Wednesday’s Child: Jaylen

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

Source Link: Wednesday’s Child: Jaylen

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

Your Smart Phone – Indispensable or Major Distraction?

Everyone has a smart phone now. You can’t travel a few feet without seeing somebody staring at their phone. So why is everyone staring at their phones? Because they have become an indispensable part of our lives. You need to find out how to get somewhere? You get on Waze and have directions and know how long it will take to get there. Bored? Pop out your phone and start catching some Pokemon with Pokemon Go. Looking for a great place to eat? Pull up Yelp and find an amazing restaurant right around the corner.

To keep from beating a dead horse, our phones have become an integral part of our lives, and there is nothing that is going to change that. So why is this a problem? If you are the boss at work and you walk in and see half of your staff looking at something on their phone you start to wonder how productive your employees actually are. Is the ease of entertainment found on a phone keeping your staff from being as efficient as they should be?

Here are 3 Tips To Help You to Get the Most Out of Your Employees in the Smart Phone Era

1. Turn off non-essential notifications
The last thing that you need is your employees looking at their phone every 15 seconds at a new notification. Of course some notifications are necessary. If they text with clients, you cannot have them turn off their texting notification. If they monitor Twitter for the company account, those alerts must come through. However, productivity would go way up if the amount of notifications would go down. Just think about what we do when we get a notification on our phone… we look at the notification, unlock our phone, and do three or four tasks that we were not thinking about doing before the notification.

2. Have official cell phone breaks
It is one of those things that is just going to happen. Your employees are going to check Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram whether you let them or not. You would be much better off setting aside 15 minutes a couple times a day for cell phone breaks. Let your employees get their fix, and then bring them back to the task at hand. A couple of short breaks are good for productivity in general, but it will be even better if you can cut down on most of the unofficial social media breaks that your employees are already taking.

3. Cut down on office stress
One of the main reasons that people use cell phones is as a stress reliever. You will find that the more stressed your employees are, the more they will want to use their phones for something mindless. If you can keep the morale up and the stress level down, you will find that there will be much less use for your employees to use their phones for non work related tasks. At PCN, our supervisors are always available and make sure that we are getting the training that we need. One of the most stressful parts of our job is when there is a caller with a medical emergency and medical office has not given us updated information. Of course we have procedures in place to handle that particular call, but our management is very good about making sure that we feel supported and that we get the information that we need updated so that it is available the next time. With just these little changes, it not only makes the quality of our medical answering service better, it makes us as operators feel valued and our stress levels stay low.

The post Your Smart Phone – Indispensable or Major Distraction? appeared first on PCNAnswers.

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

4 Customer Service Tips from A Telephone Answering Service

Customer service is an uphill battle. I don’t know if it has something to do with society today or if it has always been this way, but customers have incredibly high expectations. Often impossible expectations. And they are all too happy to post all over social media any time a company is not perfect. So what is a company to do in 2016 to try to provide excellent customer service even when their employees may be feeling like they are fighting an uphill battle.

Here are four tips that help us to keep our employee morale high and our service scores excellent.

1. Be a Team
Everything is easier if you are a part of a team. If you feel like your boss and your coworkers have your back, it is a lot easier to take any complaints that come your way. Of course if you deserve the complaints you should own up to your mistakes and take responsibility (another way to provide great customer service), but I am talking more about when a customer is complaining about something that you have no control over. If you foster an environment among your employees where everyone feels like they are a part of a team, not only will they enjoy work more, but they will be able to provide better service as well.

2. Be Efficient, Not Fast
Of course we all know that there are always more calls to answer. It is pretty tempting to go for speed and to let the service that you are providing suffer. However, while this might be OK in the short run, it is not going to work out well for you in the long run. Of course you should not be wasting any time or shooting the breeze with your callers. You need to be efficient – hear their problems, answer their questions, offer assistance, give them the information that they need – and then hang up and move on to the next caller. But you do not want to shoot for speed alone. In my experience, the callers that end up feeling worst about the service that they receive are the ones that do not feel heard. They end up feeling like the operator rushed through their call and didn’t take the time necessary to solve the problem. Take the time, but be efficient.

