Friday, December 30, 2011

Forgetful Friday: Thankful Thursday :-)

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!

The reason for all the colorful flowers is because here in Ohio, we are void of all color. In this season, even though it's winter & thank God we haven't had any snow, everywhere is gray. Light gray, dull gray, dark gray - my soul calls out for color! LOL! So... I went back into my archives from just a few months ago to satisfy my color addiction. Don't the pictures warm you from the inside? Mission accomplished :-)

I am (latefully) thankful that I was bold enough to share part of my "life story" with MadameNoire's website and they posted my story!!! I am blessed with the kind comments the readers left for me. If you have a second, check it out here:

It's a story that I've told a few times, but I never sat down & put it to paper like I did. In reading it over, I guess it is inspiring, even though I just thought of it as doing what needed to be done. It's a story of complete determination & walking on faith. I feel like once I got comfortable & settled, my life got rather mundane. I want to fill my life with more determination & faith-walking in 2012.

I am thankful for a budding friendship with a family friend. Only in talking with her on FaceBook did I realize how strong, powerful and positive she is. She has weathered some storms in her life and is all the stronger behind it. We have exchanged numbers and plan to get together very soon. I cannot wait. It's so important for me to have a friendship like this right here in town.

I know I always mention Mom, but I am so thankful for her. We found a new lunch spot @ the Sam's Club! They have great pizza & hot dogs & it's so cheap, I can treat her always. For those precious 60 minutes, we catch up, laugh, talk, & hug. And I go back to work feeling blessed & fulfilled.

I read something that said: "As we grow in our lives, don't forget about our parents - they're growing older." That hit my heart. I look @ mom & realize she's walking much slower, forgetting, repeating, seeming kinda clingy. And I realize that she is the same beautiful, vibrant Jessie who used to be the equivalent to a super model in my eyes when I was young. She was strong, didn't take any shit, an awesome seamstress, gardener, hostess, mother of whom turned out to be six beautiful men and three beautiful women; and now she's older and more afraid & worried.

It makes me all the more fiercely protective of her.

And finally, I am thankful to be going into another New Year. Let's face it head on with no fears, no worries, no toxic anything. Let's be good to our hearts, to our friends, families, pets, but most of all to ourselves.

Love ~ Tracey. Thanks for reading :-)

Pictures by: me

Monday, December 26, 2011


Ahh.. the day after the Holiday and I'm feeling very reflective. It could be that the office is closed and I'm home alone and free to think without interruption. It's an unusually beautiful, sunny day for December; I don't know if I want to walk the dogs or for Son & I to go for a walk. When I have down time from the craziness of the work week, I find I try to do everything @ once. Exhale.

  • I really need to give more attention my health and weight. It's just stupid that I don't make more effort to attend the gym. The first 2012 goal is to get back on schedule & take advantage of the personal trainer that is available.
  • It sounds funny to me that I'll be 49 this June. I still feel so "young." Lol! I think back over different stage of my life and either laugh or shake my head in shame. Youth is truly wasted on the young, isn't it?

  • Second 2012 goal is to move about the country. I am tired of making excuses why I don't travel. My brother and his wife have been inviting me to their beautiful home in L.A. year after year. Sigh... It's been a such long, long time.
  • Third 2012 goal is to re-examine my relationship w/"D". Sometimes I feel comfortable and content, other times I feel like I could scream out loud. But that's in every relationship, isn't it? I often find my soul is crying out for a more fulfilling personal relationship.
  • Third 2012 goal is to be more aggressive in taking action in areas of my life that need work. My job, for starters. I would truly love to do work that gives me satisfaction. This one doesn't and hasn't in years. But it pays the bills.
  • Fourth 2012 goal is to stop wishing for big things to happen and make them happen.
  • Fifth 2012 goal is to forge and nurture better my friendships. I'm such a loner that I never think anything about trying to make and keep friendships. But I don't want to be like folks who let these important relationships go, and then up alone & friendless when they really are in need of one. I cannot tell you the last time I've met a friend for lunch or dinner after work.
  • The Sixth 2012 goal is to stay on my journey of not drinking alcohol. It's been a year this past July, but I have to admit that I have had a beer here or there. I don't want to return to that part of me.
  • The Seventh 2012 goal is to be more faithful to attending church regularly. The feeling of gathering with others is so good for my soul. I don't know why I don't give it more attention.
And that's all the musings I have for now. Thanks for stopping by. See ya back here next time. :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011



Not only is Mary the blessed name of our Jesus' mother's, but it also reminds me of a woman I used to know.

When I was young, living in L.A., being fancy free & 'doing' L.A., I worked with a young woman my age (about 20-21) named Mary. We latched onto each other immediately because she was so sweet and friendly. But the thing that got me about Mary was her peace. She had a joy and peace about her that was infectious. I wanted it. I wondered where it came from. But more so, where could I get 'some of that.'

So one day while eating lunch, I asked her. "What is "it" about you? How can you always be so joyous and happy all the time? What's your secret?

She looked me right in the eye & said, 'it's because I'm filled with Jesus in my heart. You can be like this, too, Tracey", she said.

Who, ME??? I had been going to church all my life; I'd been baptized, etc., what was she gonna tell me? (even now thinking back on it - I NEVER attended church the years I lived in L.A. Wow....) I was too busy exploring L.A., partying, hitting up concerts every night, wearing fishnet stockings & gloves, clubbing.... Uggh....

She said: "I wasn't always like this. I have raised myself since I was 15 years old!!" (I could SO NOT relate). She said her mother was a bad alcoholic & drug addict, so not only did she have to take care of & raise herself, she was also "raising" her own mother. She had been responsible for paying bills, the rent, doing laundry, grocery shopping - all the things I was accustomed to my parents doing. Who had time to think of those things when you're 15?

She then told me she had fallen into her mother's way of living & started getting high on every drug, sleeping around, staying out and away for days at a time - all before the age of 18! I was amazed, shocked & at a loss for words. Mary then told me one day, a man approached her. She thought it was for sex, but he was a pastor. He basically told her about living a whole different life she could have - if she'd invite Jesus into her heart.

She did just that and boy did Mary's light SHINE!!! It clearly shone bright enough for me to want some of the light. Of course, I didn't follow through on that right then, but it was always in my head. Seeing her day after day @ work, being so thankful and joyous, and me - either hung over or just all around sad/depressed. yet, I would look at Mary & think 'how boring.' Now I look at myself and think, 'how stupid.'

The moral of this section of my life story is that I didn't really stop & listen to God until I had my son a few years later, and came back to Ohio. Then I was removed from all the 'goings on' of L.A. and back home where it was quiet. Where I could hear Jesus knocking @ the door of my heart. And I finally, after all that time, let him in. I realized that what I thought would be 'boring' in a Christian life isn't boring at all. If you want all the blessings God has for you, you will try your best to stay on his path & please him. There is no boredom in that. In fact, it's something I hunger for everyday. And I do believe Jesus said 'come thirsty & take a good long drink.' Okay?

Besides - NOTHING on this earth compares to what He has in store for you. Nothing but great things. So on this day of Jesus' birth, I think of his mother, Mary, and of "my" Mary" who has definitely got a crown stored in Heaven for all those years ago when she opened my eyes to the real definition of 'peace & joy.' I haven't seen Mary in over 25 years, but I will never forget her.

Merry Christmas, all. If you're lost, may you run into a "Mary" out there in the world who draws you to her by shining her light. Just the way God planned it. :-)


Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe, Prosperous New Year!! Let's all hold hands and go into New Year together, leaving all unhealthy, toxic, worry-some, nasty stuff behind, and let our lights shine bright!

As you can see, Son is all pleased with "Cenation" (WWE for those who don't know - like I didn't). Nothing keeps you grounded like having a 24 year young man who still believes in Santa and smiles accordingly. He'll smile like that all day, like he always does.

Loving my hand-made sun catcher from a co-worker's talented husband. It's pretty, rain or shine.

And don't you love the colors of this delicious, oh so soft, knitted scarf? My neck will be drenched in deliciousness :-)

"D" is working until 1:00 p.m., so I'd better get started on getting the ham on and trying my hand @ Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies from Just a Pinch. Such a great site for simple, down home recipes.

So many blessings & love today. I hope all of your homes are filled with the spirit & the reason for the season.

Peace, love & blessings. ~ me :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday (Christmas Edition :-))

Happy Thankful Thursday to you all. Christmas is fast approaching so tomorrow will be all about working 1/2 a day, then shopping as far as my wallet allows :-)

Today's thanks are:

Truly feeling the Christmas Season; and since I'm not stressed about buying, I'm more focused on the reason for the Season which, in my life, means the birth of Jesus, our Savior, spending time with family, spreading love, being filled with love & caring/praying for those less fortunate & helping in any way I can. If I can't help physically or monetarily, I can certainly pray for you!

That I was wise enough to hold onto my 20-year old collection of Tamarlane ornaments from my first "law" boss who is now a retired Judge. Every year when I put them on the tree, I am reminded of his warm kindness & of giving me a chance when I didn't know law from a hole in the ground. Thanks, Judge Boggins.

For the beautiful, fresh trees we get year after year from the Fairgrounds, complete with trimmings for the fire place mantle. There's something to be said for being faithful to good, local vendors. They always throw in little extras.

That we all got together @ mom's for her 79th birthday last Sunday. We always end up stuffed into her kitchen in spite of all the other living space she has. There's something about gathering in the kitchen - all 12 of us! The warmth, love, hugs & laughter that I still feel long after we've all parted ways is truly a blessing.

That in the nearly three months that "D" as been back to work, we seem to have gotten closer. I'm sure it's because since he's back in the rat race, his self-esteem has returned, as well as his self-worth. And for me, I feel different because I have so much more sorely needed alone time without having to shut myself in my bedroom to get it. He works evenings, so we communicate through notes. We're getting the air we both needed. And it feels good. And that's something I haven't said in a very, very long time.

And lastly - I'm just thankful for everything; friends, family, employment, shelter, transportation, my full heart, those who read here; those I met through this space. If I don't write again before Holiday, (& I will try to), I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah.

Pictures by: me :-}

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good Thankful Thursday to you! Today's thanks off the top of my head are:
  • As mundane & non-challenging as my job is, I am thankful for it, as it does pay the bills
  • Watching Son with his basketball team. They have such a brotherhood & they're so kind to each other. I will forever be thankful to Eunice Shriver Kennedy for Special Olympics
  • The peaceful feeling I've been having for the past few days. I feel God's presence so strongly
  • The sky when it looks like it does in these pictures
  • That this Sunday, we're all getting together & celebrate mom's 79th birthday. I'm thankful for her, daily
  • The general kindness of [some] folks
  • That we haven't had snow or any sign of it [yet]. I pray for a snow-free winter
  • That Son (even though 24 years) is looking forward to telling "Santa" what he wants for Christmas @ his job's Christmas party tomorrow (I wasn't sure he was still a believer - I'm THRILLED that he is)
  • That I got all my Christmas cards out, including ones to everyone on my 'angel' list. I don't know them; they don't know me, but I hope the card brings them joy
  • That "D" will get the Christmas tree tomorrow (with extra cuttings for the fireplace) & it will be there when I get home from work. I'm looking forward to the smell
  • That even though I feel like I'm @ a stop while the rest of the world moves on, that there's something 'big & exciting' out there for me yet!
Stay thankful, everyone!!

Pictures by: me :->

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday's thoughts

  • Wonder when I'll start Christmas shopping? I feel like I'm walking in a dream while everyone hurries & scurries
  • I put up cute, minimalist decorations outdoors, but they are cute.
  • I was short of one large Christmas ornament to hang from the porch, so I used a humongo ornament one of the attorneys gave us for Christmas one year. This thing is the size of my head; I'm not sure how big his tree is, but it would easily tip mine.
  • The ornament is a collectable Waterford/Lennox ornament; yes, for some years I've kept it wrapped in tissue, in the box, but I thought to hell with it; let it be seen. And we'll also find out if it's weather proof
  • I feel meloncholy today; not in a bad way, but in a thoughtful, reflective way. I feel like I'm patiently waiting for something. I actually feel rather lonely
  • "D" told me he keeps a letter in his Bible that I wrote to him 12 years ago in 1999. I was floored that he still had it. He really should have taken it @ it's value 12 years ago
  • My son came home w/a homemade Christmas card from a young lady @ his job that likes him. So this morning, he took one back to her. This is the first time I've ever heard him admit that he liked a girl
  • I truly love the fact that "Santa" is coming to Son's job for their Christmas party & he's looking forward to telling Santa that he wants a "WWE shirt." (thanks for the hint)
  • I'm looking forward to celebrating mom's 79th birthday this Sunday. I'm so grateful and blessed to still be able to pick up the phone & call her on a whim. We can talk for HOURS and still never be done talking
  • Even though I'm blessed & thankful for it, my job is totally un-fulfilling in every way
  • I wonder will I ever fall in love? The kinda love that makes you feel "some kinda way?"
  • Sigh... one day @ a time :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Fairy Tales

I can remember stories, those things my mother said
She told me fairy tales, before I went to bed
She spoke of happy endings, then tucked me in real tight
She turned my night light on, and kissed my face good night
My mind would fill with visions, of perfect paradise
She told me everything, she said he'd be so nice
He'd ride up on his horse and, take me away one night
I'd be so happy with him, we'd ride clean out of sight
She never said that we would, curse, cry and scream and lie
She never said that maybe, someday he'd say goodbye

The story ends, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise - of fairy tales.

She spoke about happy endings, of stories not like this
She said he'd slay all dragons, defeat the evil prince
She said he'd come to save me, swim through the stormy seas
I'd understand the story, it would be good for me
You never came to save me, you let me stand alone
Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold

My story end, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise - no fairy tales.

I don't look for pie up in the sky, baby
Need reality, now, said I
Don't feel the need to be pacified, don't cha try
Honey, I know you lied

You never came to save me, you let me stand alone
Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold
I found no magic potion, no horse with wings to fly
I found the poison apple, my destiny to die
No royal kiss could save me, no magic spell to spin
My fantasy is over, my life must now begin

My story end, as stories do
Reality steps into view
No longer living life in paradise - no fairy tales.

I can't take credit for these words - this is from the great Anita Baker. As soon as I saw the topic, this song popped into my mind. I love it for it's words - we DO grow up believing in these things only to find out they don't always come true. Take a listen if you get a chance - it's a beautiful song.

Picture by: me :)
Sunday Scribbling word prompt: "fairy tale"

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Quiet Signs" Friday

"I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind." ~ Albert Einstein

Happy Friday, all. Have safe, restful, warm weekends! :-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good Thankful Thursday morning, all. I am thankful, always, however, I'm feeling a life-change coming on, so I have no more words than to say: Thank you. I am looking into finding new employment as I believe I have gone as far as I can go at my present job. The only way to change that is to be proactive, so the resumes will be sent. I don't know what will happen, but I feel confident that God will guide my path - if I take the first step.

Prayers & stay thankful.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me." ~Author Unknown

Pictures by: me
Even though our temps are in the 30's with a threat of the dreaded snow tomorrow, I was still able to find "pre-winter" beauty.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Same Ole Story

I read this cool list today that suggested: "go back one year in your blog & see where your head was compared to now." One year ago, I talked about homelessness here. Nothing has changed in this year with me on that matter. It still holds a soft spot in my heart.

I still sneak $ & friendship to Nelson @ the library when I see him, which hasn't been since summer. He always asks if I still have the 'very valuable rock' he gave me. I do. There has always been another guy there, too, that I've never mentioned. He's always reading the newspapers from all over the world. And he always has coffee so I slip the $ & tell him to have his next coffee on me. He always smiles, thanks & blesses me & whispers "miracle, miracle."

Then over the weekend leaving the grocery, I saw an elderly gent w/several bags & a cardboard sign slowly making his way up the boulevard.

Sigh & prayers. So, I guess my head is in the same place as last year on this note. And I'm sure it will still be next year, God willing & the creek don't rise! :-)

Pictures by: me :-}
Lower picture is the side of a building in the Arts District, Downtown


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Even though it's raining now, the first 2 pictures are from this early morning. It's amazing how the weather changes. As you can see, my Mighty Willow still bears leaves in December, so hopefully, that means winter will be kind to us.

I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but I was offered an opportunity to shoot pictures for a local website connected to our newspaper. I came by this when I entered a daily photo challenge & the editor asked me if I would be interested in shooting outside of the contest.


However, after many emails & a meeting with the editor, I found myself overwhelmed by the offer. He wanted me to; get myself set up & connected to a lot of the networks out there (Twitter, & about 5 others), get my own domain, drive here, drive there, take this, take that. This would not be for pay, but for photo credit.

After thinking on it for a few, I decided that I can't handle all that he is asking. I am truly flattered that he likes my stuff, but I do work 8 hours a day, I do have a relationship, & I do have a son deeply involved in sports.

The editor, who is a super nice guy, told me he would be open to any ideas I have of what I would like to shoot, and if I were consistent, he would give me my own link at the site. He then gave me his card & told me once that happened, I would have business cards as well.

Now this sounds like a blessing of all blessings, but I cannot agree to something that would wear me so thin. I would nearly have to be childless, jobless & single to pull off what he's asking.

I would like to do this, but it has to be on my time. I would rather do my own thing & let him post it @ his site & he give me a shout-out, but it can't be "a job." He was very interested when I mentioned I wanted to shoot the historical churches in our city. And he asked me to be on the look out for "peace poles" to shoot :-). I guess they are very rare & scattered about the County.

Photography is a huge source of my joy. I am never less than super grateful when folks comment on my pictures. I am blessed to always see a picture somewhere, in every thing, every day, all day.

Pictures by: me (the last 3 are of the Art District Downtown & ones I have submitted to the "398" Photo Challenge.)
Sunday Scribbling word prompt: "joy"

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mom vs Mom

I have never had the pleasure of being a stay @ home mother. From the very moment my son was born, even though I was married, the entire responsibility fell on me. When I became a single parent, it was full fledge work till you drop.

I had the schedule that millions of single parents all over the world have of rising extra early to get both yourself & your child ready for work/day care; dropping off your child and making it to work on time. Then at the end of the day, you had that schedule in reverse, only once you got home, there was dinner, dishes, laundry, homework, baths, & some type of rushed quality time.

I use to use my vacation days just to stay home. Not go on a trip, not to do anything but be home when my son came home. Or, to take the day running errands while everyone was at work, then pick my son up casually and have dinner ready when he got home. I sacrificed years of vacation trips just to stay home with my child.

And for good Lord's sake, don't let me even start on snow days or school closing days - the mad scramble to hurry & squeeze your child into a morning slot when they're on after school only was like trying to get into the White House, uninvited. Uggghh...

I told a friend this morning, my mother (who was a stay @ home mom) always said this: "if everybody would live within their means, they could be stay at home mothers, but they have to live in this type of house, in this type of place, their child has to have every whim they can dream up & the parents struggle to give it to them, the kids have to attend this type of school, they have to have this type of clothes, the parents have to have this kinda car & that kinda truck – so yes, everybody in the house DOES have to work because they let their wants lead their needs.”

Of course she said this years ago before the world went to hell in said hand basket & employment fell off the face of the earth. And I am supposing this counts for married women and/or men who have each other as back-up, but us single women, there is no staying home, unless you work from home.

But Son & I survived. When after school care costs became too much, I had to teach Son to let himself in the house after school. Then I had to sit @ work for the next 2 hours & wonder exactly WHAT was he doing at home alone? I've come home to empty cookie jars, entire 6-packs of pop being gone, keys broke off in the lock, etc, etc., etc.

Cheers to both types of moms, but if I had a chance, I'd still rather be a stay @ home mom.

Best News of the Day

Hey, folks. Sister #1 has decided to take Sister #2 up on the offer of renting mom's house!!!! My heart was so overjoyed @ this news...