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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

Cheese Whiz

Since I explained how to use the reaction "cheese whiz", several people have joined our happy throng so I am posting the link to keep everyone up to speed on our fancy lexicon.

all things purple: Whimsical Wednesday #6

the means to an end

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies."

This quote can take on so much meaning, yet it is quite a simple concept.

Change is necessary throughout our lives. Some changes are happy ones and some are hard ones, but in the end they all refine and beautify us--enabling us to better reach our divine potential.

Change is but a means to an end my friends--embrace it. 

California Dreamin'

I was totally trying to figure out how to do the create a playlist thing and remembered a cherished memory from my summers on the central coast of sunny California...

Hand over a slice of humble pie

The stress of four monkey children, school, being a new blogger, and an entire overhaul of my life as I know it has me in hyper-drive and I had not realized how overwhelmed and hyper I have become until the other day.

One of my good friends is currently going through a serious personal trial and I had not talked to her in too long, so of course I called her. But in my hyperactive, overly concerned way, I cut to the chase and asked her "so are you still in horrible status quo or what?"

Purplicious Eyeshadow

photograph by The Purple Lady
To commemorate my tenth Whimsical Wednesday, I am sharing a fun photo of something purple and a fabulous "oldie but a goodie" (as my dad used to always say)

p.s. thanks goes to B.W. for being such a good sport and letting me photograph her gorgeous eyes

Ageism: What to do about it?

Corrie ten Boom's life experience from the atrocities of World War II come alive in a book she co-authored with John and Elizabeth Sherrill titled The Hiding Place. This story begins happy and ends positive, yet the entire middle is a first-hand account of starvation, torture, sacrifice, and death.

And it happened to Christian people who loved their neighbor as they loved themselves (See Matthew 19:19 of the New Testament).
I wonder if I would be so courageous as the ten Boom family in like circumstances. Lying to the government and running an underground operation at the risk of everyone involved just to end up beaten, starved, or dead.

GLEE and a rambling about love

Sometimes, when I listen to songs, read books, and watch movies, I stand in awe of what passed before me. I literally will sit and ponder on whether I am witnessing truth or fiction.

I don't know if I am just a way jaded woman whose read too much stuff about romance addiction or if some of these romantic, boy falling head-over-heels for the girl could be real for some people.  And when I talk about falling head-over-heels I am talking about an exquisite, lasting love that merely began with the falling part.

Does this exist, at least in some form, in actuality? Or is it just a dream we cling to because our reality tends to depress us? Well, at least some of us.

There are a few people in my life that I believe might have this lasting love sort, but I am not an omniscient observer. I only see what everyone else sees. One of the couples I know has definitely had a seriously fair share of difficulties. Shoot, they probably still bug each other once in awhile for certain. Yet, they are friends, good friends at that. And anyone can see it. You don't have to be omniscient to realize they truly care for each other. They talk and spend time together and want the other person to reach their highest potential.  That sounds like newlyweds to me, except they have been married for almost 17 years.

What do they do that creates this sort-of-magical reality? I think it is the being friends part, not the we're young and googly eyed part that we see so much of in the over-romanticized love media surrounding us.

The problem for me has to be some missing ingredient or even worse, a hamartia that I am blind to.  I can be a good friend and have been told I am a great friend, but somehow it is not enough. Character weaknesses can take some of the blame, along with mistakes, bad-timing, miscommunication,etc.

Anyways, enough of this sloppy, self-pitying, tear-jerking talk--

What to do about all this ponderous stuff? I don't know, but maybe, in time, I will be able to figure it out and be at peace. Until then, I will continue to wrestle with what love looks like for me, try not to think too much and let myself enjoy some of the idealistic, fairy tale love accoutrements that make me smile and wish...

you are super


1. You feed your children regularly, thus causing them to grow at healthy levels consistently.
2. You send them to school in clean clothes--rather you made sure they had clean clothes to put on when they woke up (if they get soiled from point A to point B--their problem)
3. You are physically present to keep them safe when you should be.
4. They feel loved on a regular basis.
5. You make sure to take time for yourself without going to the extreme of forgetting you are a mom.
6. There is some form of decent shelter provided.
7. You don't abuse them in any way.
8. If you have in the past, you have stopped and got professional help.

By the way, the same list goes for dads.

The list is really basic and I am sure there could be a couple of other things to add, but seriously people.  We need to do positive self-talk, instead of always feeling so inferior. We are all people trying to live and be happy. Negativity is just too destructive.

Here is what I tell myself when feeling low:

-Laura, you are awesome.
-You are strong.
-You are a jerk sometimes, but other times you are amazing and people like you.
-Not everyone likes you, but you can't have everything.
-You take good care of your children.
-It doesn't matter what everyone else does if it doesn't work for you.
-God loves you.

A parent's job is hard and very complicated, although I do think we complicate it for ourselves at times.
If you are doing that list, whether you are a working mom, stay at home dad, or somewhere in the middle-- guess what?

You are SUPER and Don't Forget It.


One of my all-time favorite novels is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and it didn't even become my favorite until about three years ago because I had never read it! Me, the English Teaching wannabe had never read anything by Mary Shelley until then. Crazy, I know. I totally LOVE LOVE LOVE this work. There are so many layers to explore, and then it is still a captivating story when you take it merely at face value.

My favorite quote comes from the part when Victor is facing his choice to neglect family, friends, and his academic studies to pursue his new found passion:

Women At Work

If you haven't noticed, the blog is under construction. There are some darling buttons that lead to weird places and some things just don't look quite right...

This is all a tiny sacrifice to make this the awesomest blog in the universe (well, the awesomest about the stuff I write about) so more people will take a look, realize how fun and fab it is, and actually want to join in with all of us.

One of my main concerns is to not make it too ultra girly. After my fancy post, I hope the male readership realizes that I am a girly girl, but I don't want to have it too cutesie and guys to feel weird about having it up on their screen. I think I bring up topics relevant to both sexes.  If you are a guy and are reading this, PLEASE give me some feedback on this. Have you found at least one posting a week somewhat interesting? I adore honesty. It is highly useful.

You also might notice that there is another name up there with the purple lady's. It is my friend Julie who is helping my technically-challenged self to rise to new heights by taking over the aesthetics department for a bit. When it takes you over an hour to figure out a FB like button and you still don't have one on your blog, there are serious problems! I have some of the most fabulous friends a girl could ever hope for.

Thanks Julie for your kindness, patience, and absolute generosity with your time and talents. Everyone on here thanks you too, I am sure.

Me and Bieber

Ok everyone. Please forgive me for getting so controversial on here. Last week I put Breakfast at Tiffany's under a microscope and now I am going to head into TweenyBopperLand.

I totally do not like to jump on band wagons unless it is for a good cause; therefore, I am now a willing participant in spreading the Justin Bieber propaganda.

Dude! On Sunday I discovered that this kid hearts purple stuff too. He even appears to be a touch on the purple-fanatic side like me. Take a look at the photos from the link below. It is completely fascinating and yet somewhat disturbing.  

You know something? I might try listening to some of his music now...

Justin Bieber: Paris Turns Purple! | Justin Bieber | Just Jared Jr. - JJ

and this next link is just CRAZY stupid funny to me:

Hope you feel entertained and enlightened. Happy Wednesday!


I don't know about you, but I cannot stand the news I heard this morning. I can't stand it so much that I must speak out.

What is up with people cheating on each other? Remember permissible infidelity? Well, what is up with all the rest of the kinds of infidelity?  Arnold Schwarzenegger actually fathered a child with a servant?  And didn't tell his wife for how long?

The entire situation is absolutely appalling, disgusting, pitiful, and sad.  And let us all remember that Mr. Terminator is a Hollywoodite.  What a poor example of how to be a husband, father, and let's just say it -- a man. Too many people in our society look up to actors and actresses for their role models and he has turned out to be a lecherous infidel.

My sympathies go out to his family.  Why should all the world know this man touched on a woman other than his wife and his wife have to bear that? It must be even more heartbreaking to have the whole world know about how poorly her spouse conducted himself.

Lest we forget in all the uproar, not only men and Hollywoodites do this type of thing.  I only use these particular events as a prime example of the problem society faces.

Infidelity has been a timeless tragedy against the tender trusting hearts of too many husbands, wives, and children. I believe that through nurturing the upcoming generations to know how wrong infidelity is and teaching them how to communicate so as to avoid getting into situations where temptation may strike, we can attempt eradication of this ugly blight on society.

To catch up on the previous conversation related to this posting, go to this article:

all things purple: Kissing, the Movies, and Permissible Infidelity


When I read this blog post, I had to pause for a moment and let it sink in.

My heart is touched and my life is changed for the better for reading this, so I had to pass it along to you:

Savvy and Sage: Happiness is Decided Ahead of Time: "'Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.' --Abraham Lincoln A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who..."

Fancy is My Middle Name

I was poking around on some fun websites for making my blog super duper and ran across this "button" (whatever that means).

How did someone know they needed to make this?  Fancy AND Purple!  Gotta love it.

Not to say that I am a rich sort of fancy, but I have always had an affinity for the fancy things in life starting at a young age. For instance, I used to only wear Mary Janes or dress shoes for school until I was in sixth grade.  That is when I got my first pair of athletic shoes.  And mind you I could only call them tennis shoes because that is obviously way more fancy sounding.

I believe my mom did it to me.  I am an only girl and so she dressed me up any chance she got and you love what you know. Also, since I was the only one asking for the fancy stuff, my parents could afford the habit.  When it was time to get me a new bed, I got an antiqued yellow canopy bed from Ethan Allen.  Talk about fancy. I loved that thing so much. My friends and my best cousin and I would drape sheets to make "rooms" on my bed, playing half the night. Those were some good times.

Well, I am not looking forward to today...I have Spanish class, too much homework, early out day for kids, and I am just plain tired. Totally NOT fancy whatsoever, but oh well. You can't be fancy all the time.

Hope you have a great start to your week and let's see what adventures come our way...

a little research goes a long way

Catching Up with the Purple Lady - KCOY Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo - News

she is real people!!! i really need to trust my memory more often.

she is definitely my mentor on this topic of purple stuff.

origin of the purple lady

I actually ripped my profile name or whatever you call it from a childhood memory...

My mom's family lived in California, and we would go visit at least once or twice a year it seemed, so it felt like my aunt and uncle's house was like home away from home.  Anyway, my cousins and my brothers and I would walk to the park nearby, and there was this lady who obviously loved purple. 

I am not sure what is just a figment of my imagination or what is real about this memory though. From what I recall, she was tagged The Purple Lady because she had a purple house, a purple car, the whole inside of her house was done up in purple.  I think I even remember my cousin telling me that The Purple Lady was in the Guinness Book of World Records because she even dyed her pet poodle purple. 

I could be wrong though. 

Nevertheless, I dedicate my over the top love of all things purple to The Purple Lady in Santa Maria, California.

going off on a tangent

my friend nicole sent this to me and i could not resist sharing... Enjoy!

I will survive!

At times, each and every person goes through hard times in her/his life. It is life. As human beings, we grow the most during periods of change and learning. Some trials are worse than others; I must admit that. 

For instance, when my mother passed away unexpectedly, I thought I would never sleep another night without getting snot-nosed and blubbery before being able to close my eyes and get the essential rest my body demanded. Then to compare my school challenges with that, I really don't ever cry over my homework (it has been close sometimes). Knowing that struggles work on a sliding scale doesn't change the fact that I have hard days because of school, kids, or whatever, but it helps me recognize that through my worst trials I have been able to find the light and knowledge I was supposed to learn from them. Mind you, it has been much, much later than in the moment for some things, but I recognize that I have grown and learned from some seriously tough stuff over the years.

a Whimsical Comic

found amongst some old family photos

When I saw this old comic strip cut out from the paper, I knew it needed to find a home on here and Whimsical Wednesday is where it's at for this sort of treasure.




When we use words either verbally spoken, using sign language, or written down, we are communicating.  Now that isn't really any news to any of us. We are literate, right? If you weren't, you surely would not be checking out my blog (although I have been getting better at using photographs and videos) So anyways--off the little tangent.

My point is: words written, said out loud, and communicated are important for us to understand one another. It is vital. Having really good command of language oftentimes translates into success in life. I wouldn't say it equates entirely with being wealthy, no, but it brings a sense of control over your destiny and relationships. Being understood by your fellow man creates a sense of satisfaction and that is what I mean by success.

Breakfast at Tiffany's: Romance Addiction at Its Best

This might be highly controversial and I might end up losing a couple followers over this one, but I have to say that I could hardly bear watching Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) yesterday until I started looking at it from a research perspective. I have an article coming out this summer in the academic journal Stance: For the Family dealing with romance addiction; therefore, the topic has been weighing on my mind. I promise I am not nuts, well, not entirely.

In Her Footsteps

for Debby - Mother Extraordinaire
In Her Footsteps

my mother no longer lives on earth
she died and left me behind
to witness and attest
that an angel gave me birth
her love and laughter reach out
through the years
her teachings and example help me
through the tears

mothers are extraordinary
we question them
argue with them
rebel against them
until one day
we open our eyes 
and see them 
for the first time
we recognize the treasure
behold the developed wisdom
admit our failure to love
and move forward 
working to show the love
bursting from 
our over-flowing
before time runs out

each day I live
to show the world
that my mom 
was extraordinary

by following
in her footsteps

family offenses

I don't know about you, but I adore getting together with my family. I have some seriously dynamic, achieving, fantastic people to look up to, hang out with, and call my own. When family events come around, I have such anticipation that it is nearly tangible. I just love love love getting together and spending that precious time.

My dilemma with the situation is the negative side to the whole thing-- the awesomeness brings along an ugly stepchild of sorts with it. family drama.

portrait of a lady

Through the Eyes of a Child
Who knew how important a little tuck into bed could be? 
When asked why he loves me, the smallest thing I could offer him is what he appreciates enough to remember. Amazing.

The one thing about this absolutely adorable photo that bothers me is that my son thinks my hair looks that crazy. 

Even then, I believe this is the best description of me to date. 
No one has ever thought I looked 14 feet tall!
And my hair is a touch on the crazy side...

Jane's Silence

Our human nature causes us to desire peace and love. There are countless times in life when struggles are present and the pensive silence necessary to realize the best decision cannot compete, rather it seems like it can't. We fight with our natural need to stop and listen to our conscience by reading more self-help books, talking to five more people to see what they think, when all we need do is stop and listen with our hearts.  I do not say to quit reading self-help books, scriptures, or seeking guidance from counselors/friends. All these steps are vital in decision-making. All these avenues have given me direction and understanding. What I am saying is that at some point we need to open our hearts and just feel the answer. Stop over-thinking, worrying, and, yes, even crying long enough to allow our hearts and heads to connect.

In Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Jane experiences this necessary silence.

Swearing and Sugar: a deadly combination

stuff to say instead of swearing -- literal quotes from out of my mouth (or head)

1. that's a load of living garbage
2. now that was special
3. stupid stuff!
4. what in the world...
5. That is such a cuss word
6. I will not break the honor code over getting angry
7.What is wrong with you people?
8. super fun! (said with absolute sarcasm)
9. gotta love it
10. and then every once in awhile, my Texan sailor roots come out and so does a swear word.

Along with the sugar thing...I am totally struggling with the swearing thing. I know I can actually overcome this bad habit and have made SIGNIFICANT progress.
Just remind me about my expectations next time I am super upset about something. ok? 

Update on the One Woman Junkfood Party Ban: 
I made it Monday-Thursday with flying colors, then chaperoned my little daughter's birthday outing to a softball game and ate ice cream, hot chocolate, and three foot long donuts...then she wanted to go to a buffet the next day for her birthday lunch with the family.  I only had a large scoop of baked chocolate pudding cake--it could have been way worse.  So you know, I am now back on track since Sunday and plan on staying that way at least till Friday again. What is up with all these special events on weekends??? I will definitely do a confession if I eat more than just a piece of cake... :)

the lowdown on birthdays

What makes a birthday something to celebrate year after year?

I am a serious celebrator of birthdays. If I get it into my head that someone needs a birthday party (including myself), I will begin planning sometimes over a year in advance-- usually only a few months, but still -- you now see my overachiever side for sure. This idiosyncrasy has been with me a LONG time.

When I was between 7-9years old, I remember being in the Lucky's grocery store with my mom and asking her if I could have a birthday party. My mom responded, "if you want to have a birthday party, you plan it and I'll pay for it. If you don't want to plan it, you can't have a party." And that conversation began my love of party planning.

These celebrations are a place to come together, spend time, and build stronger, lasting relationships.