Friday Fictioneers – Anchor Plates


Anchor Plates

Sometimes we have to patch our older constructs to preserve what we have left to remind us of the past.  It seemed sound when it was built but at the years pass cracks and instabilities began to sprout.  Draped in metal diamonds to ensure we don’t lose what we have constructed all the while learning how to make stronger structures that will need less patching. Preserve the old but learn from past mistakes.

She walked past the old manor and while it was once stately, she now recognized the cracks covered with diamonds.  She smiled. She could relate.

100 Words


Hello, and welcome to my weekly submission to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The premise is to use a photo prompt to inspire a 100 word flash fiction piece.  The picture today is brought to you by our hostess Rochell Wisoff-Fields.

Feel free to explore other submissions here.

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Friday Fictioneers – A History Lesson

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers brought to you by the eloquent Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The premise is to use 100 words or less to write a Flash Fiction piece based off of inspiration of the weekly photo.

My submission is below.  All constructive criticism welcome.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

natures table

A History Lesson

“Mom, this is truly boring.”
“No, it’s important you understand what was lost.”
“What does it matter? That was forever ago and what does that have to do with me? Landis has everything we need. We don’t need ‘OCans’ and all that other weird stuff anymore.”
Oceans. But you don’t understand they used to be able to w…”
“Mom seriously, it’s ancient and I don’t care what was. I want to back to the arcade then the gift shop.”
They wheel out of the exhibit merging into the sea of personal automovers and veer right towards the gift shop.

99 Words.
Check out more stories based off of the photo prompt here.

As Always,

Woman on Pause



Slippery Slope Part II

I just re-read my last post about how bad things were leading up to that post in July 2018.  And what I wrote still rings true.  It is still a battle.  But it has been less of a battle every day.  As in, I’ve moved past the anger (for the most part) and decided that I had fallen into a pattern of behavior that I did not like.  I think it was a slow evolution during the hard times that just became who I was day to day.

Fuck that.

I don’t have to be who I was, who someone wants me to be, or even who I should be.  I can only be Sarah, today.  Sarah today trying each day to be better than the last.  There will be moments of reverting back to the hard times and my piss poor handling of them, but the fewer and farther between they occur the more I feel like I am in forward progress.  I am not regressing or stagnant.  And that really is HUGE.  And I can say it with 100% surety because I decided to change things, and alas they are changing.  For the better, every day.

Shitty things will continue to happen.  I am implementing coping mechanisms for those occurrences so I don’t become overwhelmed.  And even if I do, I handle that better.  By practicing small ways to de-stress, find things to be thankful for, and remembering no matter what happens, tomorrow comes.  But, I don’t have an infinite number of tomorrows so I need to embrace each one.  All of them. And that’s my goal.

I hope that the 2 people (and that is a generous estimate) that follow my ramblings are doing well and finding themselves a little better every day.  And if you aren’t.  That’s ok too.  It will lead you to where you need to be.

Everything does.

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Slippery Slope

Hola, my 4’s of followers.  Coming here to do what I do best.  Just kinda rant and mull about.  My bi yearly accountability post.

I have to admit the last 9 months have been a total shit show.  I mean one major tragedy after another.  (Luckily, no deaths *knock on wood* but bad shit) I would be remiss to even visit one aspect of what has happened.  It is all deeply personal and frankly, I’ve cried enough over the last SEVERAL months to last me a lifetime.

And, I didn’t come here to explain what happened.  I came here to say what I did about it.

I told myself to shut the hell up and fix it.  Not fix them.  Fix it.  “It” being me.

I became a whiny, bitching, sad sack of a woman.  I really did.  It was ugly.  I was just ill prepared for the feces tornado that entered my life and hung out for oh…

9 months.

As soon as I felt I had a grip on one thing, another thing.  Then when I tried to deal with both things, another thing.  And then when I was starting to feel beat down, two more things came.  And it was slowly wearing me down.  Like river rocks.  The water of life was rapidly turning me from a 50 pound rock into a 2 oz pebble.

And I knew it and I couldn’t stop it.  Too many things kept coming.  I lost myself totally.  I knew it was happening.  I warned everyone I was close to, “I’m not doing well.” I said it over and over.  “I’m REALLY not doing well.”  Until I would wake up in the morning with the most crippling anxiety.  Trying to breathe, hyperventilating, choking for air within 30 seconds of waking.

Every morning.

