The Confessional….

In my office, I am the Mama Hen. I work with 6 guys. I am older than all of them. Much older.

I send these guys into harms way on a nightly basis. They depend on me to get them the information they need to be safe. I am a 911 dispatcher.

I worry about “my boys”. If they have to be out on a call that is difficult, if they have to travel on bad roads, I worry about them. My job is to make sure they home to their families safely.

Now,  guys will rag on each other. They compare muscles and daring feats they have performed. They are dudes. When they speak to me though it is different. I can hold my own with them and I get in a good shot every now and then. It catches them by surprises from time to time but over all they are getting used to when I get cranked up, I can give them grief.

As a collective group they are a rowdy group of oversized boys.

When they wander into the office individually, that is when I know they want to talk about something a little deeper.

It may be their marriage, their kids, their spouses sickness and this was just last night.

They know that they can talk to me and I will be honest. I will listen sometimes giving advice, sometimes just being a sounding board.

Last night, the one I have know longest. The leader of the pack, came in and talked to me. His wife is sick and they are having trouble getting her built back up and it has come to the place where he is worried.

Been there and done that. You need to talk to someone who has been in a similar situation. It is getting to the place where it is scary for him and he is a tough guy. He has seriously been through some stuff.

I asked how he was dealing with his stress. He has to be on top of his game mentally and physically. He told me that he works out.

Being a walker for several  years and not much more of  a workout I asked him some questions. He is building muscle. I am trying to lose fat and not get saggy. Pushing fifty and being over weight all my teen and adult life. I have to be careful.

We talked about our gym at work, which is good enough for me but doesn’t have the equipment he wants. He told me some things that might help me. He told me which machines to use at the gym.

He talked about what he lifts when he goes to work out and how he encourages the new guys who come in. He even went so far as to tell me that he doesn’t lift heavy in front of new guys because it could discourage him.

I told him that being fat, I didn’t want to go to the gym. He asked me why. I said you are a dude. You aren’t going to judge the new guy coming into the gym. Women are catty. They are going to totally just the size of your ass; how quickly you get winded; if you can’t do it right the first time. They are going to judge you.

He looked at me straight in the eye and said, everybody starts at the same place. The bottom. I didn’t go in lifting what I do now. I used to be embarrassed when I would see other guys lifting triple what I did. It has taken me three years to get to this point.

They he said the thing that really gave me a shot in the arm. He said “And further more, I don’t see you giving a damn”. After he left the office, I thought about what he had said. Why do I give a damn. I am not doing it for them, I am not doing it for vanity sake. I am doing it for my health. I need to get some issues under control and if someone doesn’t like it, oh well.

I think I will go check it out. I may or may not go until warm weather when I can get out and walk more. I would rather be out in nature anyway.

This time, the confessional was meant for me to reveal my insecurities and maybe for my healing.



Still I Rise; A Phenomenal Woman

I love poetry. It is one of my favorite forms of literature and spoken word.

It is always breathtaking to me to hear a poet read their own words. To hear the inflection the use and the words they stress as they try you to understand the meaning behind their work.

One of my favorite poets would have to be Dr. Maya Angelou.

The two poems in the title of this post are two of my favorites. They inspire me to be a better woman.

Phenomenal woman speaks to all women. It speaks to the power you possess and how you should carry yourself as to exhibit that power.

If you look up the word phenomenal it means: remarkable, exceptional, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable and stunning.

That is powerful if you change phenomenal with any of those words yet, phenomenal encompasses them all.

I shall rise speaks to humans as a whole both men and women. It talks about the resiliency of the human spirit and now matter how low we get we can rise. The part that speaks to my soul in this piece is the part about the long night and in the morning we look at people and say I’m fine. We all do it. Even if we’re not, we say we’re fine. That is actually a running joke in my family, no matter what, we are always fine.

Dr Angelou and I are very different. I am light skinned, she was dark skinned. She was a college professor, poet, activist, pulitizer prize and Grammy winner, she received the Presidental medal of freedom. I am a high school graduate with a degree in the school of life. I have an important job for my community but I never achieve any of the honors she did.

She was phenomenal in her way and I like to think that I am in mine. I got the chance to speak with her once on the telephone when I worked as a librarian. I was asking her for a copy of one of her poems to give away at a Black History program. When the package arrived, there were two poems. One to give away and one for me.

No one knows until now that I have it. It is safely tucked away.

I was in a Barnes and Noble in the same city she was in the day she transitioned from this life. I had gotten me a cup of coffee and was sitting there when I heard the news. I cried, a friend had left. As I sat there wiping my tears, all I could think was the caged bird was free and oh what a song she must be singing.

Writing Prompt, If I Were A Television Character, who would I be?…


If I could compare myself to any TV character at this point in my life I would say it would be Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds.

Played by actress Kirsten Vangsness, Penelope is in a role much like my own, only amp my job up by 1,000 %. She plays the support role for a team that goes out into the field into harms way. She is their eyes and ears. I play that same part in a different way.

Penelope had struggled with her weight all her life. I understand that struggle. Penelope has learned to love her curves outwardly but still desires to feel comfortable  in her own skin. I know that desire all too well.

Penelope wears really vibrant glasses and has fun pens and her outfits are stellar. I love my red glasses and my fun pens and I would drool everytime I open my closet if I had her wardrobe.

Penelope has her scars from being bullied by girls because she was an early bloomer and being forgotten by the boys when the other girls bloomed and she continued to grow. I totally get that.

Then there is Derek Morgan, who she is secretly Gaga over. Although she regularly makes comments to him and about his physical prowess. I have my own version of Derek in my life. He is not a coworker. He is my person and I am getting more comfortable making my own comments.

So, if I was a TV 📺 character, I would be Penelope Garcia.


Writing Prompt: When you were taught a lesson by a child….

I had a job where I worked around children for 13 years. Never having any offspring of my own, this filled a void in my life; the biggest lesson I was taught by a child was from my littlest little at the time.

At a point when my life changed completely, she was only six months old. As a matter of fact, the  day she was born we were having a cancer treatment and my late husband wanted to make sure that he would not harm her if he went to see her.

He passed away before she was old enough to know him. She doesn’t fully understand that I was once married.

I would follow her as she grew and began crawling, then walking, then running.

I was taking life the same way she was. Learning my way around at first crawling if I needed to. As she was learning to stand on wobbly legs, I was doing so emotionally. She quickly became her own little, quirky personality.

I think I admire that part about her as much as anything. When she has an entire conversation with no one on a cell phone with no service or plays with a computer keyboard saying she can run the world from right there, it gives me an insight into imagination.

She has taught me a great deal and when I am around, I am the chosen playmate. This is because when she lets her imagination run wild, I go right along with her.

Last year for Christmas, when she was 6, I gave her the little point and shoot camera  I bought the day she was born, just to take photos of her. For about a month, her entire family fussed at me because she was blinding them taking pictures. She took it with her to the grocery store one day and actually got some amazing photos.

When she shoots with my big camera, she will take one shot and say It’s good. I’ll say well let me check it. She will say why? It’s good and it always is. Now that is confidence.  She is fearless.

She will from time to time pull out the note that I put in with her camera and show me that she still has it.

She loves to collect rocks. She keeps her collection outside beside the porch but I always try to get her a rock if I go someplace new.

You see although not in chronological years, in many ways we are about the same age and she  taught me how to start over.


A Letter to My Teenage Self….

Dear Younger Me,

I know how you see yourself today.  You don’t see any pride or value in yourself. You see yourself as fat and ugly. You let the words of others make you cry. You feel like you will never be loved for who you are.

You do just enough in school because you don’t want to stand out or be noticed. You are much smarter than you let on. You just don’t like to be compared to your pretty, smart, athletic sister but you don’t have a name, you are just her little sister.

You don’t feel pretty, you are smart but about different subjects than she. You like math and history. You enjoy singing and poetry, yet you never let anyone see that side of you.

You are not athletic, although you tried. You are better at band and flagcorp. You’ve found your teen tribe with the band geeks. Some of them will be your friends all your life.

You will find love, more than once,  there will be a day a day when you can tell the boys that made you cry how bad it made you feel. Some of them will tell you that they messed up. Be kinder to them than they were to you.

You will not always be as big as you are now. Life will hand you struggles and you will hand them right back coming out better for it.

You will encounter pain and grief that at the time will seem unbearable. You will struggle with this and continue to move forward, just remember that forward is forward no matter how slow you go.

You will find out you are a great deal more creative than you think. You will surprise yourself with some things you will learn and become passionate about.

If I can leave you with a shining spotlight on what you have to look forward to it will be this…..

You will be loved and desired. Enjoy the intimate moments physically, mentally and emotionally. Be present for all those moments.

There will be a computer age that is laying right at the front door, embrace it, learn everything you can, you will use those things the rest of your life. They are not all bad though you will find out they can be used for good or evil.

You will not be the mousy girl with the loud laugh all your life , okay you will still have a loud laugh but although it will take it a bit of time you will find that backbone and you will find out that making yourself miserable while keeping everyone happy is no way to live.

Oh yeah, one more thing…. quit crossing your arms. You have big boobs, get over hiding them, not everyone is put off by that, some people actually enjoy those things. Just sayin’.

