Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful

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Autumn is in the air, the leaves are falling into magical piles of colorful fun, and the wiff of spice is on my nose.

Sigh…

I have to admit, I love this season as much as I love the holidays that accompy Autumn, and that is why I have an amazing ongoing Thanksgiving post.

That’s right! You weren’t reading that wrong! I have some amazing Thanksgiving table decor ideas to share with you, along with recipes that you will defintely need to make, followed by some amazing contests!

Win-win right?

Ummmm YES!

Over the next two weeks, I am going to be cramming in as much Friendsgiving related posts as I possibly can!

So hang on because it is going to be a whirlwind of a ride!

Okay, okay, I’m going but I am going to leave you with some table decor ideas. Whether you plan to host your feast inside or out, this simple table decor is sure to impress!

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Feminist or Not?

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We all have skeletons in our past. Some of us try tremendously harder than others to keep them buried in the back of the closet, behind our high school prom dresses, jeans we swear we will fit in again someday and shoes that we knew would never see the light of day, yet they looked so cute in the display window.

Those are the skeletons that have the most significant impact when they finally surface.

As women today, there is a massive push for feminism. Believe me; I am all for “show the boobs,” “equality for women,” “yes, you better pay me as much as you pay the man beside me with the same qualifications.” However, I am also the woman who enjoys cleaning the house and having dinner ready for my family, baking pies from scratch, so my husband will post a picture to Instagram, and even allowing myself to come second in our relationship at times.

Does that make me a June Cleaver? A Stepford Wife? An Anti-feminist?

The answer is, not at all. It is because of those qualities that make me an equal to my spouse because when I am not cooking and cleaning for my family, he is. When I am not baking pies, it is because I don’t want to, and when I am not coming in second in our relationship, it is because I am first.

However, when do I need to take a stand for my gender?

When do I need to allow the skeletons to reveal themselves?

Are my skeletons going to cause more harm than good?

Moreover, are my motives all about feminism?

Right now, in our society, we have a major political spectacle going on, and I must ask myself why? I have tried to keep quiet and allow myself to fester with my own opinions, but my voice was demanding to be heard.
Maybe I am a feminist after all.

We have a very well-educated woman who is accusing a very well-educated and politically involved man of sexual assault when she was fifteen years old. I will be honest; I do not know who is telling the truth. We have a classic debate of “he said,” “she said,” and we will probably never know the whole truth unless one party decides to break.

You might be saying, “Well, if you were a true feminist you would believe the woman.”

Which I would answer, “Really, and why is that?” “Is it because I am a woman and I should stand with my gender?”, alternatively, “I guess I should stand behind this woman because as women we have never stretched to the truth ever, right?”

See I do not base my ideas, theories or opinions on gender, nor race, or sexual orientation. I find my thoughts and conclusions on morals, values, respect, and compassion.

I refuse to believe a woman that technically doesn’t seem to recall much about the “incident” or “misconduct” just because she is a woman, because let me tell you another story of sexual misconduct.

I was eighteen years old, naive young thing, living in a small town where there weren’t many people you didn’t know. I was not very confident in myself, plump was an understatement, but I did enjoy flirting with my guy friends. One day I went to one of those friend’s house to hang out. We were watching tv and looking at a magazine about car stereos because I was interested in getting a new one, (It was the 90’s the decade of low-riders, and loud bass systems, no judgment) when my friend asked me to come to his room to show me something. Now I will admit two things right here; first, I do not remember what he wanted to show me, and second, I was stupid to fall for that line.

When I walked in the room, he closed the door behind me and locked it. I panicked. He then took it upon himself to grab and start kissing me forcefully. The next thing I know we are on the bed, and he is trying to undress me, and I am saying no. At some point, I apparently made my point to him, and as soon as he let up just a tad, I jumped up, ran to the door, and got out of that house as fast as I could. I remember driving there, the sun shining and it being hot. I remember leaving there, the same as when I arrived. There may be a few moments that I don’t recall, but I do know the big events. I know who it was, where it was, and how it happened. I also know how I arrived and how I left. I was lucky.

The outcome could have been so much worse for me, as for many other women, but I do not feel I was sexually assaulted. I think that I was a victim of misconduct, a situation that could have resulted in sexual assault, but I do not own that title.

That title is saved for all the victims that didn’t have a voice, who wasn’t able to fight off their perpetrator, those who were afraid for their lives and for their innocence being taken from them.

NO, I will not allow myself to use their title, and neither should you. In fact, until this whole political spectacle, this was not an event I spoke of out loud. Not because I had blocked it from my mind, but because I was not a victim of a teenage boy raging hormones. Maybe I should have spoken out about it when it happened to ensure that it didn’t occur to anyone else, but the thing is, I knew it was just teenage hormones, not a man who was out to rape and violate me. So there is no reason to name names now unless I want to destroy his reputation, his marriage, and his family, which I do not.

So, no, I will not believe the woman just because I am a fellow woman. Maybe that does make me anti-feminist, but this I know, Eve deceived Adam in the garden and we have followed suit ever since.

a madness silenced:Persephone’s Daughters Lit Mag Contribution

I am so honored that my piece “a madness silenced” was chosen for issue 5 of Persephone’s Daughters, a lit magazine dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.

As I was creating “a madness silenced”, I was consumed with how often we allow others to dictate our voice. How through times of abuse, degradation and even your own personal turmoil we create a madness inside of us and we silence our voice from speaking up instead of silencing the madness that is filling our soul.

We have to learn that if we silence the madness inside of us, then we have the freedom for our voices to be heard allowing us to heal, or grow depending on the situation, or maybe both.

We don’t have to let the madness drown us, we can rise above together.

a madness silenced

silent screams but no one

listens

paired with icy fingers no one

holds

while fear squeezes my lungs of

air

and momentarily pauses of breath

increase

to lingering minutes on the

wall

causing a burning need for survival

inside

leaving my mind faultless of

warning

from the madness overtaking my life’s

failures

until trembling limbs descend into

darkness

and the indifference to my suffering is

silenced

#litmag #poetry #empoweringwomen #persephonesdaughters #abuse #degradation #womenempowerment

Hello, It’s Me Again!

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Hello, it’s me again.
Sorry, I have been away, but sometimes you just have to take a sabbatical from yourself.
I know, I know that sounds like the most ludicrous thing ever, buts it’s true.
I have spent the past several months on a social media sabbatical, and even a sabbatical from my own writing to the world. During this time I have still been writing but just not sharing with everyone. I needed some time to write out my thoughts and feelings to find my direction again.
It’s been good the past 6 months. It’s helped me focus on what my next steps are and write some incredible poetry, some that I will share that has been published, and just find me again.
But it’s time to engage with the world again and I look forward to all it brings.

Victorian Valentine Blog Hop Giveaway

I must admit, I am a hopeless romantic. I am also a lover of British Literature. Blame Austen and Bronte I guess but all I know is Victorian Literature is a passion of mine.

We can thank the Victorian Era for making Valentine’s Day a thing, and to celebrate I have joined a group of amazing bloggers for the Victorian Valentine Blog Hop Giveaway.

Of course my giveaway prize has to fit the Victorian Era so I will be giving away a pair of Romantic Hurdy-Gurdies from Victorian Trading Co.

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Romantic Hurdy-Gurdies are miniature musical crank-boxes that will serenade to the tune of Swan Lake and Greensleeves. Dear imagery obtained from our century-old paper archives graces this pair of music boxes.

So I hope you will join with us and enter the blog giveaways linked below.

The event runs from Feb. 6 – 20, 2018.

Good luck!

Entry//giveawaytools.com/wid/embed.php?sk=86675787904-Form“>Entry Form

(Disclaimer: Hop host Savings in Seconds and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prizes.)

If you’re a blogger, we’d love to have you join us for more 2018 hops. Click here to sign up!

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Top 12 Super Bowl Sunday Appetizers and Snacks

I must admit, I’m not really a football fan unless it’s the Arkansas Razorbacks!

In fact, watching football gives me severe anxiety.  I am so nervous watching those big ole boys tackle each other.

I think it defeats all the lessons in grade school when we were told play fair and no fighting.

But regardless of how I feel about the game, I sure do enjoy hosting Superbowl Sunday Parties!

I just happened to have found 12, YES 12, amazing Superbowl Sunday Appetizer and Snack recipes.

No more spending endless hours searching through pages and pages of recipes on Pinterest,  I have all the bases covered!

So whether you are cheering for the teams, watching for half-time commercials, or just waiting for the amazing food, I hope you have an Awesome Superbowl Sunday!

1) Oreo Cookie Ball Gameday Cupcakes from Love Bakes Good Cakes

2) Beer Cheese Dip from Gator Mommy Recipes

3) Fried Macaroni and Cheese Bites from Thrifty Jinxy

4) Mini Taco Bites from Mind Over Batter

5)  Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball from The Thrifty Couple

6) Dill Pickle Bites from The Kitchen Is My Playground

7) Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Mushrooms from Food Done Light 

8) Pull Apart Garlic Cheese Bread from Vegetarian Gourmet

9) Creamy Bacon Guacamole Dip from The Kitchen Is My Playground

10) Loaded Sweet Potato Fries from Food Done Light

11) SNICKERS® STADIUM, SNICKERS® DIP, AND DIPPERS! from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

12) Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps by Love Bakes Good Cakes

*originally posted on my blog GraceandGravy with permission from the bloggers who participated.

Charity Auctions Today: Art for the Children

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Charity and Mission work is close to my heart.

I am part of a Mission Team that travels to Guatemala yearly for medical mission work and to serve at a local orphanage. My heart is full of compassion for this type of work and I love to be able to serve those who are so accepting of any love that humanity is willing to show.

Because of this type of missions that I am involved in, I am always looking for opportunities to help organizations and non-profits, whether it is physically or monetary, and this is how I came across Charity Auctions Today, online auctions made easy.

When I first stumbled upon Charity Auctions Today site, I was pleasantly surprised at how this mobile fundraising auction was organized.

CAT features:

CAT is the only charity auction platform that will let you try out every feature they offer before you commit to using. That’s how confident they are in the platforms they offer.

But I think that what I love the most is that you can run your auction through your Facebook Page. Great way for added exposure. Your Facebook fans can do all their bidding from inside Facebook.

And because of the great layout, I was able to locate rather quickly the auction organization that I would like to be involved in by bidding on items up for auction.

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The Children of the Arts Gala, which is part of Medical Missions Fundations, has been raising support for Medical Missions Foundation for over 20 years. By browsing and bidding on our unique selection of art, items brought back from our missions, and fun experiences, you will be supporting the critical work of Medical Missions Foundation.

Wow, this definitely hits close to home for me. Medical Mission, children, and art all put into one category was a total no-brainer for supporting this amazing organization.

Thank you, Charity Auctions Today for creating such an easy to navigate auction site that works wonders for non-profit and charities.