#ArmedWithABingo Reading Challenge – Camilla

I was recently a guest on Kriti Khare’s Armed with a book blog. The tables are turned as I discuss being a reader and my progress with Kriti’s #ArmedWithABingo reading prompt challenge.

I have been following Kriti’s book blog since nearly the beginning. I truly enjoy the reviews and author interviews she posts, having added more than a few of the books Kriti has reviewed to my ‘to be read’ list.

My interview as a reader is about a 2 minute read. I hope you take the time to check it out, while also spending a few minutes on Kriti’s blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

What made you join #ArmedWithABingo?

#ArmedWithABingo looked and felt different than anything I’d ever seen. I’m drawn to different ways of doing things.

When you first looked at your board, was there a prompt that you were super excited to start first or one that terrified you in some way?

What excited me was ….

#ArmedWithABingo Feature: Camilla

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Words of Alchemy – Proof Book Received

This seems so long ago already …

Video from December 13, 2019, when I received the proof book for Words of Alchemy! I opened the package and saw it for the first time with all of YOU! Never mind how tired I look, or that I nearly cried when I saw it. YAY!!! It’s here!!! It’s here!! Deeply grateful!

Thank you Thomas for taking photos of me with the proof book. Plus, a blooper photo showing my favorite shoes … bare feet! HA! I still haven’t had time to schedule a launch of the book. Perhaps that will happen in March 2020!

If you would like to receive a personalized, signed copy of the book, please visit here …. http://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/ … Free shipping and a 10% discount from what you pay on Amazon.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest News: February – The Birth Month


(Photo from last year’s birthday. The one that blew in with 60 mile an hour winds, knocking power out for about 3 hours. Will see if the celebrations can be a bit milder this time around … HA!)

Today begins my birth month … the 26th is the actual day. This is a big one for me as I’m leaving the 40’s behind and laying claim to the gold! I plan to do at least 50 kind and nurturing things for myself this year, perhaps many more.

One of those is taking the initiative and asking friends, family, and acquaintances to write a note about the following: How and when we met, your fondest memory, craziest thing we did together, funnest thing we did together, most grounding thing we did together, whatever … and I will make this into a coffee table type book for myself. You can include a photo of us if you’d like, or I’ll add that later. Please don’t hold back. At this point in my life, I have nothing to hide.

I’ve decided I cannot wait around for someone to do these kind things for me, I cannot wait for someone else to nurture and love me. So, I will step into that role for myself. YAY! This will be fun! You can post it on facebook, message it to me, text it to me, email me, leave a comment here. Whatever is easiest for you.

My theme for this year is Rejuvenate, with the two words Nurture and Kind. I wasn’t going to choose a theme and words this year. Yet, this month I realized just how far the last half of 2019 took me to my knees. 2019’s theme was Meet My Edge, and, WOW 💥💥💥💥💥… Did that happen. I just kept barreling through, feeling when I had time, bypassing when I didn’t. For my own sanity and health, this must be the year of rejuvenating.

I am blessed and grateful for all of you and I deeply thank you in advance for all who choose to help me in my 1st act of kindness and nurturing towards myself. All my love … xoxo

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Twenty Nine Favorite Movies Watched in 2019

I thought it would be fun to look back at the movies I watched throughout 2019. I prefer to watch movies at home after they’ve been released on DVD. Nearly all of the movies we watch have been checked out from the library. Therefore, you will find these are not new release movies.

We don’t own a television and haven’t for nearly 11 years. I use a projector and portable DVD player and project the movie onto the living room wall. These are in no particular order.

The Soloist

Team Member C movie night: The Soloist

Based on a true story, the movie portrays courage and grace in an out of the ordinary friendship and the desire to help another being. Beautiful and inspiring.

Rogue One

Team TLC Movie Night: Thomas’ choice – “Rogue One”

Thomas says, “I liked it a lot, I liked the music and my favorite character is the blind guy, Chirrut Îmwe.”

I say, “I didn’t think I was going to like it. I just don’t like watching fighting and violence. However, I did actually love it. I’m more of the “faith” and “knowing” persuasion rather than hope. Yet, I did love the message of hope as the root of the movie. Love the soundtrack too. And my favorite character was the droid, Kay-Tuesso.”

