Saturday, July 30, 2011

Warrior Weneki, Part 2

[See Part I below]
"Happiness does not come from doing easy work
but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after
the achievement of a difficult task
that demanded our best."
Theodore I. Rubin

That's my girl.
I don't have the exact time but I think she finished at or about her desired time of 3 hours.
Woohoo, Weneki! Woohoo!
You Rock! I swear you Rock!

Who loves you more than a cold slice of orange after a hard fought race?

Today I'm grateful for cell phones and Iphones and computers and whoever invented the technology to keep me close to the action even though I'm about 3000 miles away. I'm grateful to friends and relatives who were there to cheer Weneki on. I'm grateful for a big plate of Mexican food smothered in guacamole, sour cream and cheese which made me feel the tiniest bit better about not being in Seattle this morning.

Wishing for you success in all you do,
Merry ME

Warrior Weneki

"Victory isn't defined by wins or losses.
It is defined by effort.
If you can truthfully say, 'I did the best I could, I gave everything I had,'
then you're a winner.
Wolfgang Schadler

My daughter, Weneki, is about to set out on what I might call a trepidatious journey. For her, however, it is the culmination of months of exploration, determination, and hard work. At 7:30 Pacific time she will participate in her second Triathlon. It's a little more strenuous than the one she did back in Sept. of 09, each event will be longer and harder. Sadly (for me) I won't be there to watch. Back when I was making the decision not to go it made sense on a lot of fronts to wait til another time. Right here, right now gotta say I think it was one dumb decision.

When Weneki was about 10 or eleven she entered a mile road race and to everyone's surprise, because she had never run before nor trained at all, she won it. She zoomed by not just her age group, but all the women in the race. Her Dad and I stood on the sidelines cheering her on for the first of many races. You know that line in Dirty Dancing when Baby is out on the dance floor and her mother gives her Dad the evil eye and says, "she gets it from me"? Many of Weneki's attributes may come from my gene pool, but her athletic prowess and ability to keep going when life sucks comes from a long line of Texas speed racers. Her father's side of the family also has a love for gambling which might come in handy when you are about to swim .9 miles, bike 25 miles and run 6 miles. It's the kind thing where you have to put all your chips on the line, take a deep breath and go for it. My side of the family would have our eyes closed, our fingers crossed in one hand, and saying the rosary in the other.

Don't get me wrong. It's not a total gamble because she' has trained for 6 months. She has worked long runs, hilly bike rides and Olympic pool swims into her already busy schedule. On cold days, rainy days, hectic days, and just-want-to-sit-on-the-couch-and-veg days she dug deep and found the inner strength to do what had to be done.

As a form of training in the last few weeks she participated in the Warrior Dash, which may be more of a mind challenge than physical one. Of course that is being said by a person who would not be able to scale a rope wall, run through fire, or swim through mud if a Grizzly bear was chasing her. Weneki's next challenge was a 1.2 mile lake swim called the Fat Salmon. I thought the problem with a lake swim would be the chilly temperatures. Weneki says it's the reeds and swimmy in the water things really freak her out. From the looks of it she had no problem.

Back when Weneki was 10, probably even before that, we saw that she was born for greatness. Not necessarily the kind of greatness where you win Olympic medals, fly to the moon, or find a cure for cancer (though I have no doubt if she'd set her mind to it, she could have done all three). Weneki's greatness comes in the form of fortitude forged by fire.

She's faced hard times in her life. She's won and she's lost. She's anxious at times but doesn't give up. I won't say she laughs in the face of danger, but when she laughs she can light up a room.

As his #1 daughter dashes into a cold Washington lake, Texas Jimmy will be standing behind the plastic orange fence like he did so thirty years ago. He'll yell and cheer and run with her as she comes round the bend and into the finishing chute. I'll be home waiting to hear all about it and hoping he got a bunch of pictures. And I'll be praying prayers of thanksgiving to the Divine One for the gift of this warrior in my life.

Today I'm grateful for all the times and all the people who have said to my daughter, "You can do it" and for her knowing deep down inside they were right. I'm grateful for new homes filled with possibility.

Wishing for you that you put your best foot forward and it carries you over the finish line of your dreams,
Merry ME

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Needed this Today ...

maybe you do to.

Today I'm grateful for wise words wherever they come from - email, other queens looking for their truth, blog friends, my husband, prayerful priests, songs on the radio, strangers in the grocery store.

