There Was a Formula

I have been mulling over the idea for some time now: it’s time to change the format of my blog, and with what I have in mind? I think it’s going to be a necessary and positive rearrangement. ūüôā

As always, the focus of my writing will be the same: Christ-centered, authentic and sassy-it’s the way I roll, so thank you all for reading my musings! It is my constant prayer that they will reach the eyes that bleed for comfort and community. Here goes nothing!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

The really important things in life can’t be said, only shown.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

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A while back I wrote about a friend from church who had told me God spoke to her in the early morning hours, about me, about my loneliness-as she was going down her prayer list. Unable to sleep, Lisa grabbed her Holy Bible, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide her in prayer. When she came to my name, the message was loud and clear:

She will have beautiful and meaningful relationships. She went on to try to explain just how much of a blessing this would be, but she cried with me instead.

I think of her and that moment often, even daily. Over the past few years, I have traded my sob story for one of real and true joy and reconciliation. Sadly, some of the changes did not suit a few of the people I had been holding on to; long after I knew that there was little left to grasp.

SCRIPTURE OF THIS GLORIOUS DAY

Kind people do themselves a favor, but cruel people bring trouble on themselves. -Proverbs 11:17 NCV

I quietly walked away from those who knew me as my former self. The friends who knew me to be a people pleasing, bleeding heart doormat-who allowed herself to be treated very poorly. I cannot stress the importance of one of the keys to happiness: you’ve heard this a million, zillion times before, but if you don’t love yourselfit will be impossible to gain the respect and love of others.

Although I have decided to keep the posts about Narcissistic Abuse and Complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the bare minimum (I have seen professionals who suffered at the hands of a narcissist make careers out of helping other survive the phenomena. While I respect the hell out of these people, I can not, will not allow this family tragedy define who I am. In order to survive, I am putting the past where it belongs. At the moment, the California fires are raging: these are not the usual forest fire-and they are headed oh so steadily towards my brother and his family. I have no way of knowing if they are okay. I have no way of knowing if ANY of my family is okay; so I will let go and let God.

However, there is so much to be said for sticking to your guns-not allowing others to control the narrative. Guard your heart, that’s what the Lord says-and in doing so I have emerged as if a Phoenix rising: finally able to be myself. No peanut gallery comments, such as:

After years of struggling with alcoholism and depression:

“Are you on the right medication? I think you may be Bipolar.”

After hosting mon frère for lunch (last time we spoke, in August)

“Quite sure you suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Have a great weekend.” Sent via email. And after telling my estranged sister not to bother showing up at my funeral:

“You fucked up Michele. YOU FUCKED UP.” This, by the way, from my “best” friend who almost killed my cat while we were in upstate NY last year on vacation.

SONG OF THE DAY

I spent yesterday with two amazing women I met in exercise class. They are smart and loving and kind, and I am almost out of my mind excited to begin this new phase of my life. And I get to live it as ME!!!!

Yep. Gotta stop sobbing and get busy living.

Blessings.

Greta Garbo and Monroe

 

I learned to dance in my father’s living room.¬† Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Stones, Harry Belafonte‚Ķ.dad had an eclectic collection, back in the days where the music came from the stereo/bar/liquor cabinet combo.¬† What can I say?¬† It started something deep within me.

I wouldn’t dance again until college, some ten years later.¬† And the music was confusing-B52s, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and Devo…we did the POGO and when it didn’t work?¬† We blamed it on the booze.

I went to any concert I could beg my way into.  Actually, back in the day?  It was fraternity boys and grocery store clerks-innocent as that time was, there was never any innuendo or making a move.  I might have known these boys had a crush on me, but I never let on-just, hey thanks for thinking of me.  Elvis Costello you say?  Front row, really?  I played it cool until I arrived at the concert, then all bets were off.

And I danced right through my alcoholism.¬† I remember one evening at a local bar, my husband’s ex showed up, and I loathed her like poison.¬† She put me down every chance she got, and didn’t have an interest in Dwain until I entered, stage left.¬† You snooze, you loose, sister!¬† For whatever reason, I wanted to show her up that night.¬† I spoke to the DJ, requested C&C Music Factory’s Everybody Dance Now..and I danced the patrons into a frenzy.¬† Sadly, Kathy was at the bar and never took notice.¬† Oh well…

And then sobriety.¬† No dancing.¬† I begged my husband, please, PLEASE TAKE ME DANCING!!!!¬† Dwain didn’t dance, and he certainly wasn’t about to take me to a bar, so…I haven’t been to a formal¬† club in over twelve years.¬† I missed the outlet, I missed the exercise…and I missed the freedom of movement.

