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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...

television: my gateway drug to becoming a fangirl


When I was growing up, there were Saturday morning cartoons to anticipate, after school shows that I'd run home to watch, and then some evening programs we'd watch as a family. There are so many that I really enjoyed, so it's hard to narrow them down to one single favorite; therefore, I will break it down to a few.

Saturday morning cartoon time was when I fell in love with Captain America. I really liked watching The Smurfs, too. Obviously, Smurfette was my favorite. I even got Smurf pajamas for Christmas one year.

He-man and the Masters of the Universe was my show after school. I remember hurrying home so I could be ready to watch it with a bowl of cereal in my lap. She-ra: The Princess of Power and Teela were characters I would pretend to become whenever my brothers were He-man, Battle Cat, Panthor, and/or Skeletor. On occasion, if my being a girl didn't break the rules, I felt really cool playing as Panthor. He was so tough!

As far as nighttime shows go, I can hardly even decide. We used to watch M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Mork and Mindy, and so many others. I remember my parents letting me stay up late to watch Johnny Carson and laughing along with them even when I didn't quite get the jokes because it was just so fun to be there with them getting to stay up late.

As a teen, I used to watch The Wonder Years faithfully, then 21 Jump Street, and Beverly Hills, 90210.

I'll never get over the funny nostalgia of The Wonder Years. I could identify with so much of the wit and pickles he'd get himself into. I remember wanting my life to be that simple because it wasn't. I wished for a friendship/romance like Winnie and Kevin's. There were a lot of lessons about how marriage, family, and friendships work, too. And there was always something about it that made me come back for more. I think it was how they let us hear inside Kevin's mind. His thoughts were so ridiculous sometimes, but it taught me that sometimes our thoughts are ridiculous, and that's okay so long as we figure it out. Plus, to be privy to how boys think was quite intriguing.

To idolize Johnny Depp and Richard Grieco was the reason I watched 21 Jump Street, plain and simple. I couldn't tell you anything about the storyline, but that's alright. They were absolute babes. I had a massive poster of Johnny Depp (as well as George Michael, but that's another story) hanging on my wall so as to see his face first and last thing every day. 90210 was something I began watching due to teen societal pressures, but then it intrigued me. It was interesting to see the drama played out and how it reflected my own teen life. Also, as with 21 Jump Street, I was busy falling in love with the main characters, Jason Priestley and Luke Perry. Babes, I tell you. Absolute babes.

There were other shows, but these were the ones that pushed me to pretend and adore and wish for the unattainable. Isn't that what growing up is all about?

there are no words

Where are those precious words that I cannot find?
I reach for them on the inexhaustible shelves of my mind,
Yet they have gone, possibly fled
For safety from the death grip of woe
Which I have invited in for a long, extended stay.
If only I'd remember which secret garden I wish to tend,
Maybe then, my friends would not want to go.
Possibly, they wouldn't seek for higher ground, away
From me, leaving me with myself to blame,
No one else to ask. For in my shame,
I see how I pushed them out
By embracing tears and doubt.
In a wasteland waiting to bloom,
The words lie dormant, even hewn,
As from a dragon's lair, too soon,
Not knowing if they will e'er return
Since their home, her heart, has now been burned.

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for my long time ago lover

Every once in awhile—
I let myself wonder
Why you remember
Me when no one else does
Really, why you call and reminisce
On things so far away only to
Bring them to the front of
Our recollection and
Hearts, entwining the past with
The present, like a wrapped gift
Only you can give, my friend,
My long time ago lover. 

Saying things to me that no one else
Dare, reminding me of what life might
Sound like as I hear you speak words of
Adoring kindness, feeding my wounded
Soul through the wire
As chatter fills the night
Air, and my heart has new breath
On which to sustain itself
Because you remember
Me on days when there is nothing
Keeping me alive
Waiting for
A long time
Ago lover.

To no longer be separate
Healed of the things
Keeping us apart
When we are drawn
Together so often
Like travelers seeking
Refreshment from a well of
Never ending loveliness
For all the days of loneliness
When no other could take
Your place with me
Like filling a hole
Which will never be filled
Except by you
And all that you offer,
My darling
My long time ago

Pickled Ice Cream

There are days when I think I am doing so well. Then, disillusionment hits, and there are days when I feel how terribly awkward and ridiculous I am in the eyes of some people. My ex, for example, said that people don't actually like me; that I am irritating, but no one wants to tell me to my face so they just put up with me; that I talk too much. And today, I am keenly aware of how he is right in many ways. Not entirely, but to a degree. I am just a different sort of person and not everyone gets along with this variety of different, I guess.

I ask myself what I could do differently, but I can't see what I could change without going against my core. I need to stop being such a freakin' jerk though. That's one thing that might help. I keep on trying to stop and I keep on reacting badly to my world.

I feel so stupid that I could crawl under a rock.

WRITE your slice. SHARE your link. GIVE some comments to (at least three) other slicers. If you're leaving your comment early in the day, please consider returning this evening or tomorrow to read some of our evening posters' slices.

broken hearts and tablecloths

Mother's Nottingham lace

Where to start...

Pulling out every tablecloth to be had
Arranging this and straightening that
Making all in our control
As right as it possibly can be
Tears take their turn as the day unfolds
A fidgeting nervousness comes over me
There is not enough work for these hands
Photographs become treasure without price
A blanket, some clothes. All things remind
Us of the part of our hearts which lay wounded again
With the thought of someone else knowing this pain
This missing and longing to hold and be held
And then, there are the flowers--and music
And sweet reunion with those we have long not seen
Who are still here
And there is comfort
Comfort in the company
For the love and lessons we all share
Like the tablecloths that come out of the closets
To brighten and bless in their simplicity

Family: It's what's for dinner

I don't know about you, but for me, there seems to be dual realities all around us. A major one is family.

You might have that amazing handful of aunts and uncles, some cousins who are like siblings to you, siblings who are like your friends. But then--you also might have an unavoidable and quite perplexing portion of family members who are little crap starters, seem to be irritated by you no matter which way you turn, and even some with whom you never know where you stand because you can't tell if they love you or hate you for all their passive-aggressive, non-committal, wishy washy, flaky jakeness.

Some days, you're being served up smiles all around, so life is beautiful. On others, you realize that maybe things aren't as good as they seem on the surface, making for a metaphorical Hunger Games of sorts where nobody wins. 

To the latter sort found within of all our families, I dedicate this thought for the day.

journey of a lifetime


I wouldn't say there is a definitive moment for when I became a true believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been and continues to be a journey of a lifetime.

What conversion means to me is when I started pondering on the scriptures because I want to; when I wanted to be good, especially when it is most difficult; when I push past guilt and actually work toward true repentance--every day; when I look at another's suffering and stop thinking of myself in order to help them; when I strive to learn and teach and grow in all aspects of my life that I might glorify God in whatever ways I can.

Despite my rough edges and crazy past, I know that I am a beloved daughter of God and that I will be welcomed back into His presence as long as I keep on doing my personal best. I am grateful for the gift of repentance and the power of forgiveness; I have seen the many miracles that come from those two gospel principles.

It took me a long time to realize the tangible presence of Jesus in my life. And now, I have a testimony of God's love for me and all of creation.

Highfalutin Mumbo Jumbo

Dragging her body throughout her living quarters, she realized something. She was quite unwell. Whether it be in body, mind, or heart was still to be determined, but she understood enough to know that something vital was amiss and must be put aright, one way or another.

The bothersome hives she awoke to mid night's rest the previous evening could be responsible, yet her heart had been ill at ease for many a month. Yes, that is correct month. If only it could be days or weeks even, but no, her struggle with love had grown into a war, stripping everyone involved of their smiles and warmth.

So, instead of making her head ache more with concentration, the lady retired to her bed to rest, only to awake from a nap which had privily stole away most of her day. Contentment remained elusive, yet she was able to indulge in a sense of delicious rejuvenation from the bodily drain she had had to bear.



I'm feeling really mixed up, distracted, and wishing I could run away on a trip for a month. I'd take my kids with me, so I don't feel guilty at all. I just want to go somewhere with maid service, free breakfast, and a pool. That is not too much to ask, is it?

And in further news, my e-book manuscript is nearly ready to submit. I question how much I actually have to offer the world, now that I am going to put my stuff out there to be read on Kindles, iPads, and other e-reader devices. Even writing this right now makes me question whether or not I'm kidding myself into thinking anyone gives a crap about what I have to say.

There is so much going on right now, both blessings and cursings. I hope I haven't ruined your mood with my negativity.

Purple Style Fact

Personal style sometimes isn't all that personal. Purple lovers, for instance, seem to have a thread woven into everything they choose that ties them together. The common denominator is their obsession with purple, but still. It is uncanny how we all tend to flock to the same sorts of things.

With that said, I want to share some purple style facts as I see them (and I believe many other purple people do, too).

more than a house


My first home was small and in a bad neighborhood. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a great room that served as entry/sitting room/family room/dining room, then a hallway of a kitchen with the laundry behind folding doors in the kitchen was what we had to work with. It needed a great deal of improvements, but by the time it was sold, it was a lovely little home.

I don't miss the terrible neighborhood, but every once in a while, I get to missing the house itself because so many memories were made there. My parents walked within those walls. Three out of four of my babies were brought home from the hospital to there. I regained my testimony of the gospel while living in that home. It will always be special to me for those reasons.

I want...

I don't know what to say without sounding like a pitiful mess, and I'm tired of my negative voice--written or spoken. I just want to be able to move on with life. I want to make plans and have them stick. I want my broken record of an existence to finally play a different song. I want to hear music within the lines of my life, without straining to hear. I want the hurt to end. Even if it's to experience new pain, at least it would be different hurt. I just want to feel happy without having to constantly ignore the elephant in the room of my heart. I want to know where the struggle leads. I want to feel more joy than sorrow.


church service


Thus far, my service in church has ranged from Choir Director to Building Scheduler to Girls Camp director and many others in between. I have learned to love the surprise of moving on from something I've really enjoyed to something fresh and possibly foreign to me.

The biggest surprise I have got, to date, was when I was asked to serve as the Family History Consultant. I literally laughed out loud, and then said I'd do it. It was a big challenge for me to learn how to teach others something I didn't know how to do yet, but it all turned out nicely. I think.

I'd have to say that the one calling I enjoyed most was being Girls Camp Director. I was in charge of making the week of camp diverting, spiritual, and life-changing for my group of young women. It was exhilarating to me. We worked on learning how to give selfless service to those around us while still tapping into the fabulous aspects of life we all love so much. I chose Troop Beverly Hills as our theme, so if you've seen the movie, I needn't say anything more for you to comprehend how awesome our camp was. I played it to the hilt--wearing makeup, hats, and as much bling as possible while camping. It was so fun! I hope I get the opportunity to do it again someday.

I Dream of Genie: The Complete Series

I hope you enjoy my "I Dream of Genie" mini-series. It was a story begging to be told. And please, if you only read one part, read Part Four.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

The Watermelon Song

As a child, I was only sent away to summer camp once--between fourth and fifth grades. It was Girl Scout camp, and I was a Brownie. I recall being excited to go; I sold cookies and my mom handed over a check at the Girl Scout office when she signed me up. The first night was tough. I cried and wished I were at home, but then I awoke the next day ready for fun. The days were filled with knots and stories and hikes. My favorite hike was when we had to get up around 4 a.m. in order to get to the ridge before the sun came up so we could watch dawn arrive. It was magnificent to my young eyes. On the last night, we had a big bonfire and the leaders asked if anyone knew any campfire songs that we hadn't sung yet, and if so, would we teach it to everyone. Being one of the youngest campers, no one expected me to contribute, but for some reason I felt compelled to do so. I raised my hand, went to the top where the leaders were located and taught the entire Girl Scout camp the Watermelon song which my mother taught me from a young age while driving in cars and on our family camping trips. It was fantastic to hear everyone singing a song I had taught them! I will never forget it as long as I live.

lyrics for "The Watermelon Song"

Oh, plant a watermelon right upon my grave.
That's all I ask of you. 

Chicken and dumplings are might fine, 
but I'll take a watermelon any old time.
So, plant a watermelon right upon my grave,
and let the juice (slurp through teeth twice) drip through.

If you like, repeat while increasing tempo each time through until unintelligible.

*If you want to hear a rendition of The Watermelon Song, you can now watch it on my Instagram account: @th_purpl_lady


i was a quitter


My parents gave me many opportunities to become a cultured young woman. I took piano lessons, and did the classic ballet/jazz/tap combination at a dance studio for a bit, then tried gymnastics twice--once at a big gym and the second time was at our neighborhood rec center.

I'd like to say that some of it carried over, but none of it did, well, at least not how it should have. I was allowed to quit everything. If I got tired of going, no one ever gave me a little push in the right direction. My parents were hard liners for agency, even when I really needed some guidance. However, I do believe I learned something about poise and how to conduct myself in formal ways that I could not have learned without the expectations of performances and the discipline I was given by other adults. Another thing I learned, in hindsight, is how important a bit of parental guidance can be when children are being wishy washy. Because of my inability to follow through and stick with something, I have had to taste bitter regret. I am glad for it because now I can discern when to guide and when to set them free to choose entirely on their own instead of repeating parenting practices that weren't as beneficial as they could have been. It has proven invaluable with my own children.