Tuesday, December 31, 2013

OMG!

OMG! OMG! Go read:

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5484302-farewell-2013

He mentioned me in his blog! Awww!

Also I am wishing many blessings on you all for the coming year!
That's my side of it,
Angel
www.streetlighthalo.com

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tonight's blog is a little weird because it really isn't a blog at all. A friend, dear friend, from across the pond sends me feathers from across the pond from her chooks and cockeral birds. I try hard to incorporate these into decorating ideas here. Here's the question... in that bay window where there is just too much space is all of this color just too much? Would it be better to incorporate these here and there around the room than to concentrate them all in one place? I know it sounds silly but I've been working on ideas all day.


 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Great Spanking Debate

To spank or not to spank, that is the question. the great spanking debate has been again restarted with a meme on Facebook. The meme suggests that because of spanking I now suffer from, “respect for others.” Someone has taken offense and it has caused an all out war on FB. No one is putting down any differentiation between spanking your child and beating your child. There is a vast difference.

Let me say here that as a parent... I can't win. If I spank I am guilty of abuse, if I can't control my child's possibly lethal misbehavior any other way I am guilty of criminal neglect. As a parent society and popular opinion as usual leaves me nothing to play. I am basically damned if I do, and damned if I don't.

Now if you are asking, “Did you spank Sarah?” the answer is Yes. Yes I did. Not often, but when her behavior could possibly endanger herself or others I did. And here's the screwy part... she lived.

I am going to give you the story of when Sarah was spanked... she was three years old. What she was doing at the time was throwing rocks at moving vehicles, and nearly causing accidents. I could have tried reasoning with her, but she was three and so fun was more important then my angry voice. I had also the option of “time out” but she indeed knew her way back to the front yard. I could have tried “remove and distract” but eventually the behavior would have repeated itself as she didn't understand, neither could she foresee the consequences of her behavior. Certainly I could have waited for her to grow out of it, but I seriously doubted that the passing cars had that kind of time. The point of a spanking is to show that your behavior will hurt, that the consequences will cause harm and pain. Had I simply let the scenario play out and allowed her to see what happens when you cause a car crash I'd have been liable, in jail for criminal neglect and more than likely had a very messed up little kid on my hands.

Let me point out here that if as a parent you don't control your child, than as a result your child controls you! Let me also say that spanking a child's rear is not child abuse. Beating your child bloody is another matter entirely. As a parent it is indeed my responsibility to teach my child that he/she has the power to do great harm and to also teach her that if she doesn't stop to consider who the harm comes to, then it comes to her. A spanking hurts a lot less than prison or even having the crap beat out of you by a peer because you never learned that with the power to do harm comes the responsibility not to.

For those of you who say that this is abuse, I believe it was Burkowitz (Son of Sam killer) who's parents never beat him or spanked him in any way. Instead his mother locked him in a closet when he reached puberty until he didn't know his own name. Now that is abuse. We can't of course throw the dice and guess that had he gotten a good spanking he might have been upstanding when chances are scientifically that he was predisposed to having been a killer for whatever reason. My point is simply this, there are much worse things in life than a quick, light slap to the bottom. Some of those things are so sick and dark we can't even guess at them. While that is tragic and horrid it does not give me as a parent an excuse to let my kids run rampant in the streets simply because Face Book will not look favorably upon my parenting skills otherwise.

That's my side of it,

Angel 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mental Illness

Mental Illness

Happy 6 years sober to my beloved husband! Quite a feat and well worth celebrating! We baked him a mint cake! Hope it was good.

I have another happy surprise! I saw a friend tonight that I haven't seen in over a year. She saw my daughter at the market and gave her a ride home. It was so lovely to see her and it made my heart glad with the blessing of her smiling face!
Missed you Sandy glad you're back!

Okay so tonight's topic is.... dude! You guys I am really not this interesting! Lol

My daughter bought me for Christmas a film called, “Girl Interrupted.” One of my favorites to be certain. Now if you've seen the movie it is about a girl put in an institution for mental illness. In the movie she has, “Borderline Personality Disorder,” while her best friend there is a sociopath. I wanted to address this term actually, “sociopath.” because people throw it around so lightly.

According to statistics 3.6% of adults in the US are sociopaths, meaning that they suffer from an anti-social disorder of one form or another. A high ratio of which are in prison. Why? Because to be an actual sociopath you are normally setting fires or being cruel to animals. That is not to say that all sociopaths display this behavior, but that is a good indicator. It isn't kool to be a sociopath and more than likely it isn't fun.

So Angel you will ask, why are you going there? It's because I don't feel the stigma attached to mental disability is fair or true. I also don't think it's right to carelessly glamorize it when gossiping about someone you don't like.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder more than likely after the denial wears off your first plan of action is to hide it because you are embarrassed. But let me ask you here how that is helpful? If you found out you had cancer would you be ashamed of that too? There is about as much shame in having a mental illness as there is in having a head cold.

Most people who are diagnosing themselves out there are doing so because they are ashamed, afraid or very worried that it might be something much worse. With this I can identify as I did it to myself for years. I was thoroughly convinced that I was a schizophrenic as I would, “lose time.” it worried me greatly and so even when I did seek help I never asked a doctor. This thought haunted me for years and nearly broke me in two. I was so embarrassed at what I might have that it took me years of torture to find out what I did have.

I have a simple, “cognitive disorder,” which means basically that I can't multi-task.
There is no good reason to drive yourself crazy over whether or not you're crazy. It is so much easier to go to the doctor, find out and then decide on treatment.

That's my side of it,
Angel

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Ills

My hugest apologies to my readers for being gone so long. I hope you had a Merry Christmas. The thing about going to E.R.s is this... everyone and everything there is a contagion.

So after 2 trips to the E.R. for myself one for my husband guess what? We all ended up there together. My husband had a virus, my daughter the flu and myself pneumonia. Our entire Christmas lasted approximately a half an hour and went something like this:

Sarah: moan (translation – Merry Christmas!)

Me: groan (translation: this gift has your name.)

Husband: Grrrrr (Translation- pass the festive cough syrup)

But we managed to open our gifts.... by some miracle my daughter was well enough to cook a ham and at the least we were all together. While I am still recovering I might know a bit more about the book closer to the New Year. I will blog when I am able as I still am not anywhere near 100%.

That's my side of it,
Angel




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas



Things I don't get:
1. If Jesus was Jewish then why do we serve ham on Easter and Christmas?

2. If you send someone many happy returns, do you owe postage?

3. If your muffin top gets too big during the holiday feast is it then considered a loaf of bread?

4. When people say Merry X-mas are they promoting algebra or bad spelling?

5. Doesn't global warming sort of make snowmen endangered?

6. How do they get the Christmas Wreaths to grow in a circle like that?

7. Was Rudolf secretly part of a covert government experiment?

8. If this blog got too much holiday cheer would it become an egg blog?

9. If I gave the Ghost of Christmas past a Christmas present would it create a paradox?

10. If cake is awesome and fruit is nummy why when we mix them do we get something that tastes that bad?

That's my side of it,
Merry Christmas



Monday, December 23, 2013

Best gift!

The best gift my Mom ever got me

I was only very young yet. But I was still old enough to have this whole Christmas present thing figured out! It didn't matter how many times you asked for a pony.... you weren't EVER going to get one. I remember I saw that Lucy on the Charlie Brown show had asked for Real Estate. I tried that because maybe you could trade that for kool stuff... but all of the grown-ups laughed and asked if I was watching too much TV. Drats! Foiled again!

I had a little brother. But you know he cried too much. I was pretty sure he had cooties. Something was wrong with him for certain. He chased frogs. He didn't like dolls much and worst of all... if you dressed him in girl clothes and made him carry a purse you always got in trouble for it! Don't believe me? Ask my cousin.

So my little kid mind came around to it, what I needed was a sister! I had a birthday coming up, so I asked my mom for one, she said, “We'll see.” I don't guess she was taking me seriously.... all she did was eat any more I guess.... because she had gotten really, really fat.

To my surprise my Nanna and Pappaw told me a few weeks later, “You have a baby sister!” That was really quick! I was so happy! I wondered if Mom could do that with real estate.

My sister Sheila has been with me through thick and thin and back again. She helped me get through an abusive relationship just by listening. So many nights I just felt I had lost the will to live. But I thought, “If I just call Sheila and vent. I'll feel better!” and I always did.

It was something she said that helped me make up my mind to have my daughter. It was only in trying to impress her that I didn't drop out of High School. She was the first person I shared my writing with and the first person I read to when I learned to read. She made a huge difference in my life and for that I am grateful.

I am also eternally grateful to my mom for listening at least once. But Mom if you're listening now:
CAN I PLEASE HAVE A PONY?

That's my side of it,

Angel 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Written by my Mother

For me and Josh, Rita and Shannon, Sarah and JPD..... thanks to all my co-conspirators Love you all!

