Category Archives: Thought for the day

Blindsided by a side of crazy.

Nothing wastes a perfectly beautiful day like trying to figure out why someone doesn’t like you. Don’t serve up that side dish of crazy. Be happy with you and keep walking.

I’m baaack!

Oh sweet mercies the roads I have traveled these last two years.

Ups and downs.

Joys and disappointments.

Life abundantly.

I will say this isn’t my usual kind of post. At least not of late. Not that I’ve posted much lately, but you know. I meant to. Being distracted by a side dish of crazy makes it really difficult to write anything that matters.

Yes, you read that right. I haven’t been writing because I got distracted by my own crazy. I can’t write that so and so will be upset. I can’t write about this because that will upset someone else. I can’t write about….


Enough already.

I’m in a new writer’s group and it’s time to break this cycle, take off my water wings and swim again.

There are also some things you should know about me if you are new around here: I cuss some times, I’ve been known to drink whiskey on occasion and while I’m considered a bleeding heart liberal here in the bible belt, the truth is I’m really more of a moderate. I do love horses and cycling, I’m just banned from both until my broken leg finishes healing. I love rockin open comedy mics, I play banjo for fun and believe it or not, I am really happy you are here.

I’m not going to tell you how to get everyone to like you (you can’t) or how to be a better Lutheran, I left the Lutheran church three years ago, which is when this whole mess started so  you know.  I’m not even going to tell you how to be a better wife. As for gardening, well… that’s what nurseries are for so go find a master gardener and have a ball.

I want to have fun writing again. So this is just me raw, mildly edited and hopefully offering a side dish of humor.

I’ve been through a lot of changes over the last few years. Some great, some notsomuch, but changes all the same.

I am going to tell you the cold hard truth that some people won’t be happy with your changes, your choices, or even your hair. And I am here to tell you that you will not die from that. And I know that because I didn’t.

I’m writing this because there are several of us in my new writing group who have faced this same dilemma. They feel alone like I once did. Together we are sharing our stories in hopes they find their way to other women like us. The hope is to be an encouragement for those who are afraid they are too much.  Too loud. Too smart. Too outside of the lines for humanity.

We aren’t lone rangers. We are women who care about other women. May our strength become yours.

My blog did great in 2012 and then something unthinkable happened. The very people I believed would be excited for me, weren’t and I got upset by that. Not just a little upset either. Think  literally shake whenever I met someone new upset. Super sweet oh please be my new best friend, upset. Mad at you to the point I thought my skull would burst and still not say a word about it so that you will still like me upset. Obsess over every nuance, phrase or contact to see where I stand on everyone’s “HOW MUCH I LIKE DEANA TODAY” Chart upset.

We are talking full frontal crazy my friends. 

There were those who told me I needed to repent of all this dreaming about writing a book and doing stand up comedy and just go back to being small so that they could be comfortable with their own choices.  I hate to admit it, but I may very well have given in to the pressure at least for a little while. I lost my voice. I got scared. I almost let my blog die and clung instead to the tattered shreds of their garments hoping they’d like me again. It was nauseating.

I didn’t even realize it was jealousy. I started thinking that maybe I really did deserve being the one to bring cookies to funerals and nothing more. Maybe they were right.  Maybe that was the only thing I really deserved. After all, I must be an awful person if they are reacting so violently.

I even considered releasing my first book under a pseudonym so that I wouldn’t lose any more friends. Or worse, not writing it at all.

I wish I could change those two years, but I can’t. All I can do is learn from it and move on.

It never occurred to me that jealousy was behind it all. Not once.  Here’s  the deal, there will be people who will be jealous of you. Impossible you say? Nope. Gonna happen so get ready.

Someone finally put it this way. You put a bunch of male lobsters in a pot of boiling water and they will help each other climb out. Put a bunch of female lobsters in a pot, they’ll pull each other back in. Don’t get pulled back in!

Yes we’re taught to play nice and be relational, but the truth is you can’t nice jealousy away.  Allowing another person’s opinion of you to become your problem is no solution.

Let it go, trust your gut and follow your heart. 

Do you remember that comedy judge who called bullshit on my set two years ago saying “if this is what you believe about yourself, someone lied to you.” and then told me to go find the real me and bring it next year? Yeah well — turns he was right. I did believe those things and someone DID lie.

The biggest lie I remember being told – It’s your fault if other women reject you.

Can I tell you a secret?

My Facebook friends list used to include women I know  hate me. Crazy right?  Do you know why?  I thought if they got to know me — the “real” me (as if FB is ever real) and saw all the stuff my husband and I did, they might eventually like me.

You know what?

They didn’t.

What a colossal waste of my time.

If I knew then what I know now I’d tell you to hang in there. It gets better. I promise. I hung in there long enough to learn that not all women are petty and fearful and rejection isn’t always caused by anything I did or didn’t do.  Being uber sweet and playing small won’t help. Let’s face it, I bet there are women out there that hate Maryann from Gilligan’s Island.  Even Ginger was jealous of her – remember that? Now who hates Maryann? People do.

photo (98)
My “evil” costume that caused the stir my first year singing in The Messiah. Okay so maybe it does look a little like a leopard print. Even so, she was rude.

Sometimes rejection is 100% about the insecurity of the other woman. There are women who see someone they deem beautiful and the walls instantly go up and the teeth come out.

I remember being blindsided by a cat fight a many years ago while getting ready to sing in a local presentation of The Messiah. It was my first year, and I was afraid.

“Oh wow a leopard print dress in The Messiah, how appropriate.”

“It’s not leopard, it’s wood grain. My friend made it for me.”

Insert eye roll and huff as she walks away.

All I remember about her is she was a pastor’s wife and a friend of a friend. She’d been at the same retreats I had. I liked her right up until that moment.

This was right before we headed upstairs to start the program. I started hyperventilating and someone grabbed my hand and stood there with me until I caught my breath. Not that his fiance’ appreciated that either though. Even so, I didn’t care and I was thankful for the kindness.

See the problem is, I didn’t realize yet that I hadn’t done anything wrong.

It would be wonderful if I could tell you I was in high school when this happened. I wasn’t. I was 34 and miss indignant was in her 40’s.

So here’s the deal girlfriend. Being nice isn’t going to fix this.You can’t nice someone out of jealousy. I know because I’ve tried. It makes you look icky. Really it does. That plus it’s just pathetic.

Catty women know no age limit and I want you to remember something.  The right women will like you no matter what so to hell with the catty and insecure ones who need you to play small. 

Did you hear me?


I know that sounds harsh — and it sounds harsh because you are still hanging onto the false hope that the woman who gives you grief, who bullies you, lies about you, whatever will finally like you if you just try hard enough. I’m ripping that band aid of denial right off of your heart. I do know the more spiritual answer is to let them go with love and leave them to God. That’s great but I know you. I know me. If we sugar coat this, we’ll have the false hope that they’ll come to their senses.




It’s just not going to happen.  Let’s accept that and move on. 

Put this on your refrigerator if you have to.

You are beautiful.

You are smart.

You are brave.

You are a child of God.

Own it.

You do not have to play small around women who matter.  The right women will encourage you to grow bigger and stronger along with them. Trust me on this.

Print this picture out and post it on your bathroom mirror. You are beautiful. Own it like you mean it. Be brave sweet girl.

be brave

Time to face the music

messIt’s reckoning time boys and girls.

My office is a nightmare.

No really.

I’m not exaggerating.

It is so jam-packed with stuff that I can barely walk in the room.

I’ve resorted to using my lap top on my back porch just to avoid the mess. Only problem is, it’s winter and baby it’s cold outside.

I have an excuse.

I’ve had a broken leg for 14 months and so I’ve spent the last 14 months just throwing things in my office and thinking, “I’ll deal with it later.”

That is a LONG time to stock pile crap.

Bills to be filed.

Boxes of I-don’t-have-a-place for-junk that I probably really don’t need.

Crafts that I thought I’d work on while convalescing and didn’t.

