Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Jingle and CoCo had a play date!

 The journey home is on Christmas Eve. CoCo had a friend, Jingle, spend the night. They played and played, dug around in the presents, took sELFies and even slept a wink or two with their best buddies before heading back to the North Pole a la Thelma & Louise in the sleigh that Jingle parked in the living room.

Tears have been shed, smiles have been had, memories have been made. And I am a reformed mom. This 24 days has been very fun and special and I can't wait till next year!

Good night, God bless and Merry Christmas, y'all!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

And The House Came Tumbling Down

The grandmother and her granddaughters built a gingerbread house. The next day, one Miss CoCo G decided she had to have a taste or seven. Total destruction. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Chocolate Diving!

CoCo loves raspberry chocolates as much as My Little One does!

Dive in, sister!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CoCo's Been Framed!

In the words of My Little One, "I wanna be a picture too!".

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Gathering of Friends

Yay! Best friends!

Watching movies with the human is at school.  She even included a photo of My Little One's cousin who lives in South Carolina. iPods are crazygoodfun!

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chocolate-Strawberry Milk is Worth the Chill

This morning, CoCo was found all bundled up sipping on a glass of strawberry-chocolate milk, which is what My Little One drinks pretty much every morning with breakfast.

Before she left for school, My Little One left a blank questionnaire on the dining room table for CoCo.

  1. Favorite Color ____ Red _____(written in green??!)
  2. Favorite Animal ___Reindeer___
  3. Favorite Food ___Chocolate!____
  4. Best Frenids (sp) ___Santa___    ___Mrs. Claus___     ___YOU!!___

Looks like CoCo and My Little One are getting to know each other well.

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sleeping Like Her

My Little One sleeps, sometimes, with a little golden retriever plush she won in a Girl Scout event. The dog's name is Honey.  Last night, CoCo grabbed a sleeping bag & a puppy & tried to be just like her favorite Pony Girl. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CoCo's Christmas List

CoCo made it to Santa's knee with her Christmas List which includes:

*  A Pony Girl
*  More magic
*  iPad for my Pony Girl
*  World peace
*  A vacation to Hawaii
*  Monster High dolls
*  Barbie clothes
*  Good grades


Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Friday, December 05, 2014

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I Have Big Eyes Too!

This morning, CoCo tried to trick MLO by hiding in a Moses basket filled with about 40 big-eyed creatures. MLO could not have been more taken with this act!

MLO also noted that CoCo must've used her magic to pick up the almost-40 big-eyed creatures and put them in the basket since they were scattered all over her bedroom floor! CoCo is also endearing her self to Mommy because she picked up some of MLO's laundry and put them in the laundry hamper. I told MLO that I'm going to have to call Santa and negotiate CoCo moving to Texas!

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Barbie's Shoes Don't Fit

Last night, MLO said a prayer, joined by myself and Boa, that CoCo would actually come to life. She's was quite worried that, this morning, CoCo would still be in the box in which she arrived yesterday.

Looks like CoCo made herself rrrrriiiiiiight at home in the Barbie Mansion - shoes scattered about, lounging in the bed. Seems she favored MLO's shoe over Barbie's.

Merry Christmas!

Meet CoCo Glitterfluff

The Elf named herself CoCo Silverfluff

We are now a bigger family. Welcome to CoCo Silverfluff, the Elf on the Shelf we adopted.

I caved.

I have a very persistent and persuasive eight-year-old. 

My Little One asked me, "Why aren't we allowed to have an Elf on the Shelf again, Mommy?".

She rebuts with a list of friends whom are nice, sweet friends, that have an Elf. So I told her, "Because after three years, you are still asking for one, and you have made a strong case for taking care of one, I'll do some reading and re-consider my stance. I'm not saying 'yes', but I'm not saying 'no' either."

About once a week since, she would check in and ask if I had made a decision yet. I hadn't, but I was doing some research. I found blogs and Pinterest pages of "nice" elves, or "kindness" ideas. I don't like the elves that make messes or cause mischief, because I think that re-enforces bad behavior (I know, it's crazy extreme. I KNOW!). Anyway, I decided to green light the elf adoption.