My shit was busted. I was broken. It was like watching myself from above, but not in that cool way people do in near death situations, more like me watching from the corner of a room arms crossed, disgusted with what I was watching myself turn into.  And I had no idea how to stop it.  I think the anxiety attacks every morning came from the crippling fear that a new day brought a new bad thing.  And I just couldn’t take anymore.

So I broke.  It wasn’t pretty.  It was mildly justified, but either way I broke.  Again, details are not the point, and frankly I’m not very proud.  So moving along.

After I broke though… (And I use the term “Broke” in the sense of I flipped my every loving shit. Not a mental break per se) But after I broke, I could breathe.  Little by little, day by day, I could breathe a bit more.  Then I felt guilty for losing my shit, and it started to creep back.  But I stopped it.  I stopped letting things happen to me and decided to steer this boat myself.  Fuck feeling like everything is happening and I have no control over any of it.  I felt that way for so long, it was such a weird spiral to go through, to watch myself go through.  Not again.  Fuck that.

So I made my amends for my shit losing and was not forgiven.  And while that sucks, it is going to have to be ok.  I hope one day amends can be made.  Until then though, I’ve got to keep moving.  I have to stay busy, be productive, read, do yoga, walk, work, anything.

*Note – I read the first book I read in a year on Sunday.  It was the best day.  I put my phone away and read the entire damned thing in one day.  It was awesome.  And was part of the beginning of me steering myself back onto course.

I think a lot of things compiled on me and I was so blindsided by each thing, and gobsmacked at the audacity of the Universe to throw every possible thing my way, one after the other, sometimes in two’s like on Noah’s Ark.  And truth be told, it could have been worse.  People have gone through worse.

But for me, they were all tragedies.  And I didn’t handle it well at all.  I am part to blame for that.  But I am also not part to blame for that.  I’m calling it Sarah 10% – Universe of Crappy situations 90%.  But as they kept coming the percentage of that would change.  Every time, it became more an issue that I wasn’t handling things well until at the end of the day, I was not handling one thing properly.  Not one damned thing.  I was slapping a smile on my face and doing the things that had to be done.  It was ugly.

Yesterday I almost slipped back into old habits.  Something upset me and I felt the anger and the resentment rise up in me like the worst thing that’s happened in 9 months happened 5 minutes ago.  And I stopped.  I recognized it.  I meditated. And I heard the best quote. ”

“Feeling the anger won’t hurt you or anyone else.”  I forgot anger was a feeling and not the 8lb Gremlin that lived in my soul. I felt like anger was something I had to fight, something that was eating me alive.  And it was.  Until I remembered, it is just a feeling.  And it’s ok to have those.  Just identify it, breathe through it, try and deal with it the best you can, then do your best to move past it.

But, I’m here on day 8 of not waking up feeling like Satan himself has his wretched hands around my throat trying to kill me dead. I feel a little better (myself) every day.

I will always be a work in progress but this last little bit about did me in.  Not in a morbid way, but in a mental way.  I wasn’t ok.  But I will be.

And that is all that matters.

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Guns & Kids


**Edited to add this headline from the NY Daily News click headline to link.**

After this last school shooting I was reminded of an idea I had 47 school shootings before.

Make schools like prisons.

Or maybe, at the least, like a courthouse.

But what about banning guns, Sarah?  That isn’t going to happen.  There should be stricter gun control laws and I believe semi-automatic guns should only be permitted after heavy vetting to groups that charge and are responsible to governmental guidelines and safety.  Solely to be used for hunting. And yes, I own a gun.

We should all be able to have our pistol or our shot gun.

But, let’s step back and imagine a USA with a total gun ban.  There are so many guns hidden, illegal, in plain sight for that matter anyone who wants one, will still get one.  From someone selling them illegally.  From, their parents, from their Uncle Jimbo who has a stockpile for when the Government was going to take his guns, just like he knew they would.  “Don’t you worry about it Dustin, you need something you just come to good ole Uncle Jimbo.” He has a ton in his underground prepper commune.

Now that we have the gun debate faced (as best as it can be for one paragraph) it is time to look at fixing the problem.  Kids getting guns and killing other kids with ease. Pissed off, mentally challenged kids, grab guns and walk into schools freely and kill.  Kill multiple kids.  KIDS.  Children.

So stop them from getting in.  Put metal detectors on one entrance and one entrance only.  Accompanied by 2 armed officers.

