Been a While

WOW…I hadn’t realized just how long it had been since I last wrote.  So much has changed.  I’ve decided to drop out of pin up modeling for one thing.  Honestly, I just don’t have the time or money to devote to it and do it justice.  It was simply causing more stress to me personally so, at least for now…I’m done with it.  So many people suddenly thought that I must have had something bad happen, or maybe someone said something to upset me.  No folks, this isn’t a reactionary step.  It was a long thought upon personal choice.  I’m 47!  And to be honest, I’m still finding myself.

So, I thought, in this new vain I would simply use this as an opportunity and platform to share some things with you.

Where in the world did the term disposable income come from?  I can’t think of a single person in my circle who has any portion of their income that they could consider to be disposable.  Right now, I choose every single purchase that I make VERY carefully.  And yes, there are some items that I want and I have to reconcile that they are more in the ‘wants’ column than the ‘needs’ column.  It does, however, get frustrating that at my age I deny myself some simple pleasures.  So, what’s a girl to do?  Find a way to make a little bit of money while doing next to nothing, or get paid for things that you already do.

One thing I have is an app on my phone called PACT.  You can download it for Android or iOS.  The app is free, and you get paid for healthy activities like working out, logging meals, etc.  BUT, there is a risk.  For any failed pact you will be fined $5 each.  (that’s where the money comes from to pay those who succeed).  Am I getting wealthy?  Nope.  I average about $3/week with it.  But it’s stuff I do anyway.

Today I found another one.  I won’t share the site just yet as I’m testing it out.  Basically you get paid by sharing ‘campaigns’ through social media outlets like twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc.  Some pay you if people click the link and then purchase something.  Others are games and you’ll get paid if someone clicks and downloads the game.  Others (which are what I am choosing) simply pay you by the click.  For each unique IP address that clicks the link you provide you will get a few cents deposited in your account.  Once you reach a minimum of $10 you can have the money put into your paypal account.  So, I’m asking you a favor on this first go around.  you don’t have to buy a thing.  Click on this link.  I get paid 7 cents for each click through.  This one is for a variety of teas and tea based products.  If you see something you like, go ahead and buy it (I don’t get anything extra if you purchase, just for that click).

In a week I’ll report back on how I did.  (FYI, I’ve made 35 cents so far.  LOL)

A Walking Ministry

Sorry that it has been so long since my last update.  Life and things…life and things.

This past weekend my husband and I took an extended weekend at Mackinac Island.  It was lovely.  Naturally, it was a reenactment and we were camping 1812 style so it surely wasn’t the way MOST folks go to the island.  However, luckily for me hair covering similar to turbans were in fashion so I was able to cover my hair pretty much like I always do.  The downside was the heat.  I ended up with a horrible headache for much of Saturday.  I am usually indoors, so I hadn’t realized that even just one pashmina would be very heavy and hot on my head, not allowing the heat to escape.

Sunday was the day of a ceremony in the park at the base of the hill where the fort sits.  As we walked down I spotted a lovely young hijabi and her family.  What caught my eye was her hijab was a lovely pink with birds and flowers on it.  She saw me as well and smiled, so I walked over to compliment her on her hijab.  “Thank you very much, do you want it?”.  I laughed but I do recall this being part of Arab culture, so I asked where she was from and she told me Saudi Arabia.  She invited me to sit and we chatted for a while.  She then asked if I was a Christian and I explained that I was and how there is scriptural reference in our Bible regarding women covering.  That’s when the young man next to her looked surprised as well and he began to ask me questions about it.  Both of them were very happily surprised to learn about my faith and my call to cover, and also to meet ‘such a nice modest Christian woman’.

So, in this I began to realize that though I am not formally involved in any particular ministry at my church I am none the less a walking ministry because my covering allows me to share my faith.  I’m not actively trying to convert anyone.  Instead, I want to change the preconceived notions many people have about conservative Christians, and maybe just share a word about my faith.  If that only leads them to look up the passages that I mention to them, then that is enough.  If I managed to change their minds about conservative Christians all being a bunch of whackadoodle soul gatherers…yeah Team Jesus.  😀

A Return to Duggar-gate…self doubt…confusion

Last night saw an interview where for the first time Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, as well as 2 of their married daughters, spoke publicly about Josh Duggar’s molestation of some of his sisters and 1 other girl 13 years ago.  Now, I’m going to preface this with the fact that I DID NOT WATCH the interview.  I don’t get regular TV and I really didn’t want to sit and watch this again.  BUT, I’ve been thinking about a few things lately and it made me ponder my own past.  So, here’s me sharing.

