Which Book?


I have this long list of books to read. When I say long list, I mean it is over fifty books long. I realized I have not been reading like I did in the past and I really need to get back into reading.

Reading is such an important thing to do. It opens our minds, introduces new words into our vocabulary, presents us with concepts, ideas and many different kinds of thoughts. When we take the time to digest and analyze what we read, it really is life transforming – one book at a time.

Now, I am a little strange in that my favorite type of book is self help followed by DIY (do it yourself). I love learning and trying new things. While I will read books from other genres, my go to really sticks to self help and DIY. I think it may be time to add new books from other genres here and there.

So here is the thing – I have ten books titles listed to read out of the fifty. Just to be a pill – I have not included taglines or author titles (lol). I am asking all of you which book should I read out of the ten that I have listed. You can tweet me your choice, post your choice on my Facebook page or comment below. If there is a book you want to recommend, let me know that too.

The book that is mentioned the most is the book that I will read. Not only will I read it, I will give an update every four weeks until I have finished the book. At that point, I will give a full review. You are welcome to read along with me and join the discussion. You have two weeks to let me know your thoughts.

1• Craft of Book Binding
2• The No Spend Challenge Guide
3• Lonely Planet Poland (Travel Guide)
4• Tools of Titans
5• Aren’t I a Woman
6• Think Like A Freak
7• Heirloom Teddybears (How to make)
8• Living Forward
9• The New Science of Super Awareness
10• Nourishing Traditions

Thank you for listening and hopefully voting. Talk to you guys soon.

Welcome Back

It has been a while…..

There has been a lot going on, things I have been working on and working through.

One of the major things is starting a new business.  This is a brand new world for me in a way.  A new business built grass roots start up style has put me in a position to apply things I have learned and to stretch me in ways I could never imagine.

One of the first things I realized is that I did not want a business as my personal name.  I wanted business to be business and me to be me.  I know that may sound a little silly, but businesses take on an identity.  When a person is the business and the business is the person, the personal world and the business world fight at times where there is a conflict in values.  While I personally share in the values of my business, the business is isolated to a specific purpose.  My personal being may have more than one purpose.  This is where the conflict pops up.

Going forward the blog I set up called Half Baked to Raw will transform into the business website and this website will be my personal blog.  It is a kind of separation of church and state issue within myself.  Yes, you can laugh at that.  I do.

When I realized that I did not want to name the business after me or do business as my personal self any longer, the struggle to select a name was on.  It was a quest.  I started by listing purpose, value and potential products.  In that moment I realized that Half Baked to Raw was the most suitable name.  I had named the business organically.

I have been on the adventure of creating the corporation and trying to make sure I meet the appropriate regulations.  Since it is a corporation there are things one must and has to do.  Paperwork!  I am still navigating through that right now.  You know crazy things like unemployment insurance, setting up payroll and all of that fun stuff.  Being prepped for future audits, because that will happen at some point.  I am foundation setting and it is a process.

The struggle to not be distracted as I work to be able to work from home is a real thing.  This is not just for myself, but also family.  It is a new thing.  I am accustomed to working in an office during the day and working from home at night.  I do not know why it doesn’t translate over for me, but it just does not.  Working from home during the day is very different than at night for me.  Weird, I know.

At any rate, I will be posting more here, now that I have figured myself and business separations out.  I am free to blog away and write about the things I encounter and live such as the empty nesting lifestyle, bringing fitness back to a 50 plus old body, dealing with the impact of house maintenance put off so I could take care of the girls as a single parent and other things like art, crafts, exploration, life, photography and Star Trek.

There is no promise to write daily here, but I am working to write every week.  That does not mean I won’t do daily writing or posting.  It just feels so good to be back.  After stopping blogging a few years ago due to a bit of insanity and drama that hit my life and struggling to find me, motivation, walk through depression and all sorts of junk – I am back to my happy spot.  That place where one writes for the sheer fun of it – the just because.  No pressures, no trying to sway or move someone.  Just honest authentic writing to work out, write through, share, discuss and be.

I am ready for this journey and it starts ——–

—————————————————————–> NOW!  Let’s BE, DO, BELIEVE & SEE

Until next time,

Janice (aka The Lady Renegade)


Of Life & Honor

Myisha faced her father, partially in defiance but also in respect. He had given her the hardest lessons of all. Love isn’t always tender. Sometimes it is a double-edged sword that slices deep within.

She knew his intent was to get her to stop, to bring her back home to that suffocating mindless droning life.

“They say everything has already been created under the sun. So, what is the point in doing or creating anything? It is already done. There is nothing new. Life is just an illusion and I am tired of it.” Myisha softly spoke looking deep into her father’s eyes.

Alvian’s eyes widened in surprise to his daughter’s statement. Anger and disappointment swirled inside like battle demons searching for a way out.

“Myisha! What kind of words are these? Where is your honor, your integrity? I know that I have taught you better than this.”, Alvian spoke in a firm, intimidating tone. This tone normally worked with his daughter. Alvian felt the confidence subdue his anger, knowing he will have her on the way home with him soon.

Myisha fought back a smirk, amused at the same old tactics played by her father. “This time, dear father, this will not work with me.”, she thought to herself.

“Father!” Myisha cried out as she gathered her courage to face the one person she never could. “Father, my honor and integrity is right where I left it, in the corner room of your house. I will not be part of this illusion you have created – there is no honor in that. Better to be honorless than mindless.” Myisha spoke matching her father’s firmness and tone. She turned and walked away while her father was still shocked, tears rolling down her eyes.

Her heart hurt, but she knew being caged, forced to create for the benefit of one in exchange for privilege was wrong. She wondered how she will survive as she slipped into the darkness of the underpass.

The Thoughtfulness Project

The people in our lives help make life precious, add to our purpose and provide us with a support system.  We each have our own people.  In my life, the holiday season is usually when I get to socialize with and see my people.  There are people that I do not get to see and socialize with frequently that are good friends of mine.  My family and friends, my people, truly inspire me daily.

This made me think about taking a different approach for the year and holiday season for 2019.  Enter what I call the Thoughtfulness Project.

I want to encourage myself to put more thought into the things that I do and say with the people in my life.  I know this may sound silly.  Or maybe it just seems silly to me, because it is something I feel like I should already be doing.  I have a tendency to isolate myself and sometimes in that, I do not put this type of thought into the things that I do or say.

I decided to find a fun way to help me consciously place my mind on the people in my life – like a game of sorts.

Each month I am going to pick someone and write a “Dear ______” letter to them.  This is one of those old fashioned hand written snail mail types of letters.  I might do it more frequently, but right now my goal is once a month.  I have a small box that I have put everyones names in that I will be drawing from so the names are at random.  Hopefully, as I do this, maybe they will reply in some way and it will create a fun and unique dialogue that helps increase our bond.

I also decided that I would set a theme for each month and instead of doing the end of the year mad rush of holiday gifts, I will find some sort of trinket, gift, photo or item that matches the theme and ties to each individual in some way.  For each item, I will attach a special note to express how the item and theme relates to them in my eyes.  These will be collected and at the end of the year given to them.

All of this is followed with not only finding and looking for opportunities to exercise thoughtfulness for those people in my life, but enacting on those opportunities so they are aware of how amazing they are to me.

The themes for each month are as follows:

  1. Jan – Wisdom
  2. Feb – Grace
  3. Mar – Moon
  4. Apr – Thoughtfulness
  5. May – Rejuvenation
  6. Jun – Good
  7. Jul – Thankfulness
  8. Aug – Independence
  9. Sep – Water
  10.  Oct – Stability
  11. Nov – Compassion
  12. Dec – Wealth

I have no idea if this will help me reach my goal, but it is worth the try and at the end of the day something fun to do.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments and join in if you wish.



Week 1 ~ Recap

We have made it through the first week of the new year!  Yayyyy!

I feel good having something to work on, although, it is a little overwhelming.  I keep reminding myself to do what I can do and that is GOOD enough.  The magic is in the little bit done everyday.  The rest will follow.  I cannot do everything all at one time.  My brain and body would love to disagree with that.

Work is going okay.  I am not sure about the job, but I promised myself to stick it out a minimum of six months.  I hate doing things that I do not do well at and sales kind of jobs are really not my gig.  The thing is, I will never learn if I do not try and do.  Or as Yoda says, “No try, just do.”

Right now, my focus is on the basics and that is okay.  I have my creative challenges in place and am looking forward to seeing where they go.  Week one is basically a set up week.  Honestly, the first three months of the year will be that for me, since I am a stubborn one.  Yes, the force is great within me and that is not always a good thing.

At any rate, my quick recap against my goals is below.  I would love to give more details, but financially, I need to keep that part private, so for now I will compare against things or just confirm the practice.  I am pretty proud of those little bits.

There will be one or two more entries this week.  I have to finish writing up my Thoughtfulness Project to share.  It needs a few tweaks.  I also have some writing to complete so I can introduce that creative process as well as getting me back into my arts. I am on my way for 2019, one baby step at a time.  I also have a few things to write about in dealing with depression.

I hope you are making small gains or steps through your goals.


Financially secure:

  • Retirement fund.  – I have a wee bit in here.  Not enough for a steak dinner, but there is something in there to start working for me.
  • Emergency fund. – A wee bit in here too, not enough to buy pizza for the family, but small consecutive actions build up.  Here we go.
  • Debt that sustained me – I haven’t started, but I did take a look.  It was scary.  I chose which debt to push funds to in order to knock it down.  I will add a lump payment at the end of each month.
  • Future projects – Right now we have to get the Emergency fund filled.  Once that is done, then this will be worked on.


  • Hydrate everyday – aka DRINK WATER; I did not do so well this week.  My job is not one where I can really drink water.  More like I have to guzzle on breaks and lunch.  So the plan is a full glass when I wake up; during my two breaks & lunch and 4 glasses after work.
  • Yoga everyday – This past week, I hit four days out of the seven.  Good job since I started from none.
  • Work out everyday – This past week, I hit three days out of seven.  Good job since I started from none.
  • Follow a liver friendly meal plan – I am working on it.  It seems everything I like has fat in it.  LOL!  Since it is so difficult, I am switching one meal a day for this coming week.
  • Meditation – I haven’t done this at all during the week.  ;/
  • Reading – Currently reading a great book about financial health.  On target here.  Boohyah!
  • Cleanliness – I am keeping up, but need to really follow that schedule.  That hard part – when I get home and don’t want to or wake up and don’t want to.
  • Art – practice and create everyday.
    • Blog – getting warmed up.
    • Listing the creations for sale. – Working on getting this done
    • Purposefully creating items to go into my portfolio that will build my case that I am an artist worthy of following, collecting and licensing.  Working on this.
  • Education – I am investigating options.


  • Rounding out life into community
    • Identify my communities and participate in them gratefully as I am able to do so
      • Family – I have seen lots of family this past week.
      • Work – Still focused on learning the job.
      • Friends – Invited one over for Star Trek Discovery this past weekend.  whoo!
      • My neighborhood – Not there yet
      • My town – Not there yet
      • My state – Not there yet
      • Art – Not there yet
      • Hobbies – Not there yet
      • Charity – Not there yet
  • Give myself encouragement, praise and love.  – Trying…funny how this is harder than I thought.  O.o
  • Practice my 12 months of thoughtfulness (I will write more on this later). Have it planned out, time to write about it.

Get Your Words Out 2019 Writing Decathlon

I am really excited to be participating in the Get Your Words Out 2019 writing decathlon.  I discovered GYWO in November when I was searching the interwebs for writing challenges, prompts and inspiration.  They have several yearly goals.  I started on the light load of 75,000 words for 2019.  Each month I write and , check in with my actual words written for the month.  It is that simple.

I wonder what new people I will cross paths with on this adventure and I wonder what type of works I will create.  Will it be additional poetry or will I work on some stories.  I have always written poetry, but it has been a long time since I have sat and wrote stories.

If you want to join me, just pop on over to GYWO, sign up and get started.

GetYourWordsOut: Year Eleven!
Pledges & Requirements | GYWO.net



Happy New Year ~ 2019 ~

Happy New Year!

May 2019 bring you pleasant adventures that lead to living a truly good life.  I hope this year is our (yours and mine) best year yet.

Some may think that this post is another set of resolutions for the new year, but truly, it is simply a matter of timing.  2018 was an incredible year for me.  It was incredible in moments of pleasure and pain.  I experienced some of my happiest and darkest moments.  I do not view it as sad, but such a blessing because 2018 has forced me to relook at life and maybe for the first time to engage in an authentic honesty with myself.

I fought the depression battle and while painful, depression also has a beautiful purpose if one allows it.  The pain I held inside was a lifetime pent up.  It held every regret in life, every dissatisfaction, every longing, every lost moment and opportunity.  This is the place where one feels not only worthless, but hopeless.  It is in this place we face the deepest hurts in our lives and make that choice.  You know the one.  It becomes a moment by moment choice.  Life turns basic because even the little things become so hard.

