Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Just stopping by my old stomping grounds to say hi, to share a bit of what I'm up to, and to ask you to please come on over to My (extraordinarily) Ordinary Life!

I have a new blog home and would love for you visit. All of my friends from this neighborhood of blogville are my most cherished blog friends. You all were my support, my sounding board, my cheerleader...my pals.

It just isn't the same without you!

Things there are much as they were here. I still share wacky stories about my every day. I randomly post scrappy projects. Occasionally, I get a bit "deep" and sentimental. And of course, I mention the nasty "c" beast from time to time. While the fight of my life is a thing of my past, the after effects are part of my every day.

I now work harder than ever to live a healthy life. 'Cause "ain't" nobody got time for another run in with cancer. However, there was a point when all this healthy living left me wondering how much "living" I was doing.

Shall we say I became a bit obsessive?

Watching every little thing I ate did nothing but cause my stress levels to go through the roof. Not exactly a positive.

I needed balance.

And I think I've found it.

I recently decided to share my Tips for Simple, Healthy Living.

After receiving so many emails asking for suggestions, I thought a series would be the best way to address the questions. That has been the subject of most of my posts the past few weeks.

That and my usual.

I hope this little preview of what is going on at My (extraordinarily) Ordinary Life prompts you to come follow along.

You can also find me on


Somehow, I have lost many of my contacts here. Rather than scour comments from old posts to find links to your blogs, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share the link in a comment here. I promise to pay you a visit!

Hoping life is being kind to all of you!!!



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Come On Over! Pretty Please!!!


I finally finished my new blog design. While "finished" is a relative term...are we ever truly finished with anything?...I have things geared up and ready to go at my new site, My Extraordinarily Ordinary Life!

I hope you will take the time to sign up for all things me at this new address via email or the RSS link. I'm not sure I trust myself to transfer my followers properly. If only it were as simple as mail forwarding through our postal system. Then again, I'm still (10 months later) having issues with misdirected snail mail after my move across town.

I hope you will follow me to my new cyber home! It just wouldn't be the same without you!!!

And while you are at it...please look me up on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This whole social media thing is SOOOO addictive!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sights and Sounds From My Morning Commute

Most of the time my life is so crazy I never know what's going to happen at any given moment. But a few constants can be found if I look hard enough. While driving to work last week, I realized my morning commute is more or less the same each and every work day. Here is a peek into what can be seen and heard along the way.

Songs blaring from the radio

My way off-tune sing-along to said songs complete with botched lyrics.

Rear view mirror glances to inspect morning makeup application.

Side ways glances to see who has witnessed makeup touch-ups.

Seated dance moves and head bobs...occasionally to the actual beat of a song.

Additional glances to see who might be watching.

Shoulder shrug stating "Who cares?"

Phone chats with sister, mother and/or friend.

Banana peel or zone bar wrapper in cup holder.

Water bottle sticking out of my purse.

Three minute search for lip gloss.

Stop lights used for checking email.

Verbalized mental check lists.

Beautiful mountains.

Heavy traffic.

Crazy drivers.

Abruptly lit tail lights from abruptly stopped (for no apparent reason) vehicles.

Curse words shouted by me to these Sudden Stop wackos.

Pleasantries spoken by me to me.

Criticisms muttered by me to me.

Affirmations and rationalizations issued from me to me.

Spoken prayers.

Clock showing I'm late...


Monday, December 10, 2012

Still Chasing The Dream

Once upon a time I wrote a post entitled "I Dreamed A Dream" where I wrote about my lifelong dream of becoming a photographer. Not a for-hire picture taker. Simply a photographer who takes pictures with heart.

To quote myself, "I want to be a photographer that captures life for myself and for those I know and love. I want the skill required to stop time with my photos and document emotions...relationships...feelings. I desire to create photographs with meaning...I want to snap photos that have people saying, 'awww'. Even if it is only those directly connected to the subject."

I'm not looking for a new career nor do I want to fill my downtime with photo shoots. But I've always had a fascination with photography, especially when it results in captured memories of loved ones.

This weekend I was given another opportunity to chase my dream. With camera in hand and little to no more camera knowledge than I previously possessed (which equals one degree above zero), I traveled to a remote farm to take photos of two young families.

Prior to our meeting yesterday, I had not spent time with them. I only know them through a family member. However, I know their stories. Stories of hope. Stories of heartbreak. Stories of love and determination. Sweet stories. Love stories. Stories to treasure...to never forget.

