and then . . . he got up in my face

She sat on the edge of the bed, tears spilling from her eyes explaining to me how much she regretted calling the police. I listened intently to her story and realized she lacked clarity about her situation — of non-violent and violent abuse — and to come to terms with all that had transpired over the last several days she, above all else, needed some clarity.

The details were not uncommon. I’d heard them before and as usual the actions remained the same, only the names were changed.

“The rent money is gone” she continued. Spent at the local pub on several shots dropped into a glass of draft-pulled beer.

“I went to the pub” she said “and I took the beer in front of him and dumped it out and without saying a word walked out to my car.” Then he had followed her, approaching the vehicle with angry intent to settle things. She swiftly pulled away and drove to a connivence store and bought a bottle of water and sat in the parking lot for several minutes before returning to the apartment they shared.

“He’d left his door key so he broke in the door. He shattered the door jamb and now I can’t lock my door. Then he threw my grandmother’s pretty glass bowl into the glass coffee table and shattered both of them” she continued.

“After that I was afraid and called the police but before they came and took my statement he ran off; they found him and took him into custody; now I feel so bad about putting him in jail” she said.

“I didn’t know what I was doing. The officer used a lot of big words I didn’t understand and he told me to sign here and I did but I didn’t know I was signing to put him in jail!”

“How could I do this to someone I love” she said.

She explained about the bonding process and the court appearances to come and it seemed the only thing she wanted to do was to make her mistake go away.

This situation is not uncommon. Most women who find themselves in abusive relationships take on a feeling of self-doubt and guilt after such an incidence as described here. Think of it as having an emotional bank account you keep making withdrawals from without ever making deposits leaving you, over time substantially overdrawn. Each time you rest the guilt of another’s abuse towards you squarely back on your own shoulders you make a withdrawal from your emotional bank account. Finding your way back to a positive emotional cash-flow takes extreme measures to relearn your self-worth. And, I tell you, you are worth it. But, it does take time and inner strength to accomplish. Emotional health is worth all the effort put forth to attain it.

If you take nothing from this post please take away this: You are worthy of respect, self-respect and the respect of others.

Be willing to say to those you love — and this means everyone you love i.e. your friends, your spouse, even your children — that you are unwilling to endure any abuse whatsoever. And, say it to yourself first! Go ahead, stand in front of the mirror and say it to yourself, out loud, and daily until your mind and heart is accepting of this one thing, which should become the core of who you are. You are a woman who respects herself vastly and does not appreciate, nor will take abuse.

I remember when I was marring my second husband he asked me, as most men will do, what it was I wanted most of all. I told him I wanted him to understand that I was fine before I met him and I’d be fine if things did not work out. I’d be sad but I’d be fine. And I told him that I loved myself too much to live with any form of abuse, verbal or otherwise. I said it in such a loving way too. You don’t need to be abrupt or ugly about these things you simply need to let someone you love know that they can’t hurt you, you will not stand for it.

Will the young woman heed the advice I gave her?

Only time will tell but I can tell you she is very smart, and even given last nights events does has a positive-cash-flow in her emotional bank account. I’m sure she will find an appropriate way to express her concerns with her young man whom, at present, is feeling a bit ridiculous, as he should. And, I’m sure when she suggest to him he gain some insight into his behavior of last evening (which I understood to be a first time occurrence, so let us not banish him yet) and become, again, one of the good guys he will embrace her request with an open mind and an open heart.

Will this repeat itself? It is possible. It is also possible that this is a one time and only time she’ll ever need to witness this behavior. She’ll keep me posted over the next six months and I’ll keep you posted, if indeed, any post is necessary.

Oh, come on, you know you’re interested :0)


I MISS YOU FRED – 5 Reasons why it is better to miss someone than to stay with them

We all love to be loved. That slight slip of the hand at the dip of your back (you know the dip; it’s the one right above the fanny you wish smaller) that lingers there for a moment — no one else touches you there; no one else dare. Sometimes we stay in the wrong relationship because we know we will miss these moments. But I have 5 reasons not to stay — you be the judge of the 5 arguments presented here and how true they are for you, but — please be as honest with yourself as possible before you decide that staying is the best thing for you to do.

