Me in the Middle ~ Welcome 2019 (Our last ‘Normal’ Year!) Bring It On 2022 Challenges

New Year 2019


Courage, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Tolerance, Joyfulness and Service.

So how did I do over this past year of 2018?  None of these virtues come to any of us that easily.  It takes a transcendent mindset to be able to rise above the very human struggles we all go through no matter what our age.

Courage ~It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
— Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Forgiveness ~ “It doesn’t mean that you’re excusing someone for past wrongs, but it does mean you’re no longer going to allow those wrongs to rule your life” ~ Sue Fitzmaurice

Gratitude ~”I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness–it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” ~ Brene Brown

Tolerance ~ “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Joyfulness ~ “Joy is a door opening to the Divine, to God, to the Universe.  Joy is the flow of Spirit within us.  It is so powerful that it can heal our bodies and soften our hearts at the same time.  It is the manifestation of love and has the power the change the world.” ~ Sue Fitzmaurice

Service ~ “If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.”  Aung San Suu Kyi

New Year 2019 #5b

Image by MLQ

Me in the Middle of a JFK Revisit

One-Inch Picture Frame (1)

JFK Revisit

While looking for a new inspiration in my posts, I picked up Anne Lamott’s book ~ Bird by Bird ~ “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”.  One idea she had was to write short assignments ~ about as much as you can see through a One-Inch Picture Frame

My second short assignment was writing for five minutes about as much as I can see looking through a one-inch picture frame of revisiting  John F. Kennedy’s Assassination.

On November 22, 1963, two months to the day before our first child was born, I was standing in the living room ironing my husband’s shirts while watching television.  The screen suddenly was filled with the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Texas.  Life changed from that point on for all of us in America.  As I stood in stunned silence watching the news unfold over the following days, I saw images of Jackie Kennedy and her small son, John, standing by the roadside as the fallen president’s casket passed by.  I felt like I knew Jackie personally, as we had both experienced miscarriages and heartaches in our lost pregnancies.  She gave me hope that I too would be a mother one day, just as her husband gave us hope that we, as a country, could overcome our adversities and become greater still.


(2017) And now, over fifty  years later, “The documents—441 files that had previously been withheld entirely, along with 3,369 other documents that had been previously released only in part—were made public under terms of a 1992 law that requires the unsealing of all JFK assassination-related documents by October, the law’s 25-year deadline.”  And the interesting part of all this is that our president (Trump) has the power to block the unsealing of some controversial documents regarding the CIA and the FBI.  It’s possible that he will be asked to block some that are being released by the October deadline. “It does not reflect well on the legacy of either the CIA or the commission that, half a century after those gunshots rang out in Dealey Plaza, the newly released documents suggest that at least some of those conspiracy theories might be true.”

~ Stay tuned for the unfolding of the Real Camelot ~


How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder

What we know about the newly released JFK assassination records—and those yet to come

(Update November 2021): We’re still waiting for the release of the secret JFK Assassination Records. The current administration (Biden) cited COVID-19 as the reason.

“Congress declared in 1992 that all government records surrounding Kennedy’s assassination “should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination.

But a part of that law also says that the release of these records can be postponed if their public disclosure would cause “identifiable harm” to military, intelligence, law enforcement or foreign operations.”

11-22-63 #3

Sketch by Mary Lou

Pandemic 2020 ~ October (Revisited)

Satire Facebook Page 2020

My blog has stayed clear of politics for the most part. Not being affiliated with any party, I fly by my intuition based on the person and the party’s performance over the years. Yet last year around this time I was feeling absolutely frustrated and outraged at how the COVID-19 pandemic had turned political. How could those who represent us and our welfare use a devastating public health crisis for political points? My main frustration last year was with the president in office at that time. It was the most bizarre thing that I’ve witnessed in all the partisan drama over the years. So, I’m revisiting that time as a reminder of how it all began and where we are today

On this date last year the number of deaths in the United States was 227,409. Today that number has reached 756,362.

The United States is still #1 in cases and deaths globally. My attitude going forward has changed. I’m no longer trying to pinpoint where we as a country went wrong. My only responsibility is in how I respond to this threat and how to follow the guidelines to protect myself and others. It doesn’t serve me well to rant at those who continue to rebel against authority who has years of experience and knowledge in serving humanity and science. Yes, those who refuse to mask up and those who refuse to get vaccinated are contributing to the spread of this virus in our country. It’s mind boggling! Some things we can’t control and how we respond in a crisis is within our control.


