Sweetie. Dearie. Honey. My name is Terri.

I swear to all the goddesses, cute kittens, and kind gentlemen who open doors for me, I will scream the next time someone calls me Sweetie. I’m not your sweetie. I’m no one’s sweetie. My delicate sensibilities don’t even bend in that direction. What am I, then?

My name is Terri, for cryin’ out loud.

I am also no authority on names that complete strangers call senior citizens but trust me when I say you are doing no one a favor by putting us in a cute little feebly-named box. Am I pissed? No.

I am being not sweet, not dear, and definitely not honey.

We all have the right to free speech, but have we forgotten our manners while standing on our soap boxes and preaching about all our rights and wrongs? I suppose I am doing that by sounding off about the condescending and dismissing of us people of a certain age. So sue me.

But while you’re suing me, please call me by my name, and I will afford you the same common courtesy.

I included this image just for fun. I’m really not that scary.

Ya’ll hurry back now, ya hear? But please bring your manners.

I will even make us some coffee.

My Hero is in the Hospital

Most of us have had someone special in our lives whom we admired, emulated, and respected. Add love, and for me, that person is my Dad. Sadly, he is very ill at this time. He has been suffering from dementia for several years, and we recently discovered that he also has cancer. His health worsened a couple weeks ago and kept declining until he ended up in the ICU. Many are praying and providing healing thoughts for his recovery, and the family is very appreciative.

That said, this post is not about his condition. This story is about my hero and his beautiful contribution to the world. I do not know one single person who has not referred to my Dad as kind, selfless, strong, or charitable….or all of those things. When my sister and I were young, life was not always easy, as my mom had a severe drinking problem. My Dad kept us all together despite the challenges. He was always kind and fair to us. He was strict and stern when he needed to be, and with me, he needed to be, trust me. I was not the golden child, and that is for sure.

Once I was grown and entered the Air Force, my Dad was so proud of me, and I could see it on his face every time I went back home to Georgia on leave to see him. When I earned my bachelor’s degree, I was told that he took my picture and bragged about me to every one of his buddies and his boss at General Motors, where he worked. I have lived away from Georgia since I was 18, and on every birthday, he would call me and sing “Happy Birthday” to me, no matter how old I was. What can I say? He was and still is the best Dad ever.

When I came out at 35 and told him, I fully expected him not to understand. I was so wrong! Not only did he tell me he loved me no matter what, but he also attended a PFLAG meeting to try and understand more about the gay community. PFLAG means Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. I was so touched by his doing that; I remember crying with my then-partner.

He totally got me. He gets me. He always has. He is my hero, and although he forgets things every few minutes, I still hang on to his every word. He always gave good advice, and a better shoulder on which to cry was not to be found anywhere else.

I often look at him now and wonder what is going on inside his head and what he thinks about forgetting things and all that is happening around him. I will never know, of course.

I love my Dad, my hero. The man every man should aspire to be. The person every person should aspire to be.

I love you, Dad, and I hope you are with us for as long as you can be without suffering or pain.

**I am very sad to report that my Dad passed away this evening (1/20). My heart is broken, but I know he is no longer in pain. I love you, Dad. Rest in peace.

Morning With Abe, a video podcast…

My son Abe has created a daily podcast/video message that is truly inspiring, and I wanted to share the link with you. His video on YouTube is called Morning with Abe, and his podcast on Spotify is under The Recovering Escapist. The five-minute morning messages started on January 1st, 2023. I have included both of the YouTube videos below for your convenience. Abe focuses on mental and spiritual health, and I think you will find his insights informative and motivational. Check them out when you have a minute. And leave a Comment if you are so inclined. Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Storytelling Wednesday…..Postponed for a Few Weeks

*Image created by Tina Anton. See all her beautiful art on Instagram @Ti_Does_Art

I regret that I must postpone Storytelling Wednesdays for a few weeks. I recently had a few setbacks, and because of those, I am behind in my school work and work. Thank you for your patience with me. Things will get back to normal soon, whatever normal is.

It’s happening, friends! I’m bringing back Soap Opera Wednesday after ten years! Now called Storytelling Wednesday, the new and improved weekly offering will commence next Wednesday, December 14th! I am so excited I could vacuum (and we all know how much I hate doing that!)

Why am I resurrecting my old soap opera storytelling addiction and welcoming it back into the blogging universe? I’m so glad you asked!

I’m bored. JUST KIDDING! I don’t have time to be bored, but a Writer.Gotta.Write.

