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Friday, November 30, 2012


This week's Writer's Post Blog Hop is hosted by Suzy at Someday Somewhere

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And here is my take on this one....

What is her destiny? She sits and she thinks and she allows a dream or two to jump in and float around inside her mind. It's fun to dream a bit about how her life might be one day. It's fun, but it's not productive. Those who know her, know productive is important. There is little sense in doing anything if nothing is to be achieved by doing so. Will it make her money? Will it add to her knowledge bank? Will it give her a new contact? If it adds nothing to any of those areas, there is probably no need to go forward. Still, now and then she does indulge in a fit of dreaming.

The job she covets is the buyer for a local fashion forward ladies clothier. She holds a graduate degree in fashion design and is currently working as a designer for a smaller family owned ladies fashion store in a nearby town.  It isn't what she wants. She isn't fulfilled, but her bills are being paid and her work is adored by the shoppers and the store owners. They value her talent, her personality and her loyalty. That's the problem. They value her loyalty. Truth is, she doesn't feel any loyalty. She wants the BIG job and they don't even have a buyer. One of the owners of the shop goes to the fashion shows. Makes notes and sketches and returns to her to make them her own and consequently, unique designs from this shop only. They make a fortune on her back and she is compensated at what she feels is a pittance. For a larger business or working for a designer, she would make double or maybe triple what she is making, but she has total freedom here and her work is always turned into reality.  They do NOT reject her work, EVER. In the fashion world, that is not normal and she would be throwing away as many designs as she sees completed.

In her dreams she is that buyer who goes to the shows. Admires the designers work and knows quality over trendy crap and makes excellent decisions for her employers and everyone makes big bucks. She dresses in the latest styles 24/7 and she always knows what's 'in' and what's 'out'. Her dream life is a much more luxurious existence and there is no time for romance or friendships. Her nature is that of a loner and with such an exciting and glamorous position, she would relish her down time.

Today she will go to the office in the back of the shop and create another three to five pieces to mix and match with the pants and skirts she had designed yesterday. Tomorrow she would choose the fabrics for each and then send them off to the seamstresses to await their initial offerings.

This is her life. Every two to three days, she designs. She selects the fabrics and they sew. She inspects, makes changes and they sew and she inspects. Usually they don't have a third round, but it has happened. Generally, the pieces will end up on the floor within a month of her sketches first appearance. It's an amazingly fast turn around and unheard of in the fashion industry.

Her real life is so good and so satisfying, but that dream feels like her destiny. She really never wanted to be a designer, though she is very good at it. Her destiny has always been at the shows, seeing, judging, deciding and placing orders for ladies of a certain financial health. Ladies who want one of a kind dresses. One of a kind everything would fill their closets and her destiny was surely to make those selections for ladies who don't even know what they like until someone like her tells them.

And then...

The owner of her shop came into the office where she designs. Sitting on the stool just adjacent to the drawing board, THE offer came to her. "Would you consider making a change? I mean is designing what you want to do with the rest of your life?"

"Hell, no!", her heart cried, but her mouth said, "Well, that would depend on the change." Heart beating out of her chest, fearing this might not be good news at all, praying it was.

"We just finished up a big meeting. The board has decided to step up our business in a big way. It's time for us to stop sewing and start buying, but, and this is a big but, only if YOU would be interested in taking the lead on the change over."

Oh, my gosh! Could she have heard this correctly? They want her to buy for THEM? Was destiny knocking? Was the fancy dancy store out of her equation? What to do?

"May I give it some thought? I would like to either see your plan or if there isn't one, work on one myself. I would need to have much more information to make this decision, but I am most definitely interested in pursuing the idea. Is that okay?" She was hardly breathing. Her heart was pounding so loudly it was difficult to form a clear thought, but she felt it, oh, she felt the destiny bell ringing in her head. Yes, she would be taking this idea and she would be elevating her shop to a clothier of distinction and also elevating her own status in life both professionally and financially.  They would not get this experienced designer/buyer cheaply and she already knew they knew that.