Fast forward to the week of Thanksgiving, and MLO asked me if I had made a decision. I told her I had indeed decided to move forward with an adoption. She was DELIGHTED! Then it became a daily discussion of arrival status. 

This morning, a package was on the dining room table with MLO's name on it. MLO opened it and I was surprised to see her so patient about it. She carefully untaped the paper from all the sides, peeled back the tape from the box opening. She smiled and said, "A box! I got a box! I hope there's a smaller box inside!" 

I replied, "You want smaller and smaller boxes like those Russian nesting dolls???".

"Yeah!" she exclaimed.

She opened the flaps of the cardboard box, saw a letter, pulled out the letter ONLY, closed the flaps and started reading the letter - TO HERSELF, QUIETLY. I'm in suspense! What does it say?! What's inside the box?! TELL ME!!!

"What are you reading?"

"It's a letter."

"Well read it to me!"

"I'm going to read it myself, quietly, first."

This chick is PAY-SHINT!

So she read the letter, and slowly opened the box. She pulled a piece of tissue paper that revealed *Angels in Heaven Chorale song* THE Elf!

MLO was careful not to touch the elf, lest the elf loses her magic. The accompanying book is under the elf, so she carefully pulled it out and I reached for the letter.

There are a short moments of shy smiles and sweet faces. I can see MLO's eyes are happy. She was pretty low-key considering the three year build-up to this moment. 

I left the table and started to wash dishes while MLO ate breakfast. She was quiet, contemplative. Then she turned around to face me and said, "mommy, I know it doesn't show, but I have lots of excited screaming going on in my mind right now".  Adorable. :)

The letter tasked MLO with naming the elf, which turned out to be quite a topic of discussion. MLO decided she wanted the elf to name herself and made a sign for her to fill in her name while MLO was at school. We got home from school, and the line for the name was still blank.  While we were waiting for Boa to be dismissed from school, we found an elf name generator app; "CoCo Silverfluff" was a result returned when MLO typed in her own name. And thus, CoCo was named, and shall be forever so. 


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Simon, Pam & Keanu

Raise your hand if you thought you'd see Simon LeBon, Pamela Anderson and Keanu Reeves all in the same picture  -- at a car event -- in Texas.

Yeah. No raised hands. That's what I thought.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Thomas Eric Duncan's Legacy

Thomas Eric Duncan did not die in vain.

Thomas Eric Duncan made a choice that reaches far and wide, on emotional, physical, geographical levels.

Thomas Eric Duncan seems to be this country's number one bad guy.

Thomas Eric Duncan is the person who contracted Ebola in Liberia and brought it to the States, and  I'm here to say that he left a wonderful legacy.

In a time where America is in a full-blown panic of pandemic proportions, I would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Duncan for his contribution to society, to humanity. 

I doubt that Mr. Duncan intentionally contracted Ebola and travelled internationally so that the world would become a little smaller, closing the gap between us Americans and "those people, over there". But that's exactly what's happened. And it's good.

The truth is, this is a learning exercise for all of us, most specifically the scientific community. Liken this to when Hurricane Katrina landed in New Orleans. We, through death & strife, learned about the failures of our weather warning systems & emergency response techniques. We're a stronger country for it now. Is it perfect? No. Will it be tested by Mother Nature again? Absolutely (and a time of HER choosing)!  It's also like 9/11. We now know, through an act of intentional violence, more about terrorism, as well as the peaceful peoples of middle eastern descent. We also know that terrorism is not ONLY borne from middle easterners. It can be your white neighbor next door to you in Suburbia, America. 

We take them for granted -- our medical systems. This "we" isn't just the middle and upper class, either. Even the poor & impoverished of the U.S. never think about the possibility of getting Ebola, but I would guess they are now! Let's keep in mind that we have hard working individuals who give their lives daily so that we may enhance ours. These people, medical professionals, are practicing medicine. It's called "practicing" for a reason: it's not an exact, universal science! We are too complex of an organism to have treatment be 100% universal. Your body chemistry is different from mine. Medical professionals look for patterns & try to treat according to what results have proved most immediately effective. 

