Dec 29, 2012

Six Word Saturday ~ 12/29/31


My first book is on Amazon


Dirt Road Dreams, my first book of poetry
is now available on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Susie-Clevenger/e/B00AQNQWTO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

What is your day in six words?

Dec 14, 2012

More Love Letters ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters



This is the twelfth day, the last day, of the 12 days of love letter writing. It has been an amazing experience. So glad I took part in it. Today's letter goes out to Justin.


"Justin is in the Army and was recently sent back to Germany, away from all of his friends and family. He is currently working through a divorce and is struggling with a few health issues. His family wrote, "He continues to serve our country on a daily basis and has to put his own needs and concerns aside. Justin could use someone to just come alongside him and say that it'll all be okay, that he'll make it."


Writing love letters is an ongoing project. Go to moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather

More Love Letters Day ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


This is day eleven of the 12 days of love letter writing. Today's letter goes out to Madeline.


“Madeline, due to depression and anxiety issues, left high school last year to home school herself. She has made some progress but has fallen behind in her studies and really needs some motivation to keep going even though she is falling behind even more everyday. Her letter request writes, “It was this time last year when she left school and I know she is very prone to become depressed again in the winter time. I try to involve her in social activities as much as I can as she will isolate herself otherwise but I think a little love from a stranger could really help her outlook on life right now.”



If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather


Dec 12, 2012

More Love Letters ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


The tenth day of the twelve days of love letter writing!! Can't believe it has gone by so fast. Today's letter is for Hannah.


“Hannah is a senior in high school. She is in the midst of applying to college. Unfortunately, she may not be able to afford her dream school. Her best friend and the requester of this love letter bundle wrote, “She has also recently confided in me about a history of depression that began at around the start of high school. Hannah needs someone, if even a stranger, to tell her that she is really something. That she deserves love. All of it. Especially from herself.”


If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather


Dec 11, 2012

More Love Letters Day 9 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


Gosh, this is the 9th day of the 12 days of love letter writing. It is really going fast.  Today's letter is for Winnie.


“Winnie is a first year graduate student who is living on the East Coast for the first time. She is originally from the west coast where her whole family is. In addition to being an awesome person who juggles schoolwork, social life and classes, she is also battling a chronic autoimmune disease. Her letter requester writers,”She balances all these things with strength, optimism and grace. She puts on a brave face for those around her who don’t even know she is sick but I know there are times she worries and gets scared about her health limiting her in what she can do. Any words to encourage or advise her in keeping her head up high or that there is a light at the end of the tunnel even when it’s hard to see or believe, would be very much appreciated.” We need your cursive to help Winnie see how much the world values her strength and loves her without question.”


If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather


Dec 10, 2012

More Love Letters Day 8 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


This is Day 8 of the 12 days of love letter writing. Today's letter goes to Brandon who just recently lost his father. I totally understand what he is going through having lost my father last year.

“As Brandon was turning 23, and his adult life was just beginning, his dad was diagnosed with cancer. Hardly able to cope with the idea that his dad may not see him engaged, be at his wedding, meet his children, give him advice, Brandon did not want to deal with at all. He completely shut himself out. Only a few weeks later, Brandon’s dad called him. The doctor had told him he had three weeks to a month left, he wanted his only son to come see him. His letter requester, and loving fiance, writes, “Brandon was ripped apart, how could this be happening so fast? It took him a few days, but finally Brandon got up the courage to take the trip to spend those last few weeks with his dad. This has put a heavy burden on Brandon’s life, and I can see it in his eyes, and in the slowness of his movements every day. I want my beautiful fiance to know that he is loved by me and by the world, that he is not alone in his loss, and that he can still be the man that his dad was proud of. I want him to know it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to miss him, and that it’s okay to really laugh again. I need your help in healing both the boy I fell in love, and the man he has become.”




If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather


Dec 9, 2012

More Love Letters Day 7 #the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


Well, it is day 7 of the 12 days of love letter writing. This weekend's project was two days of letter writing for those who suffered loss in Hurricane Sandy.


Back in October, lives across the northeast were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Almost two monts later, over 30,000 individuals in the Rockways are still seeing the aftermath as they grapple with little to no power and live in gutted houses. We knew this wasn’t a 1 day kind of mission so we are giving the entire weekend to love letters for the folks of the Rockaways.
Write 1, 2, maybe even 3 love letters!
We’ve paired with East End Cares to make this mission possible. They will be on the ground delivering all love letters to people in need. While we realize that a love letter can change the entire situation and reassemble whatever a person has lost, we are also all too aware of the power behind a good note. So get scripting!




