Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Respect The Creative Process

It takes a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears to create; whether it's writing, jewelry, painting, sketching, etc. Respect the creator, please.  You can use their creations as inspiration, but don't violate them by copying work. And be really careful with your inspirations. 

I've had someone plagiarize my writing and it thoroughly pissed me off. She blatantly did it and went on to try and publish it. There are no totally new ideas, just offshoots of old ones, but I would never copy someone's work. Not in writing. Not in my jewelry business. Never. I may make things in the style of someone, but I give credit where credit is due. 

That's why if I use repurposed items in my creations, I say so. If I use unconventional materials, it's stated. 

It's a matter of respect. I respect the creative friends I've made. I like being able to bounce ideas off each other and finding out how to do new things. I also know I have a set of skills that are uniquely mine; my creative friends do too. And there has to be a trust between creatives, a trust built on respect. 

Come to think of it, respect is something sorely lacking in the world today. There's no respect for life, for cultures, for differences. I've become disheartened with this crazy world. I don't know what the answer is, but I think we can start with respect. 

Thanks for reading. Blessings, love and peace. Respect each other. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Not Everything Is Better In Stereo

You know I have twins and a single. There's around a year-and-a-half age difference between the oldest and the twins. This means that I essentially had three babies, toddlers, etc at the same time. Yeah. Makes me tired just typing it. 

One thing I've noticed is that my boys tend to do things in packs. Like wild animals. Yeah, I said it. And nine out of ten times, it's not appropriate things. Here is a list of the top ten things that strike fear in my heart. 

1) "We didn't do anything!" In unison. That essentially means they did do something, that two or more were involved AND it may involve property or personal damage. 

2) "MO-OM! _____ is bleeding!" At the top of the lungs, from across the house/yard/ball field...

3) The sound of crashing things, followed by "I'M OKAY!" That's a toss up between personal and/or property damage as well. 

4) "Mommy, I really sorry, but..."

5) Holiday breaks that involve doctor visits. Doctors pay ME to keep them at home. 

6) Grocery store trips with all three. (My circus, my monkeys. 'Nuff said!)

7) "Do you know what your child said today?" Oh man, I'm REALLY sorry. Unless it wasn't bad, then I'm proud. But it was bad. I know it was bad. Wasn't it?!

8) "Mom, somebody called and said you have an appointment sometime." Sigh. 

9) "So-and-so's mom/dad/grandma said he could come over tomorrow." Say what?!? 

10) "Mo-om HE..."

Thanks for reading! 


Monday, June 6, 2016

A Letter To My Boys

Dear boys,

No means no. It doesn't mean maybe, ask 50 times in a thirty minute time period, or to do what you want. 
In this screwed up world we live in, this may be the most important thing you learn. No means no. 

When I say no, it isn't to be mean or to encourage you to test me. It means no. Some day my sons, far in the future, a young lady will say "no". When she does, it means no. It doesn't mean she wants you to convince her. It means no. It doesn't mean she wants you to do what you want. No means no. Remember that. 

Some day you may be engaged and marry, I hope so. Your fiancĂ©e or wife may say no. If she does, no means no. That promise, that vow, does not give you any right to override her wishes. Do not try to convince her. No means no. Remember that. 

Respect. I try and teach you respect. First and foremost, respect everyone. No means no. Remember. 

Love,

Mom, the most important woman in your life right now. The first woman to tell you no. Respect that. Remember. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

It's Mother's Day again and so far, it's been a weekend to remember. First, I got to spend yesterday morning with my boys at a pancake breakfast and car show/farmer's market. That made my heart sing. Then, we spent the afternoon doing little things around the house. The younger two helped their dad with the yard work. The older one helped me with dishes and laundry. But what comes next will ASTOUND you! (Okay, not really, but hey, I had to try!)

Last night, everybody was exhausted. One of my boys passed out while reading, one was asleep by 8:15, and the other one was watching television with me. My husband had gone to bed early. 

At 9 o'clock, I was tucking in my kids when one decided he had to go to the restroom. That's pretty normal around here. Bedtime equals potty/need a drink/need cupcakes for the school district....you know this drill if you're a parent. 

As soon as I got everybody in bed, someone else needed to use the facilities. As they flushed, I heard "UH OH!" and walked in to see water rising to the topic the toilet bowl. DAMN! And no plunger in the house. Ours bit the dust last week. (I have a houseful of kids, it happens.) 

