the subject of being single. I hope that this raw and interesting entry speaks to the heart of my single readers. It is simply not enough to be a “Diva or Divo in waiting”, live, love and make memories even as a single person. - PD
On Singleness
A guest post by The Sophisticated Socialite

Being single has its perks and its not so perky moments. I, like everyone else would love to meet the right person and start a new chapter in my life. What I have learned in my extended time of singlehood is that good things take time. So what’s the rush? Well, there’s peer pressure, family pressure and we can’t forget about the ever so faithful media pressure. All these things combined can be draining every now and then on single Divas and Divos.

Personally, the message I get from all these mediums of pressure is that my life will become complete once I have found the “one”. Though this is a very romantic way of looking at life, I have come to think otherwise. In my time as a single woman, I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by many accomplished women, most of whom are members of my family. All of these beautiful, successful women achieved high levels of success and reached their goals before they tied the knot. This brought me to the revelation that being single frees me up to do just that…go after my dreams. For me, being single means the freedom to do, be, live and chase whatever it is that I need to at the moment. I have started to pursue my passion of cooking, taking guitar lessons and even enrolling in martial arts classes. Singleness has afforded me the opportunity to serve God in the way that He intended for me to serve Him…right now.

No worries my Lovies, I do not plan to be the spinster sister with twenty cats. I will patiently wait for my big beginning. You know, the moment in the story of my life when I bump into Mr. Right at the grocery store, a bookstore or while buying my late night coffee fix at Starbucks. I can wait because I will enjoy this time to become more like the person I eventually want to meet. To all the single Divas and Divos waiting for that special one, learn to live and LOVE yourself before you can expect someone else to live with and love you!

XOXO,

The Sophisticated Socialite
 
Are you a Diva or Divo in waiting? What are some of the positive things about being single?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Birthday post!


Yesterday I celebrated another year in this world. It was my birthday and it was epic! I got everything that I wanted and could hope for. I have my health, family and wonderful friends. Hubby surprised me with two dozen roses!

 A friend of mine also gave my hubby and me two tickets to the Symphony. It was nice to be able to dress up from a grownup night on the town. In honor of my birthday, I decided to let loose. I ate ice-cream, pizza, cupcakes and veggie burgers galore! You know what? I only gained one pound (shhh, don’t tell anyone, it was just one day). I also had tons of warm wishes from friends and family alike. It was a great day. I hope this is an indication of the great things to come.  I am truly grateful for another year to hopefully achieve my God given purpose on this earth. To all my December babies, Divas & Divos, happy Birthday! May God bless you with many more years and blissful experiences. As for me, I can’t complain!
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Fence


So I left El Dorado, AR and went to Little Rock for a two day work trip. I was super excited to be reunited with my two friends (husband and wife) who recently moved from El Dorado to Little Rock, AR to pursue their fortunes in a big city. I was also looking forward to spending the night in their swanky new flat (it is nice ya’ll). As we neared their place, she suggested that we park behind her house and slip in through her back yard fence. This would keep us from having to walk really far with our shopping bags, groceries and an active toddler (she is adorable). The plan seemed sensible and being the lazy girl that I am, I quickly agreed (it had been a long day, a story for another blog). As we pulled in to the parking space directly in front of her back yard, I gathered my things and lined them inside the back yard, on the other side of the fence.

The back yard was encased in a wrought iron fence. The fence was much like the one pictured here except with slightly larger spacing.  First, my friend’s husband who is tall and slender slipped effortlessly between the bars to the other side. He then assisted his little girl who is equally as slender. As I handed him the last bag of groceries, I decided to cross to the other side. I cautiously put my foot through the bar. Except….something was not quite right. My thighs felt tight and the more of my torso that I added, the more resistance I met. Undaunted, I decided to try leading with my upper body. I squiggled and squeezed (I felt like I was getting a free mammogram).

Side note, October is breast cancer awareness month, ladies please make sure to do a monthly self exam. It takes less than a minute and it is free. For more information please visit  Susan G.Komen for the Cure


Alas, not even half a boob could go through the fence. Again, I decided to employ a different approach and lead with my entire left side. As I squirmed to get even a couple inches past, I had a vision of a scene from Lord of the Rings. The more I struggled, the more the scene where Gandalf yelled, “You shall not pass! You shall not pass! You shall not pass!” flashed through my mind. I finally decided to give up. My friend gave me an understanding but sympathetic smile. I stood there, wishing the ground would open and swallow me up. I couldn't dare to ask her to help squish me through, but I could not go on trying to squeeze through the fence, looking like Free Willy (you get this reference if you were raised in the 90’s). I simply did not want to try until I got trapped (that is not how I want to be featured on the 5 O’clock news).

