Authors Who Made Me Smile and the Kindness Challenge…

Creative & Collective, Life & Relationships

Title Pun


There is an unspoken excitement when you await the arrival of something you have ordered online. It is almost like receiving a gift or a welcome in your mailbox. Multiply that times 100 when receiving mail by surprise!!! The days of receiving anything other than a bill in the mail have dramatically decreased with adulthood.

When I was a wee lad (Irish immigrant family), my “mommygee” mailed, us kids, each week, a Bible verse and if we could recite it at the end of the week, she would put money aside. I won’t claim to have a secret money account hidden but I distinctively recall how it felt to have something addressed to me. I felt so special. I can see her handwriting🙂

Combine nostalgia and my love of all things stationery and the result is a childlike squeal. Imagine my pitch when I received not one but TWO total surprise gifts from two kind hearted, generous, and thoughtful women. And they just so happen to be bloggers in the Word Press community🙂!!!

Candice from This Made Me Smile and Meg Kimball, her official author site, Advice Avengers. *see title* 🙂 I was taken back at the thought of them thinking of me. Meg won Day Two of Two Days of Giveaway last month and she added to my collection of blogger books. She has written a series of books and when she gave me the option to choose one, I left it up to her to decide. Seeing as I shipped the goodies on August 15, I didn’t expect to receive her book before then but…I did!!

Candice’s snail mail was a complete and total surprise. Awhile back I sent out postcards to a few inspirational bloggers with whom I’ve chatted with the outside of the blogosphere. I believe in total six bloggers received collaged goodness. One of the recipients was Candice.

Long ago, she had written a post about little libraries and how special they are to communities, in which I agree, and immediately I thought of how awesome it would be to receive a book from a Canadian free library. And so I said so in a comment to her. A book arrived sometime later and as a thank you, she was included in my list of postcard snail mail. Well, she upped the ante and shocked me with the cutest little origami journal!! Out of the blue and what a smile, it brought to my face.

I don’t know about you but when I get some new stationery, I thumb through the pages, feel the texture of the paper, look for defects, and try to decide which aspect of life I will use it for. Well, while doing so to the new addition, I found a handwritten piece of encouragement that said,

Those who wish to sing always find a song.

It is so special to me to have a quote handwritten by someone I’ve not had the opportunity to meet in person but admire from across the country. This adds the most special, personal touch; making it that much more cherishable.

The note Candice included with her sweet snail mail has already made its way into my journal.

Full Circle

You may have seen that Cyranny’s Cove is hosting a kindness challenge, all of which was prompted by her receiving a set of my art postcards (she too was one of the six). I had no idea my snail mail would have such an impact but because Cyranny enjoyed the uplifting message found on one of the postcards, she was inspired to spread the message of kindness through challenging her followers to participate once a month in mailing messages of kindness to others. You can find more detail at The Cove. Please do join us on the first of every month to see what the challenge for the month is.

This month was to find the address of an old friend we have not spoken to in some time and mail them a hello. Well, those in my past are there for a reason and without trying to ruminate on who would be the most surprised, I decided to add a twist to the challenge (of course I did).

My idea began with my niece and nephew and quickly multiplied to a total of seven lucky children. The oldest is my daughter’s stepsister who is nine and the youngest is 20 months old (actually Kid is the oldest and she will receive a letter at her dad’s so that she can participate with her stepsister and half brother).

In the photos I covered the cutest little mascot because I haven’t yet introduced her to y’all…she will be the face of my handmade journal shop…and she is the one hosting this particular idea of spreading kindness to kids. It will remain a secret that it is me.

I typed a cute message that explained what the kindness challenge is and on a second page, I included a list of objects for them to include in their artwork that will be returned to “her” each month. The idea came to me to add a prompt list to help give the kids and the parents helping, somewhat of a guide. In the challenge description, I mentioned spreading kindness by sending multiple mailed messages. I am also including a postcard with an image for coloring in hopes that will be sent to someone of their choice.


Coming Soon

Earlier in the week I sent out theGarden, my monthly newsletter that hasn’t been sent out in months. You may have noticed or maybe not but I haven’t been as active. The reason for this is because I am processing a lot of damage done to me as well as damage I’ve caused. Perhaps this is why I have been stuck for a few years because doing this shit is necessary.

In the newsletter, I mentioned an upcoming format change for R.O.E. It is my plan to start writing more posts that target my curiosities about mental health and life in general. These posts will require research and take more time than my average posts. The other aspect I would like to incorporate is an inspirational, creative aspect. Kinda of a gallery of sorts of my creative endeavors with hopes of video tutorials in the future.

I have not lost interest in blogging but as far as sharing my personal daily bits, you can subscribe to receive the newsletter if that what interests you. I am going to move away from sharing specific details although my informative posts will share personal snippets of my story.

Sooooo, basically, SUBSCRIBE SILLY 🙂

Last Day

Life & Relationships, Mental Health & Recovery

Trembling,
her toes grip
the edge of the cliff.

According to society,
as a mother,
she is unfit.

How about sick?

Burdened since birth,
life is her curse.
Punishment
and
Continuous
pain.

Not quite insane.

On the edge she hang.
Shattered pieces
held together
by a fragile frame.
Never again the
same.

Fingers pointed
and
opinions shared
yet not one solution.
She gets it.
They have no care.
Rather
they stare.

Exploit her.
Ostracize her.
Pity her.
Shame her.
Reject her.
Judge her.

and Berate her
until
she’s weak.

She kneels.
No longer can she stand.
Doubt lingers
while pointing fingers.
Control it
they say.

She pleads,
Let this be my last day.

revenge of eve-letter143

8.5.19

Mental Health & Recovery, Personal Growth & Goals

Today there was a breakthrough in your recovery. Isn’t it crazy how in one sitting, one conversation with your therapist, you were able to identify this trigger happening six days ago and your sophomore year in high school?

Unbeknownst to me yet came from me?! This is a big day for you and the future success of your healing. Don’t minimize it and don’t obsess looking for all the other times it’s shown up in your life. Just be proud of yourself for once. Although you didn’t realize the work that was being done, you were able to do it without strenuous effort or loss of sleep.

You make me proud Candace. Keep being honest and keep pushing for healing within. Things will fall into place when it is time. You don’t have to force yourself to heal. Just love yourself and you will.

Officially…

Personal Growth & Goals

It is Official

It is the last weekend of summer vacation, for the last time 🙁

My daughter starts her senior year in five days!! Wow! It hasn’t quite registered that 13 years of schooling will soon come to an end but waking this morning the thought hit me.

I mean we look forward to these days, right? I have almost made the decision to leave this area when my daughter graduates and writing this makes it seem as though I need to make the decision. Not permanently rather explore and be wowed. I need to stand on the edge of a volcano, next to a waterfall, or count the stars from the desert. I am restless. Bored and starved of inspiration.

Official Revenge of Eve

But before I think about any of that, I must make sure to take each day, from the first day of school to the last, to be present with my daughter. Recovery is a wonderful thing but it doesn’t give back the days you lost while actively using. I knew when I had my daughter that she was it for me and instead of absorbing every milestone, we cheered and moved on to the next. Accomplishment after accomplishment checked off making each a distant memory. There are things I wish I had made a bigger deal and of course, the opposite is true. My goddaughter starts kindergarten this year and that really brings all of this into perspective. My child will soon (February) be an official adult.

She has always been treated as a person, never a child and that makes me wonder if that was the right approach. How much of a childhood did she really have? Does she appreciate that we’ve always respected her as an individual? Should we have done more to make sure she wasn’t too mature?

There are so many unanswered questions but from looking at the way she carries herself, presents herself, makes decisions, and respects herself, I must say, we (our family village), did some things right. Sure she is a little lazy, some days entitled, and other days moody but for the most part, she’s a decent, kind, compassionate, and persistent young lady.

