Badasses & Birthday Celebrations

I still remember the day my mother-in-law looked across the front seat of her car at me and uttered words that made me blink. Granted, I was only dating her son then, but still, her opinion of me mattered.

“You’re a stubborn person”

I wanted to put my hand to my chest and say, “Moi?” Instead, I found myself blinking owlishly at her, wondering where our conversation was about to go. She must have sensed my unease because she looked over at me, let out a light laugh and patted my leg.

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing, you know…”

I bit my lip and wondered if I should respond. Curiosity won out. “What makes you say that?”

“I’m well aware your family doesn’t exactly approve of your relationship. Most people find it easier to break up and start over…to try to find someone they would approve of, but not you. You know who and what you want and you won’t let anyone dictate who you do or don’t date. Not even your family. Considering how close you guys are, that’s saying something.” She shrugged. “See? Stubborn.”

That conversation has always stood out in my mind because I’ve always felt it was a trait we shared. She’s one of the most loving, accepting people I know…and a lot to live up to. This wonderful woman was riding horses and teaching aerobics classes in the fellowship room of her church into her 60’s. She’s been completely supportive and accepting of me… in fact, while we lived in Chicago, Saturday nights and Tuesday nights became our hang out time. Saturday evening was dinner with the ‘rents, followed by Mom and me watching The Pretender and Profiler together. Tuesday nights were reserved for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Hubby would either be watching college football or playing Warcraft or Diablo or sometimes he’d join us. I think he got a kick out of how close we’d become, but acceptance seemed to be a family theme…at least with me.

Hubby's mom...zip-lining (right before her 80th birthday)

Hubby’s mom…zip-lining (right before her 80th birthday)

 

There are times I miss those days… Miss not living close enough where we can just jump into a car and go. This weekend has been one of those times. She’s an awesome woman with a great spirit… A sense of joy in life and adventure that she shares with her son….whose birthday is only 1 day before hers. Yes, my husband was her birthday gift to herself….well, with the help of her husband. 😉

This weekend was their birthdays….but hers was a landmark. That daring woman zip-lining in that picture above? Well, she did that a couple months before her 80th…which she celebrated yesterday.

Hubby asked me to write a poem on his behalf…honoring her…and I did my best to do it justice. No, I’m not sharing it here…it was solely for her. But, I wanted to share HER with you guys… She’s the badass I strive to become as I get older! And she gave me an awesome man (who IS accepted and loved by my family, by the way… it just took my mom time). I guess that stubbornness she accused me of paid off! 🙂

So, happy birthday to them both…with a wish for many more. (Yeah, I know…birthdays and anniversaries galore for me in September.)

Hubby & me at Trump Tower in Chicago

Hubby & me at Trump Tower in Chicago

 

Musical Messages

Courtesy of sexphiliac.tumblr.com

Courtesy of sexphiliac.tumblr.com

We all know I have my wily ways for sending messages. Often, music is involved. I blame Carly Simon for putting the thought in my head. I mean, really. Not only did she write “You’re So Vain” about an ex who still remains nameless, but she wrote it the year I was born! The song cracks me up, but definitely sends a clear message… and based on HER past, it could be any number of famous men.

I’ve found myself following in her footsteps over the years. My husband used to joke…Want to know what Kitt really thinks of you? Listen carefully to the lyrics she chooses to play for you. 😉

My bestie can tell you about a time in our youth where people had decided to start rumors about her, so we decided to really give them something to talk about. I’d say “poor guy” about her then-boyfriend in the middle, except everyone thought he was a stud who had both of us…LOL! To be clear, this was NOT the case, but we figured we should at least lead them in the wrong direction if they were going to talk…let it not be for anything mildly innocent. 😉 (Yes, mischief was my middle name, even then…especially when with my partner in crime.)

Then there was one of my exes. After a rocky break up (hey, we were in high school)…This became his song.  Me, not being shy… Well, let’s just say he knew it and somehow the song seemed to come on whenever he’d be around. Go figure!

For me, James Ingram seemed to always have the right lyrics to break a heart of someone I genuinely cared for but didn’t quite reciprocate their intense feelings. Ever dated someone really awesome only to realize that they felt so much more deeply than you did…and you hated hurting them, but to give false hope would’ve been even worse? This was my song for that…

Or have you had a friend who you adore…one of the best, kindest, gentlest souls you know? And they’re in love. With you. Maybe you didn’t even want to have to say the words. You didn’t want to see the hurt or devastation that you knew would be there…even as they accepted your words and you (which somehow only makes the guilt that much worse). I may have even played this song for my husband back in the early stages of our friendship when I was too blind to see the value of what I had. Thankfully he’s patient and stuck around…though he did call me out on my message. 😉 This was one of the few times I was ECSTATIC to be wrong.

