Monday, September 01, 2014

Pockets and Bubbles

I have not ridden my scooter in over a year. I cannot get it to start. It has a flat tire.   I bought a new battery for it.  It tries to start but it just makes the noises and does not catch and sputter to life.

Every night I drive home and it just looks at me.  Happy, inviting and pink but, no life.

No joy.

That is how my life has looked for a while now....happy and inviting on the top side but paddling like hell underneath and not getting anywhere.

I have not had any real time to breathe for a long time now.  I guess that has been a good thing.  I have gotten a lot of things accomplished for the outside and I have done it well.  All the while, getting more and more numb.

I stopped chasing joy.

I have always had a very good charmed life.  I know that at the very core of my being.  There was just a few rough patches but, I would not change them for anything.  I am a happy person.  But, numbness is fickle and it sneaks up on you.  It steals your joy.  Instead of chasing it like I normally do when it is slipping through my fingers, I just watched it leave.

I was numb enough for awhile that I did not care.  I was content to be in that place where I did not feel anything.  I lost myself and some other people during that time.  I worked, took care of what I needed to for mom, slept and ate.  The giant blue bubble around me just got smaller and smaller.  I stopped being able to sleep.  I became prickly and on edge.  It got harder.

Then I began to notice something.  There were small pockets of joy.  The would show up and I would suck them in like I was going down for the third and final time.  Those small pockets saved me even before I knew that I needed saving.

They came beside the ocean...with the rain falling down on me and the waves making background music.

They came listening to my co-workers laugh.

They came when Camille hugs me.

They came when tiny baby girl was in my arms.

They came in a Dr. Who episodes that make me laugh and cry.

They came in lunches and suppers across the table from a good friend.

They came in the hug of a clown.

They came with unexpected kindnesses. 

They came sitting at the dinner table with my kids and grands and hearing V give thanks for me being there.

They came on a Saturday morning wrapped in a sheet in front of a camp fire surrounded by women who know me even when I think I am hidden.

It seems like joy chased me when I was too tired to chase it.

I am very grateful that the pockets are getting bigger.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I have now been at my job for 18 years and 3 days.  A job I was never supposed to have in a town I was never supposed to live in.  Living a life I was never supposed to live.

I was supposed to grow up, get married, have babies, drive a mini van,take the kids to soccer and girl scouts and have a 50th wedding anniversary

The back up plan was to get married, have babies, go to college at night and then become a speech and drama teacher. 

Instead....I almost got grown up, got pregnant, got married, got divorced, got married, got pregnant, got divorced, went to college, grew up kinda and became a probation officer.

Well...I got the drama part right. 

The woman I was supposed to be is a runner (I have no IDEA why!!  But she is that in my mind...never mind I do not even like to walk briskly).  She is slender and tucks her shirt in.  She has white teeth and wears cute Toms and never ever yells.  She is the VP of the PTA and always takes the best decorated cupcakes to all of the bake sales. She is cute and everyone smiles when her name is mentioned.

In reality, this week, I ate a whole bag of Cheetos in less than 24 hours.  I had it hidden in the bottom drawer of my desk at work.  I taught my classes. I got very little sleep.  I cried.  

I DO wear Toms.  Got 2 pair at Goodwill this week.  GO ME!!  I think the other Mindy would have only purchased them at the store so some child could have gotten a free pair.

I ended up being smack dabbed exactly where I was never ever supposed to be.

And I could not be any happier about it. 

Long before I ever even applied for this job, my life  had already intertwined with those that were already there.

I had a summer micro term with one E.  We did not figure it out until later.
J had babysat the first guy I ever kissed.  
I went to school with one of their wives....he came all the way from another state.
Rach and I went to the same junior high in my birth town...she likes to point out *a decade apart*.
M2 grew up with a guy and ended up at the same college he was attending.   She graduated...he did not at that time...he and I later became friends when I attended that college.

'hole lot of 6 degrees of separation there huh?

So, what would I say to *that* Mindy?  Stop being afraid. See people for who they are and not for what they could possibly be.  Your boobs are always going to be big.  Seriously, BIG.  You will still get to teach....just not in a way that you could have ever imagined.  Stop doing something because someone else thinks that you should.  Listen to your heart.  There will come a time, trust me on this, that you will feel comfortable about who you are.  For Reals.  Truly...TRULY be open.....because there are going to be people that you meet up with that are supposed to be in your life....let them in.  Keep planting those seeds regardless.  Know that you can be sweet and strong all at the same time.

