Monday, December 31, 2012


or lack thereof...

the list of things i should do because i KNOW i will benefit from them is long
really, really long

like changing what i eat
 that's a big one and I know if i change my eating habits i will lose some weight and if i lose some weight i will have more energy and if i have more energy i won't be tired all the time and if i'm not tired all the time i will be more productive and if i am more productive my list of things to do won't be out of control and if my list of things to do is under control then i will feel less guilty and if i feel less guilty i will feel better about myself and if i feel better about my self then i will change my eating habits....

it's a merry go round spinning out of control and i can't make myself jump on

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

doing good

angels are everywhere and i don't mean the figures in white gowns with wings. i mean real people. people you don't know or maybe you do.

several years ago i was broke. the mortgage was due on the house me and my four kids lived in and i had no idea where the money was going to come from.

4 kids
working three jobs
too rich for food stamps
too poor to buy food

pay the mortgage or feed the kids

tough choice isn't it? i hope anyone who reads this NEVER has to make a decision like that

i have a friend that has been a part of my life since fourth grade. we were such an odd couple. she only had one brother and i loved going to her house because she had HER OWN ROOM! i had SEVEN siblings and shared a room with two if them. we both had a huge crush on David Cassidy and would pool our allowance each week and ride our bikes to Pokey's for green rivers, french fries and the latest Tiger Beat Magazine. good times.

over the years we hardly see each other. but when we do it's like time has never passed. we pick up right where we left off. ups and downs. getting married. having babies. divorce. children. mental health. i can talk to her about pretty much anything. one day after a conversation with her about trying to figure out how i was going to pay the bank i got this note in the mail.
and a check for the amount due the bank.

i cried.
a lot.
i have kept her note posted on my bulletin board and i try to pay it forward as often as possible.
thank you mary beth

Friday, November 23, 2012

50 shades of crazy

drugs to make you feel better
drugs to help you sleep
drugs to keep you from hurting yourself
drugs, drugs, drugs....

"but I don't want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.

let's talk about it
how do you feel?
why do you feel this way?
what can you do differently?

"oh, you can't help that," said the Cat

wanting to be normal
wanting to change
wanting to be like everyone else

"We're all mad here. I'm mad, You're mad."

no, i don't hear voices
i just don't care
i want to sleep - forever
just let me stay home - safe, secure, alone
i'm ok with that

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.


oh, my daughters, i get it
i know how much it hurts
how much it sucks to be numb

but i also know - deep down- how much i have to live for
how much i have to offer the world
even when my inner voice tells me i'm not good enough
or not worth it

-but- and there is ALWAYS a but-

"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

when will you get to that point too?
when will you see how many people really love you
and love you for who you are- not who you think they want you to be?
when will you see that it's ok to have bad days because good days can and WILL follow
when will you just accept this crazy life you've been given?
accept it and be
because giving in to the crazy hurts you and everyone around you
accept the help
use the tools you are given
and ASK when it's too much

"Do you think I've gone round the bend?"

"I'm afraid so.
You're mad, bonkers, completely off your head.
 But I'll tell you a secret.
All the best people are"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

what is this?

i have only had two serious panic attacks in my life and neither one of them were caused by any sort of traumatic experience. in fact they both happened on relatively normal days.
if you have ever had a panic attack let me tell you they are scary
you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest
and you can't breathe
and all sorts of weird thoughts go through your head
and with one i actually vomited

so lately i have been having these little panic episodes
these creep up on me first with fluttery heart beats
then the swirly thoughts come in
and i feel like i am detached from where i am
and finally i begin to self doubt
like- why am i teaching?  my art work is all crap.
who am i kidding? i don't know anything.....
and it goes on

and then all i want to do i crawl into a ball and do nothing
cuz if i do nothing then no one will be able to see that i
am an impostor.

where does this come from? everything was going so well
panic attack

Thursday, November 8, 2012

thanks kermit, i needed to hear that

Jim Henson KermitIf just one person believes in you,

Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you...

