...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Old Music...Person B's Perspective: How Divorce Effects the Entire Family

There are some tasks that we just never take time to complete.  
Tasks that we think, some day I'll get to that.  

Christmas Night, 2015
I had my house all to myself.  

Divorce changes the holidays.  
I am no longer part of my in-laws celebrations.  Ties have been cut.  I am told that I will always be part of the family, but quite honestly, that's not true.  I have been set free.  If I am allowed to celebrate, it is at a separate time.  
New traditions? 

My Christmas stocking no longer hangs on the fireplace at the house next door.  
No longer will I be asked to contribute to making food for the feast.  
Touches of me remain however.  Ornaments I made by hand are still put up on the tree.  Decorations I purchased sit around the room.  But physically, I am not there.  I sit next door.  Alone.  Contemplating my solitude.  
I am good.  And I AM mentally good.  

In a divorce the couple, whose marriage is ending, must process the changes.  Usually one of those two people (person A) is farther along in the process.  They are typically the person who files and hands the other person (person B) their dismal papers.  Consequently, person B may be at a disadvantage, they need to catch up with the emotions that spill out.  Maybe they were blindsided.  Maybe they assumed what was happening was just a normal part of a long time marriage, as children age and leave the nest. 

Regardless, the emotional playing field is not equal.   There are five stages of grief that, even in the death of a marriage, person B must go through.  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  

Having experienced the great loss of holding my mom's hand as she took her last breath after her seven month battle with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), stage four brain cancer, I am well aware of these stages.  These stages do not necessarily come and visit in a set order.  Nor do they visit just once and leave.  

I am hoping that I am nearing the stage of Acceptance.  My ex has certainly moved on.  I hear he's applied for a marriage license, just six months after our divorce, and he's buying a nice big house for his new "family".  I've also heard he has been telling others that he socked away money while we were married.  Hmm.  What a catch!  

The Anger Stage.  I have recently been visiting here again.  I'm not angry with what I am going through.  Quite the opposite.  In fact, I am grateful for the me that I have allowed to surface again.  I really like me.  I won't brag, but I have found there isn't anything I can't do when I put my mind to it.  I have also discovered the vast number of friends I have.  In the "olden days", I was told I called too many people my friend.  HAHAHAHA!!!!!  Never!  Oh, I still have moments when loneliness strikes.  Being alone is easy, being lonely, not so much.  No holding this girl down though.  I was reminded at Christmas with this Superwoman key chain gift.  

I am in the Anger stage for my children.  I feel my children are being discarded.  They no longer offer any thing person A can use, or benefit from.  They are adults.  No longer are they cute little children who turn to their parents for every little thing.  No longer do they laugh at all jokes.  No longer do they put their parents up on the pedestals that young children do.  They cannot be told 'go to bed', 'be home by...', 'No', 'because I said so", etc.  They are ready to move forward and be their own people, as they should.  They have opinions.  They question.  They have started to experience life.  

What I know... is that children, no matter how old, need to believe the best in their parents.  They want to be loved.  They want to know they can count on their parents/guardians/grandparents for unconditional love.

Divorce causes children to be forced to experience the stages of grief as well. I wish I could protect my children from this.  I have not been able to step aside in this process and ask them how they are doing.  I just haven't been able to be that strong.  I was broken myself.  Maybe now as I am feeling Acceptance upon me, I am able to see what my own two children have had to deal with.  I am so sorry for them.  Everything they believed about their childhood has been pulled out from under them. The foundation they once thought was so strong has been shattered.  All I can offer them is my love, my acceptance and my unconditional love.  

By the forward relationships they have with person A and person B, they get to continue to form their own opinions.  They get to discover truths on their own.  Life is made up of constant change.  How we handle that change defines us as individuals.  

Last night (Christmas night) I meant to blog.  Instead, I did one of those tasks I would someday get to...I listened to all the unnamed tracks on my iTunes list.  A simple little job, but one my precious time is never allowed to get to.  All tracks have been named!  My discovery?  I have a nice collection of Madonna's music.  

So tonight, I am one strong woman listening to another strong woman, knowing I helped create two strong children.  My children are the best parts of both of their parents.  Of course I'm positive they have 51% of their mom in them.  

~Lisa Scubelek-Kroll

blogging music tonight:  All Madonna...Vogue, Cherish, Crazy For You, Justify My Love, La Isla Bonita, Like a Prayer, Like a Virgin, Live to Tell, Material Girl, Open Your Heart, Papa Don't Preach, Express Yourself

Sunday, December 06, 2015

...Worth a Thousand POSITIVE Words???

My first attempt at a bathroom selfie,
at Assembly Hall tonight.
I was told duck lips were the 'in' thing.
In the world of online dating, 
there should be rules, 
for posting pictures on one's profile.  

THIS is NOT worth a thousand words.  --->

At least not positive ones.  

Do guys (and yes, I'm being one-sided) really post pictures like this you ask?  My answer is yes.  More often than you can imagine.  

