Thanks for visiting my blog. I have a strong belief in the preservation of family. I love keeping records and memorabilia of our family and everything we do. I have created a website to share some of the wonderful memories I have of my family and of many others that I have been blessed to have been behind the camera for. I invite you to visit my photography website, while you are there if you would like to schedule a photo setting all the information is there. I am a Scrap 4 Hire, which means, I will gladly preserve your family history for you. All you have to do is make the memories.... When you are done here, please visit

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oh, The Places You'll Go!!!!

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
by  Dr. Seuss
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.
All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Truly one of the most difficult aspects of my recovery journey was learning to be a friend to myself. There is a quote by Randall Jarrell that says, “If you have been put into your place long enough, you begin to act like the place.” All of my life, from childhood until I came to this program, other people had defined my self-worth and according to them I wasn’t worth much.

It was like I had this tug-of-war going on inside myself. Part of me felt worthless and another part of me was defiant and demanded that I be accepted and treated with respect. Unfortunately the defiant side came out just that way - defiant. Which did not endear me to anyone. Of course that rejection just added to my low self-esteem. Every time I compared myself to someone else I came up short. Every time I made a mistake, regardless of how small, it just confirmed that I was a looser in my own mind. I would beat myself up for the smallest of things. Even for things that weren’t even my fault.

It was through this program and these steps that I learned about self-acceptance. It was through this program and these steps that I began to understand, recognize and acknowledge how the events in my life had molded me to the person that I was at that time. It was through this program and these steps I learned that my past did not have to be my future. I know I harp about the program and these steps but, I am hear to tell you that that broken person above does not exist today because of this program and these steps.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just Not Perfect

I have taken on the task of making myself and hubby a quilt!!! Over the years, I made several twin size quilts for my kidlets, but never a larger one and never one for myself and hubby. Last year, I saw some fabric, that I just loved, and it happened to be on sale...Go figure. I decided I'd make a Queen sized quilt for myself and hubby.

Little did I know what a huge task this was going to be. I love denim jeans! I mean I really love denim jeans. So I collected all the jeans I could to make the back of this quilt. I cute squares, and squares, and more squares from all the jeans I collected. Then I began to sew them together. While I was sewing them I didn't realize the stretch that was happening. Strip by strip, I was loving how the denim was taking shape....Now it was time for the strips to be sewn together...This is where the frustration started to set in. The squares didn't fit together, perfectly. In the beginning I was frustrated. I unpicked and unpicked, and then sorta gave up. All the strips ended up back in the box, and I didn't work on them for months.

One day, I had the thought that the quilt might look good with the squares misaligned. I started sewing strips together again. Finally the day came, when it was time to put the back on the quilt frames. Much to my surprise, and my heartache. The denim back was a mess!!!! It wouldn't fit right on the frame. I was heart broken. To make it worse, my family all knew of my disaster. Not only was I heartbroken, but I was embarrassed. Quickly, I crumbled up the denim blocks that only a few minutes ago I was so happy about, and tossed it in the box.

Fast forward more than a year later, because there isn't much to tell about a bunch of denim blocks collecting dust. I was impressed with how I could fix the blocks and make them work out. I procrastinated this impression for several months. Finally, this past week, I found the courage to try again. 

I unpicked the bad blocks and resewed them the way my mind guided me. Nope it isn't perfect. There is nothing about this quilt that is perfect. Yesterday I spent several hours, setting the quilt back up on my quilt frames. 

Here's a picture of the denim blocks...As I was setting the denim  back on to the frame I seriously considered throwing it away. I considered starting over, and figuring out how to right my wrongs. My dear friend said something to me. She said, "There is no right or wrong in art." My thought in reply, is this quilt wouldn't win any awards at the county fair. Although, my response is likely true, is my thought a thinking error or not????

Here is the reason I'm posting this post...First, I love my quilt. I love the flaws in my quilt. I'm not secure enough to show off my quilt, or enter it in the county fair. Here is what I learned from my quilt. I learned that the pioneer women that laid the foundation for me to be here making my own quilt. Their quilts are beautiful, but certainly not perfect. My quilt can be too. I learned, it's perfectly alright for me not to be perfect! Every time I look at my not perfect quilt, I will be lovingly reminded that I can create something beautiful and it doesn't have to be perfect. I love to tie quilts, I don't particularly like to quilt and that's great. I'm doing what I love, not what everyone else is doing. 

As I write this, I feel like I want to make another large quilt...I want to try again. I want to make it better. I want to enjoy creating and becoming good at being a modern pioneer in my own life.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Restless Mind Syndrome

Over the weekend I have found my mind, whirling. I have even caught a few sleepless nights, with what I call "Restless Mind Syndrome."

