Blog no Evil

Says the three wise monkeys.

Mizaru and Sydney.

Okay, they really say, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” The embodiment of a proverbial principle to live by. A fourth monkey, not depicted, but sometimes seen crossing his arms, “do no evil”.

The main meaning of these is not, “no monkey business”. But rather, be of good mind, good spirit, and action. Speak with good intentions. Since we are in the blogworld, I could go as far as saying, “blog no evil”, and pen that phrase. Heh. I’ll let you find the monkey.

“My task—which I am trying to achieve—is by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel. It is, before all, to make you see.”

-Joseph Conrad

My writing is not to tear someone down, or call someone out. My writing is to help others see and feel good things. Maybe within yourself, or maybe within your life. That said, I am not a life coach, nor do I have any professional experience. No studies in psychology. I just love people. I love our differences, and how we can pull together to rally for someone who needs encouragement, or prayer. How we can celebrate those differences; in terms of life style, culture, or country.

My purpose is to always find the blessing and to speak from the heart. I may not always say the right things, or live the right way, but I do try. Many, many years I lived in a dark place. It was the closest to evil I have ever been, and until you’ve seen it, felt it, and lived it – it’s hard to understand the good. The true good of spirit and life. I feel like I have glimpsed the dark side, and that enables me to see the light in a different way.

But I fail.

We all fail.

Hopefully, you have someone to brush you off when you do. When I get down, or discouraged, it’s really nice to know you are there. I appreciate you all so much.

Whatever place you are in right now, I hope you find that bit of peace to know there is good in the world, despite all the evil. Someone loves you, every part of you, good and bad.

My pledge is to blog no evil, and write of only positive, honest life. Life being lived with the best of intentions, and life being learned, for how else are we supposed to grow. Life in the past and in the present. Even in the worst of times, I can usually see the good.

Will I succeed? Maybe not, but it’s something to live by blog by.

If all else fails, I’ll just stick my finger in the monkey’s mouth, like Bridget did in the back. That’ll show em’! Haha

God made us Sisters

Hearts made us friends – as the little saying goes.

My sister is almost nine years older than me. Have you ever heard that song Heros, by Mariah Carey? When I hear that song, I always think of her. From taking care of three younger siblings, to leaving home at eighteen, to marriage and college, to having two children in her early twenties, then later having two infant sons that made their way to heaven way, way too soon.

Not letting that beat her and sap the life from her, she battled the pains with nursing school while working as an aide in the ER at Houston Childrens hospital until she graduated with her RN license. Today, she cares for children with more compassion and love than any nurse I’ve ever known. Why? Because that was her calling and she listened. It took her 15 hard years to get there.

My dearest friend, that I am so blessed to have related to me. May I offer this tribute to you to acknowledge your touching grace upon my life.

I am so proud to call you my sister. Every picture I have, you are holding me. Every one.

What I remember most about growing up with you is the nights when we lived in Pickett. The rut town off a two-lane Oklahoma highway, in the middle of nowhere. Our house at the end of the road, located next to the woods, and in front of a big field terrified you. A secluded place filled with shadows. I have a feeling Ghost Hunters would have recorded some data. Eeek!

You would drag me stumbling from my brass twin bed to sleep with you in your room, in your bed – every night. You put up with a six-year old having restless leg syndrome when you hated feet on you. I guess little kid feet on your head seemed preferable to being haunted. Worse than that were my nightly accidents in the wee form. Oops.

It was your room I began to read novels from your desk shelf. My first book, Little Women, then Island of the Blue Dolphins. I can honestly say, reading in your room ignited the treasure trove of stories that call to my heart.

The other great love, your big doll house. Oh I coveted it. I wanted it for my own, I’ll admit. It was a dream when I got to play with it. The magnificent colonial house with real furniture, a velvet clad staircase, and an attic that opened up. A child’s dream home.

Listening to Barry Manilow crone from the record player in your room, or maybe it was Neil Diamond, John Denver, or all the above. They just don’t sound the same anywhere else. And why you put up with a little brat always around asking questions when you were surely a busy teenager, I’ll never know. You probably don’t either, except to say it was a long eight years of wishing for me. I treasure those days in your room.

Taking me to your Cougann practice when they had the mini camp. Being your side kick (or lo-kick), in your big drill team performance during the Friday night High School football game. What an exciting adventure. Such a privilege for a little sister who wanted to be just like you.

