Monday, February 29, 2016

Don't Be Sad

Sometimes, song lyrics speak the words so much better than we ever can.  One of my favorite artists, Randy Stonehill does an amazing job at putting words together that touch my soul.

If you're feeling down, this one is for you.

Don't Be Sad
By Randy Stonehill

I see the light has left your eyes my friend
And your smile looks so tired to me
Did you lose sight of your simple faith
And start thinking that you can't be free
As long as there's a God in heaven
Well that's not the way it has to be 

Oh, no, Don't be sad, One more day
Don't be Sad One more day
Love is here, here to stay
Don't be sad one more day.

Now we all cry so many useless tears
Over heartache we can't forget
And it's a crime to waste our precious time
Shackled by those old regrets
Yesterday is gone forever
And tomorrow hasn't happened yet

Oh, no, Don't be sad, One more day
Don't be Sad One more day
Love is here, here to stay
Don't be sad one more day.

Do you recall when we were barefoot boys
And the oak tree was so grand and high
We climbed up to the very top
'Cuz we wanted to touch the sky
I still believe we're meant to do that
You've just got to have the faith to try, try

Oh, no, Don't be sad, One more day
Don't be Sad One more day
Love is here, here to stay
Don't be sad one more day.

Friday, February 26, 2016


I love poetry.  When someone utters the word POETRY, I'm immediately taken to that scene in Bridget Jones Diary, where Bridget and her boss/lover are drinking, smoking, and reciting poetry in boats on the lake, laughing and having a great time.

I also think of the best locations for reading and writing poetry.  I love sitting by a fireplace in the winter curled up in a blanket, sipping some wine, while reading Robert Frost.  How about sitting in the sand by the ocean in the cool spring at sunrise in a sweatshirt and bare feet, feeling the wind in your hair while composing a poem about God's power and greatness.  Sitting by a lake, toes in the water in the summer while reading Keats or Whitman....  Or relaxing in a bistro with a cup of espresso while digging into e e cummigs.... Or my current favorite, sitting on my daughter's bed at night, just before she says her prayers, as she reads to me and giggles from Shel Silverstein.

I have written a lot of poetry.  I don't know that it is any good, but I know that I was able to release deeply seated emotions and fears through the poetry and housed them in my journals over the years.  

In college, I learned to play guitar.  My poetry, became music, song lyrics, and became even more powerful.  I remember those sunny fall days, sitting in the quad with my guitar and a notebook, strumming and writing out lyrics.  I found a great piece of my soul wrapped into those songs and poems even if they weren't much to listen to.

I've written funny poems and songs, like the one about an ex's jealous wife called, "She thinks I'm sleeping with her husband," or the one about my dear friends that I traveled Europe with called, "Bug farts and Cellophane."  I've written romantic poems, like "City Boy/Country Girl" about meeting my husband from New York City, when I was raised around farmlands.  I've written about abuse, pain, fear, agony, depression, and even topics that I had no direct experience with like drug abuse.  Most of my poems and songs, however, were about faith.  My hopes and prayers for my life, for my future.  

Today, I'm going to share one poem with you, called "In Time."  I wrote this at a time when my heart was very confused and torn.  I was recently divorced and had met someone new who desperately wanted to get married.  I wasn't ready to just jump into a second marriage that quickly.  I had been hurt and bruised and I needed to heal before I moved on to marriage again.  I hope you like it. 

In Time

I'm eager to run to you and hold you in my arms
I'm eager to follow you away from any harm
I'm eager to abandon all the painful loves from the past
I'm eager to move on and start again

But I'm scared that you could be the one
And I'm scared of losing the freedom I won
And I'm scared that if I choose, I lose
And wind up falling, failing again

Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready when I'm ready
Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready...

In Time.

I want to be with you but I can't tell you now
I want to learn how to show you love anyhow
I want to open my heart and give you all of me
I want to move on and start again

But I'm scared that if you are the one
And I give to you all the freedom I won
If I give in and choose, I lose
And wind up falling broken again

Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready when I'm ready
Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready...

In Time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fantasy vs. Reality

Welcome to the real world.

As a writer, I find that I spend a lot of my real world time lost in a land of fantasy.  I create new characters, stories, situations, heroes, legends, myths, and folklore.  I have a thousand new creations swirling around the fantasy in my brain.

Here, on this blog, I concentrate on the TRUTHS in my life.  The reality that I live in, the memories of my past, the honesty of my emotions, and how those realities shape me and my life today and how it will be tomorrow.

