No thoughts on milkshakes

The Sunday Scribblings story prompt today was milkshakes. I think it was chocolate milkshake day but I could be wrong about that. I don’t dislike milkshakes but rarely order one. My drink of choice usually is coffee, second choice would be iced tea. But not sweet tea. I tried it once when travelling in the south, couldn’t do it. I would pick salty over sweet any day of the week.

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On the other hand, I do enjoy some desserts, especially if they lean toward the semi sweet side. Cheese cakes, tiramisu, tuxedo cake. I’m drooling already just thinking about them. Best change the subject.

I still don’t have a big appetite after the reaction to my second shot. My energy levels have not recovered either. I’m a little discouraged over that. Winter will soon be here and I need to get outside to do winter clean-up before the snow flies. One good thing about the snow – at least I don’t have to feel guilty about neglecting the yard.

Staying inside today produced a good chance to pay bills and respond to messages. That brightened my day considerably. The sad side of it, though, is knowing what my son and his wife and daughter are going through today. They will be putting their two oldest on a plane in a few hours to fly home to Canada. This isn’t a visit, they are moving home to see what comes next for them now that high school is nearly finished. I remember what it was like the first time my son flew off to a foreign country for who-knows how long. It was tough.

At the same time, I can relate to both sides. I have been the leaver and the left. It is much easier to be the one striking out on a new adventure. So many new things to experience. The left get to look at an emptier house every day and keenly feel the loss.

The adventurer doesn’t miss out on sadness though. Unfamiliar culture and languages can magnify homesickness. Even just a new and unfamiliar city brings it’s share of homesickness. No one gets away pain free.

On the other hand, sadness and homesickness means we loved. We can’t miss what we have never loved. What a blessing to have loved and been loved.

The three boys living here are excited to welcome their cousins. My daughter is left wondering how she is going to survive as the only woman with six guys. It will be an adventure, for sure. I tell her be glad it’s not girls, they would have to install another bathroom or two. Although if the girls were anything like the two of us, hogging shower and bathroom time would not be a big issue.

All that said, I enjoyed my kids when they were teens and I think she will enjoy these boys too. They are all loving kids.

Well, word is just in, the first leg of the flight was cancelled which means they will miss the connecting flight. At least they have a travel agent to take off some of the pressure. Arrival time will be affected, although this is not a total surprise.

Turns out the problem is a typhoon. ūüė¶

I guess this is to be continued…

A sister about to miss her brothers.

They will be missing her too.

This and that September 10, 2021

A little of this and a little of that, again tonight… just because I feel like it.

My daughter asked me to check through family pictures this afternoon, she was in need of photos taken with a particular family member. It needed a big chunk of time to find anything after this many years.

I did find a few that fit her needs. But that’s not all I found. There was one I’ve been thinking of lately that always makes me smile. I think it represents my personality fairly well.

I would never have dreamed of taking such a picture but my son-in-law thought it was a great idea. Since I was oblivious to what he was up too, I couldn’t even change to a more lady-like position.

Fine tuning the stove installation.

I have no idea, anymore, what precisely was going on but whatever it was I was the only one small enough to reach. Now that it’s been awhile, this is one of my favorite pictures. Yup, that’s me, climbing on things.

So, this brings me to another favorite picture and I think it kind of goes with my picture. We are like two peas in a pod when it comes to one or two things. That’s my assessment anyway.

We were looking for evidence of her visit a few months after I moved here to Manitoba, back in 2013. At least I was looking through photos. My daughter is already in British Columbia ready for the memorial service tomorrow and needing memories.

Mabel aka Granny, was amazing. Facebook, Face time, emails, messages, all that good stuff right up until the end. This was 85 years young at the time.

Checking Facebook with her morning cup of tea.
Making memories with three of her many great-grandsons
Trusty stylus in hand, emailing someone in the family.

This is my favorite picture of her. The pose says it all.

My next favorite thing in this picture is the stuffed snowman on the hearth. It’s a wind up music box. It plays “Cold as Ice” while it swings around. Makes me laugh every time. I have no idea why I think it’s so funny but after a dozen years I still think it’s hilarious.

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I love my mother-in-law like a mother/friend. I’ve been separated from her step-son for 17 years and in spite of it all, she understands and the two of us are still close. She has room in her heart for all of us and I appreciate it more than I can tell. Not everyone can love without choosing sides. Actually, the whole family is good at loving this way. I feel truly blessed.

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Rest in Peace Mabel. You are a special lady and we all love you.

I can be at peace with her passing because I know I will see her again. Sooner than I might wish, the way time flies by.

My last email to her ended with the chorus from an old Rusty Goodman song about heaven.

Look for me, for I will be there too
I realize, when you arrive, there’ll be so much to view
After you’ve been there ten thousand years, a million, maybe two
Look for me, for I will be there too

Things I learned…

Several days ago I shared the helpful video I had the good fortune to run across. It was an interview with Jennifer Kolari and can be found here.

I’m still thinking about some things she shared that impacted me most.

I did take notes but they are in the form of phrases, just enough to remind me of the thoughts I didn’t want to forget. I won’t be able to share the clear or complete explanations contained in the video. I refer you back to the video for that wealth of information. (This is my disclaimer: much hereafter is on me, the author can’t be blamed for any issues or misunderstandings. I do want to give her credit for the good parts though.)

One of the first significant phrases was “your body keeps the score”. There are many reasons why our brains do not retain memories, especially of traumatic events, but our bodies remember everything Jennifer says. I have never thought about it quite like that before (stored in the body rather than in the brain) but I have always been convinced that some part of me does remember all the things I don’t or won’t.

Another point, in regard to the out of proportion reactions we often have to people, situations, comments etc. — we need to find healing before we can learn how to respond rather than react. I totally get this. I’ve been working on it in my life for quite some time and lately have seen positive changes in my thoughts and actions. I appreciate what she is about to say on how to go about doing this.

Jennifer says “to heal it you’ve got to feel it.” I agree, and to do that we have to give ourselves permission to feel our emotions. Most of us have learned to push down and bottle up our feelings. Typically, over time the feelings fester and eventually erupt into something much worse than they were originally.

So here’s the part I’ve not heard expressed quite this way. She says we feel love with our heart and we feel fear with our gut. I guess I haven’t really thought about the heart response because the feelings there would be positive and pleasant. I have definitely noticed negative changes in the gut though. When I’m feeling anxious things definitely do not feel pleasant in my digestive area.

She says one of the reasons for this concept to be plausible is due to neurons.

Apparently both the heart and the gut have neurons, who knew. I did a little internet research and here’s what I found.

According to several sources, including sciencemag.org the gut contains millions of neurons and is directly connected to the brain. The vagus nerve is one of the largest nerves carrying messages back and forth at a dizzying rate. The site linked above is as recent as 2018. If we feel fear or anxiety there will be a reaction in the gut. For some of us it morphs into painful intestinal disorders and other similar diseases.

The heart similarly has a large number of neurons but it also has it’s own nervous system and brain. Sometimes called the little brain according to heartmath.org. In 1991 a scientist made this discovery. The heart and the head brain are also sending a dizzying number of message back and forth.

Wow! I have to say this little bit of exploration done in order to speak intelligently to Jennifer’s comments regarding the gut and the heart, has opened up a whole new world of information. It’s calling out to me, to look into it more and more thoroughly.

Bottom line for the original subject of this post; to be emotionally healthy it helps to understand how the heart and gut are tied to our thoughts and memories. We feel love in our heart, we feel fear in our gut. When we react to people rather than respond, which part of our body is involved? Most often it will be fear, the gut. The next question is what happened to us to cause this reaction? How is it tied to our early life, what traumatized us. A dog? Lost? Abused? What?

Jennifer’s point is that if we can figure out the originating event and allow ourselves to feel the irrational fear it will lose it’s power over us and we can move on. Feel the fear of the dog, the bully, the dark, whatever it is.

Here’s a little teaser about the heart brain.

I’m not sure if I have been able to stay on subject well enough to make sense but I hope so.

I think the main take away is that our emotional well being affects our physical well being. After that, it becomes a vicious cycle. Learning to read the signs and figuring out what to do to alleviate/repair issues and memories, can be life changing.

Check out the interview and the other links to learn more about this fascinating subject.

This and that August 26, 2021

A little this, a little that, and a whole lot of not-much.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes recharging a device seems to take forever? I have and I was inclined to blame it on the device?
It was frustrating, especially since it was a new purchase and my expectations were high. It turns out I was experiencing misplaced blame. This afternoon my Kindle was taking forever and I couldn’t wait long enough for it to finish. Tonight, having to plug it in already, it charged in record time. I guess the fault lies with the power grid not the device or the power cords.

It could even be the fault of neighboring power hogs. I wonder who that could be? Hmmmm. I know it’s not me, a couple of lights and a laptop is all I’ve got going on.

I’m sad, as I sit here blogging and looking out the window at the darkness of night. A couple of months ago it would be getting dark just about now, not this full on night thing. Summer is on it’s way out. That’s why I’m sad. To think it has gone by so quickly.

It’s a good thing, I didn’t put my Christmas tree away. In another two or three months it will be time to put it up again, this way I don’t have to bother. Besides I like using it as a shield to hide behind. Privacy screen.

I’m excited, in a couple of weeks two of my young relatives will be moving back to Canada, specifically to the area where I live. I can hardly wait to see them. I’m sad that I didn’t meet the criteria for them to spend their two week self-isolation at my house.

This will be a great adventure for them. And an even bigger adjustment as they have never lived here, they left as babies. I think they have been dreaming of it for a long while though. Coupled with early onset adulthood I think they are ready for what comes next in their lives. Living with their same-age cousins won’t hurt either.

Overall, I’m happy with life.

Now I just have to figure out what book I wish to read next.

Maybe I will give this one a try. It looks to be filled with spies and intrigue.

The Captain’s Quest (The Leeward Islands Series Book 4)¬†

Innocent mistakes can have dire consequences. 

Pricilla Middleton only attended the Lemoore house party to keep her friend out of trouble. Now, her only chance to keep from becoming a gossip column headline is to sneak aboard her brother’s ship and pretend she’d been visiting him instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can¬†speak to¬†her brother, the ship¬†sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects.

Captain Tobias Prescott, son of an infamous war hero, has been assigned¬†on¬†a critical mission to deploy warships in St. Kitts for battle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, his orders require him to assume¬†command of a friend’s ship, and he must¬†weigh anchor¬†the instant the former captain is escorted down the gangplank. When they reach open waters, the last thing he expects is to find a woman hiding in the captain’s cabin, yet his mission is too urgent to¬†return her¬†to England.

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I’ll let you now how it goes.

This and that August 24, 2021

This is another one of those days when I’ve got nothing. Nothing to write that is. Most of the stuff on my mind isn’t appropriate for this post.

I’ve been closely following the debacle that has stunned the world. It seems we have been content to close our eyes to things and just coast along hoping someone else would take care of us. It will take some major courage to get the world out of the tough spot we find ourselves in. Our guys had the courage in WWII, I’m not sure how it could happen exactly but I’m sure our guys and gals could successfully rise to the challenge this time too.

The other news type thing on my mind is the whole covid situation. A fourth wave seems to be showing up in the last few days. Just when restrictions loosen up the infection rate starts rising again.

Along with that concern, we have a family situation where we need to find a isolation spot for teenage boys coming home after a lifetime overseas. I want to have them with me but there is one difficult hurdle to overcome. Other options may work out but if they don’t I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it work out well for them. We will have to wait and see how it all turns out.

In regard to books, I can’t find it again but I was reading a book collection that was a retelling of fairy tales. Red Riding Hood and Cinderella were the first two. From my point of view they were really bad. I couldn’t bring myself to even read them. I removed the book from my device without taking note of the title. I wanted to share it with you and thought I could easily find it again but … no such luck. Maybe it’s better that I couldn’t find it. Kinder.

