...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature... and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2013. Hootie~

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Did I miss the asterisk?

For the past few years, I have been in graduate school.  I totally enjoy the company of my cohort, but honestly, they are young are really do not understand where I am in my life.  When I look at most of them, I see where my own children will be in a few years time.  I feel like the class mom.  

Each week I sit here and pray for god to help me move forward in my life.   

I have friends.

Most are married.  It's hard to go out with my friends for dinner or a glass of wine and not feel sad for myself, because 1) I know they are going home to someone who loves and respects them when we are done for the evening, and 2) I wonder what is wrong with me...when I know deep in my soul that absolutely nothing IS wrong with me.  Still, I am alone.

In June of 2013, I started on a path to remember who I was.  I was seeking me.  For years I have put my wants, needs and desires on a back burner.  I really truly didn't know who I was any more.  I have always felt that my place in this world was to make everyone else happy.  I have discovered there is a strong women in my skin.  She is cute, she is happy, she is smart (very smart in fact), handy, clever, brave, creative, resourceful, confident, compassionate, and loving.  She loves nature and animals.  She enjoys cooking and sharing her talents in the kitchen with others.  She enjoys laughing, romantic comedies, classical music and upbeat popular music.  But she is still human and she is lonely at times. 

Seeking comfort in my life, I turned back to my religion.  To me there is good and bad in all organized religions, I don't claim to know what's best, but I do know what I grew up with and that there is a sense of comfort in returning to ones roots.  I raised my children in a christian church because I felt they needed religion in their lives.  We attended my husband's church, because I knew he would never embrace my church.  I felt it was better to raise our children together in a church than to try to go it alone.  In the end, I realize he never was much support.  I still did it mostly alone.  Reflecting back I realize there was that strong woman. She was there the whole time, I had just failed to acknowledge her.  Grown kids, husband who has moved on, I went back to my Catholic roots.

I am not an in-you-face religious person, but I needed to know that God still loved me.  It took a few months of forcing myself to attend church weekly before I fell back into the comfort zone of knowing what I was doing once again.  I had been away from the Catholic church for about 30 years and a few things had changed.  I was amazed at how quickly the prayers came back to me, and how much I had missed saying them.  I'm still not 100% comfortable with my faith; honestly, I'm thinking I won't ever be.  I believe God and I can communicate, and that I don't necessarily need a middle man...sorry to my priests.  They are nice guys, but...they haven't been married.  I am reminded that man made up the rules in this, and most religions.  Case in point, I made an appointment and went to talk to a priest about my situation.  Basically, he told me he could tell I still loved my husband and wasn't seeking anyone else.  He said he had faith that I should just try harder and things would work out.  (head shaking)

In being lonely, I realize I need a new set of friends.  I need people closer to my age.  People who can maybe understand what I am experiencing.  Divorce is in my future.  I need to know there are people who accept me.  I noticed a small announcement in our church bulletin.  "Come join the 50+ group.  Being a dish to share and meet in the meeting room below church."  I got my brave on and went.

I guess I missed the asterisk.

It was really for married couples, but they didn't say that.  I don't think anyone there really understood how much bravery I had to munster up to attend that potluck.  One of the first things I was asked was by the deacon, "Where is your husband?"  Umm.  It was at that moment that I truly realized, I am alone in my religion.  It's really just God and me on this religious ride.  I need to come to terms with that.  It was hard to attend church the next morning and see the deacon on the alter.  I felt his gaze as he saw me.  I felt his judgement as he held the chalice of wine for me.

Somedays are really, really hard.

If anyone has advice on how someone who is 50 years old can go out and meet new friends...please feel free to email me and share your thoughts!


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Green Means Go

I love this time of year.  
It can be harsh and beautiful all at once.  
Bitter cold with crisp clear or colorful skies.  

Life is meant to be full of colors.  

Sunday, January 04, 2015

A New Year = A Knew Me...a.k.a. The Me I Used to Know

My New Year's resolution... graduate school is completed so, write more on my blog.

Although on the surface it appears that my blog has been rather inactive, truly I found three very powerful, very telling drafts written during the past year.  Feelings needed to be written down, but not shared with others.  I am working on absorbing the lessons I have learned in my personal life over the past two years and letting the wisdom shine through.

Here is one snippet that I will share:

 (written in July 2014)
In June of 2013, I started on a path to remember who I was.  I was seeking me.  For years I have put my wants, needs and desires on a back burner.  I really truly didn't know who I was any more.  I have always felt that my place in this world was to make everyone else happy.  I have discovered there is a strong women in my skin.  She is cute, she is happy, she is smart (very smart), handy, clever, brave, creative, resourceful, confident, compassionate, and loving.  She loves nature and animals.  She enjoys cooking and sharing her talents in the kitchen with others.  She enjoys laughing, romantic comedies, classical music and upbeat popular music.  But she is still lonely.
I can officially add MS
after my name now.

Last night I started to write again...this was what I said, and later I re-read what I wrote above!

Growing up I loved life. 
I remember singing into my hairbrush to all the current tunes on the radio.  Laughing to silly jokes.  Hanging out with friends.  Loving on my pets.  Playing card games with my family.

I am starting to see a theme.  I believe the confident me may be resurfacing.

I am on my way to being single (again.  Breathe.  You can do this.  Being single does not have to mean being lonely).  It means I get to choose what I do, when I do it and with whom I share my time.  It means I get to surround myself with others who enjoy life, like I do.  It means I get to love and have love returned.  It means I get to let go of negative sources in my life and focus on bringing joy and not having to explain, feel guilty for or justify my happiness.

Let the new year begin!

Sunday, August 31, 2014



Author Over Sharing Alert




/klaɪˈmæktərɪk; ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk/

a critical event or period
another name for menopause
the period in the life of a man corresponding to the 
menopause, chiefly characterized by diminished 
sexual activity
(botanythe period during which certain fruits, 
such as apples, ripen,marked by a rise in the rate 
of respiration
involving a crucial event or period
A.K.A. ...Really?  WTF????  Are you kidding me?  
Did I hear that correctly?  

I have reached a point where I need to write in order to move forward in my life.  I have tried to keep my thoughts private.  I have gone through my entire life keeping private journals, and periodically have branched out.  Now, I need to branch out once again.  

I am a positive person.  Bad things in life do happen...just 8 years ago I sat with my siblings as we helped, make the choice for, our comatose step-father to be taken off life support.  He had suffered an aneurysm while dealing with west nile.  He was treated with antibiotics just after his first test for west nile, so his results were inconclusive according to the CDC.  To test positive meant two tests back to back testing positive, without antibiotics to help.  Regardless, four weeks later, while still in a comma and having a temperature then entire time of 104 degrees plus, my siblings and I sat with him in a very small hospital room.  It was the middle of October, 2008.  That event alone would have been enough to suffer through.  

But that event happened five months into another life changing event for us.  Our mother had stage 4 brain cancer.  GBM.  Glioblastoma Multiforme.  My mom's GBM was the reason I started blogging.  Hopefully I helped others who were searching the web for info on what to expect.  I had done that and found little information to grasp hold of.  My step-father died 31 days before my mom.  

Rinse and repeat.  Except mom was allowed to pass over at home.  

Pretty crappy stuff for a positive person to live through.  But, I did it with my siblings by my side.  I did it surrounded by family, and friends at home (where my mom was).  I did it with the support at my own home; my husband and children, and friends back here.  Nourishment was all around me.  

Over the next year, my husband and I would move into a bigger house with our two growing teens.  We moved right next door to his parents, next to his childhood home.  His parents were starting to age, and we wanted to be there for them when the time came.  About three years ago my father-in-law started his rapid health decline, and passed away.  Little did I realize change in my personal life was on the horizon.  

In December of 2012, I started contemplating life with an empty nest.  Our baby would be graduating from high school in May.  It was time for me to fully enter back into the work force.  To do so, I decided to go back to graduate school.  I wanted to earn my masters in Elementary Education, become licensed and have my own classroom.  (Side note:  I have been working part-time for the past 13 years as a reading teacher. I have not been sitting around eating bon-bons.)

Long story short, I worked my butt off and was accepted into graduate school.  Somewhere along the line of life, my husband decided he wasn't attracted to me any more.  He has told me so at least a half a dozen times over the past year.  He has said I've never been the person he's wanted.  I haven't supported him.  I don't keep the house clean enough for him.  Living with me is hurting his health.

wow.  Emotionally I am spent.  I have been verbally abused behind closed doors for 27 years.  I have felt my role as a loving wife was to make everything perfect in our household for my hard-working husband. He really is hard-working.  He really is successful at whatever he puts his mind to.   I am puzzled as to why I have thought so highly of him for all these years though.  Nothing has ever been good enough for him.  

No more.  

Divorce is in my future.  I never thought my life would play out this way.  My husband has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He has "dismissed" me.  Literally, I do not exist to him.  

The more I type, the more I delete.  So much to say, so little I want out for all to read.  I feel scarred.  Life has been challenging.  I long to be loved and respected.  I long to share time with someone.  I did not expect this.  

