Saturday, November 29, 2014


This evening, while I had some time to kill, I spent it browsing on Pinterest. I was checking out pins posted by the people I follow. One pin caught my eye. It was a picture of a thin, dirty and scruffy cat lying on a curb, apparently asleep. The cat was obviously underfed; it looked like it was starving. My heart went out to that poor cat.

Then I read the words on the picture:

"I didn't mean to scratch your kid.
If he wasn't pulling my tail all the time maybe I'd still be living at home.
Now, I am dirty and hungry."

At the bottom, it read:

"Ignorance Is Intolerable."

This made me pause. It brought back a memory from my childhood.

When I was a little girl, we had a dog named Skippy. A Cocker Spaniel. We LOVED Skippy. He was so friendly and lovable.

Well, most of us loved him. One of us, my younger brother, was cruel to him. Every single day, he pulled on Skippy’s ears and hurt him in some way. Yes, he intentionally hurt the dog. He thought it was funny or he found some kind of amusement in it. We would try to protect Skippy and keep him from my younger brother, but my younger brother always found a way to get to Skippy and hurt him some more.

And my parents did nothing about it. Nothing! It should be said that my younger brother ALWAYS got away with everything his whole life. He was loved more than we were. He was always Number One. The More Important Child.

And it should also be said that he later went on to kill two cats – one that belonged to me, one that belonged to my sister. In fact, he arranged it so I would see my dead cat.

Well, anyway. Back to Skippy. As I said, we LOVED Skippy, except for his tormentor. Day after day, poor Skippy took this kind of abuse from my younger brother.

Until, finally, he’d had enough. You know how it is when someone, even an animal, is tormented for years, bullied or abused or tortured, then one day snaps back at his tormenter? That is what Skippy did. He’d had enough of my younger brother’s treatment and he bit him.

Of course, my younger brother ran crying to my parents, saying that Skippy had intentionally bit him. He claimed he’d done NOTHING wrong. That he was just playing with the dog.

And my parents believed him.

We tried to tell Skippy’s side of the story, though. We tried to explain that my younger brother had hurt Skippy, had BEEN hurting Skippy, and that was why he bit him.

But they didn’t listen. They didn’t care. In their eyes, Skippy was an Evil Dog. A Very Bad Dog.

A dog that had to be destroyed because it had bitten a child.

So they had Skippy taken away to be put to sleep. I still remember standing outside of the truck, at the cage Skippy was in, crying as I said goodbye.

And I hated my younger brother for that. We blamed him for Skippy’s death. We were all mad at him.

Skippy had taken the abuse, the pain and torment from my younger brother for months. And when he finally fought back against his tormenter, he paid for it with his life.

Remembering this made me really sad. I still miss Skippy and I still felt anger over the whole thing. But I also felt anger over something else: The fact that my parents did NOTHING when one of their children was hurting a dog.

Why? Why didn’t they do anything?

Why did they never teach him to be kind to animals?

In thinking on this some more, I realized that if my parents HAD intervened, then maybe that wouldn’t have happened and Skippy would not have had to lose his life in such a horribly unfair way.

Ignorance is NEVER tolerable. It should never be put up with. Animal abuse is a horrible thing, and cruelty towards animals is just as horrible. There is nothing funny about hurting an animal. There is nothing funny about tormenting an animal and making it suffer from horrible abuse. There is nothing entertaining at all about hurting animals.

We need to encourage people to be kind to animals. We need to teach our CHILDREN to be kind to animals. Allowing children to hurt and abuse animals for entertainment or for some sick desire to see an animal suffer is not only irresponsible but heartless.

Please be a voice for the animals and stop animal cruelty. Please step up and stop someone from abusing an animal or hurting an animal. Tell them to stop. Tell them it is wrong. And, if it’s your child, TEACH him it is wrong.

Animals don’t have a voice. WE are their voice. We are the ones who can help them. Don’t turn a blind eye to animal cruelty or animal abuse. Please, put a stop to it. Right now. Be their voice. Be the one who can save them, because they are not able to save themselves.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful on Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving, a day set aside to be thankful for what we have. I take time to be thankful for things every single day and for today, on this blog, I will share them.

