Archive for September, 2013

PostHeaderIcon The Video Game Guy / Where does his attention lie; with the game or you?

By Vernalee
video madden 25

While spring cleaning, I opened one of my storage boxes and out popped one of my son’s favorite instruments, his old Nintendo Entertainment System. Man, did he love that apparatus!  Let me walk you back in history for a moment. In 1980, the video game, PAC Man exploded to become the most recognizable video brands.  Everyone played the game that featured Pac dots as Pac Man faced his enemies (Pinky, Blinky, Inky, and Clyde) via a power pellet concept. The game excitedly kept its players engaged. In 1983, the Nintendo Entertainment System hit the marketplace followed by Sega’s Mario Brothers.

Somewhere during that time, my son got the fever and he has been hooked ever since. According to his constituents, he is very proficient; one of the best video game players among his peers. The games are contagiously addicted and my son can undergo spells similar to hypnotic trances when he is playing. He becomes glued to the set; hours on hours at a time.  He plays mostly with his friends as he relaxes at his home. Interestingly, he plays on the Internet with strangers. What a novel concept! “Mommy, I can play with my virtual friends anytime of the day and night; they are always waiting on me.” Imagine that; virtual playmates that you don’t know or will probably never meet! How’s that for a buddy system and a teammate!

No wonder it is said that the video gaming concept eases loneliness. It puts someone in your presence that is literally not there. My son doesn’t have to go out to play; his entertainment can be contained within his four walls. It gives him a buddy to play with even if he doesn’t know him / her. Why get to know the opponent if he doesn’t need to?  I have been told that he masterfully runs video tournaments. How entrepreneurial! With his aggressive competitive spirit, may the best man win!

It makes you wonder whether video games will become a viable competitor going toe to toe against a woman. In a nonintrusive manner, I asked my son that very question.  “Of course not; there is no way! Playing a video game is a stimulant, a relaxer, a stress releaser, and in some cases, a time killer; but not a replacement for the love and affection of a woman,” he refreshingly replied.  “However, I will admit that I don’t like to be interrupted particularly when I am on a winning streak,” he added.  Go figure!

Some young ladies disagree.  They consider the video game as a mistress. They have to compete with the videos for their guy’s time and attention.  As video games were not prevalent in my younger years, I offer this solace to them. The tangible benefit is when your Video Game Guy is using his remote controls and joy sticks mounting up points to outscore his opponent, at least you know where he is; at least you can look at him in the family room while he is at the control panel.

“Getting his mind off of the video games to focus on you, now that’s a different question and perhaps a challenge,” is a thoughtful concern that I question.   The upside, however is that the girlfriend can play the games with him. She can become his gaming partner. If she can’t beat it (the video game, that is), join him; play with him!   Who knows, her skills may out match his; she may become a formidable opponent.  Now the ball is in her court!

Maybe his girlfriend is now a teammate.  My son recently called me and excitedly said, “Hey Mommy, I received the best gift ever from my girlfriend.  It was a gift card to GameStop.  Now, I can buy the new Madden NFL 25 game and Grand Theft Auto V!”

PostHeaderIcon A house is not a home without their running feet / The kids are gone: yea!

By Vernalee
baby-birthmother-child-adopt-john-chris   walking baby

As a young girl, I once heard an old lady say, “Once you decide to have children, remember they never go away.”  “Surely they do,” I whispered to my girlfriend.  She and I were counting our days for we couldn’t wait to get out of the Mississippi delta.  That old lady certainly did not know what she was talking about was our thought!   Years later, the veracity of her statement was not only proven, but has become a dominant presence in my life.

What the wise lady was referring to was not a physical departure.  Her words validate the axiom, “When they (children) are little, they sit on your lap; when they are older, they rest on your heart.”

Yes, our children are physically, spiritually, and emotionally present with us forever.  They never leave!

When my children were small, I carried them around, nursed them, and was responsible for taking care of them and essentially providing for their well-being.  As they grew older, my role changed, but their presence in my life and mine in theirs, remained the same.  We are – I am pleased to report “ever so present in the spirit of each other.”

I love my son, daughter, and grandson so incredibly deep that there are no words that can truly verbalize the depth of my emotions.  I am a lucky woman to have them in my life; truly fortunate.

I cherish our respective relationships.  I enjoy the role of advisor.  Equally as important as my advice and guidance rendered to them, I too have grown immensely from their advice.  It is a two way street.

Candidly, I must admit that back in the day, I struggled with them not cleaning their room, leaving dishes in the sink, not making their bed, not washing clothes, and the other nuisances that laziness produces.  Really, in all actuality, my children had taken over the house and gave me a room!  I even had to order a private telephone line for me, because I could never get on my phone.  They secretly made purchases that I was unaware of, stayed out beyond their curfew, skipped classes, and did many mischievous deeds.  Admittedly, truth be told, I did what they did at their age, but with more finesse.

All kidding aside, overall they are good, well mannered, respectful children….at least in my presence.  I was also taught, “When you have children, you live in a glass house, so I throw no stones!”    Yes, behind the scenes, there were days that I could have pulled my hair out as I dealt with their issues. They kept me on “bended knee.”

In all honesty, after experiencing the empty nest syndrome, I missed the chatter of feet running through my house.    I missed their physical presence.  Thank goodness for Face Time and other technological advances that facilitates nearness.   The children and I epitomize phenomenon closeness.  I cannot wait to be graced with their presence; to see them, hug them, and kiss them.

They honor me as their Mother with superlative love and incredible respect. Praise God! The respect and love are mutual.