Although I have considered being an online dating profile editor and helping others polish their writing, then help them choose the best pictures, my true passion remains teaching.  I will stick to my passion, and just offer my suggestions in the hope they get into the needed, proper hands.  Friends, don't let friends post a profile without help! The dating world is a harsh place to visit.  

My dating site picture posting suggestions for men (and women, if these picture types are on your profile).  

  • Profile pictures should flatter you!  
  • Smile...I'd like to assume you are a happy person.
  • Have a friend snap your picture with your phone.  Professional photos are discouraged...you seem like a diva if you go professional.  Remember, dating sites aren't LinkedIn.  
  • Do not post blurry pictures.  REPEAT:  DO NOT POST BLURRY PICTURES. Stop and get off the treadmill, I get that you work out. 
  • Check the lighting.  Outside pictures, taken during the daylight hours work the best. Dark photos are not mysterious.  I wonder what you are hiding.    
  • Put your clothes on and button your shirt. Beach pictures...I don't really want to see you in a speedo.  Especially that one of your backside as you are getting into the pool...wait, maybe I'm not who you are interested in finding. (Someone else might be into this photo, I get that.)  
  • Post current pictures.  Show me later what you looked like in high school.  I'm not really curious about what I missed out on.  Old photos make me feel that you still live in the past.  
  • Don't post pictures of your car/motorcycle. Clearly YOU care about your vehicle,  but I really don't, and I can tell it's going to rate higher in importance to you than I will.  Or else I'll think you are trying to impress me with your wealth, and then I'll just figure you are shallow.  
  • Get out of your car to take a selfie.  
  • Please post more than one picture of yourself, especially if your one picture is of you with friends of the same sex.  Which one are you???
  • Pictures with members of the opposite sex...please add a caption.  Who are those two women you are hugging???   

Bathroom selfies need their own entire paragraph.  

  • DO NOT EVER TAKE YOUR PICTURE IN A BATHROOM!!!  I don't care if it's in your bathroom.  Learn how to click the little icon to turn your camera around, extend your arm and click.  Public bathroom selfies make me laugh, and then wonder, what kind of a person is comfortable enough to take their picture in a public bathroom.  Do they walk in and say to themselves, "Darn, I look great! I need a picture for my profile." Snap!  

Now, my above selfie was set up because I had challenged a friend.  He and I were to send each other ridiculous bathroom selfies today.    

The rules were: 

  • take a picture in a public bathroom 
  • in front of the mirror
  • your phone needs to be in the picture
My friend had a great picture he sent me.  Granted he was dressed for a skit he was in for church, but he totally rocked the bathroom selfie contest today!  I was jealous, so I smack talked and told him I couldn't see the johns in his picture.  He suggested I do duck lips, he said a lot of girls think they look more sexy this way.  I reminded him I wasn't 25, but decided I'd try it.  I did not feel more sexy.  And I learned that it's really hard to take a selfie in a public bathroom!  Maybe I should try a less populated bathroom.  I can try the bathroom at my regular blogging spot next week.  I'm also thinking of starting a hash tag Instagram or Twitter thing.... #selfievanityproject...let the bathroom selfie posting begin.    

It could go vial, and that could be ridiculously fun to watch. I am up for having fun posting bathroom selfies.    

~Lisa Kroll

Tonight's music inspirations:  Straight No Chaser's Christmas music. All of their Christmas music, but particularly, Text Me Merry Christmas, featuring Kristen Bell.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Art of Growing....Lessons From a Kitten

Aging is something that happens, and yet there is an art to doing it gracefully.  

I am watching my kitten go through the stages of growing.  He started life as a very, seemingly, helpless creature. The cards were stacked against him, and yet there were basic things he could do and did.  Things that just come naturally.  

At first, he just needed to get comfortable on his feet.  He could seek out food, water and his liter box.  To accommodate his little legs, I placed a short box in between the two larger cat boxes I own.  The day I noticed him in the large cat box, I snapped a picture and sent it to my sister.  I was a proud kitty parent.  True story...but I won't post that picture.  

Pouncing was his next stage.  Just like an 18 month old child, who hides his eyes and thinks you cannot see him, Berlioz's little ears will stick up, as he crouches down just as far as he can go.  With eyes out of sight, his hind end wiggles, and then comes the pounce. I am amazed at how quickly Berlioz has transitioned from pouncing to teething, and climbing.  

I have a cat tower and Berlioz is a daredevil. I could easily waste hours watching his antics, expecting him to tumble off at any moment.  Through all his play he is learning.  

Leaping seems to be his upcoming stage.  His legs are becoming more lanky and his body is growing longer.  

I know that there will come a point when I believe Berlioz will stop growing, but I know he will not stop aging.  

How does all this relate to me?  I am still growing...aging.  Just when I think I have life all figured out, I realize I do not.  Even that is progress.  I love having my own place.  I love being able to decide what I want to do, with whom and when.  I am learning as I age, I need to fill my time with activities where I am surrounded by others.  I am a social being, and I think that is a very, human characteristic.  

Just as Berlioz is growing, I am too.  He needs to practice his new skills and so do I.  I think as humans, we do not want to be rejected, so we may be apprehensive to take risks.  I know this is true for me.  My internal battle hinges on Saturdays.  In order to keep from being rejected, and yet have the human interactions for which I long, I head out of my house to blog.  Am I hiding in plain sight?  Can you see my eyes?  (I promise to only wiggle my hind end when I'm dancing!)  I do want to pounce on life.  I will keep practicing, but I'm not really sure how to move forward right now.  The ledge of rejection is narrow and I do not want to risk being hurt over and over.  I admire those who are willing to walk on that ledge.  I think I need to go home and watch Berlioz a little more.  Then, I need to  throw my whole heart and soul into my practice.  

~Lisa Kroll

Blogging music tonight:  Ed Sheeran, of course.  
Please feel free to recommend another artist to me.  
I do enjoy my wordsmith though.  :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All Hail, the Queen...

The Queen

Away from home.  Alone.  Living life.  Learning.
Meeting new people.  Hearing stories of survival, healing and moving forward.  Witnessing a surprise.  Listening to my favorite music.  Solving car problems.  Smiling and saying hello to strangers...wondering what's their story.  Walking around a former familiar city.  Thinking.

So much strength.  I don't even realize what's inside of me.  The above is just from this last weekend.

In the past few weeks, I have felt very cynical.  It's not been a good feeling for me.  I don't wear it well.  I am a happy person.  But, I have felt that love is not something that will be a part of my life anymore.  Let me clarify...

I realize that love shows itself in many ways.

My students show me daily with their smiles, hugs, notes, and words that they love me.  Winston, Lily and Berlioz show me as well.  Winston nudges me with his head, but I think he might think I've forgotten he's my boy!  He barks to protect me, and tell me when I need to be on alert. Lily...well, maybe not Lily.  She's still upset that I brought a kitten home.  Berlioz, oh my...  He snuggles at night.  When I wake, he takes his little kitten nose, places it under mine and pushes before he gives me a little kitty kiss.  I am totally smitten with this kitten.  My son fixes me gourmet meals now and again (need to work on him doing all the dishes though).  He also shares his time with me, which I savor.  My daughter snapchats, and face times me now that she's away.  My friends check up on me with phone calls, texts and notes in the mail.  My sister is always there too, no matter when.

What I feel I'm missing...is really right in front of me.  Still, I long for that one person, with whom I can share things, good and bad.  Really I am blessed because I don't have just one person.  Sometimes that's hard to remember.  Mentally, my mind hasn't caught up with my reality.  I am truly happier now.  I am still discovering who I am, what I like, and am embracing me.  Not all can do that.  Learning to love oneself is incredibly hard to do.

It's been said that we are our harshest critics.  I know that to be true.  Moments of weakness happen when I am tired.  Loneliness can creep into to the tiniest of spaces in one's heart.

I am trying to learn to trust again, and to trust myself, trust my judgements.  For the past three months, I have been taking West Coast Swing dance lessons.  It's important when dancing to be able to have trust in your partner. The realization that I haven't trusted others for a long time now has become obvious in my dancing.  Dancing is a good way to practice trust.  It helps to do it among friends.  Friends will allow you to lean on them, and they won't let you fall.

Trusting myself is an even harder thing to do than trusting another...hence, All Hail the Queen.  The next thing I have started working on is trusting myself.  I am working on learning how to trust my instincts, my judgements.  How to not settle for just feeling comfortable.  How to not give up ANYTHING I enjoy.

In my classroom, I am the Queen.
In my house, I am the Queen.
In my world, I need to become the Queen as well.  No settling.

I've been the step-sister...cooking, cleaning, doing laundry.  No more.

On the dating sites, a common question is, "What are you looking for?"  Fair question.

What am I looking for?

Well, as I am the Queen, I am looking for a partner to share my throne.
I can do it all alone.
I am strong.
I do ROAR.

I'd like a King who can handle a confident lady by his side.

Sometimes he'll need to let me be in the driver's seat,
while at the same time understand he's dealing with a hopeless romantic.

~Lisa Kroll

blogging music:  Ed Sheehan, again.  "Let it Out", "Homeless", "Lately", "You"

                            Katy Perry, again.  "Roar", "Love Me"

Friday, October 16, 2015

Berlioz...Elsa...and Snow White

I am stepping away from my usual blog posting material.  
Tonight I am supporting a cause.  
If you know me, then you know I am a Disney junkie.  

I identify with Elsa and the whole frozen heart thing.  I am the older sister, have the name L'sa (sans "i" you'll note), love snowflakes, have been known to sing "Let It Go" at the top of my lungs...in public, etc.  

What you might not know it that my inner soul is more like Snow White.  I have always felt Snow was the Disney animal lover.  Snow finds the good in all.  I'd like to think I do the same.  Before Elsa, I felt completely aligned with Snow White.  I think I must be a blend of the two of them.  Tonight, my Snow White side is going to appeal to all my friends and readers.  Please help if you can.  I just started a GoFundMe account for a little kitten that I am calling Berlioz.  Berlioz, after the little black kitten in The Aristocats.  Did I mention I'm a Disney junkie???  :) My daughter, who is doing an internship at Disney World, was actually the one who came up with the name.  It's absolutely perfect!  Donate HERE: Berlioz.


Here is Berlioz's story.  

Yesterday, my sister found this babe as she arrived at her photography studio in South Bend, IN.  She approached him, and he was very skittish.  Still, he allows her to pick him up and cuddled as she wrapped him in a towel.  He was scared and snuggled behind her computer as she worked.  After working for a bit, she found him snoozing in the cords of her computer, he craved the heat the cords offered.  

She sent me this photo to start my day...

...she merely said, "Look what I found."  My response..."Crap."

My sister and I are truly two peas.  We can't walk away from a lost or injured animal.  During the day the next message I received said,  "Your cat is purring."  
Later it was, "Your niece is cuddling your new babe." 
Finally she said, "I'm taking YOUR cat to the vet at 5."

My cat.  

I all ready have a cat...and a dog.  Lily, the cat, is 13 years old.  We adopted her when she was a kitten.  She's diabetic and has been since she was young.  I've given her insulin shots twice a day since 2006.  Twice a day!  When I go on vacation or away, even for a day, I need to make sure someone can help me.  Let me repeat that...insulin (which isn't cheap) shots twice a day, twelve hours apart, since 2006...nine years.  Technically, Lily is my daughter's cat.  Have I mentioned that my daughter has been in college and is currently in Florida for an internship at Disney???  I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say, 98% of the shots Lily has received in her lifetime have been administered by me.  

Then there is Winston, my pooch.  

His picture was in the paper back in November of 2009.  There was an article about adopting out old dogs to older people.  When I saw his picture, it was love at first sight.  I told my ex (I was married back then) that I wanted to go meet this dog.  My ex had told our daughter that IF we ever lived on the road we were currently living on, we could get a dog.  Once we moved on to the road, my ex's memory became faulty.  He claimed he had never said that.  He had.  He just didn't like responsibility.  lol.  Regardless, I went and saw W.  He was so sweet.  My ex went out of town that week and I told the shelter that although I loved W, I could not bring home a dog without everyone in the family 1) meeting him and 2) agreeing to care for him.  I did, however, fill out adoption papers.  They would hold him for me for 24 hours.  48 hours later I was able to bring my children in to meet W.  My ex happened to be coming back in from out of town and he met us there.  We were in one of the visiting rooms with W, when one of the shelter volunteers came and told me, his adoption has all ready been taken care of.  I asked what that meant...because I suspected someone else had adopted him.  I figured we weren't meant to be dog owners after all!  The volunteer told me that someone had come in and paid for his adoption fees anonymously.  He had a guardian angel!  Older dogs, and cats are least likely to be adopted at shelters.  Someone else had seen W's picture too in the newspaper.  They came in, met him, then paid his adoption fee so whomever wanted him could just take him home.  We had the money...but he was free...meant to be ours...meant to be mine.  Due to that random act of kindness, for several years after that, I made holiday, monetary donations to our shelter, especially for older adoptees.  

Winston came home with us that night.  The next day we left for Thanksgiving Break.  We traveled, by car to the east coast.  Fourteen hours.  Winston went with us!  It was amazing!  

Winston's story is unclear before I met him.  He was skin and bones (15 pounds under weight) when I adopted him.  The shelter's director felt he was dumped.  He was not neutered, and wore a nondescript hunting collar on his neck. The director of the shelter felt he had probably outlived his hunting usefulness.  She said it is common for hunters to feel their dogs are not as sharp once they reach six years old.  Winston was six. Although my schooling and new job keep me really busy today, and I feel a tad sad that I have sole responsibility for the household menagerie...I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.  W is my boy and I feel safe with him by my side. He is also about 13 years old.  

Winston has his own blog...but I haven't helped him with it in some time.  Opposable thumbs are to be valued.  Winston Speaks.  Maybe once Berlioz joins the clan W will have more to say.  

My sister spent $90.00 on "my cat"  last night.   Her vet checked him out.  He does not have feline leukemia.  Positive!  He appears to be a healthy babe.  Positive!  He does have  a shattered back leg.  It also looks as if he has road rash on his little face.  Both possible from having been tossed from a car.  :( Being a little, black cat, just before Halloween, has not helped him.  My sister, and I agree, if she takes him to the shelter, he'll probably be put down.  Neither of us are willing to allow that to happen.  

So you see, my inner Snow White is coming out.  I cannot let this little black kitten be lost.  My sister's heart is as big as mine, and it's possible it might be bigger.  She has three cats, a dog and three young children.  She needs to NOT take on this kitten.  But me...I am alone and am a nurturing soul too.  Clearly my furry kids have needed someone who has love to offer.  I can do that.  And my heart is big enough to support another furry kid.  Given all I've been through though over this past year, I just don't think I can pay a surgery bill of $1500.00.  On the GoFundMe site my goal is to raise $2000.00 for Berlioz.  I am anticipating meds, and incidentals will be needed after surgery.  

