MARCH 5, 2021: “The Tortilla That Made Me Cry” …

INDEED IT’S TRUE …

… a tortilla really DID make me cry this morning, but alas – Batman TOTALLY saved the day!

Unless you either are a Mexican, was raised by a Mexican, lived with a Mexican, or spent any time next to a Mexican Mama turning dough balls in the kitchen, you simply cannot understand the “tortilla” of it all! Some day if you’re really lucky, I’ll tell you ALL about what my Italian grandmother taught me about food from her kitchen. Oh, wait, I’ll just tell ya now! It went somethin’ like this …

You bettah eat those friggin’ sawsage and peppahs NOW or ya dead to me AND ya gonna burn in HELL!”

Wait! What?

Much love to all of you! Goodnight!

MARCH 2, 2021: “My Naked Number” …

What’s YOUR “Naked Number”?

Mine is two! Only two men have ever really seen me naked, King One, and King Two, and two it may be forever. That being said, I am totally on board with “alone, not lonely” for the entirety of my journey if that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Lookit! Have ya met me? I’m the happiest person know, and I’m my very best friend, and “me and me” have a SHIT TON of light to shine upon the unsuspecting masses, and we’re doing just fine on our own.

BUT HERE’S THE DEAL …

I have always believed that three is the number of perfection. Under optimal conditions, the all consuming heat from my untamed heart could literally melt a diamond. I’m not a fan of being touched, so any man worthy of getting close enough to hold my heart in his hands is gonna have to be forged from ashes himself. The shadow of his Herculean phoenix wings will need to be even bigger than mine so that as he’s flying either above or behind me, everyone will see the flames of ALL my heart’s desires burning deep inside his eyes. His wings will need to eclipse the enormity of the two who led me before him, such that not only will he be confident enough to live with their lingering presences, but even more so will he embrace and honor them in gratitude for the treasure they left for him to find. The only thing that can survive a living fire is living fire itself. The ONLY one who belongs with a queen is a king.

Time will tell if there is to be “one last king” who gets to see me naked and read the very private the pages of my book, but DAMN that’s gonna be one lucky bastard. Trust me when I tell you, I really AM “everything, nothing, and ALL of it”, and that’s what he’ll be too.

SOUL SEARCHER

I don’t know what am I looking for … I don’t know what I’ll find. It lies behind the door to another space and time. The riddle is a metaphor without a trace of rhyme. Don’t need a time machine to travel near and far. Went deep inside to reach a distant star. Things are never what they seem when you wonder who you are… who you are. Soul searcher! Soul searcher! Can’t hide – there’s no one there but me. Light reveals what’s never been shown – no mortal eyes can see. By yourself, but not alone, our soulmates set us free. And everything you’ve ever known is what was meant to be… it was destiny. Soul searcher! Take a look inside and tell me what do you see. Soul searcher! Can’t hide-there’s no one there but me. {Joe Lynn Turner}

MARCH 1, 2021: “Why Flowers Give Me Butterflies” …

… because, he was a king like that!

“This Week’s Flowers”!

THE FLOWERS! It was one of my favorite things about him. He’d send me flowers even when I wasn’t home, whether I was sitting in a classroom somewhere, or on the rare occasion that I traveled without him, they’d be waiting in my hotel room! The fresh flowers that are always on my counter these days (and will be until I take my last breath) may no longer be sent by him directly – but trust me when I tell you – they are indeed BECAUSE of him! He made damn good and sure that I knew, EVERY, SINGLE, DAY, that I was priceless, and valuable, and WORTHY of all the best and most beautiful things in this world. The never-ending array of fresh flowers in this house for me (and sometimes even Gia) was just one of the ways he accomplished that. So, when I tell you that “HE MADE ME A QUEEN, and QUEEN I shall be all the days of my life” – “the flowers” are just one of many the reasons why!

Jean Claude Van DAMN I am such a lucky woman. He may be physically gone, but but “who he was” and his legacy of love are still very much alive in the fabric of our lives. True love never dies my friends … it just slips into the next room.

Now then – go and get yourself some flowers – TODAY! You are worthy too!

FEBRUARY 27, 2021: “Falling Down In The Fog” …

… yes, my friends, we’re all decked out in grey here at The Manor, and I couldn’t be any happier. You cannot really know me without first understanding the “grey” of it all, why it is my mantra, how I earned the endearing title of “Miss Red Hook 1922“, and why FOG is my other favorite color“.

Faith And Perspective.

The fog doesn’t scare me. It’s neither ominous, nor looming, nor haunting. I feel the mist as a cosmic hug from every moment and Creation that ever was or will be. It’s cryptic, and ethereal, and POWERFUL – just like The One Who charged me in the first place to solve the greatest mystery of all: “Why?” Why do we suffer? Why is there pain? Why is there heartache and death? Indeed I’ve discovered the answer to that question, and here it is my friends: THERE ISN’T ONE! Not NEEDING to understand is the understanding.

Amidst all the fog is the Nirvana I’ve achieved as I’m free-falling off this cliff with truly blind faith that everything’s gonna be okay, not having to worry about all the details, and believing with EVERY fiber of my mortal being that The Cosmos WILL catch me in the end. It’s “nothing”, and “everything”, and “ALL OF IT” at once, like the oxymoronic carnival of joy that is my INSANELY BEAUTIFUL LIFE!

My truest prayer for anyone reading this is that if you haven’t reached this pinnacle yet, before your journey here is over – you will. When that day comes, you will never be falling DOWN again – you’ll only be falling UP – and the fog will whisper the silent rhapsody of God singing these words to you

I wept as I saw you aching, I broke as I watched you falling, and I suffered as I watched you struggling to get back up and find your way to Me through through the fog. You couldn’t always see me, BUT I NEVER LEFT YOUR SIDE, and now that you finally understand that you DON’T have to understand “everything, nothing, and ALL OF IT”, you’re standing at My High Cathedral walls where nothing about your journey was meaningless or small. I love you. You are Home – warm, well fed and at peace.

WE FALL DOWN

Cursing every step of the way, he bore a heavy load to the market ten miles away, the journey took its toll. And every day he passed a monastery’s high cathedral walls, and it made his life seem meaningless and small. And he wondered how it would be to live in such a place – to be warm, well fed and at peace, to shut the world away. So when he saw a priest who walked, for once, beyond the iron gate, he said, “tell me of your life inside the place”. And the priest replied, “We fall down, we get up … and the saints are just the sinners who fall down and get up”. Disappointment followed him home, he’d hoped for so much more, but he saw himself in a light he had never seen before, ’cause if the priest who fell could find the Grace of God to be enough, then there must be some hope for the rest of us. There must be some hope left for us, ’cause e fall down, we get up …”. {Bob Carlisle}

FEBRUARY 23, 2021: “Say It Loud & Clear – In The Living Years” …

I’m don’t think anything has hit me quite as hard as this in quite some time. And for the record, this little “life hack” doesn’t just apply to close family and loved ones, it applies to our friends as well. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … CHECK IN ON YOUR PEOPLE! Yes, I know – we’re ALL busy. We ALL have issues. We ALL feel like we’re drowning at times. I get it. Don’t make bullshit excuses! Inconvenience yourself if you must. Just make the damn call or send the text …

Hi there! I’m not calling for a favor. I don’t have a question. I don’t need you to listen to my latest crisis. I just want you to know that you matter and I’m glad you exist!

Trust me when I tell you that there’s NEVER a bad time to reach out to someone you love this way, and also, it’s the right and “not selfish” human thing to do. Still can’t find the time? Still to busy with your “crisis”? Well, then close your eyes right this second and imagine yourself standing over their grave! “Damn, I wish I would have called them. I wonder if they really knew that they mattered?” AND THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS! There’s “NO TIME” like the present, and once all that time you could never find and to spare for the people in your life is gone – YA CAN’T HAVE IT BACK!

Here’s the good news:

If you’re a natural born “taker”, and not so much a “giver” – I get that too and can even somewhat appreciate it! There really is a place for each side of that “taker/giver coin”, if not to exist solely as “ying” to another’s “yang”. I mean, how would any of us know what “selfless” looks like if we didn’t know know what “selfish” looks like too? Ya can’t see a light without the darkness behind it. It’s both practical logic and sobering, hard core TRUTH!

… but here’s another “hard core TRUTH” …

One day you may just find yourself in that very lonely hour saying, “WAIT! Where are my people? WHO ARE MY PEOPLE?This is usually right around the time you start thinking about all the times you showed up for everyone else (even when your OWN “crisis cards” were down) and going, “WOW! Really?” Is it an evil necessary? SURE! Again, with the “light and the dark”. But it’s never too late to switch lanes and really get in the often inconvenient habit of putting your people into true perspective and not taking them for granted before the day comes that they are gone.

