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Fashionista on a Budget? Think Thrift Shops!

by Ellen DuBois on 09/17/16



Today I was determined to find a denim skirt. I haven't had much luck finding one that fits right.

I saw Macys.com was having a sale, so I headed over with one thing in mind: Find a denim skirt. I didn't want to get side tracked. I couldn't afford to.

With the help of some very nice sales clerks, I found a denim skirt. While it's not exactly what I wanted, (I'd like a longer one, too), the one I bought by Style and Co. is great and is a welcome addition to my wardrobe. It'll look super with boots.

Most of my black pants, (a staple in my wardrobe), are either looking pretty worn out, or, thanks to menopause, don't fit right anymore. Some, I accidentally shrank. Others decided not to "change" when my body did. Hmph. The nerve.

I had the afternoon to myself. After leaving Macy's and spending a grand total of $26.77, (thanks to a 50% off sale and a coupon), I headed over to Chic to Charity, now called Addicted to Thrift.

It's a massive store and very well organized. Everything is arranged by color and item. So, if you want a black top, you'll see an expansive rack of them. The same applies to skirts, pants, dresses and more. Find your color and what you're looking for and browse away.

I felt my pulse quicken as I searched isle after isle. I couldn't believe all the fabulous clothes I was looking at. Most were in excellent condition. Some had the tags still on them. I love when that happens!

Bonus! All items were 50% off! Wow. Was I excited! I didn't want to go over twenty-dollars. What? I can imagine what you're thinking. That's right. I had a limit to my spending. Thanks to it being 50% Off Saturday, (every other Saturday), I could buy twice as much. Score! Plus, the highest price on what I was looking for was $5.00, (tops) and $3.00 (pants). Cut that in half and I was looking at $2.50 per top and $1.50 for pants. What?!

If in fact I was looking for a prom gown, (I'm wayyyy past that), it'd be $10.00. Coats are also $10.00. I don't think the prom gowns are included in the 50% Off Saturday Sale. But, to any of you looking for a prom gown, you've got to check these out.

I found Talbots, 100% wool, color-block sweater in my favorite colors, black and red, (with a splash of gray). It zips up the front so I can wear it open or closed. Next, I came across a gorgeous Tahari black, open cardigan in a very airy knit- dressy and elegant. A bright red, Irish knit sweater by Ireland's Eye landed in my basket, (can't resist a good Irish knit), as did an oversized, beige, loose knit, cotton sweater from Old Navy, (a comfy, kicking around sweater). Then, I found a cute, black JJill pullover sweater I just had to have. It'll look great with the denim skirt I bought at Macy's.

I tend to wear black pants, with the exception of jeans, which I actually prefer in black. Today, I wore jeans that are blue, but with black top. I'm assuming you can see a pattern here. I'm stuck in color rut, but hey, that's nothing new.

What pants did I find? Well, the first were Express Design Studio pants, in black. The next were Ann Taylor Loft, also in black and the last pair were by Susan Graver in, you guessed it, black.

There was a dressing room there, but I felt funny and frankly kind of lazy about trying my items on. Plus, I kind of wanted to wash my new fashion treasures, too.

Up to register I went, my cart runneth over. After my five tops and three pairs of pants were rung up the grand total was: (drum roll please...) $17.00!

Yep. You read that right. Not a typo. $17.00! The cashier handed me my big bag of clothes and I left with ZERO guilt and a smile on my face. I held my thrifty head high as I walked with a new spring in my step to my car.

So, my friends. Don't be afraid of thrift shops. You can find amazing bargains on quality, (often times designer), clothing.

Go for it. You'll have fun!



Here's the denim skirt I bought at Macys:



Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!


Why I Took Two Teaspoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar This Morning.

by Ellen DuBois on 09/14/16



This morning I decided to down two teaspoons of Bragg's apple cider vinegar straight from the refrigerator.

It wasn't easy.

"Vinegar, which means "sour wine" in French, can be made from virtually any carbohydrate that can be fermented, including grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes, beets, and, of course, apples."

Wow. It sure is, "sour wine"!

