Posted in Changes, Uncategorized

One Last Snow Before We Go

If you follow my blog at all you know that while I think snow is pretty I am NO fan of cold weather. As a child I couldn’t wait for a good snowfall but the older I get the more the cold and snow are just a big pain in the tush.

Our beautiful deck is like living in a tree house in the woods. Deer and red foxes, birds, squirrels and rabbits call our backyard and woods behind it home. But this is coming to an end. Over the next 2 months we will be relocating. The Diva Den is closing. ūüė¶¬† Mom is edging closer to her last day and while we don’t really have any desire to move, it simply isn’t feasible to stay here. Financially speaking we cannot do it with just 3 of us unless one of us suddenly wins the lottery, which is unlikely because we rarely purchase a ticket. I think the odds of getting struck by lightening on a sunny day are better. We are starting the process of purging the contents of the house that we simply don’t want, need or care to move. The dumpster will arrive and by then we will have it all on tarps in the garage waiting to be loaded up and hauled away.

Life begins new in 2, 2 bedroom apartments in the same building. I had been praying and asking for prayer via the church app and that prayer was answered. Easter weekend the first one will be available and my niece will move into it, her mom will follow and share it with her once the second is ready and mom and I move into our new place

The deck in summer


. By the end of May we hope to have the Diva Den sold to someone who has kids and will benefit from such a large house. We will all be in our new homes and hopefully mom will make it to be relocated and comfy there.

I have to say that it is bitter sweet. We are ending an 8 year chapter of our lives that has been full of laughter, a few tears and battles, but lots of love. Prior to the idea of 2 apartments in the same building, the weight of having to purge and sell this huge house without mom was a tough one to carry. Boo and I have never sold a house, and the thought of doing that while mourning the loss of our best friend and mom was agonizing. We are more than relieved to know that we won’t have to do that and can just focus on the grief when the time comes.

Winter here is gorgeous, that backyard is something to see when covered in snow and critter tracks. I hadn’t really given it much thought until driving home Wednesday seeing all of the trees covered in snow as I approached our neighborhood, awed by the beauty. It was then I realized we’d never see another major snowfall here in this house. Thankfully that didn’t last long because we’re about to get clobbered with a winter storm tomorrow that is forecast to drop some accumulating snow. I’m off work and going to sit and relish every flake as it falls, sipping coffee and crocheting with the fire place burning some logs and chatting with mom and Boo.

As is typical with weather in the Cincinnati area, it may not even happen. I suspect the Ohio River plays a part, but it seems that every storm system that comes at us, with rare exceptions, falls apart just before impact, going north, south or both around this city. The exceptions are the ones that like to throw the big punches bringing severe storms and tornadoes once in a blue moon, or serious snow falls. Wednesday the forecast was 8-12 inches of snow. Then it dropped to 1-3, then it was 5-8 inches and now 3-5. In other words no one has a clue and we have to wait and see. 100% precipitation is a given, but it could even arrive as ice, freezing rain, or just rain. For just this once I’m hoping for the snow, our last big hairy deal before we move. About 3 inches would rock, then with temperatures in the mid 40s the next day it will all go away and good riddance!

So today, I’m busting out a to-do list that is already insanely long, so I can just relax tomorrow and take in the hoped-for beauty. After that it is Katy bar the door we have to purge, pack and go!


Posted in Changes, Uncategorized

I’m Here!

I know, I haven’t posted in a LONG time, like a month now. Life was getting in the way and I had to focus on other things. So, this may be a long update.

Mom Update

19598742_1451064548312398_1923680622368278396_nMom is still with us, and those who see her say she looks great. She is declining slowly, but she is in good spirits. Hospice is here 3 days a week to see her and assist with things. I’m hoping she keeps it up so she can be here for the 6th great-grandchild’s birth.

Because she had hoped to make it to the holidays, we held Christmas. Yes it is July and yes the house is decorated for Christmas, including the tree being up. Her siblings and kids all came and we had a wonderful time, just like it was the annual, family, Christmas Eve party. The decorations are still up, which we may or may not get around to taking down.

My Health Journey

OH so much to share!

I am now down 32 pounds, and I’m real excited about that! I had to finally break down and buy a couple of pairs of jeans because nothing fits. Even my scrubs have gone to donations as they didn’t fit. I bought some medium scrub pants, and now also wearing small. Until I can purchase some new ones, I have to wear medium some days. Such a great feeling. My new jeans? Size 8!

b4 and after

This past weekend I was in Dallas for the company convention for us health coaches and our clients. I was SO excited to go and learn. This company is awesome, and I have so much more knowledge now. Next step is getting my certification as a health coach, my goal is by the end of August. If you are interested in a sure fired way to get weight off, without exercise, all scientifically based and proven for over 20 years, contact me. If you follow the plan you cannot fail. I’m living proof as I have done pretty much every diet and plan out there but never had much success. My blood pressure has dropped to a great level, I sleep great, and I have energy to spare! I’d love to have you as a client.

