If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve been writing novels. My first one, One Nation, Under God: A Cautionary Tale About the Rise of the Religious Reich is now on sale for a limited time only. It’s $1.99 for another two days.
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Why are people so ungrateful? And I include myself in this, so I’m not “scolding” anyone in particular. So here goes…
When Sharon (on facebook) asked me to participate in the 5 Day Gratefulness Challenge, I was at yet another low point in my life. I struggle with depression and suicide on a regular basis, so I know it is a choice, no matter how the politically correct pundits or those with a woundology fetish want to spin it. It’s a choice. Everything in life is a choice.
So, I could’ve ignored the challenge, like most of the people I nominated to take the challenge. In fact, only one person out of fifteen that I nominated did the gratefulness challenge, and even then I’m not sure she did all five days. I tried to look back on her facebook page, but none of them are showing up.
At any rate, I chose to take the challenge because I know that being grateful has worked to lift my mood in the past, but I had stopped being thankful on a daily basis. The challenge worked, but only for a couple days, and then I was right back into my suicidal depression, but I kept on. The thing is, I know at this point in time that I probably won’t commit suicide. (I feel strongly enough to say that I won’t, but as they say, pride goeth before a fall, so I won’t say it). I have faced these suicidal thoughts since I was ten, and even tried to commit suicide when I was ten and eleven. Having a vicious, abusive, mentally ill mother will do that for ya, as well as having her whole family hate my guts and telling me, in so many words, that I should’ve never been born. Easy for a child to want out of that environment, but again, even as a child, I chose life. I really don’t know why, because there was only one person in my life at that time who made me feel loved. Oddly enough, it was an elementary school janitor named Roy Hodges. He always called me “Sunshine” because, despite my living hell, I managed to smile a lot. I was only at that school for a couple years, but he helped me through life.
See, a smile really can change someone’s life.
Anyhoo, back to gratefulness…
Sure, some of the people I nominated for the gratefulness challenge might not get on facebook everyday, but still…if being grateful was important enough to them, they would find three things to be thankful for every time they got on facebook. A grateful heart finds a way…
Some will say they’re just too busy to do list their three things for five days, but again…a grateful heart finds a way. Otherwise, there will be excuses. You’d make time for something important. Forgetting? Nah, that’s just another excuse, because if it was important enough to you, you’d remember. I’m not saying all this to point fingers. Rather, I’m saying it to maybe get some people to think about their priorities in life. I’ve certainly lost my way of gratefulness, downplaying its importance.
In writing my upcoming novel, Karma’s Assassin, I included a chapter about suicide and about how it’s always a choice. Our moods are also our choice. I tried to explain that to a couple people recently on facebook, but one person twisted my opinion to mean that I’m sexist, since, after all, women have historically been seen as emotional. Um…wtf did that have to do with what I was saying? I guess she was trying to say that it’s okay to be emotional, since she loves to dwell and wallow and act on her emotions. Yep, so did OJ Simpson, Ray Rice, and Robin Williams. Good luck with that, honey.
We all have moods and emotions that aren’t pleasant to go through, but we can choose not to dwell on them. Maybe I’ll write another post about that soon, since I’m getting off track here from gratefulness. Then again, am I? Gratefulness is an emotion, too.
I see some people – some whom I dearly love – here on facebook who consistently whine about what they’re going through. And I do mean “whine.” Look, there’s nothing wrong with having bad days or a bad spell, but when a great deal of your posts are about what’s going wrong in your life, then…golly gee whiz…shouldn’t you adopt gratefulness in your life? I even nominated some of these people for the gratefulness challenge, but they were too busy bitching and moaning about their lives to want to do something as silly as that. Gosh, it might mean they’d have to make a choice and start being grateful – at least for the few minutes it took for them to write their three things.
Complaining is so much easier than actually doing the inner work to change your life around. Soooo much easier to blame others than to look within and do some housecleaning. If you attract drama that much, then it’s you.
Anyhoo, there’s nothing wrong with asking for prayers or positive vibes being sent your way during a rough time, but when almost half (or over half) of the statuses you share on facebook are about how sucky your life is, then you’ve got a problem. And it’s now a problem I don’t care to engage in anymore. I’ll silently pray for these people, but I’m not going to give them a cyber hug and write well wishes for them anymore. Why bother? The next day or the day after, they’ll just come up with another thing they hate about their lives. It’s a cycle with them…nay, I’d say it’s an addiction. They are addicted to drama, and they readily call it into their lives on a regular basis because they whine about it. They certainly whine about it here on facebook, so that means not only is it going through their head, but they are committing a physical act by writing it down. When you do something physical like that, you are only emphasizing your mood and are attracting even more crap…so you can whine some more and begin the addictive cycle all over again.
