Merry Christmas from Fabulous Gracelessness!


mc we wish you

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

I hope that everyone gets to enjoy this day in some way. Near or far it doesn’t matter, just that you find some happiness, some peace just for a moment.

I hope that those children that believe in Santa wake up to find that Santa came! I hope the children that don’t do Santa wake up happy and healthy.

mc peace love hope believe

I hope that everyone who takes the time out to read my blog will stop, just for a moment, and find a memory, or reflect on this holiday season, and find just one memory that makes you smile. The warm, fuzzy inside kind of smile. The kind of smile that lights up your whole being! Keep Hope Alive! It’s Christmas! Miracles happen!

I realize and understand that not everyone celebrates or even enjoys Christmas. Some don’t even recognize it. I am perfectly okay with that.I am sharing how Fabulous Gracelessness does Christmas.

Here in Sweet Home Alabama it is a holiday that the majority of folks Celebrate!

mc traditiona

It’s a day we get together with family and friends. Often times we see folks we don’t see throughout the year for whatever reason. People sometimes put away their differences to enjoy time with family and friends. Some make new traditions and others blend the old with the new.

Before I had my son, I always got together with my family, but I also would get together throughout the holiday season and visit with friends that I didn’t get to see as much. Several of us agreed that gift giving was way overrated, in fact we call it Giftsmas, due to those that tend to over give and expect the same in return. We decided that we would always buy for the kids, but for us, just all getting together, eating good food and having a few spirits were all that we needed.

Since the boy came into my world, I still try to get together with friends, though it isn’t as easy or frequent as I would like. I do still enjoy the festivities but it has changed a bit. I have made more traditions that I did in my own childhood with him. I have created new traditions with him too. We love finding new things to do. Apparently, we are now adding make a gingerbread house to our things to do! We also drive around and look at the lights. Not necessarily on Christmas night but close to Christmas. Even in the rain we go. It is so much fun to see the joy of lights and decorations through the eyes of a child.

mc heaven

It is also bittersweet. There are so many that are no longer with us. It can be so damn hard to put on a happy face when the tears are falling like rivers inside. You don’t want to make everyone else sad or put a damper on the festive times. But I can’t help but think about how much my Daddy would enjoy his grandsons. How much my Grandparents would love to play with their great-grandsons. How truly amazing it would be to have everyone home for Christmas. How much it hurts knowing that can’t happen. How much we still love and miss them and always will.

It’s why I love making new memories. To bridge the past with the present and look forward to the future.

This year I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit like I have in the past. I am so thankful for the boy as he pulls me from the abyss just knowing how much joy he has and his love for the holiday. I love that he has an elf named Jerry that magically found us and how he watches throughout the year and shows up after Thanksgiving. He comes with a letter and a tiny gift and moves about the house during the season. He doesn’t make messes or sit on a shelf. He is a different kind of elf. I love that we call Santa every year and he talks to him on the phone. We make reindeer treats as well as treats for Santa. I love the pure joy and glee in his eyes when he sees that Santa came. It isn’t the volume of the gifts it’s the magic of Christmas. It’s everyone getting along for the day when he goes from Mommy’s to Daddy’s house knowing he is loved by so many and it is a day where everyone is present. No distractions just the enjoyment of those around him.

eys of child

Through the eyes of a child is how I wish everyone could see Christmas.

Keep Hope Alive my fabulous friends!

And may all of your Christmas’ be bright!

onnly blind xmas helen keller

*Fabulous Gracelessness does not want to offend those who do not celebrate this holiday. I hope you enjoyed reading how me and mine celebrate Christmas. I hope you understand that for us, Christmas isn’t just gifts and decorations. It is a time for us to come together. It is a time when we feel everyone should share their joy and their compassion for others. Be kind. Be patient. Remember everyone does not get to enjoy it like we do. Even if some years it isn’t as “lavish” as you would like it to be, but that you may be blessed with peace and joy.

