Monday, November 23, 2015

In Case You Haven't Figured It Out Yet......

...the blog will be on hiatus indefinitely.

But, I'll be back.

It's what I do.

In the meantime, be well. Love and be loved.


Thursday, June 04, 2015

This Is Kinda Where I Am Right Now

Where I'm at:
Learning to love more
Learning to love differently
Learning to love unconditionally (always a work in progress)
Learning to love fear (huh?)
Reading more
Identifying and breaking down my own biases
A bit of self-preservation, which counters some of the above #itsallaboutsurvivalsometimes #oldhabitsarehardtobreak
Aging gracefully
Accepting my body (this is so hard)
Teaching my daughters life skills: how to pump gas, wash dishes, sew a button. One of them is even learning how to drive a car! *pantpantpantexhale*
Finding courage
Putting my voice to "it"
Cradling friends and family in need
A bit of rebelling
Making amends

Where I'm NOT at:
Guilting or feeling guilty (not 100% done with "feeling guilty" - again, so hard - just sick of it ruling me)
Conspiracy theories
News watching
Big Brother policing
Destructive [insert action here]
Shaming and feeling ashamed
on vacation :) (soon. very soon, i hope!)

Basically if I feel any negative energy from you, I don't want to be around you.  Don't allow me to drain your energy or life, please. If I do/have, I'm sorry!

If you give me life and I give you life, let's keep on truckin'.


More to come, I'm sure. Some'll drop off, some'll be added. One thing that'll be constant: LOVE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Duggar Done Dug Deep

Welp. This Duggar scandal has really gone under the microscope, hasn't it. As well it should.

Josh Duggar has admitted to molesting his siblings and a non-family member. Incest and molestation. Those are very dirty deeds.  

I was thinking about the media and public (over)reaction to, well, almost any story, as well as this one in particular. If I'm looking at this story through a Morality Scope, the guy is in the wrong. He's done a badbad thing. If I'm looking at it through a Christian Lens, I'm thinking he's done the right thing: he's taking accountability for his sin in front of God, he's made amends to his victims, he's been forgiven by his victims and living with the consequences. He says he's a changed man.  We're called as a Christian people to forgive.

But we can't forgive child victimization of any kind.

Are we even supposed to?

We adults - Christian or not - are all called to protect the innocents, the children. Not even in prison do hardened criminals like commingling with molesters. The only prisoners who do are also child predators.

Did any of the Duggars expect that they could issue an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, issue an apology and life as they knew it would move forward? Did they really think they'd be free of public scrutiny and judgement? (Why would public judgement matter if all that matters is what's right with God?)

I'm really conflicted on how to feel about this situation. By what's been reported, Josh did all the "right" actions.  He's admitted he's done wrong. He's apologized, received forgiveness, too.  The public normally decries those who denydenydeny then seek an apology after a broad, dismissive apology is issued by our famouspeople. We demand that those politicians, religious leaders, teachers, anyone who has committed any offense, just say, "yeah, I did that. I'm a jerk and I'm sorry. I have been in contact with my victims. I go to therapy. I'm working on my problems". And here, Josh did what We The Public demand, yet We The Public are being just as hard on him as if he lied/denied.

If it wasn't crimes against kids, would We The Public would be a lot more lenient and forgiving.? I dare say, "yes". Because it involves kids, molesting and incest! I don't think I can forgive and trust that Josh's actions are all in the past -- that it was just a stupid teenager phase. 

Sex crimes are the most scary of crimes. Research shows that sexual predators cannot be rehabilitated (male or female). I remember there was a time in the 90's where the "solution" for male sexual deviancy was castration. Cutting the dick and nuts off a man isn't going to change his sexually oriented, power hungry mind. And if castration is the "solution", why wouldn't we also cut the vaginas off women? See the problem there? It's the mind, not the anatomy, that controls a sexual predator.  And what's the solution? Isolation?

In my opinion, their show should be off the air immediately and they should receive no more revenue from their show. It should never be in any sort of syndication. There should be no spin-off, as is rumored. Media needs to quit covering the family and let the family heal from within, and let them just regular people. And to the Duggars: if the network won't cut you off, just leave. That would be commendable. While it's important to learn lessons, there's no good that can come from profiting from the victims - even if the victims agree to allow it.  An argument can be made that "watching" the process of "healing and forgiveness" would help someone, I suppose. There are plenty of other avenues one can learn, heal and be helped besides watching this family on cable TV.  I don't even want to hear about an "update" show in 10 years. The Duggars should just fade back into a non-public life. 

