Posted in Uncategorized

The End of An Era & Start of Something New

After 22 years together, 20 of them in marriage, it’s over. My husband suffers from Bi-polar disorder and it has taken its toll on the family. Without too many details, I’m not ready to share, I had to leave. There really wasn’t a choice. Unfortunately, he is not willing to allow us to take the dogs. Both are microchipped to him. I know they are well cared for and loved. Perhaps one day, my son & I will reunite with them both.

So, I ended up in the one place that I could end up, back at home. My mother & aunt welcomed us in. We’ve been here 2 weeks now. My son is happier, healthier, and doing better all around. I am grieving the loss of a two decade long relationship and the figurative death of the man I once knew. Of course, I miss my pups. They were a big part of my heart. But, life has to go on.

My son & I have decided that when we are settled into a new place, we will rescue one or two dogs again. In the midst of this mess, we can certainly save two more doggie lives. My husband says he is getting help. I hope he does. There are 2 sides to every story. His would include blame towards me. I have a clear conscience, though as does my son.

So, that explains the new title and tagline. We are looking for a home and a vehicle. In the meantime, my aunt is playing chauffeur and I am playing cook & bottle washer as my mom calls it. We are staying close to Jesus & one another.
More to come…

Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 3/23

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Posted in Arts/Crafts/Hobbies, Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: A Colorful Tail: Finding Monet at Giverny: Joan Waites


SYNOPSIS: A young red fox living in Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, admires the collage of colors in the landscape that surrounds him. More than anything, he wants to make the colors last as the seasons pass and the winter turns cold and bleak. Try as he might, his creations are blown away, flooded, and even eaten by a deer, until the sight of Monet at his easel and an unexpected encounter with a bumble bee show the gentle fox how he can make the colors last all year-long. This brightly illustrated tale is a delightful introduction to Claude Monet.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘A Colorful Tail’ is a beautifully illustrated book for younger readers (say ages 2-K). I love that fact that on the opening page there is a brief Monet biography. It’s a good, first introduction to famous artists. Art is often an afterthought in education. Introducing artists’ names early on is a great idea.
We also have a message of appreciating the beauty around us. Fox is fortunate enough to have a patient, artistic friend who allows him to express himself without judgment or reprimand. By having this freedom to create, Fox is able to show his love of nature & color through painting. To parents, the message is simple: let little ones try. If their paintings aren’t Monet-quality, that’s ok. At least, they tried.

‘A Colorful Tail’ would be a good snuggling up, storytime book. Little eyes will definitely pay attention to all the details on each page. I give it a 4 star rating.

Joan Waites is an award-winning author-illustrator with more than 45 titles published for the children’s trade and educational markets. A former adjunct faculty member of the Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design, Joan now operates her own art teaching studio for children, and has been a featured speaker at schools, conferences, and artist-in-residence programs. She has served as the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator for the past 17 years, is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC, the Picture Book Artist’s Association, and the National Association of Art Educators.

Posted in Uncategorized

#Giveaways 3/21

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Posted in Health

Guest Post: How to File a Restraining Order

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN FULL BY: Rosemary Lombardy, financial advisor, candid abuse survivor and author of Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019], is sharing her expert advice on why a woman might need to file a restraining order and how to navigate the process.

How to File a Restraining Order
Where to start: If you need to file for a restraining order or an emergency protective order, you can obtain one from a local court without a lawyer. You will have to fill out the required paperwork, and the order, issued by the judge based on the information in the complaint, forbids your abuser from coming within a certain distance of you. It may also contain other restrictions, such as forbidding him to place phone calls or send emails to you.
Why you need one: Even if your husband has not been physically violent up to this point, if he has been verbally or emotionally abusive I recommend that you obtain a protective order before you inform him of your plan to divorce him. He is not stable if he is abusive and this action step could tip him over the edge. If you must call the police, they could potentially release the children to their father unless you have this type of court order in place. It will protect you and the children from him until a hearing is scheduled with the judge.
How long it lasts: The laws vary from state to state, but typically an emergency order remains in effect until a hearing takes place—usually within ten days—at which time both sides are allowed to present evidence. The judge then decides whether to grant a final restraining order, which may last up to a year.
Who you need to tell: Enlist the people you interact with at your children’s school and in your workplace in helping to keep your family safe. Give the principal of your children’s school a copy of your restraining order as well as your new phone number. Give a copy to the daycare center with as your new phone number, too. Be sure that they know not to give your new phone number to anyone who asks without your prior approval. Insist that all the necessary staff members are informed of the restraining order. Also, inform the people who take care of your children of who is permitted to pick them up and show them a picture of your husband. Make sure that they realize it is unsafe to release your children to him or to anyone else you haven’t authorized.
If your children’s caregivers ask for details, you only are required to tell them that you are in danger, and so are the children. The rest of the personal details are none of their business. Set a boundary with them if they press you for more information. You want them on your side, so just say politely that it is too painful an issue for you to discuss and that you are worried for your children’s safety. Period. If you have moved, make sure that they have been informed not to give your new address out to anyone.
Make sure that your employer, neighbors, and friends know that you have a restraining order in place. If they have never met your abuser, show them a picture of him.
Violations: Most states have laws that call for an arrest if the police find probable cause that a restraining order has been violated, even for driving past the victim’s house. Unfortunately, there is widespread hesitation among police to enforce restraining orders so many are not upheld. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Gonzalez vs. Little Rock that the police could not be held liable for violence that ensued due to the lack of enforcement of a restraining order.1
If your husband violates your restraining order, call the police immediately. Write down the names of the police officers involved, and the date and time that they came out in response to your call. You will need to retain this information for when you go to trial.
If your abuser violates the restraining order more than once and has threatened physical violence or has been violent, inform the police when they come out. This behavior is called stalking. The laws against stalking are not always enforced by law enforcement officials, especially if the stalker is considered a “pillar of the community.”
You may request to get the restraining order moved from family court to criminal court and have your husband prosecuted for felony stalking. You may need to be insistent about this to ensure that he is prosecuted. Stand up for yourself and don’t let someone else decide that your abuser deserves to get a free pass. It may mean life or death for you and for your children.
If that’s not enough: The illusion of protection is sometimes worse than not having it at all. If you fear for your safety, the best recourse is to leave home immediately with your children for a domestic violence shelter.
1 Henry Weinstein. “High Court Shields Police Who Fail to Enforce Restraining Orders,” Los Angeles Times (June 28, 2005). Available at:
About Rosemary Lombardy
Rosemary Lombardy is a financial advisor with over 35 years of experience. Although her professional expertise is in financial matters, her perspective on marital abuse, divorce, and recovery is deeply heartfelt and holistic. She draws on decades of personal experience, as well as the experiences of others who have gone through similar situations, to help inform abused women so that they will become empowered to leave their abusers and begin to heal.
Her former background in law, as well as being both a Catholic who has studied the Kabbalah and a Reiki master, have enabled her to provide practical guidance and spiritual techniques that women can use when they most need them. Her intention with Breaking Bonds is to offer a comprehensive plan to foster self-awareness, self-responsibility, empowerment, and critical thinking so that women can break the cycle of abuse in their families and truly heal to transform their lives.
Connect with Rosemary Lombardy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit

Posted in Food, Health

Guest Post: Raw, Cooked or Modified: Could You Be Feeding Your Autoimmune Disease by Eating Foods in a Harmful Form?

THIS ARTICLE WAS PROVIDED IN FULL BY: Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories

In recent years, we’ve learned a lot about the harms of eating genetically modified foods (GMOs). There are, however, conflicting opinions on whether whole foods offer greater benefit when consumed in raw or cooked form. It’s not enough that we have to be thoughtful about which foods we put into our bodies. Now, we are being told that we have to consider how to eat them. For those who have or are at risk for autoimmune disease, this consideration can be even more critical.
Scientific studies show a link between GMOs and health problems, inflammation, a higher risk of disease, intestinal damage and—in extreme cases—death. Dr. Amy Myers, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Thyroid Connection, best explains why. First, GMOs contain more pesticides and toxins than non-GMOs. Overexposure to pesticides and environmental toxins can trigger autoimmune disease and worsen a preexisting condition. Second, GMOs can cause leaky gut, which in turn can lead to autoimmune disease, and inflammation, which aggravates the condition. Finally, GMOs can disrupt your gut microbial balance by decreasing the good bacteria and increasing the bad bacteria. In a nutshell, there is a lot of downside to making modified foods a part of your diet—especially if you suffer from autoimmune disease.
It is widely known that for optimal health we simply must eat whole foods. But what a lot of people fail to understand is that GMOs are not limited to processed foods in a box. Even whole foods can be modified. In fact, an estimated 92 percent of corn and 94 percent of soy grown in the U.S. are genetically modified! The best way to avoid modified whole foods is to buy organic fruits and vegetables and eat meat from cows that are grass fed and poultry from free-range organic chickens (though keep in mind that meat and dairy—even grass fed or free-range—can also be trigger for inflammation in some individuals).
With GMOs settled, we move on to the next question: Raw or cooked? Some believe that fruits and vegetables should be eaten in raw form for the highest nutrients and that cooking them destroys some of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Others maintain that cooked foods are easier to digest and allow for better absorption of nutrients. The truth is that yes, cooking veggies can eliminate some of the nutrients. But different foods have different reactions, with some producing more minerals through the cooking process. For example, cooking vegetables can increase the amount of calcium they provide. Ultimately, for the average healthy individual, eating a balanced diet of both raw and cooked vegetables and fruits will provide the best intake of nutrients.
For those with autoimmune disease, an altered diet might be necessary. Just as foods react differently to the cooking process, so do our bodies. It is important to remember that everybody (and every body) is different. Our systems, although similar in function, are made up of different genes, unique chemistries, varying levels of digestive enzymes, different absorption rates and so on. There are many foods that are known to be inflammatory in general, but it varies from one person to the next, especially based on whether the food is consumed in raw or cooked form.
Taking stock of how your individual system functions best, which foods best fuel you (and in what form) and those that lead to negative reactions, is your best path forward for a healthy lifestyle, particularly if you have an autoimmune condition. An elimination diet can be helpful in determining foods that are problematic for you; however, this can be a timely, frustrating and inconclusive process. For those seeking more efficient answers, Cyrex Laboratories, a clinical immunology laboratory specializing in functional immunology and autoimmunity, offers multi-tissue antibody testing for the early detection and monitoring of today’s complex autoimmune conditions. The Array 10C – Comprehensive Food Immune Reactivity Screen – assesses the most advanced array of wheat/gluten, dairy proteins and food proteins in raw, cooked and modified forms.
Proper diet and nutrition are essential for optimal health, fighting disease and feeling our best. While we should follow scientific evidence as a guide, our individual chemistry and function must also be taken into account. If you suspect you have hyperimmune reactivity to foods, seek the advice of a doctor and inquire about whether testing might be a good option for you.

Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on the Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories. Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine and environmentally-induced chronic disease.