25 Weird, Unusual, or Interesting Facts About Me

Being inspired by https://thefalliblequeen.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/25-facts/ and remembering how much I enjoyed making “I’m Special” collages when I worked with children of alcoholics and addicts, I decided to try something like this:

  1. I was born in Washington DC and remember my first address: 514 Oglethorpe Street.
  2. I went to kindergarten in Argentia, Newfoundland where my dad was stationed in the Marine Corps during the height of the “cold war.”
  3. In fifth grade, I went to three different schools and lived in four different states when my dad was in Vietnam.
  4. My mother had electro-shock therapy  when I was 10.
  5. My first crush was on Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series.
  6. I learned to sing listening to The Sound of Music and, later, Karen Carpenter.
  7. I have never lived in a home with an automatic dishwasher.
  8. I’m more afraid of cockroaches than I am snakes, but if I find a spider or moth in the house, I catch it in a jar and put it outside.
  9. I saw the first Star Wars movie 10 times in the movie theater in the late 70s.
  10. I’ve been scuba diving with a school of barracuda.
  11. I like anchovies, but have not had them in a long time.
  12. I have not eaten red meat (beef or pork) for at least 40 years. And I don’t miss it.
  13. I used have my own horse. When I first bought her, I didn’t have a saddle, so I rode bareback. I fell off more than once.
  14. I’m an open-minded Christian who respects and values other religions. (And I’m not the only one.)
  15. I worked as a substance abuse/addictions counselor in a non-profit agency for over 30 years.
  16. I did some private practice work as a certified hypnotherapist and also studied Reiki.
  17. My high school sweetheart found me again after 39 years of no contact, when the time was perfect, and we got married in 2012.(I’m writing a book about it.)
  18. I wanted a partner who loved dogs. My new husband (the high school sweetheart) had 3 dogs when he found me again, and I had two, so we had 5 dogs in our two bedroom house, which thankfully has a big back yard.)
  19. I’m a natural artist and good singer, but I have a real hard time with mechanical things, doing my own taxes, and learning to tie special knots.
  20.  I love to read and write, but I’m a slow reader. In school, I was almost always the last one done on tests.
  21. My imagination is beyond imagination. (Maybe that’s why I’m a slow reader.)
  22. I’d rather pick up trash at the beach or in a park than go to a fancy, expensive dinner where you have to figure out which fork to use.
  23. I have never used an ATM.
  24. I don’t use straws ever since I saw that video with a turtle who got a straw stuck up it’s nose.
  25. I saw angels once. Now, I paint them.
Angels Among Us

This is a mural I did on the side of a building which has since been painted over.

 

Un-cluttering

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“As I unclutter my life,
I free myself to answer
the callings of my soul.”

– Dr Wayne Dyer

I  found this quote at Purple Rays

I was making progress at un-cluttering my home. Then, my soulmate found me again and we combined households. Still, it’s worth the extra stuff to have him around – more than ever since my father died. Now, I get to go through my father’s clutter. Still, it’s worth it for my father to be with the love of his life again and all the memories I will treasure.

I will take this ones step at a time, one pile of papers at a time. It will be okay.

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda G. Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/01/one-liner-wednesday-creepy-or-comforting/

Here are the rules/guidelines:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

 

 

 

Having Compassion for Our “Shoulds”

sweet lady and calf

My mother never seemed like a dominating person. I remember her as patient and kind and much more easy to manipulate than my father who served in the marine corps until I was well into my teens. But in later years, when I observed my mother with my pre-teen daughter, I noticed a lot of “shoulds” directed at my daughter. Mom was trying to help of course. I wondered if the “shoulds” had always been there, if they had been handed down to me and incorporated so deeply into my psyche, that I wasn’t consciously aware of their abundance.

A couple days ago, I found this article  among the  “Awesome Stories”  at “Writing to Freedom.” In “Seeking Wholeness,” Patty de Llosa, writes about accepting all aspects of ourselves, the good, the bad, and the parts of ourselves we try to push away and might not even be aware of. Her thoughts on wanting to be perfect sound pretty familiar:

Although I want to be perfect and long to have everybody love me, I am sometimes an angry lady, a guilty lady, a self-pitying lady and a varsity self-attacker. But why attack the person who forgets her keys at home or leaves a low fire burning on in the stove? She’s part of the package. Maybe she’s had enough of my playing Superwoman and needs a rest. Or maybe she’s overwhelmed by my decades of efforts to meet the demands of life on my own perfectionist terms. In any case, she’s now trying to catch my attention. She’s saying; “This is all just too much…I just can’t handle it any more! Hey, can you hear me?”

The author gives some great suggestions for connecting compassionately with these parts of ourselves which your can read here, including one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, “Wild Geese” about self love and healing.

As I read the article, I thought about my “shoulds,”the obvious ones and the underlying ones, and how many of these I’ve handed down to my daughter. I’ve been working lately to step back from telling her what to do now that she’s technically an adult. It’s not easy. I have so many hopes and fears for her. Maybe like my mom had for me. I don’t think I use the word, “should,” but it’s often there, silent and heavy.

It occurred to me that if I am more compassionate with myself, listening with love to the  fears of the wounded child within me, I might be more compassionate with my daughter.

And when I’m not as compassionate as I could be, when I try to give her the unsolicited benefit of my years of experience in problem solving, I will be compassionate with myself for acting like a mom.

(I took the above photo at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.)

Book=Overbooked, Booking 6/14

Book=Overbooked, Booking 6/14

This really called my name: ” Their child danced. My child danced. It does not matter how. Our children do in their own way. It may not be the way we dream or hope, but our children do.”

UnSimply She

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This post is part of the SoCS

Here are the rules:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word…

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Being Held and Throwing Rocks

It was one of those days. I felt overwhelmed to the point of tears, but had not cried in a months. Tears can be a good way to release tension, though that was not my plan. “I’m supposed to be strong,” according to the tape in my head that has played so long, I tend to believe it. Plus, I had so much to be thankful for! When I got home from work, I didn’t know whether to vent or to take a nap.

Then my dear husband asked how my day was, and the floodgates opened, releasing my tears as he held me.

There were years when no one held me when I cried. No one except God, that is. I imagined God holding me, and God did hold me, lovingly, for which I am eternally grateful.

Remembering I am forever loved by God always helps. 

But feeling physical arms around me and hearing the heartbeat of my soulmate as my head rested on his firm chest, helped in a tangible way.

There was no one thing, but several things, that had built up to the point of me needing  a good cry. The mountain of paperwork, the angry client who just didn’t get it, the client who didn’t keep appointments, but showed up in a crisis that could have been prevented, the stupid, idiotic computer…..and I probably wasn’t getting enough sleep.

It felt good to cry. It needed it.

Just before sunset, we went for a walk along the river.  My husband stopped at a graveled area and scooped up a handful of small rocks.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” he said and took my hand, as we continued along the boardwalk.

We climbed a couple flights of wooden stairs that led to a deck overlooking the river.

deck over river closer

At the edge of the deck, my husband held out his hands with the rocks.

rocks in hands

“Take one rock and let it be one of those things that upsets you, and throw it in the river as hard as you can,” he said.

I rolled my eyes. I knew all about experiential therapy. I knew I had to let go of the burdens. But I didn’t think physically throwing rocks in a river would make that much difference. I also knew my husband was trying to help, so I decided to humor him. After all, he had held me tenderly and let me cry.

I took a rock from his hands and named it for one of those things that was messing with my serenity, that I needed to let go of, and threw the rock into the river as hard as I could.

It felt good.

Then I took another rock, and named another burden a little louder as I threw it into the river.  It felt even better.

I took the rocks one at a time, and threw each one in the river as hard as I could.

“This is that stupid idiotic computer!” I shouted, and watched it kurplunk into the water.

river ring

I felt  better and better, each time, and started to enjoy naming each rock and hurling it. Some burdens got a second rock.

The action of throwing each rock, as hard as I could, into the river, was much more powerful than saying, “I’m letting go of this burden.”

And I felt satisfied enough to smile.

 

[I just went back and took the photos, since this happened over a year ago. 😉 ]

 

 

 

Say Om, Mom.

Anything is Possible!

IMG_1430      IMG_1433

Since I’ve been writing about my son lately, It thought I’d pass along this Mother’s Day message from him, to me, to all of you who mother, that includes mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians of animals and the earth. Take time to nurture you. I’m going for a nap, now. 🙂

(The card is by American Greetings.)

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De-cluttering

socs-badge

I’m moving my Stream of Consciousness Saturday post here to my secondary blog for this week because I’ve got a series going on at “Anything’s Possible” for Holy Week.  https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/jesus-christ-superstar-palm-sunday/ And I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, so here goes with Linda Hill’s prompt of a word that begins with “de-.”

The first thing that popped into my head was my lifelong de-cluttering challenge. I am not a hoarder. I’ve read the diagnostic criteria. But I come from a long line of collectors. Maybe it’s because my mom grew up during the depression. She said her house was “lived in.” Dad still has an attic full of stuff from his military career and lots of clothes and a garage crammed with tools. Some of this stuff is valuable…..

But back to my issue. Part of my desire to de-clutter, (a bigger issue since my spouse and I, and his three dogs, combined households about three years ago) is the thought: What will people think if they see this mess? We haven’t had people over in a while.

We live in a small two bedroom house with three of the five geriatric dogs we started out with together. Well, Doodle is 8, so I’m not sure if that counts as geriatric, but she is crazy….. Our other dogs are 14 and almost 13. Geriatric dogs can be messy. I’ll spare you the details.

So part of this issue does belong to my people pleasing problem. That’s the part I need to not stress about.

The parts that relate to loving me, too, are:

1. I’m not going to stress about this. (Deep Breath)

2. It does make my life more pleasant to live in a de-cluttered space.

So, I’m going to make specific time to work on specific spots. And I’m going to ask for help, since it’s not all my clutter.

It’s so nice to have a cleared table. It will take less than 5 minutes to do that right after I finish this post!

Thanks, Linda!

If you’d like to join in fun of the Saturday Stream of Consciousness fun, click on this link:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/04/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-415/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!