A little of this, a little of that, October 20, 2021

I’m jealous. Some of my friends can produce well thought out pages and pages in a short time and it takes me for – ever.

Now that I said all that, I’ve forgotten what I was going to say.

It couldn’t have been all that important. Truth be know it probably wasn’t, either.

One very important thing happened this morning. The lawn care guys were here to do year end yard cleanup. Leaves and lawn. There were so many leaves this year I was entirely glad to let them do it.

The upside to doing it myself is the workout and resulting muscle tone. The downside to not doing it… well you can guess that. Maybe next year.

I had a good day at work today, it was productive. It’s amazing what can get done when there are few interruptions.

The other thing that was great about the day, I figured out some things. Working cold-call with an unfamiliar file can be daunting, and it was, in spades. Once their system became clear it wasn’t all that difficult, but for a while there…

Tomorrow will be better and I’m almost done. How sad is that? Hopefully I will remember what I learned when they are back again.

Anyway. There was no real point to this post, I just felt like writing a little.

I started another book tonight after finishing the 12 book Save the Date collection. This new one is fun. It’s full of feisty women at a time in history when they were not allowed to be that bold. Especially not where anyone could notice. The two ladies I’ve just met have hobbies that could get some poor underestimating guy killed. Hopefully the ladies will meet one or two of them. Not that I would want to see them killed or anything. Although, the way some guys behaved way back then, I’m sure they would have deserved it. lol

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I’m only on chapter two and I’m loving it.

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer: Christian Regency Romantic Suspense serial novel

She met him again by shooting him.

After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

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This story is off to an excellent start, I hope it can last through the whole book. I need a good dose of irony and dry humor for a little change of pace.

OK, I’m gone.

Til next time.

More to say about thinking. October 17, 2021

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I can hear someone saying, if he was with you why wasn’t God with me when I was being traumatized?

He was, but there are a few things that make a difference.

I had elderly relatives who knew the situation, at least partially, and were talking to God about me every day. They were also loving on me and telling me about God every chance they had, which wasn’t often. I knew about him and knew to look for him in the room I’d run to in my mind. Escape from the horror.

On top of that, though my parents were running away from God he was still a topic in our home. Dad’s family was Roman Catholic and church attendance was an important and significant part of their family life. Before they were married Mom had to promise the kids would be raised Catholic.

Mom’s parents were Protestant and Grandpa was a pastor. There was angst in our home due to mom’s guilt over living a lifestyle that was heart breaking to her parents.

We never did go to church anywhere and the three of us kids were sent to public school.

I was always a super sensitive kid. Without God I probably would not have survived.

God is with all of us, always, but if we aren’t aware he exists we wouldn’t know to look for him.

God didn’t keep bad things from happening to me but I know he kept things from being much worse than they could have been.

After my third child was born Mom got back together with God. One day she shared with me about looking back over the days of her rebelliousness (oh yes, she was rebellious.) Even though she did whatever she wanted, God was still looking out for her. She could see many places in her life where he had rescued her.

As healthy parents, we never stop loving our kids (at least most of us don’t) no matter how how badly they behave.

God wants a big family and he is aware of every single child that is conceived. He loves them all. That’s mind blowing.

He’s been with you every single day, even if you don’t know it.

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I’ve been thinking October 17, 2021

I’ve had this post in mind for two days now but it was on forgiveness, a comment yesterday changed my trajectory.

The observation was that I love books but people?… not so much.

At first I agreed with that assessment. It’s true I do have deep trust issues and live a solitary life on a day to day basis.

This morning I woke up feeling an overwhelming love for people. This is not uncommon. I’ve experienced this most of my life.

This last while, I’ve been troubled, not able to identify how both could be true, trust and distrust. Especially when it came to men. My dad was abusive. I have two brothers, they were abused. I hated my dad but loved my brothers? Is that what’s behind it? It doesn’t seem to fit but if not that, then what?

