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Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland

Welcome to the place were I chronicle my own falls down dark holes and adventures chasing white rabbits! Come on In, Take a Bite, You Never Know What You May Find...

"Curiouser and curiouser." Alice in Wonderland

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August 16, 2018 at 2:27pm
August 16, 2018 at 2:27pm
"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2097 August 16, 2018
size:5}" “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there." ~ Ray Bradbury
Do you agree or disagree? If so what will you leave behind?

Without question, I will leave my daughter my words.

I have, it seems, always been writing in my life but the moment my daughter became the seed in my soul, she also became my muse. I have written about the joy of expecting her delivery, the trials of being a new mother and struggling to find balance as a working mom. I have written about the incredibly vulnerability you feel bringing a life into the world and of the fierce and all-consuming love that makes you both terribly afraid and immeasurably happy all at once. I have written about my daughter's growth, about her amazing milestones, our battles and all those sweet moments that made my heart melt.

I continue to write about her, marking her years with all the insights I can about who she is and what she is like at her various stages and ages. Her aggravating love of slime is forever immortalized in my my blogs, as is the lovely character of her laughter and the summer she fell in love with horses. I try to capture all her burgeoning beauty, grace and personality that seems to come at a rapid fire pacing I feel I can barely keep up with. My hope is that one day she can read through all my entries, all my stories and blogs and see how I saw her at age 3, age 7, age 18...and that this might tell her something about herself, about the woman she has become and most importantly, about how she was the absolute world to the woman who raised her.

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 1703 August 16, 2018
Prompt: Hope.
I had hope. It wasn't much hope but it was a little. Then it turned out to have a thousand pieces, Scattering it in all directions. Hope for the best, expect the worst. When is the last time you felt all hope was lost but things got better?

There have been many moments when I have felt hope scattered around me like so much broken glass. There were times when the darkness was so close to pulling me down that it seemed I could not draw enough breathe into my lungs to live another second for myself. Even in those moments, I must still have held onto hope because I did breathe. I did find a way to get back on my feet. I think I wanted so badly to know a different life, I wanted to be a different woman. I did not want to cower forever or live a life when I could not tell the difference between passion and violence. I wanted to love in another color besides red. I think I had hope even then, when a weak man's rage had me curled into a frightened ball at the base of my stairs, that this would not be my life and that it would get better...that I would love better and find someone in turn who did the same. I remember staring at my bloody fingertips and thinking, "someday it will be me or him, and I will have to chose me". Those words seemed so impossibly loud in my head and thinking them gave me hope, and that hope eventually gave me the strength to do exactly that.

Hope is this amazing thing that resides in our souls...quietly waiting until it is needed the most. In those dark times, it can be the light by which we find our way out.

"Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all" Emily Dickinson
August 8, 2018 at 11:59am
August 8, 2018 at 11:59am
There has likely never been a summer when I have needed to write more and a twist of cruel irony, have never had less time to do so.

We moved this summer. It has been a challenge in several, largely unanticipated ways. The unforgiving summer humidity coupled with adapting to a new home with a host of issues, has strained every relationship I have at some point. I'd like to say that with each room I "finish", we are settling in and feeling more at home but some days, that seems to be merely sugar-coating it. I know that we will reach a point when we no longer feel overwhelmed and things will become easier, more natural. I look forward to those days with the kind of hope reserved for much larger things in life. For now, I try to go day by day. I try to see the positive, I try to appreciate the progress we are making. I look for the things about this summer that are undeniably joyful.

Jaden is having a remarkable summer. She has grown into a leggy, outspoken girl who has discovered a myriad of new loves and abilities. Like a greenhouse flower, she has blossomed amid the heat and humidity, seemingly unperturbed by the dog days of a summer running a bit too long in the tooth. A surprise week at horse camp has radically transformed a unsettled summer into an adventure. She has fallen in love with horses and with trailing her Aunt Becky through her world of ponies and puppies. Jaden has become the child my sister always dreamed she'd convert from Barbies to show horses and trail rides. The first day of pickup at horse camp, I discovered my fastidious daughter covered from her head to her toes in grime and horsehair, smiling a 100 watt smile and looking as happy as I have ever seen her.

