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Allow It To Begin

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What does one do with emotions that can’t be told
That have to be bottled and buried in the depth of one’s soul

How does one express feelings that run so deep
Without being misunderstood or causing a rift into which one leaps

Where is the Sun when we need its light most
Where does one find peace without the past’s ghosts

I’m confident a time will indeed come
When there’s no further need to numb

A time that allows the mind, heart, and soul to calm
When anothers unconditional love covers old wounds with a soothing balm

Let the sun shine and allow the warmth in
Open your heart wide and allow the healing to begin

Don’t look to the past but forward instead
Run to the future and into the brightness ahead

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Staring Death In The Face

Wednesday, April 13, 2016



It was unusually warm for an April day in the Pacific Northwest. It was a day every biker dreams of. The bright blue skies were cloudless, the wind minimal, and warm rays of the sun shone brightly on the chrome of the beautiful machines on which we rode.

We took off for a short ride to test out the bike we had just picked up from our friend. As I led he rode up beside me and motioned that we needed to stop for a minute or two. His chest was tight, his breathing labored, and his skin was pale beneath glistening beads of sweat.

We rested a bit, re-hydrated, and continued on. He wasn't feeling well so we headed home. It wasn't long before the crushing pains began, one after another without ceasing. He went outside to get some fresh air when the sensations in his chest became increasingly painful. He was light headed and I knew what we were dealing with was serious, but I had no way of knowing how serious those pains would turn out to be.

Amidst protests, from a man unable to speak while the pains grew more frequent, I made the decision to call for the paramedics that were only about a block from our home. When they arrived they quickly attached leads to his body that led to their portable EKG unit and captured approximately six more events.

He was loaded into the ambulance and away they went while I followed in the car. As I entered the hospital I was rushed into a room filled with the cardiac team. They firmly requested I speak with him, touch him, and let him know I was there. He looked into my eyes as they pushed high levels of medications through the IV that had been inserted at home. They told me to tell him to stay here, not to leave, and I did. His eyes were foggy and uncertain as he said, "'l'll try." I told him no, he wasn't going to try, he would stay and not leave us. Once more he said he would try. The team told me to be more emphatic with him, and I was, I demanded he stay. Finally he relented and said he would.
I was then taken out of the room so they could attempt to shock his heart back into a normal sinus rhythm. Within minutes he was whisked away to have a heart cath performed. After what seemed an eternity they brought him out and told me what had actually happened in that ambulance.

He thought he had passed out. When he came to he spoke of nodding off and was told he didn't "nod off," he had "checked out." He was gone for over a minute before the vigorous CPR revived him. We weren't told until the night before his release that he had been originally given less than a 10% chance of survival.

He spoke to us of dreaming, dreaming of two white, faceless, figures that were speaking to him. He was unable to recall their words but he vividly remembered their presence. It was at that point I was instructed to only tell three people, his sons and his father, not only by him, but by the doctors as well. They wanted no interruptions for either of us during that uncertain, stressful, time. I had already called his sons and his Dad on the way to the hospital.

They sedated him heavily and placed him on a multitude of medications in the hopes of keeping his heart at a stable pace. He was hooked to various beeping, colorful machines, and carefully monitored though the critical hours that followed.

I had, at that time, been assured all was well with his heart, but there were spasms that they were trying to minimize. The cath had shown his heart to be perfectly healthy, and contrary to the "knowledge" of one, his condition had absolutely nothing to do with his lifestyle, or choices, but rather most likely a genetic defect.

I got home around 4 AM that Friday morning and was back at the hospital only hours later. Somehow word leaked out and the phone calls and texts began. The doctors instructed us to turn off our phones and keep people at a distance for the days that followed. Often times well meaning people freak and call not realizing that others too were calling, and that with every call, every text, the stress on the both of us would only increase so I was placed in the position of keeping his father and sons informed and others at bay.

