Read the label. Scan the barcode.

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice
That’s what little girls are made of.

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails
That’s what little boys are made of.

Do you remember that? I sure do. Well nowadays you better replace that sugar with Agave or Splenda and better check to see if it is gluten free because little girls today are made of something that smells nothing like sugar and spice. And snips and snails and puppy dog tails seem to have been replaced with shotguns and police chases. Just what are we, you made of anyways?

Me, I have no idea. I imagine blinding smiles, twinkling eyes, the “warm and fuzzies” and all the pleasantries associated with being The I AM THAT IS E. I was listening to a podcast and heard it said that we are the remnants of adversity, for it shows exactly what we are made of. Now, when you first hear/see remnants, leftovers is what comes to mind, I know it did for me. Leftovers. Hmm, I don’t eat leftovers, at least not the next day and depending on what’s leftover, not at all. Then I thought about hotdogs. Ewww! Never eat them, ever. Never have, never will. Taste like Froot Loops when you burp and I hate Froot Loops. Old pieces of fabric and carpet are synonymous with remnants.

Leftovers. Scraps. What’s left. All those nouns/adjectives come to mind when you see/hear the word remnants. But then I had a Shawshank Redemption moment. Love that movie! Old Andy Dufresne, dug a tunnel for nearly 20 years and “crawled to freedom through five-hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want too. Five-hundred yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.” Talk about adversity! Put that in running language – 1 mi @15:00 min/mi (this is a brisk walk for some) would put him at 7:30min pace at .5 mi. mark. Seven minutes and thirty seconds. Seven minutes and thirty seconds of crawling “through a river of shit…” Seven minutes and thirty seconds of adversity. “All they found of him was a muddy (yeah right!) set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub.”, the remnants of his adversity.

What are you made of? Do you have seven minutes and thirty seconds worth of SmartWater, Cliffbar, NO Xplode, G2, Guarana, Ginseng, 5-hour or whatever $2.49 hydrating, caffeinated supplement you need to help you sustain and endure what life throws at you? Do you have seven minutes and thirty seconds worth of faith, hope, courage and trust? Ever notice how long leftovers stay in the fridge? Guess there’s something to leftovers after all.

Me. What am I made of? Well, that depends on the season. Fall/Winter and early Spring (still cold out)? Well I’m no Andy Dufresne but I can best .5 mi @ 7:30 pace. As for late Spring and Summer; Jeff Dunham and Bubba J were talking. Jeff to Bubba J: Do you know what AA is? Bubba J: That’s for quitters.

Sugar melts and spice blows away
Saving my leftovers for a cold winter’s day
Spring, summer adversity?
No where near 7:30
I’m flopping on the ropes
Swaying in the breeze
Battling MotherNature’s
Pollen, heat, grass and trees
Too hot, too messy
For digging down and deep
I’ll watch from indoors
From the elements, myself to keep
Watching from the window, I start to cry
No sadness crazy, allergies, itchy eye
Steroids, nose spray, allergy Rx and rest
I’m neither discouraged nor worried
For power is perfected in the midst of weakness

and that, boys and girls is what I’m made of. What’s on your label?

The Mean Reds

Someone I know has a case of the Mean Reds. Though I’m no doctor, I play one a few times a month, I correctly and rather definitively diagnosed her with a severe case of the Mean Reds and as such promptly sent my bill. She offered me dinner – what is that!

Anyways, my dear friend in all her infinite wisdom failed to RAAM her truth and the result is her lovely shade of blushing baby girl developed into a hostile and stubborn case of the Mean Reds. Recognize, Acknowledge, Accept, Move-on- RAAM. Truths, for all their good, can be quite ugly and discomforting. Yeah, yeah, it sets you free but as history has taught us, another person’s freedom often leads to another’s loss of something. My dear Lovely had been ensuring the freedom of others while imprisoning herself, talk about a shafted underground railroad. She had plans and expectations and when the plans fell through and expectations weren’t met, her faith was shaken, she lost hope and the first sign of the Mean Reds appeared.

She didn’t recognize the Mean Reds because nobody had ever told her about them. Here I am, some years later, having to throw on my cape/white coat and make her say ahhhh. Ahhhhh, now I see, now let me help you see. The Mean Reds can flare up at any time and are worse depending on the season. In her flare-up, she thought she lost hope but failed to recognize that she used hope everyday. Within all planning, desires, wishes, etc. there is hope. There is a level of belief that what you want to happen, will happen, right around the time you need/want it to happen. Every morning, she set off to work, hoping to make it on time, without incident. She just needed reminding and I was just what the doctor (me) ordered. It only took 1 visit and while she is by no means cured. Her case of the Mean Reds don’t seem nearly as terrifying as when I first saw her. What are the Mean Reds? The Mean Reds are concrete weights that can form around your neck, wrists and ankles. They are emotions, feelings, events, circumstances, and people who, like weeds, if left unchecked, can choke the life right out of you. In treating the Mean Reds, you have to RAAM them head on. Unlike most dis-eases, there is no convalescing period with the Mean Reds. If you rest, the Mean Reds will never retreat, so she started her RAAM program last week and is Getting Mended.

Your blues ain’t like my blues. My Mean Reds ain’t like your Mean Reds.

The blues are when you feel low, sad. The Mean Reds are when the blues get mad. Do you have or have you ever had a case of the Mean Reds? If you’ve ever had your faith shaken and lost hope then I suspect you may have had a case of the Mean Reds. If you got over the Mean Reds, good for you. You are a champion RAAMer. If you’ve never had a case of the Mean Reds, good for you as well.

Even in the worst of circumstances, emotions, events, and people there lies, no matter how small, a bit of hope. Hope may not give you what you want, tell you what you want to hear or place you where you want to be but it will give you the strength and courage to RAAM your way through. There is a picture of a bird swallowing a frog. The frog is choking the bird. The caption reads: Never ever give up! THAT frog has Hope!

Guess Jesse Jackson had it right all along.

Love Holly Golightly!

Down goes Frazier

You didn’t have to stoop so low… Guess that I don’t need that though. Now your just somebody that I used to know. (Gotye)

Remember when you found out there was no Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real either. If you were anything like me, you felt a little less than genuine towards those who had perpetrated the fraud for so many years. As I grew up, I realized that it wasn’t about the image itself but the fact that it was about having faith. Well, the same thing can be, I believe applied to friendships, work relationships, etc. It can be pretty disheartening when a situation occurs and the behavior and actions of another are in complete contrast to what you would have ever expected. Oh, I see. We aren’t what I thought we were. We aren’t at a place where judgment and criticism have no place, instead you seat them at the head of our table and allow them to devour me as the main course. How naïve of me to think that after X amount of years that while we are by no means BFFs, being Fs was definitely in the forefront of my mind. Guess that F has now been replaced by F and S. Anytime there are cracks in a ship, they should be addressed quickly unless it is a ship that is beyond repair and collecting the insurance money is the best way to go. I’m pretty much known for trying to keep the peace, but sometimes peace just needs to be peace, as in deuces. I was taken aback and hurt by the response but as the word teaches, so a man thinketh, so is he in his heart. My husband had to explain the term Monday Morning Quarterbacking to me a while ago and that is not something one should ever do. If ever presented a problem or dilemma by someone, I would hope that you would have enough compassion to hear the person, listen to what they were saying and offer some sound and encouraging words. Not share what you would have done. Having received that negative response from you, I know now what I should have done and what I will do from now on; never consult you on anything every again. Don’t be THAT person. If you don’t want to be helpful, politely say so, but why belittle the person with what they already know. Don’t stoop so low because a blow like that can cause a weaker person to be down for the count. @notbrokenjustbent