Alas, the skinny gods had decided that I was not to pass. I have read novels and watched movies where the skinny girl had a fat friend, but I had never really thought about it in real life. Then it dawned on me, I.was.the.fat.friend! (Ish got real…very fast). As I stood on the other side, looking longingly at the door that was only a couple feet away, I felt a wave of frustration well up inside me. Sensing my discomfort, my friend asked her husband if he would mind walking me around to the main entrance while she took the baby inside. He acquiesced and again effortlessly glided in-between the fence posts back to the outside. His wife picked up the diaper bag and she too squeezed her fit frame through the fence to the other side.

As we walked to the main gate, I felt a sense of sadness. How had this become? How had the junk in my trunk increased exponentially? How was it that I could not even dare to squeeze even one lovely lady lump on to the other side of the fence?

Have you experienced something similar or have you been denied entrance through the "fence" of life? If so, how did you handle it? Feel free to comment.
                                  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Prince, an artist from my teenage years


 After a couple of hours of tossing and turning, I decided to give up on the idea of sleeping and let my mind wander. I started thinking of things that made me happy as a teenager and my first thought was Prince (or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince as they called him back then). I loved Prince, from his high falsetto to his rich deep base, his music moved me. Most 70’s, 80’s and even early 90’s babies can belt out at least one Prince song. 


Either you loved his music, wanted his body or wanted to raid his closet for those tailored suits and heels (that only Prince could carry off, I must admit he knew how to color block). We were mesmerized and fascinated by this sexual, strange yet weird character who marched to the beat of his own drum (or 27 other instruments that he can play). Prince was the only man that declared that he wanted to be my lover. He lamented and recounted the things that he would do if he was my girlfriend. He was passionate enough to declare “I would die for you” and was the only guy that wanted to see me in laughing in the “Purple Rain” (still don’t know what Purple Rain is, but damn, I didn’t care). Prince promised me “Diamonds and Pearls” and even declared that he would give me the world if he could! Ooh, this brother was not only bad but he was smooth! His explicit lyrics and the way he moved and gyrated on the stage made mothers scared for their daughters, literally (Parents Music Resource Center, an organization that advocates mandatory warning labels for explicit lyrical content was formed by Tipper Gore and a group of concerned parents after Mrs. Gore and her young daughter listened to one of Prince’s songs).

VERY BEST OF PRINCE BY PRINCE (CD) (Google Affiliate Ad)

Apart from giving Mrs. Gore a heart attack, Prince was making women’s heart race all across America and Europe. Prince is the only artist that I have known who changed his name to a symbol (with no pronunciation) and the world accepted it as a normal occurrence! It was sometimes comical to hear news reports refer to him as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, The Artist or my favorite the Symbol of Love. I think everyone understood his fight, his struggle and his protest enough to accept the name change. Many of his fans (myself included) expelled a sigh of relief when he finally changed his name back to Prince. 
All these thoughts raced through my mind as I replayed the songs belted out by the petite, strange, complex, introverted off stage and extroverted on stage individual who invaded my bedroom through my radio as a teenager every weekend as I laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling. As in the old days, I slowly closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

I claim Prince as one of my favorite artists back in the day, who was your favorite artist? Feel free to share.


Monday, October 1, 2012

To my husband on his birthday...


Twenty-eight years ago, God started working on my soul mate. He came in to this world to humble God fearing parents who instilled in him courage, strong conviction and love.  This sweet baby boy grabbed the world by its reigns. The world taught him wisdom and tenacity. Life taught him to survive and compassion.  Five years ago, this boy met a girl at a gathering. He said hello and she said hello back and the rest was history. It was a love story twenty –something years in the making. It is a love story that has yet to run its course. Today I celebrate my best friend’s birthday. I celebrate my husband’s grand entrance into this world twenty-eight years ago!
A message to the birthday boy:  Woobie, I celebrate the man that you are and marvel at the man you are turning in to. You amaze and surprise me every day. I see a transformation in you with each passing day.  As a friend you have been loyal. As a husband you have shown me how deeply I can love. As a partner, you have shown me the true meaning of partnership and endurance. I thank God for letting our paths cross. Life is sweeter because God allowed two imperfect people like us to share our life together. I thank your parents for the wonderful job they did raising you. As you face the rest of your life, I pray that God may grant you many more years. You truly are my Small Town Divo. Happy Birthday Twinkie doodle! I love you.

