...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature... and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2015. Hootie~

Monday, February 01, 2016

DIY: How to Love...Click Here For Details

Wouldn't it be great if learning to love was as simple as following steps on a Do It Yourself tutorial?
Click Here for Details...ha!  Not so simple. No link today my friends.   

I know this sounds like a big subject.  
Love, is big.  

Personally, I find that I can give love, I just don't know how to accept love back.  At least this is how I feel. I can give love in certain situations; I do love my children, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my students, my job, my pets, etc.   The one person I have trouble loving...myself.  

On-line advice suggests to love yourself first.  Coincidentally, my therapist told me this same thing when she was in my life!  That sounds a bit narcissistic to me.  In order to really love, I must forgive. Forgiving oneself is hard.   

This year I will forgive myself.  

I realize the past is the past.  
I did the best I could at that time.  
I do not regret loving.
I am ready to truly love me.  

I am a happy person.  I am happy with how my life is turning out.  
The next step for me is to forgive me.  
It would be nice to have that DIY right about now.  As with all things in life, this is a process, and I must go through all the stages/steps.  (NOTE: There are lots of on-line sources detailing how to forgive yourself...NOT linking to any.) 

It's easier to forgive someone else, than it is to forgive oneself.  
Self-forgiveness...have I mentioned this is hard? 
am guilty of not thinking of myself enough.  
So starts my process...  

I love writing, but I have not made my time to write a priority.  
About six months ago I changed that, I now carve out time weekly to write.  

I love music...all kinds.  
I have made a point of seeing artists I want to see, when I want to see them.   
It was AMAZING to see Ed Sheeran live last July.  
Straight No Chaser is a December must do for me.  

Expressing myself through dance is something else I have always wanted to do.  
I spent years and years being on the sidelines as my daughter danced.  I did not want to be a ballerina.  I did want to feel the rhythm of the music fill my soul, 
to twist and to turn, 
to glide and to sway.  
I have musicality.  
I want to be connected to another, as we both feel the music pulse through our veins.  
I do not have aspirations to be a world famous dancer. 
However, I do aspire to share the language of music and dance.  

I love sharing time with my friends!  
Again, who knew I had so many friends?  I did.  I just didn't allow myself the time to share with them.  Breakfasts, dinners, trivia nights, dancing, game playing, book clubs, texting, chatting on the phone, planning weekend get-togethers...the list is broad and endless.  
My breakfast buddy!  We have a few favorite spots in town.


I typically write on Saturday nights.  
Yesterday I had errands, and didn't get to my spot until late.  My mind was filled with thoughts, but I didn't get all I wanted out of my brain. Pressure!  My blogging spot was closing for the night.    
I was also feeling stuck in my thoughts.  

...and then today...

I found that DIY/How to manual on love in a place I hadn't expected.  
While sitting in church, a familiar reading started...

1 Corinthians 13New International Version 

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My priest's lesson went on to say that one needs to forgive in order to experience love.  'Forgiving oneself is similar to a having a surgeon remove a tumor.  You know you will be better off without the tumor in your body, but it is hard to let it go because it has been a piece of you, and quite possibly you nurtured it.  Still, in order to be completely healed you MUST let it go.'  
I understand the analogy.  I'm thinking of trying to come up with an analogy the suits me better. Still, I get the message.  Once I forgive myself, I can work on trusting again.  Allowing myself to be vulnerable means I will risk being hurt again.  Being loved and giving love is the greatest gift we as humans can offer one another.  

~Lisa Kroll 
forgiving myself 
discovering what I love  
learning to trust again
faith, hope, love

Blogging Music:  25 by Adele

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Living Without an 'I'm Sorry'...

Standing in line at the grocery store check out,  
you bump into the person in front of you.  
"Oops, I'm sorry." 

While driving...accidentally one car cuts off another. 
"I'm sorry"...is mouthed, with a smile and a wave.

Believing you are stating a fact, only to finding out you were wrong. 
"I'm sorry, you were right."  

In moving forward, I find that I long for an apology that I know will never come.  

One side feels justified.  We grew apart he said.  

Bullshit.  I say.  

He discarded a family he helped create.  
He walked away from all responsibility.  
He stopped trying.  
It was always only about him.  Always.  

A part of me wants to be validated for being hurt, for being discarded.  Deep in my heart, I know if he did apologize it wouldn't be sincere.  He does not feel he did anything wrong.  
I am not even sure how he can really live with himself and the bullshit he dishes out daily. In life, we are taught to say, I'm sorry and listen to or accept apologies.  