Lillian sat this one out.

Saving Mr. Banks

Team TLC Movie Night – My choice: “Saving Mr. Banks”

I say, “This has been on my list for a year or longer. Finally! I enjoyed every moment! It was incredibly heartwarming to learn the history of the characters in the book, Mary Poppins, and the history of Walt Disney and P.L. Travers. It was good for this writers soul. Now I must go check out the book and read it.”

Lillian says, “Good and liked the Mary Poppins songs.”

Thomas say this one out.

All the President’s Men

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’ choice: “All The President’s Men”

Thomas says, “It was good.”

I say, “I had never seen this. Enjoyed watching and it held my attention. Loved seeing all the typewriters in the newsroom and rotary dial phones!!”

Lillian sat this one out.

A United Kingdom

Team TLC Movie Night – My choice: “A United Kingdom” – The 1940’s true story that changed the history of Botswanna.

I say, “What an inspiring true story embodying love, strength, and courage. Moving and powerful.”

Quote from the movie, adjusted a wee bit … “No person is free who is not master of themselves.”

Lillian says, “Good and emotional.”

Thomas sat this one out.

Solo – A Star Wars Story

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’ choice: “Solo – A Star Wars Story”

Thomas says, “It was good. I liked it and I liked the music.”

I say, “Enjoyed watching this with Thomas! Still don’t like the violence. Gives me a headache. Yet, l enjoyed the way it filled in the Hans Solo story.”

Lillian sat this one out.

Christopher Robin

Team TLC Movie Night -My choice: “Christopher Robin” – Put this on hold several months ago. It was finally our turn!

I say, “Beautiful, heartwarming story of living a mindful life. Winnie the Pooh is a master at living in the present moment. Love, love, loved it.”

Quote from the movie, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.” – Christopher Robin

Lillian says, “Good, emotional, good moral, liked the music, and my favorite character is Madeline.”

Thomas sat this one out.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Movie night for me tonight – “Bohemian Rhapsody” … I put this on hold months ago ..

I am so moved and pumped I don’t even know what to say. But, holy sh**. Maybe shouldn’t have watched just before bed. I feel like running out the door right now and doing everything I’ve ever imagined I wanted to do. Oh my gosh!! Loved, loved, loved. My heart is still pounding!

Trumbo

Team TLC Movie Night …. Minus the T and L!! So, just me this time around. “Trumbo”

Fascinating. I love it when a movie based on a true story inspires me to learn more. Great acting and great movie!!

Up

Team TLC movie night: Lillian’s choice – “Up”

Lillian says, “Good, funny, liked the music, emotional in some parts, my favorite part is when Carl and Ellie got married, and my favorite character is Ellie.”

I say, “A wonderful, uplifting adventure of enjoying life, forgetting to enjoy life, and ultimately, remembering what’s truly important.”

Thomas says, “It was good, I liked it, and I liked the music.”

When Marnie Was There

Team TLC movie night – Lillian’s choice: “When Marnie Was There” – Second time around for this one as we watched it many years ago. Lillian and I wanted to see it again.

Lillian says, “Good, suspenseful, emotional, liked the music, and my favorite character is Marnie. 100% recommend it!”

I say, “This is my favorite Studio Ghibli movie. Sweet and beautiful story of a young girl coming to know the truth of her life and her true self; releasing the stories she had been telling herself. Just adore this story.”

Thomas sat this one out.

Harvey

Team TLC extra movie night. “Harvey” – A yearly tradition around Easter for the past 5 or 6 years. A little late this year as I forgot to reserve it at the library.

Why a tradition at Easter? Well. One of the main characters is a 6 foot pooka in the form of a rabbit! Ha!

I say, “I adore this movie. Josephine Hull and James Stewart are phenomenal!! My favorite quote from the movie is by Elwood P. Dowd (played by Stewart) … “I always have a wonderful time wherever I am and with whom ever I’m with. My mom used to say to me, ‘In this World you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”
Another favorite quote by Veta (played by Hull) … “I don’t want my brother to be normal. I don’t like those people.” You’ll have to watch it to get this one.

Thomas says, “It was good, as usual. I like the music. Especially the music for the scenes with Harvey.”

Lillian didn’t want to watch this year so we watched it while she’s at The Romano Duo’s place.

