The Eye of the Human Storm

Today’s forecast
Pain with a chance of happiness
Life
It hurts
Our first breath
Born in and out of
Pain
Our last breath
Born in and out of the fear of
Death
Beginning to end
The human struggle to keep moving
Beyond the current pain so we may
Endure the next
To begin again
The circle, the cycle
Of life, of pain
To reach our destination
Death
So
What is the point?
When one ends where one begins?
What is the point?
The middle
Is the point
To feel the heart beat
Of a lover
To hear the laughter
Of a child
To know the touch of another
The touch that completes
Our circle
Ones who will rejoice with us
And for us
And those who will mourn us
But more
Remember
That we were here
That we mattered
That we made the difference
That we closed a part of their own circle
And that they too
Closed a part of ours
To gather
At the end of the day
To hear the sounds of silence
The human sounds
We make without knowing
The sounds of love
And life
The middle
Those sounds our ears miss,
But that our hearts hear
These are the sounds of silence
So loud we are compelled to
Listen
Struggle to keep moving
From one pain to another
For in the end
It is not the pain
We Remember
It is
Love
Our circles have no true beginning
They meld
With our ending
We only have what is in
The middle
Today’s forecast
Pain with a chance of happiness
Take an umbrella if you must
Wear your raincoat
Wear galoshes if you have to
But
Prepare more for getting swept
Into the middle
‘Cause that’s where life happens
In the middle
Never be afraid to get wet
So
Put the fear aside
Go beyond the tropical storm of prologue
Fear not the hurricane of the epilogue
Walk into the wind
Get pummeled by the rain
Get to the eye
The middle
Where the calm allows us to hear
The human sounds of silence

The sounds of Love

For My Father

My First Love ~ My Only Hero

R.I.P. Superman

David and Golliath – Thoughts on Independence

As we approach our nation’s day of independence, I had a thought or two that I’d like to share. In honor of all who fought, died, survived, and still fight so we may enjoy…our country’s ultimate day of freedom…Happy July 4th America
IMG_0397
seventeen hundred and seventy six
this day in that year our fate we did fix

we rallied and warred and we bled the fields red
all for the right to our freedom instead

of the yolk from an empire determined we bow
to king and to country, the collective high brow

we started ignorant, starving, and poor
equipped with nothing but freedom’s allure

one hundred times two add to that thirty-eight
the years then to now, the days fate to fate

our beginnings were humble, and not always sainted
to think what we’ve done to the darker and painted

all we can strive for is continu-ed learning
to treat all as equals, we all have that yearning

for the freedoms hard fought and hard won from oppressors
it’s not up to us to now be the aggressors

but when those who still fight for the simplest of freedoms
can’t live and can’t love and can’t grow their own kingdoms

I will not say war is always the answer
but fight we should still against any agenda

that takes away rights to live free and live true
a war worth waging, battles must ensue

to live in a world that allows you to be
everything imagined, the power of we

I hate that our country is still fighting wars
but hate more would I if we sat on the shores

of our own piece of heaven, at the same time deny
the same to others who’d enjoy it but by

the happenstance of geography
but for that they’d be me

but for where I was born
I could easily live in a country that’s torn

should I feel guilty? should I feel blessed?
to one I’ll say no, to the other I’ll say yes

I won’t lay claim to guilt not my doing
but nor condone I, those who hope our ungluing

a believer am I of “get what you pay” for
but not when one has and the other is dirt poor

if you cannot fight for the basic of rights
then why should we feel bad for fighting their fight?

goliaths are bullies, and davids are smaller
but bigger’s just bigger, not better, just taller

the true winner wins when the heart is the weapon
big losers lose when they continually lessen

the right of the people, equality all
pride goeth ‘fore the mightiest fall

in honor of our freedom, in honor of our fight
a prayer I’ll say ‘fore this morning is night

may all who seek peace and all who seek freedom
know you’re not alone as long as we are one

nation of davids, scrappers are we
a nation of davids, who’ll fight ’til you’re free
IMG_0077
Let Freedom Ring

‘Tis the Season

And so it begins

The Season

Visitors

Week Long

Visitors

Mother-In-Law plus 1

Visitors

Oh Goody

32 years as a Daughter-In-Law

10 years of hoping

(I’d disappear?)

Almost…(Once)

But not quite

Another 21 of tolerating me

1 year of resignation

What next?

Will I finally pass muster?

This week may tell

I leave you with this…

bunny hell easter

Just kidding

In all fairness, it’s more like this…

reefer mad

Oh alright, it’s not THAT bad

They are just house guests after all

Right?