Grandbaby Watch

He isn’t here yet. In fact he is just under 36 weeks baked. But my baby girl is past ready. Elijah has dropped, mama bear is nesting like a fiend, and we would all love it if he arrived safe and healthy very soon.

First Shift

I moved to first shift at the beginning of last week. Decided it would serve my health clients I’m coaching better if I am on first rather than second shift. And if someone on 2nd calls off it makes it easier to stay over to help.

So, there it is in a quick nut shell.  More to come!

Posted in Changes

Why YOU Could, And SHOULD Try This

kissI’ve become a bit of a direct sales junkie the past few years. ¬†All told I have signed up to be a representative/consultant with 7 different ones.

Working for myself, from my house, is a dream. ¬†I think at one time or another we have all shared this dream, haven’t we? ¬†Making money while in our jammies, sipping coffee at our kitchen table while it snows and our feet are snug in our bunny slippers. ¬†So, I tried a number of these avenues in the hope of getting out of the 9-5 office job and it’s politics (and trust me even in a tiny company you will have office politics) and working to make someone else rich. ¬†I wanted flexibility and FREEDOM.

The trouble with most direct sales companies is that the start-up cost. ¬†I understand that they are sending you product for displaying and sampling, business tools etc in your ‘kit’ and providing you a website to sell from. ¬†For that reason they charge an arm or a leg (or both in some cases) to get started. ¬†To some degree I think this cost also comes from the mind-set that if you invest your money in that kit you are move likely to work that business.

Now, be honest with me, if you have signed up and paid out $100-$500 for a kit, how many of those kits are still sitting on a shelf, behind the arm-chair in the corner of the living room, or are in the garage? ¬†Me too. ¬†OH I take out the product, use it and make a decision if it is a worthy product but then I don’t do a darn thing with it.

Okay honesty check here, I DID do something with 2 companies. ¬†The one I joined for free, the Jewelry In Candles business (that one is no longer free), and the one I paid $10 to join, Avon. ¬†And that $10 investment (it is now $15 to join) now makes me just enough to pay for my car each month. ¬†That is changing fast as I’m out of a job and working hard to build it up, adding 3 new team members just yesterday in fact.

So what is it about Avon that made me stick around and actually work it? ¬†For starters Avon has been in business for 128 years, so I have some faith in it. ¬†I also LOVE the skin care products and use them daily. ¬†I have a jewelry box full of Avon jewelry that I wear, and even shoes and some clothes. ¬†Avon has a 100% satisfaction, money back guarantee¬†and returns are pretty simple when a customer doesn’t like something, or I don’t. ¬†We do not stock inventory, and in fact are discouraged from doing so. ¬†We don’t order anything unless it¬†is for¬†personal use or someone’s order so there is no getting saddled with a bunch of stuff we won’t sell. ¬†We are not required to order a minimum amount monthly to stay in business. ¬†If you want to make money, you have to place an order. ¬†If you don’t order for a period of time, you will go inactive. ¬†So no commitment for some auto-ship stuff just to stay in business.

We also do not do parties, it is not a party plan business.  If a representative wants to do a party, there is a plan in place to use but it is not our business model.  Mom and I started girls night out style events so we can allow our customers some social time for an hour and the ability to play with the products as we get them ahead of time when new things are released.   But again, it is something we opt to do and is more about the social and fun than selling.  Kind of a customer appreciation time out from their busy lives.

Finding customers doesn’t require extra time away from life. ¬†Avon is worked into daily life. ¬†If I am at the store, while in line, I ask the women around me if anyone would like a brochure and I hand them out of the supply that is ever present in my purse. ¬†If I go to the park with the grand kids I will do the same to the moms hanging out at the play ground. ¬†If I am feeling up to some exercise then I don’t just walk, but I pull a grocery cart (those ones old ladies pull to the store when they walk) with brochures and I walk up and down hanging the books on folks doors. ¬†I get my walk in, plenty of stair climbing, and my “store” is out there. ¬†I am amazed at the number of customers I get when I do these simple things and often times recruits who also want to earn some money.

Earning money…how much? ¬†Well with Avon the commission is 20-50%. ¬†This is based on your sales. ¬†If you sold $300, your commission is 35%, so you would earn $105 of that order. ¬†$300 is not difficult to accomplish. ¬†There are incentive trips, contests, even a car allowance when you reach a particular level (Avon doesn’t pick the car for you, or the color, or lease it, you get the money and you figure out if you are buying it, what you wish to purchase/lease and your color), free products, etc. ¬†Our websites allow customers from all over the USA to purchase products from us and have them in a few short days, so our “store” is always open online. ¬†That website, unlike many direct sales companies, is free for Avon representatives. ¬†We pay for our business supplies, like brochures (very inexpensive), samples etc. and for shipping. ¬†Our tools for running our businesses are super affordable, making this the least expensive direct sales business to operate.

So what held me back before? ¬†My ‘WHY’ wasn’t big enough I suppose. ¬†But now, as this is my only income, I’m kicking tail. ¬†I achieved President’s Recognition Club, which means for the rest of this year and all of next year my earnings are at least 40%. ¬†I’m not far from making Honor Society, which brings a host of other rewards with it. ¬†I now have the freedom to put full time hours into this business and work it as just that, a business, rather than a hobby. ¬†My earning potential scares me!

What about you?  What would you do with $300 more a month in your budget?  If you earned it and saved it you would have $1,200 to use for Christmas shopping over the next 4 months.  You could seriously earn a lot more than that if you opted to work it like a job.  There are Avon reps who I personally know, making 6 figure incomes.  I will be one of them, mark my words.

I’m always looking to grow my team, and if you are seriously looking for a way to stay home and make money, with a solid company who has been around a LONG time, maybe you should consider how spending just $15 could change your life. ¬†I would love to have you on my team and will help you (Skype, Email, phone calls not to mention tons of online training that is FREE). ¬†Just go to and use the reference code: ¬†martigardner ¬†to sign up. ¬†It is $15 even online, and no shipping cost. ¬†Your kit, with brochures for 2 campaigns, 2 full size products (valued more than $15!), initial training books and samples, will arrive in about a week. ¬†Meanwhile, once you are signed up we can get your online store set up and you could be making money now.

Why not you?  Why not today?

10653812_565235860255039_8051959920903757452_nNot up for a business but love the products? I would love to be YOUR Avon Lady!  And right now, you can get 20% off of your order of $50 or more with the code:  TRIPLEPLAY2  when you order on my site, before midnight 9/21/14.

Okay back to your regularly scheduled blogs.



Posted in Changes

Being Vulnerable

As I am writing my non-fiction book about my “getting religion”, the fall from what I knew to be the intended path, the living in the swamps and cesspools of sin, to divorce and finding my way home again as a prodigal daughter of God, I’ve discovered this is going to make me very vulnerable. ¬†I’m opening myself up, being extremely transparent and hiding nothing, and knowing there will be those who judge me and rather harshly. ¬†But my hope in sharing it all is that the message that we can go home again, back to a loving relationship with Christ, will help another claw their way out of the pig sty and back on the road.

christian-quote-1I had one of those light bulb moments the other night, while setting aside time to read my bible and pray, a true enlightenment. ¬†This was no night light wattage but a full blown 3-way bulb kind of eye opener. ¬†I remember having wanted to walk away from the “lifestyle” we were so entrenched in, and being told that he didn’t know if he could be faithful to me if we did. ¬†His honesty, in hindsight, was a good thing. ¬†95% of our friends were from that way of life, so even walking away from the wrong would have kept us exposed to it and I know would have caused me to slip back down into the familiar. ¬†At that point I was praying for help from God to impress it upon my ex to get us out, find us a church since neither of us wanted to return to the former one, but he was having no part. ¬†His words were that the next time he was in a church would be his funeral. ¬†When I prayed for deliverance I had no idea what was headed my way.

I’m not saying that God condoned my divorce or the way it came about. ¬†He hates divorce and it wasn’t what I wanted at all. ¬†I lost everything that was important to me with that marriage ending…my husband, living with my daughter, and soon after my son, my home…everything. ¬†My entire world was striped away and changed in a matter of months. ¬†I still clung to that life for a bit, going back to a club alone a few times before realizing that I did not belong there. ¬†So called “friends” turned their backs on me and others distanced themselves as I suddenly became single and a perceived threat.

I buried my pain and tried hard to keep a positive outlook, find the silver lining in all of my storm clouds.  I learned there is a very thin line between love and hate, because to preserve oneself when their heart is shattered a person steps over onto the hate side and channels all that broken emotion into one equally strong but very detrimental.  I lashed out and fired every mean and nasty thought I could at my ex to cause him the pain he had caused me.  It would be months before the prayers I shot heavenward would start to be answered in ways I was able to see.  No doubt because they were sporadic and I still had much to learn, there was so much more to be pulled out from under me before I would finally stand still long enough for God to help me out of the muck and back on the road toward Him.

During that time I returned to my old church twice for brief stints before deciding I could go it alone rather than subject myself too the judgmental eyes and attitudes. ¬†I had never really fit in there in the past, being a pretty independent thinker and one who questions the establishment at times. ¬†But I also found that going it alone was not working either. ¬†It was then that I began to seek a new place to worship. ¬†Even during that time I found myself living in sin with someone. ¬†We had tried a church that I enjoyed but it wasn’t mutually appreciated. ¬†I took it in a few times while he was working, and during those last months knew I needed to get over that final hurdle toward the life that is honoring to God.

Back in the Diva Den I’m still working on areas, like my potty mouth, but God is faithful to deal with the layers one at a time. ¬†My church home is a great place as I simply changed campuses and now get to be at the service with my daughter and future son-in-law rather than hearing the same message at another location. ¬†My prayer is that my son and his family might make it their home too.

As I am writing the story of all of this in great detail in the book, it is making me realize how far from God I had been, and how blessed I am to have lost all that I thought was important to be made right again and be able to stand before Him knowing that I am free from the darkness and walking, ever so imperfectly in the light of my Savior.  And even the ex has left it all behind and gone back to church and his faith, minus the death and casket part, along with his wife.

Beauty from the ashes.


Posted in Changes

A Reason, A Season, Or A Lifetime


I saw this on Facebook being passed around, too good not to share

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.


Posted in Changes

The Landscape Of 2013

375254_588441514504373_587190092_nWhen I first told my mom I was getting a divorce, back in February 2010, she looked at me and said, “you think the world is ending now, but trust me, a year from now the landscape of your life is going to be so different than it is at this moment.”¬† It was hard to believe that anything could be different than what I felt at that time, the pain and depression, and that it would be better than I was able at that time to imagine, but I kept those words in my heart and mind as I drifted mindlessly through the process.

The thing about mom is she is right about 99.9% of the time.¬† And wouldn’t you know it, one year out, January of 2011, my life was indeed very different.¬† My first Christmas as a divorcee was past me, and my first New Year’s Eve.¬† I not only survived it, but wow what an amazing holiday season it had been.¬† No longer married to Ebenezer Scrooge, I¬† found so much joy again in the season and relished the memories I made through that year.¬† I had moved in with my mom, sister and 2 nieces.¬† We had 2500 square feet of new home to enjoy and I discovered that despite the many differences (and similarities) in our personalities, and the nay-sayers that said it would never work, it rocked.¬† We laughed a lot around here. Daily in fact and we still do.¬† I can still count on one hand, though admittedly only about one digit is left to spare, the number of times I’ve gotten into a heated argument or confrontation with any of my housemates.¬† In that time I discovered it wasn’t me that had the ugly attitude and temper for 22 years.

As 2012 is coming to a close, and January looms over the hill in less than 24 hours, I realized that it will be 3 years now since that day when the ex told me he wanted out of my life.¬† The day my world changed forever and life became known as “before the announcement/after the announcement”.¬† And again this year the landscape of my life has changed very much.

So, what things changed, what did I learn in 2012?  That is really what this is post is all about.


*My son married on St. Patty’s Day and I gained a daughter-in-law and granddaughter (my first grandchild).

*My first grandson was born the day after Christmas, to my son and his wife, making me a grandma twice over.

*My younger brother (the older of the two brothers) married the woman I believe is the love of his life, on 12/30/12, in a flash wedding ceremony at the local conservatory.  We all walked in, located the spot that they as a couple determined was a good, quieter one, and the minister began the ceremony.  With visitors to the conservatory who happened to be in the room, or wandered in, all looking on with us close family, they were married.  Then we were off to a wonderful (I cannot say enough about the food OMG) dinner to celebrate.  I loved this as we have waited, not too patiently, for this day to finally arrive.

*I did not end up marrying at the nationals for the “outlaw” motorcycle club that the now ex-boyfriend (but very very dear friend) was a member.¬† I did not end up marrying at all.¬† I’m single but honestly more than content being so.¬† I’ve learned to relish my singleness and not at all sure I will ever marry again.¬† Not closing the door on that but it is no longer on my bucket list to marry again.

*The ex-hubby tied the knot while on vacation in Jamaica this year, and much to my surprise I not only wasn’t hurt by it, I was thrilled for them both!¬† And over joyed for my children, even though they are adults, she is a wonderful person to have in their lives and I believe has made their lives that much richer with her love of them.

*I went back to ‘school’ and achieved my certificate to be a nurse aide.¬† In a few weeks I’ll take my state test and hopefully find a job in this field quickly.¬† I loved working with the residents in the nursing home during clinicals and think I may have found my niche in life.


*No one is responsible for my happiness.¬† I am not lonely because I am not ‘attached’ to someone.¬† I’m not ‘alone’ either.¬† I knew all of this but as the year progressed it came to be better understood on deeper levels to me.¬† I am independent, confident, and comfortable as Marti.¬† I am not “just Marti” because I am not “Marti and ______ “, but rather I am MARTI – marvelous, fun, quirky Marti.¬† I am happy, have fun, enjoy life and love me as I am.

*I do have areas of me and my life that¬† need to improve, and I’m actively working on those.

*My faith is very important to me, and I need to take nurturing that faith more seriously.

*95+mph on the back of a Harley on the highway is liberating, crazy, amazing….and I’m okay if I never do that again.¬† Oh don’t get me wrong, I was terrified of highways at all up until the Biker/Cowboy, but in a pack of riders who are riding like they just stole the motorcycles (some probably had if I was honest with myself), it was an outstanding rush!¬† But not wise and certainly not something I want to keep doing.¬† I had my moments on that one, crossed it off the bucket list.

*People I had admired, looked up to, and had inspired me, people I thought were over all good people…can turn out to to be evil, vindictive people.¬† And many who play the victim are not only the ones doing the victimizing, they usually are just seeking attention.

*It is perfectly okay to write whatever I want in order to vent and get it out of my system, but it isn’t always necessary to hit “publish” once I am finished writing.¬† Somethings are better left between me and the keyboard, or to be published at a later date in my novels or on my pen-name/ghost blog.¬† No I do not share that one, sorry.¬† It is the place for things I don’t publish under my real identity to avoid hurting people I love.

*My son continues to amaze me, but that is another post.¬† But one thing I learned, just when you think you cannot possibly love your children anymore than you already do…they have children of their own and your heart swells bigger as you watch them hold their own child and you find you love them more and in a brand new way.

The landscape of 2013 is before me, and over the next 12  months it will change, grow, parts will die off and when I look up at the end of this year, it will look familiar, no doubt, but it will be again so different from what it is now.

Posted in Changes, Random

Yet Another Lesson From My Cat

I’ve noticed my beautiful baby has a tendency to sleep…a lot. ¬†If reincarnation was a reality, I’d want to come back as a pampered house cat. ¬†Mine is pretty darn pampered.

Lately my baby has been irritated ¬†with me and hasn’t slept in my room, let alone with me in weeks. ¬†My being in love and in a relationship seems to have threatened her comfort level. ¬†Not to mention being a cat she is highly OCD and if I am gone over night it totally screws up her neat little world. ¬†I completely understand that, I’m learning that I am not only rather ADD but I have some serious OCD issues, and I do NOT like my neat little world order messed with one bit.

If I sleep away from my home, anywhere other than my room, it messes with my brain for days.  In my room I have created for myself a haven, a nest of sorts.  It is MY space, and I researched  color psychology when choosing the color in order to have an atmosphere of peace and tranquility here.  When I am stressed, being in this room calms me down and helps me think.  When sad, my room helps sooth my nerves and bring me a feeling of peace.  It is the one place that is all mine, not shared with anyone but my cat.  And in her world, for things to be balanced, she expects to find her mama sleeping there at night.  She seems to sense that I am mentally and emotionally fragmented the past 24  hours, and headed for a slight melt down.  She was on my dresser, one of her favorite hang outs, when I got into bed last night.  As soon as I turned off the light she jumped down on the bed and curled up by my leg, where she remained the entire night.  She left in the early hours of the morning just before the sun rose, then returned and stayed until I woke up.  Then she came and curled up by my head for a love fest of ear and chin scratches and purring.  Now today she has followed me all over the house like my shadow.

The ¬†foundation of life has been yanked out from under me a bit the past 24 hours or so. ¬†Well okay, more like just rocked hard. ¬†Too much too fast and I’m overwhelmed to say the least. ¬†I noted that when Pixel gets ‘stressed’ she goes off to a dark, cool place and sleeps. ¬†Being one that hates the dark and fears it, I prefer at least soft light coming in the window. ¬†But I’m all over the cool temps and sleeping. ¬†So I did that. ¬†I turned on my fans in my room, providing a nice ‘white noise’ that kept me from hearing anything else. ¬†I shut my door and curled up on my bed and just slept. ¬†Pixel got up on the dresser and watched over me while I was sleeping. ¬†My thoughts are still in slivers, but I’m letting them just cascade down until all of the pieces fit into a picture that makes some sense to me. ¬†It was not a real restful nap, but long and it did help some. ¬†I considered crawling under the bed ¬†and hiding, another trick of Pixel’s when she needs her ¬†space, but I am pretty certain my big butt wouldn’t make it under there and I’m too claustrophobic¬†to find it anything but unnerving.

A song came to mind (I love how healing and soothing music can be) when I first laid down to nap, it’s been stuck in my head since. ¬†So, I leave you with one of the few Beatles songs I really love.

Posted in Changes, Life Lessons

When I’m Deep Inside My Shell


Your circumstances don’t DEFINE you, but REFINE you..turning the ashes of your past into the diamonds of your future. ~ The Single Woman


More than one friend has been a bit concerned about the fact that I’m all closed up inside my protective shell right now after the break-up of my most recent relationship, one in which we were getting pretty serious.¬† We had been talking about the future, and not all that distant of one either.¬† His dream businesses, my dream careers (yeah I have two) and how those would work together.¬† There was talk of my needing to get used to having my picture taken if I was going to be a member of the family, and enjoy camping and caving.¬† And then suddenly, literally over night, it is all gone.¬† The dreams of the future have once again been shattered.

I put on my happy, brave mask, and said “It’s all good”.¬†¬† Reality is it is NOT all good, I’m hurting.¬† I loved the dreams we shared, our goals and hopes.¬† I very much loved him, his family, especially the grandsons.¬† I enjoyed every minute we spent together, even camping which anyone who knows me knows that it took a lot for me to go on that little trip.¬† I was already counting down the days until next year’s Halloween family camp out, I really enjoyed it.¬† So yes, I’m hurting inside.

In my typical fashion I am handling this by closing my shell and retreating inside myself.  But this is how I heal, and folks need to not worry about me.  This is not just a time of healing, it is a time of growth and change, inwardly at my core and good always comes from it.

Think of it like an oyster.¬† An oyster shell¬† grows right along with the oyster.¬† In order for the shell to grow, an organ within the shell, the mantel, uses the minerals from the food the oyster consumes to produce the shell.¬† Pearls come from oysters, and are made when a foreign substance makes its way inside and gets between the oyster’s shell and mantel, not unlike getting a splinter.¬† The mantel of the oyster shell will cover that irritant in layers of nacre, which is the substance the mantel produces that lines the inside of the shell.¬† As each layer is applied it slowly becomes a pearl.¬† The most valuable pearls are those that are nice and round in shape.¬† This is because most do not turn out perfectly round, instead they are uneven in shape and are called baroque pearls.

My heart is a lot like an oyster.  It has a nice, hard protective shell around it, and on as needed basis I have made the shell thicker, layer by layer.  It is how I protect myself from future pain.  Once in a while I let someone inside that shell, to hold my heart.  But when they hurt me, and shatters my dreams, a sliver of the dream is left piercing my heart.  It is like that foreign substance that invades an oyster, my heart begins to cover that irritant in healing layers.  With each layer that is applied, I learn more about me, and I grow a little more to be a better person.  Pearls take a long time to be produced, and the pearls that make up who I am take time too.  Good always comes from the pain, but not immediately.  I need time to mull it over, work through it, figure out where, if at all, I went wrong, examine myself to see if there is a flaw in my character that needs to be adjusted and letting go of the love and the one who caused the pain.  In the end, when I again allow someone to open my shell, there they find a treasure.  Some of those pearls they find are the baroque gems, things about me that still need improvement, others are perfectly round, smooth stones.  All are beautiful and when strung together make up the person I am. 

Part of that healing is to turn to the bible, God’s word and the food of my soul.¬† It lifts me up, nourishes me, encourages me, teaches me, and helps to heal my broken heart.¬† It too surrounds those shards of shattered dreams in layers of Divine healing and wisdom, helping with the process to mold this clay vessel into the work of art I am meant to be.

This time is no different.  Inside me right now, under the cover of my shell, the splintered piece of my love for the Count and the dreams we shared, is being covered in layers as I go through the process of letting go.  The next person that is fortunate enough to open my shell and hold my heart, will find a wealth of pearls made from heartaches, loss, difficult lessons learned through painful times, each one now a valuable gem strung together to make the person I am today.

Hopefully the next person treats my heart like the fragile and priceless treasure it is, and knows what a privilege it is to hold in their hands, and will protect it rather than break it.


Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.  ~ Hermann Hesse


Posted in As A Single Female, Changes, Life Lessons

How Long Can I Stand Outside The Fire?

When the foundation of my world suddenly crumbled beneath me, I stuffed my heart into a protective bubble, vowing to never again let it feel.¬† It felt like it had been fed through a meat grinder, and I’m fairly certain major pieces were lost or beyond repair.¬† It sat in ICU on life support a long time.¬† While my kitten helped me to heal and love again when it came to HER, men were another story.¬† I just don’t trust them, most all seem to be complete pigs (MOST not all).¬† Friends with benefits became the name of¬† the game for me, sex with no emotions.¬† I stayed in the swinger lifestyle a bit, thinking perhaps as a single I’d feel differently about it.¬† But I found out quickly how empty that still was, how much I felt like a blow up doll to be used then passed on.¬† Swinging wasn’t any different single than married, except now I didn’t have someone who at least CLAIMED to love and adore me when I got home.¬† Empty sex wasn’t cutting it, they make ‘toys’ for that sort of thing with less¬† hassle involved.

Friends with benefits works in theory, but “friends” without the emotion reminds me of visitors in prison.¬† They sit on either side of a window, they can talk,¬† laugh, etc, but¬† when it comes to touching there is a clear barrier between them.¬† Everything special is beyond reach. ¬† Hand to hand coldness with glass in between.¬† In this case it is the hearts that sit across from each other, but cannot reach out and touch, they are blocked by a clear fortress wall meant to shield and protect.¬† This was what I thought I wanted, but instead my heart wants to feel after all.¬† However, I am terribly afraid of my emotions, and afraid to trust another with my heart or trust myself with someone else’s,¬† the pain of the marriage ending still very fresh in my mind.¬† But my heart rebels against the restraints, is pushing against the protective bubble despite me.

I’ve talked about my great aunt Ruth before, how she divorced and raised her kids alone at a time when divorce was NOT acceptable.¬† She did find love again but for whatever reason never remarried.¬† She was engaged, yet did not live with him.¬† She kept her own place, he kept his.¬† They stayed nights with each other but each had their own sanctuary to go too, their own ‘place’ and independence.¬† I have not yet found out why this was but I plan too, I want to know how that worked and why they did it that way.

I¬† don’t know if that is the sort of relationship I want or not.¬† A long term, deep friendship/companionship type of relationship seems appealing.¬† Exclusive but not bound by anything but trust that there is¬† no sharing of oneself with others.¬† Trust without a commitment. ¬† Trust is a tough thing for me right¬† now, but I’m working on it.¬† Just one day at a time.

I¬† don’t believe any longer that you can have a friendship that includes intimacy on a sexual level and have it be void of emotions.¬† There is going to be a bond that forms, there is just no way to look another person in the eyes during those moments, to hold and kiss them, to share something so personal and not have some sort of feeling developing, not be touching each others hearts even if ever so lightly.¬† Even on just the friendship side, without the sex, there will be feelings that develop and grow.¬† Not necessarily love in the sense of being romantically in love, but you cannot have a friendship without caring.¬† The foundation of any friendship is built on caring.¬† Not the intense, burning love that takes a while to grow, but there is feeling there, and emotions do come from our hearts.¬† Add sex to that friendship and fragile hearts will be risking hurt all over again.¬† Love can and will grow when least expected.¬† Time + friendship + sharing + companionship + sex has a really good shot at equaling love.¬† That is evident in arranged marriages that over the years of being together, working together, being physically intimate together grows a love like no other.¬† One of my favorite places to eat is owned by a couple a number of years older than myself, that were married by arrangement in Greece when they were very young.¬† They came here and established themselves and are still married.¬† No it wasn’t a match made in heaven but even when grumbling at each other it is SO evident that they very much love each other.

How long can two people  share pieces of themselves, share intimacy, standing outside of the fire, before they are drawn in without even realizing it?

One¬† of my favorite movies is ‘Fiddler On The Roof‘ (I’m a sucker for musicals).¬† There is a song in there,¬† when Tevye asks his wife, Golde, if she loves him.¬† Here is the song:

“Golde, I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel.”

“What??? He’s poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!”

“He’s a good man, Golde.
I like him. And what’s more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him.
So what can we do?
It’s a new world… A new world. Love. Golde…”

Do you love me?

Do I what?

Do you love me?

Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town
You’re upset, you’re worn out
Go inside, go lie down!
Maybe it’s indigestion

“Golde I’m asking you a question…”

Do you love me?

You’re a fool

“I know…”

But do you love me?

Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

Golde, The first time I met you
Was on our wedding day
I was scared

I was shy

I was nervous

So was I

But my father and my mother
Said we’d learn to love each other
And now I’m asking, Golde
Do you love me?

I’m your wife

“I know…”
But do you love me?

Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him
Fought him, starved with him
Twenty-five years my bed is his
If that’s not love, what is?

Then you love me?

I suppose I do

And I suppose I love you too

It doesn’t¬† change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It’s nice to know

I¬† have always loved that song and thought of the couple I spoke of above when I heard it.¬† Love WILL grow over time, when life and times are shared, good and bad, and intimacy.¬† It cannot be avoided.¬† It makes the entering into a long term friendship something not to be taken lightly, as the longer the friendship lasts, the more the bond will form,¬† and fondness will grow deeper and become love.¬† The only way to avoid this is to run away when the heart starts to feel something, or be a hermit, become an island and simply exist.¬† But that isn’t living.¬† I don’t want to¬† just exist in this world, especially when I feel God gave us a heart so that we would love and care about others.¬† Him first of course, but then others.¬† He even said it is not good for man to be alone.¬† Perhaps that is why when we are alone it doesn’t feel right?¬† We’re made for mating, two people becoming one together.¬† But in the imperfection of this world, many don’t last forever as intended.

I just feel that I cannot give up on love, it can and does work the way it is supposed too.¬† Forever does mean something to some, it meant something to me before.¬† I didn’t chose to bail, I meant every word I said when I got married.¬† While I don’t know that I would ever marry again,¬† I won’t say ‘never’.¬† But I will love again, and relish it while it lasts knowing full well I will hurt again.¬† Love will either end by man’s doing or death, but sooner or later there WILL be pain again.¬† It is part of life. And I want to LIVE life again, be it with a long term companion/friend or more….I will one day let someone hold my heart, and I will hold theirs as well,¬† and guard it with all that is in me.


We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk it the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They’re so hell bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire

There’s this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can’t abide standing outside the fire

Repeat Chorus(twice)

~ Garth Brooks ~

Posted in Changes

My Metamorphosis…

I was laying on my bedroom floor playing with my kitten this evening.¬† I just love her energy and curiosity, her wild¬† abandon and playful nature.¬† She is just a kitten with so much yet to learn about being a cat but I hope she always has a kitten’s spirit.¬† After she wandered off I remained there staring up at the ceiling thinking on an email I received today from a friend:

You have been for a few years a caterpillar. You are now in a protective, altering cocoon state undergoing metamorphosis. When you emerge (and you shall) you shall have your next stage as a lovely butterfly. I very much enjoy reading your Marvi blog.

All the best,

His choice¬† of¬† wording really hit home, I feel like I am going through a metamorphosis, and right now it is a scary place for me.¬†¬† I wouldn’t say that I am changing, but rather that the real me is being uncovered again and working her way back to the surface.¬† I haven’t seen her in so long that, while she seems familiar, she is a virtual stranger.

Life causes us to develop various masks for ourselves that we change as needed in order to adapt or conform to certain situations.¬† We learn in our growing up years to hide certain sides of ourselves based on acceptance or rejection by our peers.¬† It is the beginning of our inner child disappearing.¬† This carries on as adults as we adjust to what is or is not ‘acceptable’ in certain social circles.

As young adults we are dating and learning about others, what we like or don’t like in a potential life mate.¬† We may chose to put away certain characteristics of ourselves into the toy box of our heart in order to please Mr. or Mrs. Right.¬†¬† Sometimes over the years¬† with that ‘right’ one, as¬† we mature and grow, we find ourselves putting away more and more, as¬† less and less of our real personality is found acceptable.¬† The very things we fall in love with in another become the things that later we tend to find the most annoying, as personality traits have¬† both a positive and a negative side.¬† Often we hear folks talk about their long time spouse, how the person had changed from the one they fell in love¬† with so long ago.¬† I tend to think that it wasn’t that anyone changed, they just started to put away a part of themselves as their other half became less enthralled with various aspects of their mates personality.¬† Over time we become less and less true to ourselves as we strive to be what we think our partner wants us to be.¬† There is nothing wrong with this wanting to meet the expectations of someone we love, provided we don’t give up too much of ourselves along the way.

In almost 23 years¬† of marriage, I always felt like I fell¬† short of my husband’s expectations, like I never quite measured up.¬†¬† I always felt that no matter how hard I tried I¬† never quite had his complete approval.¬† Over the years I ventured in many different directions and down dozens of roads, locking up more and more of me in an effort to be the perfect wife and still fell short.¬† I loved¬† him so much that I wanted so badly to please him, but never felt like I ever was quite good enough.¬† During that time my inner child¬† became buried¬† very deep, and the toy box of my heart securely locked.

With the separation of my husband’s heart from me, the announcement that he wanted a divorce, and our physical separation into different residences, the locks were removed from the toy box, and the cage in which my inner child has lived for so long.¬† That child, the real me, has only peered out of the darkness but has yet to emerge.¬† Through the walls of a cocoon woven over 2 decades she has watched, longing to be set free to run and jump in the puddles of¬† life again. The sides of that enclosure are beginning to split, and little by little she will start to break free¬† of the confines in which she has been hidden.¬† It is both liberating and frightening as hell to me.¬† I will never again NOT be true to myself, and I will spread my wings and ride the wind again…soon.