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Blogging Just Isn't For Me, Apparently

Blogging is a confusing and living creature. At times, we bloggers have extreme highs. Other times, we are scrambling and grasping at any thread of affirmation available to keep us from slicing the ties we have as a community.

I decided recently that blogging just isn't for me any longer. I've grown. Changed.

In the beginning, I blogged for myself. Mostly because I had no audience. Well, I did have my sister. But. That's. About. It. And then I started to connect with a community of kindred spirits. And I grew. As a writer. A thinker. A blogger.

I gained courage to speak up about things I never dared to speak of in public. Child abuse. Domestic abuse. Depression. Anxiety. Mental health issues. AND...public and private school. Whoa.

So, today I decided that I wouldn't continue to write. I even ran it past a few blogger friends. And they answered with a resounding, "quit now."

Except, I sort of think I won't. I mean, what's wrong with my thoughts? My perceptions? My prose? Really? Should I stop writing? Because it makes a handful of others uncomfortable??? Because what I compose isn't always perfectly coherent? Clear? Politically correct? No. I think I will NOT stop writing.

I have the great fortune to have met an amazing group of writers, thinkers, philosophers. Should I stop just because it disagrees with a handful?

I think that may just be the exact reason why I WILL continue. Because I refuse to go with the grain. I never mean to be oppositional. What I mean to be is real. Authentic. And if necessary, against the grain. When it's right.

So I suppose, this means I have zero plans to go anywhere for now. And when I look at my stats and social media shares from my blog posts, it reminds me that what I have to say does, in fact resonate with many, many people.

And THAT, is why I will not quit in spite of my reservations. If I can comfort and reach just ONE person, it will have been worth all of the effort and discomfort I have endured. And THEN some.


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Child Abuse Is No Laughing Matter

How could ANYONE think child abuse in any form is a laughing matter? Well, I do.

You see, I'm a survivor of childhood abuse. Verbal, emotional, physical. The scars I have on the inside are only recently beginning to heal as my family heals together. I don't write this for pity or sympathy. I write this to help spread awareness and hopefully, sensitivity and understanding.

Through truth, honesty, acceptance, and TRUE forgiveness we are healing as a family. So what's so funny?

Humor is just about the only defense mechanism I have that worked for me as a child. Laugh at myself before someone else does. Smile when I was inconsolable on the inside. Pick myself up when I felt shattered.

Laughter. Because it helped me feel better. It still does. And there are times when my laughter and antics may seem terribly inappropriate to others who know me less well. My over-sharing and off the cuff remarks may make some people feel uncomfortable. That is never my intention. But it does happen all too often. Only sometimes, I make others laugh. I like that. When I can make someone else laugh, it's therapeutic in a way I can't explain.

Not all people "get" my jokes or my sense of humor. Some are offended. Angered. Hurt. Also never my intention.

For those of you who may judge, lash out, or retaliate when you see a child or adult behave in a way you dislike...I say this. Try to remember this.

You never truly know what goes on behind closed doors.


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

The first Wednesday of April is 
Childhelp National Day of Hope.


Today, we light a five-wick candle in remembrance of the five children who die every day in the United States due to child abuse and neglect. For those of you who pray, I offer this and ask that you please share it all through the month of April.

Childhelp National Day of Hope Prayer:

Dear God,

Our prayer is for the children, little ones so small,
Who suffer neglect, abuse and pain behind a silent wall.
Please protect and comfort them;
Let Your presence calm their fear.
Give them courage to tell someone,
Help all of us to hear.
Instill in each one of us to remember them in our prayers.
Please give them hope and
Let them know a nation truly cares.
For the love of a child,
Amen.



*Disclosure: I am an #OrigamiOwl Independent Designer.

Origami Owl is partnered with Childhelp.Org.

Through the sale of our cause charms we hope to 
help spread awareness and education of childhood abuse. 

Please consider joining the campaign by sharing this, 
posting, pinning, tweeting, or in any other way. 

Click here to learn more about Childhelp.Org.




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A Motherlife - In Dire Straits ON APRIL 1

Keep in mind, most of what you read on the internet is usually not true. Especially on April 1st...

If you've been following our friend Molley, you know +A Mother Life is in #direstraits. Here is what I know so far...


PLEASE SHARE AND SEND YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT HER WAY!!!


*via +A Mother Life 

"You know a couple of weeks ago when I had my 15 minutes of fame? When I was the 'go to' person for news of the explosion here in Harlem? I did several interviews and my name was all over the tv and media around the world were contacting me... They say all exposure is good, right? Even bad press is good press. Well unfortunately that's not the case. That little social escapade caught the attention of Homeland Security. You see we are not citizens, we are here by the good Grace's of the USA.
We are permanent residents but that doesn't give us real permanence. If you do something wrong they can boot you out. It's a way of keep the immigrants in line I suppose.
I received a letter yesterday saying I am under investigation, my paperwork is incomplete. Somehow the 30k we spent to gain our status wasn't enough. I have a week to come up with the relevant paperwork or I'm out, just me, not the rest of the family, just me. They're all fine. Somehow, I've angered someone and they seem to have it out for me. The paperwork must be filed by close of business friday April 7 or they told me they will be coming to put me on a plane.
You guys! I'm fucking scared, the documents they're asking for I can't get in time, the letter states, no extensions.
So I'm not gonna be around much, I have to get this done or I'm on the 6:50 out of JFK next week. Bare with me. I'll update when I can...."



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Fotor - Online Photo Editor

When I started blogging (a LOOOONG time ago), I intended it to be mainly a hobby and a place to put down the thoughts that rattled around in my head from day to day. Over time, I met many other amazing bloggers who helped me realize that blogging can be a source of income in various ways as well. Bonus!

One of the ways to monetize a blog is through paid ads and sponsored posts. It took a while for the offers to start coming in. But as my traffic stats and Google page rank grew, so did the offers to advertise with me. 

Recently, I was asked to review an online photo editor called Fotor. As a blogger and an #OrigamiOwl designer, I use photo editing constantly every day to create locket collages and blog art. I was interested to try it and compare it to some of those "other" online editors I've been using.


I liked that Fotor was really simple to use. They have a blog with easy tutorials right there on each section.


I started with a locket collage I'm working on for Global Autism Awareness day. Then, I went to work on a Facebook cover image I'm working on for one of my new #OO designers. Next, I went to work on one of the other features for writing text on photos.


And then I worked on photo retouching on this photo of my sister and me in Maui in 2002. It's been in a frame for years and I can't find the original, which was an instant picture and not so good quality to begin with. 


It looked like this.


This was after their ONE-CLICK touch up feature. 
That's pretty good, considering the photo quality to begin with.

Fotor has lots of other photo editing features for blemishes, color, exposure, etc. I've tried out a lot of them and I'll be posting new pictures on my blog and FB fanpage from there too.

Try it out and let me know what you think. 



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Get Your #OrigamiOwl Custom iPad. Free.

Haven't heard about #OrigamiOwl yet? PLEASE for the love of all that is sacred, do NOT Google it. Follow my links instead or leave a question in the comments. K?

Anyway, I came across the name of the company over a year and a half ago. It was on a sidebar of a blog like mine is over there to the right. I think it might have been a post with a review and giveaway or something. So I clicked on the link and requested information about joining OO as a custom living locket designer.


The company was started by a 14 year old girl named Bella. She wanted a car for her 16th birthday, so her mom told her she'd better get a job soon. She started hosting parties and selling these floating lockets to friends and family. The company grew. Insanely fast. Origami Owl jewelry can be customized for anyone. Basically, tell me your story. I have a few designs I wear regularly to remind me how close my daughters and I came to not being here last July.

By the time I heard of it in October of 2012, it had grown so fast they had a waiting list for new designers. So there I sat. On a waiting list. For over a year.


If you know anything about me, you'll know I'm not much for waiting. Ever. So I forgot about it completely. In the mean time, I was in a car accident resulting in a neck injury that requires surgery. So I couldn't continue working my "regular" job. So in October of 2013, a gal emailed me at lucyballslife @ gmail. She asked if I was still interested in joining Origami Owl as a designer.

I love to create jewelry and the story of how the company started resonated with me. I've always been a cheerleader for empowering ourselves to follow our dreams. My love of blogging and my blogger friends comes from my deep affection for sharing our amazing stories. Origami Owl is all about celebrating those stories through jewelry. Most of you who are bloggers have worked very hard to make blogging a source of income. And the two really go hand in hand. I joined immediately.


Since October, I haven't stopped flying by the seat of my pants! It has been crazy! I literally wear my jewelry designs and people ask me how they can buy it. No pushy sales or boring parties. I'm able to work from home doing what I love most. Talking. And wearing jewelry I design. And posting pictures and blogs on social media. The income I've made from it so far has more than made up for my lack of employment.