Oh, but the fantasies are so real, too.  They come to my mind and are often so vivid that it is as if they are real, too.  The characters in my mind are dashing and passionate.  They stand for something and LOVE ALWAYS WINS!  There always seems to be a dreadful obstacle that keeps our hero from our heroine, and somehow, through pure love and valor, that hero finds a way to defeat the obstacle and rescue the heroine, giving her the deepest purest love.  Ahhh..... that's some gooooood stuff...  Blame it on my romantic heart.

I'm currently binge watching Outlander, an original series on Stars.  First, if you haven't seen it, please do.  It's amazing.  I read the first few books in the series many years ago and I am not disappointed with this at all.  :)

Very minor spoiler here:  In the story, a woman falls through time and ends up in the past.  She has fallen away from her husband and the life they were building into another era where things are vastly different.  In order to save her life, she must marry, and finds herself in love with a new man, a new husband in a new era.  She is so conflicted.  She loves them both.  What can she do?  In the past, her husband hasn't be born yet.  Is it cheating?  In the present, her husband thinks she has disappeared, but she holds on to hope that she will return to him again.... somehow.

Both men are dashing and valiant.  Both men are fighting to protect her.  How on earth is she to fix this in her heart?  A fortune teller reads her palm and says that she has the most confusing love line... for it is forked.  It shows two marriages, but does not show that either one ends.  How could she be married to two people at one time?  Easy... two different eras.  HOW WILL IT ALL END?

Oh, how I love fantasy!  I love that when I watch these shows I throw myself into the characters and become them for a while.  As I watched tonight, I texted my husband and said, "This show is going to give me a heart attack!" because the pure emotional connection I made to it was intense.

That being said, there is something about returning to reality that is a comfort.  I can throw myself into a fantasy for an hour or two yet rest comfortably knowing that I will return to reality soon enough.  My reality, my life with my wonderful husband and children, is an AMAZING reality.  I am so very happy.  My husband never fought off a Red-Coat or defended my honor with a sword or a pistol, but he does look out for me and my best interests.  He does a lot of things to show me that he cares and is on my side.  For that I appreciate him even more, and I love him dearly and will for all my life.

And when the darkness falls, and I read a book, or watch another movie or show, the fantasy all begins again and takes my breath away.

The trick is drawing a line between fantasy and reality and being able to keep each one within their proper realm.  I know too many who have created a world of fantasy and fail to come back to reality.  They risk losing their reality to the fantasy and then find that the fantasy simply cannot exist.  Then, they have NOTHING.

Let's create an example with fictional characters:  Mary, the bored housewife, married for a dozen or more years to a hard working man, creates a fantasy involving the mailman.  He is handsome.  Dashing.  She imagines him to be the type to wine and dine and romance the pants right off of her.  In her fantasy, he's an amazing kisser who smells amazing and buys her flowers once a week.  He does everything he can to win her heart.   She slips into this fantasy daily, then decides that she wants it to be her reality.  She tries to seduce him, slowly.  Little flirts at the door each day lead way to casual touches on the arm.  The next thing you know, she invites him in.  Her time has come.  He leans in to kiss her and smells like salami and drools like a dog when he kisses her.  She's disgusted!  The fantasy was so much better!  She wishes she had stayed with the fantasy, but alas, she ruined it all forever when fantasy and reality collided.

Sometimes it is best to keep your fantasies in a fantasy world and remember how great your reality is.  Further, if your reality isn't great, perhaps it is time to find a way to make it great without resorting to the fantasy.

There's an amazing world out there.  An amazing reality to discover and explore.  Fantasy is amazing, too.  Just don't allow yourself to be sucked into the fantasy when reality is waiting with open arms.

Now, I should tell you that it is 1:30 AM.  I have the flu.  I'm heavily medicated.  To me, this post sounds brilliant, but in REALITY, it might suck eggs.   I suppose I'll know in a few days when this all passes.   Until then, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think on the subject!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Les Miserables

You never forget your first.....

In 1993, I had the joy of seeing my very first Broadway musical, Les Miserables.  They say you never forget your first!  I've read the book... all 8 billion pages.  I've seen the musical on Broadway, performed by a local high school, and two variations of the story in film.  I've seen the concert variation on PBS and even made a donation so I could own a copy of the concert.  I have several variations of the soundtrack.  I've heard ONE DAY MORE sung by Jean Valjeans from around the globe and it ALWAYS gives me goosebumps.  I've sung the songs in choirs and "On my own."  When my daughters were babies, I sang them to sleep with Castle on a Cloud.

Needless to say, this is by far my favorite musical of all time.  I love Les Mis.

