Forgive Me

I have been working very hard at forgiveness. In doing so I have forgiven myself for the things others might perceive I’ve done wrongly. More importantly I have finally forgiven myself for the things I perceive I have wrongly done.

Like the character Sophia in “Golden Girls”…Picture This

Not Sicily, but 2017, Encino, CA…I’ve agreed to go pick up lunch for myself, the boss and a coworker. I really don’t want to eat fast food (but I forgave myself) and as I pull into the drive way leading to the drive thru I glance to my left and wonder why a parked car is idling there (honest). As I approach the order speaker I hear a car horn and look back. I begin to realize that was not a parked car but rather a car approaching the drive thru as well. They were thoughtfully leaving space for those driving in to park. Horror of horrors, I would never intentionally do such a thing as cutting in line! This appears to be exactly what I have done. Just then a man approaches my car window and begins to point out the now realized obvious and asks me “who do I think I am?” Still stunned I thank him for pointing out my mistake as he irrately storms back to his car. It is now I realize there is little or nothing I can do about it since more cars have now moved into the cue of cars behind me. I forgive myself and wonder what else I might do about it.

Options? I get to the order speaker and explain to the faceless voice that I just want to drive thru without ordering. I will park and go inside since I UNintentionally cut in front of people. But wait, I forgave myself and instantly realize that will do little to ease the burden on those behind me. The voice agrees with me and I place my order. Should I pay for the order of the car behind me? It is not the angry man. That might make it better, but others have also incurred a time delay from my action and I don’t have the means or desire if I’m honest to pay for lunch for everyone. After all, wouldn’t this now involve my faux pas extending uninvited effort on the part of the faceless voice. The Voice reassures me. We are in agreement that it was a mistake, an innocent error on my part.

The point is, are we so challenged that we cannot afford to forgive each other of our mistakes? How small or large does a wrongdoing need to be before we can dispense a dose of forgiveness? Must forgiveness require a person to want forgiveness in order for it to be offered?

It occurs to me the man took more time and effort getting out of his car to confront me vs. the amount of time my error caused him delay or effort for him to forgive me. I get it – he mistakenly thought my mistaken action was intentional. His intention seemed clear. I asked the person who took my exact change and at the next window that young woman who gave me the goods for their forgiveness. I requested them to extend that to the customers that followed (yes, even Mr. Grumpy pants). I pulled forward and waited by the wall for an attendant to bring me my order.

The still offended party pulled up behind me (I was anticipating the possibility) doors locked, windows rolled up, a/c on. Hopefully realizing that enough time had been spent on this he pulled away while yelling loudly out his window a word I would never utter. I forgave him. I hope everyone else who heard it forgave him too.

Time is certainly a commodity these days. It seems forgiveness is invaluable. We are forced to waste time in traffic while we witness what would seem to many as intentional and unintentional wrongdoings. All is forgiven. We see many trying to be efficient with time as they fiddle with phones, checking in and keeping up while seeming to be intentionally or unintentionally rude. All is forgiven. That is a personal choice. But while time is fleeting and cannot be held onto – Forgiveness can be long lasting and oh-so healing.

The moral of my Sophia-esque story this day? Clearly I seek forgiveness from those who perceive I’ve wronged them. I have lovingly forgiven myself! I hope the handsome young man can find a way to smooth his angst with his own forgiveness. I’m guessing all who heard the word shouted from his car in such desperate and frustrated anger would also hope the same. Something in my heart tells me it might not have really been me but something bigger that is eating at him. Just a guess, but I hope he finds peace. I prescribe a dose of forgiveness today, it certainly helps me.


Forgiveness Doctor,

Decidedly Debra

R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Find out what it means to Me)

I am trying so hard to understand those who are kneeling during our National Anthem at sporting events.  It seems they are doing so in meaningful protest toward our President of these United States and his policies and against racism.  When pressed for more explanation those (like myself) who are unclear about their intentions are often answered with the statement that those offended by their actions are responsible for promoting divisiveness in this country.  BULL!  To them I say look in the mirror.

