“The Legend of the Christmas Spider”

I’ve recently been told about a very beautiful old tale and so now I’m sharing it with you. It’s a simple, yet sweet story that is full of inspiration. Hope you enjoy it just as much as I do!

 

 

“A poor but hardworking widow once lived in a small hut with her children. One summer day, a pine cone fell on the earthen floor of the hut and took root. The widow’s children cared for the tree, excited at the prospect of having a Christmas tree by winter. The tree grew, but when Christmas Eve arrived, they could not afford to decorate it. The children sadly went to bed and fell asleep. Early the next morning, they woke up and saw the tree covered with cobwebs. When they opened the windows, the first rays of sunlight touched the webs and turned them into gold and silver. The widow and her children were overjoyed. From then on, they never lived in poverty again.” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_the_Christmas_Spider

 

 

“The Legend of the Christmas Spider is an Eastern European folktale which explains the origin of tinsel on Christmas trees. It is most prevalent in Ukraine, where small ornaments in the shape of a spider are traditionally a part of the Christmas tree decorations.” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_the_Christmas_Spider

 

 

 

 

Wishing you all a very blessed holiday season!! From my home to yours…… Happy Holidays!!! ~ Love & Light, Sheila ❤

 

 

 

 

“The Legend of the Christmas Spider” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_the_Christmas_Spider

 

“What A Sweetheart Design!”

Happy Monday all you ladies and gents!! We’re off to a great start for a fabulous week ahead! Wanted to share with you another gorgeous creation that Clay has made! This sweetheart choker-style necklace measures roughly 15 inches in length and is adorned with Earth-toned colored glass beads and copper-toned hearts.

Just a lovely example of the many pieces of jewelry that we are constantly wholeheartedly creating!

 

 

And always remember because you rock…. to live the life, laugh at every chance you can, and love the moment! Live. Laugh. Love. Continue to share those beautiful, positive vibes, everyone!! ❤

 

 

Love & Light, Sheila & Clay

 

 

Find us at CSParkerJewelry on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CSParkerJewelry

 

 

 

 

(Sweetheart choker-style necklace handmade by Clay Parker of CSParkerJewelry!)

(Sweetheart choker-style necklace handmade by Clay Parker of CSParkerJewelry!)

(Sweetheart choker-style necklace handmade by Clay Parker of CSParkerJewelry!)

(Sweetheart choker-style necklace handmade by Clay Parker of CSParkerJewelry!)

(Sweetheart choker-style necklace handmade by Clay Parker of CSParkerJewelry!)

“I have Rosacea”

“Rosacea (roe-ZAY-she-uh) is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face. It may also produce small, red, pus-filled bumps. These signs and symptoms may flare up for a period of weeks to months and then diminish for a while. Rosacea can be mistaken for acne, an allergic reaction or other skin problems.

Rosacea can occur in anyone. But it most commonly affects middle-aged women who have fair skin. While there’s no cure for rosacea, treatments can control and reduce the signs and symptoms. If you experience persistent redness of your face, see your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment.” ~ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20353815

 

 

 

Sounds so simple doesn’t it? To many it might be, but not for me. More than 16 million Americans are reported to have rosacea.

What causes rosacea? Excellent question! According to the Mayo Clinic, “The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it could be due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.” ~ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20353815

Back in October, just before Halloween I noticed some irritation on my chin, tiny little bumps that oozed clear fluid and my skin had become quite sensitive, itchy and somewhat tender. The redness was embarrassing, looked like I had a red beard of inflammation. Unfortunately, I recognized it from something I had years ago on a couple of different occasions. I scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist and got my diagnosis. It was perioral dermatitis which “is a facial rash that tends to occur around the mouth. Most often it is red and slightly scaly or bumpy. Any itching or burning is mild. It may spread up around the nose, and occasionally the eyes while avoiding the skin adjacent to the lips.” ~ https://www.aocd.org/page/PerioralDermatitis

This was the third time in twenty years that I had perioral dermatitis. UGH….. Anyway, this time I went to a new dermatologist, a different clinic than the one I had previously gone to from years ago only because I had moved to a different state.

The dermatologist this time prescribed me a steroidal cream and two weeks worth of doxycycline. Sounds good, right? I would have thought so, too until when I was finished with my doxycycline I noticed that my condition wasn’t improving. It actually was getting worse. So, I went back to the clinic, but saw a different dermatologist this time. He assessed the condition, confirming it was still indeed perioral dermatitis. He looked at my record from my prior visit and told me that I shouldn’t have been prescribed a steroidal cream at all and advised me to stop using it. He then told me that I should have actually been prescribed an anti-steroidal cream instead and my prescription of doxycycline needed to be a stronger dose lasting for a month instead of the two weeks, unlike what his colleague had previously recommended for me to do. (Which has made me never want to see his colleague again. Anywho…)

I followed his advice, took the medication exactly like I was supposed to do and applied the anti-steroidal cream daily. Guess what?! My skin was starting to improve! YES, thank goodness!! Finally the tiny, itchy bumps were going away and the minor oozing had stopped.

