Monday, June 27, 2016

"That's my good girl!"

Some of my greatest regrets come from trying to do what made other people happy instead of chasing my own happiness. Among those was the missed opportunity to see my oldest son play his tuba on the football field at the OSU Cowboy Stadium in 2005. This was an opportunity I would never have again, but it was taken away from me because of the selfishness and entitlement of other people.

Austen was an excellent student in High School and earned a scholarship playing in the OSU Cowboy Band. Being a single mother of four sons, working in a low paying job so I could have the flexibility to be where my sons needed me, and get them to where they needed to be, making ends meet was often difficult. But, somehow I was able to make it happen. However, once David and I began dating things kind of took a turn that I wasn’t real happy about with regard to the entitlement of his children. The parent method of behavior utilized regarding adult plans, was that the children ruled over dad. The problem that was apparent, was that the parents of this ten and five year old felt the children should be making the plans! I’ll explain that statement;


Austen invited me to an OSU Cowboy football game, and knowing his mom had a difficult time financially, he came up with a ticket for me so I could go see him in action on the field at half-time. I’d planned for weeks and was very excited for the opportunity. I’d seen him at the homecoming parade but seeing him on the field was something I’d longed to do so badly, and HE wanted his mom too also. David asked if he and the kids could come hang out with me on Saturday at my house and I told him sure, but that evening I was going to go to an OSU game to see Austen play his tuba with the Band. He was adamant that he and the kids would go too as getting a ticket would be easy to do outside the gate.  I told him as long as they knew I was going and that was the plan then it would be fine for them to come over. 


David, the kids and I, went somewhere the morning of the big game and all hell broke loose on the drive home. His daughter, aged ten, knew the plan to go to the game but had received a phone call from Mom while we were in the car. You could hear the conversation and the ex-wife getting into our business with the child. She asked the child “why would anyone want to go to an OSU football game? You will be so bored. It will be awful. Tell your dad you’re not going to go and he doesn’t need to go either. That’s it, just refuse to go. Pitch a fit until he changes his mind on going, you know he will!” And….that’s exactly what happened.


To make matters worse, the little girl started screaming in the car, throwing the temper tantrum ordered by her dysfunctional mother. It was horrible and unwarranted, but this was the manner in which this woman operated and that manner of operation only worsened over the years. It didn’t matter that she was setting her own child up for failure in life, it was a selfish act that was all consuming for this woman. The fit worsened the closer we got to my home in Glenpool. Once we arrived, David and I discussed our evening plans. He was attempting to change our plans simply because of the temper tantrums of a child, based on the instructions we had both heard come from her mother. “It is not her fault, mom has made her not want to go now.” He said. My response was, “David, the kid is ten, you’re the parent and children don’t have the right to change the plans made by adults simply because of their own whims and wishes.”


Now….that might seem to make sense to other adults, but that’s not the way these two parents operated. Mom had so engrained into these little children that dad should do only what the children wish to do, and that the children had been given a directive to make it happen by mom. David, being a puppet on a string to this woman for so many years, acted as if she still had control of the strings. In essence, she did, those string were the domination of her children in doing what she desired with regard to their father. 


Keep in mind that Dad was the only parent at home with these children while mommy dearest was out playing with her boyfriend, the same man she claimed months earlier had “forced himself” on her. I should have had clearer vision at the time to see what a crazy situation I had allowed myself to get into. But, love makes you lose your vision and common sense at times.


Seeing I wasn’t changing David’s mind, and this child’s tantrum and fits getting louder and more out of control, I asked them to leave. David didn’t want to leave because we were in the middle of a disagreement. But, the daughter didn’t want to leave either and said so. I told her they needed to go because I was going to a football game. She said “NO! I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here with you.” I told her I was going to a football game and again, the child refused to leave and her father didn’t make her go. I was between a rock and a hard place with people at my home refusing to leave and me needing WANTING to see my oldest son do something he and I had planned me watching for weeks.  It got to the point that I tried for so long to get them to leave without just being rude and insensitive to David’s situation with his child, that I ended up not going to the game. Austen and I lost something that day that we will never be able to share again and all because of this woman's selfishness and narcissistic behaviors. How horrible to use a child in that manner. I regret to this day that I didn't leave, telling them there was no alternative, and go to the game. That was a HUGE mistake on my part. 