Take for example, my neighbor: I’ve shared with her some of my story. She has first hand knowledge of my struggle with trust issues and triggers. I’ve accepted her event invitations and cancelled at the last minute because I knew men would be there and I couldn’t make myself go. And yet… if we were standing in her drive way with her husband and he cracked a joke I was relaxed enough to laugh. I could tell by her body language that she was not happy and was now doubting my story. Which is true? The uptight or the relaxed?

So, how can I love and not love at the same time?

This morning I’m reminded, a survival tool for the severally abused is compartmentalization.

When I’m conscious of me and what I’m feeling, and people get too close – triggers happen, I’m reacting and not liking it.

When I forget about me entirely and my focus is completely on the other person, I feel empathy and love. I’m open and relaxed.

Where does all of this come from?

This morning I’m recognizing, it’s coming from my inner circle, the place where only three humans have ever been, or should have been. It would be truer to say they should have been there but all three chose to live outside of it, emotionally unavailable to me. One of them chose to visit the inner circle occasionally but only physically and in an abusive way.

Now, when I struggle with relating to people as the focus is directed toward me, I’m realizing it’s the result of the trauma inflicted on me by three. That’s one compartment.

There is another compartment where God shows up in the inner circle. This was my place of refuge in traumatic times. God was always there and has continued to be there, emotionally available to me my whole life.

This is how I can love and not love at the same time.

Wherever possible, I choose to love with the love I’ve experienced with God in the second compartment.

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The original thought for this post was – How could I be forgiving?

That’s a big question and I still want to share my story. Soon, maybe.

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This and that October 16, 2021

Zoom calls are the best. Any video call actually.

This is another one of those days where I need to just hang out awhile to make this post happen. New book suggestions have been non-existent today and there’s definitely been a shortage of enjoyed books read. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Despite that there have been bright spots though.

The sun was shining all day, that was appreciated after all the rain we’ve had lately. We are happy for the moisture as it is a good ending to a dry growing season. It will be helpful next year, to start the new season off with moisture sitting in the ground all winter.

A Colorado Low storm was predicted to come through last week, it often brings snow with it. Several winters ago, it dumped a huge pile, leaving us with no power for over a week in some places. Trees were brought down in very large numbers.

We were spared an early snow fall this year.

Another bright spot today was time spent, late morning/early afternoon, chatting with a fellow blogger. It’s a gift when such conversations line up just right for them to even happen.

From there I went outside to wash some windows, the ones I notice the most often, on sunny days. The water in our area leaves a white film on everything and it’s wonderful to have it gone. The day was perfect too, the direct sunshine made working outside on a cool day comfortable. Much longer and I would have had to take off my jacket.

I love the feeling of a job well done. Another chore no longer on the to-do list.

After a quick supper we were treated to the highlight of the day. Our monthly family Zoom call. I love seeing my kids and catching up on their lives.

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Now it’s time to relax with a book. I’ve just started a collection mentioned yesterday. I haven’t read far enough to know if it can carry the momentum of a strong start but hopefully. So far, I’m loving the first book.

Save the Date: A Limited-Time Christian Romance Collection

As our guest of honor, you’re cordially invited on a journey through twelve heartwarming and inspirational novellas that will take you from small-town America to romantic Paris, from the sunny shores of Hawaii to New Zealand. Office romances, friends-to-lovers, second chances, and more await you in these stories full of forgiveness, redemption, laughter, and love. Say “I do” and claim your copy of this limited-time anthology by your favorite USA Today and bestselling Christian romance authors!

January Hope by Kari Trumbo – Clothing historian Cleo goes on the hunt for an 1880s fashion magazine wedding dress. Discovering it’s part of a museum collection, her biggest obstacle is handsome curator Lowel. Unfortunately, his no-touch policy just might put a stop to her hunt and her heart.

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Until tomorrow,

Happy Reading!