And by the way, the pain we feel at a loved one’s death can be just as awful as the pain of existing here on Earth with someone that you are theoretically dead to. The phone rings both ways folks, and even the givingest of the givers have their limits. Sooner or later we learn that though we may still love someone, we have to love them from afar, because our time, effort and energy are way too valuable to spend on someone who takes our value for granted. Been there. Done that. With each passing day I’m killing off “living people” left and right. “Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT, and I’m still the nicest BITCH ever!”

IN THE LIVING YEARS

Every generation blames the one before, and all of their frustrations come beating on your door. I know that I’m a prisoner to all my Father held so dear. I know that I’m a hostage to all his hopes and fears. I just wish I could have told him in the living years. Oh, crumpled bits of paper filled with imperfect thought. Stilted conversations – I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got. You say you just don’t see it – he says it’s perfect sense. You just can’t get agreement in this present tense. We all talk a different language talking in defense. Say it loud, say it clear. You can listen as well as you hear. It’s too late when we die to admit we don’t see eye to eye. So we open up a quarrel between the present and the past. We only sacrifice the future – it’s the bitterness that lasts. So don’t yield to the fortunes you sometimes see as fate. It may have a new perspective on a different day. And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in, you may just be okay. So say it loud, say it clear. I was e there that morning my Father passed away. I didn’t get to tell him all the things I had to say. I think I caught his spirit later that same year. I’m sure I heard his echo in my baby’s new born tears. I just wish I could have told him in the living years. {Mike & The Mechanics}

FEBRUARY 21, 2021: “The Miracles Of My Moments” …

I’m the luckiest mom alive!

This was my past weekend, and I spent a fair enough amount of it going back and forth to “the chair” in my room to have a good bawl and thank GOD on my hands and knees as I was continually blindsided by the rhapsody that is still my life.

Time is fleeting!

Every second that I’m lucky enough to be “cool enough” for them to let their guards down around is precious! They’ll be 18 and off to college or living their lives before I know it. So? I savor EVERY silly moment with them – and – let them be KIDS as often as they want to! Hey, there are much worse problems to have then a car filled with noisy 15yo’s who not only ENJOY being with “mom”, but who still find joy in throwing snowballs. Am I wrong?

My joy this weekend wasn’t just about this snowball fight. It was one miracle moment after another. It was how they busted into my room to hang out in my closet, trying on my handbags, playing in my jewelry box, and literally “walking in my shoes”! It was hearing Gia stake claim to all Zack’s belongings as “hers and ONLY hers”, and even more so how she beamed with pride as she explained what he went through to not only get all those things, but to give the two of us everything our hearts desired after his own dismal childhood of having nothing at all.

It was about them sitting on my bathroom floor and including me in their “chick chat” for over an hour. Yes, I’m THAT mom who’s “in the know” and gets to be included in the sacred sanctum of their otherwise elusive teenage lives. Do you know how what a miracle it is to claim that highest honor? They hug me, and they talk to me, and they aren’t afraid to be their true selves in my presence without the fear of judgment.

Live ~ Love ~ Laugh

I am blessed by all of them … even the ones I didn’t give birth to. All my girls, and all those boys I was lucky enough to have camped out with me weekend after weekend when Christian was growing up. They’re the miracles of so many of my moments!

MIRACLE OF THE MOMENT

It’s time for letting go all of our “if only’s”, ’cause we don’t have a time machine. And even if we did, would we really want to use it? Would we really want to go change everything? ‘Cause we are who and where and what we are for now. And this is the only moment we can do anything about. So breathe it in and breathe it out and listen to your heartbeat. There’s a wonder in the here and now. It’s right there in front of you. I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment. There’s only One who knows what’s really out there waiting in all the moments yet to be. And all we need to know is He’s out there waiting. To Him, the future’s history, and He has given us a treasure called right now. And this is the only moment we can do anything about. And if it brings you tears, then taste them as they fall and let them soften your heart. And if it brings you laughter, then throw your head back and let it go … yeah – you gotta let it go – and listen to your heartbeat. Yeah, breathe it in and breathe it out and listen to your heartbeat. There’s a wonder in the here and now. I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment. {Steven Curtis Chapman}

FEBRUARY 19, 2021: “I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Hero” …

… ’cause, ummm…

… I KINDA ALREADY HAVE ONE!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again ~ I’m the luckiest, most blessed, badass warrior QUEEN I’ve ever known. But I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it againIT’S NOT ME …

… IT’S THEM!

… at my left wing is The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit … at my right wing is the gang of REAL angels that fly behind me EVERYWHERE! Yes, I am sure that so many people think that I’m off my rocker CRAZY for believing what I believe, but here’s the deal — I DON’T CARE! I know what I knowI think what I think … I feel what I feel! THE FACT THAT I’M STILL STANDING IN THIS KINGDOM LIKE THE “SUPERHUMAN QUEEN” I TRULY AM IS LIVING PROOF!

I’ve got a hero! I’VE GOT A HERO LIVIN’ IN ME! I’m gonna fight for what’s right. Today I’m speaking my mind – and if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die. A hero’s not afraid to give his life.

HERO

I’m just a step away. I’m just a breath away. Losin’ my faith today – fallin’ off the edge today! I am just a man – not superhuman. I’M NOT SUPERHUMAN! Someone save me from the hate. It’s just another war. Just another family torn. FALLING FROM MY FAITH TODAY! Just a step from the edge. Just another day in the world we live. I need a hero to save me now! I need a hero! SAVE ME NOW! I need a hero to save my life. A hero’ll save me just in time! I’ve gotta fight today to live another day. Speakin’ my mind today. MY VOICE WILL BE HEART TODAY! I’ve gotta make a stand – but I am just a man. I’M NOT SUPERHUMAN! My voice will be heard today. It’s just another war. Just another family torn. MY VOICE WILL BE HEARD TODAY! It’s just another kill – the countdown begins to destroy ourselves. I need a hero to save me now. I need a hero! SAVE ME NOW! I need a hero to save my life. A hero’ll save me just in time! I need a hero to save my life. I need a hero just in time. Save me just in time. Who’s gonna fight for what’s right? Who’s gonna help us survive? We’re in the fight of our lives and we’re not ready to die! Who’s gonna fight for the weak? Who’s gonna make ’em believe? I’ve got a hero! I’VE GOT A HERO LIVIN’ IN ME! I’m gonna fight for what’s right. Today I’m speaking my mind – and if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die. A hero’s not afraid to give his life. {Skillet}

FEBRUARY 15, 2021: “Power, Grace, And Beauty Rising” …

WHO AM I?

I am me. My very best friend, and the one person in my life I know will never let me down. I’m the person I get to be with until I take my last breath and set my eyes upon the The Brighter Side Of Grey, and the only one I can count on when all my cards are down, come Hell or the highest of waters.

I’m the Queen Of The World who has crossed on over to the upside of just about everything, yet I’m the most wretched in all the land. Love me or hate me, I DON’T CARE, ’cause at least I know it’s true! I have the world’s biggest ego and the confidence of a lion, yet I’m humbled by the power of my insignificance. I am big – I am smalljust a pebble skipped across the ocean. I am valueless and valued all the same!

I am NOTHING.

I am EVERYTHING.

I’m an oxymoron.

I am power, grace, and beauty rising.

So are you.

BEAUTY WILL RISE

It was the day the world went wrong. I screamed ’til my voice was gone and watched through the tears as everything came crashing down. Slowly panic turns to pain as we awake to what remains and sift through the ashes that are left. But buried deep beneath all our broken dreams we have this hope. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise, and we will dance among the ruins. We will see Him with our own eyes. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise. For we know joy is coming in the morning. In the morning, beauty will rise. So take another breath for now, and let the tears come washing down. And if you can’t believe, I will believe for you. ‘Cause I have seen the signs of spring! Just watch and see! Out of these ashes, beauty will rise, and we will dance among the ruins. We will see Him with our own eyes. Out of these ashes, beauty will rise. For we know joy is coming in the morning. In the morning. I can hear it in the distance … and it’s not too far away. It’s the music and the laughter of a wedding and a feast. I can almost feel the hand of God reaching for my face to wipe the tears away and say, “It’s time to make everything new.” “Make it all new”. This is our hope. This is the promise. That it would take our breath away to see the beauty that’s been made out of the ashes. {Steven Curtis Chapman}

FEBRUARY 12, 2021: “Do You Need Help?” …

HELP!

I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. Did someone turn the lights out, or is it just another dark cloud in my head? ‘Cause I’m cut deep. My heart won’t beat. Deep down low it’s killing me. If I wanna scratch out yesterday, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! ‘Cause I’m drowning in myself. It’s sinking in. I can’t pretend that I ain’t been through hell. I THINK I NEED HELP! I’m drowning in myself. They’re preying on my weakness. Believe it. I’m thinking to myself: “No, not again!”, and I won’t keep listening when temptation’s creeping in. If I wanna make it another day, I’ve got so much I need to say. I THINK I NEED HELP! {Papa Roach}

FEBRUARY 11, 2021: “Right NOW!” …

… aaaaaand, all I have to say TODAY, is … best damn quote I’ve heard in a long time! Had to memorialize it in “a little bitta black, a little bitta white, and a LOTTA bitta grey”.

