Saturday, November 10, 2007

Easing back into

the blogosphere

I feel as if I've been away from family! I'm looking forward to reestablishing contact with my blogging buddies, find out how each of you are doing and visiting your sites. You have no idea how much I have missed you!

For this post, my mood is reflective. I have been listening to recording artist Joss Stone. She's awesome! A song on her current album really touches my soul. I listen to it every chance I get - Bruised But Not Broken. The lyrics are by Diane Warren.

My love for this song has nothing to do with being lovelorn over some guy. It does reflect my philosophy on coping when the going gets tough.

Bruised But Not Broken

Been a lot that I’ve been through
I’ve cried a tear a time or two,
Baby, you I cried some over you, yeah
Had my heart kicked to the ground
Love ripped me up and tore me down, baby
But that ain’t enough to break me
‘Cause I’ll rise above it
And I’ll pick myself up
And I’ll dust the pain off, off my heart


And I’ll be all right, and I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I’ll get back on my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised by not broken

Been a lot of tear-stained nights
I thought the tears were here for life, baby
The hurt came on and held on tight
I took a chance, I took a fall
Love broke my heart and shattered all my dreams
But I won’t be down on my knees
‘Cause I’ll rise above it
And I’ll pick myself up
And I’ll shake the rain out of my heart


And I’ll be all right, and I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade,
I’ll get back on my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken

Gonna pick my heart up
Take my life back, shake the hurt away
Pull myself together, put the pieces back in place
See I’ve learned love’s so hard
Love left my soul scarred, was shattered inside
It’s out me, baby


And I’ll be all right, and I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I’ll get back on my feet
It’s not the end of me
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken

And I’ll be all right, and I’ll love again
And the wounds will mend
I’m bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I’ll get back on my feet
It’s not the end of me, baby
My heart is still open
I’m bruised but not broken,
Bruised but not broken
Bruised but not … but not broken, ooh

To listen to Bruised But Not Broken, click here.
Are you familiar with the work of singer Joss Stone?

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Let's talk about love (encore)

I just enjoyed reading an earlier post. Just click on the header. Perhaps you will enjoy this as much as I.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A salute to spring

To walks
To strolling
To kicking rocks across the street
To holding hands
To silly jokes
To laughter for no particular reason

To incredibly blue skies
To astoundingly white clouds

To nights so black
To stars so twinkly
To the man in the moon smiling down

To clearing a patch and planting seeds
To tomatoes free from tomato rot

To rainy days
To stormy nights
To cold mornings

To hot coffee
To bologna sandwiches
To chocolate chip cookies

To happiness
To Spring

- Unknown -

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

'Earth to Naomi'

Blogging typically serves as therapy for me. It serves a creative and emotional outlet. However, recently, I haven't been publishing with any regularity. Why? There are two reasons, which are related.

1. I've had a rocky experience on the job that I accepted in the fall. I love my work. However, there were people issues over which I had no control - crazy stuff. But I'm surviving it. In fact, just a week ago, I was suddenly reassigned - temporarily - to the executive office at headquarters. One of the senior officers called my boss, requesting me.

2. I've been dealing with major depression for months. It just has a way of popping up. Actually, I was diagnosed with major depression many years ago, but I have always worked very hard to keep going in spite of it.

Not a day goes by when I don't think about you, my readers. You have given me so much in friendship.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging regularly. But please bear with me as I work to get myself back. For the moment, I'm a bit of a recluse. I have a lot to say, much of it humorous. But somehow I can't get it out. But that will change. Maybe the change will happen this week on my birthday. :)

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

As seen on bumper stickers

- So many men, so few who can afford me.

- God made us sisters; Prozac made us friends.

- Princess, having had sufficient experience with princes, seeks frog.

- Coffee, chocolate, men - some things are just better rich.

- I'm out of estrogen, and I have a gun.

- Do not start with me. You will not win.

- All stressed out and no one to choke.

- I'm one of those bad things that happens to good people.

- If we are what we eat, I'm fast, cheap and easy.

