Posted by: Judy | December 16, 2017

Saturday Silliness

Posted on social media… I remind myself that sometimes that friend is me. 🙂

Posted by: Judy | December 15, 2017

Good News Friday

*Easy walk with my sister and P.croissant

*Blueberry turnover and hot chocolate with whipped cream

*Homemade chocolate chip cookies

*Be Inspired! shared the perfect post on Wednesday, complementing my own. I needed the reminder to be grateful.

*Time with my sister

*Homemade tomato soup

*Cold is almost gone! Yay!

*Another meme created by Donna Keevers Driver, pair a quote from the Holiday, USA series with a pretty picture.

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | December 14, 2017

Self Care 22 of 25

I want to take the same care going through these as the last group of statements, focusing on solutions. I’m not good at self care, but I am learning.

Original link:

22. Believing in myself believing I can do something anything I want but not trying because I might fail and embarrass myself or it won’t be perfect.

My response:

This is the ultimate in self-sabotage, and I excelled. My illogical thinking was that if I didn’t take a step then I couldn’t step wrong. I was taught to think this way.

Example: I left a door in the house open. I was asked, “What can we do to help you never leave the door open again?” It was assumed that there was something that could make sure I never forgot and would execute a demand perfectly every single time. There was one little problem, and by this time I recognized it. I replied, “I’ll do it perfectly when you do it perfectly.” It ended the conversation. Unfortunately, this conversation only happened a few years ago. Similar questions had been posed to me all my life, and I struggled to provide an answer not realizing there was no workable answer to give what was demanded. I was expected to do the impossible and at least if I did nothing I couldn’t be punished for doing something wrong.

Even when I did something right, I was advised on how I could do it better and/or faster. I had been carefully taught that whatever I did it wouldn’t be enough. I learned I wasn’t enough.

This is really what this problem is about: Believing I’m not enough. I’m not acceptable as I am.

The only way to change this one is to take that first step. There is no other way. However, there are ways to ease into it. Start small. The best example I can use is my own writing journey. Fifteen years ago, I asked my friends online if I should post a “musing.” They encouraged me. I posted. It was favorably received. I posted another and another. My confidence grew. I wrote a serial story and then co-authored another. One of the readers emailed me and suggested I write a historical romance. In 2007, I submitted the story. I was rejected. I was crushed. I re-wrote it and submitted it to a contest. The advice given I incorporated into the next re-write. I kept working on it. I submitted it again and after several months it was rejected. I wasn’t unhappy about it. I polished it some more and submitted it once more. Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc, sent me a contract, and A Promise of Possibilities was published in 2012.

One step at a time, I went from sharing my writing with no one to published author of 13 novels, 11 novellas, and 1 short story. I’ve reread my books, and I see things I’d change, not big things, little things. I’m proud of my work. I’m learning to translate the risks I take with writing in other aspects of my life. It doesn’t make it easy. I’ve simply learned it’s okay to make mistakes. I won’t die. It’s okay to be wrong. It won’t end the world. My mistakes and being wrong helps me to be more compassionate with others. As I’m more compassionate with others, I learn how to be more compassionate with myself.

Posted by: Judy | December 13, 2017

Self Care 21 of 25

I want to take the same care going through these as the last group of statements, focusing on solutions. I’m not good at self care, but I am learning.

Original link:

21. Being financially responsible for myself so I don’t have to still be dependent on abusers and then hating myself for it.

My response:

Sigh. I haven’t figured this one out.  I’m still hopeful. It isn’t over till it’s over, as they say.

What I have accomplished:

My third counselor worked with me for five years. For the last three, I saw him every three months. It was an opportunity for me to review difficult situations and how I handled them. I would tell him how I handled the situation, ask him if I handled it in an acceptable manner, and ask for other ways I could have handled it, even if I’d done it right. I understood there were multiple ways to handle any situation.

My counselor’s goal was twofold. He wanted me to be emotionally independent and financially independent. We accomplished the first but not the second. The first was the most important.

How do I live with the lack of the second without beating myself up?

God had other plans.

My counselor “badgered” me about moving out on my own. My frustration grew, with him but more with myself. Why wasn’t I smart enough to figure out a way to escape the insanity? One day, I sat down and wrote out all of my attempts to move out on my own and why they didn’t work out. I filled a page. I shared it with my counselor. He blinked. He acknowledged that I had made repeated sincere efforts but life kept happening, throwing roadblocks in my way. He was also proud of me for my attitude: “Okay, God, what next?”

I must acknowledge that I learned things by staying home that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. The most distressing lessons were when I saw behavior I didn’t like and realized I did it. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands to make permanent changes in me. Looking in the mirror can be painful, depending on how you face it. Did I look away, pretending I didn’t see the need to change, or did I give myself a hard look and see what I could change and make a plan to follow through?

I’m not grateful for the abuse that made me who I am. I do like who I am, now, and I don’t think I’d be the person I am now if I hadn’t gone through the abuse. God took something evil and worked it for my good. It didn’t make the evil good. God wove the dark threads amid the gold, silver, and other vibrant colors to give the weaving of my life depth.

Posted by: Judy | December 12, 2017

Self Care 20 of 25

I want to take the same care going through these as the last group of statements, focusing on solutions. I’m not good at self care, but I am learning.

Original link:

20. Getting out in nature enough, which I find really healing.

My response:

I also find nature healing. Living in the city makes this one tough. I love the forest, and I love the beach. I have easy access to neither.

Enjoying the sunrise and the sunset always fills me with wonder. Arizona has some beauties.

Since I can’t simply step outside into a forest or onto the beach, I’ve learned to narrow my perspective. I notice the yellow rose blooming on one of the bushes outside my window. The purple jacaranda blooms snag my attention. Butterflies visit the lantana plants taking over like weeds. There’s an evergreen silk oak and arborvitae outside my window.

Inside, I have two Christmas cacti growing in pots on my windowsill. I don’t do what’s necessary to force them to bloom, but I enjoy that they’re green and living.

A bouquet of flowers brightens a room and cheers me. It’s a real challenge to convince myself I’m worth spending the money on something that won’t last. A friend bought me a “Bouquet of the Month Club” from a local florist. The bouquets weren’t elaborate, but they were pretty. I enjoyed them for a week or two, every month.

Listening to nature CDs or channels on line gives me the opportunity to use my imagination with the help of sound. I have a mountain stream, ocean, and rain.

Several years ago, a Rustic Pine scent was available at one of the stores. It was the closest I’ve ever found to anything not pine smelling like pine. I bought several bottles. Good thing since I haven’t seen it again since. I save it for Christmas time. I also have other aromatherapy oils, like jasmine and rose and orange.

This is one that simply must be chosen. Create the opportunity. Compromise when “perfect” isn’t available.

Posted by: Judy | December 11, 2017

Self Care 19 of 25

I want to take the same care going through these as the last group of statements, focusing on solutions. I’m not good at self care, but I am learning.

Original link:

19. Sleeping… I’ve slept about 6 hours in the last 48.

My response:

I haven’t had as much trouble with this as others. On the occasions when I don’t sleep all night, I confess the problems resides squarely with a book I couldn’t put down. Then again, it might be that I couldn’t put it down because I couldn’t sleep or didn’t want to sleep.

I’ve written before of the power of sleep deprivation to act as a tranquilizer, if you’re in deep enough. This is sleep deprivation past the cranky/grumpy stage. I’m not saying it’s healthy; it isn’t. I’m saying I used it to keep me mellow. Considering the fact that I hadn’t yet learned to cope with the lake of rage boiling inside me, anything to help me remain calm was a positive. Okay, not so much positive as basically preferable to the alternative. Living that way isn’t actually living; it’s existing.

It’s important to figure out why you aren’t sleeping. It might be a physical problem. It might be nightmares. Do your homework and find out. A plan of action can’t be formed until you have some idea of what you’re battling.

Why did I have struggle sleeping? If I went to sleep, the next day would come sooner. Yes, I’d have to face another day. Was my way of dealing with it logical? Who said logic had anything to do with it? Abuse is not logical. Avoiding the unavoidable is not logical. “Normal” but not logical.

“Normal is a setting on a dryer.” Important to remember that. “What’s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

Lifesaving information about sleep: When you sleep is when your body repairs itself.

Sleep is when your brain works through your day, hence nightmares. I used to run and run and run but never went anywhere. I felt like I was running in water or jello or wet cement. I learned enough about dream interpretation to know I was trying to escape.

I learned how to change my dreams. It was usually easiest to make changes as I woke. This usually meant planning ahead. Not always successful but often enough I was able to curb some of my worst dreams.

I’ve experimented with any of a number of things to help me sleep at night.

I created a routine to help me know it’s time to go to sleep. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

I have used Benadryl to help me sleep. I also discovered it helped with motion sickness.

I’ve used relaxation CDs of various types. Some work better than others. The CD shutting off woke me sometimes.

What I use now: Routine,, children’s lantern that shines stars on the ceiling, lavender and/or frankincense and myrrh, a sunrise clock that slowly brightens over a half hour and finishes with the sound of the ocean, and a second alarm that turns on my favorite radio station (K-LOVE).

Practice, practice, practice. I know I sound like a broken record.

One more thing: What helps me turn off my brain when the thoughts are spiraling? I’ve worked through a lot of mantras, endeavoring to find one that works consistently for me. Repeating this over and over helps me to calm, like focusing on a flickering candle: Give the battle to God and praise God in the storm.

Posted by: Judy | December 10, 2017

Inspiration from the past

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ~ Calvin Coolidge

Posted by: Judy | December 9, 2017

Saturday Silly…

Snorgtees posted a shirt on Pinterest with this:


Why don’t they just share the hedge?

I think this picture was posted in one of my Cute widgets.

Posted by: Judy | December 8, 2017

Good News Friday

*Snow is back on WordPress ~ It’s fun.

*Walk and chat with my sister and P.croissant

*Strawberry streusel and hot chocolate with whipped cream

*Helping my sister with costumes for a Christmas play

*Jack-in-the-Box for lunch with my sister

*Hallmark movies while I work

*Yams, apples, pecans, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon ~ Yummy

*Homemade ice cream, heavy whipping cream, sugar, and Irish Cream flavoring, in a mason jar ~ Easy and yummy

*I was ill on Tuesday; I almost passed out at a light. I went home and slept. Blessedly, within 24 hours it was like nothing happened. Woohoo!

*Instead of walking 2 miles in an hour, I walked 2 miles in 50 minutes. Yay!

*I have a cold. No, it isn’t good news. The good news is that I also have Gypsy Cold Care Tea. It doesn’t cure the cold but does make it more bearable, which is good news.

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | December 7, 2017

Reading List 7

81. Love Wanted, A Christmas Novella (Buckley, Texas series book 4) by Sharon Gillenwater western contemporary Christian romance.

82. Happy New Year? (Holiday, USA series novella 1) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance. Yes, I’m re-reading my series. I’m looking for quotes for Donna Keevers Driver to make memes for me. Do I see things I’d change? Little things, a better word, moving a sentence to the previous paragraph, removing a comma.

83. Chocolate Cake for Two (Holiday, USA series novella 2) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

84. Valentine Delivery (Holiday, USA series novella 3) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

85. Tough Luck (Holiday, USA series novella 4) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

86. Faith’s Labor (Holiday, USA series novella 5) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

87. Just Friends (Holiday, USA series novella 6) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

88. Secondhand Samhain (Holiday, USA series novella 7) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

89. Christmas Present (Holiday, USA series novella 8) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

90. Leap of Faith Day (Holiday, USA series novella 9) by Laurel Hawkes clean contemporary Christian romance.

Older Posts »