The Best Day

Rarely are there days that measure up to the fantasy in life, and if we are lucky, we get a few of those. And indeed, this day surpassed anything that I had imagined. And I had to savor it for a while, enjoy the wonderful splendid before sharing,

The trip was planned for months and we were both excited. We were going with great friends and my man’s God daughter up into the Colorado mountains for day hikes and good unplugged quality time spent together. A beautiful cabin where we could see the stars, hear the crickets, and enjoy the clean fresh air. We would cook, laugh, drink, hike, and have a great time. It was beautiful. The day before we left was a flurry of activity getting everything ready and packed. And then the morning of the trip, I only forgot one thing as we headed to the airport – my make up bag. But we were going hiking in the mountains, I wouldn’t need make up anyway…

The best day started out like any other – coffee in my PJs, but with the added benefit of siting out on the deck enjoying the crisp mountain air. Then it was time to get ready for our first hike. I was a little nervous as I haven’t been hiking at that elevation in a long time.

The start of the hike was good, but hot and I was sweating. The young girl who was with us had never been hiking or at that elevation, so I was thankful when she wanted to stop quite often to rest, because then I didn’t have to ask. As we hiked up toward the middle of the mountain it got cooler and soon I got a chill. My man and his best friend noticed that the clouds were gathering in the distance and it looked like rain, a lot of rain. At first they thought the weather wasn’t moving fast enough to get us, but they soon changed their minds as we picked up pace to the top of the mountain.

At first it was just a few sprinkles, then a few more and increased until it was a good rain storm. I was thankful that I had my raincoat and put it on as we headed up toward the peak. And then I felt several small hits on my head through the rain coat and looked to the ground…Hail? Was it actually Hailing? Yes it was. The last track to the top was a sprint as we all headed towards a hiking shelter. The five of us, soaking wet, got in laughing and happy for the structure, complete with benches, tables, nap space, and a primitive bathroom. We ate lunch and rested as we waited out the storm.

When the rain cleared it was time to walk around outside and explore the views. Our friends asked me to check on my man who was sitting up on a rock, while they looked around a bit. As I slid beside him and asked how he was, he answered that he was good, and was just thinking about what a long journey it had been. Me, not thinking anything of it, responded with something like, “Yes, but the rain and hail didn’t last long and look at this beautiful view!” I was about to find out how wrong and clueless I was.

He smiled, let go of my hand, stood up, turned around, and then dropped to one knee. He was almost halfway though before I actually realized what was going on. And in that moment, the whole world stood still.

“I love you. Will you marry me?”

I was shocked and had no idea he was planning to ask that day. I started crying and I wanted nothing more than that moment to l last…I took a deep breath and said…”Maybe,” and smiled ear to ear. And then burst into tears and said “YES!”

And that was the best day. A day that I was reminded of all my prayers that were answered when this man and I found each other. A day that will forever make me smile and ever so thankful that such a wonderful man loves me . And how blessed were are that we have a love, deep in faith, that will last.


An on the humorous side of fantasy versus reality, when a woman thinks about the moment the love of her life proposes, she automatically assumes she will look good – hair and make up done, and wearing a great outfit. In the reality of the moment…I forgot to pack my makeup so wasn’t wearing any for the trip. My hair was pulled back in a common pony tail, and a but frizzed from all of the rain and hail. I was wearing wet hiking clothes and I looked like a confused squirrel. And it made no difference. In that moment, I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world. And I am the luckiest and most blessed woman in the world to have this man by my side, in love.

Hi Guys

Hi Guys,

Mom and Dad, I love and miss you so much, more than words can say.

I have been doing everything to take care of the estate.  We had buyers for the compound then two weeks before closing hurricane Michael cam e through.  It didn’t destroy the place (thanks to your incredible design and insistence that it be build beyond code Dad), but it did sustain damage.  Contractors are working on it. I have no idea what I am doing, but think I have navigated it pretty well.  I hope you are proud, and I hope I have done things up to your incredible standards. Thank you for teaching me such integrity.

When I go there now, I see glimpses of you and Dad, but I don’t feel you there anymore. I think you guys are off dancing somewhere else in the universe, happy to be together. And I think you come back to visit when I am there, but you do not stay. After all, there must be so much to do in the afterlife. And I am sure that you are the social butterfly you always were, Mom, Making friends and laughing where ever you go  And Dad, I know you are just happy to be with her, warmed by the light of her. So many people have and are helping me because of how much they loved you guys.

In a way I wonder if the hurricane was when you guys decided to leave the compound, use it as your exit. Mom, the gardens you made were destroyed, but most of the fruit trees made it. I guess in a way this makes it (emotionally) easier to sell, which is a blessing in it’s own way.

The family is a mess, if you can say it even exists at all.  I have tried to put the siblings back together, but some things cannot be unbroken. And so I accept that I am alone.  The cousins have been wonderful though, even though I have not had time to talk to them much.  But they are very loving and kind.  They are my last connection to you Dad and I want to keep those relationships going.  I plan to see them all this coming year.

Mom, I cannot believe it has been almost 2.5 years since you passed away. I don;t know how I have done all of this without you.  Accept I know you and God have been guiding me. I feel you so close sometimes, that I almost feel like I could reach out and touch you.  But I can’t. I wish you would visit me more in my dreams. And I love when you and Dad give me signs, like the rainbow yesterday.

As hard as it will be to finally sell the compound, I am looking forward to the closure.  You guys know how hard this has all been and how long it has taken to handle everything.  It is time for that closure and for me to live my life, finally free. I am planning where to go and what to do after it all settles down.  I am thinking of what I want life to be for me. I am not sure what it all looks like yet, but there is time.

The holidays (I think) will be easier this year than last.  Last year was rough. But that first year always is. I am ready for it now. And I am taking a friends advice…I am not making it about family, but about love and friendships and laughter and making good memories. I will be with friends who, I am learning, are our family of choice. I wonder if you ever spent a Christmas alone like I did last year, Mom. And I wonder was it hard for your too?  But this year is different.

I used to hate the idea of time passing without you guys. I still hate it, but I cannot change it, so instead I am learning to embrace it more.  I look forward to not being able to say “My Dad died last year.” Because it means that I am moving forward like I know you would want me to. Like I know that I have to. I know that the best way to honor you, and to honor God, is to find all the Joy that life can hold.  And I will.  I will make this life spectacular. All the while, never forgetting that it is your blood that flows through my veins, my beautiful, beautiful parents.

I am going to decorate for Christmas like crazy this year. Two Christmas trees and ALL of the decorations. I will sit and be warm in the glow of everything Christmas and feel close to you both. I will not only embrace the holidays, I will choose to flourish and be  love. And if I don’t have family around, then I will make my own world with all of my friends I love and who love me the most. Life can never be the same, but I can choose to make a life where I am happy and loved.  If we write our own lives, then I can do that. If I don’t feel like I fit in or belong, then I will create my own world where I do.

I still listen to your voicemails, and they make me smile. I never want to forget the sound of your voices. Please keep watching over me and guiding me. And I hope that I make you proud. I have tried very hard to have Grace, but still be tough when needed. It can be a hard balance sometimes. Somehow both of you mastered it, and I hope to one day as well.

I hope you guys are happy where ever you are. And I often wonder, when I look at the moon, if you see it too from your view? Or are you magnificent stars, seeing the moon for yourself? Do you get to see the world, like you always wanted, traveling a new wavelength we cannot yet understand here on Earth? If so, I bet it is spectacular. Or, are you angels, helping just like you did here, just in a different way?

Know that I love you so very much, more than words can say. I honestly don;t know if I love you or miss you more? I carry you with me always. ee cummings said it best. Love you guys, always.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)




Collateral Faith

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Many times in life we have to take a leap of faith to reach our goals.  We must work hard, take risks, create true priorities and stick with them.  And we must do one more thing…  we must have Collateral faith.  A deep unexplainable belief that it will all work out, some how, some way.   We must believe in every day miracles. We must believe in Grace.

