30 11 2008

I can hardly believe it. Just last year I would not have even thought it possible! After all, I am 56 years old!! I was perfectly content with the idea of never having another and then… it happened. Ed is so proud.

I am expecting my new MacBook Pro to arrive before Christmas.

Come on, like you wouldn’t be ecstatic too.

Opinions please.

29 11 2008



We need another’s opinion. This is our choice for our christmas cards. Which one looks better? The top one or the bottom?

Hit the Road Jack

28 11 2008

Ed and I were talking about the summer that our oldest grandson, Tony, came for a one month visit. He was about 6 years old and he lived in Hawaii with his Mom and Dad. It cost a pretty penny to fly him to the east coast so we kept him for a good long visit. We had a great time together. One of the things we planned was a trip to Six Flags in NJ to meet his aunt, uncle and cousins.

Tony was a good traveler. We packed a picnic lunch for the first day of our trip. We stopped along the way at a nice rest stop and had our meal. Some where along that trip, we were listening to the radio and the song, Hit the road, Jack started to play and we all started singing along. A little while later, Tony piped up from the back seat.

“Noni”, he said. “From now on, I want you to call me Jack.” So, I said, “OK Jack.” Hey Jack, would you please roll your window down?” “Hey Jack, would you please pass a soda up front to me and Grampy?” I was just trying to think up stuff so I could call him Jack.

Then I said, “Since you are changing your name to Jack, I want to change my name too.” He thought that sounded like a fun idea and he said “Sure, what do you want me to call you?”

I said I wanted to be called Precious. Silence from the back seat. After a moment of deep thought, he stated in a matter of fact tone, “Uh, you can just call me Tony.”

I love being called Noni. There are a select few besides my grand children that call me by that name. That is special to me.

A grateful heart

24 11 2008










This is my most favorite film project ever. We had the best time making this series of American Experience. I am glad it is Thanksgiving so I can post more pictures of We Shall Remain. Pilgrims. Wampanoag tribe. Massasoit.

Gratitude. There was a time in my first year of sobriety that I didn’t think I was going to make it. I was severely depressed. Everything out of my mouth was a complaint or a whine on it’s way to becoming a complaint.

One day, my sponsor told me I should sit down and make a list of things that I am grateful for. Really? Wasn’t she listening? My life was not even worth the breath it took to keep my body alive. I thought she had completely lost her mind! It had to be Divine interference that made do it. In fact, I remember asking my newly found Higher Power to help me find something to write down. An hour or so later, I called my sponsor back and I actually had a list to read to her.

Thirty one years later I have a different list. Here it is , in no particular order.

  • A real relationship with my Higher Power. I even know His name now. He is Jesus. (I just asked Him to help me with this list.)
  • Eddie. The light of my life and my best friend. He always has my back.
  • A healed relationship with my daughter. We are actually pretty good friends today.
  • Knowing that my Mother rests in Heaven because she made Jesus her Savior.
  • Knowing that my brother Lucky rests in Heaven because he made Jesus his Savior.
  • God actually uses me for His eternal purposes sometimes. WOW.
  • Extended family. Brother, sister, step children, grandchildren.
  • A few true friends.
  • A church family that loves people.
  • My Bible. I wouldn’t know how to live my life without its guide lines.
  • I have peace in my life. My mind is healed.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Several physical healings in my body.

That’s it for now. There are more and maybe I will add them later. For now, it is good to remember all of these. See, I am in a time of transition again. I am not sure of the direction I am going in but I have vowed that I will go where God leads me. He will give me whatever I need to accomplish what He has designed me to do. All I have to do is be willing. I am.

Coni’s Psalm of Thanksgiving

23 11 2008

At the end of my drinking days, I had a daughter who had just turned 4 years old. I was on Welfare and working in a bar room as a bartender / bouncer. I was fired for beating up the customers and drinking the profits.

God’s mercy endures forever.

Through God’s amazing grace, I was able to get sober in AA. The home I lived in at this time was a rickety little cottage. Cold air came whistling through the gaps around the windows in the winter because the house had settled in to the ground many years before I moved in. 

God’s mercy endures forever.

As “one day at a time” turned into months of sobriety, my brother-in-law rented me his cottage which was in much better condition. I began to watch sober people raise their children around me and I tried to emulate their good parenting. I failed more times than I care to admit but I never gave up trying to be a good parent.

God’s mercy endures forever.

Counseling became available to me along with my working the AA program. My counselor entered me into a state run education program to assist me in finding a career and getting off of welfare. The Academy of Cosmetology that I wanted to go to was 45 minutes away from where I lived. I had never learned to drive and I had no car.

God’s mercy endures forever.

