Another blogger friend, who bravely has shared the pain of her childhood in her blog and the caring comments from other blogging friends has prompted me to write this post.
I don't ever remember having difficultly distinguishing compassion and understanding or the ability of imaging myself in someone else's shoes from expecting myself to take responsibility for my behavior. I think that some people do have a problem with this. Perhaps they're afraid that if they feel compassion for a guilty party that that means automatic forgiveness and exoneration of responsibility.
Often I've heard some folks say that a crappy childhood is not an excuse for bad and certainly not evil behavior. Well, I don't agree, no excuse is necessary. I can truly understand that if I were raised without love, boundaries, or being taught about respect for others let alone being raised unloved, not respected, not disciplined, or physically abused or tortured that I would (may) only know to do the same to anyone else who may displease me or who may have what I want. The rage resulting from such traumatic treatment could and often does result in dishonorable behavior and can be repeated from generation to generation. Does this tragic mind set of fear of compassion mean understanding without responsibility. Of course not. Behavior no matter how well tied to understanding and compassion must have consequences and it's okay to 'feel for the guy' even if those consequences include being locked away forever or in the extreme, death, so that person may never do the heinous behavior again.
'Oh', you say, 'we all know right from wrong and have a choice'. Not necessarily.
We all know what the general moral conscience is from society, but the absence of moral conscience may be how we were raised. If my father beat me as a child I may strongly and justifiably beat my child, disregarding the current societal views that corporal punishment is illegal. But remember when...spare the rod and spoil the child? I believe that we are all born with a capacity for moral conscience, but unless that capacity is filled by compassionate training it can be lost or buried to the degree of non existence.
My mother did feel love for me, of this, I have no doubt. But she did not know how to nurture or value another person which to me is true love. She was very self centered and had little respect for others.
She did not physically abuse me. But she did not set boundaries for me nor did she have disciplanary expectations of me. And she blamed me for my shortcomings in order to exonerate her own. She only did as she was raised. I of course, married a man who would sustain this model of myself. He did a great job. I continued to blame and hate myself for my behaviors and attitudes, but kept my beliefs sometimes unknown to myself and blamed and hated others for their behaviors and attitudes. Was my behavior understandable since it was all I knew? Sure. Was I responsible for it? You betcha! I was one of the lucky ones. I was miserable. And hurt. Enough to go to therapy. Many, maybe even most sick people inflict enough of their pain on to others to the degree that they aren't aware that they even feel it themselves. Sometimes they get enough power over others by imposing their pain on them that they never have the need to change anything. As I said I was lucky. I hurt. So I wanted to change things, to raise my daughter better, to break the family cycle of absence of really truly giving love. Now I didn't just run out and do this. I had no gauges, no measure, no feeling for love that wasn't self centered. But I knew one thing. That I was responsible for how well my daughter grew up. Was I a good mother. No. But I was better than my mother and I took responsibility with my daughter. I told her my story and also told her that the way she was raised was not her fault! Unlike what my mother told me. My daughter now had work of her own to do. She had to change herself in order to better raise her children. She learned that that was her responsibility. That girl has character. And she has done a great job. Much better than I could have dreamed for. Sure my grandsons won't grow up to be perfect people, but they are loved and nurtured and protected and disciplined and raised with a respect and love for God. Oh by the way, did my daughter ever take it out on me for opening the door to blame me. Of course. And I took a hammering for awhile, then I told her that the statutes of limitations had run out and that the remnants of 'mean mom' in her head were her responcibility to change. I had changed, now it was her turn. And yes, eventually she has forgiven me, but really the only thing that matters here is that our boys have not inherited the 'family' dysfunction and that the cycle has been broken after only God knows how many generations. How's that for helping to change the world for the better.
Wait a minute! How did I get all that wisdom in the first paragraph about compassion and understanding and separation from responsibility? Oh, it was always there, like, I believe in all of us, buried under tons of crap, crap that can make some of us go out and murder or make others miserable to relieve the rage. Like I said, I was lucky,
I turned my rage inward, 'thanks mom', and hurt. If I'd turned it outward, well I wouldn't be here would I.



This is something I have never seen before, or ever even heard of. This woman lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. She took the little red dish, filled it with sugar water and this is the result.The woman is Abagail Alfano of Pine, Louisiana - she has been studying them daily and one morning put the cup from the feeder, with water in it, in her hand; as they had gotten used to her standing by the feeder they came over to her hand. She says in touching they are as light as a feather.
Touching Hummingbirds




When Did You Become An Adult!!!

As I was leaving my daughter's house last
evening at about 8p.m. you were asked to
walk me to my car which was parked on the
street. On the front porch, I said that you
didn't need to walk me all the way out.
You can just watch me from here. "No
grandma, I can't. I'm walking you all the
way out." No, you don't have to, I replied.
"Yes, I do", you said firmly. Your tone of
voice surprized me. How adult. How
determined. It was So. You were walking
me out and that was that. Last I looked
you were a typical, some what argumentitive
thirteen year old. Who was this man who
was seeing me safely to my car? I was used
to kids your age who either laughed at or
were dazed by mannerly expectations.
Wow! I thought. When you start dating,
if you treat young girls this way, their
mom's will be in heaven.


Blogging is relatively new to me. My main motive was to write about my experiences with family and friends and thereby keep everyone in the loop and for them to know what was going on with each individual or group. However the responses I've received about this simple undertaking have been quite astonishing. My daughter when asked if she had looked at my blog, responded "Oh, mom, I know all that stuff you wrote". But, when we looked at it together, she kept replying, "I didn't know that"! My friend Nancy avoided answering me when I asked if she had looked at it. Then finally at lunch she crossed her fingers in front of me and said "Enough already, I don't do blogs". What's THAT supposed to mean. Is it like I don't do books, or I don't do museums or movies? Blogs are so unique and different I couldn't quite understand, but saying so would have sounded like arguing. Finally I said to her, please, "It's like I just bought a new dress that I am quite proud of and you won't even LOOK at it. Would you please, just look at it? That's all I'm asking".
She agreed to look at it, but had 'lost' the address. I haven't sent it to her yet. Do you think that I am pouting? Hum. My friend Helen was quite excited for me that I took on such a splended new undertaking. I kissed her as tears threatened to well up in my eyes. After all, this blog has become my own creation and has taken on greater meaning to me than I originally intended. Helen then said that she thought maybe some people thought that I expected them to follow what I was writing on a regular day-to-day basis, becoming a responsiblilty. No, I protested! I just wanted them to look at it! -well maybe occasionally. My friend Shirley can't see small print, so she's not interested. Donna and her daughter Cassandra have shown an interest. My friend Aine doesn't have a computer so I printed it out and gave her a copy. She loves it.
Aine's daughter, Laura looked at it and said that she liked it.
My friend and vet, Erzsi, who sends me an annual Christmas letter, which I like because it keeps me update about her family life, says she won't look at it because she doesn't have time. I've emailed many others with the news and the blog address, but I don't know if any of them have looked. I've gotten more hits than I expected from such specifically personal ramblings, but I don't know who these people are or if they will ever return or even why they would.



I haven't had this much fun since I first started card making. It all started when I received a hand made card from a friend. The feeling that I got when I opened the envelope and looked at something someone else had gone to the trouble just to send to me was incredible. I felt cared about and special. I knew then that I wanted to give this gift of loving to others and dove into stamping with a passion. Of course I had to have all the paraphernalia that went with the craft. I found that I never met a stamp that I couldn't use. Oh, the techniques and tips which I gobbled up, as quickly as I could, never choked me. I swallowed with gusto! Luckily I had a good job and made enough money to support my addictive habit! Who knows what length I would have gone to to get what I wanted if I couldn't make my own money. Perhaps standing on street corners with signs saying:
" Will work for Alcohol Ink".
I never thought that I would scrapbook, that is too much like cut and paste with someone else's artwork. How little did I know. One day it just occurred to me-Stamping IS using someone else's artwork. I don't want to necessarily be an original purist, I just want to assemble creatively, so off to the scrapbooking venues with gusto, I went. To the stores, websites, card parties, I went for 12 x 12 papers, albums, and all and any ephemera I could get my hands on to make the perfect page. Now I am retired with a craft room that looks like a crap room jammed with STUFF for a lifetime and no money to buy MORE!!! Then my sweet daughter comes along and innocently suggests that I join Facebook, it is so much fun and keeps one in touch with friends almost daily rather than by the occassional email. So I did.

I immediately recognized that a line or two about me wasn't enough! I had to have more, so I explored blogging and here I am . Can't sleep, up all night learning electronic techniques. Must have more ideas! I roam from site to site for ways to enhance my pages. How do I get THAT background page template? How come they can put pictures mid blog. What's an Html? What's an URL? How many images (they are so much like pre colorized stamps) can I save to my documents before my computer crashes!
I go over each posting (blog) with intense care.
I refine daily.
I search other people's blogs for techniques. I haven't dressed for days. I GOTTA GET OUTA TOWN. Hey, I'm back. I LOVE it all.

p.s. Know any good techniques or interesting ways to do stuff?



I am the Friggin' Happiness Fairy.
I've sprinkled happy dust on you.
So Smile, dammit.

I often receive very
interesting emails from my
friend Jacque. In fact, she
IS one of the most
interesting people I know.
I have some comments to
make about that email
which I have following here.
I'll save my comments for below hers.
DVD based upon a book Happy for No Reason:
7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out .
Available in paperback at, by
Marci Shimoff (Author), Carol Kline (Contributor)
Because the author's position is that happiness is
a self-help, bootstrap, inside job, my attention
was captured immediately. The author's position
is not based upon "airy fairy" supposition, but is
based upon current scientific thought and
experiementation with interviews with various
scientist who are experimenting with ways to
change the brain. As one scientist put it, the
brain is plastic and can continue to change up to
the day we die. How we feel, what we think
about changes the brain chemistry. Good
thoughts and emotions give us beneficial
chemistry and visa versa. This is all very much
in sync with what Abraham teachesSo,
I love it,natch!
Yes, I sent my money in and will receive the DVD
in time. Cost a lot because it's a contribution to
PBS. Well, that's as good a way to spend money
as anything else I've bought lately,
like that vacuum cleaner.
Jacque's reference to happiness and brain
chemistry reminded me of a day many years
ago when I was a young housewife and not
a particularly happy person. I remember
being in my livingroom doing some chore
when suddenly I was 'flooded' with happiness
of such great magnitude that I told myself
that I should always remember this moment
as it was unusually significant. I probably had
a surge of estrogen! None the less it was a
wonderful moment for me.I have for most of my
life chased a disire for happiness. At one time, like
most girls, I thought it would be when I met Prince
Charming.Well when HE didn't work out, I thought
happiness would come from being self sufficient and
self supporting. That actually helped, but it didn't bring
the real thing.Getting nearer to God came the closest
at one time. I think it was that God and graditude go
hand in hand. It really is hard to be self centered and
grateful at the same time. But He didn't really work out
either.After time, I managed to get things that I truly
wanted. A house, a new car, a little financial security,
really good friends,loving grandchildren, my daughters
forgiveness, 6 cats, 2rats,and decent neighbors.
Finally, after about 60 or so years I found
out in group therapy that I wasn't really
EVIL inside
(now at the same time it was outwardly news to me that I
believed such a thing) it was then as time passed I
gained the contentment that I now have inside
and I can honestly say that I am a happy
person.So does this mean that happiness can
be ours with a little help from internal drugs
and having a good self image?I guess so
except that for me, the estrogen is gone and
I REALLY saw myself in the mirror yesterday
so the good self image is shot!I think that the
therapy thing and God worked the best as vehicles to
allow me to appreciate my other gifts, oh and it does
really really help to have a GOOD vaccuum with 6 cats.