Hard enough, and long enough,

It stands to reason, that someone else will think

"If he can do it, I can do it."

Making it: two whole people, who believe in you

Deep enough, and strong enough,

Believe in you.

Hard enough and long enough

There's bound to be some other person who

Believes in making it a threesome,

Making it three.....

People you can say: believe in me.....

And if three whole people,

Why not -- four?

And if four whole people,

Why not--more, and

more, and


And when all those people,

Believe in you,

Deep enough, and strong enough,

Believe in you...

Hard enough, and long enough

It stands to reason that you yourself will

Start to see what everybody sees in


And maybe even you,

Can believe in you... too!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

lack of health insurance and i am so f#@king messed up

this weekend I am headed to Omaha to spend some time with my youngest daughter. she is in her third year at Creighton University. 
i feel guilty about it
- when my two oldest daughters were in college i rarely went to visit them.

money - i was struggling to keep a roof over our head and spending the money on gas made me nervous
fear - driving into places that i am not familiar with and i am not a confident driver in the first place
trust- i did not trust my van that i would make it safely to and from my destination
health insurance- i didn't have any and if anything happened to me we would be wiped out which takes me back to the money worry...

i lived with the uninsured ax hanging over my head for ten years. for ten years i worried about get sick, or in an accident. i wouldn't go to the doctor.  my family was one medical catastrophe away from being homeless every day.

may 2005-hey you get a FREE mammogram if you don't have insurance and since you are over 40 you really should do it it's pretty routine- " Laura, the doctor sees something can you come thing i know i am in a whirlwind of tests and appointments. one of the appointments was with the billing department of the hospital.

'how are you planning to pay for your procedure?'

'um, i don't know.' - i don't even know what "this" is. i have no idea what the test results are going to be and right now i can't even focus on how i am going to pay for it i am worried that if it's cancer how i am going to take care of my family ... when i left the office i was crying and scared and worried and when i got home i put on my brave face and told the kids this was just a routine follow up and not to worry...

when the kids were younger i didn't worry so much. i was brave and insured. we got lost driving to my sister's house once and i told them it was an adventure. when Carolyne was 2 we drove to Iowa City and spent the weekend with my younger sister. When Joshua was 3 he and I drove all over Western Iowa.and there were numerous trips to Aunt Sue's. but i was younger then.

and i had health insurance.
what about that time we drove to Colorado? same van, same money worries, same unknown territories- my older sister and brother -in- law were with us which gave me a sense of safety ( if anything bad happened they are both doctors) plus they offered to pay for the gas so we could go on the trip. (thank you for that)

so i am driving to Omaha this weekend. i am now equipped with a GPS. i have a very good reliable car. and money doesn't worry me anymore. i now have health insurance and i am anxious about the drive there. once i get there i will be fine. it's  the travel from here to there. i don't feel  as anxious traveling back home.

kelsey and carolyne- if you are reading this- i have health insurance now but i still can't get rid of the anxiety and fear from the years that i didn't have it. i don't trust it. i don't trust that if somehitng medically happened to me they ( the insurance company) would pay for it.

i am so f#@king messed up

Monday, September 3, 2012

my skin is too tight

and my head feels like exploding
and my room is too small
and my ankles don't like my feet
and my hair hurts
and my fingers refuse to listen to me
and my big toe itches
and nothing fits





and some days are just like that!

Monday, July 23, 2012

one day at a time

last night i was on top of the world with all these ideas and goals and today i don't want to be here and i don't want to do anything. is it the heat or is it depression creeping up on me? it's too hot to be depressed......

baby steps
break it down into manageable goals

yeah i know

i am leaving in twelve days for a vacation. driving to see my daughter and i'll be gone for 10 days. i should be excited - i am excited a little- i just can't get up the energy to get all the little things that need to get done before i day at a time

that's what i tell kelsey all the time. easy advice to give harder to take for yourself.

so today? i will follow my food program and i will do 30 minutes of exercise when i get home from work
beyond that i don't know

