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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Smile

Monday, September 26, 2011

Changes- September Theme for Real Bloggers United

Life is about change. Life is constantly in transition. An important skill set we can teach our children, is to know change is inevitable. Change is hard and it is OK that it is difficult.  It is OK to be vulnerable, to say I am trepidatious of change. Scary as change is, it is part of the human experience. As a forty eight year old woman, I can truly say that change has been a teacher to me. Change is easier when I take good care of myself.  Life experience has taught me that it is OK to be sad with change or embrace it or perhaps both.

Just last week there was so much change in my life. My twin sister and I were asked to be guests on the new day time TV show with Anderson Cooper on Twins and issues of claustrophobia.  We were going to be put up in a hotel, all expenses paid to go to New York.  My twin sister and I had never been to New York and felt excited but scared. We don't like to fly because we are claustrophobic. I knew it may not pan out and tried to stay detached.  It was not a big deal for us when we ended up not going on.  I had been asked to do a keynote speech to ninth grade students on homelessness.  I only had a four day warning, but it turned out to be great. I can adapt well to change.  I don't love it, but I feel to go with the flow is better than going against the current.  A large part of this is my faith in God.

I was told in a meeting with my supervisor that our entire staff including me, are being put on furlough in October and November. Instead of fighting the change, I worked hard to book more speaking engagements so that change won't break us.

My friend and neighbor has been fighting cancer for four years. I went to see her for a visit Saturday and she passed away Sunday.  It helped to work in her garden today that she loved so. My sister and I pruned it and picked vegetables and baked zucchini bread with her fresh vegetables.  We plan to take it to her husband who asked us to keep her garden up in this time of change. We felt extreme healing being in the garden she loved and making it look beautiful and poised as she is....

Change is a normal part of life but it does not make it easy.  Fall symbolizes change. We go from abundant life to the dying leaves, snow falls and the earth dies symbolically. The leaves change color, the wind starts to blow, the snow will begin to fall.  This is life. It all comes full circle.  Lets all work together and make change in the world for the better, not just for our personal gains. How can you make change work in your life and globally?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

GBE2- Judgement

I am fascinated by values. Values we all hold dear to us. If we were to prioritize our top three values what would yours be? Do you hold these values but not live them? Try to sit down with pen and paper. Write down your top three values in your life. Do your values show up in your real life?
How long will it take you? For some of us, we can jot it down quickly, but some of us are very frustrated by this exercise. Ask your self why it was easy or hard. That is where I want your heart right now.
Why is it important to look at our values?
Let me give an example here of values and what we think of others or how we judge.
Lets say your in line at a grocery store. It is an upper end grocery store. You see in front of you a woman with a child, a small child. This woman is dressed in very fine clothes. The child is dressed very nice. The woman puts her food down on the grocery counter. You notice she has nice steaks, lobster, fruits, vegetables, and candy and donuts. She looks up at the cashier and pays him with food stamps.
I am asking you to be very honest with yourself here. First of all, was it hard to write down three of your most top values? Perhaps it was easy for you. Why?
Let us be brutally honest with ourselves. How do we judge or put value judgements on this woman at the grocery counter? Maybe you thought it was good that she had some quality food such as steak and lobster, or you felt pangs of envy that she could afford them, or you judged her for buying such food.
What did you think or value on the clothes she and the child wore as you noticed they were on welfare? This is where I want your mind to go. What do you really think of this scenario.
I put on a training this past weekend for our new clinical interns that will be working with our homeless families. I had these students really dig deep into their hearts to find out how they put values or judgements on others. I showed these students pictures of certain people and had them rate them on how they looked. I had one picture of a woman and a baby dressed in their Sunday best and sitting on a bench. I told the students that this woman was a homeless woman who lived on the streets.
It is important that we look at how we perceive others. We may be assuming they are something that they are not. Lets us not judge others by what they wear, how they look, perhaps you would feel different if you knew their story.
I showed another picture of a man in jeans in my power point. Most of the members rated him low. I told all of them that this man was a billionaire and very generous with his money. He had a generous heart. Does it matter if he has a lot of money. How do you value money. Perhaps it is the human heart you value. I encourage you to critically think about this question.
I hope this hub can help you look at your self and the people who you deal with in your life and ask yourself if your judging a book by its cover. "To err is human" But to look within is Wise"
© Laura Rogers Rogers

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BFF- What Do I Love?

