Latest News: Top 10 Blog Posts for 2021


(April 2021)

Top Ten 2021 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2021 blog posts)

1. Pride Month 2021 – I Support You and I Am With You 

2. Asking for Help is the Hardest Part

3. Get to Know Me: What Weird or Useless Talent Do You Have?

4. Why Writing is Important to Me – An Interview with Clare Rhoden

5. Throwback Post: It Was A Crummy Day

6. Exciting News – Lillian’s Imaginarium is Open and Get to Know Me – How Handy Are You When It Comes to Fixing Things?

7. Get to Know Me: What is Your Favorite Season and Why

8. Dear Anyone Who Feels Like They Don’t Matter

9. The 51st Birthday Celebration – Camilla Downs and Throwback Post: Compassion Has Replaced Judgments

10. Get to Know Me: What Do You Do On the Weekends? and Get to Know Me: Choose Anything for a Day

Top Ten 2021 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled from all blog posts)

1. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

2. Pride Month 2021 – I Support You and I Am With You

3. Asking for Help is the Hardest Part

4. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method

5. Trees Preach the Ancient Laws of Life

6. Get to Know Me: What Weird or Useless Talent Do You Have?

7. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself

8. Why Writing is Important to Me – An Interview with Clare Rhoden

9. Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special

10. Throwback Post: It Was A Crummy Day

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. Taste the Wind

8. A Moment of Defeat

9. I Wish I Wasn’t An 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two

10. Lillian and Being Different Presentation

Top 3 Countries With Most Views for 2021

Top 3 Countries with Most Views for All Time

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is 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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Thomas and Camilla October 2013 Date Day


Date day with Thomas … 1st stop Grassroots Books with 12 bags of books to turn in! Second stop ……. The Barber Shop! He can see again! Thanks Frank for springing for the much needed haircut!

Next stop on the date ….. YUMMY FOOD! We shared bread pudding … oh my good grief!!! So good we looked like a couple of pigs at feeding time!

Next stop on our date …. Window shopping! We looked at every single lego set in Toys r Us and left a fun message on a whiteboard! Woooohooooo!

Last stop on our date …. saved the best for last! Beautiful, magnificent, awesome …. NATURE = LOVE!

They Are a Treasure – Happy 18th Birthday

November 18 2023

Happy 18th Birthday to Thomas Darnell! (November 13th). I made 3 very short video messages for Thomas, but had to wait until one of their friends used them in a special video tribute to Thomas. 🖤🖤🖤


Memory Lane – Monday Night Poetry

November 18 2023

Monday Night Poetry – Such an amazing, beautiful, poetic group of folks. I love poetry nights!

I shared an oldie, but tweaked it a bit for my current mood.

Memory Lane

Why did the beautiful and fun memories hurt so badly
Why did her chest feel
heavy and her stomach in knots

The place where she and her children had spent seven years of their lives.

The place where her youngest spent their young life from one year old through eight years old.

Driving past the many sidewalks and the trail where she had taken walks alone, walks with
just her youngest, and walks
together as a family.

Driving past the home
her parents had lived,
the home she and her kids had lived, the second home her parents had lived.

Remembering neighbors she had chatted with. Remembering
the spread of holiday cheer.

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Why do such wonderful memories hurt her heart?

Why does she feel
a sense of loss
no longer living
in this neighborhood? No longer having
her parents live
in the same neighborhood.

Why does she feel
like nothing turned out as she had wanted?

Why does she feel like she has failed her children in
not providing them with the same kind of home that they loved so much
in their early childhood?

Why does she feel
like she has given up?

Why do the tears flow in mourning something that never really was?
She keeps reminding herself that nothing is permanent. The only thing that’s permanent is change Itself.

She reminds herself that home is truly where the heart is.
Yet, what if the heart is closed and calls bullshit on that.

What if she reminds herself that none of
it seems to have gone as she wanted it to go,
the way she dreamed
it would.

Seems as if she
has been but
a piece of sand
in a vast ocean
of life tossing
her here and there into this experience and that experience.

She thinks she should not return to this place if it is so painful …
but then she knows
she must keep returning until she has felt
all the pain there
is to feel, for in
feeling the pain and being with the pain
loving the pain
embracing the pain
is she assured
of the joy and beauty that awaits her
on the other side
of the pain.

She may not have
fully let herself
feel the pain at the time she and her children
had to leave their
home and neighborhood.

Brushed it under
the heart she did.

Believing she did not have to feel the pain. She knows she let herself feel some of the pain.
Yet, there is more there.

She makes a new commitment to continue to visit this neighborhood until she has let herself feel every single bit
of grief, guilt, and sadness there is to feel.

She will feel it, feel the
aches in her chest, feel
the knots in her stomach
feel and taste the salty tears as they stream down her face.

She reflects back on these times as some of the happiest of her
and her children’s lives.
So carefree and joyful.
Doing many things together
as a family, many adventures, every trip in the car an adventure.

It seems those times are no longer. Where have they gone? The kids are no longer kids. One a teenager and one a preteen. Change.
Change is the nature
of life. This season of autumn reminds us always that this
is how it flows. Change.

Why did she grip so tightly to that time in her life,
in her kids’ lives?
Why does she not want to let it go? Why does she remember it with longing?
Why does she feel lost in shifting to this
new normal for her and her kids?

Interests have shifted. What was fun and exciting is no longer.
How does she go with the flow, with the change, without clinging to the Past?

She does it one breath at a time.
One blink at at time.
One step at a time.
One gratitude thought at a time.
One fucking meltdown at a time.
One act of kindness at a time. One smile at a time.

With kindness and love directed to herself and her heart.
She does it by observing and not letting herself
get caught in the spiral
of emotions. Or spiraling with the emotions.

Be with them, feel them,
and let them release to reveal the new normal. As it will only
be the new normal for a short time.

That is the nature
of life.
For life will support
in whatever stage of life one finds one’s self.

Nature is the Gift that allows one to experience change and the cyclical nature of life.
Be still. Feel the emotions. Let them pass through
like the wind passes through the autumn leaves. And know.
This is life.

We are always on our way home.
November 2017
Camilla Downs

Lillian is Ready – Gonna Figure This Out

November 16 2023

There’s no stopping her now! Abdominal ultrasound slayed. Labs from two weeks ago are fine. GI next week, with more labs, and another (different) ultrasound to follow. We are gonna figure out what’s going on so Lillian can fully enjoy this life! I’m just so thrilled Lillian is ready to do this! ❤️🎉❤️

Throwback Post: Camilla and Lillian October 2014 Date Day


October 24 2014:

Thomas is spending the night with the Romano Duo so Lillian and I get to have a day and a half long date. Started with a late afternoon walk.

First up on the October 2014 Lillian n Camilla date … Appetizers of tater tots and fries from Sonic and then a main course of homemade nachos!

We decided that the rest of the date would just be hanging out together and reading before heading to the Romano Casa for dinner and to retrieve Team Member T! We stopped by one of our favorite used book stores and it’s not there anymore!

He Tolerates Us – Chad Basil the First Update

November 12 2023

Chad Basil the First appreciation post.

We love you, Basil! Totally not a lap kitty, but he tolerates us. Plus Basil loves to be petted. We get a kick out the varied and funny noises he makes. There’s the I found a bug noise, the Thomas is awake noise, the noise accompanying a big stretch, and the I see a bird noise. Love my grand kitty to pieces! 🖤🐾🖤

Throwback Post: Arriving Where We Started


October 23 2012:

I hope to always be exploring and creating adventures y’all!

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Eliot