AS I SIT HERE, MY ROCKER FACES THE WINDOW.
SNOW, THAT BEGAN LAST NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT, STILL CONTINUES FALLING AS THIS TWILIGHT RUNS
ON TOWARD YET ANOTHER SNOW COVERED TOMORROW. CHRISTMAS IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER; AS THEY SAY…AND IT IS WITH MIXED EMOTIONS I CONTEMPLATE IT'S ARRIVAL.
I HAVE SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE SO FILLED WITH GREED, THAT THEY ARGUE, FIGHT AND TRAMPLE OTHERS TO DEATH TO ATTAIN YET MORE AND MORE REDICULOUS, TOTALLY INSIGNIFIGANT THINGS FOR THEMSELVES OR THOSE ON THEIR "GIFT LIST".
THERE IS NO TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS LEFT IN THIS WORLD I FEAR. THESE SAME PEOPLE, SCREECH AND RAIL AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD SHOW THEIR FAITH IN THEIR CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS. I WONDER, ARE THEY OFFENDED BECAUSE IF THEY TOOK HEED AND REALLY TRULY EMBRACED THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS, THEY MAY REALIZE WHAT SHALLOW GREEDY BEINGS THEY ARE. SOMETHING TO CONTEMPLATE SURELY…
THEN I SEE IT…AN ELDERLY MAN WHO LIVES ACROSS THE STREET, USING HIS SNOWBLOWER TO CLEAR ALL HIS NEIGHBORS DRIVEWAYS AND SIDEWALKS…FOR FREE…..A TRULY AMAZING PART OF THIS ACT IS, THE TITANIUM ROD IN HIS BACK SNAPPED AND HE NOW IS PERMANENTLY BENT AND CANNOT WALK UPRIGHT…YET, PAINFUL AS THAT MAY BE, HE PERFORMS THIS ACT OF KINDNESS…FOR ALMOST A FULL BLOCK. I NOTICE HIS SMILE AS HE WORKS…..AMAZING.
THE ELDERLY WOMAN WALKING THROUGH THE SNOW DELIVERING HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWCOMERS.
AS I LET MY MIND WANDER OFF INTO THIS WINTER WONDERLAND, I HAPPEN TO SEE A TRUCK STOP AT ANOTHER HOUSE WHERE PEOPLE ARE DE-ICING THEIR CAR…I WATCH AS HE ROLLS DOWN THE WINDOW AND SAYS SOMETHING TO THEM…HE'S OFFERING TO HELP I THINK…THEN HE ALIGHTS FROM THE TRUCK AND THE YOUNG MAN SCRAPING ICE COMES FORWARD AND SHAKES HIS HAND.
IT IS AN OBVIOUS FIRST MEETING…THEN, TO MY UTTER AMAZEMENT, BAGS AND BAGS OF EITHER FOOD ITEMS OR GIFTS ARE REMOVED FROM THE TRUCK AND GIVEN TO THE YOUNG COUPLE.
I KNOW THEY HAVE CHILDREN, AND MY HEART IS MOVED.
WOW, I THINK…THERE ARE STILL GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD.
STILL…THERE WILL BE NO CHRISTMAS TREE HERE. THANKS TO FURNACE AND CHIMNEY REPAIRS…WE HAVE NO MONEY FOR THAT. I LOVE CHRISTMAS TREES…THEY FILL ME WITH DELIGHT. THEY ALSO ARE TOO MUCH TROUBLE TO PUT UP AND TAKE DOWN…AS I SAID, MIXED EMOTIONS.
I THINK OF MY DAUGHTER WHO LIVES OUT OF STATE, WHO ALONG WITH A HOST OF OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS, HAS NOW TO DEAL WITH A RARE DISORDER THAT CAUSES ANY FABRIC,ETC. THAT TOUCHES HER SKIN TO BURN HER, CAUSING SEVERE PAIN. ADD TO THAT, A HUSBAND WHO COLLAPSED AND HAD TO BE RUSHED TO THE E.R. LAST NIGHT…IT WON'T BE A WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR FOR THEM EITHER,I THINK.
A PARCEL DELIVERY SERVICE VAN STOPS ACROSS THE STREET AND THE DRIVER BRINGS THE PACKAGE TO MY DOOR. I AM CONFUSED. WE ORDERED NOTHING…COULDN'T AFFORD TO…BUT, YES…IT'S FOR US.
WHEN I OPEN THE BOX, MY EYES FILL WITH TEARS…IT'S A TINY CHRISTMAS TREE. MY SON TELLS ME, IT'S FROM MY DAUGHTER…THEIR SECRET, EVIDENTLY.
WITH A SMILE, I DIAL HER NUMBER…YOU ARE A STINKIN' GIRL, I SAY…WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING…MY HEART IS FILLED WITH LOVE FOR HER…FOR THOSE IN ON THIS "SECRET".
I TELL HER, I HOPE GOD BLESSES HER REAL GOOD…AND THEN …I HEAR IT…THE SOUND OF TINY LITTLE BELLS …HER DELIGHTED LAUGH AS SHE SAYS…THROUGH ALL THAT PAIN…OH, MOM…HE ALREADY HAS.
YEP…SHE'S GOT THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS DOWN.