I am a survivor of many years of molestation by a neighbor boy.  He was 11 and I was 5 (I think) when it started.  It ended when I was 12 or 13 (when I got my period).  I’m not going into the specifics, because they aren’t important here.  What is important is that I didn’t speak up about it when it happened.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t speak up about it until I was over 20 and I was angry at my brother because this person was in his wedding party and I wasn’t.  Anyway, this boy ALSO had another brother.  That brother touched a little friend of mine ONCE.  SHE went and told her father, who went to the boy’s father and basically said “your kid touches my kid again and you are both dead”.  This was probably about 1974 and that other boy was probably 12 or 13.  Did they go to the police about it?  Nope.  No charges…nothing.  It was handled between the parents and that was it.  Now, if I went to my mom…yup…it probably would have been handled the same way..between the parents.  I look back at my situation and what was done and do I think my friend’s father was wrong for not going to the police?  Nope.  I don’t.  That’s just the way things were done.

Here’s the other thing.  Suppose we had gone to the police.  What would have happened?  A multitude of things:

Both boys would have been brought up on charges, the minor girls would have been removed from that home.  But wait…there is more.  You see, my mother had to work full time to support my brother and I.  I was home alone (or with my brother who was only 5 years older than me, but back then that’s just what you did) but I’d go to a neighbor quite often (sort of how this happened…).  So, there’s every possibility that I (possibly both my brother and I) would have been taken away from my mother and put into foster care.  YIKES.  OK…no wonder I never spoke up.  It would have served no purpose to put my brother and I into foster care and possibly arrest my mom.  Really.  My stomach turns at the thought of that (again, I’m only focusing on my own situation here).

So, in my case…I would have been fine with having told my mom and handling it between the families.  Now it makes me think, why am I holding the Duggar’s to a higher standard than I am holding myself and my own family?  I’ve made no decisions, and my point is that I just now makes me think a LOT more about the whole thing.  And the fact is that right now…I actually don’t know what to think.

Sometimes You Don’t Know what to Believe. Well, actually, you do……

Last night (5/21/15) a media firestorm started.  Did it rip the fabric of society in two?  No.  Honestly, it shouldn’t matter as much as it does, and yet it does matter.

I do hereby confess that I have been a closet Dugger Family Fan for many years.  I’ve watched the show, watched the kids grow up.  I wept as little Josie had her set-backs.  I admired anyone who would take on the task of homeschooling such a brood.  Yes, I admired them.  I had heard whispers of things not being right for years and I shrugged it off as people just not understanding them and their personal morale choices.  To be honest, part of me still supports them…but only a tiny part.

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  I was abused for many years, and I never spoke out about it until MANY MANY years later.  Yet even when the report first ‘broke’ I didn’t entirely believe it.  Was it just a case of 15 year old Josh grabbing a little 14 year old girl boob?  Then…someone got the police report. My heart and stomach sank.  Seriously, his SISTERS?  From the look of it the youngest one involved would have been very young…as young as I was when it began.

Now, do I believe that he is genuinely remorseful?  Yup.  Do I believe his sisters and the other person have forgiven him?  Maybe.  Both of those things are besides the point.

You see, Jim Bob was either in or still very connected to the state legislature and this reeks of a coverup.  Had this been any other family (they weren’t even on TLC yet when this initially happened, the report was filed in 2006…was the show on the air at that point?  I don’t remember) the minor children would have been removed from the home and placed into protective custody.  Sorry or not, counseling or not, the law was usurped by the Duggar clan and the local authorities.

I also question what else happened.  What kind of counseling did the daughters get?  Somehow I doubt is was anything even close to what a psychologist would have had them in.

I’m sorry….I’m sad…I’m disappointed….

Stress, Skunks, and Salvation

When all seems so insurmountable, and you have been faithfully praying for months it’s so hard to go on.  This is especially so when a seemingly never ending stream of challenges continues to crop up.  Our latest would seem to be a skunk or family of skunks who have taken up residence under our front step.  The whole first floor of our home smells, and today I began to notice the smell in my clothing (which is on the 2nd floor!).  UGH!  Stress…money…more stress…and things.  It all just wells up inside and has to come out in tears.

