Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Look and Themes

Well how do you like the mid to end of summer blog look? is a happier with possibly a brighter outlook. And yes, you get to hear from me a second time today. After I post this blog I will have made 35 blog posts during the month of July. Wow! I will also have had almost 7,000 page views this month. Not bad for a girl who this time last year was lucky to post 10 times and have 100 page views during the whole year.

As you probably picked up on during this mornings blog....I am in a better state of mind. I think a big reason is tattoo, but also because since Thursday night, I have laughed more than I have laughed in a very long time. Even though Thursday night ended was a lot of fun and so was Friday. Last night was in a league of it's own and then getting to spend most of the day with Berty and Thiry today.....well it all just did wonders for my outlook. By the way....the room is painted and I love it. There is still work to be done in the room....but the colors give it a whole new feel!

I told you that recently I have been getting a lot of blog comments and after I mentioned changing up my blog a bit, I got several emails from people giving me suggestions along with a comment on my blog about the look and readability of my blog. I am hoping that the new design is easier on the eye and eye catching enough to want to read. The emails I got were all about themed days. Apparently themed days are the new sliced bread of blogs, and I got some very good theme ideas. Since I have done themed days before....I decided if I was going to do it again.......I was going to go with some different ideas than I have used before. Since I am not great about doing anything for the long term (except apparently blogging) I decided that at the end of August I would let my readers vote on the themes and decide if they were keepers or stinkers. So here are the themes for the month of August:

Dating 101 or how to find a man in Lisaland (I think this is pretty much self explanatory)

Rant of the Week (My "strong" opinion about just about anything)

A Story about Me (Aren't they all?????)

Motherhood for Dummies (This is definitely something I can know a little something about)

I liked/hated it (A product, place or service that I loved or hated)

My Favorite Recipes (Everyone that gave me suggestions had this on their list. I love it...but I am not sharing the cheesecake recipe!!!!!)

The Spiritual Side of Things (My Sunday morning musings, Father's sermons directed at me, and my own struggles with good and bad, life and death and heaven and hell.)

There were a couple other idea's like "My Bucket List" and a "Pay it Forward" of the week and I may actually come back to one of those if any of the others either bomb out and/or get boring. But for is my weekly list of daily topics. The rules to this game are: there are no rules! Like always....I will make it up as I go along and if I decide/need to change it up a bit...I will do so. As always comments are welcome but please remember on rant don't have to agree with my opinion....but you do have to respect my right to have it. Now the only question is....which topic for which day? Since I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal.....we will just have to wait and see which topic strikes my fancy tomorrow and go from there. would be too easy to give it all away tonight and besides...I figure this way, I will hold on to at least a few of you daily....for at least one more week. After that, you will know which day is which and can pick and choose your daily read from then on. But will never know if I talked about you....unless you read my blog. Also...don't forget you can hit the follow button at the top of the page and follow my blog daily here, go to twitter and follow me there and if you are facebooker....head to the From Beginning to End and Back Again page  and "like" me there. Believe me folks....I need to feel the love! So have a great evening and I will blog you tomorrow!

About Last Night....... about last night.......can I just say that last night was...........THE BEST?! I don't think I have had as much fun as I had last night in literally years. It all started Thursday night when the friends and I were talking about tattoo's and one of the friends mentioned a tattoo party. I had never heard of one but I put it in the back of my mind as a maybe. All day Friday I thought about it and even up until around noon yesterday. Would I or wouldn't I? Then I decided. So I called Thiry and just to get back at her for all the times she made me go places with her in which I had no clue where we were going....I  told her she had to meet me at my house and we were going somewhere and I wasn't telling her where and she had to go because she owed me. She had no recourse but to come. I even made her drive!!!!!

Once we got to the party....I think the people having it were kind of shocked. One, I hadn't seen the hostess since high school (that will teach you to put a party invite on facebook Mary) and two....I don't really think I come off to most people as the tattoo type. Mary and her husband Ron though were great and I V-lined towards the sign up sheet and started looking at tattoo's. I have had a thousand people tell me that if you are going to get needs to be something meaningful. I can understand that, but I also wanted something small enough that if it would be done fairly quickly. Thiry found the pigs! If you know me at know I have a thing for pigs! I have pig canisters, pig figurines, pig is pretty safe to say that I love all things pig, so a pig tattoo simply made sense. Once the decision was made, it was just a matter of waiting my turn. While waiting....Thiry and I had fun. We saw people we hadn't seen in years (Glenda)  and met new ones. I learned a lot about tattoo's and was already planning my next one before my first one was even underway. There might also have been just the teensiest bit of alcohol involved, I don't really remember. It was just a great time, there was Dance Revolution or whatever that game is called....and Rock Band and wonderful food and it was just a great time. And best of all......I am no longer a tattoo virgin. It was really awesome and I didn't even mind getting up this morning to get ready to make breakfast and paint. We ARE still painting Thiry!!!!

