Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas Story

 I love Christmas stories.  Some are true some are not.  I'm ok with that.  Shared by a friend.  If you don't like Christmas stories....enjoy your day and I'll have something different another day.

About a week before Christmas a family bought a new nativity scene. When they unpacked it they found 2 figures of the baby Jesus. "Someone must have packed this wrong," the mother said, counting out the figures. "We have one Joseph, one Mary, three wise men, three shepherds, two lambs, a donkey, a cow, an angel and two babies. Oh, dear! I suppose some set down at the store is missing a baby Jesus because we have 2."
"You two run back down to the store and tell the manager that we have an extra Jesus. Tell him to put a sign on the remaining boxes saying that if a set is missing a baby Jesus, call 7126. Put on your warm coats, it's freezing cold out there."
The manager of the store copied down mother's message and the next time they were in the store they saw the cardboard sign that read, "If you're missing baby Jesus, call 7126." All week long they waited for someone to call. Surely, they thought, someone was missing that important figurine. Each time the phone rang mother would say, "I'll bet that's about Jesus," but it never was.
Father tried to explain there are thousands of these scattered over the country and the figurine could be missing from a set in Florida or Texas or California. Those packing mistakes happen all the time. He suggested just put the extra Jesus back in the box and forget about it.
"Put baby Jesus back in the box! What a terrible thing to do," said the children. "Surely someone will call," mother said. "We'll just keep the two of them together in the manger until someone calls.
When no call had come by 5:00 on Christmas Eve, mother insisted that father "just run down to the store" to see if there were any sets left. "You can see them right through the window, over on the counter," she said. "If they are all gone, I'll know someone is bound to call tonight."
"Run down to the store?" father thundered. "It's 15 below zero out there!"
"Oh, Daddy, we'll go with you," Tommy and Mary began to put on their coats. Father gave a long sigh and headed for the front closet. "I can't believe I'm doing this," he muttered. Tommy and Mary ran ahead as father reluctantly walked out in the cold. Mary got to the store first and pressed her nose up to the store window. "They're all gone, Daddy," she shouted. "Every set must be sold."
"Hooray," Tommy said. "The mystery will now be solved tonight!"
Father heard the news still a half block away and immediately turned on his heel and headed back home. When they got back into the house they noticed that mother was gone and so was the extra baby Jesus figurine. "Someone must have called and she went out to deliver the figurine," my father reasoned, pulling off his boots. "You kids get ready for bed while I wrap mother's present."
Then the phone rang. Father yelled "answer the phone and tell 'em we found a home for the baby Jesus." But it was mother calling with instructions for us to come to 205 Chestnut Street immediately, and bring three blankets, a box of cookies and some milk. "Now what has she gotten us into?" my father groaned as we bundled up again. "205 Chestnut. Why that's across town. Wrap that milk up good in the blankets or it will turn to ice before we get there. Why can't we all just get on with Christmas? It's probably 20 below out there now. And the wind is picking up. Of all the crazy things to do on a night like this."
When they got to the house at 205 Chestnut Street it was the darkest one on the block. Only one tiny light burned in the living room and, the moment we set foot on the porch steps, my mother opened the door and shouted, "They're here, Oh thank God you got here, Ray! You kids take those blankets into the living room and wrap up the little ones on the couch. I'll take the milk and cookies."
"Would you mind telling me what is going on, Ethel?" my father asked. "We have just walked through below zero weather with the wind in our faces all the way."
"Never mind all that now," my mother interrupted. "There isn't any heat in this house and this young mother is so upset she doesn't know what to do. Her husband walked out on her and those poor little children will have a very bleak Christmas, so don't you complain. I told her you could fix that oil furnace in a jiffy."
My mother strode off to the kitchen to warm the milk while my brother and I wrapped up the five little children who were huddled together on the couch. The children's mother explained to my father that her husband had run off, taking bedding, clothing, and almost every piece of furniture, but she had been doing all right until the furnace broke down.
"I been doin' washin' and ironin' for people and cleanin' the five and dime," she said. "I saw your number every day there, on those boxes on the counter. When the furnace went out, that number kept going' through my mind. 7162...7162. Said on the box that if a person was missin' Jesus, they should call you. That's how I knew you were good Christian people, willin' to help folks. I figured that maybe you would help me, too. So I stopped at the grocery store tonight and I called your misses. I'm not missin' Jesus, mister, because I sure love the Lord. But I am missin' heat. I have no money to fix that furnace."
"Okay, Okay," said father. "You've come to the right place. Now let's see. You've got a little oil burner over there in the dining room. Shouldn't be too hard to fix. Probably just a clogged flue. I'll look it over, see what it needs."
Mother came into the living room carrying a plate of cookies and warm milk. As she set the cups down on the coffee table, I noticed the figure of baby Jesus lying in the center of the table. It was the only sign of Christmas in the house. The children stared wide-eyed with wonder at the plate of cookies my mother set before them.
Father finally got the oil burner working but said, "You need more oil. I'll make a few calls tonight and get some oil. Yes sir, you came to the right place", father grinned.
On the way home father did not complain about the cold weather and had barely set foot inside the door when he was on the phone. "Ed, hey, how are ya, Ed?"
"Yes, Merry Christmas to you, too. Say Ed, we have kind of an unusual situation here. I know you've got that pick-up truck. Do you still have some oil in that barrel on your truck? You do?"
By this time the rest of the family were pulling clothes out of their closets and toys off of their shelves. It was long after their bedtime when they were wrapping gifts. The pickup came. On it were chairs, three lamps, blankets and gifts. Even though it was 30 below, father let them ride along in the back of the truck. No one ever did call about the missing figure in the nativity set, but as I grow older I realize that it wasn't a packing mistake at all.
Jesus saves, that's what He does.
Author unknown

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Ice sounds amazing

I am not a fan of freezing weather.  I live in Phoenix, Arizona where snow is rare.  I am happy with that.  However, occasionally I come across something truly amazing.  Thanks to whoever posted this on Facebook....Ice sounds.

