Health Update : June 2017

14 Jul

Hello everyone!

I pulled up my migraine app to write the stats down, all the while thinking that I haven’t been keeping very good track lately when this confirmed it : 2 attacks the past month, my average attack duration is —wait for it…… 145 hours and 35 minutes. (coughcough) so I’m gonna skip this entire section of update because it’s all faulty.

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Overall Health: the first three weeks of June were terrible. Straight up terrible. But! I also started getting nutrient IV’s and they seem to help so much. I feel like we are starting to figure some stuff out about this poor body. The last week-odd was so much better – all my symptoms calmed down SO much. Although disassociation is still a problem when I’m out and about.

Notes : 5-26 upped xcht to 2/day . Nauseous. Exhausted. Migraine kicks up then recedes on its own. Feeling a bit snippy and lonely today. Waiting to hear back from Dr about upping ceanothus or starting fibrobol.
5-28 starting fibronol, 1/day. Haven’t heard back from Dr, decided to just do it.
5-30 fibropain has been flaring for the past few days bad. Hard time getting it to ease. Trying the white Willow forte for it instead of Advil.
6-1 appt with Dr v today. Left side feels better now. Also started cycle early this am. Pretty miserable all day. Exhausted.  Migraine kicking my butt. Off of fibronol- was causing unexplained bruising.
6-2 first IV today
6-12 migraine not staying down today. Fibropain is starting to flare in late afternoon. Hard time focusing on anything for more than a few minutes. Really wanting to start the detox, hoping to get to the produce store tomorrow so I can. Migraine flared to a 10 in evening. Debilitating. Awful. Body was a heavy weight that I couldn’t move. Tears. Fell asleep around 8pm and slept off and on till the next am.
6-14 day two of recovery. Able to do dishes this morning but exhausted and achy now
6-16 still can’t get rid of this migraine and fatigue. It’s sticking around an 8. Evenings are still rough but seem to be getting easier as they go on. Nothing seems to ease the migraines much
6-20 2nd IV today:
Potassium
B complex (5, 6 a and 12 as well)
Vit C
Calcium
Magnesium
Saline
Fighting a cold as well. Been better this past week-ish. Fibropain has diminished -except for shoots of pain. Migraines responding to treatment better. Highest an 8. Fatigue still awful

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morning dose

*It wasn’t the fibronol that was causing unexplained bruising. I have since started back up on the fibronol because the bruising is still happening. I also realized that the Ceanothus was causing some serious herxing so I am going to start taking it only one drop a week.

Sleep: Still rotating Theanine and Melatonin in order to fall asleep. Having a hard time with falling – and staying – asleep again. Especially when the fibromyalgia kicks in.

Memory/Disassociation: Like I mentioned above, I’ve noticed that disassociation kicks in when I go out in public. I suppose I could be having it here at home too but just don’t realize it. hmmm. Anyway, memory might be improving a little.

Vision: I’ve started getting ‘floater’s in my vision a bit which my dr says can be a vitamin k issue (I think this is right, it goes along with some other problems I’ve been having)

Dizziness: Thankfully, this has stayed mostly calm – but not completely

Fibromyalgia: This seems to flare for a few weeks and then calm down. Right now I’m in the  it’s-coming-back-soon stage. It definitely reached higher intensities, especially during my level-10 migraines. Advil, heat and ice seem to be the only things that help.

Fatigue: this was consistently bad the first three weeks. It eased the last week odd but has since come back with a vengeance.

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Weight Loss : Since I cut processed sugar out and reduced any starches (beginning of May) I’ve lost a total of 5 lbs. I’m excited about this because it’s been steadily – slowly- dropping and any attempts before to lose weight didn’t work. As long as I stay strict like this, I think the weight will continue to drop. (it’s funny because it’s typically 0.8lbs a week.)

Mood: I’ve been good on this and yet not… The mood swings and major struggles haven’t come back but I’ve struggled with getting frustrated at the downward swing of my heath.

Bladder: I haven’t noticed any changes in this area

 

 

~ I am trying not to worry too much about the fact that I’ve started getting level-10 migraines again. Trying. Because, honestly, it’s freaking me out.

~ It would be wonderful if I could go in regular for acupuncture and bodywork. And I really want to try the infrared sauna as well as the sensory deprivation room (because, I just couldn’t do the ‘tank’ – hello claustrophobia). There are a few other treatments that I’ve looked into that I would like to try but due to money – and insurance not covering anything I need for Lyme treatment – I just can’t. It has been a big point of frustration for me this month.

