Introverts: A gift that doesn’t need to be cured or fixed

I always thought I was shy, never really fit in anywhere, liked being by myself and up until a year or so, I figured out why. I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person. But, what does that mean? I’m crazy? I’m rude? I do I just not get it? Let’s take a look at these because, being an introvert is very hard on your family and friends who are extroverts and vice versa.
Did you know?
Introverts don’t like to talk unless we have something to say. I’m not good at small talk, but get me started on something I am interested in, I won’t shut up.
Being an introvert, we take in “data” very quickly, therefore, I don’t need to be out long to get what’s going on. It drains me and I need to go home to recharge and process it all. Recharging is extremely critical for introverts.
I think a lot. My brain is always going, I love to daydream and solve the world problems in my head. I love to color, knit, take photos, do crafts and bake, these help me recharge by creating something.
Most people love to get out and have fun. Being an introvert, I love to stay in or go to the mountains for relaxation, busy places exhaust me and if they are too large or noisy, I can completely shut down.
Add those four explanations to the highly sensitive person and you really get a mess.
We become easily overwhelmed – too much intensity, chaos, noise becomes overstimulation and we need a nice quiet room to go.
We have a heightened sense of smell or touch. Itchy fabrics or sudden sounds; scented candles or perfumes; buzzing lights and beeping noises can make an HSP shut down.
We handle emotions at a much deeper level and it may seem like we are making it a bigger deal than it really is. In reality, every word or action goes straight to our hearts.
So, how does one deal with us? 
Love us for who we are.
Respect our need for privacy, quiet times, alone times.
Never embarrass us in public
Let us take in any new situation and give us time to think about it
Respect our introversion. I wouldn’t try to make an extrovert and introvert, please don’t do that to us
I’m glad I finally found a space for me and my “weirdness”, doesn’t make it easier, but I know how to cope a bit better now.
“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”
~ Michaela Chung

Versatile Blogger Award Nominee

Good afternoon!
Just dropping in to give you a little news. Recently, I was nominated for another blogger award. So exciting to be chosen for such an opportunity. My friend Jessica from What’s Happening With Jessica has nominated me. She has been a great supporter, mentor and friend to me in the blogging world. Thank you Jessica!
7 Facts about me:
1. I am an introvert and empath. Lots of people and crowds frighten me
2. My bucket list is lined with traveling to different countries to take photos of churches, cathedrals, abandoned buildings and everything in the  middle
3. I have been married to my husband for 22 years. We dated for only 3.5 months before we married. Hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been the best thing ever!
4. I am a Ulcerative Colitis fighter and a J Pouch warrior. Things that are good for you to eat, are not good for me and my pouch.
5. I love playing Pokemon Go with my son
6. I love taking pictures of the sunsets and the moon.
DSCN1188blue moon 1 1-31-18
7. My dream house would be a spacious rancher on about an acre of land in the mountains.
That was fun! I love sharing with y’all. What did you think of my fun facts? I’d love to hear it. In the meantime, I’m going to nominate some of my favorite bloggers.

Okay ladies, now it’s your turn!

+ Christina Arrigo ATPCreations

+ Aarti  Handmade Hearts

+ We Do What Works

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their site.
2. State 7 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 others for the award. (Or as many as you can)

That’s it. Have a little fun and be sure to comment on my post so I know you have accepted.


Try it Thursday: Gingerbread Loaf

One of the things I remember about my childhood was when my momma would make a gingerbread cake with fresh whipped cream, it was a treat for sure. Every year, I promise myself I would try to make a gingerbread house: that hasn’t happened yet. In fact, they intimidate me. So I decided I wanted to make some gingerbread. Didn’t want to do cookies, too much like the houses. A decorated cake, nah…too much work; not enough energy. A loaf!! That’s it! So off to Pinterest I went! They have to have at least one easy gingerbread loaf.
Found one! A gingerbread loaf with cream cheese frosting, OK I can live with that. Gathered and shopped for my ingredients then  found I had forgotten applesauce at the store. Not a fan of the less calorie thing anyway: so…back to Pinterest I went. New recipe should include; No applesauce, no long list of ingredients and some yummy frosting. I came up with a Spiced Gingerbread Loaf; it had a different frosting, but I think I will stick to the cream cheese frosting.
yield: 1 LOAF prep time: 10 MINUTES total time: 1 HOUR, 10 MINUTES (PLUS COOLING)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup (180ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
3/4 cup (180ml) hot water (about 100°F (38°C))
1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Orange Icing (I didn’t use this one)
1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted 
2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (I used fresh orange juice and a touch of orange peel)
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk
1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper together until combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl or dish, whisk the molasses and hot water together.
3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute until creamed together fairly well. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the hot water/molasses and mixing each addition just until incorporated.
Avoid over-mixing. Batter will be thin. Whisk out any big lumps. 
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the gingerbread loaf is baked through. All ovens are different and your loaf could take a little more or less time. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the gingerbread loaf. If it comes out clean with only a couple moist (not wet) crumbs, it is done. Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from pan.
5a. Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together. Drizzle over cooled loaf. 
5b. For the frosting, in a medium bowl cream together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth and spreadable. Spread over cooled gingerbread loaf. Allow to set up for 1 hour (or if you can’t wait you can serve it immediately, but I like it best when the frosting has a chance to set up a bit!). Store in airtight container
Finished Gingerbread Loaf
6. Leftover loaf keeps well covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The flavor gets even better after a day or two!
Make ahead tip: The loaf can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Loaf can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving
Recipe says it takes 10 minutes to prepare, it took me a bit longer. Didn’t help that I flung the water and molasses all over the kitchen floor. I really enjoyed baking this, really miss my baking days. The smell of this loaf is just amazing!! Little bit stuck to the bottom of the pan and I had three people fighting for the crumbs!
Well. That’s helpful. We’ll put an APB out on the Gingerbread Man. I’m not hopeful it’ll do us much good, though. Word on the street is you can’t catch him.
Joe Hill
**this recipe is not all mine, no copy write infringement meant**