I know I need to live without one in this case.  

I was told there would come a day when I would be thankful.  
A day, where I would realize I was happier.  
A day, I would realize exactly with what I had been living.  


I think I'm there now.  

Life is not about needing to make sure others are happy.  We are each responsible for our own happiness.  It has taken me 51 years to understand this fact. (And yes, many, many friends who have told me this as well!)  I cannot be one's judge, or jury.  I can have my opinions, but I cannot be the judge.  I need to let go.  Trust in Karma.  Find my own happiness.  Live my life. 

I do not believe that people change.  I believe we are what we are.  I think there are people who try to make others happy thus not allowing their own selves to be seen, and those who pretend in life only allowing a certain image of themselves to show, or be seen.  But I do not believe that people change.  As a mother, I hated when my young children weren't happy.  As they aged, I know they needed to learn to comfort themselves, and take care of their own happiness.  I could not, nor can I live life for them.  So, maybe...maybe, I am guilty of trying to make life happy for my ex.  For that, I am truly sorry.  I suppose I might owe him an apology.  

My internal battle right now...how can I believe in love again?  My definition of love has been to care deeply for another and to put their desires above my own. I know that is flawed thinking.  I must learn to be more selfish!!!*  I am coming to the conclusion that I live in a very selfish society.  Or maybe that the men in our society, meaning dating pool, are selfish beings, and afraid of commitment.** Oh, I know I will anger many with that statement. Trust me, I do know many people that DO believe in commitment, and are happily honoring their wedding vows. But as a single woman in her fifties, I see men, again the ones in the dating pool, as wanting only one thing.  If I speak my mind, they tell me I am jaded, I'm angry, or I'm not over my ex.  Ha!  And society...you expect everyone to be in a relationship!   Such pressure.  How does one find love?  Have you thought about what your own definition of love is?  

I am looking for truths.  Can humans really love one another?  Not as in the love of a mother for her children.  There is something so bonding in a mother/child relationship.  Children may not see it until they have a child of their own, but a mother feels it.  Can a male and a female really love one another?  I'm not meaning to limit that question to only a male/female relationship, but I would enjoy a male in my life so that's what I wonder.  

I continue on my life journey to find myself; to discover who am I?   What is it that I like?  What makes me happy?  Relearning how to love me.  Am I meant to share my life with just one person? Maybe I'm supposed to surround myself with friendships only, and live without love.  Or more aptly put, live with a different sort of love.  I wish my idea of love was different.   I wish I wasn't so romantic in my thoughts.  I wish I didn't crave physical contact.  I wish I didn't have a conscious.  I wish I didn't care.  But I do...all of the above.  

Right now in life, I am finding that I enjoy dance.  I am learning to express myself through music.  Letting the rhythm fill my soul. Letting myself go.  I stepped out on a ledge, jumped into something new and guess what?  I safely landed in the arms of new friendships.  Who knew this could happen?  

New things in life can be precious.  

Lots of questions fill my thoughts when I slow down.  How can someone, who ended a 28 year marriage, live life acting as if all those years and that other person didn't/don't exist? He walked away, and he didn't even take a single picture of his family with him.  

I am sorry... that he doesn't know how to truly love.  
I can live without an apology. 

I am not sorry to be free now.  
Confession:  I sleep with two guys each night.
The love of a pet...or two.  Priceless.  
~Lisa Kroll, philosopher tonight.  

Music of the evening:  Straight No Chaser...all their pop stuff.  
Love Sucks, Use Me/Ain't No Sunshine, This is How a Heart Breaks, Marvin Gaye, Take Me to Church, Shut Up and Dance, Kiss From a Rose, Bless the Broken Road, etc.  

*sarcasm, in case I needed to point it out.  

**more questions:  Am I ready for a commitment? Working on that question too...no offers on the table though so I don't feel this is a pressing question.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Tonight I had blogging in my plans.  It is Saturday.  I didn't have a topic in mind, but a friend did suggest some "new" music to listen to; to inspire my thoughts.  I went to my blogging site, but I didn't blog.  Instead, I met a different friend and we played my Agricola game. Sharing time with another is really the best gift in life.  Getting to know an acquaintance on a deeper level allows one to strengthen that friendship.  

Friends and friendships are vital to our health.  I'm home now, and listening to that suggested music.  I am finding myself smiling, and happy.  Friends have a super power.  They can make you smile, all the way from the tips of your toes, without really trying or even meaning to at times. Even if they are just on your mind.  At least that's how it is for me.  I am thankful for my friends, old and new.  :) 

~Lisa Kroll

tonight's music:  A station created on Pandora, She & He inspired.  

