Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Dear Hearts,

I shall not mention my father-in-law's name here because I do not want to invade his family's privacy.

When I was told on Saturday that he had a heart attack and was in intensive care, I pictured him there, weak but smiling at kind nurses and family members come long distances to see for themselves he was still alive.

But my picture was all wrong. I learned today that when his heart stopped, although a nurse who lived in the neighborhood got it started again, ticking like an old clock, he suffered brain damage. In his hospital bed, he slept the sleep of the dead and never opened his eyes. A coma had captured him. It would not let him loose.

So, today, someone unplugged the ventilator that forced breath in and out, in and out of his lungs. He gasped his last breath and lay still. I know no details of his death or his funeral. Though I feel great love for him, I am not part of his family anymore --- except in my heart, beating on uninterrupted while the tears weep from my eyes.

My father-in-law had a hereditary heart disease. It also killed his father. But in spite of the disease, Grandpa lived to be a little old man who came off the golf course after playing 18 holes and dropped dead from a heart attack.

My father-in-law was told many years ago that he was down to a few months to live, to prepare for death because heart disease was about to lay icy fingers around his throat and squeeze till all life was gone. But he was blessed with a life-saving surgery in another state, and firmly believed that the many prayers said for him saved his life.

Following his surgery, he did not return to his job as a city engineer. He retired and gladly took his pension and played golf every day that the weather was nice. I think he enjoyed those bonus years of living.

I do not know what he was doing before his heart attacked him on Saturday. I hope he was playing golf or enjoying a game of cards with my mother-in-law, whose own heart must ache with a pain beyond comprehension.

The last time I saw him was at The Hurricane's college graduation. I could see that old age had mellowed him. He seemed much more relaxed and happy than when he was younger. He was delighted to see my children. He relished my son's resemblance to my father and said, You look just like your Grandpa Goltz.

I don't think it ever occurred to him to say that this grandson also resembled him.

And, of course, he reveled in the success of The Hurricane. He smiled and chuckled at my cheering when she received her diploma.

Then in August, 2011, he celebrated his 80th birthday. Both my children were there to enjoy the occasion, and enjoy it they did. The Hurricane had spent part of her summer on genealogical research. My father-in-law was delighted to learn some of his family's history from her. He knew very little because two generations of his maternal grandparents' family died young and thus, did not have time to sit at the fireplace and impart the story of their family to younger members.

So, my father-in-law did not know that his great-great grandfather was a Union soldier who is buried in Arlington Cemetery. He did not know he was distantly related to President Franklin Roosevelt and the Spencer family, making Princes William and Harry distant cousins to my children.

Reportedly, he was thrilled with what he learned and enjoyed every minute of his birthday celebration.

I know this only from the reports I received from my children. I was not there. He may have treated me as a daughter, but I was no longer a member of their family. I have written before that divorce destroys families. Sadly, this destruction is true for more than the immediate family of the divorced.

My father-in-law had a rather strange and difficult childhood. His parents divorced when he was very young, uncommon for that time period. His mother left him with her parents. When she came to retrieve him at some point -- I don't know how old he was -- he didn't want to go. His grandfather said he could do as he wished, stay or go. He was welcome where he was.

He stayed, and many years later when his grandfather was alone on this, our planet Earth, he found a home with my father- and mother-in-law.

My father-in-law had a master's degree in civil engineering and was the father of four.

Every time I spoke to him following the divorce, he was extremely kind to me. My ex-husband once accused me of taking money from his parents that was intended for our son and using it for my own enjoyment. I called my in-laws in tears. My father-in-law answered.

He said, Janie, when we give money we don't look back. It's a gift and it never occurred to us that you did anything you shouldn't have.

I don't know how I could have been more grateful for these words.

And so now, he is gone, yet he is not. He lives eternally with our savior, Jesus the Christ, in His heavenly home. He is mourned by his beloved wife of more than 50 years, his children, grandchildren, many friends, and one former daughter-in-law.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Happy Tuesday, Friends!

Recently, Cinderita (the hugger) tagged me (who wants a hug) with another tell the world random stuff about me thingy.

I am running out of random information about me. But how can I turn down my girl Cinderita? She's trying to set out on a hugging journey so I want to be sure to suck up and kiss ass big time cooperate because I want Rita to visit Jacksonville to hug me.

So here we go:

The Rules:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in the post you were tagged in
4. Create 11 new questions for your tagees to answer.
I accidentally cut off #5, which is piss off other people by tagging them.

