Ghost of She

This poem is meant to pose the question to the reader.. In the face of loss and despair over the death of a loved one do we become ghosts? What I mean by that is emotionally does the living become trapped in the past?  As ghosts haunt and revisit the places they once left and never move on does the living in its own reality plane do the same? Can both be ghosts? This poem is meant to challenge the ideal that to be a ghost you must be dead… I don’t think you have to be dead to be a ghost.

Ghost of She

My ritual walk begins
Down the path we used to travel
Blustery winds blow the tricolored leaves
I march on past the old fence gate
Creaking it swings to and fro
Loud crunching of leaves
Begins to cancel out my thoughts
Reaching the end of the road
Street lights flicker and hum
Turning to the right, from memory
Pavement old from wear
Crumbles and crunches under my boots
Seeing my mark
I slow to a stop
The house is vacant
Full of dark emptiness
Standing under the elm tree
Leaning on its branches
I wait patiently —
Chimes from the church begin
Ringing in the hour
A soft light appears
Glowing the once bedroom window
The light travels slowly, dutifully
Down the long hallway
Spilling into the void living room
That’s when I see her
Brilliant and white
A delicate face stares out the window
I watch her a moment
Resist the urge to wave
Slowly her features fade
Luminosity dims and vanishes
My walk back is long
Contemplating the reasons why
We both are ghosts
One living and one dead
But of the two —
Who is haunting who?

#chocolate#pinterest#fan

 

Pinterest is addicting! I started out on a whim based on a conversation I had with a friend. On Pinterest, I found some recipes and ideas I liked for crafting.  My enjoyment for Pinterest has since escalated. Pinterest is by far one of my favorite search engines. I get a lot of ideas, tips, and inspiration from Pinterest especially at this time of year. One great recipe that I found on Pinterest is a recipe for Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bark. When I clicked on the post it brought me to the Ziplock website which had several great ideas for the holidays.

However being a chocolate caramel fan my original choice beat out the competition.

Ingredients are simple: soft caramels, dark chocolate chips, microwave safe bowl, parchment or wax paper, baking sheet, spatula, and pecans (or any nuts).

 

I don’t always have the best record when it comes to deserts but this was a great success!! This recipie is fun, easy, and yummy.

TIP: I followed the recipe exactly as far as using 16 oz dark chocolate chips and 15 caramel chews. In my opinion, there didn’t seem to be enough chocolate once it was melted. Also, the caramel seemed to still be sticky even though it was refrigerated for four hours. If you have plenty of time to let the caramel set then use the amount per the recipie. I think if you were in a rush it would be harder to package. The caramel was still sticky when I was placing it in bags for gifts.

Good luck and enjoy!! ❤️

 

 

Origin of Halloween

Today is Halloween, and it has been one of my favorite holidays since I was a child! I have enjoyed dressing up as different things and carving out pumpkins to put on my front step. I have always felt that Halloween holds a unknown mystical quality. I come from a family rich in Irish heritage but something I was surprised to know, so does my favorite holiday. Halloween or Samhain is an ancient celtic festival. I was stunned that an American tradition that continues today was once started by celts living in Ireland. Impressed an excited I turned to the History website for more insight.

According to the History website the Celts would celebrate Samhain on October 31st which would signify the end of summer and the beginning of winter. It was believed that this day was significant because the line between the living in the dead was the thinnest. The thin veil between both worlds would allow ghosts to return to haunt the living. The celtic priests or druids believed these ghosts would allow them the ability to make predictions about the future. The druids would make sacrifices to the celtic gods and during this celebration the celts wore costumes. The Irish have always been a superstitious lot. My grandmother was very superstitious and would often remind me to be cautious of mirrors or ladders. One superstition believed back then was if the celts were to leave their homes after dark they would encounter ghosts on Samhain. The celts would wear masks and “disguises” so that if they encountered any ghosts they would be considered one of them. The celts also wanted to give spirits that were not malevolent special treats. They would leave food outside along roadways and on their doorsteps.

This is the beginning of what Halloween is today. The Halloween we know and celebrate here in America was brought over during the late nineteenth century by Irish Immigrants. My family among other Irish families fleeing Ireland due to the potato famine brought the custom with them. Americans began to dress up and go from house to house in the early stages of our “trick or treat” and ask for food or money. Between the 20’s and 30’s the day known as Halloween eventually became a holiday that was recognized by communities as a fun experience. The holiday did come with some unfortunate drawbacks. Pranks started to become an issue as well as crimes of vandalism, to help prevent these issues community leaders decided to make Halloween a neighborhood event. The act of handing out candies to appease and help prevent pranks began, and continues today. Its hard to believe that decades  ago the ancient celts were having a gathering like many of us will today. We will wear costumes, eat sweets, maybe hope to see a ghost or two and experience the last days of fall.

I hope everyone has a Happy and safe Halloween!! ♥

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All the information here was found online at the History.com website for more information on Halloween or how a gourd turned into a carved pumpkin visit:
http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween or http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history

Purple Ribbon

Amongst the colorful leaves and the upcoming enthusiasm for fall, a dark shade of purple emerges. This color purple is the spreading bruises on the skin and hearts of the victims of domestic violence. October isn’t just Breast Cancer month it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic violence like Breast cancer affects everyone, all races and genders, but unlike the pink ribbon memorabilia and Avon Walks it is rarely talked about. The definition of domestic violence is defined as “… violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.” Domestic violence and abuse doesn’t always start out the same way for everyone. Sometimes it starts out with just over protectiveness or jealousy and other times it starts out with verbal abuse. The key is to learn the warning signs not only for yourself but for your friends and family. imageThe Hotline website breaks down each method used to gain power and control.  The domestic violence and control wheel covers eight major areas: using emotional abuse, using isolation, minimizing denying or blaming, using children, using male privilege, using economic abuse, using coercion and threats, and using intimidation.

