Taking “F” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the sixth day of my current surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “F” things.

Even though we often take family and friends for granted, we do stop occasionally to take them for gratitude, so I am not adding them to this list. I’m more interested in giving thanks for things I’ve never stopped to think about before.

I am especially grateful for:

fingersFingers: I remember the first time I realized my now deceased life mate/soul mate was as interested in me as I was in him. I was in his health food store, and while he was handing me a bottle of vitamin A, our fingers happened to touch. I can still feel the glow from that touch today. Fingers aren’t just a way of connecting with others, but are a way of connecting to the world — through the touch of a petal, the touch of a thorn — but are also a way of connecting to ourselves through the things we create — art, meals, a home. I am especially grateful for my fingers considering the terrible fall I had a year ago that pulverized my elbow, wrist, radius. I still do not have the full use of my fingers, but I am exceedingly grateful for the use I do have.

Feet: Feet keep us connected to this earth. Feet allow us to walk, to move, to dance. Feet are a miracle in and of themselves. Each foot contains 26 bones, and those 52 bones makes up about 25% of the total bones in our bodies. Each foot also contains 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons. A true miracle, and something to take for gratitude with every step.

Fate: Whether or not one believes in fate, certain times in our lives do feel fated. In my case, I walked into a health food store one Saturday morning, and there I met the man I would spend the next 34 years with. He died early one Saturday morning, (just after midnight Friday night). That seems fated, too. To come into my life and leave it on the same day of the week.

Failure. I don’t take ever failure for granted, but I never stop to give thanks for the failures that have taught me valuable lessons, such as to pick myself up and try even harder.

Feasts: We so often take feasts for granted, but this month especially, I will be taking feasts for gratitude. I might not be having a Thanksgiving feast, but when we are alive, any meal is truly a feast.

So, what “F” things are you taking for gratitude today?

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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Taking “E” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the fifth day of my current surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “E” things.

I am especially grateful for:

Ears. Ears to hear music, laughter, the voices of loved ones. Earlobes from which to dangle beautiful earrings.

Energy. Even when we feel as if we have no energy, we have enough energy to keep our bodies working. And the days when we do feel as if we have energy to spare — what a joy! And despite all the problems that the various sources of energy to keep our houses and cities alive, we still do have energy enough to drive to where we need to go, to warm our homes in the winter and cool them in the summer, energy enough to light the darkness. So, today I will not take energy for granted, but will give thanks for all the energy that comes my way.

Entertainment and enjoyment. We have come a long way from the days when weS humans had to provide our own entertainment, whether telling stories around a community fire, dancing in a neighbor’s barn, or playing musical instruments in a parlor. Now we have instant entertainment, ready for our enjoyment at any time.

Eyes. Eyes to see light and beautiful sites, to see smiling faces, to read print on a page or a reading device.

Eyeglasses. I am especially grateful for eyeglasses, though I tend to take them for granted since they have been perched on my nose (or rather sliding down my nose) since I was ten. Without eyeglasses, I see lights as sparkling gems with halos of brightness, but they are about the only thing I can see better without glasses, so I today I will take my eyeglasses with so very much gratitude.

So, what “E” things are you taking for gratitude today?

***

See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude, Taking “B” Things With Gratitude, Taking “C” Things With Gratitude,Taking “D” Things With Gratitude

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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Taking “D” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the fourth day of my current surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “D” things.

I dancingam especially grateful for:

Deserts and dessert and the discernment to know the difference.

The desire and determination, the dedication and daring to go after our dreams.

Dawn and daylight, dusk and dazzling sunsets.

Dear and darling and other doting endearments.

Discussions, deliberation, the ability to defend our ideas.

And dancing, of course.

So, what “D” things are you taking for gratitude today?

***

See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude, Taking “B” Things With Gratitude, Taking “C” Things With Gratitude

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

 

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Taking “C” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the third day of my latest surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “C” things.

