Friday, April 30, 2010

This is just a prelude to what will come later in the night. I've been working on a post off  and on today until the migraine gets worse, then I stop for a while. Just had to post this before midnight to make sure a day is not skipped.
I'm now on day 10 of my 21 day trial so after tomorrow I will be on the downside of my journey to making a good habit and breaking a bad habit...well it's not a bad habit to chew sugarless Trident gum...but I did chew to much of it. Anyway, more later to finish editing today's writings, but just HAD to post this before 11:59 p.m.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Skipping A Story But Still Hanging On

Still No Gum...but also...No story today, just
a blinding migraine for the last 22 hours & 
counting. The new medication they changed
to for my migraines does nothing at all to
help the pain. I think these HMO's are just
out there to torture people on purpose.
They couldn't leave me with Maxalt that
actually worked, but had to change to a
cheaper generic brand of something else
that I had to pay for but that does not even I pay to suffer the the pain of an
excruciating migraine for a few days...No
working on anything today...just had to post
to stay in the running for 21 days straight.
It's Excedrin P.M & back to a dark room
to cope with the pain until it passes...forget
the lousy generic drug I had to pay for.
My doctor will hear about this for sure.
It's so frustrating.

The Cowardice of "Big Daddy"

Yup, that's me! The smiling coward right in
front of the pack with big black patches on
the knees of my pants!
And no, I've not peeked...But, yes my hubby
said the gum is still in the pocket of his
lunch box. I may open it up for a cell
phone picture...but no I better not!
I can do this...I want to prove to myself that
I can do it, but also I want to find out if the
tale of 21 days to making or breaking a habit
is true. Going without gum & writing every
single day. My huge bottle of Listerine is
almost gone & I've gone through 2 boxes of
dental floss already, but I WILL DO THIS!
I am writing every day...more than I did
before. I'm working through assignments
from several books on how to write. I'm
hoping it helps my writing skills, but mostly I
hope it embeds within me the self-discipline
to settle in & complete a task "ahead of time",
not just finish things "on time".
Today, I look back in time to the days of my
childhood, to times when all the other kids
had those long ropes of gum, called
"Big Daddy".
I remember them so well. The flavors like
green apple, watermelon, cherry & grape.
We never had any as kids & I wanted some
so badly so I could be like the other kids
around the neighborhood & at school.
We didn't get an allowance at home...there
was never enough money for that, besides,
my dad was old school - believing that one
shouldn't get money for nothing. We learned
very young that you had to work very hard
for literally every penny (it didn't kill us by
any means & was a good lesson to learn
early on...Oh, I am already digressing.
Anyway, once a year, on our birthday, we
received  a lovely $20.00 bill from my dad's
sister who lived in Oklahoma & $10 each
from my grandmother in Las Vegas, & her
sister, our Great Aunt Mary in New Jersey.
Great Aunt Mary was deaf & could only lip-
read in Italian, it was unbelievable, but true!
We received $40.00 a year of real money that
was all our own, yet we never got to use it
for our birthday, not in the Pierce household!
Instead, my Mother put our money away
in those little red & green cans with white
lids that chicken & beef bullion cubes came
in. They were labelled on the top & sides of
with a number each...1-5. I was #3...the 3rd
girl in the middle of 5 girls. I had 3 dots on
all my socks, underclothing, & on the white
school uniform blouses for our Catholic
school, Saint Rose Academy. I was #3.
The reason for the numbers was because
all 5 of us got the same kind of white
everything & the only way to tell them
apart in the laundry was to number them.
I was # 3, the one in the middle of 5 girls.
One day, I wanted some gum like the other
kids had so badly, that while my mom had
a friend over to visit...I took 3 nickles out of
my own bullion can (oh...we did make a wee
bit of money in the neighborhood from the
time we were little by taking our red wagon
& selling excess fruits & vegetables from our
garden) which, we weeded daily, along with
the fully landscaped huge yard filled with all
kinds of plants, flowers & even cactus. My
dad was a botanist from Sierra College, he
could take clippings of stuff & make anything
grow & believe it or not we were able to go
to work with him all day long in the summer employer now would ever allow
kids to go to work with their parents & work
alongside them because of the risks involved,
but this w-a-a-a-y was back in the day.
It was hard, hot work, but it was fun to us
& we got a Twinkie or Ding-Dong that our
dad would get us from a snack machine
with an ice cold root beer...we never had
that stuff at home! So I guess back then to
us, it was worth the hard, hot 8 hour summer
day of working with all the other men on
the gardening crew. We'd feel special & get
treats in return.
I remember my dad told us about a hippie
girl that was hired once & paired with him.
She had to ride around to his jobs with him
all day & he complained like no body's
business, he said she smelled so bad!
(I got to see & SMELL her when I went to
work with him one day it was the truth!)
My dad said she didn't believe in shaving
either & I was shocked to see her armpits
that looked all hairy like a man's & definitely
smelled the proof in her unbelief of using
no deodorant because it was unhealthy!!!
Anyway - I digress again! In the summer,
before we could go to Johnson's pool for the
whole afternoon with our baggies of cut up
fresh garden vegetables to snack on (& boy
we'd sure eat them because you feel like
you're starving after swimming & playing in
a pool for 5 hours....we'd all have to weed
our section of the yard & garden by hand
before we could go to the pool at noon...
No weed eaters or gas-powered mowers
back then, it was an old rusty push mower
with those open blades on two wheels...
Does anyone remember them?
OK, back to making extra money...
We even canvassed the neighborhood from
the time we were very little starting around 6
years old for odd jobs that would pay real
coins for washing windows, do any kind of
house & yard work for the neighbors...all
the nickels, dimes & quarters we made
went into our own bullion cans with our
numbers on them in the order we were born.
#1 was Sharon, Sherry was # 2, #3 (that was
me!) Sybil was #4, & Sylla was #5. But, we
never got to spend it....the money we earned
(along with the $40 birthday money) which
was used at the end of every August to buy
our new clothes, shoes, & school supplies for
the new school year every September.
The thing I hated was that I only got to feel
rich for such a short time, since my birthday
was in the middle of August & a week or
so later we were buying those school
clothes with the money from our cans.
Everyone else was able to see their can with
the bills rolled around inside for almost a
year or six months...but alas, I only got to
feel rich for a week! BOOOO!
So....back to my story, I remember sneaking
into my Mom & dad's bedroom, opening my
Mom's middle dresser drawer on the right
side & under the clothes were the 5 bullion
cans with the big black numbers on the top.
I remember often during my "rich" week,
I'd go with my heart thumping just to look at
& feel my bills...a $20 dollar bill & two $10's,
lifting my can out of the drawer, opening
the lid & dumping the contents of my can
on mum's bed. I'd look at the $20 dollar bill in
awe & feel it, tracing the face of President
Andrew Jackson...That $20 bill made me
feel rich...Then there were the two $10 bills
& I'd trace the face of Alexander Hamilton.
I found out later in school that he was the
first U.S Secretary of Treasury & only one
of two people that were not United States
Presidents to ever be put on money. The
other is Benjamin Franklin, I found out he
was on a $100 bill. I'd never seen a $100 bill,
until...but that's a story for another time.

We 5 girls were always creatively trying to
make money that our mom wouldn't know
about, so we could hide it, if possible....but
she always found out because the neighbors
would call her to tell her what we were trying
to sell! Then I remember having to turn the
money over to be put in the cans.

I'll tell just two of our many ways of trying
to make our own money by selling stuff.
One time, I remember, after our Mom had
gotten a load of groceries from the food co-op
we belonged to for bulk buying for our large
family. We loaded a large bag of powdered
milk (this was before she found the dairy
where we got fresh milk & yes we drank that
bluish, gross stuff that is powdered milk
before she found the dairy. Anyway, she
shopped in bulk at a food co-op for most of
our health foods, staples & canned foods
that we couldn't grow at home.
We 5 kids would go with her to help all the
others in the co-op unpack & split the loads
that came by freight truck once a month.
Believe, me it was hard, heavy work & no
fun, but hard work is good for kids & helps
build character - gives them a good work
ethic...yet I digress once again!
Anyway, one time the powdered milk got
wet in transport somehow, & wouldn't melt
down in the water, it was just in a big hard
chunk, so our Mom threw it out on the junk
pile. Being kids, & curious, we took those
chunks into the garage only to find we could
use it to draw on the ground, it was like chalk
but it was FREE! We drew a few hop-
scotches that were all the rage at St. Rose
Academy & a four-square block in the drive-
way & played for a while. Then someone,
either Sharon or Sherry because they were
older, decided that we could break up the big
chunks into smaller ones, take them around
the neighborhood to sell to the other kids
for chalk...& guess worked!
The kids bought our powdered milk chalk! I
don't remember what we charged probably
pennies or a nickle, depending on the size
of the chunk they bought...& there were a
lot of kids around the blocks of our
permissible territory to roam!
Another day, after we helped, but mostly
Sherry & my dad, built a chicken coop, (yes
we kids did all the taking care of them,
mucking out the stinky coop & fenced in
scratching area, feeding them, collecting
eggs) & getting attacked by this huge white 
killer rooster...I was terrified of him,
because he was so mean! 
Sharon & Sherry even helped in the
butchering of them once a year for the
freezer. (It was many, many years after
I moved away from home, before I ever ate
chicken again & if I ever do eat it, it cannot
have skin or bones & it must be white! I'm
almost a vegan, & vegetarian most of the
time, only with occasional fish now & then.
I still can't stand the sight of raw meat of
any kind & rarely eat it...that smell of the
singed feathers & all the guts & cut off
heads & feet. Yuck, yuck, triple yuck!
Sherry would chase me after me & the
others with chicken claws pulling a tendon
sticking out of the legs to make the chicken
claws open & close like it was grabbing at
me like a ghostly, bony hand...Oh, how I
hated those gross feet.  I never understood
how she could touch them, but she always
seemed to me to be the bravest of us 5 girls.
I always wanted to be like her, she never
seemed afraid of anything!
I can still smell that awful smell....that smell
after the headless chickens were dunked in
scalding water to make the plucking easier.
I was made to try it the 1st time &  threw
up my breakfast. After that my mom would
take us 3 younger ones away for the day
when the chickens were being butchered.
YaY! But the smell seemed to linger for days
after the butchering & I still never ate it
when it was cooked for dinner...I'd still gag at
the thought of that horrid smell...It seems I
can smell it even now as I write in the
middle of the night....oh GAG!
Anyway, we had a lot of scrap lumber from
building the chicken coop...I don't remember
which one of us had the bright idea to take
the smaller pieces of wood, saw them down
to about two feet lengths, & color them with
crayons in all different designs. It took us a
few afternoons to finish them all, then we
put them in a box on our trusty old red
wagon to sell to all the neighbors to as,
believe it or not, "Fanny Whackers" for
people to spank their kids with! Some
people laughed & bought them, I think they
felt sorry for us because we were always
trying to sell them stuff. One lady got mad
& called our mom...she said there was no
way she'd use a colored 2"x4" to spank her
 kids...Gee, they weren't all that big!
Those were only for the extra bad kids! The
others were only 1"x1" or 1"x2" cut in 24"
long pieces! We didn't care if they actually
used them to Whack Fannies or not...we
were just trying to make some money!
(Don't get me wrong...our parents didn't use
those on us, it was the old fashioned belt for
my oh man, he could unbuckle
that belt faster than greased lightning, it was
like he just slapped the buckle & it came
undone when he was really mad at us!
Like the time he...chased me around the burn
barrel...gosh, he was so mad because he had
to chase me & I was scared to kingdom come
because he was waving the belt like a lasso
(he used to be a cowboy back in the 1920's
& I KNEW he could hit his mark) so I kept
running as he got more furious by the second...
I got a huge walloping for that stunt & never
ran from him again. My mom preferred what
she called "switches" & every year when my
dad pruned our trees, he'd cut a HUGE bunch
of switches from the long thin branches, wrap
them in a bundle, standing them in the corner
up against the dryer right by the garage door
to stand sentry against our mischievous ways,
so we could see them every time we went in
or, when she'd wear one out, well,
there were more in storage. I think we were
pretty good kids, but there were times we
did deserve to be spanked, usually for good
reason, but some times, well...not so good,
but I won't go there though. There's another
"gum" story there in all of that.
Anyway our Mom put a stop to us selling
the Fanny Whackers. She drove around the
neighborhood in the old Rambler station
wagon till she found us, piled us in with our
wagon of Whackers...& yet we once
again we handed over the coins.

