Last week I received a text from a friend who lives in Florida: "Lisa, I am sending you something. It won't fit in your mailbox. When I saw it, I instantly thought of you. My friend made it...I hope you like it. Love to you..."
I must confess, the anticipation ignited and I couldn't wait. I had no idea what it was. This afternoon my Dad called me while I was tutoring, "Your package arrived!" After tutoring I went to my Dad's house, text my friend, and then opened the package while on the phone with her. Once open, I had tears in my eyes. This photo doesn't do justice for this painting yet the message it brings is still visible.
The first thing I thought, "This is Heidi and I when we reunite one day.", then my friend shared, "I saw this and thought of you and Heidi." The dampness in my eyes quickly turned into tears of joy, love, and hope. As she shared about seeing this painting and her first thoughts, I kept staring at it. The beauty captured combined with the love and friendship that came with the gift remind me of how precious time, friendship, and hope is.
We spent half an hour or more visiting, catching up, and enjoying each other's company. We wrapped up our conversation and I hit the "end" on my phone yet I couldn't stop staring at the painting. It entranced me, and still does. I don't know if it's the that I thought of Heidi as soon as I saw it, or was it that not only had I thought of Heidi but so had my friend. My friend said when she saw it, she thought of the bond, love, and sisterhood between Heidi and I. It doesn't matter why, all that matters is that God used my friend to bring me hope in the very moment I needed it the most. God knows what we need, when we need it. He used my friend, and her friend (I don't know the artist's name) who painted it, as messengers to me. For this, I'm very thankful today.
What, or WHO, are you thankful for today?
Hey there! How is everyone doing? For those enjoying the weekend rest and relaxation, what do you plan to do today to refresh yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually this weekend?
If you are looking for a new podcast, check out mine, One Sister's Journey: Keeping it Real (powered by Anchor FM). It's available on more than a dozen podcast apps.
On Fridays I try to do a different series and that is VERY FAITH BASED. My faith is within all my podcasts yet Friday is dedicated to sharing a message, usually a series. My recent series on Fridays is focusing on The Lord's Prayer. Check it out today - you can go back and start with the first one - taking a closer look at this prayer, verse by verse.
What is your favorite podcast? Share its name and link in a comment below - why is it your favorite and what is it about? Happy listening!
What do you like best about my podcast?
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
One of the joys experienced the past two Saturdays was the quiet of the roads and the beauty of the sunrise. Life offers us opportunities to choose. I had a choice to pull over and absorb this beautiful sight or continue bugging down the road. I chose to pause. In life, we need more opportunities to pause and enjoy the beauty of nature around us. One of the books I'm working on now focuses on slowing down and being more mindful of the opportunities and beauty placed before us.If you need to leave five minutes earlier, it will be worth it. Give it a try.
What did you notice on your commute?
The past two Saturdays were spent at Craft/Vendor Fairs. The first in Utica and this past weekend, Rome. It has been a few years since I dedicated time to these type of events but within the first couple hours last weekend, I knew it was time and was glad I went.
Here's the deal, authors don't typically sell a lot of books at craft/vendor fairs so why do we go? It's an opportunity to meet our readers and build relationships. I'm more apt to read a book if I've met someone who recommends the book and if I can meet the author, the likelihood increases even more.
As a child, I remember my Mom and aunts bringing me books signed by the authors after attending different book signings. Maybe this is one of the foundations for my passion to write and meet my readers. It is fun and energizing to meet my readers and those who attended events I spoke at. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet a women who heard me at her church's Fall retreat a few years ago. Her words encouraged me more than she realized, God used her to bless me.
It's amazing to see the way God works and uses us, isn't it? Anyway, in November I have two more events, one in Fulton, New York and another in Oswego, New York. In December I'll be at Christmas in Mexico, then a break until Spring. The amount of time required to prep, plan, travel, and pack can be intense while the actual hours spent sitting can feel long BUT, at the end of the day, it's about the relationships renewed or created that make it all worth it.
In life, so many people are looking at their screens to communicate, I find events like this invigorating because of the one on one contact, eye contact, and real conversation (you know, using our voices and body language). It's great! If the conversation and 1:1 isn't enough, by shopping at local events like this, you are supporting your local creatives. I still find the homemade gifts, books, and goodies my favorite treats to receive (and give).
As you move forward into the holiday seasons, I encourage you to slow down and visit the variety of local craft and vendor fairs. Here are a few benefits you'll receive:
*Meet new people
*Run into people you haven't seen in awhile
*Support local people, possibly your neighbor
*1:1 contact with a variety of people
*Unique & personal Gifts at your fingertips
*Free parking (usually)
*You can do it with or without the kids (it fits your mood)
*Make a girl's (or guys) get away for a couple hours then grab lunch
*Most have food choices so it's one stop shopping
*You learn about new items on the market
*Autographed and personalized books
*You'll get steps and make your heart and Fitbit happy (you can't do that shopping online)
*It's fun and each craft/vendor fair is different and variety is the spice of life.
What is your favorite aspect of craft & vendor fairs?
About the Author
Antoinette Truglio Martin is a life-long Long Islander, teacher, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer—a memoir chronicling her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient.
Personal experience essays and excerpts of her memoir were published in Bridges, Visible Ink, and The Southampton Review. Martin proudly received her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University in 2016.
Antoinette had also written the children's picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup (Albert Whitman and Company), and was a regular columnist for local periodicals Parent Connections (In a Family Way) and Fire Island Tide (Beach Bumming). Her blog, Stories Served Around The Table, tells family tales and life's musings. She lives in her hometown of Sayville, New York with her husband, Matt, and is never far from her “Everyone” and the beaches she loves.
Since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012, she strives to not let cancer to dictate her life. Follow her at Facebook and her website.
In the past I've shared a review for Elaine W. Miller's book, Praise the Lord and Pass the Chemo. When I saw this book available for review, I signed up. As the caregiver to more family than one should have to care and say goodbye to in a life time, authors like Elaine and Antoinette are encouraging - they firsthand stories of being survivors and fighters, offering hope to others in this battlefield and their caregivers.
Antoinette's book is written in journal format for the most part, as she shares emails between her and "My Everyone" as she calls her support network. I'm a fan of diary type books like the Diary of Anne Frank or the Dear America series, so I related to Antoinette's real and personal accounts in the midst of her journey.
The love and bond between she and her daughters brought tears to my eyes and also had me laughing out loud. The honest connection and feelings shared are a tribute to the foundation she and her husband instilled in their family and all who knew them. One of the funniest parts is when Antoinette wants to try marijuana as a treatment and reaches out to her daughters and their response left Antoinette with this, "I had to admit, I did not expect such seamless resources and enthusiasm."
The subtitle of the book, "A year of community, courage, and cancer" is a perfect summary of one woman's journey through the unknown with her "everyone" by her side every step of the way. As Antoinette shares the emails and the commentary between each, I felt like I was sitting in her living room sharing a cup of tea and brownies with her.
This is a personal and heartfelt memoir of hope and encouragement for those going through a difficult and challenging journey, helping us to remember to go through and not get stuck in the pain and disease.
Thank you Antoinette, and thanks to all who took time to learn more about this great book.
During 2017's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, She Writes Press published Antoinette Truglio Martin’s touching memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. It is a 2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in Non-Fiction: Narrative and a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist: Non-Fiction Women's Issues.
In 2007, Martin believed her call back doctor appointment was routine, maybe a scare, nothing worse. Her shock at receiving a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis was instantly compounded by her own deep fears. As a self-described wimp—afraid of needles and uncomfortable with sedation—how was she going to get through this?
Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words. She began by journaling and by writing emails to Her Everyone—the large close-knit family and circle of beloved friends wanting to offer their support, especially those who were fighting breast cancer alongside her. The emails not only helped to keep Her Everyone informed, they gave cancer less of a presence in Antoinette’s life, since she wasn’t repeatedly updating people or saying the word “cancer” over and over. The practice of writing calmed her and also gave her space to focus on living: on the house that wasn’t selling, an exciting new job, daughters in college, and summer beach plans. She signed every email with the reminder to “hug everyone you know.”
Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of this memoir, which gives the book an immediacy and raw power.