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“So Puzzling A Life” by Vicky Mowrer


I have been writing several personal pieces and of course for my blog, but I came across this piece “So Puzzling a life” by my dear, sweet soul sister, Vicky Lynn Mowrer written July 12. 2013. Also known as “Unreally Real” and “HemFoo” by many, Vicky was one of the most beautiful, tortured souls who would give the clothes off her back and last dollar to help a friend or loved one.

We met when I needed a roommate back in 2005 and put an ad on Craigslist of all places! She was the only one I spoke on the phone with and the only one who I allowed to visit. Of course we knew immediately upon meeting that we were destined to be “roommates” with a whole lot of family love thrown in. And we were for 4 years. Then I moved off, she moved, I had a child, and moved out. She wanted to move back to the south so it was an easy decision for us. My soul sister moved back in with me in May of 2013. Four short months later, she died in her sleep unexpectedly. My heart was shattered.

We had always both written poetry and short stories and shared them. I can’t recall who sent this to me again after her death, but I remember her sending it to me previously. We often talked of people seeing the “whole” of us, and how we hid so much of who we were and how we needed to trust more and love more and BE more. So with that I share a piece of Vicky and me with you all.

Please remember you are not alone, keep hope alive and you are fabulous.

“So Puzzling A Life”

I am a jig saw puzzle….

Turned mostly upside down.

Everyone knows bits of me, no one knows the whole.

Even an upside down puzzle, you can see kind of how the pieces fit, but with no picture to follow, how do you really know?

Worse yet, is when some are upside down, and some are right side up.

I want to be right side up again. Show the flaws, show the beautiful pieces.  Have those little tags of paper that don’t lay flat.  I want to be one of those puzzles glued back together and hung on a wall. To be admired even for all my traces, punches and turns.

All I need is for one person to see me clearly, understand and accept the broken reality that has been my life.

It’s a hard task, any puzzle, and variables such as upside down, half right up, would confound anyone. And when it’s a real life… unfathomable

But to know the solution to the problem is to know me, all of me, from the time I was born, to the me I am now, and accept that life is more about survival than relationships. I survived by living out of dumpsters when I was a teen. I survived as an adult by pretending to fit into normal mores… I survive now by asking for help.

The Moon


my heart moon

The other night I was taking pictures of the moon.

My little smarter-than-me phone doesn’t have the high quality of a “real” camera but I was trying.

I got some decent shots but I realized I was trying to capture something I could not get on film.

If I was being honest with myself I was trying to capture not only images my phone camera couldn’t capture, but also of the way the night felt. Maybe even how I felt.

I was able to capture an image of something I cannot explain.

It was not visible to the naked eye, but as soon as I trained my camera on the area that I wanted it would appear.

my moon face

Trust me I took several photos just to see if it was on my lens, I cleaned it, it was not.

not alone moon2

I do not know if what I saw was a “trick of the light” a “reflection of the moon” or “something else” but I know I was the only human on the porch and I did not feel alone.

I felt like someone was there with me but it was comforting.

not alone mooon 1

The big moon in the sky with light so bright it felt like everyone, everything, every being was exposed and in harmony.

I wanted to run in the field light up so bright it felt magical.

As it was I danced in the light to tunes in my head.

Knowing I was not alone and knowing how peaceful I felt.

Yes, the man in the moon is smiling, smiling on a girl in the world.

I can SEE!!!!!


“I was blind but now I see.”

I am not singing Amazing Grace here today but I can now see!

I did not realize how poor my vision is!

Wow!

This fabulously graceless chic is now a member, there probably is such a thing, of the trifocal club! Yes my left eye, it seems, is blinder than the right. It also has stigmata… I mean stigmatism!

Geez, I follow an amazing writer, Aging Gracefully My Ass, and her name fits my mood!

I guess this is where I should say I am thankful I can still rock my contacts for at least another year before staying in my glasses full time. I am, however, I am not thrilled to know that my eyeballs have to be re-evaluated again next year to see if I can keep them!

I cannot wear glasses all the time! It isn’t a fashion thing, it’s a safety and a graceless thing!

I am getting used to wearing a stronger contact in the left eye than my right. Supposedly it will be easier and that seems to be true but they make my eyeballs kind of tired. I am sure it will pass. I hope!

I love my new glasses, they are quite cool in my opinion.

I am also having to get used to those too.

I wanted to use my old glasses but it seems when you go into the trifocal club you have to have larger lenses.

I so suck at picking things out like that!

I am grateful to the fabulous ladies my local eyeball fixer upper palace for helping me chose a pair, they said, looked good on me.

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments so maybe it’s not just everyone being nice!

I have had to get used to making sure I look “with my nose” because otherwise it feels like the floor is somewhat tilting and I have grabbed out more than once to make sure I wasn’t falling.

It IS a common occurrence in my world!

Like I need one more thing that messes with me!

I was cleaning the tiled kitchen floor the other day and wondered why it had a dip in it. There was no dip other than me. I was not looking at the spot head on!

In case you didn’t know, dear reader, when you get prescription lenses, you have 3 choices.

Choice A you get the center of the lens only for your prescription. It cost a bit but you have to see.

Choice B you get over half of the lens, but you pay way more than choice A.

Choice C you get most of the lens covered but you need a small loan to cover the cost of just seeing out of the entire lens.

It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

Of course I choose A!

I did not have this issue before becoming a member of this detestable trifocal club!

I know I should shut up and be happy I could afford at all to get contacts and glasses, but I just had to rant a little.

But boy howdy how sparkly and sharp are things again!

I forgot how clearly I can see when I have the right prescription!

That part is awesome!

I can see, I can see! Who the hell’s in the mirror? Oh my god it’s me!

new glasses

 

Sunday Reflections


sun 8 2 15

As I sit staring out at the beauty of the country side I pause to reflect.

If think of where I have been and where I am going.

I wonder what will happen next.

Life is so full of surprises you never know what is coming.

Some are good and some are plain awful.

I needed to reboot and recharge my mind, body and soul.

I know I recently went to the beach for family vacation, however once I returned and got a job and started working again, I realized how crazy busy I am.

I love it dearly.

I love spending time with my son, my family and friends.

But sometimes I need a time out.

So when I was offered a chance to stay at a friend’s country cottage for the weekend, you can bet I jumped at the chance.

I love being totally surrounded by nature.

I am far enough off the main road that you really don’t hear too many cars.

At night the sky is lit up only from the moon and the heavens.

I bathed in the light of the blue moon.

I slept in and woke up to come out onto the porch with my coffee to watching the humming birds and squirrels.

I hear no one.

I kept my communication very limited so that I can just be in my mind.

Sometimes I just need to drop out.

With the boy visiting family, I decided I would drop out for a few days.

It is bliss, but I miss my boy.

So while I soak up the moon rays, the sunshine and the sounds of nature, I will plan for my re-entry back into the maos.

But for now, I will enjoy just being.

As the sun sinks on another beautiful Alabama day, I bid you a fabulous Sunday my graceless friends!

sun 8 2 15 b

 

 

 

My lifetime love of books and reading


I love to read.

I love to read just about anything really.

When I don’t read I feel like I am lost.

A ship set adrift on an ocean of silence.

I can get lost in a book.

Yes a real, honest to God book with paper pages.

I do read on the computer, the kindle, my smarter-than-me phone and iPad.

I still enjoy the newspaper and magazines.

But a book is what can calm me.

Can make me loose myself for hours. Days.

I get so caught up in them I feel as though I am a part of another world.

I find my moods sometimes run the course of the characters while I am reading.

So reading something soul scathing or “horrifying” can twist my mind.

My train of thought never strays far from the pages I am reading and I find myself talking and thinking in the manner of the characters I absorb.

No I don’t get all psycho crazed serial killer, motherless, faithful, happy human on people… like I said I read a bit of everything!

But I can’t help but wonder how they would think, talk or react in situations or conversations I am in.

It’s like they become real.

Maybe it’s because I started reading at such a young age.

My imagination took me to magical places. Dark places. Places most of my friends didn’t visit mostly due to the things I learned in the books I read.

I read The World Book Encyclopedias and others of the same genre because I had access to them.

Before the internet I remember sneaking into the adult section in the library.

