The Book List

This looks like such fun!

e.m.PD Therapy

November Calendar PageI have a Book List. I know – normal people make a Bucket List, but I made a Book List. I have created an amazing list of books that I’d like to write before the physical me ceases to exist.

I can’t remember when I actually started my list, but I have been building it for quite some time now. When I think of an idea for a book or storyline, I simply add it to my list – complete with a short overview of what I think it is about, and any tidbits I can think of that will add flavor to the story.

My Book List has grown considerably in recent years, thanks to a series of memorable events occurring in my world. I think Stephen King would be proud – or not – since I haven’t actually written any of the books that have made the list…

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Off the Wall: Your Superhero

When my husband and I were asked if we’d consider adopting my first cousin’s three year old daughter, my husband’s first reaction was, “Are you crazy?”

I knew enough to keep my mouth shut after that and let him think it over. Two days later we were driving , and he asks, “Is she potty trained?”

Now mind you we had three children 15 months apart, and had three in diapers at once, so potty training was a  traumatic experience .

I answered, “Yes, she’s potty trained.” That was enough for him. He said he’d handle all the paperwork, I just had to drive from Florida to North Carolina and get her. Easy enough, drive 16 hours and be in North Carolina by 7:30 AM to meet the lawyer.

I had only met Jessica a few weeks before at my grandfather’s funeral. She was tiny.  And at first she just hid her face from me. But when I went to my elderly aunt’s home where she was living, I found her watching Blue’s Clues.

My aunt was looking for her shoes, so I asked Jessie, “Where did your shoes go? Did they walk to the creek?”

She looked at me with a serious expression and said, “Shoes can’t walk they don’t have eyes.” It made me laugh and I pretended to be a shoe walking into the wall which made her laugh.  But after that, all day I had a tiny shadow.

When we were going through pictures my grandfather had kept of me, she said, “That’s Jessica.” I had to correct her and tell her it was actually me. This seemed to put her in a ponderous mood. But that day she decided she wanted me as her mommy. Her biological mother had passed away in a car accident six months before, and my aunt explained Jessica had shut everyone out, till that day. My aunt was in her seventy’s and she knew she couldn’t take care of Jessica much longer, and my cousin was unable to care for himself, let alone a tiny little girl.

So when I got the call asking if we’d take her, my answer was, “Yes!”

Jessica is now a preteen and she asks a lot of questions about her biological parents. I answer what I can, but some of the answers we both have difficulty with. Recently we took Jessica to see the Superman movie, Man of Steel.  She loved it. Now as you can tell from my blog I am a major comic book, and superhero geek. But I don’t think Jessica has the same fandom, rather I think she related to Clark.  I had always told her, that I believed she was with us for a reason, that she had so many wonderful gifts she could offer the world.

I remember looking over at her when the 13 year old Clark asks his adoptive father if he could still pretend he was his father. She had that same ponderous look on her face she had the first day, drawing it all in, processing. Later in the car we talked about how what made Superman so great isn’t his biological parents (and superpowers) , but how much his Earth parents loved him. The Kents taught Superman to have a heart and an understanding of what was right.

You see when you adopt a child, they need your patience and your love. I have always told her we were gifted because we got to pick each other out. You love your child, support your child, and understand they have questions, and they do carry some confusion. In her case she carries anger with her biological father, for not giving up drugs and being her dad. But when it comes down to it, like Superman she makes the choices to who she is ultimately. And adopted or not, she is my daughter. My Supergirl. It is just a learning process for both of us.

If you are considering adoption know that as you watch your child blossom into the superhero they may become, you play a big part in the choices they will make. Give them your heart and they can fly.

Off the Wall: Spidey Scenes


“With great power, comes great responsibility.”- Stan Lee (Uncle Ben)

I don’t mean to always tie my ideas to some totally geeky, but awesome character such as Spider-man or Yoda, but I tend to see connections often in pop culture to reality. Sometimes through fiction (books, comic books, movies…) we can learn hard lessons while having fun. Spider-man was like that for me. I loved him growing up. I was even jealous when my brother got Spider- man underoos (superhero kid’s underwear from the 80s) , and I could only have Wonder Woman!