Initially, I had to force it to stay down. No, I had to force it to GO down. My gag reflex was on full throttle. I couldn't wait for my coffee to brew so I could get the taste out of my mouth. Perhaps mixing it with warm water would have been a kinder, gentler way to go. But, I drank it straight and it was quick. Kind of like pulling off a band-aid.

Down the hatches!

But, why did I do it? Believe me, it didn't taste good. But, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Apple cider vinegar is good for me. Those two teaspoons will assist my digestion and help in my journey to lose some weight. I drank the very pungent liquid to boost my immunity, (I'm sleep deprived because my fiance is coughing much of the night), and to help clear my stuffy nose. Oh, and I made myself drink it to give me a much needed boost of energy after the relatively sleepless night I just mentioned.

As reported in Medscape General Medicine:

"The slow methods are generally used for the production of the traditional wine vinegars, and the culture of acetic acid bacteria grows on the surface of the liquid and fermentation proceeds slowly over the course of weeks or months.

The longer fermentation period allows for the accumulation of a non-toxic slime composed of yeast and acetic acid bacteria, known as the mother of vinegar."

Speaking of the mother of vinegar, make sure you consume an organic, unprocessed "mother" vinegar like Bragg's, (my personal choice), and not the clear vinegars you see on the shelf. What is the mother, anyway? What does it mean?

"Distilled white vinegar is excellent for cleaning and laundry, but for health purposes, you'll want to avoid the perfectly clear, "sparkling clean" varieties you commonly see on grocery store shelves. Instead, you want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed vinegar, which is murky. As mentioned, that murkiness is caused by a cobweb-like substance called the "mother," and it is indicative of a high-quality product."- Mercola.com

Well, here's to your health. This post is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the heath benefits of organic, raw apple cider vinegar. It's actually pretty amazing, and very cost effective.

Caveat: If you're going to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your daily health management, check with your doctor first to make sure it doesn't affect any current medications you're taking.

Oh, and if you're going to drink it straight like I did, get ready. You can do it, but do it fast!

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!


My Sword the Dove, In Memory of Those Lost On 9/11/2001

by Ellen DuBois on 09/11/16



My Sword the Dove

Never will a day go by
when I will not remember,
the fateful day that changed our lives-
the Eleventh of September.

Never will a moment pass
when my lips won't whisper a prayer,
to God for those left in the wake-
of emptiness and terror.

Never will I take for granted
the precious gift of life,
stripped away one horrific day-
our children, husbands, wives.

Never will I fear those who cast
their evil on our land,
nor will I tremble in their presence-
as my spirit takes a stand.

Never wavering in their midst
I raise my sword of faith-the Dove,
who battles not with weapons-
but with the power of Love.

Never will the moment when
the world cried a storm of tears,
leave my heart, my soul my spirit-
it's forever planted there.

Never will that seed grow into
evil, hate or devastation,
I must water it with Heavenly peace-
for the world and for this nation.

Never will I gaze upon
another sister or brother,
and be blinded to the fact that
we're connected to each other.

Never will acts of hatred
overpower those of Love,
for if they do, I shall not have-
my sword, my weapon- the Dove.

May the Sword of the Dove reach every hand and heart, spreading its love, faith, comfort, hope and light to all who loved, lost and wept. In Memory of September 11, 2001.

Ellen M. DuBois Copyright © 2003

Using the piano as physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery

by Ellen DuBois on 09/04/16



Well, three days after my carpal tunnel surgery, I decided to use my piano as part of my physical therapy. I'm not a doctor, nor do I recommend anyone do this. It's a decision I made because to me, it made sense.

Keep the fingers moving, but if it hurts, STOP.

I don't think "pushing through the pain" will make me brave. I think it would mean I made a bad decision. So, I listen to my body and again, if it hurts, I stop.

Why not incorporate something I love, (my piano and music), into my healing process? That's what I'm doing, and I'll let you know how it goes.

I hope anyone who is going through post-carpal tunnel surgery is doing well. If you have any stories, comments, tips you'd like to share on your experience, please do!

Have a great day,

Ellen

 

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Even in Murky Waters, The Lotus Blooms

by Ellen DuBois on 08/30/16



 

I thought of this saying while looking at this picture. I took it a few days ago and as you can see, the water is very murky. We've been in quite a severe drought here in Massachusetts. Actually, I don't recall ever having this little rain.

