Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Ok, I am trying to resolve this feeling of remorse I have. It’s not about me, it never was. I just happened to be the person in the line of fire. The straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak.

When I was promoted, I apparently inherited some time from one of our Service Support staff. Nice lady — a little goofy — but, all in all, nice. She is supposed to set up for the tours we do of our facility. One tour, once per month. It’s never more than making coffee, getting danish, putting out soda, etc. Seriously, it’s not that hard. I’m loving life, for once, I don’t have to do this stuff. A perk of the promotion.

Well, last week she comes to see me. She plops herself in the chair and proceeds to sigh and say that she’s “giving up the tours.” She has spoken to her immediate supervisor (one of the VP’s) and he says OK. WHAT? Seriously? Amongst the sighs is the explanation — I’m physically exhausted. I can’t lift anything. I can’t even stand to walk. I have a very over bearing mother… this point, I stopped listening. I told her that I needed someone to do the set up for Friday and we could figure something out for the next one.

I take this tidbit of information and proceed to email my old supervisor who is the head of HR. She, in turn, without speaking with me (which I asked her to) goes to the VP and asks him what’s going on. So, I get an email back from him that she’s going to trade a task with another Admin person. Seriously?

So, I get an email today from Ms. Sigher who asks about the juice situation. I tell her that I don’t know but that I would check and bring it down to her office. She says okay. So, after lunch I do. When she sees me, she lets out this huge sigh and TELLS me to take it downstairs. Um…..really? I say that the room where it needs to go is being used. She sighs again and points to a spot on the floor and says, “Put it there.”

I leave, stop at an office down the hall and I hear her let out a yelp. I don’t go to see what’s going on. A couple of minutes later, I get a phone call from one of the other Directors…she tells me that I pushed Ms. Sigher over the edge. Seriously?

Now, here’s the issue. I am normally patient. I can handle a lot of things. It takes a lot to get me frustrated and a lot for me to even show that I’m pissed. Well, I guess I really couldn’t handle all of the sighing and drama and looked like I was pissed. I felt bad. I feel bad. But, seriously, if you’re that bad off….GO HOME…..TAKE SOME SICK TIME….FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP SIGHING! (I think that’s what set ME over the edge.)

This isn’t about me. This is about her. I just happened to be the one in the line of fire. I’ll get over it but, in the meantime, who’s going to set up for the tour on Friday, dammit?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Funky Town

Yep, that's exactly where I am...right in the middle of FUNKYTOWN. I'm in a funk that won't quit. I hate it. I am usually a positive person and don't dwell on lots of negatives but, as of late, it's becoming harder and harder to find the positives. I hate when I get like this -- it doesn't happen often and doesn't last too long either. Why am I dwelling here? There is a lot going on in my pea sized brain at the moment.

Father's day is coming up -- next Sunday as a matter of fact. Friday, June 19 will mark the 5th anniversary of my dad's passing. Yep, that's right...he died just before Father's Day. I've been dreaming an awful lot about him lately. Last night's dream had us attending a conference -- something the two of us had done quite often together. He was to check into the hotel before me and we were to meet up. I'm not sure exactly who I was in the car with but when we pulled up to the hotel there was a huge line. I saw my dad, clear as day, at the counter. He was wearing his white and tan short sleeved collared shirt, his trademark sunglasses, and his gold watch. He saw me and waved then disappeared. I called his cell phone -- I can't believe I actually remembered the number in my dream. Couldn't connect. I dialed again. Again, no connection. I got in the elevator and finally got to my room -- he had been there but was gone. I woke up.

I really miss him. A lot. There's so much I want to say to him. There's so much I want to tell him. There's so much I want to ask him. I am still slightly angry that he left me so soon. I didn't even get one last hug. Everything I have done in the past two weeks has reminded me somehow of him.

I will get through this...I always do. But, right now, it hurts and I just want him to come walking through the door or call me. In my head I know that's not going to happen but, in my heart, I pray it will. I will go visit -- he's buried about 3 minutes from my house -- and tell him that I love and miss him.

Rest in Peace, Pop......

Below is the eulogy I gave...........thanks for taking the time to read it.

As I was thinking about how to start to explain my dad, I thought about a Father's Day story my niece, Kyra, wrote about my brother, Costa. The title of the book is "My Dad is Awesome." In it, she says that my brother is as strong as a gorilla, that he can run like a cheetah, is great at throwing, can sing, and isn't afraid of the dark. Coming from a 7 year old, that's pretty profound. The more I thought about what she wrote, the more I thought about my dad.

He was as strong as a gorilla in so many ways...from the hugs that he gave you every time you saw him, to the emotional and spiritual strength he gave when you talked to him. And we all know that dad was always on the run...whether it be from one meeting to another or from one family or friend's house to another. Dad was always one to listen and give you an opinion...and sometimes that opinion would throw you for a loop.

One of the greatest joys that Costa had was that of music. He taught us from a very early age to listen to and enjoy a great variety...from classical to his all time favorite, Motown. He wasn't afraid to sing his heart out and let the music take him away.

I can recall one very dark and stormy night just shortly after I had moved into my house. The electricity was off and I was searching for candles. As I found the candle and lit it, my dad popped into my mind. Not 30 seconds later, he called and asked if I was ok. I told him what was happening and he asked me if I had candles. I said, "Of course, Dad, they're lit." He said, "Good, that me there, protecting you from the dark."

That's how dad was. All I needed to do was think about him and very shortly after my thought, he called. The same was true for him...I got a feeling that he was thinking about me and I'd call. We often talked about that and came to the conclusion that we had been given that gift of "knowing" from my grandmother. That feeling of needing to check on each other grew stronger as we shared many thoughts, ideas, and conversations about our spirituality among other things. I related a story on Tuesday evening that when I had finally decided to go back to school, I called dad and told him. First, he told me that he was proud of me and that it was about time I just did it after being out of school for 12 years. He then asked me what I was getting my masters' in. When I told him that I was pursuing my master's in Pastoral Care and Counseling, he started to cry and told me that was the best news that he had heard in such a long time.

As my brother and I drove home from Indiana, we had a wonderful opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings with each other. We talked about all of the things we learned from our dad. One of the greatest things junior learned was to treat others as you would want to be treated regardless of race, color, or creed. He instilled in junior a sense of work ethic and was a strong sounding board when it came time to make some big decisions. Along with that, Dad was the "go to" guy for explanations about politics and world events. When junior went to Puerto Rico for the Biddy Basketball championship, Dad was right there along side of him as a chaperone. He instilled the passion to always give more than you receive and was never afraid to jokingly use Bill Cosby's line, "I brought you in, I'll take you out."

One of the positive things that came out of this experience was the presence of our family with us physically and in spirit. As my brother and I spend our last moments with our dad, he had a look of peace and comfort on his face. As we were holding his hands and expressing our range of emotions there was a very slight tap on the door. As we raised our heads, the hospital Chaplain entered the room. As she gracefully began to console us and ask us how she could help us in our time of need, we noticed her nametag and were immediately comforted and knew that Dad sent Callie to be with us.

Our dad touched so many lives and was blessed by so many lives. A testimony to that was the loving support he had from his Indiana family as they shared their thoughts and fond remembrances on Tuesday evening. We learned that Dad did so many things that we were unaware of and he always put others before himself. He lived to be a servant of God and always asked how he could make things better for those around him. We learned that our dad questioned what his legacy would be. We know that he was passionate about whatever he was doing and never asked for anything in return. Our cousin Dianne summed it up beautifully -- pay it forward. Keep the legacy going and know that Costa will always be with your mind, in your memories, and most importantly, in your spirit.

We would like to share some words of wisdom from our dad as he traveled on his spiritual journey. God is in control of all things and will prevail. When you ask God a question, listen to the answer. Learn from your mistakes. Be truthful. Be honest. Trust God. Be patient. Ask for help. Give thanks and praise. Let the butterfly be, keep your faith and trust in God. Think positive. Stay in the moment. Time is precious and so is life. One thing is for sure -- there is a God and he takes care of business!

Friday, June 5, 2009


So, it's a rainy Friday here in the suburbs of Philadelphia (or, Philly as it's better known). It's a little chilly but I'm okay with that. This week has been very busy. I am mentally exhausted and now have a slight headache. Ugh!

I am in the process of negotiating new office space. I really need to get out of the toxic environment that I'm in. I can't remember if I blogged about it recently and am too lazy right now to check. Anyhoo -- my new space is in the education wing of a church. It has a door and a lock, a nice big window with vertical blinds, cushy carpeting, and I'll be the ONLY person using it. It needs some cosmetic work but who cares? The people at the church were so excited and happy that I would be bringing my "ministry" there. It's so nice to be wanted and supported. I'm hoping to be seeing clients there on July 2 but I'm not sure that will happen. Say a prayer that it will. I still have to meet with their Church Council which, in my past experience with church council, may be a challenge. But, I will face it just as I've faced it in the past and God will guide the conversation as He sees.

