Dealing With Loss – In Real Time

I’ve written about this subject before and I have done numerous TikTok’s and YouTube’s regarding this subject BUT what makes this one different is I’m going to talking about dealing with loss and the pain that comes along with it in “real time”.

What I’m trying to say is this – I’m going to talk to you about the pain of loss while I am actively feeling the pain of loss.

Let me tell you what’s going on….

If you have been following me on any of my social media platforms, you will know that I have a constant four legged companion named Liberty. My sweet girl is a 13 year old pitbull that I have had since she was 5 weeks old. She has seen me through good times and through bad times. She has seen me sober and she loved me when I was an addict. She was the definition of unconditional love.

I lost my Liberty two days ago.

Me And My Liberty

I hurt. Plain and simple I hurt and I feel like I also lost a piece of me on that day. Liberty’s passing was quick, I mean real quick. She woke up fine and I had to say “Goodbye” to her that evening. I knew Liberty was older and that she was on borrowed time, but that doesn’t make the pain of my loss any less. So I cried, and I cried and then I cried some more. I have cried every day but today was a little different. Today I asked myself this question “Lonni, what are you going to do with this pain?” I have to tell you, that was a good question and it needed to be answered. I mean, I could sit here and cry some more or I could start my healing journey and try to help someone else along the way. I knew the answer and I knew what I wanted to do so I chose to start my healing journey. I chose to try help someone else by sharing how I was going to start healing myself. I think Liberty would approve of this and here’s what I’m doing.

I’m giving myself time.

We have a tendency to put so much pressure on ourselves when I comes to time and healing. For some reason we feel that we have to issue deadlines for everything in our lives, including grief. I decided today that I was going to allow my as much time as I need. If it’s quick great, if this takes awhile great. I’m taking that pressure off and just letting the healing process begin.

I will be extra compassionate to myself.

I say this because I find myself loosing patience with myself. Tasks that should be quick are taking longer and I’m getting frustrated. If something does not happen the way I want I snap. I see this happening and I’m having to tell myself to just take things slow. I am purposely watching out my triggers, anything that will make me snap. I try to open a program on the computer and get irritated that it’s taking so long. I worked on my Blog today and hung up on customer support. I watched an YouTube instead and didn’t have the patience to finish it. I see all of this and I’m aware of what’s happening so I’m giving myself a break. When I get frustrated, I don’t get upset at myself, I say something kind to myself and move on. When I start to feel frustrated I remind myself that I’m hurting and that I might be blowing things out of proportion. I’m just kinder to myself because I hurt.

I will keep a close eye on my anger.

This one is real threat. I was raised to be a fighter and I thought anger was my super power. I was like this until just a couple of years ago. I was like this until I got sober. Once I got sober I let go of the anger but the anger didn’t let go of me. It is always buried deep waiting for me to either use it or waiting for me to let down my guard and it comes out. So, I have to be careful because I don’t want to give it the power it’s looking for. When I go to the store and someone cuts me off, I don’t chase them down to confront them. When someone looks at me wrong I don’t turn and look for a fight. When someone is rude to me online I won’t respond, I will just delete the comment. So like I said, I am being extra diligent with my anger. I’m keeping a very close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t take over. Because trust me, no one wants angry Lonni chasing them down at the grocery store. I repeat – No One!

I will remind myself to let people help.

When I hurt I shut the storm shutters. This comes from years of being hurt and receding into the happy spot I made for myself in my mind. In that spot no one can hurt me and I can keep myself shielded from the outside world. While this is a great defense mechanism in some instances, in this instance is does me harm. It shuts me away from the people who love me and want to help me, not hurt me. So I have to remind myself, that no matter how much I want to shut my feelings down and shutter myself away, I can’t. I can’t do this because this is when I need the people I love the most. My boys are just as hurt as I am and if I don’t let them help me, I won’t be able to help them. As much as it hurts, I cannot hide from this pain.

I will no make any major changes.

This is a tough one for me because part of my coping mechanism is change. When I hurt I want to change something to take that hurt away. My poor closet came under attack first. I purged my closet the first day, only to realize what I was doing and I put everything back. Next I thought about changing my hair, even though I absolutely love my hair. Again, I was looking to change my situation because I wanted to change the pain. I have to understand and remind myself that changing something like my hair or closet isn’t going to change my pain. It might mask it for a few hours or days, but it isn’t taking anything away. If anything it will make me pissed at myself once I get out of my fog. So stop yourself from doing thing different (at least for a couple of days).

I’m monitoring the voices in my head.

I have a real problem with negative self talk. It lead me to addiction and even today they can quickly turn ugly. I have already caught myself saying “you should have” “you could have” “what if”. I mean come on Lonni. Not one of those things would have changed the outcome and the only thing you are doing is hurting yourself. You are not making the pain less and you are not bringing Liberty back. So I listen very carefully to what I am saying to myself and I keep the negative self talk out of my head. This all goes back to being compassionate. Everything I start a negative thought, I tell myself a positive one instead.

So these are the active steps that I’m currently doing to help me through this difficult time. I hope these help you during your difficult time. If doesn’t just have to be about the loss of someone you love. It can be about anything. Here’s the thing that gets me. We often feel like we have to explain the journey that lead us to a painful moment. Bullshit. The story of the how we got there is irrelevant, what is relevant is how you are feeling at this very moment. What matters is that you hurt and you need to start your own journey of healing. Period.

I truly hope my words will help you in some way. I know I feel better now that I have this written and I know Liberty is proud of me for doing this. I love that dog and will love that dog until the day I pass. I will get through this – one step at a time.

Until next time – love you!

Making Changes to Make Me Happy

Have you ever woken up and say to yourself “I’m just not happy?”. Well, I did that not so long ago and I knew at that moment that I had to make some changes and changes I did! What changes did I make you ask? Well, I quit my job yesterday Yes, I am no longer employed at a corporate job and I have to tell you it feels amazing. Let me say that louder….AMAZING!

I figured out long ago that I no longer got joy out of my job and that turned into resentment and that turned into me being weighed down with negative energy. I had figured out what was making me unhappy but the problem was, that unhappy job was paying my bills and more. That unhappy job had been my career for decades and the simple fact was….I was a 57 year old miserable woman making a great living. So there I was, stuck in a career and sacrificing my happiness. Yesterday I decided to picked my happiness.

But let me stop here and back up a little because we need to look back at the first couple of months of 2022 to see how I got to the outcome of me changing my life direction in the most major fashion.

