Posted in Blogging, Writing

Day 16: Writing Challenge

Day 16: Writing Challenge: Something that you miss.

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One– I miss being a child.

Living at home with my parents. My dad and grandmother alive. Things were simpler then. I didn’t have the worries I have now.

As children, we are more carefree. No bills. No children or households to manage.  No relationships to struggle with. Didn’t have to worry as much about people around me dying. I worried about it then, but not like I do now.

Friends have died. Young as they were. Family– unexpectedly. Death comes for us all. No matter how old we are. When it is our time, we go home. It is a reality I struggle with as an adult. When we aren’t ready to say goodbye.

As we grow older, we watch our parents grow older. Our worries become their worries. We worry about them.

I can hear my mother gasping for breath walking. I see the faces she makes struggling with her legs using the stairs. I am the one watching her as she leaves. Like she watched me when I was young. I see the pain in my father’s face. My biological mother’s using a cane when she walks.

Not only do we care for our children and our families. We care for our parents when they grow older. Like they cared for us when we were young.

We listen to their stories no matter how many times they tell them because they are important to them. They want us to know they lived. We cannot find the knowledge they have accumulated in their lifetime elsewhere.  They want to feel useful. 

If only we would listen to them, we could use their life experiences to live better lives. My parents often give great advice. Things were hard when they grew up, but it seems like things are worse now. 

People easily offended by everything. Governments falling apart. Children killing each other and their parents. Drug epidemics….

With all of this, I have my own children to raise. I worry about them in out in the world. I always worry if I am doing enough. If I am doing the right thing. The voice inside my head eats away at me with these fears.

It isn’t easy being a parent. My parents tell me I do a good job, and it’s nice to hear it from them.

I want to raise my children with the right values so they learn how to be responsible adults. Providing them with a happy home where they are free to be themselves. Hopefully, they grow up doing something they love.

When you grow older, you miss home. Being a kid. How you felt sleeping in your bed. The talks you had with your parents at the kitchen table. The hugs.

It is amazing how it feels to be a parent. Watching them learn and grow. Teaching them things. Showing them things from when I was little. It’s like experiencing childhood over again through their eyes. Watching them blossom into their own little individual.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

You learn to appreciate your parents (and grandparents) more when you become a parent.

Everything they gave up for you. Everything they sacrificed. Yeah, they did it all for you. So love your parents and take good care of them because when you were young they did the same for you!

Two– I miss hanging out with my Dad.

When my mom was at work, my dad couldn’t stand being bored. We found something to do! If it was Sunday and we were riding in the car, oldies were on!

Dad loved oldies and instilled an appreciation for them at an early age. We sang them. Or whistled them. I still do.

I remember, “Itsy, Bitsy, Teany, Weany, Yellow-Polka-Dot Bikini.” Dad said it was my song. I hated wearing a bathing suit, but I loved swimming as much as he did. After we would eat at one of his favorite restaurants, Wendy’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

If we weren’t swimming, we might visit my Aunt Ruthie. Dad played Solitaire, and she fixed him something to eat. She tried keeping me occupied. It didn’t always work. If I told Dad I was bored, we left. She never liked that.

I learned as I grew older, Aunt Ruthie was the family historian. Pretty cool! We didn’t visit her as often after Dad passed because she lived out in the sticks, and kept to herself in the same way I suppose our family did.

Every time I ran into her she would say, “You look just like your dad.” Made me feel good. Like he was a part of me somehow even though he was gone.

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Me and my Dad.

Three– I miss my grandma’s cooking!

No one could cook or bake like my grannie could! She made the best homemade noodles, and dumplings you would ever want to eat. Her pies and cookies– delicious. If her cookies didn’t turn out, they went in the trash.

I am guilty of doing the same thing. They all laugh at me, but I know where I got it from. I never realized it either until my mother pointed it out– “Why are you throwing those good cookies away!”

I had forgotten all about it.

“Because they didn’t turn out!” *Laughter*

My favorite pie was lemon. She made it especially for me. It made me feel special.

That was Nanny, she made things for people to make them feel special. When I was younger, she would let me help bake cakes with her. We always had fun!

