I am a mother & wife - those are my 2 most important and favorite achievements!
Retired after 26 years of office work (which was never really "me") - I am now a Goddess & Bohemian Artist. My true self has at last emerged!
I am an active member of the "Absolutely Fabulously Friendly Little Rockers" & the "Amazing Mad Hatters" Chapters of the Red Hat Society. I am a "Pink Hatter" because I have not yet reached the age of reason (50). And, was crowned 2007 Ms. Arkansas Pink Hat!
I am a strong supporter of GAY RIGHTS! No American should be treated as a second class citizen!
As Co-Founder of The Spirit Seekers Paranormal Investigation Research & Intervention Team (SPIRIT), I am a Paranormal Investigator (Ghost Hunter). Find out more at www.thespiritseekers.org.
I love to travel & want to go EVERYWHERE!
I was in the 2006 New Year's Day Parade in Paris with the Red Hat Society. I celebrated 2007 New Year's in Italy, where I experienced the overwhelming wonderment of the Sistene Chapel and the awe of standing in the presence of Michaelangelo's David. For 2008 New Year's, I participated with the Red Hat Society in the London Parade!
My husband and I love to cruise, particularly in the Caribbean; and my entire family goes to Florida to hang out on the beach at least once a year.
As always, I cannot wait to see where life takes me next!
"The Ernest Green Story" (1993);
"Stone Cold" (1991)
"A Haunting" (Discovery Channel);
"Did You Know?" with Ernie Paulson (KARK);
"4 News Today" (KARK);
"Today's THV This Morning" (KTHV);
"Travelin' Arkansas" with Chuck Dovish (KTHV);
"Arkansas State Parks" Commercial;
"MDA Telethon" (KLRT);
"PBS Telethon" (AETN)
"Ghost Hunters of the South" by Alan Brown
I love animals and children, art and travel.
I have no use for anyone who is cruel, hateful or judgmental. I believe in the "Golden Rule" - but some people must be loved from a distance.
I get really impatient with bad drivers, misspelled words, and rude people.
I am honest to a fault - meaning I always tell the truth, even if it would be better to keep my mouth shut. I am generous and empathetic and caring. I always want to help others be the best they can be. And, I love to laugh!
My daughter, Violet, is absolutely AMAZING. She is, without doubt, the most intelligent, talented and loving person I know. I decided when I was 2 years old that I would have a baby girl named Violet - I waited on her for 20 years. When she was finally born, she was, and still is, the most beautiful thing I ever laid eyes on. She is my heart. She saved me in countless ways - By loving her unconditionally; I learned that I am worthy of love. By teaching her to be strong; I learned how strong I can be. By teaching her how perfectly and magnificently God created her; I learned that I, too, am a wonderful creation. In knowing her, I have glimpsed the face of God. I cannot look at her without smiling. She is the fulfillment of my greatest desire - to be a mother - her mother. Each day of her life, I have asked God to grant me the wisdom, patience, and understanding to be the mother she deserves. And although I have failed in that role countless times, God continues to provide more than I can ask, or even imagine, by allowing her to fulfill the unlimited potential He placed in her heart.
My husband, Alan, loves me completely & unconditionally. This is the love I dreamed of as a girl, this is the happily ever after that I waited on for so long. After kissing a few toads, and marrying & divorcing a scorpion, I thought I had given up that dream. Decided that it was just a fairy tale afterall, and "happily ever after" was merely a storybook ending. Then, we found one another. Somehow, the smallest ember of that dream had survived, and his love fanned the flames to reignite my hope. I was afraid at first; afraid it was just another trick. But, for so many years, his love for me has burned bright. He believes in me when I can no longer believe in myself. When I forget that strong, independent, loving woman that I strived so desperately to become - I look into his eyes and see her there. But more than that, the reflection I see is also that of the little girl, holding on so tight to her dreams. And that little girl is smiling - smiling a "happily ever after" smile.
I am extremely proud of my two loving step-children, Matthew & Nancy, and daughter-in-laws, Robin & Rebecca; who have blessed our lives with four precious grandchildren (Ian, Isaac, Dagan & Zoe). I am truly blessed.
Are you a Mother?
Are you a Grandmother?
"Dusky" - a 4lb. Pomeranian; "Thor" - a 14lb. Pomeranian; "Rose" and "Lily" - 2 Pygmy Goats; "Hootie" - Rescued Alley Cat; "Star" - my husband's Blue Heeler - All of my pets are very spoiled and very naughty!
A few weeks ago, my mother looked at myspace page for the first time, and she was not happy. She complained that I didn't mention her anywhere. I talk about my wonderful husband, and I brag relentlessly about my daughter, but nothing about Mom.
So, I started thinking about what to say. "I have a great mom!" Just didn't cover it. She's a complicated woman. I've been married to my husband for about 16 years; My daughter is 26; But, Mom has been there since the beginning - the whole 48+ years! I don't know how to sum her up in a few lines.
So, let me tell you a little of what I know about my mom:
She's the baby of the family, had 1 sister, 3 half-sisters, and 3 half-brothers (I think I remembered them all). She didn't grow up with money, but did have a lot of love. From what I understand, she was pretty spoiled, actually. Her dad carried her everywhere until she was like 10, and always called her, "Baby".
Mom's been through a lot of loss in her life. Her mother died when Mom was just 30, her dad when she was 38. She lost her sister and best friend when she was 45, And has lost 2 of her half-brothers and 2 of her half-sisters. She and my father divorced when she was 47; Her second husband, the love of her life, died of lung cancer when she was 56.
Mom was diagnosed with cancer the first time when she was 33; There have been 2 cancer diagnosis since then.
I've heard that what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. I guess that's why she's so tough. Just as an example, the last time she had cancer, she had a masectomy and missed a grand total of exactly 5 days of work. She just tucked the drainage bags up under her shirt and carried on. Radiation treatments every day for six weeks (except weekends - cancer doesn't grow on weekends) never slowed her down. She scheduled her treatments for 7am every day, and was at work by 8am.
Now, before I go any further, let me just say, I'm not that strong. A migraine can put me in bed for 3 days. I used to think I was really a wimp, now, I think I'm the more normal one.
Mom graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1958 - you know, the one in your history books - "The Little Rock 9", and all that. I've learned a lot about that year from television. From Mom, I learned that the National Guardsmen surrounding the school were really cute, and the gas station across the street (which is now a museum) was where she danced every morning. She just doesn't get involved in whatever drama may be surrounding her. She saves her energy for more important things - like dancing. I wish I could be more like that.
She married right out of high school, as was common at the time, and by the time she was 23, she was raising 4 children. She had 3 (me at age 19; my sister at age 22; and my brother at age 23); and she was raising my cousin, who is 6 years older than me. Why? Because he needed her. A complicated situation led to it all - but she's a bottom line kind of gal. So, what mattered was that he needed to be there.
When I was 13, she had my baby sister; and when I was 14, she took in 2 more cousins (one who is mentally challenged and still lives with her). During my teenage years, 2 other cousins lived with us from time to time. I believe the most kids in the house at once were when we had 7 teenagers and one toddler.
We weren't wealthy by any means. When I think back to my childhood, I guess we were really poor; but I didn't know it at the time. None of my friends had money either, so in my mind, there were rich people that we saw on tv, then there was everyone else. We were just like everyone else, or so I thought at the time.
Why did she raise all those kids? They needed her. Was it hard? Hell yes! She's never said so, but she doesn't have to - I was there.
I've heard that raising a teenager is like nailing jello to a tree. Imagine 7 of them.
We were all expected to get jobs by the time we were 16. If we wanted a car, we each bought our own. Gas money, movie money, anything extra - we worked for it. We learned the value of a dollar, but that's not why she did it. There just wasn't any extra money. She stretched her budget like saltwater taffy - watered down ketchup and shampoo to make it last longer; bought only the least expensive brands of everything, and only on sale. She would have enough to buy cookies sometimes, and we would count them out, divide them up among the kids, and hide them in our rooms. Well, except my cousin Leon - he would eat all of his, then beg for ours. It seems like everything was a contest for us kids - even the cookies. The last one to still have cookies was the winner. Sometimes I would pretend to eat all of mine, then proudly present one when everyone else's were gone.
Before you start nominating her for sainthood, let me assure you that she is definitely human. She had a temper like hell's fury, though she seems to have mellowed over the years. When Mom was in one of her moods, we all tried to be invisible. She hit us too hard and too often, and she could sure give Daddy what for. Had I been in that situation, I can't say for certain that I could have done any better.
But at the end of the day, she loved us. That's what mattered most. Remember? Bottom line gal.
By the way, she hasn't stopped taking in relatives. Her half-brother, who is in his 80s, moved in a few months ago. He can no longer live alone. So, like many before, he went to live with Mom. It's not easy. She has osteoporosis and scoliosis, and weighs about half of what he does. Still, she helps him up and down the stairs; and pulls him out of the bathtub when he can't get up. Not to mention cooking his meals, which he often refuses to eat; making him take his meds; driving him to doctors; and taking him for regular pedicures.
People say things like, "Your mother's gonna have an extra star on her crown when she gets to heaven." What crap. I mean really, once you get to heaven, who really cares?
What I want is for her to get as much love and care as she has given. I believe she does and will. Everything comes back - I believe in Karma.
Mom always wanted to go to Europe. I went for my senior trip, and always felt guilty that she couldn't afford to go. She and my step-father had plans to travel when he retired, but he didn't live long enough. So, over the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to go to Europe with Mom. We've been to France & Italy & London. Now she wants to go to the Orient. That seems a little scary to me - I just don't know enough about the culture, and everywhere we go, we stay lost at least half the time. But, Mom usually gets her way. Later this year, I expect to be lost in China.
The funny thing about Mom is, she thinks nothing about all the things I've just told you. Doing for others was never a big deal - it's just what you do.
She identifies more with her career. She's worked since she was 14. She started out at Sterling Store in downtown Little Rock. She's been a waitress, which she liked a lot; and a secretary. About 33 years ago, she started working at the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. I guess she was a secretary; there were only 3 employees, so her job description was pretty much, "Everything."
Now, she's the Executive Director. She is well-loved and well-respected by the 3,000 or so members; as well as her peers around the country. She always looks beautiful and polished and professional. Impeccable.
Which reminds me - when I was a little girl, I always had the prettiest mom. Whether at school, or church, or anywhere else - my mom was always the prettiest. I suppose a lot of kids think that, for me, it was really true. And, it still is. Everywhere we go, people are shocked that she's my mother. They've always thought she looked too young. "You must be sisters!" they'll say. She loves it. She'll look at me and smile as if to say, "I've still got it."
I just shake my head and smile. Yes Mom, you've still got it.