Posted in Miscellaneous

A Ducky Mystery

My Million Words

Ride the Duck Photo Credit: Al Forbes

Ride the Ducks? You must be kidding!

The amphibious vehicle known as a ‘Duck’ is popular in cheesy places like Branson Missouri, but I never imagined dignified London stooping so low to attract tourists. Yet here I am, sitting in the back row listening to the Captain tell corny jokes as he pointed out London’s favorite tourist spots.

My reason for riding a Duck have little to do with sightseeing. Two weeks ago, my sister Carol disappeared in London. After days of unreturned voice messages, I checked her credit card account and discovered the last purchase was the London Duck Tour. Carol is not a fan of organized tours, preferring to discovery unfamiliar places on her own terms. Concerned, I booked a flight, hoping to uncover clues. The tour through London told me nothing and I running out of ideas.

Suddenly, the Duck splashed into the…

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Posted in Miscellaneous

Writer’s Block

An early Halloween treat

My Million Words

rusty-gate‘The gate remained shut for hundreds of years. No one knew what was on the other side. No one dared find out.’

Rusty combed his brain for the next line but nothing came. He loathed 10th grade creative writing with its useless themes. Like this week – Fanciful Fiction. What rubbish! Bored, Rusty peered out his bedroom window and notice the iron gate leading to a vacant lot across the street. Strange I have never noticed it before, thought Rusty. Grabbing a jacket, he darted out for a closer look.

The uninviting gate stood between concrete walls; the words Keep Out painted in bold, red letters. Along the top, rusted spikes dared intruders to climb over. Rusty was leaving when he noticed the open lock. He pushed hard and met resistance, as if blocked on the other side. One last push created an opening wide enough for Rusty to…

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Posted in Miscellaneous

Old Crow

This is something I posted on my sister-site. I thought I would share with a different group. I hope you like it

My Million Words

Kika and his brother Hakan were walking through the woods in search of blueberries for Grandmother’s pie. Across the stream, Hakan noticed a bush ripe with berries.

“There are enough berries for two pies on that bush,” said Hakan, stepping into the stream.

In the tree above sat Old Crow, cawing “Danger, Danger.” Hearing the warning, Kika pleaded with his brother to return. “Do you not hear Old Crow?” he asked.

“That old bird is a trickster. He wants the berries for himself.”

Old Crow persisted with each step Hakan took, but the berries were too inviting for Hakan to return. When Hakan safely reached the other shore, he turned to Old Crow and laughed.

“Maybe I will leave a berry or two for your dinner.” He then filled his basket with the juicy berries.

By now Hakan was hungry and it would be hours before Grandmother baked the pie…

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Day 1 – Barriers to Weight Loss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat is your biggest barrier to weight loss, and why?

I am my  barrier to weight loss (and good health). As soon as I set (any)  goal, every ounce of my being rebels. I literally see myself caving in to self-doubt and self-control. It has nothing to do with belief in my ability to do this. I have done this before, I know the drill. But for some reason, this time, I am really struggling with momentum.  I hope through journaling I will discover exactly what it is that is standing in my way.

I know this won’t be easy (it wasn’t easy the first time), but it is not impossible. And there are challenges:

  • Planning around the family and their eating preferences
  • Preparing health meals
  • Rearranging my schedule to find time to go to the gym several times a week
  • Substituting crappy food with better food choices
  • Fighting the urge to give into temptation (whether it is food or laziness)
  • Finding better ways to deal with day-to-day stress

The primary reason all of these challenges are so “challenging” is that I don’t put myself first. Don’t get me wrong, I can be very selfish, but not about the right things. Most women, at least the older ones, spend their energy on everyone else’s needs. When it comes to our own needs, we are too tired to even care. Our selfishness comes out in other, more destructive ways, such as bad eating habits and lack of exercise.

It comes down to priorities and my number one priority should be my own health. If I am not healthy, nothing else really matters because my health affects my family, my finances, and my future. Doing everything in my power to be healthy is not a selfish act and I need to do whatever it takes to get healthy.

It’s that simple

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Inspiration for this post comes from 30 Day Emotional Eating Journal Challenge

Posted in Miscellaneous

Taking a Chance on YES

Last week was the first anniversary of a major event in my life. Just last year, I was united with my five unknown half-siblings from my mother’s previous marriage. This was a good-luck story fitting for the evening news. I woke up one morning to find an e-mail in my inbox from a complete stranger. The gist of the email was the question: are we related? The answer was a hesitant YES.

To understand the magnitude of this WOW moment, you need to understand some history.  I was raised by my paternal grandparents after my mother’s death, who died before my second birthday. My father was around until I was 13, but for whatever reason, he never spoke of her. My mother and her life was a complete mystery to me. I picked up on a few hints  here and there; tidbits I carried inside me until later in life when I began a serious search for her ancestry.

I discovered one important hint when I was about 16 years old, the day my grandmother told me my mother had been married before. I vividly remember sitting on our large front porch in California. I don’t remember what led to the conversation, only the bombshell that my mother had other children.

“She would bring the little girl with her”, my grandmother told me.

I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I had a sister! She provided no details and as I grew older and the conversation faded, I wondered if  my grandmother’s words had been a false memory. Mom’s obituary did not mention other children, which seemed odd to me.  I almost convinced myself that this was nothing more than a fantasy derived by a lonely, only-child.

Ten years ago, however,  I discovered evidence that confirmed the truth. My mother had been previously married, she had five children, and what’s more, I knew one of their names. I found the information on Ancestry.com, in a World Tree project with a cryptic name I did not understand. Not only did it mention Mom’s marriage to a man named “Jim”, but it also listed her marriage to my father. I eagerly contacted the owner of the tree who agreed forward my email to the submitter. And so I waited.