Hug Everyone You Know is a memoir about how Antoinette found the courage to navigate her first year of breast cancer treatment. It’s the story of how a community—colleagues, family, friends—rallied to support her. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny—and it speaks to us all.
Other Blogs Featuring Antoinette's New Book
Does my photo let you know how the first read by an avid fiction reader went of my work-in-progress (WIP)? Actually it wasn't as bad as one might think when you see a picture of me going up in flames yet for this author and newbie fiction writer, it was a challenge.
Here are a few truths I knew before entrusting this to my daughter:
1) It's my 1st attempt at fiction
2) It's a 1st Draft
So basically, I know it wasn't ready but I knew she'd be honest and let me know if it was worth pursuing or to file it and go back to nonfiction.
Overall she liked it but said, "You haven't shared this with anyone else yet, right?"
Ouch, was my heart but the words that came out, "No, it's a first draft, you are the only one. If it's bad, just tell me." My tone must have matched my heart.
Her response, priceless, "Relax, I was just asking. You are the editor for me, just didn't know if anyone else had looked at it."
"Nope, only trusted you so far.", no more comments after that.
I told her to write on it and share any thoughts. Her feedback is insightful and honest. Now to decide if I go back and work on a couple of these or keep moving forward or pause for a little editing and revision.
1) Switch from 1st to 3rd person in the beginning (I knew this but only noted it as something to fix later, when I started I wasn't sure the direction - she encouraged me to fix this now)
2) It's a little disconnected at parts, if a chapter was moved to a different spot, it would flow better
3) You left your phone home but then later in the book you have your phone, "Where did the phone come from? LOL"
4) times vary from perspective
5) Time frames need work
6) "I'll read it when it's done, you have work to do before it goes to the editor."
I love this kid of mine and her honesty. She noted other items too, things I struggled with and even put question marks by paragraphs with a note like, "What? Unclear.", these were paragraphs I couldn't get right so just moved on. I value her ability to read and respond as a reader, a lover of books. Her insight and questions will help me as I make changes and move forward with this project.
I look forward to getting back to my writer's cottage for a day or two of writing. I planned to this past weekend but as with life, plans changed and life happened. Instead of writing, I was where I needed to be but because of this time, my daughter had the opportunity to read and offer her feedback, so it wasn't a complete writing loss.
Do these comments make you
Today, Tuesday, September 24th the Mexico Academy and Central Schools Girls Swim and Volleyball teams will be hosting a suicide prevention fundraiser.
Prior to today, there was a t-shirt fundraiser and throughout the day and at their games this evening, there are basket raffles to raise awareness for suicide. The coaches and students even shared the link for t-shirt orders to the visiting teams in case they wanted to help turn the school teal.
All funds are being donated within our county to help those in our community.
You may think suicide isn't something you need to worry about or that you don't know anyone in this situation yet I challenge you, watch these videos and learn some of the statistics. Suicide, attempted suicide, are more than common than most are aware.
Let's raise awareness and educate ourselves so we are better listeners, advocates, & friends. Education is power!
Prayers for those struggling with thoughts of suicide or have lost a friend or loved one to suicide.
In life we face circumstances and situations requiring us to HOPE.
This verse from Isaiah
tells us the LORD:
*doesn't grow tired
*doesn't grow weary
*understands more than we
will be able to understand
*gives us strength to the weary
*increases the power of the weak
*renews our strength
*enables us to soar
*enables us to run
*enables us to keep going
WHEN WE HOPE IN HIM!
While you wait..HOPE in the LORD!
Do you not know?
What are you hoping for today?
The powerful Lake Ontario winds bent the past pole beyond repair. The past couple years my hubby and I visited this one company in the Center of Progress building and dreamed of purchasing one of their flag poles for my Dad. This year we had enough money saved and bought it. The past two days were spent installing and charging the solar light.
The final product is breathtaking...I'm thankful for many of the things my parent taught me BUT one of the best is the legacy of respect, admiration, and love for our country and the flag.
Enjoy this video with history of the flag...
Do you fly Old Glory?
What does our American Flag mean to you?
A HUGE shout out to APO for weeding the Heidi Remembrance Garden this week!!
Thank you for remembering Heidi in your prayers
and hearts, may this be the year
God answers "Yes" and brings Heidi home.
One pastor told me, "Your toes are always over the edge", because I was willing to try something new or take a chance. I wasn't always like this, my life experiences as an adult taught me to appreciate each day as a gift. Life is too short and tomorrow isn't a guarantee. If we let fear dictate our lives, we'll miss opportunities and challenges to grow us into the adults God has designed us and wired us to be.
Let me share an example, after my sister disappeared I never thought I'd write about and travel sharing my testimony of faith to encourage and inspire others to trust God. When a church reached out to me to speak I hesitated in my heart. I said "Are you sure?" or something along that line? If God calls you to do something, we need to trust, step out and say "Yes!" I agreed then prayed, studied, and prepared. The blessings that followed, only God could orchestrate.
People shared how God used my words to encourage and uplift broken hearts. This is such a blessing and joy to have God use me. I'd like to say it gets easier and fear doesn't get to me yet when God asks me to step out to do something for Him, I'll say yes then pray for God's peace, strength, and ability to follow through. Are you ready?
Where is God calling you
to step outside of
your comfort zone?
What, or who, is stopping you?
The pencil/paper organizer at the end I've had for a few years and found it at a thrift store for $2. The drawers hold my paperclips, allowing all my essentials at my fingertips yet look neat at all times The chair is from my grandmothers, with a cushion made for my daughter many moons ago.
The days when I stopped at the lake or the library after working out, I only wrote between 700 - 1,000. Now I can leave out the notes and such when I'm done for the day and pick up where I left off. No more packing it all into a notebook and binder, and then my bag before driving home. The time saved from not driving to and from my writing spot, setting up to write, and then having to clean up when I'm done so I can drive home equaled about 2,000 words. Woot Woot!
The added bonus is the company I have while working, two dogs and my Dad. Life is good and the writing is even better. Mom is smiling and my daughter likes my writer's cottage, she couldn't believe the transformation. A little insulation board, contact paper, and a lot of love.
What is the last thing you added to your special area?
"The survivors of victims of murder and suspicious death are often victimized twice—first by the loss of their loved one and subsequently by the system they rely on for justice. In pursuit of police transparency and search for justice, retired investigator Dennis Griffin takes us inside the world of real crime cases to expose the shocking truth behind the alarming number of unsolved murders and suspicious deaths classified as accidental, self-inflicted, or natural—with little to no investigation."
~Dennis N. Griffin
Dennis and Lynda Fell created personalized covers for each of contributing author to use in promoting the book. When you order your copy from Amazon, it will say "with The Transparency Project", similar to this one, instead of having my name on it. Thank you Dennis and Lynda for this feature to help promote the book.
This is the 3rd anthology I've had the honor to share Heidi and her case. Each time it's a journey because I return to 1994 again. As I journey through the writing and collaboration process, I pray and praise God at the same time. Prayers for His guidance and protection while praising Him for the opportunity to share Heidi and her story with people. We never know when a new reader or listener might know something to bring Heidi home and have the courage to pick up the phone to share the information with the Oswego County Sheriff's Department or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Dennis Griffin retired in 1994, after a twenty-year career in law enforcement and investigations in New York State. After authoring 8 mystery thrillers, Griffin turned his attention to nonfiction. He founded The Transparency Project to help families of suspicious death victims gain access to police records related to the investigation of their loved one. Griffin is host of the popular podcasts Crime Wire and The Transparency Project Radio Show.
He also serves as a consultant, matching true crime movie and documentary producers, writers, and event coordinators with potential technical consultants and speakers. Learn more at www.dennisngriffin.biz.
After you read this book,
will you leave a review on Amazon?
Thank you in advance.
Since 1994, the farthest I've traveled solo is to Clay, New York which is only twenty-five minutes away. I did a happy dance upon my arrival when I got out of the car. It was a good that I was early because other attendees may have avoided the weirdo dancing outside her car.
Hubby and I spend a few days traveling locally on his days off and experiencing New York. He had extra days off due to an unexpected lay off. Instead of stressing about this, we prayed and God was faithful. His new job offers more potential for advancement and his mood has been better. God knows more than we do and could see what we couldn't. Hubby and I both needed a change and time of rest and renewal We wouldn't have chosen a job lay off to reconnect with each other and focus on trusting God yet God knows what we need, and gives us this. Needs versus wishes and wants is a good thing.
