Christmas Revisted (repost & revised)

9 Days until Christmas...Its time for my annual letter to Santa...  I think I was nicer this maybe....

Dear Santa,

I didn't get what I wished for this past year.... I must have been naughtier than I thought (funny I don't remember having THAT much fun!). Maybe it was just lost in the e-mail.....

Sweet, Sweet Santa, I have been a good....well mostly good....Ok ok....I tried really kind of hard to be a good girl this year. At least I am honest.  I'll try to do even better next year and I won't play any ..... wellllll any SERIOUS pranks on strangers if you will just grant me this one simple little...ok well ummm rather large and complicated wish this year. (See I AM being honest).

I know I've bugged you for stupid stuff in the past, and I am still waiting patiently on that clock that will turn back time and make me 25 again....but I wasn't very nice the year I made that wish, so I understand why its so late in coming. You've been very understanding of my little mishaps and I'm so grateful...but still I ask you for this one thing every year and I think I deserve it now....I think I deserve it every time.

I know I've been kind of greedy these past few years. I wanted my kids to be happy and healthy and the same for myself.  I think I wished a million things for my Sweet Heather, the baby doll you gave my daughter a couple of years ago.  (She is spectacular by the way and growing up could slow that down just a bit....).    You've been really good to me all these years!   I'm really very thankful for all my wonderful blessings and gifts in this life already but just one thing is truly missing and it is a terrible thing to miss!  I know that I shouldn't keep asking for more....but I can't seem to stop wanting this one thing....

I need a container for all the love and passion I have left over from the blessings in my life. See the problem with love is the more you get, the more you give, the more you give, the more you get. It really is a vicious circle! Now I have all this love laying around all over the place. It's making quite the mess around my heart. It's creeping into my brain and creating passionate desires that have me tripping and falling all over myself.

I need somewhere to put it all. Preferably in the size range of 5'6 and 6' tall so it can fit into my life easily. I have a lot of love and passion to store so the container must be both stable and sturdy. I do like unusual twists though, so please keep it interesting. I dream of something that is painted with humor and accessorized with kindness and hope.  I know you can do this. Your elves have a reputation for making the impossible possible.

What I really dream of in this receptacle is openness and the ability to recycle the love and passion I place in it and feed it back to me. This would be so much more economical than just letting it sit inside me like a landfill. I'm not particular about the brand name.  So long as the name has a decent reputation, I would be pleased to have it around me. Please make it a dominating presence in my home and my life, I want it to be noticed. I prefer containers that have a soft inner lining because some of the stuff I would put into it is quite fragile. It's ok if its unusual looking. I don't care whether its top is covered or left bare. It doesn't even have to be new and it can have smaller versions attached to it. I don't mind a few cracks and scratches. Sometimes that adds an ethereal beauty to it.

Yes you know exactly what I want Santa. I knew you would.

Dear Santa, Please bring Prince (maybe not quite) Charming to me.... I promise I'll bake cookies. Chocolate Chip even! I'll be good too.....verrrrrry verrrrry good.... (no I am not winking) Thank you in advance.....

                            Your friend, Tressa Bailey

Merry Christmas!!!!


You can walk with anyone during the day so long as you can sleep with yourself at night.

 “If you say there is no such thing as morality in absolute terms, then child abuse is not evil, it just may not happen to be your thing.” 
Rebecca Manley Pippert
“You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and makes it hard for you to move.” 
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

I have the tendency to see the world in more shades of white and black than grey.  I know that is not quite politically correct these days and the populace seems to defend the grey.  They have a point, some wrongs and rights are more wrong  and more right than others…but the flaw with this type of thinking is that if you have a full beer it won’t make my half beer cease to exist. Not only do two wrongs not equal a right,  One very big wrong does not make a smaller wrong better.   That’s right I’m not grateful that I was “only hit” just because someone else was killed.  If I have 20 bucks to blow on dinner, does that mean I shouldn’t want $20 more to blow on drinks?  If I have a nice apartment, does that negate the beauty of the better one that costs far more or the detriments of living in a box?   Things are only gray in the middle…..the rest of the time they are more white or more black.  I believe there is always a bottom line answer if we look hard enough….the bottom line does not only exist in accounting money. A small wrong is STILL wrong.  A small right STILL matters.

Occasionally my way of thinking and admittedly overdeveloped ethics are called into question as if they are a bad thing to have. Detrimental in some way.  I don’t like pretending for instance.  Role play games (well unless I really really trust someone and it’s a private thing) LITERALLY make me sick to my stomach and give me nightmares.  I avoid lying as much as possible….and that is no easy task in the world we live in where subterfuge and "need to know" are common tactics even in social life.  I tend to hold disdain for anything nontransparent and only like straight questions and equally straight answers.  Grey is  definitely not my favorite color.  I even use the word grey as a negative adjective.  

You can imagine the insult I feel when the one thing I feel truly guilty pride about is made out to be a flaw!!!  It isn’t  easy to live by my own standards and trust me, I am too smart to not realize that if I lowered my morality standards that life would be much easier and to be completely honest, more profitable.   For instance, I can't accept extra change from a cashier.  I will spend more money in gas returning it than the actual amount of over change....that is one of the reasons I love debit cards... I beat myself up everytime I fail to live by these standards too....and since I can't help being human .....I hate myself sometimes.  Still I continue to find satisfaction in the effort to do right, be right and live right....even when I fail because I know it is right to keep trying.

I endeavor always to try to put myself in the mix when I am dealing with others.  It’s the golden rule effect.  If I wouldn’t accept something from someone, then I don’t expect them to accept it from me.  I have a heart, a soft, generous, loving heart.  I’m a humanist.  I love people.  I try to do good deeds on a regular basis….and its frequent. I seldom write about the good deeds I do because the truth is I don’t really do them to get credit for being a good person, I do them because they need doing and I believe each of us should say  “I should…” or “why not me” instead of or immediately following “someone should…..whatever the needed task or good idea”.  Even more so I love people so much that even when faced with terrible people, or people who immediately dislike me for whatever reason, I try very hard to excuse their behavior, attempt to find something, even a lame something to like about them. Then I ask myself “What am I doing wrong here”, “What can I do to please this person”, “Why doesn’t he/she like me”.  Usually I am able to turn things around, not always but almost always.  I think in terms of good and evil….but I always…. always….. always…. want it to turn out “good”.  I love “happily ever after”.  Being nice and being kind isn't fun or even pleasant sometimes....but it is the right thing to do.  It wish I could say I was always successful, but I'm not.  I can be as much of a bitch or a bully as the next woman or man.  I apologize when I realize though.  I try to make reparations if its possible and I try very hard to learn from situations and become a better person.  There is a type of self respect involved in the trying.

It helps that people usually like me.  I think when you truly believe in humanity, in the value of every person… just shows.  More than that, I believe it is a family trait.  Science tells me it could actually be the scent of our skin.  I don’t know…but I take advantage of the apparently natural advantage, at work and in my personal life.  I do admit that the last few years I’ve actually tried to be more discerning.  A few bad relationships that if had I followed my gut instincts rather than my heart, wouldn’t have caused as much damage, and a lifelong history of being taken advantage of or misused finally caught up to me and caused me not to trust as easily.  I’ve learned that a violent manner is always a sign that, as much as I would like to save someone, I’ll end up having to save myself.  I’ve learned to be careful who I loan money to and learned that some people may need your help but not really want to change their life.  It was egotistical of me to try…. I know I don’t have all the answers….sometimes the answers are grey, whether I want to see it or not.

All that being said though, I plan to continue to live by rules based on real values and ethics (no I could care less about crossing against traffic).   I love guidelines, even if they must be adjusted from time to time when a situation really is a shade of my detested grey.  I despise dishonesty, abhor secrets, destest bullshit (rules without reason) and more than anything I live real life, I don’t pretend.  Make believe is for children and pop psychology, not responsible adults. Frankly I don't like pop psychology either (Have you noticed how every manager and care giver these days tries to "shrink" you?).  I am not the result of any one childhood event...I am a complicated person who has lived a full and eventful life. I don't blame my mother for my mistakes and excesses any more than I give her credit for every little thing I do right (unless its one of the many things I did learn from her).  This is my life and unless someone has lived it with me...he or she will NOT be able to casually psychoanalyze me.  I'm not broken and require no repair....thank you very much.

The people who don’t like my linear thinking don’t understand why I am who and what I am.  Those persons have not had to make the decisions and choices I’ve had to make.  I'm certain some people think I'm cold and hard-assed.   I need my logic and regulations to prevent myself from doing the wrong thing to make other people's lives easier if not better.  They don't seem to understand that mental self control is used to prevent my emotions from taking over. Not everyone has had to carry the weight of responsibility that I have had on mine for most of my life. So they keep trying to change me into a gray-thinker.  If I had been a gray thinker I shudder to think what would have become of my children and me as I was raising them by myself. 

I’m not going to erase a life of experiences, I’m not going to lose one iq point, nor stop doing right even when its hard because others think that my life would be better if I were more like them.  It does me no good to try to sway anyone to my way of thinking.  Maybe just maybe there is still room for all types of people on this planet. That is as close as I can get to clothing myself in a grey shroud…..

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” 
Leo Tolstoy, A Confession

“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” 
Augustine of Hippo

Its Who You KNOW!

What makes some women so desperate for love that they will convince themselves that they are in love with someone who may or may not exist in his own life and definitely does not exist in hers?  I know women fall for these scammers everyday….but one of the women in my circle is falling now. 

She’s not stupid.  This woman understands college level science, holds a good job and cares deeply for her friends and family.  Like me, she’s been unlucky and mistreated in love. 

Sometimes, if you eat enough garbage, it starts to taste good.

The truth is you can NOT love someone who is not an active part of your life.  That just isn’t love. 

Yeah I know there is going to be someone who says they fell in love online and stayed in love 20 years.  More power to you.  The truth is you were infatuated and fell in love with the person later.  Risky business that….but I’m glad it worked out for you.  Most of the time, it just doesn’t. 

Love is all the tangible and intangible details that you find absolutely adorable in another person.  Its part acceptance, part knowledge, part shared experiences (the major part) and last but certainly not least, chemical attraction. 

I can email several important people in the world.  Return emails will bear their electronic signature, actually be accepted in most courts, and yet I could be talking to their secretary or any number of aides and not them.  I don’t know them from email…and they could easily fool me with a phone call too.

I could post photos of 50 women of different ages and enthnicities and caption my name beneath them and you could say you saw a picture of me and didn’t realize I was a 12 year old from the middle east.  I could say “ :::giggle, I am:: “ and if you believed me you’d be my fool.

Its downright stupid to say you love someone you haven’t met and known for a while.  What a shallow love that would be without shared memories or special gazes to spark romance. 

I’m smart.  I try to remember I’m smarter than a lot of people, so I try not to judge others too harshly.  I don’t think I am being harsh when I say its foolish to trust or love someone you don’t actually know.  I think its obviously impossible and that you are stupid if you believe that love can be ignorant that way.

Once again there is the “God gave me to you” words being bantied around.  If I were God, I think I’d be insulted that some silly little human thought that I didn’t have the power to put love in their ACTUAL pathway. If I were God, it would bother me when someone claimed to have such great faith but then accepted such a failing gift as one from me. 

Now, if I were Satan, I would take great delight in what fools humans are and how easy it is to light the path to misery and poverty and make humans follow me into the life of self destruction.  I’d laugh at God if I were Satan… I’d laugh at the fools his creations were…and I’d keep them convinced that they could love strangers. 

Its ironic, God’s greatest gift to humans is love….and the desire for love is Satan’s greatest tool for destruction.

Smarten up ladies….


Happy Lent....and I mean it. ~~~Revised~~~

I revise this Blog Post nearly every year.  Of all the things I've written it is probably one of my favorite pieces.  It seems doubly appropriate this year since Ash Wednesday will be falling in the same week that has been scheduled to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness (one of my pet causes).  I ask those of you who do not believe as I do to refrain from discounting my beliefs in this post and instead take my message as it stands.  Religion or no... Lent the way I envision it is still a wonderful practice.

I’m not Catholic, most of my family is though, so every year I find myself pondering and practicing Lent in some form or another. As a teen and younger adult I found the whole idea stupid. I have never been big into self-denial and most of the things that people seem to be giving up *for Lent* appear to me to be self serving and usually things they ought to give up anyway.

Swearing. Now there’s one I’ve done. Picked it right back up too. Smoking....oh the failures I’ve seen here.....the last several years I gave up fast-food. Not because I thought Micky D’s made me less spiritual but because I gain a few pounds in my Winter hibernation and Lent is as good a reason as any to go on a diet. Two birds with one stone.  I'm practical that way.  I’ll do that again this year, but I’m not even going to try to convince anyone it is for Lent. It is to better serve my vanity and ego. It’s a diet.

Most Catholics give up meat on Friday and only eat fish (which I still consider is, after all, animal flesh). I’ll do that too, but not because its Lent or because its about because I LIKE fish and its healthy and low in calories...and its going to be on sale everywhere. Once again, its self-serving.

I also started practicing "niceness" during Lent several years ago. Not everyday kind of niceness, but the go-out-of-your-way-to-be-nice kind of thing together with the fish and fast-food diet. I felt better. In an older blog I once asked this question of my readers and I’m asking it again today:
Can't we practice Lent
in joyful giving instead
of in meaningless sacrifice?
I think we can.

Don’t give up biting your nails. Give up an hour to read to a child.

Don’t give up chocolate. Make a daily visit to a lonely person and share the chocolate.

 Don’t stop swearing.  You can do more good cussing a blue streak while you fix something on your older neighbor lady's house.

Don’t give up yelling. Start smiling at strangers.

Don’t try to make yourself less bad, try to make yourself more good.

If we really look at the reason why we give up something for Lent it is because God gave up his only son for our salvation.

Maybe the point is not in the sacrifice but in the result. Salvation. Saving. Rescuing. God made the great sacrifice. Incidently, and I am sorry for those I will most certainly offend, God’s son is there with him now. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father even now by the beliefs of most Christians.

What really happened is that God gave. It was the gift.... not the sacrifice that was the point of it all. God gave us the gift of a second chance at life everlasting. God gave us an instructor to show us the way. God left the Word to inspire us and to give us hope. God made our lives better.

Wouldn’t it be better to practice Lent by making the effort to improve the life of someone else? Isn’t that more fitting than giving up stuff we think is going to impress God? Isn’t a quiet act of kindness more pleasing to Him than our bragging about the stupid minor little self-serving sacrifices we make year after year?

Maybe...just maybe.... God created cocoa so we could enjoy a chocolate shake.... We don’t know that God wants us to give that up. Nowhere in the Bible does it say "thou shalt eschew chocolate". We do know that God wants us to be good to each other....

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:9-13 New Living Translation Bible

Maybe the real way to make ourselves better people is not to concentrate so much on the things we think make us less appealing and find a way to appeal to others in ways that really mean something.

That’s how I am going to practice Lent. I’d rather give back than give up. Its easier, and I feel better about it. Yep....its still self-serving.




I love them. 

They pick me up when I fall.... make me strong when I weaken and wipe tears when I cry... When I don't believe in me they do. I say "I can't"....they say "You will". I say "worthless" they say "priceless". 

I used to envy people born with silver spoons but the truth is silver spoons tarnish....My family is stainless steel. Amazingly strong and nothing we do or say leaves a single mark on the love between us. 

Unconditional...nope...not at all. Nothing is unconditional...this is reconditional.... because when I break ....they fix me. 

I love my family!!!