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Bond. James Bond. What Comes to Mind When You Say That?

007, Double O Seven
Secret Agent
Shpion: "Spy"
Mr. License-to-Kill
"Shaken, not stirred"

Labels, like a name, can stick.  They can define the character of a person.

Scanning through an old article in Psychology Today on Why It's Dangerous to Label People (May 2010), I noted:

"Categorical labeling is a tool that humans use to resolve the impossible complexity of the environments we grapple to perceive. Like so many human faculties, it's adaptive and miraculous, but it also contributes to some of the deepest problems that face our species." 

This article discusses why labeling people, particularly children, is a dangerous thing.  Future success can be inhibited by a label.  

Recently I was called out for referring to a person in my past as a Narcissist.  I was told that others might look at me and wonder how I would label them.  That's a fair statement.  Clearly this person does not know me or my past.  Personality disorders are real.  I do not label people.  At least I try very hard to not label.  Are professional diagnosis not to be believed?  As a teacher, I understand the damage a label may cause.  Near the end of the article, it states: 

"Labeling isn't always a cause for concern, and it's often very useful. It would be impossible to catalogue the information we process during our lives without the aid of labels like "friendly," "deceitful," "tasty," and "harmful." 

Semantics can be tricky, and limiting.  I am working on the descriptors I use.  I am trying to eliminate the word "just", as in "friends" versus "just friends" comments.  The latter is limiting. During a late night, post-pedicure, dinner and half a bottle of wine therapy session, I was advised to drop the "just" in my descriptions.  I was advised to just allow my life to happen and to see what develops.  

I was also told I do not need a$$holes in my life. Sage advice from a confident, young lady who chimed in on my therapy session. THAT reminded me of a recent episode of New Girl I watched.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm not a little like Jessica Day.  In the episode I watched, she was being coached by Schmidt on how to use a dating app called "Dice".  Turns out she was willing to suffer through chatting with dates who were clearly not right for her.  Jess ends up telling Schmidt she is looking for love, not just a hook up. Self sacrifice is not the way to find love...just my opinion.  Unlike Jess, I'm not ready and willing to possibly have my heart hurt again...not yet.  

My guard is still up.  That's probably a good thing.  Like James Bond, I'll survive.  

Unlike 007, I do not see myself being a lone wolf, I need friends.  I want to be willing to truly risk again.  Time is an amazing gift.  Starting with friends is a great way to start.  

~Lisa Kroll

Tonight's blogging music:  from my iTunes playlist entitled Bond. James Bond.  

Bond movie theme songs.   

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Old Music...Person B's Perspective: How Divorce Effects the Entire Family

There are some tasks that we just never take time to complete.  
Tasks that we think, some day I'll get to that.  

Christmas Night, 2015
I had my house all to myself.  

Divorce changes the holidays.  
I am no longer part of my in-laws celebrations.  Ties have been cut.  I am told that I will always be part of the family, but quite honestly, that's not true.  I have been set free.  If I am allowed to celebrate, it is at a separate time.  
New traditions? 

My Christmas stocking no longer hangs on the fireplace at the house next door.  
No longer will I be asked to contribute to making food for the feast.  
Touches of me remain however.  Ornaments I made by hand are still put up on the tree.  Decorations I purchased sit around the room.  But physically, I am not there.  I sit next door.  Alone.  Contemplating my solitude.  
I am good.  And I AM mentally good.  

In a divorce the couple, whose marriage is ending, must process the changes.  Usually one of those two people (person A) is farther along in the process.  They are typically the person who files and hands the other person (person B) their dismal papers.  Consequently, person B may be at a disadvantage, they need to catch up with the emotions that spill out.  Maybe they were blindsided.  Maybe they assumed what was happening was just a normal part of a long time marriage, as children age and leave the nest. 

Regardless, the emotional playing field is not equal.   There are five stages of grief that, even in the death of a marriage, person B must go through.  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  

Having experienced the great loss of holding my mom's hand as she took her last breath after her seven month battle with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), stage four brain cancer, I am well aware of these stages.  These stages do not necessarily come and visit in a set order.  Nor do they visit just once and leave.  

I am hoping that I am nearing the stage of Acceptance.  My ex has certainly moved on.  I hear he's applied for a marriage license, just six months after our divorce, and he's buying a nice big house for his new "family".  I've also heard he has been telling others that he socked away money while we were married.  Hmm.  What a catch!  

The Anger Stage.  I have recently been visiting here again.  I'm not angry with what I am going through.  Quite the opposite.  In fact, I am grateful for the me that I have allowed to surface again.  I really like me.  I won't brag, but I have found there isn't anything I can't do when I put my mind to it.  I have also discovered the vast number of friends I have.  In the "olden days", I was told I called too many people my friend.  HAHAHAHA!!!!!  Never!  Oh, I still have moments when loneliness strikes.  Being alone is easy, being lonely, not so much.  No holding this girl down though.  I was reminded at Christmas with this Superwoman key chain gift.  

I am in the Anger stage for my children.  I feel my children are being discarded.  They no longer offer any thing person A can use, or benefit from.  They are adults.  No longer are they cute little children who turn to their parents for every little thing.  No longer do they laugh at all jokes.  No longer do they put their parents up on the pedestals that young children do.  They cannot be told 'go to bed', 'be home by...', 'No', 'because I said so", etc.  They are ready to move forward and be their own people, as they should.  They have opinions.  They question.  They have started to experience life.  

What I know... is that children, no matter how old, need to believe the best in their parents.  They want to be loved.  They want to know they can count on their parents/guardians/grandparents for unconditional love.

Divorce causes children to be forced to experience the stages of grief as well. I wish I could protect my children from this.  I have not been able to step aside in this process and ask them how they are doing.  I just haven't been able to be that strong.  I was broken myself.  Maybe now as I am feeling Acceptance upon me, I am able to see what my own two children have had to deal with.  I am so sorry for them.  Everything they believed about their childhood has been pulled out from under them. The foundation they once thought was so strong has been shattered.  All I can offer them is my love, my acceptance and my unconditional love.  

By the forward relationships they have with person A and person B, they get to continue to form their own opinions.  They get to discover truths on their own.  Life is made up of constant change.  How we handle that change defines us as individuals.  

Last night (Christmas night) I meant to blog.  Instead, I did one of those tasks I would someday get to...I listened to all the unnamed tracks on my iTunes list.  A simple little job, but one my precious time is never allowed to get to.  All tracks have been named!  My discovery?  I have a nice collection of Madonna's music.  

So tonight, I am one strong woman listening to another strong woman, knowing I helped create two strong children.  My children are the best parts of both of their parents.  Of course I'm positive they have 51% of their mom in them.  

~Lisa Scubelek-Kroll

blogging music tonight:  All Madonna...Vogue, Cherish, Crazy For You, Justify My Love, La Isla Bonita, Like a Prayer, Like a Virgin, Live to Tell, Material Girl, Open Your Heart, Papa Don't Preach, Express Yourself

Sunday, December 06, 2015

...Worth a Thousand POSITIVE Words???

My first attempt at a bathroom selfie,
at Assembly Hall tonight.
I was told duck lips were the 'in' thing.
In the world of online dating, 
there should be rules, 
for posting pictures on one's profile.  

THIS is NOT worth a thousand words.  --->

At least not positive ones.  

Do guys (and yes, I'm being one-sided) really post pictures like this you ask?  My answer is yes.  More often than you can imagine.  

Although I have considered being an online dating profile editor and helping others polish their writing, then help them choose the best pictures, my true passion remains teaching.  I will stick to my passion, and just offer my suggestions in the hope they get into the needed, proper hands.  Friends, don't let friends post a profile without help! The dating world is a harsh place to visit.  

My dating site picture posting suggestions for men (and women, if these picture types are on your profile).  

  • Profile pictures should flatter you!  
  • Smile...I'd like to assume you are a happy person.
  • Have a friend snap your picture with your phone.  Professional photos are discouraged...you seem like a diva if you go professional.  Remember, dating sites aren't LinkedIn.  
  • Do not post blurry pictures.  REPEAT:  DO NOT POST BLURRY PICTURES. Stop and get off the treadmill, I get that you work out. 
  • Check the lighting.  Outside pictures, taken during the daylight hours work the best. Dark photos are not mysterious.  I wonder what you are hiding.    
  • Put your clothes on and button your shirt. Beach pictures...I don't really want to see you in a speedo.  Especially that one of your backside as you are getting into the pool...wait, maybe I'm not who you are interested in finding. (Someone else might be into this photo, I get that.)  
  • Post current pictures.  Show me later what you looked like in high school.  I'm not really curious about what I missed out on.  Old photos make me feel that you still live in the past.  
  • Don't post pictures of your car/motorcycle. Clearly YOU care about your vehicle,  but I really don't, and I can tell it's going to rate higher in importance to you than I will.  Or else I'll think you are trying to impress me with your wealth, and then I'll just figure you are shallow.  
  • Get out of your car to take a selfie.  
  • Please post more than one picture of yourself, especially if your one picture is of you with friends of the same sex.  Which one are you???
  • Pictures with members of the opposite sex...please add a caption.  Who are those two women you are hugging???   

