~ My Memoir: Chapter 1, My House of Cards

 





newborn-baby-on-an-arm




The Cards of Life

Life dealt me cards — I played my hand
With confidence — I had it planned …
When, later, life revealed the score
It shook me to my very core!
I wondered then — still wonder now:
Could I have changed my life somehow?
And — if life dealt this hand again —
Would I repeat my life of pain?
Or would my hand, ignoring me,
Repeat this life and destiny?
Hiding in a Cave of Trunks
By Ester Benjamin Shifren
2012

@@@@@@

I learned that even when
life deals you a bad hand,
you can still have a happy life
if you are willing to take a chance
and put the past behind you.”
Illegitimate
Brian Mackert
2008

@@@@@@



 Intro
I was born some time ago,
Away out in the sticks,
In a valley of old Mexico,
In nineteen forty-six.

By the time I was eleven,
We were a family of twelve;
For everything I ever got,
I had to dig and delve.
by Beulah Stephany Spencer
1959, age 13

(*See my other four or five Blogs/ poems on this topic — to see/ read the rest of this Memoir poem. These poems usually begin with “Bio in Verse,” or some such rapacious title. I wrote a number of renditions — take-offs from the above two stanzas.)

 



Chapter 1                         My House of Cards                                 12/6/2016

My troubles all started when I was born … Actually, while I was being born. It seems from the moment I entered the “tunnel/canal” that leads to this world, I began suffering pain. And gave my mother a lot of undue pain, tears, and stitches, too — leaving her with scars, both figuratively and physically:

For I was born a “breach” baby. That is, I came butt first, “bass-ackwards, and upside down.” One could only wonder what would come next, then, in the cards for me — what next “breach” of contract or unexpected event I would bring with me — or life had in store for me.

One didn’t have to wonder long — The cards continued to be dealt. When the midwife found I was coming breach, she worriedly and hurriedly sent for the town’s noted obstetrician, Dr. Hector Reyes Tirada. By the time he arrived, there wasn’t a minute left to wait, for Mother had begun to fully dilate. Therefore, expediency was of the essence:

Once any part of a baby’s body has been in touch with oxygen more than twenty-five minutes, it begins to breathe. It would strangle to death if not delivered in time. Therefore, after sterilizing his hands, and though twenty-five-year-old Mother screamed — out of her mind with excruciating pain as he tore her — Dr. Reyes rapidly and urgently forced his huge expert hand up into Mother’s small birth canal. (You see, he had to quickly turn me around in her womb so he could gather me up by my feet and pull me out safely without breaking my neck.)

The miracle is he succeeded. That was a good card! He didn’t have to pull me apart to get me out — which actually sometimes happens in such “breach” home deliveries. But Mother didn’t fare so well. I’m not sure you want me to go into the details, so I won’t. Other than to tell you that she was in bed with phlebitis/”milk leg” for the next six months, due to complications from this birth.

Needless to say, breach births create a very painful and dangerous delivery — especially for the mother! But to add to our pain, the doctor was holding me upside down by the feet, slapping my tiny bare bottom, and crying loudly, in his accented English, “Breathe!! Breathe!!!”

Having just been pulled through a too-tight tunnel into a world of hell, I didn’t want to breathe. But it wasn’t just that trauma. The minute it was announced I was a girl, suddenly I heard a boomeranging, ill-tempered male voice taking the Lord’s name in vain as he vehemently cursed, “ God dammit!! Another girl!!  Breathe!! Dammit, breathe!!”  

NOTE: See my Blog and poem posted October 2016, “I Entered the World Foot First,” for more of the details concerning this part of my story. But for my present purposes, the above paragraph stands as my first example of how Mormon fundamentalist fanatics often preach one thing while doing another.

For example, they claim to totally want and value all the many babies they have, —“all those little spirit children up in heaven just waiting to come to good Mormon fundamentalist homes.” That is their ideal — their ideology. But in reality, they aren’t as righteous and forthright as they let on they are — or convince themselves they are.

Add to this that from the day I was born, I never was a favorite in my father’s eyes, and it wasn’t just because I was not a boy: I was literally and vociferously “cursed,” you might say, right from the start! (I’ve always kind of thought so … or wondered … sometimes. But all my cards haven’t been bad, by any means. So that leaves me to wonder some more. Hmmmmm!

You shall hear what I mean, in my upcoming blogs, when I tell some of my earliest memories of being raised a “Saint” — just more contradictions and ironies to come, that is, wherein my seemingly pious parents said one thing while doing another. E.g., Daddy commonly used profanity; i.e., He broke the commandment that says,”Thou shalt not take the Lord, thy God’s name in vain.”

But in his/their self-righteousness, he/they did not see nor acknowledge their contradictions … nor have the integrity nor strength to even admit it to themselves, often — all the while claiming to be Saints when they were really just humans. 

The hypocrisy was palpable! And their shadow-self hidden even from themselves. They were taught that they were God’s chosen people; therefore, were better than others — especially if they lived God’s highest laws: Plural marriage and not practicing birth control. They were going to “the highest degree of glory” for sure then!