I am especially grateful for:

Dad and meCaring. We are frequently told and so believe that ours in an uncaring society, but the truth is, most of us care. We care about others, we care for them, we take care of them. We care about this world and we care about the creatures that share it with us. There’s a whole lot of caring going on! Today I will be care-full not to take all that caring for granted, but will take it with gratitude.

Cash. In this world of credit and debit, we still have the ability to make simple and anonymous purchases with cash. We can count it without complicated computations, we can tuck it away for an emergency, or we can put it in an envelope and hand it to someone we care about. Although we are headed for a cashless society, I am grateful that we still have a choice.

Choice. So often, it seems as if life tosses us about, and that we don’t have much choice about what we do, who we are, and what happens to us, but there are always choices. To a great extent, we can choose what to eat and when and where. If our job doesn’t suit (or we were laid off) we have the choice of searching for a better job. Even when things don’t work out for us, such as not being able to find a job, we still have the choice of how to deal with the trauma. Having choices is something I choose to be grateful for.

Comfort. In a choice between fashion or comfort, I always choose comfort. No high heels or constricting clothes for me! (Clothes — another “C” to be grateful for!) So, today I will be grateful for all the comforts of home — comfortable clothing, comfortable furniture, comfortable food, comfortable temperatures.

Comforters. Quilts and other comforters make sleeping a pleasure. Friends and other comforters — those who listen to our woes and give us a shoulder to cry on — make life a pleasure.  Thank you to all those who have offered comfort during these past years. I never took you for granted, but appreciated your every word.

So, what “C” things are you taking for gratitude today?

***

See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude, Taking “B” Things With Gratitude

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

 

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Taking “B” Things With Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the second day of my current surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “B” things.

I am especially grateful for:

balloonsBalloons. Balloons are such a basic decoration/toy that we take them for granted, but they remind us of festive days and simpler times when batting around a balloon could provide entertainment and laughter.

Beauty. So much of the beauty around us we take for granted, and yet there is beauty wherever we look, in the wrinkled faces of old women, the bright eyes of a new friend, the leafless trees of winter and the bare deserts in summer.

Being. We take our being for granted, wandering through our lives, dealing with everyday matters, paying scant attention to the miracle of being. And yet . . . we are. We have being. Wow. How incredible is that?

Blog. We tend to take blogging for granted, so much so that we don’t always value the wisdom we find in blogs in other blogs or the value of what we write in our own blogs, but blogging allows everyone who wishes to write the equivalent of a newspaper column. To be able to say what is on your mind is definitely something to be taken with gratitude, but if people read your words, that is astonishingly wonderful.

Blue. Blue reminds us of eternity. helps us find serenity, promotes creativity, encourages learning, but more than that, blue is a lovely color in and of itself, and is the favorite of most adults.

Body. We are so familiar with our bodies and see them so often, that whether we like the way we look or not, we take our bodies for granted. We take our brains for granted because we never see them, and take our blood for granted until we see it pouring (or even seeping) out of us after an injury. And we definitely take our bones for granted until we develop a problem, but without bones, our bodies wouldn’t be much more than a pile of mush. So today, I am going to be grateful that all these pieces fit together, allowing me to be.

What “B”s are you taking for gratitude today?

***

See also:
Taking “A” Things With Gratitude

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

 

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Taking “A” Things for Gratitude by Pat Bertram

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~~ G. K. Chesterton

Since today is the first day of my current surge of gratitude, I am giving thanks for “A” things.

I am especially grateful for:

Ability to appreciate. Not just to see, taste, hear something, but to admire it, to recognize its importance and value.

Accelerators. We depend on our vehicles for important things such as going work or to the grocery store where we hunt and gather our food, but we also use them to go see sights far away. Without an accelerator, we wouldn’t be able to do anything with those vehicles except sit in them and dream of other places.

Age. Perhaps youth is wasted on the young as we are often told, but age has its place. Despite the ebbing of energy and health that age might bring, having a few decades of life behind us helps bring perspective, appreciation, perhaps even wisdom, though these things are not prerequisites for growing old. Jerks remain jerks forever, it seems. But still, I have a hunch age would be wasted on the young.

