Feeling Like A Hostage Negotiator

What’s the holdup? Basically, my laptop will no longer charge and needs to be replaced. It’s been too long already without being able to write, and I’m slowly losing my mind.

I’m trying to hunt down a temporary replacement. Something used since I can’t yet afford the model I need, and the manufacturer doesn’t offer financing. $50 a month I can do, but I’m only seeing the model from their website. Apparently it’s not offered in most stores. Who the hell wants a laptop without a DVD player/burner? Not I. Occasionally, a girl wants to add music to her extensive library, watch a movie, or add new software. I feel like this is common sense stuff.

Almost thought I found one Wednesday night, but as soon as I asked questions, the person pulled the Marketplace listing. 😒 Yesterday, he relisted the laptop for 60% more than what he was asking for originally, and I’m suspicious that he’s got ten laptops listed. Call me crazy! 🤷

My local library does allow you to use their computers, but it’s a nearly five mile trek to and fro for two hours of use. Not a bad way to get some exercise, but I hurt myself going up there last week. I came back with burns on my feet, wearing walking sneakers that I rarely wear. I bought them because the money helped support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk. I’ve never had an issue wearing them before, but I had to perform immediate first-aid. Yeah, I know. 😒 For the record, it wasn’t hot and I don’t know why it happened. I do feel my lower back injury is causing me to walk funny. I still have a burn on one foot and a healing burn on the other.

I’m doing my best to get this situation fixed. My brother would have given me most of the money I need for a new laptop, but he has missed a considerable amount of work due to his heart issues. He will be having surgery in early July. I refuse to take a penny from him when I know he’s saving for rent and food. I’m praying the surgery will be a success and that, as the surgeon told him, he will be back to work with 2-3 days. I’m not sure I believe that, as he still has unhealed issues from his first heart operation. This isn’t an extremely invasive procedure, but I suspect I did more research than he will. I’m concerned, obviously.

Overall, I’m dealing with a lot of stressful situations all at once. I’m praying for positive energy and positive solutions. I’m doing my best, but right now, I feel like a hostage negotiator in my own life. I feel immensely trapped, stuck, and I’m trying to calm down and get on everything. One day at a time, I guess.

I’m working on it all. Fingers crossed. I know better days are ahead, but I don’t have a timeframe. I’ll keep you all posted. In the meantime, I’ll be buying some additional notebooks and draining a pen or three.

Have a great weekend, everyone.





Working On It

Hit an enormous wall. 😔 It’s been a rough, sad week. I am working on getting things “back to normal”, despite being FAR from normal. Updated info is on my Facebook page. If you don’t know what up talking about, feel free to send a friend request or PM. I love hearing from all of you and would be nowhere without your staunch support. Just look for Lisa Marino.author. I’m not that hard to locate. On Instagram: @shadowsandhighlite. My profile is public and I get notifications if I’m messaged.

Safely enjoy the remainder of this Memorial Day weekend. All other countries: Happy Sunday.

Buenos Dias & Buenos Noches. 😉

💜 Li

Nightmares In Technology

The new power supply for my laptop arrived today. It’s being returned tomorrow, or perhaps Wednesday, because the company sent me the wrong one. 🤦 The only benefit is that I’ll receive a full refund and they will pay the return shipping.

I ordered a universal power supply from Targus. I genuinely wish I’d thought of that prior to my original plan. You live, you learn. I know it’s the power supply because the battery is at 52% and I haven’t touched it since last week. I’ve been controlled about the whole thing, but I nearly cried when this didn’t work. A break is always healthy, but I’m starting to feel mentally unstable. 🤔😔

To add insult to all this minor injury, my brother has been in the hospital for nearly a week. Heart failure is ROUGH, and I would prefer NOT to be an emotional punching bag. I would like to think he’s mostly afraid, but he’s driving me insane and I’ve caught my blood pressure skyrocketing. This has lead to some vicious migraines.

He was supposed to be discharged this morning, but it now looks as though he will require surgery. I’m utterly in pieces. There’s no such thing as a “quick fix”.

I pray I’m back with you all soon. In the meantime, I’m doing my best. Pens have been used, along with notebooks. Yes, the kind with paper. 😉 But above all else, I’m losing my mind. Feel free to message me here, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or leave comments. Or not. I won’t be offended. 😉

Back ASAP.

Quick Update

Power supply arrived in Boston. Yay! 🙌🙌 I’m waiting for it to move to the Middlesex-Essex Distribution Center. I obsessively tracking it all last night into this morning (Insomnia due to a vicious migraine. Not fun.). Praying for a Monday afternoon arrival, but even if it’s Tuesday, I will update everything and these update posts will come down. There were posts I didn’t program for release because I wanted to fine-tune them. Everything will go up based on the days they were created, so you’ll see them all go up and Twitter will be a bit backdated, but I have the best intentions. Providing quality content is my goal.

I hope everyone is having a decent, if not fabulous, weekend.

I will be back ASAP.

Much love & respect for the support,



Sorry everyone. 😔 It seems as though I managed to kill the power supply for my laptop AGAIN. 🤦 Granted, the first replacement wasn’t insanely expensive and almost a full two years is relatively reasonable, all things taken into consideration. I just ordered a new one. Fingers crossed it’s here Monday or Tuesday. 🙏🤞 In the meantime, my laptop is on lockdown.

I’ll be posting from my phone until everything is back to “normal”. I’m not sure how fabulous that will be from a reader’s perspective, but until I have enough money for a brand new laptop (Which I’m praying will be VERY soon.), I’m working with all I’ve got and doing my best.

Thank you for your readership, loyalty, patience, but most importantly, the kindness you’ve all shown me.

I’ll be back ASAP.



Part of Every Misery

“Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer, but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.” -C.S.Lewis

Today was difficult. Twice I walked into a room with a temper, and ended up calling one person when I was settled back inside my personal prison, and apologized for it. I’m lucky he knows me well enough to know that I simply disliked the unprofessionalism which was outside of our collective control. Praying for better days ahead, especially ones when I don’t feel like punching someone in the face.   

Personal Public Service Announcement: Mother’s Day

Late-March into May is a difficult time for me. It’s when my e-mail accounts (personal and professional) slowly become flooded with Mother’s Day prompts. Last year, I deleted roughly sixty companies from my regular list because it was obnoxious and triggering. I wish I’d deleted more. This year, I almost certainly will do my best to thin the herd a bit further. As I began typing, several e-mails popped up on two separate accounts. Bye-bye Edible Arrangements. 

If you’re new, allow me to explain… I lost both of my parents within five months of each other. I am a Motherless Daughter.

At the start of this year, I lost everything I owned. That’s not an exaggeration, either. Someplace, somewhere, someone has my incredibly expensive underwear, 99.9% of my jewelry, and everything I held incredibly dear, family photos being at the top of my list. So the constant e-mail reminders about Mother’s Day and articles with headlines like, “What Your Mother Would Love This Mother’s Day!” are merely reminders of the missing pieces of my soul. I do NOT need additional reminders; I live with the pain every single day of my life.

On any given day, it is quite common for friends or relatives to mention their mothers or families to me. I don’t think anything of it; it’s normal conversation. Several, like me, lost their mothers way too early and they understand my pain, just as I understand theirs. Others are dealing with aging and/or sick parents and I understand their frustration, exhaustion, and all the things that accompany the caregiver/caretaker role many of us take on, whether we realize it or not. We are the ones who work so much harder than anyone else realizes, and at least in my case, people let it be known that they disapproved. All of those people can go to hell. 

Those who so clearly take their parents for granted piss me off. They are the ones who don’t realize that not everyone’s parents can drop everything and come running, especially from out of state. Some people’s parents actually work for a living. Not everyone’s parents can walk your dog four times a day, babysit for you, rush your sick pet to the vet because you can’t leave work, or drop everything and suddenly appear on your doorstep “just because”. If you are a member of what I’ve just described, you don’t have permission to talk. Those are my rules. Yes, I am serious. You are not on my wavelength. One day you will be, but not now. 

Twice in the past seven months a friend has said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You must hate me because I still have a mother.” The first time I blew it off; My friend meant absolutely NOTHING by it. She was not trying to be cruel in the least. The second time, I was DEEPLY offended and wanted to knock the person’s head clean off their shoulders with an extremely sharp sword. Their comment involved an insinuation which revolved around jealousy, thus my reaction. I mean, my jaw was almost on the floor listening to what was said. I assure you I do not feel jealousy in the least. I don’t want someone else’s mother. That is completely preposterous and downright laughable. My mother? You cannot compete with her or replace her, and so few of you knew her, so please shut the fuck up.

Social media, at times, is a breeding ground for showing off. If I share something, please be assured that I am in no way “showing off”. That’s not who I am. On occasion, a friend or loved one will do something amazingly kind/loving for me and I’ll think twice about sharing it. I ask myself, “Is this appropriate?”, “Is this going to hurt someone’s feelings?”, “What is my intent by sharing this?” I give it deeper thought before I share; I don’t just post and pretend life is perfect. I write about very real subject matter, and my Instagram account is chock full of honesty, humor, outrage, thought-provoking moments, and little to no ego. I’m not there to collect “likes” and I don’t buy my followers. I’m just a girl living her life the best way she knows how. I actually removed this site (and my beauty blog) from Instagram because I wanted to be more careful about who was reading my work. I want the right audience for the topics I cover.     

My public persona and my personal life remain incredibly detached from one another. Very few people know the following things: What I look like. My middle name. Exactly where I was born. The names of my parents and/or brother. The names of my cats. My dreams, goals, hopes. My phone number. What’s going on in my personal life, and/or what my plans are for the future. Simply put, social media is not my online journal. I’m not stupid. I’ve talked about boundaries before and they’re CRUCIAL on social media, as well. You may be curious, but that does not mean I owe you an answer or an explanation.

On a regular basis, people make assumptions about me. If I don’t answer someone immediately in the language they’re speaking to me in, I get to hear a derogatory comment that isn’t worthy of a response. Just because someone says it does not mean it is worth repeating. 

Once I’d established myself as a writer, I was informed that I came off as “cocky” and “evasive”. Absolute strangers asking deeply personal questions on a daily basis and somehow I was wrong or “rude” for not answering them. That’s not how real life works. I don’t go up to strangers and ask for a full run down of their life, nor would I ever expect anyone to provide me, a stranger, with such information.

We live in a world where information is bought and sold, and traded. Not everything needs to be discussed or publicized. Sometimes people in my life do outrageously ridiculous things and all I can think is, “When did you become a Kardashian?” Facebook, in particular, needs an eye-roll button. In my case, this means “snoozing” a person every 30 days. Sad, but true. I don’t want my feed flooded with nonsense.

I digress, but I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying.

Losing my mother was like losing a limb. It still is, and the things people say to me are beyond heartless.

“I can’t believe you’re still alive. I’d just DIE without my mother.” Really? One day you’ll be faced with the loss and I am sure you will find a way to survive, I think, but don’t say. Those who ignore your pain and keep talking are just as bad as those who say stupid shit.

When I lost my parents, no one understood how much of a toll it took on me. I had been doing things for others for over 80% of my life, maybe more. Each loss was skipped over, because very few people cared. I have never had time to truly grieve or to focus on my own life because up until recently, I was still very much in the caregiver/caretaker role. Due to caring for my parents, I missed two of my graduations, said “No.” even more than I do now, and have had to come to grips with the fact that I don’t matter to a lot of people. Surprisingly, I am okay with that. Loss shows you who is true and who is fake, and 98% of people turned out to be more than fake. Little of it was a shock to the system.

The first Mother’s Day without my Mom was hard. I remember waiting until late in the day before going grocery shopping with sunglasses on, because I felt terribly raw, vulnerable, and I was determined not to break down in public. Turns out, I was completely invisible to others. No one spoke to me, acknowledged my presence, and not a single person who knew what I was going through called to check on me. Not much has changed. I was then faced with having my parents unveiling soon after. Only five family members showed up. 

This year, I was about to make an appointment when I realized it was on Mother’s Day. Under normal circumstances, I might have included one or two other people so I wouldn’t feel dreadful/completely alone, but I knew these people would want to spend the day with their mothers/children and one in particular is not someone I want to be around at all, so I changed the date of the appointment. Yes, it felt inconvenient as hell, but it was for the best. I put my earbuds in, was able to blast music, and power through it. I don’t have to listen to people’s plans, stories, etc. I can be inside my head and lately, that is both a dangerous, and sometimes safe, place to be. But if is healthier than having a holiday and the loss shoved down my throat like a million razor blades.

I sat and thought about the people in my life, the potential “mother figures”, and realized they are either deceased or do not exist at all. I understand not wanting the responsibility of motherhood, but some people don’t even want to be decent women. I’m not sure which is more disturbing to me (it’s the latter, definitely).

One thing people don’t seem to understand about me is that I am NOT a “cat mother”. Last time I checked, I was fur-free and without a tail. I am an owner, a nurturer, but I am not 50% of their genetic make-up. A few people are deeply offended when I say, “I have cats. They are not my ‘fur kids'”, but it is the truth. They may not see it that way, but that is their issue, not mine.

Yes, I commonly greet them by saying “Hello babies, Mommy’s back.” or “Girls, I’m home.” They are responding to the sound of my voice, not the words I use. I talk to them like people because they’re far more intelligent and because they actually listen, but they are not a “child replacement”, which is true for many who openly admit it. Just because I can keep two cats alive and fed does not mean I don’t want more in my life. It’s a positive sign, but let’s keep it honest, shall we?

I am not a “crazy cat lady” walking around in cat related attire, nor am I someone who is covered in cat hair. I jokingly chase them for cuddles and refer to them as “My property” (Say it like, “My PRECIOUSSSSS!”), which, according to insurance documentation, is exactly what pets are considered. They run from this, especially Cat, but it gives me a giggle. I like my cats. I love them. They’re very good friends and great companions, but yours are questionable. I don’t just go up to other people’s cats, obviously.

So tomorrow, when you’re celebrating or dealing with heartbreak, like I am, keep in mind that there are people in pain; they are not celebrating and don’t care to see you show off on social media when they are suffering. Don’t trigger them the way I’ve been triggered for the past few months.   

 copyright © 2019 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALLTS RESERVED. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from the material also require consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.