Praise for Candy Apple Butterscotch

Rebecca MacCeile

“I love it! It’s easy to follow and i think it’s perfectly balanced in terms of descriptions and plot flow. Those might not be the correct terms to use but I’ll explain what I mean. I hate when authors are overly descriptive and spend too much time on small details. Stephen king does it. Now Stephen is one of my favorite authors but I never read his books because the only reason they are so long is because he painstakingly overly describes every single thing and it makes me lose focus. Like the first chapter of the dark tower series gunslinger is all about the sand and I’m like come on lol I hate that. This book definitely doesn’t do that. The author gets to the point while still painting a very clear and definite picture for the readers and I love that. The accounts of the trauma are laid…

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My youngest baby boy is off to pre-school next year. My sweet sensory kiddo Champ. We’re working with his OT to get him prepared for the transition and I finished up his enrollment today. He’s ready for school, I know he’s ready for school, but sending my littlest little off into the world still tugs at my heart strings.

I’m completely at peace with our decision not to have any more children, but I do often find myself reminiscing about the infant days with a twinge of longing. Looking back at their baby pictures and seeing how much each of my children has grown over the years.

Little is getting ready to graduate Kindergarten in just a few weeks. She passed her mid-year assessment with flying colors not only catching up to her peers but surpassing them. She isn’t quite the top of her class, but is will above the required benchmarks to advance. Hubs and I aren’t a bit surprised. We knew going into the whole school adventure she was highly intelligent it was only a matter of getting Little to understand how to fit into the competitive world of academics. She’ll perform right at a B or C average because she gets so incredibly bored in class. lol. Very much like her mama.

I’m nervous and excited to see how little Champ performs and adjusts. His OT thinks he might actually be placed in the gifted classes if we can get him to effectively communicate with his teachers and peers. Even if he doesn’t get the gifted label by the school system we have a very smart, sensitive, and energetic kiddo on our hands. Keeping him engaged in the learning process is going to be interesting to say the least lol.

Oh how time flies. My little fledglings spreading their wings. ❤

Church Bells

I read an interesting article today. You can find it at the link below.

In a nut shell it basically speaks to the problem with the Church at large: discounting very real mental health issues and contributing the symptoms to spiritual matters; often times spiritual warfare.

This is why I left church and have had a difficult time going back. Yes, I acknowledge spiritual warfare exists, but I don’t think mental illness should be completely ignored as a cause for “visions” and other emotional struggles either. For the longest time I thought I was having visions, simply because I began having vivid nightmares after a minor out patient surgery and allergy testing when I was very young. The nightmares continued well into my young adulthood and I really focused studying demonology because I felt so conflicted and attacked  even when I was very active in my faith.

Turns out it was just my out of control PTSD brain made worse by the invalidation of my very real mental injury from my church family. I’ve never wavered in my core belief that God exists, nor have I discounted the idea that spiritual warfare *could* be the cause of emotional struggles, but I’ve found the most peace with medical intervention for my damaged brain chemistry.

It’s been very difficult to go back to the church body who inadvertently contributed to the severity of my mental illness even with the best intentions behind their actions. That’s, at least I feel, the defining difference between mental illness and a spiritual battle. I can’t medicate away my aversion to returning to church. I CAN medicate my brain to control my nightmares and anxiety attacks.


I hate the part of PTSD that hijacks your emotions and creates racing thoughts and turmoil for no visible or tangible current reason decades after the traumatic event.

My current life is still going great. Nothing has changed about the peace and stability I enjoy on a regular basis outside of this one day overloaded with emotional residue. It gets me every year, and has really started to piss me off for the past two or so. I can *feel* the emotional residue surrounding a traumatic event but I can’t freakin *remember* what the hell the event itself was! If I can’t remember what the circumstances creating the trauma were in the first place, I can’t address the trapped emotions and it’s a vicious annual cycle with no foreseeable end.

There are a few events that come to mind, but none of them really seem to release the trapped emotional energy when I discuss them with my therapist or even when I use EMDR to reconnect my synapses. Whatever it is, is buried very very deep and only bubbles up in racing thoughts and odd emotional flux. I can *feel* it I just need to unlock it from my subconscious and bring it forward to my consciousness to release it.

