More this and that May 06, 2022

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It’s hard to know which is worse.

Watching the news, any and every news, sounds like a good idea so as not to be caught unaware. After awhile, though, this activity seems toxic and downright depressing.

Unbelievable too. Did he really just say that? Is he aware how his attitude is not helping his public image? Maybe he’s not worried about future re-elections.

It’s often said don’t believe what they say, watch what they do. When I first heard this piece of wisdom it was in relation to abusive men who would say all manner of things to get what they wanted, all the while not meaning any of it. Paying attention to what they do, to steer clear of manipulators, is sound advice.

It takes a lot of practice to go by actions rather than words, though. These people are highly gifted at sounding believable, especially if they put a lot of emotion in it. It’s very easy to believe they are for real. That’s why video footage, especially the unedited kind, exposes the truth. There are lots of undeniable eye opening caught on tape moments that leave us with our jaws dropping on the floor. Some of them are scenes that we can never unsee.

On one hand the state of our countries, Canada and the US, is highly depressing but on the other hand, some bleak looking situations are beginning to change. For awhile it appeared that the corporate and political world was jumping on the new ideas band wagon which did not bode well for many of us.

I think most of us have forgotten how loudly the bottom line speaks into their world. Many of their recent changes and positions were not in the best interest of average shoppers and when we began to change our spending habits they sat up and took notice.

Making changes in who we work for, where we shop, and a multitude of other areas, will surprise us with unexpected positive side effects. We may even find we are happier than we’ve ever been.

It’s hard to believe any of this will change bullies’ behavior but hey, you just never know. Maybe one day they will wake up and discover people’s opinion of them matters a great deal. Especially if they are running for office or working to become richer.

Oh, right, the question which is worse?

The political situation in Canada or the US.

So far, from what I can see listening to facts and opinions, Canada is winning. Not something to feel the least bit happy about.

Free books May 02, 2022

LPC Free books has two suggestions for us, both read and enjoyed several years ago. Stories with substance.

All The Way Home – Ann Tatlock

“Tatlock’s rich descriptions and characterizations are unusually fresh and inventive.”~Publishers Weekly

From a rough section of Los Angeles during the late Depression years, to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s in the South, this novel is a searing portrayal of one family trapped by alcoholism and another living the typical middle class life. A true American story told through the eyes of two girls, best friends, separated by the internment camps of World War II.

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Somewhere a Rainbow (Finding Love in the Low Country Book 4)

Brooke Haddon’s future looks gray… After her unfaithful husband is killed in an auto accident, she faces the challenge of rebuilding her life. With most of her money gone, she takes her five-year-old son to the honeymoon cottage on Hilton Head Island where her marriage began. As a single parent, she wonders how she will manage, and once she arrives on the island, she can’t imagine how she’ll be able to repair a cottage as broken down as her life.

When local carpenter Jake Randolph offers to help, Brooke immediately distrusts him. But as the months pass, she begins to think he may be different from the other men she has known. He begins to melt the emotional ice around her heart. Then Jake admits he’s concealing a secret past. Are Brooke’s hopes of a brighter future about to be destroyed. Or is there a rainbow beyond the storms of heartbreak?

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Two worthwhile reads. Awesome.

Happy Reading!

I’m Not Gonna Worry – April 27, 2022

A fellow blogger shared some tried and true rules for a good life. There were ten and one of them was Never worry.

I have been doing some of that this last while. Fussing over some possible changes coming in my life. Worrying because I don’t know if it will work out, how it will work out, should it work out. If it doesn’t what will I do.

I want to take on a challenge that will require more from me than I have ever put into anything I’ve ever done before. There is always a hurry up and wait time with these things. Maybe that isn’t a bad thing. My vision is being refined as the days go by. Maybe things won’t move until I have worked through all of the details just right.