This week in our blogging for fun group, we were asked, "What Do I Love?"  This is a simple and powerful question for me since I have a very grateful heart.  Here is the short version because I love life to the fullest.  My life is rich in love and let me count thy ways.  I am grateful for my wonderful family. I am a doting, adoring mother of two great kids. They are thirteen and fourteen, girl and boy respectively.
 I am thankful for my childrens' relationship with their step mom and step siblings. Though one never knows how families will  react to a new situation, I feel we've done a great job.  In fact, one of the things I tell my best friends is, had I been the one to pick a step mom and step sibs, it would most definitely be this family.

I love to write about anything and everything. I find great healing in writing and It's one of my most treasured hobbies. I also adore speaking and facilitating key note speeches and executing trainings. God honored me with the gift of speaking in public. I used to fear it, but I kept being pushed towards quality opportunities that had me out in public.

I enjoy walking on the trail by my home. Nature talks to me throughout my walks as I listen and chat by thanking God.  Biking is also another passion I partake in.

I enjoy singing and have, ever since I was a middle- schooler . As I grew older, my sister and I  sang  for weddings and funerals.

 I like the idea of knowing that at any given time, there are many things to be thankful for, so lets keep em coming.

I am on top of the world

Let me share with you a keynote speech I gave back in 2000 and a symbol that came to me in a dream. I was to present as a keynote speaker, on family and family values for a alternative high school. I was in an abusive marriage when I had this dream. I look now on how prophetic this symbol was and I believe it was  given to me as a healing gift. At the time, I didn't really know what it meant. In the dream, I was sitting underneath a glass table and there were rats all around me.  By the end of the dream, I was sitting on top of the table and I could see the rats under me. Well, now in real life, I am standing on top of the table and shouting out for joy and the rat is gone.  It is all so crystal clear. I am on top of the world.

The Whisper That Became a Roar

My life with you was stagnant and sad
Seeing your anger, most everything made you mad

The evil energy in the house one could cut with a knife
Living with you was oppressive, devoid of any light

I tried to hide it from the children but to no avail, 
They witnessed your violence and watched your spit sail

You held them captive so I would go mad,
You coward, somehow you rationalized it would not make our kids sad

Your yelling was penetrating, we thought it would never end
Through the roof, our nerves you would send

Your words so confusing, I got dizzy and felt like I was in hell
You would follow me through the house, I finally fell.

The letter of our demise shown to our kids, 
I only found it accidentally and hid

You were planning at Christmas to blow us away
Our daughter only three then, told me in dismay

Mom, why does daddy say we'll die on Christmas and then all come back?
I slept in their rooms for weeks on my back

I tried ever so hard to act calm for you 
When your older you'll understand why mom felt so blue

Once the judge ordered him out it got worse
He would creep up behind me and suddenly lurch

Why are you afraid, he would say with a grin
You have fear issues and why are you so paranoid and lift up my chin

He would trance-like hypnotize the kids and put them on the table
His eyes would glass over, and to move, they were not able

Till I told him I would film him and show a judge for to see 
He'd say I had skeletons in the closet and the judge would take them from me

I acted calm as if I were not afraid of the one thing I could not lose
My beautiful children, the best thing I have ever done
My treasured daughter and my son

I can't believe I used to love this monster, who was he?
The judge moved him out of the house, but we had paid a grand fee

Remember when you'd follow me on the steps by our room, you would pronounce to me I had chest pain, that I was having a heart attack, God I have to leave
You kept coming at me till I had to run out of the house just to breath

My God I believed you, you scared the life out of me
I could not talk nor think straight, my legs felt like they would fall from underneath like spaghetti

You used to seem so beautiful, not ugly and even your face 
My therapist claimed, this is the worst classic case

I am not bitter I am free, I am so happy, my life is for my kids now, not me

You taught me a lot, what to look out for, my once soft whisper, has now become a roar

A wolf in sheeps clothing, but now I have my life back
God has healed us, our lives are on track

Freedom oh sweet freedom, I do so love you, thanks to all those that helped me through this, you were my strength and my glue

