Friday, July 25, 2014

WHEN SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS

This photo was taken in Jackman, Maine during the summer of 2007.  I spent two years in the early 1970's in a drug rehab located in Jackman that was more like a concentration camp at times than it was like a drug rehab.  This quote describes exactly how I feel about that whole experience.  Just for the record, my choice was to let it strengthen me.
 
 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

PLEASE GIVE ME CHOCOLATES AND ROSES

Every time I go stumbling around the blogosphere I always come home scratching my head.  I guess that's better than coming home black and blue, toothless or pregnant!  Today, I discovered the 7 Deadly Sins To Ensure People Won't Follow Your Blog.  After leaving a brief comment for Carol Graham, blog author of Battered Hope,  I immediately came rushing home to Mildred Ratched's Deja Moo to see how guilty I am of these 7 deadly sins.  According to Carol, the following are 7 common blogging mistakes many of us make:
 
Sin #7  -- Make sure your blog is very busy.  Put as many 'cool' things on your side bar as you can fit.  Put all your awards and badges there as well.  Lots of ads work too.  The busier it is, the less people will see the 'meat' of your post.
[My meat is always easy to spot and as for cool stuff like badges...everyone must hate me because no one has ever sent me a badge. Maybe I need a booby prize badge for my blog! Personally, I'd rather have chocolates and roses from all my admirers, well wishers and readers.]

Sin #6 -- Don't put your name anywhere on the blog.  Make people search for it.  Sometimes, I will go to Facebook or Twitter or an About Me page and still not find an actual NAME.
[I've been called many names in my life, but the one my mother bestowed upon me is Karen (no middle name really and truly and I actually wrote a blog post about it) Goggins.  Mildred Ratched is the horrible nurse from One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.  Mildred and the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz are my all-time favorite villians.] 

Sin #5 -- Use small fonts.  This will help eliminate anyone past the age of accountability to read it without having to squint.
[I'd only use small fonts if I was whispering behind someone's back or writing out a contract to sell someone shares in my blog.  Does anyone want to buy a few?  I can make you a deal you can't refuse!]

Sin #4 -- Center your entire blog post.  This makes it almost impossible
 to read consistently.  Your eyes are always trying to find where the next line begins and the last one ended.
[I never tried this one, but it sounds like a great way to annoy people or to keep them confused.]

Sin #3 -- Use stark white lettering on black (or any very dark) background.  This may look great but very difficult to read without getting a headache.
[I've done this in the past, but it gave me a headache so I switched to a white background. Call me a conformist!]

Sin #2 -- Make your paragraphs as long as possible.  Or write a multitude of paragraphs without any captions or photos to break up a long post.
[Okay, I know I get a little long-winded at times, but I do post cute pictures amongst my ramblings, don't I?]

And the best for last .................

Sin #1 -- Don't respond to comments left.  Ignore the people that actually took the time to read your post and comment on it. 
[oh uh! I guess I need to be more attentive!  No really, I think I do interact with my readers, but I'm guilty of not visiting other people's blogs as much as I'd like.  Time seems to be the culprit that gets in my way.]
 
So after close scrutiny, I think I should get maybe a C+ or a B- for an overall grade based on these 7 deadly sins and I promise to strive to do better in the future.  I'll aim for that elusive "A" and all of you can let me know when I get there, okay?  And I promise to keep my Maine sarcasm from oozing out all over your computer screen in the future!  I know how messy it is and how hard it is to wipe clean.  All joking aside, our blogs are a reflection of who we are.  Yes, we have complete control over their content, but I think most serious bloggers/writers/authors are mindful of the first impression they give their readers and potential readers.  After all, isn't it the goal of any writer to have other people read what they write?  That is, unless your name is Mildred and then your goal is seeking out people to send you chocolates and roses!

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILDRED

This week's Words For Wednesday are: calamitous, fraction, spanx, glittering, ambitious, indispensable or 'a glitch in time saved mine'.

I usually write a poem using the words from Words For Wednesday, but this week I decided to write a short story using them instead.  When I saw that one of the words was "Spanx", it immediately brought an incident to mind that happened about six years ago.

My daughter and I used an upcoming wedding as an excuse to go on a mini shopping spree. I decided to let vanity guide me all the way on our rather ambitious endeavor. Usually shopping holds no appeal for me, but on this occasion I unleashed all my almost nonexistent girly girl tendencies. After trying on many dresses, I selected the hot pink pleated one. I liked the way it looked on me because it disguised all the usual flaws that happen as a woman gets older, but accented all my remaining physical virtues. Plus I was up for exploring new territory. Short and sassy was the way to go for this old bird, but something was missing! Oprah always claimed that each woman’s wardrobe needed one indispensable item. She emphatically stated, “ALL women need Spanx!” Who was I to dispute Oprah’s claim? So I decided to give Spanx a whirl.

Trying on Spanx was funniest thing I had experienced in ages. I tugged and pulled and finally after much laughter and a few bad words I had it on. Wow! As promised it flattened what needed to be flattened, smoothed everything else out and had the extra bonus of pushing up my breasts and making them look young and vivacious. I was amused at how easily they came off after the difficulty I had putting them on. I felt like a banana as I literally peeled the Spanx off. Next up on the list of things to do was to purchase shoes and accessories. I normally don’t wear heels because I’m tall, but I decided to go all the way this time and forego flats by purchasing the pair of glittering silver heels that made my legs look so good that even a super model would envy them. Yes, I broke the bank, but I was ready to dazzle all my old friends and shake my tail feathers on the dance floor.