I have a facebook friend who recently had a stroke – and at my age, too! She shared with all of us her daily struggles, which was fine. Why wouldn’t she? There’s nothing wrong with that. She was going through a life changing and challenging event. But you know what? She was grateful! She wrote about how it was a challenge to even write the alphabet again, but she did it! And we were there to celebrate it with her. Her posts weren’t at all whiny. Sure, sometimes she shared her frustrations and she vented, but the thing is…the energy in which she did it, you could tell she was still grateful. We all have emotions we need to vent. We have to, or we’d go crazy. But there are productive ways of venting – like just venting for the sake of venting to let those toxins out. But then there’s also the venting that is wallowing around, having a pity party, and calling more things into our lives to be pissed or sad about.
I choose to be grateful. This 5 Day Gratefulness Challenge made me realize that when I was doing a spiritual practice every day of naming 5 things to be thankful for every morning before I got out of bed, and then every night before I went to sleep, I didn’t feel as depressed. I certainly didn’t have thoughts of suicide or, if I did, I sure don’t remember them. See, that’s how insignificant or fleeting those thoughts were. Why? Because I inoculated myself with gratefulness. By the way, I made a rule that those 5 things couldn’t be the same things, or things that I’m always grateful for, like my son, my Tessa, my wonderful house and car, etc. They had to be new things. Sure, some days I wasn’t feeling it, and I’d say something like: “I’m grateful for another fucking day in which I get to be disappointed in my fucking life,” but then I still had to find four other things to be grateful for. Eventually, my mood would brighten that day, and by the time I went to bed, I could sincerely be grateful again.
So my point in all of this is that we have a choice. We ALWAYS have a choice. Dwell in the negative and attract even more sturm und drang, or choose gratefulness. Some days you have to hang on to that gratefulness mountain with bloody fingernails and broken fingers, but you still hang on. Choose it, and eventually, you won’t have to go through so much crap. Eckart Tolle says something along the lines of accepting the moment as if you had called it into existence because you have.
The unhappiness is a test for you – a moment to transcend the sadness or anger you’re feeling. Life is simply filled with a series of tests…a battle of wills between our ego and our higher selves. Me? I’m a stubborn person, so I’m gonna choose not to be defeated by my ego or by the low density of this earth. I’m choosing to be grateful. I’m also choosing to no longer enable people who are in love with the drama in their lives. When they make posts whining again, I simply refuse to participate in it. It only fuels their need for drama, so why would I help them like that? I love them too much to do that.
Again, before some people get their knickers in a wad and have yet another dramagasm, this isn’t for people who ask for prayers or who vent occasionally. We’re all human and we all need support. Rather, it’s for those who are addicted to their dramas and want people to feed their addiction. And if anyone wants to take offense at this post, remember, you’re choosing to be offended. Why give me that much power over your life? I don’t want it.
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Wonderful quality handmade and vintage items for sale, including, but not limited to: handmade jewelry for sale, handmade teddy bears, handmade prim decor, handmade ornaments, handmade mixed media jewelry for sale, handmade mixed media, handmade shabby chic, handmade dolls and plushies, handmade crochet, rag crochet hats and baskets, vintage jewelry for sale, vintage ornaments, vintage ads, vintage silver, vintage cuff links, vintage linens and aprons, vintage tea cups for sale, jewelry supplies for sale, wool and fabric for sale, beads for sale, craft supplies for sale, suede and leather fabric for sale, ebooks and epatterns for sale.
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I love making this easy Bacon and Sourdough Skillet Recipe dish. And we especially love eating it!
The night before, I use this Sourdough English Muffins recipe. I don’t make the dough into muffins, though; more on that in just a bit.
After the sourdough has proofed from the night before, I put some bacon in a cast iron skillet and cook it in the oven at 350 for about 20 – depending upon when it looks almost cooked. Then I scoop the sourdough on top of the almost cooked bacon and put the skillet back into the oven. It usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes until the bread is done. I cut into the middle of the bread with a spoon or spatula to make sure the dough is fully cooked.
I have tried putting shredded cheese as a layer between the bacon and the sourdough, but it makes the bread take a long time to bake, so I don’t do it anymore. We wanna eat it asap! If you don’t want your bread as fluffy, omit the baking soda.
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I’m giving away ONE handmade crochet handbag – winner’s choice! #1 Watermelon – so cute for the summer! Measurements: sitting, 10 inches tall; 14.5 inches wide; bag body, 10 inches tall; flattened with handles, 12.5 inches tall. #2 Purple – measurements: sitting 8 inches (without handle included in measurement); bag body 10.5 inches tall; 13 inches wide; flattened with handles, 17 inches tall. Unfortunately, the close up picture shows the fabric as more red, but it’s more purple, as it is in the other photos. #3 Yellow – measurements: bag body, 11 inches tall; 16.5 inches wide; flattened with handles, 13 inches tall; sitting, 10.5 inches tall. All measurements are approximate.
Giveaway is open to the United States and Canada due to postage costs. Giveaway will end June 8, 2014, at 11:59 pm, Eastern US time.
Please note: No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Must be 18+ to enter. Odds of winning are based on number of entries. The dollar value of giveaway item is between $20 to $30, depending upon winner’s choice. Rafflecopter will choose the winner by random. The winner has four days to email me at screamingsardine ~at~ yahoo ~dot~ com to claim the prize. If the four days has passed, and I haven’t heard from the winner, I will randomly choose a different winner.
I also sell my rag crochet purses in my Etsy shop.
This is the recipe I use when making various skillet meals – like sourdough pizza skillet or bacon and sourdough skillet. I’ve never made these into English muffins.
Sourdough English Muffins
1.5 cups sourdough starter
1 and 3/4 cup flour (a little more for all purpose, which I’ve always used)
1 and 1/8 cup milk
Mix and let sit for six to twelve hours.
When ready, add:
About 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda (optional. I use this when I want my dough to rise more, but don’t use it when making pizza)
1 Tblsp raw honey
Mix all together. Knead for five to six minutes. (I actually stir it vigorously instead of kneading, and it turns out fine. The dough is just waaaay too sticky for me to want to knead it). Pat down dough until it’s 1/2 inch thick; cut out circles. (Again, I don’t do this, since I don’t make muffins out of these). Let rise another one hour. Put on griddle and cook about eight minutes, flipping over every couple of minutes.
Source: Sourdough English Muffins
Goodness, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. As those of you who follow me on facebook know, I’ve been busy with grad school. But it’s a new year, and I want to get back into blogging. I also want to get more practice in taking pictures, even if I have crappy lighting and a mediocre camera. So my blog posts will mainly be in pictures. This was what was in my kitchen last month. Better late than never.
My first try at sourdough…YUM! (I couldn’t wait for it to cool off, so I tore off some pieces…hehe)! Soooo good with butter melting on it!
And…of course…Tessa was in the kitchen “helping” (cough cough) out.
Anybody wanna join me in reading this book together!?! I’m currently taking a class by Marianne Williamson about her book “A Return to Love.” It is AWESOME! I’ve read the book and would love to read it again in a book club group.
Here are the details…
When: Begins Monday, November 11th
Meeting place: I’ll be setting up a forum where we can discuss the chapters that we read. I’ll announce the url when we get closer in time.
How: I know everyone is busy, so I figured a forum type of setting would be best for everyone’s schedule. In this way, you can check in at any time and join the conversation. Book clubs are always fun because when you discuss something you’re reading that other people are reading, you discover more insights. Plus, camaraderie among your fellow members often develops!
November 11th – Preface, Introduction, and Chapters 1 – 3 (to page 49)
November 18th – Chapters 4 and 5
Break for Thanksgiving in the U.S.
December 2nd – Chapter 6 to page 120
December 9th – The rest of Chapter 6
December 16th – Chapter 7
Break for the end of the year holidays
January 6th – Chapter 8
January 16th – Chapter 9
R.S.V.P.: Just send me an email at screamingsardine ~at~ yah00 ~dot~ com and I’ll put you on the list. Please put “Book Club” in the subject line. Once we get close to the time, I’ll send you the url to the forum.
If you don’t have the book and would like to purchase it through Amazon, I’d greatly appreciate if you would purchase it (and anything else you might want at the time) through one of the links below. In that way, I get a wee bit of affiliate commission.