Friday, August 31, 2012

Once Upon A Time

I haven't posted one of these in a while. I figure I better get busy because the Fall season is upon us and I haven't done much recapping of what was good about last season. I hardly think one post qualifies! I am going to start limiting these posts to my TV blog, so if you like this sort of thing, you should start following that blog. If I think of it I will make a notation that I have posted on my regular blog and link it in. However, I wouldn't place any bets on my remembering to actually accomplish this feat.

As I mentioned the last time I posted like this, picking one scene out of a season is extremely difficult. With this show, I could not do it. I thought I had it, but then I changed my mind. The show is JJ Abram's Once Upon A Time. The premise of that show is that the Evil Queen placed a curse on all of the storybook characters taking away their Happy Ever Afters. Instead, they no longer know who they are and live in our world in a town called Storybrook, Maine. They cannot leave the town. The only one who knows the truth of the matter is the Evil Queen (Regina) who is the Mayor of the town and Rumpelstiltskin (Mr. Gold). Regina's adopted son suspects the truth when he reads a book of Fairytales provided by his teacher (Snow White) and becomes determined to save the town.

JJ Abrams is also known for Felicity, Alias, Lost, and Alcatraz. I know that he has numerous movie projects to his credit. The only one immediately coming to mind is the newest Star Trek movie (the prequel). Whenever I see his name attached to something I am willing to give it a whirl. His imagination is fearless. I like that about him.

Anyway, Once Upon A Time embraced many of the style points that made Lost so much fun. It, too, rockets back and forth between past and present to tell the story. Even though the characters don't remember who they are, it doesn't change your choices so much. People don't change at the CORE. In other words, you are who you are. So, as they face challenges in this "foreign" world, the story often juxtaposes to their past when they faced a similar challenge. All of these characters are onions. I love that. Mostly because you don't really expect it in a fairy tale. In the fairy tale good is good and bad is bad. Black is black and white is white. There really was no grey. In Once Upon A Time you discover that the story has a lot more shading than you originally thought.

And people aren't just born evil. It was a JOURNEY. And it is walking that mile in their shoes that is always the most interesting part. So, you start out hating the Evil Queen because she is just so darn hateful and evil. And then at the end you find out how she got that way and it is like being turned on your head. Evil isn't born; it's made. And while you wish she had made different choices and could embrace things like forgiveness, those things, too, are taught. What happens when you are raised by evil?

So, I am going to show you two clips. The first one is a combo clip. I would have liked to show you a clip from episode 18 that really showed what happened to Regina to turn her evil, but Disney has pulled it off of youtube. This clip has pieces of it in there, along with other stuff, so it should give you a pretty good picture of what happened.

That episode changed everything we thought about Regina. She was a girl in love with a boy. She had a controlling mother who abused magic for her own ends. A little girl, Snow White, found out about this love that Regina had for the stable boy and encouraged Regina to marry him. Regina decided to leave home with her love, but told Snow that she must not tell anyone, especially her mother. However, Snow was grieving for her own mother, so when Regina's mother began to question Snow about Regina, Snow was an easy target. She easily gave up Regina's secrets, believing all that false concern Regina's mother expressed. And then Regina's mother found Regina and her love and killed him. She then forced Regina into a marriage with the king. When Regina found out what Snow had done, her heart hardened and she blamed her, her father, the whole world for her misery. They would all pay for Daniel's death. They would all be just as miserable as she was. The opposite of love isn't apathy. It is hate. And her hate just ate her alive.

Now, was it unrealistic to expect a little girl to keep a big secret like that? Of course. Did Snow reveal that secret to hurt Regina? Of course not. She thought that Regina's mother loved her in the same way that her own mother had loved her. She didn't know how wrong she was. She didn't know what kind of person Regina's mother was. She didn't understand these people at all. She was a child. However, Regina's pain over the loss of her love never allowed her to see Snow that way.

And that is what makes this scene the best of the season...

Ironically, they are both doing the things they are doing out of love. Regina is doing what she is doing out of a twisted love for Daniel. Snow is doing what she is doing out of a pure love for the man she has come to call Charming. Regina thinks that bringing a non-death to Snow White will bring her peace. It won't. She doesn't yet get that because what she really wants is Daniel back and nothing will give her that. However, Snow will have her peace because she is giving the man she loves safety, even it is at her own expense. They are living on the opposite sides of the emotional spectrum. Ironically, watching this scene I feel more sorry for Regina than I do Snow White. She has a long way to go before she will know any peace in her life.

Until you dig out all of the junk there is no room for any good stuff in your life.

image found here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How Can We Make This Fun?

We have been back home for a few days and I have been meaning to blog, but I have been busy catching up. Deep breath. Slow down. And here we are.

I had to look over my last blog to see where I ended. St. Augustine Monday morning. I was about to meet a fellow blogger.

Well, that was so much fun. My mom and I met JJ and his wife in downtown St. Augustine at a restaurant whose name I can no longer remember. However, it was lovely. And the company was great. Meeting fellow bloggers is truly a fantastic experience. You finally get to put a face and a voice to the words. And I loved JJ's wife. She is a gem of a person. Lunch went by very quickly, as it always seems to when you are having such an enjoyable time, and we promised to try and get together again.

Mom and I spent the rest of the week in the car traveling back and forth from St. Augustine to Jacksonville, Eulee (Fernandina), or South Georgia area (Kingsland, St. Mary's) to look at real estate. We left early and got home late each day. However, we did learn a lot about what was happening in the real estate market in general, what sort of house we wanted in specific, what area we preferred in each location, etc. The time was well spent, but we were both worn out by the end of the week.

It was hard to believe that when Saturday rolled around we still hadn't seen the beach. Gah.

I put another call into JJ and his wife and we met up again and we met at a restaurant on the beach and sat on the screened porch. Now, that was perfect. No sand. No actual water in my toes. But the view was amazing. And the breeze was fantastic. Of course, the company makes any situation delightful and this was no exception. We sipped on tea and then had an exceptional meal. They then came to our resort to do some more porch sitting so that we could finish out our visit. It was a lovely way to finish out our vacation.

image found on facebook, of course

Monday, August 20, 2012

Are You Keeping The Toxic Junk?

I am on vacation again. I know, it is insane.

A person can barely drag me out of the house and now I am everywhere.

Mom and I are in St. Augustine for the week. We stayed last night in Jax with a friend of hers from church (back from when we lived here a few years ago). And are considering moving back to the area, so one of the things we will be doing this trip is looking at real estate. Yeah, this is looking less like a vaca and more like work. I KNOW!

However, it hasn't really started yet, so I have nothing to report on the house hunting yet. Aren't you thrilled????

I am so excited about meeting fellow blogger and his wife today for lunch. So excited that I am awake at 7am. Okay, a migraine woke me up. But I am still seriously excited. And I will probably go back to bed for a nap once my pain pills hit and this blog is done. But still... so psyched!!!

When things are on my mind and then I dream about them, I don't know if it was a chicken or the egg thing. Were they on my mind causing the dream or did I dream about them causing me to think about them? Does this happen to anyone else?

Yesterday, while at my mom's friend's house on Super Soul Sunday on OWN Oprah pulled out an interview she did with Deepak Choprah. He is a doctor who was an MD that just wasn't finding the answers he was looking for in traditional medicine and started looking in alternative medicine. Turns out that that there are LOTS of answers there. Shocking, I know. Right? At that time, I think he was promoting his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. I know I have all the words. Could be in the wrong order. Anyway, it was fascinating.

There were several things that I took away "hard" from that interview (meaning that they really hit home). The first was that the body perceives every emotion about something the same way as it does the action itself. So, in my case, I spent three years wrapped in daily anxiety to the point that they were causing excruciating migraines over what to do about my marriage. The thing was my SPIRIT already knew what I needed to do: get out. It was toxic. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be having these horrible migraines. Why did it take three years of migraines that debilitated my health so thoroughly? I believed in the vows I said, yada yada yada. However, my SPIRIT knew that it was killing me and tried to tell me. Anyway, the worry about what to do.... Do I stay? Do I go? That was as bad as the divorce itself. And that was terrible. As anyone who has been through it can tell you.

Another example, every time you relive the awful thing your former spouse did to you, you might as well be right back there. The body/spirit doesn't care about what is actually happening. All it cares about is your emotion to it. So, if you stay stuck on something for ten years, you might as well as have never left it. Another example: if it takes you two years of worrying about whether or not to get a surgery, you have done yourself more harm than good. You have essentially been in that surgery for two years. The body doesn't care what IS, it operates only on what your emotional state thinks IS. Our emotions are more powerful than we understand.

The doctor talked about a study that was done with some type of carcinogen (or other toxic food) that was given to lab animals. I think rats. Anyway, as expected almost all of the groupings died. Only one grouping survived. Maybe they were hamsters. Not sure now. It was such a bombardment of information. Anyway, what made the difference for the surviving group was that before they were fed, the scientist picked them each up, held them, petted them, talked to them, and loved on them. That difference changed how that food was processed. What was toxic turned to something non-toxic in their bodies.

The lesson about food for you and me is to never eat while we are angry, according to Chopra. That will make even good food toxic. Better to skip the meal. And never eat with people that you do not like. Our bodies respond to so many things on a cellular level.

Well, I will try to write more later this week. I know there is more rattling around in this brain. I am just not thinking of it. Plus, I will be able to report on my fascinating meeting with fellow blogger, JJ, The Disconnected Writer. That, all by itself, is something to look forward to reading!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Good Stuff

Things went into overdrive insane around here prior to our trip to Ohio and I just couldn't write. I really hate when that happens because then all of the writing just piles up. Then I am totally overloaded with stuff to tell you. And then I feel like I am back to the bullet point post in order to get it all out. Good thing I know you just LOVE them.

  • Okay, so a long time ago my parents came to the obvious conclusion that this house had to go up for sale because it was just too much house, too much mortgage, simply too much. The question was where to move? And when to put it on the market? All that stuff.
  • The problems where many. But the biggest lie in that my mom really wants to move back to very south GA (bordering on N. FL), very close to where we used to live and my step-dad has decided he likes it right here. There really isn't a compromise there.
  • I also want to move back to the FL area.
  • Just before the vacation the whole thing came to a head. That would be a blow-out argument in the kitchen for the inquisitive minds. Step-dad yelled that he was staying here. Mom calmly said okay. And then it was over. She did add that we were going, though.
  • And it has been very odd since then. I honestly have no idea what will happen.
  • When we went to Ohio, we were strongly thinking about changing our plan and moving there instead. The reasons to go are many. All of the family is there. Mom is turning 70 this year. We have friends there, too. The reason against is that winters are brutal. Amazing that the con can have so much influence, but I really can't imagine doing that again.
  • I hate winter. And mom isn't a fan, either.
  • However, my old drama teacher from high school, who I loved loved loved, is back to selling real estate and she showed us some houses. We had lunch with her on Monday and looked at houses on Tuesday. It was so much fun.
  • I think I am skipping ahead....
  • Our first stop was actually Akron. We had a lovely memorial service for my aunt, who died earlier this year from cancer. It was nice for those who couldn't make it and those who could. It was at a private room in a restaurant. Lots of storytelling and laughter. Minus all the sadness and grief. It was good. Then we spread her ashes in a river that ran by a covered bridge that she loved.
  • My mom and uncle stood up on the road. My mom said, "There she goes." My uncle said, "She always did like to swim." Yep. That was the kind of day it was. Full of awesome sauce.
  • Not all of the ashes went in the river that day. A couple days later, my aunt, uncle, mom, and I trekked out to the cemetery where my grandparents are buried to put some in the flower holder of their grave. She decided she want to be buried next to them.
  • That didn't really work out, so this seemed like a good alternative.
  • That cemetery takes *forever* to get to, for the record, and I thought this day would never end.
  • Also, it reinforced for me that your loved ones are not there. I felt absolutely no sense of my grandparents at that place. It was a lovely cemetery, but they were not there.
  • While in Akron, mom and I stayed with her best friend from h.s. and her husband. That could be a blog all its own. My mom's friend has Parkinson's, and has had for years.
  • Watching her ongoing struggle and determination not to give in to this disease is inspiring.
  • Watching her husband be the support system that he is, despite the fact that they overdosed her with medication at the onset, and she no longer remembers him, is also inspiring. She remembers everyone else, but not him. The psychiatrists say that is not uncommon to lose the person you love the most in this sort of situation.
  • Fortunately, since they got her meds back on track she is able to rebuild new memories. She thinks of him as a nice man and excellent caregiver, but not her husband. And he is okay with that.
  • He also taught me how to juice with his amazing juicer. It was an item that he bought when his wife was dealing with liver cancer (yes, she appears to have beaten that without chemo or radiation). Anyway, we had great fun whipping up concoctions in the juicer every day.
  • Now I really want one for my very own. His was about $300 back when. I don't have any idea what they are running for now. I am a bit scared to price them. The key is that it is a cold system. No heat involved. Or so he was telling me. Anyway, it made fantastic juice.
  • Then I went to a Family Reunion where I didn't hardly know anyone. Those are always fun. But I did reconnect with one person that I did actually know, so that was good:-)
  • Now, we are back to my hometown and looking at real estate, which I already covered. See how I skip around...
  • And we stayed with my mom's friend. She is always so much fun. Last time I was there she had no internet. So, imagine my surprise when she had an IPAD and internet. She leaped right into the technological age with both feet and LOVES it. It was hard to pry that thing out of her hands!
  • Plus, I had wireless for my laptop. Yay. But that meant I got nothing done on my WIP, which I dragged along.
  • I also met up with a friend of mine from high school that I hadn't seen in 16 years. We were in drama together. You can only imagine what that was like. Well maybe not. But there was no silences. Let me tell you. Talk talk talk talk. And tons of laughter.
  • Oh, and she took some seriously goofy pictures of us, which I have yet to see, but I expect to pop up on my facebook any day now.
  • And, did I tell you that I cut my hair and donated it to Locks of Love? I have been meaning to write an entire post about it, but I have been a total slacker. My hair was all the way down to my derriere, so I pulled out the ruler and started measuring.
  • It was the only thing I could think of to do to show support for my friend's little boy who has cancer. All of the family that I have who had cancer cannot benefit from the gift, but so many other people can. Not everyone can give the gift of 11" inches of hair, but I could, so I did. And I still have hair to spare.
  • My DNA may suck and my blood would likely be sent back because of my negative antibodies, but I can donate hair. We do what we can DO.
  • Lastly, this was a really good trip for reconnecting with my brother and sister-in-law. We are getting along so much better now. Since I last saw them, I have worked really hard to forge a good relationship with my SIL and it is paying off. I text her, call her, etc. and things were really good this trip. So, the whole trip felt like a raging success.
  • The only negative thing I can possibly say is also a positive thing. There is a girl who treated me really badly in junior high school (but we were good friends, prior) and she really hurt my feelings. This deep hurt forced me to find other friends. Because of this "catastrophe" I found my best friend, who I will always treasure.
  • That catastrophe was a blessing in disguise. Anyway, this old "friend" still lives in the area and we reconnected as adults and things seemed better. I constantly tell myself that people do grow up. So, I have made a point of seeing her when I visit. Anyway, I really thought things were different.
  • Things got confusing on facebook (don't they always???) and I asked her about it. She responded. I misunderstood, responded, reread what she said, responded again indicating I misunderstood and apologized, and I never heard anything back from her.
  • Her wedding happened while we were there.
  • I never heard from her before I left for this trip, even though I sent her several emails. There were no emails back to get together to help her get ready for her wedding, definitely no wedding invite, nada.
  • Ironically, in her initial message she called me one of her "oldest and dearest friends." I sure hate to think about how she treats her enemies.
  • Anyway, it was NOT spending time with her that made it possible to reconnect with my drama friend. And I am so glad that happened.
  • It also reminded me that our definitions of friendship are most likely not the same. These are always good things to know. Sometimes it has to look like pain in order to open your eyes to what actually is.
image found on facebook, of course

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Roads That Take You Home

I have been awake for over an hour. That means I have been tossing and turning since about 7:30am, unable to go back to sleep. Now, if you only knew me, you would understand how mindblowing that is. Of course, the beginning of this wakefulness was prompted by a full-blown migraine. However, once that settled down to something to bearable, it just became my thoughts keeping me from going back to sleep.

We are still on vacation. Over the weekend we arrived in the town I grew up in and graduated high school from, blah blah blah. The last time I was here was last May for my dad's funeral. It is so strange to come back here and NOT see him. Perhaps, it is more odd to know that I never will again.

A friend of mine from high school has a twelve year old son who is undergoing chemotheraphy for a brain tumor. They are in the third and final round. The tumor is shrinking and things are looking good. His son has remained upbeat throughout the entire experience. I think that is because his parents, family, and friends have provided a positive outlook, and he has embraced it. This really makes a difference in how someone does in this sort of situation. Kids are so resilient. The brain decides whether or not you get better, so whatever you tell them, that is what happens. Voila. Anyway, he is a brave and remarkable young man and doing so well.

In many respects, kids are like dogs. I mean that in the best of ways. My dog has responded so well to losing her leg to cancer. She was in pain for a few days and struggled. However, she was walking on the first day. A few days later, she was running. She hasn't slowed down since. She wipes out sometimes; she pivots because she forgets that isn't her strong suit, but immediately picks herself up and is off to the races again. I love that about her.

Here's the thing: kids and dogs don't second guess themselves. They just go with what is. It seems like my life would be so much easier if I could learn this lesson. And I freely admit that I am trying. However, I can't seem to help myself. I like having Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. And all of that leads to a lot of second, third, and fourth guessing. I just don't want to be stuck with absolutely no ideas. The thing about this philosophy is that it leads you wandering down the same mental roads hoping you find something you missed the last time you were there.

The mental road taking up all my energy these days is my Schmidt's Syndrome Diagnosis, simply because autoimmune issues are so tricky. It has me on that What If path constantly. Based on the fact that I have other autoimmune issues, I probably did mess up the doctor's blood test the last time I took it by taking the Herbal Adrenal Supplement. Hence, the low results, but the surprising result of it not being autoimmune. So, we are retaking the test in a few months. However, even the doctor has no way of knowing how much time it takes for the Herbal Supplement's effects to leave my system. So, my test could still come back a false positive. If that is the case, I actually do have Addison's Disease. We just didn't wait long enough. The thing is this: the doctor and I both truly believe this is the case. Where the doctor and I part ways is right here: The only way he "knows" to treat Addison's Disease is internal hydro cortisone for the rest of your life, while I would say go back to the Herbal Adrenal Supplement because it is a cure. It actually flipped the antibodies, making them positive. It stopped them from attacking the adrenal gland. All autoimmune means is that your body doesn't know your own body and attacks it until it kills it. And Addison's Disease is literally a death sentence. All hydro cortisone does is slow down the process.

Like every other good thing I have ever done, I found the cure by accident.

Of course, that is IF I found the cure. Unless, I never had it. Unless the antibodies are just waiting to flip on me. You see, this is why it would be better to be a dog. They don't think of this kind of junk. In that case, my death sentence is just out there waiting for me. Or it's out there waiting for me to find the cure. Either way, it sounds very exhausting. At least, at 9:00am.

At 3:00pm, on normal days, I tell myself things like the point of all this health junk is that maybe on top of MY IDEA, I am meant to find natural cures for all of these autoimmune issues for the entire endocrine system. Why? Because that is the next place they are going to take me down if they haven't already. For instance, the vascular system is part of the endocrine system. And it is constriction of the vascular system that causes migraines. And I have had a constant migraine since 2003. Doesn't it make you think that maybe someone should test those antibodies to see if they are autoimmune? Maybe that's just me. But, one website I was on said that anyone with Schmidt's should have their endocrine system checked regularly. Your antibodies can turn on you at any time. That includes antibodies for organs like your kidneys, pancreas, etc. You sort of need those things to work and don't want your antibodies to start attacking them to the death.

Writing so much about health and health issues makes me think even more about my dad. He always felt like Don Quixote tilting at the windmill. He spent the last forty years of his life trying to get anyone to listen to him that natural supplements were the way to go. Prescriptions were band-aids at best. Ironically, he barely got my attention. It was so non-stop that some went in, but most went out. I was like, "Yes, dad, I am taking my vitamins. Prescriptions are bad. And be careful of doctors. They are not trustworthy. Got it."

He was right. Each time you see a doctor, be careful. You are entrusting them with the most precious thing you have: you. If you have an ongoing problem, and the doctor continues to write a Rx, you are getting paperclips and duct tape. That would be an unacceptable fix for your car. Don't allow it to happen to your body. A symptom is a wonderful thing; it means you have a problem and you need investigate until you find the SOURCE. A Rx simply masks the problem. So, dad, I was listening more than you thought. I got it.

It makes MY IDEA even more important. It really is your idea. You just didn't know it. It's your idea on a much bigger scale. Word of mouth taken to a whole new level. I am my father's daughter after all. Not only did I get all of your crappy DNA, I got your fighting spirit. That means I might come up with Plan Zs, but I will never GIVE UP. However, I will always miss you and it will always make me sad that you won't see this come to fruition. You would have loved it. And I would have loved sharing it with you.

I'm sure we'll go by the old house this week. I always stand outside on the sidewalk and imagine doing this, but I never do.


Friday, August 3, 2012


SURPRISE. Drum roll please. I present to you HERE'S TO YOU FRIDAY. With love. I bet you are thinking that this post is NEVER going to land on a Thursday again. LOL. Well, it almost did. I nearly had it together for yesterday. Oh well. I am on vacation right now and have had this particular list of footage dedications in the making for some time now. So... you may have to do some reaching in order to remember what YOU wrote in order to figure out what is going on here. Alas, this was easier when it was a weekly event... lol.

Here is the recap of what is going on...

This used to be a weekly event landing typically on Thursdays. It is my hope that it will be a weekly event again some day... 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. 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... If you are having trouble watching the entire video (meaning it is being cut off on one side), click on it a couple of times and it will take you straight over to youtube. If you click on the four squares at the bottom corner of the video, it will enlarge it to fill your screen. The escape key will bring it back to normal size. The back arrow will bring you back to my page.

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

This one is for everyone:

This one is for Judie at Rogue Artists:

This one is for JJ The Disconnected Writer:

This one is for Shoes at Red Shoe's Chronicles:

This one is for everyone who posted about the Aurora, CO shootings. I would name you all but SO MANY of you posted that it would be a LONG list. You all touched me:

This one is for Mitzi at Homespun Chronicles:

Click here to watch.

This one is for Wanderlust:

image found on