Frankly I am certain it is they who are promoting divisiveness.  In fact, I find it frighteningly close to an act of treason.

When someone is hired to do a job and they use their time on that job to protest anything, it is wrong in my view.  They could and should be fired for not performing their job.  I would apply this to players and managers alike.  If I took work time to make a statement about anything other than what my paid position requires of me, I would be wrong.  Freedom of speech has nothing to do with it.

Recently it was explained to me that until 2009 athletes were not required to be on the field during the National Anthem.  If government lobbied to pay them to do so in an effort to encourage patriotism, so what?  How can anyone enjoying the blessings of this great nation then dishonor the men and women that got us here by not proudly honoring the playing of our National Anthem?  How is this an appropriate protest for anything?  How is this acceptable on—the-job behavior?  How is this an example to be supported?  It is NOT freedom of speech but rather a flagrant show of disrespect.  Disrespect for you, for me, for themselves (an all too common problem these days by the way) and disrespectful to our great nation.

Freedom of speech is a treasure yet respectfully only valid on our time and our dime.  Period.

Another example – why should I enjoy being held hostage by the Emmy’s (or any televised award show) and forced to listen to the political ramblings (on either side) of those paid to perform scripted entertainment for which they are being recognized?  It is disrespectful and Hollywood should go on notice that I am no longer listening or engaged.

What I enjoy on television or in the movies or on the gaming fields have nothing to do with what the players want to say beyond what they were hired to do and that is simply to perform.  Any unsolicited remarks or actions beyond the scope of the task they were hired for is otherwise disrespectful.  Stop it.  No one needs to be subjected to such nonsense in the name of freedom of speech.  I will not be and I know many who will no longer be.  Take notice NFL.  Take notice Hollywood.  I believe you are about to see your ratings go south.  Who will be left to watch?  Round them up and let the whining begin.

Divisiveness comes in to play when it seems convenient to say so.  Racism is divisive and so is reverse racism.  You cannot bring something together by taking sides. You can however, learn a thing or two by listening, at the appropriate time, with an open mind and a respectful heart.

If you want to draw lines in the sand and rally around your freedom of speech do not do so on someone else’s dime.  I would respectfully suggest you take your own time, effort, creativity, and assemble that effort of protest on your own and/or collectively with your supporters.  I would support you to that end.  I might even learn something.  I am willing.  Can you manage that?  Or are you only interested in protesting if it easily fit into your schedule or while you are being paid to perform and if you have a captive audience of a few million or more?  This is no time to be lazy.  Doing so is an embarrassment to those protestors (remember the 70’s) who work hard and strive to make valiant efforts to ensure their freedom of speech.

Has our President drawn some lines in the sand?  Perhaps.  But remember, our President has been elected to the position he holds.  He is our Commander in Chief.  His job, a thankless one at best, requires him to safeguard our great nation and its CITIZENS first and foremost.  People voted and he won.  He deserves our respect until such time as those not in agreement with him have the opportunity to elect someone they find to be a better choice.  That is the process. Until then stop being disrespectful and start being positive and constructive in the sharing of your concerns.

In closing Decidedly Debra suggests;

Respect yourself first,

Respect your bosses (if you are bold enough to take their money every pay day),

Respect each other, and

Respect this great nation of ours.

Decidedly Debra respectfully invites you to “get out” if you cannot.  E-mail me if you find any place better than our great United States of America.  Certainly the world needs help, but get off the sofa and go where the help is needed – I see no good in bringing more problems to this great land of ours.

A Telethon for the Disaster that is You and Me

It is interesting to me that we need a “Telethon” to show we care about each other in order to feel compelled to offer financial support in an effort to help in some particular time of need.  It should not surprise me really.  We are at a time when we gear up to “un-friend” those who do not think similarly or perhaps disagree with us with a push of a button.  Gone are the days of polite discussion (or even heated discussion for that matter) where we can disagree but remain respectful to others, and in my view, to ourselves. It is a sad day indeed when we need someone to tell us to reach out a helping hand.  Sadder yet when we promote disaster like a business only to find the next overwhelming circumstance overshadowing the last.  It is downright pathetic when we have come to the place where unless it directly affects us we can no longer manage to take a moment to care or even imagine the impact that affects one or another.  Not until a camera forced in the face of a starving child, a homeless person, or an abandoned animal, do we feel concern.  I am beginning to think it must take a stomach turning visual for us to feel ashamed and show compassion.

Here is the thing folks – reach out a helping hand when and where you can.  Lend an ear for a moment.  Keep kindness in circulation…always.  It does not take millions, but a genuine smile can be worth thousands.  A meal shared with another might keep a person or animal physically and/or mentally going for days and the love and caring it can provide might keep some filled for weeks.  Perhaps it may be just the spark needed to see that not all is lost and they can rise above whatever they might be struggling with.

I am not going to sugar coat this.  Some of us seem so starved for attention that the least glimmer of caring can unleash a seemingly exhaustive wave of need.  That is ours to manage rather than shun.  With assurances that we are not practicing the once-a-year telethon-mindset or a onetime opportunity and how with practice we can revisit the concept of caring.  We can let these starved individuals know we will be there again with a shoulder, a hand, a smile or an ear or even a dollar.  Practice this and we will get better at soothing our own souls and feel safer in our own skin as we learn about the plight and fancies of those around us until it no longer takes an event of magnitude to bring us together.

Who have we become when we can easily spend $20 at the convenience store for a one in a trillion chance to win millions?  Yet we have to hire a bank of volunteers to answer phones and provide A-list celebrities to hold our interest while another human being begs us for any amount in the name of kindness and caring?

I watch as we get in our cars each day and put on a stern game face to maneuver through the throngs of others, often just like us, to get to a place where we can provide for ourselves and, God forbid, maybe another.  Do we really need someone to remind us when a helping hand is appropriate?  Do we need to be cold-called and our tragedies promoted to offer help?  It only takes a second to let someone go before us who is on the same path.  Are we so afraid to be taken advantage of that any kindness appears to show our weakness rather than our goodness?  Have we become so misguided that every courtesy appears to us as some sort of threat?  I am here to tell you that a smile from a stranger does not have to equate to them wanting to put their hand in our pockets.  In reality, for some it might, but we are a smart lot and if we trust our God given instincts, we know the difference.

I wish for a telethon that lacks A-listers but rather is a production to remind us of the human qualities rather than frailties that each of us possess.  The compassion with which we all can manage to understand and grasp good fortune in small doses with some sort of regularity rather than hoping to rack up millions at a time or two.  (Maybe that is why I love The Voice or America’s Got Talent so much.)  These kinds of daily responses will clear the way for every one of us to participate in this thing we call human nature.  The very nature that allows us to celebrate with each other and grieve for one another with a willingness to navigate both.  The very nature that allows another’s success to be an inspiration rather than a jealousy.  The very nature that is essential in assisting us to care for another’s grief and in turn empower us all to carry on.

Can money constantly and consistently circulate much like the blood coursing through our veins? We can benefit more by it than just the self.  Without circulation we will die.  With it, we can thrive.  By giving a little on a regular basis we see how it offers life to those in need while regenerating itself and thriving in ourselves.  It is the same really.  Like blood, water, money and love, a little in frequent intervals is the only promoting we all truly need to thrive as a whole.  It circulates within us and does not stagnate.  It can foster a sense of freshness and renewed spirit. When offered it can be beneficially contagious.  It can heal and touch us all, young, old, abundant or wanting, it has no preference and should be there to benefit the whole, the family, the community, the planet.  Like a tiny stone tossed in a still pool it ripples out and is far reaching.

Say no to sponsored “big business” telethons.  Say yes to your own personal telethon of caring and giving.  Remember giving does not necessarily require a trip to the bank or writing a check.  When was the last time you offered your neighbor a smile, a warm coffee cake, a broom to help clear a path while getting to know them? Give  it a try.  Let me know how it works.  I’m “Decidedly Debra” writing under the “Frankly Francine” sight and I approve this message.

-With Love

The Number Seven

Let me apologize early on for what will be a personal post. Perhaps not void of valuable information if, like me, you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a relationship breakup.

It has been about seven weeks for me, Decidedly Debra. But the relationship was a long one. It lasted over seven years – nearly ten years if we had ended it this coming August. It was not without it’s rough spots but I own that as well as my [then] partner does. Inasmuch as many who knew us as a couple found our breakup surprising, there are at least seven that tell me they aren’t really surprised. On some level I was and yet in retrospect I am not. I guess it is some of the circumstances throughout this relationship I actually found surprising. In the long run It made the end of it not so surprising.

Recently I was remembering with fondness some of the time we spent together, particularly when we travelled.  I began to feel a distinct sense of sadness so I turned to the Internet for a bit of advice. I was looking for the “Seven” stages of grief. These 7 stages are relatable to loss of someone near and dear regardless if the loss is by death or simply a life choice.

1) Shock/Disbelief.

That certainly fits here. When someone who claims to love and be loved can shut down communications and lose the ability to allow their relationship to sustain them during times of stress and/or struggle is shocking and unbelievable.

2) Denial.

This can’t be happening. Certainly those consoling me believed it was not really the end. I too began to deny its end when I thought about it at that point.

3) Bargaining.

Maybe I should call and give him the chance to explain.

4) Guilt.

Was I at fault? Could I have behaved differently. Did I cause this breakup? Did I actually want this breakup???

5) Anger.

Really? After all we’ve shared and all I’ve done to negotiate circumstances in the past? Circumstances that now appear to have certainly had some bearing on the beginning of the end! Bite me (times seven)!

6) Depression.

‘Nuff said.

7) Acceptance/Hope.

I accept that I’ve made the right decision for myself. (Say that seven times to yourself before bed or first thing in the morning). I am hopeful my future will result in a relationship that brings me closer to true happiness and is enriching while we meet each other’s needs.

Meanwhile, Frankly Francine reminds me that as a “party of one” I can go to Costco (open seven days a week – but it is best to go on Tuesday for less crowds) and pick up the stuffed bell peppers I love. There are six to a package and I can easily and quickly cook all six. The ones remaining (did I mention my increased appetite during this breakup?) can each then be placed in its own baggie and frozen for grabbing to quickly and easily microwave for lunch or dinner later. They are truly delicious.

I wonder how many stages a dog goes through when they lose someone they’ve been close to?  Could it be seven?  How does that work when one dog year equals seven of our own?

Until next time. This is Decidedly Debra – and if you have some positivity you’d like to share, please, feel free.


Mother of Invention

Frankly Francine and me (Decidedly Debra – her daughter) are currently enjoying a discussion. The topic – you ask? Reinvention. At any age, any place, any relationship status, working or retired. Reinventing oneself is an excellent way to invigorate and refresh. Shedding new light on an old (or dull) life can be very exciting. Who couldn’t use a bit of pep in their step?  It could be just the shot in the arm needed.  It’s also very contagious.

Perhaps you find yourself cooking as though you were still feeding a family of four even though your kids have long been out of the house. Now it’s just you and the hubby. The leftovers are frustratingly met with something akin to “Meatloaf?  Again???” Don’t throw the pan. Instead realize that there are options. More than ever there are meal options for one or two. And remember, while your Mister is wondering what’s for dinner – offer him a glass of (fill in the blank) and ask him to turn off the television to help with the salad.

