Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Has The Story Changed?

That was the question posed by Joe Terranova of the Fast Money Halftime Report, my daily dose of sage financial advice from my favorite experts.  He, of course, was referring to evaluating an equity.  My mind went to Anna.

Anna was born beautiful, smart, creative and amazing.   The minute I held her, tucked into a pink blanket at the hospital, I loved her.  When she was about four years old, she and I were playing outside, and my neighbor asked  if she was mine.  I explained that she was my friend’s daughter.  She winked at me and whispered, “But she’s really yours isn’t she.”  Before that moment I had thought that I thought of her as niece, but I guess I did have that, “Mom” thing for her.  “Yes,” I whispered back.

She and I did life together whenever we could, “Two big girls out on the town.”  Every year that passed, she was wise beyond.  And as she grew, friends and school activities took the front seat, but the bond, that I will never share with anyone else, remained.  I looked forward to her having a vocation, college, whatever she wanted to pursue.  After high school, I imagined that we’d get together from time to time, text always, she’d marry a wonderful man, have a satisfying career, children, and all the good that life offers.

Then there was that time when the story changed.  Around the age of seventeen, she began experimenting with drugs, most notably heroin.  When I found out, all I knew about heroin addiction was that the really bad and looser kids shot up.   She was a good kid.  She was raised in an upper-middle class environment.   How?  I did everything I knew to help her (also known as enabling/co-dependency) until it came to the point that my life was being destroyed.  Everyone did everything they could to help her (again — enabling).  Her cousin got her on the show Intervention.  They sent her to a top notch facility.  Didn’t work. 

For the last eleven years, I have been separated from her more often than not by either the drugs or the treatment.  In her way, she loves me, I know this, but I also know that she is not interested in a relationship with me.  Horrible as the addiction is, she’s still smart.  She understands our new story so much better than I do.  I try to communicate from time to time, text, call.  Sometimes she answers, but more often she doesn’t.  On occasion I’ll get an, “I love you” text, but if I reply, “Hey there.  How are you?”  Silence.  Once or twice a year, we do meet for a meal and it’s never awkward or uncomfortable, but each of our lives are very different now.  I don’t have a place in her’s and she doesn’t want a place in mine.  

So I have to ask God constantly to help me accept.  That little girl, who had a million dollar surplus in my emotional bank account, only made withdraws for years.   The question that Mr. Terranova asked about stocks, applies to an investment of time and love for me.  Yes, the story has changed.

I pray, I hope, that the story will change again.  “Two big girls on the town,” both matching the investment in the equity of our relationship.    

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Can't Talk

Although everyone under 25 years of age will disagree with me here, it is my belief that real communication comes in the face to face spoken word, which includes both words and body language.  Nothing has ever confirmed my belief more than a recent bout of laryngitis.  After about four hours in my forced vow of silence, I started wondering what would happen if we only had so many words to use over a life time, and what if I’d used all mine up.  Then I started wondering what words I would never have said if I’d know this fate was to befall me.

Did everyone in my senior class need to know that Kathy Mae slept with the entire football team as a bonus for a game well played?  Kathy Mae and I did not travel in the same circle, so I really don’t know if this is true, however, don’t tell anybody, but I heard from some very reliable sources...

Did I really need to call Frances Belle Wilkinson “fat so” and “zit face” because she uninvited me to her pool party?  Wouldn’t it have been better to tell her “you’re mean?”  Two less words.

After three days of texting and e-mailing my needs, often being misunderstood because my voice inflection was not present, sound returned to me; all my words intact.  I’d like to say that I “wax eloquent” and I speak the poetry of another famous Dylan all the time, but that would be lying; I hate lying.  What is true, is that when I start to gossip or yell at someone, there is an unpleasant twist in the pit of my stomach that reminds me, “This could be your last word.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Minecraft at 50 something

I am madly in love with my nephew.  Because of this, I was willing to spend hours hovering over his shoulders, while he created amazing universes that include museums, libraries, coffee shops and hot dog stands.  Once in a while, he'd tire of my loitering, and suggest I purchase a game of my own, then we can be co-maestros of worlds yet to be founded.  I'd always decline, preferring to champion his next effort (that's what I told him anyhow.  The truth is, I had a love affair with the Mario Brothers in my 20's, and spent many a sleepless night trying to save the princess. Yes, you could call it gamer addiction).  My other excuse, was that my 2004 laptop couldn't handle the massiveness of Minecraft (this was 100% true).

When I purchased a new Apple, the hard sell began (read - I know I have you wrapped around my pinky finger and I've decided it's time for you to cave).  So, I plunked down the $20 at, and as suspected, I'm hooked.  Yes, we do spend Sunday afternoons creating villages, complete with villagers, water features and high rises, and we laugh and he complains when I do something terribly un-expertly-Minecrafty (aka "n00b").  But as I feared, I'm hooked.  When he goes home, I mine and search for diamonds and hidden shelters filled with lava and water falls, sometimes until midnight (which is two hours past my bedtime).  