I am confident this campaign will be successful.  When we go over and above the desired goal, the additional moneys (after medical bills are paid) will go as a donation to the veterinary clinic who does the surgery.  Next, I will spend the rest of the funds by making donations to the South Bend animal shelter, and then to my local shelter and possibly even to my vet.  My sister's vet accepts donations for a fund that is used to offset costs for those who cannot afford large fees.  As an example, Berlioz needed to have X-rays as well as tests run.  His actual vet bill last night was over $300.00.  My sister's vet dipped into this other account to make up the difference.  It seems fitting that any extra money raised should also go towards something like this as well.  

So, friends, please help.  If you can donate even a little to help this cause, please consider it.  If you cannot donate, but know someone who might be moved to help, then please share my blog or the GoFundMe link.  Here it is again:  Berlioz: GoFundMe.  

Tonight ...I've been listening to music from The Aristocats via Spotify.  

As always, thank you for sharing my life adventures.  

~Lisa Kroll

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Traveling with a Calvin Klein Model

Tomorrow I will head out on an adventure.  My grown son is traveling with me on a trip.  

Where does time go?  It seems that it was just the other day when he was a youngster.  He's twenty-three now.  We've traveled  many places together, but it's been a long time since our last mom/kids adventure.  I think the last big trip I had with my son was when he was 15 and we went to San Diego.  The three of us, my son, daughter and myself, explored one of my favorite cities.  I have been to San Diego many times.  I had always wanted to share it with my children.  One spring break, I had the opportunity.  I took them to the famous San Diego Zoo, Coronado, Point Loma, the Harbor, one of the missions, La Jolla, and we drove to Los Angeles so I could take them to Disneyland.  

My children have had the opportunity to visit both U.S. Disney amusement areas.  Spoiled?  Possibly... probably.  Maybe I'm the spoiled one, I have been the one to share these experiences with them.  How wonderful is that?  

One family trip, as we were heading to Florida on an airplane, an attendant came up to my son and said another passenger had a question for him.  Was he a Calvin Klein model?  As a mother, that is NOT something one expects her child to be asked!  He might have been 17 at the time.  Certainly he would have been perfect CK model material.  Lanky.  Longer haired.  Stylish.  It might have been his messenger bag that was slung over his shoulder in such a way that said, I am Carefree.  I am Youth.  I am the Future.  

I wonder what awaits us on this next trip?  He has grown so much.  He has lived on his own for the past four years.  Shopped, cooked, cleaned, graduated from college, and traveled with his friends.  I'd like to take a little credit for the man he is becoming, but I know he's been the one in driver's seat.  I helped set the foundation and he's done the rest.  I can count on him to help without my telling him what to do.  It's amazing how these little ones we bring into the world grow in the blink of an eye.  They make us realize that time moves forward.  They remind us of our blessings.  They remind us that life is short.  

I will cherish my travels this week.  The two of us will be visiting my daughter, his sister.  I've been trying not to blink...she's growing up as well.  Amazing how that happens!  lol   She'll be the one showing us around her world and surroundings.  I don't want the week to go by too quickly, but I can't wait to blog again next week!  I'm sure I'll be sharing a ton of pictures this week on my other social media avenues.  

Tomorrow, I'll have my Calvin Klein model by my side...as we head to visit my Princess!  

~Lisa Kroll 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Daniel Craig is Staring at Me.

Honestly.  He is.  As I sit and ponder what words to type, his steel grey (yes, I know they are usually blue) eyes are piercing my subconscious.

I'm staring back.

He smiles.  So do I.  There is a little knowing smile on his face, mixed with a touch of mystic.  Dang, he's cute for a  youngster.  I wonder what his wife thinks of him smiling at other ladies?  Do I care? I do.  If it's just a friendly smile, than I think it is...fine.  But if it's more than that, ...drats.  I'm not someone who can share.

The hardest part of my being single right now is learning how to trust again.  I am so scared of being rejected.  I have been trying to stay detached.  Not allowing my feelings to enter into the mix of my life.  Unfortunately, they are not cooperating.

I am finding out that I want more than just looking at that pretty face on the magazine.  I am not that person who can separate her emotions from actions.  I want to be feel the connection that being open with another human allows.  Both physically and mentally.  It's not possible for me to have relations with a person and not let my soul be exposed.  But I know I haven't been single for that long.  I'm not looking to get married again.  I'm not even sure I know what I want, but I do know I want to be able to be honest and fully experience a relationship the way it should be experienced.  I want to be ready, but my mind isn't there yet.  The advice I get is go with the moment, have no expectations, just enjoy life.  I am.  But it's scary.  Am I meant to be alone forever?  I have plenty of friends.  What I mean is, I really exposed myself once in a relationship and was bitten.  Am I brave enough to be bitten twice?