What’s the worst that could happen?

padded_room

Oh

See ya next week

Maybe

ps) Kat…hope you don’t mind my stealing two of your gifs

pss) B…if you still read this blog, laugh now.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Now, I hope you all know me enough by now to know that I am picking fun here.  My Mother-In-Law is a strong, intelligent, sensitive woman and we get along famously.  It just took us some time to find our own relationship, as it did my husband and his Mother-In-Law.  There is love and there is respect and that is all there needs to be.

It’s important to let the seeds of this relationship grow naturally, organically, outside that of the child/spouse connection.

There is nothing in the rules of marriage handbook (and I’m sure there is one out there, somewhere) that says you have to love or even be friends with your spouse’s mother.

It helps, but it’s also okay if not.

(I don’t know why, but Fathers-In-Law relationships do NOT have the same dynamic)

Love doesn’t happen just because she birthed your spouse nor for the fact that you happened to choose her child as a life mate.

That just opens the door.  To be welcomed in and invited to take up space in their hearts, you must be worthy in your own right.

If there’s any hope for a relationship, there has to be respect.  On both sides.  And, because you’ve both earned it.

Respect is one of those things we each feel we deserve.

Just because.

Not so.

As with any relationship in life, whether personal or professional, we can respect the title/position, but the person in it, must earn it.

Also, as we cannot choose our blood relations, we do our best to love them because of our common link, but we often find ourselves in the position of not respecting them for various reasons.

Love but don’t respect – common in relationships to those we are born into.

But for those to whom we have no connection other than by proxy via our spouse, if we do not/cannot develop a familial love, we can at the least hope to develop a relationship based on mutual respect.

If not (especially if your spouse is close to your In-Law) then personally, I’d say your marriage has a boot on its neck.

Especially evident when you and your spouse have kids of your own…

Becoming a Mother-In-Law can be daunting if the relationship with the new son/daughter lacks respect as well as the love connection.

Could you imagine becoming a grandparent to the little seed of your precious apple in a relationship fraught with tension and stress because either you or your In-Law or your spouse were always on the defensive?

Nahhhh…that’s for the birds and a bit like cutting off your limb to spite your trunk, if you know what I mean.

So, this Mother’s Day, it is with high hopes that all the wives and husbands who share porch space with me here, boast a happy, healthy, loving relationship with your respective Mothers-In-Law.  If not, I sincerely hope you share one of mutual respect.

If not yet, work on it.  It’ll make all the difference in the world…to ALL of you.

If you’re a newbie, or a work in progress, keep at it.

The door opened the day you got married…it’s up to you to be welcomed inside.

Conversely…to all the Mothers-In-Law out there still struggling with the addition to the family…

It is with respect I say this…

“They are married.

You didn’t lose one, you gained one.

You did your job, now enjoy the fruits of your labor while they make fruits of their own.

Resist when you’re not asked.

Be there when you are.

And if you can’t…try harder.

Should you choose the right road, and it IS a choice, you’ll end up smack-dab in the middle of the intersection of Love Lane and Respect Avenue.

 HAPPY♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥MOTHER’S♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥DAY

Mom and Bertha

I love you

 

it’s not easy

IT’S NOT EASY IS IT?

trying to find a title for a discussion of this magnitude is not easy.

trying to find a way to speak openly and frankly about this subject is not easy.

trying to come to grips with teen and young adult suicide is not easy.

trying to understand the minds of those that bully, in real space or cyber space, is not easy.

trying to find a solution is not easy.

seeing signs or hearing that your child may be a bully is not easy.

taking responsibility is not easy.

OR IS IT?

justifying their actions is easy.

saying that’s just how kids are is easy.

victim blaming is easy.

changing the channel or turning the page is easy.

giving a silent prayer of thanks that it’s not your child so not your problem is easy.

judging others is easy.

but…

facing facts is not.

easy.

WHERE ARE WE GOING WRONG?

Mattie Yates:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2607248/Im-doing-world-favor-Heartbreaking-farewell-video-girl-16-posted-YouTube-committing-suicide.html

Amanda Todd:

Ryan Halligan:

http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/index.htm

Megan Meier:

http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/megans-story.html

Phoebe Prince:

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2010/01/phoebe_prince_15_commits_suici.php

Jessica Logan:

Tyler Clementi:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/30/tyler-clementi-gay-student-suicide

Shannon Gallagher: (this one is especially hard to fathom…the teen sister of a cyber bullied suicide victim)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/13/shannon-gallagher-sister-cyberbullying-suicide-erin-gallagher_n_2296488.html

Rehtaeh Parsons:

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/rehtaeh-parsons-girl-dies-suicide-rape-canada_n_3045033.html