This is a decision I still kick myself over. I missed the opportunity to do something for my own son because of the mother-driven temper tantrum of a ten year old. Yet, I’m the bad guy. In every situation, so MANY situations just like this one which we’ve endured over the last ten years; I always come out the bad guy. Yet, it’s me who has had to miss some things that were so important not only to me, but also to my own children simply because of a crazy, dysfunctional ex-spouse who was selfish and driven to make her ex miserable. Well, she succeeded not only in misery for dad, but also for the new woman that dad was involved with. I was hated, maligned, lied about, had my friends and co-workers called and told horrendous, untruthful things about me, threatened, hit with bogus protective orders saying I was abusive to her children when it was just her abusing the legal justice system to her own means, and even called a “swinger” to my employer and people I worked with, had an acquaintance told at a rodeo that I was a “swinger” right there in front of the children, yet, I’m the bad guy. 


I’ve had people tell me they know just how I feel that they have been through this with their husband’s children. However, I’m yet to see their names on legal records showing they had to fight constantly to prove they were not child abusers or horrible human beings. You see, my parents, unlike my husband’s ex, taught me to be fair to all people. They taught me that rules apply to everyone, not just everyone else. My parents also taught me to live by the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” 


I vividly remember the little boy climbing up into my lap and kissing me. It made me very uncomfortable as he said “I have two daddies and two mommies.” I quickly stopped him and told him, “you have ONE mom and ONE dad, I’m not your mom and Mike is not your dad.” Why can’t all parents do their children a favor and not confuse them by trying to eliminate the parent’s role in the children’s lives? Why can’t they see that children need and DESERVE the freedom to love both sides of their families which may include step-parents? It takes an EXTREMELY SELFISH person to demand loyalty only to one parent, and demands their child be totally against their other parent.


That parent’s behavior is classic Parental Alienation. Parental Alienation is abuse, but this type of abuse isn’t clearly seen as illegal. How can that be? Judges who are responsible to make decisions about the welfare of children have failed to educate themselves on Parental Alienation. Sharie Tines, Psy.D., fives a great description in “Children with Narcissistic Parental Alienation Syndrome”;


Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is the unhealthy coalition between a narcissistic parent and his or her children against the targeted, non-narcissistic, non-abusive parent.  The innocent or targeted parent receives hostility and rejection from his or her children in this system.  The psychological health of the children is used as arsenal in the narcissist’s twisted world.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a family systems pathologyinvolving the triangulation of children into the abusive, narcissistic parental relationship.  In the case of PAS the cross-generational coalition exists between the narcissist and the child or children, and is a covert type of narcissistic abuse.  In typical family systems therapy there would most likely be cooperation with the offending parent to break the coalition with the child and stand united with the other parent. With a narcissist this will not happen.  Narcissists have limited insight so they will be unwilling or unable to see their unhealthy union, believing it to be occurring because he or she happens to be the superior parent, deserving of loyalty, deeming the innocent parent as “bad.”  In addition to this, narcissists are unwilling to collaborate on anything; even in therapy.  Going to therapy with a narcissistic partner will usually backfire on the targeted partner.

The symptoms of PAS are:  (1) The children sit in judgment of the targeted parent’s adequacy and competency as a parent. (2) The narcissistic parent covertly encourages, empowers, and rewards the children for this behavior. (3) The narcissistic parent feigns innocence in this process.  (4) The children believe they are acting independently (that is, they believe they are not being influenced by the alienating parent.)

The system is created as the alienating parent rewards the children when they say hostile or angry things about the targeted parent by encouraging and displaying “understanding” for the children’s negative feelings, when what should really be occurring is the children should be taught to respect the other parent.  In essence, the children are gaining acceptance from the narcissistic parent as they complain about the target parent.

For instance, suppose the targeted parent tells the child to do a chore and the child resists as is so often the case with children being told to do something they don’t want to do.  Now, suppose the child goes to the narcissist and complains about the “mean” other parent.  The narcissist will then sympathize with the child, encouraging him or her to feel victimized by the “outrageous” expectations of the targeted parent, and will excuse the child from having to do the chore.  Thus, the child is getting sucked into the web of PAS.  The targeted parent is outraged, bewildered, hurt, and betrayed.  The child has been covertly empowered to disrespect the one parent who is actually trying to develop a decent human being.  The narcissist sits back, effortlessly creating the destructive coalition with his or her child.

