Latest News: Top 10 Soul Writings for 2020

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(Spooner Lake July 2020)

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2020 blog posts)

  1. Latest News: I Support Black Lives Matter – BIPOC
  2. We Are Family – A Dedication to Mary Armstrong
  3. Why Writing is Important to Me – An Interview with Clare Rhoden
  4. Educating and Re-educating Myself
  5. Sobbing in the Garage With the True Meaning of Beauty – An Interview With Marjorie Mallon
  6. Walk With Me – Words of Alchemy
  7. Writing With My Eyes Closed – Author D.G. Kaye Interviews Camilla
  8. Throwback Post: Being a Sibling to One With Special Needs and Throwback Post: I Vow to Learn and What Does it Mean to Love (all three of these tied for #8)
  9. What Led to My First Book and Five Fun Facts – Jess Interviews Camilla and
    The Path of the Heart – Words of Alchemy (these two tied for #9)
  10. Twenty Nine Favorite Movies Watched in 2019

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

  1. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  2. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  3. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  4. Latest News: I Support Black Lives Matter – BIPOC
  5. Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special
  6. We Are Family – A Dedication to Mary Armstrong
  7. Why Writing is Important to Me – An Interview with Clare Rhoden
  8. Trees Preach the Ancient Laws of Life
  9. Book Review: I Am That Girl
  10. Educating and Re-educating Myself

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. Taste the Wind
  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 2020

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”, 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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Reblog: Lillian and Camilla November 2020 Date Day

November 24 2020

Lillian and Camilla November 2020 Date Day

French fries from Noble Pie Parlor – Summit Reno for both of us, with a Trader Joe’s spicy lentil wrap for me.

Dessert of a white chocolate dipped cookie for Lillian and a couple of squares of this amazing new chocolate I just discovered at Trader Joe’s.

Then we took a walk in one of our favorite places, followed by a drive around our old neighborhood.

  

   

Follow the link to see more photos …

Lillian and Camilla November 2020 Date Day

Listen to the Call of Synchronicity

July 16 2021

Fun synchronicity story of an introverted extrovert …

I was supposed to have a poolside chat with a friend and her son yesterday morning. My friend wasn’t feeling good so that got canceled. I decided to drive to South Lake Tahoe, Nevada Beach. I wish I could say I came to that decision in an instant, as I’ve been wanting to visit Lake Tahoe since last year. It’s always an internal struggle for me to leave the house, leave my comfort zone.

Conversation with myself:

Me: You have been wanting to go for a year now. Just go.
Me: But, maybe I should just do my regular routine, go for a walk, and then a swim?
Me: You’ve had a full year of staying at home, it’s time to start getting out and doing the things you daydream about doing.
Me: Maybe I’ll start doing that next week.
Me: When have you ever regretted leaving the house for a ride up to Lake Tahoe?
Me:
Me: If you want to do these things you daydream about, you have got to get out there and do them. You are not getting any younger. You have got to learn to step out of your comfort zone, and do things alone. You can’t sit at home waiting for whatever it is you’re waiting for.
Me: Okay then. I’m doing it!

This went on for a good hour before I finally put some things together and left. I invited Thomas but he wasn’t up for it.

Nevada Beach is nearly an hour’s drive from where I live in Reno. When I reached Nevada Beach it was nearly 10:00am. The spot I chose to park and to enter the beach laid the way for the synchronicity that followed. Instead of following the paved entrance to the beach, I veered off and followed a sort-of sand path. To my delight there were only a few people in this section. (Heaven for an introvert!!)

After about 2 and a half hours, I heard a familiar voice behind me. I turned around and saw it was my birthday twin, Tania, who lives in the area. Not only that, she had friends from Arizona with her that I had only ever met through facebook. We had a lovely time catching up and chatting. They had planned on going for a hike most of the day, deciding instead for a relaxing beach day.

Many things had to line up for this to happen. It was such a great day. It causes one to wonder … What if more humans listened to their inner voice? How many magical alignments could happen for society?

Thank you “outgoing” me for not giving up on “stay in the comfort zone” me.

Although I am an introvert, when I am among friends, or when I become comfortable with others, it’s difficult to get me to stop talking! HA!

She’s been calling my name for over a year. Put some things together, stopped for a vegan donut and cappuccino, and here I am. Had a snack, a few swims, now eating lunch.

This is a feeling like no other. I am relaxed, at peace, soothed. I’m home. I love you Lake Tahoe. Thank you.

Blessings,
Camilla
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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Compassion Has Replaced Judgments

**THROWBACK POST**

I think this was written in 2017, not sure.


(Photo from a Summer 2021 Walk)

The space within me that held the weight of so many judgments … Judgments against people who thought and felt differently, judgments against single moms, judgments against parents whose kids act out and the kids too.

Every single time one of those judgments was released, a cushion of compassion took its place. There are still some wee judgments hiding in there. Some that stay hidden and some that peek out to see if it’s safe. Within me is not a safe zone for judgments … You are released and a warm, soft, loving cushion of compassion takes your place.

There is a space within
A space occupied, it was.

Occupied with judgment
Occupied with harshness
Occupied with unkind thoughts
towards others.

There is a space within
where the darkness
of judgment used to live.

Judgement lives
here no more.
Evicted.
It has been.

There is a space within.

A soft space of love
of compassion
of empathy
of understanding.

For a journey
of a thousand miles has
been lived with
the understanding
that each one of us
has traveled a similar journey.

To be sure,
not the same journey.
No, not the same.
That matters not.

Each has traveled a journey
of a thousand miles.

And each viewed not
according to their journey,
yet viewed with eyes
that flow from the heart.

A heart that knows the two
are connected,
viewed with eyes flowing
from the heart that only
knows unconditional love.

Eyes wide open to
the Truth of each one’s journey.

The Truth that judgment of another is
simply a reflection of judgment
held within one towards oneself.

There is a space within,
a space that was once filled with
the darkness of judgement.

A space that is now
available for compassion
and love for one’s self and others.

Space to breath easier
Space to live easier
space to live peacefully
Space to allow all to BE
and travel the paths chosen.

There’s a space within
a Beautiful Space.

May we all release
and expose this space within
for the Beauty it reveals.

July 2021 Update – So many more judgments have been released since this writing and poem. It’s hard to believe just how many judgments were hiding in the nooks and crannies of my mind. Each time I find them, I educate myself, and release. And you know what? Each time I release judgments, it lightens the load, paving the way to an easier time of being a kind human. 

Blessings,
Camilla
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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Get to Know Me: You Hear Something Fall in the Middle of the Night

I’m a member of an author/book reader facebook group, and the admins ask great questions. I decided to turn some of the questions into a “get to know me” series. I would also love to hear your answers to the questions posed in the series. Thanks Helen for asking such fun questions!

What do you do when you hear something fall in the middle of the night, and your are in bed asleep?

I’ve been a single mom for 15 years now, so it’s just me to check things out. I can usually tell if it can be ignored, and I will just go back to sleep.

However, one night many years ago, I heard this loud cracking (like glass) sound. I went to the kitchen thinking something had fallen. I could not find what it was until the next morning when I walked into the bathroom. The glass surrounding the shower had shattered. Never knew what made it happen …

What about you?

Blessings,
Camilla
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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Reblog: Memories: Tahiti With Aerosmith While Touring Great Britain With a 1976 Mississippi Map

November 16 2020

Memories: Millennium Tahiti Cruise With Aerosmith and Billy Idol While Touring Great Britain With a 1976 Mississippi State Map

Thomas received a Victrola for his birthday, and I have been looking for an old 45 record I used to have. Haven’t found it yet, but, finding all kinds of fun stuff. That time I WON a 12 day Tahiti cruise! Not only that. The Millennium cruise. That. Was. Fun.

 

Still haven’t found it. But, think I’ve figured out why I’m half deaf and have neck problems. And, why do I still have these?

I actually have very little memory of being at each of these concerts. So, a good thing I’ve got the receipts.

I actually didn’t get to see much of the INXS concert! The folks I went with were determined to find a way to sneak backstage, and we spent most of the concert trying to find a way. Crazy Fools! Hahahaha!

I just remembered that I loved The Cult, too. I’m almost positive I saw them in concert …

… This was one of my favorite songs. Loved dancing to this one!

I could have sworn it was with all these other “memories”. No luck yet. But found the mementos from the trip to England and Scotland in 2000. That trip was a mixture of fun, beauty, awe, and stress. The person I traveled with assumed they’d be able to easily drive us around!!! I was tasked with navigating and didn’t get to enjoy the scenery. Overall, it was amazing, though!

 

Okay. The 45 record was not in my little wooden chest of treasures. However, if anyone’s looking for a 1976 Official Highway map for Mississippi, I’ve got you covered. WTF?!

I hope you enjoyed this trip down the Camilla Memory Lane! HA! To see the original post on The Team TLC website, go here …

Memories: Millennium Tahiti Cruise With Aerosmith and Billy Idol While Touring Great Britain With a 1976 Mississippi State Map

Spotlight in The Miramichi Reader – Showcase Interview with Camilla

Thanks to Bill for the space on The Miramichi Reader!