But, most of all, be ready....cause your life is about to make a really surprising turn and OMG you are so going to love the characters in this novela.  


...cue that bodacious theme music..... I have so missed you. 

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


...and you don't throw a fit.  ~grins~
Everyone I know seems to be tired, going through something or just kinda blah.  So, let's have a swap!  ~laffin~  Why not add a little pressure to your day.

We are going to swap stuffed envelopes.  It's kinda of a *you get what you get and you don't throw a fit* swap.  All that you will be required to do is STUFF AN ENVELOPE WITH RANDOM THINGS and send it out by the deadline.

The rules:

1.   Sign up by leaving a comment here and/or facebook. Just tell me you want to swap. 
2.   Let me know if there is something that will keep you from swapping with someone. are allergic to cats or you are a vampire and cannot get to the post office during the day time or you have a weird aversion to manila envelopes or something.  That way I do not pair you up with someone who is compatible. 
3.  No Lisa, you cannot mail your son's basset hound through the mail.
4.  Buy an 8.5 X 11 envelope.  You can get a set of 2 at Dollar Tree for $1.00.
5.  Stuff that envelope.  Stuff it good with what ever you want to set free.
6.  Do NOT make this difficult.  Don't go asking what your partner WANTS and stuff like that.  Just sent em what's ya got.
7.  Have I mentioned that I have to stay out of Dollar Tree.  I go in for 1 DAMNED THING and come out with $17.00 dollars worth.  All at a dollar a pop.  SMH
8.  Are you even still reading?  You would really be surprised what happens if you follow rule #6.  Most of the time what you send out is just perfect.
9.  Children are also not allowed to be mailed through the US mail.
10.  Mail your envelope out by the deadline.

SIGN UPS WILL CLOSE THIS SUNDAY 3/9/14.  Send outs will be the last day of the month.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

There has been some questions on how I pair up swappers.  I posted a pic of a big old bowl and everyone's names on FB last time.  That is truly how I pair people up.  I have been known to tamper fix help the selection along once or twice.  I have hand picked when I know that there is an allergy.  I have also put names BACK into the bowl if I pull people that I know have been swap partners before or are already good friends.  I like everyone to try to meet new people.  I don't even hand pick who I swap with.  It is totally left up to chance.  I really wish you could have seen the things that I got to see on my end last time with the swapper pairings.  Some people were just SUPPOSED to be paired up and it was great. swapper can totally fill my envelope up with cash or samples so that I can TRAVEL!  ~grins~

Thursday, February 13, 2014


 For several years I have hosted Pantipalooza.  My friends and I set aside Valentine's Day to do for people that were down on their luck or hurting. I always focused on my local Women's Crisis Center.  Through out the year I would buy panties and things to just make life easier for women.

Then last year I just stopped.  So many of you were good and continued doing what you had been doing. But I didn't.

I am not sure why I stopped.  Life got busy?  I did not have time?  Stress?

Maybe I forgot.  Lord help me...I forgot how it feels to be on the opposite end of things. 

Valentines Day is a difficult day for a whole lot of and women alike.  My brother *affectionately*  calls it Single Awareness Day.  People are going through things that are hard for us to even imagine.  Some are just lonely.  Most times we do not even know who those people are. We all are good at wearing our masks.
So, even though I have dropped the ball two years in a row now, I am going to issue you a challenge  I am going to ask you  I am going to guilt you into   I am going to DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU to use Valentine's day to use your powers for good.

I ask you to do something...anything...for someone or some agency on Valentine's day.  A simple or a complex act of kindness.  Diapers for a local agency *waves at Claire and her generous yearly donation of "tiny panties"*, paying for an order in the drive through, a gift card left where someone can find it, flowers, candy, a Valentine card,  a phone call or a text.  I promise you that nothing you will do will be too small.

and then when you do that, can you do one more tiny thing for me?  Post what you did on my page.  I will be so grateful.

 ....who is excited to welcome in new Royalty into the Kingdom of Pantilona....a most wonderful place where everyone wears their rocketship underpants.  It's right next door to Wonka's place.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


The word prompt this week is: Selfie.