I'm grateful for this time I have. Even though some days seem to drag on to infinity and beyond, I am free to explore and process the next part of my life's journey.

Wishing you an inner compass that will lead you to your dreams,
Merry ME

"A little bird told me" - your Daily Truth from The Brave Girls Club a target="_blank" href="">

Monday, July 25, 2011

Long Hot Summer

"What dreadful hot weather we have!
It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
Jane Austen

Last night around 10:30 I opened the door to take the dog for a walk and was blasted by a steamy blanket of hot. The sweat beaded up on my brow and under my breasts before I was across the lawn which is not like walking across Scarlet O'Hara's Tara, but more like 10 feet if that. The mosquitoes danced around me like I was the bug version of the Golden Corral. They couldn't decide which part of my body's tasty smorgasbord to savor first so they took a little of this and a little of that. All the while buzzing with mosquito delight around my head like a Kamikaze pilot circling his target before making a free-fall dive.

The temperature hadn't changed much when I opened the same door this morning. Last evening's rain left the air so thick you could almost touch it. I'm not by a nature a morning person. When my alarm clock, i.e. Miss Suzi Q, stands beside my bed urging me to open my eyes and start "our" day, because of the pee issues involved, I've learned to get up quick, but I can't say I like it. Our walk route is not a long one. Other dog walkers would probably scoff at what I call a walk. And Suzi seriously thinks more about sniffing than walking. Her nose and my legs give out at about the same time.

As we walked this morning I had daydreams about cooler weather. Some radio weather pundit warned the other day that while it might be hot now, there is going to be another wacky cold winter ahead. I long for some time San Diego time where the weather is always - well almost always if you don't count when the hot, dry Santa Anas blow off the desert like a fruit dehydrator - perfect.

In Florida staying cool, for me, is relatively easy. Set the air condition at a reasonable temperature and don't go outside. If you have to go somewhere, get into your air conditioned car as quickly as possible and once at your destination, pray the AC is working. It is an unnatural way to live, stuck inside with windows closed so cool but stale air can't escape and really hot air can't come in. But it's what I do.

My daughter lives in Seattle. She doesn't have air conditioning. Most of the year that's okay. When they get a heat wave, it can be pretty awful. So what are some ways to cool off on these dog days of summer? I've been compiling a list while walking the dog. It hasn't stopped me from being a human shish kabob for the hungry beasties that thrive on hot damp conditions, but it does seem to help me sweat less. A mind over matter kind of thing.

Things that make me say "ahhhhh" on a hot summer day:
  • Banana Popsicles
  • Running through a water sprinkler (which isn't easy because there is a ban on water usage during the hottest hours of the day)
  • Jumping in the swimming pool
  • Ice cold tea, lemonade or water
  • A purple cool pop
  • A slice of watermelon
  • A slip 'n slide
  • Dipping my toes in a mountain stream
  • A lake swim (beware of the reeds and critters!)
  • Lying in a hammock between two shady trees
  • A cold shower
  • A Nutty Buddy right off the ice cream truck (see note below)
  • A water balloon fight
  • A bag of frozen peas on the back of my neck
  • A fresh juicy peach

It looks like water is the common denominator here. Cool, clear water. Which reminds me I have to take a shower and get moving. What cools you off, when you're really, really hot?

Today I'm grateful for air conditioning, sleeveless T-shirts and flip flops. I'm grateful for the gift of water given by the Divine One to feed us, cool us, and bless us. I'm grateful summer is only 4 months long but will come around again about the time I'm longing for something warm.

Wishing for you a way to stay cool. If you have to go out be careful and stay hydrated. May I also suggest you keep a map of every area Dairy Queen in your car for easy reference.
Merry ME

PS. When I was looking for quotes about summer heat, I googled "hot and steamy." As you can imagine (and I would have figured out before clicking on one or two had I been more awake and less hot) it sent me to "romance" sites. I use the term romance lightly.

P.S.S. The picture above came with an interesting little article on the perils - or lack of - drinking cold water. I thought I'd share FYI: Go HERE

P.S.S.S. I googled Nutty Buddy to make sure I had the name right and it turns out Nutty Buddy is indeed a yummalicious ice cream treat. It also happens to be the name of a company that makes athletic cups for men and yes, out of curiosity I went there to check it out. I had no idea "nutty buddies" come in different sizes or that the person who needs to wear a "nutty buddy" might need instructions. I would have thought it was like putting Kleenex in your bra - you just stick it in and go. Okay, so it might need some adjusting, a little pooching up or patting down, but instructions? Who knew?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Boy Cat to the Rescue

"Blood is that fragile scarlet tree we carry within us."
Osbert Sitwell

I got a call yesterday from my vet, Dr. Barbara Kempf, with an unusual but not entirely unexpected request of my Boy kitty, known at the clinic as "Him." Him has a disease called polycythaemia which is a fancy way of saying his body makes too many red blood cells.