In essence, the children are empowered to disobey, disrespect, and disregard the non-narcissistic parent.  On the surface, the children feel and believe they are benefiting and winning, but in reality they are playing a sordid part in the narcissist’s perverse mind games.  There are some detrimental effects to the children because of this:

1.                   Children’s sense of value is diminished because they believe the targeted parent is unworthy of being identified with. If the children have any interests or traits similar to the rejected parent then the children will be forced to reject those aspects of themselves as well.

2.                   A child’s character is damaged as he or she is covertly rewarded to be disrespectful, entitled, rude, judgmental, condescending, ungrateful, parentified, and hateful.

3.                   The children develop atoxic-bond to the alienating parent, as he or she manipulates them into fearing a lack of acceptance from him or her.

Realize that you are dealing with a form of psychological manipulation of your children in which they have been brainwashed to respond toward you in hateful ways because they are being psychologically rewarded by having a pseudo-interpersonal relationship with the other parent, whom the children perceive as more powerful.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a form of brainwashing.  Think of this – members of cults become brainwashed to the point where they will give up everyone they love, all for allegiance to a charismatic and manipulative leader. Some even give up their lives.  “


As long as I live I will never forget the day I was doing some legal work from home on my telephone. It was a requirement that I record such calls and as such I’d forgotten to turn off my tape recorder. Later that night I saw the tape recorder was running so I rewound it and what I heard was heartbreaking. “Have you pitched fits today every chance you got? “said the Mom. The daughter responded “Yes mom, just like you and Mike told me to do.”  Mom replied, “Are you making them as miserable as humanly possible for me?” to which daughter responded “yes mom, I’m doing what you told me to do.” The response from mom was exactly what you would expect from a narcissistic, abusive, disrespectful person, “that’s my girl, that’s my good girl!”



Thursday, June 2, 2016



Yesterday, June 1, 2016, three little girls entered my kitchen and said; “Mawmaw, may we use your back yard for our Luau we want to have?” I was surprised but then inquired about their little plan to have a luau. Harley, the oldest of the group, said “first we have to raise some money.” I asked “money for what honey?” Her response was “decorations and food.” I was surprised someone so young had thought out all the necessities. However, after talking to her mom the revelation was made that the girls had accompanied her to the Dollar Tree that day and had seen all the Luau décor. That was the ah-ha moment that the idea came to life to have a Hawaiian Luau.

I asked Harley how much money she thought they needed to put together their dream. She advised it would take at least $40. I asked her to please make a list of what she felt they would need to bring their dream to reality and she assigned Ashlyn to do the list for decorations while she spent some time on a food list. I must admit, Mawmaw was impressed by their sincerity in putting together a realistic plan to make their goal happen.

Once the lists were completed they gave them to me. On Harley’s list was the food; cookies, orange crush, sprite, chips, cheese pizza, plates, cups, neon straws, sandwich stuff, pineapple, and marshmallows. I began thinking about prices; cookies $3-$4, orange crush and sprite $3, chips $3, Cheese pizza $5, plates, cups, neon straws $3 at Dollar Tree, Sandwich stuff $10, pineapple and marshmallows $2 at Dollar Tree). That comes to around $30. That leaves ten bucks for decorations so I was curious to see Ashlyn’s list of decorations. Then, I looked at her list. It had one entry below the list name “Décor” and that entry was “lays”

Seeing the sincerity and realistic planning done by my little grand-girls, I realize that Mawmaw needs to help make this happen while allowing the girls to do it themselves. This wasn’t a situation where these little girls just wanted something. No, they wanted to DO something which requires planning and work and they are willing to do that work and planning themselves. The days of lemonade stands are over and sexual predictors are scary! So, they need to be able to do something safe to earn the money themselves. 