Eleven random things about me, eleven random things, about me, about me, about me. Who is me? We're gettin' down to the nitty gritty dirt band.

1. If I don't take a shower every day, I don't like the way I smell.
2. Because I have such bodacious ta-tas, it gets kinda sweaty underneath them.
3. I combat the sweat under the boobies with talcum powder, and during August (the worst month), strips of gauze stuffed under the underwire of my bra to soak up the sweat.
4. During my brief, ill-fated teaching stint, two girls said they weren't going to learn anything from me cuz I'm a "Yankee woman." Guess what? I don't think those girls ever learn anything from anyone.
5. I'm longing to get laid by someone I at least think I love.
6. I'm a firm believer in prayer.
7. I've never seen pornography, but I won't put you down if you have. I find the concept degrading to women.
8. Sometimes I miss Lola. She's kinda slutty, but she's fun. I hope she doesn't qualify as pornography because that means I've seen porn because I've created it.
9. I'm kinda slutty but not as much fun as Lola.
10. I wanna get laid.
11. Did I mention I'm not getting enough?

Now I must answer Rita's 11 questions.

1. If you were stuck on a deserted island, who would you want to be stuck with? In addition to Johnny Depp, some of the bloggers I've never met. I hesitate to name names because I'm afraid I'll forget someone but let's give it a try: dirtycowgirl, Melynda, Elisa,, Stephanie, Julianna, Maggie, fishducky, Inger, Dee, Coffey, Maxwell, Cinderita, Jesse, Joshua, My 2 Pesos, Interwebs Fails, Tony van Helsing, Rory Aronsky . . . If I forgot you, then please forgive me, but can't you imagine us having some fun together? We could shoot the shite 24/7. IF we ever got bored, Coffey and I could have a big fight about politics followed by make-up sex. I don't know whom I'd have the make-up sex with, but I'd figure it out.
2. What is your favorite foreign film? (it has to have subtitles to qualify)  I have a thing for French movies. The obvious choice is Amelie, so I'm going with A Very Long Engagement. Also love Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (but it's definitely not French). dirtycowgirl, please forgive me for liking French movies.
3. When you hear the word "intimacy" what does it mean to you? Rita, Rita, Rita, this is part of the question for my guest post Thursdays. I've already said I don't know what it is. That's why I keep asking other people to explain it to me. I guess the only answer I have is what I experience when my daughter and I think and do and say the same thing at the same time.
4. Have you ever met someone randomly and ended up spending a super fun day with them? When? (If you feel like sharing, please do) Is that a pickle in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
5. If you were to have an erotic dream about someone, celebrity, real person or whatever, who/what would it be? I can't say who, but it would involve mouths and other body parts, it would be lovely, and involve lots of moaning on my part.
6. Where's the furthest you've traveled? What's your favorite destination of the ones you've been to? Why?  I don't know how far I've traveled. All the moving about seems never ending. My favorite destination is San Francisco because I get off the plane and get on the BART with my darling daughter.  
7. What's your favorite moment of 2012 so far? Gosh, I'm sorry, but I can't choose one. Every time I see LL and RL with AR and NL, I'm happy. Every time Franklin kisses me, it's my favorite kiss. Every time Harper gets in bed and presses his back against mine, I'm in Heaven. Every time Scout slobbers on me, yeah, well, I don't like it that much but I love Scout so it makes me happy. 
8. Your favorite tv show? Masterpiece Theatre (just finished Season Two of Downton Abby and it was delicious).
9. What's the last book you read? I think it's Destiny of the Republic by Candance Millard, but I'm not positive because I tend to read multiple books at the same time.
10. What is the first thing you think of when someone asks you "what are you grateful for?"? My children.
11. Have you ever been to San Francisco? If so, what's the most favorite thing you'd want someone to do if they went for the first time? Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Go to City Lights Bookstore. If you don't fall in love with it, then I'm sorry, but you are without hope. And after you go there, take my daughter shopping at the Macy's in Union Square and buy her a few things. We'll appreciate it very much. 

Now I'm supposed to come up with 11 questions for my tag-ees. Some of these might sound familiar because I have a one-track mind am curious about certain facets of the personality.

