Nevermore…

 And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore! – Edgar Allen Poe
Now, I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that was Poe’s last verse of The Raven… however, this poem is what changed me. Okay, all of Poe’s work changed me. He was dark and even mysterious in his ways and this helped me be okay with my own darkness.
You see we all have demons we battle, here Poe is obviously battling the loss of Lenore and that demon was harsh on him. My battles are near similar and yet different enough to be my own unique ones.
I let my demons control me all my life… well up to about five years ago. Driving from Virginia to Georgia with my boys and all our belongings packed up in my van and U-Haul trailer I realized I had to make a change in me. I had to take control. I had to quit letting others control me. So as I crossed over the state line of the state I considered my one home I let it all go. I took in a breath and slowly released it and felt all my demons escape. I felt free for the very first time in my life. You see after 8 1/2 years I left my boyfriend and went home. Now over the next year and we (my boys and I) moved around a little – shuffling to get ourselves settled and after a bit we did just that.
I attribute the peace and joy that came later to me to the release of those demons. I called my devil and forgave him for all the things he did to me – physically and mentally. I told him I forgave him because I needed it, not because I believed he deserved it. I knew I had to let go. I had to release the anger, hate and darkness that surrounded me because of him. I then meditated and forgave my mother in the only way I felt I could. I don’t know where her soul sits for eternity but I felt her presence and let her know I forgave her.
Next, I took control. I stood up to everyone and anyone who said or did anything I didn’t want, like or care for. I walked away from those who tried to harness and control me. I threw away those who were poison to me. I embraced those who loved me and loved me for me, not the me they wanted me to be.
To the world that tried to conform me….
To those who tried to impress on me their beliefs…
To those who attempted to become my new demons…
I said to those… Nevermore!

Pain

The darkness of the night is brighter than the pain of the soul
You close your eyes and see nothing
No joy, no happiness, no pleasure

Walking lost through the darkness, you can not find your way
Seeing nothing, feeling nothing you just exist…..

Existing is not living~
To live you must open your eyes and see the world in front of you
Take the moment and breathe it in
Allow your soul to awaken and become vibrant with all life can give you
All you have to do is be willing to accept
be willing to try and take that step

See the love that flows like a river around you
Feel the kindness that floats about like the clouds in the sky
Open yourself and live

written November 10, 2011 about a journey of pain and learning that you are truly surrounded by those who love you, even when you don’t always see them. A journey of struggling with life and loneliness and allowing the world around you to consume you and about letting the love that surrounds you to actually enter your heart and be filled with it once again.

The world before you.

woman in the woods

When you stand with the world before you what will you do?

Will you follow the beaten path of others or make your own way?

How will you decide: Gut instinct or the lessons taught to you telling you the direction to turn?

You’re all grown up now stepping out on your own. Your only plan is to be on your own, start a life of your own, go places and see things. A life of your own design . But where shall you go? What shall you do?

Take a step, think of all you were taught, then take another step and another and another. Before you know it you have begun to build upon that foundation your family set before you.

What did you do?

Where did you go?

How did you choose?

Did you look back?

Always remember, not too many steps away are the ones you love… who helped you build that foundation you are building upon. Who will always be there for you, if you just ask?

 

The world is at your feet… walk lightly and enjoy her beauty.

The world is open to your soul… inhale her scent and lather yourself in her.

The world is ready for your mind… discover her hidden treasures and fill yourself with her.

*This I dedicate to my son who is about to venture into the world and become the man I dreamt of.

 

 

CHOICE

This one word speaks abundantly to me. Why? Well, we all have a choice. A choice we make or don’t make. We choose to cross the road or stand on the edge and watch traffic.

I think this word speaks so loudly to me is because no matter whether you have hope, regret, abundance, home or anything else – you have a choice.

I made a choice to get married young and start a family.

I made a choice to get divorced and years later remarry and try again.

I made a choice to move across country and back and then back across again.

No one forced me. No one gave me no alternative. I had the choice.

I made the choice to write, share, and try to inspire.

I make the choice to stay in touch or be kind or even be distant.

The thing with choice is we can’t really regret something we did – it was by choice. We may not like the choices we made but hopefully we learned from those type of choices.

