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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another year older, and wiser...

51.  Yes, it was my birthday this week.

Last year, when I turned the big five-oh, I was in Disney World with my sister.  What an amazing way to ring in a new decade.

This year I decided to go a little more low key.  I decided to sort of let the day come and go as it may.

I was happy when I received a call to sub on my birthday.  The call came a few weeks ago.  I would be hanging out with kindergartner's.  Perfect!

On the night before my birthday I had decided that I really, really, really wanted to wear my flowers from last year on my head.  There is something so feminine about wearing flowers!  Something so outdoorsy!  Something so me!  Could I get away with it?  I'm fifty-one now, should I do it? Or do I need to really grow up?

I decided to go for it!

Because I was subbing in my "home" school, I knew everyone would look at me and just say to themselves, yep, that's Lisa!  Everyone who saw me said, "I like your flowers."  If they didn't all ready know it, I told them, "Thanks!  It's my birthday!"  I'm sure if they hadn't all ready said to themselves, yep, that's Lisa...they did then.

What I am loving about myself and about teaching is that I can embrace my inner fun and share it with others.  Others who can tell me, That's cool!  I want to do that too!  And I hope they will.  Children need to have a safe place in which they can dare to be different.  A place they can find themselves and not be made to feel wrong for being who they are.  I feel a school can be and should be this place.  I hadn't realized that I have a little bit of a free spirit in my soul.  How cool!  How fun! I don't want to be exactly like everyone else.  I want to be me!

I am glad I am on the Eating, Praying and Loving journey while in my fifties.


P.S.  I wore my flowers the entire day!  I wore them while I was subbing, when I went out to eat dinner with my two children, and when I went to my divorce support group meeting.  Although this birthday didn't top last year's Disney trip (honestly, none ever will), it was exactly perfect!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Break in the south...North Carolina

Living in Indiana, the winter weather can be long.  Gray skies tend to be the trend come February.  Our schools take their spring break early, but we all are ready for a little warmth and sunshine.  This year I drove south with my daughter and her friend.  We went to visit family...without the family being there.  What a treat!  Although, with family would have been even better!  Winston was allowed to go, and he was one happy dog.  

At the bottom of the road, there is a stream for splashing.  

Have you seen the movie Deliverance?  Certainly it may have been filmed here.  

Dry Falls

On the walk way to/from Dry Falls, grates...that some dogs do NOT like to step on.
Winston kept trying to walk around these!  

See picture below...

Bridal Veil Falls recently had a rock fall, but one used to be able to drive under them.  

Playing games at the house

On the property, a small, family cemetery.  

A reminder that life is/was short.
1831-1857 and 1838-1875

Infant markers

hard to read, but 1812
which means these people lived here BEFORE Indiana became a state

The sunset...reminds me how much I love Sky Blue

The girls fell in love with this balloon bunny, George.  
 We purposely spent one day climbing a mountain.  WE took the trails.  It took us one and a half hours to reach the top from the parking lot.

One of the vistas

These guys climbed straight up the mountain face.  They told me it took them just over three hours.  They were heading down and then going to come up one more time before calling it a day.  

The ground sparkles due to the Mica content in the soil.  
Survey marker, above sea level

Feeling free!  On top of that survey marker...

Another vista, on the way down

Mom and daughter moment.  Clearly we needed a bigger rock to perch upon.  

Just enough time to put together one puzzle.  
In between our hikes, we shopped, ate out, read books, watched movies, played games, laid out in the sun, and spent the late evening hours hanging out in the hot tub star gazing.

An almost perfect trip!



I am not the same person I was at 20 years of age.
I don't wish to go back there either.

But who is this woman of 50?  Her skin isn't as taunt as it once was, and it seems thinner than she recalls.  Muscles aren't as firm as they used to be.  But she does nothing extra to prevent their lap of shape.  Life keeps her busy.  Life shows it's wear on her body.  Viewing her nakedness, and the mirror is not her friend.  She cannot jump as high as she once could.  Although, honestly, She never measured how how she could jump, so...who knows.


Her life experience is greater now.  She knows how she enjoys spending her time, and the type of person she enjoys being around.  She knows what calms her, what sets her off, what makes her smile, what makes her laugh, what brings her joy, and what makes her heart sad.  She has experienced great loss, but has come through it.  She has wisdom to know that eventually all will be as it should be.  She is a dreamer.  She believes the best in others.  And, she always, always, always looks for the good and the positive.

But, she's not in balance yet.

She's still learning to love herself.

All of herself.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Eating, Praying, Loving... part 1 of ?

Always thinking

 What can you do today that you could not do a year ago?

Learning to live in the moment

A year ago, really for most of my life, I could not set boundaries for my emotional self.  I allowed others to enter my life and to emotionally abuse me.  I know that may seem strange because I am a strong person.  I thought that if I made others happy, others whom I loved, it meant they loved me in return.  My inner being was incorrect.  Dare I say wrong?  I am not perfect.  I am learning daily to speak up for myself.  I am learning daily to love myself.  Loving and accepting myself is what allows me to be happy.