RIGHT NOW

Don’t wanna wait ’til tomorrow. Why put it off another day? One by one, little problems build up and stand in our way. Oh! One step ahead, one step behind it. Now you gotta run to get even. Make future plans – I’ll dream about yesterday. Hey! Come on turn, turn this thing around. (Right now!) Hey – it’s your tomorrow. (Right now!) Come on, it’s everything! (Right now!) Catch your magic moment. Do it right here and now. It means everything! Miss a beat, you lose the rhythm, and nothin’ falls into place. Aah! Only missed by a fraction. Slipped a little off your pace. Oh! The more things you get, the more you want. Just trade in one for another. Workin’ so hard to make it easy. Whoa! Got to turn! Come on! Turn this thing around! (Right now.) Hey – it’s your tomorrow. (Right now!) Come on, it’s everything! (Right now!) Catch your magic moment. Do it right here and now. It means everything! It’s enlightened me – right now! WHAT ARE YOU WAITIN’ FOR? {Van Halen}

FEBRUARY 10, 2021: “Hear Me NOW!” …

This afternoon, this exceptionally beautiful man I follow posted something so powerful, poignant, and relevant to yet another absolutely insane, if not mind-numbing trauma that “what’s what’s left of my little family” went through late last night and into the wee hours of the morning. His name is Tommy Vext, and yes he’s a musician, but note that it’s not how I first referenced him. I said, “beautiful man”, not “beautiful musician”, because if I’ve learned anything about myself in the last 540 days, as well as the last 52 years overall, it’s that I couldn’t give TWO SHITS about someone’s fame, fortune, or status. No offense to anyone “famous, fortunate, or STATELY”, but that’s just not how I roll. I’m all about the grey as far as the footprint we leave behind, and ZERO do “fame and fortune” have to do with a legacy of love.

This is what he posted …

… then he dropped this except from a writer who I never even knew existed until today:

Our basic recovery concept that never loses its power to work miracles is the concept called acceptance. We do not achieve acceptance in a moment. We often have to work through a mirage of feelings—sometimes anger, outrage, shame, self-pity, or sadness. But if acceptance is our goal, we will achieve it. What is more freeing than to laugh at our weaknesses and to be grateful for our strengths? To know the entire package called “us” —with all our feelings, thoughts, tendencies, and history—is worthy of acceptance and brings healing feelings. To accept our circumstances is another miraculous cure. For anything to change or anyone to change, we must first accept ourselves, others, and the circumstance exactly as they are. Then, we need to take it one step further. We need to become grateful for ourselves or our circumstances. We add a touch of faith by saying, “I know this is exactly the way it’s supposed to be for the moment.” No matter how complicated we get, the basics never lose their power to restore us to sanity.

{Melody Beattie ~ “Acceptance“}

HIS RESPONSE:

Today, God, help me practice the concept of acceptance in my life. Help me accept others, my circumstances, and myself. Take me one step further, and help me feel grateful.

{Tommy Vext @Instagram}

… at which point all I could say was:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?

What’s with this Cosmos always serving me these breakthroughs when I’m either driving, or sitting in a parking lot, or simply staring into the fog? It’s one of the most fucked up and AWESOME enigmas of my life! I’m not gonna lie … after the trauma that was visited upon us all last night at hands of someone who claims to “love us” … TODAY WE ARE SHAKEN TO THE CORE! Worse yet, it was my poor fucking son who’s trying SO hard to rise up and “love himself” out of that familiarly gifted Venom suit who bore the brunt of it ALL! Sooner or later, you know I’ll dig in to that, but in the meantime: I NEEDED THESE WORDS TODAY! Yes, God, PLEASE help me not to veer off the path of acceptance regardless of how painful the circumstances.

Can I just say this? Leave it to Destiny to show up right on time as is always par for my course. With that, I once again say I AM THE MOST blessed woman alive in this extraordinary lifetime I was lucky enough to be chosen to live! As for this song? While on the surface it appears to be a love song, tonight I sing it out loud, as if God was actually singing it to me Himself, because I deserve to hear EVERY word of this song from the one Father who’s never let me down. If you’re reading this right now, it is my true prayer that you too remember to love and accept yourself and your circumstances without condition always!

HEAR ME NOW

I’m at the bottom, can you come let me up? ‘Cause I brought a flower for you. Your friends are faded – let me fill up your cup and toast to the stars over the ocean’s flowing emotions in the air. I don’t wanna live for nothing. Just wanna be something. I never knew what it took to win. I don’t wanna live for nothing. Just wanna be something. I never knew we’d be more than friends. We spin the bottle till we’re kissing our cups. Felt like I’d die for you. You can’t explain it, it’s been years since we’ve touched, and I’ve waited none for you. I don’t wanna live for nothing. Just wanna be something. I never knew what it took to win. I don’t wanna live for nothing. Just wanna be something. I never knew we’d be more than friends. Come let me up. Can you hear me now? About half a block away out. Can you hear me now? The ocean’s flowing emotions in the air. I don’t wanna live for nothing. Just wanna be something. {Bad Wolves}

FEBRUARY 8, 2021: “O’er Fodder & Field” …

FODDER:

Indeed it is true that the “I got my heart broken and now I’m afraid to love” struggle is up close, personal and very real! But here’s what I’ve been tryin’ to tell ya folks AND PLEASE HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR! If I hadn’t truly believed in the existence and power of REAL LOVE all the while … and even though some of the most “forgettable” people almost destroyed me (one of whom actually leveled me SO badly that I tried to kill myself) …

I WOULD NEVER HAVE MET THE TWO LOVES OF MY LIFE!

That’s right my friends! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I have been truly and deeply loved by TWO KINGS in this lifetime. Not one – TWO! How many women can say that? While unfortunately their fates had to take them Home too soon, the love each of them gave me was enough to last me a lifetime if that is to be MY fate. Nonetheless it remains … TRUE LOVE IS VERY REAL … and the people that hurt you but the FODDER beneath your feet who prepared you for the greener pastures yet to come …

… meaning …

You will never be able to to recognize or appreciate your real king or a queen unless you’ve spent time in the company of an asshole! So, just keep stepping over all that fodder as you walk through to greener pastures towards the Light! Take it from me – the grass really is better on this side! AND FOR THE RECORD: YES, I still love Corey Hart, and YES I still listen to this song AND sing out loud with it weekly! It’s beautiful, and powerful, and if you’ve never heard it before … LISTEN TO THE WORDS!

TAKE MY HEART

Take me to the top again. Take me to the high road shining – ’cause you know I never seen the world like that! You take me to the top again. You take me where it’s slow and easy – ’cause you know I never dream inside like that. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. Won’t you take my heart? Don’t leave me here standin’! Take my heart where only you can. Take my heart – there is no resistance. I can only go as far as you can. Yeah, through the leaves of grass I search – and I follow like a soldier, where the battle rages on. Reveal what’s true. And I call to open skies – and I call to high plains driftin’ through the wintertime the Earth shall feed my soul. Discover borderlands that we have yet to run … and you can search forever never reach the Sun. And I can go on tryin’. And I can go on cryin’. Won’t you take my heart … where only you can? {Corey Hart}

FEBRUARY 5, 2021: “Carrion My Wayward Son!” …

~ Courtesy of The American Eagle Foundation ~

If you’re ever really bored, please check out my beloved friend, “George“, the 35 year old turkey vulture who lives in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with his amazing care team at the American Eagle Foundation. It’s hard to believe (or, maybe not “with me”), but as enthralled as I am with corvids and raptors, even more so am I with vultures!

“Why Cat? WHY?”

Well, I’ll tell you. They are, perhaps, one of the most undervalued creatures, a plight I know all too well. So often, people either see or hear “vulture” and say, “Eww! So gross! Nasty, dirty, AWFUL, disgusting birds!”

What I love about George is how his “fame” is steadily changing the face of his kind via his super silly antics and personality! To know him is to love him, but the longer you do, the farther removed you become from “nasty, dirty, AWFUL, disgusting birds”, as nothing could be farther from the truth!

Vultures are much maligned. As natural garbage collectors, vultures are vital to our ecosystem, so why do we feel this way? Is it because we perceive them as ugly? [They] are one of very few creatures capable of effortless soaring for hours at a time. Many believe that the sight of soaring vultures is a sure signal that a dead animal can be found nearby, but this is not always true. Vultures are intelligent creatures who love to play. When a vulture discovers a thermal, it is able to hold its wings motionless, and allow the warm air to carry it in large, sweeping circles, toward the sky. You may see a group of them soaring gracefully, just enjoying life.