It broke my heart when Spider-man failed Uncle Ben (I don’t mean Uncle Ben’s rice in all his incarnations over the years. I just held onto Uncle Ben’s quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  I know I don’t have super powers, but I defined great powers, as my own strengths. To me it meant if you can do something to help you have the responsibility to do so. In later years I was over stressed and exhausted from taking this idea too far. My husband told me you don’t always have to help, sometimes you can say, ” no.”  I turned to him and quoted Uncle Ben. He said, “Honey, that’s not what that means.” Now this is still debatable. But he did have a point, you can’t always help, if you overload yourself,  you just end up being  no help to anyone.

So I’ve made a small change to the quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility, to always prioritize what you can do to  help to others.”   

Okay it’s not short and sweet, but I do think now I am a better support to others, because I am not spread to thin. I still cannot climb walls,  and I doubt I’ll be designing any web fluid anytime soon. But there is something to be said about using our abilities to help others, while being aware of our limits.

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Off the Wall: With a Friend


“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

-Helen Keller

My best friend is my husband of 22 years. We get a lot of congratulations for that, but honestly it isn’t that long of a time. It is long enough for me to say the journey has been all the better because he was there.

Now this isn’t going to be some gooey, lo-vie, do-vie post, but rather a post on life’s journey. Our journey has been one colored with unexpected turns and dead ends, just like most people’s lives. I can say we never planned to be where we are when we first began, so young. Of course in your early 20’s you often think you have it all figured out. We had to figure it out together.

Now this figuring things out, meant sometimes we wanted to toss each other out the window. (figuratively of course) But thank goodness we held on. I do believe it is better to have a friend in those dark confusing moments, rather then to have one only in the good times. You grow closer, and you find deeper bonds.

I have friends who talk about how they aren’t in love with their husbands anymore, but I wonder if love just changes. We expect love to be one way, when it can be far more than we imagined. But it does take effort, or suddenly that closeness can be replaced with walls.

You have to stop each day and not take the other person for granted, this can be the simplest things such as telling them you love them before bed, bringing them coffee in the morning, or a little note that makes them laugh. But it is funny how even the simplest things can slip our minds. I’m the wife that forgets anniversaries, but my husband can tell you the shirt I wore the first day he met me.

Love can blossom into a bond that can only make you stronger. Isn’t it nicer to always have someone there, to help you up when you fall.

Off the Wall: Yoda knows best


“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

Yes, I am a big star wars fan, not the prequels typically, but I did like what Yoda told young Anakin Skywalker. It’s one of those thoughts that you roll over in your mind for a while. The fact is being paralyzed by fear can lead to bitterness.

I’m not saying never be fearful, I mean seriously you shouldn’t jump in front of a train, but rather be willing to overcome your own insecurities.  There are two sorts of fear we should overcome.

1. The fear of unknown outcomes: In everything you do, there is a factor of the unknown, some more risky unknowns than others. This shouldn’t be the reason you stop and don’t move forward. (Unless you are a gambler that is about to bet away your house, in this case. STOP) First, look at what your goals are. For example you may be putting off going back to college, making excuses such as I am to old, or what if I can’t find a job once I am done? If your fears are just keeping you from reaching positive goals you should know you will regret not taking the risk. Without at least trying, the fear of the unknown that stops you, will also be the unknown that haunts you.

2. The fear of loss: This is the fear that plagued poor Anakin and turned him into Darth Vader. The problem with fearing loss is in life people die, people move away, jobs change, children grow up, life is filled with losses and gains. If you live your life dreading changes how can you enjoy the present? Part of truly living is learning to embrace the present, while still being able to move forward. If we allow fear to hold us back from taking risks such as building new relationships, loving our children, or even taking a new job, we only cause happiness to always elude us. We are not truly in control of many aspects of life. But we are in control of how we face fearlessly both the storms of life, and the peaceful calms.

As always Yoda is awesome even if the little green guy had to be in the prequels.

May the Force be with you.

Off the Wall: Commitment to Dreams

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
-C. S. Lewis

My father is a dreamer. I believe he just started out that way always dreaming. My grandmother was very protective of him and kept him sheltered, but she couldn’t tame his need to question the norm and dream big. Growing up with a dad like mine I caught the dreaming bug early. But it took along time for me to grasp what it meant to truly be committed to a dream. You see that is a big part of making dreams come true, you have to be committed.

When I was in my mid twenties my husband and I were having some trouble, and I found I was extremely unhappy most of the time. I asked my father what is the most important thing in the world? I wanted him to say happiness or adventure, instead he said commitment. You see he already understood that without commitment there can be no passion, without passion, dreams fade. Needless to say he was telling me that happiness comes with commitment. It took me a long time to grasp this, for a while I thought well that’s a cranky answer. But sometimes we have to find our passion to our commitments.

Earlier today I was talking with a man about this very word. He was saying that we are committed to so many things in life, ball teams, our favorite music band, our cars, and the list went on. I thought well yes this is true to a point, but I don’t like my ball teams much when they loose, and my favorite bands keep changing, as for cars if they don’t work I don’t like them. But this is because commitment is far more then just liking something. It’s like jumping out of a plane, you are committed to this action and have faith that your parachute brings you down safely.  But you have to make the effort in order to fly, or fall gracefully in this analogy.

So I personally believe that dreams can be the fire that pushes us forward. But without commitment the lack of passion will let them just be flitting nice thoughts. To make a dream come true you have to really put yourself into it. And there is never a time you are to old to dream, or continue dreams, or to even find something new. Sometimes the longer it takes us to reach a goal the sweeter it tastes in the end.

Now if I can just remind myself of this each day.

Off the Wall: A Crack in Everything

“There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in. ” -Leonard Cohen

I was a preacher’s kid. Preacher’s kids are the worst, I’ve often been told. Both my little brother and I agree with this, but we know the reasons why. In a way you are a small town super star. You begin life on display, tossed into a role of perfection. It gets mighty confusing right away because your father represents God, to you and a whole congregation of hungry souls.

My brother and I use to crawl under the pews after everyone had left; it was a game to see who could get to the front first. We’d scoot like inch worms, scuffing up our Sunday best in the process. You’d have to visit a Southern Baptist Church to know, but in the front of the church is a huge bath tub of sorts, usually hid behind some curtains. This is where people get cleansed of their sins. This use to be done in the river, but weather and necessity made it useful to have an indoor river.

Now my brother had just turned 3 years old and was about to visit his first baptism, we were both sitting on either side of my mom. If you moved she’d pinch the fire out of you, so we were very well behaved. But something happened to my brother when the baptismal curtains were opened. There was our father dressed in a white robe, a dove painted above his head. A little girl not much older than I was stood in front of him awaiting her baptism. My brother was in total awe, he wiggled away from my mom’s pinching fingers and went under the pews, but this time with people there. They scoffed and hollered, but this didn’t stop him , he just wiggled and wormed till he was in the front of the sanctuary. Then he pointed to my dad, and shouted, “My daddy is God!”

While this is funny it is how many children feel about their parents. Parents can do no wrong, it is just as that child gets older they begin to see imperfections in their parents. Parents just like preachers are human, they aren’t always going to be perfect, in fact they will make mistakes. But we as children can learn from their mistakes and hopefully be better parents and people. And parents should be willing to admit when they aren’t perfect, allow their child to see making a mistake isn’t always failure. In fact we learn most from making mistakes.  So instead of being disappointed that your parents aren’t God, maybe be glad they are human and you can learn from them. They may have even had similar problems growing up.

This isn’t to say strive to be imperfect, but rather that we be strive to be good to each other. It also doesn’t mean we make excuses for our actions, but it does mean that we take responsibility for our actions and do better. There is a balance that can be found through forgiveness and true repentance, both can bring about positive changes in ourselves and others.