- Don't upset me! I'm running out of places to bury the bodies.

- If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.

- How can I miss you if you won't go away?

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Quote of the week

Never place

a period

where God

has placed

a comma.

- Gracie Allen

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Examining alternative 'marriages' in the Arab world

In Iraq, some men practice the "enjoyment marriage," also known as "mutaa." Shiite clerics and others who practice mutaa, say the unions are not much different from a traditional marriage, where the husband pays the wife's family a dowry and provides for her financially.

Proponents of mutaa say such marriages are keeping young women from having unwed sex and widowed or divorced women from resorting to prostitution to make money. Critics of enjoyment marriages, most of them Sunni Arabs, say it is less about religious freedom and more about economic exploitation.

Is a mutaa contract really in the best interest of Muslim families? and the Washington Post examine this ancient tradition.

As I was researching mutaa contracts, I ran across a story in the Middle East Times that describes the misyar marriage, a no strings attached arrangement practiced by some Sunni men.

What do mutaa and misyar marriages say about these men's commitment to Muslim women? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Could someone tell my dad?

Your Power Level is: 89%

You have all the tools you need to be a success - both professionally and personally.
You'll probably go beyond reaching your goals. You'll change the world (at least a little).

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Brief update

With the exception of a couple of things, life hasn't changed too much since my last post. I'm still looking for a place to live. I thought I had found one this week, but it didn't work out. One of my colleagues is helping me look, and I am very thankful for that. He has lots of contacts with people who own property or have knowledge of resources.

I've been updating my son about my "progress". I told him that I noticed that he had been pretty quiet recently - and if I had done anything to annoy him, I needed to know. My son assured me that I had done nothing wrong. But he repeated what he had said before - that he can't "do certain things" at his apartment while I am here. I assured my son that he didn't have to worry about me staying with him long-term because while I'm living with him, I can't do a lot of things.

I must admit that for a few days, I wasn't really happy with my son, although I respected his need to have his privacy again. So, for a few days, I stopped doing some of the things I typically did - like cooking dinner for two and buying food for both of us.

I just cooked for myself. I only bought food that I liked. I wasn't angry at my son. I was a bit disappointed. I'm not the kind of mom who tries to put her children on guilt trips, but I couldn't help remembering all of the sacrifices I had made for my son. I also remembered how proud I am of my son - that he really is a wonderful young man. He isn't perfect, but neither am I. One day the burden I had been feeling went away. I knew I had to let the hurt feelings go if I was going to continue to move forward.

I'm sure everything will work itself out. It will just take some perseverance and patience. I am grateful for having people here who care - and for having a colleague at work who is willing to make calls every day on my behalf.

As for other things going on, my daughter's godfather and I exchanged heated words last weekend. Godfather started whining about my daughter's pregnancy. As far as I'm concerned, we need to move on. I apologized for getting angry, but Godfather isn't taking my calls. I know that I'll simply have to wait him out.

Even so, life is good, and it's going to get even better. Thanks to all who share my feelings of hope.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Poem of the day


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Thanks to Sidhusaaheb for sharing this Kipling gem.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Quote of the day

There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor,
and we are funny to God.

- Bill Cosby

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

It goes on and on for days, then suddenly it gets worse

Some days I just have too much "life". Wednesday evening is a perfect example.

After working a long day at the school, I went to visit my daughter and the baby. The kids are still staying with friends, while I live nearby with my young adult son. My daughter, grandson and I been moving around a lot during the past year. Technically, we're homeless. In a post a couple of months ago, I wrote about the living situation where my daughter lives currently - a household with a lot of females. Wednesday night I saw firsthand what she's dealing with.

When I went to the house, I had planned to just drop off money to my daughter, "Anne," rather than visit, so that she could get some rest. When I saw my daughter at the door, however, I could tell something was not right with her. She looked unhappy and stressed. I decided that I'd go inside to talk with Anne. I wanted to do this privately, away from everyone else in the household.

Sometimes the best thing a parent can do is listen

It took some doing, but I finally got my daughter to start talking. I listened. Sometimes my daughter doesn't want to talk about what's bothering her. But I've learned that if I can get to talk at all about something, she decompresses and eventually returns to her bubbly, inspirational self. But something happened that shot my efforts all to hell.

The mom of the house, "Mary," stuck her head in the room we were in, and asked suspiciously what was going on. But before we could answer, she said, "I don't like it when you two sit in here and talk about me." I looked at Mary in amazement. She continued to talk.

"I could see the tension in Anne's face when she came inside. So I guess she said something to you. She's been walking around here looking unhappy. I asked her what was wrong several times, but she wouldn't tell me. Now she's talking to you in my house."

Can't we all just get along?

The situation escalated. The more Mary talked, the more upset my daughter became.

"I didn't ask my mom to come inside, and we weren't talking about you!" Anne said in frustration.

"All you do is take me for granted!" Mary countered.

By this time, all the little kids and Mary's 19-year old daughter had come into the room. All I could think was that we needed to clear the room quickly.

"Mary, could we get all the kids out of the room so we can have a private conversation?" I asked as calmly as I could.

"You always take up for her!" Mary screamed. Clearly, she was taking this whole thing personally and was hurt. At that moment, I felt as if I were the only grownup in the room.

Now it gets ugly

It finally happened. My daughter exploded. She yelled back at Mary and started cursing. Anne is very respectful of adults, and it is not her personality to curse. When Mary's 19-year old daughter heard Anne's outburst, she got into the act and started screaming accusations at my daughter.

You get the idea. Meanwhile, there were all these little kids around us, including my 11-month old grandson. And my daughter just burst into tears.

I was very frustrated because I had tried to prevent this outburst from happening. I didn't want to see anyone hurt - not my daughter, not Mary, and I certain didn't want the children witnessing this. I certainly don't condone my daughter's behavior, but I think Mary pushed her over the edge.

Eventually, I got a tearful Mary to go behind closed doors where we could talk. I left my sobbing daughter in the other room. That was hard to do, but I felt that I really needed to talk to Mary first. I kept my composure as Mary sobbed about how she considers my daughter to be her own and how much she loves her, but she wouldn't allow any child to disrespect her. I assured Mary that my daughter was already grieving about her outburst and that she would apologize.

I offered to start looking for another place for my daughter and the baby to live. The last thing we wanted to do was to disrupt someone else's household. Mary wouldn't hear of it. I have been dragging the kids from one place to another for almost a year. Mary was the one who invited my kids into her house. She's really an angel.

Mary knows how much I want my daughter and I to have our own place again - how much I want to give my son his privacy back, especially since he lives in a one-bedroom apartment. There's one problem, though. My job carries lots of responsibilities, but it pays slightly above the poverty level. In addition, once I accepted the position, the state decided that I no longer qualify for public assistance for food. I'm appealing the state's decision. The assistance helped me to feed my family.

A return to peace

By the time I left Mary's house, she and my daughter were hugging and saying "I'm sorry." They were smiling. So was everyone else in the house.

I smiled back, then hugged everyone and said good night. I was very, very weary, but I didn't let it show. By the time I got home, I was numb.

I told my son about the incident later that night. He listened. Then he suggested that I should be putting more effort in finding my own place. His message was short and sweet. He was uncomfortable in his own house because I was there.

"You've been here five months," he said.

I looked at my son. I didn't argue. I made my bed on the sofa and went to sleep.

In the end, I know everything will get sorted out. We'll all get our lives back. For a couple of days, it hurt like hell. Here's to character-building moments.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ordinary Heroes

Ordinary heroes walk
among us with
uncommon bravery
and profound care.

Some wear uniforms
and carry badges.
Some do not,
but all wear the
armor of integrity,
compassion, courage,
and honor.

Our greatest heroes
know that great things
come from a series
of small actions.

They know how to
protect and defend
so that others may live.
Their love, compassion,
and bravery
are God’s touch
upon humanity.

- Unknown

Who is your hero?

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