How to Make a Putt

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This is for Wordless Wednesday, Friday’s Edition.

I needed something to make me smile today, y’all. It’s been a rough month. Plus all this crappy weather lately is makin’ me miss the golf course. This is a picture of my husband, Jeff, on the left, and his friend, Kirk the Kirkster, on the right. Clowning around seems to come natural to both of them. And, in case you’re wonderin’, they made the putt.

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What the Heck is a Meme?

Richard Dawkins initially defined meme (rhymes with dream) as a noun which “conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation”.  Memeticists often define an individual’s mind as a “playground for memes”  and what they regard as “meme-generated patterns of behavior” can also be referred to as a person’s personality.

These days, a meme is an Internet  list of questions that you saw somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone else sees them and does them and so on and so on. There’s even a bunch of websites devoted to memes, like The Daily Meme.

Why am I blathering on about this, you might ask. Well, my good  friend Debbie, over at Buzzin’ By, tagged me with this meme. It doesn’t have any questions, but  here’s the rules:

1. Go to your documents
2. Go to your 6th file
3. Go to your 6th picture
4. Blog about it
5. Tag 6 friends to do the same

There seems to be alot of controversy about how to do this. What if your pictures aren’t in your documents? What if your documents don’t contain picture files? How about if your pictures aren’t in files…just a whole bunch of pictures in one little ole picture file?

Well.

Here’s what I decided to blog about. It’s the sixth picture in my documents, which only contains five files.

ar008502This picture was taken in the summer of 2004, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  This is me and my step daughter, Danielle, getting ready to climb up into the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which was constructed back in 18 70.

Also known as America’s Lighthouse, it’s the tallest brick beacon in the nation. It stands at an impressive 208-feet. The familiar spiral-striped landmark serves as a warning to mariners of submerged and shifting sandbars which extend almost twenty miles off Cape Hatteras into the Atlantic Ocean, known as the Diamond Shoals. In 1999 the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved, at a cost of millions of taxpayers’ dollars, a half mile inland, to save it from falling into the encroaching sea.

It was a great weekend, y’all. My husband, Jeff, Danielle and I were invited up there to spend it with, coincidentally, my same friend, Debbie and her husband, Kirk. They had rented a beach house somewhere near Avon, NC, for the week, and had invited a  menagerie of their kids, step kids, friends and parents. Lucky for us, we got included. It was one of those priceless, summer weekends that will go down in my memory banks as one of the All Time Greatest.

While we were there, I had a decision that I was mulling over. On Friday before we left, I had been called by Kathy, the HR person at Corning, and offered the right to return to my former job there. Three years before, in 2001, Jeff and I had both been laid off.

At the time, I was working as the publisher’s assistant at Wrightsville Beach Magazine. I loved the job. I got to write articles for the magazine and also for it’s sister publication, The Lumina News.  My office had a wonderful view of the Intrcoastal Waterway. I really had no intention of leaving there and going back to the boring production work at Corning. Also, there was no guarantee that  Jeff would ever be recalled, which would mean that the two of us would never be on the same sleeping schedule, since we worked swing shifts at Corning.

However, that beautiful and warm Sunday morning, Jeff and I walked on the beach, stealing a few minutes of solitude with our morning coffees in hand. We found ourselves remembering  how we met at Corning, the days of our courtship, and the friends we had made there. We realized how much we  had been missing for three years.

Monday morning, when we returned to Wilmington, in a move that suprised me more than anyone, I called Kathy and told her I would return.

In February of 2005, Jeff got “the call” from Kathy.

Five years later, I find I miss writing for the magazine, but not much else. The deadlines, the dramas, the stress….are all gone. Right now I am on a relaxing seven day break. I get to enjoy one of these every month, thanks to my schedule at Corning. And during these breaks, I ‘m fulfilling  my creative urges by blogging, thanks to, again, my friend Debbie, who suggested it.

Debbie, I sure do owe you a lot.

This visit to the playground of my mind was fun. Now to tag some more folks!

I’ll tag my son, Kyle, because he really needs to get blogging again. My first “stranger” that commented, Jan, because she has such a unique take on everything. Goodfather, because he’s been laid off, too, and he has already demonstrated he ability to do memes. Another Jan, at Jan’s Sushi Bar, because she and I have a million things in common (we just haven’t discovered quite all of ’em yet!) I guess I’ll tag our Spin Cycle hostess, Sprite’s Keeper, because I’m hoping I’ll become a little more popular by association. Finally, because she likes fried okra, Meli!

I Blog to Defy the Shrews

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This week’s Spin Cycle is about blogging. Well, why you’re blogging. And how you got started. And why you decided to call it whatever it is you call it. Your blog, that is.

I started blogging because my friend, Debbie, at Buzzin’ By, said to me, (well she didn’t really say anything, she wrote it because that’s how Debbie and I talk, bein’ cyber friends, and all), she says, “You need to start a blog.” So, I started a blog. I pretty much do everything Debbie suggests, because she has that kind of power over me.

See, there was this creepy place we used to hang out at, called TSC, or The Stepfamily Connection. I got involved with this whole crowd of stepmoms because I had just married my second husband and started down the twisted, broken, root-infested, ankle-breakin’ path we call “Step Life.”  I had just gotten my first computer, too, and although I knew nothing about discussion forums, I was enlightened about Google, thank God. So I was googling “how to survive being a stepmom,” or “how to deal with a vicious, immature, selfish, brainwashing ex-wife,” or something along those lines, when I stumbled onto TSC and my life ain’t been the same since.

The whole world of meeting people online and sharing my most intimate problems with total strangers was opened up to me that day. Eventually, a bunch of us decided to meet in person and it was uncanny how we not only clicked, but how our husbands clicked, too. It’s like they were long lost brothers.

Over the course of a few years, our group on TSC became divided into two groups. Let’s call them the “Jealous Shrews” and the “Pretty Nice Girls”. Debbie, bein’ the Queen of the Pretty Nice Girls, our “Queen Bee” (her screen name), was despised the most by the Jealous Shrews. What they particularly hated the most about her, was her ability to bee-friend everyone. She was, in a word, popular. She kept up with everything and everybody and had the best advice. So, the Jealous Shrews, bein’ eaten up by the green eyed monster like they were….did I mention that they all just happened to be fat and ugly? I’m just sayin’!….started a hate campaign against “The Queen” and what they thought of as her “followers.” They even named her “Bee-sus” and said she had the ability to suck out the brains of her disciples, which they named “Bee-sciples”.

The owner of this mess (called TSC) tried to swoop in at the last moment and moderate. By then, it had pretty much turned into a mud-slingin’, reputation bashin’ free-for-all and she shut the whole thing down before it gave her a nervous breakdown, or worse, caused her to break a fingernail.

I’m not makin’ this up, y’all. My imagination is not this good. These so-called ladies actually sat around and took the time to type all this crap. What they meant, by all this brain suckin’ talk, was that Debbie seemed to have an influence over the rest of us Pretty Nice Girls that they, in their petty, small brains, could not understand. What she had, and what she still has, is a sense of humor, a sense of fairness, integrity, and a  thoughtful, intelligent, interesting and caring personality. (Plus she’s pretty.)

I’m very proud to call her my friend.

So when Queen Debbie makes a suggestion, I jump all over it. Partly because it gives me a little wicked thrill to think about how the Jealous Shrews would be bangin’ their heads up against the wall, if they knew, but mostly because I respect her advice. She’s never steered me wrong, yet, and I know I can trust her.

Where Debbie leads, I will follow. So this here blog is my foray into another part of the great big ole  Internet. Right now, I’m like a baby, crawlin’ around on the floor and stickin’ stuff in my mouth to see how it tastes. One of these days I’ll pull myself up and try to take a few shaky steps, but I’m still in my creeping along stage right now. My creeping and tasting has already lead me to the realization that one blog is not enough. So I’ve already branched out to the crazy Wild Side of Snowy, which is about another one of the Nice Pretty Girls that I love.

A couple of months after I started blogging, my grandmother passed away. I found that posting her poems and sharing my memories of her was a tremendous help in my grief process, and so I began to get a taste of how therapeutic a blog can be. I plan to do another blog about her and her life, with old scanned photographs and her poetry. It will be, I hope, a nice memorial to her that my family across the country can read and participate in.

The Story About My Name has already been written, in one of my first posts. I wanted to have a safe place where I could “snap” in style, if and when I got good and ready. I wrote for a magazine, Wrightsville Beach Magazine, for a while and I owned my own publication, Scene Magazine, which was about my home town, Wilmington, N.C. I love to write and I want to write a novel someday. I also want to start a photography blog and a blog all about Wilmington, which would be sorta like an online version of Scene Magazine. Until then, this will do.

To Debbie

 

 

This is my friend, Debbie. She and I met on the internet, about seven years ago. She never fails to make me laugh, she is always the first person to be in my corner, she encourages me to be a better person and she understands what is important to me. Last, but not least, she always leaves a comment on every single thing I post! What more could you ask for in a friend? My grandmother wrote this poem for a good friend of hers, and today, on my birthday, I dedicate it to you.

 

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TO MY FRIEND

By Gladys Parker, Sept. 2004

We started a building sometime ago

A structure to last for ever, you know.

The material we decided to use

Storms and weather could not abuse.

 

The foundation made of respect and trust

Would never waiver or turn to dust,

And through the years it stood the test

Of time and change and restlessness.

 

Today I think we really know

This house we built long ago,

With friendship, care and other things

Will never fail the joy it brings.