{Summit Outside … “The Misunderstood Vulture“}

By no means am I professing to be an avian expert; I merely speak to you from my heart and personal perspective. Having taken the time to become educated as George’s fan, I am “committed” to these thoughts about vultures (and yes, that pun was intended) …

THEY CLEAN UP OUR MESSES (so that we don’t have to wallow in them)! Which isn’t to say they only feed on roadkill. They are THE official clean-up crew of death. Still, can you imagine your daily drive with the mountains of carcasses we run over, along with the flies, maggots and odors on top of them? Now that would be, “Eww, GROSS!”

THEY’RE THE GOOD KIND OF MARTYRS! In keeping with the above, vultures are fast becoming an integral part of bacterial disease research. They feed on corpses – we learn from their corpses. Can someone say circle of life? “The birds with the iron stomachs” consume the rotting flesh that can be toxic to so many others. What they consume prevents the spread of diseases that that may otherwise be consuming us!

THEY DON’T ACT LIKE ANIMALS! Vultures are known to be gentle creatures, devoid of unwarranted aggression, avidly social and cooperative amongst their peers. They prefer to work together, not against each other, and are exceptional parents who share the responsibility of raising their brood.

THEY’RE NOBODY’S VICTIM! A vulture’s legs and feet are generally known to be weak, and their lack of a voice box leaves them speechless. Yet, their “disabilities” don’t stop them from accomplishing their life’s work and living at full potential! Their wings and bills are mighty (they can float like feathers, but still shred a dead-animal steak like tissue paper), and though they can’t sing like their fellow feathered compadres, they still manage to thrive with only primitive grunts, screeches and hisses.

THAT BEING SAID …

MY DEAREST GEORGE: Thank you so much my very handsome friend for helping me see life through your eyes. It is my hope that anyone who meets you will find you as wonderous as I do, so the next time they see your kinfolk on the road just doing what they do, instead of saying, “Eww, gross!”, they’ll say, “Thank you God for those beautiful creatures!”, and MAYBE even, “Carrion my wayward son and lay that bald head of yours to rest … WE COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU!

~ Courtesy of The American Eagle Foundation ~

Are you “remotely interested” in supporting “Team George” and the American Eagle Foundation?

<<<CLICK HERE>>>

FEBRUARY 4, 2021: “In My Mind’s Eye” …

Earlier today, a friend of mine posed this question on his Facebook page …

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Wow! Just WOW!

The answer came to me INSTANTLY!

It was December 1995, and I was just then learning about grace, forgiveness, JESUS, and that I could have a close and personal relationship with Him. I was at the forefront of the almost 20 year process of internally crumbling then coming back together, trying so hard to find a way to hold on because I was just so lost and broken. I’d joined a great Bible study, and one night after attending, a friend of mine who knew I was struggling, but even more so having a really hard time with the concept of “faith” in someone I couldn’t see or touch, gave me one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received – the DC Talk “Jesus Freak” CD. He asked that I listen to the last track first – “Mind’s Eye”. So, I popped it in my stereo and headed home. Everything about it began cutting me apart, but it wasn’t until I heard these spoken words of Reverend Billy Graham that I lost it in the most bittersweet, irreversible and powerful way:

Can you see God? Have you ever seen Him? I’ve never seen the wind. I’ve seen the EFFECTS of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind. Can you see the breeze? There’s a mystery to it.

{Reverend Billy Graham}

It literally changed me and the trajectory of my path forever! I believe with every shred of my being that those most impeccable words were meant for me to hear at that fated cosmic timing so that the following 20 years of living through a hell that some couldn’t bare would find me right here standing in the Light of my “Crazy Grandma Cat” blind faith.

As par for the course with my serendipitous life, and in keeping with this post, there are now two ironies flooding my heart with memories. On the night I got the CD, I had just left our fellowship meal at Cafe Express in Addison, Texas. As I’d mentioned, I was listening and LOSING IT, but, I didn’t say where. It was just as I passed the infamous Midway Road intersection where life was really gonna throw me a curve just a couple of years later. There I was, listening to the words that unbeknownst to me were plying me with all the faith and strength I was ever going to need “on down the road”.

But wait, there’s more! See this book? You won’t believe where I got it. It was the first thing I noticed the first time I’d ever gone to Zack’s, sitting on a table next to the giant Chewbacca head he’d worn to a costume party the year before. He loved that flipping thing so much that he’d made it part of the decor. Lol, I’ve digressed again! My point being – when I ever laid eyes on it – of all the things that could have been sitting there next to Chewbacca! I vividly remember my “internal nod” to Heaven. “REALLY God? This is SOMETHING, isn’t it? HE is something, isn’t he?” Little did I know! Despite the ending, the eleven years I was blessed with that beautiful king of mine were not only the stuff that fairy tales are made of, but more so than that, years that shall forever remain “in my mind’s eye”.

MIND’S EYE

In my mind, I can see Your face as Your love pours down in a shower of grace. Some people tell me that You’re just a dream. My faith is the evidence of things unseen. In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye. You know what I’m going through. I know this is true, ’cause You stood in my shoes. Desire’s inside of me, but it’s hard to believe in what you cannot see. Can you catch the wind? See a breeze? It’s presence is revealed by the leaves on a tree – an image of my faith in the unseen. It’s in my mind’s eye, I see Your face. You smile as You show me grace. In my mind’s eye, You take my hand. We walk through foreign lands – the foreign lands of life. In my mind’s eye, in my mind’s eye. In my mind’s eye, in my mind. In my mind I’m where I belong as I rest in Your arms. And like a child I hold on to You in my moment of truth – yes I do. We can ride the storm. Endure the pain. You comfort me in my hurricane … and I’ll never be alone again.” {DC Talk}

FEBRUARY 3, 2021: “F8” …

FATE …

As defined by Merrium-Webster:

… the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do …

… and also …

Traditional usage defines fate as a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events. Fate defines events as ordered or “inevitable” and unavoidable. This is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the universe, and in some conceptions, the cosmos.

But here’s the deal …

Life isn’t one solid picture, and it doesn’t come wrapped in a bow. So why do we even need to define it? Fate. Destiny. Any of it? Why do we insist that everything show up for us in perfect order? If I’ve learned anything by now, it’s that the only semblance of “order” I can count on is – OH, that’s right – there isn’t one! So, I just let all the pieces show up in their perfect cosmic timing and let them fall in place. The “big picture” you see above is actually a screenshot of my Instagram, where I dropped nine separate pieces of my favorite album of all times. You know, the one with The Brighter Side Of Grey. I asked my followers to back out of the post to see “F8” in the bigger picture.

Sometimes in order to really see something “bigger”, you have to step back and see it “smaller”. Life is but a mosaic of random and senseless things that somehow come together at the end just the way they were supposed to. So, try to stop worrying, always do your best, and let your mosaic reveal itself at it’s own due pace and time. Fate is what is happening as you are being shattered then put back together as a masterpiece of heartache, love and Light.

FEBRUARY 2, 2021: “The Unfortunates” …

Wait! WHAT?

You guessed it — it’s a “feeling kinda spry” day for me! “I love me, who do you love?” Don’t get me wrong … I love ALL of you too. In fact … I LOVE EVERYONE! But, I definitely don’t “like” everyone. Guess what?

THAT’S OKAY!

Indeed it is true, there are some most unfortunate people who pissed this Queen away, who, for no good reason I can see, still linger in my atmosphere like clingons, ever so blissfully unaware that I literally, and not metaphorically, LAUGH OUT LOUD at the thought of them. Comically small and insignificant people with deluded opinions of themselves who seem to have NO cognitive awareness of the collateral damage their selfish, narcissistic, abusive behaviors have caused, much less what and who they really are, which is GROSS!

Actually, and now that I think of it, as I am writing this, I’m hoping and praying that some of you are calling to mind any such “unfortunates” in your atmosphere as well, such that you’re reminded – yet again, or, for the first time that you deserved better than that, so don’t let them do it to you again! Look, I’m all about “forgiveness” – I mean, come on, HAVE YOU MET ME? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — I have had to forgive “the devil himself” for crimes that no one would be able to forgive. But ummm, “forgiveness” isn’t “forgetness”, and that old adage is an absolute crock of SHIT! Yup, we’re all human. YUP, we all fuck up, but that doesn’t excuse our behavior. Some of us live, learn and grow from our “fuck ups” … SOME OF US DO NOT … and that, my dear friends, is where our boundaries must come to the rescue! John 15:12-13 says …

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

BUT SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO LOVE FROM A DISTANCE!

At the end of the day – I am here to say – that having survived textbook, clinical narcissism and having found the voice to scream out loud about it, is, umm, pretty fucking awesome! So, with that, if you’re one of the people reading this now who is no longer worthy of my “energy” – how’s that workin’ out for ya? Here’s my little “Until It’s Gone” serenade “from me – FROM YOU – to me”! Lol!