After the ceremony, most everyone took a short walk to where the reception was held. Only a small fraction of the guests drove their cars two blocks to Seville Square. Upon arriving at the reception, I slipped my shoes off and opted to commit a usual Karen cardinal sin by going barefoot. I did, however, put my shoes back on when a group of us visited the restroom a little while later. I thought, “Here we go again” as I struggled with unhooking the hooks of the Spanx so the lady in pink could go tinkle. I carefully rehooked the hooks and sashayed my way back into the reception. By that time, toasts were being made so a lot of standing up and sitting back down was going on. About the third time I had to stand and raise my glass, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A young man leaned in close to me and quickly whispered, “Ma’am, you need to fix the back of your dress.”

As I nonchalantly ran my hand down the back of my dress trying to find what the young gentleman was talking about, I discovered that my Spanx had gotten caught on my dress causing the whole right side of my derriere to be exposed. OMG! Thank goodness my backside remained covered by my Spanx, but I could only imagine how many pictures of me standing there clueless had been taken and posted to Facebook for all to see. Kodak moments like that don’t happen often. I chuckled and acknowledged to myself that this was just another in many uniquely “Mildred” moments. I know had the look of a defeated beauty queen as my calamitous fashion faux pas was revealed and finally resolved. Once again I pulled and tugged at those damn Spanx and finally without too much damage, my dress came loose. And as my friends and family all chimed in and reveled in utter joy, each one thanked me for making the occasion a truly unforgettable one. Yes, Mildred may clean up well, but somehow the true Mildred always comes out no matter how hard I try to stifle her.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT HERMITS BUT NEVER ASKED

As defined in the dictionary, a hermit is a person who has withdrawn from society and lives a solitary existence often times for religious reasons (Mildredism).  The primary residence of a hermit is called a 'hermitage'.  I lovingly call my hermitage "the cave".  Several 'hermitages' in close proximity make up what I call a 'hermitdome' which most people might consider to be an enigma or a paradox since hermits like solitude above all else. Urban and suburban hermits may live in solitude together, but the rare rural hermit is revered by all hermits for he/she lives in true solitude! Regardless of where a hermit dwells, clustering too closely together is clearly avoided...or at least hermits claim they don't cluster unless it's mating season.  Then you need to batten down your hatches and put up the NO VACANCY sign. Trust me, there's nothing more menacing than a hungry hoard of horny hermits (now that's a tongue twister in more ways than one.) Say it 5 times quickly without smiling and you get a prize! 

A collection of 'hermitdomes' comprise the 'hermitsphere' or better described as the solitary cosmic universe in which a hermit spiritually resides.  The atmosphere inside an individual 'hermitage' is called the 'hermitude'.  A 'hermitude' is a true depiction of who the hermit is and reflects the hermit's general attitude...and altitude at all times.  It can be dark, and dank inside and or it can be sunny and inviting or it can fluctuate between the two depending upon the ever-changing mood of the hermit. A 'hermitage' can be as simple or complex as a hermit wants it to be.  Usually it's structured to fit the specific needs of the hermit that dwells inside so that outside contact can be kept as minimal as possible...except during mating season and then anything goes!  

Does anyone care to interpret the dream I had last night? I spent last night dreaming about a rather large crack I have in my hermitage that was letting the sunshine inside.  What a revolting development that was! I sat in my cave pondering the best way to repair the crack and then I noticed it!  A huge FOR SALE sign was hanging by my front door.  I sprung to my feet and quickly started trying to remove the sign, but the harder I pulled the more securely it stayed hung.  I looked around and thought, "These deep red bedroom walls have to go!  It's time for a change!"  Yes, indeed it's time for a change!  Any suggestions?  Maybe purple instead? Perhaps I should wait for mating season and get a big, burly hermit to fix my crack. Oh no!  I didn't just write that.  What's wrong with me? Could it be that I'm one of those hungry, horny hermits, too?  Okay folks, it's time to batten down your hatches and stay away from Mildred until she stops drooling.  I'll wave a white flag when it's safe to come out of hiding...

To all my fellow hermits and kindred spirits alike, in the words of Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep...

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE ANATOMY OF A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP

It’s a well known fact that Mildred is a glutton for punishment and a wee bit on the impulsive side, but for many years now (nine to be exact) she’s been in time out.  In those nine years she’s done a lot of soul searching and has carefully examined all the bad choices she’s made in the past especially where love and men are concerned.  Her last relationship was literally the straw that broke the camel’s back and sent her into the cozy hermitage in which she lives.  Although it was a long distance relationship, it had many more factors going against it than just the distance factor. Those factors she overlooked until they shook her entire whole world.

Mildred is now on the threshold of embarking on another cruise upon the Love Boat, but this time she feels more equipped to handle the rough seas when she encounters them.  The relationship she is forming is with someone she knew as a teenager.  In fact, he’s the first male she ever kissed, but they didn’t have a relationship with each other until now. Due to the past, she occasionally has a knee jerk reaction.  Maybe if she discusses long distance relationships in general, it’ll help her put and keep things in proper perspective where Mr. Right (MR) is concerned and it’ll help her not judge him by what someone else has done to her in the past.  The following are things Mildred has learned about long distance relationships and relationships in general during her illustrious relationship history:

1.       A person needs to listen to their instincts and do only the things they feel comfortable with doing.

2.      Someone who truly cares about you won’t bully you or manipulate you into doing anything that goes against who you or what you believe in.