I just finished up two days of Disaster Crisis Outreach Response Team Training. I will be on our county DCORT team and have volunteered to be contacted should a crisis arise where our services are needed. I'm pretty excited to be a part of this but really hope that nothing happens where we'll need to be deployed. All of this "disaster" talk got me thinking -- I am in no way, shape, or form prepared if something should happen. I think I will start to assemble a "to go" bag just in case. I don't know about stockpiling food, etc just yet. They kept talking about what the responder's family will need when the responder is deployed. A little depressing considering I'm the only one in my house. I have no dependants. I have no spouse. The only one I have to be concerned about is my cat and my neighbor can take care of him.

So here I am again faced with being a "one" in a world of "twos." Really stinks. Some days I am okay with being alone and other days I'm not. It's been on my mind quite a lot lately. Probably because I'm not getting any younger and wonder who will take care of me when I'm old and feeble? Not that I plan on being old and feeble any time soon but the reality of the situation is that it's me, myself, and I. I'm wondering if the fact that I turned 40 a few months ago has anything to do with this latest perseveration? Probably. Who knows?

For now, I'll continue on my journey and pray that something exciting crops up. Until then it's life as usual.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh What A Beautiful Morning..........

I'm sitting here listening to the there anything HAPPY going on in this world? Between false accusations, nuclear bombs, over reaction to the latest supreme court nominee, and rising gas prices I just want to watch cartoons! Gone are the days when we watched Wile E Coyote open his packages from ACME in an attempt to capture the Roadrunner.

I was listening to Ben Stein giving his commencement address at Liberty University (I think that's the name) this morning. He said that all of us have been touched by the holy (ok, so that may have not been the word but's close) and that we should treat each other with that in mind. It was so elementary but had such truth to it........we don't treat each other as we should.

I believe that if we all started adopting this viewpoint, there would be a lot more happy stuff going on in the world.

Ok, I'm stepping off of the soap box to get ready to go to church. Today we celebrate Pentecost.....the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Today is also my Godson's confirmation. I'm so proud of him.

This is the day the Lord has made......let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Show Me Da Money Part Two

In my email this morning, there were two emails from the chair of the committee. He forwarded me the correspondence between the current treasurer and the Dean of our conference (who happens to be a friend of mine). Basically, the email to the treasurer said that she wasn't doing her job and that the committee decided to search for a new treasurer. It was a bit harsh but he got to the point.

She replied back that she was sorry that the committee felt she was unable to do the job....blah blah blah.....excuses abounded. She then said that she would get all of the information together for me. How in the heck did I get to be the designated person to get the stuff? My name wasn't even mentioned in the emails.....

Anyhoo....I'm glad that the two Pastors intervened and that she was responsive. Now I'm interested to see how long its going to take to get the stuff. I'm giving her two weeks then she will not be happy with my attitude.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Show Me Da Money

Everyone who reads me knows that I am very involved in my church and church activities. With that involvement comes sitting on committees and having to deal with lots of people about lots of things.

Every year, for the past 20, I have gone on retreat with about 300-400 other people -- mostly teenagers. For about the last 15 years or so I have been a part of the steering committee for this retreat. We've gone through many changes over the years but the core group of us still remains. This past Fall, one of our group members unexpectedly passed away. He was the treasurer. He did all sorts of things we didn't know until we had to find out for ourselves. It has been a learning experience for all of us to say the least.

When we opened the bank account a million years ago, I was one of the signers. No big deal....he kept everyone informed. It ran like a well oiled machine. Until now....We have someone who stepped up to be treasurer. NICE! We thought everything would be taken care of. I'm still on the account.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you that over the past several months I have called her over 50 times, sent about just as many emails, arranged a few meetings and spoken with her daughter about 10 times. Guess what??? I have yet to have contact with her. I don't know how much money is in our account. I don't know the status of the old account. I don't know if the offering money was ever sent to the intended recipient. I don't know who submitted receipts for reimbursement. Hell, I don't even know the stinking account number.

So, I raised my concerns at the last meeting we had. They were shocked when they heard all of the things that have been going on. I told them in no uncertain terms that I WOULD NOT continue this way with my name on the account and if they didn't do something about it quickly, we were going to have a serious problem.

We shall see where this ends......I should have known that this no-communication thing would be a problem based on previous experiences.

I'll keep ya posted on this's going to be a doozie!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Today has been a great day! It was hot as all but what is the "unofficial" start of summer without some heat? My AC guy came over -- a little later than he said but at least he showed. The unit will last at least another year and maybe replace everything that needs to be replaced will be very, very costly. The "in the ceiling" unit is as old as the house -- about 28/29 years old (I think) and the former owners installed the outside unit a few years before I bought the, it's time and I'm okay with that. Don't have the cash but at least I have fair warning that it's coming so I can begin to save.

On to the fun mom shows up at the designated hour and we truck on over to my uncle's house. I can smell the stuff on the grill. Here's the funny thing -- he loves using a charcoal grill and has pretty much perfected it. Last year he bought a high end gas grill -- he very rarely uses it. Today, though, we had both of the grills going. I love to cook outside. There's something about hearing the meat sizzle when you drop it on the grate that is perfect.

My nephew (the oldest) was home from West Point so I got to see him. He's really maturing. He's been working out and is really, really fit. He looks good. I was glad to see him. I was also glad to see one of his friends that I haven't seen since last summer. Tuck looks good, too. I love that kid. He went fishing with the crew last summer...caught a 42 lb drum fish and threw it back in! To this day, we still don't know why and I don't think he knows why either.

The (youngest) niece had a "squad" of girls over. I was amazed -- they all had LONG hair -- really long. I guess being in 7th grade you tend to do what your friends was good to see them enjoying themselves. I can't tell you how many veggie burgers they went through. Honestly, a burger isn't a burger unless it's made with meat!

The (middle) niece came over after work with one of her friends. It was really good to see her and hear how her summer job is going. She likes it. We sat around listening to silly trivia facts that the friend had downloaded on her ipod. It was neat because we started talking about a lot of stuff.

One of the best ones was that Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. Mom chimes in with "Maybe that's why he was so smart." We all stopped and looked at her..........what? I said, "Mom...I think you're thinking of Albert Einstein. Hitchcock did the Birds and Rear Window." That did it...she busted out in such a laugh that I thought at one point she stopped breathing.

Being with my family amazes me. With my mom, my aunt (her sister) and my uncle (aunt's ex) there is never a dull moment. If we're not talking about bodily functions, we're either repeating ourselves so they can hear what was said or fixing some gadget that they don't know to. I love them, I really do. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Tonight was a great night. We're going to do it all again tomorrow...sans the two oldest kids. I think I'll take my camera so you can start putting faces and names together.

Until then.............

Good Morning, Sunshine!

I used to love when my ex said that to fact, I love when any man says that to me. It's been quite a long time since I've heard those words. I was thinking about this because of a "text" conversation I had with a good friend of mine yesterday.

We have been friends for almost 20 years. We were both married and divorced around the same times. Our exes were friends and both musicians. We travelled together and did a lot together. The guys did not keep in touch but we did and the rest is history.

We have been through a lot and really do have fun when we're together. Herein lies the issue. She is an only child. Both of her parents have passed. She does not have a close family and most of them do not live in the area. I am not an only child. I still have my mom. My family is close and we all live within 20 minutes of each other.

My family considers her a part of it. She has been at all of the major life events and has a celebrated many holidays with us. We are having a cookout at my uncle's today which will prove to have many laughs and great food!!

I called her yesterday morning to invite her. The first response I got was, "Can I be a maybe?" There were a few other things thrown in there but in the end she agreed. I was pretty stoked because she really doesn't like to commit until just before the event or whatever we're doing.

The work day is almost at its end when I get a text from her....she is going to pass on tomorrow. Nothing came up she's just in a really foul mood and doesn't want to do the happy family thing. I text back that I'm sorry to hear that and I'm disappointed because we were all looking forward to seeing her and catching up with her. She responds with a thanks much...don't really care about much though.

Now, don't get me wrong, I care about her very much and don't want to see her like this. Having said that, though, this is a constant issue with her. She is always in a foul mood and is very much isolating herself. She is constantly depressed and will not do anything about it. We have had numerous conversations about it. All to no avail.

We both have a lot of the same things in our lives -- a house, rental properties, cars, jobs, friends, no mate. Do I get lonely and sad sometimes because I don't have a mate....absolutely! Have I learned how to deal with that in a healthy manner? Yeppers. With her her it is a constant woe is me deal and, quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing it.