A year or more ago, Boy Cat woke me up by doing somersaults across the bed. Seriously, he appeared to have channeled Mary Lou Retton during her Olympic floor exercise routine. You know the one, where she starts at one end of the mat and flips herself forwards and backwards and all around until she gets to the opposite corner where she stops on a dime with no part of either foot off the mat. Well that was Boy Cat, except he didn't stop. I had to grab him and when I did he could hardly breathe.

We rushed him to the vet who took one look at him, hooked him up with an IV, put an oxygen mask over his face and pondered. First things first, she took a blood sample. Turns out his Packed Cell Volume (PCV) was about quadruple what it should be. In essence his blood was so thick it couldn't move very well through his veins, thus transporting too little oxygen to the brain, thus the seizure. The treatment for this disease is simple, old fashioned blood letting. With no leeches around Boy Cat was subjected to routine blood draws. This might sound like a biff bam boom job but when you are dealing with sharp needles and a feline with sharp claws and sharp teeth and the natural instinct not to be held down and treated like a pin cushion it can get a little tricky.

"Night, night Boy Cat."

Warning: If the sight of blood makes you feel a little queezy,
skip the next picture.

This is why I did not stay to watch.

Basically what happens is two of Dr. Kempf's assistants come in and try to sweet talk the cat while unlatching the locks on his traveling cage. Boy Cat hisses his response. Can you say sabertooth tiger? With a move that took some practice to perfect, one lady removes the top of the cage while another throws a towel over the Him's head. It's better they say if he can't see what's about to happen. The towel also makes a slight barrier between Him's back claws and the assistant's arms. Once held in place, but producing a low spiteful growl that would indicate to most people that he is one unhappy cat and would like to be set free, in walks Julie, aka the Cat Whisperer, with a rather scary looking hyperdermic needle.

I can't really tell you what comes next because I close my eyes. I'm never sure which is worse the needle stick or the death scream that comes from the towel-covered cat. Good as she is, sometimes it takes Julie more than one stick. And sometimes the blood is so thick it clots and the whole thing has to be done again in another part of the body. The good news for Him is that after a few times the whole office learned the routine and while it didn't get less painful for the cat, it was less dangerous for Julie. It didn't take long before everyone knew not to attempt this blood letting unless Julie was on duty.

After several such "operations" Dr. Kempf prescribed some medicine that has worked quite well in bringing down Him's PCV count to a number that is not normal but tolerable. Every 3-4 months he has to have a quick stick and he's been good to go. Until today, when he was called in to donate blood to a very anemic kitty. This was a first for Super Cat and he was, by all accounts, a super cat. How could he not be after a shot of Valium? One dose of that stuff and he lay quietly on the table with his jugular exposed probably singing a feline version of 100 bottles of beer on the wall. He was still walking around like Jack Sparrow on the bounding main several hours later when I brought him home. I am happy to report that after a good nap he seems to be back to normal. Not exactly spunky but able to strut around the house letting all those in his presence know that he expects the royal treatment, i.e. a handful of kitty treats upon demand.

"Wake me up when it's time to go home."

I was a regular blood donor for a long time. I'm not sure how I got out of the habit. It's a relatively quick procedure, seriously (cross my heart) doesn't hurt much beyond the initial stick, and the nurses double as bearers of juice and cookies. The atmosphere is one of giving and always positive. After all the volunteer donors are literally sharing the gift of life. One pint of whole blood takes under an hour to donate and can save three lives.

Kahlua being transfused.

Boy Cat no longer even pretends to believe the "it won't hurt a bit" pep talk I give him on the way to the vet's office. He turns his head away from me and glares at the plastic box holding him captive. When I hand him over to Julie he refuses to say goodbye. I feel like a bad cat mother for not staying with him to hold his paw. It was a little different this morning. The office was full of the same positive energy as the Blood Bank, because we all knew the same blood that makes Boy Cat sick is going to make a pretty little fur ball named Kahlua feel way better. I'm pretty proud of my Boy Cat. And even though he didn't really have a say in the matter he's proud too. I can tell by the way he walks through the room making sure everyone can see his shaved neck.

