Some Pho & Some Horses

Finally! It was warm this week. I don't know what crawled up Mother Nature's rear end last week, but she was a cranky witch and it barely climbed out of the 40s. I was not a happy turtle. Let's hope this is really the start of spring. Of course, today it's back in the 50s, but this weekend it'll be nice again. Maybe.

I've decided to take a break from the heaviness of my series After Disclosure (Compartmentalization, & It's Not Personal) and share some pictures I took while picking up some pho last week. Isn't pho the best? I love it! This police officer just trotted by as I was walking out with my bag full of food. You can see said bag o' food in the reflection if you look real close:

He was kind enough to stop and wait for some kids to snap pictures with their parents before he joined his partner and went into a nearby neighborhood. 

I've seen them exercise the horses in our neighborhood several times before because we have woods and a small farm adjacent to us, but this is the first time I've seen them go through a strip mall. I thought it was a great way for the police to not just make their presence known, but also do a meet and greet with the public while training and exercising the horses. 

Because lemme tell ya, it wasn't just the kids that were excited to see them, it was the adults too, present company included. Lots of grown-ups stopped them and asked to take their picture, and some of them reached out to shake their hands and thank them for their service. One of them was in his military uniform. That was cool to see. It gave me the warm and fuzzies inside. One service member thanking another. Selfless.

Have you seen mounted police in your neighborhood? What have you seen lately that's given you the warm and fuzzies?


On a side note, I checked out my seller's rankings on Amazon last weekend and look where I was!

Steps Along My Shore: My Personal Tale & Tips When Discovering You're Married to a Sex Addict Kindle Edition by Elsie Amata (Author)

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Product details
  • File Size: 538 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Publication Date: June 8, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01GT52Z4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • X-Ray:
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Not bad for someone who doesn't advertise, huh? Sure, I know it'll change by tomorrow, but hey, it's still awesome to see at this very moment. I'm still not sure how people hear about my book, but I'm not complaining. I make enough to pay half my Netflix bill each month, and more importantly, I think I'm actually helping people. I might really be making a difference in people's lives. That gives me even more warm fuzzies! Woot! Woot!

And still another side note: I'll be at work this morning, but only for a few hours, so I'll be by later this afternoon to see everyone. 

The First Beach Day...In February?


You guys know my battle with Mother Nature. She can be quite cruel to me at times. If she decides she wants the barometric pressure to rise and fall too rapidly, it means I may get a migraine. But thanks to the addition of  the medication Diamox, I can prevent some of those migraines.

That’s what happened a couple of weekends ago. Saturday was a bitterly cold day, but by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, it was like a spring day. Since I knew the pressure change was happening well in advance, I took my Diamox and was able to enjoy a day at the beach with my youngest child and our dogs.

And we weren’t the only ones. Lots of folks had the same idea we had. Dogs ran up and down the shoreline, people were out fishing, and some people were even in the ocean swimming. Personally, I think it was bit too cold for that!

Even last weekend we had spring like temperatures, so I say to you Mother Nature, bring it on, I’m ready!

What about you? Have you been getting some warmer weather where you are?

The Shopping Cart

Several years ago, I remember listening to one of my favorite talk shows on the radio and the host shared a story about an experience he had with a shopping cart. He had been sitting in his car, maybe he was waiting on his wife to come out of the store, or he had been talking on his phone. Either way he’d been sitting in his car for several minutes and watched as one person after another attempted to pull one cart apart from another, gave up, and than moved on to a free one.

This really piqued his interest. He wanted to know what was so difficult about this one particular cart that kept people walking away from it, so he got out of the warmth of his car and gave it a try himself. He tugged and he tugged and sure enough, that cart was stuck.

Determined he pulled on the cart again, really using good ol’ elbow grease this time. Still no go. Remember, he had no use for the cart, he just wanted to see what all the fuss was about and now that he was here, he was determined to get the job done. Again he tugged on the handle of the cart, applied even more strength, and this time it pulled free of the other cart.

