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Take a Moment; Make a Memory

Published July 12, 2017 by lynn k scott

I found myself, on two separate occasions, talking about memories.  The first time I mentioned memories was on a Facebook link that was in response to a woman who said she was glad women had evolved and didn’t do things like grind their own meat or coffee, can food, prepare homemade meals, etc.

I was mildly offended by that.  While I was born in the early 70s, I take great pride in working a full time job, coming home to cook a homemade dinner (six to seven nights a week), and sitting at the table, with my family, to enjoy it.

I still hang clothes out on the line and I can a lot of different foods throughout the year. To me, I am making memories with my daughter.  Years from now, she will see a jar of preserves and think of my “armageddon shelf” that was always stocked with a variety of jams, soups, stock and vegetables.

Tonight, I was speaking with my Pastor and I used that exact example.  It got me to thinking, “that’s a blog post”.  All to often, especially in today’s society, it’s a “now” or “me” mindset.  While I am guilty of having the same thought pattern on occasion, I don’t seem to do it as often as some people.

It takes hours to make bread from scratch.  I enjoy mixing some flour, yeast and water and getting bread when all is said and done.  I teach my daughter how to measure, mix and make food from ingredients instead of a box.

She and I will go for a walk in a local park.  We might stop and watch the dogs play in the dog park.  We will hunt for pinecones for crafting projects.  Finding a bench and listening to the birds’ melodies as they communicate with each other.

So, I encourage you to spend quality time with those who matter most.  It doesn’t have to cost you anything.  Go to the beach, sit on the sand together and watch the waves crash against the shoreline.  Spend time in the kitchen making culinary creations.  Go to sporting events.  Rock your child in chair.  Go the library and cultivate a love for reading.

When I am finally called Home, I want my family to have memories that will make them smile when they think of me.  That they will feel the love I had for them, when I can no longer physically wrap my arms around them to offer comfort.  Now is the time to take a moment and make a memory.

Will You Remember Me?

Published June 27, 2017 by lynn k scott

Tomorrow will mark 10 years since my father passed away.  In the last two weeks, I have remembered the loss of my sister and mother.  I have lost three family members; all in the month of June.  All by the time I was 41 years old.

Mortality is in the forefront of my mind. It’s hard to ignore it.  All three of them had cancer, two were defeated by it and one passed, due to illness complications.  So, yes, wondering if I will meet an early demise, in June (no less), brings up lots of questions.

I didn’t have the best relationship with my father, but my sister’s and mother’s deaths hit me hard and their angelversaries elicit uncontrollable emotions.  There are specific things that I remember about each of them.

Remembering Dad:

  • Cook
  • Hot-tempered
  • Alcoholic
  • Recovering Alcoholic
  • Sports fan (Mets/Giants)
  • Friend to Chuck
  • Unable to show love to his family

Remembering Mom:

  • Faithful
  • Hard Worker
  • Loyal
  • Dedicated
  • Friend
  • Compassionate
  • Horrible Cook
  • Family-oriented

Remembering Sis:

  • Stubborn
  • Opinionated
  • Argumentative
  • Loyal friend
  • Loved the outdoors
  • Gardener
  • Dedicated mother
  • Straight-forward
  • Couldn’t cook rice (LOL to the family)

Gets me to thinking how, or even if, my children will remember me.  There’s history that hasn’t been discussed on this blog.  My youngest child will be the affected the most.  I can’t say the other children will be that upset or even care.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I am not ignorant to my reality either.

What will my friends think of me?  Will I have a large attendance at my funeral? Probably not.  I can’t see that.  I’ve done a lot of personal reflection.  I am planning the details of my funeral.  I never want to have to put someone through that.

Death is inevitable.  I choose not to fear it.  I believe God has chosen my path.  It certainly hasn’t been an easy road to follow, but I will continue on it until I am called home.

 

Breaking the Cycle is Painful

Published April 3, 2017 by lynn k scott

As a survivor of domestic violence, the effects can continue years later after the abusive relationship has ended; especially, if children are involved.  This recounting may seem a bit rushed, however, it would turn into a book if I added the overwhelming details of the hell that was my life.

I am struggling, almost 20 years later, to quell the ghosts of my past and break the cycle of abuse.  I have four children from a previous marriage and I rarely speak of them, with the exception of the oldest, because I’ve been kept from them.  Their father has basically convinced them I decided not to be a mother any more and that’s why I left.  As if!

I spent six long years in a very abusive and escalating marriage.  I married young, had low self-esteem and had four children in six years.  I was verbally, financially, mentally and physically abused.

I actually didn’t realize I was a battered wife, until I took a college psychology course and we covered domestic violence and “The Cycle”.  I was learning about my life.  It was mind-numbing at the time.  My life could have been a case study in my psych book.  Talk about mind-blown!