Look at the beautiful, pink lotus blooming in the midst of all that green, still water. Beauty and life appear where you wouldn't think it possible. As a matter of fact, my eyes were so focused on the color of the water that I only saw the lotus after my best pointed it out.

Life can be a lot like that. We are what we focus on. We see what we focus on. Rather than giving all my attention to the sorry state of the water, I chose to focus my attention, and my camera, on the soft, gentle beauty of that one, pink lotus.

We all have the capacity to bloom, even in troubled times. We all are capable beings able to not only see, but BE the light in the darkness.

Even in Murky Waters, The Lotus Blooms.

Ellen

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Easter Lilies In August

by Ellen DuBois on 08/22/16





My father donated these lilies at church in my mother's name on Easter Sunday. It's the same church my mother was music director at for over 25 years and he's carried the torch for her since she passed away. A month or so ago, the plant wasn't looking so good. I couldn't bring myself to throw it out. So, I decided to plant it. I now have Easter lilies in August. The first one decided to open today, National Angel Day. I love you, Mom

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

National Angel Day! Finding an angel doll on a clothing donation dumpster gave me hope when I needed it most.

by Ellen DuBois on 08/22/16

Inspiration for Story: Finding an angel doll on a clothing donation dumpster gave me hope when I needed it most.



When both my grandmother and my fiance's mother were in the hospital, I spent the days going from one rehab to another. I was operating on very little sleep and Christmas was approaching. While out doing errands, I had a bag of clothes to drop off in a donation bin. As I pulled into the parking lot, my eyes were filled with tears. I didn't know how much more I could take. I broke down and asked God for help. I asked the angels to give me the strength I needed. I didn't want to lose my Nana or my fiance's mother. I had loads to do before Christmas and I was spent. As I lugged the heavy bag of clothes from my trunk and carried it to the dumpster, I noticed something on top of the handle. It was the cutest stuffed angel doll--made with patchwork wings, a smiling face, yarn hair and a dress. I couldn't believe it. Who would leave such an adorable angel on a dumpster? Why? I gently took her from the handle, opened the bin and donated my clothes. After getting into my warm car, I placed the angel doll on the passenger seat. Then, it hit me. I got my sign from the angels. I felt a warmth inside and smiled as I felt the love and support I needed. The angels carried me through, and I still have the doll they left for me to find. I'll never let her go. That day led to this story being published in a book, (a longer version), to starting Hope Angel Bracelets several years later, and to a constant feeling of love and support from the angels.




Story published on Fire Mountain Gems.


Thanks for visiting Hope Angel Bracelets! Please scroll down this page to see more of my bracelets, (click on any one and it will take you directly to my shop on Etsy!) See something you like? Have a custom order you want to talk about? Stop by Hope Angel Bracelets on Etsy and have a look at ALL the different styles, colors, sizes, designs and charms waiting for you! Click here.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Just the Moon, God and Me

by Ellen DuBois on 08/19/16



 

I couldn't sleep Thursday night. I don't know why I felt restless. It could have been the thoughts having a party in my head.

Anyway, I was up and it was late.

On the couch with the dog between my fiance and me, I thought going to bed made sense. It was almost 2 a.m. Waking Cooper, (my dog), from his wonderfully deep slumber, he followed me with groggy steps to go out and pee.

The light the moon cast upon the stone driveway was amazing. There was hardly a need to turn on the outside lights. While Cooper finished up his "business", I felt compelled to run upstairs and grab my camera.

I brought Cooper in and that's exactly what I did.

Remembering to turn off the bright lights when I went out for the second time, I hoped to capture at least one clear shot of the moon. The air was heavy with humidity. It felt tropical. Bullfrogs croaking to their own rhythm was all I heard. The air was extremely still. There were no signs of deer walking the wooded path to my right. Maybe the deer aren't up this late, I thought. The crickets must have been asleep, too. There was nothing except the moon, God and me.

I ventured to the end of the long, semi-circle stone driveway. Because of the towering pines, the light of the moon was blocked just enough to make things a bit scary.