That story has always stuck with me because he didn’t give up. He didn’t throw in the towel and take the easy way out. Sure, it’s just a shopping cart, but for me, at that time in my life, it symbolized so much more. It was my recovery, my healing, my writing, my journaling, my “me” time, and getting back to the basics while I found myself again.

There were so many times that I wanted to say, “This is just too hard for me. I can’t go on,” but that image of the radio host pulling on shopping carts had a way of reminding me that I could keep on pushing myself just a little bit more. Apply a bit more mental elbow grease and get through this so I won’t be stuck like the carts.

The last few weeks I've turned to that mental image again and again. Things at home have been a bit of a roller coaster ride. While it was wonderful to have my oldest child home for the holidays, we had some unfortunate events occur during that time.

The problem with my youngest child and all they're going through as a result of the choices their birth father continues to make is taking it's toll. Counseling isn't helping yet and it breaks my heart to watch my child continue to be in such pain over something they can't control but desperately wants to.

We were also looking forward to sharing the news with everyone that we were going to be grandparents, instead, the family had to break the news of a miscarriage to our oldest on the day before Christmas Eve instead of surprising them with the of the baby. The silver lining in all of this was that the family grew closer in the last few weeks than I thought ever possible and we can look forward to the couple (my middle child) trying again.Very soon.

I'm grateful to have the shopping cart analogy to turn to when I think times are too tough for me to handle. I can remember to give myself that mental kick in the ass that I need. Now, whenever I find two shopping carts jammed together, I think of that radio host’s story and smile, than I do my best to yank those suckers apart.

Do you leave the shopping carts stuck or do pull them apart? Have you heard a story on the radio that inspired you?

An Attitude of Gratitude

It’s been an emotional week in our home. One filled with many lows and many highs. It’s fitting that next week is Thanksgiving because I have many blessings to be thankful for this year, including the continued gift of my recovery because it allowed me to be by my child’s side while they navigate through their own tough journey. My heart swells with pride at the smart choices they are making to avoid going down the path that I did at their age. That kid is one smart cookie! So while I’d love for my child not to have to go through this problem at all, I’m grateful they have the knowledge and tools to handle it properly.

On that note, here’s my Gratitude List:

  • My Faith:      Without it, I would’ve gone batshit crazy by now. God knows how to keep me reminding me that, “Everything is going to be okay.”
  • My Children: They inspire me and encourage me to keep improving my life.
  • My Husband:  He also inspires me and continues to be my biggest cheerleader.
  • My Health:     While my migraines are still a weekly occurrence, things could be far worse.
  • My Recovery:  It changed my life. While I’m still the same ol’ me at heart, I’m no longer a broken mess. Everyone around me benefits from it.
  • My Job:          It’s nothing fancy or even pays well, but it gets me out of the house and they understand I have a disease. They truly get it. And that rocks.
  • Writing:          I love to do it. I’ll never be rich or famous. That’s not my goal. I do it to help people and I hope in some small way I do.
  • Volunteering:  It does my heart good to give back what was so freely given to me. It’s a good reminder of where I came from and where I can so easily return.
  • My Home:        Not just the house itself but all that we have. The ability to have a home, food on the table, and clothes on our back. We don’t live in luxury, but we live above the poverty line and I didn’t always have the ability to say that.
  • The Beach:      Does this really need an explanation? It’s the sun and sand!

What are you grateful for? Are you celebrating Thanksgiving?
(Scheduling Note: I won't be posting next week because I'll be stuffing my face full of food.)

What Do You See?

Recently I traveled out of town to see my migraine specialist. I usually stay in the same style hotel room so I can have a microwave and a fridge. Yeah, I'm a cheap ass. I'd much rather bring my own drinks, and then heat up my leftovers from Bennigan's than pay for eating at a restaurant again. Like I said, cheap.

Anyway, each room has the same artwork and one in particular catches my eye: 

When I first saw the picture, I thought of Jesus. The picture comforted me. My next stay in the room, I must have been in a different head space because I didn't think of Jesus, I thought of Robin Williams. And it wasn't around his death. For some reason, the profile reminded me of him. 

I love how art can be interpreted by people in different ways,  or even the same person can view it in a new way depending on their mood.

What do you see?

As a cool side note, there is this stack of books left behind for people to read:

I love seeing the Big Book there and I read from it before I start writing. It's tempting to leave a copy of mine behind on my next trip. Would you leave yours?

When A Community Joins Together

There’s an app we use in our neighborhood called Nextdoor. It’s a private social network to keep those in your immediate community informed about things like lost pets, babysitting recommendations, or even form a neighborhood watch.

When I first heard about it on Facebook, I was slightly hesitant. Where I grew up in the north you kept to yourself. A wave hello to your neighbors, maybe exchange a few friendly words to see how the kids were, and maybe…just maybe, get together for a BBQ every now and again. But for the most my parents dragged us into the house so we “didn’t end up chatting with the Johnson’s for forty-five minutes.” It was up to us kids to socialize with each other. Not the adults.

Then my hubby’s career took us to the southern half of the United States and boy was I in for a culture shock. Neighbors actually knocked on my door and brought me cake and cookies to welcome me into the community. I even got a gift basket from the local stores. What? My neighbors remained friendly. Although we moved out of state almost ten years ago, some still send us baked goods for the holidays. Hello Southern Hospitality!

With that warmth in mind, I joined Nextdoor. I’ve been a member for a couple of years but for the most part, I remain quiet on the site. I click the “welcome” button. Donate things from time to time, but usually stay to myself.

I’ve seen many good things on the site. Mostly rescued pets. Lots and lots of rescued pets. My how they tend to wander away from their owners! I’ve also seen my local officials, police, and community outreach members become a part of it too. That’s awesome to witness.

I’ve seen some not so good stuff too. Although it’s rare and if it happens, it’s removed quickly. I’m thinking Nextdoor has moderators 24/7 to ensure rumors or solicitors aren’t present.

Recently, I watched an outstanding event unfold. Our neighborhood banded together. One of our neighbors, an elderly gentleman, hadn’t been seen riding his bike lately. His yard, normally well groomed, had become overgrown. No one had seen him outside tending his rose bushes or greeting people as they passed by. Someone inquired if they knew anything about him because many of us knew about his history of blackouts and that he had no family in the immediate area.

After many responses, we came together and as a whole, were able to find out that our friend and neighbor was doing okay. His health had taken a bit of a turn, but because of the outpouring of concern, a welfare check was done, his yard was cut, a neighbor has a key to his home, and phone numbers were exchanged in case of emergency.

It really made my heart smile to know that this site, the one that made me feel like a nosey neighbor at first, ended up helping an elderly man in need. In fact, it led to a night out in the park this weekend for the neighborhood kids to play corn hole while parents connect and they are re-forming a neighborhood watch too. Pretty cool, huh?

Do you have something like Nextdoor? If not, would you consider joining it?

Back and Forth

Back and forth
Forth and back
Only to be mulled again
The time has come for me to pause
Not forever
Forever is too long
A few months while I can bask
In the sunshine
The joy of having my children
Close to me
Yet almost gone
I’ve not been fair
To those who’ve said hello
The etiquette broken
Not returning the favor
The time has come for me to pause
Not forever
Forever is too long
I’ll see you soon my friends
Enjoy yourselves and each other

It was difficult to decide to take a blogging break but I think it’s the fair thing to do. I’ve been so busy with work (two part-time jobs now) and spending time with my family that my blogging time dropped. I apologize to those of you who commented and I didn't do the same. I hope you know how much I appreciate you.

I may do a repost or two so people looking for comfort and support on sex addiction can find it here (email support is always available) but like this post, I won’t enable comments.  I hope you all have a wonderful and fun-filled summer. I'll see you soon.