The Lady in the Van

Team TLC movie night: My choice – “The Lady in the Van”

I say, “I adore Maggie Smith. An absolutely touching story … based on a true story. ‘It is in writing that we find ourself.’ – Alan Bennett … You got that right Mr. Bennett. I didn’t even realize that one of the main two characters is a writer. Well. Hot damn! Double touché! …. I loved it!”

Lillian says, “It was good and I liked the music.”

Thomas sat this one out.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Team TLC Movie Night – My choice: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

I say, “What a completely ridiculous movie! And …. I loved it!!” 🎉💛💛💛🎉

Lillian says, “I liked the music and seemed good from what I heard.”

Thomas sat this one out.

Castle in the Sky

Team TLC movie night – Lillian’s choice: “Castle in the Sky”

Lillian says, “Good, liked the music, and the ending song, my favorite character is Sheeta, like how colorful it is, suspenseful, 100% recommend, and liked the story.”

I say, “I really enjoy Studio Ghibli movies. A beautiful tale full of mystery and adventure that highlights the importance of nature; rooted in a solid foundation of love as the true meaning of life. Loved it! Plus, Mark Hamill voices one of the characters – Muska! Side note: Although I loved it, I’m not a fan of all the violence. 💜💜💜

Thomas sat this one out.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’ choice: “Captain America – The First Avenger”

Thomas says, “It was good! I liked it!”

I say, “Loved it! And love Tommy Lee Jones!!Thomas and I watched Endgame last month on our date day so I thought we should watch them all! Score brownie points for me as I surprised him! He hasn’t been this excited for movie night in a while!”

Lillian sat this one out.

Iron Man

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’ choice: “Ironman”

Thomas says, “It was good.”

I say, “Loved it! I’m so thrilled to be watching these with Thomas. Last time was Captain America. Next up, The Incredible Hulk.”

Lillian sat this one out. Not her thang!

The Post

Team Member C Movie Night last night: “The Post”

Got almost everything unpacked. Everything double washed. All luggage disinfected and put outside to air out. I’m all about spreading love, yet, this virus must go! I ain’t messing around!

Then … treated myself to a movie I’ve been wanting to watch. Totally enjoyed the escape. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks were phenomenal!!

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Team TLC Movie Night – Lillian’s choice: “Mary and the Witch’s Flower”

Lillian says, “Good, my favorite character is Mary, liked the music, good Halloween movie, and 100% recommend.”

I say, “A wonderful movie about courage and friendship. Loved it!”

Thomas sat this one out. Not his style.

Lincoln

Team TLC Movie Night – My choice: “Lincoln”

I say, “I mean. I have no words. Well. One. Powerful.”

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” -Abraham Lincoln

Thomas says, “I like it. The music was good.”

Lillian sat this one out.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Team TLC Movie Night … Well, let’s face it! Just me watching this one. It was my turn to choose: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

I adore Judi Dench and Maggie Smith so couldn’t resist this random find on the library shelves; found while pulling holds during a volunteer shift at the library.

A charming feel good story that reminds it’s never too late for new beginnings or to find love.

Thor

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’ choice: “Thor”

Thomas says, “It was good.”

I say, “Loved this one! One of my favorites so far! Next up, “The Avengers”.

Lillian sat this one out. She’s not into The Avengers movies.

On The Basis Of Sex

Extra movie night for me: “On The Basis Of Sex” … This had over 50 holds at the library, so when my turn is here; it’s watch it now or wait months again.

Powerful movie. What an amazing and dedicated woman.

Green Book

Team TLC Movie Night – First one in the temporary place. My choice: “Green Book”

I say, “Loved the friendship these two created together, their journey to awakening, to understanding. Loved every minute. Seeing this, it’s easier to understand the tensions I felt growing up in the Deep South in the 70’s. Why are people so cruel? Never understood it as a child and still don’t.”

Thomas says, “Yeah, I liked it.”

Lillian sat this one out.

It Happened on Fifth Avenue

Team TLC extra movie night: Thomas’s choice – “It Happened on Fifth Avenue” – A December tradition for many years now.

Thomas says, “It was good.”

Lillian says, “Good, liked the singing, great Christmas movie, and my favorite character is Trudy.”

