What Is Perfect?

In order to find perfection you must be able to forgive

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.


Have you ever made up your own definition of a word?

I think that in a debate situation I tend to do it quite frequently and that is really laughable but a sign of my ego and desire to be correct!

I am not talking about a debate situation here; I am just referring to everyday life and everyday words. The specific word that I am thinking about right now is perfection.

What is perfection? According to Merriam-Webster at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perfection, perfection is

1: the quality or state of being perfect: such as

  a: freedom from fault or defect FLAWLESSNESS

  b: MATURITY

  c: the quality or state of being saintly

  2a: an exemplification of supreme excellence

  b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence

  3: the act or process of perfecting

My definition of perfection would be something more like the quality or state of being that is perfect in the eyes of the beholder regardless of any fault, defect or flaw. You see my point? How can anything ever be perfect except to the person, or group of people, who think that it is perfect?

Of course, I realize that my definition takes on the assumption that all things have faults, defects or flaws, and I believe this to be true. Especially when we are talking about human beings! While I may think that my wife is perfect, others may not. While that may make them stupid people in my opinion, the truth is that none of us are without flaws.

Therefore, it stands to reason that in order to find perfection you must be able to forgive. I know that I think that I am perfect, but I also know that Carrie does a hell of a lot of forgiving!

So, what is my point you may be asking in a frustrated mumble.

Well, it is basically that none of us are perfect. Nothing is perfect. And if you believe that someone or something is perfect than you are capable of forgiveness. I don’t think that a lot of people think about it in that simplistic form, but it is true. So, let’s start doing more forgiving, less criticism, much more loving and much less belittling! Basically, remember to always Love Your Way Through It!

Peace,

Shaun

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

Beauty and Love are About More Than Makeup and Fashion

But you know what real, real beauty is? It is the beauty that one individual sees when they look at the love of their life! It is the beauty that starts at a certain younger age and never changes through the years, no matter how much time passes!

Sometimes Shaun is swoon worthy.

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.

I am sure that there must be a name or a scientific explanation for what I am about to talk about, but I will tell you up front that I am too lazy to look it up and will be simply speaking from my own experience here. So, let’s get started!

If I was to title this blog post, I would call it, Humanity, the Gateway to Love. And not everyone may be able to relate to this because I think it takes some life experience, some maturity and possibly just some plain ol’ years on this planet to understand.

Beauty, what is it? The first answer that comes to my mind is that it is not the popular construct of television and social media. That is mostly makeup and great camera work! Real beauty is the ability to feel attractive and not have to wear makeup or feel pressured to do so. Real beauty is the ability to be secure in who are and not have to worry about people fawning over you all of the time. Real beauty is the ability to not even think about applying makeup, not worry about wearing the latest fashion or having the newest electronic device and still being able to leave the house, socialize and treat others as though they are your equal, nothing better and certainly nothing less!

But you know what real, real beauty is? It is the beauty that one individual sees when they look at the love of their life! It is the beauty that starts at a certain younger age and never changes through the years, no matter how much time passes! It is the beauty that allows an eighty-year-old person to look at their eighty-year-old partner and see the exact same beauty (or more) as when they were both twenty!

This is true beauty, not built on purely physical traits but rather the totality of the circumstances for which one fell in love. Personality, intellect, the ability to relate, the ability to deal with life’s greatest challenges and life’s greatest humors, and depth of soul and heart are what make up a human’s beauty! These should be the characteristics which we look at or for in another human.

Yes, this is a mixed bag post as I am speaking both of general socialization and interaction and I am also talking about love and partnership. Leave the physical qualities out of the picture and treat one another as humans who are something much greater than their skins. As a world we will all benefit from this approach and as an individual you will too. If you happen to be looking for love, this will help you find everlasting love. As someone who was lucky enough to check all these qualities off in another, I can tell you that the beauty of your partner will never diminish as a result, no matter how old you are!

Love Your Way Through It,

Shaun

our cute cats

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

Make Love Spicy

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.

So, happy Thursday!

Carrie and I do a live podcast on Friday nights at 7:00 p.m. eastern time and we have been having loads of fun doing it! We love hot, as in spicy, foods and sauces so we have done a hot wings challenge for one episode and we are going to do another one with a different line-up of hot sauces this Friday. The podcast is called Loving The Strange and we would love to entertain you this Friday night if you have nothing better to do in this time of COVID boredom.

