Perfect weekend

The brother-in-law and the bestie came for a visit Friday night and Saturday.  Obviously ordered by the mental health angels.  We began our trip to Bennett Spring feeling loved and centered!

As happens every time we drive down into the park my heart sang with old memories of happiness and making new memories with him.  After setting up, we headed to the lodge for dinner at 4:30 …. exactly the way old people are supposed to do it.  I have hope every time we are here that the food will improve but I swear they can’t even pull off a tasty hamburger…we are repeat customers mostly because of the ambiance and history.  The lodge along with most all of the other buildings and bridges here were built by the CCC in the 30’s.

After dinner we hit the park store to check for off season sales and to scope out my future purchases.


We bought a couple of ball caps which were a necessity because it started raining.  After a hot and humid day on the stream, rain brings on the eerie fog which roles from the spring down the stream.  Fisherman actually are lost from View by the fog.


…..and when we got back to the campsite…


Namaste…

Not my first goat rope

Or not my first rodeo but today ….. put it in Perspective.

I have had a headache for a little over a month.  I’ve been on two rounds of antibiotics, 5 days of prednisone and now on steroidal eye drops.  I’m better today….it’s just a vague headache but I’m really out of sorts and it has thrown my entire peaceful agenda into disarray.  Okay….it isn’t really the headache….it is my REACTION to not feeling well.

  • He’s only a 23 pound 9 month old child who is a charmer who smiles all of the time and has a voracious appetite.. unless he is tired and needs a nap….then his screaming can peel paint from the walls.  He’s only a 23 pound baby….it’s just a thing until it isn’t a thing…he’s one of the loves of my life!
  • I killed at least 13 flies in the house yesterday and have already killed 5 this morning.  They have to be coming in from somewhere.  They are only flies…they aren’t snakes or dinosaurs.  They are only flies.
  • It is September 21st and there is a heat advisory out for this area.  Heat and humidity for crying out loud.  I can’t stand the humidity.  It’s just hot, princess….you can spend your time indoors in the air conditioning.
  • Trump is still President and the republicans are trying to take away healthcare and innocent souls are dying because of global warning,  okay…..you are on to something there….put it into Perspective….I CAN’T.

Until next time…..

Control is an illusion….

Free will to make decisions, yes…actually being in control….no, not really.

I am a recovering control freak!  I’ve spent many years making firm decisions, manipulating situations and other people so that things could or would be done “correctly”.  There are few people that I willingly allowed dominance over me and usually this was accomplished by fellow manipulators….or perhaps I should include those who held a superior roll in my life…like bosses or parents.  I usually figured it out eventually.  When I look back on it, I don’t really regret my weaknesses because I learned the lessons and eventually recognized the signs.

Back in the day when I would adjust the TV Guides and remotes on the coffee table several times a day, become angry when things were not done the way I thought they should be done, I started realizing that this wasn’t about the TV Guide, etc at all.  It was actually a power move to have control over things I thought I COULD control….and these were very insignificant things when viewing the big picture.

I now see control as an illusion in order to protect ourselves.  My Kidney cancer diagnosis was one of those face slaps that brought reality to the forefront.  Bad things happen, relationships cease to function and sometimes….it’s just a fact….life does not always work out they way we demand and/or plan.  We have our hopes and dreams but the bottom line we must just react on a daily basis to life.  I’m finding that life is so much easier and peaceful when I don’t have carved in stone expectations of others or situations.  We don’t really control anything, we make wrong and right decisions based on the facts we are given.  Control freaks are difficult people and speaking from experience, I don’t think they are generally happy people…we are afraid of the unknown and I think we cause ourselves more grief when we are unwilling to just “roll with it”!

Until next time….

Developing invisible armor

While on my meditative walk tonight, I realized that occasionally ….like tonight….I feel like I’m wearing some type of invisible armor.  It’s not like I physically don this armor or perhaps more like bubble wrap…it’s just there.  I feel safe, I like being with me.

I have 10 years of ninasusan blogs and many pages of less articulate screaming-in-my-head saved in my own personal diary…pages in spiral notebooks and on my computer….i was always attempting to find a reason why I felt like a victim all of the time …. why I was damaged…..why I couldn’t get my shit together and stop the angry voice!  Searching, searching!

I THINK that only a handful of people in my life knew of my angst and hatefulness.  I THINK I presented myself as confident, sane and loving.  We never, ever know what hardships and heartaches our friends may be going through.