I say, “Love this movie. One of my favorites.”

The Secret of Kells

Team TLC movie night – Lillian’s choice: “The Secret of Kells”

Lillian says, “Good, suspenseful, liked the music, and my favorite character is Ashley, the fairy.

I say, “Loved this movie. Magic, fantasy, and Celtic mythology unite with the power of imagination and artistic vision to illuminate darkness. Wonderful!”

Thomas says, “It was good.”

Pride

Team TLC Movie Night – “Pride”

I say, “A deeply inspiring movie. Loved it. So happy I watched this. Did I mention it’s incredibly inspiring?”💜💜💜

Thomas says, “It was good.”

Lillian sat this one out.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’s choice: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Thomas says, “It was good. I liked it.”

I say, “Loved this one! The songs and 80’s references! Oh my gosh. Really enjoyed! Thomas kept asking, “What, what?”, as I’m laughing like mad … and dancing. Ha!”

Nausicaa – of the valley of the wind

Team TLC Movie Night (last night) – Lillian’s choice: “Nausicaa – of the valley of the wind –

Lillian says, “Good, favorite part was the end, and favorite character is Princess Nausicaa.”

I say, “An amazing story of courage and compassion when facing fear. Along with the voice of Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill! Which I didn’t even know about, until I heard Stewart’s character speak. I’d know that voice anywhere! Ha! Enjoyed it!”

Thomas says, “It was good.”

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Top 10 Soul Writings for 2019

Featured

It’s always interesting and fun to take a stroll through the stats, seeing what most interested others.


(Team TLC Toast – New Year’s Eve December 31, 2019)

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2019 blog posts)

  1. Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special
  2. Looping and Dreaming with Visions of Hallelujah – An Update
  3. Manjushri Empowerment Ceremony and Vajravidarana Healing Ceremony with the Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse
  4. The Number 18: Happy Birthday to Lillian Darnell
  5. Breathe In and Breathe Out and Feel It
  6. Latest News: Meeting the Authors
  7. Poetry: Unfulfilled Longing
  8. The Top Six Lessons Learned from Tiny Home Living – As a Family of Three
  9. The Road Trip That Was the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference
  10. The Magic She Carries Within Her Heart – Book Review of Where Would You Fly

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views for 2019 (Culled from all blog posts)

  1. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  2. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  3. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  4. Book Review: I Am That Girl
  5. Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special
  6. Looping and Dreaming with Visions of Hallelujah – An Update
  7. My Entire Life Dissolved
  8. Manjushri Empowerment Ceremony and Vajravidarana Healing Ceremony with the Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse
  9. The Number 18: Happy Birthday to Lillian Darnell
  10. Breathe In and Breathe Out and Feel It

Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time With the Most Views

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  4. Help Team TLC with a Christmas Miracle
  5. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  6. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  7. A Moment of Defeat
  8. I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two
  9. Taste the Wind
  10. Lillian and Being Different Presentation

Top 3 Countries With Most Views for 2019

Top 3 Countries with Most Views for All Time

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Words of Alchemy is Published – Placing the First Order

It’s been an exciting and busy week. I received the proof book for Words of Alchemy’ on Friday, the 13th! It took a few days to read the book and have a slight change made to the content on the spine of the book. Yesterday morning, I pressed the “publish” button!

Although I will wait until January to officially launch, I am placing the first order in the next day or two. If you would like to have me include a book or two for you in this order, please pre order now. Here’s how to do that and more information about the book.

The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love … in one beautiful book.

Pre-order a personalized signed book for $14.40 (10% off and includes tax and free shipping).

To order **Follow This Link (click here)** and enter the total of $14.40 (or more if you’d like to throw in a tip). Want more than one book? Add $14.40 for each book. FOR U.S. ORDERS ONLY. (International orders welcome with shipping costs added. Send an email to Camilla Downs @ gmail . com if you would like a personalized signed book(s) shipped internationally.)

Arriving on Amazon December 2019 (discount and personalized signed book not available from Amazon).

**Don’t use Paypal? I have a Venmo account also and can take payment by credit card, if you’d rather not use Paypal or Venmo. Leave a comment below if you’d like to pay with credit card and I’ll contact you with details.

Book Blurb:

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt free-verse poetry memoir.

During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.

Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.” – Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” – G. Brian Benson – Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.” – Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.” – Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

I know. Lots of photos of me and the proof book! HA! I use the photos in many different places so like to have a variety of photos from which to choose. Plus … You only get the proof book for each book ONE time!

Deep thanks and gratitude to all who have supported me along the way. Oceans of love to you all!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

The Indie Showcase Presents – Words of Alchemy

In October, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Richard Dee’s, The Indie Showcase.

One genre I never gave much attention was that of poetry. Much of it left me dazed and confused! I never in my wildest dreams could have known that one day in 2013, poetic words would begin to populate my mind and demand to be set free. So began a 6-year streak of writing poetry inspired by my near-daily walks, by nature and by my life experiences …. ”

Follow the link to read the poem, “The Lure of Books”, and more of what I shared with Richard. Thanks to Richard for his support of Indie authors!

The Indie Showcase presents, Camilla Downs

You can pre-order the book here. Much love to all for the support and kindness!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Looping and Dreaming with Visions of Hallelujah – An Update

Have you ever felt like you’ve been in a never ending, looping, nightmarish dream? But, you’re not dreaming and it’s all happening with your eyes open and you’re going about your day?

I finally have a minute to share an update with you, beginning with events of the past week and a half. First, I’m thankful for the beautiful, sparkly, feel good blanket of snow this morning. It’s lovely to have reminders from Mother Nature of the beauty of life, being comforted by the loving touch only she can deliver. Here’s a photo at our temporary place, of the snow covered patio and the wonderful view.

We had to be out of our previous place by November 18th, at the latest, as it had been rented. Management had been giving extensions since August 15th, and in between the last one, our unit was rented. We were supposed to move on the 15th, but learned during the week that it would be Monday, the 18th. On Friday, the 15th, I received a call that we couldn’t get into the place until Wednesday, the 20th. This left us with 3 days, 2 nights of needing a place to stay and a place for our belongings that would be loaded into a moving truck Monday afternoon.

I received a call on Sunday letting me know to hold off on reserving a room at an extended stay hotel as we may still be able to move in on Monday. All day Monday, I was being told that the Certificate of Occupancy may be issued. Meanwhile, we finished packing and loading the moving truck. Not until 5:00 pm was I informed that it wasn’t going to happen, with still not knowing where I would have the movers unload our belongings. And, with still not having a place to stay for the night. Finally received word that I could unload the belongings into the garage attached to the temporary unit. Thank goodness for The Romano Duo and the awesome movers. Not sure how I would have done this without them. Lillian was in meltdown mode from late afternoon until the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Fortunately, we found a room, got my mom and Lillian into the room and then went back to work getting the last of our belongings from the place we were vacating. There was much back and forth and non stop going, going, going. At precisely 11:58 pm, Thomas and I walked out of our old home for the last time. Mom and Frank had left just a few minutes earlier.

There are many details I’m leaving out. Yet, will share this … By about 7:00 pm, I was so exhausted that I was shaking and kept dropping things. On one of our trips from the old place to the hotel room, I dropped Lillian’s diffuser. Well, I actually dropped it twice. I caught it the first time. The second time, it dropped on the pavement and the lid shattered as it was glass. I totally lost it and began sobbing as I thought of the meltdown that would ensue. Thomas came over and held me in a long hug while I sobbed. I love him so dearly, for how he witnesses me. Thankfully, there was no meltdown as we just used the diffuser without the lid. Whatever! It still works. Just spews water droplets all over.

One more detail. Lillian was melting down over not having a couch in the hotel room. It’s her routine to use the couch for certain things and at certain times. I improvised and convinced her to go along with my idea. I suggested she use one side of the bed as a couch and one side to sleep on. I pulled the ironing board off it’s hook and laid it on the “sleeping” side of the couch so she had a place to put her water and other things.

Tuesday went much the same as Monday. I was told all day long that they thought they would have the certificate of occupancy on that day. It was also a day full of meltdowns from Lillian. Change and being out of her comfort zone are incredibly difficult for her to regulate. They never received the certificate, so another night in the hotel room. I was told the same thing beginning Wednesday morning. The place we were staying didn’t give a sh** about the uncertain situation. They needed to know by noon if we were staying another night or checking out.

