The snow melts fast March 16, 2022

Wholy! The snow melts fast around here when it warms up and the sun shines hot. It has been in the minus teens celcius the last week or more and today it’s 6 above. It’s awesome.

So happy to see shingles and decking starting to show.

I haven’t been out much but when I went last, the snow banks on the side of the roads were difficult to see over. They will be shrinking fast.

Spring is not far off and we couldn’t be happier.

Haven’t looked for books yet today but will in a bit.

Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen on Pexels.com

My thoughts exactly!!

A little This and That, January 26, 2022

I’m feeling the need to talk. Not sure what about, though.

I had an appointment with a dermatologist yesterday. A few weeks ago I shared about large and longstanding rash on both shins. When my doctor saw it many months ago he referred me to a specialist. When I asked if it would be helpful, he didn’t hold out much hope for clearing it up.

Many times over the course of the year I was tempted to cancel the appointment. My thinking was… what’s the point if all they can do is give me something to keep it manageable.

Yesterday, I was pleased to discover there is hope for getting rid of it. The dermatologist prescribed a cream that should kill the active agent behind the rash. Suddenly I was happy I hadn’t given in to my negative thinking and cancelled the appointment.

There was a downside to the appointment as well, though. As he examined the worst area the dermatologist made the observation that I scratch a lot. It’s true, I do. Unfortunately, this keeps it alive and spreading. The new areas are the itchiest. Then I admitted I scratched sometimes when it wasn’t even itchy. I commented that the pain inflicted is addictive and the doctor nodded his agreement.

That revealing admission has been both haunting and upsetting. The worst of it is that I’m not really sure why. There must be a deep seated wound underneath the need to feel such pain. Admitting it has triggered a large emotional response in me that I don’t understand.

I’m hoping that, like with every other thought eventually making it’s way to the surface of my mind, with reflection some understanding will break through. The needed knowledge is down there somewhere, it just isn’t able to get through to me until I relax enough to give it permission.

Many years were spent with fingers in my ears. I would say that I was yelling lalalalalalala I can’t hear you, but I don’t think I was. I am pretty sure my feet were planted, my arms were crossed and I refused to listen to one word.

Now after many decades I’m finally listening. It has been a freeing experience and I’m loving life more and more all the time. It doesn’t mean I will ever be healthy or normal. The wounds go too deep for that, but I’m embracing every bit of emotional healing that comes my way.

And now I’m looking forward, hopefully, to rash-less legs with no more itch.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com

C-PTSD conversation December 12, 2021

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Trigger alert. Don’t read this if you are easily triggered or distressed with abuse stories. For sure don’t read this if my story distresses you. (family, friends.) I do promise there will be no explicit details. Generalities are bad enough.

Why now? you ask… It’s time.

If you are a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers. This is going to cost me, big time. It has to happen sometime and it feels like the time is now so I’ll carry on.

Why even do this?… It will be cathartic.

Advance warning – I do plan to end on a positive note. Something healing happened this week and I will share what that was.

Most of my life has been intentionally lived as if my past never happened. Parts of my adult life have been lived as a public figure, no one connected with me knew my background. It was all a secret.

There are two reasons for not speaking up sooner. One was that I had deeply repressed memories (still do) and wouldn’t admit to my suspicions without proof. My brother made me admit the abuse about 15 years ago when I was no longer a young woman.

The second reason (excuse) was tied up in protecting the reputation of the abuser. My outlook on that aspect has changed and protecting him no longer seems as important. I guess I was reluctant for family reasons too. None of that seems as important now either..

The reason for the abuse and the form it took is complex. I’m fairly certain there was abuse in Dad’s background which would explain why his alcoholism was firmly established by mid teens. It would also explain the sex addiction which probably started in early to mid teens as well.

An unplanned pregnancy (me) with unwanted responsibilities and lifestyle changes added rage to the mix.

Double addictions along with rage brought variety to the abuse. Selfish, immature, vindictive traits, didn’t help either.

So, all of that to say the abuse started early and took different forms depending on mood and availability. As the years went by access became more readily available. Mom had a job and also spent significant time in hospital fighting cancer. The last two years with him were the worst.

Dad was an extrovert and there were always visitors on the property. He was not adverse to sharing with his friends. As the abuse progressed I was groomed and trafficked. Money was a big draw. He was always in need of another bottle of whiskey. He was proud of his grooming.

My brothers and I were rescued as I turned twelve. Mom had to spend another stint in hospital and we were sent to stay with my grandmother. She insisted.

The door in my mind was slammed shut on all of the repressed memories. The experiences endured were unpleasant and as a teen there was not a speck of me wanting to be sexually active with boys. I’m grateful.

There were little clues in some of my irrational responses and thought patterns back then that might have been a tip-off if I had been willing to examine them.

Over the years prayer has been a very important part of my healing journey. I keep asking God to heal the exposed broken places that I have no idea how to fix or move past. He has been healing me incrementally for years, and friends and family are noticing the difference.

The positive note to end this post is about one of those healing times.

