Monday, May 31, 2010


I know that you guys all got behind on your blog reading over the holiday weekend. Now, you are playing catch up. Well.... this is my Memorial Day post. I wrote a rather important post called COMPASSION VERSUS EMPATHY that I hope you will take the time to go back and read. Second to that is SHIFTING YOUR REALITY. It kinda geared me up for the C Vs. E post. However, I know your time is limited, and you have 258 blog subscriptions to catch up on, so.... And then I wrote a follow-up NOW I'M IN FOR IT. Well, that one is short. You can read it or not. It depends on just how hooked you were by the COMPASSION VERSUS EMPATHY blog (the important one).

Now, I have gone and made it sound like Memorial Day isn't important. Not true. Very important day. In fact, so important that I don't feel equipped to do it justice. What I am going to do is post a video that makes me cry every time I watch it. Yep. Every time. I watched it again last night. I thought to myself, "Self, this might be the first time you make it through without needing a tissue." Nope. If you have time to watch it (considering you are playing blog catch up), let me know if you fare any better.

You can click here to watch it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I was going to just add this little bit to my previous blog, but decided to make it a stand-alone. So, if you didn't read COMPASSION VERSUS EMPATHY this makes no sense. Sorry, go back and read it first.

Well.... I more or less stopped posting on facebook for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that my ex has access to those posts, and I felt censored when I posted there. Of course, I felt censored because someone copied and pasted something I posted on my personal blog, and sent it to him in an email. It was the only thing I had written about him (indirectly) over a long period of time. And he only got a mention, because in order to tell my story I had to tell his. Anyway, it created LOTS OF DRAMA and made me seriously regret having created a fanpage on facebook (yeah, I did that), though I haven't posted on it now in quite a while. Anyone can read it, and it bugs me. The really bizarre thing is that I had no need to write about him until he told me that I couldn't. Yeah, he said that. And he threw around a lot of threats about not letting me see the kids and it really pissed me off and here we are.

Oh, I told him that I would write about him if I felt that I had to, and he would have to get over it. He didn't like that. And I still see the kids. I suppose I won that round, but it got ugly. He kept saying that it isn't who he is now, and he doesn't want people who didn't know him then, and who know him now, to know all of that stuff about him. He's changed. Yah. Whatever.

I read my last post (C Vs. E) for the umpteenth time and I can feel how important it is. Not just for me, but for everyone. It is bigger than me and it is bigger than his need not to be written about. So, I posted it on my facebook blog on my personal page. I did it with a queasy stomach, but I did it. And now I am going to go back and post the link to this song to it because it captures my feeling about THIS. If you are unclear about THIS at the end of the song, leave me a comment....

So, we are about to see if his spy is still keeping up with my page and reporting back to his "master." If so, I am sure that the fur will be flying soon. I mean the threats will be shooting like darts. Even though he is a changed man and not a verbally abusive person anymore..... We just disagree on what the definition of verbally abusive is, that's all. He's a lot like Clinton. He didn't inhale. If you don't inhale... well, that's not smoking. If you send the threat in an email, that isn't verbal. Get it? Got it? Good.


Sometimes I try on radical ideas to see if they fit. I say radical because it might seem that way to you. It was radical to me when I first tried it on, but I've become accustomed to it, meaning I think it fits, so it is no longer radical to me. But, I am throwing it out at you to see what you think.

Before writing this post, I went to and put this into its search to see what it would spit out: "What is the difference between compassion and empathy?" I had my own ideas before asking the question, but I wanted to see what would give me. Take a minute to ponder it for yourself before reading further.

There are a lot of truths out there. One of them is that no one gets out of this life unscathed. No one gets the perfect life. It doesn't exist. I love that commercial in the fast food joint when the guy steps up to the counter, and asks the customer if he wants his pain now or later. Awesome. That is the truth. You are going to get it sometime. Do you want your pain now or later? Would you like it with a side of cancer or would you prefer verbal and/or physical abuse? How would do you want to learn the lesson that we all die? Do you want to experience the death of a child or would you like your best friend to be murdered? How would you like your pain? Now or later? Do you want it quick and clean with no good-byes in the form of a car accident or a lingering death that is extremely painful? Say lung cancer? Or how about some Alzheimer's for your grandparents followed by your parents with the bonus of knowing that you will be next? So, that means you want your pain now and later, you say? Got it.

That might have sounded really quippy. It wasn't meant to. The point was that everyone gets socked with a bad dose of nasty. Some people are crippled by it. They do not recover. They drown in it. It eats them alive. The horror of whatever bulldozed their life... well, they just don't ever get over it, past it, beyond it. Whatever. So, that pain is all-consuming.

Compassion is having sympathy for someone. It is caring. It is honest to God commiseration for someone else's situation. It is a reaction. Empathy, by contrast, is "literally 'feeling into' - the ability to project one's personality into another person and more fully understand that person (think of an empath.)" When you are empathetic, you tend to be proactive or exercise caution. Stop and think about that. Compassion says I'm sorry that happened. Empathy goes out and kicks ass or at least steps up.

In my opinion, we cannot really be empathetic until we have some sort of first-hand experience of the "problem." For instance, my next door neighbor, Robin, who was my second mom, and someone who I love very much had migraines the entire time I was growing up. I was compassionate about her situation. Of course, I was a kid and I didn't know anything, and I couldn't really have done anything. But still... I didn't truly understand what she was going through until I got my first migraine. I went from compassionate to empathetic like *that.* She had migraines for twenty+ years. At the time, I had one for three days. I wanted to die. Now, I have had them for ten years. I don't even want to talk to you in a doctor's office unless you've had a migraine. Anyone who tries might get drop-kicked by me into next week if they catch me on a bad day. Just sayin.' (That was for you, Kimberly, or maybe it was Elizabeth, ah well ... one of you wrote that post on annoying things like that. It is actually the first time I've used it. Just sayin.' Yeah, I know I said it.)

Moving on to other hot topics... I lived with a verbally abusive husband for years. Never in a million years thought I would have taken that shit. Honestly, I didn't take that kind of bullshit from anyone when I was... well, anytime. I was that irritating person who sent their eggs back if they weren't cooked right. Migraines fuck with you. Pain fucks with you. Of course, what I had going was "the perfect storm." His small kids coming out of an abusive household with their mother. Their father (my husband) who I knew, by then, was verbally abusive. Figured that one out just a bit too late for me, but I was determined to save them. I was circling the damn drain folks. And I knew it. I was determined to give those kids as much stability as I could and then get out before I died. That was my goal. When that time came, I was not strong enough. Did everyone hear that? I was not strong enough. That is what verbal abusers do. They break you down. The goal is to break the spirit of the person so that they do not have the strength to leave. When I say strength, I mean will. In my case, it was both. I was weak from the chronic migraine pain and my spirit was wrecked. There was a body, but no one was HOME. Are you FEELING ME??? Thank God for my mother. She finally got through to me. She called me out. She asked me where I was because HER DAUGHTER WAS GONE. WHERE WAS HER DAUGHTER??? And that was the day that changed my life. That was the day that I walked in the bathroom, shut the door, looked in the mirror, and saw that I was gone. There was a stranger in the mirror. And it has been a journey of reclamation since.