My big sister.

My friend.

My hero.

I watched you hold Baby Will in your arms, desperate to keep him, his loss the greatest our family has ever known, such a precious soul. Seven days of sweet song touching his fingers, kissing his head. Nothing was more heartbreaking.

Then, for that pain to pale in comparison to the sacrifices made for Baby Cody. Born after Will, strong, yet still fragile. The 24/7 quest to eradicate germs as much as possible with a toddler in tow, and another child in public school. Four and half years doing things no mother could comprehend with tubes, wires, medicines and shots only to lose him anyway. I think I would have lost my faith. No, I would have, but not you.

Instead of cowering in grief you firmly stood up for all mothers of exceptionally essential children that lived most of their life from a hospital bed. You spoke in front of hundreds of mothers, doctors, and nurses – despite your fear of public speaking – so they could better serve families of children like Will and like Cody. So they could make compassion and service a first for families of the chronically ill. A place of warmth and care for their long stays. A place for direction when they did go home armed with the confidence to care for them. All because of you giving yourself to the cause and sharing your sad story. People listened. People learned. People cared.

Your selfless service to the needy is astounding. Next, you will marry a man who has an exceptionally essential daughter. Beautiful Chelsea, a hospital bed buddy to Cody. A miracle that lived long past what the experts predicted. She will walk down the aisle, unable to speak clearly due to her trach opening, unable to walk steady with her weakened muscles. Her twisted hands will hold a bouquet of flowers while her princess dress billows around her. She will have a big smile lighting up her face. It will be as if it’s her wedding. A forever child unable to experience one of her own. It’s only through your desire, that she will. She will feel just as loved, and just as honored as any bride would be.

You amaze me.

May the love you pour out, always return to you. Thank you for being the best big sister a little girl could ever have.

Happy Birthday my friend!

The Pursuit of Perfection

Sorry for the imperfect picture-this was iPhone quality

I received this coupon in the mail a while back  (no, it wasn’t a hint-or was it?). The Perfect Image, a place of great change. As you can see, there are many services to make you “perfect”. A lot of them, I have never heard of. Then again, I just got my first massage in August. My first manicure/pedicure two years ago. What do I know?

This may come as a big shock, but I am not perfect. Siiigh. There, I said it out loud (sortof). I am so imperfect, it’s not even funny. Even if I had the money, and did all the above services, I would still be imperfect. This ad got me thinking, what is perfect, and the pursuit of it? Does anyone find it? If someone does find it, do they keep it?

Why? Why, do we have to be so perfect?

I’ll admit, I’m a perfectionist to a certain extent. I blame it on being born the cusp of Leo-Virgo. Virgo’s are perfectionist, Leos don’t care. I don’t read my horoscope or anything, just talking in general terms. Yes, I edit to death a post. I’ve even been known to go back and edit old posts. They are still not perfect, much to my dismay.

When Sydney was a toddler, I ordered some sticker books off the internet. They were so cool! They had these brilliant photos, with shapes outlined to match each sticker. I thought it would be so fun. She could place the stickers herself, as we read the book.

I noticed pretty quickly, she used all her concentration to place each sticker, perfectly. She would not put a sticker in the wrong spot, nor would she put it somewhere without an outline. Hard as I tried to get her to use her imagination, she was intent on the placement, exactly where it was supposed to go.

I, seriously, felt like a Mom failure. Here I was raised by a free thinking pre-school teacher. But there I go teaching my daughter to, literally, stay in the lines. I am pleased to report, as a teenager, she DID grow out of this. Her room? Yeah, no where near perfect. HA!

I’ve also relaxed my pursuit of perfectionism in most things. Maybe, it’s age. Maybe, it’s desire. Maybe, it’s time. Maybe, it’s just the realization that I will never be perfect. I am happy the way I am.

This blog is also not perfect. I don’t have a theme. I don’t have a genre. I don’t have a schedule. I don’t have any expectations. I didn’t begin to write it to be famous. I didn’t even write it for therapy. I just wanted to write, my story, because at the time, that was important. Okay maybe slightly therapeutic

Then it began to be other stories. Life stories, living stories, stories that shaped me. Loving stories, stories of heart and soul, stories that filled me up. Laughing stories, because if you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you? I have to admit, I find so many things amusing.

Sometimes, I read other blogs that just blow me away. I wonder why I am blogging? I’ll never write as well as her. I’ll never have my punctuation or vocabulary up to that level. I don’t have that kind of talent or imagination. And I bet they don’t edit a gazillion times.

Maybe, I doubt because I’ve never had writing classes, college, or any other form of higher education. Just high school, and that was twenty years ago. But then I realize…..

This blog isn’t perfect, and will never be perfect, but with all the quirks and edits, it works just perfect for me.

On another blog note,
I have a new blog button thanks to Elizabeth at Confessions from a working mom.

Ain’t she sweet?? Thank you Elizabeth! I feel like I’ve arrived.

What I’ve learned about blogging

It’s the penultimate post before my 100th.

So, I thought I’d throw a big word out there. I should probably have learned a few more big words, but I can always blame being raised in Oklahoma on that little mishap. In fact, that works with almost everything. Being a terrible driver. Bad with directions. Not understanding. Bad with math. Being blond is exchangeable with being from Oklahoma. But I digress.

Back to what I learned, which is really not to ramble. If you ramble you get skimmed. They may go back and read the whole post out of guilt, or just in case I missed something. But maybe that’s just me being thorough (or blond)(or from Oklahoma).

Pictures make a blog post better. Even if you don’t have a good camera. Puppies and children work best.

Use pictures to tell a story with a story. It’s a great way to visualize. It’s relates your life personally with a reader.

There are many blogs, and many clubs you can join. But if you find a loyal reader, and you like reading them too, cherish them. Because once you focus on more readers and not the ones that were there for you in the beginning. The heart of blogging is lost – at least I think so.

Write every post like it’s going to make the wordpress home page. It could happen, write it like it will. You just don’t know who is reading, remember that.

You can blog to make money. I don’t, but it’s a great market. I blog because I want to. I want a record of my life. For my children, and for my future step children. I want to write what I can look back on and enjoy a second time. I keep that in mind with every post. I live with that in mind.

You can blog giveaways. I may do a giveaway, just because it’s really fun and nice to see someone win. It makes them happy, which makes me happy. It won’t be the main thing though. Most likely, it will be a rare thing or a one time thing. Giveaways attract a lot of readers, for the giveaway that is, not for your writing talent.

You can blog for personal growth. There are so many blogs that are just about self-help. Selfless living. Self awareness. Acts of kindness. Amazing people who I am in awe of. If you are looking to improve yourself and learn, it’s out there. It’s magnificent.

Most bloggers have a theme they stick with. I don’t, unless you count life as a theme. I don’t want to draw myself in a box. I like writing about anything and everything. Poetry, stories, and general life.

You most likely have a blogging schedule. Oops. My schedule is that I don’t post every day. That’s a schedule right? I like a day to catch up on reading blogs. My aim is every two days, or so.

I’ve noticed many aspiring writers that blog; essays, short stories, memes and excerpts from their books. Really incredible, and skilled writers. It’s almost like you are reading great works for free (and you are).

I love to write, but I don’t have any plans for a book. Maybe waaayyy down the road. Right now, I just enjoy where I’m at and what I’m doing. Fame and fortune is not a dream of mine. Not saying that I would mind…..

You can learn quickly about blogging if you keep your eyes open. There is a lot to learn by just paying attention to the moments and motions of what’s going on around you. You can not let technology get the best of you. Learn it, live it, and rejoice in it. This is an amazing time of social networking. For business or personal, you never know who you might meet that could change your life.

Creativity and originality rule in blog. If you are not about the money, or the numbers (stats, followers), be blessed by the enormity of talent. Relax and enjoy all that blogging has to offer. If cute families make you smile, mommy blogs are great. If you love to vent, there are plenty of blogs that tell like it is. Amazing poetry? You can find it right here in blogland. Humor? Gut wrenching stuff. Reviews are popular too. I can appreciate a good opinion. What great insight they give. And let’s not forget the yummy food blogs, or less yummy diet blogs chock full of healthy food and exercise tidbits for a rockin’ body.

Truthfully, I’ve learned you can get what you want out of blogging. It varies for each of us. Whether it’s growing your business, your talent, your friends, your hobby or even keeping in touch with family. It’s all here at your fingertips.

What I’ve learned…..blogging is as diverse and rewarding as you make it.

Happy Blogging!