…… BUT THEN…… I noticed that my skin was still having problems. Even though I could tell that the perorial dermatitis was going away, I was having skin issues of a different sort. On my face, not just on my chin this time, I was getting more bumps and redness. I could tell that it wasn’t from the previous condition, it was something else. There were these pustule nodules forming and they were painful and very red. It was getting to the point where people were starting to ask me, “what’s going on with your face?” Talk about the embarrassment! Here I am 42 years old and dealing with the face of a pubescent teenager, or so I felt. I was completely aggravated… mortified! I tried natural remedies like making my own facial scrub using lemon and sugar…. I also tried witch hazel… store bought masks…. OTC products… nothing worked! I was trying not to have to go back to the dermatologist. I was getting so discouraged and didn’t want to be seen publicly anywhere. All I wanted to do was hide in the darkest corner away from everyone. It’s been that embarrassing for me! Was I being a tad bit dramatic? I don’t think so because for anyone who’s dealt with these issues, then they unfortunately know exactly what I’m talking about.

So, finally after weeks of dealing with ongoing skin problems that were continually getting worse, I bit the bullet and scheduled another appointment (the third one since October) with my dermatologist. I saw the same dermatologist as I did the second time because I felt confident with him. He walked into the room and immediately started listening to all I had to say. He confirmed that the perorial dermatitis had in fact cleared up, but took a deeper look at my face. He then pointed out the flushing on my cheeks and the visible small blood vessels that are on both sides of my nose, along with my redness and bumps. That’s when he said the dreaded words….. “You have rosacea.”. I was like, “what?!” My dermatologist then continued that it was nothing to worry about and that he has rosacea as well.

He gave me a short list of some triggers that can cause rosacea flare-ups, plus he advised me on skincare tips to help prevent any worsening of this condition. He also prescribed me Soolantra, which is a cream that helps reduce rosacea bumps and blemishes. So far, so good…. it’s been three weeks since my last appointment and things are improving, slowly but surely.

Upon my research of rosacea, it is a skin condition with no cure, meaning that anyone who has it will have it for the rest of their lives. Treatment is available, the sooner the better because untreated rosacea can worsen greatly over time, causing permanent skin damage, including skin thickening of the nose making it appear bulbous and swollen. “Phymatous rosacea is more common in men than women, and although the thickened skin and irregular surface nodules may affect other areas of the face, it is most often involves the nose. Mild cases may be treated with medications, but more severe cases of rhinophyma typically require surgery.” ~ https://www.rosacea.org/blog/2017/february/tvs-the-doctors-shows-life-changing-surgery-for-rosacea

“Rosacea can cause eyelids to become red, swollen, and sties may develop. The area around the eyelid may develop a crust or scaling and, much like the nose and cheeks, blood vessels may become visible.” ~ https://www.mdlive.com/7-signs-rosacea/ Which can eventually lead to eye irritation and vision problems.

“Rosacea is more common in women than men, but in men, the symptoms can be more severe. It can also become progressively worse. Leaving it untreated can cause significant damage, not only to the skin, but to the eyes as well. That’s why it’s so important to visit a dermatologist at the earliest sign of these symptoms.” ~ https://www.mdlive.com/7-signs-rosacea/

I am extremely grateful that I went back to the dermatologist, which led to the diagnosis of my rosacea. Knowing what I know now has answered so many questions that I’ve had for a while regarding my face…. like the sensitivity to certain products… the random breakouts which I now know are flare-ups…. why even things including atmospheric conditions like humidity, hot or cold temperatures, and wind will often irritate my skin. However, I will say that I’ve been noticing the flushing on my cheeks and the visible blood vessels around my nose for a long time, but never thought much about it until my skin worsened.

This has definitely been an eye-opener for me. Learning what can trigger flare-ups is something that I am steadily reading about. What kinds of foods to eat, being wise about what kind of facial products to use to cleanse my face (I recommend Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser. “It’s formulated with a hypoallergenic fragrance that’s free of known skin allergens and irritating essential oils. It’s been clinically proven to be gentle for cleansing sensitive skin, including acne-prone skin, eczema, rosacea and atopic dermatitis.

