Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

WW: You couldn’t pay me to…


I’m struggling with this week’s prompt. I mean, there are a lot of things I say I’d never do but the truth is that for the right amount of money I’d go all Indecent Proposal and Fear Factor on all sorts of situations. Give me enough money to live off of comfortably so I can do what I love full time and yep… I’d do a lot of stuff.

I suppose the one thing I probably would never be able to do no matter the money is kill someone. I’m sure if in the god awful position of self defense I could do it, but I could never just set out to end someone’s life. Or an animal for that matter. Yes, I eat meat and yes I know where it comes from. But I can’t be the one doing the killing. Like, I’ve always thought it horribly cruel to pick out your own lobster from a tank for dinner. I don’t want to know that what I’m eating was happily swimming around a few minutes before. LOL call me weird, it’s okay. I CAN however kill bugs, and although I haven’t killed a bat, I will beat the shit out of one with a tennis racket if it’s in my space bubble because yuck. (Sorry, Bron…).

Am I taking this topic too seriously? Watch, everyone else will be all “You couldn’t pay me to eat a bug!” and I’m like, “Murder… I can’t do murder.” LOL

Check out what my girls won’t do for money and be sure to share what you couldn’t be paid to do in the comments!

Bronwyn Green
Jenny Trout
Kris Norris
Jessica Jarman
Gwendolyn Cease

Wednesday Words – Fears & Phobias

This week we’re talking about fears and phobias. Oy vey, this was a hard one! I feel like the older I get, the more fears I have. I also feel like that’s backward. Shouldn’t my fears decrease as I grow older and wiser? Nevertheless, here’s a list of my top phobias in no particular order.

Big Scary Bridges – My yearly writer’s retreat is waaaaay up in the tippy top of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s gorgeous up there and last year was a blast. The one drawback is that in order to get to the UP, though, is that we have to cross the Mackinac Bridge. Although the Mighty Mac is pretty, she’s also big and scary. It’s the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world and the roadway is 200 feet high in the center of the bridge. When I’m crossing her I have visions of high winds blowing cars off into the water. (Hey, it happened!) Last year when we crossed the bridge it had been nearly 17 years since my first and only trip across the bridge. I think I did pretty well (no panic attacks, no crying, no hiding my face or popping of Ativan) but it still scares me. I almost enjoyed crossing it on the way back home and even took photos… But yeah, I’ve already told the retreat girls that if we take my car this year, I can drive as long as someone else drives us across the bridge.

Death of my Parents – I honestly don’t know how I’ll handle this. I fully envision winding up in a mental hospital over it when the time comes. I can’t imagine life without my parents.

Never Being a Mom – If you know me well or have read this or my previous blogs you know I want to be a mom more than anything. I’m totally afraid that I’m running out of time to have a baby the natural way and that I’ll never be able to afford to adopt because I have a suck ass job and live paycheck to paycheck.

Water I can’t See Across – I’m not nearly as scared of this as I was before I went on two cruises. But I still have a healthy fear of water I can’t see across and can’t touch the bottom of. Also, undertow.

Mental Illness – I have a fear that one day my clinical depression is going to take over. That instead of conquering it, it’ll conquer me. Which also leads back up to the never being a mom fear.

Bats – No, just, no. Especially when they’ve entered the space bubble of my home. Not okay. Nothing you can say will change my mind on this one.

Not Being Good Enough – Gee, could this post get any more depressing? Ugh! I worry that I’m not good enough at my job, my relationships with people, my crafts… Basically everything.

Okay, enough of this topic for me… what are your phobias? Leave a comment below and be sure to check out what my girls Bronwyn, Jessica, Leigh, Tess, and Kris have to say about phobias and fears! Oh and check out Jenny Trout’s blog too… she may or may not be joining the Wednesday Bloggers group, but even if she doesn’t, she’s amazing and you’ll love her. 🙂 Plus, her new book The Bride is finally out! Wee!!

