Sunday, February 28, 2010


When we lived in Florida, my mom and I spent many an evening, and lots of weekends on our screened, back porch playing a colored dot domino game. We always played the variation known as Mexican Train (or something like that). You'd think that living in Florida it would be too hot in the summer to sit out on the porch, but with a little fan it was very pleasant. I think it was because we lived just close enough to the beach to get a breeze.

The backyard was large and surrounded by chain link fence. The dogs ran the perimeter until they'd beaten the grass firmly into submission. Our neighbors on the right, Greg and Stephanie, babysat a steady stream of grandchildren. Their backyard was frenetic with kid activity at all times of day. They had a small four wheeler for the younger kids to ride around on, and ride they did. This was tantamount to a toreador waving a red flag at a bull. As soon as our dogs heard that engine crank, they leapt to their feet and ran for the door like someone jabbed them with a hot poker, barking all the way. On this particular occasion, mom and I were in the middle of our game of Mexican train, Tara was riding the four wheeler, the dogs were racing up and down the length of the fence barking their fool heads off, when mom and I stopped and listened because we noticed something peculiar going on here.

Tara was idling on her side of the fence, all of the dogs were braced for the run, and this small voice says, "Ready, set, go!" and off they all went. The race was on. Mom and I give each other this "Did you just hear what I just heard look?" and then we burst into laughter. At the other end of the yard, we got a repeat performance. And we kept on laughing. As I recall, we laughed until our sides hurt and we just couldn't laugh anymore. Ready. Set. Go.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Did you watch the TV series EVERWOOD? If you're thinking that this blog should go in my TV JUNCTION FUNCTION BLOG, hold your horses because I have a point. I've only seen the first two seasons because that is all that's out on DVD (that wasn't the point). In season one Treat Williams' character asks his nurse (and friend) if fathers and sons don't get along because they have nothing in common. Obviously, he and his son are having MAJOR issues. Her response is that the problem between fathers and sons who don't get along is they have EVERYTHING in common. (I didn't use quotation marks because I didn't get it exactly right.) I was already thinking about my relationship with my mother when I thought about that scene. As an adult, I find myself nodding my head and saying, "Oh yeah." Then I think that it is a really good thing that I didn't see that show as a teenager because I might have done the television set bodily harm. Egads.

When I was in the third grade my teacher made a comment about me and mother not getting along. I don't remember the context of the remark, but I clearly remember her saying it and I thought it was odd even at the time. How did she know that my mother and I didn't get along? Strangely enough, I can't remember her name, her face, but I think her hair was red and she may have worn glasses. That's it. And she knew mom and I were already in this wierd little dynamic for power in our household. Too alike indeed.

Fast forward to high school and I remember being very angry with my mother most of the time. I couldn't tell her anything. Every time I did, she would tell me what she would have done or what I should do or what was going to happen. In any event, it wasn't what I would have chosen. The irony was that 99.9% of the time she was RIGHT. It would have turned out way better if I had done it her way. It was infuriating. Invariably that resulted in me storming out of the house to meet up with one of my girlfriends just so that I could rant and finish it up with, "I HATE MY MOTHER!" The beauty of it was that no explanation was required. Most teenage girls weren't overly happy with their mothers and I didn't have to say why I hated her. "I hate her because she's so smart and always right," would have sounded really lame. Besides, I wasn't mature enough to know that was why I hated her. It was just really tough being around someone who was so right all of the time. Who can measure up to that? It only made me feel more wrong, which I was. Ooooh. I hated her. Her and her constant rightness. I couldn't wait to go to college where I could be more right and less wrong.

By the time I moved back in with my mother in 1995, I wasn't a little girl anymore, and I didn't care so much about who was right and who was wrong. In fact, her rightness was comforting and reassuring, instead of strangling and demeaning. Instead of coming to her after I had already made the decision only to find out what the right thing would have been, I came to mom first to seek her opinion. I realized that I had an asset in Mom. Mom had 23+ years of living on me and the advantage of wisdom. I had never seen that in her as a child or a teenager. She was no longer the person who made me feel less than; she became my friend, as well as my mother, and was my cheering section and booster-upper.

I lived on my own for a long time before moving back in with mom. What I have discovered is that whether we are under the same roof or living in different states, she still gives the best advice of anyone I know.

Friday, February 26, 2010


After reading yesterday's blog on facebook (I multi-blog), my friend, Amy, by way of comment, told me I needed to get out more. Today I took one of the dogs for a walk and hoped that it would work as well as the Think Tank. It didn't. However, you get what you get. I did think a lot about my relationship with the outdoors since I was out there. The sun and I have never been friends. I courted it up until the summer of 1985 when I got a miserable sunburn. I peeled three times. I never could tan. The cycle was always the same: burn and peel. After that I broke up with the sun; a girl can only take so much, and I'd reached my limit. Sunscreen 40 and I were now best buddies.

