Wednesday, August 3, 2016

And School Begins

First Day for the last many years ago
Another year of school has begun....

For my decades of mothering, the countdown has begun...the youngest are Sophomores in High School....Life has flown by and watching four young baby boys grow up is bittersweet - and yet...a privilege.

The time has begun to send kids back to school, freshly groomed, new shiny clothes and shoes, and hopefully brand spanking new undies because you never know....

In this day and age, Moms have more to worry about than fashion points to impress the world, they have the dangers of the world weighing on them:

  • Mass shootings daily
  • Politics of the absurd
  • Isis
  • $$$$$$$
  • Keeping up with Jones mentality
  • Drugs
  • Race issues

These worries seem magnified with a daily barage of news....facebook statuses....fear is among us!

We have an epidemic of mental issues affecting our school age kids....anxiety disorders, ADHD, bi-polar and depression. 

Families are dysfunctional and defeated. Parents investing in their own lives and not their kids.

Yes, Moms have alot to worry about. The best we can do is love our kids, other people's kids too while praying for them in every aspect of their growing personalities. 

(I have begun a series of blogs at My Hometown Faith for the praying Moms  & Dads called Pray4kids.)

But....the new school year has begun and we reset our lives to morning rituals of pushing our kids out into this world that seems so scary.

Social Media is full of Happy Moms and Sad Moms!
Some Moms cry for their loss of time with their treasured kids and other Moms are celebrating in the streets dancing their 'back-to-school jam!' 

  Click for the Happy Dance!

Whatever category you are, I am astounded how quickly the end of school is crashing in to the back to school....such as most of my feeling on my life. 

Gone are the days of my youth, of being a new mother, a young Mom and now as the last in the batch of four boys begin their sophomore years in high school, I can see the end of that journey looming closer and closer.

Yes, time is slipping, slipping into the future...but really really FAST.

What can we learn from the speed of which it comes, grab your calendar and learn to slow it down! Choose that part which brings you enrichment and push the trivial appointments aside. Embrace this life with gusto, cherishing those you love around you while you have them. Treasure the innocence of our babies, spend time with them...

And...then, spend more time with them.

Stop busy with a sharp blade of prioritizing!

I love Kevin Hart, the comedian's new motto so I will copy it here....


Now, go have a second cup of coffee, enjoy the quiet of a house void of children. But, remember, those will be the things you will miss the most in the future!

God bless our kids!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Happiness is an Ugly Husband?

Printed in Picayune Item  Wed. March 26, 2008

Every day a study comes out...where "THEY" announce some new findings. Now, 'they' are saying that a happy marriage is a woman with an ugly husband.

Well if that is true, then let me be miserable with Hugh Jackman or Chris Hemsworth...the Thor dude!

If I have to sacrifice myself, I will. Doom me to a lifetime of waking up every day beside one of those guys! That's totally depressing...ok...for them maybe.

All this time, I thought a happily married woman was one married to a rich husband! Who knew it had more to do with his face rather than his bank account.

Why does ugly make a woman happy? 

What if you both are attractive?

What if your husband is better looking than you? How does that fit in the happiness scale? 

These studies come out all the time, I remember one that stated ugly men make better maybe that has something to do with it?  An old country song suggested that older women make good lovers but can we assume that ALL older women do? IF so, does former First Lady Barbara Bush seem sexy to you?

What's the study mean for husbands who have Trophy wives? That would prove that they have happy marriages.

This 'study' reported that Psychologists who studied newlyweds found men who were better looking than their wives were more likely to be unhappy and have negative feelings about their marriage.

Let me tell you what Tracy says -- "Men who are married to uglier wives probably could care less because they are in love and not infatuated with looks. IF a man is overly concerned about looks, he is not a keeper. Also, a man consumed with being good looking himself does not appeal to me either. If you have to work too hard to be sexy...well, that isn't sexy. I prefer an accidentally sexy man....

