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Friday, May 27, 2016

Food For Thought Friday: Making a Difference

Normally on Fridays we do recipes or share foodie ideas but today I'm doing something a bit different because I was impacted in a huge way yesterday and wanted to share.

My husband and I were in the grocery store yesterday. We don't have much to spend right now so we were carefully picking out what we needed until we had some extra cash. As we were unloading our cart, the woman in front of us seemed very distressed and broke down. At first, we thought that she may not have had enough money to pay for her groceries but when I noticed she had five kids with her (all under Jaimie's age), I had that 'Mom Feeling' that it was something more than that.

I wanted to go to her right away but I know how it feels when people approach you to help. Some of us get very defensive. I am one of those people.

"I can take care of it myself. I don't need help." 

You know what I mean...

So I waited a few minutes before going up and offering my help. She was an evacuee from the Fort McMurray fires and was frazzeled about her kids running around, one making a huge issue about wanting cake icing that mom couldn't afford and the other four were wandering all over. It was a Mommy Breakdown.

I've been there.

There's nothing worse than being on your own, trying to keep it together when you don't have someone there to help. I have four kids. I've had to go to the grocery store with two SPD/Autistic kids, a toddler and one strapped to my chest while trying to maintain calmness...on...my...own.

So, I took the chance and went up to her. The kids seemed responsive to me (except the one having a tantrum about not getting icing. lol), and she did too. I helped her load her groceries onto her stroller, as she lived close enough to walk home, and another wonderful woman helped too. Afterwards, not only did the woman who helped out offer money to this woman but my husband and I helped her out too.

We don't have much, but if there is someone else who needs more, that's what you do. I told the woman that I understand what it's like to lose everything but still have to have the strength to move on. I applauded her strength and gave her a hug.

This really hit home for me in so many ways.

Please...reach out to someone in need once in a while. Even if all you do is smile at some stranger, sometimes that's all it takes to make their day.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Talk About It Tuesday: Crutches

Crutches.

From a psychological stand point, it refers to actions or things that you turn to as a coping method. Some are more harmful than others, obviously. And more addictive.

For some of us, it's spending. For others it's video games or cell phone time. For others it can be darker like eating disorders, drinking, drugs or hurting ourselves in other ways. In the short term, turning to some sort of crutch can be comforting, but you know what? In the long term, it takes a toll.

It takes a toll on health.

It takes a toll on family.

It takes a toll on mental health.

It takes a toll on how you feel and view the world.

It takes a toll on relationships.

It takes a toll on the things that mean most to you.

I have my own crutches. I am aware of them. I control them or they start to control me, and THAT is what you need to do. The key is to turn to more positive ways to cope because those crutches are very strong and powerful. But YOU are more powerful than they are.

When they call to you, go for a walk. Write. Listen to music. Go in your garden, Do yoga. Meditate. Do a positive, calming action to counteract the negative.

I do it every day.

Crutches.

It's time to put them down.

<3

Monday, May 23, 2016

Music Mantra Monday: Fab Fourever

Well, I am very excited to be able to connect with my favorite Beatles cover band EVER!

Not only do I enjoy and appreciate what they do, they are such gentle souls who truly love what they do and how others are affected by their music.

Next week, we will be dedicating every day to this band. We will be interviewing each band member, then have an entire day dedicated to them all together.

We did this a couple of years ago, but with some recent changes, they need an update from me. ;)

If you want a taste of what they are like, click HERE. Come back next Monday for the start of Fab Forever Week!

I am so proud of these guys...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Writing Sample Saturday: And Her Bird Can Sing

Blue Jays were my grandfather's favorite bird. And where we lived, we didn't get to see them very often. But when we did, we'd sit together...in silence...and enjoy its presence.

We all need that in our lives. Moments where no matter how awful the world may seem, or the crappy things we are forced to deal with, we are brought back to what life really is.

There will always be mean, angry people. There will always be violence. There will always be events that happen that are so horrific we can't fathom them. But you know what? There will always be peace too.

And love.

And ways to absorb these things into our lives.

These are the things that make us who we truly are. It's okay to get mad or 'lose it' once in awhile. No one on this planet is perfect, no matter what they think. It's not a reality, and trying to attain perfection is what causes the other negative things I mentioned. So don't try.

Today's post is a snippet from a Work-in-Progress about a young girl dealing with bullying. It's a subject close to my heart not only because my daughter, Jordy, goes through it but because I also went through it. Any experience we have here that can help others, I am more than open to create a story in order to reach out.

Have a great day, enjoy the sample and...go find a Blue Jay.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 28, 1980

Summer vacation. Finally!
Ten-year-old Chelsey Freedman tip-toed across the cool grass, still soaking with morning dew. Her bare feet flick tiny droplets of cool water onto the tops of her bare feet, but she didn’t care.  For the first time in almost a year she felt free…alive!
She stopped halfway between the fence surrounding the back yard of her townhouse and the community park a few yards away. She closed her eyes, breathing in the nippy early morning air, and raised her arms. She spun and spun, her pastel flower-patterned tank top sundress flowing out like one of those gorgeous gowns she’d seen ballerinas wear. She spun until the ground moved on its own causing her to crumple into the wet grass in a heap of giggles.
Chelsey lay there for a minute, staring up at the deep blue sky. The cottony clouds scattered here and there. Her dress was getting wet. So was her hair. And she just…didn’t…care. She made a grass dew angel, then scrambled up, running to the park.
The swing.
She needed to swing.
No one else was there so early in the morning so she got first pick. The middle one…yeah!! She backed into the swing, wet with dew, walked backwards until she was in the very tips of her tippy-toes, then jumped up into the seat.
Whoosh!
She pushed her legs up to the sky, leaning as far back as she could. Her waist-length strawberry blonde hair brushed against the ground beneath her as she pulled herself forward. Then she thrusted herself forward, tucking her legs tightly against the bottom of the swing, yanking back on the thick, cool chains. She repeated the motion several times until she got a strong rhythm going and she was swinging higher and higher.
Nothing mattered anymore.
The school year was over.
Swinging forward, her dress flowed up past her thighs. Going back forward, her thick hair covered her face. Her feet glistened, tiny blades of grass sticking to her toes and to the bottoms of her feet, but she didn’t care. She leaned as far back as she could on the upswing, closing her eyes as she enjoyed the tickling feeling in the pit of her stomach.
No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks…
Only it wasn’t the teachers’ looks Chelsey was relieved to be away from. As she pumped her legs, keeping the swing going, she tried being happy that Grade Four was finally over.
“Don’t look back,” her grandmother had always said. “There’s more to look forward to than what’s done behind us.”
Chelsey knew Grandma was right. But sometimes things that happened can make things about to happen a lot scarier. What if the same things happened in Grade Five? What if she sees some of those kids over the summer? What if she runs into Jill?
The tickles in her stomach turned into pain twinges. She tried making the pain disappear by pushing her legs as high and as hard as she could.  She spread her toes over the one cloud in the sky making it look as though she’d stepped in a hug blob of whipped cream.
Boy, if I go any higher, I’ll flip right over the bar!
The swing flew back down and she tucked her legs under her bum. Her body felt free, like she was going to fly. She closed her eyes, feeling her body being pulled back up. The swing bar squeaking with each move forward and back.
            She’d be safe now. Things had to get better, right?

            Her thoughts drifted back while she pumped.

Whoosh…whoosh…whoosh…

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Writing Prompt Wednesday:

Each of us has our on interpretation of 'Zen'.

For some of us, it is who surrounds us. For others, it's WHAT surrounds us (I am a water person who finds calmness in that...especially waterfalls). But you need to be in tuned with your personal Zen otherwise things can go in a direction you don't want them to go.

Trust me. I know.

Write about your person Zen today. What you turn to for calmness. Who you turn to for calmness. What brings you back down to earth. What connects you to earth.

Zen.

Video trailer for BLACKBIRD FLIES!


Video Trailor for JUST SHUT UP and DRIVE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRr-vJ8W7YA