Backstory

I started this blog nearly five years ago as an outlet for my love of writing and photography. Circumstances happened and life changed as it usually does. I had loads of graphic design skills (ten years worth), a classified job ad and a little luck and I landed a job at a small newspaper as a reporter and page designer. There began a journey that would leave me unraveling my brain one day at a time.

I won’t go in to all the details. Why not? Partly because I live so close to that newspaper. I still work in that county and quite frankly I’m a little scared there isn’t still some sort of backlash waiting for me for my having left the job in the first place.

The photo on the homepage of my blog does not infer that I’m in some sort of legal (or illegal) trouble. My job at the paper never put me in danger at least not the kind that would result in a bullet hole though glass. There were times I was berated, run off the scene of a fire, yelled at and told all I care about was paper sales. I had a creepy semi stalker and a few inmates who knew me, because my name was in the paper. But I rarely felt my life was in danger.

Despite the lack physical danger I was in danger of losing my soul. I had been assigned to things that I would never imagine myself doing. I was put in a position I would have questioned prior to my becoming a community journalist. All in the name of news. When I stood up for myself or questioned the motives behind things, I would be made to feel like I was the one with a problem. Not only did I have to contend with covering certain things outside my comfort zone or even skill level, I was dealing with a narcissistic manager. Again, I can’t divulge too many details, just know when I say I never imagined one person’s behavior and toxicity could cause me to go down a path of self doubt and thinking I was the one who was crazy resulting in mental breakdown.

I wove a web of tangled mess in my head trying to figure it all out. I felt trapped. After months, doctor visits, conversations with family and friends and loving encouragement from my mom and husband I decided to leave. It wasn’t worth it anymore.

I had a hard time landing a position anywhere else. I only wanted part time work because I knew my soul needed some downtime for healing. Unfortunately, the places I knew would be great to work while I pieced myself back together weren’t interested in me, I was way overqualified at this point, to stock shelves in the big box stores or water flowers in the garden center.

Friends came through and I found myself working on their farm. The physical labor is exhilarating. I find myself too busy to think, which in my case is great. I’m home some during the week to spend time with my youngest child and do some of the things I love to do: baking, crafting, photography making music and writing.

Sometimes I feel I’m not cut out for the fast paced 70+ mph highway of a life many seem to be traveling these days. I prefer the old country roads, you know, the ones that make you slow down because the road is gravel and you’ll spin out and slide all over if you don’t. Out in the wilderness, just me, the road, dappled light filtering through an ancient forest.DSC_0763

After two years of dealing with a narcissistic manager, while I piece my life together and figure out what it looks like recovering from newsroom and narcissism I’ll write about it. Writing has always been my best therapy. If you happen to read it and like it that’s great. I’m not here to claim to help anyone, just tell my story and share my journey of flipping my world upside down and changing it from the inside out.

That camera takes good pictures

Yep, that’s right, that camera finds the best composition, focuses itself, it adjusts its own exposure, waits for the right clouds to pass in the background and just at the right moment it takes a great picture. At least that’s what I was thinking when yet again I heard that deplorable phrase from yet another close family member (my husband has been one to say this, but quickly learned the error of his ways). I just want to hand them my camera and say here have at it. I want to say that to a lot of people in a lot of situations; here take the machine see if you can produce the same result; here take the computer and the programs and don’t forget to check for typos. I don’t get hurt with comments like these, I just find if funny that people believe it is so simple and easy to produce something that looks nice whether it’s a picture, quilt, great piece of writing or what ever it may be. I admire photographers’ work,  writers’ well written literature and all those beautiful things I know somebody has poured their soul into. To all my friends and blogging friends out there whose talents I so greatly enjoy, thanks for the hard work. 🙂

Pictures the camera took:


On a side note we have begun our house building. My husband is so anxious to start framing it. He is going to be working with his friend who is a builder to frame the house. Can you imagine the excitement of a man who loves building things and working tools I can’t name, when he knows he is going to be building his family’s home with his own hands, nail by nail board by board. It’s been like watching a kid before Christmas, he can hardly contain himself.

The other kids “at Christmas” with the giant toys.

Another Glorious Morning

I admit it, I am one of those people. The ones that wake up early even on weekends – on purpose. I am ready to tackle the day after my first cup of coffee. I revel in the serenity the birth of a new day brings. I watch sunrises with a thankful heart for new chances and a clean slate. I can’t wait to wake up and know that yesterday is gone with all it’s sorrows, trouble and frustrations. Maybe if you saw a few of these every other morning you could become a morning person too. Maybe not. But this is (besides my family of course) what keeps me going, a clean slate written all over the sky and embodied in the jeweled grasses early everyday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New beginnings

The one beginning that has the most emotional impact on me is my oldest son is starting Kindergarten this week! It is the beginning of his 13 year long adventure ending in a high school diploma. It is the beginning of my adjusting to him not being home during the week with me for the first time since he was born. It will be a first for the little one too; this will be the first time he is with out his brother every day for several hours at a time. He will also be getting to know a new baby-sitter with out his big brother there all day with him. Not that they get along well enough to look out for each other, but the familiar face in an unfamiliar environment would, I think, be some comfort.

We finally have arrived at the point where we have begun the process of building our house. We’ve started getting numbers together for the bank, getting all the planning and zoning stuff straightened out and contacting all the subcontractors, etc. We are contracting it out ourselves so I think anyone that is looking to invest during the next 6 months, Excedrin or Advil might be a good one to go with… 😉  I will update with pics of the progress, but I may be MIA here and there for a while.

Finally, I have come to the conclusion that I need to de-stress — I think of this now as all these major stress causing things are getting ready to happen. There are another thousand other things going on that I won’t go into as well. It took good ol’ TMJ getting aggravated to the point of a locked jaw (from teeth grinding at night) for me to realize, even though I don’t feel stressed out, my body is telling me to slow down and change some things. Today was day one of exercising, eating better, reading more, making time to create music again and just focus on some outlets for whatever subconscious stress may be there.

And of course having more fun with my kids, they are growing so fast. It seems like they were just born and now our oldest baby is going to school. sigh.

This weekend we went to Bernheim Aboretum and Research Forest. Here are some pictures from our adventure:

A really amazing sculpture, Snake Hollow by Patrick Dougherty. The boys enjoyed exploring the many tunnels, windows and doors that weaved in and out and lead them to a different ending with every turn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I whine and give him the sad puppy eyes I won’t have to walk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we are again, attempting to get a family picture.  Attempt with the mini tripod… I like how my oldest son and husband look completely annoyed and youngest is looking for an opportunity to run, while I point at the camera at just the right moment (lost count) trying to get the kids to look in the general direction of the camera.

Again a well intending stranger approaches and says “I’m an Amateur Photographer, would you like me to take your picture?” My first thought was, yeah everyone with a camera thinks they are an amateur photographer, myself included. But what the hey, it couldn’t get any worse could it? At least I wouldn’t get shots with me pointing at the camera and an aggravated husband at my forcing the unhappy children to keep posing until I get it right.

 

 

 

Here goes…

I guess he knew what he was doing after all! 🙂

 

 

 

Finally here is the big guy on his big day.

Fields of Lace

 

Little lacy flowers dancing in the breeze in nearly every meadow this time of year. Beware, there is a hidden danger in alluring meadows like the one you see. I have come to the conclusion that anytime you see someone carelessly strolling through a field brushing their hand across the grass and flowers, it is definitely NOT in Kentucky. If you are ignorant brave enough or just don’t know what you’re doing, you could walk through the tall grass to admire or pick these and other beautiful wildflowers but the dreaded menace of the south will be waiting for unsuspecting hosts. What is this menace I speak of? Chiggers. The tiny mites that wait on tall grasses and Queen Anne’s Lace (affectionately called Chigger Weed by anyone who has suffered from the little pests). I haven’t had them in years, mostly because I just don’t venture into meadows and fields for blackberry picking with a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. 😉

I admire Queen Anne’s Lace from a distance. Lucky you, though! You don’t even have to risk getting too close, you can look at my picture!

Quenched

Parched, dry, dusty and dying, it appeared
laying my head on my pillow and drifting into a dream.

My senses are awakened by the scent of moist earth
riding on a cool and gentle breeze through my window.

Familiar sounds, distant but remembered.
Little pelts on my roof top.

Tiny drops of an antidote for the affliction plaguing the land.
They call it drought. Earth is now quenched.

It has rained.

Opression, Hope and what the 4th of July means to me

Yes, I’m two days late, but the other day was the 236th Birthday of my country. Not everybody likes the USA and in certain aspects I can understand. One thing is certain, however, over two hundred and thirty years ago the odds were against a group of colonies, people who had left their homeland and everything they’ve ever known to make a new life and with a fresh start. Imagine the overwhelming feeling of taking on the most powerful military in the world in the Revolutionary war. Then the daunting task of creating a government from scratch with the sparring and debating involved, while the founders carved out what we now know as the Constitution. Through Faith, Perseverance, Divine Providence and a deep conviction that we have inalienable rights which cannot be denied, they succeeded and won their freedom from the most powerful empire in the world.

Being a great grand-daughter of immigrants, I am grateful my ancestors were able to come to America to be part of the freedom that courageous people had won. I am grateful that when my ancestors decided to escape oppression there was somewhere for them to come and there was hope for a new life. When I celebrate the 4th it is not just for pride in my country but for hope in humanity. Hope that someday it will universally be realized that ALL are truly created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The following are pictures of my great-grandpa Paul Jacobs. He came from Slovakia to America when he was 14. Years later went back to bring his parents to America who didn’t want to leave the grandmother (Bábuška in front of the house in a dark dress). They later left Slovakia after the grandmother passed away, I think in the 1940s. Beatrix Mana, my mom and author of the blog http://babydogogos.wordpress.com, will correct me if I’m wrong.

 

Great-Grandpa Jacobs (left) in front of his restaurant in Cleveland.

 Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma “Jake”

Great-Grandpa Jake with his two sons Leo (center) and Ray (my grandpa Jake) (left).

Along with countless other people like him, Paul Jacobs was given a chance to work hard and give his family a good life; a life that probably would have been completely different in his homeland. I am grateful that I am here today, an American with my own family to raise and make a good home for and celebrating the hope that American Independence means to me.