The HORROR.  Um, no, I had to pass through this back in August to renew my tag.

I recognize it will start a bottle neck getting kids to class, so open another entrance and make it the same.

We aren’t going to have gun reform any time soon.  Period.  So stop them from getting in.  Take some sort of actions.  Thoughts and prayers are the equivalent of saying Bless you when someone sneezes.  It does no good, doesn’t actually help, and is straight out perfunctory.  This is what I am going to suggest to my congressman and anyone else who will listen.

If they  have the resources to arm the teachers, instead of doing so, disarm the kids.

Disarm the kids.


I’m so tired of watching kids die.  And I am so tired of wondering if mine will when I send them to school.  It is a walking nightmare for everyone involved and NOTHING has happened.


Pic Credit (Used for imagery not related to picture original content)



Piscēs I

Part One

It was time.  Noah had begged and pleaded for a dog.  I knew he wasn’t old enough to take care of one.  And I just wasn’t up to the task.  Trying to work, go to college in the evening and taking care of a 5 year old on my own was enough.  Mama’s plate was completely full.

So I compromised.  We were in the pet shop and I was thinking I could get him a lizard, or a gecko or something easy.  And quiet.

We had to struggle through the, “But mama, there are kitties.” and take a left after, “Maaaaaama look, that rat is really cute though and he looks lonely.” Those big brown sad eyes looking up to me begging for me to understand how deep his affection was for every living creature. I sped the walk up to the lizard area. Repeating more times than I would like, “I know baby.  I do, but let’s start small. Even small guys need love too!”

Then he saw them.

The guppies.  There were what seemed like thousands of guppies in 5 aquariums. It was insane to see so many fish in one container. And I couldn’t figure out the reason they were all swimming about so frantically. Quick zig here, another zag there, then back super quickly.  As if every one was in a hurry, but they had no idea what for.  Maybe it was the way the light hit their tails and they sparkled, I don’t know but he stopped dead in his tracks.


“Yes, sweetheart?”

“What are those?”

To be honest I couldn’t have told you what they were until I read the label and the very forgiving price tag that was written underneath.

“They are Guppies!”  I emphasized the GUP-PIES!!!! because it sounded like puppies.  I’m not proud.

We already had a 10 gallon tank that Eric said he was going to try and start a real salt water aquarium one day. Well, we’ve been divorced 3 years and it is still in my garage, so Score!

I asked an employee to come tell me a bit about the guppies.  Let me know if they were easy to care for. She proceeded to give me the run down. They were essentially beginner fish.  We were beginner pet owners and this sounded right up our alley.  We purchased 8 guppies and an array of aquarium accouterments. In total, we walked out having spent less than $75.00.  It was over my budget but watching my Noah Bug pick out each fish exclaiming, “That one, ooooh no wait, that one. No, he moved.  The Silver one.  That one!”  His finger darting trying to track the exact fish he wanted.  The glee he was exhibiting was worth doubling my pet budget.

We arrived at home thirty minutes after we left the pet store.  I attempted to run into the grocery store to grab bread but my child screamed, “If we leave them in the car they will DIE!!!!!!!” Ok buddy.  But it’s canned soup for dinner, no grilled cheese. He didn’t even seem to hear me.  Once inside I rushed to finish cleaning out the aquarium for a second time, I had already thoroughly cleaned it a week ago, but a quick check for dust, etc wouldn’t take long.  And the water needed to be the right temperature so I got to work immediately.  And also at the urging of one very excited little boy.  “Maaaaaaaam they’re going to die if they stay in these bags. Hurrrry.”

After one solid hour and testing the water twice, we introduced each one in.  One at a time giving them a moment, making sure they were ok with the water temperature. And then it began.

He sat in front of that tank for 3 hours.  I fed him his chicken and stars as he sat crossed legged in front of the glass amazed and still throwing out names for each one. Chuck! That one is Buzz! That red one is Bolt!  The pink one is Dora!  I did notice he traced his finger lightly across the glass, maybe seeing if they would follow.  I know he wanted a dog, but I would hate to have to tell him that fish don’t, “come” when called. Then he used what sliver of a fingernail he had and tapped on the glass in frustration when they weren’t paying attention

Tap, BANG, Tap, BANG, Tap, Tap

“Noah, stop that immediately!” I raised my voice and approached him.  I asked him, why would you do that to your fish?” We were warned by the person at the pet shop never to tap the glass.  She said they have to say it every time.  Beginner fish advice 101 especially for the little ones.  He said, They weren’t watching me so I tapped so they could see me.  I sighed.  I got down to his level.  I told him, “I understand what you mean.  But, remember when we went to the July 4th parade last year and the fire engines went off right by you and you covered your ears? You were very upset by the loud noise and wanted to go home.”