One day, two years ago, Depeche Mode’s¬†Personal Jesus was on the radio in the kitchen.¬† I took to dance and was so over the moon, my golden retriever joined me!¬† It has become our dance tune, and I laugh tears of joy each time he puts his cold nose on my hand and I allow him up, the two of us, doing the tango to the music of an era I will not soon forget.

You Took Me Dancing

 

I wasn’t prepared to write about love.¬† Today was more of a¬†Grown Ass Woman,¬†by Sharon Lewis kind of a day.¬† My neighbor told me the pitchfork in my garden was a hazard, as I sipped my morning coffee on our front porch.¬† Then the dude at the park actually chased me on a front loader, to tell me Jesse needed to be on a leash.¬† I wanted to say:

I am a GROWN ASS WOMAN.¬† THERE IS NO ONE IN THIS PARK.¬† I HAVE BEEN HIKING HERE SINCE BEFORE YOU WERE BORN…GET THE FUNK OUT OF MY FACE.

Luckily?  I was in a pretty good mood, so I walked away.  There is something about people telling me what to do: do I look as if I am mentally handicapped?  Probably.  Do I think people mean well?  Some do, some just get a rise out of the power they hold over others.

Well, you know what happens when you make plans, right?¬† God laughs himself silly.¬† Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather have his guidance than leave myself to my own machinations.¬† He always picks the song-so here goes nothing.

One thing I haven’t done in forever, and one thing I really, really miss doing?

Dancing, baby.

Last night my husband put the blues station on, and, as a result?  I danced my buttocks off, and quite honestly I had no intention of stopping.

Ok, honey.¬† Time to calm down, you’re getting the dog all riled up.

Has it come to this?  No dancing after 7 p.m.?

It took the lift right out of my loafers.¬† ūüôā

Dwain doesn’t dance, and I mean, no way-no how.¬† I couldn’t get him to join me on the floor-well, once at our wedding.¬† After six shots of Cuervo.

Who needs a club to strut your stuff?

And, by the way, Jesse likes to lead.

Stubborn Love

 

Arrgghhhhhh!!!!¬† Why does my husband argue with me when HE KNOWS I’M RIGHT???

Sitting here, quietly trying to write a blog, and he argues a point about something I am well, very well informed.¬† He wants to believe what the news is telling him, he doesn’t want to hear about reality.¬† And I will grant him his request, as I have no intention of making my worrier, well, worry.¬† ūüôā

This morning, I had a well thought out blog.¬† You always think you’ll remember your stories, I mean, they are yours!¬† But no, my memory escapes me…so this writing will be about love.¬† I know, gee whiz, Michele-what a profound idea for a blog!!!

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My beautiful boy Dylan McDoogle Elkins-Hoffmananoff. You were my world baby.

Loving others ain’t for the weak of heart, nor the timid.¬† It¬†hurts when you love-even in the best of scenarios-you will feel a bottomless pit of despair at some point in your relationship.¬† Dylan, my golden retriever, passed in January of 2015.¬† I had pled with God, and he was gracious enough to give us thirteen beautiful years.¬† I don’t remember the first five years of his life; because I drank my days away.¬† Some days, it adds to my grief.

Oh, and don’t think you’re getting out of the whole scene because you “put your walls up, nope, you’re not letting anybody into your kingdom.”¬† That’s such a load of bull excrement!!!!¬† The people who tell you they don’t want human interaction, especially the romantic kind?¬† They are the loneliest people of all.

My brother in law is almost sixty years old, and he has not even dated since his high school girlfriend broke his heart.  He brags about being a bachelor, and having all of the freedom in the world.  He does not know we see the despair, the hauntingly lonely look in his beautiful brown eyes.  He would make some woman a fabulous husband, with his generous heart and soulful peepers-he is a catch.  I fear women, and men for that matter, smell neediness a mile away-which breaks my heart because there are millions of people looking for love.  Millions.

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What is she searching for? Love, of course.

I am not saying that there aren’t people out there who are perfectly content on their own.¬† Some of these people are friends, who lost husbands they couldn’t¬†think of replacing.¬† The fact is that men do worse alone than women.¬† Men take breakups harder and they live much longer lives if they remain married, or in a relationship.¬† I’m old fashioned and I love taking care of my husband.¬† Unfortunately, it’s the other way around so much of the time.¬† But he loves me madly and unconditionally-and I wish I could put him in my back pocket, and carry him around-we really do much better when we spend¬†more time together, alas-that is impossible, I’m afraid.

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Fell madly in love with this face-at almost-first-sight. He’s as sexy to me now as he was 27 years ago.

We have fought tooth and nail, threatened divorce, strangled each other and I even had a secret three year PFA against me.¬† He abused me emotionally, to the point (with the combination of my sister) of suicidal ideation and virtually zero self esteem.¬† I was very sick and vulnerable.¬† I hadn’t learned boundaries because we weren’t raised with them.¬† I was broken and addicted.¬† Things changed when I became sober, but it took¬†years for me and Jesus to get to the point of self love, self respect-the most important kind of love.¬† If you don’t love yourself baby girl?¬† You will attract the bottom dwellers, psychopaths and narcissists.¬† I praise God every day that Jesus and Dwain came together.¬† I have seen the Holy Spirit change his heart completely.¬† He is the man of my fairy tales, the man is my soul mate.¬† We argue now and then because there is a¬†passion between us; I pray it never fades.¬† He has been my greatest gift, for better or worse.

Give and you will receive.  Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.  The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.                       Luke six:38  NLT

Sorry-my piece of &*%#@!! pc will not type the numbers four or six.¬† ūüôā

 

Praise You Like I Should…

Something¬†flat out miraculous has happened, and rather than blab about it to the dog? (Satan hears you.¬† The minute you offer to a. give money to a charity, b. get excited about the new promotion or c. admit you are full of joy and gratitude-that’s when he’ll get you-every stinking time.)¬† The last time I spoke of making a hefty donation to our church’s missions team?¬† Well, my Social Security settlement came and guess what?¬† It was twenty thousand dollars short.¬† Rather than pay me for the two years since my application?¬† They decided (God knows how) that I became disabled as of October of the previous year.¬† I don’t care about money-I do care about following through on my promises, and that didn’t happen in this instance.¬† My check of 3,872 dollars barely covered our overdue bills, and unfortunately?¬† My church received our regular donation, but nothing extra for the trip our youth group was taking to Texas, to help the hurricane victims.

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It’s time to take back my life.

Back to the miracle.¬† I had some pretty rough Lyme symptoms over the past few weeks.¬† I have been on the antibiotic for a week, and I had prepared myself mentally for the isolation that comes with illness.¬† I grabbed my morning coffee, sans enthusiasm, and sat down at the computer.¬† I found this song, and slowly, step by step-I was off to the kitchen and dancing.¬† DANCING!!!¬† I hadn’t planned on walking without pain for weeks, but there I was, making moves I hadn’t tried in years.

With that joy comes a butt load of gratitude.¬† I took the dog for a walk, went to the local farmer’s market, and I’m preparing a beautiful dinner for my husband this evening:¬† Caprese salad, fresh corn and the loveliest peach pie.¬† I intend to fill the house with flowers, music and life.

I know to whom I owe this monumental thank you~

And yes, oh yes, I will praise Him like I should~

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The Sun Goes Down Alone

 

Before I tell the tale (Passion, Intrigue, Flea Bombs!!!! Murder..) I have to share what happened in church yesterday.¬† You just can’t make this stuff up…so, I’m having a rough week in terms of my self esteem, snakes and figuring out what I want to do with my life…or, more like, what I am capable of doing for the next month or so while I recover from Lyme.¬† I am NOT a good patient, I do NOT rest nearly enough, and my OCD will not let me rest until my house is clean, the dishes and laundry are done…when I was hit by a Harley years ago, my father thrilled at any doctor’s orders I broke, which were many.¬† I think back and now I know why-my mother, may she rest in peace, took what the doctors said verbatim.¬† She didn’t quit smoking; I understand that now as well.¬† But when a MD said jump, she simply asked if she would need a parachute.

So, I am finally back to church.¬† I missed my family so very much, and a more joyous morning I can’t remember-until the sermon.¬† My pastor started out by saying:

“So, what if¬†conspiracy theories are true?¬† Does anyone really care?¬† (He used Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson’s deaths to prove his point-what if they were alive?¬† Who cares right?”

Ok, you all know that once a week I write about supposed conspiracy theories.  I know they are true stories, but fighting against MSM and their insipid drivel is pointless.  God will wake you up in his timing.  But I do remember a line from Ezekiel that said

Tell them even though they won’t believe you.¬† Tell them anyway.”

Okay, he isn’t talking about me, that could not be.¬† And then this:

“No matter what venue, the news, radio or Christian bloggers; we Christians blather on about things of no importance.¬† We talk too much, us Christians.”

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Every member of that church knows I blog.¬† Actually, I am surprised I wasn’t run out of town-but nothing, no stares or put downs.¬† Ok, everything isn’t about me, and I know my pastor’s character, it isn’t like him to bash, well, anyone.¬† He calls Satan ‘Stan,’ for crying out loud. ¬† Yet, as the day went on I became convinced that he was talking about me.¬† Had someone complained?¬† After all, I had been sick and I am sure I wasn’t expected at this particular service.

So, in a funk, I laid on the couch and watched old movies-a particularly light and funny one first-Chasing Steve-in which Sandra Bullock plays a delightfully bonkers but brilliant crossword puzzle writer, her parents set her up on a blind date and who comes to the door?  Bradley Cooper-and who in their right mind would say no to him???  Hilarity ensues, and I recommend this movie if you need a lift in your loafers.

Then we have the fucking bugs from HELL to talk about.¬† I haven’t met a tick or flea who doesn’t love my blood.¬† I hate them with a hatred that simmers and stews.¬† I become paranoid, neurotic and driven-if my golden is itchy, it’s bloody WAR.¬† An unholy war at that.¬† Diatomaceous earth rules the day-it is sprinkled in every crevice of my home.¬† Then we have the “natural” flea spray (which really does nothing but make me feel better and smells like cinnamon and cloves) and, finally, the Flea Carpet powder, which I use on rare occasions-like this morning.¬† Take that! you creepy, malignant blood suckers.

I’ll be AOK.¬† Soon as the boys of Summer are annihilated?¬† I’ll be sitting pretty-I praise God through the Storm.¬† My brother is coming to visit this week and diligence must prevail-either that or I’ll be checking myself into a nice padded cubicle.¬† I hear they have room service.

affection board broken broken hearted
Is this the end of us?

 

Greta Garbo and Monroe

 

I learned to dance in my father’s living room.¬† Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Stones, Harry Belafonte‚Ķ.dad had an eclectic collection, back in the days where the music came from the stereo/bar/liquor cabinet combo.¬† What can I say?¬† It started something deep within me.

I wouldn’t dance again until college, some ten years later.¬† And the music was confusing-B52s, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and Devo…we did the POGO and when it didn’t work?¬† We blamed it on the booze.

I went to any concert I could beg my way into.  Actually, back in the day?  It was fraternity boys and grocery store clerks-innocent as that time was, there was never any innuendo or making a move.  I might have known these boys had a crush on me, but I never let on-just, hey thanks for thinking of me.  Elvis Costello you say?  Front row, really?  I played it cool until I arrived at the concert, then all bets were off.

And I danced right through my alcoholism.¬† I remember one evening at a local bar, my husband’s ex showed up, and I loathed her like poison.¬† She put me down every chance she got, and didn’t have an interest in Dwain until I entered, stage left.¬† You snooze, you loose, sister!¬† For whatever reason, I wanted to show her up that night.¬† I spoke to the DJ, requested C&C Music Factory’s Everybody Dance Now..and I danced the patrons into a frenzy.¬† Sadly, Kathy was at the bar and never took notice.¬† Oh well…

And then sobriety.¬† No dancing.¬† I begged my husband, please, PLEASE TAKE ME DANCING!!!!¬† Dwain didn’t dance, and he certainly wasn’t about to take me to a bar, so…I haven’t been to a formal¬† club in over twelve years.¬† I missed the outlet, I missed the exercise…and I missed the freedom of movement.

One day, two years ago, Depeche Mode’s¬†Personal Jesus was on the radio in the kitchen.¬† I took to dance and was so over the moon, my golden retriever joined me!¬† It has become our dance tune, and I laugh tears of joy each time he puts his cold nose on my hand and I allow him up, the two of us, doing the tango to the music of an era I will not soon forget.