I’ve begun sewing again!   

The October theme is about CHANGE and how we deal with it.  I’ve selected 4 books to match the theme.  I always include fiction and non-fiction!  There is one self-help article about change and a professional article about digging yourself back out of a mess you may have created. Fnally, I recommend one  cool place to  go in Tallahassee and one cool place in Gainesville.  Enjoy and please feel free to give me feedback.  Rosanne







ORIGINALS: HOW NON-CONFORMISTS MOVE THE WORLD  By Adam GrantWhen you read this, take notes.  Seriously.  Create a to-do list for how to be more creative and effective.  Takeaways: Take more risks! Instead of brainstorming, try “brainwriting,”.  Procrastination can be good. It is a helpful personal guide and the book is filled with interesting guidance for teachers and parents on how to cultivate originality and creativity in kids.

THE WHITE DONKEY: TERMINAL LANCEBy Maximilian UriarteAmerican veterans of the war in Iraq have published quite a few works of fiction that focus on the moral quandaries of soldiers and their struggles for redemption. The White Donkey, stands out from the rest in that it is told from the perspective of a simple infantryman, in graphic novel form.  It explores the psychological costs of combat, and confronts the discomfort that comes from encounters with civilians in an occupied country. The artwork is clean and sober, with a distinct color palette for different places and times. A fresh and affecting book.


October would not be complete without at least one terrifying novel.  First published in 1959, The Haunting of Hill House has been the perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: An occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; His lighthearted assistant; A friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers— bwahhhhhhh


by Tosha Silver

This is a book for the passionately spiritual and the bemusedly skeptical alike filled with wisdom and fresh perspectives, helps create a relaxed, trusting openness in the reader to discover answers to life’s big questions as they spontaneously arise.  A collection of spiritual lessons, anecdotes, and thoughts on the Divine’s intervention in our lives in this wonderfully entertaining book.  Take time to think about how to live purposefully and in line with the forces of love. We all experience the touch of the Divine in our lives every single day. Almost all of us have similar concerns: “How do I stop worrying? How can I feel safe? Why do I feel so alone?” And often, “Who am I really/”



Well, it has been two months since we sold our home in Alachua.  It was a bit like pregnancy, waiting anxioulsy and afraid it was going to happen.  There is a reason is takes nine months to produce a baby, we have to get used to the idea ) The house  was listed for 18 months so I was way overdue for delivery!

Ready or not, we all go through numerous changes.  Usually one of the first big changes is leaving our parents’ home.  We go to college, get a job, find a partner, and having children of our own.   These times are often filled with weeks or longer of uncomfortable emotional spaces.  We have cut ties with what we know and have not quite become at home in our new situation. Many times, the changes are our choice, other times they are naturally occurring changes, and others are forced upon us.  Whatever the circumstances, transitions can be difficult.  We have new issues to resolve and our traditional support network is missing.

Expect to feel depressed and anxious. A loss is still a loss, even when we initiated the change. We leave behind our known life for the unknown. Whenever we move forward we leave something behind, and this creates a state of grief, however small. And if the change is unexpected and unwanted the shock and depression are greater. We are out of our comfort zone and our imaginations run wild; we are anxious about an unknown future.

Realize that this is a new / old chapter in your life. Acknowledge your loss so you don’t get stuck in the past. Acknowledging that a door is closed is psychologically healthy; spending your time staring at it is not.   The next step after an end is a new beginning, and keeping this in mind can give you a sense of a fresh start. The particular circumstances are new but the process is familiar. You have made transitions before – changing schools, neighborhoods, relationships, jobs. You’ve acquired experience and skills along the way. You can do this again, and this time even better.

Think positive, think opportunity.

George Clooney played a character whose job is to fire people for companies that were downsizing. “I’m here to talk to you about new opportunities.” Yeah, right.  Though you may experience disappointment along with the loss of your old life, use this time wisely.  Invest in yourself:  read, write, paint, exercise, do something positive and adaptive to your new life.  Avoid going on auto-pilot and resuming all old habits and patterns.  Take a brand new look at your new life and new opportunities. Though it can certainly be a difficult time, it ultimately can be a pivotal one, reshaping the direction of your future.

During times of transition, when everything seems to be in flux, you may feel unsteady but are also the most malleable to change. Now is the time to explore, brainstorm, consider the make-over before your life begins to naturally solidify into new patterns. Starting new relationships from scratch, you have the opportunity to experiment with being more bold, more assertive, more honest than you may have been before. This is the time to think outside the box.

Hit the ground running. And don’t take too long to get started. We are creatures of habit and routine, and those routines can set quickly. If your anxiety takes over you may easily find yourself in 6 months in a rut.  Unpack those boxes, set up your kitchen and bedroom and mentally work on your plan.   When you rest, write the plan down as fast as you can, keep the mistakes, just keep working on the plan.

Get support. It’s tough to do this all on your own. Keep up your old friendships, talk to your family frequently, seek out new co-workers just to hear about the workplace.  Listen to what your new boss is really meaning, not just the words.  Find a life coach or counselor to talk about your fears and anxieties. When you are feeling a bit ungrounded, support from others can help you keep perspective and moving ahead.

Have a realistic timeframes and expectations. There are going to be days when you ask “what was I thinking?”  Be patient, realize that it may take you a year to feel confident in your job, months to begin to make new friends.

Transitions are those uncomfortable times when we toss off the old but have not yet stepped into the new. While the circumstances are always different, the skills and attitudes needed to successfully move ahead are always the same, namely being positive, patient, and proactive.  A new journey awaits.

Based on:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fixing-families/201307/keys-handling-lifes-transitions


You Got Yourself There, You Can Get Yourself Back  by Dr. Valerie Allen

DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS:  You may make a good decision, which may have a bad outcome. Does that mean you made a terrible decision? Not necessarily, yet you judge yourself not on the decision, but on the result.

Why do you worry about making decisions? You worry because it may not turn out “right.” You may make a mistake and then what would happen? What would people think? What would they say? You may be blamed, you may feel guilty, and you may feel foolish. Sometimes we avoid making decisions based on these emotional issues.

Life is not static. Life ebbs and flows. You grow and change as you move through life. Before you went to school, you stayed home. Before you graduated, you were in school. Before you married, you were single. Before you got your first job, you were unemployed. Before your final career, you had other jobs. Before retirement you worked. Before you lived here, you lived somewhere else.

All of these changes came about because you made decisions. Confronted with situations or events, you considered alternatives and made choices. At times, you may have had to choose between two negative possibilities, but there was no escape from making a choice.

There is an old story of a man facing his executioner.

“Do you want to be shot or do you want to be hung?” the executioner asked.

The man replied, “I don’t want to die.”

The executioner simply said, “That, Sir, is not one of your choices.”

Sometimes during the course of life, you may feel the only choices you have are between negative alternatives—bad and worse. There is no such thing as not choosing. Not choosing is itself a choice. Indecision is a heavy burden which saps our emotional strength. You waiver, question yourself, become overwhelmed, and procrastinate. When this happens, you have decided to sit back and become passive. You have become reactive instead of proactive in your life.

We always make a decision. We decide to be active or reactive. In the active decision mode, you take charge and become proactive in your life. You make the choice. You put yourself in the driver’s seat. Even if the vehicle is out of control, you take charge of the situation and mitigate the outcome.

In the reactive decision mode, you allow others to decide and you react to their choice. You are in the passenger seat. If the vehicle is careening out of control, you are a captive victim.

You may think others or circumstances have dealt you a bad hand. This is certainly true in some situations, but it’s up to you to play the hand you were dealt to your best advantage. It’s not that unfortunate things haven’t happened or won’t happen again; it’s how you work through these events that lead to feelings of satisfaction, success, and self-efficacy. Facing and overcoming the perils of life leads to feelings of self-worth and builds self-confidence. How we handle adversity determines the quality of our life.

# # #  This is an edited excerpt from a book by Dr. Valerie Allen, Beyond the Inkblots: Confusion to Harmony.    Amazon.com/dp/1478146117. Dr. Valerie Allen is a licensed school psychologist and board-certified rehabilitation counselor and case manager. She has taught students from elementary school through graduate studies in the fields of education and mental health. She is a popular author of children’s books, short stories, fiction, and non-fiction. Amazon.com/author/valerieallen

   COOL PLACE:  TOM BROWN PARK, Tallahassee: Located in the eastern part of Tallahassee, just east of Capital Circle SE between Mahan Drive and Apalachee Parkway, sits a huge park with everything you could want to do in it. This is the City of Tallahassee’s premier place to play, with numerous baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and wide open spaces  http://www.talgov.com/parks/parks-tombrown.aspx

COOL FOOD:  Bahama Breeze,  Gainesville:

If you’re looking for handcrafted tropical drinks and a vibrant island atmosphere, look no further than the Bahama Breeze Island Grille located in Gainesville, Florida just east of the University of Florida main campus.  Caribbean-inspired food with tropical tastes and innovative recipes. Enjoy happy hour cocktails,  half-priced appetizers, and island-themed live music or artfully curated playlists. We are located near SW Archer Rd between SW 34th St and I-75.  3989 Plaza Blvd.  http://www.bahamabreeze.com/locations/fl/gainesville/gainesville/3058

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