Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ray rice.

where to start. i have so many emotions, thoughts, concerns, questions. if you don't live under a rock, you have heard by now, that TMZ released the video of him TKO-ing his now wife. and shortly thereafter he was released by the ravens and indefinitely banned by the NFL.
i think both of those were appropriate responses.

i didn't watch the video. i didn't want to. i didn't want to see domestic violence in its most brutal form. the description was enough for me. but then...EPSN so kindly shared the video during halftime of monday night football. i was so caught off guard, i couldn't look away. i hate you, EPSN.
however, having watched the video, just reinforced how awful the attack was. whatever the altercation was about, whatever started their argument, whatever led to the pushing and eventual left hook by ray rice - well, it doesn't matter. he had so many other options other than PUNCHING OUT HIS WIFE. if punching something was what he felt he needed to do, there were four walls to chose from. pick one.
what engaged me about the entire thing is that this is a person he cares about, supposedly. and he knocked her seemingly unconscious. who the fuck does that?! i mean, let's talk about that for a minute. think of the maddest you have ever been at a person. a person you care for - wife. mom. brother. friend. husband. sister. dad. aunt. whoever.
have they ever made so mad that you wanted to knock them unconscious? that you wanted to hit them so hard you quite literally knocked their lights out? sure, we've all wanted to punch someone before, but to the point of sleepy-time? would that make you feel better to know that you now need to take them to the ER?
i mean, fuck!
seriously guys, who does that? more importantly, who thinks that is OK? who thinks that hitting someone that fucking hard is acceptable behavior? ever. even if you are split-second angry. even if you are "lost your shit" angry. how is it an appropriate response? since when is giving your wife a concussion the right way to end an argument?
because once you gather yourself, regret consumes you. "what the hell did i just do?" consumes you. when it comes to your relationships, if you feel the need to hurt the people you are involved with there is either something wrong with you, them, or a combination of you together. so, the best solution is to let that relationship go.
hurt, physical and/or emotion, is not worth it.

i am not trying to preach advice. i am simply stating what should be obvious. but, we as emotional beings, have a hard time letting go of things we know we should.

today, janay defended her man via instagram. i guess, as she should. she was the one who decided to marry him. some suggest it was for money. some suggest that she can't find her way out of this troubled and abusive relationship. some may suggest that they really do care for and love each other. i have no idea why she did. on the surface, i think she is crazy. because i know if i was with a guy who knocked me out, there would be no wedding date, there would only be a court date.

she does say some things that shed light to the other side of the story - it is their life, we don't understand how it affects them, she mentions unwanted opinions from the public and media, having to relive something they regret, blah blah blah.
the thing is - they live in the eyes of the public. forever and always. it comes with being a professional athlete. if she didn't want any of the things mentioned above, then she shouldn't have dated and married a famous person. good or bad, the public is always going to offer their opinion on the matter. it is just the way of it. we always have something to say. ray rice could have been the best running back in the league, and someone would have something to say about it. it just comes with the territory. it doesn't matter what the issue is at hand, if you live in the view of the public, they are going to have "words of wisdom" for you. if janay didn't want the public involved in her life, then she shouldn't have chosen such a public lifestyle.
dealing with this incident specifically, if she wants to blame the public for ruining their life [which is ridiculous], then she should reconsider where she wants to have her arguments with her husband. because if they are going to have knockdown, drag-out fights [quite literally], then they should not have them in public places that have surveillance cameras and possible witnesses, like casinos.

at the end of the day, it is her and ray's life. but they both must evaluate and understand the life they have chosen. all of the things they have, they have chosen. everything that is happening to them is because of decisions they made. no one else. all of this is happening because of two, well, ultimately one person.

ray rice.

had he not punched the shit out of his wife, they would not be where they are today.


Monday, September 8, 2014

what makes us southern

one day i was sitting in our classroom cutting out pictures from the august 2013 our state magazine. as i was looking for particular pictures to cut out, i was also skimming the articles, features, events, and stories. it is such a soft, sweet, and inviting magazine. i wish everyone spoke with the grace and kindness that this magazine is written. the feature article particularly struck my fancy. it is entitled what makes us southern. there are so many amazing things about living in the south and being southern. i am quite certain that among all of us we could come up with a very lengthy, yet accurate list.

the our state article listed only six things. i find each of these things so important to being southern and to being north carolinian.

screen doors. you just can't live in the south without a screen door. [at least] three seasons of the year, there are days where it beautiful enough to have the windows and doors open. [last night was a perfect example of that].

grits. most people either love them or hate them. southerners love them. they complete the country breakfast. what is breakfast without grits? well, it just isn't.

tobacco barns. our state is covered with farm land. and with farms comes old tobacco barns. some are falling apart and a complete mess, and some are still intact and used today. both are quite beautiful. all of these barns tell a story and share our history.

from our state august 2013

swamps. i don't think i appreciated the beauty of swamps until i moved to eastern north carolina. they are so mysterious. so silent and so still. they are eerie. and they are full of life, hidden right before your eyes.

copyright: me :)

cheerwine. i don't think this one really needs an explanation. if you are from north carolina, you love cheerwine. there is no other option.

kudzu. it's nice to look at, but it ruins everything. it takes over the world because it is so invasive. it fills in gaps and softens jagged edges, but it is cumbersome. it is everywhere! as a southerner, you understand the love/hate feelings that are associated with this plant. it just wouldn't be the south without it.

i encourage all of you to read the full article [scroll down to FEATURES and you will see each item listed] to learn more about why these six things are just so important to being southern. other than being an old "stand-by" or simply present in a southerner's daily life, together, they have created a way of life.

i find all of these things truly southern. what i loved the most about this list, is that it wasn't overly cliche. these things truly represent the south as a culture instead of a stereotype. these simple six items show that the south is made up of far more than BBQ and football. i would suggest that each region/state of the US represents a specific culture that consists of its own history, traits, and functionality to which each respects and is extremely proud of.

and the south is no different.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

we need help

our emotions are complex. they are massive and deep. our thoughts control us. we often feel things that we cannot explain, and cannot overcome. our lives are channeled by our emotions. we bury how we feel, but it's still there. we have emotions about ourselves, about our lives, about the people around us. it surrounds us. our emotions can suffocate and drown us. we become trapped and have no way out.

emotions control us.

on the outside we may seem happy, successful, and motivated; while on the inside we are crying and dying a slow death.

it is a constant battle. where there is no end.

we seek happiness, yet have no way of finding it.

depression and anxiety, and addictions are real. mental illness is real. our society and health care system needs to provide more support for mental illness. it is complex and difficult to understand, diagnose, and treat. however, there are real people who need real help.
simply because it is something that we all do not understand or grasp, does not mean it does exist.

from robin williams instagram

i am sick and heartbroken over the death of robin williams. we have no idea what a person is going through. we don't always know what their journey has been or what their current journey is. our outside persona is not always who we truly are. get to know those around you, pay attention to warning signs, and offer support.

the simplest thing we all can do is offer kindness, a smile, a hug. showing a loved one [or a stranger] that you care, can go a long way into changing their day, or perhaps their outlook.
no matter your journey, no matter how close we may be, i am always here - to offer a silly blog, conversation, virtual smiles, or support.

lots of love and hugs to all of you.


"you will have bad times, but it'll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to." -robin williams

if you need help, here are some people who can provide you the attention, advice and support you may need. please visit their website or call.
suicide lifeline
phone #: 1-800-273-8255

Friday, August 8, 2014

sugar water bath

hey gang! i haven’t been around this blog much. and after some thinking, i realized this blog has gotten away from it’s original premise.


i love sharing other things with you other than ridiculousness: love. life. happenings. emotions. however, i must include some ridiculousness too. am i right? i am right.

so, today, i have a silly little story to share.

we live in a condo. it’s located on the second floor and it offers us a small outdoor porch space. the porch is about 12' x 8', if i had to guess. i have tried to make it our small patio oasis. my dream is to have beautiful green plants and colorful blooming flowers. well, i fail at all of that. everything i plant, i kill. well, almost everything. currently i am successful growing a pineapple plant [yes! i know! isn't that awesome!!], a wandering jew [yes, that is the name. it is a hanging leaf plant that is green and purple.], and a lantana [i thought i killed it, but it magically started to grow and is doing awesome!]. i have several mint plants that are doing well - only because mint is the easiest thing to grow. ever. a moron could grow mint. i have a dead rose bush, lilies and maybe a climbing hydrangea.  

it's sad. i need to figure out really easy things to grow. and plant those. so, in order to mask my suckiness of growing vegetation, i've added other beautiful patio adornments. we have a bird feeder and a reflective sun ornament. we have a beautiful iron corner shelf for our non-growing plants. i have a hanging basket for the wandering jew. we have a cute bird house. so, i try. i really do.

i also got a hummingbird feeder. not just any hummingbird feeder. i saw this feeder at target, i think, and i just had to have it. it is gorgeous. a red glass feeder, shaped like a teardrop, with the spout for the hummers at the bottom. oh! so cute. no other feeder would do. however, it was like $20. YIKES. all for some more birds. i kept searching and searching and finally found it on ebay for $10. whoohooo.

i mean, look at it. it is glorious. absolutely to die for. ok, let's not get carried away. but, needless to say, i was excited to get my hands on one. well, when i got mine in the mail, this is what it looked like....

GREEN. since this hummingbird feeder was difficult to find at that point, i decided to just keep it. but it arriving in the wrong color should have been my first red flag. notice in the picture of the red feeder how the spout points down? well, due to this design flaw, the feeder always dripped. this was a problem for many reasons. it dripped on the railing and wall of the porch. this kindly invited ants and bees. plus, with it slowly dripping, the feeder simply emptied itself without allowing the hummers to get any food. brilliant!

as you can see the the picture with the green feeder [mine], the spout is in more of a "U" shape. i melted the plastic so that i was able to bend it into the shape that made more sense. by being in a U shape, it still allows the juice to reach the end for the birds, but not allow it to drip all over my damn porch.

ok, so we have the hummingbird feeder - the porch is now somewhat complete. fast forward to yesterday, as i was sitting at my desk, i saw a hummer come up to the feeder! he was a pretty greenish color. i've never seen a hummingbird look like he does. yay! victory is mine - i finally fixed that feeder and it works. 
so later that morning, i go outside to water the plants that i am delivering a slow death to, and i notice that the siding on the porch is all dirty and moldy. this immediately made me crazy. i had to clean it all. i mean, why is my oasis dirty and filled with mold? how did this happen? why are things so out of control out here?! so, after 45 minutes of scrubbing vinyl siding, my job was done. i then noticed that the hummingbird feeder was dripping a little bit. why the hell is it dripping? i fixed that piece of shit plastic spout. why is it dripping!? plus, i just cleaned the railing and wall that it is dripping all over. AHHHH. so, naturally, i went to the feeder to adjust the spout to point up a bit more. maybe that was the problem with that piece of junk. and guess what? the entire spout came out. and since it hangs upside down, the whole feeder spilled its sweet sugar water all over me and the wonderfully clean porch. are you serious with this?


i wanted to smash that feeder into a million little pieces. i also didn't feel like scrubbing the porch. AGAIN. but i had no choice. otherwise, i'd have a very serious ant colonization within minutes. so, i cinderella-ed my ass and cleaned it all over again. i took the empty feeder down. i washed my sticky arms, face, legs, and feet. 

and i said, "that's it. i'm done with that hummingbird feeder. it's been nothing but trouble."

well, later that night......
that beautiful hummer was back, in search of food. i felt horrible that there was nothing there for him. so guess what? i made some more sugar water and hung that godforsaken feeder back up. 

i went outside today. and i noticed it was dripping. 

if i want this hummingbird feeder, i guess i will have to have a porch covered in sugar water, ants and bees.


Friday, July 11, 2014

coming out: "wired wrong"

i really thought about not sharing this blog with you guys. it is deeply personal and the issue hits home. it is important to me, and this is also very emotionally charged about current social issues. so, with that said, reader, beware!

have you guys ever heard of my drunk kitchen? you haven't?! well you should stop reading this and go watch an episode. or 10. go on. GO. i'll wait.


so. how was it? i mean, other than amazing, of course.

the creator of my drunk kitchen, hannah hart, has grown into this huge internet community. she does weekly videos that include advice, music, book clubs, traveling, among other things. she also has another youtube channel, yourharto, which is much more personal. on this channel she has an entire series about her coming out story. it was so moving i watched all 6 videos in one sitting.

each person's coming out story is deeply personal. it is a struggle between your current reality and what you actually want your life to be. there were a couple of things she said that almost moved me to tears. what i want to focus on today is when she decided to come out to her family.

so, hannah had finally decided to come out to her family. but what you must know is that her parents are very religious. so when she came out to her dad, this was his response: within his religious belief, her dad believes that sexuality is a part of your make up. however, it is your choice whether or not you choose to act on it. so basically he told her that she could choose to never let herself fall in love because she is wired wrong.

"no one is wired wrong."

i just rewatched that video and i am just as stunned as i was the first time. i am truly at a loss for words. [it is the CH. 5 video of the coming out series. at the 3-min mark is where she talks about her dad.]


ok...here we go.

typically when two people [or sometimes just one] have a child, it is out of desire. a child is wanted and is something, as parents, you created. you nurture this baby and care for it. deciding to become a parent is a BIG deal. even if the baby was a "whoopsie", and you are unsure about having a child, there is time to make decisions about keeping the baby or allowing another family to love and raise the child.

so. you have decided to have a child. you love your child. you raise it. provide for it. teach them. and all the while, you learn that having a kid is hard. they do amazing things, but they also do things that anger you. frustrate you. disappoint you. hurt you.

you realize that your baby, your child, has developed their own ideals. morals. their own way of life. and some of those things are the same as yours, but some are very different.

no matter what you have gone through with your child, they are still your child. and you still love them. the love for a child is the purest, most unconditional love there is.

this is why i simply cannot understand why parents are so willing to abandon, disown and write-off their own children because they are gay. your child has always been gay. they simply did not realize it until a certain point in their life because the way our society is. just like heterosexuals have always been straight. it is just an easier process for them to figure out because it is "mainstream".

we are who we are. and we love who we love.

it hurts every bit of my heart to hear about parents walking out on their children. because they are gay. because they have figured out a huge piece of their identity. simply because it is different from the "norm" and doesn't fit "religious beliefs". if you can't accept every piece of your child - good, bad, straight, gay - then don't have a kid.

kids are messy. kids are difficult. you never know what they are going to throw at you. as a parent, you must think of every possible thing that could happen: diseases, developmental disorders, drug abuse, being an asshole, running away, being an exceptional athlete, academically gifted, being in a band, involvement with gangs, anything!

never say,"that won't happen to my kid." you never know. you must be ready for all life will hand you. if you can't handle it and be supportive of the LIFE YOU CREATED, then don't create one.

it is ok if your child's identity is different from yours. it is alright if your lifestyle doesn't mesh with theirs. you don't have to agree with every decision your kid will make. just be there and be supportive. as a parent should be. walking away is the absolute worst thing you could do. you signed up to love them forever, no matter what. love doesn't always equal agreement, but it does equal support, caring, and commitment.


Monday, June 16, 2014


it's finally time.

i have some exciting news. nerve-racking news. delightful news. 

as you all may know, i am a school teacher, so i have summers off (yay!), but that leaves me with a lot of free time. most of which i enjoy. however, i enjoy being busy more. so, i got to thinking, i need something to do over the summer. there were lots of ideas thrown around: part-time job, babysit, volunteer....blah, blah, blah.
most ideas sounded great, yet, since i had time off away from my job i really wanted to invest my time in something i wanted to be doing...not another job. and the things i want to do are: write (and get paid), volunteer (for real, i mean it), and create art to share with the world (i.e., sell it). 

i find myself creating art projects, from scratch. and i enjoy it. most are fairly simple, yet, have a clean look to them. this idea of selling my artwork all started when i created a simple canvas piece for our bedroom. so, many years later (two, to be exact), i am finally doing it.


so without further ado, i'd like to share with you: buttered ham! i have taken a big, yet small leap and opened my very own esty shop. a shop filling with homemade art projects. some are made from wood, some from canvas, and some are photographs. the shop is small now, but i hope to grow my shop as my art creations grow.

i am very happy to share it with you. however, it is very new and very fresh. if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. i will update and tweak it as necessary. please look around and enjoy; and most importantly, feel free to order something ;)

thank you all for your support!!


oh, and in addition to the buttered ham link in this blog listing, there is a permanent link on WTR. just look in the left column, toward the bottom [it is labeled "my esty shop: buttered ham" and has a bunch of pretty pictures on it!]

Saturday, May 17, 2014

K2 wedding memory: the broken glass

i have a favorite wedding memory that i would love to share with you all. as i was looking through our wedding pictures i was reminded of this very funny moment.
these pictures and this moment are forever hilarious to those who participated and witnessed the event. and what's more, our photographers caught it all on film. whether they meant to our not, it is still awesome.

they show one of our funniest and most favorite wedding memory. however, to fully understand what is happening in the pictures, it definitely requires a back story. the house that we had our reception at had an outdoor cabana [bar + patio + seating area]. and on top of the cabana is a sunbathing deck. now obviously for a wedding reception a sunbathing deck was not used for such. we used it for our dance floor!
the way that we "started" off our reception was that after all the dances [first dance, mother/son, father/daughter], the last dance [father/daughter] was "interrupted" by the black eyed peas song "i gotta feeling". once this song started playing all members of the wedding party started dancing with us. this created quite a bit of excitement. so much excitement that dan dropped the glass he was holding. and it proceeded to roll off the top of the cabana and drop the 10-12 feet to the ground and nearly hitting the groom's grandmother.
i'll explain more as we look through the pictures. but for now, let's get started.

we're gonna have a good night! yay!!
 dan just realized he dropped the glass. oops.

 dan telling keith what just happened. "dude, i just dropped a glass on your grandma."
meanwhile, laura already knows what happened and is beside herself about it.

 look at laura's face. it is this way throughout all these pictures.

 discussion ensues. and it is hilarious.

 very hilarious.

there is a lot of laughter and some confusion.

 all of this excitement causes ryan to jump in the middle of everything.

 keith is finally explaining to me exactly what happened.


now, all of this may not seem so silly or funny to an outsider, but if you were there and experienced this moment with us, it was beyond hysterical. and what makes it a thousand times more memorable is that it is all captured on film [thank you jamie!].

there are many silly moments like this that happened throughout our wedding that we are so lucky to have them all captured by way of photographs. 

thank you, again, to everyone who made this day so wonderful, so special, and so memorable for us. we love you all!