Your adoring wife,

Small Town Diva

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weight loss update


Summer has officially ended and although I did not get as much pool time as I desired, I did manage to get in the water more than a couple of times. I am sad to say that I did not meet my fifteen pound goal, but I can honestly say that I have discovered more about myself as a person, as a woman and as a wife throughout this journey. In my first entry Summer weight loss I was excited and eager to lose weight. I was so enthused that I joined dietbet.com weight loss challenge. Yes, I gave strangers my money in hopes that I could win more money back after shedding the pounds (ain’t that some ish). I can explain, I had visions of a skinnier me and dollar signs in my eyes. I had to lose the weight, I had written a blog about it…I had set out a plan…I had a plan… one that I did not follow.  In fact, after that entry, I surpassed my then weight by five pounds. I never lost the weight and I lost my money (they laughed all the way to the bank…with my money). The bible verse, a fool and his money are soon parted is still applicable today.
What’s a girl to do when faced by a double whammy like that? Well, I have to give myself props, I did not give up! I threw a tantrum, I moped around, but I did not give up! I came to the realization that I may not have been eating often, but when I did, I ate a mountain of food. My husband is 6’1” while I am a short 4’10” (I have been measured at 4’9”) and I was piling my plate with the same amount of food as his (I matched him bite for bite) and wondering why my waistline kept expanding! I also realized that in order to see any difference I had to move…literally. I had to get up from my chair once in a while and walk around. I had become accustomed to sitting all day. I even scooted my rolling chair to get to the printer then back to my desk (I know, I am ashamed)
I decided that something needed to change. In an effort to keep track of my calories and the amount of food I consumed, I joined myfitnesspal.com. This allowed me to log everything and I mean everything that I ate. At first this was really hard, as I shocked myself by the amount of empty calories that I consumed (oh wine, thou art not my friend!) The fact that I could use the phone to enter my daily intake eliminated any excuses. It is amazing how willing I became to exercise once I saw how it would affect my caloric intake (relax, I do not eat back all the calories that I burn…no matter how tempting it is). Hubby and I are still consistently walking 9 holes of golf in the evenings. On the days that we don’t hit the course, I take the puppies for a walk. I have also discovered the joys of running/walking in place while watching the TV show Hoarders (don’t judge me at least I am making an effort).  
All in all I have lost the five pounds that I gained after proclaiming my weight loss plans. I am right back where I started, but this time I am armed with a few weapons in my arsenal. I did not learn my lesson and when my family decided to put money in the pot for a weight loss challenge, I jumped at the chance (I have never met a diet bet that I could pass up).
Although at times I did not feel like fighting the battle, my hubby my greatest cheerleader (and partner in doing damage to some food, we used to go hard on buffets…beast mode!) reminds me of my goals. He constantly tells me that he loves me just the way I am, which motivates me to get healthy for myself. I understand that it will be a hard road and I am not a spring chicken anymore (mmmhh chicken…focus!), but I am motivated by this guy who lost 560 pounds, and visions of a skinnier me in my winter leggings and cute scoop neck sweaters….and dollar signs.
I will do another check in November (Thanksgiving) before claiming my winnings from the family.
Have you experienced weight loss setbacks? If so, how did you overcome them? What are some of your motivations?    

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kismet a short story by Beth Fred



For those of you who did not know, I am a lover of all things romantic. Growing up, I read many romantic novels and utterly enjoyed them. When I saw the cover of Beth Fred’s book Kismet, I was intrigued. I picked up the book during my lunch time intending to read a couple of pages and I ended up reading the entire book! I decided to do a book review in case some of my readers are avid readers.

This book will appeal to everyone on different levels. From the single girl waiting for her prince charming, to the desperate housewife wistfully wishing for a life of romance! The book Kismet appealed to me as a reader because the characters are realistic and well developed. These characters could be anyone you or I know. The story line is also very easy to follow. The book Kismet also offers adventure, romance and intrigue.
In the sandy beaches of Cancun, Tiffany meets a stranger who arouses powerful latent feelings that she had buried with her failed past relationship. The main character Tiffany is a conservative good girl unlike her wild party girl younger sister. When trouble threatens in paradise, a mysterious stranger helps her navigate a foreign land while kindling the fires of romance. The final twist in the story line leaves the reader satisfied and waiting for more books by Mrs. Fred! Read a full review on Smashwords.com and get your copy of Kismet at Amazon.com or at Barnes &Noble

Have you read a good book lately? If so, what was it?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Small Town vs. City Life


Hey Lovies! Sorry I have been away for such an extended period of time. I know that you missed me (don’t lie, you have been waiting for a new post with baited breath.) I have an excuse (hides head in hoodie). I have been fighting sharks! Ok, maybe not real sharks. I have been fighting the sharks of everyday life! I embellish just a little bit, I have not been as busy as I let on, I have just allowed myself to enjoy being in the moment. This past labor day my older sister and my baby sister (she will always be a baby in my eyes) made the eight hour trek to small town El Dorado, Arkansas to let me see my awesome two month old nephew (I am an aunt y’all!) He is super adorable. After the trip I asked my city dwelling baby sister aka Sophisticated Socialite what she thought of small town Arkansas.Yes, believe your eyes, my very first guest post! She sent me her thoughts on Small town living vs. City life that I felt inclined to share with you, my faithful readers!
Small Town Living vs. City Life
Guest post by Sophisticated Socialite
Yes, I’m a city girl and I love it. I think. You know, apart from the traffic, strange people coming up to you at 11 o’clock at night asking for some change and the extra-long lines in the drive through of every fast-food restaurant at lunch time. Truth be told the city may be over populated, but it still has a certain pull to it. I love that I can drive literally 4 miles to the nearest grocery store or find at least 5 things to do if I have no plans for the night, not to mention all of interesting people you are bound to meet.
City living may taking adjusting to, but in my opinion the pros outweigh the cons. I just recently went to a small town (meaning El Dorado, Arkansas) to visit a family member of mine and got a little taste of small town life there. I must say that I was impressed with all of the green trees I saw while I was there. If my nose could talk it would have whispered “thank you” within the first hour. Out in the country life is calm, quiet and humbling. It allowed me to step back and appreciate the simple pleasures of life and my surroundings. I didn’t realize how much I missed seeing nature until it was right in front of me. I think this is one of the biggest differences from living in the city for me. In the city everything can be so fast paced you hardly have time to step back and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Oh yeah and the stars (hadn’t seen them in months).
Either way, I don’t believe one is better than the other. I believe what it all comes down to is personal preference, which is subject to change throughout our lives. People may have their different reasons for preferring one over the other. As for me, I guess I’ll be a city girl until life says otherwise!
Are you a city dweller or do you relish small town living? Let me know, leave a comment!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Awkward Moments