Not to read the love stories or the erotica, though I did read those, but to real the real life stories they didn’t necessarily allow in the kids section.

It’s like they wanted to hide us from the realities of life.

I remember reading Amityville Horror when I was around 12. I had to hide it because I would have bad dreams and it was definitely not something this 12 year old girl needed to be reading with my vivid imagination! I remember I would jump when the house would creak. I was a rebel hiding my books so I wouldn’t get in trouble!

It was close to the time when the original “Poltergeist” movie came out. Yeah, I totally freaked myself out! Between that and Cujo I was definitely on my way to loving horror movies and books were something I could do anytime and almost anyplace.

I learned to read in the car to tune out my brother.

When I got in trouble and had to go to my room I read.

Can’t watch TV? Read a book.

I can actually say I read more than I watch TV.

I went years without cable only watching the occasional movie and TV at friend’s homes. This was when I was an adult!

I also have no choice but to finish a book. I can’t not finish. Maybe it’s my OCD or maybe it’s because I started it and I have to finish it. Even when it’s horrible writing and painful to get through I have to finish.

When I read I learn. I look up things that I don’t understand and still have a dictionary, not dictionary.com, to look up words if I am unsure of the meaning.

Some call me odd and that’s ok.

I would rather read than talk to people some days!

I urge you to read something.

An article, a book, whether printed on paper or electronic reading just read!

In enriches your world!

Have a fabulously graceless day!

 

Migraine Me


Since I was a teenager I have had migraines.

Sometimes they are so intense I have to lie down in a dark, cold room and just lay there because I can’t really function. To walk feels like nails piercing my brain through the souls of my feet.

They used to make me so sick physically, but now I only have a bit of nausea, which I will take over praying to the porcelain god any day, thank you.

I’ve tried various medications and home remedies.

I have finally found a combination of both that help me at least get through one better but sometimes medication and sleep are the only relief.

The worst ones last for more than a day and yes, I have considered the Botox shot more than a few times due to the torture. I never thought I would be all for sticking a needle full of botulinum toxin into my head, but now there are times when I would happily pay to have someone shoot me up if it got rid of this 7th ring of hell in my head!

I sometimes put my hair, if I can bend over without getting sick or falling over, under freezing water until it penetrates my scalp and cools my brain off.

Often I will pull my hair from the roots to take the tension off my head.

Yes life with migraines is not all fun and games.

Though sometimes it is like a video game with the lights and auras I would prefer not to see with nails and knives digging into my brain.

I feel like I am disassociated with my body and that I am looking from the outside in.

I can function most of the time, but I know people that don’t know me and know how they affect me must think I am drinking or on drugs (I am but not the fun kind trust me) due to my slower responses. Or my really off the wall comments.

“You don’t feel well do you?”

“Oh just another migraine, is that a cat climbing up the wall? Wait that wasn’t what I meant!” That is an actual conversation I had with the boy’s teacher one morning! Once she realized I had a migraine she and I both laughed at my response. We get along very well and I always speak how I feel to her and vice versa but that one was new for her!

I guess I “look” normal to a degree.

I feel like I look crazed and would immediately look to see if there was a hospital band on my arm like I had escaped from a mental health facility!

I am actually writing this article while in the mists of a migraine.

I was scheduled to work and my patient was taken to the hospital. My first response was she ok. My new boss said I was really thoughtful as I’m sure there are those caregivers whose first response would be to ask if that meant no work. I can’t imagine not asking about the person taken to the hospital! And I don’t know the reason but I do know she is 94. I don’t care that she is 94 people live longer and have better quality of life I pray she is going to be fine. If my services are needed by her at a later time I do hope I get to meet her. If not it was meant to be. I can’t look at it any other way.

I told my boss I had a migraine and that I would be happy to fill in elsewhere if needed. She thanked me but the need was not there at the moment. And to take care of myself.

Now I am going over in my head the conversation because really, what if I said something about cat on the wall?! Not too cool!

I think all will be ok as when we got off the phone I remember us talking about my next job so keeping hope alive it is all good! I love this job!

