Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I'm a forty-something year old woman. Blonde bob. Preppy/stylish dresser. I drive a white SUV. Yes, I look like a soccer mom. Well, in the winter anyway. When I'm covered. 

Now that the weather is warmer, you can see my tattoos. I have nine. Right hand, inner forearm and calf. Left ankle, inner forearm, back of shoulder. My right collarbone/shoulder. When I wear shorts and rank tops, they mostly all show. I don't mind that. I chose them and the spots they should go. They majority of them have extreme sentimental value. A memorial tattoo (ladybug) for my mom. Chilly Willy for my dad. He loved penguins. I have their signatures from a greeting card on my arm. It means so much. My favorite bible verse. The Eiffel Tower on my leg. A French saying on my collarbone. Each one has been thought out, from inception to execution. 

According to the Pew Research Center, 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. 36% of those age 18-25 are tattooed, and 40% of those age 26-40 are. So, imagine my surprise, the other day when I was out to lunch and found myself the topic of conversation. A group of senior ladies was discussing my body art. I saw them poking each other and gesturing in my direction. When I looked up, they were quiet. My gut instinct? I was angry.

But then I thought about it. My mom and dad were of their same generation. I know they would also not be so understanding of my choices. In their day, tattoos were for the military and hoodlums. I'm not a member of either of those groups. I guess I'm just someone who has a lot to say. 

I wanted to say something to them. I thought against it. I don't really care what others think. I don't need other's approval. The better experiences are when people want to "read" me. Or comment how cool my Eiffel Tower is. It really is. 

Am I done? No, probably not. I still have design ideas swirling in my mind. I will never have full "sleeves" of tattoos, but still have some viable real estate. And I would tell those who shake their heads at me when they see my tattoos, my tattoos help tell the tale of who I am. And that's good enough for me. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Paying It Forward-Deliciously!

I'm a big fan of Paying It Forward. I feel like when a kindness is done to you, you must do one for someone else. Keep the momentum going. 

A couple summers ago, my dad and I purchased a beautiful, new, stainless gas grill. It had all the bells and whistles. It was a beast! I didn't worry about this as my dad was the primary griller. He was really good at it too! I can still see him, eyeballing the meat, cold beer in hand, waiting for the perfect moment of doneness! He always got it right!

Well, we only used it that one season, then my dad got sick and passed away. I couldn't even imagine hauling out that behemoth to grill for just myself. As luck would have it, my neighbor's grill gave up the ghost. They are that family that grills all the time, the aroma wafting deliciously into your yard. Eureka! I told them, "come over and get this grill. You'll get much more use out of it than me." And they sure have.

Today, my neighbor said, "we never discussed what amount you wanted for the grill." I said, "I don't want anything. You guys watch out for me, that means a lot." He graciously thanked me and went on cooking his food. About 10 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. His daughter was there with a plate filled with steak, shrimp, redskin potatoes and green beans! What a feast! And I no longer had to cook! Bonus!

I was overwhelmed by this kindness. I feel really blessed! I really believe people WANT to be kind, not uncaring or cold. Now it's my turn to Pay It Forward! I can't let this one pass by!