It is in this place that new life has the opportunity to grow through making those moment by moment choices.  Think of it as similar to a place that was burnt to the ground in fire, but yet somehow, a seed germinates and it grows up through the ashes.  Those ashes, while the symbol of devastation also becomes the nutrients for that new life.  This is depression.  Once we have been torn down to what seems like despair and nothingness, there is room for new growth.  I know it sounds silly, but depression, like any emotion or state we feel or endure was never meant to be a final place.  Life is fluid, like water, always moving.

Small choices build upon each other.  The choice to get off of the couch and stand outside for a few minutes each day was actually a launching ground. The sun hitting my skin, the breeze washing over me with a new breath and the sounds of life all around me.  No matter the season, the sensations touch deep inside.  This brought me to question my own reasoning.  I realized in one moment how amazing life is and my choice was made to live it.  I am fortunate.  Call it another opportunity or chance.  Every day brings it, but so does each moment we live.

I wrote down all of my pain – all of the dissatisfaction, regrets, hurts and losses and burnt it away until they were just merely ashes crumbling in my fingers. I tossed them into a garden I ignored during 2018.  The ending of and the beginning of .

I decided instead of riding the day to day cycle of life, I am going to use everything I have and am to bring about change.  Whatever I was dissatisfied with, it is analyzed without emotion so I can learn.  I researched and created my little plan of action.  Funny how it fell in line with a new year.

So for 2019, I am declaring it the beginning of my restoration and rejuvenation.  It is one step at a time, but I have goals to achieve and life now has purpose.  I want to live a good, independent and financially secure life and I want to inspire others to do this as well.  It is not about having the biggest car or best whatnot or the most money.  It is a life of excellence, quality and stability.  It is a life flexible enough to endure the storms, strong enough to keep things stable and allow the pleasures of life in everyday.  It is, honestly, love.

I am starting small.  I am walking to a good, independent and financially secure life.

Financially secure:

  • I started a new job after being unemployed & bouncing like a seed in the wind. (Kids, seriously, go to college. The reason it was hard to find a job was the lack of the college degree, not the lack of skills)
    • I am rebuilding my retirement fund.
    • I am rebuilding my emergency fund.
    • I am paying down the debt that sustained me ( borrowed time – we have to give it back with interest)
    • I am saving for future projects (such as owning an apartment building, rebuilding my deck & home repairs).


  • The financially secure work listed above.
  • I still own my home thankfully, but my health has taken a downward spiral
    • Hydrate everyday – aka DRINK WATER
    • Yoga everyday – Appreciate life, thankfulness, strength in the body & mind, flexibility
    • Work out everyday – This is the high impact, things like running, aerobics, strength training work for the body to build it back up
    • Follow a liver friendly meal plan, which is pretty much vegies, fruits, no meats or dairy and limited fats.  Even healthy fats need to be watched (can’t eat avocados 24/7 yanno)
    • Meditation – the inward practice of gratefulness, thankfulness and appreciation, while visualizing my dream life.
    • Reading – Inspirational reading everyday. My goal here is a book or so each month.  It is not just to read but to take from those readings knowledge and apply to create wisdom in my daily life.
    • Cleanliness – reset and follow my house cleaning schedule to keep my home in a spa like homey feel.  I will extend this to the car, deck and lawn.
    • Art – practice and create everyday.  It is time to put my hands back into the clay, paints, photography and words.
      • This time, sharing on this blog my creations and progress as I go.
      • Listing the creations for sale.
      • Purposefully creating items to go into my portfolio that will build my case that I am an artist worthy of following, collecting and licensing.
    • Education – taking time to really analyze and get a plan in place to finish college.  This time using a realistic, practical approach to ensure it is usable for the future.


  • The financially secure work listed above.
  • The independent work listed above.
  • Rounding out life into community
    • Identify my communities and participate in them gratefully as I am able to do so
      • Family
      • Work
      • Friends
      • My neighborhood
      • My town
      • My state
      • Art
      • Hobbies
      • Charity
  • Give myself encouragement, praise and love.
  • Practice my 12 months of thoughtfulness (I will write more on this later)

Call them resolutions or goals.  I call them direction, purpose, a place to aim for everyday.  Without them, I will just sit on a couch and stare at a wall withering away with depression my companion and foe.  I am walking to these everyday in small actions and choices.  I will live a good, independent and financially secure life.

If you are making a choice to walk on your own adventure and desire to be encouraged while encouraging others, please share below or send me a message.  The biggest thing I have learned this year is that we do need others.

Until the next posting, be well and happy new year.