...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature... and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2015. Hootie~

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Road Block. Where is Reverse?

Last night....

My brain is in a fog.  It might be the lack of nourishment in my body.  I realized as I ordered my cup of tea tonight, that I've only had liquid caffeine today: two cups of coffee, a coke zero, and then a bag of chips.  Totally unhealthy.  But I'm not hungry. I just wanted the chips because they were Bugles.  My fingers have grown.  They don't fit on them as they once did.  

I have my headset on, but I can't get my music to play loud enough.  I feel if I can just flood my ears, maybe my brain will stop trying to think.  Last year was so much easier.  School was totally consuming.  I continually felt 20 steps behind where I needed to be.  Honestly, I don't even know how I made it through my first year as a teacher, except I know I had a supportive team who made sure I had what I needed to survive.  

This week, one of the few remaining tether lines to my past was cut loose.  Lily, our fourteen year old, diabetic cat died with me close to her side.  I thought about calling my daughter.  Lily came into our household as a reward for my daughter being able to stop sucking her thumb.  Lily was six weeks old when we got her.  My daughter had been 7.  My daughter lives in town, but I couldn't call her.  I didn't want her to witness the death of her beloved pet.  As soon as Lily passed, I did call her and my son, to share the news.  In the divorce, I "won" full custody of the family pets.  Mostly that was by default, he moved out and left all the responsibilities from his past life.  It really didn't matter though, Lily was exactly where she needed to be...with me, the animal lover.  For ten years, I made sure that she received insulin shots twice a day.  Every vacation, every weekend away, I arranged for someone to come and care for Lily.  I taught many friends how to give her shots.  My kids knew how, and could do it if they needed to.  

The next night I dug a grave in the backyard.  I said a few prayers over Lily.  I know she lived a good life and is at peace.  

Today I took two years of used needles, safely tucked into self-locking containers, to the hazardous waste site in town.  Then I drove the unused bottle of insulin to my vet.  It felt right to make that donation.  Pet insulin, needles, and special diabetic food are very expensive.  

I went into my classroom and worked for six hours.  I tried to numb my brain with work.  It helped for a bit. But I needed to go home.   

As I pulled up to my house...I had a very dark thought.  If I was gone...no one would care. I called my sister and cried.  My sister is my life line.  I'm not suicidal, but I am at such a dark place in life once again.  I thought I was through this stage.  My sister tells me I need to be patient.  I need to give it time. I need to heal. Love will happen again. My response is, I'm scared, I'm angry, I'm alone, and how can it happen? I'm so busy just trying to manage doing all those little tasks, and those big ones when they get shuffled into the mix, that I need to do.  I don't really have time for anything extra, and I feel unlovable. Besides, I don't know how to love any more. I don't know how to let someone get close enough to me to even let a spark ignite.  At times like these, I don't think I even believe people can love one another.  Have I become jaded? My outer shell has become tough and I don't think people like to work that hard to break other's shells.  Tears, and tears, and tears flow.  Tears for Lily.  Tears for my marriage ending.  Tears for the responsibilities I have in my life.  Tears for being alone.  How can a person have so many tears?  

I realize the road in front of me is just blocked right now.  I need to stop.  Breathe.  Put my life into reverse, and try another path.  

My life line advised I go do something just for me, so I did.  I went and had my nails done, and then I went to write.  I think a massage is in order tomorrow.  I need to feel human contact.  Maybe it will bring me back to life.  


This morning...

I went home last night after writing, and reheated some food in my refrigerator. Berlioz and Winston were so happy to be near me as I ate my very late dinner. Exhaustion has become a partner I live with, and I am more exhausted than I even realize.  I have learned that exhaustion messes with my brain and my moods.  Looking down at my fingers...my nails are cute this morning.  Looking at my 'to do' list, I realize I don't have time for that massage.  A massage is a good thought, but it didn't make the short list.  

I don't think I'm on a different path yet.  Maybe I need to cut those last two cords before I can take the alternate route.  In time...

~Lisa Kroll, a superwoman who cries but is still working on eating, praying and loving

RIP Lily Olé

Thursday, September 08, 2016


letting go


i sat

and stroked the head of our old, diabetic cat

i knew

her end was near

i cried


i prayed


i ran interference for my daughter
she didn't need to see this

so i did it


the heavens above

released with me

phone calls made

daughter is in shock, but on her way over

she needs to say goodbye too

what do my daughter and i have to share now?

another tethering cord has been cut

i am numb

i can only listen to the rain

ten years

twice a day insulin shots

no more

lily is finally at rest

Saturday, August 27, 2016

It started with a wish...

