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Archive for April, 2008

Can I just say that I hate, hate, hate going to the dentist? I didn’t always hate it, not like I do now, but over the years I have developed a dental phobia, a big nasty one. I think it started the first time I had a wisdom tooth removed and a root canal performed in the same visit. Yeah, I was told later by more than one dentist that it is not a good idea to perform those procedures on the same side of the mouth on the same day. I was hopped up on novocaine and nitrous oxide, a real spine tingling combo. I have learned from that experience that it is best to go to an oral surgeon for major extractions and I wish all of my dental experiences could be so wonderful. You see my oral surgeon puts me to sleep via intravenous valium and I never know what’s happening.

One question I have always wanted to know the answer to is why can’t they put you to sleep for every dental experience? I mean let’s face it going to the dentist always feels like surgery to me. I put off going to the dentist, I think subconsciously so that the tooth will get so bad I have to have it surgically extracted and I can go to sleep for that, it still hurts but I don’t have to deal with the consciousness of what’s going on.

I mean who wants to deal with this guy? That is not a picture of my actual dentist, but they all look the same don’t they, hiding behind that mask? Coming at you with giant picks and drills and painful poking devices there has got to be a better way.

Then after they make their diagnosis via big plastic xray thing shoved into your mouth and a lead jacket they say it’s time to get some work done. Would you like novocaine. Well no I don’t want a 2 foot needle shoved into my gum, but I would prefer it to the excruciating pain I will have to endure without it. See the thing for me is that what goes on in my mind is far worse than what is going on in my mouth and no matter how much novocaine I am given, I can still feel whats happening, this bothers me. One time a dentist of mine had to literally squirt the drug into the opening he had drilled into my tooth because I could not stop feeling it. He must have loved me.

Anyway, all of this comes up today because I have a bad tooth, a really rotten tooth in the way back and it is starting to annoy me and it’s a tooth that has been worked on before. You know what, I’m not sure you could even call it a tooth anymore, it’s just what’s left of it and is filled with amalgam, yeah I know that’s bad and somehow poisoned but like I said the dentist office is a place I really don’t want to visit.

So I reluctantly made and appointment to go have it looked at and to decide my options, because if it’s really bad I am going to have it pulled, good root canals around here cost $3000.00 as opposed to $550.00 to have it extracted, so there’s the money thing to take into consideration, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I obsessed about this so much that this morning I woke up and mentally prepared to go to the dentist at 9am. I was nervous the whole way and thinking about what he would say and on and on and on. I arrived early so I could fill out the forms and I was proud to have even made it to the front door. So was I surprised when I went to open it and it was locked. All the lights were off and there wasn’t a car in the parking lot, WTF? So I waited and waited until 9:10am and then left. Well wouldn’t you know it, my appointment is tomorrow, not today. Holy Hell Batman I have to re-run this whole scene tomorrow!

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When Grandma Goes to Court!

Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren’t prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you’ll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.”

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?”

She again replied, “Why yes, I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.”

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, “If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I’ll send you both to the electric chair.

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And Today the Buddha!

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. -Buddha.

The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. The deed develops into habit. And the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings. -Buddha.

As the fletcher whittles and makes straight his arrows, so the master directs his straying thoughts. -Buddha.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. -Buddha.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~Buddha

There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed. ~Buddha

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind. ~Buddha

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. ~Buddha

Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. ~Buddha

Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule. ~Buddha

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If a Meme

Yup, I’ve been tagged by Modobs who writes a wonderful blog called What’s Love Got to do With it? I read it everyday if I can and yesterday she had a meme so here goes.

My roommate and I once ~ paid for groceries with the change we scrapped together from around the house.

Never in my life have I ~ Traveled to Egypt and I have always wanted to!

High school was ~ was a blur of parties and psychedelic drugs! Hence my inability to spell!

When I am nervous ~ I obsess like crazy!

My hair ~ Has been every color you can think of and them some! Once I hit 40 it went from pin straight to curly.

When I was 5 ~ I started kindergarten. We had half days.

By this time next year ~ I will have written a book.

I have a hard time understanding ~ The way the world works.

You know I like you if ~ I tell you.

My ideal breakfast is ~ Served to me in bed with coffee.

If you visit my hometown ~ You should be ready to travel or hike because there isn’t much to do here.

If you spend the night at my house ~ You should bring a lint brush because my dog likes to shed.

My favourite blond is

My favourite brunette is also another blondish guy

The animal I would like to see flying is

How cute is he?

I shouldn’t ~ Sweat the small stuff.

Last night ~ In my dream, my X’s mother took me on a walking tour of his new life and showed me pictures of his wedding.

I’ve been told I look like ~ A cross between Barbara Eden and Sharon Stone.

If I could have any car it would be ~ one that runs on garbage!

So there it is, if you want to do it feel free! I’d love to read your answers!

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For most of my adult life I have been a Self-Help Junkie. I have hundreds and hundreds of books on the subject, most incredibly say the same or similar things and because of reading so many self-help books I tend to come off sometimes sounding in my writing like a self-helper. I cannot stop myself from wanting to help people to improve themselves and I cannot stop myself from wanting to improve me. My friends simply accept this as part of my personality and for a long while I have accepted that is who I am, doling out advice as if I have all the answers and God love me maybe I do, but who wants to listen to that shit all the time? People do come to me for advice and I love it, but what I have found is that people mostly just want to be heard. Because I have noticed big-time that most people don’t do as they are advised. I know I sure don’t! And let’s face it if I did follow the advice of every self-help book, manual or tape/cd set I own I would be the most enlightened puppy on the planet. You can read stuff, pay a therapist, go to an anonymous meeting or get a psychic reading and still never follow the instructions you receive, it’s called free-will. So if you know this stuff are you required to practice it or just take it all in and see what comes out at the end. I like the saying, “ignorance is bliss” because if I don’t know I don’t have to shit!

Lately though I have stopped main-lining self-help stuff and have in fact sold many of my self help books on Amazon. It’s a truly freeing experience and I have earned some extra cash in the process. But I’ll tell you what at first it wasn’t easy, parting with all those books, some I hadn’t read. Ugh. I hope someone else will put them to good use. So I have been going through this change in realization that I can steer my own ship, make my own way and find my own path without all of this extra-curricular activity and then today I open one of my email messages and this is what I find:

The Disease of Self-Improvement

The very act of trying to improve ourselves causes us to believe that there is something wrong with us in the first place.

It’s a free report by Dr. Robert Anthony and if you go to his website you can download it. And on his website he also takes comments so I read through them and found this, my favorite one:

I really like the clarity of your thought and writing, Dr Anthony. This reminds me of an article I read called “From Self Help Addiction To Self Reliance” by Wily Walnut. It is kind of funny though where you start out this report saying so clearly that we have all the answers within and then end it by trying to upsell us to your Real Mind LIfe Strategy system! Hilarious too all the fuzzy-wuzzy SECRET stuff at the back end laced with all the hypnotic commands to ‘STOP RESISTING, START ALLOWING’ and to ‘put yourself into a non-resistant state of mind ! All while reaching for my wallet presumably!! I love it! You are such a rascal! You are really the best at this stuff, so subtle and skilled at it that I really like you even if you are hypnotizing the shirt off me! So, for me, A+ for the front and A- for the back! Thank you for the free report and for all your other ideas so beautifully expressed.”

I did NOT download that free-report since I quit my addiction, but I think that this comment proves that someone will use reverse psychology to sell another self-help book labeled as a non-self-help book as another way to part you with your money and the free report thing is simply a sales letter to hook you in. Great marketing strategy, but I still feel it feeds off of those of us who believe that if they can find the answer in a book life will be golden, but it just isn’t true. I did of course click over to read what Wily Walnut had to say and I liked it a lot and he wasn’t trying to sell me anything a big plus in my book nowadays!

I think the way I am feeling right now can be summed up in a quote, well I have so many:

People say that what we’re all seeking is the
meaning of life…I think that what we’re
really seeking is the experience of being alive.

~ Joseph Campbell

So let’s have at it!

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I think we all know that we use a lot of chemicals in our daily lives and especially in our cleaning products and sometimes even all those chemicals still don’t work. I have this terrible shedding problems, yup that’s right I said shedding. I lose hair like crazy. It grows back and no I don’t have big bald spots, in fact you would never know I lose so much hair. I can’t see and you couldn’t see, but my God Damn shower drain sees it and clogs like a mo-fo all the time, or at least it did until as a last resort I tried a natural-chemical-free remedy. You see the reason I didn’t go for this first was because I didn’t believe it would work. I though I had to use liquid-plumber or some other industrial strength hair dissolver and I tried them all and none, not one of them worked. So I tried the natural method. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar. How did I apply it. Well I just poured some baking soda into the hole and then poured white vinegar pictured above over it. You should have seen what happened, it looked like a science project. It bubbled and foamed and low and behold it dissolved the clog, then I just ran hot water until everything went through and I was a happy camper. Now I use it all the time. So of course I decided to see what other uses there are for vinegar!

62 Little Known Uses for Vinegar is great because it has pictures!

But if you don’t feel like clicking I have included 27 uses for vinegar below. I got this from FrugalFun and I think you will be surprised. It does make me question ingesting vinegar now though feels like I might be downing a bottle of drain cleaner, but maybe it cleans out your insides. I’ll have to research that and report back. Did I mention that in addition to being environmentally friendly, vinegar costs far less than most cleaning products. Just thought you might like to know that!

Have you overlooked the many practical uses of vinegar? Clean, disinfect and shine for pennies!

Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen has cited numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar such as you can buy in the supermarket kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can’t claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial.

Here are 27 uses for vinegar:

* Deodorize your sink drains: Pour a cup down your drain, let stand about thirty minutes, then run cold water.

* Unclog a drain: Dump 1 cup of baking soda down your drain and follow it with 1 cup of vinegar. When they mix, they foam and expand, cleaning your drain. Allow a few minutes for the mixture to do it’s job, then flush with hot water for several minutes.

* Disinfect and clean wood cutting boards: Rub with vinegar to disinfect and clean. If your cutting board has deep grooves, you can also soak the board in vinegar for 5-10 minutes.

* Cut grease: When washing greasy pans or dishes, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your soapy dishwater.

* Clean the dishwasher: Vinegar reduces soap build up, so throw a cup of vinegar in your dishwasher and let it run a full (empty) cycle once a month or so.

* Clean the coffeepot: Hard water can clog a coffeepot and cause yucky buildup inside it. To remedy this, pour 1 cup vinegar in your coffeepot, fill the rest of the way with water, then run it through a cycle as usual (without coffee grounds in the filter). Rinse the coffeepot out. Fill it with fresh water and run another cycle without coffee to rinse the inside of the coffee maker.

* Loosen food grime and clean the microwave: Place a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar inside the microwave and microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes (it needs to boil). Keep your microwave closed for a few minutes to allow the steam to loosen the grime, then open your microwave, carefully remove the bowl, and wipe clean!

* Clean windows: Mix 1 cup vinegar with 5 cups water, and you’ve got a great window cleaner. If you must have blue window cleaner, just a few drops of blue food coloring!

* Remove grease from kitchen walls: Put straight vinegar on a dishcloth to wipe grease off kitchen walls, or the stovetop.

* Remove pet urine stains (and smells) from carpet: Mix about 1/4 cup of vinegar to a quart of water. Soak a washcloth in the mixture and blot the area several times.

* Clean kitchen and bathroom faucets: Soak a paper towel in vinegar then wrap it around your faucet to remove mineral deposits.

* Clean and shine no-wax vinyl or linoleum floors: Mix 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup vinegar in a bucket, then mop or scrub your floor with the solution.

* Inexpensive scouring powder: Combine two tablespoons each of vinegar and baking soda for an effective scouring powder.

* Clean the toilet rim: Put straight 5% vinegar in a squirt bottle and use it to clean the rim of the toilet. It disinfects, too!

* Prevent mold and mildew in the shower: Wipe down tile or Formica shower walls with a sponge or cloth dampened with water and vinegar. The vinegar will clean the walls and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.

* Unclog the showerhead: Mineral deposits from hard water can cause a sputtering, clogged shower head. Place the showerhead in a pot, add enough vinegar to completely cover it. Heat the vinegar to just below boiling, then remove from heat. Allow to sit for at least 6 hours. The acid in the vinegar will eat away the deposits. Rinse the showerhead well, and it’s ready to go again.

* Get rid of the funky smell in that lunchbox: Soak a piece of plain bread in vinegar, then place it in the lunchbox overnight and the smell will disappear!

* Remove rust: To get rid of rust, soak items in vinegar (do not dilute). This will work on any metals.

* Remove residue and styling product build up from hair: After shampooing, rinse your hair with a mixture of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 warm water to remove all the build up and get rid of that dullness.

* Eliminate smells: Run a hot tub of water and pour in one or two cups of vinegar. Hang smelly clothes on hangers along your shower curtain rod. This will remove smoke and other tough smells.

* Get rid of stickers, decals and sticky residues: Rub a few coats of vinegar on the area and allow to soak. Then wash off with a wet washcloth and the sticky will rub right off.

* Polish patent leather purses and shoes: Place vinegar on a clean cloth, then rub over patent leather. Wipe dry with another clean cloth.

* Remove stains: Rub a small amount of vinegar gently on fruit, jelly, mustard or coffee type stains and wash as usual. No more stain!

* Clean your glasses: Place a drop of vinegar on the lens, then rub with a cotton cloth.

* Get the smell out of your cloth diapers! Next time those cloth diapers start to smell, add a 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar in your last rinse.

* Polish your car: Rub vinegar on chrome to clean and shine it.

* Remove bumper stickers: Soak a cloth in vinegar and lay it over the bumper sticker. Allow to soak a few minutes. The bumper sticker should peel right off. Rub vinegar over the area to remove the sticky residue, if necessary.

* Next time you have a sore throat, try gargling with cider vinegar!

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Lately I have been told that I have trouble with personal boundaries. Well I lied I have been told this on and off through out my life, and I’ll be honest with you, most of the time I didn’t understand WTF they were talking about, because sometimes it seems all I have are boundaries. My walls are up man, way up and impenetrable. It’s like no one can get through, many times not even my therapist, except when it comes to men and then I feel like the welcome wagon rolling out the red carpet for every stone cold loser who walks the planet and the horse they rode in on. I’ll tell you what it gets tiring, really tiring. If you have been reading along these past months you will note that I have taken a break from dating and April marked a full year since the last time I was in a relationship and the last time I had sex, awful right. Yup sometimes it sucks, most of the time lately not so much. I have also had to weed some people out of my life. People who I felt were not helpful to my recovery from this boundary-less nature of mine. I have done it and sometimes I have not been so nice about it. Perhaps I have been too sensitive about it. Perhaps I have a sensitive heart. See sometimes I wonder if I am just building more walls rather than letting people and issues flow in and out of my life with grace and ease, you know like a water permeable membrane of something. But, so, I was looking up stuff about boundaries and I came across a little test on the website of Dr. Debra Mandel where she is promoting her book:

I love me a good book, but I have been staying away from them lately since I would rather just do my own thing right now and learn what works and what doesn’t on my own, but far be it for me to withhold information from you so I posted it. I have not read it and cannot vouch for it, but I like to give credit where credit is due. She also has another one called, “Your Mother is Not Your Boss” and if I were writing one I would entitle it, “You Are NOT the Boss of Me!”, but that’s another matter for another post. Anyway when I came across the site I saw you could take a test. I love me a good book and I love me a good test, so I set about taking it and I must say I was disappointed with my score, 54. I was disappointed and a enlightened because first of all I wasn’t totally devastated because I got a bad score and secondly I realize that I still have some work to do and I am in the correct place to do it. Oh and another important point I would like to make is, I did not run right out and buy the book as I would have in the past because I am feeling pretty fucking confident about where my life is going right now. I have however copied the test and am posting it here for anyone who likes to take tests. I will also preface by saying if you are in a physically abusive relationship right now you need to get help and there are tons of resources in your area that can help. Call your local police department, use the local number or if you feel you are in danger call 911. That being said here’s the test.

TAKE THE TEST: AT WHAT LEVEL IS YOUR HEART

SENSITIVE?

After treating hundreds of people with sensitive hearts, I’ve developed the following exam to help identify the major indicators. By providing a detailed overview and familiar points of reference, the results of this test can serve as a valuable tool in helping discover if you-or someone you love-continues to suffer the havoc of an unhealed bruised heart.

Don’t be surprised if you identify with many or even most of these questions. Emotional wounds are found in every state, region, and family group; the process of becoming heart-sensitive shows no favoritism to intelligence, creativity, gender, race, or social class. Read the following twenty-five questions, and choose the response that best describes how you feel most of the time. Then add up your total score.

Never (0 points) Frequently (3 points)

Seldom (1 point) Always (4 points)

Sometimes (2 points)

Give yourself a 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 according to your answer to each question.

____ 1. Do you feel unloved?

____ 2. Do you feel undeserving of things you want?

____ 3. Are you dissatisfied with the way you are treated in your close relationships?

____ 4. Do you feel you were abused in childhood by any of the following: family, other caregivers, peer group, cultural prejudices, or sexism?

____ 5. Do you treat yourself destructively by eating too much or not enough, through alcohol or drugs, overspending, gambling, excessive exercise, or any other mechanism?

____ 6. Do you feel powerless or out of control?

____ 7. Do you get annoyed or scared when you discover you have different feelings, reactions, or thoughts from people close to you?

____ 8. Do you feel you stay in situations that may be hurting you or where you cut others too much slack?

____ 9. Do you avoid situations where you may experience unwanted feelings like fear, anger, sadness, or even happiness in order to appear “together” or “strong”?

____ 10. Do you feel shame?

____ 11. Do you take responsibility for things that have little or nothing to do with you?

____ 12. Do you censor your opinions or feelings for fear of being put down, attacked, or criticized by either friends, relatives, or strangers?

____ 13. Do you go out of your way to be nice to people even when you’re angry with them or when they have been unkind or abusive to you?

____ 14. Do you overreact to situations that aren’t really a big deal (or do others tell you that you do)?

____ 15. Do you have a pessimistic view of the world or of your future?

____ 16. Do you expect special treatment from people who don’t know you?

____ 17. Do you have relationships with individuals who call you “high maintenance” or “needy”?

____ 18. Do you startle at unexpected noises, loud voices, movements, or emotional reactions in others?

____ 19. Do you have difficulty saying “no,” or do you say “yes” when you mean “no”?

____ 20. Do you regret decisions you make?

____ 21. Do you dismiss your needs as unimportant or have difficulty even knowing what your needs are?

____ 22. Do you distrust the intentions of people who are nice to you even when they’ve never given you a reason to doubt them?

____ 23. Do you have trouble committing to relationships, or, if you’ve made a commitment, do you have trouble honoring it?

____ 24. Do you gloss over (or deny) “red flags” at the beginning of intimate relationships or friendships and then feel betrayed when problems develop later on?

____ 25. Do you feel that problems or “bad” things that happen are your fault even when you know or others tell you they’re not?

____ YOUR TOTAL SCORE

Once you’ve finished and added up your score, refer to the evaluation below to discover how deeply your wounds continue to keep you heart-sensitive and interrupt your thriving.

Note: If you scored between 0 and 5, any traces of emotional wounds should almost be nonexistent. However, if you feel that some of the symptoms of a sensitive heart are affecting your behavior or beliefs, then you could be in denial regarding a number of areas. In that case, read the evaluations for Levels 1 through 4 to see which one strikes the most responsive chord.

Level One: 6-24 points

Level Two: 25-49 points

Level Three: 50-74 points

Level Four: 75-100 points

If you are a Level One , you suffer a low amount of pain from emotional sensitivities. You may have done some healing work through self-help or therapy, may not have experienced your childhood as wounding, or you may have really done some positive mending in your life to make whatever you experienced less debilitating than it once was or could have been. Or, if you were badly wounded, you may have that wonderful constitution where even the worst events roll off your back, leaving you relatively unscathed. Nevertheless, you can benefit from this book because there is another level of emotional well-being-healthy-heartedness-that you may wish to attain.

If you are a Level Two , you are likely to experience a significant amount of distress in your day-to-day living and in your relationships. While you are probably not a complete prisoner to suffering, you may be, at times, driven by fear and anger rather than by conscious, rational decision-making. By entering a reactive mode, you may end relationships prematurely to avoid possible revictimization.

You’re prone to becoming defensive, and you believe the only way to protect yourself from inevitable danger is to cut it off before it even begins to happen. As a matter of fact, you may avoid relationships entirely or only have superficial ones, figuring they will deteriorate anyway. You’re likely to perceive more behaviors as wounding and as a bigger deal than they actually are in order to avoid any possibility of further emotional trauma. This style becomes an insurance policy to keep you safe. Yet this over-inclusion of behaviors into the category of wounds reduces your opportunities for spontaneity and for a passionate existence.

You tend to be on the lookout for potential emotional “wounders” in your life. You may unknowingly attract and select individuals who confirm your perception that people can’t be trusted. Because of your past fears, you may limit the delight of meeting new people.

If you are a Level Three, you probably wonder why you continue to be unhappy and chronically hurt in your relationships. You may feel like a victim of bad circumstances. If there were a hundred people in a room with ninety-nine of them “nice,” you’d be likely to find the one bad apple among them. You probably experience yourself as powerless and have difficulty seeing available choices and options.

You may believe you don’t deserve anything better and find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. You rationalize wounding behavior from others as something you caused or deserved. Equally disturbing, you may fail to perceive such behavior in others: it’s what you’re most familiar with, and you don’t know to expect anything different. On top of that, you may not recognize or take seriously the possibility that you might be wounding others, rationalizing that you have no other choice.

If you are a Level Four , you probably constantly sacrifice your needs for the sake of others. You live in a psychological prison with maximum security, not able to see any escape. Because of intense shame, self-doubt, or self-hatred, you may not be able to accept acts of kindness even when right in front of you. You’re so used to being mistreated that you may not know any other kind of treatment exists. You desperately want to feel better, but you may not know where to turn for help. You also may not trust the help that is available. You may have become a walking magnet for mistreatment. Abusive people have radar for spotting you because they are consciously or unconsciously searching for someone to exploit, and you display all the hallmarks of the perfect target.

This test gives you an opportunity to see how a sensitive heart can keep you trapped. However, sensitive-hearted people share many specific characteristics, traits, and behaviors that can create problems, pain, and separation.

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