I will worry about Josh Duggar's kids. I will worry about any child he's around. 

I offer my prayers to Josh and his victims.  

And I don't even have cable.....SMH.  Oy!  *laughing*

Thursday, May 07, 2015


Two nights ago, My Little One - a mere nine years old - was helping empty a box of groceries I ordered from Amazon Prime Pantry (which, by the way, is GREAT!).

To my surprise, she was able to put a bag of chips on top of the refrigerator, and I totally stopped my cooking, mouth agape, then commended her for growing up!

Me:  OMGOSH! You're tall enough to put the chips on top of the fridge?!?!?!?!
Her: Yeah. *shrug*

Clearly this is a bigger deal to me than her.  For a split second I wondered if she's been doing this for a while now and I just haven't seen it before. Then I went through a splitsplit second of feeling guilty, like I was too busy to notice her first step or something. But I've been doing a lot of soul work on not beating myself up so for a splitsplitSPLIT second, I kicked those negative thoughts to the curb and checked back OUT of *myself* and back IN to *her*.

Me: I had NO IDEA you were that tall!!
Her: *reaches with her finger tips to the top edge of the fridge -- on her tennis-shoed tippy toes, smiling PROUDLY*
Me: *smiles PROUDLY back*

Fast forward to this morning.....

She is fresh out of bed, wanders into the kitchen, hair in her face, slouching from notreadytobeawakeyetness.  I clear her mophair off her pretty face, revealing those gorgeous kissylips that's greeting me with a sleepy smile. I give her a soft kiss and tell her good morning.

Her:  I can't believe how tall I've grown! I have to bend down to touch the dogs tail now! It's like I have monkey arms.
Me: *laughs OUT LOUD* No, honey. Monkey arms are LONGER than normal. If you had monkey arms, they'd be closer to the ground.
Her:  Oh. Yeah. I meant T-Rex arms *she tucks her elbows into her ribcage, hands out front, waving them, talking in a babyvoice* Look at meeeee. I'm a T-Rex with baby arrrrrms.
Me: *giggling at her silliness*

Later, as I was on the train to work, I was reflecting on her perspective. We have a tendency to acknowledge the UPS of growing taller, but not acknowledge the DOWNS of growing taller. How many people would've thought, "I have to bend over to pet my dog now"?

I would' 44....when some kid brought it to my attention. But at her little nine year old mind, she was already cognizant of it.

Brains are awesome.
Thoughts are too.
And so is my kiddo.


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Favorite Words: Calumnious

        of, involving, or using calumny; slanderous; defamatory
Funny how life is. Funny how words are. Funny how words change in life and how life changes words (context?).
I haven't posted a "favorite word" recently, let alone regularly. I went back at some old "Favorite Word" posts to see how I formatted the blog entry only to discover I had forgotten something. I forgot I used to post a weekly word. The title read, "Weekly Word of the Weak". Huh. Totally forgot. Totally.
Then somewhere along the way the W3, as it were, morphed in the very lazy title "Favorite Words:". 
I think I have commitment issues as evidence by my inability to keep posting awesome vocabulary weekly. That was a pretty witty title, I must say (humbly)! Why'd I ever stop doing that??
Oh yeah. Life. And ....stuff. Lifestuff. 
I want to go back and start doing it because there is some beautiful, rarely unspoken language out there -- in my case, English language.  The abundance of words to describe, to read, to write, is endless! I LOVE LANGUAGE!
Back to this entry's word: calumnious.
I read it here for the first time. I love me some Bishop Farrell. The dude is SMART. I'd nominate him for Pope after Francis if I was a Cardinal in the College.  
By posting the link to Bishop Farrell's blog entry about freedom, is by no means my attempt to convert you politically or religiously. It's merely a point of context and the origin of where I learned this very interesting word.
It's a word that doesn't just apply to faith and religion. It could be in your professional and personal worlds too. In fact, sometimes, I feel like I've been experiencing a personal trial that involves a person being negative toward me, and I relate my story to my therapist or a friend, I'm being calumnious.
But that's changing. There's a way to be honest about something, someONE and not be calumnious. It's been hard to learn this lesson, and I hope I can continue to see that when I'm being authentic to someone, about someone, that my truth is based in compassion, good intention and respect. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Your Song

My heart's been overflowing love today.
This tune crossed my way.