3. Have the Information that You Need
Working at an answering service (PCNAnswers Phoenix is the best!) is great because as we answer the phone, all of the information that we need about the customer that we are answering for pops up on a computer screen. However, we do run into trouble if a client does not give us all of the information that we need to answer questions. It is so much more efficient if you have all of the information right their with you. Make a sheet of frequently asked questions and have all of the answers right there. That way, no matter who answers the phone, you can be sure that they will give accurate information quickly.

4. Don’t Talk Down to your Customers
Your clients are usually calling because they have a problem. Many of them may be confused about something. Don’t be condescending or talk to them as if they are stupid – remember, you know it so well because you work there! The worst thing that you can do is make a customer feel like you think that they are stupid. That will raise the emotions and frankly leave a very bad taste in their mouths. Be patient, be kind, be friendly, and your customers will thank you!

The post 4 Customer Service Tips from A Telephone Answering Service appeared first on PCNAnswers.

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

My Guide to Laguna Beach


I’ve been involved in quite a love affair with Laguna Beach for some time, as many of you have witnessed on my Instagram account and blog over the past decade. It all started 14 years ago, when my boyfriend (now husband) and I were living, working, and freezing our tushes off in Chicago. I recall, on one particularly frigid evening in our drafty kitchen, I looked at him and said (through chattering teeth), “maybe we should move to Southern California.” Two weeks later, we signed a lease on a tiny apartment in Laguna Beach.

We lived in Laguna Beach for a couple of years, then moving on to Corona del Mar and finally Newport Beach, but Laguna has always held a very special place in my heart. However, my love for this town has grown leaps and bounds over the past two years since we relocated to Oklahoma. Due to work commitments (thank you, career!) and family trips, I’ve been back to visit Laguna six times, which has been so lovely.

Any coastal Southern Californian will agree that living and visiting the area are two very different beasts, so the past couple of years have given me the opportunity to experience the town again as a tourist, despite my experience as a local from years’ past. This month, I collaborated with Visit Laguna to create a guide of my favorite Laguna haunts coupled with some unfamiliar, suggested stops. So, sit back (no really, sit down…it’s long), relax, and enjoy my guide to Laguna Beach.


Inn at Laguna Beach
Inn at Laguna Beach
Inn at Laguna Beach
Inn at Laguna Beach
Inn at Laguna Beach
Inn at Laguna Beach

The Inn at Laguna Beach – I must list this hotel first because it’s just simply my very favorite hotel in Laguna. The fabulous location, the lovely decor, the always-friendly employees…I just adore this hotel. You will not be disappointed, I promise. It’s the one hotel that I always feel sad to leave.

Laguna Beach House
Laguna Beach House
Laguna Beach House
Laguna Beach House
Laguna Beach House
Laguna Beach House

Laguna Beach House is a newly renovated property that totally encompasses Southern California surf culture. It feels open, airy, and modern. Within walking distance to Main beach…a fun little property.


Pacific Edge Hotel – Stayed at this hotel a few years back and posted my thoughts here. This place has the absolute coolest bungalows right on the beach. Even if you are a local, you should look into renting one for the day. So much fun!


Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel – Technically not in Laguna Beach, but I had to mention it because it’s just such a gorgeous and luxurious property, and have enjoyed my stays there very much.

The Montage – If you are looking for luxury, this is the hotel for you. I could spend the rest of my life in the spa or aimlessly wandering around the grounds. A must-see, even if you just stop to have a drink or eat at one of the distinctive restaurants.


Urth Caffe Urth Caffe Food

Urth Caffé wasn’t around when I lived in Laguna, which is probably a good thing, considering I would have set up a cot in the back room. I adore this open-air, delicious spot for coffee, breakfast, brunch, or lunch. The menu is so expansive, yet super tasty. Lots of gluten-free options, and it sits just perched up from Heisler Park, one of the best parts of town to stroll and take in the ocean views from the bluffs.


Active Culture – Another spot I frequent regularly, specifically for the Wholesome Bowl. (My husband worked right around the corner, and he had quite a thing for the Whole Bowl as well.) The food is unique, tasty, and totally healthy, but not in an “ohhhhh, yes, this is healthy” kind of way. Besides the yummy menu, Active Culture is very serious about our environment, minimizing the carbon footprint as much as possible.

