Deep in the REM that my brain sometimes allows, it came to me. At first it remained in the shadows only whispering. Its voice seemed like the wind. Then one night it happened. It stepped out from the shadows revealing itself to me. His piercing eyes paralyzed me. His voice was deep and barely above a whisper. His long free flowing hair grazed my face. All my senses became filled by his presence. I could even taste a faint dusting of his reluctant spirit being blown from his body as he moved past me. The gentle breeze came as if his presence had aroused a sleepy Mother Nature from her eternal slumber. Softly, he beckoned me to follow him...

He had come to be my mentor, my guide into a new realm. He fearlessly explained what I needed to do and then sent me on my way reassuring me that he was always with me. He was right! Every time I closed my eyes, I could feel him with me. At first I thought I had gone completely mad or had some elaborate flashback, but he whittled at me until he had transformed an ordinary piece of sturdy oak into a magnificent soaring eagle ready to be guided into this new realm and beyond. The moment he released me he said, "Close your eyes and follow your heart!"

Last night he came to me. He stood gazing at me with a disapproving stare. Our "space" thickened with silence until I couldn't stand it any longer. Just as I was about to plead with him, he burst into a melodious laughter. "Karen, you are such a lunatic!", he announced. Defensively, I said, "How can I apologize for something that is as much a part of me as the air I breathe? You know I'm not crazy! You told me to do this! You made me do this! You promised me that I would find peace!" I stopped and said no more! As I quickly erected the walls of self protection, he gently placed his hand on mine and said, "Karen, stop struggling! You have found peace!"

Gratitude statement: In the absence of turmoil, I am grateful for the peace I have found in just being me.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.


My true compass points towards the Northeast, to a place where I still call "home". Sure, they built a casino along Main Street, changed the name of my junior high school and sandblasted the bricks on my old house, but some things will forever remain the same. The smell and feel of the salt air on a warm summer day. The colorful foliage in autumn along the long and winding roads...the fragrance of the lilacs in spring. The old, familiar feeling that cradles me each time I travel there and being surrounded by people who "get" me.

I have often wondered how I can call one place home, yet live in a completely different environment. In a locale where religion is sometimes times preached from the street corners, where often times the Civil War is still being fought and where being branded a "Yankee" will follow a person forever as if they carry a scarlet letter. This place is a place I've lived for 37 years and although my "you guys" sounds faintly Southern now, I still feel as though I'm on the outside looking in.

Did my choice in staying here all these years stem from my stubbornness or was it in part, a way to punish myself for fleeing so many years ago? Can I ever truly make amends with my turbulent past? Will I ever find my way back home?

Gratitude statement: Maybe years ago I abandoned Maine, but I'm grateful she never abandoned me.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.


1. Jobs can be very similar to abusive relationships.
2. Life is much too short to waste it working for Atilla the Hun.
3. Radical change can be great, but an unexpected radical change is even better.
4. Blondes may not have more fun, but they certainly do get noticed.
5. Watch out for moose when driving at dusk. It's better to hit them going 35 mph than 70 mph.
6. Insanity is not genetic. It's cultivated over time.
7. Have goals and work towards them.
8. It's okay to go slow.
9. Any task is easier done as an act of love rather than as an obligation.
10. Be kind to yourself and others might just follow the leader.
11. Slipping out the backdoor has its advantages.
12. While adhering to the specialized diet called "life", remember to feed your head!

Gratitude statement: Although I've stumbled and fallen many times along this path I'm on, I'm thankful that each time I falter, I learn a new lesson.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.


With my "old" neighborhood reunion still fresh in my thoughts, I think it's appropriate to revisit those days and those people once again here on my blog. The several entries I wrote about Lynne (my mentor) started to open my flood gates and prepare me for my walk down memory lane with 58 other other people a few weeks ago.

This blog entry will be dedicated to someone who could not attend the reunion due to a prior commitment regarding a golf tournament. No, I'm not going to write about Tiger Wood, but I would like to give my first love a proper introduction via my blog.

Wayne wasn't the boy next door. He lived diagonally across the street from me. When I first learned his family was moving into my neighborhood, I threatened to move out of my neighborhood and if by some remote chance I did stay, I threatened to never accept him into MY circle of friends, the sacred Walter Street gang. I took all the neighborhood loyalty hype seriously and knew that it just couldn't work out having someone from another neighborhood infiltrate the cozy little nest in which I grew up.

I still remember the day Lisa told me that her family had sold their house atop "little Walter" (the smaller of the two hills on Walter Street). The look she had on her face as she said, ”you'll never believe who's moving into our old house" said it all. I stood looking at her for a moment trying to determine if she was just trying to elicit a response from me or if she actually thought this new someone would bother me. When she told me who the new kid on the block was going to be, I walked away muttering about moving far away. How could something like this happen?

I avoided Wayne for several weeks after he moved in until he discovered the neighborhood hangout. The local pizza joint was where everyone seemed to initially cluster before embarking on their daily treks. To my shock there he was one day when I entered the Pizza Roma. What made it worse was he had already ingratiated himself into MY group. There he was sitting and talking with MY friends! I walked past the group saying hi to everyone, but him thinking a little pinball would work off my frustration. That day started a ritual for us that took a path that neither of us expected.

Each time after that when he saw me playing pinball, he'd come stand next to me and silently watch me. He would watch my hands as they finessed the flippers. He watched the expressions on my face and the movements of my body as I shook the machine just enough to gain a few more points. Any self-proclaimed pinball "wizzard" knew the intricate dance between too little and too much to keep the machine from tilting and losing the game completely. I was always aware of his presence, of his eyes on me, but I never acknowledged him. I never allowed myself to gaze into his eyes to see what was standing next to me.

One day a few months after he had become part of MY gang, I made a quick appearance at the Pizza Roma on my way to babysitting one evening. The cool lady who lived down the street didn’t mind my friends keeping me company while I babysat for her children. I quickly slid into the booth and began talking since I only had a few minutes to spare before I had to leave. Within seconds “he” slid in next to me. I had no way of escape. He was forcing me to interact with him.

What I did next, was done out of instinct, but not from any prior knowledge or experience. I was just barely 14 and had never had a boyfriend. Without looking at him, I placed my hand on his inner thigh. He had a hole in his jeans about 3/4 of the way up his thigh. I began to outline the hole with my index finger. No one else sitting at the booth could see what was happening nor did my expression give any indication that I was engaging in some risky foreplay with a shaggy-haired fifteen year old. I did this for several minutes before announcing I had to leave and invited all present to join me if they had nothing else to do. Of course, he used this as a way to finally get me to speak to him. I had to ask him to move so I could leave.

When our eyes met, something frightened me. Something in me stirred. Something I wasn't familiar with feeling. He smiled as he slid out of the booth and gestured as a knight would bow to a princess. I coyly smiled and then winked at him as I slid out of the booth. Within minutes the whole gang had followed me. He lagged behind and I felt almost a disappointment when I thought he didn't accompany the rest of my friends. When I saw him, my heart raced with excitement. I was sure everyone there could see my pulse race and would notice the way he and I looked at each other.

There was a hunger... a spark...a curiosity. Raging hormones, no doubt! I think they must have finally noticed because one by one each person left early that evening. Before long we were alone with the music playing in the background. That night he became my boyfriend and I went home with lips so sore it hurt to move them. He walked me to my door and kissed me one last time before bidding me adieu. I raced to my bedroom to look out the window, so I could see him cross the street and go inside his house. I touched my lips and hungered for more. Yes, he was the boy who lived across the street and he was my first love!

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.


This was a picture I took at my oldest brother's house...I half expected the flying monkeys to come whisk me away!

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful for having a place I can call "home".

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.


As of Wednesday, August 4th I'll be on my way to Maine arriving there late in the afternoon.
I can almost smell the North Atlantic sea breeze now!

Gratitude statement: Click your heels together 3 times and repeat after me: There's no place like home! There's no place like home! There's no place like home!

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.