Air. Air gives us life, but it also makes us one with the world, flowing into our bodies via our lungs, and flowing out again. Deep slow intakes of air can calm us. Cool air on a hot day or warm air on a cold day brings us comfort.

Ankles make it easier to walk, to dance, to balance. Without ankles, our lower legs would be like stumps. And who doesn’t admire a well-sculpted ankle?

Arms. We take our arms for granted, but those who have lost an arm through war or an accident or illness know the value of those appendages. Even old, saggy arms are beautiful, especially when they are cradling a baby, hugging a friend, swinging loose and free when we take a walk.

What “A”s are you taking for gratitude today?

***
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

 

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Some Last (Written) Thoughts About Bill by John E. Stack

 

Bill has been out of our house for a little over six months and our lives are so vastly different now that we only have one child.  That is on child living in the house.  We have opened our house up again for a new child that has been displaced from their parents and their home.  We notified our agency about a month or so ago that we thought we were ready, but whether it is by the decision of the agency or just God’s will, we still have an empty nursery.  The one thing our agency may not understand is the longer our nursery stays empty, the easier it is to let it stay empty. 

 

For those of you that are reading my writings for the first time, or maybe have forgotten, Bill is a young boy that my wife and I took into care.  We work as foster parents and Bill was our twentieth child.  Bill was a micro-preemie and weighed only one pound twelve ounces at birth.  When we met him, he was up to a little over four pounds. And about two and a half months old.  He was the smallest baby we had ever seen, much less held.

 

We went through a lot with Bill.  He had about every type of therapy you could imagine.  It seems like my wife was running to appointments about three to four times a week.  Bill had a very difficult time gaining weight (not a problem that we have in common).  Since he was very tiny at birth, the doctors wanted him to gain as much as possible as quickly as possible.  Along with being tiny, Bill had (has) sensory problems, particularly with food textures.  He was also very, very active.  Finally, the doctors decided that if he was gaining any weight, it was better than losing it (in his case).

 

Well, approximately two and a half years went by and we began working a permanent placement plan for Bill.  His birthday was rapidly approaching, and he would soon be three.  I guess the Department of Social Services went into panic mode.  If he was still in foster care at three it would really mess up their statistics.  Normally, a transition lasts three to four months.  Bill’s was less than five weeks.

 

Bill’s new parents have had him for the past six months and his adoption recently went through.  We get to see some real cute pictures of him and his new family.  We don’t believe that he is fully bonded with his new mom and dad, but it shouldn’t take much longer.  Once they are ready, we will skype and if that goes okay then we will try for a short visit.  We think they are going to make it.  They may have some rough roads to travel, but we all do once in a while.

 

How are we doing with all this?  Do we miss him?  You bet.  Our house has never been so quiet.  I don’t think a day has gone by where we don’t mention him in a conversation.  He is very much missed, and not by just us.  Family, church family, friends, workers in stores we frequent all ask how he is doing and say how much they miss him.  This life we live affects lots of people – more than we ever knew.

 

Some ask, “why didn’t you adopt him?”  Our response is usually, “why didn’t you?”  You know, it was never in our plans to adopt, but we didn’t know God’s plans for us.  Now that we do, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Will God put that in front of us again?  Only he knows.  Plus, we are getting kind of old to be stepping out like that again.  So, for now, we wait to see the next step in his plan for us.  We never know what to expect!

 

 

***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo, Olivia’s Sweet Adventure, and the soon to be released (hopefully) Secret Lives (of Middle school teachers).

Hey, by the way, if you enjoyed, this share it with a friend or group of friends.  We are always in need of foster or adoptive parents and some of these posts may inspire them to step out of their comfort zone and change someone else’s life.

If you really, really enjoyed this, click on the link and check out some of the great books published by Indigo Sea Press.  That too could change someone else’s life.

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A COMEDY of ERRORS by Coco Ihle

You know how some people are just “funny” accident prone? Well, my son, Rob, is one of those people, but only when he is at my house. I’ve never been able to figure out why, but because of this affliction, we’ve had lots of laughs, and sometimes the mention of a single word will bring forth gales of laughter from both of us.

One such example happened several years ago, but the mere mention of it reforms the images in our minds and sets the giggles into action. And my son has a great way of recounting the story of how it happened. It was dinner time and we were having hot dogs. Rob was helping me by setting the table and bringing out the condiments. I opened the refrigerator door and grabbed the plastic yellow mustard container and proceeded to give it a good shake so the mustard would come out nice and thick instead of runny.

When I looked up, Rob was standing on the outside of the refrigerator door waiting to get in to get the milk when I suddenly realized someone hadn’t completely closed the top on the mustard container the last time we used it and there were continuous yellow stripes up and down my son’s face and one large glob that was slowly dripping from the end of his nose. I absolutely lost it! I tried really hard not to, but the deadpan expression on Rob’s face as he looked at me, left me completely unhinged. I couldn’t say a word. I couldn’t breathe. Tears blinded my vision. A tiny little squeak was coming from my lungs, but I thought I’d never get my breath back and my midsection was hurting so bad. Of, course, that set Rob off, and it was fifteen minutes before the two of us were able to peel ourselves off the floor and breath normally again.

The latest incident was a few weeks ago when my soon to be daughter-in-law, Florence, and Rob came to spend the weekend with me. I had transferred freshly brewed coffee to a thermos pump pot after it was ready and Florence and I were sitting outside on the patio enjoying the morning and our first cups when Rob came out to say hello. I told him the coffee was ready and he went back inside to get himself a cup. Several minutes went by and he didn’t return. Florence and I wondered what was keeping him and I was just about to get up and go inside when here he came. He had that famous deadpan expression on his face again, so I asked what happened. He said he held his cup under the pump pot’s spigot and was pumping the coffee into his cup when his hand accidentally knocked down a wall-mounted mixer whisk that was behind the pump pot and that startled him so he spilled the steaming hot coffee all over the counter, his hand and floor and when he opened the cabinet underneath the sink to reach the paper towels, he grabbed one and yanked and the roll took off like he was rolling out a red carpet. By the time he got the coffee spill cleaned up and the paper towels re-rolled, he said he was ready to go back to bed. He was kidding, but by that time, Florence and I were in tears and gripping our sides, and Rob joined in.

We all agreed it was nice to start a day off with laughter. Hope you have days like that, too!

 

Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland.

Join her here each 11th of the month.

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Girls Need Heroes Too

I was born in December of 1947.  I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s, which were extremely oppressive decades for women and young girls.  There were no female heroes little girls could look up to and aspire to become.  The closest I came to female heroes was Lois Lane and Dale Evans.  Later, I would fall in love with and read every Nancy Drew book published.  I wanted to become a sleuth like Nancy.

The sad truth is, there were no such characters as Wonder Woman, Super Girl or the like.  Boys had the monopoly on heroes, which made growing up with realistic aspirations a given.

I was the oldest girl of six children.  My brother was the oldest of all six.  Our family was a dysfunctional one with a father who wielded his power over everyone with zeal, and a mother who was wholly beholden to her husband.   Dad was an officer and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Navy, which meant he was not home all the time.  He would go off to sea for months on end.  In his absence, our mother took over the household.  She was in control and, in my eyes, did a great job.  However, when Dad would return, she shrunk to her second-class-subservient-role never questioning the demotion.

Mom became anything but a role model for me, especially when she would stoop to talking in a baby-like manner in the presence of Dad.  The mere thought of that behavior makes my skin crawl.

Living in a household populated by lots of people, I was extremely lonely.  The reason for my loneliness was devastating for me.  I fell victim to a father who was also a pedophile.   To date, my siblings have confirmed that I was his sole family victim.

I realize now that I spent my entire life in my parent’s home trying my best to hide from my father.  The only periods I felt safe were those when he was gone.  While he was home, I looked forward to family vacations when we would stay in motels.  I learned to love the evening sound of traffic as trucks and cars whizzed by the motels.