Welcome back to a new Showcase interview! Today we visit with Camilla Downs (Camilla is pronounced like Pamela), a poet, photographer, and founder of Meeting the Authors, itself a showcase of international writers. Camilla, what a treat to showcase a showcaser! Welcome.

Follow the link to read the full article …

Bill Arnott’s Showcase Interviews: Camilla Downs

Throwback Post: The Bones I Drag Home

**THROWBACK POST**

June 10 2018:

My heart overflows with gratitude to all of you for cheering me on and supporting me with the bones I drag home!! It means more than could ever be expressed with mere words and IS the fuel that keeps me going during times of discouragement.

Thank you for getting it and thank you for knowing that your comments, likes, shares, and cheers light my world when I need it and even when I don’t need it.

This “thank you” was sparked by the attached passage I read this morning in a book titled, Walking in This World by Julia Cameron. She talks about all forms of art; including writing. Oceans of love to all of you! xoxo

Walking in this World Book Pages 6.10.18 #1 Walking in this World Book Pages 6.10.18 #2

**UPDATE June 29 2021** – I’m happy I came across this draft post from 2018. It is timeless in my opinion. An artist is partly fueled by encouraging feedback from others. Such a meaningful post! 

Blessings,
Camilla
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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Get to Know Me: What’s Your Grossest Bug Story?

I’m a member of an author/book reader facebook group, and the admins ask great questions. I decided to turn some of the questions into a “get to know me” series. I would also love to hear your answers to the questions posed in the series. Thanks Helen for asking such fun questions!

When I was in junior high we went to Grand Isle, Louisiana (way, way, way down in da bayou) to go fishing. In the place we stayed I kept seeing cockroaches scurrying around, HUGE cockroaches.

I was afraid to go to sleep, burying myself in my sleeping bag, hoping they’d stay out. As I was falling asleep, I heard them flying around! 😱 I immediately zipped my sleeping bag around my entire body. I didn’t care if I could barely breathe. I was not having a flying cockroach come near touching my body! 😂🤣

Thank goodness there are NO cockroaches in Reno, Nevada, where I’ve lived since 2006. However, I grew up in the deep South … Jackson, MS and Houma, LA. Just in case anyone needs to defend themselves from cockroaches, here’s a pro-tip: Aqua Net hairspray does the job!! These days I relocate bugs and insects, rather than squish them, and I’m not sure how I’d handle cockroaches should they make an appearance. Ha!

What about you?

Blessings,
Camilla
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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Reblog: The 15th Birthday for Thomas Darnell

November 13 2020

Happy 15th Birthday, Thomas Darnell!!

Thank you ….

for making me laugh
for intelligent, spirited conversation
for running errands with me
for helping me
for sharing your love of history with me
for sharing your passion for politics, our world, and humanity with me
for the hugs you share with me
for sharing your spirit with me
for helping me to learn about true love
for choosing me.

You are my heart. I am so very proud of you. I love you!!!

We had an intimate, masked, socially distanced celebration with The Romano Duo and Robert, graced with absolutely divine vegan cupcakes from Batch Cupcakery. I took my selfie after everyone left! Ha!

Thomas received some great gifts!

A basketball, volleyball (so we can use the great courts here), a shirt, a hoodie, a desk chair, a homemade card from Lillian, a turntable, an album, and a photo book of our date days over the past year. I still need to make a homemade card or poem for him.

   

Follow the link to see more photos …

Happy 15th Birthday to Thomas Darnell

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


(Photo by Steve Johnson/Pexels)

I have chosen to share a tender, vulnerable post. I received the nudge to share this a year ago, this month. Uncertainty caused me to hold back. When reading a birthday twin Sista’s latest post this morning, I was reminded that I do not always need to know why I’m being nudged to share something personal and tender. How it is received by you, is entirely your business, not mine.

Ignorance is bliss … Well, not always. Ignorance can be selfish, ignorance can be hurtful to those you love, to yourself, and to your fellow humans.

I wrote this post a year ago, June 2020. I didn’t post it then as I’m still in learning, questioning, and letting-myself-know-the-true-me mode. I kept having thoughts about what others would think if I shift from what I’d written at an earlier time.

Yet, isn’t that what some of what life is about. The more we learn, the more we explore, the more we experience, it can certainly shift our perspective, our lifestyle. Especially when we have been brought up to believe that certain ways of living and believing are wrong. It’s only when we educate ourselves, in addition to opening our hearts and minds to others that we come to know the absurdity of many of the “wrongs” we were taught as children.

Another reason I did not post this a year ago, is this niggling feeling that it will turn others away. I will “lose” folks. The niggling feeling is not as strong as it used to be. But, it’s still there. Actually, as I press the publish button on this post, both of these reasons are there, giving me butterflies in my stomach.