I'm not even sure how to put into words, what I'm going through. It is definitely a struggle between my 'good' angel on one shoulder and the 'evil' angel on the other.  I feel a pull towards something, and I desire to follow that pull. My problem is I don't know what I'm being pulled towards.

I have a strong desire to do certain things, which aren't really relevant to talk about here. They aren't relevant because your walk is different than mine. You need to follow your sense, and I need to follow mine. That's just the point. Following a sense, seems to be rather simple, at least most of the time. 

My sense is vague, and is requiring faith. It's like I'm only given a small, small sense at a time. It isn't a sense that is making me feel anxiousness, or desirous  to know more. Somehow, I know, I really know, that I am being given a piece at a time, and all I need to do, is this one little doable piece. There is peace in the pieces....
Everyday, all day, I have a sense to do something, and I just do it. Pretty simple. So totally, out of my character flaws, so out of my co-dependent mindset. Meanwhile, my mind is stuck in high creative, Restless Mind Syndrome. 

Friday, March 1, 2013


I was so wounded, so lost, so insecure that I did not know how to be in healthy relationships with other people. When I met someone I liked, or that I was drawn to, I would try (a sub-conscious decision by the way) to reinvent myself to be what I thought they would like. My focus was on what I needed to do to make them happy. Over and over again I would sacrifice myself. I did things I did not want to do or even like, just to make them like me. It never worked by the way. Oh they took what I had to offer and used me. But the relationship was always lopsided. I gave they took.

Really? Hello! What in the heck was I thinking? Dysfunctional relationships usually don’t come without warnings! Now it is as clear as day. But at the time it never occurred to me that, if I was not being true to myself, if I had to pretend to be something I wasn’t that maybe I should reevaluate this relationship. Or maybe I should not go there at all.

I was carrying around a lot of baggage when I came into this program. I had contempt and self-pity for myself - anger, resentment and jealously for others. These amazing steps helped me to heal. The first Step was a reality check. My life and how I lived it was out of control. In Steps 2 and 3 I found the power source - God- for my healing and restoration. When I surrendered myself and my life to God’s care, I got myself out of the way so that the necessary changes in me that needed to be made could me made.

My life reconstruction began in Steps 4 and 5. For the first time I began to recognize and understand the right and wrong in myself and in my relationships. In steps 8 and 9 I was able to forgive myself and others for shame and guilt of sins past. With that forgiveness came healing and restoration.

I love, love, love this program and these Steps. The steps use the word we, our, us and God. Folks this tells “us” we are not alone. Looking around my recovery community I could see that there have been others before me that have been through all that I have been through and more. They not only survived, but they have a good life. That told me two things - I did not have to be held captive to my past hurts and mistakes and that I did not have to fight this battle alone.

I am not unique. Neither is my story. There are people in cities everywhere with some version of my story. I share my life’s journey and expose life’s ups and downs most every day on this page for one reason only. Hope. There is truly hope for anyone that wants it. But you have to want it bad enough to give this program a try.

I have learned that I am not perfect and never will be. I have learned to get back up when I fall down. I have found unconditional friendship and support. And, I have found peace, joy and laughter in my life.

If you have enjoyed what you've read, I would like to invite you to share this post on your social media sites. Thank you for your support.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


We all have weaknesses, these weaknesses lead to addictions if left unworked with. We all know what weaknesses are within ourselves. For me, I spent so many years trying to cover them up, and to compensate that my life literally became a lie. When I came into recovery I didn't know what the truth was, or even how to tell the difference between my lies and the truth. This was a very scary realization. It also made me wonder if I could be successful in recovery, sometimes I still wonder. 

The lies we tell out of our own sense of realization and self-preservation become woven in the core of our DNA. In order to break these lies, up into parts that we can deal with we must first and foremost admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable as I am living it.

When I was first, looking at my life coupled with the lies that made up my reality I discovered that even though life sucked and was very dark and scary, it was familiar, it was safe, it was predictable. At this point in time, I had to make a choice. It is the same choice I have to make every day, sometimes several times a day. The choice of do I was to heal from my addictions or live in my safe predictable Hell. As I come to admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable I can choose to stay in recovery.

It takes a lot of courage and self evaluation to honestly come to the moment of realization that I am powerless.  It takes even more courage to come to the place where you are willing to give up the safety, familiarity, and predictability of the Hell of your life.  
For me, recovery is only possible in the moments that I am honest, and admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable. 

Life has offered me many opportunities this past couple weeks to turn my will over to God. Honestly, most days I haven't done very well. I have stepped back in and taken over, and thought I have had the power to control my situations. Through, these experiences I have come to realize that I am powerless to control my life, the life of my family, and that I need to work on building more faith in my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that I can trust that I can come through these struggles with peace in and through them. 