I tried a couple of tricks to get the problem solved, after I mopped the floor...with bleach...and tossed the mop...Nothing. I told my husband I was headed to the store to get a plunger. (Woke him up to tell him. You're welcome, honey!)

All the way there, I cursed under my breath. I had on my pjs and no makeup, and never even looked at my hair. Wally World, here I come! 

I arrived and went straight to the plumbing section where I found the grand-daddy of all plungers! This sucker was HUGE, with a bizarre-looking handle, a little snake thingy that helps move clogs out of the way, and a price of about fourteen bucks. I'm in! I grabbed it, turned to walk away, and stopped. I went back and got another, less scary plunger, just in case. Armed with my two plungers, I was ready to go!

The whole time I was in there, I kept thinking about how I'm in my pjs and I NEVER do that. It drives me batty when people do that! I looked for the shortest checkout line--yeah, I know, on a Saturday night at 10 o'clock, in Wally World. (No, I wasn't drunk!) My checker was a sweetheart and told me to "Have a happy Mother's...have a better night!"
came home and got to work clearing the problem. Success!!

This morning, I got up and looked in the mirror. My pjs were on inside out. Inside out. In-side freaking out!  That explained the weird smiles and looks last night. It also explained why my pockets didn't work...DOH!

Happy Mother's Day! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

His Story Is His Business

This morning, I went to do some shopping. My children are outgrowing their clothes again, as children do. As I approached the store entrance, I saw a nice looking, clean cut young man standing outside. He was quietly asking a lady if she had any change she could spare. I handed him a dollar as I walked past. He thanked me profusely. 

I did my shopping, but my mind kept flashing to this young man. Somebody's child. I wondered what his story was.  Something about his eyes cried out to me when I handle him the dollar. He was in pain. He had a story. And I didn't need to know it. I just needed to act. 

I paid for my purchase, stopped at the fast food place in the store, and purchased breakfast with coffee to go. I walked out and he was still there. 

I said, "Son, come here please." 

"Yes, ma'am?"

I handed him the bag and said, "You look hungry. Here's breakfast and a coffee and sugar."

His eyes filled with tears as he thanked me. I asked if I could tell him something. 
He nodded. 

"I don't know your story and I really don't need to know it. I will listen if you choose to share it. But whatever you're going through, it will pass. I just wanted to let you know that someone cares. I have a friend who was homeless for several years. He's married, with children and has a successful career now.  You will be okay."

"Thank you," he said. "I needed to hear that."

I smiled and went on my way. And I prayed for this young man. 

I'm publishing this on my blog to ask you to pray for the lost, the broken, the forgotten. We may not know his story, but we don't have to. "There but for the grace of God..."

Thank you for reading. Have a blessed day. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Free Range Kid--Take Two

One of my boys has been nominated for the safety patrol at school. He's so excited about it and I'm proud of him! He made me even more proud when he told me about an incident at school yesterday. 

He has this "friend" whose parents are those "free range" types. The kid is aggressive, disrespectful, rude and obnoxious. But it's okay because lavender oil will fix that (insert eye roll here). I'm not saying it won't help, or that there aren't alternative methods of treatment. But this kid is off the chain!

Yesterday, this kid told my son that they needed to have a battle to see who's the toughest. 

My kiddo said, "No. I don't want to battle you or need to battle you. I'm on the safety patrol and we don't do that."

Yay for my kiddo! And for little free range? Leave my boys alone. You're a cute child who cannot control your impulses through no fault of your own. Don't drag mine into it. 

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Confessions Of A Not-So-Perfect Mom

I want you to sit down. Are you sitting? Now, what I'm going to tell you might be a shock, so prepare yourself. 

I'm not perfect. I know, I know, you can't believe it! It can't be true! Surely, I jest. But no, I am really a very imperfect person and an even more imperfect mother. There it is. I said it. Well, technically, I wrote it, but...

I threaten to take things away from my kids for "the rest of your life" and to strip their rooms of everything but beds and clothes; and I don't do it! I know nobody else out there has EVER done that!

I also don't always explain everything in a calm, controlled voice. I yell. Loudly. And with gusto. I don't always give my children choices or explain my choices. I use the phrase "because I'm your mother and I SAID SO" a lot. 

I don't tell my children how I understand they're feeling overwhelmed or frustrated and blah, blah, blah. I do sometimes, but not every time. 

I do tell my children they're being brats when they're being, you know, brats. I don't let them use their ADHD as an excuse. I don't always ignore behavior because they're tired or cranky. 

You see, I'm human. And I get tired of dealing with things, just like everybody else. And I think it's just as important that they know I'm human. I screw up, I get angry, I lose my cool. I also admit when I'm wrong. 

This morning, my oldest who's in the middle of preteen angst was being mouthy--not typical for him. He got
yelled at after talking didn't work. I took him to school and felt like an utter bitch. He was sullen, I was ready to cry. Fun times in preteen land--not!  

For the next hour, I went through the scenario over and over. All of a sudden, I looked at the counter and saw his morning dose of medicine. Crap! I forgot to give it to him. I never do that! 

I grabbed the medicine, drove over to the school to see the nurse and explain what happened. She called him to the office. He came in, surprised to see me.  I explained what I did and that he was right when he told me that morning that it seemed like he forgot something. He laughed and said it was okay. 

Then, he took his medicine, walked me to the office door, pulled me closer like he wanted to say something, and kissed me on the cheek. "I love you, Mom."

Huh, not so perfect, but close enough, I guess. Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Delightful Surprise

This morning started out like most have lately with my prepubescent children: talking back, growling, fighting amongst themselves. One called me a mean mom, one refused to speak to me when I said no to a request, one was sullen when I asked him to get in the car to go to school. So, typical children on a typical day. 

I dropped them off, ran some errands, then went through the drive-through at a fast food place for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. As usual, I fed the family and forgot to eat. I pulled up to pay and found that the young lady in front of me had paid for my order. The cashier said "Your order was taken care of by the lady in front of you. She wants you to have a beautiful day." 

I've done this for others and had it done for me before, but this brought tears to me eyes. So, thank you to the young lady in the light blue car with Missouri plates. You made my day brighter. God bless. 

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Breaking Free

Emotional chains can tie you down. Insecurities, poor self esteem, and self-doubt can immobilize you. I know. This year is a continuation of breaking free of those chains. 

I'm working on a creative nonfiction piece right now. You'd think it would flow, but I have to remind myself to forget who will be reading it for now. I have to write it for myself first. 

And because I (like many creatives) have a plethora of interests, I've opened an online jewelry store and I'm selling my designs online. I'll also be adding jewelry boxes to the site over the summer. (The website is http://deescreations1.sello.com. My FB page is deescreations1)

These things are a part of my breaking-free quest. Go me! Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I'm Angry

THIS IS YOUR TRIGGER WARNING! The subject matter involves cancer, death, anger and tanning beds. If you can't handle it, don't read it. (P.S. I'm angry.)

A few years ago, my dad DIED from melanoma that metastasized. He'd made it through prostate cancer, had numerous skin cancers removed, and on and on. He lived in agony and was sick every day for the last few months of his life. He suffered so much. And guess what he had in his house that he got in far too much? Yep, a tanning bed. 

Much of his pain and suffering could have been avoided. All for the sake of looking good, he FUCKING DIED! I'm angry about that. Still. It was not "God's will" or "God's plan". It was because of a stupid mistake, even after he knew better. He could have prevented much of his--and frankly, our--suffering. Skin cancer isn't a joke. 

So, I'm angry. And I'm pretty sure that there will be people who will be angry with me for writing this. But as I think back on the many warnings my dad had and on the disregard of those warnings, I don't care if it makes someone angry or uncomfortable. I have a right to be angry. 

My boys will not get to grow up knowing him and learning from him. One of the biggest supporters of my craft is gone. I have beautiful memories. I have not-so-beautiful memories. Memories can't talk to you on the phone. Memories can't encourage you or give you a reality check when you need it. You can't hug a memory. Cancer sucks. Period. 

Thanks for reading. 



Friday, March 25, 2016

Chaos No More

Some of you are aware that I'm on a mission to declutter and organize my home. It has honestly gotten so out of control that I hate being in my house. Decluttering is a slow process, but it didn't get this way overnight. 

Growing up, I had a mom who kept very little clutter. She hated unorganized, chaotic spaces. My grandmothers--both paternal and maternal--were the opposite. They kept everything. And when they passed away, family had to clean it out. I followed in my grandmothers' footsteps. 