PTSD conversation October 15, 2021

This is sort of a this-and-that conversation, stemming from earlier comments with another blogger on his site. My response was going to be long so a post with more room seemed like the way go. Besides, I’ve been wanting to explore some of these thoughts on here anyway.

In his comment section we were talking about triggers, mood swings, living with integrity and how to calm things down. He says:

I am honest, make pretty good choices

How does integrity work with ptsd?

I agree

“I’m working on trying to change this. Consciously recognizing the times where I’ve taken insult and accepted rejection where none was meant. Baby steps, but it is making a positive difference.”

Ptsd is still raging from intrusive thoughts and trigger and spotting danger.

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For me; living with integrity (honorable, honest, dependable etc) adds up to good mental health – positive mental attitude. Living this way fosters a lack of shame, guilt, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear (fear we will be caught doing something wrong.).

There are other reasons (like the past) we can have these negative experiences but if we do life with integrity the negative emotion load will be reduced significantly. It’s hard to be fair and kind without feeling good about my everyday life and my interactions with people.

Feeling good about life and people has a calming influence on my triggers.

It’s easy for me to mistakenly think I’m doing well in this area if I’m not paying attention. Bouts of anger, impatience, road rage, and any other similar emotions can crop up as I do life. I have to deal with them, let them go and move on to preserve peace.

Aside from the integrity aspect, I’ve worked hard to keep bitterness, anger, and other such related emotions out of my everyday life. Forgiveness is important to my well being.

Most of these negative emotions are relative to the past rather than the present. I’ve forgiven my dad and I can talk about him now without tears or anger. Not so much with several others, tears still flow easily but that is a work in progress.

Another thing that helps me considerably is thinking through what just happened; once the emotions are settled down. Examining memories to identify the original event behind the trigger and facing what happened has helped take the punch out of the trigger.

It doesn’t sound like it should work but it does. A disclaimer though: I don’t know what you have been through so be careful with this one. Some memories should not be explored alone.

For me, an example of a memory to be explored would be the bathroom. For decades I wouldn’t/couldn’t go into a washroom, public or otherwise, if I had to do so within sight of men. It took a few more decades for me to realize the reason; as a child, bad things happened to me in bathrooms. I could have figured it out sooner if I had been willing to think about the why. It is what it is, leave it alone, was my attitude.

All of these things, and probably more, have been helpful but the one thing I use on a day to day basis is change-the-channel. It was validating when I heard they were doing this successfully with soldiers. They found that early interruption of debilitating thoughts brought an early end to the episode. They were using computer games to be the distraction.

For a good while there, my whole day was destroyed if I was triggered. It was frustrating. Especially when I was supposed to be working.

By accident I learned that if I went to an activity requiring my whole mind, the channel would change in my head and my thoughts would move on to a better place. Later I may think about whatever triggered me but the adrenaline reaction was no longer there.

I read books, play computer games, follow podcasts and vlogs, write this blog. Some days these things are literally my sanity. I run to them before I dig myself into a deep hole.

I don’t know if this makes sense or is even helpful but this is how I maintain my sanity and avoid major triggers. This is not the final word on the subject either. It is much too complex for that and I’m no expert.

Now I just have to figure out how to avoid the minor triggers.

I don’t think I will live long enough to deal with it all. 🙂

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A parting thought: there are many self centered hurting people who do not lead a life of integrity. They would be happier if they did. If you lead a life of integrity you can check this box off the list. I have.

The kernel of a thought October 12, 2021

Just start talking. That’s what I have to do tonight. Once again I do not have a post in mind.

I’m going to keep it short because I need sleep to be able to function tomorrow. I know if I don’t use restraint this could easily end up being really long, leaving me with a very short night.

This whole subject has been on my mind for a long time but it’s complex and not necessarily easily understood, especially when spoken about briefly. I think it would take a book for me to say everything I need to say on this subject.

I don’t even know how to begin and it’s already been a half hour. I think slow, trying to get it right enough to make sense, and I write even slower.