This is where you come in. With Fathers Day coming up perhaps this is the best time for their fund raising idea. The girls are going to work to earn money for their Hawaiian Luau by giving you something for your donation to their cause. They will be making videos for everyone that donates to them. In the video they will be singing to you and it will be a personalized video. They will even sing to whomever you want to dedicate it to in exchange for your donation. The donation can be $1, $2, $5, or more. This is a life lesson for these little girls and who knows, if they can earn enough money they may even send you an invitation to their Hawaiian Luau.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The father or mother who is the target of parental alienation may not be the actual intended victim of the parent doing the inappropriate child mind-washing. In fact, many times it’s the fact that the divorced Dad or Mom has started a new life without the ex, and the ex becomes furious about it. In my husband’s specific case, it was his ex-wife that was unfaithful to the marriage by having a nearly year-long affair with a man whom she originally claimed had raped her while she was traveling with him to a rodeo in another state. Either she was a liar about the start of the affair, or the latter would allege a break of her mental health in that she ended up marrying the very person she claimed had raped her.

The toxic environment this ex-wife created was toxic and triggered intense pain and a rage that she and her now deceased husband intensified with their inappropriate and destructive behaviors. They involved the children in their constant degrading comments, cursing and ranting, and extremely inappropriate behaviors. This degradation consisted not only the children’s father but also his new wife and her family.

In an affidavit filed in public record after becoming an adult, the oldest child who experienced these behaviors advised under oath that she was constantly in a state of fear of retaliation by her mother and step-father if she expressed any love of her other parent. In addition, she also tells about the alleged molestation by her step-father and her mother’s disregard of the child’s revelation of the abuse.  In fact, the child was ostracized by her own mother because she shared this allegation while at a church camp one summer. As a result of the revelation, the child was removed from mother’s home. However, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services never bothered to notify the father, who had been so alienated that the children had refused to even see him for years for no valid reason at all.

It literally requires enormous self-control for the parent who is alienated to not lower themselves to the behaviors of the horrible behaving, and abusive ex-spouse. This is especially true when members of one's own family act as if you have no reason to be angry at the other parent or frustrated with the children's abusive behaviors toward you. You feel constantly under the microscope and harshly judged by family and friends who have never had to live in this pressure cooker. As a result you find yourself constantly defending yourself and your feelings which further victimizes you, What is intended by the ex-spouse to be cruel punishments from her to the father of these children, actually was abuse not only to Dad but also to her very own children. Yet somehow the hold the mind-washing techniques has had on this child continues to be a stronghold.

Judges as well as people who are lucky enough to have normal, loving relationships have no idea how REAL parental alienation actually is. The same is true for those of you that have an ex-spouse who is intelligent and knows that children are the winners when they are given permission to love both parents and both families. For people with “normal” parent-child relationships, the idea of parental alienation sounds absolutely ridiculous and couldn’t possibly be occurring. That assumption or opinion is completely wrong as there are a multitude of parents and children who are put through the abuse of Parental Alienation each and every day. In most cases, the deep distrust of the parent being alienated which has been created by the alienating parent is so deep that it is akin to actual brain washing.

This blog is the history of our case. It was filed in Rogers County District Court, in Claremore, Oklahoma. You will hear the history of the case as well as the Judge’s decisions and the Court’s absolute disregard of the abuse that continues to this day. As a paralegal I can tell you first hand that this case is unlike anything you would ever believe. Experts testified that Mother was literally abusing her own children by her alienating behaviors. She even encouraged the children to scream at Dad over the telephone during the visits that were Court Ordered because Mother refused to allow Dad to communicate normally with the children.

As I go through the story I hope those who are in the same boat will find solace and comfort knowing you are not alone. I also have no doubt that my husband’s ex-spouse, and alienated children will also one day read this blog if for no other reason than curiosity as to what I’m saying. After all, I was abused as well and a target of this disturbing behavior.

The system was so abused by this alienating person that bogus protective orders were filed, and in different counties while court shopping, so that Dad couldn’t exercise normal visitation without Mom’s constant interference. It was not only abusive but also quite pathetic and Judges should have found this woman in contempt and jailed her for the abuses.

Each week I will add to this blog and I hope you will take the time to not only read it but also share it on Facebook, Twitter, and any other form of social media at your disposal. This is a story, a real story full of details that need to be told, heard, and shared. Then, there may be some justice after all.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I Come From Her Stock. Thank God For Grandma.

I’ve been thinking about my Grandma Poe today. This resilient woman is 93 years of age and works on alterations nearly every day. Her eyesight is not great like it used to be but she just keeps on going. She makes the Duracell Bunny look lazy! 

I’ve been this wonderful woman’s granddaughter for 55 years. I’ve seen many ups and downs in her life and she has been a good example of looking at the bright side of any situation. She’s made mistakes in her life but she’s used those mistakes to make herself a better human being. She’s also done what a lot of people never do, she didn’t go right back into the same pattern and repeat those mistakes. Instead she learned from them and moved forward in a positive manner. Her life is an example of her positive outlook. Her family all revere her as our matriarch and even the thought that her days will eventually come to an end is very disturbing to our very souls. 

I remember some times in my life that my grandmother was my solace. She was my confidant and she was a healer to my heart. She has comforted me at the lowest moments of life and taught me life-lessons I shall never forget. For instance, I’ve told many times the story of me being at the lowest point in my life where everything seemed hopeless. I was heartbroken and my body was ready to just give up the ghost of life. To top it all off, cancer and I were raging a serious war against each other and at that point I was ready to thrown in the white flag of defeat and call it done!

My grandmother and I were out doing some errands, probably going to the fabric store in town, and I needed to stop by an ATM because I wanted to pay Grandma back some money she had lent to me when I needed to pay for treatment and couldn’t afford to do so. I so vividly remember sitting in the bank drive-in and grandma was attempting to tell me not to worry about the money. However, I was intent on paying her back because she deserved to be respected and I needed to keep my word. Sitting there, just Grandma and me, she looked me square in the eye and in her little voice said, “sis, I wish there was more I could do for you but I want to give this to you.” She handed me a penny. I was kind of dumbfounded and thought maybe she was making a joke or something. She then said, “What does this penny say on the top in big, bold letters? Read it to me.” I turned the penny over and there on the front at the very top read the words that would change the way I thought every single day. It said “IN GOD WE TRUST.” 

Sitting in a bank drive-in, alone with God in the form of my Grandmother, my life and thought process changed. The big things in life suddenly became small. After all, if I truly trust in God then why worry. I began thinking about all the problems in life that I had faced to that point and realized that in EVERY single one of them God had lead me through them. He had fought the battle for me or had carried me through the darkest times in life. Even today when I’m faced with issues that seem beyond my control or my understanding I know I can trust God to see it through.

My grandmother always said, “what don’t kill you makes you stronger.” Another grandma phrase was “God won’t allow more than we can handle.” I always told her God must think I'm made of steel. She quickly told me God made me of gold so I could withstand the fires of life and help other people get through those battles too. It was grandma that one day, sitting on her covered porch, went through the details of my life with me and pointed out that every career change, every experience, every hour of school and college was a piece of a puzzle that God designed to make me the take charge, knowledgeable, experienced person that I am which allows me to be the person who can take life head-on. It made me someone who can fight battles for someone else or share my experiences and knowledge so they will know and understand how to stand on their feet too. That alone time with my little Grandmother was powerful. It made me stop questioning why I had to experience cancer and some major life disappointments and be thankful for the experiences that make me ME!

My grandmother made most of my childhood wardrobe. I always had a closet full of the latest styles of clothing special made to fit just me. My closet contained gorgeous clothes that I didn’t fully appreciate as a kid. I remember wanting something with a tag in it once and I said it out loud. The next thing I knew she was sewing labels in my clothes that read “made with love by Grandma.” I later received two new, store-bought, gorgeous formals for an upcoming Valentines banquet. When I graduated from the Wendy Ward Charm School (because I wasn’t called “Grace” because of my blood line) the final project was a fashion show in which I was a model. I learned all the modeling steps and I fell in love with the clothing I modeled. Next thing I knew that clothing ended up in my closet thanks to my loving and generous grandma.

At 93 my Grandma just met her 39th great-grandchild. I can tell you that EVERY one of her grandkids and great-grandkids have been blessed to have gotten to know her and experience her unconditional love, grace, and generosity. My Grandma is a strong lady and I come from her stock. As strong as I am, and sometimes it can be hard as that fired gold, the sound of my grandmother’s crying (which isn’t often) instantly brings me to my knees. Nothing has ever hurt my heart like seeing tears in the eyes of my grandmother. My heart bleeds with every tear that streams down that soft cheek. My heart just can’t stand it to see it.