To me the word collateral means the entire field, so to pair it with Faith means that we must have faith on all levels, even when our knees are shaking and our voice is trembling.  It is when we are the most unsure that our faith in the world around us must be the most steadfast.  Because faith will get you through many dark hours.

But that is hard. But the alternative is not acceptable. We have all met the alternative – those people who are forever negative. They expect things to go wrong. Where they place their faith, their thoughts, their hopes, is where their life lands. So if that is the case, which we have seen over and over, then why not put all your faith and belief in the fact that it will all work out?  Why not believe that the odds are ever in our favor? Even if there are bumps and hard times along the way, you will always be safe in the knowledge that eventually, it will be OK.

The alternative is to be so negative and riddled with fear, that we become our own self fulling prophecy. All decisions we make come down to love and faith, or fear.  And fear is no way to live. Fear paralyzes us, steals joy and sucks the life right out of us.

There are several pivotal events in my life right now. I have worked very hard to make these possibilities come to fruition, and much hard work is still ahead. I have calculated the risks, and some are very high.  But I must believe, collaterally, that it will all work out. I pray that the timing, which is so very important, happens smoothly.  Because sometimes there is nothing else you can do, but have that faith.  After all the work, all the sweat, and blood, and tears, and late nights, and negotiations, and thoughts…all that you can control, is your faith.

It is exciting and terrifying at the same time.  But that is just how life is isn’t it? And so it goes, in this crazy, wonderful, amazing, journey. Life is short. Make it spectacular.

The Siblings Are Coming

We all have those weekends where we are excited and can’t wait.  This is one of those weekends for me.  The siblings are coming. I have three older siblings that live in other states, and they are coming to visit.  Dad is doing well now, and they want to see him, want to see where he lives and where he will be living. My two older sisters are coming this weekend, and my brother will arrive in a few weeks with his two sons.

Due to age difference and geography, we have not always been close. But there has been constant communication since I have been Dad’s care taker and that has fostered a closer knit existence. No matter who we are, our siblings hold special place in our lives and in our hearts.  And in this time of everything disposable, family relationships are the ties that bind.

It feels good to have a home where they are welcome, where there are spaces for chats.  We are blessed to have the home we have. But a building is not enough, I want a home where you walk in and feel love and warmth.  No doubt there will be much catching up, wine and laughter.  And there is something about actually laying eyes on someone you love to make sure they are OK.

Dad’s eyes light up when he talks about his children coming to see him, getting to spend time with them.  He is tinkled pink about this weekend, and looking forward to seeing his sons in a few weeks as well.

The past 7 months have been extraordinarily difficult. But a new phase is beginning, and with it brings new opportunities for strengthening relationships.  Life is all about love and love is what makes time worth while.

The Glamorous Life

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. – Ernest Hemingway

One of the things I have heard over and over in writing is write what you know; write from the heart.  And I do believe in this when it comes to not only my writing, but others as well.  I write for myself, because these things must come out.  I write because it is in my soul.

Recently my writing has not been glamorous. It has been about pain and grief and confusion and finding your way. Because right now, in this moment, that is what I know.  And that is the thing about life, many times it isn’t glamorous. Many times we are just trying to get through it the best we can.  And those bad times do not last.  Whatever it is, it will not be like this 10 year from now, or 5 years, or 1 year or even 6 months from now.

This space, this pen on paper or words on the screen, is a safe and cathartic place. So it pours out of me in all of it’s raw, unglamorous and unpolished glory.

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. – E. L. Doctorow

When you write from the heart, others will connect with it.  Because you cannot hide the emotion or passion. Or comes out not only in the words, but in the flow and rhythm of the writing.  It cannot be faked or taught.  It just is. And to me, as a writer, that part of the process is sacred.

The best compliment anyone could give me is that my writing made them feel something, made them think. Because the glamorous life is wonderful, but cannot be sustained. We all love to read about exotic travels and adventures. I hope to have some soon. But sometimes real life gets in the way.  Real emotion.

I never understood how the holidays could possibly be a hard time for anyone. It is such a festive happy time.  A time of celebration, giving, and family.  But now after suffering loss, I do understand.  While I still love the holidays, there is an acute awareness now of all those who not with me.  Next year will not be as hard.

No one promised us an easy life, and there will always be tough times here and there.  The secret is reaching deep down into yourself.  It’s about tapping the joy and strength that is  within, where the soul meets the heart.

It is about finding what inspires you, even when it is dark inside.

And it is about being still and listening to the whisper of God’s voice.  At least it is for me.

So it’s not glamorous right now.  But it is real and it is what I know and it is from the heart.  And the heart, no matter how ragged, never looses it’s shine.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

From There to Now

What a difference a year makes…or 4, or more.  It truly is amazing all that can happen, all that can change, all that can make you different, stronger, wiser, better. All that can be learned, in that small span of time, in the blink of an eye, that adds up to a lifetime.

Facebook has this nice little feature called “On this Day,” tt makes recalling everything from 1 year ago, 2, 3, 4 and so on years ago very easy.  And when I  look at these memories, I am reminded of all that has transpired from there to now.

1 year ago – I had just found out This Mold house was indeed The Hose of Mold…I was sleeping on my sisters couch, and attempting to make the last chances of a childhood friendship survive. That friendship ended in disaster and hard feelings and a death of sorts.

There was the very new curiosity of a suitor who, as it turns out after pursuing me hard for 6 months,  would prove to view me as nothing more than a burden to be endured, and made sure I felt it too.

Dad’s cancer was not officially in remission, but he had not had a chemo treatment in sometime and was doing very well, which was good after all the family friction of previous few months.

Job wise, I was at a place that was very unprofessional and was miserable. All in all, I was in a terrible place, trying to figure out how to dig out of the hole that had become my life. The digging out had just begun.

And then I look at the landscape of my life now…and I really have no desire to even peak at the last years gone by. That is all in the past, where it should stay.  The only thing left is to say that I am proud of how far I have come, from there to here, proud of the strength it took to walk those miles, those roads, those places, in that darkness and confusion and despair.

I am proud of where there was, and how many baby steps I took, after each heartbeat, to get to the light of where I am now.  Proud of the tears, and perseverance, the tenacity and hope and prayer, and faith, and belief that it must get better. That what is bad and hard is only temporary, and that certainly I could make it just a little longer.

But mostly, I am thankful, so very thankful, mostly because, all because, of my friends, and family and faith that kept me moving, even when I was down and out.  Those who believed in me, said I was strong and capable, and could do it. because I was the one who could take the heat, the one they all said couldn’t be beat.

So very grateful for the souls who held me while I cried, listen while I vented, sat with me quietly, just watching TV, while I healed from all that had passed. Who fixed me dinners and coffees, and tucked me in, making sure I was safe and warm while in this sea of high waves.

But then again, who couldn’t survive, even thrive, with wonderful people around them like that?  I couldn’t have done it without the,=m, as strong as I am.  I am blessed to have them in my life, and blessed, honored and privileged to try to give it back to them, should they ever be in need.

As I look out now, at my wonderful job, great relationship, family’s health and so much more. I am smiling again, writing again (like crazy, it is pouring out). There is a spring in my step and I am singing, though badly, around the house.  There is joy once again. And I know I am not alone.  I wasn’t alone in the rough seas, and I am not alone now that there is celebration to be had.

And that is what this season, this winter, this upcoming year will be – The time of celebration. And healing. And that is the best thing about getting from there to here. Join me, won’t you?

Don’t Mold Around Here No More

With any new beginning there will naturally come challenges and obstructions. Do not become discouraged by them, do not fall into fear and doubt, but rather, cleave in faith and continue on, confident that the Divine is with you and that you will overcome whatever challenges and obstructions that arise. Remember, the challenges and obstructions we encounter are integral to a greater progress and our eventual success. – Gamze Ridley

Today I received the final word on my House of Mold…not only is it full of toxic mold, but I cannot return for any reason without a Hazmat suit because the infestation has permeated ever part of the house.  It is not safe to breath even for 5 minutes.  The house must be condemned and destroyed to make sure no one else suffers further illness. It is also recommended that I get further medical testing to determine the level of permanent damage to lungs and respiratory system.