It sounds simple, but unfortunately the mind is an intricate mess even in the best of circumstances. This day/wave of frustration with myself will pass and things will return to blissful routine soon enough. At least until next year… :/

Hold the Diapers

It’s official: I am DONE with diapers!! The Twins have mastered the public potty which was the only thing holding them back as far as potty training went. NO MORE DIAPERS HALLELUJAH!! I’ve spent the last near seven years changing other humans’ diapers and now I am FREE. Hey, it’s the little things that get me excited anymore around the House of Hale. lol.

In other news, Hubs has finally found a medication cocktail that seems to be working which has lowered my stress levels to near zero in the first time I can ever remember in my adult life. In the past when things got quiet and peaceful it made me nervous, like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak, but now? Now I’m just sitting back and enjoying life in all it’s blissful simplicity.

Unfortunately, our European vacation has been postponed. Hubs injured his knee somewhere between work and cleaning out our garage. He’s in the process of getting everything evaluated now, but it looks like he might need surgery in the coming months. It’s a little disappointing for sure, but thankfully we were able to get our tickets refunded and since we also paid off the entirety of our small debts with our tax refund this year planning another trip overseas doesn’t seem like such an abstract concept anymore. This year just isn’t the right time. We still plan to take a weekend trip somewhere over our anniversary weekend, it just won’t be as far away or as lengthy as we originally intended.

I’m okay with sticking a little closer to home this Summer anyway because I have a great opportunity with my books. Being here this Summer will free me up to work on all of that. My most recent signing went really well and gave me an opportunity to volunteer with a great fledgling organization in support of survivors of sexually based crimes. They’re a local-ish organization based out of Cincinnati Ohio. Indianapolis is a near desert when it comes to resources for survivors of sexually based crimes, and I aim to change that. At least as much as I can with my books and free time.

My third little book is scheduled for release this April. It’s a baby book by comparison coming in at just under 70 pages, but I’m proud of it just the same. After this release I’m going to take a break from publishing for a while and really focus on editing some of my other stories. I have three more projects that I’d like to get on shelves by 2025, but all of them require major editing.

Trying to balance time to edit and time for school and time for mom life is a challenge. It’s possible, but damn is it difficult lol. School is going well over all. I’m stuck on my current course because it’s as boring as snow in Alaska. It isn’t maintaining my focus and dragging on FOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEVER. Even with the speed bump I’m still on schedule to finish by mid 2021. If I survive this course anyway… lol.

Broken Shards of a Shattered Dream: I Shot A Man In Reno Just To Watch Him Die Vol #6

Things Carla Loves

So what is the purpose of mindfulness?

Maybe you can see that it’s worked a bit for me, and maybe you’ve even noticed that taking a few minutes out every day to de-stress and just think about what you need has worked for you, too.

And maybe it hasn’t yet, and that’s okay.

What works for some doesn’t always work for others.

However, it is a process, and if you find something that works for you, even a little bit, I think it’s something you should consider sticking with.

So, other than my therapist’s suggestion, what made me consider practicing mindfulness?

Well, to be honest, it’s this constant, toxic “be positive” mentality that too many people have, and how so many physically healthy and neurotypical people think that chronically ill (either mentally, physically or both) people are just not positive enough.

No photo description available.

And before I tell you exactly why chronically ill…

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Ignoring Racism Won’t Make it Go Away


“The only way to end racism is to stop talking about it.”

In case you didn’t already know, this quote is complete bullshit. Let me explain why:

Ignoring a problem is not the proper way to handle it. For example, if you find out that you have cancer, you don’t just wait for it to kill you. You start treatments and take medication to slow it down and stop it. In other word, you fight. Obviously, I’m comparing apples and oranges here but the concept is somewhat the same.

The quote above was said by Morgan Freeman and it makes a lot of people think that if a black man said it then it must be true.


Morgan Freeman was wrong.

That is not the way to deal with racism.

In my experience, the people who repeat this phrase the most are white people. This is an issue…

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Oceans Away

It’s official friends and followers. We finally got some little debts paid off, and now Hubs and I are finally planning a trip overseas!!

Right now the preliminary plan is to join my family in the UK for a few weeks but we’re still working on details. Hubs and I both have our vacation requests granted, babysitters lined up, passports in processing and we’re shopping for airfare. I’ve been trying to get Hubs out of the US since we met 11 years ago.