Soul Sucking

It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t tell you what my last post was about. I need to blog in order to meet my goals for my writer’s group though so… Here I am. 🙂

Things are… odd. I’m still doing the job that sucks at my soul on a daily basis. I haven’t found the balance that I wanted to find which would let me do my job and still do the things I love. I’ve found that once again I’m being sucked into a void that is hard to see out of most days.

When I mention feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, the response I get from most people is either that it’s my own fault (poor boundaries, a bad attitude, etc.) or that I’m just not cut out to be a social worker (aka I’m too weak to do the job). I’ve known for a while now that my current job isn’t for me. The only reason I continue to do it is because I have bills and responsibilities and therefore can’t just quit my job like I did in my twenties because I’m unhappy. If I could walk into my office tomorrow and say, “I quit” it would be a glorious day. But I know that quitting a job in this job market without having another job lined up first is plain stupid. So I keep working. And I keep slipping.

Continue reading

Not okay.

http://www.thebullyproject.comI got a comment on my 50 Shades of Domestic Violence post this week that was so incredibly rude that I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  (Yeah, I’m talking about you, “bluelove.”) My first thought was to just delete it.  It’s my blog and I don’t have to let anyone’s awful victim blaming comments have space here.  Then I thought that maybe I should approve the post and then let my readers go to town on the person because I’m too pissed off to do it myself.

The more I thought about it though, I decided that I want you to see the bullshit comment that this woman posted in response to one of my readers saying that her husband gave her this book that is full of emotional abuse in hopes that it would improve their already abusive relationship.  I think people need to see what complete lack of empathy looks like.  What victim blaming looks like, and how incredibly WRONG it is. So instead of approving the comment where it was made, I’m going to just put it here.  She wrote the following:

Get back in the kitchen or leave your husband because women act like they don’t have a choice. Stop blaming men, stop blaming the media and stop blaming books. If you have the nerve to tell strangers on the internet that youre being abused, you should have the balls to leave him. There are two types of people:prey and predators. You decide which one you want to be. Does anyone blame the lion for eating the weak gazelle?

Bluelove, you clearly have no idea what it’s like to live in fear of your life because of a partner who uses power and control over every aspect of your being.  You have no idea how hard it is to “just leave” or how many victims are killed by their abusers when trying to do that.  You don’t know any of the pain that these victims go through.  You’re lucky.  My hope is that you never have to live through domestic violence whether it’s emotional or physical.  I also hope that if you do have to endure the spirit crushing pain that abuse brings, that no one is ever so insensitive to you.  Because I can say that as a survivor, comments like the one above are exactly what we don’t need to hear.  Comments like that are just as bad as the abuse and do absolutely nothing to encourage change.  Blaming the victim is never, ever okay.

Sunshine Award!

The lovely Chris Allen-Riley gave me a blog award! 🙂

So now I have to answer the questions below and pass the award on to some other bloggers. 🙂

1. What is your Favorite Christmas/Festive movie?

Oh man… just one?  I guess I’ll pick Elf because it still makes me snort.  But Love, Actually and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are other favorites. 🙂

2. What is your Favorite Flower?

Lillies.  My Grandma’s (Mom’s mom) maiden name was Lilly and I’ve always been drawn to the flowers.  Once I had a psychic reading by a medium and all I told her was my name and birth date.  The first thing she said to me was, “I’m seeing an older woman and she’s showing me a lily…”  That was her way of showing me that it was her.

3. What is your Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?
I’ve been on a cherry kick lately… Cherry Diet Coke, Cherry Coke Zero, Diet Cherry Pepsi… 🙂

4. What is your Passion?
My family, and being as creative as I can.

5. What is your Favorite Time of Year?
I love the fall!  I adore being able to wear jeans and a sweater but not need a coat.  It’s the perfect weather for a knitter like me. 🙂

6. What is your Favorite Time of Day?
It’s definitely not morning!  (The above mentioned Chris somehow managed to get my ass out of bed to have breakfast at 7:00 AM on a Saturday last weekend when we were at a writers conference… that’s some serious love right there, people!)  I love to stay up late working on writing or something artsy, but unfortunately I don’t get to do that as much as I’d  to.  Cause you know, I’m old. LOL