Books I never got around to reading but want to someday.

I even let other people store things they didn’t have room for in there like an old turn table, huge inflatable balls, stuffed animals, and broken things.

There are only two things that are motivating me right now.

  1. PAIN: It’s too cold to use my laptop outside.
  2. CHANGE AND THE CHANCE TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW. My oldest son moved out a couple of weeks ago and my youngest wants his room. That frees up his old room which is larger and nicer than my office. I now have the opportunity to clean out my office and move it to another room and create a guest bedroom in the smaller space.


If I’m being honest it turns out my office isn’t the only area of my life I’ve been putting off to deal with later. I’ve stock piled a lot of things in the last 14 months, anger, hurt feelings, insecurity, fear, you name it, I loaded it up. I’ve even gained 21 pounds since I broke my leg.

My physical weight is always a good indicator that I’m stuffing things. I stuffed a lot.

While my son and I removed over seven bags of physical trash from all three rooms, I thought it would be a good time to let go of the emotional garbage as well.

Touch it once, deal with it and move on. Make that phone call. Write that letter. Say that prayer. Let it go.

I want to end 2014 on a clean slate and start 2015 fresh.

How about you?

What things have you stock piled this year to deal with later?

Why not start today?

Music Monday: Feelin Groovy, Simon and Garfunkel

My banjo teacher used to call me “High Strung.” Some how, I don’t think that was a compliment. I’m always in such a hurry to finish up whatever we are working on and get to the next plateau that I don’t enjoy the moment.

I’m the same way with losing weight, mastering cycling, and my career. My eyes are on the mountain tops. The next gig, the next movie, the next song.

8 months with my leg in a boot has changed that.  8 months of sitting on my front porch overlooking the cove brought such incredible peace. No late night gigs, no rushing to finish projects around the house. no exhaustion. I just got to be.. 100% wholly me and no one else for 8 whole months.

I’m not sure I want to get back in the fray. The mania of striving and networking.

I want to build my garden at the Cove, write poetry, play my banjo on my front porch, go to church, take my time cooking fabulous meals, and spend time with friends. Maybe write my book and sling some jokes here and there when I feel like it.

Rebuilding a “suitable” web page that brings “results” doesn’t have the appeal it did a year ago.

Neither does being a star.

Or chairing yet another board at church.

Sounds crazy to me though.

Meeting Howard this weekend reaffirms that change.

Howard is a luthier. It can take him a year to make ONE violin. He has 10 more he wants to make. It took him a year to rebuild ONE clock from Germany. His father purchased a real log cabin for $20, took it down row by row, transported it back to his house and rebuilt it, row by row.

I’m guessing it took longer than a week.

How is it that at 48, I can still be in as big of a hurry to grow up as I was at eight?

Slowing down is good for sure.

Where’s The Freedom?

Fight and you may die, run and you will certainly live at least for a while and dying in your beds many years from now would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.

What are you fighting for?

What are you fighting against?

Marriage equality or DOMA?

Corporate entitlement disguised as “religious freedom” or do you believe that Corporations are people.

The Affordable Healthcare Act.

Women’s rights pro or con?

The poor.



Birth control

Maybe you are fighting Monsanto.

Maybe not.

Maybe you are fighting to save your marriage.

Maybe you are fighting to end a bad marriage.

Maybe you are fighting cancer.

Or terrorism either from within or without.




Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve buried your head in the sand and aren’t fighting anything at all, but just surviving. Maybe all you want is to go home and live because you are afraid of the cost.

My question though is, is that really living?

Running away.

Hiding the truth.

Fighting nothing.

We all want freedom.

Freedom from  tyranny – where ever we find it. We want the freedom to make our own choices, live our own lives, and express our opinions without fear of retribution.

If the truth really does set us free as they say, why do we live in the land of the free and the brave, yet want freedom at the expense of another?

Freedom has a cost.

It carries a price.

So does hiding.

We can sleep in our beds and live (and lie) or we can fight.

“Careful ladies, the saints are watching.”

To which I reply,

Thank you for the warning.

Let them watch.