On my dog walk I realized that I really didn't care much for outdoorsy things. I mulled that around a little bit. It occurred to me that I didn't have friends who did outdoorsy things either, or if they did they weren't doing them with me. Hmmmmm. In contrast, as a kid/teenager I loved camp. That didn't really make sense. It was outdoors. Note to self: spend more time later thinking about camp because it deserves a blog all its own.

When I first moved to Florida, I was determined to go to the beach every day. We lived about twenty minutes or so from Fernandina Beach. I am really not a water person as in "likes to swim" in it. However, I do like to walk the beach and/or sit under an umbrella and read a book. I knew that the exercise was good for me. The air was good for me. My doctor had stressed that the Vitamin D (as in sunshine) was good for me. That translated into I had to make nice with the sun. I was a good sport about the whole thing. I bought an easy chair to carry, what I thought was a good beach umbrella, and set off for my first beach day. My parents were working.

It turns out that I didn't have a good beach umbrella. Did you know that you can't just buy a big ole umbrella and shove it into the sand? It was a very good thing there weren't very many people at the beach that day. The wind caught that umbrella and it went tumbling down the beach end over end until it got stopped by a lady bending over to do something. I am screaming at the top of my lungs, "EVERYONE LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT! UMBRELLA ON THE LOOSE! BE CARE..." And then it was all over. It was a very fortunate thing that it wasn't the pole side that hit her bottom. If that were the case, this might be a very different blog; it might be coming to you from a jail cell.

Turns out beach umbrellas need an anchor thingy. Who knew? It's windy at the beach, and you have to anchor them down really well so that the wind doesn't pluck them up, and they don't end up implanted in someone's rear end. As it turns out, I was never strong enough to get the darned thing anchored down properly. I always ended up needing help from some man. If luck had been on my side, he would have been cute, single, heterosexual, working, and age-appropriate. That never happened. Not once. After a month of going every day I would have settled for single, heterosexual, and working. Still no luck. And then I met Bruce. I should have passed that by and kept going to the beach. You keep at something long enough and you're bound to catch a break. Coulda woulda shoulda.

I was going to tell you why I kept going to the beach. I almost got there before I sidetracked myself with the umbrella story. I love the sound, smell, and feel of the ocean. The vastness of the ocean offers perspective for my problems; it gives me another lens to view them through, and it gives me hope that all will be well. We all know, in theory, that there are many things bigger than we are, but seeing those things up close is reassuring. I know that I could walk out my front door right now and look at the sky and it would also qualify as boundless. However, it isn't the ocean. It doesn't sound, smell, or feel the same, and while it does drop water on me, it isn't fooling me.

So, for now, my shower remains my Think Tank. It is my place to clean out the cobwebs and restore mental order. It isn't as pretty as the ocean, but it has water, and I leave it smelling nicer and feeling better. Plus, there's no sand and I don't have to worry about flyaway umbrellas!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


This may seem unremarkable, and very sad, but today will mark the third day in a row that I actually leave the house (by car) if I go to Allstate later and pay my premium per my plan. For those of you who know me are probably experiencing some form of shock. Yes, I have become a recluse.

Day one was my trip to see my doctor. That really wasn't a great day. However, I did leave the house and so it counts. My driving skills are beginning to frighten me. Actually it isn't so much the driving but the remembering. And that has been frightening me for a long time. It was really bad when I lived here and was working. I'd be in my territory and forget how to get to an account I'd been to a million times. Then I'd have an anxiety attack while I was driving because I couldn't remember how to get where I was going and I knew I should. I got lost going to my doctor's office. Not lost, lost. Just wrong turn lost. I got found again. It didn't give me an anxiety attack; it just made me mad.

On day two I remembered the rest of what Debbie Strait said about filing for disabilitity... all of the work involved. I spent most of the day drowning out her voice by playing on facebook and writing a nice blog about my dog. I wanted to think about ANYTHING else. My mom had made plans to have dinner over at my aunt's house. My mom cooked dinner and took it over because my aunt had a biopsy done yesterday and she knew that she wouldn't feel like cooking. All prayers for her are appreciated:-)

I was still writing my Shelby blog and wasn't quite ready to go and drove separately since they only live a mile and a half away. I don't know what it is about the car but someday someone is going to name a band Drivin' and Thinkin' because that is invariably what happens when I get in there. Dontcha know I got lost going to my aunt's house since I was so lost in thought! Not really lost but I had to turn around and figure out where the heck I was. Anyway, I will explain my vision flashes because that's what they were for me: flashes. You get the long version.

Back in December 2005 I was divorced but very sick and my parents had already moved to FL. At Christmas they came to me because there was no chance of it being the other way around. The look on my mother's face when she walked into my house was priceless. My house was a disaster. It was paper everywhere. I hadn't eaten in my dining room since Rob and the kids moved out. I had stacks of mail all over the table, all around the floor surrounding the table, it had creeped into the living room, smaller stacks were in the kitchen, den, office, etc. My mother is super-organized. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. She spent the rest of that trip trying to find my bills. I got 2-3 pieces of work mail daily, junk mail, and bills all mixed together. She had her work cut out for her.

