Interview with my Brother Tack (Part 1): Our Childhood and Parents

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I am the curve and he is the line.

My brother and I are different, but there is more than enough room in this world for him, me and YOU!

-LadyG

Today, I wanted to share an interview that I recently conducted with my younger brother, Tack.

During our conversation, we discussed our childhood, living paycheck to paycheck; not to mention, our parents and their parenting style.

In this interview, my brother also revealed our mother’s most important lessons about people and life.

Be forewarned, you are listening to a conversation between me and my brother so my southern accent is BLAZING!!!  Good luck and Godspeed trying to understand some of this! LOL!!!

Enjoy!

 

Stay tuned for part 2, when we discuss a bit more about our Dad, and what it was like for my brother growing up with LadyG as a big sister.

Mama and the Balloon Man

 

 

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My brother Tack

This is one of my first posts on the blog and it tells the story of how fiercely protective my mother was when it came to my brother and I.

BTW, I will be featuring my brother, Tack, in an upcoming video, where we will discuss some of his favorite posts on the blog…among other things!

This dude is something else! You’re going to love him!

But for now, please enjoy this flashback…

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balloons-1211008_1920***This post is dedicated to parents who are working tirelessly to advocate for their children’s well-being.  God bless you!

When I was a kid, the month of October bore two special gifts.  First, it brought much needed respite from Georgia’s 200° ‘hell hot’ summer days.

And, best of all, it brought the fair!

My friends, I can’t begin to tell you how much my baby brother and I loved going to the fair!  While there, we faced down Ferris wheels, haunted houses, bumper cars, and ‘flying pirate’ ships.  One of our favorite rides was the Himalayas!  Baby, that thing flung us around and around, forwards and backwards!  We lived for the music, flashing lights and the carny/DJ yelling “Do you want to go faster?”

Yes my dear hearts, it was ALL good in October at the fair…until it wasn’t!

You see, one time, while we were at the fair, my…

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Interview with Dr. K. E. Garland Part 3

Oh boy! The conversation is getting juicy!

The louder I get the more thick my southern accent becomes! LOL!

As you know, Dr. Garland’s subject matter centers around male/female relationships.  In this session, we continue our conversation from part 2 on the differences between men and women.

Please be sure to follow Dr. Garland and Michelle!  You can link to them via the first or second post of this interview.

 

A Charming Southern Cottage in Augusta

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Lady G of Seattle at a cottage in Summerville (Augusta, GA)

Salutations!

After last week’s post about my visit home, I got a lot of questions from people who were much too chicken to post a comment on the blog, asking about the accomodations in Augusta.

Well, basically, my dear friend, Lady G of Seattle, rented an Airbnb during the holidays and I must say that she stumbled upon a hidden GEM!

To be specific, this darling little cottage was nestled in a tony section of Augusta known as Summerville.

Now…

If you are a fan of the idea of Southern class, grace, charm, civility and hospitality, this type of place will DEFINITELY exceed your expectations!

According to Lady G of Seattle, the host at this cottage, Mr. —….don’t ask me his name…was the penultimate proprietor! She shared that his main goal was to ensure that all of his guest’s needs were promptly met.

Indeed, this visit was a much needed positive shift away from a world filled with folks hell-bent on hatred and destruction!

And so…

If you’re ever in Augusta, consider staying at a Summerville cottage like this one.

They are absolutely approved and endorsed by the Ladies G!

Love and light,

LadyG 😘💋💋  Don’t forget to like, follow and share!

 

I Went Home Today!

 

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Godfather of Soul (a picture of a picture taken at Nacho Mamas in Augusta, GA)

Ok, so I didn’t go home today.

I actually went home yesterday, but somehow “I went home yesterday,” as a title, didn’t quite have the same ring to it.

LOL!

And so…

Yesterday, I went to my hometown of Augusta, GA.

Yep! Home of The Godfather of Soul…James Brown.

Not to mention the Master’s Golf Tournament.

And yours truly, LadyG.

Anyway, the purpose of my visit was to see one of my best friends and sister, Gloria and her son Zoser.

Together, Gloria and I are the Ladies G!

LOL!!

At any rate, Gloria and Zoser, who happens to be on his way to bonafide celebrity-dom due to his burgeoning singing career, flew home from Seattle to Augusta for the holidays.

Naturally, I could not allow them to fly back into the Northwestern sunset without us getting together.

So…

Me, Lady J and Rod rolled over to Augusta for the day and had a BALL!

I’m sure if you asked those two they’d tell you how “interesting” it was to hear their mom chatter on and on about her old Homecoming Queen highschool glory days:

“Mama was the Homecoming queen and a Varsity Cheerleader for 4 years…and….”

“We know, Mom…you were blah, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada…”

They had heard it all before!

—No less than 10 zillion times.

Sorry friends, I have truly digressed!

Never mind that, please enjoy the following pictures from a hometown visit with some of my favorite people.

Love and Light, Lady G 😘💋💋

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The Ladies G
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Together Again

 

 

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Zoser and LadyG
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A Pensive Lady J
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What did I do with my phone? Oh it’s being used to take THIS picture! 😜

 

 

 

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In Loving Memory of Christopher, my baby brother.

Happy Mother’s Day 2018

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A gift from my children!

Greetings Friends and Family!

Lady G is happily relaxing on this lovely Mother’s Day!

My children surprised me with flowers, candy and brunch!

I also got a fitbit to help me get in shape!

Smile!

No doubt, I am so blessed.

BUT…

I can’t help missing my own mother.

There are so many of us who know that destination all too well.

Alas…it is a place in which we cannot dwell…

Life demands that we move forward and continue to grow; being fully present for our own children and for those whom we love and who love us.

Right HERE…

Right NOW!

Anyway, I pray that you all are doing well and that you are celebrating the mothers in your life… or that you are celebrating your own motherhood!

I miss you guys!

Love and light to you all!

Have a magnificent day and week 🙂

Please drop by and say hello!

2018 Mother's Day Brunch
Brunch prepared by Lady J and Rod 😘

That plate was clean about 5 minutes after this shot was taken…hence the fitbit! LOL!!!

 

Next Year

Though my body has betrayed me…

I’ll proceed with next year’s plans.

Springtime in Paris!

Summer on Puget Sound!

Fall in Maine!

And Winter?

Yes…Winter!

A homecoming celebration like you’ve never seen!

A place where I’ll see them all!

You know…

The ones who left before me.

And after that…

I rest.

 

 

For those of us who are dealing with end of life issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Black Book

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My first job after graduating college was in the Admissions Office of a large hospital.

Talk about busy?

We were always busy.

Part of that busy-ness included keeping records on every patient that was admitted and discharged from the facility.

As you might imagine, there were a number of different routes and/or reasons that a patient might enter the hospital…

And there were a number of different routes and/or reasons that they could leave…

Now comes “The Black Book.”

You see, in general, most people, upon discharge, would either go home or be transferred to a different level of care–sometimes higher, sometimes lower.

Or…

They took what was often called a “celestial discharge.”

Need I say more?

Uh…I think you get my meaning.

Anyway, whenever a person passed away, the nurse from the floor where they had been would call a central office and report all of the relative vital information regarding that death.

Next, the central office would call the Admissions Office and convey said information to one of us to enter into the “Black Book.”

I can’t begin to count all of the times that I was responsible for adding a new entry into this unnerving ledger.

But it was part of the job, so I had to do it.

Well, in an effort to lift the air of melancholia associated with this task, Nancy, from the central office would always preface the call with “Gwin, get out the Black Book! We have another celestial discharge!”

Of course, we’d both laugh nervously but the fact remained that someone had died and most likely left grieving family and friends behind.

At any rate, the process always went thusly:

I’d follow Nancy’s request to “pull out the Black Book.”  I would then print off an admission sheet and record as Nancy dictated, “We have Fred Rogers, time of death 9:45pm, Dr. Seuss is the pronouncing physician and we’ve got Williams Mortuary coming to pick up the body.”

I’d then take that admission sheet and quietly add it to the front of the Black Book.

Even though I hated adding new entries, I somehow felt that in a minor way I was helping this person’s soul to close-out it’s Earthly busy-ness.

I guess that was my way of taking some of the sting out of the assignment.

In short, I had made my peace.

In fact, on quiet nights, I would thumb through this sobering book whenever I needed to get some gratitude.

Naturally, I had come to know some of the people in the book.

And, while I didn’t know them all personally, I often learned many of their stories.

From one page to the next I’d contemplate the ruddy-faced teen who took a full bottle of pills after concluding that the whole damn thing was way too much…

Or the middle-aged Sicilian woman who bid her newborn farewell while, simulatneously, taking her last breath…

Or the once bright-eyed 3-year-old whose father had not noticed that she was playing directly behind his truck as he hastily backed out of the driveway on his way to some important busy-ness…

And there was Marion, whom we called ‘Black Jesus,’ because his skin was smooth and dark as night.  His straight, long, flowing obsidian colored tresses were often neatly pulled back into a pony-tail that snaked down to his waist.

I really missed him because he was always determined to remain in good spirits despite having suffered from a lifelong painful chronic illness.

Yes.  That was them…

Each one an individual entry in the Black Book…all come and gone.

 

 

Even though I left that place over 20 years ago, I still thumb through those pages in my imagination.

Again, it’s my way of finding gratitude 💖

-LadyG

 

 

 

Get My Stuff

 

 

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Yeah, I know the title is short but the only other option was “Go getteth mine stuffeth!”

Of course, that would have been both improper and nonsensical 😉

And so…

Here goes…

I’ve been thinking about stuff lately.

No…I’m not talking about big stuff like houses and cars, I’m talking about little stuff like:

That figurine of a bearded alpine man in lederhosen leaning on a walking stick

The ceramic Raggedy Ann that holds a hodge-podge of unused cooking utensils

The glass genie lamp lighter that stopped lighting things some 35 years ago

The Aztec blanket from Cancun that really isn’t that comfortable

And the five hundred zillion other things that so many of us have bursting out of our closets, garages, rooms, shower stalls, storage houses, PODS…and so forth.

Uh, I’m sure by now that you’re wondering where I’m going with this crazy diatribe.

Well, all of this talk of stuff is the direct result of the fact that, lately, we’ve experienced and witnessed a great deal of loss including a Godfather and the beloved fiancé of one of my oldest and dearest friends.

And with that comes thoughts of stuff and the tasks associated with dealing with a person’s property after they die.

How does that all work?

Well, typically, a family member or a close friend has to decide how to appropriate or dispose of these things.

Trust me, it ain’t an easy job.

In fact, I very clearly remember sorting through all of my mother’s things after she passed away.

There I was, sitting on the closet floor, looking at my Mama’s winter coat thinking, “But I need to keep this, she’ll need it for the cold.”

No doubt, I’d temporarily forgotten to remember that Mama no longer needed anything anymore.

Ah, but when I did remember to remember, I immediately started to cry and my mind began to wander to the day when someone would have to go through my stuff and decide what to do with it.

Within an instant, oodles of clothes and shoes and books and what-nots flashed in my mind’s eye.

And then…

I “saw’ all of  my journals and diaries.

Who would be looking through that?

My hopes, dreams, and confessions!

And it hit me!

I need a plan…lest my sensitive, private and confidential thoughts come out of the dark 😉

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing diabolical in there but some things need to remain unread and unspoken—they’re just too personal.

Anyway, back to my story…

That day, after exiting Mama’s closet, I decided that I needed to hand-select someone to go get my stuff after I die.

Someone trustworthy.

Oh! But what happens if that person dies before I do?

What to do?

What to do?

What to do!?

LOL!

Ironically, I remember comedian-disc jockey, Tom Joyner rhetorically asking, “Who went to get Bob Hope’s private stuff?”

No, seriously…

Who?

Well, that got me thinking some more.

Maybe I should start paring down and destroying some of this stuff BEFORE I die.

I mean, do I really need all of this junk anyway?

Hey, God already knows about the other part.

LOL!

What do you think?

I know that it’s not necessarily a pleasant thing to ponder but, I ask, who’ll be sorting through your stuff once you’ve taken a “celestial discharge?”

Meet me in comments…Let’s discuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Thinking About It

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Lady J’s Godfather died the other day.

Unfortunately, I was responsible for breaking the news.

After telling her what had happened, I wiped my eyes and braced myself for an impending breakdown–I just knew that my dear daughter was going to fall over into a puddle of tears.

I put my arm around her…

Ready to catch her fall.

And I waited…

And I waited…

And I waited.

But there was nothing.

No response.

Just silence.

Now, in an effort to be proactive, I decided that I should help her to get in touch with her feelings.

In my mind, she needed to process the seriousness of what had occurred.

So, I assured her that it was okay if she felt like crying.

Again, nothing.

Not wanting to force the issue, I simply decided to drop the subject and keep a close eye on her.

But, to my surprise, Lady J never said another word about the matter.

In fact, she proceeded as if nothing had happened.

I kept thinking to myself that this was strange.

Lady J was very close to her Godfather.

This just didn’t seem to make any sense.

So, again,  I broached the subject and asked, “How do you feel?”

“What do you think?”

To which she responded, “I’ve decided NOT to think about it.”

So I let it be.

Well, a couple of days before the funeral, Lady J’s Godmother requested that we come to her home in order to take pictures with the family.

So we went.

Naturally, after arriving, we greeted children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and friends—Each one engaged in play, pleasantries and recollections of warm memories.

People were talking and becoming more acquainted.

Several conversations were occuring at once.

And all seemed well.

But there, on the sofa, apart from the chatter, sat Lady J, silently holding her Godmother’s hand…

NOT thinking about it.

 

 

Rest in Peace KRB (aka Godfather)

We love you and we will miss you always!