If that link doesn't work, try this one.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Don't Eat the Peas

Arizona snow.
Really....that poor frozen pea package is used to sooth aching muscles.  For the last few years one leg was getting worse and worse pain and weakness.  Assumed it was old age.  Then I thought the other leg is just as old and it isn't such a mess.  Finally, went to the doctor.  The nerves in my left hip are damaged.  Fortunately, physical therapy can help repair the damage.  I am thankful the doctor believed me.  Even more thankful for an awesome physical therapist that is encouraging me to heal and strengthen my hip, thus the need for frozen peas.  They are ice cold but break up to wrap around rounded muscles....I keep moving the peas around then toss them back in the don't eat those peas. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Making an Angry Bird

Yup, really.  I just finished stuffing the body of a crocheted Angry Bird.  It actually looks like the picture.  (Shocker)  I am thankful for crocheting as a creative outlet that I am feeling like I can explore.  A big Thank YOU!!! to Mikey at The Crochet Crowd. He is an amazing teacher of all things crochet.  (He does knitting to but I don't knit.)  I am getting braver and trying more and more exotic stitches in his Stitch Alongs.  Thanks to my daughter for introducing me to Stitch alongs and in the process meeting Mikey online.  He has no idea who I am but that is ok because he patiently explains what to do when I make a mistake, why it is important to make test swatches, and challenges me to try new stuff.  He is one of my Super Hero people that make my life more interesting and creative.  Thank goodness for Black Friday Shopping that reduces the cost of yarn.  Interesting side note: I can't use wool yarn.  My hands start to itch like crazy.  I can pet a sheep but yarn is processed in some way that my skin reacts.  Thank goodness for amazing bamboo, cotton, and new types of soft and silky acrylics.  One of my coping techniques is crochet.  Mostly I do wash cloths that I can easily take to a waiting room, meeting, or other places that are challenging for me to hang out at. I give away my finished projects.  I release my stress and someone else enjoys the by product. 

My first stitch-a-long.  

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Not adulting

I am not adulting.  I am not doing the lists of things I should be doing.  I am playing games.  I am ignoring the should-dos in my life.  Simplest things are left undone.  I am doing great on my computer games, just adult stuff is not happening.  I hurt my back/leg/or something on the right side of my body.  I did nothing to help it get better.  I need to setup doctor appointments...not doing that either.  This is self care I should be doing....ate most of the batch of cookies in less than 24 hours.  Heavy sigh.  So what did I do?  I actually finished several projects.  Some I finished ahead of time so have time to add to the project.  I am contacting people and talking to people and included in a parent/teacher conference.  I am Peopling and that is tough.  It was fun to reassure a parent with the student sitting right their that frustration is normal for programming and we (the teacher and I) recognize the work he accomplished.  I thought after integration and counseling and all the work I've done that all this stuff would get easier.  It didn't.  I had a mini melt down and had to stay home from school just because I don't have a mailing address for Heaven so I could send Halloween cards to all my Grandkids.  It seemed so ridiculous on the surface but the reality is years later I am still grieving my little granddaughter that I only held for a moment. Grief, sadness, tears are all part of healing.  Before I started healing, I didn't feel these things.  I shut them away with joy, happiness and every other emotion.  I am not ready to adult tomorrow either but I need to go to work.  Sometimes getting up and going through the motions of living is all I can pull off.  Guess what?  That is just fine.  Feeling feelings is important work even if it requires me not being an adult for a bit. 

Finished this for my represents the Earth with the innercore with rocks and lava and waves of water with plants on the surface, Mikey on was my teacher...

Monday, October 7, 2019

Long break

I believe this is one of the longest breaks I have taken from writing this blog.  I am not totally sure why I have other than I am feeling like I slid down a rabbit hole and the only symptoms are my lack of interest in writing, photography, reading and generally anything that I felt connected to from my healing process.  I'm intrigued but not totally dismayed.  My first counselor predicted that someday I would want to walk away from my past and everything to do with my healing process.  Then something happens and I am reminded no matter how far I walk my past comes with me.  I did achieve one of my goals.  August 2014 I wrote a post about Dave Pelzer and his books.

His answer was etched on my heart as a goal to achieve, he said, "I like the man I am today and I would not be that man without those experiences." 

I believe I achieved that goal.  I am now working on giving to Christ the lingering bitterness and hurt that seeps out from time to time.  I notice when event anniversaries pass and I still feel an impact like a mild jolt.  I am working towards those anniversaries just being another day. 

So now what?  The interesting thing about achieving long sought after goals, when they are achieved there is a spell of thinking, now what?  I noticed this same feeling after graduating from university after many grueling years of juggling family, work and school.  Ending counseling was another such feeling of now what?  No one seems to explain what do you do when you finally achieve those allusive, long worked for goals.  I made it this far, now what?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Brain Breaks is an awesome web page that address specific childhood challenges.  It also has great general coping ideas that work for adults too.  I noticed lately that I am struggling with concentration, choosing healthy activities and generally in a major slump.  I understand why I am feeling what I am feeling.  I also recognize that I am making poor coping choices.  This article shares a variety ideas to help kids focus on homework.  I think these same ideas may help me to focus on what I need to do.  I learned through the years that adults and children are not as different as we want to believe.  Anyone met their inner child, which explained why you were sitting a blanket fort coloring instead of going to work?

Sometimes I am done with adulting before my daily expectations are done.  Sometimes I make poor choices to escape rather than do the tough adult type stuff.  Hugs to everyone that understands. 

Minions in a package.  