Jack of Hearts

I think it's time to tell our story. 

You are instrumental in cementing in me 
the romantic fool that I am. 

That said, I'll be a romantic fool any day.  
What you gave me was a gift.  

You have no idea how often I wonder what you are up to.  I say prayers that you and your family are happy, and safe.   

Thank you again, and I hope you don't mind that I have decided it's time to share.



It started with a Wish.  A simple wish. I wished for a secret admirer.  
It was in the school newspaper...The Wolf Call.    

I was on the yearbook staff and I knew the newspaper needed people to help add to the articles.  I would get extra credit for helping out.  Plus, I sort of did want a secret admirer.  Who doesn't when they are 14 years old?  

Boone Grove School, was established in 1913, and was very small.  It held grades K-12. For real, kindergartners were in one wing and high school students were in the other.  When I had free class periods I would go and help the band teacher, Mr. Hahn, as a band-aide.  He'd give certificates with an actual bandaid on it to all his helpers.  Of course, I still have several of mine! I'd also help out the elementary teachers...proof that the seeds of my second dream were planted in my youth.  The best teachers, English (Mrs. Bivens and Mrs. Webb) and Math (Mr. Bajzatt), had classrooms in the original part of the school.  The teachers lounge was a smoke filled labyrinth directly beneath them in the basement, complete with a ditto machine (a real thing...go look here).  As Band, Home Ec., Science and Shop classes were some of the "newer" subjects, they were in the newest part of the school, near the gymnasium. The Boone Grove Wolves excelled in basketball and track.  No football for the farm kids back in that day.  Boone Grove was literally out in the middle of corn fields, which also meant it was hard for seniors who didn't have access to a car, to make it through the full day of school. My graduating class would be the first to graduate over 100 students, and we barely did that...we had 120.  

In the fall of 1978, I was a freshman; total dork.  Still very much trying to figure out who I was, my place in school, and where I might be headed in life. One senior guy fancied me that year.  He was the life of the school, and of the community.  I'm sure all parents adorned him, and mine were no exception.  They even allowed me to date him, but I had to double date.  Let me say...it, was, torture, (NOT!).  The couple with whom we double dated was the most beautiful couple in the whole school.  True. And they were not only beautiful, they were incredibly kind and humble.  I think every girl in school, and possibly every girl in the county, was in lust with that beautiful guy.  As a freshman girl, I was tolerated by the seniors because of whom I dated, but truthfully they didn't want a young thing hanging out with them.  And because I was dating a senior, I didn't really fit in with the freshmen class either.   

So when the newspaper asked if anyone had a wish...I knew I didn't have anything to lose.  I just never expected my wish to be granted.  

On Friday, December 18, 1978, I received my first letter from my secret admirer.  Every letter of my name and address had been individually stamped on the plain white, letter-sized envelope.  When I opened the envelope, a letter and a playing card were tucked inside.  

Hand-written in all capitals was this message:  



It was signed with a design he created.  

I held the Jack of Hearts playing card in my hand as I read it over and over.  

Was this for real?  

My friends, it was.  The original playing card is pictured above.  This fall I hope I can find the right words to share the rest of this story.  Several of you may know this mystery person who touched my heart.  I hope you will respect his privacy and that of his family.  If you ask me, it is likely that I won't answer your questions.  When the story warrants it, I'll share.  

~Lisa Kroll, story teller, memory cherish-er, searcher - hoping to awaken my loving spirit once again so I can remember how to be loved 

More history about the students of Boone Grove back in 1978:  The senior guys of that year formed a non-school club which they called the BGRC.  That stood for the Boone Grove Rifle Club.  All the boys in this club came from farming families.  To my knowledge, there were no rifles involved, but it is possible they were familiar with rifles.  This group did get together and did cause trouble, but they were a group of fun-loving trouble makers.  As an example:  One time they commandeered all the flags and rakes from the golf course that I lived on...and then they showed up at my house!  My parents laughed, and my mom even drove the "escape" vehicle for them.  My parents were volunteer emergency responders in the community, so we had a police scanner in the house.  We knew the police were looking for the BGRC.  Mom made the boys deposit all the flags and rakes on one of the golf course greens, before letting all 13 of them pile into the back of our pick up truck.  She drove them out of our gated neighborhood to safety.   

