Leaks, Creeks and Lost Paddles…

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by my long silence, life has hit one of those rapids where the raft tosses too and fro’ over ever-more churning water and the scene of life becomes nearly a blur of passing landscape as I cling to the edges of the raft and hope to gawd there aren’t any huge waterfalls downstream.   :)

While I have gotten nearly a 1/3 of my overall property into permaculture/garden beds, this year’s bountiful moisture means I still cannot keep up with mowing/weeding/weed whipping – – – or at least not if I want to spend anytime earning the money to be spent at the home improvement store or garden nursery – – :)

The child-man-unit of the house ripped out his shoulder in June – – after an examination by the sports medicine guru, worries of a fracture or rip in things that don’t just heal back to normal all by their lonesome, were expressed, with the recommendation,

“We need to get right on this.”

So off we go to the surgeon’s office (they got us in on the same day, so that was nice.)  Where the result was,

“Let’s get an MRI, see what the damage is and then go from there.”

And in response to my questions regarding how much we should limit his activities, to prevent further damage, the reply came:

“You never have to mow, ever again.” – Smile/Wink.

On the plus side, both the child-man-unit and I finally figured out who the doctor reminded us of – Dean from Supernatural – I wanted to go back in and ask the doctor what kind of car he drove, but decided that would be taking it too far – – :)

Well, that was the first of June – MRI folks could finally get us in towards the end of June – Doctor on vacation and we won’t be seeing him until the end of July, but he’s already said surgery will be needed – the tendons/ligament torn will not heal back to their tight hold on the shoulder joint without some extra help.

Not my idea of ‘getting right on something’, but at least we know what’s what and how to move forth –

However, my outdoors-working-partner-in-crime is limited to mowing.

(Yes, yes – but we have a lightweight battery operated WORX mower, that he can push along using just his left arm – so he is mowing.  :) )

Leaks

Last week’s heavy rain meant a leak over my west window – I figured this would show up as the roof has been in need of replacing – previous half-arsed patching attempts from other tenants resulted in about 5-6 layers of rolled roofing, a crap-load of nails and edges that easily caught the wind and ripped those nails right out –

After calling upon one of the local teachers, who also happens to do roofing in the summer, I went to Lowe’s, got the supplies – he brought over a ladder big enough for me to access the roof – we walked it, he showed me where to clear to, and yesterday morning I started in to remove 5-15 years worth of hodge-podge layers and getting it ready to lay down brand new rolled roofing, in effort to have the whole mess hold on for one more winter –

(Yes, Universe, this is a message for you – I want my new roof next summer – so keep sending the work, so I can pay for it!  :)

Roof071215
As you can see – the very original layer didn’t even tar paper it all the way to the bottom edge –

After two hours, pulling a coffee can full of old nails (except the ones that were so old, the heads broke off and I just pounded them down into the older-than-dirt wood) two barrels full of old roofing/paper/patch fabric, etc., I had the canvas ready to install the new repair.

Mr. Roofer showed up, hefted the extra roll of roofing I had purchased onto one shoulder (I huffed/puffed and lugged the thing to the foot of the ladder) and sprung up the ladder like he was dancing –

Obviously, I still have work to do on my strength issues..

With his help, we marked chalk lines, spread asphalt roof cement every where we wanted a good seal, (and I sealed part of my arms, hair and portions of my face, as well…) and as he went through and installed pretty new roofing nails, I, mom and the child-man-unit made a hurried trip to town to get one more bucket of cement, a smaller trowel (the ones I had didn’t fit in the bucket) and a drive-thru lunch.

Back home, I ascend to the roof, only to find it is so hot, I managed to get what looks like a sunburn on my knees from kneeling while adding the cement to lap-over areas not previously done because we ran out of cement.

I retreated into the house, put on cool comfy clothes, and passed a few hours inside resting and reading, waiting for the sun to descend –

Around 7pm, I went back up, finished up the cementing job – and, though not pretty, decided to add an extra layer of the cement to the top of the layers, too – just so I won’t have to be back up there this winter – in 90 mph winds and snow – :)

Functional First, Pretty if Possible, is my motto – :)

Mr. Roofer came and retrieved the ladder he needed for the next day’s work – and, to my amazement, told me

“Good Job!”