In the quiet moments through my days, it is so hard not to want for things to be different. It is almost impossible not to utter a silent prayer to God, to take my struggles away. I have even gone as far to “justify” God taking my struggles away, to make things easier for my family.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Moment of Clarity

I have been able to move past a place where admitting my powerlessness felt like a forecast of doom and dread to a place where admitting my powerlessness is welcomed with a sense of peace, and a feeling of being uplifted. 

This morning my daughter came to me and confessed that she had not done a big assignment for English which was due today. Immediately I kicked into my co-dependent mode. Trying to figure out what I could do to get the assignment done. My words on the other hand, were strange as they came out of my mouth...I said things like:
"Tell me about the assignment."
"In what ways do you want my help?"
"Send me the questions."

I could hear my words loud and clear, they were separate from the way I was feeling. Very separate, my insides were scrambling, the clock was ticking, and my nerves were crackling. 

Through, the craziness of my emotions, I felt the sense to go to a box of family history and gather a birth certificate. Once I opened the box, plainly there was a gift for me. A copulation of family history stories, just like the ones my daughter needed to do her assignment.

All of a sudden I realized, this was my assignment. My assignment is to know, to really know that I am not alone. That my Heavenly Father loves me, and knows me and my needs. He has prepared a way for me. He has given me the ultimate give of my family before me, that still loves to serve me, just as they did while they were here with me. 

My daughter was now ready for school, and we sat together and went through her assignment. We were able to get a decent draft of the assignment together, and I sent her with the stories so she could continue to work on the assignment before it was due at school.

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father, for His steady hand within my heart. That I could knowingly feel the separation between how He was asking me to feel and act, opposed to the feelings and actions I take within my co-dependent behavior. I am also so very thankful to my family who guided me this morning from their Heavenly Perch, so that I could have this moment of clarity.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Probably one of the most valuable gifts during my healing journey, to me was self awareness. Until I understood the problem honestly, I was at a complete loss to help myself. For example my need to control. It was through self awareness that I realized my control issues were fear induced. 

My fear is being afraid that I am going to lose something I have; or not get something I want. Fear distorted how I saw the world; and how I thought that the world saw me. I lived in a constant state of alertness always on guard.

As we are approaching gardening season, I've been considering the commitments I've made to my garden, my family, and my life. If I don't want a weed to grow back I never just pull the top off, I must pull it up by the root. I also have an obligation to teach this principle to my children. What further lessons, can be taught as well? Admitting the Exact nature of my wrongs is pulling these self-destructive problems out by the roots. Step 4 and 5 do not allow self-deception. Without cleansing myself through self-honesty and self-forgiveness, my destructive behaviors will just lie dormant waiting for the first opportunity to come back & come back they will, just like all weeds will. (Idea concept borrowed from Co-dependent Life)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reverse Your Thinking

There isn't much to say today, that video doesn't profoundly say on it's own. I want to invite you to take this moment a consider reversing your thinking...Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tender Mercies

I have had the opportunity to recognize the tender mercies the Lord is offering in my life. It is sometimes difficult to put in words what these tender mercies are, but I want to share with you what I can.

I've been given a heart of simplicity, in that I have found a willingness to let go, and let God. I know many of us in recovery have heard "Let Go, and Let God" What does that mean, and how do I do it??? Were my on going questions, but not anymore. I can't tell you what it means or how to do it, but I can tell you He will.

In this new found place of willingness, I can see His hand in my life through His tender mercies. For example, I decided I wanted to buy something that I didn't have the money for. Therefore, I decided to sell something that means a lot to me. Having put forth several efforts to sell this item, there was no interest. Yesterday, a check arrived in the mail that was completely unexpected and $33.02 less than what I wanted. WOW! what a blessed tender mercy. Praise be to God...

I have been blessed with some special angels in my life recently. Kind, loving, sincere, honest ladies that all seem to have similar goals to mine. All on vastly different knowledge levels than mine. How could I be blessed more, than to not have to travel on my journey of simplicity alone? Within that, simplicity is built in, because I don't have to reinvent the wheel, per say. I just have to trust and love in return.

I urge you to look for the tender mercies in your life, and follow them with a true passion and a gratitude for Him who sent them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cowboy Caviar

This morning I am going to offer you one of my most popular recipes...First how does a recipe contribute to my recovery? When I am in my addiction, I don't create, I don't love. I just sit in my misery. This recipe for Cowboy Caviar, is special because it is meant to be shared...When I'm in my addiction, I don't share! 

For anyone reading this, I challenge you to make Cowboy Caviar this weekend, when you do realize you are creating...creating opportunities to share, and to love. Enjoy!

I am finding that the more I am willing to share my life and my love with others willingly the more I can withstand the temptations of my weaknesses. 