Something no one has made since she has passed is her rolls. I said I would try, but I haven’t yet. I can make other things like she could, but rolls were her “thing.” Maybe one day I will.  Everyone went crazy over them!

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Nanny and her sister. Trip to Missouri when I was 16. One of the only times Nanny asked to be photographed.

Four– I miss my Dad’s 1955 Dodge

My dad brought me up with an appreciation for old cars. When parades were nearby, we rode in them. Threw candy.

The car was in great shape. She was pretty. She was his “pride and joy.” With only 55,000 original miles.

My sister inherited it when he passed away. Put it in a garage. Never drove it. Later gave it to my mother. She sold it.

Now it’s gone. I miss her. 

I remember sitting on those vinyl seats. Propping the windows open. They were weird.

But the times we had in that car– priceless. Even when he made up songs about me to tease me. He knew I hated that by the way I twisted up my face, and stuck out my tongue. But it was all in good fun.

** I’ll look for a pic of the Dodge.

Five– I miss my best friend

You don’t ever think a day will pass without them. Until they are gone. It’s lonely.

I miss the way she’d laugh and tease me about things that were probably true if I thought about them. How she would come over like it was her house too with her Diet Mountain Dew. We would stress eat chocolate if we were depressed.

She told me the truth no matter if I wanted to hear it– or not. I could always count on her to be honest. She would stick up for me in a heartbeat because I would do the same for her. No matter what she had done.

She was young with a son of her own. I will never understand the reasons behind it, and I don’t have to. I know God had his reasons. One day maybe I will know what they are, and maybe I won’t.

I know I miss her a lot. Life isn’t always fair, and that is the way it is sometimes. We deal. It hurts. A lot. We eventually heal. In time.

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Beth– My best friend. A face to go with who I write about.

 

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Posted in Poetry

Bullies

Bullies.

L.C. ©  2016

They hurt and leave scars

in places no one can see.

They toy with emotions

such is the way.. with a bully.

They think they are superior

picking on those who are small.

By making their victims feel inferior–

Because they don’t know how to stand tall.

The damage caused by words–

Brings a veil of anxiety.

Bullies think they rule the “herd,”

and with their words bring misery.

Hatred is easily wrought over nothing.

Words are like sharp-edged knives until one day actions form.

Bystanders easily dismiss a person’s suffering.

The bully becomes the victim– which is the norm.

How different the world would be

if we could all stand together– as friends.

Teaching children to be gutsy–

so bullying can come to an end.

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Day 13: Writing Challenge

Day 13: Writing Challenge What are you most excited about?

Another easy one! After this week, I am tempted to say the weekend! Taking a long-term view– I will say vacation!


As a child, I never went on vacation. We tried to go to the beach one year. The weather had other ideas as it usually does when you make plans in advance.

The sky dark as coal. Ominous. Heavy rain. The trees blowing back and forth like puppets in the wind. We couldn’t go to the beach.

I don’t remember many details from my childhood, however, certain ones stand out. Swimming in the hotel pool with my dad. Grabbing pails of Kentucky Fried Chicken with extra gravy in the rain (dad’s favorite). Falling asleep with gum in my hair.

Riding down in cab of my dad’s red and silver Ford truck was the best part of the trip for me. It was fun. They laid a mattress in the back for me, and I listened to music and sang with my cassette player. I talked to them through the window. It was a beautiful trip– until we arrived.

That was first grade.


When I was nine my parents asked me to choose between a pool or a trip to Florida. It was my choice. What would I like better?

I picked the pool because it would last longer than a vacation. A year later my dad passed away. They were planning the vacation as a surprise, but with mom being newly widowed we never went.

After dad passed, we traveled a little. Trips to visit family in other states, but not vacation.

As an adult, I have never went on vacation. Little trips with my husband for car shows, but not vacation.

As for my children, they haven’t been on vacation– yet.

This year– the whole family goes on vacation! Should be fun. We are going to Outer Banks, NC!

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When I say the whole family goes, it really is the whole family. All my in-laws are going: my mother and father in-law, both of my sister-in-laws with their significant others, and their sons. We are looking forward to spending time with them as we never have any quality time together with living in other states.