That's Mom's side of it,
Angel
www.streetlighthalo.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Miracles

Christmas Miracles!!!

Beyond the troubles of my surgery and all the people who don't want to refer me to a surgeon, there all all the stresses of the holidays and financial difficulties. A million little stressors... angry relatives, shopping malls filled with evil people, it's all been stress, stress and more stress!

And so it was that yesterday my husband was rushed to the hospital by ambulance for chest pains... and I with such nueropathy could not even go with him. I rushed from one end of the house to the other.... pacing as much as a wheelchair can pace... calling everyone to pray.... calling everyone to cry.... calling every five minutes to annoy my daughter with questions of, “Does he have enough pillows? Does he have enough blankets? Is he okay? Did they feed him?” and after that breaking down in a zillion pieces and crying all over again.

I saw my world destroyed right then and there. I knew he didn't suffer a heart attack, but it could have been a stroke. I'd lose the only man I have ever truly loved, my everything, my always, my forever. New house... expense. New car.... expense. Suddenly every thing every blessing was washed down for me simply for the fact that he'd had to pay for it. I felt so guilty that he'd ever had to pay for anything for some reason. Even the ambulance... expense. Christmas was ruined. I know it sounds crazy. But that's exactly what I experienced. I'd give it all back... every last thing.... if only he was just okay. Just PLEASE GOD let him be okay.

If he were dead... the Christmas spirit that lives in me every day of the year... would be buried with him. I swore I would never remarry... but he was so adorable how could I say No?

A lovely neighbor and fellow-blogger Jennifer of Jennaspapermoon, kept me together some how, got me my meds, built me a fire and even listened for my calls. For this I am so grateful.

Late last night I got the call, he was on his way home and he would be just fine. He is home and Christmas has returned with him.

All those things that we beg for at Christmas, all of those things we bitch about too, they melt away... just disappear when a loved one is suffering. So please today... tell all of your Christmas miracles that you love them!

That's my side of it,
Angel


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Silly Christmas

Fun things to do on the holidays!
1. Bling up your Christmas turkey with a leather jacket. When your friends inquire, respond, “What you never heard of dressing?”

2. Announce that you are throwing a genderless Christmas. Hand your friends Barbie dolls with no hair dressed in Ken's clothes.

3. While you are last minute Christmas shopping find a sales clerk. Insist on buying the most expensive thing in the store. Inform them that you have a disorder that requires a sing-a-long of Jingle Bell Polka before you can pay.

4. Gift wrap rolls of toilet paper and hand them to passers by.

5. Send out “Thank you” cards to people you don't know, profusely thanking them for non-existent gifts. See who responds.

Sorry guys, still adjusting to meds. Blogs will be short and sparse for a while!

That's my side of it,
Angel


Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest Blogger

Drum roll please, Ladies and gentlemen of the blogging world, I humbly present to you guest blogger, Rival Gates!

Quest for the Red Sapphire:

Former General Linvin Grithinshield is summoned home from the Goblin Wars after his father’s disappearance to run the family trading empire.  Soon his mother is murdered and he is on the run with a price on his head.  As a faceless enemy pursues him he must seek out the mythical Red Sapphire.  In a world with enemies from without and within, he must set out with dragons in the sky and cutthroats all around to fulfill his destiny or die in the attempt.  
Some people turn to drugs or alcohol when life gets rough and things look gloomy.  It is their way of escaping reality.  I began writing as my own way to escape reality.  Writing had been a favorite hobby as a boy.  When times for my family became difficult, my mother suggested I pour my thoughts into creating a story rather than dwelling on the negatives in my life.

It was a wonderful idea.  I created my own world with my own characters and my own rules.  Soon the short story became a long one.  Then it became a book.  Next I planned a series of books to be written.

The main character of Linvin is one I created from my ideals for what a hero should be.  He should be strong and intelligent but have his own flaws that get in the way of his greatness.  Linvin is a character you can care about as he is ripped away from his family at an early age.  In a similar way, I was sent to live with relatives for a time when my family was short on food.  Linvin learns lessons through fights.  I was tormented on the playground at school and fought nearly every day just to survive.  I learned and hardened myself just as Linvin did.  Later Linvin must take up a quest to make his life complete.  I had to move beyond childhood and make a life for myself.