So far the cleanser has proven to be fantastic for my skin! Not using a washcloth to wash my face has helped a great deal, too! I have read that people with rosacea have to be careful even with doing so because the cloth and facial sponges can be too aggressive on our skin. And getting facials, sitting in saunas and other things like that are not necessarily the best idea for people with this skin condition. Also, modifying my exercise routine. Wait, why that?! Because the elevation of body temperature may also bring on the possibility of a flare-up. So I make sure to drink water as I workout to help maintain a cooler body temperature. When going outdoors be sure to always use a sunscreen, especially one that’s made for people with rosacea.

Like I mentioned earlier, being mindful of certain foods that can cause flare-ups like certain spices, spicy foods, citrus, dairy… the list is actually quite lengthy. Even hot beverages such as coffee and teas can be a no-no. I’ve learned to drink my hot beverages at a much lower temperature. (This part has been difficult because I do love my hot coffee and hot herbal teas!)

Other triggers for many people are sunlight, wind, certain kinds of make-up, emotions, alcohol, certain drugs that can dilate blood vessels such as blood pressure medications.

As far as foods go that have been triggers for me that I’ve discovered so far are citrus fruits, tomatoes, chili, pizza, anything with excessive sugar or white flour.. even the cinnamon infused water that I used to drink on a daily basis I’ve had to stop because of the flare-ups. I’ve also had to stop with my vinegar dose that I would take daily as an aid to help with my arthritis. Even things like mustard, strawberries, spinach and chocolate (which I love all) can be triggers. I’ve recently discovered that mouthwash with alcohol as an ingredient even triggers my rosacea. Crazy, huh?! Finding what triggers my rosacea will be a continuing lesson as time goes on. I’ve learned that triggers can be different from one person to the next, meaning that what may cause a flare-up for someone may not necessarily cause a flare-up for someone else.

My research on the topic has been extensive so far, and let me just tell you…. WOW!! But I am learning and I will get my rosacea under control. I understand that it won’t happen overnight, unfortunately, but it will be under control. The important part is that I was diagnosed with it early, thankfully!

And the month of April is known as Rosacea Awareness Month. “The goal of Rosacea Awareness Month is to spread public education on this disease so that more people who may have rosacea seek medical help before it gets worse, and so those whose lives are affected can find greater public acceptance and understanding.” ~ rosacea.org https://www.rosacea.org/patients/rosacea-awareness-month

“Getting treatment is a must, so make sure you see your doctor. If you don’t take care of your rosacea, redness and swelling can get worse and might become permanent.” ~ webMD

 

 

 

Famous people with rosacea:

Bill Clinton (42nd President of the United States)

Renee Zellweger (Actress)

Diana, Princess of Whales

Prince William (Diana’s son)

W.C. Fields (Early film star from the 1920s and 1930s.)

Cameron Diaz (Actress)

Sam Smith (Musician)

Cynthia Nixon (Actress)

Rembrandt van Rijn (17th century Dutch painter)

Dita Von Teese (Model)

Lisa Faulkner (Celebrity chef)

 

 

The following are some really great sites that I’ve discovered regarding rosacea:

National Rosacea Society: https://www.rosacea.org/

American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea

healthline.com Rosacea Diet: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid for Calmer Skin: https://www.healthline.com/health/rosacea-diet

webMD: What is Rosacea: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-rosacea-basics#1

 

 

 

So, wow!! A lot of info…. and so much more to learn!! If any of you have rosacea, please feel free to share. What are your triggers and how do you manage any flare-ups?

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the Holidays!!!

The holidays are here and I hope you all have amazing plans for this wonderful time of year! My family and I will be spending a few days with our loved ones in Tennessee, some much needed time that has been long overdue. We definitely can’t wait!!

Whether one lives hundreds of miles away from loved ones (like my family and I do) or if one simply lives right down the road, it’s extremely important to stop our daily routines to make time to be with those we hold dear in our hearts. Yesterday is just a memory while tomorrow is never promised, so live in the moment and make today the best one ever! Carpe diem! Why? Because life is short and we may never get a second chance to enjoy it!!

So, sip on your egg nog, hot cocoa, apple cider or whatever makes your tummy warm and laugh with those who make you happy. Negate all that is negative and know in your heart that there is a wondrous blessing to behold each and every single day. Hug your family and friends, always keeping them close, even though the miles may say otherwise, the distance can never diminish the bond.

From our home to all of yours!! Merry Christmas & A Very Happy New Year!!!

Love, Sheila & family ❤

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_2018-12-18-22-15-13~2

“Risen”

She soars high above adversity, rising higher than she’s ever been before. The Phoenix is an exquisite representation of a courageous spirit who refuses to back down in the face of fear.

The Phoenix is strong, confident and ever so elegant. She embraces the will to survive and seeks to aid others on their journey to empowerment!

