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Saturday, December 10, 2016

December 10, 2013

Three years ago today I was freed.
I consider December 10th my free from cancer day because I had it cut out of MY body. When everyone else thought I should do exactly what the doctors said to do, well, I chose to listen to my body, my spirit, and my heart. 

(Yes, eventually I did the chemo and radiation for a bit, but if you educate yourself on all of your options, your world opens up to so much more.  Now insert a rant about the evils of western medicine and the ridiculousness of chemo and radiation. Again, this blog entry is what I have to say about MY body and MY experience, and it is not for everyone.)

After my freedom date, I woke up and realized it is time to live. Now if you have kept up with my other blogs, then you know I have never been short of experiences or adventure, but there’s something different about this list. There’s something amazing in every day events, when you choose to live. 

In the last three years I have had the pleasure of experiencing so much, and here are just a few of them.  Living with a purpose and living by the seat of your pants is truly the best combination to live life. If this entry encourages anyone, then I can add that to my list. 

1.   I shaved my head and rocked the bald chick look. 
Rocking the bald look, see I told ya. 
2.   I took off a year from teaching to be my own boss.
3.   Tony Robbins convinced me I could do anything, so I walked across fire.
4.   I burned the hell out of my feet, but with no regrets.
5.   I lived life as a vegan, and never felt better.
6.   We flew to Pittsburgh, two of my best girlfriends and I, and spent a memorable weekend visiting Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, drank my first hard cider, and froze my rear end watching the Steelers whoop the Ravens, which happened to be Troy Palamo's last home game (whose jersey I was wearing) as well as Mean Joe Greene’s jersey retirement game. - Trust me this is a BIG deal. 
This looks photoshopped, but I promise it isn't.  
7.   I woke up in Rome on my 46th birthday.
8.   Along with loved ones, I went to service with Pope Francis and was blessed by him.

9.   We climbed the stairs to the top of the Vatican Roof and watched the sunset.

The sun on my face from the roof top of the Vatican. 
10.  We barricaded ourselves in our house in Palermo for safety at night. 
11.  I spoke and translated Italian for everyone on our two-week adventure through Italy.
12.  I hiked Mt. Vesuvius as a last minute decision.
13.  I moved and lived near the water for a year. 
14.  I fell in love.
15.  I broke down from love.
16.  And I got right back up again.
17.  My sweet corgi, Patina, crossed the Rainbow Bridge and I was fortunate enough to hold her.
18.   I moved to North Carolina.
19.  Twice, I have napped in a salt cave.
20.  I drove by myself through the mountains.

21.  I voted for a woman to be President.
Madame President and my 1 month old niece at a rally in Houston. 
22.  I witnessed the true meaning of Fall.
23.  I stood on top of Blowing Rock.
24.  I watched it snow. 

25.  I kept going. 
Look at all that adventure out there,  just waiting for this clumsy one to stumble upon it.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dear Diary, I Have A Message

Sometimes the simple moments make you wake up and realize just how blessed you are. 
Nothing particularly special or out of the ordinary happened today; it was just another day…

…but it was another day in North Carolina. Now do not get me wrong, I am proud to be a Houston/H-town/North Side girl, but something was pulling me here with the Holy Spirit OR my discernment OR my gut instinct OR whatever you want to call it, and I followed it. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and every day has been such a blessing since then.

I do love my Houston skyline. 

For the first time in my 17-year teaching career I work at a school where I have a wish list as a teacher…on my website…that parents want to buy things for the classroom, for the kids, and me.  I have so many school supplies purchased by the parents I am out of space in my room. If you know a teacher, then you know how big of a deal this is to us. 

Always in my heart.
Tomorrow I'm starting an anti-bullying team where the first focus is how safe we are and how safe we will remain. We have practice lockdowns at our school.  We have a Say Something week in honor of the Sandyhook victims. I get to make an impact on a new generation and group of kids and they want to respectfully learn about other cultures. I may even get to organize a multicultural night, which thrills me to pieces. My friend, Keisha, told me one day before I left Houston, “Go and make a difference and please teach kids that look like you about kids that look like me.” I get to do just that!