I learned later in Divorce Recovery Group that hiding your mail like that is a subconscious coping method that people use when they know that they aren't making enough money to pay their bills. How true that was. I can't tell you many times my lights, water, etc, were cut off and I had to call my dad saying, "Help, I'm in the dark/without water, etc."

Overlay all of that with Debbie's voice telling me I needed to be super-organized to get SSD because the government is one big red tape machine that only cares about facts. It wants facts. What meds did you take for how long, etc. Holy crap. This all started back in 2001. I'm writing down when I take my pain pills because I can't remember so I don't overdose myself. I can't even remember my neurologist's name from back in 2003! Fear is the great immobilizer. I could feel myself spiraling down and that is how I missed my aunt's house.

Earlier today, I read a blog I've been following (A DELIBERATE LIFE). For right now, you will have to go to my profile and look at blogs I follow until I can figure out how to move what I want onto my main page (eeks!). She is waging her own war on her weight and she has been winning *yeah* until she hit her own roadblock. She used a chicken coop metaphor that I won't ruin for you. The thing is this: we all reach a place where we have to make a decision of which fear is greater. Hers has to do with her weight and her history. Mine has to do with wading through a lot bureaucratic medical bullcrap that will take time, money (I am going to have to go back to each doctor/hospital for a history and some will charge for this stuff by the page), and it will be migraine-causing, BUT I will have the information that I need or I can do nothing and continue to cause my parents to suffer and still have a migraine. It's always a no-brainer in the end. You just have to kick down that wall of fear to see it.

As for me, I have to try and find some visually interesting pictures for you and then I have a car insurance payment to make. I hope I find the Allstate office....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Back in February 2000 I began having dreams about this puppy and I became convinced that I was supposed to adopt this pup. I was living in a condo and started to become more aware of who did and did not own dogs. My neighbors on the right were an older couple; they had a small, mixed breed poodle that was an older dog. There was a single man in the complex who had a greyhound. That caught my attention. I thought that if he could deal with a greyhound in this complex than I could handle a dog. I wanted a smaller breed animal anyway. Still, I was uncertain. I was a single, working person and puppies are time consuming. I wasn't sure that I was ready for the task. The dreams kept coming.

At that time, my parents were living in Aiken, SC, which is about a half hour drive and part of my sales territory. I would often have lunch with my mother when I worked over there. By this time, the dreams were making me a little nuts. She suggested I drive by the two places in Aiken. One was Animal Control, which was a kill shelter, and the other was a no-kill shelter, but they were on the same road. It was at Animal Control that I found the puppy in my dreams. She was only six weeks old. She literally fit into my hands she was so tiny. They had a full grown dog there that was so well behaved that I felt guilty about not adopting her. They called her Neon because she was all black and her teeth were so white. I prayed very hard for Neon that she would find a home but I knew that I had to adopt the puppy I had seen in my dreams: Shelby.

I decided to crate train her. I bought this big crate so that she would feel like she lived in a mansion. That was not a good idea. Puppies like small spaces so that they feel safe. They also won't poop or pee where they eat. In a big space they will poop or pee as far from their eating space as possible. It kinda negates the purpose. I bought three different sizes of crates before we got it right. She grew into them. I know crates seem cruel, but she actually loves her crate. It's where she feels the most safe.

Those first few weeks were tough. She cried all night. I cried the next day from lack of sleep. She cried whenever I got in the shower. I would pull back the curtain and she would stop. As soon as I disappeared behind the curtain, she started again. My talking to her didn't help. She had to SEE me. We walked a lot so that she would pee and poop outside and not on my carpet. Sometimes we would be outside for an hour and we would walk in the door and she would immediately squat and pee. Uggh.

The funniest thing she did as a pup, and still does to this day, is recognize what does and does not belong. On one of our first walks, she spotted a styrofoam cup someone had tossed on the grass. She stopped dead in her tracks. Then she slowly circled it. Then she let loose mad barking at the cup. I laughed so hard. She was trying to scare the cup into moving. She was letting it know it didn't belong there and it should leave. Any time I have bought new furniture it has gotten the same treatment. She doesn't respond well to change. Eventually she will accept a new couch or chair or nightstand, but it is with disdain.

I love this photo of her; she is barely able to see out the windows of the condo. That is how she spent her days. She was always on patrol. I like to think she was protecting me from predators of the two-legged variety, but I know better. There were some cats in the area. Some were strays and others were pets and she was on patrol, protecting her space. Anytime she spotted a cat, the barking commenced and that cat got barked at from every available window until it was no longer in visual range; there was a bedroom flanking each side of the living room with windows. I once caught her barking furiously at what appeared to be nothing. I couldn't figure it out. I had to get down on all fours until I was on her eye level to see that she was barking at a gekko that was sunning itself on our porch railing. He was immune to her barking.

This is my girl grown up and making herself at home in my bed. When Rob and I got married, he booted her out of the bed and she never made it back in. Poor baby. She hasn't changed much otherwise. She still barks at paper cups when she goes on a walk. She's only seen snow twice. The second time was this year. Both times she tried to bite it. That was hilarious. She still loves looking out the window and patrolling for cats and other four legged things. I call her the Princess Dog because I'm convinced that she's convinced that she's not a dog at all; she's really a person trapped in a dog body. She's my girl.


