Be True To Yourself!


By, Crystal S Kauffman

Never allow someone to tear you down or talk down to you, due to the mistakes you have made in the past or even recently. If you have tried to make amends, then you have done your part and you must let the situation go. Nothing you will do can change the outcome, unless the person agrees to forgive you for your transgressions. Stand tall and walk proud, because you are no longer chained to your addiction and you are fighting the good fight of sobriety.

There will be good days and really bad days ahead, but be true to your beliefs and to yourself…first above all else! You matter and you are loved, yet sometimes we lose the ability to see past our own mind which causes us to believe we are utterly alone. Thankfully, you are not alone in this fight and you have so many people ready to help you…whether in an online community or a local AA or NA support group.

Make new friends who are sober and walk away from the toxic so called friends and/or family who continue to use drugs. Above it all, be true to yourself and decide what your future will look like, since you are the captain of your beautiful ship called life. You may be bruised, broken, and shattered from the life you led before you put your addiction away. Take a moment to learn the lessons of your past and remember each lesson, as you guide your ship called LIFE into the future.

Start the healing process today; by leaning on your divine creator…no matter if you believe in God or a Higher Power! Never ever give up on yourself, because you deserve happiness and peace everyday of your life. Take time to heal yourself by talking to a counselor and be sure to check out your mental health as well. Keep your mind healthy and busy, while you learn to navigate the rough waters of sobriety.

If you have kids or a wife, please take time to yourself and this will help you become stronger and more adapt to handling the everyday stresses. If you need to enter a rehab center, please do this immediately so you can start the healing process now. Your family deserves to be safe with you and they do not need to be hurt because you are hurting. Be true to yourself and your family, by doing all that you can to stay sober while healing yourself.

Stay Strong!!!

Copyright 2019

Baby Jane Doe is Still Unidentified!


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A little girl was found on June 25, 2015, on the western shore of Deer Island, she is yet to be identified. She was found dead on Massachusetts Beach in a trash bag with her zebra striped blanket and white leggings with black polka dots. Police are asking everyone to look around the social events like: school, church, neighborhood, parties, birthday parties, or even day care activities.

Look for a child that is missing, which is usually with a parent or guardian that attends these functions. Police estimate that the little girl is about four-years-old. She is described as having brown eyes and long brown hair in a computer generated photo that is being distributed by police on social media. Police say millions have shared her image among their social media sites, but they need more help sharing her image.

Please call in your tip, because it is better to be wrong than to be right…in this situation! Police are asking for the public’s help in finding out who this Baby Jane Doe is. She is described as being about 3 ½ ft. tall and she weighed about 30 lbs. at the time of her death. Police are hoping to identify this beautiful child and find out exactly what happened to her. Police are hoping that this information can help jog someone’s memory, so police are encouraging people to share Jane Doe’s information.

Additionally, they are asking people to notify the Massachusetts authorities and/or Boston Police Department.  So, far no missing persons reports of any child missing in that area has been reported. The police decided to release the computerized image of the toddler, because it may help someone remember this child. The items found with her are just as important, because it will lead the investigation in to this child’s death.

Please keep sharing her information, become someone you know, may be the key to getting justice for this child. Police find it hard that a parent doesn’t know their child is missing, unless it is a situation where a parent would not know. This may have been an accident, but police are waiting on toxicology report to come back to see if she was poisoned or had drugs in her system

So, if you are her parents, then speak up because she deserves to have a name and police are waiting to talk with you. Police say that she is not Aalyiah Lunsford, the toddler that has been missing since 2011 from the West Virginia area.

Please share this and her picture, until this child has a name and someone that misses her!

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Review of The Face on the Milk Carton-By, Caroline B. Cooney


The_Face_on_the_Milk_CartonThe Face on the Milk Carton

By, Caroline B. Cooney

Jane “Janie” Johnson was a fifteen-year-old sophomore in high school. She was a happy-go-lucky tenth grader, who had several close friends and a boyfriend/neighbor Reeve. Additionally, she loved her life as it was, but everything changed one day at lunch. She grabbed her friend’s milk carton at school and finished it, even though she has a slight milk allergy. Janie turned the milk carton over to see whose face was on the milk carton today.

Imagine her surprise, when she realized that she was staring at a picture of herself in pigtails and a dress she remembers in a flashback. She looked at the picture of a missing three-year-old girl named Jennie Springs from New Jersey. Immediately, her mind begins trying to make sense of everything she knew about herself. She began having flashbacks of her at three-years-old wearing that dress and hanging out with a woman with twin babies.

She did her own investigations and her boyfriend Reeve became her confidant. She began having “daymares” or flashbacks of old memories, which included a strange woman and twins. In the attic, Janie found an old trunk, which had the mysterious letter H-written on it. In this trunk, she discovers papers and things done by someone named Hannah. Additionally, she found a dress in the old trunk that matches the dress that she was wearing in the picture on the milk carton.

She hides her discovery from her parents, but soon she begins asking her parent’s (Frank and Miranda Johnson) tough questions. Unfortunately, they knew that they had to tell her the truth, so she learned that her birth mother was their only daughter and was named Hannah. They explained how Hannah was a member of a cult and that when she finally came home, she had Janie with her. Her parents acted nervous, but finally explained that they are in fact her grandparents instead her parents.

Janie knew them as her only parents and she chose to call them her parents, but there was a twist in the story. Hannah might be kidnapper and her parents/grandparents were innocent. For reasons only Hannah knew, she left Janie with her parents and vanished out her own parent’s lives after returning to the cult. Fearing the cult will come after their granddaughter/daughter; the Javensen’s changed everyone’s name to Johnson and began moving around until they settled down.

Now, after hearing about the kidnapping, the Johnson’s are worried that they will lose Janie and Hannah will go to prison. Will Janie be able to stay with the only parents that she has ever known or will she be forced to say good-bye?

My Opinion on the Book

I really loved the way the author wrote this book from Janie’s/Jennie’s point of view. Additionally, I enjoyed being able to follow Janie’s emotions from the time she recognized herself on the milk carton to when she had Lizzie help her tell her parents what was going on. Finally, she was able to share the burden with her parents and they can work together to find a solution to the problem that they now face.

Janie tried so hard to work through the feeling, but she was unable to keep it from affecting every relationship she had from her parents to her friends. Luckily, she had a confidant in Reeve, her boyfriend and neighbor. I think the author Caroline B. Cooney did a wonderful job, showing the story and developing the story at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the sequels. If you have a chance to read this book, be sure to write what you thought about it in the comments. I highly recommend this book for teens and adults alike. Especially if you like mystery, suspense, and drama.

PS: There is a movie about this book.

Thanks for stopping by,

XOXOXO

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

The_Face_on_the_Milk_Carton

My Mission to Save My Childhood Home


The house, but it has changed more in the last 5 years. Inside and out.

The house, but it has changed more in the last 5 years. Inside and out.

About a year ago, my husband and I began working on an endeavor that would challenge us financially, emotionally, and spiritually in many ways that we had never dreamed were possible. We felt we did the right thing, but every now again we question if it was truly worth it to save the home I grew up in. Personally, I am thankful that we didn’t give upon our mission to save what my grandfather had spent his life creating and building for our entire family. However, I must admit it was not an easy task to complete, yet we accomplished it with the help of many of our true friends who gave up their days to come help us clean up the property. We still have a long way to go before the inside it is completed, but we both have faith that we will accomplish what we have set out to do.

From the Beginning

In 1970, my grandfather bought a small house and began expanding it to fit his family’s needs over the years. Additionally, he had built a huge garage from tin and wood that was almost as big as the house is today. The property he bought is over an acre, so he built a chicken coop and had other livestock, which he raised to feed his family. As his family grew, he began his own business and did odd jobs like fixing cars to make ends meet. Soon, he began building race cars with my uncle, who drove them on a local racetrack. As he got older, he decided to move a mobile home on the back half of the property where he lived for many years with his wife of over 40 years. Later, my grandfather built a washroom behind the mobile home and a small storage room behind the garage, in order to keep the things he treasured or thought he may need in the future.

Growing up Here

My brothers and I grew up here, with my grandparents from the time we were born, until we became adults. Except when my mother married our adopted father, when I was five years old. He was in the Navy, which meant we had to around a lot with his job, but one place remained home for all of us. When my twin brother and I turned eleven, my mom decided to return home while my father traveled overseas and worked on his career. My mom announced she was getting a divorce and our life began changing drastically, because we no longer seen our father and my grandparents became constant parental figures in our life. Several times my mom would move out on her own for a few months, yet we were always welcome to move back home when she needed the extra help. I grew up into a young woman while living in this house and later married myself.

Losing our Rock

On June 7, 2007, my grandfather died after a long battle with prostate cancer and lung cancer, which had severely affected all of my family members including me. When he died, there was a lot of stuff he had collected over the years in all areas of the property. He collected things he thought he might need in the future like car parts, cars, wood, metal and PVC pipes, bricks, paint, and tools of all kinds. My brothers were feeding their addictions with the money they earned, so my grandmother went to live with my uncle after she became ill herself. I got very angry and I chose to stay away from the house for over two years, except when I came by to see my mother who was still living here. Additionally, I learned that all of my grandfather’s stuff had been sold without other family member’s consent,  so I chose to walk away from the situation completely.

Taking a Stand

In June 2008, the City of Jacksonville, FL., issued three different types of citations against the property for unsafe structures, residential, and nuisance. Then, the police raided the house and arrested my little brother for his misdeeds, but the house picked up a bad label from the city because of his actions. During the time, he was feeding his addiction to drugs and the three cases against the property were being neglected and my mother had to go to court on this issue. Finally, I took a stand and I spoke with my grandmother, as well as my uncle about saving the property from being demolished by the city. My husband and I sold all we had and moved in on Oct. 31st, of 2009, in order to begin the delicate job of cleaning up the property and fixing the house. Life changed dramatically for us because my grandmother came home and my mom was already living here with us.

The Clean Up

First, we had to clean up all the junk, trash, and debris that we found in the yard in order to comply with one citation. Then, once we got that finished, we learned that we had to tear down three separate buildings that were unsafe or condemned. We tore down the garage, washroom, and mobile home with the help of some friends who helped us clear out the second citation. Next, we began repairing the house, which had an old shed attached that was considered unsafe. We rebuilt the shed and made it into a large master bedroom for us and soon the residential citation was closed as well. However, we still have a lot of work ahead of us like painting and adding flooring, but we accomplished our goal to close all three cases.

Conclusion

Old shed redone

The new room we built from old shed.

Honestly, it wasn’t easy to accomplish the goals we set, but we did it and now the house has become a home and it looks so much better than it did before we started. We never thought we would get the three citations closed, but we did and we were not given any fines by the city. Our neighbors are always complementing us on the way the house looks now and the outstanding job we did of cleaning up the property. We initially set out to save my childhood home, yet along the way I am making new memories with my husband and my children. However, no matter what happens in the future, I will always know I did do the right thing by choosing to take a stand and helping rebuild this house into our home. Therefore, my wish would be that my children and future generations are able to enjoy seeing the home that my grandfather built with his own two hands.

©2009, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously Published/Associated Content/Yahoo Voices

Update: I am feeling blessed, because now I am buying the house, but it still needs major work. However, I am truly happy to have saved this home from being torn down by the city. I am ecstatic that I now have a chance to own it. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways! 

Official First Photos! Prince George Holding Princess Charlotte


prince george and princess charlotteThis is such an adorable picture of the handsome little His Royal Highness Prince George is admiring his beautiful new baby sister. On May 2nd , 2015, Princess Charlotte was born to HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton. The couple proudly showed off the gorgeous baby girl on the steps on London’s St. Mary Hospital.

However, the couple did not release the baby’s name. Later on, they introduced her as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. She is now fourth in line to the throne, which has everyone trying to take a snapshot of the little prince and princess. However, HRH Prince William and Kate will decide when they want to release more pictures of both of their children.

Right now, the couple is ecstatic over HRH Princess Charlotte’s birth, as are the extended members of each family. HRH Prince George needs time to bond with his sister and right now, neither child cares about titles. Instead, they just want to spend time with their parents and play. Keep watching for more the palace to release more pictures, as HRH Princess Charlotte and HRH Prince George grow up.

Thank you for stopping by,

Crystal XOXO

End of Life Communication


My Granddad!

My Granddad!

Recently, I learned that my grandfather has terminal cancer, which has invaded his body in several places. First of all, I was stunned and numbed, by the grave news and the thought of him dying. Basically, he raised me most of my life, so I am very close to him. I couldn’t cry at first, because I thought God would heal him and he wouldn’t die. As, the days go by, I have been a basket case, who is terrified to answer the telephone.

With each new call, I was afraid to hear those words, which I know are coming soon. Then, I realized that he is suffering, so I felt selfish for wanting him to live. Since, nothing has controlled the pain, no matter how much pain medicine the doctor has given him. So, I finally decided to pray for God to heal his whole body, by taking him home to heaven. Through watching his suffering and his depression, I began wondering how much longer I will have with him.

Therefore, I wrote him a letter that came directly from my heart, which was my way to say good-bye. I wanted to let him know that I adore him and that I am proud of him. By writing all my feelings down, I was able to tell him how I truly felt about him. Besides, I knew I couldn’t say it with choking up and bursting into tears. I promised him to honor him and make him proud, as I face this world without him.

Then, I realized that for the first time ever, I would have to make decisions without his wisdom and guidance. Suddenly, I finally broke down and cried for the first time, since I learned about his illness. Everything, seemed come out and before I knew it, I had a five page letter that I gave him a few days ago. Honestly, I will never forget what he said after he read my letter and to be honest; I cried and hugged him.

Now, I don’t feel as if I have left something unsaid or unforgiving in his eyes, before he goes home to God. I don’t feel numb anymore, but I am trying to spend every moment that I can with him. However, it is painful, to watch him writhe in pain. It’s even harder to watch him cry, when I haven’t seen him cry more the three times in my entire life. Saying goodbye is not the easiest thing to do, but it has helped to ease my fears of life without my Grandpa.

Thankfully, this has drawn our family closer and made us learn to cherish, each day we have left to be together. Hopefully, we can spend time making memories and without him suffering in pain. Every day, I will let him know how much I care, until that day finally comes. Then, I will know that it’s my turn to pick up his torch and keep it going. Hence, I shall always remember him as the greatest man I ever had the privilege to know and love.

©2007, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously published in May of 2007 at Helium.com (Helium.com has been closed)

Getting Organized Can Help Students Succeed!


orginzation 2As a college student, I found that I needed to get organized and I needed to do it quickly. I decided to go buy everything I needed to begin getting prepared to start organizing my home office. My husband spent a few days making our spare room into a beautiful office for me in our old home. Thus I began my journey to getting my school work organized, while also writing for the two companies that I wrote for consistently. My husband built another office in our home for me, which I absolutely adore!

First, I bought over twenty spiral (one subject) notebooks at Wal-Mart for ten cents a piece, so I could take notes for each and every class separately.  I waited till the Back to School specials came out.  Thankfully, my aunt gave me a lot of stuff I needed like: printer paper, notebook paper, folders, more spiral notebooks, and pens. I went to a yard sale and found a two stackable red basket. This came in handy, because I used the top basket to put my writing ideas in, until I needed them. Additionally, I had chosen to use a spiral notebook to take notes, especially when ideas began flowing for articles or novels.

Second, I used the bottom part of the red, stackable basket as a place to keep my syllabus for each class that I was in. Next, I would write the name of the class and the instructor’s name on the front of the spiral notebook. Furthermore, I keep the important information I needed: like the instructor’s phone number and their email. I used the spiral notebook to keep notes and the handouts were in a folder. This helped me tremendously, because I had everything in one spot and I didn’t have to look through stacks of papers to find the notes that I needed.

However, when the class was over, I just placed the used notebook and folder in the file cabinet. In addition, I put my hand outs and the syllabus in folders which marked with the class’s name.  By getting organized, I noticed that I never lost anything that I needed for each class and I received high marks for my grades. This way, I never got my class notes mixed up or lost the important information that I needed.

By staying organized, you will find everything you need to complete the class. There are many other ways to stay organized, so choose what is best for you and your situation. How do you stay organized, since becoming a high school or college student? I you are an author, how do you stay organized an on track? Thank you for your ideas and comments ahead of time!

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman/Original Post