5 Reasons Why it is Better to Miss Someone than to Stay with Them.

Reason number one:

Attendance (not attentiveness) is important in any relationship. Don’t confuse the two by thinking his being attentive when together translates into anything other than he is being attentive to you at the moment because he could be being attentive with another woman at another moment. Until he is in attendance with you, and only you, the majority of his time you two are dating, and dating is a nice thing to do; just don’t go thinking rings at this point for he’s a long way away from that choice. However, if you are there and he is not perhaps it is better to miss him than to stay with him.

Reason number two:

Dismissiveness is so important it should be at the top of any woman’s wish list. If ever you feel that your needs and your wants are being dismissed by him it is time to distance yourself. He’s not being mean. He’s being honest, of sorts, with you about how he feels about you. He’s not all that into you, sugar, so miss him if you must but don’t stay. Of course, I’m talking about a relationship, or dating, that has gone on for some time; months (not weeks) and he still doesn’t notice, for example, that you are ill and need chicken soup instead of the “where’s the dinner” nonsense.

Reason number three:

Inability to commit is perhaps one of the big stumping blocks of any relationship moving to the next level. I once was in a relationship with a man which worked very well. We were best friends and completely compatible (eerily, like two peas in a pod) but he wasn’t able to take the next step. Ever! And, I miss him to this day but if I’d stayed I’d still be waiting for him to take that step and it is likely he never would have. Some men simply can’t see you as their future. I don’t know why. Frankly, it doesn’t matter why. It just is. Move on and out the door.

Reason number four:

Already taken is appealing to some women, mostly because of a commitment phobia they have – but, you can’t move forward with a married man. Years ago, I had a girlfriend who only dated married men and it always ended badly for her. It took several months of therapy for her to learn how to control her relationship phobia. Although she struggled to overcome her attraction to married men, after the therapy, she was successful in finding an unmarried man she felt was her perfect partner in life, a wonderful man that she adores and they have been married now for nearly twenty years. Being in a relationship with a man who is already taken, usually — as in rarely — results in a marriage for you but if it does the odds are stacked against his remaining faithful to you. Reverse this situation: at home, darling, there is a woman who believes and trusts a husband to honor their marriage vows. This alone is a compelling reason to miss him than to stay with him.

Reason number five:

Abuse (verbal and/or non verbal) is a challenging bit to deal with. You want to stay and fix his relationship manners and you think you can. But, I’m telling you that you can not. He is the only one who can fix his relationship manners. This is perhaps the leading cause of discourse among teens to thirty-somethings in a relationship. Usually, somewhere in a woman’s thirties she gets a life! After which women don’t accept abuse of any kind, but, if this remains the case with you — my email is on file! Use it!

Hot Dogs?

This is a story that will bring tears to your eyes.  I am at my desk pondering a cooking blog post.  What shall I write about this week?  I click on the monthly calendar in the header for notable holidays – – if you want to check out the other blog.

(Note: I’m the least pushy person you’ll ever meet but still, I like readers as much as the next person. For a writer it is both vindication & validation to have readers. I’d load up a music video of “You Light Up My Life” here – but you get the jest, right?)

June 12th is Magic Day and apparently on this date in 1838 Baseball was invented.  My mind swirls — (or was that the storm winds swirling outside, visible through the slit in the curtain?) — whatever, the mind becomes engaged, alive!  What is more magical than baseball?  Baseball & hot dogs!  Not just any hot dog – The All American Hot Dog!

I get side tracked and think of my mother’s love for Emeril Lagasse and wonder, “does he have some good hot dog tips?”  Google!  After all there must be more to a hot dog than plain red in a cold bun with red and yellow on top, right?  I mean, if left to my expertise this post will be rather bland and boring.

Reinstated thanks to Lagasse and America’s Test Kitchen my mind is back on track – sort of – and I think of a few post titles.  In the end pick Home Run Hot Dogs.  Than, again my mind wonders.  This time to the game of baseball and to the 30 Before 30 post about the Baltimore Orioles – I love the line “Damn you Jeffrey Maier!” –  and just for fun I read SportsJim81’s blog post again – URL:  Mentally and comically satisfied I continue on.  Hot Dogs!