While wrapping up this final year of her Bachelor's Degree, the hunt for the right Master's Degree program and school is underway. Application submissions open on September 1st, and she is working hard to narrow her choices down to afford the application fees while also ensuring acceptance in at least one. I have a feeling she'll have at least a couple and will have to weigh the pros and cons to choose the Assistanceship best fitting her career goals. Go get em' girl!
A week from today I'll be back in school with a new group of cherubs to educate, inspire, motivate, and encourage. I love my career and look forward to meeting this next generation. I'm glad I took the summer to relax, recharge, and write. The family visits in August wore me out and lifted me up at the same time. We are saving to make the trip to Florida and Indiana next year, and to help our girl move to her final higher education destination. Let the saving begin.
What are you looking forward to?
They Mystery within the boxes revealed...
A creative way to include Mom's Encyclopedias...
*My mom won them
*My mom valued them and never wanted to get rid of them
*You don't see encyclopedias much anymore since the introduction the Internet
I took this set off my bookshelf at home a couple years ago to make room for more books. I reorganized my shelves and needed the space yet couldn't part with the encyclopedias so I boxed and stored them in Mary's playhouse. As we cleaned out the playhouse and I saw the boxes I told my father I was going to keep the in the writer's cottage. His response, "Of course you are." We both laughed. He asked, "How or what are you doing to do with them? You don't have much space." I shook my head because I had no clue.
Dad went to the New Haven Building Supply and purchased a pine board. He cut them to the length of the wall, routered & rounded the edges, and sanded them. I rearranged the books until I had even piles. My Auntie M called to check in and I told her what we were doing, she added her creativity to the mix. She suggested spelling something on the side. I liked the idea and went back to work to make new stacks that would spell a word or two. This took a bit but now the outside spells "Lisa_Wrter" So cool!
Who knew two boxes of encyclopedias would end up making this beautiful and special bookcase. Many minds make light work and creative uses of old and cherished items.
Have you re-purposed something given to you?
If so, what was it and how?
The nest is huge. I took this first picture to show the size of the nest in comparison to the pole it's stationed on, on Route 13 outside of Pulaski, New York. Once Dad and I arrived, we parked on a side road and kept our distance after reading a few facts on the Bald Eagle, if you'd like to learn more, click here.
While watching the nest, I visited the Internet via my phone and read some of the information on the DEC Fact Sheet and about New York State's Bald Eagle Program. One of the first things we realized, we didn't choose a prime movement time to see the parents bring food yet we still sat for about thirty minutes watching the babies. It was a nice time spent visiting with my Dad and learning about the birds we were watching at the same time.
An article on LIVESCIENCE tells, "Bald eagles are large birds of prey native to North America. Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the United States' national emblem and mascot. The bald eagle isn't actually bald; it gets its name because its white head against its dark brown body makes it seem bald from a distance." Read Entire Article Here It's an interesting read.
I've always wondered why the Bald Eagle was our national emblem and mascot, I found an informative article on the American Bald Eagle:
"The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent.
On the backs of our gold coins, the silver dollar, the half dollar and the quarter, we see an eagle with outspread wings.
On the Great Seal of the United States and in many places which are exponents of our nation's authority we see the same emblem.
The eagle represents freedom. Living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of Nature, he has unlimited freedom, whether with strong pinions he sweeps into the valleys below, or upward into the boundless spaces beyond."
To read the entire article, click here.
The author of the first article debates if the Bald Eagle is the correct bird for our mascot yet the second article offers the reasons it was selected in 1782. Regardless of where you stand on the appropriateness of its selection, I find it to be a beautiful bird and feel blessed to have experienced watching these four babies for a time. I also was twice blessed by the conversation with my Dad as we sat, watched, and took pictures (from a safe distance using the zoom lense).
Have you ever seen a Bald Eagle up close?
If so, where...
P.O. Box 323
A Mother's Monday
Ride For Missing Children
Sewing And Crocheting
The River's End Bookstore