Now go live a life you will be proud of. Sprinkle glitter and sunshine everywhere you go, the my girl will be your legacy.

With more love than you will ever know,

The 49 year old you


The Experience of Overcoming Fear….

I found some writing prompts on Pinterest and thought I would take a break from lamenting over health, family and business . The struggle of being a widow in a world she doesn’t understand anymore and all the other things I add to the blog as they cross my mind.

This exercise will allow me to reach deeper than the current moment and somewhat stretch my creative muscle.

So the first prompt the experience of overcoming fear….

When I first read this, I thought of a single incident when I faced a specific fear. Rereading the same prompt, I allowed myself to remember several.

Fear has drive my existence my entire life.  Several specific things come to mind.

I have a overwhelming fear of snakes. When I was a youth services librarian, we would have a snake program every other summer. Of course my first summer was the snake program. So the day of the program came and the performer hands me two small snakes. They are so small that both of them fit in the palm of one hand. As I’m walking amongst this group of children, I remind myself that I can’t let them see that I’m afraid. So as I’m walking along in the back of my mind I’m singing the words to Jesus loves me suddenly I realize that I’m Singing it out loud. Here is a grown woman carrying two small snakes, humming Jesus loves me and these kids are clamoring to touch the snakes.  In the following years it was much easier for me to assist with this program. Am I still afraid of snakes yes only now I am more educated.

The second time I faced my fear was of course when my husband passed away. I had lived with my parents for 24 years, I had lived with him for 18 1/2 years and at the age of 43,for the first time in my life,  I lived alone. Of course I was scared not of residing by myself. But I’m facing life on my own. The only thing I could see was dark. The bleakness encompassed me. This was probably the lowest point in my life.  I learned a lot during that period of my life. I learned that I was much stronger than I ever thought I could be; yet much weaker than I ever knew.

I was actually at the point where I consider taking my own life but thankfully someone reach through the darkness and allowed me to realize that someone cared for me.

And this brings me to the third  on this post. I remember when I realized that I had fallen in love for the second time in my life. It scared the crap out of me. I knew I had to tell him and I wasn’t sure how he would respond. Fear of rejection is a vicious animal. For two days I didn’t eat or sleep. I was miserable. I wanted so much to tell him how I felt and in my heart of hearts I wanted to him to respond in kind. So the next time  I saw him,  I just blurted, out with ugly crying how I felt about him. I figured once I had told him that he would never speak to me again. Remember I was the fat girl in school that no one wanted to date. We expect what we have experienced in the past. I am happy to say that five years later  he is still talking to me and he has a major influence in my life.

The last point I wish to speak on is when I decided to change jobs at the age of 48. I  had struggled to create something that should’ve been it’s own entity but others wanted to change it and make it fit into their limited  vision. Our vision for this project was much broader than what they saw.  I began to question my own sanity at beating my head over a wall just to see if it would still hurt. Finally giving up I reached out and found a new career. This change completely turned my life topsy-turvy but in the process began to gain I realization  of who I am.

So whatever  you are facing at this moment know that you were strong enough to handle it!!


Losing myself for a while… in a good way….

673F9D4D-8DD2-4973-B437-49A162D13F25For  several years I have been unable to sit and read an entire book. Being an avid reader my entire life, I found this somewhat disturbing. I have always been able to escape reality through the words of others, painting a masterpiece  in my brain as to the words I was reading on the page. Inspired, so much so,that I work on my own book from time to time. Will it ever be published? I have no idea but it is a goal to for which to strive.

Yesterday, I picked up a book designed with teen steampunk distopian readers in mind. The name of the book is The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis.  The first of his clockwork dark trilogy.

I was fortunate enough to get to meet this author at a workshop a few years back in my former life as a youth services librarian. He autographed the books for me. It was pretty cool to meet someone who actually had done what I would  like to do.

Yesterday, I read his words for several hours. I will admit I am a slow reader but I take in every word allowing to add touches with the finest of paint brushes to the painting I am creating in my brain.

The fact that it is a steampunk novel is adding to my reading enjoyment.

As I read the words on the page I could see the lavish train in which the book starts. I could see the dirty children who were being relocated on this particular orphan train.

I saw faces of people who were not  the same as I that he met along the way and I felt the pain as he struggles to find where he is supposed to be in his life.

I felt the pull of the lodestone his father gave him guiding him from adventure to adventure.

For only the second time in six years I was anxious to get back to my easy chair and disappear into the pages of the mode of escape.

Thank you Mr. Bemis. For taking time out of your busy schedule to spend it with a would be writer and for the words that allow me to disappear for a while.