I try not to indulge in worry because it doesn’t accomplish anything except to make me feel dejected and discouraged. Discouraged is a good word for the way I’ve felt the last week or two. Today’s beautiful sunny day following on the heels of a week or two of a winter storm helped significantly. There is nothing as cheerful as blue skies.

The thought of not worrying reminded me of a song that always lifts my sagging spirits.

I need to listen to it another time or two yet before lights out tonight.

Maybe this will help with end of winter sagging spirits for you too.

I hope it will.

Enjoy

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

An excellent, insightful, helpful article. A Must share. — For the Love of Books

Today’s guest post is a Q&A by Andrea A. Firth (@AndreaAFirth), a writer, editor, and teacher and cofounder of Diablo Writers’ Workshop. Getting published in literary journals is hard—still. Editors routinely say that they often have to turn down good writing. The submission cycle takes months, and months. But some things have changed. No more…

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

Thought for the night March 26, 2022

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Sometimes the goal we’ve set for ourselves does not materialize but something better does.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when the hoped for outcome does not happen. Watching something unfold I’m hearing this sentiment express.

As a uninvolved observer I’m seeing community happening where there was little to none. Individuals are being reminded of what can happen when they work together as a team.

It’s inspiring to this uninvolved observer.

This and that March 22, 2022

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I almost forgot! My daily post to keep the numbers rising for days in a row. Story of my life. Forgetting.

The reason I wasn’t paying attention is from wanting to know what is going on in the world. Podcasts. Some encouraging and some not so much. My favorites are the live streamers who film what is going on without adding commentary or opinion.

I think You Tube and their rules on content actually do us a favor. Actions speak louder than words. Simply watching is enlightening.

Peaceful, in the truest sense of the word, has more effect than any of us realized. We have been able to watch it happen.

More to say but must go. It’s almost tomorrow.

Current read March 20, 2022

Is it OK if I don’t have anything momentous to say this morning?

These days, my thoughts are consumed with several heavy duty subjects but it doesn’t seem appropriate, for many reasons, to talk about any of them. The trouble with immersing myself in these off-limits but important topics is a shortage of time spent pondering things I would be comfortable talking about.

At the moment, it is quiet in here, deadly quiet. All of the normal voices have been turned off.

The temptation to turn some of them back on will be high, I’m sure, but I want to spend time listening to discover what my mind is telling me on acceptable subjects. Sometimes, most times actually, our mind needs input, to help prime-the-pump so to speak.

This is a “why study math when you need to study literature” sort of moment.

I have several non fiction books I should be reading, I’m sure inspiration would be found in that activity.

I was toying with that idea but decided it might be good to start the day a little lighter. So I picked another book instead.

This choice sounds like it will be a fluff book but it’s likely not. This author writes books with meat on the bones. I think this one will be a positive influence on my thought life and who knows, maybe I will be inspired to write something momentous. Maybe not momentous but a smaller scale seems doable. I’ll keep you posted about my progress toward inspiration, later.

Catch of a Lifetime – Low Country Love (Finding Love in the Low Country Book 3)

From an early age, Adella believed that love brings only pain. First her mother dies, and Adella struggles to deal with her grief and care for her younger sisters. When the young girls decide they don’t need Adella anymore, she concludes she can’t trust anyone but herself. With few options, she determines she will use her good looks and intelligence to catch a handsome, wealthy man who can give her the security she craves. Derek Goodson appears to be the man of her dreams, and at first their marriage is wonderful. After a few years, however, Adella discovers a restlessness that nothing seems to satisfy. She is bored with exclusive parties, clothing, and vacations. When introduced to a handsome stranger, she wonders if he is the answer to her secret longings. Adele must face some tough choices, along with a tender tug on her soul. She married Derek for his money. Why can’t she love him for it?

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I’m looking forward to seeing what this day had to offer by the time it’s over.

I’m wishing a good day for you too. Whatever your day may look like.

Maybe it will even include a book.

Happy Reading if it does.

