The journey

The last 16 months has been a lot for me to work through and understand. In the process I have hurt people, but I’ve also been hurt. However, there comes a time when we have to look passed our hurts and rise above all of the things that have tried to tear us down. Walking away from an unhealthy relationship can be a culture shock for just about anyone. When you’ve been out of the game for as long as I have been, dating can be quite shocking as well. Working through getting to know one another can be a tedious process. Unfortunately, learning how to function in a healthy relationship can take time.

Based on my own personal experience, it is going to take a lot longer than 16 months for me to figure myself out. Some days are much worse than others, but for the most part, at least lately, I’ve tried to enter each day with a better attitude. I want to be better. I want to find myself. I want to be healthy. Wanting and doing can be difficult.

Cutting certain people out of your life is almost a must. Loyalty means a lot to me, and when I feel like someone has betrayed me it is really difficult for me to find trust in them again. I’m not mean, but my ability to fully believe or have faith in anything that comes out of their mouths is challenging. Although I don’t believe this is something I should or even need to let go of, I do believe that I must make strides to forgive and move forward. I think that’s the hardest thing: forgiveness. I have found that the hardest person to forgive is myself.

I pity the folks who have watched me torment myself for the last year and a half. It has had to be an excruciating process. I have hated myself for so long, I don’t know how to do anything but that. Nonetheless, I am learning that I am can be strong. I am learning that I am worthy of love and peace. I am intelligent and hard working. I have raised a great son, and I have so much to be thankful for. I think in trying to become a better, more centered person focusing on my blessings is the best way to go. It takes the emphasis off of feeling sorry for myself and puts the focus on all of the wonderful things in my life. It assists in an attitude change.

It is perfectly okay to take the time to get to know yourself again. That is exactly what I intend to do!

Month of Thanks: DAY 25

Today I’m thankful for an open mind.  Too many times I see people who close their thoughts to possibilities.  They stereotype.  They allow hate to drive them forward.  I’m glad that I fight against that with my willingness to look at the perspective of someone else.  The fact is that you don’t know what someone is going through; what battle they are fighting.  Maybe a simple smile can make all the difference.  If we strip away the skin and what makes us male and female, what do  you have?  We are all the same underneath all of that.  We all bleed red.  Our hearts beat.  We breathe air.  So, why should we perpetuate racism and bigotry?  We shouldn’t.  I work ever single day to teach students the importance of an open mind and true, unconditional acceptance.  I strive for it myself.  I hope I never lose sight of the importance of love and compassion.

Giving Thanks: Day 4

Today I want to say that I’m thankful for my mom.  She taught me how to be strong through hard lessons.  She taught me what an education meant, and how important it would be to obtain one.  She taught me that the odds are typically not in our favor, but it’s up to each individual to go beyond those odds; to pull myself up by the bootstraps and go on.

She is the only link I have left to my aunts, my uncle, and my grandparents.  I knew that one day we would travel this road without them, but it’s certainly been harder than either of us ever imagined.  This is our first holiday without my Aunt Evelyn.  Although I grief differently than most, I still feel the pain of her loss.  When my mother talks to me about the loss she feels, I can see that she is trying to make sense of the world without my aunt.  It’s not an easy task by any means.  However, we must move forward, and as she has told me time and time again, “Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!”

The Month Of Thanksgiving

I am a few days late, but better late than never.  So, here goes:

I am thankful for my son. He means EVERYTHING to me. He has been through so much this summer.  He has dealt with judgment from sources who have no right to judge.  He will never get that from me.  That’s the beauty of unconditional love.

Carl Rogers encouraged us to embrace our children, faults and all (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2014).  It is heartbreaking that not all parents understand this let alone employ it.  At a young age my child has been required to process one of the greatest rejections he may ever face.  However, he is becoming stronger for it.  He is excelling in school, and he is growing spiritually and personally.

Secondly is my husband.  I feel like I haven’t seen him much since I started the Ph.d. program in April, and even more so since I started back to work in August. He too has been through a lot recently.  He is one of the strongest people I know.  I only wish I could be that strong.  He is an awesome dad, too.   I love him more than he will ever understand or know.

Death is a part of life, and grief is a natural process that all humans must go through with the loss of a loved one (Stassen, 2016).  What is excruciating is watching someone navigate through that loss, feeling helpless and impotent.  That’s what I’ve been doing since July.  The loss of my father-in-law has changed everything for our lives.  As a result, my husband is much less carefree and has transformed to his very core.  Coming up on the first major holiday without his father will be especially difficult.  Still, I have no doubt his strength will win out.

I am thankful for my dad.  He taught me how to laugh. He taught me how to play the drums.  He taught me how to sing.  He introduced me to The Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live in the 70’s.  We share a love of the same music.  He’s taught me more skills than I can possibly list.  He is an awesome grandfather, too!  My dad and I have an extremely similar thought process.  My mom often tells me that we react the same way to various situations and say the same things when presented with challenges.  We both share the commonality of road rage (LOL), but we also share a lot of endearing qualities.  He is truly one wild and crazy guy!

More to come 🙂


Hergenhahn, B. R., & Henley, T. B.  (2014).  An introduction to the history of psychology (7th

ed.).  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Stassen Berger, Kathleen,  (2016).  Invitation to the Life Span (3rd ed.).  New York, NY:  Worth.

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 21


1779103_10202802296292327_2122406475_nToday I offer up thanks for my Aunt Evelyn. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without her. She will be celebrating her 91st birthday in December.

She nor my aunt Kat ever married. They never had children. I was their child. My mother was their child. They devoted their lives to their jobs and to the church.

Evelyn has really struggled without Kat. They were inseparable and they lived together until Kat went into the nursing home. I’m sure it is much like losing a spouse. There is a void that cannot be filled by anything or anyone.

I am thankful that Evelyn is still with us and I see her at least once a week. I think it’s important that we take time to visit our elders. They are filled with knowledge and history. They are bound by a higher purpose to share that knowledge and that legacy with the next generation. So, by spending time with her, I help her fulfill that higher purpose.

Thankful Challenge: Day 20


1779753_10202802297452356_1281414486_nI am thankful for my Aunt Kat. She passed on, but I certainly haven’t forgotten her. I look forward to her visits while I’m dreaming and think about her all of the time. There are times when I catch her perfume on some of my clothing and it’s like she never left. I think about her every single day. Thanksgivings haven’t been the same without her.

Death is a part of life, but sometimes it is difficult for us to navigate through that sea of grief. Years can pass and at certain times, especially around the holidays, depression can creep up on us before we even realize it. None of the holidays have been the same without her.

I used to feel like that about my grandma, but I was a child when she left us. After that, my aunts and my grandpa kept our holidays together. Now, things are so different. And that makes me sad.

It’s hard to be thankful for bereavement, but it helps us realize we’re human. It also gives us something to look forward to. If you’re in the camp of the spiritualists, it tells you there is more beyond this world; a place where we can reunite with our loved ones. If you happen to be me, you don’t even have to wait. Those of us that are clairvoyant are visited constantly by not only our relatives, but many others who want to send messages or just feel that “human connection.”

If you’re not in the camp with us eclectic folks, I’m not sure how to explain death to you. When I was an atheist, I saw death as a permanent end. Not only was that a pretty dim point of view, but it had a tremendous impact on my mental health.

Either way you look at it, the loss of a loved one is painful and that is reiterated for us each day we go on without them. However, if we can look back on the good times with them, especially during the holidays, we may find comfort in their legacy. This woman left a legacy like no one else. She was a public servant and gave herself more than she had to. I miss her…

Thankful Challenge: Day 12


85d1ef33e561f7ecf58db8aeca770cf6I raise my hands in praise for my ancestors. They are my bloodline. I am their legacy. I humbly honor them with glad tidings and offerings!

Whether you realize it or not, you are surrounded by those who’ve passed. They have a hand in your life. They offer knowledge if you can still your mind and listen. People become desensitized to their whispers. Many believe that hearing them is indicative of demonic activity. I’m here to tell you that’s false.

Embrace those who’ve gone on before you. They are wise and they want to help you through this life’s journey.

Blessed be!

Thankful Challenge: Day 9

The Beast

10849824_365837986923929_2902787034172429948_nToday I give thanks to my dog, Chance. He was supposed to have left us in the early winter of 2015, yet the Goddess has seen fit to allow us to keep him a bit longer.

Mr. Bookie has cancer, but he is full of divine life. He is fun and he has saved my life on more than one occasion. He has saved my son’s life, too. I have no doubt that he would die for his little pack. We love him so much!

Chance is a shelter dog. I got him in late December 2006. It was a snap decision, but it was certainly a blessed decision.

I came home from work and grabbed my son and my husband. We headed to the shelter. My idea was to find a dog who took to my son more than me. If the dog gravitated to my son, I knew it would be “the one.”

We went into the puppy room and I just let my son stand there. There were many puppies in the room. Most sniffed him and went about their business. One sought him out. One took an interest in him. One recognized my son’s soul and wouldn’t leave him. He was gentle and sweet and playful.

Chance (Mr. Bookie) because a part of our family that day. He has adapted to every single move and every single change. He has let me cry to him. He has let me laugh at him. He has saved me with his loyalty and his protection.

Diagnosed with carcinoma in the year from hell (2014), he was given a death sentence. H14925708_1100839643362638_8089515089102685390_ne would be dead by January 2015. In late August, he collapsed and we rushed him to the vet. He had a tumor in his belly that was 15 lbs. I just thought he was fat. I was wrong.

It’s November 2016. He has certainly extended his contract. The tumor has grown back, but you wouldn’t know he’s dying. Luckily, the cancer is encased in fatty tissue. It doesn’t appear to be attached to any major organs.

So, I want to offer up sincere thanks to the Goddess Diana, the Goddess of the hunt; the Goddess of children and animals. Thank you so much for allowing us to keep him just a bit longer!

New YouTube Series, “Things That Matter,” episode 1

YOuTubebannerLast night marked my return to YouTube. It was high time another series came on, right? Last night’s episode featured a presentation regarding relationships; how to recognize healthy ones and what to do if you find you’re in a toxic relationship.

The fact is we owe it to ourselves to be involved in healthy, solid relationships. Anything else simply takes away from our personal quality of life. I’ve attached the series link, but to sum it up, the best way to spot a healthy relationship is to refer to the Biblical teaching about love. I couldn’t have presented it better than Paul.

Love is trusting and it’s kind. It flourishes in honesty and it praises. The flip side of that coin is that if someone is ripping you apart and lying to you, it’s probably not the best place for you to be. I also wanted to make sure I didn’t just talk about romantic relationship, but I also talked about family relationships and friendships.

I hope you enjoy this 10 part series about things that matter. 🙂

For the Love of Controversy!

I have held my tongue about this issue since I returned to the States last week. It was sort of nice being on vacation and not knowing what was going on in the world. Being isolated was refreshing in a sense. However, when I came back to earth, I found that one of my all-time favorite television shows had been taken off of the air by TV Land because of a shooting in South Carolina. We were actually in SC when the shooting occurred. We were traveling through. However, I never dreamed that the knee-jerk reaction to the shooting would be to ban a television show that aired decades ago.

Then, yesterday, I read the article about how the confederate flag was being taken down by South Carolina. Talk about the fast track! Can you imagine if our governments, on all levels, worked this fast to resolve issues? The United States would certainly be a force to be reckoned with. Instead, we keep farming out jobs, keeping more people dependent on the government, cutting our military, and we continue to ignore many, many other problems that are keeping us crippled. And we are worried about a flag?

This is the last time I will speak of this, but I’ve been quiet about it long enough. I have a forum for this and I’m using it. So, if you are easily offended, I’m asking you not to read this. I am going to touch on some pretty controversial subjects, so fasten your seat-belts!


Undoubtedly slavery is wrong on all levels. This goes for Jewish slavery in the Old Testament, Irish slavery (white, Irish slavery), African American slavery, and human trafficking, which we are dealing with today. Don’t doubt that slavery is alive and well right here in the twenty-first century. Human trafficking is proof of that fact. So, do we take down the Stars & Stripes because of human trafficking that is happening in America? Get real! Blaming a flag for the evils of man doesn’t even make sense.

*Fun Fact: did you know that most African American slaves were sold by their own people? African American overseers were selling their own people to plantation owners in the South…

I realize that the battle flag represented the supremacy of the white man during the Civil War, but guess what? We cannot change history. It happened. The Civil War happened. South Carolina left the Union, taking other states with it. A division in our country occurred. We fought one another. Lives were lost. The flag represented the pride of Southern life and the Southerners fought for what they believed in. They felt that the government shouldn’t be telling them how to do things and trying to change the way of life that they had grown accustomed to. Change is part of life, however, and sometimes change comes with a great price. So, I’m not disputing any of this. What I am going to tell you is what the flag means to ME personally, like it or not.

Those Hot Guys are Coming On!

As a child the Confederate Battle Flag meant that the two most gorgeous guys in the world were going to be on T.V. at eight o’clock. “The Dukes of Hazzard” was a part of my childhood. In fact, I had a sleep shirt with Bo Duke’s face on it. So, when I saw the flag, that is what it meant to me. I didn’t know about the Civil War or General Robert E. Lee. I didn’t care. I was a kid.

As I grew up, the meaning changed to rebellion. I saw the flag as a representation of rebellion against the norm. I didn’t see it as a way to differentiate the African Americans from those with pale skin. It meant standing up to authority and questioning it. When I saw it, it reminded me of the carefree times of my childhood, in fact.


11667395_10206059551624598_389408331270558_nAs an adult, I understand that there is blood shed associated with the Confederate flag. The American Nazi Party glady adopted the Confederate Battle Flag as their symbol. That is not excusable by any means. However, we cannot change that. Maybe if our government worked just as hard to end that sort of thing, something might change. They sure were on the Confederate Flag issue quick enough, so lets disband the Nazi Party, the KKK, and the Black Panthers. Oh but wait! That is infringement on personal freedoms. REALLY? Is it? Hate groups get freedom and others don’t. Something doesn’t make sense there.

By blotting out a symbol of our country’s history, we are saying that it never happened. We are trying to erase a part of America that most certainly occurred. We need to stop blaming each other and start taking responsibility for what’s real. It is not 1860. It is 2015. I understand we don’t want to hurt anyone or offend people, but if we started taking down symbols that offended people, we would have nothing left. Symbols represent periods of time and ethnic groups and beliefs and everything in between.

I’m not a fan of many things, so guess what I do? I don’t read it or look at it or acknowledge it. I don’t petition the government to have ALL of the things that tick me off removed. Do you know why? Because I’m an adult and I realize that other people don’t have to believe what I do. That’s what makes it AMERICA!


Nut-Job Extremists

9/11 is now a part of who we are. It’s a part of our history. We can’t change that. So, as a result, we have resorted to hating Islam. What we fail to realize is that it was the extremists who caused 9/11 to happen. It wasn’t the religion of Islam. So, do we ban the Catholic faith also?

11659240_10204059556720378_8133070541990686691_nHistory tells us that the Catholics took portions out of the Bible and hid them. What did those portions say? Are they any less spiritually inspired than the rest of the “King James Bible?” Of course not! It is the human drive for power and control that is at the heart of that issue. The Catholics set up a religion to exert control over the masses and what is the best way to control? FEAR! They rose to power so quickly, that those who broke off from that religion were heretics and some were martyred. So, does that mean we hate Catholics? No! One of my closest friends is Catholic. I respect her decision and she respects mine. That’s how adults play together. We don’t slam our fists down and demand someone change who they are to fit what we want.


Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I truly believe that our government creates distractions to turn our attention away from real issues. The United States government is in a very sad place. Filled with corruption and individuals lining their pockets, we have lost sight of the true meaning of leadership and law. As a result, we keep passing nonsense laws, buying up millions of dollars worth of weapons, and engaging in fruitless debates about stupidity. We have people starving right here in the U.S. Poverty is a problem in the U.S. Our jobs are down to a minimum. Our unemployment rate is skyrocketing. Even if I wanted to get a job, I can’t. Nothing pays what I need to maintain my household, so I decided to go into business with my husband. That is the only way anyone seems to be able to survive in this day and age. You have to work for yourself in order to maintain your integrity. And even then, you’re penalized for being a capitalist.

The fact is there have been controversies and disagreements since the beginning of time. It’s not going to change, however, it can always get worse. On the other hand, it can get better, but it is going to take a large group of people to make that happen. It is going to take ethics to get that job done, and no one in Washington seems to have that anymore.

Mental Illness

A man walks into a theater and kills innocent people. A student walks into a college building and kills his fellow classmates. A man assassinates a president. Two boys walk into a school and decide to gun down their peers. A white young adult goes into a church and shoots black people. There are some commonalities here. Yes, there is a deep seeded root in a tainted, twisted point of view, but there is also another factor at play: mental illness.

Untreated mental illness is a real problem. So, how do we fix that, especially when most insurance comapnies want to ignore that it exists? We keep blaming the wrong thing: a flag, video games, movies, television shows. Mental illness is exacerbated by circumstances. So, if you have a mentally ill person and they have immersed himself in violence, what’s going to happen? Violence begets violence. It doesn’t matter how you slice it. Why don’t we worry about getting to the root of the problem instead of trying to bring attention to something that isn’t the true cause?


284604_2125344707033_4648772_nIf any group of people has been offended, and has the right to feel offended, it is the American Indian. In offering help to our ancestors, they opened the door to dominance and control and a loss of their way of life. After all, that is what my European ancestors seemed to do best… take, take, take.

The American Indians were lied to, forced out of their lands, and died because of our quest to conquer. Is anyone talking about this? I am sure the American flag greatly offends the Indians. So, what’s the difference? Is there just not enough of them to cause a scene?

I attended graduate school at the University of North Dakota, the home of the Fighting Sioux. During my studies, there was a huge controversy happening over the emblem and name the school was using via the NCAA. The local tribe was offended by its use and were petitioning the courts to have the Indian head and name removed. I certainly saw their point of view, but was also saddened.

I was proud of the name. I love American Indian history and heritage and I felt like having a college name to show for it was a good thing. In 2012, the decision was reached to discontinue the use of the nickname and Indian head. So, is this another situation where we take down an emblem because if offends someone?

A Voice

I don’t have all of the answers, but I do have a voice. As long as I’m able to speak and write, I’ll use that voice to bring up questions, even if I don’t have the solutions. Sometimes, we just need to stop and think and sometimes that is all it takes. I have friends from many walks of life and I love them. I don’t care what religion they are or what color their skin is or what their sexual orientation is. Love covers all of the differences.

Did the flower children have it right? All you need is love? Love certainly does more than hate ever did and ever will do. So, maybe we should start learning how to accept difference instead of walking around offended by them all of the time. Just a thought…