But annnnywayyyys!

I finally got around to editing my site icon. Whatcha think about? Personally, I’m dig’n it.

I will end this note with please be kind to yourself today. You deserve the finest pleasures and joy just as much as the next guy. I love you and really, that’s enough for a few people!!

Be Kind to Yourself

Because…

R.O.E. Need To Know

Lucky draw

Well, we had a two slip draw and I figured we could add a bonus gift to the third leg drawn!! How about that?

The winner of Day Two of 2 days of giveaway is,

Meg

and the bonus prize package winner is

Casey!!

Casey, I will gather you some things and ship ’em your way!

Meg, I hope you enjoy your winnings from Day Two of 2 days of giveaway!! Please email me a shipping address for receiving your packages. All packages will be mailed August 15, 2019.

An Update On Life

Life & Relationships, Mental Health & Recovery, Personal Growth & Goals

Still here, just…

Hey y’all! I’m still here just not as active. Ever since Kid was eight, I believe, her father and I rotate weeks during summer break. She was 11 (2013) when she went to live with him as her custodial parent, giving me more free time than I knew what to do with.

With my sobriety date being 4-20-2015 those two years is a blur. From 2015-2017 I spent my days sleeping and my nights working as I adjusted to life as a mom without full custody. Hard doesn’t come close to describing such an adjustment. When I think about it, I have no clue what I did in my free time but if I’d have to guess it was absolutely nothing. When I picked up blogging mid-year 2017, I wondered why I hadn’t done so for years prior but oh how quickly I am reminded.

We are on week three of summer and week two with Kid. It isn’t that she requires a lot as much as it is me wanting everything to be perfect for when she needs something. I try to accommodate her every move by limiting her movement – if that makes any sense. Basically, she sits back and I cater to her. Not because of her but because of me.

I know many will say that me doing so only hinders her and I agree, buttttt… I am stopping!

I bet you thought I was gonna say, “she’s my only”!! Tricked ya!

Revenge of Eve

It’s me!!

All I want in life is for my child to be a kind, functional, impactful human being. All the rest, I could care less about. The reality of her being functional is for her to be able to do things independently and this includes feeding herself, managing chores, and maintaining her personal hygiene (mental and physical).

Each week she is with me she is learning to cook two meals. Her chores are a work in progress more so on my behalf than hers. She needs to tweak her attention to detail and then she will be fine with that aspect. This summer she will see my therapist alone and with me so we can overcome any obstacles that will restrict further growth and she has signed up for a membership at the gym right up to the road from where I live. Gasp! When she returns to school she will be a senior and with that comes a lot of preparation and responsibility. To avoid excuses we are mapping out the year as well as meeting deadlines for college applications and scholarship/funding requirements. We are making her a Senior/College mini binder with monthly calendars that require something for college to be taken care each month. The purpose of this is to calm any anxiety and also to not miss out on an opportunity because she “forgot”.

Alllll of that on top of her working, soccer training, and hanging with friends…shew!! And still…she impresses me. Her work ethic is legit, her attitude about readjusting [I shut down as a full-time mom because in my eyes someone else was fulfilling that role] isn’t bad at all and life seems to be falling in place.

**It’s important I own my part and I am working through that with my therapist and will write a post once I process it**

And as it falls into place, for what seems so natural to me and even her, ” my” time is once again limited but I will never complain about that.

I know it is important not to submerge ourselves in roles but there is only a short period of time that she will be fully reliant upon me (and her father) so I will soak up all the time I can have with her trying to continue preparing her for the real world but also realizing that I cannot be replaced so there is no need for me to step down.

Low self-esteem and lack of confidence show up in my everyday life and I am ready to tackle it head-on. I have never fully healed from the emotional and verbal abuse of my childhood and instead, I shut down. I have been learning to reflect my feeling through art but my low self-esteem hinders me from showing it and even worse, sharing it with the world.