Before we seriously began dating he was accepted for an internship at a recording studio in London. He turned the opportunity down in favor of staying stateside because of a cute girl… *ahem* but now we have the chance and means to actually go together and dammit we’re going to make it happen. If not the UK we’re at least going to Canada. Hubs needs to live a little.

While we were discussing our initial plans Hubs goes: “Are you sure they’ll like us over there? I mean… as Americans?”

I paused and looked at him trying to figure out if his concern was genuine or if he was just making a joke and then replied: “Honey, we’re going to visit my family in the UK. We’re not going to the Middle East. No one will even know we aren’t from there unless we say something with our funky accents. We’re fair skinned, our last name is Hale… we could live in the UK unnoticed. I think we can visit without issues.”

And that’s when I decided where ever we go will be outside of the US because my Hubs needs to broaden his horizons. I wish I could pick up Portuguese as easily as I was able to pick up Spanish and German because I would love to go back to Brazil, but that dream is a bit lofty for our vacation this year. And I don’t think I could get Hubs to go with me to South America until he gets over his fear of leaving the US in general lol.

Either way, I’m pretty excited about things to come this year. 😊

Not a Drill

Yesterday was a day of epic suck.

My day began with my Twins attempting to eat toilet bowl cleaner. They snuck out of their room and unlocked the bathroom while I was still asleep. I woke up when I heard wrappers crinkling and excited squeals about cookies. We didn’t have cookies. I dashed into their room to snatch the cleaner tablets away from them just before they each took a bite. 20 minutes later as I’m taking my Little down to the bus stop (it’s right at the corner of our lot) the Twins escaped from their kid gated baby safe room (where I put them every morning when I go outside to put Little on the bus) I walk out, the bus arrives, I walk back. 5 minutes, maybe 10. The front door is always open. I can hear the Twins usually playing the entire time. Except yesterday.

Yesterday, they escaped from their room, got into our Costco Sized box of Pop Tarts, and dumped all of my brand new bottle of Cajun seasoning everywhere. When I walked back inside they panicked and in between trying to cram as many pop tarts into their mouths as they coulf they also threw Cajun powder into the air! It rained down on them and they both got it in their eyes. It hurt, they started crying; then screaming because it was also all over their hands and every time they rubbed their eyes it made everything worse. IT WAS NOT EVEN 10AM YET.

We got that crisis averted and then I got a text from my husband: “so we’re on lockdown. I guess the police were chasing a suspect and he got through the fence and into our building” That was one of the more intense half an hours of my life, but soon they had the all clear and everything went back to normal. No one was hurt and the police apprehended the suspect in the parking lot on the other side of the property. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllll before 11am.

By this point I was tired. I was stressed tf out. I still had to report to work and my brain/body just said a big fat NOPE. Migraine city. One of the worst migraines I’ve had in a very long time. I was nauseous, my vision was blurred even with my glasses, it was a mess. Then I get to work. My work day was fairly easy all things considered except as I was unloading my giant industrial lettuce spinner, the weighted lid fell closed and smacked me right on the forehead. Instant bruise. Coupled with the eczema breakout on my face which is in the dry flaky stage it looks like I got into a fight.

To be honest I kind of felt like I’d been in a fight. Bah. I was so glad to come home to my cozy fireplace, giant knit blanket, and safely snoozing husband. This isn’t the first close call he’s had with threats of violence or lockdowns at his plant so it didn’t affect me as much as the first few times. Or my PTSD Perks kicked in and I haven’t really felt the brunt of my emotions about it all yet. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

#WhyIDidn’tReport: Cry Wolf

Things Carla Loves

— Trigger and Content Warning —

Like with the “Friendship Breakup” series, over the next few weeks, I’ll be answering commonly asked questions surrounding, specifically, Dr Ford and the entire fiasco that we just watched. 

As this topic is of a sensitive nature, and many of you may have questions or stories you’d like to share or have answered, please feel free to drop a message in my Facebook inbox or DM me on my Instagram, @thingscarlaloves. You do not have to share your story in the comment section (or anywhere else) if you do not feel comfortable. 

As always, there will be a list of helpline services added, if you need help. I strongly urge that you confide in someone you trust in order to help you heal. 

*NB: Until I am back on my feet, The Leaders will be replaced with misc posts until…

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