Don't get me wrong, I hold fond emotions for Rent, Phantom of the Opera, and Cats.  An old friend from my high school drama club played Elphie in Wicked on Broadway and in Chicago.  Another friend's husband was Frankie in the US Tour of Jersey Boys.  Funny Girl starred my musical hero, Barbra Streisand, and is a story about a woman who was strong beyond her era.  I performed in Fiddler on the Roof and Little Shop of Horrors -- small parts, but it was still a joy to do.

I love musicals and I have a fond affection for them in all their varieties, but there is just something about Les Mis that touches my heart.  Perhaps it is because it was my first Broadway show. Perhaps because it was part of the best summer of my life.  Perhaps it was because of the friends who shared the experience with me.  Perhaps it was the powerful voices of the actors and actresses.  Perhaps it was the music itself.  Perhaps it was all of these things combined.  Whatever it was, it was magical.

Today, for you, I share 2 of my favorite songs from Les Mis.  As an added treat (or curse) I decided to record myself singing them!  It's taken a lot of bravery for me to post this on youtube and subsequently, here.  I hope you enjoy.  Please be kind.

On My Own;

This song speaks to me because of the powerful sentiment of someone who has a deep love for another that she cannot act upon.  You can feel the combination of love and pain in the voice of character as she sings about how amazing life is with her love in her life, but the sorrow and despair of knowing that he does not or cannot return her love... that it's all just in her mind.  She can dream and fantasize about life with him loving her but that is all because it just wasn't meant to be for them. Both tragic and romantic, On My Own has been a favorite since the first time I heard it when I was 12 years old and facing the angst of crushing on a boy who didn't know I existed!  Ah, the memories of childhood and the dream of loves yet to come.    On My Own.  Please enjoy.

I Dreamed a Dream:

If you regularly follow my blog, you already know about my early education in love, when I was a young teen in the 80's.  I was a dreamer.  I spent countless hours lying outside staring at the stars dreaming of the day when I would fall in love and be loved more than any other in the world.  I would dream of who I was going to be and how I was going to make a difference in the world.  I so wanted those dreams to all come true.  We are so hopeful and fearless when we are young, before the world has had a chance to dash our dreams against the rocks of the real world.  This song is about the dreams of an innocent who, swept up in the whimsy and passions of young love instead learned of the cruelty that the real world can dish out.  Fantine's song was her final cry into a world that stole away her innocence and threw her into the cruelty of poverty and despair all for the love of her precious daughter, the result of her whirlwind romance.  I'm not exactly like Fantine because I still have the hope she had early in life and I hold on to the dreams that drove me when I was young.  I dreamed a dream... did you?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wine is Fine

First, I should mention that I've had some wine tonight.  Ok...  a LOT of wine tonight.  It's National Wine day or something like that (Feb. 18) and my friends and I had been discussing wine all day.  I decided to come home and indulge a bit.

Please don't think I have an alcohol problem!  HOLY NO!  Honestly, I'm one of those one glass of wine per month types.  I always seem to have a bottle chilled in the fridge, but if you examine it carefully, you'll see that the bottle I tapped tonight was originally opened at my mother-in-law's house on Christmas Eve 2015...  nearly two full months ago, and it looked like only one glass had been taken already!  

I don't drink much at all and because of that, one glass of wine is really all it takes to make me feel groovy.  Two glasses makes me downright tipsy, and three... well that is full on drunk for me.   Tonight, I've had two glasses.  That puts me in a boldly honest place where I often forget to exercise things like tact and common sense, and where I tend to be very open about opinions and emotions.

I never liked drinking.  Even in those crazy college years where one is expected to be going to hard core parties and clubs, I was always the designated sober person.  I hated drinking in excess.  When I did, I hated myself for the disgusting, vomiting monster I became.  Shots are NOT my friend.  

I was raised in a dry home.  Neither of my parents drink, and honestly, I don't think they ever did. I once convinced my mother to try a hard lemonade.. two sips and she was done!  ha!  My father once said that he LOVED the taste of Nyquil which proved to him that he could easily become an alcoholic.  It was for that reason that he steered clear of the stuff and never allowed it in his home.  To this day, out of respect, I do not drink in front of my father and drink very sparingly in front of my mother.

I'm OK with being a designated driver or the sober voice of reason.  It never bothered me and I don't think it ever will.  Unfortunately, though, it has put me into a place where I simply hate going to bars.  I see no point in going to an establishment designed specifically for drinking.  I'd rather have some wine with dinner or on a special occasion.  The occasion is never the drinking itself.  This has caused some issues with a dear friend of mine who seems to ONLY want to visit bars or drinking venues.  I have nothing against her enjoying those establishments, it just isn't for me.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

That Novel

Oh how novel.... you're writing a novel?