If you are reading this and you are in a relationship, then think about this...how well does that person know you?  And what do they know about you?  What do you know about them?  Do they know your bad habits and they are with you anyway?  What kind of things do you talk about?  Random things?  Deep conversations? Things you've done together?  All that is gone for me.  My slate has been wiped clean.  It's so scary starting over.  I miss deep human contact.  Yet, I remain guarded. Maybe that's my mistake.

~Lisa Kroll 

Tonight's music:  Ed Sheeran, from his EP FIVE, disc 1, 2, and 3. 
Specifically these songs:  Cold Coffee, Let it Out, Sofa, Where We Land, So and Be Like You 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Reinventing Oneself

If Invent (verb) means to create or design, or to make up (an idea, name, story, etc.), especially so as to deceive.  Then Reinvent must mean to create, design, or make up again.  

I have been thinking about this lately.  As I listen to my new favorite artist, Ed Sheeran, singing from an older EP that I recently downloaded.  For those non-techies like me, an EP, Extended Play, is a musical recording that contains more than a single but less than an album.  

On this EP, there are several recordings of the same song.  Different versions, some live, some not.  Mostly I hear Ed's soul coming through once again.  He truly is a romantic wordsmith.  

As I listen to him singing I wonder, is he reinventing himself as he sings?  Or is he just refining what is all ready there?  Do people reinvent themselves?  And if they do, are reinventions really accurate perceptions or just more deception?  Still the 'man behind the curtain'?

Which brings me to me. 

Have I reinvented myself?  I don't think so.  I think what others are seeing is what has always been there.  I liken myself to a turtle.  I pulled my head in to protect myself, and now I feel safe to show myself the world.  I feel like the me that I am allowing to now show has just been waiting to be unveiled.  I feel I was waiting for the right moment to poke my head out from inside my shell.  Maybe I've transformed just a bit...as a caterpillar does when it goes into it's chrysalis.  Does it change or just refine what is all ready there on the inside? 

Sometimes we show ourselves in ways we think others want us to show ourselves.  Silly isn't it?  But typical in our society today.  

Jokingly I was asked recently, "You're so damn happy.  What's your problem?"  

The answer my friends, Life is Short.  

~Lisa Kroll 

Tonight's Music:  My recent purchase, and you can listen to the whole thing for free on Spotify!  Go to Spotify.com and search for Ed Sheeran, albums, 5.  

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Dating in the 21st Century, and Almost Being Over-the-Hill....

On June 20, 1985, 3:20 a.m. my dad died in his sleep.  In that instant, my mom became single and a single parent.  She had a five-year-old under her wing and two grown children, ages 19 and 21.

She had anticipated sharing her life with the man of her dreams.  They had plans.  They had love.  They had one another...through sickness, health, rich and poor times, etc.

Suddenly, she was alone.

I was as sensitive as any 21 year old, who had just met her love could be.  I now wish I had my current life experience hidden away in my pocket.  I didn't give my mom nearly enough time to mourn.  But, when it came time for her to move forward, she had my brother and me behind her.  We were her biggest fans and we gave her as much emotional support as we could.  We didn't want to see her unhappy.  She was too young, too joy filled, too vivacious, too happy of a soul to be alone for the rest of her life.  Simply put, she was an amazing lady.

Oh, history (sigh)...  Thanks for allowing me to learn from you.

After spending nearly two years working my butt off in graduate school, knowing that my marriage was over through it all, and feeling too young to be alone, not religious enough to join the convent (sorry Sister Frances!), and too social...I decided to try my hand at online dating.  

Think about it, how does a fifty-one-year-old let others know she has healed enough to want to get out in her community and date?  I was told I need to join organizations, be active in groups, follow my passions.  Where do all the single 50+ year old men hang out?  If they are in the bars, no thanks.  I don't mind a drink or two, but nightly...not for me.  On one's profile that means I am a "social drinker".

Who has time to, hold down a full-time job, take care of the pets that are now a responsibility, and keep a house uber clean since it's on the market?

Do you know how much courage it takes to go to events alone?  Going to a movie is different than going to say a gala event.  So, gala's are no longer part of my life.  Time for new adventures.  Going on walks alone has it's risks.  As does traveling.  I try to not be scared of this world, but I am cautious. Saturday nights I force myself to go out! I love my blogging nights. 

Enter the world of online dating with me.  This is what I've learned so far.

1) Pay $ and upgrade.
In order to thin out the better choices from the bad choices, one must spend a little money.  I recall as an undergraduate hearing one of my professors say TANSTAAFLE.
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch...totally applies.
Spend money to have the weeds pulled.

2)  Pictures.
Don't trust anyone who only posts one picture or no picture.  Or at least proceed with caution!  Yes, there are people who are in certain jobs whom need to not post their pictures, I get that.  They really should have another source they are comfortable with sharing...like Facebook!  Telling me you'll send me pictures if I'll give you my email or cell phone number....sorry, Charlie.

I did learn a lesson the hard way (no pun intended).  Someone decided to share his peacock with me without my asking. Skeptical it was really his.  If it was...well...I was not impressed.  He has been blocked. 

3) Meet in Public.
Guys of all age have one thing on their mind.  Maybe girls do as well.  Society today seems a little more promiscuous than I recall from my youth.  As independent as I am, I hope to be sought after.  Maybe even chased a little and made to feel wanted.  It seems that in today's world people don't have to try very hard to find someone who will go to bed.

4) Age.
Yes, it is just a number, but I am NOT interested in someone younger than me.  If you are under 30, definitely DO NOT contact me!  The flattery comes off as creepy.  I feel you might have mommy issues.  I don't want to take care of you!  Even if you are under 50, I'm probably not interested.  Someone my age has experienced the same world that I have.  They will have a past too.  I like that.  Our pasts make us richer souls.  We will have things to discuss.

I do have stories I could share, but not here.  Most of the men I chat with are kind, kind people.  I am looking for someone close to home.  Someone I can share my community with, hopefully this is his community too since I plan on staying put.  As a social person, I need my partner to be social as well.  I'm still learning who I am though and I am still new to this dating stuff.  I don't think people really go out any more.  I think so many people are looking for that person they used to have...just in a different form.  It might not be me they are looking for.  

I have moved forward.  I am NOT looking for the same person I had.  

My reminder this morning:    

I am working on being that magnet.

~Lisa Kroll 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

People Watching....

Ever find yourself with time to fill when you are out in public?  I don't travel often enough that I have free time to spare while in an airport, but what a great place to watch people.   Tonight I am at my blogging spot and I'm trying to decided what I'd like to write about.  Hmm...look at me...I'm looking at others.  I wonder what others think when they look at me.  

Here's a snippet of what I think might go on in their brains...
Look at that hair...OMG, does she ever comb it?  What a curly mess.  

Those glasses...wow...not a good look, she should try contacts.  

Who does her make up? or She needs make-up.   
That lipstick....not.  her.  color.  

Good Heavens...Are those real?  She should cover them up!

Where does she shop?  
How old does she think she is?  
That style...  

I think, as human beings, we scrutinize others to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.  I wish we wouldn't do that.  I know not everyone does. But look at all the reality shows that are on television these days.  We judge.  We feel our opinions of others matter, when really, they don't, and shouldn't.  

If something makes us feel good about ourselves, then we need to embrace that.  In that same line of thinking, I also believe we do things to ourselves because we think it will make others like us better.  We live in a society where we place too much emphasis and worry on what others might think.  

My hair...its naturally curly.  I love that is has a mind of it's own.  It took me a LONG time to come to terms with that.  I tried with all my might to straighten it when I was a teen. I spent too many years trying to tame the beast that is my hair.  Now, I love my crazy mess.  Do I comb it?  Upon occasion.  

My glasses...I used to wear contacts, but I can't any more.  At least I cannot for any length of time, and if I do, then I can't read.  I LOVE reading.  Giving up my contacts made my eyes healthier.  Fingerprints on glasses are annoying, but glasses are cool!  

My make-up...I love being mostly natural.  I like mascara and a little blush, and really, I love seeing myself in the mirror looking natural.  I want to be able to get caught in a rain storm and not feel the need to hide because my make-up (or my hair) has been compromised.  

Italian genes.  Yes, they are real.  I recall watching The Producers...I enjoyed Uma Thurman here: "When You've Got it, Flaunt It....enough said.  

In the past year, I have fallen in love with wearing dresses.  I shop wherever, and whenever I can.  I love Mulberry Cottage in Nashville, IN and Zulily online. 
Age is just a number, but I think I am the perfect age for me.  
I will wear what ever style makes me happy.  I LOVE flowers and patterns.  

I was born in the era of flower children.  I really would wear flowers in my hair every day if I could. Lace, flowers, bell style sleeves, etc. I feel less constrained these days.  I'm sure it has everything to do with gaining my independence.    

I try not to judge.  I wish more could live that way as well.  

~Lisa Kroll
Author's after note:  When out shopping today, I did see a very, purple Mohawk.  I'll admit my first thought was  - WOW, now THAT'S purple!  

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Tonight, as I was texting with my sister, we were discussing potholes.  

***A pothole is a type of failure in an asphalt pavement,[1] caused by the presence of water in the underlying soil structure and the presence of traffic passing over the affected area. Introduction of water to the underlying soil structure first weakens the supporting soil. Traffic then fatigues and breaks the poorly supported asphalt surface in the affected area. Continued traffic action ejects both asphalt and the underlying soil material to create a hole in the pavement. (Wikipedia, Potholes)

My sister and I were actually talking about driving into a pothole unexpectedly.  Some potholes cannot be avoided, nor can one avoid all potholes.  When we hit a pothole, we learn what to do to survive.  We take inventory of damage done, and then move forward.  

I've hit a few potholes in my life.  This morning I hit another.  My iCalendar is wonderful, except it reminded me of an event I really did not need reminding about. Hitting the pothole this morning made me stumble back into a place where I second guess myself.  I was all ready feeling a little cautious.  Feeling like I had been starting to exposing my inner self too much...sure my flaws are going to be seen.  Then I hit the pothole.  It shook my soul.  Made me feel like it was a cosmic reminder that I am not perfect.  It reminded me that someone once saw my flaws.  

Tonight however, I am growing through this pothole.  I am taking that cosmic reminder as a message that although I am not perfect, I am me, and that I am just fine as I am.  I am strong and I am capable.  I am consciously reminding myself that there are certain disorders where people project their own flaws onto others.  Empathetic souls, are willing to accept those flaws as their own. They take responsibility and try to make things right, or better.  I know today, I am only responsible for myself.  

As for my feelings of exposing my inner self too much...we cannot live life without risks.  Risks can lead to rewards.  Risks can make our life richer.  No apologies for who I am.  

~Lisa Kroll

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Let It Go!....The Launching of a Princess*....

*technically that should read "Let it Go!...The Launching of a 'Friend' of the Princesses"

Tomorrow my baby turns 21.  Wow!  Years go past so/too fast.  Don't blink friends, your children will grow up before you know it.  

My daughter is a stunning to the eye beauty - note: biased mother. 
As her mother, I am very proud of her.  I am excited for her future, and I am excited for her next adventure which starts very early on Monday morning.  

In January of this year, she told me she wanted to go to an audition for a college internship.  She asked if I would take her.  Through the many years of ballet, I took her to all but one of her auditions.  I'd like to think I was a rock for her, but that sounds presumptuous.  I did learn to read what she would need.  Snacks, photos, names, numbers, etc, but mostly just someone to take out her stress on or share her joy.  What ever was needed, I'd handle it.  After all, I am her mom.  

Her audition this time was over in Columbus, OH...five hours away.  My baby had her heart set on this.  I was in.  On the eve of her audition she was getting nervous and started feeling under the weather, was tired, etc.  Stress can do interesting things.  My daughter and I have always been hard on one another.  I love her so much, and unconditionally.  IMHO, stress makes her hostile towards others.  I know she loves me.  She has always needed to be able to release her stress, and know that I will still be there for her.  I will always be there.  No.  Matter.  What.  She was thinking of NOT going to this audition.  I drew the line...I was heading to Columbus the next morning at 5 a.m. and she could sleep in the van.  She could suck it up for a few hours, IF she really was sick.  

On Sunday, March 8th, the two of us headed to Columbus, OH.  On the way there she told me it could be a six hour audition.  I was skeptical.  No way was this going to be a six hour audition!  None of her auditions have ever been that long!  This was different.  We arrived at a fairly decent sized, but not super large, dance studio.  She was number 149 out of nearly 250 college-aged students who had arrived for this audition.  

The audition WAS six hours long.  It was an elimination, elimination, elimination audition.  Participants would audition and then wait to see if they made the cut.  I had been sitting in the front of the dance studio just listening.  Each time numbers were called, I had my head down.  I did not want to see her face IF she was dismissed.  My baby made it through six hours of learning dance routines.   She and I did NOT hear her number called.  

With a Dinglehopper after the audition.  

Her talent, paired with her beauty, led to body measurements being made, head shots and full body photos being taken.  She was thanked for her time and then told they'd be in touch.  

On Monday morning, my daughter leaves to start her four month college internship at Disney World.  Officially she will be a character performer.  I believe she is to be dancing in the parades.  She also will get to be "friends" with the princesses...Disney code won't let me say more.  As a Disney junkie...I am so excited!!!!!  

Guess where I will be heading in October on my fall break?  

My sister tells me that in a few years I can go to work at Disney World too.  She says I can be the Fairy Godmother!  LOL!  I could do that, and you know I'd love it.  :) 

Until then...I need to let my baby go.  

~Lisa Kroll

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Mike Dooley, Have you been in my woods? The Universe...

 Over the past two years, I have worked at being proactive in my life.  I have always been a joy-filled soul, but sometimes even joy-filled souls need a little boost.

  At 10:37 a.m. every single day, I get a message on my iPhone from an app called The Secret.  The Secret shares knowledge that is true, simple, practical and a reminder that we are daily responsible for the joy we bring into our lives.

  Not long ago, I subscribed to a free email notification called Notes from The Universe.  Inspirational words are sent to me via email on Monday through Friday.  I love it!  The story of The Universe Talks is here:  TUT.  Mike Dooley is there person behind the inspiration.

  Last week when I was walking Winston in the woods, I ran across these notes tucked against the base of several trees....

"You are figuring out how to have energy for what is important!"

"You have beautiful skills that will carry you in your life." 

"You have gained so much important perspective;
the hard times have not been for nothing."

"It hasn't been easy for a while now.  I know you are exhausted."  
"I believe you will find joy again.  I know it feels like a risk." 

"Your strength amazes me.  I know you have learned so much."
(I'm working on flipping this photo.)

"It's good that you've been doing what you need to to take care of yourself."  

" (Heart) You are important." 

"You have been doing the best you can."

"You have grown so much.  You are making changes not adapting."

Who wrote these?  Did you know I would see them and smile?  
Mike Dooley...are you visiting near by?  

Thank you, Universe.