I’ll try to express the kernel of it in a sentence or two and expand on it another time. Or even more likely, it will take many times to get it all out.

I love God deeply, and at the same time I feel loved by him. We have loved each other for a very long time.

It’s killing me not to expand on this but I know I have to go.

In the meantime…

I love looking at the mountains, they remind me – our help comes from the creator, of heaven and earth. And what a creator he is.

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Until tomorrow.

This and that October 11, 2021

This turned out better than I thought it would.

I’m writing to satisfy the need for a blog post, not because I feel like it or have anything appropriate to say at this moment. There are many things on my mind, all of them too heavy to be talked about today. If they are still there in a few days, we’ll see if they are still worth exploring further.

Today is a pretty day, filled with blue skies and sunshine streaming in the windows. It’s cooler outside than it has been so I won’t go out but the sunshine still cheers me even without touching my skin.

It is also a recovery day for this introvert. Recharging my emotional batteries after a wonderful day spent with family yesterday. The pretty day is a huge part of that recovery. The silence is healing too.

I usually check and listen to a fair number of followed podcasts each day but not today. I’ve looked through the notifications and watched a few but for the most part nothing really all that new is being talked about so it a perfect time to take a media break.

I did check the usual book suggestion emails as well but abandoned that when finding nothing interesting enough to mention. I thought about browsing for book ideas but…

Maybe tomorrow.

It is Thanksgiving weekend and I’m still grateful for the many blessings in my life. The biggest blessing today is the chance to get to know two of my grandsons in a way I’ve never had before, not with them living continents away from us. They seem to be glad for the chance to get to know me/us as well and that makes it even better.

Already my thoughts are turning to Christmas. It’s never too early to get started on shopping. With five teenage boys to think about this year I’ve enlisted the help of my daughter. I have to take advantage of every available resource to find likeable gifts. Lucky for me, she is into early shopping, and she knows what teenage boys are happy to wear these days.

While I’m recharging my emotional batteries I’m entertaining myself with reading, in between bouts of computer games.

My current read is a Regency Romance. To say the main character is prickly would be an understatement, but she is out of sorts with good reason. I’m 1/4 of the way through and enjoying the experience so far.

Dalton’s Challenge: A Regency Romance (The Harcourts Book 2) 

Having spent half her life in her younger brother’s shadow, Miss Winifred Thirley has tried so hard to be perfect in order to win back her parents’ love. Unfortunately for Winnie, her attempts at perfection have practically turned her to stone. Is it so wrong for Winnie to value responsibility, decorum, and a serious approach to life? According to the foolish and carefree Mr. Harcourt, it is.

In a cruel twist of fate, Winnie’s family is invited to spend the summer at Attwood Manor—Mr. Harcourt’s home. How will Winnie survive an entire summer living under the same roof as the gentleman she’s sworn to hate forever?

Mr. Dalton Harcourt will become a baron one day. Until then, he plans on having fun and living life to the fullest. That’s easier said than done when Miss Thirley glares daggers at him every time they cross paths. She’s hated him for the past two years after a very brief and disastrous courtship. 

At least Dalton doesn’t have to deal with her outside of London…until his mother invites the Thirley family to spend the summer with them in the country.

Will Winnie be able to forgive and see a brighter side to life in the process?

Can Dalton overcome his fears in order to face life’s challenges head on?

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Happy Reading on this beautiful day!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends.

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Tomorrow is technically Thanksgiving Day in Canada but today was the day that worked best for our family gathering.

We have so much to be thankful for. Most of all for the safe arrival of two family members who recently had to travel a great distance to be with us.

We are all presently healthy, happy, and well cared for.

The fellowship around the table was sweet, hilarious at times, and the turkey dinner was delicious.

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That’s about it for this post. Nothing to share for new books. The current historical read that I predicted wouldn’t be boring, kind of is. I was expecting story but it’s more like a history course. I’m skimming through it.

