January 31, 2010

Happy 101 Sweet Friends

Kathy, at Grace Was Calling And I Didn't Pick Up (Isn't that an awesome name for a blog?!) shared this lovely award with me and a few wonderful blogs that I follow.
Thank you, Kathy for thinking enough of my little hippie blog to include me in the gifting.

A couple days later, before I was able to put this post up, Roxy at Woman of Essence bestowed this same sweet award on my little blog. I am doubly blessed! Thank you so much, Roxy.

The rules are to link this award back to Annie and to Roxy, send it on to at least three other bloggers and list 10 things that make me happy.

So I am passing on the Happy 101 Award to some people I admire and have not already received the award. Jozien. Jinksy. D-Jan. Lisleman.

Ten things that make me happy (I will have trouble keeping it down to ten!):

1. My relationship with my hubby.
2. Listening to hubby's music and my iPod shuffle.
3. Liking myself and accepting me with all my warts.
4. The aroma of coffee brewing and the taste of good coffee.
5. Books to read and enjoy and learn from.
6. My taste buds.
7. My memory (when it works and when I can remember things).
8. All the things I am interested in doing and looking forward to trying.
9. Watching the critters play in the yard.
10. Meeting such awesome people online who blog and like meeting others too and accept
me just as I am.

January 29, 2010


I said: I don't want to do it.

He said: Come on, don't give me a hard time.

I said: I said no.

He said: You are going to do it.

I said: It's too hard for me.

He said: Get down there and do it.

I said: See, it's too big and I'm not used to doing it.

He said: Lay down on your back and you will do it.

I said: I pay you for this. I do not want to go through with it.

He said: You won't get your money back. You might as well do it.

That is pretty much the last conversation I had with my personal trainer during my last session. He wanted me to lay down on my back on a huge exercise ball and follow his instructions on the exercises and I kept falling off the exercise ball. I had to forfeit the money I paid up front for a certain number of sessions with the personal trainer, but at that point I was happy to give up the money. My legs were so sore I could hardly walk out the door with any dignity. I saw that personal trainer at the post office a few weeks later and pretended I didn't see him. That was five years ago and I am not going back to a gym. Nuh uh. I'd rather have a Klondike Bar.

This is my Klondike Bar commercial submission post for Badass Geek.

January 26, 2010

Homelessness Hit Home

As I think back as far as my teens, I can clearly remember thinking about homeless people. Not in a faraway detached way either. There was the one time when I was seventeen and faced with a situation that I needed to find a home but I was not homeless. I had just been declared an adult by the county court. They ran out of foster homes for me to live in and I needed a place to live. I wouldn't have been put out on the street so I don't know why homelessness even entered my mind at that time.

Throughout my life I have done things in my own quiet way that was within my means and my nerve to do personally. I would buy large quantities of sample products like shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, small wash cloth, cans that could be opened without a can opener of things like meats, fruit. I put some of each in a plastic shopping bag and drove to an area of town I didn't live in and would drive and see someone sitting on the sidewalk and pull over, get out, and hand them the bag and ask them if I could hug them. The hug was for me more than for them.

Recently I found this site for The Little Red Wagon Foundation, and I have been grinning ever since I read about this boy. He could be my little brother. Well, not technically, but you know what I mean. When I watched the little video of his sorting the items and putting the items into a bag to deliver to people, I loved it. I haven't done that in over six years now but there are things I can do and I will.

In September 2006 I wrote a post in this blog about homelessness. This subject has crept up here and there in my life for years. Little did I know I would experience homelessness up close and personal.

In early August 2008 it became necessary for me to flee the house I shared with hubby. He had not been taking the correct meds for his bipolar disorder. He thought he was and he did take them daily but when he headed into a manic episode, the seduction of the mania was too strong. After a couple months of living with a raving, raging stranger I fled. Of course, with most stories, there is much more to this. Maybe for another time. All I can say about that particular time in my life is it was the absolute saddest time I have ever had. Sad to watch someone I love killing himself and sad for my hopeless situation. The police found hubby and kindly and lovingly delivered him to a hospital ready to help him. The kind people at the police department found an opening at a homeless shelter and helped me get there. I lived at the shelter three and a half months. I didn't have to sleep on a sidewalk or under a cardboard box or even in relative luxury in a tent in a park. I was in a room with four women in bunk beds. There was a kitchen with food and we took turns making evening meals and helping with the children. There were bathrooms. We were assigned chores. Things ran smoothly. When I arrived I was on overload. It took a couple weeks for me to be able to talk or participate. Months later I was a different person. I was in therapy and getting help. I am sure I will write more another time on the experience and help I received. As I read other blogs and hear the courageous and kind acts people do for homeless people, I am associated in some way that wasn't there before my experience in 2008. And I am grateful for all of it.

January 24, 2010

Remember When

Would you fill it up please?

Sure Thing.

And check the air in the tires too please?

Be glad to. You want to pop the hood and I'll check the oil too.

Oh, thank you.

It's a quart low on the oil. Would you like me to put a quart in while you're here?

That would be great. And thanks for cleaning the window.

Ah, those were the days. They were called service stations then. They are called gas stations now. Self serve gas. Broken handled squeegee in dirty water to clean your own windows. I've learned to be self sufficient in more ways than filling the gas!

Periodically I will write a post about the good old days and continue the theme of Remember When.

January 22, 2010

This Dog Must Eat A Balanced Diet, Cuz He Is Balanced!

Green Eyed Momster had a link to a site that has this video on it. Since I don't have a pet, I was stunned at the various products available for pets today. My goodness.

The best part of the site though, is this video. I could watch this dog for hours. No, I don't have a dull life, I just like to see people and pets enjoy themselves. And this dog really likes his sports. Am I nuts, but don't you think that someone needs to start a fan club for this dog. He is more fun to watch than Tony Little!

January 20, 2010

Bosses Can Be In The Terrible Twos Too!!!!

An article in Psychology Today brought some memories of bosses I liked and some I didn't like at all.

One boss eventually got to be too much for me. She entered my office and was cussing and irritable, very little to do with me. I opened my drawer and took out my purse and without saying anything I started walking past her to the door. She turned and watched me walking and asked "Where are you going?" I answered "I won't work where someone talks like that to me. I quit".

Years later at a different job a boss basically told me to set someone up to get fired. She told me what she wanted me to do and to document it each time I was supposed to write up the employee. I refused to do it and found myself out of the good graces of my boss who was the manager of the firm. Oh well.

Ten years later I contacted that same company for a job to tide me over till I retired and management had changed there so I was optimistic about returning. The job I would be doing this time was not what I did previously. I would not be a supervisor, which was what I wanted. Not a lot of responsibility but just get paid to do my job. It turned out to be the worst experience with a boss of my entire working life. The boss was the cruelest, most dysfunctional of anyone I had been around. I had started attending meetings for codependency right before I started that job. I felt the need to increase the meetings to three a week to help get me through the destruction that went on in that place. My recovery was certainly being challenged each work day. I lasted a year and a half and then quit so we could move here.

The boss at my last job here in this town in Nebraska was the best boss ever. So when I retired a few months ago I said good bye to a wonderful person who encouraged the employees and was a natural leader. I miss her and I am thankful that my last work experience was with her.

January 18, 2010

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

She had just turned seventeen years old. She had been a ward of the court for five years and was now legally declared an adult. She was to move out of the current foster home and learn to take care of herself. Without a car, a job, or a roof over her head, she was unable to begin the self care phase.

Her mother was living 1000 miles away and sounded stable and calm the last time they spoke on the phone. With no other choices available, she called her mother and asked if she could try to live with her. If she moved in with her mother, she would finish the last semester of high school in the city near her mother's job. An agreement was reached and the mother drove south to pick up the newly declared adult woman and her few possessions.

She had no problem registering in school. She didn't need to take many classes for her final semester in order to graduate, so she spent time working in the school office when she wasn't in a class. This school was larger and the buildings were older and three stories compared to the newer single level sprawling southern school.

With ambivalent feelings, she familiarized herself with the class locations and mentally mapped a strategy for stops at the locker to exchange books and supplies.
Her third day of school she followed the now familiar trek from the top floor classroom to the crowded stairway. Down she trudged, holding tightly to the books and watching the faces of students ascending as they pushed and jostled each other. She didn't know anyone but she didn't feel lonely.

Then into her vision a boy made his way past her and their eyes met briefly. When she reached the last step she raised her head and looked up through the opening to the very top of the stairs. He had reached the top and turned to look down at the exact same moment. Two Mona Lisa smiles.

January 16, 2010


Stretch yourself to the limit. Mentally and physically.

January 13, 2010


One of the books I am reading is a novel called "Gone Tomorrow" by Lee Child.

There is a great line in chapter 43. "Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in his shoes. Then when you start criticizing him, you're a mile away and he's got to run after you in his socks."

I think that is a great way to remember to keep my mouth shut. It doesn't make me look any better if I have something rank to say about someone else. It may even make me look foolish. Or jealous. Or immature.

So I try very diligently to speak less and listen more.

January 10, 2010

The Known Universe

After hovering over Mount Everest and the gorges that plunge to the Ganges, you are pulled through the Earth’s atmosphere to glimpse the inky black of space over Tibet’s high desert. So begins The Known Universe, a new film produced by the American Museum of Natural History that is part of a new exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.

The structure of The Known Universe is based on precise, scientifically-accurate observations and research.

This is really awe inspiring. I have a huge interest in space and I love watching what I can see from my back yard looking up and envisioning beyond.

January 08, 2010

Stop The Car!

The little boy was big for his age. He was only three years old but most people thought he was older and expected things of him that an older boy would be doing. But he was content in his life, with his big sister and his mom and dad. He wasn't sure what it meant because his dad was already in the military when the boy was born, but he felt some sort of pride when he watched his dad in his Marine uniform.

The family was moving all the way across the country from California to Virginia. The road trip in the crowded car was a vacation for the little boy and his sister who had never been out of California and mostly living on a military base in family housing.
The boy and girl were introduced to many new things on the trip: People are served grits instead of potatoes in some states; the children at the park playgrounds in Texas spoke another language that the boy and girl couldn't understand. The parents informed them that the children were speaking English, they just had strong accents.

The first few days in Virginia provided many learning experiences. Most of the buildings were made of brick instead of the Spanish stucco they were all used to. The pedestrians didn't have the right of way crossing the street on the corners and the whole family was nearly wiped out at once as cars sped around them and honked. All the new sights and sounds were intimidating those early days.

Mom and Dad had heard about a place called Georgetown so the first place for the family to visit was there. The station wagon wasn't full of belongings now that the car was unpacked, so the little boy wanted to sit in the very back so he could see everything coming and going.

Suddenly the little boy shouted "Stop the car! Stop the car!" causing his dad to almost get in an accident as he tried to get the car over safely. When the car was stopped, the dad and mom turned around in their seats to look at the boy, who was jumping up and down with excitement. With huge eyes and an even bigger smile, the little boy proclaimed "I just saw Jesus riding down the street on a bicycle!!!"

Since the little boy had only lived on a military base with all personnel wearing very short hair, he had never seen a man with a beard wearing long hair. Turns out that in Georgetown there were men with long hair and beards, and bike riding was easier and cheaper for college students and professors to dodge the traffic and get to appointments and classes.

This is a true story. The little boy is my son. He is married and lives in Hawaii with his wife. Today is his birthday. He is a kind, gentle man and I hope he has a special birthday. He has brought so much goodness and acceptance into my life and taught me many things. I love you, son. Happy Birthday.

January 06, 2010


I am learning the importance of keeping things in perspective. When I hear something, I take time to think about it before I make a decision on how I feel about it. I don't jump to conclusions. One of the most interesting eye openers for me during my therapy was that I didn't always see things correctly or understand something as it really was. Part of that was due to the fact that all my life I was disassociated. I would get a glimpse of something that I couldn't understand and I would get a hint of a feeling but I wouldn't understand that either, but for a brief moment every once in awhile things would feel in sync, feel right, feel okay. But it didn't last and I was unable to hold on to it. Whatever IT was. And the funny thing is that I always thought that good sync thing was due to circumstances outside of me. I did not realize at all that it was within my power to be in that good place when I choose as often as I choose for as long as I choose.

Learning to hear things and see things with clarity was a challenge at first. With tools and coaching I have found a way to be in acceptance and harmony that is not only healthy for me mentally but physically too. The frustration level is practically nonexistent now.

The reason I share things like this is another gauge of my new trust in others. Learning to keep things in perspective is a giant step for me in my recovery, and the old me would not have even talked to anyone about it. But I am comfortable speaking openly about some of my self discoveries and new found joy in life, and that's a very good thing.

January 04, 2010

It Is Already Starting To Bruise

Remember, don't eat anything after midnight. Don't do like you usually do in the morning and walk into the kitchen with eyes half open and reach for a coffee cup. The aroma of coffee brewing will be such a temptation. But do not drink coffee in the morning.

Take a shower early and put on plenty of layers of warm clothes. Trudge out to the garage and push the button for the garage opener. Keep trying. Huh. Maybe minus nine degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for the automatic garage opener. Unplug the automatic doothingy, and pull up the huge heavy garage door. OOF. Heavy SOB isn't it. Two car garage isn't so much fun when the garage door has to be manually opened, huh. At least it didn't snow more during the night so the shoveling yesterday doesn't have to be repeated.

Icy slippery roads but at least the destination is only a few miles. Piles of snow at each corner, hard to see around the huge piles, can't tell if a car is coming. Pull out carefully at each corner. Whew. Made it to the big parking lot.

Walk inside, let them know I am there. They escort me to the back area. Nice lady puts that huge rubber band thing around my arm. Pump. OUCH. Do you have to take that much blood??

Whew. It is all over till next time. Hubby said he didn't know that having blood drawn at the clinic was a nerve wracking white knuckle experience for me. Hah. He will remember for next time. Guess I told him!! I need coffee.

January 02, 2010

Music For My Ears

Anytime I hear (pun intended) that music is helping someone, I applaud. Music has been my saving grace from childhood traumas, through troubled teenage years in foster homes and devastating adult relationships. Yes, I would say that music is important to me.

This article in Scientific American brings hope to people suffering the effects of tinnitus.

"Loud, persistent ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus, can be vexing for its millions of sufferers. This perceived noise can be symptomatic of many different ills—from earwax to aging—but the most common cause is from noise-induced hearing loss, such as extended exposure to construction or loud music.

Many people with tinnitus might soon be able to find refuge in the very indulgence that often started the ringing in the first place: music. A new music-based therapy has shown promise in helping reduce the ringing's volume. Tinnitus loudness can be significantly diminished by an enjoyable, low-cost, custom-tailored notched music treatment.

The therapy might also get a boost from the simple pleasure of listening to good music. Joyful listening to music activates the reward system of the brain and leads to release of dopamine, which plays an important role in cortical reorganization.

This article in BBC News has supporting information.

Win-Win!! Music therapy. My kind of music.

January 01, 2010


I, TechnoBabe, being of medium sound mind, hereby resolve on this the first day of January 2010, to be the best human being I can possibly be for as long as I have a breath in my ol' lady body.