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

Inside The Picture

Sitting on a porch swing
at her country home
I never saw a face
that looked so all alone.
She gazes into space
her eyes are far away
I wonder where she is
she isn’t in today.
I see a little girl
in the woman’s eyes
a hurt and lonely child
I hear her softly cry.
The pain of dreams now lost
the scars that still remain
when I look at her picture
all I can see is pain.
She captures my heart
I want to hold her tight
I run to save the woman
the girl hides in fright.
The girl plagues the present
with all her musty fears
if I could console the girl
I’d end the woman’s tears.

by Jeanne Marie

Posted in All Over The Place

Prepping For When Disaster Strikes

First thing this morning, while we’re having our coffee on the porch, a man knocks on our door.
The fanatical gleam in his eyes reminds me of Bernie Sanders and he even looks a little like him.
Of course, we don’t open the door. I don’t care if he is eighty and can hardly walk. He really could be a politician in disguise.
My husband goes to the screen and talks to him and he accepts a pamphlet through a crack in the door.
It’s the Awake pamphlet.
I have to admire this group’s dedication.
They have knocked on my door at over twenty addresses in six states.
It began forty-odd years ago when I had my very first own door to open.
I had foot surgery last week and now I’m sitting down too much, so I read the pamphlet, “When Disaster Strikes.”
Oh crap, now I have to clean out the cellar while I’m on crutches.
I’ve always had the prepper mentality (my dad instilled those principles early) and this pamphlet just triggered it harder than the nightly news.
If I was wealthy, I would already have an awesome underground shelter or maybe intricate caves built into the rocks in the White Mountains.
I’m not, so I have to settle for the smaller things in life, which are just as valuable, although not when it comes to having a place to hide out until the world is done fighting.
Yup, all I have is the cellar and that doesn’t usually work out very good in the movies.
After I finished reading the pamphlet, you know the one that told me that I could be needing my cellar, I started making a mental checklist of what I had on hand.
Despite my husband’s resistance to prepping, I think we could last a week with the supplies I’ve stashed, starting with dried seaweed, a few gallons of water and two cans of powdered peanut butter for protein.
I  haven’t been unaware of the need to keep my food cabinets full and I buy emergency supplies all the time.
I simply have a very hard time keeping extra supplies in the house because my husband eats everything I bring home.
Luckily, he hates seaweed and sardines. He did ask to try the peanut butter powder, so after I yelled, “No way,” I hid it.
I also am the proud owner of a big bag of mess-hall chili that nobody else would eat. I saved it for the day someone would be grateful to have it. Maybe me.
My sister, who hoards food and cast iron frying pans, was throwing it out and me, the odd stuff hoarder, snagged it just in case.
If you’re in touch with the world at all, it looks like just in case could be coming up soon, so I felt pretty good about that decision.
A few cans of milk, an open bag of dog food and a half full jar of instant coffee completes my emergency provisions.
I used to keep a carton of Marlboro cigarettes with my emergency stash, but I have the same problem with cigarettes that my husband has with food. I smoked them all.
So at this point, my husband tells me that he’s going to the store and even though I know what he’s going to say, I ask him to get five more gallons of water to put in the cellar and maybe some seaweed.
Wait a minute. I can’t stop laughing.
Okay, so he says, “No, I don’t think so. You don’t need to buy water. Water comes out of the faucet.”
I give him my famous, “We need enough provisions to last for at least a week and water is the most important supply,” speech.
I try to speak calmly to him and to make him aware that our lives could end quickly if we don’t have water on hand for emergencies.
I appeal to his love for the dogs.
“The dogs need water too!”
He says, “No effing way,” and goes out the door, but returns with a case of gallon bottles of water, which is pretty heavy and he has a bad back. That is love.
To be honest, I think it was the dog appeal which turned him in my direction. He does love his babies.
I said, “Thank you, thank you and oh, did you buy any more seaweed?”
“Eff the seaweed,” he said. “Be glad for what you got instead of complaining about what you don’t got.”
I think he learned to talk like that at the firing range, hanging out with all the mountain men.
It’s a John Wayne attitude with a New England twist.
And by the way remember when I said he was a prepping resistor? Well, when I suggested some gun purchases, he broke all records buying them.
I asked him about the way the rules change and he said, “Yeah the rules do change. They change to to fit my need.”
“You finally admitted it,” I said.
It doesn’t matter anyway because I already put it in my first book, “as soon as I learn the rules he changes them” but it was nice to get confirmation.
I told him I was going to quote him in this story and I asked him to please get me a cup of coffee.
He brought back my coffee and said, “Here is your effing coffee. Put that in your story.” So I just did.
He’s so funny and so creatively rude that he gets in my stories without even trying and I do love getting a good quote.
It’s ironic that I have tons of prepping books on my Kindle and I always promise myself that I’ll read them someday, but I haven’t even looked at them since the day they were downloaded.
That’s one task I probably shouldn’t put off, because someday could be any day now. I’ll be screwed if we get an EMP strike because I won’t have electricity to power my Kindle.
And speaking of using up the things we buy for emergencies, he keeps ordering cases of bullets to ease my prepping mind and then he goes out to the firing range and shoots them all. It’s possible he’s using my anxiety to buy cases of bullets just to shoot them, but I like to think the best of people.
Then, this afternoon I see a notice in the local newspaper.
“Water Department will be flushing hydrants through the month of October. Persons may wish to store drinking water, as the flushing may temporarily disturb organics that may be in the main.”
Is the water safe or not? Talk about not committing yourself. Anyway, there goes the water stash.
So, I’m going to hide some corn chips to go with the chili and I’m praying for World Peace.
Sorry if I misled you. I just realized that I’m really not very good at what to do when disaster strikes or prepping.
Posted in Gracie's Glimmers

Mirror Image by Susanne Louise

Mirror images are what we’re made of and everything has a mirror image.
What we are and what we want to be is all a reflection of what we see…a shadow is just a distorted mirror image.
A shadow that is not reality.
It’s reality distorted to a reflection.
Life is a mixture of both these images.
Sometimes we look in a mirror and see shadows instead of the reality.
The mirror image determines which is real and which is distorted In the mind.
The crazy lost souls of our hopes and dreams control the mind, so how do we trust anything we see?


Posted in Jeanne Marie

There’s A Blizzard Coming

Well, the weather lady said there’s a blizzard coming tomorrow. She promised from 5 to 10 inches of snow, so I figured I’d better get out to the store and stock up.
I also figured I might need some fresh air before the snow came and locked me in the house for another two or three days.
My husband and I went to Rite-Aid and l picked out some stuff on clearance. Coffee cups, coffee jars for my sisters and a pretty rug for the kitchen floor. A New Hampshire Live Free or Die tee-shirt for my daughter and a big wash pail for the garage.
Okay, so what else did I need before the big blizzard hits up here in the White Mountains?
We saw some vitamins on clearance and after a lively conversation about who had the worst memory, we picked out two bottles of DHA 600. According to the label, it’s necessary for optimal brain function and we totally agreed we each had room for improvement.

Last, I picked up 2 packs of Marlboros even though I’ve gotten myself down to less than a half a pack a day. You just never know how long you’re going to be stuck in the house after a blizzard.
Our trip’s Grand Finale was a meal at McDonald’s, the only fast food available for miles around and I had a breakfast sandwich for supper.
Luckily, it was delicious, because complaining about your food can be a big problem in a little town.
In fact, I was hoping that the girl didn’t remember me from the last time we went there.
I had ordered a grilled chicken sandwich that I took one bite out of and very quickly returned to the counter girl. I declared it a piece of manufactured something that could not possibly be chicken, politely, but I also shuddered as I declined the offer of replacing it with anything else.
I think the same girl waited on me today and I have to say, she was sweet as anything.
She even brought our food over to the table and made sure my coffee was just right.
So now we are home all tucked in and getting ready to watch a movie.
We didn’t realize until the dogs started to bark at us that we had forgotten to get dog food and an onion for the corned beef dinner that we’re going to cook tomorrow. (We did have enough dog food for tonight.)
Even worse, we forgot Marshmallow. That’s my new addiction and I’m almost out.
I’m not going to say who ate half of it, but that is the person who is going to get dressed tomorrow and go to the store during the blizzard.
He’s very sweet about things like that anyway, maybe because he eats so much Marshmallow.

Posted in Jeanne Marie

Love isn’t and love doesn’t


I’m not sure what love is.

I tried to write what I knew about love and I didn’t come up with a very long list.

So, I’m going to tell you what I do know.

I know what love isn’t and what love doesn’t.

Love is not the flush you get from your head to your toes when you meet someone who sparks your pheromones. Walk away or get burned. That’s lust.

Love is not the tingle you get between your legs when you see Sam Elliott in white briefs. Again, lust.

Love is not orgasm after orgasm. You could get that from a stranger who triggered your pheromones. Lust, again.

Love doesn’t manipulate, control and lie.

Love doesn’t run away emotionally and physically when times are hard.

Love doesn’t throw family or friends away if they screw up.

Love doesn’t hold you down by convincing you that you can’t do anything right, so you might as well give up before you even start.

