Lessons From Hanging On & Letting Go

Photo by Kai Pilger: https://www.pexels.com/photo/assorted-clothes-996329/

I tend to be a packrat, but lately, life has taught me that I need to let go to make room for new things. In recent times, I received the gift of a new wardrobe. It was unexpected but received with gratitude. The challenging part has been what to give away to make room for this blessing.

There are so many pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve had for years but have only worn once or twice. I’m sure these would have been of benefit to others if I had made the time to de-clutter, but it’s never too late, so this has been an ongoing process.

I’ve taken away the following from this experience:

  1. Don’t block other people’s blessings. If a gift is offered, accept it in the spirit in which it is given.
  2. Don’t be overwhelmed by the process of de-cluttering. Do it as time allows.
  3. Don’t hang on to stuff that’s not needed. If someone else can use it, part with the item.
  4. Appreciate the additional space that’s created in the home or environment.
  5. Be thankful that other people will be blessed by the overflow from your life.

What tips do you have for creating space or being a blessing? Do share.

Let me also invite you to take a peek at Sold!

Feechi has her hands full with working and balancing life as a single mother. Her son becomes obsessed with owning a dog they can’t afford. When Carsten sweeps into their life, will she make room in her heart for his generosity? Find out in Sold! amzn.to/3QrzvAW

Sweet Romance title on Amazon

Family memories and secrets #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab

Have you ever been amazed at family get togethers on how a single event you vividly remember is entirely different in another family member’s memory? Or how stories are not the way you remembered? Or even that you’ve reinterpreted some happening now with the distance of wisdom and experience?

These questions are ever present for me as I am now a grandmother and asked to write down memories in a book for my granddaughter. I most certainly want to present her with as much “truth” as I know or am aware of, but I’m afraid I cannot capture everything outside of my perspective. I recently read a memoir of an author who was shocked that the stories her parents told her were not what she uncovered in their paperwork, and I realized the fragility of childhood memories when research showed that many more people during world war II reported unexploded bombs dropped into their homes, even in regions with no aerial bombing.

Is it because we are suggestable people? Especially as children where we’ve heard a story and then believe it to have happened to ourselves? I know that’s the case in our family where our children to this day claim things that happened to them but we “know” were things that happended to us when we were kids and we told about them. Could it be that “dog bite” story was actually transmitted from great-grandfather to grandfather to father to son, and none of them had actually been bitten? This question has haunted me as I recall my mom’s wartime stories and witness my children thinking certain things happened to them exactly like described in a time and place they didn’t exist.

As a writer, these mismatched family memories are fertile grounds for stories, especially those in which a child was lied to their entire life. In my latest book, Going to Find Love, Penny Barnes has a big shock when she finds out her religious parents lied to her by omitting her adoption and then denying it. What are they covering up? Compelled to find the truth, Penny leaves everything behind, including her high school sweetheart, to find the answers long denied her.

I know how she feels because I know real life people who have had a similar shock [too close for me to reveal who] of finding out they weren’t who they thought they were. I hope these musings will encourage you to dig into your memories, old pictures, and documents to make a sense of your past to reexamine and preserve what you hope is closest to the truth.

Going to Find Love by Rachelle Ayala

Penny Barnes has never left home. She’s a pastor’s daughter, has a long time boyfriend, and is a hometown sweetheart. Her fairytale life is upended when she discovers she’s adopted.

Excited by the discovery of a genetic match, Penny is lured to a distant town with secrets of its own. She meets another lonely young woman who has more questions than answers. Her adoptive parents disappear. She runs into roadblocks and dead-ends, and someone powerful is determined to stop her from finding the truth.

Mike drops everything to find Penny as she digs through old secrets. When disaster strikes, will Penny leave everyone she loves behind—including her hometown sweetheart or find love on her own terms? [Pre-order Going to Find Love for 99c]

Snacks, 100 Calories or Less – #HealthyEating by @Donna_Fasano

Let’s face it, we all overeat now and then. Whenever I overindulge, I do what I can to get myself back on track as quickly as possible. Here’s a list of my go-to snacks when I’m focused on sticking to 1200-1400 calories per day:

Snacks

  1. 1 cup frozen seedless green grapes – 65 calories
  2. 1/4 cup wasabi peas – 100 calories
  3. 1/2 cup of slow-churned ice cream – 100 calories
  4. 2 stalks celery (about 7” long) and 2 tablespoons hummus – 100 calories
  5. 30 goldfish crackers – 100 calories
  6. 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and a small wedge of cantaloupe – 100 calories
  7. 2 tablespoons PB2 spread on 1/2 granny smith apple – 90 calories (PB2 is powdered peanut butter that is 80% fat free. Mix 2 tablespoons PB2 with 1 tablespoon water.)
  8. 1/2 of a medium-sized baked potato and a heaping tablespoon of salsa – 100 calories
  9. 8 baby carrots – 100 calories
  10. 2 Tablespoons PB2 spread on 2 stalks celery – 66 calories
  11. 1 cup of tomato soup – 75 calories
  12. 1/2 banana (sliced and frozen) dipped in 2 teaspoons dark chocolate chips (melted)  – 100 calories
  13. 1/3 cup Greek Gods Vanilla Honey yogurt – 96 calories
  14. 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon – 75 calories
  15. Banana smoothie – blend 1/2 a banana, 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, and a handful of crushed ice – 100 calories
  16. 2 long pretzel rods dipped in 2 teaspoons yellow mustard – 77 calories
  17. 1/2 cup steamed edamame (shelled) with a splash of soy sauce – 100 calories
  18. 16 cherry tomatoes sliced in half, 1/8 cup crumbled feta cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice – 95 calories
What are YOUR go-to snacks when you’re trying to get your diet and your weight back on track?

~  ~  ~

This month, I’m offering A REASON TO BELIEVE to Kindle readers for just 99¢. You save $3 off the regular price!

A Reason To Believe

A Real Fairy Tale

It seems like a grand idea, temporarily trading her pixie wings for a womanly form to help handsome widower Paul Roland with his baby girl. And the moment she holds the precious bairn in her arms, Fern knows true happiness for the first time.

But Fern never anticipates the dizzying emotions she feels for the man who not only needs her as a nanny, but as a woman whose passion can heal his wounded heart. Suddenly the forbidden fairy rule she gently bends because of the baby is in danger of being irrevocably broken.

Some things are meant to be…

College Application Responses

We’re done with Valentine Day and Super Bowl. Monday is President Day. But these are not important days for three young adults in my family.

“February 25 and 26 are the most important days of my life, Nonna,” my granddaughter declared this past weekend, her voice shaky.

This young girl who’s seventeen and two of her relatives who already turned eighteen are anxiously waiting for college application responses, the emails that would change their lives, or at least decide of their futures, and announce if they have been accepted or rejected by the colleges of their choices.

  • Review for college admission is based on:
  • Secondary School Academic Performance
  • SAT or ACT scores.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Consistent involvement throughout high school that demonstrates a student’s interests and passions, as well as how applicants contributed to their school, community and/or family.
  • The quality of thought in the admission essay.
  • Personal Background and Experiences: Students who show the potential and desire to succeed in an academic environment. Students who can be learners, leaders and thinkers.
  • No one single factor determines an admission decision.

I remembered my own children receiving the famous long-awaited letters with admission decisions from various colleges. Now everything is electronic.

So here I am, waiting and fretting with my first grandkid who is about to leave the family nest.

While the children are worried about the next steps in their lives, their parents are tabulating their bank accounts. “Do you realize how expensive colleges are now?” they often complain, conveniently forgetting that their own parents have gone through these anxious moments to pay their tuitions. “Oh, but now, fees are outrageous. They better get some scholarships to help.” Do they realize how much pressure they put on these young ones?

As a loving grandmother, I’m siding with my grandkids and praying they get accepted to the colleges of their choice, and start the next phase of their lives on the right foot.

I still have my tassels worn on graduation day caps, the yellow from Northeastern University in Boston, and the blue one for my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. They are proudly displayed in our home office.

Wishing our young ones good luck for next week and best wishes for a successful and happy future.

FOR SARAH’S SAKE (The Senator’s Family Series, book 3)

FREE on February 19 and 29, 25 and 26

FOR SARAH’S SAKE: A broken marriage. Second chance at love. And a precious little girl trying to escape danger and hatred to get herself a loving family. https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B07CTH8DJC/