When I was in college MANY years ago, I had to write a script for a movie as a final project.  These are projects you get as a film major!  Ha!

Everyone loved my story line.  Several suggested I turn it into a novel. So began my journey of writing a book I titled, "Beyond Desperate."  It's a romantic murder mystery type story that sits in my brain and has yet to make it to paper.

Back in October, I stood in the cold waiting for my daughter's Halloween parade to start.  A father standing nearby saw me with a book in my hand and started a conversation.  He asked if I was an avid reader and what types of books I enjoy.  He then suggested a book he thought I might like.  He had written the book himself and had it published about a year before.  

I was thrilled.  We talked about writing and I mentioned that I love to write but that I simply could not seem to get the ball rolling on that novel.  He suggested that I set a small goal of writing 500 words a day, every day, even if it's nonsense.  Then, eventually, the words will begin to flow.

I have a new goal for this year.  I'm going to work on that novel... I'm not sure if it will be the one I originally planned, or something new, or some fun hybrid of old and new ideas... but I'm going to write that novel!!!


Ok.  I'm done.  Bye.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a day we use to celebrate love.

Now, I believe we should celebrate love every single day, but sometimes routine gets in the way.  We wake up and get the kids fed, dressed, hair combed, lunches packed, and whisk them away to school, all the while getting ourselves up, pressed, dressed, make up and contacts, then boom out the door and off to work.  It's a routine. We all have them.  It's not a bad thing.

Valentine's Day, however, gives us a chance to take a moment and reflect on all the many kinds of love we have in our lives.

My sweet husband gave me roses, a card, and my favorite chocolates.  I gave him some candy and a card, because I know he doesn't want the fuss.  We gave the kids small trinkets of our love for them through dolls and sweets.  The kids gave their friends little cards with lollipops attached to show they care.

We all jump on Facebook and share what our spouses did for us, or show pictures of the food we got when we went to our favorite bistro, or show old wedding photos, and proclaim our undying love for those who mean the most to us.

There are as many forms of love as there are Shakespeare sonnets.

This year, my husband and I put aside any romantic plans to care for our very sick child.  She has the flu and a double ear infection.  She's 7 and has special needs.  It was mentally and emotionally exhausting.  We were in constant states of worry, concern, love, and care for our dear little one. Valentine's Day was a demonstration of our love for our dear little one as we cared for her.

I've been reflecting a lot on love lately.  There are so many different stages and types of love and I think a lot of people, maybe me included (?), are easily confused by their own feelings of love.

I adore and love my husband.  He is my rock when I'm falling apart and my closest and dearest friend.  I can tell him anything, and even though we may fight from time to time, I know that he wants the best for us and our family.

I love my friends, especially my closest and most trusted friends.  When I Google quotes about friendship, one that comes up often is:

Isn't that the truth?  I don't always have time to check in with my closest friends, but I know they will be there for me when I need them.  I love them dearly.  Some friends, old friends from school days, reconnected through social media, have been so far removed that we wonder how our friendships drifted so far.  Then, after just one conversation, it all comes flooding back.  The friendship is still there, you see the quirks and attitudes that always made you smile, you remember instantly why you got along so well back then and BOOM your friendship flourishes once again.  I love those friends, too!

Some loves can be confusing.  New love, when you want to shout from the mountains that you've found someone special, but you know it's TOO soon to do it, so you lie in wait for the perfect moment to reveal your emotions....  You might type out exactly what you're feeling in a deep, romantic text only to DELETE rather than SEND because you fear the reply will be awkward or unwanted.

Quick story:  My husband and I met online. I couldn't wait to jump on the computer and see if he was free for a chat on instant messenger.  I would wait with my heart beating wildly for him to appear online so we could chat.  When I saw his name pop up as available, I would fight myself to wait a bit before I sent him a message, out of fear that if I seemed too eager, it would scare him off. We all play that game, don't we?

 After months of communication, we decided to meet in person. It was magical.  On the second date... SECOND DATE...  I blurted out something like, "I think I might be falling for you...."  and immediately regretted it.  I wanted to go back in time and smack myself to stop me from saying it.  I apologized a thousand times.  I felt foolish.  I had opened my mouth, spoken my true feelings, and was terrified of the reply that would be coming.  Fortunately, after I had worked myself up pretty bad, he said, "It's ok.  I'm falling for you, too."  He fixed the situation rather than running for the hills.

New love can be confusing.

Old love is sacred and treasured.

They say you never forget your first love. I think that's true.  I think that the love you had for that first one will always be with you.  It's special.  It's sacred.  It's tucked down deep into your heart in a special place all it's own.  Even if it ended badly, you tend to forget the bad bits and hold on to the wonder and amazement of that first time you realized what it was to truly be in love.

But the best love of all is the love you feel in this very moment.  The romance from your spouse or significant other..... the family love for your children, parents, and siblings....  the love you have for your best friend.,...  the love for a rekindled friendship from the past....  the love that you feel in your heart at this very moment.

All you need is love.

I leave you now with my favorite love song.  It's a compilation of love songs meshed together for the movie Moulin Rouge.    It's the Elephant Love Medley.  For the record, one of the best love stories ever told... if you haven't seen it... please do.

How wonderful life is now you're in the world.

Laters baby!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Random Thoughts for a Friday

Ok, there's no rhyme or reason to this... just a few random thoughts:

1.  Adele's HELLO is kinda stalkery.  Just sayin'.   I mean, hey there old boyfriend, I totally crushed you and stomped on your heart, so I've decided to stalk you and call you about a thousand times to say, OOPS MY BAD, only to find out that you don't have time for me???  You moved on?? HOW DARE YOU???   You should totally be waiting by the phone for me to call and rekindle whatever it was you felt for me so that I can SLAM your heart into a wall again!!!  

2.  That last one was kinda intense.  I need to recover.

3.  The only thing worse than being sick is having a kid that is sick.  Why can't they make cold medicine that tastes like ice cream and cookies?

4.  Early morning team meetings at work without coffee are excruciatingly painful.  I DON'T CARE ABOUT WHATEVER DRIVEL IS COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!

5.  I write very strange blog posts when I'm tired.

6.  School buses and egg yolks are the same color.

7.  Putting cucumbers in your water makes you poop more.

8.  I should stop now... before this get's REALLY weird.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sausage Potato Kale Soup

My kids are SUPER picky eaters.  My 9 year old daughter will eat chicken in any variation, but avoids veggies at all costs.  The younger one, with autism, has texture issues and has a very limited diet.  Her favorite food is yogurt and she avoids all meats, except for bacon.  If she had her way, every meal would be breakfast.  My dear husband works the night shift.  He only eats with the family on weekends.   

In short, I live my weekdays as a short order chef.  Each kid eats something different, I then pack a lunch for hubs to take to work, and finally, once the kids are in bed and the hubs is out the door, I make something for me.

It's quite tedious.

However, this past week or so, I have been on a cooking kick.  I've made 3 hour chicken, crockpot pork, pizza fondue, tacos, mac-n-cheese, chili pasta, and my favorite:  Sausage Potato Kale Soup.

I found a recipe for Sausage Bean soup, and another for sausage potato, and another for sausage kale... I took my favorite parts of each recipe and combined them with the seasonings and spices I had in my own home.  

Today, I'm happy to share my final creation with you.  I've made it this way many times and it truly is my favorite soup of all time. 


Sausage Potato Kale Soup
1 lb. ground sausage (I like sage sausage)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small white onion, diced
3 med. gold potatoes, diced
3 cups (one bunch) kale, torn
32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
1 Tbs. Dill (I use Pampered Chef Dill mix, it has some dried onion in it)
1 Tbs. Rustic Herb Seasoning (I use Tastefully Simple -you  can substitute with a mix of garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper)
1 Tbs. Lemon Pepper seasoning (this brightens up the soup)

Brown the sausage in about 1 Tbs. of vegetable oil.  Throw in the onion, carrots, and both green and red peppers and allow them to cook down a bit.  Then add the potatoes and kale.  Give it a good toss.

Add in the broth, water, and seasonings and bring to a boil.  Back the heat off  and leave it to simmer for about an hour.  

This is an amazing soup.  I hope you love it as much as I do!!  If your kids are as picky as mine, it reheats very well, too!  I make up a batch and take it to work for a week!  YUM!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Big Girls Don't Cry

For some reason, we all seem to be raised with this stigma that we should keep our emotions to ourselves.  When someone asks, "How are you?" The  social norm is to say, "fine, and you?" only to hear another "fine" in return.  Sure, there are variations... one of my favorites is "Can't complain, no one will listen..."  and here begins today's blog.

Can't Complain, No One Will Listen

We are constantly being told to "Suck it up, Buttercup," and "Put on your big girl panties."  After all, "Silence is Golden" and "Big Girls don't cry."

My last blog, A Valentine Story, was about a terrible car accident I was in on Valentine's Day 1996.  In true Arlo Guthrie form, "I told you that story to tell you this one."  It starts with my mother and her mother before her.

My mother has Fibromyalgia.  When she was diagnosed, it was a rarely heard of autoimmune disorder.  It was often used as a catch all term, when doctors didn't know what was wrong with you.  Widely disputed as a "valid" condition/disease, it was not recognized as a health issue for most of my mother's life.