Rewind to New Year’s Day. 2022 started off just like any other year. I stayed up long enough to tell Brandon “Happy New Year” (Robert doesn’t make it past 9:00). Got up the next morning, worked on my social media, watched some Netflix and then made black eyed peas (there’s my Southern side showing) and cornbread. That’s when the changes started and they haven’t stopped yet. I burnt my peas and the cornbread that I have made for years just didn’t turn out like it usually did. I sat there and wondered what happened. What did I do different? Was it me? Was it the peas” I didn’t do anything different but the outcome was different nonetheless. Funny how that happens and I should have known then and there that this year was going to be about changes.

Shortly after the pea and cornbread debacle, a close friend of our family was tragically taken from us in a car accident. He was a driver for the wine tour company that we all worked with years ago. He was the type of person who you could call and say “Darryl, I need….” and he would stop you right there and say “What can I do.” We all know someone like that and he was our person. His death hit me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Yes, I was sad but more than that, it shook me to the point where I started taking a harder look at my own life. I remember sitting in the parking lot near my home and just thinking about him. He would pick me up in that exact parking lot in the tour bus and we would talk for hours. I always looked forward to our time together because I spent more time talking to him then doing anything else. As I sat there thinking about our conversations and how we would laugh at just about everything. I thought about how quickly he was taken. He no longer gets any more “do overs” or “next times” his time was up but mine wasn’t. I still had a chance to change. I could change the things that were making me so horribly unhappy and make things right.

Now you would think this is all I would need to start making those changes, but it wasn’t. I was still too scared to make any major move. I knew I wanted to but wasn’t ready to make that kind of change. I told myself that my day would come and I would quit soon or later but things had to happen first. I had to have a certain amount of money in bank. I had to have a certain amount of followers on social media. I had to be farther along across my social media platform. The list just kept going. Until Tracy died.

Tracy was a co-worker that I had worked with years before. To be completely honest we weren’t that close but we knew each other from working together. She was the type of person that always seemed happy no matter what. She was one of them. Tracy always had a dream to move to Belize and retire, and she had in fact lived her dream and moved a year ago. Last month Tracy had a heart attack and died. She lost her do-overs and next times just a quickly as Darryl lost his. This time, this time I decided to stop living in fear of my own do-overs and next times and do something now. This time I decided to give myself that freedom to do what I needed to do to be happy.

Now I’m not the type of person who decides to do something then think about it forever. Nope, I’m the type of person who says she’s going to do something and it’s done. But this, decision effected more than just me. It directly effected both of my children because both of my boys worked with me. Yes, they could have stayed and worked after I was gone but neither of them were any happier than I was. So the meeting was called and the decisions were made. We were going to all change careers and we would all go into social media. Some things we will do together (our Podcast We’re In Trouble Now) and some individually. But the really cool things was that we were all going to jump into our new lives together. We had all decided to give ourselves that freedom. There you go – the plan was made and in motion. We were going quit by my birthday (my birthday is in August). I wanted to give my company time to find a replacement and transfer over the account I had and make everything smooth and everyone happy, everyone but me that is. I have to tell you, once you get the feel of “I’m going to do what makes me happy” it’s hard to put it on hold. Meaning my 4 month notice turned into 3 months, which turned into 2 months, which ended up being 7 days. 7 long days of waiting for my do-over.

Today was the glorious 1st day of the rest of my life. By no means will the coming days, months or years be easy. I will have to work harder than before. I have to budget every dollar I have saved and I will have to think steps ahead to make sure I make the correct choices. But those choices are mine and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me. I’m excited to see what amazing things can happen since giving myself the freedom to follow my heart.

My message to you: If you are currently in an unhappy place, I hope I have given you the same motivation to make changes that Darryl and Tracy gave me. I’m not saying to quit your job, but I am saying don’t be scared of change and give yourself the freedom to make the changes necessary. You are important and you deserve happiness just like the next person.

Until next time….



In the world of words, time is rather a small word. I mean it only has four letters, but man is it a big word.Time can have some many different meanings to so many different people. We can wish for more time, we can hope that time goes by faster and we can beg time to slow down. Time doesn’t listen to any of us and just keeps plugging along at it’s own pace doing it’s own thing.

We know that time doesn’t listen to our hopes and wishes, but that never stops us from trying. Why is that? Why do we continue to struggle with something that we have no control over? I think this is a very good question and I think we need to take a deeper look into time and how our quest for controlling it ends up controlling us instead.

We can wish for more time:

This one…this one is a tough one for me because “Yes” sometimes I wish I had more time. I wish I had more time with my loved that I have lost. I wish I could share one more laugh with my Sister. I wish I could give my Dad one more hug and I sure as fuck wish I could tell my Mom “I love you” one more time. But the ugly truth is I can’t do one of those things. That time has come and gone and there’s nothing I can do about that. However; what I can do is appreciate the time that I did have with them. I can make sure that I live my life from now in honor of them. When I laugh, I laugh for me and my sister. I give hugs every chance I get because you never know who needs one (It’s defiantly a challenge now with the pandemic but I still try). I hug people because maybe they don’t have anyone else to hug them. I hug people, because let’s face it…I like to hug and it makes me feel good. I tell everyone and I mean everyone that I love them. I don’t hold back. When someone says something nice on my social media channels, I tell them I love them because I do. I have more than enough love to go around and again, maybe that person needed to hear that. Who knows, maybe my Mom is up in heaven bringing these people to me so I can tell them. Kinda like her way telling me that she loves me too.

You can wish for time to go faster:

When I was younger, time dragged like an old boring movie. I remember endless summers having to go and do errands with my Mom. One that I dreaded most was when she would visit her friend Ruth. Let me paint this picture for you.

Ruth was an elderly friend of my Mom’s (I was say she was in her late 70’s) and she lived alone. She had no children and no grandchildren, so my Mom would visit with her and bring me and my sister along for the ride. Now Ruth loved my sister. She was 6 years older than I was and not nearly as curious and antsy as I was. So of course she sat there and listened to the adults in such nice way, while I would keep myself entertained. But how does a girl of 7 entertain herself in a house full of elderly items? Well, it’s not easy but I gave it good try. I remember she had a rocking chair and I would see if I could rock myself across the room. I couldn’t of course because I weighed 25 pounds and that thing was made out of the heaviest wood ever. Did it stop me from trying? Oh Hell no it didn’t. I would sit there feverishly rocking back and forth trying to propel myself forward only to never move an inch. I got yelled at for this every single time but I never gave up. When this didn’t work I would move on to something else.The old exercise bike was another one of my favorites. It was way too big for me that again didn’t stop me. In my mind I was taking part in the Tour de France bike race. In reality, I was making that poor bike squeak to the point they could hear me in the next room and driving Ruth out of her mind. I did this until I got yelled yet. Poor Ruth at this point just didn’t know what to do so she would give me candy. I told you, she had no children or grandchildren so she clearly had no idea that giving sugar to a bored child is a receipe for disaster! Now I was board and hyper. Time was not my friend in these visits. Time slowed down to the pace that it was painful. My Mom would tell us that we were only stopping for a minute and that minute turned into hours. I hated going there and my Mother was painfully aware of that fact but made us go nonetheless. I knew my Sister felt the same way and now that I’m looking back at this, even though she sat there being the “good child” she was the one who would instigate me into these adventures. She did this in hopes that my Mom would get so mad that we would leave. I am proud to say the her plan worked 10 out of 10 times.