For those of you in long term relationships…ever just needed a break? Maybe a little space? This song has been known to blast in my house if I need some alone time…LOL! Hey, at least it wasn’t U + Ur Hand… 😉

Then there are the times where you get sick of the BS… Maybe that friend that does nothing but whine or lie or feel sorry for themselves. We all have our breaking points when you’re just done. Yes, I have sent this message in the past….and if that didn’t work, I’m not exactly afraid of confrontation.

Most important though? The messages you send yourself… Like when you’re a bit scared, apprehensive….and you need to remember how empowered you truly are… How strong…HOW ADAPTABLE… This is my newest favorite….

Do you use music to speak for you? To you? What songs have you used to communicate messages? You know I love when you guys share. It gives me little insights into you guys and what makes you tick…. Nothing thrills me more than that. 🙂 Besides, I’ve got something going on my personal life that could use some fingers crossed and good thoughts….

Friends and Fitness

There’s something truly awesome about having a best friend who’s known you most of your life. Most rewarding? Those unique conversations that don’t require the niceties, the intros…but just get to the heart of the matter. After a talk with another close friend today, an old conversation with my best friend rose to the surface of my memory banks….surprisingly enough, it wasn’t the cabbage diet story….or how her husband proposed, but it still ranks right up there on the hilarious meter.

Her: Thank GOD I didn’t buy that stripper pole….
Me: Oh, good lord. Do I even want to know?
Her: Probably not, but that’s not going to save you.
Me: So what’s this stripper pole all about? Trying something new and kinky with the hubs?
Her: Ha! No. Actually, remember when I told you that I bought a new workout to help me get in shape for your wedding?
Me: Oh, God. Why am I suddenly afraid….
Her: Because you’re a smart woman.
Me: So….
Her: The new workout dvds I bought were stripper work outs. Pole optional.
Me:
::Snorts a small laugh::
Her: Go ahead. Laugh away. It was a good workout!
Me: So what happened?
Her: So there I was in the living room doing my workout when I looked over my shoulder and found my 2 year old daughter doing the bootie bounce right beside me.
Me: Oh my….(the laughter is now pretty hysterical)
Her: Never mind that her form was better than mine. She turned and asked me if she was doing it right. My daughter is not going to grow up to be a stripper!!! (Mild hysteria set in)
Me: (Choking back the laughter–or trying to) And you almost bought the pole? How’s daddy taking all of this?
Her: Oh, thank goodness the hubby was in another room and didn’t see. You know how protective he is. My problem is that I was planning on bringing her to church this weekend. Can you imagine? Her teacher asks her what she did this week and she’ll say she exercised and then decides to demonstrate? They’re going to kick us out!!!!

Exercise

Yeah. Fitness can be quite comical. There are all sorts of videos out there that claim to aid in “fitness”. Some of them even follow through on their promises.

I still remember as children, my mom had us acclimated to getting up and working out. Sometimes it was with 20 Minute Workout on tv, other times it was one of Jane Fonda’s videos. So when we went to visit my dad, my sister thought nothing of asking him if he had any exercise videos so she could get her exercise in. For a 10 year old she was pretty dedicated to fitness. It wasn’t until later that we understood the look of horror on my dad’s face. Apparently, the only “work out” tape he had was something called “Eroticise“. I’m pretty sure it was just nekkid exercise.

Today, while having lunch with a friend, a commercial for Shaun T’s Insanity workout came on. I laughed and mentioned that hubby had that particular set of workouts, but I’d never tried it. And then this happened…

Friend: I’ve tried that workout. It’s good, but hard.
Me: Yeah. Not me….although I have done my own Shaun T workout. He’s pretty good.
Friend: Which one?
Me: Hip Hop Abs. It was actually a lot of fun! Shaun T’s kinda hot & the music’s okay.
Friend: Dance ones can be fun…
Me: Can you picture doing those moves on a real dance floor, though?
Friend: Ha. Not even.
Me: There sure are some strange things that people turn into workouts.
Friend: Yeah, I know. The boyfriend has a Brazilian Butt Lift workout at home.
Me: Ha! Why do I suddenly have an image of some Brazilian dude cupping your boyfriend’s ass and “raising the roof”?
Friend: I’m so telling him you said that!

But seriously…. Think of all the different types of fitness videos that have come out over the years…from Jane Fonda to Richard Simmons and forward… There HAVE been some pretty strange ones.

I mean, I love Shaun T, but can you picture going to a club and using these moves? Gotta love Ellen…she makes it okay to laugh at yourself….

And actually, when I looked up the Brazilian Butt lift…I could see the appeal…

Hey…fitness is important, so you might as well have fun while you’re doing it. Which crazy workout videos have you bought? Or maybe you just “had a friend” who bought one? Which workouts do you love? Which ones made you laugh more than exercise? No sense in taking the fitness crazes so seriously that you can’t laugh a little… Or share some good ones with awesome online friends….;-)

Love Celebration

One of our Bahamas trips

One of our Bahamas trips

 

Today’s our 4th anniversary…technically speaking. We’ve actually been together for 20 years. Half my life. Wow! I always thought that sounded like a long time, but really…there’s no one else I’d rather spend my time with! I’m lucky to be with my best friend in the whole world. On Facebook I shared a poem I wrote for him in my status called Haven.

But today, here, I’m going to get sappy and share some of my favorite songs that I believe encompass aspects of our relationship…

It’s so important to reconnect and rejuvenate your spirits together. Forget the outside world for a while and remember why you love each other.

Look past Lorrie Morgan’s big hair and hear her message. To connect in that way, to share your thoughts and your spirit with someone who will cherish them…Huge gift.

Life can get really tedious if you’re always looking for the big gestures. Sometimes it’s those little everyday things that really tell you just how much you’re loved. I love that Bryan White got that…

There’s something very reassuring about knowing there is always someone you can count on!

This one kind of reminds me of the “Footprints In The Sand” poem…. It talks about the give and take in a relationship. Not everyone is strong all the time.

Hope you guys enjoyed some of my song selections. I’d love to hear from you guys, though…what songs make you think of love? Any sharing will be considered an generous anniversary gift to us!

Unforgotten

My Sister, My Brother & Me

My Sister, My Brother & Me

I feel you reach out
On gentle breeze,
Your soft touch
A comforting caress.

I hear your mischief
In the laughter of children;
A reminder as they play
Of innocence at its best.

See your warmth and care
In a puppy’s soulful eyes
The head resting on my knee;
Comfort to give and take.

On salty tears,
I recall the bitter and sweet,
Both joy and reflection
Of what was and will never be.

With love,
Goodbye is never final.
The heart holds tight,
Memories live on forever.

Hey Baby Brother,

Tomorrow’s your birthday. It blows my mind when I realize you would’ve been 36. It doesn’t feel like 26 years since we lost you. Part of me wonders where the time went, but that’s how it goes, right? Life happens. You move on? Wish I could tell you it was easy for us all, but you know that’s a lie.

It’s strange, really. I’ve always had a harder time around your birthday than I ever did around your death. Not sure why that is. Of course, it did not help matters when one of the worst tragedies to ever happen on US soil also happened on your birthday. Part of me wanted to lash out… Like I wasn’t dealing with enough? Because, you know…it’s all about me. Except it’s not. More families lost loved ones, like we lost you….senselessly. My empathy kicks in. We know how it feels only too well, right?

I found a great guy… It took him a long time to win your stubborn big sister over, but he finally did. He knows me, heart and soul….even all those secret places I usually hide. Of course he’s heard about you. In fact, not only does he share a September birthday with you, he knows how close we were and how hard it is for me around your day. We decided to get married close to this day to help infuse this time with some good memories…and to honor your life.

You’ll be happy to know, we still feel your presence. We’ve never lost our connection to you and we keep your memory alive. Do you know that most of your best friends are still in touch with us? They still bring you up…talk about how much they miss you. Just goes to show…age has nothing to do with the impact a person can make. You taught me that. Live life to the fullest. Look for the good. Who knew a 10 year old could be so smart?

Anyway, enough being maudlin. You know it’s not really my style. I hope you like the poem I wrote for you…a little reminder to myself of all the ways you’re still with me. Yeah, I’m still writing. Still singing, too. 🙂

Love you!

 

Self Pleasure A Solo Sport?

Why wait till May to talk masturbation???

Masturbation

A couple days ago I confessed to you guys that I can be a bit of a Grammar cop. Before I continue, look at the sentence under Masturbation….that statement needs a well placed comma to match the above picture, no? I’m pretty sure the sentence is also pretty accurate, too, though. Masturbation isn’t just limited to men I know. 😉

Remember those myths/old wives tales we used to hear about masturbation? My personal favorite was probably frequent self pleasure will make you go blind. Or what about the one that said touching yourself would make your palms hairy? Maybe you heard that masturbation would cause you to lose your ability to orgasm during actual sex…. or any of the many other myths out there.

