seacrhing-for-cluesWhere have I gone you ask? Let me see how to briefly answer 😉 without sacrificing the most relevant points while still making sense.

As the school year drew to an end and closed for the summer June 6th, I fully expected to have the free time to comfortably and earnestly blog. I was looking forward to completing about 2-3 posts per month! I have about eight posts started and outlined a dozen more topics I’m excited to get posted… in all of my categories.

But as I settled in my summer home in the Hill Country, my own wishes and plans went quickly out the window. Unless you’re an island unto yourself… life, family, and career sometimes have little regard for one’s petty personal desires. HAH!


If I choose to keep writing my blog-posts, I will have only short 30-60 minute windows early early in the mornings when no one else is up. This is honestly a welcomed peaceful quite-time ritual:  a wave of the flower garden’s watering-wand brings showers to Black-chinned hummingbirds, infrequently the Ruby-throated or Rufous hummingbirds, buzzing down darting in and out of the spray… often no more than 3-feet away from my nose. Four out of five of these mornings have the cool southerly or southwesterly breezes blowing through our hilltop oasis. As I’m writing this (and not outside) I notice our nearby roadrunner (Geococcyx californianusfamily trots from one end of the yard to the other. This is the prelude of a day in nature’s front-row that is never the same from previous A.M. shows. This is the “life” I would give up if I were to focus on my blogging and all of you. Hmmm, the quandaries. 😉


For two weeks I’ve had my 14-year old son with me. It has been great and rejuvenating rekindling our relationship, again. I haven’t seen him since Xmas 2014 and then before that Spring Break 2014. We talk on the phone biweekly, sometimes more. It isn’t the same though; touching, seeing each other’s expressions, hugging, mean so much more with more lasting impressions. But the landmass of Texas is more than huge — which did allow he and I to talk the drive back, and talk, and talk, and talk five hours, the entire return trip. However, despite that immeasurable profit, traveling expenses are higher when hotel rooms must be included with food and fuel costs. For the last 13-years I’m the one that must and has foot the entire bill if I want to see my children which has made visitations difficult.

The time with my son is precious and highly needed, if not at least for my sake and sanity. And my newly married 21-year old daughter and her husband came to visit last weekend for 2-nights, 3-days! You couldn’t chisel the smiles off my face I was so thrilled! As I wrote a couple of months ago in my post And It Begins, my relationship with my daughter was put on hold 13-years ago when she, her brother, mother and step-father moved from the DFW area to Houston. My face-to-face time with my kids becomes, has become even more priceless. This is the current positive side of “Family.”

I was not told that my sister — an addict, recovering & relapsing the last 35+ years NEEDING to be either in a halfway house or inpatient dual-diagnosis hospital — moved into my mother’s home last December. I am not going to go into the many problems this lumps onto my widowed mother of 76-years living in her 3,000 sq. ft. ranchita on 13-acres and all the daily weekly chores, tasks, and projects a property that size requires… FROM RELIABLE helpers/workers/family members!!! I guess I did go into it a little detail, huh? This is why my Mom never told me she moved in. Instead of being upset and irate last winter, now I’m even more upset and irate when upon my arrival I assessed and determined how horribly behind all the chores, tasks, and projects have fallen and some not even started the last 7-months! Yet, that’s not all of it!

She wants to put on the market and sell the house and property by the end of August… of 2015! *large exhale*

Wonderful, beautiful, fun, responsible family! 🙂

Unreliable, unpredictable, over-weight & smoking, clinically depressed family in dire need of professional help, not resort accommodations! 😦



The last two years the Texas Board of Education along with their conservative legislative constituents in Austin, will have their specialized curriculums implemented this 2015-16 school year. The most significant changes in the state-wide curriculum will be in the science and social studies/history textbooks and standards (visit New Texas Curriculum Standards and New BOE Chairman for more info).

The circus will return!

The Professor’s circus will return!

These social conservative changes force me to reevaluate my personal conviction of “let the PARENTS aid their children in deciding religious and political debates.” My job responsibility is to offer the various perspectives, that information and data, monitoring student’s performance and proper objectivity. Unfortunately, now that the Texas GOP remains in office with more conservatives seated in our state Congress along with continued conservatives appointed on the Board of Education, as a Freethinking Humanist my convictions and conscience are increasingly challenged putting my performance-reviews further under the microscope by my supervisors and superiors. It doesn’t help either that I’m only a 5-year experienced teacher… easily replaced by a biased Christian-conservative teacher with 10-15 years experience. This past spring I’ve begun considering a career change, more like a career return to the psych/A&D field of therapy, crisis management, and guidance. In 1989-91 I was in the field and doing exceptionally well.

Hence, the tedious, enormous task of job-searching begins simultaneously with everything mentioned above. HAH!

What It All Means

It means simply my enjoyment of writing and blogging will be suspended, or very infrequent until further notice. It has taken me almost 2-weeks just to finish this post! I know all of you are crying and mourning my absence and thought-provoking posts. It is hard, I know. I’m sorry. But this shall one day pass. 😉

Meanwhile, please feel free to read and/or visit my other posts, both old and recent. Comment if you’d like. I will log-in two or three times a week to check for new comments and suggestions for my Us and Them page.

Until then…

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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To Limits and Back

bipolar-masksThe highs are intoxicating, the lows exhaustively abysmal, and almost always consuming like fire. Sooner or later you ask the questions, where am I? Who am I? How did I get here…alone? Shall I return?

A song and toast to the eccentric…

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I had this thing to call my own…
Just one slip and it was gone…

A minor flaw and then it fell,
I brought this house down on myself…

I didn’t know just what I’d done…
I didn’t know just what I’d done…

I don’t remember anymore
what I used to be…
Where is the quiet piece of home where I could breathe?

Just like a razor to my soul
When I’m alone…
Oh, I had this thing to call my own…

I’m so confused, I cannot see…
This wave of guilt is drowning me

It feels like blood is on my hands…
I’d give it all for a second chance…

I still don’t know just what I’ve done…
I still don’t know just what I’ve done…

I don’t remember anymore what I used to be…
There was a fire burning strong inside of me…

Just like the soothing loving warmth of summer sun…

Oh, I had this thing to call my own…
I had this thing to call my own…
I had this thing to call my own…

I’ve never meant to let you go…
I’ve never meant to let you go…
To let you go…
To let you go…

They are very human. They feel intensely. Rarely anything they do or say is average. You can envy them and despise them in the same breath, same motion. Here one moment, gone the next…and you laugh or cry, sometimes neither; blank. Alive, dead. Those few precious moments of in-between normality you cherish, forever. For the drifting listless and unmoved, they are very hard to let go and hopelessly easy to grasp with open arms. Go. Don’t go.

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They are so tragically joyously human. They are, or a version of, manic/bipolar behavior disorder (hypomania?). In many ways we need them for either cardiac arrest…or cardiac resuscitation. The last reaction one should have to this behavior or disorder is eviction as if they’re lepers. Understand first the neurology, then you can better manage the situations with them, being positive instead of inflaming.

Personally I need them, I welcome them, the heart-monitors of palpitations, the respirators of inhale exhale! But…if there are warning labels, I usually miss them on many occasion. My advice?

Consult a physician and psychiatrist for recommended dosages, or risk missing or getting the vivid ride of a lifetime on and off the ordinary grid! Mind-blowing thrills and shrills guaranteed — bumps and bruises non-negotiable — but either way you will find out if you’re alive or taking up space.

**Music:  I Had This Thing, by Röyksopp

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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What Was I Thinking?


If you find yourself firmly in an emergency, possibly critical, and had seconds maybe half-seconds to react, how would you react?

As the noon day sun began its decent toward the western horizon, “Bubba” and I walked from the red pick-up truck toward the hospital’s main doors and lobby.  I handed the shotgun to the CFO of the psych-A&D hospital, asked “Bubba” to sit back down, and told him I would hasten the admission to the AAU:  Adult Psych Acute Unit.  After only a few seconds of getting approval from a dismayed, nervous Business Office Director to handle the necessary paperwork back on the unit, I walked with Bubba to the private room.  When I returned to the Intake Office, my supervisor — she also in utter dismay and gasping relief — asked “What were you thinking!?

Ten Hours Earlier

For three and a half years I worked in the intake office for a private psychiatric-chemical-substance-abuse hospital with three units and four programs:  child, adolescent, and adult. Our hospital also had one of the first Dual-Diagnosis programs in the state and nation.  I was also working toward a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the nationally recognized local seminary.  This job was one of my all-time favorite jobs; never a dull moment or a day the same as before.

On this particular afternoon everything started about 2 a.m. that morning.  It was my rotation to be on-call for un-referred assessments for possible after-hour admissions.  I get the page from our nursing staff about a heavily intoxicated male seeking entry into our dual-diagnosis unit.