This is just a reminder for my *8* followers that I started another blog called TV Junction Function. It's exactly what it sounds like. It's a blog devoted to ranting and raving about TV. I'm up way past my bedtime because I HAD a TV post rattling around in my brain. I know my TV blog isn't for everyone. For example, my mother loathes everything but HGTV. I'm her daughter and she won't read it. But I will post periodic reminders that it is there as I gain followers so that they can check it out and maybe start following it... if it is up their alley.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am fresh out of the shower. For my regular readers, you know what that means: I have spent some time seeking inspiration in the Think Tank. In this case, I have just been trying to make order out of chaos. I think a story tends to be more powerful when you know the process. It's sort of like a game of hopscotch. The idea is to get to the end and back but you don't land in every square. There is method to the madness. Well, in that case the method is throwing a rock and jumping around, but you get the idea. Explaining my method makes the blog longer, but richer, I think. I guess this is where I could use some feedback from other writers. I am not sure I want it on this blog because this whole thing was rather traumatic, but any of the old stuff and the stuff to come, feel free to offer up advice on how much is too much.

I have chronic fatigue. I have chronic migraines. Up until 2006 I was an outside sales rep. My health really started to deteriorate in 2002 after I got married. Yes, the marriage had everything to do with the deterioration. Stress is a killer. Don't let anyone tell you different. I became addicted to narcotic painkillers to function. Once the doctor realized where I was and took them away and referred me to a neurologist it all went downhill. The neurologist was blunt. "I can keep dosing you as an outpatient for the migraines but as long as you remain in a chronically stressful domestic situation or continue to bang your own head into the wall, nothing will change." He was right. Something did change. I went from a functional person to a marginally functional person to a mostly non-functional person. Finally I became a divorced person.

The only thing that saved me in terms of my career was that I had been doing that job a long time so I had a large and loyal customer base, could do a lot by phone, had a lot of product in supply rooms and lots of orders coming in by fax. The coup de gras was that I could work in the field when I felt good and lay in bed when I didn't. My house was my office and I didn't clock in or out anywhere. Of course, my income took a hit by my spending less time with customers and more time in a dark room.

I thought when I got divorced that it would close Pandora's Box; I would get my life back. That didn't happen. The migraines continued to get worse and my life continued to spiral out. Finally, I sold my house and moved in with my parents in Florida. I did so with the convicition in my heart that it was temporary. My doctor was saying that I needed to live in a no stress environment for at least two years and I really should file for Social Security Disability. I chose to live off the money I made from my house sale and when that started to look bleak I got a part-time job that darn near killed me. (See my previous blog THE THINGS WE SELL OURSELVES for more on this.)

I did go see a friend of my parents who worked for a lawyer who worked on SSD claims to see what I needed to do to go this route right after I moved. She laid it all out for me. I basically had to convince a judge that I could do nothing. Zero. Nada. If you can do Anything they will deny you. You should sell your car. Get your mom to drive you everywhere. And on and on and on. Meanwhile I had just discovered ASK AND IT IS GIVEN and it was all about the power of positive thinking. How could I believe in the power of positive thinking on the one hand and stand up and declare myself to be capable of nothing? I couldn't. I had always believed in the power of the spoken and written word. I was coming to understand the power of a thought. I walked away from filing SSD.

Then we moved here and the mattress/box spring debacle blew up my immune system (again see THE THINGS WE SELL OURSELVES). I believe I said something about being back where I started. I lied. It's worse. That stupid matrress/box spring literally nuked my immune system. So, yeah, the chronic fatigue and the chronic migraines are back in spades and I'm eating pain killers on the hour. I'm keeping journals of when I take them because I can't remember and I don't want to overdose myself. That would be funny if it weren't pathetic. The kicker is that my immune system, fragile as it was, was holding in check auto immune diseases. Now Pandora's box literally is opened and they have come calling.

So, I sat in my doctor's office and had a good long cry and I got to tell her all of the things I don't say to my parents. And I am not going to get started again now or I just might end up feeling as wrecked today as yesterday. But the thing that hurts the most isn't all of the crap that is headed my way. It's my damn pride. My father has been sending money that he doesn't have for months now until I can get it together. Now it is becoming clear that isn't happening. My only option is to file for Social Security Disability. My parents are paying for my pride. My sin of pride. All the way home I kept hearing Mary Chapin Carpenter in my head, "That of all the things that finally desert us, Pride is always the last thing to go."

And so I threw my rock over and over and I am back at square one.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I found my first Quote Book about a month ago in a box of old books. From there it, and the rest of the books, found a new home in the guest room closet. I have no inspiration today. My thoughts are not positive, happy ones and yet I promised to post something every day. And then I remembered my Quote book, aka my loophole. I found a way out; I don't have to post MY thoughts today. Today I can post thoughts that have inspired me or simply stopped me in my tracks to reevaluate.

