Saturday, August 24, 2013


Today I was reading this magazine and it had an article in it about getting ready for “BTS.” Huh? I thought. BTS? What’s that? But further reading gave me my answer. Apparently, “BTS” means “back to school.”

Ah, yes. Back to school. Already on it. Actually, I’ve been on it for months! We have been spending a lot of time getting ready for when the kids go back to school. Given that Jesse begins elementary school and Jennifer begins middle school, it’s a big deal! (I have also marveled over how each child is having his/her own milestone in his/her education. How interesting they both have these milestones!)

We have already gone back to being on a “school schedule." Kids are being put to bed earlier at night and they have to wake up earlier in the mornings. Jennifer and I spent some time synchronizing our schedules per the new school hours she will have and also discussing alternatives in the event her dad or I are late picking her up for school. (Gotta always have a Plan B!)

As for Jesse, I have already gotten things pretty much squared away with everything that needs to be in order for when he goes back to school. He gets a free breakfast at the school, so he told me he will not be eating breakfast in the mornings. I have worked with him on having “time limits” for getting washed up in the mornings, getting dressed and ready to go. Because the big problem we had during preschool was getting ready to go to school on time, we have been practicing that. I have also been fine-tuning his social skills, explaining that he needs to remember to share, to keep hands to himself and asking to do something instead of grabbing something from someone’s hands to do it. (But we’ll see how that goes!) Sometime ago, Jesse got a booklet for kids entering kindergarten and what sort of things they should know by then. He can write his own name, read basic words, knows his alphabet and can count to 100. But there were other things in that book, like knowing his middle name and address, and we worked on him memorizing those things, too.

As for both children, I already went through their dressers/closets to get rid of old clothes and decide what clothes they’ll need for the school year. (Both of them need jeans, sweatshirts and shoes.) I have also made sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations, though I’ll be double-checking on that soon when I take Jesse to get his physical next week and now that I just received a form in today’s mail on new vaccination requirements for kids entering kindergarten and 6th grade. We have already also discussed any other questions or concerns they had about their new schools.

I also worked on the budget for September to include back-to-school fees we’ll need to take care of for the big day.

So as far as BTS is concerned, we are pretty much on top of things. The kids will be getting their backpacks and shoes soon, Jen will get the rest of her school supplies soon, and Jesse will get the rest of his paperwork filled out soon. After all that, when the big day comes, I hope there won’t be any surprises or last-minute items to check off our list.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Snobs suck

There is this picture I once saw on Facebook that says, “I am who I am. Your approval is not needed.” I shared it on my page, but you know what? I want to wear those words on a T-shirt! And I want the WHOLE WORLD to know that even if they do not agree with how I live or work, even if they no longer respect me because of some choices I have made with my life and my work, then all I have to say to those people is this: “I am who I am. Your approval is not needed.”

For some time now, I have been seeing blog posts and newsletter editorials of how certain people I know have thumbed their noses at others just because they are not on the same path as them. Or, they encourage people aspiring to be like them to cut away all the “deadwood” – that deadwood being people who decided to aim lower or accept a lower offer or go indie with their books, or something. Now I respect their opinions, their beliefs and their choices. But when I am a part of this so-called “deadwood” and they are constantly putting out this very same message, I have to wonder if they’re trying get a certain point across to a certain person who is not doing certain things THEY are doing.

Even worse are the kinds of people who are dormant in someone’s life but then, when that person becomes a megaselling success or a superstar or gets a contract offering millions, they all of a sudden pop into your life acting like they’ve been your BFF for YEARS.

I once had the experience of knowing a certain celebrity – or, at least, I THOUGHT this person was a certain celebrity. But at the time that I thought this person was who I thought he was, all of these girls who were fans of his flocked to my email account or my MySpace page wanting to know ALL the details about this person, what he’s like, etc. I mean, I was hearing from one person several times a day. I thought we were friends. Ha! Silly me. When I realized the jig was up and a poser was in my midst, POOF! Almost all of those girls were gone. (That was quite a wake-up call for me, I’ll admit.) Well, all except one. She thought I had been playing her all along, then when she discovered the jig was up, she sent me nasty emails like I had lied to her then cut off communication completely. (Which is probably just as well, anyway.) These people are in a category known as “fake friends.” They love you only because of some reason or another, but not for the person you really are.

I DO want to do well with my writing. I DO want to achieve a certain level of success with my work. And when I do, and ALL of those “invisible” friends I have suddenly reappear in my life acting like we’ve been buddies forever, I will only look at them and ask, “Where were you when I was struggling? Where were you when I was still trying to get to where I am now? Where were you?” They were being SNOBS! They decided they DID NOT want to talk to me or be a friend or anything (a REAL friend) unless and until I became the kind of person they wanted to KNOW.

But you know what? I am not going to waste my time or energy on these people anymore. If someone wants to be in my life, then I welcome them into my life. And they should try TALKING to me once in a while, you know? Otherwise, they are being snobs. If they don’t want to be in my life, then it’s no skin off my back. I can wave goodbye just as easily as I can wave hello. If they don’t want to be my friend but instead want to “pretend” they are only to take what I write, do or say and use it as ammunition to talk down to me or act like a snob around me or create some other kind of drama and get on some high horse, then I’d rather they NOT be in my life at all. In fact, that right there is pretty much a good description of the kind of “deadwood” I should cut away. And, of course, I am paying close attention to who is actually “there” and who is not. I have been lied to, manipulated and taken advantage of so many times in my life (including by certain family members), I have gotten to a point where I am careful with all relationships.