1. Does he love me? I wanna know. How can I tell if he loves me so?
2. When was the last time you got laid?
3. When would you like to get laid again?
4. Toto, do you have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore?
5. What's the difference between it's and its? You're and your? Loose and lose? Now don't ever fuck those up again.
6. Do you complete me?
7. Can you handle the answers?
8. If you wanna know if he loves you so, is it in his kiss?
9. Who is the peas to your carrots?
10. Did Roy Orbison write Pretty Woman about me or you, bitch?
11. What's your name? Who's your daddy? Is he rich like me?
AND I simply must add one more:
12. Will you hire me?

Now, who to tag? Who to tag? Who to bug? Who to bother?

I'm making a random list now:

AND, everyone's favorite hybrid woman, fishducky!

I do believe I've pissed off enough people now. Hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Maxwell on Thursday! Whoo-hoo!

Infinities of love,

Janie (shoop shoop) Junebug

Monday, February 27, 2012



Since the Academy Awards were presented last night, I think it's appropriate to ask a question about movies.

So, this week's What? Monday question is

What movies make you cry?

Two come to my mind immediately. First, Terms of Endearment. I don't even have to see the entire movie. If I happen to turn on the TV and this movie is on and Debra Winger's character opens her eyes for a moment, gives her mom a little smile, and dies,


Gets me every time.

Second, Forrest Gump. Jennnnnaaaaaay!

Forrest Gump: You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground. Momma always said dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't. Little Forrest, he's doing just fine. About to start school again soon. I make his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teaching him how to play ping-pong. He's really good. We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He's so smart, Jenny. You'd be so proud of him. I am. He, uh, wrote a letter, and he says I can't read it. I'm not supposed to, so I'll just leave it here for you. Jenny, I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away. 

These two movies get me every single time.

Now how about you?

What movies make you cry?

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Please be sure to join us on Thursday for the latest entry 

in the What is love? What is intimacy? guest post series.

Maxwell of Misanthropy Chronicles will be here to answer 

my questions. I think you'll be surprised at what our

favorite misanthrope has to say. 

Also, today is the last day to vote in my poll, located to the 

right of this post. You have three choices. I want to know 

what you think I should write next, in addition to my blog. 

So far, your apathy concerns me. It's easy to vote right 

here on my blog. What are you going to do when the next

presidential election comes along and you have to wait in 

line to vote?

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Please pray, or if you don't pray, then please send out positive thoughts to the universe for my father-in-law. He had a heart attack today. His heart stopped while they were waiting for the paramedics. A nurse who lives in the area got his heart started again, so he's in intensive care.

He's 80 years old.

It's very strange to have been related to these people by marriage for so many years, and now we're not related anymore. My father and mother-in-law have been so kind to me these past few years. I don't want my mother-in-law to be without her husband. She'd be heartbroken.


Friday, February 24, 2012


Just a quick post today. Please remember to vote in my poll that's to the right of this post. I value your opinions.

I saw a movie I absolutely loved: Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen.

Owen Wilson plays a screenwriter who is working on a novel. He's visiting Paris with his fiancee. He discovers that each night at midnight, a car will come around to pick him up and he'll be in the world of the expats of the 1920s.

He drinks with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and visits Gertrude Stein's apartment while she's having an argument with Picasso about a painting. The guy who plays Hemingway is hilarious, talking the same way he wrote and shouting out requests to fight someone when he isn't going on and on about war and bravery.

If you aren't aware of that literary world of the 20s, this might not be the movie for you. But if you are interested in any of the expats or open to learning about them, I think you'll enjoy this movie. Owen Wilson is so good and the awkwardness of dealing with the fiancee's family, who don't appreciate Paris, is quite amusing.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thank you again to Maggie for being yesterday's guest postess. Maggie, we hope you recover quickly. As I already mentioned, please vote in my poll that's to the right of this post. I want to know what you think I should write next. I provide three possibilities.

Maxwell from Misanthropy Chronicles will be our guest next Thursday. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Joining us today is Maggie from Padded Cell Confessions. She also has a new blog you can check out: With a Meek Heart. To know Maggie is to love her, so please take advantage of this opportunity to meet her. 

This isn’t something I would typically write about because I realize that my view is not a typical one that the world holds and even just sharing my view could be judged as ‘preaching’ (and am not a fan of that word). I’m not trying to preach or push my views but you asked for my thoughts so I have to give you an honest answer.

I don’t like the term ‘religious’ and don’t consider myself to be ‘religious’. I am not affiliated with a specific Christian denomination but I love Jesus and am married to a Biblical Scholar. Having said that, I can’t give an answer about my thoughts on love and intimacy without talking about Jesus. This is because I think that pure love and intimacy is not possible between two people. We can come as close as we humanly can to it but it will never be pure or perfect. That is because none of us are pure or perfect. 

I learned from an early age that everyone would somehow let me down at some point in my life. It’s not always that they intentionally do so or even want to but they are human and humans aren’t perfect. This did make love a bit more scary because it meant that my future spouse would eventually let me down and hurt me too so I had to look into how to handle it. This is where I have to look to Jesus. He is love and is the only one I can have pure love and intimacy with. He is perfect so I don’t have to fear him letting me down but it’s also deeper than that. His love is unconditional and that means that there is nothing I can do to make him stop loving me or love me less. This is a major difference in us humans as we all have a limit. There is usually only so much we can take before we throw in the towel. 

Unconditional love also means forgiving...always. How can Jesus love me even if for example, I go out and slaughter tons of people? Well, he already forgave me for all of the things I have done wrong and will do wrong. My forgiveness is not conditional and it’s not earned. It’s freely given because of unconditional love. This is another difference in us humans. Forgiveness has become something that is earned. My mom taught me something important when I was younger. Just because you forgive someone, doesn’t mean you have to trust them. Trust is something that is earned but forgiveness isn’t. Forgiveness frees you from holding onto bitterness and anger which isn’t healthy and doesn’t hurt the other party at all. You just hurt yourself.

When I knew that I was going to marry Branden, I told him, “I am forgiving you now for anything you might do to me in the future”, and I meant it. This has been a wonderful thing in our marriage because it means I don’t hold onto petty little frustrations and I free myself from any bitterness that could build up. If for some reason, he does something like have an affair, I will forgive him but I don’t have to trust him again. Jesus knows we are imperfect humans and that’s why there are allowances for divorce, so we don't get abused or taken advantage of. 

Trust and intimacy go hand and hand. They are both earned and built up over time. Because my husband isn’t perfect, I can have reservations in going to him with certain things because I fear how he will react. I don’t have this fear with Jesus because that goes back to knowing that I’m already forgiven and unconditionally loved. I still think it’s very important to be open with my husband though because it develops an important bond that we don’t have with just anyone. One good thing about moving 4500 miles away from our friends and family just 2 months after getting married, was that we really had to work things out together. If we had a fight, we couldn’t just call our friends or family members for advice...or for ‘ammo’. Healthy intimacy is between two people and only those two people. It isn’t shared with your mom or your best friend. If there is an issue that the two of you can’t resolve, then take it to a professional that’s an uninvolved 3rd party. I don’t think it’s healthy to take your issues to other people who know you because it ends up in side taking and a sense of entitlement to your opinion. Intimacy can’t be built upon selfish needs or the desire to always be right.

This leads me to the most important thing about love: that it is self sacrificing. It is why forgiveness is possible. Jesus died so that I could be forgiven. He sacrificed himself so that I could understand pure unconditional love. Sure I believe that he could have just blown the world to bits and started again but it wasn’t about what he could do, it was about how much he loved us and wanted us to live and know that he loved us. This is something that is very foreign to the human mindset. Every day my husband and I try to live our lives for the other person. It’s not about what we get out of the marriage but about what we can give in the marriage. Love has to be unselfish to be pure. 

So because of our imperfections, we can’t ever experience true love and intimacy with another human. Our flaws will find a way to get in the way but if we hold to the image of what perfect love is and try and put it into practice, we can come as close as humanly possible.

Thanks for asking me this question Janie. It really had me digging deep!


Applause for Maggie! Please leave some great comments so she'll know how much we appreciate her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Dear Hearts,

Do you ever look back at your childhood, or even young adulthood, and realize that something you believed was a fact was, maybe, perhaps not true? And I'm not talking Santa and the tooth fairy here.

These epiphanies happen to me occasionally.

A funny one I've told you about before is when I watched the musical Gypsy on TV and my dad said he had seen Gypsy Rose Lee perform. I asked him what it was like and he said quite gruffly, I don't remember.

Well, of course he wasn't going to tell his 12-year-old daughter the details of seeing a famous stripper. But I didn't understand that until I was a young adult.

I've come to realize that some stories about friends from the past may have had other explanations than we thought when we were in high school.

I had a good friend who was the middle brother of three. His older brother had died. Another friend of mine told me the police had ruled it an accidental death but that everybody knew this young man committed suicide because of the way his father badgered the boys.

The older brother had died in bed. Hanged by the belt on his bathrobe.