Mormons believe Heaven consists of three degrees of glory, and each of these is broken down into three more degrees of glory — the highest degree being called the “Celestial Kingdom.” The middle degree is called the “Terrestrial Kingdom,” and Hell is called the “Telestial Kingdom.”

I was taught we Mormon fundamentalists were fore-ordained to return to heaven — that only all those people “out in the wicked world” — those who didn’t convert to Mormon fundamentalism and live God’s highest laws — would be excluded from heaven … due to their wickedness.

It was a double bind because at the same time my parents and our leaders taught this, I, for one, was constantly excoriated to the point I felt I was born to go to hell. Such inconsistencies in the belief system’s practices versus their teachings were and are problematic in themselves.

My parents and other Mormon fundamentalists were unable to understand or accept their shadow side. They have no idea they even had a shadow side. Such a concept certainly didn’t fit the beliefs handed down to them by their prophets. So they tried to hide their downsides, slip-ups, and sins. They were ashamed and afraid of their “shadow“/ their dark side.” But did bad things anyway … and covered them up by projecting their faults onto others, while pretending to be perfect themselves; i.e., Saints.

They fooled most people. But hindsight shows me the people who pretended to be most righteous were actually living the most sinful secret lives — all the more sinful because they pretended to be perfect saints living the Gospel.

Heavy religious social pressures within a sect, as they demand perfection of their conscientious members, may elicit this two-facedness — for the members’ survival, if nothing else.

But social misfits and imposters also use this guise of perfection within a  group to get away with things like rape, pedophilia, and you name it. You shall hear what I mean as my story unfolds in future blogs.

* Continued in “My Memoir” blogs. 


~ My Memoir Introduction: I Was Born a “Saint”– a Slave!

INTRODUCTION


shack-with-fence-and-windmills

I was born some time ago,
Way out in the sticks,
In a valley of old Mexico,
In 1946.
(So begins my saga.)



     

I am conscious that my narrative
savers of incredibility:

The fault is in the subject,
not in the narrator.”
~The City of the Saints,
By Richard F. Burton,
1861
*(quote borrowed from Irving Wallace’s
outstanding biography,

The Twenty-Seventh Wife”)
1961

************



  The Cards of Life

Life dealt me cards — I played my hand
With confidence — I had it planned …
When, later, life revealed the score
It shook me to my very core!
I wondered then — still wonder now:
Could I have changed my life somehow?
And — if life dealt this hand again —
Would I repeat my life of pain?
Or would my hand, ignoring me,
Repeat this life and destiny?
Hiding in a Cave of Trunks”
By Ester Benjamin Shifren
2012

@@@@@@




I learned that even when life deals you a bad hand,
you can still have a happy life if you are willing
to take a chance and put the past behind you.”
~Illegitimate
Brian Mackert
2008



       



  December 10, 2016

In four months I will turn 71, and it will be the 50th anniversary of my 1967 escape from living “The Principle” (plural marriage/ polygamy) in the now largely extinct bizarre,  backward, dangerous Mormon fundamentalist LeBaron cult that was headquartered in Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico.

I was born and raised a fourth-generation Mormon polygamist — “polygamist” meaning anyone who believes in and lives polygamy. My great-great-grandfather, Benjamin F. Johnson, a bright and gifted writer, was one of the self-proclaimed Prophet Joseph Smith’s personal Scribes, starting at the tender age of eighteen. (Joseph Smith also sealed him to himself as a son! So in a roundabout way, that makes Joseph Smith my Great-grandfather, three places removed!)

That’s the most prestigious bloodline one can come by if one is Mormon. Mother didn’t mince beans about letting me and my thirteen siblings know we were “part of the royal blood” — and she held her head high as she proclaimed we were of this enviable hierarchy.

Actually, we came by way of “Royal Bloodlines” in more ways than one: We Spencers are also related, through my father, to Princess Diana Spencer, Winston Spencer Churchhill, the two Pres. Bush families — and other such.

We even could have been children of the self-proclaimed prophet, the late Rulon Jeff’s: While Mother was single, in the early 1940s, and living in Utah, she dated polygamist Rulon Jeffs, father of the now incarcerated, infamous FLDS leader, Warren Jeffs!

As my youngest sister Lenora (born on my wedding day!) likes to facetiously say,”Warren Jeffs could’ve been another brother by another mother!” And I like to retort, “We also could’ve been his sister by a different Mister!” (Heaven forbid!)

Even more ironic, when you consider how “royal” our blood is, is Mother’s brother and my once beloved Uncle Ervil is the now-deceased infamous criminal known to the world as the “Mormon Manson,” or “Evil Ervil” LeBaron — or the past “Mormon Mafiosoand Malevolent Dictator of the now-extinct Lebaron Crime Family.

Uncle Ervil was, at one time, the all-powerful, priestcraft-working, cult-creating Uncle whom I had been taught, as a kid and member of the cult, stood as “The Second Grand Head” — next only to my Uncle Joel, the self-proclaimed prophet of “The Church of the First Born.”

I had known, loved, feared, revered, and respected Uncle Ervil — before his scandalous schizophrenic psychosis and sociopathic psychopathy worsened, leading him completely and hopelessly off the deep end.

Another unusual coincidence is that my Aunt Irene LeBaron Spencer, best-selling author of the Memoir, “Shattered Dreams,” used as her second book’s cover (“Cult Insanity“– A book about Uncle Ervil, et Al, and the LeBaron cults) a photograph I took of Uncle Ervil holding my daughter when she was eight years old — before I knew he was a paranoid schizophrenic and psychopath.

You can view this photograph that’s now on her book cover. See Aunt Irene’s book, “Cult Insanity,” in my Menu under “Media on Some of My Extended Family.” Uncle Ervil’s then right-hand man, my brother-in-law Dan Jordan, is also in the picture.

I took this picture of them in 1972 when I was still a student at UCLA. The two had come to my home, at Mother’s request, to go with me to the US Immigration Office to bear witness that I was indeed an American.

I needed to get my US citizenship papers in order to become a public schoolteacher in the United States. I was born in old Mexico of American parents but they didn’t register my birth with the US Embassy in Mexico. So now I was having to verify my citizenship in order to get these needed legal documents.

 I had no idea, when Uncle Ervil LeBaron and my brother-in-law Dan Jordan came to my home, they were at that very moment plotting the murder of people such as my Uncle Joel LeBaron, my Uncle Ervil’s own brother and the self-proclaimed “Prophet” of their backward, isolated Chihuahuan-desert cult I had escaped from five years earlier.

I consider myself lucky these two sociopaths/ psychopaths (my brother-in-law Dan Jordan and my Uncle Ervil LeBaron) didn’t kill me during that visit — I being a “daughter of perdition” for having abandoned their so-called church.

I think all that saved me is, even though I fled my uncle Joel’s and Ervil’s cult five years earlier, Uncle Ervil held a fantasy I was actually going to go to all the trouble to get my Bachelor’s Degree and Teaching Credential, then return to his cult to teach “the Saints,” for free, of course — as I had from ages fourteen to nineteen. Well, thanks but no thanks!

I had started teaching in the LeBaron colony shortly after my family repatriated to Mexico in 1960 to live again in LeBaron, a colony my maternal grandfather Dayer LeBaron had started, built on land my father and mother left him when they returned to the United States. I was only one year old then. I was fourteen when my family returned again to live in Colonia LeBaron, Chihuahua, Mexico.

It was seven years later when I managed to escape from the LeBaron cult to return to the United States. That was rather a miracle in itself. But then I miraculously entered a Junior College in Los Angeles within five months after I made it out of the cult! I was twenty-one, at the time, penniless, had a three-year-old child — and only six years of formal education!

When Uncle Ervil came to my apartment in 1972, I was in my fifth year of struggling through college on little education and less money — struggling to get a college degree and a teaching credential so I could get a job as a public school teacher.

Though I loved teaching and wanted to be a teacher, I sure never, ever was going to get stuck barefoot and pregnant again in Colonia LeBaron teaching for free — like I had before. But Uncle Ervil didn’t know what was going on in my mind. That may be why I lived to tell about it!

Going back to where I was before I digressed, as I said previously, the reason Uncle Ervil, bringing along with him his sidekick Dan Jordan, had come to LA was to testify before Officials at the US Immigration Office that I was indeed an American citizen — born in Mexico of American parents.

Uncle Ervil thus helped me get my Citizenship papers in order so I could obtain my Teaching Credential and be able to teach in the US. It was a God-send he did this for me, given that I was considered in his eyes an “apostate.” Apostates are generally left to die by family, relatives, and the rest of the cult. For it is said they have left “the truth.”

Leaving “the truth” was synonymous with turning my back on God and His all-important “Church,” to join hands with the devil. Such people were considered in their eyes to be “the biggest dangers to ‘the Lord’s work’ because they had once known the truth and turned their back on it.” That catchphrase is an understatement and a “glittering generality” used to create a smoke screen so people wouldn’t suspect what they were really up to.

Now I know I have to take understatements, such as that glittering generality above and re-word them. For example, a number of them were involved in illegal activities. They cloaked their illegal activities under the guise of the glittering generality, “We are doing the Lord’s work.

Another favorite “cloak” and glittering generality they used to cover their secret activities (especially from children or outsiders) was,” We’re doing missionary work,” or “We’re going on a mission,” or “We’re preaching the gospel to these people.”

For example, when I was a kid, my mother used those terms from time to time, as she locked us out of the house (while Daddy was out of town) so she could do “missionary work” (in the missionary position?! LOL!) with some man she was attracted to — and vice versa.

It worked really well because we kids were so indoctrinated as to the perfection of our parents, and the importance of “spreading the gospel, being Saints, and doing what was right,” that it would never have entered our minds that they were doing what was wrong, rather than what was right; i.e., they were not actually preaching the gospel, like they pretended to be doing.

It was years before I realized such statements as “Apostates are the biggest threat to the Lord’s work and the building up of the kingdom of God” were but cover-ups, smokescreens, and understatement for their real fears: Underhanded people in cults greatly fear people who leave their “Church” because they know too much. For example, they know about at least some of the illegal activities done and justified in the name of “bleeding the beast” “to build up God’s kingdom.”

Yes, people like me who leave such a cult “know too much.” And I definitely did “know too much,” though I didn’t realize it at the time. If I want to take my life in my own hands, I may explain to you later what I mean by “knowing too much.” Meanwhile, you can read between the lines.

But going back to my family being related to the “royal bloodlines,” that Mother was so proud to be related to, to be sure, Uncle Ervil (along with his fourteen wives and sixty-something children) was also related to these “royal bloodlines” and very proud of it — as were all his wives, children, and posterity. Quite an irony, yes? You might say I’m getting it from both ends! But as one of Uncle Ervil’s children told me recently, “You can’t choose your family, relatives, nor bloodline.”

Everybody I have told my story to over the past fifty years has said to me,”Your story would make a good movie. You must write a book! If you do, I will buy it. Let me know when it is published.”

I have not written it, until now, because it was not safe for me to tell the truth I wished to write. Only if I could tell the whole truth, did I wish to write my story. It is still not safe. I can’t tell the whole story without compromising my safety and lifestyle. But at long last, I have begun getting this book out that has been building and simmering on my back burners (within) since 1967 when I escaped the Mormon fundamentalist religion/cult I was raised in.

But at long last, I have begun getting this book out that has been building and simmering on my back burner since 1967 when I escaped the Mormon fundamentalist religion I was raised in.

Another reason I have not written my book until now is that for the first fifty years after fleeing the extremist Mormon fundamentalist sect, and thus all my family, friends and foundation there, it was too painful to dwell for long on my past life in that “Church.”

It depressed me so much that I couldn’t write a book on my past even if I had felt my present status and security wouldn’t be compromised by publishing my truth about that past.

I have journaled regularly from age nine till the present day -– did an awful lot of stream-of-consciousness writing. Therapists say that is what kept me from “going under” all these years.

But some may beg to differ. They will tell you that I am crazy/odd/unique/strange/ weird! To such comments, I say, “If only all my writing, reading self-help books, and talking to the occasional therapist could’ve saved me even more from the ravages of my despotic, cultic upbringing! And if only my life could’ve been normal!”

People have enough to deal with and overcome in life without all the deprivations, devastations, and privations that are added to it by being raised in a backward, isolated, cult background.

For starters, it’s very discouraging and humiliating to be seen by others as odd, weird, crazy, different, backward, naïve, gullible, unsophisticated, a country bumpkin, poorly educated, a Plyg — and so on and so forth.

One vain person even jeered as he told me, “You can take the girl out of the mountain, but you can’t take the mountain out of the girl.” All this and more I have had to endure over the years — Even people making fun of my Tex-mex drawl. But there is a bully born every moment. When I take a good look at the people grinding me under, I find their words tell more about them than about me — in every case. And this is so in life.

But as for writing my Memoirs, all I’m sure of is, given a choice of leisure-time activities, writing was and still is likely my first choice, despite how time-consuming and how much work it is. I enjoy writing. I especially like the creative aspect of it.

Through writing, I find company when my isolation and loneliness is otherwise unbearable. And there I unwind from the anxiety, tiredness, and tensions of the day, gain insight and find answers through the inspiration that comes from my “writing meditation” — my deep thinking.

There I cathart (“thot-fart”), find solace, am my own best friend and companion — my mind, my muse, and I … There I unravel the pains, plans, and mysteries of my past as well as my present journey towards self-actualization and individuation. There I grow and develop as I ponder each breakthrough — each step of my awakening into this “brave new world.”

While journaling, I also compare my new insights and experiences with the drama, trauma, and brainwashing of my past. And in my writing, I celebrate and come to better understand each epiphany and step I encounter in my exciting adventure as I look through my new window — my new “looking glass” on the world — and reflect on the past and present.

Actually, like Alice in Wonderland, when I was seventeen and still in the cult, I too, looked through a “looking glass;” i.e., a different window, saw a new window on the world and was catapulted through it and out of that tunnel vision — as well as the tunnel I had been raised in. Yes, I fell right through that new and open window, and out of my secluded cult tunnel into this “foreign world-USA” I have been progressively making my way through ever since.

During my first few years in this new world, I questioned whether I had done the right thing — whether I had indeed been turned over to “the buffetings of Satan” and his wicked world. The longer I was away from the cult and the more I took a good look at what was happening there, the more I was confident that I had made the right decision in 1967 when I fled “God’s only true church,” as the cult calls it.

Many of my past life’s experiences and the brainwashing of growing up in a cult had blocked my feelings and thoughts. Writing helped and is still helping me unblock these feelings and the mind control, thus allowing me to gradually move ahead in my life’s journey, free and unencumbered.

It is through my journaling — and now this blogging and book-writing too — that I assimilate all. Like taking notes in a college course, I compare each new idea, feeling, and insight with the dogma and experiences of my past -– the craziness of the cult I was finally able to escape –- escape from in person, at least.

But try as I may, I have not been able to thoroughly escape from its bind on my subconscious, my persona, and my life. To completely escape my cult-created backwardness, damage, wrong teachings, and other wrongs is one of my fervent goals.

At least it gives me something to live for when all else seems hapless, helpless, and hopeless. And old age threatens to devour me before I’ve even half-fulfilled my hopes, dreams, and goals.

As an aside, I understand the ACLU requests we don’t call the extremist sect I escaped from a “cult.” Also that we don’t say “I escaped,” and was “brainwashed,” for fear we may offend those who belong to what I managed to finally escape!

But my opinion is that such words as “cult” are the truth it takes to jolt -– to help awaken the mind-controlled, brainwashed, true-believing people continuing to be born into and bound by the grips of these Mormon-Fundamentalist doomsday cults. If we can’t use some social pressure, what hope have we to stop this vice vehemently invading our quite-unaware world?

The “political correctness” protectionism of being unable to call it a cult, etc., only helps to reinforce and propagate the captivity of the many born into bondage and White slavery in Mormon fundamentalist religious organizations — that, by the way, are growing by leaps and bounds as I speak, due to polygamy, child bride marriages, mind control measures, and not practicing birth control.

Of course, those embondaged by Mormon fundamentalism are the ones least likely to read what I write. Therefore, I mainly write for those who have managed to get out and are looking for backup material to further assure them they did the right thing by leaving.

And I write for people who want to learn and become more aware. But I especially write for escapees of Mormon fundamentalist groups who are looking for more understanding as to what happened to them in their cult, and why.

I write, as well, for all Mormon fundamentalist sects who are looking for more information on how they can better make it in this “foreign land:” The United States of America; i.e., the normal world they have found themselves in. I hope reading my story of success and redemption, upon having escaped radical Mormonism, will help Mormon fundamentalist cult escapees better make it in their own new existence.

It took me years of University courses, other reading, counseling with therapists, and simply living free from Mormon Fundamentalism before I could stand back and realize what I had grown up in was nothing but a cult. It helped me immensely to understand that! Because then I could better see that I had done the right thing, at age twenty-one, to get out while I could.

And it helped me to know that I had definitely made the right choice — despite being warned that I’d be damned and turned over to the “buffetings of Satan” if I even dared question the words of the prophet, let alone dared  leave “the truth/the church;” i.e., The Church of the First Born of the Fullness of Times, and Mormon Fundamentalism.

The Sociological definition of “cult” is: “A body of religious rites and practices associated with the worship or propitiation of a particular divinity or group of supernatural beings.”

Also: A religious group and way of life that secludes its members from the world so much so that they are unable to fit into normal society. 

The American Heritage Dictionary describes “Cult” as being a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living communally under an authoritarian, charismatic leader.

That said, I believe that if it looks like, feels like, and rattles like a snake, it is a Diamond Back/ a “cult”! Who are we kidding?! Why call it by any other name? Besides, where is my right to freedom of speech?

And how do we warn or make aware those who could benefit from our observations and experience if we can only cover up for and placate the vice that the Mormon Fundamentalists have already been too adept at perpetrating? To pretend they are not a cult is doing just that: It’s helping to perpetuate the many evils of the Mormon fundamentalist sects.

For example, Mormon fundamentalist sects perpetrate and perpetuate: Lawlessness, being laws onto themselves, Pedophilia, Polygamy, White slavery, Welfare Fraud, Child Labor, Child Abuse, Child Trafficking, Racketeering — and much more, all in the guise of “An alternative lifestyle full of Saints just trying to live God’s laws under the freedom protections of the US government” –- a government they bleed daily, and regularly pray for the destruction of!

Also, note that at the same time the adults in these cults demand “freedom of religion;” i.e., protection from the US government, they, in the name of religion, take away all the rights and protection of the children born into their cult! Yes, they refuse to accept that “One person’s “Rights” end where another person’s “Rights” begin!”

As my years in freedom roll on, since having fled the Mormon fundamentalist “underground” slave trade, barbarism, and bondage I was born and raised in, I continue to become more deprogrammed and more sure of what a wayward, warping, diabolical church/ cult/ monster I was born into and my life ruined by, in the name of religion.

The more I continue to think, question, read books, and listen to educational documentaries and interviews done by Rebecca Kimbel, Doris Hanson, Ed Kociela, Kristen Decker, and others on YouTube, C-SPAN II, and other such, the more aware I become that many of the main tenets I was taught to most revere and embrace were and are complete rubbish; i.e., the total opposite of what is good and righteous.

Therefore, in my Memoir/ blogs, I make it a point to unravel untruths and cover-ups, so as to show the world what I mean by “The total opposite of what is good and righteous.” This way I may better dispel what “the snake;” i.e., “the Diamondback” would have us see as “God’s Plan,” rather than the devil’s!

This is a Memoir as opposed to an Autobiography, because of the leeway given me thus. In other words, though I have, from age nine, kept journals –- They reach from the floor to the ceiling by now — I would never get this history written if I were to go back and uproot every piece of Info in my journals to make sure of the exact day, etc.

So where it is not necessary, I don’t worry about petty details. It’s the big picture that is important. This said, I’ll leave off here to continue my story in “Chapter 1: My House of Cards.” 

Till next time, thank you for visiting my Website — And for reading especially my blogs that tell you what my Memoir’s intentions are. And thank you for just being you.

Cheers,
Stephany Spencer/AKA: Beulah Spencer-LeBaron de Tucker 





~ My Original Quotes, Notes, ‘n’ Anecdotes on Writing ‘n’ Creativity

me-waitress-1
Stephany Spencer, age 20, taken off guard

Hi! I am Stephany Spencer, Poet, Lyricist, Memoirist, and Musician — a professional Jackalinof-many-trades. And a retired teacher on her endless summer. Welcome to my own little corner of the world-wide-web! 

As we speak, my fledgling Website continues to grow as I continue to develop the skills of a Webmaster, Blogger, and Photoblogger.
 It’s work so fun, I doubt it will ever be done!
For I do love the creative process —

The “one-on-one.”
I’m thrilled to share it with you here on my very own little online block of the globe:
My valuable virtual acre of Internet real estate! 

I’m looking forward to connecting with you. Till then, feel free to click around and scroll down on this blog site, and also on my Menu Bar, to become acquainted with my Website. It was lovely chatting with you. If you are a follower of my blogs, that’s even lovelier!

Till next time, then, be well and cheers!
Your Host,
Stephany Spencer

PS: Please note:
Ever a Creative, the world is my oyster
and I a pearl forming within her.
Life is my canvas on which I purposely
paint and spin with gusto,
All the while it takes me along to
new dimensions — then hopefully on
to her “pearly” gates and within!

 I have learned: “If you rest, you rust” —
You either live or die.
Bob Dylan so aptly reminds us
of this in his lyric line
borrowed from the late great
singer-songwriter, 
Woodie Guthrie:
 “If you aren’t busy livin’, you’re busy dyin’.”

And So here’s to life!
I’m tryin,’ yes, I am —
And though I ain’t thru cryin’,
“L’ Chaim,” and cheers, 
~Stephany Spencer

PS: On another note,
I am the proud progeny of
a long list of writers and poets:

I’ve inherited a bit of their giftedness
for writing verse, for better or worse.

This is my double-edged sword:
A gift and a curse.

But Life goes on, comes and is gone …
Sail On,” says my California Writers Club emblem.
 Now if you look closely, you may see me sailing on,

“Writing” “write” now on a song!
So “write on”!

Dwell in possibilities,”
said Emily Dickinson.

These possibilities are all that
keep me from falling off
As I get along!
Stephany Spencer





writing-man-with-pen-etc

  Ode to The California Writers Club

The California Writers Club is our oyster, 
And we writers the pearls being polished within her.
Stephany Spencer  2016 

pearl in oyster

 2016 marked the 30th anniversary of CWC-SFV,
Wherein the California Writers Club has been our oyster,

 And we members pearls growing within her;
 Daily being polished till we sparkle and shimmer
With illustrious word pearls that glimmer ‘n’ glitter
“Write on” to vocabulary perfection.

Stephany Spencer 2016



 

Advice for Creatives:
Dare to fail or fail to dare!
 That is, take it on a dare:
Dare to fail to do well.
For you must first dare to fail,
 Or you’ll never discover
If you can do anything well!
Stephany Spencer 




floral-background-vintage

Advice for Creatives:
To do well, first dare to fail —
or fail to dare do anything well!

Buoyed when Pressfield encouraged creative works,
My own creativity now no longer shirks;
I’ve ceased hiding my light beneath lampshades;
Because today I dare call spades, spades;
I’m beginning to finally face my muse
And my own creative juices use.

‘Tis said one must “paint badly” to paint well;
Or dare to “write badly” to tell a tale;
Where our creative works will lead,
If we but follow our beckoning heed,
We never can know nor can we tell;
All we can do is dare to fail,
In order to find out if we can do well.

In other words, we must start somewhere
Our powers of creativity to share and wield —
Resist resistance,” stresses Steven Pressfield,
In his inspired work, The War of Art;
If we don’t dare fail, we’ll never start,
Never write the book of our heart;
Never let genius do its part.

So dare to break through the blocks:
Whenever your amazing muse knocks,
Win your inner creative battles
By daring to fail to ever do well;
The final outcome time only can tell.
But it’s worth the effort to give your gifts,
For you discover and fulfill yourself as well,
When you create art and tell your tale.
Stephany Spencer 2016






       dog-on-computer

1-  “Point Blank:”
 The point at which all thought leaves the frontal lobe
and one comes face to face with writer’s block.

(Author unknown — Dan Pointer?)




2-  “Point Blank:”
The point at which one’s pen comes face to face with
an empty frontal lobe shot through by the bullet of writers’ block.

(Stephany Spencer)





 

Most creatives who’ve achieved monumental fame
First had to master their dynamic domain.
Stephany Spencer

A song is nothing but a poem set to music.
Stephany Spencer






writing-pad-and-desk

~  I was sixty before my dormant creativity
Picked itself up from the doormat
Where it pretty much played a passive act …
For forty years, to be exact.
( Stephany Spencer)






spiderweb-in-blue

~  I was sixty before my dormant creativity
Picked herself up from the doormat,
Dusted herself off and began to shine —
After having lain there for forty years
Collecting the dust and cobwebs of time.
Hallelujah!! Now I no longer need
an X-Ray Machine my muse to find!

( Stephany Spencer)





nice-spiderweb


~  My creativity lay hibernating thirty years
In the dusty cobwebs of time,
Before it picked itself up and came back out
Into the light of day to shine;
Now I no longer need a flashlight
my amusing muse to find!

( Stephany Spencer)






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“Think in terms of possibilities.”
(Emily Dickinson)






 

This quote I wrote — I wrote this quote:

Yesterday’s sorrow is the humor of tomorrow;
In other words: Today’s sorrow is grist 
For the humor mills of tomorrow.

Please Note: I wrote each quote; 
Though the concept has been around a long time,
‘Twas moi who put it to rhythm and rhyme.
(Stephany Spencer)




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Innovation
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas

as in escaping from old ones.
~ J M Keynes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



 feet-and-sandals

“Long Fellows”

I’m a poet and I know it,
But my feet don’t show it:
They’re not “Longfellow’s;”
They’re “short fellows“!
(Stephany Spencer)


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~ My Memoir Poem: I Entered the World Foot First — My Rebirthing Experience

 

 

feeding-baby

In 1986, I learned it was possible to be hypnotized and taken back to the moment I was born. Being a curious person, I hired a female therapist who specialized in doing “Rebirthings.” Through her hypnosis session, she guided me back to the moment of my birth!

That’s when I became certain about two things:
1- Everything is stored in our memory from birth.
2- There were even things in my memory that took place before I was born. So now I also know we are present in spirit, watching what goes on before we’re born. 

For example, I wasn’t born yet but I saw Daddy come rushing anxiously into the house with a lantern and rope. Being a creative person, he quickly attached the rope to the ceiling and the gas lantern to the rope. He lit the lantern and exhaled a sigh of relief when it began to glow brightly. He was preparing the room for my birth!

World War II had just ended, taking with it many of the adversities of the Great Depression. But there was still no electricity in the little townsite where my parents lived in Old Mexico. The coal oil lamps didn’t provide enough light for my at-home emergency delivery. That’s why Daddy had brought in and hung the gas lantern.

Now back to the birth scene: The town’s noted Doctor and Obstetrician, Dr. Reyes, was there — sent for by the Midwife when she saw I was coming breach. After much ado and good lighting, the amazing physician succeeded in delivering me alive — as well as saving my mother’s life! It is not unusual in breach deliveries for both the mother and the baby to die when delivered at home without surgery and other hospital procedures.

But through luck, supernatural intervention, and the experienced obstetrician’s expertise, I survived being born at home breach, at 4 AM, Thursday, April 18, 1946, in the little town with a big name: El Valle de San Buenaventura, Chihuahua, Mexico.

I was the second child of my Mormon fundamentalist parents, Floyd Otto and Esther LeBaron Spencer. They so wanted seven boys in a row, because Mother grew up in the middle of seven brothers and loved it. They got seven girls in a row, instead. How’s that for karmic justice?

The rest is “Her-story and a Mystery.” You shall hear how I fared in Mexico, down past the Rio Grande. And we can begin with the following poem that describes much of what I saw and relived during my rebirthing session:

My Rebirthing Experience

In a little adobe hut, down past the Rio Grande,
Hung a brightly lit lantern near a bed stand,
I also hung … upside down in Doc’s hand,
While he slapped me on the butt with the other;
And everybody was screaming, “Breathe!!
Even exhausted, pain-ridden Mother!

But I refused to breathe,
For I had just been delivered from near death,
By way of a small canal in a difficult breach birth,
When Daddy hollered, “God dammit! Another girl!!”
So I wasn’t sure I wanted to remain in this world.
Besides, there was a man’s hand walloping me,
Alongside loud noises ‘n’ lantern glaring brightly.

But the spanking was more than a new baby can stand,
So I took my first breath and now here I am;
Thus began my life down past the Rio Grande.
But though I inhaled the breath of life,
In actuality, I couldn’t bear the strife!

So I let out a scream and started to cry,
As began ups ’n’ downs “till death do I die“–
First upside down in great big Doc’s hand;
Then nestled up close in Motherland,
Caressed by Mommie’s loving hand,
In Mexico, down past the Rio Grande.

Yes, that’s how life’s behaved for me on earth:
From womb to the tomb, it’s been gloom ‘n’ mirth!
First down suffering in a painful breach birth;
Then up at Mom’s bosom being taught to nurse.
But things could be worse, so I’ve decided to stay —
Ups, downs, and all — till this very day!

~ My Website in Metamorphosis

My Website in Metamorphosis


blue-butterfly

  Hi: It’s now October 17, 2018. Since I started this blog June 27, 2016, my Website  continues to metamorph … to change and develop as I experiment with what speaks to you and me.

 I’ve decided to concentrate on writing my Memoir rather than spend time editing and typing my handwritten poetry, prose, quotes, and anecdotes. This project must continue to be put off. There’s simply too little time for me, a “Jackalynn-of-many-trades.”

I’d love to do everything all at once: Edit and type my collection of handwritten poems at the same time I’m writing a book, blogging, and all else. But keeping up a Website and blogs takes time. It’s something one builds gradually. The same goes for getting my poems and my books out.

Though Rome wasn’t built in a day, a part of me wants to build my Website and blogs that way — or at least by the end of this month! Websites can be a static thing — Set them up, leave them be, depending on what you use your site for. But blog sites are a different species, an ongoing process. It all entails a huge learning curve.

So bear with me as I continue to turn that bend and to curb the time spent writing blogs and publishing songs and poetry so as to concentrate on getting my Memoir written and published. Hope to see you at the end of the “curve” … or bend!

Ciao and cheers!
Your host Stephany

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~ My Memoir: An Apology As To Name Changes, etc.

 

 

 

img_3348-1
Beulah Stephany Spencer-LeBaron, 2016, age 70

Dear readers, please note: I have changed names in my Memoirs, in various cases, to protect the innocent — mainly myself!

I also acknowledge that in writing my memoir blogs, I know I can’t avoid hurting my family, relatives and past friends I grew up with. Anything I say at all against their church, or their religion, for example, hurts them.

In fact, just my leaving their religion I grew up in hurt them, as did other choices I needed to make for myself — such as dropping all contact with my family for many years during “the Ervil scare.” I decided back then that if my choices had to do with the safety and well-being of myself and daughter, I had to do what I had to do, even if it hurt them.

But when it comes to things I do that violate their rights or ability to consent, that’s where I try (and sometimes fail) to draw the line. If I need to say something bad about my family because it’s also part of my experience, I’ll try to be vague, keep their names out of it, and not demonize them. I’ll try to keep them humanized.

I was fortunate to have a fairly good family who simply made mistakes. I see any mistakes they made as coming from ignorance and misinformation. We all make mistakes. We wouldn’t be in this world if we were perfect.

None the less, I like what Anne Lamott said, You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”  

I am hoping that by “telling my stories,” I will be helping to make a better world through further enlightening and thus alleviating some of the world’s ignorance and misinformation. In so doing, I can’t help but enlighten myself in the process too — And isn’t that why we’re here: Enlightenment?

 

 

My Front-yard Water-Smart Project

img_6284-1my-yard-3-9-2016

This is a part of my front yard, taken around two years ago. I removed the lawn and planted California friendly, drought resistant Gazania and other water-Smart plants.

Then I used red Canyon rock and other such to further create landscape design and color — plus a matching mulch for around the plants.

By now the Gazania is blooming so beautifully.

Have you ever done landscape design? And do you love beautiful landscape? That’s the artist in you.

 

 

~ ABOUT

  Bio of Stephany Spencer

IMG_3642
~ Stephany Spencer is a retired teacher on her endless summer — and a Creative: An artist, lyricist, poet, performer, and musician. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico of American parents, she spent most of her life in the Western U.S., married young and was widowed at twenty-one.

Left with a three-year daughter, she raised her while putting herself through the University, graduating from East LA College in 1970 with an AA in Music; UCLA in 1973 with a BA in Sociology. Did Post-graduate work in Liberal Arts at California State University, Northridge, obtaining a Teaching Credential in 1976.

A born teacher, Stephany Spencer taught Elementary School for thirty years, specializing in Bilingual Education and Music. Then took Early Retirement in 2001 to pursue other creative interests.

Multi-talented, a multi-instrumentalist in music, the “Multies” multiplied, to where they’re now crying, “Which interest is on ‘first’?!” Because in 2006 the Muse kindly led Stephany to the California Writers Club where she was Programs Chair and also helped with Hospitality for over a year while testing her “wannabe” possibilities of being a published author, this having been one of her dreams since age
ten.
She is presently working on three different books: A book of poetry, aphorisms, and maxims; a children’s novel — And a memoir, being a proud direct descendent of such as Dr. Francis Le Baron, MD. (See: “The Nameless Nobleman,” by Jane G. Austin,” a cousin).

Though fascinated with her heritage, she was not born to privilege, other than having inherited a bit of giftedness for such as writing verse, for better or worse. This is her double-edged sword: A gift and a curse. But Life goes on, comes and is gone …

Sail On,” says the emblem of her California Writers Club. Now if you look closely you may see her sailing on, “writing” on a song “write” now!

Dwell in possibilities,” said Emily Dickinson. And these possibilities are all that keep Stephany from falling off!

 



~ My Introductory Blog

My Introductory Blog

 

IMG_3642

Beulah Stephany Spencer-LeBaron, 2016, age 70

Hello and welcome to my Photoblog site — My own little corner of the World-Wide-Web!

 

My name is Stephany Spencer/AKA Beulah Spencer LeBaron de Tucker.

My goal is to share personal stories, essays, prose, poetry, artwork, and other creative works and opinion, in hopes you will not only give me your feedback but may also gain insight, inspiration, and enlightenment to help you in your journey through life. If you are creative and curious, then this blog is for you.

I have been posting blogs at least once per week for going on fourteen months, as of July 29, 2017. But starting August 4, 2017, I will be posting blogs sporadically, so as to devote more time to writing my books.

 And I don’t intend for this to be a monolog but a dialog. I want you to give me your feedback in the “Comments” section. I will read every comment and respond as I’m able.

*If you want me to address, please leave a comment below. I am looking forward to connecting with you.