Heading Out, August 27


August 27
It’s my last night in Oklahoma, for now.
Tomorrow morning, I head out to Florida.
Tonight, I learned to raise the jacks and hitch up the trailer, including sway bars and chains. Sway bars are heavy!
I bought a shoulder bag for my one lonely computer (we lost three comrades to downsizing) and for my three external hard drives.
Perfect computer bag and it was on sale.
I downloaded two full older WD drives, a desktop and two laptops onto my Western Digital 4 TB external drive. 985, 161, 000 files.
Almost a million files. I was shocked.
I still have another external hard drive, my one laptop and a baggie full of flash drives to back-up, so I’m sure to climb over the million mark.
Tucked my tablet in the bag too.
I destroyed two old hard drives and I was really proud that I could let them go.
Usually, I back-up files and keep both copies, which explains almost a million files.

Swissgear Wenger

Western Digital

My New…Old House. June, 2018

June, 2018
Mold, black mold; not Texas Tea Black Gold, but in my closet black mold, growing behind four layers of wallpaper, scraped off one at a time, layers of black mold in between each layer, black mold, all the way down to a cement wall that had black mold. We did pay a home inspector, but this was a hidden mess.
When I first saw the closet walls, gunky stuff was on the outermost layer of wallpaper. I decided to scrub down that wallpaper because I was thinking, maybe somebody sprayed a can of Pepsi all over the walls. That took a few hours that I will never get back because as the wallpaper got moist from the warm dishcloth and fell down, I found my first identifiable layer of black mold. Thick and thriving, unaware its life was about to end.
Spraying each layer with bleach, returning when it was dry, scraping each layer off with a knife/chisel, vacuuming, spraying bleach again, not just because black mold is toxic, but because I am blessed with OCD and then me, showering. Often.
I bought a ventilated mask when I began this week long, no end in sight project and I dutifully put it on for every adventure into the closet from hell.
I couldn’t breathe for the rest of my adventures without inhaling hot steam that I’d exhaled just a second ago, but it made me feel safer somehow.
I say somehow because I hadn’t thought about getting safety glasses or a hat and the black mold showered down upon my head and in my eyes pretty consistently.
So after each adventure in the closet, I stepped into the shower with everything I was wearing and it all got washed.
I decided after the first day that I needed more safety equipment and my husband was delighted that we needed a trip to Harbor Freight. I bought safety glasses, some better scrapers, a worker’s jumpsuit and a huge straw hat.
We also stopped for a gallon of Salted Caramel ice cream.
A week later and one gallon of Kilz and that closet was the cleanest space in this century-old house.
There was only one fatality. The vacuüm cleaner choked to death.

New House

June, 2018
Everything is still a little crazy, but that’s to be expected after a move of this magnitude .
My son, Ricky, drove two hours to see us last night, with his wife and the baby. We went out to dinner and it was so good to see them.
We went for Mexican food at a place called Lopez’s and it was delicious. It was also the first real meal I’ve eaten in a week!
Cable guy is coming today, so then I’ll have internet, thank goodness. I’ve been using fifteen extra dollars worth of data every two days. WOW.
We are dealing with the normal stuff of settling in, trying to find things and then trying to decide where to put them after we find them.
We just saw a man from the water company out front shutting off our water because we hadn’t been down to the water company yet to give them a deposit. He left it on with a threat to get to the office today.
LOL We moved in Wednesday and we already called and gave them our information.
The movers put boxes wherever they wanted, despite them all being labeled, so there are going to be a lot of boxes getting moved around.
They also tried to overcharge us by $400 but my honey said no, thank you.
My back has had more than enough and I’m having a hard time walking in the mornings, so some of those dang boxes are just going to stay where they are for a little bit!
Jerry’s brother is still here until tomorrow…he’s been a huge help.
Hoping to unpack the kitchen today, but I will see where God takes my day…
All the flowers I brought with me are doing fantastic and I’m ready to bring in some more. My honey is going to go buy bleeding hearts and lilacs at Lowe’s.
Backyard is big and shady and beautiful and my porch upstairs is more like a tree house because it’s all windows, and you look out into the tree tops.
My kids keep begging me to make it the guest room, but, I said NO; it is going to be mama’s writing room. Buy your own tree-house. I waited sixty-four years for this tree-house!
Went to buy furniture the other day and the gentleman who waited on my husband decided to make fun of Yankees and to make disparaging comments, so we won’t be buying furniture there.
People are so worried about everyone else being racist, but that doesn’t stop them, does it?
The fine gentleman lost a $2,000 sale.
To end on a positive note, I love my new house, I absolutely love having two of my children and lots of grandchildren close by and I love that my daughter Jodie is ten minutes away from me. She is my Sunshine.
Love that my friend Michelle Marie is less than an hour away because she is my Pinkshine!

Settling In

June 2

We are moved into the new house. Beds are setup and bathroom stuff, not much else. We are all about as tired as Miss Kita…
I totally love the house. The hardest part is over. It’s all fun from here, decorating, rearranging and settling in. Amen and thank you Jesus for such a beautiful home and thank you to my honey for finding it…

Arrived In Oklahoma

June 1, 1:07 P.M.

I woke up this morning knowing that I could run over to my daughter’s and have a cup of coffee. It was the most incredible feeling in the world. Like waking up on Christmas morning.
So, that is what I did and then we went to Wal-Mart and I bought a gorgeous, pink hibiscus and a couple of plants that she picked out. We also bought three quirky, pineapple glasses for the kids.
When I got back to the travel trailer, I got out my new bag of organic dirt and my plants and I gave them all some love and some water.
I re-potted a few and I replanted Jodie’s for her in cute little pots from my house in New Hampshire.
It was probably 90° and I just loved the healing heat on my skin. It made my aching bones feel loved.
I have been so tired of being cold, even in the summer, and I am loving the heat and the constant sunshine.
When I was done, I went inside and cleaned my little, temporary home.
After that, I took a long, cool shower, did my hair and laid on the bed with my puppies, doing Facebook and looking at WordPress.
I should have been looking at Facebook and doing WordPress, but oh well!
After few hours, I decided to take a nap and I fell asleep feeling blessed. I woke to my daughter texting me, saying, “come outside,” so I did!
She lights up my world and it was so unbelievable to have her outside my door on a whim.
Her friend Kelli, whom I love, was with her and they came in and sat down for a while.
Kelli said she loved my little home and as I looked around, I realized; I had made it a home, even if it was just for a few days. I had put homey touches all through the tiny rooms because today is only the day we have, and I knew that for a few todays, I would be living here.
We visited and when they were leaving, I told my daughter that she lit up my day by dropping by unexpected and I meant it with my whole heart.
Now, my honey is on his way from spending the day with his brother and he is bringing me and the dogs chicken for supper.
It has been a perfect day of physical rest and spiritual rejuvenation. I am grounded. I am home. I am healing.
Tomorrow at noon, we sign the papers on our new home and the hard work starts again, but I’m going to take it slowly, one piece at a time.
All the boxes are going in one bedroom and I’ll deal with them little by little.
God has blessed me so richly that I am overwhelmed and I thank him for this day and for all the wonders that I know he has in store for me with each day that he wakes me.
I wasn’t sure if I’d done the right thing pulling up my roots once more and traipsing across the country in a bouncy RV with everything I owned in a U-Haul behind me, but I knew when my daughter showed up at my door that my world was right and as usual God had led me in the right direction.
My grandson Jonas called me and thanked me for his new glass.
Then, Jodie called me and she told me that the kids said that their drinks tasted sweeter when they were drinking them out of a pineapple glass.
And thank you, Jesus.

Adventures in Moving


May 25, 11:55 a.m.

I’m bouncing around in a travel trailer holding two dogs!

Now I’ll see how good I really packed it. We drove away with the storage (under the bunk bed) door open. You know, the place I stuck my writing files and picture boxes so they’d be safe. First, I panicked.

My honey said I was overreacting when I asked him if any of my boxes had fallen out. No, he didn’t go back to check. He told me my negative attitude was going to ruin the trip. BOOM! Then, I prayed and sang, “LET It Go.”

At least I’m writing.

PS Nothing was lost!

Moving Again

So we’re moving again. This next house will be the 15th house we have bought and hopefully the last; although I wouldn’t count on it.
We’ve also rented at least six apartments. I have painted and wallpapered each place we’ve lived in and I’ve also left behind beautiful gardens, even at the apartments.
I don’t know if I have Gypsy blood, but I’m pretty sure I do.
We have lived in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,  Oklahoma, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida and New Hampshire and are now in the process of moving back to Oklahoma. I guess Oklahoma wins as the favorite.
I started packing the day we sold the house, which was over two months ago, and I am just finishing up tonight, one day before we load the moving truck.
I started packing early because I didn’t want to cut it close, but that didn’t work out too well. I think we have too much stuff!
It’s 11 p.m. and I just sat down for the first time since 10:00 this morning. Unless you count the ladies room.
My daughter Jodie is flying in today with her friend Kelli to drive my car back to Oklahoma and my husband is on his way home from the airport with them right now.
I ache from head to toe and I’m exhausted. I really think I am getting too old to keep moving. If only I could just convince my head that my body doesn’t like this packing thing.
I don’t even want to think about the unpacking thing and maybe I won’t even do it. Maybe I’ll just put all the boxes in one of the spare bedrooms and let them stay there.
Maybe I’ll just sit around and write when we get there.
By the way, I’m writing a book called 15 Houses.
I’ll let you know if I ever finish it.




I don’t often write about this, but I have severe degenerative disk disease and several creative forms of arthritis including the master bone bender, rheumatoid arthritis. The reasons I don’t write about it are simple.

I believe what you think will be, so I refuse to dwell on my health issues and I refuse to be handicapped by fear of the future. I focus on what I can still do and it’s so amazing to see how much there is left that I can still do.

However, I have been on a rough journey since last summer, beginning with moving from Florida last July to New England. We have moved so many times that I didn’t realize that we were getting older and much less spry. My husband  carried boxes out to the U-Haul trailer for me and I packed every single available space in the RV. We were both exhausted by the time the trip began. We had numerous delays in the closing on the house we sold in Florida and with the house we bought in New Hampshire. The dates did not match up close together and we ended up having to camp in our RV for a month.

Although I had days and days of adventure and fun on the road trip and I loved camping in our RV on a stunning mountain for a month, the stress of learning my way around an unfamiliar area, again, was tiring. I loved the month we spent camping on the mountain but…my husband hated it.
He hated the small space and he was cramped with our two dogs on top of us, although as far as I know, our two Chihuahua’s are always on top of us no matter how much room we have available.

I think the biggest stress factor for me was finding a doctor. When we finally moved into the house, I found a doctor’s group and they refused to see me without my medical records. They would not see me without my records and they would not accept the ones I had in my hand, my complete medical records printed from my doctor’s portal. They looked through them and then handed them back to me.
“You might have forged them,” they said.

Months went by with this medical group claiming that they never got my medical records from Florida.
I began to run out of several important medications. When I called my Florida doctor’s office, they said that they had mailed my records…twice.

I went back to the medical center to request an appointment again. They went through my hand-held records and my prescription list (for the second time) at the front desk and they told me that I probably didn’t even meet their requirements to be accepted as a patient. (It was the only medical center in our little town.)

So, after a humiliating verbal dance in front of several patients and staff members, the head nurse admitted that they wouldn’t accept me as a patient because I took pain medication.

Talking about my personal history in front of anyone was a direct violation of the Hipaa Law, but I just walked away. Humiliated and so mad I couldn’t breathe. That’s how bullies win and although I wish I had turned her in, at least to her boss, I didn’t.

On the plus side, although I still had severe pain from rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative disk disease, I had by now weaned myself off a fifteen-year legal pain pill habit because I realized that I was going to end up withdrawing cold turkey if I didn’t.

It wasn’t easy, but I had a deep belief that God was in control and I gave this problem to Him. Every day. Strange things happened. My pain level went down, not up as I changed over to Tylenol.

That was last October and I immediately began to feel better, my head felt clearer and I had less pain.
I still have pain, but it’s much more manageable and I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I am better off without the pain pills and I would have never thought that would be the case.

Meanwhile, I found a doctor almost an hour away and waited a month for an appointment. When I saw the doctor, she told me that I needed to see three different specialists because she didn’t prescribe medicines, she was a homeopathic doctor. Would have been nice if they had explained that when I asked for a primary care physician appointment.

In the weeks that followed, I left my husband and my house and moved almost three hours away.
He helped me buy a small mobile home near my sister in Maine.
We had problems before the move so combining the stress of moving and the extreme changes in my body chemistry, well I think that I just had myself a good old-fashioned nervous breakdown. Or so my mom would say. 

I have been alone since October.
I have learned many things since I have been alone. Here are just a few.
I have definitely learned how much my husband loves me, even after thirty-five years together.
I have learned that our good memories are powerful.
I have learned that no matter how old your kids are…they never want to see their parents split-up.
I have learned that I enjoy taking care of myself and that I like being alone.

It’s sad, but we have talked more since we split-up than we ever did when we sat together every night and a make-up is hopefully in our future. 

My husband says that thirty-three years of marriage are worth fighting for and he has a point.
Still, I say; right now…I’m just tired of fighting.

The most important things that I have learned are that I will be okay, single or married and as always, I am in His hands and He knows where I need to be, even when I don’t have a clue.

Jeanne Marie, 2016


The Big Picture…


Hi! I haven’t been around my blog very much lately because I am in the middle of packing up my house in Florida and moving to New Hampshire.
Crazy as it sounds, I would rather be cold than hot and I am from New England.
I do have other reasons for moving. Still, I’m either insane or very brave considering the snow they had there last year.
So, the day that I close on my house in Florida is the same day that my daughter, Jodie Lynne, walks out of prison in Oklahoma.
I am asking all of you who believe to pray for us. She is walking out the prison gates with nothing but the clothes on her back, a faith that God loves her, a belief that He will help her survive and a very strong desire to not go back to prison.
I can’t go to Oklahoma on that day and I think God wants me to let her sort this one out because the timing means that I have to be here in Florida and not there with her.
Her dad and I have set aside some money so she can get an apartment, but not many landlords decide to rent to a felon, a felon without a job.
In spite of that, I am praying that God already has a safe place picked out for her. He can do that…I can’t.
Jodie and I are writing a book about how hard it is to make it and stay clean when you walk out of prison.
It’s almost impossible to start over when you have been stripped of everything but your life. Your children, dignity, self-worth, confidence and possessions, gone, and now you owe thousands and thousands of dollars in fines.
It used to be that you’d go to prison and work off your fines but now they not only add them on to your bill, they charge you for the services you require to stay free.
She has to pay to see her parole officer and she has to pay for frequent urine tests.
She owes $50,000 in child support and as soon as she gets a job they garnish her wages.
I will never defend the choices that landed my daughter in jail, but I will say this, people do horrendous things and walk away every day. All you need to walk away is money for a good lawyer.
She has no crimes against people, no violent offenses, just a bunch of petty crimes that added up to doing time as a habitual criminal.
Plus, Oklahoma has more women in prison than any other state and it’s not because they have the highest crime rate.
I make no excuses for my daughter, but as we have traveled the prison system together over the last eight years, I have realized that the women and girls who come out of prison are setup to fail.
I don’t know how anyone could come out owing about $70,000 and make it, excepting for a big miracle or a few medium size miracles.
My daughter is a beautiful woman, inside and out and when she is straight, she is my best friend in the world. When she is not straight, she is my biggest heartache.
I would like you to pray with me that she finds the strength and the courage to walk out of prison and stay sober, that she will find a job allowing her to pay her child support and fines, at least enough to stay out of jail. She doesn’t have a driver’s license because she owes child support, so her job options are very limited, confined to the area where she finds an apartment.
I never did understand how losing your license because you didn’t pay child support would help get child support from you. How do you get to work without a license?
And as for me, please pray that I stay strong as I pack about a hundred boxes, while trying to get rid of everything that I don’t care about because it costs too much to move it all and even some things I do care about.
I have to remember that in the big picture, possessions really don’t mean anything, people do.
I am moving for many complicated reasons, reasons that are far more important than fine china or knickknacks.
I care deeply about my writing, my books and my computers and even most of the books I own could go.
I’ve already gotten rid of hundreds of books and I pray for the strength and the stamina to make this move.
I am praying for the courage to allow my daughter to walk out of prison and stand on her own two feet.
My daughter and I are also writing about how going to prison damages the families of the prisoners, the parents and the grandparents, siblings and family members, anyone who loves them, moms who like me, never give up hoping and believing because they love their child.
Please pray that God and the angels cover our backs as we each struggle to do what needs to be done to change our lives for the better and please pray that we continue to move forward in faith despite the enormous odds that we have against us.
Amen and XO, Jeanne Marie