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Today Marks a Year Here For Me! THANK-YOU ALL!

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I’D LIKE TO THANK PHOENIX PHOTOS FOR PROVIDING ME WITH THIS IMAGE TO SHARE

One year ago, today, I posted my first blog here. I started as a means to promote a book but it grew to be far more than that. At this very time, a year ago, I was dating someone. She was a nice enough person, but she was dry, spent far too much free time watching television and she didn’t have the same world views as I did. I used this blog to begin expressing all the emotions – the ups and the downs – that I felt.

The day I really knew Laura and I weren’t suited for each other, she called me from downtown Ft Myers. She had gone to meet friends for a walk/jog after work. She finished first and was sitting on a bench waiting for the others and talking to me on the phone. She had gotten a pizza slice at a street vendor in the area. She didn’t like the area of town and was complaining to me about how unsafe she felt. A man came and sat next to her, on the bench and she became totally freaked-out and informed that he was probably homeless and she could feel her skin crawling. I finally said to her, “Maybe he just wanted a slice of pizza because he was hungry?” S I L E N C E. She thought I was nuts and I thought she was out of touch.

Here I am, 365 days later. I’m free and single, 1500 miles away from where I was. I’m now in Illinois, but I am planning a return to Florida in the winter. I’m thinking of making it my permanent home again, but I’m playing it by ear – as I always do. I’ve learned to do what feels right in my gut. It’s sort of a “I’ll know when I get there” sort of thing for me.

At any rate, I’ve met some truly amazing people over the last year. I’ve met writers, hitchhikers, homeless people, truck drivers, and made friends on Facebook with people from all over the world. I have people in my life that I’ve know for forty years and people that I’ve never met in person  – and they all touch me in wonderful ways.

In the last year, this blog has received fifty-eight THOUSAND page views. I’ve posted one-hundred twenty-one blogs which have received six-HUNDRED fourteen comments. I’ve gained seven-hundred  fans to my Facebook fan page, two-thousand four hundred blog subscribers, published ten books, traveled in five states, dated one person but broke-up with two , put two thousand miles on my RV and I lost my dog. Through it all, you guys have been there. Some of you have been there the whole year and some of you just hopped on this train. Let me warn you newbies, it’s fast moving sometimes!

This all humbles me very much and it makes me smile. I never thought in a million years that I would have come so far in a year. I simply wanted to do what made me happy. I’ve always been a drifter and I’ve never been one to work anywhere at a j.o.b. for long. I get bored with that sort of stuff. Writing allows me to use my imagination. Fiction work is a way that I can escape reality and use my artistic side. Non-fiction work gives my inquisitive side a reason to learn more about the topics that interest me. I truly get the best of everything as a writer.

My friend’s four-year old is at that stage where he asks about everything. When he asks, “what is compost?” and then follows it up with, “why?” I can answer him. Sometimes he asks me things like, “How do combines work?” I do my best to answer him in ways that he can understand but are truly informational. I don’t believe in talking down to children if it can be helped. He once looked at me and asked, “How do you know so much?” *insert HUGE smile* I took the opportunity to tell him that school played a large part in it (because he also doesn’t like school very much yet) and then I followed with, “I’m writer, that’s just what I do. I put things into words so that other people can learn about things too.” He smiled and paused before the onslaught of questions started again. I love that he asks questions. It reminds me to stop and look at the world through his eyes sometimes. Children can give you a very unique perspective.

For all these things, I’m thankful. I am thankful for the people who remind me that a writer sees the world from a different view than others do. An artist looks at a flower and pictures it on canvas. A photographer sees things in still frames. I see the story in everything. Words are my paint and my laptop is my brush. I don’t strive for perfection, only the satisfaction of telling the story. Today, I thank YOU for allowing me to tell my stories. I value your input, your comments, your thoughts and reflections on my work. and when you tell me that something I have written has helped you in some way. I treasure the emails from fans who tell me that I’ve helped them with a struggle or that I’ve put something into words when they could not.

Thanks for making it a wonderful year of growing, learning and sharing. I hope the next year is filled with much more of the same for all of us.

~ Jesse

My latest non-fiction was published yesterday.  “Incredible Edibles – Field Guide To Free Food. Please, check it out. 

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Also, the follow-up book to “Twisted: Flashbacks” will be coming out soon. If you have not yet read the original, you can pick-up your copy here. This is a fiction novella with a follow-up novel coming very soon!

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Categories: erotica, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It Is Time

 

A couple of years ago, I embarked on a journey. This has been a spiritual journey for me, as well as one that has taken me to Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and all the way back to Illinois. I uprooted myself in a somewhat semi-permanent fashion, got rid of several hundred pounds of personal belongings and moved into this RV. I’ve lived a very minimalistic lifestyle for a all this time. I enjoy it, but I have found that this was a learning time for me – a time that I very much needed – and it is time for some change.

I often come back to Illinois to “regroup” and I have been blessed to have my friend Sheila here. She understands me in many ways. She knows that I have been on a soul journey these past few years. She knows that I feel things that are hard to explain and that life touches me in ways that some people can’t feel it. I try to pull the positive lessons out of every encounter and each experience, sometimes when they are painful I learn the most. That’s really life. The painful things can help us grow by moving us beyond our comfort zones. I’ve needed that and I knew that I did.

I spent the better part of seven years in a relationship that pushed me to the brink. We had a home, two cars, splendid furnishings, jobs, pets, ate out too much, got a college educations and better jobs … but the relationship itself was awful. There was no trust, no compassion, no joy in it at all. We just went through the motions of what we thought it was “supposed to be” when you were in a relationship. The person I lived with was narcissistic and detached. Lies of omission were part of daily life with her. It drove me crazy. Literally, I was crazed. I ended-up on medication because she told me I was crazy so many times that I started to believe it myself. I was on a whole host of prescription drugs that were meant to ‘make me normal’ when all the while they just made me more crazy.

When that relationship finally came to an abrupt halt, I was still very shaky. I’d tried to kill myself twice and contemplated it a third time. I was an emotional and psychological train wreck. I had no idea who I was anymore. I didn’t know what I liked to do, how I liked to spend my time, what I thought about the world around me anymore either. I’d been living in a bubble, like a hostage, for seven years. Like a baby, I had to rediscover myself.

There have been many mistakes since then, but I have spent the better part of the last six years alone. There have been dates and a few flings but nothing of any sort of permanent nature. It seemed like everyone wanted me to change or conform to their idea of what I should be. That scares me, after having gone through what I did. I did see a therapist for a long time who told me that I definitely had PTSD from the previous long-term relationship. I had more trauma over that relationship than I did my father’s suicide, which seemed to amaze her. This is why I’m so outspoken about domestic abuse now and I stress that it does not need to be physical abuse. Mental abuse is far more damaging in the long run.

So, with no roots, no real family and no reasons to stay anywhere, I have let myself be blown from here to there. I’ve lived in Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Florida and spent short periods in every state in between them all. Yes, many of you think it is an amazing way to live and that I am lucky. In some respects it is, but it is also very tiring. This RV is small, has no heat when it isn’t plugged in to a power source and I have been so cold that I wonder how I didn’t die a couple of times. I remember waking one morning and not being able to feel my feet. I tried to get out of bed and I couldn’t walk for a few minutes. I staggered into a Starbucks to warm myself and actually checked my feet in the bathroom for frostbite. No black or bright red – I was good.

There was the time in Alabama, exactly a year ago, when it was so hot that the RV hit 136 degrees inside and all I could do was sit. It was too hot to cook or move and I closed the curtains and stripped down to my boxers and sport bra and prayed for rain. It was that weekend that I wrote my first book, “Butch Sexology” with just a pencil and a legal pad. I published it on May 29th, if I recall correctly. What a year it has been! I’ve learned that I can do anything that I want.

So…I just had to figure out what I want. I know I don’t EVER want to be so cold that I can’t feel my feet ever again. The things that are important to me are not possessions by any means. Lifestyle is important to me. I believe in living a purposeful life and a simple life. In talking with Ellen again, she has told me about the city of St Pete’s stance on sustainable living. I was immediately intrigued. I can have a small house, a big garden and even raise chickens in my backyard. I can be warm year round. I can have peace and quiet and still be in a city that offers me all the things I love, such as theaters, beaches, performing arts, museums, fishing, fresh food, sports and so much more. I can have a little home office, where I can hide in the evenings and continue to tap out my books. I can have BOOK SHELVES again. 🙂 The thought of it all is almost mind-blowing to me. I haven’t had anywhere I have thought of as “home” for a long, long time. Well, it is time and I am ready. I’m making the leap.

There you have it! What lesson have I learned? That in attempting to change the world, the world changes us. It’s up us whether this is for the better or for the worst. I think I finally hit “for the better” and I am officially going to park the RV in storage this fall. I’ll be hanging up the keys for a while. It will still be there so I can enjoy weekend excursions and I will still fly here and there when I can. If I can park it in a back yard, it may just become my “writing cave” but who knows?  I’ll never fully give traveling up, because I do love to see the sights and explore places … but this butch is ready to hang her many hats somewhere with a permanent hook for a while. 🙂

(I’m seriously gonna need some furniture! o.O)

Categories: life lessons, self-help | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Dear Child, It Is A Mad World …

I have spent most of my life believing that everything happens for a reason, though not ever really applying it to my life in a way that made any difference. It has only been in the last few years that I have started to awake from a deep sleep.

Today, I want to unload some feelings that are very heavy and I have carried them around for a long, long time and I have never written about it or tried to tell it any detail. It’s time….

I was twenty-two when I met your mother. She was exciting and unlike anyone I had ever known. I was smitten with her from the first time I saw her and as I got to know her, as a friend. I gradually fell in love with her. In time, she and I were together but the situation soon became very complicated.

She awoke with a painful case of the shingles one morning. She asked me to drive her to the hospital because she was in so much pain. We went and she was eventually taken back to be seen. I sat in the waiting room for many hours, wondering what in the world was wrong that she needed to be there for so long. Eventually a guy came out from the back and told me, “She’s a little upset and hasn’t wanted to come out to see you…but she’ll be out soon, okay?”

My first thought was that something was seriously wrong and I was, of course, worried. He didn’t tell me what was going on. Eventually she came out and said, “Let’s go.” It wasn’t until we were outside, in that beat-up old VW Bus that had taken us on many excursions already, including the most amazing New Year’s Eve. As she put the key in the ignition, she didn’t look at me and blurted out, “I’m pregnant.” Then she just sat there, waiting for my response. I was not quite twenty-three years of age – just a little older than you are now – and I have no idea why I reacted the way I did … but I always saw you as a blessing. All I could do was smile.

Your mother said to me, “Are you shitting me? You’re HAPPY aren’t you??” At this point I started to laugh out loud.

I remember how I played with my shoe laces and didn’t really look at her, because I was summoning something up from deep inside me when I asked her a serious of questions. “Do you ever see yourself with another man?”

“No.”

“Then this might be your last chance to have a child. Do you want this baby?”

With tears in her eyes and a frog in her throat, “Yes.”

“Then it looks like we’re having a baby?”

It turned-out that when she had moved in with me, she had already been one month pregnant. The months that followed were strange, mad, somewhat insane and more beautiful than any other days of my life…

I was in love with your mom and nothing about her being pregnant changed that. In fact, I thought she was even more beautiful and I admired her strength and courage, as a woman. As her body changed, there were days that she was horrified at the things she saw going on in the mirror. Still, she had the same warped sense of humor then that she does now and I am sure that you grew-up with. For example, there was the time she screamed from the shower, “Dawn…DAWN! Come here!” I raced into the bathroom thinking something was wrong. No…she just wanted to show me that she could squirt me with breast milk from the shower.  I told you it was warped. It sent me running from the bathroom, squealing in disgust,  as she could be heard laughing through-out the apartment.

We conquered the beach all summer long, as her belly grew large. Once, while she floated on an inner tube and I floated along with her treading water, we found ourselves having drifted quite far out. In a very calm voice, your mother said to me, “Now…I do not want you to panic. I grew-up along the beach, so I am used to this … but I want you to very slowly look to your left and STOP splashing.” I looked and to my absolute horror, there was a shark circling us that was about six feet long. This Illinois farm girl was about to get up and walk like Jesus on the water. “Do you want to get up here on the inner tube with me?”

“Hell no. I’ll flip you out of it and then we’ll both be shark bait!”

“Well, then why don’t you just float up underneath the inner tube and we’ll let the tide take us in?” I did as she told me. We floated along for what seemed like forever. By the time we got halfway back to shore there were two – another smaller shark had joined in on the fun. I was never  so glad to get my feet on terra firma! Your mother sauntered along like it was just another day, well … at the beach. You had no choice to grow-up strong.

As the weeks passed by, we would lay in the floor of my apartment and I would lay my head on her stomach and talk to you. I could lay my hand on her stomach and you would move to wherever I rested my palm and kick and kick. You earned the nickname of “Thumper” before your name was chosen.

So many times, she would come to my door upset and just frustrated. I’d pull her in and calm her down. We would lay for hours and listen to music and talk. We talked about life, music, and most of all we talked about you. We talked about where you would go to school and we wondered what you would be like. We had hopes for you, as all parents do. At some point, your mom began working on a birth plan. She wrote and rewrote. She added, deleted and prepared a plan that would need to be bound because it was so detailed. I loved her spirit and admired her ability to take charge of any situation – even if it meant telling a doctor how to do their job. To this day, I probably find it to be one of her most endearing qualities … her fighting spirit. Your mother was never one to ‘go with the flow’ when she had other ideas. I’m guessing you probably know that by now?

When the day finally came for you to enter the world, we were all at the hospital. I never left your mom’s side for the entire twenty-three hours that she was in labor. The delivery was not easy on her and I cried for her pain many times. She refused to bring you into the world while she was on pain meds. She was bound and determined that you would be born naturally. Eighteen hours in, the doctor had other ideas. Eventually, she relented to the epidural because it was that or a C-section.

When your head crowned, I could see your little dark curls. You had a head full of hair already! asked your father, “Jim, she has your hair. Wanna see?”

His response was comical. He very somberly stated, “Some things are better left to women.”

The doctor asked me if I wanted to cut the cord and I was going to but at the last second she asked your mother to not push. I was shoulder to shoulder with the doctor at this point and I could see the reason. The cord was around your little neck, not once but twice. Once again, you were proving that you were already going to be doing things your way. The doctor prepared and apologized to me that she needed to act quickly. Your mother was told to push one last time and the doctor pulled you by the shoulders, slipped her thumb under that cord and unwound it twice, pulled you free and laid you on top of your mother’s belly … all in less than two seconds.

I was mesmerized instantly. A little china doll. That was all I could think. Your little eyes opened and you looked in my direction, probably because you recognized my voice when I cried, “She’s beautiful.” I think we were all in tears. Your mother was busy counting toes and fingers. Your father looked as though he was going to pass-out. I remember your mom saying, “Hello there … hello, Amelia.”

The months that followed were some of the most wonderful days of my life. When I looked at you, I saw your mother. You always had her eyes, from the moment you opened them the first time. You were part  of her and I always saw you as just another part of her that I loved. There was a rocking chair that your mom had found when she was pregnant. I had spent hours fixing it up, painting it and putting a new cushion on it so that there was a way to rock you when you were born. I learned two things about you in the hours that you and I spent alone. The first, you loved music and I could always sing to you and calm you. We had two special songs. I sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” to you and we had a special song from Cinderella that I would sing sometimes. Some of my favorite memories are of you laying your head on my shoulder and falling asleep. You were such a good baby.

When you were about five months old, I started carting you around the house in a Snuggli and you came with me to do laundry, mow the yard, mop the floor and vacuum. You and I road the city bus to go shopping at the mall to buy a surprise for your mom. We went to the park and fed ducks. You mother and I took you to the beach and you would sit in a little pool of water that she would rake the sand out of so the waves would keep you filled-up. You would sit and play for hours. That little unruly curl on top of your head would blow in the breeze and we would sit and watch you and just enjoy watching you discover your world.

There were rough mornings when you were up all night. We would stagger to the kitchen and wait for the  coffee maker. It was a Melita. I remember that coffee maker well because she was obsessed with how good it was and I often had to listen to her wax poetic about the absolute genius of a cone shaped filter. I remember being out of milk and creamer once, so we tried formula. You are not a ‘real’ parent until you have tried infant formula in your coffee. In case you are wondering – not good.

Your mother had never changed a diaper in her life and neither had your father. Sometimes, it took two people … like the time I heard the shriek from the bedroom. I walked in to find your mom shaking her head and saying, “There is no baby wipe in the world that is gonna handle this!” We decided to have one carry you, with diaper hanging, and just run to the bathroom, where one of us held you and the other hosed you off. It worked out just fine and from what I understand, you got used to things being a little like ‘the path less chosen’ your whole life? That’s good!

When I left St Pete, it was for a whole lot of reasons and the one thing I am sure of is that it wasn’t because of you. If there is one thing that I could tell you, it would be that you were never far from my thoughts in the last twenty years. I prayed for your safety and for your happiness. I haven’t held a baby in all these years that my heart didn’t ache for you and those days when I was so happy. To this day, I remember exactly how you smelled after a bath.

Many times I have searched the internet for your name, just to see how you were doing and if you were okay. I never would try to interfere with your life because you really never knew me, yet you have always been very much a part of me. I left a little of my soul in St Pete and I am so glad that I found your mother and she and I talk again. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me though … so many bitter sweet memories, feelings of jealousy for all the things I missed and knowing that it had to be the way that it was. Your mom beams with pride that I can literally feel over the phone. I hear about your accomplishments and stories about your childhood. While it is a hard pill to swallow for me, knowing that I wasn’t there, I find myself also very proud of you and also of your mother. She has changed a lot for the better. I think that was you. So I can’t do anything about the last twenty years, but I can do so much about tomorrow and I make my choices today. Just know that I never really left you behind because you BOTH always had my heart; it was with you both each and every day.  That is all I really want you to know.

 

Categories: lesbian, life lessons, love, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Food and Your Health

The sun is just beginning to cast its fiery orange hues over the horizon, with a dramatic foreground of black trees and a blue sky that lies somewhere in the middle of the layers of the Illinois sky. Our weather here is like it is everywhere … unpredictable. This week we will have a low of thirty-two degrees (last night) and a high in the upper eighties; a fifty degree swing in temperatures for the week. It seems inconceivable that people still don’t believe that climates are changing all over the world.

For those of you who remember the earthquake in Haiti, you may not have heard the little talked about result? The earthquake was so powerful that is actually moved the entire planet. Yes, the earth shifted one whole degree on its axis. One degree doesn’t seem like much, but it is certainly enough to throw the calendar out of whack a bit and delay seasons here and there. My advice to you is to roll with it because there will be more changes, due to the fact that global warming was already beginning to make some changes.

This morning, as I sit here, I can hear the birds happily chirping from the nightly roosts. Here in the country, there is no sound of cars. Once in a while, a car will go buzzing past, interrupted by the seasonal tractors that are beginning to be seen in fields. In the city, people judge others by what they wear. In Illinois, people judge each other by their favorite type of tractor. Are you an International Harvester fan? John Deere? There are others….but I can’t bring myself to mention them. I’m a John Deere country girl. Yes … the only green I care for is dotted with yellows and probably on a combine. Even when I am in the city, as I often am, I can be seen wearing my camo boots or even my Carhartt baseball hat. If you are very lucky, then you may even find me wearing my cowboy hat and leather boots. You can take the girl out of the country, but I assure you this – you can NOT take the country out of the girl!

For the past few weeks I have been enjoying hunting wild morel mushrooms and wild asparagus. I have found a stand of cattails and I am anxious to try some recipes for those, so I will be waiting for them to come into season later in the summer. The berries won’t be ready to pick for a while, but the bushes found are plentiful. I can taste the goodies now. Yes, I love this country way of life, I admit. No doubt, the way I was raised and where I grew-up has a lot to do with the way that I view the world and the way I prioritize things in my life now. You see, I LOVE this planet and I really want it to last. I want the next generations to see what it is like to admire Mother Earth in all her beauty and to know the pure, untainted joy of reaping the fresh fruits and vegetables that she provides for us.

Cat tails in Indiana.

Cat tails in Indiana.

I see so much that is wrong with the world to be a result of getting away from nature and “country” by people today. I see people beating themselves up to work 40+ hours per week to earn as much money as they can. For what? To pay for the car that they need to take them to work! To pay for groceries that are poisoning them with GMO crops and pesticides. As a nation, the United State’s health is declining. We have become a country of people who are over-stressed, over-worked and have no time to raise our own children. This I see to be a snowball effect.

When I was a restaurant manager, part of my duties were the hiring and training of new crew. I considered myself a “people” person and I managed from the viewpoint that my employees were the most important part of my business. When customers come into a restaurant, it is the employees who greet them, seat them, take their order, make small talk and laugh with them that will keep them coming back. The food is only part of the equation and the fact is that even if your food is mediocre, people will return if the customer service is outstanding. So … for that reason, I set aside time in my schedule to personally train and mentor each new employee. Other managers would ask me how I found time. They considered it crazy on my part with all else we had to do. My response to them was always, “If you don’t make time to do things right in the first place, when are you going to have time to fix mistakes later? By training them exactly the way I want, I save time in the long run.”

Getting back to our children, this same philosophy applies. So many parents are working so hard to pay mortgages, car payments, grocery bills and utility bills that they scarcely have any time left for their children. What if everything you had been taught was wrong? What if life wasn’t about having a “career?” What if you stayed home, had a garden large enough to feed your family, raised a milk cow and a beef cow? Maybe you have a hog for bacon if that is your thing? Not only would you not get out of bed with an alarm clock ( an extremely offensive way to start any day!) but you would also be able to plan your day around your own schedule. That means you can plan around your children. What a novel idea!

“How would I pay for my SUV,” you ask. Well my answer is simple – “who says you need it?” Now I realize you are thinking I am a little crazy right now, but I assure that if you stick with me you will begin to see what I am saying here. The average SUV is never driven off-road. WTH do you need it for? I mean REALLY NEED it for? If you live in the city, you can plant a yard full of vegetables. If you are an apartment dweller, you can plant vertical gardens on patios, balconies, etc. Even if you have to work to pay for other necessities like rent and power, you certainly would not have to work as hard if you supplied all your own food, now would you? In fact, the average family could work HALF as many hours as they do right now, if they didn’t spend money at the grocery store.

Cities all across the nation are allowing people to grow gardens in their front yards. In large metropolitan areas that have little grass, people are planting community gardens in empty lots and using strips along curbs and sidewalks to plant ‘free’ gardens for the entire neighborhood. If you are lucky enough to live on the outskirts of town, raising one goat to supply milk for your family will give you more than enough milk to even make your own soap! A small goat can yield more than a quart of milk per day. As soon as her kid is weaned, you can sell it to pay for having the goat. Incidentally, goats will exist on grass if you have room to graze them. Goats will eat bushes and most any ground cover, small trees and whatever they can reach. Fence them away from what you don’t want them to eat! As far as them eating tin cans and “anything” – nothing could be further from the truth. While they do ‘mouth’ things, they are very selective about what they eat. Grazing a goat with cattle is good because goats tend to eat what the cows will not eat and they both eat things that benefit the other. For examply, goats will eat the parts of plants that tend to harbor  parasites that are harmful to cattle. Grazing them together or one right after the other is beneficial!

Let me talk about foraging for food. This is one of my favorite pastimes. Walking along the bottom of ditches in the spring, April-May, you can find a lot of asparagus growing wild. This is FREE FOOD. This is my favorite type of gardening….the kind I don’t have to plant, weed or water. Mother Earth provides a lot of free food if you are willing to look for it. Morel mushrooms grow in the spring as well. Both asparagus and mushrooms can be frozen. Berries grow wild too. This foraging can and SHOULD be a family affair. Walking is good for the soul and it is fantastic exercise. The food you gather is GMO free and good for you.

When health issues plague us like they do now, shouldn’t the food you eat be considered your most important investment?  Let me go to some statistics, taken from the article referenced below by Eva Jacobs and Stephanie Shipp. In 1903, a full ninety-seven percent of a household’s annual income went to the food that they consumed. By 1960 that percent had declined to only seventy-nine percent. People were making choices to spend money on mortgages, cars, gasoline and other non-necessity things. By 1987 only seventy-three percent of income was spend on food. These figures certainly do not mean that the cost of food went down. We all know better than that. A gallon of milk in 1980 averaged $1.25. A gallon of milk today will run anywhere from $3 to $4.50, depending upon where you live in the country. So, what these statistics mean is that people are opting for more of what I call “crap food.”

More and more families are existing on Ramen Noodles and Hamburger Helper to fill their bellies, while nutrionally starving themselves. Not only do we, as a society, not eat properly but we also pump ourselves full of soft drinks for numerous reasons. The makes of soft drinks have laced them with ingredients designed to make you crave more, for one thing. Secondly, it is often cheaper to buy a soft drink than it is to buy 100% juice or even a bottle of water. People choose what is cheap. Period. For many years, this resulted in increasing cancer mortality rates. In 2003, cancer and heart-disease fully accounted for 51.1% of all deaths. That is an astonishing number. In the 1930s, just over 50,000 men and 50,000 women per year died of cancer related illness. By the year 2000, this number had grown to almost 300,000 for men and just over 250,000 for women. Is it purely coincidence that we are now relying on what the grocery stores sell us, rather than eating fresh foods? I highly doubt it, personally.

Companies like Monsanto have virtually taken over our food. Small farmers are being put out of business because of these corporate behemoths. This is a true David vs Goliath problem, with us being David. I’m trying very hard, this morning, to show you that there are other ways of living. There are choices that you can make, no matter where you live, to simplify your life, give yourself some relaxation time, have more time for your family (which is a whole ‘nother blog) and truly be more healthy! We cannot let companies like Dow, Bayer, Monsanto, Proctor and Gamble and so many others take over the food we put in our bodies. Americans have sold their souls and their health to corporate America. Not only should you be worried about it, you should be angry! This is another freedom that has been taken away from you – the freedom to be healthy and choose what goes in your body. Bit by bit, Americans have given up their time to work more hours to pay for what amounts to less, only to find out it is starving them and killing them in the long run.

While you may not be able to do like I did and move yourself into an RV that you can park most anywhere for free when you need to, you can learn to forage for wild food. You can grow vertical gardens in very little space and you can begin making small changes in your diet right now … today. You will not be sorry if you do. My own personal experience on soft drinks should ring true with some of you:

Diet Mountain Dew was my drink of choice for a very long time. Not only is it a diuretic, but it is also laced with chemicals that are used in embalming bodies after death. Artificial sweeteners used in it are not only addictive, but very harmful. Aspartame has been linked to many issues. There are NINETY-ONE symptoms of Aspartame poisoning.  Here are a few:

*numb-tingling hands and feet

*combination carpel-tunnel/tennis-elbows 

*Fibromyalgia-like hot spots (all over)

*chronic-fatigue like exhaustion

*sleeplessness

*memory loss

*depression 

*blackouts

*vision problems/blurry vision

*burning/tingling in feet and legs

*shooting-stabbing pains in my legs and other joints

*tinnitus

I stopped drinking soft drinks about a month ago. It was a HARD habit to break but here are the results for me: No more body aches, the chronic back pain has completely subsided. The shooting pains in my shoulders has completely stopped. My energy levels have stopped. I am not running to the bathroom every 30 minutes anymore, even though I still consume over a gallon of water and/or juice each day. My vision has cleared up so much that I have stopped wearing bifocals to read and type. My focus is getting better, the mind fog has gone away. My bones had stopped creaking. Just in a MONTH!

So stop and think about. How many of today’s chronic illnesses are a result of the things we put in our mouths? How many of you are investing more in the car(s) you drive than you are in your food each month? Shouldn’t YOU be the biggest investment in your life? I challenge you to make just ONE change your dietary habits this week. If you are a soft drink lover, perhaps you should start thinking about removing it from your diet and see how you feel? If you have space to plant a garden, even on a balcony, try growing something…anything to start!

Forage for food, even in urban settings. I used to walk all over Denver and pick wild plants.In fact, I knocked on doors and asked if I could pick apples that I saw going to waste! People are happy to not have to pick them up! Get yourself a good guide book. If you would like to get a copy of my newest book, “Incredible Wild Edibles – Eat For Free,” send me a message or comment here and I will send you a link to the book that releases THIS week! Full of pictures, information and even recipes for enjoying your findings, this book will take you from start to finish and show you how to slow down, enjoy nature and appreciate the food you put in your mouth.

Jacobs/Shipp article http://www.bls.gov/mlr/1990/03/art3full.pdf

Aspartame Poisoning http://rense.com/general10/term.htm

Cancer statistics slide show http://www.slideshare.net/MiamiDadePA/5-cancer-statistics-2006-presentation

Categories: self-help | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

A Little Sex With My Coffee, Please

sex

My eyes took in every detail of her, as she stood in the kitchen. The morning sun was shining through the door as she carefully spooned the coffee into the filter that would soon be brewing and sending the robust aroma through the entire apartment. I love moments like these, snapshots in time. No details pass me by. Her hair glistened from the rays of sunlight that highlighted the right side of her face. With her hair up, I could see the short, fine hairs that rested against her neck in unruly fashion. I loved her in the mornings, when her hair was disheveled and her eyes were half closed.

Stepping forward, I reached my arms around her and kissed the back of her neck. There was no reason to, yet there were I million reasons why I did – none of which I could ever put into words. Touching her was ecstatic for me. It was as if my skin and hers melded together, knowing that they were of the same stardust and when our molecules combined the result was goosebumps, fireworks and absolute passion. She sighed and leaned back against me, rubbing my forearms with her hands. I watched her arms as they moved. She had soft, blonde hair on her arms and the way her muscles moved was fascinating for me to watch. Her arms and hands were sensual and attractive to me. I often watched her movements in everything that she did. I was mesmerized by her arms and hands and I’d stand and watch her put on her make-up sometimes, just to watch her hands. They were graceful, strong and artistic. When her hand was in mine, I could never stop smiling at how tiny they were in comparison, yet they were not weak in any way. Her hands showed their years of labor and wisdom gained, yet they remained delicate and dignified to me. I loved them most when they were on my naked body, doing the most dirty of things.

My right hand reached underneath her loose top and found her bare breast. She immediately grew hard against my fingertips. Softly, she moaned and I could see her smile. Her back arched against me – an invitation to take what I wanted. I continued to kiss her neck and my other hand made its way underneath her top so that I now had both breasts in my hands. She continued to run her soft hands up and down my forearms, moaning louder now. I nibbled at her ear and softly whispered to her, “I want you right here and now.”

With this, she turned to face me and our lips met in a long, slow and seductive kiss. It’s the kind of kiss that lovers share when they know they are about to embark on a journey of passion. It was that kiss that said, “my body and my soul are yours, take me.”

My hands wandered up and down the small of her back as our lips played-out their own seduction. I could feel her breasts against me and wanted to feel them in my mouth desperately. Slowly I began to playfully tug at her top to pull it up. She stepped back and helped me by raising her arms as I lifted it up and over her head, right there in the kitchen. Naked to the waist now, the only thing she had left on her body was a pair of lace panties. I was in a fever as I pulled her close to me and kissed her again. My hands quickly found her breasts again and began teasing, twisting and gently tugging at her nipples until they were so hard they could have cut glass. Her moaning drove my passion to such a high that it felt as if I’d be consumed by my own flames.

Taking her left nipple in my mouth, I felt her body tense and rise to meet me. I head her gasp, then cry out, “oh…God!” I could smell her passion now and I knew that she was soaking wet in those lace panties. I fought the urge to touch her there though, knowing that the longer I waited the more intense would be her explosion for me later. I switched to her other breast and continued to massage, caress and lovingly touch the rest of her body with my hands. My fingers stroked her shoulders, arms, back, ribs, hips and cupped the cheeks of her ass while I sucked and nibbled at both of her breasts until she was completely weak in the knees.

Slowly and softly I began to run my fingers under the band of her panties….back and forth….back and forth. Each time, I stroked my fingers a little deeper until I was nearly touching her lips and my fingers played with her hair, stroking and exploring. I could feel her hands on my back, digging in and her body trembling as I came closer and closer to her flame. Finally, my middle finger parted her lips and I could feel her flood. She grasped my shoulders hard now and pushed to lean back, looking directly into my eyes. As my eyes met hers, in a show of domination, I chose that moment to penetrate her with my fingers….watching her face for the reaction. Her mouth opened and she gasped but she remained in my gaze, never looking away. I stroked her, then pulled out to play with her clit before I let my fingers dip inside her again and simply stretch and play with her. I knew I was making her crazy when she lifted her leg to wrap it around my hip. She was opening herself wider for what she wanted, hoping that I’d get her physical hint.

I withdrew my hand long enough to move her leg back to the floor, quickly strip her panties all the way off and then lift her to the kitchen counter. “Take this off,” she beseeched me to remove my shirt, so that she could feel my skin against her own. Our bodies against each other was a heaven like no other. I bent my head between her legs and took her to a place inside her own mind. I watched her close her eyes and tilt her head back as she moaned, groaned, grunted and rubbed herself against me hard. She was riding my lips and my mouth was swallowing her soft, saltiness as fast as I could. I didn’t want to miss a single drop of her body’s ecstasy. I knew she was close and I wanted her to come to me with a fury. I moved my head to the side and I entered her with my hand, pushing and stretching until I was deep inside her. She screamed now, a scream that relished the slight pain in exchange for the intensity of the pleasure she was feeling. My lips again devoured her and my tongue lashed back and forth, ’round and ’round as my hand stroked her faster and faster. Her hips were moving to meet my thrusts and her cries grew louder and louder until finally she shrieked, paused and shuddered. I felt the ripple down my arm and felt the warmth of her orgasm as she continued to shake and spasm for several minutes. I held still, other than my free hand that stroked her hip and her thigh. She played with my hair and softly whispered things I could barely hear…but I understood.  When she was ready, I pulled myself free and I stood to hold her, wrapping my arms around her tightly and trying not to touch her hair with my very wet hand.

Softly, she giggled to me, “Ready for that cup of coffee yet?”

Categories: erotica, gay lesbian, lesbian, love | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Life Has A Way of Humbling Us, Why Fight It?

 

Know what is humbling? Logging into your blog for the first time in almost two months and seeing that you are still averaging almost 200 readers per day and that you have surpassed the 50,000 hits that you had initially hoped for in your wildest dreams – and it isn’t quite yet a year! THANK YOU!

You all know that I write about life and that can be so many things! My readers tell me that what they find most endearing is the way I let people in and share how I really feel in the most raw way possible. I don’t hold back … even when it doesn’t paint me in the greatest of lights. Life has humbled me to the point that I just don’t feel a need to try to look good. I’d rather be myself, in all my screwed-up glory. I’m imperfect. Ask all three credit bureaus. I’m honestly thinking of contacting Guinness Book of records to see if I may just have the lowest credit score in the nation. Seriously. That bad. In the words of a four year old that I love very much, “Guess what?? NOBODY CARES!!” (followed by MUCH giggling) Joshua indeed has his own unique way of looking at the world and it is amazing what you can learn from children. Keep it simple. Focus on what is in front of you. Don’t get hung-up in details. If you can get someone else to do it, that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about. Keep asking for what you want until someone gives it to you. The word ‘no’ has little meaning if you choose to ignore it. Yep…that’s wisdom right there, folks.

I’m sorry that I’ve been out of touch and away from my usual posts. I’ve had a LOT of emotional things going on and I don’t really talk these things out. I stew on them. I let them sink in. I allow pain to seep into my veins and turn the blood of my soul from red to black from time to time. Once all the sludge turns to goo, it is time to sit, write and let it all out. That’s the way I work – it’s how I roll. Now I can breathe again and let that oxygen flow and cleanse me, from the deepest recesses of all that is me!

I don’t believe that one single minute of any day is wasted. Even if I choose to just sit or nap all day, that is not a wasted day! Rejuvenating the spirit, the soul, having time to think and learn and take a look at our progress is important. I’m always reminded of a line from an Indigo Girls song, “…every five years or so I look back on my  life and I have a good laugh…”. That is important. We are new people each day. You are not the same person that you were yesterday. You have new cells, your are chemically not exactly the same because it fluctuates and your thoughts today are not exactly the same as yesterday. We are in a constant state of flux. That is life. If things didn’t change, then we wouldn’t be growing.

Did I mention that I’m 45 now? Yep…I had a birthday! Nothing like a birthday to remind you that your body is getting older and more worn out. Thinking I need some maintenance. Where to start? For one thing, I gave up soda (or ‘pop’ when I’m here at home in Illinois). Would you believe that my vision is clearing up? It is! I don’t need bifocals to see my computer or to read! I’ve been drinking over a gallon of water, with grape juice, each day for several days and I am sitting here typing away without reading glasses on! Amazing. My joints are day to day. My shoulder is feeling much better since stopping the Diet Dew too. I’m beginning to think that there is more to that stuff being poison than I ever realized and from now on I am going to envision a skull and crossbones on a bottle of it and think of it as drinking rat poison!!

Now…how do I heal my soul? I’m gonna lay it all out for you. Jo hurt me a lot. She lied to me in ways that I honestly trusted her not to. I flat-out asked her to promise me that she’d not play with my feelings when we first started talking again. She did anyway and while it hurt me extremely deeply and I’ve needed much time to heal, I’m out on the other side of it and I feel good again. The biggest thing is that I forgive her and I realize that I need to follow my own blog! Somewhere along the line I wrote that ‘people only love you as much as they can’ and I got that line from Laura. Laura is the woman I went to Florida for last year. Wow. She must have been telling me a lot about herself when she said that. I forgive Laura too. Even though I spent three days in a hospital, scared and in tears a time or two and she never visited me once, I forgive her. I hope she forgives me for not being able to be the person she needed me to be. Her idea of my life and my idea of my life were two very different things. I’m not cut-out for living in a house with someone, being tied down to bills, routines and time clocks. It just isn’t going to happen. She kept telling me that she was waiting for my life to ‘settle down’ and I kept waiting for her to love me as I was. Two different people, two different paths and it took me realizing that it wasn’t meant and it wasn’t going to happen. That didn’t mean I didn’t care for her…anymore that it means I don’t still care for Jo. I do. I don’t turn-off feelings and emotions for people that meant something to me. People think I do, because I walk away but that isn’t true at all. I simply put myself first. I have a conscious and sometimes it gets the best of me, keeps me up at night and makes want to sit down and write an email and just say hello. I’m getting better at not sending them.

I’ve been talking to my ex from twenty years ago. It is a long story and I’m not going to get into it all again. Ellen is the one person in my life that I have held onto all these years and wanted to talk to again. There was a Karmic connection and a reason to contact again. She’s grown. She’s different in a lot of ways … and in some ways she’s the same and she knows I know. <insert smile here> You see, the part of me that has grown is the part that no longer needs to force someone into a mold that I think is ‘right’ or ‘correct’ in some way. I do not judge and I don’t begrudge anyone living their life and following their path the way that they need to. I know how to keep a safe distance now. Fact is, I honestly LIKE Ellen. She’s funny, witty, smart, charming when she wants to be, sassy as hell (which I always admired – even when it was directed at me) and she is one of the most resourceful people I’ve ever known. I ADMIRE her … even when she doesn’t admire herself. Fact is, she is one of the few people I was ever involved with who has grown and I don’t mind her in my life again, because I don’t feel that it is a step backwards in any way. I feel like we’ve both grown forward and we just aren’t the same people anymore. Does this make sense? I don’t mind saying this, knowing that she’ll read it, but I still love her. I always have and I always held everyone else in all these years up to her as a comparison…which wasn’t fair to them and a hell of a lot to live up to…but it’s true. For what it’s worth, I’m not afraid to admit that. I believe that coming to terms with things in our lives is very much about being truthful and honest, with OURSELVES as much as with others. So, I admit it, I never got over her and I don’t truly know why. I just didn’t. I admitted to someone that I lived with for six years that if Ellen had shown-up knocking on my door and wanting to get back together, that I’d have left with her. Sad huh? I mean, I feel terrible that I SAID that … but it was the honest truth. That was EIGHT years after we hadn’t been together too. Strange to say it, but the only thing I ever believed in was her and I’m SO proud that she raised Amelia and made it when all the chips were down. Against all odds, she survived. I know it wasn’t probably pretty and it wasn’t easy or perfect by any means…but she did it and I’m honestly so proud of her and I really want her to know that, because I mean it so much. It was only when I moved into this RV that I threw away a lot of things from my past because I knew that clinging to the past is not the right thing to do….but there were a few things that I kept that were extremely important to me. This was one thing that I could never and will never part with…

Ellen and Amelia1

You can’t imagine with my life as scattered as it is and has been – the moving, the traveling and life I lead – how hard it may be to keep track of things. I always know where this photo is on a moments notice.

 

So here I am. Alone. I’m okay with that. I’m simply acknowledging how I feel today and the things going ’round in my head. I’m not trying to get back together with anyone, not looking for anyone new. I’m just happy to live today and to feel this breeze in my face. That photo may seem sad, but to me it isn’t. It reminds me that I had a very, very happy time in my life and I was lucky to have had it. I’ve been lucky for every day ever since. When I left her, I drank myself into a stupor for about three years. I practically lived at the bar, playing Garth Brook’s “The Dance” on the jukebox and wallowing in grief. If  I had all the money back that I drank away, I could probably travel well for a year. Paycheck after paycheck I pissed into the toilet, literally. I’ve come a long, long way. I’m sober now. I’m humble. I feel too much sometimes, but I am not afraid to face what I feel with quiet dignity and know that I have been blessed many times over. I choose to be thankful and yes, Ellen,  I choose to be proud of you and believe in you. You deserve that.

 

Categories: lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just Get Up

A strange fog has come over the world outside my window. It has been raining since yesterday, a constant trickle and pitter patter from the roof as a gentle reminder to me that there is a world outside, awaiting my return to it. I pour another cup of coffee and ponder so many things about this world and this life as my spoon disappears into the creamy mixture. I like a little coffee with my cream, thank-you very much. I’ve given sugar up almost entirely, but I am not giving up the cream in my coffee, it is one of those little indulgences of my life that I will be stubborn about.

Today, I think about the husband of a friend who is in the hospital. He’s in very bad condition, originally admitted with congestive heart failure and since admittance having suffered from a massive stroke. He has a clot in his brain. The doctor administered medication that he declared ‘will either help him or kill him.’  I think about this man in particular, and the legacy he leaves behind. His has not been a particularly good life and he’s not always been a good person. Still … he is a person and a child of this Universe.

Today, I think about the unborn child that is being carried by a girl who is but a child herself. She’s already had two such children taken away from her because of her mental inability to take care of them. She is due again, any day, and my heart is heavy with thoughts of what will become of this child. The first two were lucky enough to be adopted by family. This same family is out of financial resources now and simply cannot keep taking in children, especially when they are being delivered almost like kittens at this rate. The girl cannot be held completely responsible for her inability to cope with the world. There are many factors at play. The grandparents cannot be held responsible because she was raised as well as any other child. She is capable of making these decisions but not doing a very good job, I’m afraid. In the end … I mourn for this unborn child who is about to come into a world with absolutely nothing stable in her world. Yes, we know it is a girl. In fact, her name is to be Brooklyn ( I am unsure of how it will be spelled ) and she will have the same middle name as I was given at birth, Renee.

I suppose my heart is heavy today, like the fog outside my window. The heaviness crept into me just as unexpectedly and I only know to put it all down and share it … as I nearly always do. Things touch me deeply. Knowing the way in which all things are connected, I wonder what my role in all of it is? Recently I have thought deeply about those words, “it takes a village” and they keep rattling around in my head. Is it my hormones and the fact that I know I am soon to be beyond the ability to have a child that is bothering me? I don’t think that is entirely it. I never wanted to be pregnant. I never had the desire to give birth but I loved children none the less.

This all has me thinking about the circle of life, beginnings and endings and all the things that fall between. We make mistakes because we are human. Everything we do touches someone else. We can touch others in a positive way or we can be a negative influence. Most of the time, this is a very conscious choice that each of us makes. What about those times that we do something for ourselves and it inadvertently harms someone else in some way? What about the people who just aren’t “there” yet? I’m speaking about the ones who don’t see their place in the universe or understand how they affect everyone else. Do we all constantly create ‘Karmic debts’ that need to be paid in full or is the answer to being taught the lesson is simply that we come to the realization that our decisions have harmed others and have real regret for this? Perhaps changing our ways is enough? What an interesting concept that would imply that it is never too late for anyone!

Humility is a word that I’ve been introduced to in recent years. “What have you done with your life in the past sixteen years?”  These were the words I heard as if they had been spoken to me by God himself. My entire life flashed before my eyes in a matter of 30 seconds. I was reminded of every single time I’d been selfish. I literally saw the scenes before my eyes, as the Ghost of Christmas’ Past. As soon as I felt true humility, I felt that my burdens were lifted and my soul had been set free. Gone was the anger that I had harbored both in resentments and hurts that were well in the past. In a few seconds my view of life swiveled on axis like a camera on a tripod. Suddenly all the scenes were changed and everything became clear. I came to fully accept that I had been wasting a lot of time. I had to own it! When I fully accepted my role in this life, everything was revealed to me in a way that gave me direction. Suddenly I had a purpose – to reach people, to teach people and to bring those who suffer to a place of calm.

Now, it would seem, that I am haunted by the Ghost of Christmas’ Yet To Come. I’m gravely concerned for the sick, the dying and the unborn with nothing but chaos that awaits – yet, I am calm and steadfast in my faith that it will all happen with reason and with purpose. Each and every one of you is born with a purpose and a meaning for your life. It will reveal itself if you give yourself over to humility. So much can be accomplished when ego is removed from the equation. In the place of ego, add faith and you will begin to see the answers to your problems. I believe that God has a funny way of allowing us to make the same mistakes over and over until we get it right. Every parent knows that you can tell a child over and over that something is hot, but until they have finally been burned enough to cause real hurt, they often don’t get the lesson. Don’t be angry with God, or the Universe, or Mother God, or Allah, or Jehovah, or Buddha, or Jesus Christ, or Mary, or even with Cerridwen for letting you get burned. You obviously needed the lesson if you are feeling the pain. The reason may not be clear yet, but in time it will reveal itself if you remain open to being taught. That requires humility.

As far as the specific things I ponder today, as the traffic grows heavier with people getting out of church, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is reason for all these things. When we lose someone in death, it makes us stand on our own two feet and forces us to make decisions that we may never have made before. When a child is born into the world, they are a new beginning, a new chance at mankind getting something right. She is a blank slate and this is a chance for her to touch the world in the way she will. How she is raised will possibly affect the way in which she touches the world, but the circumstances in which we are raised do not have to define us. Humility allows us to grow beyond any constraints placed upon us in this world. We are given minds and hearts to seek, question and constantly grow. My friends, may you all grow a little today and may the world around you not get you down. If it does, just remember to always fall forward and that you are never a failure until the day you choose to not get up. Today, I beseech you … GET UP!

*BELIEVE*BREATHE*BECOME

Categories: Adoption, child abuse, death, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

If I Told You That I Loved You

 

HEarts777

 

I wonder if I looked into your eyes if I’d see admiration, kindness and love?

Would you make me feel there’s nothing I couldn’t rise above?

When you look back at me, are the thoughts clearly written here upon my face?

Is it so very out in the open, the way I’ve felt this fall from grace?

If I told you that I loved you would it make you stop to change direction?

Would loving you make each day make it worth sharing a connection?

Should I put all my faith in you and trust that you are strong?

Or am I such a stranger to you that the feelings are all gone?

Today I choose to follow the path to making this world much clearer,

So I’ll look again and smile joyfully, saying “I love you” into a mirror.

~ Jesse MacGregor-Jones

 

This is for all of you who forget that the most important person in the world that needs your love is YOU! Always be kind to yourself, knowing you’ll make mistakes. Life is about learning and growing, for none of us was born perfect! Today, look at yourself in the mirror and find one thing to love, even if it is simply the fact that you had the courage to look yourself in the eyes.

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Faith – What It Is To Me

 

Faith meme

 

 

 

I want to try to clarify some things about my life and my perspective for all of you. Many people write to me and want to “cheer me up” and give me pep talks when I talk about moving on, breaking up or things from my past. When I tell people that I’m fine, they don’t seem to believe me sometimes. In fact, I’ve been told by some that they do not understand how quickly I bounce back nor how I can move on and remain so positive. Well … let me try to explain it to you. I’m not really sure if I can, but I am going to try.

For starters, let me say that faith does not have to be centered around God if you are not comfortable with that. I believe that it is so much more than just God! It is about being connected to everything around you in a way that is spiritual but can be proven scientifically also, for those of you who are skeptics. Everything around us is made up of microscopic particles. Neutrons, electrons and ions surround you and ARE you. There is no such thing as a straight line. Anything under a microscope shows that lines are blurred. Why? Because molecules are moving, cells are not perfect shapes and everything is constantly changing, replicating and evolving before your very eyes. Nothing stays the same and everything is made up of the same particles.

When you consume food, you consume cells and these microscopic particles that have already been charged with energy of some sort. This is basic science from elementary school. Dig deeper, think harder, feel more…. you’ll realize the implications that everything on this planet and in the universe is connected. Right this moment, I’m surrounded by carbon dioxide that has been expelled by billions of other people. Quite possibly, I’m breathing oxygen that was created by a house plant somewhere in London. It is possible. We’re all breathing the same air, sharing the same sky, the same planet and the same solar system. We are mere pieces of an astronomically large puzzle, my friends.

Doesn’t it make sense if were all were to just get along that we’d all be healthier? Scale it down. If cells in your own body begin to fight against each other, what do you have? Sickness, illness … cancer and other things. So when harmony is removed and other things are allowed to take over, bad things happen. Right? When the body no longer maintains homeostasis ( balance and the ability to maintain itself correctly ) then the body becomes ill. The same thing happens with society, with the planet and with the entire universe. It isn’t such a big jump to understand that every single thing that you do in your life will touch the entire world. No matter how insignificant that you think you are, you are very important! The carbon dioxide that you expel is helping a plant somewhere on this planet. In your lifetime, you’ll be responsible for keep many of them alive. It’s symbiotic. They need you and you need them. Therefore, we all need you! You are part of the puzzle of life.

Even when you die, your body doesn’t disappear on a molecular level. Your molecules are changed, but they carry on. Part of you is here forever and can be carried on into water supplies, rain, in the soil that will grow vegetables for someone else – even a million years from now. So you see…it’s all bigger than just you … yet it is all about you.

My entire life I have realized that I was a deeper thinker than most people. I also realize that I’m very intuitive and more ‘spiritually connected’ than a lot of people are. There’s a side of me that I frankly cannot explain to you. I’m very perceptive of my environment, nature, people’s feelings and the way EVERYTHING is connected. Everything I explained before … its almost as if I can see the connections in bright colors all around me at times.

We are all connected to each other. We are all part of a greater ‘whole’ that most never feel. Either because of your life or your beliefs, you have shut it out. As children, we were all open to it. Do you ever remember having dreams of flying? My friends, this is because your soul certainly does. As we grow up, society and our so called civilization teach us that these things aren’t possible. We learn things like judging each other, hate, anger and we lose our belief in the things that would mend the wounds that are caused by this world. People are taught to lose their faith, hope and dreams by the world around them, yet time and time again they are shown how to come back to it….but many never do.

Last year, in the month of August, I was given a chance to look at my life through a new set of eyes. I call it ‘my epiphany’ and I’ve been inclined to tell people that I heard the voice of God. Here’s the thing…I heard something. Whether it was voice inside of me, a voice outside of me … or something from the matrix, it changed me forever. I’m not the same person and I never will be again. I don’t want to be!

In the time it took to blink my eyes, my life came fully into view and perspective. In one small moment in time, I realized that time is not linear and that my life had shown me opportunity after opportunity that I’d not taken advantage of. I saw the ways in which I could touch other people. Things flashed in front of me as I stood there. Everything became suddenly as clear as a crystal and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I wasn’t living my life for me! This is so much bigger than just me! I realized that I will receive true happiness and growth by helping others and by giving what I can to this world. In being alive, I take daily. I take oxygen, food and resources from this planet. It is necessary that I give back. One act of kindness can create thousands more in the people that it touches. It’s part of the spiritual pact we make with the universe for being here. Whether you want to be a part of it all or not, you are – there’s no choice in this. You’re only real choice is how much you choose to participate in this life and be the best that you can be. Happiness isn’t a destination! Happiness is the journey. Faith is about knowing what it takes to be happy and understanding that it isn’t truly about you.

When someone does something to me that I should be angry about, I choose not to get angry anymore. I remove them from my world and/or my space. I might try to teach them, but part of the wisdom that you acquire from life is to help you understand that you cannot always make someone understand something. Their path requires that they learn lessons on their own and when they are ready. You can’t force it. Learn to know when to walk away. This is best for YOU and best for maintaining that homeostasis that we talked about – both for you and the planet. When you realize that nothing is meant to personally harm you, but only to teach you and make you better, it becomes very hard to hold onto anger. For me, it is easier to just say to myself, “okay … lesson learned.” Then I move on. I shed no tears anymore over these things.

Do I have bad days? Why certainly! I don’t think I’d be human or have a soul if I didn’t cry sometimes. My tears are merely different now. I don’t cry because I feel sorry for myself or because I want anything different than I have. I cry from exhaustion sometimes and I cry when I’m confused about decisions I need. I cry when I feel hurt, because regardless of the things I’ve pointed out in the last 1364 words, as a human being I will get down and I will feel hurt from time to time. I’m not perfect by any means. I’m evolving and my cells are changing this very moment.

The wonderful part about faith is that I am able to put it all into perspective quickly. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am where I’m supposed to be, learning what I’m supposed to be learning and doing things that will affect other people on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years. That’s a pretty huge responsibility. Perhaps if more people realized this, they’d be better people? Then again, they are learning their lessons, the way they are supposed to and in the time frame that they are given. I’m okay with that. Faith makes me okay with things. Again, perhaps I’ve made zero sense to you at all tonight but I hope that I’ve at least given you some things to think about?

It truly is all about perspective. Try looking at your life from a different perspective and put yourself in the shoes of other people too. Be a little kinder and in the end you may find that you are stronger for it. In learning about others, you’ll realize that you grow to know yourself. We are truly all in this together and love really is the answer.

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

My First Kiss – A Magic Night

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I like to say that I was a ‘late bloomer’ because it wasn’t until I was 23 that I kissed someone for the first time. Having grown-up in the small town of Tampico, Illinois – population 850 – I wasn’t exactly worldly. In fact, I was pretty naive and eventually she would grow to call me “Peoria” from time to time. It was her way of getting under my skin sometimes. At the time it was aggravating, but in hind sight I must admit that it was sort of cute and funny.

I moved into an upstairs apartment with a guy in the summer of 1992. That summer changed my entire life. One evening he and I were standing outside, smoking a cigarette. I looked up and saw this woman walking from the left end of the street and crossed over to the other side and disappeared into the house right across the street. I stopped in mid sentence and said to him, “Who is that woman?” He smiled and said, “That’s Ellen. She lives next door and that’s her cousin’s house across the street.” I was stopped dead in my tracks and as God is my witness, this is what I said to him, “I will be with that woman.” He laughed hysterically, but I was dead serious. I honestly never believed in love at first sight…but it was sure as hell lust. I was smitten, bitten and tongue tied, for the most part. I always felt like everything I said around her came out wrong and I felt so incredibly awkward most of the time.

I fell so hard for her and she wasn’t even single, though she made it clear that she’d prefer to be and that she wasn’t happy at all. Each day I would watch her drive by in that silly Volkswagen bus. You could hear her coming long before she actually drove by, in a flash of faded red that played background to the bright yellow daisy painted on the side. Just picturing it right now makes me smile so big. Those were wonderful days, the summer I finally started to become me.

One day, I got the outlandish idea to buy her a dozen red roses. We’d talked a few times, made small talk and drank a few beers one night out on the lawn. I have no idea what possessed me to think that I had any business buying her roses but I did. I took them to her cousin’s house and asked if she’d give them to her when she did her usual stop in after work. I stood in the upstairs apartment across the street and waited, chain-smoking with my roommate. I couldn’t take them to HER house…she lived with a guy and I surely didn’t want to start any trouble.

When she came home, I was having heart failure as I watched her walk into her cousin’s house. She wasn’t in there ten minutes and came marching out with her flowers, in the vase I had bought for them, and took them to her house. My roommate declared, “Oh my GOD…she’s gonna go flaunt them right in his face!” Yep, that’s pretty much how it all started. We played cat and mouse over the entire summer with nothing much happening…it was all very innocent at first, until that night….

It was growing into the last days of summer, when the nights began to get cooler and the stars over the St Pete sky glistened like diamonds in the black velvet of that night. I shall never forget it as long as I live. We sat on her deck, she had invited me over. The hour was getting late. She seemed to need someone to talk to and I hung on her every word. She told me of her life as a child, as a teen and how she’d ended-up here in this city – the place she’d ultimately grow to love with such a passion. She was fascinating to me, with all her world views and opinions on politics and such. She knew where she stood and I really didn’t yet. I was still impressionable and …. well … naive. 🙂

As she talked, my heart seemed to move around in my chest as if it was freely floating. As I recall, it was bumping into things and sliding up into my throat on occasion, making it rather hard to swallow with such a lump suffocating me. I was filled with feelings and thoughts that I truly didn’t even understand. My entire body seemed to be doing its own thing, while I tried very hard not to let it show. I doubt she ever had any idea how nervous I was that night, or how her mere presence before me caused my pulse to rise and my heart to skip beats. I remember thinking that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever gazed upon.

She had tears in her eyes at times, as she spoke about her current unhappiness and the things that she wanted to do with her life. She talked about the accident that had landed her in the hospital and physical therapy. Clearly she was in pain emotionally and had issues with the scars it had left upon her physical being as well.  I wanted to touch her, to hold her hand or even just to sit closer. To me, she was simply beautiful. She wore her hair in a French braid and it was lovely. Sometimes she wore it down and other times she used to pull it up over the top of her head, twist it and pin it. She had the most gorgeous hair.

I was frozen in my chair for at least two hours. It wasn’t until it was very late and she had tears trickling softly down her cheeks that something inside me took over. The entire world seemed to fade into the background as I stood and walked to her. There, in the cool breeze of the night, I gently lifted her chin to look into her eyes. I bent and softly kissed her right cheek, where a tear slowly made it’s way downward. I could taste the salt of her emotional wounds and  I softly kissed the other cheek, noting how soft her skin was and how warm she felt. I remember letting my cheek linger against hers. My heart was racing and to this day I do not know where I found the courage to softly kiss her lips but I did. I wasn’t even sure if I was doing it right, but I was so lost in the moment that I could have crawled inside of her and wrapped my arms around her very soul right then and there.

I can still, to this very day, feel how soft and inviting her lips were. It was a sweet, soft kiss that wasn’t meant to lead to anything. I was happy to just be there in that very heartbeat in time and want for nothing more. It was a magical moment for me and I don’t know what it was like for her, but I’m grateful that I have that memory. It was the first time in my life that I fell in love with someone and I knew it in that very moment. How many people can remember the exact moment in time that they knew they were in love with someone?  True, I was innocent and naive, but I was so in love with her in that very moment that nothing else  in the world mattered but her. To this day, I can close my eyes and remember the way she smelled and how she felt, with her cheek against my own. I was in heaven.

That night, I would leave her with that kiss and go home, a couple of doors down. We had a very sweet courtship that lasted for several months before we would finally end-up together and it was an amazing time in my life. Am I romanticizing things and being overly sentimental? Perhaps. 🙂 Shouldn’t we all remember our first loves in such a way?

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Is is coincidence that she JUST called me and we talked for two hours? After a crazy break-up and a LOT of water under the bridge, we recently started talking again and I have to say that she’s still got me hanging on every word and she’s still every bit as beautiful as she ever was, perhaps even more so now because she’s grown so much in the last twenty years. I hope that I have too. Once again, I’m happy to say that I’m lucky to have her around.

So many of you who have been following me and my writing over the last year have heard me say that it feels as if my life is coming full circle. I think that talking to her again has made the circle complete. In a strange way, it feels like I have been off on a twenty year adventure and now I get to tell her all about it over conversations where we catch each other up on the last several years of our lives. How amazing life is! What a strange adventure indeed!

As we ended our conversation tonight, she said, “Miss you” and it made me smile. I have missed her too….for twenty years. To this day, she’s the only woman who ever bought ME flowers – EVER. They were Peace roses and Godiva chocolates, because she said I ‘hadn’t lived’ if I had never had Godiva chocolates. I still remember the perfume that she wore – Magie Noire – and it took me years to stop smelling it when I closed my eyes. Suddenly, tonight, I smelled it again. Thanks, Ellen. 🙂

Categories: lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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