Well, one day, I wanted some  of those
"Big Daddy" gum ropes like the other kids
had so badly, that while my mom had a
friend over to visit, I actually had the courage
to take some change out of my own #3
bullion can...It wasn't was MY
money, right? I put it in the pocket of my
shorts & climbed on the big old blue bike
with the wrap around fenders & a wire
basket on the front & rode to "Stop-N-Save"
market as fast as I could. It was only about 4
country neighborhood blocks from our house
& I was sure I could make it there & back
before being missed, after all, we were sent
outside to play for the duration of my Mom's
visit with her friend any way!
I rode like the wind, ran in the store, grabbed
a grape, a watermelon & a sour apple
3 "Big Daddies" just for me...handed over my
3 coins to the cashier, tearing out of the
store like I'd stolen them & jumped on my
bike. I decided to take the short-cut through
the field on Orlando to be on the safe side.
My heart was pounding faster than a
hummingbird's & my legs were going as
fast as 8 year old legs could pump those old
bicycle pedals....yet I started feeling so
terrified I would get caught that I
ripped those three precious whips of my
very own "Big-Daddy" gum ropes out of
my pocket & threw them as hard as I
could into the field, never stopping a for even
a beat to look back in regret as my very own
"Big-Daddy's" went flying through the air &
away from me forever. I just wanted to get
home without getting caught...(I wish they
sold "Big-Daddy" gum now just so I could
see what it tasted like!)
When I got home, I threw the bike down
by the other one on the side of the house,
shaking like a leaf & feeling like my
heart would thump out of my chest...I was
never good at lying & right away, as
soon as my Mom's friend left, she asked
me what was wrong...I tried to say"nothing"
but she knew I was hiding something, so she
kept after me until I told her what I did,
thinking all the while, that I'd get a whipping
for taking the money, & boy did I ever, but
she said it wasn't for taking the money out of
my can, but for going to the store without
permission. She told me it wasn't stealing
because it was my money, but that it was
so important to save it because it was almost
time for school to start & was needed
very soon for me to buy the clothes,
shoes, & school supplies for the new year.
Then followed a lesson on the importance
of saving money while I sniffled & cried,
more from the loss of my precious gum than
from the pain of the spanking for leaving
without permission. I wonder if any of the
neighbor kids ever found that unopened
gum thinking they'd struck a jack-pot as that
field was criss-crossed with paths from all the
kids that traversed it's golden waves during
their summer play times of yester-year.
My sisters all laughed at me for being such
"Fraidy-Cat", saying I should have at least
kept the gum to pay for my spanking,
because I didn't just lose my gum for being
I so afraid, but I had 15 cents less in my can
for my you see...I've been a
"Fraidy-Cat" since forever, and thus, yet
another reason for me to learn courage
even in my older age some 37 years later.
I wonder if anyone has lasted through this
long & rather jumbled catch-me-if-you-can
tale of :
The Cowardice of "Big Daddy"?
Please leave a comment if you made it to
the end of my rambling...pretty please with
a stick of gum on top?
Gee...I spent too much time editing this from
last night's mistakes, so it looks like I missed
a day of writing but I really have not because
this was drafted yesterday, which is still my
today, because I haven't gone to bed yet!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Four Year Old Thief

My second memory of gum comes from when I was four years old.
My mom had taken us all to the old (and only K-Mart) for miles around
over on Garfield and Auburn Blvd.
I remember it was night. It was my turn to sit in the back of that old brown
Rambler station wagon. There were not seats back there and it seemed like
it had a paneled wood floor. The only other thing back there was a spare tire, a tire jack and two 4"x4" blocks of wood to put behind the tires when it was in park, because it would shift out of park and roll.
We didn't know there was something wrong with it, we just thought that everyone did that when they parked.
Anyway...I remember it was night time, dark outside. My mom got the things
she needed and was at the checkout with all five us fidgeting around her.
I saw a box of Juicy Fruit gum on the counter and thought it was there for anyone to have. It never even crossed my mind that you had to pay for it.
We got to the car & as my mom put in the bags in the back end, two of us took a block each and tossed them in with the bags. I climbed in and took the gum out of my pocket. Five glorious pieces all to myself! I didn't have to share, because no one knew I had it!
I opened all five pieces and began to was quite a mouthful for a four-year-old! We hadn't gone far at all before my sisters started clamouring that they smelled gum...gee...we all knew what Juicy Fruit smelled like from my mom chewing it. I never dreamed they'd be able to smell if from where I was hunkered in the dark against the back door.
As my Mom asked each of us, starting with the oldest, if we had any gum, I hurriedly stashed my half-chewed wad of gum under one of the wooden blocks we used for brakes. When it came my turn I told my Mom I didn't have any either...but my voice gave it away and the others kept yammering about smelling Juicy Fruit.
My mom pulled the car to the side of the road, got out as my heart thumped, and came around to the back door. There I was cowering like the guilty child that I was...She pulled me out of the car, stood my up, opened my mouth and smelled...and knew at once it was me. She checked my pockets and found the wrappers...and asked where I got it and what I'd done with it. I just pointed to the block. She picked it up to find the sticky mess....she asked again where I'd gotten the gum. I told her it was on the counter and I just took one.
She told me that  taking something that didn't belong to me was stealing...that it was wrong and I could go to jail for it. Then to my surprise and supreme embarrassment, she hauled me over the hood of the car, pulled down my pants and proceeded to spank me so hard it was as if she had one of her famous "switches" from the tree...It was so hard it had to have hurt her hand. I know I was sure hurting, not just physically, but I was mortally embarrassed...right there on the side of the road for all the world to see!
Then she told me I was a shame to her and she didn't raise me to be a thief...I didn't even know what a thief was before that night!
When we got home, she told my Dad...he lined everyone up on the couch and told everyone how wrong stealing is then pulled me over the piano bench and I got another whipping with his belt in front of everyone....I guess my parents figured everyone would learn from my mistake.
I took my poor, humiliated, bruised, but smarter little person off to bed without any dinner.
The next day, my mom took a coin out of my can (the story of the cans will come tomorrow) and took me back to K-Mart. Little did I know she'd called ahead of our trip there and told them what I'd done and wanted them to scare the dickens out of me so I'd never steal again.
All I remember is standing there next to my mom...shaking, and trying to stammer out an apology to the store manager as I held out the coin to him to pay for the gum. He took it and brought in a policeman....Maybe he was just a security guard...but he sure looked like a police, had the hat, uniform, badge and one of those black club things on his belt...this policeman leaned down to my level and told me in the meanest, most sinister voice I'd ever heard, what happens to little kids and grown-ups that steal. He said I'd be put in a dark, damp cells with bars and no windows...he said it was filled with giant rats that would try to eat me when I was sleeping...spiders everywhere, crawling over me and biting me...he said I'd only be given a single piece of stale bread and a cup of water to eat everyday. My eyes were huge as I looked up into his fierce face...I still remember that face today...He asked my if I would ever steal anything again.
I remember saying, "No Sir...I-I-I never, ever will - I-I-I cross my heart." and physically crossed my pounding heart with my trembling little four-year old finger - I didn't dare to add the remainder of "cross my heart -hope to die -stick a thousand needles in my eye" part of it as we said when playing, because I was so afraid this big mean policeman would make it happen.
He said that was good as he slapped the club at his side over and over against his leg. He growled that if I was ever caught stealing again, I'd go to that black, dark cell filled with rats and spiders...
Needless to say, I learned my lesson very well in the 24 hours that followed the moment of time that it took to put that pack of gum in my pocket, until I faced the policeman and store manager with what I had done. I now knew what a thief was and I knew what stealing was....and I knew that I would never, ever, ever do it again...not even for a piece of gum. Maybe some year
Santa would put some gum in my stocking if I was a good little girl and never stole anything again...especially a piece of gum.
That's me second from the looks like I'm
wondering if I've been good enough to have
Santa Claus bring me a color book and crayons...
but I do remember getting the most beautiful
rag doll made by my very own little mother.
Not the old Raggedy Ann style rag doll,
but a beautiful cloth baby with nut brown
braids and embroidered eyes to match my own.
She even made her several changes of clothes
and a nightgown that matched mine...
I called her Baby Girl.
I don't know how my mother did all that
she did, cleaning other people's homes and
ironing their laundry every week while we
were still in school, but she did so much
to make our house a place of love and fun
filled with happy memories of our early
childhood years. Cooking and sewing
and reading us stories almost every night.
I loved to hear her read to us...even when 
we got older she still read to us. 
And I'll never forget the story of 
Hind's Feet on High Places.
The story of a girl named Much-Afraid. 
It seemed  to be my story too...I just
 hope my life story end's as Much-Afraid's 
story ended, where she gains strength
and courage through her trial,
and her name is changed to 
Grace & Glory.
I know what book I'll read tonight...
Yes, Hind's Feet On High Places,
and thank you to you my little
mother up in heaven. I will always
treasure this book you gave to me
as an teen when you found out how
much I loved the story...I've read it
several times and will read it's tale
of victory and triumph over fear
once more tonight.
I miss you so very's almost
Mother's's so very hard with
you your mom and our Sweet William
all gone to heaven...I'll be putting
some roses from my garden on
your stone for you...your favorite flower.
I love you little mother...I love you!
Give my William and Grandma Lou a
hug for me...and tell Dad I'm trying.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Twenty-one Minus Six