We actually purchased a brand new sauce for this Friday night’s festivities and we both just gave it a try.

First, let me tell you that it is called “Da’Bomb, The Final Answer.” Second, let me tell that, IT ROCKS!

Rated at a supposed 1,500,000 Scoville units, it will light you up and keep doing so for a good ten minutes. Neither of us are hot sauce wimps and we thoroughly enjoyed trying a little bit of our new product a few minutes ago.

When I say a “little bit,” I mean just that. The bottle literally comes with a dabber attached to the cap and you need just one drop to get the amazing effects of this potent sauce. However, this blog is not an advertisement for the previously stated product, although I would recommend it to anyone who likes heat, it is more of an advertisement for our podcast and having fun in life.

The true point of this entire diatribe is that sometimes people need a bit of a pick-me-up in the form of excitement. Now, not everyone likes heat in the extreme and that is exactly why there are thousands of different hot sauces manufactured for you to purchase. Even if you hate heat you should try the advice that I am about to give, just buy something more mild.

If you are in a funk and need to be distracted by a pleasant pain that you can share with someone whom you care about, try a little hot sauce. I know that you are thinking right now, “What is wrong with this idiot?”

Seriously though, what does it mean to be in a relationship with someone special? Does it not mean sharing experiences and the emotions that go with those experiences? My point!

Eat some hot sauce that is outside of your comfort zone and share that experience with your partner in life.

This little “trip” will allow you to embody so many emotions! You may do any and/or all of the following; cry, laugh, swear, roll around on the floor, drink milk straight from the jug or curse my very existence.

The point is that whatever you were doing before you embarked on this journey will be forgotten and you will have just shared something unique with your special someone. It may hurt, but in the end, you will have a smile on your face.

As a matter of fact, I am now making the following recommendation to all budding couples – try the hot sauce challenge approach to gauging how compatible you are. If, in the end, you don’t both end up laughing and enjoying your mutual pain then they are probably not the right one for you.

But, regardless, remember to Love Your Way Through It!

Spicy vibes and keep your hands away from your eyes,

Shaun

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

Love Is Cool

A flawed human is not an excuse and sometimes forgiveness is like a rope that will never reach the bottom of certain chasms so one must be careful of falling into those unforgivable crevasses.

On Thursday, my co-podcaster, Shaun, and husband guy, takes over the blog.

He’s adorable. I hope you’ll read what he says even if he does occasionally sound like a surfer dude from the 1990s.

best writing coaches

Yesterday, Carrie and I had the opportunity to enjoy some of that rare COVID socialization time with a friend of ours. You know, very safe, on the deck, six feet apart and all three of us wearing masks. Not bad as it was very nice out, but it sure puts a damper on the drinking aspect of visiting.

Our friend, younger than us by a decade, was telling us about his new relationship while politely lamenting the issues of his first marriage from which he is recently detached.

It was very interesting listening to someone talk about the possibility of telling another person that they love them for the first time and wondering when is a good time to do so and not seem pushy, needy, or in a rush to move any further than the very comfortable zone that they are currently in.

As I sat talking with Carrie and our friend, I realized that over the course of our fairly long and complex relationship of undulating emotions and varied experiences, we had reached a point in our lives where we are truly loving partners. We are friends, confidantes, lovers and partners and we have managed to navigate both the smooth, fair weather times and the trying hurricanes of life.

I attribute much of this to an exorbitant amount of patience on both of our parts, but also forgiveness, love and the realization that not one single soul on the face of this Earth is perfect and without flaws. I also realize that being a flawed human is not an excuse and sometimes forgiveness is like a rope that will never reach the bottom of certain chasms so one must be careful of falling into those unforgivable crevasses.

My point is that not only am I extremely lucky but that love, while not a miracle cure, is a very powerful healing ointment and you would be surprised what happens when you apply a little to an emotional wound! Please try it, for me, for yourself and for all of humanity, Love Your Way Through It!

Happy loving,

Shaun


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 

Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 259,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

Our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcast is about weird habits like pooping naked. And our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the B Story and goat voyeurs.

Loving the Strange – Let’s talk about ghosts

“I talk to her all the time.” Shaun about his ghost doll friend.

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Loving the Strange - Let's talk about ghosts
/

It’s our second podcast and you can hear how:

  1. Shaun has a haunted doll friend.
  2. A ghost felt Carrie’s thigh.
  3. The seance where the pencil caught on fire.
  4. Carrie’s grandmother’s ghost.
  5. And Shaun swear and be slightly naughty because he’s Shaun.
  6. How Maine is the most haunted state and Mainers don’t really seem to care.

This podcast isn’t about writing. It isn’t about life tips. It’s really inspired by how Shaun and I are such opposites about so many things and yet we still love each other. There’s got to be a lesson somewhere in there, right?

It’s unscripted and fun and just meant to make you feel like you’re hanging out with two weird people talking about strange things.

Please like and share and subscribe, it totally helps us out!


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

Love Your Way Through It

We don’t need to be in love or to even feel love in order to make another feel loved or cared about, we simply need to remember that the most powerful love is the love that we give to another, without expectation of obligation or return.

 This morning I realized that it has been exactly one year since we traveled as a family.

This week is a school break week here in Maine and last year at this time Carrie, myself and our youngest daughter, Kittiey, drove to Georgia to see our oldest daughter, Emily, who was in the Army and stationed at Ft. Benning at the time.

After spending a couple of days with Emily we drove to Florida to spend the remainder of our vacation and see my family.

Shortly after returning from that trip, Carrie and I managed to spend a weekend in Portland Maine for her birthday. Since then, none of the three of us (Emily is currently isolated at Tuck University getting her MBA.) have traveled more than forty miles away from our house.

Both of those trips out of the house were for specialized dentist appointments and other than those joyous trips to the dentist, none of us has gone more than twenty miles away from the house and all of these trips are for curbside grocery pickup at the nearest Walmart. Curse you for this involuntary hermitic existence COVID-19! 

While it may seem as though I am complaining, and I am a little bit because we all love to travel and see new people and places, complaining is not what this blog is about.

It is about love, the miraculous fact that while we are in constant contact with each other (Kittiey is 100 percent remote learning), we all still love each other and nothing has drastically changed in how we feel about each other, unless it is a deeper understanding of patience.

To me, that is a testament to the power of love!

After all, love is the mother of all things good; kindness, empathy, compassion and understanding. Honestly, I am a little surprised by our success in continued friendship through this last year and I am supremely happy about the results!

For those of you who may have suffered far more than anyone should ever have to, I offer my greatest condolences and wishes for better times.

Even without COVID-19 the world faces a myriad of disasters every day and somehow humans have always managed to survive the unthinkable forces working against us.

Why?

Because we are capable of loving one another.

We are capable of being compassionate and empathetic to one another. We are capable of respecting one another.

We don’t need to be in love or to even feel love in order to make another feel loved or cared about, we simply need to remember that the most powerful love is the love that we give to another, without expectation of obligation or return.

We must simply remember and realize that love is the greatest gift and the greatest investment! Always, love your way through it.

Shaun


LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

What Makes Someone Great? Sometimes It’s Just Love

hat’s the way love should be. It should be something that solids you up, that makes you throw your arms open, makes your eyes sparkle, something that spreads and spreads and stays in the present tense.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to be a fill in dog walker for someone who has A.L.S. this week and it made me think of my friend, Jerry Kauffman, who died of A.L.S. in February 2008.

I still think of Jerry in the present tense even though it’s been years, but I still adore him and that is the sort of thing that doesn’t go from present tense to past tense because of something like death.

            That’s what Jerry Kaufman taught me. He taught me that the good things – love, adoration – they endure.

            Jerry was not a perfect man. He could be almost too loud sometimes. He could be brash some other times. That was part of his enthusiasm, his style. He always knew what he believed and sometimes what he believed struck people in a bad way. That’s not why I adore him, but it’s part of why I admire him. It takes an immense amount of courage to always loudly and bravely state what you believe and what you think is right even when no other person agrees with you. And then to sometimes change your opinion after you’ve done that.

It’s something I wish more people could do, could feel safe to do, that their egos could allow them to do.

            But the reason that I adore Jerry is because he adores his wife, Jacqui.

            Jerry’s adoration of Jacqui stays in the present tense, too. Something like death never changes that.

            The first time I met them I was doing an article for WERU’s newspaper/bulletin. I drove down to their house in Surry. I was in my twenties.

I was really, really shy.

I parked my Subaru, listened to the sounds of dogs yipping and stared through the darkness at a house lit up from inside with absolutely golden light, trying to brave myself up enough to go inside.

            Then Jerry flung open the door.

            The first thing I noticed was his hair. There was all this hair, wild, dark, curly, like a lion’s mane. 

            I may have stepped back.

            But Jerry wasn’t good about letting people step back. He stepped forward bellowing, “Hello! Hello!” and pulled me into a hug.

            Then I noticed Jacqui, his wife. She too had amazing hair, amazing in a beautiful way. But the best thing was her eyes.

            Writers always talk about people’s eyes sparkling, but Jacqui’s really did. They sparkled brilliantly reminding me of the warm golden lights of their house. Then I looked at Jerry’s eyes. They were sparkling too.

            “The great love of my life,” he said, gesturing towards her.

            I knew right then, absolutely, without a doubt, that what they were sparkling about was each other. They loved each other more than any couple I have ever met. It made me sigh with happiness. It made me smile. It made me want to be just like them.

            It’s about twenty years later and now I am a lot closer.

            It’s about twenty years later and now I love a man more than I could ever imagine. It’s the kind of love that Jerry and Jacqui have.

            It’s about twenty years later and Jerry has died so many years ago already.

            I know, I know absolutely without a doubt that a lot of people think Jerry is a hero for dealing with A.L.S., for making himself into Stem Cell Man (his adopted superhero name) and approaching illness with a vitality and humor that most people never show when they are healthy.

            But for me, Jerry and Jacqui Kaufmann are heroes for loving. It’s rare that you find people so willing to put all of their hearts, all of their souls, out there for the world to see. Every time Jerry saw my little girl, which was about once a year, he would throw his arms open, wrap her in a hug and tell her how beautiful and brilliant she was. That’s the way love should be. It should be something that solids you up, that makes you throw your arms open, makes your eyes sparkle, something that spreads and spreads and stays in the present tense.

            That’s why I adore Jerry Kaufman.

            That’s why I will always adore Jerry Kaufman, because no matter what else he did or what else he was, no matter what fights he faced or opinions he carried, he is someone who taught me all about that kind of love and how that kind of love is truly the essence, the joyous essence of a beautiful, beautiful soul.You can find out more about Jerry at his website. It has a lot of information about A.L.S., a place to donate, and a bit about Jerry and it was made out of love, not just for Jerry, but for the world.


LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

We can make a difference together even if it’s one person at a time

We all want to be seen and cared for. We all want to know that we have a team rooting us on–even when that team is full of strangers, it matters.

About three years before my mom officially died, she took a downward turn and I blogged about it on LiveJournal. I was on LiveJournal back then. I know! I know! It’s like admitting you were on MySpace.

Anyway, this is what I wrote:

My mom went into the hospital yesterday. She was bleeding a lot (in a gross way) and her hemoglobin was really low. Last night she threw up blood. They’re giving her an endoscopy to try to locate the bleeding source. She’s diabetic. Her diabetes gave her anemia. Her anemia gave her a heart attack awhile ago. Her diabetes also gave her (a non-drinker pretty much – like 3 drinks a year) liver disease.

She’s in ICU. Any positive energy would be great. Thanks.

And all these people posted and sent love.

The next day, I printed out all those comments and brought them into the ICU and showed my mom and I wrote about that, too:


I saw my mom yesterday and right before she went completely lost it, I showed her all of your comments (I hope you don’t mind) and she started crying and said, “All those people? They’re thinking about me?”

And I said, “Yes.”

And then she sort of clutched the paper print-outs and sniffed.

About a half hour later she seriously lost it. The hospital nurse asked me to help restrain her because they were short on orderlies. Let me tell you my little mother is one strong person when she’s lost it. Let me also tell you that my mother is not usually someone who acts like that.

It’s because she now has Hepatic Encephalopathy.

Which is seriously bad news.

When she finally (after hours of wild anger and thrashing and swearing) fell asleep she looked so sweet. I got to leave then and eat. We hadn’t eaten that day. I forgot about the whole food concept. But while I was gone, she woke up again and got worse and started punching and biting people.

They had to put big-time restraints on her.
She is refusing to take medicine to help get the ammonia levels in her (This is what’s making her act like this) back down. My brother has power of attorney and nobody could reach him. I got him finally. He’s flying in.
If her levels don’t go down, she could have a stroke. She could also die.

I really don’t want my mom to die.
I really don’t want her to be miserable.
I really don’t want her to be so sick.
And I really don’t want my last memories of her to be like yesterday.

I also think that hospital orderlies are the super unsung heroes of the universe. Nurses, too.
I also think that all of you guys are unsung heroes. Commenting and thinking about my mom meant a lot to her yesterday and it will always-always-ALWAYS mean a lot to me.

I firmly believe that my mom seeing that all those people cared about what happened to her made a difference and helped make her strong when everything went wrong. She got to hold onto those papers and that memory and love.

We all want to be seen and cared for. We all want to know that we have a team rooting us on–even when that team is full of strangers, it matters. Sometimes it might matter more knowing that out there are other people who are capable of rooting for you and that even when you feel horribly alone and terrified, you aren’t alone, not in spirit.

I didn’t post for a week because I suck at posting when terrible things are happening in my real life. But I did again.

Okay. I am trying to figure out how to thank everyone for all their cool thoughts/energy/calmness and comments and emails and phone calls and text messages last week when my mom was almost dying.

But I can’t.

Because the kindness that everyone did is soooooo big that I just can’t thank anyone the right way. I’m not a good enough writer.

Just know that you are all beyond awesome and totally rock.

And I really think because of you (and because my mom is so damn feisty) she did not die last week even though the doctor gave the YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT HARD DECISIONS speech and she was totally demented (sorry, Mom, you were) for a while.  She opened her eyes Thursday. On Friday she was once again capable of rational thought. Yay!

She’s still in the hospital but not in the scary ICU part.

Thank you for helping her and for helping me. I am really blessed to have such amazing friends (on-line and off).

I’m not a person who has a lot of family anymore. Since I was one of those kids who came fourteen to thirty years after the other kids of my generation, my parents and grandparents (all of them) are dead as are most of my aunts and uncles. And my family situation is complicated.

But sometimes I think about how lucky I am because I get to have two families, one online and one that raised me. I had a bunch of different cultural experiences as a kid because of the aunts and uncles I had and I know they expanded who I was and what I knew about the world.

When people online come together to do something good, to comfort, to make someone’s life better or make the country or their community better? It’s a big deal. It gives me faith and hope in empathy and love. It’s easy to focus on the horror that happens, and it’s good to acknowledge that horror so that you can fix it. But it’s not all that is. Life is bigger than that. People are better than that. We can be.

I’ve seen it over and over again. We don’t have to be perfect, but we really should try to spread good things, too.

It’s so easy to close yourself off because you’re afraid of people being mean to you, of internet trolls, or maybe the negativity from your own family. When you close off your heart, when you are afraid of being vulnerable, it’s almost impossible to love your way through things. Instead, you hunker down in fear.

And if you hunker too long, your knees start to hurt.


HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

On one of my Patreon sites I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD. This is a monthly membership site (Hear the book chapters – $1/month, read them $3-month, plus goodies!). Sometimes I send people art! Art is fun.

On this, my second site, WRITE BETTER NOW, you can do a one-time purchase of a writing class or get two of my books in eBook form or just support our podcast or the dogs. It’s all part of the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

If you like what you read, please heart it below or share it, it means the world to this writer. x0- Carrie


Finding a way past fear using love and death

Sometimes, when I am afraid of what might happen, of mistakes I’ve made, of mistakes I might make, I tell that fear that I know it’s there, but that I know I am there, too. And that’s okay. You don’t need to be fearless. You just need to be you.

Who we are is something deeper than the things that have happened to us. It’s an essence that you can feel.

There are two instances that help me describe that feeling—that soul knowledge of myself or someone else.

When our dog, Bethlehem died, she was just under two years old and a giant Komondor/Great Pyrenes mix. My husband (at the time) wouldn’t come with me to the vet for her final moments because he had to work and he said he couldn’t handle it. So I carried her 150-pound mass up these tottering wooden stairs to the vet’s office. Cars zoomed by outside. I struggled until someone pulled into the lot, ran up the stairs and helped me, taking her back legs so we can carry her inside.

            I’m not the physically strongest person and I couldn’t thank him enough for helping.

“My soul wouldn’t have been able not to help,” this random man said.

I’ll always remember that.

My soul wouldn’t have been able not to help.

He didn’t even have an appointment. He just saw us struggling and came.

            Bethy was our first family dog and adorable. Em, our daughter, adored her. She let us dress her fluffy self up as a ballerina, as a firefighter, she let cats sit on her back. She barked at any and all threats.

We all loved her so much.

She grew a cancerous mass the size of a football on her leg. It took two weeks to go from nothing to something massive, something that the vet said had already invaded her system. She faded so quickly.

            We had no choice, they said.

            So I made the appointment and after that man helped us up the stairs, I sat on the floor with her, holding her head as she stayed still on the floor, sideways. I cried silently. The vet’s assistant started to weep. The vet teared up.

And the moment Bethy was gone, the entire room filled with peace. It was as if Bethy’s soul had taken up the entire space.

I will always remember that feeling and cling to it when I doubt about things like souls and essences and life after your body is no longer useful.

            The other instance is a bit more chill. You know how sometimes you are only barely awake and you turn to the person you’re sharing a bed with and your brain can’t even form their name yet or you can’t even remember who they exactly are or look like, but you just recognize them there in the dark next to you?

            It’s like that.

            That’s what our souls are like.

            They are an essence, a recognition, a comfort, a realization. They can fill up an entire room and also speak to half-asleep brains in the dark.

            Sometimes, when I am afraid of what might happen, of mistakes I’ve made, of mistakes I might make, I tell that fear that I know it’s there, but that I know I am there, too. And that’s okay. You don’t need to be fearless. You just need to be you.

            Fear can protect us from actual dangers (like running into the woods at night when you hear a predator) or stepping in front of a bus. But it also can keep us from taking some more lovely chances and opportunities.

            And sometimes people in power use that fear to twist us into hating other people.

            Fear has got a lot going on.

            But love has got a lot going on, too. And that’s what you’ve got to cling to–the love part–even when the fear is calling to you to sink into its hollow. You’ve got to go for the love and the light and cling to it whenever you can.


LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!


If you like what you read, please heart it below or share it, it means the world to this writer. x0- Carrie

Love Your Way Through It

Compassion and empathy makes you stronger. You don’t need to walk through this world with a big stick, scream from a bully pulpit or sermonize with fear. Empathy and kindness for even those who hurt you—or those who try to hurt you—only makes you stronger.

It’s really easy to get all wrapped up in status and ambition, to fall into the syndrome where you think the grass is always greener everywhere except your lawn, to be jealous at other people’s accolades or family’s or looks or luck.

            Shakespeare said that comparisons are odious. And that long-dead white guy was right.

            Comparisons make you feel like poop.

            I know that a lot of people try to make themselves feel better by comparing themself to others and find the others lesser.

I’ve had people do it to me all my life. I bet you have, too.

My husband before Shaun was a hospital CEO in a small, local hospital. I was volunteering to decorate for one of the hospital’s two annual fundraisers. I was up on a ladder wearing my favorite Snoopy shoes and jeans, hardly hospital CEO wife clothes, but good stuff for climbing ladders, hauling tables and putting out poinsettias.

My hair was its natural color and in a lopsided ponytail. I had no make-up on.

I’ll never forget these two wealthy ladies about two decades older than me loudly saying, “What does he see in her?”

            I tottered on the ladder a bit and the person helping me knew that I heard. It would have been impossible not to hear.

            “Don’t listen to them. They have miserable small lives and they’re jealous. Just jealous shrews,” the helper said.

            She might have been right, but it didn’t matter right that second.

I heard their words and for a moment they hurt me, but then I just felt so sad for them. How lonely their lives must be if they had to say that about me. How sad.

All I could do was love them when I thought about the hurt that they must have had inside of their hearts.

            Neither of those women probably even remember that moment, but I do, and I also remember that I made a choice.

            I could have luxuriated in that hurt instead of acknowledging it, seeing it, and then letting it pass through me.

            I could have lashed out at them and matched their pettiness with my own.

            But instead I chose empathy. I had the luxury and safety of doing that because I’m secretly pretty secure in who I am. I love myself even when I suck. I chose to love them when they sucked, too.

            A translation of Dhammapada verse 223 makes it so that  Buddha once roughly said, “Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth.”

Some translations use ‘overpower’ rather than ‘silence.’

Overpower the angry man with love.

            Love your way through it.

            Compassion and empathy makes you stronger. You don’t need to walk through this world with a big stick, scream from a bully pulpit or sermonize with fear. Empathy and kindness for even those who hurt you—or those who try to hurt you—only makes you stronger.

Let’s all be strong together, okay?


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!


LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN INTERACT MORE.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!