My class of boys admired the BGRC, and after the original group graduated from school in 1979, they were bequeathed the name, and a new group was formed - the BGRC 2.  I think the original group was more mischievous than their prodigy.  And again...NO GUNS were ever part of the group activities, to my knowledge.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shh....it's a secret

Last year I joined a secret club and I didn't even know it.

This club is filled with mostly women, but is not exclusive. Men are in this club, but the women are really the leaders.  Sorry, not sorry guys.  It might be the mom-gene in us.  Even those that do not have children have that gene and it cannot help oozing out in this group setting.

This club has the most supportive people in it I have ever met.  They hug.  They smile.  They listen.  They offer advice, if needed.  They laugh and see the humor in just about everything.  They allow you to cry, and never ever make you feel poorly about doing so. They also will help celebrate your milestones, birthdays, holidays, successes or missed attempts.  They are ALWAYS up to being taste testers...if you try a new recipe.  And I have witnessed them sacrifice themselves if someone happens to have too much...say cake...at home and needs it to disappear but just can't toss a perfectly good food item in the trash.  If you need to put on your You Are In Deep Trouble voice, they silently give those on the receiving end of your voice The Eye.  You know, the eye that without words says...'you did it now, pushed the envelope, didn't you?'

They will clear their evening schedules if you need someone to get a pedicure with, share a glass of wine or go play trivia.  They will be instantaneous exercise buddies, who will spend 30 minutes walking and talking, after having worked a full day.

They share...ideas, information and funny things that they see or hear. They share their families too...this club doesn't start and stop when you walk through the door.  In fact, it stretches through out the community, and farther.  I am hesitant to say through out the state and the country only because I haven't felt that yet.  But I suspect it does.

They are always willing to learn and try something new: cutting edge souls.  If you can't quite figure something out, they help and you won't feel silly needing and receiving their help.  They will even check on you later to see how things went.

They text.  A lot.  Which is pretty great.  You don't ever have to feel alone in this secret club.  This past Friday night,  I received a text thread that sparked over 40 messages in less than 20 minutes.  I lay exhausted on my couch, barely able to lift my phone after completing my first full week of the school year.  I'm not complaining.  That thread would have had my thoughts in it too, had I not fell asleep where I sat...it was just 8 pm.

I am blessed to be in this club.  I truly enjoy all the members.  They are deeply dedicated to what they do.  They inspire me daily, to add as best I can to the club.  

Society knows our school teachers (administrators and other staff included) are hard working individuals, but society really doesn't know the depth of how much passion runs through their veins.

~Lisa Kroll, 
     Just like Lilly...I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up!

Henkes, K. (1996) .  Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse .  New York :  Greenwillow Books

Saturday, August 13, 2016


The movie Inside Out reminds us that we need all our emotions to live life to its fullest.  
"Without Sadness, we cannot feel Joy."  

The past few years have allowed me to get back in touch with all of my emotions, and yet I have stubbornly still pushed one away.   

My creative side - expressed as Bing Bong?  Nope, he is always nearby.  I am a creative soul. I create in my flower garden, in my kitchen and in my classroom  Really, in everything I do my creative juices can't help but ooze out.   

Fear - the nagging part of me that gets scared sometimes about what unknown is coming next?  Nope.  I do have fears, but I have learned that when I am fearful, that is a part of my subconscious telling me something is not right. I do not mind fear.  I am learning to trust my instincts.  I am a smart person who can rationalize, and work through her fears.  

Disgust - the part of my being that realized that this DID happen to her even when she thought it couldn't? Nope. I see I am not special when it comes to being given a pass in the Universe. I'm good with disgust. The experience of being disgusted, means I can now look at things from a different perspective, and be thankful for what is no longer in my life.  

Sadness - who shows herself as loneliness, tears, and or heavy heart?  I know this emotion intimately.  Reminding myself of the lesson in Inside Out, I feel I will have deeper Joy, due to all I have experienced. My life will be richer because of my sorrows.  Still, I visit sadness more than I like, and she can wear me out!  I really am ready for her to take a long, extended vacation.    

Joy - Personally, I think I rock Joy. She's the emotion I do best, and most often.  I would say she has always been my main emotion.  I know I've said it before, but when my dad died I realized that life was short, and 21 years later when my mom died, I realized it was one thing to say life is short and another to start living like it is.  I enjoy finding the positive in all that surrounds me.  

