Truth for the Chronic Pain-er

9 Feb

This is me…

chroniclife

 

For some more laughs at the expense of our pain-ness, check out my pinterest board, and then go enjoy that sunshine!

~Laura

Jan 2016- Book Review

3 Feb

I’d been happily reading through fantastic blogs, several of them series’ when it hit me-

SMACK!

 

I have a series post that I need to write! Whoops! So, here it is, I haven’t read a LOT this month due to, well, life, getting in the way. (yes life includes this one wanting to play fetch all the time. and EAt. and then play fetch. and then Eat. then play hide and seek. and then EAt…well you get the idea. Thank goodness she likes naps still…)

That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake -When twins Drs. Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive in Gooding, Texas, the town is eager to welcome their new veterinarian and doctor. But when they find out the doctor is actually a woman, the whole town is up in arms. One of the men against it is Karl Van der Vort, local blacksmith. He doesn’t like her unladylike occupation, although he can’t deny her skills after becoming her first patient.

A true christian romance that I typically read in just a few days, this is a light read that you can kind of predict the ending but Hake throws in some curveballs throughout that keep it interesting! I love Taylor’s spunk and how protective Karl is of her right from the start. 

 

Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury – Cory Briggs knows he is blessed to have Megan Gunn as his foster mom, but when she tries to adopt him, he is adamant about one thing. Aaron Hill, star quarterback of the 49ers is his dad. Aaron has all he’s ever dreamed about but he’s about to have his life changed forever. Derrick Anderson knows this is his last season playing football, but there is one more thing he has to do…

i know, i know , a ‘football book’? ( i really hope you read that in the whiny voice of the sick little boy at the beginning of Princess Bride ‘ is this a kissing book?’) but this is one I’ve been reading for years. The characters are such that I would love to go to coffee with Megan and to hang out at the Anderson’s house. =)

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle  – This is the adventures of Meg, her brother Charles Wallace and Calvin O’Keefe’s adventures. They take a wild flight with unearthly strangers to find Meg’s missing father – way too long ago he disappeared while working for the government on a secret project involving the tesseract. The tesseract is a wrinkle in time, and while many don’t believe it exists, it does.

–  I ended up borrowing this one from a friend, and read it in about two days! While it was a little different and you could tell it was written for a younger audience, it was still a great read. I look forward to reading the second book in the series. You travel to different planets – and meet different species – with the children, and while it’s fantastical, it was fun.

 

Maire by Linda Windsor– In Ireland in the fifth century the light of Christ was spreading – thanks in huge part to the druids who started seeking truth. During this time of change, two warriors stand against evil. Rowan of Emrys, a leader of his tribe and repentant warrior and Maire, warrior queen of Gleannmara. As these two leaders form an unlikely and unplanned bond, they face the evil druid, Morlach  who is determined to have Maire and Gleannmara and Rowan’s older brother who sold him into slavery as a boy.

~Ahh, Ireland. One day I will go there! But for now, I read novels. And this one is a four-star story! I have been reading this one yearly for, well, years and years and years. As a warning for younger readers, there is talk about marital rights and pleasures. As usual for me, it is very mild but present throughout the novel. 

 

 

Dragonhaven by Robin Mckinley – Being a young boy growing up in a dragon museum sounds like it’d be the best thing ever, but Jake knows the truth. The tourists and the government make it a difficult, if unique, world. Dragons are extinct, and Smokehill is one of the few places in the world that is designed to protect them. But when Jake finds an orphaned dragonlet and tucks it in his shirt to save it, he sets in motion a series of events that he never would have dreamed of.

Having loved all other Mckinley books that i’ve come across, I took a chance and bought this one straight off the shelf ( instead of getting it from the library first!). I was so excited to read it, I passed on starting The Count of Monte Cristo! Sadly, while I loved the story line and the unique plot, i didn’t love the style of writing Mckinley used. I was interested enough to finish the story, but now that i’m in the epilogue, I don’t know if I’ll get through it. I’m bummed about it but I did fall in love with Lois and Gulp!