I don't believe in coincidence. Period. I do believe in free will. For some reason, I chose that path that led into an abusive marriage. I hope that I did some good for those kids, but I can't bet the bank on that. I have to think more about what it means in terms of my life. Before I had compassion for people who experienced abuse on any level. Before I didn't understand why people didn't just leave. Before I didn't understand how insidious and manipulative abusers are. They don't just come out swinging with their best stuff first. They work at your foundation. And that is why people stay. Now, I have empathy for people who have experienced abuse. All kinds of abuse. And I have empathy for people who suffer from migraines and chronic pain because I know what that is.

Let me just toss out one more idea before my final volley: what if we pick what we think we can carry? Some of us pick wrong and we can't carry it, and those are the people who are wrecked. But, some of us pick the pain we think we can carry so that we can move from compassion to empathy. Does that change your experience? Does my having gone through an abusive marital situation now have value in that I have moved from compassion to empathy?

Where am I ultimately going with this? Not sure yet. Where do you draw your lines between compassion and empathy? And when something falls into your empathy court, what are you doing with that ball?

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Why do you blog? Let me change that question... why did you start blogging? Sometimes we can start for one reason, but continue for a different one.

I started blogging, aka writing, because I needed to write again. I needed to do something productive, and I needed someone other than me to read it. In fact, in my mind, I had this picture of my blog working out sorta like the movie FIELD OF DREAMS. If I write it, they will come, was my mentality when I opened my account. I was all enthusiasm, sure that I was going to set the blogging world on fire with my mad writing skills. I look back at that and laugh now. Not with sarcasm, but a full belly laugh. It's funny, right? Because if you're reading this, you know how hard it is to build a loyal readership. Well, I guess it took Kevin Costner some time in the movie, too. He had to build a baseball field, etc. It's not just flipping a switch.

The thing I didn't anticipate was how much enjoyment I would get from reading other people's blogs. I didn't see that coming. In fact, if I have limited time and have to choose between writing my own and reading my subscriptions.... it's a tough call. Sometimes I will choose to read what you guys are writing, unless I have something that I really want to get down on paper, because I LEARN so much.

Here is the kick in the teeth: if you know something to be true, but you don't utilize that truth and make it your own, it does you no good. Now, doesn't that just suck lemons? One of my favorite bloggers, Phoenix, wrote an excellent post about not allowing negative people, events, etc. to suck her energy anymore. This may or may not be a new concept for you. It's truth is undeniable. Negativity sucks our energy. Our spirit. Eventually that may mean our good health. As long as we keep that door open, it keeps sucking. It comes at us as people and things. If you don't know what I am talking about, think about whatever steals your joy. That is the culprit. What has you stomping around and cursing and wanting to throw things? There it is. Anyway, I read that post and it did a flashsideways with my current book (yeah, that was a LOST reference ~ couldn't help it).

If you have never read Richard Bach's books you're missing out. Period. Being on vacation made it hard for me to work on my own novel, but did enable me to read more of RUNNING FROM SAFETY by Richard Bach. Even though I could have gulped it; I savor his books like a fine wine. Therefore, I am still not quite halfway finished. That does move my actual finish date up from Thanksgiving to Halloween:-) I am digressing....

So how does this wonderful book and Phoenix's blog flashsideways? Well, she figured out that getting angry and allowing negativity to suck your energy steals your joy. In the chapter I had just finished Richard was talking with his wife about how pointless it was to get angry. She reminded him that she had seen him angry plenty of times. He then sets about explaining that it's because in that instant he forgets that it's just a game. He gets caught up in that he might lose this or that, or is afraid of something being taken away, that he becomes angry. However, once he remembers that it is a game (his perception is restored), then the anger becomes just a mood of the game, and it fades immediately.

If you're scratching your head right now, that's okay. I tried to explain something rather complicated in a few sentences that he knew required a book. The thing that both of these people have in common is that they are taking their reality and shifting it. People change their reality all of the time. I know that is true. I have read it on here. People are shaking their boxes and changing their lives. They are cutting out the negative and only letting in the positive and it is changing their game. Me: I keep pulling the pain card with my migraines in my game, and I am really tired of that. I am ready to change games. Like I said, if you know something to be true, but you don't utilize it and make it your own, then it does you no good.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


And here we are again. It is HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY with a twist. The twist is that there will be no dedications this week, because I just haven't been able to read, and keep up with your blogs, take notes, scroll youtube, and still do my vacation stuff. Turns out I am not Superwoman. Who knew? I have pondered several ideas for this week. I was all set to go with one of them and then decided to scratch it at the last minute. Turns out that it was something that I think would really turn my crank, but would probably make everyone else go, "This is B-O-R-I-N-G and a bit tedious. What was she thinking???" Well, I go on benders. I like certain songs and themes sometimes and go off on a tangent. I suppose it is like that old vinyl record player that gets stuck in the scratch on the record. For me, I have no problems listening to a song that I love over and over, and watching different footage to go along with it. In fact, I find it a bit fascinating how one song can speak to so many characters and stories so poignantly, and take my breath away each time. One of them even made me cry, quite unexpectedly, at the end. However, that was still a Robin Thing and not for everyone. So, the longer I thought on it, the worse the idea got. So, I axed it. The footage is still saved in my favorites. I may pull it out it a little at a time somehow or it may end up on my TV blog spaced out. I don't really know yet.

However, I do have a lot of saved footage in my youtube favorites of stuff I just like. It didn't have a specific destination. I just liked it. So, when I was doing my rethinking, I decided that now might be a good time to pull it out. Next week we will get back to the traditional HERE'S TO YOU footage that I dedicate to you lovely folks who pour your hearts out, and then I look for footage to speak to your story. Or I choose something to make you laugh. Whatever.

As always, don't forget to turn off my music player at the bottom of the page. (Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

Part 1:

Part 2:
You have to click here because the embed code has been disabled.

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

You have to click here because the embed code has been disabled...ugggh.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Not sure how much time I have, but I wanted to do a bit of a vacation update. We are still in Orlando at my timeshare (aka the financial noose around my neck). However, for these couple of weeks it has been pleasant instead of painful. My mom and I drove down and were here for a few days on our lonesome last week, which was nice. We got to relax, buy groceries, and more or less gear up for the arrival of everybody else.

My dad, brother, and sister-in-law flew in from Ohio on Thursday of last week. My mom and dad were married 22 years and have been divorced 22 years. This was a strange anniversary, of sorts, for them. I don't like to think about those numbers too long, because then it starts going places I really don't want to go. I really shouldn't have brought that up... Anyway, they get along really well now.

I hadn't seen my dad in a while, and really talked to him at length in a much longer time than that. He's lost chunks of his memory. It's not like with Alzheimer's when you forget what you ate this morning, but can remember 30 years ago with clarity. He remembers what he ate for breakfast just fine. The first inkling we had was when he got it wrong about his job history from 1960-1966, and where he was living at those times. My mom knew him then. He also completely forgot a roommate he had at that time. That person is just wiped from his memory ~ gone. She finally got him straight on his resume. But he could be just as mixed up about it a week from now. Those memories aren't sticking.