I have my life back , I thank you for loving me, life is a gift, peace is now what we see

Thank you God for letting me have the courage to leave the strife, not much can bother me now, I feel so gratefu, the world is our oyster, We have a new life

You taught me a lot, what to look out for;
My once soft whisper is Forever a Loud Roar


Friday, September 23, 2011

GBE2- Loyalty

Loyalty brings up many feelings for me. To be "loyal" is a powerful concept in any relationship.  I don't really know exactly how we learn how to be loyal, but for me it is a "must" in any positive, healthy relationship. I believe part of how we learn to be loyal is through role modeling in our own family of origin. Nature and nurture plays a role in how we learn this important trait. Loyalty is of the essence when we look at it in relationship to good friends, lovers, partners, pets...... I said in a positive relationship which does not hold true to a relationship that is brought down by brokenness.(Violence/Abuse)

Recently, I felt one of my best friends in the world, didn't show loyalty to me which hurt tremendously. To me, when you love your friends, loyalty comes with it.  Several lovely women friends of mine met for cocktails and appetizers and I wasn't able to be there.  The topic came up about me and the reason I left my ex husband. The women talked about how they were proud of me for leaving a very emotional, psychological, and verbally abusive man back in 2004.  I know abuse is sometimes hard to see to the outside world, but one of my best friends blatantly pointed out that she loved my ex and didn't believe he was abusive. I felt like I was punched in the gut.

I want to be clear that spiritually, I have come to a point in my life where I don't want OR need any one's validation or approval of why I left a very dangerous man.  I know what I lived with and no one that hasn't walked in my shoes could know the hell I endured.  It was never my agenda that people believe me, and approve. I knew I did the right thing for my children and I never had one regret. To hear that one of my best friends spoke as though I made up an abuse story about my past marriage is hard to swallow. I was hurt because I wish she could've been loyal to me. My other friends were appalled at this disclosure when they knew that my relationship with my ex husband was almost the death of me. They made a point to let her know that they completely supported and believed what I went through.

" A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are" Anonymous

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mamma's Fast and Easy Pizza

OK moms, here's  the skinny.  If your running around and don't have the time to cook an all-out home-ade meal, then this is the meal for you. We all know kids love pizza and with our busy schedules some times it's just good to have a quick and easy meal.  Let me share it with you.

  • Pizza dough roll from the grocers deli
  • Half can of pizza sauce
  • One cup of shredded cheese
  • One thinly sliced tomato
  • Four large mushrooms sliced thin
  • 6 pepperoni
  • ten thin slices of green pepper
Have your children put on the toppings in this order:
  • Flatten out dough
  • Pizza sauce
  • Cheese
  • all other toppings
We moms can't be perfect all the time by making meals by scratch.  I also serve a side salad with the pizza.  Now, have at it........

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do you want to know a secret?

In one of my writing groups we are being asked to write anything on the topic of  "Do you want to know a secret?"  I must put on my psychotherapist hat here.  Secrets are harmful. In a family system, secret keeping can keep a family entrenched in trauma. Secrets can breed many problems.  As a Catholic, I am saddened by the secrets that higher ranking catholic supposed to be's kept, to shield priests from the accountability they should have taken after abusing vulnerable children. Oh, don't get me started......

Too much can happen in any family or group dynamic if secrets are kept.  Now I will tell you a secret about me........
I was an extra in the worst movie ever made.  It is called " The comeback".  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday Post- Six Lines of my Mystery Series

 Just last week as I took the final Psychology test, I dreamt of this day. The day I would arrive at my summer internship adventure. I was so looking forward to this new experience which led me to the historic Burwell house. The college semester was over and I felt more relaxed today than I had the entire academic year. 

Blog Hop # 14- Serenity

Today I write on what I think Serenity is.  I believe to have peace in ones life and feel serenity is what we all want. Nobody is perfect and I think we can always strive for more peace and serenity in our lives. I know as a psychotherapist by trade, most clients want me to give the answer to them. How does one attain serenity in life?  Let me show you through my life experience what that formula looks like for me.
  • Openess
  • Self Love
  • Taking accountability
  • Gratitude
  • Knowing a higher power
  • Self Growth
  • Taking risks
  • Showing love to others
  • Giving back to community
  • Being able to accept help
  • Letting love flow from you
  • Do Unto Others 
  • See beauty in the simple things
  • Look at the moon, stars, nature
  • Be Still
  • Smile
  • Do not gossip
  • Let only words of inspiration and love come from your mouth
  • Watch what you speaketh
  • Have fun
  • Be ok with getting dirty
  • Do not sweat the Bad Days in life
  • Excersize
  • Sing even if you don't have the voice of an angel
  • Rub your feet in the grass
  • Stop and smell the roses
  • Use your God given gifts
  • Laugh a lot

The Burwell House Mysteries Part I


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Year Ago- Or Ten

On this day one year ago, not much compared to this day ten years ago. In my writing group GBE2, we are to write on the topic of One Year Ago. I knew this was my chance to write about the day we all know as 911.

 I will never forget that morning 911 as I woke up.  I thought it was just another day in my Minnesota life as a mother of two. My husband and I awoke and turned on the t.v. in our room. Our three and five year old were up on our bed cuddling with us as we had done so many times before. Little did we know at the time, that this day would change our lives and the lives of all Americans forever.

We saw in front of us what everyone glued to their T.V.'s saw.  Confusing images showing one plane then a second crashing into the Trade Center Towers in New York.  I have never witnessed the vulnerability of news casters all over the nation.  Confused anchors some crying were trying to figure out what had happened in New York.  Was this an accident, or a terror incident? I got the kids out of the bedroom in a daze and served breakfast to them in horror.  I remember being so shaken and even noticed my hands quivering.

My twin sister called upset and shaken too and told me she had heard the news on her radio as she was walking her morning power walk. She knew I would need to take my morning walk and offered to come over and watch my two kids.  I thanked her profusely and tried to remain somewhat calm knowing I was sending my oldest child to afternoon kindergarten that day. I felt so vulnerable like at any moment anything could happen.

As I walked the trail, I just sobbed knowing life would never be the same.  I will never forget those that we lost on that day and the bravery they showed in the worst of circumstances.  The nation and America became one body that day.  The bond that this tragedy wove that day, will never be broken. I am proud to be an American.           Google Images

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Congratulations To Chef Keith Huffman

Rocking Recipe Goes To.......
Chef Keith Huffman


Friday, September 9, 2011

Rocking Recipe Swap: Fall theme

Ok everybody.  It's Rockin' Recipe Time. Please enter your Fall recipe by this Sunday 9/11/2011.  Here is what I need.  Menu title, Ingredients, measurements, and directions. 

Example: Laura's Cheesy Chicken

  • 1/2 cup cubed Colby jack cheese
  • Boneless chicken breast enough to cover the bottom of glass casserole dish
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/3 C butter melted
  • Italian Bread Crumbs sprinkled over chicken 
Spread olive oil on bottom of glass casserole dish
Clean boneless chicken breast and pat dry- Lay on bottom of casserole dish
Spread the can of mushroom over the chicken
Put the cheese on top of the chicken and spread evenly
Pour the milk over entire dish
Sprinkle the Italian bread crumbs over dish
Pour melted butter over dish
Cover with foil and bake one hour at 350 degrees

Please link the recipe back to my blog.  I will highlight one recipe this Sunday. Good Luck

Chef Keith Huffman's Recipe 
Here is a recipe from my book. Hope your readers enjoy it.

Roasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

The hazelnut syrup used in this recipe is available in most supermarkets.
If you do not have lemon oil, prepare the lemon oil by mixing 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
Serves 8
½ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup hazelnut syrup
3 tbsp honey
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon oil
¼ cup lemon oil
½ cup olive oil
Add the hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons of lemon oil to a small bowl. Toss the hazelnuts in the oil until the nuts are coated. Place the nuts on a baking sheet pan and roast in a 350° F oven for 10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and cool completely. Once cool, grind the nuts in a food processor until they are a very fine texture. Add the ground hazelnuts, hazelnut syrup, honey, apple cider vinegar, the remaining lemon oil and olive oil to a blender and cover. Blend until the ingredients are well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir well before serving.

Minnesota Wild Rice Apricot Salad
Minnesota is known for its Native American wild rice!
Serves 4
1 recipe roasted hazelnut vinaigrette
¼ cup red onion, diced small
½ cup apricot preserves
½ cup fresh pineapple, diced small
8 large dried apricots, julienned
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp cranberry juice
4 oz. cooked Minnesota wild rice
4 oz. baby field greens, 6 cups
¼ cup almonds, slivered
Prepare the roasted hazelnut vinaigrette. In a bowl, add the onion, preserves, pineapple, apricots, vinegar, juice and previously cooked wild rice. Toss lightly. Add 4 ounces of the vinaigrette to the wild rice preparation and toss again. Refrigerate.
Plate Assembly
Place the greens on a chilled platter. Toss the rice preparation and place it in the center of the greens. Drizzle vinaigrette over the rice and greens. Refrigerate any unused vinaigrette for later use. Garnish with the slivered almonds.
Laura Rogers

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Liebster Award

My First Award: The Liebster Award

What is a Liebster Award? An acknowledgment passed from blogger to blogger. It has been passed to me and now I must pass it to my 5 others.
If awarded the Liebster—you should link back to the person who gave you the award. 
There is one qualification: You must have less than 200 followers.
(I think everyone below has less than 200---but I’m not sure.  Anyway the award is yours if I’ve passed it on!)
My five nominees for the Liebster Award are:  Drum Roll Please:

Linda Rogers:
Kathy Thompson Combs:
Joyce Lansky:
Mike Miller:
Kim Iverson:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kindle Publishing my Blog

I am so very pleased.  Tomorrow marks a big event for me as a writer. This blog will be published on Kindle. I am like a kid in the candy store.  I just can't wait to see it for myself.  Many of you are like-minded when it comes to writing.  For me writing is and always will be a huge part of my self care, balance, and creative way to vent.

I want to thank all of you who have ever come over to my stoop to read my poetry, stories, family life, recipes, foodie facts and more. Please tweet this as I would love to have many check out my blog on Kindle. Thanks in advance..    Love and Light

Writing has been one of my best friends in life." Laura Rogers

The Salient Gentleman

Leaning over the lovely Oak table at the bed and breakfast, my love kissed me softly on the lips. This weekend stay at the Burwell Bed and Breakfast solidified our relationship that had been growing ever closer over the past year.  A story book romance I called it, was heaven on earth. I never thought that my prince charming would ever show up. Here we were at the most prominent B& B in the Midwest. Paul had told me nothing is too great for my gal.  Brunette hair and a face that looked angelic in purity. He was the perfect guy. Holding doors open no matter where we entered, a rose at every date, and words that most women long to hear.  I love you Laura and I want to spend my life with you.

This salient man, a Doctor of Pediatrics.  He was smart, loving, kind and well, in love-making, I sweat just to think about it.  The waitress brought out the last course of the meal and our favorite.  Cherry Cheesecake Jubilee.  " Laura, I will let you do the honors."  I opened up the silver chafing dish admiring the vanilla white cheesecake and cherry red fruit on top.  Shining right on top of the cherries was something I could not make out.  "Paul, there is something on top of the cheesecake, shall we send it back?"  "Oh, Laura why don't you look a bit closer he said as he giggled."  I let my finger lift up on the shiny vessel and let out a scream that girls from all around the world would recognize.  Shaking, I looked closer as this beautiful diamond at least one carat inlaid in a beautiful Gold band littered with not one, not two, but four diamonds.  "Paul, it is so lovely.  "Well please don't leave a man in love waiting."   Now down on one knee and the entire staff at the bed and breakfast looking on, He said It.  He said the words I had been longing for, " Laura, Will you marry me and make me the happiest man on earth?"   " Yes, Yes, Yes, Paul, I will marry you."

Sad that the weekend had to end, Paul and I packed up our luggage and headed out to our separate cars since we both had to drive to work in the morning. Paul finished packing toiletries as I went out and loaded up my car.  Knowing I had left my cell phone in his car from the night before I went to the back seat where I had left it.  Pondering why it was not there, I guessed he must have put it in the trunk which he had opened during our packing.

There it was, my phone, but what lay next to it had my mind going in all directions.  A bible and a Priest habit with the entire black and white uniform.........................