Sunday, May 21, 2017

Zumba Interruptus

Left out the house at 10:40 a.m. yesterday with my mind set on going to Zumba. While I warmed up (30 seconds) the car, found a playlist so that I wasn't tempted to fiddle with my iPod while driving. Heard a thunk and looked to see this white car moving away from my car but not stopping.

Me: What the hell?

Turned my flip phone on and dialed 911 while trying to pay attention. The driver of the white car, at one point, put his car in reverse and I wondered if he was going to get aggressive. I gave the 911 operator a description of his car, a description of my car, my number then I was told to pull over once I said that I was following the person. However, when we got to a major street and a red light, the driver put his car in reverse again. The light changed and he didn't move and seconds later, his head tilted back.

By that time, other people got involved and this woman said that he was breathing rapidly. I had already made a second call to 911 to let them know that the driver had passed out. As a man started rubbing the unconscious man's chest, he told me to call back and let them know that an off-duty officer was on the scene and that it looked like an overdose. By this time, I spotted a cigarette lighter in the unconscious man's right hand.

The emergency personnel was able to bring the wayward driver back to consciousness with just oxygen. He had no memory of "hitting" me and, as it turned out, there was no damage to my car. One officer speculated that he got so close that there was some kind of noise generated from the close proximity...

Even though the experience knocked me off my game and looking at the city 911 call logs further knocked me off my game, I realize how lucky I was yesterday. A few minutes either way and the outcome could have been different. It was also not the best move to follow the car...

All of this reminds me of a blog post by Leo Babauta which reminded me of Sully which I was reluctant to watch but found myself moved when the first responders et al. went into action after the plane crashed. That scene was reassuring because it made me feel that there are trained professionals who are going to assist in a reasonable amount of time along with ordinary people who will come to people's aid.

The particular post by Babauta is called The Magic of Being Held By the World:
When you were born, you were incapable of living without the support of your family, who fed, clothed, sheltered you, changed your diapers, kept you alive every single day. They were supported by many others, and then you were educated by many more. You were raised by a village, no matter what your childhood was like...
I also really like this Instagram post:

"yo don't worry, I got you." -the entire universe .|• #manifestedminds

A post shared by Manifested Minds (@manifestedminds) on

Thursday, May 18, 2017


When I walked into work this morning I wondered how, if I chose to, working 80% would impact my life. I, simultaneously, heard my grand and great grandparents verbally scoffing -- like Do you know what we had to go through?

Went to my cousin's wife's General Education Development (GED) graduation last night and there were more graduates than I expected -- about 150.

The person who stood up the most last night, for awards etc., was a German immigrant who said that she was on the wrong side of the wall and didn't get the education that she wanted. The immigrant did very well in her language classes because she was one of two students who gave a speech and you could hear her passion for education.

The second student speaker was my cousin's wife and she talked about how many attempts she'd made to get  her GED and how her husband, who doesn't think he deserves any credit, was instrumental in her setting aside a day for studying and continuing on her path. She also thanked the school for never closing the door on her...

I hadn't realized that "K" had dropped out of school in the seventh grade due to family issues etc.

After the student speeches, I thought "It's never too late" but there was also part of me thinking that sometimes it is too late but then I remember the people who learned how to read in there 90's etc.

Out of all the graduation ceremonies that I've been to, I found this High School Equivalency one the most moving...

The Two
Talked to my aunt Debbie after the ceremony because my twin uncles just lost one of their half-sisters (heart attack at work). I found out last night that my aunt Debbie is the youngest on both side of her families. Didn't realize that she had just as many siblings on her father's side as she did on her mother's side. How did I not know this information?

Today I was talking with a contractor that I work with and she talked about how everyone rushes time but she believes that time rushes by at an unbelievable speed and has no desire to wish away certain days...

Two of my favorite pictures from last night.

Monday, May 15, 2017


When my mother and I left the repast on Saturday, she pointed out one of her childhood homes. We got our first phone there and we had a party line. Wow, we've come a long way -- maybe too long. I wonder how many homes my grandmother had to move in and out of raising seven children.

Although I haven't done much research on it, I've been thinking about StoryWorth -- heard about it while listening to a podcast. Wonder if my family members would participate.

I've also been thinking about how mother said that my aunt Girt has always had a mouth on her. No need to wait for old age; she's been saying what she has wanted to say since...

Alison and I were in negotiations on Saturday night about what activities we wanted to do and where we wanted to do them.  Knew that I didn't have much time to play with (a.k.a bicycling) so we decided to go to yoga and then breakfast after yoga.

Towards the end of class, I snapped this picture of Alison. Some people were doing headstands and because I don't do headstands, I watched. Alison said that she is trying to become accustomed to the idea of being upside down...

