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“Starting Over at the Age of 50 Something”

If and when life should throw a curve at you while you are young and have children, you know there are adjustments that will be made in the family. The marriage didn’t work, you divorce, you start life over and usually meet someone new. Now the scenario is usually there will be children involved. Either he has children, you have children, or you both have children. So it begins, adapting. This can sometimes be a lengthy process as you have been raising your children with their father your way, and he has been raising his children with their mother  in their own way. So this all boils down to who is going to get along with who, how drastic is this change going to be, who will adapt, who won’t, who can over come the tension, the stress, the angry child, the ex’s, will this extended family succeed. Oh it just goes on and on. Just talking about it is exhausting, let alone living it out.

Now when you hit your 50’s and have to make adjustments, the kids are usually grown, grandkids are in the picture and yes parents still hope all the kids will get along. But they have homes of their own, so the tension if they don’t can be relieved at some point by everyone going to their own homesteads. Worst case scenario, they spend a few hours together, do their best to get along and then part ways, and off to their own homes they go until the next gathering. Then it’s just a repeat from that point, you adapt to that and carry on. Reality is, your not going to end your marriage, or relationship with the person you love because your grown kids can’t get along. If you do, apparently you may have bigger underlying issues.

Where am I going with this story? Well I am going to tell you……tomorrow. Yes this going to be a two parter. Stay tuned!

Hugs, Love, Peace and Roars,

Lion Queen

“Sexual Harassment!!!” test…

In my job “responsibilities” one of  my  duties are the orientations for new hires. Recently a load has been taken off of me because I know longer have to go over their insurance such as life and health. This has cut down the paper work tremendously! I am so grateful for that! However, I do go over all of the company policies and procedures. This can be either short and sweet, or long and just, long. Depends on the new hire and how quickly they want to get through this orientation. Some may have tons of questions, others are basically “Stick a fork in me, I’m done!” (That would be the majority) After this rather lengthy verbal part of their orientation, they are then thrown into the third part which consist of video’s which they then have to test on afterwards. They must score 100% or they retake the test. Now trust me when I say I give them “several” options to help them get through this pain staking third level of orientation, so they are not brought to their knees surrendering, or merely wanting  to gouge their eyes out. One of these video’s is in regards to “Sexual Harassment”.

Now please, don’t jump to conclusions, I totally get sexual harassment as I have been there more than once in the work place, and I mean sexually harassed! But now I work for a beer/wine/spirits company with several young beautiful women, and I am 56. What’s the problem with this one might ask? Well let me tell you. Earlier this week we received an email from HR telling us that everyone who was hired prior to some random month in 2015 will now need to watch the video and take the test. SERIOUSLY?!! I have been there going on 7 years, the three ladies I work closest with are in their 60’s and 70’s! Do you really think we need to watch a video and take a test on sexual harassment? Number one, every male there is younger than we are and have eyes set on the young women. Number two, the one guy that was around our age recently passed. Number three,  I myself am happily married, one lives with her better half, and the other is so content being single her life would be in total turmoil if she was in a relationship! However, we did discuss this whole crazy thing today. Our single one has said all along if it wasn’t for sexual harassment she would have no sex life at all! I brought up the fact if I were single, there is no one in our work place I would approach, let alone sexually harass. If I did, I would have to pay them, and I don’t get paid enough to give up my hard earned money for that! Lawdy, I have been single in between marriages and a roof, and wine on my table was way more important!

Now, before I conclude this, let me tell you a little story. One day, our single lady was talking in her office, with no males around, about what young  guys do in the shower, and maybe old guys too. Her phone suddenly beeped and it was from one of the guys in the warehouse. He said “Uuuuum, you might want to turn the intercom off because everyone in the warehouse can here your conversation.” Well that was an OMG moment!!! But SO FUNNY!!! Totally harmless and no one was hurt or sexually assaulted in this hysterical moment!

So my question to you, women after fifty, do you think we need to watch a video and take a test on sexual harassment, or do you think by the age of fifty, we got this? (I mean really!)

Love, Hugs, Peace and Roars,

Lion Queen

“The Grandeur of the Grandparent”

To ring a doorbell and hear the squeal out of a tiny little voice through a front door, saying “BABA, BABA!!!” now that is one of the greatest sounds I that has ever entered it’s way into my ears!   Who knew that being a grandparent would be so wonderful! Having children and being a parent was great, don’t get me wrong, but this whole grandchild thing is phenomenal!

These little people, who run up to us, throw open those tiny arms, give us big hugs and kisses and then want us to give them our undivided attention, which of course we do! Why these little humans love us!! They are like the human form of a dog greeting us at the door. If they had tails I am pretty sure they would wag just like a happy pup!

We have raised our own children and sent them out into the world to become the people we have dreams of them being. Hopefully, we did a pretty descent job in parenting so once they do get in the world people won’t be like “I’m not so sure that’s child’s parents were quite right!” Come on you know we’ve all had that thought, or something similar. Anyway, we spent years trying to do the right thing, make the right choices, discipline, provide for, protect, well the list goes on, plus the fact so many of us worked while raising our children. We gave them the best we had, but we had to be parents and stand firm with them. THEN, these little people we did so much for go out into the world, and eventually bring forth the “Grand-baby”. The one we don’t have to raise, the one we can spoil endlessly, and buy for, and give goodies to eat when their parents aren’t around. The one who actually makes going to “McDonalds” fun! (That in itself is just mind blowing that could even be possible!) Who would have thought?!!

I cannot even imagine a world without my grandchildren! They bring to me a joy that is indescribable. For those of you who are grandparents, you know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who will someday be a grandparent, brace yourselves for the time of your lives as you actually get to kick back with grandparent attitude and watch them grow! A true positive in us growing older!

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

 

“7 Years of ZUMBA!”

Seven years ago I got invited by my wonderful friend Trish to a new exercise type class. It was called ZUMBA. I was like, “What exactly is ZUMBA?” I had only heard about it one other time from a lady who worked in the same building I did at that time. That was probably a year prior to this invite. So I thought why not, let’s just check out this whole ZUMBA thing and see where it takes me. I started that class when I was 50, and absolutely fell in love with it. We started out in a small room, in one of the community centers we have here in Broken Arrow, I think our first class had maybe 5-6 people in it, and we also had one incredible instructor, her name is Jenny. We now have class in the gymnasium, and Jenny not only does two nights at that particular recreation center, but she also holds class two more nights a week at the other BA recreation center. There will be nights there’s almost not enough room in gymnasium to hold everyone! That’s how fantastic she is!

There have been times when I’ve needed to bow out for a month or three due to various reasons, but I always find my way back. I’m addicted!  Zumba consist of various dance moves such as the salsa, cha cha, merengue, mambo, some hip hop, along with lunges and squats. It’s a great way to do mix dance moves with aerobics. Sweat, yes we do sweat! There are some nights it seems like that one hour has lasted approximately 10 hours and once you have finished it, you feel a major accomplishment!! Jenny makes her class fun, and if you just want to join in by beating to your own drum, that’s cool too! It’s a great cardio workout, and being in my 50’s now, I know I was lacking cardio in my previous years.

Tonight’s class was a bonus as four dear friends have decided to give this ZUMBA thing a whirl! I think once they realized they were committed to at least 7 more classes, panic was on the brink of taking over, but they are strong ladies and they will prevail! I have that much faith in them. Plus, they just know how to have fun! That my friends is the key word in making you want to go back for more! Have FUN & ZUMBA! Even in your 50’s!

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

“Three Things That Could Change the World”

Has anyone taken the time to watch the movie “Pay It Forward”? If you have not, you need to. Some people might view it a lame and not attainable, I however found it quite touching, and made me rethink my actions in life. It’s about a school teacher who assigns a project to his students in regards to what they could do to make the world a better place. One boy decides his should be to “Pay it Forward”. You do something nice for someone, only for them to pay it forward to someone else. But it has to be a major act of kindness, that could truly make a difference in someones life. The chain of kindness must continue. He feels this could change the world. This little boy is struggling daily in regards to his own life and his alcoholic mother. Haley Joel Osment plays the boy, his mother is played by Helen Hunt, and the teacher is played by Kevin Spacey.
I agree in the fact that if everyone took the time to pay it forward, the world could actually be a much kinder place to live in.

History is just that, history. I am not racist, I have friends of all races, and was at one time married to a man who was half Japanese. And yes, we all know what happened during Pearl Harbor. It is time to let go of history, let go of the anger, and for gosh sakes, quit with lame excuses for being such haters and destroying the lively hoods of people. I am not picking on one nationality, but lately I am just tired of hearing, “Black Lives Matter”, I agree, but for gosh sakes people, get it right, “All Lives Matter”. We can’t continue to bring the hate, the heartache, and all that happened to our ancestors into the present. As long as people continue to do that, there will be hate, riots, protest, pointing fingers and accusations. What does this accomplish, absolutely nothing worth while. It creates a world that tears apart the lives of so many people who are just working and living to survive, and trying to get life right. Those of us in our 50’s are of course parents, and a huge majority of us are grandparents. Is this really the mindset you want to leave as a legacy to your children, grandchildren and even your great grandchildren? I would hope not. See life for what it is and quit with the “discrimination” as all that does is lead to bitterness and unfortunately hate. We are a better nation than that. Let’s pull together and show the world that we can all get along.

As I sit here writing this blog,  knowing there are so many things that could change our world, I reflect on a particular subject. How is it that such a small minority of people can control our government with their beliefs? Why is it that after hundreds of years if one person doesn’t agree with what the majority does believe in, then suddenly we the people who stand strong are punished. Crosses are brought down, prayer is not allowed, commandments are forbidden, schools now have “politically correct” party’s. Christmas is a ‘Holiday Party, “Valentines Day is “Friendship Day”, Halloween is a “Fall Party”, the list goes on and on.  We vote on so many issues in our cities, towns, and small communities, why can we not vote as a nation on these things which mean so much to so many people in our country? I know this is more of a “Our Country” vs “World” thing, but then again,  the same thing could be going on in other nations as well. I think it might be time to start bringing this to the table and see where it might go. I am so very thankful that my oldest son and his family live in a community in the north where my grandson is being brought up in the same type of environment which I grew up in.They seem to stick to their guns and not let that 1% control them.  Unfortunately, I can’t say that for my granddaughter who is being raised basically in the city where that small percentage has the final say.

Being women after 50, I do  hope we are all on the same page in our thoughts, that would be awesome! But hope is truly what it is. I know that is not possible for 100% to think as I do. I also know  that the majority of you will feel as I do.

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

 

“The Best Compliment I Ever Got”

Tonight I am sitting here in my den watching American Idol as they pick their top 24. I believe they are choosing from 51. Imagine though, being in the top 50 after the hundreds upon hundreds they sat through and listened to in several cities. That says tons about those who made it into the top 50. It cannot be easy to select from those they found to be the best of the best. What I do see though, is as they make the cut, the judges compliment each and every one of the contestants, whether they made it or not. Imagine how they must feel to hear three of the worlds most famous people tell them how amazing they are. They may not walk away with the American Idol title, but they walk away with knowing someone thought they were “a little bit special”.

I work for one of the top beer distributors in Oklahoma. Our owner also has 40 “Wendy’s” hamburger franchise’s which he owns.  “Wendy’s” is involved in a multitude of different organizations and events. One of those events is helping with donations to the Miss Oklahoma pageant. Every year I get the honor of meeting our new Miss Oklahoma. She is the one who goes on to the Miss USA pageant. A couple of years ago, our Miss Oklahoma came into our workplace to see the VP of marketing for Wendy’s. I had stepped from around my desk to walk into the lobby area to take a picture for Jim. As I did that, I was standing behind our Miss Oklahoma, Jim said “This is Leigh Ann, she is going to take our picture”. Miss Oklahoma turned around to greet me, and when she took my hand, she kind of reared back and said “WOW! You are beautiful too!” Well guess how big my head got!! I was speechless for a few seconds and finally said “Thank you, coming from you, I take that as quite the compliment!” Yes, she was gorgeous! I struggled for many years as being the fat, bucked tooth kid in school, that was not athletic and not only struggled with being chosen last for events, but struggled with my looks as well. So you can only imagine how I felt!

As childish as it might seem, I still struggle with things. My husband is the BEST when it comes to telling me how beautiful I am, and his story of the first time he saw me is absolutely precious! My struggle lays within my own family. As much as I would like to expand on that, I am not going to. I will say this, once in awhile I would like a compliment from someone who matters in my life,  on a profile picture, or cover page. I have come to the conclusion if I am not a jar of pickled peppers, my gorgeous sis, or my best friend, I am not getting that compliment  from the one person in my life I truly admire. But that’s ok, it’s by no means the end of the world.

Thank you Miss Oklahoma for letting me know I am beautiful in my mid 50’s! Confidence at this age is amazing!!

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

What the World Needs Less Of

Every morning my Lion King gets out of bed, goes over to the dresser, picks up the remote, and turns the TV on. He then comes over to my side of the bed, leans over and begins to kiss me awake. He kisses my forehead, my cheeks, and then my lips. I soak in every single second of that awakening. As he is doing that the local news is just beginning. Though I am absorbed with his tender kisses that wakens his Lion Queen, I also hear the news which is the beginning of the day. Unfortunately, it’s never a good beginning.

Although we live in Broken Arrow, OK which is considered one of the lowest crime rate areas in the country, we are unfortunately the suburb to  Tulsa, OK which has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Therefore, every morning I waken to “This morning on News on —- we bring you breaking news.” They go on to say there was a shooting, stabbing, beating, murder, rape, etc, usually in Tulsa. Don’t get me wrong, the surrounding areas including BA are at times the focus point of these reports. It’s so depressing, and not what we want to wake up to on a daily basis.

What the world needs now is to wake up to the negative and wake up to the  positive things in life. To wake up just ONE morning and hear the words, “Good Morning Oklahoma, we start this day with breaking news, and we mean MAJOR news, we have NO violence to report!” Oh my goodness, how awesome would that be?!! I struggle and shake my head daily at all that goes on in our state, let alone what goes on through out our country. Will there ever become a day when we can all just get along?

Some day people will wake up and realize, this is what the world needs, to act and be positive, let’s make a difference. Unfortunately, by the time they realize that, it will be to late for the world.

If you believe you can make a difference, start now, you might be the one our world needs now!

Hugs, Love, Peace & Roars,

Lion Queen

 

“OUCH”

As I sit here tonight stretched out on the chaise lounge, lap top in hand, well actually on lap, sipping on a glass of wine, I am trying to get past some pain. Not emotional, pure physical! 7 years ago this month, I went with a dear friend to a crazy exercise/dance class they called “ZUMBA’. Who knew I would be so addicted to it, that I have stuck with it all these years!

Back in the day when I started and said the word ZUMBA, people looked at me like I was crazy! But since then, it took off and has now become one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world of fitness. You are probably wondering why after seven years I am in pain today, well I took a little break due to an extremely busy life since October, along with needing to give my lower back a bit of a rest as well. I have this thing about heels, and at 56 that’s probably not a good addiction to have, especially when there are days I walk a lot at my job. But that addiction is for another days topic. Anyway, I started back tonight, having a love/hate relationship with every song and movement. But it is so worth it and I am extremely proud of every drop of sweat that hits the floor! My instructor Jenny is the best of the best, and she is one reason I have stuck with it for so many years. When you have someone with such enthusiasm, zest and love for what she does, one can’t help but be as determined as she is and admire her for the constant encouragement she gives to her students! We started out in a tiny room at the rec center with about 4 of us twice a week. Now we have moved to the gymnasium, she does 4 nights a week with at least 20-30 people in each class, sometimes more!

Give it a try ladies, you will love it! I have to go get some Advil now.

Hugs, Love, Peace,  and Roars!

Lion Queen

So Fun Being A Grandparent!

Saturday my granddaughter Paisley came over for few minutes. Her Daddy, one of my Lion Cubs, was helping with some new furniture. So Paisley and I went to the back fence where there are lots of shrubs and who knows what else. She followed our pup Rosie. Rosie went beyond “the zone” and Paisley was bent over trying to find her. I whispered and said “Paisley, what do you see?” “Do you see Big Foot?”…she shook her head and said “Yes”…I whispered and said “Do you want to go back there and find him?”…she whispered and said “no”….That’s all it took! Busted out laughing! Love my grandbabies!