Jumping in Delicately

I have been absent lately, from my own space and yours. It is has been a tough time, I haven’t made a secret of it have I? That being said and the fact that I have shared mostly the harder parts of the past three months versus the small victories, well it hasn’t been all bad and it hasn’t been a complete and utter disaster, every day and without relief.

Yes, I really have gotten out of bed on occasion. Though I must admit, I do love my bed.

Thanks to the wonderful advice and information found at Lessons From the End of a Marriage, I have started to build up some stamina, a toolbox suggestion came from this particular posting and I am working on my own this week. I realized after reading the post and checking in at the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that I was high up there (438), not just in the past year, in the past 90 days. Wow, that was an eye opening; guess it is time too really take steps to align my attitude with my true needs and take care of myself.

No, I haven’t found the RIGHT job yet, however, I am committed too not run scared from my plan to stop consulting, stop traveling and reinvent my career and myself. Don’t believe for an instant I am not scared, I am petrified; still I am going to pursue this change for my own good, for my health spiritually, mentally and physically. For my financial health (and so I don’t panic) I may have to modify, I may need to take on short-term contracts, but that is something I can do easily I think.

All this being said, let’s talk about some wonderful things. Things I did for myself and things that have entered my life.

First, isn’t he handsome?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yes, he is the newest addition to my family, born Thursday, 13 March 2014. I was there, at the hospital this time. Unlike when his big brother was born, I was there. I realized how special it was to be able to be part of momentous family events, rather than off somewhere else because of work. What a blessing this was. I am so excited with Chase Lee, he is beautiful and his big brother is happy to have a new brother. Yes, for all you who take exception, Painted (Inked) Grandma’s are the BOMB, and I say this with the very best meaning.

Last month Red from Momma Money Matters came for a visit. As most of you know, Red is one of my nearest and dearest and her visit was lifesaving, truly. We didn’t do much, a few shopping trips, a trip to the ballet, a couple of dinners out. Mostly we sat and talked sipped wine and talked. The biggest and most important thing Red did was demand my presence in life, require me to get out of bed every morning and move. I needed that more than anything else at that point. What most people don’t know is I have spent so much time on the road I don’t have a social network of friends here, where I live.

One other thing I did while Red was visiting was have new professional photographs taken. My original intention was simply to have headshots done to update my profile on job-hunting sites such as LinkedIn and elsewhere. With Red in town I expanded that to include her for our business cards and banners at RedmundPro and anywhere else we might choose to use them. But then, with her encouragement, I expanded one more time and had new ‘fun’ and personal pictures taken of just me, being well not quite me but maybe the me I hope to be sometime in the future.  This is the result:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The photographer is Christ Hanna of Posture Studios, he does a great job and this is the second time he has made me look beautiful (when I was feeling less than). Personally, I think he does a wonderful job and looking through his portfolio, well it is eye-popping to say the least. I am not his usual subject, so I am in awe just how marvelous he made me look. The first time he photographed me the results made me cry (happy tears), it was a low point and I was stunned into speechlessness.

If you are in the Dallas metroplex and want wonderful photos of yourself or someone else I would highly recommend you consider Christ, he is wonderfully talented. I have already engaged him to take the first formal pictures of my lovely grandson; I am more than certain he will do marvelously. With a wedding coming up (youngest son) I intend to hire him again in the near future.

Finally, on a slightly more personal note I am sure will find hysterically funny. I want to relay I am not dead; I might be slightly socially awkward. For many years, I have had two modes of being, the married Val and the business Val. I do not know how to respond to anyone flirting with me other than to ignore and think they are full of it. Blatant showing interest in me whether simply to get in my bed or otherwise, tends to go right over my head. In fact, I truly do not recognize it, I am oblivious; truthfully, I can’t imagine why anyone would.

