Waking Up Next to Joy

Waking Up Next to Joy

Every morning I wake up to Joy. All I have to do is roll over and look at the wall and there she is. She hung on the wall in front of me, mesmerizing me, when I hung out at Stuff Dreams Are made of in Tulsa. My friend, and fellow mermaid lover, Kris Newlin is her creator and upon my exit plan to escape landlocked status for life on the Gulf of Mexico, she gave Joy to me.  

I have had Joy for over two years, and only just decided that I think she is a mermaid, or a selkie.  

There is a legend in the UK about the Selkie people, mythological creatures also known as seal people, sea people or mermaids. The symbol of a calm and bountiful temperament, some say selkies often appear to save the lives of children and fishermen who have fallen into the sea.  

One tale tells of a fisherman who finds a female selkie’s seal skin on the beach, and hiding it from her, compels her to be his wife. But the wife will spend her time in captivity longing for the sea, her true home, and will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean.  

I relate to both. As a volunteer on the beach for two seasons one of my tasks was to blow a whistle so that I could try and keep people from being in the water when it was closed due to dangerous currents. I never wanted to be landlocked after falling in love with the sea on the beaches of New York as a little girl. But I chose landlocked life anyway, being married for 24 years, with no salt water anywhere nearby, always longing for the sea. 

 Everything about Joy moves me. That look on her face says safe and serene to me. Like she knows it is all going to be ok, or better, that it already is, despite the weight of her wings, rusty from the salt water. Her long hair, swirling. The light of the moon or the sun, don’t know which, doesn’t matter much. Because it’s a light source backing her up. 

Her colors are my palette of choice when I paint. Something about sapphire blue and turquoise and periwinkle, when combined, that makes my heart happy.  

The bird near her brain. That hits home. I have had a bird in my brain most of my life. People in white coats with lots of letters after their name concur. My favorite label is the most recent. “Lucinda, you have a Rich Cerebral Universe.” There. That settles it. I shall call my bird Rich. 

And that little bit of barbed wire just above the head? I have felt like I have barbed wire in my brain. And that hurts. A lot. 

I love Joy. She can swim AND she has wings. What a great metaphor for my life today and my wish for yours as well.  

The Sound Of 

The Sound Of 

It’s 4:53 in the morning. The only sound I hear is a train whistle. Must be close. I can practically feel the tracks under the weight of the freight.  I like it.  It’s a comfort sound, reminding me of the part of my childhood spent living  in Southern Illinois.  

I can feel it coming. The sound and vibration drawing me in like a guided meditation. 

Another childhood is asleep on the couch in the next room. My daughter Abby. Now a young adult at 25, living her life without training wheels. Do you know how hard it is to want to run alongside and keep her safe when that part of my job is over? 

I just spent the week of Thanksgiving in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Abby and I both grew up. She now lives two hours from there, so before I return to my beautiful life in Florida, I got to spend two days with just her. All to myself. Merry Christmas to me early. 

The plan included good food, movies and rest for two people feeling under the weather. Just as well, because the weather was 40 degrees and rainy. We were right where we were supposed to be. Roasted chicken with sauteed spinach and garlic were on the menu next to spaghetti and Italian sausage and made from scratch marinara sauce ala Abby. “I like the dressing you made.” A big compliment from my offspring who once had a chef coat for watching Iron Chef, bakes Bon Appetit cakes from scratch and can make a mean standing prime rib. Previously accurate comments included, “mom, they make a thing called salt. Have you heard of it?” 

The first movie up in the two day get well and be together sleepover was a ride in a time machine back 20 years. It opens with a breathtaking aerial view of the Austrian Alps. “That’s incredible footage. And that was before there were drones,” I said.  “Probably filmed by some guy hanging out of a helicopter,” Abby said. Those hills were definitely alive. 

The Sound of Music. In this beautiful film made over sixty years ago, there is a timeless message of anything is possible if you only believe in yourself, live your dreams and, against all odds, love always wins.  

I was five years old when the movie was released. About the same age as Abby when she first saw it and when I started singing the song Edelweiss from the movie to her at bedtime. My house when I was little was built off the sound of the music my father and Abby’s grandfather made with his golden voice.  

When Abby was a teenager, she said, “When I turn 18, I want us to get tattoos together. I want to write ‘forever’ in my writing for yours and I want you to write ‘bloom and grow’ for mine.” I never thought music from my voice could ever matter enough to another person that they would want a permanent message to remind them of their experience around that. I was deeply moved by her request. 