Well, I found 2 packs of gum in my
husband's lunch box when I went to
fix his lunch at 4:30 this morning.
It doesn't even deserve a photo from
my cell phone...I just zipped the pocket
up and filled the rest of the lunch box
 up and got away from that box
as soon as possible.
Maybe I'll add that story I promised
later...right now I'm too tired from
staying up all night long.....again.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Five and Sixteen Equals Twenty-One

Another cheesy shot from my cell phone, but
all I can say is five days are almost down.
Only sixteen more to go.
Maybe I'll tell another story tomorrow.
Right now, it's enough for me know
that I've almost got today behind me.
I've written everyday here on the 
blog as well as in my own personal
journal and I have not chewed
ANY gum at all.
I'm so tired from going
through paperwork...
Does it count if I have a Tic-Tac?
It couldn't could it...after all
a Tic-Tac is not gum, right?!?!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My First Memories of Gum

I'll try to get one of my earliest memories of wanting gum...I was probably around late three or early four years old. It was definitely before I started kindergarten. My mother would chew gum once in a was always Juicy Fruit in that bright yellow packaging that smelled like fruity candy. I just remember my mom chewing gum and smelling it....wanting it...but never getting any. She didn't do it that a whole lot...but I do remember vividly wanting it so much and never getting any.

We were very poor growing up...a large family of 5 girls on a small income ~ only my step-dad worked. My mom was a stay-at-home mom (she did work when we were at school by taking in ironing and cleaning homes to help put us through a Catholic private school with scholarships to help foot the bill.)

My mother was also an extreme health-food nut. We ate healthy, home grown vegetables, fresh unprocessed milk from a local dairy out in the country 10 gallons a week for us kids...we made our own butter from the cream, we had brewer's yeast in our orange juice every morning (I still gag when I think of the smell of Brewer's Yeast in orange juice), carob-chip cookies with wheat germ and flax seed instead of your normal Toll-house chocolate chip cookies, sea-kelp on our popcorn for Friday T.V. nights instead of butter and salt. There are so many "health-food" things we ate that normal kids didn't eat...I know we were better off for it and rarely sick, but I felt different at school because of it.

When other kids went to Johnson's pool all day in the summer with nickles and dimes for the snack machines and hot cinnamon pepper candies and Bazooka bubblegum and licorice whips...we went with cut up cucumbers, and bell peppers, and snap peas from the garden for snacks.

One time we went to the drive-in movie by our house...we got the kelp popcorn from home and snap peas from the garden, while the neighbors we went with got snacks from the snack bar that looked and smelled so much better than our home-grown snacks.
Yes, it was much better for us...but we didn't know that as kids...we just knew that all the other kids had stuff we couldn't have. The only time I remember getting candy was at Christmas.
We would get oranges, apples and nuts in their shell in our stocking and my mom would buy a pound of Brach's mixed candies and split that up to put in our stockings with a single little candy cane. My favorite from that mix was the pink, white & brown coconut chews and the butterscotch candies.

So...when I smelled the Juicy Fruit gum my mother would chew on occasion, I wanted it so badly...always asked, but was told there wasn't enough for everyone, so none of us would get any.
The sad thing is that being a kid I did something crazy just trying to get some Juicy Fruit gum...too embarrassing to put on here, and can't believe I did it....but I did, in my desperation to get some...Thinking of it makes me tear up a I don't want to post it on here.  

I wanted gum so I think that once I moved away from home to get married, I somehow connected being able to have the ability to get gum whenever I wanted it, with being able to have the same thing other people could get whenever they wanted. It made me feel in control....but more about that and the stories later. I'll be needing more information for the the next 17 days of posting. 4 Days Down At Midnight...17 Days To Go.

Friday, April 23, 2010

3 Days Almost Down...18 To Go

I must learn to QUIT clenching my
teeth, my jaw hurts like crazy.
I've yet to slip...though the
temptation is strong. I found this
wrapper in the waste-basket by
my desk...took a photo of it with
my cell phone like I did the outer
wrapper yesterday.
Still don't feel up to the first story...
a migraine is wracking my head
like a hammer pounding, so
maybe tomorrow.
Just had to keep on writing, a
bit every day towards
 the 21 day effort to make or
break a habit. In this case, break
the habit of chewing gum, and
make the habit of writing
 every single day.
"Dio caro mi aiuta a essere
di successo in questo sforzo."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gone For Now...But Not Forgotten

Day 2 of 21 days is Almost Over and most of it was spent in oblivion due to being bed-ridden by pain and nausea....for once this has been a blessing in disguise when the longing for a mere piece of gum is overwhelming...and yes my jaw is very sore from clenching my teeth all night long while unable to sleep at all last night ~ No gum to keep my jaws from being clenched.

I don't have the strength tonight to tell the first story of my memory from childhood about my I'll give a just a photo of the last package before my 21 day attempt to go without to see if it's true about habits being able to be broken or made in that 21 day time frame....

Here is a lame photo of my favorite choice ~ gone for now ~ but not forgotten.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

1 Thing...21 Days

1 Thing...21 Days Without It...What Will Happen?
"They" say it takes 21 days to break a habit or form a new one. I'm attempting to prove it true or false.
I have a habit...almost an obsession. No it's not drugs or drinking. It's pretty innocent unless (back in my day) you were caught chewing it in school.
It's gum. That's right three letters of one little word that I think I can't live without. I always have to have some. Of course I have a favorite brand, but I'll settle for any kind, and it's better if it's sugar free. It makes my mouth feel cleaner even though I floss and brush several times a day. I guess I could be addicted to dental floss too and you'll never find me without some in my bag; however, that is one thing I'll never give up because it's good for me.

I don't always chew the gum sometimes it just sits in my mouth - it also keeps me from clenching my jaw so tight when I'm up all night. If I don't have gum in my mouth when I'm up editing or typing in the middle of the night I find myself clenching my teeth so hard it makes my jaw ache so I keep gum in my mouth. Trident most of the favorite is the bright green package called Watermelon twist. I've even used the package taped to a post when trying to focus on the lettering during a self-portrait exercise, which as you can see the gum wrapper is focused and I am not - so that didn't work too well. and now I'm trying to rip it out of my life. What am I getting myself into?

I'm already feeling the angst associated with withdrawal. I'm feeling anxious, and upset, kind of up-side-down and in-side-out. I know that sounds ridiculous about being less than 24 hours without having any gum in my mouth...but it's true. I'm so tempted to text my hubby and ask him to bring me some I hid my cell phone from myself to keep me from doing it. I've already flossed and brushed 3 times today and used Listerine mouth wash 6 times, even though it states on the bottle it's good for 12 hours. Pathetic isn't it! How can gum and the lack of it control me so much?

There are definitely some reasons why I've become so attached to chewing gum...why I feel more in control when I have some...why it helps me feel more confident...relaxed, but I won't divulge them in my first goes a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g way back into my childhood and those stories will come out during these 21 days of going without any gum at all, sugar-free or not. Some of the stories make me laugh, some of them make me sad....I know it sounds weird, and I have my doubts that 21 days will cure me of the habit, but at least I'm going to try....and maybe it will even take some courage to make it through the next 21 days... 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Needed a Break to Restore and Renew

Sunshine Outside...But Still Raining on the Inside
I have not written for almost a month give or take a few days. I've left my camera in the bag, untouched, for much longer than the artist within me demands. I have almost destroyed my new wireless keyboard/mouse along with my old desk in the throes of anger and sorrow mixed with such hopelessness of succeeding in the endeavor I've embarked upon this year...Of facing my fears and learning to have courage in every aspect of my life no matter what this life hands me.
I must learn to control the grief that overwhelms me, because it is destroying me from the inside out.
I vowed to be honest and upfront in this journey towards courage and learning more about my passion for photography.
A few weeks ago, I failed miserably, and I am taking the opportunity to admit that I lost it...I chose to lay down and surrender to the overwhelming grief that floods my soul every day that I live.
But, I must learn that to have true courage and become successful in learning to live again....I have to be completely honest with myself and others.
I am human, humans make mistakes and humans fail....but instead of making excuses for their failures, they should learn from their mistakes. Some even have the courage to admit that failing at something made them stronger and taught them that even though failure may seem to be the only sure thing in their future...the future can be changed if one learns from those mistakes and allow the mistakes to make them a better person.
I'm not saying that I am a better person from the multitude of mistakes I've made, but I have learned many lessons from those mistakes, and usually I don't make the same mistake twice....but sometimes I do...and that is honesty.
I know this probably is my usual post-midnight rambling, but I felt I had to write something or I might never write again...and in my mind alone that took just a wee bit of write about my struggles to maintain my commitment to learn courage and get past this bout of writer/photographer block I am going through in this wave of intense grief over the death of my only beloved son whom our family loved so much it makes our hearts feel blistered with the white-hot searing pain of his loss.
I know I speak of this too much. So many people tell me I need to move on, but how can one move on when one is stuck in the depths of despair day after day.
I must get beyond the depths of despair if I am going to learn to live again in honor of our son, William Vincent Alexander Reynolds, but also to be able to be the wife my husband remembers before that tragic accident, and the mother my beautiful daughter, Charlotte, was used to having before William went missing and we found him in such a devastating way.
I am trying to relate to people like I used to.....all people... and admitting my fear of being around people, to me, is a step towards overcoming that fear.
It's just that my heart's desire is to take things back to the time before the accident that changed our lives forever...but, alas, I know that will never happen here on earth.
So tomorrow, I vow to write something meaningful about nothing relating to what has happened in our family's lives. It means not writing about my son and that will break my heart....because for me to write about him....seems to keep him with me...but I have vowed to keep my feelings about my son out of the next post tomorrow....It will be a very hard endeavor, but one which I must embrace or die trying.
I think this is what going "through" grief is, because one never "gets over" such a tragic loss.
So for tomorrow....Well we actually already are in tomorrow since it's 1:15 a.m, yet, I still vow to try my hardest, not to mention our family's grief in any way in the next post....maybe not even mention courage...but try to write about something interesting and maybe even happy ~ can it be done??? Can I really do it???
I shall have to re-read the next entry as usual before posting after I write it to see if I succeed in the goal for my next post, because a lot of times when I'm writing, I'm not really thinking...the words just come and I have to read over it later to make sure it even makes sense.
Now this is truth.
This is honesty.