Here are but a random few shots I got. I'm not even sure these are my favorites. We were having so much fun, I took well over 800 photos. Even after an initial purging process, I still have 798 photos to sort through. When you see how adorable these little ones are, you can see how tough it will be to weed through the rest.

Hope you all have a Marvelous Monday!

Until next time...


P.S. A wicked little demon that lives in my head is doing a good job of picking these images apart. The little shit is a perfectionist...one I've tried to permanently evict from the premises but he "ain't" budging. To shut the sucker up, I'm posting my comments to him here for all the world to see..."Listen up! I KNOW these pictures aren't technically perfect! But I don't care! They are exactly what I wanted in terms of composition. So take that you sadistic bastard! Now go hide in some remote corner in my mind until I tackle my next project at which time I'm all too sure you will be back to harass the hell out of me." {insert me giving him the finger}

P.P.S. Abundant apologies for all the cursing. I can't seem to help myself....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Wino I'll Never Be

Yesterday (Wednesday...the day before Thanksgiving) I was trolling through my backlog of unpublished blog posts for no other reason than to wile away the remaining hour or two or four before the Thanksgiving holiday begins. In so doing, I happened upon the post below. I think I actually wrote it roughly a year ago???

Since Thanksgiving meals often involve a nice glass of wine (unless you belong to my family where only water and sweet tea are served), I thought it very fitting to schedule this post for Thanksgiving day. It isn't a traditional post filled with all things for which I'm grateful. I covered that subject with my 30 Day Journey Toward Thankfulness. But then again, after enough wine, I'm sure I could find 121,398,687 more things to be thankful for.

Things like hair color and wrinkle cream and bi-focal glasses... elastic waistbands and flannel pajamas. And things like toilet paper and working toilets. You know, all those things that would otherwise be forgotten.

Funny how much more fun life appears and your perspective changes when looking through wine colored glasses!

I hope everyone has a Thanksgiving filled with family, food and fun!


I read a recent post on SITS Girls about a twitter party hosted at Have Wine Will Drink. Sounded interesting enough. I like a good glass of wine every now and again. What better way to enjoy a glass of  vino than with some like minded blogging gals? This time, however, I knew I would be otherwise detained during the appointed drinking hour so I only scanned the information. As my eyes glossed over the words, I stopped short when I read they would be "sharing wine tips".

Those three words..."sharing wine tips"... created a real problem for me. They made me painfully aware of how little I know about wine. You see, I am an ignorant, socially handicapped wine "person".


I'm sure you are wondering what 40-something year old woman doesn't know a little bit about wine. Especially one who has been through divorce AND a broken engagement AND raising two kids. Isn't wine viewed as THE great escape from all of life's stresses?  I dare say many a manic mom has professed to tightly clinging to a glass during her Calgon refuge from toddler-to-teenage hell.

But I'm different.

Drowning my sorrows and frustrations in a bottle (or box) of soured grapes was never an option. I weathered my worldly woes totally sober.

I know.

What was I thinking?

I totally missed the point.

As I said, I know nothing about wine. My knowledge can be summed up by saying I know wine comes from grapes.

That's it.

That and the fact I also know wine comes in the following flavors... red and white. I'm assuming if you mix the two you get pink??? (I'm not really sure that's true but it sounds perfectly plausible.) Other than that..I come up empty handed.

Ask me why a bottle needs to breathe or why a waiter offers a small sampling only to have it swirled (in the glass), sniffed, sipped, swirled (in the mouth) then swallowed...well...I can only respond with a shrug of my shoulders and a blank stare. If that confession isn't enough to forever seal my membership in the Wine Drinkers Hall of Shame I will go ahead and spell it out for you.

I am a total wine drinking dim wit.

I don't know shit about wine.

Not to shift all blame but some of my ignorance can be attributed to my up-bringing. My parents were God-fearing, Southern Baptist teetotalers. We were forbidden to partake in alcohol of any sort. Being the never-break-a-rule-cause-I-don't-want-to-burn-in-hell sort of kid, I never touched the stuff. But I grew up and began to form my own opinions. I came to the conclusion alcohol wasn't all bad. Even still, I rarely drank. When I did, it was usually Vodka.

Cranberry and Vodka...

or Goose and Juice, as I like to say. Beer and wine just never made the list.

Fast forward to the present. After my broken engagement, I began dating again. I jumped into online dating with both feet and discovered just how poorly served I was by my lack of experience in the wine tasting world. Wouldn't you know, all my dates were total wine lovers! It seemed I had landed in the deep end of a pool of wine connoisseurs. Wine drinking pros. And boy did I ever feel inadequate. Unable to "swim", I found myself drowning in an ocean of Cabernets and Merlots and Chardonnays. Without a life preserver in sight, I relied on my wit and wisdom to save me.

What did I do?

What I always do...

fake it til I make it, Baby.

Plan A was to let my date choose for me. Most men possess a certain amount of machismo. They love flexing their manly "muscles" and taking care of their girl. Deferring to them stroked their egos and earned me a few brownie points in the process. Plan A almost always worked. But at times it became difficult. Some men would turn the tables on me and ask too many darn questions. Questions I had no answers to. Questions that required a reasonable amount of wine-drinking knowledge to answer. Questions that left me scrambling for a way out.

So I shifted gears and resorted to Plan B...

ask the waiter about the house wine.

Didn't matter what it was...I always enthusiastically answered..."Sounds wonderful. That's what I'll have". It eventually became a game of sorts. I must admit to never really listening as the waiter listed the house preferences. It always sounded the same. All I heard was "blah, blah, blah". I witnessed their mouths moving, forming words of some sort, but I never understood a damn thing they said.

However, I eventually became a master of the game. I would count the number of options and randomly ask them to repeat one of the choices. You know...in order to appear all interested and stuff. Sometimes I would go with that selection. Other times I would pause as if truly considering which would satisfy. Still my decision would be random. I always wondered what concoction my delicately stemmed glass would hold. Would it be sweet? Dry? Light? Fruity? Bold? Strong? Woodsy? Earthy?

I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about.

But don't be fooled.

I'm just messin' with ya...

I haven't a clue.

I can't decipher body from bouquet to breed . Not one little bit. To me, wine is classified as red or white (if you totally ignore the pinks I mentioned earlier. I'm never one to mix my colors.) The only other means of separating one selection from another is whether or not I can choke it down. The bad news is this, if I didn't care for one of my random selections, I had no way of ensuring I never ordered it again. I never knew what I was drinking.

Wine selection is an art.

And I "ain't" no artist.

But not to worry. As I've shared before, it doesn't take too much alcohol before I stumble into the middle of a glorious inebriated state. Wine is no exception. Even if a certain type starts as a "I don't really like this" varietal, it is never long before it becomes a "This is really good stuff" selection. My "fake it til I make it" approach worked like a charm...

as long as I was seriously buzzed.


It looks as if I've just divulged a wee bit TMI. Once again, I've let all of blogville know I'm a complete loser. But then again, we all have our issues. I won't beat myself up over this one. Compared to some issues I could have, I feel pretty safe accepting I'm a wine drinking dolt.

Before I go, there is one more point to share. I've recently met a wonderful man. AND...he is a wine expert with the most discriminating tastes. A wine loving aficionado. The best of the best of all I've encountered in the wine drinking/selecting department. When he mentioned his collection is housed in his own personal wine cellar...a collection of over 1,000 bottles of wine... two specific thoughts crossed my mind.

One...how on Earth would I ever "fake" my way through THAT many bottles?

And Two...Who cares? My future looks more than merry through the anticipated drunken haze. This is most definitely going to be one hell of a fun "fake".

UPDATE: I'm no longer seeing Mr. Owns-His-Own-Wine-Cellar but we are good friends. In fact, we are friendly enough that I could possibly text him during a date asking advice regarding wine. With him making the decisions for me I would certainly "look" like I know what I am doing. That is as long as I can learn to text under the table and not get caught! AND...as long as auto-correct works in my favor. Something tells me that bugger of a meant-to-help-but-makes-you-look-like-an-idiot phone feature could really screw me up.

Maybe I should simply order Vodka...

on the rocks.

Yes...that will solve everything.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Today I crown myself the Queen of CYA...

Not to be confused with the CIA.

Although being connected to the CIA would add spice to my life.


Ah, but I am merely chief matriarch of the CYA club.

You know...

That art form otherwise known as Covering Your Ass.

I earned the title totally out of necessity...

Because I am the only woman working with a few super huge male egos.

