Posted in Uncategorized, YouTube

YouTube Scares Me More Than COVID19

When you’re a freelance writer or indie author you’re a business. You’re out hustling every day. Social media makes it simultaneously better and worse. Access to agents, publishers, and other writers is fantastic. But now before publishing a book or getting an agent you must create your brand and build your author platform. (insert eye roll)

I don’t want to do any of that. I want to play with the people in my head. The ones I created out of thin air but feel so real. The world they live in is more fun than mine. None-the-less, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And this girl created a YouTube channel to help with that platform everyone in the industry harps on.

The problem is I despise being in front of the camera. I stuttered as a child. It took six years of speech therapy to overcome it but it’s still a raw nerve. When I’m in front of the camera speaking I worry the stuttering child in me will appear and trip me up.

Coronavirus drives people to the internet. When our entertainment options are eradicated we go online. I knew I had to make a video. It took me all day to work up my nerve. But alas, I finally did. Reward my strength in facing my horrid fear by watching my videos, subscribing and ringing the bell to get notifications. This is the ultimate social distancing. Until next time, take care of yourself, be kind to others and wash those hands! Click here for video

Crap Sign From God

The Joan Zone

At a family reunion out of state, DJ’s service dog alerted to an ear infection. Since DJ gets ear infections like a frat boy in a dare, Duke got a lot of practice honing his skill. Duke is gone over the rainbow bridge now but his perfect legacy of diagnosing ear infections lives on.  However, Duke was a bit quirky. He tossed condescending looks better than any human.  He was all business in his service dog role but every once in awhile he did something nutty. 1913644_1080683317253_408245_n

My husband Steve has a freakish ability to find his way around any town. Even using old school paper maps he rarely got lost. But when he is lost – he is REALLY lost. And he does not cope with it well.  Suddenly, the boys and I are not funny.  We dispute this.  Some of our best zingers are triggered by Steve’s directionally challenged…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Are Your Afflictions Eclipsed By Glory

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Posted in Letters, Royal Family, Uncategorized

A Letter To Meghan

Dear Meghan Markle, I heard you’re just existing not thriving. I get it. It’s like my life with my youngest son DJ. IMG_0196

DJ is special needs and can’t speak. And you? Well, no one can get you to stop speaking.

You love yoga workouts. DJ requires speech, occupational, and physical therapy every week. That’s in addition to working with him daily.img_0942

Like you DJ has a chef at his beck and call – me. He can’t chew so every meal must be pureed. Doctors said surgically inserting a feeding tube would make my life easier. But it’s not about me. It’s about DJ and providing him every opportunity to grow and learn new skills. I mean what sort of mother neglects her child to promote herself?

 You have a multitude of people to bring you any meal you’re hankering for. If someone didn’t cook, blend, and feed DJ he would die. He has zero ability to survive on his own.

You love buying ridiculously priced clothes. A few years ago, we pushed DJ through the mall in a wheelchair so he could point at clothes he liked. Everything he picked came off the clearance rack. He may be special needs but he’s smart enough to know how to get the most bang for his buck. img_0930-1

Sky-high heels are to you what orthotic braces are to DJ – a necessity.

Cute little Archie will need diaper changing for about three years. I’ve been changing DJ’s for nearly 20 years.  I gold medaled in diaper changing. img_0944-1

 Working the logistics of private jetting around the world with a baby is exhausting. It’s like me in a public restroom trying to determine the cleanest part of the floor to change DJ on because he’s too big for baby changing tables.

 And nannies! Wow! It is so hard to get good help these days. We rely on DJ’s brothers and my eighty-year-old in-laws to give us a periodic break.

Those posh resorts really take a toll. DJ has literally been in the hospital about 100 times. We keep praying for a financial windfall so we can fulfill his dream of a Disney Cruise.

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IMG_0941DJ is fully dependent upon me for basic hygiene. You know what that’s like. You depend on your hair, make-up and wardrobe entourage.

I can relate to you dragging Harry around. DJ’s legs don’t fully straighten, so he needs assistance ambulating. He can’t run and jump and can only walk short distances.

 

img_0933Frustrated you couldn’t speak up for yourself you employed your friends to do it.  DJ’s friend is a speech device he carries around his neck. It only speaks what we program. He has no way to express original thoughts. He desperately wants to express himself. He gestures and babbles and I try to decipher what he’s saying. I call it DJ charades.

This has been my day every day for 19 years. You’ve been a Royal for nearly three. And you know what? DJ and I are thriving!

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You chose your life. But life chose us. So, don’t you come at us with your nonsense. You’ve not the first inkling about hard living!

You want to thrive? You want positive press? Then stop acting like a spoiled brat!! It’s your JOB to honor Royal traditions and serve the British people. No one asks if you’re okay because anyone who thinks they’re entitled to take money for a job they refuse to do is clearly not okay. You will never be okay as long as you remain willfully obtuse. It’s time you ask yourself the question DJ answers every single day. Are you pitiful or powerful? Because you can’t be both.

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Posted in Royal Family, Uncategorized

Sussex Sympathy Show

Meghan Markle wants the world to know she is vulnerable, so people should ask how she is. She gave an alleged tearful account of how the extravagantly wealthy life she cultivated for herself is hard. Meanwhile, Harry explains how every camera he sees and every click he hears transports him to the traumatized place of his mother’s death. Who does he tell this to? The camera crew they used to film their every move for a documentary! What is the thinking here?  This reminds me of the worst day of my life so I will add more than usual and have them follow me all the livelong day! It’s absurd.

This latest oh woe is me tale is not surprising. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are holders of the platinum level sympathy card and are not afraid to use it. From her, “they don’t make it easy” mentality to Harry’s we take private planes to avoid assassins nonsense, these two have an excuse for every terrible decision they make. And it’s always someone else’s fault.

For months the British public complained about Meghan’s excessive clothing expenses and the couple balking at tradition and hiding their baby among other things. Considering, their Royal life if funded by taxpayers I think it’s a legitimate complaint. Their willful obstinance sank their popularity as deeply as the glacier did the Titanic.

Their remedy? Go to the murder capital of the world to find Meghan’s skin didn’t melt off from wearing an outfit twice and no band of kidnappers pounced on baby Archie. The UK paid for the people of South Africa to see the British Royal Baby first. Not a good plan. Rather than apologize for the insult they said, “Wait! We’re doing a documentary of our trip. It will explain everything.” Cue the tears and terror. Everything is the fault of everyone else and they are one emotional thread from unraveling. Meghan and Harry are more than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They are the King and Queen of Excuses.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Falling For A Scam When You Know Better

I swear somedays my brain tumbles right out of my head. For reasons I have yet to understand I gave financial information to scammers. I know better! Why in the world I fell for it is beyond me. It’s embarrassing and incredibly stupid. Making things worse is Steve is out of town. He handles all our finances. I don’t even bother myself to know the login information. Also stupid. stupid

Steve runs nonstop when he’s working. No time for breaks and definitely no for my crazy. I tried some logins but none worked. I had more attempt before I was shut out of the account. Fearing they’d ask questions I couldn’t answer and shut me out I didn’t call.  No choice. I had to call Steve and inform him he married an ignoramoose.

Of course, he couldn’t get to the phone right away. All I could do was wait and pray we weren’t already wiped out. Aflac pays employees as they work so multiple deposits go in the entire time he’s there. All I could think was he’s working his butt off for money I put in jeopardy. When I did talk to him I burst into tears. Never felt so stupid, regretful and anger at myself in all my life.

To rescue as much money as possible I headed to the nearest ATM. The window wouldn’t roll down. In the cold rain, I stood making multiple attempts to withdraw money all while in my PJ’s! I didn’t bother to change because I didn’t plan on getting out of the car.  Upside? I wasn’t wearing a sexy nightie. nightie

First three attempts stopped before I got the button to accept the ATM fee. I did the fourth time so I thought I got it. Wrong! No money and it stopped telling me the “amount exceeds daily limit,” After a frantic search to make sure I wasn’t overlooking where the money comes out I took off to another ATM.

Armed with cash and login information, I was ready to shut this mess down. Since the site didn’t recognize my computer I had to get a code. Slight problem. The code can only be sent to Steve’s phone or email. Do I know his email password? Nope! Another shining example of my intelligence or lack thereof. By the time he got the code to me, it had expired. I had to start the whole process all over.

If you think reporting fraud would be right there on their website, easy to see you would be wrong. I searched and searched. I gave up and called. After going through a blue million menus I finally get a real person.  She was foreign. I could barely understand her English. The combination of her poor English and my hearing loss resulted in a long conversation.

To say we were lost in translation would be a vast understatement. I thought she was telling me I had to wait 10 days before they would do anything. I flipped out. I started yelling at her through my tears that they were going to take all our money.  A good 45 minutes later we understood each other. communication

Enveloped in stress, I was grateful my inlaws wanted DJ to spend the night with them. But my brain still wasn’t working as I forgot to send his medicine. They had to come back. I despise others having to do something to fix my stupid. Just having a banner day, aren’t I? What’s my point? I don’t know. Maybe to tell people Ellen DeGeneres is not handing out money? Or don’t be stupid like me? Or perhaps just to release some frustration. I’m calling off the rest of the day and binge watch murder and mayhem on Investigation Discovery just to remind myself no matter how bad my day is someone else is having a worse one.

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t Underestimate Special Needs Kids

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Posted in Faith, Uncategorized

Where Was God on 9/11?

A vision popped into my head of a finger dipped in a pot of water and twirling. With each motion, ripples scattered in all directions. It seemed important to note how what began in the middle of the pot impacted everything in it. I had no doubt it was a message from God. I told my husband, Steve, that God was working in ways we didn’t yet see. It was September 10, 2001.

The morning of September 11 found my husband Steve and I sitting at the kitchen table discussing plans for the day.  Steve said he had a meeting at 9:00. I turned to look at the clock. It was 8:45. I told Steve he should get going, but he said it was an approximate time not a firm one.

Once Steve left I prepared to get into the shower.  Our infant son, DJ, became very restless. Every other day, he was content to lie on a blanket while I showered. But in tandem with the day I didn’t know I was about to have, DJ was being anything but normal. I turned on the tv intending to start a video for him.

The moment I flipped on the tv the burning North Tower filled the screen. DJ quieted. As wtca former EMT (emergency medical technician) my brain kicked to rescue mode. While I mentally calculated possible rescue scenarios, I saw a plane enter from the right. I sighed with a bit of relief thinking it was a rescue plane. When the plane flew into the other tower, I stood in stark disbelief. “It flew into the building. That plane just flew into the building.” I said the words aloud as if that would help my brain process them.

For the next 30 minutes, I stood rooted to a spot in the middle of my living room, staring at the tv. I left only to use the restroom. When I returned to the tv, it was a split screen; burning towers on the left, the burning Pentagon on the right. I immediately cried out. “What is happening, God?”

pentagonA response echoed back from my heart. “Pray.”

“I don’t even know how!” I yelled. But God’s response was that single word. Pray. Without any idea how to pray over a situation like this, I fell to my knees. With closed eyes, clasped hands, and tears rolling, I reiterated to God that I had no clue how to pray over such a catastrophe.

“Pray for my people I’m bringing out.” Though God’s voice was speaking inside me, His words were as clear as if spoken aloud. I began praying, and a vision appeared. I saw countless people being led by angels from a massive pile of rubble. The towers had yet to collapse.

I didn’t understand what was happening. I was scared, shocked and angry. But I knew that if God was with me in those moments, He would also be with many others.  As personal stories emerged, many attributed God’s miraculous intervention with their survival.

As bad as 9/11 was it could have been worse. On an average day, approximately 50,000 crosspeople worked at the World Trade Center with another 140,000 visiting. That means nearly 200,000 lives were on the line in New York alone. The planes turned into weapons that day was only half full. The Pentagon was hit on the only side that had recently been reinforced. Had they hit any other area we would have likely lost more than the 125 lives we did. Then there are the heroes of United 93 who saved countless lives by forcing the crash in an empty field rather than a building.

Accompanying the statistics are the eyewitness accounts of angels. A police officer saw a ring of angels at the United 93 crash site. A man followed a voice to escape the Pentagon only to exit and realize there was no one in front of him. People told about being grabbed or pulled toward safety only to have the person vanish once they were safe. Many tell about feeling a presence prod them emotionally or give them physical strength when they wanted to give up. It was my vision incarnate; angels led people out.

On 9/11 God was where He is every day, with His children. As we reflect on 9/11 and mourn those lost, we should also find hope in the faithfulness of God. We don’t have the capacity to understand the ways of God or why we couldn’t avoid 9/11 altogether. But when from the rubble of tragedy a cross remained, we’re reminded that not even His own Son is too much for God to sacrifice for each of us.

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Posted in Uncategorized

The Negligence of “13 Reasons Why”

As many of you know my sister committed suicide nearly 7 months ago. This blog expresses eloquently what angers me about the show 13 Reasons Why.

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“13 Reasons Why.”

The Selena Gomez – produced Netflix show that remade the YA fiction novel by the same name.

The topic? Teenage Suicide.


The “13 Reasons” refer to the 13 cassette tapes the victim, Hannah, left behind, explaining why each of the 13 people on the tapes were to blame in why she took her own life.

I didn’t want to watch it. Clearly, this is not a light subject matter, and not particularly something I wanted to watch alone in my studio apartment in New York. But given my affinity for Justin Bieber, and as a result, his first love, Selena Gomez, I wanted to see what she produced.

And well, after watching all 13 episodes in less than 48 hours, I have some thoughts. Strong ones.

Suicide is never the answer. It should never even be an option. Let’s get that right out of the way from the…

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Posted in In The News, Uncategorized

United Airline Doctor Has Sordid Past

I’ve got to weigh in on this Kentucky doctor pulled from a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville. Dr. Dao refused to give up his seat after being randomly selected by a computer to do so. The flight was overbooked, a common occurrence in the airline industry, and four people were selected to leave the plane.  Two people did so without incident but Dr. Dao decided he was not going to comply. Security was called and after talking with Dao they forcibly removed him from the plane. That resulted in the doctor receiving a bloody face and while some proclaimed he was knocked unconscious others stated he jumped to his feet and ran back on the plane. Cue the uninformed outrage.

It seems the majority of people are furious at United Airlines for treating the doctor like a criminal. Well, when you don’t obey the directions of airline staff, it is a crime. Considering, what we know now about the doctor’s lack of stability all of those passengers should be thanking United. Furthermore, the airline offered the doctor $800 and a hotel room as well as a flight the next day. The doctor claimed he had to get to the hospital. Let’s just roll with that and ignore the fact that there are plenty of doctors who often miss rounds at the hospital for various reasons.
There were a number of options available to him. He could have flown a different airline. Louisville is no small airport. A number of airlines offer service from Chicago to Louisville. But let’s just say there were no more flights, which I highly doubt. Why not take the $800 and rent a car to drive? It is only four hours from Chicago to Louisville. His outrageous behavior delayed the flight for two hours. Had he been driving rather than acting crazy on a plane he would have been halfway there.
The other passengers were supposedly in shock but not one of them stood up and offered to leave the plane so the doctor wouldn’t have to. They didn’t feel so bad for the doctor they were willing to inconvenience themselves. Now, news comes out that the doctor has a history of trading prescription drugs for sex. Did I mention he’s married, with children and grandchildren? That’s just one of the blots on Dr. Dao’s history. He nearly lost his medical license in 2015 and I suspect he will after this incident.
What is the moral of this story? Before you whip out your phone to record some perceivable outrage, ask yourself what you can do to improve the situation. Don’t be someone so eager to create a public outrage that you forego truth and knowledge. Because in the end the truth always comes out and you only end up looking as foolish as the one causing the scene.