It's a little bit funny this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen



Monday, March 23, 2015

Dallas Cowboys Aren't Just A Football Team

I've been thinking for a few years now that the Dallas Cowboys seem to have this unpublished, unspoken of "rehab" program. So many "problem" players seem to sift through the doors of Valley Ranch, and some of them do alright, I suppose. 

Dez Bryant is a player with a troubled past. He assaulted his own mother, has been accused of assaulting the mother of his child. He seems to have turned a page since the hitting-his-mother incident. He's stayed out of domestic violence trouble and has really produced at a phenomenal rate on the field. The media says he's "matured" or "is maturing". That's one way to describe the positive change in him.

Another controversial teammate is Josh Brent. He's repeatedly been in trouble while on the roster. His offenses include DUI and even murder. He killed fellow team mate Jerry Brown while driving under the influence. He's served time in jail. That whole time, the Cowboys stood by him, supporting him through the ordeal. Josh Brent remains on the team to this day, though he doesn't really play. Not sure what that's all about....

Last week, the Cowboys signed a one year deal with Greg Hardy last week. Greg Hardy has abused his girlfriend in the past -- real, documented, againstthelaw abuse. Yet, he's now a Cowboy. 

Jerry Jones, the owner and GM of the Cowboys has a daughter named Charlotte, who discussed the rationale of signing men who have these sorts of pasts. She cited "support" and "resources" for the perpetrator and the victim. 

Now it's been acknowledged. The hunch I've had for a while now: The Dallas Cowboys are the NFL's rehab.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Tip for Ash Wednesday in Downtown Dallas

I started a new job in belly of downtown Dallas. I am still learning my way around, taking walks, foraging for food. In my wanderings, I found a Catholic church that isn't the Cathedral: St. Jude's Chapel.

St. Jude's Chapel has four Masses on Ash Wednesday: 11 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. (Call ahead to make sure these haven't changed year to year.)

If you are Catholic and work (or are otherwise in the area) in downtown Dallas, and you want to attend Ash Wednesday Mass to receive your ashes during your lunch hour, I highly encourage you to attend the 11 a.m. Mass! It was fuller than usual (daily  mass), but there were still a handful places to sit. After Mass, ushers routed foot traffic from inside the church through one of the two sets of doors. They had people lining up outside the other set of doors before allowing them entrance.

I wormed my way through the aisles, eventually trekking my way back to the office.  I had to cut through a line of people waiting to get inside the church that was about ONE BLOCK LONG and growing!  I really don't know how all those people will inside that little church, but I'm sure the ushers know what to do! I left feeling glad I attended the 11:00 Mass. :)

Anyway, my advice is clear: Go to the 11:00 Mass (and save me a seat if all y'all start going then too)!

Happy Lent!


Addendum: A co-worker said at the last minute, a 1:00 p.m. Mass was added to the schedule and it wasn't nearly as packed as 11:40 and 12:30.

Ash on, brothers & sisters!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day: Orange is the New Red

I think it's fair to say that most, if not all, parents are challenged with instilling the character trait of 'respect' into their children.  That's a two-way street. Speak to your kids with respect, receive their respect. The truth of the matter is, that doesn't always reciprocate, especially in equal proportions.

A few years ago, a friend of mine shared an entry from a blog on her Facebook timeline. It was from a website called The Orange Rhino found here.  I was intrigued by the name of the website (hey, it's cute!) so I clicked on the link to see what it was all about. I was directed to a Challenge page. 

The Challenge: don't yell at your kids for a year.

As I read through the page, I was reminded of the many times I yelled at My Children and how it only made all of us feel worse. I'd yell at them for not doing chores, or leaving their backpacks on the floor, forgetting to feed the dog, talking rudely to one another. I wasn't always a yeller. As with most mothers, I have a "look" and a "tone", which I employed on occasion.  After feeling unsuccessful over a lengthy period of time, I resorted to yelling to get their attention.