 

~I am going to start looking into getting disability which completely overwhelms me just thinking about it. If anyone has any tips or suggestions, I’d absolutely love to hear them!

~Laura

I am on Instagram where I update/share how I am doing pretty regular if you want to check it out

 

Encouragement for Living with Chronic Illness (part 3)

11 Jul

Here we are with part three folks! I hope you’re finding encouragement and information in these articles. If you want, you can follow my chronic pain Pinterest board where I pretty regularly put up funnies, articles and other such posts.

 

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What is Lyme Disease?  by Caravan Sonnet

The Truth about Pain and Suffering by Kathryn Shirey

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The Dark before the Dawn 

13 Tips for getting better sleep with Fibro by fedupwithfatigue.com

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To the Mom living with Chronic Illness who feels Inadequate by themighty.com

I do hope you’re finding a few articles that encourage you in each of these posts!

~Laura 

What do you do to help get through the pain?

 

Monthly Goals: July 2017

6 Jul

Hello lovelies! June passed so quickly didn’t it?! I feel like it was really only two weeks, the way it blasted by. My OH finished up spring term and is taking summer term off – we’re both looking forward to the break! Haven’t seen much of him these past two terms. I didn’t meet a lot of my goals in June because of my health but I’m excited that every month I’ve tried a few different recipes!

On to the goals!

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(This is my rose bush in my front yard! It is blooming like crazy right now and I’m loving it!) 

Recap of Monthly Goals:

Finish writing new scene in ‘Amelia’ – nope. did get some brainstorming done on ‘Georgia’ story

Post Regularly – I’m getting a bit better!

Lose weight/get healthier – I’ve been able to keep my weight at least the same, if not losing any. I’ll share more of my health next week.

Read more books on Jewish living –  It’s not Jewish, but I’m reading When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story

Write a letter to one person a month 

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Try a new recipe – Once again, I have been trying recipes from Against All Grain, this time from her Meals Made Simple book – Peruvian Style Chicken, Meatloaf and Chocolate shake (with spinach not avocado). All three were yummy! I’m loving this new cookbook.

Watch/Read a documentary/biography – I started watching another Gordon Buchanan show – Snow Wolf Family and Me. Abby and I love watching it.

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Recap of June Goals:

Start 21-day detox – no but I have been strict on my diet – limited starch, no processed sugar

Get my hair trimmed – Finally! I cut 6 inches off and it feels so good and healthy again

Finish Crochet projects

Go through 2 areas and declutter – not at all. This month was rough on me

Schedule landlord to clean up yard – no but I’m still hoping to. So maybe this month?

Vacation – YES. We had a wonderful time.

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My new Japanese-style tub!

July Goals:

Start 21-day detox

Post Regularly (I’ve already planned out most of this month’s posts!)

Go through 2 areas and clean

Schedule landlord to clean up yard?

Sand/Paint Adirondack Chair

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my dad pressure washing my chair for me!

What are your plans/goals for July? 

~Laura

 

Book Review – June 2017

3 Jul

Ahhh time for book reviews again. I am trying to write more separate posts but what with the pain levels ever increasing, many end up here instead. I went through my library recently and pulled out some novels to read again to see if I actually want to keep them or not. (I was surprised to be able to pull a few off and easily send them on their way out the door.)  With my limited space, I’m trying to be a bit pickier on what novels I keep (especially since we live so close to Powell’s bookstore and classics keep coming home with me). A few of these I read back in May, so no, I didn’t read this many books this past month.

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Because – Have you seen the length of Brandon Sanderson’s novels?!?!  (the one I’m currently reading is 552 pages, aka 236 thousand words) 

Timber Ridge Reflections by Tamera Alexander – click the link for my full review!

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My Life in France by Julia Child – When Julia and her husband, Paul, moved to France in 1948, she knew no French and nothing about food. Her experiences with superb food had her soon signing up for cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu. Her passion for learning the secrets to what made each dish delicious ended up changing her life – and turning her into one of the most beloved cooking teachers and writers.

~ This memoir was enjoyable in every way.  Child shares her travels throughout Europe along with the meals that made such impressions on her. It reminded me of a goal that I had years ago – that of cooking my way through her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but alas, with all these food allergies, that will never be possible.  Her dedication to detail in her recipes revolutionized the cookbook industry. A fun read about one of the most endearing American personalities. Bon Appetit! 

~These next four novels are the ones I read to decide to keep them or not. All four are getting passed on to my mom! ~

Sweet Blessings by Jillian Hart – Heath Murdock never expected anything more than a hot meal and a dry place to sit for a while when he entered the small diner. He ended up earning the trust and love of independent Amy Mckaslin when he steps in and helps out.

~This is the second book in the Mckaslin series, but the only one I’ve ever read. It’s a sweet story of learning to let go of the past, forgive yourself and accept God’s love. It being a novella, I feel like the story could go deeper but Hart still brings depths to her characters. 

The Bride Bargain by Kelly Eileen Hake – Clara Fields can’t believe that her and her widowed aunt were abandoned by their wagon train on the way to Oregon. When help is offered by the owner of the general store in Buttonwood, Clara strikes a bargain that in exchange for marrying his son, she’ll get the house so that they will be independent of any man. But when she meets the son, a handsome doctor, sparks fly.

~A short story, the characters are engaging and the story is well-written. The struggles that Clara faces – inward and outwardly – as well as the son, a Dr. Reed, are often in opposition to the other, creating tense or confused moments! A fun, light read. 

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn – Jessica Morgan just wants to live her own life and forget her past. She heads for a small town in Oregon to teach at the high school, hiding her true identity. She finds it harder than she had imagined when she meets a caring paramedic who just wants to help her and a devious woman who’s trying to destroy her. Will she let fear or love win in the end?

~ This was a sweet christian romance story that I read in one day. I’ve read it before, a few years ago so couldn’t remember it too well. The faith portion was well-shared and the plot was sweet and happily resolved. I’d recommend this if you’re searching for a light read! .(I just realized that it’s book 1 of a series but I don’t think I’ve read any more of the series)

Forgotten Justice by Lois Richer – All John Riddle can remember is a date – October 29th. He knows nothing else – not who he is or where he’s from. He’s found a temporary home in Camp Hope and a friend in the beautiful and determined lady in a wheelchair. As time goes on though, he wonders, is his presence at Camp Hope putting her in danger?

~ This is #2 of the Camp Hope series, but is still enjoyable as a stand-alone. I liked how Richer slowly revealed things in this romantic suspense. Near the end of it, I thought I’d figured out who John Riddle was but was totally wrong! Which, is always fun when they keep you guessing til the end. I told my OH that I’d love to read it as a lot longer story – maybe as 500 pages? I feel like there could be so much depth added to it! But it is a fun, quick suspense just as it is. 

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Revision and Self-Editing : Techniques for Transforming your First Draft into a Finished Novel by James Scott Bell – This was SUCH a great book on self-editing! I grabbed it from the library on a whim one day but really think I’ll end up buying it. It had some great tips throughout along with exercises to do so that you can practice what he’s teaching. I took a whole lot of notes on it, and this is the only time I wrote on on my novel in June – working off his suggestions. I highly recommend this as a book to help you polish up your novel! 

Messianic Jewish Manifesto  by David H. Stern – click for a full review!

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Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson ( watch for a review soon!) – I know guys, I know, I’m not going to tell you a thing about this series until I finish the third book. If you really can’t wait, google it. 😉 

What I’m Currently Reading:

When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss ( I’m still listening to this on audiobook, might have to get it from the library so I can actually finish it)

Linking up to The Reading Roundup again!

Reading Roundup

What are you reading lately? 

~Laura

Encouragement for living with Chronic Illness (part 2)

29 Jun

Here’s the second installment in this series where I share articles and posts on Lyme disease and chronic pain.

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The Guilt and Shame of Chronic Illness from A Delightful Home

To Those who find my Illness hard to Understand from The Mighty

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5 Things I wish you knew about Lyme Disease from the Mighty

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Don’t Say it Could be Worse from Kate the (Almost) Great

8 Tips in Understanding Lyme Disease Patients from It’s Not Just Lyme

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Thanks for stopping by, and remember to follow my Chronic Pain Pinterest board too!

Laura 

Do you have any links to share about chronic pain? I’d love to read them! 

Series Review – Timber Ridge Reflections

22 Jun

Hello friends! I have a quick series review for you today. You simply must check this series out. You Must!

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From a Distance – Eastern photographer Elizabeth Westbrook hopes that Colorado will prove to be a place where she can not only further her career, but also be cured of the illness that’s threatening her life. Loner Daniel Radcliffe only wants to protect his land but when he’s called on to repay a debt, his carefully guarded secret is threatened.

 

Beyond This Moment – The small Colorado town of Timber Ridge represents a chance for Dr. Molly Whitcomb to start over. But being a Professor in Romance Languages doesn’t prepare her for the new life she’s forced to invent. Sheriff James McPherson has always been able to read people – and he knows that Molly has a secret. But when he learns what it is, it threatens his position in the town and what he’s always known about himself.

 

Within My Heart – Rachel Boyd and her two sons struggle with running their ranch without their late husband and father. When her only recourse is to trust Dr. Rand Brookston, she balks at it. He is a doctor, just like her father was. Dr Brookston came to the Colorado Territory with a dream of opening a proper clinic but trust, and money, are both hard to come by.

 

While at the library one day, I stumbled upon this series and am so glad I did! It is now on my ‘favorite series’ and ‘favorite author’ lists. I adore historical fiction novels and Alexander does a fabulous job of describing the times just enough so that you’re engrossed in it but doesn’t overdo it to where you’re bogged down with descriptions. The plots of these three books were enjoyable and there was at least one point in each that I teared up. She throws surprises in that I did not see coming – which makes them even more fun! They are set in the late 1800’s, which is one of my favorite time periods.  The descriptions of the dresses made me long to actually see them. (And wear them!) 

I also liked that Elizabeth was working in a field that was still largely a male career ; that Molly’s story highlighted how different the expectations/ repercussions were for men and women; how Rachel fought to keep her ranch afloat despite the physical labor and frustrations. You continue to see/get to know the characters from the previous book and I love when authors do that. 

I highly recommend this series to anyone wanting a great series that has a message in each book! I can’t wait to read more by Tamera Alexander! 

~Laura

Have you read any books by Alexander? Who’s your favorite historical fiction author?

Writing Prompts: Character Creation (Georgia)

20 Jun

It’s time for another character development sheet! Once again, I’m using this one, like I did with Edward‘s. Today’s character is the main character:

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Georgia Fossit  – American – late 20’s – only child – from a wealthy/influential family

Optimist or Pessimist: Why? – Optimist  – she believes/sees the best in the world and in people

(If I add the backstory that I am thinking of (below) I don’t think she’d be such an optimist….)

Introvert or Extrovert: Why? – Extrovert , she loves being in the center of what’s going on as it keeps her from thinking

Drives and Motivations: excitement / adventure , trying to get rid of the restlessness inside

Talents:

Extremely skilled at: talking people round to her point of view?, fencing (with swords)

Extremely unskilled at: writing speeches, riding a bicycle,

Good Characteristics: determined, loyal

Character Flaws: a bit stuck up in the beginning, pampered

Mannerisms: uses her hands a lot (?), stands/walks very proper

Peculiarities: not married at her age/won’t marry for advantage,

Biggest Regret: losing Phillip, losing her way again after losing Phillip

Minor Regrets:

Biggest Accomplishments: does she meet one of the leaders of S.M.?

Minor Accomplishments:

Character’s darkest secret: what if she secretly married Phillip while in Europe all those years ago? did she have a baby and her parents made her get rid of it because of what it would do to their/her social standing? (which would then affect her biggest regret)

(I just had an eye-widening moment at this thought. Could add DEPTH to why she reverted back to her old life consumed with parties and such, because she couldn’t deal with it. could also help explain why she joins the S.M.)

Does anyone else know? Her parents.

If yes, did character tell them? they were a part of it.

If no, how did they find out?

 

I feel like I broke a level of ‘imagine the worst that could happen to your character. And then imagine the next worse’ or however that statement goes. Man. I feel bad for what I am thinking of adding to her backstory but it could work. It could really work.

~Laura

Encouragement for living with Chronic Illness

16 Jun

Hello friends! I’m going to share with you some posts on dealing with chronic pain over the next little while – I’ve got quite a few saved so I’m going to split them up and we’ll see how many posts we end up with.

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How to talk about your chronic illness from Kate the (Almost) Great

Loving someone with chronic pain  from Kate the (Almost) Great

Financial Tips and Resources for Lyme Disease Patients from Caravan Sonnet

Lyme Madness  from lymedisease.org

The Herx Reaction from Tired of Lyme

I feel like this post shows the chaotic state that chronic pain puts you in – puts your mind in. I was going to organize the posts by ‘topic’ but then just looked through them and they are all over the place. All well. The goal was to share them and hopefully encourage and enlighten those of you suffering, and those of you suffering along-side.

~Laura

Do you have a favorite post to share? Or something that has helped you in your chronic illness journey?

Book Review- Messianic Jewish Manifesto

13 Jun

It took such a long time for me to finish this book – two months I think? – but I am glad I did. It is a well-written book on the Messianic Jewish movement originally published in 1988. Clearly its contents are a bit dated but the majority of it is still viable. David H. Stern covers theology, ideology and program for Messianic Judaism.

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Messianic Jewish Manifesto

He shares a call to action for Messianic Jews and information for those who are against, for or unsure about where they stand.

He encourages us to push away the ‘either-or’ mentality and embrace being 100% both Jewish and Messianic.

He challenges those involved in this movement to fully catch its vision – to heal the breach between the church and the Jewish people.

I marked a few areas that really stood out to me :

“…Israel is called God’s son as far back as Exodus 4:22. The Messiah is presented as God’s son a few verses earlier in Mattiyahu 1:18-25, reflecting Tanakh passages such as Isaiah 9: 6-7, Psalm 2:7 and Proverbs 30:4. Thus the Son equals the son; the Messiah is equated with the nation of Israel. This is what Mattiyahu is hinting at by calling Yeshua’s flight to Egypt a “fulfillment” of Hosea 11:1.” page 107

 

“Unless we have the mind of God, our own dreamings and willings are mere strivings after wind.” page 190

 

“Holiness means doing everything in life in the fear of God and in obedience to his commands.” page 190

 

If you are wanting to learn more about the Messianic Jewish movement, I encourage you to read this book.

~Laura 

Monthly Goals: June 2017

7 Jun

Heeeellooooo doctor appointments and couch! Goodness, I feel like that’s most of what I did in May.

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

EDIT Amelia book til ready for a professional editor.  – Still in the midst of writing a longer, more detailed, makes-more-sense-to-the-story scene. I also had a brilliant light-bulb idea that I’m gonna add!!

Make writing a habit most every day –  nope

Grow SGL’s Traffic –  I’m actually gonna take this goal off for a while and change it back to ‘get on a regular posting schedule’ =)

Lose weight/get healthier – I’ve actually lost almost 2 lbs this month! That’s huge for me

Read more books on Jewish living –  I’ve finally finished Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern. Come back for a review of it!

Write a letter to one person a month –nope

Try a new recipe – if you follow me on Instagram, you know about my new obsession – Creamy Chocolate Shake. (I’m drinking one right now in fact) This yummy shake hides healthy fats and vitamins. You’ve gotta try it! (just in case you’re curious, yes I’m still in love with smoothie bowls and have one every morning.

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OH made me a shake one day when I was in bad pain

Watch/Read a Documentary – I watched another Gordon Buchanan show, this one was Gorilla Family and Me. I also read Julia Child’s book “My Life in Paris” which was thoroughly enjoyable. (watch for a full review coming!)

Recap of May’s goals:

Edit the heck out of Amelia’s story  – just a few days

Be stricter on NO SUGAR and more veggies/juice – I’ve done Great on this one guys. I haven’t knowingly had processed sugar more than once in may! And my veggie/fruit intake has increased.

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Finish gallery wall –  finally! There’s some more I’d like to do with it but I like how it is now so I’m moving on

Start a container garden – Due to increasing medical bills I think I’m gonna give up on this idea this year. Might get a few herbs on my counter but that’s it.

Get my hair trimmed – nope

Watch Under Our Skin 2 – I found out you have to rent it on amazon and I’m so frugal that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Finish crochet projects – YES! and they turned out so cute.

Go through at least 2 areas and declutter – Busted this out right away due to dealing with mice again. Went through and majorly cleaned my office and laundry room

Go on a DATE with OH – technically it was in June, but I’m counting it!

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It’s seriously halfway through the year already! I want to do a quick ‘Goal Check-in’ this month. Here’s my 2017 Goal list.  Since I’ve been updating every month on my regular goals, I’m just going to talk about my BIG goals right now. Which are:

~get my first book published this year  

~ Have my second book written in full  

~Lose weight/get healthier

So. I’ve barely been able to edit my first book and I’ve only just started my second one. And that is because of the struggles of the third goal. Augh. It’s frustrating but can’t be helped. I’m really hoping that I find something that helps soon so that I can get back to writing because I really miss it. I’m bummed about this because I had high hopes to get published this year. Anyway, moving on…

June Goals:

Start 21-day detox

Get Hair Trimmed – have an appointment for when I’m in Bend!

Finish next set of crochet projects

Go through 2 areas and de-clutter

Schedule landlord/landscaper to clean up our sad yard?

VACATION!

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Once again I’m linking up with Stay Gold Autumn – click the picture to check out other great goal posts!

Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com’s linkup on the first day of the month!

What are some of your goals for June? 

~Laura

Blissful Scribbles

Musings through the journey of writing my first novel

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