Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

25 Reflections for 2014

2014…What a ride!

1) I published a book this year. To this lover of words, it was a huge accomplishment. “A Cradle of Hope” is embedded with a piece of my soul, no doubt.

2) Took my three boys to see Imagine Dragons in concert in Dallas this past February. Without a doubt, it birthed the bubbling fire of love for the art of music in my youngest son. Can’t wait to see where this takes him.

3) Started drinking coffee every single morning. I was always a tea drinker in the mornings, but I’ve been driven to the dark side by coffee grounds and caramel creamer.

4) Went to Daytona Beach Florida. Watched it rain for three days straight. Grew to love Bloody Mary’s because of it. Rain at the beach = binge drinking.

5) Universal Studios Florida this past May. Harry Potter is, and will forever be, a love of mine. There is something so electric about visiting this extraordinary world in person.

6) Butterbeer is sinful. Particularly when drinking it while standing in Diagon Alley.

7) Three words: THE GLITCH MOB

8) A viral WordPress post with over 90,000 views this past March thanks to The Glitch Mob. I dig you boys to the moon and back again.

9) Meeting “The Mob” twice this year. Because frankly, we consider them family. They’ve not only changed the lives of my kids, but mine.

10) A pretty spectacular friendship was birthed because of “The Mob”. She knows who she is, that I adore her, and that fate is real. I love ya, soul baller. Mean it.

11) Chocolate truffles are wicked. I will NEVER tell how many I’ve eaten this year. NEVER…

12) Fell in love with the Mara Dyer book series by Michelle Hodkin. Have you read them? You should. They are amazing.

13) New York City with my sister in law for a long weekend. This city…I will never grow tired of it.

14) Realized the beach is my calling. Someday I must live on one. There is something that stirs my soul when I’m there.

15) Was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. That was extremely devastating to me. I had a hard time coming to terms with it, but with the help of family and close friends, I’ve prevailed and will continue to.

16) Got my first tattoo. I’m pretty sure I’m now infinitely hooked to ink. I’ll be back in the chair before long. 🙂

17) Made crepes for the first time this year. I will never do it again. Why? Don’t ask.

18) Realized that daily “quiet time” and meditation makes a huge difference in my life. As a busy mother and wife, I never realized how much I internalized my stress. We should all take some time each day to release.

19) “The Art of Stillness”. Incredible book gifted to me by a friend. Will change your life. It certainly changed mine. Add it to your 2015 reading list. Mean it.

20) Am now pen pals with the author of “The Art of Stillness” Pico Iyer. Amazing man. He has a true gift with words. We’re tight.

21) Discovered Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey. Word.

22) Went another year of having to show my ID for purchases, whether it was for alcohol, markers, or spray paint. Considering I’m 15 years past the age of 21, I’ll take it with a side of awesome sauce.

23) A new avid collector of vinyl records. My childhood has come alive, and all the memories of days spent going through my father’s records has risen. My kids are now fascinated with vinyls.

24) Mother of the Year for #23.

25) Booked a dream vacation. One that I have dreamt about for years. Hubby and I finally took the plunge, and surprised our kids. April 2015. Bucket list item checked off.

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Turks & Caicos

 

Una Vita. Vivat. – One Life. Live It.

Cheers to 2015 ~

V.S.K.

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author, Uncategorized

NOWHERE is somewhere

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That moment in time when a book changes your life…

It’s kind of liberating to step forth and proclaim the realization that literature can truly leave a mark on your being in a way you never thought possible. Before I step too far into this puzzling pool of wonder, let me elaborate a bit on how this came to be.

Books of all shapes and sizes have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even as a young child, they meant a great deal to me.

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I never read because I had to, I read because I needed to. My strength is bound in the power of words.

For as long as I can remember, novels were always my bounty, my hiding place, because I live inside my mind more than I could ever explain. When I read books, I see them vividly in torrents of color without boundaries. I read to “see”. When I write, it is the exact same way. I’m not one to map out or diagram a novel before diving into it headfirst. Instead, I take a simple idea and work forward as I watch each scene, from the curve of a character’s face, to the color, type and wonder of each bounty that surrounds them from all sides, unfolds. As they step forward, so do I. I’ve found over the years that most authors don’t write like this.

Many of us live internally in our own world of wonder. And that eclectic world of magnificence is embedded deep within our visual thoughts.

