Friday, December 19, 2014

It's On Me

I've always enjoyed motivational speakers, in my younger years, before all the violence, destruction and trauma, I was very amped up and raring to go, lemme take on the world folks.  I'd listen to Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar cassettes on my Walkman as I walked, thinking this Walkman was a technological miracle, not a clue as to how cool digital information via podcasts would be in my life someday.

Now I'm a deflated sack of hot air, but a smiling one who read some of Tony Robbins' words yesterday, remembering the young, clueless girl who'd once been so energized and excited about life.

You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.

Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

Clear to see where I'm going, right?

And for us trauma mamas:

Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.

Most foster and adoptive moms are middle class and very motivated by our love and concern for children. We dearly want to help them, yet we find ourselves so often bamboozled by what we see.  We wanted so much more for our children.  We want contentment and success for them, not a life of crime or alcoholism.  Duh.

But we cannot control what our grown kids do.  Why do we obsess?  I know I'm not the only one, I hear from y'all.

I printed out the article, from his new book, wanting to absorb it all.  My brain, my emotions, my very soul desperately needs an update, a major upgrade.

I don't wanna know what they're doing if it's negative, that's why I've hidden so many stressful status updates on Facebook from my news feed.  If you cuss and carry on, I'm ashamed and embarrassed.

Now I don't know if you do, I can't see it.  I stayed off of Facbeook for several weeks, but I missed my friends and their updates.  I'm not on Snapchat, nor Instagram, and I don't follow any Twitter feeds that involve any of my kids nor their friends.  I don't wanna know the things they think are brag worthy, it has caused me too much cringing.

Lily and Tony exempted their final exams today, leaving me with only my four youngest kids headed to school this morning, only Scotty, Jack, Nando and Tabby, with Scotty and Jack home by noon.

Scotty and I were listening to the radio in my truck yesterday, a news item about kids who receive everything they want for Christmas are overwhelmed and it sets them up for emotional struggles in their adult life.  It makes then later be very materialistic and usually disappointed with life.  Ouch.

On my kid's birthdays I take them shopping and am always amazed at how little they actually choose to buy.  They can hardly even come up with any suggestions for what they want, knowing we have just about everything we need, believe it or not.

But TV shows or movies distort everything for us, making us all believe our lives should be that good too.  An entire generation of young women now who wanna be Kim Kardashian, thinking that'd make them happy.  A ton of reality TV dominating the airwaves yet so few of us are attuned to any semblance of reality.

Life ain't a music video, we don't look like that, and we can't shimmy our way through the workplace.

Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85 percent to 90 percent of those assembled raise their hands.

How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. 

But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like “life is not worth living,” that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.

I must absorb that mindset.  I must change my despair and assign a new meaning to all that I deal with or observe around me.  I need to regain my own faith in humanity and quit being so discouraged by the negativity that has threatened my own emotional well being.  It's on me.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Doing The Credit Freeze Finally

I've been yapping about it, but finally did it the other day.  I contacted all three credit reporting companies and froze my credit.  Why?  It's not like I want credit and this prevents credit fraud.

For people who worry about identity theft, a credit freeze is a lot like the impenetrable deadbolt. Once a freeze has been placed on your credit reports, credit card issuers, lenders and others can't review the summary of loans and payments that makes up your credit history. Without that information, lenders won't issue credit. And that means criminals can't set up fraudulent accounts in your name.

It was $3 a pop, which of course made me howl, putting the $9 expenditure in my Excel Spreadsheet under miscellaneous expenses, and I feel good about it.

A new TV channel, which probably all the world knows about, call me slow, Pivot TV showed a film, The Organic Life, which captivated me last night, if I can't garden so much in the winter, at least I can watch a film about it.

I still cringe to see folks stepping on soil, compacting it, or driving a tractor over it, permaculture has suited me so beautifully for years, the no-till method I'd learned of decades ago, certainly easier and more sustainable, but the film was beautifully shot, and I loved seeing an enthusiastic young couple gushing over their vegetables.