This and that March 18, 2022

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This is one of those days when I have nothing on my mind to say so I’ll just start talking and see what happens.

I know I mentioned this yesterday but I can’t get over how quickly the snow melts when the temperature rises to zero and the hot sun shines brightly. The sun really is hot here. It’s crazy. It can be freezing and short sleeves still work when you are standing in the sun.

With these bright days the furnace has hardly been on and at one point today the inside temp was 74 F. At the moment (9:45) it is still 71.

Another thing that is crazy? I measure inside temps and fever temps in Fahrenheit and outside temps in Celsius. I measure mileage in kilometers and fuel in litres, fabric and everything else in inches and yards, and food in pounds and ounces – sort of. It seems like I have an identity crisis. I probably do but I’m not planning on resolving it anytime soon. I’m happy just the way I am. Probably because I wasn’t thrilled with the whole change to metric in the first place. This mixed up system is my mini rebellion.

On to another favorite topic – books. I haven’t been doing well with my book a day goal. Two reasons, mainly. I’ve been busier at work as my workload has increased. I’ve very happy about this for multiple reasons. On top of that, I’ve once again been spending time watching live streams of the people’s convoy, this time in Maryland USA.

I’ve been following ZOT You Tube channel, Charlotte is the host and she does an amazing job. Everyone LOVES her. She loves people, and she is fearless. This causes a great deal of anxiety among her viewers, as well as the people she hangs out with on the ground. Everyone is looking out for her and they let her know. They pay attention to where she is, who she’s with, and what she does or doesn’t eat. This probably makes her even safer. Today she streamed for over twelve hours. From the time she left her hotel until she closed her car door to go back.

This beautiful girl is amazing and, she has publicly shared – she is nineteen.

I tune in, leave it on in the back ground all day, and stop by to watch when ever I have a few moments, or hours. They have been doing a peaceful protest for about three weeks. Everyday they drive what is called the beltway, around the capital. That’s it. Drive the route and then back to the speedway in Hagerstown MD. The authorities know the plan every day and they stick to it, no surprises. There are a few counter protesters who try to provoke a fight but it hasn’t worked. Today there were people in a field throwing large bricks of some sort on the road, One of the trucks was hit and suffered radiator damage. The big trucks with him all stopped for support. Live streamers caught it all on video and they were able to identify the perpetrators. These guys couldn’t have gone far (which doesn’t seem all that smart) because the police were able to arrest them easily. Charlotte was in one of the lead trucks so we got to see this happening.

It was a long day.

They arrived back to a noisy speedway. There were time trials going on for the big race coming up next weekend. The guys in her chat were urging her to go see the cars, her welfare in mind-caregivers were saying go eat first. She opted for food first but it was challenging because there are always people at every turn waiting to talk to her. It’s a bad thing and a good thing. She is very gracious to everyone.

Charlotte was a newbie at live streaming when she started taking daily shifts with the convoy in Ottawa Her progress has been amazing. She has a gift for relating to people and drawing out their stories. I can see a future for her in journalism if she ever decides to go that route.

The protests have been peaceful in both places and the amazing thing out of it is – love wins. A soft answer turns away wrath is really true. Hatred is confused by love. We watched this happen in both places and it was encouraging.

The other awesome thing coming out of this is the changing relationship between the US and Canada. On a grass roots level.

On a personal/individual level we’ve had good relationships across the border. As a body/country, in general, we were neighbors with a passing acquaintance. With all of the events over the last four months we are becoming neighbors with a strong friendship. It’s amazing to watch it unfold. To hear people expressing such love and appreciation is a very emotional experience. Watching ZOT for hours we get to see these expressions over and over.

How can you tell I am just a little bit wound up by all of this.

I watched the goings-on in Ottawa til the end (hoping there will be more) and I will watch Hagerstown to the end too. It gives me, and others, hope in this crazy time.

Well, it seems I could go on and on but…

I’ll save some for next time.

