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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Sisters & Maybe Friends

Sisters & Maybe Friends



My youngest sister's name was changed when she was adopted. 

It was then that she became Marietta.

She went through life never knowing about our parents. Or her other siblings. Or me.

But now we're learning some very unique things about one another.

Marietta keeps to herself. She is surrounded by her beloved pets. She prefers their company to that of humans. 

She says she always speaks her mind. She tends to be blunt, to say what she thinks when she thinks it.

She admits to always being uncomfortable around people, and to being socially awkward. Still feels that way.

She says she was a social outcast as a child. She was different. Not better than. Not less than. 

Just different.

In first grade, Marietta read on a 12th grade level. She received an "A" in Speed Reading.

Proper grammar is important to her. She's excels at spelling.

She has told me that in the last few years, she has wondered if there is some degree of savant skills in her brain function. 

These last few years, though, things have become harder for her, due to MS. Things take longer than they once did. 

With her specific MS, the plague lesions are on her brain instead of her spinal cord. She says it causes cognitive functions to go awry.

The last couple of weeks I have learned more about her than I would have known in a lifetime, had she not taken one of those ancestry DNA tests. 
 

I am fascinated by all these traits she has. Because it sounds so very much like someone I know.

I wonder if this is happenstance. But somehow I just don't think so.

Marietta had a history she knew nothing about. And a past she wished she never knew at all.

We can think about "if onlys" till the cows come home. But that won't change anything.  


We can only take this very day we're given, and make what we can of it.

I don't claim to understand why things happen the way they do. I just roll with the tide and hope to live to see another day. And maybe another one after that. 

Somehow I've been given this gift, suddenly, of someone who shares my blood. And possibly much, much more. 

Which for some reason brings to mind a quote I've always loved by Robert Frost. It goes like this:

"We dance round in a ring and suppose,
 But the Secret sits in the middle and knows."


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Cozy Little House
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A New Book: This Life I Live By Rory Feek

A New Book: This Life I Live By Rory Feek



Yesterday I received this book in the mail. I'm not sure how all these people find me, but I'm sure glad for all the reading material.

I had actually never heard of this couple when Sarah Frost emailed me about Rory Feek's book. But I started Googling and saw what a beautiful story this couple shared. 

It spoke to me, so I told her to send it.

***

This from Amazon.com...

The story she said he was born to write.

Her story. His story. The love story of Joey and Rory.

By inviting so many into the final months of Joey’s life as she battled cancer, Joey and Rory Feek captured hearts around the world with how they handled the diagnosis; the inspiring, simple way they chose to live; and how they loved each other every step of the way. But there is far more to the story.

In This Life I Live, Rory Feek helps us not only to connect more fully to his and Joey’s story but also to our own journeys. He shows what can happen when we are fully open in life’s key moments, whether when meeting our life companion or tackling an unexpected tragedy. 

He also gives never-before-revealed details on their life together and what he calls “the long goodbye,” the blessing of being able to know that life is going to end and taking advantage of it. Rory shows how we are all actually there already and how we can learn to live that way every day.

A gifted man from nowhere and everywhere in search of something to believe in. A young woman from the Midwest with an angelic voice and deep roots that just needed a place to be planted. 

This is their story. Two hearts that found each other and touched millions of other hearts along the way.


Available for Pre-order. This book will be released on February 14, 2017

***

And thank you Sarah Frost for finding me and offering to share this story with me.

About Sarah Frost:


SARAH FROST
Senior Publicist, Nashville
 
Originally from Texas, Sarah Frost has been infatuated with music since receiving her first George Strait cassette when she was six years old. After gaining experience in marketing, event production and social media, Sarah decided to move her talents to Nashville in 2014. 

Immediately she immersed herself in Nashville's entertainment industry, working with The Nashville Film Festival before joining The Press House in August 2015.

With a shared love of music and enthusiasm for the personal attention The Press House dedicates to each client, she complements the team by adding her fixation with meticulous grammar and passion for writing, as well as an OCD-level attention to detail and thoughtfulness to each pitch and press release. 

Her Instagram feed is often filled with too many photos of her dog, Dolly Parton-Madison, as well as screenshots of whatever Bruce Springsteen/Ryan Adams/James Taylor/Joni Mitchell playlist she's listening to today.

She believes that every client has a story to tell - whether lifestyle brands dedicated to mindful business practices or musicians changing the way listeners see the world with a lyric - and loves helping those stories make their way into the world.



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Cozy Little House
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Painting, Raging Pupsters and A New Book

Painting, Raging Pupsters and A New Book



Here you see a calm and resting Charlie Ross. Now watch this transformation...


I call out to him, and he turns in my direction, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth.