Audrey Pott:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/reports-3-teens-admit-assaulting-norcal-girl-who-later-killed-herself/

this list is far from complete, but I find I can look at no more.

those families left behind have not been idle.

they’ve formed foundations, initiated awareness campaigns, and again, the list goes on and on.

as do the suicides.

additionally, we now have, literally at our fingertips, the following, just to name a few of the resources available, as a direct result of this problem:

  • no bullying websites – one example

NoBullying.com features many pages dedicated to parents, teens, teachers, health professionals as well as posts related to cyber safety and the latest news about law making concerning curbing bullying worldwide as well as inspirational bullying poems and famous bullying quotes

  • suicide prevention blogs – one example

http://www.activeminds.org/our-programming/awareness-campaigns/suicide-prevention-month/suicide-prevention-month-blog

  • national suicide hotlines – one example

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

  • cyber bullying studies and statistics one example

http://cyberbullying.ua.edu/index.php/casestudies/

wherein they recite:

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people with approximately 4,400 deaths every year

(and those stats are just here, but this is not an American problem.  this is a world problem.)

PLUS:

  • child protection software
  • web filtering software
  • social media safety programs
  • free teen safety e-books

so…what are we missing?

what are we doing wrong?

or maybe the better question is…

what are we NOT doing right?

I am no judge

I am no jury

I am no winner of any super parent of the year award

however…I am a survivor.

and living proof that

‘it’s a phase’

belongs at the top of “The Worst Things A Parent Can Assume” list

STOP!  DON’T ASSUME!  ASK!  LISTEN!  PAY ATTENTION!

no one knows your child better than you do. and no one does or will ever, care more.

and then there is “The Worst Things A Parent Can Say” list
(and I’m as guilty as the next guy for saying most of these things because I heard those things):

“that’s just how kids are”
“you’ll grow out of it”
“you’ll get over it, you’ll see”
“go find something to do”
“it’s not that important”
“ignore it, they’ll get bored”
“you don’t want to be like everyone else do you?”
“you’re too young to understand”
“sticks and stones…”

i am not being a Monday morning quarterback, at least, I hope you don’t see it that way.

i am not blaming all parents for all things as I certainly couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I took the blame for everything my children did growing up.

what I am trying to do, is shed some light on a few of THE most common, albeit loving, words of advice and/or wisdom we impart to our kids in an attempt to make them ‘feel better’ about themselves.

it doesn’t work.  I know, that’s harsh.

but it doesn’t work.

our children know we love them. they know we’ll say anything to make it better (in our own minds).

but we need to stop putting acne cream or liquid foundation on what WE PERCIEVE to be our kids’ source of their low self-image, and I say that because, if they saw themselves as WE do, this would not be the fucking horrific problem it is.

they don’t see themselves through OUR eyes.

they see themselves through the eyes of their peers.

just as the majority of all of us did.

no…this is not a new war.

it’s an old war on a different battleground.

an anonymous one.

one that affords bullies (who otherwise might not ever have dreamed of pulling the trigger) a haven of relative safety with which to thrust their swords of misguided judgment and fire those malice filled bullets.

all in an attempt to…what?

you know the answer.

to hide their own insecurities, to assuage their own feelings of inadequacy, to belie the perception that they are lacking, to feel big, and most importantly…to mask their own pain.  to make themselves feel better than…by making someone else feel worse than.

this is not a new concept.

and it’s certainly not only employed by teenage bullies.

knowing this…is it a stretch to think that the corporate bullies, the ball field bullies, the ‘my kid is better than your kid’ bullies, were bullied as youths?

nope.

OR

on the flip side…

if not bullied…were bullies as children, left to their own devices because ‘that’s just kids being kids”?

sadly, there is no easy solution.

it’s not easy, after all.

but…there are things we can do, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends…

stop making assumptions
stop making excuses
stop enabling our kids by ‘trying to be friends’

be a parent now and a friend later.
if you feel the no…say the no.
if ‘but johnny has one’ or ‘suzie gets to’ arguments sway you…get to know johnny and suzie a little better so you can perhaps point out to your kids the things they have that johnny and suzie do not.
allow your children to suffer the consequence of their choices but always offer an alternative to better ones. don’t take away the responsibility of their actions because you feel sorry for them.
if they say they hate you now…they’ll love you later, especially when they have their own kids.

no amount of money you spend ‘keeping up with…’ will ever make them feel pretty or popular on the outside if they don’t feel it on the inside. give them reasons to feel it on the inside. teach them compassion and empathy by living it. teach them to see beyond by doing it.

temper the time spent praising their feats by counting their blessings, whatever they might be.

teach them that each of us are blessed in our own way, some on the outside, some on the inside, but it’s all worthy of love and respect.

