365 Challenge- Day #21 Dream


“So, if I dream I have you, I have you,
For all our joys are but fantastical…”

Elegy X: The Dream,  John Donne


my dream

The Sort of Hope Whose Son Is 17

Jan 5th will always be one of the most special days to me.

It is the day that I gave birth to my son, Nicholas Michael.

Last year, for his 16th birthday, I made him this video. It has taken me a whole year to figure out how to convert it from “just tv viewing” to other viewing. At the risk of someone complaining ” Well, there’s 12 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.” I do realize that videos like this are rarely appreciated by anyone other than the family involved. I enjoy viewing things like this for more than just face value. I like to watch the evolution of film. The evolution of photography, and of someone’s talent. I like to watch how a child evolves, too. I like to see how their friends have grown as well.  Sometimes, people just take things for what they are worth and forget to actually ‘look’ at them.


I’ve always said that my son is the sort of child that I could wake up at 2 am and he’d smile at me and say ” what do you need, mom?”  He’s truly my SONshine.  My constant source of strength. Nick is quiet, but he is funny.  He is a lot like his father in that way.  He is talented, smart and handsome. He is strong, but gentle. But don’t ask him to sing!

Nick will flash me his smile with his dimple and I feel like I want to hand him the world. ( If  only I could). He works hard. He has a goal and I admire his determination.

Nick was 4 when I got sick. He probably doesn’t even remember a healthy mom or the things we used to do together.  And that’s ok. We’ve done plenty of different things together since then. He’s also grown into a more compassionate, empathetic, understanding young man because of my condition. So in a way, I guess it’s not all a bad thing.

So, before I cry ( again),  Happy 17th birthday to the biggest and best surprise of my life.

The Sort of Hope Who Got A Heart (shaped chip)

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”
― Sam Levenson

Today is World Kindness Day, which in my humble opinion should really just be the way we live every day but sadly isn’t anymore. People seem to be so self absorbed and so quick to judge. It saddens me.

However, it looks as though someone did inform my bbq chips about World Kindness Day, though! Silly as this simple little heart shaped potato snack may seem, it made my day! Which up until that point, wasn’t being very kind to me.

In keeping with the kindness/ love theme here’s the Sort of Hope Who Has This Weird Habit:~ it’s kind of a weird thing I have but I rather like to find heart shaped things in places you wouldn’t expect them. Here are a some of my favorite heart shaped “things”…

A snow shaped heart pattern I noticed on a brick a few years ago… left by Mother Nature herself!

Heart shaped cloud I happened to catch floating over my home one day ~ I liked to think someone was sending me love 😉

A veggie packed lunch I recently ordered while out with my bff, which to my delight , arrived to me shaped like a heart. Best thing I’d eaten in ages, too! 😀


It’s funny, once you start looking for things like this, how many you will start to notice! I hope you will find a heart, too! ❤

The Sort of Hope Who Detests Labels

*Please watch the video link at the bottom first.


Let’s talk about labels.

I’m not speaking of the annoying kind that they put in our clothes, although I am not a fan of those, either- they hurt! The labels I am speaking of are the even more painful kind.  The kind that mom used to tell us would never hurt us. But they do, don’t they?

” tall, short, fat, skinny, dumb, smart, rich, poor, ugly, pretty, disabled,  impatient, grumpy, gay, callous, niave, outspoken, pessimistic, pathetic, obnoxious, loud,  lazy, introverted, lustful, glum, incompetent (<–like those NFL replacement referees were called at the Seattle Seahawk game last Sunday).

Why do we insist upon labeling each other ? Calling each other names? Hurting each other? What great satisfaction do we get out of putting others down? Does it really make us feel better?

If you have never been a victim of someone else’s cruelty , count your blessings.

I was. I still am.

Therefore, I am trying to raise children who see people for who they are , and not what they are. And in doing that, I am constantly trying to make a better person of myself by paying more attention to the labels I place on others, as well. It’s not easy. Try paying attention to how many times you do it. I bet you do it and don’t even realize it. I couldn’t believe how many times I did it when I first started trying to pay attention to the amount of times a day I labeled someone.But like Jennifer says in the video, kids learn it from somewhere. I just don’t want mine to learn it from me. They can form their own opinions.

When I came across this video in the newsfeed on my FB,  I felt I had to share it.

I understand that being severly overweight comes at the expense of the person’s health. That is not what I am ‘celebrating’ here… I also believe that Jennifer does a fine job of acknowledging her issue.

However, it is not *our* job to make fun of  people who are different from us. It is not our job to make fun of people who have acne, or those who, through life’s circumstances  are less fortunate than us, or those who have different colored hair or freckles ( I personally love my freckles!) or those who are left-handed ( again, me) , or those who are just a little bit different from ‘the norm’. Who are we to determine what is really “right”. What if in determining what is “right” we are wrong, and now the joke is on us?  If we don’t end this cycle with our children, in this world of social media, when everyone is always looking at everyone else,  this constant looking at and judging is only going to get worse.

I miss the days when TV actually went off the air at 2am and then there was nothing but the national anthem followed by some static and then finally some silence.

Jennifer knows about labels, like me, I bet she’s been hearing them for quite a long time. I love her line ” Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies… the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many… ”  ~ Jennifer Livingston 

Kudos Jennifer.

Be Well.



*special thanks to my friend Kevin Brett at Soul Imagery for allowing me to alter one of the photos he did of me.


The technologically frustrated sort of Hope

Apparently I need a lot of work on night time lighting. Fortunately for me it would appear as though between Nick’s fall baseball and Natalia’s cheering for soccer I am going to get my fair share of practice.

If only my technology were up to the task. I currently have to download my photos to an antiquated 2002 PC that wont support PS ,then I move the external hard drive to another PC located one floor away, edit them on half of working photoshop (thanks to a very generous friend who lent us that PC) which doesn’t get internet because *someone* threw the disk away for the wireless to work.. THEN I move everything over to my laptop and upload it.  Not A Problem.

Good thing I don’t do anything else all day but eat bon bons.

And now you know where my “musings of a frustrated modern day housewife” comes from. Kinda think  I have a lot of nerve referring to myself as modern day with a 2002 PC. and a 2004 laptop. (Oh and a husband who still thinks that WebTv was cutting edge technology.) *smh*

The Sort of Hope Who Takes Her Own Picture- {self portraiting}


Self portrait-ing was something I began when I started an interest in photography. I usually lacked willing specimens and found I was often the only living thing available. Cell phones, Web Cams, still working on getting it right with my real camera.It never mattered , just wanted a photographic history of who I was for mostly my own sake but also so my family would have a record of me “just in case”.  It then became a little project for me as my disease progressed.

It is my hope that you can also view these as I intended. Just photos. Potential art. Face value. I welcome your feedback. Good or bad.

These are some of my favorites. Favorite quotes. Favorite moods. Favorite edits.


“I can no longer think of anything but you. In spite of myself, my imagination carries me to you. I grasp you, I kiss you, I caress you. A thousand of the most amorous caresses take possession of me. ” ~ Honore de Balzac letter to Evelina Hanska June 1836

“Those sweet lips. My, oh my, I could kiss those lips all night long.” ~ Jess C Scott- The Intern

“Thou art to me a delicious torment ”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

[T]hen I did the simplest thing in the world. I leaned down… and kissed him. And the world cracked open. ~Agnes de Mille

“Licence my roving hands, and let them go

Before, behind, between, above, below”  ~ John Donne

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” ― Jim Rohn 

“The eyes are one of the most powerful tools a woman can have. With one look, she can relay the most intimate message. After the connection is made, words cease to exist. ”
― Jennifer Saliz