Uh-oh. They hear or smell something amiss outside. Abi is sniffing at the door. Charlie is ready to go.


And suddenly a big gray cat walks across the small porch. 

CAT!!!

Charlie is throbbing. Abi has lost interest. Cat alert!

The cat is gone now. Phew. If only that cat knew how much Charlie wanted at it. 


This was our overcast and rainy Monday. It rained and rained and rained. And then rained some more.


I have one coat of paint on the bathroom walls. Well, mostly. I'm having a devil of a time trying to figure out how to get down to paint behind the toilet with this ankle. 

It just kills me to bend my knees and bend down like that. 

But alas, the white paint is much too white. 

The maintenance guy was supposed to bring me a little paint they're using on the walls now. But he hasn't done it yet. 

This white paint looked fine on the lower half of the dining room walls. But in the bathroom, there are no windows, so it looks like glaring snow.

That would be fine. Except the bathtub tile is this odd white color with little specks of brown. So in effect, it just looks dirty against the white painted walls. 

Geez Louise. Back to the drawing board. I told Kenny, the maintenance guy, that I tried to stand on the edge of the bath tub and reach up to paint to the ceiling. But I'm not tall enough. 

Picture me, standing on the edge of the tub and holding onto the opposite wall of the bath tub while I lean over and try to reach those top spots. It was kind of scary.

But there's not enough room in the tub for a step ladder. I can't tell you how many times I dropped the paint brush.

He said he would finish it off, whenever I get a different coat of white on there. 

***

Many have mentioned that I am very lucky to be able to make all these changes. Well, up until now, I haven't done anything that couldn't be put back the way it was. But the bathroom will be a permanent change. 

I do feel fortunate that I can make this space my own. I would never be happy restricted like some renters are because I do love to change things up. 

***

The FedEx guy just brought a new Harper Collins book for me to read and review. It is "This Is Not Over." Sounds rather ominous, doesn't it? 

This from Amazon.com:

Two very different women with this in common: Each harbors her own secret, her own reason why she can’t just let this go. 

Neither can yield, not before they’ve dredged up all that’s hidden, even if it has the power to shatter all they’ve built.

This is not over.

This is so not over.

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Cozy Little House
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Apartment Tour: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Apartment Tour: Buenos Aires, Argentina



Lucas is a graphic designer in Buenos Aires. This is his tiny apartment. It is 495 square feet.

He describes his style as "a bit of modern with Scandinavian and vintage elements, but above everything it's colorful and playful. I like to mix things I like and feel that represent me."


After living in a much bigger place (where he never felt at ease), Lucas finally found his home a year ago in this one bedroom apartment over an avenue in the Vicente Lopez neighborhood.





The furniture that seemed to be floating all over his old apartment now felt at home in this much cozier place. 

He has a collection of snow globes, a million pencils that he uses for his illustrations, framed posters and a lot of candles (that make the apartment smell great all-year-round). 


Lucas works as a graphic designer for a multinational company and travels very often. So, his home is filled with playful travel souvenirs that he displays all over his house.



His love for bright colors and strong graphics is reflected in his small home, as well.


He decided to theme each room after one color, for a more cohesive feel.


As you can see, Lucas loves plants. He has them throughout his apartment and here on the patio.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Lucas' home in Buenos Aires.


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Cozy Little House
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Autism: Is It A Family Thing?

Autism: Is It A Family Thing?



It's been a week since I told you about my sisters. And some of you are probably wondering if there's been any further contact. 

I haven't learned any more about the sister with MS. And there has been no communication with her older sister. 

But there has been more information from the distant cousin.

The younger sister has said that she is unsure if her older sister would even understand what is going on. She conveyed that she is very child-like.

I'm surmising several things from that statement. And I am reluctant, due to this information, to do more at this time.

To give you a little family history...

My maternal grandmother had Scarlet Fever as a child and was also very child-like. I was led to believe it was due to the illness. But I'm not so sure of that being the only cause.

Many of you already know these things; some of you will not. So I will reiterate. 

The three times I was in my mother's presence, I could see that she was very much like my grandmother. 

She was very child-like too.

Now I'm told that the sister is very child-like. So this makes me even more certain that something in the genetics of this family is involved. 

I'm thinking perhaps a more severe form of autism could be at play here. For I doubt very seriously that three separate generations of women could have these same traits and it be coincidental.  


This from the CDC (Center For Disease Control & Prevention):
 
"Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Scientists do not know yet exactly what causes these differences for most people with ASD. 

"However, some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. There are multiple causes of ASD, although most are not yet known.

"There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but they may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.

"The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
 
"A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder."

***

If any of you are trained in this field, or have a relative such as I've described, I'd appreciate any information you could share.

As you can surmise, this situation requires some delicacy.


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Cozy Little House
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