Even when I was in high school, I didn't know how someone could hang himself in bed with a belt. I look back on it now, and I think a more likely explanation is erotic asphyxiation. We'd never heard that term in the Dark Ages, but we certainly hear it now, with some celebrities such as Michael Hutchence of INXS dying from it.

I also had a friend who was extremely thin. She told me it was because she drank bleach when she was a baby. The bleach had damaged her stomach so she could never eat more than a little bit at one time. No big Thanksgiving dinners for her. She also had some scars around her mouth.

I never questioned her about how old she was when this bleach drinking occurred, but I've often wondered over the years if her mother forced the bleach on her. Think about the way bleach smells; bleach isn't perfumed so it smells like fruit. And think of how bleach stings when it touches your skin.

She would have needed to be mobile enough to crawl to where the bleach was and pick up the bottle or her mom's cleaning concoction and raise it to her mouth to drink it. She would have felt the pain the second it hit her lips.

She told me she was at home with her mom when it happened. Even when we were in high school, this girl's mom seemed pretty abusive to me.

And so I've often wondered what really happened. Maybe her mom didn't do anything wrong. Maybe it was some kind of accident. Maybe the belt on the bathrobe was an accident.

But I don't know.

Have any of you had similar experiences? Believing something to be true and then growing older and maybe wiser and realizing something different might have happened?

A point to ponder.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Please remember to join us tomorrow for Princess Maggie's take on love and intimacy. It's very well written and insightful.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Padded Cell Princess Maggie at Padded Cell Confessions has graciously presented an award to this humble commoner. I have received this award before, and I've been turning away award presenters (I'm waiting for my Academy Award or some sort of award for grammar); but I decided to accept this award because it's about sweetness. I need virtual sugar in my life. It's also a relatively simple award. I only have to think of three random things to tell you about myself.

At this point, I don't think there's much about me you don't already know.

Oh. Wait a minute. I reread Maggie's post. I have to tell you seven random things about myself. This may require creativity. Which of these seven do you think I've invented? If any.

1. My favorite play by Shakespeare: King Lear

As an early spring approaches
the air surrounds us with the pink of apple blossoms
and a sky so blue it could split the air in two
yet I stop to wonder why you are not as devoted to me
as Cordelia is to you

2. My favorite quotation from Shakespeare (from The Scottish Play):

Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.

3. I don't do craftsy, girl stuff, but I love to bake and dress up and wear pretty jewelry.

4. I wanna be an Aronsky; that is, I want to join Rory's family and intend to do so as soon as it is convenient, which means never. Is never good for you and your family, Rory?

5. My mom made a stuffed Winnie the Pooh for me when I was about six. I slept with him and cuddled him until I wore him out at age 19. Then she made me another.

6. The best essay I wrote in college was for my Greek Mythology class. I wrote about the use of mythology in A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce.  

7. When I was growing up, my favorite TV show was The Waltons.

Now what? 

I'm supposed to present this award to three people. Bloggers rarely accept the awards I give them. They just pretend it's not there. What to do? What to do?

I'll give it to The Frisky Virgin for being so very frisky; The Writer Currently Known as Rory at Scraps of Literacy because he needs to accept awards graciously (don't make me call Mom, Dad, and Meridith); and Maxwell at Misanthropy Chronicles because it will probably piss him off and he enjoys being pissed off.

Have I fulfilled my award-winner obligation?

I do believe I have.

Thank you very much, Maggie, and if you are a blogger whose award I've turned down, I'm very sorry. I'm not as gracious and thankful as I should be. It's because I'm sad and some people don't like me, and I'll never again write an essay as good as the one on portrait of the artist and I'll never write a poem as good as Sylvia Plath's worst poem, and I have dozens of excuses, but I'm tired so I think I'll try to sleep for a bit.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, February 16, 2012


This week we are honored to have Bouncin' Barb from This & That (As I Bounce Through Life) as our guest postess. This is the third post in a weekly series on love and intimacy. I love it that so many of you are sharing your ideas and feelings, and everyone is different. And now, here's Barb:

Before I begin writing this guest post, I want to thank Janie at Janie Junebug's Journal for inviting me to share my personal story here.  It's been a long time since I was a guest at someone else's house so I want to make sure I mind my manners and wipe my shoes when I come in.  I'm bringing a bottle of wine for the hostess with the mostest and I certainly hope I don't disappoint her followers.  Thank you so much Janie!