Fibromyalgia is most prominent in women, but can be found in men.  Morgan Freeman, for example.  It is genetic and is generally passed from mothers to their children.  It is a unique condition that lies dormant in a person until triggered, often by an emotionally or physically traumatic event.  For my mother, it was a car accident.... NOT the one on Valentine's Day, but earlier in her life.

After the Valentine's Day car accident, I suffered from chronic back pain.  I would have good months, bad weeks, and stiff necks, often.  They seemed to go along with the weather or the level of stress and strain I put on myself.  Shoveling snow was sure to leave me in bed on a heating pad for days.  I always attributed it to the broken bones in my back and neck.  They say old injuries flare up and don't ever truly heal back to  normal... right?

They.  The infamous THEY.  Who are THEY anyway?  I question that phrase, "They say..." all the time.  WHO?  SAYS WHO??

Sorry, sidetracked.  Oh Look, A Chicken!!!  ahem.

The pain got worse over the years.  Soon, it was in my shoulders, upper back, shooting down my arms like electricity.  I felt like Storm from X-Men... I could zap people with the amount of electricity racing through my body.   I would take a tylenol and Suck it up, Buttercup... because big girls don't cry.

I finally decided to go to the doctor when I had an odd sensation on my back.  From the base of my neck to just below my shoulder blades, I was numb.  I had itches and pain, but if I touched it, I felt nothing.  Some days, I would feel an intense itch, but if I asked my husband to scratch it, it felt like he was scraping razor blades down my back.   Something  just wasn't right.  

I had to wait 3 months to get into the doctor, but once I did, it was confirmed.   I have Fibromyalgia. I told my mother and my husband, but no one else.  It was my secret.  The doctor put me on meds to help me regulate things and it took a while to find a combination that worked well for me.  My doctor believes it was the 1996 accident that triggered it in me and as I grew older, it became harder for me to shoulder the pain on my own.

(See what I did there?  SHOULDER the pain... LOL.. I kill me.)

So for years, I decided to Suck it up, Buttercup, and not tell anyone about my chronic pain disorder.  I have been the team captain for my company's MS Walk team for 10+ years, but can no longer walk the distance.  Every year, I found myself making excuses, or bailing out half way through.  When my children want to play "Horsie" or climb on me, or sit on my lap for long periods of time... I didn't utter a word.  I suffered in silence.

I lied.  A lot.  I was limping because I "turned an ankle," or I took a day off of work for a "migraine." It was getting harder to make excuses.  I hated that I had to take medications every single day, several times a day.  Then, a friend shared something with me.

"If your mechanic said that your car needed an extra fuel treatment once a week to keep it running well, would you do it?  What if he told you that you needed to use the more expensive gas or a higher grade of oil, would you do it?  Do you give your kids vitamins?  This medicine is to help your body work more productively.  It's maintenance.  You have to stop seeing it as a crutch and more like a fuel."

That friend saved me.  I started taking my medication and it really helped.  I also stopped lying about my condition.  I  hate lying.  I'm not very good at it.  It was just easier to say, "I'm having a bad Fibro day."  I started to open up more about it and show more support for it on social media.

It is not a crime to open up about invisible illnesses.  It's not a crime to have a chronic pain disorder.  It's not a crime to have an off day.  I don't have to tell you "I'm FINE."

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Valentine Story

I should warn you, this is a long story.

On Valentine's Day, 1996, 20 years ago, I was riding in the car with my mother very early in the morning.  She was driving into work and I was riding with her because I didn't drive at that time.  I was going to take the bus from her work to my college for classes.  In my hand was an inexpensive chocolate rose that I had purchased for about $2 to give to my boyfriend.  I was, after all, a broke college kid!

I was in a great mood when I woke up that day.  There was a light sprinkling of snow on the ground, very pretty, and my mother and I were chatting casually about Valentine's Day plans.  Then, out of nowhere, my mother hit a patch of black ice on the road.  The car fishtailed out of control.  On one side of the road was a large wall with a house at the top, built into the side of the mountain.  On the other side of us was a canal full of frozen water.  Coming the other way on the road, toward us, was a big rig truck with a trailer attached.  We were sliding, passenger side of the car first, toward the truck.

There was a loud crunch of metal, as our small Ford Taurus was crushed around the bumper of the truck.  My head crashed through the passenger side window, then bounced back to crash into my mother's head.  The car crushed in such a way that I was pinned between the center console and the bumper of the truck. 

