The Down Side

As usual, I’ve been hit-and-miss posting (bet you guys figured it out!). 

I have been learning a tough lesson….. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “You’ve got to take the good with the bad”.  Well, I will go a step farther:  Sometimes the good IS the bad.  What brought this on, you ask??  What has shaken my usually perky, positive demeanor???  My glass-is-half-full persona???  Well, it’s like this:  I have a marvelous life, a promising career, plenty of money (relatively speaking) and all of the promise that a middle aged woman could wish for; sounds pretty freakin’ awesome doesn’t it??  Well get THIS:  I DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY TO LIVE MY AWESOME LIFE.  Looks like it’s time for a hard earned existential life crisis ya’ll…..  WTF……  More to come…..



My Next Right Thing

For oh-so-many years I have been compelled to buy local, support small businesses, down size and spend time doing what I felt was important.  Sometimes I have been more successful at it than others and sometimes I have lost my way entirely–having to travel full-circle to remember who I was & who I wanted to grow to be.

Well, today I joined a local farmers coop.  I have wanted to for years but was totally unaware that we had one in the area.   Not only do we have one–we HAVE HAD for almost 10 years!  Wondering where MY head has really been…..  Anyway…

After work today I stopped in and looked around, comparing prices with our local supermarkets & the sites I have been ordering from.  I was surprised at how competitive the prices are and happy with the variety of things they have. ….So I signed on,  picked up a load of local, organic  goodies and feel great about seizing the opportunity.  What have you guys done that made you feel you’ve done something good for yourself and made a difference in your community?

Lessons of Time

When a bird is alive…it eats ants.
When a bird is dead … Ants eat the bird.

Time and circumstances can change at any time!

Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in life.
You may be powerful today but remember time is more powerful than you!!

One tree makes a million match sticks, but when the time comes…
Only one match stick is needed to burn a million trees!

So be good and do good!

Author Unknown

Anita Wood owns this beautiful image!

Mood for the Night

Lovin’ this & wanted to share:


Harboring a Spirit of Withoutfulness

When I was a little kid, I knew people who were always “without”.  The parents spent much of their time talking about what they did NOT have & what they could NOT do & how much money they did NOT earn/have.    In turn, the children trudged around, wallowing in withoutfulness as well.  If a well-meaning individual suggested something helpful such as “get a different job, retrain, save more, spend less, down-size” they were subjected to a sticky web of poor-me excuses as to why none of those things are possible for them and they are just pitiful victims.  Sure enough, you could feel your life force being sucked out your ear from 20 feet away…..  Holy shit Batman!  Had they put HALF the effort into “doing” that they put into NOT “doing”, they would be unstoppable forces!

My parents called it “poor mouthing”;  all I know is they (like drama magnets) sucked the life out of the universe.  All the while, I watched my parents creatively “doing”.  Not bragging about doing, or making an event out of doing…… Simply doing.  We always had plenty—OK, a more apt description would be “We always felt like we had “plenty”.  As an adult, I can look back and see we had lots of tight spots.  However, my Dad could’ve (sort of) fixed the Space Shuttle with two coat hangers and a roll of duct tape, and we shared a spirit of good fortune.  We didn’t have bad luck, we simply had creative challenges–even though it was never described that way.  Our roof leaked.  A LOT.   How great was it that we had buckets to put under it and were healthy enough to keep them emptied!  Yep, that’s the can-DO spirit!  This is NOT sarcasm:  It’s about playing the hand we’re dealt, wearing a smile.

When my kids were little, I was on public aid–welfare, food stamps, medical card, free school lunches, heating assistance–everything.  However, it was important to me that I not instill a sense of “less than” or withoutfulness in their minds and hearts.  Sometimes I had to bite my tongue, because life was tough & I sometimes felt pretty damned without–but I couldn’t stand teaching my kids that “woe is me”  is the way to be.  Sooo, I would smile and tell them “We’re budgeting for something else.  That’s why we can’t get new shoes right now.”  After all, it was the truth.  Every week, before grocery shopping, I made sure I had four extra quarters in my pocket.  Just before it was time to pay the cashier, I gave each child two quarters to get something from the gumball/toy machine at the front of the store.  They never saw me counting out food stamps.  Back in the day food stamps came in books and had to be torn out and counted, one by one.  I didn’t want to stir up a realization in their minds of what we did NOT have.

I have always been able to hone in on this spirit of withoutfulness, and while it’s a negative emotion/concept, it’s more than simple negativity.  It’s something much more destructive if it isn’t remedied.  Are any of you old enough to remember Bad Luck Schleprock from the Flintstones?  Well Wowzy, Wowzy, Woo, Woo…. That sense of NOT ENOUGHEDNESS follows these people throughout life, weighing them down like itchy, wet wool blankets draped around their souls.   You know what I’m talking about—You’ve been waited-on by THAT insurance agent, THAT clerk or THAT customer service rep…..Really, the problem isn’t a lack of resources–is it a lack of SPIRIT?  Or could it be a  lack of  CREATIVITY or a lack of GRATITUDE?   Questions for the day:

Are you making excuses instead of DOING?

Are you wearing a dank, itchy, heavy shroud of withoutfulness?

Can YOU modify your perspective today to begin throwing it OFF??

Drama Magnets

I have learned many things in my quest to take better care of myself.  In the beginning, I focused entirely on physical things:  Eating well, resting, medication scheduling.  After I had a system in place for those (not perfect, mind you), I started noticing other areas of my life needed some attention.

A number of people on the periphery of my life seemed to generate constant chaos.  Luckily, I

had limited interaction with them, but sometimes I had to enter their orbit.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  After spending an hour with them, it feels like my  life force has been drained out my ear ~or~  I can actually see them sucking all of the light & life out of the free world.  Yes, THOSE folks.

When I run across individuals with that ‘unique skill set’, I quietly observe to determine what actually sets the vortex spinning.  On rare occasions,  the drama arises from outside sources and mows them down like a lawn mower.  Those folks have my genuine sympathy.

Others stir & muddy the waters themselves and blame everyone around them–and they do it over and over and over and….. You get the picture…..  Everything offends them, everything is an issue to be contested, everyone is against them, the glass is TOTALLY empty.  Forever arguing, fighting blaming, complaining…The old wise folks in my life have a term for them:  Shit stirers.  Not P.C. at all, but aptly stated.  I label them ‘toxic’.

I have learned to avoid these people.  I don’t have to agree with them, or counsel them, and I’m definitely NOT responsible for fixing them.  They thrive by sucking others in and I won’t be fuel for the drama.  On occasion, I’m asked why I avoid certain individuals.  At first, I was uncomfortable discussing my observations, but over time, have become quite effective at telling the kind truth.

Moral of the story?  It’s absolutely appropriate to avoid people who suck the life out of you.  Don’t feel guilty.

Weighing In-You KNEW I Would Have An Opinion

Over the last few years there has been much discussion regarding whether certain OTC medications (those used in producing methamphetamine) should be made available by prescription only.   This is not meant to be a debate on the topic nor will I list sources or data; those reasons will likely be the basis for a long, future post.  For now, this is a brief opinion/summary based on my observations as a medical professional working with addicts and as a parent of two recovering addicts.

The most persistent argument I’ve heard for keeping the medications available OTC, in my opinion, is lacking in substance.  It goes something like this:  A poor mother without insurance should NOT have to pay for an office visit she can’t afford in order to get needed medication.  That’s the biggest argument I hear.  The second most frequent argument deals with our “freedom” as Americans.  Whatever.  I watch people die from freedom, so in my opinion it is highly over-rated in situations such as this.  ALLOWING FREEDOM WITHOUT REQUIRING ADEQUATE EDUCATION IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION.  Don’t believe me?  Watch the news…

These medications are NOT life giving drugs–period.  I have NEVER, EVER administered one of them in a crisis situation and I work in acute situations regularly.  At best, they provide symptom relief, which is available OTC in other non-meth-producing combinations anyway.  Our present system does allow for tracking of purchases and the buyer must show I.D.  However, many “smurfs” (individuals who buy these medications containing a specific ingredient for meth cooks) exceed the purchase limit without consequence.  I’m not sure how it happens, but it does.  Is it because the system is over-burdened?

They often cross state lines to make additional purchases and the communication between states is quite limited.  VERY sneaky……..  We will NOT get on top of the methamphetamine epidemic as long as we make the ingredients and opportunity readily available.

Everything I Need To Know

*All I need to know, I learned from the Easter Bunny!*


– Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
– Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

– There’s no such thing as too much love.
– All work and no play can make you a basket case.
– A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.
– Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
– Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
– Some body parts should be floppy.
– Keep your paws off of other people’s jelly beans
– The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket.

-To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.
-The best things in life are still free.
-May the joy of the season fill your heart.
Happy Easter!

On Being With Dying

My phone rang Tuesday morning and I heard my Mom say “She’s a lot worse and I think you should come on.”  My mind switches to a sudden plan B.  Grabbing things I’ll need for a stay of unknown duration, making arrangements for work, animals, payroll and the daily real world shuts OFF.   I’m on the road in record time.

My Dear Aunt is one of my best friends.  I was born on her birthday & we’ve shared a special

kinship all of my life.  She had been sick for several years and finally, with Hospice, she was home to spend her last days.  We knew her time was short but she took a sudden turn & it was time for all of us to come together once more.

When I arrived she was barely responsive.  She did find the strength to tell us she loved us and she wanted to go home, but she soon slipped behind a thickening veil of clouds.  I quickly slid into my care-taking, instruction-giving nursely role and helped my family keep her comfortable.  Checking, talking, turning, medicating, praying, I was thankful to have things to do which allowed me to detach and simply be with the process.  I sat with her during the night, saying very little–taking solace in having time alone with her before she passed beyond my grasp.

Morning came; she was still clinging tenuously as family & friends came and went.  We talked, told stories…. We remembered.  Everyone called her Granny, including my kids.  My mom was Mamaw & she was Granny to them.  As a child, teen and young woman I spent a big chunk of my life in her home, milling among my cousins & loving the chaos.  It was so different from my life as an only child.

Dates, life lessons, family tragedies–we shared them all.  She and I would have ‘beauty nights’ when we sat at the kitchen table with goop on our faces or polishing our nails.  She & my Mom had similar nights with my daughter as well.  We laughed hysterically, remembering my preteen daughter working and working to remove a dried facial mask saying “Granny, it’s hard to get it out of the cracks and crevices”.  That’s when my daughter learned about wrinkles!  Hilarious, candid life played out for all of us….  We remembered years & years of home cooked food, washed dishes and stray animals.  Such a menagerie–dogs, cats, snakes, squirrels, rabbits, birds, ferrets, fish,  hamsters, mice, gerbils, guinea pigs….. Everything landed on her corner for a while…

She passed on Wednesday evening-quietly, peacefully and surrounded by love.

Worth repeating–I LOVE the Graphics Fairy!

The Graphics Fairy

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Erica’s Running Journey

Erica’s Running Journey