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In mid May of 1965, several things happened. Two little cells with plans of their own came together and in the blink of an eye, created a new human.

God nodded, and said “Just as planned”.

In the ensuing weeks, this little group of cells got really busy and started multiplying like crazy. First, it was the size of a pea, then a few weeks later, the size of a thumbnail, a golf ball, etc. Growing joyously, and never concerned for her safety, she constantly amazed her surroundings with the tiniest of details, manifesting with ease and the speed of God.

Meanwhile, her mother, slowly realizing what was going on inside of her body, began to panic. Constant thoughts assaulted her every waking moment, fear, anxiety, hatred, recycling through her mind like a tidal wave of epic nightmares, until paralysis threatened to take her over. She was very young, and had nowhere to run, and no one to turn to in this mammoth crisis. Certain beyond all hope that this event would ruin her life, she set out on the decision process. What to do? End this raging growth? End her very own life? Shut her eyes tightly and pray for it to go away? Pray… did I hear Pray?

In the most fleeting instant, a decision was revealed. Adoption. There would be no end to this innocent life that had no fault in this mess. Seeking counsel, she decided to go away and wait for this to be over, and go on with her life.

Once again, God nodded, and said “Just as Planned”.

In a little town 100 miles away, a young couple said yet another prayer. He worked for NASA, she was a home extension agent. The perfect couple had everything but a child. They had tried everything, and nothing had worked, Infertility treatments, rudimentary as they were, and all of the basics had been covered to no avail. In desperation, they turned to the adoption process, and contacted an agency. The waiting had begun. And, again in the blink of an eye, the connection was made, and the months of waiting in vain turned into months of waiting for something. A perfect baby girl, who was still growing ecstatically without a care in the world.

Again, God nodded and said “Just as Planned”.

On January 9th, both mothers experienced the absolute joy and pain that new life can bring at the same instant. The first mother loved that baby girl enough to give her life, and with that first tiny cry, found the ultimate joy of her accomplishment, coupled with the pain of knowing that she would never see her again. But, as planned, she would get to continue on with her life, knowing forever that she gave the greatest gift that a woman can give to another. The second mother trembled, crying,  as she hung up the phone, knowing that all the months of waiting and praying had finally resulted in the perfect bundle that she would receive as her very own in just a short time.

Yet again, God nodded, and said “Just as Planned”.

And they never looked back, and that little girl lived the rest of her life in the comfort and security of both mothers’ paralleled love.

Yes, this baby was precious, wanted, and planned, but not by her mother, by her Creator. In Romans 8:28, it says “He makes all things work together for our good”. In this case, that phrase has been multiplied on an infinite scale. Both mothers received what they were supposed to have, and that baby girl benefited from her Father and His plan from the very beginning of her little life.  Ask this moment what He wants for you, then follow the first whisper that you hear. It may sound crazy, but He makes sense in His world, not ours. And, you could very well change a life today.

And still, God is nodding, and saying, “Just as Planned”.

And that little girl? That’s me.

I woke up this morning, and you were gone. I know this sounds like an old familiar country song, and it almost made me want to cry. And, then, I realized that what was gone was that insufferably egotistical boss, nagging hours, stress headache, and the nightmares about the customers that I didn’t get to that particular day. You guessed it… I WAS in sales! And, not just any sales job, but a job selling to the toughest human God ever created… the dreaded Car Dealer! Eesh, what a way to make a living (hmmm, another country song).

Yes, after suffering bouts of stress-related hair loss, a continuous achy back from the killer combination of high-heels, asphalt, and driving through parking lots, and the myriad other bizarre occurrences both physically and emotionally that occur whenever your adrenaline is stuck in the perpetual red line zone, I finally bit the bullet, typed out the exit letter, and ground my teeth for a grueling three week notice.

Nearing the finish line, I dreamed of Halcyon days of surfing the Internet for what I wanted, drinking coffee in the morning as I leisurely strolled about my house without a care in the world, and the ability to spend real, quality time with my nine year old son, all in the blissful awakening of Spring in Edmond, OK.