Even if the relief I prayed for didn’t suddenly appear, friends have.  I was so depressed and tired that I just didn’t feel like cooking. Suddenly a friend sends a message that she has made too much lasagna and she’s bringing it over for us.

Then a dear friend sent me a wonderful piece of art.  I can’t even call it a photograph.  He’s an artist, and I’m so blessed to be able to call him my friend.

Then my husband sends me a message that the event we are attending this weekend will have a live band and a dance on Saturday night.  We haven’t been dancing in almost 6 months!

Hang on to faith and friends….they will get you through!

Brought Low…..

Life is always full of challenges.  It’s then that we have to be most faithful.  This holds true no matter what your belief system is (even if you don’t have one).  We need to be faithful to friends, family, and ourselves.  When you find yourself in those dark moments, especially when you have already been struggling for so long, it is SO EASY to fall into that black pit of despair.  But really, does that EVER accomplish anything?

Over the last few weeks I have watched some very dear friends get torn down, each matter is completely unrelated to the other except that I know each person.  One, a professional who was publicly humiliated (and in my personal opinion quite possibly SET UP to look bad, though he did nothing wrong but was put into a situation where someone took every opportunity to take everything out of context and cry wolf), and have his hobby/business and reputation threatened.  Those who knew him stood by him, and yet others who he had considered friends were suddenly saying things like “yeah, I had heard that before”.  It hurt me to the core and to be honest I suspect a professional jealousy over some successes caused someone to simply be incredibly cruel and unprofessional.  I just cannot fathom people like that.

In yet another unrelated matter I witnessed a woman who had created an opportunity for a group of women in need get beaten down.  A group that should have remained small exploded with members from everywhere so very unchecked.  In spite of everyone agreeing to the terms of the group I would suspect that many never actually READ the agreement. So, when a delivery was messed up by a supplier this poor woman (who as doing this in her spare time as she goes to school, works, and takes care of over a half dozen children) let everyone know what was up and that she was working to fix it.  People don’t read or are just lazy and stupid.  Some people just don’t care. She and the other admins of the group were harassed via emails and IM calling them thieves, bullies and the like. The final straw was a woman reporting my friend to PayPal over…wait for it….$3.  That’s not a typo folks…$3.  2 candy bars.  Really?  Are we that petty?  These people never read the agreement and no matter what she did to explain that the merchandise had been ordered, the supplier messed up and she was working to correct it and everyone had agreed and accepted that the admins of the group work with the suppliers…blah blah blah.  Nope…and paypal doesn’t care.  And the possibility of having her paypal account shut down was problematic as she needs that account for another small business she just started.  Ugh…

I feel things very deeply for those people I care about and the more this continued the more I felt brought low.  Honestly, my faith in general human relations just gets lost in all of this.  I’m angry and hurt by it all, and to be honest none of it really relates to me directly other than these are friends.

There is a small business venture that I have been considering for several weeks now, but when my faith in people hits bumps like this it leaves me unsure.  All that I can do is continue to pray.

To Model, or not to Model…that is the question

As some of you may know I was a model for a few years before I began to cover.  I’ve done 1940s vintage pin up, art modeling, both nudes and implied nudes (all artistically done…I don’t do hoochy!).  But, when I felt called to cover my ability to continue to model felt challenged.  I just wasn’t sure if I could continue.  The thought of giving it up entirely made me very sad.

The reality is that I don’t need modeling to make me feel beautiful.  The joy I have when I cover makes me feel more beautiful than ever before.  BUT, I confess that I enjoy modeling.  I enjoy creating art and BEING art.  So, I have had to figure out just how to make this all work while being covered.  A few friends have suggested that I just wear a wig in order to do pin up.  A wig just isn’t me.  Though I have MANY Jewish friends who also wear a shietle (wig) on occasion, I personally choose not to.  I feel an amazing sense of self worth, beauty, and personal identification when I cover with a wrap.  It is now an extension of who I am.

That being said, I really don’t know if I would ever pose nude (be it implied or otherwise) again.  Just personal choice.  I have no regrets at all for my past and I love my old pictures.  BUT, who I am now…I’m not totally sure it fits with the new me.  Life is a journey and I am still learning along the way.

This image is one that was shot just this past weekend.  It’s my take on 1930s old Hollywood glam.