Friday, July 31, 2020


Today has been a crazy day, a crazy day that is part of this crazy year.  I have asked, "What will happen?"  I have been apprehensive and worried about things to come.  I'm not prone to worry, but I feel worried now.   I can feel the pressure on my weaker spots. I am strong in certain aspects. This strength makes up for my weaknesses.  I cover those up.  I become defensive.  

I don't know if you know this but I write my prayers down.  I write them to be intentional about communicating with God.  I like going back and reading prayers.  I can see where I am going spiritually and doing this has been a blessing for me.  I pray every day but I don't write every day.  There are some days I can't seem to stop writing.  Today is one of those days.  Every moment brings with it another issue.  I have been in a bubble and the bubble is popping.  If seems as if there has been a dam waiting to break and it is breaking. I start work.  My kids are starting school.  I am still in school.  There are issues.  

I have a few friends reaching out to me.  I am not the only one whose dam is bursting.  I pull out my prayer journal and I pray to God.  I pray intentionally about the people who reach out to me.  I write their names down on the pages.  There is more than I would imagine as their faces come to me.  I think of Isaiah 26:3:
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."  

My prayer is this:
Dear God,

Even on this type of forum, I am praying and writing to You, Oh Lord.  I pray for those reading this.  I pray that they can know peace.  I pray that if they need their prayers to be more intentional than they can start their own prayer journals.  I pray for friends and family that are apprehensive and in need of you.  I pray for the transitions as the school year starts for teachers, students, parents and administrators.  I pray for Your peace and that we have a good year, despite our worries about what will happen.  I pray that you keep us in Your perfect peace as we keep our minds on You, Lord.  Help us to trust You and Your plan.  I love You.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Person I Used to Be

I have always had a lot of clothes.  I like having a lot of options.  But I am finding as I go through the clothes, that there are different versions of me and some of those versions just don't exist anymore.  I was looking at this turquoise long sleeved t-shirt with a glitter butterfly.  Yes, it was in my clothing inventory.  I had more than one...  Who wore these shirts?  Are these my shirts?  Yes, yes, they are my shirts.  I had to look at them.  I don't want to be the kind of person that wears hard cotton long sleeved glitter t-shirts.  Did you know that I am almost 50 years old?  I found myself asking if some of my clothes were my children's clothes.  That's how you know.  

I went to the closet.  I have dresses that have been there for longer than I thought I would.  My daughter fits into some of my clothes!!!  She says she likes shopping in my closet.  She's the same shoe size as I am.  (Just to be clear, Janet his not my size in clothes.  She likes to wear her clothes big and some of them were just hopeful purchases.)

I get to figure out who I am right now.  What are the parts of me that are still me?  What are the parts of me that I think I would like to change?  I understand this concept as I go around shopping with my daughter who is also figuring out her identity.  I can see who she is wanting to be (it looks a lot like who I wanted to be when I was her age thanks to trends that keep coming up and won't die).  I am looking at some of my dresses; some of those dresses I wore because my husband liked me in them.  I have to re-look at the dress and ask, "Who am I wearing this dress for?"  

I have cut out sugar and some more carbs.  I'm hoping to get a little healthier so, I'm finding other ways I would like to express who I am through my clothes.  I'm making sure that I have plenty of work-out clothes added to my closet  So... throw away the holey and mismatched socks.  Throw away those bras you know you won't wear but got on sale.  Do you have nail polish from when your children were born or older?  It's time.  It's time to get rid of them.  I'm not getting rid of everything.  I'm keeping the Justin Timberlake concert tee that I got with Cari.  I'm keeping the baseball tees that I inherited from my husband.  I wear them with leggings on cooler days.  I'm keeping some of the hoodies that I love to wear because it isn't always about how I look but about the clothes that make me feel comfortable on those days I need some solace.  

Take a moment, we are all liquid.  There are things that make up who we are that we will never part with and I think that it's okay but when your closets are bursting and you know you have to change, you need to go through your closet and figure it out because clothes can be important but they are not as important as loving God.  That's all for now..  Praise God.  