"The plan is yours to create. We all bow to your expertise in this area and when you have completed it, you will present it to the board along with your compensation requirements and then we'll put it in motion; if it's acceptable, we're in the business of buying and retailing couture clothing. And YOU are the head buyer. We will be moving our sewers into new positions of merchandising and sales. No job losses and we will also be carrying "rack" clothing, which you will also buy from wholesalers."

Destiny has indeed called her to answer. "YES" she said a little too loudly. "I'll start working on the business plan tomorrow. Now, I'd like very much to take the rest of today off. I have a lot of processing to do and the designs for the seamstresses are done and ready for them to begin. We will need this line to fill until I can actually do some buying. Is that okay?"

Laughter, "It is fine. In fact, I will not be setting your hours nor your schedule from this moment forward. YOU are in control of your position. You will do what you need to do to get the job done. I would ask only that you give me a calendar each month with your schedule. That's it. I will not be changing or judging your schedule, just want to be aware of what you are doing and where you are doing it." She rose from her stool and turned to leave the room. Over her shoulder she added, "I am so happy we are finally in this position and it's all because of the hard work you have done for us these past 3 years. Thank you and congratulations. You've earned this."

The silence in the office was unbearable. She needed to get air. She needed to walk and accept this whole change and believe it was real. Destiny. Finally. Peace. Contentment. Not even a moment of hesitation.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Free Day Soon!

The GBE2 writing prompt for this week is to write a short something using only single syllable words. UGH. Well, here it is, good, bad or trash!

 A day with no plan is not this one. More work to do than I feel I can get done, but I will give it a try. The goal? Get it all out of the way so I can have a 'free' day.

Ah, a 'free' day is the one where I can do ME things. My nails, my hair, my book. Oh, my blog and my food. The food I like to cook and I like to eat. Not his or her choice, mine. A film from my hay day. E.P. will star. I will sit back and smile. Yep, that is the plan and this prompt was not fun.

Love you Beth, but not fun.


Probably the shortest and most nonsensical post I have ever done!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This weeks post for the Writer's Post Blog Hop is hosted by....ME

Invisible People is your with it and take it wherever your mind tells you there is a message, a story or just a ramble.  It's all yours...1, 2, 3 GO!

Then be sure to post on the appropriate thread and of course, linky up ... you'll find the link post at the end of my take on the prompt.

I find myself at age 62 years, 11 months to be one of the Invisible People I used to hear people talk about. Okay, you CAN still see me, but do you?

I'm not  working anymore. I'm hardly even part of my community anymore. I stay home much more than I used to do and I like it this way. I buy groceries and talk with people while doing so. I have to go inside the bank once in a while and speak to people there. Otherwise, I really speak only to my roomy, my momma and other family and friends who call or visit.  Mostly I communicate through texting, phone calls, FB and of course, by blogging. Many of my friends have never seen me. Many never will.

When marketers are looking for test groups, they don't see me. Even though I do a good deal of purchasing for myself, for Roomy and even for Momma. I choose the stores and I often do the actual shopping because either they don't want to or they simply can't do the big stores. Yet, the marketers don't see me.  They see the 30 somethings and the 40 somethings as their targeted audience. They use them in advertising for wrinkle creams, really? Okay. They use them to talk about bladder control products; again, really?  There are thousands, maybe millions of attractive senior women who could be your spokesperson for products senior women might be interested in purchasing. It's a shame they are all invisible.

Sadly, to most of America, our growing population of Over 50's is basically invisible.

For the record, I am pretty hard to ignore if I'm in the room with you, but if I'm home and typing to you or texting to you, I guess you can ignore me. I'd love it if you didn't though.


And the linky tool.....

Sunday, November 18, 2012


When we were children the kitchen was the center of our family activities. Mom cooked and we helped or we sat around the table and talked while she worked. When Dad came home he would "freshen up" and come to the table for dinner. In those days, dinner was served shortly after he got home from work. Our lives were scheduled around his work day. That didn't change when Mom went to work. She was home in plenty of time to have dinner ready when he got home. It was often the left-overs from school lunch. Mom was the cook at the elementary school in our town and the left over food could not be served, so it was brought home and/or shared with other school employees.