So I finally put some food in me, a breakfast sandwich, go me! The photo shows proof I ate and also how it spills out is a bit how my head feels!

migraine brain breakfast

Yes food and coffee and water. My diet plan for the time being!

migraine coffee

Now I am off to try to work and get things done. Slowly that is!

Just saying a little prayer that tomorrow there is no migraine hangover! Ugh!

Keep hope alive!

Have a fabulous day my friends!

Songs, music and the patchwork of my life


Anyone who knows me knows I have an issue with matching songs to artists and vice versa. Heck, I may not even know all of the words to a song but it’s got a loop so I will sing said loop and often learn that is not what is being said at all. Also said loop will get stuck in my head and drive me crazy!

That all said I am not the one you want for musical trivial pursuit!

However I do love music and of course songs will play somewhere, the grocery store maybe, and I recall that time of my life.

Like memories, we have songs that can do place you somewhere else in time.

Both good and bad memories, some even bittersweet.

Like the song “Yellow” by Cold Play.

Go on those who really know me be impressed!

I love that song.

I also associate it with heartbreak and the ending of a time in my life that I thought would never end. I also see it differently as it was played at a close friend’s funeral. So fitting really. He was a DJ and it was one of his favorite songs. He was also engaged to my then sister-in-law.

So yes, it has a deep meaning for me.

The boy and I love Queen, pretty much everything as I am educating him as I can and his dad has a greater collection and introduces him to other musical genres as well.

We love “We will Rock You”, “We are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust”. Yes I am all about the classics.

We rock out to those some mornings going to school.

It’s one of the few times he gets to hold my phone! But whenever it comes on the radio or in the store, he squeals out “Mommy our song!” so we sing and dance if possible!

Recently it was “Ice Ice Baby.” Oh yeah word to ya mother!

We had video and a dance party.

A part of me was dancing like I was in a club, yet dancing in the kitchen with my kid! I was laughing at the hilarity of our dance and the memories and knowing I am making new memories with him now from songs I enjoyed.

I have learned I have to pull up the lyrics as some songs aren’t quite appropriate for a 4 year old!

Some radio station was playing NIN “Closer” and bleeped out the inappropriate parts.

He caught that. So he asked me what they were saying. Oh joy!

I actually had to pull up the lyrics because, again, I could not recall them word for word and they play it on the local rock station often.

Talk about getting creative!

The “I want to f*%$ you like an animal” became “I want to play with all the animals”.

“I want to feel you from the inside” became “I want to see you inside” like the house because that’s rational for him, he was 3 when he first heard it. Fortunately through the whole song I make up and sing loudly new words to cover the blank spaces if he asks!

I never thought a lot of the “profane” language in songs until I had my child.

It never really bothered me and it still doesn’t. I just have to really censor what he listens to!

I had to change a fabulous Tool song recently because there was no way I could fill in all the blanks they left out on the fly and he was upset because it had a “really good beat of the rock and roll” as he puts it! Yes it does my son, but I really don’t want to explain why you heard certain words and I definitely am not ready to explain certain adult content to you yet! He may be almost 5 but really I am just not ready to subject some things on him. He will already hear and learn more about the world than I did at 5 because there is so many outlets to get information!

Another favorite of mine is “Me and Bobby McGee” by the late, great Janis Joplin. I am a huge fan and even do karaoke with that one and a few others.

It reminds me of my youth and life in general.

How I once could just GO if I wanted to and how people can slip away in the blink of an eye.

It also comforts me to sing and it’s one of my go-to songs.

Like “Amazing Grace”. I always sing it acapella but can play it on the piano.

It was one of the first songs I learned on the piano and my daddy’s favorite song.

I long ago stopped singing in public, other than the occasional karaoke or family/friends gatherings, but I sang that song in front of a few hundred people at my daddy’s funeral last year.

He had asked me if I would sing it at his funeral and I promised I would.

I sang acapella and I sang it to him, to my family and friends.

I blocked out everyone else and just sang my heart out through my tears.

I still sing it now, I have sang it to the boy too since he was a wee one, but it can be bittersweet.

I’ve gotten better singing it to him, I don’t cry as much, but sometimes the tears still happens.