7. What is your Favorite Physical Activity?
Does sleeping count?  LOL  I love to walk but it hurts my body because of all of my mystery ailments so I can’t do it as much as I’d like.  I’m a water baby though, so any time I can be in or near the water makes me happy. 🙂

8. What is your Favorite Vacation Spot?
Disney World.  Absolutely love it there.  I want to live in Cinderella’s castle and stand at the window doing a princess wave every so often throughout the day.  LOL  Back when I had a decent job I used to go to Disney every year and it was awesome… for my 30th bday I went to Disney and met all of the princesses. LOL  Sadly I haven’t been there in several years. 😦

I pass this blog award on to…
Jen of Sweaters for Days and Moves Like Jaggger

Lara of Lara Writes

Margaret of Writing Slices

Getting Close

Just before 6:00 a.m. my mom woke me up because she thought that Grandpa was about to die. He was non-responsive and his breathing was very poor.

I’ve been sitting in this recliner next to my Grandpa’s bed for sixteen hours and he’s still hanging on. There were times when his breathing stopped for at least twenty seconds at a time and then would start back up again. Other times he’s asked about food and drink for the first time in about three weeks. His swallowing isn’t going so great now though so even when he’s thirsty it’s hard to get a good drink in him.

Thanks to the dementia he keeps forgetting what’s going on. He’ll say things like, “Maybe I’m so weak because I need food…” but he doesn’t understand that he hasn’t had more than a sip of juice or soup in almost a month. So we remind him that he hasn’t eaten and that seems to worry him. “That’s not good,” he says. We remind him about his Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and that it’s not getting better but he forgets that too. He’ll say, “Maybe those pills you give me will help…” but of course in order to take the pills he needs to be able to swallow.

We got a few pills in him just a little bit ago but it was a chore. The poor guy wanted nothing to do with the Juicy Juice he’s been drinking all week and swore that milk would be better. But with CHF when the heart starts failing it creates fluid buildup in his lungs so milk isn’t exactly the best choice since it can make him phlegmy.

Mom tried explaining to him that if he’s thirsty he should drink anything that’s wet and he agreed but then decided that he still didn’t want the juice. He says, “But I don’t want the juice.” She then told him that she didn’t care what he wanted and the look he gave me made me giggle. He looked at me like, “Did my daughter just tell me no?” 🙂 I watered down some milk for him and he handled it okay but of course it didn’t taste very good anyway because his sense of taste is off. He asked more about food and other things he couldn’t have and once again we explained why he couldn’t have them and why he wasn’t going to be getting any better.

It’s basically been like that all day with lots of napping in between. He’s still in there, still the goofy old man we all love so much, but he’s fading. I really hope that he can just let go sometime tonight so that he doesn’t have to go through another confusing day like this.

He’s ready even if he doesn’t remember telling us so, and as sad as it’ll be to see him go, we’re ready too. The living that he’s been doing for the last couple of weeks really isn’t quality. He’s seen all of his kids except for one, he’s seen almost all of the grand kids and great grand kids who live in the area, and he’s even seen his brand new great grandson via Facebook who was born just two days ago.

He’s talked about seeing people in heaven like my grandma, his brother, sister and his mom. Apparently he doesn’t think his dad is in heaven though, but maybe he’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂 Hopefully there Gramps will be able to eat all of the Filet-o-Fish and chocolate shakes that he wants, his ticker will be perfect, he’ll be able to walk without any assistance, and even better… he’ll be able to drive again!

I’ll admit, when we moved Grandpa in with us almost a year ago it was scary. I was worried about him getting hurt or dying on me when my mom wasn’t around to help me. Despite how hard the year has been though, I’m really glad we were able to have him here. He loved being able to visit with my brother’s crazy kids when they came to spend the night. He loved watching hour upon hour of Law & Order in his own living room while knowing that if he needed help we were just in the next room instead of a 30 minute drive away. He liked having the animals around even if he eventually forgot Sly’s name and just called him Big Cat and continuously pronounced Kia’s name wrong. Even the ongoing Ketchup Saga of 2012 is pretty funny now despite how annoying it was back when we were in the thick of it. (Gramps decided at one point that Heinz ketchup was too bitter for him but he claimed that it was because the ketchup was in his words, “rancid.” When we’d explain that the ketchup was brand new he’d point to the 57 on the Heinz logo and tell us that the bottle was from 1957. This happened almost daily for a while until we switched to the much sweeter Hunt’s brand. That eventually went rancid too and he just stopped eating ketchup.)

Sure, it’s been really, really hard on us. My mom not only had to quit nursing school just six weeks shy of finishing (she did get her LPN though, yay!) but she had to stop working and was pretty much here at home 24/7. I gave her respite as much as I could but of course with my own job I couldn’t do it as much as I would have liked. Hospice didn’t get into the mix until just a few months back and although they did help out and let her get out of the house a little some days, I wish I’d been able to help more or that other family would have helped more. But, what’s done is done and I know that my mom and I have given Gramps all he’s needed not just this past year but long before that. There’s no doubt in my mind that he knows just how much we love him.

Life for us is about to make a huge change again. Mom’s going to be able to go back to work, and we’ll go back to living in this house without a hospital bed in the living room. There won’t be an oxygen machine, syringes of morphine gel, and we won’t have to take turns leaving the house so that someone can stay here to Grandpa Sit. Of course we’ll miss him dearly, but we’ll also have so many great memories to keep in our hearts and for me at least, that’s the most important part and what I’m choosing to hold on to right now while sitting here next to him. He’s a pretty awesome guy and all of us who know him are blessed to have him in our lives and in our hearts.

Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. – YODA


Positivity and Feelings


I wrote not too long ago about the idea that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and how sometimes I don’t want to be stronger, I just want to be given a break. I’m still a firm believer in the idea that if you’re positive then you’re going to attract positivity but if you’re negative you’re going to attract negativity. I try to practice the Law of Attraction as much as I can and for the most part it works. I think though that some people are taking the positivity thing the wrong way.

It is perfectly okay, in my opinion, to be pissed off. If something upsets you, let yourself be upset. You don’t have to wallow in the anger and make it a huge part of your life, but you do have the right to be upset. I get so frustrated when I voice a concern and everyone I know jumps on me trying to show me the positive side and “fix” it so that I’m not upset. I’m entitled to feel whatever I feel, don’t try to change that. Let me feel what I want to feel. Just because you may have been through a similar experience doesn’t meant that I have to feel the same way that you do or move through my feelings at the same rate as you. If you want to share your experience with me, great… but do not try to tell me how I should feel, that simply isn’t up to you to decide.

I think people are too quick to say, “Oh I’m being so negative” and then push their feelings aside. So meanwhile we’ve got all of these people going around with forced smiles on their faces who haven’t actually allowed themselves to feel anything. I’m not okay with that.

Imagine if social workers, counselors, and doctors worked under that belief. If you came into my office for help because someone you loved was dying and instead of letting you express your feelings I just kept telling you why you shouldn’t feel that way. That wouldn’t help you deal with your grief at all. I know this because I’ve been a grief counselor and know that although it’s not healthy to let your grief define who you are, it’s also not healthy to deny your emotions. One of the things we used to say over and over again in the grief support groups that I led for years was “All feelings are okay.” It’s okay to be happy that someone died. It’s okay to be sad that someone died. It’s okay to be both happy and sad plus pissed off, confused, and scared too. We have feelings for a reason, denying them isn’t going to make your life positive.

So why do that to me in any other situation? If I’m pissed off because of something at work, let me be pissed off for a minute. Let me express my pissed-offed-ness and then once I’ve been able to feel and experience my feelings I can move on. Telling me that I shouldn’t feel what I’m feeling is only going to piss me off even more. LET ME FEEL IT! Tell me, “Man, that blows…” not “You shouldn’t feel like that because of X, Y and Z.”

Denying someone the opportunity to feel what they’re feeling is never okay. Like when a little kid cries over something, adults will often tell the child to stop crying. But essentially when you do that, you’re telling the child that it’s not okay to feel what they’re feeling. It may not be appropriate to throw a kicking and screaming fit on the floor when you can’t have another Oreo, and perhaps the child needs to be taught other means of expressing their feelings, but feeling upset is still okay. The whole “big boys don’t cry” thing is another pet peeve of mine. Actually, unhealthy big boys who are taught to stuff their feelings don’t cry. Healthy big boys do cry because they’re able to express their feelings.

In the past week I’ve had an aunt die and watched my Grandpa enter the final stages of his life. As I type this he’s at my house in a hospital bed deteriorating. I know that because of the current stress in my life I’m a lot more sensitive than usual. I also know that when people try to fix things for me it’s because they care. I know that not everyone is a social worker. Not everyone has been through the training I’ve been through and learned how harmful it can be to deny people their feelings. Because of that I try to have patience when people try to fix my problems when I’m not looking for a cure. But to be completely honest, I’m kind of at the end of my rope with the positivity crap right now.

Last week I said that I was upset because I didn’t have enough leave time to be home with my mom & grandpa the way I’d like to. The response I got was, “At least you have a job where you have leave time.” That didn’t help me at all. Who cares if I have a job where I earn leave? The point is that someone I love is DYING and I can’t be there because I myself am so sick all of the time that I used up my bank of leave time. The point is that my mother is alone at home watching her father die and no one else is there with her most of the time that I’m at work. That is the point. I can be pissed off about that all I want.

Yesterday I said that I didn’t like the way the Hospice nurse and nurses assistant treat me and my mom sometimes. The response I got was that they’ve got a hard job and they might not mean to come across the way they do. Yeah, and my Grandfather is dying in my house so my job is hard too but I’m not a jerk to the nurses when they visit therefore they don’t need to be jerks to us.

Today I said that a change at work was making not just me but everyone in the office uncomfortable. The response I got was that I should embrace the change because work isn’t a democracy. Telling me that isn’t going to make me say, “Holy crap, you’re right… I don’t have any right to be uncomfortable!”

Do you see where I’m going here? I totally get that the people responding to me were trying to be helpful. And I know for a fact that because I’m a social worker I often try to help people see all sides of a situation too, but there’s a difference between providing perspective and denying someone the chance to feel. There’s also a huge difference in being a negative person and allowing someone to feel emotion.

If all I ever did was bitch about how awful everything was and how the world hates me and I never smiled or laughed or believed in anything positive and was a huge bully to everyone, you could feel free to call me a Negative Nancy. But if I’m an essentially good person who is going through a hard time and happens to voice my frustrations so that I can process them and begin the progression of feeling better, please don’t get in my way by telling me that I’m wrong. Especially if you have no idea if I am wrong! If I’m wrong and you know it because you’re a part of what’s happening, by all means put a boot in my ass. Or if I’m wallowing in self pity a little too long and you can tell I need help, yes, step in and lend a hand. But if you’re just assuming that you know what’s best for me without knowing exactly what’s going on, stop. I have to be able to make my own mistakes and feel my own feelings and acknowledge my own stuff without someone telling me that I’m being too negative.

Nothing in the world would ever change and improve if everyone just forced themselves to be happy with everything at all times and didn’t allow themselves to get worked up every so often. Can you imagine how awful that would be? Don’t like racism? Too bad, that’s just the way things are. Think bullying is awful? Oh well, there’s nothing we can do about it. Someone treating you like shit? They probably had a bad childhood so just give them a break. Someone sexually abused your kid? That’s awful but get over it. Devastated that someone you love died? Move on, you’re being too negative. Or perhaps we can experience and acknowledge our feelings. We can use our feelings to change and grow or just simply process and move on. Feelings are meant to be felt.

The Girl With The Old Lady Bones

Arthritis might slow me down but it will never stop me!

Go-To-For-OT Blog

Sharing and Caring in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Dauchshunds and Xanax

and other assorted ramblings

Babbling Brook

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So sayeth the Prophet Chuck

Kris Norris

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my life with knitting