What's Behind the Lies

Hi! How are you?"
"I'm fine. How about you?"
"I'm doing alright."

Nothing new here; it's a common, every-day greeting exchange. It's good manners. But, let's see what happens when I inject some thoughts behind the words:

"Hi," oh, that's a grump if I ever saw one. "How are you?" but don't answer because I don't really want to know the sob story. Just keep walking by.

"I'm fine," but not really. I'm tired, my feet hurt, I hate this freaking gigantic, packed store and I know you really don't want to know. "How about you?" like I want to know how you are any more than you want to know how I am. You just want me to get away from you as quick as I can, and that's fine by me.

"I'm doing alright," and much better than you by the looks of it! Good. That grump's gone. Here's another one already. "Hi! How are you?" ...

White Lies

A Wal-mart door greeter is a thankless job, no doubt about it. If there was ever a job for a door mat, that's it. If my injected thoughts are what happens behind the words of a door greeter, then I don't really think it's intentional, do you? I think it's just self defense!

These are the kind of little lies that happen in the context of the situation, and are, for the most part unintentional. The truth in the situation of a door greeter would be difficult, so the truth is avoided by deception. Let's explore another situation:

It's Friday, and out of the blue, a call comes in from a good friend who had moved away last year. This friend is in town and wants to go out and hit all the old haunts. You already have plans with another friend who really doesn't like the visiting friend and you know the sparks will fly if you mention anything about it. So, you call with a quick "Sorry, can't do tonight because my boss has me staying late. We'll get together next weekend."

That white lie will hold - unless you're caught out instead of at work. And, through deception, an argument with hurt feelings that telling the truth would have caused is avoided. Now, if that visiting friend wasn't someone you wanted to see, your plans wouldn't have been canceled and no lie told.

When Expectations Lead to Lies

Men tend to lie to make themselves look better, and women are more likely to lie to make the other person feel better. Extroverts lie more than introverts too, according to researchers. And, we tend to hold people to different standards. For example, we expect "less honesty from politicians than from scientists."

In general, we all have a basic need to be understood, to have someone know us and understand us, and to accept us for who we are. The more we get to know someone, the more important truth becomes. And, it's more difficult because so much of the relationship depends on trust and closeness. For instance, it's much easier to tell a car salesman, a complete stranger, how much you would love that red sports car when you are alone than if you had a spouse or family member with you.

Most people lie when they are afraid of the consequences of telling the truth. If telling the truth most often leads to anger and judgment, then lying may become a part of the relationship. If a husband pulled that red sports car into the driveway when his wife thought he'd be buying a mini van, what would happen? It's difficult to handle and deal with another's anger and judgment and punishment, and the husband might resort to all sorts of fabrications if he felt that that's what he would get by telling the truth. If his wife wasn't controlling and instead intended to understand and learn about her husband, the lies wouldn't be necessary.

When Lying Becomes Pathological

In psychology, when a particular behavior is habitual, maladaptive or beyond control, it is pathological in that it is thought of more as a disease or something that needs or can be treated. Because of how disruptive and damaging lying can be, when it becomes more than the occasional white lie, more than a few red flags can fly.

There are many reasons behind pathological lying. It could be a form of control, rewarded by the rush from manipulating others with lies. It could be that they learned during an abusive childhood to cover up because they are afraid of severe punishment. It could be immaturity in that they are afraid of the world in general. It could be a lack of self-esteem and will make up stories to look better to others. Or, they may want sympathy or attention that they are not getting. And the list can go on and on.

Though lying can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder like Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, it is one of the common and major symptoms of such complex disorders as antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders.
"Personality disorders are typically some of the most challenging mental disorders to treat, since they are, by definition, an integral part of what defines an individual and their self-perceptions. Treatment most often focuses on increasing coping skills and interpersonal relationship skills through psychotherapy." (MentalHelpNet)
Antisocial Personality Disorder has a marked level of deceitfulness. A person with APD will repeatedly lie, without consideration or remorse. This person could use an alias or many of them, and they will con for personal gain or pleasure. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will act with an inflated, exaggerated grandiosity that serves to hide a very insecure person. This person is afraid that others will find out that he or she has weaknesses and faults just like everyone else.


