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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

hands

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.

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Bliss


My Darlings! So much to talk about tonight! What a busy week it has been! I must say, since finding out I have Celiac and going gluten free, I have found the energy I lost. All of it. It is just non stop go these days! Today, after a very lovely church service, the hubby and I went for a drive, It a blissfully perfect Fall day. I got some gorgeous shots and had an altogether lovely day. I am on some new adventure with God, I do not know exactly what He is up to, but whatever it is, I am sure it is grand. He has been leading me on an indescribably adventure the last two weeks as He has directed me to shift my entire focus just a few degrees. I love it! I am thrilled with the change. Fall is here my friends, and I cannot gush enough about it. I am still incredibly thrilled about all the things I am getting in the mail for free or very big reduction in price. I have all kids of stuff to share with you this week. I got a few exciting new items to try this week. With all this energy that has been hiding the last few years, its all being put to good use. One item I received for free to try and share my opinion on is another New York Biology essential oil. This time it was Bergamot. Bergamot was one of the first oils that I fell in love with. It is light, refreshing, has a citrusy  floral essence about it, and is quite uplifting.  I was thrilled when it arrived. I really do love the New York Biology essential oils. The are clean and fresh, the arrive quickly and come with a dropper top with the bottle. I will continue to order from them in the future. When I did an oil drop test the NYB oils evaporated completely, leaving no reside on the paper. If you are interested in getting your own, you can find it here.

In the same package as the oil, I was pleased to find another garden hose nozzle, and to my delight, it is also quite heavy duty, has multiple water spray features, adjustable spray, and bonus, it also comes with extra sealing rings ( I am constantly losing those). Since I have multiple hoses spread all over the place, it seems like I am constantly looking for a sprayer nozzle. No more. I now have nozzles for every hose I believe. If you are interested in checking it out, here is the link. It is a good sprayer, Seems like it will stand up to a few seasons out here, and we are pretty hard on sprayer nozzles. I have more goodies to share with you tomorrow. It is late here my darlings. I look forward to chatting more tomorrow. Have a most blessed evening and remember, put some LOVE out today! God bless my dears!

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Crisp

Well Hello my friends. How was your week? It has been quite splendidly meandering its way through Fall here. Snow in the mountains this morning made for quite a delightful sight. Its crisp, and the fire has been burning. Its just divine out there. I love wrapping up the Summer months and preparing for a cozy buckled down winter. The chores are gratifying. One last mow for the year, putting up veggies and herbs for the winter. The quiet season. Oh how I love the changes that the seasons bring. My doorstep has been busy with delivery persons. Donations coming in for the Ranch. Products to test. A leap into the world of ordering household necessities over the internet to avoid trips to town. Oh the luxuries we live with today. Sometimes it makes my brain spin, thinking about the pace of life out there. How do people keep up? It takes all of my time to maintain this home, these responsibilities, work, and to build a ranch. Fitting a book in there is a trying challenge, but I talked to my sweet husband, and he was so supportive in encouraging me to focus on the writing if that is what I feel called to do. I had a most amazing spur of the moment meeting with the Pastor of a local church and we talked for hours. What an uplifting week it has been! I am finally adjusting to Celiac disease, and have survived the detox process and finally feel better. Finally seeing the benefits of going without all of that gloriously horrible gluten filled comfort food. I am accepting that unless I grow my own food at home, even such things as innocent as organic vegetables can be possible gluten contaminants, and that contamination will be something I have to face no matter how clean my diet. One of the really sweet  products that I was sent  at a reduced price in exchange for my honest opinion about them was a set of four bamboo cutting boards. They showed up last week but I have been feeling so good that I have been playing a mad game of catch up all week and am finally sitting down to share my opinion.

Aren’t they nice? I really like them. I was able to throw away all my old plastic ones and replace them with these four. It comes as a set of four. They are nice bamboo boards. I chopped my asparagus with a smile tonight. They washed nicely in my. The variety of sizes is useful in my house and the large one has a juice groove too. It could easily double as a cheese and cracker tray for the holidays. The service was quick and overall I am quite satisfied with them. I hope that they last a long time. If you want to check them out for yourself, you can find them here.

Its getting late folks, and it has been a long busy day. I will see you soon my friends. Have a lovely evening and the sweetest of dreams. God Bless.