That next morning he was more with it and again explained the experience. His chest was sore because of the life saving CPR that had been done en route. Doctors, many doctors, were in and out of the room and the decision was made to implant a AICD , an automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The device was designed to monitor the heartbeat. The device can deliver an electrical impulse, or shock to the heart, when it senses life-threatening changes in the heart's rhythm.  

We had to wait several days so a highly specialized MRI could be done before implantation of the device. The days of waiting were some of the most stressful we encountered and the doctors, knowing how critical it was to keep him as quiet and as isolated from the outside world as possible, allowed me to bring two of our dogs into the Cardiac ICU to help calm him. It was a good decision on their part and his blood pressure immediately decreased.


Monday morning the MRI was done, and Tuesday the surgeon took him back, created a pouch, with the incision made above his "Godspeed" tattoo per his instruction, implanted the device and placed two leads, a positive and a negative into the heart itself. The leads have threads at the end and are screwed into the heart to hold them in place until the heart can grow around them. The team then induced another cardiac arrest to test the device and he was soon back in his room to begin his journey to recovery. 

This morning we were finally given the ok to head home, or perhaps we were "kicked out." He did have a few cranky times, although I have to admit that he was pretty damned good for a man deprived of nicotine and caffeine for such a long period of time. 

Had I taken him by car, as he had asked, we would today be grieving the loss of an incredible man that is loved by many, but instead we have a happy, healthy man sound asleep and healing. And who knows, there could come a time when those leads can come in handy. You know, like if a battery dies on a bike trip we can just use him to jump start the bike.  :)

This next week is extremely important to his healing and we ask, again per order of the doctors as well as his preference, that no calls, or texts, be made unless initiated by him. He needs time to come to terms with what's happened. He needs time to rest, he needs time to begin the healing process, and he needs the time to de-stress. Remember that, even though we both know everyone is concerned and believes "one" phone call, or text will be fine, dozens of others think the same and with the avalanche of disturbances his recovery, and my re-charging, are both hindered. 

We both would like to thank you in advance for honoring our wishes and the orders of those in charge of his care. 

We love you all and will be back to normal as soon as possible. If any of you would like to send him cards, letters, etc. it would be greatly appreciated. Text me and I'll send you our address.

xoxoxo,

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A Picture Speaks Volumes

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'm so very happy at this minute because I know my parents are snickering in Heaven and joyous someone has finally called this woman out.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me she might want to put as much effort into her business as she does in cyber stalking me.

Susan, remember the time you asked me to babysit your kids and your friend's kids for an entire day and paid me $5.00 and as you handed me the money said that I owed you a free babysitting? Remember how livid Mom was? 

I know I said in my last post of her and her other sister that I would get back to my normal posting, but this was too funny not to post.

This screen shot is from TODAY ONLY. Hilarious, or a better word would be sad.



At least this gave me a much needed laugh after dealing with doctors and lab work all day.

Chuckling,

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She Just Can't Help Herself

Monday, March 14, 2016

As I was a child I had a woman I admired greatly, that changed years ago. I wasn't sure why my Mom didn't like her, my mother had integrity and, although I knew Mom didn't like her sisters, she would never say why. There is a reason for this "family" problem being written about in a public forum at this time, and I'll get to it. I don't usually lower myself to the level of my Mom's sisters, but I'm sick of their shit, their stalking, their gossiping, and in my frame of mind right now, after seeing what I saw this morning, I'm calling their asses out and telling them exactly why Mom avoided them, Dad despised them, why my brothers won't speak to them, and why I won't speak to them.

My Dad did explain in depth of the reasons often, especially after Mom died when he was more free to speak without disrespecting Mom's desire to just ignore them. I didn't believe my parents, I'd never seen that side of my Mom's sisters as she and my father had. I was blind where my brothers were not. I'd lived in the Northwest since 1990 and my bothers witnessed much more first hand than I had during the time I had been living away from my native state.

In the time since my Mom died I've come to realize exactly why my parents felt that way. After Mom died her sisters were on my back before I could even grasp the idea my mother had been killed when they swooped in and attempted to force me to go through my Mom's things, to remove every memory of her from our house. I wasn't ready, Dad wasn't ready. They pushed, and pushed, and pushed, never appearing to stop and think that my Mom's kids and her husband were not, in any way, ready to have my Mother's things removed from our family home. We all needed time to process and grieve. Dad wanted to keep peace, I wanted to keep peace, so we decided to give in that one time in the hopes the continual pestering would stop.

We called one of Mom's sisters and took her up on her offer so she would quit hounding us. We didn't want them there for the simple reason we weren't ready, but Dad wanted to keep peace, looked at me and said, "This snake has never shed her skin. Be careful I don't want to be here when she is."

While she was there, directing every move, we came across a box that had written on it "Denia's pictures." Denia was my grandmother, my Mom's mom, an icon to me.

Mom's sister wanted that box, she hadn't even looked into the box, yet she was obsessed by it. I remained steadfast and told her no. I knew what the box contained, pictures my grandmother had of my Mom, my bothers and me as children, and pictures related to us. This is the same sister that my mom had to fight to allow me to have a few of my grandmother's things after her death, and that took years. On that note, the other sister took my grandmother's wedding ring after her death and gave it to her daughter, my grandmother had left it to me. She also took the jewelry my grandmother left to me because she didn't like what my grandmother left her. My cousin is a beautiful, gracious woman, and she had no idea, and there is no way I want it misconstrued that she had any idea of what her mother did. While we're on the topic of my grandmother, my grandmother had it written in her will that each grandchild was to receive a certain amount of money after her death. More about that in a bit.

After Mom's sister forced her will upon my family, invading our attempt to heal, she proceeded to tell everyone she encountered, it seemed, that I didn't want her there because I thought she was going to steal my Mom's things. How messed up is that? The thought never crossed my mind, I was was on auto pilot, as was my father, and we were trying to make our way through a horrible, horrible event in our lives.

Back to my grandmother. Two of her daughters conveniently "forgot" my grandmother's wishes of the money she wanted her grand children to have after the sell of her farmland, but my Mom, my Mom on the other hand honored Denia's wishes and when my bothers and I bought out first houses Mom wrote us each a check in the amount my grandmother wanted us to have, with interest. Mom had integrity. I had no idea her sisters didn't honor my grandmother's dying words until I spoke to a cousin about what my Mom had done. My cousin was shocked, asked her Mom, and her Mom denied it. Dad always told me Mom's sisters were greedy and thought only of themselves, but I never thought they would steal from their own children and then lie about it. When I was speaking about what I had learned about the situation with my Mother, Mom never said a word, but looked at me in a knowing way, shook her head and rolled her eyes. I knew what she meant.

The sister that showed my family no respect for our grief due to my Mom being killed then showed her colors, as Mom had always insinuated, by calling me while I was driving from Texas to Oregon after my Mother's funeral and proceeded to scream at me, call me names, and throw about accusations for about two hours. I threw them right back because at that moment my Mom's avoidance of her, and my Father's words, suddenly made sense, especially when she ended with, "Don't tell Andy (my Dad) about this conversation." I called my Dad immediately. The woman, in my parent's opinions, as well as mine, and my brothers at the time, they may have changed their minds by now but I don't think so, but in my Dad's words, "That woman is batshit crazy."

My family was not ready to do as the sisters were trying to force us to do. They weren't in our place, they didn't know what we were going through, they wanted to force their wants onto our family. The second I left Texas for Oregon that woman came back, with the help of another woman, and they continued to do MY job as a daughter, they finished going through my Mom's things throwing things away, giving them away, and who knows what else, when in fact it was my responsibility as my Mother's daughter to go through her possessions. How do I know? My Dad told me it was my place and that my brothers would take care of his as his sons.