I pray that if I make it to 93 I can live up to Grandma’s work ethic. I also hope with everything that is within me that my mind holds up as good as hers has for so long. She always told me she didn’t want her body to outlive her mind. I now understand what she meant as I see so many around me suffering with dementia and Alzheimers. My grandpa, her husband, waged that battle and went to be with God a few years ago. Grandma was there with him every step of the road. He died being cared for at home around people who loved and knew him. That all by itself is a great testament to my Grandmother’s resolve and commitment to her family. However, each case of this devistating disease is different and not everyone can keep their loved one at home during the final stages. So please don't misunderstand or think that anyone who can't care for their previous loved one at home is somehow less loving. That's not true at all. 

Today I ask that you pray earnestly for my grandmother who is today undergoing some medical issues. She is a warrior but even warriors sometimes have battle scars or wounds that must be tended. I love this lady with every fiber in me and I wouldn't have made it to this day had there not been her in my life.

I love you Grandma. You ROCK!!

Ps..... I also got her stubbornness too! Lol

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wow! She Did What?

I have had a few eye-opening experiences in my lifetime. None has hit me as hard as the experiences with my husbands daughter. This wisp of a young woman single-handedly destroyed a bedroom, ripping off the closet door, putting holes in the bedroom door, writing inappropriate things all over the walls, using a staple gun to put hundreds of staples in the wall, removing security alarm pads, destroying the window screen, and I could go on and on. 
All this property damage was done because her girlfriend broke up with her.

When she moved out of our home in January 2015, it was because we put our foot down on her behaviors in our home. We gave her the choice to change them or feel free to leave, so she made the choice to go. Then, just as people who blame others for their own issues do, she told everyone we threw her out onto the streets six-months pregnant. Just as we knew she wouldn't, she didn't spend a single night "on the street." She moved in to someone else's home that same day.  

We had to use 2 gallons of white paint to cover the racist slurs we found on our bedroom walls. This being the walls of a home that gladly and happily fosters children of all colors. (We closed our foster home while this young woman lived here by the way, she was not appropriate!) And two gallons of white paint didn't cover it all. 

Daily living with that insanity was horrendous,and constant stress for a year and a half. This is in addition to the guys and weird people she brought into our home, the guys she was caught in our bathroom showering in front of with our younger children here. The list of inappropriate and outrageous behaviors go on and on. This what happens when there are no boundaries taught, or excuses for bad behavior are always provided. Someone seems to always give excuses as to why this should be tolerated or overlooked, and it's been that way this girls entire life. 

Did we break-up with her, no! Yet we were left with all the damage which she completely dismissed as someone else's fault. Her vocabulary rivaled that of the biggest potty mouth you'd ever have to suffer through, language she did not learn from her Dad's side of her family I might add. The Sizemore's have manners and don't speak to or around children in that manner! This girl used the "f" word and the "b" word in nearly every sentence and it was a constant struggle to get her to stop! It was a constant source of stress. When you have younger children in the home it adds a deeper importance in snuffing it out!! By the way, this girl is the product of what experts have said is the worst case of parental alienation they've ever in their careers experienced. After years of not wanting anything to do with Daddy because of Mom's alienating behaviors and negative discussion of dad with the children and in front of the children, she showed up one day after she turned 8 and moved out of Mom's house at 12:01am on her birthdate. 

This week another incident occurred that reminded me of how out of control people like this do damage to others with no remorse or thought, like their firs of rage is an entitlement and it's not their responsibility to own up to the damage or fix it. It's actually criminal!

Two days ago a young lady, a single mom, was at a friends house when another young woman showed up and broke out all the windows in her car. She is working, trying to support herself and her child and now the only means of transportation has no windows, not to mention the body damage done. A witness to the event tells me the alleged perpetrator later said she'd pay for the windows when she can! My experience with the step-daughter tells me that will never happen, it never does with these people. They feel entitled to do whatever they want and if other people are damaged in the process then it's just too bad because it wasn't their fault. Someone else is always to blame.