God, please protect me, I silently prayed, just in case there was anything or anyone out there...

After clearing the towering pines, I stood in the bright light of the moon. It cut through the August haze and I took it all in. Bathed in moonlight, I pointed my camera, tried to keep steady, and took a few pictures.

I made my way back to the house feeling cleansed by the moonlight and grateful to have gotten a few pictures.

Spending time with the moon, God and myself was worth staying up for. Maybe that's why I couldn't sleep. I wasn't supposed to.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Small Joys In A Big World

by Ellen DuBois on 08/02/16



In all of our lives, we go through times filled with calm and times filled with strife. Sometimes, we feel things are going our way. We breeze through the day with a smile on our face and a spring in our step.

Then, there are times we feel overwhelmed, buried in despair. We wonder when we'll feel like "our old self" again? It can be a scary place. I've been there. We all have.

What I've learned is by appreciating the small joys each day has to offer, I am better carried through the hard times and appreciate the good times more. By taking note of and alllowing myself to be permeated by the beauty of life, I am better able to cope when times get rough. In being aware of the often unseen joys each day hands to me, I've become a more aware person. This awareness has made me into a happier, more grateful person. I believe this has become the foundation I've placed my feet on and in doing so, I'm better able to keep standing when life throws me an unexpected curve ball.

And it does. Doesn't it?

Small joys in a big world = something much larger.

There's more I could easily add to this list, but for the sake of brevity, here are ten of my small joys in a big world:

1. Faith.  Each morning I get up and thank God for the day. It's become more than a "routine". It's part of who I am. It's the fuel that starts my day.

2. Seeing Beauty. Not only seeing, but taking in the beauty nature offers. I allow whatever I'm seeing to reach inside of me. I can't help but smile and feel a calmness sweep through me. This small joy helps.

3. Smile. Smiling at people...just because. Why not? I feel better when I smile at someone and even if they don't smile back, I stay true to myself. Who knows? Maybe I made a positive difference in someone's day.

4. Acts of Kindness. Holding the door. It feels great when someone holds the door for me. I love how I feel when I hold the door for someone else. Yes, it sounds small. But, it's not. Any random act of kindness is good for all.

5. Gratitude. Thanking God for everything as I go throughout my day. Was I spared an accident by the car that just cut me off? Thank you, God. Did the flowers I've been watering suddenly start thriving? Thank you, God. Did I just see a gorgeous, vibrant sunset? Thank you, God. I think you get the picture. It works for me.

6. Counting Blessings. Finding a "lucky penny" and not being afraid to pick it up. I don't care what it looks like to others if I stoop down to pick up a penny! I'm not doing any harm to anyone. I look at a "lucky penny" as a blessing. Hey, it was there and I saw it. (Awareness) Why not pick it up and count my blessings? It's not so much the penny. It's about finding a small joy in a big world and being thankful for it.

7. Love and be Loved.  Loving andfFeeling the love for my family and friends, allowing it to fill my heart and being thankful for it. God knows, we're not on this earth forever. After my mother passed away a year and a half ago, that message was driven home with great force. For a while, I felt like I couldn't breathe. But, I did keep breathing. So did my father, my sisters and those who were touched by my mother's life. I treasure any time spent with my entire family: my father, sisters, nieces, nephews, my fiance, my friends, my dog, (yes, my dog!)- with everyone.

8. Our Connection.  I believe there's a cord that connects me to God, to the angels, to my mother in Heaven, (the other side), and to everyone and everything on this planet. It's just how I roll and I'm thankful for it. In being aware of that cord, I am more aware of others and our global conscio-US-ness.

9. Appreciation.  Appreciating anthing that makes me laugh, smile or feel good in general. When my dog does something silly, gives me a look, wants to play or snuggles up beside me, I am grateful. My heart fills with happiness. It does me good. When one of my piano students makes me smile, makes me a card, has a great lesson, I am grateful for the entire experience. When my best friend makes me see things more clearly or we share a laugh, I know I'm blessed. If my guy says or does something unexpectedly sweet, I am appreciative and feel appreciated. Oh, there's more. There are things in every day life that make me sad. Appreciating the good lifts me up.

10. Prayer. Thanking God every night for the day, praying for blessings for everyone, asking that those who are hungry, cold, hurting in any way are helped and telling my mother, as I do a thousand times a day, I love her- is what I do when I go to bed. I pray in my own way. It's all good. I think prayer is as individual as we are, yet it connects us.

Being thankful, being aware of the small joys in a big world, helps keep the scales balanced and simply makes me a happier person.

So, I guess the small joys in a big world add up to something much larger to me. They build a solid foundation I stand upon when the world often feels like my feet are on shifting sand.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

A Short Tale of Two Hummingbirds

by Ellen DuBois on 07/20/16



I now have two little hummingbirds visiting me. The first, who I named "Little Friend", is beautiful and has much less color than my new guest, "Little Red". I thought there'd be trouble when I saw Little Friend dive bomb Little Red out of the air and away from the feeder- right in front of me! You could hear the "thud" and I was shocked! I prayed neither one was hurt. However, they now seem to coexist, each taking separate turns at the feeder. Hopefully, they will make amends and both enjoy a sweet drink at the same time. My BFF told me the one with the vibrant, red color around his neck is the male. Love them both and they make me smile.

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Rant: I think that there are millions and millions of us who get along.

by Ellen DuBois on 07/17/16



"I never thought of myself or the people I interact with on a daily basis, whether they're people I'm meeting for the first time or whether they're people I know- if our skin colors are different, it's not anything I'm consciously aware of.

I guess I'm aware of it right now, as I sit here talking to you, because of everything that is being literally, jammed down my throat on the news.

I know there are some awful, tragic stories that do need to be told. But, I'm here to tell you that every day there are positive, wonderful, perfectly natural, great stories to be told- that need to be told, that need to be shared because if people don't start sharing the good things, (and you might not have even thought of them as being particularly good, because they're normal to you, right)... Like myself, this whole day today, so far, in terms of interacting with all different people - seeing right beyond skin color. It's another human being we're talking about here. They're looking at me as another human being- at least that's what's reflected in their actions towards me and in their attitude towards me and mine towards them.

If we don't start talking about this part of the world, of society, this acceptance that so many of us have, we're going to lose perspective.

You know, a few years ago, I wouldn't have thought to sit here in my car after leaving Macy's and even talk about this. It wouldn't have entered my mind because I didn't feel like it had to. It was not part of my consciousness- it didn't need to be.

Now, all of a sudden I'm sitting here and it's part of my narrative. This observation I made about, "Wow. I'm not having any struggles or difficulties and I feel terrible for the people who are but...

I think that there are millions and millions of us who get along. We do. We're different. We have different skin colors, different beliefs and diverse cultures and everything...but we get along and we always have.

So, I'm here to represent those of you, who like me, who weren't looking at people and going "Oh, wow...that person's black or I'm white or they're Asian or they're Indian or...whatever. You were just going along living your life and it didn't enter your mind because you accept everybody for who they are no matter what their color and they accept you.

And I just feel the need to say it's still happening in the United States of America. There are still millions of us who drive to the mall or wherever we're going and don't even give a thought to color. We all get along. We all go home, continue on with our day. We wake up the next day-  and do it all over again.

So, I guess that's my rant. Thanks for listening. God Bless America."


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Pets. The Best "Anti-Stress" Medicine Going

by Ellen DuBois on 07/15/16

(This is a repost.)



"The best anti-stress, anti-anxiety-make-you-smile-medicine...ever."- Ellen & Cooper the Rescue Dog.



Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Welcome to The Positive Light

by Ellen DuBois on 07/11/16



I have this saying right above my computer. It helps!



 

Hello and welcome to The Positive Light!

Well, it's time for a blog overhaul and this is it.

I was talking to my friend today and we discussed how scary and overwhelming the news is. It's become easy to fall victim to the negativity, (a word you won't find me using much here), because we're surrounded by it.

After we hung up, I started thinking. I've always wanted to create a paper filled with good news, i.e., inspiring human interest stories, blurbs that make you smile, an amazing tale about a pet, (pardone the pun), and so much more! We are surround by good news and people, places and things that are wonderful.

Trouble is, we don't hear enough about them- especially now. And you know what? Now's when we need it most.

So, along with my blog getting a new name and feel, I also created an online newspaper called, you guessed it, The Positive Light. Here's my note from the editor, (yours truly):

"We are barraged with negative headlines via the Internet, TV, newpapers, radio and just about any other medium you can think of. There is so much good in the world! Yes, there is great news, inspiring stories and ordinary people doing extraordinary things all around us. You may be shaking your head in disagreement. Maybe you want to believe me but are struggling with it. That's because we're all surrounded by what the media brings to light- and The Positive Light is one small way to change what you read, see and subsequently feel for the better. I hope you enjoy reading The Positive Light. I invite you to allow it to balance out the scales of what you see, hear, read and feel- maybe even restore some of your faith in humanity. We're worth it. - Ellen M. DuBois"

Sound good? If it does, I invite you to subscribe (for free) to The Positive Light.

Let's spread some positive vibes and create some balance!

Peace, and thanks for stopping by- Ellen

Oh, and remember, "Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway."

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Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Explore Your DNA Today

by Ellen DuBois on 07/10/16



Over one million people are experiencing their genetics with 23andMe. Now it's your turn. Get a DNA kit today.

I've seen the TV commercials for 23andme and have to admit, they've got me curious about my DNA.

Wouldn't it be fun to know your ancestry? Imagine the things you'd discover about yourself! Wouldn't it be helpful to find out if you're a carrier of a specific genetic condition- especially if you're thinking about starting a family? The wellness reports help you make more informed decisions about your diet and exercise while the traits reports give you a better understanding of what makes you...YOU! Explore what makes you unique- from what foods you like to your physical features.

It's pretty exciting. If finding out what your DNA says about you, click on the link below:

Get detailed DNA reports for insights into your health, traits and ancestry. Understand your genetics. Explore your DNA today at 23andMe.com.

Closure or "Necessary Acceptance"?

by Ellen DuBois on 07/03/16



My father and I were taking last week and he told me about a radio show he listened to on WBUR, (out of Boston). He didn't remember the guest doctor's name, but I believe she was a doctor and grief counselor. (I couldn't find the show on BUR to listen to it myself, but I'd like to.)

Given that my father lost his wife and best friend of 54 years about a year and a half ago, I'm sure the show resonated with him. He said as much. It would have with me, too. My father's wife and best friend was also my mother and quite honestly, I'm still adjusting to a world where the sand feels like it's constantly shifting beneath my feet.

I felt the very same way after I miscarried and it lasted for years.

A few minutes into our conversation he brought up what he thought was a very interesting point the doctor made. It was about closure and how it was a word she (the doctor/guest) wished she could strike from the dictionary.

At first, I was a little surprised. Not shocked, but surprised.

Many of the women who make comments or write to me on miscarriagehelp.com long for closure. I felt the same way after my miscarriage.

After listening to my father expound on what he derived from the show, I thought about it some more.

I'm still thinking about it. Everything I've ever thought about closure and how it applies to grief has been rocked, if you will.

So many of us look for closure. It's something we feel will help us as we grieve. The thing is, is there really any closure when you lose someone you love?

Could we be chasing an elusive butterfly?

I thought closure was so important after I miscarried because I didn't have any. I've also said to many of my visitors at miscarriagehelp.com: If you knew why you miscarried, would you feel any better? Would it change anything? I know it wouldn't have for me. In other words, knowing the "why" wouldn't have brought back the baby I lost or lessened the pain I felt. It was palpable. 

If my mother's wake and funeral were considered "closure" it didn't lessen the pain. It didn't help me cope with losing her. I don't miss her any less nor do any other members of my family. Did my mother's wake and funeral provide any "closure" for me? No. It was a way to say goodbye. It was out of love and respect for my mother's life that we had these things. It was a way for family and friends to gather, offer support, show love.

None of us wanted to say goodbye. We were blessed to have people there to help us through the most painful experience we, as a family and as individuals, were experiencing.

I never got the chance to formally say goodbye, surrounded by family and friends, after I miscarried at four months. I longed for the "closure" I thought a proper burial or some sort of ceremony would bring.