Finding the right images is key to giving the hot dog a mouth-watering audience.  NO?  Exactly when was the last time your mouth watered over a hot dog?  I thought so.  Continuing. . . I Google for images.  I hit pay-dirt and come up with amazing images of hot dogs.  I did not know “the dog” could be dressed with so many options.  Some don’t have red or yellow on them.  What is up with that?

Again, my mind wonders.  This time to Summer Fun, baseball, hot dogs, the National Hollerin’ Contest happening next weekend (June 18) in Spivey’s Corner, NC.  Google!  I come up with this little tidbit from Reuters: “Travel Picks: Top 10 wacky U.S. summer events, one being the Hollerin’ in Spivey’s Corner. (NEW YORK | Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:13pm EDT) –Travelers should leave their indoor voices at home at this cacophonous celebration, which draws in over 10,000 attendees. The hollering contest is not the only pursuit for travelers to enjoy at this gathering; conch shell blowing, a greasy pole climb, and the classic game of corn hole are also integral to the hollerin’ hoopla. Those with a firm grip can even compete to hold on to a greased watermelon, while local firemen try to knock it from contestants’ hands using a fire hose. General admission is $5, and free for children 12 and under.”  

I think, maybe I should write something about “hollerin’ hoopla” but remind myself I need to finish what I start by staying focused and on track, for Pete’s Sake!  This according to Kristen Lamb who advises this with an iron fist.  Check out: Publishing, Writing | URL:

Oh, distractions:  I put the ear phones on and plug into Pandora Internet Radio.  Set to a low volume for static noise I function better.  Honestly.

Still, the 43rd Annual National Hollerin’ Contest is a family oriented event and is the most fun a NC Gal could have and I feel it calling me to come on out and enjoy the fun!  Deep breath.  Hot Dogs! Plus, I moved to Ohio!

When we went white water rafting I remember that we took hot dogs along.  The buns got wet!  The hot dogs were good without the buns.  I should write something about White Water Rafting.  I feel a kick in the butt coming from Kristen Lamb’s direction, all the way from Texas.  She has a long reach!  Deep breath.  Hot Dogs!

At this point I am crying — Hot Dogs!

Break out the food!!

Oh please let the pots & pans be found today so I can get back to basic cooking.  No more take out of Chinese/Thai noodles  or Pizza pies filled with too much cheese.  I am suffering from too many carbs. and too little veggies.  I love my veggies.  Truth be told: I love a good healthy helping of oven baked vegetables sprinkled with just a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt & black cracked pepper (extra pepper, please).  Sometimes when I make a pot of vegetable soup I’ll do the veggies in the oven before adding them to the pot.  The flavor is far superior.  Yummy-yumms!  (caution: I sometimes make up my own words – yumms is not a word, actually)  Today I am longing for a good pot of soup or chili (check out Six Pack Chili on my food blog best holiday recipes ever! on this site)  Therefore, putting away the kitchen is a top priority for today.

I nearly have my bedroom put away but need to wait until this evening when I can buy a frame for my bed.  Somehow the frame did not get moved!  One of those little surprises I can live without.  Actually, y’all I-Do-Not-Like-Surprises.  Never have.  I get to embarrassed.  Red face.  Heart pounding.  Feeling like I’m standing (nude) in a room filled with everyone I don’t want to see the tattoo of Steve’s and my signs (that’s another story! The tattoo, that is) – I digress –  Unfortunately, the bed-frame did not make it to Ohio.  Which means that I need to replace a perfectly good one that is less than six years old (the age of my new(er) mattress and box springs.  I hope I can find one as good as the one left behind.  I paid an arms leg for it!  Plus I will need to buy risers for the new frame to allow for ‘storage’ under the bed.  I prefer to store as much in my bedroom as possible instead of storing boxes filled with my things in the garage although some will be stored in the garage.  At some point I will have my own place but for now I am staying with my daughter and grandson. “Life Evolving” is what Steve said.  MY FOOT!  Some days I love him to death and some days I don’t.  Today is the latter instead of the former.

