A walk down memory lane

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Sunday morning Ann (my daughter) and I went into the shed to grab some of her boxes that were filled with her childhood memories, inside one of her boxes was a journal that I started on December 4,  1986….I was 12. I briefly went though it and laughed at a black and white photo of Kirk Cameron that I had taped to one of the pages with the words “ I love Kirk Cameron” written on the other page.

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Last night I opened up my journal and instantly tales of my childhood came alive, reading about growing up in Catholic school was quite entertaining, because that’s where I got my first taste of cliques and how to survive being on the chopping block. Every week it seemed someone upset the “leader” of the group and on this particular day I was cast out of the group …. and now was taken in by the “goody two shoes” of our class.

Nancy hates me and I’m trying to figure out why all she said was “I hate you and I’m not kidding” I’m thinking it was because I wasn’t loud enough in cheerleading practice.  

A couple of months later…. in big black marker appeared “Nancy is no longer here, she went to a new school” and all was right again.

Page after page was a synopsis about my day and an update on the status of my grade school crush was at the bottom in red ink, the funny thing was is one week I’d like him, two weeks later I hated him just to turn around a week later to state how I like him again.

Some memories didn’t leave me laughing, as I continued reading the words of my twelve-year-old self; I was reminded of the many times I got a “lickin” (spanked with the belt) for something my sister had done or for trying to stand up for myself…which never went in my favor.

“my dad took the calico vision out of the playroom and put it in my sister’s room because she wanted to play with it. It was given to both of us for Christmas but she cried because she wanted it in her room, now my dad switched our television sets and guess what ….when I went to turn it on, it doesn’t work”

From what came next didn’t play out in my favor and no amount of trying to get my point across worked because I ended up getting grounded. I still hadn’t learned to just keep my mouth shut. 

One thing that became apparent on those pages was how a childhood friendship was changing and the things that I wrote about back then hadn’t really changed much from the present day. I felt the frustration that my younger self felt as she was trying to make sense of why her friend felt that she had to pretend to be something that she wasn’t just to fit in.

“Marie is acting weird. I don’t know I think it’s because she has stuck up friends and she’s trying to be like them”  , “Marie called and said she couldn’t go to my birthday party because she was going to skateland with her friends from school. She knew about my party since December” , “ I don’t know why Marie invited me to her sleepover when she planned to ignore me. She’s starting to act like them, why would someone want to act like an airhead?”

I don’t know why it was so important for me to hold onto this friendship so tightly, my only guess was the promise we made as little girls to remain friends forever. No matter the changes that I saw in her as time went on I still held on tightly to that promise making excuses for her behavior, always baffled why she thought she had to “play” a certain part for her friends or the people she surrounded herself with.  It wasn’t until very recently that I decided to put our friendship to rest and to leave the memory of those two little girls who at one time were inseparable in the past…where their friendship was carefree and innocent and not plagued by “growing up”.

What surprised me as I continued to read the pages of my journal was that I kept coming back making small entries….sometimes they were quick updates or details of my broken heart. The last entry was August 1996 … I think I will just leave a little note that says  “For a recent update just google Valley Girl Gone Country” . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The man in plaid

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A few months ago …..

I slowly woke up and tried to focus on the clock that was across the room, the clock read 2:13am. Instead of laying in bed I figured since I was up I would get a glass of water and use the bathroom but instead of using the master bathroom (so I wouldn’t wake my husband or the furkids) I decided to use the guest bathroom which was in the living room. As I made my way to the bedroom door  (which was only opened a crack to allow the dogs to go in and out as they pleased) I grabbed the knob and proceeded to walk through the doorway ….. I froze because standing right in front of me was a tall fairly built man in a red/black plaid flannel shirt. In those brief seconds I felt no fear, I was just startled because the last thing I expected to see standing in my doorway was a figure of a man.  You would think I would yell, scream, pee my pants …something…..but all that came out of my mouth was a whispered “oh my gosh, don’t do that”  and then he was gone.

Now, don’t get me wrong  if I walked out of my room and almost ran into a man who was peeking in my doorway I would have screamed my bloody head off. In this case, I knew he was a spirit …… as I walked to the bathroom my heart was still racing but I tried so hard to replay what had just happened.  Part of me hoped that I didn’t offend the man in plaid and wondered if he was as startled as I was? Who was this guy……someone just passing by, a deceased relative, a guide? then I grew frustrated…why did I have to look so startled?

I never did tell my husband about our visitor because he doesn’t believe in ghosts and to tell him that I almost ran into one in our home would just start a debate that I really would rather not go into with him.  Granted I did tell him about a couple of incidents that involve my deceased grandfather but honestly I don’t think he paid much attention to the stories…..it’s just something that isn’t discussed, his beliefs are his and mine are mine.  It makes me wonder if I ever told him the story about the ghost I saw up in the Canyon in California, probably not….haha.

