Justice – #JusJoJan 2018


Sitting in her home, wondering if she could find the inspiration to write again, she pondered whether or not she would ever recover from the farce of the marriage she was trying to end. If she were honest with herself, she had to admit she didn’t only want the marriage to end, she wanted justice. She wanted to be treated fairly and she felt that she had been treated terribly by him.

Who did what he did? Did people really just decide to end their marriages by walking off? By telling their wives they would never be home again over the telephone? By changing their phone number and stopping all communication? She had been humiliated and embarrassed. She felt used and exploited. Violated. Could she ever trust anyone again? Not only did she want a divorce, she wanted justice. She knew she was unlikely to ever get it and that was distressing.

After all, what could you do to exact justice on a person who clearly didn’t care? Nothing, that’s what. He would just laugh. Nothing would be enough for her to feel the situation was resolved in a just manner. She wanted him to suffer like she had suffered in the last weeks. He wouldn’t because if he had ever felt any emotion that was positive toward her, it was long gone. So she would have to settle for a divorce and probably a contentious one at that.

She refused to think back trying to figure him out. How do you figure out an accomplished liar? She had to begin moving forward. To take her own life in her hands and start rebuilding it. He wasn’t worth her thoughts, tears, tribulations.

She hoped karma would catch up with him someday. She wouldn’t spit on him if he were on fire.


This post is brought to you by Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan 2018 Challenge.


When a Writer Can’t Write


A writer has to write. When a committed writer cannot write, they can be creative. They can read or travel in order to see things, meet people, and learn new writing techniques. I do that, but when I want to write, I want to write. To do otherwise causes me cognitive dissonance…….or a storm in my head. For the last six days, I’ve had a storm in my head about writing.

Six days ago, I pinched a nerve in my arm. My right arm, which is my dominant arm. I woke up in the morning, couldn’t move my fingers, and my wrist was limp. I ran, not walked, to my neurologist who found the pinched nerve. I did it in my sleep. Slept on my arm the wrong way! Stuff happens, everyone. Never forget that.

I have a brace on my hand, wrist, and forearm that will remain there until the nerve regenerates. Time to regeneration? Each person is different. Minimum is three weeks. Could be six months. My fingers are moving a little more each day. I’m finally able to write this blog post. I am no good at using dictation software. I have to sit down and pound the keys.

I won’t post as much as usual until I’m better, but I will post! If I can’t write, I’m not myself so I will do my best. Of course, I don’t want to lose touch with you, my followers. Thank you for following me!



Clutter and Stuff


Clutter. You know. The stuff you have lying around that you think you might need. That you’re sure you will need……some time, some day. Won’t you? What exactly is clutter? Clutter can be defined as anything we don’t need, want, use or anything that takes up space we need, or our time, our energy, or that destroys our serenity. Do you know where I got that definition? From an organization called Clutterers Anonymous! Yes, there is such an organization. I couldn’t believe it either.

I hate clutter and have been systematically going through my life trying to eliminate clutter. Clutter is, of course, items like clothes you can’t wear anymore, gifts you have received and can’t use, things you have bought and don’t like, books and papers you think you might need but don’t, and unnecessary items stuffed in storage bins and facilities. But, that isn’t all clutter is. It is also unfulfilling relationships, activities we don’t enjoy, and other psychological “junk” that we hold on to because we always have. Our minds can become cluttered just like our surroundings. Clutter seems to multiply of its own accord.

Where did this clutter problem start for so many of us? Many say it comes from fear. Instead of buying one of something, we buy two. We think if we need one, we might need two because that one might wear out, break, become unusable. Maybe we were taught in our childhood to fix things that break instead of throwing them away or to save things we buy because someone might need them. Those broken things and possible gifts pile up. If our clutter problem is bad enough, we feel hopeless. We feel we can never get rid of all the clutter. We have forgotten how to organize. Finally, clutter spills out of our drawers and our closets. It becomes embarrassing and overwhelming. Our hopelessness and helplessness over the clutter becomes worse. Clutterers realize they have a problem with their excess possessions.

Not only have I grown to hate clutter in my own life, I am growing to dislike “stuff.” The trappings of life that we feel we have to have in order to live. What “stuff” is differs for all of us though I think it may have similarities within social classes. We, in the U.S., don’t freely admit that we have a social class structure but we do. In Great Britain, they have always had a relatively well-defined social class system, more so in the past than now, but it still exists. They admit it.

The U.S. middle class, at least in my age group, still wants a nice home. Nothing wrong with that. It is the “stuff” that goes into those nice homes that gets out of hand. I’m as guilty of this “stuff” issue as anyone reading this blog post. Most of us want the good furniture, reasonably nice art on the walls, the latest appliances, the most up-to-date everything, as well as the accessories to pull it all together and make it into our idea of home. Outside of our homes, there are two or three cars, maybe a boat or RV. Nice lawns and landscaping. Individually, we want clothes, shoes, handbags, and jewelry for every occasion. I’m particularly guilty of this clothes issue! Everyone is different regarding how much stuff they like and can live with.

Last year, about this time, my house flooded and I lost a great deal of what I had. My stuff. See my Time to Rebuild blog post. It was devastating. I was most devastated by the loss of the interior of my house but the loss of my stuff was almost as bad. Until I started to move back into my house and started going through all the stuff. I realized how much of it I really did not want or need. How much was unnecessary to my life as it was in the present. How much was just old stuff stored in closets in boxes and was meaningless at this point in my life. So I started sorting. Soon, I stopped sorting and started pitching and throwing. It felt liberating. We moved much less back in than we moved out.

Now, I’m careful what I bring back into my home. I’ve found, once again, that I enjoy people more than stuff. I’ve renewed old friendships, old relationships, and those people are so much more valuable to me and enjoyable than “stuff.” My possessions were not giving me joy. The people in my life do, indeed, give me joy. I’m as careful about new relationships as I am about new stuff. New relationships have to be really worth it to be brought into my life. Otherwise, they are just so much stuff.

Our society has become so fractured and many of us have become so fearful that we surround ourselves with stuff instead of people. A problem we need to try to fix if we are to regain our American optimism and happiness.


*Image by Jonathan Billinger at SO3951

A Child’s Salvation — the Horse


It’s the week of the Preakness and perhaps that’s why I’m thinking about horses. The Preakness is important here in Kentucky. It’s the second jewel in the Triple Crown and this girl hopes Nyquist will wear it. Not only am I thinking about horses but I’m also thinking about horses and their people…..and the relationship between people and horses and how important that can be to both.

Long ago, so long I can hardly remember, I knew this little girl. She had two ponies during her childhood and, later in life, a horse. Meet her second pony, Mr. Ed, named after a rather famous TV show that aired back in the day. Her first pony didn’t work out for her as he was a stallion and her Daddy was terrified the stallion would kill her as he was pretty temperamental. Only she and the stallion knew the secret that it was really fine. The stallion went off to live at a farm and her Daddy brought Mr. Ed into her life.

The little girl didn’t take riding lessons until much later in her life. She seemed just to know how to ride. Mr. Ed was a Shetland pony but a rather large one. He was kind and gentle but fun for the little girl to ride. Sometimes, when he didn’t want to be ridden, he would just lie down on his side. The little girl would just laugh and jump off his back, barely in time, to avoid being crushed. The little girl’s Daddy watched in helpless wonder. She wasn’t even 10 years old.

Riding Mr. Ed wasn’t the most important thing to the little girl. You see, the little girl had some problems. She would not have described it like this, but in adult words, she and her mother did not have a very good relationship. Her mother was a sad and depressed woman. Probably clinically depressed though, then, that diagnosis didn’t even exist. She seemed to take her sadness and depression out on the little girl.

The little girl’s mother made the little girl feel unloved, like she wasn’t good enough, like she had to do better and better, be smarter, be prettier, than anyone else and maybe then her mother would love her. She was too young to understand that nothing she did was ever going to make her good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, to please her mother. Nothing was going to make her mother love her. She didn’t understand that the problem was with her mother, not with her. That understanding took years.

Mr. Ed was the little girl’s salvation. She would run to his red barn, in the moments she could get away from her mother, and she would sit in the straw, hiding in the corner of the barn. She would cry and talk to Mr. Ed. He would stand there, eating his oats and hay, and listen. Sometimes, he would even lie down with his head close to the little girl and sleep while she talked. She hid there as long as she could, away from her mother.

When the little girl grew into a teen-age girl, Mr. Ed watched for her to come home every day from school. She would go for a ride after school and stay with him as long as possible, even in the winter. He was still her best confidante. His barn was still her hiding place, away from the hurtful comments and the hateful face of her mother. She grew into quite a loner, preferring the company of animals to people. She had a hard time relating to most people. Her Daddy worked away from home most of the time and he was not there for support. She had a wonderful aunt and uncle close by, but the influence of her mother was too much and that of her aunt and uncle was not enough.

The teen-age girl started college and graduated early. She wanted to get a job and leave home as soon as possible. She, with her Daddy’s help, made arrangements for Mr. Ed before she left. He was old by the time she was 20 and ready to leave home. He had developed some laminitis in his hooves. He went to a farm owned by a large animal veterinarian in a nearby town, though he didn’t live long. The hoof problem was too severe.

The grown woman the little girl became will never forget Mr. Ed. She loved horses from then on. Mr. Ed had helped save her life and made intolerable emotional abuse almost tolerable.

If you are a mother who feels depressed or overwhelmed, go to your doctor and get help. If you are an adult child who suffered emotional abuse, contact the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.

Can Music Heal Anxiety?

Do you remember the song “American Pie” by Don McLean? As a child of the 70s, it has always been part of the background of my life and the lives of my compatriots. I reference that song because I am a believer in the power of music as a healing force in our lives and it has two very powerful lines in it. We all have “our” music. Many children of the 60s and 70s are into classic rock. The 80s were pop with the emergence of rap and hair metal. The 90s – a plethora of genres including a new sound in rock along with pop, metal, and pop, and so on. Country has always been with us though a new sound emerged in country pop.

When I listen to my music, I am relaxed and happy. Science tells us why. Studies have shown that the sensory pathways along which music travels in the brain compete, for example, with the pain pathways and win. Music can reduce pain. When feeling anxious, studies show that if you listen to music that makes you feel the way you want to feel, it helps you feel that way. So listen to happy music if you want to reduce your anxiety. Music has proven therepeutic in all sorts of clinical settings.

In “American Pie,” there are the lines, “do you believe in rock and roll, can music save your mortal soul.” My answer to both questions is a resounding yes! At the very least, your music can soothe your soul and your anxiety.