Is Linvin the same as me?  I would definitely say not.  He has traits that I do have, ones I aspire to have and ones I am glad I do not have.  Linvin is a marvelous protagonist.  As I said before, he is really someone you can root for in the book.  You cannot have a successful book without having characters readers can invest themselves in during the story.


I hope this helps.

Rival

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Surprise

I have a guest blogger tomorrow night. Rival Gates who wrote Quest for the Red Sapphire, which I have talked about non-stop since I read it. Should prove interesting! Be there or be angular!
That's my side of it,
Angel
PS Rival thanks for helping out as sick as I am... it means a lot.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sorry I've been in and out of the hospital and the meds are making me ill too. Will blog again when I'm up to it. Be the blessing!
Angel

Friday, December 13, 2013

No Blog tonight. but I am considering having a guest speaker. So stay tuned.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Obama and AA

Obama and all that AA crap

My baby brother has been arguing a lot on a public forum. He wants to be a lawyer... he will rock at it. Okay I never get political on here. I don't intend to now. I had to go to the ER last night and today (doctor's orders). That thing in my back is eventually going to snap my spine... it seems its on its way.

Any way so I had this fight with my brother. Thing is I deliberately posted something I knew would bait him into an argument... for the sole purpose of walking away in the middle because … well basically I am incredibly angry at Obamacare because it cut my medical benefits. Okay but I was still wrong. Not wrong about my opinion... we all have our opinions... but it was a pretty shitty thing to do to my brother.

The whole night in the ER in a kind of pain that I can't describe and my skin burning from neuropathy all I could think about was how crappy I was to my brother. Today when I got the bad news and waited to see if they will give me surgery, which could easily kill me or even turn me into a vegetable (much more likely) even then all I could think about was how crappy I treated my brother. I am extending an apology here in front of all the world, not for the opinion... but for the over-all asinine behavior that I displayed towards him.

I'm sorry Josh.

In AA we say,” When we were wrong promptly admitted it.” I am admitting that I acted the ass yesterday. That is A LOT of what keeps me sober. Cleaning my side of the street.

Normally when I am really upset with others (Obama included lol) I create something, write something... whatever it takes to build myself up rather than tear others down. When my ego plays up, my alcoholic thinking plays up and then I pick a fight. That's what I did yesterday.

I am happy to say I still had the presence of mind to turn down medical marijuana and opiates. There are 2 kinds of drunks, “What ifs”

What if the next time I die?

And “Never agains”

Never again do I have to wake up in a dumpster.

I am a NEVER AGAIN!

That's my side of it,

Angel 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Function of Sponsors

The function of sponsors

Happy Birthday Happy

It might be belated but tonight I'd like to say a huge Happy Birthday to my sponsor... and the best sponsor I've ever had. So tonight I give you a way too personal story about me.

My Pappaw who was the hugest influence in my entire life had died. I was stuck, hopelessly it seemed in a dangerous relationship. I also had no money or means to leave at that time. The 3 main reasons a drunk will relapse are:
1. Death
2. Finances
3. Relationships.
Believe it or not of all 3 relationships are statistically the number one reason... but let's just say at that moment I had all three.

I called Happy crying at 3 in the morning almost every night for a month. Funny thing, if you do that to loved ones they will get angry and hang-up... but in AA we always answer the “God Phone” to keep one another sober. To me that is love and it took AA years to teach it to me.

So back to the story. Pretty much the month went like this:
Happy: Hello, don't you own a clock?
Me: You know I can't call when @#$% awake. He won't let me and I hate him. But I called because I miss my Pappaw and I don't care about being sober. I just want the pain to stop.

At first my sponsor would listen and advise. He would let me cry it out but insisted I go to a meeting because I was “blooming.” that basically means you are 10 seconds from relapse.

This was the conversation we had every night for a month or so, until one day Happy had had it with my non-action to fix any of the crap I was in. It was that night that he said maybe the most spiritual words I ever heard. The conversation kinda went:

M: I'm done. I've had it. I'm hitting the liquor store tomorrow.

H: Well you go ahead and do that then. If you want to piss on your Pappaw's grave it ain't my business.

M: WTF DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME?

H: You heard me. Go ahead and piss on his grave. You know that no one was prouder than your Pappaw was of your sobriety. Do what you want!

(Dial-tone)

It really hit me so hard, but when the anger fell away I remembered my sober-birthday of 17 years. I remembered my Pappaw polishing my medallion, holding it high to let the light hit it, reading both sides, polishing it some more. He did this for an hour. He absolutely beamed that I had finally gotten my shit together. How upset would he be if I took a drink and used his death as an excuse? What would that behavior say about what his life meant to me? I totally got it. The urge to drink just fell away.

Let me explain... a proper sponsor will be mean if that's what it takes to save your life. When you have a sponsor that knows you this well you will understand what that means. It is VERY true that still at 23 years sober I still need a good ass-kicking once in a while.

That willingness to get your ass kicked here and there is called, “Surrender.” I had no problem going to any lengths to get my drink or drug. In all earnest I must also be willing to go to any lengths to maintain my sobriety.

You may think this is cruelty, but it has saved my ass from death. I know if I were to relapse I would never again have that resolve it takes to sober up. We say in AA, “Everyone has another relapse in them. But very few have another recovery.”

So in light of that I'd like to thank Happy (Robert Kay) for kicking my ass when I need it. For being a soft shoulder when I need it. For answering the God Phone when I need it. And basically every little thing he does every day just being about the greatest drunk I ever met. (Besides me of course. I'm pretty sure that it really is all about me you know!)

That's my side of it,
Angel

www.streetlighthalo.com

Monday, December 9, 2013

41 Rag Dolls & 1 book release

No Good Deed

Ever heard that no good deed goes unpunished? I'm not so certain that's true but it's becoming increasingly harder to extend your hand to another. So here for your entertainment is the journey of the rag dolls to their final destination.

This all started when this year I decided to donate my rag dolls to a local hospital's cancer ward. All 41 were finished. (That was the count of the ones that turned out okay.) we had babies, a cow, kitties, puppies and were very excited to give these to suffering kids this holiday season. They were all boxed and ready to go earlier this weekend and I called the hospital. I was met with the same problem I had 3 years ago.... I had to make an appointment when such and such was available... fill out form whatever in triplicate.... jump through a hoop... do a funny dance or whatever. In the end 3 years ago after I did all of this the dolls were never taken to that cancer ward anyway. Another nurse grabbed them up for her ward.

I was not going to smash my head against walls this year. I am disabled and don't drive but I know in my heart of hearts some child needs a Merry Christmas and I can help with that. There were several possibilities unwed mothers, and a billion others.

I decide a local homeless shelter run by a church might be nice. So I look up the web-site. Here's the kicker... they only accept Dora toys. Um? I doubt kids that don't even have a home for Christmas are really sitting there saying, “Well I know I don't have anything but I don't want your toys... I want...” So I am left to ask myself, “Who made this stupid rule?”


All day I am met with cash donations only and I am getting distraught. We finally decided on the Marine's Toys for Tots. I know this charity has much honor. My Pappaw was a Marine you know.

So we went to the local recruiting office to ask about a drop-off location. And there before us stood the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. A very kind and lovely young lady named, Staff Sgt. Recruiter Elizabeth Plaia came all the way out to the car in the freezing cold in order to give us directions to the base where I am told Santa is working over-time. To this very nice officer I want to give a shout out! This woman knows honor and protects the interests of extending one's hand to another.
That's my side of it,
Angel


PS Book is due out in March! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Success

There are a zillion people out there every day searching for possession of that high in the sky word, success. I suppose there are about just as many definitions to it as there are people to define it. It seems so out of reach, so mysterious and glamorous... and so we all just amble around in circles trying to find a path to it....and with most people preferably the quickest, shortest route.

There is nothing wrong with the wish for success in and of itself so much as there is our wanton lust for it and the number of people we are willing to cut down, or morals that we are wont to betray to get it. There is nothing wrong with wanting your peers to admire you. After all no one has ever been excited to be a failure story or read a headline, “Small Town Boy Makes Bad.”

People want success because it is glamorous, we've established that. However let's look at the definition of glamor shall we? Webster's defines glamor still today in the same way:
an exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness

Hmmm... so if glamor isn't anything more than a fleeting illusion than what is it that measures success? Well how about money? Can a person really be worth their weight in gold? At the current rate a 6 pound infant would be worth only $107,578.79. That might seem a lot but if that child perished no amount of money could replace it for it's parents. And if you're about my age, weight and size you have to decide which is worse obesity or inflation. So since that's not going to be an excellent scale with which to measure success, we'll move on.

Perhaps success means fame, being larger than life for a bit. Putting one's name up in lights, doesn't that secretly appeal to all of us? How does one measure true fame? I know of History books that have names that I really didn't find very interesting in school and neither did I care to remember after exams. Okay so not a historical figure... perhaps a famous singer is more appealing to most of us, this evidenced by our terrible warbling daily in the shower that really sounds more like cats mating than it does some highly established blues singer.) Alright then a famous singer, perhaps that is success. In 1825 who was the most famous American singer? Anyone remember? Anyone? Me either.