So what you should find funny, while Red was on her mission of mercy she yanked my chain; twice no less. Yes, men actually flirted with me, attempted to gain my attention and I was utterly unaware. Handsome men paid attention and I was unconscious. Probably I should not admit any of this, what does it say about me? Well, married Val still exists in my heart and brain; I suppose that is what it really says. Somewhere there is someone else, somewhere there is the other me the one who knows how to flirt back, who knows how to ride a bike, who knows how to be less socially awkward. Somewhere inside of me is that woman, maybe someday in the future she will emerge with some encouragement and enough opportunities and reminders.

Thanks to Red and Christ, at least I know now I still look half way wonderful on a good day (Thank you).

riding a bike


  1. I love it! I’m thinking I need to cue up something fabulous to go with this post, like Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman”. You go, Valentine! Oh, I do see the courage in your eyes, girl. Own it!

    • I don’t know about courage my dear friend, maybe just, “I double dog dare you”, You know that school yard type of taunting that we all sometimes get to? That kind of courage? Yeah, maybe that kind of, I am just going to do it no matter how scary it is I am going to jump in and see what happens kind of courage. Funny you should mention Chaka though, see the next one she was the soundtrack of so much of my life.


      • Shucks! That’s a damn good place to start then. You look determined to do just that. Love the tats too. 🙂 Your grandson is just precious! Enjoy all that new life.

  2. You are an amazing, beautiful lady. I love your writing style and honesty.

    I love my bed too. I had to laugh when I read that part … because I totally know. If it weren’t for my small children, I don’t think I would a lot of days. It’s funny. My life has changed so much … I’ve come so far. But why do I still have trouble getting out of bed?

    Keep on keepin’ on, darlin’. You rock.

    • Coming far, I think that must be the goal. Coming far, staying on the road and knowing we can continue know matter the roadblocks. But those beds, they surely do call some days don’t they?

      Welcome, I hope you will visit more often and thank you.

  3. Congratulations, Val! First and foremost, congrats on the birth of your new grandchild. How wonderful and truly blessed you are. Then congrats on allowing Red to pull you up out of the ashes. You have been in my thoughts and prayers on a constant basis, and I am so happy to see from your pictures that God has answered my prayers (and many others, I’m sure). You look marvelous, girlfriend. You have much to live for, and you are indeed one foxy lady. MUAH!

    • My Chase Lee, he is so lovely! His brother is very impressed by him as well which I am glad for. Today we did his first photo session, it went well and we got wonderful pictures of him. I cannot wait to share.

      I am so grateful and feel so surrounded by love and blessing by all of those who have continually lifted me up over this time. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am. There are days I just know, it isn’t me but you all. Red did indeed manifest what everyone else was saying, that I am also grateful for. Christ (photographer) was truly a great blessing in simply seeing what I did not / could not or would not see, the woman behind the hurt and sad. This is the second time he has done so. He has an eye.

      I think I will keep his number, every time I feel ugly I will call him and he can show me I am wrong.


  4. I shall not worry about you any more, Val! You will be fine! With a new grandson and a great look…how can you not succeed? I can feel the change and confidence in this post – a gentleness fused with courage. Thanks for the photos. Both grandsons are precious and new life gives us hope. What lucky guys to have such a hot grandmother!

    • Thanks, I am getting there I think. It is hard, every day I wake up and kick myself and push myself. I am still sad, hurt, lonely and scared as can be; but I am also damned if I won’t live and well. .

      They are beautiful, aren’t they?

  5. Although you may not be ready to flirt back, from what I can tell, look how far you’ve come! You are on a personal journey that takes time … time …. don’t try to make it go faster … don’t try to hold it back … so just let it do its thing because it is a great healer.

    Congrats Grandma! … and many thanks for so many comments during my absence.

    • He is a treat, we just finished his first photo shoot this morning he is such a good baby. I tell you, I am mush!