Later we were talking about this pretty traumatic experience when my brother broke his leg when he was a toddler. It ended up being traumatic for my dad because it happened while he was at work. He came home to find blood in the driveway, with a blood trail through the garage, and into the kitchen, and no one home. That is enough to scare anyone. What happened was that my little brother was napping, and woke up just in time when it was time to get me at the bus stop. Long story short: Mom put him on the back of the bike and told him to stick his feet out. He didn't. She felt terribly guilty, I walked home from the stop by myself, and Tim broke his leg. Anyway, dad not only doesn't remember that... he doesn't remember Tim's broken leg at all. Nothing about it. It has also been wiped.

The more we talk, the more things we find that are wiped from my dad's memory. Significant stuff has just been erased. My dad thinks it is because of his severe adrenal problems back in 1978. Of course, he wasn't the only one. It was sort of like watching a bizarro episode of The Four Stooges. One person would say, "Do you remember when thus and such happened?" And pretty much every time we could never get a concensus on it. In other words, it was really tough to find even one event that all of us remembered happening the same way. Or, in some cases, at all. The only thing that everyone nodded and agreed on was my brother's ongoing determination that one day he would fly. He had the red Superman cape from Halloween, and my mother relegated a coffee table to the back porch. My brother decided that was his ramp. I don't know how many times he got on that coffee table, ran down it with his arms held out in front of him like he was going to take off Superman style, and then landed with a thud and an expression on his face that was somewhere between dazed and confused. He did reveal to us that he had a dream that he could fly, which was why he was so persistent about the whole thing. My parents looked at each other and gave thanks that he never thought to climb to the roof of the house!

I am fairly certain that most of my problems stem from my severe adrenal problems. My adrenals pretty well crashed back in 2003. I still haven't bounced. My dad found a way to bounce back much faster with his because he didn't have migraines. When your adrenals go down, they can hit you "bad" in specific areas. His was his blood sugar. There was a time that he thought that the low blood sugar was going to kill him. It hit me in the hormones. It just keeps moving mine around and manipulating them so that my levels are always off and inducing a constant migraine. However, I am already getting a taste of the memory loss. That started back in 2005 and comes calling like an unwanted guest whenever it is inconvenient. If I am in the middle of a migraine, my speech is often impaired. I think it is because my ability to grasp and hold onto a thought or word is difficult. I suppose that gift is located somewhere close to where memories are stored, and something happens that causes the circuits to simply short out.

So, we discussed a vitamin protocol that he would have taken back then had he been the wiser. When I get home, I am going to try it. If I could pick and choose the people and events that I could wipe, well, then it might be worth it. But, I know it doesn't work like that... so I am going with the revised vitamin protocol.

So, this vacation has been full of some revelation for me. However, we also spent some time at The Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. Luck was not a lady. She was mean and nasty and took our money without even saying, "Thank You." Those machines were as tight as I've ever experienced them! We had several rousing games of Uno Attack. If you haven't played it and you like games, it really is fun. We laughed a lot! I also played shuffleboard for the first time. Friday and Saturday were long days and full of stuff. That is why Saturday night I got this HUGE migraine that carried over into Sunday. And the days since have been getting back to my regularly scheduled migraine.

Now, it is just Mom, Steve (my step-dad), and me. Things will be a lot more settled, since I live with them all of the time anyway. Everyone feels pretty free to go and do as they want. In other words, I don't feel pressured to knock myself out, even if I don't feel good, because I only have limited time with these people, and I probably won't see them again for a year.

And here you thought this was going to be a concise post. I would have made this shorter, but I didn't have the time! Oh, and I am thinking about doing something really weird for HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY. So brace yourselves.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Sometimes various areas of my life bleed into other areas of my life. Or, in this case, one of my blogs bleeds into another. There is this voice in my head screaming, "You really shouldn't be typing this here. This is a blog that belongs in TV JUNCTION FUNCTION." That voice is kind of high pitched and whiny and is really annoying. So, I make waving motions at my ear with my right hand and hope it goes away. It doesn't, so I just keep typing and hope that the tapping of the keys is loud enough to drown it out.

I really would like to go on about LOST. If I did that, I might never come up for air. Or my fingers might fall off altogether. I will save it for the TV FUNCTION JUNCTION blog... maybe. I can't guarantee that pieces of it might not spring up over here occasionally.

Last night was the series finale of 24. I have been on pins and needles since the season started. From the get-go there has been talk that Jack might not make it out alive. Horror of horrors. Honestly, it wasn't looking good. My last couple of blogs on my TV blog have been devoted strictly to this subject.

Let me tell what I love most about 24. First, it is like watching a 24 hour movie. Seriously. I got hooked on this show when I started buying it on DVD. It was like the unending action suspense movie. My heart rate went up and I thought, "This is like a cardio workout without the working out part." The next thing I liked was that it was good every season. There wasn't a single season that I walked away and thought, "Well, that one the writers really tanked." I also liked that MOST of the time that our President was a person of moral integrity who wanted to do the right thing. I saw how hard that choice was to make at times. Running the country is just not a job I want.

As for Jack and his counter-intelligence skills... I liked the fact that at the beginning he was always just a little bit behind. Sometimes the results were bad. However, he never gave up, and he always caught up a little at a time every show. It was like watching a runner gain ground. And sometimes lose a bit of ground, too. However, he was relentless. At the end, in the final hours, there was the beauty of watching it all unravel for the bad guys, watching Jack pick up speed, get in front of them, and put the whole ugly mess "down." Catastrophe averted. Bad guys lose.

This season started off more or less the same, but it took a bad detour. Our President, who is a person of moral integrity, became blinded by the forest for the trees. She wanted something that was GOOD so badly that she turned a blind eye to a whole lot of UNSPEAKABLE BAD to get it. When you do that, you tarnish the good, and it isn't good anymore. A lot of people tried to tell her that ~ people that she trusted. But she couldn't see it. And then it got ugly. And that is when I got that sick feeling in my stomach that our government (aka our President) was going to be the one to kill My Jack. Because he is the good guy who can't just let it go, even if it means that he is now working against the President.

Let me tell you, folks, it all came down to the wire. I thought My Jack was a goner. Fortunately, the President had that moment of revelation at the eleventh hour and FINALLY saw the bigger truth. As I am sitting on the couch, holding my breath, clutching the armrest, because My Jack is about to be executed by the Secret Service, the President makes "the phone call" and it is over. She then talks to him and apologizes. She says something like, "I'd give anything to take back the time. If I had listened to you, none of us would be in this mess. Now, you have two governments trying to track you down, one of them being ours. I, of course, will have to answer for what I have done here today. There will be consequences." And then she tells him to run. No one can become a ghost faster than My Jack.

Naturally, I was crying like an idiot. Not sure why. They didn't kill him. The President came to her senses and moral integrity actually won the day. It was a win.