I was typically cut off from friends and had little contact with my family.  I had no money of my own and had to ask permission to buy anything.  I couldn’t go out alone, without permission and needed to be home when expected or I would be in trouble.  Even certain songs, such as Wilson Phillips, “Hold On” or Ace of Base, “The Sign”, were off limits. Walking on egg shells was my life.  I tried to be perfect so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Such a fallacy in that train of thought.

Pretty stupid…didn’t even know I was being abused.  I thought it was normal for the husband to get mad at his wife for not cleaning the house at 8-months’ pregnant.  After all, if I hadn’t been so lazy, I would have had dinner ready for him after working so hard all day.  When he lost jobs, it was because I had bugged him at work. I deserved the screaming, beratement, bruises, slaps, and hair pulling.  I believed him when he said he was sorry for throwing a baby rattle at my thigh so hard it swelled around the impact site (just one of many examples).

Years later, I did journal about my existence and the horror story I was living. I was good at keeping this horrific secret.  The only way my family found out was because we had stayed with them briefly and I forgot to take my notebook out from under the mattress.  I learned to hide my journaling because it made my ex-husband angry to see in writing what he was doing to me.

Over the years the violence increased.  We tried marriage counseling.  That led to separate counseling sessions.  In turn, it led to the doctor telling me to keep a bagged packed at all times, because my ex-husband was a ticking time-bomb.  He told me I was in danger.  Funny how the mind tricks us into thinking we can handle certain situations. Even after he attempted to smother me, twice, I stayed.  He denies that fact, but it did happen.

Can I remember everything that happened to me?  No.  Why?  I was diagnosed with Battered Women’s Syndrome when I was hospitalized for depression.  To this day, almost twenty years later, I believe my ex-husband to be a mortal threat to me.  So many memories are gone.  I remember bits and pieces.  I hardly any happy times even though I know there were some. I’ve even forgotten some of the precious memories I had of when my children were small.

I do remember one Christmas Eve that my mom called.  She called to tell me my ex-husband had been arrested for attempted murder.  He had beaten a woman he knew, in the face, with a BRICK!  What started it?  She owed him $50.00.  WOW!  That was worth disfiguring her, a long recovery and incompetent police work that led to a whopping “E” felony (the lowest felony charge).

Ironically, I remembering being happy.  For the first time, I felt safe and I was already 3,000 miles away from him.  Oh, I didn’t mention that, did I?

Through a serious of what can only be described as a family court circus, my ex-husband gained custody of our children.  Back then, police reports covered nothing.  I was “mistaken” about the abuse.  “He wouldn’t do that”, an officer had told me regarding my unlawful imprisonment (in my own home).  After all, I had been in the ‘psycho ward’ at one point.  I wasn’t reliable to know what I was suffering at his hands. The police were good about discussing my hospitalization in hushed tones.  They ate up every word of his charismatic lies.

The time came, many years later, when I left under the cover of darkness; before the morning sun came up.  My mom was with me at Greyhound.  She was the only person who knew I was leaving the state; headed for California.  At least California took a stance on domestic violence.  New York didn’t even have stalking laws back then.  Lucky for him; bad for me.  It was legal to terrorize someone and those who did it; knew it!

Fast forward several years.  I learned to be independent.  Learned I could have a healthy relationship and I didn’t need to be beaten or abused to be “kept in line”.  Learned I didn’t need to have permission to go have a drink with my coworkers.  That took years of asking my then boyfriend (now husband), if “it was ok”.  It took constant reminders from him saying, “you don’t need to ask my permission”.

I eventually remarried and had my fifth child; his first.  I needed to prove to myself I was not a horrible mother.  I needed to know I could take care of a baby; that I wasn’t worthless as a woman.  That there was a man out there who wanted me; damaged as I was, with four children.

I hid my youngest daughter’s birth from my other children; after they started speaking to me again.  They were living with my mom because my abusive ex-husband followed me to California; luckily he went South and I was up North.

I was afraid the kids wouldn’t understand about their half-sister.  When they found out, they didn’t.  I started a new family without them.  I couldn’t disagree.  I didn’t set out to. Over the years, my oldest son, was the only one to really engage me.  My other children were awarded back to my ex after he was released from prison.  He had rights after all. Who cares a psychiatrist said my oldest daughter, who was my spitting image, was in danger of being abused because she looked like me.  The courts sure didn’t.  Way to go there law guardian.  I think he forgot he was assigned to look out for the welfare of the children…I digress…

The court was the only blinded fools who could not see my ex-husband gained custody to make me pay support.  The kids never saw the money.  Never saw the hell he put me through.  Never saw me struggle to eat with unrealistic support payments. New York makes the non-custodial parent pay til the children are 21.  That finally ends this year. However, the on-going circus that is family court, is a punitive place.  There is no justice for the children.  There is only name-blaming and punitive-ordered support.  It would have been an undue burden to prove my youngest son was still in school.  He quit and has been working for over a year.  Oh, he’s getting married too.  That will disqualify my ex from support.  My other son moved out, which would have done away with that support, except my ex-husband failed to legally report it to the court; and of course, no repercussions there.  Let’s not talk about the $3,000.00 in braces I am paying for that were never put on my daughter.  Family court…the biggest joke in the free world!

Another time hop to the present where my oldest child is about to be a father any day now.  Sadly, he believes I am not entitled to be alerted before the rest of Facebook.  I apparently, have some misconstrued entitlement issues, simply because I’m his mother. Insert where I didn’t get to speak to him for 10 years and hid the fact he had a sister. Where because of my status, as his mother, I’m not facing the hard truth about my past. He insists on “keeping it real” for me.

His reality has never seen me sink to the floor in the closet, while trying to get to work, questioning what I could have possibly done to be treated so horribly.  Question why my ex was allowed to go unpunished for all his misconceptions.  I know he committed disability fraud, but proving it was another story.  No one wants to stand up to him.  He is the perfect abuser and loves his “authority”.

I honestly had thought my son and I were beyond this.  He retains his passive-aggressive nature and he is verbally and mentally abusive to me.  He cannot see he treats me the same way his father did.  He has never hit me, but he prefers to cut me with words and will wait for them to heal before he begins again.  While I love all of my children, with all of my heart, I will not allow the cycle to continue!

I have set boundaries.  I am of worth.  I am entitled to respect.  It’s hard when you need to force that lesson upon your child(ren).  We should be celebrating a very exciting chapter in his life.  Yet, he chooses to “allow” me crumbs of his existence and I am not a charity case. He has no idea the true trauma I have experienced.  He has no idea how many memories I have lost due to abuse.  He has no idea what I have gone through.  If he feels he is entitled to judge my actions, I pray he never has to make life-altering decisions where his family is concerned.  You see, had I not boarded that bus all those years ago, his anger wouldn’t be aimed at me.  He sorrow would be visible as he shared his life achievements at my grave.

Please help break the cycle.  Share this story.  Share your story.  Silence is the enemy.

 

Golden State Mopars!

Published March 9, 2017 by lynn k scott

challenger

I live in the “Golden State”, better known as California.  While I happen to reside midway between Sacramento and San Francisco, the Golden State Mopars, extend the length of the state.  20170309_150209.jpg

Who are the Golden State Mopars?  Simply put…they are a great group of men and women, who own Mopars and are part of a car club.  If you’ve ever seen this on your door or windshield, or maybe even been handed one it means, “you’ve been carded”.

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Most of the group hangs out on Facebook.  If you’d like to connect to the group, just click the GSM group page.

This was taken from their Facebook “About” section:

Bringing Mopar Enthusiasts Together, Turning Friends Into Family…

Golden State Mopars is a car club for you. We love Challengers, Chargers, 300’s, Magnums, Vipers, old school Mopar Muscle, Trucks, Darts and anything SRT. Stock or highly modified, we like them all… We do cruises, meets, mod days, BBQs and other family friendly events. All we ask is that you are respectful and participate.

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Facebook limits the invites we can send out to club members, so we can’t send invitations to everyone. However, ALL club members are welcome to any event hosted by Golden State Mopars. Our events are fun, relaxed and family friendly, come have fun and meet new friends.

I’m not a car person and I’m the first to admit it.  I’m the woman at a car show that walks past a car, says, “nice” and moves on.  My husband on the other hand, will get down on his hands and needs to check out the undercarriage, has to see the motor and might engage the owner in a conversation about the car.  Oh boy, when that happens, my eyes roll and look for someplace to buy a drink.  LOL

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That being said, this car club has a lot of “meet-ups”.  If you’re available, you attend the events you’d like to go to; however, it’s not required.  While Mopar cars are the focus of the group and they are what brings everyone together initially, it can definitely be extended to a car family and support system.

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We help each other with car issue recommendations (well, I don’t on those; you really don’t want me to either; trust me).  We celebrate engagements, births of the next generation of Mopar afficiondos, and well as the times that life presents challenges that may be a bit harder to handle.  We get together for car shows, BBQs and pool parties.

All in all, it’s a great car club.  Whether you have a Mopar daily driver, show car, or a “mom” (or “dad”) car, we’d be happy to have you!

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Thank You Betty Crocker

Published June 23, 2016 by lynn k scott

As my mother’s three year angel-versary approaches (6/25), I can’t help but remember how she always would turn to her red, Betty Crocker cookbook to teach us girls how to cook.  My mother was not a stellar cook, by any means.  In fact, some of her dishes were so bad, even the dogs snubbed their noses at the “treats” were trying to pawn off on them. I will say, she was a better baker than cook.  I always thought the same of myself, until I became an adult.  Now, I am a better cook, although I can hold my own in the baking department.

My specialty as a teen, was making peanut butter cookies.  My younger sisters always asked me to make them.  We didn’t have a kitchen aid, food processor or a lot of fancy gadgets to help us; we did most everything by hand or used a hand mixer, if needed.

That cookbook is such a reminder of my mom.  I used it to learn how to convert measurements, how to cook vegetables, and to make homemade brownies.  Every Christmas, we would make divinity.  I still keep that tradition alive today.  Although, in CA, when it rains half of the winter, it can make it challenging for the divinity to set up right.  If you’ve never had the fun experience of racing against the clock to get the divinity out of the mixing bowl, via two buttered spoons, onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper, only to have the humidity too high and reduce your divinity clouds into sticky, flat, white puddles…you’re missing out.  However, when it turns out just right…it’s a sugary piece of Heaven that melts in your mouth.

Tonight, in 85 degree weather, I stood near a warming 350-degree stove, and prepared the white sauce to go with my scalloped potatoes.  Once that was completed, I peeled my potatoes (in batches), sliced them thin on my mandoline slicer, arranged them in a nice scalloped design in the ceramic baking dish and alternated layering with adding the sauce. It was during the layering process, I thought about my mom.  She would always remind me to cut the potatoes as thin as possible.  Thankfully, I have a mandoline now and I would be lost without it.

I didn’t get the chance to cook for her often as an adult, but when I did, it meant a lot to her.  I was the cook in our family, after my died passed several years ago.  She loved my Spanish rice.  Neither her, nor my sister, Kathi, could cook rice that wasn’t from a microwavable bag.

Since we didn’t have a lot growing up, when my mom would make scalloped potatoes, it was usually with chopped up ham.  It was a fairly inexpensive casserole, that fed a family of five.  My family now, doesn’t care for the ham in it and they will tolerate the potatoes, as they prefer rice, but they let me make my scalloped potatoes every now and then.  Little do they know how much it means to me.

If you don’t already, I encourage you to cook with your kids, siblings, spouse; family. Spend time together.  Make memories.  Share these moments for generations to come.

 

 

A Stroke In Time

Published November 22, 2015 by lynn k scott

I considered myself honored to be friends with professional artist, Dan Angeles, who allows the opportunity to see some of his work before they are publicly unveiled at an art exhibit.  One reason I cherish this privilege is because this was something my sister, Kathi, used to do.  After she passed, Dan allowed me the opportunity of these special previews.

I can hardly begin to express my admiration when I view these pieces.  I have yet to find any of his work not to my liking.  In every new exhibit, there are pieces that move me to tears.  I see my past and my family in his art.  I see promise, comfort, friendship and inspiration as well.  I see a gift that will one day be the topic of discussion wherever art is being taught.

In Dan’s own words, he said about his latest work:

I compiled the new body of work into a video for you to view, if you would like. I paired my paintings with the beautiful song “Titanium” performed by Madilyn Bailey, which for me speaks to the way I constantly battle my own insecurities and doubts about my work or ideas. It also explains how I face these fears head on and overcome them. The actual work itself is all about accepting change in all of it’s many forms while growing and moving forward in life, with them. I hope that you enjoy the work and the experience of viewing it with song.

I encourage all of you to view this video.  I was very moved when I first saw it.  I will be turning 44 in just a few weeks.  I have vowed on my 50th birthday to own one of Dan’s paintings.

Dan and I often joke how we are constantly making each other cry; good tears, mind you.  We have never officially met, didn’t grow up in the same geographical area, but we have shared similarities, have uncanny ties to certain pieces of his work and we shared a love for my sister that will bind us for all times.

My goal is have to have Dan showcased in San Francisco.  Besides sharing his work, in person, on the West Coast, I would actually be able to attend his exhibit, and meet my talented friend in person.

Please feel free to share this video.  I’d love to hear your feedback after watching it.  If you would like to check out more of Dan’s work, please visit artbydangles.

 

Twiggfest

Published June 17, 2015 by lynn k scott

I thought, I have this blog, why not put it to some good use?

A new friend of mine, thanks Facebook, is having a fundraiser for his son who was a tattoo artist.  All I saw was “tattoo” and became interested.

It’s being held at the Theatre DeVille in Vacaville, CA.  If you’re local, I hope you would attend.

Simply go to the DeVille’s page and select “Tickets”.  Scroll until you find the event for June 27, 2015: Twiggfest.  You can purchase tickets for $10.00 in advance or $12.00 at the door.

It’s a family event and kids under 11 years old are FREE to get in.  If you know anyone who is local to the Bay Area, feel free to share this event with them.

Twiggfest

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