So, a week in horse camp as turned into three thanks to the generosity and stubborn persistence of a favorite Aunt on a mission. Each morning she pulls on her riding tights and laces up her paddock boots. She grabs her helmet bag, a present from her Aunt, which houses the pretty pink riding helmet and riding gloves, and heads into the barn. It has to be unbearable hot most days and the smell is...well, let's just say that it is not my cup of tea, and still she pops out of bed like a daisy, eager to get the to barn and get her pony tacked up. I get videos of her lessons sometimes and I can hardly believe its the same shy girl, posting proudly in her saddle and urging her mount into the rolling canter she loves.

August 8, 2018 at 11:24am
August 8, 2018 at 11:24am
"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 1695 August 8, 2018
Prompt: "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly." What are your views on this? Write anything you want about this.

These days I feel far more like a terrestrial garden slug than a caterpillar, nevermind a butterfly. Moving twice in as many months has left me drained. It has been an incredibly humid summer and the unforgiving weather has felt like a plague. Settling into our new home has been rough going. At times it has felt like a depressing treasure hunt where you find delightful little problems like shoddy plumbing and carpentry work around every corner. Some days it has been a challenge to find the beauty in the home we had so readily fallen in love with. We have made progress on fixing the showers, waged war on the ants, even made a kind of peace with the resident bat who comes and goes from one of the outside window eaves. I tell myself it a few short weeks that bat will move on to warmer climates and when and if he returns, we will have installed a far more suitable bat house for him as an alternative. We are making progress. We are adapting to our new life, our new home but it has been surprisingly difficult some days.

I don't feel like a butterfly although the transformation sounds like just the sort of miracle I could use. I've struggled to find time for myself, for those improvements I desperately need to make. I need to build back in an exercise routine, meal prep and self-care regime. I need to fix my hair, attempt to grown my nails again...and at least start shaving my legs with some regularity again. Moving has been all-consuming. I hardly feel like myself in a house where everything feels strange and new. I try to be grateful for the potentially wonderful home we are making, remember how blessed we are...I try to find the positive. I try not to get overwhelmed. I try to remember to be patient and know that things take time. I try to be the caterpillar looking for that perfect limb on which begin my new life with wings.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2089 August 8th, 2018
Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all: Thursday for crosses, Friday for losses, Saturday no luck at all.
Old English Rhyme
Your thoughts on the Old English Rhyme, or try writing your own rhyme for the days of the week.

Rhyming is not my strong suit...and I know very little about Old English Rhyme. Sadly this challenge is a bit far out of my comfort zone on a day when comfort seems to be all I am seeking. Let me see...

Monday for spraying the mold in the garage, Tuesday for picking up fresh mulch and sod for the yard, Wednesday might be the best day of all to go out to dinner or hang out at the mall, Thursday we are back at fixing the plumbing and Friday looks like the water has stopped coming. Saturday brings curtains and dressings and Sunday we take a break to remember our blessings.

That's all I got...

July 9, 2018 at 11:12am
July 9, 2018 at 11:12am
"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
DAY 1665 July 9, 2018
Prompt: “Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings.” George Eliot
Why is telling the exact truth so difficult? Your thoughts…{/i}

Telling the exact truth takes a lot of courage, because truth can be painfully hard to hear for some. I have learned valuable lessons about family and loyalty through some of my own truth-telling, lessons that still leave marks...like wounds you thought healed that suddenly flare up and fester. I have always written without self-censorship and while the old adage may say, "the truth will set you free", it will also often isolate you and leave you exposed. That is the risk and one I have come to understand too well. These days however, if I feel pressed to blog or write about something to process it or just to better understand my own perceptions, I find myself taking a pause. I don't want to write purely from a place of anger anymore. I give myself a few days then I try to articulate my feelings, try to express myself as candidly as possible. In the past I have gone back and re-read a piece and thought that it sounded more angry than I might have intended it to. I don't ever want to totally white-wash the anger out, or censor the truth but I also don't want to lose myself completely in it either. I run the risk of being angry a lot, of turning my writing into a tool to lash out rather than what it should be, a tool to process my emotions and feelings. So...I take a step back, I take a breath...I "examine my words well" and make sure that what I am committing to electronic ink is the most honest version of myself that I can, the person who doesn't give in solely to the hurt and the anger, a person who reflects rather than simply reacts. One last word about truth...it is always 100% perspective - what you believe is your truth is personal and you should never have to apologize for how you feel or how you perceive someone or something.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2058: July 9, 2018
Prompt: Work Ethic. Write whatever you want about this subject. If you have a favorite quote share it.

I have been working for most of my adult life, starting pretty early on in my father's business. I was the kid that always wanted to go to work with him, taking on menial tasks...more of a mascot than any real help around the office. Over time though, that interest developed into a career which as times, can be more consuming than might be advisable. It is what I grew up around though, my father was never really not working...
There wasn't a family vacation where we didn't spend some time standing outside a phone booth in the blazing hot Florida sun, or after the invention of cell phones, following my Dad around like little ducks as he talked with the office with one of those big, white, early Motorolla's pressed to his ear. As a business owner, my father was always working, rarely inaccessible in those early years. It is only now, after decades of near constant work, he is taking more true breaks, he actually feels like he can step back and let others step in and handle things more. Still, the moment something heats up, or goes wrong...he's right back. He is hands-on, even at the age and level of success where he could be retiring, he rarely shows signs of slowing down. I'm not sure my father is the retiring type...he's worked his whole life, how does one turn that off? To me that is work ethic...to give what's needed and more to the job and when it is your own business, to be there for it when it needs you most. I'd like to think the man raised me the same way, to understand that kind of dedication to the work.
July 6, 2018 at 2:31pm
July 6, 2018 at 2:31pm
Forty-four emails in my inbox, prompts for blog entries I have missed...forty-two missed opportunities to ignite the muse and be able to legitimately refer to myself as a writer again...it is hard not to lament how much I miss sometimes when life gets in the way. With the closing on the new house now, (hopefully) imminent, I feel like I have a brief reprieve before the controlled chaos that is moving and nesting begins. I will at least try to write something, in the very least it may give me an outlet for the stress.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2056 July 6, 2018
Use these words somehow in your writing- enchanted, twilight, fireflies, rose, carousel, lion, and tinman.

The old porch fan rattled and buzzed each time it completed it's wide arch rotation, an offending interruption to the otherwise soft summer evening soundtrack. Ella quickly padded across the porch in her bare feet and switched it off. She returned to her swing and curled her long fingers around her still steaming mug of rose tea. She watched the fireflies painting brief and brilliant patterns of light all across the wide open field. The haystacks stood like silent sentinels against the darkening twilight.

Ella sat back, feeling for just a moment, a bite of pain in her stomach that took her breathe away. It was fleeting spark but she knew it would be back. Soon Ella knew she would need to swallow more of the little white pills to keep the pain from radiating through her guts, stretching its cruel fingers through her joints and delicate organs. The pain was getting harder and harder to contain, certainly an unwelcome but not wholly unexpected side effect of the cancer. Ella tried not to think about the pain now. She focused on the sweet chirping of the peep frogs and the gentle rustle of the tall grasses as the night breeze picked up and raced across the fields. Ella leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She soon slipped into her memories...

A much younger Ella raced through the gates of the tri-county agriculture fair. As she ran, her long dark tresses flowed out behind her, the only feminine thing about the rail-thin girl in the dirty overalls and duck boots. She was immediately assaulted by the smell of cinnamon sweet fried dough and fresh spun cotton candy, her favorite treats. She barreled past the tempting vendors all the same, heading to the carousel. They always set it up dead center of the fair and there was always a line. She heard the carousel's rousing tune before she saw it, rising up like an mirage from the dust and grime of the fairgrounds.