But the fact of the matter is this:  if we are wallowing in our own self pity and not liking who we are deep down in our soul…our private stash of pain, it takes the DESIRE and self reflection to sort it out and seek the answers.  No one is going to be able to fix me other than me.  I heard so many times that you have to love yourself before you can love others…I always thought that sounded trite. I related it to loving the way I look…the societal view of outer physical beauty and I knew I would never get there.  What I believe it really means is loving what is deep down there inside…what others can’t see….or they do see from our actions and words…we just don’t know they can see it.

One step at a time…casting out the demons…the envious, judgemental thoughts that we feel about others which manifests by the way we treat people mentally and verbally.

It’s a process….always a work in progress…listening to those people closest to us that have the guts to tell us the truth then listening to the dialogue in our head and then one day at a time…rephrasing that dialogue.

My thoughts about me tonight.  I’m doing the work…the walk is uphill most of the time…but the occasional downhill peace of mind is love and inner peace.

Until next time….

I feel like an over achiever

I exceeded my Fitbit step goal today….and made my stairs goal.  First time in a very long time.  I have gone through periods in my life that I felt compelled to walk…before fitbit or the other convenient electronics…I had to plan out my route by driving the route to figure out what kind of mileage I would be putting in.  We lived in the country and I walked gravel roads…3.5 miles if I was feeling lazy and 4 miles if I was energized.  At the time, I had a love hate relationship with gravel roads…I ate a lot of dust from passing cars and trucks, I cursed a lot of cars and trucks who made no attempt to slow down when passing a walker, I never felt safe listening to music on my “Walkman” “MP3 player” as loud as I wanted to….but walking on country roads was the time for me to think without distractions.  I loved the evening walks when I would come upon a hollow (a small valley for you city folk) and the temperature would drop and it would just smell different.  Evening with the sun going down always felt and smelled different than walking under a blazing sun.   I stopped walking for some reason.  life changed.  Not good or bad…just changed…I lost my groove.

When we moved to Missouri, I started walking again…not 4 miles but at least a mile and sometimes 2.  Its different walking in a neighborhood….more distractions, more people.  I am not a social walker.  I prefer to walk alone and I prefer not having to fake friendliness with the neighbors.  I just wanted to walk….and then I lost my groove again.  

Today, I felt like walking.  I was diagnosed a couple weeks ago with some “iron poor tired blood” ……in case you remember the phrase from geritol commercials.  The doctor has me taking a significant amount of daily iron to build me back up.  When I took Frannie on her late night walk, I realized that I wanted to walk me too…we walked down to the end of the street tonight instead of just 3 houses down.  Maybe I didn’t really just lose my groove…maybe I was just running my iron tank too low.  I have hope!

Until next time….

Not my first but probably my last…

My blog…my story….my opinions.

I had my fill of dominant, aggressive, insecure men today……and the soft spoken preacher-like man who invaded my space to point to my heart and asked me if I could feel my heart beating…that was God speaking directly to me that he is connected on and on and on.  

The over bloated bully who showed up with his side kick (who only grunted because he was devouring a mcdonalds breakfast sandwich)….informed me that I didn’t have enough stuff to sell to call it a garage sale…bad mouthed an old croquet set I had from Menards and passed over 3 boxes of ceramic tile spouting, “I suppose these are Menards too”.  After looking at our reccumbent bikes with a Sneer,  he asked me how much for them…I said 250 apiece…he said do you have change for a 10.  I’m very upset with myself as I write this that I let it go on and on and didn’t order him off of MY F’ING PROPERTY.

The soft spoken preacher leach.  Why did I let him go on and on and on.  He wasn’t buying…he was spouting his religion to a sucker that didn’t tell him I wasn’t interested in hearing his BS!

My heart went out to the old man that said he was going to garage sales because his wife is a computer game addict…playing Words with Friends….he had to be home by 10 because he was afraid she would lose track of time and miss her doctors appointment again?!

I totally enjoyed the women…the groups of women….the elderly sisters who watched out for each other and told each other they didn’t need it.  The elderly woman that weighed no more than 100 pounds with a pale complection that was so grateful when I helped her carrying things to her car.

….and my favorite….the second generation Mexican woman in America…we started out talking about Chiefs football and ended up talking about immigration….illegals …. and her family who came to America for a better life…worked for their citizenship…and became successful Mexican Americans….she had no affection or sympathy for illegals who sneak in to America and have to hide because they will not participate in the process of becoming legal.  She had some valid points.

Garage sale Day 2 tomorrow….

