Author Daisy Roberts – She Takes You to the Edge®

2012-January 26

I love you Mrs. Gabrielle Giffords. Each time I see you on the telly, tears of joy sprout upon my face as I see a real miracle before my eyes. Every so often God gives us glimpses of his presence in a modern day “burning bush” and I see God every time I see you Mrs.Giffords-Kelly! I commend you and your husband Mr. Mark Kelly for all of your contributions to our great country. I love you both. My utmost in the highest to the both of you. May you continue your remarkable recovery as I will be praying for you both.

2012-January 25
Iris Krasnow Author, ‘The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes To Stay Married’


“Help! I hate my husband.”

This is how a letter starts in my Inbox today. It’s from a 41-year-old woman named Cindy in Dallas who has been married for 12 years. I get hate mail like this using slightly different language several times a week. Substitute the word “hate” for “loathe”, “despise”, “can’t stand” and occasionally, “wanna kill”.

I always tell these women the same thing: You are definitely not alone. Plenty of wives feel this way. Plenty of wives think about divorce at least once a month, if not more, and manage to stay married for decades. My conclusions about the see-saw between hate and love come not as a psychologist or as a minister who counsels her flock. I am an author of five relationship books, including The Secret Lives of Wives, to whom women tend to tell all, about joy and sorrow and cheating and lying, about hot sex and no sex – and lots of dish in between.

Any woman married for longer than six months, if she is honest, knows the eggshell thin line that separates loving from loathing The deeper the love, the deeper the potential to hate. Any wife who is honest knows the compulsion to throw things, to hiss, to swear, to sit in the driveway in your bathrobe, engine running, sobbing.

What wife among you hasn’t occasionally sucked down too much wine to numb the pain of grinding against the same person, in the same house, every day, for weeks, months, years?

Yet we stay married because the love out-muscles the hate in our relationships. On those days we are socked under a gray malaise, we are suddenly lifted into the light as we walk by an old photo of the family, arms looped, heads pressed together, as if we are one big animal. And so it goes; happy some moments, miserable some moments, yet grounded in this flux of emotions by a fundamental commitment to each other, to the children, to forge onward.

I know from my own 24-year marriage and from the resilient women in The Secret Lives of Wives who have stuck it out for up to 60 years that marriage is ever-changing. Their own survival stories prove that periodic explosions can open up the channels to richer and stronger relationships.

I ended up having an hour-long email conversation with Cindy from Texas. She hit my heart. I felt her pain. I’ve been there, and persevered. Hopefully these snippets from our exchange will help you swing through the moods of hating toward loving, or at least toward liking him a lot, again.

From Cindy:

“At some point every week I feel like leaving him. When we got married I imagined this great life we would have together and instead we seem to always be fighting, about the kids, about the fact that he is so remote, about the stupidest things.”

From me:

“Are you still attracted to him?”

From Cindy:

“Sex is still, good, yes. But we don’t have it very often. I find myself lusting after other men.”

From me:

“Have sex more often with your husband. Keep the lusting in your imagination unless you want a torn up heart and buckets of guilt. Fantasy can be way better than reality; take it from one married woman who told me how she took a hubba-hubba office mate to a nearby hotel. Once he took off his shirt she saw a back that was so hairy she couldn’t even kiss him: As she put it: ‘He was gorgeous in his suit and I should have left it at that.’

“Sorry if this offends because your husband has a hairy back. I’m sure he’s adorable, but it wasn’t this woman’s taste.

From Cindy:

“No hairy back – don’t like them either. I know I’m lucky to be married to someone sexy. Some of my friends don’t go near their husbands. But this hate I feel, it simmers and I wonder if it’s a sign that there could be a better partner out there for me. Little things grate on me every day. My husband chews his food loudly. I hate his father. I hate our domestic hum-drum. This can’t be love!”

From me:

“Does he beat you? Is he gambling away all your money? Is he verbally abusive to you? Does he whack your children? Is he a philanderer?”

From Cindy:

“No, he’s a gentle man and a hands-on father. I have never been suspicious of him being with other women. He makes a good living, and that has enabled me to stay home with the kids.

“My hate comes from this feeling that I’m missing out on something else.”

From me:

“Here’s what you are missing out on, according to some wives who write to me. How about the agony of finding out your husband is sleeping with your best girlfriend? Or, getting daily critiques from your husband that you are repulsive to look at and lazy? One woman shared with me how her husband grew so frustrated with their autistic five-year-old he tossed him across the room.”

From Cindy:

“Yikes! Okay I admit I don’t have any really big problems. So what about this sense of just feeling bored?”

Last one from me:

“In the early years of marriage, during my 30s and into my early-40s, I often longed for a different life. In my 50s, I am grateful for a predictable routine with the same husband who has helped me raise four interesting sons. We loathe and we love and we carry on. When boredom hits, I go drinking with my girlfriends.

“Could my life be better with someone new? Perhaps, until the new becomes old, which it inevitably does. Does my head get turned by chiseled men in well-cut suits? Yes. Then I remember that I don’t want to necessarily see what’s under those threads. Acting on lust often turns out not to be true love but to be true disappointment. It takes grit and prolonged intimacy to love deeply and hate deeply and thus is the rhythm of family relationships. Ever tell a sibling or a parent, ‘I hate you’? Then, an hour later, you are hugging and wetting each other’s faces with tears.

“It takes a lot of love to hate.”

This blogger’s book, The Secret Lives of Wives can be found here, and she can be found on: http://www.iriskrasnow.com

2012-January 20 –

 

Blues singer Etta James, who is most famous for the hit song “At Last,” has died from complications of leukemia, her manager confirmed to the Associated Press. She had been diagnosed with chronic leukemia in January 2011.

Court records show the 73-year-old entertainer also suffered from dementia and kidney failure. She had been under the 24-hour care of Dr. Elaine James, who is unrelated.

James was born in Los Angeles to a 14-year-old mother and an unknown father. She was brought up by a series of caregivers and began taking vocal lessons at the age of five through her local Baptist church.

James became a gospel prodigy and began singing with two other girls in a doo-wop trio called The Peaches in San Francisco. At 14, James met bandleader Johnny Otis, known today as the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues.” Otis produced James’ first hit with The Peaches, called “Roll With Me, Henry” (which was later renamed “The Wallflower”). The song was released in 1955 and soon reached No. 1 on the R&B charts.

Following the success of “Roll With Me, Henry,” James left The Peaches and toured with singer Little Richard and guitarist and singer Johnny Watson. Her first major solo hit, “All I Could Do is Cry,” reached No. 2 on the Billboard R&B Chart in 1960.

In 1960, James signed with Chess Records and recorded “At Last” a year later. In 1968, she released the album “Tell Mama,” which included the song “I’d Rather Go Blind.” It became an instant hit, as did the album’s title track. In 1962, James recorded the hit song “Something’s Got A Hold of Me,” sections of which were used this year in rapper Flo Rida’s song “Good Feeling.”

The singer battled a heroin addiction in the 1960’s and 1970’s. James had several legal problems relating to her addiction, including being accused of heroin possession, cashing bad checks and forgery. In 1974, after being in and out of rehab for over a decade, James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving time in prison and spent 17 months in the hospital. In 1988, at the age of 50, James returned to treatment at the Betty Ford Center in California.

James’ career made a comeback in 1989 with the album “Seven Year Itch.” Four years later, she released “Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday” as a tribute to her idol. James was awarded her first Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, for that album in 1994.

Throughout her career, James has released 30 albums and 58 singles. She has explored the musical genres of gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz.

“In concert, Etta James is a sassy, no-holds-barred performer whose suggestive stage antics sometimes border on the obscene,” wrote All Music Guide’s Bill Dahl.

James was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2008. In 2003, James received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She was awarded six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards, and was named No. 22 on Rolling Stones’ 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Beyonce Knowles played James in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records. After Knowles sang “At Last” for President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball in 2009, James said Knowles was going to “get her ass whooped” for singing her song. Her son Donto attributed James’ comments to dementia.

James is survived by her husband, Artis Mills, and their two sons, Donto and Sametto.

How to deal with mean people
Editor’s note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

Not that long ago I was crossing the street with my daughter when a speeding car almost plowed us down.

“Hey! This is a crosswalk!” I yelled through the passing car’s open window.

“I don’t care!” The driver shot back.

Mean people, like vermin, have been around forever. But for some reason – maybe it’s the economic trials of these past few years – there seem to be more of them than there used to be. And I’m not the only one who thinks so: A 2010 National Civility Survey found that two out of three Americans believe civility is a major issue, and three in four believe the negative tenor in our country has grown worse over the past few years.

“When we talk about civility and good manners, we are not talking about which forks to use for salad – that’s etiquette,” says Dr. Pier Forni, director of The Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins and author of “The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude.”

“Civility is about how we treat one another in everyday life and is closely related to ethics. The principle of respect for the person holds that we ought to treat others as an end in themselves, rather than as a means for the satisfaction of our own immediate needs and desires.”

I find myself nodding in agreement with Dr. Forni, but then I try to imagine repeating his words to the dude who almost ran us down in the crosswalk. I’m thinking that guy may not be convinced with an argument about the interplay between ethics and civility.

So why should we be nice if we don’t have to be?

The health benefits, for one. According to Forni, “Science tells us that when we engage in acts of civility and kindness, both the person on the giving end and the one on the receiving end benefit; it’s known as ‘helper’s high.’ Cascades of hormones and neurotransmitters activate when we are giving a token of our civility.”

Indeed, a slew of studies confirm that kinder people tend to live longer and lead healthier lives; volunteers have fewer aches and pains; and compassionate people are more likely to be healthier and successful.

Widespread incivility, on the other hand, can wreak havoc. Mean people, writes Stanford professor Robert Sutton, have “devastating effects, partly because nasty interactions have a far bigger impact on our moods than positive interactions – five times the punch.”

Says Sutton: “You have to overwhelm the negative with so much positive, it’s ridiculous!”

Moreover, due to a process called emotional contagion, the ripple effects of demeaning acts adversely affect coworkers, family members and friends who watch – or even just hear about – ugly incidents.

Sutton has written widely about the economic and social benefits of rooting out jerks from the workplace (except Dr. Sutton doesn’t call them jerks). His bestselling book is called “The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.”

Sutton distinguishes between occasional rudeness – of which everyone is more or less guilty – and certified jerks. His “Dirty Dozen” of common everyday actions that out a certified nasty person include: personal insults, invading one’s personal territory, uninvited physical contact, threats and intimidation (both verbal and nonverbal), sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems, withering email flames, status slaps intended to humiliate their victims, public shaming or status degradation rituals, rude interruptions, two-faced attacks, dirty looks, and treating people as if they are invisible.

Certified jerks display persistent patterns of these bad behaviors and have a long trail of victims. (Sutton has also developed a self-test called the ARSE, but I took it and I’m pretty sure it can be gamed.)

But why are people mean? Forni suggests a handful of root causes that may cover the entire spectrum of uncivilized behavior: lack of restraint; stress, illness or depression; anonymity; insecurity; lack of time; or a sense of entitlement.

“All of these factors can work together,” says Forni. “In traffic, for example, anonymity and stress work together. The first driver cuts off the second driver. Perhaps both are late and therefore anxious. They don’t think they know one another. And so they engage in some finger puppetry. But say one of the drivers suddenly recognizes the other as the pastor of his church. You will have an immediate effort to minimize what happened.”

According to Forni, anonymity also plays into uncivil behavior online: “You have this wonderful technological marvel that can improve our lives and yet it has become a dismal collector of the moral toxins of our society.” (Imagine Forni’s elegant turns of phrase spoken with a fabulous Italian accent.)

Ultimately, civility is about power – and character. “The difference between how a person treats the powerless versus the powerful is as good a measure of human character as I know,” writes Sutton.

Since nasty people are unavoidable in daily life, Sutton offers a few tips how to deal with them – and perhaps rebound more quickly from run-ins:

Stand up or develop indifference.

Sutton says that if you find yourself the victim of bad behavior, do a power analysis: “You can either address the problem directly, or you can exercise the fine art of emotional detachment. Can you take a picture of the jerk’s license plate and report him to the police? Is there a number on the side of his car you can call? If yes, fine. If not, then try to forget the incident as quickly as possible. There are times when things are beyond your control and the best thing for your mental health is not to give a damn. In those circumstances, find ways to engage in short-term denial.”

Reframe and change how you see things.

Attempt to reframe a run-in with a jerk in way that is less upsetting. “This is a kind of mini cognitive therapy,” says Sutton. If you can’t escape a stressor, you can reduce the damage by changing your mind-set about what’s happening.

“Develop a coping mechanism, if you must. Sometimes we are able to find delusions that serve us.”

Sutton offers a reframing example from a recent holiday meal, where a relative did something rude.

“Afterwards I was complaining to my wife and she turned to me and said: ‘I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want the 1% that was bad to ruin the 99% that was good.’ And then she left the room. It was surprisingly effective.”

Sutton cautions, however, that if you’re in a long-term situation that is bad every time, reframing will not make it go away.

Limit your exposure.

Avoid if you need to. For example, if you shop at the same place frequently, go out of your way to avoid the mean clerks. By limiting how often and intensely you face jerks, you create a buffer against their demeaning behavior.

In a work context, Sutton offers additional strategies, like building pockets of safety, support and sanity; and seeking and fighting battles that you have a good chance of winning.

Later, reflecting on Sutton’s strategies – stand your ground, detach, reframe and avoid – I am reminded of the oft-repeated meditation for “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

And I add a little prayer of my own: “Please God, next time grant me a baseball bat for the car that almost ran my kid over.”

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. HAPPY 2012 TO YOU!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

5 days and counting down to showtime. My Charity Benefit Fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and 50th Birthday Bash! A year in the works and we are almost finally here.

Special thanks to my loyal supporters who have already purchased tickets to help me celebrate my 50th birthday and my favorite charity, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! I know I can always count on you!

Entertainment includes, DJ Hypnosis spinning sounds from the throwback 70’s – now; Performances by Atlanta-based pop band, Wabash, featuring my daughter, Bria Jones on lead vocals; Comedian, Anthony Thomas; Spoken Word artist, Raecine and a special guest speaker are all appearing on December 3 at my Birthday bash and Charity Benefit raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! Donate $10.00 and get your ticket to join us for an evening of fun celebration and giving to a fundamental cause..fighting blood cancers! You may purchase tickets by visiting my website: http://www.daisy-roberts.com. The festivities will begin promptly at 8:00pm as we have a tightly-packed program scheduled.

The Logistics
Eats: Appetizers, dinner and drinks will be served (including alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks)
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2011
Time: 8:00pm – Midnight
Location: The Lakes at 1605 – 1605 Lakes Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Dress: Black and White Cocktail Attire only
Cost: $10.00 donation per person – proceeds to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Upon receipt
of your payment, you will receive an admission ticket and a tax-deductible charity donation
receipt.
**Black and White Semi-Formal or Cocktail attire required only! NO EXCEPTIONS!! Our security personnel will NOT allow entrance into the venue if you are not dressed accordingly!**

**Please ensure you have a designated driver or we have taxi service on call and available if you need their services. This is a celebration and we want you to have fun, enjoy yourself and make it to your destination safely. **

If you’d like to stay in a local Lawrenceville hotel overnight, please let me know by Monday, November 28 as I am obtaining a group rate for guests of my event.

Please call or email me if you have questions or need further information. I look forward to seeing all of you for a fun-filled evening.

Namaste’

Judy Jones aka Daisy Roberts

Join My Cause, help find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma by donating
today.

http://daisy-roberts.com
http://www.eventective.com/eventsites/JudyJonesBirthdayParty1/

*Tune in Sunday, November 27 on BET for the Soul Train Music Awards. You just might spot me in the audience!

As many of you know, my mother was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010 and since then I’ve become a tireless advocate in raising funds to fight this disease. I am proud to say that my Mom is doing pretty well since her diagnosis and I am very thankful for this. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been instrumental in their overall assistance as our family has navigated the road of dealing with leukemia and assisting our mother in living the best life she can live while fighting this disease at age 73.

I am requesting your donations to help fund the research and ultimately a cure for blood cancers. Additionally, I seek to bring emphasis and exposure to the very necessary cause of minorities and people of color becoming much more educated about the diseases of leukemia and lymphoma and the importance of becoming a bone marrow donor.

Please join me in funding the research to find cures for Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma and all blood cancers, by supporting my fundraising event on Saturday, December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia! It is sure to be a delightful night packed with impressive entertainment, a delectable dinner prepared by an award-winning chef and a special surprise guest speaker. This is a semi-formal all black and white affair, sure to be a huge night of remembrance for you as well as me!

If you are unable to attend this event, please give consideration to making a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in lieu of your presence. As always, I am very much obliged for your support. Stay tuned on this blog page and my other sites for additional information. Thank you.

Tickets may be purchased on my web site: daisy-roberts.com via Paypal. Tickets must be purchased by October 31, 2011 to ensure your seat as there will be no ticket sales at the door during the day of the event! Keep up with details as we approach the date on the following links below.

http://daisy-roberts.com

http://www.eventective.com/eventsites/indexedit.aspx?id=JudyJonesBirthdayParty1

Beginning today and everyday through September 20, 2011, please cast your vote for me to become the next Times Square billboard face of about.me. Your daily votes will propel me into an enormous forum of getting the word out about the cause I relentlessly give my time and efforts to lately…the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

As many of you know, my mother was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2010 and as such, I’ve become a staunch advocate in raising funds to fight this disease. I am proud to say that my Mom is doing magnificently well since her diagnosis and I give many thanks to your multitude of prayers and positive life thoughts you’ve provided to me and my family! So I’m raising votes to become the Times Square about.me face in order to bring emphasis and exposure to the very necessary cause of minorities and people of color becoming much more educated about the diseases of leukemia and lymphoma and the importance of becoming a bone marrow donor.

Please continue to support me and my Leukemia and Lymphoma awareness efforts by voting daily for me by going to this link: http://about.me/authordaisyroberts/

Also please be patient with me as I send you daily emails, advising and/or reminding you of where I fall in the voting contest.

Thanks again for helping me be a part of the top 10% of vote getters thus far, however my goal is to be in the top 1%, so please spread the word to your people (family, relatives, co-workers, friends an associates) to vote for me each and everyday beginning now through September 20.

Peace, love and blessed health to you and yours,

Daisy Roberts
http://about.me/authordaisyroberts/

A LIFE CUT SHORT

2011-July 25  A LIFE CUT SHORT by Daisy Roberts

Troubled singer Amy Winehouse was found dead Saturday by ambulance crews called to her home in north London’s Camden area. She was 27.

She is best known for her telling hit “Rehab,” was as famous for her alcohol and drug addictions as she was for her Grammy-winning, chart-storming, retro-inspired music. “They tried to make me go to rehab,” according to the now-haunting lyrics on her global smash 2006 single, “Rehab.” “I said ‘No, no no.’”

A British singer, she made an auspicious debut with her jazz-influenced 2003 album “Frank.” She garnered worldwide fame with the 2006 follow-up “Back to Black,” with its blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop.  She won five Grammys and with her black beehive hairdo and old-fashioned sailor tattoos one of music’s most recognizable stars.

But her music was ultimately overshadowed by her demons, particularly her struggles with substance abuse.

Last month, Winehouse canceled her European comeback tour after she swayed and slurred her way through barely recognizable songs in her first show in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Booed and jeered off stage, she flew home and her management said she would take time off to recover, reported the AP.

An autopsy today failed to determine what killed the 27-year-old star, leaving fans and family with a weeks-long wait for the results of toxicology tests. A family spokesman told the wire service that a private funeral “for family and close friends” is set for Tuesday at an undisclosed time and place.

Ms. Winehouse’s friend, Russell Brand remembered his friend, “Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent,” Brand wrote. “Or Kurt’s or  Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is  adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic  affectation but as a disease that will kill.”

Not everyone knows a “Winehouse,” as he called her, but he noted that most do know drunks and junkies in need of help that is out there for them.

“All they  have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way,  there will be a phone call.”

As he also noted,  ‘Amy was a genius and an addict.’ Addiction is an evil drag that one carries with them for the rest of their life. Although many of us could have predicted Amy Winehouse’s early demise, still there was this hope that somehow she would find a way to manage her demons and live. Unfortunately, this was not to be. Amy Winehouse now joins that notorious group of musical geniuses who also were defeated by the grim reaper of addiction: Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.

So much talent, so much artistic creativity destroyed by a disease that is too often all too powerful for the afflicted individual to overcome. With Amy Winehouse’s death, Club 27 has claimed yet another victim.

Originally written By Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay News
20-June 2011

Men who drive Porsches or flaunt other flashy possessions are usually not the “marrying kind,” a new study suggests.

Researchers from Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), and the University of Minnesota found that conspicuous spending by men is often driven by the desire to have uncommitted romantic flings. They also pointed out that although flashy spending may get a woman’s attention, she won’t be picking out china patterns any time soon.

“This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks,” study author Jill Sundie, an assistant professor of marketing at UTSA, said in a news release from Rice University.

Just as peacocks flaunt their brightly colored tails to attract potential mates, certain men show off flashy products, like brightly colored sports cars, to draw the attention of women, the study found. The researchers also indicated that the men who pursued this strategy were only interested in short-term sexual relationships with women.
In analyzing more than 1,000 men, researchers revealed that being in possession of a Porsche or another flashy luxury product did make a man more desirable to women than owning a non-luxury item, such as a Honda Civic. The attraction however, ended there.

While women who did find a man who drove a Porsche more attractive as a date, she did not find him more desirable as a marriage partner for a long-term committed relationship, the study authors explained.

In fact, researchers found that women inferred from men’s flashy spending that they were only interested in uncommitted sex.

“When women considered him for a long-term relationship, owning the sports car held no advantage relative to owning an economy car,” study co-author Daniel Beal, an assistant professor of psychology at Rice University, said in the news release. “People may feel that owning flashy things makes them more attractive as a relationship partner, but in truth, many men might be sending women the wrong message.”

The study authors suggested that when it comes to attracting potential dates, women do not share men’s conspicuous spending habits.

“Obviously, women also spend plenty of money on expensive things,” added Sundie. “But the anticipation of romance doesn’t trigger flashy spending as it does with some men.”

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