Just Me, #13

Hello,

It is, once again, the weekend, and I have some time to blog. So far, since starting my job, I have been bombarding you with Billboard posts, leaving little, ok—no time—for any other posts. This weekend, i am going to do the reverse. I will post some good stuff and, if time permits, I will throw in a few Billboard one’s. Fortunately, there are only twelve more to go. I honestly cannot wait until I am done with them. It has not been turning out to be as exciting, interesting, and fun as I thought it would. Please forgive me and do not hold it against me.

I have already posted the colorful photographs I had taken with my camera before it broke. I have a few more pics from that camera I want to post, some of my early drawings that really motivated me to try to be artistic, and hopefully, I will be posting a Prelude to a future guest blogger in recovery.

But first, let me catch you up on some great things. First, last Saturday, I went to volunteer in my community at a food bank. It was very rewarding and I actually had a lot of fun. I spent the entire 3 hours with a sort of goofy perma-grin on my face. I put together boxes for large families, stocked the shelves of donated food items, and broke down cardboard boxes. You must know that I have been on the other side of the food bank many times in my life and I truly loved being a part of getting things together for other families in need, knowing how much relief it really can add to a household of hungry people. They only operate the first Saturday and the first Wednesday of the month. Since I have to work during the same hours on Wednesdays, I can only help out on the Saturday, so intend to continue to do so each and every month.

After the food bank, we went to the flea market, as I may have mentioned, and I brought only eight dollars with me, as it was all I had. They had a lot of really cool stuff and I did real well by controlling my impulse buying. I did come across a great deal I could not pass up. A man was selling his digital camera, a Nikon CoolPix 3200 for only $5. He said it worked, ran on double AA batteries, which were in the camera, and he turned it on for me. I thought it was worth the risk of $5 and bought the camera. When I got home, I put my photo card into it and it said that the photo card I had installed could not be used for this camera. Mary said she will buy me one that can be used, so stay tuned to find out if my bargain was a true bargain or if I got duped!

Jeremiah Smiling

Today is Jeremiah’s 20th birthday! I can hardly believe that I have been a mother for 20 years! I love and adore him so much and am deriving great pleasure from seeing how much he is growing and maturing and discovering life. He will attend his half-brother’s wedding on August 8th and then head off to Job Corps, finally, on August 14th. He is pretty excited about it and hope that he can follow this program with going to college full-time. I am so proud of my baby, I cannot even begin to tell you! And isn’t he such a handsome man too?

I will conclude this post with some very good and happy news and leave you with something to look forward to. We have decided to get a new puppy and between the three of us, have spent hours online looking for a puppy to adopt. Long story short, we found one! She is a rescue dog who has been re-homed to us. She had to leave her previous family when they learned that their precious two-year-old daughter was allergic to dogs. She is six months old, a Sheppard mix with a mostly blond coat. They believe that she is mixed with Terrier, but are unsure. Her family gave her the name, Madison, but Cherie has renamed her Tallulah Barkhead. She is very friendly, playful, and just loves people. I have taken a few pictures with my phone camera, but they did not turn out so well. Cherie has also taken some with her phone camera and they came out SO good! Once she posts them to her Facebook page, I will snag the best ones and post them here for al of you to see. She is absolutely beautiful and I love her so much already!

Ok, I must say to you, good day, as I have some other things I want to post and must also make some time to play with my new puppy and take her for a walk to explore. Have a wonderful day, weekend, and rest of the week. By the way, i will also take some time to catch up on comments and read some of y’alls most recent posts.

-Cindy

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Angels for Sara—reblogged

I recently started following  A Life Less Scripted, and the first post I read on her blog was titled Angels for Sara. A horrible thing happened to a very kind woman and the effects are still haunting her and her family. I am all for awareness, so I am reposting this for all my blog followers to read. Though I have been in a situation where my district Manager’s husband touched and tickled me inappropriately and made me extremely uncomfortable, and I was not fired, but quit because of it, I cannot even begin to fathom what poor Sara is dealing with and having to face on a daily basis. Please, please read this short post written by Karen and reposted from her blog, A Life Less Scripted. If anyone can help in any way, whether it is monetary, legally, in the form of helping her find work, or affordable counseling, or, like Karen says, just kind words and genuine support, please do so!

Sara, a business associate of my husband’s, was raped by her boss a couple months ago. Hubster found out about it because she posted a link on her Facebook page asking for help. He sent me the link and said, “You remember Sara. She’s the one who gave C the little blue sunglasses and outfit when he was born.”

Yes, I remember Sara. Sara, who always asks about the kids whenever she comes into Hubster’s office. Sara, who has 3 kids of her own and a huge heart. Sara, who cares so much about other people, even total strangers.

I can’t believe this happened to Sara.

Sara reached out to her friends on Facebook because she doesn’t know what else to do. She lost her job and has been struggling to find another job since, even though she is barely emotionally able to function. Her utilities are in jeopardy of being cut off and her rent is behind. She’s trying to be strong and wants to protect her 3 children from what happened to her. She is lost and scared and hopeful and praying.

Her story is heartbreaking and tough to read because it’s so real. It’s not professionally edited. It’s sometimes hard to follow because she wrote it under duress. Her pain is raw and she’s trying so hard to be strong.

Sara needs angels. She needs people who can spare a little money, who can give her encouragement and who can help her make sense of what she’s going through.

Please read her story. Please help in any way you can. Not everyone can help financially but prayers and words of encouragement are free. Share this link or the MicroGiving link with everyone you know. Please be one of Sara’s angels.

http://www.microgiving.com/profile/Feefer1979

You can send her encouragement through the MicroGiving site or email her directly at feefer1979 at hotmail dot com.

Blessings,

Karen

Reflections of a Recovering Addict, #10

A great place to find online support groups, believe it or not, is Facebook. Usually these groups are closed or secret, which means that only group members can view anything posted there. The group’s postings will show up in your news feed, but it is only visible to you and the members of the group, not by anyone on your friend’s list (unless, of course, they are also in the group).

How do you become a member? Another member already in the group must add you, so your best bet is to post a message that asks your friends to please add you to any recovery groups they are involved in. If that does not work, you may send me a friend request (Cindy Clark Riemersma), I will accept and will add you to any group I am in, once you let me know you would like to be added. I belong to about 10 or 12 of these recovery groups. By the way, I also belong to a group called Breaking the Cycle that is for survivors of abuse, if anyone is interested.

One of the groups I am a member of, and in my personal opinion, one of the best of the bunch, is called Relapse Prevention. There is a lot of good recovery there and a little joking around for fun. There are also many documents regarding recovery that the founder, Mike Vedovat, has posted. One such document contained the 12 steps in a simplified form. I originally thought that Mike had written this version and wanted to get his okay to post it on my blog before I did so. I have recently learned that he did not write these simplified steps and that he does not know who did, but Mike strongly encouraged me to post them for all to see.

If you are in recovery and follow a 12 step program, then you may get a kick out of this. If you are not, but always wondered what the 12 steps are and how they could possibly help someone in the razor-sharp grip of the talons of addiction, this just may clear it up for you. Believe me, these steps are crucial to the healing and growing process that we gain within our recovery. They take time and they take hard work. And every step is important.

Step One—There’s a power that will kill me. 

Step Two—There’s a power that wants me to live. 

Step Three—Which do I want? (If you want to die, stop here. If you want to live, go on.) 

Step Four—Using examples from your own life, understand that selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear control your actions. 

Step Five—Tell all your private, embarrassing secrets to another person. 

Step Six—Decide whether or not you want to live that way anymore. 

Step Seven—If you want your life to change, ask a power greater than yourself to change it for you. (If you could have changed it yourself, you would have long ago.) 

Step Eight—Figure out how to make right all the things you did wrong. 

Step Nine—Fix what you can without causing more trouble in the process.

Step Ten—Understand that making mistakes is part of being human (When you make a mistake, fix it, immediately if you can.) 

Step Eleven—Ask for help to treat yourself and others the way you want your higher power to treat you. 

Step Twelve—Don’t stop doing 1 through 11, and Pass It On!!

As you can see in step 12, once you have made it through each one, you are not done, you are not cured, and you do not graduate. You continue working the steps, pass them on to others who are recovering, and understand that where drugs/alcohol/gambling/eating/etc. were your way of life, now recovery is your way of life. You must follow this program for the rest of your life. It is, what addicts like to call, a solution. The solution. And for those who stick with it, recovery is ongoing and so much can and will be restored to you.

It is not just our minds and bodies that have been wrecked. It is our relationships with family and friends; it is our financial history, credit history, criminal history, and over all reputation that is part of the damage. During active addiction, we have proven to be untrustworthy, unreliable, and unwanted for things such as jobs, apartments, and bank accounts. It is through the work of the steps that we begin to cut out our self-inflicted cancer and begin to build all things healthy. The steps for us, are literally the ladder out of our hole.

My hope in posting this is that those who are in recovery can see how simple the steps really are, and those who know people in recovery may gain a new level of respect for the work that goes into our solution.

My 100th WordPress Follower

Kathryn Johnston @ 4am Writer

As you may know, those who follow my blog, reading my posts and commenting, are very important to me. It is all of you who keep me motivated to write more and confident enough to write at all. I, of course, appreciate each and every one of you, however, one blogger has come to follow me that I want to acknowledge in a different way. She is my 100th WordPress followerand this is for me, a sort of milestone.Kathryn Johnston, author of 4amWriter, among other published works, is my 100th follower and an amazingly talented writer. Not only is she really gifted in what she does, but she shares many “how-to” tidbits on becoming better writer’s ourselves. Her blog is rich with a vast amount of good, easy to follow, and effective information and is just an overall pleasure to read.

I feel a deep sense of honor when I learn that published authors follow my blog, and Kathryn is no exception. Thank you so much for your interest in my writing. I welcome any criticism that you may have to offer. I, too, dream of someday being published and will not give up no matter how many doors close. If there is one thing my life has taught me is that for every door that closes, there are two or more opening. It is up to me to be patient and believe that my hard work will pay off, as long as I keep my eyes and my mind open to the many possibilities.

Please, anyone reading this post, take a moment and visit 4amWriter! I guarantee that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so. By the way, the picture posted is one I obtained from 4amWriter’s Facebook page, because for security reasons, I was unable to load her Gravatar pic from WordPress. So, you can check her out on Facebook too! How cool, huh?

A Sunshine Award is Warming My Heart

I have graciously been awarded the Sunshine Award by Pauline from newfoundlandtraveller ! Pauline is a very accomplished woman, having quite a few degrees in teaching and education, is a published author, and loves to travel. Her blog is both thought-provoking and informative and a real joy to read. I love sunshine, so this is definitely the award for me! Thank you very much for honoring me with this very bright and warm award!

The Sunshine Award, like all other rewards, has some rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

TEN QUESTIONS

  1. Favorite color: Pale Yellow
  2. Favorite animal: Cats
  3. Favorite number: 11
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee, creamed and sugared, hands down! By the way, I don’t drink alcohol, so this is my favorite drink overall!
  5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? I have both, however I have two FB, one is primarily for my recovery friends from around the world and I have over 2300 friends on that page, and the second for my nearest and dearest girlfriends from early childhood to the most recent friendships I have formed. This page only has 59 friends, as I am very selective and 40 of those are on both of my pages. I do have a Twitter account as well, however, it is hard for me to keep up. I do the best I can.
  6. My passion: It’s a tie! Psychology and Writing.
  7. Prefer getting or giving presents: Giving! I am not a material person, so receiving gifts is nice, but the emotions felt with giving presents far outweighs my excitement at receiving them.
  8. Favorite pattern: Log Cabin (This is a quilt pattern)
  9. Favorite day of the week: Thursday
  10. Favorite flower: Daisy, though since that is considered a weed, I will go with carnation. They smell nice and last a long time after being cut.

PASSING IT ON:

This is the fun part. For me, the Sunshine Award represents an award given to blogs that bring sunshine and smiles into the reader’s and viewer’s day. So, without further ado, here are the blogs that do that for me:

rumpydog—talk about sunshine being brought into your day! This blog is brought to you from the perspective of a variety of dogs and cats. This blog is informative, funny, engaging, and just leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy all over!

Our Little Home—About a couple of lesbians in love and their personal journey. I absolutely LOVE this blog and it is well worth the time to go check it out!

Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride—the name says it all! This blog is indeed like a wild ride, but one that is a lot of fun. There is a mixture of fiction and reality on this blog, and not one post will you be disappointed to read. This is one of those blogs you can get lost on for hours. Awesome stuff!

allaboutlemon—this blog has it all! Games, contests, photography, videos, and written posts! If you want to have fun, be intrigued, test your sense of adventure, or just make a genuine friend, this is the place to go!

Kitty bloger—who doesn’t like adorable kittens and their many adventures and silliness? A must see!

Vinyl Eraser—one of the most recent of the blogs I now follow, this is the blog of an experimental, self-taught artist, but as you will see for yourself, this artist has true talent! Don’t take my word for it—go take a peek!

Maze A Day—do you like a challenge? Interested in a trickery of the mind and a test of your mental abilities? Try getting through just one of these unique, one-of-kind mazes. If you can’t get through one, don’t worry; there is always tomorrows maze. Go ahead, give it a try—I dare you!

Bluebird Blvd.—fascinating is an understatement! Poetry, photography, humor, art, and some information about a lot of different things that would be a shame if you missed. Hurry on over—it’s not too late!

Noisy Pilgrim—some of THE MOST AMAZING Photography I have ever seen. Positively mind-blowing!

Mindset: Perspective Is Everything—if you have a passion for psychology, as I do, this blog is like a free online class. Some very interesting and insightful lessons to be learned for Dr. Richard Schultz!

These really are some truly amazing blogs. Please go visit each one, and don’t forget to check out Pauline at newfoundlandtraveller!

What Drives Me

I know I should not write this until I pull myself together, however, I do not want to wait to bring this to as many people as possible and raise awareness. I am saddened, no, devastated after reading this article. I follow LGBTQNATION very closely on Facebook, and as a matter of fact, it can be found under my LGBT Blogroll, and when I logged into Facebook today, this is what I found:

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/02/student-jumps-to-his-death-school-officials-say-bullying-wasnt-a-factor-bullshit/

This kind of needless tragedy breaks my heart, upsets me to my core, and is what drives me to work hard and go above and beyond my very best in my studies. Stopping this kind of thing and finding ways not only to reach these young teens and adults, but to provide them safe and dependable support, is my life’s goal. If ever there is a question of what I am studying, what my intentions and goals are, and/or why, read this article and I promise you, you will understand the certainty of my existence on this earth. May God be with this beautiful child’s family, friends, and classmates, and may the bullies that caused it, at the very least—Learn Something! The letter written by Drew’s classmate and friend is very touching and sends a strong message!

I have never asked before, but I am asking you now, please, please reblog this, post it on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, or any and all other sites that you may have available to you. Thank you…

 

 

 

 

Just Me, #3

Hello Fans, Followers, Fellow Bloggers, and All Welcome Visitors,

Writing has been very good for me. It has helped keep my anxiety down and it has motivated me to get all my school assignments done in order to have time to write more. Everything I have written and continue to write is from my own experiences, all of it true, and nothing of fiction to date. If and when I find the courage to create a story that is of my imagination, I will add a “Fictional Detours” to my list of categories. Until then, my head and my heart provide me with enough material to keep me busy.

I really want to attract more readers, and so, I have posted on my Facebook page a request for any topics that others may be interested in reading about. So far, I have had no responses. If you have something you are interested in reading more about, list it in the comments and I will write something about it. I write for the joy of writing, but I also want to share my joy with those who are willing to take just a moment of their time to read some, or all, of the things I have written. If you like a story, please repost it…Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or what have you. If you like several of my posts, please add me to your blogroll. I will return the favor upon request.

All the nerves I experienced with the new semester has been for not. I have been going through my four classes and doing all that is required pretty smoothly. My classes this semester are Religious Studies (studying various religions from around the world), an English class that is focused on writing in the Social Sciences, Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology. This coming week, I have a paper to write, a proposal to write, hundreds of pages to read in three different texts and some online articles chosen by the varying instructors, and quizzes on all of the reading material. I also have discussion boards to keep up with, both in reading what everyone else is discussing, and also putting in my two cents worth.

I have a project I have to work on this semester that requires me to be dependent on five other students. That is a little scary, but with any luck, I will have a good team and we will all contribute equally and come up with something sensational. I also have to submerge myself into a subculture and learn all I can about them and do a variety of assignments around what I learn. That will be fun. Horse stables or the little local theatres here in the Pocono Mountains are my two top choices. We shall see which one I choose and what their culture entails. I am sure I will include some of my writings here on my blog.

I do wish there was more time in a day. I am itching to paint, finish a latch hook pillow for my son, learn to play the piano (I have a keyboard in my room and a former music teacher as a roommate who really wants to teach me), and among the 30 or so books I have on my shelf that I am dying to read, the two that I am barely keeping myself from picking up are Rubyfruit Jungle and Ragtime. I know once I start reading, I won’t stop and that can and will interfere with the time I need to stay on track with my classes.

Oh! And yesterday, I was able to view the available classes for summer semester and I think I have chosen the classes I will take. There is a math class that is required prior to taking Psychology 200, which is statistics in psychology. I must take the statistics class and pass it before I can apply to the Psychology Department for my major, so I will take the math class. Three natural science classes are required and I took Horticulture last semester and will take Astronomy next semester. For my third and final science class, I am hoping to take something in regards to Geology, but if not, then I will check out an introduction to Physics class. I am also required to take a speech class, as they would not allow the one I took at the community college to transfer. Too bad too, because I got a B in that class, and I do NOT want to take speech again. As it is for most people, I do not like to speak publicly. Fortunately, this is an online class, therefore, I will do my speeches via webcam and upload them for my instructor to view. Still…Bleh! For my final class this summer, I will most likely take a Women’s Studies class. There are two, so I want to take the one studying women in Humanities and the Arts. All of that will complete my first YEAR at Penn State. Wow! I am really impressed with myself!

It is now time for me to refresh my coffee and get to reading the chapters in Developmental Psychology so I can prepare to take the two quizzes, check in with the discussion boards, and then I will be back to write more. I just hope I get some suggested topics from my Facebook.

Happy Reading!

Cindy