I was amazed, because though I followed his instructions, by the time he arrived, I was so worn out I was talking like Elmer Fudd, fighting nausea and wondering if I were man-enough to see this job through – he expressed concern about me continuing to help, observing that if I passed out, it would be hard to get me down off the roof.

I laughed and said,

“At this point, I’m so miserable, you can just roll me over to the edge and dump me off – “

I will tell you this – I learned a lot, and as long as I can procure a ladder that is big enough to reach, yet light enough for me to lift, I feel much more confident that I can do any future patch/repairs that may come along before I can afford to hire someone to do the entire job right – but I do know…

When I grow up, I Do Not want to be a Roofer.

Alas, last night in twilight, I went down the ladder for the last time, stripped off my clothes and threw them away, got into my pj’s and while sitting on the couch, cursed myself for not remembering to take a picture of the completed job – and decided it wasn’t worth another trip up there.

So, you’ll just have to take my word for it – it is done and while the extra seams of cement mars somewhat the beauty of the job, it still looks a heck of a lot better than what was there before.

Growing Things Update

Yesterday, my sainted mom came over and worked on weeding around my chokecherries – which I had gotten about 1/2 done.  My order of Moth Mat Bean seed finally arrived last week, so hopefully after tonight’s rain, I can get them plopped into the ground around the chokecherries – they grow in a mat on the ground, are drought tolerant, edible and should choke out any further weed growth.

I hurriedly snapped some photos this a.m., around the place, just to show you how much things have grown (although, to my amazement, all my orange marigolds died – yellow ones are looking good – not sure what made that happen….)

As you can see, I’m behind on weeding, mowing, further work in garden beds – but here’s what’s grown this year without irrigation being installed and I’ve only hand-watered once:

Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes – nearly 5 feet tall now

Daylillies

Daylillies planted in 2013 are actually going to bloom this year!

Roses, tomatoes, basil, marigolds

Roses at back, Tomatoes interspersed with Basil and marigolds at front

Amaranth

Self-Seed Amaranth looking good – hope they don’t block out too much light from the roses – alas, can’t bear to pull them out

Work and Projects

Have 7 proposals out, 4 jobs lined up through August. My own new website still not completed and launched – sigh – but nearly done with my 18 week copy writing course and so hoping that all I’ve learned from that will be put to good use for both my site and my clients.

You

Here and there, while waiting at doctor’s office, or at the airport to pick up relatives, etc., I’ve been able to snatch some reading time so as not to fall too far behind on your world.    Hope this little missive finds you enjoying your summer (or winter, as the case may be) and that you and your loved ones are doing well.

Happy Monday! :)

501- and Waiting…

Overcast sky replaced by blue sky – overhead –

Building Bank of clouds to west, that do not, to my eye, look as ominous as yesterday – and reports today’s turbulence traveling faster across landscape than yesterday’s –

But I’m now into waiting mode –

Not working mode…

And realized –

After all the discussion about celebrating 500 posts –

It turns out –

My 500th post was a missive that said –

  1. We are Okay –
  2. And included a long arse trip down Memory Lane –
  3. Was Chock-Full of my own brand of stubbornness –

Turns out, 500 wasn’t that much different from what I have posted 499 times before –  :)

Cheers!

Fireworks, Buffet and Open Bar to celebrate 500 have been rescheduled to a later date – –

I assume, you’ll forgive me this lapse –

Cause you’ve watched the journey and if you don’t know me by now…well…

:)

And Tornado Season is Real, Here, Once again…

Around 35 years ago…

I cannot tell you what year, exactly, but I was around 12 years of age.

My family – Dad, Mom, 5 year old brother and I, piled in the pick-em-over

(work truck, and yes, it was in the days before seatbelt/child restraint/safety seat laws….) and headed to town – to get some shopping done, pick up supplies from the Plumbing supply house and stop by Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs.

A nice day for a trip to town.

We entered the mall as one of the second-to-last stops for the day, and exited it an hour later,

To view a sky wiped clear of blue and replaced by a swirling mass of dark purple and green tinged haze –

Carrying a smell I was not familiar with –

I cannot describe that smell – even after a lifetime later – but I’ve never forgotten it and it is one of the few things that strikes fear into my heart instantaneously…

You know, smells are like that – they have a straight track into the most primitive part of the survival brain –

Dad looked at Mom and said,

“We have to get home to the livestock, Now.”

We headed east – 4 personages in the front seat of a pick-up – – Dad, driving, then my brother, then my Mom, and me nestled close to the passenger door…

We drove Hwy 24, east from Colorado Springs towards Calhan – where we would turn off and cut cross country roads to our ranch –

Hail started to hit – big and violent enough that vehicles pulled off to the side of the highway.

Remember the Green Bridge just west of Peyton, Colorado?  That was replaced a few years ago?

Yup, we continued on past it – past all the people who had parked their cars in the ditch/alongside the highway and had scrambled towards cover under the bridge…

Dad had once heard of a tornado passing over a ditch and sucking all the air out of it – those seeking shelter didn’t die from the tornado – they died of asphyxiation, so he had his own reasons for us not to stop….

My Mom held a baby blanket in front of the windshield as the hail hit, trying to protect my brother and I from the possibility of shattered glass, all while trying not to block Dad’s driving-view too much – –

I looked out the passenger window and watched fingers of white and dark, here and there, reach out from the clouds to touch and stir up brown on the earth –

I saw one, after another, of those slim fingers form –  briefly connecting Heaven and Earth, only to dissipate in time for my gaze to be captured by a new one materializing against the landscape we traveled through.

(I do not remember the phone company whose slogan was “Reach Out and Touch Someone” – was it before Ma Bell became a thousand other companies?  Or after?  The slogan must have come out sometime around that time, because whenever I think of that day, I realized the winds of Mother Nature were Reaching Out to Touch Someone –

Attention, Marketing Guru’s – I remember the phrase but not the company you fashioned it for – the phrase you craft today may only be associated with less than pleasant memories and NOT the memory of a company you charged big bucks to craft it for – Think about it –  :)  )

I watched in fascination as one slim finger formed, traveled, seemed to disconnect from the Heavens, then looked like a massive Dirt Devil on the ground – not visibly connected to anything in the sky – and then once more appeared to be re-connected to the clouds and shape what looked like a huge U,

With both head and tail connected to the clouds – and brown haze below –

“Mom, look at that!  What’s it doing?  Why is it U-shaped?”

A strangled and panicked reply was all I received,

“Oh..Dallas…”

I, safe behind a baby blanket held by Mom’s arms and seeing my Dad’s profile which indicated a steely gaze on the horizon and road in front of him, with strong, capable hands at the wheel, comforted me, and I decided not to worry – it would all be fine, we just had to do what Dad replied ..

“Hon, we have to keep going…we have to get home and check on the stock”

We made it home – livestock okay – later, I heard that day was touted as “The Day of 100 Tornadoes” – but haven’t located the history records, to confirm if that is really true or not -100 for Colorado?  Our local area?  The Plains?  I cannot tell you –

In our neck of the woods and my memory?

Yup, it’s still logged as the “100 Tornado Day” –

9 or so Years Later…

This story, I’m on better footing for historical fact cross-checking –

Simply search “June 6th, 1990, Limon, Colorado Tornado” and find anything you wish to know – :)

25 years ago, this coming June 6th…

I was 9-months pregnant – and just a few days prior, had moved from my roommate’s home in Limon, back to my parent’s home to prepare for a 6-week maternity leave that was said to commence sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.

Thank goodness I moved.

The uprooted tree that demolished the bedroom where I would have been fast asleep in preparation for graveyard shift would have killed me and the baby both, had I not moved the Sunday prior….

See?  I’m Lucky.

Even with the 40 mile commute, I was determined to work up till the last moment possible.