Zinc Cafe Latte
Zinc Cafe Muffin
Zinc Cafe Market

Zinc Cafe – Oh, I love Zinc. The ambiance, the food, the adjoining market. It’s just the perfect place to sip a latte and read a book or join friends after a morning stroll. I love the scrambled eggs with leeks plate that comes with fresh fruit and a bagel (although, being gluten free, they always have tasty GF muffins for me to substitute). However, if you like bagels, GET THE EVERYTHING BAGEL. #sogood #memmoriieees #ofthebageldaysofyore


The Stand Natural Foods – Vegans, you must visit The Stand. Non-Vegans, you must visit The Stand. I could spend 45 minutes drooling over the menu at this 100% vegan restaurant. (But seriously, don’t let the vegan thing deter you…the food is downright delicious and satisfying.) In fact, this bean tostada weighed, like, 6 pounds. You’ll get more than you bargained for at this delicious little stand.

Zeytoon Cafe Food
Zeytoon Cafe
Zeytoon Cafe Patio

Zeytoon Cafe – What a little gem tucked into a retail strip in North Laguna. If you love Mediterranean food, get thee to Zeytoon. The Mezza sampler is a must, and they have a nice little wine selection to go along with it. If it’s temperate outside (and when is it not in Laguna?), sit out on the upstairs deck while sipping a Rosé. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.

La Sirena Grill – Outstanding Mexican food. The tacos, the carnitas, the Sirena plate…you can’t go wrong. They also have fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. Oh, and breakfast too! Two locations. Village location has counter service and a small area outside for dining. South location has indoor dining as well.


Wahoo’s Fish Taco – Wahoo’s is not original to Laguna nor California as a whole, but I have to mention this place because my kids LIVE for Wahoo’s. My son pretty much talks about it every week, and we’ve been living without a nearby Wahoo’s for over two years now. My husband and I enjoy it too – you can’t go wrong with the fish tacos, black beans, and the cilantro-lime rice. Good stop for families, for sure, although you will see all types at the Laguna location.

Nick’s Laguna Beach – A great restaurant in the heart of the village to have a meal. Open for all three meals, although I enjoy a glass of wine and some appetizers during happy hour.

Jan’s Health Bar – I became addicted to Jan’s protein bowls (they use a spice blend called Spike on everything and I am OBSESSED) and fresh juices while living in Newport Beach, so I was thrilled to see that a brand new location recently opened in Laguna. It’s just a great place to drop into for some quick, healthy eats.

Coyote Grill – My love for this Baja-inspired restaurant runs deeeeeep. Located in South Laguna, this super casual restaurant serves up the best chicken enchiladas and margaritas ever. Such a fun atmosphere – a mix of locals and tourists, and just really easy for all ages. I dream of this place, y’all. I need this place in my life again. Make the short jaunt to South Laguna for this one, trust me.


Splashes – Located in the gorgeous Surf and Sand Resort (another amazing hotel!), this is a dining experience. This is definitely the place for a romantic dinner or celebration, and the views are otherworldly. (Horrible, right?) The restaurant is open for all three meals, though, although I’ve only had dinner.


Ivory Restaurant and Lounge – Tucked into Laguna Canyon, this new-to-me restaurant had a sophisticated atmosphere and some really good martinis. Jumbo prawns were delicious. If you’re longing to get out of the busy village, head into the canyon and check this place out.

Thai Brothers – Fantastic Thai food. If you’ve been going hard all day and want to take a break, just order some take-out from Thai Brothers. Tom Kha Gai soup is some of the best I’ve tried.


Okura – In a great location, Okura is a good restaurant for groups, especially those who might have some sushi non-enthusiasts. The varied menu allows everyone to be happy, and the cocktail menu is fun.

242 Fusion Sushi – However, HOWEVER, if you love sushi, get to 242 Fusion Sushi STAT. Consistently the best sushi I’ve had anywhere. Miki Izumisawa, the owner and chef, is a true visionary. Her ability to meld textures and flavors is uncanny, and it is quite an experience. The place it teeny tiny (only about 5-6 tables), so be prepared to wait. It’s so worth it, though.


