Bye-bye, KC! We love you.

The sun sets on our time in KC.


I’ve lived in KC my whole life. I was a proud Missourian. I will always be a Kansas Citian, deep down in my heart. And I will always bleed blue. ❤ Royals!

My time in KC will be a love letter. One that I read over and over for the rest of my life.

KC, you made me. Cradled me. Rocked me to sleep on the shores of your streams. And carried me down on your soft, rolling hills. Sweet, cut alfalfa in the spring and hickory smoke in the fall. Worlds of Fun. Town Topic. Fort Osage. Grain Valley Eagles. Hair curlers on top of Bartle Hall. And friends. And Mom.

I won’t forget you. In fact, I will miss you. Deeply.

I’ll miss your flowers and birds. Your trails and trees. Your friendly people and amazing places. BBQ and steak done right. Your simple way of doing things and your down-to-earth/down-to-business demeanor.

But I won’t miss your snow, ice, roads, bridges and freezing temps. Sorry. LOL

It is time for us to go. We will now be beach bums in Venice, Florida. 400 yards from the ocean and sand. Every time I get near the ocean, I feel like I’m home. I can breathe here. I can relax here. I can LIVE here. It’s certainly a fountain of youth and tranquility.

I love you, KC. But the beach got me like dis.

turtle beach red hoodie

We are moving today. I haven’t said anything because I couldn’t handle the enormity of it. It’s a relief to finally say. We love you, Friends, Mom. We’ll be back for visits. Wish us well. :*

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Message in a Bottle

Last summer I wrote a letter to a friend and placed it in a bottle. I hadn’t seen her in a while and it was great to reconnect. I wanted to mark the occasion for her and show her my gratitude and love. She traveled a great distance physically and emotionally to arrive at my door. That day and her whole life, really.

I wanted to share part of the letter because I like the words so much and I wanted other people in this community to hear it. Everyone needs a reminder of how magical they are. This was written for my very brave and strong friend. But it’s a note for everyone who struggles and wonders, “Have I made a difference?” Or simply, “Does anyone care?”


If a message in a bottle is hope?
Then You are a message in a bottle.

A story carried on the waves of life.
And your message has reached my shore.

But you are so much more
Than one message in a bottle.

You are a thousand messages,
In a thousand bottles.
Touching shore in a thousand places,
Because your story is hope,
A letter full of love and grace.

Thank you for sending out
and sharing your message.

You’ve touched hundreds of hearts.
Probably thousands.

And this is a reminder
of that very awesome fact.


I love you, my dear. ❤

Tattoo?

I don’t think I will ever get a tattoo. But if I did I would get this.

god raise this temple

On my back? Right between the shoulder blades? Help me here, French Speakers. Did I get this right? It should say, “God has raised this temple.” Google Translator may have simplified or misinterpreted.

Or, I would get this on my arm.

heart sleeve
Wear your heart on your sleeve and leave your game on the field.

But! Arm tats are not my thing. But if they were, I would be tatted up right now!

I will probably never get a tattoo because I am a suburban housewife who has too many scars as it is. Nice to think about though. If I’m ever tied down and held at gunpoint and forcibly tattooed, I’ll have a few ideas to throw out. They probably won’t be taking suggestions though. Oh well. Heart with “Mother” in the middle it is then. That or skulls and bones. Whatever my captors decide. Go easy!

Summit

Did you know climbing some of the biggest mountains can leave climbers with symptoms that are very similar to heart failure? Death zones are places at the top of a mountain where low oxygen and poor weather conditions make even breathing a pain-filled struggle.

A documentary on K2 detailed the descent of a group of climbers and the, not only external, but internal physical hazards they faced, succumbing easily to harsh elements on the dangerous peak. Many of the symptoms sounded very familiar. I could imagine exactly what they were feeling, up in the ice and snow.

Moving just a few feet can be almost impossible. Feeling dizzy, out of breath, throbbing heart, difficulty thinking, seeing. Every muscle struggling for oxygen. Barely able to move. Swelling in the body. Deep vein thrombosis.

Losing weight and dealing with heart failure are two big mountains that I face every day. Plus, no thyroid due to cancer, no gallbladder due to failure, no ability to deal with triggers due to PTSD. No self-esteem due to lifelong emotional abuse from family, friends and strangers. Sigh. What else ya got for me, Lord? LOL

We’ve been watching documentaries about climbing. I don’t know why because I am NEVER climbing a mountain. NOPE! I admire the determination though. A mountaineer from the past said, as he looked at the mountain he was about to climb from a distance, he was already full of dread and foreboding. He was referring to K2. One of the biggest (undoubtedly toughest) Himalayan peaks. It’s near Everest. Mt. Everest is even taller, but less difficult. The weather conditions alone on K2 prevent many climbers from ever reaching the top. Sometimes, they never leave the mountain. One climber described the ascent as a mountain on top of a mountain.


Have you ever faced an obstacle and overcome it?
Only to find there was another mountain to climb?


You are already exhausted, elated and thankful to be done climbing, but you realize quickly, after reaching the top, you’re not done. The place that you were aiming at is stretched out of reach and you don’t have a choice other than to finish. You have to go further to reach the ultimate goal. Many climbers face a false summit.

A false summit, or false peak, is an illusion. You can’t see the very top of the mountain because the incline is so steep. The summit you are seeing is merely the top of the path you’re on. What you can’t see, the very, very top lies behind your immediate goal. At these times, I want to give up. When I reach the intended top and realize I have further to go? F’n forget it.

I start to question all of my efforts and I’m ready to give up. Like losing 100 pounds and hitting a plateau. I think,

“I’m good. I can stop. I can take a break.”

OR

“I may just be overweight for the rest of my life and what have I lost? I have a husband who loves me. I have a child. I have all the things I ever wanted and I’m happy with myself. I don’t have to climb this mountain. I can get off this mountain now!”

That could be true. I could just turn around and climb down. And everyone I know will just have to accept that I’m good and I’m done. And they probably would.

But if I really think about it, if I give it a hot minute, I don’t want to give up. Plus, climbing down ain’t gonna be easy either! I understand the climber’s motivated drive.

I must conquer this. I’ve come this far.

Many climbers have instincts. And the wise ones follow them. The ones that go home in one piece follow their gut. My gut tells me, no pun intended, that I need to keep going. The rocks below are much more dangerous than the clouds I’m trying to reach. I can’t stop, but the path isn’t clear.

But I think that this happens for a reason. If you could see how far you have to go, would you even start? Would you reach for the top?

Sometimes we have to do the toughest bits of life one step at a time. We can’t handle any more than that. God knows that. We just keep forgetting. We can climb any mountain with the right equipment, helpful guides and one. step. at a time. You gotta focus on what’s right in front of you. Not worry about the end. You just have to breathe and move forward. Even an inch.

I just keep praying that God helps me put one foot over the other and take one more breath until I can see the way up.

Thank you, God, for my legs, body, strength, determination, brain and your will.

If you want nuts, come to Menards.

Yes, that’s a picture of a carrot that looks like a chicken foot. Because random. In an effort to embrace a more carefree, uplifting lifestyle, here’s something else that’s stupid.

Thank you, Guy Maggio. You’re an extraordinary actor.

Thank you, Menards. Love your heavy-duty, high-quality sacks.

Trumpster Fire

Dissidents kicked by decadence.
Moral luxury: unapproved expense.

Consider history, their time is small.
Just a few years, they won’t BE at all.

Gandhi, Lennon, Jesus said,
“Love will win.” Even IF we’re dead.

Don’t worry. Don’t waste. Vengeance divine.
Karma of Kismet says, “This one’s mine.”

Mrs. Clean

I am a poet, writer, actor, artist, creative, whatever. But I’m also a HOUSEWIFE! Super housewife, to be precise. I am a super-clean freak which no one would know because you can’t come in my house. Germs! Dirt! Shoes! Get out.

I had to talk myself down off the ledge of fanaticism a few years ago. I saw a commercial for a laundry detergent.

“Living brings it in.” It being dirt.

Fine! You’re right. Life is messy and I can’t make my daughter feel like a surgeon prepping for a heart bypass. But. I still have issues.

BUT! I have a damn clean house. 🙂

If I let you in the door, you could eat off the floor. DON’T!! Gah! What’s wrong with you? Get out.

Anyway, my penchant for neatness is an occasional (constant) sticking point for my husband. STICKY, EW! He would rather relax and not worry so much about dirt touching things, but I can’t let everything go. I have some pools of worry left over and I can’t seem to stop swimming in them every now and then.

BUT! I couldn’t care less about the bathtub. I clean the bathroom sink once a week, the toilet every few weeks, and the bathtub…NEVER! It takes me a few months to get around to the tub. Okay, 6 months. It doesn’t get real funky and I do wash the shower curtain every month or so. So, today, I cleaned the tub because it was kind of funky. Soap-scummy. A little cakey.

I hate getting down on my hands and knees to scrub the tub. That’s probably why I leave it. And no, I don’t want to use the shower spray to elongate my clean time. I just don’t care.

Wanna know a great way to clean your tub with no effort, you lazy housekeepers??! Buy an inexpensive bottle of toilet cleaner. Yes! Toilet cleaner.

Splurb some on the sides and bottom of the tub, wait 2-5 hours on the couch while you blog and eat bon-bons, then take your toilet brush and give it a little scrub. I sat on the side of the tub, and with my longer-handled brush, didn’t have to stoop or bend as much. Clean as a whistle!! Dang! Me likey.

You know the bottom of the tub that has a non-slip surface? Well, over time the non-slip can become slippy-slip. Well, it becomes less non-slip over time from soap, dead skin (EW!) and other slippery shower materials becoming lodged in the rough, textured floor. Well, our’s is rough again! Crazy clean. You will not slip in this shower/tub. Mainly because I won’t let you in my house. Why are you showering in my tub? Get out.

Try it! You might be surprised. By how much you don’t have to work.

NOTE: This toilet bowl cleaner did discolor my tub stopper slightly. It was chrome, now it’s a goldish color. Oh well! It’s clean gold. Plus, it didn’t discolor the metal ring around the tub drain. So?? Don’t know why the stopper discolored. Probably a cheaper material. Take your drain plug out if you like. Then use something plastic to stop up the tub so you don’t lose your cleaner while it’s soaking. Good luck!

Can’t wait to tub it without getting even dirtier.

Egomaniac

They say over-exaggerated eyes in self-portraits are a sign of raging egomania! Sorry!

This is a self-portrait in charcoal. Erased highlight. You cover the paper in a thick layer of charcoal and erase the highlights with a pen eraser (eraser in a plastic tube, much like a pen or pencil). This was the best project I had in drawing in college.

I hate drawing.

But this was less like drawing and more like taking mistakes away. It was really hard to mess it up. The image slowly emerged over time, but each take-away was more and more revealing, exciting. Kind of like life. 🙂

After I drew/erased the portrait, I scanned in and played with the composition. I used this in printmaking as well and people seemed to dig it. I was much heavier then. You can tell from my face/chin.