This is the link to my poem “Barefeet and Thorns” that was published today on Ink & Voices. I was very excited at the response time I received and the way my poem was lay out. Any feedback is appreciated.
1. Share a 10th grade memory.
2. Look into your archives. What were you blogging about a year ago around this time? Are you still dealing with the same thing? Your thoughts?
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: falling.
4. Book review!
5. 10 things you love about Spring.
6. Share a quote you love.
7. Spring Cleaning! Share a before and after photo of a room you recently tackled.
“We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
This is a link up to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop. Hop over there, choose a prompt, blog about it, share, and read other’s post. Easy Peasy!
1. I should start this post with the fact I am so thankful I have managed to link up to Lizzi’s Ten Things of Thankful. I’ve been out of touch too long. Had a couple of deaths to deal with that came within two weeks of one another. I would start to link up, and then forget. Forgetting to be thankful sounds bad enough, so imagine how it feels. It’s horrible. Moving on though………..
2. School was over for the year Tuesday. I am thankful cause those early mornings are a bummer. My 6th grader will be heading to 7th in the fall. My youngest will be heading into 3rd. I am so proud of them and they both made excellent grades. Also, my god-son, graduated last Friday from high school. I was very proud and feeling a bit old. After all, my 20th high school reunion is in August. ugh.
3. Vanity at it’s best, I’m thankful that I don’t look 37, or at least I don’t think I do. I am also very, very thankful that other than some mental illnesses, ex: bipolar disorder, physically my doctor said I’m healthy as a horse. Surprisingly so. She added I should be thankful because my lifestyle (her words) was a less than healthy one. She isn’t telling me anything. I lived it. lol. Actually, my mother at my age had diabetes, liver problems, and wasn’t in good shape physically. While I’ve put on quite a few pounds from the bipolar medicine I’m on, I still walk at least 3 or 4 times a week and try to stay in shape. Go figure, the medicine they finally find that works has the side effect of weight gain. lol
4. Ah, I added 2 “lol” on number 3. I’m feeling very thankful for the sunshine and summer is my favorite season. The weather has been gorgeous with the exception of a couple nights ago. It stormed all night and we were under a tornado watch until 3 a.m. That in itself is crazy because I live in southwest Virginia, snuggled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Appalachian. We were told in school how tornadoes didn’t touch down if you live, literally on a mountain. I do. My small town is called Parrott Mountain. However, 2 years ago 2 tornadoes touched down in my county and ran over what is called Draper Mountain, ripping the trees up, destroying homes nestled in the mountain, and didn’t even slow down. In fact, once leaving the mountain, it continued across the interstate, wrecking a gas station and several other things before finally breaking up. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured, but you can imagine the devastation because nobody in this area prepares for tornadoes. Or at least didn’t until this happened.
5. I am so grateful for the few personal friends that I have in my life. I have found the saying “when you are down and out, you find out who your friends are.” I have known this for quite sometime. In fact, so much has happened in my lifetime, nothing truly shocks me anymore. “Man is the cruelest animal of all.” (Mark Twain). Just when I thought I couldn’t be shocked by anyone’s behavior, sadly, I learned I still can be surprised when someone I’ve been close to since the age of 11 needed my help and I didn’t mind at all. Except when it came time to pay me back, my phone isn’t blowing up, and I’m having a difficult time getting back what is owed. It has hurt my feelings, which I have always handled by getting angry. In the long run and grand scheme of things, $20 will not make or break me. Understand though, $20 is what is left after she has paid me in payments for 4 weeks. It put me in a bind somewhat being paid back that way and now I’m being avoided. I don’t want to lose a friend over $20, but it’s a slap in the face they are willing to lose me. (Breathing In – Breathing Out – Deep Breaths). Moving along……………
6. My boyfriend’s daughter is having a baby! She is due in August and she’s his only child, well, he does help me raise my daughters and he’s their “dad” in every sense of the word. Their father loves them, of course, but he’s 7 hours away in Jacksonville, N.C. and visitations was not his strong point when he lived 30 minutes away. They have gotten to spend a month with him for the past two summers. Last year, they were in his wedding and they did actually spend their first Easter away from me, ever, to go to N.C. In actuality, he sees them more a state away then he did when he lived here. ***Back to the topic at hand*** So, my boyfriend is getting ready to have a granddaughter and I’m so excited. Her shower is coming up. She is healthy, glowing even, and her boyfriend is a stand up guy.
7. I read Lizzi’s list about gardens and work. I have been very proud to keep my Wandering Jew Plant alive and wandering. It’s a hard plant to kill but I figured I’d be the one to kill it. In fact, it has branched off, hanging from the table it sits on, until I need to transplant it to a bigger post. So, I was at Wal-mart yesterday and decided to purchase a few flowers to go into the ready made flower garden. We moved an entire curve away from my home, into his grandmother’s home who had passed away and began renting my home where my grandparents raised me. Along with this house came a very nice looking flower bed, but it has shrubs and such in it, and needs to be tended to. I bought some bright, smaller flowers to go around the edge. I plan on planting them this evening after the sun has started to go down. I could be wrong here, so any one that has a green thumb, feel free to chime in: Isn’t it best to plant them and water them once the sun is setting so I don’t fry them? Thanks.
8. I am thankful for the walks in the evening with my god-daughter, her 2 sons, and my girls. It’s peaceful, exercise, time with her and all the children, and most of the time we share in a lot of laughs.
9. I am thankful that I spent time with my best friend’s mother on Mother’s Day because she passed away last week. I am so glad my girls got to see her because they knew her as MeeMee. Her spirits were up. We were laughing about the past, talking about when my grandmother passed away, and her mom passed away that evening. Meaning my grandmother that raised me and my best friend Brandy’s grandmother raised her, and them passing away on the same day was so strange and unreal. We took it as a sign from God because He knew without one another, and understanding each other’s pain, we’d never gotten through the loss. Vicki and I spoke of the trouble her daughter, Brandy, and I had gotten into growing up. Vicki had a way of making everyone feel special to her. Her laughter was contagious. I know the angels need laughter too and she’s not in pain anymore.
10. I am thankful for the little blessings in my life that I sometimes overlook. Things like my daughters’ making me cards at church, my god-daughter’s visits, the sun shining, having enough money to pay the bills, and having everything we need. So this concludes my Ten Things of Thankful and I’m so glad I began the first weekend in June linking to Lizzi’s blog.
- Thank about at least two mistakes you have made before which you felt bad about. They can be small or big mistakes; the point is that you felt bad over them at some point in time–perhaps at the very point when the mistakes were incurred.
- Identify three things you gained from each mistake. They can be intangible things like self-realizations, life lessons, or an improvement in your well-being. They can be tangible things like gaining (or losing) a physical object, a new person you met as a result (who subsequently became your good friend or even partner), or even the improvement of your health.
- Now, I would like you to review each mistake. Have you become a better person as a result of each mistake? Was each mistake truly a “mistake”, or actually a gift in disguise? You decide; it’s your own conclusion.
I’m not cheating by combining Day 13 and Day 14 of the 14 Days of Gratitude Challenge. I practice Day 13, meditation on a regular basis. It relaxes me as well as helps clear my mind so I can sleep. I normally like to waiting until the children are in bed and I sit in the living room because it’s my favorite room. There I sit comfortably crossed legged, with good posture, listen to soft piano/meditation music, and practice my breathing. Thoughts of the day, yesterday, and tomorrow will go through my mind, but they leave as soon as I have acknowledged them and I feel better. I cannot lie. There are some days when I’m stressed and I know meditation would help and perhaps some yoga butb I get in a funk where I just don’t want to. This would be my only fault in using this technique is not being consistent with it. I plan on working on that beginning tonight.