After I clicked off the TV I thought about what she said, "I'd give anything to take back the time." And then she said something about having to live with the consequences for her choices. I suppose that is something to which we can all relate.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Ah.... my blogging friends, I am still on vacation. It is a mixture of intense fun and intense migraine. Go figure. I had two days of intense fun followed by a day of intense migraine (that was yesterday). Today is a day of mild migraine. The first round of family is now in the air and headed back for Ohio. The next wave arrives tomorrow. Today is a day of mild migraine. And here I sit. The upside is that it is not at McDonalds. The internet has been restored at the resort. Woohoo. I have been checking your blogs (catch as catch can over the past few days and commenting as time has allowed). I do fear that there will not be a HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY this week. The pissabilities are just not looking good. If you are still not familiar with this word. It is my contribution to the English language. I wrote a blog on it and explain its meaning in detail. I will come back and link it for you. You can read that blog (or not) for a vivid understanding of a word that I hope one day is recorded in Merriam Webster's Dictionary. Ideally, it would have my name beside it as the creator of said word, but I find that dubious at best.

During my blog reading today, I happened upon Carol's blog over at Carol's Prints. Carol is a wonderful writer, one of those writers that I feel really lucky to have found in this blogsphere. She has taught me a lot about the process of writing if you want to be published. She is trying to get published to the YA market. The way I see it, if you are that good, if all I have learned is the process, that means I have merely scratched the tip of a very large iceberg. Therefore, I always enjoy reading Carol's blogs because they are enjoyable, and I know that I will learn something as a writer. It is a two for one deal with Carol. Well... all that said, it is now a three for one deal with Carol, because she is doing a book give-away. She isn't giving away just one book. Nosireee. She is giving away LOTS of books. Carol tends to take an idea and say, "How big can we make this thing? And then takes it up a notch."

So, I have in my sidebar right now a little bit of information on Carol's book giveaway. I also have a link that you can click that will take you directly to the post of Carol's book giveaway. When you read her rules you will see all of the ways that you can get points for her giveaway. Well, one of those ways is this: when you post information about Carol's giveaway on your blog, and then they check it out and enter THEY NEED TO TELL YOU WHICH ONE OF HER FRIENDS REFERRED THEM TO HER BLOG, BECAUSE DESPITE HER IMPRESSIVE SKILLS SHE ISN'T A MIND READER. SO PLEASE TELL HER THAT ROBIN FROM YOUR DAILY DOSE SENT YOU WHEN YOU ENTER. Thanks guys, you are so awesome. Now, let's win some books!

Last of all, would you believe that NO ONE thought to remember to bring a camera to record this auspicious event???? However, my dad packed silverware. I was hatched from crazy people.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


And here we are again. It is HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY. To recap for any newbies to this event: The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. Now, let's get this party started. Oh, and if you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... Lastly, don't forget to turn off my music player at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the inconvenience.

One last thing, my vacation is cranking up. The rest of my family arrives this afternoon, so things are likely to get a bit crazier around here (in a good way). Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for everyone:

This one is for Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla:

This one is for Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos:

This one is for Cassandra at Cassagram:

This one is for Kate at The Cow Jumped Over The Moon:

This one is for Leftovers from Illumination:

This one is for Kimberly Franklin:

The embed code was diasabled so you have to click here, but this video is hilarious and totally worth it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yes, I am still on vacation. I think I am a blogging addict. Seriously, the rest of my family arrives tomorrow, so my blogging writing, reading, and commenting is about to be seriously hampered. In the meantime, I decided to share with you this mind-blowing little nugget I found on a fellow blogger's page. If you have read my "About Me," it says that I have started and stopped several novels. This is true. Until I watched this two minute video, I couldn't figure out WHY. After I watched it, it was painfully OBVIOUS. It freaking BLEW MY MIND. So, this is for anyone who is writing a novel, considering writing a novel, knows someone who is writing a novel, or just wants to laugh at those of us who have tried and failed. Turn off my music player at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In some ways, I think I knew what the problem was, but I didn't have a clear handle on it. I always said, "I can't get a through line on it." In other words, I can't see the ending. It never occurred to me that you have to write the ending FIRST. Duh. Now that seems obvious. You get an idea. A good idea and maybe you write the beginning. But, the next thing has to be the ending. You can write the middle in pieces or chronologically. Whatever. But, you have to write the ending at the start. You can always change it if something pivotal happens with your characters in the middle, and you start seeing them differently. I love that about writing. It is a fluid thing. As they come to life in your mind, things can change, and it might alter your ending, but that is okay. It just has to be there to be changed.

One of the best things about joining this blogosphere has been getting the opportunity to follow writers. All kinds of writers. People who write blogs. People who write for magazines. People who write novels. People who write for fun. People who write all of the above.

I haven't said much about my book project, but it is coming along. I am definitely more than halfway done, which is a HUGE milestone for me. I got stuck (because I couldn't see the end, but I didn't know that was why I was stuck) and then Kimberly posted her blog with this video. Mind blowing. That unstuck me. I didn't start writing, but I did start thinking. So, now my ending is coming together in my head, and I tinker now and again where I've left off, when I just feel the need to write *something.* However, I know that the next REAL writing I do will be THE END. And then it will be back to the middle.

Better yet, I am totally jazzed about picking up the novel I put down four years ago. You heard that right. I LOVED LOVED LOVED that idea. I wrote the first three chapters or so, and then "couldn't see the throughline," and gave it up. But it was a great idea (better than this one actually). And once I understood that I had to write the end first, I saw it. I now know how that book ends. I can see THAT ENDING better than this one. And the middle got clearer, too. Additionally, I can see it actually being a series. Too bad Janet Evanovich took the Numbers with her Stepanie Plum series, and Sue Grafton got the Alphabet with the Kinsey Millhone series. Drats. Well, it is what it is.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The times that I have wreaked the most damage and devastation to my life, and the lives of the people that I care most about, is when I was 100% certain that I knew what was doing.

I stole this challenge from Sharon at Musings of a Mercurial Woman and Liza at Middle Passages.

I received the Sunshine Award (among others) from Truthful Mommy at The Truth About Motherhood. Thank you Truthful Mommy for thinking of me! In turn, I am doling them a little at a time, so that it isn't overwhelming. Fortunately, this isn't one of those awards that requires you actually DO anything (like share stuff, or make up lies, or take pictures, etc). You just get to bask in the sunshine of the wonderfulness of it. The only requirement is to pass it on to 12 deserving bloggers. They, in turn, are to pass on the love.

1) Sharon at Musings of a Mercurial Woman

2) Purple Cow at Australian in Athens

3) Phoenix at Res Ipsa Loquitur

4) Chris at A Deliberate Life

5) Java at Never Growing Old

6) Kate at The Cow Jumped Over The Moon

7) Karen at Therefore I Blog

8) VKT at Chronicles of a Kindergarten Teacher

9) The Confessions of a Secret Writer: Kimberly Franklin

10) Excerpts from the Mind of Elizabeth Downie

11) Juliana at A Blonde Walks Into A Blog

12) Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla

All of you bring Sunshine into my life each time you blog. I wish that I could have given out more than 12 of these awards, because I appreciate all of you. If I didn't gift you with the award, and you are wondering why it is because 1) I ran out, 2) You already have the award, or 3) I know from things you have already written that you don't like the award thing, because you don't like thinking up people to keep the chain moving. So, there it is. I hope everyone has a sunshiney day. I am in Orlando and it is lovely here!