3.      Being honest, no matter how hard it is will save a person a lot of frustration and grief in the long run.

4.      If boundaries are set and expectations are discussed in the beginning, no one will be able to say "I didn't know you felt that way" or "I didn't know that's what you wanted."

5.      Telephones and computers make communication easy and convenient, but should never replace communicating face to face.

6.      Rational people don’t pick up and move far away leaving their family and friends behind for a new love interest unless the potential for a real future together is a  possibility.

7.       While it may be appealing, venturing into the unknown is always scary thing for anyone. Being patient is crucial while developing and sustaining a new relationship.

8.      Maintaining a long distance relationship can easily cause a financial hardship. 

9.      Both people having the long distance relationship should travel and spend time with the other person. Being on someone else’s turf can be a very revealing thing about the other person. It's rather hard to get a realistic picture of who your new love interest is if you never see the person in the surroundings they call home.

10.   Any successful relationship has to be built on trust and a long distance relationship will test that trust like no other. 

11.    If being distrustful and skeptical is in your nature, a long distance relationship will be a source of constant upheaval for both parties.

12.   Long distance relationships are probably one of the hardest, but not impossible types of relationships to maintain successfully.   

With all that said, I do think two people who are meant to be together will work out the details, so they can have a meaningful, committed relationship. I also believe that in any relationship there has to be sacrifices at times and going that extra mile for the other person is just part of it.  In a long distance relationship it may mean going that extra several hundred miles and sometimes even thousands of miles.  If you're willing to gamble and it feels right, then you definitely need to go for it!  Don't always take the safe road in life...take a chance, but take that chance without being clueless.  Don't walk into the dark without a flashlight to see your way.  If it's meant to be that other person will hold your hand through the darkness and help show you the light at the end of the tunnel. If it's meant to be, you'll never feel alone, even when you are and you won't feel as if the relationship is all one-sided.  A good relationship is always two-sided and always a work in progress. 

OMG!  That funny feeling Mildred keeps having isn't heartburn, but what can it be?  She just took a long, deep breath and then exhaled... I think this might be the beginning of something interesting, so stay tuned to see what develops!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

PET PEEVES #3 - NO SOLICITORS

I not only support, but I also respect a person's right to worship in any manner that best suits that person. This also includes a person's right to exclude themselves from religious worship altogether and perhaps walk a road a little less travelled by claiming they don't believe in God at all.  The older I get the more I realize many people don't have the capacity to live and let live. They seem to want or need everyone to be the same cookie cutter image of themselves.  Any variant is feared, hated, ridiculed, judged and then condemned.  Where religion is concerned I see less tolerance in differences than in any other aspect of life....even politics.  

So many people try to ram their religious beliefs down other people's throats and act as if they have a direct pipeline to God.  How they interpret His Word is 100% correct and only like-minded people know the way to live righteously and will receive true salvation or so they think.  I may be wrong...I've been that way a time or two in my life, but  somehow I see a direct correlation between those people who cry loudest about being be Christians and those who judge other people the loudest and most adamantly.  I may not be up on many Bible verses, but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't judgment saved only for God Himself?  With that being said, my pet peeve isn't about what these religious lunatics believe, but about how they act because of their beliefs.  When I hang a sign on my front door saying NO SOLICITORS  that includes selling religion door to door.  I'm sorry, but I hung that sign for a reason so when you knock on my door anyway does that mean you don't have a true grasp of the English language?  Should a I hang a dictionary next to the sign? Or are you just that arrogant as to think you know what I want more than I do? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN

Communication breakdown, it's always the same
Havin' a nervous breakdown, drive me insane...


Hey wait!  That's the lyrics of a Led Zeppelin song and not what I intended to write here.  Oops! I'm sorry for clearly leading you down a road paved with good intentions and although I'd like to say it won't happen again, we all know Mildred does get side-tracked from time to time.  What I really had on my mind is discussing a communication faux pas we all are guilty of committing.   I know you're all thinking, "What about PET PEEVES #3? Does Mildred only have 2 pet peeves?"  The answer to that is...stayed tuned for the next PET PEEVES installment coming real soon!

It's a well known fact that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but in today's world the communication breakdown goes much deeper than just between the sexes.  It's virtually everywhere! Most people are frequently caught up in the intention vs. consequences battle of the wits and are clueless when it comes to how to approach the recipient of their failed good intentions.  In an article written by Peter Bregman from Harvard Business Review he claims that intention vs. consequences is the root cause of so much interpersonal discord and I have to agree with him. 

Mr. Bregman states that "it's not the thought that counts or even the action that counts.  That's because the other person doesn't experience your thought or your action.  He or she experiences the consequences of your action."

Mr. Bregman goes on to explain that when you've done something that upsets someone-no matter who's right-always start the conversation by acknowledging how your actions affected the other person. Save the discussion about intentions for later.  Much later.  Maybe never.  Because in the end your intentions don't matter much.  He also points out that it doesn't matter if you feel the other person is justified in feeling the way he or she does. What a person should be striving for is understanding and not agreement.  Once understanding of the consequences is expressed, the need to justify intentions dissipates. 

What comes to mind after I read the article is something a sagely person told me many times in my misspent youth.  Each time I got defensive and tried to adamantly justify my (good) intentions, he would tell me "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions."  It took me many years to realize truer words were never spoken.  What I know now is paving any road with good intentions is never worth the effort.  What matters most isn't what you intended because let's face it life has a sneaky way of screwing up even the best laid plans.  In the long run what matters most is your ability to accept responsibility for your actions.  In doing that it somehow helps history from continually repeating itself. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

PET PEEVES #2 - CALL THE FASHION POLICE

I support anyone expressing who they are through fashion. Some people aren't afraid to make a fashion statement and develop a keen fashion sense that's bold and unique.  Those people aren't a cookie cutter version of the next person in a crowd.  Those are the people who truly get a tip of my hat and a standing ovation as well. 

But sometimes people carry their right to wear whatever they want to a little too far. It nauseates me when anyone exhibits absolutely no taste or self respect by dressing like they have no brain cells or eyesight.  For example, when I see a woman wearing short shorts with the cheeks of her derrière hanging out and her love handles flapping to the wind for everyone to see, it makes me want to ask her if she owns a mirror.  Any size woman can look good by wearing clothes that flatter her figure, but ladies, COVER THAT STUFF UP!  It's not sexy!  It's not cool!  And it certainly doesn't look good!  Just because you have it doesn't mean you have to flaunt it.  No one wants to see your fat ass except maybe your boyfriend or your husband (or both)!  And if you're a friend or family member of someone who dresses that way, do them a HUGE favor and tell them they look horrible.  Here's a golden opportunity to be honest and to do the rest of the world a huge favor as well.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

PET PEEVES #1 - ON THE ROAD

Even the most liberal, easy going, peace loving person has pet peeves. Unlike some people who exhibit road rage or go postal by shooting up a place killing a bunch of innocent people, my petty pet peeves aren't fuel for much more than a series of blog posts or a real life bitch session with my friends.  Yes, for the most part I'm an easy going, live and let live type of person.  I do, however, have a few pet peeves that not only ruffle my feathers at times, but sometimes have me scrambling for heartburn medicine and a muscle relaxer as well. 

I'll kick this series off by saying my sources of discontent aren't listed in any particular order.  I'll just write about them as they pop into my otherwise "kumbaya" mellow existence.  Although my most recent trip to North Carolina was enjoyable in so many ways, it also was a refresher course for several of my pet peeves.  While they're still fresh in my mind let me kick this series off with ranting about my drive from Florida to North Carolina and back again.

Like most people who are driving a long distance, I take the fastest route by traveling on the Interstates between point A and point B.  I have to admit I don't adhere to the speed limit and perhaps I could be categorized as having a lead foot at times, but I mainly drive about as fast as the flow of traffic...give or take 10 or 15 miles per hour. What makes me crazy is getting behind someone who can barely see over their steering wheel and who drives 30 miles per hour slower than everyone else on the Interstate.  Why are these people even on the Interstate and not on some secondary road if what they want to do is sight see?  If you drive like you have nowhere to go and have trouble putting pressure on the gas pedal, then I think your ass belongs on a bicycle or dog sled and not driving a car that's holding up holiday traffic.  My mother always gets a kick out of me ranting about F.O.P.'s and kindly reminds me that I'll be one myself someday. I'm sure she's right...she usually is!

My second "on the road" pet peeve is the availability and cleanliness of rest stops.  Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina have ample rest stops, but Georgia doesn't think people should have to urinate or stretch their legs in their state without getting off the Interstate and buying gas or food.  The rule of thumb where rest stops are concerned seems to be that the further North you travel the filthier the rest stops become.  Some states (Connecticut is the guiltiest, by far) should bulldoze their rest stops completely and replace them with a porta-potty and a spigot to wash your hands.  

Call me old fashion, but I think anyone who texts while driving is not only crazy, but is unsafe to be behind the wheel of a car.  I used to think the same thing about women who applied their make-up while driving, but I was accused of being jealous because I could never master that skill.  People have become so plugged into their electronic devices that they've forgotten how and when to act sensibly or how to be courteous when in the company of other people.  Is any text message really that important that it's worth putting people's lives at risk? Say what you will, but I think anyone driving should be focused on the road and not be playing Russian Roulette with their vehicle.  Driving is a privilege, not a right and maybe if the laws were changed to revoke a person's license if they're busted for texting while driving then more people might think before they reached for their cell phone.   LOL or :) really can wait for an more appropriate time. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

LOVE'S CURSE

I'm back from North Carolina and ready to roll with this week's Words For Wednesday.  This weeks prompts are:

insinuate
method
reverse
pleasantries
donkey
darker
OR
the phrase, 'darkening shadows, deadly intentions' can be used.
 
 
Call me a donkey!
No, call me an ass!
Call me quite clueless
I’m a hard-headed lass.

You’ve smiled falsely
It’s love in reverse
Your method is madness
Your love is a curse.

As time has grown darker
My loves has grown thin
Insinuate that the future
Will never begin.

Our pleasantries fall victim
Like leaves on a tree
In winter it’s barren
Lifeless and free.

The darkening shadows
Fall heavy below
Deadly intentions
Is something we know.

Love has departed
We lie crippled alone
We lie in life’s harvest
It’s what we call home.

Friday, June 27, 2014

TIME OUT IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS

I'm off to North Carolina for a week to check in on my favorite auntie.  Be back next weekend with new tales to tell. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

ODE TO SEETHING SAINTS AND SINGING SINNERS

Delores from Under The Porch Light  threw everyone for a loop with Words For Wednesday this week.  Instead of the usual format which includes using a list of words or a phrase or both if you're a glutton for punishment, she omitted the list of words and gave the participants three phrases to get their creative juices flowing.  After participating  for several weeks, I finally get it.  It really isn't about what a person posts or the amount of talent they exude.  It's all about the camaraderie.  Those of you who follow Mildred and read excerpts from her rather twisted life, know that flowery poetry isn't really Mildred's thing.  Well folks!  Guess what?  Mildred likes flowery poetry, just like she likes painting.  She may not be Robert Frost or van Gogh, but I think creativity isn't so much about the finished product as it is about the journey/process.  It's more about letting out what's buried deep inside.  If that surfaces in a cute poem or a landscape then I say, "let it flow...let those juices seep out and carry you to where you're supposed to go!"

If you'd like to participate, hop over to her Delores' blog and check it out!  You just might surprise yourself as much as I've surprised myself.  Plus the group is a comprised of people from all walks of life.  They are so creatively diverse and supportive of what everyone posts.  What a wonderful gift Delores created by bringing together people to share their worlds via written words.  Thank you  so much, Delores!

The prompt I used this week was the phrase, "giggles and fairy wings".  

Not only did I use this phrase in the poem I composed, but if you notice the first letter of the first word in each line also spells g-i-g-g-l-e-s-a-n-d-f-a-i-r-y-w-i-n-g-s.

Giggles and fairy wings
imagination sweetly sings
giggles and fairy wings
golden clouds and jeweled rings.

Lovestruck moments, lovestruck eyes
End with passion, end with strive
singing love songs so contrive
a kingdom withers, a kingdom thrives.

No iron maiden from above
dancing cherubs bring us love
floating lightly hand in glove
angels soaring like a dove.

Inscription reading, wordless gain
ride the lightning like a train
young at heart will remain
with each other no disdain.

Instant karma, instant winner
No food for love or for dinner
Gain in love or grow much thinner
Seething saints and singing sinners.
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BANG! BANG! SHOOT! SHOOT!

WARNING:  WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE IRRATIONAL BRAIN OF A BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL! 

It's been ages since I've written a blog post regarding religion or politics.  I've purposely done that because those issues tend to ruffle too many feathers and quite frankly, I haven't felt like reading a lot of other people's bitching and moaning lately.  What a selfish wench I am!  Although we all like to believe we're 100% correct regarding our political ideology and spiritual beliefs, I'm intelligent enough to know that rarely is one side completely right about anything. The exception to that rule is the dogma surrounding Mildredism. Mildred, after all, is right about everything! 

Today is the day I'm going to break my dry spell and jump back into the insanity of public opinion.  One issue I'd like to weigh in on is the increased gun violence in the United States. Without stepping on anyone's toes or Second Amendment rights, I really believe something concrete needs to be done to curb the violence.  Too many innocent people are being slaughtered daily.  I listen closely to all the rhetoric surrounding this hotbed issue, but all I really hear appears to be are confirmations of an irrational need to be heavily armed and a quite twisted relationship between weapons and their owners.  Instead of people focusing on a very real problem and having a rational discussion about it so a consensus can be reached, all I hear are people wailing about their guns being taken away from them.  To that I say BOO FUCKING HOO!

Perhaps when the Constitution was first written a need to be armed was a truly legitimate need, but it's an entirely different world now than it was then.  At that time people had to hunt to provide food to feed their families.  Veganism wasn't the going rage back then. People were meat and potato connoisseurs not bean sprout and tofu gurus.  Back then guns were a person's only defense in the savage environment they were settling. Today fewer people hunt to feed their families and those who do hunt, do it more for sport than for dietary need.  Those who chose to hunt and it is a choice because meat is readily available for sale at any store near where they live certainly can do so without doing it with a semi-automatic firearm.  Wouldn't hunting be more like hunting if it were done with bows instead of guns?   Just a thought! 

Having a fully equipped arsenal of weapons seems a little bizarre to me and just a wee bit on the paranoid side.  Maybe I feel this way because I've never felt a need to own a gun.  As many times as I have attempted to discuss this issue no one has ever adequately explained to me any rational reasons why people have a need for weapons in this day and age.  What I generally get are loud tirades that come off sounding more like something an emotionally unstable person might rant. And oh boy, that's the kind of person I want armed and ready for anything! Today's savage environment doesn't include marauding bands of Native Americans or outlaws who rape, plunder and pillage.  The savage situations of today are school shootings and crimes of passion.  Could the answer be as simple as taking all weapons away except those used by law enforcement and the military? Perhaps if that was done, the violence might vanish.  Just a thought! 

So what's it going to take to turn the violence around?  Any thoughts on the subject? Other industrialized countries don't seem have the amount of gun violence we have here.  Are we not doing something right?  What's their formula for a relatively peaceful co-existence? Are we just a nation of spoiled children who want what we want when we want it regardless of the consequences of our actions?  Have people become incapable of compromise? Has our gun violence gotten so out of hand that it can't be fixed and why does the NRA seem to wield so much power?   Who made them Grand Poobah of Gunslingers?  These are just some of the questions floating around in my bleeding heart liberal brain. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MATTERS OF THE HEART

Often times little girls are misdirected into believing love is supposed to be some once upon a time fairytale just waiting to happen.  They read about love, dream about love and expect love to happen just as it's written. So what happens when those little girls get disillusioned and suffer from a broken heart? Some of them learn how to cope with real life while others become maniacal bitches who nag, manipulate and feel like they have to beg a man for his attention. They become willing to do anything just to be loved.  Yes, sometimes their lives become a scene right out of the movie, Fatal Attraction and when confronted with reality, they get insulted that anyone might think our behavior is erratic, illogical and just down right mean at times. A snake has more warmth than a spurned woman and its bite is a lot less venomous. Doesn't the old saying go something like, "hell has no fury like a woman's scorn?"