This topic hits home for me in a major way. I watched my mother become a victim of verbal and physical abuse by my father as a child. He managed to take everything she had prided herself in and destroy it slowly like acid. I watched him name call,  control her contact with family, threaten her, and threaten me. She felt ashamed of her situation and felt as if it was her fault. She was afraid to reach out to friends and family for fear their judgement would be worse than staying in her marriage. She finally did ask for help but it was a very difficult thing for her to do. Victims of this type of trauma feel as if they deserve it and that feeling comes from the mind control and manipulation of the other person. The abuser gets into the victims head and makes a very sound logical person feel like they can’t make any choices or decisions without them. That is all part of the issue with domestic violence.

The stigma about it and the shame that is associated makes it difficult for people like my mother to leave these situations. Nothing makes me angrier than when I hear someone make comments like “well she should have left sooner” or “she stayed so she gets what she gets.” The psychological damage involved in many of these situations is almost worse than the actual physical abuse. The body and the skin heal eventually but the emotional and mental scars sometimes don’t. There was a point where my father would threaten to take me and kidnap me from my mother if she ever left. My father didn’t like to make idle threats. As a reinforcement of his threat, he showed up at my school and made it very uncomfortable for the teacher and my grandparents who always picked me up. I don’t think I need to tell you how alarmed and frighted this must have made my mother. This is just one example of manipulation and abuse that my mother experienced. There were endless fights that involved flying objects at our heads, fists being thrown through walls, through glass and at us. We lived in a war zone. My mother, myself and others are just a growing statistic that seems to be falling by the wayside. Why is this still a taboo topic? We can watch commercials about endless herbal sexual stimulants but we can’t discuss abuse? Where is the public outcry?

imageThis type of abuse and violence has been going on for centuries and the fact that it is still an issue today is nauseating. The statistics about domestic violence and abuse are staggering. According to a 2010 CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey, “More than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and or stalking in their lifetime.” The CDC estimates that around ” 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by a partner ( examples include hit with a fist, beat with something, slammed into something or beaten).” How can we call ourselves a civilized society when we have numbers like this? There needs to be as much enthusiasm for this cause as every other. Only recently on TV during football games have I seen commercials for NO MORE which is a slogan from the National Network to End Domestic Violence. I have no doubt this was sparked by the scandals of domestic violence committed by professional athletes. Why does it take a celebrity to take a topic like this and make it real to people? The victims of domestic violence and abuse often feel as if they have no way out, they are alone, or trapped in their environment. One of the biggest things that helped my mother survive was having a network to reach out to. I can say as her daughter I am so proud of my mother for her bravery and strength. Unfortunately, some people are not as fortunate as us. We as a society need to be the network for these victims. If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence please know that you are not alone. If you feel comfortable enough talking with a friend or family member do so. If you prefer talking to someone who is unknown to you they have great confidential hotlines that are available 24 hours a day. You are not to blame for what is happening. You ARE stronger than you think and you DO deserve happiness and to feel safe.

Be well and be safe!♥

Here are some great sources of information: http://www.thehotline.org, http://www.nnedv.org, http://www.nomore.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224

Family Ties

 image   Next Monday is my fathers birthday. Normally this information evokes a positive verbal or emotional response for me however, it brings about a barrage of confusing and conflicted emotions. In addition to my already stated condition the knowledge of my father’s birthday was only recently learned by me. But, before I go further into my revelation let me start where all things do, at the beginning. I am the only child of a school teacher and a laborer. My parents relationship was never perfect, but it had for the most part been civil. When my parents marriage began to sour, everything started to spoil. The fights between them were on going and endless and I felt trapped in between with no one to talk to. By the time I was in first grade I knew my parents marriage was over. The divorce that soon followed granted my mother full custody and my father was allowed visitation. Throughout my life I have learned many things about people. Some of the things that unite us are the very same that can divide us. The human condition is one example. It consists of many facets, one in particular is everyone has internal angels and demons. For my mother and I it would be my fathers demons that came to haunt us.

             The endless debts he had racked up from charging his hidden addictions caused us to collect cans on the side of the road to buy groceries. My father refused to attend his court dates and remained unemployed, the lack of additional income meant sacrifices had to be made. The majority of my childhood I lived without cable because my mother could not afford it. Cable she said ” was a luxury item not a necessity,” and at the time I remember hating her for it. Christmas and birthdays were some of the worst times for my mother. When the endless bills arrived in the mail she would sit at the kitchen table and cry. The constant angry phone calls and the violative messages he left on the voicemail were the subject of my nightmares. The final straw consisted of him showing up at my mother’s school and threatening to hurt her and kidnap me in front of co-workers. These incidents brought his visitation and communication to an abrupt end. The resolution was a restraining order and although my mother had promised this would keep us safe I still lived in fear. I had grown to fear and hate my father with enough ferocity that at times it swallowed me whole. I was angry for not only what he had put me through but watching my mother suffer put a pit in my stomach that tightened with time.

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