Guess I could have done downward-facing dog on the wall but I was ready for savasana and not wall play...

This woman that I used to work with moved back to St. Louis from California. She was hoarse and said that her voice has been that way since she moved back to St. Louis. She also said that she used to take allergy shots but doesn't have time to do that right now.

Got home from work, changed clothes, walked the yard to check for debris then mowed the lawn. Followed that up with pulling weeds for one hour. By the time I was finished, felt like I had little shards of glass in my skin.

I had been feeling better and less congested but I should have worn a mask because my stint outside has me nice and congested.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Your Lucky Day


I made it back to my yoga mat after a 15-day hiatus and it felt really good. I had read an article in Prevention magazine that was a reminder of why practicing yoga is so good for your mind and spirit.

In Other News:

Chiquita texted me sometime last week to say that one of our cousin's had died. No one, except for his mom, was surprised. Our cousin lived a hard life and alcohol got the best of him. I feel really bad for his mom who is not doing well herself. 

People have a lot to say about the town that I was born in. It got the first chapter in Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities. A lot of us did well but a lot of the black men did not...

Today was my cousin's funeral. 

I met up with my mother over at my aunt Girt's house and I wanted to drive because my mother often chauffeurs people around but I think that my mother is leery of my driving skills or, rather, she thinks that I drive too fast. At any rate...

Got to the funeral home and saw my aunt Debbie coming out. She had some gently used workout clothes that one of her friends no longer wanted...

One my of high school classmates officiated the service and one of the first things that he asked us to do was put up two fingers then feel our pulse. He went on to talk about the importance of breath, living etc.

When it was time to go to the graveyard, I rode with Chiquita. The service was a short one so when we arrived at the gravesite, there was still some final issues that needed to be addressed. I couldn't remember where my father's grave was at and, of course, Chiquita remembered the general vicinity and I was able to find it. Blew my mind that it's been almost 12 years since my father died. Really, where does the time go?

Chiquita In The Driver's Seat

I went to school with my deceased cousin's sister and it was not lost on me that she can hardly stand on her own since she has a bad case of arthritis...

Next, Chiquita and I went to pick up my aunt Alice and when she saw me, she said When did you two crooks meet up? I started cracking up.

We went over to another cousin's for the repast and I had fun watching Chiquita have fun while listening to my aunt Girt who said many funny things. It is also interesting to watch what happens between my mother and my aunt Girt. You would think that my aunt Girt is the oldest the way she likes to ask my mother to bring her things etc...

After the repast, I headed to get my glasses. I usually get them in Illinois at an "outlet" for $40 dollars. As I walked in, a pair of glasses called my name. Why didn't they call out to me two weeks ago? I wasn't crazy about the glasses that I picked out but I was overwhelmed by the choices and just went with something so that I could get out of the store. At any rate, the glasses are growing on me but I still might order a second pair.

After picking up my glasses, I treated myself to some scented, whipped shea butter lotion plus a few bath bombs. I also got Chiquita one because she needs to unwind...

Left home at 11:30 and returned at 5:30. Ate then I headed back out as I wanted to get this Trader Joe's popcorn that my mother likes but when I got to the shelf that holds the popcorn, it wasn't there. I went up to customer service and a young lady told me that the truck should have just made a delivery. 

It's your lucky day she tells me as she cuts open the box and I relieve it of four bags.

Flower Cupboard Almost Bare

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Another One

Had a weird dream last night. I was in a locker room and Michael Jordan was sitting next to me. A childhood friend was also in the locker room. I hardly ever see this friend unless there's a funeral and I'm thinking that she showed up because of the 100-year-old friend of the family who just transitioned because we used to play in front of her house. But Michael Jordan???

I was trying to take a selfie with Jordan but couldn't get my iPod to work and also couldn't find another device to take the picture...

Went to Zumba this morning then Alison asked if I wanted to go to an herb shop that I was trying to avoid because I'm having a love affair with essential oils. I somehow managed to walk away with just shampoo -- brownie point for me.

New Car Diffuser

Alison then wanted to go to lunch after our first stop and because I'd said "no" the last couple of times I said "yes" and we went to a nearby coffee shop then we ended up going to a new age store.

What's being served...
Got home and changed into yard work attire. Ended up being in the yard too long because I'd wanted to pick up my glasses in Illinois. Thought the place was open until five but they close earlier on Saturday. Oh well, guess you can't get everything done in one day.

On Friday, one of the contractors that I work with said that he had been swimming and I told him that I hadn't been swimming because of congestion and he said Welcome to the club; I take medicine all year for that. Ugh...