On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This Path, This New Moon

Somehow I let three weeks sneak by me without posting. I have been busy.

My house is now on the market, for sale by owner. There has been lots of interest but no offers yet. I have done an insane amount of work to the home to make it more attractive to a potential buyer including removing 20 year old azaleas and putting in a new flower bed in their place.

I've updated my resume and applied for jobs.  I've had two interviews already.  Neither job is going to be the right fit but I have gleaned a lot of information from both interviews and now have a better idea of how to set my course for future submissions.  (that's my job tomorrow morning after coffee time)

We got a new black lab puppy and I'm so glad.  I agree, getting a new puppy when I'm planning a move is probably not the smartest choice but as little Hydrocarbon was quite literally, placed in my hands, i considered her as a gift and what was meant to be for our family.  We have missed Gracie very much the past three months.

I am enjoying fourth saturday fire night.  I have been doing this for quite a while but gave it an official name in January.  Everyone is welcome but sometimes it is just a handful of folks.  It doesn't matter.  Fire time is for whomever needs it.  I am having so much fun with the fire poi, getting more and more proficient.  Last night I wanted to practice to a few songs that felt very "poi-ish" to me.  Dulaman by Emerald Women is one such song.  I was able to do a jig while spinning the poi to the song when it began to rain.  The sun was still shining so there was a double rainbow in the sky that appeared while I danced and spun the poi.  Very moving and quite the new moon tribute if you ask me.  I'll take the promise, whatever it might be, thank you very much.

I returned to singing and playing the piano after many, many years.  I had sworn I would never do it again but two of my students hoodwinked me into playing for them for the talent show and one thing led to another so I ended up doing the intermission music as well.  It was nice to reincorporate that to my life.  I didn't realize how much I had missed it.

I am swiftly and happily reforging friendships with the wonderful friends and family I saw on my trip.  Everyone is so positive and is bolstering my faith and confidence in my plans to shake it up quite a bit and get the kids and I on a much better path in life.

Today I took my friend's German Exchange student on our annual spring beach trip.  We do this the last weekend in March or the first weekend in April every year.  I like to be there when the wind is still blustering, the water is chilly and the crowds are small.  We met up with the kids' birthmother, her husband and their two younger sisters.  It was another wonderful afternoon.  I'm a bit sunburned but I'll survive.

In all of this doing and rushing about, my mind is still tracing over old haunts, hurts and hopes.  As I walked the beach today I made certain to quiet my mind and focus on rest so I could be ready for the next two weeks of insanity.  I am hoping beyond hope to have a job offer and a buyer by the end of the month of April.  Sooner would be nice.  I've decided to buy some boxes and in faith, begin packing the nonessential things.  It will also declutter the house and make it more visually appealing when I show it to buyers.

There is much I want in this life.  This journey is so hard, long, and lonely.  It was never meant for just one soul to carry it all but I do.  I know that taking this path and being successful will be the confidence boost I need.  My friend told me Joshua 1:9 is the verse for me.  I'm claiming it even though I have to be honest and say religion and me are still at odds.

So scared.  So worried.  So lonely.  

I cry every day.  Truth.  I'm taking evening primrose and holy basil to help with my mood.  It is working better than the prozac I took for years.  Through my tears, I will keep marching.  I have already made plans in July to attend another friend's special event and even SING.  I knew if I made the plans it would bolster my hope and resolve that desires will come to pass.  Sometimes you just need to step out on that ledge and see what you see.  Right now, I feel like I'm standing on a glass bridge over the grand canyon.

skywalk over grandcanyon - stock google image

There is light, love and hope all around me.  I am not forgotten.  These things I know but whether I like it or not, this path is mine to walk alone.

Petty Dodds - my avy for the RPG I play. artwork is original

Shameless plugs - and PLEASE forward them!
house for sale
house for sale

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chipping Away

I have been slowly chipping away at my rotund self.  Since August I've lost 40 pounds.  Here's proof.

October 2013

November 2013

this morning

It's been fun watching myself melt. I've dropped two pants sizes and one shirt size.  I can't wear the clothes in the top two pictures anymore, they've gotten too big.  And the pants I'm wearing in today's photo were too small in October and now they are almost too big.  My goal is to get into a size 16.  If I can get down to a size 14 I will be over the moon giddy. 

My trip to PA was so nice.  I caught up with my friends and family.  I laughed until my sides hurt and cried until my head hurt.  I have so much love and light, every where I go and then I realized that I am love and light every where I go. What I've discovered is that there has always been an undercurrent of love and support, friendship and kindness in my life, throughout all of my trials.  An underpinning of hope and guidance that has buoyed me against the storms, the raging seas, the stiff current, the tides that swell and even the tsunamis.  As I have traversed the murky waters of my life,  there has always been a rock at the bottom of the creek bed that I can stand upon to get my head above water long enough to catch my breath.

I cried nearly the whole trip home.  I don't want to be here.  I don't want my children to be here.  I want hope and healing for my family.  I want my happily ever after: I want to finally be free from the hurt and the pain.  I want to live a life where I'm not struggling against the current every day, fighting for what is right.  I want to be loved with reckless abandon in the same way that I love.  

I have forbidden myself to dream because it hurts so much when my dreams and hopes are dashed time and again.  No more.  I will dream for ME.  I will dream that at the end of this journey, my children will have the resources they need, that I will have employment that sustains me, that I will be in the home of my heart, that a partner that knows my worth will come running to me and declare me as the most amazing woman he has ever met, embracing both me and my children with all of our messiness.  I will dream that I won't be alone, carrying this burden by myself for the rest of my days.  I will dream that justice will finally swing in my favor and I will be free.  I will dream that there will be more love and light, hope, happiness and healing down my life path than I could ever imagine.  I will dream of my happy ending because they can't take that from me.  Nope nope.  My dreams are mine.

We walked side by side toward the rolling hills that ascended into higher and higher rocky crags until the skyline was nearly hidden, the peaks touching the clouds.  We shared no words, our stride matching step for step.  A scream of pain escaped the hillside as though it came from every where.  Without speaking, we raced to the origin to help.

Higher and higher we ran until there before us we saw a battle among the broken and downtrodden and the rich landlords denying all of food, shelter and happiness.  Not wanting to be killed ourselves, we ducked under a rocky outcropping and watched the scene unfold.  Blood shed, screams of terror and weeping of anguish filled the scene until we could bear it no longer.  Still not saying a word to one another, as though we were of one mind, we dodged arrows and swords until we were safely on the camp of the defending, and swiftly losing, side.  Without hesitation or fear of impertinence, we walked directly toward the commander and addressed him.

"What needs to be done to save your people?" inquired my partner.

"We want only shelter and food.  They deny us everything." said the commander.

"What is their reasoning?" I questioned.

"They seek to destroy us.  That is all."  He replied dejectedly with a shrug.

With a turn of the head simultaneously, my partner and I caught sight of a buck dashing through the middle of the battle field.  He drew his bow and arrow, I reached for my sword and we were running in different directions to guide the buck toward the same rocky outcropping we had come from, knowing the buck would lose footing and stumble long enough to be seized.  As we darted through the chaos of the battle around us, slowly both sides stopped their fighting to watch us work in tandem to capture the buck.  Just as the animal came to the rocks, it lost its footing, stumbled and fell.  My partner launched an arrow straight for his neck and I descended from the other direction to finish it off with one fell of my sword.

Holding up the head of the buck by the antlers, he shouted to the hills, all now standing still in wonder, "This is for the people of this land!  Let them be free or we shall be upon your head as we have done to this creature!"  Then I took my sword and splayed it open, entrails spilling onto the grass as the people of the land whooped and hollered in victory.

As swiftly as we arrived, my partner and I left, returning to our outpost.  He left my side to speak with a lieutenant from another brigade.  He was certain she would give him the answers to his questions.  Though he knew and felt our abilities were strong as a team, he needed to be sure there wasn't a better outpost for his skills.  His questioning pained me but I said nothing.  I knew he had to see for himself.  I returned to squadron which was half way through morning drills.

The sound of singing as they marched filled my ears with gladness and hope.  I could not make my partner see what I saw and the truth was that we were on assignment only, to see if we were a strong team.  It had yet to be decided if our match would be officially recorded by the Commander.  I had to report my findings on our mission.  Walking directly to my Sergeant, she held a hand to me, signalling that I wait to address her until drills were over.  I stood beside the column of the balcony we stood on, watching the drills below and allowing the cadence singing of the troops wash over me.  

Their song was of colors, each person to his or her place in the spectrum.  All wore black, head to toe with the exception of one scarf around the neck or as an armband.  As drills finished, my squadron marched up the steps of the balcony, still singing the song of their colors as they marched past me toward the barracks.  When the song was done I looked at my Sergeant to report the details of my assignment with my partner.  She did not let me speak.  She handed me only a white scarf.  I received it with trepidation knowing the contents would seal the fate of who my partner would be and what my new role within the brigade would be. I opened the cloth to read my assignment.

You are a Mohammed to his blue eyes
I woke up from a dead sleep with a start.  The words echoing in my ears. I'm not sure what this dream means but I thought it was powerful enough to record. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Last January I bought a purple composition notebook (my favorite color) so I could write in it all of the miscellaneous things that I needed to know and do to make a plan for relocating.  I have it with me now, on my journey through Pennsylvania and I thought I would share with you my
 Permission Slip for Self
1.  I give myself permission to make life choices that will make me happy
2.  i give myself permission to think of my needs first
3.  i give myself permission to disappoint others when they don't like my decisions.
4.  I give myself permission to love myself
5.  I give myself permission to receive love from others.
6.  I give myself permission to ask for help\
7.  I give myself permission to accept help from others when they expect no return
8.  i give myself permission to eliminate chaos in my life by all legal means necessary
9.  i give myself permission to accept that happiness is not earned, it is accepted and taken
10.  I give myself permission to confess that I am an amazing woman
11.  I give myself permission to confess that I am an amazing mother
12.  i give myself permission to respect myself
13.  i give myself permission to not validate my choices
14.  I give myself permission to be in charge of my future and my present
15.  I give myself permission to enjoy the present without trying to write the end of my story
16.  I give myself permission to grieve my past provided I do not hurt myself or others and that I do not hinder my present
17.  I give myself permission to feel the loss of the last 39 years for as long as necessary
18.  I give myself permission to accept that because of my rocky foundation in life, I will always have weaknesses, loss and anxiety
19.  I give myself permission to overcome my weaknesses, losses and anxieties
20.  i give myself permission to share my life story unabashedly 

Yes I can, I am not alone, I am worth the effort, I am enough.

I still struggle with most of these. It is a daily effort to remind myself that all of these are fair, valid and permissible.  I still have to accept it.  Daily.  DAILY!  

How about you?  What permissions do YOU need to give yourself on your own journey?  

Talking to many friends both at home and here on my trip.  So much wisdom and insight and love and acceptance.  I am a blessed woman and I am learning that I am a blessing and a light for many in like kind.  As Cinch said, I'm awesome.  I can make friends every where I go.  

But where, exactly, do I go?  These are the new  permissions I need for today and my future:
21.  I give myself permission to make this journey in steps, to accept that there may not be one final resting place but rather some small jumps and hops toward my future.  
22.  I give permission to accept that I can not control others: not their choices, actions or words.
23.  I give myself permission to find the people whose spirits are like mine; to want to be near them and live my life with them
24.  I give myself permission to hope and dream and pray and wish.
25.  I give myself permission to make mistakes because they aren't intentional but rather causative as a result of being brave.
26.  I give myself permission to fail.
27.  I give myself permission to get up, dust of my butt and try again.
28.  I give myself permission keep knocking on doors until I know what is the right path for me and the children
29.  I give myself permission to consider ALL options no matter how odd.
30.  I give myself permission to trust myself.

poetry is original work of blog author.  All copyright laws apply.

The fire quietly breathes.
Flames flicker light on her face
Like dancing shadows of remembrances.
Staring into the heat of the pit
She ponders the mysteries.

Heat, source and air are all that is needed
To make the dragon come to life.
Three simple elements unite
To form the burning beast.
Oh how it burns!

One by one the elements wane
Until only air remains,
Whispering gently to the glowing coals.
Only Source is needed
To rekindle the sleeping dragon.

Be the Source.
Watch the fire grow once more.