1. I am thankful to for my husband, Jason. He has shown me what love really is. He has loved me no matter what. He is a very supportive husband and he’s a good father to the children. He is a good husband to me. I never thought I’d fall in love with him all over again. Never thought I would feel love for anyone again. I am fortunate to have a husband who is patient, kind and always at my side. He is not abusive, he is not addicted to anything, he never says cruel things to me and he is patient in explaining things when I don’t understand them. I am glad I was strong enough to give him another chance. That’s what you do for someone you love.

2. I am thankful for my children, Jennifer and Jesse. God has definitely blessed me with these kids. Jennifer is so smart and beautiful. Jesse is so energetic and fun-loving. I love my kids from the bottom of my heart. They are my life!

3. I am thankful for members in my family who I still have a good relationship with, as well as those who I did NOT have a good relationship with in the past but who I get along with now. Here again, I’m reminded of the power of giving someone another chance. These people have definitely made a turn for the better in their lives and I’m proud of them for coming so far in making a positive change.

4. I am thankful for my friends – my REAL friends who are not fakes. These people have shown they want to be in my life and they are always there to talk to and offer support or just some random comment. I am grateful for these people in a very big way. As someone with scars, I was bullied at schools and did not have a whole lot of friends. So I understand just how valuable friendship is. I know just how lucky I am to have these friends. They are awesome!

5. I am thankful for my readers – everyone who has read my work, shared comments and posted reviews. I am thankful to everyone who has bought and read my books. You guys rock!

6. I am thankful that there are medical professionals who have been and still are in my life and who care about me and my health, as well as that of my children. I know I complain about them sometimes and roll my eyes over their suggestions but I am thankful they are taking the time to help and provide medical care.

7. I am thankful for the families of my kids’ friends. Most of them are my friends, too. I am thankful they are so kind and welcoming with my kids. I am thankful that they are still a part of my kids’ lives despite a change of schools or change of address. I am glad they have friends who watch out for them!

8. I am thankful for my gift to write. I may not be one of those writers who are making millions from their work or who are so rich and famous, but I don’t care about that. I don’t want any of that, anyway. I just want to write. I am thankful there are publishers out there willing to publish my work. I am thankful to the editors I have worked with who have helped me to make my work better. I am so very thankful that I can enjoy writing and also to get my work published. But even if I didn’t get published, I would keep writing, anyway! That stuff is hard to turn off.

9. I am thankful for the Internet. Yes, it must be said! The Internet has made it possible for me, a deaf writer, to work and also find work (not necessarily a help to the deaf, but even so). I am thankful that I can use the Internet to communicate with people, network with people and stay in touch with family. I also get to read the news on the Internet, find recipes on the Internet and do research on the Internet. It’s also nice that, because of the Internet, I can blog.

10. Last but never least, I am thankful to God. I know I have issues with religions, but I will never, ever turn my back on God. I will always believe in God. And I thank God for never abandoning me. Thank you for this life, God. Thank you, God.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Harvest Celebration that wasn't

There is something I am known to say from time to time: “Every time I try and freaking DO something!!”

This is usually after I DO try to do something but it just DOESN’T happen. It doesn’t pan out the way I had hoped. They way I had wanted it to. And there’s not a damn thing I can do to fix it, either, because it remains permanently screwed up.

Yeah. Those.

I know, they happen to everybody. And it’s really frustrating when it happens to me, too, ya know? Sometimes even painful.

And the keyword here is “painful.” Because, once again, I tried to do something for someone and that Did Not Happen and he ended up getting hurt. I was hurt, too, but this particular person is my baby and his hurt is my hurt, too.

This particular person is my son.

This year, Jesse would have been able to enjoy his first Harvest Celebration at school. This is when parents are invited to have a Thanksgiving-style lunch with their child and play with them in the playground during recess. I went to all of Jennifer’s Harvest Celebrations when she attended that school, save one, because I was sick one year. But I went, and I wanted to be there for Jesse’s first one, too. He didn’t get to participate in the Harvest Celebration last year because he was going to kindergarten part-time, so they didn’t have it for his class.

But they had it this year. And, oh, I wanted to be there. I really did.

But I wasn’t able to be there to enjoy it with him. And now I feel pretty rotten about it.