"I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind."
~Emily Bronte

"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."
~Aldous Huxley

"To get the attention of a large animal, be it an elephant or a bureaucracy, it helps to know what part of it feels pain. Be very sure, though, that you want its full attention."
~Kelvin Throop, III

"In the long run you hit what you aim for. Therefore, though you should fail immediately you had better aim at something high."
~Henry David Thoreau

"People will sometimes forgive you the good you have done them, but seldom the harm they have done you."
~W. Somerset Maugham

"Don't oppose forces, use them. God is a verb, not a noun."
~R. Buckminister Fuller

"While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes that right important."
~Walter Lippman

"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy."
~F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Well, being divorced is like being hit by a Mack truck. If you live through it, you start looking very carefully to the right and the left.
~Jean Kerr

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that it all happened to you, and afterwards it all belongs to you."
~Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Do you remember your first kiss? Mine involved a game of chase on the playground that ended with a ragtag group of third grade boys pinning me against the monkey bars while a real live third grade monkey planted one on me while my face was thrashing all around. I suppose it landed somewhere in the vicinity of my lips, so I consider it my first kiss. Not stellar, insofar as kisses go, and since I didn't participate, unless you consider all that head jerking participating, it was rather one-sided.

In junior high school, I discovered the romance novel. The fact that the plot lines were more or less the same was reassuring to a young girl. The heroine was always a virgin with zero experience (check) and her circumstances were always less than wonderful (check) and she started out with no prospects in sight (check) but once she met her guy her story might have been complicated but all of her "firsts" were awesome. Even that first fight knocked it out of the park. How great was that?

Every summer my church Youth Group went to an amusement park. We alternated between Cedar Point and Kings Island. I think this was the year we went to Kings Island. All in all, Cedar Point was the better park for the roller coaster buff, but Kings Island does have The Beast and that is a very fine coaster. Anyway, none of the boys at my high school were kiss-worthy in my book OR if they were kiss-worthy, they weren't interested in kissing me. Life is just mean like that.

Anyway, I happened to meet up with a boy at Kings Island. I know that you can already see where this is going. He was nice. He was cute. We talked. We walked. We rode the rides. And then in a private moment of madness I let him kiss me. Full on french kissing for the first time. If you're wondering what I was thinking it was something like this, "Oh my God. What is he doing with his tongue? Is this kissing or invasion? His tongue is everywhere. It is one big piece of meat. Get it out. Out. Out. Out. Is he poking? Licking? Chewing? What is this? This is terrible. When will this be over?????????"

As I recall, I made a hasty departure after that because I was afraid that he might try to do it again and I couldn't take anymore french kissing. What were the french thinking? The duration of my stay at the park that day was now about avoiding the Mad Kisser. Eeeks. Unfortunately, I couldn't share this story with any of my fellow youth groupers because maybe I was the bad kisser. I had no basis for comparison. So, it was a silent game of duck and evade.

As soon as we piled into the van to head home I snapped the walkman on and hoped to slip out of my thoughts and into the music so that I could turn off the voices that were talking a little too loudly for my personal comfort. It was not to be. Okay. Worst case scenario: He was a really good french kisser and I will just have to learn to like it. Sort of like broccoli. I was really having a problem with worst case scenario because I really wanted to brush my teeth, tongue and gums for about ten minutes and follow it up with mouthwash and I don't like mouthwash. Moving on to a better case scenario: Maybe he didn't know what he was doing either. That made me feel mildly better. Moving on again. Best case scenario: When have I ever done anything at my best on my first try? Now that had my attention. My first try riding my bike? Disaster. First time making my bed? Crying fit. First time on skates? Skinned knees. Jumping rope? More boo boos. Now we were on a roll. I finally found a scenario I could live with, a Walkman to pass the rest of the time, and good old fashioned toothpaste to erase a bad taste out of my mouth when I got home.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


When you feel like the universe is trying to send you a message do you get signs from multiple sources? I woke up this morning with a horrible migraine, a flash of an indian tent with moccasins lined up outside the door, and words spoken in anger by Sonny on General Hospital ringing in my ear. Uh oh. I knew immediately where today's blog was going and it wasn't anyplace good.

Let's start with the indian tent and the moccasins. The indians had a much better system for dealing with a broken relationship (i.e. divorce or separation) than we will ever have. I don't know who thought of it, but it was brilliant, because it involved no third party. The woman made the decision by placing the man's moccasins outside the tent as if they were walking away; it indicated he was gone and not to return. His welcome was revoked. It was very public and there were no take-backs. Because it was public, it was a matter of pride on the man's part to honor the decision and pick up his moccasins and walk away. There was no barging into the tent and demanding that his woman rethink the decision or else. Awesome system.

I could spend a lot of time defending my General Hospital addiction or not. Let me just say this. GH and I have had a relationship since the 6th grade. I had a mad love affair with Days of Our Lives that lasted way too long and when it was good, it was very good, but when it went bad, it was terrible. And I slinked back to GH and it forgave and I have been faithful ever since. Enough said. Anyway, what did Sonny say???? I don't have it exactly right, but it was more or less this...."Olivia, everyone else in this has admitted their mistakes but you. It is time that you own what you did wrong in this terrible mess. You need to claim your damage." Imagine that loud and intense and it should be about right.