Has there ever been a time in your life that you wished that the ground would open up and swallow you whole? Well, it happens to me frequently. You see, I have a serious case of awkwardness. A friend of mine used to highlight these moments by exclaiming “open mouth, insert foot!” after my frequent awkward and often embarrassing events. When those moments occurred, I would be extremely chagrined and time crept by at a chelonian pace. By now I should be used to it, but I am not. I should wear a warning sign that sates “Hi, I am awkward.” Yes, I am talking about me. My brother left me a voicemail telling me he found an internet show that depicted my life. He gets me. He knows that I am awkward and he accepts me. There are some awkward moments that are more memorable than others. I have detailed 20 moments below that have changed my life.

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT…..
  1. When you think you see your friend, walk up behind them, give them a big hug only to realize that you just hugged a complete stranger.
  2.  
  3. When you engage in the same acts described in #1 but this time, accidentally grab the said stranger’s boob, only to realize that you just assaulted a complete stranger.
  4.  
  5. When you either accidentally “butt dial” someone or forget to hang up the phone and you not only talk about the person, but reveal intimate details about yourself.
  6.  
  7. When you are a passenger in someone’s car and a song that you absolutely hate comes on radio and you want to change the station but you can’t. Just as you are screaming in your head for it to stop, your friend turns up the volume and exclaims how much they love the song.
  8.  
  9. When you enter the restroom and realize that someone had committed WWIII, you turn to leave just as someone you know enters. You see the disgust on their face, you want to explain that it was not you, but are afraid that you would be confirming their suspicion by your denials.
  10.  
  11. When you pass someone you know several times and are doubtful whether you should engage in salutations again for the 100th time.
  12.  
  13. When you engage in salacious gossip about someone only to realize they are standing behind you.
  14.  
  15. When you see someone again and even though they are extremely happy to see you their name escapes you.
  16.  
  17. When you are happy to see someone again,only to realize they don't remember you, nor do they want to interact with you.
  18.  
  19. When you are on a first date and your hair extension falls on the table in front of your very shocked date.
  20.  
  21. When you are shopping at Wal-mart and you momentarily turn around and accidentally grab someone’s cart, but you do not realize it until you are at the checkout counter.
  22.  
  23.  When you want to talk to someone, realize that your breath needs about 1,000 tic-tacs, but you have no gum or breath fresheners.
  24.  
  25. When you are at a family function and are one of three people dancing. The rest of the party goers are sitting there watching and you feel you’re on display like an animal at the zoo.
  26.  
  27. When you are the only one dressed at a nude beach and a completely nude man wearing nothing but jewelry walks up to you and offers you a margarita.
  28.  
  29. When introductions are being made and you quickly jump up and speed through your part, only to realize that you skipped someone and the entire room erupts in laughter.
  30.  
  31. When you hear a phrase on a TV show and begin using it, only to realize that it is completely inappropriate (thank you South Park).
  32.  
  33. When you send a message meant for one person to an entire listserv.
  34.  
  35. When you act inappropriately towards an individual and then see them in church the next day.
  36.  
  37. When you take your car for an oil change but your car is so riddled with clutter, you are embarrassed to relinquish the keys.
  38.  
  39. When you go up to the front of church for prayer only to realize that they mistakenly think you are there to join the church!

I have a memory bank of awkward and embarrassing moments. I have shared some of mine with you. You can read about other people's awkward moments here . 

What are some of your awkward moments? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Default Winner


Four years ago, I took up the game of golf. I only did it because I love my husband. I only did it because I did not want to become a golf widow. It turns out it was a great endeavor. You see, I instantly knew that my boyfriend who soon after became my husband was an avid golfer or in plain terms, a golf addict. I knew that if I ever wanted to see him and spend time with him, I would have to hit the course. Over the years, we have played together in several scrambles and because of my honey’s prowess on the course, we have managed to win. Upon moving to El Dorado, we joined the local country club and have been playing in the Tuesday night couples scramble organized by the Club.

