It is the day before Thanksgiving and as I sit under the red blanket from mom, lights from our first small Christmas tree cast a shimmer on the window. Thoughts of previous years run through my mind, children, grand babies, turkey, game tournaments and also anxiety.img_1013.jpgNo one is up yet and as usual my 3:30 wake up comes and goes without notice. Hot steaming coffee is enjoyed from a large Christmas mug and a calm silence once again highlights the living room and kitchen clocks that keep time with a back and forth ticking pattern.

This has become my time, early morning starlight, fog, frost and glory. Some days I wonder what progress has really been made and then in quiet moments like this I remember and remind myself it is the little things that can ultimately turn out to be the quite large things.

I was once a valiant fighter and keeper of household peace and at times a stone monument unwavering and bold. Diapers, school trips, no electricity, no beds, mix batter, fold laundry, smile and breathe. In what seemed like a mere blink, I found myself reduced to a child like state, unable to manage the tiniest of tasks. But now a rebuilding and knowledge that I can move on and begin again has truly taken hold and for that and so many other things I am grateful.

I am thankful for:

1. My faith

2. My family; children and their partners, my parents, my three grand babies, my sister, nieces and nephews, my special cousin/sister, brother in laws, extended family.

3. Each child of mine and their heroic efforts to live and breathe in freedom. To love me without conditions or expectations. My heart and soul!

4. My mother and mentor who taught me to be my best no matter what.

5. My father who gave me courage and the strength to be me.

6. My sweet grand babies who have helped me to heal and have brought a new sense of purpose to my life and their amazing mommy who accepts me for the Grama that I am.

7. My friends who have encouraged and supported me

8. The ability to cook meals unhindered by anxiety for the most part.

9. Gorgeous nature God has put before me on a daily basis.

10. Being able to walk and exercise.

11. A significant reduction in anxiety and panic, good physical and mental health.

12. Overcoming an eating disorder that was part of the abuse cycle.

13. Having a home.

14. Having food, clean water and medical care.

15. Realizing I cannot be and am not perfect and neither are my family and friends.

16. publishing a book.

17. For my daughter’s marriage and her very special husband.

18. An engagement and upcoming wedding for my eldest daughter and her wonderful beloved.

19. Last but certainly not least, getting to spend special time with my lovely sister, mom and dad again as a little family unit!

One foot and then the next builds a path to freedom.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Top of the hill

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This is the view at the top of the hill
as I turn the corner each day to walk

Top of the hill

Just as I lose focus

And round the stand still bend

No reason for elation

Assigned and taken in

Majestic views of nature

Colors from the past

Remind me to be grateful

For I am free at last

Grateful for the tiny things


It seems simple to drift away and forget all of the things that I have to be grateful for. It is too easy to focus on the things that I want to happen such as losing weight, finishing my book and feeling totally back to the old me! At this point in my life it is the tiny things that bring me joy and the reminder of where I was last year, 5 years ago and even 10 years back. 

It finally snowed on Friday and it is still snowing here and there. Saturday my son went to start the van and it would not start. Snow kept falling, gloomy weather brought wind and more snow and yet I sat snuggled warm under my blanket, not caring much! I have a spare truck that is old and has its own little issues but I was happy and content to have an extra vehicle. The thought of getting to the next little town for Mude’s wisdom tooth extraction on Monday (today) did loom overhead but no panic! I called the free service that my parents gift to me each year and they came and towed the van to a local mechanic shop. It sounds silly but it was fun to interact with the female tow truck driver and to watch how she got my van hauled away! IMG_E5738

I was up at 4 a.m. this morning; I sat on my comfy couch, listened to Christmas music and watched the gently glowing lights. I thought of last year at this time and many years before that. It reminded me to be grateful for everything, even the tiny blessings that sometimes go unnoticed. I want to be as real as possible because I know other people struggle as well! This list is a hard one in many ways but here it is!


  1. I am grateful to have a good relationship with my children, to have their love and acceptance. It has been a long road and has not been easy, there have been ups and downs but they have always stuck by me even in the worst of times! They are truly amazing and are my heroes! I love each and every one of them with all that I have!
  2. I am grateful to be part of my grandkids lives, they are unique, kind, smart and a total joy! I never thought it would be like this but I have fallen in love again three times over! I thank their parents for involving me in special moments and for making sure I am a part of their lives.
  3. I am grateful to have daughter-in-laws who love my sons, who value our family and who have stuck with me through thick and thin!! They are truly part of our large loud family and bring their own special flare! Love you
  4. I am grateful to have my mom and dad who have always been there for me and for my kids. They are the best parents!
  5. I am grateful to have an extra vehicle.
  6. I am grateful to have the free towing service.
  7. I am grateful that my son can have his wisdom teeth taken care of. Two of my kids had this procedure done in Saudi and it was very difficult!!
  8. I am grateful for the snow and the gloomy weather, it is gorgeous.
  9. I am grateful for being able to cook! I made manicotti yesterday, Apricot chicken the day before and so on! Yeah!
  10. I am grateful that I can wear my winter coat each and every time I go out!!Last year I got my winter coat dirty by a simple daily action and then would not wear it. I bundled up in multiple shirts and sweaters to go out and grab a coffee with Foof. She would pick me up and inquire about my coat,  I made excuses and felt guilt, shame. I was unable to take my daily walks outside with no warm coat! Now each day I grab my coat and put it on.
  11. I am grateful that I can take a walk around the block without ever looking back.
  12. I am grateful that I can play with my grandkids and not worry about possibly giving them some illness.
  13. I am grateful that I am back to blogging!
  14. Little things have fallen, broken such as a lightbulb, a plate and it did not bring hours of cleanup. I swept and disposed of the broken pieces. So grateful for this!
  15. I dream of him often which is hard but I try to put it into perspective and not let it ruin my day.
  16. I am grateful for the holidays, lights, our tree and decorations.
  17. I am grateful that I can make my own coffee even if it is hard some days.
  18. I am grateful that I can calm myself down when I get nervous.
  19. I am grateful that I am starting to gain self-worth.
  20. I am grateful that I can take medication for a headache if needed, before this was very difficult and involved endless worry and often panic. I would not take anything and spent hours with a pounding headache.
  21. I am grateful that I am able to help myself!
  22. I am grateful that while I still have issues with eating properly, I no longer have a more serious eating disorder!!! This is hard to admit!
  23. Finally I am grateful that I can celebrate any holiday I choose to and not feel that I am doomed for doing so. I am so grateful for each and every friend I have made here, thank you for your support and kindness!

Grateful for my Jolly day


On Saturday we went to a local tree farm. We hiked up the hill and wandered through perfectly flawed trees! They were each beautiful in their own way and yet had simple imperfections, a new and welcome theme I have been enjoying.

I looked around at huge trees and tiny ones showcasing the beauty of Idaho.

We finally found the one and Heme was so happy that he was allowed to use the saw to cut down the tree.

Soos helped her brother and then he hauled it down the hill.


I found out they accepted cash only and so we went back to town, dropped Heme off at home and returned for our tree. Soos loaded it up proving her female strength and skills and was quite pleased when she completed this task!

We had looked at pictures the night before trying to see what we liked as far as decorating. The lights were hung, ornaments placed and in the end the kids insisted that I place the star little D had picked out!

Joy is found in the simple and ordinary things that we allow to be remarkable!

Love Lynn



Weekly review

This was my week in case you missed anything, have a great Sunday!

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Grateful for the little things


I woke up this morning and I got on the scale, lamented over my weight and then thought about the book. I ran through all of the things I needed to accomplish in this one day and how I had failed and had no direction. I analyzed my failure to lose weight as I have for years! I felt lost with my writing and dreaded working on the book, not knowing what I am doing. Soon I must support the family and although I don’t think the book will make money I feel the push to just get it done once and for all! I thought of the jobs I could apply for but then realized I am 55 years old and a new career is probably not going to happen and I feel anxious about that possibility anyway.

I poured my coffee and it hit me! I realized that in 35 years I have never put myself on this magical list of priorities that I use to keep my family on track and healthy.  Over the years my children have encouraged me to put myself on that list, at the top. I have always refused, it felt selfish and wrong. In the past month my mind has cleared and I feel I am regaining strength and focus.  I never gave much weight to years of abuse, his last visit in which he attacked me ( I could not admit that until now) his marrying a second wife, which took the abuse to a new level and the birth of his child. I told myself that it was nothing, other people suffer greatly, I was lucky.

This past two years finally it all caught up with me. I was unable to cook anything, unable to walk alone, unable to drive and unable to do simple things. I feel so much better now, but I realize that I have to be on this list, Lynn’s magical to do list. I am worthy of happiness, love and good things. I need to spend this time working on my physical, mental and spiritual health and the rest will follow. So on this day I start a new job, getting to know me and to value me. I am worth it!

The little things that have changed

1. I have posted daily for about 2 months

2. I have cooked meals unassisted for 2 weeks

3. I can walk alone short distances

4. I faced my anxiety and had a filling fixed at the dentist

5. I have used my eye wipes and flossed teeth and my bridges

6. I have eaten 3 or 4 fruits a day and 1 veggie for the past few weeks

7. I have worked many days on my book

8. I went for my skin check and was not panicked, anxiety was low

9. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that all of my kids come together. It has been a special time for the past 8 years. Last year I had no interest in celebrating. This year I am so happy to have everyone here and thinking of things to make, games to play, desserts!

10. I have actually felt joy, warm feelings and happiness.

11. My mind is clearing and I am processing things, not running in fear!

12. I can fall asleep easier and wake up at 5 a.m. not 4.

13. I feel hopeful most days.


2016- look at us now


Grateful for the little things


Dear friends,

Today I will share my achievements with you. I am not talking about a new job or status but about the little things. It feels strange to share these things but many good friends have encouraged me to be proud for the things I have accomplished and not the things that keep me stuck!  In keeping with my theme of being real, I will disclose these things in hopes that it might help even one person.

A blogger friend told me yesterday that I had helped her through my writing! That was huge for me and helped me feel more excited about finishing my book. This also helped me in so many ways–Thank you!

It is hard to write this list because it is embarrassing in many ways, but people have encouraged me to look at how far I have come and what I can do, not the things that I am unable to do. I was the lady who did it all and kept going no matter what, but I must own these things and who I am and also take pride in what I have accomplished.

Things that have changed in the past few months

  1. I am now able to cook a meal.
  2. I can sleep through most nights until 4 a.m.
  3. I am back to my walking routine and walk outside.
  4. I am able to relax
  5. I am able to get to a better place when panic arises.
  6. I am more social and speak to people casually
  7. I am more confident
  8. I am back to taking better care of me, eat my fruits and veggies, drinking more water.
  9. Flossing my bridge and using eye wipes the dr. prescribed
  10. Can do limited gardening
  11. Back to working on my book almost every day
  12. Have been posting each day for over a month! yeah!
  13. I have given thought to doing cooking posts! This is a cooking blog haha
  14. Have started thinking about the future
  15. Have let my nails grow, no more picking and peeling when anxious

I have been diagnosed with PTSD and OCD. The PTSD has made my OCD way worst over the past few years. I am working hard and trying to get back to me, even if it is a new me!



If anyone had told me I would be here, in my home country, viewing the Palouse each and every day, seeing my children grow and thrive and become who they were meant to be, holding two precious blessings in my arms, I would never have believed it.

At my lowest point when he threatened to remove me from my home, send me away from my children out into the streets, I prayed to God to keep us safe and to give me any shred of hope. Looking back, I honestly never thought I would enjoy even one of the blessings that have now been showered on me! Keep hope and always believe.

Love Lynn

The little things really do matter

1256After leaving the villa and moving downtown, life changed for the better. The loneliness that had run rampant through my mind and soul slowly disappeared. Phone service was still not available but that didn’t seem as bad now. When I woke I saw the sun, this may sound quite simple but I learned it is one of God’s most beautiful gifts. It was an awesome feeling to see and feel the warmth and beauty of sun, simple, pure and life giving.  As a child I grew up in a house in the woods. There were squirrels, porcupines, rabbits and deer. They wandered through the property and stopped momentarily for a quick gaze our way. Every day was a new adventure watching wildlife near our home. When snow came it wafted over the pine trees tall and strong, it landed on needles and drifted to the ground making a white wonderland. We sledded and romped through the hills of fresh snow leaving our careless footprints behind. I remember lying on the floor of the family room watching the icicles that hung from the upstairs balcony, they nearly reached the floor. The steady drip, drip of the melting water and finally a large crash as it fell effortlessly and gracefully to the floor. The sun washed over me and I moved my spot every so often to catch the brilliant warmth, hidden from the ice and snow just outside.  So, this new found treasure, the sun, was enough to carry me through the tough days with no electricity. I met people from countries who walked for miles to fetch drinking water and who didn’t know what electricity was until later in life. I could handle some hardship, I had a place to stay, food and clothing.

The windows gleamed in the sun, I stood looking out at the street. Dust storms whirled up and the sky was an ominous red. Workers walked along the road, their faces wrapped in scarves and towels to keep the dust away. I stood watching the stray cats that wandered to the garbage dumpster. Cars stopped and started, screeching tires and voices of the city. It was like being pumped back to life and it for now would do nicely.

We had limited furniture but the kitchen had built in cupboards and drawers. This was a huge luxury. In the villa food was stacked on a tiny counter near the sink and boxes were left sitting. But in this new apartment the kitchen was full of drawers and cupboards. They were a cheery white with a red trim and they were new!
Electricity was good in the morning so after getting the boys ready and off to school, I quickly vacuumed and started cooking for the afternoon. Some days I finished most of the meal and others required bringing food from a near by shop. I never thought about electricity and what a wonderous invention it was until it was unavailable. The water heaters in each room, of course would not heat water for showers or doing dishes. As night fell, bed time came quickly if the electricity turned off. The kids and I made up fun games and talked and told stories in the dark. I used old pillows to have pillow fights and the occasional game of soccer was played in the mejalis (living room). Little things become very big things, like a box of popsicles or a treat from back home.