Today I'm grateful four-legged creatures who come into our lives and fill our hearts with their special magic. I'm grateful for Dr. Kempf, Julie and the whole crew at Parkway Animal Hospital who treat even wild beasts with gentleness and compassion. And I'm grateful to be a part of Kahlua's recovery.

Wishing for you a well stocked blood bank in your area.
Merry ME

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Tree for ME, Part III

Sweetie and I had people over for dinner last night. The first in our newly decorated and painted dining room. For me it was a bittersweet moment. It felt good and sad at the same time. Mom and Dad and 2 beloved sisters were absent, but my Jacksonville sisters and Br/Fr. Georges filled the room with love and laughter. Pork chop juice was spilled all over Georges' niece, Angela, officially making her one of the family and baptizing the furniture. Tomorrow Georges will bless the house and with that I think it Sweetie and I can officially call it "home." I hope it will always be a place my sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and grandkids will want to visit. It may say Ellington-Cook on the mailbox but it will always have the heart of Casa de Reynolds.

I must say that even though I thought my Family Tree was exquisite before, adding the pictures brought my idea to life. I love it. Love, Love, Love it. In the end, I didn't even think of an order. I grabbed a picture, looked at the tree, hammered in a nail and hung it. No rhyme or reason. And it could not be any better. Except to continue adding pictures.

Today I'm grateful for creative ideas and the willingness to run with possibility.
I'm grateful for a husband, sisters and friends to share my home with.
I'm grateful to Dennis from Empire Carpets for removing and replacing the peed on carpet pads, and to Precision Carpet for cleaning it one more time. I can't say it smells like a rose, but it doesn't smell like a dog urinal either.
I'm grateful for blessings, large and small.

Wishing for you a family to call your own.
Merry ME

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Tree for ME, Part II

"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts -
such is the duty of an artist."

I'll be the first one to admit that I've been on the sad train lately. Chugging in and out of Melancholy Land, with a bandanna full of Kleenex tied on a stick that I carry over my shoulder. The good news is that I'm not completely closed off to moments of joy or laughter. I think it is true that this wave of grief will end. Someday I will look back and say, well that stunk but I'm a stronger person for having lived through it. The thing about stinky things is that they, well ... stink. And sometimes it takes awhile to get the bad stuff from offending your nose. Grief, I've found, is like that.

Yesterday was a good day. One I'd looked forward to for a couple of weeks. Yvonne Lozano of yclart was coming back to finish up my family tree mural. Even though most of the tree was already done and Yvonne was just adding finishing touches, I was chomping at the bit to see how it was going to turn out. I wasn't/am not disappointed. Now when I walk out of my room I can look down the hall and see the tree on the far wall. It has green and yellow and red leaves. It also sports a big gray cat curled up on a branch, and a black dog looking up at a yellow canary singing away near the top of the tree. As soon as Yvonne left, I stood on a step stool and hung the Patty Star at the tip top of the tree.

The Patty Star, as family lore goes, was put on a Christmas tree in a small Army field hospital in Germany where my mother was born two days before Christmas. It has adorned the family Christmas tree ever since. It just felt right that it should hang on this tree. As if the Universe was in agreement with my decision, I only had to reach inside one box and there it was, the first thing I touched. Now what are the chances of me even finding a box full of Christmas decorations in July, much less the one I want?

I have several pictures framed to go on the tree. I haven't quite decided how to do it. Should I be OCD about it, hanging them in some kind of order - by family, alphabetically, chronologically? Or should I put them in a bag and hang them as I grab them? Right now, I'm okay with enjoying the fresh beauty of the tree as my tears are carried away on a light breeze through the leaves.

Are you ready? Drum roll, please. Pretend there's a big black cloth that I just whipped off like David Copperfield so you can see .... Ta Da ....

It's hard to get the lighting right so you can't see how cool it really is.

Here's a picture of my new favorite artist, Yvonne.

I just love the fact that I asked her if she could paint a tree and she said sure and then she did. How cool is that? I also love her paint stained jeans.

Today I'm grateful for a kind of happiness that settled around my shoulders like a crocheted shawl.

I'm grateful for a silly ass dog that tried to make friends with the dog on the wall and when she heard wolves howling on the TV came to make sure everything was okay.