 

~I’m having a hard time with my photo editor but since i’m days late posting this, i’m going to send it out in the world of, well, 0’s and 1’s and hope that you’ll all forgive me, i’ll try and get a cover photo before this weekend!

What have you been reading? Any inspirational or writing books you’d recommend?

~Laura

Book Review – Everyday Life in the 1800’s

28 Jan

It had become a bit of an obsession, and one that I readily admitted.

Going to Powell’s Bookstore? It was typically my first stop in the store, the ‘writing’ section to see if they had this book:

everdaylifeeighteenhundereds

After only, well, too many times to count, they FINALLY had it. And I couldn’t quite believe it. I made my mom tell me if it was too expensive, because I just couldn’t bear to look. But, lo and behold, it was well within my price range – especially for a book that I’ve been wanting almost two years.

I first found it in the library in my hometown, and kept it checked out as long as absolutely possible. And about cried when I had to return it. I consoled myself with the fact that I could just check it out again in a few weeks. Well, it was constantly ‘out’ and then we moved.

Now I can tell you more about WHY I love this book, now that you know how stinking excited I am to own my own copy.

Put out by Writer’s Digest, this is the only book I’ve found that covers life in the 1800’s :

  • Everday Speech (slang too!!!)
  • Jobs
  • Transportation
  • On the Range
  • the Civil War
  • Fashion
  • Money
  • Health and Medicine

etc etc – seriously, the only thing I wish it had was a detail of tea etiquette and service. Because that would be brilliant. Now, while I’m not writing a novel that is going to be exactly time-proper on things, I do want to have enough so that the reader gets an actual sense of being in the late 1800’s. Have you ever read a story that was set in another era but was written so that you actually forgot that fact? I have. A bit disconcerting and, to the past-era lover that I am, disappointing. I am intending to use this book for this novel (and a few others that are percolating) to help push aside the realities of modern life (goodbye laptop and smart phones) and make the world of my novel(s) more realistic.

So, I’m going to crank up Piano Guys (if you haven’t checked them out, do it, you’ll be sooo glad you did) and get to writing and poring over this new treasure of mine.

Happy Writing,

Laura

 

 

Series Review – Heart of India

17 Jan

I have loved this series for at least 15 years. Written by Linda Chaikin, it is full of mystery, intrigue, romance, history, etc etc. Set in India, it follows Coral Kendall and Captain Jace Buckley. I’ll go into more detail under each book title but what I enjoy so much is that, even if it is only a novel, you learn some history about the upheaval of India, and the mission work that went on there. After finishing it this last time, I decided I really want to read some biographies on the missionaries, including William Carey.

srsrvwheartofindia

 

What’s fun is that as I’ve read them over the years I’ve been able to pick up something different each time. When I was younger, I really only could identify with some of what she goes through, but now…. to put it as a friend does ‘the books grow with you’.

As for who it would be appropriate for, I’m guessing I started reading it around 15 years old. It has no language or sexual overtures in it. But there are battles and intrigues going on so I don’t know how much younger it would be appropriate. As usual, that’s up to you!

Silk – Coral Kendall does the only thing she can do while her dear friend is dying, she promises to care for the newborn baby. In doing so, she breaks caste – she is a silk heiress and the baby is an Untouchable.  She quickly falls in love with Gem and teaches him about God as he grows older. But when he is kidnapped, her strength is tested and her faith that he is still alive is the only thing that will get her through. She enlists the aid of a sea captain to find her son.

Under Eastern Stars – Coral’s decision to start a school for the children on the plantation only aggravates an already volatile situation. India is increasingly more dangerous as hatred for the English is used by those hungry for power. Coral’s Uncle, Hugo Roxbury is determined to stop her plans of a school. Two very different men are filling her heart – the sea captain, Jace Buckley, and Dr. Ethan Boswell, the man who has professed his love.

Kingscote – With Buckley’s promise to bring her son Gem home by Christmas, Coral sets out to start her school for the Untouchables. Ethan has committed himself to helping her. Danger soon rears its ugly head, this time on Kingscote in the form of ashes of the Hindi scriptures that William Carey gave her. Jace searches for Gem but the world of intrigue are dangerous and he starts wondering if he will ever get back to Kingscote to claim Coral as his own.

