CFS/ME Flare Up and Park Outing

It’s been a rough week physically. I had a CFS/ME flare-up, which feels a lot like mono if you’ve ever had that, or the worse flu you can imagine. During these flare-ups, I run a fever, my body aches horribly, I feel too exhausted to move, too exhausted to breathe, and if I sit up or stand up long, I feel faint. Trying to do the simplest tasks is overwhelming and can make me feel like passing out, even just putting up my dishes or trying to take care of my personal hygiene.

Yesterday I was finally feeling well enough to get out and since the weather was warm, my husband and I went for a picnic at a local park. We got subs and then after eating, walked the short distance to the lake edge. As you can see, it was pretty darn muddy:

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I’m glad we went, because I needed the mental distraction, but now I am really sore and exhausted from even that short bit of activity. Trudging through the mud really wore me out because the mud sticking to my shoes made my feet feel like they gained 10 pounds, and I almost slipped and fell a couple times. It probably wasn’t the brightest idea to go, but mentally I needed to feel alive again, even if just for a little while.

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Valentine’s Day 2019 Gifts – Lots of Unicorns!

I had a good Valentine’s Day yesterday!

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My husband and I went to Fazoli’s for a casual dinner because we just don’t find it worth it to go to nice restaurants on Valentine’s Day when it is so ridiculously busy and packed. We will go to a nice dinner in a few days when it is calmer lol.

I loved all the gifts I got! As you can tell, there was a unicorn theme! Lots of stuffed unicorns, a unicorn & mermaid coloring book, adorable sloth and donut socks, chocolate covered strawberries, and and awesome gudetama notebook and bananya (cats in bananas) pen.

Valentine Sticker ACEO Trading Card Collages

Happy Valentine’s Day! I bought some Valentine stickers at Dollar Tree recently and decided to make some ACEO collages with them. Here are the finished results:

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My favorites are the food themed ones. I thought those were really unusual for Valentine’s themed stickers. I always like to find the weird, different stuff!

You can find these and more for sale on my Ebay store!

Twittering Tales Fun

I came across these “Twittering Tales” writing prompts yesterday and thought it looked like a lot of fun. The challenge is to take a photo prompt and write a short story, poem, or whatever comes to mind, but you have to keep it under 280 characters, just like a tweet on Twitter. I decided to go ahead and write a twittering tale for last week’s prompt as well as this week’s prompt.

Here is the one I came up with for last week’s prompt (photo from Pixabay):

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Hearts and stars. Hearts and stars. Simple shapes that any preschool child could identify, but symbolic of so much more.

The heart…love, obsession, passion, heartwarming, heartbreaking, blood pumping.
The star…cosmic, mysticism, alchemy, popularity, holidays, holy days.

And here is the second prompt (photo also from Pixabay). This one took a bit of a dark turn, but it was what came to mind for some reason:

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It starts with one word:

Helium. A harmless word? Parties. Balloons floating around the room. Rough, gruff voices becoming chipmunk squeaks.

Or do you picture tragedy? Helium tanks hooked up to hoses. Bodies lying still with bags over their heads. Voluntary euthanasia. The end.

Let me know if you guys enjoyed these. Maybe I’ll do more!

Kindle Direct Publishing’s New Reporting System and Some Author Updates!

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Yesterday I logged into my Kindle Direct Publishing account on Amazon and while looking at the reports, noticed there is a new “beta” reporting program they are working on that I could test (the picture above shows the new graphing, with part of the book breakdown below). I checked it out and it is WAY better than their old reporting program! It uses color coded graphs to plainly show which books you are selling, when you are selling them, and also easily separates books sold from “free” promotions vs. paid sales.

I am thrilled they are updating their system, because what they have had the last few years sucks in my opinion. It was hard to even tell which books sold! In other good news, while checking out the new system, I looked at my overall numbers from the last quarter and was pleasantly surprised to see that all together I’ve sold more than 230 ebooks (including promotions) during the last 90 days! Not bad for an indie author!!! It makes my heart happy to know that many people are reading my books!

If you use KDP publishing, I would recommend checking out the new program if you are able to under your own reports! By the way, if you want to check out my Amazon Author Page and maybe give it a follow, that would be awesome! I also have a FREE ebook promotion running today through Monday for my art ebook, “Stories Behind My Art” (if you like it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon!)

Lastly, a few years back, I published a little short story/spiritual ebook called “Jesus, Mohammed, and Abraham – A Parable about Love and Peace” under the name M.N. Russell ($0.99, FREE for Kindle Unlimited) . I decided to add that to my Amazon author bibliography, so you can check that out if you think it sounds interesting!

Christmas and Family Forgiveness

Yesterday my husband and I traveled over to Indiana to meet my mom and her husband for Christmas dinner. We all decided to meet at a truckstop that is about halfway between us, so that neither of us would have to cook, clean up, or drive too far:

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I genuinely had a good time and am glad I’ve been able to spend more time with them recently. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, may remember that there has been a lot of water under the bridge between my mother and myself over things that happened when I was growing up. She made some huge mistakes, and as is often the case, my sister and I had to pay for many of those choices just as much as she did…maybe more in some cases.

She genuinely seems to be regretful and is trying to make things better between us, so although I am always going to be cautious and protective of myself, it feels good to be able to embrace forgiveness for my own peace of mind and well-being. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what we went through was ok, or that the damage wasn’t done, but it does mean that it doesn’t have control of my life, my mind, or my heart anymore. I can move on.

I am somewhat a believer in the saying “When we know better, we do better”. Some of us take a long, long time to “know better”, but healing and wisdom are ours once we finally do face the truth.

 

Reincarnation: Remembering Past Lives?

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I want to start this post by saying I am not implying that the experiences I will reveal prove that past lives are a thing or that these were definitely my past lives, however, they were interesting experiences and I thought you guys might enjoy reading about them. I do not ascribe to any particular religion or ideology, although I do tend to favor new age spirituality concepts over religious dogma. Reincarnation makes sense to me in many ways, so I do consider it a possibility and enjoy reading about it.

I have had two very emotional, realistic dreams that made me wonder if they may be tied to my past lives. In both dreams, I think the strangest thing was that I was in an entirely different time and place, surrounded by people I do not recognize from this life, but I felt that I intimately knew these people and places, just like I do my own family and home now.

In the first dream, I was in a Celtic land, it felt medieval or earlier to me, although I don’t know the exact era. I was in a wealthy family, maybe even connected to royalty somehow. The dream wasn’t particularly exciting that I remember, just kind of mundane day to day life as a wealthy young lady, but what stood out to me was how emotionally connected I felt to the dream and how deeply I felt connected to people I do not recognize at all from this lifetime. I do have Celtic family roots and have always felt drawn to that culture, but perhaps there is even more to my love for that era than I thought…

In the second dream, I was a young man (really weird for me to dream that!) and I was fighting on a battlefield. I’m not a war historian by any means, but it felt like it was around WW1 from the uniforms and what I saw on the battlefield (I’m not sure what country I was from, but it felt like I was on the side of the allies). I ended up dying in the dream, which is always an interesting experience. I remember most the feeling of camaraderie and deep love I felt towards my “brothers” in uniform. I was almost glad to die if it meant maybe my friends could live. It was a sad and somewhat scary dream, but also full of love and friendship.

I also had one other experience that wasn’t a dream but was very curious. I was meditating, definitely not asleep, when I was suddenly in a foreign but very familiar place. I was in the desert, in what looked and felt to me like ancient Egypt. I saw a young girl climbing a large sand dune and instantly knew that I was that girl, and yet, I was watching events from a distance, outside of her body.

Suddenly, a gang of what I felt were robbers and criminals appeared. This group assaulted the girl and did horrible things to her (I’m sure you can imagine). The odd thing was that even though I felt that girl had been me, I wasn’t emotionally reactive to what I was seeing, at least not in the way you would expect. I didn’t feel fear, anger, trauma, or anything like that, I just felt deep sadness for all involved, both the poor, innocent girl and the deeply misguided men. I actually felt compassion towards these men who had abused me.

I want to say that this meditative experience was only the second time I have ever had something like that happen while meditating. The other time that I suddenly found myself somewhere else, it was simply a field of wildflowers I found myself transported to. I don’t know what the heck that was about lol, but it was a beautiful place.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these odd dreams and visions. If you enjoy this type of stuff, let me know. There are plenty of other odd “woo woo” type of experiences I can share if you are interested!

Poetry – Lovers Movie Night

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Lovers Movie Night
By: Maranda Russell

He leans over to grab a magazine.

“People like you are so annoying,”
she sniffs disdainfully.

“People like me?”
he asks as he reclines back
and settles in to read.

Soon, he feels a tiny foot
wiggle over to nudge his shin.

“Why pay to see the movie then?”
she mutters
with a deeply pained sigh.

“What movie?”

…..

“I hate you.”