But let us examine this particular is not just about having an ugly husband, but one that is uglier than if you are a ten on the beauty scale, lucky you can pick and chose anyone. But, what if you are on the lower end of the scale, say ...a number 2? Your men inventory is now very low if you have to find one with a lower number than you so you can be happy.

So, does this study work in reverse? Are men happier with uglier woman?

With these findings, should I advise my four sons to only date ugly girls?

IN the Celeb world, if you are one of the beautiful people and you marry even an average looking person you are ridiculed by the masses for not marrying another beautiful person. It probably will not make the marriage work anyway since a successful Celeb marriage is a rare discovery.

As for me, I am happily married. What does that mean? As a reader, do you assume that my husband is ugly. My friends have told me that I have a handsome husband. So, that means that I am in a miserable marriage or my friends are liars. No way to win.

I wonder if any of those psychologists are happily married? Did they marry below their number?

As for me, I am not worrying about absurd studies but rather concentrate on my own studies. I have a handsome husband and a happy marriage, so that either makes me severely ugly or their study useless.

On one good note, if this encourages more women to notice the nerdy guy, who may not be so hot, but could possibly make them a happily married woman, then that is cool.

Where was Don Knotts when I was single? He could have made me soooo happy.

Friday, January 8, 2016

My Brother's Journey with Depression

This is my brother's words, its his fight against depression.

by Joe Weems

Why do many of us like the underdog??

In many cases the underdog is filled with a sense of hope and anticipation of future success and victory. This victory will only come with a consistent undeniable dedication to one"s best effort.

It's rarely seen these days........ Perhaps that's the reason we are so fascinated with the story??!! Either way......the draw to these individuals/teams are real and bring much inspiration in a world that truly needs inspiring. What inspires you? What gets under your tough leathery layers to the part of you that can still be molded and shaped into something better...... More positive!!!

Dealing with ever worsening depression for nearly two decades I have held on to any inspiration I could find....... I was desperate at times. Many individuals would be surprised at the places and moments I found these much needed boosts. This statement sounds so "matter of fact" but I want to stress how important these uplifting moments were. In some cases...... Life saving!!

Life is truly meant to be lived..... Every moment ! The thing about depression and the medication that treats it is that it robs you of the feelings/emotions a person is supposed to experience to grow as a healthy positive person. It is a cruel mental disorder that in its very essence causes confusion..... Hopelessness ........ Desperation and chaos in every aspect of ones life.

Have you ever been starving? You sit down to what many would consider a fantastic meal...... (Steak......crawfish......whatever your favorite) and about two bites into the dinner you simply decide it isn't what you want and at best force the food down or worse you stop and walk away. That is depression! You have what many people would consider the best in front of you and after about two bites it doesn't seem very satisfying. I'm talking your children..... The love of your life......all your favorite things just don't do it for you!! It's a very dark .....lonely and hopeless internal prison and you are serving a life sentence.

They aren't looking for sympathy....... No depressed person is. They aren't feeling sorry for themselves as many people foolishly diagnosed. It is simple for the truly depressed person. Give them one moment ! A moment in which they can feel peace and have a reason to push forward! A moment to feel...... Feel something besides hopelessness........because hopelessness is not an emotion but simply the lack there of!

They want to die! They want an out...... After years of fighting their resistance is beat down and they no longer have the mental muscle to offer up a fight. Surrender seems the best decision. A truly depressed person isn't selfish....they are sick and NO amount of logic you offer is going to mend the situation. They need help! It's a long road for depressed individuals.

For myself, I always seemed like I had it together when I was out and about. I put on a good front and when I walked through the doors and secrecy of my own home the monsters were allowed to come out. Anger.....frustration.....pain .......loneliness. You get the picture.

It's easy to attempt to hide behind alcohol or other addictions. It's a favorite pastime for folks like us.......... We will take emotions any way we can get them even if they are false or chemically induced. The mind of a depressed individual perhaps is one of the most complicated misunderstood places on the face of the earth. Have patience with us!!!