I'm grateful for the sweet taste of peanut M&M's.

Wishing for you an art-filled space that makes you smile,
Merry ME

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Southern Surprise!

"If you could send one meal through a time warp
to the people of the year AD 4022 -
one meal to tell them who we were and what mattered to us -
tell me that meal should not be pulled pork with vinegar sauce. "
Craig Kenneth Bryant

For no reason other than dawdling like a kid whose bedtime has come and gone, I found myself in the magazine aisle of Publix this evening. I stood there waiting for something to catch my eye or whisper, "pssst, pick me." I try not to acknowledge whispering magazines or two for one packages of Oreos, or the whole Blue Bell Ice Cream freezer for that matter, but after first looking around to see if anyone else could hear the "psst" my eyes fell on a magazine I have not yet made the acquaintance of.

Like the Southern Living I spoke of in my prior post, the cover of this one was decorated with mouth-watering food - a life sized pulled pork sandwich dripping in slaw, sitting on a red and white checkered tablecloth. (Note to self: don't shop for magazines on an empty stomach.) It billed itself as "the SOUL of the SOUTH." I have to ask you the same question my Sweetie couldn't answer. If you were going to publish a magazine that encompasses what you consider to be the "Soul of the South" and other titles such as Southern Living had already been taken, what would you name you magazine? (Insert Jeopardy theme song - da da da da ....)

The Soul of the South, perhaps? Or Hi Ya'll? Or The Moonshine Gazette? All of these are good guesses, but my friends, the magazine that portrays the very essence of southern living is none other than Garden & Gun (with the ampersand as dressed up as a Southern belle's hat on Derby day.

Garden & Gun????? I had to do more than a double take. Then I actually picked this baby up and rifled through a few pages. Sho' nuf, there's a little bit of garden and a few pictures of camo dressed men shouldering either a rifle or a fishing pole. There are stories of banjo pickers and Southern hot spots known mostly to locals. If you're eating BBQ at Petunia's Silver Jalapeno, or the Hickory Pig, or Aretha Frankensteins, there is little doubt you'd be somewhere south of the Mason Dickson line.

I know you're wondering if I bought it or not. My answer, sounding sweet as Scarlet O'Hara in the midst of southern gentlemen, "Oh fiddledy dee, it's just a little ole magazine, and I bought it for the articles." I considered asking for a plain brown wrapper because I really didn't want anyone to see me walking out of the grocery store with a gun magazine. But as it turns out, this magazine is way more about living the good life in the Land of Cotton than redneck cracker boys who need suspenders to keep their britches up when they crawl onto a deer stand to wait for Bambi. Garden & Gun has ads for Rolex watches, Mercedes Benz CLSs, and the United States Polo Association. What I thought might be something the likes of Paula Deen shootin' and skinnin' her own possum, and cookin' it with herbs from her own garden is more like Paula Deen sittin' in the Garden & Gun Club dining room being served possum under glass on Lennox china by a man wearing a tuxedo.

The moral of this story is clear. Don't judge a magazine by its title.

Today I'm grateful for completed projects, rain, and photographs of people I love.

Wishing for you a tall glass of your favorite beverage, a delicious magazine and time to wander through the pages.
Merry ME

* A Southern Food Fight, by Sid Evans, Garden & Gun, June/Jul 2011, pg. 8

[Ed. Note: The more I looked through this magazine, the more I realized that it is not completely new to me. I remember reading a copy in my dentist's office and may have written this exact blog post a few years ago. I tried to find it but got lost in my blog archives. The person at blogspot whose job it is to keep track of how many posts we bloggers blog, has me up to over 800. Can this possible be true? One day I may have to sit down and read it all!]

What's Your Story?


"I believe as these women write, they also begin,
in way only they know, to take control."
Masha Hamilton*

I recently began an 8 week workshop facilitated by my favorite Queen, Dani. That in itself is a story I can't wait to share but not the one I want to tell you about tonight.

As part of the supply list for the course I was instructed to cull through various magazines for pictures and words to use in creating collage pages. I really don't remember the last magazine I read. No I take that back, it was a Southern Living magazine that tempted me by putting a picture of a perfectly woven top crust on a juicy peach pie on the cover. I really don't even like peach pie. However, every year I swoon at the undoubtedly air brushed but delicious-looking pies that grace the cover of SL. When Dad was alive it would inspire me to make one of his favorite desserts, peach cobbler. And every year I had to ask someone the difference between a cobbler and a pie and try to re-create something his mother made when Dad was a child. I doubt I'd have ever come close to making something as good as his memory conjured up, but I tried anyway. I love Southern Living Magazine in the same way I used to love reading Arizona Highways. The stories of regional people and places and food are like a magic carpet ride to places I'll probably never see.

But magazines aren't my topic for tonight, either. I came across a small article in More Magazine entitled "Giving Voice to the Powerless Women." I dove right in.
"The first time Masha Hamilton traveled through Afghanistan talking with the country's most disenfranchised women - war widows, imprisoned criminals, child brides, she felt that the expulsion of the Taliban had given them a sense of hope. When she went back four years later, in 2008, the Taliban had returned to power in large sections of the south, "almost overnight" she says. That led Hamilton to act on a long-simmering idea, one sparked by the Taliban's public execution of a mother of seven, to help Afghan women tell their stories. "Telling one's story is a human right," says Hamilton, a journalist, award winning novelist and Brooklyn mother of three. "

"In 2009 Hamilton founded the Afghan Women's Writing Project (AWWP). Since then some 100 American authors, journalists, and screenwriters have led month-long online workshops for more than 60 Afghan women."*

Well, needless to say I was hooked. After all, I'm a woman, a writer, and a believer that every person created in the image of the Divine One has a right, perhaps an obligation, to share their story. While I write, others sing, or paint, or dance, or beat a drum, or feed the poor, or a use whole host of other mediums to tell the world their individual story. I believe each story is like a candle that when told collectively will light the darkness.

Many Afghan women are denied freedoms we take for granted, including the fundamental right to tell one’s own story.

"From June 15 to July 31, 2011, AWWP is running a campaign to support Project efforts to bring more voices of Afghan women to the world through their writing.

All donors will be entered in a drawing to win gifts from authors and artists from around the world. Any amount is welcome, but we suggest a minimum of $20 for this special campaign." **

I would be the first to say that there are many causes that need my/your limited amount of giving. I have some favorites. I'm sure you do too. Still I ask that you go to the AWWP website, read about the program and help in any way you can.

Why Afghanistan, you ask? Why not my own backyard? My answer would be to try to do both. Whether you believe in or agree with the war(s) in the Middle East, the fact remains that Afghanistan has been a battlefield for way too long. While it is, in my opinion, men who make the decision to go to war, it is women who must pick up the pieces when the bombs have stopped falling. The dollars we send to help these (and women in other countries around the world) won't offset the dollars spent on missiles but I believe they are seeds planted for peace.

As for your own backyard? I feel certain whether you live in a small town or a faced-paced city opportunities abound to tell your story and help others tell theirs. Why not volunteer to tutor women and/or children in a homeless shelter? Or donate old books to after school programs? Or read stories at a day care center?

Today I'm grateful for all the pens and pencils and pads of paper that I take for granted. I'm grateful for the gift of storytelling that was passed down to me. I'm grateful for the afternoons when I lay next to my mother while she read me to sleep. I'm grateful for women like Masha Hamilton.

Wishing for you the courage and freedom to share your story,
Merry ME

* Giving Voice to Powerless Women, More Magazine, June 2011, pg. 24

Friday, July 15, 2011

Check it out...You'll be glad you did!

[Photo by Jenny Lawson, http://www.]

Okay so I think everybody in America has read Jenny Lawson's blog about the metal chicken, Beyonce and teaching her husband the reason one shouldn't mess with a woman when her mind is set on buying something.

Maybe, like me, you bookmarked the blog because you felt laughing seemed to be a lot better way to keep a doctor away than eating a boatload of apples. Last night I checked what was happening over at and was not disappointed. I swear the woman tickles my funny bone over and over again. I was not expecting the serious message. And you won't either when you start watching the video and Jenny is talking about the Zombie Apocalypse. But stick with it and you'll be moved beyond your expectations.

I have to admit, I'm seriously jealous of Jenny's success. Her ability to write (and speak), the way she can toss the "F" word around like she is not afraid of having her mouth washed out with soap, and the way she faces her fears. Did I mention her humor?

I continue to be amazed at the places the blogosphere can take us.

Today I'm grateful for laughter, for overcast skies, for walks on the beach and for never in my life meeting up with a real-life zombie.

Wishing for you something that makes you smile,
Merry ME

P.S. Is real-life zombie an oxymoron?