His legacy is this, but not limited to this:
  • Awareness to a part of the world, Africa, that needs immediate medical attention,
  • Awareness about a virus, Ebola, that needs immediate medical attention,
  • A test of and improvement to medical protocols in Dallas, Texas, which will ripple world-wide,
  • An expansion of training and eduction to employees,
  • Construction of medical facilities to accommodate those who need isolation while receiving treatment,
  • Improvement of protective gear as well as a re-education to those in medicine on how to handle it,
  • Communication improvement, to include distribution of information via the media

Too much irrationality exhibited.
Too much fear mongering.
Too much misinformation being distributed.
Too much panic and mayhem based on lack of knowledge.

Not enough patience.
Not enough respect for process.
Not enough learning.
Not enough compassion.

I suspect we have common desires, you and me. We wish it had never come to the States. We wish it didn't exist at all, this Ebola stuff. We desire it to stop - NOW. We want to know everything is going to be okay, and that *I* won't get it because some Suit at the Bigimportantknowseverything Organization forgot to tell me I could get it by touching doorknobs, drinking the water, planting flowers. We have fear, intense fear. We have anxiety. But let's not be irresponsible, please.  If I got got Ebola, I would want need compassion. I would want need to get better and not compromise others. I would want need someone to look at me with love, not fear, in his/her eyes. Would you give me love? Would you try to be understanding? Or would you fear me? Would you hide from me? I wonder how I'd get to see my kids? I wonder if my kids would even want to see me? If they did, what would their faces tell me? Would they have worry? Fear? Love? All of those? And my friends -- what would you do? How would you react if it were me in that sealed-off room? What would I do if the tables were turned? I'd like to think, at the core of your hearts, you would try to find a way to communicate with me, to show me love, to let me love you. I pray for the grace to feel that love bestowed. 

Mr. Duncan deserves dignity, not harsh judgment. His end-of-life and his death warrant gratitude, for now we as a human race are gaining an understanding of the human body and the world. We're evaluating our medical capabilities and enhancing them. We're reaching across borders to learn and teach. Our classes, races and other separations are minimized or eliminated because we all know that explosive diarrhea is The Great Equalizer. (That last note was a hat-tip to The Ticket listeners. :P #justthetip)

Mr. Duncan deserves our gratitude. I for one, am thankful for his life and legacy.

Rest in Peace, Thomas. Blessings be upon your family.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dallas Stars + Dude Perfect

I admit I didn't want to like it, but I do. Here's Dude Perfect - Dallas Stars edition with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin (for you Texan non-hockey fans, Tyler's last name is pronounced SAY-GHIN, not SUH-GHEEN like our native town).

These two guys are hot on the ice and off.

You like doughnuts? Pandas? Tattoos? Hockey? Basketball? Basketball with hockey sticks? Bowling? Dishes? Backwards-turned baseball caps? Laughter? This video is for you? If you don't like those things, well, okay, just watch because I asked nicely. :)

Enjoy the Bennguins!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Nine: Hey Soul Sister

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme! 

Saturday 9: Hey, Soul Sister
(because John suggested Train)

If you're not familiar with today's song, you can hear it here.

1) The video was shot on a street corner in Echo Park in central Los Angeles. If you saw a film crew making a video in your neighborhood, would you stop to watch? Or would you just keep walking?

I'd probably stop and watch for a little bit. I'm typically intrigued by how things are made. I admire the creative process and marvel at the mechanics behind that, so, yeah, I can see myself hanging around for a while.

2) The singer says he remembers his girl in every dream he dreams. Do you remember if you dreamed last night?

No, I don't remember what I dreamt last night, but I've been dreaming a lot lately. I'm not so crazy about waking up feeling the lingering feelings I've experienced lately. :(

3) The band Train is from San Francisco. Have you ever visited The City by the Bay?

No, never been, but want to very much! I know this post is about Train, but whenever I think of San Francisco, I think of that Journey song, "Lights".

4) Lead singer Pat Monahan got his start in a Led Zeppelin cover band. Can you name a Led Zeppelin song?

