“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

It doesn’t say blessed are the poor in finance. It says poor in spirit.

Poor in spirit means that we ALL are spiritually bankrupt and are in need of spiritual currency. Not only bankrupt, because that would mean even, but DEEP in debt.
How many dollars have your parents given you to save your bacon before you could stand on your own two feet? Can you ever repay them?
That’s God’s love for us.
In Christianity, the currency is Jesus.
We all require Christ to know heaven. That’s what we believe.
All Christ means? All Christ stood for?
LOVE. Grace. Grace and love are the same thing.
Blessed are those who require LOVE, deal in LOVE, freely give LOVE. For they shall see heaven.
To forgive and be forgiven.
To live in peace.
We require grace because we continually get it wrong. Because we are human. Fallible.
We give grace because we want it and get it.
The whole of the law is LOVE.
I wanna be rich!

To Battle

I’m in The Grapes of Wrath right now and I wanted to look at this old song, Battle Hymn of the Republic. I mixed in some of my photography as well. Pictures from my home state, Missouri, and one from Amarillo, Texas! I’ll let you guess which one. 🙂

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on.
bw truck
I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!
“As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal!
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, ”
Since God is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
country road
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
While God is marching
This song so perfectly sums up what Tom and the Joads are going through. I feel so honored, humbled and thankful to be able to tell this story. It truly is one of the most amazing experiences in theatre I’ve had. Already! We’re only one week into blocking.
The last show I did in Missouri, Women of Lockerbie, was amazing as well. I feel so lucky to be blessed with great actors, great direction and so much love and support. I don’t deserve such grace, but I’m over-the-moon to have it.trees fencetexassmall-e-cross

bw house
My mother’s Depression era home in Aullville, MO. The place she lived as a child. Still standing!
I don’t know that being in a play and being self-indulgent with acting is helping anyone. It certainly spurs me on to find ways to help others. It inspires me to keep going. It puts me in touch with my roots. It puts me in a caring community of strangers who have more love than I’ve seen in a while. Isn’t that a God thing?
I want to honor this very selfish, enjoyable experience by finding the depths of this character. It’s such a special opportunity. Plus, I want to take care of the people around me. Just like Ma. I want to be as generous as she was on and off stage.
I feel like I did when I used to act at church. Like I have a purpose and God-given usable talent. As sad as this play is, I’m having the time of my life.

from 2016

this was from 2 years ago.

having a hard day already and wanted to remind myself…i have worth. i may be a pile of problems, but who isn’t? difficult people are a product of difficult circumstances.

I am 5’10”. I have broad shoulders and big bones. I have pale, gray eyes—a dark blue ring around the edge of my iris, gold-green rips bursting from the pupil. I have the same down-turned eyes and mouth as my mother, Grandma’s droopy, Buddha-like earlobes and doughy German cheeks. My dad left me his posture, his jaw and his poker face.

I am overweight. I have Shingles scars on my cheek, eye and temple and almost no upper lip. There’s a space in my bottom lash line where the lashes won’t grow. My forehead is beginning to fold. My cheeks are brown and freckled.

My hair is brown. Probably. Inside my head. Probably graying. I color my hair, so I wouldn’t really know. It’s usually blonde on the outside, sometimes red, sometimes pink. Short. Like a man’s would be. I keep it short because I have a deranged, panicky hormonal reaction to wisps of hair brushing the sides of my face. And because I have no thyroid (cancer). My hair misses that organ terribly. Refusing to grow from sadness and grief.

I am odd. Breathtaking. Unique.

I would say my eyes are my kindest feature.

They look deep inside. They search out truth, soft and certain truth. They search for the broken parts of others. They listen and wait. They are patient, sad and silent. They run at the drop of a hat and love so quickly. They never lie. They do not fail. They can always see what’s real.

I am still all these things. I still get sad. I still get mad. I had a hard day today, too. But I’m breathing. 200 lbs lighter. Healthier than I’ve ever been. Ever. And oh-so lavishly, undeservedly loved.

Isn’t it wonderful that we can be so flawed and loved so much. That is hope.

From the Sunshine State

Job 8:16
They are like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;

Psalm 37:6
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 4:18
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Ecclesiastes 11:7
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

Isaiah 60:20
Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.

I love the rain. But living in a mostly sunny state is good for one’s soul and body. I was just born in the wrong part of the country. 🙂 How can you be sad by the beach?

sunset marino beach 3


Have I not published this??? Wha…?

