Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Mess Welcomes Dr. Joan Claire Gordon

This week at The Mess we are pleased to welcome Dr. Joan Claire Gordon, a lady with a passion for helping bring harmony to people and their relationships.  We're not just talking marriage relationships, either. Dr. Gordon has ways of helping you in any type of relationship at work, school, home, even in your neighborhood.  As a matter of fact, her final category is simply "You name it." Not only does she have her own Blogtalk radio show, she is also a published author. Gra Im Thu! I love you! is a poignant historical love story with themes of love of God, country, family and self.  We are pleased to host Dr. Joan Claire Gordon this week and know you'll enjoy the following.

Before turning it over, I just wanted to say a quick thank you to Joan for participating in our guest spots here at The Mess. It's a pleasure to have you here.

Tame Your Jealousy
By Joan Claire Gordon

Step up, folks, and watch the mind-blowing, brutish bronco called Jealousy.  You can see that Jealousy is being ridden bareback by the man, Fool, who has his name blazoned on his jersey.  Watch closely.  Fool grips Jealousy’s mane, but struggles to stay astride the beast.  Fool’s being tossed up and down, forward and back, and, now, side to side!  Oh, no!  Jealousy has thrown Fool into the dirt.

Yes, feeling jealous is like riding bareback on a bucking bronco.  The question for you, dear reader, is: are you able to hoist a saddle on that bronco, Jealousy?  If you can saddle the charger before you’re forced to mount, you will be better able to whisper in the beast’s ear, making the ride easier, as you draw the horse to a complete stop and dismount Jealousy ... forever. 

But no doubt about it. It ain’t easy to saddle that steed.  Jealousy is a curious and complex critter.  When we are jealous, we may feel inferior to someone else, or resentful of another’s success, or covetous of a partner’s possessions, or fearful we will be abandoned, or any number of varied shades of feelings from gray to black..  The bronco, Jealousy, is as slippery as a sweaty race horse.  You heave the saddle toward the beast’s middle and undershoot by a mile because the bronc bucks up when you thought he was going buck down.

Riona O’Grady, when she was a small girl, had occasionally ridden her own pony called Jealousy.  She thought she had trained the young colt for an easy ride, one she could control.  Years went by and to her dismay, at age seventeen, she found herself astride her youthful horse and it took off at a gallop, pitching her every which way. 

Why do we care about Riona?  Well, Riona’s story is instructive to us as we consider the matter of jealous feelings in the heart. 

Riona and her identical twin sister, Regina, as youngsters growing up in County Limerick, Ireland, had been as close as two eggs in the same nest ... usually.  But, like all sisters, they occasionally had upsets. Riona, being the less dominant twin, had sometimes found herself trotting around on her pony, Jealousy.  Yes, she experienced mild feelings of jealousy toward Regina, but mostly she was able to calm her little colt, Jealousy, and bring it back to the barn. 

It was exactly at age seventeen, in 1922, that Riona and Regina, with their mother, Evgren O’Grady, sailed from Ireland to America, and gosh darn, Riona wheedled a way to bring Jealousy with her on the ship.  As the O’Grady family settled into their tiny cottage in Salt Lake City and the girls began to make friends at West High School, differences between the twins intensified and trouble bubbled up.  With time, Riona felt increasingly jealous of Regina who found love first, who seemed to attract preferred treatment from family members, and who landed a fine job after graduating from West High.  Riona’s emotions flew around the moon and her mature bucking bronco, Jealousy, took her on a wild ride.

In my debut novel Gra Im Thu! I Love You! the story is told of the three O’Grady women from County Limerick and their eventual involvement in Utah with another immigrant family, the Gwynn clan, from County Tipperary.  There’s plenty of jealousy to go around, as well as disputes involving religion, clashes over Irish politics, preferences regarding education and career choices, and squabbles over finances. 

Eventually, the two families work out a method for solving their differences: they call it the Mashed Potato Method.  No kidding.  The Mashed Potato Method can even help tame that wild bronc, Jealousy.  If you have such a horse in your barn, try feeding tasty, buttery, smooth mashed potatoes to your wild bronc, Jealousy, and see what happens.  You’ll find the recipe at the end of the novel. 

v  Joan Gordon is author of Gra Im Thu! I Love You! published by

v  Tune in ANYTIME to Joan's Harmony Keys radio show
v  Please visit Joan's website   where relationship issues get solved.

v  Join Joan on Twitter

v  Welcome to

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                             The Mess Welcomes Joanne Mazzotta
                             The Mess Welcomes Matt Best

Thanks for visiting The Mess!


  1. Jealousy, one of the seven deadly human emotions is a great topic here. Thanks for sharing. I'm curious about the Mashed potato method. :)

    1. Hello, Joanne (Author of Why Whisper?)
      First, thank you for writing about your book Why Whisper? on Robbie's blog a few weeks ago. You are an honest woman & you shared from your heart about Danny's suicide.
      Second, you are correct that jealousy is one of the deadliest & one of the most destructive of human emotions.
      Third, the mashed potato method is a symbolic way to heal rifts in relationships & to solve problems involving diversity. The recipe is in Chap 34 of my novel, Gra Im Thu! I Love You!

    2. Jealousy is definitely a topic worthy of exploration and the basis for many a plot line. Thank you, Joanne for visiting and commenting!