Some of you may be familiar with my blog already.  For those that aren't I will give you a quick idea about my life.  I am a widow.  I was married to thee most awesome man on the planet for 23 wonderful years.  We were true "soulmates" if ever there were.  He passed away 6 years ago from liver cancer derived from Hepatitis C.  Rich was 21 years older than me.   I was a single mom of a 6 month old baby when we met.

Janie asked me to write about what love and intimacy felt like to me during my marriage.  First I want to state that I married Rich just six (6) weeks after our first date. Crazy huh?  We were co-workers for 5 months at that point and became really good friends at work.  During those 6 weeks, it was a whirlwind.  We were together at work, and then couldn't wait to be together on our off time.  We couldn't stand to be apart and when we were, we were on the phone.  I was a very mature 22 year old and loved Rich's maturity.  He was divorced 10 years and had 2 children.

One day Rich mentioned that he thought we should get married.  I choked. I called him an asshole and stormed out the door.  My view of marriage was only what I was exposed to through my parents' marriage.  And that was a disaster!  Marriage to me meant screaming, yelling, name calling and unhappiness.  Why would I want to do that to myself and Rich by getting married?  So after calming down a day or so, we sat down to talk seriously about this.  I couldn't envision my life without this man somehow.  He was so awesome with my son and loved the thought of having another child to raise.  Rich assured me that he would never hurt me intentionally.  He would never raise a hand to me.  He would always be good to me and he would love me with all he was.  I told him I wanted that but I was scared that I would fail at giving him the same thing.  I remember he poked a finger in my chest and said "you are so full of love and there's a whole lot more in there that has to be let out".  I told him I'd think about it.  I never looked back.  We were married shortly after that. 

Throughout the years, the feeling of always wanting to be together never left.  We took time off from each other to rejuvenate once in awhile.  And we couldn't wait to get home to each other.  We called each other every day at work to check in.  We were honest with each other and we did not hide our feelings.  If things bothered us, we said something and then worked on it.  We compromised in everything we did.   We were open and honest in the bedroom as well.  We were so proud to say that we never, ever stepped outside of the marriage because we were happy and content.  Not many people can say they were faithful for 23 years.

Rich and I respected each other and didn't judge each other.  He was far from perfect and so was I.  But we  just blended so well.  He taught me so much about how to love and not be afraid to let those innermost feelings out.  I was so guarded because I'd been burned by my son's birth father.  I kept thinking the other shoe was going to drop.  Finally, I got the message that this was true love and I could let it all hang out.  I taught him what it felt like to be loved.  He was orphaned at 2 years old.  He never had true love.  Even in his first marriage.  I gave him a confidence that he was worthy to receive love.  That he was truly the greatest guy in the world for me.  I encouraged him in everything he did.  I wanted him to be happy inside.  I think I succeeded.

For 15 years, Rich had a barrage of health issues.  I stuck by his side each and every emergency room visit, hospital stay, doctors visits, medicines, needles, you name it.  He kept telling me that he understood if I wanted out.  I would tell him to "shut up" and then laugh.  There was no way I could live without him.  I loved him with all of my being.  It was part of the deal.

When he was given a terminal diagnosis and told he had 2-3 years left, we became even closer than ever before.  We talked openly about death and dying. He cried when he got scared and I comforted him.  I cried thinking about life without him and he would comfort me and hold me.  He assured me that I was a strong woman and that he was so proud of me and that he knew I would be OK.  I promised to carry out his last wishes and did just that.  He made me promise that I would go on with my life because I was still so young (45 at the time).  I didn't want to even think about that but I realized that he needed to hear that from me.  It would make it easier for him to deal with his death if he knew he didn't have to worry about me.  So I promised and I'm so glad I did.  Rich said to me, "Make sure you find a man who treats you well but just remember that no one will ever love you like I do." And I have never doubted that for a second then or now.  No one will ever love me that way and I will never love anyone that way again either and it's OK.  I feel Rich's love with me every day of my life.

A year and a half after his passing I met Bruce.  I actually surprised myself by allowing myself to have feelings for another man.  I knew that he wasn't Rich and I didn't try to fill Rich's shoes. Bruce and I got along fabulously.  A year later we moved from Connecticut to South Carolina to start a new life. We've been down here for 4 years now. It's been a rocky road and we may not last much longer and that's OK.  I feel Rich's love and I know I am capable of surviving on my own.  He's with me every single day and he's my strength.

I am so very blessed to have had the love and intimacy of this wonderful human being for 23 years.  It is my wish that everyone get to experience this once in their lifetime.