Stairway to Heaven (#duh)
I'm sure I know more but they're a little before my time and I don't know the songs by name.

5) In doing research for this week's Saturday 9, Crazy Sam discovered a publication called Trains, The Magazine of Railroading.What's the last magazine you flipped through? 

I recently have read "Richardson Living", "Poets & Writers", "More" and the "Food Network Magazine".

6) Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

I'm both a leader and a follower. There's a time and place to be one or the other. 

7) Scholars tell us that "To be or not to be" is Shakespeare's most quoted line. Give us another one.

Et tu, Brute?

8) How do you listen to music on the go? Car radio? CD changer? iPod/mp3 player? Your phone?

Mostly I listen on the car radio, then my iPod.

9) Are you a convincing liar?
No. (Do you believe me?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Duran Duran Unstaged by David Lynch

Yes, I went.
Yes, I sang.
Yes, I clapped.
Yes, I chair danced.

Yes, some people waved cell phones in the air during "Ordinary World" and "Leave A Light On".
Yes, it was weird.
Yes, there were hot dogs on a grill, a manual beater, bicycle spokes.
Yes, John played that fookin' bass.

Yes, there were Barbie-like figurines wearing pink panties with double D's on their boob areas (see Exhibit A)

Exhibit A: Double Ds
It was very fun to share a movie premier of my favorite band in my home town surrounded by all of you crazy fans and groupies! I was impressed by the male turn-out!  I love that this was a one-night-only event where globally we enjoyed another memory made by this very creative band who keeps on giving!

Thank you, Duran Duran!


Tick Tock

See, the problem with posting a blog like the one I most recently posted about finding identity is that people reach out to you like you're demented.

And this is the problem with humanity.  Humans can't accept humans being human.

We all have our problems.

We all struggle emotionally.

We all do.

But let's all keep it under wraps, in secret. Let's not share about it.

Then there's the danger of the over-sharer, right? Those people who are plagued by all sorts of things that really are burdensome and that's all they talk about; their identity is what ails them.

What a pendulum swing.

If humans let humans be human, we might just find this lull of tick-tock that rocks.


It isn't that I'm not grateful for the love. So, thank you.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Finding Identity

I haven't been working since April. I confess it's partly welcome. I've never not worked since I was 19. For the better part of the last decade, I've been the breadwinner at home. I'm proud of my accomplishments considering I have no college degree. My accomplishments, thought, have come from necessity, not "drive" or "ambition". 

Being a working mother, I've harbored years and years of heavy guilt. I've hated myself for not being able to be a stay-at-home mother, something I value. (Since I've been a working mother all my kid's lives, I certainly know the value of balancing home-work responsibilities, too!)  

The summer was lovely in that I was able to do a lot with my kids and family. Now that school has started back up and my job seeking attempts have proven infertile thus far, I'm flailing around a bit. Some days, I feel depressed. Those particular days, I feel the Other Guilt. 

The Other Guilt is the guilt of being a stay-at-home mother and not financially contributing to the family. We're in a pretty big fluctuation of budget adjustment, as well as a lifestyle adjustment. It's not like we were taking wildly extravagant vacations several times a year, buying whatever we want. But we didn't take ANY vacation this summer. The kids, of course, have that itch to go somewhere. We even got passports for everyone in hopes of taking an international trip sometime soon. The kids are used to my little impulse buys. For example, we're in the check-out line at Target and MLO will see a My Little Pony mini-figure she wants, I'd tell her to add it to the grocery basket. If Boa found a new book she wanted, we'd go get it. Now, I'm saying, "we don't have enough money right now," and "you have enough of them," or "we can get check it out from the library". I'm sure you get the idea.


What a curious transition. I figured the guilt of working would go away; instead, it found a new home. 

I don't want to be ruled by guilt anymore. 


There's a lot of time on my hands right now. And I'm finding that I need to be productive. I need to generate. Sitting still is difficult for me.  (Remind me I said that when I come home from dropping the kids off at school and go back to sleep until 1:00 p.m., please.)

I have to do a lot of self-talk to get motivated to do things. Sometimes I have to guilt myself into doing thing. There it is again -- GUILT.