Recently, my honey and I decided to ditch the gym in exchange for walking 9 holes every day after work. So, I was not at all surprised this past Tuesday when he proudly announced that he had registered me for a one Lady scramble. Immediately, I saw a montage of the Rocky training scenes. Then I was gripped by the thought that I was not ready. As the week progressed, I was encouraged. My confidence was boosted by the fact that we won the couples scramble this past Tuesday. On Friday night, I could not sleep. I tossed and turned worrying about the Michelle Wies and the Natalie Gublis that were waiting for me on the golf course on Saturday morning. I have to admit, I was freaking out!!!!!

Early Saturday morning (after a night of intense wine drinking), I stumbled out of the bed wishing I had the foresight to cancel on Friday afternoon. After a quick run to Shipley’s donuts ( breakfast of the champions), I was ready to ball (or drive) on my opponents. I was ready to play! I got dressed in my nice khakis and my husband’s official looking golf jacket (it was dreary and cold). I got to the golf course with my husband/caddy ready to dominate. Then I received the devastating (ahemm, awesome) news. Five contestants canceled and one individual was a no show. I am the only one who showed up! Really? Was it dedication or madness? I showed up and therefore was victorious over those who did not. I take my victories where I can find them, and I was particularly thankful for this one.

Can I truly and in good conscience count this as a win? Have you ever won by default or had similar experience?

Friday, April 13, 2012

A house divided: the end of Arkansas' love affair with Coach Petrino



The Razorback Nation will never be the same, it is a house divided! A whole week has gone by and the entire state of Arkansas is still a buzz about the firing of Coach Petrino. As the week progressed, more information was revealed about just how “inappropriate” the relationship between Coach Petrino and the young Ms. Jessica Dorrell was.  Prior to Jeff Long’s announcement that Coach Petrino was fired, Hog fans took to social media to speculate the Coach’s future. Many were disappointed with his behavior but were quick to forgive and forget. Scores of Hog fans took to social media to plead on behalf of the Coach Team save Coach Petrino Facebook page. Some even marched and formed Team save Petrino Rally hoping to convince administrators to retain the Coach. 

                                           
                                              Yes, we know how to spell in Arkansas



Check out this website to get  a different take on the situation. For the most part, many Hog fans love winners more than they hate cheaters. My husband even got de-friended on facebook because he expressed contrary views! 

Alas, it was not meant to be and Arkansas’ love affair with Coach Petrino came to an end. The Hogs are left without a Coach and as many speculate, without a championship in the horizon! Although I don’t condone philandering, for me it was a personnel issue. Jessica Dorrell who is currently on administrative leave, was the Coach’s subordinate. He had influence in her hiring out of 150 applicants, he supplied her with a $20,000.00 and he lied to his boss about the details of his motorcycle crash. If the school retained him, it would have set a bad precedent for employer- employee relationship and would have become a Human Resource nightmare for the school.
 The Coach’s life continues to be laid bare and paraded in the media. They have FOIA’d his phone records and discovered that he was also communicating with another woman. The extent of their communication has not been revealed, but apparently they exchanged numerous texts. For some, the reality and gravity of the situation sunk in when they saw the Coach’s multimillion dollar house on sale (take a virtual tour).

Just as the Razorback fans got over Houston Nutt, they will get over Coach Bobby Petrino. All fans can do is hope that our wonderful and dedicated players show the world that the Razorback spirit can’t be broken. I for one can’t wait for the game day excitement and my tragus itches to hear the sweet words, “LET’S CALL THOSE HOGS!”

Who do you think will lead the Razorbacks to victory?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Whiplash & Backlash: The Coach Bobby Petrino scandal and the Razorback outrage


When the world first heard about Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident, people all over the nation expressed their well wishes. Nobody expected to wake up a couple days later to have the rug pulled from under them. When my husband yanked open the shower door to tell me that Coach Petrino was involved in single vehicle motorcycle accident, it took a few explanations for me to understand. Now that new facts have emerged, lives are going to change. Some people are upset that the Coach has been put on administrative leave. But I think that is the best solution for everyone including the Coach, the team and the fans.

 Coach Petrino’s family will have to start the healing cycle. It does not bode well that he had to have an accident for the affair to come to light. His situation was not improved by the fact that he blatantly lied about the parties involved in the crash. One can only speculate what led to the recent events. Perhaps his spouse suspected an affair or maybe she was a dotting wife and did not know. Either way, they will have to decide where to go from here. It could tear them apart or it could test the very fabric of their relationship but leave their relationship in-tact. Coach Petrino will have to work on rebuilding trust with his family.

The administrative leave will allow team members and Hog fans come to terms with their disappointment. Coach Petrino is a highly regarded member of the society and has been looked upon favorably thus far. Young men of the community are entrusted to him by their hopeful parents as an example of what to aspire to be. Perhaps the notion that money and power make people in places of power more susceptible to cheat is true. Many can recall the very recent and public scandals of Tiger Woods, Strauss Kahn, Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger, just to name a few. I just worry about the message being sent to young men at this day and age.