Barb, You are definitely full of love. All your readers know it. Barb said she's going to run this post today at her blog since my blog is private and not everyone can see it. She's telling her readers that if they want an invitation to my blog, to please email me. 

Applause, applause, applause, Barb; but, uh, just one thing. Where's that bottle of wine?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My post today is a newspaper column that I wrote in Maryland during February, 2000. You'll notice that my life has changed quite a bit since then.

Valentine's Day will be here soon and the sight of all those heart-shaped boxes of candy in the stores makes me want to open my mouth.

While it's open so I can pop in a little chocolate, ever-so-delicately of course, I think I'll share a secret with you, my closest friends. I know you're my closest friends because, as far as I can tell, you're the only ones who read my writing.

OK, so I have one friend who says she watches for my byline in the paper.

Anyway, the first part of my secret is that I'm in love.

Now let's enjoy a little more chocolate, perhaps something mint-flavored, and I'll tell you the second part. My new love is not my husband.

(***Note: It's not that I don't love my husband, David. I might as well. I have to keep him. Early in our marriage, David and I came up with three reasons we could never get divorced. They must have worked because we're still together after more than 20 years. I quite often share these reasons, as follows, with newlyweds, and I encourage them to come up with their own three reasons:
1) We don't have time to get divorced.
2) Nobody else would have either one of us, and we know it.
3) David's mother -- now think of the shrillest, most grating voice you've heard and magnify it a million times to imagine my mother -in-law -- would say, "I knew it would never last. I just knew it." The fear of that voice keeps us together more than anything else ever could. But back to my new love.)

My darling has a fuzzier face than my husband's. His beard drips every time he drinks water. His breath is pretty bad. He nips me sometimes when we're kissing. He drools. His gas makes my eyes water. He's even left a few puddles around the house of what my daughter calls "liquid sunshine."

Yet I pronounce myself totally and utterly besotted. Cupid has zonked me with his arrow. I adore this dog of a fellow, adopted from the Washington County Humane Society.

Kesey (pronounced Kee-zee, with two long e sounds) is a bearded collie, about five-years-old. I named him for Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. With his gray and white coat, he bears a marked resemblance to the aging author.

I had to give Kesey a new name because I wouldn't use his name from his old life for my worst enemy. Suffice it to say, he wasn't well treated.

In spite of his past, he's sweet and loving. When I arrive home after slaving over a hot newsroom computer, Kesey erupts into a full-body wag.

He has thrown all 40-pounds of himself into his new life with us. Kesey is no mere dog: He is a life-force. He flies through the snow, urging our dignified smooth collie, Faulkner, to romp with him until Faulkner is so exhausted that he has to settle down for a nap, while Kesey continues to play.

He can't remove one toy from the doggie toy basket; He has to tip over the entire basket and dump out all the toys before he selects one.

He runs through the house, using his sense of smell to search for our three cats. They don't have too much trouble staying out of his way. He can't see them very well, for this fearless, playful, loving guy is going blind.

I knew he should be part of our family as soon as I learned he was losing his sight. Some friends have told me how nice I am to adopt this poor little dog. People can go right ahead and have nice thoughts about me, but the truth is that we need Kesey more than he needs us.

Faulkner, whose herding instincts surface quite easily, has become Kesey's guide dog, providing Faulkner with a job. My husband needed Kesey because he didn't have a leash to hold when he accompanied me on walks with Faulkner.

And I needed Kesey because I need to love, more and more all the time. My love for Kesey doesn't mean I have less love to give. The more I love others --- animals, people, and sometimes the two are combined in one form -- the more I'm able to love.

Love: I recommend it highly -- along with chocolate consumption. Both feel awfully good.

Share the secret and have a happy Valentine's Day.

How strange it is to look back at my life in 2000. I had no idea I would be divorced and alone in 2012 and my "husband" would be married to someone else. And look at what I wrote about my mother-in-law, who has been so generous and sympathetic since I told her her son had left me. She was disappointed in him and offered me financial assistance immediately. Sadly, I don't have a photo of Kesey to share with you because I left most of the heavy photo albums in Illinois. I had no idea my ex-husband would deny me access to them in the future. 

Kesey lived with us for about five years. His health was never the best because he had been abused and neglected before we adopted him. He didn't completely recover from that phase in his life, but he was a very happy dog. Then one Saturday, he couldn't walk properly. I think he had a stroke. We took him to an emergency vet clinic, but they couldn't save his life. My ex-husband buried him in our backyard garden in Illinois.