Oh, but wait … THERE’S MORE! Just to set the record straight, I know, know, KNOW I’m not the only one who feels this way about my past “unfortunates”. It’s just that I’m the only one saying it out loud. It is what it is, it’s one of my truest joys, and OMG being “fifty-ONE-derful” comes with some lovely perks … not the least of which is not giving two shits if this post offends “the unfortunates”. (But I am sorry about all the f’ bombs in my posts. I suppose it’s a grave hypocrisy that I’m quoting scripture AND dropping F’s all at the same time. I know God hates it when I curse, but hopefully He understands. What else can I say?

Hi everyone, it’s me, CAT! Ever the work in progress!

UNTIL IT’S GONE

A fire needs a space to burn. A breath to build a glow. I’ve heard it said a thousand times – but now I know – that you don’t know what you’ve got, oh you don’t know what you’ve got, no you don’t know what you’ve got … until it’s gone. Until it’s gone. UNTIL IT’S GONE! I thought I kept you safe and sound. I thought I made you strong, but something made me realize that I was wrong, ’cause finding what you’ve got sometimes means finding it alone. And I can finally see your light when I let go … ’cause you don’t know what you’ve got … UNTIL IT’S GONE! {Linkin’ Park}

JANUARY 31, 2021: “I’m A Freak Of The World” …

The first time I ever took the Meyers-Brigg Type Indicator was at the request of the most unfortunate counselor I was seeing for a while, “Doctor Steven” (who, although I’m not sure, am fairly certain I must have forced to seek professional counseling of his own after having had to deal with me). Imagine that? Putting a counselor in counseling? Lol, but I’ve digressed.

Congratulations Cat! In true oxymoron fashion, and in keeping with everything else you’ve ever done, said, or been, you’re BOTH an actual AND metaphorical FREAK OF THE WORLD INFJ!

When I got home and began researching “the INFJ of it all”, I got nauseous. I cried, and screamed, and had a semi cataclysmic meltdown. Also? I was PISSED! Where the HELL did he get off telling someone who already thought “everything is wrong with them”, that this too is “wrong with them”. Yah, umm, NO DOC – I think I’ll pass. But thanks so much for chiming in.

So much of what I read seemed so dark and twisted that I just couldn’t handle it. So, I did the only thing I could at that point and let that “label” go in one ear and out my ass (as was the case for many of the SPOT ON things not only Doctor Steven, but so many others, tried to tell me about myself).

The second time I took it was at my lovely visit to The Meadows. Said visit was the good Dr. Steven’s idea, not mine, and perhaps the best “worst thing that ever happened to me”, but again, I’ve digressed. Which then leads me to the third and final time I took it – also during my stay at The Meadows … because … after taking it the second time, I literally FREAKED THE FUCK OUT – again!

What the HELL is wrong with all these people? What the HELL is wrong with this test? Where in the actual HELL did this dumbass doctor send me?” I DON’T WANT TO BE A FREAK OF NATURE! I DON’T WANT TO BE THE “ODD ONE OUT!

So, I asked if I could take it again. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Third time’s a charm, and yes, I’m an actual weirdo! It took me one HELL of a long time to finally come to terms with all my “labels and diagnoses”, and I fought against every one of them tooth and nail. Meanwhile …

Hi everyone, it’s me, Cat. I’m a Warrior, Motivator, SURVIVOR, AND I’ve overcome one of THE most stigmatic mental illnesses, AND I’m a TESTED AND VERIFIED FREAK! I really AM “kinda like a storm“!

Today, I embrace my rarity by focusing only on the positive characteristics of being an INFP. I’m “highly creative, artistic, idealistic, focused on the future, value close, deep relationships, and enjoy thinking about life”.

Are there some dark and twisted traits with this? YUP! I can be overly sensitive and difficult to get to know, and yup, I sure as hell do have very high expectations, and I’m stubborn, and I hate confrontation. But every one of those weaknesses are also part of my strength. So, let’s just spin it this way:

Hi everyone, it’s me, Cat! While I can indeed be overly sensitive, at least I’m in touch with my feelings and allow myself to have them. I suppose I am rather difficult to get to know, because yes I do have WICKED high expectations, but umm, have you met me? I’m a queen, and not only can queens not be friends with everyone, why would they want to anyway? So, with that, congratu-fucking-lations to anyone who’s had the privilege and honor of knowing me, and even more so to the few who ever will. My uber-selective inner sanctum is one of THE best places to GET to be. At the end of the day, although the light from my halo is loving, warm and endearing, it will burn your fucking eyes out if you’re not strong enough to stand near it. Please ONLY bring your A-game … I’ll settle for NOTHING less … I’ll see right your bullshit AND throw it back in your face, ’cause (PS) not only am I not afraid to be alone, I rather much enjoy it. To know me is to love me, but ONLY if you’re lucky!

Yes, I AM “one of God’s own high powered prototypes”, and I wouldn’t have me any other way. If I have to regret anything from my past (and trust me, I really don’t regret much), it’s that I spent so many years being ashamed of all my “labels” (the good, the bad, AND the ugly). These days? They’re like – my favorite tattoos of all – cryptic, elusive and invisible! YOU can’t see them, but trust me, THEY’RE THERE, the BEST of the BEST people this beautiful life has to offer me will ever get to!

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but when my husband found out about my “INFJ of it all” personality, he always said it made me unique and special.

You’re MY beautiful disaster, honey, and I wouldn’t have you any other way!

He knew I was “this” before we got married, and yet he made me a Williamson anyway! Jean Claude Van DAMN I always knew that guy was a genius. (And yes, he really was, BOTH verifiably AND metaphorically!

FREAK OF THE WORLD

Don’t want the Sun to shine upon my face. And I see your eyes and their glazy haze. Your lips don’t move but I hear what you’re sayin’. I look outside through the razor blades. And I crawl and I scrape and I feel for you, but there’s nothing, there’s nothing that I can do. I’m a freak – I’m the freak of the world. I’m a freak! Freak of the world. Stars are shining oh so bright, but I don’t think everything’s alright. And I can’t wake up ’cause I dream all night. Yeah you’re in my way and I can’t get by. And I beg and I cheat and I steal for you, but there’s nothing, there’s nothing that I can do. I’m a freak – I’m the freak of the world! {Puddle Of Mudd}

JANUARY 24, 2021: “Lions” …

HERE’S THE CALL OUT TO ALL MY FELLOW LIONS!

May the force of your OWN strong and determined heart continue to be with you always! It’s really, really hard standing alone in the crowd. Oh – wait – NO IT’S NOT! One of my absolute “crowning” achievements in this lifetime is in knowing that I’m different … AND EMBRACING IT!

Now then …

Go on and get back up on that mountain you belong on, ALL ALONE IF YOU MUST, your mane just-a-blowin’ in the wind, claws ever-sharpened and OUT … ready to swat all those annoying little sheep away. Look down at your kingdom, breathe it in then breathe it out, and laugh to yourself quietly as all the flies land on your SHIT!

Roar.

LIONS

Today we live. Today we breathe. Today we know that we are strong when we are weak. Today we trust. We overcome. Take every chain that kept us slaves and throw em’ off. We’re not waiting for permission. We defy our inhibition like our middle name is “fearless”. Unafraid. If we’re gonna fly, we fly like eagles – arms out wide! If we’re gonna fear, we fear no evil. We will rise by Your power we will go. By Your spirit we are bold! If we’re gonna stand, we stand as giants. If we’re gonna walk, we walk as lions. WE WALK AS LIONS! Today is ours, it’s always been. Before we face the fight, we know Who’s gonna win! We live by faith and not by sight. We don’t want safe and quiet. We don’t wanna run and hide. This is not an intermission. It’s our time, not gonna miss it. You’ve already called us fearless. Unafraid. Everywhere we go, the battle has been won. We know You’ve gone before us. So, we’re taking hold of faith with every step we take. We know we’ll rise victorious! {Skillet}

JANUARY 18, 2021: “Happy” …

… when you see this little dealio floating around on everyone’s social media and this is the first picture that comes to your mind …

Yes indeed, I really was “happy and content” every single moment of 2020. Happiness isn’t a state of mind, by the way, IT’S A CHOICE! Does that mean I never experience sadness, anger, or frustration? HELL NO! Of course I do! Just because I’m a Light in the frigging dark doesn’t mean I’m not human. But even at my saddest, maddest, or most “bent out of shapest”, I’m still always happy. Sounds twisted, right? Well, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

I choose JOY!

I choose RIDICULOUS!

I choose SILLY!

I choose OPTIMISM!