With all the craziness surrounding something as simple and natural as masturbation, it’s no wonder folks are unwilling to admit to taking pleasure into their own hands. For me, personally, it’s my ideal way to relieve stress…assuming I’m someplace I can shuck my clothes. As it turns out, not only were those endorphins helping me to release stress and tension, they were also increasing my sex drive.

There’s this other myth that says that masturbation is a solo sport. I beg to differ. Everyone needs a helping hand. Sure, it can be… but alone is not your only option. I’m not talking about the whole leave your window curtains open “accidentally” so that the neighbors can get a peek…though if that does it for you, I’m the last person who will be throwing stones. What I’m talking about can be done several ways for multiple benefits.

Mutual Masturbation.

As we know, we women tend to need mental stimulation. Most men need visual stimulation. It would seem to me that playing in pairs would have a symbiotic effect. We can read our most recent racy novel or float off to fantasyland in our heads, then once our bodies are raring to go, invite our partners into the bedroom.

You can make it a game….

You: Baby, I’m feeling a little frisky and I want to play…
Him: Okay.
You: I want you to watch me touch myself…
Him: (thinking it’s incredibly hot and he just scored…wondering what’s the catch.) That’s hot.
You: There’s just one thing. I want to touch me. I want to watch you watch me touch myself. But you don’t get to touch me until I say okay. (After your first orgasm.)
Him: (Wow…That’s the catch?) Sounds hot. Do I get to touch myself?
You: (The view is just added inspiration) Absolutely.

Okay, so maybe the dialogue is a little cheesy, but think about this… There is something very sexy about sitting across from each other and pleasuring yourselves. Looking into each others eyes builds intimacy. Watching each other touch yourselves does something else. If you pay close attention, you will learn how your partner likes to be touched. Struggled to help your partner attain orgasm? They’re giving you an in depth look into their points of pleasure! Things have been getting a bit stale? Watch the “way” they touch themselves. There may be cues for different interests or role play scenarios in the future. You’ll learn if you’re too soft, too hard, too gentle…or just right (which can be an incredible ego boost).

Of course, you can also bring out the toys! Who says you have to be the one to masturbate you? Why turn a partner down if they’re in the mood to drive you out of your mind with ecstasy? Or *gasp* you could initiate it. Maybe you have a whole array of toys and your own toy chest or maybe you’ve never bought a vibrator before. Either way, do you know how exciting it can be for a man to be invited to join you as you “break in” a new toy? Maybe it’s one of those little finger vibes…(don’t knock ’em, they can be very powerful these days) or maybe it’s your rabbit. Personally, I’m enthralled with glass dildos these days (something about the fact that they can hold heat or cold gives me the shivers in a good way).

Here’s a truth…we all have our insecurities revolving around sex. Sharing intimacies like this with our partners helps break down those walls. It also helps both of you to better be able to meet your needs without pressure and frustration. In fact, if you haven’t found your g-spot yet, why not ask your partner for a team assist? You could “research” the subject online together…watching all sorts of “educational” videos. Maybe you could read books or articles…or go toy shopping and find something designed to hit “the spot”. Or that can just be your excuse to play…;-)

And if you’re newer to a relationship? Won’t they think you’re nasty or a slut or some other hideous label people create? Unless they’re severely repressed, not likely. In fact, you’ve just told them three things about yourself. You know your body and are not ashamed (nor should you be–regardless of what clothing size you might wear because they were attracted to you for a reason), you expect communication with your sex (novel concept, I know) AND that you like a bit of adventure with your loving. THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE HERE! (In fact, if they’ve got a problem…they’re likely also the downside…)

Masturbation is a genuine pleasure for me. There are all sorts of scenarios you can play out for pleasure…the one I listed above was just one of many…and meant to get your creative juices flowing. So while you’re thinking of it, what myths have you heard about sex that you know are just not true? You know I’m open to any questions you may also have surrounding masturbation and sex, so feel free to ask…

As you all know, I don’t believe in taking sex too seriously, so I thought I’d share with you the most hilariously cheesy song I’ve heard in a while…appropriately called “Masturbation Song”.

Damn, Van Damme!

Today Has been Cancelled

It was so tempting today to just crawl back into bed. I soooo wanted a do over. Maybe it was my fault for not having coffee right away when I woke up. Regardless, It was a test on my “never say die”, sunny disposition. For those of you who don’t realize just how much personality pets can have…keep reading. You’ll get it in spades. Here’s a taste of my day…

Picture this:

They look innocent, don't they?

They look innocent, don’t they?

