Saturday Sound Bites-Simplify/Simplicity

I’ve missed the last few Saturdays of Lady Calen’s Saturday Sound Bites.

This weekend she poses the question….

If you could own only four possessions for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Ive decided to bend the ‘rules’ here and change it up just a tad, oh ok, I’m doing a total 360 here!! Instead of listing four possessions that would simplify…I’m going to share four things that to me, at this moment, exemplify the beauty and SIMPLICITY of a moment………

Like the unexpected , sporadic blooming of daffodils all around my property.

Looking up and seeing a sky full of cotton balls.

The flowering blossoms of a Pear Tree

…and unexpectedly finding a path that lead me to water.


Fanning My Widow’s Inner Flame 🔥

Welcome back to The Sandbox Writing Challenge-Exercise 7! This week’s challenge MAY be an easy one for you, but maybe NOT! We’ve already touched on what makes us unique, but now we’d like to know what it is about you or that you do that makes you stand out from those around you? It’s hard for some of us to give ourselves the kudos we truly deserve, so here’s your chance to do just that. (And we all LOVE you, so go for it with gusto!) Don’t hold back now!


Now tell us, please, what makes you…





Without looking back at my first go round with the SBWC..I believe it’s a pretty safe bet that part of my answer to this prompt was my bubbly personality and positive outlook on life were what made me shine..right down to the rose-colored glasses….


That was then….This is now.


This time things are different. I’m different. My rose-colored glasses aren’t as rosy as they used to be, and though I still wear them, his death definitely has blurred how I look through those glasses now.


One of the reasons I feel I shone so brightly was Jim and the life we shared together. When he died, part of my spark, my inner light went Poof… and died with him. But, even when a fire is extinguished, some embers still remain. With the whisper of a breathe, a new spark can be ignited….that whisper is our continued Love, a Love that continues to live and burn in my heart.


As a Phoenix will arise from the ashes, Our Love and Hope is what pours forth from within me…..I feel the need, strongly, to fan that flame and keep the fire burning……..I feel deep within that this is part of my calling. I have this burning desire to help others find some hope while struggling to find their own foothold on this journey of loss we’re on…..from the ashes of pain, hope glows like embers and reignites my Spirit so I Can continue to SHINE….


So, while I will wear those rose colored glasses, I’ve given myself permission to harden’ just a bit…..while I accept this journey of mine, the passivity I’ve chosen to treat Jims death with needed to be addressed…. sooooooo this is me giving the finger to death and sporting my BadAss Widow Shirt….when I decide to Shine, I SHINE!!!




Sandbox Writing Challenge-Taking Flight

It’s time for the pick-ax and shovel. Yep,,it’s The Sandbox Writing Challenge-Exercise 6

This week’s challenge is What is holding you back? Now you can interpret that any way you’d like. Is there something you really, really want to do but just can’t quite get up the courage? Somewhere you want to go but haven’t for some reason? You decide how to answer this question.

As usual, remember to include a link to this post on your blog. Or if your response isn’t overly long, feel free to leave it in the comment section below. If you would like to play with us and see the previous prompts, they’re listed in the menu at the top of the blog in The Sandbox Writing Challenge. But please feel free to just jump in wherever we are at the moment! After all the prompts are really for YOU to get to know YOURSELF

What is holding Linda (that would be me) back?

Me….Myself…and I.

I’ve struggled with this my entire life. When you’ve been told over and over again that you’re not going to amount to anything, you begin to believe it and then live it. I had No confidence in myself or abilities. Then I stumbled across the Sandbox Writing Challenge, and that would change my life…..

Throughout the first SBWC..I discovered my voice and by doing so, I found not only confidence, I found I did have something to say and share. I learned A LOT about myself in my past ‘dig’. I rediscovered a lost little girl and helped her find her voice and slay the boogeyman. I healed and let go of a very broken past. I did all this with Jims love, support and encouragement.

This time around, I’m excavating this life I’m attempting to live without Jim and I feel as though I’m at a standstill.

He helped me preen my wings, and he was there to see me take flight…….

But now, I feel grounded once again.

Yes…after many detours, I got myself here… my POINT A. And here, I feel is a place I can plant some roots. It’s a place I can ‘just be’. Yet, as I recently told Lady Calen in one of our many phone conversations, I’m getting itchy feet (wings) This girl wants to fly the coop….I want to soar. For the first time in my life I have only myself to answer to. That’s kinda liberating, especially for someone like me who has NEVER been on her own. While it’s liberating and exciting, it’s scary as all hell too!

Hopefully, while I continue this dig….I’ll find my way to flying once again.


Saturday Sound Bites-LOST

It’s Saturday…..which means the next installment of Lady Calen’s Saturday Sound Bites

 Think of something you lost recently.

What are two positive insights you gained from the



I almost skipped this one, because my answer is so obviously not a something but someone.


Losing Jim has been the most painful loss I’ve ever had, and his loss will affect me the rest of my life (had a major meltdown last night.) But even in sadness and loss and meltdowns I glean positive insights……………

As lonely as I am for the life we had….I’m finding that not only do I like spending time alone, I actually like living alone. I like my own company…hell I even make myself laugh and I’m a good listener when I have something to say……

Another positive is the realization that I am stronger then I ever thought I was. For a while there I despised being told how strong I was….that observation leaving me feeling uncomfortable. But a few hard-headed friends helped me see the error of my way of thinking….opening my eyes to ‘see’ that having strength isn’t something to be uncomfortable about or denied, but something to be embraced and acknowledged.

Some days I’m stronger then others. Some days the loneliness is unbearable, but at the end of the day, when I turn in for the night, I go to sleep with a Grateful Heart.



What A Difference 69 Weeks Makes

Alrighty….it’s time to get the shovels out for Exercise 5 of the Sandbox Writing Challenge.


So the past four challenges from the Sandbox have been kind of fun, warm-up exercises. But now I’d like you to take out your shovel and dig a little deeper, to seriously ponder what it is about you that you feel makes you different from everybody else. 

Please no hook noses, or strange combinations of food that you like. You are a unique individual, and we want to know why!

As usual, remember to include a link to this post on your blog. Or if your response isn’t overly long, feel free to leave it in the comment section below. If you would like to play with us and see the previous prompts, they’re listed in the menu at the top of the blog in The Sandbox Writing Challenge.

Shovels at the ready? Start diggin’!



I always considered myself empathetic, yet I was ‘one of those people’ who was uncomfortable with death, with others pain, not knowing the right thing to say…..hence saying nothing at all, instead, ‘disappearing and blending into the background’. I’d hide behind a written note or card, a text, or an occasional FB message. Not my finest moments.

Then Jim died. Grief and pain and sadness and emptiness and loss became my companions.

I found myself on the receiving end of some very empathetic people, family, friends and strangers, as well as mirror images of who I was before Jim died. I was humbled. I was and still am very Blessed. I was also ashamed. Ashamed of who I’d been, how I reacted prior.

Death is scary. Death makes others uncomfortable. I know. Been there. It’s also a reality, for all of us.

I lost my husband. But something else happened with his death. The Linda I was on the morning of October 14, 2016, ceased to be. The only way I can describe it is, a fissure inside of me opened.

Now, not only am I not afraid of others pain, I feel it. I feel it because I know it. I’ve become a personal friend to it. So, I no longer run away from it. Instead, I feel a need to get in the trenches with those who are struggling with their journey of grief and loss and pain. I want to be the hand they reach for..I want to listen. I want to give them Hope. As the lyrics of a tobyMAC song say“Look into the eyes of the broken-hearted; Watch them come alive as soon as you Speak Hope, Speak Love, Speak Life.

That is what I strive for each day now. If I can reach and help even one person, in some small way, be it by listening, giving a hug, sharing my story..helping someone in the midst of their journey helps me with mine. Jims death hasn’t closed my heart. Instead, those fissures are shining my inner light…..Does this make me different from everybody else. Not by a long shot. But, What it does say is…..I Am a Different Linda Now. Far different then the one I was before this journey started.