Monday, January 31, 2011


One of my all-time favorite reality shows ended their season with a loud thump last night. The Real Housewives of Atlanta have spent the last few weeks showcasing the bitter battles between Nene and Kim, Nene and her husband, and Nene and everyone else who got on Nene’s one good nerve. Nene’s rages have been a bit much over the past two seasons but when you consider that she’s going through a very nasty and public divorce with a husband who is living in her basement, is frustrated by a grown son who isn’t riding the fast track to adulthood, and reinventing herself as a woman and single parent, Nene should be able to rage.

Kim has been her usual delusional and narcisstic self and Kandi has been biting back her tongue to keep the peace while she navigates reviving her singing career. Sheree was, well, Sheree. From one season to the next everything about her continues to feel fake, forced and extremely bland. At least this season she wasn’t picking fights in public and pulling off people’s wigs for air time.

Newcomer Phaedra turned out to be far more likeable at the end of the season than she was at the beginning. Initially Phaedra played that southern belle roll to the hilt, but eventually we came to see that Phaedra was simply country to her core. Post-birth Phaedra was far less abrasive and not nearly as pretentious once her hormone levels were back in balance. I can appreciate that she’s really a great mother to her newborn son and she would seem to adore her hunky husband. Her tears as she was leaving her baby to return to work for the first time were truly moving. But I wish someone would tell her that she needs to support that baby’s head better before she snaps his little neck.

And then we had the other new housewife Cynthia Bailey. The finale revolved around whether or not Cynthia was going to actually make it down the aisle to marry her companion, Peter Thomas. I like Cynthia. Like most, I was wishing Cynthia would see the light and not marry Peter. The man came across as arrogant, controlling, inept, and the source of all Cynthia’s unhappiness.

Just before the ceremony, the groom was a bit inebriated and Cynthia had come close to polishing off a bottle of champagne herself. The need for liquid strength on what should have been the happiest day of their lives was the first red flag. Cynthia’s mother and sister crying tears of anguish and not joy, and even contemplating hiding the marriage license, was the kicker for me. Obviously we only got to see a fraction of the couple’s relationship. After seeing Cynthia’s family’s reaction I can only begin to imagine what they have been privy to.

Through it all Cynthia seemed most happy about her platinum gown. I so wanted to tell her that she could keep her beautiful dress, but that she didn’t need to keep a man who didn’t seem to be making her happy. But Cynthia did make it down the aisle to pledge her love, knowing that divorce was always an option if needed. I certainly wish her well, and him too, but much like Kim, I’m not betting on them lasting but so long through their marital blues.

It’s been one heck of a season for the Housewives of Atlanta and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I can’t wait for the new season to get here!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I go through phases of obsession. Two years ago it was little black dresses. I spent months trying to find the perfect little black dress. Toward that goal I lost count of the number of little black dresses that I purchased. I know that at least two dozen of them are hanging in my closet with the price tags still on them.

Then I went through my sweat suit phase. Couldn’t get enough cute sweat suits to bum around the house in. Bought until I was sweat suited out!

Now I’m back to a girl’s all-time favorite: shoes! I love me some shoes! And I love shoes that make a statement.

Recently I was desperate for the sleekest pair of black, thigh-high boots that I could find. I spent at least three months looking for the most perfect pair and then I found these Christian Louboutin black suede boots that absolutely rocked my obsessive spirit and kicked it back into thigh-high gear. My boots are all that and an extra-large bag of chips. My boots are HOT! and I feel like I am on fire when I'm wearing them. LOVE my boots!!!!!

Then I had to get these babies.

They are the cutest little booties that convert to a fold-over. While I was waiting for the FedEx man to make my special delivery I found the animal print booties and how could I pass up the animal print?

Summer’s coming and between the strappy sandals, cute espadrilles, high-heeled slides and every other too cute shoe I can fathom, I’m thinking that I may need to get me some retail therapy help to reel in my obsession.

And I need to reel that obsession in 'cause more times than not I usually default to my favorite pair of tennis shoes or my black Capezios and all my great shoes sit pretty in their boxes with the price tags still on them.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Earlier today my baby boy received his airborne wings. He officially graduated from Army Jump School. It has been a rigourous three weeks of training that I can only begin to imagine. This go-round he was able to call home more and give more details than with army bootcamp.

Although every ounce of it was one big adrenaline rush for him, I know that it was taxing on him both physically and emotionally. Since he started this journey he has had to weather some pretty significant storms.

When baby boy was eight years old he was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I am still haunted by the memory of his tears when he was in pain. The first doctor we saw prescribed cortizone injections for his knees. I refused knowing that at the age of eight, taking cortizone shots, he wouldn't have any knees by the time he reached eighteen. We eventually found a great pediatric rheumatologist to control the pain and swelling of his joints that he frequently experienced.

On one particular doctor's visit my son was whining about how much it hurt and he couldn't play some sport he was interested in playing. The doctor leaned in close and essentially told him to "man up". That man told my child that he didn't get to whine and he didn't get to be lazy, that as long as God blew breath into his lungs he would have to learn to push past some kind of pain to live a full and complete life. He told him the true test of his strength would be whether or not he was willing to fight for what he wanted or if he would give up. Son-shine took that as a challenge and has been fighting ever since.

I know that since he joined the military that he has pushed his body beyond the point of no return and he still won't give. I can only imagine the number that jumping from a plane has done to his knees. And why the hell anyone would want to jump from a perfectly good airplane in the first place is beyond me. But Son-shine says it's a requirement for his Special Forces training and so he endures.

Congratulations, PFC. Mello! Your mother loves you very, very much!!!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


A few months back, inspirational author Betsy Otter Thompson sent me a copy of her book Walking Through Illusion and asked if I would give it a read. On my first attempt I failed miserably. Two pages in I realized that Betsy’s book was clearly going to provoke thought and analysis and I needed to be in a more reflective mindset. Recognizing that I was wanting something that was more mind numbing I had to put it down. I plopped it back on my nightstand atop a large stack of books to be read and I paused until the moment I was ready to take in what Betty was offering.

With the New Year, I was contemplating my future, reflecting on my life’s purpose, and needing something more substantial to sink my teeth into, so I curled up in my favorite reading space with Betsy’s book.

Walking Through Illusion is a series of short stories about biblical people struggling with issues who either knew Jesus or knew of him and were influenced by him in one way or another. . Each chapter is themed and focuses on the growth of a particular person. At the end of each chapter there are questions designed to bring meaningful ideas that were just read into the reader’s everyday life.

Initially, I found the Q & A format where the author has a dialogue with Jesus about each person a little off-putting. I don’t know why I was uncomfortable with it but I was.

Pushing through, I recognized that my discomfort came, not from the author’s format and style, but from the simple ideology that I had lost sight of and was now being challenged with. As Jesus answered her questions, commenting on the purpose of each individual’s trials or temptations, I had to consider the context of such in my own life. It provoked much thought about my faith and those moments when my faith has wavered miserably. And I loved that Walking Through Illusion presented the teachings of Jesus in a very practical, non-religious manner.

This is a book that should be savored. It is rich with texture and one that I know I have to read again for what I might have missed the first time. What I loved most about Betty’s book is that it opened my heart and revived the spiritual journey I have often fallen off of. Walking Through Illusion gave both my mind and soul one serious workout. I look forward to that kind of exercise again.

Betsy Otter Thompson is also the author of The Mirror Theory, the first book in her trilogy on the life of Jesus, and four other books that were published and distributed through her own company, Ascension Publishing. Betsy's work has always gravitated toward the media. A native Philadelphian with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for WFIL radio in Philadelphia, and from there went to radio stations WPEN and WFLN. After that, she became a commercial print model and acted in television commercials in New York and Philadelphia. For seventeen years, she worked in Los Angeles at the motion picture and television company Castle Rock Entertainment as the Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. In August '99, she followed her boss to Warner Bros. as he took a new position there as President and COO, and became his Executive Assistant. She is now writing full time. Betsy's writing began unexpectedly while going through an especially difficult time in her life. She believes that her books were the answer to her prayers.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


They say we have snow coming. Family and friends to the north of us will get far more than we will, but it’s predicted that we will get more than our fair share of ice and fluffy stuff.

I am not winter friendly. Cold and I do not get along. Snow is my least favorite thing. However, if it must come, I hope that it comes in abundance. I want to see mile high drifts that shut down the state for an extended period of time. I want to be stuck in the house with my favorite guy doing absolutely nothing until the mood moves us. I do not want to worry about traveling in hazardous conditions, navigating icy patches, or shoveling one darn thing. If I can have all of this, then by golly, let it snow!

If not, then let the bad weather pass us completely by. And let summer get here quick.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


As 2010 fizzled out and 2011 landed with a resounding THUD!, I was reminded of one very important life lesson: When you allow someone else to be responsible for your good time, you can't complain when you don't have one. Jack Daniels, an old favorite, saved my midnight hour this year. I'm sure I won't like him half as much in the morning.

Sitting in reflection, I had to take a quick moment and check myself. A life lesson I've most recently learned: You get back what you invest. And that applies to a shitty attitude, so I worked ten-fold to improve my own. Then I revisted my favorite tidbits of advice and felt they were well worth repeating for the New Year.

So, as you rid yourself of last year's haunts and pour over your New Year's resolutions, remember that each new day is an opportunity for a new beginning. If you didn't get it right the first time, then do better the second, and if necessary, the third time.

May the New Year fulfill all of our dreams and wishes and may each of our blessings be abundant and joyous. HAPPY NEW YEAR!


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and look back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

20. Remember to give thanks.