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.
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!
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…
This 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.
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!
Every 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.
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 it. 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 them
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
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.
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.