I decided to phone the City of Reno Building and Permit Division to find out what was going on. I lucked out and the person who answered the phone was the person handling the situation. She told me the one thing she was waiting on in order to issue the Certificate of Occupancy and gave me the cell number for one of the owners of the project. I phoned him to express my concerns and to ask what the hell is going on. Turns out he had just finished doing what needed done and was headed to the city to deliver paperwork. He phoned me a bit later to let me know he had the Certificate of Occupancy. Finally!!

But, wait. We still had to wait for management to do a walk through of the unit and still needed to sign paperwork. Between all of this, it was nearly 6:00 pm once we got the keys and were inside the unit. Had to get the movers back over to bring a few belongings up from the garage .. our beds, a few pieces of furniture, and some boxes. While Thomas stayed with the movers, I went to get Lillian and the rest of our things from the hotel.

We had opened the windows to air the paint smell, closing them around 9:00 pm. It was then that I noticed the heat was not coming on. Nothing I did to the thermostat made it work. We spent the first night here with it in the upper 50’s in the unit! Fortunately, I own two oil heaters and put one in each bedroom.

HVAC contractor was over Thursday to address the issue. The damn thermostat wasn’t even connected! After much time searching, he could not even find the line for it. He fixed it so that we would have heat until they could come back on Friday and run a new line to the thermostat. He connected the thermostat directly to the heater system in the ceiling; which meant I couldn’t access it and had to decide on a temperature to leave it at. Ugh!

Late Friday morning I went to the post office. On the way back I received a call from the office advising not to return to the unit for a couple of hours as there was an issue with the gas. Ummmm …. my kids are there!! Apparently they knocked on the door and when no one answered, assumed no one was home. (New note added to the file advising of our situation with Lillian and that I homeschool Thomas.) I had to park 2 units away, walk to our unit, with a construction worker, hurriedly rouse Thomas and Lillian, and get out of there! Apparently, a construction worker hit a gas line.

Just as this was happening, I received a call from the HVAC company that they were on the way. Had to tell them not to bother due to the situation. It was 2 and a half hours before we were allowed back into the unit, with another 2 or 3 hours before the gas was turned back on. Which meant that the heat did not get repaired on Friday.

The HVAC guys were finally here yesterday. They had to cut three holes in the wall to run a new line, plus move the thermostat. They left around 2:30. I began to notice that the heat was not coming on. Again, no matter what I did to the thermostat, it wouldn’t work. Called them and out they came again. It’s finally working!! The drywall guy was here until 5:15 repairing the holes. What a crazy time this has been!!

Then, last night at just about 10:00 pm, we got to experience our first power outage in this community. Ugh! Lillian nearly had a meltdown as she was thinking of all the things that she wouldn’t be able to use. Fortunately, it was only off for about 2 hours. I’m so ready for a long run of uneventful days.

The date for moving into our unit was December 2nd. I was informed yesterday that it’s been moved to December 9th. I’m okay with that. I’m just happy to finally be here, even if we aren’t in our permanent unit. We will absolutely enjoy the view we have from the temporary unit, while also enjoying having an attached garage! I’ll have a garage once we get into our unit, it’s just not attached.

Now, to back up to the beginning of this adventure. About 4 years ago, I learned of this new community being built, first of it’s kind in the state of Nevada. I put my name on the interest list. After a couple of years, I assumed it wasn’t going to happen and just let it go. Then, around January of this year, I received a call that I was on the interest list and asking if I was still interested. Yes, yes!!

I was told it would be ready for move in on June 15th. I completed the application, turned in paperwork, was approved, picked out our unit and garage, and the waiting and excitement began. In May, the date got bumped to August 15th. Which was fine with me as my current lease wasn’t finished until August 31st. In the beginning of August it was bumped to September 15th. This went on with bumping it every 2 or 3 weeks … up until now. I am deeply and incredibly grateful to and for management at The Vintage as they worked with me on these continual extensions.

If you’re still here, thanks for reading what I write. I know this was long and included much details. Yet, it’s my nature to share with you what I’m experiencing. Plus, I wanted to have this for myself … as a reminder. During all of this, I kept thinking I was crazy and making a mistake for not walking away. I absolutely would have walked away, long ago, if there were another community like this in our area.

