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Down Time




Oh My goodness, what a week it has been already! Guests in town. Illness and injury, and a lacking internet connection due to this lovely Montana weather, brings me to you today with a pile of goodies that have been landing on my doorstep just waiting for me to tell you all about them. And boy oh boy did I get some real goodies this last week! Where shall we start? I think the first item to arrive was this lovely hanging bag for the shower. And excellent addition to our home, will come in very handy with all the kiddos who stay with us for respite care. I look forward to putting this toy hanger to use. It is large enough to hold quite a few decent sized items, the mesh seems strong and durable and there are four strong suction cups. I believe this baby toy hanger for the shower, made by Toy Organize,  will last us many years and see many clients. If this sounds like just the right item for your bathroom toy clutter, you can check it out here.

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The second item I received was a lovely pink durable crossbody messenger bag. The construction is incredibly durable, the bag is adorable, and again I look forward to putting it to use in my not for profit organization, as I am always looking for a good bag that is big enough to hold my file folders but not so big that I feel I should be about to get on an airplane for an extended visit. The one thing about this bag is that I do not think that I will be able to close the zipper with manila files on board but that doesn’t matter much to  me. I love how many pockets it has and the zippers appear to be of durable construction. I look forward to getting many years of use out of this bag, and I love the bright colors. They help me to embrace my eccentricity ;). If this bag sounds like just the right bag for you, or maybe you know someone who would love one just like it for Christmas, you can find it here. Please pardon my upside down picture. Having all kinds of weird tech problems, but hopefully will be replacing this laptop soon and then I can come back and fix it. I will fiddle in the meantime and try to get you folks a proper right side up photo. Meanwhile, here is the very awesome bag I received free simply so I could tell you all about it.

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The list gets more and more exciting as I move through the pile of goodies I have received. The first two items will be so useful in the non profit I founded for these families in need, but these next two items speak to the homesteady me.

I am thrilled to tell you about this Master Culinary herb scissors kit I received. It is a multi bladed scissors, and it comes with a stripping tool and cleaning brush. I am truly thrilled for my Spring herbs to come up so I can put this scissors to really great use. I have recently learned that I have celiac disease, and if you know anything at all about that, then you know that I am best off growing my own food, which works out ok for me because this is something I have been aspiring to for many years now anyway. I always have such a hard time processing the abundance of herbs as they come in and this tool is going to make it soooooo much easier! Thrilling. I love this scissors. If you are interested in one for your own herb processing needs, or for a stocking stuffer for you kitchen/homesteading friend, this is the scissors for you. Get yours here.

And finally, the item I have been most excited to tell you about. As I have probably stated far too many times already, I recently learned that I have celiac disease. If you have never had to consider gluten free, you probably don’t understand. My feelings are hurt consistently by people who think gluten free is a fad or a foodies opportunity to be high maintenance and draw attention to themselves. I have struggled so hard with this. I don’t enjoy drawing attention to myself, I dont enjoy being high maintenance, and it really kills me that I can no longer just grab some food while I am out, as I have yet to eat anything prepared publicly and not be contaminated, even by foods that claim to be gluten free. People just dont understand that just because you changed the flour, that does not make them gluten free. People who have never researched celiac or gluten intolerance have no idea how deeply gluten has been inundated into our food system. How many folks think to look if the nuts they are adding to the gluten free maple pecan muffin they are selling have been processed in a facility that also contains wheat, or that oats are also highly contaminated with other gluten containing grains.  Every single time I try to eat a gluten free food in public I am contaminated and it has made taking a day out incredibly difficult to plan for. Imagine my joy when I was offered the opportunity to try a gluten free great kids snack box subscription at a greatly reduced price just for sharing my excitement about it with you.  Let me tell you, this box does not disappoint! I opened it up to find it bulging at the seams with a fantastic assortment of safe, gluten free snacks. The reasons for my joy are multiple. Not only am I new to the gf diet and learning a ton with every new meal, but I am at a loss as to some things to replace some of what I can not have any more and this box has given me a ton of new ideas. New items that I had never even heard of, that I can try. I plan to put some of these items into my car for a snack fix when I want a day in town but don’t want to find myself starving with no good quick options. This food box is truly a Godsend and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for some healthy gluten free options, for adults and children alike. Some of the food is clearly for tots but as long as I am getting good, healthy food in my body, I truly don’t care that I am eating food packaged for children. I will order this box in the future. I will recommend it to my gf friends and to the parents of gf children whom I encounter through the non profit. When the non profit is more established and can afford a monthly subscription charge, I will consider ordering a subscription to this box to feed to clients also, as many of them have diet restrictions which this subscription would help us to overcome. Thank you Great Kids!!!! I LOVE this box! Since I do my work for free while I get this non profit established, it may be a couple months, but I hope to be ordering another very soon! Seriously folks, if you are Gluten Free I highly recommend you check these guys out!

Ok, I think that is all I have for you today. I hope you find something here that piques your interest. Down time ticks away and I look forward to another lull in the chaos of this week so that we may visit again. Thank you for reading, my friends. Until next time, have a most blessed Christmas season!


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Back on track

 


Back on track! Phew. I am pleased to tell you that I am happily coming to you today to tell you about a new cookbook that I received free via kindle, in exchange for my honest opinion. Luckily for you there is a current sale and they are offering the kindle download free on amazon right now. This is a book of smoothies, not juicing recipes, so if juicing is what you are looking for this may not satisfy you, but it is an informative book with a host of recipes that could satisfy just about any pallet. I prefer my cookbooks to have pictures of the delightful food I will be making, so for this reason I purchase most of my cookbooks in paper versions, but with the free download currently available, it was worth it to check out. I will definitely utilize these recipes as I work on revamping our families diet with the new celiac diagnosis in the home. Definitely worth looking into if you are looking for an alternative weightloss or detox plan, or even if you are already eating healthy and just need a few fresh ideas. Find yours here.

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What to do?

As you all know by now, I am part of a group which does reviews on products in exchange for a drastically reduced cost on the item. Being part of this team requires active participation. Can you imagine how many people would take advantage if it didn’t? For this reason, there are deadlines on reviews, which we have some control over. Unfortunately, today I have to do my first very negative review, because if I don’t it affects my score and possibility for doing reviews in the future, and I really enjoy this part of my life, so in an attempt to protect myself, today I get to tell you about an item I never received. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EYVI58Y .This lovely step stool, which I was very much looking forward to receiving, as I am short and my cupboards are tall, never arrived. On the day it was to be delivered I received a notice that it was being returned to sender for an undisclosed shipping issue. I reached out to the company as to how I should proceed, as there are many ways it could have been handled, and I received no response from them. Now my deadline is here and I am not willing to jeopardize my livelihood for a company who didn’t respond, and so, I cannot speak for the stool but I can say that I had a very disappointing experience with the company itself.  If you choose to shop with them, I wish you good luck. Have a blessed day my friends, and hopefully my next post will be about something I am excited to share with you!

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Quiet

Hello my friends. Today quiet is the word of the day. I feel so incredibly quiet. It seems unsafe everywhere. Best to just keep your mouth shut and keep to yourself. I am torn between wanting to be a force of fierce love and light in this time, and wanting to go into a dark corner and lick my own wounds. I will admit, I am hurt. I am hurt by a general outpouring of hatred toward anyone who did not vote Hillary. I am hurt by the name calling and judgement I woke up to on my social media pages yesterday. I was hurt by feeling more threatened and judged than I ever did when the candidates were actually running. I am amazed by the hypocrisy of the judgement and vileness, to a point words can barely sum up what I feel like I am seeing. To the point it seems so obviously and ludicrously hypocritical that I feel like we don’t even need words to point it out. If you thought our presidential candidates were an international embarrassment, well boy, it feels like the goal now is to top that. It feels like those who voted for Hillary have condemned every one of us who didn’t vote the way they wanted.

I have heard a myriad of reasons why I didn’t vote for her.

“You are afraid to be led by a woman”

“You are rebelling against a black establishment”  (Ummm. I don’t understand this one in the least as Hillary is white)

“You are uneducated”

“you are an apathetic voter who doesn’t care who wins if you voted third party”

I could keep going, but what a waste of space it would be. The point still remains, that the accusations now standing against everyone who didn’t vote Democratic are offensive, and they challenge my intelligence.

Guess what? I voted with conscious. I put months and weeks and days and hours into my research and education about who I wanted to vote for. What if I just do not agree with her policies? What if I truly educated myself, didn’t want her as my choice for president, and voted consciously, for the person I most related with when it came to proposed policies? Do I not have a right to vote outside of your parameters without being shamed and bullied about it?

What if I truly stood behind my vote, believed in it, and felt strongly that I made the best choice I could. What if it had nothing to do with her gender? What if it had nothing to do with her race, religion, or status?

What if I felt like I had a right to vote my conscious and stand proudly for the country I believe in and our right to our own opinion?

I must say, as the votes started rolling in, and the tables were turning, it shocked and offended me when the news anchors started talking about people throwing away their vote if they went third party. That it was apathetic and careless. I was horrified that news anchors covering a national election had the gall to bully people for not voting within the parameters of their expectations. I feel that there is so much bullying going on. It is sickening. It is ugly. It is the real problem with this country. Why do we feel we have a right to bully people who didn’t vote as we wished they would? To call them names because they checked a different box than you?

The drama in the aftermath of this election feels like high school teens overreacting. Immediate meltdown. Total over the top worst case scenario drama. It is like we forgot to put on our rational thinking caps and just lost it. What will we tell our children? We will tell them the same things we told them before the election took place. We will continue to discuss important matters with them as candidly and honestly as we always have. Just because we have a new president does not mean that you change who you are. It means if he says something stupid we talk to our kids about why it was stupid and why we don’t agree with him. Everyone is saying they are scared. Scared everyone is going to be deported. Scared they are going to lose all of their rights. Scared of sexism, racism, and bigotry. Look around folks. These things existed long before the president elect did. We the people are responsible for assuring that our cultural values are upheld.

In all honesty, I too, was terrified of either candidate becoming our next president, but it happened, and my gut instinct is that as an American it is my duty to stand behind whomever runs this country, fight against policies I disagree with, and for the change that I want to see. I held my breath too, but when it was all said and done, I was able to accept this future and try to find a ray of hope and positivity.

Nothing is changing overnight. The president still has to follow a chain of checks and balances. I woke yesterday to half the country acting as if Armageddon had arrived and the world was ending right now! In all of history, it is a normal balance for our country to alternate between liberal and conservative leaders. People are not happy. They are ready for a different kind of change. This is a normal ebb and flow and in four or eight or twelve years there will be another upset and the Dems will take over again. The majority of us are adults and have seen a dozen or more presidential elections in our lifetime, how do we not know this cycle yet?

I believe that Trump has a foul mouth and fails to censor himself sometimes, but as much as my gut reaction when he started running was to fear him, I have hope. I think he is probably a better person privately than media has portrayed. He is a successful business man and well, now, technically, a successful politician. He did, after all, win the presidency. Anyone with business experience knows it takes a certain amount of political finesse to be successful in business, and I have hope that we will see the best of his political finesse. I hope that he will take serious, the American people, and vow to represent us in the best way he can. No, I didn’t want Trump, Hillary, or any other candidate available for president, but now that he is elected, I will be the best American I can be and support him, just like I would if Hillary had won. When I disagree with him, I will sign the right petitions and join the fights that I feel call me. I am not an apathetic voter. I did my research, but I am not about to sit back and listen to the name calling and harassment and accusations of ignorance.

For a group of people who voted for tolerance and equality, they sure are behaving very intolerant and judgmentally.

So what do I do? Do I remain focused on being a force of fierce love and light, putting my opinions out there for people who call me privileged or say that I have rights and they don’t?

My gut instinct is to be defensive. To tell them all about my so called privilege. That would only instigate bickering and defensiveness.

If I hide, I lose. I separate myself from my countrymen and neighbors. If I stand up for my personal convictions I am berated.

I want to be a force of love.

