Privacy

Privacy? What’s that? Is it that thing I had before having children? I’m uncertain. It’s been eighteen years, so I seriously don’t recall anymore. Since they’ve been born, I’ve shared my life with them, my home with them, my bedroom with them. When they were infants, I always had to share bathroom time with them. I remember taking them into the bathroom, strapped in their car seats, so I was able take a shower.

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Angela, Aaron & Rose

Privacy is undoubtedly a thing of the past when you are a single-parent with twins. As they grew older, I took showers without them in the actual bathroom. But I still lack privacy in other ways. It’s been an adequately long time since I’ve had a date, but when I do, sharing the details with my kids is expected. Without kids, I could readily write of the date in my journal and leave it at that. If I experience a lousy day at work, I must share this with my kids (otherwise they drive me insane with their constant bickering with each other).

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Rose & Aaron being silly

Even when I am writing I lack privacy. My daughter constantly asks me what I am writing. Often she reads my work. (Only when writing in a journal is my world private with her.)

I realize how terrible this sounds. Virtue can be found in lacking privacy after having children. I am never alone, which means I never need to be lonely. My children ask for details of my day at work because they are genuinely interested in my life. They never leave me alone because they want to be near me (few people with eighteen-year-olds can say the same of their children). My daughter is the best critic one might ask for regarding my writing. She regularly gives valuable critiques of my work and helps make my work better for it.

I enjoy the lack of privacy. But every now in again, it might be nice to experience utter silence.

*Sigh* That is not likely to happen in my lifetime.

Written for “The Daily Post” prompt “Privacy

Dear White People

Remember who you want to be in the end.

A Thomas Point of View

Can we talk?

Can we truly talk about the elephant in the room that you never want to talk about?

Race.

Let’s talk about race.

I’m black.

I’m a woman.

Two indisputable facts that you may have noticed.

I’m a mother.

To a son.

He’s the light of my life.

He’s my Munch.

He’s also black.

Why do I keep mentioning color? Because I need you to see and acknowledge the rich hues in my skin tone. I need you to see my melanin and know that I am black. Can you see the warm coffee colored hues of my skin tone just radiating? Yes?

Good.

Let’s talk.

I’m black. A beautiful black woman who shares a rich history in this country. My ancestors were kings and queens, slaves and sharecroppers. I know this. Many of you know this. But, I need you to stop acting like I’m supposed to forget…

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Goals

spring-cleaning

Whew!  I just spent all day clearing out all the sites that I am following that haven’t posted in a while.  I feel bad, though.  Some of the sites were really good and I’m sure some of the reason they don’t post anymore is because they weren’t getting enough feedback from followers.  I take partial responsibility for that.  I should have been more active and I wasn’t.

I want to try to change that.  Every six months I plan on going through my list and unfollow those that don’t post regularly (instead of doing it every few years).  And then I want to try to make sure I remain active on reading and commenting on blog posts.  I’m thinking my goal will be to read and promote five posts/blogs per week at a minimum.

This week, I want to try and feature five bloggers who have fewer than 100 followers.

Whitney Thompson has 72 followers and she has such a cute blog!  And, let’s face it, I can’t resist the Doctor Who references in this particular blog post! The Phantom Coach, or Ghost Theft Auto: The Masterpost

CroweLowe has 3 followers and she won the way to my heart with her love of Stephen King!  Check out the excerpt from her book:  Hunters, Inc.

J.D. Cunegan has 54 followers and has written multiple books.  I’ve started reading one of his books, but haven’t finished it yet, but what I’ve read is really amazing.  Check him out!

Love and Rage Media Collective has 58 followers and focuses on current topics in the news.

Robert Kirkendall has 73 followers and writes fiction.  His current work is called Redwood Summer.  Check it out.

Well, there are five!  I hope you enjoy and show some love to their blogs.  Please feel free to post links to blogs you think I should check out in the comments below.

Dressing Up for Sad Occasion

The last time I dressed up was this past Sunday (January 15th) for my mother’s visitation.

She passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  She had stage 4 small cell carcinoma which had been diagnosed back in September.  We knew it was coming, but still I managed to procrastinate on buying something suitable for the visitation until the very last minute.  Thankfully we have Amazon Prime and the clothes arrived in time and actually fit.

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Robert O’Neal, Kermit O’Neal & Angela O’Neal
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Visitation for Catherine O’Neal

Mama’s Losin’ ItThe Prompts:
1. The last time my heart melted was because…
2. A list of 20 ideas to make this your best year yet.
3. Write about how you would spend the perfect Snow Day.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: workout.
5. Tell us about the last time you dressed up. 

Mother

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My mother, Catherine Louise O’Neal (67), passed away at 12:37p.m. on January 11, 2017 at home after battling Stage 4 small cell carcinoma (lung cancer).  She was born on December 12, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois to Harry “AC” Hunter and Ann Rose (Molinaro) Hunter.  She was preceded in death by both her parents, her brother, Robert Hunter, and her sister, Theresa (Hunter) Smolka.

Catherine enjoyed crafting, knitting and sewing. She was dubbed the “Queen of Pinterest”, creating crafting ideas before Pinterest was even a fleeting thought in it’s creator’s head. Among other things, she enjoyed making hats for the babies being born at Navarro Regional Hospital.  She was an amazing homemaker, being able to create wonderful dishes and keep the household running smoothly.  Catherine enjoyed politics and was very independent in her thoughts. She never stopped learning; watching documentaries, reading and researching things instead of relying on others for her information. She was an extremely intelligent person and enjoyed conversing with others on her favorite topics.

She leaves behind her loving husband of almost 50 years, Kermit Lee O’Neal (70), her daughter, Angela Leah O’Neal (42), her son, Robert Allen O’Neal (45), her daughter-in-law, Yolanda Rivera O’Neal (53), her granddaughter, Kayla Rose O’Neal (18), her grandson, Aaron Rayne O’Neal (18), her granddaughter, Andrea Jean (O’Neal) Isley (37), her grandson, Jacob Clay O’Neal (15), her granddaughter, Scarlett Rivera O’Neal (11), her great-grandson, Asher Rausch (17), as well as numerous other family members and friends.

Visitation will be held at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home, 450 East Main Street, Fairfield, Texas 75840.  In lieu of flowers, we request that a donation be made in Catherine’s honor to Providence Hospice in Mexia, Texas (the wonderful hospice that cared for her in her final days) or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (her favorite charity).

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Fandom Friday – Doctor Who

On October 2, 1849, the First Doctor met Edgar Allen Poe in “The True and Indisputable Facts in the Matter of the Ram’s Skull” short story.


On October 2, 1854, the Seventh Doctor had tea with Csar Nicholas I in “The Angel of Scutari” audio story.


On October 2, 1932, actor, Gabriel Woolf was born.  Gabriel played Sutekh in “Pyramids of Mars“.


On October 2, 1941, actor, Sam Dastor was born.  Sam played Professor Narayan in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio story The Emerald Tiger.


On October 2, 1950, actor, Ian McNiece was born. Ian he voiced Zeus in Immortal Beloved and Reginald Harcourt in The Renaissance Man. He played Winston Churchill in the Doctor Who television stories The Beast BelowVictory of the Daleks, The Pandorica Opens and The Wedding of River Song.


On October 2, 1954, actress, Belinda Mayne was born.  Belinda played Delta in the Doctor Who serial Delta and the Bannermen.


On October 2, 1958, actor, Daniel Peacock was born.  Daniel played Nord in the Doctor Who story The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.


On October 2, 1965, “The Exploding Planet” was first broadcast on BBC1.


On October 2, 1965, Part one of the TV Comic story The Ordeals of Demeter was first published.


On October 2, 1976, Part one of The Hand of Fear was first broadcast on BBC1.


On October 2, 1976, Part three of the TV Comic story The Mutant Strain was first published.


On October 2, 1995, Paradise Towers and Survival were released on VHS.


On October 2, 1997, Deadfall was first published by Virgin Books.


On October 2, 2000, The Turing Test was first published by BBC Books.


