Thursday, December 29, 2016

When all else fails. . .

"Smile, breathe and go slowly." - Thich Nhat Hanh

After a rough week, things are looking up. It has been 2 years since my daughter was diagnosed with PTSD and the fight to help her recover has been marked with ups and downs. Part of the process is dealing with the grief and unresolved loss, because when a family member suffers an illness and resulting disability, there is no moving on. You are just stuck in this endless cycle of coping with what at times is a very overwhelming situation. Unfortunately, like most mental illnesses, there is no cure for PTSD.

But I am grateful for the small things, like the fact that I still have her after someone tried to kill her. I believe that it was the power of her families' love that helped her survive that situation, and it is our love that is supporting her now.

I'm grateful for other things, like having a job I love, friends that listen when I'm overwhelmed, kind and good children, a husband who loves me, my animals and their blind devotion, bookstores, coffee, wine, and good cheese. I'm grateful for nature- trees, animals, mountains, beaches, and streams. So for 2017, I'm just going to "Smile, breathe, and go slowly."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Just a thought

I'm not gonna lie, it's been a rough week, which is why this quote resonated with me.

"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine." - St. Thomas Aquinas

With that thought, we will soon be wrapping up 2016 and looking forward to a new year. What will it bring? Sometimes that can be too overwhelming to contemplate, so I'll take each day as it comes.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


"The best things in life aren't things." - Art Buchwald

Animals bring me such comfort. My whole life I've been an animal fanatic, and now I watch them slowly begin to heal my family from a difficult situation. Both the animals in the picture are rescues from the humane society, and that cat has more personality than any animal I've ever owned. They are both very spoiled and loved, but especially him.

Recently I started watching a series on Viceland call Abandoned. I marathon watched the entire season. This is the kind of television that I like to watch because it explores social changes and digs deeper into the changing world around us. A lot of people from outside the United States have been watching what's happening here and are confused. To them, they have no idea why people are wanting "to make America great again".

I lived in South America for 3 years doing volunteer work, and being an American there made me a bit of a rock star. Just because of where I came from, people admired me. After the 3 years of living there, I came back to the U.S. and was grateful for the simple things, like reliable, clean, running water. But life in the U.S. has changed in the mere 20 years since I've moved back, and while it is still much better than many other countries, Abandoned shows a shocking side of the American life style that most people abroad don't know about, and has been very hard to explain.

That being said, I think the reason people here are unhappy here has nothing to do with who they are blaming, and watching the rising wave of hatred, distrust, and violence is alarming, to put it mildly. It's giving me anxiety that's for sure. To balance it out I spend time cuddling my animals and being outside, loving my family and having faith in God.

Sometimes, you just need to breathe, and be grateful for that!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

ISWG post

Time to share our progress and insecurities again!

I have not completely stalled while writing, but pretty close. The memoir I'm writing is the second version- the first one was scrapped at about 50,000 words. I have about 13,000 words right now, but it's just really, really hard to set aside the time to write, especially when my family is scrounging through unfolded piles of laundry for underwear and socks!

Despite where my writing is right now, this blog has been a great way for me to practice, experiment, and connect with other writers, and it's still evolving.

One thing I've been thinking of, and wondering, is how other writer's view the responsibility and impact of WHAT they write. The reason this is important to me is because my daughter was the victim of a violent crime, and the perpetrator was directly influenced by things that were written on the internet. (They were classmates) Imagine writing in the horror genre, and inventing stories of gory violence, only to find out that a crime was committed linked directly to what you wrote.

Just curious as to how you writer's out there feel about this delicate issue- because where do we draw the line between entertainment and just plain sadistic and disturbing stories?

December's ISWG question is where do we see ourselves in five years, and how do we plan to get there?

In five years, I hope to at least have a book in the process of being published. In other words, the memoir is finished and I have an agent. Maybe it will already be done! I just want to get myself out there and be established as an official writer, instead of how I feel, which is like a wannabe.

On the lighter side- my quote for the day is

"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong." - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Taken from the Daily Peace by National Geographic. December's theme is simplicity- who couldn't use simplifying in their life?

Thursday, December 1, 2016



"When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too." - Paulo Coelho

This quote is for you, Michelle Wallace! From the author of The Alchemist.

Being a nurse, I see people in their rawest, most unguarded moments, and trials like sickness and death bring out the best, and the worst, qualities in people. In those moments, it doesn't matter what material possessions they have acquired, but the depth of the relationships of those around them. It's really hard to stand by and watch as families abandon each other and walk away because it's too hard and inconvenient to continue to care for someone.

I understand the sacrifice of being a caregiver. I found myself unexpectedly in that position two years ago, and am still there now. But every moment I give up for myself, I am repaid in love and gratitude many times over. That gives me the strength to continue, even when I get discouraged or tired.

We will all be on either side of this equation at one point in our lives- whether as the caregiver or the sick one, and how we treat others will make or break us. That being said, I do understand how complicated relationships can be. It is certainly easier to care for someone who is appreciative than one who is demanding and abusive, even taking into account their pain and suffering.

Take the days one at a time, don't be overwhelmed, take joy in the little things, and love those around you.