I am blessed to have them.  Thank you Heavenly Father for placing them in my life!  I just can’t get enough of them….but I am glad that they are out of my house.  It’s much peaceful and cleaner now and everything is where I left it!

Photo Reprint:

PostHeaderIcon My Memorable Birthdays

By Vernalee
birthday cake -

I have four birthdays that standout beyond the rest.

  • Sweet 16:  On my 16th birthday, I had a fabulous party.  I remember that there was a fight at my party.  It didn’t bother me because on that day, I officially became a teenager.
  • It’s Official:  21 and counting – I am a grown woman.  Yes!

My brother and sister had a surprise birthday party for me that was actually a surprise.  How sweet of them!

  • Mid Life Crisis:  My 40th birthday to this day remains pivotal.  I cried crocodile tears.  I was getting older and being 40 proved it!
  • A memorable celebration on my 43rd birthday:   My 13 year old daughter became a woman.  She started her period on the same day that I turned 43.  She was on Cloud 9. I cried uncontrollably.  On that day, I no longer had a little girl.  I was troubled, but I got over it.  I recognized that age is more than a number; it is life unfolding before your very eyes!

Now, each year, I celebrate God’s grace and gratefulness for allowing me to live another day; another year.  Every day is a blessing.  It is up to me to make every hour count.

For me, my birthday,  March 15th,  is a national holiday!

And I celebrate it as one!

Photo Reprint:

PostHeaderIcon Waking Up Wet

By Vernalee
maria max

Where is my towel?  I am soaking wet!

Yes, I have arisen in the middle of the night with water all over me!  Before you think that I am being sexually erotic, think again.

I am not referring to sensual excitement; instead I am referencing the effects that accompanies menopause.  Like a lightning bolt, hot flashes can hit me seriously hard through the night.  To cool down, I have to do a striptease.  I rip off my clothes to display only my birthday suit.

What a deal…..naked in bed….a man’s dream and a fulfillment of my sexual fantasies – there are nights that I wished such was the case!  Ironically at those moments, I am more concerned about cooling off and easing the hot flashes because my body, particularly my legs feel as if they are on fire.  Sweat has rolled down my body from head to toe.    A small fan circulating cool soothing air has a similar effect as an orgasmic pleasure.  Alright, not exactly!  That example may be an embellished exaggeration but you get the point!  Right!

Despite the fact that I just got coiffed up at the beauty salon, I am on my way back to get my hair restyled.  When night sweats occur, my body heats up to incredible temperatures.  There have been nights that I opened the refrigerator door and stood inside to cool off.

One of my friends said that she wakes up with an Afro hair style, although her locks were as straight as a line before she climbed in bed.   Forget about a good night’s sleep, because sleep deprivation is also a menopausal side effect.

There is more.  Weight gain is right around the corner.  Other companions, including moodiness, are up for grabs.  On some days, a woman can have her pick of the menopausal litter.  Be happy, look on the bright side.   At least you no longer have your monthly menstrual cycle!

These descriptions may sound comical, but menopause, and its side effects, is no joke.  It is a reality.  It does not invoke laughter from those of us encapsulated in the rhythmical menopause phases.

To my younger female colleagues, I welcome you to the backside of womanhood.  There is no getting around it.  The consolation is – “This too will pass!”  I cannot wait.  I will be relieved and cooler when it ends!

Photo Reprint: Maria Max

PostHeaderIcon Is 60 the new 40?

By Vernalee
Is 60 the new 40

No matter how we try, we cannot stop the aging process.

Crow’s feet around our eyes, flappy chin, parenthesis around our lower face, wrinkled skin; dark circles under our eyes are bound to happen.  Lest not forget the gray hair which is imminent.   It is amazing that the effects and signs of aging hit our face first, a place where we least want it to appear.

As it relates to me, I feel youthful.  People tell me I look younger than I am.  “Flattery gets them everywhere!”   There are days however that my body feels my age.  That is a fact that cannot be hidden cosmetically.

Many women buy tons of cosmetic products to restore what age has taken away.

Unfortunately, to date, no one has discovered the fountain of youth; although they are still trying to invent that magic formula.  If it comes to pass, I along with many of my colleagues will be in line anxiously waiting to make a purchase hoping to return ourselves to our once beheld glamour and youthful appearances.

Until then, Lady Clairol, Oil of Olay, Lemur, L’Oreal Youth Serum, makeup concealers and other cosmetic novelties will be abundantly stored in our cosmetic cabinets.  Celebrities (Cindy Crawford, Vivica A. Fox to name a few) do infomercials pitching youth restoring products to influence our buying decisions.  Certainly, we want to look glamorous like them.   Show me a woman who hasn’t used a cosmetics enhancement and I will show you a liar.

Unequivocally, we can cover up age lines; we can even have them surgically removed. Younger looking skin is a goal for most women. I swear by my Fashion Fair moisturizer.  I never leave home without it!

The commercialized slogan, “60 is the new 40,” may be vogue.  Of course, that slogan may have been created by younger public relations professionals.  Mathematically, for those of us baby boomers who are around the 60 age mark and who will never see another four in our life time (unless it is the second number, i.e. 64, 74, et al), we do care about our appearance and the removal of age lines.

For me, there is nothing wrong with trying to recapture a younger look.  My vanity does not prevent me from making that admission. There may not be a youth serum yet, but I will continue with any and all embellishments that will minimize aging.  If you are honest, so will you!

Photo Reprint: Squidoo

Receive our Blog in your Inbox

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Stuff We Talk About on Twitter