I .......much like a cancer patient am in remission. I still feel effects everyday from this emotional cancer that lives inside of me. Even in remission this disorder causes a person to have scares they live with everyday. I am paranoid !!! I constantly look over my shoulder figuratively. I never can truly relax. Depression can come sudden and unannounced.

I say these things not because I feel like it but because I have to. It spills out if me. I feel great and I have control of my life right now but for how long. We shall see. Right now I am more concerned with those still in the hole. If you truly suffer from this disease, you know where and what the hole is. I hurt for you. I want to help and be an inspiration for YOU the underdog.

To the depressed: you are a beautiful and special people. There are no others on the face of the earth like you. Do your best..... Seek help to the best of your ability and hold on. If you can withstand the long storm you will eventually feel again. You will love and feel loved. Things will get better. I love you all and I am here for any of you. I will listen or sit in silence with you. I will and do understand. I want to be your inspiration.

If you want to root for the underdog...... Learn about depression. Offer yourself to those who so desperately need a reason. Something or someone to hold on to. Give them a reason to make it one more hour!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review of Carrying Albert Home

Carrying Albert Home

by Homer Hickam

A Somewhat true Memoir

I heard about Albert way before his fascinating story was revealed in Carrying Albert Home from Homer Hickam himself. As a fan and a follower of Mr. Hickam's work, I began noticing his own postings of photos of a stuffed alligator including selfies and travels as if the stuffed version of Albert were a Flat Stanley. 
Via Homer Hickam Facebook

My curiosity was peaked.

It was not long before the bestselling author explained his new obsession with all things alligator. I was hooked and began anticipating the story to come.

I was not disappointed. 

Carrying Albert Home is warm, funny and endearing. Fiction and non-fiction are blended together with such a delicate weave you don’t realize what is true and what is not. You however, are charmed by the main characters, Homer and Elsie as they struggle to understand their relationship. While humans can be so complicated, you add an alligator and a rooster and then it gets oddly weird but in a good way.

This story is so well told, revealing the affection the writer has for the characters, who are in fact, his real parents. You can’t help but smile as you read the Hickam’s wild adventures. Their road trip takes us through a time warp of an America that is far different from today’s culture.

As in Forest Gump fashion, the Hickam’s encounter a famous writer researching one of his iconic novels. He encourages Elsie to write, but as we all know it would be her son named Homer who would be the bestselling writer, but that's another story.  See below:
Rocket Boys
The Memoir that October Sky is based on

Albert is the strangest alligator I have ever heard of and I grew up near New Orleans. I remember as a young girl, my father brought home a small one and it was scary, mean, and wanted to bite me. 

Elsie must have been an alligator whisperer. 

Elsie treats the creature like a beloved dog, petting and cuddling with it, which adds to the hilarity of the situation...and then you add a strange rooster to the mix.

(FYI: I have been attacked by a rooster, no love for them either....but I did have a pet chicken named Lovey who did a few tricks and would ride the bicycle with me!)

Still, after reading about the beloved Albert, I will NOT be going the swamps to collect a pet alligator. 

From the beginning, you realize that Elsie Hickam is not happy with the way her life has turned out. She has unfulfilled dreams. This becomes a serious flaw in the relationship between her and her husband, Homer. This continuous struggle of miscues, misconceptions, and self-doubt keep us wondering if this marriage will endure.

Without giving anything away, its an amazing ride and worth the read. Somewhat true or not, it touches on real heartstrings and true human emotions.