After a few weeks of no news, I sent a second email and was  I told that if I had not received a response, he could not help me. I felt I was at a dead end. I didn’t whether my sister did not get the email, or if she simply didn’t want to respond. I feared the latter. Why, I thought to myself, would she want to know the child of the man who stole her mother away? As a mother myself, I could not comprehend any reason I would ever leave my children. Yet my mother did, including an infant. If I had been in my sister’s place, I don’t think I would want to know me either.

The family tree gave me just enough information that I was able to piece together my lost family. I knew each of their names, and where they lived. I thought of contacting one of the other children, but I was scared. If I had been rejected once, why would I think the others would accept me?

So when I read that email a year ago, my hesitation was founded on fear. Fear of rejection, but also fear of how my life would be different. I was an only child. What did I know about being a sister? What if I didn’t like them, or they didn’t like me. Lots of what-ifs. I could have refused to answer, or I could have said no, sorry, it must be some mistake. Instead I took a chance and said yes.

That day, a tornadic funnel of emotion sucked us all up. My siblings embraced me as if we had spent a lifetime together. Thoughout the day I learned the story of their lives after my mother left. Their father, I was told, was abusive. The fights between my mother and their father were terrible. After one horrible fight, she left to run an errand and never returned home. A divorce was filed but my mother did not get custody of the children. My brothers and sisters never knew their mother had another child. I don’t think they really knew when she died. Theirs was a sad life, one I never would have imagined.

As fate would have it, three of my sisters lived only a few hours away, so we quickly arranged a reunion. It was a wonderful day, full of stories, laughter, and love. The sibling honeymoon did not last long, however. In a few short months, our daily communion dwindled. Today, we are, at best, social media friends. The anniversary of  the day that changed my life passed by as if it were nothing special. Even Facebook forgot to remind me of the memories we shared a year ago.

The story fills me with regrets of what might have been. But in reality, there is nothing other than DNA to bind us together. We have lived almost an entire lifetime in separate worlds. Our experiences have made us as different as night and day to believe that we would suddenly become best friends is the stuff of fairy tales. While the blood that runs through our veins makes us related, it doesn’t make us ‘family’. Only time will tell if we ever truly become one.

Posted in Miscellaneous

The “One Lovely Blog” Award

Image As a relatively new blogger who has been inconsistent in posting over the past few months,  I was both surprised and honored to find out that I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog” award.

Thank you Sandra Fleming  for this your nomination, which I accept. Blogging does not come naturally to me. I struggle coming up with topics that I think will be interesting, so for you to not only read my blog but also recognize it means a lot.

Here are the rules:

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog:

Here are seven facts about me:

  1. I was born in Southern California but have lived in Oklahoma since I was 17. The culture confusion has lead to many therapy sessions.
  2. I am an only child. My cousins referred to it as spoiled.
  3. I have been married (to the same man) for almost 38 years. We met during tornado season (he was a storm watcher, I was a coward). Our first date was the movie “Death Wish”. Did I tell you I have been married 38 years?
  4. I work full-time as a business analyst, a very left-brained activity. My writing is an attempt to equalize the playing field
  5. I will be going on my 3rd cruise in two weeks. I love it. Not so sure my husband does, however
  6. I have a secret ambition to write a mystery novel.
  7. I have a passion for genealogy. I have been tracing my family tree since I was a child and I am always thrilled with each new discovery. I recently started a new blog geared toward family history. It’s called Descended From Royalty if you want to check it out

Now for the nominees. Peer recognition is so very important and I am happy to recognize other bloggers whose words inspire me and lift my spirits. Therefore I am pleased to nominate the following:

  1. Perspectives On….
  2. Lindaghill
  3. What Oft was Thought
  4. Silver Threading
  5. Second & NE
  6. Love Happy Notes
  7. RachaelSquirrel
  8. Big Red Carpet Nursing
  9. Alzheimer’s Wife
  10. Write Beside the Sea
  11. PaulaWalkerBaker
  12. Mum C Writes
  13. Celebrating Sunshine
  14. It’s a Charmed Life
  15. Mum C Writes

 

 

 

 

Posted in Miscellaneous

October in the Air

Colorful Trees

Its amazing the difference a few weeks can make in the weather. Not so long ago it was so hot I could barely stand to be outside for very long. The strong Oklahoma winds blew air that felt like it came out of a furnace. But now, there is a slight hit of autumn in the October wind. The night air still feels warm, but more like a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. In a few short weeks I will need a real blanket to keep me warm as cooler air pushes the hot air aside. The night breeze catches the dying oak leaves and pulls them from tiny branches. They dance on the wind and land in the yard where reminders of last years autumn leaves still rest.   Muted colors of red, orange and yellow replace a complacent green. Morning comes later and night comes earlier. Shorter days give way to more time to relax.

October is my favorite month and while I wish sometimes it lasted all year long, I realize that its just a break between extremes and it’s brevity is what makes it so special.
Posted in Miscellaneous

On Being Happy

This post is about ways to improve your attitude and be happy. It is not meant to suggest that people who are clinically depressed can overcome their depression simply by changing their thoughts. Depression is a serious illness and if you are clinically depressed, please seek help.

When I was younger, I was terribly unhappy. There were times when I might actually have been considered mildly depressed, but back in the 60’s and 70’s, a depressed child was told to just get over it. For a very long time, I was not happy with my life, my looks, my family, my job, or really any aspect of my life. Everyone else seemed to have it better than me and it didn’t seem fair that I was singled out for a life of misery. There were periods when I was happy but they were not enduring. Continue reading “On Being Happy”