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Sharon Canfield Dorsey – A Day At A Time… The Journey Continues… June 1 – June 10, 2019

JUNE 1, 2019:  Heart are broken again after another mass shooting, close to home in Virginia Beach. WHY????????????

JUNE 2, 2019:  It’s Pride Month for my LGBTQ friends. I long for a day when they are not persecuted or worse, killed, for just living their lives.

JUNE 3, 2019:  Pets and their owners have such a strong connection. One friend told me her dog winks at her. She always winks back, in case it some kind of code.

JUNE 4, 2019:  Two deer wandered into my yard at dusk. They ate my Hydrangeas for supper and rose petals for dessert. Not even a thank you.

JUNE 5, 2019:  Our Humane Society reminds us, saving one cat will not save the world, but for that one cat, the world will change forever.

JUNE 6, 2019:  Did you know ants work as teams? Watched some form a chain and lower a wounded ant from a window sill to the ground, then carry him away.

JUNE 7, 2019:  Feels like it’s been raining forever. I keep reminding myself – in July and August, when it’s 95 and desert-dry, we’ll be wishing for those showers.

JUNE 8, 2019:  I have a great lawn guy who keeps my two acres mowed and trimmed and warns me where the resident black snake is hanging out.

JUNE 9, 2019:  My poetry group is preparing a program for local retirement communities. Will give us a sneak preview of where we’re all headed.

JUNE 10, 2019:  How did it get to be June already? Seems like I just put away the Christmas decorations.

SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning author and poet. She has published four children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing; Revolt of the Teacups; Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library, illustrated by her granddaughters;Buddy the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books: a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; and two books of poetry, Tapestry; and Captured Moments.

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Susan Williamson – In Memoriam

Last night I sat down for my nightly Jeopardy fix, only to find out the game show had been pre-empted by the memorial service for last week’s Virginia Beach Massacre victims. Out of respect for them and their loved ones, I stayed to watch.

An overflow crowd gathered in and around The Rock Church in the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach. I don’t know who organized the service, but it was poignant and moving. There was music of all kinds: symphony music, soloists, duets and choirs. All of it was beautifully done and well-chosen to bring comfort and remembrance.

A wide representation of clergy members spoke and I wondered if they represented the faiths of the slain. There were rabbis, an iman who quoted the Bible, a minister representing the interfaith council, a priest and a representative of the host church.

Several government officials attended with Governor Northrup, the mayor and vice mayor of Virginia Beach and Congresswoman Elaine Luria all making brief remarks.

Everyone who spoke talked about love: the need to love one another, especially now when so many are hurting, the need to bear one another’s burdens, the need to be kind, to embrace others, to tell them they can lean on us.

The crowd gave standing ovations when the mayor and vice-mayor mentioned the professional and volunteer first responders who rushed into harm’s way and the medical personnel who responded so quickly to a scene of mass trauma.

City officials commended their workers, the survivors who are going back to work, despite the trauma and loss of friends and co-workers. The gunman was one of their own. A sense of betrayal, and perhaps guilt for not noticing his inclinations or mental state would have to affect those who worked with him.

None of us knows what the future holds, but we can all show love to all of those around us. The families and friends of the slain and injured are hurting, as are many we come across on a daily basis.

I recently read Richard Rohr’s Yes, And …. In his meditations he mentions that “God” is as much a verb as a noun—and so we, regardless of our own beliefs, can be love (god) to others, and to all of creation.

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Sharon Canfield Dorsey – A Father’s Day Tribute To My Son

As my son grew into an adult, I wondered how being a
child of divorce would affect his own relationships. 
I watched with admiration as he completed his Bachelor’s
Degree and then his Masters, all the while, holding down
full time jobs. Over the years, I’ve watched him evolve
from a loving son into a loving husband and father. My
grandchildren are the luckiest kids EVER to have him
as their Dad. Here’s to you, Steven!

GOOD SONS = GOOD FATHERS

Today fathers come in all sizes and types…
fat ones and slim ones and dads who smoke pipes.
Dads who are single and dads who are wed,
march off to work to help keep families fed.
Stay-at-home dads cook, sweep and clean.
Work-at-home dads stare at Mac screens.

The best dad of all is the kind you’ve become…
a renaissance dad who works hard but has fun.
A dad who can sit in the floor and play dolls,
or run down the soccer field, chasing white balls.
A husband, a partner who carries his share
of cooking, or ironing, whatever is there.

A dad who wipes noses, rocks kids to sleep,
loves with abandon, makes vows you will keep.
You never complain, your gratitude shines
for all of life’s blessings, all of the time.
Grandkids like mine deserve only the best.
You’ve always scored an A+ on this test.

SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning author and poet. She has published four children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shining Thing; Revolt of the Teacups; Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library, illustrated by her granddaughters; and Buddy the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; and two books of poetry, Tapestry; and Captured Moments.

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Cindy L. Freeman – Food: Friend or Foe, 6/3/19

I used to think food was my enemy. When anyone would talk about enjoying a meal, I couldn’t relate. How could they refer to food in a positive manner? Food was bad, right? Food was the enemy that I battled day in and day out. It was responsible for my weight problem.

Even when I wasn’t fat, I thought I was fat. I would look in a mirror and see an overweight person. I felt ashamed, embarrassed and overwhelmed by my latest binge. Ironically, now when I view photos from certain periods of my past, I realize my weight was perfectly normal, and I didn’t look fat at all.

