I Interrupt My Hiatus to Forward This Important Message

I am back from vacation (and already having problems with WordPress but that’s another post).  And I’m still on hiatus from blogging as I (grudgingly) resume the daily grind.  But when I saw this post from Cate Russell-Cole, I had to break my silence.

It chills me that we might have lost Cate this summer.  I knew she was in pain, but I never knew how bad it was.  I am grateful that she was able to get help and she is still with us, and I hope she will be for a long, long time.

I’ve had times when I considered suicide, although for lesser reasons than Cate.  During a period when I had free access to drugs and alcohol, I leaned toward the “accidental” suicide approach, but I was never “successful.”  And to use Cate’s own words, this is why I’m glad I never was successful:  “If I had taken my life when I first considered it, I would have missed out on getting married, great jobs, knowing and loving some awesome people and so very much more.”

If those attempts had been successful, I would have missed out on meeting my husband which means I would have missed out on celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.  I would have missed gazing up at the wonder of the Milky Way as it came to life over Mono Lake.  I would have missed hiking up through the cinder and ash of Black Point.  I would have missed days of talking and laughing with our friends of 30+ years.  I would have missed the seediness of San Francisco as well as its glory.  I would have missed coming home and holding each of our cats although none of them like to be held.  I would have missed my husband who is my anchor in all things at all times.  I would have missed each of you.  Cate is right.  Life does get better.  Hang in there and reach out.

“Children and Compassion” by Marie Ann Bailey

Some time ago I ran a post about a new blog that Margaret Jean Langstaff was developing: Good People Doing Great Things. The focus of the blog is compassion, telling stories about the compassionate acts of ordinary people and encouraging compassion in others.

I’m honored that Margaret asked me to write a guest post which I’m reblogging here. I would greatly appreciate it if you, my dear Reader, would be so kind to reblog or tweet or Like or somehow share this blog, either my post or this one: http://goodpeopledoinggreatthings.com/2014/03/14/good-people-doing-great-things/. Margaret is looking for contributions as well, and this link provides more information if anyone is interested.

Thanks 🙂

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Good People Doing Great Things

marie ann bailey copy“CHILDREN AND COMPASSION”
Our Wonderful Guest Blogger MARIE ANN BAILEY…
on this most important issue

[Marie Ann Bailey works in the public health field by day and writes for her blog, 1WriteWay.com, by night. She has a graduate degree in English, having a love for literature and writing that has been with her all her life. Her desire to be helpful, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, led her to complete a Masters in Social Work. The fact that she is a shy introvert eventually led her away from direct counseling and into the world of data. She aims now to make a difference through her writing in general, but also through direct acts of kindness, whether those acts involve knitting a scarf for an ill friend, volunteering at a shelter, or dedicating her life to caring for ill-mannered stray cats.]

“Children and Compassion”
I…

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A day in the life – when you are trapped in your body

Nothing I can say will ever match what Belinda says in this post on http://www.busymindthinking.com. So just read.

Be Mine

Click on The Literary Origins of Valentine’s Day for an interesting conversation about the origins of Valentine’s Day.  Although I was a literature student in my youth, I  confess that the fact that a “Saint Valentine’s Day” has been bandied about for centuries, possibly popularized by none other than good old Geoff Chaucer, slipped right by me.  For as long as I can remember, it’s always been about heart-shaped candy, deep red roses, and expensive chocolate.

BeMine

When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was fun (or not, depending on whether I got any “Be Mine” cards).  As an adult, I always waited for the day to be over.  I prefer to give gifts, to shower love on those I love, when I feel like it, not when the consumerist forces of the market insist that I demonstrate my feelings for another.  Since my husband and I have been married for almost 25 years, I can’t really remember whether any of my beaus previous to him tried to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me.  But I can say with confidence that we never have.

kittens

That is, we don’t make plans to go out and have a special meal.  [Tonight’s meal, as every Friday night meal, will be in the general form of beer and pizza.]  We don’t buy each other chocolates.  [Actually, we have a bit of chocolate every night after supper.  For medicinal purposes.]  We don’t buy each other flowers.  [In San Francisco, there were so many flower stands, we tended to buy a bunch every week any way.  Here in Tallahassee, well, a bouquet from Publix just isn’t the same.]  And I don’t like diamonds (or any expensive jewelry for that matter) and my husband is grateful for that.  [He did, however, give me, in a round-about way, an emerald ring, but that’s another blog post.]

So why am I even writing this post.  Shouldn’t I just keep my mouth shut (or my fingers still) and let the rest of you enjoy however you choose to enjoy Valentine’s Day?  No, because you all, the every one of you reading this post, is why I feel like shouting (or writing in all caps):

Be My Valentine!

Cupid

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R.I.P. Shirley Temple Black

Fear and the Will to Write

I do what I can to get work done.  That doesn’t mean any one thing, though.  It just means I try everything. On a daily basis.  (From “An Interview with David Anthony Durham” in The Writer’s Chronicle, Volume 46, Number 4, February 2014)

Gent confessed in a new preface he wrote for “North Dallas Forty” in 2003, that “writing is the only thing I have done that comes to being as terrifying as being a football player.”  (From the essay on George Sauer from The New York Times Magazine, December 29, 2013)

For the vast majority of us, launching a book means almost nothing in terms of dollars earned. What it does mean is that somewhere out there, someone is closing the loop — truly hearing what we needed to say — and that is why we do this in the first place. (From One Last Word, blog post by Kim Triedman) (more…)

Unlucky Day: Friday the 13th

Usually, Friday the 13th is a lucky day for me.  At least, it’s a day I don’t dread.  I love black cats and I make it a point to walk under ladders, so celebrating Friday the 13th is just another way to thumb my nose at superstition.  Except for this Friday the 13th.  Today is my bureau chief’s last work day before retirement, and now Friday the 13th indeed feels unlucky.  I love this woman.  She is the nicest person I’ve ever met:  she smiles easily, has a warm and welcoming demeanor, and rarely speaks ill of anyone.  She is very organized and dedicated to her work.  She has been my buffer between the work I need to do and the bureaucracy that often tries to trip me up.  She knits.

I have many gifts to remember her by.  Here are a few that I can share. (more…)

I feel like shite and it’s great!!!!

The loveliest words from the Queen of the Blogosphere, the Lady Ionia!

readful things blog

I got zapped by the big bug zapper. It was awesome. They discovered a brain metastasis. It was not awesome. I got a great prognosis of 95% chance of full recovery. It was awesome. I go back next week for results. I hate waiting. I am writing this from my phone. It is not so awesome. I got the coolest drawing ever from Dean at deanzdoodlezdeanzdoodlez

Needless to say: awesome.

I feel like complete shite. I’ve never felt better in my life!!!!

I love you guys! A few days to get back on my feet and I will be the neighbourhood terror once more. Thank you everyone for the love, support and well wishes. You mean the world to me.

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For Ionia

A beautiful, emotionally charged dedication to our Ionia!

helenvalentina

I wish for you a dragon’s fire
To breathe freedom to you
To raise you up on crystal wings
Far away from darker lands

It seems the purest souls
Are tested most these days
As though in exchange for generosity
Come ravages and pain
And so I cry to the heavens
Not this, not this again!
Let this dear friend find
Safe passage home
Victorious and complete

Hear me universe
Hear me now!

The essence of the earth to rise and comfort you
The essence of water, to quench your soul’s thirst
The essence of air, to gift you wide expanses
The essence of fire, to burn away all pain
I invoke all the elements
To be with you now
And bring you back to us safe
And healed in body and soul.

(c) Helen Valentina 2013, All Rights Reserved

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Happy Birthday To Me, Happy Birthday To Me

I want to share a very special birthday gift from a very special person. We work together at my day job and we both love to knit and sew. She’s given me many of her “prototypes” as gifts, sometimes spur-of-the-moment gifts, sometimes for an occasion like my birthday. This is what she gave me this year: a bag that she made out of a pair of her husband’s old jeans. This bag is a perfect size for carrying around a sock-knitting project, and she lined it in PINK with pockets to hold my knitting tools! I LOVE this bag! I used to make stuff like this when I was in high school, so it brings back fun memories of how much more creative I used to be (because I had no $$ and always had to make do). This is one of those gifts that I’ll get to enjoy over and over and over 🙂

outside of bag

outside of bag

Inside of bag

Inside of bag

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