Interestingly the lights got turned off this morning two hours before they got switched into Lisa’s name and turned back on.  Paperwork!  The house was a warm 62 degrees when the heater kicked back on.  Now Kyle and I are toasty again :)  “Life Evolving” . . . ??? . . . (my words on ‘life evolving’ are less classy than I should be using on this blog-so I won’t (bother) sharing my words)  After all, I am a lady.  I have class.  I am older and too wise to stoop to that level. Breaking up is hard to do. Although, I would like to scream something choice that hits the mark (or Steve’s ear) just perfect.  Clarity.  Putting things straight.  And, I’m getting to personal even for a personal blog . . .

. . .  so, today I am feverishly working in the kitchen putting away all the things needed to bake, cook and eat with.  Thus far I have managed to put away all the good dishes and stem ware.  I keep searching for the everyday dishes!  Boxes!  Too many boxes!  Even so, I see a nice pot of soup in my immediate future.  If I find the bread maker even fresh bread.  Wish me luck with the bread.  The soup is a shoe-in — before I sat down to write this I found the large soup pot.  If nothing else is found at least I can cook in that very large (for sixteen!) pot.  I’ll just have to freeze some soup when I’m done with it.

The move is coming along fine.  I am lucky to be here.  Grateful to be alive and doing well.  Everything will be fine.  I will be fine.  I will not scream.  I will be kind.  I will . . .

So there I was . . .

Another day of challenges for my bunch of misfits: I call them ‘my misfits’ for reasons other than a fact that they are misfits.  They are all quite normal, actually.

This morning I slept in!  This is becoming more and more the norm lately.  A habit that needs to be broken!  I was up a little past eight-thirty and at the computer by nine to write but before I began I checked my e-mail account.  As I was reading the latest e-mail from my daughter Lisa in North Carolina [she wrote: Can’t write much now – at work – but I will pick you up. I love you. ] my cell went into its ‘song & dance’ mode. 

My son Bri was calling to let me know all is well as he exited a courtroom free as a bird.  Let me back up.  No my son is not a thug, not in the least.  He is simply the soon to be ex-husband of a manic young woman who imagines things then calls the cops only to say she was mistaken.  This last time however her nonsense landed Bri in jail for one night on assault charges.  The next morning she bailed him out with his own money.  Said she was sorry “‘bout that” and they went home. 

Today’s hearing must have been interesting.  I understand from my friend who went with Bri for moral support the Soon-To-Be-Ex after admitting she was not assaulted was properly scolded by a not so amused judge who then ordered her to pay court costs and fees in the sum of ninety dollars by next Wednesday or be subject to some jail time herself.  

Here is the catch.  The Ex wants Bri to pay the 90.00 because she does not have it.  My advice?  DON’T PAY IT FOR HER—ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ALREADY!  And, move out and move on!  I think he is finally listening to his inner voice of common sense and to friends and family.  At least I hope so.  I’ve been there before and trust when I say: When it’s done and over stick a fork in it because IT IS DONE AND OVER.  I have come to realize that most couples who stay together (forever) probably don’t like each other all that much in the end.   They simply want the comforts that togetherness and friendly surroundings bring!  Of the ones who seem to still like each other after years together, well they are the lucky ones.  Not all of us are that lucky.  Truth be told, most of us are not.  So when it isn’t happening for you — move on!  There is nothing else you can do.  I have come to realize I am not my parents.  No one out there is willing to love me all that much, actually.  So be it.  I’m difficult to love anyway!

Bri’s call did bring up an old concern of mine though.  That is this overly used charge of abuse we have going on in our society.  It is so easy for the younger women to pick up the phone and get even.  If the charge is made law enforcement’s hands are tied, so to speak, and off the poor man goes to the slammer for the night all to be sorted out in a courtroom at a later date.

On the flip side of that coin, how about real abuse of women, particularly the young women in our society who suffer horrific acts from abnormal men to their physical or emotional or mental or spiritual self.  A person who is truly abused needs support in so many ways to distance themselves from the abuse.  So what does it do to these women when a woman charges abuse when there is none?  I am wondering if the courts that indeed need to slap the total shit out of a man who does actually abuse is becoming indifferent. 

I am sitting here trying to remember all the cases I worked on.  Thinking: Abuse v. Non-abuse: How many of the cases fell into the abuse category?  Of what I remember and my memory is still pretty well intact it was pretty well split down the middle.  It was my job to get to the bottom of things.  I was a total jerk!  I admit it.  I was the bad cop (in a law office) who took it to the mat pushing for the truth.  What I found was that nearly fifty per cent of the cases I saw resulted in women admitting that indeed no abuse happened in the legal sense of the charge of abuse.  Because a guy yells at you and calls you an unthinkable name in the heat of an argument or pushes you off of him while you are holding something in your hand ready to strike, there is no abuse.  The guy is simply a jerk, out of control and not using his words wisely, etc.  Leave him! Find someone who’ll treat you the way you want to be treated.  In both the scenarios above the guy needs to be alone, not in jail, alone without the comforts you can provide.  He needs to mellow out and learn how to behave! 

Anyway, after giving my mind a real whirl at the remembering game my finding seemed staggering to me.  It is, of course, my own finding based on limited cases.  On the cases where abuse was real and charges were warranted I asked the attorney’s to fight hard for those cases and they did, of course they did.  Heck I wanted to do some fist damage myself but that was not allowed. Fortunately for the guy because I do have quite a right hook. 

The bottom line is this: when women bring this charge out of spite, out of getting even, and as like my daughter-in-law did out of pure manic condition when no abuse was present then the women who are truly abused and in need of the systems protection that protection is diminished for them.  This is simply not acceptable.  I think women need the understanding of what abuse is and what it is not.  His yelling at you or pushing you off of him (without causing you physical injury) is unacceptable behavior on his part but not abuse.  You don’t have to take words that leave you deflated in any way!  Distance yourself.  Don’t call it abuse though for it is not.  All this mess about verbal abuse has gotten women who under the standard of abuse who are abused less likely to be taken seriously and they need to be taken seriously!  So, young women out in the world think twice before thinking that calling the cops on a jerk of a man or simply because you want him to man up on something or because you want leverage for an impending divorce is the right thing to do DON’T call, and don’t call it abuse when it’s not.  You may become unlucky in a court of law.

So, today was filled with challenges all around.  I finally was able to book my air flight after eleven tries.  My checking account looks ridiculous with all the 1.00 fees sitting there!  My daughter is willing to pick me up at a farther air port than I wanted to fly in to.  I love it when the airlines system says “an airport close by” when the two airports are an hour away from each other!  I’m going home for the holidays.  I’ll hug my grandchildren and my children.  We will all gather around and tell stories, laugh and play board games.  I’m sure my boys (men now) will have some tall fish tales.  I’m sure Lexi will give the biggest hug. And I’m looking forward to it all.

I like how sometimes. . .

Don’t you love it when, totally out of your control, things go awry but all the same you can do something about it.  You have an option, a choice to accept the disappointment for what it is and likewise you have the control over your reaction to that disappointment. You always have options and choices.  That is the simplest truth there is.  You always have options and choices!  You are never stuck in an awkward or dysfunctional situation. You can remove yourself from that which is ailing your spirit, your body, your mind.  You can choose to make yourself whole again.

So, as I spoke with my son this morning I had an epiphany of sorts.  My son lives in North Carolina while I am currently across the country in California.  He was telling me about his situation and what steps he was taking to cure  it.  It dawned on me that no matter how grown up we think we are we still need our mothers to tell our stories too.  After talking with him I wanted to pick up the telephone and call my Mamma!  She’s been gone for a few years so, of course, that option is not available but I wanted to call her so badly.  

Calling your mamma is like grabbing a little piece of mind and some warm fuzzy hugs for yourself.  Mom’s are always there even if they are not physically around any longer.  As I said mine is gone for some years now but I can still hear her voice inside my head.  Mamma is actually my step-mother, Marie.  She has (had) an incredible ‘go girl’ attitude.  Momma was simply the best at listening and then speaking her mind.  I never went away from one of those long-distant conversations let down or sad.  She always lifted me up and put things straight in my head which allowed me the clarity to move forward.  Sometimes ya just need your Mamma! 