What of the young lady Ms. Jessica Dorrell you ask? Well, from my understanding she was betrothed to be married on June 9th. I hope for her sake and for her fiancé’s sake they at least postpone the wedding to get professional help. Yes, she is 25 and she made a bad choice by becoming involved with a married man who also turned out to be her boss. I imagine that staying in her current position will not be pleasant. Hopefully she can sort out this mess and move on.

The Hog nation is abuzz with news of Coach Petrino’s indiscretion. It is my hope that all the omitted details have emerged and nothing else will come out of the woodwork. I predict that by tomorrow Twitter, Facebook, ESPN and all the sports networks will be talking about this.

I think a hog fan on the radio said it best this afternoon, in regards to the Coach Bobby Petrino situation…”Go Hogs anyway!”

What are your thoughts on this?

http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2012/4/6/2930666/bobby-petrino-suspended-arkansas-fans-reaction/in/2683816
http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2012/4/6/2931427/bobby-petrino-911-call-audio-transcript/in/2683816

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Intentional Success

“Plan tomorrow tonight. Don't just let the day happen to you - Success is intentional” – Shun Strickland

As soon as those words came across my computer screen, I felt a deep case of déjà vu. I have often muttered the same words after a grueling race to accomplish an impossible task. Mind you, the same task would have been possible with enough preparation, but due to procrastination, I am often left scrambling. Ok, so I already have a clear understanding of the essence of what the message was telling me. Proper planning, efficiency, and success walk hand in hand. Those same attributes are what I strive for. Intentional success is something that I have desired for years. I have practiced it on several occasions and it has worked wonderfully. 

So why have I become known as the queen of procrastination you ask? Well, it is something that I just kind of fell into, just like many things in my life. As a young teenager, I remember my older sister admonishing me by using the adage “poor planning leads to poor performance which yields poor results.” At the time, her words were met with fierce eye rolls. Deep inside, I knew she was right. I used to thrive and survive on the adrenaline of last minute cramming or worse, last minute research paper writing. Over the years, I convinced myself that I did my best work under pressure. I got away with it in undergraduate school work, but it came back to haunt me in Law School. In my adult years, intentional success is what I desire and procrastination is something that I now want to nip in the bud. They say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but I believe that there is always an exception to every rule. As a young professional, I want to be the best at what I do. I want to be so far ahead of the game that nobody can ever accuse me of slacking.

How will I accomplish my goal of intentional success? Well, there are a lot of factors that have to come together in perfect celestial harmony (perhaps I am being a tad bit over dramatic.)

The said factors are:
1. Taking a personal inventory of my current situation
2. Setting goals and commitments
3. Developing mechanisms to abandon the need for external affirmation
4. Forced repetition
5. Doing proper research and self evaluation when I do not achieve the desired results
6. Engaging in activities that interest me
7. Developing a support system
8. Repeating steps 1-7 until it becomes a way of life

I have set these rules for myself. In the following days I will post several blog entries containing a brief breakdown of how I arrived at the aforementioned 7 rules. I will explore each of them in separate posts. In developing the rules, I realized that I needed a short and sweet view of what I needed to work on. Having a long list of goals would only serve to confuse me. I thought long and hard about what I need to change at this point in my life to be able to achieve intentional success. These rules do not apply to everyone, as we are all different. These rules were developed after a personal inventory of my strengths and weaknesses.

Are you on a personal quest for Intentional Success or have you achieved Intentional Success? If so, how did you do it and what were your experiences? Feel free to share your ideas.   

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Summer Weight loss


Bathing suit weather is fast approaching and I long to lounge by the pool and wile away the dog days of summer. In the past few months, I have packed on the pounds and I have become a bit apprehensive about appearing in the public clad in small pieces of fabric. My Bestie, who recently had a baby, and I have decided to lose weight together. I figure that having a support network would not hurt. So now you are probably wondering, what’s next? I want to keep my plan simple and my goals realistic. My husband and I have been walking and playing nine holes at the El Dorado Country Club and golf course every day after work, and I would like to continue that. It has given us a chance to enjoy each other’s company while I benefit from his tutelage. I will not be Michelle Wie by the end of the summer, but a girl can dream. I want to add two days of 30 minutes of cardio and weightlifting to what I am currently doing. I will do three sets of 15 push-ups every morning.

My main challenge lies in limiting my portions at meal times and eating less carbohydrates (oh potatoes and pastas, this will be the last time you entice me). I will strive to drink a lot of water everyday. Albeit sad, my love affair with food has to end sometime, and there is no time like the present.

 My goal is to lose about 15 pounds in two months. To some this does not sound like a great feat. But let me remind you, I am the girl who refused to lose weight for her wedding. Not that I did not want to, truth be told, I had the desire, but not the will. So to me, 15 might as well be 100.   

I was told that Rome was not built in one day and I hope that by making these minor adjustments, I could see enough results to make more drastic lifestyle changes. I am certainly not dying to be thin, but I would like to be comfortable. Going forth, let the loosing begin!