I’m nothing if not a voracious overachiever. Sans success, fame, and money. I swear I’m doing it for personal gratification! And the attention I get from my lovely readers.

IF…

…you were with me ten years ago when I was suffering through my Master’s work and writing a soap opera called “Sara’s Sleep,” you will understand why I might want to do it again. Because of that successful attempt way back then, my soap was picked up by an independent publisher and morphed into a cute novella for which I am moderately proud. Of course, the company went under, but I SWEAR it wasn’t my fault! I was a mere unsuspecting author wannabee, so excited to be published.

Amazon sales started out nicely but slowed quickly and averaged around five books per month. Still, that was something. My second book, as you know, was published by me, and the sales were much better than the first.

But I digress. While I cry. I need a moment…

But anyhow…..I’m doing this, and I hope you will visit at least every Wednesday, and see if my new soap opera moves you, makes you laugh, makes you think, or makes you want to find another blog. Give it a chance, if only because my fingers will probably be bleeding from the sheer work I will do for my readers. Passionate, mind-numbing, soul-searching, coffee-gulping work. You gotta know how inspiring that can be. Am I right?

I sincerely thank you for taking time out of your day to read my renderings. I do hope to see you on Storytelling Wednesday, and any other day you care to grace my bloggy doorsteps. Happy Christmas. Stay safe. Sending much love and joy your way.

Never Give Up

Did you ever give up on something especially important to you? If so, do you remember how you felt just afterward? A year after that? Now?

It is quite sobering, isn’t it? I’m not asking because I want to put a damper on your holiday frolicking. I have regrets. I have doubts. I have given up on something important in my life, as well. This time of year brings all those sad and bittersweet feelings to the surface for me.

Conversely, it helps me realize I am human and have had an amazing life thus far, even without being famous or beautiful. You see, the extraordinary thing about our lives is that we have the opportunity to choose which way to turn next. Oh, some of life’s turns are made for us without our permission or liking; but it’s how we move on that reveals our strength of character and bravery to approach the unknown.

I’m quite certain my stubborn resolve steers my boat and keeps me off the dangerous rocks. Oh, I have been frightfully close to crashing a few times, but each time, I learn so much about this world and myself, even at the ripe old age of 69. For a while, I was diffident about stating my age, although my face reveals a telltale roadmap. By adjusting my mindset just a tad, I meet my senior citizen days head-on, with an inner strength I hadn’t possessed up until now.

Today, I will not give up on my dream, which is to earn that doctorate and make some kind of mark that I was here and participated in a way that fulfills me while helping someone else. We all strive to do the same in our own unique ways.

So, yes, I gave up on something important long ago, and I felt tremendous anguish at the time. A year after that, my stomach still ached with the thought of my decision. Now, however, I draw strength from the realization that I still have choices to make. Never give up on you.

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

~ Winston Churchill

Thank you so much for stopping by to read my thoughts and ramblings. Wishing you all a safe, jubilant holiday full of love. I hope you return to my creative space again and again. Be well. Be kind. Find your joy.

I am Not Stubborn!

Back in the dark ages, when I was a little girl, I remember my Mom asking me why I was so stubborn. I could actually picture her face when she asked me. It was kinda scrunched up in a frowny crumple. My mom was a beautiful woman, but not when her face frowny crumpled. And just to set the record straight, my Mom was prodigiously stubborn. She could hold a grudge for years, and she did, but I cannot go into details else a very nice family member will cease to have anything to do with me. That person is also stubborn.

This post may take a while. I’m trying to figure out background colors and such on my blog, failing miserably. However, I will not quit until I have mastered the art of beautifying the blog. Just because I have two articles due today for my writing job and another torturous PowerPoint presentation to prepare for school does not mean I will give up on this crucial background color business. No, I’m not stubborn at all! I wonder if there is a YouTube video on WordPress blog background bullshit? Or even more importantly, I wonder why I care? It is actually making me anxious. I may need an escape, and right now being “in the moment” with mindfulness meditation sounds pretty freaking good. Does anyone have a yoga mat, sleeping mask, and glass of merlot? Those should help. And if you don’t have the mask or mat, just bring the merlot. A whole bottle if you have it. Why the hell I picked today to make a pink background with wine-colored lettering boggles my mind. And I wanted to add some pretty flowers because I’m feeling a little hippie today, but that’s just not happening. I could be up all night, and it’s not even noon yet.