The Hydration IV Room
The Hydration Room
The Hydration Room Lobby

The Hydration Room – Oh, how I wish a Hydration Room was closer to my hometown. Whether you’re suffering from a cold, battling a migraine, experiencing jet lag, seeking relief from sore muscles, waking up from a long night of over-indulgence (ahem), or just low in energy, IV fluid hydration and injection therapy is the quickest way to improve your symptoms and get you back to feeling your best. The IV hydrating therapies are quick, often under thirty minutes depending on your hydration status and needs. I love this place. Since I’ve done IV therapy with my naturopath in the past, they worked with me to create my perfect IV cocktail, if you will. I felt great afterward, and for the remainder of my insanely packed trip.


Yoga in the Park at Treasure Island Park – Carl Brown, a registered Yoga Alliance Instructor provides free yoga classes at 8 am, 5 days a week (M,T,W,TH,SA) at Treasure Island Park in Laguna Beach. It’s a gorgeous location in front of the Montage Resort, and all donations go to the Tara Abbey in Nepal for the education of women.


Spa Eiko – The folks at Visit Laguna introduced me to Spa Eiko. I had never had a traditional Thai massage before, and I must say that Keiko, the owner and masseuse, is truly wonderful. Not only does she have gifted hands, but is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet.

Heisler Park – A walk though Heisler Park is a must. Located in North Laguna, the winding sidewalks overlook the Pacific with some of the most gorgeous bluffs. If you have a little time, download the free Laguna Beach Walks self-guided tour. It’s pretty cool, and you can go at your own pace.

Bluebird Park – If you have little ones, this hidden gem tucked into a charming neighborhood is hands-down my favorite park in America. (Yes. All of America.) Tons of space, artful playground equipment, huge slides, even a 3-story rocket ship for your kids to climb. I took my kids to this park all of the time when we lived in the area. A really special place. We all miss it so much.

Victoria Beach
Victoria Beach Crew
Beach Day

Victoria Beach – Now, I could write an entire post just on the beaches alone in Laguna. Let me just say this. There are a lot of amazing beaches in Laguna. So many coves to discover, and there’s a little bit of everything to please all types of beachgoers. However, our family’s favorite beach is Victoria Beach. It’s a great mix of locals and visitors, and beach access is tucked away in a neighborhood, so it’s not widely known by tourists. On most days the tide is gentle enough for the kids, and it’s a manageable size. Also, you should check out the tower and the cool manmade pool that rests on the north side of the beach. Our favorite.


Roots Beauty Laguna

Roots Beauty Laguna
Roots Beauty Laguna
Roots Beauty Laguna

Roots the Beauty Underground – Being a green beauty enthusiast, Roots is always my first stop in Laguna. Laura, the owner, is such a cool cat…she knows everything there is to know about natural beauty, and the lines she carries are top notch. I could (and do) spend hours and hours in this fabulous shop.


Laguna Supply
Laguna Supply
Laguna Supply

Laguna Supply – As Roots is my favorite for beauty, Laguna Supply is my favorite for women’s fashion. The boutique carries some of my favorite labels, and I can always find something covet-worthy when visiting.


Poler – Camping meets chill meets modern. Great backpacks, hats, and outdoor gear. The gear is great, but you really need to visit to check out the design and landscaping. Very cool.

Yolk Laguna Beach
Yolk Laguna Gifts
Yolk Laguna Beach

Yolk – Toys, homewares, kids fashion, and jewelry. Adorable little shop. Great place to pick a gift for a birthday party or shower.


The Soul Project – Created by a team of visionary entrepreneurs, designers and artists, The Soul Project is an innovative apparel company that holds “socially conscious capitalism” as a core cultural value. Much more than apparel, though. Housewares, kids items and cookbooks abound.

Pearl Street General

Pearl Street General Store
Pearl Street General Store
Pearl Street General Store

Pearl Street General Store – Pearl Street is definitely a general store – carrying groceries, locally-sourced products, craft beers, handmade jewelry, stationery, and even a small, yet burgeoning, vintage goods section. The locals love this place for a quick grocery or wine run, but it should not be missed by visitors to Laguna. A great shop.

Twig Boutique

Twig – Love this super charming and quirky boutique. Clothing, accessories, jewelry…it’s all so fun, plus they carry one of my favorite local brands, Krochet Kids. Really had my eye on these two items during my last visit, #pizzaslut

The Shop - Laguna Beach
The Shop - Laguna Beach

The Shop – Where “it’s summer all year round,” this boutique definitely gives off the vibe of sun-kissed style. Beachy and bohemian, the clothing give a nod to salt and sand. Adorable baby clothing too.

The Chakra Shack

The Chakra Shack – I get my crystal fix here. Full of all things metaphysical and spiritual, the Chakra Shack is indeed a chakra shack. The store also offers aura readings and all sorts of workshops.

Rock Etiquette

Rock Etiquette – This boutique is definitely for the gals with an edgy, rock-n-roll vibe. Although the clothing is a bit much for my personal aesthetic, I do enjoy the hat and shoe collection.


Vault Active Wear – Workout enthusiasts, Vault carries some fun brands, as well as premium clothing brands from up-and-coming designers.


Rooftop Lounge – Located at the top of the Casa del Camino hotel, this is a lovely place to sit with friends and have a cocktail. The views are ridiculous.

The Deck – Another spot with amazing ocean views, The Deck has great drinks, as well as fresh seafood. Love their Silver Surfer cocktail.

The Marine Room – Lots of live music, and nestled right in the village. (So, you know, you can walk back to your hotel in the rare case that you’ve been overserved.)

Sandpiper – Otherwise known as “The Dirty Bird,” don’t plan on visiting until the wee hours. It’s dark, it’s loud, and you should be prepared to dance. Oh, you’ll dance. I always pop into the Dirty Bird at least once while visiting.

The post My Guide to Laguna Beach appeared first on whoorl.

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

What I want you to know about being estranged from my parents

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Carrie.

It’s been said that Albert Einstein says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

With all due respect to Mr. Einstein, no. No, it’s not. My life has taught me differently.

I say the definition of insanity is believing God has chosen you to select the day and hour that “Lucifer will be restrained.” I say the definition of insanity is believing you can be your own psychologist and pharmacist and ordering what you think is psychotropic medicine online from a pharmacy in India and dosing yourself. I say the definition of insanity is slipping further and further into alcohol addiction while maintaining that it is part of what keeps your mental illness at bay, even though all the experts say it can only make it worse. I say the definition of insanity is hearing everyone closest to you dare to speak the truth about the darkness they see consuming your life and accusing them of being the sick ones and isolating yourself more and more from the people who love you. I say the definition of insanity is landing your private plane in a top secret military reservation with your small children in the back seat while you’re trying to outrun the government spies you are convinced are following you. I say the definition of insanity is believing your phones are tapped, that angels turn the aquarium light on and off, and that a demon rather than a coyote killed the baby calf. I say the definition of insanity is throwing your airline tickets and the contents of your wallet away while your 8-year-old daughter chases you down the concourse in Terminal C at DFW international airport frantically picking up what you’ve tossed out and crying for someone to help her.

But maybe Einstein is right, too.

Because I’m 33 years old. My Dad has been insane and an alcoholic for most of my life, though at times he’s been more well then others. My Mom has her own struggles with alcoholism, and over the last few years has apparently decided it is easier simply to let my father’s reality be her reality rather than to try and fight it or to live life without him. And until last month, I kept trying to reason with the two of them. I kept trying to help them see that they need help; to forge something that resembled a relationship with them in spite of all the anger, addiction and mental illness that’s simmering just below the surface (sometimes well-contained, sometimes not contained at all) while simultaneously protecting myself and my family from the shrapnel that would undoubtedly hurt us if we got too close to the unpredictable-yet-regular explosions. For years, I’ve kept trying. And it finally dawned on me that I was acting a bit insane, in the Albert Einstein sense of the word. And I was finally as-ready-as-one-can-be to say goodbye.

And just like that, I’m estranged from my parents.

Estrangement. I’m still rolling the word around in my heart and in my head, trying to picture what this will look like in the years to come. At future family funerals or my nephew’s birthday party, will I go knowing they will be there too? What if I casually run into my mom at the grocery store in my small home-town, which I still visit because my in-laws live there as well? Do I exchange pleasantries as if she were a casual acquaintance and there’s been no highly toxic water under the bridge? Or do I run and hide beside the boxes of birthday cake fixings, hoping she doesn’t see me while I stand there remembering all the Funfetti cakes she lovingly prepared for my birthdays year in and year out?