Whether a lie is spawned by fear, intimidation or an extreme disregard for others, what it covers is a lack of personal responsibility. The energy it takes to fabricate stories is enormous, and diverted from introspection and personal growth. In personality disorders, lying is learned during childhood and persists through adulthood with all lies growing more complex and extensive as time goes on. It is a way of being, and the only way a person with a personality disorder knows how to exist.

Take it Home

It seems that every time I research and summarize human behavior, I am less likely to be upset by those behaviors that have gotten under my skin. I'm really thankful it no longer takes reading 30 books and writing a thesis paper to tolerate some people!

I've worked hard at becoming and being an honest person, and some would even say it was at the expense of sensitivity or diplomacy. I've done my best at honesty, but I would be lying if I said I have never lied. You may ask if I'm hungry, but, even if I'm famished and you plan on putting a plate of liver in front of me, I will tell you that I am not hungry. That's much easier to say than to tell you that I hate liver, no matter how much effort you put into making it. I'm grateful for the offer, but, um, no thanks.

You know, I enjoyed being a Wal-mart door greeter. Instead of the "Hi, how are you" line, I would try to meet everyone's eye and guess what they came for before they said a word. I spooked more than a few people guessing correctly, and if I was wrong, it was the beginning of an honest conversation where I could truly be of help. A little effort goes a long way.


Milestones of a Year of Blogging

A Bumpy Path is a year old!

I've learned a lot this past year; a lot about blogging, and in the process, a lot about myself. Tonight's sunset is a good representation of this past year too. How fitting that nature supplied me with an illustration to my birthday post! Anyway, here's my trip down Memory Lane...

Finding the Focus

When I started this blog, my mind had been pretty unused for several years. It was difficult to come up with a focus, a point, a book cover, so to speak, for writing about. Life circumstances supplied the time to truly invest in writing, so I pulled out all my psychology books that I had from my student years and the ones I used to teach from and reread them all. All you have to do is teach a few courses and book publishers send you complimentary copies of new books that they'd like you to use, so I have quite a collection.

You'd be surprised how much a lot of that material felt brand new. It's like practicing it, working in the field knocked a lot of the theory and knowledge right down the drain. Writing about it, about all the things I relearned, was the way to transform all that information into something useful and helpful and relevant all over again.

The focus of A Bumpy Path became making that useful, helpful, relevant stuff useful, helpful and relevant to you, my reader, more than just to myself. At first, it took a lot of imagination because there weren't many of you readers or commentors, and I could only hope that what I wrote touched home somewhere along the way.

Spreading the Word

I've always believed in the power of writing. The pen is mightier than the sword sort of thing. To write, you have to process, think things through, really get it in your head to get it into written form, and that's what makes it valuable. It certainly has done wonders for kicking my brain back in gear. In turn, that applies to everyone that chooses to put the effort into writing. If it's written, it's powerful and valuable.

My second task was to evaluate what I was writing. It may have been great for me, but was it good for you too? I took the chance and set out to increase the number of you reading what I wrote.

It was one of those very personal, sort of spiritual push-me-pull-you dilemmas. Knowledge is free, and build it and they will come. But, that wasn't really working. How can I help, be of help, if no one knows I'm here?

Social Networking to the Rescue

I signed up for Technorati and couldn't make heads or tails of it. I signed up for StumbleUpon with the same result. And then I found Entrecard on a site I randomly ran into and signed up. By it's design, I doubled my readership, then tripled and then quadrupled and ....

It took awhile of reading all the blogs within the Entrecard network to produce content that appealed enough for comments. It has taken me a long time, but hopefully, I've found the 'right track.' I have met and become friends with some very wonderful, delightful people in the process.

No Choice But to Monetize

That same life circumstance that gave me the time to grow this blog has become too much time of not making a living, and I had no choice but to look into alternate income streams. It became another personal, ethical dilemma for me to have to turn to my blog as an income source, but it is something I love to do and I put a lot of time and energy into it. Knowledge and true helping is free! No problem there, my knowledge is always shared with no strings attached. Always.

Marketer, I am not. Obviously. I bent my ethics a bit and went ahead and signed up for AdSense, Amazon, dabbled in Widget Bucks a little (and scrapped it pretty quickly) and I still wasn't making much more than pennies. Sorry Charlie, but that's not enough to change my "no income" status.

Then, I found PepperJam. PepperJam is an affiliate network, and the advertisers are those with high quality and appealing products, and there are quite a few of them within the network. You earn for clicks and leads and commissions. Click on my ad in the sidebar and see for yourself what PepperJam is all about. And no, this isn't a paid endorsement. Shoot, for a review, it's not very well written! I'm not paying any bills yet, but I have made more than a few pennies.

The Down Side

The bad thing about getting into the social networking and building up an income stream is that it is too easy to get lost in it all and forget about writing the content that is the value of the whole purpose of blogging. I've seen this talked about in many, many places, knew I had to be aware and careful, and still fell into that trap.

To pull myself back to the value I can actually contribute to the "blogosphere," I took a leap of faith and signed up as a contributing writer at BlogCritics This is an online magazine with a very large number of contributing writers, and it's a popular, high-traffic site. It is formal, you have to submit samples to be accepted, and when you do submit an article, it is edited per formal guidelines. I was accepted and my first article was published Thursday.

The purpose of writing for other venues besides your own blog is to get your name out there, establish your credibility and by proxy, increase the readers of your blog. It works. It works well, as a matter of fact.

Full Circle

Content is King. I taught that to my Web design students. Actually, I harped on it. A design is only a good one if it stays out of the way of the content. Anything that gets in the way of the content has to be invited to leave, don't let the screen door hit on the way out, and that's all there is to it. A reminder to you, and a reminder to myself is...

Write! Write! Write!

Well, that's my story of blogging. I'm certainly no expert! I sure do hope you can get something out of all my trials and struggles. Is any of this of value to you? Are there other things to do to become successful in blogging?

Thank you for reading!


Share Your Photos With Wordless Wednesday

I've been having so much fun with my camera lately that I fear I could go nuts posting them all. I've seen a lot of great photos on everyone's blogs too. I thought that it would be great if we got together and created a list of our best and favorite photos. But, I'm a day late and a dollar short... This is already done and effectively so at Wordless Wednesdays.

There are benefits to this idea. First, since you're commenting, your ratings go up. This is an "I follow" blog, as are most, so the linkluv will benefit us all.

Here's my favorite photo! I love this flower and love when they bloom in early summer. They are everywhere here, but not for very long. (I'm not much for keeping my mouth shut. A-hem.)


You May Be Crazy If...

Yep, you may be crazy. No, I can't read your mind, or see you drooling through your computer screen, but I still insist you may be crazy. Do you want to know how I know? It's simple: You're reading this! Besides me pulling your leg, some people - maybe it's your parents or your spouse or even some scientists and researchers - want you to think that you are crazy if you spend too much time on the Internet. Do you think you're crazy?

For the sake of argument, let me rephrase that question: Do I think I'm crazy? (Notice I didn't ask if you think I'm crazy. That would be too easy. I just ask the tough questions.)

Maybe you can help me answer that question. The first thing I do when my feet hit the floor in the morning is head to the bathroom. First thing's first. I let the dogs out, hopefully before they relieve themselves on the carpeting, get the coffee brewing, then head right in here to fire up the computer. I'll grab a cup of coffee and settle in front of the computer. (I won't tell you what I do on the computer; that would take all day.) Sooner or later, nature calls or my coffee cup is empty, whichever comes first, that'll get taken care of, then I'm right back here in front of the computer. Nature/coffee call #2 is when I notice hours have gone by, guilt sets in and I go feed my animals. Then, back inside to my computer, and I always remember to bring another cup of coffee with me.

Just to give you a little perspective, I've had this desk chair for years. It has holes wore in the seat of it. The stuffing is flattened. It has no back support. My butt bones sit on board. But, the wheels still roll, and if I lean back, it reclines. Sort of. Put it this way, I'm not sitting in luxury here.