The only thing bothering me a little is the probability for drama. Living close quarters with anyone for a week, it will happen. Being the kinda person I am when it comes to stressful situations, I am already thinking about ways I will tune out. “See you guys! I’ll be down on the beach!”

Unless it is my crew.  That possibility also has crossed my mind. I think the kids will be good. The beach will be someplace new to explore, and have adventures.

If not, I’ll bury them in the sand. “Teach you little twerps to misbehave on vacation! “I will be nice though and will give you some sunblock, and water.”

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I didn’t want to go to the beach. I wasn’t looking forward to it because of the possibility of drama. I don’t like it when people argue, and a lot of us are going. That many people jammed into a house can’t be good. Right?

As the months have passed, I find my perspective has changed. I can’t think of all the bad things that could happen. They might not happen at all. Things could be fine. But I will never know if I don’t go. I hate anxiety!

And we need a vacation! To get away from everything even if it’s only a little while. I am sure you can relate. Things pile up and eat away at you. A break is nice!

I look forward to spending time with our family, having fun, and the beautiful scenery. I will enjoy every minute. Hopefully with no rain this time!

Posted in Poetry

Standing Tall

Standing Tall.
©LC 2016

Every day is a struggle,
internally– it is a fight.
Just to appear “normal,”
It is exhausting– trying to be alright.

Palpitations arise in my chest,
I debate over the mask I will wear–
To be the person they want me to be.
Palms sweaty. I try not to care.

Worry consumes my every thought.
If only things would work out alright.
I cloak myself in the dignity I have left.
Maybe I will sleep tonight.

My stomach nerves are a ball of fire
in public places, I try to contain.
I do my best with relationships–
though they can be difficult to maintain.

I often feel out-of-place–
the words won’t come-I’m being judged.
And though I know I may not belong,
I know I did nothing wrong.

Anxiety is a part of me.
A common issue in society.

Awareness should be raised for all.
Acceptance and understanding helps us Stand TALL.

** I hope this encourages someone else to talk about their battles with anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses!

Anxiety is something I’ve struggled with for years. It can be hard to talk about a sensitive issue.

If enough awareness is raised on these illnesses, they won’t be perceived in such a negative manner.

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, or another disorder?

Lynne

 

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Day EIGHT- Writing Challenge

Day Eight- Something I Struggle With

Anxiety is like a heavy blanket in my chest. A thick fog making it hard to think. An intense feeling of worry making my heart do flip-flops in my chest. Making it hard to breathe. The dread makes my heart pound angrily. Like it is jumping rope in there. Skipping along. Not caring if it scares the life out of me.

In these moments, I can’t be still. I am nervous. Anxious. I try to walk it off. If my legs will let me. Sometimes they feel like bowls of jelly.

I look for something I can see, something I can touch, something I can smell, and I count. I drink water. If I am at home, I try not to let my family see signs of smoke. I try to put out the fire myself.

On occasion, my arm is numb. Please not the left arm! Not the heart-attack arm! I am not having a heart attack! I am too young to die!

If my right arm is numb and tingly, I know I am going to live. I wiggle around like a worm. I pray to the God who hears me. I know I am going to live. I am strong and too stubborn to die.

If I know I have to be somewhere, I get nauseated thinking about it. I think about being around people, and it is a heavy weight pulling me down.

Talking to people. What will I say? What if they don’t like me? It might affect how they treat my children. My mind is like a blank sheet of paper trying to find the right words.

One of my issues lies within wanting to please everyone. My mother, my husband, my children, my family. If they are happy, then I can be happy.

When they are happy, my heart sings. When there is discord, my spirit is crushed. I hate chaos it makes me anxious. I feel like a caged bird flapping its wings unable to move about. 

Another issue is social anxiety. For example: When I help at my daughter’s school, I feel the way I described when getting ready in the morning.

When I arrive, I have a headache that feels like it is trying to rip through the back of my head. (Though not anymore because of Daith Piercing.) I walk apart from everyone to take in a few breaths of air. The children do not scare me, ironically, it is the adults that intimidate me.

I put on a show and try not to stand out. Hiding behind this facade of confidence. Outside– I am Fort Knox. Inside– my stomach is a ball of knots. When it is over, I can’t wait to high-tail it out of there.

I don’t mind helping out. I love seeing my daughter. It feels good volunteering. The anxiety is my problem, and I am working on it.

In some ways, I feel so out-of-place when I go. Like Alice who was so very lost in Wonderland. But I suppose that is one way the anxiety gets “inside of my head.”

More than anything it’s the worry. The worry is the disease in itself. The underlying cause of anxiety. The infectious bug.

The thoughts seeping into my brain, “Am I good enough.. Wife, mom, daughter, friend, ____”

The obsessive thoughts. Feeling as though I have to protect my children.

“Will something bad happen in our neighborhood? Are they alright at school? Are they being bullied? Do I need to do anything to help them? What could I do to make them smile?”

As I lay in bed, I think, “Is my family going to be alright?”

My body is restless. My muscles are tense. Counting sheep doesn’t help when the corral is left open. 

My thoughts wonder, and it isn’t a good thing. 

Though my eyes feel like heavy bricks when I close them, no sleep comes.  I chase sleep, and it eludes me.

This is what it feels like to struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is an invisible monster. It pulls on your insides like a puppet on a string. Makes you feel things you wouldn’t otherwise.

You want to feel normal. Do normal things, but you can’t.

We deal with stress badly, and we feel more deeply. Our bodies react as if these two things were contagious to our systems. So to purge us from these things, we have an attack.

You wouldn’t know someone has it unless they tell you. People assume we can turn it off like a light switch. Or calm down at the drop of a hat.

If it was that easy and we had it all figured out, we would have been free from anxiety long ago.

If you ever discover a person is struggling with anxiety, please do not judge them for it.

Instead empathy and understanding are helpful. We don’t want your pity. We are fighting a battle that one day we will win!

It isn’t easy talking about your struggles, but I hope this post encourages someone to open up about something they may be struggling with.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Lynne

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Posted in Blogging, Meme/Text Quote

Sticking it to Monday!

Monday is up to its dirty tricks, however, I’m not falling for it. When the day starts off with such positive vibes I expect the shyster to derail my plans. We maintained the status-quo despite efforts to turn the day into a train wreck.

We may have jumped track a couple of times, however, managed to steer back on course with minimal damages. 

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It started this morning when the rain came. Determined not to let it ruin the day, I decided to drive my daughter to school. She was in a great mood because she was hitching a ride with me, she was ready early so she could play, AND she got a straw in her milk.

It is the little things you know! Truth be told, in my pre-caffeine stupor, I almost spilled the milk, so the straw saved the day. It made her morning.

I was happy she was happy and not griping over her clothes. Or her hair! Last week, she hated her hair. Wished it was blonde. Ugh. She is eight!

We had a minor dispute over the pants she was wearing, but it passed. We came to an agreement, and things went smooth for the rest of the morning.

I don’t remember giving my mother this much trouble over clothes, and hair at this age. Perhaps I did.  They say your children are ten times worse than you were. I often wonder if they did research if this would be true.

I know how our mornings here usually go. I should make a recording of myself saying something, and play it back a few times. After the fourth time, she will listen.

Usually, I am in a time crunch, and anxious about having us both out the door in time. This morning I didn’t care. I was busy. The house was cleaned up a bit. Everyone was packed and ready to go.

It was peaceful. The kids didn’t bicker. Well, once.

Good for a Monday, I’ll take it! 

We made it to school on time. Which is an accomplishment for me, I’m usually running late. But end up being right on time. Or a couple of minutes late. I was never like that until children happened. 

My daughter and I talked until it was time for her to walk to her classroom.

She held up her seat-belt grinning and said, “I think I lost weight.”

I glance over at her giggling and say, “In your seat-belt?”

“Yeah.” She smiles her cheshire grin.

She has a complex already about her weight. I hate how mean girls are about her weight. She is going through a chubby phase that I went through, and it will pass. She struggles with it, and sometimes is bullied.

It is hard to watch your kids go through hard times. You can tell them it is going to be okay and offer them advice because you have been through it yourself. However, it doesn’t help them at the moment because they are living it.

When I offer my son advice, he says, “That isn’t really helpful to me, Mom, because I live it every day.” My daughter concurs.