Dad was pissed at BOTH of the women that did that to me, to him, and to my Mom's memory. When my Dad died and it was time for my brothers to go through my Father's things I really hope those women didn't force themselves on my brothers as they did with my Father and me. While they may have been trying, in their minds, to be "helpful," they should have been sensitive to my family's grief and give us time, and the respect, to do it our way, not theirs.

Dad and I had many talks after Mom died where he spelled out everything, in detail, of why he and my mom detested her sisters. I do have to admit that one of my Mother's sisters stepped up to the plate and was there for my Dad when I couldn't be. She really did make an effort to care for Dad in his situation, and I appreciate her efforts and will be forever thankful to her for what she did for my first hero. Even with her generous efforts my father never forgot that when my grandmother was dying of lung cancer  he and my mom had given my grandmother several thousand dollars because of her situation. He was livid at one of the sisters, and her husband, specifically because they said they couldn't help because it would take their "vacation" money. Come on, your mother is dying of lung cancer, in great need yet your vacation was more important than the little life that was left of your own mother? Character check.

True to form though, after my father died, the same sister that had attacked and accused me after Mom was killed verbally attacked my brother's wife just as she did with me, although not as severe, it still shook my brother's wife to the core for no reason and the pain and tears she caused my brother's wife is inexcusable.

I was visiting that particular sister several years ago when she, her husband, and I went to dinner at one of my favorite places. They both started in on me as to why my brothers wanted nothing to do with them and how my brothers had hurt my Mom's sister's feelings. Why put me in that situation, there was no way on this Earth I was going to tell them of things my brothers had told me privately. If it was that big of a deal to them they should have gone TO my brothers and not BEHIND their backs, but that's their MO.  She shouldn't have been a bitch. My brothers did as my father had told us in the weeks before his death, and that was to stay away from them all.  He felt that when he died they would turn their gossipy, and bitterness, onto my brothers and me, and they certainly did so. How dare they be so insensitive as to attack grieving children whose parents had died so closely in time to the other one. 

My parents were PISSED about many things, one being my Dad's car being wrecked, one being that Dad was TOLD he was going to be taking my Mom's sister's son, whom they both despised, home with them from Colorado to Texas. Oh Dad was pissed, as was Mom. My bothers and I heard about that for years. They were pissed that they had to fight a sister for me to have some of my grandmothers items, they were pissed by their gossipy ways, they didn't like their pretentious attitudes, and their way of "playing nice to get info they would use to destroy," Dad's words.

A couple of weeks before my Dad died he told me to be aware that one of the sisters would pretend to care in order to gather information to spread to the other and not to trust anything they said. Once again, while I did take in his words, I hadn't seen it personally, that is until he died.

Dad had it pegged. They played their roles perfectly as he had described. I guess I got off track a bit regarding my brothers and why they had avoided Mom's sisters, they listened to Dad and steered clear. In the time I had lived half a continent away they had witnessed just what my Father was trying to convey to me. My brothers were the smart ones.

After years of them stalking me when I fell apart after my Dad's death I got tired of the nasty comments two 70+ year old women would leave on my social media. Really? Old women dogging me on social media? I had never dogged them. I'd never publicly spoken of affairs, I'd never spoken of the knives hidden with the sweet talk of a southern woman, alcoholism, drug abuse, and I'd never spoken of their hatred for their children's choice of partners, their bitterness, their games, their lying to their children. I never once publicly spoke of the skeletons in their closets.

They not only attacked me on Facebook, or this blog, but on LinkedIn, Twitter, all of my social media sites. I blocked them on the ones I could, listened to my parents advice finally and cut them out of my life. They are gossipers with one mission, to make themselves feel better and cause discord within the family. One of them would come up with "anonymous" profiles just to throw nasty, unfounded, darts at me. The darts they threw at me were very familiar to the ones they threw at my brothers in other ways. The thing is, that I finally understood, they are exactly as my Father described. They, in spectacular explosions, exposed themselves. I could no longer deny what my parents had tried to warn me of.

Mom and Dad were correct. Now think to yourselves just why would "blood" be so hateful to take all that energy to make someone that had gone through extreme trauma over several years, much of which they didn't know of, nor care to know, and why would they speak so hatefully to me about my brothers, their wives, yes you as well sisters-n-law? Then comes another question, why would they make accusations when they have no concept actuality?

You may be wondering why I have gone off the way I have, which is unusual for me to do in public. They are continuing to stalk my every post on every site they can. The only reasons I can think of are that one, they have very boring lives, or two (most likely) they want more fuel for the fires they like to sit by and degrade others in the attempts to warm their cold souls. I should take it as flattery, but knowing their intentions, they're looking for another to devour.

I've asked them several times to stop stalking me, to grow up and act their ages, and they, well at least one the one that is the "information gatherer" as Dad called her, refuses to stop. So now it's my turn to switch up the game.

I track hits on my sites daily, and I saw this yet again this morning:


It came from my Mother's sister Susan Outslay Baker. That link will take you to one of her professional sites. I, in NO way, want anyone to make any ugly comments on her site, but if she can't stay out of my life, I don't think she would mind me allowing you into hers. She's the one with the false names she has used to leave nasty comments on my various sites. I won't put a link to her personal sites, nor to my mother's other sister's personal site. But if it's attention she's seeking, there it is. The world knows you know Susan. Grow up and keep your nose in your own business, not mine. Another word to you, and Sandra Clendenin, if I were you I'd think twice before attempting to pour your poison on my children. I know you are because I know who you are, but think twice. Remember the phrase, "Hell hath no fury?" Remember it, repeat it, memorize it. Have respect for once in your lives and don't attempt to contaminate my children, or my ex husband (he's aware of your tactics) with your sugary, southern, poison disguised as concern and false "love." Leave me and my family alone or you will see in technicolor exactly what that phrase means.  I'd remember this if I were you, my Mom and my Dad, made sure all of their grandchildren knew exactly what the two of you are about. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can charm them. They'll be nice, they'll be respectful, but they know the truth. My parents made sure they knew your games, and your actions since her death made them believers.

Feeling better now and ready to get back to regular programming as I feel their poison leaving my home. Oh, one more word of wisdom....we're all human. The two of you live in glass houses, it wouldn't be wise to throw stones, I know your skeletons.

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The Unexpected

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My eyes were wandering from item to item in the small office I'd been in hundreds of times during the last six, or so, years as I listened to my doctor updating my chart and researching questions I had moments earlier asked.

I studied his many degrees, the multitude of books on various topics of the human mind that were tightly arranged on the shelving unit. I glanced over at the cartoons pinned on the wall, and I chuckled as I admired his enormous collection of rubber ducks.

I was patiently waiting and allowing my thoughts to wander when he suddenly looked over his glasses, that are always perched upon his nose, and he asked if he had ever told me the story of his aunt.

In the years I've been under his care I've heard many stories, assorted anecdotes, and sometimes colorful jokes. This particular one, however, I hadn't heard or perhaps had and it just didn't have the impact on me that it did that day.

"Teri, have I told you about my aunt and her brother?"

"No Sir, I don't think so."

"My aunt that escaped the Holocaust?"

"No Sir, I don't believe I've heard about her before."

"Oh, she was a wonderful woman, simply wonderful. One time I asked her how she managed to be such an optimist after enduring the horrors that led up to the Holocaust and her escape. She looked at me, with wisdom dancing in her eyes, and said 'My brother is the optimist. He's always looking for the best, expecting the best, and he's continually disappointed when it doesn't happen. I, on the other hand, am a pessimist. I have learned to expect the worst and by doing so each day brings me a miracle, something I didn't expect. I've learned to appreciate the beauty in things that happen others might easily overlook and those things bring me great joy."

I thought of her words of wisdom today several times, once when I walked outside to see that my Magnolia tree had bloomed with beautiful, large, white petals accented with a deep purple. I thought of his story about an hour later while sitting in a restaurant. I glanced out of the window and saw that two very close, long time, friends had pulled into the parking lot and were on their way in, and I thought of those pearls of spoken words just now as I looked across the room and saw soft brown eyes gazing at me atop an encouraging smile that, without words, assured me all is as it should be.

There are miracles everywhere if we just take the time to acknowledge them.

xoxo

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Confessions, Realizations, and Intentional Blindness

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

This is a day, or time perhaps, I never thought would come. Until recently I didn't think it was something that had to be done, after all I am the therapy queen, or so I thought. I was great at analyzing others, but deeply afraid of analyzing myself. If I did that it meant that I had to open old wounds, admit my weaknesses and flaws, and look my failures square in the eye, say "I was wrong," and open the boxes I had filled with my imperfections and bad choices that I was afraid of admitting to myself. 

Here I sit one year post the official termination of a marriage that spanned nearly three decades, several years post separation, nearly a decade post a major downturn in my life that greatly affected my behavior, the behavior of others once close, my present, my future, and the lives of people I deeply love.

For those of you that have followed my writings through the tumultuous times of the last ten years or so you've seen my desperation, my attempts to breathe, my attempts to laugh off serious issues, and my running from demons clawing at my soul. Many of you saw what I couldn't, or wouldn't, see.

At the time I had no valid reasons to explain why I was running except that I felt as if I was trying to escape something deep within my being that was constantly tormenting me. I could never exactly pinpoint where those feelings came from. I only knew that they were there, they were real, and they were killing me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Ashamedly I must admit I never saw how my downfall pulled others into blackness as well.

I had many theories, some valid and some I now feel were me grasping for straws to explain what was happening and were so very wrong. We all have different perceptions of what we go through, some true, some partially true, and some totally wrong. Choices I've made, as we all have, fit squarely into all of those categories. I only want to, need to, focus on mine. I was unable, at the time, to see how in trying to control my out of control mind I ended up, unintentionally, controlling what I thought I could, and in doing so left a wake of damage.

In the midst of it all I lost track of my true self, I made terrible (although unknown at the time) mistakes, or as someone I dearly love pointed out "choices." I realize I wrote a while back that I would tell the story in detail in the hopes of helping others. What I've come to realize on this bumpy journey is that the only details I need to focus on are the ones that caused my personal downfall, the ones I brought on myself, and not to look to the actions, real or perceived, of others. I can explore those in privacy, with my therapist, and not cast blame on someone when I really need to be searching for the reasons behind my own failures and bad choices, and not tarnish the reputations of others in the process.

Four people close to me shook me, some gently and some harshly, into the realization that in doing so I was avoiding looking at the damage I caused, taking ownership for it, and because of that I was avoiding real issues with me that I was before afraid to admit and therefore unable to work on.

I want no further finger pointing, blaming, harsh words or vague insinuations. I want to focus on myself, my healing, my wrong actions, and becoming a better person. What's past is past, although it continues to haunt me, and I think enough time has past that, with the help of those that know me best, I can look back and identify my failings. I don't want to speak of my opinions regarding what I perceived of the failings of others. That won't help me heal, it will not allow me to focus on what I need to repair myself and the damage I caused, it would only divert me from what I need to change in myself and hurt my loved ones more, and I don't want that to happen. I hope that makes sense, you have to remember I'm 53, blonde, and my thoughts are scattered much of the time.

I'm a writer. I write for many reasons. One is to better understand myself, one is for my own therapy, one is to make people chuckle, and one is to encourage those in similar situations. I started this particular blog when I was wrongly diagnosed with bipolar disorder 2. My intentions were multi-pronged in that I wanted healing, self awareness, and I had read so many blog posts of others continually whining about bipolar that I wanted to show people they could take charge of what they were dealing with and not allow their diagnosis control them. I had good intentions with what I thought I knew at the time, but in doing so I miserably failed my loved ones, and most importantly myself.

I've avoided writing during these past few years for a several reasons. One was that the confusion that filled my brain wouldn't allow me to focus. Another is that, even though I didn't do a good job at it,  I thought I was  avoiding "vengeance." I didn't do a great job at that. I'm impulsive and at times I have written about my feelings, and personal situation, in a way that hurt others perhaps in order to do just that veiled as an attempt to help myself, perhaps for therapy, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps....

In doing so I hurt those I should have protected. You would think that with as much therapy as I've had I would have realized many things, and I failed in spectacular ways, in so many areas. I have forgiven everyone I perceived that had hurt me, and I have asked forgiveness of those that I know I have hurt.

I'm emerging from the darkness that had enveloped me with the help of those that witnessed my demise, my changing personality, my fleeing my own demons. I've never pretended to be perfect, but I did attempt to appear more pulled together than I was. I was attempting to control my out of control life. In saying that I am not blaming anyone, I am simply saying my life was out of control and on a downward spiral.

Was I the only one in the wrong? No I wasn't. Everyone involved made mistakes, choices, mainly unintentional, but I don't want to spotlight those, I only want to work on myself so I can be what my Creator intended for me, and to do my best to bring glory to Him. I realize some of you have different spiritual beliefs, and I respect them, I'm not preaching to anyone, I'm only trying to get back on track for myself and for those I love.

To the people that have helped me this past week or so, you know who you are, I have to thank you for everything you all have done to allow me, or force me, to take a deeper look at myself. You have made me see were I was blind, or unwilling to see the actions of mine that contributed to this perfect storm. I hold nothing against you, I can only thank you for stances you took, reaching out when you did, and loving me in spite of my craziness. Those actions you took have helped me emerge from the darkness I had surrounded myself with in the attempt to control my very out of control world.

After a very long conversation a couple of days ago I realized how deeply I affected a person I had tried to protect my entire life. I was in mama bear mode and didn't see, until just recently, I should have known when the time was right to step away from mama bear mode and allow my child the ability to breathe, learn, make mistakes, grow, think, fight, on her own. In fighting to protect her I didn't see I was slowly killing her. I'm not sure if it's normal not to know where the boundaries are with an adult child, or if we all have to learn by trial and error. One thing I can honestly say is that I was blind and needed emotional slapping to be able to realize my failures and address them.

I have a lot of work to do on myself. I've always known that but it hurt too much to get to the root of what I need to in order to be the best I can be for not only myself but for those I love, those I encounter, and those I influence in ways I don't know I do.

I value your insight, I ask for your help, and I cannot begin to express in words how much your support has meant to me through the years.

I do have one thing to ask of a few of you that are stalking me for no reason other than to gossip, burn up phone lines, or talk smack. I know who you are, you know who you are. If you have no interest in me other than to talk smack, stop stalking me from Massachusetts and Texas.

A Work In Progress,


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Hear Ye, Hear Ye......I Have Something To Tell You About!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Yes, I have a lot to say so grab your glasses, or kick back, get comfortable, and have one of your kids read this for you, but watch the video, because you know, it's kinda cool.

I recently was asked to review a set of saddlebags for my Harley Heritage Softail for a company called Viking Bags. I need to tell you that the company sent me the bags to review in my own words, they wanted an honest, unbiased review.

First a bit about my bike. I ride an '06 Heritage and love it. I love the ride, I love the nostalgic look, and I love the places it's taken me that I would have never seen by car.

The original bags

I ordered my bike bright, shiny, and new, in May of 2006. The first thing I did to the bike was replace the original Harley seat, as most of us do, with an after market seat. That little bit of information is important because of the bags I chose.

After looking through their website, they have bags for many makes and models of motorcycles, I settled on the Trianon Studded Motorcycle Bags. I chose that particular set of bags for several reasons. First I loved the look, then I saw that they locked! If you ride a Heritage, or have a bike with bags that don't lock, you feel my pain and know why that's a pretty enticing feature.



I could not wait for the bags to arrive and when they did I ripped that box open and completely checked them out. The quality is amazing, the stitching is strong and tight, and they are beautiful!



The Viking Trianon Bags feature real leather covering a hard plastic body, no more sagging over time. They're several inches deeper than my original bags, and as a woman I was ecstatic to find there was a side pocket! I cannot count the number of times I've had to search through, take everything out, along with a stream of curse words, to find items I needed most. The pocket in these bags looks as if it will solve that irritating problem, as well as prevent scarring of the minds of little kids from my "enhanced vocabulary," that always stop to look at my white and pink Harley with these killer bags.





Something I didn't take into account when I chose the bags was that I no longer have the original seat. These bags sit higher on my bike than the stock bags, and the replacement seat has a passenger pad that is wider than stock. I was at first a bit worried about the issue of how far the lid wold open and how difficult it might be to pack the new bags.



One really cool feature available with the Viking Trianon Bags is that there is additional hardware available that makes it possible to remove the bags from the bike completely if you're on a trip or just want to give your ride a thorough detailing. I chose not to use that hardware because I know me and I am not going to want to take the bags off while on trips, so I chose the hardware to mount the bags permanently to my Heritage.

Mounting the bags was quite easy. The instructions were clear and after we figured out where we wanted them to sit on the bike they went right on.

Then I noticed what could be potential problems. The bags are firm, they sit higher on my bike, and my passenger seat is wider than the stock seat. I was worried about clearance issues and how far I would be able to open the bags. Had I chosen to use the other set of hardware I probably wouldn't have run into this issue. I think, with time, my seat and I will be able to toss that issue aside.



The next problem I encountered was that I couldn't open the bags for a couple of reasons. One being that there is very, super hero like, velcro on each end of the bag. That's something I failed to notice in the beginning. The second issue was that when I dropped the lid it locked, duh, that's what I wanted, and after I wrap my blonde mind around that fact it will be a non issue. I love the velcro. It's another added benefit of these bags in keeping them securely fastened.



There are three straps with quick releases. The releases are a bit stiff, but I'm sure they will be easier to detach over time. However, there's another cool feature of this bag that you can see in the video. Beneath the strap is a little hard plastic "knob," for lack of a better term, and there are slits in the bottoms of the straps that fit right over the knobs. So where time is of the essence I really would have no need for using the releases. The knobs and the velcro alone will keep the lid of my bags from flying open while cruising down the road and every cool headband, Harley cap, and anything else, from making their way out of the bags and onto the windshield of a car, or God forbid another motorcycle, behind me.



I love having the extra depth in these bags. I stopped by the grocery store a couple of days ago and was able to fit a good amount of groceries into the bags. That translates into being able to store more goodies for long trips. I prefer trips, long trips, over day rides, so I am one happy camper!

After seeing the quality, durability, and extra room in the Trianon Bags from Viking Bags, I'm totally sold. I would even go as far to say that I would recommend them, not only to friends and family, but to my father, if he was living, for their bikes. You have no idea how scary it was to recommend things to my Dad, the keeper of all knowledge, but I would even buy him a set if he was still riding on this earth, that's how impressed I am.

I looked, I really looked, for a reason not to like these bags, but I couldn't find any. The more I rode with them, the more I handle them, the more I love them, and no more non-locking, sagging, bags!





Ok, movie time. Grab some popcorn, candy, and a soda, and watch the video. See for yourself how amazing the bags look on my Harley. Then, click the links and check out the site for Viking Bags and find the ones you most certainly will love!



A HUGE thank you to all at Viking Bags for allowing me the opportunity to review this awesome product!

And, don't forget to visit me on Facebook!

Ciao!

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