If you would, leave a comment letting me know that you know about the award. I will check back in a day or two and see who is still "in the dark." I will then post comments. But, I have fun calling my name. Gotta go....

Monday, May 17, 2010


Well, I made it to my vacation destination. Turns out that their Internet service is down and I am having to sit at the local McDonald's (uggh). I am hoping that the techie people resolve this issue soon. So, Your Daily Dose might not be quite so daily until they get this worked out..

I know that you’re just dying to know the end of the Was It Just a Dream? Blog that I started a few days ago! I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I hope that you’re a bit curious…

You will get your answer the best that I know it today. In order to tell you that story, I have to at least reference several others. And they are all very interesting stand-alone stories on their own. None of them are mine. One of them I don’t understand. One of them I would love to tell, and I might try, but I know that I won’t be able to tell it as well as my cousin, because I wasn’t there. I won’t do the story justice. Actually, all of these stories are kind of a mystery to me. With that in mind, here we go…

In May of 2008, my grandma died. My mom’s mom. She had Alzheimer’s and been “gone” for a long time. Her body finally left in May of 2008.

My dad’s mom, nanny, had died about ten years earlier. Her death caused this ripple effect in my family on my father’s side. (This is the part of the story that I don’t understand.) There was something that happened between my dad and my aunt that caused them both to be equally angry at one another. After nanny passed, that was it. My dad pretty much wrote off his sister and all of her family. Period. He remained close to his half-brother (they shared the same father), but everyone else other than my brother and I, were written off. That was hard for me, because I was pretty much always living out-of-state, so whenever I got vacation time it was difficult fitting everyone in. I had my mom’s family in the Akron area, my dad and brother in the Columbus area, and my dad’s family in the Athens area. However, with my dad not seeing his Athens relatives anymore, that made it difficult on me.

I kept in touch (loosely) with one of my cousins via email and got the “big” news from Athens. For instance, back in 2000, her husband was diagnosed with cancer. It had spread to his lymph nodes. I remember that being one of the few times at church that when asked for prayer requests I had one. He went into remission and survived that. I remember thinking what a miracle that was. I didn’t know much about cancer, but I thought that when it was in your lymph nodes, it was bad. His cancer came back in 2007 with a vengeance. I remember getting frequent emails this time with updates. He also passed in May of 2008 after fighting a fierce battle with cancer.

So, in May 2008, I missed my cousin’s husband funeral, but I went to my grandma’s funeral. However, I hadn’t seen my cousin in a LONG time. However, we had been emailing, so I told her that my mom and I were going to be in Ohio, and we would like to come and see her. So, on our way home that is what we did. So, at this “reunion” is my cousin, her son (who is now in college, which blows my mind), my mom, and little old me. We are catching up on a ton of stuff. Of course, most of her stuff has been a tortuous roller-coaster ride that lasted a year regarding her husband’s cancer. She ended her story with what happened in the hospital the last week of his life. It is one of those stories that literally leaves you breathless. I promise that if I can’t get her to write it down, I will do my best with it. (This is the story that I don’t think I can do justice because it is THAT GOOD.)

Before we got to her house, I was totally jazzed to tell her about my dream, because I was curious to get her take on the whole thing. Well, after she told her hospital story of her husband’s last week before he died (which you still don’t know), my dream seemed very anti-climactic. I was actually kinda embarrassed to even pull my dream out. But, I had already built it up before she told her story so there was no going back. With far less enthusiasm than I had at the start, I repeated for her my dream, up to and including the picture falling off the wall. And then I waited to hear what she had to say about the whole thing. And this is what happened next….

(This is inspiration stump at Lily Dale and I got the picture here.)

Her: Have you ever heard of this place called Lily Dale, New York?

Me: No.

Her: It’s a psychic hot spot for feminine energy. Sedona , Arizona is the psychic hot spot for masculine energy.

Me: Oh.

Her: I have gone there several times. Their busy time is in the summer. Certified mediums gather there and they do readings to the crowds. They also have Reiki healings sessions twice a day. You can also pay to have a reading done if there is a specific medium you like and that is what you want.

Me: I see. I’ve had readings done by a psychic in St. Augustine. She was very good.

Her: The reason I am telling you this is because I had this reading done and the medium was right about everything except this one thing. I sat down and the medium says to me, “Someone is coming through and she wants me to tell you that the bitch is here! Does that mean anything to you?” I told her that would be my mother.

I laughed. That sounded exactly like my aunt.

Her: This was where it got weird. The medium then said, “Well, your mother says to tell you that everything is fine. She is with her brother.”

We look at each other.

Her: All I could think was that your dad had died and I was going to come home to find out that there was another funeral waiting for me. I get home and he is very much alive. I thought she got it wrong. And here you are with your dream to validate my reading. Maybe she got it exactly right.

Me: What do you think about the picture falling off the wall?

Her: That has nanny written all over it.

That night we pored through photo albums. I found several pictures of the same boy at different ages that looked like he could be the younger version of the man in my dreams. My cousin had no idea who was and there was no name, age, or anything else on any of the photos to identify him.

Was it just a dream or did I have a conversation with my nanny and meet an uncle I never knew (who is now dead) in said dream? I know that lots of people would lean toward the just a dream theory and forgotten about it a looong time ago. I might have done that, too, if not for a few things: 1) It felt so real (some dreams you know are your subconscious trying to work through your issues) 2) My picture falling off my dad’s wall 3) My dream being validated by my cousin’s reading and vice versa, and 4) Finding mysterious unlabeled photos in the family photo albums of this young boy through the years that look suspiciously like the man in my dreams (they are school pictures).

So, if this dream was real and true and my nanny had a son, who is now dead, and whose name I will likely never know, why was it so important that she tell me? I think it was because it wasn’t long after that she knew that I was going to be making a trip to Ohio. My dream was to validate my cousin’s reading. Her reading was to validate my dream. And the picture falling off the wall was my nanny telling my father to get a clue. Nanny always did shoot straight from the hip. She was never one to sweeten it up for you to make it go down any easier. She called a spade a spade. My dad was lucky that picture didn’t land on his head. So, there you have it… you can decide for yourself if it was just a dream.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


And here we are again. It is HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY. To recap for any newbies to this event: The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. Now, let's get this party started. Oh, and if you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... Lastly, don't forget to turn off my music player at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the inconvenience.

One last thing, I might not blog tomorrow because I am embarking on a vacation, (what's that, you say? a vacation? yes.) but it will be a restful one and I'm taking my laptop. So, I will pick up with the Part 2 of the Dream on my next blog. Yes, there is a Part 2. How's that for a cliffhanger? Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for Kate at The Cow Jumped Over The Moon:

This one is for Bathwater at Memento Mori:

You have to click here because the user disabled the embed feature!

This one is for Excerpts of the mind of Elizabeth Downie:

This one is for Sharon at Musings of a Mercurial Woman:

This one is for Purple Cow at Australian in Athens:

This one is for Phoenix at Res Ipsa Loquitur:

This one is for Lira at The Struggling Actress(I know it is long. You don't need to watch it all to get the gist. However, I give you fair warning: You might get sucked in b/c it is freaking awesome. And, Lira, I am going to cheat and give you a clue about your footage so that you don't send me an email: Hustle.):

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The dreams that I have in the morning just before I wake up are always the most vivid. Of course, any dream that I have just before I wake up will be vivid, particularly if it causes me to wake up.

I suppose it was about two years ago that I had THIS dream. I was with my father and we were in Athens, Ohio. I would say that we were walking, but we weren't. We were upright, about two feet above the ground, and moving very fast. Say 55-60mph. We were traveling along familiar roads where my father's family lived. I kinda sorta knew where we were. And we were talking to each other, but we were not using our mouths. Yeah, we were communicating via thoughts.

Me: Where are we going?

Him: To Nanny's house. (Nanny was his mother.)

We rounded a curve in the road and there it was, except it looked very different. There was no front porch. No built-on garage. My cousin's trailer was not there. There were no fields for gardening. It was just a little white house, but I recognized it. My dad didn't stop.

Me: (turning) You're passing it.

Him: That isn't the house that I'm talking about.

We continued on. Next thing I knew we were in an old house that I didn't recall seeing before. It was unfurnished with wood flooring. I turned around and there was Nanny. (Nanny is dead.) She is young. She is in her 30s, but I know it is her. She is dressed up and wearing bright red lipstick. Nanny loved red lipstick. Nanny also had a thing for fashion and accessories and all that stuff.

Nanny: I wanted you to see my house.

Me: Okay.

Nanny: Can I show you around?

Me: Sure.

We walked around the downstairs and looked at the empty living area and kitchen. We arrived at the stairs that take us upstairs.

Nanny: The stairs go upstairs to the bedrooms. I don't like the stairs.

Me: Oh. Do you want me to see the bedrooms?

Nanny: Yes. Let's go. I just don't like the stairs.

Me: Okay.

Nanny: Be careful on the stairs.

The rooms here were small and unfurnished. There wasn't much to see, but we looked around. Then we went back downstairs. Dad stayed downstairs and was waiting on us.

Nanny: I have something important to tell you. Something that no one knows. I had another child. A son and I want you to meet him.

I was stunned. I turned around and there he was. He had sandy hair. Nice white teeth. Nice smile. A hint of freckles. A nice looking young man. He was also around the age of 30. I knew that he was dead, though Nanny didn't say so.

The Man: I never understood why my mother didn't love me until I got here. Now it makes sense. She tried to love me, but she just couldn't quite do it. It wasn't that I had a terrible life. It just didn't make sense.

It was right about that time that I woke up and sat straight up in bed gasping for air. Whooosh. I told my mother about this dream start to finish and asked, "Is there something that you know that I don't know?" She didn't know anything. So, that meant I was calling my father, because this dream had me Freaked Out. I expected my dad to be a little bit more open to the possibility of my dream being at least possible, but he shot it down as sheer fantasy, and a wild imagination on my part.

Later that afternoon, I had an email from dad. I don't remember precisely how he worded it, but it read something like this: "I don't know if this means anything, but after we spoke, I noticed that sometime during the night your picture fell off the wall."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Well, this is going to be a little bit different. I say that like it's unusual... I am still writing my book. My muse is coming and going, but not gone. I picked up a Richard Bach novel on Monday that I read a long time ago and started it again. I would have preferred to read ILLUSIONS again, but it is stowed somewhere in a box or crate in my storage unit, amidst hundreds of other books, and I have no idea where to even begin looking for it. However, my mother has a copy of RUNNING FROM SAFETY right here at the house. I gave it to her a long time ago. I decided that it wouldn't interfere with my own writing process, so it went with me to my doctor's appointment on Monday.

Honestly, I didn't make it very far into the book. I kept getting stopped by actual doctor stuff, other interruptions, and my need to ponder something I read. Here are a few quotes from the book that stopped me in my tracks:

We have a saying: "An excess of heart, a shortage of brain." The way he said the words, his proverb was sad truth.
Shepherd nodded. "In 1944, when I told you that time was not the wall for me that it was for you. You promised that in fifty years you'd write a book to take back, just for the boy you were, everything you know. What to look out for, how to be happy, knowledge to save your life, things you wish you'd known when you were him."

"No. Really?" The wind-streamers ruffled in a thermal cresting the mountaintop. "What a sweet idea."

Shepherd cleared his throat. "It's fifty years later, Richard." He shifted, uncomfortable in his seat. "He's waiting back there, the boy that you were. You promised."

"I don't remember any promise."

The angel looked at me as though I had sold my soul. The words came out a little harsh, I thought, but neither boy nor angel knows how hard it is to write. "Tell him I forgot the promise, but that everything is going to work out all right and he's not to worry."

Shepherd sighed. "Ah, Richard," he said. "Do promises to children mean nothing to you?"

"Not when keeping them is going to break their heart! He doesn't want to know there are storms ahead, that before long he'll be the only one of his family left alive, he doesn't want to know about divorce and betrayal and bankruptcy, that he won't marry the woman of his heart for another thirty-five years. Shepherd, one year is forever to a nine-year-old. You're right, that promise means nothing!"
"Books are written on years turned inside out by ideas that never let go until you get them in print, and even then writing's a last resort, a desperate ransom you pay to get your life back."
....this could show him what's important in a lifetime! You find what you love and learn everything about it. You bet your life on what you know and you run from safety, off your mountain into the air, trusting the Principles of Flight to bring you soaring up on lift you cannot see with your eyes.

Yep, I made it to page 20. At this rate, I should have it finished sometime around Christmas. Of course, I have lots of other things slowing me down, too. I am trying to get caught up on all of my taped TV shows on the DVR, so that they don't get recorded over. And I am still watching 24 and LOST in real time on the TV. Of course, they are both really hurting my heart. I know that a lot of people don't understand how a TV show, movie, or book could hurt your heart. Or they can understand how a book can hurt your heart but not a TV show (or a movie). That I don't understand. They are all stories. The only difference is that one is told via the written word and the other is acted out. In some ways a TV show creates a stronger bond, because your attachment to the characters happens over a longer period of time. However, it all comes back to how well the story is told. If the story is well-written, it can break your heart. Period. Last week, at the end of LOST, I was a crying, drippy mess. I am really worried about what is in store for me this week. It makes me hurt... To watch this clip you have to turn off the sound on my music player at the bottom of the page...

Monday, May 10, 2010


It has occurred to me that I got it wrong again. Not completely wrong. Just somewhat wrong. Do you remember my interpretation of my recent dream? I didn't get it quite right. I knew that I was somewhere off the target because I really wasn't dealing with forgiveness issues. I did an inward trek and I was good. I'm not saying that it wasn't a yuck situation and there were no good choices, but I did what I had to do, and I know it, and I'm good with it. So, that means I wasn't the person yelling at my mom (who was actually me) in the dream. That begs the question of who was...

"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

Yesterday I got a call from H-girl on the cell phone that she shares with C-Man to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Our conversation didn't last very long. It went something like this:

Her: Happy Mother's Day.

Me: Thank You. What are you doing?

Her: Putting on fake toenails.

Me: Seriously? Why?

Her: Because they're cool.

Me: What's wrong with your real ones?

Her: Nothing. But I've glued my fingers together with the glue that comes with them, and I can't get my fingers apart.