Recently a wonderful friend of mine sent me a book. One she said her son had recommended to her, and after she read it, her perspective on life changed. She wanted to share the same sense of power with me to see what I thought, and how I felt after reading it. I devoured it in a day, curled up in my home office, away from family for a few hours as I let it seep into me. I walked away with new eyes, and the ever growing urge and prompting to learn to find NOWHERE and visit it often.

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Finding the corridor of peace in the state of NOWHERE is hard for me. I am a busy, highly devoted wife and mother, and my days begin with a rushed feeling, and end with that same feeling as well. Raising three boys is demanding…raising kids in general is a 24 hour responsibility, yet my kids reside here at home with me all day, every day. We homeschool. Homeschooling is a calling. I felt called 5 years ago. I still feel that calling, and so do my husband and kids. But it doesn’t go without saying, that I do neglect things. And the biggest thing I neglect is myself. Not out of purpose, but out of performance.

Social media is my life. It’s what I do for a living, literally. I own my own social media company. My phone is glued to my hand, my tablet is sitting on my lap, or my computer resides in front of me all day, every day. It’s how I’ve learned to exist, to make a living, but all the while, I’ve forgotten what it meant to simply live, to just be, to find the comfort of NOWHERE.

In the past year, my life has changed dramatically in a number of ways. From health issues to relationship woes, to a finished novel and several new clients, yet somehow instead of meditating on how to cope and change with the ebb and flow of life, I’ve fled to filling up my schedule instead of filling up my often neglected spirit. I fled from NOWHERE to somewhere.

When I speak of NOWHERE, it means something much greater than the seven letters it’s composed of. It doesn’t mean staying put, it means putting down. And by putting down, I mean stepping away from the highway of life that moves at lightening speed every now and then. To exist. To be still. TO BE.

My middle child, who is 14, lives within his mind too. Just like his mom. I handed him the book when I was finished and gently said, “Read this. Today. Not tomorrow, not next week, today.” He took the book from my hands and instantly knew what I was saying. I found him a half an hour later, laid up in the corner of our living room with our dog in his lap, fully engulfed in the very same journey I had just taken a few hours before.

I’ve got a very in-tune connection with all of my kids, but my middle and I share a deep level of understanding that is often hard to explain to others. When he was three, he was diagnosed with high spectrum autism, often labeled as Asperger’s. He is wise beyond his years, and always has been. He still struggles in some areas, particularly with social skills, but I honestly think the culprit is the expansive mind he encumbers. There are times he trumps me in how he peels back the layers of a book, a song, or a simple sentence. He sees the core of things much deeper then most of us. I knew this book would speak to him in even bigger ways then how it spoke to me. I was right.

He finished. We talked. He uncovered the meat of the book in a few simple sentences, yet in a profoundly unbelievable way far beyond that of most teenagers, and I quote, “Speed is addictive. I’m not talking about drugs in this context, I’m talking about the need to embrace the empowerment it lends us in today’s society. When we slow down, we suffer from withdrawal and a sense of pain. When we are not a part of the structural highway of fast paced life, we find ourselves lost, and many of us, unaccepted. I think the real problem here is, we’ve learned to only accept ourselves when we are headed somewhere; a pinpoint. To say you’re going NOWHERE sounds superficial. Like you’re a loser. When, after reading this book, NOWHERE is where each of us should strive to be.”

I think my son summed things up better then I ever could. And more importantly, we’ve both walked away with a sense of searching for NOWHERE instead of somewhere. In the deepest crevices of NOWHERE, you find yourself, and the art of simply living.

Changes are being made over here. I’ve yearned for NOWHERE for way too long, and just never knew it. Or better yet, maybe I didn’t want to know it until now. I’m no longer pushing it aside, but embracing it instead. You should too.

~ VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

The In Between

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There are defined points on my timeline that have molded my spirit. Those stinging pinpricks that have changed the way I interpret life as it glides past me with deep definition.

When I became a wife…a mother…a devoted writer…those points are elevated and celebrated often.

But there have been distinct times that have gouged a piece of my heart out, leaving it to heal on its own…pulling me downward instead of up. Days that I know I’ll always remember, but that I have a hard time swallowing. The hard times that have made me stronger, but that have given me defining scars even though they are invisible to most of you.

Today is one of those days that changed my course of life in one swift movement. A child who would have turned 14 today, he isn’t here, but I feel him move. To some that may seem strange, but if you’ve ever lost an important person in your life, someone you truly loved, whether through death, a parting of ways, or any other measure of separation, I know you understand what it feels like.

My twins were born 2 1/2 months too early. At only 3 pounds each, my husband could slip his wedding band over their forearm. I had no idea that 15 days after their birth, a lifelong friend, a brother they didn’t yet know, made his entrance into the world as well. It wasn’t until 4 years later that our paths crossed. The smiling faces of the Pacocha family standing on the front porch of our new house. Strangers we didn’t know, but immediately grew attached too, especially when our boys connected over Thomas the Tank Engine, Star Wars lightsabers, and Nerf gun wars. Friendship was instantaneous for all of us.

With birthdays so close together, July 1st for my twins and July 15th for Andrew, we shared a number of neighborhood birthday parties. Andrew was the adopted triplet to Alex and Austen. It was natural, that amazing bond that they had, it stuck. Fate intertwined the life of our family with theirs.

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Years later, in late 2010, I slid to the floor, laundry basket in hand as I listened to the voice of Andrew’s mom whisper the words “Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia” on the other end of the phone. When cancer slithers into your life, it steals the breath from your lungs. Even if it hasn’t compressed your body, it still kills the joy when you know it resides in someone you love. Andrew was and still is, like a son to me. Even though he isn’t here physically, he still resides within the in between. At one point, I could wrap my arms around him. Now I can’t. And even though he’s left arms empty, he hasn’t disappeared from the memories I have of him. There are so many lives that have been changed because of the life he lived.

Cancer sucks. I despise the evil it instills into the world on a daily basis. The way it destroys things, in body, in mind, and in the cosmos of loved ones watching it take over like a ravenous beast through the eyes of someone they know.

My kids are quiet today. It’s hard not to be humbled when you know someone important is missing. Andrew is missing, and it isn’t fair. It will never be fair. But life isn’t fair. It isn’t meant to be.

So instead of cowering in the emptiness we feel, we relish the time that we had with him. My kids have defined points on their timeline too. The moment we lost Andrew, when he slipped away from us, that pinprick stings red hot for them today. I see it. A mother just knows when her kids are hurting. I can’t ease the burn, but I can remind them that the peaks and valleys of life don’t define us. They shape us.

To Andrew John. Your light lingers. You left your mark on all of us, but especially Alex and Austen. When the sun sets tonight, and the magnificent sky blazes orange, I know that is your sign to let us all know you’ve never truly left. And you never will.

~ VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

When You Know You’re Too Old For Theme Parks

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We’ve been in Florida since last Thursday the 1st. The first half of our vacation involved the beach. The second half involves Universal Studios.

We have three more days at the park.

I may die.

My feet hurt, and my back is tweaked on the right side from riding “The Mummy” roller coaster at least half a dozen times in two days because my children love it. To the point that it has gotten annoying. But they don’t want to ride alone, so my husband and I continue riding like two handicapped parents with a hitch in their get-along. I’ve also memorized the entire script of the ride, word for word. This is the only thing that keeps me entertained.

We have been the only Americans in the theme park. I’m quite certain I know how to speak Portuguese, French and Italian fluently now, thanks to long wait times in line. Take that, Rosetta Stone!

I will NEVER get tired of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the park. NEVER. I could just sit and listen to the music while drinking Butterbeer. It’s easy to get lost here. Not just in the magic of being a part of Potterland, but actually LOST. There have been so many people in this part of the park it’s redonk. This is also the part of the park where you realize you are some of the few Americans present. This is due to the hairy armpit women, and men without deodorant. Pleasant. Pleasant, I tell you.

Yesterday we were waiting in line for “Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey”. This is an incredible ride that takes place inside Hogwarts. AWESOME. Anyhow, since there are 5 of us, we are always one short or one too many for a ride, which means we have to split up. Hubby and the older two went together, and I went with Little A.

I am a moron magnet. Convinced. There were two older gentlemen in front of Little A and I. One was guzzling…not sipping…a very LARGE beer. His five steps forward and then stopping for a selfie photo in front of various sights as we walked to the ride entrance grew very annoying. Very quickly. We reached the front of the line finally. He decided to stop and answer a text message. Yes, a text. I bit my tongue in front of my child…momentarily.

“Let’s move along!” I said aloud.