Too, as I read through the challenge, I remembered feeling belittled when I was yelled at as a youth - any time I'm yelled at, to this day!  I don't want to belittle My Children. I want to bolster them, allow them their independence while still honoring what courtesies and obligations are necessary to be a part of the family unit.  I want them to feel empowered, not squashed.  I didn't name call them, nor did I say phrases like "you're lazy", "how disappointing", etc. I did yell phrases such as, "how could you??" and "WHY would you DO THAT?!" and "why DIDN'T you do that??".  I was frustrated with other life goings-on, or lack thereof, so I was taking those frustrations out on them.

(Ugh, I feel a pang of shame in my belly just typing it right now!)

The most important aspect of yelling I learned from this blog: yelling is about ME. It's my frustration for not being heard, respected, validated, acknowledged. It's about my shortcomings: impatience, intolerance, inability.  Yelling is disrespectful.

The Valentines Day, my Valentine is The Orange Rhino
I haven't purchased the book & various marketing items. I haven't blogged about it (until today). To be perfectly honest, I have only ever visited the website twice: that day it found me a couple years ago, and again today, in order to reference it for this blog entry. I did, however, tell My Daughters, about three months or so into it. They held me accountable, which I embraced. It was difficult at times, but mostly, I felt liberated. What resulted was a more harmonious home, and even more remarkable: a more full way to love.  I have learned to be a more patient teacher, a kinder caregiver, more compassionate - to them and myself. Where I lacked in ability, I have sought ability. Thankfully, forgiveness is a big player in the relationships between me and My Girls. I feel closer to them more now than ever!  I pray that my behavior change is something they internalize and, as they become mothers, they organically love with patience, prayer and compassion.

Do I still get a "tone" and use that "look", yes! But I am here to tell you that the no-yelling WORKS, and I have had to rarely use the "look" and "tone". I still get frustratedvoice, but the volume stays at acceptable levels.  I'll always be a work in progress.

I'm so grateful to my friend who posted this website on her Facebook timeline! This website changed my life, and ultimately, the lives of my children!

So Happy Valentine's Day to The Orange Rhino! Thanks for bring me L-O-V-E!
Are you a yeller? Try the challenge. You can do it!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Racism Sensitivity

A couple of weeks ago, MLO had a friend spend the night. We went shopping, and the girls were looking at various little toys they like: Shopkins, My Little Pony blind bags, Funko POP dolls, and the like. They settled on the My Little Pony Mystery Minis.

MLO: Oh! Here they are in the black boxes!
Friend: shhh! Don't say that! That's racist!
MLO: What is?
Friend: *whispers* black
MLO: It's not racist.
Friend: uh huh *looks over her shoulders*
MLO: No, it isn't. Mom, is it racist to call this 'black'?

I smile.

Me: No, it isn't. You're describing the color of the box. And even still, black people don't mind being called 'black'. It's okay to say it.


Is that what our society has come to?
I shudder to think the answer is 'yes'.

Come on, Humans. Step up your game. We're better than that.


Saturday, February 07, 2015

Year Fourteen


Has it really been that long?

I guess so....

Where does the time go?

Fourteen years ago you winked in the wake of your death, leaving me a better woman than even the hour before you died.

I wish you were here.
In a way where I could laugh with you, play some cards and hug on ya. In a way where my kids can get your wisdom directly from you. But I will always be glad to carry that duty for you and mom. Always.


Today one your favorite songs played:

There were seven Spanish angels at the Altar of the Sun
They were praying for the lovers at the Valley of the Gun
When the battle stopped and the smoke cleared,
There was thunder from the throne,
And seven Spanish angels, took another angel home

Just thought I'd let you know I know.

Missing you,

P.S. I found a penny on the train today. Thanks, Daddy. I love you, too.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Less Is More

Less hair
More wrinkles.
Less energy.
More weight.
Less youth.
More wisdom.
Less fear.
More resolve.
Less time.
More truth.

Me on my 44th birthday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gifts From The Parents

A tiny angel lives inside the silver heart.

A 2014 penny winked at me as I departed the train today.

These are the gifts my mom and dad gave me for my birthday.

My heart is smiling.