The only tattoos I had at that point were four blue dots marking me as a target for radiation treatment. On a springtime visit to Oklahoma from Florida in 2021, we did it. Abby has “bloom and grow” in my cursive hand, across her collarbone. And, as you can see, I have “forever”, printed by her, on my wrist. I chose her printing over cursive because I wanted the youngest, most innocent version of her with me – forever.  

I just had a vision of one of those time lapse film images of a rose bloom opening, on a loop.  

Bloom and Grow Forever. I think it can be true for everyone. That’s what I see happening in me and hope for Abby to see in herself, too.  

Tulsa Time Change

Tulsa Time Change

(Actual lyric to Tulsa Time)

“When I left Oklahoma, driving in a Pontiac, just about to lose my mind, I was going to Arizona maybe on to California where people all live so fine.”

(My rewrite of said lyric)

“When I left Oklahoma, driving in a moving truck just about to find my mind, I was going through Alabama gonna land in Destin, Florida where I’m loving living life so fine.”

Funny thing- I sing Tulsa Time in Florida at a beachside cafe.

I got to spend Thanksgiving week in Tulsa,Oklahoma, where I got to visit friends new and old.

I got to see my best friend from the ninth grade, Rhonda Davis.

I got to eat amazing food and drink lots of coffee with great company.

I got puppy love round the clock.

I got to dance, oh man, what a band, at Maggie’s Music Box, every other Tuesday night!

I got to read at The Gypsy Coffee House on open mic night.

I got to make new friends with souls that have known mine for eons.

I got to make art with my community at Stuff Dreams are Made of, celebrating four years of so much that words can’t describe it.

And I met Joy there! AND there was a woman named Joy there!

And today, I get to go to Oklahoma City and spend two days with my daughter before I return home to my beautiful life at the beach.

I love my life. I love my friends. And don’t you know, I love my daughter. And I cannot wait to see what the Universe has in store for me today and forever more.

Keep looking forward, keep looking up.

And for ALL THESE THINGS, I am grateful. INFINITY.

About Giving Thanks When All You Feel is Pain

About Giving Thanks When All You Feel is Pain

(Unrelated photos are of squirrel feeding gnome. (“Gnome, he’s my uncle!”-look up Gnome joke to get this))

This holiday season can be a painful one. And if it is that for you today, keep reading.

Family. History. Unhealed. These are loaded words at this time of year for me. They cover the immediate family I came from, the one I created in my marriage, and all of my ancestors, too. 

That’s a lot of mouths to feed the bird to.

There is more focus on blood family at the holiday, so it makes sense that if that is a sore spot, a magnifying glass only makes it more so.

I only know the unhealed parts when they rear their heads. And they did last night. And I was stunned. And I took action. And I got relief.

In the past, those unhealed parts looked like a bag of bricks and instead of gingerly taking one out at a time to throw it in the river and lighten my load, I took the whole bag, tied it to my ankle and thought about jumping in the river. For 25 years.

Sometimes, the pain I feel doesn’t even belong to me. It is the anguish my great Aunt Beulah felt over the loss of her 8 year old son, Richard. That same grief my mother carried because she was like his sister, also 8 when he died. I never saw that released. I simply saw it in my mother’s bag of bricks. And picked it up to put in my bag. Along with her unhealed brick of my father’s death at 42. Right next to my brick of losing my father at age 7.

These people are all gone, but their unhealed parts still remain. Begging to be healed.

I knew 24 Turkey days in my marriage. And this marks number 7 since my new life began. 

Since my divorce, each holiday, at first, was just less shitty than the one before.  And somewhere along the line, that changed.

Don’t know why or how, doesn’t matter much to me. Point is, it got better. Maybe because I started to create a new life. Likely so. In fact, I got my happy back. Took a lot of work and still does, if I am completely honest. 

This time of year, with the increase in darkness in each day, is one of my challenges in the mental health olympics. The beach helps, but dark is dark.

I wish you all a season of healing, joy, release and laughter. 

Look to the light. Keep looking forward. Keep looking up. 

More will be revealed. 

The light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. 

And if all else fails, Black Friday is tomorrow, Cyber Monday is around the corner, and Amazon is right at your fingertips!

Make new Friends, keep The old, One Is Silver, the Other Gold. -song by someone other than me.

Make new Friends, keep The old, One Is Silver, the Other Gold. -song by someone other than me.

Hey Google, set timer for two minutes. (Gratitude Rant-ready, set, go.)

“Make New Friends, and Keep the Old, One is Silver and the Other’s Gold.”-song by somebody other than me.

Well for starters it’s Sunday and I woke up. 

That’s a good thing. 

And then there’s these dogs surrounding me oh my God they’re so stinking cute 

and then there’s their mom who just put whipped cream in a bowl for the cat it’s putting Marlin Perkins’ on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom shame. 

Anyway I get to meet a friend today.

I get to go outside today. 

I get to say these things to you today

 and for all of it I’m grateful. 

I’m grateful that when I went to sleep around 9:00 I didn’t wake up again until 6:30 and I slept so hard it was like I woke up in my own bed and that never happens. 

I’m grateful for yesterday 

yesterday what a treat I was surrounded by people 

From all throughout my history 

from 30 years to 4 years to 2 weeks old -silver and gold. Precious. 

A gift by Linda thank you for that 

and so much more in the way of gifts that are intangible yet bigger than life. 

Being in that creative space around those people creating 

there’s nothing like it 

it’s better than an opium den or a crack house I guess I don’t know I haven’t ever been to each but I can use my imagination there are some things I have done that can give me an idea. 

I digress. 

Happy Sunday everybody 

I don’t know how much time I have left but I know I have more than the rest of this 2 minutes 

or at least I assume so and with that I plan to milk this s*** out of that time for the rest of it as long as I’m up right and breathing in this go round 

I wish you all the best Sunday as you move forward 

I’m going to look at the sunlight and I know it’s where you are too if it’s behind a cloud peel it apart with your fingers that’s time 

got to go for now 

love you all bye

Satitude Gratitude Rant

Satitude Gratitude Rant

Hey Google, set timer for two minutes.

Good Times Saturday Gratitude Rant.

Well it’s Saturday that’s a good thing for one. 

The second good thing is the fact that I’m still alive because I drove through Little Rock last night. 

Thank God I made it. I did talk to the pavement and myself and the air and a lot of people on the phone so thanks to everybody who helped me stay alive. 

I left my house in Florida at 6:00 a.m. and after driving through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas,I rolled into Tulsa, Oklahoma where I’m staying at 11:00 p.m. on fumes. 

I’m so grateful because on that ride I had so many people to talk to and so much loud music to sing with and semis to I don’t know say bad things about 

and I’m just really grateful to be alive. 

Note to self and you’re my witness next time I come to Tulsa I’m going to do it on a vehicle that has wings. 

Today I get to go to Stuff Dreams Are Made of 

Today I get to be out in the sunshine 

Today I get to bask in the love in the house where I’m staying with the fur babies that are treated like royalty as well they should be 

Today I get to be surrounded by love in that house 

Today I get to have celebration that my body got to sleep on the best TempurPedic mattress on the planet 

Today I get to find out what the universe has in store and I can’t wait. 

And today I get to be

 I get to see color 

I get to play in the paint 

I get to draw I get to laugh 

I get to do whatever the hell I want. 

Because why?
Because I can,  that’s why. 

And for all that freedom and 

all that privilege and 

all the joy that’s coming and 

the good food alongside that 

I am grateful infinity.

 I hope wherever you are 

whatever you’re doing 

whatever you’re looking at 

you look for the best parts of it 


that’s time love you on a Saturday morning 

bye for now



Hey Google set timer for 2 minutes. 

Gratitude Rant

G for Google 

G for Grateful 

G for Golly Gee whiz boy did I 


GIFTED yesterday. I 

Got a hat that says 

GIRL on it 

Got a sweat suit that says 

GIFTED let’s talk about that shall we? Sure. I’m 

GIFTED. Is that okay to say out loud? 

Gosh it sure is. Why? Because if you believe in something that starts with a 

G that’s where those

GIFTS come from silly. We’re supposed to celebrate them and own them and share them and express them as our GIFTS back to whoever or whatever we believe made all this 

Good stuff for 

Goodness sake,  so I’m 

Going on the road because I 

Get to 

Go to Oklahoma and I 

Get to see my friends and I 

Get to see my daughter and I 

Get to see my art community and I 

Get to miss my cat and I 

Get to miss the beach and that’s all 

Good news because why? Because I have a

Great life that I’ve created  and it’s 

Good to know that I’ve made something I love so much that I 

Get to miss it. 

Gratitude? you betcha!  It’s 

Givingthanks week after all. I like the word appreciation too but we’re sticking with the letter 

G for 


G for 

Great (I am leaving this next three words here because they are NOT the words I typed…you can decide what that GIFT might be…)

Jesus for Greatness 

G is for 


G is for 

GIFTS. Celebrate all of that in you and around you today. That’s time! I’m 

Going to drive now. Hey 

Google Maps 

Get me to Tulsa Oklahoma safely. Hey Universe. Thanks in advance for doing that.

11-17-2022 Gratitude Rant

11-17-2022 Gratitude Rant

Gratitude Rant 11-17-2022 

Hey Google set timer for 2 minutes.  

Thanks so much to the universe for yesterday  

and young people  

and sweatshirts with messages 

and Beignets and Billy Preston  

and layers of clothes and lots of love  

and photos and tree ornaments and ideas and friends 

and cats so much for the cats  

and Light  

and did I mention layers  

and travels that’ll be safe  

and oxygen  

and things to look forward to and plans  

and paint and bright colors  

and that’s time but thank God it’s not all of it.  

gosh I’m glad about those bright colors 

and food  

and oh my gosh sushi sushimoto sushi 

and music and entertaining  

and I get to host trivia tonight  

and I get to make people laugh  

and I get to sing harmony  

and I get to drink coffee soon that hasn’t happened yet  

and I get to Marvel at the fact that this morning I had so much good stuff come out of me in the form of telling my story I had to do it by voice because it just came so fast  

and oh by the way I get to see my daughter 

 this is definitely not in order because that gets to happen on Thanksgiving  

and I haven’t seen her beautiful spirit and soul since May  

and I get to be loved on by two really big dogs for the entire time I’m in Tulsa  

Ruggles is a Bernese mountain dog that looks like a Snufflufagus  

and his sister Luna who covers me  

Much love on this Friday Eve to you wherever you are  

and your assignment today is to see how many colors of pink you can see in the world as you go forward. 

Selkie: My Memoir

Selkie: My Memoir

Just 8 months ago, I wanted to die and I had a plan to do it. I have suffered a progressively worsening suicidal ideation since postpartum depression 25 years ago.

I went for help and I got it.

4 years ago, I began my memoir. And when I got out of the hospital in February of 2022, I began a modern medical breakthrough therapy that put my long-standing treatment resistant depressive illness to bed. No more wanting to die way more wanting to live out loud as much as humanly possible.

In May of 2022, the stars aligned and I was connected to a literary mentor in London who was looking for stories that needed to be told in the form of a book.

I have worked feverishly since that time to bring my memoir to a place where I can submit a sample of my writing to literary agents in order to be published and get the word out as to what someone can recover from and find joy, in spite of it all.

I lost my father and best friend at age 7, my family pretty much fell apart, I coped through alcohol and anorexia and spending. I’ve had breast cancer I’ve had a miscarriage, I’ve had two marriages over half my life come to an end. And through it all, I have had an ass kicking take no names depressive illness.

Today, I received the final edit from my friend Susan in London who has been my mentor. And I’m going to sharepart of her note to mehere because this is where my gratitude lies today. For the work I’ve done, for the gift of the universe to match me up with this person, and all of the people who I know will be helped when they read my story.

The current working title is Selkie: A Memoir of Overcoming. The images shown here came from that hospital stay and are dated February 27th 2022. On one side, was the coloring sheet provided to those of us there to heal. And it was when I turned it over, and drew that sketch, that I truly think I pushed off the bottom for the last time.

Here’s part of the message I received today from Susan, who I lovingly call S.

“I want you to know that I feel inspired just thinking of your story to this point – not only what you’ve contended with in the course of life, but the talent and dedication you have shown me in the course of our working together. So many people make commitments, and they don’t keep them – they don’t do the things they said they would do, at the time they said they’d do them. You do. You’re standing really tall.

It’s quite emotional to be at this point! Thank you so much for working with me, and being ever-responsive to my feedback and editorial suggestions all along. You’re a highly capable writer, and time is going to show that to the world.


And for all of these things- past, present, future – my life, my pain, my joy – every bit of it has been useful and purposeful and helpful and has made me who I am today and for all of that I am eternally grateful.

If anyone who reads this is suffering from a treatment resistant depressive illness, please message me and I’m happy to share what I have found to work for me. Never give up. Always go for help. You’re here for a reason even if you don’t know it. I do.