Now I don't know what led up to this incident but it really doesn't matter because there is just no reason for turning your emotions, disappointment, or anger into criminal activity. This little boy has to ride in this car. Liability insurance doesn't pay to fix this damage either. 

Why do people act this way? I think a lot of times it's mental health issues. Drugs are also a culprit. In our situation both were a factor. Regardless of the issues this behavior, criminal behavior, is not excusable or tolerated in a realistic society. Society doesn't care that you're little girl or boy has mental health issues. They do care that their mental health issues have turned violent and is destroying property and lives.

There is help out there for mental health and drugs. Go get it and stop making excuses for behaviors that are not within the realms of acceptable behaviors. This behavior is why relationships with these types of individuals don't ever last. It's why divorce happens, and remarriages  for these types of people are usually very volatile. 

If you would like to help this young mother replace the windows in this car in which her young son must be transported to school and/or daycare, there is a GoFundMe site:

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Fiddle & The Tuba

Back in the days of being a Country Music Artist, my band was looking to expand and our drummer, Jeff Lee, found us a fiddle player to sit in on one of our practice sessions to try out. Jeff prefaced Homer Goodner’s sit-in by explaining to us that Homer was a bit older than us. Actually, Homer was in his 80’s. In addition, Homer had two artificial legs. As someone in my early 30’s I was taken aback by the age and frailness of this “old guy.” My exact words were “Jeff, are you nuts? I don’t want some guy dying on us out on the road somewhere.” Then entered Homer. Homer was a man of small stature, with white hair, and he came into the room on artificial limbs and those metal arm braces/crutches. But, when this man entered the room he filled it!

Homer Goodner was the kind of guy that made you feel young. In fact, his exact words the first time we met was “always hang around with the young folks and you’ll always feel young.” He was an inspirational man in every way. He didn’t complain and always had a smile on his face even after we’d run through a song a couple of times and I’d say, “well, that was good but I think we can do it better, so let’s try it again!” Everyone else would sigh and say okay because above just being musical partners we also cared about and loved each other like family. Like every family we’d sometimes experience differences but at the end of the day we knew we could count on each other.

I remember sitting in David O’Neal’s music room practicing in Tulsa, Oklahoma one afternoon and Jeff Lee coming in with a broken leg. Jeff seemed to always have a colorful life wrought full of “you won’t believe this” stories. Jeff was even struck by lightning twice and lived to tell about it. For that reason, he refused to play outdoor venues if there was a cloud in the sky. I can’t say that I blame him much for that either.

As Jeff began to tell us about breaking his leg and having to go to the hospital Homer sat and listened. Then he said, “You guys get your leg broken and you go to a sanitary hospital to get it fixed. When I break my leg and go to get it fixed I’m sitting in a welding shop on a dirty 55 gallon drum!” 

Homer also made me think differently about all those handicapped spaces in parking lots. Time and time again I would see Homer struggle walking from far off spaces because people without handicapped parking tags or placards would take the handicapped spots from someone who truly needed and deserved to use it.  However, I never heard one single complaint from Homer. Instead he would say, “well, I probably was getting too fat and needed the exercise.”

When I think of Homer Goodner I can’t help but smile. This man that played with the likes of Patsy Cline and other great singers, a man whom I thought was “too old” to be in our band, taught me so much that will remain with me the rest of my days. He taught me that there are people who are inherently good. He also taught me that no matter what life brings our attitude rules our destiny.

Homer was a man that went way out of his way to enrich someone’s life. My son, Austen, loved Homer and Homer loved Austen. Austen played tuba in the school band and Homer and Austen began practicing together to do a special performance at our church one Sunday. You wouldn’t think of a fiddle and a tuba making beautiful harmony, but they do! I loved hearing it and seeing this 14 year old kid and this 80 something year old man entranced in the music together. It was nothing short of amazing and glorious. 

As I have been on my weight loss and exercise journey I think of Homer every day as I’m riding my exercise bike or walking on my treadmill. I find myself feeling exhausted and thinking I can’t push until the end of the workout. Then I hear Homer’s voice in my head and think if Homer were here he’d tell me to keep moving. “It’s when you slow-down that you get tired kid! Keep on keeping on.” And… I shall.

Homer is gone now but his memory will live on forever in my band mates and me. Kevin Dunegan, Jerry Ogden, David O’Neal and Janice Beesley (now Sizemore) were touched by this wonderful human being. The lessons he taught will never be forgotten because this man was larger than life! His outlook on life is a lesson we all could use and we were blessed to have had the privilege of making some beautiful music with Homer!

As you go through the trials and trouble that comes into your life I hope you will remember Homer Goodner too. Go out into the world and make a difference in someone’s life by the way you conduct yourself, just like Homer did. Reach inside yourself and find that inner strength that lies within you. It’s there I promise!

There's also another lesson in this, never judge a book by its cover!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Assumption Bites Back.

Do you ever just get tired of people? Today was a day of reflection for me. I was reminded of some of the moments over the last three or four years of having everything I said judged by people who seemed to want to see negativity. I thought it was cowardly at the time. Now, I just think it was sad. Today, I was reminded that life goes full circle. You never know who you’re going to need help from at some point in the future so it’s foolish to bite people’s heads off with insinuation and judgment about their intentions. We are never inside someone else’s head to know motives or even inflection of their statements. Yet people seem to think they know everything about us sometimes. Regardless of how people treated me, I can say that no matter how much hurt it caused me at the time, and still stings to this day, I would certainly help anyone if they need my help. Today, was THAT day even though apologies never came when in reality they are due.

That said, it reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my kids two weeks ago. He told his sister that I was really mad at them and they were probably in BIG trouble when I got home. However, I hadn’t talked to the child either by telephone, in person, or by text message that day so I didn’t understand where he got that impression. Come to find out, I had asked him a simple question the day before, “who said you could go get snow cones with your friend and his mom?” This question came after a text asking him his location as he wasn’t at home when I got there from a day of work.

From his perspective, he had made the judgment somehow that I was mad. It was a simple question. You see, we try to drill into our children that if plans change they need to simply pick up the phone and call or text parents to let us know. We feel it’s important to know where your children are and with whom they are congregating. If an emergency was to happen you would need to know how to get to your child. Or, if something catastrophic were to happen like a bomb, shooting, or building collapse, it’s important to know your child is NOT in that particular place at that time.

Getting our children to follow this basic rule has been like pulling teeth! It started with the oldest child and has been the case all the way down to the youngest. I can’t really fathom what is so difficult about sending a text or dialing those 11 digits to check in when plans change. I also believe it is a parent’s job to make sure their children are hanging with people who are upstanding, decent, and well behaved. My mother always had the saying, “birds of a feather flock together.” She also drilled into us that if you hang with the wrong element then you get the same reputation. In other words, if you hang out with thugs then you’re viewed as a thug by others. Another good example is if you hang out with people who are constantly intermingled in drama, drama, drama, then you’re seen as a drama queen as well. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my children to hang with either of these groups as well as a few others. I want my children to associate with children whose parents teach their children manners, morals and to use language that is appropriate. I’m of the belief that if you wouldn’t say it in front of Grandma & Grandpa, then kids shouldn’t say it at all.

I’ve also had my child befriend someone who is allowed to curse at and in front of their parents. How on Earth is that EVER appropriate? This child creates drama every chance. She is allowed to date men although she is a teen, and I’m not talking about 16-18 year old teen either. This child is the type of child I do NOT allow my child to hang with at all. I encourage my child to be polite to the girl, to not be mean or rude, but to stay an arms-length away from her to avoid being entangled in her dysfunction. When we as parents fail to limit our children’s exposure to people who are going to lead them down the wrong path, then we are failing as parents.

I also tell my children that it is not my job to be their friend. Kids will have plenty of friends throughout their lives. Instead, it is my job to parent them and bring them up in a way that is not only pleasing to God but also creating a socially responsible human being. Parenting is not a popularity contest with our children’s affections or votes. It’s serious business that requires work.

On another note;

I’ve been using the skin-tightening cream from Beverly Hills MD and I have to admit that I love the way it makes my skin feel. I can’t tell yet if it’s tightening things up, but it sure is relaxing to put it on and it smells nice. I’ll certainly keep you posted on this test experience as the month goes on.Do you