Me: That's not good. Read the instructions on the bottle to see what it says to do if this happens.

Her: It says to run your fingers under hot water and gently pull apart.

Me: Well, you should probably do that sooner rather than later. Why don't I talk to your brother while you take care of that.

Her: Okay.

Him: Hi Mommy.

Me: Hey, whatcha doing?

Him: Playing a video game.

Me: Oh. (I don't ask questions because this will initiate a detailed explanation of the game.) So, how's school going.

Him: Much better.

This conversation goes on for about five minutes with details of his classes.

Me: Has your sister gotten her fingers unstuck yet?

Him: No ma'am.

Me: Okay, well, have her call me back when she does. Love you.

Him: Love you, too. Bye.

Me: Bye.

She didn't call back and I didn't expect her to. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was excellent strategy on her part. She could claim to have made the Mother's Day call, and not feel guilty, and at the same time she picked a time to call when she knew I would tell her to get off the phone to take care of a more pressing problem (her glued fingers). She covered all of the bases. She is one smart little cookie, that one.

When my ex and I divorced, C-Man took it hard, but H-Girl was wrecked. At the time, I know that she laid the blame squarely at the feet of her father. I will never forget driving her home from something within six months of the divorce. She liked to make up songs. It drove C-Man crazy, because they were tuneless, and monotone, and she flew by the seat of her pants with them. However, when she and I were alone in the car, I let her sing as many of them as she wanted. They were living in the apartment, and she was singing about how much she hated the apartment, and how she wished she still lived in the old house, and that it was all daddy's fault. The way that she worded the whole thing was so perceptive that she blew me away. I mean she nailed it.

A year later, C-Man moved in with his grandparents, and it was just H-Girl in the apartment, and I was moving to FL because I was so sick. She did very poorly in school that year, and I talked to my ex about it because H-Girl was not flourishing at all. I was hanging by a thread, but she was going down. I asked him to let her move in with me and my parents in FL the following school year. He told me that she could stay with me that summer, and if it worked out, than yes. We were one month into the summer when something he said alerted me to the fact that no matter how it worked out, it was no. He just wanted free babysitting for the summer. I was still so sick and he was still taking advantage of me. He made me so angry that when I got C-Man for a week-long visit at the six week mark, I took them both back after that. I told him that I wasn't free babysitting.

When my ex and I divorced, it was always my plan to have H-girl move back in with me at the point that I got well. I never foresaw the move to FL. In fact, I didn't think I would still be this sick now. I thought that right about now would be when I was GOOD again. It would be when I was at my best again. Fully functional and independent. Instead... I can't even take care of me. I am still living with my parents.

So, who was that in my subconscious? Who do I think is so angry with me? Who do I think blames me for leaving them in the crumbling house of pain? Who feels abandoned and angry? I'd give you three guesses, but I don't think you need any.

She gives me a lot of "whatever" when I call, and she might still have her fingers stuck together. Does she love me? Yes. Is she angry with me? Yes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I just watched the video from HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY that I dedicated to all of the moms with my mom. It made both of us cry. That was our sentimental Mother's Day moment. I just finished reading all of the blogs I follow. Almost all were about Mother's Day and were poignant and nostalgic. The truth is that being a mom is the job that never ends. It is also the job you will love the most, but will give you the most frustration and the most reward. Even though C-Man and H-Girl are not my biological children, I know that you can love other people more than yourself. It doesn't have anything to do with biology. I also know what it is like to love like that and lose them.... not to death, but to divorce. So, I could write a piece today from the perspective of a parent or a child. I know what both sides of that coin look like.

I want to tell you about the day that my mother became "real" to me. There was one day when I was in junior high school that my mother lost it for about thirty seconds, and I got to see her as a person, and not just a mom. At that time, we were driving to Zanesville (in Ohio) for me to see an allergist. I was having a really bad time with allergies, and there was an allergist there who was trying some alternative stuff that was actually helping. We were on our way home, which required getting onto the highway, and that involved merging into traffic.

Here comes the "getting real" part. Before I share this, I have to put it into perspective for you. There just isn't a more straight arrow than my mom. Period. Not only was there a no cursing rule at my house, there was a no word that sounds remotely like it could be a variation of a curse word rule at our house. So that eliminated things like frick, frack, ding, dang, durn, darn, etc. If you went there, you just had to keep on rolling with it. My brother got really good at this sort of thing when he got caught. He made up crazy words. Dingbingzingerpollywantacracker. And then he'd smile like a choir boy.

Back to the merging into traffic.... Apparently, when we merged some guy felt like my mom cut him off and he gave her the finger. I am not sure what about that hit her button. I know that she felt like she did not cut him and did not deserve the finger, but most days she would have just let this slide. Not today. She rolled down her window. And I mean she rolled it down by hand. It was wintertime and it was pre-electric windows. So, she applied some elbow work action to roll down the window, stuck her hand out the window, and GAVE HIM THE FINGER. And then she screamed as loud as she could, "TO YOU TOO, BUDDY!"

Meanwhile, I am in awe. Before this incident, I was enjoying the rare treat of a vanilla shake from McDonald's. It was now hanging by a thread in my hands. I was lucky I didn't drop it outright. I might have gotten the finger, too, because she was on a roll. Eventually, I remembered my shake and started working on that. It was a much safer pastime than commenting on what I had just witnessed.

In hindsight, am I glad that my mom had such a strict no cursing policy at home? Absolutely. Am I glad that my parents were/are the kind of people who don't incorporate that kind of talk into their everyday speech? A hundred times yes. Do I think you can turn it on and off at will? No. People who think that they can talk that way at work and with their friends, but not around their kids, are fooling themselves. They will slip and their kids will talk that way. Honestly, it is what it is with an adult. But a kid that curses is bad. They call it potty mouth because it stinks.

However, getting a glimpse of my mother as a person, and not just a mom, that was pretty awesome.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Thank you Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos for this award. I do suppose that I do qualify since my blogs are all over the place. That is my way of saying that I don't stick to any one topic matter. I recently read that if you want to increase your blog readership that you really should try to find a core topic matter and stick to it. I just sighed and shook my head when I read that. A few days later I got this award. It seems like a sign.

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Rule #1 - Gratitude - Completed (see above.)

Rule #2
(7 Things about Me)

1. This week I sold my car. It is to cut down on my expenses, but I also don't feel very safe as a driver anymore. Sometimes my memory just goes and I can't remember the directions on how to get to familiar places. It always comes back, but it is unnerving.

2. I don't understand politics. Not really. Not in my country or around the world. Everyone who thinks they know how to fix it is so aggressive in their opinion that they are right and everyone else is wrong that it just makes it more confusing. All I know is that more people are out of work, people are angry, and this country is spending money we don't have. I feel like I am on the Titanic.

3. When I feel good, I love to sing karaoke. Seriously, that is one of my favorite things to do.

4. I think something bad happened to me in water in a past life. Nothing bad has happened to me in this life in water, but ever since I was a kid, every time I'd get out of a pool or the ocean, I'd have a moment. It was that moment of standing there being wet that it would hit me. I'd get this unexplainable creepy feeling that something really bad happened EVERY TIME. I began to hate to go swimming just to avoid getting that feeling that came after I got out of the pool. This is the first time I've ever put this on paper because it's weird.