For all of Lillian’s meltdowns throughout these past 5 months about moving, about leaving the home she’d known for going on four years …. Not one complaint, not one comment about the change. She LOVES having her own room and bathroom. Loves it. I knew she would. She also reminded me of something I needed reminded. I cannot remember her exact wording. She said something about the courage and tenacity (my word) it took to stay with this, to get us in here, all the phone calls, everything I did, and continued to do to make this work. I forget sometimes that I have two young people watching how I handle situations, how I live life. At times, I totally suck at handling life, at other times, I suppose I shine, even if it’s after the fact …

Hallelujah! We’re nearly there and I have some great material for a future book! HA! Much love to all of you!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Words of Alchemy – Cover Revealed

I’m late sharing this, yet, wanted to thank the two wonderful book bloggers who participated in cover reveal day for Words of AlchemyI’d be incredibly grateful if you’d visit one or both of these two lovely ladies blog. And, if you are moved, like the post, share it, or comment on it. Much gratitude!

Thank you to a new book blogger friend, Kriti of Armed with A Book, for taking part in the cover reveal yesterday. She did a beautiful job and I love how she’s set up her website.

“Today is a momentous day in my journey as a bookblogger – I’ve been asked by Camilla Downs to reveal the book cover for, Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt free-verse poetry collection by her! If you are interested in poetry (as you know I’ve been in the last couple weeks), you, my lovely reader, have the opportunity to pre-order a signed copy of Words of Alchemy …. ”

Words of Alchemy

Thank you to book blogger friend, Katrina, for helping to spread the word on Saturday about the cover reveal.

“Cover Reveal of Words of Alchemy Poems by Camilla Downs

Today we are revealing the book cover for, Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt free-verse poetry collection from Camilla Downs. You can pre-order a signed copy of Words of Alchemy …”

Cover Reveal of Words of Alchemy Poems by Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

The Road Trip Adventure That Was the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference

In July we attended the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was the 4th time since 2008 that I had driven to the conference. I finally learned my limits with this drive. In this case, the fourth time’s the charm!

I posted a daily account of the adventure on our Team TLC website, loaded with great photos, especially the photos of The Garden of Gods.

The Wild and Crazy Journey to the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs

I want to once again thank the Good Samaritan’s we encountered along the way, the wonderful people who donated to our fundraiser, The Romano Duo (my mom and step-dad) and the angel mom who paid for us to stay an extra night so I could have one more day to recover from the horrid norovirus that swept through the hotel guests. 

For the most part, we enjoyed ourselves as much as possible with the drive there and back, and while at the conference. If you take the time to read the post linked, you’ll see it wasn’t all peaches and cream. There were some definite unlovely and maddening experiences. Horrendous traffic, car accidents, car problems, melt downs, and the nasty norovirus that swept through hotel guests and all three of us. The last unofficial count I saw was about 200 people got hit with it! 

Thomas and I had a beautiful time visiting The Garden of the Gods. Definitely check out those photos in the linked post. Magically beautiful. We also had a lovely rest stop at The Salt Flats in Utah; which was deeply refreshing. Here are a few photos from each of these wonderful places.

Lillian had many firsts and conquered a few fears along the way. It’s always a blessing to see her reunited with her best friend and making new friends too!

Ending with what I’ve learned about my limits with attending the conference. The first drive was to Las Vegas in 2008. That was an easy 8 hour drive from Reno to Vegas. The second time was another easy 8 hour drive from Reno to Salt Lake City in 2015. The third was a nightmare 3,400 mile drive from Reno to San Antonio in 2016. I wrote about that one here and here and here.

I have learned that any destination 9 hours or less is do able for me. Over that, where we have to make a stop and stay some place for the night is too much (for me). Yes!!! For continuing to learn about my own limits. From this point forward it will be easier to decide how we will get to the conference every summer.

At some point in the future, it is my plan for Lillian to travel to the conference without me. If she and Thomas can reach a point of getting along and respecting one another, they can travel together. Or, if that doesn’t happen, hopefully one day she can travel with a friend, or even alone. That’s the plan and we’re making our way to it’s fruition! 2020 Conference will be back in San Antonio! See y’all there!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Coming Fall 2019.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.