I took two tours through Divorce Recovery Group at Warren Baptist Church after my divorce. One of the things that you had to do was claim out loud in front of the group your part of why things went wrong in your marriage. As close as I got to that was I enabled him to behave badly. That was true. I did enable him to behave badly and that was the truth insofar as the marriage went. In order to actually claim my damage I had to go back before the marriage. I got away on a technicality.

Today I get to own my damage.

We started dating in May 2001 and he proposed on Dec 31 2001 and I said "yes" even though it was too soon. I bought a house a few months later because my condo wasn't big enough for his kids when they came to visit. It was four bedrooms. After the buy I took a long, hard look at the living room and realized that the wallpaper didn't match our living room furniture. Egads. It clashed badly. My mother's golden rule is to never paint over wallpaper. Had I known that there was wallpaper on top of wallpaper I would have rethought mom's rule, but then I would have missed out on the most enlightening experience of my life. I thought it would take 3-4 days tops to remove wallpaper from living/dining room and paint. I called friends and family to start on Saturday. My Not Yet Husband (NYH) was working and we began. After going at it all day Saturday, we hadn't made much of a dent on the dining room. NYH worked 4 days on and 4 off and his first working day was the Saturday we started on the house. I was thankful when his four days off rolled around so that he could start putting some muscle into it. I was exhausted; I had worked on it all weekend and after work for the four days he'd been on 12 hour shifts.

I remember calling him to see how it was going on his first work day at the house. It was 2:00pm or so. He hadn't gotten to the house yet. What? When I got to the house at 5:00 or thereabouts his truck was outside but I couldn't find him or any evidence that he'd done any work at all. He was asleep in the hammock in the backyard. Two weeks later and with zero help from NYH it was almost time to paint. I had roped every friend I had into helping get the wallpaper down. Unfortunately there were places that it had pulled the sheetrock out and there were some gaping holes. Lots of putty required followed by lots of sanding. My friend, Norm, loaned me his sander because the holes were so large. Using sandpaper by hand would take forever.

It is just NYH and I at the house and the putty is dry and the sanding needs to be done. I ask NYH if he will use the sander on the large holes while I sand the smaller patches by hand. No, he will not. He's never used a sander. Well, I've never used a sander either but it doesn't look hard. Hold the sander against the area to be sanded. If you've never held a sander, that thing is heavy. It is also noisy. I didn't like what NYH had to say, but I was pretty used to his lack of willingness to help by this point. Mr. Fixit he wasn't. However, even I wasn't prepared for what came next. As soon as I turned the sander on, he turned it off. He claimed it was too noisy for him. It hurt his ears. I was just going to have to sand those large areas by hand if I wanted him to help. I plugged the sander back in. He walked out the front door. He came back in twenty minutes later to find me ON A LADDER HOLDING A SANDER ABOVE MY HEAD. Note: the sander is heavy and my arms are tired. My arms are shaking they hurt so bad. He stands there and watches me for several minutes. Apparently it isn't so loud that he can't stand and observe and then he walks through the house to go I don't know where. I'm thinking, "Who is this guy? I understand about feeling uncomfortable outside your comfort zone and I can forgive that. But where's your decency? Your common decency? Any MAN with any self respect would take over this job when he sees someone in physical pain. And if you can't even do that you could stand behind the ladder just to make sure I don't fall." Before I wasn't in love with him, but I had love for him. That day I stopped respecting him as a man and a person. I couldn't even like him. And that was the moment. That was the defining moment of our relationship. He didn't know it, but I knew it.

That night we drove back to the condo together and all I could see in my head was an indian tent and shoes lined up. Then I saw the front door of my condo and all of his shoes lined up like they were leaving and I opened my mouth several times to say it. "This is over. I want you gone. You can sleep in your truck, at your mother's, your sister's, a friend's. I really don't care. It's done." But it was stuck in my throat. And so my mouth kept opening and closing but nothing came out. And then we were back at the condo and it was too late. And then we were walking down the aisle and it was too late. And then his kids moved in and it was too late. But the words were always there, stuck.

I lost my voice and my self-respect. That's my damage.

Friday, February 19, 2010


When I feel the need to preface one of my blogs, as I do now, you know that you're in for it.  That could be good or bad.  It all depends on your perspective.  Do you ever have this problem that just circles round and round in your head, and you don't know how to solve it, so your brain keeps coming up with different scenarios, and then it starts invading your dreams ,and then it even manages to make its way onto your TV screen?  Finally, you're throwing pillows at your television screaming, "Enough already!"  Well as the pillow was making contact with my television I decided that thinking time was over and writing time better start or glass might start breaking.  So, here we are.