But then you look at the results of those wonderful choices and look what you have –

YOUR LIFE!

Yes! Your choices developed, molded, and formed what wonderful life you have. Nice part is you still have choices to make – make it better – make it different – make it yours!

Things I’ve Learned…

Today I share with you a list, compilation, of the things I’ve learned. Now these things are not just what I learned today or yesterday, but over the last 40+ years of my life. Ever think of what your list may be? Here are my top ten things I’ve learned…

  1. Appreciate each morsel of food you have, you never know when you will miss a meal cause you can not afford one or you chose to give it to someone else.
  2. Love all of your family – even the ones you really don’t get along with! After all, they are where you come from, what you reflect upon, and what your future depends on.
  3. Respect any one who has lived longer you! They have more time invested on this world and can share that information or hoard it. Be nice – that info could help you out.
  4. No matter how hard life is… someone has it worse. Appreciate life! Each day brings you a lesson, its up to you to learn that lesson or not.
  5. Capture every memory of your children for soon they will leave you and start their own lives… But when they are gone you have memories.
  6. Try to always improve upon yourself. We are far from perfect and nothing we do it precise at all times.
  7. Get a good education and don’t take advantage of it. Education is one thing NO ONE can take from you… even if you owe a lot of money for it 🙂
  8. Not to hold on to anger or hurt… in the end it only hurts the one holding on. Let go and find your peace, life is so much better when you.
  9. Take leaps of faith – take them! You don’t know how things will end up, but you’d never know if you don’t try.
  10. I’m not done learning.

I’d love to hear your list!

Why I write…

Why do you write? This is a question I’ve been asked quite a bit over time. My only answer is because I have to. The words are there and they need to said, written.  Many times the words come to me and fight with me to put pen to paper, or even in todays world finger to screen.

Writing for me is very natural – always has been. I began writing very early in life, around age eleven. I didn’t write stories like most kids who were creating battles and having the princess saved, no I was writing dark emotional poems.

There has always been this dark shadow cast over my life, heart, mind and soul… I learned to embrace this, allow it grow and consume me. My life has been full of storms and I embrace them as well. Those storms are what give me my ability to take the emotions and scenery and create them with word for others to see.

For some their passion comes in the form of building something, helping others, even in playing sports. For me its all about creativity – with words. I have the ability, no talent, to use my words to create a vivid scene in ones mind of a place or person that has never existed or one has never experienced. Yet, when the reader takes in my words they see my worlds, my experiences. This is my talent.

When there is loss…I have words to help heal and accept.

When there is joy…I have words to help celebrate.

When there is the unknown…I have words to help discover.

Help, encourage, inspire, entertain, teach…

You see, this is why I write.

Happy Mother’s Day

Orkut Myspace Mothers Day Scraps, Mothers Day Images and Cards
 Courtesy  of More Orkut Scraps – GoodLightscraps.comRemember that Mom’s do so much and every now and again they need to be told how much you love and appreciate them, while this day is designated to that and more… remember her everyday. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there! 

+

Front yard garden – SUCCESS!

So it’s been awhile that Johnny and I have wanted more in our front yard, so far this spring we have one container flower bed that sits in front of one window and we wanted another on the other side (of course… who wouldn’t right?). Well we finally bought the flowers and slowly got what we needed- pots, soil, time…

IMG_3831This is what we started with.

Two weeks ago we bought some alamanda’s and bougainvillea’s for the flower bed…from Lowe’s of course. If you know us at all that seems to be our go-to place. Went to SAMs club either Wednesday or Thursday (really the days blurred on this one) and found two great pots for the bougainvillea’s. Okay, let me clarify… when I say two great pots I mean we stumbled upon a mountain of beautiful clay pots of various designs, colors and styles… the struggle was real and the prices low. So of course we said this weekend we are getting that flower bed done! We were determined!

We already had four bags of mulch ready and of course we thought this was enough. I think we are learning… there is never enough mulch!

Saturday morning we go to the recycle to get cardboard to lay on the ground to minimize the weed (aka the green stuff many people would think of as grass) growth from underneath, then we go home after a few other stops.

First, Johnny tells me to get the outline done. No worries! I use string to make my outline then get some corn meal and use a funnel to make my line – eco friendly and all!

I start to get the alamanda’s and bougainvillea’s in their proper new homes (aka clay pots)…while Johnny starts to get the ground ready. While he is over there weed eating and starting to pull up the grass… Well, I ran out of soil.

Figures right! He says well we can get more and go ahead and get a border to put down 😒 all I can think of is the number of stores we will end up at.  Now until he is ready to leave, I call myself helping pull up weeds and grass. But I’m quickly distracted by baby ladybugs!

Of, I instantly try to save them all. My husbands sees me trying this and suggest I get a glass to carry them. Of course! So I catch some and release them in our backyard garden. Mind you now I didn’t release in the vegetable garden (which would’ve been the thing to) I release them on the roses. Because sometimes I am just a genius that way! By the time I’m done with my distraction he said it was time to go. So we tried the local yocals…nothing. Fine, we go on post to the px – jackpot we found the border we can both agree on (which is no small task), but not the kind of soil we want. I sigh, this can only mean yet another trip to Lowes. Johnny says he thinks they have a spell on us. It never fails when we want or need something specific we end up there. I tend to agree. Of course, Lowe’s had exactly what we wanted/needed and we also grabbed another bag of mulch…

Okay, so we come home and I start setting up twine trellis for our beans while he finished the ground work – figured I had time to do that first, then I come back up front and get the bougainvillea’s ready.

Now that the plants are all looking pretty in their new pots I go to see how Johnny is coming along. By this time Johnny he is already putting down the cardboard and mulch, I assist where I can which really isn’t much…so I begin pounding in the border, I kind of like this part, I get to hit things and it’s okay.

Five bags of mulch later and a full day of work and now  we have a pretty front yard flower/ bush garden.IMG_3853

Looks much better eh? We still need more mulch – its quite thin right now, but this was one of the many adventures we had this weekend!  Back in the veggie garden we found that our beans had been infested with the mosaic virus and we had to pull most them up. Good news is the soil is not ruined – so we planted a brand new crop and will be eagerly awaiting the battle between us and the aphids! We will over come them!

Well, thanks for riding along my weekend adventure with me. Hope you enjoyed it!

A vow I gave to no one… but myself.

alone-girl-Favim.com-3742762Every adult looks at another adult and thinks at some point, “Oh they had a good life, just look them.” Well, your wrong. Not every adult had a good life… Not every adult is having a good life. We must learn that the outside appearances of an individual is just a cover up – like a book cover, what is inside is what makes the book not the shell.

I grew up in a broken home as many have, but most of my friends all grew up with their parents – both mother and father. Not me, I had my mom and her “husband” at the times. I remember all but one of her husbands… my father.

Looking back now, I am 43, I can see what an impact that made on me. I was just as broken as my home and yet I survived. I endured many abuses over my life and the vow I gave to no one but myself was that I would stand by my child against any of these happening to them… I can only hope I did well enough. You see, this is my story…

When I was around 4 or so, I can remember hearing him come in, mad and yelling. I ran and hid under my bed. I listened terrified of the yelling and fighting going on… I just knew I was next. Imagine a small child, fragile and terrified with no one to comfort them. I was a scared child from as early as I can remember. This was stepdad #1. I have several memories of this nature.

Around age 7, my memories begin to fill of stepdad #2 spending his special time with me. He loved to touch me and do things to me and have me to do things to him… then he would share me. This ranged for about 7 years of my life. The worst of this travesty is I told my mom, she didn’t believe me. She refused to listen. I was shattered. I was not believed therefore thought this is all I was worth. I endured this abuse silently…for years no one would know because I wouldn’t tell anyone else. Why should I when my own mother wouldn’t protect me? This was my youth, my teen years…

All the while stepdad #3 entered around age 12 or 13… He caught on to the special attention stepdad #2 gave me and at age 14 put a stop to the visits where I was shipped off to see him… He put a stop to something he was not sure was happening, but he was not much better. You see stepdad #4 was violent. He would demean us verbally. He would beat me more than anyone should endure. This is where I was hurt the worst emotionally. My mother saw it all and stood there watching, doing nothing. Never once standing up for me. I was told I was fat… I weighed 105 lbs at 5’3″. I was told I was worthless and wouldn’t amount to anything. And if I didn’t follow the rules I was beaten.pizap.com14600489355421

My mother was not much better in this… She reminded me often how I was her mistake. How I had ruined things. She let me know I was no good, that I was worthless and how I’d never achieve anything. She tried to marry me off several times at the age 16 and 17.

