Sunday, November 21, 2010

Soul searching reads...

I have really never been one of those people who believed in "self-help" can one person, psychologist/psychiatrist or whatever type of analyst know how to address every single help seeking individual. How can one book read to all of us in the same way that we can understand and functionally use the information given to better ourselves...our self esteem or bad habits...not one of us is the same or has the same problems.

I guess the one thing that most of us do suffer from would be self esteem issues. Even though we think that every one surrounding us is confident with who they are...and we feel like we are not as good or as smart or as pretty or strong or funny. I know for myself I have always felt like an underdog while with any one else...didn't even matter their sex or age or anything...I always felt like I was unworthy to be in any crowd. I brewed myself a self confidence. Teaching myself throughout the years different ways to feel cool or acceptable to others. I started trying to be funny one in class...the one who got tough with teachers verbally if they ever got on my case. Honestly, when I think back to some of my conflicts with teachers...I just have to laugh at myself. Just one example...grade 7...Bible class with Mr. Redekopp. He was teaching class and there were a few quiet conversation between some students in the rows of desks nearest me. At one point I turned around to Tonja Lisanti to reply to a comment I overheard someone else behind me say. I must have said6 words or less. I was the one who Mr. Redekopp decided to pick on and call out for talking in class. It truly ruffled my feathers...I had, still sometimes have...a short fuse. I spoke back to him in an incredibly condescending tone explaining that I was not the only one talking...then blurted out..."Whatever, I'm sorry!" He then replies..."Hang sorry Miss Behnke. I think you ought to walk yourself down to the office." With that being said I then walked out of there with an Oscar award winning actress in a dramatic role. I got up out my chair, making it slam into Tonja's desk...stomped my feet on the 75 year old hardwood flooring...stop at the door to get a good grip and proceed to slam it with all of my might causing all of the other three big old wooden doors in that hallway to shake from the force. And then I walk myself down to the office and plead my case to Mr. Fraser the Vice-Principal at M.B.C.I. in October of 1986. Now if that ain't an 11 year old with a problem...I have NO idea what is. I felt I was being tough in front of the other kids...and that would keep them from picking on me. I think the rest of the kids just thought I was a bit of a wild child...and that was cool with me too.

Anyhow, total side tangent there. Just needing to reflect on my own personal little hells that I put myself through for not wanting to accept and love myself. It sucks being a teenager...I would never go back to that time...I enjoy the aging process. ;o) And with the aging process we all have that chance to grow and wise up...some of us take the chance...some of us stay in that spot for the rest of our lives because we do not have the tools with which to change and learn to love and have confidence and enjoy who we are. I thought that at 20 years old I did start to change. That is the time when I completely stopped wearing my artificial arm...I was accepting who I was, and it felt good. So I started letting more and more people take advantage of...thinking that everyone likes me because I do any and everything someone asks or tell me to. Wow...what a cool chick I am...not! Thought I was...thought that now that I was not hanging on to my false identity of being a two armed girl that I was in control of my self and esteem and could make proper decisions. I married an abusive drunk at 22. I thought it was him that needed to be changed. So I put all of my eggs into that basket and tried desperately to make a failing relationship last. It started failing after 3 weeks of dating...yet still 2 1/2 years later I repeated the vows that were supposed to be for a lifetime of love. But there was no love at the start. None for me and none for him or from him...just two lost souls traveling in the same space for a while.

I can look back and pin point a million stupid and self destructive patterns and behaviour I really did present...but I was too immature and egotistical to accept that as fact. Fast forward to the beginning of my relationship with Clint. We were in love...that much was surely true. We had been great friends for years. So of course I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this relationship would be perfect and loving and lasting throughout all ages. Our love was stronger than gravity's what an ignorant bi-atch I was. How many times was it said to me..."You can only love others if you truly love yourself." AHHHHHH! I HATE myself! I am ugly I am stupid I am in-complete I am fat I am strange I am unworthy of love from anyone. Words that were always repeating in my head. What a waste of thought. I continued to be self destructive...pulling away from the people that loved me most...ruining relationships...ruining myself with everything I could. I have made a million and ten mistakes in my life. Part of me is okay with that as a mistake is a great learning tool. But I have also found that there are some books out there that ARE helpful. And I so believe in them that I just want to shout it from the mountain tops! They have changed my life and I honestly could not be happier. (I even feel happy right now and I am sick like a dog.) ;op My marriage could not be better...but I know it will continue to get better because of the reading that both Clint and I have done...yippee!!

We started with "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. Amazing book from front to back. If everyone read this book I swear we would be a happy planet. Don't sweat yesterday...learn from mistakes but don't dwell on them. Get over it. Today is most important. Don't stress about tomorrow, it's coming anyways. Live in the moment. That's as paraphrased as I can make it...just read it. For those in a long term relationship...we read "Hold Me Tight" by Sue Johnson. She is an extremely smart woman. When we search for a partner...part of what we are looking for is that comfort love...the comfort love of only that a mother can give. That unconditional love that all mothers are to give their children...I realize that not all mothers are like this...but that is what the role is supposed to be. Listen to your partner...when there is a conflict one of you has got to be the first to say sorry and stop the fight and then it becomes easier...fighting becomes less starts to grow. Just love. the book, it's amazing! The last book we read...I am almost done a book that has been around for ages it seems. And anytime that I saw the book or heard someone talk about it I would laugh to myself..."book sounds so stupid and cheesy, like what can it possibly say that we don't already know...duh!" "Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus" by John Gray. Holy moly. This book nails it on the head...for real! It IS so simple. We are totally different people...that we all know. But this book spells it out so simply on how the reactions and gestures men and women make to one another are just their nature and are not wrong...but we have to understand how the other works and then it just gets easy. Does that even make sense? I don't know...the book opened our eyes and we are living and loving a heck of a lot better than before reading it.

Again...I am not one to pump up the self help books...but these can save the world and bring back the love. Maybe not...but a good read is never a bad thing...right?

peace and looooove!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shiny Happy Rainbows...make me happy too.

Not only do I keep a blog, but I also enjoy reading other people's blogs too. We all have amazing things to share...don't we? Each and every one of us has our own thought, imagination, opinion and lessons that we can share with one why not? ;o)

My sister, who has a blog at writes some pretty good stuff. Much of it having to do with my three little nieces...whom I I get to see what is going on in their lives back east more than I would if she didn't share her thoughts and sweet days in her blog. I must admit that good ol' Facebook helps keep me in the loop too. Anyhow, Steph, my lovely baby sister...I don't know why I always still call her baby, she's 31! ;o) She posted a blog the other day about the shiny happy rainbows in her home. And I know...I like colour because of its vibrancy and the cheerfulness that it exudes in me. So I went around my home and took some shots of the "Shiny Happy Rainbows" that we enjoy on a daily basis.

My tolled bathroom cabinet and colourful more colours in the laundry! ;o)
My stripey colourful socks...which also need to be put in the laundry! ;op
My handmade faux stained window in our cute little kitchen.
My "Tammy Hudgeon" daisy chain that hangs and spins outside our living room window. My Fave!!!
The first painting Clint ever did of me...I LOVE this painting!!
My assortment of colourful bangles...who doesn't love neon bracelets? Yes!!!
Back to the bathroom where I hang our beads from the French Quarter in New Orleans.
And last but not least...a gift from my mom to remind me how special love really is. ;o)
That's some of the colour in our home. I can not wait for the day that we actually own our own home so that our walls can also be bold beautiful colours to reflect the cheer and love that live in our lives. Peace!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I burn good.

It's true...I DO burn good. And, I am proud of it...well at least for the one "type" of burning that I do. (see #1) I have composed a list of the ways I burn...good. ;o)