This was 2012, the night before I was diagnosed with heart failure. Before all of my surgeries. Before gastric bypass. I was over 513 lbs. at the time. ❤

I’m at the pool. Again. I haven’t started swimming yet, but I’m here. I hate walking to the pool from the locker room. I can feel everyone’s eyes on my body. Fat shifting, legs jiggling, bright white flesh, unforgiving florescent lights, bathing suit from the 1920s. Ah, the ‘20s, when horizontal stripes were all the rage. When a woman could feel confident about her swimsuit choices. When covering her thighs was an option. You were encouraged to wear a dress into the ocean. I would need a burka to feel confident about bathing suit season. I could rock a burka. Whoosh. I’m in.

I look at the children splashing in my lane. They’re the excuse I give to postpone what I came for. Where are the parents? These kids are related. Same curly hair. Same features. Their careless parents rely on the apathetic lifeguard who is more concerned about how his towel is folded under his Speedo than rescuing either of these sputtering, flailing novices who are in over their heads. Boys. Rough-housing. Slapping the water, slapping each other. The bigger boy is holding the smaller boy under the water. I’m hoping one of them will seriously injure the other. The lifeguard blows his whistle. The big boy lets go. They settle. They look at the guard and then at me. Either the sharp tweet or my intense stare has sent them splashing in another direction. Wait. Don’t go.

10 minutes. I’ve been swimming for 10 minutes. I can stop now. At least I did something. There are other swimmers who want the lane. I look ridiculous. I’m not even doing this right. I’m not burning any calories. I’m so slow. My breathing is terrible. I can’t breathe. I’m tired. I could take a break. I don’t want to do this anymore.

No. You are fighting for your life here. Focus on your heart. Your strained, stressed-out heart. I haven’t been able to breathe very well for almost two months. I start thinking about how every stroke, every paddle, is strengthening my poor old heart.

And then, when I change my thinking, when I choose to fight, I start to swim. This is a race. And I’m going to win. Now I love my body. I love everything that I’m doing. I focus on the water moving over my arms and my pale, slick legs. Slowly, I am washing away the food, and the fat, and the failure. I am washing away all the hurt I’ve done to myself for all these years. I begin to move with determination and calm, embracing my power and submitting to the task. This is spiritual. I submit. And I swim for 30 minutes, not just 10.

The next morning, I am admitted to the hospital for heart failure. Crash.

Walk. the. F. OUT

My daughter just yesterday participated in the student-led walkout protesting gun violence, but mainly as a commemoration of those lost on Valentine’s Day. F*ing Valentine’s Day. 17 people were murdered. Most of them children. Happy Heart Day, America.

Also. She walked out because she believes that no one needs an AR-15. But she walked out. Stood with her fellow classmates. Prayed. Honored in silence those who had to die for someone to listen. For someone to stand in their place.

She and her close friend were the only two from her class to go, but she said probably 200 showed up. Maybe more.

My husband and I attended the pre-walkout meeting last week. A “doctor” was there. We went around the room introducing ourselves. So-and-so, parent. So-and-so, student. Martha Maggio, parent. This guy. This f*ing guy. *DOCTOR* Douchebag, parent. He put the emphasis on the doctor. Not me. I’m putting the emphasis on Douche.

“I’m DOCTOR So-and-so. Parent.”

What. Ever.

So. From the jump, this PARENT, already has his panties in a twist.

He asks all kinds of ridiculous questions. We are winding down.

“Any more questions?”

Raises his hand. Again.

“Uh, yeah, this is more of an editorial or commentary.”

Oh. Shit. I just knew it was going to be something dumb.

“So, this is a protest, right?”

“No. This is a student-led commemoration that they kids won’t be punished for participating in. It’s totally voluntary. No one is being forced to go.”


Oh. Shit.

“Well. This website says, and I quote, “(Whatever the *F* this guy said. I don’t even care. It was basically some news article or website post revealing that the March 14th walkout would be a protest against gun violence.)”

This guy goes on and on about how it is a protest. “Right?”

“No. This is student-led. It’s a memorial for the fallen students and faculty. We are following the wishes and desires of Stoneman Douglas. There won’t be any signs. Whatever other groups are doing on March 14th is not endorsed by this high school, administration or school district.”

And he just kept on. So I finally ended the damn conversation.

“So what if it is a protest?”


“These kids have a right to say whatever they want. That’s their freedom to do so.”


I said what the principal could not and should not say. And then the meeting FINALLY adjourned. Thanks, DOC! I mean, Dick.

What I wanted to say and said loudly in the parking lot to my family (LOL):


But  I didn’t say that. To him. But I did shut that meeting hog down.

After we adjourned, he scurried over to a news reporter from the local paper who was covering the meeting. The reporter was actually trying to talk to a mother who identified herself as the parent of a child who just came from Stoneman Douglas this year. He’s a senior now here at my daughter’s high school. He wanted to participate in the walkout/memorial because that was his school. Those were probably people he knew. That mother spoke firmly, passionately, but kindly at the meeting. She was there to represent her son because he was at track practice. The doctor harassed her with questions and debate.

Which one of these parents is raising a child that will best contribute to society? Just asking. Just saying.


Must go ask the Lord for strength in loving this type of buffoon. Forgive me, God, for hating this man. For, at the very least, not tolerating this man in my mind and wanting to curse him. I failed to love this person. Find compassion. Talk softly. Reason. I wasn’t rude, but I had hate in my heart.

You don’t need a gun to settle an argument. You just need to be armed with logic and facts.

Ankle Bone’s Connected to the…Self-esteem

That’s me, pictured above. That baby never knew what an ankle bone felt like.

I felt my ankle bone for the first time. Ever.

I have been overweight since the age of 3. I have always eaten too much. Been hungry all the time. Always been fat.

I’m not being mean. I’m being honest.

I don’t mind saying I’m fat. People have called me fat in the past and it hurts. But mainly because of the way they say it. Or their intention behind it.

I have girlfriends who call me fat, but so are they. If you’re my friend, also fat, and say it with a joyful heart, you can say just about anything to me. I might call you a bitch, but through smiling, laughing lips.

However. If you come for me? Strap on your adult diaper, Homes. Because you’re about to see this fat girl move like a spider monkey.

All that being typed, the main thing you should know, I’ve always been a fatty. I’m so used to being overweight, that I just don’t even think of myself, have never thought of myself, as a normal, pretty, unfat, skinny person. BUT!

Last night? I felt my ankle bone. For the first time. Ever. Like, I’ve never felt my own ankle bone. Since birth. Usually, what passes as my ankle is a soft mass of skin on top of cotton balls in a bag of gel. Ankle bones are a skinny person thing! I have a collar bone now too. 😀 Also! I have shoulder blades. LOL Bony ones! And my tush has fallen clean off leaving the remains of a skeletal pelvis under a flabby skin sack, aka bony butt.

I am now at 265.4. I’ve lost a total of 248 lbs since 2012. Thanks to weight loss surgery, exercise and eating right, I am getting skinny! Well on my way of reaching my pre-skin surgery weight of 200. Goal! I am only 65 lbs away!!! That feels good. Kind of like an ankle bone for the first time.

My worth and value are not summed up in an ankle bone. Or weight loss. Or anything physical. But it sure feels nice to be healthy, with strong bones, and a pumping, happy heart.

You don’t have to be thin, blonde, blue-eyed, well-endowed, perfectly proportioned.
Or have an ankle bone protruding.
You just have to be kind and full of grace to be pretty. ❤
I want to be pretty.

Rabbit Habit

The street we live on, Flamingo Drive, should be renamed Rabbit Run. There are a gajillon bunnies on our short little avenue. Every morning when we ride to school, little bunnies pop out of every bush and hole. Adorable. Just like this fella. SQUEE!

bunny under the stairs
If we see two bunnies, we call that a Double Bun. Three? Triple Bun Fun. Four? Quad goals.

Except. These rabbits have a habit. Of almost dying! They are a touch suicidal. They run in front of my car. They hear the car and run towards it. Confused.

I, of course, brake when I see any movement. I only go around 15-20 miles an hour because there are some dumb bunnies. I grew up in the country, so I know what it’s like driving around squirrels, rabbits and deer. Once I brake, their spell is broken and they run in the other direction.

Run, bunny! Run!

I watch for bunnies and the Ghosts of Venice (I call them). Old people who drift in and out of the fog. I don’t want any innocent, yet careless, creature’s life in my hands. With the bunnies, I would fear retribution from the multitudes.

Thankfully, I am a cautious driver, always on the alert. 10 and 2, always focused, and keeping an eye on those bunny bushes.



Such safety in that slang.
For namer and named.
Grace spoken, bread broken.
Taken for granted that wishes are granted.

What chemicals are released in your brain?
Been there since your birth.
Summed up all her worth.
In a word.

What has she done?
What has she left?
What did she conquer to make your paths straight?
Cannot separate word from feeling.

Her desires and feelings and thoughts and love
Have all been poured out over you.
Not one single second since you arrived
Has she considered not caring, not fighting, not existing for you.
Thank you, Ma.