I am not a snob when it comes to who gets to be my friend. Believe me, as someone who has had third degree burn scars on her face nearly her whole life and has had to endure years of bullying and teasing because of it (even from certain family members), I cherish and cling to my friends. The person who is ACTUALLY a friend, that is. Whether that person is rich or poor, fat or thin, famous or unfamous, successful or not successful, Christian or atheist, gay or straight, black or white, tall or short, THAT person will still be my friend. And I will not look down on him or her just because he/she is not on the same path as I am. I have deaf friends and I have hearing friends. I have famous friends and I have unfamous friends. I have rich friends and poor friends. That friendship will stay there as long as they decide they WANT that friendship with me despite everything else. Despite my not marching to the beat of THEIR drum. If they decide we can’t be friends because I’m not a millionaire or I don’t have an agent or I am not published by a big-name publisher, then I guess we’re not really friends after all. And I am better off cutting away the snobs, because I really would rather not stick around as a target for them to poke at with their tripe.

Sorry, people, but I march to my own drum. I choose to self-publish my poetry books and my children’s because I Want To. I choose to be an independent author because I have received MUCH better treatment AND exposure as an indie author than as a POD author or one published by a traditional press. (I still love those other publishers, though! You guys rock!) This is just me and the way I am doing things and how I am living life. This is my thing. Your approval is not needed.

Friday, August 16, 2013

About a snack

Today I was thinking about having a snack but could not decide on what. After some thought, I figured I wanted crackers, but also something on the crackers. But … what?

Then I thought about what I like to put on these crackers, just to see if anything grabbed me: Peanut butter, peanut butter with jelly, cheddar cheese, imitation crab salad, salami with cheese and honey mustard, tuna and pico de gallo.

Well, I wasn’t sure, though I knew the crab salad was out, because we don’t have any. So I went to the fridge, hoping that something in there would help me to decide better. But something else pretty much sealed the deal. I was shocked to discover that half of the pico de gallo that hubby bought yesterday was already gone! Gah!

If I wanted to have any of it, then it was either now or never.

So I had my snack of pico de gallo on the crackers. It was sooo good. And I’m glad I did, too, because later on in the day, all the rest of the pico de gallo gone! At least I got to have some.

Maybe tomorrow, it’ll be the cheese on crackers next.

Monday, August 05, 2013

"Thanks for having me."

Last night, I dreamed that I was murdered. This was not the first time I have had such a dream. I have had many dreams where someone took my life, but also dreams in which I have drowned. So dreaming about my death happening in some way or another is not unusual for me – though I must say this was the first time I have dreamed of being murdered twice in one night. I had two dreams last night, one in which a crazed ax-murderer broke into our home and killed both my husband and me, and the second in which a serial killer killed one of my sisters and me, by slitting our throats. The fact that I had two such dreams in one night is very strange.

In the second dream, I was asking my killer why she killed me. My sister was saying there was so much more she still wanted to do in life, and I was saying there was so much more that I wanted to write. This is also interesting, because just yesterday, I was thinking about what I would do with all of my unfinished books and still-to-be-written books should I leave this world before they are all done. Of course, I am trying to work my way through them all as fast as I can, but I know that I may die before they are all done. I am convinced that, if I don’t write a particular book, then someone else will write it. But this was what my killer said in response: “You'll still get to write them. You’ll be writing books and articles while you are a ghost!”

Another interesting thing happened in that dream. Normally, a person who has a slit throat has only seconds left to live. This was not the case in my dream. As my sister started looking for her kids so that she could hug them one last time (we were at a grocery store when this happened), I, who did not have my children with me, did something else: I looked for a computer. I wanted to post my very last post on this blog, saying goodbye to everyone. Well, instead of a computer, I found this group of men who had a phone with Internet access, and when I told one of them I needed to post on my blog, he set it up for me on his phone. I started typing my post, describing what happened and describing my killer (what I can remember is that there was something German about her – German accent, or something). When the guy realized I’d been attacked and what I was doing, he started asking about where it’d happened and I explained things. There was one guy who heard all this and took off to where the attack had happened, probably to help my sister. Meanwhile, another guy noticed I was slowing down. Blood was pooling in my throat and I was fading. He took over typing. In what voice I had left, I told him what to type for me. And at the end, I was, like, “Goodbye, world. Thanks for having me.”

After I woke up from that dream, I could only sit there in silence. I was very moved that someone helped me to do that, even though this was just a dream and that guy only existed in my dream. But it was still an emotional thing for me, that someone would help a dying person say goodbye on her blog as she lay dying. I wonder if such a thing has ever really happened.

I also thought about my message. It seems like something I would really say if I was indeed writing my very last blog post. I’d want to thank everyone who was my friend, who loved me, who made life better and happier just by being there. I’d want to let my loved ones know I’d always be there for them even after I died, and that I was sad to leave them but would not want them to be sad I was gone. My journey came to an end. My time in this world was up. This life I was supposed to live has reached the final page and it was time to move on.  I have always told my children that death is not the end; it is only a transition. Death does not mean goodbye forever. But I'd want them to know that I loved them all dearly, all my friends and family, and would want them to know that I would carry this love for them with me. I would want to say that I was grateful to everyone who accepted me into their lives despite my faults, despite my scars, despite my mistakes, and remained my friend no matter what. Thank you to everyone who forgave and forgot, and who showed kindness and compassion despite everything. 

And, yes, I also would also want to say what I said in that dream. “Goodbye, world. Thanks for having me.”