To bring myself out of a winter funk, I know I need to exercise, I'm making steps forward, can you imagine what a wreck I'd be if I'd been born somewhere that has constant snowfall?  It'll again be close to 60 today, but I'm still bundled up and cold even then.  Dragging around wheelbarrows full of sopping wet wood chips will warm me up.  I'm thrilled about Saturday's impending 90% rain chance.

I again tried yoga, convinced of its benefits for sure, but I'm still too annoyingly hyperactive to not lose a nut when all that slow breathing is part and parcel of the process.  Sarah's trying to hunt me a video of a higher-energy yoga workout.

I've followed Gretchen Rubin online as she researched and wrote The Happiness Project, later finding the ensuing book at the library's used book sale for a buck, now reading it, knowing I emotionally need a boost, honestly glad already that I'm already doing much of what she recommends.  Imagine if I wasn't?

I sleep well, eat great, go outside, strive for positivity (faltering so at times), and I'm passionate about my family and gardens, my church and my faith.

Another plant-based lose weight story can be found here.  I'm gonna keep linking them in my blog, because I know so many women trying to lose weight, and I remain completely convinced that no diet will work in the long term, only completely changing the way one eats forever is gonna do the trick.

A brand new place opened up in town, Freddy's, advertising steak burgers which I don't even know what one is, but yesterday as I drove past it, it was completely packed, the parking lot completely full.

I just googled the nutritional info, if one orders regular a steak burger, a chocolate shake and an order on onion rings, it clocks in at exactly 100 grams of fat for one freaking meal.  ONE MEAL.

That's a vegan's fat gram total for about four days.  No wonder America is gaining weight each day.  Those eaters still had breakfast and supper fat grams to add to that 100 number.  Ouch.  Reckon it's safe to say they might eat another 100 grams of fat with a breakfast and a dinner?

Plus this vegan didn't get her fats from cheap, nasty oil and animal products, instead my fat intake usually comes from avocados, nuts and seeds.  The good fats that give me protein and omega 3's.

I'm a really big eater too, never depriving myself, I eat a lot of calories, but they're all good.  I ate three bananas after supper yesterday, wanting something sweet for desert.

However, I had a craving like you wouldn't believe for a chocolate covered custard filled Krispy Kreme donut the other day and I nearly caved.  It was an overwhelming urge, but I fought it, not wanting to mess up my no sugar run.

CW told me that he went through the Freddy's drive through and found it to be pricey, over $8 per meal.  Raised by me since birth, he knows how many sacks of beans and rice can be bought for $8.

Texting me when he leaves his third shift job, "On my way home," I'd gone into the kitchen to scramble him 4 eggs with hot pepper jack cheese, making a mongo sized sandwich, he's already crawled up to his room to sleep all day.

Yesterday's ordeal, also unbloggable, grown kid stuff involving court, lawyers, a probation officer and me glad that armed police were in the courtroom when one of the inmates wearing the orange stripes, which indicates mental issues, argued with the judge.  Seriously, dude?

And then the phone calls from the birth siblings of that one, not the inmate in orange, but the one kin to us...

Gotta do errands right now, high school kids coming home at 11:30 after exams, and I wanna go outside and play.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tony's Photography Skills

Knowing that my nerves are shot anyway, why don't I just stop looking at current event headlines?  Read nothing about mental illness?  Stop learning all there might be to know, what good did knowledge do anyway?  All I've ever said in response is, "I dunno."

So then stop watching crime shows on TV?  Everything seemingly drives my blood pressure up, which is what trauma looks like anyway.

Maybe the five day forecast is all that I can emotionally handle?  No, not even that, as low temperatures are physically insulting to me.  I'm such a sissy, this I know.  80 degrees or nothing for me to be grinning.

Or a good chance of rain makes me smile.

This is what recovery from hazardous parenting looks like.

My daughter-in-law put this on Facebook: 10 Toxic People You Shouldn’t Bring With You Into The New Year.

1. The people who make your life more stressful.
2. The people who use you.
3. The people who don’t respect you.
4. The people who always manage to hurt you.
5. The people who can’t seem to stop lying to you.
6. The people who smile to your face and then insult you behind your back.
7. The people who don’t care about you, but love to pretend they do.
8. The people who drag you back into your old lifestyle.
9. The people who hold you back.
10. The people just taking up space.