The condition is called body image dysmorphia. For me, as for many—especially girls and women—body image dysmorphia often results in one of several eating disorders, primarily anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or compulsive over-eating.

For most of my life, I’ve been a compulsive overeater. Always hungry, always thinking about food, I often indulged in binge eating, especially during stressful times. While I craved sugary or starchy foods, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop until I felt like I might explode. While I was binging, food provided comfort, but afterward I felt ashamed and worthless. It was a vicious cycle which had something to do with the addictive property of sucrose, but more with unaddressed emotional issues.  

If I had an event coming up for which I wanted desperately to appear slim or to fit into a certain outfit, I would engage in a starvation diet, losing from two to five pounds, depending on how many days I gave myself to prepare. During this time of fasting, all I could think about was how hungry I was and how deprived I felt. My blood-sugar would plummet, my head would pound, and I felt like I might pass out.

I yo-yo dieted throughout young adulthood and middle age, trying to keep my weight where I thought it should be. I exercised faithfully, but my weight continued to creep higher and higher. Honestly, I thought it was hopeless. I couldn’t see my way out of a condition that controlled me all day, every day. For me, food, particularly sugar, was an addiction as powerful as alcohol for an alcoholic or cocaine for a drug addict. The problem with food addiction is that you can’t simply stop eating.

Finally, at the ripe old age of seventy, my eating is under control. I feel okay about my body image, and I have no urge to binge. So, how did I finally achieve a healthy relationship with food? First, I addressed the unresolved emotional issues from childhood through journaling. By consciously recognizing my binging triggers, I gave myself permission to feel and express anxiety, fear, anger, disappointment, frustration and regret. In childhood, I was not allowed to feel negative emotions. Authenticity was discouraged, even ridiculed, by the adults in my life. Not that my situation was unique. I grew up during a time when emotional repression was the norm. 

For years, I heeded the messages about eating a low-fat, “lite” diet to be healthy and slim. Recognizing I was addicted to sugar, I tried more than once to purge it from my system, but I loved dessert. I’d stay on a sugar-free diet for six months or so, replacing sucrose with unhealthy substitutes so I could get my dessert-fix. Then, like an alcoholic, I’d fall off the wagon and end up binging on sweets, feeling terrible, and gaining weight. The uncontrollable binge eating would return, and again it seemed like food was my enemy.

Nothing changed until I started eating more fat. That’s right, more fat! Without mentioning a specific program, let me say that embracing fat has changed my life for the better. Fat fills me up, so I don’t feel hungry ten minutes after a meal. Because my cholesterol had always been high, I became concerned about raising it further. I wondered if I was doing more harm than good by increasing my fat intake. But eating more fat is what helped me finally give up sugar forever. The good news is I’ve lost sixteen pounds, and my cholesterol and blood glucose levels are the lowest they’ve ever been.   

I limit simple carbohydrates like bread and cereal. But, honestly—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—I don’t miss them or sugar. I’ve found a recipe for delicious waffles made from almond flour that I eat twice a week. I allow myself pizza once a week and enjoy a glass of Prosecco every evening. I smother my waffles and pancakes with real butter and all-fruit jam. I snack on nuts or cheese or veggies with dip. I enjoy chocolate milkshakes made from frozen bananas, whole milk yogurt and cocoa sweetened with stevia. I eat real bacon and eggs once or twice a week, and best of all, I haven’t binged in ten months.

Food is no longer my enemy. Instead, I embrace it, enjoy it, and eat without shame. How liberating! Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: UnrevealedThe Dark Room and I Want to Go Home. Website: www.cindylfreeman.com; Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cindy.l.freeman.9. Her books are available through amazon.com or hightidepublications.com

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Sharon Canfield Dorsey – A Day At A Time… The Journey Continues… May 21 – May 31, 2019

MAY 21, 2019:  I avoid dusting by telling myself… dust is what gives a home that warm, fuzzy feeling.

MAY 22, 2019:  There’s a shortage of good news in the newspaper. Does that mean there isn’t any or good news doesn’t sell papers?

MAY 23, 2019:  I’ve been on a “cleaning out” binge this week. My entertainment center must be where all the video tapes went to die.

MAY 24, 2019:  All my gardening friends are happily planting and watering. They tell me a dirty hoe is a happy hoe but I’m not buying it.

MAY 25, 2019:  My talented daughter got a great promotion this week. I’m celebrating the good judgment of her bosses.

MAY 26, 2019:  I spent all day trying to make friends with my new iPhone. No matter how many buttons I pushed, it still refused to cosy up with my car.

MAY 27, 2019:  I try not to let Memorial Day become a sad day. I like to think my loved ones are having their own cook-out, somewhere out there in the universe.

MAY 28, 2019:  I feel helpless when a friend calls and is depressed. I try reminding them, “You are somebody’s reason to smile.”

MAY 29, 2019:  Saw kids cooling off and drinking from a water hose today. Brought back childhood memories of those days before I knew about germs.

MAY 30, 2019:  I have a resident lizard who insists on living on my carport. Have learned to make noise before I open door, lest he move into the house.

MAY 31, 2019: I’m tired today. Therefore, I won’t!  

SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning author and poet. She has published four children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing; Revolt of the Teacups; Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library, illustrated by her granddaughters; and Buddy the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; and two books of poetry, Tapestry; and Captured Moments.