I have come to the conclusion that I can only do so much. I cannot be around constant negativity. I can only listen to someone whine and bitch for so long. (Yes, that is my job but at least my clients have recognized the importance of counseling). I so badly want to tell her, yet again, that this is not healthy and that she really needs to do something about it.

That won't happen because she'll get mad and won't speak to me for a long time.....been there done that routine.

In the meantime, I'll be patient and pray that she gets what she needs to help her with this. I will also pray that she finds some happiness in her life. I could not imagine living without happiness.

Good morning, Sunshine! It's a beautiful day. Rejoice and be glad in it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good vs. Evil -- Good always prevails!

When all is said and done, all you really have is yourself. What does this mean? I don't know. I was just catching up on some of the blogs that I have been neglecting over the past weeks and decided to "post a new" one and see what comes out of my typing. So, this is it.............

Life has thrown some curve balls at me as of late. I've been doing a lot of thinking about work and the people that I work with. I often wonder why those "in power" make the decisions that they do. These decisions seem to go against every bit of common sense and business sense. They hire people who are really horrible workers. They get rid of those workers who are wonderful. They do not follow any pattern with running some of the programs.

I think this all stems from an incident that happened two Fridays ago. A good friend of mine was let go. Now, you may think, "it's a shame, wonder why, must have deserved it...." or any combination of those thoughts. Well...yes, it is a shame because the only thing that I can see he did was stick up for his supervisees and refuse to be the company puppet.

It's a weird dynamic. I happen to be one of those people who speaks to everyone. It's just the way I am. So is he. Naturally, we hit it off and became good friends. I would trust him with anything and everything. Well, it just so happens that the Vice President of his division does not like me. I have NO idea why. I have never done anything to her but be nice and do what she asks of me....not that it's been that much. It's very obvious that she has it in for me...I think she thinks that I don't know what she's doing....SURPRISE....I'm not that silly.

So, he goes and I get an email from my former supervisor that she needs to speak with me about appropriate/inappropriate sharing of information. See, immediately, both she and the VP jumped to the conclusion that I told everyone he was fired. I did not and vehemently told her that I didn't when I met with her on Monday morning. She asked who did and I said that I didn't know. (there's more to the story but it's not too relevant)

Fast forward to a few hours later. I find out that in their division meeting, the VP -- in front of all of her minions -- tried to throw me under the bus and accuse me of telling confidential information. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when she was told -- in front of all of her minions -- that it wasn't me!!!

Which brings me to the issue of forgiveness. I remember someone saying to me that forgiveness isn't for the offending person but for the offendee. In other words, it's not for them, it's for you. So, I have chosen to forgive her for her blatant disregard of my feelings. I have chosen to forgive her for trying to make me look bad. I have chosen to forgive her for all of her negativity towards me. I have chosen to forgive both of them for not apologizing or admitting they were wrong. Will I forget? No.

I am very careful of what I say, to whom I say it, and my actions. I was glad that it was revealed that I was not the one who leaked the info. It just goes to show...when all is said and done, you only have yourself to trust and to be true to. Karma is a bitch....I'm glad she got what was coming to her and I hope that if she ever jumps to another conclusion that it backfires on her just as this one did.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I spent the night in a strange church last night. We are partnering with a church not too far from ours for our New Orleans trip so we decided to join them for their annual lock in. We really had a good time. It was a bit nervewracking at times because I was meeting kids for the first time and I wasn't used to them. My kids know how to behave and they know when I say something I mean it. Even though, at times, they drive me insane, they're great kids.

I learned a new card game called Mao (I don't know how to spell it) but all I know is that you can only learn the rules by playing. The person who is teaching you is not allowed to tell you any rules. It's fruastrating but it's fun.

We played hide n seek -- well, they did....I don't do dark in a place where I'm unfamiliar and had a blast. One of the kids (he's about 6 feet tall, athlete, stud) was hiding in this little closet thing where they store chairs. He was all scrunched in there. About 5 minutes into his hiding spot, the doors flew open and he comes flying out shouting, "There's a mouse in there!!" It was so funny.

This morning's worship services were wonderful. The kids did such a great job. There were a lot of people from my congregation many that we were wondering who was left worshipping at our place.

What a great experience. I'm beyond exhausted because we got so very little sleep......time to rest up for antother busy week.......


Friday, May 15, 2009

Left Hand Turns

I am no longer a race virgin. Tonight I went with my friend to watch her husband race. I had a blast! It was loud. I loved it! He races a 600 which, for someone who has no concept of motors (like me) doesn't mean anything. The only thing I do know is that they go pretty fast. I really enjoyed that each heat went quickly which was great for me since I have the attention span of a gnat.

Aside from the race cars and the actual race, I may have enjoyed the people more. The track is located in a part of New Jersey that isn't known for being high class -- if you catch my drift. Between tight jeans, tight shirts, over bleached hair and women that looked like men, I was quite entertained.

The evening did not end with a win for my friend's husband. He started off 10th and soon moved into 8th place. He was gaining quickly on the lead car. I was enthralled. The engines were roaring and kicking up dust. The mosquitos had finally decided that we were not good eating and were leaving us alone. All was good. UNTIL....................we see him slowing down and pulling off to the side...right in front of where we were sitting. The yellow flag waved. The other drivers slowed down. The quads came flying out on to the track and the next thing you know, he's being towed off. It looked like the rear axle broke. The wheel was dangling -- never a good sign. It was the first race he didn't finish.

I'm going back. Hopefully next time he'll finish and finish in 1st place.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

HI! Remember Me?

That's really what I feel like at the moment....a good friend of mine reminded me that I haven't written in quite some time. There has been so much going on in my life since my last post that I don't know where to start. In a nutshell:

Church is worse. We had a grand total of 40 people at our Easter Service -- we used to have over 200.

Job is good. Lots of drama and people getting thrown under the bus. I keep my nose clean and don't venture far from my space. I do my job and that's that! :)

Practice is okay. Way more drama than I'd like to experience. SSDD. The owner is still very scattered. So scattered that she is creating more of a mess than she realizes. Again, I keep to myself, do my thing, and leave. I don't socialize with them, speak to them outside of the office unless it's important, don't email them, don't write on their facebook walls....

I really need to find new space. It's so bad that one of my clients won't go back into that building -- I have to meet her somewhere else now. Guess you should know that she was our receptionist who happens to be the daughter of one of the massage therapists who happens to be good friends with the owner. See where I'm going with this??? It's a stinking nightmare.

I had to "fire" my first client last week. I guess fire isn't the right word -- maybe I should say that I referred him to a higher level of care. Yes, that's it. So, here's the bottom line: ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT!! Background: male, early 50's, recently divorced after 30+ yrs married, part time work, lives alone. OK, I say, I can do this. First real contact was on the phone because we had lost electricity in the office on the night of our first appt. He lets a lot out. Sounds pretty coherent. I mail him the paperwork and schedule to see him the following week.

The following week comes, he's in the parking lot with the radio blasting, filling out the paperwork and doesn't hear me beeping at him. (red flag #1) We sit down to start the session and I'm going over the paperwork which he still hasn't finished. He is all over the place. Can't sit still. Mumbles his words. Breaks down crying. Drinks his Pepsi so fast I think he's gonna explode from the pent up carbonation. At this point, I take a look at the paperwork -- he checks "never" for alcohol use. (red flag #2) You can't tell me that you have NEVER even sipped alcohol before. Nope he says. OK I say.

Third session: I was with a client and he shows up for his time. The owner sends him over to the bar to use the restroom -- they were both occupied at the time. He comes back and I happen to be in the waiting area and see him in his car. He puts his hand to his mouth then checks his nose in the rear view mirror. Gives it the old "wipearoo" like he was brushing a piece of lint off and decides to come in. (red flag #3). While he's in the office he's sniffing to beat the band! {I know you know where this is going, right?}

The next two sessions were more of the same. Intersperse many voice mail messages left in a mumbling, low voice. "I'm not doing good, etc." It was at that point that I know I can no longer meet his needs and I have to do something. Lo and behold, I find out that he was arrested for stalking and harassing his ex wife. He was also charged with a hit and run from the night before. His blood alcohol level was .25 -- and this was 7:00 in the morning. CONFIRMED! He's got a substance abuse problem. So I have to now make the call to refer him to a place where he can get the treatment he needs and deserves. The conversation doesn't go well. He is pissed (as I knew he would be), sad, belligerent, and crying. I tell him that he can come back once he has it in writing that he has done his rehab.

