Coffeegirl63's Blog

Relationships August 28, 2011

Filed under: Friends,Relationships,Times with My Family — coffeegirl63 @ 9:37 pm
Lately, I’ve been thinking about relationships. There are so many levels of relationships, and sometimes the lines between them seem more wavy than straight.Some relationships are decided for us. My sister (2nd in birth order) and I have been best friends so long that I don’t really remember it happening. It seems we always have been. My mother always said, “friends come and go, but family is family forever.” Maybe she just wanted us kids to play nice with each other, but it’s always stuck with me. My older sister (1st born, with all the stereotypical personality traits) and I were not close growing up. I’m sure she must have at some point, but I don’t remember her ever playing with us. However, we became close after we became adults (she was pretty much born an adult, while I still sometimes struggle with the rule that says I have to grow up). In the last several years, we’ve become very close. Sister 2 and I have each gone through some very difficult times, but we always know we can count on each other. Something withers a bit in each of us when we go too long without talking or seeing each other.
Other relationships begin as one thing and end up looking completely different. My good friend Kevin ( and I met in late 2007/early 2008 when he came in to sell me on a payroll/human resource company for Coleson Foods. His role was just to introduce me to the company, which I ended up choosing for Coleson Foods, but typically was not to continue beyond that stage. However, we hit it off and kept in touch. We’d meet from time to time just to visit. I was honored that he trusted me enough to introduce his wife to me. The three of us have become friends, a friendship that has nothing to do with human resources or payroll. His friendship has played a major role in my professional success, as well as my professional and personal self-confidence.
Some relationships start because two people are sort of thrown into a situation together. My good friend Julie ( and I met when our husbands were working for the same ministry. Jim and I were working for a ministry that bought property where Julie and her husband had been working, at a different ministry. I met her husband first at the ministry site. His first impression of me was: a rather free spirit in (what he thought was) a mini skirt (it was shorts) hopping on the back of a dirt bike for a tour of the property. He told his wife that she HAD to meet me. Julie’s first impression (before we met in person) was a bit different: homeschooling mother (moving from Tulsa, OK, to Tyler, TX) who made Julie and her family some homemade whole wheat bread, homemade peanut butter, and homemade watermelon jelly to celebrate the birth of their youngest child. Her mental image: denim jumper, no makeup, and long hair in a bun. Reality was somewhere in the middle. However, under Julie’s gentle (ha) tutelage, I am much more a free spirit–although, I don’t know that I’ve EVER owned a denim jumper, and I’m pretty sure I never looked like a typical northeast TX homeschooling mother. Julie and I “talk” almost every day (no fewer than 5 days a week, sometimes more) on IM. She encourages me every time we talk. She’s helped me nutritionally (I’m so much healthier than I knew how to be on my own, but she still let’s me eat chocolate). The biggest thing is that I can tell her anything. She’ll jerk the slack out of me if I’m being foolish, but with so much love that I feel the joy of making the right choice. She doesn’t judge me for anything I do, say, or think. She’s held my hand (virtually) through my failed romances… watching me go through the stages of grief in such quick succession (and repeatedly) that she must be dizzy. But then we talk through how nothing that happens in life is wasted. She helps me work through what I do and do not want in any relationship (romantic or not) in the future, and that it’s ok to make those decisions/choices for myself.
I have another friend, Helen. Whenever we get together, we laugh ourselves silly! We met when she started working at Coleson Foods years ago. She is young enough to be my daughter… in fact, I think she’s right about Jimmy’s age. We got to know each other slowly, until the day she got to open the door to my most embarrassing moment, the one in which I unwittingly completely disparaged the means by which she came into this world. She’s owned me ever since. However, one more than one occasion, she has reminded me that I emotionally scar her like no one else can. And she laughs at all my funny children-stories. We talk about the deep issues of life, and we see the hilarious side of almost everything. We don’t get to see each other as often as we like, and we mostly exchange Facebook statuses. But when we see each other, we walk away with cheeks and tummies sore from laughing. Helen has been instrumental in my learning that I’m valuable enough that I have a right to, and should, set boundaries that can make me free.
There are people in my life that I love, but we don’t socialize as friends. They’re a cross between a friend and an acquaintance, I suppose. However, within those situations, I can pour my heart out and listen as they pour out theirs to me.
I have people in my life whom I’ve never met, mostly work contacts, but our phone conversations have led to a level of relationship that I think we’d get along well if we ever did meet.
Some of my friends are as social as I am. Some of my friends are terrified at walking into a room of strangers and beginning conversations just for the sake of getting to know people. Others are neither terrified nor fascinated by people, they’re just not interested in having any more friends than they already have. As you know, I am in the group fascinated by people; I’m always interested in making more friends, on a variety of levels. Sometimes a connection is made, but life situations don’t necessarily allow that we’ll ever see each other again. Sometimes a connection is made, and we’ll see each other from time to time… always happy to catch up on each other’s lives. Sometimes a connection is made, and a relationship develops that is so deep it becomes a life-long friendship. I love all those relationships. They all shape us and help us become better people, if we’re willing to give and receive love from each other as God has made us to do.
I’ve learned a lot this year about what I have to give to and receive from others. It’s been a wonderful adventure that I hope continues for the rest of my life!