Thankful Thursday: Thanksgiving

I have to admit and sort of brag I’m truly blessed!
Things I’m Thankful for:
My hubby, son, daughter and grand kids
My mother, sister, nieces and nephews
Of course, Max
My sister and brother in laws
I have a roof over my head
Food on my table and the good Lord allows me to get up each day
For the sunshine, snow, rain and (not the wind, not the wind…not the wind)rainbows
For the sunrises and sunsets
For the moon and the stars
For the time I have been allowed to spend with my family
For pain..without pain, we don’t appreciate life’s joys
For hobbies and creativity
For travel
My cookbooks and coloring books
For music and silence
For coffee, chocolate, ice cream
My camera and you tube to help me figure out how to use it
The internet and wifi
My phone and computer
My new favorite slippers and sweatpants
and my hubby (yes, again. He is Amazing) who takes me Pokemon hunting each night
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.
Joyce Giraud

Me Monday: Holiday Traditions

Ah Christmas, the most “wonderful time of year”.
Are you a “traditional” family? Mom, dad, kids and fur babies?
Or a blended family? Step parent, parent, step siblings?
How about a single parent family?
A huge family with in laws, outlaws, steps this way and that way?
The holidays have sure changed from the time of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. Now we have The Santa Claus and Bad Santa. Cartoons aren’t like the classics; Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Frosty or The Grinch. Now we have The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Polar Express and Prep & Landing. We need to fit in everyone’s holiday schedules. Who works what? When will we have the kids? When do we need to be at the in laws?
Many years ago, it came from a letter from my father: He knew I was growing and now with husband and child, things wouldn’t be the same. He “gave me permission” to have my own family traditions. By giving me permission, it made it easier to not feel guilty about not being somewhere. We scheduled our Christmas’s earlier or many times on New Years Eve, that way we got to have time to be together instead of HI!!! blah blah blah, gobble gobble gobble, open presents, thank you and off to the next stop. As the four of us girls grew up, got married (and divorced) and had kids (and step kids), the holidays became overwhelming again.
We got to the point where we had the kids write down their Christmas wishes and to make sure the wishes weren’t on anyone else’s lists. Then we had to decide which grandparent got what wish. We had family traditions that were over ruled by other’s traditions. Our kids were tired and over stimulated at the end of the day and when they got bigger, they just got bored.
When our kids grew up and out of the house, got jobs, married and had kids, we made some changes. I gave the kids the same “permission” my father had many years ago and we didn’t want to be the cause of crying kids, tired parents or over worked grandparents (B and I). We have our Christmas (usually) the weekend before the actual day. We get to have them relaxed; we get to feed them; we get to see the smiles on the kids faces instead of the tears from being over tired (OK, we sometimes get the tears too). We talk, play games (Nerf guns were the best until we broke out the silly string), we make memories instead of minutes of just saying hi!!
Does it bother me we are unable to celebrate on the actual holiday? Not as much as it bothers me I don’t get to see my kids and grandkids enough throughout the year. I have been able to work in days with my son where all we do is make cookies…That kid can rock out Ting a Lings, Rice Krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies! I have had days were mom and I have take a weekend to bake cookies…way too many cookies! Those are the memories I love.
Making Cake Bite Snowmen
The one tradition I truly miss is with my grandma. When my son was very little she and I would get in the car about 9 am, take off to the mall to shop, eat and then go look at Christmas lights. My kiddo would sleep most of the day; it was like a 10 hour day some times. And my grandma was just 5 ft and 125 lbs…but such a trooper! When she and the kiddo got older, we would tour the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. I haven’t had a Christmas tree in about three years, but I always always always have Christmas lights.
What are your family traditions? Would you like to share?
Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.
Thomas S. Monson

Try it Thursday: Knitting

Have you ever tried to knit? Have you ever wanted to learn to knit?
I love to knit; however, I can only knit one blanket pattern. It’s so easy and just as easy to change sizes. When I first started making them, I was making them for the babies of coworkers; I had one mom tell me she called it her daughters “crack” blankie, as she absolutely loved the blanket and wouldn’t give it up. I was absolutely addicted to the blankets, I found any reason to make them and they were great to work on when there was down time on the job, and it’s always made me happy to give these blankets.
Then I ran out of babies. So, I tried bigger ones for adults; LOTS of work with those and very heavy to carry into work; and it seemed, they were not as appreciated for the big people as they were by the little people. I was sad. I continued to make them though, running to every yarn sale at the craft stores, changing colors, sizes, yarn types:  just making them makes me happy. I ended up with about 25 I sent to the victims advocacy program and then 25 went to a church ministry. NOW, I have a boat load of partial yarn skeins, so I just use them up. Start with these two colors, one ends, change colors and move on.  Are the blankets perfect? Absolutely not! They aren’t meant to be. But, they are always made with love and I  pray the person getting the blanket can feel that love that’s tucked into each knit and purl stitch.
I have been lagging on knitting, instead always finding something else to do. Then, I got a new baby to knit for. My granddaughter. She’s not here yet, so I have time to make (try to make) a new pattern.
A New Beginning
Granddaughters Blanket Don’t tell her mom about it.
Besides working on the granddaughters blanket; I have challenged myself to start making scarves to leave in the parks for those in need. Yes, I am still making the blankets too, I always feel better after I’ve taken some time to knit, think and pray.
What is this amazing knit pattern? It’s all over Pinterest sometimes in this color or that color, but it’s like the most popular easy blanket to do.  I do make mine just a bit differently; instead of just one color of yarn, I use two complimenting colored yarns of the same weight. If you make it with a larger and smaller weight, it becomes wonky, and you don’t want wonky. It does cost a bit more to do it that way, but I believe, it’s a bit warmer with the two strands instead of just one.
Try it out, let me see yours. If you knit, show me some of your knitting.
Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home.
Magdalena Neuner

Me Monday: Live PD

Have you heard of it? Live PD? Six counties around the country being filmed live. Friday and Saturday nights are just not the same anymore. Three full hours each night filled with chases, nonsense, tazings, K-9’s and Officers who we have adopted into our families; most, however, don’t know they have been and like true family, we have our favorites; here’s mine.
Sgt. Leverett and Flex, his K-9 of the Jeffersonville (Indiana) Drug Investigation Unit, called the human lie detector. We all wait for Flex to get his “gifty” when he finds the drugs and he DOES find the drugs. Flex has even jumped into a vehicles open window to get the drugs. Last week these two were the in house guest, on the set of Live PD, and we all just took it in. Flex is such a great dog and Sgt. Leverett was there to answer questions taken from the Twitter feed about his and Flex’s job. What’s Flex’s biggest drug bust? Meth AND a Pistol! What does Flex do when not working? He’s just a dog, playing with Sgt. Leverett’s kiddo.
Next dynamite duo, Senior Deputy Chris Mastrianni and Deputy Kevin Lawrence from the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina. These two are so loved, when Dep Mastrianni went on vacation there was no end to the questions, Where is he? When is he coming back? We miss him!! These two came into a bit of a serious situation last season, which I believe affected a lot of us LivePd Nation groupies: and for what it’s worth (and this is just an assumption based on the reactions of those involved) it highly affected all the officers involved and even the crew on the set. Senior Dep Mastrianni was in pursuit (at speeds of 90+) of a vehicle: vehicle turned and rolled, coming to a stop on it’s top. Suspect rolled out of the vehicle holding a very small child (who was not placed in a car seat), started fighting with Dep Mastrianni. It should be noted, film crews are NOT to get involved in anything, during the fight, the baby was tousled back and forth as “dad” wouldn’t let her go, when the baby was finally released, (I personally believe (since no one else was on scene with Dep Mastrianni) one of the film crew grabbed the baby and got her to safety). The suspect and the Dep continued to fight for some time and all Dep Mastrianni could do was use his wrestling skills to keep the suspect under control until help arrived. The response of the hosts on the set of Live PD, says it all; three highly ticked off fathers. This earned Deputies Mastrianni and Brown a trip to New York for a weekend of filming on the set, instead of out in the field.
The New York set is hosted weekly by chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News, Dan Abrams and analyst Tom Morris Jr. Most weeks Sean “Sticks” Larkin a 13 year veteran of the Tulsa Gang Unit, is the third host at the desk. These gentlemen explain what is happening, give expert advice and add a bit of humor when it’s called for (like, when you and your wife are still married, living in the same house and you bring your pregnant girlfriend back to said house, then wonder why the wife has issue with it).
Live PD is not scripted or filtered; the officers are followed around with camera crews wearing night vision, body cams, dash cams and hand held cameras. Bingo has been added to the “fun” on Friday and Saturday night where you are hoping for a “mouth salad”, “riding dirty” or “it’s not my…”. We have come to see most people pulled over have no license, insurance and/or registration. We have learned when the K9’s “hit” and hold our breath when our favorites are in pursuit or fight. We kindly play Monday morning quarter back and share menus for the evening. The best thing is, this is real TV, it’s happening right now (with a slight 30 second delay, for officer safety).
Check it out Friday and Saturday nights. 9 PM EST on A&E