If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather


Dec 8, 2012

More Love Letters Day 6 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


Half way through....this is day 6 of the 12 days of love letter writing. The whole weekend has been dedicated to write to those who were effected by Hurricane Sandy.


Back in October, lives across the northeast were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Almost two monts later, over 30,000 individuals in the Rockways are still seeing the aftermath as they grapple with little to no power and live in gutted houses. We knew this wasn’t a 1 day kind of mission so we are giving the entire weekend to love letters for the folks of the Rockaways.
Write 1, 2, maybe even 3 love letters!
We’ve paired with East End Cares to make this mission possible. They will be on the ground delivering all love letters to people in need. While we realize that a love letter can change the entire situation and reassemble whatever a person has lost, we are also all too aware of the power behind a good note. So get scripting!


If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                              Willa Cather

Six Word Saturday


Day six of love letter writing



I have been participating in

More Love Letters

It is the heart felt mission of 
To learn more about it and to get involved just go to the links above and it will explain it to you. Happy love letter writing. S

Dec 7, 2012

More Love Letters Day 5 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters #


Well, it is already day 5 of the 12 days of love letter writing and today's letter goes out to Johnathan.


“Johnathan celebrated sixth months sober just a few days ago. In his short two decades of life he’s seen parents divorce, a brother die, and numerous friends stunted by drug addiction. He was just recently promoted at work and is finally feeling better about his life and his self. His letter requester wrote, “I believe that I will not always be a part of his life, although we are both major supports for each other right now. I want for Johnathan to learn and always remember that no matter how many people he loses, there will always be more love to be found and that he will never have to be alone as long as he remembers never to stop searching for the light.” We have such an opportunity to bless this man’s life. Please help us in sending him a big ol’ Bundle of love. 



If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”
                                                   Mary Ann Radmacher

Dec 6, 2012

More Love Letters Day 4 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


Today is day 4 of the 12 days of love letter writing. Today's letter goes out to Maripat.


“Maripat is on the verge of retirement after a long and overworked career as a funeral director. She has served families in vulnerable moments for many years and, even as she grows older, she still commits most of her time to work. She is definitely slowing down, with aches in her joints, high stress, and an upcoming foot surgery …the whole family is waiting for her and her husband to retire already so that they can finally relax and enjoy the beach, their grandkids, and everything they have worked so hard for. We love nothing more than the chance to bless Maripat for her hard work with love letters this holiday season.


If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.

“it is (often) the quiet gesture which carries the most significance - the one which suddenly directs the symphony.” 
                                                                  Mary Anne Radmacher

Dec 5, 2012

More Love Letters Day 3 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters



Today is day 3 of the 12 days of love letter writing and today's letter goes out to Barbara.

“Barbara is in her early 60′s and suffers multiple health problems, including arthritis. She is a breast cancer survivor, and she often struggles with depression. Despite a tough life, Barbara is a joyful and tireless foster mom and full-time caregiver for 20+ adult dogs and several cats…not to mention her mother. In return for her extremely hard work for these dogs, she lives in the rural farmhouse-turned-home for animals, owned by the two beautiful folks who requested this love letter bundle on her behalf. They write, “when we first discussed this arrangement, Barbara asked if she could name the sanctuary. She chose the name “Second Chance” – not just because the dogs there have a second chance for life, but because Barbara felt as though she was given a second chance… to live in a home she loves and do work that feeds her soul.” Between the physically and emotionally exhausting work of caring for these animals, Barbara works long hours on the property itself, always striving to make it a beautiful, healing place of peace for the animals and visitors. We cannot think of a more deserving person to receive a random happy gift of love and encouragement than Barbara! "





If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way."
Mary Ann Radmacher

Dec 4, 2012

More Love Letters Day 2 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Days @moreloveletters


This is day 2 of the twelve days of love letter writing. Today's letter goes out to Lezlie.

“Lezlie is a hardworking individual with a heart of gold. Recently she was struck with major heartache. Her precious daughter passed away last January. Soon it will be the one year anniversary of her daughter’s death and this will be the first holiday season without her daughter. Her daughter’s 21st birthday would have been at the end of December. She needs some positive reinforcement as she goes through this difficult time. Please shower her with light and love to show her that she is far from alone during this holiday season. “


In my letter to Lezlie I conveyed my sympathy for the loss of her daughter and told her I planned to buy a gift for a needy child and sign it "From Lezlie"s Angel" in honor of her child. I told her she was surrounded by love from those she knew and those she didn't.

If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."  Mary Ann Radmacher

More Love Letters Day 1 ~ the 12 days of love letter writing #12Da ys @moreloveletters


It is the Christmas season again and the second year for More Love Letters 12 days of love letter writing. I participated in last year's event and it was so moving. The world really does need more love letters. I am so happy to do my small part in writing them.

The first day's letter goes to Emily:
“Emily’s best friend requested these love letters for her, writing, “Emily is my best friend because every bone in her body is warm and compassionate. She has the most genuine soul. She is the girl who you can always count on to have your back. The girl who spends more time making others smile than herself. But now, she is in need of a smile. She needs someone to count on. She needs uplifting more than ever.” Last month, Emily watched everything she cherished go up in flames. Her apartment burnt down and her car was totaled in the rubble, her treasures are now ashes, and worst of all – her two kittens are nowhere to be found. Emily needs love letters that remind her that she did what she should/could have. She needs to remember that she tried to help her kittens. She needs to remember that her kittens are together no matter whether they made it or not. She needs support and help healing in this time of great sorrow. Please join us in pouring out our support for Emily in this time of transition.”


In my letter to Emily I told her she had the courage and strength to rebuild and love had no boundaries to prevent it from going to who and where it is needed.

If you would like to participate in the 12 days of love letter writing, go to this link, moreloveletters.com to find out how you can get involved.


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."  Mary Ann Radmacher

Nov 25, 2012

Writing and Playing the Blues

Life can get so complicated and tiring at times. It is nice to sit back and let blues/jazz music take all your angst and sing it for you. Today I was listening to Nina Simone. She just keeps it real for me.

Nina aspired to be a concert pianist, but after she was denied a scholarship to Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia her music took a different turn. Fusing gospel, pop, and classical with her voice gave her a unique sound. 

If you have not heard of Nina Simone, I recommend you take some time listening to her. She is a treasure that will be a welcome addition to your music library.







Nov 11, 2012

When a Man Loves a Woman



This is one of my favorite songs. It doesn't matter what music has followed it or what is most played on my iPod at any given time, this song will come to mind almost every week. I think it is because it was such a big part of my teenage romantic heart.

I was a freshman in high school when the song came out. There was all the drama of wanting to have a boyfriend who would love me like the man in this song. Who wouldn't want that kind of undying devotion? I didn't realize at the time I would find a young boy who epitomized the song. 

I met my husband, Charlie, when I was barely seventeen. My heart was freshly broken and in my eyes no one could replace the boy I lost. It took a while for me to see the blessing right in front of me. Thank goodness Charlie was patient. We got engaged the summer we both turned eighteen. 

At age nineteen Charlie and I got married. There were many who felt we were too young. Of course we didn't think so. We had stars in our eyes and nothing would deter us. There was a bond that tied our hearts together with chords that life couldn't cut.

To bring it back to my favorite song, I found the man who would love me with all of his heart and strength in the manner Percy sang about. Charlie would give his life for me. I have never once doubted that. That summer when I was fifteen and pining for love fate was listening. I am so thankful I spoke loud enough for it to hear.



When a Man Loves a Woman


When a man loves a woman
Can't keep his mind on nothing else
He'll trade the world
For the good thing he's found
If she's bad he can't see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
Tryin' to hold on to what he needs
He'd give up all his comfort
Sleep out in the rain
If she said that's the way it ought to be

Well, this man loves a woman
I gave you everything I had
Tryin' to hold on to your precious love
Baby, please don't treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Down deep in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she plays him for a fool
He's the last one to know
Lovin' eyes can't ever see

When a man loves a woman
He can do no wrong
He can never own some other girl
Yes when a man loves a woman
I know exactly how he feels
'Cause baby, baby, baby, you're my world

When a man loves a woman.....

Nov 4, 2012

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ #blogblast4peace


Today many of us around the world will blog for peace. This year's theme is "The power of we."
In reflecting on the theme it really hit home that to be part of the power of "we" I must first deal with the power of "me." What do I need to do in my own life to be more of a person of peace?

It is a humbling experience to realize how often the words of my mouth have been ones of discord. No, I am not going out causing fights, it is the negativity that I have allowed into my conversations. Family, religion and politics can certainly act as splinters in my attitude. There are so many personalities and opinions; some I agree with and some I don't. How I respond to those I disagree with is totally in my hands.