Recently I wrote an article titled, Dodging the Bullet about how I had to get further testing (another mammogram and an ultrasound) to make sure that I didn’t have anything ailing me. My results came back all clear, thank goodness! But after all was done, I was inspired to paint a soaring Phoenix with a Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon as the bird’s body. I searched online for ideas on how to design the Phoenix and finally came up with a soft, yet bold, representation of how I wanted the artwork to turn out.

Here is my painting. I am extremely happy on how beautiful she is!!! She will proudly be displayed on a wall in my office. So excited!!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

(“Risen” ~ Artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Author. Artist. Empath. Paranormal Researcher.)

Little Miss Pollyanna

Ahhh…. Little Miss Pollyanna….. to live day to day with a positive attitude…. to try one’s best to help spread the ever so needed energy of positive vibes. …. to negate all that is negative to help the world be a better, brighter place. Not a bad way to live. At least, not for me anyway….. lol…. however….

There are those out there who have tried to imply that I’m “too bubbly”. That I’m too much of a dreamer, always with my head in the clouds. Well, all I have to say to that is… I am extremely proud of the cheerful person that I am! I have come a loooonnngggggg way to be the woman that I’ve become. And yes, I am a dreamer, but I am also a realist. I know when to set boundaries when it comes to the fantasy world. Will I ever stop being silly and goofy? Not a chance in Hell!!! 😉

Now I’m sure you’re all asking, “Why is she writing a blog post like this?”. Because on occasion a random person, here and there, has come forward to me with their negative verbiage and try to deflate my positive attitude. For some peculiar reason they think I’ve never had any of life’s issues. (Trust me, I’ve never been immuned to life’s challenges.) BUT…. I, just like anyone else, have the choice to rise above adversity. I will not allow anything negative to get the best of me, and I am well aware of how people and things are.

I think it’s hilarious that my positive disposition has actually bothered some folks. For them to literally reach out to me (especially when they don’t even know me) and try to dim my ray of sunshine?! Their comments have completely no effect on me. I use them to help me to be even stronger, to rise even higher as an enlightened individual. I honestly hope those who live negative lives are able to one day find peace and happiness in their hearts.

Some people are truly such sad individuals to try to bring others down. Now I promise my intentions are not to be petty with this article, nor play any childish games by calling out naysayers. All I am doing is reminding people how important it is to have a positive mindset and how much better it can, and will, make someone feel!

Being cynical only implies that one hasn’t discovered the inner strength or harmony needed to see the brighter side of things. There is a sense of awakening, even a sense of empowerment, when one finally embraces both, Light and Dark. As I often like to say…. “I love the Dark as much as I love the Light. There is such a beautiful balance.”

For all you beautiful people out there with your radiant smiles…. continue to shine for all the world to see! YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! And for all you naysayers…. you just need a BIG FUZZY HUG!!!! LOL…. 😉

 

Have a blessed weekend, everyone!

Love & Light, Sheila

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

(Sheila Renee Parker: Author. Artist. Empath.)

“Fight Like A Girl”

Even though I’m not a fighter, I am a huge supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness. Since my recent article, Dodging The Bullet, I have discovered an amazing site that helps empower people worldwide by hosting wonderful fundraisers that aren’t just for people, but for animals and our planet as well! The Breast Cancer Site Store is “a registered fundraiser for GreaterGood.org, GreaterGood has proudly funded over $50 million and counting in charitable donations”.

Last week, after having my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound come back with negative results, I was so elated that it inspired me to reach out even more as a breast cancer awareness advocate.

I know to some of you, you may be getting tired of me talking about it, but if I can reach out to at least one person who’s life can be saved, then that’s what truly matters! How important it is to be there for others and to help save lives!

When I was on The Breast Cancer Site Store I found this beautiful, yet simple, sterling silver ring with an enamel pink ribbon. I couldn’t resist buying it! It arrived in the mail, earlier than expected, two days ago and I proudly wear it to show my support, not just for this month (October being Breast Cancer Awareness month: a.k.a. “Pinktober”), but I will continue to wear it every single day. The ring’s fit is extremely comfortable and the purchase helps fund mammograms!! How cool is that?! Here’s the link to my sweet pink ribbon ring….. https://store.thebreastcancersite.greatergood.com/products/64143-pink-ribbon-sterling-ring

What are you waiting for?! lol…. Go check out the site! They have so many awesome things to choose from…. jewelry, clothing, blankets & bedding, throw pillows, car accessories, office accessories, home decor, personal care…. and so much more!!!! Again, when making a purchase, it helps fund amazing causes!

 

As always….. Love & Light, my friends!!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

The card and pouch that came with my pink ribbon ring. ❤

 

 

My beautiful sterling silver and pink enamel ribbon ring for Breast Cancer Awareness!