So, my morning dishing out of some long-distance warm fuzzies to my son made me miss my mamma all the more.  And that is when it hit me.  She may no longer be a telephone call away but I still hear her words in my head.  They have to be there, directly from her because I heard them coming out of my mouth and landing in my son’s ear.  Then it hit me, my epiphany.  My Manna is not gone.  She lives on inside me.  Not such a bad thing.


Totally crashed and burned last night with salad & pasta.  No worries mate — I was good — no bread!  The pasta was enough to up my weight by one and one-half pounds from yesterday morning’s weight-in!  Please excuse me for the vulgar mention of the bodies examination processes but when this occurred the weight was thankfully reduced by one pound.  Later another dumping . . .  put me back on track, so to speak.  Amazing how this works.  So within twelve hours of my last post I had broken one of my diet taboos.  I ate white flour in the form of Barilla Penne Pasta which, as advertised, cooks in 11-12 minutes.  Calories 200; Total Fat 1g; Total Carbohydrates 42g per serving.  The box held 8 servings and I think we ate two each!  In other words: I had my fill.  Satisfied.  Can move on to being a good diet do-be.

The pasta was very good.  Steven fixed it ‘restaurant style’ which I think is actually more ‘cafeteria style’ and even though I like my way better his was very good.  My way, the Italian way, is less dry.  To each his own:) I say!  I have never been opposed to trying something different which can be something insane like hang gliding or deciding it was a good idea to try raw fish!  I have not learned my lessons however so if offered another chance at parachuting — I’ll do it!  It’s just the way it is.

Today, fruit for breakfast and steamed veggies with 3 ounces chicken breast for lunch. 

Halloween behind me the other two major holidays are fast approaching and I am considering which pies to bake this year for Thanksgiving.  My friends (whom I am to visit) favorite pies are pecan and apple.  I can see the pecan pie for Thanksgiving.  I can not see the apple pie for Thanksgiving. But, I can see pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  I could combine the pumpkin and pecan into one pie.  I’ve done this before and it is to die for!  And, I could make one apple and serve it with thinly sliced cheddar cheese for the top like Mama liked it.  I promised only two pies!  I think I’ll also make some breads, applesauce pumpkin with pecans is a favorite of mine for the holidays.  And with it some Apple Pumpkin Butter. If you are interested:  recipe included here >>>

Preparation: Wash and dry a two -to- three cup glass container. The recipe makes approximately 2 1/2 cups and will be stored in the refrigerator after cooking and cooling so I like to use a glass container for this but it’s your choice, any container will do.

Peal, core and purée apples to make 1 cup of purée (I use macintosh to grannie smith, whatever you have on hand will do for this recipe).  Tartness and sweetness of apples varry so I usually decide if I want the final product to be sweeter or more tart and choose accordingly. Size of apples varry as well so purée until you have the one cup of apple purée.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s just some Butter Jam.  Play with it.  Whatever you do I promise it will be yummy.

In a heavy saucepan place purred apples, 15 ounce can of pumpkin purée, 1 cup apple cider and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (optional if you like spice: first use light brown sugar instead of the dark and add either #1: 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or #2:  3/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ginger) and slowly bring this mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently to avoid scorching for 1-1/2 hours.  The time is long but it is needed to reduce the apples, pumpkin and cider to a thick apple-butter like consistency.  Cool! Then place into your container and store in the refrigerator.  This will keep up to two weeks.

Another holiday food I like to make is pumpkin dump cake!  You can find lots of recipes on the web for this.  Some with yellow cake mix and some with spice cake mix.  The great thing about this is that it takes so little effort to make and keeps for days upon days on the counter top, covered of course. 

So now that I have thought about holiday cooking and I have eaten my steamed veggies and chicken breast I wonder if I could get away with a Twinkie for dinner???? It’s only 150 cals, guys!!