❤❤❤

But with all of that said, the total number of visits to my site seem minuscule compared to what is brewing/being planted within myself. Like with everything come the downsides and that is me not being as active in reading the up to date news with each of you. I feel guilty that I have comments I have not responded to, YET…but I am also not allowing that guilt to consume me. It is important for me not to.

Please know that I think of each of you daily. I remember your encouraging words when I need a boost and I am grateful you still visit my posts although at the moment I show little to no support. Keep in mind I am cheering y’all on but now, I am also rooting for me. Thank you for helping build me up to this point. A point to where I will need strength to rip off the bandages and sit with things I’ve never understood. There is so much to come to life from this moment forward and I can only hope that you will continue on with me through my journey.

Revenge of Eve

revenge of eve-letter143

6.2.19

Personal Growth & Goals

The first week of summer comes to an end today and I must say it has been enjoyable. The quality time spent with my daughter is priceless and watching her develop a work ethic is admirable. Everything went as smooth as possible and I look forward to the next week she is here. We have a goal set to work toward as a reward for our hard work. We will reap its benefits early October and it will be a memory making time to be had. I look forward to it.

Things with myself are taking a turn for the better as I have opened myself to the possibilities of living not existing. I see positive changes on the horizon and even a possibility for happiness – one that I’ve never had.

Today I love the person I am becoming and I have faith in her and her ideas.

Please Excuse the Mess

Mental Health & Recovery
Revenge of Eve Logo

As some of you may know, R.O.E. is undergoing some growing pains – most effected by these adjustments is the design. Originally I warned that I would not be investing the time into redesigning because it is likely things will soon change. What I have privately decided is to take it easy on the blogging front over the summer but also, I cannot allow my space to look ugly. Lol…but seriously. There is no way I can click on this site and be proud of any of the content when the photo sizes are customized to suite a premium theme when I have opted for the free site for the time being. I cannot do it. I also will not fret about having everything changed in a set amount of time.

The photo above is my new logo and I love it. I will be making some adjustments to it by trying to remove the glare from the metallic letters but until then, here it is!!


Tell me whatcha think!


I have shifted most of my focus to preserving and enjoying life as it happens. I have been very fortunate in my recovery and I am grateful for that but not long ago I was taken back to a place I never thought I’d revisit. Not because I believed I was cured but because it slammed me against the wall with no mercy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know something was brewing but I did not expect it to be as severe as it were.

In true Candace form, I looked for the lesson in the pain and boy were there a few this time!! One that I took away was: I have become so comfortable with seclusion that I am not living. Don’t get me wrong, I am comfortable because I truly love the things I spend my time doing these days but for my mental wellness, it is not healthy for me to constantly be alone. Granted my thinking has been minimal, I can still do some damage with my thinker if left to my own devices.

On my creative journey, I have noticed that inspiration for projects come when I am enjoying life at the moment instead of sitting at home searching for it. This is where I draw my creativity from and when I do the bare minimum of it, my creative well runs dry.

Please Excuse the Mess- Revenge of Eve

Having reconnected with my best friend (more on that later) I see a summer spent preparing (my) Kid for her senior year and helping my bestie with her four. This summer marks the second year that we all have not attended a music festival and we are all feeling it!

Being a single parent to four wild children that range in age from 14 – almost 5, I’d say she has her hands full. When a mutual friend reached out to me and insisted I check on her, I made the decision to express the pain I’ve felt from the two years of separation as well as why I had to step away. We cried and as always I devised a plan. One that we will carry out over the summer together.

We have a huge task ahead of us but I know that if we are consistent, it will be successful. I had reached a segment of my recovery where I had to step away from her to continue my journey but in doing so I carried guilt. One that wasn’t allowing me to progress rather contributed to my last breakdown. We have survived this life as one and I refuse to leave her behind to defend for herself and her four rugrats alone. I made it clear to her that I cannot and will not do so but she has to do her part because I can’t do it for her. She agreed. We cried, hugged and now comes time for some serious scheduling and discipline because her children are like ferell children doing as they please and running her home rampid with disrespect and terrible attitudes.

Today (yesterday) is the first day of summer here in NorthWest Louisiana and I am about to put action to a dream plan. I will not be posting verbatim my daily rigamarole but I will keep a notebook and a log. This is to serve as a record keeper for what worked and what didn’t. If you are curious about this project and want to receive progress updates, subscribe to receive theGarden in your inbox!

I am not taking on any projects that go outside of what my focus is. I’ve actually a few things in the works but I’m not going to speak on them because that’s when I place unnecessary pressure on myself and end up failing every single time. Things are looking up and I have no expectations attached. I want to laugh, love and live for crying out loud. That’s it! And those are the three things I am working towards these days, how about you?

A Little Diddy for Mom’s

Life & Relationships

Revenge of Eve

Hold and cuddle them while you can.

Before you know it, it is you they cannot stand.

Wipe their noses and butts,

Help them out of ruts,

Watch as they drive you nuts!

Eyes that once glowed with pride

Go on to swollen and full of tears.

Before you know it, you question

“What happened to all those years?”

You do your best not to pass on your fears.

You give them room to grow.

But we aren’t taught how to cope when our daughter becomes a ho

Or our son an abusive asshole

Or a drug addict,

Or Gay

But, HEY! At least you get ONE day!

So to all the mothers out there…

Don’t think you are alone in a world of perfect moms because none of us have it figured out. All you can do is be the best version of yourself and if anyone wants to judge you for that, fuck them, wink back.

A New Rainy Day-Revenge of Eve

A New Rainy Day

Mental Health & Recovery

Today has started

Today I have woke in a significantly better space. My sleep was a bit restless as I tossed and turned. An idea came to mind about creating a canvass and that idea kept me thinking about my own experience. Not an experience that I wanted to keep me awake, I will say that. One of being molested at the age of fourteen. I was a willing participant in the act but I can’t help but to think of how sick the 32 year old man was/is. Although I was willing how can a man for one minute believe that a fourteen year old knows what she is doing when it comes to sex and the activities that it involves. It is disturbing to say the least. Disturbing that I thought it was cool that a man of his age would want anything to do with a young teen and more disgusting that he did.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever disclosed this information but the weight of it felt extremely heavy last night and so, I decided if I hadn’t wrote about it, I would. The man is my step-uncles twin brother. Gross, right? I will not allow this to consume my thoughts today but I will tell y’all the idea I had. In the world of creative journaling, tabs are a big deal. Tabs? You ask. The tabs that stick out to make it easier to find a specific section, rather the tabs I reference are for decoration purposes.

These tabs can be made of sturdy cardstock, cardboard, fabric, anything you can staple to the side of the paper to make it easier to access a specific page. Well, for one reason or another, I thought it would a neat idea to have those who have been molested, willing or not, make a tab that represents the act they wish to forget. The tabs would be mailed to me and I will staple them to a thin canvass, creating a piece of art that collectively has been created from victims across the globe. Once the canvass is full, it could be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds to victims of molestation. Let me know what you think of this idea. I will provide photos of what I mean when I say a tab, below.

Revenge of Eve

This isn’t to distract from me as much as it is to get out of pity. Let me know what you think of the idea. If it so happens you experienced such acts more than once, make tabs for each occasion. The tabs do not have to be pretty. They can be torn, wrinkled, ink-stained, whatever your idea is, I support. If there is an interest, we can do this together. I’m sure I could scan an outline of a tab for those who would prefer there to be a guide. If you wanted to write your abusers initials on the tab, do so. My hope is that this will help with letting the act(s) go.

Revenge of Eve

**Post update: I will purchase a post office box soon and will publish a post with the address for those interested. This can be an anonymous participation. I will not attach any personal information to the piece of canvass related to the tabs.