I have self-diagnosed ADD, and two of my three children have ADHD. So, focusing on anything is a struggle. Add to the equation that we all have trouble getting rid of anything, and you get chaos. 

I'm slowly but surely purging things that don't bring me joy. If I haven't used it in a year, why do I need it? If I hate doing it (crochet)why keep the yarns for it? I'm keeping my crochet hooks and a couple of skeins of yarn to teach anyone who asks how to do it. I'm keeping my sewing machine, because I do use it every now and again. But the rest, other than what I use for jewelry, is gone. 

Chaos is not my friend. It's not my children's friend. We need less stuff and more peace. Less to find a place for, and more space to enjoy our home. 

I have a few friends who are on this mission with me. We encourage and support each other, sometimes offering a swift (but kind) kick in the rear when necessary. I value their support and try to offer the same. And for those in the group that are on this quest, much love and respect. 

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Letter To My Prepubescent Child

Dear Child,

Yes, this letter is for you, the child who rolls your eyes and lets that "tone" creep into your voice; the one who tells me "no" when I tell you to do something, after I've asked you nicely before resorting to the "do it now" command. I'm going to impart some wisdom here. Pay attention, because I will NOT repeat myself. 

When you, my darling child, decide to behave like a little shit, you might want to remember a few things. 

First, I am your mother. I will be your mother for the rest of your life. You're ten/eleven years old now. You've got at least eight to ten more  years at home. That means you deal with me. Every. Single. Day. For. The. Next. Decade. Think about it. 

Second, although I'm more tolerant than my mother, I do have a breaking point. You have passed the point, my love. That is not wise. 

Third, you should understand that all of the electronics, toys, and other assorted crap you have, are privileges that can disappear faster than an unguarded birthday cake around yours truly. 

And finally, you will be a parent one day. And I sincerely hope I'm around then. If not, I will leave a detailed list of all of the bullshit you pulled for my grandchildren. Why? Because that's the way I roll, my sweet. And be warned, the apple does not fall too far from the tree. How do I know? Because you're just like...your dad! (You didn't think I'd say me, did you?!)

Love,
Mom

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter Preparedness For Travelers

I've been reading about all these people stranded on highways during this winter storm. Instead of commenting on social media, because it turns into a free-for-all, I'm posting this on my blog. 

I am NOT an expert! These are things I've learned from reading, researching and asking questions. Do your own research and adjust for your needs. 

I read, follow, visit websites, own books on survival and preparedness. Because of that, I keep certain supplies in my vehicle at all times. There's no "crazy prepper mentality" here; just common sense. (And FYI, I don't believe that the majority of preppers are crazy.)

I had to evacuate our home in Virginia in 2003 due to a hurricane. I was frantically grabbing things that seemed important. I forgot a lot and took some things that made no sense. I was in panic mode. Lesson learned. 

I have a backpack purchased from a nearby surplus store. It's much like something you'd see military carry. This bag stays in my vehicle. In this bag, I have a multi-tool, manual can opener, fire starter, flashlight, extra clothing, first aid supplies, Chapstick (which is good for starting fires), sunscreen, bug spray, medicine (headache, allergy, stomach, and needed prescription medications), reflective blankets, disposable tooth brushes, antibacterial wipes, baby wipes, granola bars, and water. 

I also have a walking/hiking stick, rain gear, blankets (thin fleece blankets enclosed in zippered plastic bags), additional first aid supplies, puzzle books, cards, travel games, pens and paper. Those items are in permanent residence in my vehicle. 

My three boys have a backpack always at the ready in the front entry of our house. When we travel anywhere, they carry the bags with them. These bags contain basic first aid kits, flashlights, a change of clothes, a granola bar or trail mix and water, and a book or two. 

I'm going to ask that you do this right now. Get a backpack, duffle bag, old purse, box, ANYTHING you have and put basic supplies in it. Put it in your vehicle. It just might save your life. 

You CAN freeze to death in the middle of a busy city. You CAN die from dehydration ANY time. Snow is frozen water, but be aware that if you eat snow it can lower your core temperature. 

If you are traveling anywhere, keep your gas tank full. Pay attention to weather conditions. 

There are some great free resources out there regarding preparedness. Please use them. Don't be caught unprepared. 

As always, thank you for reading. Be blessed, be kind, and be safe. Peace and love.