One of the aspects of intimacy, the experts say, is the connection formed in that moment. Casual or serious makes no difference.

I know it’s true. The relationship changes once that bridge has been crossed. The connection with your first is probably the strongest. Dad was my first and there were many more after him.

The last while I have been allowing myself to relax and let memories resurface if they want to. Sometimes it’s been emotions, sometimes bits of memories. There has been a heavy sense of connection to Dad.

This week in answer to prayer that connection with him has been broken. It’s gone, for him and all the other men he allowed in my life. I felt the emotion drain out of me and now I feel nothing for him.

I’ve let go of anger, I’ve forgiven him, the connection has been broken, and now the secret has been revealed.

There will still be triggers, more healing needed, and more issues to be faced. In the aftermath there will be a price to pay for sharing this story. It’s part of the deal.

Despite all of that I’m celebrating, in a numb kind of way. The secret is out. Another hurdle in the healing journey has been crossed.

If you made it this far, thank you for listening.

The sun is peeking from behind the dark clouds.

A little bit of nothing December 04, 2021

If I don’t want to break my posting streak… I’d better write

I have nothing to say so this is where I just start talking and see what comes out.

Today was our regular monthly writers group meeting and I was planning to go. I’d signed up for read and critique. I read, they critique. I was looking forward to it and it turned out better than hoped. Now, I’m looking forward to the rewrite. I’ll share soon.

The theme was Christmas.

I’ve been reluctant to write about family traditions, memories, and all of that. With my dysfunctional and abusive childhood, I don’t have many memories, never mind good ones.

This year it seemed it was time to write something.

I have to say, the exercise turned out to be an uplifting experience. The piece started on a somber note and ended with a lighthearted vibe. It wasn’t until I reread it before the meeting that I fully appreciated the transition to happy.

It’s easy to get caught up in past memories, forgetting about present blessings.

Life has been good to me. It hasn’t been perfect, it never is. But when I think about the way life could have gone post-abuse, I’m grateful.

There are many reasons why life turned out so well but I think the main one had to do with choices.

Years ago, a visitor looked around our house and her comment left me stunned. “Why do you get to live in such a nice place.”

I’ve since considered that comment many times. Eventually I could verbalize some things. We weren’t special. We weren’t living in a higher price range with something they couldn’t have had. It all had to do with choices.

Cheerful is important to me. I can handle the tough parts of life if my surroundings are visually pleasing.

We chose to hold out for the right place. We looked at a lot of places before finding the one but it was worth it.

Don’t settle. That’s my motto. Hold out for pleasing.

This day is nearly over and time is running out.

I can’t leave without saying, there have been no good book suggestions today. I have been reading an enjoyable collection, though.

Sadly, the collection is from last year and no longer available on Kindle.

I’m not sure how I missed reading it last year.

There are a few still available in paperback.

Well. I fulfilled my promise of having nothing much to say, don’t you think.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Happy Reading.

This and that November 29, 2021

At this moment, I have to share the encouragement I’m needing and enjoying tonight.

This last week has been busy with house guests. I’ve loved having them. Now I’m going through withdrawal being alone again, although in spite of it I’m feeling upbeat. At the same time I’m experiencing annoying physical evidence of the stress of it all. It feels weird because I have been happy having people around. To have itching skin rashes and aches and pains that only appear when I’m stressed just seems so wrong when I’m feeling good about life.

To help me get through this season I discovered a new music video in my feed, it has favorite lyrics that settle me. It’s actually a compilation of several videos I’ve owned for some time. This is very cool because I know all of the songs so well. It adds an extra dimension to my emotional settling when I can close my eyes and sing along. The words slide deep down into my heart and bring healing.

The theme of the video is Thanksgiving, what could be more uplifting than that? I’ll share it at the end of this post.

The other cool thing that happened today was the experience of tackling a task I’ve been dreading. In the end it turned out to be a positive part of my day.

The challenge was to write a piece for reading and critique at our writer’s group this coming Saturday. The theme was to be Christmas memories. The trouble is, there are not many good memories coming out of my childhood. I couldn’t imagine how I could find enough material to write something with any sort of a positive vibe.

It turned out so much better than I could have imagined and I felt upbeat and grateful having such a good writing experience. After it has been critiqued I will share it with you all.

Here is the video I’m listening to as I write this. It features a wide variety of favorite and talented award winning artists.

Life is looking up and I’m grateful.

Now I’m going to grab supper while this video finishes.

A good evening to you all. I hope you are experiencing some bright spots as well.

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.

Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

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?

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

Happy Reading on this beautiful day!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

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.

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

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 am feeling relieved October 04, 2021

It’s true. And unexpected. I would have done it long ago if I’d known it would make this big a difference in my anxiety levels.

By now, many of you have read my coming out in the open post. It can be found here if you’ve not read it. Basically it’s purpose was to admit that I am much older than pretty much all of my readers. I don’t feel like I’m older but pictures don’t lie.

I don’t really know what people think about my admission as there’s not been enough reaction to give me any hints. I’m OK with that though. I’ll just keep on being me, as authentically as I can, and see what happens. If I manage to write some things people like to read maybe they will forget to care about age.

One thing I’ve long understood, it’s easier to be real if you don’t care what people think. On some levels I care more than is healthy, on other levels I care very little. That’s how I made it through high school. Marching to the beat of my own drum, not worried if I was the only one.

Anyway, I feel more relaxed now that my secret is out there.

This is especially good since I have been thinking about possible new directions this blog could take in the near future. I love finding good deals and blogging about books but it seems to be getting a little tired, sticking to the same theme almost exclusively. Not everyone has the appetite for books that I do and their to-be-read pile fills up very quickly leaving them with little reason to come back.

The This and That posts have been attracting the most attention, I’m finding.

We will see how the future looks depending on the direction inspiration takes it.

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

In the meantime, there were book suggestions today but I rejected them all. Mostly because we’ve seen them before, but also because I didn’t love them all that much. I prefer telling you about great stories if I can.

I will mention the one just finished tonight.

It’s hard to know sometimes, when we see the promotional blurb, whether it will be a bona fide story or something sappy. This story was anything but sappy. It was well written, well developed, and held my interest – beginning to end. I loved this book.

Marrying Mandy (Brides of Clearwater Book 1) 

A marriage of convenience might be crazy…or an answer to both of their prayers.

Mandy Hudson swore she’d never marry. Abandoned by her parents and raised by her grandparents, she has a hard time trusting that real love will last. When her grandmother dies, Mandy is shocked to discover a stipulation in the will. Considering marriage to her best friend may be the only way to keep her family’s beloved bed-and-breakfast.

The loss of his job threatens Preston Yarrow’s shaky financial stability. Besides, he can’t watch his best friend give up the only real home she’s ever known. Frustrated by Mandy’s stubborn refusal to let him help, he’s certain they are stronger together than they are apart.

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

It’s still FREE if you are interested.

It will be exciting to see what is going to happen next. I feel like there is change coming but I have no idea what it will look like.

It will be a surprise.

In the meantime, keep reading.

Reading changes us, helps us grow.

Embrace it, learn to love it.

Read books that bring out the best in you and make you a better person.

That’s what I do and I like who I am becoming.

Join me in the march.

Another this and that kind of day September 28, 2021

I have nothing much in my head at the moment but I need to come up with a post to meet my daily goal commitment. Besides the discipline of putting something down on paper is actually good for me.

I guess it’s not really fair to say I have nothing in my head. I’ve been reading, trying to work my way through the burgeoning stack, and it has been disappointing. The just-finished read was a collection by an author I normally like, for the most part. The collection was disappointing because all three books were short on story and long on attraction. Lots and lots of time spent aware of each other. It’s boring listening to the same basic thoughts over and over again. A good story with some meat on it makes me happy. Anyway, I can’t even tell you the name of the collection because it’s been removed. The minute it was over.

Currently I’m reading a romance somewhat similar but at least it has a healthy story line running right through the middle of it. It isn’t a very long book either so there isn’t room for it to be plumped out with over the top attraction angst.

Courting Calla: A Christian Romance (Dixon Brothers Book 1)

CALLA VAUGHN has spent the last three years desperately trying to get her life in order so that she can go back to culinary school. No matter how hard she works, though, she feels like she is just treading water and can’t see any way out of the hole dug for her by a con artist who stole her identity.
When flowers she sends to her best friend with a dinner invitation accidentally get delivered to IAN JONES, she decides to cook him the best meal he’s ever had. By the time she admits that the flowers were never for him, he is as convinced as she is that God orchestrated the mistake in the first place.
All that’s left is to tell him the dark secret about her father’s widow. She waits a lit
tle too long, though, and is carted off to jail for questioning on felony charges before she gets a chance.
Will Ian understand her situation, or will the deception surrounding Calla destroy any trust he has in her?

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

Work has been taking up a lot of my thinking time too. I won’t bore you with the details but a new software program on one of the sites I frequent is still under construction even though it is in full use. Navigation seemed impossible on one task. Today was a good day because the sticky issue has finally been resolved. Another file closed, at least it looks like it from my current point of view. Fingers crossed.

That’s mainly it for my day.

The weather was warm today, in the 30’s C and it should be like that again for several more days. I’m happy for the chance to experience a little more warmth before the bitterness of winter sets in. The illusion of summer is gone though, with darkness quickly falling hours earlier than it did on the longest days. The leaves are turning color and falling faster than I’d like. I’m sad to see the end of summer this year. It’s gone by much too quickly.

There have been bright spots, though, lately. Chatting with friends I haven’t talked to in a while.

There are always things I’m can be grateful for and they over-shadow the sadness whenever I let them. At this moment I’m choosing to see the good things in my life since it looks like I’m digging myself a bit of a hole with all this talk of melancholy over summer’s demise.

Tomorrow’s another day, and it’s looking better already since one dreaded work task has been successfully completed.

If I’m going to squeeze in a bit more reading before lights out I’d better get moving.

Happy Reading to you.