Hearing this was rather overwhelming, even though on some level it was expected. My heart went into my throat and I could feel tears rolling down my cheeks.  Yes I cried.  I just didn’t expect it to be that…bad. And I threw myself the obligatory pity party for the remainder of the evening, sending out text messages, telling friends, discussing what it all meant.

And then I realized, this isn’t the end of the world. I will be fine. While the idea of living in that house for 6 months, when it’s not safe to breath for 5 minutes is terrifying, I am OK. Having my house condemned isn’t going to kill me, neither is walking away from the disaster and giving it back to the bank. Though it is not how I wanted it to be, “it is what it is and it ain’t getting no isser.”

And with that the pity party was done and I thought why not remain positive? After all, I have been extremely lucky thus far. Things could have always been worse. I could have been a lot sicker with many more health issues; I found the mold quickly when it could have taken years.

Part of  life is just getting through it. Things won’t always go your way. There will be adversities to overcome, challenges to meet, and difficulties to chase. And that’s OK.  Continual smooth waters are not conducive to forming a well rounded person. We must rise to overcome in order to find out just how high the human spirit can sore.

And while we may have a few scars or be weary from those hard times, they are worth it. For it is that which makes us great, which makes us richer, deeper, finer, more compassionate beings. It is what makes us our most human, and our most beautiful.

So, I will appreciate, maybe even celebrate to condemnation of my house and it’s subsequent foreclosure. Because that means I lived through it and came out the other side. I will appreciate the tears that may fall between now and then, for it means that I can feel deep emotion. I will appreciate the experience of the coming legal proceedings and pray for justice. And I will appreciate and celebrate all that this life gives me, because every day I breath is a gift. And I will appreciate the scars left behind, because they only add to the beauty and splendor of being human. And in being human, I find Peace.

And I will look forward and not fear the future. I don’t know what is coming in the days, weeks and even years ahead. But I am here. And this is a new beginning.

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’ ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

A Post of Goals

Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.- Denis Waitley

It is a tradition every year that started with a dear friend several years ago. It is a process. First, I must think about what I want in the next year – what my personal and professional goals will be moving forward. Things wanting to be done or accomplished. Then I get several magazines, a board, stickers and pretty things. Everything I want in the upcoming year, is put on the “Goal Board.”

For several days my house is nothing but piles of magazine cuttings – pictures, quotes and other miscellaneous things. Stacks of magazine, articles scissors, stickers, glue and letters litter the floor. I move the pieces around, trying to find the best place for them on the board. And I always get glue in my hair…for several days. And as soon as I get everything arranged just the way I want them – the cats jump on everything before I have a chance to glue it all down.

So why bother with is at all? Studies have shown that there are many benefits to setting goals. Here are just a few of them:

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Henry David Thoreau

Clear focus and vision: When you really think about what you want for the next year (or week, or month or whatever), you get very clear on what you want – and what you don’t. Too often you can have many things on your mind and goals can help you take all of those ideas, apply perspective and priority, then galvanize you into commitment and action.

More motivation and greater enthusiasm: Passion replaces complacency, because we have something to work toward. We are not just drifting; we are on a path and know where we are headed. Goals help us focus on who we are becoming, not just settle for who and what we are today. When we set goals for ourselves, challenge ourselves to do more and be better each time, we grow as people. Setting goals can help to release our creative energies so we can focus on how to achieve them. You start to look for ways to make it happen. We take chances, maybe even a risk or two, because we are motivated.

What keeps me going is goals. – Muhammad Ali

Sense of control: There are so many things that cannot be controlled in life, that it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. Having goals allows us have control over our lives, whether professional, personally or both. You are programming your brain, and putting your goals in an order to make sure your they become reality. And, how can you not feel in control of your life when you do this? when you feel in control of your life, your self-esteem is also likely to increase.

If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals. – Lou Holtz

Lowers stress: At first this may seem counter intuitive, but it’s not. Setting goals lowers stress by motivating us to live with more passion and enthusiasm. We are fully engaged in our lives; we stop procrastinating and start looking forward to crossing items off that list. And it feels good when we overcome an obstacle that might stand in our way. It also gives us hope.. of a better life, better job, being a better person… Setting and accomplishing goals makes us happier and more fulfilled; thus, lowering stress.

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. – Les Brown
Setting goals is good for you, and it can be fun – especially if we get our friends and family involved. They can help motivate us and celebrate our victories. This year my goals board will include running, doing Pilates, getting serious about photography, traveling more, saving money and playing my piano again. Join me, won’t you?
We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals. – Stephen Covey

Aaaand, Im Back!

Ada Lamar has been dark for over 6 months as I took a break from this blog. The time away has been wonderful and filled with much magic. Life is filled with long walks, long talks, lots of family, hope, dreams, love, hand holding and wine. There has been much writing, a career I love, meeting great people, making stronger bonds with old friends, midnight gardening by the moonlight, travel, sunburns, house cleaning and warm sheets. Along the way there has been good news, bad news, tears and laughter. Lots of desserts, plans, saying goodbye and many hello’s. Prayers, fights, triumphs, motorcycle rides, roller derbies, boxing, running, playing and working. Sweat equity, painting, organizing, consolidating, planning, building staining hammering, learning and eating.

And every step pf the way, every heartbeat along the road, for everything I have carried and all that I have let go, I am happy and life is good.

And I look forward to writing about many more adventures to come!

Of Prayers Family and Grace

Prayers for Dad

We all have those moments that just get right down to the core of you. My family and I have been so very blessed, but still there is worry.

Two months ago he came up for a very large dose of chemo. Today there is the MRI to find if the chemo worked or if the tumors are still in his liver.

All signs are good that the tumors are gone. But still there is worry. When you love someone, no matter how faithful you are, there is still worry and a bit of fear. You want those you love to be healthy. And when there is a chance that they are not, then it sits in your stomach like a ball of lead. It stays in your mind and on your heart.

So if you are a person of faith, please say a prayer that the chemo worked. That he is healthy and will not need any more treatments. Thank you.

Grace in Motion

I have written much about my search for Grace. I have prayed for it, sought it out, taken deep breaths to attain it. And I have, many times in the last few months, been very proud of the Grace I have displayed when others have hurt me. But even I have my limits.

It seems I have Grace for the most part…except when I need it most. This past week has been an example. This past week, a few things happened that cut me to the core. Deep cuts born from lies others have told, lied about those lies and left me wondering why I did not see them before now.

And it is during these times that I need Grace the most. But then I am only human, and even though I strive for Grace at all times, I have slipped a time or two. Between those events happening, anxiety over my father’s health and a bad case of PMS with a shortage of chocolate, I have been a girl in a mad mood on a mission.

And that is part of being human, you make mistakes, react in bad ways sometimes, try and fail, fall short of what you want to be, try again harder, and hopefully you learn a but along the way.

Our lives are always in motion, moving forward, moving on, moving past everything before it. And as I take a deep breath, I have to let go of the fear, of my father’s health, of being betrayed again, of more lies, of frustration, of being hurt. Because as our lives are in motion, so is our Grace, and compassion and empathy for others.

Grace is defined as: Mercy; clemency. To give kindness and consideration beyond what is deserved. I have not followed this definition as I should have. This is something that can be difficult for a fiery red-head to learn. One would thing that if you have found Peace as I have, Grace would not be far behind. But the art of Grace is just that, an art. And maybe one has a  lot of training in order to get it right.

I am a work in motion, as is the Grace that I strive to practice on a daily basis. Every day starts a new, with promises of mistakes not to be made.

Four Days of Thankful Sauce

So now to continue the trend:

Day 24, The Compound: I am thankful for the family compound.  Mom and Dad have made this place in the country a little slice of heaven. It is where I go to get away from the city, enjoy nature, be with family, recharge and just be. It is a healing place filled with love.

Day 25, Laughter: This day I am thankful for laughter. There has been much of it as my family gets together for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Day 26, Chocolate: I am thankful for chocolate, one of my favorite foods. It is just yummy and it makes me happy.

Day 27, Peace: Something I am finally finding after a rough year. Peace brings about the ability to be still, to listen, to have Grace and to love. You will be happy when you find peace.

Day 16, 17 and 18

More thankful November days:

Day 16, my eyesight: I have very bad vision without my contacts, but with them I have better than 20/20 vision. So I am thankful for  my contacts and for my eyesight. I am thankful that I live in a time when contact lenses are a possibility.

Day 18, weather: I am thankful for beautiful weather. The weather with weekend has been wonderful, perfect for keeping the windows open in the house and letting fresh air inside while house cleaning. Hard to believe it is November with warmish/coolish sunny days. Perfect for curling up with a warm fuzzy blanket (which I am also very thankful for) and good books (again, for which I am thankful.

Day 19, contract and spell check: I am very thankful my contract has been extended. I love my job, I love where i work and they seem to love me too. I am also very thankful for spellcheck. Even though it might not seem like I use it much on this blog, I use it a great deal professionally. I am a great writer…not a great speller. And sometimes the thoughts pour out of me so fast that my hands cannot type the words fast enough and I have many typo’s. But that’s OK, you guts know what I mean.

I am also thankful for laughter and smiles. long sweet looks, slow kisses and good movies. I am thankful for long conversations, grilled cheese sandwiches, whispers and warm places.

I am thankful for Ranch Dressing, fried chicken and roller coasters. High heels, great boots and bathing suites. Glasses of wine, nail polish and earrings, hot chocolate, egg nog and Christmas trees. Nail clippers and cinnamon, and the smell of dinner cooking on the stove. Hugs, tissues, warm big sweaters and fuzzy socks, playing cards, chess and the Muppets.

Yes, this year I have so much for which to be thankful.

How to Be More Resilient

According to Dr. Russ Newman, “research has shown that resilience is not an extraordinary thing but is rather ordinary and can be learned by most anyone”.

Relience. The dictionary define resilience as The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy. Resilience is what allows you to maintain a sense of well-being when you deal with the challenge.We have all been through those rough times. The truth is you really don’t know what someone is made of until you see them in the rough times. Anyone can be a great person when things are good and life is easy. And anyone can fake emotionaly stability when the waters are smooth. See someone is rough waters, see them at their worst if you really want to know them.

In the past I have been very resilient, able to get through rough times in a single bound. However, the last six months have been a challenge.  When rough times happen, here are some things that help keep your head above water and keep you reslient. Being the research loving person I am, I set out to find the best advice the internet had to offer. and now, I bring it to you. You are welcome.

Take care of yourself:

This one is a hard one for me. Unfortunately sitting at home eating abundant amounts of chocolate and watching B movies does not count as taking care of yourself. who knew?

When we are stressed and going through a rough time, it’s easy to loose sleep, stop exercising and start eating badly. According to research by the Mayo Clinic, those who are physically well are more emotionally equipped to handle stress. So we cannot forget to take care of ourselves. Slow down, spend some time alone, listen to music, take a walk. Exercise releases endorphins into the your body and helps to lift the spirits.

Getting a hobby (or three) is also recommended. Whatever makes you feel happy, fulfilled or gives you a sense of purpose and utilizes your talents. I am getting into crocheting and photography.  These are hobbies that I enjoy and for which I have a talent (well, we’ll see about crocheting…). Taking a class or joining a social group will also help you meet new people and get your mind off of your troubles.

Maintain a sense of control:

This one is oh so important, at least to me. Generally, resilient people tend to have what psychologists call an internal locus of control. Know that you have within yourself all that you need to make decisions that are important to your life. Look deep inside yourself and listen to that little voice inside of you, your gut instict. All that you need to get through, is right there.

When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess what’s in front of you. Think about possible solutions, break them down into steps and take baby steps. Martin Seligman, Positive psychology maven, says that a component of resilience is pervasiveness—not allowing a setback in one area to affect another. So keeping it together is a way to maintain control. This means, especially for women, to keep it together at work. Or al least close the door if you are going to get emotional. Never let them see you sweat, or cry.  At least go to the bathroom if you don’t have an office.

problem-solving skills and critical thinking are also shown the help keep a person centered and resilient. Research suggests that people who are able come up with solutions to a problem are better able to cope.   These skills are also key to  self-esteem, which also plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. 
Strong social connections:
Friends can help you through the rough spots. According tot he Mayo clinic,  being able to reach out to others for support is a key component of being resilient.  Those who have an broad support system recover faster from challenges in life. This has been a bit of a challenge for me, as I cut about 90% of my social group in the last year. But the people I have left in my life are solid, loyal and have integrity – and that is worth it’s weight in gold.
Sharing your problems with friends can help lighten the emotional load as we bounce solutions off our friends, get positive feedback or get out of the house and get our minds off of the problem.
See yourself as a Survivor:
You can’t really feel that locus of control unless you feel power to take action. You need to almost immediately feel that you have used your strength to survive something bad.  Then tap into that strength to get through the emotional aftermath. Never see yourself as a victim because you loose your sense of control and purpose. You are a survivor, you have strength and courage. Look for ways to solve the problem, or deal with it in the best way possible. Always take the high road and always maintian a level of class. Hold your head up high and know you can and will get through it. While the situation may be unavoidable, you can still stay focused on a positive outcome.
Embrace Change:
This is a tough one for a lot of people, including me.  I like things steady and predictable, but flexibility is an essential part of resilience.  Why not see these events and challenges as opportunities to branch out in new direscitons?  Learn something more about yourself, your charactor and your depth as a human being.  Yes, I am workin gon this too.
How exactly do you adapt to change if you are like me and would rather have a root canal?  Psychologists say that people who see change as a challenge and not a threat handle streeses better. In their book The Peace of Mind Prescription, Charney and Nemeroff say, “The hormones released by an appraisal of challenge include growth factors, insulin, and other compounds that promote cell repair, trigger relaxation responses, and stimulate efficient energy use.” 
Set Goals:
Goals that focus on your strenghts, things that bring you a sense of happiness, calm, satisfaction and fulfilment will help the most. The goals I have set for myself are to 1. Finish and publish my book by the end of the year. 2. Cook new super yummy meals 3. Finish the Fifty Shades of Grey series (which I am struggling with because I am actually getting board with the story). I am also working on writing better blog enteries, as I don’t feel like the latest entries have been very good.
Setting and meeting goals helps with our sense of control and accomplishment during a rough time. It will also boost self esteem.
Yes, you read right. Exercise has been correlated with stronger levels of resilience. So while becoming a couch potato and watching TV all night might be tempting, it isn’t very productive. Exercise relases endorphines into the body which has a positive impacts on one’s mood or the physical health benefits to those who exercise, or both.  
Have Faith:
If you are a person of faith, it helps to to pray, alot. And just hang in there. Know that the bad times are only temporary. It won’t last and in no time (and a series of babysteps) you will be past it and on to better times.
None of us are immune to rough times, and there are times in life that are jusst going to suck. And we just have to reach deep down and get through them. But these little steps will help shorten the time we are in the dark. and when the dust settles, we will be better, finer and stronger than we were before. Basically, finding Peace is what helps me, so do whatever youhave to do to get it. So dig in and get on with it.


What defines us? As people? As humans? As individuals?  I don;t think that there is one thing that can define a person, as we are all multi-layered and complex. Flawed.  Good and bad.  We are, in fact, made up of may definition, just as we are made up of many parts. As just as our parts, we are for more rich that just the sum…because along with all of our parts and definitions, there is an intangible quality that is brought with the whole of us.

That which defines us, is liquid. It can change at any time, because we ourselves, are so multifaceted that we may also seem liquid. The Truth is, it just depends on which angle and light from which you catch the view.

I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a writer, a lover, a co-worker, a girlfriend, an enemy, a stranger, a driver, an actor, a model, a girl, an American, a Southerner, and human, a sing-in-the-shower-er, a klutz, a romantic, a procrastinator, a spectator…and too many more too list. Ands what you see me as, depends as much as your view as it does the angle in which you see me.

There are things in my life, that I have done, in which I am proud, and there are things I have done which I am ashamed. I have gone back and read the hand-written story of my life in the pages of my journal, in my own handwriting, and cried, been proud, been terrified, been ashamed, been happy and been sad at what I read. There are times I really wanted to know the person in those pages, and times when I hated her. And they are all what defines me…and more.

And maybe that is it, our definition is a combination of our experiences, thoughts, beliefs, personality, views and opinions, as well as all those of what others think and view of us. Certainly there is not a single person who is liked or loved by everyone. And who one person would say is a saint, certainly someone else may say is the devil. It all depends on the definition others see us by as well.

But maybe the most important definition is that which we give to ourselves. And tat which we strive to reach. I want top be better. I strive to be less defensive, more open, have more Grace and patience, have more compassion. I pray that I worker harder and be more engaged and a better friend to those who love me. And work hard to e a better writer and deeper explorer of the human condition. And I strive to reach more depth of understanding in my dealing and comprehension of others.

And I pray, that I never stop adding definitions of who and what I am.

To Write You Must Read

In order to be a good writer, you must first be a good reader. This is just a fact of life, the same as if you need to be a good student you must study. The reason is that you learn so much about writing when you read. You learn about styles, different points of view, different phrasing, ways to tell a story, or an outline, ways to organize the story line, story arcs. And even in non-fiction writing (mainly what I do), you learn about how to present facts, how to keep in interesting and engaging, you  learn what has worked for others and what hasn’t.

I read all the time for my day job and have become a master expert at research (need anything facts dug up? I am your girl). I actually read and do research more than I write.  I am constantly reading about the product and services the company I work for has to offer. Constantly reading about the latest “thing” that we do. And then I write about it. it may take hours of reading through white papers, data sheets, industry articles and even interviewing others.

Even for my personal writing, I may do a lot of research.  If the writing is of a personal nature, I may just sit down and write (most of these type posts take 10 minutes of less to write), but others, I may on and research for days. And article that I did for Atlanta Girls Magazine Called Battle Bullies, I researched and read for about a month gathering all the information needed for that type of article. And I had the opportunity to interview some of the most esteemed experts in the country on the topic…and read all of their books.

I have never met, or even heard of another writer, that was not first an avid reader. It is the art of learning how to craft, create and tell a story. As far as writers go, we are all bookworms. I have a pretty impressive book collection (though not as extensive as I would like). And I cannot tell you how exciting it is to do into a mans house and see a whole bunch of books. It is hot and very sexy. I look at the titles, browsing and smiling. Another reader. And if he writes too? Well, that is just extra icing on the cake.

For me, writing is like therapy. It makes me happy, it frees my thoughts, opens me up in ways that would otherwise be closed.  Sometimes it pours out of me, other times it is writers block and I could not write a sentence to save my life. It cannot be scheduled or forced… it just is. What makes us write, what makes us have the meed to put stories on paper, whether our own or others?  I don’t know. I just know that it is.

Yes, we writers are a strange group – book worms, middle of the night writing, often having strange pieces of paper strewn about with handwritten scribbles, or notes on the cellphone/iPad/smartphone. Always thinking about what to write and how that idea could fit in. We are almost like the mad scientists…of literature.

And if we really sit down and think about it…it may have just started with a good story in a good book that we read.

Within Our Own Imperfections

I’m learning that within our own imperfections we find the greatest truths, unconditional love, appreciation and a mirror of who we really hope to be on the inside on good and bad days. – Jennifer Jo Clark Singleton

I have long written about our faults, how they make us beautiful, human, complicated, deep and of course, flawed. One of the things these imperfections also do is help us find those greatest truths, not only about ourselves, but others in our lives. Within our own flaws, we can see a deeper.

It’s easy for others to like us and even for us to like ourselves on the good days. But what about the bad days? Those days when we know we are short tempered, overly emotional, angry, irritable, impatient and just bitchy. When we are tired, hurt, frazzed, discouraged, insecure and un-pretty. Those days when we really want to be the super hero we try to be, but just can’t seem to find the energy.  We are human and that is not always pretty.

Those people who love us anyway see us on a deeper level, because they see us even when we are not proud of ourselves. It’s all part of really getting to know someone, faults and all, from the inside out, from the soul to the toes. When we see that person is not perfect, they suddenly become real and are no longer 2-demensional. They are suddenly human, like us. Within our own imperfections we find God, Grace, compassion, comfort and healing.

I am going to have those bad days, as are you and everyone else in the world. Because we are human. We will lose our tempers, say the wrong things, lash out and just get irritable. Then we think about what was done or said and find our deeper selves. We feel remorse, and we apologize. we rebuild, we re-trust. We try and in trying, we become better – on those good days and even when we fall short on the bad days.

Within our imperfections, we strive to be better.

And within our flaws we can realize our dreams as well. We strive and work hard  toward making the “Me” we want to be, with the lives we want to have, reality.

I want to take long walks down roads and trails with yellow and red leaves. I want to make delicious meals in a big kitchen with an island. I want to have friends over and drink wine on the deck or patio. I want a yard in which children can play and I want laughter and love running down a hallway leading into bedrooms full of toys and fairy tales. And I want someone with which to share those wonderful things. Someone to laugh with, kiss at midnight and talk into the early hours. Someone whose flaws I can live with, and who can somehow, see the deeper treasure in the real 3-dementional me.

So I strive, everyday to be better. And when I fall short, as I will, I find comfort in the compassion and understanding of the hand that takes mine, the voice that says it is OK, the smile that re assures me that being human is just fine because I am in good company. And as I look in the mirror, as I look out to my friends and loved ones, and see them bare souled with imperfections too, I know it is true.


Calm After the Storm

We all have those times where the waters are so rough, you would think you are about to face a tsunami. Last week was that week for me. It was a rough week punctuated with ripple effects, lots of tears, high emotions and personal struggles not to be written about in a public forum. It was a week of learning, feeling, losing and gaining. Heartache multiplied and returned to me in Joy a thousand times over.

And then, this week, this day, there is calm. There is calm as I take a breath and take rest and refuge in the love of those who have sent encouragement, love, support, kindness, compassion, thoughts and prayers. As I let myself rest, closing my eyes and feeling the soft lull of the calm waves of life beneath me, I am so very thankful.

Thankful for the many blessings I have been given this week and last. Celebrating my father’s 76th birthday, when just a short while ago we thought we would lose him forever. My mother’s health returning, the legal struggle against my crazy ex finally coming to a close, seeing wonderful dear friends, feeling their arms around me in a true embrace that says I love and miss you, another promotion, another project, sincere hugs, soft hopefull kisses and a heartfelt reconciliation, are just a few things on the list of which to celebrate and be thankful.

And tonight, as I lay down to rest, and sleep takes me, I will dream soft sweet dreams of the future, of smiles, of laughter, of love, of friendship, of life. And I will enjoy basking in the sun of the calm after the storm.

And in this calm, a life will be built that is strong enough to endure the next storm when it comes ashore.

The Importance of the Olympics and Setting Hight Goals for Yourself

Recently I saw a Facebook post some had put up about the Olympics comparing the Olympics to grade school and who does best in gym class. I really hated that comparison. Those people who were competing chose to be there; we are made to be in gym class. Olympic competitors sacrificed and trained very hard to get where they are. In school we don’t have to sacrifice anything by going to gym class.

After taking a break from writing for a bit, I have been thinking of subjects about which to write.  And the ideas are flowing. That is one great thing about having an editor, they tell you what ideas and topics would be boring for your audience to read. They also help out with spelling. Obviously I do not have an editor…though I am a professional writer and editor in my real life. The problem with that is that you cannot edit your own work, for many reasons, one being that you can never be completely objective about what you write. You may have a particular attachment to a sentence, where the editor does not. So if my posts are not particularly interesting, you can always blame my editor.

 So I started thinking about what high goals these athletes must set for themselves in order to get to the Olympic games. They did not all set out to be Olympians, but they all set goals and worked hard to reach them. Whatever bar we set for ourselves is the one we reach. And we have heard it a million times, set small goals that lead you to a big goal. Visualize what you want, and go after itYes, this is very true. But sometimes life has a way of changing us, our goals and our aspirations. Some people who set out to be in the Olympics don’t make it, not because they are not good enough, but because they change their minds and something else becomes important. No doubt though that if they set high goals for themselves, whatever they decide to do, they will be successful.

Also be willing to take chances. No one had a great life by always playing it safe. The fact is that you might fail. And you probably will. But you might not. And even when you do you have to be willing to take another chance. And another, and another.  Let’s face it, life is simply a serious of chances taken or not. And if it doesn’t work, so what? I have failed many times at many things. And no one makes fun of me, and if they do, so what? I am still alive. I am still happy.

Ask questions and take notes. Even though I am a professional writer, I still ask people questions and get advice. In the end, I always follow my gut, but many times other peoples advice has lead me to the right decision.

You don’t have to be an Olympian, maybe you just want to have a prolific vegetable garden. Ok, then do the research as to what makes that garden grow and produce, and do the work it takes to make it happen. Don’t blame others. I started a vegetable garden last summer. And at first it was great, and then it wasn’t.  Last year was a very dry year and didn’t rain much. But I did not water the garden much either, so the garden failed.  Some of the plants produced, but not very much or well because I did not do what needed to be done to make them grow. I did not do all the work required. And it is the same with life as it is with my little vegetable garden. We must do all the work required or the results will not be as prolific as they could. A sense of entitlement makes not a garden nor a life grow. If you want a great life, then you have to be the one to roll up your sleeves and be willing to get down and dirty to make it happen.

I have a great life. I am a professional writer and editor, I make good money, I have great friends and a lifelong career that I love. Some things I was blessed with – a great family that provided me with the foundation on which to build my dreams and the God given talent that was there to begin with and nurtured throughout the years. But I have also worked my ass off. I have been so broke noodles were a splurge. I have worked 18 and 20 hour days typing articles at $2 an article when I was a starting out. Many people think you start out at the glamorous part of the career when the fact of the matter is that there was years of hard work, small bank accounts and long days that lead to where I am now. And I am not done yet – this is not as good as it gets because whenever I meet the bar, I then raise it to the next level so I am always working on better.

 Be your own Olympian in your life. Set goals, but even more than that, when you meet those goals, never settle for just that. And always be gracious. Think of the difference between Gabby Douglas and Usain Bolt. Both won gold, both are legends but only one showed class and Grace. The same with Michael Phelps. He never talks about how great he is, how decorated he is or that he is a legend. He talks about how hard he worked and how he set a goal and met it.

Being gracious inspires others, because it shows them how they can do it too. And no matter who we are or what we do or what we have done in the past, there was always someone who inspired us. Setting goals, working hard and reaching them gives others hope that they can do the same. And that is worth more than all the gold in the world.

Protected: Hope, Peace, Prayer and Grace

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The Freakout Week

We all need it, especially after bad news. No, I am not talking about large amounts of alcohol and chocolate, though that may help. I mean what  my friends and I referre to as The Freak out Week. It is the week after you receive said news, and it is your time to completely freak out and be an emotional basket-case. You give your self permission to just be a shitty basket case.

If you want to be irritable, you are. If you want to spontaneously combust into tears at any given moment, you can. If you need to consume large amounts of alcohol and chocolate, you do. you talk, cry, eat, drink and cry. If you need to throw shoes across the room, you do. You are just a hot mess every moment during thisweek. And your friends are right there for you every step of the way. And that has defiantly been me.

And I am so thankful for my family and friend this past week, who have been there for me, having the difficult conversations and holding me while I cry. I am glad my sister was the one who told me and was there – when I woke her up at 2am one morning sobbing, scared and tired, with red eyes and tear stained cheeks, shaking, asking questions. I am thankful for her sleepy look, her kind re-assuring words, her being my rock in that moment. My dear, wonderful older sister, taking care of me as she often has in those dark moments of life.

The freak out week is not a pity party, but rather a way to get it all out of your system so to speak. And when that week is over, you can come back down to earth a calmer person, ready to handle what ever challenges come about. After my week of completely freaking out over my father’s health and possible prognosis, I feel much better and can move forward and be a rock for the family.

Looking back when my Mother was diagnosed with stage 4+ Ovarian Cancer, there was a freak out week as well. That week was much different though – Mom was in the hospital barely conscious due to all the medication, and I watched over her. I got about 2 hours of sleep that entire week and then drove back  up to Atlanta to shoot a commercial. The make up artist noticed the dark circles under my eyes and asked if I had been out partying all night. I just smiled and said, “Yes, something like that.” So in comparison, this week of freak out is going much better.

And you have to learn to laugh about these things. Humor keeps you sane in the midst of chaos. Faith keeps you grounded and your heart safe. I remember a wonderful friend of the family whose mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. The first time I met her, he walked in the room, looked at her and said “I heard a joke today that was so funny it would knock your boobs off. Oh, I see you’ve heard it!” I froze in horror. How could he talk to his mother that way? She busted out in laughter and gave him a huge hug. Many years and two parents’ illnesses later, I now understand what he was doing.

And so it goes. And I wonder what the future will bring, for our family. I don’t know, but what I do know is that we are strong in faith and close in our hearts. And whatever happens, we will make it through, we will be there for each other and we will be OK. Even Dad, as Gods Will be done. He will give us the strength, courage and grace we need. If you are reading this and are a person of faith, please say a prayer.

Why I Hate Technology and Dating

Pardon me a moment while I get on my soapbox. Let me just vent a moment here. I hate technology when it comes to dating. Actually, no, I hate how men use technology when it comes to dating. I think using technology in dating and personal relationships pretty much ruins them. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with short texting conversations and IMing during the day, especially during working hours, but as we become more technology dependant, it seems like these tools are being mis used.

Text messaging, Instant messaging and emails should NOT be used in getting to know someone on any real or deep level. They should NOT be used during argument, disagreement or any time when there may be high emotional involved. I am not dating a computer screen, so why would I only want to communicate through one, especially if emotions are involved? And how many of you guys have used text, instant or email messaging during a fight?  And how did that work out for you? Did it go well or did it spiral into something awful with even more hurt feelings and harsh words? I would be willing to put my money on the latter rather than the former.

That is because you cannot read tone in writing, you cannot see facial expressions or body language. 90% of all communication is not verbal…so when you take the physical and verbal out of it…what exactly do you have left? Not much. You have people reading in their frame of mind, which is rarely the same frame of mind in which the message was written – thus many mis understandings and unnecessary hurt feelings. Not only that, because there are no clues for us to go by, typically people are much more abrasive over the computer. You can’t hear tone of voice, you cannot see body lunguage or when you hurt that person, you don’t know when to tone things down, or to say you are sorry. All of that is taken away.

The only way to truly get to know someone is by being in each other’s physical presence. People can be who and whatever they want over messaging. Trust me, I could write a book on this topic. Using technology in relationships creates a false sense of intimacy. You feel like you know each other better than you actually do. That is a very dangerous thing in this day and age.

It seems like the preferred method of communication by men in relationships is whatever is the least personal…text, IM and email. And they seem to like to handle break ups, make ups and every emotional thing in between with messaging. The fact is that I think men have turned into emotional wimps and just want to do whatever they can to make it the easiest for them. But here’s the deal – if you are old enough and mature enough to have sex with a women, then you should be old enough and mature enough to deal with everything that comes with it – and that includes women’s emotions. Women are emotional. Deal with it or keep your pants zipped.

I have read several articles that say men like to handle communication this way in relationships because it makes dealing with rejection easier. No it doesn’t. I have been dumped via text, email and IM…and trust me, it makes it worse. So guys, if you want to make it work with a girl, pick up the phone at TALK to her. Do it face to face if you can, but if not at least make a call. This will set you apart from the rest. She will appreciate it and trust me, there will be a lot fewer mis understanding and hurt feelings.

Way back in the day, before computers, iPads and cell phones, people actually had to talk to each other. And you know what? The Human race actually survived – no, it flourished. People took their time and got to know each other, build a good foundation.  And oddly enough, those relationships and marriages that developed during that time…they lasted. Those are the ones who are still married after 50-60 years. Coincidence? I think not. Personal communication and interaction promotes strong bonding.

On a more personal note, I don’t trust men who handle things mainly by using technology. The man who attacked me only wanted to communicate over IM and text, the man who left me for his ex wife handled that entire situation over email (and most of the relationship over email as well), and the roommate from hell? I cannot even begin to go into the amount of lies I recently found out concerning him – and he was the king of let’s text not talk.

So to me, it is a HUGE red flag if a man will not call or talk face to face. Some one recently told me that I needed a better filter when it came to who I trusted and let into my life. Ironically he said that over IM. I agree with him completely. So, if whatever happens even seems the least bit fishy, I just want to run away from it, and fast.  My threshold for even the possibility of getting hurt right now is in the negatives.  And I think I have more than earned that right.

If a man wants me to trust him, then he needs to spend time with me, talk to me, let me hear his voice, see his face, look into his eyes, let me touch him. Let me see and feel the tangibility of getting to know him.  Let me feel the comfort and safety of letting those bonds be built the old fashioned way.

So a man who dates me right now is going to have to be very patient. I have been through the ringer lately and will not appologize for being extremely cautious and gun shy, or easily spooked. Take it or leave it, but don’t text it or IM it.

I am stepping off my soapbox. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Dance in the Light of Day

“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” ― Rumi

Maybe happiness and contentment are actually in the strive and search to be better. To be better at being human beings. Because we have to take an honest look at what we truly are in order to know how we can improve. We must have an intimate knowledge of ourselves and of our strengths and weaknesses. We must see our selves and our faults, together as they really are, and still find the strength and comfort to love ourselves anyway. We must accept what and who we are, and in that acceptance is Peace. What brings us Peace will bring us happiness. It is a circle.

Recently I have found my vulnerable voice, and while a bit scary, it is also very real and wonderful. There is a Peace and comfort in vulnerability. My weaknesses are that I procrastinate, I am stubborn, I know I am right, always and I can have a hard time saying no, even when it is the best answer to give. And I have had, in the past, a hard time opening up, being vulnerable and trusting. I must accept these things about myself, yet strive everyday to over come them, and be at Peace at the end of he day.

And I also must find comfort in my strengths – I am smart, a hard worker, very loyal and steadfast, I have persistence and perseverance. I am strong. And I love with all my heart. But finding comfort in your strengths in not enough, at least I think. We must also use our strengths to be better everyday and over come our weaknesses, until our weakness are our strengths as well. At least in theory anyway.

So how do we do all of that? I have no idea. What I do know is that while you must work at is every day, and make a conscience effort to do so, life cannot be all work. We must also learn the value of play. Just to do something for the pure joy and pleasure of it. Play is food for our souls, along with prayer.

I recently made the statement here on the blog that I wanted it to be a deeper place of writing and thought, therefore I was not going to use it as a funny place for daily musings. As if the only my deepest thoughts are of value? All of our (my) thoughts are valuable, whether deep or not, whether funny or serious. And in the play of writing, or just in life, we often find our most profound meanings. Play clears our mind so we can be more receptive. And play makes us happy.

So this will continue to be a place of both thought and play. If you are looking for the always deep, you will not always find it here. Just like me, this space will be multi layered, sometimes provocative, sometimes funny, often sarcastic, and many times winding down different roads. And that is how it should be.

And every day, as I work on myself and being the becoming the best I can, every day, let me also find the joy in play. Join me, won’t you? And in that joy of play, may we all learn how to love and see the beauty of our  own form and dance. And in the combination of hard work and play in our intimate selves, may we find contentment, Peace and Happiness.

Blessed Days

I heard it in her voice, as I talked to her on the phone and got the latest news on my father’s condition. They found the problem. It is extremely serious, but fixable. And he will be OK. He has good doctors, they are taking and will take good care of him. I heard the relief in her voice and she told me, even as her exhaustion made her want to cry as she told me. We talked for a little while longer, she filling me in on the details of how Dad is doing and feeling today. Me filling her in the latest in my life  – the houseguest from Hell is gone, job going very well, personal life is quiet but good. We said our goodbyes and I love yous.

And after that conversation, that wonderful sweet conversation with my Mother, I slipped into the ladies room and cried. They were sobs of relief. After almost 2 months of Dad being so sick and weak, being in and out of the hospital, and wondering if we were going to loose him, we know the problem and it is fixable. Her words echoed in my mind “He will be OK.”

And in that tiny stall, with wet, tear stained cheeks, I said a prayer of thanks that I felt all the way down to my toes. My Dear, wonderful, sweet, adorable Daddy is going to be OK. Only by the Grace of God could he have survived these last 7 weeks, and liver cancer before that.

I cannot wait to see him, hug him and hold him for a long time. I cannot wait to see his smile and hear his voice, and know, not only because I have Faith, but because I see him, that he will be OK, that is OK. I cannot wait to hug and comfort my dear mother who has taken such good care of him both at home and in the hospital. I cannot wait to visit and give her a break, and let her rest while I do the work.

And I am so very thankful and blessed


The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert

It is that time again. …time for me to step out into the big, wide world of dating. I have spent the last 6 weeks or so in mourning so to speak.  I cared deeply for someone, it did not work out, I took some time. It is time that I move on. Several have said that I will not be single long, and in the past that has definitely been the case. But I want to choose right this time.

My last relationship taught me a lot.  I learned that I do not want to settle for anything less than what makes my heart skip a beat, who makes me feel loved, safe, warm and wonderful.  But I also learned not to trust flash. I like an alpha male who takes control…but actions speak louder than words, and charm needs to go deeper than the epidermus to be of use to me.

And so I am ready to date again. I am ready to kiss and be kissed, thrill  and be thrilled, love and be loved. I am ready to hold and be held, to laugh, to be told I am beautiful. I am ready to be valued for more than just a fill in, I am ready to make someone happy – just me. I am ready to be happy, to trust, for his actions to match his words so I can believe. I am ready to have someone take my hand in theirs, and not care who sees or who knows. I am ready for the possibility of something serious, and returning to the slow burn, instead of being burned by the fast flame. I am ready for slow and steady.

And already, the choice is mine as I look for the one man who is worthy of my loyalty and devotion. And already, love surrounds me, it is everywhere and it is mine for taking. There is not even a need to ask, it is simply there It is summer, it is warm and it is time.

And I whisper….Be gentle to this tender heart as it has been hurt so in the past. But the future is as bright and hopeful as the summer. And promises to be just as fun.

Your Inner Being

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” Hafiz

As this weekend and Mother’s Day comes to a close, my body  is tired but very joyful. I found this quote in one of my mother’s many books, and it was meaningful to me. The past 6 weeks have been very difficult for many I know. This quote reminded me that no matter how dark times seem to be, that we all have it in us to rise above and become better human beings.  That our spirit is true and strong, and we possess, in the deepest place of ourselves, everything we need to make it through.

I think we forget that sometimes, in the rush of life, work, parenting and just living. It is true that no man in an island, and we all need others, but we are truly magnificent. Each one of us, in our own way. So many people I have met in my life, people I have loved dearly with my whole heart, some which I miss very much and think of often, were so un-aware of how amazing they were. I have met many who I were truly awe inspring. Whether it was their strength, their wit, their kindness, insight, generosity, musical talent, ability to make others laugh…countless things really, they all had a light that was shining so bright. I could spot them from a thousand miles away, and do still.

But can we, in our limited knowledge and scope, see our own brightness? I don’t think so. I think we can be aware of it, but we cannot see it, we are too close. And yet, I wish those who have brightened my life and world could see how much they have to give and offer. I can only hope that those who are in their lives now can show them make them aware of truly help them feel it. There are just some people who come into your life, and just by walking in and sharing a bit of themselves, change your life forever, for the better.  And to meet them is truly breathtaking, but seeing a shooting star often is.



The older I get the more I realize life is about taking chances. You must always be curious about life and the world, you must always work hard, you must always believe, pray and have faith. And you must always take chances. Even if those chances fail, at least you took them, at least you took that leap of faith, and at least you tried. And honestly, no matter where you end up, or with whom, it always ends up just the way it should.

And those mistakes? They make you into the into the amazing person you are, and who you will become. Those scars are beautiful to me. They show strength, stamina, hope, the wonder of being human. And those mistakes and chances, you never know where they might take you, the people you might meet along the way and the adventures you may have. Even if the experiences are painful they are yours and are priceless.

Keep friends and loved ones close. Treat your core as sacred, because it is. Only show it to those who will cherish it and you. When you take a chance and it works, those people will be happy for you and celebrate with you. And there are some along the way who will take pleasure when you falter. Ignore them.

But take those chances. Work hard and believe. Believe in yourself and your abilities, believe in life, but mostly believe in love. And when you say I love, make sure you mean it. I have never regretted saying those words, but I have always meant it from the bottom of my heart on the few times I have said it too. And saying it is a leap of faith too. Take the chance. Life is short, and you may may never get the opportunity to say it again. Take the chance to say what you mean, whatever it is. Don’t let words go unspoken, to whomever.

Taking chances can hurt though. It can leave you worn out and wary. But it’s worth it. To take chances and experience everything life has to offer is, in my humble opinion, the only way to honor God and the life He has waiting for you. Be honest to others and true to yourself – always. Take chances and love with all your heart.


Finally. As I sit alone in my room, in my bed, surrounded by what is familiar and comforting, I finally feel a bit normal. After a bit of reading a great book that I have not had time to pick up for the last two weeks and getting drawn into the delicious story, sipping Sleepy Time tea, my two cats happy and purring, one on either side of me, I start to relax.

I do not feel like bursting into tears, I do not feel wrought with worry, I do not feel anxious or irritable. Even all of my writing, creativity desperately pouring out of me as I pound the keyboard, has not been able to quiet my brain from the thoughts of what if and doctors, and family, and hospitals and grief and the possibility of such a deep loss. All in my family are healthy and alive tonight. For this I am so very grateful.

Now, in this moment, all is quiet and well. For the first time in a month. And I look down a my small feet and red toenail polish that matches my fingertips, let my head rest on the wrought metal headboard of my massive sleigh bed, and sigh. Finally. Normalcy.

normalcy – being within certain limits that define the range of normal functioning

GREAT version of this song…great song for a watcher….

Dreams Fall Like Rain

“Succeed brilliantly so dreams fall like rain.” – Ada Burch

This sentence was put together at a good friends house. She had those little magnets on her refrigerator where they give you words and you create sentences.  And after we had some wine, I as in her kitchen looking at the random words that were not in use and somehow it come together. I even took a picture of it.

That was years ago and that little sentence has stuck with me all this time. I felt the vibrations of the meaning resonate deep within me. What it means to me, is that if we work hard, work smart, have Faith and believe, then we can accomplish not only our goals, but our dreams as well. And our dreams will fall like rain. They will fall on us in such amounts that our lives will be drenched with them. We have the power to make our dreams reality, but first we must believe in ourselves and the world enough to believe that we can.

And we must surround ourselves with equally powerful and extraordinary people. I don’t mean only being friends with those who can help you. I mean surrounding yourself with positive people who believe in themselves too. That positive energy is just as contagious as the negative, so if you are going to catch something, make it what can help lift you up. And when you surround yourself with those who reflect the beliefs and level of integrity that you have yourself, the magic happens. You inspire each other, you pull each other, you cheer for each other and celebrate the success with each other.

You also celebrate the failures too. Yes, I said celebrate the failures. That is because sometimes you have to learn what doesn’t work in order to know what will. Sometimes the best lessons are learned by failures. And when we have people around us who help us see what we learned, and who refuse to let us feel sorry for ourselves (or at least don’t let us throw a pity party for long) then we get up and dust ourselves off a lot faster. Nor do we feel as timid about trying again when we have a cheering section behind us. And the success is that much sweeter when we can share it with those who have traveled with us in our trails. Friendships like that foster an environment of trust and encouragement. We help each other be strong when we are weak and brave when we are scared.

Work hard, have Faith, Pray and believe. No man is an island, so surround yourself with good fertile land of supportive , love friends. And may your dreams fall like rain.


I was not looking for him. Then he stirred something deep within my soul that had been sleeping for years. And now that I have felt that again, I don’t want to settle for anything less with next the man, I can’t. 1996. I had forgotten what it felt like.

And I was vulnerable. For the first time in 7 years I completely let all walls down, completely gave of myself to another. I did not keep him at arms distance, I was not guarded and closed. And it was wonderful.

And I miss him. I don’t want to miss him but I do. And I wonder how he and his children are.

I felt love, I felt safe and protected with him. And for the first time in my entire life, I wanted to let someone take care of me. I trusted him implicitly.

Lonely does not bother me, I have been alone a long time. But I do wish to feel that way again. He made me realize also that I truly want to be a wife and mother. I had shut that off too. I pray that God gives me the opportunity. That is what I want with whom I next fall in love.

Random: My Father and a Great Quote

A Great Quote:

I came upon this quote not too long ago and loved it. It is from the Book Kisses from Kate and it talks about something that hits close to home for me. This quote reminds me to have Faith in His mysteries and know that all will be well. It touches me in a very deep and real way.

I was like the Velveteen Rabbit. I was tattered and worn out. I’d been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God was using all those things to help me become real. I was coming to understand that what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left. And when there is nothing left, and we feel we’re all in pieces, God begins to make us whole. He makes us real.


My Father:

In wake of the recent events in  my fathers health, I wanted to repost this entry. My father is my hero and I will always be a Daddy’s Girl. I love him with all my heart and am so very glad he is alright.

It has long been one of my favorite rooms, full of mysterious and powerful things. Things that I was never allowed to touch as a little girl. And My father used these instruments with much craft and skill, Fixing, building, sanding, hammering, making, so many things. The room was my fathers workshop. And at any given time he could be found working on his latest project, the smell of sawdust thick in the air and all over the floor.

Some of my best memories are of working with my father in that workshop, watching his hands shape the wood, or work on metal, fascinated at his skill and precision.  He has a very methodical nature, it goes with is engineering profession. Every single measure exactly exact., every piece expertly crafted and fit together, sanded to the finest point.

My father taught both my sister and I how to do basic maintenance on our cars – how to change a flat tire, how to rotate the tires, change the oil, brake pads, calipers, spark plugs (when cars actually had spark plugs), and such. One  particularly fond memory I have is working on changing my brake pads when we discovered one of the calipers was stuck. It started to rain. And there my father and I were, in the rain, drenched, working on this caliper so my car would be safe to drive.

And through the years, through all the cars that we have worked on together, through all the projects and things around the house to be fixed, he has always had the tools needed, stored his workshop. And even now I love to go in and just gaze at all the tools. And I smile, as I do love that place so very much.