Shiny and New

There’s certain things in life that make us all excited. The smell and Shine of a new car, going on vacation, maybe even starting a new job. And some things take us by surprise by how excited they make us. For me, I am ridiculously excited about getting a new computer. It sounds completely silly and mundane and a bit ridiculous, but I’m excited nonetheless.

Some people have the gift of being technically or mechanically inclined. I’m definitely not one of those people. And the idea of getting a new computer just made my head hurt – Looking through all of the different laptops, and processor speeds, and hard drives, and video cards, and things I can’t even pronounce or understand. I spent several days, several hours each day, combing through reviews and looking at specifications and trying to figure it out.

Finally when my eyes were about to roll back in my head and my hair was actually hurting, I reached out to my big sister who knows more about computers than anyone else it seems. She knew my budget, she knew what I used it for, and more importantly, she knew computers. Begging, pleading with her I asked her to please just find a computer for me, send me the link and I would buy it.

Within 10 minutes she sent me a link back. Looking over everything, this machine look perfect for everything that I needed. Thank goodness I have a family of technical, electronic, and mechanical Geniuses to help keep me. I know the English language and I’m very good at communication, but when it comes to knowing this and that about computers and hardware and which one works best with what, my eyes glaze over and it could all be in Greek for what I understand.

So next week arrives fabulous shiny new computer. And for a writer, this is extremely exciting! It’s almost like a new journal, with empty pages. I think of how beautiful and shiny this new computer is, and all the empty memory it has for me to fill. All the software, all the projects, all the writing, all the pictures, and all the life.

In this day and age we definitely depend on our Electronics more than ever. So maybe it isn’t that silly that I get excited about something like this. It’s been six years since I had a new computer, and my personal laptop is very slow, and actually not working since I spilled Coffee over the keyboard. Using that as a convenient excuse to replace the outdated the computer, I’m extremely excited about its replacement. The old computer will be retired as the new backup, after the keyboard is replaced of course.

Life is short. Make sure you have the right tools for your trade, and never feel guilty about getting excited, even over silly things.

Lightning Storms

We all have those memories a childhood, the ones that make us take pause and smile and fill our hearts with joy. Every time I see a lightning storm I feel that way. My father and I used to sit outside underneath our covered back porch and eat boiled peanuts and watch electrical storms roll in.

My father was an electrical engineer, and as such he had an appreciation not only for all things electrical and complex, but for nature and God as well. He was a tremendous man of faith and pray dry thoroughly. He was amazed at all the Little Miracles on this world and considered lightning to be one of them. We was sent and watch the lightning, both of us in all and it’s Beauty and sheer power.

Last night I took notice when someone mentioned that it was a fantastic lightning storm to the northwest of where I am. I immediately ran to the windows to see and indeed it was a beautiful show. Soon I quickly put my shoes on and ran outside with my cell phone to try to capture some of the images for my sister, as she would sit and watch lightning storms with us too.

To my surprise several of the neighbors were outside watching as well, their children running around having a good time on a Cool Spring evening before it started to rain. I took a few moments to take a video and we all chatted and had some good laughs, from 6 feet away, while practicing good social distancing

And as I went inside, and continue to watch the occasional lightning after that, I had to smile. I wonder if my father knew the memories he was building with us, out there in the night time, sitting with us talking, eating boiled peanuts, bonding? I wonder if he knew that I’d remember all those times years later?

Life is short. And yet our parents are only with us for a short. Of Our Lives. I lost both of mine way too early, but they loved me enough to last a lifetime. And every time I see lightning, I think of my father and smile.


Since both of you read this blog I thought I’d at least make the time you spend here reading useful. I have some advice for you and your children. First off there are absolutely wonderful and amazing children you should be very proud of them.

The ex confided in me that there are some issues of acceptance and that it is tearing down self-confidence and making him quiet. Unfortunately kids are going to be kids and they’re going to make fun of anyone they proceed is different. Unfortunately there’s nothing to be done to stop that. What you can do is instill a sense of confidence in him by finding something he’s good at. Whether it’s drawing or music or cooking or farming or whatever, find out what it is that he likes and that he excels that.

That requires spending significant time with him just hanging out and talking to him. That means being able to relate to him on his level, not expecting him to relate to you on an adult level. You can also get him involved in a peer group, such as a church youth group where he will be exposed to children who are taught to protect others instead of bully. The Episcopal church has an excellent youth program, as do Presbyterian and Methodist churches.

He also confided in me that the oldest is having some anger issues. As someone who has dealt with foster children for 40 years, I can tell you that children emulate the actions and attitudes of their parents. And if it’s not coming from you Ms, then it will be coming from the father. I have been there myself and witnessed him yelling at the oldest and throwing dinner down at him because the son simply wanted his hamburger on a non toasted Bun. I also the face of the oldest when he was yelled at and had his dinner thrown at him. It hurt him, and then his eyes got narrow and there was a flash of anger.

Children act out when something is wrong at home or school, not because the are “bad kids,” The reason is that as children they have all the emotions that we have as adults, but they haven’t the life experience or vocabulary ormaturity or knowledge how to express those feelings. Nor do they have the permission. And so instead they simply act out.

When a child says they hate you it’s not that they actually do, it’s that they’re so frustrated with not being able to voice what’s going on inside their heads and their emotions, and they’re always told “No.” that they have no other way to express what they’re feeling and so they act out. Get him a child psychologist or where can have a safe space to truly talk about what he’s feeling inside. Or have the mother, or a good friend that you trust his excellent with children to sit down and talk with him. All children need a safe space free of Authority.

Think about how frustrating it would be as an adult to not be able to express your frustration and have to hold it in all the time while being under totalitarian authority of others. It would be hard for an adult, who has the life experience, and maturity to control their emotions. So imagine what it’s like for a child.

Take a look at Fortnite as well, which has been flagged by many agencies as one of the worst for children because of child predators and teaching bad habits. Think your kids are safe…have you ever watched the game while he is playing? Do you know for sure about the content or his friends?

Also sincerely talk with the father about his anger issues and lashing out at those children when he has been drinking and is frustrated, tired or short-tempered himself. He assaulted me while the kids were “upstairs,” so there is no telling what they actually saw or heard. Children usually emulate the actions of the parents. So it’s not if it’s not coming from the mother’s house, then it’ll be coming from the father’s.

Also recognize that the last 18-24 months have been full of change and not much stability for them: They went from living in Texas with the 2nd ex, to another state with Dad, where he drank heavily for most of that, then had a crazy nanny who left, then went back to Texas, now being shipped back and forth week to week…that would be hard for an adult to adjust to, but kids are expected to be emotionally mature enough to handle with no problems?

Good luck.