At my 19 year old daughter’s urging, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, being vulnerable, with worries that I may get this wrong in some way. Staying in my comfort zone keeps me “safe”, allowing me not to commit to anything, or anyone.

She feels that I should share what I’ve come to know about myself. I’m the one who taught her to always be herself, and not to worry about what others think. She’s handed that back to me, telling me that it will feel good to get it out. I’m not saying that I feel un-good (I’m using a made up word as nothing else fits!) by not sharing, just that it will feel good to share, to be open and authentic. So, here it goes …

Three years ago I realized that I needed to educate myself about my brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ+ community. I had never taken the time to do this in the past as I didn’t think I needed to know more, mistakenly believing it didn’t involve me. That changed when someone very close to me, confided that they are a part of this community.

I knew that I needed to be educated, so I went right to researching. I love this person with all my heart and wanted to be available for them. I also wanted to be able to support them.

I began reading books and researching online. I learned as much as I could. I unlearned whatever needed to be unlearned, shedding layers of muck, mostly thoughts and ideas I had adopted as a child, from society and the adults around me. Here’s to unlearning the homophobia some of us were consciously, or unconsciously, taught growing up!

In doing this research and releasing judgments and thoughts that were not my own, I learned something about myself. Something that had been there for a while, but that I immediately dismissed. Whenever it came up, I felt guilt and shame, coupled with feeling wrong.

Wherever it came from, society or the adults around me, I grew up thinking that it was wrong. Which, incidentally, has been an overriding them in my healing journey this past 15 years. I thought that just about everything I did, I did wrong. “You’re doing it wrong” had been a constant theme running through my thoughts. This theme no longer haunts me as I spent many years walking into it, working my way through all its baggage.

Fast forward to around April 2020. Many of you know of, or personally know, my special needs daughter, Lillian. She’s 19 years old and graduated June 2019 .. YAY! It was in April of last year that she let me know she was in love with one of her female friends. She has since come out as bisexual.

Those of you connected with Lillian know that she has not been shy about letting people know this. She has more guts and courage than I’ve ever known, the guts and courage for being herself, and for letting others know who she is, no matter what. Up until I had reached my mid 40’s, I hadn’t the courage to speak my mind, for fear of turning others away. Lillian inspires me. If she can do it, so can I.

I have only ever been in relationships with straight cisgender men. About two years ago, I realized that a person’s biological sex or gender-identity is the least important factor for me in sparking an attraction. Very important note: This does NOT mean I am attracted to all people.

What creates an attraction for me is a mixture of the energy one exudes, personality, demeanor, political leanings, mutual interests, and physical characteristics. I’m also attracted to people of any skin color or nationality. This is another “wrong” I had to unlearn. I’ve had forty something years of telling myself that certain things I thought and felt were wrong. I’m done living my life that way. FFS!! I’m 51 years old. I will believe and trust myself.

Who I am attracted and drawn to may shift once I begin dating again, as this is unfamiliar territory for me since I have not dated, or been with anyone, in about 13 years. What is clear is that I won’t know until I know, so I’m not pinning myself to any labels just yet.

I mean, perhaps this is part of the reason that I have been on no dates for the past 13 years. I have never been in a healthy, loving relationship with another. Maybe I needed the time to heal, to learn about myself, and to become comfortable with my healed and authentic self. All this long-ass post to say that I’m coming out. I’m not clear on exactly what I’m coming out as, yet, there it is. I don’t know if I will ever have clarity, especially if I’m not dating! Honestly, the thought of dating is not appealing to me at all. Meeting people, getting to know others, does appeal to me.

I’m surrendering to however this may unfold. As this writing closes, I realize I’ve written it in furtherance of helping me be okay and embracing not quite knowing to which “label” I belong. Honestly, now that I release this blog post that took a year to write, perfect, and publish, I am absolutely okay with this. I’m a road less traveled, outside the box, rebel, go the opposite direction as everyone else type person. This suits me. This is The Way for me.

Ignorance is bliss … Well, not in all cases. Ignorance can be selfish, ignorance can be hurtful to those you love, to yourself, and to your fellow humans.

If you do not wish to be hurtful, please educate yourself.

There you have it. For those that stay with me, thank you. I love and appreciate you. For those that decide to part ways, thank you. I love and appreciate you. Please educate yourself, take the time to unlearn crazy shit some of us picked up as a child, youth, and young adult. xoxo

P.S. Lillian approves of this post.

Follow up thoughts: That’s my motto: “Always, sometimes, maybe posting vulnerable shit” …. Or something like that … And, over here trying to be a good human, getting some things right along the way. It’s pretty wild how sharing vulnerable aspects of ourself can be so empowering!

Blessings,
Camilla
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 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.