Until next time,,,,

Save it for retirement

How many thoughts, beliefs habits do we learn from our parents without even realizing it.  In those 18 years of breathing the same air as those who gave birth to us, we learn values, beliefs and habits.  Sometimes as adults, we realize the error of those ways or, unfortunately, we may just continue to do what we have been taught…right or wrong…and never break destructive cycles.  Other times I think something clicks and we realize that we need to alter the way we think so we set upon a road of  discovery….perhaps in our own minds we do this to save the next generation or more likely we just make changes because the learned habit or behavior just does not feel right.

…..and then sometimes something just sticks….like my dad’s mantra…I’m saving it for retirement.  Good clothes, boots, plans and dreams.  i.e. Dad was given an allowance by his employer for new boots every year….he bought boots….but he put them away for retirement and continued wearing his old boots.  Unfortunately when he passed, we cleaned out several pairs of unworn boots.  I learned from my mother to put your “good” clothes in the back of the closet so they are there when you need them and wear your faded clothes with stains around the house everyday so you don’t have to worry about ruining them.

I made inroads yesterday accompanied by an eye roll.  I needed to take food for a Labor Day gathering.  I pulled out the picnic basket (which I’ve had for many years…perhaps a wedding gift 38 years ago 🙄) and some hot pads I bought 20 years ago on a couple trips to Charleston, SC.  Yep.  they are in perfect condition because to keep them nice, I’ve used towels and cardboard boxes for food transport.


I realized yesterday….how silly this habit is and that I’m probably not normal…blame my parents!

Until next time….

I will try

I woke up peacefully this morning.  I slept with the drapes over the open deck door wide open last night and the view overwhelmed me with contentment……I allowed myself the luxury of laying in bed drifting in and out of light dozing and soaking in the love and friendship of the girls weekend in Des Moines.


As fall weather starts the slow creep with cool overnight temperatures, I hope to wake each morning feeling love and peace and remove myself from the pain that seeps in during the day from the news of what is happening in our country.  because I can’t physically do anything about the ugliness all around me, I will endeavor to combine my peacefulness and love collectively with other loving souls and send it quietly out into the universe.  This will be a challenge to close myself off to the negative I allow to be fed to me.  But, I will try.

Until next time…..

Weakening your opponent

Are we just harming ourselves?  I’m not sure yet if I believe in the karma theory but I know in the past from my mental flapping, I’ve entertained lots of negative hopes for those who have been on the other side of my personal battle line.  It is starting to sink in that you are what you think…in other words…negative attitudes and gossip or bad mouthing others is nothing more than a show of your own personal insecurity.  Continually trying to drag someone else down with your words and attempting to incite YOUR jealousies in others really only feeds your own negative agenda.  ESpecially if your opponent is wearing the shield of love and their own personal acceptance and self love.  It’s unflattering and harmful only to the person doing the bashing!

We have no control over how we were treated and loved or not loved as children.  We have no control over how other people treat us.  But we do have total control how we receive the information and more importantly our reaction to negativity.  After a conversation with a friend today AND my own personal experience, I’m convinced sometimes we must just cut ties with those people who hurt us with their words, actions and intentions.  As a people pleaser, it is often hard to stop the cycle of trying to force people to love us and respect us.  For the most part, these relationships bring us pain, sadness and personal retreat in order to save ourselves!  These relationships are not worth the angst experienced in your mind and in your heart!

Until next time….

I have something to say…

But currently I’m working through it.  I don’t have understanding right now.  This is why I journal…both privately and publically on ninasusan.com…For the most part, my private journaling is paragraph after paragraph of thoughts that either would not make sense to anyone else or would, quite frankly, piss them off….it may be a book someday.  This blog is a more polished version of what I think  I know to be true.  Sharing back and forth with others is like frosting on my cake.

I find clarity in meditation and journaling….clarity and healing….  I’m seeking understanding about love and friendships.  From somewhere deep within me, I’m realizing that in spite of the parenting I received, I was unconditionally loved by a grandparent from both sides of my family..maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother.  This has been life changing for me…the little girl who grew up believing that love had to be earned.

Through the years, I’ve had a few faulty relationships with friends and family.  I have worn myself out trying to figure out why some of these relationships don’t work….so I started to simply analyze the relationships that do work.  Here’s what I think….those who have grown up with unconditional love are able to love themselves and are free to share that love with friends and family.  It’s just who they are.  Those close to me who have the same vacant love history also have the need and capacity to love when we are connected with respect and “unconditional” friendship that blossoms….and one step further those who are unable to love themselves and have not learned to trust or respect others, for whatever reason, are satisfied with superficial friendships and just do not have the ability to form honest, trusting relationships?  

I guess my bottom line is I must stop trying to earn love and friendship.  Relationships need to have the right ingredients to form and grow and for me, negativity is not one of those ingredients.

Your turn, Please!