My mother had a serious concussion and short term memory loss.  She kept asking me what happened.  I felt my hands go cold and something warm dripping down my neck.  The rescue teams arrived and a towel was placed over my head as they used the jaws of life to disassemble the car so that I could be removed.  A man was holding my head still, it was John, a boy I had known since childhood.  He asked if it was a bad time to ask me out on a date.  I laughed.

They strapped me to a back board and put me in the ambulance where they proceeded to ask me a thousand questions about my mother, her medications, allergies, and medical conditions.  They asked a few questions about me, too.  It concerned me that they asked so much about her, because I assumed it meant that she was not well enough to answer her own questions.

Moments after the ambulances left the scene of the accident, my father came upon the crash scene on his way to work.  He got out of his car and ran to the scene.  "That's my car.  Where's my wife?"  He was directed to the proper hospital.  He didn't know I was in the car with my mother.

In the hospital, my father came to me.  "How ya doin' Kid?" he asked.  I immediately began asking where my mom was, how she was, what was going on?  He told me to relax.  Just relax.  Mom's fine.  She got knocked in the head, just a minor concussion with some memory loss, "It's YOU we're worried about, Kid."



What's going on?

"My head hurts."  He reached behind my head and pulled out a large chunk of glass.  It had been lodged into my head and held in place by the back board.

"They think you have a broken back or neck," he told me.  I had never seen him so worried.   The nurse came and removed my necklace and all 6 of my earrings then took me in for x-rays.

In the end, I ended up with 2 cracked vertebrae, one in my neck and one in my lower back, and a bruised liver.  I also had a large cut in the back of my head from the glass and several bruises and lacerations. 

When I was released from the hospital, the nurse handed me the chocolate rose I had been holding when the accident happened.  There were bits of glass stuck into the chocolate.  I started to laugh.  

After a few days, my mother's short term memory returned, but to this day she does not remember the accident.  I recovered in time, and it became a unique Valentine story for years to come.  

I'm so thankful to God for protecting me and my mother that day.  Here I am, 20 years later, doing great!  After seeing the pictures of the car after the wreck, I cannot fathom how anyone could have survived.  I decided to share this story because the accident led to some other things that I'd like to share in the days to come.  I mostly wanted to share to show you all how great God can be.  He protected me and my mother.  We are alive to tell the tale -- well, I can tell it, she can't remember a blasted thing!  

Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm back!!!!

I'm back!!  

I can't say for certain what happened. I'm still sick to my stomach, but I've managed to eat. I have a nasty headache, but don't care. The heaviness of my heart has gone away and I even found myself dancing to a favorite song.

Here's the song.  Now get up and DANCE!!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Enough Now

Time for a favorite movie scene!

The movie, "Love Actually."

First, if you haven't seen the movie... you must.  SO MANY GOOD SCENES!

I love this one the most because of what it represents.  Watch, then we can discuss:

Enough Now.

He loves her but cannot have her, because she is married to his best friend.  He knows all along that he can't have her.  He knows that she does not and will not ever love him the way he wants her to. Yet, he loves her despite it all.

He decides that his only form of closure is to tell her how he feels.... "Without hope or agenda."

She is touched so deeply that she gives him a Christmas kiss.  Then, and only then is he ready to let go of his obsession and move forward with his life.

Enough Now.

Why do I love this scene so much?  Because it shows you that you need to be honest with yourself and those you care about in order to move past your problems.  His problem is a love that can never be reciprocated.  He needs to tell her to move past it.

What do you need to get out of your system?  What can you open up about that will help you release yourself from the pain you are holding on to?  Let it out.  Then you can say....


Enough Now.

And move on.


I am sick.

That is to say, I am physically ill.  I am not well.  I am suffering from physical symptoms that leave me a pale, pasty, disgusting mess.  I am sick.

I'm not hungry.  I can't eat.  I'm tired, but I can't sleep.  I'm bored, but I have no ambition to do something productive.  I'm even scowling at my crafting projects.   My mind is preoccupied with concerns in my life.  My heart is troubled.  My mind has given up all hope for rational thought.  I can't seem to get my act together.

All I really WANT to do, is lie in bed, cuddled up with someone handsome (can you guess who that might be?), and just kind of exist for a while.  I want to erase the things that are stressing me out.  I want all of my obligations, worries, concerns, fears, stress, pain, sadness, and confusions to just disappear for a while so that I can simply exist in the NOW.

Don't we all wish for that for at least one moment of our lives?  For the ability to cast away all of our cares, duties, obligations, responsibilities, and just have one day off the record books?  Maybe even one day where there are no rules to follow or consequences for our actions?  Where you could rob a bank and not get arrested or jump off a cliff and not die?

Ok.  I may have watched Groundhog Day recently... is that so bad?  I guess I'm just looking for a day off of life.  Not all life, just my own life.... to eliminate the things that are currently making me both crazy and sick.

Time to go back to the real world now.  Duty calls. Obligations call.  Worries, stresses, illness, pain, and alllllll the other stuff calls.

Hmmm.. this is quite an odd blog today.  Perhaps I need some rest.

Oh, and if you guessed that the "someone handsome" is Johnny Depp, you would be right.  HA!

Laters baby!


Warning:  Religious Post Ahead

Without getting into the particulars that are no one's business but my own... I have been going through quite a bit of emotional stress over the past week or two.  There have been questions in my heart and difficulties on my mind.  Some of these obstacles in my life have driven me to extreme emotions and extreme displays of emotions.  I have found it hard to cope.  I have been scared, sad, crying, shaking, worrying, and simply overwhelmed with emotion.

A few nights ago, I was contemplating singing another song to put on a blog for you all.  I decided I'd do a song that I love and that I think I sing pretty well.  It's Jaci Velasquez "I get on my knees."

This is a song about prayer.

This is a song about falling to your knees and reaching out to God when things are falling apart... or when things are great!  Sometimes, we just need to talk to God and he will fulfill our needs.

Somewhere over the past few weeks I forgot that.

I completely forgot.

When I took the time to pray, some of the stress went away immediately.   I found clarity in some of my confusing circumstances.  I found peace for the journey of it all.  The biggest stress of all had a very swift resolution.

Prayer works.  You just have to keep your faith.

Here are 2 songs about prayer that mean a lot to me.  I'm not singing either one because I kind of bombed out in my recording attempts.  I need to get a good mixer and stop using my cell phone! HA!  Until then, you can enjoy the original artists.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

You've Got a Friend

I'm just going to put this here as a gift to a friend.  

I know what you are going through, I feel it too.  Just know that no matter what happens, you always have a friend in me.  Any hour of the day, any day of the week... if you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to be your clown, please call me.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Emotional Eating

Hello!  It's February 1 and I'm officially starting MONTH #2 of my weight loss endeavors.

I have faced some challenges that I would love to share with you all today as well as some of the challenges I am putting forth for myself as I travel this path.

The Birthday Challenge -- I binged on cookies.  What can I say? It's a day to celebrate!

The Emotional Eating Challenge  -- Emotional eating is tricky because it takes on the heads of several different monsters.


When I am stressed, I want sweets. Lots of sweets.  Chocolate.  Over the past 5(ish) days, I've been stressed beyond recognition, hence, craving sweets.  Fortunately, you cannot binge on what you do not have and I have had no chocolate at my disposal.  That being said, I handled the STRESS eating quite well.


Another form of emotional eating for me comes when I am troubled by matters of the heart.  When I am sad, heartbroken, confused, conflicted, or even on an emotional high point feeling extra loved, treated very well, love sick....  In these moments, I cannot eat at all.  If I'm crying, I cannot eat.  If I'm on cloud 9, it's hard to eat, but I manage....  but I find myself going for long periods of time without eating a thing.

In the past, I've gone as long as 1-2 months without more than a yogurt a day.  2 years ago, the struggle was so real that after a month without eating and a 45 pound weight loss, I began forcing myself to eat a yogurt each day.  It literally took me an entire day to eat a single yogurt.  Once I had gotten myself there, I began introducing goldfish to my diet -- the cracker, not the animal -- one per day.  Eventually, after about a month, I was able to start eating again.  It was crazy.

This past week, I went 2.5 days without eating.  Matters of the heart hit me like a ton of bricks, I suppose.  I've often joked with my husband that he should break my heart once every few weeks so that I can lose weight!  What a diet plan!  YIKES!!!  No thanks!


When I'm mad, I head for the carbs.  When I'm really angry, I hit the chips, pretzels and my favorite... Cheez-its!  MMMMMMmmmmm....  Angry eating for me is BAD.  Very very bad.


Bordom eating is a THING!  OMG is it a thing!  That is why I knit!  When I don't know what to do with my hands, I cook things, and subsequently EAT the things.  Sometimes, I just need to do something with my hands to keep me from eating allllll the things!

Emotional eating is real.  There are many emotions it covers and many ways that we emotionally eat.  This impacts the weight loss efforts every single day.  Today, I've had a yogurt and a banana.  That's it, and it's 5:00 PM.  It's my emotions controlling me.  The key to survival is to recognize how these emotions are controlling us and then find a way to make it work out without sabotaging our dieting efforts.

For the record, I only lost 0.4 pounds this past week.  Not good.  I need to get my emotions in check.

Laters everyone!