Estrangement. Every time the word rolls through my heart, it pricks me in a little different spot. Prick is too delicate of a word. It gashes. Will it ever stop hurting?

To my people-pleasing, peace-making heart, estrangement feels like a dirty, angry word, and for the longest time I didn’t think Good Christian Girls like me got estranged. But I’m not angry. Just broken-hearted. To be honest, I’d been waiting for over a year for something big to blow-up in my relationship with them… For their behavior to be so egregious that I could justify walking away, because in my gut I’ve known for a long time what I needed to do but I felt like I needed some amount of anger in order to take such a big step. When I got really honest with myself, though, I knew that I’d never let myself walk away in a fit of anger. I wouldn’t let myself feel released from the relationship if I left with slamming doors or angry words. So in the end, the big blow-up didn’t happen. Instead, I saw with sudden, heart-shattering clarity that nothing was ever going to change if they didn’t admit that they needed help. And as a mother with two young children, I couldn’t justify allowing my daughters to build relationships with people I fundamentally knew to be unsafe and unpredictable.

Here’s what I know about estrangement so far: It sucks. It makes me ridiculously pissed that this is the hand of cards I have to play. I’m never one to give up hope, but in a way it feels like that’s what I’ve done. I sometimes wonder if a stronger person would find a way to maintain a relationship even in the midst of the crazy. I dream about them almost every single night; vivid dreams… usually involving loud and angry conflict and me trying to convince them to admit their struggles and reach out for help. They are almost without fail the last thing I think about before I fall asleep and the first thing I remember when I wake up and I think about them a million times in between. I am seriously contemplating removing myself from social groups where the women like to bitch about “their crazy mother-in-law/mom” when they are dealing with a more everyday-garden-variety of “crazy.” (You know, like feeding the baby ice cream instead of spinach or letting them have too much screen time on a weekend visit. To try and play nice and fake empathy for these relational challenges makes me stare hard at the ground to avoid eye contact so I won’t say something biting and sarcastic.) When my four-year-old asked me why we didn’t go see grandma and grandpa on a recent trip to my hometown, I felt like my heart would stop beating. Mercifully, she was distracted by a purple car before I had to come up with an answer, and I let the moment pass. Estrangement stress bubbles up in my parenting. I’m a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful daughters. They are 2 and 4 and every bit of the boundary-pushing, sassy-talking, patience-trying, energy-sapping, amazing little humans you would expect them to be. And lately, I feel like I have nothing to give them. That I’m short-tempered and empty and stuck in my own muck before they even wake up in the morning. I can’t put my finger on exactly how estrangement with my own parents (and how the dysfunctional relationship necessitating that estrangement) is wreaking havoc in my own parenting, but I know it is. Clearly I need more therapy. Even though I know I must do what I did, I feel something that tastes like guilt when I think about the fact that I’m taking away their chance to be grandparents to my girls, a role I know they both treasure. I rarely cry anymore about all of this. There’s just not many tears left.

Here’s what I also know about estrangement. My real and solid ground: I’m stronger than I thought. I haven’t given up hope. They could get the help they need to get in order to lead fuller and happier and healthier lives, and I would be the first one there cheering them on. God has not forgotten me. I have a solid rock of a husband, beautiful daughters, incredible in-laws, supportive extended family, and even a local surrogate mama who babysits my girls while I go to the dentist and takes them to the swimming pool and to eat chicken nuggets and on neighborhood adventures to take pictures of interesting things that catch their eyes. I feel a deep relief to have finally drawn the boundary line with firmness and conviction and confidence, and it’s OK that my hands are shaking and my eyes are watering and my heart feels like it is shattering into a million sorrowful pieces. That doesn’t make it a wrong decision. It’s going to get better, even if it never changes. I will always love them, and I will always pray for them to hit their rock bottom so that they can crawl out of the pit. But even if nothing changes in my relationship with them, I will find my footing in this new world of estrangement. I will have fewer nightmares. I will be more emotionally present with my children. I will have a table-full of love at my daughters’ birthday parties. Estrangement is making me tougher, but it’s also making me more tender. I will always hold them with gentleness in my heart, even if I can’t hold them close.

Growing up with an insane alcoholic father, an enmeshed and codependent mother, and all the trauma, abuse, and sorrow that mix created is part of my story, just like making the gut-wrenching decision to shut the door on a relationship with them is part of my story, too. But it isn’t writing the ending. I don’t know what that ending is right now, but it’s going to be something better. Something better. That is what I hold onto. This is my truth, both ancient and fresh like the stars that stretch in mind-numbing clarity across this West Texas sky.

Source Link: What I want you to know about being estranged from my parents

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

That’s what SHE said: Between Two Ferns with HRC, what is really happening in Charlotte,the xenophobia behind destructive global politics, replacing detention with meditation, the case for getting rid of middle schools, children’s books featuring kids of color, feeling the Bern for HRC and more…


A pastor writes about what is really happening in Charlotte and has been for some time…“As a pastor and as an organizer, I do not condone violence. I suspect that much of it has been instigated by provocateurs with their own agenda. But to condemn the uprising in Charlotte would be to condemn a man for thrashing when someone is trying to drown him…The riots in Charlotte are the predictable response of human beings who are drowning in systemic injustice. We must all pray that no one else gets hurt. But we must understand why this is happening.”


A history lesson in global politics fueled by xenophobia and a dominant group feeling threatened their dominance is coming to an end…“Far-right party platforms differ from country to country, including on major social issues like feminism and economic issues like the size of the welfare state. The one issue every single one agrees on is hostility to immigration, particularly when the immigrants are nonwhite and Muslim. “What unites the radical right is their focus on immigration,” Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, a professor at the University of Bergen in Norway who studies the far right, told me in a recent interview. The widespread popular unease about those migrants is a key source of their appeal.”



In short, the women who had to penetrate the tight knit boys club of the Obama administration did so by banding together and using a strategy of “amplification” where they supported and repeated aloud each other’s ideas in staff meetings so credit was applied to its rightful owner and their voices began to take on a magnitude and power of their own…“Female staffers adopted a meeting strategy they called “amplification”: When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.”


Sound words but will they have the impact needed? …“This is not the time for a protest vote, in terms of a presidential campaign,” Sanders said. “I ran as a third-party candidate. I’m the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I know more about third-party politics than anyone else in the Congress, okay? And if people want to run as third-party candidates, God bless them! Run for Congress. Run for governor. Run for state legislature. When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be.”

The case for getting rid of middle schools…“Middle schoolers report higher rates of bullying and fights than students in any other grade span, and their academic performance also tends to dip. But things could be a little better — if we just got rid of middle schools, according to a big new study.”


Mindfulness will save the world…“Mindful meditation has been around in some form or another for thousands of years. Recently, though, science has started looking at its effects on our minds and bodies, and it’s finding some interesting effects. One study, for example, suggested that mindful meditation could give practicing soldiers a kind of mental armor against disruptive emotions, and it can improve memory too. Another suggested mindful meditation could improve a person’s attention span and focus. Individual studies should be taken with a grain of salt (results don’t always carry in every single situation), but overall, science is starting to build up a really interesting picture of how awesome meditation can be. Mindfulness in particular has even become part of certain fairly successful psychotherapies.”


LA families looking for some fun exhibits and shows around town should look no further than the Natural History Museum who will be unveiling their new Butterfly Pavilion starting this weekend through October 16 and will be hosting their first annual Dino Fest next weekend, September 24 -25. If you want to get into the Halloween Spirit check out Guillermo del Toro’s surreal exhibit at LACMA. There are also some fantastic art exhibitions around town including Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life at The Broad and James Turrell’s Light Reignfall at the LACMA.   Some great youth theatre is coming up this fall with Theatre for Young Audiences at South Coast Rep. Also, Snowhite at the Santa Monica Playhouse has been extended through September 25. 

NYC families be sure to catch the last weekend for Bent, Cast, Forged The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia exhibit at Museum of Art & Design. Also, check out Edgar Degas’s lesser known printmaking career at the MoMA or MADreads at the Museum of Art & Design. Also, for children’s theatre, the New Vic Theater has some incredible shows coming this fall, starting with a fresh production of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

Source Link: That’s what SHE said: Between Two Ferns with HRC, what is really happening in Charlotte,the xenophobia behind destructive global politics, replacing detention with meditation, the case for getting rid of middle schools, children’s books featuring kids of color, feeling the Bern for HRC and more…

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,