When will I settle into acceptance?


Furthermore, I've been doing deep soul-searching. As most of us at one point in our lives does, I'm beginning to wonder WHAT IS THE POINT? What happens if there's no Heaven? What if I was a non-believer? Why do I care about helping others? Why do I try to be a better person? What's the "better" going to do for the world? For me? WHAT'S THE POINT?

Are we a population wandering about a planet just doing STUFF until we die? And this STUFF -- WHAT'S THE POINT of it?

I'll learn an instrument. Big deal. I'll read more books, like fingers to printed page books. Big whoop. I might even talk to someone about it. Meh. Okay -- so we have something in common. WHAT'S THE POINT of having "something in common" with someone?

I'll be a parent. I'll be a partner. I'll be a worker. I'll be a leader. I'll be a sheep.

I'll do chores. I'll do fun activities. I'll do what I'm asked to do.


Even if The Point is to serve one another for the pleasure of a Higher Power, what does that matter? My soul will get to some plane somewhere and just ... what? Kill more time? Exist through another type of suffering until some OTHER plane is achieved (endured?)?


No, I'm not abandoning my calls to be the best Jackie I can be. No, I'm not walking away from responsibilities. I'm just *wondering*. It's what I do.

Then I act.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Whereby I'm Not A Fan of Klyde Warren Park Anymore

Gosh, I was so excited about the thought of this park, this marvel of a park! Conceptually, I love it. It's gorgeous, well cared for, and really does offer so many activities for all walks of life.

I was working in Uptown while it was being built. The construction was extremely inconvenient, of course, but the payoff seemed well worth it!

This public park is really an .... attraction

There's a dog park, a few concert areas, food trucks, an area designated for playing games and reading books. There's even valet parking (sooooo "Dallas". I've never been to NYC. Does Central Park have valet parking?). 

Then there's a children's area.

"Children's Area" is inviting to a parent, and certainly to a child, but these days, I run for the hills when possible.  Malls with the Play Area, Stadia with their Kids Places and now, splash parks. I was ooged out big-time when we arrived at Klyde Warren children's area only to be told to wait BECAUSE A CHILD HAD POOPED IN THE AREA. 


It was over 100 degrees. This was near the steamy, slithery stream that winds around the area. So gross. 


This happened over the summer to MLO when she went to Hawaiian Falls Water Park. She came home and told me all the kids had to be evacuated from the "Wave Pool" because there was poop in the water. 


Seriously, parents? This truly is on YOU and your kid. It's a shame that any public park, and by association, play areas - with or without water - has to be penalized because you don't keep an eye on your child. Alas, I'm really shying away from allowing my kids to attend these kinds of play areas! Between lice, excrement, strep and general unruly behavior, I am compelled to find alternate play areas. While I recognized accidents happen, it just happened in too many places this last summer for me to feel comfortable any time soon.


Klyde Warren Park website

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Favorite Words: Kenosis

I heard this word during Mass and I didn't even know what it meant, but I knew once I learned the meaning, it would become a favorite word. And it has.  And it is.

n., the doctrine that Christ relinquished His divine attributes so as to experience human suffering.

I don't think there's much more I really need to - or can - add.

Well, I could add this: The google image search of this word is a fun rabbit hole into which to wander.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

On Wishes and Faith

I had a great time hanging out with Daniel. He's one of my verybestfriends that I met when I lived in El Paso. He lives out here now, a few 'burbs north of me. He's been married and divorced; the father of two lovely and bright children, one of whom is a daughter the same age as MLO. They get along famously singing their My Little Pony tunes, playing dress up and whatnot. They're the quintessential Two Peas In A Pod.

Daniel and I took our kids to play Lunar Minigolf at a local mall, then ventured to my favorite frozen yogurt place that's across the street from a park and fountain area. After finishing our yummy frozen yogurt, Daniel and I took the kids to the park area for them to run and play while he and I did some catching up.

Daniel's young son, a curious five year old, lost one of his flip-flops. The sun has set and the lighting is low along the benched areas. No telling where that flip-flop went. So, off goes Daniel, hunting a shoe with his little boy.