Anger - He is the emotion I have struggled to embrace.  I just don't do anger.  I don't feel like I was ever really allowed to do anger either.  If I got upset, it was pointed that I was wrong to feel the way I did.  Maybe when my dad died, it colored my thought process.  So, I have been trying to work through admitting my anger and moving forward in my life.  I am quick to acknowledge when I am disappointed, but I won't say when I am angry. 

If I am honest, I AM angry.  I was supposed to have a partner with whom I could grow old, and spend the golden years...wasn't that what we were working towards?  I am pissed that I do not have someone I can travel with to the wonders I hoped we'd see.  I no longer have a companion with whom to attend birthday celebrations, weddings, graduations, galas, etc.  I no longer have someone who can help manage the house and it's list of chores.  I no longer have someone I can tell my secrets: the good, the bad and the ugly.  I lost the person who loved my quirkiness. I no longer have someone to share my evenings with, to go out and see that new movie with, no one to take me out to dinner, and no one to share my bed and cuddle with on cold, stormy nights.  In short, I am angry that I lost my best friend.  Can I find someone new?  Possibly.  Probably.  But I feel cheated.  He knew my faults and I knew his.  And I thought we loved one another despite it all.  Thick and thin.  I thought we were in it for the long haul. 'Til death do us part.  Through my anger though, I realize he is no longer the best friend I want.  

However, lately I've been pissed that my partner, who was supposed to be with me when our children gave us grandchildren to love, is no longer there.  That might be my biggest hurt I am working through right now.  I went to breakfast with a friend whose oldest child recently had her first baby; the first grandchild.  I'm not sure I kept my envy at bay.  I am so happy for my friend, that she is now able to provide child care for her grand baby.  But I hurt.  And it's a deep hurt. No matter what, I will not, ever, be able to offer that to my children.  Never.  I suppose it's good thing that my children are not at a point where they are ready to have children of their own.  When they do, I'll host sleep overs, and 'summer' camp with grandma. But I cannot dream to help my children as my friend is able to help her child.  As I said, it's a deep hurt.   

So, I am angry.  My anger gets masked by sadness, and then my fears rise up, and then I have a lack of confidence.  It is a vicious cycle.  I've read that a grieving person needs to go through all five stages of grief, in their own order, in their own time frame, and sometimes over, and over, and over again until they can finally let go.  In my divorce support group, I was told you need to give yourself one year of grieving for every five you were married.  

When I think like that, my fears rise.  I'm not getting any younger you know.  I am learning that one cannot rush what the universe has in store for her.  So right now, I need to just be kind and understanding to myself.  I need to give myself time.  I need to focus on what I have.  

I am putting my angers here so I can let them go.  I am disappointed, but I really want to believe that the Universe has something even better in store for me.  

I am healing.  I no longer feel as fearful, as I did two years ago.  I am not as disgusted, as I once was.  My sad times do not last as long as they did, and my joy does seem to be growing.  So anger, it's time for you to be felt, it's time for you to be acknowledged, and it's time for you to be turned loose.  

~Lisa Kroll, roller coaster rider, Universe believer, and creative soul who still wears a smile, despite what life throws her way...while continuing to eat, pray and love.  

Can you identify your emotions?  

tonight's blogging music:  Of Monsters and Men, their My Head is an Animal (2012) and Beneath the Skin - Deluxe Release (2015) CD's

Saturday, July 23, 2016

When Truman Stepped Through the Door...Everyone Paid the Price

In the movie The Truman Show, there is a point where Truman realizes that all around him has been staged.  He realizes that he has not been allowed to truly be himself. Society has been controlling his life.  With all the flair of the movies, Truman Burbank punches through the side of his fake world and finds a set of stairs with an exit door to the outside world.  He must decide, does he move forward or stay put?  No matter what he decides, from this point forward, life for all who crossed his life path will change... forever. 

Relationships end, and unfortunately that is part of life.  With a divorce, the collateral damage is more than one would expect. 