I'm sitting here.  I'm sitting here thinking about what I need to do and what I want.  I'm getting ready to start work.  I'm finishing up other stuff for my school.  I have a lot of things going on.  I think I have more things now than before.  Do I buy school supplies?  When do I pick up the information for my children's school?  

Have you ever been hiking?  Most hills start off low and easy and gets harder as you get to the top.  I have climbed some hills in my time.  I have gotten stuck close to the top of the summit.  This is where I am in my life now.  I am close to the top and I am out of breath and cramping.  I have to stop often; take it easy and dig deep to finish things off.  I need to take one step in front of the other.  I can't panic now.  I need to buckle down and focus.  

There are more issues that I am contemplating.  I am organizing my home because I am planning on moving once I am done.  My children and I are sifting through all our material goods because part of mourning is decluttering and processing the sentimentality of our stuff.  Change is in the air.  Did you know that change is scary?  It can be.  If given the time to respond, I will find time to be afraid.  I'm understanding the weak links in my psyche.  It is a blessing to know how you are fallible and where you think you can improve.  

That being said, life is too short to not do things.  That's it.  God bless.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Learning Process

Yes, I have been quiet.  I have been ruminating on all of the matters that are happening now both public and personal.  These are such strange days.  I don't really have a lot of things to say.  Let me change that thought; I have a lot to say.  I think the real problem is that I have too much to say and I'm processing the information so that I can write all about it later... maybe. 

This is quite the year all around.  I can't believe this year has gone down the way that it has, and yet... I am learning so much about myself and about my children.  I cherish this time that I have to spend with them.  They are changing right before my eyes.  This summer has been good, it has been hard and good.  

I'm going to tell you a story as a metaphor for this year.  As a kid, I would try different jobs.  I needed to do this.  I was kind of lost when it came to finding a career.  I started as an Audio/Visual Tech at the college.  I became a waitress.  I remember filling an ad out for "Activist."  It was for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG).  It was a paid gig to canvas neighborhoods.  I really needed a job so I went for the paid training and then I canvassed for two days.  I was HORRIBLE at it!!  This other guy started with me.  He was the hero of us all.  He got the most pledges in a single day.  The second day, I gave up.  I called my father and started crying to him on the phone.  My dear dad told me to come home and that we would figure it out some other way.  

I found out that I'm a lousy salesperson.  I am not good at selling things I don't believe in.  I would have never found out this aspect of myself had I never had that miserable job trying to canvas.  2020 is a learning year.  It isn't just a learning year for myself.  It is a learning year for everyone.  We are confronted with the aspects that have revealed themselves about who we are individually and as a nation.  There appears to be a lot of responding and not a lot of processing.  Take a moment, figure out who you are and what you have learned about yourself and others this year?  How will you manifest these changes for the next year and the year after that?  In learning about myself, I am learning about the things that I continue to want out of life.  I am looking at the years that are left to me and I'm trying to figure out how to live as God would want me to, more abundantly  I'll keep you posted on updates.  

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Wisdom of my Decisions

I had a lot of things going on when this year began.  I remember what I thought of my life then.   I was in transition but I had an idea of when and how.  Someone once said, "Man plans, God laughs."  Because of issues with Covid-19 (We shouldn't be afraid of saying the whole name of the evil, right?), a lot of my plans have been deferred.  I'm still working on my school work, however, my plans to move and do something else have been changed and now I am looking at the result of these decisions.  My son will be doing high school online.  My daughter is starting middle school online.  

You should know that as a parent, I mess up.  I mean, as a human, I mess up.  It would seem that it is inevitable.  I'm almost at the bicentennial age and part of me is like, "Am I really this old?"  The other part of me is like, "Man, I made it to this wonderful age and it's great!!!"  I look at my children.  It feels like I have blinked and they grew.  Now when I talk to them I look up.  It kind of hurts looking back to when I towered over them.  This is the new norm.  I will now have to look up to my children.  I have a box of tissues next to me.  I'm good so far.  I tell myself that I should have put them into sports.  They should have learned an instrument.  My son is mouthy (I wonder where he gets this from).  I remember when he was in kindergarten and I thought about teaching him complacency.  Instead, I attempted to teach him respect.  I didn't want to infringe upon his personality. Now, I pray that I have made a good decision.  My daughter as well I think about ways I could have done better by her.  She is naturally pleasing and sweet.  Should I have taught her to be mean?  Instead I taught her how to be assertive and how to use it.  

I was talking to someone last year who had a toddler.  "Hi.  How are you?"  The responses were good.  Then I asked about the baby.  "She is so bad!  She is into everything."  The parent in question was beaming.  A child that is "bad" is intelligent, curious and this is a good thing for that parent.  The mother seemed to be proud that her daughter as a toddler was questioning the status quo and testing boundaries.  I understood how this mother was bragging.  I know my fair share of kids who are "bad."  I may be raising "bad" children.

I don't really believe in "bad" children.  I think that at every instance, there are children that are learning how to cope with this broken world that we live in.  It's hard not to feel disrespected when you have a child acting aggressively toward you, but it's not really about me.  In that moment, while I'm thinking about what to do, it's really about the kid.  When you are in a moment, it helps to pray.  "God, help me help this child.  Help me to be an adult and to model grace and understanding so that there can be communication and relationship."  Sometimes my prayers are: "God, give me the words to help and heal and not tear down any farther."  Honestly, sometimes, there are no words.  I just open up my arms and I allow them to cry and feel loved. 

There was an issue and my son asked me not to share it but I was angry.  I asked him if he was disrespectful.  He told me, "I'm only that way with you."  I get the worst of him.  Why?  Because he knows I love him through his ugly and mean times.  He told me, "I can be my real self with you."  I'm sitting here honored that my son would think enough of me to show me his real self.  This is a blessing!!!  Praise the Lord!  So my prayer will be that my decisions reflect the wisdom of God and not my own because clearly, I don't have it all together.  That's all for now.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Going Back to Work

Not the first time I feel like I am talking about this.  There is a special type of feeling for teachers and office staff working in schools going back to school.  There is excitement and happiness but there is also dread.  It is a heavy feeling that our lazy summer days are over.  Imagine the Monday feeling and times it by all of the summer days that we have enjoyed.  Yeah!!!  That's what it is like.  Of course, we can't sleep before going back that first day for Professional Development.  We have orientations to re-orient ourselves on how to be a teacher.  It's usually stuff that we have heard for years.  We all move funny and are tired because we have to get used to waking up early again.  We tend to sleep for 10 hours a day those first couple of weeks because we are just that tired.  Things are repeated a few times because you know we weren't listening the first time.

This isn't a normal back to school.  2020 brings with it a double dose of anxiety into the mix.  For the first time the Back to School sale are calm.  Buying school supplies is like dressing for a prom you are never going to go to.  My children don't slow down when they hit the aisles.  I don't blame them.  We will figure it out as we go along.  I attempted to take them shoe shopping.  They really didn't even want to go into the store.  What has Covid and 2020 done to my children?

I contemplate another line of work.  I always reason that I wouldn't have summers off with my children.  I think everyone dreads the end of a break, this is why Mondays are so hard.  Kids are not like adults.  Kids are touchy/feely.  They like to hug and touch you, even the big ones.  Are they really going to stay with their masks on?  I can't say no when they come to me for a hug but then I run the risk of bringing something home to my kids.  They run the risk of bringing stuff home to me.  I control some of that.  They take off their clothes and wash them.  They take a shower.  I have a compromised immune system due to my gluten intolerance and auto-immune issues.  I'm the only parent now.  I don't fear for my death but I don't think I can bear leaving my babies orphans.  And so, I'm hoping and praying for resolution.  I'm praying for healing and I'm praying for leaders to act and make decisions based on what makes sense and not on fear.  At the end of the day, God is in control and He continues to have a plan.  Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Eyeliner Days

My life is such that most of the time I'm running.  Make up is concealer, highlighter and blush.  Anything else and I'm having a lucky day.  I usually put on my mascara once I get to my destination.  You should know that there is every likelihood that I may be in a meeting putting on my mascara because you aren't fully dressed without it.  My cosmetic bag usually has some lip gloss and a few other colors including a brilliant red.  On a good day, I'm good with eye shadow, mascara  and real lipstick.  On an excellent day I have eyeliner and more than one shade of eye shadow.  I call those days, eyeliner days.  Regular pencil liners is a simple line, cat eyes are extra.  Glitter and cat eye, look out, Hun, because I'm coming!!! LOL!!!  

Hair is usually just wet hair and some hair cream.  The ringlets will pop up anyway.  In New York City, I definitely need it up into a ponytail with the humidity.  Here in Phoenix, I have pretty rubber bands with beads that I can wear as jewelry to put up my hair.  I like hair holders that include rhinestones.  It's enough to keep it dyed every color of the rainbow.  Right now the silver is just showing off.  Can gray hair be more like chrome?  It shimmers. My hair has its own personality lately.  It doesn't like to be up.  It likes to be down.  It falls out in protest when it is in pony tails for too long.  I wonder about long hair and old age. How long can I keep this hair long?  I don't know.  I'll tell you, this is why I am taking vitamins.  

The best time for getting ready is an evening event.  It makes me wish that I had a night job.  When I was younger and living in New York, I would get home from work and have a disco nap.  I loved putting on music and taking a shower.  Putting on make up and dressing up to go out to a nice restaurant and hanging out with friends.  Having a date or getting ready to go dancing.  Oh!  I love to dance!  I have a setting spray that I bought for just those days.  I've used it once.  

So, if you see me with some glitter and eyeliner.  If you think that my red lipstick is just too red, just know that I'm having an eyeliner day and tell me, "Congratulations!"  


Monday, July 13, 2020


I pride myself in being a good communicator.  However, it depends on who I am communicating with.  This lesson is a hard lesson.  Am I being clear?  No, I'm not always clear.  The way that you talk has a lot to do with your personality.  I think back on all my arguments.  I think back on all of the times I thought I was right.  Was I?

My favorite form of communication is writing letters.  I'm lousy at chatting, which is why online dating is so awful for me.  Don't worry.  I've stopped.  Talking on the phone isn't that great either.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing...  What are you doing?"

As you can see, I'm a true conversationalist.  

I'm better in person.  Somehow, my face talks for me.  But then again, my face talks for me!!! Yikes!!!  I can see in other people's faces that they think that I'm being funny.  And sometimes, I am being funny but other times I'm just talking and you laughing at my face startles me.  Santi used to say that I'm incidentally funny.  I rethinking how I say things.  Maybe I'm not that great at communicating, like I thought.  I could be wrong.  

This is why I hug.  Hugging is always a good bet for me.  It's harder for me to put my foot in my mouth if I'm hugging.  My hugs are the best things I can say.  I'll leave it at that.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

What is Attraction?

Now that I have started dating again, I am rethinking the nature of attraction.  At this point in time, I have gone on dates with 13 men.  It is a good thing that I am not triskaidekaphobic!!!  I want to ask, "What factor does looks have in this equation?"  I don't have a lot to go on.  I had a similar question when I started dating Santi.  I kept on thinking, "Is he handsome?  I can't tell."  It's true.  I really didn't think he was that good looking.  Not the same kind of good-looking that some of my other boyfriends were.  I liked him because he had an interesting mouth and he smiled easy.  This is the real reason why I stood there talking in the middle of the street with a perfect stranger that day over 2 1/2 decades ago.  

I think I've written about the guys that I went out with in the past.  Well... I mean during this second wave of dating.  I can see their faces in my head.  I think the hardest part has been adjusting my taste.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen Jason Momoa on any of the dating sites.  I did date a looker.  I went out on two dates with him.  Let's put it this way, a picture of a flower is a beautiful thing but it's definitely not the same thing as smelling one.  

This reminds me of a story of when I was younger and dating.  I was in college.  I took a Jazz History class.  He sat next to me in class.  Man, he was beautiful.  His name was Emerick.  After class he asked if he could walk me to the cafeteria.  I wasn't the only one that thought he was gorgeous.  One of my acquaintances asked me who he was.  She didn't even assume that I was seeing him.  He only had eyes for me.  He would meet me before class and sit next to me.  We would study together.  I got a lot of attention because of him but here's the deal.  He couldn't really hold a conversation.  He was just... pretty, a pretty trophy.  So no, not just another pretty face.  

I sincerely believe that God will lead me to someone one if it is His will to do so.  This may not have anything at all to do with attraction; but it makes you wonder what is attraction and how does it all work.  Because... sometimes what you want.  what you need, has nothing to do with attraction at all.  I always need me some Jesus and I don't have an inkling of what He looks like.  Attraction... I'll think about it.  Until then, Praise the Lord!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Panic Mode

This morning I woke up in panic mode.  Sometimes these things just happen.  I slept well, and for this I am thankful.  It would seem that there be a normal progression of things returning to normal.  You see, this is the problem.  I assume.  I assume that things will return to normal.  I assume wrongly but at the time, this was the truth that I clung to because it allowed me immediate peace.  Now, having waited and seeing that things continue horribly, I am now emoting, which for me right now means panic.

I have had an email and a few people ask me about work.  I pretended that I was a lady of leisure.  "Work?  What's that?"  This is the life of a teacher.  Here we are at the 4th of July mark and I know that work is around the corner.  Just this thought has my heart racing.  It doesn't matter if you love or hate your job, there is something about going back to work that just fills us with dread.  I'm sorry, but it does!!!  Work is coming and it is going to be messy and hard to adjust to.  This has me feeling a little down.

Then, my son and daughter are going to a new school.  My son is entering high school!!!  I have no idea what that will look like and I'm nervous and panicky about this as well.  He asks me about how he will go to school.  He is reading more in order to prepare for the demands of high school.  I don't have any answers for him.  And then there is my daughter...  I don't know why this was easier when it was David but Janet is going to middle school.  My beautiful daughter, I want to put her away from the world.  I pray for my kids because I am a single mom and I think they need more than what I have.  This adds to the flickers of flame that I already have on panic.

Did I mention that I'm finishing up the demanding parts of this final degree?  I would like to be planning road trips or organizing my house.  I would like to spend real time going on picnics and doing more things with my family.  I want to be done and I'm working on finishing but in the back of my head there is the worry that I won't finish.  There is the worry that I won't have enough time.  There is the worry that I am not doing a good job.  This will be my last summer working on it.  I have to get out of my head in order to do this but instead, I am panicking.

Then there is dating or not dating as it is.  I know I signed up to date but I am realizing that I really don't have a lot of time to meet people.  LOL!!!  It could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.  How does this affect me?  Well, I'm not getting any younger, am I?  Funny enough, I'm not that worried about dating.  Usually I am.  I guess that just goes to show how concerned I am about everything else.  

Why am I talking about this panic mode?  How is it that I am sharing it with you all?  My son asks me yesterday why does calling someone chicken mean that they are scared?  He tells me, "Chickens will rush you.  They are not scared.  People who are scared should not be called chickens."  He asks me what is an animal that gets scared easily.  I think I mentioned goats.  "Well, we should call people goat instead of chickens."  So funny.  This led us to talk about different animals and we got on the topic of sheep.  Sheep are stupid.  Humans are alluded to in the Bible as sheep... a lot.  Is God calling us stupid?  Probably, because we are.  God tells us to trust Him.  God tells us not to be anxious.  God tells us not to worry.  Do I listen?  Haven't I told this to other people?  What happened this morning that I remembered all of the worry and none of the God?  Hello.  My name is Elle.  I am a sheep.  Yes, this means that I am stupid.  Why?  Because how could I waste one second of my time when I have the Creator of the universe in my corner; the Lord of heavenly hosts!!!  

So, today, I am removing the negative thinking and I'm trying to approach this day knowing that God is in control.  I tell myself this every few intervals.  I'm focusing on verses.  I'm praying.  It's kind of hard but I'll tell you how I do.  God is good.  Praise the Lord!