Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia

I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!

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I missed Flower Friday last week and didn’t realize it until the weekend. I’m back this week with a special picture of a zinnia we grew together from seed. My 7-year-old daughter took this picture with her tablet. I was quite amazed by it. It reminds me that kids can do some pretty constructive things with their tablets.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia”

Cynder’s New Puppies…

It happened!

On September 12th, at 2:38 a.m., Cynder had her first pup followed by two more.

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The evening prior, she began nesting and digging around the house. I thought for sure this week we’d have puppies, but didn’t know that it would be that quick. She honestly went at it like a pro. She didn’t cry or seem distressed…

Winston sounded the alarm and woke up my oldest son right after she had the first puppy. We really didn’t need to assist her at all.

Puppy 1 – 2:38 a.m. – Looks just like Winston and a big girl.

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Puppy 2 – 3:34 a.m. – Looks just like Cynder, a little bigger than the first pup, and a boy.

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Puppy 3 – 4:00 a.m. – The runt of the litter. Looks just like Cynder, but so very tiny. Another girl.

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She’s been such a great mom and they are nursing away and already growing. It still seems surreal that she had puppies. She didn’t change much during pregnancy and those that read the Lesson’s from Grandpa post #5 know that we questioned the whole time whether or not she was truly pregnant. I’m really glad that we waited and just let everything happen naturally.

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Continue reading “Cynder’s New Puppies…”

Lesson’s From Grandpa #5 – Patience

When I was a kid, I was always in a hurry. I can remember watching the clock and hurrying home from school. Birthdays, holidays, and family get-togethers were counted down to days, hours, and even minutes. I couldn’t get to the store fast enough to buy that new toy.

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Me opening my Easter basket – 1979

 

Even as a teen, I was always in a hurry to buy new clothes or pick up that new release album that just came out. Not only that, I was in a hurry to grow up. My grandfather would remind me all the time to have patience. A saying that went around our house frequently was,

“Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.”

The truth is that I had zero patience. As I became older and even into my young adult hood, it didn’t change much. Now I was either hurrying home from work, rushing home from college, or counting down the minutes until the weekend.  I was always and forever in a hurry to do something and just couldn’t wait. I even had issues finishing peoples sentences for them and eating too fast. This is still a challenge.

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I’m going to be forty next month and I’ve recently had my patience tested again with Cynder Rae. We’ve been trying to breed her with Winston for some time now and have been unsuccessful. In mid-July, Cynder finally allowed Winston to mate and we were hopeful that we’d have a litter this time, but little did I know, it was going to take time to find out.

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Cynder has had multiple false pregnancies in the past, in fact, she’s quite prone to them. When a dog has a false pregnancy, everything happens just like a real pregnancy, there just aren’t any pups in the end and it can be hard on dogs, emotionally and physically. After Cynder mated with Winston, she started changing and we began to wonder,

“Are babies on the way?”

 

Reasons why we think she could be pregnant:

  • She mated successfully
  • Her body evidently started preparing for milk production right away
  • She sits differently
  • She’s very needy, more than before, and won’t leave my side most of the day
  • She’s started collecting toys in groups
  • Her appetite has gone through the roof
  • She’s growling at Winston and has become uninterested in him

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Reasons why we think she’s not:

  • She’s not showing
  • Her energy hasn’t changed and she’s still herding everything that moves
  • She wants to run and play just as much as before
  • She had zero morning sickness
  • She’s never been fatigued

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Of course, all the reasons for why we think she could be pregnant occur in a false pregnancy as well and that can last for months or more. 

I called different vets and discovered she could be palpated around day 28, or have a blood test around that time to confirm pregnancy. Palpating isn’t invasive, but can’t guarantee anything. To have a blood test was around $60. To have an ultrasound would total near $185 because they also charge an exam fee. At first, I opted for the blood test until I began to think about the stress it would cause her. We’d recently had Winston see the vet for a week long case of diarrhea and it was horrible. He hated every minute, it stressed him out further, and it turned out to be nothing serious after spending $313 dollars. I pondered what to do and my husband came up with a plan.

“Why don’t we just wait and see if she has puppies? Why do we need to spend money? Let’s just give it time.”

I realized once again that maybe I wasn’t being patient. I felt that we needed to know to prepare, but did we really? I talked to a friend and her opinion was,

“If it puts your mind at ease, take her in.”

This was true, it would put my mind at ease and we would finally know. A few days later, I had a discussion with my mom about it and she turned to me and said,

“Patience is a virtue.”

That’s exactly what my grandfather would say if he was still living. At that moment, I could hear him saying have patience in my head as clear as day! So, I decided to wait it out. My mom and husband were right and we don’t truly NEED a definitive answer right now. I’m fairly peaceful with the decision.

Today is Tuesday, September 5th, and we still aren’t positive whether or not Cynder is pregnant. Her body has certainly changed and offers more clues, but we have to wait. By calculation, she should be due around September 17th. I’ll be sure to fill you guys in on whether she has puppies or not.

 

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Her favorite sleeping spot under the stove.

 

Continue reading “Lesson’s From Grandpa #5 – Patience”

Music Monday: X Ambassadors “Renegades”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday!

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This week’s song pick is…

X Ambassadors

“Renegades”

I love this song, but the video takes the song to an even higher level and makes the song even more powerful. You’ll notice that there are some fascinating things happening. Multiple disabled people are going above and beyond and breaking the rules. They’re renegades and nothing can stop them.

The lead singer’s brother Casey is the keyboardist for the band and he’s blind. The video is personal to them for this reason. You can watch it below. The music starts at about 1:00.

 

Lyrics

Run away with me
Lost souls and reverie
Running wild and running free
Two kids, you and me

And I say
Hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Renegades, renegades

Long live the pioneers
Rebels and mutineers
Go forth and have no fear
Come close the end is near

And I say hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Renegades, renegades

All hail the underdogs
All hail the new kids
All hail the outlaws
Spielberg’s and Kubrick’s

It’s our time to make a move
It’s our time to make amends
It’s our time to break the rules
Let’s begin

And I say hey, hey hey hey
Living like we’re renegades
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Leaving like we’re renegades
Renegades, renegades

Continue reading “Music Monday: X Ambassadors “Renegades””

“The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

The Sound of Silence“, originally titled “The Sounds of Silence”, is a song by Simon and Garfunkel. It was written by Paul Simon and debuted on the album Wednesday Mornin, 3am in 1964.

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Lyrics

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools” said I
“You do not know, silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper’d in the sounds of silence


What does the song mean to you?

When asked, Garfunkel stated that the song’s meaning was “the inability of people to communicate with each other, not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so what you see around you are people unable to love each other.”

I’ve always loved this song, but perhaps one of the most powerful presentations was at the September 11th ten-year memorial service with Paul Simon. It seemed perfect. From that moment on, whenever I hear the song, it takes me back to that day. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll watch it.

You can see the video performance here:

Continue reading ““The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel”

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt – Book Review

I’m working on getting caught up with my NetGalley books and this one has been sitting on my shelf for months. I finally started reading it a few weeks ago. You can read my book review below.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

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“Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water

Blurb: In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (August 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802126596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802126597

My Review:

I was so excited to start this book because I love retellings and honestly didn’t know the whole story behind the accusations of Lizzie Bordon murdering her parents with an ax in 1892. I decided to get online and read about the true story so that I would have an idea about what really went down that August morning in 1892.

The book starts with an introduction to that morning the ax murdering took place in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie’s father Andrew and her stepmother Abby were both found axed to death and the only person in sight when someone finally arrives to help is Lizzie. Everyone wants to know who the perpetrator is. Who could commit such horrible acts of crime and why would they want to hurt these people?

tenor.gifFor me, the first half of the book was not intriguing at all. I felt like the characters were flat and boring and the narrative was confusing at times, mainly because of Lizzie’s thoughts with the jumping back and forth between reality and what was going on in her head. I wasn’t enjoying the writing style at all. Then, when I got to the last half of the book, I became very interested in who the real killer was here. It could be Lizzie, but she’s not reliable and her thoughts are all over the place. Is she being honest? What about Uncle John and Benjamin? There are clues and accusations along the way, but the reader is left to wonder until the very end what actually happened.

Overall, The author has spun her own version of the tale and it’s spellbinding at times. I’m happy that I stuck with it and didn’t give up. Some people say that the book is gruesome, but I didn’t think it was too gory on the details. I really appreciated the timeline the author provided in the back of the book. If you’d like more true information on the events that took place, you might want to watch “Histories Mysteries: The Strange Case of Lizzie Bordon.” This is truly a compelling mystery.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book for review.

My rating on this is 3.5 stars

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Continue reading “See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt – Book Review”

Nerd Alert: Reading is Good For Your Health

Another wonderful post from ourbetterhealth.org. Great to know that something we love doing is very healthy for our brain and body!

Our Better Health

Clients who seek solace by pouring their hearts out in Alison Kerr Courtney’s office don’t get rewarded with a Xanax or Prozac prescription. Instead, they walk away with a reading list.

The founder of  BiblioRemedy isn’t a licensed therapist, nor is she currently an English teacher, although she did work as one for 10 years in France, and has spent years shelving books at the library and in bookstores.

Courtney is a kind of book whisperer.

For as long as she can remember she’s had a knack for matching people with books that fit with their intellectual interests. But some clients want more when they make an appointment with her at her office in Lexington, Kentucky.

What they seek is a kind of bibliotherapy. It’s a growing trend where people tell empathetic listeners like Courtney their goals or problems. Courtney then suggests books that can help them clarify their…

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Magic Numbers – A Short Story By Anthony Jones

I found this beautiful story on Goodreads this evening. It’s a short story titled “Magic Numbers” written by author Anthony Jones. I hope you enjoy it…

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Magic Numbers
By Anthony Jones 

Terri sat at the desk in her finest evening gown and opened the center drawer. The sweet odor of the cigar box arose like a warm hug from her father. She could hear Jim’s footfalls on the tile floor as he approached the den.

“Are you ready to go?” Jim asked in a stern voice.

“I’m ready, but we can’t leave yet. You know what day it is.”

Jim’s eyes fell to the cigar box on the desk, and his heart sunk. “Yeah, today is the day the Association is honoring me at the annual awards dinner and it happens in eighty minutes. Let’s go!”

“Who do you think your talking too? If you’re in such a hurry to leave, just go. I’ll meet you when I’m done.”

“Done? With what? An OCD ritual created by a lunatic? I have had it with this!

Terri looked up from the desk, eyes filled with hurt and anger. “Why don’t you calm down. Why are you acting this way?”

“Don’t turn this on me!” Now Jim was on a roll and was powerless to stop. This was the last straw. Even his ears burned hot with rage. His words cut her like a razor.

“You drug that damn box to Hawaii last year and we missed our anniversary dinner cruise. And for what? So, you can carry on a stupid tradition of your dead father that is ruining our lives?”

The tears she was fighting back began to stream. Jim didn’t understand. This was her time to remember her father in her own way. Terri’s first memory was sitting on her father’s lap at age three while the weekly drawing played on television. He would take out the box, where he kept every ticket he ever bought. The tickets were meticulously filed chronologically dating back to the beginning of the lottery. He even had a special pen to circle each of the numbers that hit. Then he would number the ticket at the bottom in small print and hand the pen to Terri to draw the sad face indicating another loser. He always played the same numbers and bought the ticket at the same mom and pop bait shop in Rio Vista and never missed a week. He died in a head on collision seven years ago returning from that very store. After the funeral, when her mother asked if she wanted any of her father’s things, she chose the cigar box. For seven years, Terri has never missed a week playing her father’s magic numbers.

“Please Jim, you know how important this is to me, go on and I will catch up.” Terri said trying to compose herself, dabbing at her eyeliner with a tissue.

“Don’t bother! I don’t want you there! I’m done!” Jim slammed the door on his way out.

Terri used her small mirror to assess the damage her sobs had done to her face. Black lines traced the tracks of her tears. She took out her make up kit to complete the repairs; then she put it away and laid her head on her folded arms and cried again.

The tall grandfather clock’s chimes brought her back from her sobs and she took the remote from the desk drawer and turned on the weekly drawing. She opened the cigar box slowly and allowed the aroma of tobacco mixed with her father’s spiced cologne to scent the air. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath through her nose. She felt a smile on her lips as she imagined her father playing his magic numbers. Terri opened her eyes, picked up the special pen and began to circle the numbers as they appeared on the television screen. She printed, not this week at the bottom of the ticket. Then she numbered the ticket 1,507 and drew a small sad face on it and placed it meticulously in the box with the others. When she was done, she returned the pen to the box, placed the box in the drawer and turned off the television. It was seven twenty, she had plenty of time to make it to the awards banquet, but the sting of Jim’s words would not leave her. Instead she went to her room, curled up on her bed and cried some more.

The next morning, Jim was gone. Terri remembered this was his annual training conference in Los Angeles. In their eight-year marriage she thought their boundaries were fully tested, well defined and set in stone. They had never separated for any extended period while angry with each other or without saying goodbye.

***
It was Saturday when Jim left his hotel for the airport. Why hasn’t she called? Jim tortured himself all the way to the airport replaying the awful things he said about Gabriel. Did I really call him a lunatic? Jim asked himself. Truth be known, Jim really liked Gabe and missed him deeply. He was like the father he never had. Jim even made the trip with Gabe to Rio Vista on occasion and enjoyed chatting about the Forty-niners and fishing in the delta. And now, he was not speaking to his beloved because she wanted to carry on her father’s rather benign tradition.

After processing through security at the airport Jim found a seat at his terminal and took out his cell phone. He scrolled through his photos finding dozens of selfies of him and Terri. When he came across the Hawaiian anniversary vacation he stopped on a photo of Terri in her sexy bikini on the beach with her arm around his neck. The love and adoration in her eyes was priceless. What was it I said to her about the cruise we missed because of the lotto thing?

Now he remembered it differently. It was he who suggested they skip the dinner cruise that night. He hated pre-ordered food and the pretentious on-board jazz band that would expect them to dance as the boat cruised the blue haired old ladies a mile off shore. It was him who insisted on ordering room service and using the in-room spa. Jim remembered it was Terri who rocked his world so passionately that night, he measured all other romantic encounters against it and nothing in his life has ever come close.

By the time he landed in Sacramento and collected his luggage, Jim was contemplating what he would say when he got home.

Where do I start? He thought as he pulled out of the long-term parking lot. When he reached the freeway, he noticed his gas gauge was on empty. At the Chevron, Jim thought about texting Terri with something sweet to test the waters but chickened out fearing it was too impersonal after a week of the silent treatment. No, he would have to do this one in person. He simply had not figured out how to apologize so she would know he is sincere. I am such an idiot, he thought as he entered the store to pay for the gas. He wandered to the cold drink section and selected a water and approached the counter.

“Hello, my friend” the clerk said as he rang up the water.

Jim took out his wallet. “Hi, I got forty on pump seven.”

“The lotto is at a record three hundred and ninety million, would you like to add a ticket to your purchase?” The clerk said pointing to the lighted sign.

Jim looked at the sign and shook his head, then noticed fresh cut roses on the counter beneath it.

“You know odds of hitting the lotto are higher than being struck by lightning; how much for the roses?”

***
Terri was halfway to Rio Vista to get her weekly ticket when her phone rang. “Hello,” she said.

“Mrs. McLain, this is Sergeant Thomas with the California Highway Patrol, I’m sorry to inform you your husband has been in an accident on the causeway.”

“Oh my God. No!” Terri cried into the phone, “Is he ok?”

“I’m afraid not ma’am; he has been life flighted to UC Davis Medical Center and listed as critical.

Terri’s stomach clenched. UC Davis is where they took her father before he died.

“I’m on my way!” She said and turned her car toward Davis.

When she arrived at the hospital, the nightmare started all over again. The same faces at the counter, the same elevator, the same smell of iodine and disinfectant mixed with a pasta aroma escaping from the cafeteria. The same nurse Jodi that tended to her father before he passed.

“I’m sorry Mrs. McLain,” Nurse Jodi said, “your husband just came out of surgery and must spend some time in intensive care, no visiting. Come with me and I will show you where you can wait.”

Terri followed the nurse to the emergency room waiting area. “Can I get you anything while you wait?” Nurse Jodi asked. Terri shook her head and sat down.

For five hours, she sat, not wanting to believe it was happening all over again. She thought about all the things she wanted to tell Jim. She wanted to tell him she was sorry and would put her father’s box away forever, and that he was far more important than a silly game. She would choose another way to remember her father, perhaps visiting his grave from time to time like normal people. She prayed for a second chance to talk to her beloved, a chance she never got with her father.

As she sat contemplating the worst, she noticed the nurses chatting about the lottery being at a record high.

Today was the last day to get a ticket. The drawing was coming up in two hours and would forever break the living chronological chain in the cigar box. And it was ok, if only she could speak to Jim once more she would give anything. She felt ashamed for the way she acted last week. The awards banquet was an important night for Jim and she made it all about a stupid game. “Please let him be ok.” She whispered.

“Mrs. McLain, your husband was moved to another room. You can come in now. The doctor said he is going to be just fine,” Nurse Jodi said.

Terri welled up as she looked at Jim sleeping peacefully. “Thank God!” she whispered and sat beside him. She took his hand and pulled it to her lips and kissed it softly. She sat quietly thinking of all the things she would say when he awakes.

A short time later, Nurse Jodi came in the room. “Mrs. McLain, would it be alright if I turn on your television just for a moment, I want to watch the lotto drawing. It is at a record high and we all went in on tickets,” she whispered
Terri nodded, still holding Jim’s hand.

When 16 came up Terri smiled and thought, one of father’s magic numbers. When 15 and 4 came next, she started to laugh. Then 42, 8 and finally 23. Now Terri was laughing hysterically, then crying a little bit, then laughing again.

“Are you ok Mrs. McLain?” Nurse Jodi asked.

Tears were tracing her face as she said, “You did it daddy.” When she reached for the tissue she noticed the roses.

“They’re for you, the EMT said your husband refused to let go of them, so I put them with his personals,” Nurse Jodi said, pointing to the small table with her chin.

Then Terri noticed something else. The distinct color of an orange lotto ticket was poking from Jim’s wallet. When she opened it, and saw that Jim had played her father’s magic numbers. Her tears returned and she placed her hand over her mouth.

Nurse Jodi left the room shaking her head.

Jim awoke to Terri’s sweet kisses on his face.

Continue reading “Magic Numbers – A Short Story By Anthony Jones”

8 Mental Habits That Suck Happiness From Your Life

So very true! Reblogging this from ourbetterhealth.org

Our Better Health

There are different personality traits people possess which pretty much map out how their lives unfold. Each of you have developed certain habits and emotional masks that determine how you deal with your life and the people in it. You may not even notice it, but certain habits have the ability to keep you happy while the others can make you downright miserable. Here are 8 habits that can suck happiness out of your life.

1. Not Forgiving Yourself

Let’s face it, everyone has regrets. You are allowed to feel guilty about certain life choices you have made, the blunders you committed, the promises you have broken, and the lies you have told. Nobody is perfect and no one is completely free of regrets. But that doesn’t mean you have to be entangled in your regrets forever. Everyone makes mistakes. Cut yourself some slack, learn to forgive yourself.

2. Holding…

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What’s a Spoiler??

Spoiler is typically defined as a person or thing that spoils something, but it’s not that easy is it? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spoilers when it comes to book reviews. On Goodreads, there are people that will straight up lash out on others for including spoilers in their reviews, but just what exactly is considered a spoiler?

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I recently reviewed a book and compared my review to somebody else’s review on the same book and they had many labels for spoilers that I really didn’t consider spoilers at all. It made me reflect on my review writing and I’m questioning if I’m giving out too much information about the content.

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Continue reading “What’s a Spoiler??”

Daily Prompt: Tailor

This is EXCELLENT! 💗

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via Daily Prompt: Tailor

Where in the rules of life does it say that we must tailor our lives to suit someone else’s opinion?  Ha- oh that’s right… it doesn’t say that, because there is NO rulebook for life!  There is no instruction manual, no textbook, nothing in writing to guide us.  But, be assured, life itself has granted me the best education of all.

As the role of a motivator, a coach, even an author… we are not trying to create those textbooks…but simply offer our views, our experiences – both good and bad, as a way to help guide others on their own journey through this world.  If you have the opportunity to learn from someone else’s failure, wouldn’t you take that?

Society today has tried to tell us that we must tailor ourselves to look a certain way, to be a certain weight, to have a certain…

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8 Brutally Honest Truths You Need To Hear If You Want To Get It Together

Reblogging this great post from ourbetterhealth.org. Great advice!

Our Better Health

No matter how much we believe we have it together, life carries many harsh truths, and no matter how much we may wish to run away from them, it is only through accepting them that we can take full responsibility for our lives.

You may be aware of some of these already, but for the rest, I’m willing to be the blunt bastard that tells them to you. You may hate me today, but you’ll thank me tomorrow.

For the record, this isn’t meant to be a pessimistic rant about how tough life is. It’s meant to motivate you to take action armed with this knowledge.

Here are 8 brutally honest truths you need to hear if you want to get it together:

1. You’re Going to Regret How Much Time You Spend on Social Media

Social media is amazing, and I’m as addicted to it as you are. But…

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Surviving Straight, Inc. Q & A with Straight Survivor Christine Flannery

I recently read a book by Cyndy Drew Etler titled, The Dead Inside. The book is about Cyndy’s experience with Straight, Inc. I’d never even heard of Straight until I read this book. You can see my original post on The Dead Inside which will soon contain a Q&A with the author and  you can also see the trailer for the documentary/movie on Straight by clicking HERE.

I found this story to be incredibly disturbing and as I began searching online, I found countless cases regarding kids who were abused in this program. These programs at one point were supported by members of government including Nancy Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

After my research I met Christine Flannery, a Cincinnati Straight Survivor who was in the program from 1984-1986. You can read her story on her website by clicking HERE. I was able to speak with Christine about her experience at Straight. You can learn more about Straight and see the Q&A with Christine Flannery below.

What is Straight, Inc?

Straight, Inc. (1976-1993) publicly claimed to rehabilitate teenage drug users by using tough love and Alcoholics Anonymous principles. Straight, Inc. provided NO professional counseling: Straight, Inc.’s “treatment model” relied exclusively on “positive peer pressure” from unprofessional staff (program graduates) and from the teenage clients. Straight, Inc. claimed to have an astronomically high success rate and was supported by both the Reagan and Bush administrations. However, Straight, Inc. did not publicly reveal what many survivors will tell you. imagesi34er5667777zer.jpgThe REAL Straight, Inc. was a facility that used coercive thought reform (aka mind control, brainwashing), public humiliation, sleep & food deprivation, extremely harsh confrontational tactics, kidnapping, isolation and emotional, mental, psychological, verbal and physical abuse to forcibly break us down then remold us in the Straight, Inc. image. Straight, Inc. also operated in secrecy, just like a cult (Straight, Inc. has been listed on at least 2 cult expert websites). No outsiders were ever permitted to know what really went on. Straight’s rules and our fear of harsh punishment prevented us from talking to outsiders or from reporting abuses.- From Christine’s website

Here’s a video that Christine put together regarding Straight, Inc.

As many as 50,000 kids were in the Straight program, Straight, Inc.  is the biggest violator of human rights and civil liberties that this country has ever seen.  There are accounts of food and sleep deprivation, making kids soil their pants, beatings, spitting in kids faces, and marathon sessions where teenagers would be yelled at by many other kids for long periods of time.  Children were forbidden from reading any material including religious books.  Conditions were so deplorable that kids had to be watched 24/7, even as they wiped themselves on the toilet (reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps where Jews were made to defecate publicly like cats and dogs) to make sure they did not commit suicide.   Under such deplorable and humiliating conditions many kids resorted to carving on their bodies with a fingernail, piece of broken chair, or whatever else they could find just as a caged animal gnarls at an open sore. –From the Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network. 

Straight, Inc. was also renamed…

As Christine mentions on her website, Straight, Inc. became Kids Helping Kids, Pathway Family Center, Life, Growing Together, KIDS (of North Jersey, El Paso, etc.), SAFE, Alberta Adolescent Recovery Center (AARC), and others. Even though most of these spin offs have been shut down, there are still similar programs for troubled teens that follow the same tactics as Straight.

In this video below regarding KIDS, which is basically the same program renamed after Straight, you will see how teens that were once in the program themselves became the counselors working with kids that have been brought into the program. These kids themselves are considered the professional staff.

Here’s another one about SAFE, another renamed Straight program. The video is old, but worth watching…

-Part 2-

Continue reading to see the Q&A with Christine Flannery…

 

Continue reading “Surviving Straight, Inc. Q & A with Straight Survivor Christine Flannery”