Shazaam- I awoke on that Monday morning, sans job. The first thing I noticed was the fact that I was awake at 6:00 am, a dreaded hour that was required for the two hour commute to the office for the sales meeting, that I no longer had to attend. Okay, I told myself, go back to sleep. Of course, this didn’t happen, so after a couple of hours staring out the window at the unbearably bright morning sun that previously I had bravely fought from my car windshield, I arose to that perfect cup of coffee. Except for the fact that the coffee had brewed at 6 am when my husband (still gainfully employed) needed it. It was cold, and as I bravely microwaved this cup, I began to feel the first faint stirrings of… what was it… irritation maybe?? that the little blue birds aren’t bringing me my cup to the tune of some little ditty sung from a little cottage in the woods… was this what I had to look forward to?

As my beautiful son made his bleary eyed descent from his room upstairs, I bundled him into the car for the trek to school. All is well, as I drove home, and walked into the kitchen for another dreamy (but still cold, because I forgot to make more) cup of coffee. I started a pot, then padded upstairs to my office, which was now all mine, but as I looked around, I realized there was no work to be done, no more pressure, and, OMG, no pending income.

Furiously I logged on to all of the on-line sites that I had grown to wistfully dream of from afar, and with a stricken sigh realized… this was it! From the far reaches of the panic zone, I clicked, wrote, tabbed and spaced my way onto a dozen sites, all to no avail! This was worse than Internet dating… at least with that I had a job to go to in between the restless writings of love unsearched via the parameters of the 35-44 SWM zone!

After 8 hours of the panic zone, I took a breather, and picked my son up from school. “No, we don’t have time for McDonald’s” I spat, “No, we can’t go to the library” I hissed, all the while racing Mach 1 to return to the computer that insolently sat with a “no new messages” signal prominently displayed for all to see! Insanity, I thought, that no one wants me.

And that began the self-realization that to survive in the land of unemployment, one had to embrace one’s own unemployment as a get-out-of-jail-free zone.

As I spoke with a favorite recruiter friend of mine, he informed me that timing is everything. A frenzy of applications is only good in the event that you are actually job-hinting, not unemployment reacting. And, apparently that frenzy is key, because timing is everything.

The only true vacation you ever get is between jobs, so from this day forward, until you decide to really pursue what you want, stop, smell the roses, and truly vacate… you old job, your office, and even your own brain. Buy a couple of trashy no-brainer novels, some tulip bulbs, and a can of paint in your favorite color. The closets and basement can wait until you are cramming it into a weekend from your new job, but to read, plant something that you can nurture, then paint something your favorite color… even if it is only a shoe box can create a small event that is truly yours, and that peace of mind can foster the belief that it this is truly your life, not your bosses’, nor your spouse’s, nor your child’s, but your moment(s) to create, then breathe in the essence of you.

And, then Tweet about it. Tweet a lot.

Learn it, live it, learn to love it!

At the tender young age of 26, this little gal from Tennessee was about to become a woman… a “Spa” going woman that is. I was the guest of a large European Spa in a deluxe coastal resort. My husband was working in the area, so I had some time to play; I called from the room for an appointment and, after securing one for later that afternoon, I had arrived.

Upon entering ‘intimidation central,’ I held my head high, and did my best casual, “of course I know what I’m doing,” walk to the front desk to check in. The first thing I noticed was the unbelievable number of employees who were in front of me… one to greet, one to check in, one to orient me, one to show me around and one to supervise them all … with all of these people smiling their little blissful little smiles, it amazed me that my desire to RUN at that moment didn’t propel me out the door. So, I smiled back, and while gritting my teeth, listened to the most assertive one, Golda, who held me by the elbow and directed me through the atrium. The door looked as if it would swallow me, then it swooshed closed with a hyperbaric sucking sound.

Okay, so far, so good, I was now in the hushed, Indian Sitar twanging, water-dripping zone of the SPA! As I scurried to follow Golda, the Russian Hall monitor, through the labyrinth of rooms (the shower room, the massage corridor, the escape room, the relaxation room, the detail room), I had a bizarre feeling of being a guest in the Twilight Zone; we finally arrived at the door of the changing room with lockers. Golda instructed me to keep the little sandals, and my locker key with me at all times or, “I would be charged!” She then propelled me through the doors to, “go change!” and said that she would meet me outside. I looked at my little key, found the number 5008 then frantically tried to weave my way through the rows of lockers. On row 7, I finally stood in front of the right one and opened it – inside was a cavern of space with nothing but a robe hanging in it, I stood there perplexed, wondering what to do about the clothes I still wore. Furtively, I glanced around but no one occupied the row I was on, so I peeked around the corner for a look, and as I turned to the right, across the room, I saw Myrtle. SHE WAS NAKED! Not a day under seventy, there she stood in all her glory. With visions of nudist colonies and Hare Krishnas floating through my head, and feeling trapped like a gerbil on steroids in the surrealistic “soothe Zone”; panic set in as I realized that my proper Tennessee upbringing wouldn’t jibe with jiggly naked displays in front of strangers. So, I did what every gal on the planet has wanted to do at some time or another…I raced back to my locker, grabbed my purse, and hauled my butt out the door.

