This and that July 18, 2021

I’ve discovered it’s best to date these things. They all merge together otherwise. Indistinguishable.

It’s warm out there! That the biggest thing on my mind at this moment. Usually it starts to cool off a little by 7 PM but not tonight. I went out to do some watering and quickly changed my mind. Later.

The highlight of the week was last night’s family Zoom call. Most of us live thousands of miles apart. We enjoy one another but we are not good at staying in touch. In all honesty, I’d have to admit that would be a gross understatement. Since we’ve committed to a Zoom call once a month, we are doing much better at connecting and we are having a lot of fun. The next call is going to fall on my birthday, how nice is that!

So, the other thing on my mind this week was tied up with a comment I made the other day about a writing project I had in mind. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time but even more so lately. It seemed like it was time to do something about it so this weekend I did put some hours into it and wrote something. In the end, I didn’t use any of it.

I’m surprised about the level of unexpected relief I felt.

Part of the impetus for this writing project was to have a place where I could fill the need to rant and rave once in a while. I couldn’t do it here, didn’t want to do it here, I felt like it would spoil everything.

Anyway, I created another space, wrote an introductory piece with a small rant at the end, and struggled with getting the site set up the way I wanted it. No matter what I did nothing was going right.

By the time I decided to give it all up and deleted the new blog, my rant had lost it’s steam and I felt a lightness I didn’t have earlier.

Sometimes it’s healthy to visit the dark places but sometimes it’s not. There already is an over abundance of negative self-talk going on in my head I don’t need more. It feels healthier, for the most part, to stick to the lighter side of things in my communications with the world.

Part of my reason for wanting a place to rant was to work my way through some of the life long issues that surface from time to time. Writing and talking can be very therapeutic.

The subject of my short rant was acknowledging, for the first time, that my parents were selfish, immature teenager/young adults making unhealthy decisions and choices without a worry over whose life would be negatively affected. I can’t believe that they would unthinkingly do what they did.

While it was healthy to face this truth, I could see that to camp on the negative side of my life, while creating content for a new blog on a regular basis, would be injurious to my emotional health.

I’m so glad I’ve got that all figured out.

Maybe for future needs, I can work through the issue in my mind and then reduce it to a short paragraph. That should take care of everything

There is one more truth recently discovered but I’ll save that topic for another time. It’s a very encouraging truth. I must share it with my brothers.


Currently I’m reading book one in a three book collection.

A Family to Love by Cindy M Amos and several others

Skinny Ranch Romance – Cindy M. Amos
When a hometown parade explodes with violence targeted at obese onlookers, District Judge Ilie Walton is forced to team with former classmate Traynor Henning for a trial reduction program for the victims. None too pleased over the partnership with Tray, Ilie claims to remain blind to his Zach Efron good looks in the name of justice. As the fence lengthens and the pounds melt off volunteer participants, Tray’s devotion softens her resolve, launching a romantic partnership. When new evidence emerges on a cold case involving a death at their senior class party, Ilie insists that justice prevail, though it threatens to sever their tenuous relationship. Tired of bearing the guilt, Tray faces off with his buddy Rex about what really happened that day in his boat. When the cold case turns red hot, will Ilie stand with the hardworking rancher—or do justice and reconciliation take two separate paths?

The scales of justice possess keen discernment, yet love never needed a final verdict to overcome.


This is the one recently finished

Dearly Loved: Second Chance Christian Romance

The lovesick daydreams of Meredith Ambrose’s teenage years for neighborhood heartthrob David Steller have faded into uncomfortable memories-until he lands in a hospital bed in her unit where she works as an R.N.

David came to the Northwest to look her up-he just didn’t plan on their reunion occurring with him on a gurney. Can he prove he’s really changed after all these years? (Christian romance)

Happy Reading!!

A little of this and that July 08, 2021

I felt like celebrating! It’s been a long year of work related complex challenges and steep learning curves. That’s what happens when government agencies implement major updates in their departments leaving their users scrambling to deal with it. Today I cleared the last hurdle and I felt like partying. Too bad I was alone and it’s a work day.

I’m still feeling just as pleased and relieved, hours later.