My gut instinct is to keep to myself and God this week. To avoid this political backlash and turmoil like the cancer it is.

God says. Go be a force of love and light.

Please Father, give me strength….

 

 

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What are you perpetuating??

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My loves! What on Earth is going on? We all know the popular concept that if you smile at a stranger, they in turn will smile at another. Darlings! Look around you. How are your facial expressions today? Today I sit back, feeling grounded, and watching the countries response to this election. I am not shocked at the response, but I have thoughts on it. Lets start with confidentiality. Remember once upon a time when who you were voting for was private information? I think that this election has been a shining example of why that was a good policy!! People are torn, divided, and hateful today. I woke up to a Facebook feed full of people who voted against the winner, calling the entire country names. Using vile and vulgar language to condemn every one of the people who reads their feed. I am an American. When you say F*** you America, I take that a bit personally. You don’t have any idea who I voted for, and your comfortable publicly telling me to F off? Isn’t this the division and hate that you were fearful of in the first place? Isn’t this exactly the type of vulgarity that you are condemning the President elect of? People! If hate and division are the very things that you are afraid of, then why are you perpetuating it? We must all decide right now to stop hating!! Hate perpetuates hate, regardless of if it comes from a red or blue state! How can you show some love and empathy to those who are hurting today???
The fear. So many saying they are scared. Can we admit that any outcome is scary? That our world has turned into a scary place? That it’s gonna take more than a United States president to change the fear? It would have had a fear factor to it no matter how it turned out. I believe the majority agreed there was not a candidate they liked, and so, doesn’t that lend to the notion that fear would be an issue regardless of who won? What causes fear? The unknown? Helplessness? How do we combat fear? Education and activism. This country has a billion problems to solve, regardless of who the president is, and this country is strong, we know how to come together in a time of crisis. Instead of letting fear drive us to beating each other up for who the winner is, can we use that fear productively, band together as Americans, and solve some problems? Can we collectively agree to work together instead of shaming and blaming each other for the demise of this great country? How about we stop calling our friends jackasses and start creating think tanks with them? A much more productive use of time, maybe we could solve some problems instead of bickering about them.
For those who want to leave or refuse to acknowledge our new President elect, I wish you well. I do not have a sarcastic “Get out” at hand. I do feel that you are part of the division problem. That you don’t like the problem so instead of working together to support our nation and find solutions, you choose to be the very division that you fear this change will bring to our country. You are choosing to remain divided from your fellow countrymen, and I hope for you, that you can quickly resolve the conflict within yourself and find a way to become a force of positive problem solving. That you can rejoin your fellow Americans in working toward a better country today, tomorrow, next week. Regardless of how you feel today, a presidential term lasts but four years. A blink of an eye in the grand scheme of time. Today is not the day to give up. So you don’t like your circumstances? Your choices are to give up and live with them, or to think outside the box to find ways to change them. The helpless “I hate you all and I am disowning you now”, well, to some it seems quite immature and childish  and it creates nothing positive. Hate creates hate. Discord creates discord. Love creates love. Empathy creates empathy. What are you perpetuating today? Are you choosing hate, fear, name calling, division and disappointment, or are you rising above it to be a force of light and love despite the overwhelming negativity in the air today? People. We are the American people. We can band together, or we can divide. Today is the day for you to choose which America you wish to see in the face of adversity. Today is the day for you to be that voice. Will you rise above and love, or will you sink to the very levels of hate and vulgarity that you are protesting? Lets stop attacking each other, and band together in the love and unity that we wish to see. What is the quote? “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. What are you perpetuating today?

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Grooming


Today I am feeling thankful for this sweet pet grooming glove that was sent to me at a free or reduced price in exchange for my honest opinion. I have five pets. Two cats, and three dogs. All are rescues and very different in conformation. I thought that my short haired pets would be the ones to approve of this grooming tool, but it turns out they all love it! They actually stand in line for their turn. It is quite adorable. It gets deep into the undercoat. I am not sure if you grasp how much fur five pets generate, but this glove is truly appreciated in my house, by the humans and pets alike. The only thing that I don’t love is the fit. It is just a little bit too big for my hands which makes it awkward to get a grip on, but aside from that I love this glove. It is waterproof so its great for bathing too. All in all I would recommend this brush to a friend but I would caution them about the large size of it. If you are interested in checking it out, you can find it here.

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Nudges

Since I wrote yesterday, I have spent much time in deep contemplation. Shortly after I published my post, a friend showed me #notokay. I am on a rollercoaster my friends, and I have decided that we just need to keep following up. We need to have this conversation. Desperately. For months now I have been hearing the whisper “prepare yourself”. “Get ready”. “It’s time to speak out”. “Its time to say something”. But I didn’t understand. So I listened quietly for more directions. But yesterday, after my friend gave me the #notokay, I understood. I got it. We are being called. We are all being called to speak up. Put a stop to this! If you can’t do it publicly, then do it privately. But tell someone how you are feeling! Let them know that you feel hurt and alone. That daily you see jokes that aren’t funny and you feel compelled to awkwardly laugh along because it seems to be what others think is funny. You don’t have to keep these secrets. They are no definition of your worth. What I see, is that we are stepping up. we are saying no more. So many of us have the power to use our words. Some of us just arent there yet, and maybe they will never be, but Oh I hope they find the healing that allows them the strength and bravery to say “It happened to me, it makes me feel awful. It affected my life for a very, very, very, long time. Forever long. When I hear those words come out of your mouth, I see my attacker. Please check yourself, and use more respectful words around me”. My heart is on a roller coaster, because on the one hand, as someone who has not been ashamed to talk about my abuse for many years, I am approached with and work with victims of sexual misconduct every day, and so it is no secret to me how many have been hurt. It is no surprise, how many could message privately but not in front of groups of people. And it breaks my heart daily, that there are so staggeringly many of us. But I celebrated yesterday. I celebrated because people are speaking out. They are saying no more! This has gone too far. The amount of people being triggered by this latest political load of crap goes so far beyond politics that it aches to the core how real this problem is. But, I see eyes being opened. I see men responding with “well, I hadn’t really thought of that”. I see people being impacted as we band together as a net of survivors and lift each other up. And I praise God. I praise God for giving us the strength and bravery and self worth to say NO MORE!!! This has to stop!! So I am a roller coaster. A roller coaster of aches. For victims and survivors. For those afraid to speak out, for those who feel all alone, for those who think that they somehow deserve this. I ache for them. I am so deeply sorry that they had to experience that pain. And for the ones who are strong enough to speak for those who still have not found that voice, I am proud of you! I am proud of you for finally standing up and saying NO MORE! I am proud of you for fighting the fight. I am sad that you had to be triggered so deeply as to have to bare your shame for the world, but I am mostly proud of you for standing up for those who cant yet. Keep talking! Keep talking. If you reach one person today, Its worth it. I love you my friends! We are going to stand strong together in this!

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Comfort Zones

**Language

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Some times God calls us outside of our comfort zones. Well, today is that kind of day for me. Today I am going to go places publicly that I have never gone before. I am going to do so without shame. Without fear of backlash. Without really caring if you hate my words, because they need to be said, and someone has to be brave and say them. Fine. Here goes. Today I am sick. I am enraged at the culture we are living in. I am particularly upset with the rape culture BS. I want you to stop what you are doing. I want you to look at the women you love. I want you to think how you would feel if someone was having “locker room talk” about your wife, sister, mother, or daughter. And lets be real. This isn’t just happening to women. This is happening to everyone. We all know that men are raped, molested, and objectified every day too. They just have even less support than we do healing from it. I am shaking at my core as I write this. I cannot believe how many people, both men and women, are defending these words. Not defending them and not supporting them does not mean you are voting for the opposition. It does not mean you cant vote for the offender. What it means is that you don’t support their words. That you hold them accountable for their behavior and that you tell them to shut their damn mouths! Do you ever disagree with someone you love? Does it mean that you can’t be supportive of them? No. It simply means you speak up. That you don’t tolerate the behavior. You don’t quit loving them. You don’t walk away from them. You simply say “I cannot support this behavior”. Not accepting “locker room talk” from a leader and “role model” in our country is not the same thing as saying “vote for the opponent”.
How did we reach a place where half of our country can find a way to vehemently defend and make passionate excuses for a man speaking this way on our nightly news? How can we get across to men and women alike that this is not acceptable behavior. That innocent “locker room talk” is overheard by our children. By young men and women who maybe don’t think it is just talk? By young men and women who think, “well if this influential and successful businessman thinks its ok…”Talk is no less innocent than actions. It sends a message. It says this is ok. Well. I believe that everything happens for a reason. That our burdens set us up to receive blessings, so maybe its time to share my experiences. Maybe its time to tell you my story. Maybe it’s time to use those burdens of mine to reach just one person who doesn’t understand how they too, are knowingly or unknowingly, contributing to rape culture. Maybe I can reach one person, who just needs a different perspective to learn how to respect basic human sexuality. An instinct to the core. Sex should be something we all seek and enjoy. By choice! Unfortunately, this culture we are living in, it doesn’t allow for that. So, here goes. Here comes some painful truth dear world.
I have been raped and molested over and over and over again in my life. For the longest time I was convinced it was because I had been a pedophile or sex offender in some way, in some previous life. From the age of twelve, when a grown adult held me down. A full hundred pounds bigger than me. I kicked and fought and screamed and cried but he was simply stronger than me. People could hear me screaming from the next room. Other young women that he had also hurt, but they didn’t help, because they knew they were next. If it was me, they were safe tonight. I carried that trauma as shame. I hid the truth, and when I confided in my bestie, and she talked to a close friend, and they both sat me down to tell me that I needed to tell my mom, I backtracked so fast. I told them I made it all up for attention. I did not want to be the dirty little secret that ruined our family. I am sure I somehow deserved this. I mean if I told my mom I was sure she would call the cops or go to jail and everyone would know about my dirty little whore body then. Let me repeat. I WAS 12 YEARS OLD. And so we put on a smile, act out a bit, and continue to fake it through the hardest years of our innocent little lives. And then there was the role model in my life. Someone who was supposed to be safe. Trusted. Someone who should have had no interest in me but to make sure that no man ever hurt me. And he took alot. Over and over and over again, he helped himself to my body. To my immature, underdeveloped, pre-pubescent body. Entitlement much? But to me, to my developing teen brain, oh what a terrible person I must have been in that prior life. I must have hurt so many people for this to be happening to me now. Oh what did I do and how can I fix it? How can I make this stop? Please God? But God didn’t come. And God didn’t show me how to make it stop. God just kept letting it happen, so I must deserve it somehow. So I convinced myself it wasn’t happening. It was all just a bad dream and I wasn’t going to let it affect me. We call this denial.
The next guy who forced himself upon me was a stranger. I was in the woods with a bunch of friends, and they all split off into couples. He and I were the only pair that weren’t coupled, and we got left alone in the woods together in the dark. He pulled his pants down and forced my face onto his boner. I don’t know why I didn’t think to bite it off. I was probably too busy trying not to gag. At one point he actually said “well you are just not getting the job done, are you?” and pushed harder.
I left those woods with my head down in shame and horror, but by this time in my life, I knew my place. I knew my “worth” I knew exactly what was expected of me. Shall I keep going? I have more stories. Personal stories. My own stories. Not hearsay. Look around you. How many women in your life have these stories? How many have more than one. I have this fantastic husband. He is truly a good Christian man. He lifts me up and supports me in every way he knows how. The conversations he and I have had, in the safety of our bedroom at night, have been enlightening to me. He says to me. “Yeah, but there’s not that many rapists and pedophiles, they just repeat offend.” I responded with “then how do you explain the number of men who have taken as they please from me?” No matter how much empathy or compassion you have, if it hasn’t happened to you, you probably don’t really understand or have any business speaking on the matter.
Which brings me to today. I am in a safe place. No one will ever take from me what I do not wish to give, ever again. This is MY body, and I choose who to share it with, but I spend my days helping people heal. Because after 42 years of conditioning in this society, I have to spend all day long teaching people that it is not their fault. That God is not punishing them. That it does not define their worth. That as a woman who spent half her adulthood healing from this trauma, it still affects me daily. It still affects my marriage, my sex life, and my self worth. And I have healing. I ache today for me. Because hearing people defend these words as just words, well. They aren’t just words. They are actions. Once something becomes acceptable to say, it shortly thereafter becomes acceptable to do. And people perform these actions against men, women, and children every day. Every time I see a meme it cuts to my soul. And I have healing. I am beside myself today for those seeing all these memes and defenses of this behavior who don’t have healing. Oh what this must feel like to them!
So, lets talk about how these words cut just a little more. Lets talk about the unhealed spouses, and even the healed ones, who struggle with intimacy because of that, and how their spouses needs go unmet or how they feel unworthy of being a spouse, because they can not meet their partners needs, even with healing.
Lets talk about the women and men having objectified one night stands rather than sincere intimate relationships. No self respecting woman will give a stranger a blow job behind a bar unless that is how she has been conditioned to find her worth. If this is you, then whether you realize it or not, you are perpetuating the problem. You are reinforcing the idea that she isn’t worth a bed, an alley will do. So people, listen close here. Supporting a person, and defending a bad behavior, are not the same thing. Words really do have the power to hurt. To drag up old shame. To confirm what most of us learned young. “Your just a pussy”.
I want to tell you that I chose to be a single mother. That I literally called three different women I admired and told them I wanted to be a single mother. And you know what? Every single one of them encouraged me. I was shocked. Even I knew I was waiting for someone to say don’t do it, but none of them did. Instead, they said, if anyone can do it, you can. I didn’t know my reason. I was still in denial over it having affected me. It took a mature wise man to say to me “well, I know why you did it. Look at how the men in your life have treated you. Why wouldn’t you want to protect your child from that?” I am not just being a whiner because words hurt. This has affected every single detail of who I have become. It has defined my life in many areas. On many occasions. Its not just “words hurt”. Its that this is a real, deep cutting issue. We don’t get to forget about it when you aren’t talking about it.
Come on people. We don’t have to tolerate this behavior. We all know it is wrong. Deep in our hearts we know it is wrong. Stand up for the right thing! And not so deep, but right there on the surface, you are surrounded by people who are being deeply affected by this issue and have to shove it down because half the world is defending it and calling us whiners. Tell them you love and support them. Don’t sit quietly when you hear people talking like this. Don’t laugh uncomfortably. Tell them to stop it right now. Tell them you have a sister. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A son. a niece. a nephew. Tell them that you don’t want anyone growing up thinking it is ok to speak or act as if any persons body is their possession. Victims of rape culture, healed and not healed alike, thank you from across the world for standing up on their behalf! And If you are out there, and you are hurting from this, and you feel like you have no one. I am here. You can message me. I will not defend your offender. There are many of us who wish to lift you above the pain this brings. I love you all. Have a blessed day and may you find peace in your soul.

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Wintertime!!

Oh glorious snow! What a joy to wake up to several inches on the ground! Oh how I love the time of year when we put the landscape to bed for the year and focus on the inside work. Today, as I gleefully showed off my pictures of the snow like a kid on Christmas morning, I was disheartened slightly by the “ewwwws” that I received in response. Whats to hate? I dont understand. But I suppose that is possibly because I love my life. I love the area I live. I love the bountiful surroundings and blessings that I get to enjoy each day. I love that I live at a slower pace of life than the average American, but I often forget that. I sent some photos I took the other day and she came back with “what a perspective change”. I had to ask her to elaborate. Her response had to do with the speed of life. The negativity in politics, the division in our country. Its what she had spent her day doing, and when our days finished up and we exchanged pics at the end of the night, we had vastly different experiences. I am so thankful that I have left the rat race. I am so incredibly blessed. I hear my friends and aquaintances saying they wish they could do what I do. Honestly, I feel frustrated as I wonder how to get across that they can. That I just made the decision one day and made it happen. It didnt happen over night. I set my focus on it and made it happen, and waited, sometimes quite impatiently, while I worked toward it. Today the reward for patience and perseverance is that in the “yuck” of the snow, I get to choose hibernate. I get to choose typing in my blog, seep cleaning a neglected area, watching old church sermons on my smart tv in front of the fire, or baking and cooking if I so choose. Today I choose blogging, and then the kitchen. Sermons in the background while I bake are cozy mixed with the crackle of the fire. The latest item that I was sent for free or a greatly reduced cost for my honest opinion on is a Keliwa 12 Cup silicone muffin pan. I have wanted one for so long but could not bring myself to make the purchase, so when the offer came, I snatched it right up. I am thrilled, and as soon as I am done saying hello to you all, I am heading straight to the kitchen to give it a whirl. I did run it through the dishwasher and it held up just fine and seems good as new. It is a perfect day for baking and I am truly excited to try this out. There isn’t a whole lot to say about it. It is a beautiful bright red color. Its light and flexible but seems to hold its shape well. The cups are average sized. It is BPA free and heat resistant to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I am considering one to use as a soap mold as well. If you are looking for a good silicone muffin pan, you can find this one here.


And so, off to my kitchen I go. Lots to prep for a hearty dinner on a cold snowy Fall day. Much love and abundant blessings my friends. Until next time…

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Spoiled Rotten


Oh my darlings, today I come to you feeling downright spoiled rotten. I am so surrounded by blessings at every turn, I cannot even begin to express the joy of my blessed life. Gifts are knocking on my door every day. Both spiritual and physical gifts. The days are crisp and full of Fall transition, as a matter of fact there is snow in the air tonight. Oh how exciting!! I love the transitions of seasons so much! I love that with the change of seasons comes a shift in focus, and that I soon will be focused on hibernation. I love the days of thick deep snow outside and the crackle of the warm soothing woodfire inside. And you know, with snow, comes Christmas planning. While our family has always been modest in the gift exchange category, with the addition of product testing in my life, I am quite thrilled about a couple of the gifts that I will have for my son this year. He is a survivalist and has a very nice bug out bag that he has been collecting bits and pieces for. He is far more prepared for any emergency than many adults I know. Tow of the items that I received for free or a greatly reduced rate in exchange for my opinion, are going to make great additions to his bug out bag this Christmas. The first I am excited about because he is my child and it is my instinct to preserve his life at all costs. From R&M online, I received a professional tourniquet set made by LIA medical. The package comes sealed in a sterile bag and contains a tourniquet, a bandage, and an emergency blanket. The service was fast and friendly, and I even received follow up mail asking if I was pleased with the product or if they could be of further service. I will feel good watching my boy find a place for this item in his bag. The package is fairly small and light and I do not think it will cause him any space or weight problems. If you are looking for a good basic first aid supply to add to your arsenal, or a unique gift for the prepper in your life, this is a must see. You can check it out here.

And the second item that I am excited about, and for completely different reasons, is this flashlight that I was sent to test and review. My boy has flashlights, no doubt about that. But this may by far the coolest flashlight I have ever seen.I was immediately surprised when I took it out of the box. It is so sturdy! I was surprised how heavy it was for how small it was. Then I added four AAA batteries, which you will need to purchase separately, and tried it out. My goodness flashlights have come a long way in my day! This thing does it all. It has a magnetic end on it so you can attach it to a metal surface. I has a bright LED light that can be focused larger and smaller by adjusting the top. After looking closer I see that it also slides open to a larger size, and inside I find a LED lamp, and an emergency flasher option. This flashlight is so cool that I am not sure if I want to give it to my child! I kind of want to keep it for myself! If you are looking for a compact flashlight with tons of features, this is the one. Small enough to fit in a purse or small bag, with a bright enough light to light an entire 12 man tent. This is a must have. I am already thinking about ordering two more so that everyone in my family can have one. Here is a link to the flashlight if you find yourself intrigued. Truly, both of these items will make great emergency gear whether they get used in my sons bug out bag or not. I hope that today’s post finds you well. That you are surrounded by gratitude and blessings, no matter how big or small.  Until tomorrow my friends. Goodnight.