Do you have any summer weight loss goals? If so, what are they?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gun Totting Diva

This Saturday I had the wonderful experience of taking a gun safety and concealed carry weapon permit class. The class was all day, but was a very much needed experience. My husband was raised around guns and was definitely good at using them. I, on the other hand, had never even fired a round. Prior to the class, my only encounter with guns consisted of the video game duck hunt and clay shooting (think early 90’s Nintendo). 

I went to the class confident and ready to shoot. I had visions of being a sharp shooter. I thought I was going to do damage to the paper targets. First, the instructor had the class use his gun to dry shoot (sans bullets). The gun was black, small and shinny. I held it and it felt just right. I approached the target. I correctly positioned my hands, aimed, and placed my finger on the trigger. When the instructor yelled “fire!” I squeezed the trigger. Then I squeezed again, and again…and again, nothing happened. I squeezed so hard that my hands started shaking. The gun was too big! My fingers were too short! After another failed attempt, the instructor told me to simply aim, point and instead of attempting to fire the gun, I was told to simply yell “bang!”….Sigh…. nothing could be so embarrassing (it felt like a swift kick to the ovaries). My situation was not made any better when an older lady taking the class walked up to the target and was able to squeeze the trigger. Being the only one relegated to yelling “bang” made me feel like the last puppy in the box. 

When we got to our truck, my husband (my biggest cheerleader and hype man) filled my head with visions of me stealthily crawling through barbed wire and shooting at my target. Yes, in the five minute conversation, I was deemed “the kneecap assassin”. By the time we arrived at the shooting range, I was ready to shoot any tree and grasshopper that looked or even dared to look at me. My husband loaded my weapon of choice a .22 caliber sig mosquito. I gripped my gun, pointed and fired. It felt good! I fired my sweet .22 and gained confidence with each round. By the time we left the range, 100 bullets were spent. 

The class made me realize the need for and importance of gun safety and self defense. If you or anyone in El Dorado, Arkansas is seriously considering getting a concealed carry weapon permit consider taking Larry Combs’ class. I am now a proud and responsible owner of a sleek .22 caliber named Betty….Betty Gun. I am seriously thinking of adding some serious bling-age by bedazzling my sweet .22. I am going to buy a caliber firearm to match my age on each corresponding birthday; Next up, .25! 

Have you taken a gun safety class? What was your experience like?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Manpolish: The love affair between men & nail polish

Summer is almost here and I feel a need to be bold and sassy. Flip flop weather brings out the need to display my summer toes, or in the famous words of my law school colleague and live male alter ego C.S.Gorman “summer hooves.”

I like nail polish. In fact there were years when my nails never saw the light of day without nail polish. The fondness quickly faded once I joined a female collegiate club side rugby team and had to keep my nails extremely short. Coupled with the constant worry of embarrassment of peeling nail polish, I decided that less is more and eventually settled on none at all.

Lately I have seen many males with a penchant for nail polish. The weird thing is, male celebrities wearing nail polish is common place in our society. Many have seen polish on the nails of celebrities such as Seal, Dave Navarro, David Beckham, Johnny Depp and Cash Warren. Nail polish on regular professional non-celebrity males is an anomaly. So, you can imagine my eye brow raise of surprise to see men wearing nail polish. Why is this surprising? Who designated nail polish “for females only?” and more importantly, why is the topic of “manpolish” blog worthy? Well, because the topic interests, intrigues and confuses me at the same time. I live in small town Arkansas and seeing young men wearing nail polish is evidence of the power and pull of fashion, the retail industry, social media and societal trends. There are actually websites like alphanail.com that sell nail polish for men. Don't believe me? You can see for yourself by going to Alpha Nail

After a brief soul searching, I have arrived at the conclusion that we are all slaves to fashion in some way. I like to wear nail polish because I love bright bold colors. I also like nail polish because quite frankly nail polish hides the imperfections on my toes. If wearing nail polish is a male’s way of expressing themselves, then manpolish it is! I have a feeling that this is one fashion trend that might not easily catch on with the males in my household, unless I can find nail polish in camouflage or hunting vest orange!


What are your thoughts on this? 


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2084068/Why-real-men-wear-nail-polish.html 


http://www.divinecaroline.com/22072/39473-men-nail-polish

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/nail-polish-men-latest-trend-grooming-article-1.971247

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Winds of change: one step closer to finding my identity

I recently met a friend for lunch at a local bakery and café. My heart beat in anticipation as I approached her table. I had made a change and the change was significant. She slowly looked up and I saw the recognition fill her eyes. I also detected the shock that she quickly suppressed at my altered appearance and masked with a smile. “Wow, who are you trying to be like?” What she meant was, what look was I going for? I knew what she meant; in-fact, I had often asked people about their looks. For example, my older sister wears her hair short. She often rocks the Nia Long cut which she alternates with a Halle Berry inspired pixie cut. Baby boomers will always love the Farah Fawcett swoop. For the generation X-ers, there has never been a more popular look than the Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) hair cut. By now reader you get my drift. So you are probably wondering where I am going with this; be patient my friend and I will explain.

