Saturday, December 31, 2016

Compassion Void of Fear

I've been the person that hid from others' sharing of pain and stuffed down the fear it inspired in me by trying to passive/aggressively tell them to BE MORE POSITIVE.  I didn't realize until a mental breakdown that sometimes our bodies intervene in our white knuckle positivity to tell us no.  No, this is not okay.  No, past trauma will not be overruled by a painfully large smile.

What I thought was that worst of situations--being forced out of that forced happiness, turned out to be the key and hidden tunnel to kindness.  Compassion is something I used to white knuckle much of the time too.  I would hear something in church about it so I would try to picture those people I most found myself disgusted with and tried to picture how I could be loving about their choices.  I just couldn't picture it.  I thought if I pray loooonger, maybe it'll come to me.  Of course at the time, I didn't realize about the choices they were making that so bothered me had been indoctrinated in that same church setting where truth was quietly trying to keep up its whisper about love.  Sometimes the love part can be quieted and hidden by the loud list of rules and what is BAD.  So no wonder I couldn't reconcile the two.

The beauty I've learned or discovered that works for me in religion is that point where you hit the wall of conflict with the list of BAD vs the teaching to be kind.  Even in a church that bears his name it seems that a crossroad comes up that must be reckoned with whether we will actually give up everything to fully give in to the love he stands for or whether we will hold more tightly to the rules letting his essence fall to the wayside in payment for approval of the masses.

When there is blame around me by people who are scared of those who show pain, I wonder why?  Why was I so scared to face the dark, the pain the yang to my yin of happy happy happy?  I think it was fear.  Fear of compassion being a black hole, from which no hope would emerge.  Fear of compassion being something I wouldn't "do right," thereby worsening pain.  So like all things that are feared, courage to try despite possible failure is called for.  Fear, in all areas of life, shouldn't be the driving force.  It shouldn't pick our big life's choices, and it shouldn't pick our love.  Giving love can be a reward in itself no matter how it is received, so I challenge myself to keep taking that risk.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

This Moment's Manifests


I want to travel and write and be around beautiful things.  I want to find a sponsor to fly me to New York fashion week so I can write a piece that came floating into my head as I floated around the kiddie pool at our community center last night.  It was around 0 degrees outdoors, gosh I am so glad we have that place.

I want beautiful quilts in my home to have visual joy and inspire writing and thinking and relaxing and creative thought, which all seem to need each other to grow.

This is my year of focusing on HEALTH, so I'll be trying new things to boost that.  I started taking Turmeric capsules for inflammation from my lupus (I've noticed a light pain relieving effect), I ordered some lugol iodine and will see if there is anything noticeable from that.  I found a massage therapist I like here in our new hometown, so I plan to make that happen more regularly--I've made this week's appointment.  I have done 3 or 4 sessions of red light therapy.  Again results are light but I think helpful.

Anything I can do to help (and not hurt) this body along seems worth trying.  Gosh, I put it through so much having and nursing 4 kids for that 10 years.  Since most everybody does it (reproduce) I didn't give much credence to the toll it takes.  My body will never be the same, I understand that.  But I want to give it every boost that might help the coming years be as enjoyable and contributing to this world as possible.

And not DIE.

Geez, isn't that what we all want?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Dream of Tiny Houses

We've done this so many times...bigger apartment to smaller apartment, apartment to small house, small house to large house.

From my scrapbook: 2003 buying our first house, not realizing all the moves to come

Large house back to small apartment...

That last one is what started my descent into guilt for our reality show acting.  Little did I know that wouldn't be the last time we downsized while our family was growing.  It's just what we do.  When we sold our Omaha foreclosure remodel that we'd spent the last 4 years on we went from almost 4000 square feet back to less than 1000 here in our current basement apartment.  It required a big garage sale, furniture elimination, and a whole lotta hope.  But, it wasn't that hard emotionally and I actually really like the smaller-space lifestyle.

We'd like to get a remodel project or build a new house, but the dream we are looking to achieve is to stay in a very streamlined and efficient, small space.  It just suits us and opens up our lives for other things besides maintaining a house.  I was contacted by WETSTYLE to introduce their new line that was developed just for smaller space bathrooms.  In this time of Tiny House obsession, I think this is such a great move for them.  I'm excited to show you some of their ideas for maximizing storage in a tiny bathroom.

Since we just put in new bathroom tile and vanities at our last project I can attest that these "off the floor" vanity models are an incredible idea.  If I could bottle up and show you all the physical strain, and frustration we endured as we shimmied our vanities into the "tile hole" we'd made for them you'd laugh, I promise.  This idea looks lightweight, efficient, and way easier for keeping floors clean.

I love the whole set up.  Storage behind the mirror, storage under the sink, and best of all next to that slim tub, a modern sleek look.  This new line for us little house enthusiasts is called W2.  This link can direct you to a dealer near you.  I love that its made from natural materials (soy and mineral stone).  FYI, they are on Twitter and Pinterest.

It checks off so many things I look for in building materials, I was thrilled to work with them and feature it.  I'm curious how many of my readers are also into small rooms and houses or if you want something BIGGER....let me know. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WETSTYLE. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

When you haven't had TV for 10 years

We have televisions in our house, we just stopped paying for the service around 2006.  Was it a coincidence that we soured on television viewing in the same months we had just finished filming our own debut on HGTV?  Probably not, if you've read my explanations of the aftermath.  Being on "reality TV" after an intense week of acting made my favorite shows lose the glitz I'd viewed them with.

But that wasn't the only reason.  Really, the big one was money.  When $50 a month is critical to survival you know it ain't the time for that.  So we got through our 10 years of law school, money pit foreclosure...and finally on the other side debt eliminated, lifestyle downsized, we are ready to jump in again.

Well, not ready...we are already in.  We got satellite service last week.  The technology is grand.  DVR's recording up to 5 things at once!  Turning it on to find a list of your favorite shows you can binge on in order!  Hubby can have it find every game his favorite team plays--no matter the channel to record.  So that is fun!  After a long break from something the advances are awe inspiring :).

We cancelled our Netflix, subsequently.  We had enjoyed a few shows on it here and there, but the TV technology was just way more inclusive.

There wasn't much other point to this post.  I just wanted to talk about it, and also kind of ask how you use your TV technology.  What do you watch?  Do you record it first or just watch something when it is on?  Do you like having the noise of the TV in your background or do you plan and intensely watch your show and then shut it off?

Just wanna hear how others enjoy this part of our world :).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Peanut Butter cups

1 1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C softened butter
1 C powdered sugar

Mix together and then roll and drop balls (or use a mini cookie scoop like I did)  onto wax paper over a plate.  Freeze for 10-20 minutes.  The ratios of these ingredients can be tweaked.  I like to use the least amount of sugar it takes to get them workable and tasty.  When they are too sweet it takes away from that perfect peanut/chocolate flavor combo.

While they are getting solid, melt some candy melts or chocolate chips for the outsides.  I like dark chocolate with my peanut butter, which is part of why I make these myself.  If you like them more like the packaged stuff, I'd use milk chocolate chips or melts.

Dip those frozen PB balls with a fork into the melted chocolate and set back on the frozen plate they were on. They'll get solid pretty quick again.


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