While he was home, I sought safety in my mind.  I found solace retreating to my mind where I would write my future; one which was free of harm; and, one where I was equally important.  Too, I would devise situations where I could protect myself from him and his hands.

When in high school, for example, I talked my youngest sister into sleeping with me promising her she’d never make another bed.   With her in my bed, I knew our father wouldn’t risk coming to my bed during the night to bother me.  All the while I lived under my parent’s roof I didn’t realize I was cultivating a new female hero.

With my ingenious thinking, I was becoming my hero because I was devising ways in which to stay safe.  Still, I craved outside female heroes.  Those didn’t come along until much later, and after I finally fled my parent’s hell.

It’s no coincidence that I met my husband of now forty-seven years in 1970, the year I left home.

Until then, I tried numerous times to leave.  Each time, however, my parents would play the blame game with me, e.g., “How dare you think of leaving, after everything we’ve done for you.”  In truth, they did little for me.  In fact, when I went to work for the Federal Government at the age of 18, they demanded that I hand over my entire paycheck from which my Mom would give me a meager allowance.

Working out in the world,” at 18 I decided I wanted to go to college; my parents did all they could to discourage me.  Until then, I never considered college.  For one, I was never encouraged to think of anything other than getting married and having as many children as God would give me.  Too, until I experienced the freedom of being in the workforce, I was constantly in a state of emergency where I directed all my energy toward staying out of harm’s way.

I would soon learn that there was a college fund; but, it was never meant for me.

It was originally intended for my oldest brother.  When, however, he made it clear he had no intentions of attending college, the fund was reassigned to my sister who was two siblings younger than me.  I was not intelligent enough. Instead, my label was not college material.

My parents were panicked.  How can we discourage Maribeth?

They enlisted my Dad’s younger brother, who was a Dominican Priest and a professor at Catholic University in the Washington, D.C. area where we lived, and I worked.  He, Tom, devised the perfect plan as he made an appointment for me with a female dean at the University who was instructed to intimidate and discourage me, leading me to acknowledge I was indeed not college material.

I remember that dark-haired, be-speckled queen-bee type woman.  When I told her I was interested in studying biology, she went to work scaring the bejesus out of me as I became convinced I could never pass chemistry.  So, the next day I went back to work, leaving my college wish behind.

In April of 1970, and after having saved a down payment for a new royal blue Camaro, I finally moved away from home.  I planned to move back to the Washington, D.C. area and, in one year, qualify for a program where I would be sent overseas to work.  I wanted to move and work in Brussels, Belgium.  I wanted to move far away physically and emotionally from my past.  I wanted to begin living the life I only dreamed of living.

I never made it to Belguim.  Instead, on my first night in D.C., I met Bob.  He had become friends with my older brother, with whom I stayed while looking for my apartment.  Bob was different from any male I had met.  He was kind, going to college while working as a meat cutter in the Safeway stores.  He was paying for college via his earned income and the GI Bill.  During the Vietnam war, Bob had spent four years in the U.S. Army as a medic assigned to an evacuation hospital.

Soon after meeting Bob, we moved in together.  We married in September of 1970.  One Sunday, while talking to Bob about what I wanted from my future, I told him about my desire to earn a degree.  For Bob, that was a no-brainer.  He encouraged me and a few months later walked me through registration as I registered for two evening classes with the University of Maryland, the same college he attended.

I began taking courses during the evenings, and, during the day, I worked at the Civil Rights Commission.  My world was expanding rapidly.  I relished every single minute of my growth.  Ironically, the same uncle had left the priesthood, married an ex-nun and was in the process of moving to Washington, D.C. where a job was waiting for him.  He asked me to take him around to apartments.  During those few days, Uncle Tom tried his best to break up Bob and me.  He explained to Bob that he was leaps and bounds ahead of me intellectually.  He begged Bob to break up with me.  “Maribeth is a sweet girl, but she’s not all that bright.  You will become bored with her and wind up breaking her heart,” Tom explained.  Bob countered that Tom had no idea who I was nor how intelligent and complex I was.  Tom lost that argument and Bob, and I married a few months later.

