Monday, July 29, 2013

Life's Learning Chronicles

To give you a little back-story here: I have been divorced for a couple years now. The same month of our divorce, my ex-husband remarried. The divorce wasn't easy - what divorce is? During this period he attempted to use people against me, even went to the extent of drawing up an affidavit stating that I was not mentally fit to care for our son! Just because I was not bending to his work schedule. Why should I have to bend? The divorce was his doing - his actions - he's the one that destroyed a marriage by his adulterous behavior. But! The silver lining - he actually did me a huge favor! I have been a much happier person without him. I never knew how much he actually drained from me. I was the sole caregiver to our severely handicapped son and was too supportive of his needs, and not receiving the support I needed from him and I had forgotten my own, I had forgotten myself.

Top 5 Things You Should Remember When Going Through a Divorce:
5. Don't let your soon-to-be ex-significant other use your children as pawns in their manipulative mind games. I was told that the majority of the time, men will resort to using their children to get what they want. I didn't understand this concept and it was explained to me that women carry their children and have that protective instinct, a close bond; where men are more detached (or detachable). I don't know if this is true for everyone - but, it has proven true from my experience.
4. Don't be the martyr. It gets you no-where. The one thing I regret looking back now, was being so submissive. I should not have let my ex bully me into certain things. Like getting a job. I knew I couldn't work and I could have gone to the doctors and have proven it all - and I should have. It is definitely not easy! But - do what you have to do - don't live in anymore regret than we already do.
3. Seek counseling - a lot of people refer to their friends, and I think that's great. But, I still think a person going through this experience needs professional direction. It is so easy to get swept away and damage ourselves, especially the cognitive behavioral distortions in our thought processes. For instance, because my ex cheated on me, I thought I wasn't "worth it" - because of his actions. This isn't the case at all - I can't be held accountable for what he did - it was his mistake, not mine. I had thought since we were in a marriage that I had to take some blame in the failure, but this isn't the case either. Definitely look into CBT (Cognital Behavior Therapy).
2. You are worth it! Fight for yourself - you deserve better! Don't let the actions of your ex keep you from opening yourself up for love and happiness. Going through this left a huge, deep-deep pain, and I don't know yet if it every really leaves. You may think that life will never be as good as you thought it was with your ex - and you would be right - but, the point is - it could be better
1. Put your children first - fight for their advocacy. I think the worst struggle has been dealing with child support and working out schedules. The more I talk to people, the more it is the mother that continues to have to sacrifice. I have only met one father that is dealing with a dead-beat mother; mostly it is dead-beat fathers.

In our divorce, in lieu of child support he was to continue to pay the house mortgage so our son and I would have a roof over our heads. I had a plan in place, I thought. I was going to college (on-line) trying to get a degree so that I could support my family (at that time it was just me and my son). I did get my Associates of Arts degree, unfortunately, this year was the breaking point and I had to make hard decisions. The first one, as always, I put my son first - I decided, yet again, to put what I want aside and stay home to take care of my son. His health was more important to me (after spending New Years in the hospital with him). I can't seem to find that balance of working and taking care of my son. His care requires so much, I couldn't give him what he needed while I was working too.
Last summer (2012) my ex-husband was forced to resign from his position with the state, because he failed a certain... (insert patronizing cough) requirement. He was unemployed for a couple months. Instead of collecting unemployment to meet his obligations with child support, he didn't make the mortgage payments. Then, my home went into default. Even when he went to a different county and was rehired, he did not make any attempts to continue paying child support in any spectrum. Then, he claims bankruptcy and includes my home in his case. I guess the loop hole here is, since he was still paying the mortgage, his name is on the deed, so he could include it in his bankruptcy - screwing me yet again.
Meanwhile, I have been applying everywhere I can for assistance and help. I am trying desperately to keep the home my son knows. I understand though, if it is not God's plan, then my battles are in vain. In this case, I pray for understanding and peace. Until then, I continue to fight through the pain and tears to hold fast to what little bit' of dignity I can grasp. This past fall I did have a nervous break-down, and a very wise person told me that I was fighting too hard, that maybe it was time to let something go. I knew what she meant, I was fighting too hard to continue to work and take care of my son and his needs. I feel this same gut-wrenching, horrific, succubus feeling now. Maybe I'm fighting too hard to keep the house?

In The Wake of Wickedness

Last night my ex-step-mother-in-law text me to inform me that it was in the local paper that my house is set to go to auction. After the dizziness subsided, and a lot of support from my mother, family and friends. I could think clearly, pulled up my big girl panties, and first thing this morning, got to work! 
If God Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

Holding onto my faith, I told God that he needs to step-up. I'm tired of being the door mat - I definitely deserve better! This morning, I know He is with me - even my mom commented to me that He is giving me the strength to power through this. I have the clarity and peace I need to keep motoring on. Even if I do loose the house - oh well, as many great memories are here, there are more not so great memories. A fresh start could be on the horizon. I've always said, out of something bad comes something good. How do I know this isn't God's plan?
What is sick and twisted to me, is when individuals are not happy in their lives, and want to drag other's down with them? I've never understood this. Even when I am miserable, when other's around me have exciting news, I fight to put that genuine smile on my face and to truly be happy for them and their happiness.
For instance - if you see your ex happy - do you consciously create drama, because you are not happy and if your not happy, then no one should be happy?
This, to me, is disgusting! Don't send me a text "call me" or try to call and make me think there is an emergency, when you know something horrible is going on. You can create a BS reason to call - but you can't call me to let me know our son was in the hospital while I was on vacation? I wonder if he even realizes how idiotic his actions are? Just because he is a moron, he doesn't think others can't put the pieces together.
He tried to tell me that he never had anything to do with the affidavit against me... oh yeah, that's why the person when to his lawyer to file the affidavit stating their 'professional' opinion was that I wasn't mentally fit to care for our son? I'm not an idiot. I know he did this to 'put the squeeze on me' because he was acting like a spoiled brat and was throwing a tantrum to get what he wanted. He used the only pawn he had - our son. 
He hasn't paid any form of child support for the past year - when I asked him what he wanted to do about it, he actually said that I would have to take him to court. He is by definition a dead-beat dad. I use to think he was a great father, a great father would be paying child support and taking care of his obligations. Not willingly and knowingly let the mortgage go to foreclosure and then added into his second bankruptcy claim. He didn't have money for child support - but, apparently he had money for a wedding, vacations, vehicles... and God knows what else.

The Silver Lining

Something I have learned is to count my blessings. Deal with what needs to be dealt with, but don't dwell on them that they weigh us down in a negative way. Replace the negative with positive. Negativity only creates more negativity. I am so grateful and thankful for the wonderful people in my life. My parents, my son, my boyfriend and his family. We had an amazing vacation! And I am NOT letting this upset me or ruin the wake of goodness either. 
I was upset at first - but I believe the Holy Spirit has given me this peace and understanding. There are much worse things in life. We are strong, we have survived much worse! We will conquer this as well - it might not be what we want - but, it might be what we need!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Benefits of Cucumbers


Spice up your 8 glasses per day of water with a slice or two of cucumber. It's wonderfully refreshing, but there are amazing benefits to cucumber as well. Cucumbers are cooler than you think ...

1. Fat busting: Do you ever wonder why women put cucumbers on their eyes to relieve puffiness? The photochemical in cucumbers makes the collagen in your skin tighten, thus the lack of puffiness. Did you know that you can rub a cucumber on a problematic spot of cellulite anywhere on your body to lessen the visibility of it? Did you also know that it has the same effect on wrinkles? Wow, it makes purchasing those fifty dollar creams seem a little silly, doesn’t it? You can also rub a little bit under your kiddo’s eyes after a long bout of crying to avoid that puffy ‘I cried for an hour straight’ look.

2. Defogger: Do you get annoyed when you get out of the shower and you have to fight the fog on the mirror? Who has time for that when the kids will be awake at any moment? Try rubbing a slice of cucumber on the mirror before you hop in and not only will you get a fog-free mirror, but you’ll have a nice smell that will boost your mood.

3. Headaches: If you suffer from headaches from chasing your babies all day (or pets or your husband), or had a little too much wine with dinner and want to avoid a hangover, eat half of a cucumber before bed. Cucumbers are high in B vitamins, sugar, and electrolytes, and they replenish the nutrients missing in your body to help you avoid a hang over or to beat that headache that’s been threatening to take over.

4. WD-40 replacement: Did you know you can get rid of a squeak by rubbing a cucumber on the hinge? Wow, now you don’t have to tear your garage apart looking for that little can with the red straw, and the baby won’t wake up when you slowly open the nursery door to check on him.

5. Crayon on the walls: Take an unpeeled cucumber and rub the crayon off of the walls in the event that your kiddo left you some art. You can also use this technique to erase a pen mistake.

6. Halitosis killer: Take a slice of cucumber and put it on the roof of your mouth. Hold it there with your tongue for 30 seconds. The photochemical that you love for cellulite and puff reduction will also kill the bacteria that is causing your bad breath.

7. Tarnish remover: If you’re finding tarnish on your stainless steel kitchen faucets and appliances? Rub it off with a cucumber slice. Not only will it remove years of tarnish, it will leave it streak free and your hands will thank you, and your kids won’t be put at risk from a dangerous chemical.

8. Energy booster: If you’re feeling tired in the afternoon, don’t give Starbucks your five bucks. Instead, grab a cucumber. There are just enough carbohydrates and B vitamins to give you a longer-lasting and healthier boost of energy than soda, coffee, or those health hazard energy drinks.

9. Munchy madness: Did you know that European trappers ate cucumbers for energy and to keep from starving to death? If those big burly manly men can eat a cucumber to keep from starving, you can eat one as a healthy choice when the munchies hit. Slice some up and take them in a small plastic container to the movies if your theater doesn’t offer healthy alternatives to munching on butter soaked popcorn.

10. Frugal facial: Slice up a cucumber and boil it in a pot of water. The chemicals inside of the cucumber will mix with the steam. Remove the pot from heat and lean over it, letting the steam hit you. Your skin will be more radiant and healthy, and you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

11. Shoe polish: Cut a slice off of your cucumber and rub it on your shoe. It will not only shine it up, but it will repel water.

12. Pest control: Put three or four slices of cucumber in a small pie tin and place them in your garden. The chemicals in the cucumber have a reaction that pests hate. You won’t smell it, but it will drive them from your garden all year long. Replace them periodically.

13. Sunburn: Sometimes sun block doesn’t always protect your little ones from sunburn. If you have burnt little kiddos you don’t have any aloe, rub some cucumber on them. Many doctors even use cucumber to treat patients with irritated skin and sunburns.

14. Blood pressure: Cucumber has been long used to treat high blood pressure. If you have it, add cucumbers to your daily diet. There is also ongoing research into the use of cucumbers for lowering cholesterol.

15. Constipation remedy: The seeds of a cucumber are a diuretic. If you’re constipated, try eating a cucumber. If you suffer from chronic constipation, add cucumber to your daily diet

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Hot Topic: Racism

With the recent Media Explosion and exploitation of the Martin - Zimmerman trial, there have been so many threads about the different aspects of this case. The majority - race. It is so aggravating to read comments being made about race. Most irritating are the ignorant abbreviations. Maybe it is just the writer in me, but typing "C" instead of "see" or "U" instead of "you" is a disgrace to the English written word.  Ok, now that I have that out of my system - back to the topic.

Ignorance Within Our Own Society Awareness

You would think that this day and age that society, as a whole, would have a better grip on race. So my skin is white, so yours is brown, and your is a honey color, and theirs is a caramel color - so what. The problem lies in our history. Yes, there have been slaves from the beginning of time, people have been mistreated. Through our perseverance we have survived, learned from it, and built our society to grow from it and move on. However, I am having a hard time seeing this in our society, in our day and age. 
When we broke the chains of slavery, as a nation to rectify the wrong, it became socially acceptable for different nationalities (excluding Caucasians) to have their own ethnicity promoted proudly. In the form of schools, specific months in celebratory, and different organizations. How is it not racist to have an all (one ethnicity) college? How is it not racist to have an entire organization that will whore your issue out to the media, crying out racism, and demanding ramifications because of the ill fated race cards being thrown around?
Should the media have highlighted race as a contributing factor when reporting the case?
What I don't understand are the blind-leading-the-blind. For instance, without knowing anything about the case, for individuals that hear the whisper of racism (particularly an African American as the victim) people jump on the bandwagon without knowing anything else about the case and start "hoodie-marches" and such. Yet, what is being done for the thousands of other victims out there (of any race)?

With That Being Said...

I do feel for the Martin family. I can't imagine loosing a young family member, and in such a way. I grew up with strong family morals, I couldn't imagine the pain and suffrage. I pray that they find peace and understanding. I'm sure the acquittal left Treyvon's family without the closure and justice that they feel they need. Of course, I do not want to speak for them, I do not know them and will not pretend to know what they are going through. Merely, that I feel for them and keep them in my prayers.  
We build our opinions off of what we hear, what we are told, and what we read. Unless we were there, we really do not know what happened. From what I have read, Zimmerman was performing a neighborhood watch for a gated community. Martin (a guest of a resident in the community) was walking around during a rainy night. Zimmerman reportedly called 911 and informed officers of Martin's appearance and his concern of the apparent trespasser.   
Many believe that this should have been the end of Zimmerman's actions. Zimmerman was to only 'watch' what was going on. People have question why Zimmerman was armed as well as the Florida laws that permitted Zimmerman taking actions into his own hands. However, when I read that Martin had head wounds prior to the (point-blank) shooting, and seeing the pictures of Zimmerman, you can obviously draw a conclusion that there was a struggle. Do I know this for a fact? No, but you can put two and two together, could be ignorant of the truth, but by definition would also constitute as evidence.
What was the conversation between Zimmerman and Martin that provoked the altercation?
As much as it is painful to think of a young man killed at such an age, we shouldn't be fooled either. Was Martin so innocent? As much as parents, family members, and friends want a good memory of the victim, who exactly was Treyvon Martin? We all want to believe our children are innocent.  Something that I discuss with my family and friends all the time is the differences in generations. How blatantly disrespectful they are becoming. We usually chuck it up to our increased age and consider how our elders thought us to be disrespectful when we were younger. But, something needs to change. Young men wearing their pants down below their butt cheeks, exposing their underwear should not be tolerated; don't they know that was originated in prisons and the reason behind it? In the same token, young ladies should dress appropriately too. They need to know that they have to respect themselves, then others will respect them too. Am I wrong?
Media Manipulation 1: painting a troubled youth

Media Manipulation 2: Good vs. Bad

How the media should have reported the facts:
two individuals that experienced tragedy
Martin, a young man that lost his life way too young
Zimmerman, the defendant who thought he was doing the right thing

What Now?

Does this mean that we will be put on trial if our self-defense ends in a fatal blow? 
Will this give more ammunition for authoritative figures to fire upon the innocent?

Please take into account that I have written this, not to provoke altercations or arguments. This is my opinion, if you do not agree with it, my apologies. I am only interested in adult-civil conversations. But, ignorant comments or blatant disrespect will be deleted. Keep it clean, keep it respectful. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

GWR: Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law Excerpt


"Her father was still fussing angrily as he reached across her to
slam open and shut the glove compartment as he tossed in the ticket.
The police car had disappeared behind them, leaving them in the dark
by the side of the road. Her father threw himself back in his
seat and sat there, his arms dropping from the steering wheel. He
made no move to restart the car.
“It’s too bad,” said Cordelia soothingly, “but it can’t be helped
now. Let’s go on.”
But her father had become curiously silent.
“Tato?” asked Cordelia, suddenly worried. “Are you all right?
Her father’s hand had come up to his heart.
“Are you all right?” She asked again urgently.
He turned his head slightly towards her and shook it, ever so
“Your medicine! Where’s your medicine?”
He didn’t answer her, but closed his eyes as she sought quickly
and awkwardly through the pockets of his blazer, through the glove
compartment. No medicine; he must have forgotten it.
“An ambulance, Cordelia,” her father murmured.
An ambulance? But how would she call one, here on the deserted
highway? Oh, a car was coming, its lights cutting the darkness ahead.
The driver would have a cell phone – everyone did. She struggled from
the car, the beginnings of panic making her more than usually clumsy,
and rushed into the middle of the highway, holding up a shaking hand
to the car.
The car slowed, she could see a man and his wife looking her
over as the headlights caught her. She was standing in the middle of
the lane, waving her crutch. But as the car came to a near standstill
and she headed towards the passenger window, the driver suddenly
stepped on the gas again and departed at full speed.
“Stop,” she cried after it “Stop! Stop! Please! We need an
ambulance!” But the car didn’t stop. She knew they were afraid of a
trap, she knew it was reasonable, and she cursed them from the
bottom of her heart, her breath coming in a sob.
What to do now? She looked up and down the highway, but there
were no signs of light anywhere – not another car coming or a house
light or anything. She turned back to her father.
The door on her father’s side was open and a dark shape was
kneeling there; it rose. She stifled a scream."

About The Author
Michelle Granas was born in Alaska; but currently divides her time between Oregon and Poland. She has degrees in philosophy and comparative literature, but now works s a translator. Over the past dozen years she has translated for many of Poland's major politicians and writers, including short pieces for the Nobel Prize winner Lech Walesa and Nobel Prize nominee Ryszard Kapuscinski.

About The Book

In Warsaw, a shy and high-minded polio victim lives a life of seclusion caring for her odd family until a chance encounter plunges her into the intrigues of dirty politics; Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is about to be arrested on trumped-up charges and only she can save him. Swept along by events, Cordelia finds her feelings increasingly involved with a stranger for whom she is both rescuer and victim. When Zaremba disappears, Cordelia must overcome surveillance, corruption, the media, and mounting humiliations and difficulties to learn the truth.
Although set in Poland, this is a story that could happen anywhere, as young democracies struggle against the temptations of covert operations and older democracies sometimes lead them astray.


Buy The Book

Enter The Giveaway

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

GWR: Bloggers Wanted

Bloggers Wanted: Zaremba Book Blast - July 10

Bloggers are wanted for a book blast on July 10

Participants will have the choice of 6 excerpts to post on their blog.

Prize: Paperback of Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law (international giveaway)

In Warsaw, a shy and high-minded polio victim lives a life of seclusion caring for her odd family until a chance encounter plunges her into the intrigues of dirty politics; Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is about to be arrested on trumped-up charges and only she can save him. Swept along by events, Cordelia finds her feelings increasingly involved with a stranger for whom she is both rescuer and victim. When Zaremba disappears, Cordelia must overcome surveillance, corruption, the media, and mounting humiliations and difficulties to learn the truth. 

Although set in Poland, this is a story that could happen anywhere, as young democracies struggle against the temptations of covert operations and older democracies sometimes lead them astray.

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by the author.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Author Stacey Rourke Takes On Infertility

According to CDC, infertility effects 11% of women in the US. Author Stacey Rourke shares her own journey in her new book:
Basal body temperatures. Hormone injections. Invasive procedures - that leave no room for modesty. Tips on “effective positions” from well-meaning grandparents. 
When the natural way fails to work these are all added to the so called “fun” process of making a baby. Walk this rocky path to motherhood with author Stacey Rourke as she openly and honestly shares every good, bad, and awkward step of her three-year long journey. Using humor to break through the perils of infertility, she gives the lowdown on all the strange, embarrassing, and heartbreaking aspects. Stacey guides us through an unforgettable path that ends with a kid on each hip and hope for all those suffering with infertility. 
BONUS MATERIAL: “Morsels of Hope”
Success Stories from Infertility Survivors
Buy I'm Not Crazy, I'm on Lupron: A Journey Through Infertility at Amazon and B&N
If you are facing your own struggles, Stacey wants you to know you aren't alone.
Chat with Stacey Rourke
Wednesday, July 3 at 11:00 am eastern
Twitter: #Infertility
Enter the giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more information about infertility visit these sites:
Resolve: The National Infertility Association -
International Council on Infertility Information –
American Fertility Assoc. -
Disclosure: A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prizes. YOUR BLOG NAME received no compensation for this post.