What happened was, they gave a time on the “Harvest Celebration” paper when it was supposed to be held. I marked that time down on the calendar. When I dropped Jesse off at school this morning, I reminded him that I would see him at that time. He told me they don’t have lunch at that time, but at a later time. I thanked him for that info and he was off to school. I drove away excited about our “lunch date” later, thinking of how much fun we’ll have at the playground during recess.

Still, I wanted to double-check on that time. I just wanted to be sure it really was going to be at the time that Jesse said.

I tried to call the school this morning to find out, but the computer I use is REALLY messed up and having a lot of problems, so I was not able to use Internet relay. (This is why I have to back off on doing some Internet things on the computer, because it is just in really, really bad shape.) So I emailed one of the secretaries at the school, praying she would get my message. (I really don’t prefer to communicate with the schools through email so much anymore because sometimes I never get a reply and I don’t know if they ever got my message. Sometimes, they don’t.) This was an hour and 20ish minutes before the time on the paper that the Celebration was supposed to be at. Thankfully, I DID get a reply and was told it was actually at a later time. I thanked the secretary for that info then went off to do other things.

I didn’t get back to my phone until about 45 minutes before the time I was told the Harvest Celebration would be at. Only to find a message from the OTHER secretary, about 10 minutes after the original time, that it had already started, and if I jumped into my car to go there now, I could still join Jesse.

But by then, of course, it was too late. I was SO upset. What bothered me most was the disappointment that Jesse must’ve felt over me not showing up. God, he must’ve felt so left out! Seeing the other kids with their parents there, and him without his mom or dad there.


I just really, really felt so upset over it. I wanted to rush to the school, grab Jesse into a big hug and tell him how sorry I was that I missed it and that I’d make it up to him.

I know I can’t have a second chance on this. He won’t be able to look back and remember how his mom was there with him for his first Harvest Celebration at his school. The whole thing just sucks. It really sucks. And I feel bad about it, too.

So, Jesse, I am really sorry I wasn’t there for you for your first Harvest Celebration at your school. I’m sorry you didn’t have your mom or dad with you for that special event. I really wanted to be there with you. I didn’t want you to feel left out. You mean so much to me and I love you so much and I wouldn’t have tried to miss it on purpose. I didn't want to hurt you or upset you. I know it would’ve made you happy if I had been there. And if you’re happy, then I’m happy, too.

Sometimes, life just doesn’t work out the way we want it to. It’s a fact we all have to live with.

I wasn’t there for you this time, but I promise I will be there next time. The worst storm in the whole world won’t keep me from showing up to be there with you. Next time, I’ll get the EXACT time of when it’s supposed to be and the EXACT location of where I can find you. I will be there. Just look for me.

Friday, November 14, 2014

From giving up to trusting again

Last night, I had this whole “defeatist mood” come over me. But before we get to last night, I need to back up just a bit. For some time, I have been trying to make a couple of things happen. With one thing, it’s slow going, but I know if I keep at it, I will eventually get to where I can do this thing that I want to do (which is to run in – and complete – a race by myself, without help, because the last time I ran in a race, my coach had to help me finish it!). With the other thing, though, I have faced some hurdles. Hurdles like, fear. Uncertainty. Insufficient funding. That sort of thing. But I really wanted to make this other thing happen (the publishing company), so I didn’t give up on it.

And last night, you know, I just had it. I’ve been trying so hard and for too long to make it happen and it just very likely will not happen. And even as I decided well, you know, I’ll try another tactic, I sort of felt pretty defeated and just didn’t want to keep trying anymore.

And I was thinking about this a lot last night. I started thinking about all of the other times I’ve tried to make a dream come true – like with landing a GOOD agent with one of my novels and getting the book placed with a major publisher (I have had 2 bad agents so far and I really don’t think I have the energy anymore to try a third time) or how I want to have something of mine published in one of the glossies (I came VERY close with that one!) – and of how that never happened. And at this point, I just don’t care anymore. I am at the point where I am willing to give up on those dreams.

Just as I have given up on other dreams…..

Then I thought about an article I sold some months ago, about how you should never give up on your dreams. And how I’ve been able to make a few of my dreams come true.

