Mommy Monday: The Cost of Freedom…

Today is the Fourth of July, the birthday of my homeland. While many are celebrating with barbeques, I want to take a moment to remind us all that….

Freedom is never free!

It has come not just for 240 years, but for millennia at the high price of human blood. Not just in America but across the globe…and it continues to this day.

The blood of sons…and daughters. Mothers’ tears that never recede no matter how many years they have been gone.

You hear mostly about PanKwake here, because she is the only one of my brood of six that remains at home. But she is merely the youngest of a matched set of six. Today, I want to salute the eldest…Mr. Stability.

About six summers ago, he found himself in a difficult position. He had followed the rest of the family to London on a student visa. After completing his university degree, he had stayed on the additional two years allowed at the time, working for the company that he had while in college. While they were happy to apply for him to remain another three years, he was not.

For several weeks, he would come to my flat after work and pace, talking through his options. We even went to the lengths of doing a decision matrix. In the end though, even mathematics pointed him towards the desires of his heart. To join the U S Navy.

I am proud of ALL my children, but I am especially proud that Mr. Stability made me a proud member of the sorority of military mothers. At the same time, I am eternally grateful that his skills keep him at a desk.

Though many events over the past 15 years have shown us that desk jobs do not guarantee safety. One hundred and twenty in the Pentagon gave the ultimate measure on 9/11. Six unarmed recruiters made that sacrifice. Thirteen in Fort Hood. Fate and death will have their measure no matter where or when. Nonetheless, I am somewhat blessed not to face the difficult day-to-day fears of so many of this sisterhood.

One of the hardest things I ever write is my Sergeant Mike’s Miracle Tours novellas. I cry almost every moment that I am at the laptop, even through the laughter sometimes. Never more though when I am writing Esther’s point of view. The single mother who truly gave her all for her country…her only son…

“It’s a tradition,” Esther Samuels reminded herself as she pulled the box from the top shelf. For twenty-five years, since her son Tommy was just two, she had decorated their house from top to bottom with ghosts, vampires and ghouls of all shapes and sizes. She, herself, would dress as a gypsy and read the cards for children of all ages in their small East Texas town. She spent days before the annual event preparing homemade cookies, Rice Crispy treats, caramel apples, the works.

But this year, it all seemed too much. Just another reminder of the fact that her son was gone. An IED they said. In a land thousands of miles from this place. A place she knew little about. Somewhere she would never see. It all seemed so unfair. So senseless.

All she had left of him now was a gravestone that she visited almost daily and the flag folded neatly, sealed in a plastic bag. At first, she would receive an occasional email from his sergeant or one of his friends, but those had stopped months ago. She had laughed or cried, sometimes both, at their stories of Tommy. These men who had shared his life and passion for defending this country had moved on with their own; something she could not seem to manage. The hard truth was she was alone in this world now.

For all the Esther’s out there…goddess bless you especially this day. It is not only male gods who sacrifice their only sons…the tears of those mothers have a special in whatever you believe comes next…and they deserve our special recognition this day.

So this day…goddess bless…the men, women and families who do their jobs to keep us safe and give us the chance to exercise our freedoms. Honor them by doing so with love and wisdom. And especially goddess comfort and bring what measure of peace you can to those mothers…

Sewing Sunday: Quilts and Life…

When it comes to sewing, one of my favorite projects is always the quilt. This Christmas I made lap size ones for all of my children. Something nice and warm that they can curl up under while they watch television or read. I often make smaller doll sized ones for PanKwake. Baby ones for pregnant friends. And even occasionally a full size one…I may need to do so soon for Cookie and I.

IMG_1750This is one of my favs…my goals quilt. Of course it is moving with me…though those goals must change. It has hung on the wall at the foot of my bed for almost two years as a constant reminder of what is important, where I am going and what I want/need in life. And it only took me a day to make. 

Actually, quilting is the perfect beginners project. Oh, not the intricate hand sewn Amish ones…I may never have the patience or the time for such things, but I think most of you would rather me stitch together plots, characters and stories. But a basic doll, baby or lap quilt can be accomplished in a matter of hours…if you keep it simple with squares and straight seams. Yet it can still be a wonderful and unique work of art…flaws and all.

That is the other reason that I love quilts…they are analogy for life itself. You take these scraps or small pieces of material…sometimes even tattered old rags. You cut them back to the shape that you want. Then you sew them together. You arrange those pieces the way that suits you. You make it yours…your way. Then it keeps you warm and safe for years to come. Can be thrown in the washer and used over and over again. 

And if it ain’t perfect? What is?

Sew here is the challenge…begin to collect old scraps this week. Old clothes even…Esther made a quilt out of pieces of her dead son Tommy’s old clothes: scout uniforms, football, and of course one of his Marine ones too. What a wonderful way to save precious memories! 

Whatever you have on hand or if you must…CHEAP material off the discount table that shouts at you. Then over the next couple of weeks we will make on of those lap quilts like I did for all mine. It is simpler than you think.

 

Sensual Saturday: Surprises…

I know today was supposed to be Fair Fighting …and you have my word I will get back to it.

But since Sensual Saturday is all about relationship stuff, I figured I would use it as a chance to share a secret with you…

Funny Face
Roller coaster of life with the great love of mine…Cookie Monster.

I introduced you to the man in my life, Cookie Monster. What I did not tell you is that we are in the process of moving in together.

PanKwake and I just spent most of June at his home in Swansea, Wales. I love it! The people are so much friendlier than London…like my Southern upbringing. We are only a 15 walk from the beach…and I am a water woman. The house is HUGE…I even have my own study for writing and sewing. And best of all…it has Cookie. We have fallen into a routine/rhythm of the 50s lifestyle and I have never been happier.

PanKwake too has a garden…backyard where I come from to play in. The day after we got there…Cookie and I put up a trampoline for her. And a sand box/pool. She has the top floor of the house and keeps asking me when I am going to regret it…since I must climb four…yes 4…flights of stairs every time she calls. I just tell her that I am going to have the butt and legs of a 20 year-old.

Here comes the sort of bad news…we are now back in London with two weeks to pack up all her stuff….and there is LOADS of it. Then once we get back, we are inundated with family…his and mine. So I won’t be around much or able to write until the end of July or maybe early August.

I am going to recycle old blogs and use up some funny memes to keep this running in the meantime. And my Ægir’s fans will be happy to know that I post what I had managed to write of Chapter 9 to Literotica on Friday before leaving. I will post part 2 once I can get back to it…finish the hot menage scene and reunite them all with Sven. But I did not want to make you wait any longer. Oh…and those who have liked my Facebook page do not have to wait for the Lit goddess…it is posted there too.

So wish me luck and bear with me if I am slower to respond to comments and messages for a bit. I know it will all be worth it in the end…things have moved fast with Cookie and I…but not as fast as…

Kirsty and Sven, Mikael and Bjorn (Ægir’s Captive and Bride…and Wife)…

Or Jill and Daniel (The Arrangement)…

Or Rex Ranger and Jaycee (Nightwalker’s Woman)…

Or Jack and Abby (Small Town Secrets)…

Oh, wait! No wonder things have moved so fast with Cookie Monster. Like my heroines, I know a good man when I find him…and I ain’t gonna let some other woman come in and scoop this prize up out of my hands. I’m grabbing onto to him and happiness and holding on tight…for the rest of my life. 

 

Freaky Friday: Bad Boyz

Confession time…this is one of my pet peeves. Yes, I am a writer. Yes, most of my stuff could fall within the category of romance or erotic/romance. Yes, I have written Navy SEALs, Harley Davidsons and if I have not yet I am about to write millionaires too. BUT those things do not make a man a bad boy, his attitude does.

That WALL of silence that you can never fully penetrate…even if you do catch him.

That WALL that prevents him from ever truly committing…from feeling with his whole heart.

That WALL is the difference between a bad boy and a good man…no matter what his job, what he drives, what he wears or what sports he plays.

And here, ladies, is THE biggest secret out there…

YOU CAN’T CHANGE HIM!

And certainly not in the space of a couple hundred pages of a book.

I admit it…at times I feel that those silly fairy tales we read to little girls and the romances in my genre only perpetuate those myths. This bad boy, who likely never learned to bond as a child, meets this perfect woman and in a matter of days, weeks or a couple of months goes from this total egocentric jackass to Mr. Sweet & Sensitive. That is what we grow up thinking…that WE can and perhaps even have the responsibility to transform them.

But it don’t work that way. Human being don’t…men or women. We have to want to change…for ourselves. And honestly, few really do…because change is scary. As the Mom of an autistic child that is the reality that I deal with all the time…but autism is no different than the rest of us…just magnified.

Conversely, women tend to ignore or ‘friend zone’ the very men that they say they want. I might not be Christian but I just had to share this one.

Friendzone

Yes, even good men have problems and issues…the difference is that he is not afraid of the one thing you say you want…

COMMITMENT!

He deals with his shit…and even while he does that, he is still thinking of how it effects you and your relationship. And when he has the answer…he is back as committed or even more so than you are.

So answer me this (and no Darwinian bullshit about survival of the fittest..because who really is more ‘fit’ for the role of husband and father?)…

Why do otherwise intelligent and strong women keep pining for and sometimes even choosing…egocentric, commitment-shy losers? 

And yes for the record…MOST…of my heroes are ‘Good Men’ no matter their appearance, career, mode of transportation or problems/issues. They know what they want and they are the ones that pursue it…or just take it for my Ægir’s fans (in fact, when I got to thinking about it…Sven was one of the few ‘bad boyz’ in my books).

So the next time you start to moan to your friends or ‘god’/goddess/Fate/whatever about not being able to find a ‘Good Man’, take a long look around you…I bet you know several…at least one of whom the truly smart women ain’t snapped up yet.

Or worst case…even if you don’t…do the hard work on yourself so that when one does just miraculously appear in your life, you will be smart enough to recognize him and snap his ass up QUICK…like I did.

Oh…and thank PanKwake for this tirade. She got it all started with this music video…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NONLMR7dbM