      I don’t know Frank, that how far I have come thing? I suppose I have but my level of stress, it is still way up there. This will pass though, won’t it? I am ever so grateful to those who have reached out to me, here and in the physical world; I can’t even begin to tell you. My life is saved by those who have touched me.

  6. BIG smiles at the photos! How wonderful for the family addition and for the professional photos of you! Also, it’s nice to see you and Red got together; she motivated you and I like that ♥ Sending you a hug, right now!

  7. A. Everyone needs an inked grandma …
    B. Getting out of bed is a big first step.
    C. Thank heavens for wine and a friend who’ll listen, talk, and point out that yes, that man really is flirting!
    D. Nothing like some glamour shots to make you see yourself in a new, beautiful way. Kudos to the photographer for such stellar work!
    E. Congrats on the new grandson. New life — very symbolic.

    • John, I love your list it made me smile and even giggle! I do so agree, all children should have at least one Inked grandma. Red certainly did plant a boot in my azz and help me see I needed to ‘just move’, as to the helping me realize the flirting bit that was a bit more to overcome and you should have seen the blush, who would have thunk it.

      You are so right, he did a wonderful job. Both the first time and this time. I sometimes use shots from the first time here. He is a wunderkind.

      My new grandbaby, he is spectacular. Being there? It was fabulous and simply further solidified my need to make changes.

      XXX OOOO

  8. I love love love the photos & baby!

    The one w/ you and the red shoes. HOT Mama w/ Lots of confidence & SEXY as hell.

    Love the photo w/ RED! you are both too gorgeous. Damn you.

    This post made me smile, honey. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Oh, my friend you could have been in that and we would have been three HOT Mama’s .. no damning needed.

      I am always glad when I can make you smile.


  9. Reading about the lows in your life but hey, you’ve been holding out. You got grandkids!
    Me too. If the price of having these creatures in my life was all life’s suffering – well worth it. Damn good deal. Plus, you know Red ? WOW.

    • As I always say, Grandchildren are our best revenge! You are so right, well worth it.

      Red? Indeed, travel buddy, confident and butt kicker extraordinaire.

  10. I remember how weird it was to actually go on dates once I was divorced. I’d married my high school sweetheart and hadn’t ever really dated anybody else. It was scary and thrilling all at once. Good luck. Great pics!

    • I am thinking, dating will have to wait for a while, maybe a very very long while. It was nice to know I wasn’t dead yet though. It is nice to hear from others that the pool is actually not entirely filled with sharks.


  11. Gray Dawster says:

    It’s a good job that your blog is protected
    or everyone would be taking your photographs 🙂 😉

    Have a deliciously exciting Friday Val and be good 😉

    Like Me…

    Andro xxxx

    • One would hope not, but then you are a friend you may steal away if not for nefarious purposes. 😉

      • Gray Dawster says:

        Thank you I will add these to my prized
        friends collection, hey I don’t have that
        many… but thanks again Val 🙂 🙂

        Andro xxxx

  12. Gray Dawster says:

    What can I say, this posting has everything right down to the very last slideshow with my two most sweetest of friends, your husband is an idiot leaving such a beautiful woman behind but hey that’s his loss my dear friend, wow just keep on doing whatever it is that you are doing and everything will fall into place. I have always said how lovely you are and now this slideshow proves it, and I am not being creepy, just saying how it is.

    You look great, and so happy on those photographs, Red I am not leaving you out, you too are looking awesome, hey at this rate I will have forgotten all about the other aspects of this brilliant posting, and I wouldn’t want to return to my Space without congratulating the arrival of the little one, what a delightfully sweet baby, and I can see how everyone adores the little bundle of joy 🙂

    I think that short contracts add to any working life as it offers lots of challenges and an opportunity to meet lots of different and new friends. Good luck with your job hunting and always stay as you are Val, I love this posting.

    Andro xxxx

    • Andro, as always you lift me up and make me smile. Thank you. Chase is lovely, though I hear through the the grapevine he is already awakening the household. I also love the photos of the two of us, they are great aren’t they?

      • Gray Dawster says:

        Your photographs are awesome Val
        and yes I can imagine the little one as
        he screams for attention 🙂 lol

        He is most definitely worth it though isn’t he 🙂

        Andro xxxx

  13. The one with the flirty flip of the polka-dot dress —> awesome. How lovely that you were able to enjoy some of the blessings around you. Wishing you the best as you continue to climb out of it and into a wonderful new life.

    • Isn’t it funny how each of us like a different picture? I guess we all see something different. I did enjoy some days, with Red, with my kids, with the new baby. Just being present in life. I did enjoy. I just need more of these, concurrently.

  14. Jueseppi B. says:

    ALL I can say is damn. Damn. DAMN you are fine.

  15. I love that Red made you get out of bed and join the living. I love, too, that this photographer who took spectacular photos of you is named Christ. He really is your savior! Congrats on the new grandchild. They’re both adorable!

    • I love that too Monica. I don’t know that I will ever be able to thank her enough for putting her boot in my butt. As to Christ, he has twice miraculously shown me, with his lens, I am something other than what my jaundiced eye sees in the mirror. He truly has lifted my spirit with his camera, I needed that.

      My babies? The are wonderfully beautiful! My son and daughter-in-law surely do make pretty ones.

  16. It’s all coming together. And with so few or no network of friends locally, I get that. It’s tough. Folks kinda fall off when you zip off here and there. Also, you might need to travel to get out and far away from that bed. 🙂 Although, I love my bed just as much.

    • I just need to get out, I am not unable to speak up and speak out. I just need to put a boot in my own butt and do it. Little by little, I will. Just didn’t seem ‘right’ and didn’t have much ambition.

      You know?

      • I know. It’s hard to get motivated when stress takes over. It’s that big, bad boogie monster we all have to fight and it’s never a cakewalk.

  17. Congrats on the new addition!! The photos are excellent .. looking pretty with Red, the tatt on the Rt. forearm … I love!! And the pin up girl on the bike is hot!! LOL …
    Thank you for leading me to your “spot”!!

    Hugs …. Peace!! 🙂

    • Thank you and welcome. Red is my friend and publishing partner, she was also in this case my lifesaver. The tats on both arms are new, I also love them and they both have stories. Of course all 15 of my Tats have stories, none are frivolous. The pin up, she is hot isn’t she, she is my idol, I want to be her!

      I hope you find what you are looking for, you need only look under categories to the right.

      • Already looked there and found them. Will read them a bit later ….

        So you have more tatts? So do I … plenty. But I think no more. My skin isn’t getting any younger.

        If you care to see them there’s a post … “The meaning of my tattoos” in my blog. Yes, all of them have stories.

        BTW, found your FB like page. Liked it, send invitations to my friends …. a few have already “liked” it. Also, sent you the link to my “like” page on FB. Hope you don’t mind!!

        Fascinating to start to know you better. Hugs!!

        • Already liked back and will start to read later when I get through my backlog. I am so behind (woe). I will also go find your tat blog, I love Ink and am planning two more, maybe I will stop then. Maybe.

          • No problem …. I know the feeling of being behind. The more I like this, the more behind I get ….. It’s all ok.

            At least, we can communicate through here.
            Have a wonderful day!! Hugs!!

      • Oh, the new baby is beautiful!! Blessed be …

  18. Congratulations on the precious new bundle of joy! And the pictures – you are one hot mama, Val. Good for you for getting back into life – you can do this.

    • He is awesome isn’t he!

      I am not fully back yet Peg, but the plan? It is beginning to form and not scare the daylights out of me. The pictures, they were fun and made me feel, well they made me feel like a ‘girl’.

  19. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Hi!! Congrats on your new addition! What a joy to be there and feel really blessed. 🙂

    Wow!!! Those are great pics!! Really good. You go, girl.

