It’s not what you think


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This picture reminds me of what my friend told me she over heard when she was at physical therapy the other day. All the women in the group were talking about how cumbersome having big boobs was. It seems the therapist had an old (I’m talkin’ 80’s, folks) lady on their table. She was struggling to turn over and said loud enough for every one in the room to hear
“Yeah, I used to ask for a size 40 D bra, now I have to ask for a 40 long!”

ANYWAY ~
My friend Sylvia woke me up this morning at 7:30. I didn’t answer the phone, but listened to the message she left on the answering machine. She said she was trying to be faithful to her commitment to go to water aerobics on Wednesdays and wanted to know if I was going. At one time Sylvia and I said water aerobics was something we were going to do together. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. One week I had to miss, one week she had to miss, etc. Once, I did go by myself but it wasn’t as much fun without Sylvia. I am, believe it or not, shy. Add that to a slightly different culture of people at the Wellness Center in that town (When you live waaay in the country, you really have to travel to go anywhere). I was downright uncomfortable.
Back to the phone call…I laid in bed for a minute trying to think of a way to let her know I didn’t want to go but then her words began to resonate in my heart. “Trying to be faithful to her commitment.” Good grief. After I thought about it, I HAD to go. You know, it’s not easy getting into an exercise routine. I’ve tried all kinds of different programs from tapes to gyms. I have quite a collection of tapes and dvds – Richard Simmons (all those wonderful old songs!), Leslie Sansone (who knew I had so many miles I could walk in my little bitty house?), belly dancing… *screech*…. Belly dancing? Yes, I did belly dancing for a while. Me, over weight, late 50’s, yes, I belly danced. I didn’t say it was pretty. There was a lot I couldn’t do because of certain disabilities I have but I did enjoy it. I’d still be doing it if it wasn’t 40 miles away and 40 dollars a month. I’m on a fixed income. Need I say more?
Back to water aerobics…I called my friend back and said I would meet her in an hour. I’m glad I did except for the fact that now I feel like a limp dish rag but that’s ok. It’s all good. The class was milder than some I have attended before which suited me just fine. You know how sometimes every bone in your body hurts and that’s before you get out of bed? That’s how I felt this morning, so movement in and out of the water was hard. Once I got going, it wasn’t too bad. But I digress. Again, the class was good and I’m glad I went with Sylvia. I don’t know, maybe I have a weird sense of humor or something but when I looked out at all the women exercising in the water, I had to fight off an attack of the giggles. Some ladies were big, some little, some gray, some not – all, myself included, had big boobs bobbing in the water like twin floaties. I hate to think what would have happened to me if I would have shared that observation!

On to another topic, semi-related:

The other day I happened to see Mika Brezenzinski on the NBC Today Show. The woman has an amazing career in journalism and tv. Wow, what a beautiful person! I imagine I was just as stunned as anyone else to hear that she has eating disorders. She’s gorgeous. And she looks like the picture of health. Who knew that she struggled so much with food? She and her best friend, who was fat, wrote a book about their journey fighting to overcome what held them down the most. I ordered the book (http://www.amazon.com/Obsessed-Americas-Food-Addiction—Own/dp/1602861765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369255570&sr=8-1&keywords=obsessed+mika+brzezinski) right away and am about half-way through it. It really hits home and I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with weighty issues. You read that right, weighty issues. Our problems with food aren’t the result of too many pounds. Our problems with food develop from other issues. You knew that, didn’t you? I did, but do you think I ever took the time to dissect what manifested my personal addiction to certain foods? Homework alert. Hard homework, the kind that makes your brain hurt. If you want to do this, you’d better be ready to open yourself up to some truths that might startle you. For example, rewarding yourself with food. Where does that come from? I know I reward myself often when I have done something that deserves it like finishing a project, perhaps a successful book signing, or after having a disagreement with my husband or even – um – water aerobics. Ha! (I want chocolate donuts, big, creamy chocolate filled donuts.)

Mika Brzezinski

And speaking of successful book signings~
How can there be an unsuccessful book signing? I am proud to say I had my 2nd book signing at a place called LeVillage, a B&B in Eunice, Louisiana owned and operated by Felicia Wiggins. What an awesome place! In addition to two big ol’ guest houses, the old Chappelle Grocery Store sits on the property. That building was moved to its current location many years ago from a tiny community called Turkey Creek, about 20 miles up the road. Rustic and charming, it was the perfect site for the book signing/wine&cheese tasting/Market Preview. There were several vendors there with homemade jellies, pies, cakes, quilts, and antiques! It was a beautiful setting and I really enjoyed it. Below the link to LeVillage, see the pic taken that night of my buds and me . I’m the one on the far right. What a hoot!

http://levillagehouse.com/

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I wrote a post in this blog in Oct, 2011 that included info about LeVillage. Here is a link to that one:

https://nantubre.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/welcome-to-my-world/

Keep praying for peace, ya’ll.
love,

Nan

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Facing Fears


Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? I fully expected at this age to not be afraid of anything. I mean, why should I be? I’ve lived a long time, I’ve had a lot of great experiences. I’ve probably had more than my share of hardships but that just goes with the territory of raising two boys alone for 20 years. Raising boys could be another blog subject altogether. I’ll have to give that some serious thought. But for now, I want to face fears that are in the here and now.

Take dentist appointments, for example. This morning I read a good post by Mike Lince (Applecore) about his dental experience in Mexico. It’s amazing the differences in cost between the Land of the Free and South of the Border. Unbelievable. I wonder why that is? Anyway, I included the link to his post here http://globalexplorerclub.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/visiting-the-dentist-or-if-the-tooth-hurts/comment-page-1/#comment-1339. I commented on his blog that I have a very unhealthy aversion to dentist visits. Who knew? I was 57 years old before I had my first cavity. Can you believe that? It was a harrowing experience for me, but thankfully, that was only the finding out part, not the actual filling the cavities part. Filling the cavity wasn’t nearly as traumatic as actually hearing the words “you have a cavity”. I mean, who do you know that exudes blood, sweat, and tears simply for having their teeth cleaned?? Me. That’s who. It’s awful. And for no good reason.

There are other fears in my life I must face. Right now, the one concerning me is fear of success. Yes, you heard me right. Fear of success. Who has that? Again, me. I discovered this truth after my second book signing. Several of my peeps accompanied me to the book signing knowing that I was fairly quaking in my boots and they, being the good friends they are, knew that I needed their encouragement to face whatever was, or wasn’t, waiting for me. As it turned out, everything went well and we had a ball. Now don’t ask me why, but later on I was besieged with the thought that I was probably going to let all of the accolades over my book go straight to my head and I would from that moment on, be conceited and vain and that I wouldn’t have room in my heart all the other good things in my life. I even went so far as to concern myself that perhaps I made Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club my god. And get this: I actually even gave credence to the notion that “I must decrease so He can increase”. What? Really? Did I really think *I* was that good? What a pompous ass I can be! Once that little nugget was out, a friend kindly pointed out that my real problem was fear of success.

My immediate thought was I just spent most of my life trying to get over my fear of failure, now I have to get through my fear of success?? What the heck?

Sometimes it just takes a mountain of truth to get anywhere these days. And truth is the one thing that can conquer fear. I have learned that there is no need to fear failure, no need to fear success, and no need to fear dentist appointments. It’s a hard, hard lesson and if you were a whimp before facing your fears, chances are the word ‘whimp’ won’t even be on your radar after embarking into the land of lessons. Check this out. There is no need for me to fear failure because I have proven that although I have already failed at many things, I am still here. I lived through it and no doubt I’ll fail at something else as well. It happens. It’s normal. Failure does not mean condemnation. It simply means try again. There is no need to fear success. Success should be enjoyed, not in a big-headed sort of way, but in a way that gives appreciation and glory to God. After all, if it weren’t for the blessed Trinity, success wouldn’t mean a thing to me. And fear of dentists? Let me say this: A dental assistant straightened me out during a particularly difficult panic attack laden appointment. At the apex of my gripping fear (no kidding), she very calmly asserted this capable message: “The Lord did not give you a spirit of fear”. Those words were like a soothing balm over my body and soul. What a gift! This assistant was a tiny little thing of a precious young age, but when she said those words, in my mind’s eye, her stature grew into that of a guardian angel and my fear was put to rest. At least that one time. That is not to say I haven’t battled anxiety over each dental appointment since. I do, but I think I must because out of that fear comes the word of God in my ear. The Lord does not give a spirit of fear, but a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear (holy respect) of the Lord. To put it in another context, fear can be a good thing when it reminds us where to put our trust.

What an awesome God we have! Don’t you just love Him? I’d like to just throw my spiritual arms around him and give him a big ol’ spiritual kiss of gratitude!

jesus and child

Ya’ll don’t for get to pray for peace, ya hear?

GIVING AN OLD MAN DIGNITY


I got a phone call from Mr. R, a sweet gentleman of nearly 90 years. “Can you clean up my schnauzer?” he asked. I can’t turn him down; he’s such a dear. Mr. R has been a cattleman his entire life, a successful one if you count that in his day, he had plenty of cattle, a nice big lot of land to keep them, a bunch of kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, and most importantly, much respect and love by everyone who knows him. He’s retired now, ‘getting along’, as he puts it. His stature has shrunk quite a bit over the years, his being becoming quite slight and stooped. Mr. R is a distinguished man, although he is quite humble. He misses his wife. Desperately. To ease his loneliness, someone in the family gave him a dog, a handsome little fella he turned into a farm dog. Farm Dog follows him everywhere, even to the pasture to check on the few remaining cattle left there.

Now the thing about farm dogs is that they are dirty. Dirty like you wouldn’t believe. I expected to see a miniature schnauzer on the other end of Mr. R’s leash. Instead, I saw a sheepdog. His hair was so long and matted, if I hadn’t seen him walking toward me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell which end was his head and which end was his -um- other end. Farm Dog made his presence known by his smell. It’s hard to describe and I’ll spare you the details, except to say that apparently this dog who was supposed to be a dignified breed of ratter, was actually an alpha dog who felt the need to scent his territory by wallowing in whatever invaded it. I’m pretty sure this time it was road-kill.

Farm dog is an old dog, I suspect close to or older than Mr. R’s age in dog years. His stature, like his owner, is bent, boney, and slight. His teeth are almost all gone. He limps a little. He has a immense tufts of hair growing out of his ears. His eyebrows need serious attention, as does his entire coat.

It took me three hours to groom him. He had an odd way of looking at me, like “What the hell are you doing down there? Leave that alone!” Let’s say we communicated. When he first got on the table, he did so quite slowly. He kept his head down and his tail tucked. He looked at me with embarrassment. Yes, he did. I could tell. You know how it is when you look in someone’s eyes and they immediately look away like “I don’t want to talk about it”? Farm Dog did that. I had to bathe him three times. By the time he was almost clean and I had cut through most of the matts in his coat, his demeanor began to change. Head up. Tail up. Getting kinda sassy. Pulling and tugging. Sniffing like he was thinking about lifting his leg. I don’t think so, I told him. I cut, I clipped, I washed. His tail began to jiggle. (When it’s that short, it doesn’t wag, it jiggles.) His chest puffed out. His feet danced. By the time I finished, he looked like a different dog altogether and I had re-learned something I thought I already knew. You know, all beings are created by God, and He created with love. Agape love. Unconditional love. I think God loves every being with the same love, not just humans. Therefore, all beings deserve respect and dignity. Something so un-dignified as scraping the crust off an old filthy dog can be pretty humbling. Kinda like when Jesus washed feet. Kinda like touching lepers and the sick with His bare hands, and when He associated with some pretty serious sinners. A humble Man restoring wholeness.

I won’t soon forget what happened when Mr. R got back to pick up Farm Dog. The old man’s face lit up, he was so excited. He stood a little straighter, smiling from ear to ear. Farm Dog jumped into Mr. R’s arms and licked his ears. Now he was the spittin’ image of his owner; clean-cut, shiny, and very happy. “Oh yeah, my old man looks good!” Mr. R exclaimed. Farm Dog winked at me. When they left, they both walked away with dignity.

If I groomed dogs for a living, that’s the way I would want it to be.

It’s a lesson I must remind myself of repeatedly. Every being is worthwhile. Every being deserves respect. God would be so happy if we treat each other with the same love and respect, if we recognized each person’s dignity.

Ya’ll don’t forget to pray for peace.

Imitation of Christ

I SURVIVED MY FIRST BOOK SIGNING ~ AND IT WAS FUN!


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Big thanks to Lisa Holt at Somethin’ Snazzy! http://www.somethin’snazzy.com

Call it a humbling experience, if you will.

First of all, I spent the whole day like a driven mad woman ping-ponging from pillar to post. I had imagined terrors haunting me; terrors that the only people who would come to my book signing would be the ones who didn’t like it, terrors that I would try to speak only to tangle my tongue in a knot, terrors that I would forget to put my pants on before leaving the house. Yeah, I had real concerns!

But, none of that happened! It was amazing. It was magical. It was a surprise.

And I loved it!

“First I want to thank the academy. Just to be nominated is such an honor….” LOL!

Seriously, I was a nervous wreck until I saw some wonderful people coming through the door. Friends! Which is really awesome when you consider that Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club is all about friends. I consider myself an authority on the subject and what it takes to be one. I’ve had a lot of experience, you see, over the years. I’ve been both a good and a bad friend. And I have been the recipient of good and bad friends. I’ve learned that it takes a lot of patience and an incredible amount of love to cultivate a sustaining friendship and I believe the most important fact about true friendship happens to be that when you have one, you have everything. In fact, God says the same. Remember the Golden Rule? Love One Another. Real friends have a connection to each other that is kind of like an umbilical cord. It’s a soft, pliable, cord that stretches from the absolute core of one being to another. It can be pulled, pushed, kinked, twisted and torn. It is filled with a remarkable substance that I refer to as self-mending love. If you have such a connection with someone, chances are that, even if you don’t see each other for ten years, the memory of your friendship survives and is resurrected each and every time you meet. If, during the lifetime of a friendship, the cord is ever torn, it can more likely than not, be resuscitated by the very means of which it is made; the substance within.

I have been blessed. You could say I’ve got friends in high places. These last few years I have managed to grow in ways I never thought possible and do something I have only dreamed I could do. It reminds me of a time when I heard a woman tell her mom that it is a wonderful thing when you can make your own dreams come true. (I thank God – she’s my bff) Now I know what she means. I doubt I could have done it without the support and love I have received from my friends. I hope and pray that they know how much I love them and that they mean the world to me.

Got another book signing taking place Friday, May 10th at 6p.m. at another awesome place:

levillage book signing<

My book can be ordered from
http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Old-Ladies-Club-Tubre/dp/1475975120/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368053756&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets+of+the+old+ladies+club
and
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-of-the-old-ladies-club-nan-tubre/1114583438?ean=9781475975147

and many other online booksellers around the world.

SOMETHING’ SNAZZY Going On Here


Lord have mercy, it’s Monday again. It’s going to be a very busy week for me and mine. I started my day off bright and early with 3 schnauzers who needed grooming. Dang it, they were some real stinkers, too! I can see a Calgon moment in the very near future ~ And a pedicure to go with those incredible new sandals I got last week. I am gearing up for my very first book signing in Alexandria TOMORROW! My friend, Lisa Holt, is hosting it at her shop, Somethin’ Snazzy. She moved to a new location and is coinciding the event with her grand re-opening, tile painting, and painting class later in the day. I’m so excited! I just talked to Lisa on the phone and she told me “I’ve got this”. Great! Stress-free for me! What a great person she is, to say nothing of what a terrific shop she has! The woman supports the arts, do you hear me? Her shop has so many beautiful things in it, and you know what else? She has made her venue available to area artists. That’s a big deal. Trust me, the artists of Cenla appreciate her very much! Please consider her shop when you’re out and about shopping for a gift for the special moms in your life. You won’t be sorry. She knows just what to show you, and serves it up with a smile and a sparkling personality. Did I mention she can sing? Oh yeah. She can sing!

check it out: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/152434248262809/?fref=ts

I have been visualizing the characters of my new novel and their reaction to the upcoming book signings. You know, it’s true that when a person writes a book, the characters come alive. Either that, or I am more off my rocker than I suspected in the first place. Anyway – Donna, Regina, Cicely, Bethany, and especially Stella, would have a blast being the center of attention. Can you imagine that? They would definately be the life of the party. Regina and Donna would be smiling and greeting everyone as if they were their new best friends. Cicely would probably be rearranging the shop. Bethany would be bending the ears of everyone who would listen to her tales of times past. And Stella, that girl would probably have a crowd of men gathered around to hear her slightly off-color jokes. Yep. I’d like to see that, wouldn’t you?!

book cover

Chickens + Everything I Know, I Learned From Grooming Dogs


It is a glorious day here in the country of central Louisiana! It started off a bit unseasonably cool, but warmed up and turned into a pretty awesome day. Plus, it’s Saturday! I love it~
My grandson is visiting today and that is icing on the cake. He is a very handsome young fella. I’ve loved him his whole life, lol!
I had a good chuckle this morning over a blog that I follow. The writer of that blog does something I’ve never been able to do – run. Oh I envy her. I’ve never been able to run. I used to walk. And walk and walk. When I was a working woman, I used to walk 3.5 – 4 miles nearly every morning before going to work. I had to be at work for 5:45 a.m. Isn’t that something? I had a dog named Ricky and he went with me every step of the way. What a great dog he was.
So anyway, back to the blogger. She has been jogging in a gym and now faces running outside in plain sight of anyone. I gathered she feels very self-conscious about it. I can understand that. She referred to herself as a chicken. She quoted herself “bwuk bwuk bwuk”. It was cute the way she did that. But then I remembered something a dear friend of mine told me. She said after chickens lay eggs, they want to announce it to everyone by clucking “look look what I-I-I-I did!” I wish you could have heard my friend cluck like that! It really cracked me up. So, my point is if you’re going to cluck like a chicken, don’t make it “bwuk bwuk bwuk” like you’re giving up. Tell the world “look look what I-I-I-I did!” It’s a lesson I’m working on, myself.

chicken

NOW….On to (almost) Everything I Know I Learned From Grooming Dogs.
Ya’ll know I love schnauzers. They are a beautiful breed and I chose to raise mine for several reasons, mainly because they are handsome little dickens and they are considered ‘hypo-allergenic’, meaning they don’t shed like others do. My husband has a cat, and the dang thing sheds all over the place so I sure don’t want to add more to that mess. The only problem is, schnauzers are high maintenence dogs, no doubt about it. They have to be groomed. Boy, do they have to be groomed. If you want a dog with a good schnauzer cut, you have to take your time. Size 10 clipper blade down the back. Leave long skirt and legs. Shape the head and beard. Pluck the hair out of the ears. Clean the feet up and clip the nails. Brush the teeth. There is more but we don’t want to go there, do we? You can learn a lot from grooming a dog, and those lessons can be taken in context for nearly every aspect of your life. For example:
1. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
2. If it is scared, it will bite you.
3. A good massage does a lot to induce relaxation.
4. A side-effect of relaxation is trust.
5. Trust must be earned.
6. Always offer a treat.
7. Kindness will never be forgotten.
8. Tenderness is appreciated.
9. Real love is unconditional.
10. Be very careful, especially when working around a$$hole$.

,schnauzaer