Goat Cuddling!


Painting by Melissa Saunders Perryman, goat farmer extraordinaire

Painting by Melissa Saunders Perryman, goat farmer              extraordinaire

My heart is filled with love for Gail Hobbs-Page this morning. Over my first cup of coffee I stumbled across this story about her outreach for something I had never heard of; goat cuddling! She sent out a request for volunteers all around to sign up for a session or two of goat cuddling at her Virginia cheese farm, Caromont Farm. After the birth of over 100 baby goats, she needed extra loving hands to cuddle, nurture and feed this full nursery of kids. Folks signed up from everywhere and I believe she ended up with over 2000 volunteers for the task at hand. Everyone was welcome!

I Googled the name of her farm to read more and was astounded to find this story was all over the Internet back in January and receiving new articles even today as more and more people showed interest. Everyone was writing about this heartwarming, modern day activity; goat cuddling.

I was in love and finally, I knew that I was  completely healed and had moved on. Continue reading


Filed under All kinds of Advice

the Town Crier


A wizened face filled with wrinkles, creases and toughened age spots, her skin is an ashen yellow from too many beers chased with too many cigarettes. You wonder how much longer her liver and her kidneys can support her other two worst habits, smoking and drinking. She looks like a moldy, old raisin left in the hot summer sun and forgotten about. She told me once that she was supposed to look that way because she was fifty.

I think she looks like way from all of the evil she swallows and then belches back at the rest of us.

Short of stature and loud as gravel crunching under your feet,used up and alone, she’s still clueless enough to carry a  twinkle in her eye, suggesting she might still be able to turn a tale about anyone around. She’s quite sure that the special runs deep within the ropy veins beneath her hairy arms. Her greatest vice is scandal and she wears it like it’s fashion. Foolishly she thinks what she can tell you about the kids she thinks are losers, makes you like her, trust and adore her. But people are disgusted more than they are in love anymore. They have learned to be careful she doesn’t get them in her sites because the vein of resentment and entitlement runs deep in this woman, not the special. Her only goal is to slaughter someone with her lies or have them killed softly from her careless prattle. She is our local Town Crier and nothing that comes out of her corrugated lips is ever warm and fuzzy.   Continue reading


Filed under All kinds of Advice

be a Woman

Helen_Ballard on Instagram

Helen_Ballard on Instagram


Filed under All kinds of Advice, Artsy and Poetic

Sashes, are they hazardous?


A sash is a band or ribbon worn about the waist as part of one’s clothing. Usually tied in a cute bow in the back.

I love wearing a sash!

I have this cute blouse that has a long sash on the back and I wore it to my doctor’s office today. I had to pee when I arrived so I waited in line for the bathroom after I checked in with the nurse. When it was my turn to go I locked the door behind me and “emptied my bladder”. I washed my hands and reached for my coat and noticed that I had dripped some water on it. I brushed it off and proceeded back out to the waiting area and sat down.   Continue reading


Filed under Memories good and bad

I can relate

one man band

I know this musician that has a new CD coming out. He dislikes doing promotional work and part of that would be selling his own CD. He said it was really difficult to promote yourself and easier if someone else got up there and told other people how great you were.

I told him that I could totally relate to this and it took him a moment to make the connection.   Continue reading


Filed under Just thoughts

CrAzY mAkInG pEoPlE

that'll be 5 cents please!

that’ll be 5 cents please!

Over the years I have written numerous articles about something  that not many people were even aware existed for a long time, called Crazy Making Behavior. If you were ever caught up in the middle of someone in the process of executing crazy making behavior on you, it’s one of the most befuddling situations you will ever be subjected to.

Crazy making behavior is just what it sounds like. It’s someone trying to make you crazy, or keep you unbalanced and confused, so they can manipulate you. It’s not fun or funny, in fact, it’s diabolical and incredibly damaging. If you’re still unsure what this kind of behavior looks like, I’ll share some examples.   Continue reading


Filed under All kinds of Advice, Personal Boundaries Primer

Never Eat the Set Dressing


I learned some valuable lessons when I worked in the film industry.

One afternoon I was working on a set dressing crew as their artist. I would age stuff, make stuff looked used or create objects that looked real, but weren’t. This particular day I was working with Stinky Larry. Everyone called him that because he didn’t wear deodorant. By the end of the day he really earned the title. I wonder though if anyone actually called him this to his face? I dunno. I didn’t.   Continue reading


Filed under Memories good and bad

Dear Sandy Bottom Construction Company

tree stump

Dear Sandy Bottom Construction Company,

The neighborhood didn’t say anything when you ran heavy equipment until late in the evenings, shaking all of our houses on stilts so badly that things fell from shelves. We didn’t comment when your bulldozer plowed down our street signs and turned them into garbage. We silently watched as your lot clearing crew ravaged the Earth and cut down every single tree, except one. The one you kept was quickly butchered and may not even live long enough to see the Sold sign. Do you think maybe you could have taken a page from Davenport’s manual of considerate construction and left a few trees for privacy and climate control’s sake?

I had to keep reminding myself that you were trying to build a home for someone and not just a sidewalk.   Continue reading


Filed under Just thoughts

Not who he seemed to be

camera guy

After several cross continent phone calls, being interrogated about my experience in the film industry and theater, I was asked “Hey! Why don’t we go into business together?“. This offer came about after I made a few mild compliments on the acquaintance’s camera work. The deal would be that he would do all of the legwork when it came to filming whatever project we found, and I would do all of the promotional work on the front end. Everything, including expenses, was to be split 50/50. I was sure I could find all kinds of small projects for us to work on.

I flew to California to sign partnership papers that should have started our little business off on the right foot. I did in-depth research and made sure I had all of my ducks in a row before boarding that plane. I even had a lawyer to advise me. I spent four days in the company of my new business partner and was subjected to questionable behavior that should have sent me running in the other direction, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and ventured forward with our deal.

The first disappointment was  on the day I was scheduled to arrive.

He was in Florida romancing a new girlfriend and wanted to stay there an extra day. Between my real job and my own life, and the fact that I had already booked the flight based on what he told me his schedule would be previously, there was no way for me to reschedule. So he met me at LAX having had no sleep, unshaven and smelling ripe. He was so tired that he was barely making sense when he spoke. Then I find out that he had broken the screen on his laptop and had shipped it off for repairs. All of the work we had discussed and video footage he had prepared for our meeting, was on his laptop.

On Day 2 of my trip he decided that instead of working on the business plan, he had to go surfing. So he left for the beach and stayed there until 8pm. Meanwhile I’m stuck in his dirty apartment with no transportation, because he insisted I wouldn’t need a car.

The biggest red flag was finding out that he didn’t own any camera equipment! Wouldn’t you think this would have been a big revelation to make before your future paycheck got on a plane and flew 3000 miles?! We would have to find some money for that. In the meantime we would be forced to rent or borrow whatever we needed. This was starting to feel extremely complicated!

By now, I was wondering where all of this money was going to come from.

Still, I signed the papers in front of a Notary and got on with it.

I arrived home and complained loudly of my experience to my husband. My husband told me to wait and see what was going to happen.

The first thing that happened was on the  evening I arrived back home. My new business partner called me on the phone and when I answered I heard pitiful moans and tearful cries, “I don’t know what I’m going to do!” he exclaimed. My husband was sitting on the sofa across the room, sees my face, and mouths the question “What’s up?” Apparently, all of his distraction and avoidance in doing any work while I was in California with him was due to the fact that his new girlfriend, the one he was romancing til the nth hour in Florida before our business meeting, was on a trip with another man! In California! He was lamenting the demise of this relationship, that hadn’t even become a relationship yet. He had to tell me all of the gory details because he had no one else to talk to about it? Really? Um, we hardly knew each other personally and yet here he was spilling his guts to me about his sex life?

This is how the story went:

He went to a friend’s wedding  3 weeks prior to our business meeting. He met this woman there. They screwed that night. He came home and the two of them  emailed each other for the next 2 weeks. This woman had also slept with another guy at the wedding the night before my business partner arrived there and this other man was who she was on her trip with in California at the moment.

Romantic, huh? (insert sarcasm here) I kind of doubt I’d be as devastated as he seemed to be over what was essentially a one night stand to this woman, but here he was in a puddle over it. He was devastated and stayed that way for another 2 weeks. Everyday the phone rang, I would grit my teeth when I saw his number on the Caller ID. I did not sign up to be someone’s therapist, but I did everything possible to try to get him through this.

Meanwhile I am pushing ahead with the business by myself, while he pisses and moans. I was making calls everyday. I traveled to Ecuador to check out the bird watching company and met with a financial adviser to get pointers on writing the business plan. I also set up, paid for and started designing a website for our little business.

Daily phone calls from him had me sitting through the new revelations of Alcoholics Anonymous and the endless romancing of the new girlfriend. Suddenly my new business partner was an alcoholic, a drug addict, self-medicated and had also been molested as a child. All of these new ailments were mysteriously discovered because his new girlfriend, the same woman from Florida, the same woman from the wedding party, the same woman on vacation with another man, was also an alcoholic, a drug addict, etc.

There were also the numerous ranting phone calls I endured when he needed to vent about his ex-wife that had cheated on him for 6 months, before telling him about it. Oh my, this guy had a lot of hatred in him. His past and vividly present lives kept oozing out of the woodwork. It was around this time that I started wondering if I should break away from him and just do the business on my own.

I’ll bet you’re wondering why I didn’t check this guy out thoroughly before getting deep into a business relationship, aren’t you?

I did check him out!

I had a Private Investigator do a background search on him and I checked his credit and criminal history. Nothing turned up. The fact that he had only been back living in the USA for two years might have had something to do with this, so I also spoke to several of his friends and past employers. They all vouched for him, except one. His best friend and I spoke on the phone while I was in California and this is what he said to me “What are you going to do when he gets a case of the big head and decides he can do the business without you?” I really should have listened to him. But I plunged on.

I met with an interested investor about one of our ideas and he had a group that was willing to invest big dollars based on my business plan. The 37 page plan pitched a company based in California and everyone was very excited about it. I say everyone….everyone, but my business partner. While I was building the foundation for the business based in California, where he lived, he was busy falling in love with the woman in Florida. Now, suddenly, he just had to live in Florida! So he was moving.

All of the work I had done and the money I had spent making things happen, was all for nothing. This guy was a total loser and had I listened to my gut in the beginning, had I listened to the loser’s best friend, I wouldn’t be in the boat I was in. If you ever have this many warning flags in the fledgling beginnings of a new business partnership, do yourself and everyone around you a huge favor and get out before getting out requires a lawyer.


Filed under All kinds of Advice

listening to your Gut

gut feeling

Never be afraid to jeopardize a relationship when your gut is sending you warning signals. Your gut feelings are usually correct when they are strong enough to break the surface of your psyche and make themselves known to you. Those uncomfortable sensations and that queasy stomach are all harbingers of what’s to come. Listen to them. Pay attention.

Gut feelings, or intuition, have been a part of us since the caveman days. It’s always been there, but due to societal preaching and teaching, we as a human race, have taught ourselves how to tamp it back down and ignore it. After all, it’s not good manners to walk away from a person just because he makes the hair rise on the back of your neck. It’s impolite to the hostess to leave a party simply because you feel someone is giving you the cold shoulder, even though no one else thinks so.   Continue reading


Filed under All kinds of Advice