The point is, you don’t need to fret. Try injecting a new idea or a new routine (without making it a routine rut) to help you in the process. Trader Joe’s is an excellent way to pick up smaller prepared items that are delicious, reasonably priced, more healthy than not and quick to go from refrigerator to table. Now all you need is to add the salad (they also come ready to go in a bag) or the veggie. If you have someone to help with the dishes you will be ready to grab the dog and take that walk around the block in nothing flat. Everybody (including the pooch) wins! And you will still be home in time to watch your favorite program but feel much better about it in the long run. Will your new experimental meals always be worth repeating? Possibly not. But there is nothing wrong with the discussion that might follow about likes and dislikes and what to do differently. It could prove very enlightening.

Daring to try something new is easier than you might think. We all find ourselves comfortably stuck in our way of doing things. If that is working for you then congratulations. If it isn’t, ask yourself what’s missing. Better yet, ask your partner what is missing. Pose the question to your friends. Communicating your need is hard.  But it’s harder to look into the eyes of a person you really care about and not see the spark you once new. That goes for yourself too. Look in the mirror!  Are you seeing what you want to see looking back at you? It might be an overworked and underpaid version, but is it the best version you can muster? Would you want to come home to you? If not, why not? Is there nothing in this world that would be worth a bit more effort to include and possibly make all the difference? Is it really so hard to tell someone you love and admire that the things that “did it” for you in the past are no longer floating your boat? That could be hurtful unless you are ready to offer “how about we try this or that for a change”? No one likes a problem without a solution.

I think everyone at one time or another has heard a bit of unpleasant news and wished they had been given the opportunity to do something about it before it was too late. It’s much easier and perhaps less hurtful in the long run if we seek out solutions before it festers into the unforgivable and all is lost. As phases of our lives change, and as such so do our needs, then it only makes sense so then should our actions.

Perhaps as we get older it become more important to eliminate unwanted clutter or to learn how to live on less money.  Maybe traveling to visit family is more important or perhaps less possible.  Being realistic about changing needs is fair. To do otherwise is unfair to yourself and those we love.  But it isn’t always obvious, so dare to explore the possibilities.

Show and tell.  We loved it as kids in school.  Remember? We started out inquisitive and ready to discover all that we could.  Then we think we know it all and seem to spend our time putting all we’ve learned into good use.  There is a time, later on, when we naturally fatigue and desire simply to relax and enjoy all that we’ve worked so hard for. That doesn’t have to mean not caring and turning into grumps that believe life has nothing left to offer.  Do you not have anything left to offer?

Offer yourself a bit of exercise. Keep yourself mobile. Keep your mind sharp by exercising it. Be the best you. Lead by example. If you need to take a nap then do. But don’t just sit back day in and day out and watch the world pass you by as others around you wish for the you they knew you were and can still be.

I once asked a partner to join me in a serious conversation about our needs.  I was told there was nothing to talk about.  Indeed there was not.  It was hard to hear but easy to know better.

Dare to reinvent yourself. Let us know how that goes. Consider this an invigorating challenge and let us know how it goes. If we can help define that in some way for you – we’re here to help. Remember; be daring and willing and realistic.

My Best,  Decidedly Debra



Good vs. Better

I really want to believe that for most, we have the desire to begin our own personal journey from a place of goodness.  Then life happens.  Outside influences begin to create a recipe that,when stirred in to our daily lives, begins to bake up a concoction that can end up sweet, bitter, undercooked or tough and hard to swallow.

There is no doubt that our communities, our state (in this case California), our nation and our world is facing many struggles.  We hear about various issues all day everyday.  The press is adroit at bringing us the [bad] news.  They seem determined to make sure we don’t miss it.  It’s endlessly repeated, ad naseum.  News often seems to come at us from all directions.  Today radio, social media and an endless number of TV channels and the Internet helps to present the messages they want us to have out to each of us, young and old alike.  It can be overwhelming.  More importantly, it can be overwhelmingly bad.