I would rather play with my dragon right now.  

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Our power

My friend Michael posted this on Facebook.  I am passing it on here.  The hardest thing for me to reclaim was my personal power, I gave it up so young I didn't know what it was. 

“Some years ago, I was stuck on a crosstown bus in New York City during rush hour. Traffic was barely moving. The bus was filled with cold, tired people who were deeply irritated—with one another; with the rainy, sleety weather; with the world itself. Two men barked at each other about a shove that might or might not have been intentional. A pregnant woman got on, and nobody offered her a seat. Rage was in the air; no mercy would be found here.
But as the bus approached Seventh Avenue, the driver got on the intercom. “Folks,” he said, “I know you’ve had a rough day and you’re frustrated. I can’t do anything about the weather or traffic, but here’s what I can do. As each one of you gets off the bus, I will reach out my hand to you. As you walk by, drop your troubles into the palm of my hand, okay? Don’t take your problems home to your families tonight—just leave ‘em with me. My route goes right by the Hudson River, and when I drive by there later, I’ll open the window and throw your troubles in the water. Sound good?”
It was as if a spell had lifted. Everyone burst out laughing. Faces gleamed with surprised delight. People who’d been pretending for the past hour not to notice each other’s existence were suddenly grinning at each other like, is this guy serious?
Oh, he was serious.
At the next stop—just as promised—the driver reached out his hand, palm up, and waited. One by one, all the exiting commuters placed their hand just above his and mimed the gesture of dropping something into his palm. Some people laughed as they did this, some had tears streaming down their face—but everyone did it. The driver repeated the same lovely ritual at the next stop, too. And the next. All the way to the river.
We live in a hard world, my friends. Sometimes it’s extra difficult to be a human being. Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you have a bad day that lasts for several years. You struggle and fail. You lose jobs, money, friends, faith, and love. You witness horrible events unfolding in the news, and you become fearful and withdrawn. There are times when everything seems cloaked in darkness. You long for the light but don’t know where to find it.
But what if you are the light? What if you’re the very agent of illumination that a dark situation begs for?
That’s what this bus driver taught me—that anyone can be the light, at any moment. This guy wasn’t some big power player. He wasn’t a spiritual leader. He wasn’t some media-savvy “influencer.” He was a bus driver—one of society’s most invisible workers. But he possessed real power, and he used it beautifully for our benefit.
When life feels especially grim, or when I feel particularly powerless in the face of the world’s troubles, I think of this man and ask myself, What can I do, right now, to be the light? Of course, I can’t personally end all wars, or solve global warming, or transform vexing people into entirely different creatures. I definitely can’t control traffic. But I do have some influence on everyone I brush up against, even if we never speak or learn each other’s name. How we behave matters because within human society everything is contagious—sadness and anger, yes, but also patience and generosity. Which means we all have more influence than we realize.
No matter who you are, or where you are, or how mundane or tough your situation may seem, I believe you can illuminate your world. In fact, I believe this is the only way the world will ever be illuminated—one bright act of grace at a time, all the way to the river.“
– Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, August 26, 2019

Beginnings are tough

I am excited about beginnings but they are tough.  The starting of a new school year means many many adjustments.  Throw in a medical procedure that is the adult thing to do just messes with the rest of me.  Good news from both.  My teachers are awesome and the medical report says I am improving.  I'm delighted. 

Just for fun I am posting what my friend shared on Facebook.....some of these have been around for eons.  Enjoy.....please note, I do not agree 100% of these statements.  May need to do a debunking post. 

Advice From An Old Farmer
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
If you love someone tell them, every chance you get.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.Sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.You cannot unsay a cruel word.Every path has a few puddles.The best sermons are lived, not preached.Don’t judge folks by their relatives.Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.Don‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’. (One of my favorites.)Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Vacation is over

I woke up this morning with the content of a blog post buzzing in my head.  I wrote it on my other blog 

This summer vacation was awesome, I work at a school so I have 2 moths unpaid off.  I completed major projects, tie-dyed with the grandkids, hiked, got sick, canoed, fell out of the canoe, ate out, got sick from food I ate (I'm extremely allergic to soy, I have a new appreciation of the problem of cross contamination) and thrived this summer.  I preach doing art and I did.  Crocheting, pour painting, finger painting, and cleaning up after these awesome projects.  

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Do Art

Sounds like a commercial or something.  The saddest thing I see is the number of high school students that claim they can't Do art.  I was one of those students.  I was convinced by my teacher in 7th grade.  She looked at my paper that I erased a hole in it and refused to give me another piece of paper.  She told me I could not do art and don't take another art class.  Sadly, I believed her. 

Fast forward 30 years.  I was hired by the School of Art to take care of their computer lab for Photography and Animation.  I told them I had Zero art experience.  They underestimated how zero my zero could be.  They were frustrated that they couldn't talk to me because I had no idea what they were talking about.  The professors actually made me take Photography 101 as part of my job.  I literally clocked in for the day then attended art class.

The very first day the professor explained....Photography is science mixed with Magic.  All I thought was COOL.  I love science and magic.  I spent the semester learning the vocabulary needed to talk to the professors.  The first picture I shared in a student gallery some one pointed out that I was an artist.  I hotly denied such allegations.  I was NOT an artist.

Ten years later, I graduated university with a Bachelors of Art degree - Photography.  I learned that my 7th grade teacher lied to me.  I took drawing and painting and sculpture and wood working and so many different ways to create art. 

Now I teach students how to teach preschoolers ART!!!!! Yup.  I have to convince the students first.  I teach them about process art vs. project art.  Process art is you show the students how to do a technique then hand them materials and step back.  Too bad most parents expect a project to "look like something identifiable."  These are preschoolers. 

Now I encourage everyone to DO ART. 

The link takes you to a delightful book about becoming and artist. 

The Dot

Monday, July 8, 2019


For years, I cut myself off from my emotions.  Counseling painfully reconnected me to those pesky things.  I embraced them all...or so I thought.  This summer I felt envy.  Disturbing emotion.  So like every other emotions I looked it up on Mr. Google...(Yes, I designated Google as a know it all man....probably considered sexist but there it is.)  I knew that envy was one of the 7 deadly sins.  So what is so bad about it.

Envy is a comparative emotion.  I cannot have envy without comparing myself to someone else and coming up short.  They have something I perceive as better than what I have.  Described by Psychology Today: 
Envy has to do with feeling unhappy about the success of someone else, or about what they have and, at the same time, secretly feeling inferior yourself.

I see myself as less than.  Bummer.  I often see myself as less than.  Perhaps I feel it more often than I thought.  I believe that envy is at the root of "Keeping up with the Jones."  If the neighbor buys a new car then I have to buy a new car to keep up the appearance that we are equal.  Sadly, this can be detrimental to the person that is envious. 

I am fortunate that when my counselor taught me to connect with emotions he taught me two powerful concepts.  Emotions are temporary and I can change them.  Yup, read that right.  Some people will argue that they love some person the same but I will argue back that through experience that love will change either deepening or waning depending on the experiences I have with that person.  So back to the feeling envy.

I decided to evaluate what it was that I was envious of.  My daughter had something at her house that I would like to have at my house.  Did it cost a lot of money?  No.  Is it something I could attain?  Yes.  So what is the problem?  Oh bummer, I saw myself as deficient for not having my house in order like hers is.  I was comparing myself and seeing myself as inadequate.  The negativity of envy is to feel adequate a person may wish that the other person loses what they have to make things fair.  Or even sadder they may gossip or put down the other person to build themselves up.  So not going down that path. 

What to do?  I admire my daughter.  I like what she did with part of her house.  I am capable and smart and able to create for myself my own space.  There is no need for envy because the only thing I am lacking is putting my priorities in such away to be able to create the same space.  Nothing is stopping me, except me. 

I believe the Bible.  Another scripture I need to remember is Love thy neighbor, as Thyself.  I am neglecting my needs.  I don't need to compare myself.  If I like what she did, I can do it too.  She is my inspiration to do what I wanted to do for myself.  Her success does not threaten or stop me from my success.  I don't need to compare.  I believe the deadly sin part of envy is a person that is envious is eaten up by feeling inadequate instead of using the emotion as a motivation to change they justify putting down, hating, or being glad someone else fails.  I believe the antidote for envy is loving myself and seeing myself as a good caring person that deserves a place of peace in my home.  I can turn it outward and treating others with kindness and service.  Acceptance and gratitude also inoculate me from envy. 

Maybe I need to take a before and after picture of the space I want to create.....maybe. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Recovery Day

I need to remind myself that a day after any holiday is a recovery day.  I happen to love fireworks but the number of people that also love fireworks is a bit overwhelming.  I put on my emotional body armor and get through the evening Ooohing and Ahhhing and trying to get a few pictures that I will like.  Not easy.   I need to remind myself that it is a bit like running a marathon and I need to give myself some recovery time.  Just because I made it through successfully and enjoyed myself doesn't mean I don't need some down time today.  Too often I push and push and push myself then when my mind and body push back I get all upset.  I can be kind to myself.  That is one of the many things I learned in counseling, just because I wasn't cared for as a child doesn't mean I need to neglect myself as an adult.  I am going to enjoy my down time, too. 

Pictures from another year:

Sunday, June 30, 2019

I'm back and ready

I spent the last month experiencing adventures with my 2 daughters that live in other parts of the country.  I am thankful for time to enjoy those that live far away and reflect on this past school year. 
For some of my adventures

I spent time walking, lots of walking.  This coming March I am planning to participate in a major hiking experience.  I hadn't walked more than 4 miles on a hike for as long as I can remember.  This past month I learned to walk with a and adults enjoying each other.  I noticed that I can get very worried about little people walking to close to the road or the edge of a cliff.  I need to work with my over zealous reaction to some situations.  I learned to walk in the rain.  I spent time in an area that is experiencing record breaking rainfall.  If I didn't walk in the rain, I wouldn't go walking at all.  I did buy a second pair of tennis shoes to go walking in.  My shoes were getting so wet that when I put them on the next day they oozed water between my toes.  Not a comfortable feeling.  More time to dry my shoes with a second pair.  My final day of walking was a 5 mile walk, which is probably the longest walk since I was a teenager.  Go me. 

I also spent some time reflecting on where was I going.  What adjustments do I need to make to my life plan?  Do I feel like I am following Heavenly Father's plan for me?  I saw my daughters pray wall and felt a twang of envy.  I want a prayer wall.  I thought about my space in my house and what was keeping me from having a space of peace and reflection in my home.  I plotted and planned ways to change my space so that I can have a prayer wall in my house.  The movie War Room introduced me to the idea but I hadn't thought about why I had not created such a space for myself.  I felt a bit of envy then realized that the only one holding me back from having my own space is me.  Heavy sigh, the Lord often points out to me that I am my own worse stumbling block.  Plans are a foot to change that one piece of what I can do.  Summer is only one more month with plans of more adventures with grandchildren and adult children.  Yes, my kids are still my children but they are such amazing adults it is fun learning to let them lead.  I feel so blessed. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Living in Arizona

Sharing something silly....

1. You can say Hohokam and no one thinks you're making it up.
2.You no longer associate rivers or bridges with water.
3.You know that a "swamp cooler" is not a happy hour drink.
4.You can contemplate a high temperature of 120 degrees as "not all that bad, after all it's a dry heat."
5.You know that you can make sun tea outside faster than instant tea in your microwave.
6.You have to run your air conditioner in the middle of winter so that you can use your fireplace.
7.The water coming from the "cold" tap is hotter than that from the hot" tap.
8.You can correctly pronounce the following words: "Saguaro", "Tempe", "Gila Bend", "San Xavier del Bac", "Canyon de Chelly", "Mogollon Rim", "Cholla", and "Tlaquepacque", "Ajo".
9.It's noon on a weekday in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one single person is moving on the streets.
10.Hot air balloons can't fly because the air outside is hotter than the air inside.
11.You buy salsa by the gallon.
12.Your Christmas decorations include a half a yard of sand and 100 paper bags.
13.You think someone driving while wearing oven mitts is clever.
14.Most of the restaurants in your town have the first name "El" or "Los."
15.You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful yard.
16.You can say 115 degrees without fainting.
17.Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer.
18.People break out coats when the temperature drops below 70.
19.You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car.
20.The pool can be warmer than you are.
21.You realize Valley Fever isn't a disco dance.
22.People with black cars or have black upholstery in their car are automatically assumed to be from out-of-state or nuts.
23.You know better than to get into a car/truck with leather seats if you're wearing shorts.
24.Announcements for Fourth of July events always end with "in case of monsoon..."
25.You have to explain to out-of-staters why there is no daylight savings time
26.You can say "haboob" without giggling. (I drove through one.  I saw it coming and knew I wasn't going to make it home before it hit.  Just drove slowly like everyone else.)
Yes, university students wrote a pamphlet on how to cook in your car.  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Quote from my favorite author

Laurel Hawkes posted an awesome quote:

Clutter is not just physical stuff.
It's old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits.
Clutter is anything that does not support your best self.
~ Eleanor Brownn

Friday, June 21, 2019

Closest I've seen

to the description on how I came to be so damaged by my parents behavior.  Always a bit spooky to me when someone else describes my life when I have no idea who they are.  Fairly long, but if you want to know how someone comes to have CPTSD this guy describes it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Found on facebook

It occurred to Pooh 🐻 and Piglet 🐷 that they hadn't heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats 🎩 and coats 🧥 and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood🌲 to Eeyore's stick house. Inside the house was Eeyore.
"Hello Eeyore," said Pooh.
"Hello Pooh. 🐻 Hello Piglet 🐷" said Eeyore, in a Glum Sounding Voice
"We just thought we'd check in on you," said Piglet, "because we hadn't heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay."
Eeyore was silent for a moment. "Am I okay?" he asked, eventually. "Well, I don't know, to be honest. Are any of us really okay? That's what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now I feel really rather Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All.
Which is why I haven't bothered you. Because you wouldn't want to waste your time hanging out with someone who is Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All, would you now."
Pooh looked and Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, one on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.
Eeyore looked at them in surprise. "What are you doing?"
"We're sitting here with you," said Pooh, "because we are your friends. And true friends don't care if someone is feeling Sad, or Alone, or Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are." 💜💚
"Oh," said Eeyore. "Oh." And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better. 🥰
Because Pooh and Piglet were There.
No more; no less.
* I am sharing this post that I found online - I do not know who wrote it.

I love this.  This to me is what friendship is about.  

Saturday, June 8, 2019


Came across a great quote on Facebook.  I wanted to share. 

They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Memorial day

I am posting this the day after Memorial day because I didn't come across the article until late. 

I believe that those that live in the United States may benefit reading this about the Old Guard.

It is a bit long but it encapsulates the sacredness of the day. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Pooh and friends

Love Eeyore.  They invite Eeyore along.  Accept that Eeyore is sad and don't expect him to turn into Tigger.  Somewhere along the line Eeyore is now unacceptable.  People would tell Pooh to ditch Eeyore because he will drag you down.  Fortunately Pooh is oblivious of the fact that Eeyore is any kind of a problem. To Pooh, Eeyore is his friend.  Full stop end of story. 

When did grieving become and illness?  When did sad become a crime?  When did emotions become taboo?  Then people can't understand where all this "mental illness" is coming from. 

Humans are emotional creatures.  From the time we are born we express those emotions from an all out wail to soft chuckles.  Parents around the World delight in bringing a happy smile to their baby's face.  Slowly over time expressing those emotions become a "Bad Thing."

Many of my difficulties centered on my inability to feel my emotions.  It is hard to be caring when you don't feel anything at all.  I worked at cutting off my emotions.  They only leaked out occasionally and were rapidly squashed.  I was trained to deny my emotions.  No small wonder why I became emotionally wounded and sp
lit.  I couldn't be their "happy little girl" if I expressed the deep sadness I was feeling.  I was teased for crying, punished for being upset or sad, accused of being a bigger sinner if I got angry about how I was treated....the list went on until I cut off my emotions.  Not that is sad. 

A World without emotions is Gray.....lots of gray or if in England, grey. 

I know a bunch about gray. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Expectations clash

One of the groups on Facebook attempted to have mentoring.  I tried with two different people and discovered that our expectations of what mentoring means is quite different.  One gave me no information to go on and when asked what I did for mentoring I mentioned that it depends on the needs of the person and if it matches up with what I know.  Complete miss.  The other wanted someone online willing to talk on the phone.  I'm partially deaf and my children don't try to call me very often.  Another miss.  So I am throwing this out there to anyone that would like to answer....what do you think mental health mentoring would look like?

Thanks for any responses. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Too hard too long

Equals collapse. 

Not only does my body hold a grudge, if I push too hard too long it completely collapses on me.  It does not work for me to compare to someone else.  I can't compare myself to the week before.  It is like each activity can have a hefty pay load or fade into easy routine.  For example, a week ago, thanks to parts from the computer class at school, I was able to revive a computer that sat around our house dead for about 6 years.  I pulled off all the files and will donate the XP carcass to the school since it is their parts making it run.  I was elated to get it up and running.  However, seeing some of those files is ripping off emotional scabs left and right.  The sum total - exhaustion. 

I try regular routines that I get fairly good at but life is anything but routine.  It is also nearing the end of school.  I have less to do which means too much time on my hands and my adventurous brain wanders off on forbidden paths of remembering.  I have to remind myself I am also putting my neck out on a few projects that I felt shut down when things went differently than I expected.  I am working at stepping back, surveying the chaos and picking out those pieces that are most useful. 

I believe that each of us have opportunities every day to move forward, sadly fear, habits in thinking, and general inertia keeps us where we are.  Pushing myself to my limits, reminds me fairly rudely that I have limits.  But if I hadn't pushed myself so hard for so long I would still be sitting on the couch 25 hours a day like I did when I was in my 30's.  The reason I am working full time and doing all the things I am doing know was because I refused to live the half life my body was giving me.  I fought back, hard.  Counseling for 10 years is no picnic.  Facing medical field and its overwhelming lack of knowledge about some things is extremely difficult.  Doing my own research instead of trusting their verdict was stepping way out of my comfort zone into a mind field of possibilities.  I learned when my grandson showed up with my physical symptoms, it really isn't all in my head. 

Today I rested...but I still feel tired.  Tomorrow another day of rest that is anything but restful.  Attending church is challenging for me.  So much peopling involved.  However, I really like some of the people.  I learned about being an introvert and it makes sense.  My challenges are physical, emotional and how I am as a person.  My limits are many and I push at them constantly, sometimes they push back. 

Assessing where I am.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Why I hate Mother's Day

When I was a little girl, at church my mother was often sick on Mother's day.  They would give me the flowers intended for my mother to take home to her.  I knew that mother rejected things from me so I would leave it on the table not expecting her to accept this token.  As I grew older and it became clearer to me that my mother hated me...but no one would believe me.  After all every day in front of others she should would say, "Did I tell you today how much I love you?"  But her behavior didn't match her words.  I grew up confused and distrustful.  Every Mother's day was this same conflicted feeling. 

Teen years I was expected to fill in for mother when she was sick, including receiving the Mother day tributes each year.  She would have me cook without explaining things so I would burn it.  She would have me do more and more until I failed.  Should I succeed the consequences would be an increase attacks on my stupidity, clumsiness or other negative attributes.  At age 17 I swore never to have children if I was going to be anything like her. 

Well, Heavenly Father through a series of personal events softened my heart.  I met and married an amazing man and we have 6 wonderful children.  I still hate Mother's day.  I screwed up as a mom.  I made mistakes, some were real doozies. I would go to church on Mother's day and hear what all the other wonderful women were doing and I felt terrible that I was not doing all those things.  I fell into the horrible habit of comparing other people's best to my worse.  I felt even worse when they would pat me on the shoulder and say, "You are doing the best you can."  NO, I wasn't.  I knew lots of times I knew better than what I was doing.  I set myself impossible standards.  Of course I failed, I was taught to fail.  Should I succeed, my internal negative tape would castigate me for every single little and big mistake.  I messed up. 

Ten years of counseling taught me two important things.  1. People mess up.  It is like we are designed to screw up in some way.  2. I will never be like my mother because all along the way I made different choices.  I am much more forgiving of myself.  I still hate Mother's day.  It is painful for those women that want to have children but can't.  It is a brutal reminder to those whose children died.  It is infuriating for those with mother's that were their abusers.  A few years ago I made a decision.  Stop going to church on Mother's day.  DH (Darling Husband) comes home and tells me how wonderful and inspirational the talks are but he's not a mother.  He is not being weighed and judged by a brutal inner critic.  He doesn't sit their remembering past mistakes. He can enjoy the message without feeling the weighted burden of failure.  I shouldn't but I still feel it.  Rather than fight the feeling, I kindly allow myself to stay home. 

I enjoy hearing from my amazing wonderful adult children and their spouses.  I appreciate the gifts and messages of love.  I am learning to forgive myself for mistakes I made.  I enjoy not hearing how wonderful everyone else is.  I learned to scroll on by when a person shares how much they miss their mother if they have died.  I allow them to feel their feelings.  When I think about my mother, I remember our last conversation when she explained why she hated me and she had to make sure that my father hated me too.  She was twisted by fear and messed up thinking.  I feel sad for her that she made herself so miserable.  She's dead now.  Maybe she will find peace.  I don't miss her.  I am not sad she is gone.  Today the first Mother's day after her death, I stayed home and wrote this.  I hate Mother's day for many reasons.  Maybe in another 10 years my heart will soften enough to be able to go to church on Mother's day, but I won't hold my breath. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Changing a car engine

I was trying to describe therapy to someone that has not experienced counseling.  I decided it was like changing a car engine while I was driving down the freeway. 

When I read this on Facebook my thought was this is great...Exactly what I mean.  It is difficult to explain what the problem is sometimes.  Hard to understand what you are asked to do.  Sometimes just to darn tired to do anything so I sit there for awhile, until I am tired of sitting and try again.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

You deserve recovery

Found on Facebook..

YOUR Mental Illness/Negative tape/PTSD/CPTSD/Abuser IS LYING TO YOU:
- you are not stupid
- you are not ugly
- you are not worthless
- you are not weak
- you are not a burden
- you are not crazy
- you are not a freak
- you are not alone
- you are worthy of recovery

Every struggle is made a little harder with the mental dumping my brain does to me.  If I treated my friends how I treated myself, I would have no friends.  No one likes being called stupid, but if I make the smallest mistake I call myself stupid.  Plastic surgery is a multibillion business because people believe they are ugly.  Feelings of worthlessness push a person a little closer to the abyss of suicide.  Feeling weak keeps up us from seeing our strengths.  Feeling like I was a burden kept me from seeking help.  Crazy, I've owned this one but my counselor disagreed; he explained I adjusted to the craziness I was raised in.  Online I found so many others like me, freak is just a word people throw around when you are different than they are and they are afraid of those differences.  Online I learned how much I am not alone.  I also believe that Christ was alone so I don't have to be.  Recovery is an on going process and I am worth the battle.  

Bringing my 10,000 puzzle pieces to counseling to straighten them out.  

Monday, May 6, 2019


I follow Carol Anne and she did the word of the day Delight!  Her blog is private so you need to ask for a password.

This is the challenge she took:

Word of the day challenge of delight.  Wow, I love it. I often include gratitude as part of my daily routine, I think delight is gratitude amped-up.  Feeling of delight.

Looking up in the dictionary it is a noun and a verb.  Naming the emotion Delight, the action of feeling great pleasure, a verb. 

I felt delight today when a teacher told me she valued my help to day.
I felt delight today when my doctor told me I am doing very well and he doesn't need to see me for a year.  Woohoo. 

For me delight is a synonym for Woohoo. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Beautiful pictures

Over on Kindness blog they posted 75 amazing pictures.....

Sometimes we need visual reminders that people are amazing.

Dancers at the park.  

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Cutting to the core

No one likes to be cut down and corrected and other painful experiences that tear back what you believe to be growth.  If you are a gardener, you will understand the pruning process.  I raised roses when I lived in Washington state.  I loved them.  We had large enough property to have the roses well out of the way where the kids are playing ball. Rose bushes are ball killers so the space is much needed.  Plus roses enjoy having their own space.  I read books on raising roses.  Each book included a chapter on pruning.  The first time I pruned one of my 5 foot tall rose bushes I felt so cruel.  I was horrified at the instructions of only leaving 6-12 inches of stems on 3 to 4 branches.  Everything else had to go.  In Washington, the first freeze sometimes happened as early as Halloween.  So each October I would dutifully go out with my cutters and hack away.  I then learned a trick to cover each cut end with finger nail polish to protect the rose bush from attacking bugs or diseases from getting in through these exposed ends.  I also learned to protect the stems from snow and ice to bury them in potting soil so I could brush it off in the Spring.  (First time I used straw, what a mess, picked straw out of the garden all summer.)  Then I waited.  October to March or sometimes April is a long wait.  I second guessed myself constantly.  Did I cut too much?  Did I do it right?  Will my poor plants recover?  Will winter be too harsh?  Will they bloom again?

In my own life, I experienced pruning.  I would be going gun-ho in a direction thinking I am doing great then I will have an experience that will cut me to the core.  I will feel hurt. Sometimes bewildered as to what was wrong with me that I was being trimmed back so painfully.  Failure, major change in health, laid off from a job, loss of a loved one are all painful experiences that used effectively may be opportunities to prune back to my core values and stop the radical growth in the wrong direction.  A life changing experience is supposed to change your life.  These major events left me raw and feeling small.  Using my time in strengthening my roots prepares me for the coming "Spring" when it is time for me to grow again. 

My sister shared a link that also talks about pruning. 
Jill, writer of Mustard Seed Blog, shares another perspective of pruning.

Saturday, April 27, 2019


SMART Goals are awesome.  A reader shared a great web site for writing SMART Goals. 

I like them because SMART goals encourage me to break down big problems into smaller components.  I feel great when I accomplish a goal.  They help me see my progress.  Thanks to Anna for sharing this link:

The template lab web page looks like an great place to explore for templates to help in many areas.  I did a search for SMART goals on the website found several useful different formats. 

I appreciate readers reaching out and sharing information.  Thank you Anna. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Mind over matter

Missed all the fun Easter weekend.  Missed the visiting and the celebrations.  I did make it to church barely but it is hard to enjoy a service when you feel like you are barely holding yourself together.  Then I reminded myself of what I learned years and years ago when this was my daily life.  Mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. 

How I learned this little gem was long ago when I was in my early 30's.  I could only be up for 20 minutes a day.  I struggled. I went to the doctor and all the tests came back "normal".  I felt anything but normal.  I was talking to another lady that just beat cancer.  She pointed out to me that it was mind over matter.  If I would just put my mind to getting the house work done it would be done in no time.  (Side note, I knew this woman but we were not friends.)  After this stern lecture I went into my house and decided to put the dishes away.  Mind over matter.  About half way through this 15 minute job, I slid down the cupboard and collapsed on the floor.  I laid there pondering my dilemma.  I didn't get the dishes put away and I couldn't move off the floor.  I sat there for a couple of hours until the kids came home from school.  My oldest directed me to go back to bed.  I crawled back to bed.  That was how I learned If I don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Took me many more years to realize someone else rarely knows exactly what is going on inside of me or anyone else.  We get glimpses of each others stories but rarely the whole thing.  My counselor spent 7 years talking to me.  He knew me better than I knew myself in some ways.  However, I could still surprise him with my own twisted perspective and how I look at the World.  He told me that which does not kill me makes me stronger.  I wanted to smack him.  He sat across the room from me out of reach, with good reason.  I felt like what happened to me broke me.  Recently I found a quote that I like much better, "That which does not kill me, gives me some strange coping skills and a very dark sense of humor." I share what I experienced in the hope to help someone else sitting on a kitchen floor wondering, "How am I ever going to get the dishes done?"  No one really knows each person's struggle but each person gets to decide whether that matters or not. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Not Nice

If topics of religion are triggering for you please skip today's post. 

He is Risen.  The women at the tomb weren't believed.  Other followers of Christ ran to the tomb to see with their own eyes.  He is Risen.  Thomas doubted but so did the others.  Help me with my unbelief, He is risen.  The glad tidings of Easter Morning is not that Christ was crucified but the new that He is Risen.  I know people that mock and make fun of my belief.  In high school I totally changed my friends because they told me I was not Christian.  I was not nice and go along with them to keep the peace.  I walked away sorrowing that they could not accept that I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I wished no harm to them but I would not give up on my belief that Jesus Christ is my Savior and HE IS RISEN. 

Core to my survival is my belief in Christ.  I don't talk about it often not because of my lack of belief but my profound understanding that not everyone has the same belief as I do.  I am painfully aware of religious abuse.  I know that some people use Christ and the followers beliefs to manipulate and control another person.  However, times such as Easter I share that I know Jesus Lives not because I saw Him with my own eyes but because I felt Him with my heart.  I felt Him in my darkest hours, I was not alone.  I felt Him when I feared greatly, I was not alone.  I felt Him when I was failing, I was not alone.  Above all else this one truth stayed with me Jesus Christ heals sinners and survivors.  His healing is not limited to physical infirmities but to all suffering.  He knows what it feels like to suffer.

My counselor once asked me why I believe Christ needed to suffer in Gethsemane.  My answer was simple, "So He would know where to find me in my suffering. I could never say Christ doesn't understand how I feel."  Being a follower of Christ does not prevent suffer for He taught, "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted."

Friend of a friend shared this and I really love it:

Are we not commanded to be kind, loving, and nice?

The first two? Yes. “Nice?” No. Jesus was never nice. Jesus was kind. There’s a big difference. Being nice is about not wanting to upset people or ruffle any feathers. Christ didn’t care about that. He had zero problem with upsetting people. That’s because He was kind. Kind people don’t want to hurt others, but they will speak the truth with boldness and love. Kind people care about the welfare of those around them. Kind people draw healthy boundaries because that’s good for everybody. The Lord upset plenty of people, but that’s not because He was mean. It’s because He was kind, direct, and honest.

Culturally we tend to misunderstand the Lord’s teaching that “the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil. We mistake conflict for contention. Contention is a heated disagreement. It involves anger and can escalate into malice and hatred. Conflict, on the other hand, is unavoidable as we navigate our differences or stand for the right. In trying to follow our Savior, we may erroneously become something that He never was: conflict-avoidant. There was perpetual conflict between Him and the scribes and the Pharisees. Did He back down? He did not. There is conflict today between the ways of the world and the ways of the gospel. There’s conflict between our will and God’s will. He doesn’t avoid any of it. Christ didn’t yield to the spirit of contention, but that doesn’t mean He avoided conflict when it was a battle worth fighting. His teachings to “turn the other cheek,” “go the extra mile,” and “love your enemy” are designed to keep us from returning evil with evil, anger with anger, hate for hate, and force for force. They’re to keep our hearts full of love for all and create in us a giving spirit. He practiced that. But He still boldly drew boundaries and spoke His mind. He still does today. “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him ”Mathew 5:5 This scripture is often used as an excuse to be conflict-avoidant, which too often leads to passive-aggressive behavior as we cope with negative feelings from unresolved conflict. Fact is, the Lord didn’t mean for us to agree with anything that was wrong or that we actually disagree with. That would be dishonest. Check the footnote on that scripture. “Agree” here is a translation of a Greek word that means “quickly have kind thoughts for or be well disposed toward.”

At work, with your family, and elsewhere, following Christ allows and even requires us to draw healthy boundaries to establish what we will and won’t do for others, as well as establish expectations for mutual respect. In cases where others don’t respect our boundaries, we can show kindness and love. We can let go of anger and bitterness. But we don’t need to let them be close to us.

Do you need to establish clearer, stronger expectations for those with whom you have a relationship? Are you willing to distance yourself from those who disrespect, use, and abuse you until and unless they repent of their behavior? You can forgive them. You can pray for them. But following Jesus means you don’t need to have a relationship of trust with them unless there is mutual respect."

Monday, April 15, 2019

For me

I was introduced to David Goggins by my sister.  I wanted to post this here because Facebook makes things disappear and I want to read this again and again. 

David Goggins
10 hrs
It’s very easy to neglect to train the most important thing- the mind!
During practice tests & training runs, etc., there is one big element that is missing- the pressure. Pressure results in a shit ton of feelings including anxiety, self-doubt, overthinking, panic, etc.
Imagine this- you are in a championship basketball game and you are down by 2 and you get fouled with no time on the clock. It’s an away game and you are at the free throw line by yourself. You have shot and practiced thousands of free throws and yet it feels completely foreign when you step up to the line- as if you have never shot a free throw before.
It’s that very feeling that causes us not to be able to rely on all of that training we put in. It is important to train for the knowns and unknowns (invent unknowns). You have to train for the worst-case scenario. Your body doesn’t fuel your mind so while you may be physically ready, your body will only do what the mind is capable of.
A lot of us study our asses off in preparation for the SATs or LSATs, etc. We know the shit front to back but the second they put the test in front of us, we start sweating and the mind goes blank. We feel unprepared - as if we have never studied. You sit there thinking you have taken tons of practice tests and aced them all. How the fuck did I forget everything???
We have to prepare our mind for the stresses that competition is going to cause us to feel. Your heart rate is going to go up, you are going to sweat more, you will tire more quickly than you did in training, etc.
The best techniques to train the mind include training in a way that shocks your mind. If you are training for a race that starts at 6am, try training at 2am with no sleep (a lot of you may think this is stupid but how many of you actually have a good sleep the night before a race?). If you have test anxiety, take the prep tests with less time than you will have on actual test day.
Stress your mind during training or it will never grow. Training alone is not enough. During training, you must find a way to give your mind no way out so when the hard times come during the race or test, your brain is conditioned under the hardest of times.

I have so much more to learn.