The Redheaded Stranger Ain’t No Stranger

I don’t normally do back to back music related posts, but I couldn’t let the 80th birthday of one of my favorite singer/songwriters go without mention…especially following the loss of another favorite last week in “The Possum”, George Jones.

Willie Nelson, aka “The Redheaded Stranger”, has been a notorious and fun part of music tapestry for a while. In fact, Toby Keith and Scotty Emerick even wrote the above song to warn about partying with Willie. LOL! He’s one of the few who can claim to have smoked weed in the White House, and we just nod and smile tolerantly.  We all know he began the stand for farming communities through Farm Aid. With all that and his amazing talent with voice and lyric, can we really call him a stranger? It seems he’s made an impact on so many!

There was nothing like the legendary ballads he told, especially when he’d do it with his equally legendary friends. The Highwaymen is probably one of the most popular songs shared in multiple repertoires as this song was done with Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash…. Truth is, these kinds of collaborations don’t happen very often anymore. Sadly, only 2 of the Highwaymen are alive. Kris Kristofferson & Willie.

It’s funny, because they did Good Hearted Woman (In Love With A Good Timing Man)…and I think they got it right. It wasn’t an easy life, but boy, if you could hang on…you were in for the ride of your life.

There will always be a soft spot in my heart for To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before. Change the gender and adjust the word from “loved before” to “lusted for” and it could’ve been the song of my youth. The fact that he blows away another strong vocalist and Latin playboy in Julio Iglesias should tell you just how powerful Willie’s vocals are.

He has a way of making you feel his music. Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground is a prime example of how he can tear your heart out even as you sway to every word he says. In fact, this makes me think of my brothers who both died way too young. It would’ve been a great dedication for them.

As lovely as songs like this and You Were Always On My Mind are, though, my all time favorite is a duet called Seven Spanish Angels that he does with Ray Charles. I think it’s the poetry to the words and the way these two vocalists dance around the words that wowed me.

So in honor of Willie’s 80th birthday…what’s your favorite Willie song? I’d love for you to share! You can never have too much Willie. (Yes, that innuendo was deliberate….LOL!)

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Sometimes Sick Means Naughty…

I have a penchant for the naughty… Shocker, I know. 😉 You can quit laughing any time now…

Anyway, I’ve been recovering from a vacation in the Bahamas that led to a sinus infection that led to hubby getting sick…and, as I’ve told you guys before, strange things happen when I’m not feeling well. Today has been the first time in nearly a week that I haven’t felt the need to sleep the day away. What does that mean? That music has been in my head….

Music

Of course, like I said…there’s a danger in being the music in my head when I’m recovering from being ill. Why? Because chances are you’re not going to get the traditional stuff. So here’s the deal…I’ve had naughty/maybe inappropriate songs stuck in my head….and I would like you guys to join me in my raunchy fun…

They think the love of Big Butts started with Sir Mix-A-Lot. I beg to differ. I’ve always loved this Queen song…and even more so when my boy Puck from Glee re-did it… “Fat Bottomed Girls”!

It’s not only the boys who can be bad… and on that note, here’s another naughty favorite. Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It”. If you were a child of the ’80’s how could you not love this song?

Then there’s the mellow, sneak up on you kind of nasty… And who does that better than Jimmy Buffett? Which song? You need ask? There’s only one that fits this category… “Why Don’t We Get Drunk And Screw”, of course!

The hair band, rocker chick in me always found this one deliciously naughty… Great White’s “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”…My, my, my….

Finally, for the really naughty girl in me… Lil Rob’s …”Bring Out The Freak In You”. (Warning you right now…this is definitely explicit).

So, keeping all this in mind…what songs would you add to my bad girl list?

There’s actually a special song that’s been stuck in my head for a couple weeks now. Why? Because it’s kind of become the theme for a Work In Progress of mine. Yes, that’s the biggest reason why I’ve been MIA lately. What started out as just one piece has somehow turned into 2 (so far). Soon, I’ll be revealing more to you guys… Please be patient with me. I promise I haven’t disappeared.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the Maroon 5 song that’s turned into the theme for my piece…

Don’t forget…let me know what naughty songs you absolutely love (and why)….

Beauty Of The Earth

Happy Earth Day!

How often do we really take time to stop and look around at the natural beauty that surrounds us? Isn’t it funny that often, to see the beauty in nature, we must observe it elsewhere? Many people would tell me I live in paradise. Truthfully, until this last year, it would’ve taken a lot for me to even notice some of the natural beauty that surrounds me.

Scented Jasmine in my entryway

Scented Jasmine in my entryway

A year ago, I doubt that I would’ve noticed the lovely scents my jasmine blooms are releasing as I walk in and out of my house. Or that I finally got my first gardenia bloom of the season while I was in the Bahamas.

Jasmine climbing the post in front of my house

Jasmine climbing the post in front of my house

I would’ve failed to notice how such small, delicate flowers can create such a gorgeous fresh scent. I definitely would’ve missed the sunset on the beach that I posted months ago….and would probably not even have looked up to notice the Florida panther from a while back, either.

Why is that? Why would I have missed those joys, but caught the amazing color of the ocean while I was in the Bahamas? Or ignored the palm trees at home, only to be awed by the ones there?

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to look around us. It’s only when we disconnect from the world we’re used to that our eyes open to absorb the amazing every day beauty that surrounds us…and it’s not even OUR every day.

Maybe it’s everything that’s happening in the world lately that has me a little introspective. Who could blame me? This last year has been full of upheaval, both for me as a person…and for the world. There is so much ugly in the world…too much. But there’s some truly amazing beauty there, too. So what is it about human nature that has us focusing on all the negative stuff? The hurtful? The cruel? Why is the focus so rarely on the beautiful or inspirational? The joy?

To tell you the truth, I stopped watching the news years ago. I couldn’t stand all the negativity and hatefulness. I figured I’d probably hear what I needed to know on Facebook or Twitter anyway. Plus, if I spent too much time watching all the atrocities on the news I may have found myself going the way of Emily Dickinson. It’s one of the reasons I can’t handle most reality TV. Does that mean I watch no reality shows? No. Because technically, shows like The Voice or Dancing With The Stars (my guilty pleasure-Go Team Ingo!) are considered reality shows. The shows that make celebrities out of people for acting ridiculous or that seem to enjoy ridiculing others…? Not interested.

It’s odd, but the same reason I rarely watch horror or gratuitous violence movies has become the same reason I don’t watch the news and rarely read the paper. I don’t want that kind of negativity to have a foothold in my brain. Don’t misunderstand. I’m well aware that there are bad things in this world. You can’t live more than a couple years without being confronted by such hard truths. But like many other things, I’ve come to realize I have a choice: to let all the bad scar or scare me, to become indifferent to the hardships/suffering/pain of those around me, or to look for (and find) the best in people…and let go of the worst.

Why am I talking about people on Earth Day? Because we’re a big part of what makes the Earth beautiful. We’re also a big part of what tears it apart. I’m not exactly what anyone would call a “tree hugger” by any stretch of the imagination. My contributions are limited to cleaning up my own litter and recycling. Well, at least my physical contributions. The contributions I give through my heart and spirit…well, I’d like to think that’s completely different. “Control your controllables”. That was advice a former boss once gave me. She was right. The thing I can control the most? Me. So I choose to maintain a positive outlook. I choose to seek the best in people. I choose to see the love and kindness that were shown to strangers in Boston and in Texas. I choose to see the outpouring of support and friendship sent our way from all over the world.

People can call me foolish or naïve. I’d rather have hope and live with joy in my heart than the fear, bitterness and anger that they allow to take control of theirs… I’d ask if you guys think I’m foolish or crazy, but let’s be honest… even if you did, when it comes to this…I wouldn’t care. Plus, I know I’m not the only optimist…. I would love to know what you guys have been thinking about this last week, though.

It’s hard to believe that it was just a week ago today that I was preparing to board a plane from the Bahamas back to the states only to hear about the tragedy in Boston (and the everyday heroes who went out of their way to help their fellow man simply because they were in a position to do so). Maybe that’s the root of my introspection. Who knows… Either way, I leave you with this… Love life. Love each other. It’s just one more way to love the earth.  It’s our sacred duty…which is why I selected the song at the top. For those of you who’d never heard it before, it’s John Rutter’s “For The Beauty Of The Earth”.

 

Lightening Struck Twice!

Guess what? Guess what? I’ve got some news! Can you tell I’m excited?

So the Awesome Ande Lyons at Bring Back Desire reached out to me again and asked me to repurpose another of my posts for another article! Of course I am thrilled! Anything to help women out there discover or rediscover their sensual side is an awesome cause to me. The fact that she dedicates an entire website and radio show to this specific purpose is amazing! In fact, I think she and August McLaughlin and her Girl Boners have a ton in common when it comes to shared causes! Maybe that’s why I enjoy them both so much. 🙂

Anyway, I would love it if you guys would drop by her site, check out the post and give her some love! We have re-titled it, but I think some of you may still recognize it.

I’m also working on finishing another project by the end of the weekend, so hopefully I’ll have more free time to hang out with you guys again. I’ve missed you guys! In the meantime, Please, PLEASE! What have you guys been up to? What’s new?

To celebrate the near completion of my projects (thanks to Jessi Gage, what began as one found a way of multiplying), another repurposed article under my belt and the beginning of the weekend…we need music! A little nostalgic flashback sounds good to me!

When Time Means Nothing….

You all know I love my mom. I’ve talked about the fact that she is probably one of my biggest heroes/role models. Of course there’s also the issue of tardiness being my pet peeve. Since she’s a direct cause of this, too, I thought I’d share…

Growing up, my mom raised us to be very involved in the church. Sometime around my tween and early teen years, since my mom worked night shifts, we stopped going to the Sabbath/Sunday school part of the service and only came for the second half…which was sermon time. It was around that time that I’d begun to notice that when we got there, the doors from the foyer were already closed, though the ones that lead to the balcony were not. Most people would go upstairs to the balcony to sit. Not my mom. She would take our hands, open the front and center doors, head held high and march all the way up to the front 4 or 5 pew and sit. Being in that age range, I noticed, mortified, that the pastor was up front preaching and watching us walk down the aisle. To me, it also felt like every eye in the place was on us. I wanted to hide. I was so relieved when we got a little older that we moved into an apartment building within walking distance of both church, work and school. While mom was doing her makeup I’d go myself…early/on time…and sit up in the balcony.

When my mom was going somewhere with us we were never on time. It drove me nuts! In fact, once I moved to Florida, my sister was coming out for a visit. Mom offered to drive her to the airport. She was so late picking my sister up that she almost missed her flight…in fact, her luggage did miss the flight. We had to drive back to the airport the next day to pick up her stuff as that particular airline only flew into our airport once a day.

But wait, it gets better. My mom offered to do a friend’s hair once, for her wedding. Somehow, she got sidetracked along the way, making the bridal party smoothies…. The girl was nearly 3 hours late to her own wedding. I’m guessing the wedding must have been casual (I’m thankful I wasn’t around for that one).

Then there was the time I developed an eye twitch. I have never had an eye twitch before. Most of the time I’m actually pretty mellow. High energy, but not the stressed out kind. Well, not until I got to town on the week of my wedding. My sister mentioned off the cuff that mom would be over before her fitting for her dress. This fitting was 5 days before my wedding.

Me: What do you mean, fitting?
Sis: Crap! Sorry, I was trying to keep it from you to keep you from stressing out.
Me: (deep sigh) So her dress isn’t done yet?
Sis: She says it’s almost done.

Then mom came over and took me and a bridesmaid over to the lady who was making her dress. The dress was still in pieces and not sewn together. The lady (a former teacher) must have recognized the look in my eye while my mom was changing into the parts of the dress and told me to go ahead and wait in the living room.

Bridesmaid: Are you okay?
Me: (Deep breath) Why do you ask?
Bridesmaid: I work with you. I’ve seen you in some pretty stressful situations.
Me: But…
Bridesmaid: I’ve never seen your eye twitch like that before.
Me: (holding my fingers against my eye, trying to keep it from pulsing) I have not been stressed out at all about this wedding…until now.
Bridesmaid: I know.
Me: I’m trying very hard not to turn into Bridezilla right now.
Bridesmaid: You’re doing a good job. Keep taking those deep breaths.

Later on I found out the seamstress had told my mom that if she wanted her to make the dress that she needed 6 months notice. My mom gave her 2. Being a friend, she did a rush job. The dress was completed the day of my wedding…which caused my mom to be late for her hair appointment. Thankfully, the stylist was at my sister’s house and had other bridesmaids she could do while waiting for my mom.

There have been many other instances… This is why we’ve learned to tell her and my stepdad to be anywhere we want them to be about an hour in advance….and to plan on eating at any dinner party they hold 1.5-2 hours after they tell us.

So last week she sent me a text telling me that her church choir was combining with one in my neighborhood for an Easter celebration service. I was all set. Hubby was staying home to do some baking. I called her 30 minutes prior to ask her which Methodist church in my neighborhood was the celebration at. That’s when she informed me that the celebration wasn’t in MY neighborhood…it was in HERS! That meant a 45 minute drive…and me being LATE! Sensing I was about to cancel, she copped the mom attitude like only a mother can do, making me feel bad. I managed to only be 15 minutes late, and just in time for her singing.

While I was there she asked me if I’d drive to Miami with her to see my sister, who is in town to see her mother-in-law (she’s been going through cancer treatments). She told me she’d be at my house by 8am on Wednesday. That’s today. She confirmed yesterday that she’d be here at 8. She texted me this morning telling me to have a good breakfast and that she’d be here between 8:15-8:30. She then texted me at about 8:10 to tell me she was leaving her house (which is an hour and 10 minutes away).

Am I surprised? No. Am I irritated? Maybe just a little…

Have I mentioned that I love my Mom?