I. CHOOSE. HAPPY!

JANUARY 8, 2021: “Leave Out All The Rest” …

One year ago today we took the first bit of his ashes “home” to the Blarney Castle gardens, so when the memory of our trip popped up on Facebook, it prompted a sweet conversation with Christian. Although both the kids are doing much better now than they were a year ago when everything was still so raw, he’s had a really tough time with Zack’s suicide. Not only were the two of them extremely close, but Christian had always said,

You two HAVE to stay together and happy forever … your relationship is the ONLY thing that restores my faith in love.

As you can imagine, August 23, 2019 jaded him even more than our life before Zack did. It was heartbreaking for me to watch their processes at the onset of this nightmare knowing their “hero” let them down in such traumatic and devastating ways. However, watching the miracle of transformation in each of their hearts and how they’ve both been able to forgive him for so much more than any of you will ever know is truly one of my greatest blessings.

Indeed it is true that I have an “uncanny way of taking the best parts of everything and everyone and leaving out all the rest”. I suppose the abundant and seemingly endless amount of grace I have for others is one of my best attributes, and I truly do always look for the best in everyone. But here’s the thing …

IT’S NOT ME.

IT’S HIM!

He’s the one who has “graced me with grace and forgiveness“, and His grace and forgiveness for the endless amounts of bullshit I’ve engaged in over the years is what I owe to others. Now, does that mean I’ll tolerate bad behavior towards me or mine? NOPE! Those days are gone for good! My boundaries are beyond firm at this point and there is absolutely no going backwards. This is how we choose to remember him … by taking only the joy and treasure he brought to all our lives in the decade we got to have him and leaving out all the rest. Likewise, “when my time comes” I hope that my own legacy is none the worse for the wear despite all the wrong that I’ve done!

LEAVE OUT ALL THE REST

I dreamed I was missing. You were so scared. But no one would listen, ’cause no one else cared. After my dreaming, I woke with this fear. What am I leaving when I’m done here? So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know … When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done. Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed. And don’t resent me, and when you’re feeling empty, keep me in your memory. Leave out all the rest. Leave out all the rest. Don’t be afraid. I’ve taken my beating. I’ve shared what I’ve made. I’m strong on the surface, not all the way through. I’ve never been perfect, but neither have you. So, if you’re asking me, I want you to know …When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done. Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed. And don’t resent me, and when you’re feeling empty, keep me in your memory. Leave out all the rest. Leave out all the rest. Forgetting all the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well. Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself. I can’t be who you are. {Linkin’ Park}

JANUARY 1, 2021: “Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful!” …

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

500. The number of days that have passed since Destiny took me by the hand and started leading me down a path I never saw coming. With that in mind, and in keeping with my “Fifty-ONE-Derful” years of life thus far, I have dubbed today as January 1st, “Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful”! Realizing, of course, that I am blessed beyond measure to find myself in a place that while on the surface seems dark and tragic, at it’s roots is nothing short of a miracle, wrapped in iridescence, and adorned with the most beautiful crown a queen could wear.

I once heard it said that fifty is the beginning of our golden years. As such, I find no coincidence with regard to the fact that as I’ve walked through the fog to the Brighter Side Of Grey, I’ve also managed to stumble upon The Golden Circle. Indeed I’ve come to bittersweet, endearing terms with “my why“, so from this point forward it’s just a matter of discovering “how” and “what”.

If I could have one wish right now, it would be that I really could just zap you all with “this thing” that’s coursing through my veins. It’s my super power, my ultimate peace, and absolute euphoria! It’s the simple yet overwhelming joy in finally realizing that not everything is about me, because I am nothing, which is why I am everything. The paradigm has shifted. The cycle is broken.

It is not in my nature to ask for anything from anyone, especially inasmuch as I not only have every “thing” a woman could ever want, likewise I have everything a human being will ever need. Still, here I am asking. First and foremost, if there is ever an opportunity for you share something poignant I’ve said or written that has touched you, will you please share it so that perhaps some of these pebbles I’m skipping across the pond can radiate even further? Second, sit with this beautiful song I love so much and really let it sink in. Let the words wash you clean, lift you up, and encourage you. Let them help you cry if you need to. Let them validate and give you the permission you may have been searching for to let go of some of your burdens and cut yourself some slack so that you too can discover “your why” and become an iridescent Light unto the masses. And last but not least, make it a beautiful, powerful, and epically life-changing year my friends …

“Twenty-Twenty-ONE-Derful!”

IRIDESCENT

When you were standing in the wake of devastation. When you were waiting on the edge of the unknown. And with the cataclysm raining down, insides crying, “Save me now”, you were there, impossibly alone. Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known. Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go. And in a burst of Light that blinded every angel, as if the sky had blown the heavens into stars. You felt the gravity of tempered grace falling into empty space. No one there to catch you in their arms. Do you feel cold and lost in desperation? You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known. Remember all the sadness and frustration – and let it go. Let it go! {Linkin’ Park}

DECEMBER 30, 2020: “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” …

Hello my friends from Nashville, Tennessee, USA! We are still here enjoying our holiday in the crisp, clean, cool mountain air! This morning, as I was enjoying my coffee and preparing for our road trip to Pigeon Forge this afternoon, for some reason I was just “thinking” about how excited I am to see all the holiday lights and sparkle and twinkle that surely await us this night. Then, my thoughts turned back to ME once again, and my kids, and my extraordinarily beautiful diamond of a life. I’m just so thankful for so many things that even with “all my words”, I was kind of outta words.

Then, I turned my head and saw him sitting there on my sister’s shelf, because never shall there be a trip near or far that he won’t be going with us. Why is that, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! It’s simply because after all is said and done, we owe so much of this “diamond life” to him … the fallen king who prepared this wide open path for us to move forward in whatever direction we choose.

Then, I smiled and remembered how much I love this song and how he used to laugh whenever I was singing it out loud and literally twirling through whatever space I occupied where he let me be whoever and whatever I wanted to be, hands down, no questions asked, unconditionally.

So, yah, this is my vibe today! I’m gonna rise and shine, as usual, and always, SO bright that it actually does hurt people to look at me. And by the way, this legacy he left us? It only looks forward and never behind (unless we’re remembering all the laughter and joy). ‘Cause I’m a queen, raising a princess and a king, and that’s what I do, and this is my legacy!

DECEMBER 24, 2020: “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” …

… and all through the land, every creature was patiently awaiting the band …

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MY AMAZING KNUCKLEHEAD FAMILY AROUND THE GLOBE … not the least of which is Ivan Moody, Chris Kael, Zoltan Bathory, Charlie Engen and Andy James. 2020 wasn’t half as bad as I suppose it could have been because of all of you! Wishing you all so much love and a POWERFUL 2021!

DECEMBER 22, 2020: “The Last One Alive” …

Better you’re the last one alive, than a soul denied.

Level up TODAY people.

LEVEL UP!

… because the more you suffer in training, the greater your victory on the battlefield of your life! This is where you’ll find the only hope within this place “where angels fall, and darkness reigns, and time dissolves the brightest flame“. COMMAND YOUR OWN DESTINY MY FRIENDS — WITH THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON YOU POSSESS — YOUR MIND! Don’t cower to the devil, or the masses, or yourself. Just sayin’.

Yours truly … “Commander Cat”

DECEMBER 21, 2020: “The Bitter End” …

THIS IS ME.

Contemplating … everything behind me, and everything ahead … but mostly … EVERYTHING IN THIS MOMENT! No matter what I’ve ever been through or have waiting down the road, I’m STILL the luckiest queen I’ve ever known. Win, lose or draw, my heart is wide open to any and every possibility, with a battalion of angels and the God they serve working behind my scene 25 hours a day, all of whom follow my every step and guide my path with a Light I can’t even. But this much I know …

… somehow we’ll be alright!

(And by the way? That includes YOU!)

THE BITTER END

I’ve walked every road and turned every corner. Searched high and low where I did not belong. Adrift with the tide – always hungry and yearning. If only I’d known that the answer was here all along. The bitter end will come in time. But the joy I have found in the sweet here and now? It keeps me alive I’ve kissed the lips. Of an angel in waiting. Devil in kind. I’ve been lost and deceived. The thrill had to fade in this world for the taking. Once I woke up to what mattered, then I could see. The bitter end will come in time. But the joy I have found in the sweet here and now? It keeps me alive. We’re lost on a road where all we can find are just the remnants of hope that somehow we leave far behind. But this much I know … somehow we’ll be alright. ‘Cause It’s never too late to learn how to start living right. Starting right now, I’ll stop falling down and start living right. {Alter Bridge}

DECEMBER 20, 2020: “Alone. Not lonely.” …

YOU’RE NOT ALONE TONIGHT

We all drink to forget – some of us more than most. When reality gets too real and the fires of hell to close. But I’m here to let you know that that you can make it through, if you believe that someone is watchin’ over you. Call it an angel. Call it a muse. Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you. What’s the difference? What’s in a name? What matters most is never ever losin’ faith. ‘Cause it’s gonna be alright … you’re not alone tonight. We all have our days when nothing goes as planned. Not a soul in the world seems to understand. And for someone to talk to, you’d give anything. Well go on and cry out loud – ’cause someone’s listenin’. Call it an angel. Call it a muse. Call it karma that you’ve got comin’ to you. What’s the difference? What’s in a name? What matters most is never ever losin’ faith. ‘Cause it’s gonna be alright … you’re not alone tonight. {Keith Urban}

DECEMBER 19, 2020: “I’m Gonna Love You” …

James kisses Margaret before he comes to see us. James kisses Margaret before he does pretty much anything.