The man in plaid has never showed himself to me again but I still wonder from time to time who he was.

Staying true to myself

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Last night I slept, I slept better than I had in days…maybe weeks. I woke up around one in the morning recalling a dream that I just had, “I fell asleep” …I closed my eyes, snuggled up closer to the hubby and without hassle I fell back to sleep. I woke up refreshed … no sign of a headache, I was ready to tackle my day.

It had seemed as though writing about what was troubling me helped tremendously, but why was I so surprised this time?  Writing has always been therapeutic to me, writing is what I know …… sharing or venting to a friend has helped at times but when I write I feel as though I can express myself more clearly without interruption. It’s my feelings, my truth, my hopes, my life… in black and white.

I made a decision when I started Valley Girl Gone Country not to hold back, or to allow someone to dictate what was deemed appropriate…that type of restraint left me feeling bogged down and trapped, yes there are times that I have had to change a name just to protect the person that I am speaking of, there have been moments that I sat in front of my computer screen ready to hit publish but had second thoughts because maybe it was too raw…too personal…too me, but you know what?  I had to get pass that. Throwing myself under the bus or sharing idiotic situations will happen, because well…….sometimes life brings you idiot moments..right?

When I am blogging about my life here in the country or sharing experiences of my past….there are times that to some it may come across very personal, for example “Love Doesn’t Leave Bruises” It’s my attempt to reach them (them meaning friends/family) and I have exhausted my efforts every other way, I’ve talked to them until I was blue in the face, I’ve dumbed it down for them, I’ve pulled the emotion out of it, emailed…but I know they read this blog, I also know they read your comments. I know in time something has to click.

I watched the first episode of Blood, Sweat and Heels this past weekend and honestly I wasn’t too impressed, but one of the cast members is a blogger, Demetria Lucas and boy oh boy did she get some of those girlies panties in a bunch just by writing her truth, her observation from a brunch she attended. She wasn’t going to let them bully her into silence, she was going to write what she knew…..not even a calculated dinner to bamboozle her and tear apart her posts broke her. She stayed classy. She remained true to herself.

All in all I will remain true to myself and Valley Girl Gone Country. I’ve shut down one too many blogs and went into blogging hibernation because of other peoples opinions but I can’t do that anymore.

* You have the choice to read or not to read. I am not forcing that hand*

and when I say that I am staying true to myself this has nothing to do with me refusing to accept becoming forty  in a couple of days…..I will be 39 again and again and again. 

Want to be a Guest Blogger?

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You can write about anything (within reason)……you know that I am a “pretty much say what’s on my mind” kinda gal.  I want to make Thursday the day I share the work of a Guest Blogger, so if you are interested send me your post to valleygirlgonecountry@gmail.com.

Hope to hear from you soon!!

Jolene

Putting on my red dress and accepting my awards!!!

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I want to say Thank you to Mostly True ramblings for nominating me for the Liebster Award!!  She totally rocks!!  and Thank you Mommyverbs for nominating me for the Versatile Award….she always makes me chuckle with the things she writes about!! If you haven’t taken the opportunity to check out these two women’s amazing blogs you need to…….you’re missing out if you don’t!

To accept my Liebster Award, I must do several things:

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  1. Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated me.
  2. Answer ten questions given to me by my nominator.
  3. Nominate ten  5 other bloggers for the award.
  4. Create ten questions for my nominees to answer.
  5. Notify my nominees.

Here’s the 10 questions for my 10 bloggers:

  1. If you had an undo button, what would you undo?  Honestly, I think I would have never married my second husband.
  2. Why do you blog?  I blog because it’s cheaper than therapy and I feel as though I am being heard in this type of forum.
  3. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  My nose….I hate my nose
  4. What is your “Super Power” that makes you different from all others?  Have no clue…I know that’s a cop out but it’s an honest one
  5. What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a psychologist
  6. Have you ever cried because you were so happy? yeah….when the hubby proposed
  7. What scares you the most? deceit
  8. What impact do you want to leave on the world?
  9. Life is too short to tolerate _______________?  liars
  10. What are you procrastinating on right now? cleaning the house

My nominees for the Liebster award are :

Life everyone has one

Lisa Johnson Sawyer

Being Nenne

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Alicia Benton

For your ten questions ….. it’s simple…..answer the ten that are above!   

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 5blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 5 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

The nominees are  :

I’m going to say it anyway – Because you have the guts to say what I am thinking

Musings of a dancing wino -because without Caturdays my Saturdays would be boring….and her stories are amazing

Suzie81 – Thank you …..just Thank you!!

The Psych Ward – I wish I had your strength

Scottishmomus – because no one kicks ass at poetry like you do

Now … the seven things about me …..How about I switch that around and tell you seven things that I see right this very minute

1. Dart laying on the hubbys pillow

2. Clothes piling up in the laundry basket

3. Lily glaring at Dart for stealing her spot

4.  an empty doggie bed that I bought for $40 at TJ Maxx thinking they would love this one as much as the one I have to keep bringing to and from the bedroom every night and day!!

5. My water bottle that is on my dresser that I wish I had brought to my night stand.

6. My hubbys clothes on top of the dresser…I’m wondering why he didn’t put them away.

7. my toes …..they really need some attention!!  I may have to make an appointment this week!!

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Weekly Writing Challenge : Sophie’s escape

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Sophie hears the front door open, fear takes over her innocence, heavy footsteps in the hallway only can mean one thing, He’s Home! She whispers to her dolls to be quiet as she cleans up any evidence that a few minutes earlier she was enjoying a tea party with her imaginary friends Peter and Claudia. She hugs her teddy bear close to her chest hoping that today would be different, but as soon as that thought crosses her mind she hears her stepfather yelling at her mother. “You BITCH, I told you I wanted this house clean when I got home. Your little brats constantly leave their crap all over this house”.  She hears one of her brothers’ toys crash against the wall and break into little pieces.

She hears them arguing, voices escalating… momma always has the house so clean I don’t know why it’s never good enough for him. “Please make them stop” she whispers to her teddy.

Sophie stares out her bedroom window wanting to escape the wrath that is her stepfather, she looks at the rusty old merry-go-round that sits in front of the laundry mat, she puts on her sandals and quietly opens her bedroom door …tiptoeing down the hallway, she can hear muffled arguing coming from her parents’ bedroom. …she opens the front door and escapes the nightmare that she currently lives.

“Look both ways” she tells herself. As soon as the cars pass she crosses the street with care and finds herself next to her brightly colored friends, Mr. Frog is her favorite. She imagines them all coming to life, her friends Claudia and Peter instantly appear. She climbs on the back of the orange striped tiger who she named Cliff and he takes her away to a land that she visits often. She no longer feels scared, they all remind her that they are there to protect her and nothing can harm her now. She loves escaping to this beautiful place, green rolling hills, flowers taller than her, she enjoys playing hide-n-seek with all her friends. It seems like hours have gone by that she has been able to enjoy this freedom but somewhere deep inside she knows it has just been a few minutes. She climbs on top of Jerry the Giraffe and he takes her to an ice cream covered mountain overlooking a chocolate filled sea. “I wish I can stay here forever” she says to her all her friends.

“Get the hell out of here!!! ” with the sound her of mother’s voice she is suddenly thrown back to reality. She can hear her step father yelling from across the street.  Sophie waits patiently next to Mr. Frog hoping to hear the loud roar of the monsters truck pulling away from the apartment complex. “Don’t ever come back and if you do you will be sorry”. Sophie has heard these words come out of her mother’s mouth before only to welcome the monster back with “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you” more times then she can remember.

“Sophie, Sophie!!!”  She sees her mom come towards her, a worried look on her face. Her mother has come to know where to find her sweet daughter when things get out of control in the home…..tears running down her mother’s face she bends down and hugs her daughter. “I’m sorry momma, I’m sorry for not picking up Jacks toy, it’s all my fault” …her mother hugs her tighter and tells her that he is never coming back. “Are you sure momma?” as she looks into her mother’s eyes she sees that one eye is swollen….she gently kisses it and smiles “it’s all better momma…it will be all better soon”. Her mom smiles back “yes, honey it will be better soon. I promise. I promise never to put you or your brother in that situation ever again. I’m so sorry”. She grabs her daughter’s hand and they head back home…… as they cross the street; Sophie looks back and gives a little wave to her friends that sit patiently on the rusty yellow merry-go-round for her return.

Click here to view more :Weekly Writing Challenge 

My 100th post and a Quintet of Radiance: Five Ennobling Awards

What a way to celebrate my 100th post!! I started my blog on May 13th and in just a few short months I have read so many blogs that entertain me and leave me speechless because the makers behind these blogs are so talented. I just feel extremely blessed to be part of such a diverse blogging community.

I want to thank Belsbror for thinking that I am worthy of such a grand award. I want all of you to go visit Belsbror and say hello and take a minute or two to wonder through the blog and read some fascinating posts! Belsbror is incredibly talented!!

At first, I wasn’t sure what this award was all about and what I had to do…but after reading about it on Belsbrors blog I decided to share what I read about this award.

As a recipient, you will surely shower your giver with much appreciation for thinking of you.

The idea behind the awards is to serve as  a constant reminder for our thoughts to remain Versatile to brighten up the dark pathways of the mind with Sunshine, respect our Inner Peace, bring about changes by being positively Influential, and make this pale blue planet an Awesome place to abide in.