    I’m so glad you have a great friend in Red. She sounds like a wonderful person. I’m glad you’ve been able to start to move forward. Have some fun!!

    Talk soon, Deb

    • Thanks Deb. It truly was a blessing, he is so cute and looks just like his big brother except well smaller. 🙂

      I do like the pictures, they are sort of fun aren’t they? Kinda Rockabilly Pin-up as Amaya says.

      Can’t wait to hear about your move. Coffee soon.

  20. You are beautiful! I love that rockabilly outfit and your tattoos! Class and sass. No wonder your are catching lots of looks. Good thing Red is there to notice! Congrats on the new addition to the family. Nothing like baby sugar to lift one from a funk, at least for me.

    • You are so right, new additions are the best! He looks just like his brother (except smaller). I can’t wait to take the new baby pictures with the family, we are all so excited.

      Thank you for the nice compliment, I was pretty happy with the pictures. I am always so surprised when I see pictures of myself I don’t hate. It happens so rarely. I also love my Ink!

  21. Loved the photos both of you and of your gorgeous grandsons… but I was waiting for one more… your new rescue dog?????

    • Thank you my friend, I couldn’t agree with you more they are gorgeous. My Ruby? She won’t hold still long enough for a picture! You are right though, I should have included her. She is adorable also, slowly she is socializing. Slowly she is losing her fear and becoming more tender.

      Next time I will snap her and include her.

  22. Val, you’re looking great, your new grandson is adorable (as is his big brother) and hopefully soon, you’ll be working again. It sounds to me that Red’s visit did you a world of good and soon, you might notice guys that notice you. It sounds like things are starting to look up and I hope that continues for you. Hey, spring is coming: new season, new outlook.

    • Thank you, they are the best and so handsome aren’t they? I personally think all babies are slightly alien (unless they are related to me of course). Her visit saved my sanity, lifted my spirits, truly.

      I think I am not ready for men, not now and likely not in the near future. But knowing that even at my age they notice I am present in the room, well I think that gave me a boost of confidence. I needed that, both on a personal level and in my job hunting. Spring is coming, you are right.

  23. Love LOVE love this post. We did have a ball and a bawl. ❤ I love you to bits.

  24. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    The pictures are lovely–both those only of you and the family ones! On an otherwise stressful day, they have lifted my spirits, as has your determination to kick butt despite being petrified. I do believe you will! Love you.

    • Deborah, I am so glad I could return the favor. You lift my spirits each and every time I visit so turn about is fair play as they say. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures, they are signs of better times I think. Love always back in your direction.

  25. frigginloon says:

    Boom, there ya go! 🙂

    • 🙂

      Yes, there I go. But it is like one of those waterslides, you know the ones? They throw you down and then shoot water at you at horrifying pressure just to see if they can rip your suit off. Yeah, those. Good days and bad.

      But it is getting better.

  26. So Proud to have red this Val. Glad you and red had a photo op and it is nice to hear you talking the way you have. I cant explain it but i feel better when I know you are happy.

    • Ah Tom, you lift me up with your cheer section. I know I can count on you to be on my side, thank you. It was a great opportunity to capture us both at our best!

  27. How cool! Having fun is a great medicine 😉

  28. What a handsome big brother.

    I also love that photo of you in the white shirt – lovely pose 🙂

    A wonderful sharing, Val dear.


    • Ryan is a champ, he was so excited to be getting a little brother he simply could not wait till the ‘birth day’. Having to wait out in the waiting room was terrible for him, thankfully his favorite auntie was there to keep him company.

      That is for my professional sites, I like that one also. It truly is the ‘real’ me. The rest, I have to admit they were a challenge but fun and I like them now that I have a chance to look at them.