On the other hand though, there was a thread of sadness running through my day. A beloved family member is experiencing declining health and all of us in the family are sad to see it. A very special lady. In her better days she was vibrant and full of energy. Always on the go, a force to be reckoned with. The stories we could tell are endless..

Speaking of stories. I have nothing to offer in the way of new books. No good suggestions from any direction today.

I did finish a book that I liked a lot, though. It’s still a bargain.

Hard Landing (Hope Landing Romantic Suspense Book 1)

Two wary souls get a second chance at love…if a killer doesn’t find them first.
When a stalker turns to murder, pilot Kelli Spencer needs protection. What she doesn’t need is her old love Jack Reese
returning to stir things up, but the former Navy SEAL and his team of protection specialists are the best of the best.

Trust him with her life? If she has to. Trust him with her heart? No way.

The last time Jack left, he made it clear married life held no appeal. Ten years later, he wastes no time letting her know he hasn’t changed. Not that she’d be fool enough to hope.

As the commander of Knight Tactical, Jack jumps at the chance to protect Kelli and take down a killer, but as soon as she’s safe, he plans to shake the dust of the small mountain town off his feet again…until he realizes he never should have left the first time.


I’ve barely started a new book. It starts off with a life threatening situation before it’s hardly even gone two pages. Reminds me of the opening scenes of Criminal Minds TV series. It seemed like a perfect time to work on a blog post.

I guess I need to remind myself they won’t be killing off the main character this close to the beginning.

Deadly Chances: Five romantic suspenses where couples outrace danger and take a chance on love

The one I’m reading:

Car mechanic Valerie watched her father die in a fiery wreck and she can’t admit to herself that she’s in love with a Nascar race car driver Jackson, especially after he’s also injured in a crash. But when a stranger shows up, terrorizing her about a mysterious delivery from her uncle, Jackson is the only one who can navigate the danger with Valerie. It’s a race for survival, and a high speed adventure in love.


I guess I’d better go back and see if she survived to see chapter two. This is still a bargain as well. Good deal.

Happy Reading.

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
  • …and so much more


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.

A helpful resource – professional counselling in book form

The level of professional counselling we need is sometimes not easily found. That was the case for me a decade or two ago and this book was a life saver. It was written as a joint effort by the Minirth/Meir group, both of them psychiatrists, joined by a third person, a psychologist.

The book starts off talking about codependency. That’s not the way I remember it from my first reading. It’s funny how that goes. The parts I remember are the ones explaining what happened to me, how it has affected me, and the broken way I do life as a result. Understanding opened many life changing doors in my thinking.

Of all of the many books I’ve read this one was the most comprehensive and impacting. It was written to be a counselor to those without access to one. It covers the subject well enough to be a textbook written in layman’s terms.

I’ve shared this book here before but feel inspired to share it again.

I was speaking with a long time friend today, catching up on our lives and families. Stuff happens in our families and sometimes there is brokenness left undiscovered for decades.

I’ve been thinking about our conversation for most of the day and tonight remembered about this book that could be helpful in their situation. So, this is for my friend, to share as she sees fit.

It’s for you too (as reader) if this would be helpful in your life.

One more comment. I remember interpreting the title and certain phrases in the synopsis in a negative way.

Reality was nothing like my expectations. Supportive, kind, understanding, helpful; these are all words I would use to describe the experience. And, validation.


Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships

Amazon quote:

Let go of unhealthy relationships with the book that more than 850K people have trusted.

Best-selling doctors, Hemfelt, Minirth, and Meier, walk you through their ten proven stages to recovery from codependency that results from external circumstances.

Humans are susceptible to codependency because of our sinful tendency to use defense mechanisms to fool ourselves. In codependent relationships, deceitful games are played, and important Christian principles are often taken out of context and abused.

God wants us to have healthy relationships with a balance between being dependent and independent. The doctors describe how the most effective means of overcoming codependent relationships is to establish or deepen a relationship with Christ Himself.

They describe the causes of codependency, pointing out the factors that perpetuate it, and lead readers through their ten stages of recovery.

Continue a deeper study with the Love Is a Choice workbook, available separately.


Read this prayerfully with a surrendered heart and mind. I say this because our defense mechanisms can have us locked up so tight that helpful thoughts cannot penetrate the armor we have going on. Work on wanting to know. Work on believing there is hope, and that you are worth so much more than what you’ve been told.

Another installment of this and that

The weather fluctuations are crazy. Last week the highs were over 30 degrees celsius and now today the furnace is on. And I’m still cold.

I’m restless too. That’s the reason why I’m dong this now. Get a few things off my chest so maybe I can settle down and sleep tonight.

I’m still thinking about yesterday’s post where the discussion started with an app on my cell phone that was driving me crazy and then morphed into a discussion about trust issues and fear.

A few things bother me out of that story. One is, I know there are readers who understand and empathize with discussions about abuse, triggers, and PTSD and then there are others who don’t. It’s the readers who don’t that trouble me.

There are other readers who are glad to hear these stories, it validates things they have endured. There is comfort in knowing we are not alone in our struggles.

Another thing that bothers me; those who would say it’s all in the past why can’t you lay it aside, stop rehashing it and move on.

That’s the thing, I’m not reliving anything, ever. My subconscious mind won’t let me. My conscious mind knows enough (it steers away and refuses to think) that the two are in collusion and neither one will let me remember traumatic events. Small details, discussions, memories over the course of many years have allowed me to piece together a hazy but accurate picture of what went on. My mind just shuts down and closes up shop at the mention of this subject.

Reactions, mostly inappropriate (as in not fitting to the situation) such as the one I had regarding a new app on my phone, one that should have been no big deal. A well adjusted mind would thought – interesting, wonder what that’s about – and then explored to figure it out. I viewed it as an enemy trying to impose unwanted interference in my life.

It’s only been a few months since I’ve started to look closely at these reactions, to try and unpack what is going on in my head when it happens. I would name my emotional reaction as the panic you have when a hated spider comes near and you jump, scream, and run. I don’t actually do those things but the emotions running through me feel exactly like that. Get away, get away, get away!!!

To be afraid of something, there has to have been a traumatic encounter of some sort somewhere along the line. The trouble is I have no conscious memories to help me figure these things out. On the other hand, I’m sure it’s a bigger blessing that I can’t remember. There are a few disturbing words that I know apply to me. Good thing I can’t remember what happened.

There is one shadowy memory that has been with me forever it seems. It took many decades for me to figure out what it meant, not that I was trying, or wanting to know. In fact it was the opposite. My curiosity level was zero.

More recently I’ve figured out who was there for that event. There was one man who disapproved of the situation but stayed to protect me as best he could. I can’t explain the gratitude I feel now when I think of him and that memory.

Anyway, that’s enough for this time. My anxiety level has dropped and it’s time for sleep. Any more would probably be counter-productive anyway.

When I started this I wanted to express this story in a way that didn’t feel cryptic or disjointed. I’m not sure that I’ve succeeded.

Now if I had more time … 🙂

Are you sure about that?

This is a question I ask myself often. Starting as a young adult. I had taken a serious position on something and later discovered I was wrong. I soon discovered I wasn’t a big fan of eating crow.

It’s easy to be swayed by opinions or appearances. The question is: are there any facts to back up these conclusions.

Recently I watched an interesting interview and in the middle of it the guest expressed strong negative opinions about a respected and popular podcaster. In the guest’s opinion the person in question was part of cancel culture.

In a way I can see how he could draw this conclusion but it troubles me deeply because I’m not sure it’s true. I’ve heard strong opinions in the podcasts and I don’t always agree with his way of thinking but nothing so far has proven to me that the podcast host cancels people. The guest’s opinion, though, has raised doubt in my mind and I wish I could know for sure.

The guest has had a troubled life in many ways and his opinion could be colored by personal angst. Offence taken where none was intended. There is that to consider.

Some things we can never be sure about but other times, with a little digging, we can be sure.

Another news item heard on line was reporting the results of a poll. In the political arena the question was do you think this man can do a better job than his opponent? The numbers showed the answer was yes. I admit to being shocked.

Ironically, I had seen a number of interviews with the favored personality and he did not do well at convincing anyone of his ability to handle the position. I wanted to ask the polled respondents are you sure about that? It was obvious they hadn’t done their homework.

Our culture seems to run on opinions and appearances. The thing is, we can look good on the surface but sometimes good ends there.

In the Bible it talks about not judging lest we be judged. The connotation usually is that we should avoid negative judgment. I heard someone talk about this verse not long ago and they pointed out that while we shouldn’t judge people as bad we also should not judge them as good. We can be just as wrong either way. It’s true, when I think about it for very long.

In the last year, for some of us, our world was rocked when terrible allegations were leveled against a popular and beloved public figure. Those closest to him rose fiercely to his defense. The problem with all of this was that the unthinkable allegations were true. There was irrefutable evidence. Those closest to him could have clung to their perceptions and opinions but they didn’t. Instead they mounted an investigation to find the truth and when they found it they owned it.

Opinions and impressions are based in emotion. Emotion, while an essential part of life, can get things so wrong. Provable facts are like bedrock.

These days it seems most of us are happy to accept as fact whatever we are being told. It takes time and energy to answer the question.

Are you sure about that?

This and that, second try.

Last time I tried this it was a bust. My mind was on holiday.

Actually, it wasn’t, not really. My thoughts were focused on a number of things and, for a variety of reasons (none of them bad,) it wasn’t appropriate to talk about any of them. That is still the case but at least now I’ve recognized a solution and can move on to the small talk areas in my life instead.

The weather. It’s been crazy this last week or so. Soaring temperatures, wild thunder and lightening storms. Wind gusts battering the house, trying to blow in the windows. Torrents of rain challenging the gutters to handle it all.

A backyard that, with all the heat and moisture, has gone from zero to overgrown in four weeks. The thistles seem to grow a foot a day, I swear. This year I broke down and bought some serious weed killer to deal with it all. Now if it would only dry up enough to avoid walking in mud to spray it around.

Between extreme heat and heavy rain it has been an exercise in futility for the painting team to meet their projected finish date. The last task is the deck, fingers crossed it will be dry enough to be painted by Saturday. The fence and the house look even better than expected. The young ladies did a great job and they liked my color choices. A win/win situation in my books.

There is talk today about lifting some of the covid restrictions around here, which is good news. The infection rates have been high and our medical staff is feeling burned out. For their sake it will be nice to see an end to this plague. It has been a challenge to convince people to do the right thing and take care. Who knew Manitobans could be such rebels?

I did my part, in my hermitage.

Although I have to admit, lately I have been going out more often than I have in years. At least one trip a week and sometimes even four in a week. Grocery store, multiple drive-thru, even Canadian Tire a time or two. I know, hey. Crazy.

It has been good having people around this week, even if they are not here for social reasons.

Power outages and thunder storms, that’s the other thing messing up my life this week. They don’t work well with computers and internet connections.

I’m still smiling though and I even feel like smiling, nothing fake going on here, so life is good.

We will talk books next time.

Last night I missed the midnight deadline by two minutes. This time I’ll pay more attention. It’ll still be close.

See ya later.

A little This and That

Today’s edition of a little more of this and that.

A couple of thoughts have been rolling around in my head, provoking me for the last few days. Both of them raised in books I’ve been reading this week, and they aren’t letting go.

The loudest thought was expressed by a character in Charles Martin’s Water Keeper. A young woman exposed to drugs had been through rehabilitation a number of times and knew what was in store. Not fun. This time, because of a severe injury she was addicted to opioid pain killers and was desperate to find some way to make withdrawal survivable. Many years after the fact she shared with a friend how she did it.

She had become addicted to a new book series and as a distraction spent her time reading, desperately by the sounds of it. By the time she was past withdrawal she had re-read the first three books. in the series… twenty seven times.

I guess when she was finished she would just start all over again. In the end they were what helped keep her sanity.

That’s an amazing concept and I can totally see it working. It wouldn’t be easy, or a miraculous quick fix, but it could work.

Reading is my pain killer of choice, too, if I’m honest about why I read. That’s why I’m always on the look out for stories with the ability to transport me to another place. Whatever I’m struggling with is often forgotten, or at very least, in the rear view mirror, by the time the story I’m vicariously living is done.


The next expressed thought to grab my attention will be with me for a very long time to come, I think. Probably because it is touching me on a deeply personal level.

I don’t remember which book I was reading but I remember the experience of those words.

One of the characters had an aging parent with dementia. As the disease progressed there was an ever increasing issue with displays of anger and it was causing problems in the care facility. They were threatening to expel the patient if the threat to other patients and staff couldn’t be addressed.

Discussing the issue with her friend, she couldn’t understand how a gentle loving man had become this difficult person.

Here’s the thought that arrested me. It’s not a direct quote, it’s what I can remember of the interaction.

All our lives we were taught manners and self-restraint. We could be angry with someone but it would be impolite to express the way we felt and so we were gracious.

When we fall into dementia those learned filters are no longer in place and unresolved anger comes out freely.

This is distressing food for thought, I don’t want to be that angry person if I fall into dementia. For now my filters are firmly in place and there are no temper flare ups, with people.

With inanimate objects it’s another story. Like with tangled hangers in the closet or with plants catching at my rake as I’m trying to gather up fallen leaves. The rage always surprises me and I am worried about where it’s coming from.

I can’t remember enough of the buried details of my abusive early life to have a meaningful conversation with a counselor, at least that is my opinion. On the other hand the root of this anger would be a good reason for a discussion with someone, while I still have filters.


So those are the thoughts rolling around in my head these days.

There is an idea from a third book giving me pause but I’ll save that for another day.


Our cold weather has become more than warm in the last few days. It was 27c yesterday and is supposed to reach 30c today.

Everything is growing like crazy. Tree leaves have been popping out fast enough to make my head spin. We are loving it.

Remember to read. It has great side benefits.

Couldn’t put it down

Currently, I’m reading The Fifth Avenue Story Society but I took a break to read Hailey’s Haven. That is the book I couldn’t put down. So good.

Hailey’s Haven: Christian Romantic Suspense (Smoky Mountain Secrets Book 1)

A safe place to call home…
After escaping her abusive foster parents thirteen years ago, Hailey Donovan thought her nightmare was over. Gatlinburg Tennessee had been a safe place to live, until she’s nearly hit by gunfire while hiking the Smoky Mountains. Her instincts are to avoid law enforcement, especially handsome park ranger Rock Wilson, but when more gunfire echoes around them, they’re forced to work together to escape.

More attempts against Hailey convinces her to leave the city to start over someplace new. Rock talks her into staying and fighting against the unknown assailant. Rock senses Hailey has been traumatized in the past, and is determined to uncover the mystery surrounding her. As Hailey and Rock seek the truth behind the escalating attacks, Rock realizes he’s also in danger of losing his heart. Can Rock provide Hailey the save haven she desperately needs?


The story line wasn’t exotic but it was well written and engaging. The characters were relatable and the one lazy arrogant jerk was taken down a peg. Highly satisfying.

Everything moved along at a steady pace, the resolution was unexpected and logical. Even if we didn’t see it coming. There were clues along the way with a few red herrings to keep us guessing.

I think it was the writing that kept me reading until it was done. Proving well crafted story trumps big flashy plot.

You need to read this. It’s still a bargain too.


The Fifth Avenue Story Society 

Five strangers get the chance to rewrite their stories… 

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to reveal their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.  

“This captivating story full of heart, soul, and humor kept me turning pages until midnight to finish it. Rachel weaves the perfect amount of tension and opens possibilities to keep the reader pondering long after the story is over.  I loved it!” —Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author


Francine Rivers says she couldn’t put this down. It was probably true for her but it’s not for me. Frequent breaks is my experience with this book. Usually I would skip chapters and maybe hop to the end and call it a day. In this case I can’t do that. While I need breaks I don’t want to miss anything.

I think a tale structured like this one would not be easily written. So many main characters with stories that all matter to the plot.

The whole idea is intriguing and it is developing in layers, it can’t help but keep reader interest alive. I still need breaks to replenish waning interest, it works. I have stick with it to know what is really going on and how it is all going to work out.

I’m almost half way through. I’ll let you know how it goes.


So far today, I haven’t been faced with any good looking book suggestions.

If any show up before lights out I’ll let you know.

Happy reading y’all

Happy Mother’s Day

Photo by Pixabay on

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

Love you Mom!