I thought it would help, this thing called "closure". But, a year plus after losing my mother, I see the world differently.  No wake or funeral brought me closure. It was a respectful way to honor a life very well lived, surrounded by family and friends who cared about us and my mother.

I believe the doctor my father listened to said, (with regard to closure), ...people are looking for something that simply isn't there.

I'm paraphrasing...but could that be true?

I'm acutely aware that grief is grief and it hurts. No amount of closure can change that. I wasn't looking for closure when my mother died. I went through the motions of a wake and funeral with the rest of my family, somewhat numb to everything as a sort of protection mechanism.

When someone you love dies, be it your mother, a friend, a spouse, the baby you loved and lost to miscarriage, you grieve, hurt and try to get through each day. We trudge through the muck and each of us does the best we can. Some days are easier than others. There are moments we feel we've conquered or overcome the worst of it, only to find ourselves feeling like we've taken three steps back on a bad day.

I don't think any amount of "closure" can help with that.

Again, I didn't have any closure when I lost my baby to miscarriage all those years ago. When my mother passed away a year and a half ago, the wake and funeral didn't feel like closure to me. My faith carried me, often times being the only light I could see. My faith still carries me.

While I think having a funeral or a celebration of life gives us a way to honor the one we've loved, I also know there's no bandaid for grief. We have to go through it. I think it may help to have what we call "closure" (a wake and/or funeral), but it certainly does not change the way we grieve or the depths of our grief.

When it comes to grief and closure I have to ask:

Does closure really exist?

To that end all I can say is my faith carried me though the days, months and years of grieving and healing after my miscarriage and that same faith is carrying me now after the loss of my mother. Just as I learned to put one foot in front of the other while living a "new normal" after my miscarriage, I am doing the same thing after losing my mother. 

There has been a "necessary acceptance", but I wouldn't use the word closure. That implies something is finished. I don't think love ever is.


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Writing to Heal

by Ellen DuBois on 06/21/16



If you've recently suffered a miscarriage, you probably can't wrap your head around writing right now. I know after my miscarriage many years ago, writing was something I didn't give any thought to. I was too consumed by grief and exhausted. The days were a struggle to get through. "Pretending" to be okay when it was time to return to work left me feeling like a wet rag.

There was nothing left to put into words.

Time passed. I was functioning better, at least on the outside. Inside, well, that was a different story. I battled with feelings of jealousy over women who were pregnant. I cried when I passed the baby isle. Hearing about a friend who was pregnant felt like a knife in my gut, but I smiled and tried to celebrate their joy.

All the "trying" landed me in a place where I was so emotionally spent I didn't know who I was anymore. I guess I defined myself as the one who "tried" to get through her day. That's where all my energy went.

Until I started writing.

Although I was exhausted from trying so hard to "be normal", I had so many feelings I stuffed into the back of my mind. I didn't want to deal with them because I was afraid I'd fall apart. There were times I did, so I knew how little it took for the floodgates to burst- and that was exhausting, too.

I see now that letting it out was healthier. Keeping everything bottled up inside didn't help me. It hurt. Things got so bad I ended up with a pneumonia on the Fourth of July.

I digress. My miscarriage was in 1991. In '92 my husband and I bought our first house. By 1994, my husband and I split.

I was still grieving the loss of our baby and then the loss of my marriage. But, I worked, went to a counselor, tried to move forward while battling massive anxiety attacks...I tried. There's that word again- tried.  Life was such an effort I felt I had to write to keep my sanity.

Writing can be so freeing. I wrote songs, poems, music, and eventually I Never Held You, my book bout miscarriage, grief, healing & recovery. I actually wrote another book before that. It was fiction and it's pretty clear it was my first book. But, I got it done and published. That alone was therapeutic, (and no matter what, still an accomplishment). The story was pretty good- certainly not a masterpiece. Although it was fiction, I see how Jackie's Heart reflected my own hopes for a happy outcome despite a truckload of angst.

I am convinced writing helps heal. It helps heal yourself and may very well help someone else. Keeping everything inside is like shaking a champagne bottle- it's going to burst. Whether you write in a journal, blog, keep a notebook by the bed, record your feelings and write them down later or write what may become a book, it's all good. Releasing your feelings through writing leaves room inside to heal. You never know- the road you've walked and lessons you've learned could be the life preserver someone out there is desperately searching for.

(I'm going through this again a year and a half after losing my mother, along with a few other things I've been struggling with. I can feel myself getting closer to the words spilling out as they have before. I'll write. I'll heal.)

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

No Words

by Ellen DuBois on 06/13/16



While sitting at my computer my stomach flipped. Like a random bolt of lightening, an overwhelming urge to call my mother struck.

The reality of her being gone, at least from this world, leaves me with feelings I can't put into words. I've never been able to.

All I can tell you is that my world is different. I'll admit to you that I whisper "I love you" to my mother every night and again in the morning. It's not always a whisper. Sometimes, I just say it out loud, not caring if anyone hears me- except for her.

I will say, unapologetically, I have a small Christmas tree up for her. The lights are for her. She was a light in my life and this tree, which I now call an angel tree, is my way of coping. It's my way of saying "Your light will never stop shining, Mom".

This is how I try to deal with losing my mother. It's how I try to make getting through life without her more tolerable, doable, manageable.

My faith, family and friends make life without my mother possible. They provide me the comfort I seek. They make life without her physically here more bearable.

But, when that random bolt of lightening strikes and I catch myself reaching for the phone to call her, there are no words.

 

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Reflections: Simple

by Ellen DuBois on 06/09/16



"It's the simple things that bring the most joy."- Ellen DuBois


Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

Reflections: Cereal

by Ellen DuBois on 06/08/16



I remember when life felt like an unopened box of cereal.

I couldn't wait to dive in and find the prize.- Ellen DuBois 2016

 

Ellen DuBois: I'm the author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery and Host of MiscarriageHelp.com. I've also been published with Blue Mountain Arts, and am a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns. Additionally, I'm also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond-
I love it!

A Virtual Tour Of The Island Inn, Martha's Vineyard

by Ellen DuBois on 06/08/16





They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So, how about a 360 degree virtual tour of the Island Inn? Click here for a virtual tour of the Island Inn!

The Island Inn is a 51-room condominium hotel, tennis and conference center located in beautiful Oak Bluffs, MA.

Our stay was wonderful. From our comfortable, clean townhouse to being just steps from Joseph Silvia State Beach and a short bike ride or drive to the historic, colorful gingerbread houses in Edgartown, I loved it.

Actually, I can't wait to go back. There's something about Martha's Vineyard that gets into your system and calls you back. Back to a place where beautiful beaches abound and quaint streets lined with unique boutiques welcome you. Back to the ocean breeze and a certain feeling only being "on island" can give.

After a day of exploring lighthouses, beaches, shops, resteraunts, dipping my toes in the water, collecting seashells, catching beautiful sunsets and taking pictures, the Island Inn and the wonderful staff always welcomed us back from our fun-filled day.

I've taken pictures of the Island Inn before, but I think the virtual tour is amazing. Experience the Island Inn with a virtual tour and you'll see why it's the perfect place to book your vacation on Martha's Vineyard.

I can hear Martha's Vineyard calling.

Ellen M. DuBois

Ellen DuBois is the #author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery. She's also been published by Blue Mountain Arts, and is a contributing author to several books including: Soul Matters for Teens, Sisters, (Blue Mountain Arts gift book), Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders- Success Stories, Strategies and other Good News, Romancing the Soul, More God Allows U-Turns.  She's also known as "Miss Ellen"- a piano teacher to students from 5 to tween and beyond. She has several #blogs and loves #MarthasVineyard.



This is a wonderful CD. It is by Al and Marlane DuBois, (my parents). If you love piano music, both original pieces and those you already know and love, you will enjoy "It's About Piano, It's About Time! . Listen to the samples. This makes a great gift for anyone who loves quality, beautiful piano music. Perfect for adding ambiance to dinner parties and more. Some of the pieces are perfect for meditation, too.






Visit My Ellen M. DuBois page on Amazon.com by clicking here.

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