Love doesn’t bind you in barbed wire because it’s afraid of losing you.

Love doesn’t lock you in because it’s afraid to let you out, afraid that somebody else might tempt you.

Love doesn’t control you by controlling your access to money.

Love doesn’t hit you or slap you.

Love isn’t cruel or verbally abusive.

Love doesn’t make you feel dead inside.

Love doesn’t care if you are pretty or if you have big boobs, gorgeous hair and a tiny waist.

Love doesn’t make you less…

Love doesn’t stand you up.

Love doesn’t break you into a million pieces.

Love isn’t a game of tug and war.

Love doesn’t capture your heart just to break it.

Love isn’t the presents you buy her after you made her cry.

Love doesn’t always last forever.

Posted in Women Who Think to Much

October Is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Does It End Here?


My first question was, why not everyday? Several women (angrily) asked me that same question when I posted or re-blogged articles related to domestic violence, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse. Well, I told them that I wondered that too and that I didn’t name the dedication, I was just trying to honor the victims and the survivors because I come from that country and I am fluent in that language.
The question I have asked myself repeatedly this month is this: What does national awareness do for the victims? Does it change the abuser’s mind? Does he (or she) say, “Damn it! I’m not going to swear and scream at you until National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is over, you lucky bitch!”
Does he pay the bills, buy some food, keep his hands off his daughter because it’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
Will the family have a month of peace? Will her neighbor buy ice for her black eye?
The abusers and the victims are all too aware of what domestic violence is and the people who don’t acknowledge it all year long because it’s easier to look away, well they don’t give a flying fig that this month is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month either.
The women who go to shelters expecting to find a way out, expecting someone to teach them how to stand on their own two feet, hoping for training so that they can get a job that will support them and their kids in the future, what do they think about National Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
How about asking the ones who returned home because the shelter was lacking in anything but a whole new set of rules, a bed and some used clothes.
The shelters where women in my family have gone provided a time out, nothing more. If you run a shelter that provides therapy, job training, education, legal representation and daycare, I apologize and I’d also like your hot line phone number.
I have posted articles about abuse in October anyway, hoping that even one woman might find the courage to grab her babies and run for safety.
I have read the survivor’s stories and I have read the  “he killed her” stories.
I have a “he killed her” story. I had a cousin who was murdered in front of her young son, while living in a shelter.
I cry and I hold every victim’s and every survivor’s story that I have ever read or witnessed in my heart. Including my own.
Victims and abusers, survivors and inflictors, well, to them every month is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They just don’t talk about it.
So as this official National Domestic Violence Awareness Month ends, I feel helpless. I have no answers, no help for the millions who will go to bed hungry, crying and/or bruised tonight. For those who will sleep in their cars because it is safer than their home or because they have no home and friends and family are sick of helping them only to see them go back to the abuser.
I have tears, but Lord knows, they already have enough tears of their own. Maybe we could make everyday Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

Posted in Jodie Lynne

Another brush stroke added to The Big Picture…



Many of you read my article about my daughter, Jodie Lynne, getting out of prison, The Big Picture, last week.

I said, “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 return to prison.”

You responded with encouragement, support and promises of prayers…thank you so much.

I am thrilled to report that we got our miracle. One of many in Jodie’s Journey.

Her ex-husband, currently sober, has used his recovery connections to help her get into a recovery house for women. A very structured program designed to teach women to take responsibility for their own lives, while giving them a safe place to live. This is a big deal, definitely in the miracle category, because I have called recovery programs in the area and Jodie has already burned so many bridges that most of them wouldn’t even call me back.

When she is released, she will be taking a daylong bus ride back to Tulsa and as soon as she arrives, she will be going to the house for her interview. They have two openings and all she has to do is show up sober and say she is willing to follow the program’s rules. She will be accepted into the house that very night. She will not spend even one day or one night wandering the streets, looking for shelter.

She started crying when I told her. She had planned to leave prison with a list of shelters for the homeless and now she has a bed waiting for her.

If she wants to stay straight and stay out of jail, God has given her the opportunity. It won’t be easy, but it will be possible.

She has been calling me the last few weeks full of anxiety and nearly hysterical. I kept telling her that God had a place for her, we just didn’t know where it was yet and I believed that with all my heart, but nothing I could say calmed her down. I understood her fear, but this precious girl has helped me learn to trust God, so when I could tell her that I knew where her place was, my heart was overflowing with gratitude. I told her that I believed for her when she couldn’t and I reminded her that she has done the same for me.

Again, thank you for your encouragement, support and prayers,

Jeanne Marie