He started walking and replied very loudly, “God, I’m texting!” AG&SJ#*S) <—–That’s the words going through my mind. The filtered version.

This will be a fun ride. Little A and I end up in the same car with the two guys. The intoxicated moron pulls out his phone as soon as he is out of the sight of the employees to tape the ride. Or update his Facebook. Or take another ugly selfie. Or call the President. Or throw it at Harry Potter…

The ride stops. I hear the lady say they are experiencing technical difficulties. Moron #1 & #2 didn’t hear her. So I decided to play my cards.

“Uh, you need to put your phone away. You can’t have it out on the ride. That’s why they stopped it.”

He looks at me, wide eyed and dumbfounded as he fumbles with his phone, trying to stuff it back into his pocket, his big meaty claw hands trying to hide the iPhone I called him out on.

The ride starts. I laugh on the inside. I’m not a mean person. But I don’t care for individuals who think the world revolves around them. I don’t think he enjoyed the rest of his ride much. I’m sure he took a selfie and texted his buddy Bob afterwards to let him know all about it. I feel sorry for Bob.

My youngest has had diarrhea and a runny nose since yesterday morning. He feels fine otherwise. I’m convinced he has what’s called, “Too much vacation”. This disease is a result of getting up at the crack of dawn to get to the theme park before everyone else, eating cr@p in the park, such as $21 buckets of stale popcorn in Jurassic Park because the popcorn comes in a plastic dinosaur head that we NEED to take home, and touching cr@p in the park that has been touched by thousands of people. <—- The thought of this kind of makes me nauseous. I may become a germaphobe before we leave here…

Riding a scooter while drinking a coke the size of a small child, Laffy Taffy and cigarettes in your front basket along with park brochures, and a full size bag of Lay’s potato chips in your hands does make me question your motives as to why you are riding in a scooter in the first place…I don’t believe “handicapped” plays into the reasoning…Just a guess…This includes the 3 other individuals riding along side you doing the same thing. Except the guy with the nachos who is steering with one hand, might prove me otherwise…

Overall, we’ve had a blast. So many memories. SO MANY. We’ve re-discovered each other as a family this past week. It has been amazing.

Only a few more days until we head home. I miss my bed. I miss my dog. I miss my coffee maker. But I have to admit, I hate the thought of leaving. Honestly.

Signing off. It’s time to head to the pool for a while. I also enjoy the strawberry daiquiris here at the hotel. They are $11.95 each, but, you know…It’s vacation. And I’m exhausted. But I’m grateful beyond belief for this little life of mine.

Stopping to to take snapshots of your life is so important. My camera lens is overflowing this week…

I love daiquiris and pool towels ~

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

An Open Letter To The Glitch Mob From a Tired Mother In Dallas

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@editbeats, @ooah, @boreta ~

The above is how I refer to you three sweet guys. I am an Instagram fanatic, so “@” symbol names are as good as royalty titles. Word.

I use “sweet” loosely since I don’t know any of you personally, but when motherhood hits you in the face everyone becomes “sweetie”, “love”, “sweetheart” and “pookey bear”. Seriously. Just go ask your moms…

I am attending your concert tonight in Dallas at The House of Blues. My oldest son is quite enthralled with your music. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d be telling the ladies at book club, “Yes Beverly, I heard the Elton John concert was incredibly amazing!” (Takes a looonnnnggg sip of wine…) “I am really looking forward to seeing this epic concert on March 24th though. I mean, sheesh,  Elton John is the bomb, but The Glitch Mob, girl you don’t know what music IS until you’ve heard these beats!” <—-I’m sure this sentence just aged me 20 years in your eyes.

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I admit, you are on my repeated playlist on my iPhone. Secondly, I even have a Spotify station dedicated to you. You are quite special to this mother who sings “Beauty of the Unhidden Heart” in the car on the way to Target to buy dog biscuits and hydrating shampoo…

This morning, I told myself I was going to sleep in. Your concert starts at 9pm tonight. Who scheduled this? An 18 year old? I go to bed at 9:30 each night to watch one re-run of Modern Family, and one re-run of Friends. This is my schedule, and I don’t like changing it. Tonight I will be forced to miss my old person motherhood schedule to drive 45 minutes to bring my 13 year old son to see his favorite group ever. When you are a parent, you do crazy things; things you used to do as a teenager. Except instead of binge drinking, you stay out late to take your teen to see The Blades. I don’t know what The Blades are, but I’m guessing it doesn’t have anything to do with a Skintimate commercial…Just a hunch.

There is a trip planned to 7-Eleven to buy a Red Bull before tonight’s venture. The only time I drink these carbonated beverages from Hades is when my husband and I go to Vegas each year. Alone. Without kids. To do things without kids. Like, sleep in late and play The Wizard of Oz slot machine. Because everyone knows that Dorothy’s red shoes means the bonus round is commencing and you might win $20 bucks even though you just wasted $60 WAITING for the bonus round…I’m getting off topic…

It is also Monday. I hate Mondays as it is. Although your concert this evening will make my Monday a little brighter, it is going to cause my Tuesday to stink like spoiled chicken. I am convinced tomorrow night my old person motherhood bedtime will be closer to 7:30, thus forcing me to miss my re-runs. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. Maybe The Blades will convince me otherwise. We’ll see, sweet ones…

My children and I saw Imagine Dragons last month in Dallas. We also had the pleasure of meeting Nico Vega, and spent a bit of time conversing with Aja Volkman. When my oldest son told her how much he loved her vocals on your new album, her sincere nod and, “Nice. Thank you so much! You’ve got great taste in music, my friend…seriously,” has been the topic of MANY conversations at the dinner table ever since. So much so, I want to tape his mouth shut at times. I’m kidding, not really…(clearing throat)

So, I am already aware that I will probably be the oldest person attending your concert this evening. I am okay with that, I suppose. We’ve been listening to you since before the dawn of time, so it’s only right that we come and experience who you are in person. No, we will not wait for you in the back alley standing around like weirdos, wishing to scream, “Oh My Gaw, it’s The Glitch Mob! Like, you guys are totally freakin’ awesome, here, can you please sign my forehead for me?”, but we will come and support your music.

Because you’re kinda cool… Not “kinda”, you’re cooler than a fat kid in a candy store, let’s keep it real. I will be a zombie tomorrow for you with pupils the size of dinner plates because of the amount of coffee I will inhale, literally, to stay awake. But more importantly, I’ll have a kid who got to experience the explosive encounter of hearing The Glitch Mob live. And for me, that’s enough. Because this is what moms do for their kids. At least, I do. Please don’t forget that I’m missing my old person motherhood bedtime for you though. There is true meaning in this. Dedication and respect, right there. This is incredibly important. I expect The Blades to keep me awake…

P.S. I hope you don’t have any future encounters with noisy refrigerators. They are quite annoying, aren’t they?

T.G.M. (otherwise known as, The Good Mother) –

VSK

 

** FOLLOW-UP**

I am so honored, and so immensely blessed to have received so many comments, posts and emails pertaining to this blog post from all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am truly humbled, amazed, grateful, and genuinely thankful for The Glitch Mob. I owe them the world, and then some. My son and I were so blessed to get to meet the members of the Mob in person before their set this past Monday night in Dallas. They were incredibly sweet, and truly kind in every way possible. A night my son and I will never forget. Ever.

#GlitchMom for life,

Val

GlitchMobMom

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

The Ice Apocalypse…and Other Reasons to Drink…

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A half an inch of ice my rear end…We have nearly three inches, and it’s not melting. At least, not fast enough for my liking.

You know those times when you REALLY want to see some beautiful white covering the ground during the holidays, so you can feel all “holiday-ish”? I feel more like Scrooge than an elf clicking his heels together as the season of Christmas draws near.

We haven’t gotten mail in two days.

I have no newspaper to read.

My kids are driving me nuts.

I’m tired of cooking.

The laundry is done. There is nothing else to wash, even the dog’s sweater smells like lilacs on a warm summer day.

I have learned to play SkyRim on XBOX 360…and I don’t even like XBOX. Don’t even ask me what the point of SkyRim is because I’m convinced there isn’t one.

I may sell my youngest child on eBay if we are still cooped up in this house tomorrow.

Yes, I have written like any good author should when he or she is stuck in the house. But you can only keep your creative juices flowing for so long as your children beg for something to eat, drink, do, fold, demolish, sled on or hit…

I’ve watched The Hobbit, Men In Black, Source Code, and countless episodes of International Living on HGTV. I want to move to New Zealand and live in tree house on a hill for the low price of 1.8 million. Let me know if you’d like to fund my move.

I have hang nails the size of orange peels thanks to the cold, dry air. I have hands of a carpenter. Gorgeous.

I’m tired of homemade pumpkin lentil soup. It was great on Friday. Today it makes me nauseous. I want a 4,000 calorie cheeseburger and fries from a drive thru window.

I simply want to DRIVE.

Ice play for my youngest has gone from sledding on Friday to dragging his entire body across the icy driveway today. When I went outside to ask him what he was doing, thinking he was hurt, he said he was teaching himself to “body sled”. His pants and gloves are soaked, but he refuses to come in. At least he is entertained…

I’ve rearranged the ornaments on the tree. Twice. For no good reason other than to keep from having a Clark W. Griswold moment…

Conversations with my children have become completely monotonous and annoying over the past four days. I love my kids, at this point, more than a cheap bottle of wine from Aldi that was meant for decoration but I decided to drink since I’m out of Dr. Pepper…

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Last Friday ~

Little A: “Can we go sledding outside, Mommy? Isn’t the white beautiful?”

Me: “Yes, let’s go sledding! Here are your gloves, sweetheart! Now let me go find the sled in the attic. Meet you outside!”

Today ~

Little A: “Is the ice melting? The temperature says 31, so it’s still below freezing. Do you think it will melt today though? Do you, do you, doooo yooouuuu? Can I have the stale half of a cookie I found in the pantry behind the empty bag of chips Middle A put back on the shelf because he’s too lazy to throw it away?”

Me: “Whatever. Eat the cookie. I wish the ice would melt. Please go find something to do.”

It’s amazing that when we are STUCK in the house, we are unmotivated and can’t find a darn thing to do. NOTHING.

Yet when we choose to stay home, we reorganize closets, dust the baseboards, paint murals and build a shed in the backyard for no good reason.

Little A: “Can you tell me what I can go do? I’m bored.”

Me: You bet I can tell you what to go do…”I don’t know, go play Legos or something. Watch a movie. Play Jenga. Pet the dog…”

Little A: “I don’t want to do any of that.” <—Said while lying on the ground, face first, hands outstretched like an annoying toddler…except he’s 9.

Me: “Then I don’t know what to tell you. Use your imagination.”

Little A: “What’s imaginotation?”

Me: “Never mind.”

Little A: “Never mind, what?”

Me: “Why don’t you go see what your brothers are doing. Maybe they’ll do something with you.”

Little A: “I don’t want to play with them. They say they are too old for “playing”. They say they “hang out” not play.”

Me: “Then go “hang out” with them.”

Little A: “Big A told me I was too young to do that, so he told me to come ask you what to do.” He picks his nose.

Me: “Do you need a Kleenex?”

Little A: “No.” <—While wiping said booger on his sleeve.

Me: “Glad we’ve got that covered…”

Little A: “Got what covered? The ground is still covered in ice. Is that what you mean, Mommy?”

Me: Thinking…….”Yes.”

He turns around and runs away. I give it twelve minutes before he’s back. I’ve never been so ready to grocery shop in all my life! Or even go and get gas…sounds like a freakin’ dream…

Stir crazy and utterly unamused with the ice anymore,

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

The Space In Between Carmex and Angry Cats

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I am obsessed with Carmex. Like so much so, it’s kind of ridiculous. But the only kind I will use is the one that comes in the little round container with the 1972 looking label. Why? Perhaps it’s because I enjoy grabbing that little mini barrell out of my purse to dab just enough on my pointer finger to put on my lips after touching a public door handle that is covered in e-coli germs. Now that I think about it, perhaps I should switch to the squeezable tube…

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I think the Carmex tube makes a stellar mustache, by the way.

People are mean. Meaner than a cat who has been scratched on the belly too long and decides to bite the “heck of a crack nut” out of your arm because they are just plain “done” with your scratching nonsense. This is why I don’t own a cat. I don’t need anymore attitude in my life. No offense to the cat lovers. Just don’t expect me to scratch your cat’s belly when I come over for lamb stew…

I have three boys. Two of which are experiencing raging teenage hormones that make them more emotional than a rooster on a roller coaster. One minute they are cracking a joke, the next minute they are slumped over at their desk picking their pimples while they pout about dinner being 17 minutes away. Seriously peeps, mama is the only one who gets to ride the emotional roller coaster. My body was bred that way. Thank you and amen…

I had a run in with a rather unpleasant man at the grocery store yesterday. I dislike the grocery store about as much as I dislike getting my eyes poked out by hot skewers. That’s a good visual, isn’t it?

I posted this “mishap” on Facebook ( <—- My therapist), and had an awakening after reading some of the comments my friends left. I was publicly humiliated by a complete stranger in a public place. I have a problem with that. Those that know me realize I am NOT a confrontational person. But, if you push my buttons repeatedly, I do eventually turn into a screaming, crying, mumbling ninja in an instant. It isn’t pretty. Rather scary, actually. My husband has only witnessed this behavior a handful of times in our 14 years of marriage. It’s safe to say, he’s scared of me when I become a scene out of The Exorcist movie.

Rather than revisiting the words exchanged between the grocery store stranger and I, I’d rather focus on the mind-blowing realization that set in hours later while eating Greek yogurt and watching a re-run of “Full House”. I have the most incredible, jaw-dropping realizations at the most inopportune times. So as I sat, staring mindlessly at Michelle and Stephanie Tanner arguing about borrowing lunch money from Uncle Jesse, I let the emotions and actions of the world settle in.

We can blame the President, the government, the neighbor down the street for our problems. Not just as individuals, but as a nation. Finger pointing has become a sickness in our era. Yet the finger is never pointed at oneself. It’s always pointed at someone else. I’m not saying that our nation hasn’t been misguided by individuals that have no business being in politics, because no matter if you are Republican, Democrat, or don’t care about either party, you have to admit that there is corruption in the way this country is being run. On both sides, on all levels, there are very deep issues.

My saying has always been, “Be the change.” Yesterday I could have summoned up my courage and put up my fists to the man who violated me with his selfish, uncalled for words. But I let the moment pass, and moved on with my life. There is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in. But the time must be appropriate. How do you know if it’s an appropriate time? Your spirit will let you know. But even when you let the spirit loose, let it loose lightly. Kill with kindness; an open heart. Kindness almost always wounds deeper than foul words. If you remain civil with just a touch of feelings/views, the other party’s satisfaction won’t be saturated. It will be stunned.

Don’t be a coward, but don’t be a  conspirator either.

Raising three boys is exceptionally hard these days. Raising children in general, is hard. This world is “in your face”, meaning there are very few boundaries anymore. What you want when you want it can be found by the click of the enter button on your computer keyboard or on your mobile phone. Access to the planet is found through Google.

My husband and I have taught our boys to defend themselves, but don’t conspire to ruin someone’s image or life for their satisfaction. That’s happening everywhere. Stop. Think. I guarantee you’ll be able to think of at least one person who feeds off the lives of others for their own demons. The demons that tell you you’re not good enough, wise enough, or rich enough to mean anything to anyone.

The latest novel that I recently finished is mirrored loosely off of this very insight. We all have demons, but how do we “feed” them? Do we nudge them away with a kind gesture towards another, or do we allow them to gorge themselves by lying to a spouse, laughing at a disabled person, or spewing off harsh words to instill the upper hand that you’re a bada$$? Just being honest, because honesty rides low with most individuals these days.

A snippet from the first chapter of my next novel, The Power of Suggestion:

My mother never believed in redemption, even in her devout Catholic faith, she refused to lean upon it in her life. Because of her beliefs, I mirrored her behavior, her way of following faith. I in turn learned to never put my trust in redemption either.

I have dark demons: many of them. So do you. How often do you let them dictate how you choose to live your life? I allowed mine to rise, willfully and woefully when life channeled my course in another direction more than a year ago. And it changed me from the inside out, for better and for worse. Yet it makes me, me. It validates who I am as being affluently real in an often unrealistic cosmos. My world mirrors each and every one of you in some fashion. I have lived the life that many of you struggle with today. Some of you realize it, yet most of you don’t. I have to help you see what I didn’t at first before it’s too late: before your hourglass empties.

So I must write my life on paper. I have to spill my story; breathe it out so that you may breathe it in. I’m alive today, atoned and free because of what I’ve lived through. I’m alive today, because redemption exists even in the darkest shadows of your mortality. I’m living proof.

~ A. Moretti

How do you “feed” your demons? Stop pointing fingers, and turn your finger towards yourself. Change from the inside out. For when you change, your image just might change someone else’s. Now where’s my Carmex….

 

In love with Carmex, Imagine Dragons, and the realization that change starts from within ~

VSK