Moving on to Day 14. Two mistakes takes some narrowing down over my 36 years. I would say one of the hugest is getting addicted to opiates in 2000 when my grandmother, whom raised me passed away. The other huge mistake is legal trouble I got into and some of it was due to bad choices made because of an addictive nature. 3 things I learned about not going back to my good job in 2000 and instead chose to use would be 1. at the end of it all, and being in a program for 2 years, when I was no longer high at the end of 2010, my granny was still dead, and 98% of all my problems, I brought on myself. I also realized, I loved my children, but I could do better if I learned to love myself. I realized I hurt a lot of people that cared about me, as well as hurting myself. The legal trouble I had gotten into made me realize my life was unmanageable. I realized I was letting addiction control my thinking and behavior and doing things I normally would have never thought of doing. Even now, I have no license, owe a lot of money to get one back, and this has hurt me in job wise, taking my children places and not having to be dependent on anyone else. If I lived in a community or city where public transportation was possible it wouldn’t be so bad. I live in a small coal mining town, population literally of about 400 people, the community has a post office, two churches, a fire department, and a lot of gossip. I have lived here my entire life though. It’s a gorgeous area, and I love in the warm weather, especially summer, walking the mile to the river that runs through my community, and swimming with my daughters. However, any jobs, stores, of anything like that is at least a 20 to 25 minute drive. I have no one to blame but myself for the lack of transportation.
The last thing ask on here, was these truly mistakes or gifts in disguise. I can’t answer just one way. There is too much grey in the middle. My addiction was a huge mistake. At the same time, it’s a gift. It’s made me more compassionate toward people, more understanding of people’s lifestyles and hardships. I regret my past sometimes follows me around, and I don’t want this to have a negative impact on my children. At the same time, I have experienced rehabs, jail, no license, (as they notice now), relapses, losing almost everything, and just about anything an addict can experience. I feel like my children know they can communicate openly with me and based on their age, I communicate with them about some of the consequences of using drugs cause. I have had a couple of therapist that were addicts. I always thought they were the best ones. They were clean, had went to school for their job, and they understood me better than someone who had never been in my shoes. I plan on taking a photography class in the spring, but I also wanted to check on being a social worker for addicts. I need more clean time, and as of January 2014, I can have my record expunged and get my voting and gun rights back. My conviction was a non-violent conviction, in which I paid my fines, was on supervised probation for 2 years, sent to different out patient treatment centers, and I have been off of probation since January 2011 and have not so much as jay walked. The legal trouble: was it truly a mistake or a gift in disguise. For the most part I want to say a huge mistake, no gifts involved. Even that isn’t true. I have realized if I hadn’t gotten into trouble and been put on supervised probation with the threat of jail over my head, I would probably be dead by now. I couldn’t stand my probation officer at first. I felt like it was unreasonable to request things from me when she knew I had no steady income, ect. When I got off of probation almost 3 years ago, I sincerely hugged her and thanked her. She saved my life. I also realized the value of not owing money to courts and different things. In America, or at least here in Virginia, all I heard was how driving is a gift, not a right. I understand that to the fullest and as I begin the Virginia Alcohol and Addiction Program, the last step into regaining my license, I know once I regain my license, I won’t take it for granted again.
Now I’m at the part of my 3 things I’m thankful for on each day: 1. Thankful I do have a sense of humor. 2. Thankful I have an honest heart because everyone around here cannot stand the probation officer I had. She went above and beyond for me because I never lied to her. If I knew I wouldn’t pass a urine screening, I told her. She respected my honesty. As far as respect go, my word is about all I have other than my children. I’m glad I’m trustworthy. 3. I just said this, but it’s worth repeating, I’m glad people find me trustworthy and that I have not caused them to regret that. 4. I am thankful that my grandparents raised me right, so that even at my lowest, I didn’t do things, such as steal from someone, to get drugs. I was raised different. 5. I am thankful people have forgiven me for mistakes along the way and stood by me. 6. I am so thankful to participate in another of Celes’ challenges and learn about myself by doing them.
This is purely fiction for Five Sentence Fiction. This is stepping out of my comfort zone because I normally write poetry, not stories exactly. Any prompts I normally participate in, give a specific thing to do. I like how this prompt challenges me to put more thought into what I’m trying to tell with a story.
Dreama’s green eyes stared blankly outside. The leaves were changing colors and that brought her some comfort in the knowledge she was dying. Her will and testament was in place, in the hands of lawyers she trusted. She silently wondered if her loved ones would miss her or be more than ready to rummage through the treasures she had collected during her 65 years of living. Watching the wind blow leaves upward from the ground, she said a prayer aloud, and found her life had been filled with blissful love.