My mother paid for me to go to driving school and get my license. My AA sponsor loaned me the money to purchase a vehicle that would get me to school. I bought an old beater that had no heater, no air conditioner and a leaky radiator. I carried 2 jugs of water in my trunk at all times to replace whatever water the radiator misplaced.

God’s mercy endures forever.

The temperature in the winter was often in the teens. No heat, no defroster. I wore a huge Army parka with a fur lined hood that I found at the Salvation Army. I pulled over every few miles to scrape my frozen breath off the windshield and pulled my hood over so I could see to take a turn.

God’s mercy endures forever.

I graduated school and began a career in hair styling. I am married to a Christian man who loves me and serves Jesus with his life. My daughter has grown into a beautiful woman with a Godly husband and children who are a blessing.

God’s mercy endures forever.

Today, I am clean and sober for more than 30 years. I am a hairstylist in the film industry. I am employed right now. I have health insurance and my health is pretty good.

Dear Lord, Please do not ever let me forget where I came from. Keep me ever thankful for the blessings You have provided for my life along this journey. Remind me that You have gone before me and made a path for me to follow. Thank You for leading, and sometimes dragging, me along the way.

Forgive me when my heart becomes hardened with disappointments. Forgive me for the times that I think of me first and You last. Soften my heart again.

You have been so good to me. Thank You that Your mercy NEVER fails and that Your love continues forever.

A taste of movie making

22 11 2008


This is a little bit of what it looks like when a film crew descends upon an otherwise peaceful setting in order to film a TV series.


This is the crew of One Tree Hill getting set up for some scenes down by the third street bridge. The guys set up the equipment and we waited for it to get dark because this portion of the story takes place at night.

img_2725It was one of those nights that I got to see a beautiful sunset over the Cape Fear River.

img_2746I love living in Wilmington.

The temperature had dropped drastically by the time we neared the end of the scene. I am grateful that we had a warming tent to retreat into.




This is what my world looked like one day this week. It was my first full week of working as the second hair stylist on a TV series. Although it was not a difficult week, I am still happy to see Saturday come. That means the alarm did not go off at 5AM! I am spending the day pampering myself. My hair has been colored and hi-lited, I took the longest, hottest shower ever and then put on a clean set of ‘jammies. Oh yeah, it is jammie day for me. I am also taking time to write a post, listening to music and checking out Facebook. Who knows, I might even cook dinner for Ed. More likely we will go out to eat.

BTW. Be careful when you ask me to post more pics, Angela. LOL.

From there to here

19 11 2008

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past 56 years!

When I was a child, my imagination took me places. When I read a story, I became the lead character and shared the adventure in my own mind. I had  a dream of what I wanted to accomplish and who I thought I would grow up to be.

When I was a pre-teen, I lost trust in people and did not know who or what to have faith in anymore. I became sad and lonely and withdrawn.

In my teen years I felt unloved and a victim of my circumstances. Rejection was so deep that it became a physical sensation and began to rule my life. Rebellion began to infiltrate my thoughts. It was my reaction to the instability I always felt. It opened me up to becoming a victim of violent crime.

Bennys, marijuana, LSD and alcohol were the deceivers that I relied on to make the inner pain go away. In truth, they only masked the pain for a time. When the effects wore off all the emotions came back again with the burden of guilt now added to them.

Young adulthood became my time to pay the fiddler. Many times I wished to end my life so the confusion and pain would cease. I had become my own biggest disappointment. I was unable to control my own behavior. Promises made to myself were now being broken by me. Hope was a vapor.

BUT God. He had a plan for my life. He infused me with dreams when I was a child. He wept over the things that happened to me. He did not allow my suicide attempts to succeed. He did not allow the dangerous events that might have resulted in my death to succeed. He never took His hand of protection off of me completely even though I squirmed to get away from Him.

When I had spent every bit of my own energy and self will, He was there for me. He was waiting for me to find Him again. He never rejected me. He never gave me over to anyone or anything else. He never gave up on me. He is the hound of Heaven who never lost sight of me. Like an echo bouncing off the walls of a canyon in the distance, He was calling my name. Destiny would not be thwarted. At long last, I heard Him. I surrendered to His love for me.

My life journey took a whole new path. I was able to dream again. He had a plan for me. A plan for my good, not for my destruction. Breaking addiction. Breaking harmful mindsets. Removing fear. Unveiling a healthy self worth. Birthing in me a realization that God loves me and that makes me worthy.

I have had to let go of some dreams because they were in the way of where God is leading me. He has a plan for me. I am not finished or perfected yet. I am not exactly sure of where this path is leading me but THIS I know:

  • If God is leading, I am going.
  • He wants me to dream BIG dreams because He is a BIG God.
  • It has taken me this long to get where He wants me.
  • He is not finished with me.
  • I am right on schedule.
  • There is another adventure ahead for me.
  • I can trust Him.
  • He has a plan for me.