I eat, to nourish my physical body.  I pray, to nourish my mental body.  I love, to nourish my emotional body.

A year ago I did not realize how much of a thinker I was.  Or, better said, maybe I did realize it, I just didn't allow myself to trust my own opinions and thoughts.  I find that I enjoy smart conversations with others who challenge my thoughts, but allow me to be entitled to my own opinions.

A part of me is waking up and realizing I am on a journey of self-discovery right now.  School was a wonderful kick-start to prime my brain.  School allowed me to be research topics, state opinions, share with others and be told my thoughts were valid.  If others disagreed with my opinions, I was allowed...no expected, to listen to their reasoning and then respond.  I was respected.

Out loud I will tell you I am looking for my independence.  That I do not need anything from anyone.    I do not want to be saved or protected.  I am discovering me.  I want to enjoy someone else without feeling they need to be my other half.  I am remembering that I am a complete person all ready.

First things first...learn to love thyself.  Do you love yourself?


Note:  The question at the top of this posting is from:  50 Thought Provoking Questions...

Sunday, March 01, 2015


Despite the change is happening in my life, what I have done for the past 22 years holds strong.  

This afternoon, unannounced, both of my children showed up at my place.  We usually do eat together on Sunday evenings, but I hadn’t spoken to either in several days.  In fact, I was thinking, I wonder how long we can go without chatting?  My son will graduate from college in May.  I expect him to fly the coop and live his own life. I do absolutely LOVE sharing time with my children, but I respect their growing up.  

What a treat to have them come see me!  

We ordered pizza, and as we ate my daughter asked my son where he will live next fall if he doesn’t have a set job.  She asked if he will live with me.   He responded, “Probably.”  A little part of me wanted to pipe up and say, ‘Don’t you think you both should ask me?’, but I decided to stay quiet and cherish the moment.  

It warms my heart to know that my children feel they are ALWAYS welcomed in my home.  

Wherever I am 
will be home 

for my children.  

Saturday, February 28, 2015


I need to be able to write about what's happening with me.  Life sort of sucks.

By sort of, I mean it sucks, but that I am surviving.  It's not what I expected, but I am plugging along.

I've been reading up on divorce recently.  I have read that it can hurt as much, or more, as when you have someone die in your life.  I've been down that path!  I am a survivor.  One has to go through the mourning process through a divorce, just like when you have someone close die.  That's what my heart and head are dealing with right now.  I am mourning the loss of my dream of being a wife and married forever.  Mourning that I will not share everything with one person.

Apparently my husband checked out sometime ago from "us".  I'm not sure when it happened for him.  I really thought we were just going through something.  I was looking forward to our last child leaving the house.  It really was finally going to be time for us.  No digressing though.  He has made his choice.  He has made it impossible for me to even look at him without feeling sorry for him.  He has hurt the one thing in life that loved him more than life itself.  I cannot trust a single word that falls out of his mouth. Ever.

I was not anticipating feeling so devastated at this point in my life.  At times, I don't even feel I can move forward.  How can he be fine with all of this?  Why?  Where did we go wrong?  Will I ever be happy again?  Will I ever trust again?  Will anyone ever honestly love me again?  Will I ever be able to honestly love again?  Was so much of what I lived a lie?  Does Happily Ever After even exist? These questions pop into my brain at times.

Honestly, I am happier without him in my life.  I do not walk on eggshells any more.

Last week I started attending a divorce support group. There is something comforting in having others tell their stories, and telling my story, and to know that you are not alone.  I just need someone to walk with me on this journey.

I want a new relationship, but I am SO not ready.  Yes, I want to be kissed, and held and more.  But I know I need to really love myself first.  I do not totally love myself yet.  He made me feel so incredibly at fault for everything.  Shame on me for allowing that.  I need to heal and not allow anyone to ever make me feel that way again.

At the divorce support group meeting the topic was New Relationships.  This is a church based support group.  I do believe in God, so this is good for me.  I was reminded last week that God accepts and loves me exactly how I am.  That I am a whole person and not the other half of someone else.  All the emotional abuse my soon-to-be-ex did to me was not about me.  It was about him.  About him not being good enough, not having a healthy self-esteem, about him needing to feel like he was superior.  To allow himself to feel superior, he cut me down.  Not just me, but everyone really who crosses his path.  And he still does it.  He cannot change.  He's running from the demons in his own head, but he will never be able to get away.  And he cannot be happy for anyone else's successes.    He cannot love.

I need to learn to let him go and the feelings I have from his abuse. He is no longer my responsibility.  I am not anything he said.

I am capable.
I am perfect.
I am smart.
I am not fat.
I am beautiful.  
...and I can do ANYTHING!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'm not an activist...but I am working on surviving

“Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse,”

...sometimes as a spouse, one can feel it's our role to make everything better.  To "fix" things. That's why we allow what has happened to happen.  Domestic abuse sometimes takes the form of Emotional Abuse.

The first time I heard Katy Perry sing "By the Grace of God," I would have sworn she wrote it for me.

Please take 46 seconds and re-listen to Brooke's words.  If you are my friend...or even my acquaintance, then know that you KNOW someone personally who is working on surviving.

Full article and part of Brooke Axtell's speech on the 2015 Grammy's from The Washington Post (click here)  To hear Brooke's complete speech, click here.

Some days are easier then others.  
Trust...I cannot yet.  

By The Grace of God
Song by  Katy Perry

Was 27 surviving my return of Saturn
A long vacation didn’t sound so bad
Was full of secrets locked up tight like iron mountain
Running on empty so out of gas
Thought I wasn’t enough
Found I wasn’t so tough
Layin’ on the bathroom floor
We were living on a fault line
And I felt the fault was all mine
Couldn’t take it anymore
By the grace of God (there was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way
I thank my sister for keeping my head above the water
When the truth was like swallowing sand
Now every morning, there is no more mourning
Oh, I can finally see myself again
I know I am enough
Possible to be loved
It was not about me
Now I have to rise above
Let the universe call the bluff
Yeah, the truth’ll set you free
By the grace of God (there was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me out, oh, that way,
No, that way, no
Not in the name of love
In the name of love
That way, no,
That way, no
I am not giving up
By the grace of God
I picked myself back up
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror (looked in the mirror)
Looked in the mirror (looked in the mirror)
By the grace of God (there was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way

Thank you Katy for Prism!  

Friday, February 06, 2015

My Vision Board

Where do I want to go this year?  

the plan
 Embracing life, I am going for learning to love myself.  I need to remember how to trust and have confidence again.  On the outside, I may seem confident to most, but inside I really feel inferior.  No more.  I will not be made to feel I am unworthy again.  I am full of life.

My Vision Board

Starting with myself at the center and everything radiating from there.  Mostly this year will be about my career.  My goal is to have my own classroom.  I found a picture of students on exercise balls which is just like my fourth graders from my student teaching. I love exercise balls in the classroom! They really do help with wiggles.  The picture just above me and to the left shows a classroom of the 21st century - technology!  There are quotes about teachers too, about always being a learner.

To my right is the section on Wealth or Finances.  I am in for huge changes in this area over this next year, but I am having faith that all will work itself out.

I've used the Mario and Luigi with their coins to remind myself to not stress.  I don't need much in life.  And truthfully, true wealth, and happiness comes from those things money cannot buy.  I am following my dreams.  Independence is something I have never really known.  I am ready.

New House
On my left, I need to start thinking of new housing.  When my divorce is final, I will not be able to afford the Burrow.  It doesn't really hold memories that other houses have held for me.  It is right next door to my MIL though, and I did design and re-do the kitchen.  I will miss my kitchen.  But, I have the knowledge of what a redesign takes!  I know how to do the research on what I want and how to make it happen.  Plus, maybe that means I'll be able to work with my contractor once again.  Friendships are another important part of my future.

New Friends

I do treasure my current friends.  I realize though, in order to have new relationships...and I do not want to be alone in life...I need to be able to walk away from bad situations and embrace new friends.  I need new experiences.  I want to move forward.  I am all ready looking into new organizations to be passionate about!  Doing new things will broaden my friend pool.  Sounds like a win, win to me.

Adventures - Travels
I have spent the past almost two years deeply involved in my schooling.  Both of my children have pretty much left home.  They are both adults and need me in tiny ways.  It's time for me to start exploring the world.  I've included a map of the National Parks because I would LOVE to explore these most of all.  Traveling the world would be nice too, but really, we have so much beauty here, I'd like to do that first.  Maybe I'm being realistic, knowing my budget too.  I would like to go to Italy some day, but not yet.  I have a photo of Clingmans Dome, which is located in the Great Smokey Mountains.  I want to go here this year.  Fall Break - in October.  That's my plan.  I'm thinking Winston will be up to traveling!

On the top left of my board I have the hardest goals to conquer...my self-esteem and body image.
Self-esteem/ Body Image
There is a quote in the top left corner from Marilyn Monroe, "To all girls who think they're fat because you're not a size zero, you are beautiful one.  It's society who's ugly."  I go back and forth between feeling comfortable in my skin.  I have lived with someone who made me feel guilty for being curvy.  Again...no more.  I do have a few extra pounds on my frame but I do not sit around like a bump on a log.  I am active. I enjoy exploring out in nature.  

The last part of my board has to do with moving forward, learning to trust, and being grateful.  
Confidence - Trust - Gratitude
I have spent the past nine months writing down five things each day that I am thankful for in my life before I have gone to bed.  Now it's time to start each day by being grateful as well.  Learning to trust again may be the hardest thing to do though.  That along with feeling comfortable about my body.   I have a hard time believing anything anyone says to me now, and I don't really even trust myself.  With time and space, I'm healing. 

Beauty resides in the heart.  
Others who cannot see and appreciate my beauty need to not be in my life.  
I need to have the strength to let go of things, and people, that no longer serve me.  

Peace and Love are in my future.
Happiness and Adventure.
Passion and Financial Security.   
And I will do it all,
Because I can!