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.

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.

Theme-songitis: it’s real

Theme-song-itis, you read it correctly. It is a hereditary affliction, it started with my dad. He would make light of serious situations with a song that had to do with whatever the subject was. In my family, especially with all the siblings I have (5), every other conversation will result in a few lines from a song. It becomes habit. Something happens or is said and instantly you have a tune weaving its way through your brain and rolling off your tongue before you realize what’s happening. Yes, we are beyond abnormal.

The kids and I were on our way to Mana’s house this morning—it is an office day and my mom watches the kids for me. We passed some roadkill and my son instantly wanted to listen to Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, by Loudon Wainwright. Apparently he has been afflicted with the theme-song-itis as well. At least we know where he gets it.

May is here and Mother’s Day is just around the corner

There are days that I honestly believe that I will be found at the bottom of a huge pile of laundry knocked unconscious by the fumes of cleaning supplies. My family will realize I am missing when supper did not get cooked and the dishes are piled on every flat surface in the kitchen, toys scattered throughout the house, messes in the bathroom—unmentionable.

Seriously though, there are tons of thankless tasks and chores that moms do. All the countless moms throughout history that did what they had to do and never gave it a second thought. I’m not saying they are or were all good. There are some out there that don’t deserve the title of mother. There are even some that are not “mothers”  but serve as a mother figure to children that desperately need nurturing in their lives. Fathers have their place to be thanked, as well, but this is for Mother’s day. For the moms that keep the laundry clean and folded, wash endless amounts of dishes, change diapers and really really messy babies when diapers can’t contain it all. The moms who run errands to countless places while doing the carseat rodeo trying to latch and unlatch a frustrated toddler who only wants to get out and run around the parking lot like a screaming banshee. The moms that sweep floors 3oo times a day, vacuum until the rug is wore down to its last threads or stay up at night looking after a sick child. The moms who worry themselves gray when their newly licensed child goes out for the first time on their own. The moms of special needs children who take care of their children and give them the love, tenderness and patience that they require (they are true women of grace).  The moms that are there all hours of the night and anytime during the day ready and willing to listen to the heartbreaks, fears and troubles of adult children (or anxieties about the brand new baby that won’t stop crying—I’ve called my mom around 2:00am a few times).  The moms that do all of the above and hold down a full time/part time job. The moms who wait patiently with arms ready to embrace, as their children stubbornly ignore sound advice only to discover all the pitfalls of life that mom warned of. The moms with children who have terminal illness and the countless hours they pray to take their child’s place. The moms who have fought illness themselves and kept pressing on for their children. The moms who would put aside every ambition of their own to see their children’s dreams and ambitions come true. Thank you to those moms. You are not alone, even if it seems as though nobody around you notices or cares, you are appreciated.

My mom and my boys