Tag Archives: friends

TGIF – Thanksgiving ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie

Can you believe there are only six letters left after today? Whatever will you do? Today’s letter is about thanksgiving. Not the holiday (although it is Tall Cool ☺ne’s favorite) but thanksgiving in general.

As you read through the past letters in your little orange journal, you find a few revelations that have helped you understand and get past some of your silly stubbornness. Let’s just say you still have a long ways to go. But aren’t you happy you took the time to write to yourself? At the end of this month you are going to owe yourself 26 letters! (Ha Ha)

Seriously though, when you forget to give thanks for the simple things, you tend to look for things that you don’t have. When you do that it snowballs into a great big battle of discontentment and disappointment. It’s actually been quite nice writing to yourself here on your blog because you have such great people who respond. Thanks, blog buddies! ☺  I really appreciate all you do!

When you look back and see what you have or what you don’t have, it’s usually the daily little things that mean the most. Does that make sense? It’s the trivial things that are huge if they aren’t there. The first breath you take when you wake up, indoor plumbing, the flick of a switch that brings light to the room, a hot cup of coffee, that little piece of Bible scripture that starts the day,  a wink from Tall Cool ☺ne when he peeks into your office each morning, the purring of the cat cuddled up on your neck, the good morning texts from your kids, the bunnies, birds, butterflies and squirrels in the yard, a glass of wine at the end of the day… The list is endless if you just take the time to think about it. It’s the small daily things that count as big in the end. Be sure to give thanksgiving every day.

Have a great day!

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I gave up trying to visit five new blogs each day– my bad I’m sorry. But if you visit me I do my best to visit you. Have you ordered a t-shirt yet? I really hope Jeremy creates a SURVIVOR TSHIRT for completing the challenge. Are you finding all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and see if there is a blog you may have missed. We are on the final stretch now.  You can do it!

Quiet Time ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Barbie:

As you mentioned yesterday people are part of your life. While thinking about what to write in regards to quiet time, two very special people came to mind.  Your sister and your friend Rach.  A lot could be said about the quietness between you and your sister, but instead, we are going to dedicate this one to Rachel.  She knows a whole lot about quiet times.

Read about Rachel’s Quiet Time here.

What are your thoughts?  Do you know someone like Rachel?

If you have any Questions ❓ for Rachel feel free to send her an email.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

I don’t know about you but this has been so much fun writing and getting to talk to you guys everyday.  I really hope we will stay in touch.  If not every day maybe once a week, or a month?  I need the encouragement so I’ll help you if you help  me.  ☺

People ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie:

People are part of your life. They come and go in your life all the time. Some people are part of your life forever and some for a short period of time. People are funny human beings with different characteristics that make you love them or not like them so much at all. Sometimes you can chose to have people in your life and other times you don’t get that option.

In you’re opinion you are lucky to get the opportunity to work from home and not have to meet people face to face on a daily basis. Others might disagree, but you have a tendency to tell people exactly what you think (you are working on this and doing a good job, but still have a long ways to go).  You think a lot of people are a few cans short of a six pack.

This challenge has brought many new people into your life and it’s a blessing to be able to learn about so many new things and the opportunity to visit new cultures, fresh ideas and different opinions. You would like to mention some people (old pals and some new faces too).

Our smiling Janet is taking us on a round trip through San Francisco.
Curious Cathy is sketching us pictures and sharing Looney Tunes cart☺☺ns.
John single-handedly is counting down the top 40.
Tamara always has a fresh new perspective to ponder.

How could I forget Karen where I can always go home to Maine?
Iain shares the background of characters from his State Trilogy.
Pradeep is taking us through Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore.
Arlee (founder of A-Z) taking us for a river ride.


There are so many more people to mention and should but then it wouldn’t be short and sweet. Make sure you visit the master list and pick a category you wouldn’t normally look at. Go see what they are up to. Make a nice comment! You have more people to meet, so what are you waiting for.

Cheers,

Well folks we only have two weeks to go.  How is everyone doing?  Are you planning to keep at it after the challenge is over?  I for one definitely want to keep writing.  It brings me such joy.  We still have the After Survey, Reflections and then the Road Trip…that will be fun.

 

Lost a Friend

As the Blogging A-Z Challenge draws closer, it brings on a bitter sweet kind of feeling. I love the challenge and the opportunity to get back to writing. But this year, I am going to miss the comments from an old friend. Berta always had something nice to say. She even commented in a constructive critical way on the posts that she didn’t agree with. She was always there to offer words of encouragement, letting me know how much she liked my writing and how I had to keep at it. I’m keeping at it, Berta.

Whenever we spent the night when she was babysitting, Berta used to say “Bye” instead of “Good night”. She’d say if we didn’t wake up, she wanted to make sure she said “good-bye”. Last week she went to sleep and didn’t wake up. She was a trooper for sure but that seventh round with cancer finally wore her out and she was tired. God brought her home.

I think about those old adages: You never know how much you miss something until it’s gone. Appreciate it now because tomorrow is not promised. You never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. We take so much for granted. Not just material things, like the GREAT TOILET PAPER SHORTAGE of 2020, but relationships, people … too many times we take people for granted. Relationships are a precious thing.

I have made so many mistakes in relationships. Let me tell ya, reconciling broken relationships is not as easy as saying what you think or feel at the moment. Kind of like losing weight is not as easy as eating a whole bag of jelly beans in one sitting. I’ve had some come to Jesus moments with taming my tongue, and I’m still restraining, I can assure you. But when someone you’re close to dies, you kind of think about the other people or relationships in your life that you’ve messed up, and haven’t take the time to fix. Or at least I do.

I wish I could right all the wrongs. I wish I had inserted my foot before the times that I opened my mouth. I wish I didn’t hurt people with tactless things I said or wrote. I can’t change the past. What is done is done. I can only press onward and forward. I hope one day to look back on all these posts and see how much I have changed from being the cynical controversial writer, to a more respectful humble journalist. This is my legacy. When I die, I want my writing to live on, and I can only hope it will be kind and noteworthy.

In closing, God has made each one of us. We all have a special gift to bring glory to the Kingdom. We should use those talents accordingly. We should never take for granted the blessings God has graced us with (people, relationships, l♥ve).

Thank you Berta, for always being that kind and encouraging person who pushed me onward with writing.  Thank you that no matter how hard and lonely it was while I was writing, I could always count on a comment from you when you were able. Thank you for always taking the time to read my posts. I am sorry that I never told you how much that meant to me.  I will never forget you.

Until next time,

~Barbie

 

Respecting Relationship Boundaries



Boundaries are anything that help differentiate one person from another. Age, gender, social status, skin color, vocabulary, where we live, even our emotional state can provide a certain protective boundary. Sometimes boundaries are misunderstood.

We all want relationships. The most basic need in life is for relationships. We want input and teaching from others. We want to learn different things and share the knowledge we’ve learned. We want friendships. In desire, everything comes with a price. We give a little, we take a little.

Standing up for our boundaries can be misconstrued. Sometimes people will think we are being rude and insensitive. Trespassing on other people’s boundaries carries consequences. If I do this, I know this will happen, if I do that, I know something else will happen. From a young age we learned these basic instincts.  Don’t touch the hot stove or you will get burned.   

Attitudes and beliefs are what we accept as being true. There are some people who want us to change our beliefs and attitudes to what they believe and accept as being true. Perhaps some family members, friends, relatives, or even neighbors to name a few.  People who refuse to respect the boundaries we have set ooze negative energy and leave us feeling worse whenever we’re around them. Be on guard for these toxic personalities. Quickly set boundaries and let them know what will and what will not be tolerated. 

Do you have anyone like this in your life?

• Lie on a regular basis
• Take advantage of your kindness
• Don’t respect your boundaries
• Manipulate you in order to get what they want
• Put you down
• Don’t encourage you to pursue your goals
• Don’t consider other people’s feelings or needs
• Feel entitled
• Are frequently angry or aggressive
• Rarely apologize
• Blame others and don’t take responsibility for their actions
• Drain your energy
• Have a lot of “drama” or problems, but don’t want to change
• Think the rules don’t apply to them
• Talk, but don’t listen

People might be angry or offended by our choices even though we aren’t setting boundaries to be mean or difficult. Boundaries are a way to protect ourselves and maintain individuality as well as sanity. Stay safe and be sure to practice social distancing virtually as well as while you are out in public. When boundaries are not accepted, sometimes we have to accept that we are better off without the toxicity in our lives.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

ONE SKIP DAY




Hell found me!  As I fell into the depths of the cold salty Atlantic water I saw my whole fifteen year life flash before me.  I thought about my mother and what she would think.  I worried about my diary and what my sister would do with it when she found it.  I wondered what my friends Chris and Jackie were doing, and if they would try to save me.

The water swirled around me and everything turned black.  The salt tasted metallic in my mouth.  I kept sinking further into the depths of the water.  I didn’t realize the Penobscot was so deep, then suddenly I felt soft ground.  I pushed into the flats upward with my soaked sneakers and immediately began to ascend.  I wanted to take a breath.  I needed to take a breath.  When I slipped it was unexpected, and didn’t take a deep breath as one does before jumping in water.  I knew if I gasped for air that my lungs would be filled with water, and I would drown.  I couldn’t see the surface and my wet jeans and sweatshirt pulled me down.   I didn’t want to die.  I was too young to die.  I started making deals with God, as we do when things go wrong.  “Dear God, please don’t let me die.  Please, I promise I’ll never copy homework again.  I won’t be mean to my sister.  I promise I won’t skip anymore classes.  God, please, please, don’t let me drown.”

April showers bring May flowers, and they also bring warm, sunny afternoons, and the itching of spring fever; that equals to a whole bunch of trouble for a few high school kids. After five months of snow, and shoveling snow, and then more snow to shovel, when it reached 45 degrees, that was a celebrated welcome.  Basketball was over, and baseball hadn’t really got started so those late afternoon rides home on the activity bus were on temporary hiatus.  It was that awkward time of boredom in school, and typical teenage girls and boys look for things to dispel the monotony.   The three of us had been best friends since the fifth grade when I moved to town.  Based on my experience three friends are a recipe for disaster.  Two will get together and talk about the other one, and one will try to vie for another, and it normally turns into a mess.

For Chris, Jackie and I, it was different.  Chris wasn’t into the girlie things that Jackie and I talked about.  He just wanted to be our friend, and that was good enough for us.  We liked that Chris acted as our bodyguard per say, and he always let me copy his math homework.  He was wicked smart.    It is all different now with the technology and social media available to occupy a bored teen-ager.

Back in 1980 none of us owned a computer; let alone a smart phone.  Our parents would never have tolerated us playing video games or social media forums anyways.  We were lucky to have one color television in the house. If anyone had a cell phone it was one of those monstrosities that came in a bag and needed to have the magnet antennae plunked out on the roof, and then the power cord got plugged into the cigarette lighter.  If you were very lucky your parents owned a car that the cigarette lighter worked in, and maybe they let you borrow it with that ugly thing called a car phone.  Only some of the preppy kids, and most of the grease monkeys had their own cars.

The three of us were at the mercy of begging our parents, and more often than not they said ‘no’.  Needless to say, most of our entertainment was done by walking or taking our bikes.  Remember those things that you peddle, and your butt hurts from the uncomfortable seat?    Spring fever brought afternoons of cutting classes, and walking the sidewalks trying to stay hidden from friends of our parents who would share the fact that they had seen us on the street, when we should have been in school.  We were young, naïve.   We had no idea how lucky we were to be young and naïve. That was of course, until after the thirteenth skip day when our parents were notified by the principal that we were cutting classes.  Young people do stupid things, and we were very stupid.

The most significant, as well as the last adventure we took could have been the death of us, or at least, one of us.  The three of us decided to cut our “health” class! How ironic now that I reminisce about it!   We set out for a quest searching for anything that would be more exciting than sitting in Mr. King’s stinky armpit smelling class room listening to his monotonous voice talk about penises and vaginas.  Instead of walking the streets, taking the chance of being spied by a nosy adult, we decided to take the forbidden path just beyond the smoking area  behind Hampden Academy down to the Penobscot River.  We were going to hike out to the rocks, do some exploring and maybe find an electric eel in the small pools of water left behind from the tide going out.

The sun was shining and we shed our sweatshirts and tied them around our waists.  Jackie took her shoes off for a short time until one of the rocks cut her foot and she put the bloody thing back in her high top Nike sneakers.  We searched for cool looking shells with the shiny glitter of embossed quartzite, starfish, crabs and the coveted electric eel.  We made our way out across the rocks that went out deep into the smelly flats that were exposed from the tide being out. We were having a splendid afternoon, throwing rocks and mud at each other, talking about the upcoming spring dance and who we thought would go with who and who wouldn’t show up and who we’d like not to have show up.  

What we weren’t expecting was the tide to rush back in so quickly.  One of us couldn’t swim.  We had sneakers on and jeans and sweatshirts tied around our waists.  Not dressed for rock climbing by any means.  When the tide comes in on the Penobscot, the tide comes in fast.  It was scary for all three of us but mostly for me.

It was Chris, probably because he was the one who couldn’t swim, who first recognized the fact that our way into land was quickly disappearing.  The path out to the rocks that we originally took covered almost immediately with eighteen feet of cold, salty, stinky Atlantic Ocean.  We had to scale the rocks fast if we were going to get to land before there was no path back at all.  I remember slipping and sliding and cutting our hands on the sharp edges of rocks.  The rocks poked out of the dark murky water, some covered in green mossy seaweed while others appeared to be shards of shiny black glass.  The most treacherous were the rocks that appeared dry and safe to step on, but our weight triggered them to shift and move causing us to lose our balance more than once.    I screamed and as I slipped I heard Jackie and Chris both yell, “Barbie!”  The rest was inaudible because I slipped into the depths of the black water.  It seemed like a life time that I was under water.  It was cold and I could feel my muscles tightening up, and soon I wouldn’t be able to move at all.  Abruptly I surfaced and sucked in a huge breath of fresh air.  I gagged and spit and clawed my way to the edge.  Jackie and Chris dragged me back up on the edge of the rocks.  I was shaking from fear more so than the cold, but thankful to be alive.

When we reached the shore line the only way to level ground was up.  We climbed through rocks and pulled through trees and brushed past bushes and dug through sod.  We climbed and moaned and groaned the whole way.  Dry level ground never felt so good.   Jackie and Chris ended up with soaked feet, wet jeans and bloody hands.  I was grateful to be soaked but alive and safe.  Where we came off the rocky walls was a long ways from where we had begun our adventure.  The walk back through a field of prickly bushes was not especially a fun experience, and when the giant back yard dog chased us and the owner came out with a shot gun, we were even more anxious to make our way back to school.  We were lucky to catch the bus home to Winterport and luckier when our parents said we had to quit cutting school and stay in Mr. King’s classroom.  We were just thankful that we could quit trying to scale the banks of the Penobscot River in a pair of Nike’s on a skip day.

To be honest, it was a fun skip day….and some of it’s true!  Most of it is made up and names have been changed to protect the innocent! 

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Lost Love Letters


I’m sure everyone is thinking about  LOVE for the letter L. I’m no different. Love is the one thing we can give away freely. It costs nothing.

Lost love letters is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. When we were in high school Tall Cool ☺ne and I wrote tons of lve letters back and forth to each other. Sometimes I think it would be neat to read what some of those notes had inside them. Then I think better of that. We are older now and priorities are different.

I’m thinking of love letters lost in a different concept.  Lost love letters doesn’t necessarily have to be from an admirer. Love is something you share with a family member, a friend, or maybe an acquaintance from work. As I think about the title, lost love letters, I think about the lost loves of people to whom letters I used to write.

We are a messy group of individuals. I recollect how many people have come into my life only to turn around and be gone from my life. Sometimes it makes me sad. But then I realize that God will put someone else in their place.

Lost love letters are just like people who come and go in our life. They are there for a season, then lost, but not forgotten. Who do you think of when you think about a lost love letter?




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

A Friend

friend

I really did not want to use Friend for the F challenge. But it’s the one F word that keeps coming back to me. In my humble opinion too many people will use the word “friend” without knowing the true meaning of what being a friend is.

“I have four hundred and seventy-six friends on Facebook.”

I don’t but some people probably do. A friend is a person whom one knows well and is fond of. Friendships are not easy and they are not to be taken lightly. If you have accepted the challenge to be a friend you might as well give in to the fact that it is going to be hard work. You need to reach out to be a friend to that person more than they reach out to you.  It’s not just when it’s convenient or to celebrate something. It’s all the time.

I hate Facebook although I partake. It seems like people think  “oh if you want to know what’s going on with me, just look at my Facebook”. I suppose that is the new age wave, and I’m getting old, and I’ll deal with it in my own time.

For now I will still share my opinion and shoot off at the mouth. Friendships are not easy, it takes hard work from both participants. Not just fair-weathered, and not just when there is a need for something. Friendship is four seasons. If you have a good friend… tell them how much they mean to you and how special they are. I can tell you it sure does mean a lot to me when I hear from my four friends.

This term friend I have to ponder
In my mind I let it wander
It’s the unexpected places
In unpredicted faces
Where one will saunter
And a friend that we will find

When I was young
And in grade school
One friend I had
And thought was cool.

But then I disapproved
Around the time of junior high
With her parents she did move
We cried and had to say good-bye.

Another friend came along
And took the place of she,
But it wouldn’t be too long
Before I would finally see
That her motives were all wrong
And she wasn’t really a friend to me.

She used me for her personal gain
And took my friendship all in vain
Someone else had more than me
So she moved up in society

One more friend I gave my heart
Everything clicked right from the start
But we were young it wasn’t right
She upped and left, gone one night

A lesson hard, a lesson learned
Then in a job a friend I earned
This friend who said that I could trust
Shame on me it was all for lust

Dismissed was I and he moved on
The friends I had were now all gone
Another job I did pursue
Working hard without issue

A different job, more so-called friends
Staying late to make amends
It all worked out for a while
But then my friends were in denial

They drained my heart and ate my soul
Cleaned my thoughts just like a bowl
I had to leave and get away
Who needs a friend anyway?

We all need friends
To help us grow
And feel complete
In all we know
If you have a friend
You deeply adore
Tell them once
Then tell them some more.

The Challenge

F

Cat Buddies

cat buddy

 

Have you ever noticed how people are like cats? Sometimes they want to be all in your face and love it when you are paying attention to them. Other times when you try to give them attention, they swat at you and want to be left alone. When you want attention from them, they are too busy cleaning themselves or napping. But the second you pay attention to something other than them, or if you’re getting attention from someone else, they are right there in your face reminding you that the world revolves around them.

Thanksgiving — Day 6: F-Words

f-words

Day 6 of Seven Days of Thanksgiving
F-Words
Day #6: Seven Days of Thankful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: the act of giving thanks; a prayer of gratitude to God.

For Thanksgiving, a little ditty with some F-word fun,
Have faith and give thanks to the Father, Holy Spirit, and Son.

Don’t forget about your family and friends,
Forgive a debt and make amends.

Do something fruitful; feed the famished,
They’ll be grateful, and may even feel lavished.

During this fellowship, please try to remember
Life’s hard for some in November and December.

Realize some people are bearing a façade,
Don’t find fault, it’s never been outlawed.

The fact is, some people have issues, and are fearful,
Do them a favor and don’t ask, just be cheerful.

Ignore the temptation of the family feud,
Let them say what they want, it’s best to be shrewd.

Count your blessings for freedom in all your activities,
And please do enjoy all of your holiday festivities.

For Jody

garden-gnomes

 

Garden Aspiration
{Mislaid out-of-the-way}
Leather gloves tossed aside
Hard day’s work incomplete
Moistened with the nights dew
Soon to dry from sun’s heat
Garden grows to the beat
Tossing rocks, pulling weeds
Enhancing herbs to grow
Maintaining garden’s needs
Bask amongst the beauty
Trowel, spade, rake and hoes
Beneath a sky of blue
The garden of straight rows
Leather gloves tossed aside
Forecasting chores at hand
The work is never done
Beautifying the land
Showed up at my front door
We caught up on chitchat
Visit was warm and sweet
All was good, no brickbat
My mind roamed like a cat
Catching up on lost time
Visits few; far between
Not unreal, not a crime
It seems to be a chore
For a friendship to last
As ice cream is a treat
Melting into the past
It comes back in stridor
True friendship is concrete
Mislaid out-of-the-way
The odds we may defeat.

 

It was good to see you yesterday, my friend.

The Invisible Woman

READ

The Invisible Woman.  

This is exactly what I mean when I say change pessimism to optimism.  What a great way to look at things!

funnyface