Dang, I'm screwed.

If I put up emotional boundaries to protect myself, irrational ones amp it up.  BTDT, thus I remain discouraged about progress.

So I withdraw from those who continue to be verbally assaultive, I've reached my emotional limit there, no longer able to bounce back.  I'm tired of giving advice that's treated oppositionally.  OK, tell me how that works out for you.

Jesse put a smile on my face, coming in after his first day on a new job, telling me it had gone well.

Peter Pan responding to me, "Well, he's a Navy vet.  No wonder he was immediately hired."

Right.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Jesse'd been in contact with this firm when he was still in New York, had twice driven out there on Monday, presented himself well, they'd have been nuts to have not hired him.  That's how you get a job.

But you know what?

I am putting up boundaries.  I have too much to do each day to allow those who wanna be ugly to interfere with what I'm trying to do with, and for, those who wanna get ahead, which is the majority of my family.  They need me to be whole and strong, emotionally available, instead of me sitting in a corner, emotionally wounded and sucking my thumb.  Grow up, Cindy.

Their understandable fury at the world is hurting them and is harming others, it's not helping anyone.  Lashing out as an adult is unacceptable.  It's as if they are stuck in the immature phase of life and unable to move forward.  I get it, but if I participate in it, then I'm complicit in allowing it to continue.

Thank you therapy.  At least I've been listening and heeding that which I've learned.

Really good books about boundaries include those written by Dr. Henry Cloud, but these books are written mainly for parents who are parenting neurotypical children.  Parents parenting traumatized children that they did not birth, and may not even have met until adolescence, is a whole 'nother ballgame.

Reading, Boundaries With Kids, is an exercise in emotional frustration, having observed kids who do not, who can not, learn from experience, as they are miswired and it isn't their fault.

Dr. Cloud does suggest though that life is not fair, and if one had a terrible childhood such as one spent with alcoholic parents, then it is now on them, the children of alcoholics, to take responsibility for the present and the future, not choose to remain locked in past resentments, as duh, that's not gonna help them in life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mulling Over That Thought All Day

120 plus children killed by the Taliban?  Is this not Hell on earth?  My mind just shuts down, goes into a self-protective mode, so as not to simply come unglued.  Children???  Oh Dear Lord, please help us all.

Unable to sleep, welcome rain banging on a tin roof, I'd awakened at 4 this morning, had DVRd an intriguing show, Major Crimes, with very intelligent characters and fascinating story lines.  A burnt out detective had mused, "Why do we keep pushing rocks up the hill only to have them roll back down on us, crushing our hearts?'

He later stated he'd given up most of his faith in the human race.  Me sitting there with my dog Junebug, nodding my head in agreement, realizing I've become an old woman watching my stories and talking to the TV.  Hey. I'm OK with it.

Maybe most of us become very demoralized by age 60?  Beat down by the constant struggle?  Shocked at the lack of basic and decent behavior?  Or is it just me?

How can anyone keep up with basic front page news and not feel nauseated, shocked, and dismayed?

I don't know how big city homicide detectives keep their heads screwed on properly after all they've seen of inhumane acts.

I need to snap out of it, right?

I'm not depressed, rather I'm overly concerned maybe by the state of the world overall.

No longer an optimistic, bright-eyed and raring to go young lady, instead I'm emotionally exhausted and beat down, fearing that morality has not prevailed, not even in the most simplistic of fashion.

I remain stunned that some of my kids still demonstrate dishonest behaviors, an abject lack of regard for others, and a looking out for number one mentality at all costs.  The lack of a conscience scares me.

I'd mentioned last year that I wanted to re-read the Bible again all the way through.  I did not do so.  Really, Cindy?  As much of a reader as you are?  Stop reading the news headlines and read The Good Book.  Duh, girl.

Go pull weeds.  Good luck with all that poison ivy, but you've got this.  Go haul wood chips.

Many of the kids I no longer mention here have struggled mightily, I'd taken phone calls from a half a dozen of them yesterday.  In their minds, I'm Miss Fix It, me always thinking about how can we make this right, or fix what's broken, what's the correct thing to do, the proper steps to take?  That's their takeaway regarding me.

But, if they keep breaking laws, or ripping people off, then how can I get them fix it?  It starts by not doing wrong.  Simple to me, but I'm learning that their minds are so miswired that right or wrong is completely nebulous.  They are unable to think through to the consequences, behaviors they'd long demonstrated to me over and over as children, many of them with seriously sad diagnoses of mental instability or severe emotional issues.

When I even say the word 'wrong' they stare back baffled, but always ready with a reason why they felt justified in doing wrong.

What's the answer?  What to do?  Again, I dunno.

My old school advice is rarely heeded, then they find themselves in yet another pickle, maybe I'm just to be a listening ear and an emotional base?  Someone who cares?  Maybe the only one on earth who cares?  I'll be mulling over that thought all day.

"I'm so sorry about everything," I was told yesterday by one I've not heard from in forever.

Yeah, I know, but that doesn't undo what was done.  I forgive, but I still have to protect everyone.

It kills me, it just kills me.  These kids that I've loved for so long that then assaulted others, not just jail, but prison for three, who have severely compulsive (and impulsive) tendencies that may forever rule and ruin their lives, added to the horrifying mix of mental diagnoses.  It kills me, it just kills me, straining my heart muscle to the breaking point. Feels as if it has endured slams by a baseball bat way too often.

Wah, wah, wah, right?  Poor me.  But what about them?  I've cried oceans of tears upstairs in my room, I've preached countless sermons around here regarding proper behavior, I've found some of the best therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, yet free will prevails, as it should, but miswired free will results in some poor choices.  Today's brutal understatement.

My thoughts race on, my Joey, now 25 never, ever had a chance, not even from birth.  Saddled with huge mental health diagnoses, his issues were evident at a very young age, his brain miswired to an extreme depth. I sought out all types and kinds of mental health treatment and resources, but simplistically, how could his brain then be wired correctly?  A physical impossibility.

He will spend the rest of his life in prison, he's there now for a second time, making himself eligible for the Three Strikes law, he is virtually unable to function decently in society - through absolutely no fault of his own.  Dealt a bad hand at birth.  Period.  I can't blame his birth mom, his circumstances then, nor a failure of the mental health system to step up, because they did so, they offered a huge amount of help.

So does this make me question, or doubt God?  Question, yes.  Doubt, no.

There are also many people with difficult and intense physical issues that make me question the universe.  Why were they so afflicted?  I dunno.

Move on, Cindy.  Time to listen to prizes music to scrub out your mind.

Pasta last night, whole wheat of course, with tomatoes and peppers I'd put up from my garden, plus oregano we'd dried, and my ever present Fire Hot Pepper Sauce, while the kids added their usual mounds of grated hot pepper jack cheese on top.  We'd stuffed ourselves, CW went of to his third shift job, while Jesse found a job on Day One of his job hunt here in Georgia.  Hey, he's a catch for any employee, tall and strong, a Navy veteran, dependable with a family to support.  He's hard working, reliable and responsible. Yes, I'm very proud.

Thank you, Jesse, for being such a great role model to your brothers.  A wonderful son to me, a great dad to Isaiah, and a loving husband to Lena.  That's a real man.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Don't Do Pizza

Daniel, an Army Captain, and Jesse, a Navy vet, watching the Army-Navy game on Daniel's phone after the ravenous Bubbas had left the table, us doing our once a month order 10 large pizzas for supper and use paper plates.  The pizzas are $6 each, not bad. That's my kale chips in the foreground, I don't do pizza.  They've been brothers for 20 years this January, now they're 29 and 32 years old.  I'm so proud of them both.

68 degrees in December is a gift that I used all Saturday afternoon, dragging poison ivy roots out of a garden bed in which I didn't even know it had infested.  Crap.

Yolie used the words "checked out" regarding me and our elementary school, in that after the violent ones were no longer there, my presence was unnecessary, and nowadays there are a bunch of teachers I don't know.  I also don't have any kids there anymore.