As usual, the idea started in the shower where I do my best thinking.  It was there that I realized I had been on a path of self destruction ever since I saw the movie THE WAY WE WERE back in junior high or high school.  I can't remember which it was.  We had HBO and I only saw the movie once.  Who could take it more than once????  It was on a Saturday afternoon and it finished right around the time my mom was putting dinner on the table.  It was the first time I had experienced the unhappy ending.  I cried all the way through dinner to the disgust of everyone else at the table and I couldn't stop saying, "But it was just wrong.  They truly loved each other.  I don't understand how it couldn't work out if it was true love."  Of course, I had just spent two hours watching exactly why it hadn't worked out despite the fact that it was true love.  The real problem was that I resonated way too much to this movie.  That was my shower revelation.  I was in vibrational harmony with love not working out.  Oh boy.  This explained a whole lot about why my love life totally sucked and why I picked unattainable men and was not interested in the ones who were. 

My next shower revelation was the Brad Paisley song "Letter To Me."  It's this cutesy little country song where he sends a letter back to his younger self reassuring him that all would be well and helping him avoid minor pitfalls.  Well, I had major pitfalls and all is not well.  I should get the damn letter.  So, now my mind (I am still in the shower, probably lost in a shampoo that has gone on forever) is constructing a letter that my 16 year old self would actually believe and follow.  What to say?  Under no circumstances ever watch THE WAY WERE WERE, LOVE STORY, or anything sad about romance gone awry.  Just avoid avoid avoid.  In fact, don't read romance novels they just make you think one thing when it's all crap.  In fact don't read at all because you might stumble across something that you will resonate to that will completely screw you up.  Wait. Wait. Wait.  I love to read.  And I can't send a letter to 16 year old me anyway.  Cut. Cut. Cut.  Hair is clean anyway and I think I have soap in my eye.  Ouch.

And I wanted to leave it there because the truth is I already watched THE WAY WE WERE and I already resonated.  And same went for LOVE STORY and all of the rest and it was all a long time ago.  So, I am watching SEX IN THE CITY on  DVD and get to the end of Season 2 and Mr. Big (who I really dislike and never learn to like and really hate even though they ultimately end up together) breaks Carrie's heart AGAIN by marrying Natasha and the girls are talking about it and they decide at the cafe that Carrie and Big are just like Katie and Hubble from.....THE WAY WE WERE (get ready for the pillow throw) and they relive the lines where she runs into him and tells him his girl is really lovely and cue up the music.  Carrie then leaves the cafe and walks home going by the site of the engagement soiree and has a face to face with Mr. Big and can't help herself.  She asks them him why it wasn't her, and he has no good answer.  And she does it.  "Your girl is lovely, Hubble," and does the famous hair stroke.  Of course, he is clueless and says, "I don't understand."  And she replies, "And you never did."  And if that show could have left that relationship there maybe I wouldn't have thrown the pillow.  No, I would have still thrown the pillow because that was about my own struggle with resonating to bad bad bad relationships, and it was being thrown in my face ~ again.

The thing is that I can't unwatch or unread anything.  After that show I clicked over to youtube to pull up that last scene of the movie.  It was all of six minutes and I will post it for you.  You can watch or not.  I bawled my eyes out, and it's not because I'm watching the movie all of the time and still resonating to it.  It was six minutes of a movie that I haven't seen in over twenty years.  I am still resonating right here in the now, and I can't figure out where the stop button is.  If my more knowledgable future self would send me a letter, I think we could knock out this problem.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I believe I mentioned my TV vice a blog back.  Riding in tandem with that vice is my youtube addiction.  Interestingly enough, I like to watch videos of my favorite TV shows and movies.  Shocking!  I have spent two hours sifting through VERONICA MARS material this evening.  I could write a boatload on that show and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to write a very long letter to Rob Thomas explaining how and why he killed an amazing show, but I figure that he's had a lot of time to ruminate on the subject and has likely figured it out himself by now.  It's amazing what you can learn simply by watching the show back to back; that is the advantage of having it on DVD.  If you haven't seen the show, seasons one and two are excellent.  Two has one flaw but the writers figured it out early on and took care of it.  Season 3 had a lot of potential but they deviated from the "formula" that worked so well in the first two seasons and that derailed the train.  However, there were still lots of good moments and major acting talent and if the writers could have convinced the network that they were going to get back to basics (go back to the old formula for season 4) I think they could have avoided cancellation.  They proposed something else entirely and the networks cancelled and rightly so.  However, that show was chock full of talent and they are all coming out of the woodwork and kicking a**.  VERONICA MARS was a powerhouse of a show and well worth the ticket.  Get on the rollercoaster because it is a hell of a ride.

This is from the pilot.  Our Veronica and Logan had a rocky start. 

You gotta love those firsts.  Defintely one of the best moments from season one.  They both walk away shell shocked.  Who was more suprised?  You be the judge.

Logan and Veronica have supercouple written all over them.  Well, this next clip is from the latter part of season 2 and you can obviously see that somewhere between that poignant first kiss and what you're about to watch things went awry.  It hurts my heart a little to watch this.

This is one of my favorite scenes ever from the show and it is from Season 3 (which I just heralded as bad bad bad) but it had its moments and this was one of them.  Love it love it love it! 