I'm sitting on the bench, alone, watching the goings-on, when the two eight-year-olds prance over to me with beaming smiles, palms filled with coins. 

"Look at the money we found!" they beam.

I ooooh and aaaahh and then make a bit of a sad face, as it occurred to me that these were coins tossed in the fountain with wishes attached to them. 

"I think those are people's wishes, baby," I tell MLO.

She realizes what I'm saying is probably true.

Her friend settles into that realization as well, but she's ever-thinking. Emotion was fleeting at that moment.  "Well. I'll put mine back if you put yours back."

I smile. I'm kind of proud of her for that!

MLO agrees and they talk about it all the way back to the fountain.

A short while later, they return with empty, damp hands, then go about playing other games.

Another short while later, MLO sits next to me on the bench and sneaks a nickel out of her pocket, "Don't tell her, mom. I saved this one for me."

I was a bit disappointed, but I also thought it was a little humorous. I did a silent chuckle inside my own head. "Secret's safe here," I assured her.

Finally Daniel and the boy return, both flip-flops accounted for, and I hand the nickel to the boy, "Go put this in the fountain. It's someone's wish."

MLO shoots me a pouty face and quickly gets over it.


After saying our good-nights to Daniel and his kids, MLO and are reminiscing about her triple playdate day. The girl's dang popular these days, it seems. Anyway, one friend told her about the movie "Heaven Is For Real". Her friend said it was about a four-year-old boy who died, went to Heaven and was returned to life.  MLO boldly stated she believed that that movie was a lie. Her logic: there's no way a four year old kid who hasn't lived much life would be able to give much to God. A kid who has lived a lot of life, like her, would have given to poor boxes, helped kids and stuff like that. 

So I offered perspectives for her to consider: maybe God was using that boy as a messenger to teach someone something, in a way that only God and that person knows. 

Nope. Not how God works.

Maybe the parents made choices that included the kid, choices on how to serve God, and he did so by accompanying his parents.

Nope. Not how God works.

She kept calling it a lie. I told her I accepted her opinion, and she needed to accept that her friend has the opinion that what happened to the boy is true. It's okay to disagree, accept the difference respectfully.

We arrive home, each of us changing into our jammmies. I settle on the couch to write a blog about the wishing well stuff, but hadn't opened my laptop yet. She comes out, her face heavy in sadness. I see she's been crying.

I quickly drop everything and open my arms wide to her, "what's the matter, love?? Why are you crying?!".

"Mommy. I'm afraid. I'm afraid God will think less of me because I don't believe that story!"


Oh, my sweet sensitive babygirl -- how could God possible love her less?

I showered her with love and loving reminders, sewing together her sweet but broken heart. She curled up like an infant in my embrace and I tucked her messy hair behind her ears so I could see her tear-filled eyes. I consoled her the best I could, hoping that she would hear the words and reassurances, absorb them and feel calm.  Eventually, she did.

"Mom, I'm going to go lay in my room and listen to my music on my iPod."

"Okay," I smiled, "I love you."

"I love you too."


Place your faith somewhere, even in wishes.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What Does She Have To Lose?

She's already losing her life. But then again, aren't we all?

My Mom has been through quite a myriad of tests and re-tests. It's almost five months since The Mass was first noted on her lung from a chest x-ray while in the emergency room back in January.  She was subsequently admitted for the flu, and upon discharge, a biopsy was performed whereby she and I learned she does indeed have lung cancer.

There. I said it.

It's been a frustrating dance, if one can even call it that. Perhaps I'm trying to make light of the situation, the process, of getting some answers and treatment options.  It really is an exercise in patience for me; I cannot imagine the agony My Mom is makes my heart shudder in angst and sadness.

Mom and I arrive at the oncology center yesterday, awaiting to meet with a radiation specialist (for a second time. The first time, Mom was told she was not eligible to receive radiation.).  This Air Force veteran walks in, disheveled, unshaven with the salt and pepper scruff thick enough to scrub burnt spaghetti sauce off a pan.  His lips are zig-zaggy and his periwinkle scrubs are baggy. He has tired eyes, the kind that exhibit a mere glimmer of caring. He left an impression, though not a good one.

Mom elected to have chemotherapy.

I wonder why she chose that? Maybe she thinks, "What do I have to lose?".

Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Shame

Shame is one of those words I try not to utter in such a context of belittling or correcting a person, especially my children. I consciously choose to refrain from saying "shame on you". I have said, "what a shame" when certain kinds of crimes have been committed, or some sort of injustice that's occurred.

Shame, the feeling, is so raw, isn't it? I mean, could you feel any worse about yourself when someone who loves you says they're ashamed of you? Could you feel any smaller than when you're told you "shame on you"? 

Ugh.  Just typing it makes me feel disgusted - and disgusting! 

I've often wondered what purpose that word, that feeling, even plays in a lifetime?


I recently attended a series of lectures given by a priest. He took one lecture to discuss the human feelings of anger, fear and guilt. He also talked about shame.


Healthy shame.


Healthy shame.

There's such a thing?

There's such a thing!

There is?

Doesn't quite compute -- yet.

But he opened the door for me. His words were enlightening. I'm not sure I understand - yet - what "healthy" shame is, but I like the idea of healthy anything being the mechanism to progress and growth....transformation. Conversion.


What do YOU think it could mean? Feel free to leave an example or share a story!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thank You Notes for Job Interviews

I'm sitting at lunch right now, unemployed, reading LinkedIn articles. I see one about sending 'Thank You" notes to a potential employer after interviewing.

And I roll my eyes.

Big time.

My husband, also unemployed, recently wrote a "Thank You" note to a potential employer. Having just interviewed somewhere myself, he asked me, "Did you write your 'Thank You' note yet? I have one..." as he hands me a blank card. 

Refusing to accept the card, I replied, "No. I don't do that."

He then said, "You must not want a job then!"

I was pretty upset by his comment and the assumption that I won't have a job somewhere because I didn't send a handwritten "Thank You" card. Evs.


Needless to say, this conversation has stayed with me for a few weeks now. I'm not upset at him, per se, but upset at the gesture and expectation as a whole. I clearly need to reconcile this angst.


Let me preface the following paragraphs with these thoughts: if you're a regular reader of my blog, if you know me "IRL", you know that I value gratitude immensely. I believe in saying "thank you" for good things AND the "bad" things (remember, I believe all bad things spawn a bigger good thing). I also LOVE and ADORE a great hand-written note or letter. I teach my kids to write thank you cards to friends and family who live out of town that have sent gifts for holidays, birthdays, illnesses, etc.

Now, having been on the hiring side of the workforce, I found NO value in receiving these handwritten "Thank You" notes. Not one have I received did I sit back in my chair and say to myself, "now THIS is the reason I should hire a person!". Alternately, never did I reflect on time spent interviewing a candidate did I say, "that person better send me a 'Thank You' note or all bets're off!".

I'm really curious to know how many employers ACTUALLY give this gesture any real thought and allow it to influence a call back or extending an offer? This is a serious question, so feel free to leave a comment!


Dear Future Employer

1 - Please do not expect me to send you a "Thank You" note, unless you are going to send me one too. After all, we are in a partnership. You do not lord over me, nor do I lord over you. We are in an agreement. Just because you are in the hiring position, does not make your time and talent any more valuable than mine. 

2 - If you DO expect me to send you a "Thank You" note, you'll be disappointed.  I hope, and would like to think that, after spending time with me, reviewing my QUALIFICATIONS and having the face-to-face (or phone-to-phone) interaction is what ACTUALLY attracts you to wanting to hire me. I don't want to be judged and hired on my ability to write "Thank You" on a piece of paper.

3 - When gratitude really counts, and when it will mean more to me AND you is *drum roll* ON THE JOB! Tell me when you appreciate my work and time and talent. Tell me you appreciate my attitude, teamwork, jokes, the way I bring challenges to their knees. In the spirit of reciprocity and just general kindness, I will do the same to and for you as well as my peers. It's a healthy practice and lifestyle to live - personally and professionally.

4 - If you do not hire me because I didn't write a note, I won't take it personally.