On October 2, 2002, recording for “Bang-Bang-A-Boom!” audio story took place at The Moat Studios.


On October 2, 2006, The graphic novel The Glorious Dead was first published by Panini Books.


On October 2, 2008, Part one of the Doctor Who Adventures comic story Washed Away! was first published.


On October 2, 2013, Prisoners of Time 9 was first published by IDW Publishing.


On October 2, 2013 – Doctor Who DVD Files was first published by GE Fabbri Ltd


So, that’s it for what’s happened in Doctor Who on October 2nd throughout the years. Don’t forget to check out the new episode of Doctor Who that airs tomorrow (October 3rd) and let me know what you think of it!

When I Was Younger

When I was younger, my parents would take me on vacation to Florida over Christmas break. My mother would sit on the balcony with a wine glass in her hand while my dad and I would go bird watching at the beach. I used to love going to Florida until I realized that other kids didn’t do this on Christmas break. For them, it was all about spending time with their families, gathered around a tree, opening presents and eating lots of food.

One day I asked my mother why we didn’t do those things. When I did, this sad look came over her face. She walked over to the fireplace and laid one hand gently on the clock that sat on the mantle. It was an antique, she had told me, given to her by her mother, who was given it by her mother, and so on for generations. It didn’t work, and I often wondered why we never got it fixed.

“Christmas makes me sad, Ginny,” my mother replied. “My parents died in an automobile accident right before you were born on Christmas day.” Her eyes were so full of sorrow and unshed tears. “Going to Florida makes me forget about that. It makes me happy to see you running around on the beach with your father.”

“It’s okay, Mom,” I told her, as I wrapped my arms around her. “I understand.”

Now, I am grown with a family of my own. Every Christmas vacation we pack everyone in the car and drive down to Florida. I sit on the balcony with a wine glass in my hand while my husband goes bird watching at the beach, just like when I was younger.

285 WORDS

Mama’s Losin’ It

Received Honorable Mention in the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge

My Little Earthquakes

So, the other day, my daughter and I were in the car going to a doctor’s appointment two hours away.  Usually I allow her to pick the music, but this time I was in the mood to listen to a little Tori Amos.  My daughter likes Tori as well, so she put on the “Little Earthquakes” cd.

It got me thinking that pretty much every single song on this album I could some how relate to in my life.  So, here it is: My Little Earthquakes.


Crucify

Nothing I do is good enough for you

Growing up with a low self-esteem is really difficult when all you want to do in life is to please everyone.


Girl

And in the mist there she rides and castles are burning in my heart and as I twist I hold tight

I had a best friend in high school who I haven’t seen or heard from since and this song has always reminded me of her.


Silent All These Years

So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts what’s so amazing about really deep thoughts

For all the guys that decided someone else was more important to them than I was.


Precious Things

No one dared no one cared to tell me where the pretty girls are those demigods with their nine-inch nails and little fascist panties

I was bullied pretty ruthlessly in elementary school until I finally stood up for myself.


Winter

When you gonna make up your mind when you gonna love you as much as I do when you gonna make up your mind cause things are gonna change so fast

This song has always reminded me of my relationship with my father and how much I love him.


Happy Phantom

Or will I see you dear and wish I could come back you found a girl that you could truly love again will you still call for me when she falls asleep or do we soon forget the things we cannot see

I really just love this song!  It’s so upbeat, but with a really serious meaning.


China

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you. How can I when you build the great wall around you

Sometimes you can be so alone even when someone is sitting right next to you.


Leather

I could just pretend that you love me the night would lose all sense of fear

Hanging on to a relationship for fear of being alone is a bad thing.  Everyone must learn to live with themselves and love themselves so that they are never in a position of staying with someone for the wrong reasons.


Mother

He’s gonna change my name maybe you’ll leave the light on

Perhaps I’m weird, but this is the song I walked down the aisle to when I got married.


Tear In Your Hand

I think it’s that girl and I think they’re pieces of me you’ve never seen maybe she’s just pieces of me you’ve never seen well”

We were sitting in my car when he told me that he didn’t love me anymore.  It was raining outside and all I could think about was this song and how it so appropriately fit how I was feeling at that moment in time.


Me And A Gun

But I haven’t seen Barbados so I must get out of this

We all either know someone or are someone who has been the victim of a sexual assault.  It is important to speak up.  It is important to make this abuse stop.  Please support RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).


Little Earthquakes

Give me life Give me pain Give me myself again

I’ve been through a lot in my life and somehow I have made it through it all.  We are all capable of surviving all the Little Earthquakes that enter our lives on a daily basis.  It only serves to make us stronger.

It’s Just a Dream

What if you went to bed one night and the next morning you awoke to find you were able to do three things that you couldn’t the night before. That can be anything: new skills, new talents. Give it your best shot.

Melody awoke with a pounding headache. She grabbed her head and moaned. She couldn’t even see straight, the pain was so intense. She rummaged through her nightstand and found the bottle of Tylenol® and spilled four pills into her hand. She put them in her mouth and shakily drank the glass of water sitting on her nightstand.

She reached for the phone and dialed the number for her boss.

“Hello,” came the female voice on the other end.

“Nancy, it’s me, Melody. I’m not going to be able to make it in today. I have a severe migraine. Will you be okay without me?”

“Yeah, sure, no problem. It’s supposed to be a slow day,” Nancy replied. “Damn, now I have to do everything myself!” Melody heard.

“What was that?” Melody asked.

“It’s no problem, Melody. Just get some rest and I’ll see you tomorrow,” Nancy replied. “I bet she doesn’t even have a migraine. Problem stayed up too late last night.” The line went dead before Melody could say anything else. She frowned, wondering if she had really heard what she thought or if it was just her imagination.

She put her pillow over her head and tried to block out all the sights and sounds around her and fall back to sleep.

After a while, the noise became unbearable, so she decided she had better get herself to the hospital. As she went to draw back the covers, she realized they were already on the floor.

That’s odd, she thought to herself, I could have sworn I felt them on me.

She went to grab some clothes out of the closet, only to watch as the door opened and her jeans and t-shirt floating through the air to land over her outstretched arm.

I must have fallen asleep and I’m still dreaming, because this is not possible!

She decided to just go with it and proceeded to get dressed. She brushed her hair and her teeth before proceeding to grab her purse (which floated through the air towards her) and she walked out the door.

The hospital was only a block from her house, so she walked there, with sunglasses hiding her eyes. The pain in her head was so acute that the light was making her want to vomit.

She noticed, as she passed by pedestrians, that they weren’t talking, but she could hear random words coming from them.

“I hope Dan remembers to pick up the kids from school today,” one redheaded lady said.

“She’s hot!” said a random teenager, presumably about a beautiful young woman walking on the other side of the street.

“Why are there never any cabs when you need one?” a gentleman in an Armani® suit said as he walked impatiently down the street.

At one point, someone bumped into Melody, and without thinking, the person was suddenly on the ground. Apparently, her mind pushed back.

“I’m so sorry,” Melody said as she tried to help the man up from the sidewalk. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine,” he said as he brushed himself off. “Just watch where you are going next time.” Melody almost told him that he was the one who wasn’t looking, but the man had already gone.

This is getting ridiculous now. I wish I could just wake up!

She finally made it to the hospital. She tried to shut out all the noise around her as she attempted to fill out all the stupid forms they have you complete before they let you see anyone.

An hour later, as she was about to leave the hospital with some Cafergot® for her migraine, she saw it. She accidentally walked past a room where a young man was being treated for a gunshot room when he flat lined. The doctors and nurses were working feverishly to save his life.

Melody watched as the spirit of the young man lingered and watched them work on his fragile body.

Melody rushed out of the hospital and all but ran back to her apartment, terrified by what she had seen. She downed a dose of the medicine they had given her, and curled up under the blankets, trying to hide from everything that was happening.

It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream, it’s just a dream, she said to herself over and over until sleep finally managed to take her.

She thought it was all over. Then she woke up the next morning, only to have it all start again, except this time, the pain in her head wasn’t as intense.

761 WORDS

Written for: Okay, What If? based on the prompt shown above.