Ella was enchanted by the carousel. It was an antique marvel of engineering and art. Instead of horses, the carousel was made up of wild animals imported directly from the plains of Africa. The animals were beautifully crafted, the mahogany creatures painted and polished to a high glossy sheen. The elephants had tusks that looked like real ivory and the giraffes gazed at you with deeply soulful eyes. The hippos were comically wide, their wide mouths open revealing fat pink tongues. Nothing could have been more exotic to a farm girl from the Midwest and she would ride it several times, every day the fair was running. Ella's favorite though was the African lion. There was only one of those, a big male with a russet colored mane and broad back and massive paws. He looked so alive, the incarnation of all the power and might one would expect from a king. She loved the lion and there was little that came close to the joy she felt slipping onto his smooth back and wrapping her fingers around the leather halter looped at the beast's neck.

Ella reached the spindly gate of the carousel, alarmed to see she was pretty far back from the front of the line. She watched the other children their tickets to the attendant and gleefully charge up over the sides and clamoring for their animal of choice. Several children began to bicker over the camel and Ella saw one little girl struggling to climb the lion's flank. Disappointed, she stepped aside when she reached the front of the line, explaining to the stoic attendant, that she would wait for the next ride. He looked down at her, shrugging with a tin man's indifference, and left to check that the riders were all properly seated before putting the carousel into motion with a palm punch to a large red button.

Ella rode the carousel that day a record six times before her parents made her go home. It would be the last year the carousel came to the fair, having been replaced the very next fair by a shoddy operation with dully painted horses sporting wide eyes and gaping mouths that Ella thought looked macabre. These new horses bounced under the riders who reached for tiny gold rings and they swirled past. She never rode that carousel. It held no magic for her.

The rising pain brought Ella to the the surface, trailing her fading memories like a gossamer wake. She opened her eyes and found her tea was cold and the night had fallen like and inky curtain. She slowly sat up, the pain now a hot cinder in her side. Ella pulled herself to her feet, gritting her teeth against the agony. It made her light-headed and her vision blurred. She rubbed at her eyes and her knuckles came away with a coating of hot tears. Then, off in the distance, she caught of glimpse of something through the veil of water in her eyes. She limped down off the porch and into the yard, straining to get a better look at the thing that was impossibly perched on the edge of the farthest field. Ella's heart rallied even as her brain told her in no uncertain terms, that the thing was absolutely not that magnificent carousel from her youth. But, as Ella drew closer, she saw that somehow, indeed it was the very same. Her ears began to hear that familiar lilting tune and there, yes, right there as he'd always been, was the lion. Her lion. Ella barely registered the pain now, it was as if it was fading, giving her space to breath again.

With an energy that surprised her, Ella rushed the last few yards to the gate. She swung it open and stood, looking at the beautiful beast with his flaming mane and soft eyes. Without a moment's hesitation, Ella swung herself up, onto his broad back. She pressed her cheek against his cool smoothness, closed her eyes and felt the carousel begin to slowly move.

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 1662 July 6, 2018
You've met three people on your way to do an errand. They're all talking about something they overheard but are positive you're the reason it's happening. Are they right or wrong? Weave us a tale about the three people and yourself and whatever is happen

Christina felt the frown forming despite her best efforts to keep it at bay. She knew the three women were talking about her. Not for the first time that day, Christina cursed the small town with its limited resources and its one and only, tiny pharmacy. It was hard to avoid people in a town this size, the very reason she had left for the big city with its legions of bustling strangers. There had been an absolute certainty she was going to run into someone she knew on the brief dash into town but here she was, annoyed to find it had happened after all. Despite her mother being a bit of a recluse, she had been well-known in town and the rumor mill was incredibly small but efficient here.

One of the women had clearly been appointed as emissary. She made her way toward Christina, rearranging her features into a mask of sympathy.

"We were all so sorry to hear about your Mother. She was such a nice lady. You look just like her!"

Christina bit back an acidic response and only nodded, allowing the woman to rub her bicep awkwardly for a few moments before she spun back to her troops. The pharmacist called her name and Christina rushed up and snatched the bag and dashed out of the store.

What could she have expected? Of course her mother's death would be fodder for the people she lived, or mostly, lived among. Though Ella has been private, most people had known about the cancer diagnosis and of her stubborn refusal of treatment. They had all known she preferred to live out her days in the farmhouse among the fallow fields her family once tended, despite the doctor's advice and Christina's agonized pleading.

Two nights ago, Christina had gotten the call she had long dreaded. Her mother had been found, inexplicably at the far edges of the family property, just lying in the field. She had passed away sometime in the night and by all accounts it had been a peaceful passing, even though given the late stage of her disease, she must have been suffering in considerable pain. The man who found her told Christina she had looked like she was sleeping, dreaming the most wonderful of dreams. Her plain face rendered beautiful in death by an oddly childish smile.

May 25, 2018 at 3:07pm
May 25, 2018 at 3:07pm
We have been trying to sell our house and find our new home. It is an exhausted process that has consumed my mental energy as my brain seems to continually reset and recalculate based on the potential homes we have seen. I find it emotionally draining as well as I am tore between loving the home we have made with our desire to provide more for our daughter; more space to grow, more yard to explore and more neighborhood children to befriend. At the same time I excited by the prospect of moving into a new town, closer to family, I am loathing the thought of moving and leaving the familiar spaces behind that I have always loved. In the midst of all this emotional and financial processing, I have done very little writing. I have watch deadlines slip past and made myself promises that I would get back to the grind as soon as things were more settled. As a result, my creativity feels bottled. My muse sits in the corner pouting and that neglect wakes me at odd hours and leaves me feeling restless. In an effort to fan the flames and distract myself from a multitude of other things, I'm going to take up today's blog challenges and see if it helps shake anything loose.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2017 May 25, 2018
Write about the life of a box of Jello.

Caroline dragged herself up the walkway, dragging her nine-year old feet and her backpack along the ground as she came. Her face was a hot mess of spent tears and painfully familiar frustration. Seeing her face I thought, not for the first time, how damn difficult it was to be a young girl at this age. I wish I could spare her from the push and pull of those fickle young friendships, the drama of preteen woes and wishes.

"Tough day Abbie?", I asked her and I opened the screen door and ushered her inside.

She suddenly hurled her backpack into the corner of kitchen and burst into tears.

For the next twenty-two minutes I listened to how "her best friend Lizzie had decided she liked Samantha better and, did I know the two of them had a sleepover together last weekend and didn't invite her? Also, Lizzie had called her "immature" when Abbie got upset about that. She got mad and had to sit alone at lunch and oh yeah, lunch had been cheese ravioli's and she hated cheese ravioli's because they tasted like rubber. Then on the bus Tyler Marshall told her she had a bee in her hair just to be funny and also she sat on someone's old peanut butter sandwich!" At this point, my daughter wheeled around and pointed to a wide stain on the seat of her pants with exaggerated annoyance.

I held out my arms and she ran into them, burying her face in my chest and giving into fresh, hot little tears.

"Okay, okay" I soothed her, rubbing her back and thinking how to best subvert my daughter's rotten day.

Then I remembered a box of jello I'd tossed into my shopping cart last week, blue raspberry, Abbie's favorite flavor.

"I know how we can turn your day around Abs, let's make a special treat." I fetched the box of jello and jiggled it in front of her pretty nose.

"Blue raspberry, your favorite..." I coaxed.

Abbie wiped at her tears with the back of her hand.

"Do you have any cool whip?" She asked hopefully.

I threw open the fridge and gleefully pointed to the new can of whipped cream.

Two hours later we sat side by side on the porch swing, slurping cubes of unnaturally blue globs and took turns spraying dollops of whipped cream onto our tongues and laughing. I told her not to worry about Lizzie and Samantha, friendship can be complicated but eventually you find the right ones and it makes up for all the drama. Eventually her world seemed to right itself again, and all it took was a little love and a box of blue raspberry jello. I knew that one day her sorrows might not be absolved so easily but for now, as the lightning bugs ushered in a mild evening and I could feel the summer waiting in the wings, I was grateful my little girl would go to sleep with a smile in her soul tonight.

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
DAY 1620 May 25, 2018
Write a story or poem about a broken promise

Jacob opened his eyes and took a few more minutes to realize the pounding in his head was an actual, physical reality. He tried to sit up, moved to quickly and closed his eyes, moaning, as the nausea threatened to overtake him in white, hot rush. The pounded continued, relentless, accompanied now by someone calling his name.

Jacob looked at this watch. The illuminated dial told him it was 10pm and he was exactly two hours late for his shift. His brain made the frantic connection, driving him up to his feet with the painful realization that he was in no shape to report for duty. Jacob sank back to the floor. His eyes fell on the empty whiskey bottles that littered the floor. Four months of sobriety, flushed out by the amber-colored elixir, the taste of which still clung to the roof of his mouth, the bitter aftertaste of a broken promise.
April 27, 2018 at 12:31pm
April 27, 2018 at 12:31pm
Blog Harbor Challenge"
Day 27 Prompt: Books are the sweet escape from reality and one of the cheapest ways to travel. If you could take the train to your favorite fictional world, what would it be? What would you do once you get there?

This is a difficult prompt given the sheer number of possibilities!

There is something completely appealing about walking through a wardrobe into Narnia. When not under tyrannical and icy rule, it is a land with an impressive landscape the features mountains and rivers, lush valleys and rolling hills. It seems to be perpetually Spring. It is a magical place with talking animals and fantastical beings. Great, right?

Then, you consider Hogwarts with its floating candles and resident ghosts. What could be more of an escape then a magical school for aspiring wizards? Or Oz, with its blazing emerald-colored buildings, yellow brick roads and fields of poppy? Even with the occasional horde of flying monkeys, who would turn up the chance to visit such a place?

For me though, the land that most captured my fantasy as a child would still draw the adult me there in a heartbeat. It is a place of secret hideouts, mountains dotted with teepees, and mermaid-filled lagoons. The night sky is always filled with the stars and the shadow of a flying pirate ship creeps across the lovely scenery below. You get there by dousing yourself in fairy dust and thinking happy thoughts. Had I the chance, it would be a ticket to Neverland I would book over them all.
April 27, 2018 at 12:11pm
April 27, 2018 at 12:11pm
Blog Harbor Challenge
Day 26 Prompt: Sometimes, when we read, we run into characters who have the same or similar personalities as ours. If you could relate to one book character, who would it be and why? Tell us also who is the author and what is the book all about.

I am easily a modern day Alice in Wonderland, driven by my curiosity, to follow bouncing white rabbits into dark holes. I frequently give myself very good advice "but seldom ever follow it". I harbor a child-like belief in "impossible things". I love that Alice is smart, that she reasons with herself but also readily walks into the mystery of world around her. She is grounded but at the same time, open to the possibilities. She is both a dreamer and a thinker and I adore that about her.
April 23, 2018 at 1:24pm
April 23, 2018 at 1:24pm
Blog Harbor Challenge
Prompt - Day 22: What is that one book that you have read only once in your life and think you'll never be able to go back to it again? Whether it's because of the strong emotional impact it left on you, or because it was so bad that you dread from thinking about reading it again, or because it was part of the school literature you just couldn't get away from, or whatever reason that particular book made you not wanting to go back to it again. Tell us who is the author, what was it all about, and why is it that you think you can't read it second time or more?

Sylvia Plath's The Belljar , was assigned reading for me as a junior in high school. Something about the author's slow descent into madness profoundly affected me. I struggled for a long time after with troubling thoughts and fears about developing mental illness. For so many years my handle in this site was "fearthebelljar" for that reason. It stayed with me in disturbing way. I felt the idea of something like that hanging over one's head like a belljar filled me with anxiety and unease. I respected Plath so much for the quality of her writing but I never could go back and read it again.
April 17, 2018 at 9:30am
April 17, 2018 at 9:30am
Blog Harbor Challenge Weekly Theme: MUSIC
Prompt - Day 17:
Moment of truth time. If someone were to put your entire music collection on random, what would be the most mortifying song to come up? In other words, of all the songs you own, which one is the most embarrassing to admit to? C'mon... fess up! *Smirk*

I am immensely proud of my vast and varied musical tastes. My playlist is an epic journey through many different genres and a celebration of everything from smooth jazz to classical piano, to acoustic singer-song writer gems and crushing rock anthems. I pride myself on having an open appreciation of musical talent even if my playlists seem to be generated by someone suffering from acute identity disorder. I connect with certain things about artists/songs and they stick with me. For example, I love Joss Stone. Her voice is soulful and sultry, a bit raspy but wholly unique in the way she oozes through any song, barefoot and breezy on the stage. I appreciate the verbal command of Macklemore, the poetry of "Neon Cathedral" is simply amazing, especially paired with Allen Stone's soulful chorus. Jack White's, "Lazaretto" is just profoundly good, driving rock that shakes you out. For the most part, songs that make my playlist ultimately do it because there is something about them that sets them apart...sometime its talent of the artists, the lyrics, the musical composition or arrangement.

However...there is that rare time when I like something for a reason even I can't explain or justify, my "guilty pleasure", my "something doesn't belong with the others" song. For me, that would be pretty much any song from Hole's 1998 album, Celebrity Skin. I simply do not know why I like that album so much, only that I do. Much to the chagrin of my college roommates, I played it a lot in college. A lot. Courtney Love leaves much, much to be desired as a lead vocalist and the arrangements of many of the songs sound rushed, as if they threw them together to save on studio costs. Yet...in it's messy, ugly chaos, there is something that I just enjoy. One of my particular favorites from the album is "Doll Parts", and its an languid sort-of ballad in which Love almost sounds like she's trying too hard to be the ethereal Mazzy Star. The hard driving song "Violet" gives way to Love's screaming through the high notes with an ugly brilliance that I sometimes leave on repeat to get me through a particularly tough day at the office. So, there you have it...the worst album I am be a bit embarrassed to admit I love. In case you need a dose of Ms. Love in all her messy glory...(you're welcome??)


"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
DAY 1582- Prompt: April 17, 2018
Prompt: What makes us emotionally dependent on people or anything else? And do you think a person might have emotional dependencies with or without being conscious of them?

I would like to think that as human beings we all have the capacity to be emotionally dependent on someone. If not, how else would we experience love and loss so acutely? I think in any life journey we develop those dependencies, some of which we may not even be conscious of, and it makes our lives richer, more full. Of course, there is the risk of being co-dependent which is why maintaining our own outlook and presence is so important. We can not love someone so much that we begin to live only for them. We always need to remember to take care of our own needs, even in the midst of a committed relationship. Even the most dedicated and devoted mother understands she's raising a child that will eventually leave her, and move into their own life. We are raising our children to be adept at leaving us, and building an independent and successful existence for themselves.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 1979: April 17, 2018
Prompt: What are your calming rituals?

My job can be demanding. There are days when the stress level drives me to the edge of sanity. I employ several calming methods to avoid pitching my computer out of my office window or throwing hot coffee on my man-baby coworkers. On the days when I want to calm myself and simultaneously scare any interlopers from my office doorway, I'll play my "angry tunes" on Spotify. Nothing says, "leave me alone" right now like blasting Saliva or The Pretty Reckless at almost unacceptable volume.

Also, nothing saves me from going to prison like sipping a cup of steamy, frothy latte in the abandoned coffee room. Sometimes that silly latte machine is all the stands between me and cursing tirades worthy of a straight jacket.

When my coffee and my tunes are not readily available, and a glass of wine and bubble bath are not in the cards, then I count. I count over and over again from 10 down to 1, each time taking one or two seconds more between each number. I might do this ten or 20 times before I find I'm breathing slower, that I feel calmer and more centered.

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