~I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are new pages to check out! The Book List will have all the books I’ve reviewed in one convenient place! It will take a while to get that done though, so bear with me. The Chronic Pain and My Writing pages are still waiting for content but don’t forget to come back and check them out. Thanks for stopping by SGL,

Have any favorite series you want to share with me?

~Laura

Short Story Sharing – Forever Rain

7 Jan

Writing Prompt:  write about the time the rain wouldn’t stop.

foreverrainshortstorysharing

As I set the table, I looked around the sitting room and sighed. When had it grown so dark? The light filtering through the windows was pale and weak, the corners that usually were bathed in soft sunshine were dark and impenetrable. Even with the silver shined to a brilliant sheen, there was nothing to bounce off it to make it sparkle. After making sure everything was spaced just like Mother had taught me, I wandered to the window and pulled my sweater closer about me.  Clouds hung heavy in the sky, blocking all hope of a clear sky for the afternoon. They were thick and foreboding and I tried to shake the sense that something awful was about to happen. I was often told that I let my emotions rule me too much. Finally hearing the front door shut, I hurried from the window and stood by the small table.

“My, you are a dear. The table looks lovely.”

I helped Mother with her coat and hat and we sat down to tea.

“This weather reminds me of a time when I was just four years old. It had been a dry year, until one day, clouds rolled in and hovered over us. They started out as happy little white ones but as the days went on, they became larger and darker until I was sure they would reach out and snatch me up if I stayed outdoors. Father tried to tell me they were only clouds.”  Mother chuckled and glanced out the window. “But then one night I heard this tapping on the windows. And then on the roof. I hid under my bed and held my breath. The clouds you know.”

“You thought they were coming to get you?”

“Oh yes. I fell asleep under there and woke to the same tap-tap. It didn’t seem so scary in the light of the morning so I crawled out and found my Mother looking out our big window. We stood there and watched the rain for so long, Mother smiling just a little and I was just mesmerized with the way the drops rolled down the glass. We did that every morning. It rained so long people started complaining about it. But still it rained and rained. Those clouds never changed, either. They stayed the same dark, menacing things they had been right before it started. All that summer it rained. And then into the fall. I had started to forget the feel of the sun on my face or how hot rocks get in the afternoon heat of summer. Pretty soon, people stopped complaining about it.”

Setting my teacup down, I interrupted, “They stopped? But it was still raining!”

“Exactly, my pet. It had been raining for so very long that they had forgotten that it didn’t used to. It went on for years this way. The rivers never flooded, the ground never got too muddy. But still, it rained.”

I sat fascinated as my Mother wrapped her long fingers around the teacup, her low voice continuing, “I was twenty four the day it all changed. A stranger showed up at the weekly market and remarked on the strange weather. Naturally he was told that it had been raining for quite some time. Shocked, he looked around and stated that he’d been traveling for days and only when he topped the last hill had the rain started. And then he told us of the sunshine. And the flowers and butterflies. I was intrigued and listened with all my being. I hurried home to tell Mother and Father but they laughed at what I said. The stranger moved on the next day but I never forgot his words and the things he had described. I knew I had to go to that hill and see it for myself.” Mother sighed. “I don’t know if you can imagine a place where it never stops raining. Day in and day out, night after night in a steady stream it came down. Like everyone else, I had gotten so used to it that I didn’t question it. But that stranger changed everything. I asked my parents to take me to that hill. But they forbid it. I didn’t know what was outside our town, they told me. I tried pleading, begging, demanding. Everything I had stopped doing when I first saw the sadness in my Mother’s eyes at my behavior. They still refused me. So, early one morning, I wrapped a few of my things into my pack and snuck out my bedroom window. No one got up early, what with the gray skies and forever rain, so I didn’t have much of a problem getting out of town. By the time I got to the base of the hill, I was winded, thoroughly soaked and thinking about going back home. But I plodded on, the longing to see the stranger’s sun stronger than the pull of home. And just like he said, at the top of the hill, the rain stopped.”

I stared at Mother, wanting to prod her, make her tell me what she saw but I couldn’t breathe, much less talk.

“In a perfectly straight line, the rain ended and bright grass covered everything in front of me. The morning sun was just over the horizon and I could feel it on my face, caressing me. I wanted to run and shout with excitement. This. This was the world I loved. I stayed standing in the rain for a moment more and then took a deep breath and left it.”

“Left the rain?”

“Yes, I left the forever rain.”

 

Thanks for stopping by!

~Laura

Book Review – Dec 2015

4 Jan

So I admit that I completely forgot about doing this post last month! Oy vay. And then I realized that I also have forgotten to do the Heart of India series review. Oy Vay times two.

bkrvwdec2015

But! I completed my reading challenge on Goodreads! And just in the last few days of December too – click here if you want to see all that I read (and subsequently, all I reviewed here on SGL)

~I have added links to each book to amazon if you want to get one of these books for your very own! Thanks for supporting my blog. ~

God-Fearers – Gentiles and the God of Israel -by Toby Janicki – How do non-Jews participate in the modern revival of the Messianic Jewish? This book  brings together what is known on late Second-Temple Era Judaism and early Christianity to answer this question, and to introduce  those first non-Jewish believers, called God-Fearers.

I reviewed this last month, and my opinion stands now that I’ve finished it!

Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell – Frederique Farmer owns her own castle that she’s turned into a bed and breakfast. She doesn’t know that the diaries of a fifteenth-century girl are about to upset her entire life.  Soon she hires a college student and agrees to an American writer being a long-term guest.What happens is more intrigue and possibilities than she ever imagined.

I’m not sure if there is Mitchell novel that I love more than this one. Seriously. I mean, put together reading, writing, cooking, mystery and medieval times? YES. There is some talk of intimacy throughout – it is very delicately put (i mean, come on, I’M reading it) but I do like to tell when it’s present. 

Beauty by Robin Mckinley – Beauty had never had the grace and beauty of her sisters but she tried to make up for it in other ways. Her father was a gentle soul and never noticed the differences between them. But when he came home one day with a story of an enchanted castle and its terrible owner, along with the promise he had had to make, Beauty knows that she is the only one who can go and fulfill the promise. She alone must go to the castle, and to the Beast.

I feel like I’ve been talking about this book for ages without actually having reviewed it here on SGL. I adore this book. Mckinley’s worlds are fantastic – when Beauty is with her family, and then in the castle with the Beast. I never get tired of it. In fact, I still demand quiet in certain parts of the book, savoring them as if it was the first time I’d read it. She wrote another version of this fairy tale and I like it as well but not near as much as this one.

To be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – This has been acknowledged as the classic guide – full of information and daily inspiration – to Jewish attitudes, law and philosophy. From Shabbat to Succot, dietary laws to family life, birth to death and mourning, this book shines the light on how to live a devout life.

I will admit that I’m struggling getting through this one. Nothing against the book itself, though. While it is ‘meatier’ than God-Fearers was, it is still very well written. I think it intimidates me a little bit, (yes, books can intimidate!!!) and that alone makes it hard to pick up. I do look forward to working my way through it though.

Under Eastern Stars  and Kingscote (Heart of India series books 2 and 3) by Linda Chaikin — I am going to review these as a whole series.  You do not want to miss it, I enjoy this series so so much.

I can’t believe that I read 5 (and started another) books during the crazy month of December! We made another trip to Powell’s bookstore (miles and miles and stories and stories of any type of book you could want!) so I have added these three books to my to-read list for January:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dragonhaven by Robin Mckinley (I just cannot get enough of her books!)

It’s always fun to have something new to read, and I now have a little pile growing.

Did you get any books for Christmas or Hanukkah? 

~Laura

 

the year was 2015 and SGL’s most popular posts

31 Dec 2015popularposts

I hope you’ve got some fun plans for the next few days to ring in 2016…. 2016! Don’t freak out. When it’s 2020 you can freak out.

I wanted to, real quick, give you a rundown of 2015 for me and my little family.

2015popularposts (Abby’s first selfie. She really likes touch screen phones )

starting from top left—

~Lady in our home of only a few months! Such a sad pillow she had!

~A surprise weekend visit from some dear friends from Bend! Love these sisters.

~Another visit from some dear friends from Bend! We braved the crowds and made it up to some falls!

~ My brother took me on a canoe ride up the Deschutes River (really one of my favorite things to do). Sunshine, the sound of water lapping against the canoe and not having to paddle at all? A great way to spend a morning

~ Getting my VW Bug ready for the trip up to Portland! Poor thing had a little mouse nest in the engine compartment.

~ A friend and her daughter came for a week! We had a blast. Love our yearly trips.

~Next two pictures down are from my trip to Cali to visit family. It was a great trip full of family, food and gorgeous scenery.

~Some friends (fabulous friends that have adopted us into their family!!) came for a visit and we went to the beach for the day. somehow I don’t have the picture we took with them.

~Our family grew! Abby Pond joined our home and increased the craziness 10 fold. Lady has grown to like her instead of just tolerate her, i mean look at that expression on Lady’s face… that doesn’t speak of love does it? Abby’s pretty sure Lady’s job in life is to be her pillow/toy.

~I went to my first concert in probably ten years! Weird Al in Bend. It was so much fun and much more than just someone standing up on a stage singing. He’s a true entertainer.

~Thanksgiving in Bend, with two of my nieces. I really thought about sneaking them home in my car… their parents wouldn’t notice, right??

~For Hanukkah we had a guest. Who really likes playing dreidel…

~~~

Here are SGL’s most popular posts this year:

Good-bye Lover  – this was a book I received free to read and review and I enjoyed it immensely. ‘Lover’ is the name of the family heirloom – a violin.

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Modesty, Authenticity , Hope  – I so enjoyed this series with each post focusing on a different virtue I wanted to grow in my life.

Dealing with the Pain of a Disappointing Doctor  – Doctors, doctors, doctors… when they cause you more pain instead of easing it

Chronic Pain and its side effects – an honest look at what chronic pain does to you (or me, as the case more accurately is) but what is less-talked about

Starting out the New Year with a whimper, some tears and a bang – the beginning of this year’s posting started out with some serious readership!

Thank you for joining me here on SGL this past year and I look forward to spending 2016 with you as well. I am still contemplating my next series, figuring out just how I want to focus more on my writing on here and wishing I knew how to get a page that I could frequently update with a list, separated into genres, of all the books I’ve reviewed. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Happy New Year,

Laura

Letting go and Moving on

28 Dec

I’ve shared here on SGL before that dealing with these migraines for over 10 years now has changed me – for better or worse, it has. It’s bound to, really.

What’s been plaguing me for quite a while is the sadness that comes with that fact – who I used to be was someone I liked well, overall. She was a bit too timid to try new things and lacking in self-confidence but I liked her.

lettinggomovingon

The next thing that would naturally follow that thinking was ‘who would i be if i never had these migraines?’ Of course I’d like to believe that I would be some business owner ( go bakery!) by now, or perhaps high up in whatever other career I had chosen.

This is all fruitless wondering of course, because no one really knows where they would be had they taken a different path, one chosen or chosen for them.  So while I was ‘wool-gathering’ in this manner the other day, I had a thought that changed these questions for me.

Who was I?

Who am I now?

Who am I going to be because of who I am now?

See the difference? I tend to put so much weight on how these long years of blasted pain have affected me (in the negative) that anything I have learned gets shoved aside which I’m thinking is a good way to keep myself from doing any more growing. It’s hard to describe just what chronic pain does to you, I tried HERE,  and I am frequently wishing my OH could have known me before all these physical limitations that often leave me frustrated. But, I am so blessed despite these issues, and I have breaks where I am able to do some cleaning, working here on my blog, or writing on one of my multiple stories.

(Abby insists on attention no matter how I’m feeling)

Really the last two questions are the ones I want to think over and work toward the woman I want to be.

No matter what we wish – we know we can’t change the past but we can change the future by how we live today. While I may feel like giving up and just spending each and every day curled up on the couch, that’s not exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life, or even the precedent I want, when I hit some overwhelming obstacle. 

It-Doesnt-Matter-Its-In-The-Past-Lion-Kings-Rafiki-Quote-Gif

I am reading one of my favorite novels and last night I read this and knew I had to share it.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that no matter how much you wish, you can never change the past. The only thing you can do is change the present.”

So. I’m working on letting go of the past and what I wished for it. As for the present, my OH frequently tells me ‘ I don’t know what you’re expecting of yourself.” That might sound strange but it brings me back from whatever road I’m wandering down that leads to pity or frustration. If I have these physical restrictions, I shouldn’t be telling myself I can clean the house, walk the dogs, make dinner and who knows what else – all in one day. To you maybe that’s easy, a cinch, no problem and that’s awesome. I haven’t been able to do that much in a day in a long while, unless I push myself… and pay for it later….

Let me get back on track a little bit.

The past is, well, the past. And whether we like what it holds or not, we have got to let it go. Otherwise we can’t be fully here, in this moment. And we can’t point ourselves toward the future that we want either.

tumblr_mdyz1aS1sW1rz8acmo1_500

 

So, friends, keep your chins up and a smile on your face, but don’t be afraid to burrow under the covers for a good cry every once in a while. Just remember to come back out.

~Laura

(I resisted using an image of Elsa singing Let it Go….just so you know…)

Last Minute Gift Ideas – Books

21 Dec

I don’t know about you but I’ve got almost all of my Christmas shopping done! There are a few stragglers but I’m feeling rather proud of myself for having started planning so early and getting things done!  

I thought it would be kind of fun to throw together a list of some of my favorite books in case you are needing some help in ideas (because what better gift can one get/give than BOOKS?)

giftideasbooks

Novels for preteens/teens:

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

Beauty by Robyn Mckinley

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Anne of Green Gables (and series) by L.M. Montgomery

The Inheritance by Lousia May Alcott

Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

 

Novels for an older readership:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson

Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers

 

Other:

God-Fearers by Toby Janicki

Torah Rediscovered by Ariel Berkowitz

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis

Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals by Ednah Cheeney

For Women Only and For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

Heal Your Headache by David Buccholz

 

 

~While I separated the novels into two groups, the ones in the teen area can certainly be enjoyed by adults! ~

Merry Christmas friends! Come back for a review of a GREAT series!

~Laura

Dealing with the ME’s

17 Dec

Has anyone else been hit with the mememememe’s lately? No, not the ‘meme’s, or whatever that is. the ME’s.The ‘I want’ , ‘I need’ or my favorite, ‘I deserve’ thoughts that start running through your head so that your insides get all tangled up because your wants/needs/deserves aren’t being met in that moment.

dealingwithmes

I got hit with them the other evening and finally realized it. Thank goodness most of the time that stuff doesn’t come out of my mouth.

Once I realize that’s where my focus is, I have a few things to try and shake myself out of it.

~PRAY for my focus to move to what it should be on.

~LIST all my OH does for me on a daily basis – instead of what I wish he would be doing for me (because all he’d done that day was go to work and school which is at least a 14 hr day, geesh Laura)

~BLESS him, offering a back rub,making him tea/coffee, leaving him alone to play a video game or whatever he’s doing to unwind, he deserves to have that time!

~DO something else  – read, watch a tv show, play a video game, play with the dogs, etc

And, on the rare occasion those things don’t work,

~SLEEP – of course by this time, he knows something’s wrong. So, he asks. no getting anything by this guy. I tell him I’m just off, we snuggle for about 1.5 minutes, I roll back to my side of the bed and within .5 minutes he’s asleep. who falls asleep that fast? jealousy…….  anyway, that bit was random. Really sleep is what will do it. I wake up and forget I was ridiculously frustrated with him, or myself or whatever.

I know as spouses we are told to put our other half’s needs before our own, but as so many things, it is harder to do. Now I’m not saying that you don’t deserve to be pampered  – heaven knows there are some moments when I tell him I just need a hug or a snuggle and then I’m fine. But, the above list is for when I know I’m expecting more than I should, in the moments when it is not realistic.

~Laura

What do you do to get over the ME’s?

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