1. I make an awesome fire. Whether it be on a beach, in a fire pit or in our wood stove. I have the amazing ability to start a great fire that creates awesome embers and therefore burning like a champion. I have always had a thing with my mother will attest. One time, I almost burned our kitchen down when I was 11 because of my love of candles. I left my special birthday candle burning on the counter under the macrame hanger. We went out to get my birthday dinner...came home a couple hours later to a stinky/burny/smokey smelling home. The candle caught the bottom fringe of the macrame hanger on made the whole thing flame up which then caused the whole thing to come crashing down from the ceiling and into the kitchen sink...phew! My parents were NOT amused to say the least. But all was okay as nothing serious happened..."just be careful with fire Pami! It's not to play with." I guess that didn't teach me too much because I also used to light a candle in my room during the night under my bed so that I could read without anyone seeing a light on. Ha ha ha! I was smart. lol Anyhow, point being, I am a fire element sign is even fire. Guess that is why I burn good! ;op
2. I constantly burn myself. Taking dishes out of the oven and hitting the burning red hot element to my forearm. (done that 3 times in the same spot!) Putting more wood in the wood stove...I manage to brush my hand or arm on the fiery hot door or latch...ouchies! I have quite a few scars from doing that. And I have only been a wood stove woman for just about 3 years. Last night, our dishwasher was on the fritz. Went through the entire cycle with no frustrating. I wanted to fix the problem so started looking on the inside of the machine if something was loose or whatever. Well, at the bottom of a dishwasher you will find an element...much like the ones in our ovens. I didn't even clue in that this "element" might be hot as the cycle just finished. I pulled on it to see if IT was loose...AAAAAHHHHHH!!! Thankfully I only burned the pad of my middle finger. But it is extremely hurty I have to say. Today it is all white with a deep red looks gross...and hurty. ;op skin, which obviously is part of me burns real good. Therefore I come to the conclusion that I truly do burn good!
3. can be a real bitch and burn the heck out of some one. ;o) I do not burn people unless they have taken their opportunity to burn me. And most of the be perfectly honest...I don't burn that good. But, I do have my "shining" moments when my timing and words are so perfect that it is quite a masterful burn. Then I like to yell..."Ha ha ha ha ha ha...BURN!!!!" Pretty me at least. #3 way...I burn good.

4. is my friend. I love the sun, its warmth, its beauty and the light that it gives. I generally am NOT a sun burner. I seem to be blessed with tough Eastern German skin. We all have skin with good melanin that likes to show off and make us get really brown in the summers. We used to use my mom's "Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil" while sitting by the pool and see who could get the darkest. None of us kids ever burned...just tanned very nicely. (I no longer beat my skin up this way...I actually cover up more and wear 30 spf for protection. I have become a scaredy cat of the bad effects of the sun.) But, there was this one time...not at band camp...we were on a family vacation on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. I believe it was the third day in of our 2 weeks in paradise. We hiked to this ultra private beach where me and my brother decided to get out into the water and snorkel. We were out there for like 2-3 hours. So, for the duration of our back is pretty much constantly being exposed to the hot Caribbean sun. Being in the water...the probably 4 or 15 spf I was wearing had washed away and my skin was uncovered and soaking up the rays. By the time we got back to the villa my back was feeling pretty bad. I asked my mom to look at it and see if something stung me...we saw eels and rays...they freaked me out. So I was thinking something underwater must have done this to me. My mom pulled my t-shirt up and gasped. Not a good thing to hear. My entire back was covered in blisters...burn blisters. I couldn't even keep a t-shirt on after I showered. It hurt so bad. But for the next few days anytime we went to a beach...I had to stay covered up as best as I could so the blisters would heal. So sick! That is the worst sun burn I have ever seen on anyone. I burn good!

That's it...that's the story of Pam and how good a burner I really am. Impressed? ;op

Friday, November 12, 2010

I remembered...

I took the moment and thought about those who served in the wars...ALL of them. Not just Canadian soldiers, but the soldiers all over the world who were sent to battle to fight for what they thought was right. Whether or not I believe in war or not...or even how I feel about the army or navy or whatever...people still are pledging their lives to be killed or kill in the name of what they are taught is right. Keeping in mind that a lot of the men and women who served or are serving as I write this are also forced into it either by a draft or family/political pressures. I don't want anyone to have to go out and do this. I believe in peace and harmony and working through things without fighting. Such a fairytale thought I suppose...idealistic some might say. But to me it is the MOST ideal way to deal with any kind of argument, debate, land claim, etc.

It's a topic that can be discussed for hours and hours and still coming to no's hard to sit in a group of people and come to a decision that everyone can agree to full hearted. We are all so different...different beliefs, views, practices, needs, wants...this is why we war. Sad, but it's the truth.

Anyhow...whenever I take that moment to remember...I mostly remember my Opi and Opa who fought in WWII. They both fought in the German army...NOT the SS...just the regular army that was trying to keep their country safe...even safe from the crazy German SS army, because they were killing their own people. :o( Must have been pretty insane to know that your own country men were killing your neighbours and people you loved. It just must be insane to be out there shooting and killing and not even understanding what the heck is really going on...oh my almost makes my brain explode.

Opa didn't much like to talk about the war. And anytime he caught us kids playing cops and robbers or whatever...pretending we were shooting each other...he would get upset and say that guns were bad. I didn't even understand it as a child. Like, what does it matter, these aren't real's our hands!! But now I can understand...perhaps it brought back horrible memories of witnessing people's death by being shot. Or maybe even shooting someone himself. I don't know. I will never know as he passed away in October 1996. We never talked about the war...except that I knew he was a mailman soldier. Delivering letters.