For almost 7 weeks now, every other day I have a parent emailing me thanking me for being at their child's school and giving me positive feedback about what their kid goes home and shares with them from my classroom.  Even when the parents question me, it is an intelligent conversation and they still thank me for teaching, loving, or accepting their child. I didn't know these conversations could occur.

I still have no idea what the winter season is going to throw at me since I am a girl that's been in snow once in my life while visiting Canada, but I am still willing to look forward to it, and why not?

Oh, boy. 

I was brought to tears because, I realized an ordinary day in North Carolina has been better than most of my best days in Texas.  It only took me 47 years to figure that out today.

My message is this…sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone, and walking away from the good, the bad and the disappointments of our present situation, is just the medicine we need to be happy, and you know what, if you decide to step out of your comfort zone those who need to be in your life will still be in your life and those that love you will always love you no matter the distance. 
It’s really that simple.


The lines aren't always straight, and the picture isn't always perfect, but man it feels like living!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hi Y'all…Works Here Too

Apparently when you move to a new city you do things you would never do in your hometown.

In Houston, I'm pretty sure I NEVER drove the speed limit.
In Greensboro, it just seems like the polite thing to do…at least 50% of the time.

In Houston, going to the farmer's market was a twice a year event and usually we had to pack some heat.
In Greensboro, it just seems to be the Saturday norm.

In Houston, I left my backdoor open because I burned dinner and had to let the smoke out of the house.
In Greensboro, it just seems like a lovely way to experience fresh air.

In Houston, driving home at 5:45 would cause high blood pressure, cold sweat, and extreme cursing.
In Greensboro, it just seems like a great opportunity to sing along with the radio and maybe stop to take a picture of sunflowers.

In Houston, I would drive a little longer because the radio and song choices were so amazing.
In Greensboro, it just seems like no one has ever heard of any decent hip hop or rap artists.

In Houston, we could drive a quarter of a mile and experience some of the best restaurants in YOUR LIFE.
In Greensboro, it just seems like cooking at home is more appropriate.

In Houston, I am loved.

In Greensboro, it just seems like it. 

I'm Sorry

I have ignored you for so long. 
You see I was busy starting over. 
You should never go ignored again, because you are what I need to feel alive. 
You remind me I have a voice… a voice that deserves to be heard. A voice that says really loudly, "I'M ALIVE AND I MATTER!"

Thank you for forgiving me and as always taking me back. 
Every time I return to you I feel cleansed once again. 

Now let's blog, baby!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Those Lights Sure Did Go Out In Georgia

My intentions were to log funny quotes on our road trip to North Carolina. It started off going very well, but then we hit Georgia. 

You see, I decided to do something crazy for my 47th year on Earth, and so I stepped out of my comfort zone. I applied for a teaching job in North Carolina, packed up everything, and moved here in mid July. With my momma, my pup, my uncle, two cousins, their border collie, Jethro, and Granny (just kidding about the last two) we hit the road to the East coast. 

Where I get my courage to step out of my comfort zone

The first 24 hours went just fine. My mother and I laughed so much with each other and at each other.  My sweet 10 month old pup did great. I swear she is like a baby, you put her in the car for more than 15 minutes and she passes out asleep. 
And not on drugs
Now I could sit here and whine and cry about how my alternator and battery died on me on a Friday night somewhere in Georgia, where everything is closed at 7pm, but instead I'm going to tell you how blessed I am.

You know the song

I'm going to tell you how blessed I am that I had a momma with me who remained calm but bossy.

I'm going to tell you how Jesus still loves me even though I curse…a lot.

I am going to tell you how three adults, two kids, and two dogs piled into my uncle's truck and literally with prayers got to North Carolina at 1 am in a terrible rain storm with torn up windshield wipers. 
"Poodle" the Border Collie 

I am going to tell you how wonderful my life long friends handled the stress of the worst moving company and me with my "awesome" car luck.

My biggest blessings of all
I am going to tell you how much I have laughed these last 11 days, and I do not regret a moment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bippity Boppity Boo

She has been my mother's best friend for 37 years and is one of the most amazing women who helped make me the woman I am today. 

My Aunt Linda taught me the beauty of raw cookie dough, finger foods for dinner, acting like a lady, the "just right time" to use the F word (still struggling with that one) and not letting a bad boss define you. 

She held my hand when I went to the fertility doctors to try and have children. She was there guiding me through adoption classes and when I had to quit because of the diagnosis. She held my hand and my mother's as the three of us sat in the doctor's office and we got the news of the cancer. 
Aunt Linda has been my source of strength and my mother's "sister" through good and bad times. I just wanted another audience to know how wonderful she is and how thankful I am for her and her love.

If you have a woman in your life like her, then thank them, tell them and share your story with the world. 
Love one another. 
Respect one another. 

Lift one another.

"This is my Hairy Dogfather…I mean Fairy Godmother."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

He Ain't Heavy; He's My Brother

As I work on a new project, learning to distress furniture, I decided to listen to some oldies from the Sock Hop era, my father's music.
I listen to it and laugh. 
I listen to it and dance. 
I listen to it and begin reminiscing.

Suddenly, I start to think about one of the greatest men in my life. 
How no one knows me from his point of view. 
No one has seen me through his eyes, whether it was my best moment or my worst. We share something in common only one other person on earth shares, and that is our father. 

My little brother, who is nineteen years younger than me, is one of the greatest men in my life. (You thought it was going to be my dad, didn't you? You haven't been paying attention to my life then.) 
My little brother has only known me since he was six years old, and he put me on a pedestal, but I never knew he would be the one on that pedestal, for me, years later. 

Today is his 28th birthday, and I love him so very much. He makes me proud and everyone who knows him loves him and is very entertained by him. He got the best traits of each parent, and the rest from me. (I often like to take credit for his wonderfulness, and if I'm wrong don't try to persuade me otherwise, because I'm that hard headed, so is he.)

No one else on this Earth knows what it is like to have me as an older sister, but him. 
No one else knows what it is like to be the child of Joe Lucario AND still be proud to carry that last name. 
No one else knows what it's like to reminisce and laugh until we cry or cry until we laugh about our childhood.

…But everyone knows what it's like to love Joey.

Happy Birthday Little Brother! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Want Answers

I want answers to my questions. 
Do not attack me, because I want answers. 
Just tell me.

I want to know why black men are becoming an endangered species. 
Answer my question.

I want to know why white males are the number one race of pedophiles and rapists, yet they get a six-month sentence for raping a woman who is passed out in an alley and more time for stealing a car.
Answer my question.

I want to know why most of my teacher friends have to have a second job, but a chick in Los Angeles will give a blow job on a video and have butt implants will make more money this year than any educator I know in their life time.
Answer my question.

I want to know why an educated male of mixed ethnicities can give a speech that makes all of us squirm in our seat to make us look inward and is called down to quit his job of entertainment, but Donald Trump can tell a woman, in a professional setting, how she probably looks good on her knees, and is still going to run for President of my country. 
Answer my question. 

I want to know what Hillary Clinton has done that no other public official and/or President and Vice President hasn't done already?
Answer my question. 

I want to know why it is okay to judge someone on their weight, but ignore someone on their racism. 
Answer my question. 

In Case You Didn't Know Me Well Enough

Facebook is great for posting uplifting items, sharing your opinion, and making each other laugh, but recently it has pissed me off with some of the ignorance I have seen. Naturally, I cannot be quiet, so here was my most recent post.

I'm about to upset a lot of you, so if you need to remove me from your social media account, then go ahead. 
It is okay, but I need to voice my opinion without using 'funny pictures', because I need to be authentic. Do not attack me nor try to persuade me. 
It will not happen here, so in case you did not know this about me here you go:

1. I will vote for Hillary Clinton. I would vote for Jessie Williams, but he is too busy on 'Grey's Anatomy.'

2. I believe in the death penalty.

3. I believe marijuana should be legalized
4. I believe that Donald Trump is an embarrassment to our country, and the idea of him running our country terrifies me.

5. I think anyone who shoots and kills a person who is handcuffed and unarmed, needs to me removed immediately from service and forward all income to the family of the lost loved one.

6. I think people should be judged on their racism rather than their weight.

7. I think that if Hillary Clinton is to be held accountable for wrong doings then, so should Powell, Rove, GW Bush, and so on.

8. I believe if you live in this country and your intentions are to stay and be a part of it, then you should be required to learn English and pay taxes.

9. I believe if you force yourself into a woman, then she should get to decide on the punishment for you.

10. I believe all gang bangers, and people on death row should be sent to war before anyone else.

11. I believe educators and nurses should be paid more than anyone who gets recorded giving a blow job with ass implants.

12. I think two additional languages and a study of all religions should be taught in public schools from kindergarten and beyond.

13. I believe I am thankful for having rights, but also understand those rights should be amended to fit the current century.

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mental Constipation

Oh this feels so gooooood! Due to several life events and technology issues I have not been able to blog in a very, very long time, but now I'm back, baby! I'm back…and it feels oh so good!

I have had so many crazy events happen in the last 7 months, and although I could blog about each and every one of them, I do not have time due to the fact that I've grown very fond of 8 or more hours of sleep, so I will list the life lessons learned from them and hopefully you will find them educational, touching, or humorous as I have had to do myself. (Remember these are my life lessons.) 

1.   As an Italian Aries raised by a southern Leo woman, not being able to express myself has been a painful type of mental constipation. I appreciate self-expression and freedom of speech more than ever.

2.   Some men will love you and lie to you and neither will have to do with you. Other men will love you and lie to you and it has everything to do with you. Some men will just love you…I do not know who these men are, but rumor is they exist.

3.   People don't always tell the truth. Who knew? 

4.   It's true what they (I still do not know who they are) but it's true what they say about having your heart broken I can't remember it because I suck at getting a damn cliché rightI just know there's something out there about scars on your heart, toughening up and moving on…right?

5.   You can be 47 years old and still not get a damn cliché right in your life. 

47…may not know a cliche but I look goooood. 

6.   I am an amazing and gifted teacher but working around negative, selfish, paranoid teachers can truly, truly steal your joy and gift if you let it.

7.  Holding my four-legged children while they die never gets easy, and watching them suffer is even more painful. 

Our last morning together…I miss my sweet Donkey so much. 

8.  "Successful" money hungry people will steal your ideas, my ideas and act like it is theirs. 

9.   There is something so intoxicating about a successful, intelligent, honest, determined, spiritual, SINGLE, black man.

Lord, Help Me!

10.  My family STILL isn't defined by blood. 

11.  Women, who have children, will simply never understand the heartbreak of women (who can't have kids) and how we feel at baby showers. 

12.  My friends will utilize my skills and then forget that I'm not always a business, but a person. 

13.  My friends will be by my side and love me through the break ups and break downs, and never expect me to always be "on."

14.  The IRS sucks. 

15.  Bad pizza is better than no pizza. 

16.  Bad sex is NOT better than no sex. 

17.  Just because someone looks good, doesn't mean they have what it takes to 'Boomerang' those toes. (Eddie Murphy movie reference)

If you have not seen this movie, then please do.

18.  I will not take for granted people who love me, especially those who still say, 'I love you' after I've had a shitty day.  

19.  No one loves me like my momma.

20.  Hugs are underrated.

21.  Puppies are a pain in the ass.

22.  Puppies are so dang adorable.

She is no Donkey, but she is a Sadie. 

23.  Visiting other cities is good for everyone's soul.

24.  Moving to other cities is REALLY good for the soul.

Hellooooooo Greensboro!