5. I hate flip flops. Call me crazy. I don't like that piece of plastic or fabric (depending on the shoe) that goes between my toes. That's it. Everything else is fine, but I don't like the thing between my toes. I love sandals. I hate flip flops.

6. I carry a jacket with me pretty much everywhere I go. In the summer, restaurants crank the a/c so high they freeze me right up. Back when I had a car, I always kept a jacket in there. Now, well, I will have to keep one in my mom's car. But, I never leave home without a jacket.

7. I say the wrong thing all the time. I say the right thing sometimes. I'd like to swap those two.

Rule #3
15 Recently discovered worthy bloggers. There is good and bad news here. Since they have to be recently discovered that means I can't rely on people who I know read my blog and actually like my writing. However, there is a ray of light here. It doesn't say that they have to like MY writing. In fact, they can think my writing sucks wind. It is my opinion about their writing that is key here. Well, that changes everything. Of course, I am not a person who discovers bloggers all that quickly. I tend to go about that process rather slowly.... so recently discovered is all relative. Here are my 15:

The Novelist at A Novel Experiment
Carol at Carol's Prints
Excerpts from the mind of Elizabeth Downie
Confessions: The Secret Life of a Writer ~ Kimberly Franklin
Lady Blah Blah
Liza Carens Salerno at Middle Passages
Janna Qualman at Something She Wrote
Kate at The Cow Jumped Over The Moon
Caution Flag at The Human Race 600
Karen at Therefore I Blog
Kel at Between the Lines
Tawna Fenske at Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing
Dandy at Spontaneous Clapping
Misery at Leftovers at Illumination
VKT at The Chronicles of a Veteran Kindergarten Teacher

Congratulations people for being versatile or just excellent writers!

If I didn't select you, it might mean that you are not new to my blog, don't like getting awards, or I know that you are busy right now with other things. You know that I will show you the love in some other way soon!

Rule #4 - I left a comment on each person's blog. In almost every case it felt very inappropriate. Just about every blog was a sentimental piece or a person in crisis or the sharing of a personal trauma or something just lovely. In any event, my note about leaving an award didn't sit well with me. In several cases, I had already commented on the blog and the subject matter at hand, but still... And then there were the really awkward ones... the people who I have only just started following and really haven't even had time to leave many comments for, because they are just *that new,* and they get this award message. They must be thinking who is this person? Well, it is someone trying to abide by the terms of the award and choosing newly discovered bloggers to pass this award on to per the rules.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I should be blogging about this award that I got from Miss Angie (I will try to do it tomorrow Miss Angie), but I just don't feel like it today. I looked at my BEING ROBIN post to see if any of the things on my "regret" list felt like they really wanted to jump onto the paper today. Nope. Not really. Then I thought about my doctor appointment on Monday with my primary care doctor. The appointment itself wasn't all that significant; it was mostly to catch her up on my appointment with the specialist.

While I was waiting, there was one of those Health magazines in the lobby. It was a slim magazine. It had a short article on Michael J. Fox and an excerpt from his book. He has been living with Parkinson's for 19 years now. The excerpt was fairly short and his spirit (now) is amazing. I tried to imagine what it must have been like in the beginning when his career was still "on top." Who didn't love Michael J. Fox? If you didn't love him from FAMILY TIES, then he grabbed you with the BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY, and if he missed you there, he got you with SPIN CITY. And there were lots of other movies thrown in, if none of those managed to snag you. He was on top with SPIN CITY when the Parkinson's just made it impossible for him to maintain that pace.

I remember reading that it started out with trigger finger. I'd never heard of it before I read that. What is that I thought? Your finger just gets stuck. Non- bendy. First symptom of Parkinson's for him was trigger finger. He was 29 years old and the world was his oyster, except that he had trigger finger. Of course, other symptoms slowly revealed themselves, and eventually he had to quit SPIN CITY and Charlie Sheen took it over. Charlie Sheen isn't Michael J. Fox. To be fair, no one is Michael J. Fox but the man himself.

I could be wrong, but I bet he spent some time engaged in some anger about having Parkinson's and questioning God and fate about the why of it all.

"It may seem hard to believe, but it's catastrophe that offers the most promise for an even richer life. This is the gateway to the good stuff. In other words, you never truly know which way the wind is blowing until the shit hits the fan."
— Michael J. Fox

Then, he dug in and learned all he could (he said that in the excerpt) because you can't conquer something you don't understand.

This might sound crazy to you, but I believe that Parkinson's needed Michael J. Fox. Parkinson's needed a Face. Michael J. Fox has raised more money for Parkinson's than anyone else (as an individual). He has also promoted more awareness, understanding, and compassion of this disease than there was before. And Michael J. Fox remains optimistic. I think it is inherent to his personality, which is all part of the Grand Design, and I think that Mr. Fox is starting to see how important his role in this thing is. I don't think he's asking "why" anymore. I think he knows.

At the end of the excerpt he quoted Christopher Reeve, and it drove the feeling home for me.

"Chris[topher] Reeve wisely parsed the difference between optimism and hope. Unlike optimism, he said, 'Hope is the product of knowledge and the projection of where the knowledge can take us."
— Michael J. Fox (Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist)

Sometimes an illness, a disease, or a debilitation needs a Face in order for people to feel compassion. Superman had to become a paraplegic in order for us as people to look at people in wheelchairs differently. It changed his life journey. And, in turn, he changed the lives of so many others for the better. I wonder when his internal switch flipped to know that he wasn't cursed, he was one of the chosen ones?

You can click here to see an interview with Michael J. Fox about Parkinson's and his new book.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


And here we are again. It is HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY. As it happens, Mother's Day is on Sunday, so this is a particularly special HERE'S TO YOU event. There is one piece of video footage for all of you moms *sigh* to enjoy. To recap for any newbies to this event: The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. Now, let's get this party started. Oh, and if you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... Lastly, don't forget to turn off my music player at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the inconvenience.

This one is for Kimberly Franklin (I really only wanted the first scene ~ the first two minutes ~ but you get what you get):

This one is for Chris at A Deliberate Life:

This one is for LEFTOVERS from ILLUMINATION:

This one is for Miss Angle at My So-Called Chaos:

This one is for all of the moms for Mother's Day. Unfortunately YouTube failed me. So, you have to click here and then find then click again (sorry) on the video called Best Day. It is worth all of this effort. I promise.

I was looking for something for Sharon at Musings of a Mercurial Woman. Truth is I found a lot of possibles that kinda said what I was looking for, but didn't quite get there. So, then I started trolling LOST footage. You see, she wrote this blog on contentment that was questioning when is enough, enough? If you watch any TV at all you know that LOST is a show about a plane that crashed on an island, so it is about people starting over with nothing. So, they are relearning all kinds of life lessons. And then I found *the* footage. If you are a new blog reader you may not know what I am talking about, but it is the Ben Linus footage that broke my heart and turned me into a puddle not so long ago. After yesterday's blog on forgiveness, the timing just couldn't be better. So, I am not really sure who I am dedicating this to... probably to me. But, stop by Sharon's blog anyway...