Bathroom selfies need their own entire paragraph.  

  • DO NOT EVER TAKE YOUR PICTURE IN A BATHROOM!!!  I don't care if it's in your bathroom.  Learn how to click the little icon to turn your camera around, extend your arm and click.  Public bathroom selfies make me laugh, and then wonder, what kind of a person is comfortable enough to take their picture in a public bathroom.  Do they walk in and say to themselves, "Darn, I look great! I need a picture for my profile." Snap!  

Now, my above selfie was set up because I had challenged a friend.  He and I were to send each other ridiculous bathroom selfies today.    

The rules were: 

  • take a picture in a public bathroom 
  • in front of the mirror
  • your phone needs to be in the picture
My friend had a great picture he sent me.  Granted he was dressed for a skit he was in for church, but he totally rocked the bathroom selfie contest today!  I was jealous, so I smack talked and told him I couldn't see the johns in his picture.  He suggested I do duck lips, he said a lot of girls think they look more sexy this way.  I reminded him I wasn't 25, but decided I'd try it.  I did not feel more sexy.  And I learned that it's really hard to take a selfie in a public bathroom!  Maybe I should try a less populated bathroom.  I can try the bathroom at my regular blogging spot next week.  I'm also thinking of starting a hash tag Instagram or Twitter thing.... #selfievanityproject...let the bathroom selfie posting begin.    

It could go vial, and that could be ridiculously fun to watch. I am up for having fun posting bathroom selfies.    

~Lisa Kroll

Tonight's music inspirations:  Straight No Chaser's Christmas music. All of their Christmas music, but particularly, Text Me Merry Christmas, featuring Kristen Bell.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Art of Growing....Lessons From a Kitten

Aging is something that happens, and yet there is an art to doing it gracefully.  

I am watching my kitten go through the stages of growing.  He started life as a very, seemingly, helpless creature. The cards were stacked against him, and yet there were basic things he could do and did.  Things that just come naturally.  

At first, he just needed to get comfortable on his feet.  He could seek out food, water and his liter box.  To accommodate his little legs, I placed a short box in between the two larger cat boxes I own.  The day I noticed him in the large cat box, I snapped a picture and sent it to my sister.  I was a proud kitty parent.  True story...but I won't post that picture.  

Pouncing was his next stage.  Just like an 18 month old child, who hides his eyes and thinks you cannot see him, Berlioz's little ears will stick up, as he crouches down just as far as he can go.  With eyes out of sight, his hind end wiggles, and then comes the pounce. I am amazed at how quickly Berlioz has transitioned from pouncing to teething, and climbing.  

I have a cat tower and Berlioz is a daredevil. I could easily waste hours watching his antics, expecting him to tumble off at any moment.  Through all his play he is learning.  

Leaping seems to be his upcoming stage.  His legs are becoming more lanky and his body is growing longer.  

I know that there will come a point when I believe Berlioz will stop growing, but I know he will not stop aging.  

How does all this relate to me?  I am still growing...aging.  Just when I think I have life all figured out, I realize I do not.  Even that is progress.  I love having my own place.  I love being able to decide what I want to do, with whom and when.  I am learning as I age, I need to fill my time with activities where I am surrounded by others.  I am a social being, and I think that is a very, human characteristic.  

Just as Berlioz is growing, I am too.  He needs to practice his new skills and so do I.  I think as humans, we do not want to be rejected, so we may be apprehensive to take risks.  I know this is true for me.  My internal battle hinges on Saturdays.  In order to keep from being rejected, and yet have the human interactions for which I long, I head out of my house to blog.  Am I hiding in plain sight?  Can you see my eyes?  (I promise to only wiggle my hind end when I'm dancing!)  I do want to pounce on life.  I will keep practicing, but I'm not really sure how to move forward right now.  The ledge of rejection is narrow and I do not want to risk being hurt over and over.  I admire those who are willing to walk on that ledge.  I think I need to go home and watch Berlioz a little more.  Then, I need to  throw my whole heart and soul into my practice.  

~Lisa Kroll

Blogging music tonight:  Ed Sheeran, of course.  
Please feel free to recommend another artist to me.  
I do enjoy my wordsmith though.  :)