What the hell did I do? I didn’t touch anything, I swear! OMGosh, I am not having a scholarly moment. Okay folks, I am vacating the premises while I still have a modicum of patience and a pulse. Check back in a day or two, if you are so inclined. I promise to have this wretched impasse solved. And I may even comb my hair. Find your joy.

Home -> https://whatsinterrishead.com/

Is There an Upside to Being Broke?

Why, yes! Yes, there is. You cannot shop until you drop!

You’re welcome for that little Black Friday Pick-Me-Up.

I’m nothing if not emphatically empathetic. It’s a gift…

Okay, I’m not exactly broke; just nurturing my frugal sensibilities ever since COVID sucked the social aspects of life right out of me. I am pricing things now instead of “shopping my feelings.” Heck, I even compared the prices of broccoli and asparagus before buying tofu instead. Don’t judge. I’m craving my ex-husband’s pork tofu.

No, that is not a sexual innuendo. Although I can see how your mind might go there.

The dude makes some stellar pork tofu! I had my son call him for the recipe. I don’t want to call him and upset his wife. I know she is jealous of me. Okay, maybe she is not jealous but rather annoyed with me for calling him on his birthday, Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July, and National Margarita Day. I’m friendly, and he is the father of my 40-year-old baby boy. Just sayin..

Now, where was I?

I am actually writing this on Thanksgiving at almost midnight. The Baileys and Coffee finally wore off, but I am wide awake, people. Let’s party! So, who is shopping on Black Friday? I will be kind not to berate you for spending your kids’ college money on those Jimmy Choo’s you must have for New Year’s Eve. After all, you probably saved a whole $100, and they only set you back $2000. NICE!

No, I won’t tease. Instead, I will revel in the little chuckle I will get when you tell me about that new 55-inch TV you fought over at Walmart. Seriously, how many 55-inch TVs does one household need? I ask you. I have one in my living room, and I have a giant monitor on my desk next to a giant screen on my laptop. But how do I watch a favorite TV show?

I take my phone to bed and stare at the itty bitty screen.

Now my eyes are worse from my bad habits, and I may need to sell my 55-inch TV to afford the eye doctor. Thank you, “Grey’s Anatomy.” I cannot believe I am still hooked on that show anymore since McDreamy was killed off!

Life. Is. A. Party. Am I right? This is what I shopped for online today! Check it out. It is an ORB FLYING BALL. It hovers. You can play catch with it, all by yourself or with a two-year-old. I must have this.

Thank you for actually reading this post. When my silliness is on overload, I shamelessly overshare. I love my readers, and my readership count is growing. I may actually hit double-digits within the next…couple of years. I’m psyched.

Be kind to yourself.

Help someone in need.

Dance like Jennifer Lopez. I dare ya.

You cannot possibly be broke with all your blessings. Count them.

Find your joy.

Home -> https://whatsinterrishead.com/

Sometimes a Girl just has to Blog

Hi everyone! I am alive and well in the great state of lunacy. How are you all doing? I really have no complaints, but you know I will concoct a few for your reading pleasure. It is my favorite time of the year, and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is upon us. Where did the time go? Oh right, it resides somewhere on my desk crowded with a laptop, printer, 20 or so pens (5 that still have ink), four unread peer-reviewed articles (stained with coffee), three dirty coffee mugs, two pairs of readers, and a partridge in a pear tree.

In this time of giving thanks, I am eternally grateful for my family, my friends and loved ones, and my life. Although my family is divided on their beliefs and politics, and my friends and loved ones are all over the world and not here, my life has morphed into one of enlightenment, empathy, insight, and peace. One of my most beloved professors recently called my journey “transformative” and she was spot on. Because of the decision I made one year ago this month to work toward my doctorate, my sense of purpose is ever present in my daily existence. And for that, I remain grateful and dedicated to my propitious quest.

This time last year I did not even have a home. My dear sister let me stay with her for a couple months while I was waiting on my apartment to come available. My sister had a tiny two-bedroom apartment but made me feel welcome and loved. She even converted her small dining room into a makeshift office for me to study. I am so grateful for her big heart and compassion. She does not have a lot of worldly possessions, but she is wealthy in charity and wise from her life experiences.

This Thanksgiving, I will be having my pumpkin pie, accompanied by my favorite, a Baileys and Coffee, and toasting my good fortune. I don’t have a lot of time to blog because I have so much writing to do, but I will drop in and “pen” my hellos when I can. I hope you will continue to visit, and please check out the rest of my blog, and feel free to leave a message if you are so inclined.

