i make no excuses about who i am! love me, hate me, just read me!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Do you swear on your Facebook page? When you comment or when you update your status? Someone said how much they disliked that today on my stream and she asked if she was wrong to feel that way. I of course had to answer in the smart alecky way that is pretty much who I am, with edited swear words of course. It turned into a lively discussion. One that got me thinking how many of us are really like our online persona's in real life. You say you don't like cussing but you do it? Or you say your life is wonderful but its really in the crapper. You have 500 friends but don't know more than 100 personally? I am pretty much what you see on Facebook except for some really nice angles when taking pics that shave off  some pounds I am, "what you see is what you get". In real life I have been known to swear at inopportune times and at times when for me it was a release.
I blame it on my mechanic father and his filthy mouth and those of his Hell's Angel's customers. In my very formative years I spent a lot of time around him and the motley crew that would take up a seat in his garage. I would sit and listen to their stories peppered heavily with the "F" word as I sat in a corner flipping through Playboy magazines. I was about 6 or 7 and that is when I was already very literately inclined. I read and spelled very well at this age.  I did not cuss because my father would have backhanded me had I done so. It was not until Robin Barrios, a St. Joachims school classmate dared me to say the "F" word and the "B" word one day on our walk home that I really felt the power that cussing released in me. My mother on the other hand never uttered a swear word, she was a drastic contrast to my father in every way especially this one.
As my siblings and I got older we spoke in this fashion when of course adults were not around. Our Grandmother my Dad's mom would scold my father on our Sunday visits when he spoke colorfully. "Aye Robert!" She would say and he would roll his eyes and drink his Coors. We would grin and look at each other to watch my Dad get scolded by his Mom. Later in life I seemed to develop some control when I was attending to business, but still thought nothing of cussing in casual conversation. I can honestly say it has really only begun to raise consciousness in me that what I say is being soaked up by the sponge of a grandson of mine. Why yes his little sponge brain is absorbing all of these amazing words like "freezing" and "supper" and he is even learning how to describe his feelings "I am mad."
He will turn three in July and yes he knows cuss words too.....yikes......people think that I am numb to the "F" bomb, but when he says things like "fatass" to describe a magazine pic of some teen mom, and "F" you to converse with my daughters then it is a wake up call. We say he will be kicked out of pre-school because he is going to tell the teacher something like, "I don't want to you fatass, "F" you!" All joking aside I know that swearing makes one appear uneducated and uncouth. I also know that forbidden behavior leads to rebellion. If we take what my grandson is learning now (the cusswords that is) and ignore it, instead of laughing...(we try really hard not to but it just kind of happens), it will probably disappear. I have over 40 units in Child Development, so I know that the thing that most kids do time and again is seek reward. Just as it was a reward for me to rebel and say those words I had never uttered, because I gained praise from a peer and even felt empowered saying them, they then became commonplace for me. We will ignore his cussing and hopefully it will dissipate as his audience grows bored with his antics. I hope.
What I do know is that I am not perfect and never will be, will I still cuss? Ugh....very likely, will I think before I do it? Highly likely, I must take into account the presence of those little sponges around me. Possibly this could be why I never went into teaching, I would not be able to cuss! Hah good thing I drive the bus.....not that I cuss doing that well never...ok can't say that...on a rare occasion I may have uttered a swear word. By the way my bus is equipped with cameras and I don't act like anything other than who I am, that would be way too draining. Good thing you can't pick your nose or scratch your butt on Facebook....I might offend someone else again!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beauty and Glamour that was Elizabeth Taylor.... remembering her today.

With today's news that Elizabeth Taylor had passed I was reminded of my Mother and the wonderful times we spent watching old movies on a Saturday afternoon. She introduced me to all the greats, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Katherine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Judy Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and my favorite Elizabeth Taylor. There was something about those times that I would escape with my Mother into the past that seemed to light up her eyes, and mine. The beautiful women in the movies that we watched were not pushovers, they were strong, smart, ahead of their time characters. It was ok with me that they were glamorous and maybe even sexy! That is the image I grew up with and to this day I still find the glamour of that time something I miss seeing. Once in a while I will retro back to the look with red lipstick, or a hairdo that recalls that bygone time. If I had more money to spend on myself I would probably dress like that all the time. I love the rockabilly retro look some are really into. I don't like the exaggeration, but rather what appeals to me is that women looked like women, and well men looked like men. Even all of the gay actors Elizabeth Taylor starred opposite, like Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift still looked like MEN.

I think the other reason I loved her was that she was a raven haired beauty, don't get me wrong there were plenty of beautiful blonds and Marilyn is my favorite blonde, especially when I found out she was really a redhead. I just always found the dark hair and light eyes and flawless complexion adorned with that sexy mole she had so appealing. I even thought that my mother resembled her a little. I just love beautiful women and in my opinion not many actresses today can hold a flicker to the flame of Elizabeth Taylor. She lived her life in the public eye and in recent years not much was said about her unless it had to do with her failing health. I for one will always remember her at the height of her beauty in my favorite Elizabeth Taylor movie "A Place In The Sun". She will always live on in film and I cannot wait to introduce my daughters to her.

A comment left by someone who viewed the above piece today says it all, "You were never lovelier, more beautiful or ethereal than in this memorable movie."

Friday, March 11, 2011

How One Father Continues His Daughters Legacy, Remembering Rachel Scott: The Colombine Tragedy 12 Years Later.

Today March 10, 2011 was a day that congress heard about bullying and its effects on our children. Tonight I had the privilege of being in the audience of a “Rachel’s Challenge” presentation. This presentation was done by her father Darrell Scott. Rachel Joy Scott was one of 13 people who lost their lives on April 20, 1999 in the tragic high school shooting at Colombine. It will be 12 years since Colombine happened, and in the years that have followed Darrell Scott has done presentations to educators and students about living the example that Rachel lived. In her short life Rachel impacted people with her kindness, she did this by reaching out to people that others in her school would not, the new kid, the kid with the disability, the loner. Rachel had done an essay 6 weeks before the tragedy about her ethics and talked about how simple kindness can go far in the lives of others, and she was right. Kindness or compassion for your fellow human being is something that is sorely lacking in our society today. How bold of her to go against the grain in high school, she was a true leader.
I took two of my daughters and my daughter’s boyfriend to this presentation that was more geared to adults in the community. I am glad I did, an hour before this presentation one was done for 430 children involved in afterschool programs in my county. In the presentation we went to they talked about the tragedy at Colombine and they showed footage of the shooting and the coverage on CNN, they don’t do this at the elementary level. My children were greatly impacted by that alone, but they were also touched by the part of the presentation that is more often shown to school children. Mr. Scott talked about the five challenges that are known collectively as “Rachels Challenge”.
1. Look for the best in others- eliminate prejudice
2. Dare to dream- set goals
3. Choose positive influences – input determines output.
4. Kind words and actions = huge results
5. Start a chain reaction with family and friends
He talked about the impacts his presentations have made, districts he has spoken at report drops in bullying in particular. He relayed statistics regarding children who have contacted him to say they were suicidal but because of the presentation that they took part in they realize that they too can help others. He spoke of the clubs that are created in elementary and high school levels and the acts of kindness these kids are doing. Rachel had a vision and her father is carrying that vision forward. I don’t know how he does it or how he looks at the slideshows of his daughter and what a beautiful person she was without losing it. He speaks of her with great pride and he should, Rachel will long be remembered in the hearts of many who never even met her.
He spoke of the integrity with which his daughter chose to live her life and the fact that she knew she was going to touch millions of people’s lives. Rachel Scott predicted that she would be the victim of a homicide, and that she would not live to be 20. Of course when I listened I got chills as he spoke of his daughter and her predictions. One of Rachel's heroines and influences was Anne Frank and many of her ethics or belief system mirrored Anne’s. Tragically and ironically Rachel was killed on Hitler’s Birthday, a day specifically chosen by the Colombine gunmen. The similarities and parallels in these young women’s lives are remarkable. How can two young women born decades apart touch the lives of millions after their tragic deaths. Their journals both have played a part in the legacy that they have left behind.  I for one am speechless which doesn’t happen very often. I am in awe that they both speak of kindness and compassion in terms so relative to all of us. How our kindness on a daily level can change the world in many far reaching ways that we cannot even begin to realize. How amazing is it that we have the ability to continue their legacy? That my child or yours can be affected by it. That I could embark on my own journey of kindness, you don’t need anything special, you don’t have to pay for it, its something that is innate in all of us already. It is called humanity. I hope that this comes to all of the local schools as a presentation. I hope it comes to your community and I would hope that “Rachel’s Challenge” creates an even bigger movement towards kindness than it already has. If you would like more information about this program you can go to   and you can also go to the   to find out more information about the things you can do to make the world a kinder place. As Rachel said “You may just start a chain reaction.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

Loving someone with an addiction....

I was not going to write anything for a while but as always something got me thinking and the wonderfulness that I feel right now is a feeling I am not used to. If you follow me or like my FB page or are even a friend of mine on FB you pretty much know my deepest darkest secrets. You know that the man I love is an addict, and that we have been on this roller coaster ride for 20, man, 20 years this year. There are those out there that like to classify me as codependent and they would be right to an extent, and they are entitled to their opinion. There are those that know how much I love my Love, and they understand it twisted as it may seem to the outside world. When people see us together when we are at our best they get it and when we are at our worst, they secretly make comments about how they knew my Love was going to mess up anyway and how dumb I must be to keep putting up with it. I did not know that the person that I was going to love would become a meth addict. I didn't fantasize when I was a little girl that I would be on welfare while he went in and out of jail and prison, or that I would raise our daughters mostly solo. I did not plan on all of the things that happened in our life to happen, but they did. I met my love and I fell for him, he was handsome and tormented, and dangerous, the proverbial bad boy. Underneath it all he was lost, he had a lot of issues, issues that he had not ever dealt with. They manifested in his addiction.

His addiction, to me, was like another woman. Oh and believe me he had those too, I could take that, for some strange reason, but his mistress meth I could not stand at all. I could not stand that she kept him coming back for more at times when he should have been focused on I and his children. The days he would stay away, the anger that would build. I left him numerous times and he would find me and beg my forgiveness or my help. When we were apart for four years after our domestic violence incident I still saw him and he found ways to call me or see me. I hesitated to let him in because I knew he was still in his addiction. This last time was different and I was different. He was tired of living the life that he was living, if I did not hear from him over a few days I worried that I might hear he was dead.

So to visit him in his program Sunday and to see the man I fell in love with was to feel such a profound wonderfulness that I cannot fully explain. He was genuinely interested in his children and his grandson. His humour and his caring and loving attitude, attributes that drew me to him in the first place were there. He was there, present in the moment.  Even my Lovelie that swore hatred for him softened under his attention. It was a beautiful reawakening of our family.

Its not without fear that I go into the future. I have no blinders on my eyes, and it is not as though I feel he has been miraculously cured of his addiction. Look at all the celebrities in the news it amazes me that these folks are kidding themselves into an early grave. My Love learned some things about himself this time around. Things he kept in a little safe place and did not want to let out because he would feel what it was like to have emotions instead of being numb to it all. He still has much work to do, and with hope and a renewed faith we work on things individually and together to make our family strong. It will be one step at a time, one day at a time. With the grace of God we will go into our future. Thank you for your love and support it means so very much to us all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

can damaged friendships be repaired? lessons learned from my teenage lovelie

Today was the day that the drama of my teenage lovelies life unfolded in court. We were there to make a temporary restraining order permanent on one of her former friends. This also involved my former friend who is this girls guardian. Our friendship of 20 years came to a dramatic end last year when her daughter and  her daughters friend caused such distress for my child that she confronted friends daughter in what appeared to others as an out of the blue verbal assault. What they did not know was that this anger my child had was brewing for weeks over the fact that, these two girls her friends at the time felt she was being unloyal to them and spreading gossip and rumors to others. In particular  to their enemy, a girl who was vying for the attention of friends daughters boyfriend. What a convoluted teenage drama, mean girls, the stuff movies are made of. The fallout from that confrontation led to one of the girls threatening my daughter and eventually harrassing her on several occassions. To know my middle lovelie is to know that she is a very loyal and trustworthy person. She would never intentionally hurt someone. So when it came to pass that she became the object of revenge she thought her life was ruined, and nothing I could tell her was going to make her feel better.
I told her when she became severely depressed because of the situation that if she needed to get a restraining order to give her peace of mind that I would do so. After the last confrontation I did file one and it was in court that I saw my former friend and her daughters. I felt that they had played the victim on several occassions and I was not going to let them get away with it. In court they disputed it, I was dumbfounded and thought why? We no longer wanted to have anything to do with them. I resigned myself to the fact that my 20 year friendship aside I would do what was best for my child. Isn't that what a good Mother does?
So the case was continued until today and I had subpoened a principal and gotten several important documents to support the need for an order. So when the judge called us up after some formalities he offered that we might have a resolution to salvage a friendship that was so old. That in the course of life things happen and that we need to see the bigger picture. That wasn't it possible the young woman who hurt my daughter had acted on impulse and out of concern for her friend, my friends daughter. He did agree that these teenage dramas can turn into tragedies and he agreed that when a childs mental health is concerned it is an urgent issue. I missed my friend and our love/ hate relationship but I wanted this to be my daughters choice. I saw tears come to her eyes as she told the judge that she would be willing to "dissolve the order and stuff", it was not so eloquent, her wording, but it was heartfelt. The girls had said they missed her friendship and the one that threatened her admitted she should have listened to her principal who was there as our witness, and not gotten involved in defending her "sister". She apologized to my daughter, and they hugged after court and made up. I think that everyone learned a valuable lesson today. At least I hope they did. Friendship is a very hard thing to come by, and I choose to have only a small circle of friends. But its nice to know that damaged friendships can be repaired and that the sum of our experiences can in time help people grow and change.
If anything I wanted my daughter to know that she is the world to me, she is so mature and smart beyond her fifteen years. I just don't understand where she gets it from?