I actually like taking pictures of myself.  I know that is totally odd.  I am normally the one behind the camera.  Cell phones changed all of that.  I take them all the time.  I tend to only be pleased with the ones in which I am wearing a hat or my sunglasses. I also LOVE picmonkey to alter and *fix* my pictures.  I always *touch up* my pictures.

                                                   Cell phone pic.  Only cropped no other retouches. 
The older I get, the more I have come to love my body.  Oh, don't get me wrong!  I can rattle off my *faults* in a heart beat.  See that line between my eyes?  OMG you cannot see it?!?!?  It has been there for years. In my mind you could lay a pencil in it.   It's the first thing I see when I look at myself.  I also hate my teeth, my boobs and how my nails look naturally.

But in my later 40's I have come to learn to be at peace with my body.  It has really served me well.  I have had only one real health scare.  It has birthed two babies.  No broken bones.  10 fingers 10 toes.

I have also learned to love my life.  I have touched on it before.....I was always afraid.  Also thinking some clown was going to jump out from behind the door.  A few years ago I thought *f that*.  I started working on my bucket list.  I started learning how to face my fears.  I learned  to sleep without a cover.  AAhhh...well you can strike that last one.  Everyone knows that if you have a cover on you, nothing can get you while you sleep.  

In June I realized, I am not scared anymore.  

So here I am, rockin' and rolling.  Checking things off my bucket list.  Growing....moving forward.

I have always thought that I am my own worst enemy.  And I thought I had conquered Mindy.

Then I got a phone call this morning.


She used her sweet voice.  The one that sounds like *oh yes I would LOVE to make the cookies for the bake sale thank you SO MUCH for calling me* voice.

" I don't mean this rude.  I don't mean this in a manipulative way.  I don't mean this cruelly but,I don't like the person you have become. I do not like that you are not a sweet caring person anymore.  You have pushed everyone away and no one likes who you have become.  You are trying to reinvent yourself and do things and you do not have to do that.  You are just fine the way that you are. "


I calmly told her fine and thank you for your thoughts and hung up the phone.  I was so stunned that I did not even try to argue or defend myself.  There was no reason to.  It would not have mattered. 

I have heard it all before.  She has said different versions of the words as I grew up. " I am so disappointed in you.  You are too fat.  You are  too skinny.  I liked you better were at least nice then.  I hate that you are not sweet like you were in high school." 

*Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.*

Bullshit.  I would rather see the bruises on the outside.  People do not think they hurt you if they cannot see the bruises.  Words are SO.DAMN.POWERFUL.

I am secure in myself.  I think that is the very first time that I have ever fully realized that.

So I say all of that to say this.....
                                           Infamous bathroom pic.  No if you cannot tell.
I refuse to change who or what I am to suit someones idea of beauty anymore.  That means outer or inner beauty.  You are either in my life or out.

And I am fine with either choice that you make.

...those words did wound me....but those words are not mine to hold.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


 I think people can get overwhelmed when they come inside my home because of the amount of things that I have.  I love things on the walls.  I love things on shelves.  I love photos displayed all over the place.  My boss has even said that being in my office is like shopping in Kirkland's.

I love things.

I am getting better about letting go of things.  I have learned to simply recycle creamer containers and tins.  Though it still hurts my heart sometimes.  In fact, I have to make myself not go through the recycling bins when I drop my stuff off.  I just KNOW that there are things in there that I NEED!  ~laffin~  Despite all of the things that are in my home, I know, without a doubt, what I would grab up if I had to evacuate my home within 5-10 minutes.  

Here is a glimpse and some explanations:
 I am a prepper so, I am sure it come as no surprise to you that I have a bug out bag (let me know if you want to see inside of it...that's a whole post in and of it's self).  I do not have to get any important papers out because extra copies of those are stored in a safe place away from the house.  Also in the pic is a blanket that I recently recovered from my parent's garage.  I remember laying under it when I was a little bitty girl.  The leashes represent all of the fur babies.  They will be the first things that I get out and get secured.  There are 2 of my favorites pics of my kids.  Mr. Bear ~waves at Cade~.  That tiny red sweater was my Daddy's and the pillow cases that were made and used by my great grandmother (mom's side).  Also included would be my cell phone (DUH!), car keys (that sat on the bed and did not make it into the photo) and my camera.  The cream and black box is SO IMPORTANT!  It is my treasure box.  It will totally make it out.

