Saturday, April 5, 2014.  I did not sleep well last night.  Today is the day of the big percussion extravaganza I so want to attend at one of the local colleges here.  I am moments away from my daughter’s arrival to take me over there.  Am I nervous?  Yes.  Nearly unreasonably so.

Something in my dreams last night, dreams that I will never consciously remember, told me when I woke up the last time as morning arrived that I am dangerously missing one of the most essential ingredients to having a good life.  Self-confidence.

Oh what a blessed attribute of self self-confidence is.  Now that this concept has arisen to the surface of my thoughts I am understanding something differently about myself in my life.

Few things – other than disappointment itself – can hurt and hinder me as much as having my extremely fragile sense of self-confidence threatened.

Suddenly this morning hosts of situations from my life going all the way back to my so-abusive childhood have arisen to show me exactly where, when and how my self-confidence was destroyed.  I have so LITTLE of it from the beginning of my life my self-confidence might be the most valuable, precious, scarce, necessary and missing resource I so barely have.

I sure don’t have enough of it to comfortably take me out my apartment door this morning to attend a (to me) strange event in a strange place swarming with strange people.

For one thing I have lived long enough to be growing old – and I look it.  Being this old – all by itself – brings to mind how my having been diagnosed with advanced aggressive breast cancer in July 2007 tumbled my perceptions of myself in my body and therefore in this lifetime into the ground.

Added to that, after a year of fighting that cancer, the very person who should have been most in support of my continued survival, my oncologist, said to me at my last visit to him, “I wouldn’t bother having breast reconstruction if I were you.  You won’t live long enough to enjoy them.  And besides, we’d just have to cut them off when the cancer comes back again.”

8:00 am.  My daughter is here to pick me up to take me over to the college.


Monday, April 7, 2014. Here I am perched on top of the fat book I ordered online to help me plow my way through Windows 8.1 on my new laptop. The book sits on top of the usual stool I use at my makeshift computer table (high, to keep baby fingers off of my keyboard), but today I am writing on my old laptop whose support for Windows XP expires today. The old computer is sitting on top of the new computer – which has been nothing but a pain in the you-know-what since I first turned it on.

My office? A shambles, actually. I have no idea how to make this area user-friendly for me, the person who is supposed to function as something else other than grandma babysitter. My body-brain is in no better shape. Scrambled. Off-key and off-kilter. That’s me.

Backing up to the percussion event I attended last Saturday. All went remarkably well! The set-up on the college campus was perfect. A large instrument staging area sat on the floor of the auditorium that doubles as a basketball court. It was surrounded by sound panels. The permanent seating went up above it in steps that allowed me to situate myself at a distance from the moderate crowd of about 150 interested people.

At one point the MC asked everyone to “please move to the area over there” as he pointed. 99% of the crowd got up and shifted as directed. Not me. And the place where I remained was the perfect spot to witness the unfolding, note by note, of a perfect musical extravaganza in percussion.

Interspersed between the performances were clinics on sight reading for snare drum and drumming technique by a visiting fantastic drummer from the east coast. I soaked it all up, wandering alone around areas of the campus during the “lunch on your own” (I ate Snickers) portion of the day.

I called my daughter to pick me up 2 hours before that day ended. We took the little ones to a park for an hour and then I was dropped off for my drumming lesson. I walked home across parking lots in the midst of roaring traffic. But I made it.

(I also slept 12 exhausted hours Saturday night in consequence.)


Yesterday began the nightmare of the NEW COMPUTER. The computer is the nicest I have ever had but Windows 8.1 is insane. Just saying. I am eternally grateful to my 28-year-old son for his help yesterday as he accessed my computer remotely and set it up to run as smoothly as possible. He is of the techno-love generation. I am not.

I hate change for the most part under the best of circumstances. I, along with everyone else running an older computer with Windows XP is being FORCED to abandon ship and jump into shark infested waters while I bleed techno-incompetence into the churning polluted waters. (Just saying.)

“All good things come to an end,” question mark?

I have never used a Mac computer nor do I have the finances to own one. I hear my tolerance for computer mayhem would be better served by that technology. In the meantime I have exactly TODAY to safely navigate the internet world on this old computer. If I could have gotten – FINALLY – a decent computer, which the new one is – that simply ran Windows XP I would be just fine. But sharks and barracudas do run the entire globe where money is concerned.

If it did any good to complain, inwardly and outwardly, I assure you I would be at the top of the heap.


Drumming. My Saturday lesson was fantastic. My fingers were not, however, remotely cooperative with their instruction. “SAY WHAT?” I had to tell my teacher as he positioned my fingers properly on my drumsticks for their next new move, “I am sorry. I kid you not, but those fingers are not connected to my brain! Therefore, I CANNOT DO THAT!”

So, my practice this week will not be particularly fun unless I sneak away from teach’s instructions to bouncing around willy-nilly to beats I enjoy. I have to snap my attention back to those errant fingers of mine, “Pay attention! I am TALKING TO YOU!”

The point is I am supposed to learn to separate signals to the digits between my thumb and my pinky so that the lightly and responsively roll in their balancing of the stick. The point is that I need to learn meticulously correct form in order to move into the direction of eventually being able to create 120 beats a measure in clearly defined 2-distinct-movement movements!

Something to aim for. So is being able to smoothly boss my new computer around.

Long ways to go? Am I confident I can reach my goals? I have to be. I can’t come up with another choice.


(Later I might write about my realization yesterday that I feel like a wild animal confined in a zoo living in a city.)

(Meanwhile, I will spend a chunk of this day watching YouTube videos about how to make peace with Windows 8.1 — ha.)


Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 


It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site


Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT



  1. So Sara Lee is being temperamental huh? Glad the drumming event and lesson were good. Have you ever considered bongo’s? Might be a good mood lifter while you get that brain connection going between your fingers…So I need to ask you a question. I cut off contact with my abusive father seven years ago. I found out through my sister, who told my daughter, that his health is not good. My children have also made the decision not to have contact with him and my mother. My instinct tells me not to do anything, this is just another icky, family triangulation that is trying to suck me in…but there is a part of me that feels guilty. I still believe my parents are toxic to me and my children, but they are my parents. So my question is, did you ever have guilt about your mother and how did you make peace with yourself? I suspect you will tell me that we never quite do (make peace with ourselves) as a result of the damage that was done to us, but how do you cope?

    • Hi! Poor Sara Lee – has a crappy operating system and is thus not free to be her own fantastic self!!! Poor thing!

      And, oh what a big issue you raise here!

      No, I NEVER, not one single itty bitty time EVER felt a tinge of anything toward Mother once I discovered my truth and disowned her. I set myself FREE – and I did not look back in any way.

      Now, with Father. He was Mother’s enabler, etc. It’s a long story – but the short of it is that he had a pituitary tumor, chose to have brain surgery to downsize it — “forgot” — and my father was a BRILLIANT man — to tell his brain surgeon he had a bleeding disorder.

      So he flooded his brain with toxic blood – lived another 10 years in a greatly dibilitated state. I helped the family identify that Father needed to be removed from Alaska for brain trauma rehab, stayed at his side until he crossed what I knew was the best threshold toward recovery he would ever experience — and then I walked away without a single bit of guilt.

      My sister (the God-favored child of Mother’s – and hence of Father’s joint psychosis with her) cared for Father for the next 10 years. He was in an assisted care facility at the end, joined the Hemlock Society – probably cleverly figured out a way to end his life. Not telling the brain surgeon about his bleeding disorder, I believe, was a step in that direction in the first place.

      BUT – for me — once I FIND my truth — it holds onto me and does not let me go. I did NOT feel guilt and I still don’t. What those people did to me was so far past my feeling guilt over anything I did or did not do in regard to them that I was, and have remained, extremely free. I DO live with the debilitating consequences of their trauma toward me and THAT’S my share of the whole “problem” …..

      IF you question yourself at this juncture — I would say take a very close, clear and hard look at your own questions. That is all that matters. Find your own answers and then let your integrity live with that.

      I owed my parents so far less than NOTHING it cannot be measured in this world (although I do pray for their souls in the next world). They were each overcome with a terrible, terrible disease the way I see it — and that disease left so little of them as individual people alive on this planet they could not be reached.

      And I am not a person to pretend otherwise.

      I was born an orphan. I never had parents. I had enemies intent on destroying me.

      Peace with myself? Interesting question, but as I write this – and look within – there was absolutely no peace to be made. Once I gain clarity – I am very very clear!

      thank you for your comment! Whatever you come up with for yourself – if you can be absolutely true to YOURSELF and to nobody else — will be perfect for you. This is one of those times it is critical you put your feet upon your OWN pathway — and I know you can and will do that. The struggle is in the deciding, my guess. Let me know how this works out if you care to!!! all the best, me

    • Forgot to add — I LOVE my conga drums – but can’t play them in an apartment – big motivation to go for the ‘sticks’ – sometimes I lay my hands on the conga heads to find a complicated rhythm but can’t ‘stick’ to — can ‘hear’ with my hands, am trying to make the connection between that hearing via hide drum head and stick, etc.

      love the challenge, am exercising my fingers like crazy!! teaching them to stretch, move in new ways, to listen to ME!!!!!!

      • Cool. Thanks for taking the time to give such a thorough answer. I have decided that the guilt I am feeling is just left-over brainwashing about the way children and people are “supposed” to be. If they had been the parents they were “supposed” to be, we wouldn’t even be having this exchange.

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