Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Sorry it's been so long....I've been feeling a little bit, "under the weather" lately.  It's strange, really.

I can't really put my finger on it and frankly I'm just too busy to get to the doctor.  I'm guessing it will pass eventually, but, we're going on almost a week now and I can't seem to shake it.

I can't sleep.  I am not a good sleeper by nature.  Never have been.  I don't know that I have ever slept through an entire night in my life.  But, recently, I am just not sleeping.  I'm exhausted, but, I can't sleep.  I go to bed, toss and turn for an hour or so, finally doze off, only to wake up somewhere around 4 am and then I can not fall back asleep.  I try to sneak in the occasional nap, but, even that's limited due to lack time.

I'm also having a hard time eating.  And, anyone who knows me knows that that is not even kind of normal.  I am actually forcing myself to eat for sustenance.  And, what's really weird is that I'm not even hungry.  I have even been forgetting to eat.  That is so not normal.

I'm not complaining about the last symptom.  I welcome it, in fact.  It helps the cause. 

I am also just a tad bit queezy.  Not enough to vomit, but enough to make me slightly uncomfortable.  I'm sure this must have something to do with the not eating part, but, frankly this is one side effect of my "affliction" that I could do without. 

My hands are sore.  That's weird, right?  I mean, I have been doing a lot more texting than normal lately.  That might explain this part.  I hope.  Because, that is a very strange symptom, I'd say.  Wouldn't you?

Okay, now here's the really weird thing that I have been experiencing.....I can't seem to stop giggling.  And smiling.  Lots of giggling and smiling.  Excessive amounts, in fact.  I'm starting to drive myself crazy with it.  And my friends.  They keep saying, "what is wrong with you?"  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Maybe it's due to the lack of sleep.  Fatigue does do crazy things to people. 

I entered all of my symptoms on Web MD.  I do not recommend this to anyone.  It is no wonder that this world is full of hypochondriacs.  The answers I came up with were: Bi-polar disorder, brain tumor or schizophrenia.  I choose none of the above.  So I added another symptom that I just unearthed: heart palpitations.  So now I can add congestive heart failure to the list of ailments I get to choose from.  No thanks. 

So, I ask you.  Any ideas?  Ever had these symptoms before?  I don't have any weird pains or any cold symptoms.  I think I may have experienced something similar to this before, but, it's slightly different this time.  I just can't put my finger on it. 


If you have any advice to offer me I would greatly appreciate it. 

For now, I am going to try to sleep.  I hope that I wake up feeling better tomorrow.  On second thought, no I don't.  ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A year of "Dangerous" Living?

Today it occurred to me that I have done a lot of things in this past year that I once would have never imagined myself doing.  Honestly, they're not really all that "dangerous", but they're definitely unexpected.  And, they have all played a starring role in my epiphany that change, though scary, can be a very good thing. 

Life is scary, at best.  But, sometimes you just need to grab a hold of the handle bars, put on a smile and hope and pray that every little thing is gonna be all right. 

There really is something about being over 40.  I do feel sage and secure, somehow.  I'm not really sure how that is exactly.  But, I do.  So, I just go with it. I tread lightly.  I don't want to awaken the god of false hope and security and have her go, "ha, ha!  joke's on you, idiot!"

So, as far as those "dangerous liaisons" go, here's the skinny:


I went to see Kid Rock in concert.  I went very begrudgingly, I might add.  But, I went. 

My very good friend is a HUGE fan, to say the least.  Once she found out that he was going to be at the United Center in Chicago she was on it!  Frankly, she would have been content to see the Rock-n-Roll Jesus with a group of toothless hillbillies, but, fortunately for her, she had 3 close girlfriends, myself included, who were up for the adventure. 

I've never been a fan, and that's being nice. The mention of him conjured up screeching lyrics, sweaty, stringy hair and Pam Anderson.  All of the above of which I am not a fan. 

But, I was due a trip to my favorite city with 3 of my favorite girls.  Game on.  I figured there would be enough beer and people watching to occupy my just-under-2-hours at the United Center.

But, here's the kicker:  I liked it....him.  I actually liked the show!  And, let me tell you, that dude puts on one hay-ell of a show!!!  Who knew?  Well, apparently thousands of people other than myself already knew.

So, I am a Kid Rock convert, much to my surprise.  I had no idea that he even played an instrument, let alone 3!  He even "scratched"!  Records, folks, not himself.  Well, he may have, but I didn't see it.

So, I guess the moral here is, "don't knock it 'til you try it".  If this wasp-y and relatively uptight gal can become a Kid Rock fan at 42 then anything is possible!


This truly is not something that I want to divulge upon but I will because it is to date my most life-altering event.