If anyone is familiar with this type of situation, then you know in a matter of minutes or hours, the heavily inebriated patient could do a complete 180 and figure by their sudden omniscient wisdom that they no longer need any help.  This is often a recurring cycle transpiring over several years in their life; they have a “situational revelation” and can “pull themselves out of the funk.”  Sound familiar?

By 3 or 4 a.m. Bubba (as I will call him here) promises me over and over he will show up at our hospital’s admissions doors.  That is the last I heard of him after an all-night phone conversation, assessment, and pre-admission call.

Eleven o’clock a.m. rolls around.  I arrive at my designated time tired having been on-call all night.  Pamela, my supervisor, briefs me on the day’s events so far…”Bubba has not shown up for his admissions appointment at 8 a.m.”  He has not called to let us know he’ll be late or is coming the following day; nothing.  Experience has shown us time and again that dramatic-drunks often fail miserably on their promises or commitments.  Disappointed, sure, but not surprised.  Work continues and the hospital has 3-4 other morning and afternoon admissions lined-up; two of them already waiting in the front lobby.  I will call Bubba a little later to ask what has happened.

Why Do I Have To Wait!?  *Slurred Expletives!*

gun-rackSome hours into my shift, the receptionist in the front lobby calls me:  Bubba is here and ready to be admitted.  I thought great; better late than never!  I had already walked back and forth through the lobby because one of our tasks involved pre-certification for admission.  I had noticed a slim bony man, I assumed was Bubba; and he had noticed me.  I returned to the lobby and introduced myself.

I explained we had everything arranged about four hours ago, but now we were in the middle of admitting these people who made their appointments.  “Sorry Bubba, you are going to have to wait your turn.”  He acknowledged and then mentioned that he just knew I was the man he had talked to all night because of my long-hair in a pony-tail.  He said kindly that “I liked you when we spoke and now I really like you and your style.”  The smell of whiskey reached my nostrils.  I thanked him, returned to my office,  and let the business office know that the 8 a.m. appointment was now here.  The business office manager laughed.  I knew exactly why:  a drunk’s or addict’s clock is way different from the world’s.

Twenty minutes later the lobby receptionist frantically calls me saying that Bubba has been getting agitated and just walked out to his truck to get his rifle…you better get out here!  As I arrive she points to the front parking lot, “He’s out there.”  I follow.

I reach Bubba at his red pick-up truck – flood-lights across the roof – as he removes his shotgun from off his rear window gun-rack.  “Bubba…hey man.  There is no need to do that.  I’ll get you on back to the unit, but you have to leave the rifle.  That is going to freak some people way out. You won’t make many friends that way” I said calmly.  He laughed but frustratingly asked “Why tha hell do I have to keep waiting so fucking long?  God damn, you told me last night I was ready for admission!”  I grinned at him, You’re right.  That’s why I wanted you here at 8 because we had these other people needing help too.  We’re about ready; I’ll take you on back but I should carry the shotgun.  I don’t look as intimidating and I winked at him.

We stood there for what seemed five minutes talking then he handed me the rifle.  We walked back into the front lobby.  I handed our CFO the weapon. Tantrum avoided.

Back in the lobby I listened to everybody’s scared, shocked, dismayed, emotional explanations of “What were you thinking?  Why didn’t you stay inside and wait for the police to arrive?”…and as I set in my desk chair reflecting, it hits me like the percussion from a 1,000 pound bomb:  everyone is right.  Bubba could have turned on me and began a shooting spree.  I could have made my mother son-less and my sister brother-less.  It could have gone bad…really bad.  I felt weak and dizzy thinking about what if.

Crisis Averted or Crisis Managed?

Why did I do it?  Why did I just walk out there after him without a second thought?  In hindsight I know exactly why.  If I hadn’t known Bubba from Adam, I likely wouldn’t have dared gone out the front doors.  But then I thought, what if I hadn’t and he had walked into our lobby, made our nice receptionist his first victim, then walked back through the business office and made them his second, third, and fourth victims?

None of that crossed my mind the moment she called me “Get out here quick!”  Creating a rapport with Bubba all night, then later that afternoon, I realized I was the ONLY ideal person to go out there, calm him down, and stop a potentially horrific scene.  In those half-seconds, in that particular crisis, I was his “best friend”.

When I reflect back on what could have happened, for several reasons I am very happy I was there, at that specific time, and acted on my instincts.  If I had reacted aggressively or in fear, or any differently, I’m not sure things would have turned out so well.  According to everyone else at the hospital I did a brave stupid thing.  But did I….really?  Was I lucky?  Was I extremely lucky?  Was Bubba lucky?

How should people in “crisis” be handled, no matter how self-absorbed they might be?

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