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… most of the time August 20, 2011

Filed under: Adventure,New Friends,Travel — coffeegirl63 @ 12:19 pm

My sister and I went to a conference in Las Vegas this past week. It was an IRS Tax Forum, so right away you’re probably thinking that this must have been torture. Well, if you know me at all by now, you know that there’s always a way to turn a situation into an adventure. I actually really enjoyed myself this week. The conference was three full days of classes on IRS tax issues. They were not all pertinent to me in my position–many of the classes were targeted toward tax preparation professionals (Certified Professional Accountants, Enrolled Agents, etc). However, there were some classes that I really enjoyed. Again, those of you who know me well will not be surprised by the fact that I enjoyed Discovering the New and Payroll Pointers for Filers of Forms W-2/W-3. However, when I was the only one in the room who did not laugh at the comment that included the word “depreciation” followed by a string of alpha-numeric characters, I definitely did NOT feel like one of the cool kids. And then I questioned my social circle for a moment.

Besides the classes I enjoyed, I also enjoyed meeting people. I did not walk away with as many new relationships as I anticipated. I did make some new friends, though. One new friend is a friend of my sister’s from the tax world. We walked up and down the strip a couple nights. Especially the first night, I was such a tourist. I walked most of the way with my mouth open and looking up at all the tall buildings and the bright lights. Because I wasn’t watching the path before me, I stumbled into a few people, but no one seemed to mind or even notice. We saw a couple of outdoor (free) shows. I really enjoyed getting to walk in the warm outdoors after the long days of sitting in the cold (air-conditioned) conference rooms… and I really enjoyed the company.

Almost every restaurant I went into was wonderful about my soy intolerance. The staff was willing to talk to the chefs in detail about what I could and could not eat. They were even willing to make substitutions when necessary. I was able to eat good, healthy food all week (I was happy to find, the morning after I arrived home, that I hadn’t gained an ounce). We stayed at Caesar’s Palace (the site of the conference), and so we ate most of our meals there. I freely recommend Munchbar ( and Payard (

This leads to the point of the title of my post today. Payard sells a Flourless Chocolate Cookie that is absolutely amazing… and completely soy free!! I cannot begin to express my joy at this. I ate a cookie every day I was in Vegas, and I brought a dozen home with me. Having found their website, I will most likely have them delivered to my home on a regular basis.

I believe that many things that happen in Vegas really should stay in Vegas. However, I just had to bring a bit of it home with me. 🙂


The Downtown Coffee Shop Culture August 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — coffeegirl63 @ 4:01 pm
I love downtown. It’s a great place to people-watch. This activity is not to be confused with “watching people.” Watching people can imply that you are a babysitter, a futuristic anthropologist in a duck blind (for example, you’re a member of Star Fleet and you can’t violate the Prime Directive), or maybe even a creeper. People-watching, on the other hand, implies that you are a student of human nature, or at least allows for that implication.

I am sitting in Pike’s Perk (, a coffee shop in downtown Colorado Springs (best coffee ever, by the way).

When I was looking for a home, I wanted to live close to downtown. I really enjoy the idea of just walking around, enjoying the shops and the people. However, my realtor didn’t think I should… another story…

I do enjoy sitting at sidewalk cafes, and I enjoy walking downtown… and people-watching. Thus, you find me sitting here in Pike’s Perk early on a Friday morning. The variety of people walking in and out of the shop, as well as past the front door and side window, are myriad. There are hurried, possibly harried, business people looking for a quick cup of coffee on their way to work. (Does pulling up in front of the store, parking behind a couple cars in their metered parking spots, count as “drive-up”?) There are those of various professions who come in for a quick meeting with colleagues or to network. Some come for a break–to write, as I am now, or to read. There are some whose gender and/or cultural archetypes I cannot determine. I have seen hairstyle and dress fashions that are new to me. Some are quiet, some quite gregarious. I find myself curious about the back story of each person I see.