Opi didn't say too much about his time fighting except for when we asked direct questions. And we only had these questions from visible scarring that he we wondered about the story behind it. He was shot through the shoulder. There was a scar on the front and back side...bullet went straight through the flesh. He also had a sort of flattened left pinky finger...this was from a tank driving over his hand when he was trying to hide on the ground from the "enemy". Going through the old black & white photo books we found pictures of him with some men hanging out on some grassy hill. Almost looked like they were out on a hike or something. But the photos were taken in a P.O.W. camp in France where he spent 2 years of life before finally getting to go home. Again, I wish I knew a little more about the time he served in the army...just to know more of his history and the things he went through in his life. I can say though...I KNOW he saw things he didn't want to see. Who would want to be on the front lines of death and destruction?? And even though he did...he was the most loving, calming, kind and compassionate man I knew. He was the best. He passed away August 30, 1997...and I STILL miss him so very much. I always miss his hugs.

I remember them because they were both good men. They both had positive influence on my life and I feel blessed to have had and loved two amazing men. And their awesomeness has nothing to do with fighting in a war. That was a small and consciously forgettable memory they both had. I remember the love they gave me...the things they taught me...the laughter we shared. I remember Opi and you!
Opi, Omi and my mom in 1951.
Opa and Oma around 1956 I believe...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bath time!!! Yay!

Almost like being a kid again. I loved it when it was bath time...I honestly would lie in there for what seemed like an eternity. Adding hot water whenever it started to cool down again. Sometimes I would just lay in the heat and enjoy the feeling...other times I would be playing with my Barbies or Sandy Sea Wee's. (I still have one of the mermaids!) And of course there were the times when I was younger and bath time would be with baby sister. We would play with the dolls in the bath too for ever. I was 5 years older than her, so I would use her young age as an excuse as to why an 11 year old in grade 7 was still playing with dolls. In reality...I LOVED playing with my Barbies and even my stuffed animals up until I was probably 13. Whatevs! So did some of my secret of course. My Barbies had a HUGE house with a closet and hangers for all of their ultra cool Ken would often come and visit and get funky with the ladies. Very exciting for a young girl!! lol

All right, no more talk of dolls and silliness...let's get serious..ahem. Bath time!! I love it! It's pretty much the same thing...I draw a bath...super hot water...and then submerge myself in the warmth. I have been known to lie in there for up to 5 hours. I think that Clint may sometimes think I have an addiction to the water and heat. I suppose I do. In a way it brings me back to the feelings of being a kid. My mom drawing a bath for me...filling it with bubbles...and then being able to soak in it and relax. I no longer use bubbles...that often. But I definitely enjoy the soak and relax aspect of it all. I get incredibly sore muscles and joints...a bath really can heat up those tired and overworked parts of me like nothing else can. But at the same time I relax my mind. It's almost meditation at times. More random meditative thoughts when I end up drinking an ENTIRE bottle of red wine while immersed in heat and comfort. It is a safe haven of sorts...the bath time. It's not like someone can come over and drag me out of the water. I am safe in my dimly lit, pretty bathroom. It stays warm from the heat of the bath and steamy too. I LOVE it. It makes me happy.

I feel that each one of us should take the time to draw a hot bath with bubbles or epsom salts or any other bath time pleasure...soak and enjoy the total relaxation. Have some wine or yummy juice to make it feel even more decadent. It's important I feel...and who wouldn't enjoy the peace and solitude?? I even have a comfy chair in the corner of the when I take ultra long bath time, I can invite Clint into the room and we can chat. It's quite nice actually. And who also wouldn't want to sit and chat with their lovely wife while she is naked in the tub?? ha ha ha!!! LOVE IT!

Stories and advice by Pam! tee hee heeeeee. :op
My steamy bath!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sex...ain't sexy anymore... ?

You know you are getting older when you start to say things that remind you of comments your mother and grandmother said to you back in the day. Like..."why are you wearing a top that shows your you want the boys to think you are not a nice a girl?" Or..."you shouldn't wear a skirt too short, your panties will show when you bend over." And of course you feel like they are so old and out of touch because this is exactly what is in style at the moment. "Everybody is wearing shirts like this mom! I have a nice tummy, I should show it off while I still can!" And yes...I DID want the boys to take notice of me. They never really did back then anyways. When you have low self esteem it shows off like a big fat red with a white centered zit in the middle of your forehead. Everyone can see it...but no one even talks about it.