The kind of men that can do no wrong...

And ALWAYS blame all wrong doings on the token girl.

In other words...

Everything that goes wrong is my fault.

Everything that goes right is attributed to their savvy skills.

On second thought, I am more like the Queen of CMA...

I only cover my OWN ass.

Those know-it-all men's asses are no concern of mine.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Day Journey Toward Thankfulness

Well hello there. Seems November has hit me out of nowhere and I now find myself 14 days into a month delegated to giving thanks. Facebook status mayhem has been in full swing since November 1st with daily posts from friends and family sharing the things that make their lives sweeter.

Since it is more than obvious I can't post consistently here on the old blog, I figured there wouldn't be much point in trying to do a daily "thankful" Facebook post. I looked into my crystal ball and saw an epic fail staring back at me, all the while taunting me with a gut busting guffaw. Yet I refuse to be one who misses an opportunity to show gratitude for the abundant blessings that flood my life.



I am jumping in mid-month with my list of 30 things for which I'm grateful. It makes for a ridiculously lengthy post but it also makes my life easier by allowing me to corral all things awesome into one spot. Since it is my blog, I chose the easy-for-me route.

Many things on my list are the obvious things everyone holds near and dear. But that doesn't make them less important. I should...and often do... acknowledge my gratitude for these things daily. Not just once a year. The other things? Well...they are simply things that make me smile.

1. FAITH. This word is the most powerful word in my vocabulary. Unable to pinpoint from whence it comes, it continues to be an ever present source of strength. I consider it a choice of sorts. A desire to believe my God is in control. Rather than doubt in times of trial, my faith brings me hope. What bigger blessing can there be?

2. FAMILY.  I am fortunate to live in close proximity to my family members. We stay in constant contact yet we all live independent lives. My family is not without our crazy and sometimes scary skeletons...all of which we work to keep chained inside the "closet"... yet we share a bond that few are fortunate enough to experience. We know each others deepest, darkest secrets but choose to love each other in spite of them. Our loyalty runs deep. There is great comfort in knowing you have a clan of people who have your back at all times.

3. CHILDREN. Sure, my son and daughter are technically family. But they deserve a spot all their own on my gratitude list. These two are the most precious people to ever enter my world. As parents we don't always like our children and it is a certainty that if we are doing our jobs they won't always like us. But the love factor is always in play. And I love my boy and girl more than life itself! They have brought me sleepless nights, endless smiles, gray hairs, pride filled moments, frustration I never knew existed and joy that makes my heart burst.

4. FRIENDS. Girl friends. Guy friends. Friends who are family. Friends who are near. Friends who are far. Friends make my world go round.

5. HEALTH. I never truly appreciated what it meant to be a generally healthy person until I realized I wasn't. Trust me, I won't take my well being for granted again.

6. WORK. I growl and grumble about the annoyances my 9 to 5 brings but I cannot lie. I like what I do and I love the guys I work with. Being the only girl in the joint makes me special....in a good way.

7. My HOME. Not my house. My home. It is my sanctuary, my respite, my haven.

8. TRANSPORTATION. Dependable. Safe. A pretty cool (even if I do say so) means of getting where I'm going.

9. FOOD. Good, clean, healthy, food. And the occasional hot dog, slice of pizza or slice of pie that makes its way past my lips and onto my hips.

10. WATER. Cool, delicious water for drinking. Heated, relaxing water for bathing. Ahhh!

11. NEIGHBORS. Where I come from, neighbors are as good as family.

12. EXERCISE. For me...exercise works out the kinks and all my aggression. What? Can't a girl admit to being a little hostile from time to time?

13. CHOCOLATE. I suppose I should have listed 12 and 13 in reverse order seeing as how I need number 12 to offset number 13's ability to make my ass grow.

14. PICTURES. While my memories live in my heart, pictures bring them to mind. Which leads to being thankful for...

15. My CAMERA. I may not understand the technical side of photography but I'm lucky enough to own a camera that has some bells and whistles that will allow me to learn....one day...when I slow down...yes...that day. In the meantime, I will use my big girl camera on auto, or semi-auto (not the proper term but you know what I mean) to capture the memories. I also have an easy to use point-and-shoot that was always in my purse but it went AWOL during my move. Until it decides to show itself, the camera on my phone is a good stand-in.

16. INSURANCE. Many do not have it. I have certainly needed it. Most thankful for it.

17. These North Carolina MOUNTAINS. No matter where I travel, the second these majestic mountains come into view, I know I'm home.

17. SUNSHINE...on my shoulders, makes me happy.

18. RAIN. Yes, I did just type rain.

19. MUSIC. I can't remember artists' names or song titles and I totally butcher the lyrics of every song I try to sing. And let's not EVEN go near the fact I can't sing for shit. But music is powerful. It reaches deep into my soul and embraces every emotion I've ever felt. It can make me laugh and/or cry. It has soothed me as I've stumbled through heartbreak hell and given me strength to motor on when I didn't really want to. It's amazing what music can do!

20. My IPOD and PANDORA. Yes, with item #20 on my list you get 2 for the price of 1. Sue me. But I must mention the marvels of modern technology that allow me to find/take music with me where ever I go. Speaking of which, I must also express my thankfulness for...

21. TECHNOLOGY. Some may consider me a slave to it. Others may go so far as to slap me with the label of an addictive personality....which could possibly be true.  Facebook, blogging, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are the heavy hitters in my online obsession. And let us not forget what a time suck Google can be. Ummm...yes...I think I have a problem. But I don't want to admit it....although I just did. For now, I will live in the land of denial. Amazon, anyone?

22. My fat ASS. I'm always on a mission to rid myself of this load of lard otherwise known as my tushy, but if I'm truly honest, I must admit it is a symbol of something good...in a twisted sort of way. It proves I'm lucky enough to indulge...on more than one occasion. I never have to worry about where my next meal will come from. While I skirt the edges of gluttony, many across the world are starving. I'm embarrassed to admit to this truth and more than aware I should count my blessings rather than complain when I have it so good. A fat ass equals a bountiful table.

23. Good HAIR. Don't think I'm bragging by flaunting the fact I have good hair.. I'm as far from conceited as one can get. Besides, most of the credit goes to my hairdresser who just so happens to be my sister. But there is nothing like running around for months on end as a baldy to make you appreciate a full head of hair, be it gray, colored or somewhere in between. While I'm at it, I should also pay homage to the chore of shaving. Never thought I would be thankful for leg stubble but I suppose that "cold day in hell" came the day chemo claimed every hair on my body.

24. SUSHI. I'm realizing much on my list revolves around food. I can't help it. It's almost lunch time and my stomach is growling. As of 4 short years ago, I called sushi, Shoo-shi. I hated it. Even though I had never tried it. The idea of raw fish triggered my gag reflex and made me want to hurl. Now...it is my all time favorite food. Go figure.

25. FREEDOM...a blessing with a high price tag...one paid by others. I'm humbled and beyond grateful for the lives sacrificed to provide, protect and defend my privilege to live freely.

26. FAIRY TALES. Yes, I still believe in them although I've learned to temper them with a hefty dose of reality. I know my White Knight exists and he will eventually find his way to me...even if he comes cloaked in rusted armor, riding in on a limping old nag. He will be mine. And I will be his. And we shall live happily ever after.

27. INDEPENDENCE. I'm really good at being independent. I don't need someone to take care of me. Being single for so long makes me ever so glad I'm a git-er-done kind of girl.

28. LAUGHTER. I will never, ever, ever, never get how anyone can get through any day without a good laugh or two. Not judging. Just wondering...possibly in a judgmental sort of way.

29. COFFEE. Another admitted addiction. I'm beginning to wonder if I should be worried about myself....

30. My PAST. It isn't pretty. There are gaping holes where hurts have left their mark. Scars and insecurities exist. But bucket loads of learning has come from where I've been.

I'm well aware my list is....shall we say... unusual? I'm also aware I stand to be judged for some of the items I've listed. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It is merely some of the really big things that matter along with some of the smaller things that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. It is meant to show I'm a silly girl at times. One who loves the nothingness that makes up her world but also one who never loses sight of what truly matters.

So how about you help a girl out and keep me from feeling totally lame (good luck with THAT one). Share a random something that you are grateful for today. The more ridiculous the better. In fact, I challenge you to trump my thankfulness for my fat arse!

P.S. Throughout this post I've linked up stories I've shared to show just how much these "things" play a role in my life. Once upon a time many proved to be blog worthy. If you think you can handle an extra dose of "me", click on through and hopefully enjoy. Until next time... -L