{The Daily James}

Dear God:

Earlier today I got my saw this video on my Instagram feed, which I’m sure You already knew. Knowing my heart the way You do, You also already knew how taken I was, once again, by the way James literally bows to that Queen he loves so desperately, yet at the same time, no matter how high he places her above himself, he is only ever right beside her. As You and I both know, and as I finally got to learn in the most ethereal way, when a king loves a queen love so deep and so true that each of their hearts but serve the other, the balance of power is never a struggle and there is no “servitude” whatsoever.

As we have already discussed, You know that I know that I trust You implicitly. You and he both made me a queen, and there is no going back to where I came from. I will not and cannot settle for anything less than everything where another partner on this journey is concerned, and I’d rather reign here “alone, but not lonely” if that’s what Your plan shall be. That being said, if indeed there “one last king on Earth” You have waiting for me somewhere, can I please just ask that he really be a king. Like You. Like Zack. LIKE KING JAMES THE RAVEN …

THE RULER OF QUEEN MARGARET’S HEART!

It’s an impossible order, but hey, look Who I am talking to! I’ve had two kings before, and three is the perfect number, so maybe, just maybe, we shall see. In the meantime, I will just have to wait for the moments like these when the image of two love birds washes over me. “Just a chill in a winter breeze, standing in the cold debris that left behind so many beautiful memories.” Like every word that has left Your lips, and those of my beautiful husband, there are fingerprints everywhere to evidence the love that has committed me right back to “here”. I really do only want to be remembered for being that one who will always ever say “I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly” to that one last king who may be waiting to fly the remainder of my heart into eternity.

James almost always positions his head right below Margaret.

{The Daily James}

I’M GONNA LOVE YOU

Something still comes over me. Just a chill in a winter breeze. Standing in the cold debris left behind a memory. Every word that left your lips left behind your fingerprints. Every crime that love commits brings you right back here to this. I only want to be remembered for being the one who’d always say that I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly. I’ll never be one to yell surrender as long as you’re standing next to me. ‘Cause I’m gonna love you. I’m gonna love you endlessly. No escaping this embrace every time I see your face. Around the love I can’t erase. Wouldn’t want to anyway. I only want to be remembered for being the one who’d always say that I’m gonna love you … I’m gonna love you endlessly. {David Cook}

If you are interested in supporting the causes closest to “The King & Queen’s” hearts:

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DECEMBER 18, 2020: “128,000 Ripples” …

“128,000 RIPPLES AND COUNTING”

It’s been 498 days since Fate started spinning the wheel for our family and 484 days since the king fell off his throne, yet here I am STANDING STRONG with this tiara on my head, but more so than that …

I’M MAKING WAVES!

SO CAN YOU!

PLEASE! If you are reading this and have also been to HELL and back and are still alive to to tell about it … TELL ABOUT IT! Don’t let YOUR own “Survival Resume” have been in vain. You just never know who’s listening and watching or how far your ripples will reach into the ocean! LET YOUR OWN SURVIVAL STORY BE THE REASON SOMEONE ELSE MAKES THE DECISION TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES AND STICK AROUND!

DECEMBER 17, 2020: “Yummy Things With Eyeballs” …

… because nothing that is given from her head, heart or hands isn’t just that – given from her head, heart and hands. The funny thing about these “yummies” she made for a very lucky few of us is that they aren’t actually the gift. You’d have to be fortunate enough to get to bask in the glow of her halo to understand what I’m saying. Oh, and, in case I forgot to tell you again

I AM THE LUCKIEST WOMAN ALIVE ON THE FACE OF THIS PLANET!

DECEMBER 15, 2020: “The Selfish Parent Serenade” …

… ummmm,

YES IT DOES!

Listen up my parent friends, and listen up real good! We only get eighteen years with ’em! Actually, make that sixteen once they get driver’s licenses and become mobile. WE brought them into this world of our own volition, NOT THEIRS! None of them signed up for this gig – WE DID! Our kids shouldn’t have to sacrifice so that WE can have the lives we want. WE should make the sacrifices so that our KIDS can have the lives they DESERVE! There is nothing that should ever come between us and them …

Not a job!

Not a dream!

Not a hobby!

Not an education!

NOT EVEN “THE LOVE OF OUR LIFE”!

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who tries to put YOU between them and YOUR children? Thaaat would be a deal-breaker my friends, and that is not “the love of your life”!

Honey, I love you, but it’s me or them …

… to which your response is …

WELL THEN DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS!

Does that mean that we aren’t entitled to have those things? The jobs, dreams, hobbies, educations, AND the loves of our lives? OF COURSE IT DOESN’T! But here’s the deal … KIDS FIRST! US LAST! Period. End of story! The years with them home will be over before we know it and then it’s OUR time to fly! The sky’s the limit people, but not at the expense of the wings we clip, mangle, twist and BURN when we’re more worried about our wings then theirs.

FAILURE TO FLY.

I may not be doctor, but I’m willing to bet that more “failed flights” than not are due in part to selfish parents who failed to make their kids a priority. Sorry, “not sorry” if that truth is hard to hear, but the truth does hurt, does it not? Let’s not be stupid and squander the fleeting time we have with them at home. More so than that, let’s not be “those parents” that the parents who do sacrifice to put their kids first talk badly about behind our backs. WORST OF ALL, let’s not be “those parents” whose KIDS will be talking about to their kids one day, telling them all the things we did or didn’t do, and how our selfish parenting landed them in therapy and medicated because we shattered their fragile hearts like glass!

Not to be sanctimonious, but there are certain crimes against humanity that are deserving of such flagrant disapproval and reproach. ASSHOLE PARENTS ARE ONE OF THEM! For the record, I too have been guilty of some not so stellar, very selfish parenting. I’m not EVEN gonna sit here and lie! But guess what? I grew up, opened my eyes, and took a sobering look at the wreckage I’d gifted to the undeserving kids I allowed to become casualties of both “my war within” and my “war abroad. After breaking apart for a not so hot minute or two, I looked into the mirror at the little girl who knew exactly what it felt like to be “at the expense of an unavailable parent”. My guilty conscience took care of the rest. I sat down with my both my kids at different times and stages appropriate to their age and understanding and had the hardest and most awkward conversations of my life:

Kids, I’m sorry, but MOMMY TOTALLY FUCKED YOU OVER! Let me tell you how …

At which point I owned it all, accounted for everything, APOLOGIZED, then vowed to start doing better! Never again will my kids be second to anything or anyone … NOT EVEN MY OWN DAMN SELF!

This song is probably one of the best “selfish parent serenades” I’ve ever heard. Digest the words and let them sink in. If you’ve ever been guilty of misappropriating the precious gift of parenthood, it may just twist you up inside the same way it twisted me the first time I heard it. That being the case, just stop what you’re doing, talk to your kids, validate their wounds AND FIX IT! “But in the end we were made to be apart in separate chambers of the human heart.” Is that the legacy you want to leave behind? Certainly not. But children grow up and become adults, many of who end up spending so much time in therapy trying to fix the damage we caused that they have no choice but to keep us in “separate chambers of the heart”. They learn about boundaries and “loving from afar” to either protect themselves from us, break the cycle, or both, and thus the bridge is burned.

For the record, no matter what seemingly unforgiveable parenting mistakes you’ve made along the way, and no matter how old your children are, it’s never too late to own it, account for it, apologize, and do better! As long as you’re breathing and they are too? JUST FIX IT!

BURNING IN THE SKIES

I use the dead wood to make the fire rise. The blood of innocence burning in the skies. I filled my cup with the rising of the sea, and poured it out in an ocean of debris. Ooh, I’m swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned. So don’t apologize – I’m losing what I don’t deserve. What I don’t deserve. We held our breathe when the clouds began to form, but you were lost in the beating of the storm. But in the end we were made to be apart in separate chambers of the human heart. Ooh, I’m swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned. So don’t apologize – I’m losing what I don’t deserve. It’s in the blackened bones of bridges I have burned. The blame is mine alone for bridges I have burned. So don’t apologize – I’m losing what I don’t deserve. What I don’t deserve. {Linkin’ Park}

DECEMBER 13, 2020: “Castle Of Glass” …

… because sometimes all I have is the words to someone’s else’s song …

“Castle Of Glass”

Take me down to the river bend. Take me down to the fighting end. Wash the poison from off my skin. Show me how to be whole again. Fly me up on a silver wing. Past the black where the sirens sing. Warm me up in a nova’s glow and drop me down to the dream below. ‘Cause I’m only a crack in this castle of glass. Hardly anything there for you to see. Bring me home in a blinding dream Through the secrets that I have seen. Wash the sorrow from off my skin and show me how to be whole again. ‘Cause I’m only a crack in this castle of glass. Hardly anything there for you to see.

