Blog Archive

I am STILL Here... My Blog Has Moved!

It has been forever, I know.  Instead of blogging, I have been writing for publication.

I'm going to get back into blogging and have moved this blog to my newly updated website,

Meet me there!  OK?

Miss You!  How are you?


Here I am at Last...

The subject title "Here I am at Last..." is a phrase my grandmother used to write to me. Maybe I've told you this before? Near the end of her life (at 88 years old) I corresponded with my grandmother on stationery and mailed her old fashioned letters. I so loved the art of letter-writing. Well, Gramma couldn't keep up with me in writing back, but when she did write me, she'd start her letters off saying, "Here I am at last..." I just loved her for her confidence and humor - she knew I was awaiting her letters with enthusiasm. Anyway, I thought I'd start my blog post for the very few of you enthusiastically awaiting my blog entry. HERE I AM AM... AT LAST!

Heh.. Gramma used to say another thing I'm reminded of as I remember her... when she gave a present and while you were unwrapping it, she'd say, "This is VERY expensive." My whole family still says that whenever we exchange gifts... and we laugh and laugh, especially when the gift wasn't at ALL expensive.

So anyway... it's been since Novemberish I've been on the blog. Sorry - kinda. I've just been so damn busy and unbalanced that any writing I would have posted would be babbling drivel from a frenetic lunatic. Sigh, I do seek the quiet and yet I am so easily drawn into the needs of others that I find myself constantly making urgent the emergencies of others. My sleep patterns have gotten insane... in fact, I am now struggling with sleep paralysis (which is very scary, but now that I know what it is, I am working on homeopathic attempts to get back to balance). Maybe you've had the experience of being "stuck" in a dream when you can't move or scream, but your eyes are open? The dream becomes a hallucination of sorts - it only lasts about ten minutes for me, but happens regularly. Scared the shit out of me for a while, but I'm doing better.

The kids are living at college and choosing most weekends to stay on campus as opposed to coming home. I have never in my life lived ALONE so this is a first experience for me and a weird (sometimes pleasant, sometimes oddly lonely) experience. It is interesting the transformation of my house (incredibly clean) and even the food pantry (incredibly healthy and not overstocked with snacks - and organized). It is so very quiet. This is nice most times.

I am going through skin surgeries (squamous cell carcinoma) on my left leg - a result of long-term tanning. I've had basal cell a dozen times (very low key cancer), but the squamous cell is a bit more aggressive, painful, can be disfiguring. My mother had the same thing last year and it went to the bone and she had to have her shin bone scraped. Mine's early, still... hurts like a bitch. Welcome to Florida!

Work has been horrendously all-encompassing. The health care company for which I'm Director of Marketing Research - we just got Joint Commission Certification and I was key in that project's undertaking, which finally let up in January and I could breathe again. I'm still teaching a class per semester and I also took up freelancing (research and ghost writing) and I have two clients - a PhD student who is studying Appalachian Trail hikers (very interesting study of the effect of outdoor experience on well-being), and I also am wordsmithing an ebook for a sex therapist in NYC, who is an absolutely wacky wonderful brilliant lady I now call friend.

I am trying to get my own psych research published in a journal and my submission to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships was rejected after an extensive peer review. (3 months I waited) Although I'm disappointed, I'm completely moved and inspired by the supportive feedback I got from three famous scholars on how to do rewrites and submit to another journal. I am now targeting Personal Relationships (a sister publication). I need only about 20 hours more work to get it fine... just haven't made my own project a priority while I work on others' writing projects.

I realize this workaholism thing and late hours is wearing on me (more than ever). I realize that years of this has been escapism - just like any addiction - and a false sense of earning "worthiness" to be good enough (from a self-esteem perspective). I realize the past several years have been a journey to finding self through divorce as my children transform into young adults meanwhile. And I'm coming back from financial devastation from the breakup of the family. I am happy in the person I am and still am becoming... I am open to deep and meaningful, (including private) relationships (heh) and I am willing to look at myself now as a flawed yet hopeful spirit who has many desires to contribute to the world. I endeavor to let down the brick walls of ego surrounding me, find greater forgiveness (especially of self), and let love in, let God in, and realize the fragility and shortness and beauty of life with the spirit of a seeker with child eyes, not a victim and not a controller.

In the past year, I have formed intensely important friendships and I have deepened the meaning of existing relationships. My family is so very small in size - and it is time to let the children stretch and be independent without my constant overseeing - and I am doing that, turning focus in new areas where I can, too, can stretch. This includes new undertakings - art (painting), I am now self-studying DAY TRADING (yes! I want to do some stock trading once i get all educated. I'm enjoying movies (cable or DVD) and still following my fave TV show, The Bachelor. Yeah, baby. I'm thinking of starting a professional blog of articles (pop psych). I started writing short articles a couple of weeks ago - oh, the stuff you read on or Psychology Today... and I have targeted Going Bonkers (a very nice slick magazine) for my first article for publication... time permitting. Also, going to clean out the garage this spring.

I turned 47 this month. Sigh. Kevin and Kelly have their birthdays (three days apart) in March and he'll be 22 and she will be 19. They are doing so well in school, but I should mention that Kelly totaled her car in a little oopsy left hand turn accident (she had to go to the hospital, but is fine). And in December she had sinus, adenoid and tonsillectomy surgery, which was brutal for her for a number of weeks post-op.

So... it's been a little hectic to say the least!

I am hoping to catch up with BLU again (blogger from The Book Shelf) who I had the distinct pleasure to meet and clink wine glasses with in NYC in October. It's the bomb to meet someone you've known online for so many years and then finally see them face-to-face. There are many of you I have known so very long and yet never saw you in real life.

I will be a better blogger.

Report in on how you're doing... Spidey? Mavis? Any of y'all?


The Loss of Blogging Momentum


LOL at Thanksgiving.

So my mom and sister were talking after T-giving dinner tonight... .they were pondering the cause of some medical condition. I said, "Why not just look it up?" and my mom says in all seriousness...

"Can't. I don't have one of them google machines."

"It's called the internet, mom"

We just all cracked up.

Thoughts Tonight...

1.  I think it's really cute that the UPS guy "hides" my bigass cardboard box that was delivered to my front door so robbers won't come take it.  He puts my Welcome Mat over the top of the box.  For sure, that will keep the thieves confused.

2.  When did it become fashionable for young moms taking their babies trick-or-treating to dress up like sluts and collect candy for themselves in  pillowcases?  Isn't that a little wrong? 

3.  And just what is the cut-off age for kids trick-or-treating?  I think if a boy has a full beard (his own - not a costume) he might be too old.

Not being critical.... Jussayin'

So How was your Halloween?

Seen on an orange Tee Shirt - A picture of a witch's hat.  Saying:  Finally!  A Day I Can Be Myself.


Around NYC

On Writing - The Future - The Results of My Trip to The Big Apple

My trip to NYC October 13th to 16th was personal business with serious effort to get a book deal on my research that I completed for my PhD (I graduated August 31st, btw). It's called, The Love Survey, and is a quantitative study of couple's experiences in their romantic relationship that measured intimacy, passion, commitment and relationship satisfaction. It was a national study and I received over 1,000 surveys from all 50 states, from ages 18 - 70. Anyway... don't get me started or I'll talk too long about it. I do truly love the work I do. I really hoped that an agent or publisher would view my book idea as the next Hite Report (groundbreaking work in the late 70s). Alas, I didn't set NYC on fire and although I got good feedback from really VIP folks in the industry, I am like one of the American Idol contestents sent back to their farm in some small town. Sigh.

And so being away those days put be me wayyyy back on work and laundry and crap... so I've been trying to catch up, which is why I've not blogged... although I think about blogging everyday, wanting to do it.

New York was great. I met BLU (from the old AOL The Book Shelf chat room of a dozen years ago). My God... she is an icon and poster child for the all-together strong woman in corporate who has a suburbs gentle side to her, too. She's a great new friend. She is coming to visit and stay with me in January!

I also made a couple of dear friends who are now also trusted professional colleagues - a prosecuting attorney with a great book idea, and a comedian/filmmaker/writer talent who just sent me these photos of me she enhanced in Photoshop. I'll be pumping up their PR stuff here at my blog as their projects get rolling.

I will post some pics of the cool things I observed in NY in my next post.

For now... the dreams of writing a non-fiction as a PhD psychologist are just that... just dreams. I do have a manuscript under peer review with the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and the publication also asked me to peer review an article by another scholar... so I know I'll be doing some academic work that I love.

Meanwhile, there is a ton of work to do in the day to day living... started a new semester teaching and working on two large marketing projects at the other job. So, in a sense, the trip to NY was kinda like a vacation... I had good food, great conversations with strangers who became friends... visited Central Park, Time Square, the Fashion District, and walked until my feet felt like they would fall off. Traveling alone wasn't so bad, either. I think I could do the city-girl thing!

I Have So Much About Which to Update You

It is so fricken lunatic bizzy and I hate when I haven't had the luxury of time to indulge my blogging.  There is so much to tell and I have a ton of pictures from NYC, but more than that... I am filled with unexpressed feelings about these past few weeks that I NEED to write for the catharic effect.  Blogging is therapy to me in a lot of ways.

Although I will be working all weekend on some major projects, I will... INDEED, blog. 

For now, however, I must sleep.

BRB soon.


Doreen's Notes to Self - My Guitar Lessons

Neil Young - Harvest Moon - LINK

Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks - LINK

Boston - More Than a Feeling - LINK

Stones - Angie - LINK

Israel Kamakawiwo - Somewhere Over the Rainbow - LINK

These Vagabond Shoes

Hey... Where is Blu? I think she's on my Facebook. I must find her. I'm going to NYC in a couple of weeks and I don't want to look like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz when I go there on business (Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more). Us Floridians get wigged out when we go to big cities and there's "wind" - so I need to consult the fashion queen of style on clothing and shit so I don't get "chilly" ... want to wear what's right for weather and to be totally appropriate. I need to look all New York Savvy... I'm pitching my psych research as a proposed book and will be meeting with some high falutin' agents and writers at a big meeting.

Although I've traveled solo many times on business, I'm always a little goosey in big cities and prefer to lay low. I just can't see me at a Broadway show alone, or a fancy restaurant alone, so I'm hoofing it around town and plan on living on slices of pizza and good old fashioned bagels or pretzels or hot dog stand meals... which in and of itself will all be good treats, but I shall miss the glitz that NYC has to offer. The hotels are excessively priced. The one where I need to be (Theater/Garment district) is $399 per night... so I am looking a ways farther to be price conscious. It's all very scientific and strategic to find the deals. Share info if you're familiar with the area.

So it's been a while since I've taken a flight. What's security like? I already know that Victoria Secret's Angel bras set off the security alarm, so I won't be wearing mine. (By that I mean I'll be wearing a different kind, not NOT wearing a bra at all). So it's $25 to check a bag on the flight? That's insane. I'll be carrying on a tote then, which I hate because because I'll be overstuffed, they are going to go through all my stuff because something stupid will appear in the XRay and there will surely be an explosion of clothes that never seem to fit back in a bag the second time you stick it all in again. Not to be negative... I just want to be prepared for smooth travels, travel light as I can and not have any problems.

So anyway... that's my bigass news and I'm kind of excited about it. I will be working pretty much all weekend on my proposal. I know my data intimately, and I have a concept for the book, just need to do the outline and have something prepared in case I'm asked for a written proposal. Meanwhile, I haven't heard anythign from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, where I'm trying to publish an academic paper... heard that takes three months. I'm hoping for a publishing contract which will position the book... if the book is picked up by a publisher.

Also this weekend: Kelly is coming home tomorrow from college and I'm having everyone over for dinner to catch up (sister's family, my mom). She hasn't been home in two weeks... I'm really glad she has found a connection with new friends. She made the cheerleading squad. She had to get a tutor for chemistry, but feels very good about her last test. All's good there. I'm hoping Kevin decides soon if he's going to join her at Eckerd, his plans are a little up in the air and a mother always worries.

Did I tell you I got feathers in my hair? It's the new "thing" here at hair salons... the feathers stay in like 3 months and you can use a straightener, wash them just like real hair. Yeah, I'm perpetually 16 years old... no seriously, my stylist said LOTS of old ladies are getting them. I have three of them. (Her name was lola, she was a showgirl With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there <-- Name that tune). That's all for now. Tell me what I need to know about traveling and New York.

Peaceful, Easy Feeling...

This is nice. My house is clean (that's because the culprit for mess didn't come home from college this weekend - yes, I'm sad.... I miss my Kelly) and there is something so lovely, too, about the quiet and claiming this space all mine this weekend.

The Season of Fall has come to the northern states I keep hearing from friends who live there. In Florida, the subtle sign that it is September is that you don't drip sweat in the first minute you leave the indoors, it only takes now 7 minutes now to melt, so I know Autumn is near for us. So I celebrate this loveliness... gots me a cinnamon broom at the grocery store last night... I put it in the foyer and its scent brings me closer to times of past I now long for.... Fall. Football games on TV entirely too loud, a room full of happy people eating some great snack recipe I made and kids with friends in a house of happy. I am so glad I lived the American Dream and had my family for so many years... and I'm very happy where my life brings me now... different, quieter, alone... still good.

The semester ended yesterday of the class I was teaching. This weekend I shall grade finals. I have a large project for my marketing job, too. And I love the quiet work to do.

I haven't updated you guys.... I am Dr. Lewis now... My dissertation passed oral defense a couple of weeks ago and I just got my official transcript of completion of the PhD in Psychology. Will frame my diploma and hang it in my room. I chuckle.... big deal, heh. And nothing changes, I still am me and confetti didn't drop out of the sky to celebrate this feat I accomplished. Truth is, I'm a little frightened to NOT have the burden of studies (as my excuse to avoid social events, or why I didn't get some other task done because I was busy with school). God forbid I should rest a bit... So within one day of graduation, I began writing a journal article for the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, taking my 175 page dissertation and summarizing it in 39 pages, which, if accepted by the journal will likely shorten to about 20 pages.

I submitted my research (about which I am very proud). The Journal assigned me an editor (peer reviewer) to evaluate my research and deem it worthy of publishing. I was sent her name and I looked up her credentials. She is a Purdue grad, a professor, an author of numerous articles about my topic of research (love and commitment, passion, and intimacy) and a true scholar. I'm slightly intimidated as a new scholar and fear her editing comments will rip to shreds my life's work. But I think BAH! if that happens.... I will still be me. It's just that I long to do great things while I'm here on planet earth, and I think I can do that through research and writing, given my penchant and wishes for a world that has so much human potential.

I got me an HTC HD2 windows-platform phone. It is sexy and it makes my heart beat fast. I hate the Iphone, but I do like its form factor... the HTC is even cooler (kinda like a slate). I'm trying to learn SWYPE.... very cool method of texting. I gave up my Droid phone.... loved the apps very much, but for working my jobs, I prefer to have some of the Windows Business stuff to automate stuff. I'm a techno 'ho... I try to commit to a new phone for two years, but I never seem to go longer than a year without getting a bug up my ass for better technology. I might configure the phone for dual op systems to add Android (HD2 is the only phone capable of running two systems).

As I write this so happy and sweet, I knew it wouldn't be long lasting. The effing neighbor just fired up his LEAF BLOWER and I'm fricken annoyed. So now I'm not so peaceful and easy feelin'

So what's new with you?


Still buying fresh flowers regularly... never without a bouquet. Best thing a girl can do. Treat yourself! Know you are worth it... YOU are!