If you ask me in person what my husband said to me on Mother's Day 2013 while we laid in bed together, you'd understand the level of his verbal abuse and why exactly I needed to go, alone, to the Grand Canyon last summer.  I have been in therapy for over a year.  I was told I could continue to believe the things he tells me or I could go out into the world and discover what the world really thinks of me.  

I'm glad I ventured out.  Life is hard, but I can still smile...most of the time.  I am guilty of loving.  This is his problem, not mine.  At the end of November I will officially be finished with my student teaching.  Just a few more hurdles to jump!  Three of my five licensing exams are under my belt.  My thesis paper research is finished, I just need to write it.  

I will be reaching my dreams of being a classroom teacher by the end of the year.  I hope to have full time employment doing what I love shortly after that.  I am not the first person in the world to go through a divorce.  I know I can, and will survive and shine once more.    

My Hootie blog will become active again as my time allows.  The joys I experience in life need a place to reach others!  Until then, I do have a teaching blog.  Visit me there too, if you'd like:  It Takes a Village to Raise a Teacher. 

With Katy Perry!
Okay, yes, it is just a cardboard cut out. 
Life is short.  Family is precious.  Our faith gives us the courage to grow and love. 

~Lisa   a.k.a. Hootie!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

To be Inspired...

I casually met Dr. Bolte Taylor as she spoke in my son's fourth grade class room many years ago.  My son is a junior in college now.  I was asked to watch the following TED talk for a class this week.  
It is just under 19 minutes long, and so worth the inspiration.  I have quoted the end of Dr. Bolte Taylor's talk because I found her last statement struck a cord in me.  Enjoy!  
"…I realized “But I’m still alive! I’m still alive and I have found Nirvana. And if I have found Nirvana and I’m still alive, then everyone who is alive can find Nirvana.” I picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time. And that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace. And then I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a stroke of insight this could be to how we live our lives. And it motivated me to recover… It took me eight years to completely recover.
So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are – I am – the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the “we” inside of me.
Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.”

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Story...in 8 words

Last August, I started back to graduate school.  
I'm getting my Masters in Elementary Education because I want to have my own classroom.  

This semester I have to take an Art Methods class and our first assignment, which wasn't really an assignment was to tell our story of why we are in this program.  We were to use one to three images without words.  In class, we would describe our choices.  

Here are my three images:  

Here are my words:  

Old dog
Wisdom to share
Life is short


Monday, December 09, 2013

50 Shades and Princesses

I have neglected my blog since August.  Sincerely apologies on that dear readers!  On one hand, I have loaned my camera out to my son for a photojournalism class he's taking in college.  I'm feeling lost without my camera lens to peer at the world through.  On the other hand, my own schooling has kept me incredibly busy!  I've been writing, but it's been a different kind of writing.   I am setting this post to automatically run.  I will be reading this piece tomorrow night in my last Methods of Teaching Elementary Reading and Writing for grades 4-6 and I want it to hit my blog during that time.  I was inspired to write this after heading to Chicago with my sister to see 50 Shades, the Musical, a Parody.  


Journal entry: October 27, 2013

50 Shades and Princesses

October 26

While walking the sidewalks of Chicago on the Magnificent Mile, It is not unusual to see beautifully, alluring shop entryways.  The scent wafting through the air reeks of excitement, expectation and good times.  Add the sunset to the mix and vibrant colors pop, catching your eye.  A little sensuality teasing your senses, beacons you to come inside, if you dare.  

Young twenty-somethings strut around inside.  Immaculately put together.  They’ll ask if they can help, but if you watch carefully, their eyes wander away, in hopes that you’ll say no or that you just need something right in front of you.  

The angel wings on the underwear-clad, headless mannequins drew me inside Victoria’s Secret.  I long to have that once drooled after, youthful body.  I’m working on loving the curvy me that I am at almost 50.  The person I am right now is still transforming.  Middle age sits waiting in my “friend request” box, but I’m resisting holding hands and accepting this friendship.  Getting old means abandoning youth.  I’m not quite ready for that.  

But those angel wings...mmm

I imagine my head upon that mannequin...my body morphs onto the doll as well...it’s sort of nice.  I wonder if others would glance my way? Or if they’ll look else where.  

I quickly tire of looking at underwear and head back out the door.  I’m swallowed up again in the masses heading down the sidewalk. On the ground in front of me I see a star and sparkles.  The colors of the shop once again speaks to my inner, youthful soul. My feet have a mind of their own and propel me insides.  

As I fill my lungs with the scent of youth from this place, I feel my cheeks raise...my smile involuntarily fills my face.  “Ahh,” I say aloud, “I’m home!”  

“Welcome to the Disney Store!”  

~by ltk