Friday, October 3, 2014

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt (Christi Paul)

Book Description: Like millions of other women, CNN’s Headline News and truTV’s In Session anchor Christi Paul blamed herself for the emotional abuse heaped on her by her first husband, whose violent, profanity-laced tirades left her feeling as though she had no value, no self-worth, and nowhere to turn for help. Then one day, when Christi was taking refuge in a church parking lot, the verse “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” popped into her head. In that moment, she realized she did have someplace to turn after all. Holding fast to her faith, Christi began the arduous process of rebuilding her self-image and regaining control of her life. Now happily remarried and the mother of three girls, Christi feels called to share her story in the hope that other victims will find courage to seek the help they desperately need and deserve. Written with great candor and poignancy, Love Isn’t Supposed to Hurt chronicles Christi’s personal experience of dealing with emotional abuse and shows how—with God’s help, some unconventional therapy, and the support of family and friends—she was able to break the cycle of abuse, regain her sense of self-worth, and discover what true love is really all about.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Short and Sweet

I went to the doctor today to get my official breast lump biopsy results. The news was great. NO MALIGNANCY! I do have to have a repeat mammogram w/ultrasound on the left breast in 6 months, but this was the news we wanted. Tomorrow night my daughter and I will be at the Tim McGraw concert. It's outdoors and we are expecting cold weather..oh great. But, it will be a great time no matter what. Saturday morning, she and I have the Alzheimer's Walk.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Talk Nerdy to Me (Nerd Series, Book 5)

Synopsis of the book: Fashion model Eve Dupree is fed up with being labeled "the pretty one" while her sister's called a genius. Eve's got loads of brilliant ideas, not the least of which is the invention she's building in her garage. But when she turns to the nerd next door to help get it off the ground, she finds herself on dangerous ground. Charlie Shepherd has discovered that there's more to Eve than meets the eye. But it's not just her body he likes--it's those sexy brains of hers. Romance is a complication he doesn't need right now. The problem is, she has something he needs and he can't seem to resist her. Keeping her creation under wraps is harder than Eve expected--as is denying her attraction to Charlie. But when a saboteur starts sniffing around her project, she questions everyone around her, even her nerd in shining armor. Can opposites attract or will they ignite a fire they can't control? My thoughts: I enjoy the Nerd Series. This one took me a bit longer to get through, but only because I haven't been really that into reading lately. This is Book 17 in my "Read 50 Books in 2014" challenge. I am a little behind. Okay, alot behind. If I don't get going, I will never finish. I do have one other book started, which I hope to finish soon and review. And yes, I usually have more than one book going at a time.

Happy Grandparent;s Day

Just wanted to wish all my readers who are Grandparents a very Happy National Grandparents Day

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Vitality VoxBox from Influenster

I have been a member of Influenster for a year now and just received my 2nd VoxBox in the mail. This time it is the Vitality VoxBox. I always love receiving surprises in the mail and since I was home on my lunch break when the box had arrived, I waited until after work to open it, so I had more time to go through it and check it in. Checking in your box is a very important step in the process because once you do, you open up new tasks to do which award you more points. Personally, I am not one to be in front of a camera, so I did not open the box on video and post it on youtube, and I won't make videos of the products, but I will do my best to try everything, and give honest reviews. The products in the Vitality VoxBox are as follows: 1. First Degree Advanced Burn Cream valued at $5.97 - $8.99 2. Playtex Sports Fresh Balance tampons valued at $3.99 3. Elizabeth Arden FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum valued at $60. for 1 fl oz 4. Pure Leaf Iced Tea 5. Softlips Cube valued at $3.49 And my box also contained a packet of Bikini Ready Energy Gummies I have websites and hashtags for each item they prefer us to use on social media and as I use the products I will post them on either my instagram account, twitter or my blog. If you would like the opportunity to earn a future VoxBox, please let me know and once I receive your email, I will send you an invite code. I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Can Karma bite you before you screw up?

Since my mom died in March, my world feels like it has fallen apart. In the past month I have a bulging disc in my neck at the C5-C6; while I was on pain meds for that I got an ear infection and then I went in for my annual physical and mammogram and got called back for a Diagnostic Mammogram and just now got called to schedule a needle biopsy on my breast. I don't even know how I manage to get up every day, but I do. I've been so depressed but I put everyone family, my friends, loved ones and job first. I messed up big time with friends and have lost them forever, but the loss of one breaks my heart. Karma hit me before I screwed up I guess. I'm scared. I want my mommy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Karma and redirection

Health Karma....I think that is the term my doctor used this morning when I was in for my annual exam. Things have not been all that great in the past few weeks unfortunately. Its like my health karma has caught up with me. It started two weeks ago when I woke up with pain in my neck. The kind of pain you have sometimes when you sleep wrong. By the next day the pain was worse, and radiating down my left arm. Needless to say when I called m physician, they sent me to the ER. Turns out, the EKG showed I do have a heart but that I have a bulging disc in my C5/C6 that is impinging on the nerves in my neck and shoulder, causing the severe pain and numbness. On top of that, I got a severe cold and ear infection that I am still trying to get over. And my annual mammogram was done, and the doctor's office called and wants it redone, because the radiologist saw something he wants another look at. So, while my health karma is kicking me in the butt, I am trying to remain positive, and finding out who in my life I can count on. People have offered their shoulders, as well as their advice and that has been very nice to get. I have found the past few nights, as I sit here and nurse my wounds, I am also counting my blessings. I have discovered who my friends are, and that I need to be my own best friend first and foremost if I am to be a good friend. It's funny the things you think about when you take the time to focus on something important, like yourself. I know I am not perfect. I have flaws and issues, and no one can fix them but myself. When my shoulder/neck start hurting, I get up and do something else. AIM may be on, but I am redirecting my focus, and stepping away from the laptop. AIM doesn't buzz hardly at all, so I can get stuff done. Redirection can be a good thing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Walk to End Alzheimer's

This year my daughter and I are once again walking in the "Walk to End Alzheimer's" in September.  We are looking for people to join our team, as well as donations for the cause. I am donating 10% of all Avon sales during the month of August to the cause, however, I am aware that some people may not want to purchase Avon, but would still like to make a donation. You can donate from my "Go Fund Me" page or from my "Alzheimer's Walk" page.  How much you donate is up to you.  My personal goal is to raise $100 but I would LOVE if I exceeded that this year, This disease is cruel. It robs your loved ones of their is heartbreaking to walk into your grandmother's room and find she has no idea who you are.  To have her look at you as if you were a stranger, and dismiss you only seconds after you have arrived after driving more than 6 hours to see her. Help us find a cure.  Walk with us. Thank you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

After the darkness comes the light

Back in May, I wrote about how I was struggling with things and honestly I wish I could say things were better.  In some ways, yes, but in other ways no.

So many positive changes are happening in the world around me.  My daughter has a fabulous new job at a local hospital and will soon be able to leave the Nursing Home she works in.  She loves her job, and loves working with the elderly but there are internal issues with the way the facility is run that brings her down so this new job is just what she needs. I am so proud of her, and my son.  I spent a few hours with my son yesterday and we were talking about change and maturity and I can sit here now and say that he has overcome all the setbacks he had in his life and grown into quite a wonderful young man.  He is 21 but is far wiser than his years.   He has taken control of his life and is on the right track.  He has yet to decide for sure what he wants to do with his life, but he's making great strides at pursuing goals of working in the culinary arts.  I am so proud of both my  children.

I am the spouse of a retired military man who has PTSD.  It is not something we broadcast but we have lived with it for a few years. PTSD has changed him, and it has changed us.  He is not the man i married 28 years ago, and he will never be that man again.  I am trying to deal with this and accept it and move forward, because it is very hard to see someone you love so much deal with this.    I have found some support that will help me, I think.

I have not been reading as much. I just cannot stay focused enough on a book to do it.   I need to get back to it though.  Every year I have a goal to read 50 books, and I am lagging way behind.

I miss my mom each and every day.  There are changes back at home, that I do not necessarily like but I am trying to accept.  I understand them...but I am not ready for them. I have feelings of loss, confusion and betrayal and I need to sort through them in order to move ahead,

And today, I wrote one of the hardest letters in my life.  A letter to someone who is very special to me, saying goodbye and I am sorry for all the hurt I caused them.  This person always told me when I was wrong...was there for me during some dark and lonely times but somewhere along the line, I made choices that hurt them. The choices were not made from a bad place or with the intent to hurt, but they hurt and I have to let them go. My heart hurts...and I feel like I am grieving yet again.

And another health scare..2 hours in the ER and an EKG last week because of pain/numbness/heaviness in my left arm.  The pain started in my neck, like a muscle strain..but the pain radiated down my left arm and shoulder.  When I tried to schedule an appointment to see my doctor, they sent me to the ER to make sure I was not having a heart attack.  Good news..I do have a heart, and it is operating just fine. Is there a machine that can tell you that your heart is broken?

I feel lost..and alone and I don't know what to do.  I put a smile on my face for work, and for my family but I know they can see right through me.  I am looking for the light at the end of the tunnel..searching for the way, and praying for guidance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life is a Highway, I want to ride it all night long....

I apologize for my lack of entries.  I am not often comfortable sharing my thoughts with others but I am hoping that by documenting them, and my journey, it will help me and perhaps, it will help someone else.

My husband and I went to Michigan over the 4th of July.  I got a nice camera for Christmas and took it with me and seized the opportunity to try to learn how to use it.  He thought he would teach me how to sneak quietly up on deer.  We got spotted a few times and I did get some nice shots, but got startled on one occasion while we were being stared down by 2 adult deer to find 2 fawns laying in the weeds not 10 feet away.  When they jumped up to escape, I think we both jumped 10 feet in the air.

I am loading my pictures when I take them onto Flickr and I am also posting some at  I don't do any real editing to them at the moment, but maybe someday I will.

We've also started a journey of getting fit.  We both could stand to lose a few pounds...a lot of pounds to be exact and while right now we are just trying to decrease  our portions and incorporate more exercise, we will eventually start doing more.  We need to build good habits, and I know that in the past, if I tried to do too much, I failed.  So, it's baby steps for me. 5-10 minutes on the treadclimber and working my way up.  Baby steps.  I want this to be something I don't have to do again.  I want to be healthy and at a healthy weight without having to start this weight loss process again.  So, I feel it best to start slow, and incorporate these changes into my life until they become second nature to me.

This picture is a beautiful summer day here in Central Illinois that I actually took on my phone.  I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  I did do a tiny bit of editing on this, but not much.  With my phone I tend to take a lot of pictures of my dogs..and the clouds.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life is full of ups and downs

Grief hits you when you least expect it. You can be having a completely normal day and something will trigger your grief, and suddenly you are a weeping mess once again. It could be as simple as seeing a picture of mom...or having someone ask me how I am doing...or there are those times when it could be absolutely NOTHING that triggers it. Those are the times I hate the most because I cannot control my emotions.
I am a sensitive person and I always have been. I used to apologize for it, but I am learning not too. I am who I am and you can like me or leave me, it's as simple as that.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A friend in need....

One thing my mother always taught me was generousity. There have been times in my life where I was unable to help anyone else, much less myself, but when I can, I do. I have a friend, who, recently and suddenly lost her mother. Danielle is a single mom, who is starting her own production company and her mother was supporting her and her daughter while things get going for her. This woman is one of the kindest, most generous people I know. She is doing great things, but this sudden loss has turned their lives upside down. Read her story, and give if you are so inclined. Share the link with others. Even a few dollars can make a difference in someone's life. Thank you!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Forgiveness Challenge -- Day 13 - Grieving

I am taking the "Forgiveness Challenge" which is a 30 day Journey of Forgiveness by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Each day you get an email with the link to your daily lesson. Most days there is a small audio clip to help you with the day's lesson, or a video clip. It doesn't take much time to do, and whatever you write down stays so you can refer back to it as you make your journey. Today's lesson was about grieving. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. Grief happens whenever we lose something that is precious to us, even our trust, our faith, or our innocence. Grief plays a large role in the forgiveness process, and especially within this step of Naming the Hurt. Grief is how we cope with and release the pain we feel. Grief has many well-documented stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance. There is no fixed time and no fixed order for experiencing the grief associated with any loss. And while there is no right way to grieve, grieving itself is essential. Grief is how we come to terms not only with the hardship we have endured, but also with what could have been if life had taken a different course. We grieve as much for what might have been as for what was. I have had so much happen in the past few months, that today's lesson struck me exceptionally hard. But, I think this will be a lesson I really benefit from as I finish it today. The activity is simple...Name the feelings that accompany these losses. Simple, huh? I alo just started "The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World" by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu which goes along with The Forgiveness Challenge. From the book: "I would like to share with you two simple truths: There is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness." Great words to live by, don't you think?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

I posted earlier in my blog about this book I had just picked up, and I am back again to say that I finished it. This was a fantastic book...from front cover to back. It is a shame that Marina's life was tragically cut short, as this book is proof that she had so much literary potential. She had the gift of words, and her stories, both the fiction and nonfiction ones were all fantastic and very well written. I highly recommend this book to everyone and I am sure my copy will soon end up on Paperbackswap or Bookcrossing. Now to decide what to read next. I have so many choices available, but I do not know what I am in the mood for.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Reflections and life changing moments

My emotions have been quite and up and down over the past few months, but it seems like, to me anyway, that since my mom died on March 31st, I have totally lost my mind. I can admit that I haven't acted like myself. It's not just that I am sad, because I am, but I feel lost and confused. My mom and I had our ups and downs over the years but she has always been my strongest support and toughest critic, and the one who loved me despite everything I put her through over the years. To say I miss her is an understatement. I should have called more. Should have gone to Texas to see her one more time. Should have done a lot of things, but I didn't, and now I can't and it has been eating me up inside. I am not perfect...but these days I feel those imperfections are stronger than ever. I want to talk to her...and I can't. I want to hear her raspy voice tell me she loves me. Instead, I spent the afternoon Wednesday, outside with the dogs. I grabbed my new journal and a pen and sat down under the shade of a tree and watched the dogs play. I wrote letters...letters I will never send. Letters of healing and forgiveness and I said everything I needed to say, and even the things I didn't need to say, or couldn't say. I dug deep into my soul and searched for the words that would help me forgive MYSELF because until I do that, I know that I can never move forward and find happiness. In the midst of all of this, I found I was sick...colitis. I have always had a sensitive stomach, but for weeks it was far more troublesome than I ever wanted to admit. Finally a week ago, my body couldn't take it anymore. I do not get sick often...and considering the poor diet I have, and lack of exercise, I am amazed at how healthy I have been. But not now. The IBS attacks I used to get years ago were bad, but this was something different and after tests and a couple of visits to different doctors, they tell me I have colitis. I sat in the doctors office in tears....from pain and from my emotions and was given medication to not only help my physical health, but also my mental health. I can honestly say, a week later, I feel more like myself again. My stomach is still not back to normal, and of course I will always miss my mom, but I feel like I am better able to cope with everything again, and that makes me a better person in every way. I still look in the mirror and see sadness...but the mere mention of my mother doesn't start me crying. I am not jumping down everyone's throat, and I am sleeping better. Writing in my journal helps as well, but its mostly a paper journal where no one can read my thoughts and offer an opinion that I am not ready to hear. Feedback is good, but I know the only approval I need at the moment is my own. Through all of this, my self esteem hit rock bottom. I have a lot to work one. I give myself daily tasks to do, whether it be to make a list of the things I am thankful for, to trying a new food. Something...anything that can help me improve myself. I've managed to do one thing that I never thought I could....because pop irritated my stomach, I was forced to give it up/cut way back. I tried before with little like but there is nothing like a good hard kick in the pants to help you do it. It's been a week, and instead of a 20 oz pop a day everyday, I have had maybe 20oz in a week. Go me. I feel better. Drinking more water, and I KNOW I CAN DO THIS. Mother's Day is approaching....and I had a wonderful mother. She was definitely not perfect, and at times she would do or say things that made me cringe, but I love her, and I miss her. I bought Mothers Day cards the other day, and wound up crying for an hour...I bought too many cards and it really upset me. But the good cry did me a load of good and I have felt really good ever since. My journey is far from complete, but I know now what I must do. Baby steps...and taking one day at a time. I will get there. I will be stronger than ever, and I will find the happiness I once had. I know I can do this. I am strong...I am my mother's daughter and I will not be defeated.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I am reading now

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan is a collection of stories and essays written by Marina Keegan who was tragically killed in a car crash just 5 days after her graduation from Yale in May 2012. Marina was a rising star. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Her last essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness" went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. Her words struck a chord, and that, and her other writings are now assembled here for all to enjoy and digest. My first impression, other than the fact that this young woman was taken way too soon, is that she was incredibly gifted as a writer. I cannot wait to finish the book, and I hope that the rest of it is as good as the first 1/4 that I have already finished.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Walk to End Alzheimer's

For the 2nd year in a row, my daughter and I will be walking in the "Walk to End Alzheimer's" and I am starting early this year to get support and donations, even just encouragement as we walk to honor the memory of my grandmother and to help find a cure for this disease that has devastated so many families. This link is to my personal page that I will be using to fundraise with. I will eventually set up an Avon fundraiser, and try to get some donation change cans set up throughout town, but right now, this is all I have done. Last year was a very moving experience. This year, I will be better prepared, with kleenex. Thank you all for your support. Michele

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I love goodies in the mail

A few months ago I signed up for Influenster which is a site where you review products and do tasks to earn points, and then occasionally you will receive a VoxBox in the mail with products to try and review. I signed up in August and was about to give up, when last week I received an email survey to see if I qualified for their newest Voxbox called the J'Adore VoxBox. I filled out the survey and a few days later recieved an email that my box was on the way. YIPPEE. So today i get home, and there it is. One of the things that you can do to earn points is unbox your voxbox on youtube. Yeh, that's not happening. I will tweet, and blog, and instagram though. Anyway, here is a picture of what was in my box.
Here is what we have: 1. A tube of BOOTS BOTANICS SHINE AWAY IONIC CLAY MASK (Value $9.39) 2. a FAMILY SIZE bag of HERSHEY'S KISSES MILK CHOCOLATE (Value $5.29) 3. FRIZZ EASE 3-day STRAIGHT FLAT IRON SPRAY (Value $9.99( 4. KISS Looks so Natural Lashes (Value $3.99) 5. 4 packets of RED ROSE Simply Idulgent Tease. I received 3 Creme Caramel and 1 Lemon Chiffon Decaf I can't wait to try them out, although I cannot see me ever wearing false eyelashes, but hey, I can try...and I don't use a flatiron on my hair. We will try it all out though and give my reviews. If you would like an invite to Influenster, let me know. I need your email address. I will be tweeting, and instagramming my reviews as I do them.