This is totally different than my former days though.  This time, I'm exercising my brain.  After all, the use of tools such as mathematics, logic and creative acumen is intrinsic to Minecraft play.   Minecraft is surely better than any crossword, and I'm improving my skills so that my darlin little guy can complain less and fun more.  And, he designs "mini-games" that force logic, fun and to his credit, they're better than any thing available on the market.  This is not addiction, this is improvement, growth and perhaps even spirituality.  


Monday, May 12, 2014

Think About It

I just heard that a network dropped a show because the parties were Christian and “anti-gay.”  Both sides of this story make me want to vomit.  What this action says, is that Americans are not allowed to think the way they think.  Communism springs to mind.

I am Christian to the bone.  I have two dear friends, who I love very much, that are lesbians, have been together for over 60 years, and are interracial.  Don’t think they can get much more controversial if they tried.  Both are extremely generous, they use their gifts and talents to change the lives of many, predominantly young people, and the line of folks they’ve helped could circle around the globe. 

I have many Christian friends who have done the same.  I love them too.  I don’t think it’s the Christian community at large, or the gay/lesbian community at large that create the animosity.  I think it’s small groups on each side that have decided the world should behave as drones and no one should have their own opinions or thoughts and if you do, we’ll fire you, hate you, put you in a box.

As for the gay/lesbian group(s) who got these folks fired, shame on you.  We are in an era where employment is hard to find and Americans need to work.  You have to accept that not everyone will agree with your lifestyle.  To the "anti-gay" protestors who think their rallies change anything, shame on you for trying to tell someone else how to live.  Just for the record, I've never heard of a gay/lesbian man or woman choosing to go straight because of a rally.

I’m around young people a lot and I’m often asked, as a Christian, how do I feel about gays?  The bible says that folks shouldn’t lay with the same sex.  It also says that we shouldn’t judge and it also says that the most important gift is love.  America is a democracy where American citizens have rights of choice and freedom.  

I always tell those young people about my two friends and how I can’t imagine either one of them living any other way.  I choose to live differently and that's okay with both of us.  What’s not okay is not to love or to attempt to control another because their opinion differs with yours.  

Monday, March 24, 2014


I’m 74% city girl, 24% Beach Bum, with just a tad of farm girl nudged into each of those characteristics.  Prior to about a month ago, I believed that canning was for 100% farm girls and grandmothers.  And even if I did attempt this activity, which I’m totally unqualified to complete, I have neither the time, nor room for all the equipment I would need.

However, life being life, I found myself with eight pounds of strawberries and my little voice (the one above my belly button that guides me when I choose to listen), said, “Try canning them.”  By adding fresh lemon juice, sugar (I use raw sugar), and about forty- five minutes of my time, to sliced strawberries, I made six jars of delicious preserves.

There is a ton of information on the web by folks educated to teach the how to’s of canning.  I particularly like the videos, and am anxious to try vegetables and other types of fruit.

Another benefit is, by adding a clever label or ribbon to your Mason Jar, Voila!,  Hostess Gift, for the last minute dinner party you were invited to a week ago, that you forgot about.

There’s machinery out there if you’re very serious or have more money than you know what to do with.  If you don’t fall into either one of those categories, I’d wait.

Next time, instead of eating Girl Scout Cookies and Chips for dinner (I’ve heard people do this), have a nutrition packed jar of asparagus or green beans that you canned yourself.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas

Although I would really like to keep up with my blog during the Christmas Season, it's not going very well.  So I'd like to wish you all an Amazing Christmas and a most prosperous New Year.  I'll see you in January.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You Too Can Relate

I was dining with my niece at Balboa Pizza Company (in Henderson, NV), and she said how so much of what we learn about relationships, is from watching our parents.  Considering that approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce, this is a scary thought.  Neither she nor I grew up in a home where there was respect, love or friendship between our parents.

She's in her twenties and trying to find her way.  I'm not, but I recall those same years trying to find mine.  I spent them jumping from one dysfunctional relationship to the next.  As I stood in front of my elders, a bleeding heart in hand, the conversation typically went like this:

"Why does this keep happening to me?"
"Don't worry, lots of fish in the see.  The right one will come along."
"How will I know?"
"You'll know."

How is this helpful?!  Why didn't anyone, in ten years, ever say:

"This keeps happening to you, because you were taught that if you don't get your way, you shout the other person down until they cave."

"This keeps happening to you because the only reason the two people who raised you stayed together, was 'for the kids.'  Love and respect for each other went out the window six months after you born."

"You will know the 'right one' when he gives as much as you do.   Not necessarily at the same time, but at the end of the year, the score should be zero to zero.  If you're the only one giving, GET OUT!"

"You'll know he's the right one when he treats you as kindly as you treat him.  If he can't, say goodbye and go live your life until a loving fella enters your world."

"If a potential partner tells you that they are no good - RUN!!!  They know themselves.  Trust them.  Do not assume that they're misunderstood.  RUN!!!! I tell you RUN!!!

As it turned out, the right one did come along disguised as my friend (add that to the list).   How did I know he was the right one?  Every time we took the next step, dating, engagement, marriage, buying a home, it felt right in the pit of my stomach.

I told my niece all of these things, as I have 294 times before.  Her eyes glaze over like they do when I tell the same story over and over again.  Really, the most important thing each of us can do?  Teach those coming up after us to relate, remembering that they hear little we say, but watch every move we make.