That was one of the hardest things I have done. I felt guilty. I felt bad. I felt a million different feelings but realized that I was doing the professional and ethical thing. I was being humane and offering him help for his problems. I don't know what's happened to him since our conversation last week. I hope and pray that he was able to make that call and get the help he needed. I can only hope that one day I will find out that he is okay.

And that, my friends, is only the tip of the iceberg.....................more later.

Thanks for reading this far. Peace!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Been A Long Time

It's been ages since I've felt like writing......not quite sure why. Life has been hectic since my last post. I've been getting adjusted to the new position, traveling for work, remaining active with my youth group, and trying to keep tabs on the family.

One major episode of DRAMA occurred a few weeks ago. As you know, things at my church are not good. There is a group of very, very unhappy members who basically want the pastor gone. They petitioned the council to have a special congregational meeting. So, we did. It was the most uncomfortable thing I've sat through in a very long time. People were yelling at the Pastor and all she could do was defend herself. Mind you, I'm not taking sides here -- I have my issues with both sides -- but, I felt ashamed to call myself a member of that congregation. That's bad!

I, of course, being who I am, cannot side idly by and not say anything. So, in my best counselor language and affect I explained that there was a lot of hurt, etc. that I was hearing and that I was interested in how we were going to repair that and move on in a loving, Christian manner. That went over like a lead balloon. It was at that moment that I realized that this group of people will NEVER be satisfied until the pastor is gone. It was in that moment that I realized that the pastor isn't going to apologize for any of the miscommunication, hurt feelings, etc. It was in that moment that I realized we are in a REAL BAD WAY. I don't know what I'm going to do but it sure isn't going to be choosing sides. I will continue to attend (when I am motivated) and will continue to contribute financially until we either close the doors or experience a revival. I know that God has big plans for our congregation. Not sure what the big plans are but whatever it is will be amazing.

On another note...I'm looking for new office space. The place where I am now is becoming very toxic for me. No one is getting along. The owner is so focused on making money that people are falling through the cracks. The others that see clients there are booking appointments on the same nights that I'm there....and in my space.... Things are not good. I'm praying that I will find a great place which will allow me to serve my clients to the best of my ability.

Getting ready to go out with a big group of friends tonight. It's going to be a blast. We're going to Gay Bingo in Philly. It's a monthly fundraiser for AIDS Research and it's a great time. I'll definitely be blogging about it and will have some pictures as well.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday

WOW! I turned 40 on Friday. I can't believe it.

As I look back on the past 40 years, I have discovered that I have accomplished a lot in my lifetime. I grew up, married, divorced, purchased my own home, purchased a rental property, completed my masters degree, dealt with the death of my father and step father, opened a private practice, left a few jobs and found new ones, was named employee of the year, received a promotion, reconnected with old friends, strengthened existing friendships...the list goes on and on. So I am embracing turning 40. I figure the first 40 years was the hard work and now life can truly begin! YAY ME!!!!

I have been celebrating pretty much for the past few weeks. It started with my trip to Indianapolis and continued with Happy Hour after work on Friday which turned into a night out on the town at a local bar. The celebration will continue with a family party next weekend. I have wonderful friends. Even those that I never felt especially close to came out to help me celebrate. Life is good!

So, today, I am thankful for all of my blessings. Embrace life, count your blessings, and celebrate YOU! You deserve it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I just arrived back home after a "two sleep" stay in Indianapolis. I traveled out there to award a scholarship in my Dad's memory. It was wonderful to see all of my dad's friends and those that I have come to know as "friend." Dad lived in Indy for almost 35 years. It was his second home. I visited so much that I began to think of it as my second home -- still do, actually.

Since he passed almost 5 years ago, I have traveled back a few times. Last year was the only year I haven't gone back since that fateful day. In the beginning, it was very difficult for me. I would drive past his old house, the RCA Dome (which isn't there anymore), the Conseco Fieldhouse, the Zoo, the hospital where he died, and the funeral home. Seeing all of these things brought back so many memories and so many emotions for me.

My dad and I had wonderful times. We laughed, we cried, we shopped, we ate, we saw the Colts and the Pacers play, we visited the Children's Museum and many other things. There was always something to do or someone to see. During the summers, my bro and I would hang out at his office. There was always an envelope that needed to be stuffed or a piece of mail that needed to be run through the postage machine. We learned a great work ethic and how to truly make a difference in someone's life.

As I got older and continued to visit, the activities were different but there was always one constant...the Children's Museum. From the time I can remember, we visited this place. I loved it and I never got too old to go back.

This trip was different. A new airport was built and so I had to learn how to navigate it. I was used to the old one where I would see dad at the bottom of the escalator waiting for me in the baggage claim area. Even after he passed, I could still see him standing there waiting for me. Since the new airport was built, the route to the hotel was different. I didn't pass the funeral home, I didn't pass the hospital, I didn't pass the million other things I remember passing on my way to the house.

There were many memories shared about dad while I was out there. I truly miss him. He was a major part of my life. He was my rock. He was my personal comedian. He was my biggest champion. He was my protection. He was my security.

Pop, I love you with all my heart and soul. Thank you for being you and helping make me into the person I am today. I miss you.................

Monday, March 9, 2009

What Would You Do If I Sang Out of Tune?

I woke up this morning with that running through my head. I spent the weekend on a youth retreat. It was awesome but, for some reason, this year was more tiring than other years. I wonder if it's because I'm getting older or because I wasn't feeling well or because "my" kids were testing every limit they could. I don't know. Regardless, it was a great weekend filled with some awesome conversations and lots of laughter.

Our theme was "God Is Using You...Your Story, My Story, God's Story." We had three speakers who all told their stories. The first speaker was my ex. He was wonderful. He told the story of how he truly came to know that God lives in his heart. The reason that God was "plunged" deep in his heart had to do with the death of his mother. As he was telling this story I relived every moment of it. You see, I was there the day he got the call. I was the one who saw him at what was probably the darkest moment in his life. I was the one who was there to help him through. So, of course, I was crying like a baby while he was sharing all of this. He never mentioned my name (which was great) or that I was with him because he didn't want to confuse everyone.....and he told me that up front and I was okay with it.

The second speaker was someone that I watched grow up on retreat. I first knew of him when he was in 6th grade. He really didn't "stand out" all that much. As the years progressed, I saw him grow in his faith. Once he graduated high school, he and I worked together as he developed a youth program at his church. Over the years, I have watched his path zig and zag, I have watched him be tested, and I have watched his successes. He relayed the story of his life. Where the calling on his heart had taken him. It was a truly remarkable story. I was so proud because I was a part of his journey and I continue to be.

The third speaker was a Pastor. She is a really neat person. I don't know her that well but her story was awesome. She relayed the story of how she heard her calling to ministry.

After the speakers and the programming was finished, it was time for fellowship. The adults hang out and chat and the kids do what they do. We laugh hysterically and have a great time. I live for these moments......this was the start of a million and one quotes that will live forever. It's funny how you hear what someone says and it wasn't at all what they said. Eric said, "Put it in your room dot com." Here's what I heard, "Put it in your room Ty Cobb." WOW. This picture speaks's me wearing a youth event shirt that says, "Sin Boldly." The magazines are all about brewing your own beer. Go figure. :)

Overall, the weekend was great. I guess you're wondering where the title of this blog came from? Well, this is one of the songs that was played. It truly sums up the most important theme: FRIENDS. We must have them to get through the rough times in our lives. We must have them to celebrate with us. The most important "friend" we have is God. He lives in us and through us. He is a part of everything we do and he has written our story. What is your story?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Super Sweet 16

It's early in the morning and I have a snow day today. Tired of watching all the hype about the "thunder snow" I was flipping through the tv channels and landed on Mtv and their Sweet 16 show. If you've never watched this show, it's a reality type show about turning 16 and throwing the "dopest party EVER." The birthday girls (there has only been 1 boy) plan this bash and don't even think about how much it is costing. They plan their themes, grand entrances, costume changes, and performers. It really is outrageous. Oh, and I failed to mention that at the end of the party they always get a car. And not just any car -- we're talking tricked out BMW's, Mercedes, Hummers, you name it.

So this episode today was about a girl named "Sky" who wanted her party to be Moulin Rouge. She wanted to see the real one so her mother took her to Paris. Then they went car shopping at the local Mercedes dealer. Sky wanted the car in hot pink -- they don't make a Benz in hot pink so she wasn't happy. Mom ended up giving her a hot pink mustang. I could go on and on about the ridiculousness that I saw.

It got me thinking about the values some children are being raised with. I don't understand the obsession with all of the material stuff. If you could just see some of these homes the birthday girls live in -- they're huge and filled with flat screen tvs, pools, pool tables, cars........... They have this sense of "entitlement" and are spoiled rotten!