You’ve made plans with one of your closest friends to take your two dogs and his to the farmers market, then for a walk in the nearby waterfront path. He pulls up to pick you up and your normally docile, mild mannered older baby decides to act out. She’s not a huge fan of vehicles, so she pulls out of her lead, gives you the stink eye, then starts calmly walking down the street.

The "Good" One

The “Good” One

You may not know this particular breed, but the worst thing you can do is chase them. They’re quite speedy and wily…and way too smart for their own good. So you follow. You give her the commands you know she understands. Stop. Stay. Go home. Her response? A derisive look over her shoulder that pretty much tells you…Eff You! But you catch up to her because she’s not really trying to get away. She’s just giving you attitude. Unwilling to risk a repeat, you pick her up and place her in the car and you’re on your way.

The older one is okay now. In fact, she’s on her best behavior because as much as she hates cars, she loves outings. She calmly jumps out of the vehicle and waits patiently. You begin to think “okay, so this morning started with a hiccup. No biggie.” but no….

The "Wild Child"

The “Wild Child”

Your smaller, younger, faster dog…who’s still more of a pup…decides it’s her turn. You crack the door open to click the lead in place and let her out when she spots this teeny, tiny crack of empty space and makes a diving leap for it. Yes, the one dog you NEVER want to escape because she hates orders, refuses commands unless there’s blackmail food involved and is obviously part cheetah (which accounts for her speed)….actually escapes. In the heart of downtown. Surrounded by busy streets. The only thing you can be thankful for is that it’s a little after 8 on a Saturday morning, so traffic is not yet in full swing.

You, your other dog, your friend and his dog all go after her, careful not to give chase and make her think you’re playing a game. She’s so fast it’s tough to keep up without running. You call out to her. You fight the images shoving their way into your imagination of her getting hit by a car. You dread the phone call you might have to make to your family if anything should happen. She runs out into a busy street and you hold your breath as you try to get to her, but she runs back out of it as a car comes her way. The other dogs attempt to herd her toward the farmers market (at least there the streets are blocked off). She races into someone’s yard. Thankfully, they’re mowing their lawn and she’s got an innate dislike for mowers and turns around.

Finally, after a merry 10-15 minute chase and the help of some kind vendors at the Farmers market, she slows down. They were smart enough to pretend they had treats. Unfortunately, she knows that trick….she got only close enough to look carefully before dashing off again, this time toward your friend who knelt down in the middle of the road with his pit-bull. Because she considers the pit one of her best friends, she paused to sniff him. Your friend tackles her and holds her down in the middle of the street allowing you to walk over and finally lock her down.

As I said, my first mistake may have been not having my first cup of coffee…or maybe just getting out of bed. But you guys know me. I’m no quitter, so I persevered. We quickly finished at the farmers market and headed off to the dog park. It was mostly uneventful there…if you don’t count the fact that though both my dogs are not fans of the water, the oldest decided to tromp her way through every puddle she could find. With two coats of fur, when I went to pick her up to put her in the back of the vehicle…her wet muddiness transferred…all over my bare arms and teal pastel clothing.

This was all before 10am.

I debated having a drink… Heck, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? But the truth is, I’m not much of a drinker and definitely not the type to give up control enough to get drunk. So I made myself some coffee instead….and decided to do dishes. Strangely enough, that proved to be dangerous to me, too. I hand wash all my “good” knives…especially my Cutco and Calphalon sets. Foolishly, I set them in a china bowl off to the side, not realizing the bowl was actually on top of something else. The heavy handles made that bowl rock and the knives go airborne…at me.

Miraculously, though knives were flying in my direction, the only think that got cut was a cuticle. Although I was thisclose to turning around and going back to bed so that I could give myself a “do over”, I kept hearing this in my head…

Damn You, Jean Claude Van Damme!

Damn You, Jean Claude Van Damme!

So, as usual, I decided to find music to fit the mood…and inspire…. Here are my Top 5.

This one pretty much describes how my day went…except I had the guts to stick it out, unlike this girl.

When douchebags contribute to your bad day, but you actually manage to stick it out…. Love me some Blakey!

Things to remember to help get you through a bad day…and who doesn’t love this movie? I know every song.

A reminder that getting through it is what it’s all about…because the sun WILL come out tomorrow.

The beauty of humanity and the ties we have… This video is just too sweet and a reminder to me that you never know when some little gesture on your part could be the thing that brightens someone else’s day.

On the plus side…I stuck it out and the day’s already improving! The Illini won their football game! Woot!

So what songs can talk you out of crawling back into bed after a bad day? Have you had any pet created catastrophes? Any self inflicted ones? Make me smile….