He will always take my hand, kiss me on the cheek and tell me, “You know Pops and I love that song and we love you singing it, right Mommy?!” To which I cry a little more but they are happy tears. And somewhat a little bittersweet too.

I guess you could say music is the patchwork in my life that fills the void with sounds of my memories.

Have a fabulous day!

The Knitting Circle


“Will the circle be unbroken Bye and bye Lord, bye and bye There’s a better home awaiting In the sky Lord, in the sky”

 I haven’t sat in a knitting/crocheting circle in at least 30 years.

I had forgotten the fun and comradery of the ladies in these groups.

It’s more than just about knitting a scarf, hat or gloves.

It’s about sharing time together.

Everyone is genuinely friendly and seem to care about the others and their lives.

They all love a project and love to share what they are doing.

They even give you instructions on how to do this!

How do I know this you ask?

Because this week I officially became a part of one of the best knitting guilds around.

And the best part is I am just learning how to knit!

I thoroughly enjoyed taking the lady I am caring for to her group.

I thought I would sit away from the group and write or read.

However I was introduced and the conversations started did not stop!

Somehow within 45 minutes of my being there, I was handed a pair of knitting needles and told to “follow her”. Her being the lovely lady who was in charge of the group. She led me into another room with a closet that held boxes and boxes of yarn.

I was told to “pick one” and the one that “spoke to me.”

 knitting

I am so thrilled!

We are making items for the Salvation Army and I will now be contributing a scarf!

For the record I will be going once a week with “Miss Candy” as it seems I am now a part of this lovely group.

Pictographs of knitting has been found on cave walls and the walls in the temples of ancient Egypt.

It has been around for thousands of years.

I learned so much from these ladies who were knitting for various reasons, a baby blanket, scarves for others and self, fingerless gloves and a few other items I did not get to examine yet.

These ladies are magical with their hands, two needles and a ball of yarn!

I somewhat feel like I am back in school as I was sent home with my starter knitting, my needles, yarn and bless them, written instructions for the most basic scarf!

They were so patient in teaching me and honestly, every one of the 14 ladies present made a point to tell me hello and say they are thrilled to see “the younger generation” taking a shine on an art that some feel is dying out.

I can see what they mean.

Home Economics used to teach knitting, cooking and home making.

Now there is “culinary arts” but not a lot of knitting and home making.

Schools don’t want to look as if they are not with the times and I get that. I really do.

But when they are cutting funding for basic things like physical education and how to live, not just sex education, they are in a way cutting off the very fiber of what has been taught for generations.

Sitting in the knitting group I fit in.

No matter what my age is, I am with kindred souls.

Knitting is good for the soul.

You can knit pretty much anywhere you can read a book which was always my escape.

But a bonus is you can talk and knit if you like. For someone like me this is a wonderful thing to keep my hands busy and my mouth busy at the same time too!

I get another lesson on Friday when I take Miss Candy to another appointment and you can bet I am looking forward to it.

I hope you all have a fabulous Wednesday!

Judge Me


Judge Me.

Please.

Point out my flaws.

I know them much more intimately than you ever will.

I know their origins, their beginnings from before my existence.

Point out the error of my ways.

How you think I wronged you so empirically that I am beneath you.

That you are superior and have no flaws.

My faults, yes they are many.

You could fill volumes with my sins.

Pointing that one accusing finger at me while you forget 4 are pointing back at you.

Who are You to judge me?

I just want to know.

I have committed no “crimes” yet you decide to play jury and Judge to sections of my life you deem are not up to your standards or are wrong to you.

Unlike you I will admit them. Apologize when needed. I will work to not make them again. I continue to improve upon myself.

Unlike you.

So please, Judge Me.

 *My “observations” on those who judge others are it seems to trend that those who are the loudest and more often those who have great pain and suffering within themselves. They tend to see the flaws in you than run far deeper in themselves, and it scares them to even admit to it a little bit, because that would mean they are not as perfect as they perceive themselves to be. That would be tragic. So they judge others.

This is only my observation.

So Cheers My Graceless Friends!