I didn’t visit another Spa for an entire five years.

SIDEBAR: Be Spa Savvy…

In every female’s life comes a point of arriving. Yes, you’ve bought a car, you have a place to live of your own, get your hair cut and colored and your nails done regularly, but to “Spa” effortlessly, is definitely a rite of passage. That tender first time (like most first times) can be very challenging. With the Spa business booming and so many fabulous and even necessary treatments out there, it can become a bit overwhelming; the first thing is to start small, with a facial or massage.

Here are a few ground rules to start with, if you observe, you will be an old “pro” in no time:

  1. Find your comfort zone, and choose your spa carefully. When calling to book the appointment, be sure to pay careful attention to the tone of the person on the other end. Some of the more upscale places tend to cater to the elite, while other Spas wish to accommodate a less demanding clientele. Both have their places in the sun, but if you wish to be lavished with attention, and treated like royalty, then a large, mass location business probably won’t satisfy your desire. Likewise, if you just want a great massage, without all of the fussiness and an affordable price point, a small, boutique-y Spa in an elitist part of town probably won’t be your cup of tea.
  2. Ask about the amenities available. If the largest part of the description for the Spa is the relaxation area with steam room, hot and cold plunge pool facilities, and a complete workout area… get ready for Myrtle, and prepare yourself accordingly. Usually in metropolitan areas, these facilities are found mainly in large, elegant hotels, so understand that ladies from around the world will share the facilities. Swimwear is always in good taste, as is wearing your robe at all times.
  3. Always state your preferences for the sex of the therapist/Esthetician that will be giving your treatment. Some are more comfortable with the same sex touch, others prefer the opposite. As for dress during treatment, massage is only performed one “part” at a time, so underwear, if desired, is perfectly appropriate.
  4. Leave your cell phone in the car. I know this is a toughie, but it’s hard to relax while chatting away, and not everyone wants to listen to someone’s ring tone, or conversation. Think of it as a mini vacation from the outside world. You’re paying them to relax and rejuvenate you, and hearing “You Sexy Thang” blaring from Myrtle’s cell phone can be a bit distracting from the main goal of relaxation.
  5. Most importantly, ASK QUESTIONS! The only stupid question in life is one you already know the answer to, so if you need to find the restroom, ask. If you need to find a blow-dryer, water faucet, or you just need to know what time it is – the intimidating fear factor of looking like a dork is lessened greatly with a little information, and it also helps with recognition in the future.

Information is the key to savvy, so next time you’ll know… the way to go.

“I felt the breeze gently caressing my cheek, as the palms rippled almost with a sigh in the breath of air that arose gently from the water…  twwooong went the.. RADAR scope from the battleship TWEETdeck! All hands on deck, all hands on deck, another Tweet has landed. Battlestations, Battlestations! Mayday! Mayday!”. I awoke with a jolt.

Week Two of Twittapalooza. I have no idea what my real name is, I only have a Twit login… “Spinbird” which I will have to go and change on my driver’s license now. Except for: I no longer drive a car, I now captain my entire life from the platform of my Tweetdeck. I have actually eaten a dog biscuit because I thought it was a cracker, and couldn’t rip my eyes away from the screen long enough to discern the canine nibble. I also have brand new sensitive feelings that I never knew existed. Did someone actually just unfollow me? For daring to reply to them? Only ONCE????! The nerve! Just who on earth do they think they are, the Queen of Sheba? (Thanks, Mom, I’ll never forget that one.)

Actually, the nuances of Twitter are myriad, and layered like an fine, expensive Merlot. The top note is a giddy rush of beautiful fruity tones, and I don’t mean the ones that followed me first. I mean the immediate rush of information that I never realized I had lived without. Need a friend? Just Tweet someone. Need a haircut? Tweet for  a recommendation. Need a gift idea? It’s there. What about every single party in town that you never knew existed? Voila- “hear HERE!” Just click, type and hit enter. (Ironically, now I get miffed when the “enter” key doesn’t automatically send an email from my Outlook, or when Facebook doesn’t post with a keystroke, but I’m sure there’s an app for that too!)

The second note is the essence of friendship that emerges when someone follows you back. This means several things: 1. You aren’t a threat, 2. You aren’t a bot, 3. You aren’t a deranged lunatic liberally sprinkling your tweets with the F-bomb/crazy stalker behavior, and my personal favorite: 4. They actually think you might have something good to say. I have personally always been the type to find the silver lining, so when my Tweeps chat back with encouragement, it really makes my day.

Then as we get a little deeper into the layers (probably a good time to swill this around) a slightly darker tone emerges. The Tweet Loop. Slightly acidic, with a hint of bitter arsenic, this is the closed loop zone, AKA the ones that will never talk to you no matter how cute, fun, tall, thin, fat, smart, dingy, blond, red-headed, or brunette you are. Yeah, we had them in high school, and we still have them online. I really thought making it to the ripe old age of 44 would eliminate some of that type of behavior. Unfortunately, I’m the one that’s 44, and they are still WAY too cool for me. Which brings me to the next note:

The sweet, lingering  finish of Twit revenge. An adorable little button called UN-follow. Since I had a great (well, really way too) many to choose from, I used an app called Tweepi- incredible for sorting out the miscreants in a plethora of giggle-inducing ways. Not enough following being done on your part? Unfollow YOU, you buffalo-headed narcissist! Too long since you tweeted? Unfollow YOU, you toe-jam sucking SLOTH! Too many followers to ever notice? Well, Unfollow THOU, since you won’t even notice that I’m gone.  (Except you, Pioneer Woman… I am too addicted to your food to ever go away!) Now, if we could just publish our unfollow lists, like writing a bad kid’s name on the board…maybe the world would become a better place… just wishful thinking.

Yes, Twittapalooza is well on its way to being the best experiment ever, and I have learned much along the way. The bottom line: People are people, whether it’s with a mouse or in a house. Now that I’m sounding like Dr. Seuss, I am stepping away from the computer. Have a Twitteriffic night!

Tweedentity

Old dogs, new tricks. Enter the incredibly and increasingly bizarre world of Social Marketing/ networking/ whole new level of etiquette that Emily Post couldn’t have ever dreamed of in her most Orwellian nightmare. It’s here to stay, so get on the train, or get left in the dust.

This new obsession began innocently enough with a little Facebook page. Find a few friends, a few more find me, and away we all go. Then, a cop in my small home town with nothing to do (did I say small town? Let’s call it micro.) on his nightly beat except sit in his blue and white with his laptop, decided to start reuniting our ENTIRE graduating class. Continuously. Every single day, there would sit my burgeoning inbox groaning at the seams from JON… who suggests that I should “friend” so and so, and so on and so on.

Sidebar: I wasn’t the most popular kid on high school, and there were a lot of those people that I just didn’t care for then, and I still don’t like em now. (Cough- Amy Burgess)

Well, here goes nothing, at least it started out as fun to see who had bangs in high school, but who doesn’t even have a hairline now. Sorry to say, from the headshots provided, you can’t see a huge butt, but (always wanted to write that) I’m sure there are a few. It makes our reunions anti-climactic, but it’s good to have a healthy dose of friends.

Facebook got so busy for me, that on a recent snow day, my darling Steve suggested that I start a facebook page for our new puppy, Ray. Giggling from the idiocy of becoming one of those “dog” people, as well as the 3 glasses of snow evening wine, I hacked out a page for my dog. Then found the little bugger some friends. Then posted some more, then realized: “OMG, this is really fun, and hence, Ray Slaton Peacock the Burlesque Basset was born. Pseudonym? Maybe. Alter-ego? Even better. Nothing quite makes acidic humor as sweet as dripping it out of a cute widdle puppy mouth.

Well, as the social monster grew inside of my brain, so did the incessant need for even more contact. (Not really, but the dialogues were probably good for me.) Since I’ve always been a stifled writer, I started blogging, and to promote it, got even deeper into the facebook thing. New pages, constant status updates, my butt now has the unmistakable shape of my super comfy Office Max computer chair. And, just when I thought it was pretty intense:

Enter Twitter.

Now, Twitter goes hand in hand with Facebook. You’ve seen all of the social pages that scream “Follow us on Facebook and Twitter”, but I thought Twitter was for kids and slow people that can’t think beyond 140 characters. Plus, without a long page to promote all of your latest musings, pictures, and general BS- what good was it? I couldn’t have been more wrong wearing white patent leather hooker heels in a southern December Sunday school class.

So, on Monday, I set out to proclaim my Twitter presence. One, two, TWEET- nothing happened.  Probably because I only had about 9 followers, and 8 of them had given up on it like me. Okay, so I needed followers to be heard. “How do I get followed” I asked myself. “FOLLOW some people” self answered. (Developing Schizophrenia amongst ourselves is another post) It made sense to me, so I started following every interesting person I could find with the people search “stressed out” that the screen proclaimed. And, a funny thing happened- suddenly my inbox was full again just like good old Jon the cop was pushing it with tweets instead of friend requests.

Pretty soon, I had about 200 followers, and was following about 1,000 people. The tweets were pouring in. And, I mean POURING in. A deluge, a frogstrangling plethora of tidal tweets. Quick- I had to get something to manage all of those tweets, or I would have to throw my PC out the window after smashing it with a sledgehammer.  (Insert pic of bulging eyes and frothing mouth here.) Just like a mosh pit at a skanky alternative nineties outdoor concert, the characters were all there, gnashing teeth, biting hair, twirling like dandelions on mushrooms, all the while breathlessly tweeting and retweeting as fast as I could read type and send! Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh! I can’t take it!

And then, the sky opened up with  a beautiful shaft of promising sunlight called Tweetdeck, and organization became effortless. Now, I have all of these tweets and mentions and RT (retweets) and DMs (direct messages) and #hashtags and suggestions on one manageable pane. The intensity is still here, but with an organized grip on it, Tweeting is definitely the way to go to meet people that I will never get to meet otherwise.

Now, I have to go and paint, because one of my FOLLOWERS wants some art for his coffee shop!

Soon to be World Famous Basset

I, too am a Blogger

Well, after all of the threats and promises… we are finally here! Get ready for a Bucking Bronco (think PBR, bulls and cowboy butts… what’s not to love?) ride through the Dust Bowl that you might not ever get any other way… well, at least you can view it through our eyes.

This is the inaugural post of the Divas, and we are fully equipped with just enough spunk, insanity and desire to improve, that you will definitely find some useful things to maybe brighten your space, feed your man, make the BEST party, or wrangle your dog. (Okay, we are all still working on that last one…)

Along our merry way, we will sniff out and share the greatest things that Oklahoma has to offer… in our humble opinions, of course, but just know… we only LOVE the best! The BEST food, the BEST clothes, (well, on our shoestring anyway), and the BEST, most FUN you will ever have in the great city! Even if you were born here, we will point you in the direction of things you never tried. We know this because, it happens to us all the time, and and we range from transplant, to “leftandcameback“, to to our one native, bless her heart, she never left OKC!

Our mighty Ensemble includes: The SpinBird, aka Shelly Peacock, hailing all the way from HotLanta, GA. Specializing in Graphic Art and Chef-ery… she can cook it, picture it, and make it appear most appetizing, all while wearing the very latest SUPA-fly boots! Also know, she can sniff out a bargain a mile away, and has a huge passion for God, denim, and blue Cheese. This future famous artist also finds time to create the most incredible canvasses to grace any wall necessary!

Next up, we have Miz Kat… okay, she lives down in the city, but is counted as one of “THE” most elite urbanites ever to grace an opening night. This is precisely why her name has been changed to protect her identity, and no, she is NOT in the witness protection program, she just doesn’t want to be publicly assaulted at Starbucks by a deranged fan… like happens to Ree Drummond. Miz Kat promises ALL, and I do mean ALL of the gossip, the dates of events that you WILL ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT… and juicy little cool stuff that you will come to anticipate with a manic gleam in your eye. Pretty soon, you will check this blog before you log in to Facebook to see it first!

Rounding up the team is Miz Cara, AKA the SuperMom. With 2 gorgeous little kiddies… and I do mean gorgeous (son was recruited by GAP), she can take a house, twirl around three times, and the next thing ya know, Elle Decor is standing at the door with camera in hand. No kidding. She also has an hysterical outlook on life that is caustic, rambunctious, but insightful, and you will be DYING to be her friend, because she is so wonderful!

We would also love any questions in our soon to be world famous “Ask the Divas” section. It’s moderator enabled to keep it friendly, but it will be a blast to see just how far our combined expertise will take us! I guarantee an awesome time trying!

Can’t wait till next time!

Da Divas