But I've checked out in a million ways over the years, knowing that all of my positive efforts in the face of violent irrationality just felt completely wasted.  Discouragement prevailing, stress skyrocketing, and so much negativity that just beats me down.  Best to retreat.  It's self-protective for what little of me hasn't been totally annihilated.

When I'm never sure if I'll be lashed out at, I emotionally withdraw automatically.  I just can't take it anymore.

 I shouldn't have to either.  It's identical to being a kicked puppy and I'm so tired of it, bo-ring.

Now I have attachment and trust issues.  And these same people do the same to their friend of the week, or their newest partner, latest job attempt,  and wonder why all relationships and situations implode.

I gravitate and hang with those who don't explode, who have respect, and who are trying their darndest to move forward.  That's most of my kids.

Several of my grown kids, who've tried to do everything right, have still found themselves in difficulties called life.  Life isn't fair and we're all going to struggle.  It's just the way it is.

Everyone's dealing with something.


Scotty went to do a service project for the church, just helping someone out for free, his Sunday Evening Small Group doing yard work for an elderly woman.  I'm proud of him for that and I pointed out that he continuously helps us two elderly women, Grandma and I, which just left him speechless, as he doesn't think an 84 year old, nor a 60 year old as elderly, since he sees us working with tools, hauling heavy loads and always working.

Ray also had worked with the Children's Church on Saturday, proudly cleaning up the garden beds around the church.  No Honey, I'm the proud one, proud of my grandson for this, it's the way I raised his Mom, it's the way I was raised, and so on and so on.  It's how I raised my kids and fortunately it stuck with many of them.  Yolie'd worked hard on Wednesday nights getting ready for the church musical, it takes a great deal of moms and dads to get that huge production accomplished each year.

Another beautiful day outside, in which 15 wheelbarrow loads of wood chips barely made a dent in one garden bed.  Oh my.


I'm wondering at times if I ought to hit 'publish' or not.  Too often I'm struggling too much emotionally to make sense of it all, wondering if the world is just gonna collapse from within due to all the problems, issues and crap I see going on around me via news events that I need to quit reading, knowing so much of it plunges me into despair.

I read about hateful online, mean trolls here, shaking my head, wondering what's inside people that makes them spew and lash out at those they don't even know?

And, even more so, I fret over my grown kids.  I know that some of them do not have the wherewithal to avoid trouble, they're so easily influenced, so drawn to the misleading thought of easy money, so susceptible to peer pressure, so easily swayed by self-medication or alcohol, which only leads to other problems.

I feel as if I failed to get through to them, to instill a value system.  I know that with some of them I had so little time, and so many other issues competing inside their minds, that character traits like honesty and hard work seemed quaint and ridiculous to them, having been heavily influenced by what they'd seen all around them in all the years before we met.  Their hardness, their character traits already entrenched, and with good reason after all they'd endured.  I do understand, but it's not helping them as adults.

One might logically think, "Well, that didn't work out too good for them", thus leading them into foster care via choices made, or not made, by birth parents.  But instead of learning from that, it destroyed so much of their then developing psyche, that changing dramatically might not ever be feasible.

But I console myself, the majority of my children did so.  I just grieve for those who seemingly continue to sabotage everything, leaving massive problems, unpaid bills, injured bystanders, and bad feelings in their wake.

They still won't listen to my advice, instead they prefer to lash out, therefore I act like a turtle, crawling back into my shell.  I feel like I need to scrub my brain out, replace my PTSD driven thoughts with sunshine, flowers, and bubbles.  I wish.

Another lovely day ahead for me, I'm gonna continue my outdoor chores while it's warm.  Last night Tony and Chuy got off work at the same time from Sam's Club, never in my wildest dreams did I think it'd be Tony buying a car before Chuy, or that the two of them would be buddied up - absolutely nothing in commons after 13 years of being brothers, but that's what we have now.

And in happy news, my first 2015 seed catalog has arrived.  Dang, I still have roses blooming.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lipstick Tightwad

Ray, the cutie pie on the far right, in a public school performance as the token home school kid who participated in Perfectly Polished, making his Bita very proud of him.  Hazel had spotted Mae's class coming in the door, broke rank, and ran to give her a bear hug, which simply melted my heart.

Sarah just told me that the book I've been raving about all week, Same Kind Of Different As Me, was all the rage at our church several years ago.


I have so had my head up my armpit for so long that solar flares in my house could've gone unnoticed by me easily enough.  Hey, soccer schedules must be followed, just for one example.

I passed it on to Grandma to read.  Again, thank you, Dee.

My sweet son, Jesse, has come home to Georgia, his lovely wife and son to follow when Jesse gets settled in.   My property butts up to Yolie's, and to Sarah's land, last night both of my older sons, Jesse and Daniel were back.  It's Daniel's National Guard drill weekend. and I'm a happy Mama having them both home.

Jesse used to tote CW around when Dubs was a baby, now getting as tall as Jesse, no easy feat as Jesse is 6'4" at least.  A shout out to CW also for finishing up his first semester of college.

I got back on Facebook though and felt sad as a Mama I know around here lost a son this week.  A man who'd gone to school with my three oldest sons, Jesse, Joe and Serg.  Just 31 years old and it breaks my heart.

Gina joined Tabby and I at an Art Show where Lily's AP Art was on display at a private school on a luxurious campus.

We're again in a warm spell so I pulled the invasive quack grass out from around a hydrangea, re-mulching it as heavily as if I lived in the North Pole and feared the roots would freeze, when, in reality, our ground never freezes at all, instead the sun bakes away all leaves, compost, mulch, manure, and wood chips each year.

I'm also battling English Ive and poison ivy, matted root systems that're gonna take me another decade to hand eradicate.  Why not spray, Cindy?  Save yourself the trouble.  Uh, because I'm organic, I love the earth, I'm not gonna poison it, have the crap leak into our water supply and kill of birds and insects.  Duh.  Read Silent Spring y'all.  I read it in the law 1960s, coming away stunned and changed forever.

Martin and Peter Pan both had job interviews yesterday, then helped Jesse unload his U-Haul, Grandma generously allowing one of her large downstairs rooms to become a storage unit.

CW's oil changing the van for me and replacing a headlight, thank God I don't have to pay a mechanic, but he has my debit card that I'd allowed him to use to get the auto parts. I totally trust him, however Mr. Forgetful still has it, and he's in town somewhere, guess I'm not heading out to the grocery store.

Behavioral Finance Research is a thing.  Who knew?  I should've suspected it though, knowing we don't accidentally buy stuff, we're manipulated by clever techniques.  specifically, "research in the fields of behavioral decision-making, behavioral economics, and behavioral finance. Behavioral decision-making studies the basic psychology of decision-making, while behavioral economics and behavioral finance study the role of irrational thinking in economic and financial decision-making, respectively."  And that's from Yale for Pete's sake.  Unreal.

I was flipping through my usual news articles, an article on the best chubby lipstick pencils caught my eye for some reason.  $22 each.  "Seriously?" I bellowed to myself at 6 this morning, "Who pays $22 for a lipstick?"

No one answered me.

I have no clue what a lipstick costs anyway.  I get mine via the food donations, sometimes there's cosmetics or shampoos included.  I do have one store bought  $4.97 Burt's Bees lipstick tube. I'd felt guilty enough about spending that much money and I just wear it on Sundays.

There's yard sales today, but I don't care, don't wanna go anywhere, my first non-Soccer Saturday in forever.  I wanna weed some more, haul more wood chips, hang out with Jesse, and get some chores done.  I've already taken Chuy to work at 7:30 this morning, and Tony's fixing to join him for his own shift at Sam's Club later today.

We are a far cry, thankfully, from the drama, strife and stress of years past, when violence hovered and we all scurried around fearfully, afraid of upsetting those who needed no triggers in order to explode.  Now my blog is a boring scrapbook for family photos and el cheap lipstick, but I also hope it'll serve as some encouragement for any of y'all still living like I was back then.