The sky is a heavy grey all of a sudden, I think another storm is supposed to roll through tonight, dropping some more rain. It’s funny, we had been having drought conditions and they were predicting a long hot summer. The prediction has changed, we are supposed to have more rain with cooler temps for the rest of the season. Winter shows up here the end of October/early November usually.

It will be interesting for our newly home teenagers, they have not experienced real winter before. It will be all new. They are excited and looking forward to it, I do know that. I don’t think they have seen snow and if they have it would have been a brief thing. Both of their parents have experienced full on Canadian winters and the kids have grown up with the stories wishing they could visit us in the winter. Their time has come!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How could they not love it?

Perfect timing

It’s amazing how it happens. Perfect timing.

Yesterday’s post shared the idea of counselling in a book. Check it out here if you missed it… Love is a Choice

This morning, waiting in my inbox, was the regular email notification for the weekly podcast I follow faithfully. The content is always interesting and helpful, on a variety of topics. Today’s topic was especially meaningful on the heels of yesterday’s book. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, the two books fit so well together.

The subject line of the email was an attention grabber.

A specific type of writing that will combat anxiety, depression, and symptoms from past trauma.

There was no way I could walk away from this podcast and leave it for another day. It had to be today. I watched it twice, it was packed that full. .

Today’s interviewee has written a book called The Power of Writing it Down.

Part of author/writing coach Allison Fallon’s target audience is the same crowd flocking to read Love is a Choice... Count me in.

The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life

Partial Amazon synopsis:

For anyone who’s trying to make sense of their life, who wants to get unstuck from the patterns that hold them back, hear this incredible news:¬†everything you need for the freedom you want is entirely within reach.¬†This practice and pathway is free, it’s readily available every day of your life, it takes just minutes of your time, and anyone can do it.¬†

Author, writing coach, and speaker Allison Fallon’s life transformed when she discovered the power of a daily writing practice. As it turns out, using your words is one of the most powerful means you have for unlocking your life. The Power of Writing It Down is your guide to this transformative tool available to us all. In as little as five to twenty minutes a day, scientific research shows this daily practice can help you: 

  • Identify your ruts and create new neurological grooves toward¬†better habits
  • Find fresh motivation and take ownership of your life
  • Heal from past pain and trauma
  • Relieve anxiety and depression
  • Contextualize life’s setbacks and minor frustrations
  • Live a more confident, balanced, and healthy life
  • ‚Ķand so much more

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In the podcast interview she explains Expressive Writing well and mentioned that the writing talked about in her book is not regular writing and it’s not journaling. It makes a lot of sense.

The idea is to write down your deepest thought and feelings. I have experienced what she means when she says this type of writing accesses the subconscious part of the brain where the conscious is often not allowed.

This is basically what I do when I write my this and that posts. What comes out is often a surprise. With some of the posts, like I mentioned at the time of writing them, I was in the midst of angst and felt so much better when I was talked out. To really get into it, though, I expect most of it would not be something we’d want to share publicly.

I recommend listening to the interview before reading the book. I’m glad I did because hearing and seeing her will make the words on the page that much more real.

Practicing this form of writing will be helpful to everyone, not just the most broken among us.

Here is the link. Enjoy, and buy the book if it makes sense to you. I think you will be glad you did.

I haven’t been as intentional with this type of writing as is encouraged in her book. From ignorance, really. I want to try it her way, to see what the difference will be in my life.

I’m hoping you will discover this along with me.

Happy listening, reading, and writing.

Must post

Must post, can’t be breaking the posting streak again so soon.

I’ve only minutes to get this done in time while it’s still today so I’ll talk quick. I had good intentions but my nose was in a book and I lost track of time. Shocking I know.

I was relaxing after an awesome family time to celebrate a high school graduation.

It was fun. We ordered in from a new place serving Middle Eastern food. It was delicious and the portions were huge. Probably because Obby Khan owns it’s and he’s a retired footballer with a footballer appetite. Our boys will eat what the ladies couldn’t.

The evening felt special for our grad and it was even more exciting when a parade of cars dropped by the house with signs, horns blowing and shouts of congratulations.

Tomorrow they will do a drive-through at the school to receive his diploma, dressed in cap and gown accompanied by siblings and proud parents.

Must go.

Here is the book I’m reading…

Happy Mother’s Day

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s a day to be grateful for Mothers, We all had one or we wouldn’t be here, that’s reason enough right there, to be grateful. Life is a precious gift.

Giving life is not an easy thing and wanting to do it more than once can seem like insanity. Those of us who are not firstborn are grateful Mom was excited about a new baby and seemed to forget the down side to the whole process.

If the pregnancy/giving birth thing wasn’t enough to discourage her, the terrible-two’s and potty training surely should have done it. That alone tells us why mothers need to be appreciated. For a week or more at least, never mind this business of only one day.

If we are truly honest, it’s a wonder some of us made it past childhood. You know who you are, don’t try to hide.

We are grateful for moms who gave us life and loved us enough to let us keep it.

Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com

Love you Mom!

So much wisdom, so much empathy

This is a deeply touching interview filled with wisdom, understanding and empathy. And hope. So much hope. I have to share.

I hope you find it as comforting as I did. In these difficult days we need to hear voices filled with wisdom and hope.

Rick Warren has experienced unbelievable pain. Toward the end of the video he shares what it was like to live through it. He puts heavy emphasis on living through it.

This interview is posted by a gifted podcaster Carey Nieuwhof. He knows how to ask questions that will mine the depths and bring out the best in his guests. Always a blessing to the listener.

May you feel as blessed as I do right now.

Read and enjoyed April 12, 2021

Lots of meat to chew on with this read. T.D. Jakes always has many thought provoking things to add to any story and this was no exception. He gives us an in-depth look at four woman types and the hardest one for me to read was the one most like me. All of the women were hurting in one way or another, that’s the way life is. Difficult patches in life are inevitable. It’s what we do with them that will make or break us.

T.D. Jakes doesn’t hold back, he tells it raw and real. He doesn’t expose us and then leave us hanging out to dry. He leaves us with answers (not always the ones we want to hear but answers nevertheless) and points us to hope. Some people will tear us all apart pointing out the broken places then walking away. He doesn’t ever tear us apart, rather he sheds a light in the dark places to help us see the important things we are missing. His goal is to help us choose a better way.

The broken among us have bought into lies we’ve been told over and over. His novel is one more tool in the arsenal to help us break out of our prison of lies.

He is a great story teller. Everything he is trying to share is woven into the fabric of the story making it strong. The best kind.

Cover Girls by T.D. Jakes

This compelling novel follows four women as they learn to balance children, estranged husbands, boyfriends, and problems at work through their faith in God.

Michelle, Tonya, Mrs. Judson, and Miz Ida. African-American, white, rich, poor — they seemingly have nothing in common. Yet every day they face the complex realities of twenty-first-century urban life as they try to balance their needs with their belief in God. Through the course of a year, these women must come to terms with the past, discover their true identities, and recognize the unexpected miracles that reveal God’s all-encompassing love.

These four women entertain us and invite us to join in their lives. As they welcome us, they also introduce us to the men in their lives. The men play supporting roles, adding color and zest to the lives of the Cover Girls.

Bishop Jakes knows the struggles real women encounter and the losses that make it difficult to face the future. He brings compassionate insight and deep wisdom to this novel and proves that he is not only a gifted preacher, but a born storyteller.

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Currently, I’m into a lighter read. It’s not fluffy by any means, just lighter by comparison.

Run With My Heart: Sweet, Christian Christmas Romance: (A Texas Tornadoes Single Author Sports Romance book 2) (Texas Tornados) 

A football player who’s lost. A woman in danger of losing all she loves. Could he be the Christmas Miracle she’s been praying for?

Pro football player Tucker Jackson has a chip on his shoulder. His mother died when he was young, his father threw himself into his work, and the team he now plays for is in danger of losing their season.

His anger drives him to a bar where an ensuing fight earns him service at a community center. Can he find a way to tame his ire before it destroys his dreams forever?

Shelby Doll has a heart for kids, but the community center she runs is short on funds. Tucker Jackson is her last hope to keep the doors open, but will he leave her in a lurch when it matters the most?

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Happy Reading!