Yes, I have made some of my dreams come true. I do want to try to accomplish my goals. I’m not the kind of person who’s just going to float aimlessly through life, doing nothing. I want to DO stuff! So, yeah, accomplishing my goals has been important to me for some time. And I’ve spent many years trying accomplish some of them.

But as I got lost in thought last night, I was thinking about the ones I have not yet accomplished. And I was asking myself, am I really willing to try again? For all of them?

Not really. And I just thought, 'Screw it! And screw them, too!'

I just decided it was time to walk away from those dreams. Just abandon them, give up on them, and focus on other things.

And that’s the kind of attitude I had on Twitter last night! In one of those “ellipses-ending tweets that are actually a looooong statement” that I have often used.

Then I logged off and sat down to enjoy a novel I have been reading all week. I’d made my decision about things and thought that was the end of it.

But maybe that wasn’t the end of it. Because this morning, as I was logged in at Facebook, I saw this quote a friend shared that said, “Let go and trust the universe.” I shared it on my page but amended it to read, “Trust GOD.” (Because I trust in God, not “the universe.” Some people think “the universe” is God, but not me!) And that quote just really stuck with me. What good timing for me to see it! It got me thinking that maybe I DON’T need to abandon those dreams I’ve struggled to make come true. Maybe I just need to let them go and give them to God. Let God handle them. So I prayed this morning, “Okay, God, I’m going to give these impossible dreams to you. If they are meant to happen, they will happen. And if not, then not. And I’m totally okay with that. I accept that.”

I just let them go. Just threw them up to God to see if He decides whether or not a dream is meant to come true.

And I know they say that the Lord helps those who help themselves, but, dammit! I’ve been TRYING to make these things happen myself! I have tried for soooo long and I am at the point where I just don’t want to try anymore. I just don't have the energy anymore. Let God decide if they should be a reality or not. I’m giving Him the steering wheel!

Meanwhile, though, I’m going to work on those other goals. That race! Yes, that is still on my to-do list for the year. I know, it’s almost winter, and that’s terrible weather to run in. But I definitely want to keep at this one. This is the year I will do that! And maybe some other things, too. We shall see. At least I’ll give them as much time and energy as I can to make them a reality. And if I get to the point where I just can’t keep trying anymore? I’ll let go and trust in God.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Pinterest boards

Not too long ago, I signed up at Pinterest. Some people I knew were using it so I decided to get in on that, too. It's been something of an addictive pastime for me. I started using Pinterest just to kill time when I added it to my smartphone but lately it's been hard to resist. So far, I have managed to take care of my other responsibilities and use Pinterest at least once a day (because I have found if I miss a day, there's a TON of new pins I'll have to wade through when I log in again), but lately it's been pretty hard to STOP pinning. Ack! It's getting addictive. I will have to nip that in the bud eventually, because I have too much else going on!

The boards I have on Pinterest either reflect things I am interested in, things I am researching and things that I love. I love lighthouses, so I have a "Lighthouse love" board. Doesn't mean I live in a lighthouse! (Though that would probably be neat!) And I love baseball, so I have a "Baseball love" board (which also includes softball stuff, as a nod to my cousin, the minor league softball player). And I love horses – though I DO NOT own horses or have any horses or see horses at all in my everyday life. But I love horses and so I have a board called "Horses." Decided not to call it "Horse love" because, well, that doesn't sound right. And it's just a kooky way of describing a form of love, methinks. I created the "Horses" board because, one day, I was browsing my "Animals" board and I realized that, gosh, I sure had a lot of horse pins! So, just as I did with the cat pins, I created a board just for the horse pins!

I have a Pinterest board called "Book love" that includes books I have read and loved. As well as anything about being a bookworm, libraries, a blibliophile and cool ways to store books or have a reading corner. I LOVE books!!

I also have a board called "Books I wanna read." These are books I don't have but wanna read.

After seeing some pins, maybe I should make a board that's called "Books I own AND wanna read.... eventually." Because I see pins of books that I have but have not read YET. I will read them soon, though. One book at a time.

And this is me on Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Back to jumping in and out of my car!

On Friday, I happened to notice that the tags on my car expired the next day. I would’ve gone out to the DMV then and there to renew my tags, except that they were renovating the Eugene office and it was closed. I just didn’t have the time to go to the one in Springfield. So I was without a car over the weekend. On Monday, in late afternoon (as waiting at the DMV for HOURS usually goes), I had new tags on my car again. Yay! I could drive again!

And I was driving around last night to take care of a few things I couldn’t get done over the weekend. It felt GREAT to be driving again! (As much as I complain about having to constantly jump in and out of my car for some errand or another, I DO love to drive!)

But this morning, I was really starting to wonder if driving again was actually a good thing.

I had remarked on Facebook about how it was nice that I won’t have to deal with idiot drivers at the school parking lots for one day out of the week (yesterday). Well, as it happens, the first day I’m driving the kids to school again, I had to deal with one of them!

When I got to Jesse’s school this morning, I was in the parking lot behind another driver, who was giving someone room to pull out of their spot. I turned just to see a driver backing out of their spot – and almost right into my car!! I screamed and honked the horn at the same time. Thank God they stopped – if not, they would’ve hit the side of the car my son was sitting on!

The whole event was terrifying but, poor Jesse, he was scared to death. He sat there with his eyes and mouth open wide. We definitely gave each other a bigger hug than usual before he got out of the car and went into school!

Well, despite THAT incident, I kept driving today. I had more errands to run!

By the time it was dark and I thought I was in for the day, and just as I was about to relax for the night, I remembered that I promised I’d do something for Jennifer today. Hadn’t done it YET! I was tired from running around and it was already dark, but I decided to do this anyway. I told her I would do it, so I was going to do it! (Get a piece of her art she wants to enter in a contest scanned. A scanner is at the top of my Christmas list!) So I told her to help out with her brother, as her dad was in the bedroom sick, and I’d return shortly with her scan.

When I got to Office Depot, however, I noticed a big sign on the building: “Moving Sale.” Hmm, I thought, they’re moving? I hurried through the sprinkling of rain with Jen’s picture against my chest (didn’t want to get it wet!) and went inside to find a store stripped of practically almost everything. Wow, what a sight to see.

I also happened to notice the sign saying some Office Depot services were unavailable due to the pending move. I asked about the move and picked up a flyer with the new store location on it. And, unfortunately, scanning was not available because of the disassembling of equipment. (They are moving in 11 days!) I happened to notice a lot of stuff marked down and nodded in understanding. It was less stuff they’d have to pack if they could get rid of it! One of the items marked down was 500-sheet packages of paper. It was only $1.09!! Cool! I grabbed a couple (one for each of my kids) and paid for them. As I walked back out to the car, the drizzle was starting to turn into serious rain business. I clutched Jen’s art against my chest again and looked for my car.

Wow. I had the foresight to park all the way at the end of the parking lot!

I rolled my eyes and grumbled to myself Brilliant! as I hurried to my car. After I got in the car, I pondered what to do next in getting Jen’s picture scanned. I could go to the Kinko’s/Fed Ex store, but the last time I went there to get something scanned, the technician did a poor job because the scanned picture had the black bar faintly showing in the background. I really didn’t feel like driving downtown for a botched scan job! I would think of something.

I didn’t get Jen’s picture scanned, but at least I scored a sweet deal on paper. Nice way to end the day!


The day after I posted this, I arrived at Jesse's school parking lot to find more school staff out there monitoring traffic (including the principal!) and more traffic cones set out. I felt A LOT safer driving through the parking lot because of these efforts! And it continued for the rest of the week, too. I am so relieved. It is a lot better now to get through all the traffic in dropping off and picking up of my son at the school. Also, on Thursday, Jesse forgot his jacket when school let out so we went back to the school and I instructed him to go through the special walking area they have set up on the parking lot that is just for people and it was safer for him to go this route to get to the school building from the parking lot. I just don't feel safe having him walk by himself through the parking lot when there are all these cars around. Well, he did this both ways and it was a lot safer for him. So from now on, I am going to try to park next to one of these two walking spaces and he can SAFELY walk to the school building without the danger of being hit by a car. I just hope drivers will remember to look behind them AND check their mirrors before pulling out of their parking spaces so they don't hit anyone behind them.