I was always a HUGE Madonna fan...ever since grade 4. I totally can still hear my mother complaining to me and wanting me to not listen to her music or watch her videos. "She dresses like a you want to look like a hooker?" Of course I don't want to look like a hooker. But I do want to look cool and like an outrageous pop star...what kid doesn't? Back in the 80's Madonna was seen as a sort of "bad" influence because of the way she dressed or writhed around
on the floor like a cat in heat in her "like a virgin" video. She looked pretty cool if you ask anyone who was a pre-teen or teen or young adult at the time. We ALL wanted to be Madonna. Well...I wanted to be any hot woman that I saw on TV or in a music video. I wanted to be anyone but the plain old boring Pam that I was. I didn't feel pretty enough...or even complete enough. Having one arm made me feel like half of a girl. So not what I was or am today...but you know young girls and their constant battle with low self esteem. But back then...I thought I was the only girl that hated myself...I just wanted to be sexy.

Sexy at 13??? Why would I even want that? Looking back now, I wish I would have just enjoyed being the innocent and sweet young girl that I was and not wanting to be someone different. I did enjoy my childhood very much. I always had a fun time whatever I did...and MOST of it was good, clean fun...up until...let's say 15. That's when it seems to get a little tougher for girls. You so want to be grown up and mature. We started getting into the bars at 15...borrowing older girls' id. (by the time picture id came to Manitoba I was already the legal age of 18) So we started to want to dress older and sexier. Our role models were Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and always Marilyn Munroe even in her grave she was STILL the hottest ever. For role models...they were pretty good actually. Not too racy when I look back at it. But for the times I guess it was.

I look at who our young girls have to look up to now...Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce. Yeesh! They all go around in their underwear. What's next?? Will they be on stage buck nude and having sex right in front of our eyes?? Those were my thoughts on Saturday night. We stayed in from all of the Halloween festivities this weekend and watched movies. After Sleepy Hollow was over SNL came on. Haven't watched that show in we thought we'd watch it and see if it's still a funny show. The musical guest was Rihanna. Now, I totally think that she is an incredibly talented young woman. Her voice is golden...and she is a major package right? Honestly, she made me feel sick and sad. It was the way she was dressed...this is why I feel like my mother...and I ain't even a mother...yet. ;op Rihanna was wearing a pair of sequined granny panties, a bandanna tied around her huge titties that looked like it was about to burst off of the balloons underneath and of course 5" stilettos. Wow, classy. Not only was this super charged hooker/stripper outfit her costume for the performance but she preceded to hump the mic stand as she sang. I was actually revolted and started feeling sorrow for all of the young girls out there who look up to her as their role model. I have been noticing a change in the way the young girls are dressing in the last 5-10 years. Even in the pre-teen ages 8 to 10 year olds. They dress like hoochie mommas. And if they are leaving the house in these clothes...not only does that mean that their mothers are allowing them to go out looking like means that their mothers are actually purchasing them these outfits that scream "I want to get laid!" But they don't even know what that means. They just want to wear it because their idols wear these clothes. And we wonder why we have a rampant problem with pedophilia?? I am not defending pedophiles...but c'mon parents...let your children be children. We have such few years to be innocent. Teach your children to enjoy being a kid...playing at parks...having slumber parties and pillow fights. Children are having sex at earlier ages these days. Someone has to figure out how to stop this before it escalates even more. All we can do is teach our children what is right. The world keeps is changing big time. It's not even sexy's just pure sex. That's fine for adults...not for kids. I wish the recording artists that are the "big"pop stars would see this too. Miley...I am putting you in this bracket too. Enjoy being a teenager for crying out loud! Argh!!!!!

Do I sound like an old lady? Well, if I do...that's my issue I guess. I am an 80 year old 35 year old! ha ha ha! I don't care. I have my eyes wide open for the first time in my life I feel. I finally understand what my mom and Omi and Oma were saying to me. Wish I got it back then. And I will teach my daughter (If I ever have one) these lessons...she may or may not listen. But I will speak my a loving and encouraging way.

Sexy is a great pair of jeans and comfy yet curve hugging top. I don't need to wear my heels and panties out to get groceries (Lady Gaga) to attract people to me. I just need to be me and look good doing it. That IS sexy!