 Inside the treasure box:
 LOTS of goodies! I am just showing you a few things.  Mementos of my kid's childhoods, wedding rings, my first Bible that I can remember carrying, an apron that was given to me at my Mom's baby shower when she was still pregnant with my brother, tracings of the grands hands when they first got here , a tiny honey label of my daddy's, old photos of my parents and grandparents, my grandmother's doilies (Daddy's side)(that she made) and my grandfather's (Mom's side) western things that sat on a bookcase at his home and I always played with, my VERY FAVORITE birthday card, aaaahhhh baby teeth and hair...that can be really sweetly sentimental or very creepy, graduation and honor cords, shadow pictures of Camille and I when we were around the same age, people that I love's handwriting, flash drives with pics and my Daddy's Highway Patrol ring.
Deep in my heart I know that all that I have shared with you is just...things.  Things that you might pick up and study at a garage sale but would leave behind because they would have no value to you.  Things that will eventually break down and turn to dust. 

But if you told me that I could only leave the house with just one thing from my treasure box....this is what I would choose.  This is the one item that I could not leave behind.

This is a letter that my Daddy wrote to his Aunt and Uncle.   I was born on October 13, 1962.  The letter is postmarked October 19, 1962.  It's about me.  His Aunt saved the letter and gave it to my Grandmother.  She, thankfully, saved it.  She gave it to me about 20 years or so ago.   I am ever so grateful that she saved it.  

The first line says *Well I got me a little girl and she sure is beautiful.*
 And I know from the bottom of my heart...that every day of my life, he thought that.

 ....thinks that her next tattoo is somewhere in that letter.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I don't see art like a lot of people.  I can go to art galleries and it's....eerrrmm....nice (?) but it rarely does anything for me.  People go on and on about what they see or the feelings that a piece stir within them.  Me?  I'm like "That is a nice color.  What are we having for lunch?  I saw a funky little taco place around the corner!"  

Then one night, years ago, I was teaching class and one of the guys mentioned that he was painting entirely differently now that he was clean and sober.  He told us that it had really taken him by surprise.  When he was using, he painted dark disturbing images.  That had changed and he said that it was like his art had taken on a different life.  We invited him to bring some stuff in to show us.  I was like yeah yeah yeah *artist*.

The next class he brought in several paintings.  He brought in the last piece and turned it around...and I lost my breath.  My heart leapt into my throat and I thought I was going to cry.  I asked him if he would sell the painting to me.  He told me that it was not for sale.  We went on with class but I could not get the painting out of my mind.  He called me several weeks later and told me that I could buy the painting.

I am still just as in love with it as the first night that I laid eyes on it.  The circular motions are so liquid to me.  The colors are like words.  My first piece of art.

My second piece of art comes from the beautiful and talented Nicole Maki.  She is a mixed media artist....the most amazing one that I have ever had the privileged of *knowing*.  I have several things that she has gifted me.  She has an etsy page (go look NOW! you will not be disappointed...she has been doing some spoon art lately and you will flip out!)  and I was always watching... watching... watching to see if she posts something that would make me hit purchase.  But nothing said MINE.  I asked her if I could commission her to do a piece for me.  She was happy to do so and told me that she had considered doing it before I ever asked her.  Now keep in mind she only knows me through my blog and on facebook.  She has only know me about 2 years through those two outlets.  This is what she created for me.
 Just look at it!  Does it not just SCREAM Mindy?!?!?!  The colors, the saying, the tail, the crown, the M's, the flying pig, the earring and boots!  All ME!

One of the things that I love about my home is that I get to have my own studio.   I am not an artist.  I consider myself a craftsperson.  I dabble in lots of different things.

I love fabric!  This is the lap quilt that I made for my daddy.  He loved it!
 Pillowcases I made for Marty.

 I love photography...especially black and white.  One of my favorite pictures of my daddy's sunflowers.
 And these are my mom's hollyhocks.

I love to re-purpose things.  This is the pink chandelier in my room. 

My first attempt at mixed media.  It has notes that mean something to me hidden inside of the layers.

What I am working on now....

If you saw the amount of paint on my shirts, you would think I was a great artist.  Creating keeps me on this side of sanity.  I might be culturally dyslexic (lol) but I am smart enough to snatch up what speaks to me.  


lol the word prompt is *I gots nothing*