When you see someone who is different from you, what is your response? Do you judge them for their difference? Do you accept everyone, no matter their differences? Do you attempt to settle differences that may prove problematic? Do you embrace those differences that entice or thrill you? I am not going to pretend that I’ve never judged anyone without cause, or that I’ve always made good choices. I am most proud of myself when I respond with love and kindness to all I see, in spite of our differences.


Dreaming Dreams August 3, 2011

Filed under: Introspection,Life Questions — coffeegirl63 @ 7:15 pm

I’ve been thinking… lucky, you, huh? 😉

I’ve been thinking about dreams. Have you ever had a dream that seemed a direct reflection of your previous 24 hours? a dream that, in retrospect, seemed prescient? a dream that seemed a result of too much pizza and beer?

Last year, my friend Brenda was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her prognosis was not good. Delicate as she is, she has been the core that holds her family–husband and two adult sons–together; her middle son had passed away from cancer five years ago. Brenda has been, understandably, distressed by the diagnosis. The day after Brenda was informed by the doctors of her condition, she told me about a dream she’d had the night before. She had dreamed that her youngest son and I had announced our engagement. Her son and I were friends, but we had not dated in over two years. She begged me to make her dream come true, to make her son marry me. I understand that Brenda was trying to tie up all her loose ends; her son was not making good choices in his life, and she wanted to die in peace knowing that he would be taken care of.

Is it safe to say that we’ve all had the standard dreams of falling, of trying to flee danger but being unable to scream or to get away, of being able to fly? There are online sites that give general interpretations, at no charge, of your dreams. There are paid options, as well. I, myself, have two very good friends who are adept at interpreting dreams, and I draw on their experience when a dream baffles me. Freud, who wrote a book on dream interpretation, may or may not have actually said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” but I take this to mean that sometimes a dream does not actually merit or require interpretation.

Sixteen years ago, I dreamed that my youngest, Julia (2 years old at the time), had died. I had these dreams several days in a row. In each dream, I found Julia face down in water… in a pool, in the bathtub, in a lake, etc. Many mornings, I woke up crying, and I was very concerned about her safety. I talked to my friend Toni (a beautiful writer–see her blog at who helped me see that Julia was the age of a friend’s daughter, who had drowned two years earlier. I don’t know why I had those dreams, and I do not in any way understand the life-long burden that must come with losing a child, but understanding the connection, I could pray for my friend, give my fears to God, and move forward in mothering peace.

In March of this year, I had a dream that elicited strong feelings in me: I was in a situation where someone had to shoot an arrow specifically into his assigned place, and I had to stand in just my assigned place. I was sort of a combination of William Tell and the sight on a rifle. However, it was difficult for me to hold still, as I was in labor. The feelings in my dream: My purpose as a sight was to guide the one shooting the arrow. My purpose in labor was to bring safe delivery of the new baby. If I’d had this dream even a year ago, I would have experienced, in my dream and in my awakened state, stress and fear. The responsibility of having to make sure my charge succeeded in hitting the target, combined with the impending birth, would have been too much. What if I fail? What if I can’t make everything happen the way it’s supposed to? Having to juggle two responsibilities at once, the fate of two lives at once, would have all but debilitated me… which, in itself, would have increased the pressure. However, as I’ve been explaining in my writings lately, a lot of things have changed in the last year. I have been working on setting healthy boundaries. March seemed to mark a rather definite turn in my life. In my dream, I felt that we each had our responsibilities–that we were there to help each other, but we were not responsible for each other’s tasks. I knew that I could be that guide I was called to be, but I also had a distinct responsibility to make sure that my new baby was born in a safe and healthy environment. This time, I turned to my friend Julie ( We “talk” most days on IM, so I described my dream to her and asked her what she thought. Her thoughts were: guide–I was realizing a sense of responsibility, possibly partly for Julia in her last year living “in the nest” and partly understanding separation of responsibilities; labor–I was embarking on new beginnings in my life. In retrospect, I know that I’m becoming much stronger in setting healthy boundaries (letting good in, keeping bad out, defining relationships). I have had more than one new beginning. For example, I passed my Certified Payroll Professional exam which led to a major change in my career, and I have begun new interests in my personal life–performing in a short film and a couple commercials, dating a special man, the positive turn in my writings, and next month I will take up my flute again for the first time in 30 years. Professionally, my life will only grow and improve from this point. Personally, I am continuing to try new things. I do not purport that I will become any great talent as an actor, but I will continue as long as it is fun… and as long as I am asked. I will continue writing for the rest of my life, doing my best to write honestly and positively. My flute playing will be another creative outlet that I hope to enjoy for some time. As for the man, maybe it’s too soon to know?

My ex-husband almost never remembered his dreams. One time, he was working hard on a computer class–back in the mid-80’s when computers were just barely beyond the card-reader stage. For weeks, he’d been having trouble with one particular program. One night, he sat bolt upright in bed, and said, “that’s it! it’s in the maze!!” The next morning, I asked him what he’d been dreaming about. He didn’t remember dreaming. I told him what he’d said, and he said, “That’s it!!!” He left immediately for the computer lab, and he was able to solve his problem that day.

Anyway, as I said, I’ve been thinking. Have you had dreams you have wondered about? How much stock do you put in them? Are you working through events you haven’t been able to solve or understand in your daily life? Are you getting a glimpse of what is yet to come? Are they just a dream–”just a cigar”? Do you try to interpret your dreams? Do you mystify or spiritualize them? Do you even remember them when you awake?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on dreams and their meanings.


Working Through, Not Stuck in the Mire August 1, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living,Life Questions,Trusting God — coffeegirl63 @ 3:55 pm
Just a peek into my thoughts today:
You know my penchant for optimism. For example, a couple weeks ago, I cut my leg… cut it really bad–it required 10 stitches to close! People laugh at me when I say it was an adventure and that it’ll make an epic scar. Some laugh and some frown when I (teasingly?) say that I’ll get a tattoo (“to cover it?” “No! To highlight it–I earned it!! But something feminine: vines & flowers, maybe?”) They get nervous and talk about how it could have been so much worse. My response is that it really could have been so much worse… but it wasn’t! It was what it was, so why freak out. Modern medicine means I was able to have a tetanus shot and stitches in a clean, safe environment, and that I won’t lose my leg.
My current room for practicing a positive attitude and a bright outlook? I’m going through some relationship issues that, not too long ago, would have completely derailed me. As it is, I’m choosing to work through them in as healthy a way as possible. I’ve realized that it’s ok to cry hard when my heart hurts, just as it’s ok to laugh heartily when something thrills me. When something wears me out emotionally, just as when something wears me out physically, I take care of my health and take a nap when I need one! Also, I surround myself with people who love and care about me. People who will jerk the slack out of me if I spend too much time moping (but allow me just a little moping time 😉  ). People who won’t blame circumstances or people for life that just happens (that activity just encourages bitterness and anger). People who will encourage me as I seek to grow from my current situation.
We all go through painful situations. My situations have not been anything near to what others have gone through… and I’ve gone through some things that others couldn’t imagine how to survive. I look at what some people have experienced at the hands of fellow human beings, and I wonder at their ability to function. I wonder how they can not just be consumed by the pain. Their choice to live and laugh and love is an inspiration to me. It’s a dangerous exercise to compare ourselves to others–we’ll live in a yo-yo world of condemnation and pride. But it’s a very healthy thing to look at the lives of others for strength and inspiration.
The people in my life who inspire me on a regular basis: My sisters have always been there to love, support, and pray for me. I can go visit them on a whim when I need to, or we can just talk on the phone and laugh or cry when we need to do that. I’ve mentioned my friend Julie ( We talk almost every day on IM. She’s a constant source of inspiration, encouragement, and laughter for me.
I want to talk a bit about my good friend Kevin ( He’s a social-media guru–if he doesn’t know it, it hasn’t yet been discovered! He has inspired and encouraged me to do what I love… beginning with figuring out what I love! He is always my cheerleader in any new venture I embark on. He is one of the people in my life I want to be proud of me… and he always is. Through his encouragement, I have learned to embrace being more than simply doing. He has taught me to live life on purpose, not just by default. And if someone doesn’t appreciate me for all my value, he says they’re blind dopes (well, you know… that’s my paraphrase). Thanks, Kev. You’re my hero. And thanks for always forgetting that I’m older than you are 😉
So there it is. Life has challenges. Some challenges are major; some challenges just feel insurmountable at the time we’re going through them. How will you choose to face life through your challenges? Ignore, bury, stuff, “if you don’t talk about it, it’s not real”? Get angry, get bitter, blame others, shut yourself off from the possibility of further pain? Or will you embrace life. Will you choose to understand that life is not a destination but a journey. Will you look honestly at your situation, diminish or eliminate pain where possible and/or beneficial, and become a better/stronger person because of it. I believe that anything we overcome becomes our gift and our responsibility for working in our circle of influence. Your story is not your own–share your victories!