After he died, we took him out to our car and I cried so hard I could barely stand up. He was still warm, and I stroked his fur until we arrived at our home and he went to his grave. But I knew he was in Heaven and no longer blind.

I look forward to seeing Kesey, Faulkner, and our hound, Thoreau, in the future.


Monday, February 13, 2012


Dear Hearts and Gentle People,

I loved your comments on Friday. I think it's safe to say you disliked the stress and illness chart, which I'll post again right here and now. From Wikipedia:


In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. Patients were asked to tally a list of 43 life events based on a relative score. A positive correlation of 0.118 was found between their life events and their illnesses.
Their results were published as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS),[1] known more commonly as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Subsequent validation has supported the links between stress and illness.[2]



To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of "Life Change Units" that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.
Life eventLife change units
Death of a spouse100
Marital separation65
Death of a close family member63
Personal injury or illness53
Dismissal from work47
Marital reconciliation45
Change in health of family member44
Sexual difficulties39
Gain a new family member39
Business readjustment39
Change in financial state38
Death of a close friend37
Change to different line of work36
Change in frequency of arguments35
Major mortgage32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan30
Change in responsibilities at work29
Child leaving home29
Trouble with in-laws29
Outstanding personal achievement28
Spouse starts or stops work26
Begin or end school26
Change in living conditions25
Revision of personal habits24
Trouble with boss23
Change in working hours or conditions20
Change in residence20
Change in schools20
Change in recreation19
Change in church activities19
Change in social activities18
Minor mortgage or loan17
Change in sleeping habits16
Change in number of family reunions15
Change in eating habits15
Minor violation of law11
Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299+: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score 150-: Only have a slight risk of illness.
If I obey the rules for this piece of crap interesting analysis and count points for what happened to me in the past year, then I have, I think, 319 points. I added them up a minute ago and while I wrote the beginning of the sentence, I forgot the number of points. I just remember it was a bit more than 300.
Now I'm going to cheat and count my points for the last three years.


Oh, boy. Thanks a lot, Holmes and Rahe. I wasn't sure just how miserable I was until you told me. 
Way to go, trying to make me feel worse. Whether I count points for one year or three years, I'm up shit crick without a paddle at risk of illness. So, boys, what is my illness and what should I do about it?

Huh? Huh?
I'm waiting for an answer.

I guess Holmes and Rahe aren't going to tell me anything. It's probably top secret.
See why I hate graphs and scales and tests that determine what type of personality we supposedly have and what our illnesses are? I have news for you: I am a person, not a number. 
So, Holmes and Rahe, I'm thwoing you in the twash with the boo jacket. Yes, fellas, you have cockwoach cwap on you.
I've decided to make up my own scale, and it will lead to our What? Monday question. 
It's The Janie Junebug Joy Scale and it counteracts the misery assessment. The highest score I can get on my scale for any individual life event is 1,000.
Gaining a new family member is worth 39 points on the agony assessment. Well, to me, gaining a new family member most likely means having a baby, adopting a child, or experiencing the joy of seeing my children fall in love and get married. On my Joy Scale, a new family member is worth the maximum 1,000 points. 
Since Favorite Young Man and Little Chick moved in together a few months ago, I count that as gaining a family member. Little Chick is definitely worth 1,000 points. My new points wipe out my points from the Holmes and Rahe are full of shit scale, whether I use the 300+ or the 600+. Doesn't matter cuz those numbers don't mean anything anyway.
I will also give 1,000 points to the feelings I experience every time I see Favorite Young Man and Little Chick and talk to The Hurricane on the telephone. Tail wags and kisses from the dogs must be worth a lot of joy points. Living in a sweet little house, making a new friend, seeing an old friend, building my confidence by doing my own yard work, and best of all, knowing I am saved . . . I could go on and on.
I think you get the idea that having a joy scale you make up yourself and giving yourself as many happiness points as you like is one heckuvalot better than having your unhappiness measured.
This bring me to today's What? Monday question:

What are some life events you would put on your joy scale? And if you want to give them a ton of points, then please feel free. It's your scale. It belongs to you, not Holmes and Rahe or anyone else. Tell us how happy you are, please.  

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug
Please make a special effort to visit my blog on Thursday. Bouncin' Barb (of will be this week's guest postess as we continue to discuss love and intimacy. Barb has known, and continues to know, some serious hard times. Let's show her our appreciation.