What happened to playing kick the can with the neighborhood kids and eating mac 'n cheese? What happened to doing chores and cleaning up after yourself? What happened to basic cable and atari? What happened to walkman's and walking to school?

Maybe I'm getting old...but, seriously, I see all of the stuff that kids have today (including my own nieces and nephew) and I'm amazed. What will their children want? Will they grow up to appreciate all they have?

I was raised to respect myself, respect others, and accept responsibility for my actions. I wonder if kids today are being raised this way. I was raised with love and mom instilled a sense of independence and appreciation in me. We were disciplined when necessary (mom had a stash of wooden spoons) and we learned from our mistakes.

I can only hope that these Sweet 16's will grow up to be productive members of society and lose their sense of entitlement.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rudolph Anyone?

It's 2 am and I'm sitting in front of the computer with a box of tissues and a trash can full of used ones. My nose is sore and it's beet red. I've been battling this cold/allergy attack thing for a week. It's been so bad that I had to reschedule my clients.

I really stink at being sick. Most people would let the illness run its course and just take it easy. Nope, not me. I feel like I should be doing stuff and that the world will collapse if I'm out of touch for a few days. What's that all about? I'm not THAT important!

I think I'll take some more sinus medicine and hope that I can get some sleep before the alarm goes off in 4 hours for me to get myself to work. Hopefully I'll feel better and will be able to last the entire day..........

Monday, February 23, 2009

How Great Thou Art? I think not

I am totally beside myself right now. As I was cooking dinner, my ex-husband called. He said he wanted to talk to me about something. Oh, geez, here we go. So, before he starts his story, he asks, "Are you sitting down?" I hate when people say I'm going to faint or something. He goes on to tell me that this coming Sunday is his last Sunday at church.

Ok, back up....if you've read my entries you know the following:
1. My ex and I talk -- sometimes multiple times per day.
2. We both go to the same church (still)
3. I've been struggling with the situation in the church
4. I have not felt spiritually nurtured in quite some time.

So, I say, "WHAT?" He goes on to tell me that this Sunday's sermon was out of control. Our Pastor came down from the pulpit (she does this sometimes -- that's when we know we're "in for it") and preached "among the people." I don't remember exactly what he said she said but it was something like this:

* We come to church for the wrong reasons
* We don't worship properly
* These pews will be filled with new people, just you wait and see
* We don't put God first.

THEN, she went on to talk about the Pasta dinner we just had that raised almost $3,000 so that 7 of us could go to New Orleans in July to our National Youth Gathering. Apparently, "my" kids should have laid their request at Jesus' feet and he would have provided. EXCUSE ME??? Am I supposed to shuttle the kids to the airport and drop them off expecting that the nice people at the USAir counter will just give them a ticket because they prayed for it? Don't get me wrong, I have personally seen the miracle of God's provision and I have the ultimate faith that He will/does provide. This was our way of praying that He would provide and lo and behold, He did. Our congregation didn't have to support the dinner. Our congregation didn't have to donate items for the Silent Auction. Our congregation didn't have to do squat but they did and they did it with loving and open hearts.

By this point, I'm furious. The pasta is boiling over on the stove, the sausage is hard as a rock because I left it in the microwave too long, the ice cubes are melting.....

I told him that I was glad that I wasn't in church yesterday or else when she got to the part about the dinner and my kids, I would have stood up and said something to her. Right then and there whether she was in the middle of a sermon or not. It's one thing to insult me but don't you DARE insult one of my youth group kids. EVER!

I don't know what's going to come of this latest debacle but I do know that my ex will no longer be there. That really, really angers me....wait, no, it really, really pisses me off. He was the one who brought me into the church. He was the one who shared his faith with me. He was the one who supported me in everything I did and still do in the church.

HOW DARE SHE RIP THAT AWAY FROM ME? I am still pissed. Really pissed. I couldn't care less if I ever hear another one of her sermons again. I will still be there for the youth. I will still be there for my godson. That's it, no more, no less.

Oh Loving and Merciful God, only You know the path that you have laid out for us. We are walking this path in faith and know that you will never lead us astray. Please reach out to those who falter and fumble as they seek to follow. We know that you are with us each step of the way and are clearing the road ahead for great things to come. Show us your mercy as we experience these troubling times. Bring enlightenment to those who need it. Shower us with forgiveness so that we may forgive. Bring us peace. Amen.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Old Friends, New Friends

I've been up since the butt crack of dawn. I'm slightly hung over from a wonderful evening. It wasn't the beer that made it wonderful -- it was the people I was with.

Over the past few weeks, I have been reconnecting with former classmates (both high school and college) and really enjoying myself. My friendships have been deepening. I've taken some time to do some reflecting and have realized that I am truly blessed with wonderful people in my life. It's funny how, when you look back, you see that your friends/acquaintances are pretty much grouped. Each person's groupings are different but they all share a commonality.

My groupings are: family, high school, college, post grad, work, church, my biker friends, my WINGS friends, blogger/journal space, and some other random smaller groupings.

I think this all started with Facebook. Go figure! I have reconnected with so many of my high school classmates! I wasn't overly friendly with some of them in high school and didn't remain in touch with them afterwards. High School wasn't the best time of my life. I don't know why so that probably is one of the reasons why I didn't stay in contact or go to any of my reunions. Anyhoo...I traveled 2 hours yesterday to reconnect with one of my good friends in HS. She lives just outside of Easton, PA (cow country) with her two daughters. It was great to see her again. We picked up right where we left off!

Last night, after driving home, I went to the WINGS game with a friend of mine whom I've known for 20 years. She graduated a year after I did. Our ex husbands were friends so, naturally, we became friends and have been even through our divorces. We went to dinner with another friend. We had so much fun that I forgot what it was like to really belly laugh!

Then, at the game, we met up with another group of people who we see only during the lacrosse season. Some of our group weren't there. It amazed me that when we talked about going out to dinner before the next game to celebrate my birthday -- everyone said YES!

About two or three weeks ago, I received a friend request from a girl who I went to undergrad with. I had been looking for her for quite some time. We met for dinner and didn't stop talking for 4 hours!!!! It was wonderful and we didn't miss a beat. We fell right back into our silly antics and craziness. It felt so good!

I could go on and on about the different people in my life but, the bottom line is this: I am blessed to have such great people in my life. It's important to recognize that.

Have a wonderful day, hug your friends, say thanks, and don't forget to laugh or smile!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And, she's back............

I haven't been reading/posting for a while and really missed all of the antics and fun and just catching up with everyone.

Life has been quite insane as of late. So I'll start with the updates:

The Blind Date: The dude turns out to be the nephew of the friend who is trying to get us together. I don't know what to think now. I had dinner with her the other day and she never mentioned what he looked like despite my asking. red flag waves but, we shall see. She did, however, say he's very tall and not a bean pole which, in my book, is awesome. I'll keep you posted on that one.

The Ex: I have spoken to him more in the past two weeks -- almost every day and sometimes three times in a day. He's all amped up over what's going on at our church. I don't blame him -- his grandfather helped build it and he's got some serious roots there. I try to be supportive but when you have the cell phone ringing, the other phone line ringing, someone standing at your desk waiting for you to get off the phone, and an office mate who speaks loudly, sometimes it just ain't happening. He has shared some emails with me that he's written to the "higher ups" in the church -- I'm wondering when he got so witty...........he really is quite funny with what he says and he's become very introspecitve. We'll be "going away together" in a few weeks...relax, we're going on retreat -- he leads the I'm sure there will be lots of together time and much to be discussed.

The job: I am privledged to say that I got a promotion at the end of January. I am not, however, privledged to say that my office will be moved. That sticks in my crawl a bit. Here I am the person who 'markets' the agency and does 'fundraising' and I'm banished to the last office furthest away from the entrance. It takes me approximately 5 - 7 minutes (talk about precise) to get to the front desk and that's if no one stops me and the elevator doesn't take its sweet time. My only hope is that who ever comes to see me, isn't in a hurry. Having said all of that, my replacement has not been hired as of yet. So you know what that means, right? YEP...I'm doing two full time jobs........... On a good note, I get to go to Dallas in April. Only for training and for two days but at least it's away from here.

The practice: Going well. Although, I had a bit of a spell with someone the other day. Here's the bottom line: One of my clients saw another therapist for a short session of a highly specialized technique. She didn't tell me. Never mentioned it. It was her grandmother who had this therapist work with her. It is her grandmother who is paying me to work with her. See where I'm going with this? Anyway, the grandmother told me what happened. Hhmm, now that explains why she was acting the way she was acting in our session. I flipped out....what right does another therapist have to work with one of my clients? He violated every ethical principle out there. What an ass...I'm still trying to decide when to confront him...I think I will when I calm down a bit. I told the grandmother that if she wanted him to work with my client on a regular basis then be my guest but I will NOT have her interfereing any longer with the work that I'm doing. What a crock of shit.................

That's enough for tonight. It's Valentine's Day and I've spent it in my jammies cuddled up under blankets relaxing. Aaaahhhhhhh............xoxo

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mish Mash

Don't know where to bad stuff just a lot of it.

My clients -- now that's a place to start! I saw 3 of them last night. Interestingly enough, they all are making a little progress. The first one wants to get out of the situation she's in. So, she's going to put together a plan, do a little research, keep stuff on the "dl" and I'll see her in two weeks. The second one has realized that she's lessening the turmoil in some of the areas of her life which is allowing more positive things to appear to her. I told her it was like eating a whole lot then burping. When you burp, you make room for more....she laughed...I laughed....but she got it. I did, however, feel bad for her when she left because her car wouldn't start so she ended up calling AAA who came out and put in a new battery for her. Third client is also wanting to shift gears and do something with her life. She wants out of her situation,, game plan is for her to do some research and get back to me. We shall see. It's interesting how all three of these clients are in a state of transition. They all want movement. They all want to be somewhere they aren't at the moment. Are they motivated to actually do what they want? I'm not so sure but we shall see.

The job -- well, this is interesting. In a time where layoffs are imminent and things are taking a bad spin, I was promoted. That's awesome because it also came with a slight pay increase. Trust me, I am in no way complaining. The only thing is that I hate the new title. It's a new position and our CEO is totally in love with it ... "Director of Center Advancement." I have NO idea what that is or what it means. Do you? I didn't think so. Basically my job is marketing and fundraising. My current supervisor (who is a VP) says she hates it too. She said, "It's Director of who knows what the F you do." AMEN. I'm hoping that she can get him to change it. I tried. He seemed like he was dead set on it. EWWWW.

Church -- drama, drama, drama. I can't take it. I want to go to worship and not have to worry about who pissed off who or who is leaving because they're disappointed...people, GROW UP! Accept responsibility for your stuff. Open your hearts and your mind to the possibility that things aren't always what they seem. God help us.

I broke down and bought a Nintendo Wii. It was bundled with Wii Fit. I have never been into video games so have no clue about Xbox or Game Cube or whatever else is out there. But, Wii I can do. For the past two nights I have played. It's exciting not only because it's new but because I'm actually physically active. This sitting around doing nothing is killing me.

No word yet on the blind date. I really don't expect him to call. If he does, that's great. If he doesn't ...well, it's his loss. So, needless to say, the male companionship around this place is lacking. Wait, maybe I should say non-existent...yes, that's the word I was looking for. I'll keep you posted.

Gotta head to bed. I have my first 'official' new job function tomorrow. I'm nervous but I know it will go well. I also am very grateful to Bagpuss for going shopping with me after work tonight so I have something smashing to wear for my big debut.

Sweet dreams, my friends.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blind Date

I recently received a phone call from a long-time friend of mine. I used to be her supervisor in my former life. She is an older woman (who could be my grandma) and I have always had a great respect for her. We still keep in touch and occasionally meet for dinner. From time to time the subject of me not having a "significant other" arises. She called to ask me if I had one. When I said no, she said, "I have someone for you."

Here is how she describes him: tall, hysterically funny, high level security clearance, makes his own wine and beer. He's 44 and never been married. I am so glad she didn't say "He's got a great personality" because we all know what that means.

She said that she hasn't said anything to him yet because she wanted to see what I would say. Even though blind dates are weird and awkward, if he calls, I'm going. At least it will be a night out, right? :)

I'll keep you posted!

Game 1

Last night was the home opener of the Philadelphia Wings. I've had season tickets for forever and a day. I can't remember exactly when we (myself and Aud) started going but it definitely has been at least 18 years. I don't have a clue what the rules of the game are, no idea what the record is at the end of the season, no knowledge of the players. Yea, I'm a fan, right?

In the beginning I sat and watched the entire game. I saw every Wings goal and every "bad guy goal." I cheered and yelled, "sucks" when they introduced the opposing team. (It's a Wings wouldn't understand). There was a group of guys who sat behind us. Eventually we got to talking to them and the rest is history. Our little group grew and now there is a whole crew of us who hang out, drink, watch the game, eat,'s great.

The season lasts from January to April. We see some of the group periodically in the 'off season.' For those we don't see until the season starts, we pick up right where we left off. So, last night, we picked up right where we left off. It was great.

I saw some of the game but was busy catching up with the gang**. I never had an empty cup the entire game -- I haven't had that much to drink in quite some time. I'm paying for it today. Ewwwww. Getting myself together to go get my hair cut today should be a big treat!

They lost the game, I ended up drunk texting, and we're going to do it all again in two weeks. Stay tuned.....the antics at the games and hanging out in the parking lot afterwards make for great blogging.

GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**Our Crew:
Healey (the stutterer)
Vern (married to Egg)
Egg (married to Vern)
The Babysitters and the fiance
The kids: Cole, Jake, Justin, Jennifer
Angel (the bartender)
Various others who join us periodically

Thursday, January 22, 2009

God Will Poke You In The Ear

It all started a few months back. As most of you know, Bagpuss and I work together and we are great friends. We both are insane in our own ways and really do feed off of each other. So we're walking down the hall one day and she was busting on me for something -- at this point, I can't remember. It probably had something to do with me and my youth group kids. Anyway, whatever it was, after she said it she got a horrible pain in her ear. So, witty one that I am, said, "See, that's God poking you in the ear for being mean to me."

What's that have to do with this blog? Well you see, it got stirred up again today. And, this is what started it:

One of the girls at work got her hair cut. It looks cute for a 5 year old but whatever. I just so happened to be walking down the hall (I spend a lot of time doing that) and looked through the window and saw her. The image of Marcie popped into my head. I laughed out loud and ran into Rach's office. She laughed and called me a cow. Yea, whatever....I'll live. I get back to my desk, find this picture and email it to her. After a few banterings back and forth, she tells me that God will poke me in the ear if I don't stop.

So I responded with, "I've been poked by God lots of times. I'm not afraid." At the time it seemed very innocent to me. Until I pushed "send." That's when it hit me. OH LORD! That has so many interpretations. Rach and I decided that I would post it to my blog and see what you have to say about it.

And that, my friends, is just another one of my classic, don't think before I speak lines. I do think, however, it's my favorite. What do you think?????

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise

Don't have a clue how that title found its way out of my head because I was not sitting here thinking about paradise -- not at all.

It's been a rough few days in my head. I've been in a tailspin with work, church, my's almost as if it's all swirling around me and I'm caught in the center with no way in or out. This, too, shall pass. I get like this every so often.

I was glued to the Inauguration yesterday. I live streamed it onto our big screen at work and the lunch crew watched it. I was enthralled. Never has an inauguration fascinated me as much as this one did. There are probably a variety of reasons for that. One being that I think it is wonderful we are finally going to be led by someone who has a clue. Another being that I have a "thing" for dark skinned men. We'll save that for another blog. So, I watched. And, I read almost everything I could on the internet yesterday and today. I will follow this historic journey for quite some time and am looking forward to the days ahead.

Skip to my church life. We are gearing up for our annual retreat. We average 400 participants -- teenagers and their adult chaperones -- for this event. I have been involved since the inception and sit on the steering committee. I also serve as the Assistant Chaplain. I love this event. I leave there exhausted but spiritually uplifted. I can see the work of the Holy Spirit in everyone there. I'm looking forward to going.

Working on this retreat and other church stuff has me in close contact with my ex-husband. You should know that we parted company and are very good friends. He is remarried and has a son. We are better friends now than when we were married. All of this time together has really done a number on me. I got to thinking today about the connection we have and wonder if the tie I feel to him is keeping me from finding a mate? I'm convinced that there is someone out there for me and I keep wondering if it is him. Which then leads me to wonder if I shouldn't have stuck it out a bit and not rushed so quickly into divorce. Whatever the reason behind our relationship, I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned. I'm sure God has a hand in this but I just wish He'd hurry up and reveal whatever it is I'm supposed to do/learn/hear/see...whatever. On that note, I have to run to a Youth Advisors Meeting. It never ends in my world. Maybe this is my Paradise?

Be Well

Monday, January 19, 2009


I admire this man. He spoke words of truth. He spoke words that people across the nation needed to hear. He spoke of growth, of life, of equality.

While in Atlanta a few years back, I visited the King Center for Peace. I saw his tomb. I walked past the church where his father was a Pastor. I saw his childhood home. I saw the "carriage" that carried his casket through the streets.