Now, here is a teen who had endured several types of abuse over the years, not able to learn of her real father and had no escape. You see all these years had passed and I had seen my fathers family only once. I do not have memories of the man who helped to create me, at least I don’t know that I really do. There is a stranger in my memory… but I don’t know who it is, not even today

So what did I do, I rebelled. I did drugs, drank, smoked, partied, skipped school, all this and so much more.  I purposefully did things I wasn’t supposed to. It was like giving me a dare to live and I did. I paid for it all too, each time I was caught I paid. The last time I decided to go against the rules my stepdad #4 beat me so bad I had bruised welts across my back around 4-6′ deep and then when he was done beating me he threw me across the kitchen. My mother stood and watched. I remember I looked to her for help…nothing.

This was the turning point in my life – I was going to die. At least that is what I thought. I was no match for these men who controlled me, beat me, hated me… I had to leave or die, or something worse would happen. My mind was breaking, my soul already broken.

I moved out the next day… lived with a friend and her mom and sisters. That was the closest thing to a normal family I have ever had at that age. 17, senior in high school and this was my life. This is when I made the vow to protect my children. Children I didn’t even have yet. Children I swore no man would be more important over. Children I swore I’d die for by protecting them.

I tried my very best to do this. I tried to not have a broken home. Sadly, I failed. I have divorced twice. I do not feel I protected my kids enough but when I realized something was wrong I did fix it to the best of my ability. My kids were not physically abused or sexually abused (At least they have not told me of such things… or I’d be in prison right now). I was with one man who demeaned our self-esteem…but as soon as I realized the situation I got out. Sadly, it took me over 8 years to realize itFavim.ru-4180227. The damage was done.

You see when you do not protect your children. When you do not shield them from the horrors of life – they begin to feel they are worthless, they deserve the harshness given to them, they believe they have no direction. Our children our are gifts, our precious future…we must protect them, help them and guide them.

Now with all that negative there were positives… I had joys, laughters and memories that are good that I cherish above all. I have family that I will never abandon. I learned a great many things in my life that are very positive… but the most important thing I learned is that no matter what you have been through you can succeed. Bad things happen to people even when they do nothing to warrant them… This is life. We must make it better.

Today, I am proud to have graduated college… held great positions in employment, made a difference in lives. I have friends and family who love me.

I’ve never thought I was good enough for anything. I never thought I was truly worthy. I never learned how to truly love myself or those in my life. I am always waiting for the bottom to drop. I have one child who feels I have failed them, another who says he loves me but the actions and words he throws at me shows me he does not. I am waiting for the man I love to start telling how I have failed or have disappointed him. This is something I will never truly overcome, what took 39 years to make can not be undone in 5 or less.

I am told often how as a parent I do not do enough, am not strong enough…

So while I outwardly overcame so much, I kept that vow I made to no one but myself. I did all I could to save, shield and protect my children.

Why am I sharing this with you now… because I know what you are going through. I want you to get help. If you are someone going through such things, or know someone who is… reach out and get help or get them help. Had I not had such a friend in school… I would not be here today, I truly believe that. Help, Listen, Pay Attention… and if that person doesn’t realize they need help… educate themhopelovepeace

We are all special. We all deserve love and respect. We all need to know we are worth a good life.

 

You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE

For child abuse call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD

 

Photo used is from Favim.com

Graphics created using GIMP and Pizap.com

As a mom…life has taught me-

Growing up we never consider a whole lot about how we are going to out achieve our parents, well not everyone. I always wanted to prove myself and do more than my parents, be more than my parents. With this as my mindset growing up, it overflowed into my adult life and having kids of my own. I wanted, dreamed, and expected all my children to want to be better than me, do better than me…achieve more than I have. Well, life has a funny way of doing what it wants and teaching you that YOU are NOT IN CHARGE. How? By putting your kids on paths you never expected or did your damnedest to prevent.