What happened the first time you had mind-blowing sex with someone and they never called again? Hopefully, everyone is saying to themselves, "I don't have an answer to that question because I've never had a one night stand."  Hopefully, each one of you has had mind-blowing sex followed by years of unadulterated bliss with the same person or you haven't suffered the slings and arrows of unrequited love.  Unfortunately, for some of us that doesn't happen.  Unfortunately, some of us have mind blowing sex and if anything follows at best, it might be a mind-blowing abusive relationship. Yep! Some of us allow ourselves to believe that we can conquer or fix anything and everything and each time we allow ourselves to remain oblivious to the writing on the wall, we get repeatedly hurt  Being blinded by false love only gives the green light for more abuse to occur.  Sure, we're afraid to walk away because we have a fear of the unknown.  Because of that fear we allow our self-worth to be so badly beaten down that sometimes it becomes non-existent.  For the lucky ones when enough abuse occurs, our survival instinct finally kicks in and we get the hell out of Dodge quickly with our suitcase in hand! But a crucial lesson we all have to learn is not to piss and moan continually about the Neanderthal we live with unless we're ready to stand up and do something about our situation.  Until we have the strength to help ourselves, we really can't expect people to support our decisions and to give us the empathy we need. 

Yep, I've been through it myself...looked down the barrel of a loaded gun more than once. Been tied up for a sessions of sexual fun and games only to end up having my breast used as an ashtray. The scar makes me shake my head and wonder what I was thinking then...obviously I wasn't thinking and didn't have much self-respect or self-worth.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly with the expectation of a different result. Well, quite a long time ago I decided to get off that roller coaster ride and walk on flat ground again.  It was then I decided that the insanity I was living really wasn't appealing and I deserved a better life even if that better life meant being alone and as I always say being alone is a much better place to be than being with the wrong person.  Finding the courage to admit that and then actually removing myself from the game long enough for me to reevaluate my priorities and needs wasn't easy to do, but I did it because I knew I was long overdue for a change.  The insanity, the drama, the turmoil and the negativity had to stop!  Now, after 9 long years of being out of the relationship/dating game, I'm slowly getting to know someone again that I knew when I was a young girl before all the madness began.  Time will tell what happens, but until then at least now I know what I do and don't want and need and I have the courage to walk away if I see any red flags.  The hardest thing for me right now isn't telling myself that I'm worthy of getting to know.  It's believing it!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

MY TOP 25 LIGHTBULB MOMENTS

When I started blogging again in 2010 after a rather long absence from it, I did it to fulfill a therapy requirement given to me by my "yoyo inspector" (a term of endearment I had given my therapist).  One of the tools of therapy she wanted me to implement was to explore my inner self by keeping a daily journal.  The topic of each entry could be of my own choosing, but each entry had to end with a gratitude statement.  At times, I had to dig deep to find something that could be seen as gratitude on my part, but in doing so, I found an ingenious way to take negativity and gift wrap it with a big colorful bow.   Suddenly even the most negative aspects of my life had a glimmer of light cast upon them. 

We all have moments when things just seem to click and suddenly make sense.  Here are a few things Mildred has learned about her relationship with herself, friends, family and lovers as she has stumbled down a rather bumpy garden path:

1) Someone who loves you will make time to be with you even when their schedule is so hectic and chaotic that they barely have time to take a shower.  

2) Someone who loves you will never treat you like you're an afterthought and will always attempt to include you in their plans whenever possible.

3) If you leave a voicemail or send an email or an occasional smoke signal, a considerate person responds. Silence can be interpreted in many ways, but in my book, silence is rude and neglectful. 


4) Plain and simple...any relationship does NOT thrive on neglect.

5) Intimacy starts to happen when two people open up and nurture each other. 

6) Relationships tend to grow and thrive as long as the relationship is a two way street! 

7) Relationships quickly dissipate and die as a result of constant drama, negativity and turmoil. 

8) Don't be a door mat! Hanging in there will only make you feel demeaned and used. Your feelings are worth more than that, so find someone who can and will love you as much as you love them. 

9) If gift giving occasions always come and go without even a simple acknowledgement (remember cards are relatively inexpensive) from the people who are most important to you, then they aren't deserving of your time, effort and hard-earned money. Why worry about finding "the perfect gift" for someone who always has some lame excuse as to why they can't reciprocate? As we've always been told, it really is the thought that counts! Obviously that jerk didn't get the same memo! Stop wasting your time and money!  Go buy yourself a gift for being smart!

10) Everyone has preferences!  If someone likes a tall partner and you're short unless you know how to get leg extensions, you should bow out gracefully.


11) Sometimes people stay in relationships with the wrong person for a lifetime because they're afraid of being alone. 

12) Being alone is much better than being with the wrong person. 

13) Actions speak louder than words and words can be pretty cheap at times. 


14) Some people are great at blowing smoke up people's backsides and weaving captivating dreams, but when it comes right down to it, those people are clueless when it comes to anything real and meaningful.   

15) People who love us will make our dreams come true...or at least they'll try to!

16) Open your eyes, read the signs and don’t overlook any red flags.


17) Trust your instincts and intuition.  

18) If you spend all your time wondering and questioning everything in a relationship, it's time to move on. 

19) Always accept people for who they are and not for who you want them to be.  

20) A real person will start the race and finish it being the same person. 

21) Remember a real person has flaws and imperfections!  Perfection might be alluring, but it doesn't exist. 

22) Shutting the door and turning off the light might be a safe thing to do, but it's only going to hurt you in the long run. 

23) No one should live in a dark cave! 

24) The time to shut the door and turn off the light is when we die.  Until then, be brave and be willing to change the lightbulb occasionally.

25) All relationships are a work in progress and communication is one of the key ingredients to having a successful one.


Gratitude statement: Even though I may learn everything in life the hard way, I'm thankful that eventually even I see the light.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

SOCIETY'S CHILD

So many things factor into forming who we are and how we view the world around us.  As a child I was never taught to judge people by their economic status or by the color of their skin.  Racial tensions ran high during my younger years, but those tensions just didn't seem to personally touch my life.  Sure, it was something I saw on TV and read about in books and magazines, but I didn't have to live it firsthand.  I simply grew up not understanding why some people hated others for what seemed to me like no valid reason and to this day, I still have problems understanding racism and bigotry. 

Maybe I was fortunate to grow up in a place where those horrible things didn't happen very often or if they did, I never had to witness them.  Maybe I was fortunate to be able to turn off listening whenever my grandfather loudly ranted and raved about Catholics and Jews instead of taking it to heart.  I always wondered what bug had crawled up his butt when he decided the Beatles were the cause of all the world's problems and no one from New Jersey should be able to drive a car.  Okay, maybe he got that one right!  [LOL] Archie Bunker had nothing on my grandfather. Put toe to toe, I think my grandfather could have taken Archie down.  And maybe most of all, I was fortunate to develop insulation to some things I saw as being immoral, unjust and just plain crazy.  I wanted to be free to develop my own brand of crazy and to think for myself. 


As a young teenager, I saw an interracial relationship develop within the group of people I hung around.  People couldn't be in Billie (Buz as we called him then) and Debbie's presence without noticing that they truly loved each other.  Because of them, I discovered love really is blind.  The heart doesn't see the color of a person's skin no more than the heart sees the color or length of a person's hair, their height or their weight and the size of their bank account. I secretly rooted for their relationship to not only withstand the normal relationship woes, but to continue to grow and develop into lasting relationship.  What I didn't see or understand were the problems they faced behind the scenes.  Sure, their friends were able to accept their relationship, but that wasn't the case with all the people in their lives.  I don't know the details of how or why they split up, but I witnessed a certain veil of sadness as a result of it.  They both moved on, got married and lived a life without each other. 

Now, flash forward many years later to a time after Debbie's husband died from complications due to diabetes and Billie's marriage ended around the same time.  Several years ago, they both exchanged wedding vows again, but this time it was with each other and they started living a life that was all, but a faded memory from years ago.  It just goes to show you that when two people belong together, fate will make it happen.  There's a greeting card that has always stuck with me. Each time true love prevails, I think of that card.  It simply says: Somehow...Someway...Somewhere...Someday...



 

WHAT IS LIFE?

Delores from Under The Porch Light created Words For Wednesday.  If you'd like to participate, hop over to her blog and check it out!

This week's prompt were:

essence, flippant, mercury, speeding, nonchalant, shadowed
or
"life smells like coffee and baby poop, fresh cut grass and gasoline"

 

What is life?
Life looks like noodles and cesspools, wild flowers and trampolines.
Life sounds like landslides and toilets, baby coos and tambourines.
Life smells like coffee and baby poop, fresh cut grass and gasoline.
Life tastes like water and bourbon, vegetables and jelly beans.
Life feels like laughter and crying, zip lining and quarantine.
But actually life is just another unforeseen guillotine!
Evergreen, never seen
Fresh cut grass and gasoline…

Monday, June 16, 2014

A BELATED FATHER'S DAY TRIBUTE TO WILLIAM

My biological father was simply the man who lived in the same house with me. He was a great example of a non-participating parent. Don't get me wrong! I forgave him long ago for his non-existent role in my childhood and the pain he caused. I think he did the best he knew how to do, but he came from many generations of well-seasoned Irish alcoholics. His parenting skills were slim to nil at best. I truly believe there are some people on Earth that should never be parents and he was one of them! Unfortunately, the union he formed with my mother produced 4 children. I was the youngest. I'm sure someone who knows a lot about birth order could read much into my personality based on that alone! Now, throw the fact I'm the only female into the mix and that might keep an astute psychologist busy for at least a few minutes.
 
My parents divorced when I was 14. I've got to say that event contributed little to the emotional suicide I was hell bent to commit. I actually felt relieved that the turmoil I grew up with was finally over, but the damage had already been done and the effects from a traumatic childhood had manifested themselves into drug abuse among other very self-destructive behaviors. At barely 16, I found myself in jail being offered a chance to be used as a guinea pig by the State of Maine in a substance abuse rehab program. I was probated there until I was 18. For anyone not familiar with the rehab programs of those days, all I will say today is what a long strange trip it was and that jail definitely would have been the easier path to take. Hindsight is always 20/20!
 
During my long stay in rehab (I finally left 3 months after my 18th birthday), I was not allowed any contact with the outside world with the exception of seeing my mother once for a few hours before she married a man who lived in Florida. At that time, I felt totally abandoned and wondered what my fate would be upon turning 18 and leaving the safety of the isolated world I had come to call home. I had two options. Go back to my hometown (not a wise choice) or to make a fresh start in Florida with my mother and her new husband.
 
Upon leaving Maine, I flew to NW Florida and immediately suffered severe culture shock. Moving from New England to the South was like moving to another planet. I adjusted, but I credit that adjustment largely to the man who stepped in and became the father I never had. I can't begin to express the gratitude I have felt over the years as he hung in there with me through all my rough spots and there were many! He never judged me nor criticized me. He stood strong and helped me through each time never giving up hope that I would finally find my groove and stop being so lost and clueless.
 

Any man like my biological father can be a sperm donor, but it takes a special man to be a "Dad" and it takes a saint to take on the responsibility and become a "Dad" to children who aren't his own especially when they are troubled and rebellious like I was. My mother married a saint! He did everything from teaching me how to drive to instilling an unshakable work ethic in me to showing me how to be a good parent. He taught me the true meaning of unconditional love and I feel truly blessed to have had someone like him in my life. Although it's been several since he died, I still miss him in so many ways. Each time I want to give up hope, the thought of him makes me realize that good men do exist.  I'm thankful that in the end when it mattered most, I was strong enough to uphold his final wishes.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CAROL?

Seldomly do we meet people in life that can give their friendship without a price tag. I was fortunate to have found a friend in no man's land who not only loved unconditionally, but also withheld making judgment calls as well. Carol was a true free spirit. Yes, she had faults and it was one of those faults that heightened the danger factor of our friendship and made our time together an adventure.

I’ve always tended to gravitate towards the edge. It’s where I feel most comfortable. Maybe it’s the suspense, the thrill, the uncertainty of the outcome that makes teetering on the edge so appealing to me. Whatever it was, that certain something was a definite factor in what kept a smile on our faces in those days. The day I met Carol, we headed to Panama City to have some fun. The guy Carol was with had a friend, so the pairing off was a given. I usually don’t do prearranged dating set up by a friend, but I was bored and in need of some male attention, so WTF? It wasn’t until the next day that I found out that the guy Carol was with was not only married, but was married to a legendary bitch in those parts. Rumor had it that Peggy would just as soon shoot you as look at you. Yes, birds of a feather flock together and just as free spirits (aka "saucy tarts") tend to seek each other out and form alliances, the psycho bitches of the world do the same.

I saw the writing on the wall soon after our association began. Although I was not guilty of the whole married man thing, in the eyes of many I was just as guilty as Carol because I knew what was going on. That type of thinking seemed to escape my way of viewing things and I decided early into my Vernon experience that I’d have some fun with my guilt by association. Peggy sent her minions out to do some feather ruffling one day. Carol and I had stopped at the local generic hamburger joint to grab some lunch. While Carol was inside, a fiery spitfire about 8 inches shorter than me approached me while I was sitting in Carol’s car finishing my lunch.  When she announced that she needed to talk to me, I looked up at her and smiled sweetly. I told her that I don’t like being disturbed while I was doing 3 things. For future reference so she would know my list of do’s and don’ts, I was courteous enough to list them for her. I explained the "don’t disturb me sign is up while I’m sleeping, eating and fucking" and let her know if she had something to say to me she was going to have to wait until I was done eating and then we’d talk. She left in a huff! Later, I got mixed revues on what many thought was a foolhardy action on my part, but I can say I didn’t get my head blown off for my little power play that day. Risky? Maybe! But it was definitely satisfying, too.  By the time Carol returned to the car, harmony was restored and the potential volatile situation was diffused for the moment…

One of my most memorable moments with Carol was when she introduced me to The Cat’s Eye one evening. The Cat’s Eye was a typical honky tonk. It was the only place adults could go locally for entertainment, but in doing so one stepped into the arena of barroom fights and many other things. What I didn’t know when we entered the bar, Carol had an agenda.  Carol always had an agenda!  She scanned the bar and then quickly introduced me to a pleasant Southern hippie with long curly blonde hair and a gorgeous smile, then announced she had to go meet someone, but would be back before closing. She assured me that I was in good hands and asked Ricky if he minded babysitting me. He made some cute remark about how hanging out with a Yankee might ruin his reputation, but he agreed to make an exception this one time. Carol mysteriously disappeared after enlisting Ricky's help for the evening, but didn’t return as promised.

Ricky and I hunted for Carol after closing. We found her car, but naturally it was locked. I left a note on her windshield telling her to pick me up at Lucas Pond where Ricky lived, but I didn’t expect to see her until the next day. During the course of the evening, Ricky and I had discussed a wide array of topics and he seemed pleasantly surprised that a long-legged 18-year-old hottie had a brain. He confessed that he had a preconceived notion about me before he met me and that he had been wrong. I was equally surprised by his confession. Rarely do men reveal things like that especially when they’re hoping to get laid. You see, I had a preconceived notion also…I thought getting in my pants was his motive for being nice to me and was even more convinced of that when we arrived at his cabin on the pond.

Kindred spirits inhibited all the cabins on the pond. The only late night sounds on the pond were the low melodic hums that came from the music within each cabin. Ricky’s cabin was silent…dark, mysterious, yet inviting all the same. I tried to imagine what lurked within and was immediately amused by his "conversation pieces" hanging on his bedroom wall. Before me was a collection of women’s panties arranged into a huge collage. He noted my amusement as he asked me to select what music I wanted to hear. It wasn’t long after I had arrived, when Carol showed up with the cavalry (the guy she had gone to meet earlier) to "rescue" me. She seemed surprised that Ricky and I were totally engrossed discussing music when she arrived and not in the throes of passion. Eventually, the four of us fell asleep on the floor with Goats Head Soup playing in the background. That was just one of many nights spent in the peaceful solitude on the pond but only after telling Ricky my panties would never be on his wall because I didn't wear any.