We still have issues and challenges, I'm speaking of them less as the kids are older, and a few have some legal problems to overcome.  We do still need and covet your prayers.  We still appreciate the prayer covering we've received for so long.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sugar, No Thanks

Yesterday my 6 year old granddaughter had to deal with the loss of another 6 year old girl in her small elementary school.  How does a child deal with that?  It was due to a car accident and I went through all of my brain compartments pondering it all. I never dealt with death until I was ten years old and it was two family members, one was a grandmother, the other was a very tragic situation that still boggles my mind 50 years later.

I know that I think too much, but how does one stall, or eliminate, one's own thoughts?

I dunno.

At least I admit I usually have zero answers.  But, bottom line, The Golden Rule - Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you - if only folks followed that one rule. Theoretically there'd then be no thefts, no murders, no assaults, nothing but nice, because one only wants nice done unto them, right?

Well until one factors in mental and emotional illnesses.  See?  There I go again.

I'd been reading the newspapers on line as I do every morning, shaking my head in disbelief and dismay over so many stories.  Lord Have Mercy, can't we all just behave as a population?

Rare is the book that brings me to tears, since I already have enough to cry about, but the book Dee'd sent me sure did.  Same Kind Of Different As Me was really, really moving.

The book was a memoir, certainly sad, but also uplifting.

I'm emotionally struggling with many of the choices my grown kids have made, similar to the anger-based, PTSD infused lashing out that I'd observed in them as teenagers.  Instead of losing privileges or sitting in time-out, now they're losing places to stay, and often their possessions.  Or jobs are lost as these behaviors are unacceptable.  Truths I'd tried in vain to teach.

One reason I'm staying off Facebook this month, besides I don't enjoy all the Christmas hype, is that I don't wanna see the things some of my kids post such as bragging about getting wasted.  Really?  I've unfollower a great many statuses in my news feed, but due to my own emotional tension lately, it's best I stay off of social media.

I do know that often it takes many, many years to mature, and to comprehend simple logic.  In dismay, I see two steps forward, then thud, a long slide back as they blame everyone around them, including me in situations in which I had no knowledge of, nor any participation in, me again stumped by a visible lack of logic.

Then I become angry, or get my feelings hurt, or explode within in abject frustrate, knowing there's nothing I can do to remedy these situations, so I do what I do best, I retreat further within, isolating myself, shutting down my emotions, and physically working through my fury with back-breaking chores because that truly pushes the emotional toxins out of my system - so much better than me screaming how I really feel, right?  Best I haul wood chips until I'm exhausted.

Then I hang out with my dogs who always like me.  Pathetic?  Maybe, but what can I do?  Tia's sitting on a heating pad here in my office, Junebug jumps behind me in my desk chair, providing lumbar support.  My version of being a Cat Lady.

Even if I could afford to do so, which I clearly can't, I'd not financially help those who'd use it to party on anyway.  I may be slow but I'm not an idiot.

Last night, Chuy, CW, Allen and Martin, four of my original Bubbas, all were yapping in the living room, so boisterous but reasonable, I'd had to go ask them to bring it down a notch so my younger kids could sleep, but I'm glad that so far none of them have moved out in an unprovoked rage over nothing.  These sons and I have the benefit of many, many years of attachment and bonding.  And, as a group, we still miss JoJo who will again be home in just over a week.

I'm starting to think sugar is the new gluten, or in my case, meat.  Something to be eliminated from one's diet.

Sugar, in high amounts, has many well-documented negative effects on the body, and in particular, on one’s metabolic profile. There’s an established link between sugar and metabolic syndrome, a conglomeration of cardiovascular markers that includes insulin resistance, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high triglycerides (blood fats), and excess weight, especially in the form of belly fat.

Sugar also seems to lead, in a series of steps, to an increase in blood pressure per se. “Consuming sugar increases insulin levels,” study author James DiNicolantonio tells me, “which activates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate and blood pressure.” It also apparently reduces the sensitivity of the receptors that regulate our blood pressure. Finally, sugar depletes ATP, cells’ energy stores, which, again through a cascade of events, constricts blood vessels, and increases blood pressure.

Dang, y'all.

And in an even more detailed article regarding how the sugar industry and lobbyists have pushed sugar into our diets.  Read the truth about sugar here.

And here's a new one for Sarah and I, or likely Sarah already knew about it - matcha.