I and my boss had an adjusted schedule in place and plan of action, should I not show up for work in time…

That evening, I left home in a severe thunderstorm, because my boss had my route and if I didn’t call to say I wasn’t coming in, or running late, or show up on time, EMS crews would be paged to find the silly, pregnant woman in labor, along the 40 mile route –

And, I  was unable to reach boss to call in ‘sick/not coming’ as my Mom wished to happen –

Dad understood my wish to not scramble EMS crews if it could be avoided – and backed me on starting out, with promise I would call when I arrived safely, if possible.

I drove through the storm that would wreak havoc on Limon a short time before I arrived at the eastern portal to the town-

I drove on muddy roads and through rain that felt more like driving through one continuous waterfall –

I hit a ‘good spot’ where the wind, rain, everything,  became eerily quiet and calm – only to see the wall of water ahead that looked like a grey wall –

I kept going – I reasoned I could get to Limon sooner on the paved highway than I could make it back home on muddy ones – and I only wished to be somewhere to lay down and ease my aching back and frayed nerves –

(Yup – if I had been aware, fully, at the time, of what that 1/2 mile of dead calm really indicated, I probably would’ve gone into labor, right then and there from the stress/fear of it, luckily, Mother Nature made sure my brain was blissfully ignorant of all the logic routes – and with late night storms, you aren’t as aware of what is going on around you – you can’t see what’s coming, unless lightening illuminates it for you)

I finally arrived on the last curved stretch of the paved road journey, and wondered,

“Where are the lights?  I can’t see the lights of Limon!  Is the storm that bad?  I can always see lights here…”

And then stopped on the eastern Hwy 24 bridge

The Portal-to-rest, guarded by one lone Colorado State Trooper, and his car, replete with blue/red, silently whirring, lights which cut through the darkness, who approached my car and quickly moved his flashlight between my face and pregnant stomach, once I stopped and rolled down the window –

He didn’t seem very friendly, at that moment:

“Where did you come?  This highway closed. Why are you here?”

After some conversation, he decided I wasn’t a law-breaker –

Turned out, I had cut in to the highway at a cross-country road point that had not yet been manned/closed at the time I reached it. :)

I told him I was going to work – that my graveyard shift cook was waiting for me to pick him up at his residence located on the south side of town –

And tried to formulate the information when he said,

“There’s been a tornado – it hit the south side pretty hard – there are power lines down and I can’t let you go down there – where do you work?  Rip Griffin’s Truckstop? Okay, it’s still standing and you are to go there and stay until someone says you can go.”

I informed him I was turning around to go home, sure no one would wonder where I was at and just wanted to be home – safe – and resting my aching back –

But I was not allowed to turn around and head home – when he said “No, you can’t leave” and I pleaded, then argued, bless his patient, customer service  heart, he dealt as kindly as he could with this scared, unreasonable, illogical, pregnant woman –

“Lady, I’ve been through a tornado tonight – I ain’t delivering a baby on the highway too – You will go to Rip Griffin’s and there you will stay until you are told you can leave.”

I arrived at place of employment to find my old roommate and her boyfriend, the graveyard shift cook, safe and sound.  And sketchy information as to how so many others had fared – and a boss that said,

“We assumed you stayed home – what are you doing here?”

And the story of why I started out nearly 2 hours before began again –

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch –

Dad and Mom have the radio on and receive (not wholly correct information) that the town of Limon has been leveled.

No phone contact possible –

Cell phones not to be had by anyone involved, just yet…

They wait, listen and worry (Mom worried earlier than Dad – but give Dad any concrete information and he’ll suit up and be ready to go…)

They left home, in less than stable weather, to find me –

In the same work truck…

Weather/Danger be damned…

Dad, watching the bar ditches as best he could to see if I had wrecked off the side of the muddy country road sat across the truck seat from a very ticked-off/worried Mom,  who had earlier that evening been outvoted by a husband-daughter team that obviously just don’t know any better and she plans to do her own brand of arse-chewing, sometime in the future – but not right now…

I was rescued and taken home around 3am –

Dad and Mom arrived to a much bigger blockade than I faced –

Fortunately, the same Colorado State Trooper who greeted me was still on-duty and since there weren’t any other immensely pregnant women who had showed up at that portal, he was able to immediately calm their fears and told them where I was at – and gave permission for them to come get me and take me and my car home.

While I waited for rescue (though I didn’t realize I was just waiting – I figured I was there for the long haul and hoped Mom wouldn’t worry too much…

I had spent some hours crouched in cramped spaces, and managed to worry friends when I experienced massive muscle cramps and chose to stand upright to ‘walk it off’ –  outside of approved shelter areas –

Or when the younger brother of a friend chose to walk with me up and down the external, glass plated hallways of the complex, when I demanded –

“I can’t take it anymore!  I don’t care!  My back hurts, my legs are cramping and I have to walk – NOW!”

I assume I was most likely in the early stages of labor, just then, but didn’t know any better at the time – to me, labor started the next day, around 1pm –

I’m still grateful for those who walked the halls with me while I marveled at the swirling mass overhead – and braved life outside of shelter because of unreasonableness – W – you know who you are :)

– I also listened to a battery radio AM channel report that said the whole town had been leveled, when I knew, at least in my immediate vision, it had not been entirely leveled – cuz I was inside a standing building at the time and looking at other standing buildings –

And I remember thinking,

“Every day, somewhere in the world, in war zones, disaster areas – this is what people do, every, single, day – somewhere – hide, worry, crouch, listen to reports they know aren’t completely right, but have no way of knowing how much is really right/wrong in the report of what is happening 1/2 a mile away.”

Escorting Me Home –

As Mom drove my car and Dad followed us in the truck, I looked out the window, – lightening illuminated the swirling clouds I now new better to fear –

We arrived home and I tried to rest –

And went into “OMG! The Baby Is Coming” about 15 hours later – while Dad was at work –

When he got the message of where Mom and I were, (remember, no cell phones…) he asked what he could do.

I asked if he could get word to my friend/Lamaze Coach – who lived in Limon – not really expecting it possible – –

Pregnant women aren’t always thinking of all the ramifications of requests…just saying…or maybe it’s just this pregnant-first-time-mom….

Dad drove and made his way through a National Guard blockade to carry word to Mary Kay

(Yup, her real name – but not the cosmetics guru …)

And she, with intact house, family support and a hubby who gave his blessing, jumped in her car and drove 70 miles only to arrive about 17 minutes after my oldest son was born – without her purse, driver’s license or anything else on her person –

She was rattled, too…

In Retrospect

The whole story and requests/actions could have been handled much better –

  1. I should not have started out or asked for messages to be delivered next day-
  2. I should not have underestimated how much the people who loved and cared for me would risk to fulfill an unreasonable request, that I didn’t know was unreasonable, given my imperfect knowledge at the time, but, still, was….

Yes, If I could go back in time, I would do so many things differently – – – to better protect those I love…

Last Night…

My mom called and said there was a tornado on top of Simla…

My alert option on the cell phone only showed flash flood alert –

I looked out my northwest kitchen window and saw a finger of white, connecting heaven and earth – in amongst dark, swirling clouds –

The man-child and I grabbed the essentials and made our way to the cellar – which hasn’t been recently peppermint oiled and so, also had to deal with fear of spiders – :)

We had to half-drag/then carry, the dog down, because I was in a hurry and stressed her out in commanding her to “Come here, NOW!” without focused assurance –

I didn’t fulfill my Alpha Pack leader duties very well, yesterday, I must admit –

And the baseball sized hail that hit about 10 minutes later, along with increasing winds, and created sounds that made the man-child more fearful someone was looting our home than a storm hitting –

We all have our fears – and our memories – and what we are afraid of –

I waited out one siren, went up to confirm no one was in the house, to ease the man-child’s mind – grabbed a few more items and headed to the cellar again – –

Forgot to use the bathroom, once again,  while I was wandering around top-level –

And then we Waited

Holding hands and I told him about all the near/far tornado calls I had been through –

  1. What to do – when – to the best of knowledge
  2. What it sounds like as it bears down on you and how to smell the air  –
  3. About the day before and after his brother was born
  4. Why, since we are together, it will all be fine and things can always be replaced – somehow, someway –

We looked at the Smarter-than-Me-Phone map and saw all the red “T”s that indicated spotter info –

We talked to my Mom, 10 miles south east of us, who periodically came out of her safe space to look at what was going on, for she had no sirens to warn her –

We crawled out of the dark and watched the dark column move toward her – and called to say – “We are Fine – It’s Headed your Way”

Fortunately, we didn’t have to monitor Hurricane Evacuation routes, Flash Flood Routes or Earthquake notifications –

And, as far as I know – no wild fires were started by the lightening anywhere near us –

I do Know – with every fiber of my being  –

Whether you wait and breathe a sigh of relief, later –

Or grieve just as so many have done during our history as a species –

  1. There is always, always – someone, somewhere, who loves you – who worries about you – and will brave whatever comes, to find you –
  2. Mother Nature is so much more appreciated if you capture or watch video of the storm cell from far away than wondering what is going on while you hide in your cellar and listen to the storm/sirens – and breaking news reports may not always be correct, in their entirety.

The Severe Warnings have started again, today – bit by bit, friends call to check on us and to report on them and their neighbors – how everyone has fared – so far, I have no direct knowledge of anything more than a couple minor injuries, property loss and only 1 report has reached me yet of downed livestock –

**********

I’d rather drive through a white-out winter blizzard than endure late afternoon spring/summer storms –

I’m hopeful, because today’s weather report currently has the danger ending before sunset –

I’m always better when I know what I’m facing, rather than getting surprised from a direction of the dark I didn’t realize I should be keeping an eye on…

This post is my own way of coping –

With the past, with Now, and reminding myself of the multiple possible Futures –

Thanks for listening –

June holds so many memories for me – births, deaths, close calls, etc….

And now, one more memory logged of what I want to do better –

Next time…

Because I’ve been blessed with multiple chances to learn…

Now What?!?

I survived another year from the date I thought my world had ended -to never more be retrieved –

When I slogged through the worst I thought could happen to me – that is still pretty light in comparison to what others have endured/survived – –

There are some who are stronger than I –

Others who ask me for help – even when I’m not sure I’m the right/compassionate/knowledgeable enough soul to best serve them –

I’ve thought often, for many years, of a line from the movie, “As Good as It Gets” –

“What if … this is as good as it gets?”

I think of this line often – not only for a reminder of how Life happens and you roll with it, but to guard against unbridled/unrealistic expectations, AND the acknowledgement –

Somedays – your “As good as it Gets” looks like Nirvana to someone else –

And can just as easily been judged a pity party by others –

You can be judged as ‘Not moving on” or “Doing Quite Well, considering….”

And every single label bestowed, every single response depends upon only 3 things –

  1. Where you are today
  2. Where the person labeling your stuff,  is today
  3. How much you and the other have chosen to commit to caring/learning about each other

************

I previously mentioned a draft post titled,

Never Judge a Jelly Bean by it’s Color

I deleted it tonight – because in effort to shorten it, the post only grew by 500 words or more every attempt to edit – –

Here’s the short story:

About a month ago, the man-child arrived home from a visit abroad with a gift of jelly beans – which he generously shared – Jolly Rancher brand, you should know…

I was busy trying to figure out if green or pink colored ones represented the Jolly Rancher Watermelon flavor I had fond memories of – –

All while assiduously avoiding any black colored ones –

Cuz I have been long trained to hate Black Licorice –

Even though my dad loved the flavor – and ate all the black licorice candy I refused from the Christmas stocking or Easter basket of goodies – –

That flavor reminded me more of the yucky, thick, yellow colored medicine I was doomed to take 2-3 times a day during a sickly period in my youth than bringing fond memories of how much my Dad loved Good-n-Plentys candy.

I was eventually trained to gag/vomit at the first hint of black licorice smell/taste – took awhile, but it happened – all the same – :)

Pavlov really was on to something –

Know what else? I learned recently you can make the offspring of mice fear the smell of cherry blossoms if only you ensure their parents suffer enough pain while experiencing the smell of cherry blossoms – good information to know, learned something – been double blind, scientifically proven and published –

Still –

It ticks me off  the only way this knowledge could be deemed good enough to ‘prove/publish/share’ is through using electro shock therapy on mice parents – somehow, it just seems wrong to gain the information this way instead of extrapolating from your own experience – –

Say, like, hating Black Licorice flavored things….and Anise – and not considering any pizzelle recipes containing Anise as valid use of ingredients/cooking time – –

:)

And while we’re at it, what’s up with the spelling of pizzelle?

My experience tells me, if someone is willing to fix an extra batch of their culturally traditional holiday cookie for you, sans the Anise, because they watched you learn your Black Licorice experiment, then the spelling should change to reflect reality – as in…

Pitz-Yay-Ohs!

See?  Doing it again – this was to be a short post – I tend to go off on tangents I believe connected – – :)

The power of learned experience and DNA coded messages through generations of offspring is pretty powerful stuff –

And I, in my careful sampling of jelly beans, started to gag and get sick, because I accidentally popped a black licorice looking one into my mouth – by mistake – and error –

Something.. not sure what… came to my rescue – –

Maybe it was rational/logical process that cautioned,

“Think before you react.”

Maybe it was spiritual enlightenment that said,

“Are you sure your belief is true, for this moment in time?”

Maybe, my self help guru instructed,

“You have only to face your low-self-esteem issues in order to embrace the flavor of Black Licorice”

None of the aforementioned turned out to be true/needed, in the end –

Turns out it wasn’t a black licorice jelly bean –

It was dark purple and grape flavored – –

Which I like – –

Grape was my new favorite flavor when, at age 4, I had my tonsils removed and was promised all the orange Popsicles/Sherbert I wanted, only to be chastised a short 12 hours later by the night shift nurse, for being greedy and eating all the orange up- – – grape – take it or leave it – – –

See?  This is why I so often write and never publish, anymore – –

The longer I live, the more I try to understand, the more I see so many things connected….

And better understand no matter what I say or try to do, with the best of intentions, there is always, always the possibility my best effort will be hurtful to the very person I thought I was reaching out to  – or hurt myself by preconceived notions of what I think is really true – –

It happens –

I can do my best to communicate who I am, today and my current intentions to another –

May make a difference –

May not –

I can try to see the world through the eyes of others, but my own vision is still clouded by my own experience and unhealed hurts –

And so, another year passes by, as I examine what I’ve learned, what has changed for me and what still doesn’t make sense to me in the world I inhabit – and how I might better meet the person I wish to be and the comfortable ways-of-being-ruts I go home to, when under stress – and trying to find answers when it often appears to me, there are none –

Maybe, this is as good as it gets – –

And maybe, I just need to see it all from a different perspective –

– Will keep you posted on the journey –

And thank you all for sharing your journey where I can read/learn –

:)

 P.S. Just updated this post – next time I write something that actually is published – it will be the Big 5-0-0 – funny, seemed like such a fun thing to celebrate, make a party out of some weeks ago – now?

Wondering if I still feel the same way or not…

:)

Maybe look a little closer?

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TamrahJo:

Sharing with you the beautiful words of one who I most likely would have never met in person or known about if not for the community here – nor ever known we share a date of grief in common had they not written – whose words were exactly what I needed so very much to hear today – –

Often, those who choose to write/share in this community are such a huge part of providing what I never knew I always wanted/needed – :)

Thanks to all those who take such wonderful, good care of me, whether they know it, intended it or not – simply by posting. :)

You are so very appreciated! :)

Originally posted on My thoughts on a page.:

If you met me today you would, as always, be greeted by a smile and a loud and cheery “Hi how are ye?”. I would appear to be in great form and we would chat about this and that and enjoy a good laugh. But as you walk away, my smile would disappear and if you looked closely you would see a different me.

For today my heart is heavy. Today is the beginning of Irelands state exams. Thousands of young students will spend the next two weeks doing their Junior and Leaving Certificates. We will see them streaming in and out of schools which would otherwise be closed. We will pass them and wonder did they have a good day, but no matter how hard we look and wish, one will be missing.

Today Daniel should have been sitting his Junior Cert. He should have driven his parents mad…

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