Monday, February 25, 2013

Proverbs 31: 18-19

Marriage Moment

PROVERBS 31:  18-19

18.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:  her candle goeth not out by night.

19.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hand holds the distaff.


Whether my "merchandise" is a product or service to sell, or meals, cuddles, gardening and the like in a home setting, a Proverbs 31 Woman works to provide the best for her customers or loved ones.  She knows how to make or provide what her family needs, in the best way for each group's circumstances.  If there is something she does not know or a skill she does not have, she works to develop those abilities.


Originally, I had thought to wait until next week to 'unveil' the habits/goals on which I will be working in March, on my journey to become more like a Proverbs 31 Woman.  But I just can't wait any longer!

Caring for Self - I want to walk 30 mins/day at least 3 days/week:
I obviously need more exercise.  I am older than my father was when he passed away and I have developed some of the same health problems that he had, among them high blood pressure.
Caring for Children - I am going to teach my oldest son, age 16, to drive.
This is something that Brian needs for his own independence.  When it comes time for him to either get a job, or move out for college, etc, especially if he stays in Kentucky, he will need to be able to do this for himself.  And as long as he is home, and we go as a family to visit the in-laws in Texas, it would be SO NICE to have a 3rd driver!
Caring for the Home - I am going to re-vamp our cleaning schedule.
 We are a very crowded family right now, with two adults, two teens, one tween, 1 dog, 1 cat and 6 puppies all in a 3 bedroom apartment.  The old way of cleaning just isn't working anymore.  (And if you know anyone that wants a puppy, feel free to let me know!)
Caring for Finances - I am reorganizing our food budget.
For a long time, I have wanted to prepare food 'closer to home' - baking bread rather than buying it ready made and sliced.  I also need to educate my family more on the benefits of a healthy meal plan.  There is diabetes and heart issues in the current or recent past generations of our family, and I want to make eating better food a priority.
Caring for Husband - I will make sure his study area is organized and clean.
Recently, my husband went back to college at the age of 45.  Growing up, he probably would have been diagnosed with ADHD, if such knowledge existed back then.  The upshot was that not many people believed in his abilities ... including himself.  While some of his subjects are out of my league, I can help him by checking grammar and math, and by keeping his study area free of distractions.
My Relationship with God - I will bolster my prayer life.
 I have never been particularly regular in my prayer life.  At times, I have been one of those who pray a lot when things are not going well, but not so much when the going is easier.  Not entirely sure how this will go, so comments with ideas that have worked for you would be much appreciated!

Later today, I will post my new-ish "Mental Health Mondays" meme/link-up.  If you write about mental health topics, or know someone who does, I invite y'all to link up this afternoon or evening!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mental Health Mondays #4

The American Psychiatric Association defines "panic disorder" as:

Panic disorder affects about 2.4 million adult Americans and is twice as common in women as in men. A panic attack is a feeling of sudden terror that often occurs with a pounding heart, sweating, nausea, chest pain or smothering sensations and feelings of faintness or dizziness. Panic disorder frequently occurs in addition to other serious conditions like depression, drug abuse, or alcoholism. If left untreated, it may lead to a pattern of avoidance of places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. In about a third of cases, the threat of a panic attack becomes so overwhelming that a person may become isolated or housebound—a condition known as agoraphobia. Panic disorder is one of the most treatable of the anxiety disorders through medications or psychotherapy. Early treatment of panic disorder can help prevent agoraphobia.

Think of panic disorder as a series of panic attacks and fear of having a panic attack that leads you to change your routine or activities in order to avoid having a panic attack.

As with a lot of conditions, there are times when it is normal and even healthy to feel fear.  The problem arises when the fear leads you to avoid certain situations because you are afraid of having a panic attack.  Say you are in a bank and it gets robbed.  Fear.  Completely natural in this situation.  Panic attack?  Not beyond the page.  If you never go into a bank again because you feel none of them are safe ... it might be time to seek help.

All this being said, let me admit I do not like going shopping at WalMart with my husband and children when our shopping list is long.  For one thing, it is usually on a weekend day when the place is packed.  When I see things pile up in the cart, I add up the money being spent in my head and worry about having enough to get us through the rest of the month.  I get really quiet.  I try to split the list to speed up the whole process.  My kids start asking me if I'm ok.

Do I still go with my family to Wally World?  Sure do.  Do I still wish the overall experience was more pleasant?  SURE do.

I am not a medical professional.  I am not qualified either to diagnose or treat mental illness.  But I can relate my experiences, encourage others to seek help if they feel they need it and state that there is no shame in doing so.  There are resources out there to get the help patients need and deserve.

Come back next week when I cover various treatments which may be prescribed for panic disorder.



1.  Please snag the button code from above and place it in your post.

2.  If you are a "hater", I'm sure there are places you can go to get what you want, but this link-up is not one  of them.  If you will not play nice with others, you will go home before milk and cookies on the Porch.

3.  A social media follow or two and/or a subscription would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, but not required.

4.  Posts should have some sort of relation to a mental health topic, but other than that it's wide open.

5.  Spreading the news about this new meme would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great week, leave a comment and join us again next Monday.  Ooooh, and tell your friends!

Proverbs 31: 16-17

Marriage Moment


16.  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17.  She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

I was originally going to memorize more verses this week, but there is so much going on in just the above two, that I thought it wise to consider them more closely.

"She considereth a field and buyeth it...."  When a wife makes a purchase to increase her family's bottom line, it takes study and a wise decision.  To me, t his implies that she has some level of education or street smarts.  She doesn't necessarily ask permission from her husband, but the purchase is made with his welfare also in mind.  It doesn't even have to be land.  But land, or real estate, etc, is one of the few things that most people have to buy on credit.  Buying the latest car, gadget or style does not generally justify spending money you don't have readily available.

"...with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard."  Once a major purchase has been made, steps must be taken to maintain and/or improve its value.  In the case of a house, repairs or updates can be made or re-decorating can be done.  A piece of land can be used to plant a home garden, graze farm animals.  There is a local property that we pass every time we go to my in-laws on which there will be a day-long sustainability fair at then end of March.

"She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."  A life close to the home, close to the land is not for the weak of limb nor the faint of heart.  So a wise woman will do several things.  Firstly, she will educate herself so that she can choose the best use of the land.  Secondly, she will have the proper protective gear so that her body and health are protected - gloves, pads to kneel on in the garden, a bottle of water to stay hydrated are just a few of the things that spring to mind.  Lastly, anyone who personally does the house and yard work know that it gives you plenty of load-bearing exercise.  So to mention some stretching and healthy eating would not be out of place.

I also want to honor and mention the women and men who work outside the home, also the soldiers and their families.  Neither work life (in or out of the home) is easy.  To paraphrase an oldish saying, "It takes a village ... to raise a village."

Please click on the button above and visit other great blogs linked to "Inspire Me Monday", "Matrimonal Monday" and "Marriage Monday".  I'd love to hear one thing you will do (or have been doing) to strengthen yourselves this week!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Taste: Tuesday at 8|7c on ABC

Let's Get Social Sunday

So I get an message from in my gmail account this morning:

"Your VIP Invite to The Taste on ABC"!

Almost immediately, my active imagination had visions of being whisked away by private jet ... did I mention my imagination is active?

I am not a fan of reality tv.  Competitive cooking shows are usually not the exception.  In some of the shows the judges and competitors have more bite than all the dishes combined ... and that gets old really, really fast.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to watch the first episode, where contestants were auditioning, only left me wanting more!  I've got to go and watch the other three episodes to catch up before next Tuesday so I can jump in mid-stream with the season.

"The Taste" features celebrity foodies Nigella Lawson, Ludo LeFebvre, Brian Malarky and Anthony Bourdain as the judges.  They sit at a table facing away from the kitchen area, so they have no idea whose creation they are sampling.  Attractive models carry a tray with four spoons of each contestant's dish to the judges' table, who from there must determine who goes on and who goes home.

The auditions allowed each contestant to fix any dish they wanted, with the caveat that if the panel did not care for it, the contestant would not go on.  So everyone was bringing their best.  Contestants included both professional as well as "home chefs".  It did my heart good to hear Nigella tell a contestant not to apologize for being a "home chef", and it was interesting to note that many of the contestants who progressed past the first show were not professionally trained.

There was a fair amount of swearing in the episode, but the "bleepers" are right on the money.  And some of the contestant egos are going to make for 'interesting' television in later episodes, but then a number of contestants stated they had quit their jobs in order to even audition, so I have to give them props for commitment.

I am genuinely looking forward to the next episode of "The Taste".  If you haven't been following it yet, there is a link above for the first episode, or if you care to catch the latest episode, go to for the "sandwich episode".

So, if you are someone who either likes to prepare food, wants to sharpen your own kitchen skills, or like to eat good food, you owe it to yourself to watch at least one episode of "The Taste".

To my readers and Let's Get Social Sunday hop buddies, I have a question....If you were to audition for "The Taste" next time around, what dish would you bring?


Disclaimer:  I received no monetary compensation for this review.  If I complete all the tasks, there is a chance I could win some sort of prize; one thing I would like to get is "The Taste" badge for my Influenster account.  :O)

Monday, February 11, 2013


One of the misfortunes of suffering from a mental illness is that people think you are not capable of accomplishing much, or improving yourself, or achieving as much as "normal" people.

Quite a number of celebrities and outstanding members of society have gone public with the fact that they suffer from mental illness(es).  Among them are:

Catherine Zeta-Jones - ACTRESS
Mel Gibson - ACTOR
Brooke Shields - ACTRESS
Carrie Fischer - ACTRESS
Emma Thompson - ACTRESS
Elton John - MUSICIAN
Craig Ferguson - TALK SHOW HOST
Margot Kidder - ACTRESS
Sinead O'Connor - MUSICIAN
Kurt Cobain - MUSICIAN
Sir Isaac Newton - MATHEMATICIAN
Ludwig von Beethoven - COMPOSER
Leo Tolstoy - AUTHOR
Vincent van Gogh - PAINTER/ARTIST
Winston Churchill - PRIME MINISTER


Quote of the Week:

“When you go to the hospital with a physical illness, people send flowers,” writes Elyn Saks. “When you go to a mental hospital with a mental illness, they don’t," Elyn Saks, legal scholar and professor at USC; author of "The Center Cannot Hold".


1.  Please place this button in your post:

2.  If you are a "hater", I'm sure there are places you can go to get what you want, but this link-up is not one of them.  If you will not play nice with others, you will go home before milk and cookies on the Porch.
3.  A social media follow or two and/or a subscription would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, but not required.
4.  Posts should have some sort of relation to a mental health topic, but other than that it's wide open.
5.  Spreading the news about this new meme would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great week, leave a comment and join us again next Monday.  Ooooh, and tell your friends!

On the Road to Proverbs 31 - Round 2

Proverbs 31 (KJV)

13)  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14.  She is like the merchant ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15.  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

To me, the above verses mean that a Proverbs 31 wife/mother procures or receives items that would provide for the temporal needs of her family and household.  That could be food, clothing, school supplies ... whatever.
As an act of service, she goes out of her way to make sure the members of her household have these necessities.   Until a child can express preferences, a mother will buy or make clothing for their childr(ren).  She will prepare the meals, by herself as necessary, until the children are old enough to help.  Not a lot of us these days have in-home staff, but many people have a cleaning service or tech assistance with their computers.  Showing people that help you that you value their service is never in bad taste.
The model Proverbs 31 woman, wife and/or mother knows that God recognizes her efforts; and really, what better recognition is there?  Most of that (myself included) are not there yet, and I think we could agree that it would be nice to hear a word of thanks every now and then.
So, my challenge to you this week, is to express your thanks to someone who has helped you in some way.
Originally, I had planned to "move on" once each step indicated by the verses had been mastered.  But to me, that means perfect, and well, I'm just not going to get there anytime soon ... not soon enough for which it would be worth holding my breath while waiting....if you get what I mean.
And I've tweaked my personal improvement project a bit, that I first mentioned in this post.
AMETHYST - caring for myself

SAPPHIRE - caring for my children

PERIDOT - caring for my husband

AMBER - caring for our home

FIRE OPAL - caring for our finances

RUBY - my relationship with God

I found out that peridot (not aquamarine) is my husband's birthstone.  And I'm using colors associated with available Swarovski crystals, because if I'm going to make myself a bracelet or something to mark my self-perceived progress on this journey, it'll be more in our budget working with crystals instead of gemstones.
So, for each of the above stones/colors/areas for improvement, I have decided on a goal or habit to develop in each of the next 12 months, starting with March 2013.  I'm not going to list them all here, because the lists will change over the course of the year.  It would also make this post unbearably long, and UGH.  Not going to do it.
My plan for the moment is to "introduce" my month's goals the first week, then to review two of them each of the next 3 weeks.  If there is a 5th week, I'll probably post a picture, drawing or poem

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What are Your Favorites?

Let's Get Social Sunday

Simple easy-peasy questionnaire.  Put your answers in the comments section.


1.  Color?

2.  Song?

3.  Book?

4.  Food?

5.  Vacation spot?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Heart-y Apple Pie

After you are done here (hopefully leaving a comment?), please go and visit some of the a-m-a-z-i-n-g submissions on the Strut Your Stuff Saturdays link-up at Six Sisters' Stuff!

I really don't know what possessed me.  I have not been creative in the kitchen for y-e-a-r-s!

But after Blogathon Bash 2 in January, I started planning out a month's blog posts around a theme.  February's theme was, of course, LOVE.  And for some reason, in today's little slot I wrote "Love Apples". Originally I had envisioned a baked apple kind of dessert using sliced apples cut into little heart shapes with a cookie cutter.

Anyway, the above picture shows the result.  Not too bad for a culinary newbie, if I do say so myself.  Of course, it was dead easy.  Frozen pie crust, 2 cans of apple pie filling, and apple slices cut into heart shapes with 2 different sized cookie cutters.  Little crust cut-outs would word just as well.  (Just remember, the kitchen is basically an undiscovered country for me.)

And, of course, it was nice to have to threaten the kids to LEAVE IT ALONE until I could get a picture of it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friendship Friday - New Challenges and Giveaways

It's time for Friendship Friday, y'all!  Use the button above to link up with some great blogs!

with love giveawy
Enter the "With Love Giveaway" at Katherine's Corner by February 28th for seven (7) great personal care and decor prizes!

It's a chocolate giveaway - 'nuff said.  If you enter and win and feel compelled to send me a piece of chocolate as a thank you, I will ever-so-graciously accept. :O)

Alex Cavanaugh has always got something going at his blog to engage other blogger-writers.  His latest, is a super easy blogfest where you list your top ten favorite movies in a post!  Slated for March 18th, 2013, click the link above to join the link!

I found many, many, MANY interesting hops and fests this week, and have listed those in which I will be participating in my right sidebar, in chronological order.  Check them out.  Join the ones that reach out and grab you.  "See" you round the blogosphere!

Happy Friendship Friday!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Favorites

Acting Balanced

1.  Favorite Movie - Henry V (Brannagh version)

2.  Favorite TV Show - NCIS

3.  Favorite Author - William Shakespeare

4.  Favorite Color - Purple

5.  Favorite Car - Jaguar XJ-S

6.  Place I Most Want to Visit - Scotland

7.  Favorite Dessert - (tie) cheesecake & baklava

8.  Favorite Supernatural Character Type - vampire

9.  Favorite Bible Verse(s) - Psalm 23

10.  Favorite Soft Drink - Coke Zero

What are your favorites?

Clay Hearts


Normally I don't post any words on Wordless Wednesday, but I feel I should mention that the picture was taken against a wine-colored plate in morning light on a cloudy day.  The hearts are made from white polymer clay.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fear of Failure vs Fear of Success

Click this button to visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted on Alex J Cavanaugh's blog.
I know I have a story or two to tell.  Everybody does.  So why don't I see something I've written on a book store shelf?  Why am I not attending a play which I have written?  Why do I sabotage myself from the get go?  I have two main theories:
  1. I am afraid of failure.
  2. I am afraid of success.
The world has tricked us into believing that if something isn't perfect, it isn't worthwhile.  One memory that sticks out from my youth is taking a math test on which I'd scored 97 to my father, who was a chemical engineer.  I had worked hard and thought that was a good grade.  His response upon seeing the paper was, "What happened to the other three points?"  Ouch!

Once we achieve some success, what then?  Can we repeat it, or do we need to head in a different direction?  "One-trick pony" is not a name to which most people aspire.  There is so much emphasis put on getting that manuscript published, but not so much on what happens next.

I had someone tell me once that I tended to "catastrophize" things, or to think in terms of extreme examples.  Maybe I just need to step back from the edge and revel in the process.   

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mental Health Mondays #2

In one of the most stunning moments of self-awareness in my (then) young life, I told my Mother that I thought my inability to keep my room orderly was a reflection of the way I felt inside.  She begrudgingly took me to see an LCSW (Licensed Clinical  Social Worker), whom my Mother would regularly call demanding to know the content of our sessions.  Thank goodness the woman refused.

Later,  once I was married and had two children, I went to the Women's Center of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX, where we lived, ostensibly for assistance in finding a job.  I wound up getting once a week sessions on the "counseling side".  Many such organizations, this one included, have fees that work on a sliding scale, so they can still help you even if you have low-income.  Once I got assigned a case-worker on the employment side, I expressed my difficulties in interviewing for a job based on my depression.  Her response was, "Well, you just have to stop."  Oh, if it were only that easy.

One barrier to a "normal" life for those of us with mental health issues is a feeling of shame associated with our diseases.  Some of this feeling is self-imposed.  Some comes from society around us.  Nearly all of it is because of a lack of knowledge or education.  

We are familiar with many so-called physical diseases.  Most people know what diabetes or cancer is and have at least a passing knowledge of their treatments and some sensitivity to changes in outward appearance for sufferers of those maladies.  There seems to be a feeling that a physical disease is something that has happened to or been done to a patient, that it must be understood and a cure must be found.  I agree.  Being ill (physically or mentally) SUCKS!  Unfortunately, for mental illnesses, the feeling is much more that this is something that the sufferer should be able to fix by themselves and they are just ... I don't know, really, lazy or something.

In order to affect a change in this inequality, I think spreading knowledge about the realities of mental health is in order.  There are many sites on the internet that can help.  Admittedly, most of these are based in the US.  I would welcome people from other countries listing resources found in their homelands.

Here is a listing of some of the larger mental health organizations in the United States:

All provide a wealth of information, no matter what your particular mental health issue is.  If you feel you need assistance with a mental health concern, please to not hesitate to contact one of these organizations, or one of the numerous state or local agencies.  There is no need to suffer alone, or in silence.


1.  Please put this button in your post:

2.  If you are a "hater", I'm sure there are places you can go to get what you want, but this link-up is not one of them.  If you will not play nice with others, you will go home before milk and cookies on the Porch.
3.  A social media follow or two and/or a subscription would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, but not required.
4.  Posts should have some sort of relation to a mental health topic, but other than that it's wide open.
5.  Spreading the news about this new meme would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great week, leave a comment and join us again next Monday.  Ooooh, and tell your friends!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friendship Friday - Upcoming Blog Challenges

I have visited Friendship Fridays for a number of successive weeks and I enjoy every single minute of it.  Below is something I wanted to share:
I came across the above challenge on Sanity's Overrated, after the lovely author, X, became the first person to link up to my Mental Health Monday meme on this very blog.  I think the first week is closed now, but check back on Monday for #2!
That's enough of a plug for me.  No a little bit more about AtoZ.  During the month of April, bloggers will write 26 posts, following the letters of the alphabet.  Click on the above button for more information.  Signups went live last Wednesday and will continue until April 1.
Having just completed the Blogathon, I am going through challenge withdrawal, so I am checking this one out.  Hope to see you there.  I like challenges because they take you out of your comfort zone and help you grow...with blogs as in life.
As of 9:22 pm Eastern US time on Thursday 1/31, there are 423 people participating!