Divorce.  Just the word itself is ugly.

If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would have to go through this I would have laughed in their face, shortly after I had told them where to go.  But, it's not something that people plan on.  I certainly did not.  When we were married I signed on for life.  I was certain that it was my happy ending. 

But, life has a funny way of sneaking up behind you and yanking the proverbial rug out from under you. 

I have made it through all of the stages of grief, because it is, after all, a death.

If anything good were to have come out of this, I would say it would have to be my perspective. I have taken a very long and hard look at myself and my choices, good and bad.  I own my mistakes and I will stop condemning myself for them.  I realize that there are things that are entirely out of my control and I have to be able to walk away from them.

It was not a "dangerous" event.  It was a sad one.  But, as my mother would say, "life is earnest.....", and I'm sure you know the rest by now. 


I have wanted to write for over 20 years now.  But, the thought of it scared the bee-jaysus out of me.

As an artist, I understand that writing is a form of art.  And, as such, it is subjective.  There is no physical creation when you are finished, unless you are lucky enough to get published.  It is words that you have written.  Words that you find interesting.

But.........what if no one else does?  That is scary!

Blogging became a very easy introduction into the world of writing for me.  I can write as much or as little as I want.  I can even decide whether or not I want to publish what I have written. 

I suppose I should take a moment to both apologize and thank the victim of blog #1.  But, I was just so tickled by the events that were unfolding before me at the time that I felt completely compelled to write about it.  So, for that I offer a very genuine "I'm sorry, 'sir' ", and, "thanks for the mojo!" :)

To my great delight and surprise, you have received me very well.  I am eternally grateful to anyone who has bothered to take time out of their very busy lives to read my blog.  This is a gift that you give me every day.  It brings me so much joy to write and I hope that I do not let you down too often!

What I have learned so far in this life is that you should afford yourself the opportunity of trying something new.  Don't be afraid to take those leaps.  And, whether the outcome is good or bad, at least you can say you were brave.  At least for a moment.

So, thanks to a few small hops and a  couple of giant leaps I have found myself exactly where I want to be.  Right here, right now.  I am grateful for what I have in this moment and I am open to trying new things.  It's a pretty good place to be.

I do have another, um, "event", we'll call it, coming up in the very near future.  I'll leave it at that for now.  It's not at all "dangerous".  It is, however, a tad bit scary!  I'll give you a hint:  I haven't done this in 15 years! be continued?............

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sister Goldenhair

In the car today it came on the radio.  So, I turned it up and informed my boys that this was my all time favorite song.  "Sister Goldenhair" by America, circa 1970-something, for those of you who don't know of it.  My sweet little 9 year old informed me that it was a 'really cheesy song'. 

"There's no rapping in it.  How is it so awesome?" he was dead serious.

"That is exactly how it is so awesome." son of mine.....

So, I chose to ignore his rude statement and sang along, because, yes, I know all of the words.  I'm certain, in fact, that I have known the words since I was a very young girl, somewhere around the age of 5 or 6.  My older sister was in high school at the time and our bedrooms were right next to each other.  My bed was right up against the wall where she had her stereo.  A "stereo", for my younger readers, is an old fashioned type of equipment on which we used to listen to music, long before iPods and iHomes and music downloads.  We actually listened to music from radio stations, or on these round things called "records" or small square things called "cassettes".  Look it up. It's all true. 

Anyways, my mother was certain that I was learning the words to the current music of the day through osmosis, as my sister would play her "stereo" into the evening well after my bedtime.  I remember it very clearly.  I loved it.  It actually helped me to fall asleep.  To this day I listen to music at bedtime when I'm having a hard time falling asleep. 

I remember being in the car with my mother one day and Billy Joel's song, "Don't Ask Me Why" was on the radio.  I was singing along verbatim.  My mother thought it was precious until her toe-headed 6 year old got to the line, "as sure as I'm a victim of desire". 

Can you imagine that line giving pause considering the lyrics we have to deal with in today's music? 

Nonetheless, mom was appalled. 

"Julie!  Do you even know what that means?"
Well, even if I did I certainly wasn't going to tell her.  I knew what that would mean.  No more stereo at night.  That just would not do.


" shouldn't sing this song anymore."  that was a simple enough request.

"Okay."  Phew.  Dodged that bullet.

I had this same thought not too long ago when I overheard my 5 year old singing along to some of the not-so-appropriate downloads I have on my iPad.  But, as a parent you know you've done a fantastic job of child rearing when you over hear one of your off spring singing Flo Rida's "Low" with absolute precision.  It was a proud moment.  Oops?

I do have a lot of music with questionable lyrics downloaded.  Mainly because they make for good running music.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  I guess I need to do a better job of editing my files. 

Most recently I downloaded 2Pac's "California Love".  On what planet in my head do I live where a 42 year old mother of 2 young boys can download gangster rap and not expect said boys to come across it????  And, let's just gloss right over the whole middle-aged-white-woman-listening-to-gangster-rap thing all together, shall we?

So, I tried my mother's approach.  "Carter.  You shouldn't listen to this song."


Damnit.  This child gives me no wiggle room.

"Um...." I wasn't even going to try to explain why it's not appropriate.  He's not quite ready for that lesson yet.  And, since we don't live in South Central L.A. I didn't feel it was all too pertinent.  So, we agreed that none of us should listen to it.  Except when I'm running.  Which, frankly isn't all that often, so no harm, no foul.  Right?  Just agree with me on this, okay?

So, back to "Sister Goldenhair"...this song takes me to many happy places, which is why I think it sparked such a conversation in my head today.  (Yes, that happens.  What's your point?)  It reminds me of my blissfully happy childhood.  But, it especially reminds me of a certain sister goldenhair of my own; my sister-from-another-mother.  It's "our" song. We're both certain it was written about ourselves, but, we've learned to share it over the years. 

I was reminded today to take time out to enjoy every possible moment.  Life is short.  Love and embrace those happy memories but don't forget to make new ones as you go along.

What I can not believe is that I don't have "Sister Goldenhair" downloaded.  The HORROR!!!!  I'm sure I have the cassette of it somewhere in a box in the basement.  I just don't have anything to play it in.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Tis Better to Give?


Well, within reason.  Maybe.

I mean, I do love to give gifts just as much as the next girl.  But, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to get presents!  It makes my heart palpitate and my palms get all sweaty.

So, with the holiday season upon us I started thinking, if I could come up with my own out-of-the-box, no-holds-barred and partially ridiculous wish list, what would be on it?  I'll tell ya, it was fu-un putting it together.  I in no way shape or form expect any of this to magically appear at my house Christmas morning.  I was just simply indulging my completely over active imagination. 

I do have to say that I felt a little bit misguided without Oprah's Favorite Things list.  In years past this had become somewhat of a go-to list for all things coveted.  Although, in recent years the lists were starting to be a bit reminiscent of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.  In other words, a bit of a stretch for the average Jane, to say the least. 

So, here goes nothing.........


Dear Santa,

Well, hey there!  Have I told you lately how good you look?  I swear you could pass for a 20 year old.  I'll bet you get carded every time you make an egg nog run!  That Mrs. Claus is a lucky lady.

So, now listen, Nick, I know you're a busy guy and all, but, I just had a few teensy things I wanted to pass your way.  You know, just some 'suggestions' of some things that a gal like me might be interested in receiving, should you be so inclined.

I realize it's a bit unorthodoxed for a 42 year old woman to send you a Christmas list, but, see, I've got this 9 year old son who's teetering on his belief of whether or not you actually exist.  Crazy, I know!  I just thought maybe if you were to bring his mom some gifts on Christmas morning then he'd once again be a firm believer!  I mean, that's a win/win!  Am I right?  That is the only reason I ask.  Really.

So, here's my list, short and sweet:

1. Michal Kors watch
(how freaking HOT is this?)

2. Christian Louboutin pumps
(covet, covet, covet)

3. Upgrade my phone to an iPhone 4Gs

4.  Hermes Birkin bag 
(I'm hitting for the fence here, Nick!)

5. Tory Burch Reva Ballet flats in cheetah

6. Monogrammed phone cover for my new iPhone

7. Crock pot with automatic shut-off

8. Bobbi Brown shimmer brick
(It's my youth dew, or so I think)

(Oh, it's sooo yumm-ayy!)

10. A tall, dark and handsome man :)

So, thanks for your consideration, big guy.  You're the best!

Julie Rowe

p.s. Seriously, if you ever get tired of that old ball and chain you know where to find me!  Wink, wink!


Okay, so maybe a bit over the top, but it's all in good fun!  No harm in dreaming, right?  What would be on your ideal wish list? 

Get busy being jolly, people!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Coffee Wars

My whole life I have coveted the Starbucks coffee cup.  To me it symbolizes the fabulous yuppie lifestyle that I once so vigorously sought.  I envisioned myself like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" sipping on my Espresso Macchiato seated in the front window of a Starbucks while flipping through the pages of Pride and Prejudice.  My very own version of Tom Hanks would tap on the window and startle me.  We would both toss our heads back in delight and he'd come in and join me in a rousing conversation about sharpened pencils and Joni Mitchell. 

There's just one problem with this picture.  I don't like coffee.  I have tried time and time again.  I adore the smell, I just can't get past the taste.  My nostrils flare and my lips purse uncontrollably as I sip on what I hope will be a newly found love.  To no avail.

Okay, so there's more than just one thing wrong with the aforementioned dream sequence.  I've never read
Pride and Prejudice.  But the rest is spot on.  It's my dream world, alright?

In my early thirties my sister introduced me to chai tea latte.  She had discovered it as an alternative to coffee as she too had a fondness of the cup and lack of appreciation for the brew. 

Shortly there after I was in the Chicago Merchandise Mart on a buying trip.  There amongst the scuffle of the weary a.m. commuters I saw it.  A Starbucks.  Like a beacon drawing me in.  I felt a little uneasy as I stood in line.  These people were all pros.  And, then it was my turn.  I placed my order and scooted to the side as everyone in front of me had. 

I was practically twitterpated as the barista shouted the dispatch of my order.

"That's mine",  I gleefully whispered to the man in front of me.

"Whatever", he sneered.

Sorry, buddy.  Nobody's going to pee on my parade.  I have my very own Starbucks coffee cup.  My hands almost trembled as I brought the warm beverage to my mouth.  I was instantly transformed into an uber-professional, city-dwelling, card carrying Starbucks coffee cup owner. 

'Check me out', I eye spoke to the line of impatient urbanites.  'I'm a big girl now.'

My new best friend and I then hopped into the elevator.  'Oooo, look!  A fellow Starbuckian.'  I nodded my head in acknowledgement. 

"Nothing like a hot cup of Joe on a cold Chicago morning, huh?"  She spoke only to me as we were both members of the elite club. 

"Mmmmmmm, hmmmmmmm!"  I was a little over zealous.  'Settle down, girl.'

"Whatcha havin'?"

"Oh, it's a chai tea latte.  My sis...."  she didn't even let me finish.

"Oh, now, those little foo foo drinks don't count!"  When she chuckled her belly moved up and down.

'Yes, well, neither do those Crocs as a fashion statement.'  No, I didn't actually say it.  But I sure thought it.  I could not believe she just outed me, a mere 5 minutes after my glorious purchase. 

'Hi, my name is Julie and I pretend to drink coffee just so I can have one of the cups.'

'Hi, Julie.'


My brother in law owns a fine establishment, The Three Legged Dog, in downtown Jacksonville,  They serve all kinds of delightful coffee beverages, none of which I consume, much to my dismay.  I have, a few times, whispered an order for a chai tea latte and then hang my head in shame, all thanks to Chubby Mc Crocman.

So, recently I have been focused on knocking a few things off of my "list".  I've started what I hope will be my last adventure in weight loss.  So far, so good.  I've also been cutting back on my diet soda consumption.  I am, however, a caffeine devotee, so I've been contemplating a substitute. 

Last week I ran into the gas station to pay and noticed a tray of samples on the counter.  "Great white pumpkin latte".  Why not?

My eyebrows lifted as I sipped the concoction.  Was this for real?  I actually liked it.  No, I really liked it!

"What's in this?"

"It's a caffe latte with pumpkin spice and white chocolate flavors."

I stopped listening at 'caffe'.  I peered over the attendant's shoulder to survery the cup situation.  Relatively decent cups, elevated lids with the sip hole and flip top. 

"I'll take one."

I had a little extra spring in my step that day.  Not sure if it was the heightened levels of caffeine and sugar or the sheer glamour of finally making the ranks of coffee drinker.  It didn't really matter.  Life was good.

On day 2 of being a coffee drinker I upgraded to the pros.  I drove through the Three Legged Dog and ordered my new found addiction.  Oooohhhh, this is what a latte should taste like!  Oh my soul.  It just keeps getting better!

I made another pilgrimage on day 3.  Well, apparantly you can aquire new tastes, even in your forties!  I was a convert.  I considered it, but having 2 in one day just seemed indulgent.

The next morning my scales had a bit of a surprise for me.  They presented me with a bit of an upswing.  'What the fuh-udge?'  I had been so freaking good!  I was very careful about what I was eating and had been to spinning class.  And, then it hit me.  Hmmm.  The latte.  'I wonder what the caloric content is in a pumpkin spice caffe latte?' 

Well, for a medium with whole milk and whipped cream, we're somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 calories!!!  Talk about a caffeine buzz kill. 

Pain.  Scorn.  Disillusionment.  Sigh

Day 4, I settled for a small pumkin spice caffe latte skinny no whip.  Not bad.  Lengthy name.  But, it'll do.  After all, I am now a coffee drinker with a really cool cup.  Welcome to my world, sad as it may be.  :)