I tried to pick short scenes that packed the best punch. I hope you enjoyed and if you didn't watch the show before I tempted you into trying it out.  Please let me know what you think.  I love comparing notes!

**If this blog was your cup of joe, I created another blog entitled TV JUNCTION FUNCTION (the name took me back to the conjunction function cartoon days...). I do believe that it is listed on my profile page and is "clickable" if you want to check it out. I don't promise daily postings, but it keeps my TV vice separate from everything else. I went ahead and transferred the Veronica stuff so it is the first post.


When I was in the fourth grade I remember soliciting my teacher, Mrs. Noone, to be the delivery person for all of our valentines.  Each student had a bag with their name on it hanging at the front of the classroom for a week before the holiday and Mrs. Noone had announced that she would select someone to be the "mailman" at recess on Valentine's Day.  I really wanted to be the mailman.  I started out with what I thought were subtle hints, which I am sure they were not.  I do remember the last one, though.  I came up to her desk, not mentioning Valentine's Day at all, and told her I was fairly certain that I was going to grow up and be a mailman when I got older.  I really wanted to deliver those valentines!  You have got to be wondering why. I didn't want to mix them up or read them or pocket someone's valentines (in other words there was nothing nefarious going on here) and I would be giving up recess for this task.  So why did I want to do it?  I really wanted to be the person who got to deliver the love and joy.  That's it.  I could see myself doing the job as soon as she announced it in class and I HAD to be picked and that was all there was to it.

I got my outside sales job working for Rotanium products by the skin of my teeth.  Don Baggett was on the verge of hiring someone else when he got my name via referral.  He wasn't even willing to drive from Atlanta to Augusta to meet me.  We met somewhere in the middle in a hotel lobby for our interview.  It all was going really well until he asked me what my dream job was and without thinking I said wistfully, "I would love to be paid to write."  He gets this funny look on his face and says, "You do know this is a sales job," which snaps me back into reality and I nod and we move on.  The thing is I was really good at sales and I did really well with the rest of the interview and I suppose he saw my potential because he didn't hire that other person and it all worked out well, at least until it didn't.  But that had nothing to do with the job and everything to do with my personal choices.  Moving on....

Here we are in the present and I am still living in migraine hell and trying to figure out how in the world am I going to survive this????  A friend of mine reminded me of something that I already knew.  It's always funny when it works like that.  She says  figure out what you want and then use the law of attraction to make it work for you.  None of this is easy but all of it does work.  It took me a while to reconnect with the writing.  Sometimes you tamp a dream down so far it can be hard to find.  Once you find it, then you have to commit to it daily, which is where we are now.  I have to write something every day no matter what.  Short. Long.  Good.  Bad.  That explains the what I want part of the equation and the doing part.  I am still working on the how to get paid part.  (Hint: I believe I am falling down at step 3 ~ this will make sense soon.)

Some of you are going to get this right away.  Others of you won't.  Either way, it is okay.  All I ask is this:  I am sharing with you a personal belief system.  Personal belief systems are important because they have become a part of who we are.  When you take a hammer to someone's personal belief system, you become a bully.  So before you lift your hammer to mine, please think about that.  Even people with good intentions can do terrible damage.  Enough said.  The law of attraction says that you get what you think about ~ good or bad ~ so that means that whatever comes into your life, you brought.  Every thought is two thoughts, so be careful of how you think/pray.  When you ask, make sure you do it positively, because praying to not have something in your life is still focusing on what you don't want instead of what you do.  For instance, there is a big difference between praying for good health and praying to not be sick.  One focuses on good health and the other on sickness.  They are worlds apart from each other even though it seems like the prayers are the same. 

I feel like I have an impossible task.  I am trying to explain in a few paragraphs what took Esther and Jerry Hicks an entire book to map out.  The book, by the way, is called ASK AND IT IS GIVEN and I bought it on CD because I do better listening to this kind of thing repeatedly.  So, if we get what we think about and I understand that every thought has the potential to be two thoughts and I want to be paid to write, why isn't the money flowing in?  I am praying about this, aren't I?  Well, yes.  Is God listening?  Yes.  Where's the glitch?  Okay, here's the deal.  It's a three step process. 1) We ask. 2) God says yes. You heard me.  He says yes.  He always says yes.  I am getting to the why....3) We get when we are in vibrational alignment for that which we ask.  You are probably having trouble with vibrational alignment.  Let me try and put this another way.  Jesus asked people to have faith.  Let's use that word instead because you have a reference point for it and understand it.  You pray for something and have absolute faith it will come to you.  No doubts.  Seriously.  No doubts.  If you can do that, then it will come.  It has to come because you are in vibrational alignment to receive it.

You're probably wondering why I told you my fourth grade Valentines Day story.  I wanted to show you the law of attraction in action.  I had to have been really annoying to Mrs. Noone, but I saw myself as the mailman.  I had absolute faith that I would be the mailman.  I was the mailman.   You can buy ASK AND IT IS GIVEN by Esther and Jerry Hicks on CD or in book form at  If you get the CD make sure to get Parts 1 and 2.  It will change your life.