What’s behind the closet door?

I’ve often exercised my brain cells thinking about my cupboards and closets.  They are a mess.  I don’t care about them…only how it relates to the fact I’m a closet slob!  One of the ways I irritate him is by my lack of rules when it comes to putting the dishes away out of the dishwasher.  I know, generally, which cupboards they go in but I just stick them where they will go.  Judging by the noise created when he is cooking, I know that he is beyond irritated.  I once thought it was a control thing…you control and disobey the actions you can because other things are out of control.  I don’t think this applies to my life now.  I just don’t care.

I was stacking quilts and blankets in the guest room closet the other day – I realized they would probably fit better if I folded them all the same way and stacked them neatly.  Okay..the first one or two but then it was just get it done.

I have also wondered if it had to do with my upbringing.  My mother was a stickler on organization…no clutter, everything in its place and closets and cupboards with closed doors were just as important as the neatness of the rest of the house.  OH PISHAW!

Another theory I have is – the pain or shame or anger or grief is hidden within.  Stuffed in until nothing else will fit.  But on the outside … the me that everyone sees is neat and tidy and put together.

I don’t know.  Soliciting opinions here.

Until next time….

What is under the sheets?

I think it is a chigger.  Although, it is quite possible that I carry the little vermin around with me…somehow… considering the amount of bites I have.  I also suspect chiggers because of the location of those bites…around undergarments and in the nether regions.  I don’t understand the life cycle or the habits of these little bastards but I’m so over it.  Every morning when I get up – I have another itch!  and, of course, these are not places you can scratch in public like, say, a mosquito bite….and it’s not like I don’t shower and scrub to rid myself of them!  gaawwwww!

We removed a cabinet (that I got with gold bond stamps in the 70’s) from the guest bedroom last night and I had to unload my wonderful collection of family memorabilia – namely old quilts.  Every time I see these quilts, I re-aquaint myself with the quilts and the notes my mother left on them so I know what they are and who made them.  I have never used one of them because I didn’t want to wear them out or damage them because, after all, they are family history.  Today, I changed my way of thinking.

When I’m gone, these quilts will go to my daughters…and while I’m guessing they will like quilts, I know they will not be able to appreciate the heritage.  I’m the one who heard the stories about these long past ancestors.  Even though I never met them, I am the one who will feel closest to them because of the stories and the visits to the cemeteries where they are buried and I always feel a pull wondering about their stories … their loves, their hates, their souls.



So…tonight..we will be sleeping under the love of my great grandmother, Sarah Cozine Brown.  I will be comforted by my great grandmother as I slumber…and so will the chiggers.

Until next time….

Can manipulators be manipulated?

I’ve been manipulated by the best of them.  It obviously took me awhile to figure it out.

I found information on studies of the consummate manipulator that I found to be accurate in my own life.   The brazen schemers stand out in my life like a splash of ice water on a hot day…now, anyway.  I don’t like them or the me that they were able to control by using exactly the tactics in the wiki article.  If I had turned it around on them – would they succumb to a different game?  I think some narcissists are completely unaware of their unstable personality but deep down in their psych, they know what works..but I think it is habit rather than intellectual awareness.

What I really want to know is really the answer to my own question…

I’ve manipulated and I’ve been aware of it.  Sometimes I think we learn to manipulate because we know what to do to accomplish our goal.  I can simplify my theory by just saying that I know how to ask the question so as to get the response I want.  I’ve learned to lead into a question, read body language or facial expressions to help me determine how I will approach the request.  This seems simple to me….yet I absolutely do not consider myself a textbook manipulator.

I remember Dr Phil’s mantra – You teach people how to treat you – and I think that can go both ways.  Most often in a significant other relationship, it is pretty easy to know what buttons to push to get the reaction you want.  The victim, in this case, accepts the abuse or cowtows to a mood, a look or a tone of voice and complies with the request.  The “manipulator” knows what works and perfects the control.  Once established, the rest is easy.  Until the manipulated figures it out.  You teach people how to treat you and they will…. until you change the rules.

Sometimes I think those rules can be changed through conversation and a mutual desire stop the behavior…but I think most often, the victim must refrain from allowing it to work…. the theory that I can’t change you but I can change me which will change you.

There’s my answer.

Until next time…

Kidney cancer and living life

It’s impossible to generalize the facts of living life through the kidney cancer diagnosis and treatment.  But the one thing that I think is a sure thing:  It changes us.

We fight the devil!

Through reading blogs and comments on social media sights, I’ve found we all have one thing in common…we want to live!

Personally, I want to live differently.  A suggestion in someone’s blog (sorry – can’t remember who) stated the fact that once we are diagnosed and once we go through the emotional and physical trauma of treatment, we are one step ahead of those who have not been diagnosed.  We know.  We’ve been there.  We know how to fight….and the majority of us fight until the bitter end whether it is cancer that gets us or something else…because no one is going to make it out of this life alive .. forever.

I had no symptoms prior to my diagnosis.  I hear this from so many.  The kidney cancer was found “by accident”.  I can’t say that i’ve always taken care of myself. I did worry that my lifestyle would some day cause me to decline faster than my peers.  But, I also must say that I expected a little warning that things were going south.

It’s different now.  I’m a survivor!  I have twinges of fear about this pain or that pain!  But I have a new hope for my life and a new perspective…I’m cured for now…but I also now how quickly and without warning that can change.  Whatever my  circumstance I have this moment…this minute in time…to live and to love.

Until next time…

Please ask me about my George Foreman grill!

Another one of those success stories from Icehouse auction!

The best part was being the high bidder at $20….the second best part….. I was on the other side of the room when I bid on it and when we got ready to leave, after he carried everything to the truck, I said…..don’t forget the grill and he said, “WE BOUGHT A GRILL???”  Drawing out the Grilllll part!

I decided while he was gone, I would learn how to grill on it.  The last picture was my sweet potato slices snack this afternoon.  Just dipped in olive oil and a little salt.  Not crisp but a very satisfying snack!  It is going to be great for camping when we don’t want to wait on charcoal to heat up.

One other “food for thought” story.  Many of you know I’ve given up sugar and gluten….processed sugar and bread (because gluten free bread sucks) and use only gluten free flour and pasta.  By doing so I dumped 60-65 pounds depending on the week.  I also have my joint pain under control and my food cravings are nearly non-existent.  With company this weekend, I ate with wild abandon….my elbows and hands ached, my eye bags had eye bags and I craved sweets…I couldn’t quit thinking about food!  Monday morning scale reading was up 5 pounds….I know I didn’t eat 15,000 calories to the excess!  I’m not unhappy about the experience…it just confirmed what I already knew!

until next time……

I worry about my crush on Michael Strahan….

Before I delve into this, let me explain…  When I was young, I used to have crushes on Andy Williams, Perry Como, Tom Jones and other atypical hot entertainers and actors.  Oh holy crap…like Baltimore Orioles pitcher, Jim Palmer.


Now that I’m old, I can totally appreciate the attractiveness of younger men….like one of the golfers with the awesome eyes in the U.S. Open I watched last weekend.

But, it’s no longer about just the physical attributes!  I was in love with David Letterman’s humor and quick wit for years…but Michael Strahan has replaced him.  it’s not his eyes and huge physique…its that wit and amazing personality….I just want to believe that what I see is the real Michael.  I just can’t bring myself to believe that it is just a public Michael…he has to be the real deal…..I will/would be so disappointed if I found out that he is a wife beater or treats service people like crap……

Have you ever met someone that was physically attractive to you and then when you became more acquainted with them they became much less physically attractive once their personality or lack of personality becames obvious…and the other way around – those people who may not fit your image of attractive but as you get to know them, you see their adorable-ness start showing in their face, their eyes or their smile?  It’s the best.

and just for the record….I also love Oprah’s strength, character and soul.

…and let me name a couple of politicians that I find have attractive characters…


Until next time…..

We are all in this together!!!!

My friend, Tracy, put this on Facebook this morning.


The first 3 likes were from people who have had a cancer diagnosis.  This is so true with all joys and pain we go through in life.  When our friends and family step up to say “I’m so happy for you” or I”m so sorry” it helps, it makes us feel loved, it reminds us that we are not in this life alone and love actually does help us to heal!  Whether you believe in prayer to God, or just the energy raised up to the universe, there is healing power!

Yesterday afternoon, we finally made the decision to have Billy put to sleep.


The decision ripped at my soul.  It was agony…when he was finally at peace, I went to the parking lot leaned on the truck and let the pain and agony release in my sobs.  If you have ever loved an animal and had to put them down, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The words from friends on Facebook were healing..each was soaked into my soul so the healing can begin.

But there was a little guilt.  My friend, Tam, just lost her son…she left me a message of how sorry she was for my loss.  I don’t even have words here.  Tam is reaching out to me and has empathy for me for the loss of my kitty compared to the recent loss of her boy….no words.

….so today, I must buck up.  I know for awhile I’ll walk into the laundry room and expect to see Billy laying on the dryer turning on his back so I’ll give him some loving.  Every time I walk by the pantry cupboard, I will notice the scratch marks where he would scratch to let us know he was up there and deserved a little belly rub.  I will miss him from the bottom of my heart.  But I will heal and I hope I can send healing energy to someone else in their time of need.  I know it works!

Until next time….

Trees of Life

GroundHog commented on yesterday’s blog “Empty Houses have no soul” that he also felt there were evil trees….I was quite taken aback by his comment because I’m a tree hugger and never, ever been in the presence of an evil tree.  He expounded on it in his blog this morning and I understand what he sees….and feels?

I have always soaked up a lot of peaceful energy from trees.  Years ago, we planted two weeping willow trees and because of the awesome wet soil, they became massive weeping willow trees in just a few years.  During many of my high anxiety moments, I would walk down to the trees, stand under them, gently stroke the leaves and just feel.  I felt peace and healing.  There was a willow tree at a camping spot at Red Rock Lake that I used to lay my head back on the lawn chair and just let the peacefulness soak in.  I’ve always used this picture I copied from the internet as my blog profile picture.


I think my Dad had a similar love for trees; but, I question that he would admit to their healing power.  My dad loved to plant trees in our backyard when I was growing up.  My mother, of course, used to complain that there were too many trees..I interpreted her words for dislike and I didn’t like her for it!  I was shocked many years later when he had a grove of trees bulldozed out of the family farm in order to make more room for crops.  This was my grandma’s farm and he rented out the farm ground so I understood the reason for losing the grove of trees…but I didn’t like it!

….and just to pass along a little family joke….One year we were on vacation…I have no idea which state we were driving through but we passed by a grove of weeping willow trees.  I made the off hand remark that you just don’t see weeping willows trees very often…sometimes it would be wiser to just keep my thoughts inside my head…to this day the family remembers…and they always point out weeping willows to me with the words…you just don’t see weeping willows very often…and to this day, I always give them the “side look”.

Until next time….

Empty Houses have no soul….

We took my car in for service this morning so when he picked me up we just drove further into Lee’s Summit  to pick up Jaxon.  In my non-talkative morning funk, I was deep in thought looking at houses…thinking about the big picture…there are people and families in those houses that I don’t know.  The people probably have similar problems and worries and love….what a huge humanship we are part of.  One house we passed gave me a totally different “feeling”.  The house didn’t have  a soul – I realized as we continued on that there were no curtains at the windows…obviously the house was empty.

This is not the first time I’ve had this feeling but it is the first time I have been able to define the emotion I was feeling.  On my twice daily walk down Hidden Valley Drive, I walk by a very nice house – very well maintained – lawn is mowed, flowers in beds along the front, curtains at the windows…but I have never seen any activity – including no lights on at night or evidence of cars in and out.  I also feel this house has no soul.  I’m quite confident that the number of scenarios I’ve entertained could make a readable mystery novel.

I’m listening to Papa and Jaxon playing downstairs.  I love to hear his sweet little voice as he explores.  It’s a bittersweet day though as he and I are about to lose our senior cat, Billy aka Bill Clinton.  In December of 2007, I finally wore him down and he agreed that I could adopt a cat.  Billy and I connected – although at the time, the ARL had named him Mouser.  He was beautiful and sweet and gentle.  His welcome to our home involved me getting out of the car carrying him in his cat carrier – he took quite a tumble as I slipped on the ice and he was air born.  Through his life with us, he accepted 3 dogs and 4 other cats…but he was always the main man!  Earlier this year, we had several mast cell tumors removed from his body and learned that the cancer would be back.  He’s lost a lot of weight but kept his personality until the last couple of days.  He’s not eating – not even sneaking people food.  He walks away from his beloved cheese.  We have seen the light go out of his eyes.  We are just waiting now.  I stayed up with him for awhile last night just willing him to stop breathing so we don’t have to have him euthanized. *tear.  If you have ever loved an animal, you understand the pain.  So.


Until next time…..

Fun with social media….

When I blog, it is almost guaranteed that I have some passion behind it.  After lots of soul searching and therapy, I have lots of positive passion now compared to, say, my blogs of 2009 when I blogged more out of desperation to find air space somewhere because I knew I wasn’t going to make it up to the top of the lake.

The passion in my blogs usually comes from something I’ve been thinking about for some time and I’m ready to discuss AND I want to know what others think – whether they agree or disagree – I want to know.  There are very few times when I haven’t considered a different perspective.  I love the art of deep thinking.  I also blog as a way to get my life and my thoughts down in black and white, so to speak.  May I humbly say for the next generations?  As I spend countless hours lost in genealogy, I am left so sad by not knowing the details.  How many times I have thought to myself – why didn’t I ask my dad this or that.  My life, my thought process and my perception of events are there for my family when they fly in to earth in their space car.

Yesterday’s blog, What labeled pigeon hole do I fit in?, came from lots of thinking and reading about introverts and extroverts.  While I really don’t like labels for the most part, I am kind of obsessed with knowing that I’m normal…and, of course, normal being a label that probably requires a heavy black magic marker line.  I did  get some feedback on the in/ex question – especially an informative little TED talk that he sent me from You Tube last night.  Then Ground Hog told me he though perhaps I was omnivert which sent me immediately to google where I was hooked up with another WordPress bloggess.  I’ve only read one of her posts but I think I’m going to like her theories.

My best conversation, though, also with groundhog was about my blog about religion and the bible.  He and I are several miles apart in our beliefs and biblical convictions….Random Sunday Morning.  A healthy dialogue between the two of us felt really good.  I think we both knew that it was not going to change either of our minds…but I loved the give and take.  The argument.  The agreeing to disagree that we have always had about nearly every topic…

So I leave you today with the challenge…if you have something to say about what I write, I want to know.  I love a good discussion and the only thing I will not tolerate is disrespect.

Until next time….