The world desperately needs peace. If it is to come, it has to begin first in the heart of each individual. So on this day of blogging for peace I vow to work on me. I will be more aware of the words I speak and their impact. Let my voice and hands be busy doing the work of peace.


All You Need Is Love

The Beatles

Lennon/McCartney

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time - It's easy.

All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

BlogBlast4Peace

Oct 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I can't help but think about and pray for those who are facing hurricane Sandy's wrath. Living where I do in Texas I am very familiar with hurricanes. I have sat through several of them and made those painful but necessary evacuations.

The timing is especially treacherous with the upcoming election next week. I hope no one will throw open a bible and begin to point fingers of blame with their wrath of God preaching. I am afraid that is a vain hope though. It saddens me to know there will be those out there who feel it is an opportune time to bring more people into the flock. These people need compassion and love without conditions. My prayer is that those who help will let their heart and their hands be their witness. I say this with love and understanding because I have experienced the best and worst of people in this very situation.

May lives be spared and the best of mankind be manifested in the difficult days following Sandy's departure. Let us all do our part in giving financially, physically and prayerfully to help our brothers and sisters to heal and rebuild.

Oct 20, 2012

Six Word Saturday ~ October 20, 2012

My oldest daughter doesn't have cancer!!!

My daughter had liver and lymph node biopsies last week and they came back negative for cancer!! She lost her left kidney to cancer in 2008 and each time there is a biopsy we get a little nervous. But today I am just going to celebrate and enjoy the beautiful fall day!!

Here is a digital art piece I created to represent what my daughter has gone through.


See how others describe their day in six words


Oct 13, 2012

Six Word Saturday ~ 10/13/12


Love being part of a movement.

I am a coordinator for New World Creative Union and we launched our first radio program  on blogtalk radio this week. 


The following will explain who we are and I have also provided a link.

The New World Creative Union (NWCU) is a community of artists and artisans dedicated to sharing and promoting each other's work and ideals, in a peaceful, light filled and respectful environment.

When we speak of artists and artisans, it is not limited to just one of the arts. It encompasses all of the arts and artisans who are involved in the creative process, and includes the visual arts, literary arts, as well as the performing arts.


newworldcreativeunion

Oct 4, 2012

Tears and Drowned Kittens


I was a child tormented by secrets hidden inside and the outside flesh they were carried in. How does a little girl tell of a demon that tore childhood from her and hung it on the threat of drowned kittens? Frightened, traumatized and overweight I walked through my youngest years with nightmares clinging to my ribbon sash.

A shadow stalks innocence
biding time and fueling intent.

No one knows – no one hears.
Darkness waits to steal from the light.

I heard my father and grandfather in the other room. My predator had me cornered; hand over my mouth suffocating escape. The green walls and scent of plaster of the bedroom were burned into my memory.

Sweating omen crawls across lips,
“Don’t tell anyone. You know it is your fault.”




“Teacher, she is throwing up again.”  It happened more times than I can remember, stomach in turmoil feeding on secrets. The lunchroom at school became an extension of abuse. A teacher would stand over me demanding I eat three bites of everything. I tried, but my body resisted.

A rain barrel and tiny kittens sacrificed for a threat,
large hands emerge from water holding limp fur.

My youngest sister always stayed close to my mom whenever we visited family. I am so thankful she did. But on one occasion she was with me when my abuser threatened me by taking new born kittens and drowning them in a rain barrel while saying, “This is what will happen to you if you tell.” 

Memories took knives and death
and tried to apply them to wrists,




I didn’t tell anyone about my abuse until I was nineteen years old and I told my husband. Through his strength and love I was able to make my way out of the abyss of depression and guilt.

but a savior appeared through the vertigo
and pulled hands from spiraling depression.

I feel so impelled to share my story. Sexual abuse is epidemic and those who have survived it need to help victims who can’t seem to rise above the pain and stigma. There is life after abuse. A time will come when you no longer use the language of a victim, but speak in the voice of a survivor.

“It is not your fault,” became a song of freedom,
surviving dried victim’s tears.

©Susie Clevenger 2012

Oct 2, 2012

Yes, I Talk to a Wall


I remember when someone first invited me to join Facebook. I thought it rather dry and boring, but since my girls and other family members were on it I decided to join if for no other reason than to keep up with them. I couldn't know it would become such a big part of my life. Yes, I talk to a wall.

From that doubtful beginning I have met so many people that have become great friends. I know there are those who say you can't call people friends if your only contact is electronically, but I would argue that point. A friend is someone who is there for you in whatever life throws your way. I can post something on my wall about what is going on in my life and my "friends" are there to encourage, celebrate, and give advice when I need it.

No, I am not a recluse typing away in internet anonymity. I am active socially and with my family. Facebook is a means for me to communicate with the world on a digital wall. It is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I am an insomniac who can find someone to talk to at 3:00 a. m. to make the night a little less lonely.


Sep 24, 2012

Stirring My Pot of Doubts

Why is it when you embark upon the path to your dreams doubt throws stones at you? I am the worst about comparing my written work to that of others. Perhaps I shouldn't even say it is something I do, but this is my journal to speak honestly.

I wish it was easy to get over the feeling. Maybe I should step in front of my mirror and say in my best Stuart Smalley voice, "You're good enough, Your'e smart enough, and doggone it people like you!" Well, at least that would bring a giggle.

Doubt has been my unwanted companion for as long as I can remember. It manifested in stomach aches when I was a child. I'm sure you have had them. That phantom tummy ache that is fear you can't vocalize. Wouldn't it be easier to say, "I am afraid of rejection, so I choose to not do_____." (You can fill in the  blanks.) It isn't a way to live your life, but at least you own up to your fear.

I feel better...a little bit better. This facing your fear thing is going to take some work. I have a long list of things I am afraid to do. There goes my Super Woman persona. "Your'e good enough, Your'e........


Sep 15, 2012

Six Word Saturday ~ September 15, 2012

  I have enjoyed the rainy weather



 It has been so dry in Texas the rain is such a treat. It is good for writing
 and snuggling up with a book to do some reading.

Sep 11, 2012

11:00 p.m. and Wondering



“I've always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.” 
― David Benioff, City of Thieves



I should be asleep. I am so tired, but I am fighting it. It seems to be that way every night. Sure I am more creative in the wee hours, yet there comes a point when I need to release my pen to the nightingale and go to bed.

I wonder why I fight it so. Is it an age thing that has me not wanting to lie my head on a pillow? I know there are fewer days ahead of me. I fell off the cliff of middle age almost two decades a go. There are moments I don't want to miss so I stay awake with my thoughts and hands frantically trying to record every whisper of my muse.

Sleep, you are there aren't you? My eyes keep looking at the clock hoping my mind will silence its voice and send me to my dreams.


Sep 3, 2012

Music Trip

Last week my husband and I went on a trip to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. We spent our time visiting wineries in Missouri, visiting his mother and family and listening to blues music. For this blog I would like to center in on some of the music artists we got to meet at Deb's Blues Farm.

The first artist is Anthony Gomes. He was born in Canada, but now resides in the United States. His skill with the guitar is breathtaking. He can rock the strings and with his power vocals he is a double threat. He has an impressive bio that ranges from  "#1 Blues Artist" Billboard Magazine to winning the first annual Buddy Guy’s Legends “Best Unsigned Blues Band” competition. Anthony Gomes




Next is Tony Campanella. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri and can rock the guitar with the best of them. He began playing the guitar at age eleven and his music although influenced by the blues doesn't limit itself to one genre. Tony Campanella Band




We also got to hear the Royal Southern Brotherhood which consists of Devon Allman, Cyril Neville, Charlie Wooton, Yonrico Scott, and our friend Mike Zito. When you mix these musicians together you get the best of all worlds. If I were to try and list all their accomplishments as individual musicians and their collective collaboration, it would become more of a book than a blog. Royal Southern Brotherhood




Charlie and I were certainly blessed to be among such talent and get an opportunity to spend time talking with and enjoying their music. We find that wherever we travel music is a universal language that opens the doors to friends and fellowship. This wasn't our first music trip and it certainly won't be our last. There's a big world out there with much more to see and hear. Peace ~ Love ~ and Music!

Aug 26, 2012

Six Word Saturday ~ August 25th



Getting Ready For A Blues Vacation

My husband and I are flying to St. Louis on Monday for a much needed mini vacation. We are going to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary with blues music. Can’t wait!!



Find out how others have described their lives in six words.



Aug 24, 2012

Pissed

Whenever someone starts talking about abuse and doesn't know a damn thing about it it really gets under my skin. If a woman is terrorized don't tell me, "Sorry, but she chose him." What a thoroughly ignorant and insensitive thing to say. NO ONE would ever choose abuse. Unless you have been in a situation where you have been abused you cannot understand its control nor how an abuser can get into your head until you don't even recognize who you are any more.

We are becoming so desensitized to abuse. There are lots of anti bullying campaigns for young people, but that won't be enough if we adults don't stop bullying one another. Where do you think children learn it? Our society reeks of it. 

Abuse is abuse! We must stop trying to rationalize it when it effects our own behavior. If it is ever going to change, we must strive to become an example worthy of following.


Aug 20, 2012

Hurricane and Contemplation

Living in Houston we always have to be aware and prepared during hurricane season. Although I hate hearing the constant babbling of weathermen about "the cone of uncertainty", I know weather science for the most part is educated guesses. Mother Nature has an agenda that makes it very difficult to predict with real accuracy until the storm gets nearer to landfall.

On August 29, 2005 we became very aware of just how horrible the loss of life and property can be when Katrina barreled into New Orleans. My husband, Charlie, and I were sitting at home and knew we had to do something to help those worried souls who had evacuated the hurricane's path and headed our direction. We went to the city of Baytown, Texas to the water department billing office where evacuees where being housed. It is hard to describe what is was like to pull into the parking lot and see thousands of people milling around with fear and uncertainty written on their faces.

Those were the lucky ones who heeded the call to evacuate, but for everyone that was there they knew someone back home who decided to stay put and weather the storm. Each weather report that came across the television and radio became increasingly more certain that New Orleans was in for a history making nightmare. Those precious people in Baytown didn't know if they would have anything to return to or those they left behind would even survive the storm headed at them.

Charlie and I began to walk among the evacuees and lend an ear, give a hug, or dry tears. The Red Cross was doing a good job, but they couldn't physically touch all those who needed comfort. We did the best we could that evening and decided to come back the next day.

Before returning to Baytown we went and made purchases of disposable goods such as napkins, plates, silverware, etc. to take back to the evacuation center. We also stopped by the bank and took out as much money as we could afford in twenty dollar bills. We knew many of those who had traveled from the evacuated areas didn't have much money and their gas tanks were empty. There were so many who had lost track of family members and were searching every evacuation center from the Texas border to Houston in attempts to reunite with them. Charlie and I wanted to help as many as we could in their search.

There were more stories than I have space to write about what we discovered on our return. The Water offices were at capacity in how many they could provide for and they were sending new evacuees to other locations that had been set up for them. People were everywhere in that part of town looking scared and hopeless. Charlie and I started handing out our twenties for gas and the humble thank you's we received brought us to tears. There was one Vietnamese family that arrived at the center with two small boys who were ill. Since it was at capacity the Red Cross couldn't house anyone else. One of the Red Cross workers turned to Charlie and asked him if he could take them to the Memorial Baptist Church up the street that had set up a shelter. Neither the man or wife could speak English, but Charlie got them to understand he would help them and for them to follow us in their truck.

The two young boys were very ill and feverish. We knew they were in desperate need of a doctor. We took them into the church and thankfully a doctor had arrived and was just beginning to see to the needs of the evacuees. Charlie turned to the young father to communicate they would be helped, but the man did not want to let go of Charlie's arm. Charlie had become his security in terror and he was afraid to release him. Charlie hugged him and walked him into the room that had been set aside for medical. With a touch on the young man's arm Charlie let him know he would be alright. I can still see his sad eyes as he took one more look over his shoulder at us.

There are so many stories of what we saw and heard over those days of volunteering. It was one of the most moving experiences of our lives. Charlie and I have always been close, but that experience brought us even closer. Katrina brought people into our lives and changed us. It only solidified in us that life truly has more meaning when you reach out with love and without ego to give a hand to those in need.






Aug 18, 2012

Aug 17, 2012

Wistful

It is so sad to assume someone you love or care about will always be there, there to answer the phone, there to give a helping hand, there for a laugh, there when you need to cry, there to touch and hear and feel in the same space with you..

I know too well the pain of making those assumptions. Both of my parents are now gone as well as many other family members and friends. I let too many days slip through my fingers when I could have picked up my phone to reach out to them, stopped by to say hello, taken a trip to go see them.

It is that regret that is fueling my melancholy tonight. Life spins by so fast. There is so much I wish I would have said or done. I know I cannot wallow in regrets, but I think to heal and move on you must be honest with where you have been.

I pray each day that I will be able to use the phrase, I should have, less and less. In my poetry book, Dirt Road Dreams, I address some of my regrets. Poetry has become my therapy. It enables me to write out what troubles me, the things I just can't get my lips to speak. Perhaps my spirit will one day have less shadows.



Aug 15, 2012

My First Poetry Book



My first book of poetry, Dirt Road Dreams, will be released this fall.