Down to the Jordan Stream

One of the very best tunes I have heard in some time-this music soothes my soul.  I love old things: antiques, vintage clothing, the elderly, and I am reminded of simpler ways, kinder times.

Oh, hold on a second!  My husband is lecturing me about my absolute drive to come to the truth about our world, our society, our government.  

“I don’t know why you do it to yourself.”

“By the way, Tom Hanks is a pedophile,” I retaliate.

“Tom Hanks is a pedophile?” (giggle, guffaw, belch)

I say this with a lightness in my heart that hasn’t been seen since the day I married my man.  I know we are winning the war, the insidious little somethings that gradually grow and eventually manifest into full out plagues.  Sex trafficking.  ANTIFA.  Pedophilia.  Corruption.  Hellyweird…it’s getting to the point that people are waking up, and it encourages me.

Waking up was a process for me that, had I known what lay ahead?  I would have run for the hills.

Ah, Lord, I know I’ve been changed; I said Ah Lord I know I’ve been changed.  The angels in Heaven done signed my name-lyrics I relate to, believe me.  Here’s a little secret that I have been holding on to, wondering in what manner to bring it up in my writing-the closer you come to Jesus, the more you love Him?  Well, the more transformed you become.  I knew something was drastically different when I found myself loving my irritating, self righteous neighbor.  I am convinced she sells information about us all around this block, if you can call two square miles of countryside a “block.”

Yes, out of the blue, right after I became sober, the Grinch’s heart began to soften.  It came as a huge surprise because when I got sober-I got good and pissed.  At everything, really-I was a whirling dervish of RAGE and despondence.  Grief had crept up from the grave, and I went back and forth between crippling sadness over everyone I have lost thus far-especially my father-and the urge to beat the living crap out of anyone who even looked my way.  It’s like someone took you blanky, for crying out loud.  EVERTHING bothers you, my husband’s chewing was so irritating to me that I came close to sending him packing.  You cannot, and I REPEAT, you can NOT grieve, well, anything or anyone if you are using.  And when us addicts have to face pain, what do we do?  We medicate as quickly as possible.  Here’s something many don’t understand: alcoholics and addicts are extremely compassionate, empathetic and sensitive.  I know this for a fact.  I also know that I had, out of self preservation, put up an unsightly wall-against others, including myself.

When I was baptized by water last Easter, I wasn’t expecting any change, as I had been baptized as a child.  When I was saved, my life began anew-so I recommitted myself on a Sunday, in ice cold water-in front of a full church.  I was utterly and completely alone-no husband, family nor friends attended.  The air conditioning was on high, and I embarrassed myself by running from the altar, after having my clothing thrown at me by our Worship minister.  Not a pretty site.  Did I mention I had a sinus infection at the time?

Ah, I have totally veered off of my original point.  You will absolutely believe, deep in your soul, that Jesus is in and with you-when your heart begins to soften.  You stop thinking that you are any better/worse than the next guy.  I repeat that often, I am no better nor worse than my brothers and sisters.  You begin to put others first, and might even find yourself wanting to help others every chance you get-and it feels good and right and perfect.  The rage diminishes.  The cravings vanish.  Jesus sought after you, and you allowed Him into your very being.

So, if you think you’re turning soft, or that the hormones are raging-just call out to Jesus-then you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will answer~

One Spinal Cracker

A few days ago, I told y’all the story about my unpleasant encounter with a woman from my exercise class, the trainer actually.  I called her Harriet.  

Harriett was hysterical after my factual retelling of the day when Mrs. Hoffmaster, my Kindergarten teacher, told me I would have to come for a few days during the Summer, to learn how to skip.  Yes, you read that right.  As I am regaling my audience with the story of how I was almost left back a grade, I was oh so rudely interrupted by Miss Thang.

“Oh no, Michele, that couldn’t have happened,” she is shaking her head, as if correcting a small child.  She went on to argue that she was a teacher for blah, blah, blah years-well, you can just imagine.  Stunned at first, I rallied for the cause and told her (nicely, I thought) that YES, INDEEDY DO, I GREW UP IN PHILADELPHIA, NOT THIS AREA.  WHO ARE YOU TO CALL ME A LIAR????  Ok, I didn’t say that part, but I argued with her until she shut her pie hole.

The women next to me mouthed, What the fuck?  I, on the other hand, had absolutely no problem saying WTF out loud.  As my face is my tell, I can only imagine the look I gave her.  I expected the situation to rectify after she apologized to me: needless to say, that wasn’t exactly an option.

On Thursday, I brought a carrot cake to class for the September birthdays.  I love to bake, and the ladies in Bands love to eat-so it works out nicely.  It was the first layer cake I had ever made, successfully that is.  I strategically parked next to the church (where class is held) so I had less of a chance at dropping my masterpiece.  🙂

While in class, I updated my girlfriend as she hadn’t been in class that day.  We both took notice that Harriet would not so much as look my way-let alone offer an apology.  Afterwards, Sherry and I stood outside, next to my jeep, and finished our convo  about the “incident.”

You did the right thing, sticking up for yourself, she said.  I think she owes you an apology, at the very least.

At that very moment, the diva walked past us, and gave me the oddest look-her eyes bulging out of her head-behind her prescription sunglasses.  At first I thought she may have overheard us, but I had nothing to hide.  And then it hit me, she was outraged that I had parked so close to her church.  She couldn’t believe the depravity, I mean, who did I think I was, anyway?

Here’s the rub.  Just last week she had confided that she thought she may be developing Alzheimer’s, as her father had died from the ravaging disease.  Knowing what I know, I asked her what type of personality he had.  I know that certain personality types are much more prone to dementia, especially the Narcissist.

She thought about that a second before answering.

Total narcissist, had to control everything freaking detail of our lives.  Just a very unhappy man.”

Oh, Harriet…

I’ll Not Be a Gentleman

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I pray you all had a great one-mine started out precariously, and it proved that no good deed goes unpunished.  Indeed.

In a moment of weakness, compassion and dumbassery-I asked my MIL if she would like us to join her on Mother’s Day-at her church.  Actually, my husband brought the notion up last Sunday-and I told him I’d pray on it-only to find that he had been joking.  JOKING.  Unfortunately, it was too late.  My heart got the better of me, and I set plans for 9:30 a.m.  We would be meeting in the strip mall that held her place of worship (Dwain and I called it The Cult) thirty minutes prior to the service.

Dumbassery at its finest.11156399_828561477221503_5855406605992417646_n

Anyhooser, Dwain was none too pleased with the news, but I held my ground.

“What could POSSIBLY go wrong?  We’ll be in church, sort of,” I stammered.

You have to understand a few things before I go on.  My MIL is a narcissist with possible Sociopathic tendencies.  She can scream at volume eleventy hundred with the best of them, and at one point in fact-she locked herself in the bathroom on my husband’s 35th birthday because his WIFE was taking him out to eat.  The histrionics were impressive, but I’m no longer intimidated.  Things have become manageable between us, as I take no shit and she knows this-she knows better than to mess with the likes of this girl.   Everything turned around the day I stood up to her-any attempts to bring me under her control have failed-and with my new strength I laugh in the face of danger, daily.

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So the cult, I mean church fills up to maximum capacity.  I have to admit, between the praise music and the guest (a Christian comedian who had us in hysterics) my husband and I were truly enjoying ourselves.  We sat there for two hours, no major faux pas-I did spill my Kombucha on a stranger, but nothing major-patiently awaiting the blessing.

From the corner of my eye, I see the veneer on her face.  It has cracked, and the pieces are falling all over the place.  She was even drinking her water in an angry fashion, which made me pee myself a little, but thankfully I was wearing a carefree panty liner.

What’s wrong with my mother?

“I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?,” I reply.

Dwain, still mildly petrified of his mother, shook his head in definitive protest.

Before I could even ask, the tirade began.

Well, I’m not even going to clap for him.  (The comedian)  I wanted my pastor to be here (he was on vacation) and the real praise team (he was on vacation) to be here. And…”

I quit listening.  A seething rage began from the depths of my being:  I held it in, but I could feel the monster within, pushing and prodding at my insides-he wanted out, and in the worst way.

I stand outside in the semi-hurricane and wait for my husband to pick me up-which he does every Sunday.  The wind is blowing people’s umbrellas inside out, I think I hear a woman scream, where the HARRY is my husband?  I re-entered the church four times before I finally stormed out and to the truck.  I open the door…

“What the FUCK?????????????????????”

I scream these words at volume coxswain, and sit my ass in the seat.

“I was on the phone with your son.  Sorry.  And by the way, there may be people in upstate New York who didn’t hear you.”

“DRIVE,” the monster says.

“Just fucking DRIVE.”

ByeByeHillaryBlood

 

 

 

I’ll Give You Fish…

A few blogs back, I promised you a story about the day, fifteen years ago, when I caught my husband “cheating” on me.  We were taking care of my father, who was extremely ill; we moved him to a house out in the country, where he lived for a year-on his terms-no nursing homes, praise God.  I loved my dad more than I have ever loved another soul, or perhaps the love I have for my husband is equal-but completely different types of love.

Dad was my best friend and, quite honestly, the only person besides my husband who really got me.  We were extremely close.  We laughed at the same things, had the same interests, and thought hiking was the greatest thing next to grilled cheese sandwiches.  I take after daddy, in almost every way.  Mom was the writer in the family, and she was very talented.  It is no small wonder that my brother and I are the artsy, fartsy, poetic side of the family.  I think it rather neat that my brother is a musician who writes amazing songs-not unlike myself-who writes about music-daddy was the musician.  I can still hear him singing the Midnight Special, banjo in tow, at three a.m. after an argument with my mother.  Good times.  Good times.

I would do anything to have those times back.

So, between working evenings as a waitress in a busy diner (one of the biggest tourist spots in Lancaster County) and taking care of my family-well, I guess you could say I was just a tad stressed out.  If you saw me in passing, you would think me a demented Flakka head, on the verge of going off the deep end; at any given moment in time.  You would also be correct.  About the losing my shit, not the Flakka.  When my husband complains about the two cigarettes I smoke each day with my coffee?  I always say:

It could be worse.  You’re lucky I’m not on Flakka.  Or crack.  

Jiminy Cricket, I was wound so tightly, I actually pitied the fool who got in my way.  Back then?  I was anger personified.  I seethed with an all consuming rage that basically enveloped me-my mother abused me emotionally, and my memories were a big reason I drank to begin with.  I wanted to take care of dad, believe me, but the sad truth?  I was scared senseless.  My alcoholism had progressed, then eased after he died.  Eventually I came to a place of rewriting my story, and forgiving mother.  Years of my life, consumed with bitter ire-and a tragic notion that I needed to be punished, put in place-as mom had made it perfectly clear that I was undeserving.  Forgiveness is incredibly freeing, and you should do it often-not for them, but for you.

Finally, to the point of the story.  I was in the aforementioned condition while driving my Jeep Wrangler up Route 501 on a Friday afternoon, headed in the direction of the pharmacy in Myerstown-to get my father’s refills.  My hair is fried, not tended to; I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth.  I am breaking out-not only in zits but pimples as well-my first outbreak of acne, ever.  Stress pimples and blackheads.

I head North and see my husband’s baby blue Chevy pick up headed in my direction.  I believe I went into a fugue state the moment I saw the blonde.  I was a jealous madwoman back then-it wasn’t my husband I didn’t trust, let’s just say that.

“OMG, who the FAZUCK was in Dwain’s truck?  How long has this been going on?  I’m taking care of my invalid father and the bastard is cheating on me?  What the FUCK?”

I ran into the pharmacy, almost hyperventilating when I see the long line.  This is the most impatient moment of my life.  I fantasize about killing the man behind the counter.  I want to slap the woman who forgot her insurance card, and truth be told?  My thought cloud was rated RRR.  If not ZZZ.

I raced to the jeep and drove like a stunt car driver all the way to Dwain’s work.  I see him in the park, akin to his business.  I aim for him as I drive, he jumps out of the way.

“Oh my GOD honey, what is wrong with you?”  He looks more than mildly alarmed, but he knows on many levels what this is all about.  I jump from the vehicle, not thinking to put the jeep in “park.”  Dwain jumps into said car and saves it, saves it from going directly into the pond behind us.

I scream and holler.  He tells me he took her to drop off her car, to have it inspected.  I eyeball him from toe to head.  Calmer, yet not quite assured that all is well; I head for my car.  He gives  me a hug, chuckles and says these exact words:

“Honey, why do you have spaghetti sauce all over your face?”

Ain’t Kids No More

I could listen to this song all day, all night and then some.  Lord I love these girls; their harmonies are like a symphony to the ears, and their songs are so relatable, at least for me.  I’d love to see them in person, but the chances of that happening are between slim and nada.  I have been begging my husband to PLEASE take me to see Mumford and Sons-one of my very favorite bands.  The old excuse was he didn’t want to camp at a festival for three days, which I partially agreed with.  Apparently, they have arrived, but the new excuse is financial practicality.

The feelings of melancholy have had their way with my psyche.  Probably not the best time to cut my Zoloft dosage in half to save a few bucks.  Why, why do I do it and what was I thinking?  I saw a video the other day, a man called Nubreed was preaching about demonic spirits.  I usually love his stuff, he is a righteous dude, but the subject of depression/anxiety/mental health issues being demonic possession is a pretty, pretty, pretty loathsome one for me, for the obvious reasons.  These videos are about as joyful to watch as the ones about pagan holidays, and why we must ban Christmas, Easter and every other beloved tradition known to humanity.

I mean, haven’t these dark forces taken enough from us already?  Good grief!  I’ll be the first one to tell you that, as far as I know, you will not go to hell for going to Christmas Eve mass.  Pretty sure, just don’t quote me on that.  I am not a pastor and I have no intention of having people’s souls in my hands.  Just making an observation.

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Don’t even get me started.

I can tell you, I am 99.9% sure that I do not have a demon within.  Rid myself of them years ago, and I do my best to put on the full armor of God.  Am I a sinner?  Yes.  Does Jesus love me anyway?

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

So, we had a lovely fall day together-me, my husband and the pooch.  I repotted a gimongous succulent, and we considered picking our pumpkins from our patch, but I wanted to watch them grow for a few more days.  I know, and yes, I am as ridiculous as I sound.

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My precious niece, Esme Elkins

And yes, she does take after her Aunt Michele, God bless her.

So, if you are new to my blog, I must preface this story by telling you that I have lived across the street from the monster in law for the past 30 years.  The first words she ever spoke to me were to say that Dwain was still in love with his ex wife.  Thins went downhill after that.  I don’t want to overuse the words, but if ever there was a narcissist?  It would be Miriam Hoffman.  I’m just beginning to believe that she may not, after all, be the anti-Christ-but God knows she’s something.  Something else, as in, eleventy hundred on a scale of 10.

For years and years I thought it was me.  Au contraire mon amies!  You see, I didn’t know what a narc was three years ago; and it was quite the nausea inducing surprise to find out that I was surrounded by them.  I own my crap when it comes to my codependency-a child of an alcoholic, and emotionally abused for a time by my mother.  Mom wasn’t a narc, not even close.  I now know that her empathy and love for us would have made that misnomer impossible.

My monster has ignored, belittled, aggravated and gossiped about me since the day I married her son.  How do I know?  My friends would tell me, my husband would tell me for crying out loud.  As the years went on, she knowingly and with malice put me through freaking hell to the point I thought I’d commit Hare Kari.

And then?  It happened.

I always knew that there would come a day when she slipped her mask, reaped what she had sown.  I just didn’t know how forcefully things would proceed-I had no way of knowing that God would take a church service to put it to her good, but that’s exactly what he did.

I must have been really stoned when I had the idea that, yes, why don’t we join Dwain’s parents at their church.  Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise, a loving gesture?  Unfortunately, we liked what we saw and began attending their church regularly.  One day I decided to wear my brand new, vintage Kentucky Derby hat-polka dots and all.  Dwain had just bought it for me, and I was tickled to find a dress that matched fashionably.

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I don’t wear hats to church to show off, nor do I want the attention of others.  While I can’t say that has been true my entire life-you know.  I wear them to honor my mother, who looked like Audrey Hepburn, even on a bad day.  As we entered the church, Dwain’s parents were greeting.  I told his mother of the gift I was wearing, don’t ask me why.  God forbid I have an enthusiastic moment, for crying out loud.

It wasn’t until a few moments later, when I mentioned my animosity towards Bud’s girlfriend, that she snapped.

That’s not something you say in church!  That’s not something you say in CHURCH!!!

Coming from a woman who openly mocked an autistic child during last year’s children’s choir Christmas pageant.  A woman who said,

I know where I’m going.

when approached by an out of her mind with grief daughter in law.

Nough said.  The next day I happened to be down at her coven.  She gets this snarky look on her face, but still, I don’t see it coming.

You looked nice yesterday.  I could have done without the hat.

Well, that was the icing on the cupcake.  I have never been spoken to by such a viper, and I’ve had some vipers, let me tell you, in my life.

And so it was, when Dwain informed his mother that I would not be attending tomorrow’s “birthday celebration.”

“What did she say,?” I wondered out loud.

She’ll just have to change, honey.  She has to change.

And my heart broke just a little bit, when I saw the sadness in his face.

I thought there would be joy on the day of reckoning.  No joy, it comes at the cost of my beloved~

 

 

The Bucket List…..

I want to be the girl in this video….travelling across the world, uninhibited, throwing caution to the wind.  Chances are, the likelihood of this happening is akin to a camel poking its head through a needle, and then realizing he still has to get his body through it.

I love, love, love to travel.  It’s just that we have no extra moolah, and what we do have goes to silly things like food, vet visits and electric bills.  I don’t have a bucket list in all actuality, but here is a sampling of things I would like to do before I leave this planet:

I would love to go to Ireland, in search of my ancestors.  If I do go to Ireland, I will be tempted to drink an ale with the kin folk-you know, raise up a glass to the country that turned us out-I hear they’re very folksy and welcoming, but let’s face the facts, I would want to live there, or perhaps petrify in one place, sitting at the pub, drinking Guiness, and singing the songs of my people.

Big Sur was a big draw, until I read about Bohemian Grove.  With our luck, we would find the wrong place at the wrong time, and I apologize, but becoming a blood sacrifice for the elite in this world?  Let’s just say I have no time for the big, wooden statue of Baphomet, and I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Hawaii was big on my “list” at one point, and now I see the error of my ways.  The fat faced dictator from HELL has threatened their peace, and I don’t want to spend my whole vacation in an underground bunker.

And lastly, there was Sea World.  Yes, I wanted to ride the dolphins with abandon, you know, be that girl: the one who never stops talking about her relationship with a fifty year old she met out in California, and then you come to find out it was a sea mammal.  No thanks.

So for now?  I’ll stay in this sleepy little town of horse and buggies, biting flies the size of Texas, and more cow manure than you can shake a stick at.

A Pack of Lies

When I was a little girl, not even five, I began reciting this prayer:

God, please allow my family to be happy, healthy, holy and safe.

Growing up in a dysfunctional household (my sister was in a high chair until the age of 11) where chaos reigned supreme-I had to pray.  Clinging to Jesus was how I coped, and nothing has changed in that department.  As a matter of fact?  I pray the blood of Jesus over my dog and myself before we hike in the morning, and today was no different.

To set the stage for this story, I have to make it known that Jess and I hike in very remote areas.  I am extraordinarily aware of my surroundings; I take no chances, carry a big stick and a pistol-not the one I want to carry, but a little red number that looks just like a Ruger.  Sadly, it contains mace and not bullets.  Or perhaps, like my husband says, it is best I not pack heat.  With my Irish temper it could get ugly, and fast.

So, as we exited the woods and moved towards the Wrangler-an older gentleman pulls up and rolls down his window. 

“Can you still fish in this pond or have they drained it?”

Feeling he was harmless, I began a conversation I will not soon forget.

This country is in big trouble.  Hey, I’m an atheist.  God has done nothing for me, and I’ll tell you another thing-that asshole needs to go!!!

My jaw clenched.  My body language changed.  I was put on the defensive immediately.

“Why would you say that sir?,” I gently asked.  I thought, now I can give my testimony of what God has done for me, and perhaps help the old geezer out.

Because of all the women he has raped!!!!!

What the holy fazuck?

How, and I mean HOW does this shit happen to me?  Of all the places in the world, this cranky old man has to piss on my parade?  I’m just minding my own business, I was trying to help…seriously???

“I believe we are done, sir.”  I waled away, but he ranted and raved until I was safely ensconced in my jeep.

Later this morning, while on the phone with my best friend, she casually blurts this out-

“You know who that was, don’t you?  That was a demon.”

Holy Mary, mother of God and all of the Latter Day Saints.

She is as right as rain.