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

may 4th was the last time i posted. that's because since then i have not had anytime to myself and it's beginning to show. i pretty much haven't been home on a weekend since then. it's been pretty stressful to say the least.

not all stress is bad stress you know. some of it is good stress - like everything that has been happening has been good stuff. but after awhile stress is stress- good or bad- and it starts to pile up and wear you down.

so even though right now my life is totally awesome my depression is creeping in and grabbing me by the ankles.

good stress-
daughter graduating from college and moving home
son graduating from high school
acting in a play in a town 30 miles away over 3 consecutive weekends
directing a play here in town with a cast of 40 middle schoolers
teaching classes from 9:30 am - 4:00 monday - friday
purchasing a business
moving said business into your business
remodeling the studio to fit above business
finishing a 4 piece commission
sending youngest daughter to Ecuador for 3 weeks
(where there is spotty Internet and cell reception)
getting son ready to leave for college
(getting emotionally ready to send son to college)
oldest daughter turned 25


since may 4th my eczema has been out of control
i can't sleep
my appetite sucks
when i do eat it's junk
i am snapping at the people i love
i am crying- a lot
i am so tired i want to sleep for a hundred years but would settle for 20

august 3rd i am locking the door to the studio and driving out to new york to see my oldest daughter. i am looking forward to the down time. i am also worried about being closed for two weeks. but then i also realize that if i don't do something soon i'm going to break.

Friday, May 4, 2012

it's a dark day

even though the sun is shining and it is a perfect spring day.
dark days can happen at any time and strike.
on my deep dark days all i want to do is hide someplace. and cry.
what i wouldn't give to just cry, and cry and cry....

last week I saw the pelicans flying overhead (or scelipans as Carolyne would call them)
next weekend is Mother's Day
it's time to open up the cabin for summer
and i have a lot on my mind.

i really miss you mom. really, really

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

what kind of world you wish for?

that song just played on my radio and i thought-
what kind of world WOULD i wish for?

good question- and like many good questions where does one start with an answer?

so i thought about it for a bit and all i could think of was this:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” Gandhi

i wish the world would stop and think about what they are doing and the impact it has -

yeah- stop and think - that's is what i would wish for

Thursday, April 5, 2012

won't give up

i have been very taken with the new jason mraz single "i won't give up" pretty powerful lyrics and message

and it got me to thinking about life and where i am and who i am

i am a woman who will fight for what i believe in
i will speak out loud for a cause
i am not seeking fame or fortune or popularity
i will fight for my family - against cancer, against insurance companies, against injustice
i support my children when they think for themselves and make their own decisions even if i don't agree

our differences shouldn't tear us apart it should bring us closer together

and my family is more than the people i am related to
i'm your friend till the bitter end

i won't give up

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

it needs to be said

this was the status on a friend's facebook page today ...
Things that are hard to say but are entirely good to say:
pretty insightful for an 18 year old - and oh so wise

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

it's raining and i don't have an umbrella

some days i walk around with my own personal cloud hanging over my head and it's only raining on me.
and i don't want to do anything except stay in bed with the quilt up over my head
i can see a little patch of blue sky through the window and i can watch it for hours and hours
but it never gets closer to me
the sun is shining outside
but inside it's raining
and I don't have an umbrella

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

keeping it real

i read somewhere that sometimes things have to fall apart before they can fall together.
what i want to know is how often do they have to fall apart?
it seems to me that as soon as i get it all together something happens to rip it all apart.
then i have to reassemble the pieces and hope i can make them fit.
and sometimes they don't all fit together
and sometimes i have a piece left over

what do i do with it?

is it any wonder why i am angry, confused, worried, frustrated and sad?
i can't sleep
can't think
can't focus

i have so many questions and NO answers!

are you there god? it's me laura and we need to talk.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happiness is......

"I think I'm afraid to be happy, because whenever I get too happy, something bad always happens."--Charlie Brown

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the polyesters must die

I know it sounds harsh but there it is. I am a part of the blue jeans generation. I have been wearing Lee jeans for decades. Why? Because they fit! Finding the perfect fit for jeans is like finding the perfect bra.


These are VERY IMPORTANT.  So when you find a pair of jeans that meets all of these criteria you buy them. And you wear them until the literally fall apart. I have worn jeans that were held together with safety pins and patches because they were comfortable and they fit.
Jeans are like your best friend- you know that no matter what they will always be just what you need. So having a pair get to the unwearable stage can be pretty traumatic. I wasn't too worried because I had my trusty Lee jeans that fit just right every time -even new off the shelf. So when I had to retire two pairs recently because I couldn't fix them anymore I went to Penny's and picked up 2 new pairs. (Did I mention that I am short - like only 5' tall?) I have been buying my jeans at Penny's for years because they carry my size in short (which means a 29" inseam which is still 2" too long but I can deal with it because it's better than 6" too long)
So, fast forward a couple weeks. My new jeans are driving me nuts. It's a gradual thing. I'd put them on and they'd be OK but as the day wore on I'd start to get cranky and tense because my skin was too tight. Next day an old pair is next in the stack and I'd have a pretty good day. Maybe it's menopause and hot flashes. Another week goes by and I have washed, dried and folded my stack of jeans and the two pairs of new jeans are back to back. By the end of the second day of wearing the new jeans I want to rip someones head off while I am trying to rip off chunks of skin form my legs because they itch so bad.

First thing I do is go and check out the laundry soap. Hubs brought home the same brand I have been using for years- Arm and Hammer because I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to perfumes and dyes. Nope- same stuff. Something BAD is going on. meanwhile my legs look like I have some serious mysterious disease and I am CRABBY!

Finally I check my new jeans. PISSED! They changed the fiber content on me! 70% Cotton and 30% POLYESTER!!!!! (Insert unladylike 4 letter word here) I am allergic to polyester. I just spent $60 for two pairs of jeans that I can't wear. It never occured to me that my favorite blue jeans would chnage their fiber content. UGH!  I can't return them to Penny's- they've been washed and worn several times and I don't have my recipt! So I went to the Lee's website to see what I could find and they have a live chat feature on their website so you can get the perfect fit. I logged in and explained my problem to Marilyn. After a brief exchange Marilyn gave me the 800 customer service number. I called right away and MARILYN answered the phone. She was awesome and explained why they changed the fiber content. I told her about my problem with that and she graciously took down all my information- name address phone number- so she could call me back after she checked some of the 100% COTTON old stock they have to see if she could find me two pairs to replace the new ones I bought.   SHE IS SENDING ME TWO NEW PAIRS OUT TODAY!!!!! 100% COTTON!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


it's a funny word. sometimes i look at a word and then i really LOOK at it and it gets me to thinking....
which lead me to looking up "umbrella"

"Parasol" from "para" meaning to stop or to shield and "sol" meaning sun. The word "umbrella" evolved from the Latin "umbella" (an "umbel" is a flat-topped rounded flower) or "umbra", meaning "shaded."
thank you Wikipedia

an umbrella is supposed to shield you from the rain - or in the case of a parasol shade you from the sun


from the rain and the sun and sometimes it can be used as a means to protect you from a hostile situation

i like umbrellas. it's a cocoon of portable personal space. you can listen to the rain drops on top and see them drip off the sides. a parasol is the same way-you claim your own personal space of shade- like a bubble. and it's cozy there. yeah- umbrella

Saturday, January 21, 2012

roots and wings

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.  Hodding Carter

kelsey and i talked about this quote while she was in the hospital. as a mom i focused on giving my children a strong sense of family and home. home is where you can be yourself and know that you are loved no matter what. i have also given my children wings to fly - to look at life and say why not? to try new and different things and if they don't work and things get kind of weird you can always go back to your roots and re-group.

that doesn't mean you give up or quit trying -it just means you get to recharge your batteries. kelsey is fortunate she has a place to go home to where she can recharge. my parents died young. i can't go back to my roots and re-group or ask for advice or anything like that. it sucks.

i have people to talk to - but not like my parents. and i get well intentioned words from very good friends that i can always talk to them but they just answer in different ways. yeah i know that. BUT- it's not the same and some days there is no comfort in that AT.ALL. so instead of having roots i drift.

if mom were here right now i'd ask her how to help kelsey and her sibs process the past few weeks. how to get kelsey back on track. how to get josh to see beyond his insecurities about college and just try out for the speech/debate team. right now these two kids have their wings clipped because they are afraid to fly. biz - my not very brave but wonderfully charming biz is bound and determined to go to Ecuador as a volunteer for three weeks this summer. BY. HER. SELF. she won't know any of the other volunteers. this is huge for her. really huge. and carolyne is out there in the real world making her own decisions with out parental support for the first time. like buying a car and getting a loan all on her own. scary but -she is doing well.

baby birds don't fly unless you push them out of the nest. some just need a firmer nudge than others.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

i'd catch a grenade for you

a year and a half after i got out of the hospital i was able to wean myself off anti-depressant medication
we thought maybe this was a one time episode and things were pretty good for a few years.....
then my dad dies-and the darkness creeps in a little bit...slowly...gradually

that's how it happens- things get a little overcast and cloudy- and you get used to it

you get so used to it that you don't remember what you were like before

suicide - now there is a pretty scary word with lots of bad mojo - kelsey says they are called passive thoughts. i have had these thoughts for years. wishing  i would just disappear and all memory of me wiped from everyone who ever met me - or wishing that i would go to sleep one night and never wake up - or driving down the highway and just crossing the center line in front of a semi...that one scared me most of all because i could SEE myself doing it.

but i didn't do it.


Carolyne, Kelsey, Elizabeth and Joshua.
my children.
 my anchors.

i could not abandon them even when all i wanted to do was run far, far away.

watching kelsey struggle and work through her depressive episode i am watching her and wishing i could do it for her. take the pain for her so she could go back to that lively, engaging, sweet child i see glimpses of every now and again and i know how difficult it's going to get for her outside the lines

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

coming out

those of you who are close to me know what has been happening in my life the past few months. my daughter has fallen into the depression pit deeper than i have ever been. her pain was so intense she tried to end her life. thankfully it failed. how can i expect her to hold her head up high and keep going on with her life if i don't come clean about my own.

kelsey's suicide attempt placed her in a mental health ward in the hospital for a week. she is only 21.
i was 23 when i spent a week in a mental health ward in a hospital.
being on a psych ward is an oxymoron- truly- it is scary and safe at the same time-after all, you are the only sane person among people with PROBLEMS and you don't have any problems- well none that you are going to share with anyone and you really don't belong there......but really you do belong there and you do have problems

the doors are locked
you have no privacy
everything you say and do is being observed at all times
paranoia to some degree sets in
you are told when to wake up when to eat when to go to group when to take drugs when to sleep
it sucks. A LOT. and yet it is safe because you don't have to make any decisions and you don't have to think except when you are in talk therapy and you have to confront the demons that landed you there in the first place

but at the end of it i came out with a better understanding of what was going on inside me. i was given tools to use to help keep me from falling so deep into depression that i ended up on a psych ward again. i vowed it would never get that bad as i walked out the doors and they locked behind me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My heart is a house

Miss Kesley- My heart is a house and you are home :)
and if there is room in my heart then there is room in my home- don't ever forget that
The lyrics of this Christina Perri song makes me think of Kelsey and all we have been though together the past 21 arms will always be open for a hug and believe me when I say I will hold on for as long as you need me to. Love you, Mom


I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart
But you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start
You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go
You put your arms around me and I’m home

How many times will let you me change my mind and turn around
I can’t decide if I’ll let you save my life or if I’ll drown
I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close

You put your arms around me and I’m home
The world is coming down on me and I can’t find a reason to be loved
I never wanna leave you but I can’t make you bleed if I’m alone
You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

I tried my best to never let you in to see the truth
And I’ve never opened up
I’ve never truly loved ‘Till you put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home
You put your arms around me and I’m home

Christina Perri – Arms lyrics