I know being there for them, offering advice, and love helps to some degree. That is the power of Mom. We are not just mom. We are their first friend. It doesn’t take the hurt away, but at least we are there for them. 

When Dad is involved, well, a different animal is unleashed. His advice is not as gentle and loving as Mom’s. But Dad’s deal with things differently, I guess it is the testosterone.

I stand behind him and shake my head and mouth, “No, don’t do that!” The kids know better than to start something at school. After awhile of putting up with being picked on, what are they supposed to do? 

Have tried making friends out of your enemies. Praying for them. Laugh about it. Ignore them. Kids can be persistent, and mean.

A child can only take so much. The school does nothing. It is like they are afraid of disciplining the bully. Or making the parents angry. When we were kids were disciplined at school! What happened to that!

Middle school is becoming a bad place. I worry about my teenager. It is no wonder he comes home grumpy. I think I would if I had to be there. It seems worse than when we were in school.

Drugs. Bullying. Political Agendas. Sex!

I thought about him this morning when I was dropping my daughter off. Hoping he was having a good morning. I worry if any day is good there. Glad we are doing the counseling real soon. We had a great weekend together. He was present instead of in his room!

Shopping did not go as smoothly as I hoped. They were out of what we needed. How can store be out of sale items? I went through all the cooking magazines and books, and cannot formulate a plan for dinner. That is an ongoing dilemma here.

Still manged to buy the essentials. Coffee is essential. I tried going mornings without it, and I’d rather not try it again. Mornings are icky.

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I ran into my mother, who was also in town on errands, twice! I did manage to talk to her this weekend, and set those boundaries. I felt relieved and bad at the same time, but it is done. All is well now.

We have a great bond. I only needed to make sure she doesn’t hate my husband since she is my sounding board, which she doesn’t, and set some time aside for writing. If she doesn’t see it as a job, she won’t take it seriously. I need her to take it seriously so I have time to write.

I know what plagues my mother. She is depressed. She won’t admit it. I called her on it today at the store.

She has reasons to be depressed. She has empty nest syndrome, worries about everyone, the house, her living situation, finances, health situation, and misses my dad.

She joked with me, “If I’m depressed and have some dementia, then so do you!”

“Maybe I do!” I said. Walking to my car.

Older adults run a higher risk for depression. They could be sad for a number of reasons: health issues, living situation, or lacking social support. Depression can be mistaken for dementia because it can produce the same symptoms.

I hope I have her thinking about it. As much as I see her anxious and depressed, I think she could benefit from counseling and maybe drug therapy. I love my mom, and I want to see her get better. She takes care of everyone else. She is getting older now, and needs to take care of herself. I will help her.

A mother and daughter’s bond is the strongest one, after all.

 

 

Posted in General

Making it Happen.

I am wearer of many hats.

Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister.

Writer. Helper.

For a long time, I’ve had a dream of being a writer. Having a blog and writing a book.

I am talking life-long dream. Since I was a kid dream. Writing stories and poems for friends. Stupid kid stories about dogs and teddy bears that I was going to publish. But I had imagination. Now I can’t even decide WHAT to write about.

I have taken classes about writing. My instructor told me, “You have potential. Though you have too many things going on right now, and it is sucking your energy out of you. That is why you are having trouble writing.”

I love to read. And I love to write. Though I don’t make time for either of them. I have too many things to do. I’m an obsessive house cleaner. Errand runner. Cell looker at-er. Admittedly.

When I do have time to write, I have intense anxiety. Plagued with “blank-page phobia”. I don’t know what I will write about. I suddenly grapple over which word would grab the readers attention. Which one would be prettier on the page. Then, I get distracted–

Don’t I have something to clean?

Then, I come back. Stare at the computer s’more. To the point of annoyance. Until I shut it down because nothing productive is happening here. Do the same thing the next day, if I have time.

I worry too much about what others will think about what I write. Will my family find my blog here. What will they think?

Now I am to the point so what if they do? This is how I feel. I can’t apologize for it.

It is time to do something for me, and this is me. I won’t apologize for being me. Take it or leave it, what you see is what you get. W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G.

Posted in Writing Classes

Making Progress.

Writing isn’t the calm I’ve come to expect. When I was younger, it came to me as easily as breathing. I had time then. Mass amounts of time to do nothing BUT write.

I spent my days at school. Sure. But when I wasn’t at school, I could spend time at home wielding my creative energy. I loved walking, riding my bike, baking, sitting outside observing, breathing in the air, roller-blading, and listening to music. Those things helped open me up to ideas and thoughts that I now hold captive. I’m keeping myself too busy to expunge them.

I’m still in my writing class. It’s going great. I admit my first assignments were tough. I had trouble thinking outside of the perimeters I built. The page I stare at with anxiety. Afraid to let it all out. What will people think of me? I never had trouble like that before– I do now.

Anyway, we all had the stomach flu. My daughter its first victim for six days, and we all followed suit. I dwelled on the assignments with such agony. I don’t like turning in late work;however, I didn’t know what to write either. Nothing I wrote was good enough.

Eventually I went with it. Not caring. It is what it is. I turned in both of my assignments that way. One of them I had to write dialogue. I didn’t expect to do well with it, but I’ll learn. It will come in time.

I waited for my instructor to look over my work, and she liked it! There is nothing more satisfying in the world than working your ass off writing, and someone liking what you poured your soul into. My form needed work, but aside from that it was good. Relief washed over me. Maybe I can do this!

I read somewhere, “if you don’t use it– you’ll lose it.” That is my fear. I don’t want to “lose it.” You have to “nurture it.” I’ve been away from writing so long. I miss it like you would a long-lost friend. I hear its words calling me. Yet, I struggle to get them out.

One morning I woke with the most beautiful opening stanza of a poem only to lose it reaching for a pen. Grumbling.. I went back to bed. At that point, what could I do? My words were lost to me.

I’ve been enjoying class. Learning to take myself more seriously. To be nicer to myself, and not so critical. Who knows what I will write. The possibilities are endless. Right now, I’m thinking poetry and non-fiction, but I could change my mind.

My instructor says to read what you’d most like to write. I’m reading a lot on my kindle. I admit lately it’s young adult fiction. I want to read them before my son does to know what he’s reading.

Before I viewed a kindle as treason to a book, there is nothing like going to the library and smelling books. The feel of paper between your fingers. Each book is so unique and has a story. A kindle book does not posses that power. Sure it has a story, but it’s not the same. It took me awhile to want to read on my kindle. It was betrayal. Now I like to read both.

I’m going to make more of an effort to relax. Being so busy stifles the creative vibe. The things I enjoyed when I was younger, I still like to do now. Now that I have a family it’s harder to free up time to write so I have to learn to prioritize better.

I’m reading a book, “Time Management for Creative People.” think it may help some. Along with making it here to blog. I realize I haven’t been true to my word about that part of it, but I will become better with time.

For now, I will be satisfied with the progress I’ve made with class. I seemed to have made it through some barrier with my writing. Let’s keep it going.

Posted in Life, Writing

Differences.

Looking at my old blogs, I found some differences in the way I wrote then, and the way I am writing now. Back then, I wrote whatever came to my mind. I didn’t have a filter. I didn’t use proper punctuation. I used all our names. I put up my picture on Myspace. Writing came easy.

Now I’m guarded. I wasn’t writing our names. I agonized over every little word. Carefully considering the meaning of each. No wonder I had writers block. I made it too hard instead of letting it flow. I let fear keep me from writing certain details like our names, or posting a picture. Aside from that, I let time become a barrier, and didn’t make time.

The last couple days, I went back over my blogs and fixed them. Putting our names in them. Making them more personal. Today I fixed my theme because the more I looked at my site, the more the box in the middle of it nagged me. Then, I put my picture up. Now it feels like home.

I’ll still be adding old blogs to mix in with the new. I’m not sure how you are liking that if you are following. You can let me know!!

I didn’t want a picture to lead people to like my blog. Or not like my blog. I wanted people to like “me” for “me.” Like the song, “Hey Leonardo.”

And yes, I realize this is centered, and it’s because when I tried to write it from the left it goofed up. I couldn’t figure out what I did to make it do that. Or how to fix it. I’ll learn…