~ Linkin’ Park

DECEMBER 11, 2020: “One Heart” …

… that moment you get a surprise in the mail from literally out of the blue from a dear friend of years, with not only a precious gift but these sweet words as well:

Watching your love story grow was beautiful. Watching how you honor your husband today is beautiful. Under the surface, I am sure you have experienced a roller coaster of emotion. But you carry on with such grace and strength. Even though I never had the privilege of meeting your husband, I hope this ornament can serve as a small piece to honor him at Christmas. May God bless and keep your family safe during this holiday season.

Of all the things that could possibly reduce me, of all people, “the Cat who never seems to shut up”, to speechless tears? A random act of kindness! And with that, I’m yet again reminded of how blessed I am. I too wish she could have met him. I wish all of you could have met him (the him he was before he got sick). He was a force to be reckoned with, the changer of my game, and the king of my heart. This ornament is so special to me that it will now adorn a lamp in my kitchen year-round. It will serve as a loving, daily reminder of not just him and every bittersweet and beautiful piece of this journey, but most importantly that in all things big and small, God is “turning and turning” this thing with the One Heart that brings hearts like hers close to mine!

ONE HEART

There’s a new church on the horizon, made of light, not of stone. Calling out to all Creation – you are not alone, no, no, no. Lions and lambs. Saints and sinners. Best of friends. Enemies. Woman and man. Losers and winners. They are all in you and me. We are one heart looking for answers. One soul finding our way in the dark. One dream we share together. We are all a part of one heart. Out in the cold, ooh, there are faces hidden by, the wind and rain. Hold out your hand – someone will take it. They’re gonna bring you home again. Around the Earth tonight the fires are burning. Tears are falling from the sky. Still the world keeps turning … turning and turning and turning. {Clay Crosse}

DECEMBER 10, 2020: “I’ll Carry Them” …

Dear Mom …

Could any two words in the history of written language EVER melt a heart so quickly as they do mine? OH but the irony here! In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a very sentimental person. It’s all those little things in my life, like the sticks, the rocks, the dried up flowers, and love notes from my people that mean literally “everything” to me … and yes, to the best of my ability … I KEEP THEM ALL! I’ve had this love note from Gia to me and Zack resting on the typing stand on my desk since literally the day I found it waiting on my keyboard to be found as a surprise and read, “November 29, 2014”. The other one, however, I only recently found when I was shuffling through a stack of papers that were inside my desk that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. You know the stack? “Toss it, or keep it? Hmmmm. I’ll just keep it and deal with it later!” Meanwhile, years later, and ya FINALLY start going through it all!

The love note from Christian (Circa 2008″, age 16) was also left as a surprise for me to find on the keyboard of my computer when I was still living at His house with all of them. Sadly, it wasn’t too long afterwards that I’d made my final departure once and for all. And by the way, how completely crazy is it that both their notes were done in either the same or a very similar font? For the record, I chose today to publish this post because it’s “midway” between November 29th and December 18th. I just split the difference and landed here!

I’m not gonna lie, when I found Christian’s note it tore me up pretty good, but not in the traditional “torn up” way. It was good. Bittersweet tears flowing from my eyes at just the right time and space. It’s these precious little bits of “everything” from days gone by that remind me that although I’ve definitely had my fare share of screw ups and not-so-stellar mom moments, at the end of the day, this is what I’ve been fighting for. I carry them while they carry me forward as a Light Into The Dark.

In being honest, these love notes from my kids do also make me a little sad. That beautiful king who gave us absolutely everything never had this as a child, and that’s what eventually broke him. She broke him into pieces and he’s gone. Luckily, however, I can let him rest in peace knowing that he did finally have a home and “everything” to carry him through the season we were lucky enough to have him.

DECEMBER 8, 2020: “Hey, Younger You – RISE UP!” …

First of all, my sincere gratitude to the very talented young artist I’ve befriended over on my Instagram page, @metalhead_ryze, for collaborating with me on this project. I sent her the words for which I needed a backdrop late the night before last with a query: “I need a superhero looking silhouette with a cape to go with these words. Can you do that?” This picture you see is the final result and I couldn’t be happier with it!

In the meantime …

… don’t forget …

… that “broken kids” aren’t always kids. Sometimes we’re adults. Treat yourself kindly, with patience, love and respect, and validate yourself always! TELL THE BROKEN KID HIDING BENEATH YOUR SKIN THAT THEY’RE TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME AND THEY DIDN’T DESERVE TO BE BROKEN!

“Reparenting”

IT’S EVERYTHING!

The first day in your adult life that you’re TRULY able to show that broken kid you once were (or the kid you never got to be) a little empathy, grace, unconditional love and compassion, will be the first day of the rest of your life. I PROMISE! I call “that day” my second birthday, and yes my friends, I remember exactly where I was when I began the reparenting of “younger me”. It was April 8, 2008, and it truly was the beginning of everything I’ve become!

Much love to all of you “broken adult kiddos” out there. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” Your cape will be waiting by the mirror! Find it. Accept it. Embrace it. WEAR IT! Let it adorn your “sick of being tired” shoulders and RISE YOU UP to who you’re waiting to become …

Your personal superhero …

YOU!

NOVEMBER 28, 2020: “My Parking Lot Meds” …

Andy James (“DOCTOR SHRED”)

Does YOUR doctor make on-site visits to your neighborhood Walmart? MINE DOES! And the best part is …

NO DEDUCTIBLE!

NO CO-PAY!

Just a good time dealing with myself in a local parking lot today before I went inside the store, such that mascara was all over my face and I looked like I’d just cut onions while I was shopping for even MORE Christmas decorations and crow food! Have I ever told you that I love my actual life?

NOVEMBER 26, 2020: “I’m STILL Seein’ It” …

TEN THANKSGIVINGS LATER …

… and I still see the gold smoldering quietly in the embers, as far as my gaze to and fro, shining steadfast like a beacon to The Brighter Side Of Grey that led me to this Light … especially when I look in the mirror.

Golden is the crown that adorns my head, encrusted with all the precious diamonds of my life, not the least of which is me, the Queen I truly am, who was also created under pressure and fire.

The King may no longer reign beside me on Earth, and my sister may have moved miles away, but I still have my fire babies … and so many beautiful strangers … and I’m still so very thankful for these still so applicable words from “ten Thanksgivings later”.

These lonely hours like a fire refining something that’s precious – something that’s shining. There in the darkness, surrounded by coals … it’s starting to glow.

I think I see gold, and I’m just so very thankful … FOR EVERYTHING.

NOVEMBER 25, 2020: “Will The Sun Rise?”…

PERSPECTIVE.

After a deep and meaningful heartfelt intersection with my MUSE last night, or rather should I say, “a 4am meeting of the masterminds” (because after all, isn’t “4am when most masterminds do their best work), I’ve decided this needs to be said …

This song? It’s a favorite of mine! I still love Dokken very, very much, and still listen to them ALL the time. (“Under Lock And Key” is one of my lifetime favorite albums.)

“Will The Sun Rise?”

As I told my muse, the meaning of this song used to go RIGHT over my hairspray encrusted head. But now when I hear it, it wants to make me sad. I’m a grown up now. I’m a mother now. If I’m lucky? I’LL BE A GRANDMA ONE DAY … a “Crazy Grandma Cat“! These days we are living in, where it seems that Atlas really is falling?

The contemplation of “the Sun rising of it all” does tend to give cause for a fair amount of panic. But then I stop and think for a minute about everything I know to be true, and my perspective instantly shifts!

“Will the Sun rise? Yes! It will! I’ve “gotten to learn this” the very beautifully hard way. The lights go on. Then they go off. The dark of night comes. Then so does the Sun, to reveal the Brighter Side Of Grey.

Meanwhile …

Now is the time to share this song with your still impressionable teen. Have them listen and tell you how it makes them feel. The words to this beautiful, 35 year old melody have never been more relevant, and sharing them with a young person in your atmosphere could be a great opportunity to start a “music therapy conversation“.

I’m STILL the most blessed woman that I know!

If you look closely at the image on which I’ve put the lyrics to this song, you will see that it’s the “negative perspective” of a sketch I made from my father’s cigarette ashes years ago. But look below now to my “brighter side perspective” today. It’s my truth in my grey and it’s EVERYTHING! And, with that, I once again leave you with this …