So now we have a situation where good people are not better.  Good people are influenced to choose a reaction to an action that comes to us in whatever form.  We are asked to take a stand politically, socially, economically, spiritually, pscychologically, medically, ethically, etc., etc.  For example, as parents we might be asked to take a stand on a teacher or administrator’s position, with no other training than common sense as our tools and/or the pressure from community and what we can hope to believe we hear.  In today’s world, where the highest education is encouraged and often mandatory for a person’s success, we are often critiqued by layman with no experience in the issue.  As a result, common sense is clouded.  Our views are skewed.  An otherwise sunny day is now gloomy and grey from the pollution we may not see visibly but know is lurking in the form of a colorless and odorless fog permeating our atmosphere.

As I wonder what I can do myself to affect good becoming better I realize that most times I feel powerless.  Can I make positive change?  I don’t know.  So what do I know?  I can start by making the good in me better.  I may not be able to stop the hatefulness in the world but I can certainly stop the hatefulness in myself.  Does that translate to letting someone else disrespect me?  No.  It means that I can respect myself and those I encounter rather than assuming (as the news might have you believing) a stranger I encounter may only have hate and be ready to disrespect me, or worse.   It is my personal responsibility to be ready for either but I will hope for the better.  I will lead by example and with a genuine smile and hope that it is contagious (not unlike whatever virus we are all reportedly sure to die from today).

After a tough day we can choose to relax and be spoon fed the opinion of the day.  We can end our day with a fitful sleep overwhelmed with the sense of the helplessness it creates.  This can leave us angry or it can be the stimulus to begin change.   Today we also have an opportunity to learn from it.  We can You-tube the how-to of anything imaginable and learn from it.  We can seek out the possible change.  We are all gifted with the ability to make that choice.  We can nurture and offer rather than control and oppress.  Can we hope to express individuality without the need to control others?  Can we respect each other’s differences while respecting ourselves and not feel threatened while maintaining our awareness?  

I think we can.  I think that’s what will make each of us, our state, our nation, our world, in the long run, not just good, but better [or sadly, not].  Don’t be confused by our “global” situation or your space in it or your age in it.  It still must begin with you and me.  The speck of sand that makes us all – in the end – a “beach” of one.

I’m Decidedly Debra and these are my thoughts today.  I welcome your comments.

Concerned, Conflicted and Confused

Concerned.  Frankly Francine has been busy at J.C. Penny’s trying to let someone who cares know the reason they may be losing money.  It seems management’s idea of good customer service is having to beg someone to take your money.  Help is scarce and overworked.  She is home now completing the survey cards.  The few cashiers she encountered begged her to help them in this way. Seems they’re as sick of it as she is.

While waiting behind a woman who clearly purchased a sack full of clothes on sale and wanted them all returned and credited individually, she was told to relax since she was the next person in line.  Forget that she had already been there 20 minutes trying to pay.  Francine went to the middle of the floor and loudly inquired how the store was to make money with the only available help busy giving back customer’s money while virtually ignoring the customer willing to spend? Can I get an Amen for bringing back the return only counter?

Conflicted.  Both sides in the upcoming election leave a lot to be desired.  It saddens me to see the name calling and back biting. Where is the sharing of intelligent thought.  It seems everyone has Attention Deficit Disorder.  Let’s turn off the reality TV and the spin doctors and engage in some research.  It was Carter who started the immigration law to protect this great nation by closing borders. Yet Trump is a racist bastard? It is Hillary that has an 11 million dollar mansion in New York and will enjoy her Congressional salary until she dies. In the meantime she can inherit her huband’s Presidential salary of $20,000 per month if he predecreases her (and vice a versa).  And don’t get me started on her Charitable Foundation and who is benefiting there.  But back to the mansion.

The Clinton’s are entitled to Secret Service for life.  They had the government build an extra residence to house these agents on their acreage in New York.   Since the property is owned by the Clinton’s they charge the federal government $10,000 per month to use the extra residence,  Oh, and that just about covers their mortgage payment.  Really?  How nice.

Now Hillary is orchestrating a $2 BILLION ad campaign against Trump.  2 BILLION.  That could provide a lot of education and health care, but no.  Come on people.  Wake up.  It’s our insatiable lust for reality TV, Facebook and blaming everyone else that has Trump sounding so good to so many while many of you are bashing the rich.   Trump is pretty transparent.  How about the criminal activities of Mrs. Clinton, who like her husband (whom she will give a job to by the way = cha-ching, another paycheck for life.  Sweet.), plays to women and feigns innocence.  I’m sick of it.

Concerned.  Yes, concerned that a 10 year relationship with someone who claims to love deeply has ended with these last spoken words.  Ready?  “Well you didn’t call me either” when it was I that CALLED.  Only to be followed up by sharing feelings in an e-mail response.  Here’s a clue fellas…try telling your girl what’s on your mind when it’s happening, not after the fact and then only when feeling pressured.

I think that about covers it for today gang.

This is Decidedly Debra saying thanks for listening.

Strange Times

Yes, they are a-coming. What with this being an election year and all.

In the meantime, Mom is busy rallying behind change and, like her, it seems Mr. Trump is telling it like it is.  Whew!  Who’d have thought…

So – Frankly Francine is under the current command of Decidedly Debra.  Let’s try to breath some new life into what has become a stagnant page.

Francine is alive and well and as frank as ever.  We just need to calm down enough to focus on a topic (other than Trump).

We are looking into aging as a prime topic.  We know that Francine has many recommendations on how elderly might make life easier for themselves.  Take grocery shopping and cooking for one.  If you know Francine you know that includes the ever famous and fabulous “Trader Joes”.  (Have we talked about their delicious brown tomatoes?)  With ease you can prepare a pre-assembled meal and cook it quickly and easily nowadays.

And did you say “Health Care”.  Many opinions on that subject to follow.

So before we get any older…let’s try to remember what it was like to be younger.  There is beauty in gaining the confidence that only age and life lessons can bring to a person.  But let’s not let that taint us.  I hope that at any age we can face each day with some spirit of adventure and finish each day with some pride of accomplishment.

Until next time folks, remember we welcome comments and look forward to expressing ourselves frankly.


Meet My Mom


Welcome to Frankly Francine where the priority will be candid conversation about ideas and solutions for today’s hottest topics.

My name is Debra ( and I created this space out of love and a strong desire for my Mom, Francine, to have a platform for her opinions and, in my opinion, her sage wisdom.

Mother/Daughter relationships are interesting. I have been on the receiving end of her advice and guidance for just over six decades. Admittedly this advice has not always been welcome, but the value of her words have never failed me. It is time to share.

Advice can often be painful to hear. Opinions might be hard to swallow. Suggestions may be helpful but easy to resist. Perhaps the hardest thing is in the timing. How often do the very things we need to hear the most seem to be the things we try the hardest to avoid? Buttons can be pushed and hackles can be raised when words said with love, meant to help, are received as threatening words invoking hostility.

All I know for sure is that in this day and age of “I’m up, [to heck with you] pull up the ladder” we seem to have lost the ability to communicate. Telephone calls have become one sided and in general only an opportunity to leave a message. We now e-mail, text, post on Facebook and tweet. A conversation of one. Uno! Discussions between two or more people is a thing of the past. We are quickly losing the ability (and patience) to disagree or discuss without feeling threatened or hurt. We have gotten very good at lecturing or justifying our behaviors, even to the point of “spinning” them to suit our own tastes and desires.

The result? We remain unheard. So we repeat, and repeat (we forget to rinse) and spew the same sentiments. We get stuck repeatedly trying to relay our thoughts and feelings to whoever might listen.

Well… it’s time to “Unleash the Beast.” It is time to express constructive ideas. I’m not saying it will be easy, but if you listen, you may come away with a different perspective – a place to move forward from and become unstuck. This is my hope.

The good news…I will listen. We will listen! So what you are thinking? What shall we talk about? Let us know what you are needing from a frank discussion. If you are not being heard, let us know. This is that place. It may not always be kind and it will probably never be “politically correct”. Check back often as topics will change frequently. I can promise you it will not be boring!!!

Again, welcome to Frankly Francine.