Is it possible to have something so small as a tattoo change your outlook? Maybe it wasn't just the tattoo! Maybe it was just the fun I had last night. I so enjoyed every part of it and getting to reconnect with people as adults that I had only known as kids was really awesome. Thiry of course was her best self last night and she made me laugh until I was sick and she was so funny once I got the tattoo. She just kept squealing with excitement. Of course part of that could have been alcohol related, but it was funny none the less. The tattoo was big for me though. It was almost a bit of rebellion from the day to day of my life. It took me apart from just being Lisa the employee or Lisa the mom and helped me to remember who Lisa the person really might be. I am still a work in progress but finding little bits and pieces of myself scattered amongst the strange twists and turns my life has really nice. Thank you everyone who was there last night and helped me to discover another piece of the hidden Lisa!

So today is going to be all about the painting. I didn't make it up in time to go to church this morning, but will be heading out to 6 p.m. tonight. I am feeling pretty grateful and pretty blessed for a lot of reasons and church just seems like it is calling me. And wow....what a difference a week makes as last week at this time, I was feeling pretty run down. Again....very grateful.

Guess it is now time for the last song of the 30 Day Song Challenge. Today's song....Day 30:
Your favorite song at this time last year. When I first heard this song I thought it was beautiful. I love everything about it from the music to the lyrics. This was one song I never got tired of hearing and will still turn the radio up when I hear it. So I end this challenge with Lee Brice and Love Like Crazy!

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Comments, Suggestions, Blessings and Kicks

You know...since I started blogging everyday, I have had comments off and on, but recently it has become pretty steady. Some are questions, some are just comments about whether they like my blog or not, some are definite opinions about a certain blog and some are suggestions about what others think would make my blog more readable. Actually I get a lot of those! Hmmmm! I read them all and enjoy every one of them, even the ones who appear not to be my biggest fans....although I am not sure how that could be. In the last week though....comments have been flying. Apparently my recent blog content has sparked a lot of opinions and those opinions have gotten me to thinking. Scared yet? You know...the whole me....and way.....I have some ideas for revamping the blog come August 1! I know you are scratching your head and asking yourself if it could really get better??? But everything can use a little tweaking and my blog is no different. One comment that got me the wheels to turning came from J'nelle at the end of yesterday's blog. The other comment came from S. P. through my face book messaging. S.P. said:

"Lisa I really like your blog but I read a lot of blogs. I love the crafty blogs and the blogs that have projects on certain days. Back a month or so ago, your blog had sort of themed days where each day you had a different topic. I really liked that as some of the topics I liked more than others like your Wednesday retro commercials. I loved that and read every Wednesday just to see what commercial you would play. I also liked the crazy news day although I can't remember which day that was. I really wish you would go back to that format and not change it. That way I could pick my favorite days to read you and still keep up with my other blogs. Understand? Just a suggestion."

What???? Someone not want to read me everyday??? Actually S.P. had a good idea there. I do need to shake things up again and get my blogging mojo going. Maybe these suggestions will be just the trick...and thank you both J'nelle and S.P. for your suggestions and comments. So watch out.....August 1st could bring some changes.

Last night was nice. It was peaceful. Still don't know anything on Davids med levels but he seems to be doing fine. Tomorrow will be a big painting day as we will be finishing up David's therapy room. We are going sage and brown. They seem to be calming colors and the curtains I have (which still need to be made into roman shades) will give the room a nice pop of color. I am actually getting a little excited. Maybe it is just because my head is in a better place. Even though it is still 100+ degrees everyday, I am consistently cranky and I have children whose sole goal in life is to give me gray hair.....there is excitement in the air. We are coming up on a new school year (yeah...I still get excited, even though I am not attending), Old Settlers, hopefully cooler weather and my absolute favorite time of year......fall! Now if I could just find my tag papers ....papers mind you that I should have had Friday and gotten my tags renewed. So far they are no where to be found and when I do find them....I will have to drive Z's car until I can get into the tag office and make my tags legal.

For anyone who doesn't believe in miracles and I was sitting here typing this, a huge blessing occurred in my life. It was unexpected and I am amazed and grateful and feeling tremendously blessed right now. God answers all prayers and the way He does it and the people He uses to help out often leave me beyond words. All I can say is....Thank You!

So what does our 30 Day Song Challenge have in store for us today? Day 29: A song from your childhood. When I was a kid, radio stations were AM and if you were young and in the Wichita, KS listened to KLEO! While in the mid to late '60's I was a little young to be picking my own radio babysitters teenage kids were not however, and KLEO could always be heard coming from their transistor radio's all over the house. (Don't know what a transistor radio is????? Look it up!!) I remember the babysitters 16 year old daughter Debbie was partial to all things Paul Revere and the Raiders.....especially a cute band member named Mark Lindsay. So today's song takes me back to KLEO, Paul Revere and the Raiders and the song Kicks!

Hope you are having a very Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Teenage Boys, Dating and Guilt

Last night was an errrr.....interesting one. Got to see Z sing karaoke again....always fun. Got to hang with friends and an old friend I hadn't seen in awhile. It was fun....and interesting. I was having enough fun that I really didn't want the evening to end any time soon, but as always happens in my world, plans come crashing down with a thud! After Z left to go home...the friends and I were staying to have some more fun when I got the call that a fight was going on at my house. I have just two words for you....TEENAGE BOYS! Z and a friend had not been getting along. The tensions were high at karaoke and apparently when they took off....the tensions exploded. I walked in to find Z's face and shirt covered in blood. Eyes still watering from the blow he took to the nose he said, "No worries's all good!" REALLY? He's bleeding but it's all good! I was at first speechless and then my question was...."How does the other kid look?" He was fine, just a bruise to the face. Apparently an ongoing argument hit it's boiling point, both boys threw punches and it was over. They are friends again and all is good. GREAT! And my night ended there. I think I am destined to have no fun! Grrrrrrr

So today the interesting and unexpected continued. It started out with a plan in mind and then the plan changed....a new plan was created and now the day is nearly done. All in wasn't too bad. Got to spend the day with Z and he and I had some fun. It seems that things may be calming down, at least temporarily. Things also took an interesting turn in another way today. I got a call from someone I have not heard from in more years than I would like to think about. The hoops that had to be jumped through to find me.....well, probably weren't that bad. I have only moved within a 10 mile radius in the last 30 years. At any rate, the call was unexpected and honestly I am still not sure how to take it.

I have talked recently about.....thinking about.......dare I say the! It is a scary proposition which would take me so far out of my comfort zone at this point.....but anyway, the thought has been there. A young friend had even gone so far as to put a profile of me on a dating site. I haven't even looked at the site since I changed my profile. This tells me that internet dating is probably not the route I am going to go. I have toyed with the idea of getting my feet wet so to speak, but toying is about as far as it has gotten. I have a couple of friends who have their fingers strategically centered on speed dial in hopes that I will give them the okay to set me up on a blind date. As of yet....they have not been given the okay. I have also toyed with the idea of the past. I toyed a little more last night but......well there was blood and teenagers and read the above paragraphs. So today when I got the call I was shocked. I always felt that if I were suppose to date again, then I would just know it. It wouldn't be a question or a would just happen. It seems that not only are he and I old friends but he is also a friend of a friend of  apparently a friend......who told him we really need to reconnect. gets interesting when you least expect it. The only draw back......drum roll please.....he is still attached! He describes himself as being in the limbo stage between married/separated/divorced! Arrrrrggggghhhh! Sounds like we will be just friends!

I don't know about the whole dating thing. I know the rules have changed since I was last in the game, but some things I just still hold dear. I won't ask a guy matter how he looks, acts or smells (and trust me....smell is a factor). The guy asking the girl was something engrained in me by my mother and I don't see that changing any time soon. I am fun, spontaneous and seldom boring, but I am not cheap, easy, or willing to be someones "on the side!" Does this make me an undateable dinosaur? Guess we will just have to wait and see. For now...this chapter is left unwritten, but who knows.....anything can happen. The possibilities are endless. 

So now it is time for the 30 Day Song Challenge. Day 28:  A song that makes you feel guilty. When I saw this one....I laughed. Few things do I feel truly guilty about in life, but there are those couple of exceptions. And it is so funny that one of those guilty times also came with its own soundtrack. We will leave the details of the story a secret but lets just leave it at the fact that every time I hear this song particular song......I feel the need to apologize! Here is Taylor Dane and I'll Be Your Shelter!

Hope you have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pass it On

And so begins (or already has begun) another day in Lisaland! Things aren't too bad today. Last night turned out to be rather interesting and I even smiled a bit. Sad thing one was around to see it. Oh well...hopefully there are more where that came from.

Tonight will be another karaoke night for our clan. I really like going to watch Z sing and it gives me an excuse to get out of the house. I have to take advantage while I can as Lindsay will be heading off to college soon and my babysitter will be gone!!! Arrrrggghhhh!!!!! Oh well, we all know that every good thing must come to an end. Speaking of coming to an end, apparently Davids non-seizure days have come to an end too. He has really had an amazing summer with no real health problems, but I noticed in the last week he has started grinding his teeth a lot more and Lindsay has reported some tantrums and combativeness....all signs that meds need changed and seizures are going to be breaking through. Then last night....they started again, so today we are off for blood work and a med levels check. I would imagine in his last growth spurt...he has once again out grown his current levels. Just want to get them back under control before school starts. I have really enjoyed our lack of ER visits this summer and hope to continue down this path. Just another one of life's little speed bumps.

So yesterday's soap box rant got me no comments on blogger but I had several on my facebook messaging. Not surprisingly most were from parents who have dealt with their child(ren) being bullied and one young girl who apparently has been bullied for quite some time. This young girl preferred to remain anonymous, but she did give me permission to use her message in today's blog. I thought it was quite compelling and feel anyone who has ever bullied should read it to know the damage they cause. Here is her message:

"Thank you for writing your blog about bullying. I hope lots of people read it because it did help me to think about the reasons people might bully. I never thought of them being unhappy and I only thought of how unhappy they make me. My story is this. I have gone to the same school my hole life. I have had a lot of friends until last year. When I started my freshman year I thought it was going to be great and the first few days were. I had friends and had fun. I even had a guy that I had a crush on ask me out. It was so fun and then I went to school the next day and the group of friends I had would not talk to me. The guy who asked me out wouldn't talk to me and I had no idea what was going on. Then I started getting shoved in the hall. During passing period I would be walking along and the girls who used to be my friends would shove me and then laugh. Like you said they were sneaky and no one who mattered ever saw them. It would have been my word against theres and in my school, my word would have meant nothing going up against them. Things also started getting written about me in various places in the school and it seemed like even teachers were treating me different. No one would sit next to me at lunch and people would fight in class not to have to sit next to me. Then it started happening outside of school. They started making mean posts about me on facebook and even went so far as to drive by my house and call me an f'ing bitch. All I could do was cry. I hated going to school and I tried to be sick every chance I got. I was so angry and sad that people were treating me this way and I had no idea why. I was angry at my mom and dad for not just letting me stay home from school but I couldn't tell them why because I was afraid they would do something and make it all worse. My grades started falling because I wasn't going to school regularly and when I did go  I was to upset to even pay attention. I spent so many hours hiding out in the bathroom, behind the school or anywhere that I didn't have to face these people who went out of their way to make me miserable. I tried everything I could to change things. I tried to dress better thinking that somehow if I did they would like me better. That only made things worse and got juice "accidentally" dumped down the front of my shirt. The office gave me a way to big t-shirt to wear the rest of the day and that got me teased more. I then decided to dress down to make myself invisible. That didn't work either. I got called ugly, tacky, disgusting and some other names that I am not going to write here. I couldn't win and I was getting in trouble at home because I didn't want to talk to anyone and I ignored or avoided everyone I could. I was afraid if I started talking about all of it that I would just fall apart. I also was really afraid that no one would believe me. As much as I was called names, pushed and shoved into lockers, written about, isolated, and made fun of at school no teacher ever seemed to see it. No other student ever stood up and said stop it and nothing I could do was making it better. I was so alone and everyone hated me and I still didn't know why. My parents started thinking I was on drugs and started going through my room and my purse and my back pack.  They threatened me with grounding  and they had no idea that I felt much worse than any grounding could make me feel. They were so disappointed with me because my grades had gone from almost straight A's to D's and F's. My teachers gave me daily lectures about how lazy I was and how I was probably going to fail school and I felt like I wanted to die. If I had done something wrong I just wanted to fix it. I wanted my friends back and my life back and my good grades back. I wanted my parents to look at me like they were proud of me not like they were always suspicious. I wanted to be happy again. One day I reached into my backpack to pull out my brush and brush my hair. Not looking I started brushing and looked down to realize that my hand was covered in ink. I ran to the bathroom and saw that I had black ink all over my blond hair. My backpack, my homework and all my books were covered in the ink. People walked through the halls laughing at me, pointing and saying really awful things. My once best friend just laughed and mimed Oops! I also got into trouble for having ink in my backpack and letting it ruin all my books. I just looked at the principal and wondered why she would think I would carry ink in my back pack. Once again I couldn't win. That night I remember looking at my moms medicine cabinet and wondering what it would be like to just take every pill she had and just to fall asleep and never wake up. I thought how nice it would be not to have see those people who hated me every day. How nice it would be not to have to have to here the names or see my parents be upset. I just wanted it all to go away and sleeping and never waking up felt like a good choice. I didn't do it  but the thought stayed with me for awhile. It was kind of my exit strategy. Long story short though after the ink situation my parents seemed to start figuring stuff out. They sat me down and started asking me questions and I couldn't hold it in any longer. It all came out. My mom cried when I told her everything that had been going on and my dad wanted to go after all the kids who were involved. After me crying and telling them that they could make life worse for me they decided to go to the principal. The principal had his doubts about my story and told my parents with my grades dropping and my not attending school like I should he thought that the problem was something deeper (I think he meant drugs) and that I was just using this story as an excuse. My dad asked mom and I leave and he and the principal talked for a while without us. After that the principal said he would see what he could do to get the situation stopped. I also started seeing a shrink. I wasn't happy about that but after I started talking about all of it and she made me see that I really hadn't done anything to cause it I started feeling better. She let me know that nothing that I did caused it and nothing I could do on my own would stop it. That is why I needed to turn to someone for help. When I really understood it was not my fault little by little I stopped caring what they did and started caring about the things I liked. My grades started coming up again and I started dressing like me again. One day out of no where one of the girls who used to be my friend came up to me. She acted really scared of me but told me she liked my sandals. I was really skeptical and I just looked at her. Then she shocked me and said she was sorry for all that she had done to me. She told me that they had turned on her too. She was now living the same life I had lived for the last six months. What did she do? She had worn the same shirt as another girl in the group on the same day and had most likely looked better in it. The next day no one would even look at her. She then told me why they had decided to hate me. That first week of school when the guy asked me out, one of the other girls wanted him to ask her out. When he asked me instead that put me on the hate list. They went to him and told him that if he even looked at me the rest of the year they would make his life miserable and then they set out to make mine miserable. It was nothing I had done just like my shrink had said. The new girl they hated, we are still not friends and she is suffering just like I did but I have picked her books up a time or two after they were knocked from her arms during passing period and she knows my table is always open at lunch. So everything you said makes sense and I would like to think that if some of the bullies read this they would think before hurting someone but the truth is most are self absorbed bitches who don't have the ability to feel bad about anything unless it is something that happens to them. Thank you for trying though and maybe this will help parents and teachers to understand what is going on right under there noses." 

All I could say after reading it was....WOW! I couldn't help but wonder if these girls who had once been friends with this girl had known how close she was to just ending it all over all of this or  if they would have even cared? It doesn't sound like our writer believes they would have. I found it tremendously sad. So I am asking something I don't normally ask. If you read my blog and you know teachers, parents or other kids that you feel could benefit from reading this young woman's message...please pass it on! There is damage going on in our schools and to our kids and we as parents need to be aware. Actions have consequences and not realizing what our kids are doing to one another is not going to be a good excuse if the unthinkable happens. 

So we just thought the soap box was put away. Now it is time for the 30 Day Song Challenge. Day 27: A song that you wish you could play. Well, since this is so similar to yesterdays...we will go with a song that I wish I could sing. If I could sing...I would have headed straight to Broadway. I love musicals and when the musical Wicked came out....I longed to see it. I have not yet gotten to live that dream, but if I could sing.....this song would be at the top of my list. Here is Idina Menzel singing Defying Gravity. 

Here's hoping that you have a fabulous Thursday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zero Tolerance is another....better late than Another day just sped by and got away from me. How does this keep happening to me? Maybe I need some new track shoes in order to keep up?! Or maybe I should just resign myself to the realization that the older I get....the faster time goes! Sigh!

So if you have been to Walmart, Target, Kmart or even the grocery store....both you and your children (if you are blessed with any) are painfully aware that a new school year is just around the corner. I remember as a kid hitting this time of year with a mixture of sadness and excitement. Sad because my days of playing til dark and sleeping late were coming to an end, but excited because of all the possibilities the new school year had in store. Everything would be new from my clothes to my supplies and sometimes it even meant new friends. It was really a great time of year. I realized today though....not all kids feel this way. The start to a new school year is anything but exciting for some. For them it is a time that they approach with both apprehension and dread. For them....a new school year simply means the same ol' same ol' and that is nothing to look forward to.

For those of you who don't know me personally.....I live in a town whose population is about 6,000. I grew up here and while I remember some teasing in school.....I don't remember a lot of full on bullying. However....that is no longer the case. Today I was told that there were "several" kids not returning to the high school this school year because the bullying had gotten so bad the parents were pulling them from school. REALLY? In a school system with a "zero tolerance policy" on are leaving because of bullying?! Hmmmm. Really doesn't sound right....does it?!

Now I ask you a question. Have you ever (even once) laughed at someone because they were different; talked about someone when you only knew part of a story; teased someone because they looked, talked or dressed differently; turned others against someone because you simply didn't like that person or were jealous; or pushed, shoved or hit someone just because you didn't like them? If you did....then you bullied. If you have continued that behavior....then you are a bully. If you have treated anyone like that in front of your children....then you have quite possibly passed the art of bullying on to them.

Some cold hard facts about bullying:
Those who bully usually bully because of low self esteem, jealousy or complete and total unhappiness within themselves. There goal is to make another human being feel as bad as they themselves do. Happy people do not try to make other people unhappy.

Bullies often don't get caught in a school setting because they are sneaky. They plan their attacks strategically and work to get a reaction that they can then in turn blame on the one they are bullying.

Those being bullied will often hit a breaking point. Sometimes they turn around and take a stand against their abuser (often times getting caught because they are not strategically planning their outburst/attack) and sometimes the abuse gets to a point of a mental breakdown (i.e. Jonesboro, Columbine, etc).

Bullying is hard to stop in schools because teachers are often victims of the same abuse that the kids are. A bullied teacher will often times let a bullies actions go unreported. Teachers also fall prey to the "cool teacher syndrome" where the bullies develop a camaraderie with the teacher thus the teacher will look the other way when bullying occurs or even goes as far as to lie about the bullying situation if asked.

Zero tolerance policies on bullying seldom work. Why? Because bullying should be handled in a case by case situation. If a child is bullied mercilessly by another child all year long and finally hits a breaking point and pushes, shoves or talks back to the bully and gets no way should the child who fights back be in the same trouble as the child who has been causing issues the entire year. If teachers and administrators say they can't take one kids word over another...then maybe they better be calling parents in and having some discussions rather than a one punishment fits all attitude.

And finally...the parents. If a parent bullies...chances are his/her child will too.

If a parent stands back and says....."My child would never," experience tells us that chances are not only is their child doing it....but their child is also getting others to do it too.

Wanting your child to be popular is fine. Wanting your child to be popular at the expense of other kids is not. Some kids bully just because that is the only way they can hang with the "popular crowd." Cliques are not known for any kind of individualism and speaking out against the leader is ALWAYS frowned upon. So if Suzy comes to school and looks cute and Miss Clique leader happens to be jealous and decides Suzy is to be hated and ridiculed, then all Miss Clique's girls better follow suit and hate and ridicule Suzy or they are no longer a part of Miss Cliques world. Personally, I would rather raise a child that can think for him/herself, stand up for others and knows right from wrong even if the popular kids say something different. But then again....I guess I am just funny that way.

Finding out about these kids today made me sit down and have a major conversation with Z. Z himself has been a victim of both bullying and the zero tolerance policy, so I wanted to know where he stood with going back to school. Luckily right now....Z is good with himself and has developed some amazing inner strength of late. At least for the moment....others opinions of him really don't matter much in his world. He did let me know though...that bullying is still alive and well at MHS and unless things change greatly this year.....will remain that way. Yes.....MHS has a problem. 

So what does this all mean? How do we keep this sort of thing from repeating itself year after year? Perhaps more parent involvement. I know one particular parent whose child is one of the worst bullies at the school. If confronted....I doubt she would believe it...and even if she did, I am pretty sure she would look for someone other than herself or her child to put the blame on. Let's face it....our kids aren't perfect and neither are we. Sometimes when we realize that our kids are doing what we do...instead of what we say to do....the picture glaring back at us is not pretty. However, if we pay closer attention to how we treat others and remind our kids that high school isn't forever and that someday they are going to be out in the big old world where they aren't going to mean a darn thing to anyone and if they have learned to treat others the way they themselves would expect to be may end up treating them a whole lot better. Perhaps too if we teach our kids that standing back and watching someone get bullied or abused is just as bad as the actual act, the kids themselves might start policing each other a bit better while at the same time learning to respect each others differences.

I certainly don't have all the answers...and maybe I really don't have any, but I do know there is a problem at my school, and your school and at schools all over this country and it needs to be stopped now. It would serve us all well to remember that today's bullies will be tomorrows leaders, parents, spouses and employees. If they are bullies today....just think what kind of monsters they could be tomorrow. Is that a world we really want to see?

Okay....soap box is safely tucked away again for awhile. If words have power...then maybe after reading this, someone will stop and think before bullying or allowing someone else to be bullied. If not...well then...I gave it my best shot. So now it is time for the 30 Day Song Challenge. Today is day 26 and the challenge is: A song that you can play on an instrument. Since I can't even play Chop Sticks (I've got no musical talent)....we are going to go with a song that I "wish" I could play. Actually...that could be most any song as I would to be able to make music. I have always been pretty fond of the Disney movie songs and when I saw the Disney stage play Tarzan....I truly fell in love with this song. Here is Phil Collins from the movie Tarzan with You'll Be in My Heart! is hoping that you enjoy what is left of your Wednesday. Hope you have a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Four More Years of This????? Oh HELL NO!

So I am not gonna lie....I am pretty excited that it is early morning (fairly early anyway) and today I have chosen blogging over sleeping. Maybe it is that I have finally caught up on my sleep and maybe it is just that I feel re-energized today (blog wise) after yesterdays Blogger Idol play along. I really enjoyed paying it forward and shining the spot light on other blogs....and lets face it, who doesn't like knowing that someone besides those in their own little hemisphere appreciate their work? The flip side to that coin is also that the blogs I highlighted are true gems and now more of the world knows they exist. There is some amazing reading there and I hope everyone takes the time to find that out.

Last night I did something I have only done one other time since 2008. I listened to the president speak. The only other time this happened was during the whole healthcare reform debacle. Like then.....last night I ended up flipping channels after the speech listening to various news stations seeing if anyone's take was the same as mine. During the HR the lines were drawn far and wide between CNN, FOX news and MSNBC....the most obvious divide was between FOX and everyone else. Last night though was different. As I switched from channel to channel....all were saying the same thing.....our country is (pardon my language) f#$%ed and the president is just as much the problem as the house and senate. Lots of words and phrases were bandied about when the president spoke such as "balanced", "partisan" and "raising the debt ceiling". There was also a fair amount of finger pointing going on directing our debt back to Bush without much admittance that the current administration took a bad situation and made it worse......trillions of dollars worse. And then there was a lot of talk about Ronald Reagan. It almost felt like "What would Reagan do?" or more correctly......"This is not how the house and senate nor the people treated why you gotta treat me like this?" Why? Because Reagan didn't help us push this country into trillions of dollars worth of debt! Duh!

Honestly though.....I am not really feeling the love for the Republicans either. Standing with their feet planted firmly in the ground and saying we won't budge is not a solution. Yes....I know that they are willing to compromise to a point....but if everyone in Washington doesn't put their big girl panties on and quit pointing fingers....this country is going to be up a creek without a paddle. No one involved in this vote is thinking of the people....they are all worried about their jobs. They want re-elected and so here we stand. As it is.....there is no one in Washington that I would re-elect at this point. Four more years of this????? Oh HELL NO!

Things on the home front have hit a quiet lull. I guess it took a huge storm to quiet the unsettled atmosphere. I think I feel a little better myself. It just sort of depends on the day, sometimes the hour and at other times....even the minute. I find myself going from being perfectly feeling like I may cry. What I haven't felt in a while is really happy. Don't get me wrong....I know I am lucky and very blessed to have all that I have in my life, but to feel happy....well that is an emotion that seems to allude me right now. I miss those days of excitement and that feeling of happiness right down to my toes. I miss looking forward to things and not worrying about absolutely everything from money to my children's health. I am tired of constantly missing those who are gone and wanting someone or something that simply may not exist. I want to get back to that place where I am living....not merely existing. I NEED some good old fashioned happiness in my life! But as I said...things are okay now and I am good with that!

So yesterday I missed the 30 Day Song Challenge. All is good though as there are 31 days to July so we will still break even come July 31st. Today's song (Day 25) is: A song that makes you laugh. Again...laugh, happy, smile....aren't they all the same? Glad there are more than enough songs out there to cover the same emotion over and over again. This particular song is a gem...however the video actually makes the whole song. I have long been a Vince Gill fan....clear back to his days in Pure Prairie League and his comedic skills are almost as good as his voice. So today I leave you with The Cherry Bombs and It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night that Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long.....

Hope this leaves you with a smile and helps you to have a really great Tuesday!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pay It Forward/Blogger Idol Challenge

This is a yay for you and a yay for me and a yay for a few others too! The yay for me is because they came out with this weeks Blogger Idol Play Along Challenge before I wrote today's blog. Yay for you because instead of reading two blogs from me only have to read one. Yay for others....because this week's challenge is to Pay it Forward. Paying it forward in the blogging world means showing some love to the blogs that you yourself follow and find praise worthy. I think the only thing in the world that I love more than blogging is reading others blogs and seeing what their take on life and the world around them is.

So today folks...believe it or not,  this blog is not about me. It is all about the blogs I love....which in a way is still about me.....but I digress. So lets start paying it forward.

The first blog I love is by a girl named Kel. I stumbled upon her blog one day while trying to expand my blog reading world. From that moment on...I was a fan. In Ambiguously Shallow, Kel is irreverent and funny all the while sharing details of her newly married life, new house, her job as a teacher and her never ending struggle of staying stylish without breaking the bank. If ever you are in a bad mood...I suggest reading Ambiguously Shallow. It will make you laugh, make you think and most of all.....make you wonder if you are dressed well enough to even be reading her blog.

Renee's blog Dealing With Today was a blog I learned about through a friend on facebook.  My friend had asked all his friends to pray for a relative of his as this relative was in the midst of a hard fought cancer battle. Sadly, the young man we were praying for did not make it and my friend shared a link on fb from the young man's wife. The link took my directly to Renee's blog and after reading her blog...I cried. Not just a little whimpering of tears....but real sobbing tears. Renee and I shared something deep. We shared grief. Dealing With Today is about Renee's journey with a husband dealing with cancer and then dealing with the pieces of her life after he was gone. It has made me smile, made me cry and sometimes even made me laugh. Believe is a blog you won't soon forget.

Donna B's blog is another blog I just stumbled upon. I originally found her blog Discovering the Purpose of Our Lives... and really enjoyed it. Then I found her other blog, Mystical Journeys and fell in love. Mystical Journey's is all about the life of Donna's dad as he makes his way on his "mystical journey" through all that is Alzheimer's. Donna's stories of her visits with him and his unique musings of life on the inside of this disease....looking out, are sometimes sad but mostly humorous and help those reading to understand the life of someone and their family dealing with all that is Alzheimer's.

In A Tall Drink of Water....Roy is a big man (big as in 7'3") who can tell a story like no other. A Tall Drink of Water takes you through some of Roy's life experiences and health issues due to his larger than average size. Mostly though, Roy's blog is hilarious. Many is the time that I have sat reading his blog literally laughing until I was wheezing. And when you are reading from your desk at work....this is never a good thing...and yet still I read! Knowing Roy personally (we went to school together...he was a year younger than me) I realized through his blog that he is now and always has been much more than the tall kid in school and through his blog I have gotten to know him better and appreciate both him and his humorous view of the world. This is definitely worth the read.

Finally....if you have a green thumb, wish you had a green thumb or just admire those who do....then Catherine's blog In the Garden and More is a must read for you. Catherine and husband Michael (who also happens to be my cousin) have raised a houseful of kids thru homeschooling and teaching them to both live off the land and respect it. Her blog gives important information on planting, growing and taking care of your flowerbeds and gardens. Catherine also tells stories of her kids growing up, her wonderful yard sale finds and life lived in the great state of Oklahoma. Her blog is not just a pleasant is an indulgence.

While this is by no means all the blogs I read and appreciate...these are definitely among my most favorite. I think that Blogger Idol went way above and beyond on this challenge. Anytime one blogger can give another one a leg up or some much deserved praise and public exposure then I am thinking that it is a good thing. Thank you BI....what a great idea this was.

Some others you might also like to check out are:
Becca's Story
Life With the Carey Gang

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It Will Suck.....Until it Doesn't Suck Anymore put it mildly.....last night sucked! I think I hit some kind of rock bottom where all I wanted to do was cry....and I DON'T cry! Today is not much better (I mean with the crying thing), but I think I am mentally doing better. After literally hours of sitting in the dark on my front porch and trying to going to the farthest depths of my inner self and find out what was wrong....I came to some rather startling conclusions. First of is definitely the time of year. From July 2nd (the anniversary of Tim's death) to Sept. 20th (his birthday) it is a tough time of the best of years. Included in that time frame are also Tim's sobriety anniversary and our wedding anniversary. Some years are harder to get through than others....and apparently this year is a doozie for me. Part of the problem I think is....I am ANGRY!!! You know the kind of anger I am talking about. The kind where it almost consumes you before you even know what is happening and sometimes you are so engrossed in the feeling that you find yourself either face down in a carton of HaagenDas or threatening your children within an inch of their life for rolling their eyes when you speak. That is the anger I am talking about....and I didn't even realize I was there until last night.

I think the kicker for me.......was after a day of dealing with both Z and man-child antics, still maintaining migraine status and doing a whole lot of nothing, I realized that not a darn person  in my life appreciates me. Does it sound a bit self-pitying? Well...maybe it is, but it is still pretty factual none the less. One kid thinks I am suppose to "take care of them" until I am in a home, another thinks that living like a hoarder is acceptable....and well David....he pulled my hair! It doesn't seem to matter what I do or how much of it I children take the attitude with me that they are wiser, smarter and better at everything than their poor, pathetic mother. Enough was enough last night. Granted....for the most part, nothing happened last night that hasn't happened before.....the fact was though, I had just had enough. I was done. I blew sky high and for the first time I realized just how truly angry I was. I was angry at the kids for treating me as if I "owed" them, I was angry at Tim for being gone and not being here to help me, angry at myself for being so angry, angry at the universe for not giving me some sort of sign that this all would pass without me losing my mind first, and yes...even angry at God. Maybe not so much angry at God as frustrated. Frustrated that maybe He is trying to teach me something and I am too stupid to catch on, or maybe frustrated that He is just tired of hearing from me. At any rate....He and I had words last night. Well....I had words and somewhere (hopefully) as I was looking up into that big starry sky.....He heard me. Today however....I did not make it to church. I am not sure if I was trying to punish Him (depriving Him of my Sunday morning presence) or punishing myself (depriving myself of His presence in His house). Whatever the case, this morning I did not go to church and I do believe if I weren't so tired....I would be feeling pretty bad about the whole situation.

Okay.....I am sure by now.... most of you are rolling your eyes and wondering why I just don't get off the pity pot and move on. I wonder the same thing, but it seems that the ten year mark is a tough one. As I sat outside last night, I could hear people somewhere in the vicinity at 2 a.m. having a party. There was laughter and talking and it really sounded like fun....but all I could do was look at the sky and miss both my mom and Tim. And yes....there were tears. I really hoped about that time that God knew everything that was in my heart because I was so at a loss for words. I couldn't help but wonder if there was ever going to be someone else for me to share this journey of life with. Would my kids ever have someone to look up to and love as dad-like? Is my pain going to go away or am I constantly going to spend my life being ambushed by these painful recurrences and most of all I wondered......when will this angry feeling ever end?

Today I am better. It is amazing what trip to Walmart, a little thunder and some hair color can do for someone. The anger is still there. I can sort of feel it, but I think it is tucked far enough away for now that I can move on. The problem remains the same. Too many bills, not enough money, too much to think about, to deal with and all of it...on my own. So like I sucks and it will continue to suck....until it doesn't suck anymore. I will be sure and let you know when that day comes.

Well I have droned on long enough about poor me. Apparently I have a reader who was in some sort of accident and is/was in the hospital. In her hospital boredom she commented on my blog yesterday with some questions she would like answers to, and since I have always told my readers to ask and I will eventually answer....I thought my "get well" gift to reader Jeananne would be to answer her questions in a more expedited way than my usual snails pace. So here are Jeananne's questions and my answers.

#1 Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? No I don't exactly. I remember a lot of unfinished early works, but I honestly have no idea what the first thing I wrote was.
#2 Have you always written like you do today or did you ever write differently, like stories and stuff? I kept a journal for many years...but back then my primary focus was short stories. I have written a lot of short stories and poetry, but right now....blogging is my preferred form of writing.

#3 What is your biggest fear in life? You don't seem to be afraid of much so I would like to know if you are human like the rest of us? LOL...I must put up a pretty good writing front. I think my biggest fear is something happening to my children. Losing my kids would devastate me and loss is a huge fear in my life.

#4 Does it upset you when people don't like your blog or your writing? My writing/blog are in some ways my babies. They come from me and are purely me, so when someone makes a snide comment or simply doesn't like it....sure it stings. When I was younger it would have ticked me off. Now though....I have learned to realize that there is always going to be someone out there who doesn't like my work, but as long as I am happy with it....that is really all that matters.

#5 In one sentence how would you describe yourself? A contradiction!

#6 I think you have said that you still have young kids at home. If the time was right, would you have more? Giving birth to children is no longer a possibility for me. Loving children I think I would have had 10 kids if that had been in God's plan, but it wasn't. I am probably more at the grandparent stage of my life rather than the parent stage.

#7 Do you laugh more or cry more? Definitely laugh more!

#8 Who is your favorite writer of all time? Erma Bombeck and the Bronte sisters!

#9 Have you ever had anything published? Yes....I have had several pieces of my poetry published.

#10 If you had one wish, what would it be? Probably that my youngest David could run and play with the other kids!

and #11 Because I have asked you so many questions, do I get to be included in your blog? Obviously the answer is....YES! 

Thanks so much for the questions Jeananne and I hope you are on the road to a speedy recovery! So now it is time for the 30 Day Song Challenge. Today is Day 24 and the song challenge is: A song that you want to play at your funeral. Morbid much? I surely do not like to think of funerals...especially today, but funny thing is....this was an easy choice. A few years ago....on a soap opera of all things....I heard this sung at a characters funeral and I fell in love. After researching the song and it's writer.....I knew why. This song in so many ways mirrors my life and how I feel and it is poignantly beautiful. So here is Beth Nielson Chapman and Sand and Water. 

Hope your Sunday is filled with cool showers and happy feelings! Happy Sunday!