Homer has done it again!I highly recommend this charming book!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Brother's Journey with Depression

My little brother, Joe has a lot of talents. He works very hard five days a week teaching school, including afternoon practices with the soccer team he coaches. On Saturday he works at his other job at the Space Center nearby and he is the father to two precious little boys. 
Joe is funny, born to entertain! Just ask anyone who knows him. He is legendary as the crazy High School Mascot and was voted so many Who's who that he had to chose which ones to keep in high school. He seeks out attention in crowds and usually gets it. His face is the one on the big screen with his ugly teeth dentures he had made and his cap sideways. Anything for a laugh!
But, as many comedians, the laughter is an external facade that covers an inward battle with depression. 
 Look at Robin Williams, who eventually succumbed to his hopelessness, or research funny man Jim Carey who performs on demand but struggles with his dark side in real life.
Recently, my brother  had a message. He shares much of his battle now, it is out in the open. His reflections are to help others understand what its like to be trapped in your mind by darkness.
Its so real. It so sad. Sometimes this disorder lies in wait until a life trauma or event knocks you off your feet. In my brother's case, it was the death of my husband, and a close friend, mentor and big brother to him that opened up a dark box within Joe that he still has to cope with.

You may know someone who suffers with depression or anxiety if not yourself. Mental illness is all around. 

Here are his words: 

To our youth: 
I see your pain.... I know your confusion..... Pain, anger, frustration. Life can be cruel, cold and ominous! It can rob you of even the most simple joys. Have you ever been so angry that it totally consumes you and everything within your reach? Have you ever been so hopeless that even those closest can't ease the isolation and pain you are feeling? Have you ever been in a place in which it seems you can never escape......minutes seem like days?

Peace? What is peace? Where can I find that place of restfulness ? Does it exist? Is this a made up word ???....someone's cruel idea of a joke? A silly foolish ideology that only others feel during times like this. 
It all changed faster than the blink of an eye. Things that made since no longer do. Things that used to comfort you no longer have the ability. The very life has been sucked from your insides. Gut punched by recent events. Your pain is real and palatable.

I assure you that what you are feeling is not artificial and not a mistake. It isn't a figment of your imagination..... A passing feeling most likely no. For many of you this may be the first step towards growing up.... The first indication we aren't invincible. For some this may be the first indication that life offers something besides carefree moments and mindless laughter. For some...reaching this crossroads will be too much. They will turn inwardly..... Compartmentalize their feelings and pain. Place them in a nice neat space deep down inside. They may turn to alcohol or drugs or shut themselves off from the world around them.

Let me offer my heartfelt advice....... My heart sympathizes with your situation. The days ahead of you will be lost in a plethora of what If"s!!!! I coulda.....,I shoulda"s !!!! 

Refrain ..... Walk away from such rhetoric. 

This thought process comes from an evil place. It's meant to sideline any progress of healing and prevent you from finding underlying meanings of what God may be wanting you to learn from such events. Don't give in!!! Open your heart. Welcome anger!!! Welcome pain!!! Welcome grief !!! These unpleasant feelings are all a part of the process. You can get through this stronger than before.

I have been there. I have traveled every road you are currently facing and I chose poorly. Anger.... Depression and despair. 

I leaned on self and my own power. I caused myself endless amounts of darkness. Much of this was unnecessary. It was a poor selfish decision...... Thinking I had the power to overcome these things. 

Trust me. You do not ! YOU DO NOT!!!

Losing someone close is a deeply personal tragedy. Do not let it rob you from what God has for your future. 

Sometimes God may crush you!!! Smash you to nothing in order to build you back in the image of his son. Don't resist..... You will run but can't hide. Alcohol can't cover it...... Activities....... Anger........ Nothing can be hidden behind when God is speaking. Take it from an escapee..... There isn't peace! There is no rest.

Each of you are precious gifts from God. 

Each one of you has something inside you that no other person on the face of the earth has. A specialness given by your creator. 

Don't make the mistakes I made. Don't lose your way. Don't take the easy road. It will be lined with regret and darkness.

Life has only just begun. These tragedies have much to teach. 

As we walk into the future..... Know that the ones that go before us live in our hearts. Their goodness joy and love can shine on through us...... The ones that loved them.