Peace, love, and joy to all.

Home -> https://whatsinterrishead.com/

They Say the Third Time is the Charm

And we all need a little Charm in our lives, am I right? Happy Monday!

Me, reflecting on my activities for the past week:

  • Finished a writing assignment on giving presentations.

Check.

  • Started the Podcast, “Terri goes to Doctoral School”.

Riveting, I promise.

  • Began to write my third novel (for the third time).

WTF?  No really.

Yes, it has been a busy week for most people, but just another dizzy day in paradise for me.

Better in Time (the working title) is in progress. I am a firm believer in outlines, for books, articles, letters, email, text messages, and Tik Tok. Type-A personality meets excessive compulsive disorder meets senior citizen angst. That’s some scary shit when you think about it. I thought about writing about cats, as I love them so much, but I get so attached to my characters.

Don’t judge. And stay clear of my yard. I throw things at people…cantaloupes and such. My therapist is in hiding. I wonder if I finally broke her.

So, you are asking (if you’re still awake), what is this new novel about? I’m so glad you asked! Better in Time is of the Historical Fiction genre, and is set in the province of Quebec, Canada at the turn of the century. Most of Canada’s French-speaking citizens live in Quebec, and studying its history and culture has been a hobby of mine for some time.

In case you are unfamiliar with the historical fiction genre, writing such a novel can be quite challenging. I became obsessed with historical fiction after becoming obsessed with a modern American author named Kristin Hannah, and her amazing ability to transform the reader to war-torn Europe during World War II. If you have not experienced one of Kristin Hannah’s novels, please give her a read. You will not regret it. I recommend beginning with The Nightingale. After that, please try my favorite of all her novels, The Four Winds. I have read it three times. Make sure you have a box of tissues for each book, however. You are going to need them.

Well, what do you know? I went off-topic yet again!

I’m nothing if not unapologetically chaotic.

Thank you for visiting my bloggy space/dining room/office/writer’s retreat and confessional. Sorry for the mess. It was such a monumental step moving from the outline to the first chapter of my new novel, I’m going to need a moment to collect my thoughts and find my joy. Peace. Love. Joy to you all!

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All Online Universities are Not the Same

Deciding to go back to college (or attending for the first time) is exciting. There are many important decisions to make. The first and the best advice I would give is not to sign up for the first online college you come across. They are vastly different, and I am well-equipped to say so, as I have first-hand experience with jumping into things without thinking. I’m a jumper. In schools. In relationships. In life.

It’s a struggle, people.

So, I recently transferred from Grand Canyon University to Northcentral University.

Why, for crying out loud? That danged little voice in my head is taking over. My apologies. She’s clingy.

Truthfully, I enjoyed my half year at GCU, but there were a few things that just were not a good fit for me. Grand Canyon is a faith-based school, and I confess I did know that going in. However, I was so compelled by their approach to the dissertation, I jumped in with both feet. I was assured there would be no obligation to the religious aspects, and there were not many. However, there were a few.

I am a very private person when it comes to my faith, as I have elaborated enough in my blog. I am not a proponent of religion in higher learning unless, of course, that is one’s concentration of study. Long story, even longer…..I was doing fine until my third class. The instructor was extremely “faithful” and let us all know it every day. I dealt with it, and it didn’t really bother me because she didn’t force anything on me. Things changed when there was a required religion question on a major assignment which would have forced me toward a full answer on my religious beliefs. This was unacceptable to me. I ended up answering something like, “I am more spiritual than would fit in normal religion categories, so I feel I am not equipped to answer this question”. The instructor was lenient and did not mark my grade lower because of my answer, and I did appreciate that.  

It made me think that I should look elsewhere for a school that could provide a better fit. Working toward a doctorate is a grueling, arduous, all-consuming journey that could last several years, and anyone signing up for it needs to find a doctoral program that is welcoming and provides an environment (even when online) conducive to their core beliefs and comfort level.

Bottom line. Don’t settle. In higher education. In relationships. In life. You matter, as do I.

And yes, I am happy at my new school. They are all-inclusive and welcoming. I feel it already. I’m going to do okay at Northcentral University.

See y’all at graduation!

Okay, that’s a tad premature. Don’t judge. I’m nothing if not embarrassingly optimistic. And scholarly. Don’t forget scholarly…

Thank you for visiting my blog. Everyone is welcome, no matter your beliefs. As long as you are peace-loving. Be kind and find your joy!

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