For a few years Dad was a trucker and as such sometimes was out of town for days or most of the week. During those times, since only Mom and I were home for the most part, dinner was whenever she felt like warming something up or I did. My brother still lived there, but he wasn't home often because he worked evenings most of the time. My sister was married and came for dinner frequently because her husband worked second shift. I also spent many evenings at her apartment with her and one of our favorite meals to make together was macaroni and cheese and you aren't gonna believe this, but we made grilled cheese to go with our mac/cheese! We had no sense of healthy eating nor did anyone else in 1965. We had a lot of good times together and I will never forget "polishing" her kitchen floor one evening. It didn't shine enough for our liking so we decided to use Pledge on it. Wow, it really shined! It looked amazing from the living room looking out over it; it was a large and expansive floor...all the way to the bathroom which we also did! Okay, in an effort to share an important safety message here, DON'T EVER DO THIS! That floor was not only slippery as ice, it was also very difficult to remove. We ended up using Spic~n~Span. And then, of course, waxing it all over because Spic~n~Span removes wax. It turned into a long night of floor recovery. BUT we did have some fun sliding in our socks on the heavily Pledged surface. :)

 Our kitchen today is much smaller and less inclusive by design than my childhood home, but somehow it still becomes a very crowded area when the family is here. I love that and sometimes miss the big country kitchen I had in the home where my kids grew up, but this one functions perfectly for my every day living and I do have another kitchen downstairs for the holiday cooking.

 Amazing, no matter the circumstances, our kitchen always seems to be the family room, of sorts.

What happens in the kitchen, usually ends up bringing a smile, one way or the other. How about your kitchen?


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Does it matter?  I mean, does it matter if the glass is half full or half empty?

What really matters is that there is champagne!  That's what matters and as soon as I can reach for it, it will be all gone. I love me some champagne.

In life, the half empty and half full question might seem to be important on the surface. But does it really matter, in the end, if you see the blue sky amid the black clouds or the black clouds covering the blue sky?

The glass half full people will face far more disappointments because they are always looking at what is right about everything. So when everything goes suddenly very wrong, they are more devastated and shocked by the turn of events.  On the other hand, the half empty people expected the worse and were somewhat prepared for it, no surprise. Who handles it better? They'll both get through it. Half full will be finding the good that must eventually come from this event and will thereby, start a positive search and a path of the good things will begin to occur. Half empty will feel and see the deepest of pain because there is no tomorrow and nothing will ever be better. This is life. Usually a dark and not particularly happy life, but the life they can imagine and will live.

So, for me, I'll take the frequent disappointments and I'll be surprised when things fall apart because I do love a full glass of champagne! And on the occasion of the really dark and cloudy times, I may temporarily give in, but you can be sure that eventually I will see the glass of champagne and once again all will be right with the world.

*click glasses and sippity sip*  Good health and happiness to you.

Our Blog Hop Host ~ click here

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Our lives are filled with numbers. How old are you? How much do you weigh? How long have you worked there? How many years have you lived there? Children? How many, how old? What’s your house number? Social Security number? Phone number? And it goes on and on, doesn’t it?

How many FB friends do you have? How many followers on your blog? Or on your fan page? How many views did you get on the last blog? How many comments?

I know that some of you are all about your numbers and actually measure your success as a writer by them. I don’t. I don’t even know how many followers I have, without looking up there to see. I never know how many views I have or how many visitors I have had. I simply don’t care. I only care that someone, besides me, is reading my work. I care that now and then I actually touch someone with my humble words. I care that ONE person might find an answer to their query by reading something I felt strongly enough about to write a blog. I care if someone is offended by something I said. Unless I meant to offend. I care whether the writing helped to clear my mind or settle something that was rattling around between my ears. I care that what I write is what I meant to write. If it isn’t grammatically correct, it is because I am not a grammar expert. I write as I talk. I do make an effort to be reasonable correct, but it isn’t of paramount importance to my blogging. I try to write correctly mostly because I know it annoys people to read over glaring errors; and to a grammar student, any error is glaring. I apologize for torturing you and I am always trying to do better.

I’m one of those people who memorizes numbers quite easily. I can’t remember half of the things I’ve done in my life, but I remember numbers. I find that odd because I don’t try to remember them, I just remember them and can usually call them up at will. Wonder why that is? What is it that causes a brain to be wired to remember numbers and yet not care a whoot about the numbers most people find important? Like the numbers they use to measure their success.  How many customers? How many books were sold? How many followers? How much money do you make? Ah…money. The real measure of success to so many people. It is not my success indicator because it doesn’t make me better. I will feel success each and every time I do something well. When I complete something I have never done before and I feel like I have done it well, I am a success. When someone thanks me for something I have given or done, I am successful. For my life to be successful, I must accomplish things. I must try new things and even if I fail, I can be a success, if I did my best.

Numbers are important in some aspects of my life. I use my debit card all the time and I know the numbers; all of them. I know my SS, Roomy’s SS and Momma’s SS because as I take care of our business I often need to know those. I know our checking account number because I have to write it on every check I deposit. I know exactly how much we owe and to whom because those numbers matter to our future. I do not know how much I weigh because that doesn’t matter. I do not know how many fans I have nor do I know how many books I have sold, because it doesn’t matter. I sold some and I have some and that’s good enough. I’m not a number one best seller, so the numbers don’t matter.

Another number that matters is that I give you 100% when I sit to blog. I really pour my heart out or in this case I empty my brain for your entertainment. Hope it worked this time.

Maybe I’ll check my numbers when I actually post this.  Maybe…


PS   Total page views...27,783. Veteran's Day Posts (2) 810 views for the two.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


November 11 each year finds me looking for a new and more dramatic way to express the gratitude and respect I feel every day for the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces in any capacity for any length of time. Then I write it down and hope that somehow just one Veteran who has not heard or read those words will know. Know what, you say? That the sacrifice made by him or her was not unnoticed. Was not unappreciated and was not for nothing. I want every past service person to know that out here wandering around in this free world is a woman who holds them in high esteem and who prays every day for their good health and good fortune. I pray they will always have love in their life and they will always remember the woman who wrote that piece that year that touched them in a way none had done before. That woman said what they had always longed to hear. Maybe this is the year. Maybe I am that woman.

I am the daughter of a Veteran of the US Army. I am the mother of a Veteran of the US Navy. My family is filtered with many Veterans from nearly all the branches of Armed Forces. That is to say, our family is much like most American families with many members who have given years of their lives in service to the United States of America. They have signed themselves over to become property of our country for a specified period of time and they have given up their personal lives to protect and ensure a free country for their loved ones and themselves. They did this for you and for me.

Some volunteered and some were 'called' to duty by Uncle Sam, but all were given a contract to sign with the payment being x number of years of their life.The contract includes every aspect of one's being including the very life of the person signing and yet, they signed. The contract required them to give ALL, if need be and far too many did that.

As you walk through your life today and tomorrow and every day hence, if you pass a woman or a man in uniform, speak. Yes, speak. Say that you appreciate their service. Say that you appreciate their honor. Say that you appreciate their sacrifice. Say that you are honored to shake their hand, then shake their hand. If you can buy a drink, a meal, a subway ticket or anything else you see them about to purchase, why not do that? It's such a small price compared to the one they have paid and are still paying. You will walk away a little humbled and a lot grateful that you are able to do something kind for someone who is willing to die for your freedom.

To every Veteran and family member who might be reading this, please accept my appreciation. Please accept my gratitude and my respect. Please know that what you have given will never be taken for granted and the fact that you are still among us is a tremendous gift to us. Please know that as you served your country, you served me and that does not go without my complete and utter understanding of your sacrifice and your dedication. Stand proud and tall and always know that there are millions of people going about their daily lives without a care because of what you personally did for them.

"Freedom isn't Free" is a phrase everyone likes to throw around these days. In fact, with the loses of the current war, we are all too aware of the price of freedom. I pray for a day when war is no longer the answer. I pray for a day when serving in the Armed Forces is an honor but not a life threatening job. A day when these letters will be written by people who have never been touched by war. I pray and I hope and I will be forever grateful for each of you who have paid the price toward making this happen. Your sacrifice is my humility. Your bravery is my cowardliness. I have never done anything to serve my country. I have never been active in any group that has moved this country forward. I am only the child of and the mother of and the aunt of and the sister-in-law of and the friend of so very many who have.

With the greatest humility, I do thank each of you. I pray for each of you. I respect and admire each of you.

Carry this message with you, if you have not been recognized and know that from this humble writer, you have been RECOGNIZED ~ APPRECIATED ~ HONORED.`

God bless each and every Veteran and bring you personal peace.

Dedicated in memory of Donald Settle, Gary Brewer and George "ED" Dodge, may each of you rest in peace. Always loved and never forgotten.

Jo Heroux

John J. Ballard ~ Proud Veteran of the U.S. Navy

It's that day again. The day when I stop all my busy stuff and concentrate on my son. You know, the one who signed up for the Navy as a 16 year old junior in high school. The one who thought it would be a good way to get in some college credits and still be with his long time and closest friends. Some of that worked out. And the friends are still here, so maybe it all worked out.

You made that decision with very little real knowledge of what you would be doing. I signed the papers because I thought you would be traveling around our country or even Europe and seeing things you'd never likely see, otherwise. Neither of us had any hint that you would be called into service in Iran. Neither of us had any notion that you could actually be engaged in a war with a terrorist nation. That big aircraft carrier seemed like a city on the water to me and a bit like a cruising vacation. That was before...

When the call to move the USS Independence to the Gulf for duty, I was petrified. I read your letters, I listened to your tapes and I cried a great deal of the time. I was as much on alert as you were. When you told me your ship was on alert 24/7 I could hear in your voice how stressful this was for all of you. You couldn't hear the stress in my voice because I wrote back. I told you how proud of you I was. I told you how much I worried, but I didn't tell you how much I cried. It wouldn't help you and I couldn't share that.
You told me how prepared you all were to perform the duties you had trained so diligently for the months prior. You told me you were ready for whatever, whenever. I believed you, but I prayed anyway.

I was so relieved when your ship was replaced by another and you were returning to California. I was so grateful to God and Iran for not putting my son's life in jeopardy and for not testing those skills you had worked so hard to develop.  I wanted those skills to go unused. I'm a mom and that's how it is.

Today, I look back and remember, as I always do on Veteran's Day, and I am no less proud of you at this moment in time than I was in your whole Navy career period. Seeing you in that Johnny Cash uniform just made my heart stop. So tall, so handsome, so honorable and so distinguished. All that before your 21st birthday. The day you walked into my salon to surprise me, still brings a tear to my eyes. That black uniform! Those eyes filling with tears when I turned to see you. Mine and yours. The feel of my son in my arms in that uniform! Indescribable. Yet, today, that feeling remains. The pride, the love and the hug of my son remain forefront in my mind. Still makes me happy and still makes me stand a little taller.

A father, a husband, a grandson,an uncle and friend to people I also love, but always my son. My joy, one of my greatest accomplishments as a human.

I love you, so much and again this year, with eyes overflowing, I thank you for your sacrifice for my freedoms, for your dedication to your service and mostly for always loving your mother back.

With unconditional love and appreciation,
From your Mom

Friday, November 9, 2012

Writer's Post Blog Hop ~ Keys

The keys to life are many and varied and all one has to do to find them, is look.

The key to financial security might come from landing the job you love and finding it also pays well. It might be found in a family inheritance. It might even be found in thin air on the day that you realize you don't have to have the nicest things or the latest gadgets to be wealthy. You just need to make enough to afford the necessities of life and maybe you're okay with very little material things in your life, as long as there is someone.

The key to love is often found by first obtaining the key to solitude. Yep, you gotta be alone at some point, in order to learn to love YOU and then you can move on to learning how to love someone else.

The key to your heart is no doubt held by all the people you already love and care deeply about. Those people can break your heart and also make your heart swell with pride, that key is a powerful one so do be careful who you give it to. No one can take it, by the way, you have to give it them.

There is one more key that interests me. The key to knowledge. It lies within your own curiosity. Whatever it is that makes you curious is also what will drive you to learn all you can. Knowledge, in turn, is almost always the key to financial success, however you define that.  If you are going to make a living, first learn about it and then love doing it.  Knowledge is key.

Happiness, you ask? Is there a key to happiness?

I think so. I believe you just have to choose it. Every day you wake you have to choose whether today is a happy day or a sad day. You get to choose. You may doubt this, but I am living proof. I have days that begin with anything but happy feelings, but I choose to let those go and move into a happy place. Remembering all the good things about your life is one way to start. You can also simply close your eyes and think for a few seconds about how grateful you are that your eyes opened, your legs are working and you are thinking. Wow. That is something to be happy about, right there!

Seeing the silver lining is not living in denial; it's finding the good. Finding the good will almost always keep things in prospective for you. The bad and the sad will always find their way in, but a positive and upbeat attitude will overcome them every time.

Life has so many keys and they are all laid out before you daily. Look them over and pick the ones you like. It's your life and the keys are there for you to choose.


Thursday, November 8, 2012


She believed her life was always going to be the fairy tale it was today. Looking around she saw a comfortable home. A nicely furnished home; entirely in her own taste and selected, after years of making do with whatever the budget allowed, with care from a high end furniture store. It was not fancy dancy furniture or accessories; it was instead comfortable, casual and well matched. Each room of her house boasted colors she enjoyed and was almost always clean and tidy. Seldom would you find her house in disarray. Orderly cleanliness made her happy and it was her job to maintain that standard.

Their children had been on their own for many years and each had made homes of their own and had children of their own. It was her greatest pleasure in life to have all of them home for holidays and to watch her grandchildren interact under her watchful and loving eyes. For certain, being a grandmother was the greatest gift she had ever experienced. Seeing those babies grow and learn and knowing they each loved her back was what her life was really about. Nothing would bring a tear more quickly than seeing any one of them smile because they saw her coming toward them.

She and her husband headed into their golden years hand in hand looking forward to traveling to the sun for the winter and back home for the summer with the kids and grand kids. That would be the life they had worked their long hours and years to capture and at long last enjoy. Maybe a travel trailer or maybe a rental or maybe moving to the sun, but it looked like the home would be sold and something new would be coming.

The thing about beginnings is that you never know where they are going to take you.

The first change to their plans, the first of many, came with a new responsibility in her life. When a parent becomes somewhat dependent on you, you have to make a choice. Yes, it is a choice. She had to decide whether she wanted to be the rock for her mother or perhaps share that with a sibling or perhaps hire someone to do the few things her mother needed help doing. Maybe a cleaning service for seasonal cleaning, a grocery service and a driver for appointments would take the burden off and she could then just visit at her leisure and travel as they had planned could proceed. She could also choose to be the one. She chose to be the one. The sharing with siblings was not practical. Each of her siblings had an in-law to be responsible for and she had only her mother. She enjoyed being with her mother and she enjoyed helping her with errands and the cleaning that was too much. It wasn’t a job and she never felt obligated, instead she felt honored and appreciated. Her mother was her priority and she loved being with her. The choice was clear from day one and no one looked back. Traveling would be on the back burner; her mother didn’t want to travel.

The next beginning was the shifting of the holidays. The holidays she loved were over. As the grandchildren got older their parents, one by one, decided they preferred to keep the kids home for Christmas. Grandparents were invited over to each place, but no more big family holiday dinner and gift exchange. Just a lot of little Christmases now. It wasn’t really Christmas for her anymore. The whole season became run here and run there and as they were aging and toting her mother, it became less enjoyable each year. She would find another way to celebrate Christmas soon. Maybe traveling or maybe just having a family Christmas another day, the traveling Christmas 2 day marathon was not good for them and did not speak of holiday cheer. This beginning was not a good thing and she and her husband talked a great deal about alternatives and no decision had been made, but many thoughts were shared. The bottom line, they loved their family and they loved each other, so like all things, a solution was emanate, just not yet secured.

Another beginning. He faces his last day of work after 57 years of employment. He has designated December as his retirement month. She had done the same just a few years ago. This beginning has no down side, except they would be spending a LOT more time together during the winter months. He has no hobbies and all of her hobbies are one person activities. Keeping him busy and not under her feet would be a challenge. Knowing that he is fundamentally happier will be the salve.

Beginnings always have unknowns. Beginnings are always one part scary and one part exciting. The last 30+ years have had many beginnings for this couple and all in all, they have turned out quite well. Perhaps it’s because this couple is determined to be happy people within a happy marriage within a happy family. Perhaps they simply chose happy over all the other options life has given.

Wishing each of you a life of beginnings with new and exciting choices.


Monday, November 5, 2012

DEAR 20 year old JO,

You are so lucky. You have a beautiful little girl who will turn 1 in just 3 months and though you don’t know it yet, you are expecting your second child in 10 months. It will be a son and yes, having two babies before you turn 21 might sound daunting, it will never be too much for you. These babies will be the center of your universe for many years. Enjoy them.

Speaking of enjoying them, remember to play more and clean less. Remember to rock and hug and giggle with them and let the mopping wait. Go to bed when you’re tired instead of trying to do it all. “It all” doesn’t even matter in the long run. Being rested, healthy and being with your kids, that is all that matters.

The man you have catered to and been in love with most of your life isn’t going to be there for the long haul. As a matter of fact, he isn’t even going to be there for the short haul because you will be learning soon that he loves something much more than he loves you or his children.  He will not choose you when you decide to force that choice for the well being of your babies and your own physical health.  You will raise them, for the most part, on your own.

I don’t mean to scare you with this information, I really don’t. But when you are 25 you will look around and begin to assert yourself. You will stand up for your children and as hard as it is, you will do the right thing. You will leave that man and you will go through some very difficult days, months and years. You will do just fine in the end and discover just how capable and strong you are. You will be proud of yourself at some point, but there won’t be time nor energy for that for quite some time. Hang in there, it will all pay off.

When you turn 32 you will celebrate that birthday with your forever man. He is not the type you have ever dated before. He is unlike anyone you have ever spent more than a few hours with. He is the man who will walk through all the days of your life beside you. He will never be behind you, never lead you; this is the man who will always be at your side. Spend these years before meeting him getting yourself ready to be the partner he is looking to find, that’s what he is doing.

I want you to know that these are the days you will have a hard time remembering when you are in your 60’s because they hurt to remember and you will learn to erase the unpleasant and a lot of the pleasant will get erased along with the pain. That is sad, but it will help you cope with a lot of change. It will help you work through the two job days, the not enough food days and the loneliness of a failed marriage. No one will be able to help you through that loneliness; it has to be experienced while you grieve the loss of your dreams. The father of your children will not remain in their lives, but that will take a few years to happen, so for this time, I send you hugs and beg of you, enjoy every minute of this time with your wonderful husband and children, because when the changes come, they will be so hard to bear.

Also please know that the family that surrounds you now will always be there. When you decide to reach out, they will reach back. The in-laws, who seem to pull away, will be back. They do love you. It will be a long time before you allow yourself to believe that. You will not be close to them again, so enjoy them while you are part of their lives. You will be respected for your decisions and your demeanor. Let that be enough.

At 20 you are all you need to be. You are everything you want to be and your family is just beginning to develop. You are and should be very happy and very loved. Looking back from 62 to you, I know you are a good person and a devoted mama. That little girl in your arms is just about the only focus you can handle right now and that is exactly how it should be.

Oh, and 20 year old Jo, also know this; for all the hardships you will be facing, you will never for one second regret one of the choices you have made to this point in your life. You have done well.

Your future self

Age 62.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


As we approach an election here in the United States, I am thinking more about what is good for my country and less about what is good for me.  Today I realized they really are one and the same. What makes MY life better more than likely will also make my friends and families lives better and therefore, by extension, the country better. Now, I could talk about the economy, but that would be a sad and dreary blog and it’s fall, I can’t let myself go there. I can’t wallow in the prospect of solving our national debt and balancing our national budget. I have my own under control and that’s all I can handle right now. So, I’m going to the more lifting and cheerful side of patriotism.

I fly a flag 365 days a year 24/7 with a light above for illumination (as required to fly one 24/7), because I am always lifted emotionally a bit when I look out my kitchen window and see it waving or standing out straight or even resting against the poll. There is something that feels like pride or camaraderie that fills you when you fly your own American flag or your own country’s flag, I should say. The men and women who have served in the military come immediately to mind along with every man (all men, to date) who has called the Oval Office his workplace, serving to protect freedoms and defend our constitution, which translates to serving the population of the United States.  Serving. Standing in our stead, working to bring the people what that people want, or the majority of them.  A united country of states means at some point we have to have one ideal and one goal. We get there by voting and the majority rules. Therefore, I always support and respect the holder of the office of Presidency because that is patriotism to me. I may not always agree with him, I may not EVER like him, but I will always respect him and call him my President.
Our flag, flying this past August.
Believing my country can be more than it is, is not unpatriotic. Isn’t it just the opposite?  If I believe in my country as a strong and growing community of my fellow Americans I have to believe that just like me, WE can be more and better tomorrow than we are today. I believe together as a united group, we can reclaim our rightful place on top of every list, including the greatest financially secure economy on earth. We have what it takes and by making changes at the top, we can make changes here in my world. Those changes require we stop thinking like it is 1950. We can’t do what we’ve always done, it doesn’t work.  New ideas are called for. New co-operation is called for. New tax code, old programs that are outdated removed, re-written and replaced!  Our electoral system is very outdated. Time for a new over haul or maybe even passed time.  The Electoral College was necessary for a timely count of votes once, now it is not. We know within minutes what the vote count is now, the actual voters ballots CAN now be counted and sent in within minutes of voting throughout the night.  We could easily be electing our leaders by popular vote and actually putting people in office that were chosen by EVERY voter who exercised their right. I believe that would greatly increase the number of voters because many feel their vote doesn’t count anyway. The Electors would be done away with as were many outdated ways of doing business our here in the real world. Our government needs some modernization and the rules need amending to allow for us to really have the say of the people heard!

The party system could be done away with and no one would mind except the millionaires who get richer by running and organizing and pandering during every election.  What if anyone really could be President?  What if money wasn’t the biggest requirement? What if you could run on an equal basis with anyone else? What if x number of TV hours were given to each candidate at no charge?  And what if instead of pointing out all the negative attributes of their opponent, they were only permitted to talk about themselves, their own history and their own plans?

Yes, I know you are all thinking that no one would ever allow that to happen because too many billions of dollars are spent getting the “RIGHT” person in offices of power. Sadly, I believe that is true and it makes me very sad and very disillusioned about our future as a country of free people. Our democracy could be improved upon and our economy right along with it. If only all the money spent to re-elect or elect every 2 years was spent on our budget, it’s millions and millions of dollars spent to put a puppet or at the very least, someone who owes someone something, into a position of power. Doesn’t feel democratic to me.

I am a proud American who exercises her rights in life every day. I say what I want. I write what I want. I vote. I drive. I praise good works and I call out the ones I see as less than they could be. And I also willfully speak out on issues that affect my life, my community and our future.

Patriotism is alive and well in the U.S.A. and I am a proud participant! GOD BLESS THE USA.