I have recently found a new form of confidence. My husband calls it obsession coupled with narcissism. At first I thought it came with marriage. I thought it came with age and hormones. About 5 months ago I began to feel bold and happier. After much thought, I realized it is because of my hair!!!!! Ok, so now you think I am completely bananas. My experience started at the end of August of 2011. After much soul searching and debate, I cut off all of my hair. I was going through what I deemed my "season." During that time, I hated everything. I had just moved into to a wonderful cozy and friendly town where everyone was friendly, but I did not know anyone. I constantly had to move mountains just to get a perm. On one occasion, I got so desperate that I convinced my husband to put a relaxer on it for me. He reluctantly agreed and swore me to secrecy that I would never tell anyone about the actions of that night (I am sorry Honey). There are some guys out there who can put a relaxer/perm a woman’s hair simply by the virtue of observing their mothers and sisters perming each other’s hair. Well, my husband never had a sister. My husband is also white and had never dealt with a black woman’s hair prior to meeting me. Knowing the aforementioned facts, I still agreed to let him perm it. It is never a good sign when your hair dresser mutters, “I hope this is how it is supposed to turn out.” To give him credit, all though the hair was not completely straight, it was enough to tame my wild mane. Knowing that he accomplished a task that few men have been able to master, my husband took to facebook to advertise his hair care services to future victims :-)

So reader, about two months later, I was in the same boat and even more desperate. I attempted to cut the hair myself but could not achieve the desired result. My husband supported me in my quest, but categorically refused to cut it. He was scared of the wrath I would release should I change my mind in the process. I went to a barber shop and told him to cut my hair as LOW as possible. After I disclosed my wishes, he gave me an incredulous look. We exchanged a few words after he refused to shave it off. Eventually, we reached a compromise, which was mainly just give him a chance to do his magic and if I did not like it then he would cut it like I wanted. He had me wait for 30 minutes, which was cool with me because I had to run some errands. He later revealed that he thought if he gave me time then I would cool off and change my mind. He thought I had fought with my man and was on a rampage. He gave me what most people would deem a boy cut, very short.

At first I shrunk as I walked around people. I feared that all eyes were on me and I was the subject of conversation. I felt scared that I would not be feminine enough. Even members of my family seemed leery of this new plan. Then it then dawned on me. How in the world can I be ahemm, 25 years old (wink) and never have just worn my God given hair? Going back to my friend, I marveled that it seemed strange to her that I was not going for a certain look, but just wanted to be content with wearing “me”. In retrospect, it seemed strange that there were more people worried about my hair than me and these individuals took offense that I dared to cut my hair. On a funny note, that same week, my neighbor asked me if I had visitors because he saw my husband walking around with a little boy (which turned out to be me).

It is now February 2012. I have been rocking the short natural cut for 6 months and I LOOOOOVE it! I lamented that no one told me how wonderful and low maintenance having a short natural cut could be. I am working on harnessing the peace that comes with simply accepting who I am and what God gave me. I tried going natural several years ago, but could not handle the head ache and the heart ache that was a result of not doing proper research. I have learned to embrace my natural hair. In this day and age, there are products that are available to help make our hair manageable. I have been watching youtube for product reviews and styling tips to learn what actually works for me. I am not a natural hair care product junkie, but what I have learned is that sometimes less is more. I am getting more mileage out of my Eighty-four cent conditioner than my $30 hair gel. I am enjoying myself as I work to get to know how to maintain and moisturize my natural hair but to live a healthier lifestyle. I can go to the gym and break out a sweat and never worry about the $65 that I spent at a salon because my hair cuts are only $5 and my conditioners are less than $2. All I am saying is, I love being able to jump in the shower and wash my entire body from head to toe. I love not worrying about flat ironing my hair or curling my hair. As with anything, there are days when I get frustrated and want to revert to what I am used to, i.e., the perm aka the “creamy crack.” Unlike most people, my journey is made easier because on the days when I get discouraged my sweet husband takes me in his arms, holds me tight and rocks me. He constantly reminds how beautiful I am and I believe him. His unfailing support warms my heart and dispels my fears. I am not saying perms are the devil; if they work for you, then I am thrilled. I am simply enjoying the exhilarating, sometimes maddening journey of knowing my kinky and tightly coiled hair. I write about my experience so those who come after me could never accuse me of being able to liberate them, but not doing so.

Throughout this process, I have come to abandon "self" (how the society defines me and how I in turn view myself) and finding “other” (the real me, how I truly am). I strive little by little to grasp and master the art of getting by. I talk about this in-depth in the blog entitled Musings of the Mind: how this Diva abandoned “self” and found “other.” With each passing day and every waking moment, I am learning how wonderful it is to be a woman and the little secrets that God has placed along my path! I encourage you to experience this journey with me.