Posted in Jeanne Marie

My Old Pizza Pan

As I stood scrubbing my old pizza pan this morning, I studied the thousands of cuts that ran across it.
I realized that the thousands of cuts equalled thousands of memories from family meals.
As I scrubbed my old pan, I wondered if I would even pick it up at a yard sale.
I thought, well now that I know what all the cuts mean, maybe I would.
It’s not a dirty pan, as it appears to be, it is a much loved family heirloom.
I dried my hands and sat down with my notebook.
I thought about all the times I almost threw this pan away because of the cuts and I thought of how many times my husband had ordered me to throw it away.
I always said, “No, I won’t.”
I had already learned my lesson when he talked me out of my Guardian Service pans because he hated them.
I gave away some of my newer GS pans and he’d bought me a very expensive set of Faber Ware.
Six months later, I sold that set at a yard sale.
I was so grateful that I had at least held on to Mom’s and Nana’s GS pans.
He tried to cut the same deal when he promised that he would buy me a new pizza pan.
I told him that hadn’t worked out very well in the past.
I said, “You can buy me a new one and I’m willing to try it, but if I don’t like it I’m keeping this one.”
Over the years, he tried to bribe me with many new pizza pans and none lived up to the old one.
The day even came when he couldn’t find the old pizza pan and he panicked.
“Where is our good pizza pan?” he shouted from the kitchen as he tossed shiny ones aside.
I let him panic for a few minutes and then, I found it for him. I always keep it in the back of the pan cabinet in case he gets a notion to throw it out when I’m not looking.
As I handed it to him, I asked him if he remembered how many times he’d told me to throw it away.
I’m that kind of woman.
He’d laughed and said, “Just give me the damn pan!”
He’s that kind of man.
Originally, I had two old pizza pans.
When I was moving from Oklahoma to Florida and getting rid of stuff, my daughter Jodie Lynne said, “Mom, give me the pizza pans. Please?”
I looked her right in the eye and said, “You’re going to lose them, so I’ll give you one.”
She couldn’t have been happier if I had given her the moon.
“I won’t lose this!” she promised, and I had the familiar flutter of hope that she would learn to hold on to things that mattered to her.
That was ten years and many heartaches ago.
I know she no longer has the pizza pan and yes, every time I scrub my pizza pan, I’m glad I kept one, etchings and all.
This past summer, I gave her some of my grandmother’s and my mother’s antique Guardian Service pans.
I didn’t give them all to her, even though she had been sober for over a year.
Nope. I told her she has to prove that she can hold onto something before she gets the rest.
After she gave me the finger with her eyes, she laughingly agreed.
Before you judge me, this is my daughter who has repeatedly lost custody of her six kids and her freedom because of drugs and alcohol.
She has lost everything she owned, over and over, including all her baby pictures, the baby books we made for three of her kids, the handmade crocheted blankets that me, my sister and mother made for them and a box full of Christmas decorations that my mother had made through the years.
I’m not materialistic, but I’m obsessive about holding onto pictures, moments and memories.
In fact, I would give away everything I own and walk in rags with bare feet in the snow just to see my daughter stay happy and sober.
And when she is sober, this daughter loves every little bit of the good memory articles that I do and I guess that’s why I give them to her slowly and hopefully.
I’m always hoping, always praying, that this time will be different, that this time she’ll stay sober.
This month, with over a year sober, she quit the job of her dreams, could lose custody of the only child she has left to raise and yesterday, she called to tell us that the car we bought her a year ago, (so she could get back and forth to work) has been impounded.
Given the signs I know so well, my heart is freaking breaking.
I have four boxes in the attic for her.
They are filled with my own special Christmas decorations, knickknacks, doilies and doodads from Nana, Mom and me. Crafts that my daughter made for me when she was growing up.
She gets the stuff either way when I die and I just pray that she doesn’t die before I do because I know I will not be able to handle losing my precious daughter to the family curse. I will burn those damn boxes full of memories.
From washing my old pizza pan to sitting with my notebook, writing, hoping, praying and believing, “Dear Jesus, please save my daughter. Again. Thank you and amen.”
Update: Thank you Jesus, for my daughter’s life, for her strong faith in you and for her renewed dedication to sobriety. 
Posted in Jeanne Marie

Happy 64th To Me! (Last August)

A Tulsa Promenade Dillard’s Birthday
Happy 64th To Me!
Every year since I turned 60, I try to do something special for myself on my birthday.
This year, I spent the entire day at Dillard’s where my daughter, Jodie Lynne, works and we shopped during her lunch hour.
Of course, after she went back to work, I continued shopping!
Luckily, I love the clearance racks but a few full price items did sneak into my pile, lol.
After I wore my feet out shopping, Jodie convinced me to walk over and let the Edge Beauty Tulsa women give me a makeover.
She really did have to convince me because for some reason I felt shy about it…so thank you, Jodie Lynne.
It was an incredible experience!
First of all, if you know me, you know I would not want a normal makeover.
I wanted a pink makeover and my makeup artist Kalee delivered to the max.
The look began as a pink makeover but as it evolved, I decided I wanted to be a pink fairy and Kalee just went with the creative flow, giving me quick peeks and playing with the colors…
She was incredible to work with and so intuitive and open to what I wanted.
She didn’t act like she was working at all because she loves doing makeup so much that it was like she was playing, so we both had a blast and I felt like it was girl’s night out with a best friend.
Of course, the makeover ended with a glitter brush splash.
Kalee said I was like a ray of sunshine and that I had made her day. Wow. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since someone said that to me…
You know, I honestly haven’t been doing a lot of shining so the entire mother-daughter, Dillard’s Edge makeover with Kalee, shopping for myself experience brought out the sun-shiny part of me that’s been hiding.
And there’s a really funny thing about age. Sometimes it shows to the max and sometimes my age just seems to drop away and I become just me, just a woman who accepts herself no matter her age or her wrinkles.
By the time Jodie and I got home, I felt high as a pink cloud in the sky.
I put on one of my new outfits and some of Jodie’s very high heels, even though I had to squeeze a crippled foot into one of them. I also wore my awesome pink bracelet, a present from my best friend, Michelle Marie.
Jodie took pictures of me and I took selfies with her and we had a picture party.
Now, I have proof that I still know how to shine.
All I have to do is let go and play.
Huge thanks to all who were involved starting with Athena, who babysat Cole and Jonas, my grandsons and took them to play laser tag and to McDonald’s, freeing me to play.
Triple huge thanks to Jodie Lynne and Kalee.
And I cannot forget to thank all the wonderful people I met at Dillard’s as I flitted through the Cosmetics Department, meeting Jodie’s coworkers and her managers.

I also was blessed to have two grandsons with me to help celebrate that evening.
My ten-year-old grandson Cole had come to visit his Papa and me in NH for the summer.
He came the first week of June and I brought him home to Oklahoma this week.
We almost made our visit last until our birthdays, but we had to celebrate a bit early. Mine is August 11th and his is August 10th.
Usually we split the difference and eat our  carrot cake at midnight on the 10th.
We have spent the last few days at his Aunt Jodie’s and Athena’s house with his cousin Jonas and last night we celebrated three August birthdays.
We bought enough cake for the two non-birthday people (Jodie and Jonas) because it just seemed like the right thing to do.
I’m glad we did that because I ate the leftover chocolate cake this morning!
Cole’s dad picked him up this morning and they hugged forever.
When I got home to New Hampshire, my husband took me out for a seafood dinner, so all in all…
I never plan my birthday, I just let it unfold and this was one of the best and hopefully, I have many more to come.
Posted in Gracie's Glimmer, Poetry From A Woman Who Thinks Too Much


She started to think about what she wanted to experience before she died and it went like this…she wanted to be made love to like he had never seen her before and she was the most precious thing in the world that he could ever touch or possess.
She wanted him to say her smile made his day and lit up his world.
She wanted him to hold her as he was sleeping, wrapped all around her and never letting go all night.
She wanted to dance around the bedroom with him at midnight. Dancing slow, to a country love song, held so tight she could barely breathe, dancing with the man she loved as he whispered, “I am so sorry, I didn’t know how much I loved you,” in her ear.
She wanted to be loved like that once more before she died.
Posted in Women Who Think to Much

Excerpts from my book, Women Who Think Too Much, A No Help AT ALL Handbook

I am a face first, front sliding, full-fledged codependent.

Stop signs mean STOP but that translates to codependents as, “Go ahead, I double-dare you.”

If your lights dim, don’t think about it too much, just light a damn candle.

…live with an active alcoholic or addict and find inner peace; without Al-Anon.

…our painful past loses its devastating effect.

…plan vacations, instead of permanent departures.

Mommy is on special medication right now because she is just a little crazy.

A helpful therapist does not pressure you to leave your man, she does confuse your issues with hers, she lies to you, but she also trusts you with her cell phone number because you have managed to cross her boundary lines. That phone number could be a life saver, especially if you’re driving cross-country after an attempted escape back home (you ran to your dysfunctional family, who you are now running away from), while taking a new anti-anxiety drug which your therapist prescribed, hydroplaning during a torrential rainstorm, which doesn’t even count because you’re crying so hard that you can’t see the through the windshield anyway. It also doesn’t help that you can’t zip the jeans that were too big when you started the journey because you have already blown up from the side effects of your new wonder drug.
It would be comforting to have her direct phone number in case you end up halfway home and forget which direction you want to go in, home or home. If you get lost or finally crack up, mentally or automobilely, it would be nice to have a caring professional to help arrange your placement. “No she’s not crazy; she just needs her meds tweaked.”

…as soon as you learn the rules, he changes them.

I gave him my fifteen-year-old virginity. That very night, I told him he had to marry me now and he said okay. The next day, he dumped me for a thirteen-year-old, blonde haired beauty.

Don’t waste the Styrofoam cups.

Gratitude will allow you to forget most of his faults…

…so when she looks into a mirror she won’t see the woman she used to be.

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Posted in Gracie's Glimmer, Poetry From A Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Your love is raw…


I thought my love was true…so why do I always fantasize

about leaving us behind, running away from me loving you?

Your love is raw, it is bloody, it is deep.

Your warm, obsessive blanket covers my eyes, my empty girly head,

shielding me, protecting me at night, yet not heavy enough to let me sleep.

Lying wide-eyed in our king-size bed, the buried fights numb my head.

Your love, my shroud, my bad, my dead.

You call me to your side each night, honey, come to sleep.

Not unlike a small child, I run to you and snuggle under my pink blanket

on my corner of the mattress awake in the dark long after you snore.

Into the dawn I weep, tears leaving their dirty marks.

The weight of your need to possess me and my need for you cements my life.

It this all I’ll ever feel, is this all I’ll ever be, your woman, your girl, your wife?

Your need is soft, it is strong, it is rough, it is binding, it is smothering, it is fluff.

Your need has taken over my life which doesn’t even make any sense.

Becoming nothing, wanting something, I sit and scour my mind, trying to find myself.

Can I take care of me, this woman, this girl who will not speak?

Standing on the outside, looking through the tinted glass of our storm door.

I don’t want to come inside. Oh yes, I am sure.

Am I running from us because of our today or am I running from our pain-filled past?

I don’t know anymore.

No place left to hide.

Your love surrounds me, it saves me, until it drowns me.

Your love is raw, it is bloody, it is deep.