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There was no mention on how many nominees you had to give this to so since there are five awards I will nominate five amazing bloggers who I look forward to reading daily and yes you may have just received an award from me but you five are truly amazing, confident, talented women who deserve this  !!

1. 1 Year of Single

2. Musings of a Dancing Wino

3. Suzie81

4. Imperfectly Perfect

5. Dating Dramas of a Thirty Something

Daily Prompt: Origin Story

Growing up I spent hours writing in my diary, tucking it behind the piles of clothes that laid way in the deep confines of my closet. Secrets, thoughts, weekly crushes consumed each page. As I got older those diaries turned into volumes and volumes of journals writing about life as I knew it…..marriage, divorce, heartache, dating again and being a mother!!

There came a point that I stopped writing. I guess  I just got busy with life and to be honest I hit a really dark patch that I didn’t want to relive in my journals. Years passed and my thoughts just consumed me. I needed an escape from the words that were held captive  inside my soul. Then I heard that one word “Blog”. …as I searched and searched, I noticed a whole community full of writers telling their story. “How wonderful” I thought.

I started my first blog over five years ago, I wrote about things that I couldn’t share with friends, family or my then husband. It was therapeutic, the thoughts that plagued me were now being released flowing from my fingertips to the keyboard. I felt liberated until Mr.Crazy found my blog and felt threatened by what I shared, it was nothing but the truth but yet again he hated that I shared our life….well actually he was ok when I wrote about the my children, their father or the recent trip to a winery….but the bad is what drove him into endless hissy fits. He made it difficult to write and  even brought it up in a counseling session; the therapist sided with me but he huffed so much that I stopped.

Valley Girl Gone Country came to life when I married my cowboy (aka The Major), moved from California to Arkansas and started to experience what life was like away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I was in awe of being surrounded by the beauty that is Arkansas…green EVERYWHERE!! I have cows down the street from me and some mornings you can hear the bulls calling!!! again I was consumed with thoughts that had to come out and to be honest sometimes my husband just doesn’t have the energy to listen to all my ramblings.

I never imagined that I would be welcomed with open arms into such an awesome blogging community with so many talented writers. I admit that I look forward to logging on my computer to my fix of daily adventures, stories, poetry and silly humor from my fellow bloggers!!

To check out how other started blogging just click here :Daily Prompt Origin Story

Versatile Blogger Award

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A big thanks to Suzie81 for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!!  I was beyond excited to receive this. I am really glad that I decided to jump back into blogging, I can’t begin to tell you how many of you have brightened my day by the comments you leave or simply just acknowledging you like a post..

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The rules for this are:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website/blog.
2. Announce your win with a post. Make sure to post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.
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OK…..here are 7 interesting things about me…..I only HOPE they are interesting to you!
1. When I was a teenager, I was OBSESSED with New Kids on The Block and my room looked like the pic below..wall to wall pictures……but it was more Joey McIntyre than Jordan Knight.
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2. When I was asked by my 2nd grade teacher what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a frog………………..and NO Suzie…..NOT THIS KIND!!
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3. I LOVE olives….black ones
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4. After watching the Invasion of the Body snatchers when I was a little girl, I was convinced that my parents were POD people.
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5. I love Dr. Pepper
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6.  I have a small crush on John Mayer.
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7. My favorite number is 226  ……….not sure why…………it’s just a number that has grown on me, it pops up pretty much weekly…in one form or another. Maybe it means something???
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and my 15 nominees are ………………
Imperfectly Perfect    (and NO it’s not because I unfollowed you by accident )

Daily Prompt: Keep Out

There was a time that I feared that Mr. Crazy (2nd husband) and His Royal Highness (1st husband) would come across this blog, leave awful “anonymous” comments about how no one wants to read about my pathetic life or how my post was one-sided(these were just a couple of their past comments that they wrote on a previous blog) and then eventually stir up drama, bring my children into it and then eventually I would coward down, raise my white flag and shut another blog down.

I allowed them to bully me and have control over me yet again, just like when we were married. I noticed that although I wasn’t with them  any longer I allowed their negative words to take hold of me AGAIN ….. but it came a point that I had to tell myself “Enough is Enough”. Why would I continue to allow these two insecure men to stop me from doing what I enjoy?  I love blogging!

When I started to blog again and created Valley Girl Gone Country a few months ago, I used an alias but then I thought how silly that was. There was no need to hide any longer, if they happened to come across my blog then so be it…..but it would only contradict what they posted previously(on another blog) about “no one wanting to read about my pathetic life”, because why would they sit for hours on end trying to locate my blog, read it and then have a pow wow session between the two of them?

Writing makes me feel good and I will never allow anyone to stop me from doing what I love again…..lesson learned!!

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