I grew up believing I was no good, that I wasn’t good enough…and other such things. I swore at an early age I’d do things my parents didn’t… like graduate high school and college. I did achieve both and so much more. I am living out my passions, living healthier, and hopefully making a better impact on my children than my parents did for me.
No need to tell you how hard it is to raise a child, much less children from more than one marriage…intertwining your life into those you have joined with while still being joined to those you left behind. Children are the ones who deal with it all… See more than we ever want…

I tried so hard to show all my children my love and desire for them to be successful in all they do, even the children I didn’t give birth too- cause they are still my kids. Did my children do better than me? Have they traveled a better road than me? Will they reach their fullest potential? No… That’s the largest lesson life has taught me! It’s not me who has to drive them down their paths, it’s them. I have to sit back and let them walk that road they chose to turn down.

As a mom, I have to tried to be the best supporter while giving the best and most real life advice I could. I coddle my kids to a point, I admit it… I also get very rough them. I will tell them exactly what I think at any given moment and that’s not always positive. I try to never lie to them (There was that time about the dog who didn’t really run away.) I try my best to give them the love and compassion I never got.

Have I been mom of the year this whole time? Hell no. I have, however, been the best mom I knew how in the very moment I was in. Do I have regrets? I’d be lying if I said no. Of course I do, I am human… Not all my choices were the best or wisest. Did I always put my children before me? No! At some moments in my life I had to be put first or I’d not be with them today!

As a mom I have learned that not all kids will be who I dreamt them of being, they will however be the best they can be in their moments at their time in their own ways.

To all my children…whether you are my biological so or not… Please know I love you and have tried so very hard to be a good mom to you all. I hope other parents out there sit back and think about what I’ve said. We are parents, we are to guide our children- but it is our children who must drive the path of their destiny.

Help a chronically ill friend

A garden in the making…

IMG_0344

My husband (Johnny) and I enjoy gardening and eating from it even more, who doesn’t right? Well, over the last four years we have revamped our gardens look many times. I do believe we have now found the fit for us. We now have three 8×4 raised beds and many containers. We plan to make another 8×4 soon. What you see here is only the tip of the iceberg on our containers.

This past weekend it was decided we would rebuild our raised beds, building them higher and of course planting. Building them higher was a ploy to keep the dogs out, not sure it worked but the floating row covers do help. Wow, what a task we took on. First, we went and got compost – I could still be sore from that shoveling but who is to say :). Then we gathered all the materials to make the beds the way we wanted, this meant trips to Ace Hardware and Lowe’s!  My husband and I worked hard to get this done in two days. Okay, he worked harder but I still worked. We were able to finish two as you can see in the photo, don’t mind Rhea she loves to sunbathe.

We grow all our food organically and love to try new stuff. We have organic soil, fertilizer and even filter our water for the plants. So far this season we have planted onions, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beans (a variety of them) and peas. We also have a plethora of herbs and lettuces, not to mention our cacti and flowers. The next two raised beds will have kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, corn and sunflowers. No not all together 🙂 of course.

Gardening is something I have done all my life. My mother taught me early on to grown our own veggies and fruits and I have tried to pass that on to my kids…not that I think I succeeded though. I had gardens in Georgia, Florida, Arizona and now in Texas… I will say that growing foods in Arizona and Texas is more work than Georgia and Florida. In the southwest I just dropped the seeds and the Earth did all the work, not here…indeed.

Working with Mother Nature is one of those things that soothes the soul. It is peaceful and you can really clear your mind while working the ground. What you reap is very worth the work and effort you put into it.

Our plan is to be able to can or freeze all the extra foods that the crops bring in so we can have fresh organic foods all year round. We don’t own the home we are in now so we are unsure about getting our own fruit trees just yet, but that is a plan for our future.

Here are some other photos from our garden…

We have garlic, lavender, cilantro, parsley, lettuce (2 kinds in there), oregano, rosemary and mint, dill, onion chives and behind them some flowers.

Do you have any gardens? What do you love to grow? I’d love to hear your stories.

%d bloggers like this: