Perfect As You Are, Rising Strong, and Feeling the Progress…

It’s a rainy morning, dark and wet, though it isn’t cold (55 degrees), so that is nice. The Fall that was settling in last week has warmed, making the Pacific Northwest layering a necessity. Shorts under some pants, tank top, t-shirt, hoodie sweatshirt in the morning so when it gets to be around 70 a little later in the day, I can adapt my clothing to the rising temperatures. I’ve even added the somewhat ugly sandals with socks. No socks with the sandals this morning, though. I can’t stand wet socks.

The clean is started yesterday turned out to be a bit more than I thought it would be, even after inspecting the place myself when I got there. I’ll be headed back this morning to finish it up. No biggie. It shouldn’t be a long day and I’ll get to see a couple of my friends. Bonus!

I started listening to Perfect Just As You Are by Pema Chodron, yesterday. I like it. This book feels more like something I should be listening to at home, since it is a course Pema teaches/taught that includes guided meditations. There are parts of the book that are of Pema practicing the meditations, so there is nothing but silence, with the occasional guidance from Pema.

The meditations, and the whole course Pema is teaching, focuses on what she refers to as the four limitless ones: loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. This four qualities are considered to be the core of our beings and something most of us are not comfortable being intimately in touch with because they are often perceived as areas of vulnerability. Pema walks you through practices and mediations to help you become more comfortable with these aspects, to get in touch with your feelings around the four limitless ones, and your feelings about yourself, your loved ones, those you find cause the limitless ones to be harder to access, why, and how to get past that. It really is a good book and the practices are something I want to start doing in my own life.

Though I haven’t finished the book, yet, I am going to be putting it down for a little bit. I have the overwhelming need to go back to Rising Strong by Brene Brown. There is something in there that I heard that has started to cause a shift in me. I want to know what that was. I feel that there was something, or a number of somethings, that I need to hear, again, so I can better…understand, embrace, incorporate it into my life. I think this was part of the cause of the audiobook futlessness I was having the other day. I needed to go back, not forward, so back I go.

I’m really loving this serene place I am at right now. Sure, all of the usual things I stress about are still there, I just don’t seem to be feeling so overwhelmed by them. It’s more than just left foot, right footing it, trudging along to the best of my ability. Perhaps it is a letting go of trying for perfections, opening up to the possibilities of different avenues, getting in touch with what is right in front of me, finding the space to be good with the things that aren’t quite the way I want them, knowing that today isn’t the end of all. There is still plenty of life left to create the life I want. I guess I’m feeling like I have the ability to do that, to accept that it is going to take time, and – here’s the weird part for me – I’m ok with it taking time and it feels like I’m moving down that path. Things are moving forward and I am beginning to really feel that. What a gift.

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Morning Beauty and Audiobooks Futlessness…

I walked out the door this morning to some of the most intriguing light. I had to walk out toward the air strip to properly see what was causing such light play. It was gorgeous. The clouds were nearly glowing with a soft, wispy pink and the light around me was a yellow pinkish hue. I love magical mornings.

I wanted to listen to Perfect Just As You Are by Pema Chodron yesterday but I apparently hadn’t downloaded it to my phone, yet. Bummer. I ended up listening to some of Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote until I accidentally brushed my phone screen somehow and it started to play in backwards order – track 18, then 17, etc. I’m not sure what I did and am going to have to figure out where I was at in the book and what setting I need to fix in order to continue listening to the book, which I was enjoying.

I decided that I would try a different audiobook since Merle’s wasn’t going the right way. I started with The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson. I didn’t make it very far into this one. I just wasn’t hearing something that empowered me, drew me in, made me think differently than I had or confirmed some beliefs I already have. I refuse to believe that because others live in a state of disbelief in connectedness, of the divine nature of each and every one of us, that it intimately affects my life in ways I believe should be contingent on myself alone. My actions, my beliefs, my thought processes, my reality, my outcomes. Anyway, I moved on after only about 4 or 5 tracks. I just couldn’t take in what they were putting out.

I moved on to Heart of Soul: Emotional Awareness by Gary Zukav and Linda Francis. I’m not sure how I am going to do with this one, either. The topic sounds interesting to me, but it is presented in a way that I find a little…distracting?…, making it hard for me to focus on. I know. Not a great description but it’s what I have right now. I’m trying to stick with it because, so far, I believe I have heard things I will find useful, practices that I may want to utilize. We shall see how it goes. I’ve downloaded Perfect Just As You Are to my phone, now, so I have that to go to also.

I didn’t listen to Heart of Soul for too long. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to it or perhaps I was just needing some time without knowledge being put in my head, to just process or enjoy the quiet. Or, maybe, I was just being futless. Whatever the reason, I shut off the music player on my phone and left it off for the rest of the day.

Well, I want to go get myself ready. I have a side clean today and I have no idea how long it is going to take me. From what I’ve been told, it shouldn’t be too bad – 6-ish hours – but I don’t want to get started too late so I can come home before its way too late. I hope everyone has a great day!!!

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Personal Change of Perspective, Marv Make-Over, Moving Forward…

Back to the grind today. It was really great to have two days off in a row and to actually do something just fun during that time. I realize, now, that there isn’t much that I do on my days off that I count as ‘fun.’ I’m going to have to change that.I’m not sure how, but we are heading into the holiday season, so there are always a ton of things going on. I’m planning on trying to get myself into the holiday mood and taking advantage of some of the things that brings with it, like festivals and things like that.

I haven’t really felt like celebrating the holidays since we moved into the RV seven years ago (almost). There have been a couple of the holidays that I have made myself go through the motions with in an attempt to get myself in the holiday mood, without much success. This year, I can feel that holiday excitement brewing in me. I don’t know what has changed in me, just recently in fact, but something has. I have let go of something, maybe multiple somethings, that were keeping me from enjoying so many things.

What did I let go? I have no idea. I felt things starting to shift some in me just the other day. Is this just a mania cycle? Could be. I really hope not. I’m really tired of feeling super overwhelmed by my life to the point of not being able to find as much joy in it. If this is merely a manic cycle, I hope it lasts for the next 7 years. I’d much rather enjoy life then spend it feeling beaten by it, as I have been feeling for longer than I care to remember.

Huh. I guess I never really looked at it like that before…beaten by life…but it fits. I know that I have been less than happy with the way life has been going for quite some time, but I don’t think I had thought of it as life having beaten me, that I had lost the game. I can see, now, that is exactly how I’ve been feeling all of these RV-life years, and every time I’d reach up to try to climb out, it felt like life just kicked my hand away, letting me slide deeper into the muck.

I’m feeling optimistic, now, like I’ve gotten my head up over the edge of the mire and still have the energy and drive to drag the rest of me out of it. I’m feeling centered, in touch with my own power, connected to the powerful energy of life, capable. I know I’m going on and on about this, but it really is an amazing, freeing feeling.



We have decided that we are going to gut Marv and turn him into a closet for us. We have been using cupboards in the trailer as our ‘dresser drawers,’ and I’ll have you know that it has gotten really old. I had not liked the situation from the beginning, but, now, I have gotten to the point I don’t even want to put my clothes away after doing laundry. It’s so inconvenient and frustrating. After we gut Marv, we are going to set up a space for hanging clothes, have a couple of dressers in there, and a bed for when my daughter wants to come visit for a few days. We are going to keep the shower and toilet in there, with the thought of getting an insta-hot propane water heater (my friend showed me one that is available on Amazon for under $200) and replumbing to the shower so it is usable, as well. It’s a plan. Its going to take time, but I see us actually being able to accomplish this.

My husband and I had some really great talks, yesterday. We are on the same page. Its time for us to really focus on getting into a house. Yeah, it’s really way past time, but we all move at the pace we can, facing the fears and emotional damages that like to stand in the way as if they are more important than where you want to go. We have our scars from losing everything and having to move into an Rv. The very idea of getting into a house has been a source of deep stress, something neither of us were ready to face. I’m there, and, thankfully, my husband is too.

Well, I had better get myself ready for work. It’s not a busy busy day but I want to get going so I can come back home. Plus, I’m looking forward to listening to my next audiobook: Perfect Just As You Are by Pema Chodron. Have a great day, Everyone!!!

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Pumpkin Patch 2015, A Perfect Day…

Yesterday was such an amazing day!! Everything went absolutely perfectly and I ended up back at home completely satisfied and peaceful. We went to the pumpkin patch yesterday.

I called up my daughter the other day and told her we needed to schedule some time to go to the pumpkin patch. I had been thinking a little bit later in the month but my daughter wanted to go this weekend. She has been dating someone for a little bit so I asked her if she wanted to bring him. It seems like he will be around for a while so it only seems right to start bringing him into the family traditions, something I am trying to get myself back into. He agreed and we set up the time and day.

I let my son know what the plan was and asked him if he wanted to go. He agreed, so I asked him if he wanted to bring his girlfriend. They haven’t been dating for very long but I figured ‘why not?’ He asked if she wanted to go, she agreed, he let her know when. I have to admit that having this day planned made me smile. Now, to make it to the day and hope everyone likes each other.

Meeting up at the pumpkin patch

Meeting up at the pumpkin patch

We met a little after noon at the pumpkin patch I have been taking the kids to since they were very little. The kids got to know each other for a little bit before we headed in. It was clear from the start that these four were going to get along like long time friends. YAY!

They may be adults but they have held on to their inner child quite nicely, if even only just for me

They may be adults but they have held on to their inner child quite nicely, if even only just for me

I, of course, was the last one to find the pumpkin I wanted. I usually am. I have to find the one that says “Here I am,” and that can take a minute. That’s ok. It gave us all a chance to interact with each other in a low pressure situation. It was really great. I even got the kids to pose in one of those cut outs for me. Yep, I was smiling, and not just because of the shenanigans that occurred arranging themselves in the cut out for me.

After we all had our pumpkins, we headed over for the weigh and pay. The kids wanted to do the corn mazes so I wandered around and took some pictures of pumpkins and then just waited outside the mazes for them. I don’t do corn mazes anymore. I got lost in one when the kids were little, slightly panicked and made my way out through the side of the maze. I know I should just make myself go in and get over it, but I think letting the four kids go in by themselves was the perfect idea. Give them all some more time to get to know each other while having fun.

After the corn maze, we all decided we were hungry. We drove up the way, in caravan style, looking for some food. We passed a place I hadn’t eaten at for a long time: The Caveman Kitchen. Really good barbecue. I turned around and that is where we ate.

At The Caveman Kitchen

At The Caveman Kitchen

After eating, the kids were talking so I gave them time to just hang out. Fine by me. I was in a really great spot, emotionally. It was turning out to be a great day and the fact that my children’s significant others seemed to enjoying themselves also just added to the whole glory of the day. Have I mentioned what a perfect day it was?? Well, it couldn’t have been better, in my mind, and I believe they all would agree with me.

After The Caveman, I was ready for a nap so we parted ways. I hugged my girl about a million times. I miss her so much. I also hugged her guy and received a thank you from him. When I asked ‘for what?’ he said for letting him be a part of this. Melted my heart.

So, yes, it was the perfect day, a day where everything felt just right. I think the only thing that would have made it better for me would have been to be able to share this day with my husband. Unfortunately, he had to finish up a job he was doing for his brother. Maybe next year. We have decided that we will make a date out of going to the pumpkin patch at a later date, just the two of us, so Lance can get a pumpkin and we can pick up some pie pumpkins for me to make a pie or two. Yeah, yesterday was as perfect as it gets.

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Moody Laptop, School, and Rising Strong…

I swear my laptop is as moody as I can be sometimes. Yesterday, my laptop just couldn’t seem to get loaded up all the way to anything, most things. This morning, boots right up and zips to whatever I am directing it toward. Only difference between yesterday and today with the laptop? It’s a new day. I’m grateful for its compliance this morning, so far.

I have been finding it a bit difficult to write, lately. I write about what’s going on in my life and I have become bored. I don’t do a whole lot: work, the dogs, audiobooks. Though the dogs and audiobooks are two staples in my life, touchstones of sort, it can be a bit monotonous sometimes. Same thing, different day.

I know this is part of where the whole desire to go back to school comes from. Yes, I want to be able to change my life and be able to do something that doesn’t continue to damage my body. It’s definitely a large driving force in my desire for school, but it’s not the only large one.

Boredom is something that is not mentally healthy for me. I’ve learned that the hard way. I also know that I get bored really, really easily. I think…no. I know this is part of why I have found audiobooks so interesting and have scoured the library catalogue for every audiobook I can find in areas that interest me, and have been willing to try new topics. I circle back to certain ones because they are what I find myself drawn to, again and again. I have learned so much.

If I could figure out, or have someone show/tell me, how I become a professional student with the capability to support my family while doing so, I would run with that like an Olympic athlete. Psychology, theology, animal behavior, photography, writing…the list goes on. A girl can dream.

the man in the arena - Theodore Roosevelt

the man in the arena – Theodore Roosevelt

I have been listening to Brene Brown’s Rising Strong.  What a great book! I am learning so much about myself. I am learning so much about getting up after you have found yourself face down in the dirt in whatever arena you find yourself in: relationship issues, parenting, work, life, friends, whatever your arena may be or may show up in your life. “The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up” (Brene Brown, Rising Strong, Ch 2).

I love that Brene Brown talks about vulnerability. I have always thought of myself as being someone who feels too much and am terrified of being found vulnerable. Vulnerability has always been shown to be a weakness along my path, something to avoid at all cost. For someone like myself, someone who feels too much too much of the time, in my own opinion, figuring out how not to be vulnerable in almost every situation has been a struggle. I find that I avoid many situations where vulnerability is key to moving forward. Putting myself out there is nerve-wracking, to say the least, completely loaded with fear. After listening to a number of Brene’s books, I am pushing myself to let go of the need to protect myself and find the strength to find comfort in my vulnerabilities, to find strength in them. I have kept myself from so much by trying to keep my heart safe. The pay out may not have been as great as I had once believed.

Well, I had better get to going. I’m cleaning by myself today since Lance has been working up north the last few days. I hope everyone has a great day and that my laptop allows me to return tomorrow.

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Technical Difficulties…

My laptop is acting up again. I’ll try again tomorrow. Please, bare with me. It’s too frustrating to try to write a post on my phone…too many typos, too slow, just doesn’t work for me very well.
See you tomorrow…hopefully

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Fall is Here, Enzo’s Foot, and A Thought-Provoking Dream…

Fall is definitely here. It’s 39 degrees this morning and full of chill. I so don’t like the cold, as I have made perfectly clear on here, many, many times. Oh well…it is what it is and I have no control over it, at this point. It’s not like I can just pack up and head toward warmer weather to avoid the cold. I’d love to move to a warmer year round climate but I am where I am at and I need to just make the best of it.

Winterizing of our little gypsy camp needs to happen. I have a feeling this winter is going to be a really cold one and the more we are prepared for that, the better. Not doing so raises propane costs and decreases the level of attainable warmth over the winter. Skirting the trailers, making sure the heating systems are working properly, insulating windows. It’s a little bit of work but the end result is so worth it.

Mr. Enzo’s foot is healing nicely. He no longer wants a bandage on his foot. For the first couple of days, he did really great with the bandages. He didn’t lick or chew at them and was able to walk just fine, no limp. Yesterday, he started limping with the bandage on so I took it off and tried re-wrapping it, again, thinking maybe I had done it a little bit too tight.

liquid bandage for dogs

liquid bandage for dogs

Lance took the dogs for a walk and Enzo lost his bandages somewhere along the way. The biggest wound started bleeding a little bit, but Lance just happened to have blue tape on him and taped it up. When they got home I took the tape off, cleaned the wound up a little bit and left it unbandaged for the night.

This morning, the wound appears to be doing well. I sprayed it with liquid bandage. We shall see how he does on the walk. Lance has put the blue tape in his pocket, again, though I urged him to take the bandages we have available here. Oh well. I’m hoping there isn’t a need for anything anyway. Fingers crossed.

I started winterizing the garden, yesterday. It looks so naked!! I haven’t taken down all of the sunflowers, though. I’m finding it difficult to take down the ones with flowers still in full bloom. I know I need to just get over it, but…well, they are pretty and I want to keep as much pretty in my world as possible for as long as possible.

My coneflowers (Echinacea) are doing really great and still blooming. I think I am going to leave them alone for a bit longer, as well. I know I can’t hold on to Summer forever, but I’m going to try. :-)

I had a dream, last night. I was taking the real estate agent courses, along with the real estate appraiser classes. In my dream, I was arguing with someone about why I was taking both courses. I don’t know who it was (dream vagueness), but it was someone important to me. This person ended up saying something along the lines that they thought it was a horrible idea for me to be taking either course, I just wasn’t going to be able to make it work, I didn’t have a nice enough car or wardrobe to be successful in real estate. I argued with them, despite feeling absolutely crushed by this person’s words. The dream slowly faded out after that.

What does it all mean? I have no idea. I just know I woke up this morning and it was one of the first thoughts I had after my morning kissy face with Achilles. The feelings of disappointment stuck with me while making coffee and through the beginning of this post, so I thought I would write about it, hoping to help those dream feelings go away. Unfortunately, the feelings from that dream haven’t lessened after talking/writing about it.

Fear of failure? Fear of success? Heck. I don’t know. Obviously, my subconscious is trying to communicate something to me. I guess maybe I need to do a pros and cons list, or something like that. Or maybe create a plan and then decide if I feel the plan is feasible or just a fantasy. I’m making no decisions, one way or the other, at this point. It is apparent that I have more thinking to do.

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First Frost, Seeds for the Birds, and Enzo is Hurt…

Last Round of Seeds for the BIrds

Last Round of Seeds for the Birds

There was a light frost last night and its 36 degrees right now this morning (8am). I guess its time to put the garden to bed for the winter. I have been putting it off because my sunflowers have been blooming like crazy, but I can no longer put it off. Thankfully, I set up the last round of seeds for the birds, yesterday.

I’m not sure when I am going to get to winterize my garden because my schedule it pretty loaded this week. I’ll just have to make the time. Maybe tomorrow, since I only have the common area clean and I usually don’t get home too late.

We are cleaning up north, in Woodinville, today. This is a clean we have on our own so it pays much, much better. The only downside to this clean is that we always get home late and end up picking up dinner on the way home. I haven’t set anything up for the crock pot (poor planning on my part).

Mr. Enzo in his chair...

Mr. Enzo in his chair…

Mr. Enzo is going with us, today. We were out playing ball last night with their glowy balls and Enzo hurt himself. We didn’t know it right away. He just started acting like he didn’t really want to play so we called the game and went in.

Enzo has been having a hard time getting on our bed for a while now so we end up just picking him up and placing him on it. I went to put him on the bed after playing ball last night and one of his front paws brushed against the sheet, leaving a blood trail. Uh-oh.

I finished getting him up on the bed so I could look at his foot. Three gashes, one really deep, one sort of deep, and one pretty much like any other, regular type cut. Ok. Vet Mom and Dad on duty. I grabbed a wet rag while Lance held Enzo on his side so I could clean the wounds. Then I held Enzo while Lance grabbed the vet ointment, some gauze, and an ace bandage.

The biggest, deepest wound looked as if it may need stitches, but it hadn’t been long since he cut it, so we went with the thought that getting it dressed and applying a pressure bandage to it would hold the wound together very well and the wound should be able to close itself up. We haven’t looked at it, yet, this morning, but will be doing so before we take off toward our clean. No blood on his bandages, as in it didn’t bleed through, which gives me hope that everything is going as planned. Fingers crossed.

We don’t feel like we can leave Enzo home today with Achilles and Luna. They all play too rough and Achilles gets a bit territorial sometimes. Achilles and Enzo disagree like the brothers they are. I honestly don’t think anything bad would happen leaving Enzo home but it makes me feel better to take him with us, just to make sure. Poor guy. At least he is walking well this morning.

The crock pot pot roast the other night was really good. I definitely have plans of making that one, again. Its been a super long time since I have had pot roast, mostly because of our living situation and not knowing how to really make a good one in a slow cooker. Now that I have had success with the roast, I want to try a corned beef roast in the crock pot next. Should be yummy!

Well, Lance should be home any minute with Achilles and Luna, so I had better get myself ready to go. I hope everyone has an amazing day of beautiful surprises!!!

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Dinner Tonight and A Lack of Integrity…

It’s a rainy morning this morning and I am going to blame my sluggishness on it, today. I dragged my tired butt out of bed just over an hour ago, which is late for me. I’ve been this way the last few mornings, though I feel it probably has more to do with not feeling well than the rain. Ok. Maybe its a mixture of the two. Anyway, I am running behind schedule this morning.

We tried the Chicken ‘n’ Cherries last night. It was ok. Both Lance and I believe that we could make some alterations to it to make it better. What those alterations might be, we haven’t come up with, yet. It was good, it just had that “it needs something” to it. Anyway, today, pot roast.

Cambell's Slow Cooker Sauces: Tavern Style Pot Roast

Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces: Tavern Style Pot Roast

I have two cleans, today. This already means I will be coming home a bit later than normal, and with my late start, a little bit later than that. One of the things I have always hated about later days is the fact that they leave me feeling completely unwilling to even try to figure out what to make when I get home for dinner. Then cooking it. Ugh. No.

Unfortunately, this usually means we just pick something up on the way home. Not good at all. I have been wanting to break that cycle for some time, though I have to admit that I have not put much into making it stop. Yes, I’ve been stuck in a rut, a deep one, an unhealthy one. Time to get out of it.

My best friend and I were talking about meals and things the other day (maybe last week). She told me about a few things I plan on trying, one of them being this Campbell’s Slow Cooker Tavern Style Pot Roast. Throw in your meat, pour the sauce over the meat, cook on low for about 8 hours, or on high for around 4 hours, done. She says it’s really good, so I ‘m giving it a try. I threw in some baby carrots and some red, gold, and blue potatoes on top. Dinner prepared. YAY!

I received an update on how things are going with my case against the moving company that hit me in my van in June. The general liability insurance company for the moving company isn’t responding to my lawyer, either. This baffles me a bit. Is that normal? Or is this just another implication that this moving company is quite shifty and works with other shifty companies? I have no idea.

Once I am done with my chiropractic treatments, about another 8 weeks or so, my lawyer is going to have to sue the moving company. This means his percentage will go up. I have mixed feelings about that, but it is what it is. Honestly, I just want the moving company to stand up and take care of what is obviously their responsibility. Their truck hit me, my van is done, I’m hurt. It just goes to show that not everyone works from a base of integrity.

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New Recipe and Giving Audible a Try…

A Man, A Can, A Grill by David Joachim

A Man, A Can, A Grill by David Joachim

The other night, Lance was rummaging through Marv (our RV). It wasn’t a looking for anything particular type of rummaging. Just a touching of the past, I believe. Anyway, he came across a cookbook (pictured on the left) I’ve had for ages and brought it out. I found it on the desk and started thumbing through it.

We like to try new dishes every now and again, just to change things up from the same old, same old. There are a number of recipes I’m not certain we will ever try. They just seem…odd. Anyway, there are a few that have interested us and we are trying one tonight: Chicken n Cherries (page 16 in the book). I’ll be setting up the chicken to marinade in just a little bit. I’m excited to try this tonight. Of course, I’ll be writing my thoughts on it tomorrow.

I slept like the dead, last night. Ok. I pretty much always sleep like the dead, anymore, but, if no one had made a noise, if Achilles hadn’t come to lick my face off this morning, as he always does, I would probably still be out cold. My body is obviously working on getting rid of this cold thing I have. If only I could do just sleep for a couple of days…a girl can dream.

I’ve decided to give Audible a try. I know I said I was having problems with the whole monthly payment and then buying a book thing, but my desire to learn some of the things I want to learn more about obviously has the stronger pull. So, this morning, I downloaded the Audible app and purchased my first book: Understanding the Secrets of Human Perception by The Great Courses and Professor Peter M. Vishton. The two-week free trial comes with one free book, so I chose Rising Strong by Brene Brown. (I do so love Brene Brown. I feel the need to devour everything she has written.)

I’m going to see how this goes. I know this means I have to limit the number of books I download but I am just going to have to be good with that. At the moment, I think I have enough other audiobooks to fill the spaces in between. If I decide I’m not please with the Audible route, I will cancel my subscription after I find a different way.

I’m excited to start listening to Understanding the Secrets of Human Perception. People fascinate me. Well, the way people think and function fascinates me. There are three more books from The Great Courses on psychology and human behavior that I definitely want to listen to. I’m sure I will find more if I do a search of the Audible library. That alone could be a rabbit hole of endless proportions for me. :-)

Well, I have things to get done, so I had better get going. I hope everyone has a wonderful day full of only the best things in life.

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