The Right Thing ~ Post October 2020

The graphic above is the Satire DT, not the Real DT. There’s wisdom and leadership in that advice. Something we sadly don’t have. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing since this pandemic started back in early March. And finally I went ahead and checked the right box shown above. I voted very early by mail. It was the only right thing to do. Anyone who has played the kind of reckless games that the current president has played during this pandemic doesn’t deserve four more years.


The Right Thing
By Jan Beaumont ©️

The New Zealand election has now come and gone
And we’re settling back into our lives
But quite soon they will vote in the United States
And they’ve lately been flashing the knives.

Where we had two women, quite young in their years
The US has two older blokes
One of them seems to be quite dignified
While the other’s the butt of the jokes.

I just hope the American people come through
As their country sure needs to get well
But I trust the majority have some good sense
Or they’re in for four more years of hell! 


The numbers keep rising (according to and medical professionals.


In spite of ongoing reporting from reputable news media and medical professionals that the virus is going to be getting worse, the president continues to downplay the threat and flaunt the rules of mask wearing and social distancing. In a surreal reality TV show, he’s hospitalized after a positive testing of COVID-19. After a dramatic display of miraculous cure, he continues large campaign rallies and accuses the doctors of lying in order to get money.

In March, the real Donald Trump retweeting this in a sick display of humor:

Me in the Middle of Inktober 2021

Today begins INKTOBER 2021!!

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to participate this year. Maybe you’re looking for something fun and creative to fill your time. It turned out to be very satisfying for me back in 2018 when I needed to fill my days during recovery from a medical procedure. Looking back on the post below that I did back in 2018 gave me a sense of real satisfaction so I thought I’d share the information with you.

Here’s the Prompt List for the Month of October beginning today. You can go to the INKTOBER 2021 Facebook Page and share your ink sketch each day:


Below you’ll find the re-blog of my post back in 2018. It’ll give you an idea of how it works. You can also take a look at other INKTOBER sketches on the Facebook Page to see all the great ideas.

I Survived Inktober 2018

This month has been an eventful month!

I had a medical set-back that sent me to the emergency room a few months back and was soon diagnosed with AVNRT which is a form of Supraventricular Tachycardia.  A Cardiac Ablation was scheduled for October 15th and while waiting for that date, my activity level took a nose dive.

Then I heard about Inktober 2018 and decided it would be a great way to pass the time and fight the boredom.  It would calm my pre-surgery fears and also give me a buffer-zone against the ugly, stressful developments in our country’s politics.  The challenge is to come up with an ink-sketching idea based on a daily prompt.  Here’s the video that explains Inktober much better than I could:

How to Do Inktober


So all went well with the Cardiac Ablation and I’m just completing my recovery with a good report from the doctor.  I also finished all 31 days of Inktober and feel pretty good about it.  Take a look at my sketches.  Maybe you’ll join us next year for Inktober 2019?

Week One ~ Oct 1st thru 7th

Week Two ~ Oct 8th thru 14th

Week Three ~ Oct. 15th thru 21st

Week Four ~ Oct. 22nd thru Oct 30th


And HAPPY HALLOWEEN ~ Enjoy a Margarita on me!! 

(I’d love to know which sketch you liked the best!  Leave your choice in comments!)

Day 31 Slice #3

Me in the Middle ~ 9/11 Poem ~ 20th Anniversary

Photo by Thomas E. Franklin, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


I discovered a poem I wrote on September 22, 2001 so I thought I’d share it on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11:



If we see life a bit clearer and appreciate its beauty
and glory alongside its horror and sorrow ~
They have not died in vain.

If we’ve reached out to those we love and
opened our hearts a bit more in trust ~
They have not died in vain.

If we’ve learned beyond a doubt that politics and religion
can be dividers of people as well as reconcilers of people ~
They have not died in vain

If we now know that God’s grace and love resides in the
hearts of individuals regardless of race, creed or country ~
They have not died in vain.

Freedom or fear; Love or fear; Courage or fear ~
Everyday battles fought in everyday lives.

If we can believe that the way we live our lives;
The way we treat each other;
And the way we respond to hatred and evil
will bring about change in this world ~
Then they have not died in vain.

~ Mary Lou ~

(Dedicated to the Victims and Families of September 11, 2001)


9/11 ~ Twenty Years Later


The sense of national unity is not there today!

We squandered the global unity and sense of purpose that brought us together on 9/11.”

Garrett Graff (author of The Only Plane in the Sky ~ An oral history of 9/11)

“There’s actually a very direct line between the unity that we experienced after 9/11, the decisions that we made as a government, and our sense of partisanship and polarization that continues to this day now.”

Follow the link for interview with author: