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Daily Archives: July 3, 2011


Two Faces of Zazu

self portrait of Zazu- colored pencil

self-portrait - Zazu

J.Lucy painted Zazu in acrylic on canvas

J.Lucy painted Zazu in acrylic on canvas


Not for a Million Dollars

The unsolicited comment shown below was sent directly to my email.

Dear jill,

Thank you for the laughter. I find that you have given me the opportunity to escape the madness that is my life and relish the beauty that you live.

If you would have told me that someone would ever call my life beautiful I wouldn’t have believed it, not for a million dollars. I launched Raw Candor because I have three daughters that are watching me. After a brutal divorce, albeit a long time ago, the residue of bitterness was not entirely gone, and I didn’t want bitterness to be my legacy.

Raw Candor has almost 1400 hits in less than a week. I write about ordinary things, and believe that my voice has resonated as if anyone is speaking. I am humbled and grateful, and am so happy that I am able to make all of us laugh. I never thought I would recover from my past, but I have, and my daughters are watching.

“THIS IS AWESOME! sososo proud! xoxoxox love you” – Zazu, my youngest daughter, age 17.



ROCK ON MOM. KEEP ME POSTED.” J. Lucy, my oldest daughter, age 21

My middle daughter Dixie and I spoke on the phone. She feels the same way about Raw… as her sisters do. She is 19.

My daughters resting in front of painting "Sadly the Wedding Was Perfect"

Dixie and Zazu relaxing in my bedroom during visit to Florida

J. Lucy - high school graduation in Los Angeles

J. Lucy - high school graduation in Los Angeles hugging Mom


My Oldest Daughter’s Letter

J.Lucy - "Fox"  digital self portrait

J.Lucy - "Fox" digital self-portrait

J. Lucy is my oldest daughter. She is fearlessly inquisitive, crushingly independent, and the young woman among her peers, and two sisters that people come to for insight. That is not only a description of her, it is her essence.

We speak often, so when she called me last November from school in Eugene Oregon I could tell something was off. I had no plans for a vacation, nor the funds. I arranged to take a week off from work, charged a plane ticket on my only credit card and went to see her.

A typical flight to Oregon should take about six hours. I was delayed, arriving almost twenty-four hours later in Eugene. I would have circled the sun and the moon to see my girl. This is the letter she wrote to me after that visit together. With her permission I have typed it (see below) to make it easier to read.


Dear Mom,

Thank you for venturing cross-country to see me (even if it took nearly 24 hours!) I cherished every hug, kiss and bowl of spaghetti! Thank you for turning my house into an organized home – (you have such a good eye…something I…a virtue I hope to develop someday and thank you for making, no encouraging me to incorporate stylish & simple pieces into my wardrobe. One day I will look as put together and beautiful as you do. Thank you for making me feel loved and cared for, thank you for being open & true with me. I never intend to make you feel excluded from my life, and I am sorry if my actions have made you feel otherwise. Sometimes it is difficult for me to be open & emotional because my mind tells me it is a sign of weakness. Vulnerability is uncomfortable for me. But, as I am growing up & discerning my own voice & God’s voice, I am finding it easier, & more rewarding to be emotional & honest. One day at a time… I value our relationship more than you know, and can’t wait to share more weekends like this getting to know one another better. Thank you for being the best mother I could ever dream of. I will love you always, in a way that I love no one else.


J. Lucy

PS let me know what happens w/ Roberto, & I’ll keep you posted about Alexander. I hope we at least make it to the third date so I can read the note you wrote!

Travel safe. XOXO

My oldest daughter's letter to me

My oldest daughter's letter to me

J.Lucy is twenty one years old, and attends the University of Oregon. She studies digital arts and Chinese. She manages her time efficiently and works at a groovy restaurant, plays soccer and makes time for her friends. She inspires the people around her, has a wicked sense of style and is my cherished darling daughter. J.Lucy came to Florida this past April.

The reference she makes to a note I wrote her about a third date with Alexander…well, that might show up in the category “what I know” another time.


Birthday Mathematics

Jill Slaughter on the right with her two sisters.

My birthday was always awful. There are two years between me and my older sister, but our actual birthdays are just a few days apart. Our mom made us share a cake and I hated that. My sister tells me that while I felt anger, she felt invisible. My birthday is first, so the inscription always read Jill AND Susan. Some years my mom would throw in my dad’s name because his birthday is a few days before hers and then she would have to check to see if she still had a pulse.

All Eyes

All Eyes

Jill in the 1st grade in Brooklyn New York at PS 206

Jill in the 1st grade

Having a birthday during the summer deprived me of girly grade school ceremonies. My female classmates got to wear corsages with ribbons (mostly pink) attached to jangling dog biscuits which were pinned to their shirts. They got to hand out candy and have the class sing happy birthday to them. Knowing that I would never have that experience I wasn’t simply envious, I was crushed. I didn’t tell my mother. We weren’t the pink ribbon, jangling dog biscuit, corsage wearing type of family. So from year to year this painful experience repeated.

On the first day of July I would begin my countdown. Only twenty-nine days to my birthday. Never really sure what I wanted or would wish for, it never seemed to matter. The non-Jewish kids in my neighborhood got stereos and albums, fashionable clothes or maybe something they saw in a teen magazine. I got socks. But I still maintained that countdown, always hopeful that I might get that thing, whatever that thing might be. It wasn’t that my parents weren’t generous; they just didn’t pay much attention to our birthdays. I have three siblings.

Jill Slaughter-age 13-Brooklyn New York

Jill – age 13

Days would go by, only twenty-eight days left, twenty-seven, twenty-six… and when it got to the eleventh day I would have to start using my fingers to count. I was terrible at math. So awful in fact I repeated algebra three times and wound up in my younger sister’s class, and fell into the abyss of not knowing how to count in sequence. The days rolled by and finally I was able to pick it up again on the twenty-sixth day. Only four days left to my birthday, three, two, one and then MY birthday, our cake. My birthday was always awful.

And This Is What I Know:– 20 tips for your kids to get along. – Samples come on a tasting plate of three different types. – For corsage that will change your life.

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