help them celebrate our differences by being well-rounded, informed, engaged, and interested parents who take the time to get to know their school, their teachers, their friends, and their friends parents.

yes, this is a different age. parents today have very little free time.
but…that was our choice yes?
say what you will…but every generation’s evolution is a direct result of that generation’s choices.
we cannot use ‘I have no time’ as an excuse to not raise our own kids.
we cannot blame society or teachers for ‘not giving’ our children the values we should be giving them at home.

our children need us.
they will never admit to this, but they do.
not just the first 10 years or the next…
it is a lifetime job.
and the job of a lifetime.

let’s help give our kids that lifetime, that looooong lifetime.

please

i dedicate this post to the fire starter, you know who you are, and you know what you mean to me…and i thank you for knowing i had something to say, no matter how small

Mama’s got a squeeze box, Daddy better keep outta sight…

Apologies to Pete Townsend for maiming Squeeze Box’s lyrics…but you’ll get why in a moment.

Nothing like the yearly email reminder, to get me thinking about how many women are afraid of their first (2nd, 3rd, 4th, infinity) mammogram.

But ladies, there is no need to worry

INTRODUCING, the first ever, 3 day, 3 exercise, workout guaranteed to get you ready for your yearly ‘squeeze n’ squash’

MAMMO-CRUSH 3×3

By taking a few minutes, three times a day, for the three days preceding the exam, and following this foolproof exercise regimen, you will be totally prepared for the test

And best of all, you can do these simple exercises right in and around your home

In preparation for these three days, here are a few things you’ll need to do ahead of time

1.) Make sure you have a three day’s supply of your favorite guilty pleasure placed front and center in the fridge, with this note:

“If you’re looking for milk, it’s in the door; if you’re looking for a beer, it’s in the drawer; if you touch this (insert treat name), you’ll be on the floor”

You might want something like this?

mammocookies

2.) Keep your car gassed up, your phone charged, within reach, and have your breastie-bestie on speed dial

3.) Take two of those ugly, black, metal bookends we all manage to utilize but keep hidden in the back of the bookcase and place them in the freezer

4.) The last step works best if you live in an area where you have access to people. If you do, there’s nothing you need to ahead of time. If you do not, however, you will have to use your imagination.

But…keep in mind the milkman, postman, paperboy, lawn guy, Jehovah Witness…you get the idea.  But remember, you’ll need to tailor this exercise to fit a particular time slot if that’s the case

Okay…have you got all that? Three days, three exercises.

Ready?

Here we go…

EXERCISE ONE:

Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the frame

Shut the door as hard as possible then lean on the door for good measure

Hold that position for five seconds…12345

(screw the one-one thousand, two-one thousand crap)

Release

Take a cleansing breath and repeat two more times

Switch sides and do the same for (to) the other breast

Upon completion, reach in and grab (with gusto) that guilty pleasure

Make as much noise devouring it as you are capable of

Come on ladies…put your heart into it…I want to hear you MOAN!

EXERCISE TWO:

Remember those bookends in the freezer?

Take them out

Strip to the waist

Go outside and grab the first stranger you meet

(HOLD IT!  I can’t believe none of you caught this before I did…but let’s REVERSE those previous two steps shall we?)

mammogram-scam

Invite that stranger into the room

(gender not important at this stage, humility is not relevant)

Press the bookends against each side of one of your breasts

Ask the stranger to place his/her hand gently, but firmly, against your naked back; just below the shoulder-blade, to steady you and make it easier for them to breathe warm, moist air into your ear

mammoNOT

Smash the bookends together as hard as you can…kind of like this:

breast-balloon-mammogram-628x363

Hold

Release

Do it again

Switch

Smash

Hold

Release

Do it again

Set up an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again

EXERCISE THREE:

Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect

WAIT – NOW is the time for your phone a friend – Hit that speed dial

Once your breast-bestie has been given her orders and is in place, take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car

surprise

Give the go ahead signal to have her slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled

(This is a one and done exercise as you can see below)

Turn over

Repeat with the other breast

mammogram2

That’s all there is to it.

Three exercises, three times a day

YOU. ARE. NOW. TOTALLY. PREPARED

Okay…now that you’ve had your gentle reminder…who’s going with me?

😳

This Public Service Announcement made possible by the following sponsors:

Forge Steely Grip Multi-Angle Vices; “You can be sure they’ll get the job done!” 

Big As Shit Tires – “Your one stop shop for Off Road tires!”

Sprinting Like Hell Cellular – “When that call just HAS to go through, go Sprinting Like Hell”

Paradise Breast Center – “Don’t say we didn’t warn ya…get that exam today!”