Writers aren't exactly people, they're a lot of people trying to be one person. F.Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weather and Moods

       Everyone knows the weather can affect a persons mood. Sunshine can lift spirits and calm agitation.Fall weather affect many with wanderlust and some with feelings of hearth and home,cozy fires burning brightly in fireplaces,the scent of burning leaves and fragrant hearty soups and stews elicit memories of home for many people.
      The farmers have their crops harvested and fields plowed and waiting for spring. Ranchers are ready for winter.Last minute checks on hay bales in pastures,cattle in the correct pastures,stalls for the horses clean and spread with clean bedding. Blankets for the prize stock waiting in the tack rooms
      This is a time of relaxing before the long cold days of winter, bone chilling winds and sleet and snow begin. The trek to the barn,stables or pastures become a decidedly harsher task.But,there is also a sense of accomplishment in their ongoing battle and partnership with Mother Nature that rural folks have that city dwellers and those who don't live off the land don't feel and may not understand.
     Rural folks may curse Mother Nature but most wouldn't change what they do and where they live. Living off the land toughens a person,gives them untold rewards and numerous heartaches.City dwellers experience the same, just in a different way.
     What does this have to do with moods? Think about it.How do you feel on a warm spring day?Or a dreary winter day vs a winters day with soft white snowflakes covering the bleak concrete or dry brown grass. On Spring days do you feel euphoric and full of energy and the need to play hooky from work and play in the sun? Or ready to plow the fields for new crops and delighting in the newest crop of babies? Even a spring rain awakens the childish thoughts of splashing in puddles and dancing in the warm rain. Weather affects our moods,sometimes in a positive way and unfortunately sometimes brings thoughts of loneliness and despair.
     Either way,negatively or positively, our moods definitely change with the weather.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thoughts on the New Year of 2011.

       Twenty eleven is almost here. I expressed to my dear friend Mark,who is a computer genius or a  computer wizard in my opinion,that I  think I have been caught in a time warp or would that be a time warp continuum?I am not a Syfy buff,but I do watch Dr Who occasionally and never missed an episode of the original Star Trek.Yes Mark,the original is still the only Star Trek I recognize.Even with it's cheesy special effects and William Shatner's campy acting. Firefly was a great series too and ended much too soon.
     However;I did love the Stark Trek movie with the younger versions of the crew and better special effects.But I digress.
     I am caught in a 2010 Hell and hope that a worm hole will open soon and throw me into 2011. I can only hope it is a much better year. Maybe even a fantastic year.
    Fortunately, I just turned another year older. Unfortunately,I did not become a minute wiser it seems.Actually, I suppose I am a bit wiser. I now recognize when I am caught in a loop of loss and no win situations without an acceptable way out.
    This does not mean however; that I can always avoid them. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and jump into the fray,praying you come out the other side mostly intact.that unenviable position is precisely where I am at the moment.Feet first into a fray not of my making,well I suppose I did make the initial choices that led to where I am today.
   Okay fine! I admit I did, all on my own, make the initial choices. Damn it, they seemed like the right choices at the time.Little did I know those decisions would come back like Ole Man Coyote( Native American fable about how coyote learns by making mistakes and the wrong decisions. Coyote always seems to show up when there is a major decision for me to make, then gleefully bites me in the butt.
   You would think after all the years, I would have a much smaller butt. All I have is a lot of moves to new homes( None of them mine or permanent),money worries,mind numbing stress, and a very narrow range of choices that are even remotely what I thought I would have at this time in my life. Well as long as I am alive there is hope for better time. At least I have people I love and I have been love.
   Truly all we are promise and can be certain of  in this lifetime is the breath we are taking at this second.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yard Sale and Second Hand Gifts

       Well it wasn't a complete waste of time.We made sixty dollars to split three ways.Operative word being COMPLETE. Day continued cool and cloudy.People came and looked, some friendly,some surly. No big ticket items sold,but we didn't have as much as we thought we would have to sell. Maybe our heart just wasn't into having a really profitable garage sale or maybe most people were at the mall,Target,Wal-Mart,etc, frantically buying last minute gifts. No desire to drive around to see what else be out there and take a chance on losing out on a new and shiny item. I guess second hand stuff as a gift sounds a bit tacky now that I think about it.
     I remember the year my husband and I were really tight on cash and  bought gifts from resale shops and pawn shops for our kids. Some only worked briefly,some were scratched and some had no instructions on how to operate. DISASTER and the worst Christmas ever,before or since.
I have bought gifts from resale shops,pawn shops,etc since that Christmas but Never,Ever,the main gifts.Lesson learned. We had good intentions,but I will never forget the disappointed faces of our children.

Pre- Christmas yard sale.

      Ahhh the excitement and sadness of a moving yard sale.Couple that with a family breaking up,two days before Christmas with limited funds for presents, stir in the elements of the fifth move in three year and having to find a temporary home for a beloved dog and the confusion and excitement of a four year old who has no idea of all the dynamics and you have the set up for a very strained Christmas.
     Forced smiles,frayed tempers and frustration flavor the atmosphere with a heavy pre-storm electricity.
Garage sales are not easy to withstand with good humor in the best of times. The circumstances surrounding our garage sale were decidedly gloomy.
   We got a really late start,all of us were tired and putting on the best faces we could.Our first customer was friendly,bought a few items and stayed to visit.By eleven am we had sold a few items and eyeing the gloomy, very chilly, weather. Will post more on our epic garage sale at the end of the day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lifes Roller Coaster Rides and Carnivals.

          Well here I am, back where I started, Louisiana. Well, not exactly where I originally started. I started out this life in northeast Louisiana,in the small town of West Monroe. Moved to across the river to Monroe then on to Rayville,Louisiana. Rayville is where I spent the happiest days of my life. Maybe if I had known those would be the happiest,I would have stayed there and refused to budge,no matter who or what came along to turn my head.
          But a marvelously exciting carnival hit town with multicolored lights, brightly painted rides and barkers telling of all the wonders to behold inside the gates. All to be had for the small price of a ticket. I remember my excitement as I paid the price and entered the gates,bright eyed and full of wonder. I almost turned back but the dazzled expressions of the people pulled me forward.Still I hesitated.
        Then the rumble of a giant roller coaster rolled up and lurched to a stop. I took one look at the handsome,dazzling expressions on the people already on the ride and I jumped in. I found myself caught up in the excitement as it began to move forward and climb above all the bright lights of the carnival.Everything about the carnival was bright,colorful and exciting.
       All too soon, I saw the burned out bulbs,peeling paint and fake,forced smiles on the carnies faces and I  realized my error.All the excitement,side shows,games and smiling people were merely a facade.   
      Underneath it all, was jealousy,poverty,longing,sadness,desertion, and unrealized dreams. By this time, it was too late and I closed the door on my dreams and former life.
      The life I lived wasn't a bad life. The days of hard work in school were rewarded in the end.I had a good paying, stable profession,a husband who loved me dearly, and children who were healthy and intelligent.
      Eventually we had a small farm,plans to build a house, and I had new dreams. However; I knew I could never recreate the my old life or realize the dreams I had. I desperately tried to,and lost sight of the life I did have.That desperate attempt cost me the love of my husband and the life I could have had with him.
          So here I am back in Louisiana,but my circumstances are far different. I'm lucky to have the love and support of my children and friends,but realize that what I lost, I can never regain. I can revisit in my memories,smile with pleasure and cry with longing  but I can't recreate the past by jumping on that damn roller coaster again. This time,I can see the peeling pain and I can smell the sourness of the filthy sawdust  under my feet. The colorful bright lights, the false smiles and too desperate laughter of the carnival aren't so deceivingly pretty now.
        I look at things with older and hopefully,wiser eye now.I still have time to make a new life for myself and enjoy it and all I have been blessed with.I just have to remember the lessons I've learned and embrace all I  have now.Enjoy all my memories,good,sad or bad and remember the  important lessons I've learned.  The grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence. 
       Oh and the most important lesson of all. To turn my back on that damn carnival ride!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mothers learn to be a mother from their mother

      I admit it.I never liked children,never wanted to have children,hold a child,play with a child,etc I had plans for how my life would be,at least I did until I did until I met Richard.I don't even know how it happened that I became an entirely different person.I was head over heels in love. A gorgeous man loved and wanted me. gone were my plans to be a vet and run our farm with my stepfather.Gone was the feisty,independent farm girl,the artist and self reliant sixteen year old on the cusp of womanhood.
     He wanted me! At least he wanted the me he thought I was and the me he could change me into. Six years later I was an empty shell of me,had two children and no Richard.Was it all his fault.Absolutely not! I gave up the real me,shoved that young girl deep inside and forged a new me.
    I never liked her and  she didn't like me.I hid her so deep inside the body we shared,I eventually forgot she existed. To this day I don't understand why she didn't fight to come back and get us out of the mess I had made.
  Now let me say this,I loved my two children and did my best to give them a good life.   My stepfather eventually began to speak to me again and we regained some of our closeness.Until I decided to go to nursing school so I could support my children and me.I missed being wealthy  and at least wanted some independence from my stepfather. I did my best to be a fairly good mother and that is all I can claim to being.
    Then I remarried,not for love but out of fear, laziness,loneliness or to defy my stepfather I honestly don't know.Anyway the marriage lasted until I woke up the next morning cursing my stupid desperation and my impulsive wedding.I was divorced within a few months.
    I graduated from nursing school,worked hard,met a guy,liked him a lot and married him for the wrong reasons.Went back to nursing school,married him,had two more children and gradually went out of my mind.No I was not a raving lunatic,but I was out of control.Desperate for something to ease my pain and make me whole. I thought marrying a guy I really liked and a lot of fun with and who had wealthy parents  was a great idea. Two children,another nursing degree,a move to Texas, buying land,making plans to build a house and have a small farm later,I had no clue who I was and just how depressed I was.
    I had grown to love my husband and his family,but I had no clue who I was or how to pull myself together.I could no more control my unhappiness,pull myself out of my depression, or see what I was doing to my husband. I made some really stupid mistakes.He was no angel either and we wounded each other deeply.Eventually he could stand no more and walked away.I missed him desperately.Oh hindsight is such a bitch.
    I began to see a great psychologist,worked hard as an RN,took care of my youngest daughter and carved out a good life for us with the help of Prozac for the depression.
    It has taken me thirty years to find that girl imprisoned deep inside me and apologize to her.I can't go back and undo the things I did that I learned from my mother.I do know now just how much of an impact she  made on me. I followed her teachings and examples without being aware of what I was doing. I loved my mother,I finally realized I didn't like her one damn bit. She was dishonest,manipulative,greedy,self serving,used people to gain what she wanted without any expression of regret for her actions.
    She was also,kind,beautiful,witty,loving and nurturing and let me know she loved me.Well at least she always said she loved me and my sister.

    I look back now and realize I how closely I followed my mother's example.Things, became more important to me. I used them to fill a void in my life. I allowed them to become more important to me than the people in my life. I hid my deepest feelings,longing and regrets for a path not taken by acquiring stuff. I closed myself off to loving and giving my heart to my husband because of my regret and longing for the path I didn't choose.
A life with my stepfather on the farm. I didn't follow my dream. Why?  I think the main reason was falling in love with the wrong man and my stubbornness to see my mistake.My stepfather tried to make me see the real Richard and how I was becoming someone I was not in order to please him.
    By the time I could see what I had done, it was too late and the farm was gone along with all my dreams and the person I really was.
    I can't undo the past and parts of it I wouldn't want to.I love my children and my wonderful granddaughter,Azalynn. Somehow I will become a whole person again.I apologized to the lost girl I hid inside of me. It is too late for her dreams too.But I can embrace her and honor her by becoming the kind of person we could have been if we had merged.
    I will never like my mother, but I can forgive her and understand that she did what she had to do to survive and obtain what she felt was her dream. I wonder if she too had a part of herself she had to deny in order to obtain what she decided she wanted most in life.Did she have a dream she gave up? Did she have regrets?Who did she learn from? Her mother died within hours after Momma was born. 
    Those are questions I'll never have answers to.Momma at the age of 65. My age now. I suppose the answers to all my questions don't really matter now,but I wish I had known more about her dreams and if she realized those dreams. I have learned this from her.To tell my children my story,love them,support them,be honest with them, and let them see who I really am.Maybe they will learn something useful from my mistakes. 
     The girl I was and the woman I am, have finally made peace with each other and will grow old together as one whole person.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cloud watching

      Cloud watching is not al waste of time or a way to procrastinate from an dreaded chore or job. Many decisions can be made by freeing the mind and contemplating the formation,color,and  movement of the clouds. Are they rain clouds,potential tornado forming clouds, or heavy with snow?My favorite cloud gazing activity is finding shapes in the clouds.
     Today I sat outside and intended to find shapes and escape into fantasy worlds. What I found was insight into my life and how I arrived where I am today. I could see the decisions I have made that set me on a path and the twists and turns the path has taken until now. I have no idea what will happen next,where I will be living or what life holds for me.
                                               I do know that I am a survivor!
    I will face whatever comes,overcome or settle into it.I can make the best of hardships and grow or sink into despair.I have faced one kick in the gut after another and I'm still here. I have been given many gifts and have had many taken away. But I remain a strong,positive,loving woman. A strong warrior faces obstacles with courage. I realized in those soundless clouds is  the potential of life giving rain, destructive storms, and incredible beauty.  My message,and of course I have one today, is to go outside, look up at the clouds and see what you find. You might be surprised by where your imagination and your thoughts takes you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finding Comfort?

       I have no one to give me a hug or tell me everything is going to be okay and will work out for the best.That isn't a whine or a cry for pity just stating a fact. Most days I am fine all by myself and don't need comforting
      Today wasn't one of those days.Actually it hasn't been one of those days for several months,maybe even several years.I prefer not to elaborate.
      When I realized I really needed a hug today,I went in search of a substitute. I wrote several pages in my romance manuscript,which made me realize I have no romance in my life and no prospects for any in the foreseeable future.Matthew MacFadyen is taken and too young for me even if he were single.
      What did I find? Pistachio Almond ice cream, Hershey's toffee bar,macaroni and cheese and blueberry bagels dunked in hot chocolate with marshmallows and Key Lime pie heaped with cool whip and a diet Pepsi.
       No I did not eat all of this in one sitting,I spaced it out over the entire day.I read a" what if version" of Pride & Prejudice,which I am addicted to reading by the stacks, by the way,and lounged on the sofa while I listened to Christmas carols.
       Did all of these things bring me comfort.NO!Well gazing at Matthew's picture did,the rest just gave me a belly ache,numerous trips to the bathroom, and tears of sadness until I chastised myself for my pity party and called and talked to my daughter.She is discovering passionate love for the first time.Made me remember that marvelous,euphoric feeling that scares the hell out of a person and makes them desperate to hold on to it.(Sorry,that is a post for another day).
      The point is I didn't feel better,I just felt guilty for gaining back the few pounds I recently lost Next time I'll just read,drink diet Pepsi and gaze at Matthew's picture. However, it did make me wonder what do you  do to comfort yourself when all you really want is a hug and does it work?Make a comment!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Control issues and letting go.

         I need to have control.I get nervous and frustrated and impatient when I don't.Eventually I get angry. I want to take charge and make things happen in a timely manner and preferably how when and where I want them to. I do not relinquish control in a gracious manner.However; I know that about myself and I do attempt to back off and let some things unfold as they are going to and stop worrying and obsessing about things not being done the way I want them done.Okay,okay.I admit that happens rarely. I alienate many people with this need for control.
       A wonderful Native American friend of mine told me that you can't push the river. Unfortunately,knowing that hasn't stopped me from trying. Yes, I know I am often beating my head against a brick wall,but maybe that will be the day,the wall cracks before my head does.
       I believe in a higher power,well honestly,I will admit on most days I do.I choose to believe,even though I do not understand the overall plan said entity has for me.I am at an age when I should have my house paid for,enjoying my grand kids, and my retirement.I say my prayers and I give thanks. I smudge with sage and cedar and follow Christian and Native American beliefs pray for help in making the right decisions.
      However,I do so with a wait and see attitude sometimes.I wait and see if I can make things happen faster,or better or the way I think they should happen. Okay I suppose I just answered my own question.I am still  trying to keep control and still expect  the higher power power,God,Great Spirit to do his job.I do recognize that this makes little sense.But there it is.I have trouble turning loose and trusting. Maybe I can turn loose a little at a time and see how things go. You know,just take a back seat and go with the flow.See what happens.
     Somehow,I don't think the person upstairs can make as big a mess as I have with my life.Next life,he or she can be in charge.Well maybe on every other Tuesday,I could hand over the reins or at least once a month from eight am to 2PM. I'll see how it goes and maybe increase.........

Sunday, December 5, 2010

And I thought I had my life planned out

        I always thought I would be living on our farm In Rayville,Louisiana. Thought I would get married and work beside my husband,ride horses together,round up the cattle for market,sit and watch the sunset over the trees and grow old together.BOY WAS I WRONG!The man I fell for hated the farm,was scared of the cattle,afraid to ride a horses, and wanted to live in town in an apartment He left me Christmas Eve after six years, with a four year old and pregnant with our second child, for a cute19 yr old he was having an affair with. I was the ripe old age of twenty-three.There I was in Alabama with nowhere to go.My dad sent me a plane ticket to come home.   My considerate spouse gave me a dollar to buy food and drinks for the kids.
       I don't talk about my second husband. Suffice it to say it was a colossal rebound error.
I was married to my third and final husband for twenty three years and had two more children.I thought I would happily spend the rest of my life with him.You guessed it.WRONG! I had two work related injuries and thought it was a great idea to move in with my daughter and son-in law and spend the rest of my life comfortable and secure. WRONG!
      I thought it would be a  great idea to move with them to Alaska for five years or so.WRONG!Now I loved Alaska,but it was sooo expensive to live there and it cost us a bundle to move there and back to the lower forty-eight after only three years.
     Now I am 65 and I thought I finally had a stable home.WRONG! Due to unforeseen circumstances, I can no longer work at my good paying job,the home I am sharing is soon to be gone, and I have backed myself into a corner in Louisiana.I thought I was smarter than this.WRONG!I write Romance Suspense, maybe I will be good enough to be published and have a good career in writing and actually make a living at it.Dear Lord,don't let me be WRONG AGAIN!

Arguing? vs Debate? vs Discussion?

     When does a discussion or debate become an argument? I think( and this is just my opinion,but since this is my blog it is the one that counts at present) a discussion is a give and take exchange of ideas,facts and thoughts.It can  become a debate when one person attempts to change the other persons viewpoint, opinion or to discredit them in some form or fashion.
    It is segueing into an argument when both or either person decides they don't necessarily want to exchange ideas and listen to the other person.They want to expound on their viewpoint and what they believe to be right.At some point one or both participants no longer hears or cares what the other is actually saying because each is too busy thinking about what they are going to say next,if either one is capable of rational thought at this point. Ridiculous statements are often made in the heat of the moment.
    The goal often  becomes to" one up the other person" and win the argument. Sometimes the original concept or theme of the discussion is entirely lost in the midst of a heated exchange and devolves into an irrational argument on both sides.  Sharing opinions and a lively debate is long gone and in it's place is the need to WIN the argument at all co because the other person is wrong!
     In a  worst case scenario,one person murders the other, a spouse walks out and files for divorce,or good friends never speak to each other again. Debates, discussions, and arguments can and do go horribly wrong.
They can also be invigorating and enlightening.So beware when you initiate or take part in a discussion,debate or argument.Irrational thoughts,ridiculous statements, misunderstandings, and unexpected outcomes, randomly and often do occur. Forewarned is forearmed. Say more than a few words to someone at your own risk.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The dead horse in the room

       There it is,THE DEAD HORSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM!We all see it,but no one wants to be the first to say "Good God,there's a dead horse in the middle of the room!"Inevitably someone has to bring attention to it.Especially when the stench can no longer be ignored. Marital problems are often that horse and handled much the same way.A problem is obvious,but if ignored,maybe it will go away.
      I can say from personal experience,it won't.Acknowledging there is a problem can do one of two things.Bring attention to the problem,allowing the couple to talk about it and decide what to do to fix it or force them to realize the love is gone and it's time to part.
      Unfortunately sometimes,one partner is oblivious to the dead horse and the other is acutely aware of it.
 Couples therapy can help,but only if both partners want to commit to making changes and a lot of hard work. Both partners have to want it to work to make it happen.
      I was told by an ex,excuses,excuses,you can either make excuses or you can make it happen.
That being said,maybe things have just gone too far to make it happen,even if both partners try everything  to make it work.Some times you just can't bring the love back.When the end of the road is reached and a parting of the ways comes,it is usually the one left behind who suffers the greatest pain,but both partners are hurting.The end of a marriage is a DEATH, and a  death of dreams and hopes is painful even if it comes as a relief to one or both partners.
     Eventually the wounds heal and most move on. But scar tissue forms and can remain sensitive and painful for a very long time.Walking wounded of all ages,go about rebuilding their lives.They'll wake up and not feel guilt or pain. They will take what they learned from their mistakes, rebuild their lives and learn to trust in love again.