He said, “But that is different, it was just a tap. I explained it was just as loud for the fish with his tap as it was the fire engine was for him. He looked remorseful that he had done it and I reassured him that it was ok.  They are fine.  Just don’t do that to them again.

After that it was finally time for Noah to head to bed.  It had been a long day and I still had two papers due by Sunday night.

I could see he was on his stool brushing his teeth like a big boy as I approached the bathroom from the hall.  Half way down the hall it happened.

It started as a rumble as if a train was going by somewhere in the distance.  Then it picked up forcefulness. It was an earthquake. I ran as fast as I could to Noah, snatched him up like a football covering his head and headed into my closet.

Part II will come within a week or so.
If you are wondering why the hell I’m waxing poetic about guppies this is just the first part to a short story I am writing.  It is a science fiction type piece.  Don’t let the beginning fool you.

Thanks for reading.       🙂

As Always,

Woman on Pause

© 2018 Woman on Pause All Rights Reserved

The Journey



In this life, I have found that I struggle.  I struggle in my journey to be the person that I want to be.

I change diets, lifestyles, exercise plans (or lack there of), I have quit smoking 3 times for significant amounts of time, but go back.  I have tried meditating, I have bought grown folk coloring books, I have written, I have sketched, I have painted. (Not my thing.  I suck at painting.)

I have had my hair super short, then grown it out super long.  I have now done this 5 times over 10 years.  I try and be super social and go out whenever asked and then get emotionally overwhelmed and need a week alone feeling worn out and used up.  Recharge my social battery so to speak.  I am truly an introvert who loves people and learned how to fake being a semi-extrovert.

I have changed jobs every two years 85% of my working life, which is 17 years.  I have not worked to stay at home with the kids and found myself bored.  I have started my own company and saw it grow and flourish.  I was active all day which is a miracle for someone with back issues and a thrice operated on hip. (I always wanted to use the word thrice.  I hope I did it justice.)  I also saw it ripped away at the hands of someone I cared about who I have cut totally from my life.  If being the daughter of a hardcore heroin addict teaches you anything, it is “Cut and Run.  Don’t look back.”  It takes me way too long to decide to detach from toxic relationships.  But when I do, I’m out never to return.

All of these things, all of these inner conflicts, the planning, the procrastination, the fear.  And truly after all of this it hit me this morning during my coffee on my front porch.

It’s all part of the Journey.  And that’s ok.  I think, that no matter how discombobulated my head is as long as I am always trying, experimenting, attempting to be better, then I am just fine.

Isn’t that just the most lovely thing you’ve ever heard.

As Always,

Woman on Pause

PS I don’t care if not one person reads this.  It brought me tears of joy to write.

Two Steps Forward…

6,941,023 steps back.

Ok, perhaps that is an exaggeration.  I googled it and that is over 500 miles.  I didn’t fall that far off the diet wagon.  But Lawdy did I fall.  It was all totally worth it though.  Great friends, some great BBQ, a fun evening out and about and then 3 bowls of macaroni and cheese the next day.


It was Sooo good.  And I figured, if I fell off the wagon, I should just crawl under it with a vat of homemade mac and cheese and make a day of it.

And that’s what I did.  But, I also washed my car inside and out and with all of the leaves and weird pollen pods everywhere I burned off at least 1/2 bowl of 1 serving of Mac. My car was a hot mess.  I knew it was bad, but until I got really into cleaning it I didn’t realize what a disaster the falling leaves and gunk had done to the crevices of my vehicle.



But with the cleansing of the vehicle I felt cleansed.  It is nice to make a fresh start for Monday.  Back at it, no matter how far behind I fall.

I wish all of you have a wonderful Monday.  And don’t be sad it’s Monday, be happy that we didn’t get obliterated by a Chinese Satellite last night.


As Always,

Woman on Pause

Photo/Gif/Video Credits:

Namaste. You Filthy Animal.

Good morning.  This will be my 2nd entry in a week.  Holy hell, I’m on a roll.  But not a yeast roll or a dinner roll because I am on a diet.  And the closest thing I get to bread is when I dream about it at night.  Mmmmmm bread. And don’t get me started on pasta.  *Sniff*

But enough about that.  Don’t worry I’m not crash dieting, per se.  I am just trying to get back on track.  Now that I sit all day and don’t clean, I had to improve my caloric intake.  It is just math folks.  And I am taking 15 minute walks daily.  I anticipate that being 30-45 min once the weather stays groovy.

But, that being said I started this blog for a whole other reason.  I have started to meditate.  And let me tell you something.

It is FAN-friggin-Tastic.  I meditate to sleep, I meditate in the morning, I meditate when I get overwhelmed.  I downloaded the app, Instant Timer, and I am in LOVE.

*Except I got a message from some Russian guy that said, “Thanks for meditating with me last night.”

Um, what?  On the app there is a list of people meditating at that moment and I guess he thought, “well let me message this stranger because it’s the internet and of course it has to get fucking weird.”

Ugh People.


The weather is getting warmer and I feel like I am starting to shake off the most chaotic winter I have ever experienced.  It was Cray Town.

But now the sun is shining, I am in love with it getting dark much later, and that all means…

It’s almost Beach time!!!

For the first time in about 2 years, I am planning on spending some quality time at the beach. I miss it terribly.  I miss every single thing about it.  Except, that thing that touches your foot and makes you leap out of the water screaming that you are going to die.  Oh, and sharks.


Which this is why I also started the diet and attempt to get off my ass and move around more.  See we’ve come full circle.  I love it when that happens.

As Always,

Woman On Pause

Photo Credits

Weak Sauce

For the last week I have been talking with some friends, ironically in a secret group on Facebook, about leaving Facebook.  After a lot of contemplation I decided to deactivate my account.  Not delete.  I have too many pictures to delete.  This is just the beginning of the weakness.  Buckle up, it gets weak as hell soon.

Weak sauce

Let me go back.  I know that my information was harvested or farmed out or whatever it is called.  (I sure hope my data enjoys living on the farm, all the space in the world to run, play with other data.)
I know that Facebook didn’t do enough to stop it.  And if I’m understanding correctly it swayed the election. Which means that:

Trump = Tracy Enid Flick
Cambridge Analytical =Mr. McAllister
American People = Mr. McAllister’s Wife


But that’s not 100% why I wanted to walk away.  I wanted to walk away because it seems, I hate people.  Not all people, of course.  I have “Snoozed” dozens over the last few months.  And the meme’s about guns and bombs and “Oh so we should just ban bombs right??, just keep coming.  And every time I see one, I verbally assault the screen, and then snooze or delete them.

I get you have your opinions.  Coolio.  But to make jokes about kids or people dying to prove your point.  Not Fucking OK.  Never FUCKING ok.  Think before you speak you fucking asshole.  Think before you share fake news sites.  Just look at the damned link.  Do you really think this “Breaking News Article” about how the Government is coming to your home in 3 days to take your AR’s, your rifles, your pistols, your steak knives, grandma’s knitting needles, etc. Do you REALLY believe that?


And a quick FYI. isn’t a real news site.  Just take a moment and THINK.

That being said, I am not in a position to judge. (Even though I am totally judging.) I say this because I try not to post political things.  Because I want to talk to my Great Aunt again, or that guy I see at Publix at least once a month.  But, no matter how  vanilla I keep things, everyone keeps vomiting fake websites, and meme’s essentially making a joke or jab at dead kids.  Or God forbid, kids who are fed up and had the marbles to say something about it.  I am not in a position to judge because I did deactivate.

It lasted 4 hours.

I had to reactivate because…

Yep.  Candy Crush.  Enter the Weaksauce.  Look, you  judge me all you want.  But every day after I get off work, I sit on my front porch and play that game until I run out of lives. About 15 minutes. It is relaxing, it is quiet, and I like it.  But if you don’t have facebook to link the game to, you will lose your progress.

Whatever. I tried.

As always,

Woman on Pause

*Side note:  I did delete the app and messenger from my phone.  So I can’t go on there unless I REAALLLLLLLLLLLLLY try.  And my motivation was to step away from getting angry for no good damned reason.  They can express all day long.  I just don’t have to look at it.

*2nd Side Note: I believe in the right to bear arms.  So take whatever may be thrown my way over that Southpark picture, and stuff it.


Photo Credits: