Blog Archives

Celebrating the Fourth – Independence Day *************

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

In tribute to our country – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LSarhZpnM

Have a great holiday!

Solitaire

The Dragomeir Series and all other books are now available on ebay!

You can go directly to ebay

or check out my website for all other available locations in various formats.

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

Save

In Honor of Fathers –

Father’s day is just a few days away.  It’s a time of honoring your father and his contributions to your life.  This day is dedicated to all the fathers in the world who have given many sacrifices in bringing up their children and molding them into better people.

Here are some of the famous quotes for special fathers. 

 

  • “A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.”

 

  • “A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids and family.”

 

  • “It is not flesh and blood, but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.”

 

  • “Father!—to God himself we cannot give a holier name!” – William Wordsworth

 

  • “The imprint of a father remains forever on the life of the child.” – Roy Lessin

 

  • “We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.” – Henry Ward Beecher

 

  • “My father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – Liza Minnelli

 

  • “The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce

 

  • “A father is the one friend upon whom we can always rely. In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember him upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and even though he may be unable to assist us, his mere presence serves to comfort and strengthen us.” – Émile Gaboriau

 

  • “Good fathers do three things: they provide, they nurture and they guide.” – Roland Warren

 

  • “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham

 

  • “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” – Ruth E. Renkel

 

  •  “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert

 

  • “Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility, and not walking away from one’s children.” – William Bennett

 

  • Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it’s not something that shakes up my life but rather it enriches it.” – Andrea Bocelli

 

To all of you who have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father, or those of you who are working hard at being a great father – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

 

Solitaire –

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May We Always Remember . . .

Once again it is Memorial Day, and for many it is a long weekend for camping, parties, lots of sales, and even Memorial Day cruises.  There are many reasons why this day is notable.  But let’s not forget the real reason – the important reason.  It was set aside to remember and honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the military service of America . . . Those who died fighting to preserve our lives and our freedom.  They won’t be here to celebrate with us because they gave up everything for us.  So amidst our celebrations, let’s pause and take time to remember the thousands of men and women whose lives were cut short so that we could live, and be with those we love to enjoy our freedoms.

God help us to remember the cost of our blessings and to remain worthy of that cost.

 

Solitaire

http://www.solitaireparke.com

12 Ways to Handle “Toxic People”

toxic

Hello Readers,

It’s hard to believe we’re at the close of November, heading into December – The Christmas Season.  Where does the time go?  Way too fast, that’s for sure.  I was thinking about the pros and cons of the holiday season which triggered a subject that we all have to deal with, not only during the month of December, but all year long.  That issue we call “Toxic People.”  This season seems to bring them out of the woodwork more than any other time of the year.  I guess when you take the hassle and stress of everyday life and then add the hustle and bustle of the holidays on top of it; you get very disgruntled and often malevolent people.  You’ll find them everywhere – at home, at work, at the shopping mall, driving down the freeway, or at the grocery store.

How do we deal with these exhausted, exasperated, furious, and anxious human beings?  Well, I came across an article that was very enlightening.  It was written by Dr. Travis Bradberry, who is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional. Intelligence 2.0.  Here is some of the information from that article.

Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress.

Studies have long shown that stress can have a lasting, negative impact on the brain. Exposure to even a few days of stress compromises the effectiveness of neurons in the hippocampus—an important brain area responsible for reasoning and memory. Weeks of stress cause reversible damage to neuronal dendrites (the small “arms” that brain cells use to communicate with each other), and months of stress can permanently destroy neurons. Stress is a formidable threat to your life success—when stress gets out of control, your brain and your performance suffer.

You need to manage your emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. To deal with toxic people effectively, you need an approach that enables you to control what you can and eliminate what you can’t. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of far more than you realize.  These are the things you need to master:

 Set Limits (Especially with Complainers)

Complainers and negative people are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral.  You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

 Don’t Die in the Fight

Victorious people know how important it is to live to fight another day, especially when your foe is a toxic individual. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

 Rise Above

Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. Which begs the question, why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?  The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

 Stay Aware of Your Emotions

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.  Think of it this way—if a mentally unstable person approaches you on the street and tells you he’s John F. Kennedy, you’re unlikely to set him straight. When you find yourself with someone who is engaged in similarly derailed thinking, sometimes it’s best to just smile and nod. If you’re going to have to straighten them out, it’s better to give yourself some time to plan the best way to go about it.

 Establish Boundaries

This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they work or live with someone, they have no way to control the chaos. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve found your way to Rise Above a person, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when you don’t. For example, even if you work with someone closely on a project team, that doesn’t mean that you need to have the same level of one-on-one interaction with them that you have with other team members.  You can establish a boundary, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you are bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to encroach upon them, which they will.

Don’t Let Anyone Limit Your Joy

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

 Don’t Focus on Problems—Only Solutions

Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.  When it comes to toxic people, fixating on how crazy and difficult they are gives them power over you. Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and focus instead on how you’re going to go about handling them. This makes you more effective by putting you in control, and it will reduce the amount of stress you experience when interacting with them.

 Don’t Forget

Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Don’t be willing to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so let them go quickly and be assertive in protecting yourself from future harm.

Squash Negative Self-Talk

Sometimes you absorb the negativity of other people. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary, and self-defeating. It sends you into a downward emotional spiral that is difficult to pull out of. You should avoid negative self-talk at all costs.

Limit Your Caffeine Intake

Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re surprised  by an angry person.

Get Some Sleep

I can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present.  A good night’s sleep makes you more positive, creative, and proactive in your approach to toxic people, giving you the perspective you need to deal effectively with them.

Use Your Support System

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To deal with toxic people, you need to recognize the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Everyone has someone at work and/or at home who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as explaining the situation can lead to a new perspective. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation.

Bring It All Together

Before you get this system to work brilliantly, you will find yourself tested by touchy interactions with problem people. Thankfully, the plasticity of the brain allows it to mold and change as you practice new behaviors, even when you fail. Implementing these healthy, stress-relieving techniques for dealing with difficult people will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.

So there you have it.  Maybe by using some of these techniques we can keep the stress levels down and make it through the holidays and even our lives!

Have a great day and don’t forget to check out the information and books on my website.  Reading is a terrific stress reliever and books make a wonderful gift!

If you have any helpful ideas, please let us all know.  We can always use another stress reliever or way to deal with those toxic folks out there.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

July 4th, 2016 – Happy Independence Day!

american_flag_mountains

Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

Have a great Fourth of July – GOD BLESS AMERICA

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

Save

National Clean Out Your Computer Day?

 computercleanout

Apparently the second Monday in February is the National Clean out Your Computer Day. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I just came across this obscure holiday while researching another topic. Somewhere along the way, a computer geek or service person probably created this day as an opportunity for us to review, cleanup, and delete old and unused files or programs. It’s a pretty good idea since many of us add programs and files on a regular basis, and then often don’t use them for a long time, if at all. Over time they can clog memory or file retrieval and possibly slow the computer down. Most computers have a large storage capacity so we neglect to give them a good housecleaning.

So, get into the spirit of the day and take a look at your files and programs on the computer –

  • Organize your files and folders.
  • Delete junk files.
  • Delete duplicate files.
  • Delete old files and programs not being used.

For fun, look up other Bizarre and Unique Holidays in February –

http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/february.htm

 

Happy Computing!

Solitaire

sp@solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas Mt. Drago 2015!

MtDrago_Christmastree_2015

 

It’s time for the Holidays! Mt. Drago has once again erected the Christmas tree in the middle of Commons. This one is the second of its kind, and has been decorated by the kids of Mt. Drago. Last year they picked their favorite dragon and created a Christmas ornament for them. At the end of the season all of the ornaments were gathered up and boxed for this year’s celebration. We have more children approaching the age where participation is possible and a whole new bumper crop of dragon ornaments to hang from the tree. All of the ornaments were carefully wrapped and packed into a series of “Holders of Things” to ensure they were kept safe.

Above is an image of the new and updated tree. We hope your Holiday Season is as joyful as ours.  Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours…

Tanis, Demi, Bubo, and Chaos.

Go to solitaireparke.com to find the Dragomeir Series Books at various locations.

 

 

 

A Prayer to Remember

thanksgiving_2015

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.

-Samuel F. Pugh

Let’s always remember to be Thankful for God, Family, Friends and every Blessing.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Solitaire

 

Happy Holidays – Merry Christmas!!!

It’s that time of year again. . . The Holidays! The Christmas tree, THE Christmas tree went up in Commons at Mt. Drago. This one is special, and has been decorated differently for the first time ever. We thought it was time to honor the very creatures that we hold stewardship to.   They love everything about Christmas and take part in all of the festivities. This year we asked the kids of Mt. Drago to pick their favorite dragon and create a Christmas ornament for them. At the end of the season all of the ornaments will be gathered up and boxed for next year’s season. Hopefully we’ll do that again in all the years to come. We snapped a photo so you could see this year’s tree as well. We hope you enjoy it!

 Christmas3_dragontree2

Holidays at Mt.Drago

In The Dragomeir Series, Book One – “The Emerald Dragon,” most of the dwellers of Mt. Drago are technically not from around Arizona or even from earth for that matter. The ones that are from here celebrate holidays in the same way as those who live in the smaller world. Good examples of that would be people like Bob Harris, and Ivory McNeil, both of whom came to the mountain from known places like Chicago and New York. During holidays like the one coming up, Thanksgiving, they celebrate in the same traditional ways that other people have for decades. Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and all of the trimmings served by the resident Stewards will be held this year at Mt. Drago on November, 27th 2014 at around noon. Hope to see you there! Turkey roasted over an open fire . . . nothing better!

thanksgiving

 

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

ellisnelson

children's author

Ms Toy Whisperer

I am a writer who sells vintage books and toys. I write about the whimsy of life, family, thrifting, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

H.L.M. Garrison

Failing better at writing, one try at a time

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

All Things Writing and Geek, in one neat little blog!

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Madstoffa's crunchy house!

Part time actor, aspiring writer of poetry and prose and full-time idiot with a heart.

Jason K. Lewis - Writer (of sorts)

Writing is a painful journey- I just started and it hurts already

idiotprufs

Illegal in 38 states--frowned upon in the rest.

Jennifer M Eaton

Author, Weaver of Tales

bdhesse

A writing WordPress.com site

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

S.A. Mulraney

Official site of the the YA fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic paranormal author

MR. LONG DRAG

Vape Tips. Vape Reviews. Vape Life.

Author Blog

www.theaccidentalwriter.com

readful things blog

colourful language, colourful opinions

D.A. Roberts

The End is only the Beginning.

%d bloggers like this: