Tuesday, July 27, 2010

THE JOY FACTOR


"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."
~Paul Hawken (writer and activist for environmental and social justice)

I needed to read the above quote today.

It's been a while since I've blogged about mine and Ed's economic status -- I suppose I wanted to wait until I had reached my personal goal of a satisfactory bank account savings to say: "Look how far we've come from last year!!!"

However, as we all know, shit happens -- to put it in my usual delicacy. Things come up (car needs, college books/fees, illnesses, etc.) and we find that we are never quite where we thought we should be.

Mini-vacations are planned such as mine and Ed's over-nighter to Catalina Island tomorrow for his 48th birthday, which is actually tomorrow.















Ed has always wanted to go to Catalina so when I first began inquiring about hotel costs, getting to the island and back, activities, etc., I kept in mind that it is indeed the peak of the season there (*see also price gauging) so the best way would be to visit during the week instead of the weekend to save on what will already be a spendy venture.

In light of this, I only planned two activities: the night boat trip to see the flying fish and the glass bottom boat.

From there I saved X amount of money (plus $5.00 for motion sickness pills -- it had to be done. $5.00 well spent) for any further activities as everything there is ridiculously expensive: $40.00 an hour to rent a golf cart for self-guided island tour, $100.00 an hour to rent a jet-ski, $100.00 to do the zipline, Para-sailing and snorkeling prices vary...so we'll likely do the most economical considering we're only there for one day.

Add what I paid for the hotel, the boat there and back, the two planned activities, the money saved for extra activities, food and souvenirs and we're looking at a $600.00 to $700.00 trip for everything just for two people overnight.

It's been four years since Ed and I have been away anywhere so I now wonder: How in the hell do people do this? How do people go to Hawaii and Vegas every summer? I actually know people who do...

I admit now with all my anxieties about money worries, that I wonder if I made the right decision here in planning what I thought was a nice surprise and much needed & deserved get-away.

CON: Wouldn't that money be better served in the bank collecting interest?

PRO: Ed said it best: "What the hell do I work so hard for six days a week if we can't enjoy some of my earnings?"

CON: MONEY!!!! ANXIETIES!!!!

PRO: Agreeing with Ed.

I've been having MUCH trouble getting geared up for this. Oh, I've been telling people how I "can't wait" and "Yes, we are soo excited!" and I have been counting down the days on Twitter and even painted my toe nails a Caribbean blue for the occasion.

But in reality, I'm a wreck over the expense and have come so close to calling the whole thing off.

I had to cancel my therapist appointment on Friday when I got Bronchitis (which I'm still battling), couple that with an unexpected visit from "Aunt Flo" yesterday (welcome to peri-menopause. Sorry...TMI?) -- all of this seemed to be a sign pointing that we really shouldn't be going.

So, today while I'm supposed to be getting some last minute things ready and getting prepared to pack, I've been procrastinating and it seems so clear why.

It all comes down to my anxiety disorder where nothing is as it seems. I know logically that I'm being irrational, but I CANNOT get past the fact that I have to pack, drive an hour and a half to the port ($28.00 to leave our car overnight! Yikes!), pay $133.00 for Ed and I to get to the island and back, pay $123.00 for the hotel PLUS activities, food, etc.

However, while the monkey on my back pulls the strings one way, my progress is pulling them another: my ability to know that my irrational fears are trying to take over.

And while they're still present (and perhaps always will be), I am nonetheless going to go and do this thing. This thing that my hardworking husband desperately needs and deserves -- and perhaps I do, too.

So, dear neurosis, you will simply have to try and be patient until my next therapy appointment. Until then, I'm on vacation. Don't bother me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

PARDON ME, COULD YOU KINDLY REMOVE THIS ANVIL FROM MY CHEST?


I wonder if ever there will come a time when I don't start a blog post by apologizing for my absence -- I'm afraid I'm starting to sound like the little boy who cried wolf...

Not my intention and certainly not intentionally done.

In my defense, I've been on the look out for Mr. Universe, Gorgeous George, The World's Strongest Man, anyone -- someone -- of strength to remove what feels like a parked car lying on top of me.

Friday I was diagnosed with Bronchitis -- yes, a fleeting illness to be sure but one who's timing stinks of drunk old Uncle Henry making a pass at your prim Mother-in-law upon first meeting.

Lousy!

I had to miss my therapist appointment on Friday and then I got jerked around ALL DAY by Walmart's pharmacy who refused to cooperate with my doctor's office in regards to getting the generic form of what was under their formulary. My doctor's office was willing and able to fix the prescription problem if only Walmart would cooperate.

Alas, they didn't. Instead of professionalism and cooperation, I got a snotty flunky whom I called a B**** and then ever not-so-subtly told to go f*** herself.

But not before at least getting my anti-biotics filled.

It had to be done. Sorry, folks.

Sometimes a good tongue lashing is in need and if you had heard the way she spoke to me, you may have done the same.

So, my inhalers and nose spray will have to wait until a new pharmacist can be found. I have my anti-biotics and Mucinex in the meantime and it has two more days to work because Ed and I are off to Catalina for our over-nighter on Wednesday.

Bronchitis knew that, too. But I plan to continue drinking my weight in Vitamin C, taking my anti-biotics and Mucinex and foiling it's attempts at it's evil plot to spoil my much needed and anticipated mini-trip with my husband.

Couple all that with our 'house guests' (my mother-in-laws two dogs) who need a lot of attention. They're here until August 8th and while I'm going to miss them when they leave, the truth is they need a lot more attention than just what I and my mother-in-law can give them.

She inherited them from a friend a few years ago who's in the Alzheimer's ward in an assisted living community but she has done nothing to train them and break them of their bad habits: incessant barking, peeing and pooping in the house, chasing my cat, bad eating habits, one growls at the slightest touch intimidating everyone...

This is something that needs to be her priority before she even thinks about traipsing off on her next world adventure.

My priority? New carpet when they go back home: if I didn't need it before, I sure as hell do now!

So, between mini-vacation planning (B will be here with the dogs during our over-nighter), dog sitting/training/feeding/loving (plus my own pets that need attention), being sick -- and trying not to be -- and keeping up with household duties/family time--holy cow!

I want to thank Steven Anthony for featuring my new vegan blog 'Rabbit Food' on his blog on Friday! And many thanks also to Meeko for my 'Rabbit Food' blog button!

You can pick up my super cute 'Rabbit Food' blog button on my sidebar if you so desire.

Your support means the world to me as I am scarcely deserving of yours or anyones loyalty right now considering I just can't seem to manage my time properly.

Friday was indeed a bad time for me to get sick and miss my therapists appointment, eh???


Okay, I'm off for a nice hot shower and to maybe watch last nights season four premiere of 'Mad Men' which I'm supposed to wait for Ed to do but....this damned medication is -- eh hem -- 'forcing' me do uncharacteristic things that I don't want to do :D

So, please, please accept my apologies, all. I am TRYING to get better and get my shit together.

Thinking of you.

Peace and island serenity,
~Jo

Friday, July 16, 2010

JUST A QUICK HI


Just posted a great, easy vegan pizza recipe on my 'Rabbit Food' blog (you can get to 'Rabbit Food' from my profile under 'My Blogs').

Pizza and Friday nights just sort of go together.....

So sorry I've once again been a neglectful blog friend -- busy with a houseful of furry family members, some ours & some our guests -- until August 8th -- while they're real Mommy is on vacation.

And we're now officially into summer here with triple digits -- ugh! -- and so I'm moving slow to get motivated and get things done.

Counting down the days until mine & Ed's Catalina Island overnighter -- 12 more days....

Be back soon to catch up with Meeko, Steven, Andrea, Elle....thank you my dear blog friends for your heaps and mounds of patience and understanding.

Love you all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A RANT FOR A RANT AND AN ADMISSION


More tapes keep being released where we hear first hand Mel Gibson's psyche coming unhinged.

A few posts below this one I wrote about being deeply disappointed in someone I always viewed as an enlightened genius with him being behind such movies as 'Braveheart', 'The Passion Of The Christ' and 'Apocalypto'.

Then came his anti-Semitic rant four years ago and now this latest string of verbally abusive and pure venomous RAGE against the mother of his eight month old daughter.

Each tape being released is more vile than the one before it.

So, what gives?

They say that every genius at work has a taste of madness in them. Perhaps Mr. Gibson's latest rant is simply the product of a long simmering internal struggle.

Another theory I'm struggling to publicly wonder about is the role in all this by the woman in question; Oksana Grigorieva, his now estranged girlfriend.

Far be it for me to somehow try to validate and wrap my mind around Mr. Gibson's racist, volatile and threatening rage.

What I will say is that Oksana herself appears very calm -- a little too calm -- in the released tapes.

Is that simply her nature?

Or perhaps it's knowing that it is she, of course, who is doing the taping and therefore is trying to carefully portray herself as the injured party in this debacle.

No question about it, though -- he has admitted to hitting her while she held their daughter and he has clearly come unhinged as you can hear his shaking, volatile rants and breathlessness in his verbal attacks towards her.

This is a man who clearly needs help.

Is it his rumored alcoholism or that madness I spoke of previously that drives him to this kind of erratic behavior?

And, again -- what about Oksana herself?

She has been called a 'fame whore' dating and only having the children of famous men, including British actor Timothy Dalton (who once played 'James Bond') as well as Mel Gibson.

Those who know her call her 'ambitious'.

Not that any of the above 'facts' means she is deserving of the physical and verbal lashings Mr. Gibson has seen to hand out.

In the middle of a custody battle (where I don't see him coming out on top of this one) between the two, I simply have to question the timing of these released taped conversations that took place seven months ago.

And I'm questioning the 'calm' and 'ambitious' woman behind them.

And by doing so I want to reiterate that I am NOT validating Mr. Gibson's behavior one iota.

I'm simply wondering what we don't know about her.

ADMISSION:

Without going into details, a few years ago Ed and I were in a very bad place. I primarily blame myself. Through all of our fights and turmoil, through all my once deceptive behavior...others were listening in.

With our very close range of neighbors on each side of us coupled with our long-standing 'open door policy', very little remained what should have been a private matter between Ed, myself and my demons.

On a much smaller scale, of course, I am somehow able to muster a small measurement of empathy for Mel Gibson's situation.

It wasn't long before I was 'called out', called names and threatened with exposure. Friends and neighbors turned on me and I had a choice to make: I could keep being lost and deceitful, drowning myself into a long, deep and dark abyss until there would be no way for me to crawl out -- or I can hold myself accountable, admit all, ask for forgiveness and work on re-building trust and repairing the damage that was done.

I was not alone in creating the wreck that had become my existence, yet I was certainly left on my own, with my orange reflector vest for all to see, cleaning up the debris.

I could be accountable or I could shift blame.

I wanted no part of either but let me say that it has taken me two years plus to move past it -- and I give Ed and B much credit, too.

Again, what should have been a private matter was out in the open for all to hold judgment.

Then, of course, all hell broke loose with us losing our home and beginning a year and a half nightmare of near poverty, turmoil and bankruptcy.

In conclusion of my rant, I wonder how many of us would not want the neighbors, friends and the world hearing what should be private...as I also wonder how Mel Gibson will pull himself out of his own, long, deep and dark abyss.

*On a completely different note, as stated yesterday, I began a vegan blog called 'RABBIT FOOD' which you can get to from my profile under 'My Blogs' (until I can get a blog button made for it).

I posted on there yesterday and today to try and do some enlightening of my own. I hope you'll join me and let me know what you think.

Wishing you all peace, serenity & privacy,
~Jo

Monday, July 12, 2010

RABBIT FOOD


I had a very productive session with my therapist on Friday. In encouraging me to 'step outside of my box' and do something more just for me, I will be looking up beginner classes for knitters; something I've always wanted to learn.

I hear knitting is cathartic and my love of beanies and scarves will no doubt be enhanced should I get the hang of this skill which requires patience -- not my strong suit!

I also began a new blog called 'Rabbit Food' about veganism. You can get to it through my profile -- at least until I can have a blog button made.

This is something I've wanted to do for a while and I just published my first post there where I talk about why I became a vegan.

So, I'll keep this short because I have to take the dogs out back to do their business (ha!) and simply encourage you to stop by my other blog and become a follower. This is something I feel no pressure to do -- merely to post recipes and tid-bits as I see fit.

Wishing you all a great day!

Peace and serenity,
~Jo

Friday, July 9, 2010

WHERE'S THE BRAVERY AND HEART?


Yesterday I lost a hero. A visionary. I actually lost him four years ago. And what I didn't lose then -- and was willing to forgive for the sake of the genius and art that had yet to be made -- the rest was solidified yesterday.

From the man who had it in him to direct and star in a film about Scottish hero William Wallace ('Braveheart') -- which, best to my knowledge, no one had previously done -- came a misogynistic, hateful and racist filled rant: the phone call heard around the world.

I am, of course, talking about Mel Gibson.

Four years ago he barely came out unscathed after his anti-Semitic rant where he claimed "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world".

Some of us forgave, even those of us who come from Jewish ancestry.

I can't speak for everyone who forgave, or who perhaps didn't. I can only speak for myself.

I know from how he was raised that that kind of hate and racism was embedded in him through his father.

Still, I forgave and waited for his repent.

Then came the leaked phone call yesterday -- no doubt from his his estranged girlfriend's, Oksana Grigorieva's, camp, where we've heard a 'he said - she said' spectacle played out in the tabloids these last few days, complete with restraining orders and accusations against the other.

I can argue that it's simply none of our business and that the phone call in question -- one of two: the first one he reportedly admitted to hitting her in the face twice while holding their infant daughter and went so far as to say she 'deserved it' -- should have never been leaked.

What should have remained a private matter between the two has now become public fodder with Mr. Gibson coming out badly in the end.

Do I feel better at knowing the truth?

Not particularly.

Is it, in fact, my business?

No way.

With that said, do I have a strong opinion and reaction to what I did hear?

Naturally. As a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, an activist, a film lover and a somewhat self-professed historian, I am mortified and ashamed of Mr. Gibson.

Whether or not Mel Gibson -- and his career -- is redeemable is certainly not for me to guess at; that is between himself and his God.

I only wonder now how Mr. Gibson could be so enlightened as to bring to the masses the lost and badly needed to be told story of William Wallace in the form of 'Braveheart' -- a hero and feminist in his own right -- only to then become this man who runs around on his wife of 30 years, the mother of his seven children, becomes an alcoholic and gets another woman pregnant and then hits her while she's holding their infant daughter and hurls vile insults at her.

I also wonder, what kind of woman is she who gets involved with a long time married man and then tapes their conversations?

Was it for her protection? Rightly so, if that's the case. Obviously she needs protection from this loose cannon.

Or perhaps did she do it for media redemption and glory? To justify her public image as a home-wrecker and fame seeker and to further humiliate this man whom we didn't think could sink any lower by now using the 'N' word and calling her a 'whore' among other things.


Primae Noctis:

William Wallace fought against the British monarchy ruled by King Edward I, known as 'Longshanks'.

Legend has it that William Wallace first raged a war against 'Longshanks' by killing an English Sheriff to avenge the death of Wallace's wife -- Marion "Murron" Braidfute whom he married in secret -- who refused to give in to the advances of the sheriff who was trying to implement 'primae noctis': a nobleman's 'right' to rape a Scottish bride on her wedding night. A decree legend says was reinstated by the king himself.

Historians argue that never in the King's reign was primae noctis practiced.

However, the legend prevails that Wallace himself was indeed a hero, fighting for the rights of women and Scotland.

It would seem that Mel Gibson bears neither bravery nor heart, the very traits the man whose life story he fought for years to get told indeed wore, battled and died for proudly.

Are knights in shining armours long dead? Did chivalry and gallantry die with them?

William Wallace's story, even with all it's historical inaccuracies, needed and deserved to be told -- and if the legend bears even a fraction of truth, then I have to now ask myself in regards to Mel Gibson's behavior:

What would William Wallace do?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER


Ed, B and I are dog-sitting for a month. My mother-in-law is headed to Europe for a month long trip which leaves this clan in charge of her two dogs; a Pomeranian and an American Eskimo. Both adorable.

B picked them up yesterday from her house and brought them here. Going to be quite an adjustment with our 11 year old black lab, T.J., and 12 year old feline, Priscilla ('Prissy'), who has let it be known under no uncertain terms that she is not having it!

Like T.J. and Prissy, 'Coco' and 'Candy' have free reign: they can sleep on the furniture and on our bed (which they're allowed to do at their house also) and I take them out back at least once an hour to do their business but I still manage to catch them 'tinkling' in the house.

I'm hoping this is just an adjustment/new environment thing we have going on here otherwise it's going to be a long month.

Just in case, I bought a months supply of pet carpet cleaner and am already looking up information on professional carpet cleaners when the month is up.

At their house, they're used to having the backdoor ajar so they can go in and out of the backyard as they please. However, due to Prissy being a house cat only, we cannot do things like that here; our backyard is foothills and thus breeding grounds for coyotes which we see almost daily. Even though there is chicken wire separating our backyard and the base of the foothills, coyotes are nonetheless a concern.

So, my anxiety has really shot through the roof (shaking, stressed....) and I can't seem to get a hold of it. No doubt they can pick up on this but I'm doing my best.

Being an animal lover I am making them a priority as this must be just as hard on them.

They're used to their mommy traveling a lot but usually she has someone stay at her house with them, however, that wasn't a viable solution this time so they had to come here.

I'm worried about T.J. and Prissy feeling displaced and upset -- so, all I can do is make sure everyone gets attention while trying to keep up everyone's routine, plus keeping the house and yard picked up.

They're all getting as much positive attention as I can give (plus treats) so I'm hoping after a few more days of 'getting to know you' that they settle down -- and me too!

If not, I'm afraid I simply won't be on that much. My apologies in advance.

Dear Catalina Island mini getaway --hurry up and get here!

Peace and serenity.

Monday, July 5, 2010

MONDAY MINUTE


I love games, Q & A's and surveys -- I got this one from Meeko! Since "steal" is such a strong word, let's just say I "borrowed" it.

Works for me.

Who of all your blog friends would you like to meet and/or who have you met?

Honestly, I'd like to meet all of them -- I wish there was a Blogspot conference in southern California where we'd all get-together.

I met Meeko from "Ramblings Of A Disgruntled Secretary" a few months back at 'Starbuck's' and I cannot believe I haven't seen him again!

Really need to do something about that!

I would LOVE to meet Steven Anthony from "Life In A Fish Bowl" -- but he's in Michigan and I'm in California...and it sucks.

Someone please plan that Blogspot get-together!

You can get to Meeko's and Steven's blogs from their blog buttons on my side bar under "My favorite Blogs".

What kind of vehicle(s) do you drive?

I drive a 1999 silver Infiniti.

What kind of cell phone do you have?

Verizon intensity.

What's the most annoying thing you wish bloggers would stop doing?

Asking for my E-mail and web address before I can comment.

There's also this blogger (who shall go nameless) who had a 'scuffle' (to say the least) with some other bloggers.

This person kept saying that they're leaving 'blogverse'....and then they come back.

They leave again. They come back again.

They're apologetic. Then they're not sorry at all and everyone is an asshole.

They leave again. Come back again. Leave again....

Yep. 'Crying wolf' comes to mind.

So does 'shit or get off the pot'. If you're going to leave, so be it. Leave and stay gone.

Get over it already, move on and find your peace.

And if you do come back, keep your nasty name calling, temper and ugliness to yourself. This whole thing would have likely blown over by now....

What's the one thing that you still have on your bucket list to do before the year is out?

Ed and I are taking an overnight trip at the end of the month to Catalina Island for his birthday. We haven't been away for over four years.









I haven't been to Catalina since I was 12 and Ed's never been there.

Even though it's only overnight, this is something we're greatly looking forward to and are in badly need of.

More importantly though on my 'Bucket List' is the X amount of money I need to save and keep in the bank.

Until that is accomplished, I don't feel I will ever be alright....













That concludes this portion of today's Meme. Feel free to -- eh hem -- "borrow" this and pass it on.

Peace and serenity.

Friday, July 2, 2010

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE....









And this is the final product (see post below to understand what the bloody hell I'm babbling about!):










As seen from the original picture of the tat I posted yesterday, B's best friend did an amazing add-on by tatting my children's birth flowers (B's is the Lily Of The Valley and C's is the Blue Aster). I feel like it is now complete and other than being a little sore (which is normal -- after care, of course, is very important), I am tickled and beyond pleased with the results!

It is near impossible to tat white ink on pale skin, so he and I opted for an orchid color shading for B's Lily Of The Valley flowers (purple is mine and B's favorite color) -- after all, art can be abstract so a literal translation was not that important if all it came down to was the color white.

What is important is the detail of his work and the artistry which he nailed. He captured the essence of what I wanted to convey and did a beautiful job 'telling my story'.

For those who missed yesterday's post, four years ago I got the four butterflies tatted on my actual 40th birthday to represent growth, renewal and evolving with the biggest and brightest butterfly representing how I feel as a woman now, which is how I think most of us women feel as we get older. We simply come into an acceptance.

Now, with a representation of my kids on there, I feel as if my story is complete.

I also have a tattoo I had done (also four years ago by the same artist that did the original butterflies) to represent my marriage:











Not sure you can read all the writing but we have 'Cinderella's slipper' and above it our wedding date. Below the slipper it says; "The Slipper Still Fits".

Thank you and kudos to my sons best friend for recognizing his exceptional talent and honing it. He is only nineteen. Imagine what he will be in ten years...

The world awaits you.








My favorite picture of B and his best friend/talented artist taken about three or four summers ago:













Here's a few pictures I found on-line that truly represents someone using humor and artistry in light of a bad situation:






















Thank you to all whom I sent a picture to last night who wished me well and loved the new tat! I love you right back!

Peace and serenity.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ALL IN A DAY



I wish this day would make up it's mind -- I simply hate indecisiveness. If it's going to be a bad day, so be it. All I ask is that it lets me know right away so I can deal...and count my wine supply.

I just found out that 'Starz' cable network has cancelled two of my favorite series: 'Party Down' and 'Gravity'.

Both were critically acclaimed with 'Gravity' only running for one season and left us with a horrible cliffhanger that will now never be resolved nor answered.

'Gravity' was about a support group of eclectic proportions: a straight laced dentist, a quirky make up counter girl, a former model, a teenage boy, a housewife and a construction worker/stand up comedian.












The support group aren't addicts of any kind -- they're suicide survivors.

This quirky 'dramedy' treaded sometimes not so lightly -- but always in interesting ways -- on the psyches of these individuals who were given a second chance at life as they tried to figure out how they got there and 'what now?'.

I was hooked.

Enter Detective Miller (my favorite character); a cop with a dark secret who falls in love with and spies on Lily, the make-up counter girl, who is falling in love with the dentist, Robert.

The ending of season one was explosive and left me wanting for more.

'Party Down' was a comedy about a group of caterers in Los Angeles, all off beat, all with dreams and inter-tangled lives.












I'm down playing how much I really liked this series as I simply have no words to describe how awful it is to get hooked on something that then gets swept right out from underneath you.

For example: A few years ago there was 'Huff' on Showtime (starring the wonderfully talented Hank Azaria and Oliver Platt); it too abruptly ended after a huge season two cliffhanger when 'Showtime' in it's wisdom cancelled it.

If these shows don't make an immediate killing, they're history. All had a loyal following from what I read on-line but 'Nielsen ratings' are always to blame.

Blaming 'Nielsen' is a cop out. I simply don't think the makers of these shows want to take chances anymore and put in the time, patience and nurturing required.

The fact that they were all cancelled out of seemingly no where leaves me weary to ever try anything new again...

Network T.V. is, sadly, all pretty much the same (with a few exceptions, of course, such as 'The Office'); doctor/hospital shows, cop shows, lawyer shows....

Whereas premium cable T.V. has provided some of the best series to date, things you won't find on ABC, CBS or NBC such as the above mentioned shows as well as 'The Sopranos', 'Big Love', 'The Ricky Gervais Show', 'Sex And The City', 'Nurse Jackie', 'Weeds', 'Californication', 'U.S. Of Tara', 'The Tudors' and the upcoming Laura Linney and Oliver Platt vehicle (welcome back, Mr. Platt!) 'The C Word'.

We're so quick to get people hooked and yet even quicker to pull the rug out if something doesn't make millions of dollars or attract 45 million viewers in the first showing.

Nothing is given a chance anymore.

How many businesses would no longer be a part of our commerce if they ran their enterprises the way these producers do?

Must be nice to live life so expendably.

On the upside of today, I am very proud to be receiving a new tattoo by B's best friend since elementary school. He is an amazing artist and always has been -- we knew watching him grow up that he would be involved with something artistically one day.

I've seen enough of his work (including B's tattoos) to know that I not only trust him, but felt it would be sweet symmetry to have him tattoo me.

Not one to be frivolous, I also knew he would give me a good deal, although, he's trying to do it for free but I won't let that happen.

This will be my sixth tattoo and all are personal and have meaning, this one will be no exception: I am getting my children's birth flowers tattooed on my upper right arm.

Lily Of The Valley for B










Blue Aster for my daughter, 'C'











How he will integrate these two very different species and blend them into one is part of the enjoyment and anticipation. I know what he can do and trust him explicitly.

At the very top of my right arm I have four butterflies that I got on my 40th birthday four years ago (all my tats were done by a friend of a friend so I lucked out money wise and talent wise): The butterflies represent each decade of my life with the largest and most colorful representing how I feel as a woman in her 40's; truly evolved.











B's friend is combining the new with the old today and I am excited to see the finished result.

Maybe that will be the catalyst for propelling this day from bad to good.