There are many live streamers out there, start with ZOT and you will see others pop up too. Check them all out.

Happy reading, and viewing.

This and that March 13, 2022

What a shock! Time change happened and I wasn’t paying attention. With so much snow in the yard it just seems wrong.

Maybe I am the only one out of sync with the season, my house plants are all starting to grow and bloom again.

I don’t think it’s me. -16C and two feet of snow?

I had things on my mind to chat about, honest, but all this talk about time and weather has derailed all rational thought.
I’ll go for coffee and a bite to eat, maybe that will help.

This is hours later and it didn’t really help. I wanted to have something upbeat and light to talk about but it’s not happening. For a number of reasons

I was reading and liking a book but it didn’t qualify as positive because of the ongoing distressing events facing the characters. It turned out well in the end but since I feel other’s emotions …

And then…

A You Tube podcast was impactful this week. But it too deals with a serious subject.

At one point in the video the conversation was centered around brokenness and a new idea (at least to me) was put forth. I don’t remember the conversation enough to quote it, and that can be a good thing. The question was: in regard to story, are we living and defining ourselves by our old story or by our present story? Most of us are living with our old story.

That’s true for me, when I stop to think about it. The abusive story of origin is the first place my thoughts go when asked about my life. In many ways the old story does define me because of the depth of emotional damage. Like a crippling spinal injury, in some areas it will color the way I do life for as long as I live. On the other hand though, my life as a whole took a 180 once we were removed from the situation. The idea put forth in the video was that we need to write and live by our new story. I can see the positive difference it would make to my view, and the world’s view, of me if I did this.

Replacing the old with the new will take some getting used to. It sounds easy but to do it successfully the insecure view of myself will have to change drastically. That will be the hard part. I think I like the idea enough to give it an honest try though.

Here is the video with the helpful conversation. The part referring to writing our new story happens in the last 10 minutes. Everything else is worth listening to as well. This is a leadership podcast but they cover so much more and it all applies to everyday people like you and me. Although who is to say we aren’t leaders? They say we should look behind us and if someone is following we are a leader, never mind that it isn’t a recognized leadership. The opposite is also sometimes true; there are a few in recognized leadership positions who, if they looked behind, would find no one following.

But leadership is not the focus here, the need for writing our new story is.

Ian Morgan Cron is talking about his latest book and in it he spends time on the idea of writing our new story, explaining why it is a worthwhile and life changing exercise.

The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self

Drawing on his training as a psychotherapist and his own personal experience, Ian Cron explains how you can:

  • rewrite the self-sabotaging stories you tell yourself about who you are,
  • free yourself from the tyranny of unconscious childhood messages, and
  • overcome the self-defeating patterns of behavior that prevent you from becoming your authentic self.

With this powerful tool, Cron shows us how each type can shed their broken stories and harness their unique power within to become who we are truly meant to be, shedding the unhappiness we accumulate by trying to live out of the wrong story. Filled with examples from people whose lives have been transformed for the better, Cron maps out a guide for using Enneagram wisdom to reauthor your life and experience deep inner transformation, healing, and happiness.

Rewrite the story of you and find the freedom in becoming your true self!

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His first book in this series is also helpful.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

Ignorance is bliss―except in self-awareness.
What you don’t know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships―and even keep you in the shallows with God. Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you’re stuck in the same ruts?
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively. In The Road Back to You Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God.

Witty and filled with stories, this book allows you to peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types, keeping you turning the pages long after you have read the chapter about your own number. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of spiritual discovery you would never have found on your own, and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.

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There are varied opinions on the value of Enneagram. I’ve gone into it with an open but discerning mind and have found much that resonates and is helpful to me.

I have a tendency, like many others along with me, to beat myself up. Brutally sometimes. Learning more about who I am and how I tick has made a world of difference in the way I view myself. More tolerance, less critical, kindness.

I’m looking forward to growing with the latest book.

I hope you will find this as helpful in your journey as I do in mine.