I like learning lots from a well crafted story but I’m not much for pages filled with facts, figures, and the names of many players who may or may not appear in the story itself. Personal preference, what can I say.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

In the meantime… Happy Reading!

I wonder… October 08, 2021

Have you ever wondered?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the craziness of the power struggle that seems to be going on in the world right now.

For my whole life (and you all know that’s been many decades long) I’ve heard loud voices talking about a power hungry leader that would rise up wanting to take over the whole world and rule it with a single government. Those loud voices also predicted terrible things were going to happen to everyone the new ruler viewed as enemies.

I’m not saying whether I do or don’t believe in that prediction, although the way things are happening right now, you have to wonder.

Tonight a thought occurred to me, one that has never entered my mind until now.

Are we supposed to stand and fight or just let it happen?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said in so many words but it seems to have been assumed to be inevitable. The world would be taken over and destruction would happen. We would mostly be killed and if not we would have to wait for a “prince” to ride in on a beautiful stallion, carrying a mighty sword to slay the wicked ruler and rescue us.

We’ve always assumed that but…

I was thinking about another proclamation I’ve heard all my life, also spoken by many voices. We were supposed to “grid up our loins” put on “our armor” and fight against the “rulers of the air.”

How does that fit with accepting the inevitable?

I’m not an academic. I haven’t studied all of these ideas and how they all fit together.

I’m just wondering; are we supposed to sit and wait to be rescued or are we supposed to stand up and do what we can to make a difference?

For a few weeks I’ve been wondering if things are happening like they are to push us out of our lethargy.

Maybe we are supposed to stand up and grow a spine?

As kids we used to sing “God’s got an army marching through the land…” Who are they? Where are they?

Maybe we’ve assumed wrongly?

Maybe we are supposed to join the “army?”

Just wondering.

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My “twin” brothers. You can see where my grandsons get their height.

My heroes. To me they look like they would each be saying “don’t mess with my sister.”

This and that, on the lighter side October 06, 2021

What to talk about, anyway? It looks like this will have to be a just-start-talking post since I have nothing in my head that I want to talk about and I do want to keep my daily post commitment. It needs to be on the lighter side though, to make up for the heavy duty posts of the last three days.

Maybe the weather seems like a good choice to start off with.

I feel sorry for my co-workers in northern British Columbia. It’s currently 1 C up there and they had their first snowfall of the season yesterday. That’s way too early. They weren’t all that happy with me when I shared it was 27 C here in southern Manitoba (I work remotely and mostly I’m grateful for that). It’s just as warm here again today. They were talking about us breaking records yesterday but I forgot to listen to see if it happened. I imagine there could have been snowfall records broken up there too.

I couldn’t tease my co-worker today about suffering in the cold as they were out of the office travelling, yesterday and today. They had to go to southern Alberta to a doggy dentist, that’s a ten hour drive. It will be interesting to hear what the roads were like.

It’s crazy how no two years ever seem to be alike when it comes to weather.

With it being such a nice day here today, I was out in the yard for a while trying to take care of weeds. It was impossible to accomplish though as there are piles of leaves everywhere covering things up. There are many trees in my backyard and a giant one next door, a prolific leaf producer.

Last year I raked and managed to keep ahead of them but this year I’m not even going to try. The lawn guys will clean up the leaves and cart them away for me. They do a much better job than I can do, anyway. When they are done the yard will be beautiful and I can easily tackle the last of the weed cleanup.

Working at my job so I can afford to pay for yard clean-up is a win-win situation for this old lady!

Today was not a good day for books. There were a few suggestions but I didn’t see anything I wanted to read.

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I’m not thrilled with my current read so I’ll pick out an up-next book to finish up with.

When Chelsea starts working for a stubborn cowboy, what seems like a dead end might really be a new beginning. 

A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. The beautiful new employee his mom hires is the last thing he needs and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. She may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than her handsome employer’s efforts at forcing her to leave. 

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they might find joy beyond measure.

Happy Reading!