Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Have a beer on me. or bread. or a freaking chocolate chip cookie.......

It was my youngest who was patting my arm  - tucking nicely into a gorgeous plate of pancakes in a local IHOP - less doused in syrup than I personally would have chosen but still a good showing but way more butter than I would have picked - who said "I feel so so bad for you mom," before she turned and left my universe for a full 10 minutes.  Yeah - It sucks being me.

Let the record show - I will not starve.  I will not die if I eat wheat.  I will just pray for a fast and swift one.  I bloat like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Garfield Float and wish I was half as sexy.  I cannot eat wheat.  OR dairy - but that is fixable with a healthy dose of very freaking expensive lactaid.  Yes I can have my ala mode without eating the cake too.  UNLESS

you factor in the new wave of really over-manufactured products for people like me (losers) who can't eat the things you normal Americans take for granted.  Bread (nope) Pizza ( I wish) Pasta (don't get me started) Cake - cookies - muffins - cupcakes - pancakes.  Oh pancakes.  How I have missed you.   . . . .

I need a minute. . . . .. .   .

Ugh.  Roger bought me the newest round of "gluten free" cookie mix and let me tell you - I was skeptical.  I had some gluten free stupid expensive pizza a few years ago that sullied me forever.  To say ketsup on a cracker spits in the face of crackers everywhere.  I could have walked through a cow pasture barefoot and my foot licking would have tasted better.  It cost like 17 bucks for a tiny one person piece of shoe leather and shitty almost could call it pizza experience.  Peace out on that one.  SO - the cookies were a stretch.  Going down - not bad  - I was so impressed.  Then came the after.  I have never ever had an after taste on a chocolate chip cookie.  There wasn't enough wine to fix that train wreck. 

I am running a marathon in November - in Richmond VA.  On the 12th to be exact.  The birthday of my sweet Sarrah.  It's hard to run enough to train and put enough back in - so subsequently I've lost 10 lbs since most of you have seen me.  I'm super skinny and you all can hate but I wish I could just eat an entire loaf of bread after running 20 miles.  I do.  I am a carnivore but - dear Jesus I am a girl who loves pasta.  And I'm not bitching really - I am eating - but if someone tells you you can't have something - what do you want?     UMMMMMM - THAT thing. 

I'm telling the world though.  If I become allergic to wine and rice and hot sauce.  , , ,   I'm going to kill myself in a nice and painless way because that's really all I got.  I am from Wisconsin and can't eat cheese or drink beer.  To still be alive is a gift from God.  If my sciencey friends could work on the wheat version of Lactaid - I'd be your best customer.  just sayin.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Signs and Wonders

Red Skies at Night . . .
And I don't mean the Fixx song . . . Red skies at night - sailor's delight.  Red skies in the morning - sailor take warning.  I've lived by that forever.  It works.  Ask any meteorologist - oh wait - they are usually wrong.  Even Jesus talked about reading the sky because it's pretty logical in it's dealings.  (see The Bible - circa -  forever) - God doesn't play dice with the universe (or so Einstein thought)

But of course that being said you either think we are getting better or not - aka ending.  I am personally in the "get the marshmallows cuz this baby is gonna burn" camp.  Hebrews says that Our God is a consuming fire - and that this earth is going away - not in a flood - but in fire.  He is going to make it new - but ultimately we are attached to another plane while wrapped helically around an axis.  aka screwed. 

I know where my ultimate end is and it's pretty amazing - but that's just me and if you should want to join me in my awesome foreverness - I'd love to share some sweetness with you - but if no - by all means - peace out. 

I walked out of work tonight to rain in the south and a rainbow in the north.  Someone said "Oh that means the devil is beating his wife"  . . .  that has got to be some southern logic . . . cuz where I come from a rainbow is a promise.  I hope the devil beats his wife because I know I'm not her.  I hope he beats her a lot because I love promises.  From people and from God.  If you say it - I hope you mean it.  I've been cheated on, lied to and beat up.  I need some good "stand up - I mean it - promises - not kidding - I'm for real - It's the shit - REALLY promises".  To this date only God has come to the table with any cards that stand up to the test of time.  But then - He is perfect.  I grade on the curve.

I asked God to show me a rainbow once and it took him a full 23 seconds to muster one up.  I dare any human who isn't holding a fully running garden hose on a sunny day to top that!!  I got a rainbow in 23 seconds.  That is a God The GOD who freakin cares about you.  I know bad stuff happens every second of every day - but big picture wise that's pretty cool.

There are signs and wonders - big and small every day.  We are just usually too wrapped up in junk to see or appreciate.  I have vowed to be an appreciator.  To get the small and HUGE stuff.  I want to be happy but know every moment of every day can't be the first time you go to Great America as a kid.  Life can't be Space Mountain (not that I would know) but it can be cool.  It can be paying attention to the stuff that happens under our noses every day.  It's the pretty smiles and the lazy curls and the perfectly made coffee that tastes so right.  It's life - right now.  Hurting or healing - it's now.  God is in the details and in the everything.  Forever is a long time.  It's beyond time.  It's beyond a red sky in the morning.  It's not a warning.  Forever is a rainbow.  It's a promise. 

really really.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I trying really hard not to be trite

Dear Jesus - it's been hard lately.  I'm on a nostalgia kick.  I bought cd's from Amazon that Itunes doesn't carry for download.

I remember 8-track.  Paul had one in his 76 Gold edition TA.  Yeah.  That is actually as lame as it sounds.  Because the coolest he got was Uncle Kenny (yeah Kenny Rogers).  Whew.  That was a bullet dodged.  Thanks Tim!!!

Then tapes.  My allowance and subsequently income (yes I was a gas station bitch but I knew my homies and what they smoked when they walked in and they LOVED me!!!) paid for my Ozzy, Motley, Kate Bush, Sinead, REM, Ramones, Meatloaf, Blondie, Frankie, Petshop Boys, Zeppelin, Rush, Depeche Mode habit.

Tim actually was the first to introduce me to the CD.  Holy Hannah!  I actually preferred tapes.  I could dub my own.  From the start I was the compilation queen.  If you have seen my 6th fav movie - Hi Fidelity - you get the sweet art of dubbing a tape (now mp3) for your love or love interest.

What is caressing my ears right this minute?  The album is called Pale - by Toad the Wet Sprocket.  Their name came from Monty Python and it makes me think of college.  I don't miss Wisconsin in the winter.  Really truly. My last job at St. Coletta of WI burnt me on Wisconsin winter til I'm dead.  But I'm sad for a plethora of reasons that those who hold my heart get.  I'll rise from the ashes.  Always do.  I'm a human boomerang.    I'm reading a lot of Robert Service poetry lately.  Mr. Magely - don't know if you are still this side of the green but you inspired a sad lonely little 6th grade girl to think outside Winneconne to India and the Yukon.  Toad also takes me there. 

Hemingway will be calling me soon.  Going to Key West for my birthday.  Gonna toss a few at Sloppy Joes.  May actually try to steal the urinal.  But it looks heavy and we only have a convertible.  May settle for a stolen kitten from his estate. 

Physical wounds heal but it's the psychological ones that tend to be trixie.  They like to be like the sore in your mouth that would heal if only you could quit tonguing it. . . . (FC)

"corporals wife was quite fat . .  was a raving bitch"

In case you think I haven't moved past college - check out skrillex - first of the year (equinox) new favorite music.  gotta see the video.  I'm running a marathon and dubstep is amazing!!! I may be chillaxing on the past but I'm not stupid.  :D  onward baby - onward and upward.  I never stay stuck too long. 

trite.  nope.  just sitting on second base - waiting for the long fly ball out to center for me to slide into third. 

Multiple acts to this play!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the day I tried to live . . . .

chris cornell could sing the freakin phone book and it would be the best thing I ever heard. . .  just sayin.
coffee. is. good.
vodka with coffee in it is way better.
I am a bitch.
I am a lover.
I am a child.
I am a mother.
Sorry - that was too easy.
so much does depend on a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens.
yeah. wcw. it really doesn't
except in the moment you saw it and it mattered.  I get that. 
I live my life in vingnettes
moments in time - so significant. so real. then gone.
then onward.
just puppets moving until the control returns back to my hand
I think like Ulysses - the significant is multi lingual and complicated and really boring but really cool if you get it.
Dedalus sort of got it.
Not sure if Joyce even got it. but it was his hand. his mind.
I'm not sure if I always get the serendipity.
but I'm always ready.

But oh what mercy sadness brings if God be willing . . .

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.


If God be willing and the creek don't rise . . . . .

Monday, September 19, 2011

So it comes down to this basic sense

I  have been both bulimic and anorexic.  I'm not proud of either but they were who I was and part of who I am.  We are all a product of our history as much as America is the Revolutionary War - The Civil War - the War of 1812 - and the coward assholes who are burning in MY PERSONAL VERSION OF HELL from 2001.   I have been the phoenix    -  I am the phoenix - I have risen.  ashes.  They taste of the past.  They taste of passion and hurt and things you maybe don't want to remember.  But I know - like no one - that they taste like the past.  Behind me.  I forget nothing but forgive it all.  I forgive because Bitterness rots your bones.  God said it.  Therefore I believe it.  Simple as that.  Call me a fool, but I'm not so dumb as to believe God is dumb.  He kind of created it all so um.  I'm an ant as far as HE is concerned - and yet He's concerned about my everything - so Yeah.  I care. 

But on the basic sense it comes down to two things.  Are you a purger? or a hoarder?  I travel light.  I horde nothing.  NOW don't get me wrong.  I scored a Prada purse for 10 bucks at a thrift store.  COOL.  but I spent 10 bucks. Ask me if - it wouldn't cost me a thing and if I would be able to torch my house and move into an rv and travel the world?  Hand me the gasoline . . . .  nano second.  it's stuff.  I moved away from home at 17 and but for a brief 49 days (yes - 7 weeks ) moved back home to find my center - I've been gone from my home ever since - but for me home is where my red hair collects the most (my desk is pretty covered) Home is people.  Not a place.  Places change and so ultimately do people but people are forever.  My sweet Barbara is my sweet Barbara regardless of place or state.  She just is.  Tanya is Tanya and David is David.  Tim is Tim is Tim is Tim.  Hey Erik.  You are all you.  You just are.  Wayne is with Jesus and that makes me smile.  BUT we just are.  Jim is.  Always will be.  James you hold that place in my heart like no other - you are the WarMachine :D  you always will be.  And Sarrah :D I could say way more about the special people who I love but it just is.  People live forever.  Stuff burns.  Get it?  PEOPLE.  we are the important parts.  The mountain won't cry for you.  The ones who love you and didn't get the full YOU.  They will mourn you. The mountain won't care. Really. 

But at the end of the day.  I travel light.  It's just stuff.  My couch is covered in wax.  Has been for about 6 weeks.  My daughter doused it.  Accident.  Scared to get a new one.  She's a bit too much like me.  Yeah people matter but know what realm you step in for fear of a strange brew!  She is chaos incarnate :D

I guess we figure out who and what we want later in life - and hording actually makes me a bit sick.  I'd rather wrap myself around people and not stuff.  Stuff is gonna burn.  I like being light.  I need things to serve me but I won't serve things.  I have been poor.  I've had onions for dinner.  I am at a much better place but as St. Paul has said and I paraphrase I've been rich and poor and I have learned how to be satisfied with either.  I get it.  I've had f'n nothing and then recently - more than more.  I'm good.  But I'm me.  Damaged - but who isn't.  Who hasn't  been a little scared by people and scarred by life?  Nietzsche has said what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - I disagree.  I don't want my kids almost dead.  I want them strong - but because they were smart to begin with.

I can say with all honesty I walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  But because I made some really dumb choices.  That was MY bad.  Not necessarily God's choice for me.  I had some bad bad things happen early on that I only blame one human for.  And that has come and gone on my scale of blame.  I've done all the forgiving I need to.  He's paid in spades.  The Legacy stops here.  Oh my child. . . . .

But forward. . . . My mistakes - misgivings and miss can't be wrong's...... That is all on me.  I'm not super human and have been prone to a mistake or two.  But.  HUGE missteps?  no.  I make choices from here on out.  I make my way.  And the way for my people.  I really seriously take that as gospel.  It's heavy.
and really really light.  Light as a feather.  really.  light. . . . . . . I will walk onto the fire until it's heat doesn't burn me  - and I will feed the fire - and into the fire I am reunited I am the spark into the night I yearn for comfort . . . into the fire. . .  it's all gonna burn so hold onto the eternal things.  God and people.  the rest?  ashes.  and they taste like the past.  trust me. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

OD'ing on nostalgia

I am sitting in my car going to work and the asshole dj I usually listen to driving into work (cough cough Elliot in the Morning) plays this song while someone on his crew is talking and I am thinking - ugh "I remember that song - it's um - it's um . .. Jesus I know this band.  . . April Wine right?  I used to know them from a hundred years back. . . " and decided - "hey - gonna download the mass of their songs . . . "  and then BAM  . . . .I am in the dark in seventh grade - kind of sweaty - at a dance - hoping Greg or Jeff will notice me in my Izod polo.  Hoping my spikey sort of feathered hair is still BOTH spikey AND feathered.  and that my Levi's are both tight and not so tight because I don't want to look fat and that my nike's are both cooooool and not so worn to look used.  And then WOW......... I'm back in my car.  Actually driving - as a grown up.  As a grown up with kids who could be going to DANCES like what I remember.  Ugh.  It was fucking yesterday.  Really.  My turn is gone.   Over - done - kaput - finished.   I get that and I'm really not bitter. (really - okay a little)  BUT I like me and like who I am today -  - what I am saying is that a song can take me to that place in a heartbeat.

A person of religion once told me that he believed that Lucifer was in charge of music in the heavenly realm before he fell.  I personally believe that.  I know what music does to me.  I know what music does to anyone I personally love.  If music doesn't move you - chances are I don't love you.  Because you don't get IT.  I know what music can do to people.  it's so so so so so so important.  it just is.  if you don't get music you really don't get life.  IMHO   and I know my sweet Barbara is with me.

Until you hear a band you haven't heard in literally 30 years - you won't believe me.  I'm listening to my 7th grade self for the first time since.  Today - Elliot played April Wine and I was like "omg I remember them!!!: instant download on iTunes (yeah today is slightly different) Holy Time WARP.

I woke up to Rainbow this morning so it was slated as slightly nostalgic to being with.  but really.  Sign of the Gypsy Queen?  There was no hope of normal today.

Fortune cookie say - 3 things stay hidden not very long - the sun, the moon and the truth.  yeah.  Nostalgia is not really the truth - but it sure feels like it.  Ugh Jeff  - I loved you.  Winneconne WI class of 1987.  You were my crush.   But of course it's "were".  And I'm pretty sure Jeff and Chris and Alan are happily happy with the SO's.  It's 2011 and I have wrinkles and drive a Volvo SUV.  BUT dear Jesus I swear if I shut my eyes Tight. REALLY tight.  I can feel my Gloria's and my short blond hair. 

It's Trinity's turn to be awkward.  and too WHATEVER.  she is so awesome and I wish she knew it.  I wish my mom thought I was wonderful back then.  Well, Trin.  I think you are amazing.  If I do nothing more in this life than have great kids then I have done something worthy of my oxygen use.  I just want people to get that life is so significant.  All of it.  The music - the art - the books - the whole ride - it's not just a daily grind.  People live forever.  and ever.  It matters.  All of it.  

Love the one you're with.  And live with the one you love.  It's too short not to.  It just is. 

And energy drinks are dumb.  just sayin.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blame it on the 80's

Oh My GAAAAAAWWWWD! I'm so sure!  Like Really?

ok.  yeah.  I talked like that until I read my first E.M. Forrester novel and actually had sex.  Not a huge surprise.  Blame it on the 80's.  We  - children of the 80's - are horribly driven to do (not much more than) be self serving - and love US - our ego's and leg warmers and big hair and BMW's.  Wait - that was just this morning watching St. Elmo's Fire while on the treadmill to train for my marathon in November because I've got kids that need to be on buses - stupid early and it's getting too dark to safely run as a white woman - so it's inside.  To a movie.  Spin the dial - it's st. elmo's fire. 

I would just like to now - as a child of the 80's - apologize for the horrible wardrobe - hair and well pretty much everything.  Reagan was amazing IMHO - but then I am not a stupid democrat who wants to give the world a coke for free . . . .

But - it was not fun.  The hair alone took hours.  HOURS!!!  I have a fuck ton of hair.  AND it took hours to do the Farrah Faucet  Feather THING.  Dear GOD.  And the fashion.  Really?  OMG.  it was bad at best and down right not pretty at worst.  MOM jeans (hello Jordache?  - mom's with the FUPA's and that means fat upper pussy area - for those not so in the know)  tucked into white high top Reebok's with the Velcro tops - oh yeah - and bandannas (RED) tied on the thigh - ala Loverboy - and big boyfriend sweaters to hide all of the McDonald's and BEER - OMG really? 

The music was pretty forgettable.  Millie Vanilli anyone?  But dear Lord that was my growing up.  Red Koolade under my fingernails (wait that was a minute ago since I made for my kids :D ) My first experiences - REM - yes please.  But damn the 80's was warping.  Frankie says Relax -  ? huh?  Relax from being hyper in tune with my lameness?  Relax from not wanting to have sex with the guy who wants to?  WHAT? 

Fast forward to today.  It was painful watching the bad/mediocre acting.  I was frankly embarrassed for my generation  - we  launched the "Brat Pack."  I was not allowed to be a brat.  My family was not rich by any means but we rarely missed a meal.  I had to grudgingly care for my younger two siblings though they were decidedly lamer than I was and totally a downer.  I did not have the "best" clothes - but at no point did I go naked.  My Nike's and Gloria's were cool and I did have a knit rainbow sweater (THAT MAY BE JUST WISCONSIN THOUGH). I had polo's though not Izod.  and my hair was feathered and spiked.  I had Zena jeans and a white tank dress.  More leg warmers than the entire set of Flashdance!    But I'm glad I survived - some did not.

I appreciate timeless fashion.  I buy good - quality pieces from thrift stores for a fraction of the cost.  I look how I want to though decidedly older than I choose to remember.  There are these lines . . . .  ugh.  I want to encourage my kids to be timeless - though at this age it's kind of impossible.  I want them to be unique - one of a kind - trend setters in their own right.  assertive and confident like I never was until now.  At 41 almost 2.  I can still blame it on the 80's can't I?  The Pet Shop Boy's made me.  :D No - it was Frankie - he said Relax.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Can you hear me now?

Static.  It's annoying at best and completely incapacitating at worst.  It basically annoys the fuck out of me if I have to listen to a radio station with the minutest amount of static.  I guess I'm just a snob.  Give me clear channel or give me death. 

But that's not what I'm talking about.  I mean the static that clogs your life your mind your focus.  The shit that gets in the way of where you want to be or what you want to be or who you want to be with.  I have had about 25 years of static.  And frankly.  Honestly - I'm finally listening.  The music is mine.  Not adopted - put upon me because he knew better.  Though frankly some of his music really was better and very good.  Mudvayne - yes.  Wish I'd gone to a concert or two.  Rise Against.  Ya think?  and so on.  But today?  I pick and enjoy and actually share with others the music I've tripped upon and they seem to like it.  Kind of surreal.  The books are from my personal passions and not manufactured.  I have an opinion and if it gets me in hot water I have to support it or shut the hell up.  Static is a life sucker and far - far too many people get sucked up in it. 

I'll tell you the biggest form of static both real and pro ported - I'm typing on it right now.  Ask me which song was popular on the day I was born and I could tell you instantly.  Who sang Do Wah Ditty?  Instantly - Besides Bill Murray in Stripes . . .   Really?  Have you ever parked your car in a parking lot because you had to just get one thing fast in a store and you were in there longer than you had to be and there was this annoying person behind the register and 6 annoying people in front of you and you got a text that was annoying and then you got done and checked out and .  . . couldn't find your car because you were too distracted when you came in?  That is static. 

I'm not really telling you to go all Walden Pond - though a nice relaxing camping trip would rock - but I'm telling you if you aren't paying attention -  being in the moment and living today for today and right now for right now - you are really missing it.  They say God is in the details - and really that is so shallow.  God is way more than details.  He is everything.  Details are in the details.  But people are not details.  We are eternal.  People and God are pretty much it for the forever category as far as I see it - so really what more is there?  If the people special in your life don't get you - all of you - are you really being the person you should be?  If you are too distracted by noise - static - to be focused on the important. . .  really?  What have you got? 

If your job is killing you - change it.  Now.  There are so many better things to do - it's just money.  Life is once.  Make it matter.  If what matters to you is dirty rags - then be the best dirty rag person on the planet.  Do with your whole heart.

But pay attention.  Tune in.  If you can't quite make out the song - something is wrong.  It's your dime.  Make it something you want to listen to.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Where is your passion?

That is, hands down the single most loaded question on the planet for me.  If you know me.  Really know me -  as in inner posse from way the hell back  - you know what that question means and if you are just from recent you know what that question means so all ya'll think you know but it means everything and nothing.  Passion is a topic that has been debated for centuries - nay millenia!  When anyone talks about the "Passion of Christ" it refers to His last days - His suffering and ultimate physical death but also His defeat of all things carnal.  It was what He came here to do.  It was his singular purpose on this earth.  It was His Passion.

Passion is life -  it is art -  it is vision  -  it is what we do because we have to or die - passion is what kills,  - creates a new life and makes us do things we would not ordinarily do.  It makes old men spit because they have to argue their deepest thoughts out loud and mean it, and it's what makes young Marines die for their beliefs. 

What feels like a hundred centuries ago to me but was really only about 10 years ago - my then husband preached for the first and only time in church.  His sermon was titled "where is your passion?"  He was feeling very sick but his thoughts were so well orchestrated and his sermon was amazing.  I'm not being biased (or so I think) but I could have listened to that tape forever.  It was his life at that time out loud.  The thoughts of an incredibly complicated conflicted man - who had seen the face of God and still was human on the direst of levels.  I was busy nursing a baby. His child.  Busy with what was my passion - but not too busy to hear the desperation in his voice.   I knew he was losing it.  Losing his passion. Losing what I knew of him.  And then he was silent.  Something had taken a fire hose to his passion and he was gone. 

BUT like the PHOENIX - I rose from the ashes that was my life and reinvented myself.  I will not be silenced because of who or what I am or believe.  I am me - out loud - full frontal and in living color. 
I threw myself into my passion - creating with my hands - knitting, sewing - making babies. Believing like Midas that what I TOUCHED  would flourish - succeed  - turn to gold. 

I have learned so much on my 41 spins on this globe that has made me who I am and who I am not.  Much like the gardener pruning away at a bush that has randomly sprouted shoots that just don't fit the shape he is creating - parts of me have had to get cut away to get to the heart of who I am.  I have begun the metamorphosis into who I choose to be - and as I face 42 (the meaning of life - thanks DA!) I've uncovered that it's passion.  Life is passion - it's what moves you to really feel.  To not just show up everyday but to actively participate in what it is you are doing.  To be in the moment with everything you have.  To want to be doing what it is you are doing even if it's some trivial thing.  If you are not there - I challenge you to find it.  Find your passion - reinvent yourself.  But remember - life is messy.  Bring a towel. 

My Southern Side

"I heard that in every life a little rain must fall - if there's any truth to this saying - Lord let it be a Southern Rain. . . . " Cowboy Junkies

I am a transplant to this par-tic-ular Land of the Magnolia.  Consequently, I  will never ever truly be 100% Southern. This is good and bad in myriad ways.  I cannot comprehend  - on any level  - the aberration known as "little girl beauty pageants" (seriously? - WTF!!! - IMHO they are nothing more than parades for future whores!) nor can I stomach some of the funky pig parts which seem to appear in the strangest of places (gas station/beauty parlor?) - all deep fried, pickled or briny!  BUT I sincerely adore most of the people I've met and revel in their sincerity and unique take on life.  The South does things so differently than the North would.  This challenges me - and I love that. There are so many amazing wonders both edible and visual to be had -  BUT like all complex things in this life there is aways a dark side.

I'm a white girl and speak just enough Spanish to know I should be offended when called a white bitch in the Hispanic market where I shop. My town is so very racially mixed that I am truly the minority.  The South here is a hard, conflicted, very bipolar South. It's filled with bigots, haters, bitches, gypsys', tramps and thieves. But also a shit-ton of great people. Maybe this is true everywhere in America.  Perhaps.

I love Virginia for so many personal reasons not the least of which because this is where my family has landed.  But because this place - this State is way more than that - it is a "state of mind" - an Historical Juggernaut - that has such presence it's almost otherworldly. The Civil War is still very very real in many people's minds. It actually is a point of conversation that can still get quite heated.  People here have not forgotten for one minute what side won and what side should have.  Living here amongst all of the history is very surreal and humbling.  But don't get me wrong.  As much as I love it there are some down sides. People here cannot fucking drive to save their lives. To say they are bad drivers is like saying Andrew Zimmern likes to eat assholes. REALLY? who freaking teaches drivers ed here? My Drivers Ed teacher Mr. Paulson would die if he wasn't dead already .  As a Midwestern girl I can drive stick shift and actually would prefer it to automatic transmission; can sail through a snow storm with my car still on the road and GO at green lights and stop only at red ones!  I drive 5 over the speed limit in town and more on the freeway.  I signal when I am turning and then make sure it gets turned off.  Anyway enough.

The South has had this strange allure for me from the very first time I saw a magnolia in full bloom. It was a transplanted variety to the north - but it was gorgeous and I was 9.  I instantly knew there was a world outside of the complete hibernation that is Wisconsin. I felt there had to be more than just the  5 months we knew as warmth and the rest of the year relegated to construction and snow. My quest for all things sunny and hot and NOT the north began right then. I began to loathe the cold. No actually what started as loathe ended at full on I FUCKING HATE BEING COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took a few years to ramp into that particular sentiment - but there it is. I remember one particular winter - no kidding - 80 below zero with the wind chill factor. Driving to work - at night - having to plug in my car so that my engine would not freeze. Those of you truly southern will have no idea what I am talking about - (google "block heater") yes I own one. I hate winter. Sooooooooooo I love Virginia. But straight up - I'm not far enough south. This state is gorgeous - yes yes yes - it is for lovers - but for all the talk - it's still cold. A lot.

As much as there are differences there are Burger Kings and Applebees and if I wanted to just live and pretend I was back up north I so so so could. But that is absolutely not who I am and I PERSONALLY live and bloom where I am planted so I live - truly LIVE Auntie Mame style - and embrace what I live in - so this is a nirvana of sorts for me. Food.  Period.  Is different here.  Fresh produce in cheap places. Korean markets - Live seafood for crazy prices - yes please. Why is it always about food for me? well, we need it to live. And more than exist. LIVE! I always come back to this - Food is fuel at it's most basic but it's life at it's most glorious. We have to eat. WE HAVE TO EAT!!!!!! We have to feed ourselves and our children. If you are a feeder you get this - man or woman - you get it. I love it here for the wider - nay, epic expanse of possibilities open to me. Lemon grass. check. Cassava. yeah. Ginger. duh? good Garlic - ya think? OMG yes please! So much to pick from if brave enough to tough it out.  I guess that's different here.  You gotta want it and search it out - but it's really not that hard once you take the first dangerous step out of your comfort zone.

I have my sights set on farther south some day but for now Virginia is sweet home enough that I am a happy Yankee Rose!!!