I was not an idiot in raising my children.  I realized that many more people get divorced now, as compared to when I was a youngster.  I raised my children in an induced Utopian world: to only have friends who were in solid families.  The old me defined "solid families" to mean their friends had two parents, who were together for the long haul.  My thought process was, if I could give my children a good example with my marriage, and fill their lives with other positive role models, they could potentially escape the realities of the really world.  Consequently, my children knew other kids whose parents were divorced, but they didn't grow up with those kids as close companions.  Off the top of my head, I can think of only two of my son's friends whose parents were divorced by the time my kiddos were in high school.  Mostly, my kids had friends who had intact families with parents who were always active in their lives.  Unconsciously I sought out friendships with others who were married only.  I did try to make a point of surrounding my own children with what I considered to be positive role models, as any caring parent might do.  Right or wrong, I grew up in an intact family, and I wanted the same for my children and the future generations of my family who might follow.  

Enter the Big D. 
FACT: Divorce hurts all who were brought together by the bond of marriage.

Collateral Damage in my divorce:  Two young adult children.  My definition of a young adult (YA) is someone who is over the age of 18. There was also my ex's mom (my MIL), various siblings, and extended family. I'm only focusing on my young adults, as they are connected by blood and I have personal experience with them.  

Studies have shown, when children are YAs, and their parents divorce, the YAs are more devastated than had the parents divorced when the children were younger.  I firmly believe this to be true.  As I have struggled with my own grief, my children have had their own problems to solve. I have been unable to focus on them.  I do think about my children and what they might be experiencing, but I cannot help them work through what they need to work through.  

I speculate, these might be a sampling of questions my YAs have asked themselves since May of 2013: 
     Are their memories real?
     Was their youth all a farce? 
     Were they the reason that an unhappy person stayed? 
     As adults, can they trust someone now to stay with them, should they find a soulmate?  
     What do they need to do to have a healthy relationship?  
     What does a healthy relationship look like?
     How do holidays work? 
     Where is home?   
     How can they stay out of the emotional battlefield? 

I know I haven't made it easy on my YAs.  Try as I might to keep my opinions bottled up inside of me, I exploded now and again. Less now then in the past, but I did unload from time to time.  To my children, I truly am sorry.  Please remember, I am human. I am not perfect.  But I DO love you with my whole heart.  

I hope my children never have to know hurt as I have.  My children deserve to have their own relationships with their father, just as they are forming their own relationships with me.  I have never wanted, or expected them to pick sides.  That's not right, nor is it fair.  As I raised my children, I never imagined they'd even think there would be a side to pick. 


It's been 31 years since my father died...June 20, 1985.  THAT was a devastating time in my life.  I remember emotionally breaking with his death, and wondering if I would ever heal.   I realized he was my father, and not my soul mate.  My parents were married for 23 years when he died.  I watched my mom, one incredibly strong woman, crumble to her knees but eventually rise again.   After dad died, my brother and I were there for one another, and for our mom.  I often discount my sister, but I don't mean to do that.  She was five when our dad died.  I know that she, along with therapy, were the reasons  mom was able to go on living.  Individually, and together, the four of us did heal.  It took a long time, and a lot of outside support, but we did work through that loss.  What helped me the most was that we were able to talk about missing dad, about the life we knew, and about what we had experienced together.  

With a death, the good memories are shared over, and over, and over.  That is not how it is with a divorce.  My children and I do not talk about what happened.  We cannot.  Honestly, the good memories that I have from my 28 year marriage, I question.  How can I not?...I didn't see our end coming initially.

Life has a way of happening the way it needs to though.  A close friend recently told me, as she listened to me spill my thoughts, that surely I knew what I did during my married years was really, really good.  She reminded me of my visible accomplishments...my children, and the adults they have become.  She commented on how much I was able to give them over the years.  She went on to say, something that I really all ready know, my ex wasn't growing with me, and he can't give me what I now need.  

Truman Burbank stepped through the door, putting his feet into an unknown world and said, "In case I don't see you...good afternoon, good evening and good night."  I imagine he had a lot of self discovery to do.   

Unlike Truman, I do not feel society was controlling my life before I stepped through my exit door and entered this new stage. I know I am in a time of self discovery.  I am continuing to learn who I am, what I enjoy, what I need, and what I want in life.    

~Lisa Kroll, student of life, who is starting to possibly enjoy the ride.  


Research/Interesting Reads:  


Sunday, June 26, 2016


Part of the healing process is forgiveness. 

I am working on forgiving so I can love and respect myself, and then move forward. 

New relationships are not being given a fair chance of working while I am in this stage. I have written so much over the past month, but so little have I posted. 
As I edit my writings I realize the emotions are strong and I am evolving, even a day after I pen my words. I hope that means I am growing. I would like to post recent writings because I do think they have value, but if I do, when I do, my readers need to know I am not the same person.