My father and my godfather were best friends. They both grew up in the City of Chester. One from the Greek neighborhood and one from the Black neighborhood. They were inseparable. They went to school together, they played sports together, they both went to Michigan State, they both stayed in the same dorm, they traveled together across the state for basketball games. They experienced what it was like to be discriminated against. My father, even though he was 'allowed' to sit at the counter and be served, didn't. He was loyal to my godfather. Even though Dad was 'allowed' to live in the whites only dorm, he didn't. He roomed with my godfather.

Love, loyalty, compassion, equality -- MLK preached it. Dad and Godfather lived it.

Our 44th President will be inaugurated tomorrow. This is a groundbreaking event that will make history. As we embark on history in the making, I hope that we can put aside the differences that keep us apart and weaken us and recognized the similarities that can draw us together and make us stronger.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Musings

It's Sunday and I'm gearing up for what is going to be a busy day. I'm sitting in front of the tv with a hot steaming cup of coffee and watching Animal Planet and some show about talented pets. Why? I have no idea. BUT, it got me thinking...............

There is such love between the pets and their owners. It's unconditional. That's what love should be. I wonder why people can't show unconditional love to each other? Isn't that what God shows us? It doesn't matter how badly we mess up, He is always there to forgive and show us the right path.

Speaking of showing the right path ... I took my youth group kids ice skating last night. I have never ice skated in my life -- still haven't! :) Anyhoo...I was sitting rinkside freezing. I was wearing my warm coat, plenty of layers, and gloves. I was still cold. Then, one by one, they skated over and said, "Jill, will you hold my coat? I'm hot." So, of course, I said yes then wrapped myself up in them. Now that's love. I was warm and they were having fun.

As I was sitting there, I was texting our other youth advisor who wasn't able to join us. We were talking about where I was sitting and the fact that if I had been sitting anywhere else, the kids would have had a fit. They are so attached to us and love that we're always around wherever they are. Wow, I bet their parents would be floored!

About an hour after sitting there, I noticed a little girl skating around. She had on a helmet and a cute little figure skating outfit. She was 4. God love her, she was out there doing her thing. Her name was on her helmet and it was the same name as one of my girls. I mentioned it to her and they instantly became friends. She and another one of the girls each grabbed the little one's hands and skated around the rink with her for quite a while. Turns out that little one plays hockey and last night was her first time in figure skates.

I was so proud of my girls. Even though little one didn't need help, she wanted them to take her around the rink and they did. When it was time for little one to leave, her father gave her money to give to my girls as a thank you for taking her around. They refused and the dad insisted. I stepped in at that point and told them that we were there with our church youth group and thanked him but again refused. At first he looked insulted but then we smiled at him and he knew that the girls spent time with his daughter not for any monetary reward but for the sheer joy of showing love to others.

And so it is with God. He gives us companionship, grace, and love. Not because he wants a monetary reward but because he wants to show us what unconditional love is. I challenge you today to show unconditional love to someone. Not because you want something materialistic in return but because you want the feeling of joy knowing that you gave something more powerful than money.

Peace and Blessings to you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Busy As Usual

It's been a while since I've posted anything. This past week has been crazy busy and it looks as if things are only going to become more busy. Where should I start? Hhmm...

Last Sunday was our Annual Congregational Meeting. Things have been going from bad to worse in our congregation and I was anxious to see what was going to happen. To begin with, the regular service started 10 minutes late. This is the third week in a row that it's happened. We're not off to a good start. Bottom line on the meeting: we spent 15 minutes debating/discussing vinyl vs. ceramic tile. Are you serious? Really, people, come on. There are so many other things that need to be discussed. One thing I noticed was that everything people said came from a negative standpoint. Let's cut this program, let's go back to no bulletin, let's cut this person's salary. Not once did anyone say anything positive that's been going on. This is a true indication of what's to come. I'm not running for the hills just yet. I'm staying for a bit and fighting for what I believe in. I'll do my sermons and workshops and hope that it makes a difference. I hope that just one person is "re enlightened" and can have a change in attitude. It only takes one to start, right?

Skip ahead to work issues. Our director of fundraising resigned. Against her will, I might add, and she's very vocal about it. My boss asked me if I would consider taking on more of the marketing aspect of the agency. I had originally said I wanted to give that part of my job up. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I'm pretty much in a dead end position and that this would be a great challenge for me and that if I didn't agree to be considered, I was pretty much committing professional suicide. We shall see what comes out of this. The CEO told the person who was leaving that he had spoken to me. UM...WRONG...he hasn't said anything past hello to me this entire week. IF I decide that this is the direction I want to go, there will definitely be some requests made. I know that there really isn't money to give me a huge raise so I'm going to go another route. We'll see where that gets me.

On a positive note, I was asked to be on the Advisory Board of the graduate clinical psychology program for a local college. What an honor! I am so excited to be a part of this. It won't involve too much work and looks great on a resume.

I've also been asked to speak at a conference gathering we have with other churches. I was honored that they asked. My 10 minute spiel is on "Pizza Prayer." How is ordering pizza like praying to God? Mostly youth attend so this will be right on point with them. Oh, and the title of these gatherings is "Praize and Pizza" so I figured it was very appropriate. Am excited. Will keep you posted on that.

It's time for me to head to the shower and get ready for a business meeting, a massage, and a night of ice skating with my youth group kids.

Stay warm my friends who are in the cold parts (it's 10 here) and keep cool to those of you in warm, sunny places!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Tenant

About two years ago, I purchased an additional property because I got it in my head that it was the smart thing to do. In actuality, it was but the hassle was a bit much. Pictures of the living room, dining room and kitchen are at the end.

Since I was still in school at the time I purchased it, I couldn't really take on the responsibility for managing it on my own. I had NO time and NO experience. What would happen if something needed to be repaired? Lord knows I have plenty of tools and know how to use them but can I haul a toilet up 3 flights of stairs....don't think so. The complex where the property is has an on-site management company. For a finders fee and a small monthly management fee, they would find the renter and take care of everything! Wonderful. I could swing that. The rent was enough to cover the mortgage, condo fee, management fee and I still could get my nails done! :)

The first tenant moved in and that's when the problems started! I wasn't getting my investment check from the corporate office on the specified date. No one at the corporate office would speak to me. The rental agent at the on-site office never returned my calls. Getting information and money from them was a nightmare. This went on and on until I got a statement from the corporate office that no rental income was received. Hmm, I said, what's this about? Well, come to find out, the renters skipped out leaving me without 4 months rent. It turned out that the rental agent was a relative of the renters and really royally screwed me.

Fast forward to the new tenant. He's been living there for over a year. Again, the management company was hard to work with. Then, I graduated and decided that enough was enough. I didn't have this property to have to fight for my money every month. I fired the management company! They reluctantly refunded the monies they had on account for me -- after a few harsh emails and voice mails from me. There is way more to this story but, suffice it to say, it was nothing but a hassle!

I informed the tenant that I was now taking over everything and that he was to deal with me directly. I drew up a new lease, went over to the property, met him and we signed everything. So, the first month passes with no hassles -- except a leaky toilet, which, by the Grace of God, was fixed before it caused major problems for the downstairs people. Then comes the next month....I get a call......I'm going to be a little late with the rent but I can pay you half now. HERE WE GO! I said okay. Now, here's why I said okay...when I first was separated from my ex husband, I rented an apartment. I didn't have anything. I had to rob Peter to pay Paul. I had to borrow money from my dad. If my landlord hadn't helped me out, I would have been out on the street. So, I was okay with that. He finally paid up and all is well.

Then, I get a call that he was hurt at work and was going to be late again. I asked him when he would be sending the check and that he must include the late fee. Enough is enough. I can only be so nice. That month got paid with no late fee. In the meantime, I had to go over there to replace pipes under the kitchen sink. Now, at this point, he never says anything about January rent being late. Until he calls and tells me a few days later. By now, I'm not tolerant.

I have been sick since the New Year began. I lost my voice. It's almost back but that's irrelevant. So, since I can't talk, I text him. When is the rent being paid? He says that I should have gotten it by now and that he needs to check to see if his son mailed it. I said that 2 months worth of late fees were to be included. He says he forgot. Ok...are you seeing anything wrong with this picture? So that was Wednesday. Yesterday, I got a check dated for 1/9 mailed on 1/8. No late fees. So, I text him again telling him what I have and that I expect the late fees to be paid by Wednesday and that the rent would be paid ON TIME in February. He texts back that his son forgot to mail the check and he just wrote a new one and forgot the late fees. WRONG! I might have been born at night but it wasn't last night! We shall see what happens with this man.

It gets better -- he keeps complaining about the "industrial" carpets and wants them replaced. Um......NO. They were brand new when I bought the place, cleaned before he moved in and staying there! He says they stink. I say rent a cleaner but I'm not paying for it.

Then, he didn't clean the stove and the burner caught on fire. Stove had to be replaced. I said keep it clean. Is it? NOPE.

Then he says he wants to paint. I say fine but I'm not paying for it and when you leave all the walls must be white. He hasn't done that.

THEN, he has the nerve to ask if he can get a dog because his kids want one. I'm not against animals, really and truly. I believe that children should grow up with animals but they should be able to care for them properly. But, come on.....your lease says NO PETS. The by-laws of the association say no rental properties can have pets. Sorry, dude, no pets. My luck, he'll get one and it will tear up the place.

The saga continues!

Hysterically funny

Warning -- it may be offensive but it is hysterically funny. Guess ya gotta give the guy credit for being brave enough to post it on youtube!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Actions speak louder than words

Actions really do speak louder than words. It really just hit me today.

The guy in the cafeteria, who has been saying for the past umpteen months that "we're gonna get together," told me this morning when I went down for breakfast that he was going to make Cream of Potato soup. Big deal you say. I'm with ya! Here's the thing: he knew I had no voice and wasn't feeling well. I specifically asked him to make something "comforting." He knew what I meant. Lo and behold, I trot myself down again at lunch time and guess what? It's CLAM CHOWDER! Eww with a capital EWW! So, of course, I can't let that go and say something to him. He says, "Babe, you know I care about you." Whatever, I say, actions speak louder than words.

The background with this person is too extensive for me to even get into right now. It's the point of saying one thing and doing something else. I always try to have my words and actions consistent with one another. That's the way I live my life. I very rarely say one thing and do another. I just can't, it's not part of my nature. So, gullible me trusts that everyone operates on the same premise as I do. WRONG, Jill, doesn't happen that way! I am trying not to be jaded. I really do give everyone chances...many more than some of them deserve. Is it wrong to expect that people will do what they say they'll do? I just don't get it.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing my own comfort food!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I have been home the past two days with a cold that has left me voiceless. Usually, I am sick around Christmas but it seems as if mother nature decided that I would be sick for the new year. 'Tis okay, though, because I was running around so much during Christmas (aha! running around = contact with lots of people=no rest=cold!) that I didn't have time to be ill. For most of you, no voice isn't a big deal. A few days, it comes back and you're good to go. For me, however, my voice is my life! During my days, I am a trainer and do marketing and public relations. During my evenings, I am a counselor. So, therefore, no voice = lots of problems.

It's actually a little better today but I still have to strain. I slept with one of those waterless Vick's things plugged in last night -- I love the smell of Vick's -- and then ran the vaporizer all day today. Seems to be working. I'll sleep with the vaporizer on tonight and hopefully, tomorrow, will be a better voice day.

Regardless, I have been cooped up in this house eating chicken noodle soup, watching TV, reading, working (I can do that, yay!), napping, and bonding with Mr. Max. I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong, I love my house but I've had enough of being a couch potato. Plus, I've read the first two books in the Twilight series and just started the third. I still don't understand the big deal with Edward and Bella but I will finish so that I can hopefully gain some insight into my kids and my clients.

It's funny, someone said to me today that I am permitted not to feel well and that I don't need to be a workaholic. It really hit home because that's exactly what I say to my clients. It is true, we are only human and therefore will have days when we don't feel well. There is no reason for me to feel guilty about it. I am not indispensable; therefore the world will not stop if I can't check email for a day. Although with the state of the economy, I don't want to even think about unemployment!

So there you have it. I'm going into the office tomorrow regardless of the strength of my voice. As long as I can whisper, I'll be good -- I just won't answer the phone!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It's Sunday and I should be excited about getting ready to go to Church. For some reason, I'm not. Well, actually, I do have a clue as to the reason. The morale of the people is at an all time low. We're losing families left and right. We're being subjected to an "iron fist ruling" where there is no compromise -- EVER! I sit and listen to the sermon and half of the time I have no idea what the point is. There isn't a connection between the Word and real life. On a "good" day, we're not yelled at. On a bad day, I feel like I'm at a revival and if I don't jump up and yell, "AMEN" I'll be condemned to hell.

I love my church family. I love 'my' kids. I love the music (most of the time). I love that the Word is still proclaimed each and every Sunday. I love that we reach out to the community.

Even with all of the positives, I leave the service feeling a void. I don't feel spiritually nourished. I don't feel the unconditional love that God has for me while I'm sitting in the pew. I feel beaten down and made to feel that I'm not doing enough.

I've been worshipping and very involved in this church for 20 years. I've watched things change for the better and for the worse. We've prevailed through the hard times. We've celebrated the good times. We've shared joy and pain.

I'm at a point where it may be time to time to start figuring out which worship space is right for me. It's hard to even write that. It's even harder to admit it. As the new year begins, I am committed to strengthening my faith. I know that God has big things planned for my life. I know that I will be led on an amazing journey and I am ready.

Through all of this transition, I will take refuge in the quietness, for it is not in the "busyness" of the world that I find my rejuvenation.

"Be still and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Well, well, well

I finally admit to myself that JS is no longer and I return to my original blogging spot. It seems that some of my JS friends are here...yay! Update on what's been going on in life........

Christmas was fantastic. I say that because there was NO drama! Seriously, none. Zip. Zilch. Nada. It was the most memorable I have had in quite some time. I haven't been in the "Christmas" spirit for so long ... myriad of reasons ... and this was the first year that I was. I don't know if it had to do with my office mate (he's a Christmas freak) or just the fact that I have matured (wait, that's not But, in all seriousness, I was in a much better frame of mind this year than in the past. I even decorated a bit. I didn't go overboard and everything was down and put away right afterwards but, still, it went up.

My family has done a big Christmas Eve celebration since I can remember. It all started when my now 20 year old cousin/nephew was a baby. We used to gather at my aunt's house -- 12 of us -- shoved into a teeny, tiny house. We didn't care. It was family and chaos and we liked it that way. Then, my brother got married and we added his wife and a few years later, his three children. This year, we numbered 19. We now rotate between my cousin's house and my brother's house. No one had an attitude. Everyone was in a good mood. All the kids were excited about opening their gifts. Compared to Christmas' past.....this was one for the record books!

This year, we decided to do the traditional Christmas Eve 7 fishes dinner. Mind you, I am not Italian. My aunt married an Italian -- they're divorced and now we're all one big happy family. (I'll save that for another blog) my family if you have one of something, two are better. So, needless to say, we couldn't just have 7 fishes......we had 12! Everything was great except the smelts which PopPop insists on having every year -- no one eats them!

The perfect ending to the perfect evening was the impromptu American Idol karaoke that broke out. ALL of us were singing and carrying on and having a great time. My mom was trying to do the YMCA and couldn't get it so all she kept doing was rolling her hands. My nephew was in stiches...I thought he was going to pee his pants. My aunt, who has NO rhythm, messed everyone up. My uncle (PopPop) laughed so hard he was crying. All in all it was a great night!

On to Christmas Day -- no muss, no fuss. Back to PopPop's for a more relaxed, less people kind of day. I napped, we ate, laughed, cleaned up then went on our merry ways.

New Year's Eve has always been a holiday that I don't mind spending alone. I don't know what it is. I think it's a time for me to reflect and refresh. For years, my NYE celebrations were cut short because my ex was a Mummer ( and we always had to be home and in bed so he could get up at the crack of dawn for the parade. Regardless, I'm not into the big crowds of people and all of the mayhem so for me, home is the right spot.

This year was a bit different. I took a 1/2 day from work and met my girlfriend for lunch. Afterwards, we went to see "MILK." That movie was fantastic! I have never been so moved by something. All I could say when it was over was "wow!" After that, I went to hang out with one of the families from my church. I love this family. They're all so much fun. By the time the "bash" was in full swing, there were 14 of us and two dogs. Now, 14 doesn't seem like a lot of people but, trust me, with some of us in the living room playing Wii and the rest of us in the kitchen playing board games, we got rowdy. At one point, I took a step back in my mind and observed what was going on -- I had the youngest of the family on my lap (she was helping me play the game) and a dog on either side of me. Life was good!!!! I felt like one of the family. In fact, next to youngest, at one point, said to me, "Jill, you're automatically a part of our family." Seriously, I had tears in my eyes. I haven't felt that loved in a long time.

Finally, at 10:30 I had to hit the road to get home before the ball dropped. A part of me now wishes I had stayed but, that's okay, at least I wasn't alone for the entire evening. I watched the ball drop (poor Dick Clark), said, "Happy New Year" to the cat, texted everyone then went to bed.

Thanks for sticking with this long rambling..........I wish you joy, peace, prosperity and abundance in 2009.