Sooner or later, some time in the afternoon, it gets too hot, my eyes start drooping and I have some reading to do or not, and I go take a nap. Admittedly, my naps have been getting longer as the summer days get hotter. Ahem. When I get up, I'm right back here in front of the computer, only this time I have iced tea to drink, and the same things happen that happened in the morning. Compute, drink, pee, feed the animals, compute, drink… And here I sit until the wee hours of the next morning. Every day. Without fail.

So, do you think I think I'm crazy? Well, I suppose I am a bit crazy, but it's not because of the time I spend on the Internet. "No" is the correct response, ok? (Just humor me if you would.)

Here, let me help you answer your question: do you think you're crazy?

A good place to start is to define the word "crazy." The dictionary uses fun words like mentally deranged, demented, insane, unpredictable and nonconforming to help you grasp its meaning. None of those fall into any mental illness category. It's all slang. It's not science. No prescriptions required. In fact, "crazy" isn't such a bad thing.

The next thing to look at is "too much time." Many people sit in front of a computer all day at work. Some work from home in front of a computer all day. Those people spend a lot more time in front of the computer than others who's jobs are not computer related. Is it pathological? Would you say the same thing about reading a book or working or watching TV too much?

I have no doubt that some parents become concerned about their kids. (I also have no doubt that some of that concern stems from sitting in front of a video game or violent TV.) This concern is real, as would be the concern you would have about your own time reading, working, watching TV or using the Internet. The real question is whether your time on the Internet is at the cost of family, friends and social activities. Even if you determine that yes, you are neglecting other important aspects of your life, it is not the same as an addiction or any legitimate mental disorder like depression or schizophrenia.

What most people online ... are probably suffering from is the desire to not want to deal with other problems in their lives. Those problems may be a mental disorder (depression, anxiety, etc.), a serious health problem or disability, or a relationship problem. It is no different than turning on the TV so you won't have to talk to your spouse, or going "out with the boys" for a few drinks so you don't have to spend time at home. Nothing is different except the modality. (John M. Grohol, Psy.D)

In essence, the use of the Internet is not the cause of disruptions in your life; it's just the way it manifests. It does not mean that you have a mental illness.

The Internet is a good thing.

The global Internet is interactive, it's a wealth of information, and it includes social activities throughout. Most of the time spent online, and why it seems like it is addictive, is that it revolves around socialization. You hang out with and talk to other people online. I'd say it's even better than hanging out in person or talking on a telephone because of all the information available online that you can tap into to include in your online conversations. Where else can you talk to someone in England, Japan, Manila, Texas and Wyoming without it costing you an arm and a leg for a conference call?

Until voice recognition and VoIP technology becomes useful enough to be commonly used, most everyone has to read and write and think to communicate online. This practice improves spelling and grammar, and construction and articulation of thoughts and ideas. Sure, you'll see a lot of horrific spelling and grammar, and you'll also see it improve over time. Research skills develop, and so does the ability to discriminate between useful and worthless information.

Crazy nerds unite!

Yes we do. And we're all crazy in a good way. It's a good thing, this time we spend on the Internet - because we're spending the time together. For me, it's making it possible to live way out in the middle of nowhere and still talk and hang out with a lot of wonderful people.

Ok, my animals are fed, my iced tea is luke warm, and my eyes are droopy. I'll give you three guesses what I'm going to do next...


A Tail in the Sky

It was a quiet evening after a long, hot, humid day. The sky was crystal clear and huge in its grandeur. Once in awhile, a bird would chirp or a fly buzz, but it was peaceful all the same. It was perfect for taking photos of the little story that unfolded before my eyes. Come along with me and see for yourself... the story of A Tail in the Sky... (Click any photo to see it in a larger size to enjoy the details.)

Deafening, loud and "out of the blue," an Air Force C130 roared into view. As always, I wave, hoping the men see my tiny wave and feel my appreciation for what they do. As always, the tail of the plane fades away without notice.

"What was that?" said Ethel in dismay. "I'm frightened, Ed. You have to do something!" "Huh? Do what?" replied Ed.

"Well, now. That is mighty interesting. Big, loud, obnoxious and high in the sky," said Odin in his deep voice. "I wonder how it swats flies with that tail."

"What?" said Hiro, his tail wagging in anticipation. "Let me at 'em! Where is it? Where is it?"

"Who cares?" replied Munchkin with a yawn. "Just let me know if those birds come closer, ok? The one with the short tail, by the way. I have no use for those long tail feathers on the other one."

"Oh, Ed, where did you get to? Where are you? I sure hope that big, nasty thing didn't eat him alive! Just look at the flames coming out of its tail. Maybe he got too close to that lazy cat down there and..."

"A-hem. I do think I scared the big, bad, loud and nasty dragon off, Ethel. I just huffed and puffed at its rather large, strange tail and it kept right on going. Just wait until I tell everyone about this. Ah, yes, I did it," said Ed, puffing his chest, fluffing his tail feathers and with a noticeable lilt to his voice.

"Wow, do you hear that crap? That bird thinks he ran the dragon off! Did you hear that?" Saki couldn't believe his ears. "Hey, Munchkin; if you don't want the one with the long tail feathers, I'll take him. He thinks he's a rooster!"

"Ed, if you think I'm going to sit here and listen to you going on and on about some fiery dragon in the sky, you have another thing coming! Just look at you, why it's shameful. Why, I never in my life heard such ridiculousness....."


I Need Your Help

Down in the footer on this blog, I list some sites in a blog roll of sorts that I visit daily. They are great blogs that cover all the topics they focus on in a way that I hope to be able to do when I grow up. One of them is Jonathan Meade, author of Illuminated Mind.

Jonathan's latest article, 10 Counterintuitive Ways to Improve Your Life, outlines 10 things that most self-help blogs and books leave out; and they are such important and powerful points that, without them, makes it impossible for any actual improvement in your life. This is a must read!

Being a constant reader of Illuminated Mind, Jonathan sent me a personal email yesterday to let me know that he felt that his 10 Points article important in helping people realize their goals in life, and he asked me for help getting the word out if I felt the same after reading it. I agree wholeheartedly! I gave the article a Digg and I would like to ask you to do the same if you feel as strongly about it as I do. Help Jonathan help as many people as possible!


A Lesson in Fear

I still laugh out loud when I think about some of the antics we used to pull as kids. If our parents knew that we wandered so far away, they'd shoot us today. My cousin John lived right next door, and he and I …how shall I say it… got into more trouble than anyone knows about.

We lived out in the country, in "the boondocks," so there wasn't much to do. We'd wander the woods, scare the cows in the pasture across the road, and wander. Once we got 10-speeds, our radius widened substantially. Still, we were always looking for shortcuts. There's one shortcut in particular I'll never forget...

John and I had ridden our bikes across the river and quite a ways up Court St. to see if we could find anyone to hang out with on the east side of town. To get across the river and the train tracks was a long haul of a road built with huge horseshoe bends on each end and two bridges in the middle. It added miles to our trip. Or, that's the way it felt. Desolate, long stretch of road.

Running late on our return (my parents insisted I be back at 4:30 for supper every day), we decided to follow the train tracks, cross the trestle, and cut some miles off our adventurous trip. For most of the time, there was a decent path to ride our bikes beside the tracks, until we came to the trestle. Amazingly, on the trestle the cross ties ran parallel to the tracks, and it was possible, if we were careful, to ride our bikes across - as long as we kept our wheels out of the 3" gap between the boards.

John went first and off we went. I was about half way across the trestle when I heard a train whistle behind me. John heard it too, turned his head about to look and pedaled like crazy. I heard his manic laugh and knew that I'd have to do the same, and I did. Only I wasn't that good about pedaling fast and keeping my tires on that board. My front tire went between the two boards down to the axle, and I fell forward. Both of my thighs were hung up in the U of the handlebars, and the rest of the bike was up in the air against my back. I started screaming and John was laughing so hard he could barely stand. The more he laughed, the more I screamed and the more he laughed. And then I got mad.

Somehow, I wiggled my way out of the tangle with my bike, yanked the front tire up and ran with it to the other side of the trestle where we both fell into the grass to catch our breath. It took awhile, but I was soon laughing with John; though I managed to get in a few solid punches first. I don’t' think the train ever did pass us, and of course that made John laugh even more.

I know I was so terrified I about peed my pants. But, I didn't. That would've made John laugh even more, if that was possible. The only thing that broke my paralysis was anger, and boy was I ever angry at John. He didn't come help me! Even then, I knew he was too afraid to try to help me, and I don't blame him. Not one bit. I have no way of knowing if I'd have reacted differently in that situation myself.

When I think back on this little adventure, I realize that, through the years, it has always been anger that breaks me out of paralyzing fear. Only anger. And, fear can take so many forms. It can be generalized and constant so that it shows as depression, or it can get a little more intense and become a sort of panic. But then anger kicks in and I then become active instead of reactive.

"There's nothing to fear but fear itself," as the saying goes. And fear is so debilitating. The lesson I learned out of this adventure was that everyone deals with fear (actually, all extreme emotions) differently.


Sharpen Your Thinking

"Thought is energy. Thought can be more powerful than electricity and faster than the speed of light. Thus pure thought attracts possibilities, repels unwanted negative energies, creates beauty and heals. Thought plays the biggest role in our daily life, ... and is not just an abstract of existence." ~Burt Wilson

Last night, while sitting here at my computer, pondering the concepts of thinking and thought, I looked over at three of my dogs and two kittens laying in various positions of deep sleep, and I smiled. The kittens were curled up against one of the pup's belly, the other pup had his leg across his neck, and the third dog seemed to encircle all of them. Looking at the first pup, the one in the center of the pile, I said, "Looks like everyone loves you, don't you think?" He cracked his eye open to look at me, thumped his tail once, then went back to sleep. Out of that whole pile of animals, only he stirred. Rudimentary, yes; but a clear example of the power of thought.

Thoughts About Thinking

Science has no real idea of how or why we think, though they have found that anxious and shy people have a more active amygdala. They speculate about neurons firing to receptors, the energy conducted by chemicals in the brain, but have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding thought.

Psychology tends to focus on the emotions, whether as a direct reaction to thinking or just feeling alone. There have been attempts to fill the gaps in the definition of thinking with concepts of intuition, feeling, perceiving, sensing, reasoning, etc.; but they only describe patterns, not actual thoughts. Philosophers such as Descartes exclaim "I think; therefore I am." And that's as close as we've gotten to knowing how our brain works.

Some people may be better thinkers than others, and some may be worse. But, it appears that everyone thinks. Thinking is not taught, but we can learn to improve our thinking.

How to Improve Thinking

To realize the power of thought, you need to improve your ability to think. It can be done! Concentrated thought is behind creativity, productivity, manifestation and action. It's worth the effort to give your thinking a solid workout. Here are some suggestions.

Stop limited thinking. You'll know right away if you are limiting your thinking if you say, "I don't believe that," or "I doubt that." What you are doing is slamming the door in the face of learning something new. Take the time to soak it all in and assess the validity of it later.

Observe. There are so many things we take for granted. We walk by the majority of our environment without a second glance. Look around and really look at what is there.

Attention. If you drive the same way to work every day and observe, the next day, if you pay attention, you'll notice the subtle changes. The deli's parking lot has more cars on Wednesdays than it does on Mondays. There's a two-wheel bicycle in the yard of a house that had a Big Wheel the day before. The flowers around the fountain have bloomed.

Retention. Make a point to remember what you see. It helps to think it through a little and relate it to what you already know. For instance, the child is growing up fast to graduate to a bike already and think back on what it was like for you to learn to ride a bike. If you're short on time, you know to stop at the deli on Mondays.

Concentration. Control your thoughts instead of your thoughts controlling you. Focus on the task at hand. If your mind goes off on a tangent, steer it back on track. Repeat as necessary. Having control over your thoughts with the ability to focus, you'll find that you'll also be able to switch to another task easily.

There is More

Pure thought is behind pure actions - "As a man thinketh; so is he." Impure thoughts lead to destructive, harmful actions. It is up to you to decide which way your thoughts lead you. Pure thinking is trying to think of others first, to be considerate. If you are thinking of the person you are disagreeing with first, you won't be thinking negative, destructive thoughts, and the disagreement won't turn into an argument.

Yes, there is more. A lot more. You'll begin to realize the true power behind thinking, and there will be no limit to what you can do. As Mr. Wilson says, "thought plays the biggest role in our daily lives."

I've Been Meme-ed! 7 Things

It's my first! Oh, my... What do I do? Well, it can't be that bad, right? We can thank my little anxiety attack on Grandy over at Functional Shmunctional. If you see her, tell her to come on over here and pick up the pieces, ok? Just kidding...

Here's the rules:

1. List these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

You'll have to read on for my 7 facts and see who I tagged. (No, I wasn't going to make it easy!)
  1. I was born 50 years ago, and no, that isn't a current photo of me on my profile and this blog. But, it is the last good photo of me taken.
  2. I spent 25 years as a 'weekend warrior' as a country singer/rhythm guitarist. I sound like Wynonna doing Bonnie Raitt.
  3. I've gained the weight that Grandy lost!
  4. I haven't watched TV since finding Entrecard, but my favorite slows are Lost, Battlestar Gallactica and Stargate SG1 (the ones with Richard Dean Anderson in them).
  5. I read about three books a week. I reread most of the books I have because I read three books a week. My favorites? Harry Potter and Stephen King. I read to get away from reality!
  6. This may be a bit obvious, but I absolutely love my animals. My horse especially. I don't know what I'd do without him and the rest of my zoo.
  7. My best friend likes me because I'm not as insane as all the other people she knows. I know, it makes me wonder too.
Here's my tags. (Sounds like "TAG, you're it!" to me. Is that the point?)

Kim at Eco-friendly Life and Toys
Mrs. Mecomber at New York Traveler
Cynthia at Luna Tail
Samsara at Living Within Samsara
Patsy at Patsy's Words of Wisdom
Happy Alone, (because I am, too)
Margie and Edna at Margie and Edna's Basement

OK, I can't wait to learn more about everybody, so leave your comments here! This should be fun!


Celebrating July With a Recap of June

"It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." John Adams, 1776

The sudden, almost deafening explosions, the children's screams, the flashes of brilliant light and color, the children's delighted laughter as they look to the sky in wonder... It's the 4th of July Celebration experienced by everyone.

It was a good chance to experiment with my camera. My son and I had just finished dinner in town, and when we came out of the restaurant, the fireworks had already started. I had a small window between two street lights and above a very well lit gas station to focus on, and the results were less than optimal, to say the least. These two photos were interesting though.

June Recap

The spring always gets me wound up and ready to be outside - cabin fever delux, in other words. I blame it on the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont horse races - the Triple Crown - and this year was working up to be an historical one with Big Brown winning the first two prongs of the crown. This brought up several conversations filled with speculation and worry about the current state of the horse industry.
The stress of day-to-day life is a real one, and there are times when it just sneaks up on you and blindsides you a good one. Take the time to be aware and notice the beauty around you. It's always good to reach out and touch someone too, and remember those who have touched you.
I reached out, and I was touched by many. From everyone that took the time to read and comment and come back for more, I thank you.
June was also the month to launch into a new blog project and try my hand at a tutorial that I think you will find helpful.
Did I mention that my neighbors decided to fire off all their fireworks - until 2 a.m.? No? Oh, yes, they did. I was feeling pretty patriotic and festive up until around 11 p.m. and wanted to sleep. Well, it wasn't in the cards. Right after the neighbors ran out of oomph (and fireworks, I hope) then came a good hour's worth of thunder, lightening and pouring rain! Another storm woke me bright and early at 7 a.m. too. No problem, I'll go get some sleep now!

Thanks for reading!


A Colt's First Ride

This is Cody, 14, riding a two year old colt for the first time.  The trick is staying 100% relaxed while ready for anything the horse might do.  Click to view a larger size, and look at the intense look on Cody's face.