So then what is success? To me true success lies in the blessings I count every day. It lies in the little family I love. Success to me is being content in the situation that I am in and taking comfort that when that situation develops a monkey-wrench then there is a good reason for me to be in that bumpy situation. To me those ups and downs are learning experiences that I will later utilize to help another person in need. To me learning from my mistakes, counting my blessings and loved ones is success. Perhaps it is plain, boring and not all that glamorous but at the end of the day who really needs more?

That's my side of it,
Angel

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Writers Then and Now

I was talking to a writing friend last night and also another one today and they've made me realize how lonely it really is to be a writer. It sort of is you know.... writing the book is the easy part. Then comes promotion. You know book launches and promos and intense internet time building a fan-base, blogging, tweeting or what have you. Spouses and families tend to feel left out and it causes such drama in happy home after a while. But don't get all glum, I'll try my best to keep the mood light tonight, what with it being the holidays and everyone being stressed.

So here's a fun fact about a writer, someone you might have heard of a guy I like to call Shakespeare. TRUTH Shakespeare left his wife and his son Hamlet to pursue a writing career years before he met his African/Jewish mistress for which Othello was written. Now we all know that this is a fact, we learned it in English Comp and also history. But what if it had happened today? Let's have a peek at that scenario.

William S : I have left mine wife to play with puns and the craft of words because my agent said it was best for mine career. Besides she was overly scorned amongst all mine time on Fate Book and mine book launch at Barnes & Noblemen.

Desdemona: She is a right harlot and canst not understand thee as I canst.

William S: Aye! There's the rub; whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows....

Desdemona: Oh what the hell art thou talking about now? Can't thou speak English?

Imagine also just the long talk with an editor that Mark Twain would have now:

Editor: We can't have this character in Tom Sawyer being an actual … well his grammar.... it isn't educated you see. We'll be liable.

Mark T: But he isn't supposed to be educated. He's an ex-slave.

Editor: Well the entire slavery thing is just really offensive and oppressive. You'll have to change that you see.

Mark T: . Hence the lack of education

Editor: We don't want to portray people as ignorant. This'll have to be edited out. Simply change that character and then it'll be perfect!

Mark T: Change him to what?

Editor: We were thinking a middle-aged accountant in Boise, Idaho would work better.

Imagine George Orwell trying to submit his book 1984 to a publishing house now. What might their response be?

Dear Mr. Orwell,
Thank you for submitting your work to our house. We will not however be interested in your manuscript at this time. A good critique would be of service to you as we find the term Big Brother to be sexist. Any woman can be just as iron-fisted as a man and just as ferociously uncaring (but at only half the pay.) Also it is politically incorrect to point out anyone's gender, totalitarianism dictatorship or not. That kind of behavior is not only gender-insensitive, it also we tend to find evokes feelings of sadness and fear, whereas we want monotone feelings of inspiration for all equally.

Thank you for your submission and best of luck in your future publishing ventures.

PS. We also feel your title 1984 is not only out-dated but makes the other calendar years feel “left out,” which is not something we want to do to our demographics.

That's my side of it,

Angel 
www.streetlighthalo.com

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Excerpt Little Prince & ragdolls

It is noon and I have time to blog because unfortunately my sewing machine has broken down, so while my daughter fixes it I decided to blog earlier rather than later. At count so far today we have made (drum roll please).... 37 dolls and more on the way. I have one week left to finish before the grandbaby comes for a visit and the seasonal feast baking and candy making begins! Lol
So here is an excerot from THE book.... the Little Prince and my favorite book of all time! Funny that this mentions rag dolls isn't it?

Chapter 22
Good morning,” said the little prince.
Good morning,” said the railway switchman.
What do you do here?” the little prince asked.
I sort out travelers, in bundles of a thousand,” said the switchman. “I send
off the trains that carry them; now to the right, now to the left.”
And a brilliantly lighted express train shook the switchman’s cabin as it
rushed by with a roar like thunder.
They are in a great hurry,” said the little prince. “What are they looking
for?”
Not even the locomotive engineer knows that,” said the switchman.
And a second brilliantly lighted express thundered by, in the opposite direction.
Are they coming back already?” demanded the little prince.
These are not the same ones,” said the switchman. “It is an exchange.”
Were they not satisfied where they were?” asked the little prince.
No one is ever satisfied where he is,” said the switchman.
And they heard the roaring thunder of a third brilliantly lighted express.
Are they pursuing the first travelers?” demanded the little prince.
They are pursuing nothing at all,” said the switchman. “They are asleep
in there, or if they are not asleep they are yawning. Only the children are
flattening their noses against the windowpanes.”
Only the children know what they are looking for,” said the little prince.
They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them;
and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry. . . ”
They are lucky,” the switchman said.

If you get a chance to pick up this book get it! Never have I read something so eloquently written and so perfectly expressed as this particular book. (The fox is my favorite character!)

That's my side of it,
Angel

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Charity doll count

As of tonight 35. Might be finished end of next week. I'm making good time this year and funny how God has provided a machine and a crap load of free material. I haven't even really told anyone I was working on it here.... just lots of free coupons came my way here and there. Kool huh?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dolls and Silliness

Well we have 28 dolls now for the Children's Cancer Institute and we will make some more later for the children's trauma centers in the area hospitals as we can. I've even started making stuffed animals but those are much harder and much more time-consuming so I'll probably just go with dolls from now on. Any way it's all put me in a silly mood again, so here's a couple of laughs to distract from the holiday parking space blues!

Things I don't get:

1. If milk and red meat is so bad for you then why don't cows have heart attacks?

2 Yoga must be too relaxing because the “coach' has to keep reminding me to breath.

3. If those fiber-filled health cereals are so good for you then why is it that if I don't rinse the bowl in the morning I have to throw it away in the evening?

4. Why doesn't KY make a peanut butter to go with its jelly?

5. If people get stressed about life's little ups and down then why are roller-coasters so popular?

6. Are people who've had plastic surgery considered recyclable?

7. If you get your head frozen after you die are you considered a thought-sickle?

8. If the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” was remade today, would the organic tomatoes be like a vegan-hippie sub-culture?

9. Why do we have stop sign and not go signs? I'd like to get further than the end of my block, y'know!

10. Why don't non-conformists unionize?

That's my side of it,

Angel 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Monkey That Taught Me to Sew

It's late, hope this makes sense. 

In a way that title is true. Tell you a little story, when my daughter was very small she had an inoperable brain mass in the middle of her brain, inside that little pocket of liquid approximately in the sector between the temples and the very middle/top of the scalp. It was the size of a man's thumb and in addition my daughter had a seizure disorder. These things not only meant she was, “dying” they also meant that what little time she had to live was spent in Miami Childrens' Hospital.

The amount of time that most kids spend on the playground my daughter spent between neurologists and telemetry labs. She spent more time in hospital beds than she did going to school. This was my daughter's life and though she'd never known anything different than this meager existence, she hated it with a passion. In school, you see, were other kids. In school there were toys. School had a library, a playground, an art room and fun. She couldn't even get out of bed to go to the bathroom, much less the hospital's play room. Ten leggos and three comic books get boring after a while. And back to back elongated hospital stays afford you very few visitors.

I vividly remember holding her as she screamed hysterically when her hair started falling out and I remember the pact I made with her... if she lost all her hair then I promised I would shave my head. One of the other teachers called that stupidity and vanity, telling me that if she lost her hair I would be a responsible parent and buy her a wig. (I'm not real sure why that woman thought that hiding from your disease is helpful but needless to say she wasn't invited back to our room.) Anyway I watched my normally happy child grow sullen. She sunk deeper and deeper into depression. She got sicker with that mood. It didn't look like she would leave there this time.

But then for no reason some woman with ebony hair and dark, deeply swimming eyes visited our room. She didn't know us. She brought Sarah a blue, stuffed monkey. The thing was pitifully small. It was handmade.... and not very well made I might add. She gave this toy to my daughter, who immediately perked-up when the woman announced that this was a “Wednesday present.” Sarah's EEG returned to normal by the end of that day. She was home in a week, and even though she went back in 2 weeks, it didn't matter. She no longer minded the endless tests and labs. That gift changed her mind-set and her mind-set changed her healing process. Random acts of kindness. She still had that toy when she was 18... even though it was torn-up by then.

Years later I tell this story, the beginning of my Bibbity Bobbities, the dolls I make for charity. Some say it is a waste of time. My dolls have been called ugly. My dolls have been criticized endlessly... people have even told me to take a sewing class or add mouths or... and the list goes on. But that doesn't matter to me. My dolls I pray will change the course of a child's life simply because I cared. My dolls I pray will change the hatefulness of a disease, make children forget (if only for a little while) to suffer and instead just be kids. A little love helps us heal sometimes.

To all of those nay-sayers and haters who criticize those silly dolls, those random acts of kindness, I say, “Perhaps you have too much time on your hands. I use my spare time to try to help others. And you?”

And so you see the Rag-doll people I create sort of evolved from a little blue monkey. I suppose that means that the universe is not without a sense of irony, huh?

That's my side of it,

Angel