I think I was always looking for female role models, so, in 1992, when Bill Clinton won the presidency, I fell head over heels in love with his beautiful, assertive wife, Hillary.

Hillary was everything I aspired to be.  She was bright, inquisitive, assertive and she was not a typical wife, let alone First Lady.

Soon after Bob and I wed, the Navy assigned my father to the Pentagon as he subsequently moved my Mom and younger siblings to the D.C. area.  A week after Bob and I married, Bob’s father called him.  Bob’s daughter, Kimberley, from a long-past marriage, was living in a foster home in the California area.  Social Services removed Kim from her mother’s living quarters where a live-in boyfriend beat her with a beer bottle.  A month later, I was a mother.

When we married, both Bob and I agreed that we would not have children.  I never knew why I didn’t want children. However, I knew I didn’t.  So, becoming a mother the way it happened was a shock to my senses.  For the first few months after Kim’s arrival, a Social worker visited us on a frequent basis.

My mother went to work on me coaching me how to act.  She encouraged me to make cookies for our first Social Services visit.  I reluctantly did.  However, the social worker caught on to my feelings of reluctance to play the stereotypical mommy role.  When she left our first meeting, she instructed me to be myself and act naturally.  It wasn’t too long after that meeting that the social worker suggested that we had the option to send Kim back to California.  Bob had not been a father very long when he and his first wife were divorced.  Thus, when suggested, he flirted with that solution.  Too, he was terrified of losing me.  I, however, could not agree to send her back.  I had spent my entire childhood in misery.  I was not going to be the person who doomed Kimberley to a life of misery knowing she was unwanted.  So I raised her, giving her all the guidance I could offer.

When Hillary came along, she was the very role model I had thirsted for all my life.  I was captivated when she made the statement, “I’m not sitting here like some little woman who stands by my man like Tammy Wynette.”  Later, she followed that up with, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and have teas; but, what I decided was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public office.”  Wow, hot dog was my reaction to this assertive, proud female who was my age and was standing up to the world with vigor, confidence and an I am who I wish to be boldness.  And, so, I stepped up and became the same type of woman, one who proudly assumed the label of uppity.

Later in life and during a job review, my male supervisor evaluated me as an average worker on paper, however, in our meeting he raked me over the coals.

I was the Kroger, Nashville Division’s first female Meat Field Supervisor.  I supervised two store districts and thirty meat departments.  My approach to those departments and their meat managers was not the typical field supervisor one.

Instead of playing a merchandising department cop, my style was to become a partner with the departments.  Everything I did, including sending out a plan that accompanied the weekly sales plan was intended to help the departments utilize their merchandising skills.  For example, I would discuss selling cuts of meat that made up for the unprofitability of the cuts on sale.  I respected the department heads and their staff.  In return, I was respected and appreciated.  In fact, after several inventory periods, all my stores began bringing in profits that surpassed their expected profits, something that had not been achieved in recent history.  The zone and store managers loved me because I was making them look like heroes.  My immediate supervisor did not.  He felt threatened; and, so he told me I had a reputation for being too pushy.  He then told me that women should have a quiet power.  I listened, felt bad, questioned myself, but, then, picked up my head, held it high and, when offered a job with a Fortune 500 company, I moved on.  I would later learn how much respect I earned while I was the Meat Field Supervisor.

One of my husband’s co-workers was friends with the Kroger, Nashville Vice President of Store Operations.  This VP expressed regret that I left the company as he called me a shining star who was destined to go places with Kroger.

Recently, a friend asked why I was still commenting on Facebook that I was #StillWithHillary.  He explained that although he respected the former Secretary of State, there were so many other outstanding women in politics and business.  I decided not to give him the short, tart FB answer.

Instead, his question made me ask myself the same one.  I wanted to know the answer, and that would take me time.  I explained that to him and told him I would give him the link to my blog when published.  He accepted my offer and said he looked forward to reading my answer.

Hillary Clinton was my first real female hero.  She came along for me when I desperately needed a female role model.  She was everything I aspired to become and now realize I was already becoming.  Although there are many outstanding women qualified to become our first female president, I feel Hillary earned that right to be the first.  She earned the right to be the first female to break that ultimate glass ceiling.  She wasn’t, and now I look to the future.  However, I will always stand with Hillary Clinton.

As Hillary became my first hero, I became my second hero.  I have overcome much in my life to accomplish more than I ever expected.  As the title reads, Women need Heroes Too.  As girls and women, we need other females to look up to and emulate.  We also need to be so proud of who we’ve become that we too become our hero.

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Filed under Maribeth Shanley, writing

Hello NaNonites by LV Gaudet

Hello NaNonites.

 

I met a few of you at the kick off.

I’m Lori.  I write dark fiction and Halloween is my favorite flavor of holiday decoration.  I don’t get online every day, busy life and all.

You can find me on NaNoWriMo under my published name: LV Gaudet

https://nanowrimo.org

 

Are you ready for thirty days of obsessive writing?  One of the tools I like to use is mocking up a book cover for inspiration.  A visual of the literary feel of the story.

 

For those who don’t know what it is, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  For the month of November you pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Yeah, we’re nuts.  We are writers.  There is a wine that goes nicely with that.

 

I had to look back on my Nano books to figure out this is my 8th year.  Oops, I was a year off tonight.  I won three of those years.

Here are my NaNo creations in chronological order:

Garden Grove Cover - Amazon ebook - front cover

 

Garden Grove – Self published.

 

NaNoWriMo 2011 Cover

 

Untitled – I will come back to it.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

 

The McAllister Farm (winner!) – Published by Indigo Sea Press, a small indie press in the US.

Blood cover

 

Blood (winner!) –  Based on the short story.  I will finish it, but it’s getting weird.

 

thumb

Butterflies in the Garden (winner!) – Needs a do over and I vote this worst ever mock cover.  This will eventually be published under my alter ego to frighten the middle years/teens.

 

Old Mill Road cover idea

 

Old Mill Road – Still a work in progress. On the back burner.  I’m still looking for the old Mill Road monster.

Nathan copy-NaNoNathan – Yeah, and then there is Nathan.  Nathan was born in Hunting Michael Underwood.  But, he wouldn’t stay there.  I only made 9000+ words and gave up.  But, the voices in Nathan’s head are still there.  They will get out.  Run.

Killing David McAllister

And this year’s Nano is Killing David McAllister.  Fourth book in the McAllister Series and it will be the final.  Hunting Michael Underwood was supposed to be the last, but the story was not done.  Well, except for the spin off.  White Van.  That was not a NaNo book.  I will get back to it.

 

If you find me on Twitter (@lvgaudet), you will probably see random posts about the #BigDumbBunny.  The name is self-explanatory.  She’s big.  She’s dumb.  And she looks like a big dumb bunny with those ears and the bunny hop.

 

Feel free to check out one of my blogs.

The Intangible World of the Literary Mind (lvgwriting.wordpress.com) is my first blog.  It’s a blog about writing and being a writer for writers.  I haven’t been as active as I would like to be.  Life and stuff.  Writing.  You get it.  I’ve posted stories, tips on writing, editing, creating platform, and promoting yourself and your writing.  I post my own tips as well as hitting the reblog button to share the advice of others.  I share (reblog) the odd book review and write my own book reviews when I have time to finish and review a book.  I have a lot of reviews I am behind on writing.  I post some random stuff too.

LV Gaudet, author (lvgaudet.wordpress.com) is a fan blog.  It’s all about the reader.  I share weird and creepy news stuff.  Sometimes podcasts by some other people who like dark stories.  And I post my own stories here.  I am working on being more sharing.

Vivian Munnoch, author (vivianmunnoch.wordpress.com) is a nom de plume.  An alias.  My sometimes alter ego.  I use this name for the child friendly stories.  This is where I would post anything to do with the younger realm of darkness.

 

 

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Filed under L.V. Gaudet, writing