I actually, have taken more time to spend in the kitchen. On Sunday morning I made eight meals for my family and stored them in the freezer. I'm so excited to use them. But I also love them in the freezer, and I'm way hesitant to use them. Obviously, that's another post...LOL

So I hope you are off to make your own sharing bowl of Cowboy Caviar...Let me know what amazing experiences you have when you serve it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The subject of forgiveness brings out strong emotions for many of us. For me, forgiveness was different in different circumstances. Sometimes I made a decision to forgive and I did just that. Other times it took time and effort to come to that conclusion. I wanted to forgive so that I could be free. At the same time I did not think it was fair to let them off the hook. Sometimes my anger made me feel safe from them. In order to forgive I had to work through all that.

Sometimes I have even fantasied the person that hurt me begging for my forgiveness. I pictured them having profound regret and sorrow for what they had done. But the truth of the matter is that some of the people that hurt me had no regret and they could have cared less if I forgave them or not. So where did that leave me. For a long time it left me in the clutches. Just thinking about them hurt me all over again.

But then I found these Steps. It was through these steps that I learned how to forgive. In Steps 4 & 5 I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it was not my fault. I learned how to see myself in a balanced way. Not all good and not all bad. I was able to see how much time and energy I gave to this hurt and I was able to see why I felt it was necessary to hang onto my resentment.

Thanks to these Steps I learned to love myself and I learned to not allow or accept abuse from others. Abuse was not okay. I learned that I could forgive you and at the same time not allow you in my life. Forgiveness did not mean that we had to be friends or even in a relationship. I did not know that before. In forgiving I was moving on without you and without no residual negative influence from you. I also learned that forgiveness, many times, could not fix things as if they had never happened. They did happen; so now what? Forgiveness was my decision to no long be sick; to no longer be a victim; to no longer be under your control. You may not have changed, but through forgiveness I did and I was moving on.

For me forgiveness was just like most everything else in this program; it was a process. Every once in a while, pain from old wounds will sneak up on me and momentarily trigger old feelings. When this happens I immediately go on alert to things happening in my life. What happened that made me feel threaten. Why has this resurfaced? Something is going on that I need to pay attention to. When this happens I go back to the Steps and I do a mini inventory. There is always a reason. I am no longer afraid or naive about the world around me. Thanks to these Steps I have a new respect for myself and that means I am no longer willing to accept unacceptable in my life. Co-dependent Life 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Farmhouse Chic

Sorry, I missed you on Friday. I've been struggling with a seasonal cold, and I'm just not shaking it very well. Thanks for bearing with me. 

Alright, I've been working toward to simplifying my life, through offering myself and my family opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty around us. And through my not so sublet withdrawal from the mainstream world around us.

Today, I'm going to walk you though this adorable Farmhouse Chic, hand soap dispenser that I made.
First I cut a hold in the center of a mason jar lid. I just used a kitchen paring knife. I'm not sure that I would recommend a paring knife for those of you that might tend to cut yourself, like I am prone to...

Once you have a hole, sufficient enough to place the hand pump through, go ahead an position it the way that looks best to you, and begin to glue it in place. I used a superglue, that promised to glue metal and plastic. I assumed it would bond fast, but surprise it didn't. I had to be patient and wait, and hold the soap pump and the lid together for a bit. 
I assumed it would bond fast, but surprise it didn't. I had to be patient and wait, and hold the soap pump and the lid together for a bit. 
Once the bond seemed to be holding, I propped it up against the jar. Where I let it dry for a couple hours, while I made dinner.
Once the soap dispenser was completely dry, I ran a bead of glue around the ring of the lid and  glued it to the seal. Now I wouldn't recommend just twisting your lid on now. I held mine together for a while, until they bonded. Then I placed them on the rack in my food dehydrator for several hours to aid in the drying. I don't know if that's necessary, but it worked for me. 
The next morning I filled the jar with hand soap, and placed the lid on the jar....I couldn't resist, I washed my hands! This little Farmhouse Chic hand soap jar is so much fun to use, and it's so cute to look at.

I highly recommend making one of these right away. It has added a special yet simple little something to our home.
There really is so much I can add to the joy of my family, that doesn't take away from their growth and agency. There is beauty all around.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


“Some may regard the quality of character known as honesty to be a most ordinary subject. But I believe it to be the very essence of the gospel. Without honesty, our lives . . . will degenerate into ugliness and chaos”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Believe in Being Honest,” Ensign, Oct. 1990, 2).

Being honest with myself is so challenging for me. I know that sounds harsh, and kinda strange, but let me explain. I grew my life, based on one lie after another. My mind naturally created, stories to keep my lies together, thus keeping my life from falling apart. 

When I started working on the ARP program, I didn't even realize my life was such a lie. As I started to take the first couple of steps, and begun to realize the lies. I also, realized that not only had my life become unmanageable, the lies were falling apart. The Lord was offering me two choices. To begin, a healing journey back to Him, in which I gave up the lies willingly. Or, He was going to allow my life of lies to continue to fall apart, and I would get to suffer the consequences of my life crumbling in front of me.

At this moment all I knew was lies. In fact, I didn't even know the depth of the lies. There wasn't any truth in my life, not that I could even recognize it anyway. The darkness of knowing my life was built on lies was deeper, and darker than you could have ever imagined.

There was no way for me to escape it, not on my own anyway. It was like being lost in the forest, and not even being able to see the forest for the trees. If I was going to make it out of this, the Lord was going to have to do it. My life wasn't just unmanageable, it was unlivable. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Profound Trust

This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.
Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 16

This is a very challenging action for me to take. I become emotionally charged very quickly, for some reason when my emotions run wild my trust in the Lord seems to become blinded. How strange is that? So, how do I keep my emotions in check so that my trust and faith can keep me connected to Christ and His teachings?

Personally, I have found that if I choose to pray always, keep my mouth in check, (if I shut up, I don't get as emotional), ready uplifting materials, listen to calming music, and keep my goals of staying close to Christ in mind; that my emotions follow suite and I do not get so emotionally charged when those times come that could easily set me off.

What works for you?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rear View Mirror

Please forgive me, I'm running a bit behind today. I've been feeling a bit under the weather this weekend. Since, I've been running in almost reverse this weekend, I've had some time to ponder what is in the rear view mirror. 

I'm so thankful, my past is behind me. I'm more thankful I can still see it, and know that it's there. As dark, and ugly as it is there is a reflection of motivation and forward motion staring at me. Every time I look back, there is a voice in the shadows whispering there is no room for you here.

As I've changed, as I've let go I can see there is a lot of wide open spaces for me. I've had people leave my life, that I wasn't expecting to. I've had some really fabulous people come into my life.

Last evening a new friend of mine called and said she was ready to separate her Keifer, and wanted to know if I want some. "Sure." I said. 

I, actually, have  no idea what to do with Keifer. It looks and smells gross. It is going to take some courage to even try it. But since, it has come into my life through this dear friend, I will try it, maybe only once, and maybe it will be a gift I'll rejoice for in years to come. 

As I reflect on the image of myself in the rear view mirror, I have come so far. I can feel Christ's forgiveness of me and my life. I can feel Him lift me up, and hold me when life gets hard. 

I still have my fears, but they are put to ease so much easier. I know that everything will work out, not because it always has, but because I'm not behind the wheel any more. 

My life has possibility, and my strength is in Him.

Friday, February 8, 2013


"The simplest form of charity is a kind word. You never know what experiences that person has had to endure in life and a kind word could make all the difference to them."--Unknown

I read this on someone's FaceBook page yesterday, and it occurred to me just how profound that statement is. (I want to thank this person for sharing.) You see, yesterday I committed to doing something that way out of my comfort zone. I mean so far out of my comfort zone, I couldn't even see where my comfort zone was. I had prepared for this experience, for almost a year. During which time, I had talked my self out of doing it, and back to being committed to doing it everyday. Yesterday, was my day. I spent the morning putting the final touches on my project, and prepared it for it's destination. 

I realized that I needed to go to the bank and cash a check...Ok, well that was an excuse for holding off just a little bit longer. I'm so thankful, that the Lord was watching out for me. I pulled up to the drive-thru at the bank where I was met by a kind woman, with a smile on her face, and a song in her voice. I don't think she was specifically kind for my benefit, it was just her nature. 

As I drove away, I audibly said, to no one in particular... "People can be nice to me, for no reason." I felt a surge of courage, and hope in my heart. It was just what I needed to finish my project, and send it on to it's next stop. I'm so thankful to this kind woman for the gift she gave me, just when I needed it. I'm also so very thankful to Christ, for His hand in helping this woman live up to her privilege. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Birth...

Although, we are still knee deep in snow and cold where I live; this new birth of Spring is starting to peak through the snow drifts. Yesterday afternoon we welcomed our first new baby goat of the season. 
I'm glad to say that both Momma and baby are doing great. 
Spending the majority of the past 24 hours sitting in a straw bed in our Goat Hut, has given me a lot of time to think about my life. What a sweet little momma this baby has. Even though she is just a first time momma she is kind and love, and oh is she ever protective. How is it, that momma's have that natural instinct to be there, and be everything for their little babies?

A huge difference, is this goat momma, was lovingly encouraging to her baby to eat, to stand, to talk a step or two; to survive. Meanwhile, I've spent so many years doing what is opposite of this instinct, but for the same reasons as this momma goat. I love my children, I want them to be strong, and successful. I now believe there is something very powerful to following your mother's instinct. 

How does Christ, teach us through our natural instincts?

In the talk; “Called to Serve”, Neal A. Maxwell, Brigham Young University on 27 March 1994.
“In the revelations the Lord speaks of how the voice of his spirit will be felt in our minds. For me, the message is not a whole discourse, but a phrase or a sentence. The Lord says also if we read his words, meaning the scriptures, we will hear his voice. Many here have had private moments of pondering and reading the scriptures when the words "come through" in a clear, clarion way. We know Who it is speaking to us! We've all had the experience of going over a scripture many times without having it register. Then, all of a sudden, we're ready to receive it! We hear the voice of the Lord through his words.
So it is in the process of discipleship. There are more meaningful moments than we use profitably, just as in terms of Christian service there are more opportunities around us than we now use. God is ever ready, if only we were always ready.

With the budding spring on the horizon, I know that my new life is budding as well. For me, I know that I must listen intently, search profoundly, and follow my natural instinct with pure love. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


“Taking the First Step” is not a matter of reading the words “…admitted we were powerless…” but of impressing them so deeply on our consciousness that the admitting will be established as part of our way of thinking and feeling.

We may read and repeat this Step hundreds of times, and still fail to use it in the way we think and act.  If we really accept the fact that we have no authority or power over any other human being, we would not try to compel your loved one to do what we want him to.  Have I attained this frame of mind?  Can I make myself let go of the problem?

I will look back upon all the things I have done to make my loved one stop using or behaving the way he does.  Has it produced one iota of improvement to scold, weep, complain, accuse, reason, appeal or threaten?  Am I any better off today for indulging in these futile gestures?  Is my loved one any closer to changing?  Or is the situation worse?

“I pray for the wisdom to realize that progress begins only when I am ready to detach myself from the idea that I alone can control and solve another’s problems.”

Only when I turn to God can He direct my path. (One Day At A Time)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


One of the most powerful activities I've found to be motivating to me and my recovery is becoming a Prepper. Not in a doomsday, sorta way, but in a lifestyle sorta way.

In my recent posts you can see that I have started making my own laundry soaps, dishwasher soap, hand soap, and so on. I love it. I love the simplicity! I love how I can teach my children to become more self-sufficient. Spending time with my family, teaching them to become more self-sufficient, is the total opposite of co-dependency! There is a new sense of love and joy in teaching. I'm so excited to see my children grow, in a way that builds their self-confidence. Subsequently, I have a "real" sense of success knowing I am giving them something they can do for themselves. 

I'm getting ready to order my first round of heirloom seeds. I've not planted a garden in many, many years. Let me tell you my motivation for using heirloom seeds this year. Growing this garden, is like growing my new life. The seeds are key. My life is a seed right now, in need of light, love, nutrients, love, water, and more love, along with some tender loving care. The extra special thing about the heirloom seeds, is that at the end of this growing season I will have the opportunity to prepare the seeds I harvest from my plants to be stored and planted next season.

I have the opportunity to grow and regrow year after year. I have the opportunity to prepare and nurture my children in the same way. 

I want to invite you to come along with me this whole growing season, and share in the beauty of watch my new life bloom.
I also want to invite you to come over to the Homestead Barn, and visit with all the wonderful contributors to the Barn Hop that they are currently presenting. There is a endless flow of ideas to simplify your life, and to build a provident life for your family.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Resentments were like a cancer eating me from the inside out, yet I struggled with letting go. The 4th Step helped me see my pay-off for hanging on to them. One of several reasons is that they served as a guard dog to protect me from the people that had hurt me. My anger and resentment held them at arms length. What I did not realize is that even though I maybe holding them at arms length they still owned me. By not forgiving and holding on to my resentments I allowed the people that hurt me to keep hurting me even after they had moved on. If I wanted to heal and be free I had forgive them and let go of my resentments. (I'm borrowing this thought from Codependent Life-A Facebook Page)

In all honesty, sometimes, I find it hard to put words to my feelings. This morning as  I read this thought, I realized she was describing me. First, I want to express my gratitude to a wonderful Father in Heaven. Feeling this emotional connection to the wonderful Facebook contributor, means to me that I'm not a lone in my pain, and that Heavenly Father Knows me, and has paved my path with beautiful angels for me on my journey.

Coming back to yesterday's post, I'm so thankful for the void of resentments in the ending of this long standing relationship. I've learned so much, I've grown so much and I'm so thankful that this relationship ended the way that it did. I'm thankful I stayed present through the pain, and realized my powerlessness to be here now.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Old Thinking Patterns

My hubby and I are dissolving a working relationship with someone. There are some financial issues that still need to be finalized. Last year, there was an agreement as to how we would handle this financial situation. Now because of the dissolution of this relationship, I had become quit concerned about this outstanding financial issue.

In my concern, old thinking patterns have arose. Not a surprise, is it? This person hasn't fulfilled any of their obligations to this point, and I have no reason to believe that they will fulfill this one either. Out of my fear of loss, and my need for everything to be done "my way," my mind started racing with demands, and hurling insults.

Last night, as the conversation again confronted this financial issue, my mind started whirling with that same fear based demands. A new feeling became obvious in the mix of the old thinking and feeling patterns. What was this feeling? It was holding me back, in every second the feeling gained power, gained peace. The feeling was void of the fight, simply void of the fight.

Alright, so what if this financial issue doesn't get resolved the way I want it to? What choices does it leave me with? In circular fashion, begs the eternal question, "What do I have to lose?"

At this moment, God is granting me serenity, to know that I shouldn't be so demanding, and that I currently have unrealistic expectations. I can not change this, and secretly He promts, I might not want to. In this moment, I've been blessed with wisdom. I have the faith to know, that the Lord is mindful of me and my needs in ways I can't comprehend. 

Greg Olsen Copyright
May Angels Walk With You

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Know When To Hold 'Em

In 1978 Kenny Rogers recorded the song the Gambler. There is much to learn from the lyrics of that song. The chorus says You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, Know when to walk away and know when to run. The next verse says E’vry gambler knows that the secret to survivin is knowing’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep, Cause every hand’s winner and every hand’s a loser, and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

I read these words today, and they sang a special song to my soul. Of course, I want to share that with you. As a Mom I tend to always want to hold on, and hold on I have. I had a belief that if I held on I could prevent my children from feeling the pains for failure. While I was holding on and avoiding failure, I also held on so tight that I prevented my children from enjoying their success. Looking back that is a hard truth for me to accept. 

Now, I strive to "invite" my children to join me, in projects that I have no idea how they will turn out. I've learned that my daughter hesitates to tell me no, even though it isn't reasonable for her to join in the project with me, due to something she thinks is important, like homework....She is afraid of hurting my feelings, or more so she afraid of my flipping out and being angry. She has every right to feel this way, it is going to take me a LONG time to earn her trust. 

I can say the same thing about my hubby. He's the most patient, and accepting person. He's had to be to live through my co-dependency, but more so my recovery. Since I've hid from my pain, and held on to it for so long, I have a hard time dealing with it now when it raises it's head.

The secret to what to throw away and what to keep, is highly personal, but I want to share a story with you. Many years ago, when I was fresh, fresh, fresh in recovery. I didn't even realize where I was. I was lead by an angel who one day asked me, a question. This question has proven to be one of the most important questions in all of my recovery. He asked, "What do you have to lose?" Deep in my own victimstance, my answer was EVERYTHING!, I frantically started to ramble off in my head what I had to lose, topping my list was ...My marriage... Even though my hubby and I had a decent loving marriage, it was still better than anything else I'd had in my life. Instead of looking at it like that, I wish I would have seen that I could throw away a marriage built on my lies, my fantasies, and my blindness to reality. 

Over the next coming years, I've let that marriage go! My hubby and I of 17 years are happier, and better off. WHY? I am becoming more honest, more honest with myself, and more honest with him. I learned to be willing to throw away, what I need to and keep the rest. Every hand is a winner, if I choose it to be, and every hand is a looser if I hold on to all the wrong stuff.

I have grown so much in my love and my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ through my recovery journey home to Him. I know He knows me personally, He loves me, and He wants me to be encircled in His atoning arms of love. I also know that He wants these things for you too.

May Angels Walk With You.   

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Simplicity at it's Funnest...

Alright, I'm sure you've seem all the DIY cleaners on Pintrest and one some of the coolest blogs out there. I finally decided to take the plunge and make my own laundry soap. This is how it turned out...
It was so simple to make, and so easy to use. I have a sense of purpose every time I do a load of laundry. I am helping my family, my community, and the earth her self in a healthy way. 

Not only have I found a healthy way to serve others, it's also so simple. It drives me crazy how complicated I used to make thing...

Monday, January 28, 2013


I don't know about you, but I find it insanely crazy to set priorities. I want to do everything, and I want it done NOW! It's just that simple.

Currently, I have a pile of recipes strewn all over my desk. I have taken on the task to weed out the ones I don't really use, and organize the rest. I have also decided to make a digital recipe collection in Photoshop CS5. Which means, I'm creating all the recipe cards, and creating the recipe on each one of them. Like the example of the picture below. 

I also Digital Scrapbook for my family, and for clients...I have several projects that I'm working on. Here's one of my favorites.

I also have a wood project, I'm working on for my daughter's birthday, (which was last week), still unfinished on the kitchen table.

It looks like this...
...but it is supposed to look like this. 
(and it will when it's finished)

Four days ago, I adopted an Orphaned Piglet...He has taken more work than any of my little babies combined...He's a little cutie, and he's impossible to resist. 
Yep, you guessed it, he's in the house. He is 1 of 11 born in his litter, but the first night they all froze to death except for this little guy. Then his mother rejected him. 

I also have all the regular family obligations, cooking, cleaning, playing, studying. Did I mention I'm writing two books. They started as one, but somewhere in the middle made a division. Last, but not least it's tax season. Yeah!

Alright,  just like my usual style, I have way to many irons in the fire. It's a huge part of my co-dependent nature. I find myself here on a regular basis, I'd think I'd learn my limitations, but I don't. Somewhere inside, I have a deep "love" for jumping in with both feet. 

Some days, I love my life, and all the irons in the fire. Some days, like today when I've sleep deprived, I find that I've taken on to much and that my life is unmanageable as I am living it. There are days when I have to set back and truthfully, and honestly evaluate, what I can control, what is important and where some of the "crazy" snuck  back into my life. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Relationships End

Over the past 17 years I became deeply invested in a very personal relationship. My to my surprise without any notice the relationship ended in August 2012. I was devastated. At the moment it was one of the biggest loses I've ever experienced.

Over the course of this relationship, the other person was and is very toxic. I would threaten to end the relationship, but I never followed through. Mainly, because the relationship feed my co-dependency. It gave me purpose. I had someone to "fix." Over the years of emotional roller coasters, and  their push me away, pull me in control issues, I just kept trying to make things better. 

Even after I was in recovery I didn't recognize the toxicity of this relationship. I didn't realize how cruel and manipulative this person is to me.  A couple years ago, I sat down several times to have what I call "check in" meetings with this person. During these check in meetings, I would talk about some of the self awareness I was discovering in myself, and subsequent changes I'd like to invite into our relationship. In word, things seems bright, and hopeful. I would also sit down with my children and explain changes I'd like to invite into our family.

Let me tell you a funny lil side story. I had to develop these check in meetings, because I'd make changes in my heart and in my mind and just ASSUME that my family and friends would be able to read my mind and just some how know the path I was on, and know the changes I wanted made...FUNNY-CRAZY right? Right! Besides the check in meetings, I will also wave my arms and exclaim "That reminds me..." I can still see my families eyes roll just thinking about what will come out of my mouth next....

Anyway, back on track...

A couple weeks later another emotional roller coaster ride, and there I'd go again fixing and rebuilding. Another check in meeting, and another discussion---Much to my pleasant surprise, sometimes the other person would initiate these check in meetings. 

Through, this I somehow turned a blind eye, that this wasn't the life the other person wanted. I started to create an imaginary relationship in my heart of bliss, equality, and growth. I continued to strive to build a healthy relationship, and overlook the ever present toxicity on our relationship. 

This unrealistic expectations of this relationship couldn't hold up, again much to my surprise, I used to be able to float along for a very long time on unrealistic expectations. I asked for another check in meeting, in an attempt to apologize for my expecting to much. I also explained that I would not ride the emotional roller coaster again ever! I explained how painful it was for me to see this person in a bad emotional place and how I wanted the best for them...I went on and talked for a while. (I can do that)

So the separation begins, and unknown to me, this was the final nail in the coffin of the relationship. My dear friend tested, and tested my promise to never ride the emotional roller coaster again. I will tell you, this was the hardest promise I've ever attempted to keep. I weakened at times, and tried to keep the lines of communication open.

One afternoon, much to everyone's surprise, especially this person I stood up for myself. I stood hard. The person walked out and never to speak to me again. Five months later, I'm still reeling from the lose of the relationship. But I realized I'm sad for the lose of the imagined relationship, not the real, yet toxic one.

I've continued an open conversation about this with my hubby, who is the greatest man in my life. Otherwise, I haven't talked about this until here. As you can tell, I'm being very protective of the person and their identity. Some of the readers here will know who this is, and I ask you to please don't ask me about it. I'm still in a very emotional place about the relationship and I can't talk objectively about it yet.

My point of telling you this, is in many ways I can't imagine how this other person couldn't let go of their emotional issues and stand on their own. On the other hand, I feel extremely guilty for feeding the monster inside this other person. When I met this person, they came with huge baggage, and I made sure from the begging I set ground rules that I wouldn't cross. I wonder if I would have played a different role in their life, would they have turned out stronger and more able to stand on their own???? (Ifin' and wishin')

I challenge you to take a serious look at the important relationships in your life, and the role that you actually play.