Now I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "Self? This here, Lucy girl is totally trying to recruit me." And you would be absolutely correct. Here's the thing. This company is such an amazing company to work for. They take care of everything. And I love the philosophy they have about life.

Be a force for good. Find joy in the journey. Life is a gift.

Plus, they absolutely encourage Mother-Daughter design teams, which is what my daughter and I do. Bella believes our young girls have the potential to succeed at whatever they dream of doing just like she did. Who can argue with that?

Click here to JOIN.

So I'm inviting you to join my team as a mother/daughter team or on your own today.

One, because #O2 is based on a pyramid model. The more designers my team recruits, the more we ALL benefit in commission.

Two, the company is not going anywhere but up. You may have seen Bella on Good Morning America? The company has the most outstanding marketing and support out there. And the charms that have been retired are already highly collectible and they are constantly developing new exclusive designs.

Three, because if you join me by March 31, you can get a free custom #OO iPad. How cool is that?




Click HERE, leave a comment, or email me for more information. I would LOVE to have some of my readers and blogger friends join me on this amazing journey sharing our stories and creating kick-ass ways to celebrate them.

Thanks for reading!

Love, Lucy


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I Flash People - AKA The "Camera"

My dad had a "camera." It was. An amazing camera. He always had an amazing Canon that he could totally ROCK, even with one arm. You may or may not know this about him. You'll likely hear it at some point if you haven't heard it 10,000 times before.

So. He had a camera. And he took amazing pictures. He was so patient. Only we weren't always so patient in return. He would balance the lens on his stub of an arm. He would focus the lens as fast as he could. With one hand. Back when auto-focus and digital DSLR didn't exist.

And we would complain. Standing there. Posing. Waiting for the moments he would capture for our future. Especially my mother. She would howl, "Daniel! What's taking so long???"

He was doing the best he could.

Only, he taught us to have standards. Keep them high. Even higher than he could match.

And so. We were rude. Impatient. Assholes, in my opinion. All while he was focusing his manual camera with one hand.

Now. I look back. Because I have assholes of my own. And I think to myself, what the eff???

We were jack-asses! We had nothing to complain about! That, plus now we have picmonkey and photoshop. So, GEEZ!

*On a side note, my youngest, Asshole 2 is currently screaming and crying because I won't let her use the Canon EOS.

Well, screw her. I've waited 40+ years for that bitch. NO one is touching her any time soon. So get over it.

MINE.


PS, I make custom lockets and hand-stamped metal plates. Leave a comment if you want to know more.

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The More I Learn, The LESS I Know... This Week, I Learned...

This week, I learned TONS of stuff! I learned:

1. When I write something I think is good, I want to keep writing.

2. When I write something and hit "publish," sometimes I think it sucks. So I delete it. And then, a friend gives me encouragement and I realize maybe it didn't suck. Dammit! That wasn't so bad after all.

3. When I am honest, I am most vulnerable. Being vulnerable sucks for me.

4. When I am not perfect, my closest friends forgive me. In spite of myself.

5. My little furry animal companion is getting older. And that sucks. I'm not ready to let her go.


6. I need to "Let It Go."

7. Clutter is BAD. I need to simplify.


8. #StampyLongnose KICKS ass and also liked my daughter's drawing of him.


9. I LOVE my new job. Finally. I'm a mom. And I get to create. Bonus!


10. I need to have surgery for the pain in my neck. It's mandatory.

I'll show you an official pic from my "films" later. Unless I forget to. That's more likely.


If you've felt hung out to dry, left out in the cold, sad and lonely because I haven't been here for you...I'm sorry. Come BACK! I miss you. I'll try to dislike myself less and be here more often. For you. <3

Love, Lucy
XOXOXO

After I Deleted And Then Was Encouraged To Repost It - The Last Supper

Originally, I posted this. I thought it was funny. And then, I read it and thought it was suckish. So I deleted it. Today, a friend encouraged me to repost. I read it to her. She said it wasn't dumb.

She said, I should blog for ME. Pffft. Since when do I do anything for ME? Sorry. Moving on.

So here it is. Again.

POST BEGINS HERE:

My mother always says she feels sorry for Desi. Because. Well. I get bored easily.

So I move things around in the house. A lot. Like people's bedrooms and stuff.

My mother says she feels sorry for Desi because she thinks some day he'll come home, sit down, and fall on the floor. Because the sofa or chair that used to be there will be gone.

Related...

My VERY BEST FRIEND from childhood (or 8th grade or whatever) has recently given me a 17th chance and she has graciously, yet cautiously taken me back after a massive number of misunderstandings and various demonstrations of my "issues." One of those dominant issues I struggle with is being completely impatient and compulsive. I want EVERYTHING done yesterday.

She and her husband Amos visited here after a 2+ absence from my life.

Her absence may or MAY NOT have finally resulted from an episode of my drinking far too much at Festa Italiano, badgering Desi, and hooting one of those gigantic plastic horns in the ears of complete strangers.

That sounded way more funny when I said it to myself. Only, it's sad. Very sad. But. Squirrel.

So anyway, my former BFF took me back. She forgave me a MULTITUDE of sins. In return, I promised her I would behave. To the best of my abilities. I would try to be a better friend. And I did try. I was a better friend, in my opinion. Things were clearly on the mend. This made me very happy.

While here on her visit, I promised her I would give her my 1920's farm house table and chairs.  I'm not so sure she cared much about the chairs. Or even the table. But I promised her. And that table had AMAZING legs! She explained that she had always loved that table, ever since I first bought it for way more than I should have paid for it. She didn't actually say that part. But she lusted after my table for years, apparently. Probably because it had amazing legs.

Unfortunately, I had already decided it had to be gone. Yesterday gone. We live in a smallish Colonial home. And the boxy rooms with five hundred doors have become slightly squeezy for my family of four.
Don't laugh.

Our oldest daughter, Thing One is eleven years old now and an emotional wreckage of a hormonal mess. She and our littlest, Ass Thing 2 (age 5) shared a bedroom. Now, before you go feeling sorry for them you should know it was the master bedroom. It's freaking enormous! Huge! No matter how much they bicker and argue, they still insist on having their beds next to each other so one can reach over in the night and comfort the other when they've just had their asses chewed for the fifteenth time because they still haven't gone to sleep.

This will all make sense soon. I promise.




One of my issues (among others) is a major lack of patience. 

That, plus since I crashed Desi's van and camper last summer, 
I've been compelled to "earn" my keep, so to speak. 

And so. I sold it.

The table.

I sold the fucking table. 

To a stranger.

On Craigslist. AFTER I promised it to my soon-to-be-again-former BFF.

DEAR FORMER BFF, LATER REUNITED BFF, LIKELY TO AGAIN BE SEPARATED BFF...

I'M SORRY!

I know I told you that it was yours. Except, you know how my patience is lacking. 
And it's been on Craigslist for fucking EVER. 

Apparently, much like the real estate market, anything will sell if you price it low enough.

I'm guessing this might not make you (LoLo) feel much better. If anything, know this. 

Sofia was a lucky, lucky girl.


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Let It Go

Let me start this post by saying...

I have not seen Frozen. I apologize in advance.

(I didn't steal this photo so click on it for the credits.
PS, people who steal photos are ignorant thieves.)

I sort of wanted to see it, but I was more interested in sending Desi with my niece and children, Thing 1 and 2 so I could quietly fondle my beads in private. They reported afterward that it was, in fact, awesome. 

I wouldn't know. 

What I do know is, the SONG that Frozen chick sings in the movie is apparently a VERY catchy tune. Do you suppose they did that on purpose???

The 6 year old, Thing 2 hasn't stopped singing it. For three. Frigging. Weeks. 

It's no longer cute. It's just. Annoying.

At any rate, it got me thinking. Apparently, this movie is another one of those movies like Madagascar (which I loved, btw) in which the characters propel the adult audience into an endless soul-searching mission that arrives neatly at the front door of Merchandising Heaven. Or Disney. Or whatever.

Additionally, it has occurred to me that I too should cash in. And why not? I kind of like the whole idea. 

"Let It Go." #Frozen Inspired jewelry for grown-ups! 

Or for little girls. 
I made these. Elsa and Anna locket. #Frozen
Anna
Elsa
Photo found on Etsy, owner unknown. I'm still looking.


 LET IT GO.
Because, let's face it. Some of us need to work on this.

I'm learning how to. A little. At least that's what Marilyn says.

If you have zero idea what I'm referring to, you should 

A) read the favorite posts OR 

B) leave immediately and pretend we never met.

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