Forgive my arrogance, but assume my gratitude.

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

It's Been A Long Time...


*soft smile*

I, uh, know it's been a long time since we've seen each other. It's mostly my own doing, my fault, y'know? I do this thing where I clam up or, *shrug*, go into a cave, so to speak. I really don't understand why I do it, and truthfully, not sure I really want to. It's part of who I am. I'm learning to accept those Jackie-quirks; hoping you do too. 

For too long, I've let other people kinda dictate what I do, what I say, how I say it. It's really not healthy.  *slow inhale/exhale*  Gah, this is hard - so hard. *nervous laugh* It's one thing to think it quietly in my own head, and another to *wipes brow* say it OUT LOUD, to YOU. I mean, I have it perfectly scripted in my headbrain. There's a pretty, red, sparkly bow at the end of the conversation -- just like in all the sitcoms on TV. Then, we actually do the actual talking in actual facetofaceness and, well, bow and stuff. 

Feelings have been hurt. Feelings have been unheard. Yours. Mine. 

Been doing some meditation and trying to understand myself better in that whole *air quotes* FEELINGS thing -- taking ownership, giving permission to myself to rock a boat, to go against the popular opinion, allow feelings to enter and leave like a visitor, or *more air quotes* consider the right thing to do. What the eff is *violent air quotes* RIGHT, anyway? I mean -- aw, screw it. It's just that..... *head shake*... well, I'm worried you'll judge me or blame me for stuff that, frankly, isn't my fault. Do you need me to call more often? Send emails or private messages via Facebook, text? For that matter, do you have to be the scheduler of when we can meet? And why isn't an hour or two here and there better than nothing? And what's wrong with meeting at MY house sometimes? 


Ah yes....and there it is. The scorecard. Somewhere along the way, we started playing these stupid games of keeping score of who calls who more and why can't you see me at time X instead of time A? Do your kids have to be there? Can you bring your kids, too?? I don't see you enough. I guess I'll see you next year. 

The GUILT. Damn the guilt. WHY? Why do I do that? Why do I let you have that power ove me?

Oh. Right. Because I'm not a heartless bitch. I'm too nice, I guess. 

*pregnant pause*

Look, maybe I shouldn't have come. I probably shouldn't have even said anything. Yeah, bad idea all around, I'm thinking. Pretty sure this'll stress our relationship even more, whatever's left of it. I just wish SEEING you didn't have to be the measure of value of my love for you, that's all. 

*step-stutters toward the door*

So, uh, I'll leave you with that, I guess. Not sure what to say or do from here, so I'm gonna go. 

*tucks hair behind ear*

No matter what, my love for you never diminishes. The value you have in my life doesn't either. I'm done playing the games. K? K.

So, uh, take care. Love ya.

*awkward smile*

---- SCENE ----

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Memorial Day Weekend

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we try to credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's meme. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") Sometimes we edit the original meme, to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, to select the best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from this new meme or recently asked questions from a previously featured meme.  

Let's go!!!

Random XV

From: That Forthright Girl  

1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet? 
20+ years -- some hiking boots that I rarely wear.

2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety? 
Yes -- I have a girl scout in the house, so it's guaranteed!
I get Thin Mints, Samoas and Do-Si-Dos

3. Do you know how to ballroom dance? 
I wish I did! Might 'Bucket List' that!

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager? 
Yes, pretty responsible. I was afraid to be irresponsible.

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see? 

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself? 
Watching someone else.

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why? 
Tuesday! Because it's off the radar. It's not the weekend, it's not subject to Monday Blues, It's kind of an Exhale Day for me.

8. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?? 
You fascinate me.

9. Do hospitals make you queasy? 
Not at all.

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card? 
Amazon! (I know it isn't a store, but c'mon!)

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items? 
Certain things, yes: Shampoo and conditioner, toilet tissue, soda are the first to come to mind.

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels? 
Looking into their eyes telling them how I feel.

13. What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé? 
My kiddos!

14. What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made? 
Drag-race, get in a wreck and then run from the scene.

15. What’s your personal anthem or theme song?
Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders