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Blog Suicide

Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this because I’m going somewhere different with it today. A thoughtful and somewhat sad place but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I started blogging with truly no clue about blogging. I did it because someone I knew said I should. I’d never really even read a blog. And I just began. What’s followed is a lot of blood, sweat , and tantrums.

I have stayed the course though and am glad I did because of the growth I have experienced both as a writer and as a human being who needed to prove my worth and the value of human connection. But you don’t get to enjoy the lessons unless you go the distance.

This can be a very solitary practice. So many sources of input vying for your attention that I feel lucky if anyone reads my blog. Please don’t feel bad that you don’t comment either. Those that can do. Purposes of entertainment are personal to everyone. And I can remember being reluctant to comment once too.

I have been online now long enough to see some of my fellow bloggers discontinue their blogging. One gal got a full-time job. Two just sort of stopped publishing posts and show up to “like” something every once in a while. But the one that upset me the most was a gal who I almost met this past Summer at the Blog U conference. She committed blog suicide.

I was just about to write a piece on how upset I was about her abrupt disappearance when Robin Williams took his life. And the death of this wonderful and beloved man seemed too tragic to even use the word suicide in any other context. But I do feel a kind of concern for this gal’s welfare and here’s why.

There’s a community here online and when you connect with people, they’re just like the people you know from your everyday life. Like your mail carrier or your bus driver. They make you happy when they chat with you. But then what if you heard them start to say that you were so pretty and that they could never consider themselves pretty. Or that you were smart and they just knew they were dumb. And then one day they were missing from their job permanently.

This gal praised me and I was so flattered but I felt that shift into implosion. Suggestions of unhappiness and unworthiness and anxiety. And then wham, she was missing. She had deleted her blog address and all of her social media outlets. I wanted to scream out, why? One of ours was gone. Many of us new bloggers have felt that wavering doubt of that first year of blogging. I understand low self-esteem so well. I comprehend comparing myself to other bloggers and writers (and designers) and feeling crappy about me. And I guess I am reminded again of how I love doing this and how tenuous our bonds with others really are.

So Jean, if you are still reading my blog, know that I heard your distress and felt absolutely powerless to help you. I did notice you go missing. I am not a more talented a blogger or writer or mother than you are. I hope that you and your children are well and looking forward to a happy holiday season. And that if you ever needed an ear or anything I have to give you, I am still here. Imprisoned in this box but also out in the world contributing my soul and gathering happiness anyway I can.



Gifts of Spirit and Five Good Things

Some months, that gratitude basket is empty and some, my basket is overflowing. Maybe some of my thankfulness is relief from getting through my October’s gauntlet of events alive. But the gratefulness keeps rolling in. Grief comes too but it’s easier to handle when your heart’s got spare mirth.

In honor of all my recent gifts of spirit, I’m doing a five things list to start the week off. It wraps up my random events and thoughts like making the most fabulous stew from my life thought leftovers.Jeanne and Me on

  • On Saturday, I got to meet Jeanne. I began to follow her blog, Bees Knees Bungalow like three years ago after I began my blog. She is a garage sale guru who repaints and style her vintage finds so nicely. And I immediately knew, we were kindred spirits. She happened to be in Baltimore for a cruise with her mother throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Such a wonderful thing to meet up with a friend whom you’ve never met. And how amazing a gift to meet her and solidify the bond of our kindred spirits. Happy Birthday Lovely.

fall tray and bottle on

  • Mark had a few employees over as an appreciation party on the same day. The fact that he’s been keeping his business going and it’s clientele is increasing is encouraging. He’s very good at what he does. His success is our success. He’s at that 3 year mark for On Your Mark Lighting. That’s the point when you decide whether to keep going or not.

cards for friends from

  • I finished painting Fiona’s room. No excuses, no prisoners. And now I get to actually decorate it! And since I’ve promised myself to create everyday, all those projects I will share with you soon. I am looking forward to them.

fall foliage in the rain on

  • My children are alive and so am I. Eamon got through his pneumonia and Fiona didn’t get it. And the husband took himself to a doctor in a timely fashion to get treated when his cold became instant infection. On my return drive from an appointment in Baltimore on Thursday in torrential downpours, I had a few scary hydroplaning moments on a major highway. This was the kind of trip where you are suddenly living in the moment until you make it home alive. I was never so happy to see my home and my un-napped daughter.

art in the kitchen on

  • My husband stepped up for me on a couple of occasions this week. He watched Fiona and I was able to do what I needed to do. And he discovered that he can take and handle her anywhere, even keep both children relatively happy simultaneously, and he got a chance to earn his own Daddy badge for himself. Competency can only be earned by practice. We both needed to allow for that.

I am busy thinking a lot about what I am doing right and what I’d like to change. And I ‘m so very happy to know that I have your company dear reader. You get the first dish always.

Let the Good times Roll, Let them wash your rock and roll hair. Let the Good times Roll.” -The Cars-

Barbie Dream House

I had one of those apples to oranges moments a couple of weeks ago and again last week. The one where I compared where I was to where I believed someone else was and then despaired over it. Compared my insides to someone else’s outsides. And it wasn’t just a moment, it lasted a couple of days. I sat with it willing it to wash over me.

There are many women writers and bloggers online I greatly admire. I feel honestly lucky to be able to read their writing and be moved by them. And in a wobbly moment, I found myself thinking, “I really can’t write like that. Not that well.” Which is partially true. I write the way I do and they the way they do and our writings are sometimes as good in different ways. But each of us is always the best person for the “being us” job.

Fiona and the digger from Barbi Dream houses on

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Until you get a rejection letter and those other people get published on Huffington Post the next day. Then, as you’re trying to be gracious and share and support them, they go and get published again. And they gush at how they can’t believe it. That’s when the girl with the new Barbie Dream House needs to go suck it.

Seems my definition of myself in my head is the girl who’ll never get the Barbie Dream House. I don’t drive the right pink sports car. I don’t hang out with the hip Kens. And even Skipper thinks I’m weird and shoves me towards those Bratz dolls. But this gal with the new Barbie Dream House who I’m trying so hard not to envy? She’s also the gal who would out herself in a snappy momentito for feeling begrudging of another’s success.

drawing on the porch from Barbie Dream House on

So I took my time and I let that possible resentment go into the cosmos. And I resigned myself to resubmit something else to Huff Post and something else again. Because her hard work and my hard work are commendable and the apples and the oranges might be fruit but there are many many different factors in having them flourish and be added to fruit salads all over the globe. Styles and editors and forces that be just need to have the antes upped.

And no one is begrudging me my Barbie Dream House but me.

Chestertown, Maryland

When Mark and I began to look at houses on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we took a look at Chestertown. This fabulous little town perched on the Chester River is chock full of historical houses and charm oozes from every crack between every brick.

lots of bricks in #Chestertown,MD from


It was a little far from our appointed distance to DC work radius but charmed is charmed.

I have had occasion to make some return visits recently. The first time with my friend Amy and her boy who’s my son’s buddy. There is an annual May weekend festival called the Tea Party in Chestertown.

My kids enjoying a puppet show in #Chestertown,MD from

Waving at the Sultana on the Chester River in #Chestertown,MD from

A puppet show, fried food, and a chance to sit by the river to wave at The Sultana as she sailed by. Fun.

I then returned the third weekend in June to visit the famed Chestertown Farmer’s Market and catch up with newlywed Christina. See the fabulous pictures of her wedding in this post.

Charming plantings in #Chestertown,MD from

The town has really bloomed since we first visited there 14 years ago. Many of the houses have been renovated making it a destination retirement village of a sort for monied and artsy types. Because the price tags on these charming restored residences are phenomenal. Christina’s watching all the listings while she lives in a charming teeny tiny house.

There’s an Arts Center, the same little coffee shop called Play It Again Sam, and a new and very popular bakery/coffee place called Evergrain Bakery Company.

The #Evergrain bakery in #Chestertown,MD from

Inside The Evergrain bakery in #Chestertown,MD from

Inside The Evergrain bakery in #Chestertown,MD from

Inside The Evergrain bakery in #Chestertown,MD from

Chocolate croissant and a baguette for me. Baguette and coffee for Christina. People watching for Fiona.  Fiona was so full of herself standing in the middle of the crowd queued up for croissants and café au lait.

Young owner, great story.

Charming Houses in #Chestertown,MD from

A church in #Chestertown,MD from

Fiona in #Chestertown,MD from

Fiona's new duck friends in #Chestertown,MD from

A waterfront home in #Chestertown,MD from

A walk along the waterfront in #Chestertown,MD from

Christina and Fiona in #Chestertown,MD from

Fiona, Christina, and I strolled around town taking pictures and making friends. And then came back through the market to pick up a few things. Her sister was selling her organic eggs and Christina bought me the loveliest colored dozen of eggs I’ve ever had.

The farmer's market in #Chestertown,MD from


eggs from the Farmer's Market in #Chestertown,MD from

eggs from the Farmer's Market in #Chestertown,MD from

 the Farmer's Market in #Chestertown,MD from

A typical shopper at  the Farmer's Market in #Chestertown,MD from

better eggs from the farmer's market in #Chestertown,MD from

Such a nice day. A great destination for a jaunt, a stroll, and a Farmer’s Market kinda Saturday with charming company.


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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

What You Think They’re Thinking

He got irritated with me. And I returned the irritation. In his head, he was trying to help me. In mine, I didn’t understand what he was doing. I hadn’t asked for the help that he was aggravated I wasn’t being grateful for. Miscommunication.

He says something is wrong. Every day this week there’s been something wrong. And I think he’s telling me that it needs to be fixed by me immediately. I feel irritated because I’m exhausted from fixing his complaints. Miscommunication re-occurrence. Do I get to be aggravated at you for what I think you said or need from me? Or do you have to actually say it ?

Garage window  from What You Think They're Thinking on

I come from a well-practiced league of mind readers. I think we could have made some real money if we’d hooked up with a traveling band of gypsies and taken our act on the road. Because I am certain I know what you are thinking. About me, about us, about the situation we are in. I guess that keeps me ready for action? Protects me against unjust thoughts that might become unjust actions. Forewarned is forearmed.

But this “knowledge” proves to cause more problems in the longer run. Resentments get harder to trudge through, to move our relationship along. Perceived evils and ill-intents eventually muck and rut our road so badly that we can no longer traverse it. Better just to part ways and say goodbye then.Daylillies from What You Think They're Thinking on

Unless I were to ask you what you thought I was saying. And then you would get to hear me say I didn’t mean it that way. Or I’m sorry you thought that and were hurt because this is what I really meant by this. Isn’t that what you wish people said to you yesterday even? Isn’t the best advice to exhibit the behavior that you want others to exhibit, especially children. Because they’re watching. And listening. And when you pass the buck and blame others, they’ll annoy you with that same blame behavior later.

Sink outside from What You Think They're Thinking on

I am proud to say I’m not the yelling parent I once thought I was becoming. Now I want to be the ‘own my own stuff and communicate through and over the bumps’ parent. To make the roads of living with people easier to navigate. And to feel proud of my integrity and intent. They do as I do, not as I say. And I have never had any business being in your head. Clearing out space to make better choices for me means I have to dump anything I think you’re thinking off the shelves. Either let me know how you feel or let me let go.


Visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or you can find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness. Thanks to you as always for your visit. We’ll talk if you want to.

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