You can ask for time to slow down:

Out of all of these examples, the only factor of time that we remotely have any control over is this one.

When we say life is going by too fast, what exactly are we telling ourselves. Are we saying that we are not living everyday to the fullest? Are we saying that there are things we want to change and we are worried that time will run out before we do? What exactly are we saying to ourselves with this one?

I know for a fact that I have no control over time and struggle with time management. I have more projects daily that I have time for. I’m constantly looking for that balance of getting my projects done and have some mental health time for myself. But I am aware of this and that’s what is important. I have to keep a constant eye on this because I don’t want to loose that balance that I have made so far and I work daily on improving my time management.

For me, I have to schedule my time in order to keep it under control, to keep a balance. I was just telling Robert that my Dad had a daily schedule. I wrote everything down and kept track of everything. Partly for his peace of mine (he had to have everything perfect) and partly because he knew he was getting older and didn’t want to miss anything. After my Mom passed away and we had to go through both of their belongings, I found years of pocket calendars that my Dad had kept so he could remember daily chores and keep himself on schedule. For my Dad, time was a necessary evil that he had to control. I fall back on this more and more these days as I get older and as my life picks up speed. Which is weird if you think about it. I’m working on slowing down my time as my life picks up speed. If you find yourself saying “That went by too fast” or “I can’t believe the year is over, that went by so fast” you might want to stop and make sure you are giving yourself enough time to enjoy your life. This really isn’t as hard as it sounds. Maybe give yourself 5 minutes of quiet time before bed or start reading for 30 minutes a day. Whatever it is that you decide to give yourself, make sure it is something that will bring you joy.

When people ask me….

“Lonni, if you really did have the opportunity to turn back time, would you?”

The truthful answer is “No”.

I wouldn’t go back and change anything in fear of changing who I am now. Yes, I have a very painful past and yes the easy out would be to go back and make everything pain free. That however; would change who I am now and I love who I am today. I wouldn’t have the same outlook, the same experiences to share with you and the same gratefulness for life that I have now. That is the important take away from this blog today. The understanding that as soon as we stop trying to control time, we can start appreciating what we have this very day, hour, minute and second. I can’t bring anyone back, I can’t undo my pain or the pain I caused my children, so why spend any time or energy trying. I know it’s hard to give the quest to control time, but the reality is this is the first step in finding a deeper level of inner peace and truthfully in todays world we could all use a little more this.

I hope this helps anyone who struggles with time and I would love to hear your comments on this and suggestions for other topics.

Until next time…….

Wrinkles? I Call Them Laugh Lines

Let’s face it – when we get older we get wrinkles. Some people get more, some people get less, but the one thing we all have in common is the fact that we get them. The aging process and how we face age is a personal journey, some people fight the process and some people embrace the process. Personally, I don’t love mine but I don’t hate them either. It’s more like I’ve come to acknowledge them and respect them for what they are. I like the fact that they tell people that I have character, that I have been on a journey and that I have stories to tell. But most importantly it tells people that I’m still alive.

There is not one person amongst of us over a certain age that doesn’t have wrinkles. So let’s take a deeper look at our wrinkles and see if we can learn to love them a little more. Because the truth is, if we love our wrinkles more we will love ourselves more and we can all use more self love!

What do we know about wrinkles?

We know that wrinkles are a simple fact of life. Simply put, if we are lucky enough to age we will get wrinkles. We all should know this by now….right? I mean, I knew I was going to get wrinkles, and yet the first that I looked into the mirror and saw my Mom looking back at me, it took me by surprise. Again, I knew they would be there one day I just didn’t know it was going to be “that” day. I still remember thinking to myself “Well, they are here now so we might as well learn to get along with them”. Even today I still catch myself being surprised by my wrinkles sometimes. When I look into a mirror and this does happen I just stop and remind myself that it’s okay to be older and I love the older version of myself.

We know our skin changes with age. Our skin looses collagen and we get wrinkles….period. This is just basic knowledge in the simplest of terms. There are outside factors that along with this basic knowledge that can make a difference. We can do things to help minimize our wrinkles. I’m not talking about creams or surgery, no I’m talking about taking care of yourself from the inside out. Your skin and reap the benefit with sampling using sunscreen, eating healthy and drinking more water. You can make your skin work for every drop of moisture by smoking, drinking or living an unhealthy lifestyle. I spent the majority of my life abusing my body and skin so I’m Team Healthy these days and my skin has never looked better (it really makes a difference.

We know that society looks down on our wrinkles. Society glorifies youth and perfection, plain and simple. You see it every time you turn on the TV, go to the store or look on social media. Society praises perfection and when you have wrinkles your skin is not perfect and there goes your praise. When you really stop to think about it, it could become a helpless feeling. Thinking that you will no longer be praised because no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to get that perfection praise back. We can’t change what society thinks about us but we can decide how we think about us. We haven’t walked through the fires of life to crumble under the pressures of perfection.

We know the people try to use our wrinkles and age as an insult. Why do people think that getting old is an insult? Am I going to put most of the blame back on society? Yes I am! I haven’t met anyone who has been able to do stay forever young, but I have met a lot of people who like to tell others that they are less than perfect because they are older. I have to wonder when did age become and insult? When did the simple fact that you are not dead and getting older become a source of ridicule and who is the jerk that came up with the first insult? Do you think that people who were traveling across the plains in a covered wagon told each other that they were less than perfect? Did they all call each old and try to make the other person feel like a burden? I don’t think they did. I think they were happy to still be alive and worked together to stay that way. I think this is modern day problem made worse with technology.

So what can we do about this? We can’t turn back time and (and why would we) so we need to change how we look at ourselves. Let me repeat that last part just incase you didn’t hear it……we need to change how we look at ourselves. We need to love ourselves and all our wrinkles. Because I have to tell you, once you start believing what society is selling, you will start the mindset of thinking that you are old and we cannot allow that to happen. With that first wrinkle we start the slippery slope of ageism. With ageism you are suddenly too old for Dr. Martens. With ageism you might as well forget about getting that new tattoo. With ageism you might a well throw everything out of your closest that isn’t beige, because color is not allowed when you are old. Ageism will have you believing that there’s no way you can still be cool and have wrinkles. Ageism will take your identity away from you and everything that it represents. Everything about ageism is wrong! You can have age and a new tattoo, you can have wisdom and a fierce style. You can have gray hair and wrinkles and you can do anything you put your mind too. It is up to you whether or not you to go against society and what society is telling you. Our wrinkles and our age does not stop us from living the best life. We are the only ones who can stop us from living the best life regardless of age. I know it is easier to blame society but the truth is, it all comes down to us and whether of not we want to fade away.

Fade away, the thought of fading away terrifies me. I don’t want to fade away, I don’t want to be forgettable or washed out. I’m not afraid of aging, I’m afraid of fading away. I can’t stop age, but I can stay true to myself at any age. I can be the same outspoken person that I was in my 20’s, I can rock a style that I was too insecure to wear when I was younger. I can have as many tattoos as I want that I could barely afford when I started that journey. I can be a voice on social media at 57 that I never could have been at 27. Fade away? No, I’m shining brighter than ever

So this post is for anyone who is struggling with their wrinkles now or the thoughts of wrinkles in the future. Age is not an insult and not to be feared. We are not fading away and nothing is stopping us, but us. I truly hope this helps you embrace your wrinkles and embrace yourself.


To The Very End

To the very end. That is what I think every time some asks me who my inspiration is/was and I tell them my Mom. Why “To the very end”? Well, let me tell you the story that is my Mom and give you a glimpse as to why I am the way I am today.

So the other day I was on a TikTok live and someone asked me this question. “Lonni, who is your inspiration?” Without hesitation I said my Mom. But the answer has so many meanings, it’s not just a simple black and white answer. It’s a rainbow of colors kinda answer. She inspired me in so many different ways. Her strength that I didn’t give her enough credit for while she was alive. Her love of fashion that has given me my thirst for everything fashion. Her unwavering love for her family. Her ability to light up a room, just by walking into it. But mostly, what I draw inspiration from on a daily basis was her ability to absolutely, 100% be true to herself. She was true to herself to the very end.

When I say be true to herself, I mean she was so incredibly comfortable in her own skin that she didn’t change who she was regardless of the situation. She could be at church and speak up when women were told that they should be seen and not heard. She could be at a five star restaurant, wearing whatever she wanted and every woman in room would want to be wearing the same thing. She could go into a tattoo parlor at the age of 73 and get into a political debate with the shop owner. He was one of the scariest guys I knew and she never backed down from her belief. It’s that simple trait of being herself, regardless on her surrounding that really gives me the most inspiration.

Now I didn’t realize the depth of this or how true she really was to herself, until she left me. My Mom had to endure the pain of losing her oldest daughter, then she had to bury her husband of almost 60 years, then it was my turn to help her go be with them. It was during this time that I learned the biggest lessons. **Side Note – When I speak of my Mom’s passing I don’t do this with sadness. I do this with pride for the woman I call my Mom. Yes, I miss her with every breath, but I’m going to tell you the story of the last few months of her life and how my love and respect for her grew during this time. I don’t look focus on my loss, I focus on the gifts that she left me with.**

Let’s start from the beginning of what made my Mom who she was. My Mom started her life one day in March 1934 on a farm outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She was born premature in a time that most women didn’t give birth in hospitals, they gave birth on the farm and that is where my Mom’s story began. She was the youngest of six children and by far my Grandfather’s favorite. The family moved to California in 1940 to small beach town outside San Diego called Encinitas. My Grandparents didn’t have much money and both parents work to feed the family. My Grandfather worked on Camp Pendleton as a contractor and my Grandmother worked whatever job she could get. Moving from Arkansas wasn’t that easy for my Mom. I remember her telling me that she fought kids who made fun of her accent. She had to wait for the free dentist that came to schools to get dental work done and being the youngest daughter, she wore whatever her sisters grew out of, these days he would have been considered a “Latchkey Kid”. She got taken on dates when her older sisters couldn’t leave her at home and learned quickly what she didn’t not want in a husband. She was small in size and big on personality. With dark hair, green eyes and beautiful shape, she was an Audrey Hepburn lookalike and everyone took notice of her. She was a High School Cheerleader and the Homecoming Queen. She met and fell in love with the man that she would spend the rest of her life with at the young age of 16. Did she meet the quarterback or the valedictorian? Nope, she met my Dad when he was 17. She met the young man who grew up in an orphanage, rode a motorcycle and was the complete opposite of the homecoming queen. She met exactly who she was supposed to.

If you remember, I told you my Grandma took whatever job she could find and when my Mom was 16 she happen to working for the Thorntons. The Thorntons were a part of the flower industry that was Encinitas (fun fact Encinitas was the “Flower Capital of the World” until the late 80’s). The Thorntons owned the wholesale part of the family business. My Dad and Uncle Fred grew the flowers and my Uncle Bob shipped them (see where I’m going with this). So my Grandma worked for Uncle Thorny and my Mom went to see her at work one day and my Dad happened to be there. It was literally love at first sight. The cheerleader fell for the family bad boy and the bad boy finally found the one person who he would love his entire life. They dated while in she was in High School (my Dad dropped out) and were married shortly after graduation. Within months of being married, my Dad packed up my Mom, took her back to her parents and went to Korea to fight in the war. My Mom never gave up hope that he would return and he did not let her down. He carried her picture and a four leaf clover with him the whole time (we still have both) and came home three years later.

When my Dad returned home, my Mom was ready to start her family but having children was not easy for my Mom. With years passing and no children in sight, my Mom and Dad decided to adopt. I guess that’s all they needed to do because as soon as they started that process my Mom got pregnant with my sister. My Mom had a history of health problems and her pregnancy was not easy for her and the birth of my sister was almost the end of them. My Mom broke her tailbone and my sister was pulled out with forceps. But that horrible experience of child birth didn’t stop my Mom from trying again. She still needed to give birth to me and it took her six years of trying to do so. I was the last child, my Mom just couldn’t physically have another child. She was lucky to have survived the first two times.

Now here’s where it gets real. In reading the history of my Mom and how I came to be, you would think this is a fairly tail romance full of good times. That was unfortunately not the case. Remember, I told you that my Dad was raised in an orphanage and spent a tour in Korea. My Dad was raised tough and he did not know how to show love and he was not an easy man to love. Our nightly routine was a never ending loop of hostility. My Dad fought his past and my Mom fought to keep the outside world from seeing what the inside reality looked like. ***I will write a different blog regarding our home life at another time, this one is more about my Mom*** My Mom by the her sheer strength keep her little family together. In looking back I know now that my Mom was one moment away from snapping. I saw this when she got into a fight with a neighbor over their son throwing paint on my sister. My little Mom had the Dad backed into a corner fearing for his life. I saw her march into my middle school and insist that her daughter(me) was not drunk and would not be expelled (I was drunk but I was not expelled). I saw her marched into my high school to insist the graphity be removed from the girls bathroom when bullies wrote not so nice things about me. I know now that her strength came from a woman who could not deal with one more thing.

Growing up in a difficult family wasn’t fun and I found my own way to protect my emotional self. When that didn’t work I turned to alcohol (I guess that ran in the family). So it wasn’t until I found my happiness and I found my sobriety, that I was actually able to stop and take a long look at my Mom. I stopped drinking a few years after my Dad passed away and I know without a doubt that my Mom would have not passed peacefully if I had still been drinking. So here we are, we are a few months from my Mom passing away and I spent just about every single day at my Mom’s side. Her health started to fail in the spring of 2016 with trip after trip to the ER then a stay at the hospital. Each time and each trip she had her trusty sidekick there. I grew up with a strong outspoken woman and I knew my how to get my way. I remember my Mom laughing every time I walked into her room and looking at me and saying “I heard your boots walking down the hall and so did every nurse on duty. They all came running to make sure I was okay before you got here”. I was always polite to the staff but that was my mother laying in that bed and I was her advocate. I channeled my inner mom and she knew she was in good hands with me there. The hours that I spent next to her bed just watching her talk to the Doctors and Nurses always left me amazed. She was in pain, she knew she was dying and yet she had the same spunk, same wit and the same charm she did when she was 30. She was the same person in death as she was in life.

How? How can one person be so true to themselves? How after everything she had been through just be okay with being her? There were hours and hours that I got to spend with my own thoughts. I got to revisit situations in my childhood and look at them in a different light. That gave me the time to look at my own life. How true to myself was I really being? Was I living my most true life? The answer was no. I was still trying to figure myself out, I was still tying to figure out who Lonni really was. I had spent so many years of my life drinking away my memory of who I really was, that I had lost myself. As I sat there during this time with my Mom know that it was coming to an end, I had a choice to make. Would I continue to hide who I was or would I take the time and reconnect with the real Lonni. I knew the right answer, the answer that my Mom had shown me my whole life. The answer was to find me and let the best me out to shine bright. I lost my Mom shortly after this conclusion but I only lost the physical part of my Mom. My Mom will always be a part of me and she will always be that person who inspires me most to be my true self. That gift is a gift that just keeps on giving. That is the gift that I wish to pass on to you. Stop and take the time to find the real you. Life can get busy and life can get hard and we sometime lose who we really are. We can be in a bad relationship or come from a difficult childhood and the real us gets pushed aside. Find that real you and once you do it is so easy to be you. You no longer worry about being who other people want you be and the freedom of being you is so easy that you can do it while dying.

So this Blog is for you Mom – Though all the good times and through all the bad times you never changed. You were Barbara, you were Mom and most importantly you were always true to yourself. Love you forever.

People And Their Fucking Opinions

I’m not sure is it just me, or does it seem like everyone and their cousin has a fucking opinion?

Now let’s be clear on this. I don’t mind opinions when I ask for them, let me repeat that last part…..when I ask for them. I ask for opinions from my co-workers for their thoughts on certain work subjects. I ask my oldest son for his opinion on fashion. I will stop and ask Robert for his opinion on which pair of shoes I should wear or which top goes best with those pants. I will ask my youngest son Brandon for his opinion on how I should handle certain situations. He always tells me the truth and won’t sugarcoat an answer. I know I’m getting the honest truth from both of them and I 100% want their option and value what they have to say. Asking for an opinion is one thing, unwanted opinions in another.

Now, what I do not understand is that person who comes onto my social media accounts and gives me their opinion on matters that have absolutely nothing to do with them. I am not in their world, my presence on this earth has nothing to do with them, however; they feel that it is necessary to stop and give negative comments. They comment on what I am wearing, my hair color, my tattoos and even my age. Again, I don’t know these people and what they think about these things just doesn’t matter to me. I would never ever think of taking time out of my day to stop to tell someone to get a tattoo. I would never stop to tell someone to stop coloring their hair. I certainly would never tell anyone that their style is not age appropriate (that one right there is a subject for a different day). So how is it that someone thinks they can do that to me or to anyone for that matter? When and where in society did it become okay to do this? Was there a town meeting somewhere that I wasn’t invited to where they decided this kind of behavior was okay? Did a bunch of people get together and decided that if you don’t look a certain way they have the power to tell them so? I guess the bigger question was, did anyone at this meeting raise their hand and say it wasn’t a good idea? Or I am I the only one thinking that this should have been vetoed.

I know for a fact that I’m extremely lucky on my social media platforms because I do escape a lot of the unwanted opinion madness. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get those opinions, because I do. I get enough of these comments that it made me decide to sit down and figure out a game plan. I needed to figure out how I was going to deal with the opinions. Here’s what I came up with 1) I would not let the unwanted opinions stop me. 2) I would not let them make me feel bad about being my true authentic self. 3) I would not give a shit about what they said and #4) I would push forward with the message. I personally think this is a great game plan.

So, let’s look a little deeper at the game plan and hopefully you will find something that will help you deal with the same issue. I know that no matter who you are, you are dealing with someone who is going to give you their unwanted opinion and unfortunately more times than not, it’s not a positive one.

#1: Do not let unwanted opinions stop you.

What I mean is just that. Do not let these opinions stop you. When people tell me that I’m too old, I hear “Keep going Lonni”. I know that I’m making people uncomfortable and change requires people to be uncomfortable. These opinions do not stop me, they don’t even slow me down. Nope, they do the reverse. These opinions tell me I’m making a difference, they give me the push to keep going and make me speak louder. So the next time someone tells you that unwanted opinion, tell yourself “good job” because you just made them uncomfortable and that means you are standing out.

#2: Do not let unwanted opinions stop you from being you.

What I mean by this is this. These unwanted opinions are like small particles of negativity that land on you. Now one or two particles can be brushed off and you easily go on about your day. But when you are bombarded by these negative comments day in and day out they start to build up. Then all of sudden you wearing a heavy jacket of negativity and that will start to affect how you think about yourself. You have to make sure that you recognize what’s going on. That you understand that these opinions mean nothing to you so don’t let them build up. If you struggle with the weight of unwanted opinions, look at them like this. Those opinions are coming from a place inside that other person, not you. I guarantee you that they don’t give a rat’s ass about your hair or clothes. They are simply trying to hurt you because they have unresolved issues and they only way they know how to deal with them is by lashing out at others. To tear them down and bring others to their level. So the next time some says

#3: Do not give a shit about those unwanted opinions.

I chose to not give shit. No only do I not going to give a shit, but I use these unwanted, unrequested opinions as my fuel to push forward when self doubt gets into the way. Anytime I start to feel self doubt creep in, I look at a comment telling me I’m too old for tattoos. When I feel that my message isn’t being heard, I look at a comment telling me I shouldn’t dress like a teenage. When I just get tired and want to go to sleep, I read a comment telling me to dress my age. Little do these people know that their words are not hurting me, they are helping me dig deeper than I ever thought I could. They are helping me find the strength that I need to push pass my own self doubt. Their words don’t hurt me, they motivate me.

#4: I will push forward with my message.

Last but not least. These unwanted opinions do nothing but remind me each and every time, that there are people being verbally abused on a daily basis and they have been beaten down by these words. These opinions remind me that I do have a voice and I need to speak up for them. These opinions remind that I have a voice for myself and I have a voice for them. This opinions will not stop me, slow me down of hurt me in any way.

So in short, it is up to each and every one of us to decide how we are going to react and deal with unwanted opinions. They aren’t going way and as social media grows in popularity and society becomes dulled to this, we will see them more and more people willing to share their unwanted opinions. The sting isn’t going to go away but our power to deal them can shield their unwanted negative affects.

Wear What You Want – The Early Years

Wear what you want. Why do these four words have such a strong meaning to me? Where did this passion come from? To answer these questions, we will have to travel back in time, back to the early years.

I have always enjoyed fashion, shopping and the time that I got to spend with my Mom. Fashion was a secret language that we shared, it was our bond and it was just our “thing”. Some of my fondest memories with my Mom were the Saturdays that we spent together. Our Saturdays were always the same; morning chores, lunch and shopping. Every Saturday without fail, in sickness and in health, rain or shine, we did the same thing. We got up, cleaned the house (which absolutely did not need to be cleaned), got fancied up and started out on our adventure food and style. As a kid, it just seemed like that’s what Moms and daughters did. Didn’t every Mom and Daughter on the block spend every single Saturday at the mall? No, I don’t think so, I think they might have broken up their routine a little or at least. But looking back at this now, I see that those days were more to her than just lunch and shopping, it was her escape. Her way of taking time for herself and doing something that made her feel good, this was her creative outlet. All of these things, all of these reasons were passed down to me. This passion has given me an eye for fashion and flare that is my own. It has given me the confidence to walk into any room knowing that I’m wearing what I want. That was gift that I will always thank her for.

My Mom and I had this routine until the time she passed. We were the longest running cast members in this play, but we were not the only players. Let’s meet the supporting actors. Grandma, now my Grandma had a wicked eye for fashion and never left the house without looking like she was walking out of a catalog (yes it was a generational thing), My Sister, my Sister got drug out every weekend with us, but she just but didn’t have the passion like we did. My mom for some reason never gave her the option to stay home which didn’t always make this for a pleasant experience but she was with us. I know now that my Sister didn’t enjoy shopping because she didn’t feel confident and unfortunately didn’t know how beautiful she really was. It is statements like this that make me wish I had a time machine to go back and tell her exactly how amazingly beautiful she really was. Heavy sigh!

So, every Saturday the four of us would head off to some store or some mall. Yes buying new things was fun (and the ultimate goal) but we didn’t always buy something. Sometimes it was because we didn’t find anything and sometimes it was because we couldn’t afford to buy anything, but we still tried. Sometimes only one person bought something, yep it was always a group effort to shop. For some reason it took all four of us to buy just about anything. It took four of us when my Grandma needed a new hat. It took four of us when she needed a new shovel or tomato planet. It literally took all four of us to buy anything. Why you ask, I’m not really sure and I just look back and appreciate the time that we had together. The fact that we didn’t always buy something came not only from not being able to find anything, but the fact that we didn’t have enough money to buy anything. During these years we still got up, cleared the house (yes it was still perfectly clean but we cleaned anyway), went to lunch then headed to the thrift stores instead the malls. We went from AmVets to Goodwill but never to the JC Pennys or May Co. Those trips were over and wouldn’t return for many years. As a kid, I didn’t mind that we were poor and I didn’t mind shopping at thrift stores. I still remember being so excited when I found that “one” deal. That top for a quarter a pair of pants for .50 cents or even that one great book for a dime that I could lose myself in. Now my sister on the other hand didn’t have the same great experience during those times. She was 6 years older than me and in High School. Kids aren’t nice sometimes and they knew we were poor (I’m sure you know where I”m going with this), yes, they teased her about her clothes. She was already struggling with her acne and her looks, and unfortunately, this just pushed her over the top. I remember not being able to understand by anyone would tease her, I thought we clothes were cute. She was my sister and to me she was perfect. I still remember a particular pair of overalls that she got. I thought they were so cute (I loved overalls then and still do today), but the other kids just tore her down for them. It’s those kind of memories that kept me out of resale shops for years. I associated thrift stores with my sister’s pain and couldn’t bring myself to go into one. I recently decided to face that memory and went back to the same thrift store that we shopped at when I was a child. It was exactly the same. It looked the same and smelled the same, the only thing that had changed was me. I talked to my sister (who has passed) while I was there and told her it was okay now. It was such a healing moment for me. It allowed me to face the pain that I associated with thrift stores. Since that moment thrift shopping is one of my favorite things to do.

Back to the story….Through the years our Saturday shopping adventures never stopped. Even as a teen we would have our Saturdays together. Now this seems sweet, but in reality this was just expensive. While my parents were doing better than they were, they still did not have the money to buy me whatever I wanted. To tell you the truth, even if they did have the money, my Dad still would have made me work for anything I wanted that was over the basics that they gave me. So off to work I went at 16 to buy myself the clothes that they other girls were having handed to them. Yep, that’s right, my friends had parents who were rich, and I had parents who thought teaching me the value of a dollar was more important. Looking back now, I was the lucky kid and had the good parents. School, work, school, work school, work, shop, become my routine. I still remember getting paid just enough to buy my outfit for the weekend and pretty much didn’t have anything left over. I worked everyday after school for that one outfit. It was a really good outfit!

Even out of school and out of the house my bond with My Mom and shopping continued. No matter how far away I had moved (I moved about an 1 hour away), we would still meet every Saturday. I would drive an hour, she would drive an hour. It didn’t matter, we just wanted to see each other. We wanted our time together and we just plain ole wanted to shop. There were new clothes just waiting to travel home to our closets. There were times throughout my early thirties that I just didn’t have much money. I was a single Mom and didn’t have the extra income to spare on my clothes. But that did not stop us, oh no. We would still meet for lunch and still go shopping. Only difference was my boys were usually the ones to get a new top, socks or a small toy, but they got something. My Mom, being my Mom would always slip something into her bag for me. I really don’t care what anyone says, a mom will be a mom no matter how old you get!

So let’s look back at this journey. From childhood, thrift stores, endless lunches, hours on the road and decades of bonding time. Fashion and the time spent with my Mom, is time that helped me become the person I am today. I didn’t realize then that all the conversations over lunch, all the small talk at the stores and all the questions about what looked good, was nothing more than a Mother/Daughter relationship forged in a Nordstroms department store. Looking back now I see that I took these lessons and turned them into my own. I took the encouragement she gave me to buy something that I wasn’t quite sure of and rock in my own way. Exactly what I’m trying to do now for millions of women around the world. I’m trying to give them the same love and encouragement to “Wear What You Want” that she gave me. I know in my heart that she would be proud. Not so much of me, but for the gift that she gave me and my desire to share that with you. Her fashion, her style, her confidence. Her fashion choices helped her when she was sad, it made hard times not so hard and it just made her happy. I can say with confidence that it does the same for me. So thank you Mom. Thank you for those unlimited lunches, hours of shopping and endless conversations.

I will end this with a message from my Mom and myself. Fashion isn’t what you wear, fashion is about how it makes you feel. It tells the world what you think about yourself and what you want the world to know. Wear what makes you feel good about yourself and you will find your style and I guarantee you it will tell the world one thing…. You will tell them that you are amazing!

A Message To Myself

Dedicated to Lauren.

I am truly blessed to have the people in my life whom I love. One of these amazing humans is a lovely young lady whom I am blessed to have in my life. Lauren asked me if she could request a subject for me to write about. Without even a second of hesitation I said yes. Little did I know what a challenge her question would be.

Here’s what she requested: “What would you tell your past self as you were beginning your sobriety journey?”

Now on the outside looking in, this might seem like an easy question to answer. A simple “keep your head up and keep looking forward” kinda answer. But in reality it’s a difficult question for me to answer. Not because I don’t know what I would tell myself, but because there are so many things I would want to tell myself. This has proven to be the first time I’ve struggled with putting my words down and not knowing where to start. I guess this is good for me because it has made me dig a little deeper. Leave it to Lauren to shake up my world. So here you go young lady, my message to myself……

I know that you are scared. You are scared because you are about to change the only life you have ever known. On top of being scared of change, you are terrified that you will get a taste of that freedom and then have it taken away. I’m proud of you for coming to the realization that you need a change in your life and I’m even prouder of the fact that you have found the courage to try. Not only will you need to heal your physical body, but you will need to heal your mind, your soul and your heart. I will say with 100% certainty that it will be worth every tear and every uncomfortable moment that you will have. There is a different life other than what you have been living and you deserve all the happiness that the other life has to offer. You are a fighter, now fight your life.

I would tell myself that sobriety and the choice to love life is what we call freedom. It’s like that bear that lives its entire life in a cage. This bear know nothing but that cage until the day it is rescued. Now you would think the bear would run free the moment the cage door is open, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t want to leave the security of the cage because it doesn’t know any other life. It will take the bear time to grasp the idea that it is no longer being held captive. The bear will get the idea sooner or later that it has the right to venture outside of the cage and will take a few tentative steps but everything feels different to the bear. The ground feels different, the air smells different, the world looks different. Every single thing is different and even though it is better it is still different. On the outside looking in, we watch the bear and we give it encouragement. We are patient with the bear, we reward it when it makes progress and we celebrate once it leave the cage for good. You are the bear and adiction is the cage. You need to give yourself the same self love and the same encouragement that you give the bear.

The work doesn’t stop once you are outside of the cage. You will need to make sure you keep tabs of every part of your life. Your freedom outside of the cage is like a garden and you will need to tend to your garden on a daily basis. You cannot plant flowers, get them to bloom and then just stop watering them and walk away. You will need to visit your sobriety on a daily basis. You need to make sure all the weeds are pulled, it is watered and love on it every single day. This is not negotiable.

Your wounds will heal. Some will heal quickly and soon be a distant memory. Others will take time to heal. There is no time limit and no hurry, you just have to let time heal all the wounds. You will need to revisit your past through meditation. There will be memories that you will need revisit and save your inner child (this will be explained another day). You will have to be braver than you have every been, but you can do it. You can do it because you have gotten this far.

You will need to learn how to live again. You will find joy in the things you never notice before. A flower will stop you in your tracks because of its beauty. You will laugh louder and smile more. Everything that you were scared of will no longer be scary. Love will taste sweet and tears will heal.

Do not be scared of loosing your happiness before you even get it. This fear will keep you in that cage. This fear will bring its friend guilt and guilt is a bitch. Surround yourself with positivity and likeminded people. Watch shows that that will make you laugh, read a books that will inspire you and stay away for the negative. Tell yourself everyday that it is okay to be okay and you deserve happiness.

There is nothing stopping you from this point forward. You got this and now go live your life.

Pain Is Pain

Simply put…..pain is pain.

No one has the right to tell you anything about your pain. No one can tell you if your pain is right or if your pain is wrong. No one can tell you if you are hurting too much or not enough. Too often we have outside sources judging our pain, rating your pain or even validating your pain. Your pain is yours and yours alone.

So let’s explore this subject and see where it takes us. This is typically a subject that people like to shy away from It’s not a fun subject to talk about, but I feel it is a very necessary subject. You have to understand pain in order to process and deal with it. So we will breakdown the basics of pain, how we deal with our own pain and how people treat you and your pain.

Pain is simply something that causes you discomfort or distress. It can be physical, it can be mental or it can be emotional. All three of these pains are valid and need to be dealt with. We very often deal with physical pain and ignore the mental/emotional pain. Broken bones will heal in six weeks, broken hearts will take longer.

We don’t think twice about going to the doctor for our physical pain. If we break our arm we go the hospital to get it fixed. We have a rating system for physical pain. How many times have you been at the doctors and they ask you to rate your pain from 1 to 10. With physical pain we have something to show for it. We wear a cast if we break a bone. We use a bandaid if we cut our finger. We can show someone a scar and explain to them how we got hurt.

Emotional/mental pain – now that’s a whole different ballgame.

Emotional/mental pain as not bounds. We have nothing that we can show other people to tell them how we were hurt. We carry emotional/mental pain in our head, our heart and in our soul. There is no limit it this pain. It has all the freedom to expand into every fiber of our being. It can invade our dreams and it has the potential to impact every aspect of our lives. It is up to us to put a limit on the damage that our pain can cause. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Example: You as a child experience a trauma. It can be mental, emotional or physical, either way, you are in pain. This childhood pain will follow you into your teens and then adult life and will become a part of who you are. Many people who experience a childhood trauma will turn to substance abuse in order to dull that pain. Unfortunately substance abuse will only cause the pain to rampage with no bounds. Now take that same child, and the same trauma and control that pain. You have to turn around and face that pain. Acknowledge it, call it out, call it every name in book, just don’t ignore it. Pain will impact every aspect your life when you pretend it is not there. I will not tell you to let it go. That is just stupid. You might as well tell your left leg to get lost. Your pain is a part of who you are and should not go away. I’m not saying to keep it in the forefront of your life, I’m saying acknowledge it, file it and go forward.

Back to the subject

Mental/emotional pain is a silent stalker. Mental/emotional pain can a childhood bully, a neglectful spouse, an absentee parent or an overbearing boss. Mental/emotional pain is anything that hurts your heart, your soul and gets your inner voice talking shit on you in your head. There is not limit to what damage this can do to you. There is no scar you can show anyone. You cannot go to the hospital and rate your mental/emotional pain. You have to figure out what path works best for you when it comes to this pain. You can keep this pain to yourself or you can share it. Describing this pain can be daunting. It’s hard to put feeling into words, it is like trying to describe a color. You can share your pain with people who have similar experiences but no one will ever have exact formal of pain that you have. Mental/emotional pain is like a snowflake, not two are alike. For some reason mental/emotional pain comes with guilt. Guilt is an ugly demon but we will get into that another time. I do highly suggest the following: share your pain in a safe environment, find a healthy outlet and find a healthy storage unit in you.

So here is my point. Physical, mental or emotional, your pain is uniquely yours. You have to own it and figure out how you want to deal with it. Once you learn to be okay with your own pain, you can start to show compassion for other peoples pain. You can’t experience it but you can understand it. What you might think as “not a big deal” might be earth shattering to someone else and that is perfectly okay. There is no reason to rate anyone’s pain, you just have to accept the fact that the person standing in front of you is hurting.

This brings me to a personal note. The only fight my sister and I ever got into was over this subject. I know she had a hard childhood and she protected me every chance she got, but I had a hard childhood also. I couldn’t get her to understand that even though her experiences were painful, mine were also. It took a fight on my front lawn for us to get past the pain and actually see each other and our unique pain.

It is my hope that after reading this you will gain a new understand and compassion when it comes to this subject. When you hear someone talk about their pain, just try and not compare it to your own. Have compassion if their pain seems trivial compared to yours. Who knows, that table might turn one day you and you will need someone to show you the same compassion back. If someone doesn’t understand your pain, just realize that they don’t understand their own. Don’t get mad and don’t take it personal. It’s them, not you.

I will be the first to tell you that I don’t have all the answers, but if you do need help let me know. I will help you find resources in your area. You should never feel like you are alone and your pain is real.

Election Night Story Time

As I sit here glued to the TV, flipping through the channels and hanging on every word, I have decided to give myself a break from reality for a moment at least. And what better way to do that than with a story.

We all have stories. Some stories are funny, some are sad and some weird BUT all stories tell us something about who we are. My stories always seem to point back to the fact that I get myself into trouble. A lot! So sit back and enjoy my election night story.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Lonni who was always the smallest in her class. She had large green eyes, always wore her brown hair in two large braids, never wore a dress and always found herself getting into trouble. Maybe it was her never-ending curiosity or maybe it was the sheer lack of parental supervision but either way she and mischief were the best of friends.

Now, this little girl and her overwhelming desire to push every envelope that ever crossed her path, had a bodyguard. Not just any bodyguard, she had the biggest badass that Dora Drive had ever seen. This bodyguard struck fear in the hearts of all who made the fatal mistake of picking on this mischievous child. This bodyguard was her sister.

Born 5 years earlier into a family that had little to no need for softness, this older sister took it upon herself to protect, love and guide her little sister. She protected her sister from other kids, gave her comfort when she was sick and sheltered her when life got angry. She grew up hard and wanted to make sure that her little sister had a softer life.

She protected her from all of these things and more, accept for one thing. She couldn’t protect her against her pet turtle. Named Charlie Brown, this desert turtle lived in their backyard and basically minded his own business, ate leaves and moved, well as slow as a turtle. In Lonni’s eyes he was a menacing dinosaur that had nothing be evil intentions and was faking his slowness. So everyday when her sister went to school she would muster up the courage and go into the back yard to face her foe. As we all know, all good heroines need weapons, but weapons are not easy to come by when you are 4. This did not stop her, she would just have to make her own. Now Lonni was a quick thinker and what better thing to fight with a turtle with than leaves. So she would scour the yard to find leaves large and small. Once she couldn’t carry anymore she would head off to find Charlie Brown. Once she laid eyes on him, she carefully made her way close enough to fire off her arsenal of leaves and then run for safety.

Let’s take a minute and look at this from the turtle’s point of view. Hi, I’m Charlie Brown and I’m minding my own business. I’m just standing here and think about walking over there to that part of the yard. Hmmm, I know it will take me at least half a day to get there and now I’m not really sure I want to go. Oh wait, here comes that little girl again and she’s bringing me an armful of food. I’ll just stand here and wait for her. Gosh, I’m not sure why she’s throwing the food at me and running away, but I’m going to follow her and thank her. She is so nice.

This scene played out over and over, day after day. Her Mom would tell her to just stay away from the turtle, jut the little girl knew deep down inside that if she didn’t strike first, Charlie Brown would get the upper hand. She new better than to just stay away. Finally after months of gladiator style backyard fighting, the little girl’s Mom just had enough and someone had to go. But who? Who would be the unlucky one to be packed up and shipped off. As much as her sister loved her, she did not want to see her turtle go and voted to keep Charlie Brown. Luckily for the little girl, cooler heads prevailed and she got to stay.

The End

This story is dedicated to my amazing badass sister who spent the majority of her life and my life protecting me. She fought bullies for me, listened to me when I needed to be heard, raised me when our parents were not around and I don’t care what she said, I know she loved me more than that damn turtle. I lost my bodyguard 13 years, 360 days ago (but who’s counting). My Sister passed away after a brief battle with a very agressive cancer. I felt like a part of me died with her that day and it took me years to learn how to be a complete person. I cannot explain the amount of love and respect that I have for that woman. She was one of the good ones. But, I have a lot of stories about her and will share them all with you. I told you the Charlie Brown story today because even at the end we were still talking and laughing about this. I remember sitting next to her at the hospital while she slept (at least I thought she was sleeping) when she suddenly opens her eyes, looks over at me and says “You know he was a fucking turtle and you could have outrun him, right?” We had such a good laugh over this and fact that I fought him with food. She always asked me “What where you thinking” and the truth is I don’t really know. It is just who and I am and like I said. I aways seem to get myself into trouble.

Until next time…..