  29. Great pictures, positive blog. Thanks for sharing and for the interesting reference suggestions

  30. singleworkingmomswm says:

    What a great post to read, Val! I love your grandbaby pics, but I love even more the beautiful photos of YOU! Stunning! Thanks for sharing, and glad you got some time with Red to get out and have that support. 🙂 XOXO

    • I am glad others see the goodness in this one. Truthfully, it hasn’t been all bad and seeing those pictures of Chase and of me, well it reminded me there is good and well be more good. Red is the best, getting on a plane and coming across the country out of worry, can’t get better than that.

      Hope you are well in your part of paradise.

  31. I have no doubt men took interest in you. If you exude as much confidence and strength as you do in those photos, they’re bound to notice. The pictures look great, and I think you’re rocking that ink. 🙂

    • Thanks Carrie, I still walk around in married mode it all goes right over my head. Between Red, Christ and the fun of the day yeah, I guess I see I am still in there somewhere. Not sure I am ready or willing to be noticed right now. But it was nice to know, I am not dead.


  32. First.. Thank God for Red! 🙂 a greater friend you could never wish for.. and second.. Wow to both sets of photos.. First your new bundle of Love.. He is adorable.. you must be so proud… Loved those photo’s and Big Brother is going to do a fine job of cuddling!.. Wow to the second set of photo’s you look fabulous and tell Red she looks great too… And I know which ever Val emerges, she will be victorious.. Love and Hugs Sue xox

    • Big brother is I think, impressed currently. He was pretty excited to be let back to the room to meet his new bundle. Once met though, it was directly back to getting his own hugs and playing games. I think there is enough age difference he will be a great big brother once he grows use to sharing his parents.

      You are so right, Red coming out and pulling me part way out of the funk was a true blessing. I couldn’t ask for a better friend. Her pushing me into taking a risk, that was also wonderfully fun, I love the pictures if for no other reason they remind me I exist as a separate and complete person. I am glad you (and others) enjoy them.

      Hugs back


  33. Glad to hear you are getting out of bed a bit more. I totally LOVE the photos. What precious grandchildren you have! Don’t you just love the way little kids hold their younger siblings? So darling. Good luck on the job front, and let us know if you want to come here. The offer is always open.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Yes, working on trying life my friend. Slow but steadily working on trying life. There are days when I find myself actually smiling, broadly.

      My grandbabies are beautiful, I think so as well. It was so fortunate to be there and share in that day. I was so excited I was nearly jumping out of my skin.

      Kathy, I am coming it is just a matter of timing. One thing at a time. Truly, you all are on my mind.

      Hugs always back from here


  34. Great pictures. If those photos of you are any indication, your flirt-ability is on its way back!

  35. I love the flipped-up skirt photo, in particular! Looking fab, Val.

    • I should take a poll, my favorite is the side view playing with the pearls. But then I think that is the most demure of the ‘pin-up’ pictures so the one I am currently most comfortable with.

      Thanks Sue.

      • That was in the ‘favorites’ running for me as well. The flipped-skirt one says ‘fun and flirty.’ The side-view-with-pearls says ‘smart, sassy, and assertive.’ I like the solo-white-shirt as well, because it speaks to the real and simple you. 🙂

  36. I’m really glad to see you coming out again, Val. Thank you, Red and Chase Lee!

    • Coming out, yes that is a good way to put it isn’t it? I am going to thank Chase, Red and Christ and the random men who have flirted despite my obtuseness.


  37. Dear Val,
    Nice to hear you sounding up and upbeat. Your grandsons are gorgeous and I’m so glad you were able to be there. Congrats.

    And your pictures (and Red’s) are terrific!

    • I am getting there, Elyse. I suspect there is still a long ways to go, many roads to walk, many bridges to cross. It is my guess, it isn’t as easy as riding a bike and I will skin my knees a few times in the process. But, at least I am willing, or more so than I was.

      Thanks on the pics, the photographer is fabulous; he has a great touch.

  38. Love the pics, the new grandson, and the hope and courage I read in this post Val!

  39. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: