Brave New World

This is a brave new world for me.  The beginning of something completely new to me.  I am excited and nervous at the same time.  That negative little voice in my head is telling me that I am wasting my time and that no one will be interested or even care what I post here.  But I am going to kick that negative voice to the curb.  I can do this!  All my life, I’ve loved to write.  So that is what I am going to do.

This blog will be many-faceted.  I’ll have a section on it that will catalog the things that are going on in my life and what’s happening.  But, that won’t even be the majority of the blog.  I will also have a section that I will write about health, family, hot-button issues, and other things.  And then, I will have a section where I highlight local business owners and influential people.  If you have a suggestion on a person whose story might be interesting or if there is a topic you would like to see me write about, by all means let me know.

Thank you for coming to my page.  And if you find anything here interesting or helpful, don’t forget to like it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Am An Introvert

There are two basic personality types in people.  Those that are introverts and those that are extroverts.  One personality is not better than the other, they are just different.  And I am an introvert, as people that know me well can attest to.  Recently, I read an article about signs that you might be an introvert by Carmen Sakurai.  Each bulletin I was thinking, “Yeah, that’s me.”  So, I thought it would be interesting to write about each of those bulletins and discuss each one and how it applies to me and my life.

  1. You don’t enjoy small talk.

Well, that is certainly true for me.  I find it awkward to be with someone I barely know and having to chit-chat.  It’s not that I don’t care to get to know people, I just don’t want to talk about inane things just to hear myself speak.  I’ll listen to someone all day long, but if you want me to talk, it must be about something important.  Of course, that is also one of the things that make it hard for me to get to know anyone.  Not many people want or even have the time to make the effort to talk to someone who doesn’t want to talk.

And I also have the problem that I don’t really know how to make small talk.  Especially if I don’t really know the other person.  During a casual conversation with someone I don’t know well, my mind is racing.  Should I talk about the weather?  What about the Cowboys?  What does he/she want to talk about?  And while I’m trying to make up my mind to the best thing to talk about, I’m silent.

2. You have a love/hate relationship with your phone.

This one fits really well with me.  I absolutely hate talking on the phone.  If you call me and I actually talk to you, I must really like you.  There is almost nothing worse to me than talking a bunch of nonsense on the phone.  If you must call me, say what you need to say then let me get off the phone.  I won’t hang up on y0u, I consider that rude.  I’ll just be banging my head against the wall until you hang up.  And me not wanting to talk on the phone is no reflection on the person that calls me.  I don’t even like talking to my best friend on the phone.

3. You wait to text back.

Sometimes I will text back immediately.  And sometimes I will text back in three or four hours, if I remember.  It really depends on the mood I am in at the time.

4.  You find crowds stressful.

I hate large masses of people.  It really stresses me out and I become incredibly bitchy and mean.  I really really don’t like being around a lot of people.  I am much more comfortable somewhere where there are very few people.

5. You’re not anti-social, just selectively social.

And that is true.  I like people for the most part, I just don’t want to be around them or talk to them.  And I also don’t know how to talk to people or even what I am supposed to do when I’m ar0und groups of people.  But if someone has actually managed to inside my inner circle, I love just hanging out with them.

6. You enjoy being out with a group of people in small doses.

Big group dinners and parties are fun.  I enjoy them as long as I know 90% of the people there and there isn’t too many of them.  But, after a group gathering of any kind, I’m good for a few months.  I will happily retreat back to my cave with my cats and dogs.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to sell Mary Kay.  That did not go so well.  In order to be successful selling anything, you have to be willing and able to meet new people.  Not one of my strong suits.

7. You’re extremely observant and mindful of surroundings.

That is true most of the time.  Of course, I was also a police officer for six years and that is part of the training.  But, I’ve always been observant.  Most of that came from my love of people watching.  I have found that you learn quite a bit about someone if you just observe them.

8. You only unlock your heart for the most special of souls.

I don’t let many people in.  The majority of the people that know me have only scratched the surface.  But there are a few, like my wife, who has been able to get in.  Unfortunately, I find that most people don’t have the interest or the time to invest the effort that it takes for me to truly open up to them.  That is one of the reasons that I have always wished that I was more outgoing.  I wish I was one of those people who could make friends easily and often.  But, I am not so I am learning to love myself as I am.

9. You are creative.

I can be.  But I don’t consider myself an especially creative person.

10. You value listening..deeply.

I will listen to you all day long.  I’m good sounding board and a good person to vent to.  I may not have much to say, but I am listening to what you are saying.

11. You are highly introspective.

I will think a situation or problem to death.  I also worry a lot.  About everything.  I have to analyze every possible scenario and consider every angle.  It gets exhausting inside my head sometimes.

12. You think before you argue.

90% of all the arguments I have exist only in my head.  I’m not saying that I hear voices or anything.  I just will argue with whoever in my head about a million times before I actually voice an argument.  So, when I do argue with someone for real, it is after many imaginary arguments.

13. You are accused of flirting with everybody.

I don’t think this one is true for me.  My wife never accuses me of flirting and I don’t think I flirt all that much.

14. You enjoy time alone.

I not only enjoy time alone, I have to have time alone.  It is imperative that I have alone time or I will go insane.  When I don’t get sufficient time to myself by myself, I turn into the world’s biggest bitch.  I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t even want to look at anyone.  My family doesn’t always understand my need to be alone at times, but they try really hard.  Well, my daughter doesn’t try very hard.  She is the complete opposite of me in that regard.  She hates to be alone so she makes sure that she never is.  And neither am I.

15. You are rarely bored.

I can’t remember the last time I was bored.  I can also find something to occupy my time, even if is just sitting and thinking.  I actually do a lot of sitting and thinking.

16. You don’t trust easily.

That is absolutely true.  I trust very few people.  I can count on one hand how many people that I do trust.  And if someone betrays my trust, I cut them viciously out of my life and they are never again privy to the real me that I show so very few people.

17. You have a small group of close friends.

I do, a very small group.  And that is fine by me.  Well, mostly.  Like I stated earlier, I wish I could make friends easily, but I just can’t.  So the few people who I consider friends are rare gems to me.

18. You fiercely guard personal space.

I do.  I am so bad about this that my children are not allowed to enter my bedroom without permission first.  And they better have a really good reason that they need to be in there.

19. You’re more comfortable expressing yourself in writing.

I am.  Don’t ask me to make a public speech.  I might die from the anxiety of having to speak in front of people.  But I can write a pretty good speech.

And loved ones have noticed that if there is something weighing heavily on my mind, I will write about it.  I absolutely will not speak about it because when I am speaking, I cannot find the words that will truly describe what I need them to.

20. You’re great at getting stuff done.

This one is sometimes yes and sometimes no.  If it is something that I want to do, I get it done quickly.  But if it is something that I really don’t want to do, I can procrastinate with the best of them.

21. You’re a good judge of character.

I like to think that I am.  I’m not really sure about this one, though.  Even though I don’t trust easily, I try to find the best in everyone.

22. You’re great at making decisions.

I’m great at making big decisions.  If I have to decide on something that will be completely life-altering, I have absolutely no problem making that decision.  And I feel confident and comfortable with whatever decision I made.  But if I have to decide on what to eat for supper or what clothes to wear, that is huge.  I literally stress on these little things and change my mind about a dozen times.

23. You retain an air of mystery.

I don’t agree with this one.  I’m not mysterious by any means.  I’m just plain me.  For the most part, I try to have little effect on people’s lives, so they don’t think about me when I’m no longer there.

24. You are a loyal friend.

That is true.  If you manage to make it to my friend stage, I will back you and defend you against all odds.  I am one of those people that don’t mind getting a phone call at three in the morning if one of my friends needs me.  I will do just about anything that is in my power for one of my friends and I consider them family.

But the other side of that is if someone leaves the friend stage.  If someone proves that the only time they want to talk to me is because they want something, I will eventually get tired of that.  And if someone doesn’t seem to be concerned about how I’m doing or what is going on with my life, I get tired of that too.  I care deeply about my friends and I care about whatever it is they may be going through.  I will listen to them endlessly, give constructive criticism if asked for, and not judge.  But once someone proves that they cannot or will not do the same for me, I cut them out of my life rather harshly.  I will not respond to their text messages at all or answer any of their phone calls.  That is one of my flaws, and I realize that.  But, it is what it is.

There have been many times in my life that I have wished that I was an extrovert.  Many times being an introvert can be very lonely and can feel like no one cares.  I do know that is not the case, I know that a great many people care.  But I do have a tendency to completely block people from my life, most of the time I don’t even realize that I am doing it.

If you found this blog posting helpful or interesting, don’t forget to follow my blog.  You never know what I am going to be writing about next.  The signs and characteristics of an introvert came from the article 24 Signs You’re an Introvert Not Shy by Carmen Sakurai.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Bane of Domestic Violence


Domestic violence is a travesty in the home and usually a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself.  For the most part, it doesn’t begin large with hitting and choking, it begins with little barbs to the self-confidence of the victim.

Many people that are not and have never been in an abusive relationship often wonder why the victim, mostly a woman, would stay with an abuser.  They will say, “Well, if she won’t get out, she deserves it.”  Or even, “How can someone let themselves be treated that way?”  Unfortunately, predominately speaking, the ones that have never been a victim to such abuse have no idea of the effects that years of abuse will have on a person.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll look at the reasons women stay in abusive relationships.  Men can and are the victims of abusive relationships as well.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.–facts-52.html

There are early warning signs, or red flags, that can indicate that a woman is in an abusive relationship.

  1. The abuser expects the victim to regularly “check in” with him so that he can monitor her whereabouts.
  2. The abuser might act unreasonably and extremely jealous and/or possessive of the victim.  Often, the abuser will be very jealous when the victim even spends time with male relatives.
  3. The abuser might isolate the victim from all of her friends and family.  He may also forbid her from leaving the house when he is not there or work outside the home.
  4. The abuser will treat the victim with disrespect and many times will expect the victim to serve him.
  5. The abuser most likely will put down the victim’s friends, family, and even her dreams or goals.  He will make the victim feel stupid and worthless and will reinforce that belief in herself daily.
  6. The abuser might lose his temper often over small matters.
  7. The victim will feel as if she needs to walk on eggshells all the time to keep the peace and not anger the abuser.
  8. The abuser will make threats against the victim and her family, friends, even pets.  He may also threaten repeatedly to commit suicide if the victim leaves.
  9. The abuser will play mind games with the victim and make the victim feel guilty for everything that occurs.
  10. The abuser will take responsibility for his own actions.  Many times, the abuser will physically assault the victim and then cast the blame on her for angering him.

There are many reasons why a woman might stay in an abusive relationship.  The brainwashing of an abused woman is usually done very gradually and slowly.  Abusers will typically begin the abusive cycle early on in the relationship by insulting the woman and making her feel dependent on him.  Then, it usually escalates into shoves and light hits when the woman “makes a mistake” which angers the abusers.  By the time physical abuse is at full scale, many women have been brainwashed for such a long time that they actually believe that they are to blame for it and that they deserve it.

An abuser may also threaten thing which would make the woman hesitate to leave.

  • He may threaten to kill her if she leaves.  It has been shown that the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she leaves.
  • He may threaten to kidnap the children.
  • He may threaten to tell people lies about her to ruin her credibility.

The effects of an abusive relationship may make it difficult for the woman to leave.

  • She may feel like she is worthless and that she does not deserve any better.
  • She may feel unable to leave.
  • She may feel like she is incapable of making decisions anymore.

th (2)

Domestic violence is a cancer on society and affects everyone, not just the abused.  Children raised in abusive homes are at high risk of repeating the abusive cycle in their adult relationships.  If you are the victim of abuse, or if you know a victim of abuse, don’t wait.  Get help now.  Call your local police department for assistance, call the local domestic violence shelther.  You can even call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-723 or visit their website at

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lessons I Learned as a Police Officer

For six years, I was a police officer.  And my impressions of police officers all over has now been altered dramatically.

During my early 20’s, I worked at an answering service that just happened to be the dispatch station of the little one-horse town I lived in.  We were also the dispatch station for the neighboring, smaller half-horse town.  So, I came into contact with police officers on a daily basis.  Sure, the police officers more like Barney Fife than Joe Friday, but they were still police officers and they had sworn to uphold the law.  But, living in such a small town, really not much action.  In fact, there was only one police officer per town on duty at any one time.

So, I decided that I wanted to be a police officer.  Actually, I had always wanted to be a police officer but that desire was cemented after working there.  And the main reason I did was because of the “celebrity” factor.  I haven’t lived in that small town in a dozen years, but I image it is still mostly the same.  The general population of the town treated all the police officers with extreme respect and adoration.  Like local celebrities.  You could see it if you happened to encounter one of the guys (there were no women on the force while I was there) in the store.  And if you were a friend, that celebrity status was extended toward you.  For someone who has always been a shy, introverted wallflower, that feeling was very heady.

Then I moved to Brownwood, which is a much larger town than the one I had left.  After a few years living here, I saw in the paper where the City of Brownwood was hiring four people to attend the police academy and join the force with a contract of two years.  I never in a million years thought that I had a chance of being one of the four, but my wife, Angela (we were not married at that time), strongly encouraged me.  Well, she more than encouraged me, she all but forced me to do it.  And amazingly, I got the position.  So, I began my journey as a police officer.

During the police academy, I still retained much of my naivete that I had.  That is one of the drawbacks of growing up in such a small town.  I believed that people were mostly good and the majority of people respected police officers and obeyed the law.  I could not have been more wrong.

I no longer believe that people are mostly good.  But on the same token, I don’t believe people are mostly bad.  Being a police officer taught me that people are just people.  Sure, some are worse than others.  And some are nicer than others.  But people are just people.

When I graduated from the police academy, I began training on the streets as a police officer.  That was an eye-opening experience.  I was still very naive, even though I was 28 years old and a mother of two kids.  I would never have imagined the things that people are capable of doing to each other or even to themselves.  To see a man beat the crap out of his wife/girlfriend and then she defend him when the police show up.  Or to see a mother too busy getting drunk/high to feed her children.  And the teenage boy who thinks it a good idea to beat up on his entire family just because he was told no about something.  I knew all of these things, and worse, occurred in a scholarly sense, but I had never experienced any of it.

The longer I was a police officer, the more of the senseless violence of humanity.  And the longer I witnessed all of this, the more embittered and cold I became.  I began to expect the worst of everyone I came into contact with.  And we didn’t deal with really horrible atrocities that exist in bigger places.  It began to surprise me when someone w0uld do something nice for someone else.  I would always look for the ulterior motive of every deed.  I forgot that hatred doesn’t rule everyone.

Another thing that was an eye-opener for me was how police officers are treated.  I was used to police officers being treated like hometown celebrities.  I then was able to witness how a great many people treat police officers like the enemy.  Even some law-abiding citizens acted like any time they came in contact with the police, it was because the police were doing something wrong.  And that surprised the heck out of me.  I did not expect to be treated like the enemy as often as I was.  When I had to arrest someone, sure I expected it then.  But when I did a traffic stop because someone sped through a school zone, was not expecting that.  That is when I realized that the respect for police officers has gone down way too far.

But, fortunately, there are still many people who respect the police.  There were many times that I was surprised by someone who didn’t know me in a store just thanking me for what I did.  I received an award at one point in my career and the overwhelming support that I received blew me away.

There are corrupt police officers.  There are the ones that are a disgrace to the badge and the oath that they took.  But, there also corrupt dentists, lawyers, preachers, school teachers, and every other profession you can imagine.  The media likes to play up all the stories of the corrupt police officers to make it seem like the whole system is corrupt.  And that is not the case.  There are far more good, honest police officers than there are corrupt ones.  The men and women that I worked with, I would trust with my life and the lives of my children in a heartbeat.  They uphold the law, and they do so with fairness.  But, you won’t see any of their stories on the evening news.

Even though I am no longer a police officer and will never be one again, I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to be one.  I feel very blessed to have worked with the men and women that I have and I will always have the upmost respect for them.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Living with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

I have Non-specific type Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and I was diagnosed with it in May 2014.  So, I have been living with TOS for at least a year and a half.  I have actually been living with it for two years or more because it is very difficult to diagnose.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) become compressed.

I used to work out daily in the gym.  And when I say daily, I mean six days a week.  Three days a week, I lifted free weights.  After lifting weights for a few months, I started to notice a sharp, stabbing pain in between my shoulder blades in my back.  Thinking I just needed an adjustment, I went to a chiropractor.  He snapped and popped and made me feel better.  For one day.  Then the pain was back.  So, I went back to him.  After a few visits, I realized that the pain in my back was not getting any better and I now had a horrible pain in my neck.

I finally went to my family doctor with my symptoms.  He was very blase about it all and sent me to get an MRI just to shut me up.  When the MRI report came back, it showed that I had a bulging disk in my neck.  So, my family doctor sent me to a specialist far away with a name that I cannot pronounce.  This specialist was a highly paid surgeon, but he would not take my case.  He told me point blank that I would need surgery and the pain would only  increase.  The specialist also told me that I wasn’t high profile enough or rich enough for him to take me.  So, back to my family doctor I went.  When he told me that I would just have to “deal with it”, I cut him loose and found another family doctor.

I then began seeing a nurse practitioner.  I absolutely loved her.  She was caring and she was very concerned about finding out what exactly was wrong with me and what could be done about it.  She sent me to a different specialist, one who specialized in sports related injuries.  The first visit with this doctor and (Eureka!) he knew what was wrong.  He strongly suspected TOS, but he did not want to make an official diagnosis until I had some tests done.

One of the tests involved me flapping my arms like a bird while wearing blood pressure cuffs on both arms.  And then he did a nerve conduction study.

 A nerve conduction study is a test that uses a low electric current to test and measure the nerves’ ability to send impulses throughout the body.

After these tests, it was confirmed.  I have TOS on both sides.  There are three types of TOS: Neurogenic (neurological), Vascular, Non-specific type.  Non-specific type of TOS leads to chronic pain in the area of the thoracic outlet which worsens with activity.

Now, I can tell you, it DOES worsen with activity.  It worsens a great deal.  My daily life with TOS is not a walk in the park.  I have good days, and I have bad days.  Unfortunately, my good days generally bring on my bad days.  Let me explain.  When I wake up feeling good, I do things I’m not supposed to do.  Like clean the ceiling fans, loads of laundry, mopping, sweeping, playing outside with my kids and my dogs.  The more I do of any of these activities, and many others, the more pain I am in.  The spot in my back (I call it the stabbing spot) goes from a dull ache to a painful scream.  I lose all feelings in my arms and hands.  I start dropping things.  I get shooting pain going up both sides of my neck from my collar bone to my jaw. And the worst part, I get very dizzy.

You would think if does all these activities made me feel like that, I would not do them.  But I am very stubborn.  I don’t like the idea that someone has to take care of me.  So, I try to do it all even though I have a loving family who would do it for me.  And you’re probably wondering, why are they letting me do these things in the first place?  Well, they do have to sleep sometime.  I don’t sleep well or often and I am up strange hours.

So if you see me out and about some day and I seem a little out of it or snobbish, I don’t mean to be.  It is probably just one of my bad days and I’m just concentrating really hard on putting one foot in front of the other.

Posted in Thoracic Outlet Syndrome | Tagged | Leave a comment