To My Beautiful Kindred Spirits

Well, ladies, it’s been awhile! I don’t want to come back on here and say, “hey we all should force ourselves to make time to write in this blog again,” because I know we all lead different lives and this was created as a space for us to get away from the craziness, not to add to it. I wish I could say I have come here often for a breath of fresh air, but I haven’t. However, I wanted to come back on here to remind myself of the memories we have made and to give you some encouragement. So, I hope this post reminds us all to be okay with not always forcing ourselves to create for the pressure of our check-lists, but to create simply for the joy of it.

I finally reached a point in this slow-but-still-so-busy season of my life to find joy in writing letters again. I was dealing with a lot of emotional pain for various reasons and it was hard to reach out to anyone more than I had to, even to simply just write a sweet “hello” letter. One of my good friends who lives several states away from me got my first letter this year, and boy oh boy did I want to burn it! She is the sort of friend you write your whole life out to and know she will do the same. It was pages long and definitely not my most creative letter, but it needed to be done. It was therapy for me. I have been feeling so much better — writing gives me perspective. Although I write in a journal, writing a letter that would land in safe hands was very much needed.

Thankfully, I am not writing the same letter to you gals! Hahaha I am just writing a page or a few, simply thanking you for the inspiration you all have given me over the years. This week I was able to breathe and actually enjoy writing you girls (I still have a couple more to write). I tried forcing myself to write you months ago but you and I both know sometimes forced creativity just to look like you are being creative is never our best. In fact, it’s horrible. Yes, there are many times we need to push and challenge ourselves! Yet, when we throw out authenticity and vulnerability just to check off the check-list, well…. Well, we really are doing no one a favor, especially ourselves. Sometimes we need to heal, renew, start over, get a new perspective, throw away the junk, and/or be still. It is from here we grow the most and our creativity shines out the clearer.

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Watching Melanie’s video while creating some of your ladies’ letters!

Anyway, today, I watched Melanie’s first YouTube video with her friend as I put together some of your letters! Wow, so inspiring and refreshing, but also challenged my thinking. I strive to capture beauty as well as demonstrate it, but sometimes I get carried away with focusing on what others believe is “perfect” beauty instead of what truly is beautiful. I was really encouraged to focus on God’s truth that speaks about who I truly am, including an elevated perspective about the world around me, rather than all the varying opinions thrown at me. Thank you, Melanie, for stepping out and doing something different! Keep up the good work.

It has been so wonderful seeing all of you ladies grow in your creativity. I know we all go through dry spells or frustrating challenges, but, seriously, you all have developed so beautifully in your own way! Sarah, you are an imaginative author and astounding artist that puts smiles on children’s faces! Nikki, you have such a brilliant eye for design and heart-felt art that oozes a love for life! Bekah, you have an impeccable taste for style and your search for loveliness in the every day reflects your rare beauty! Nat, your delightful perspective for vintage treasures and nature shines from your heart to across the world! Melanie, your refreshing and tender contemplative thoughts are truly reflected in your every photo and every word! Lauren, your brilliant fondness for style reminds us that every day is a day to follow our dreams! Jackie, you are truly a creative and it represents the love you have for your family and life! Naoma, your inspiring words and positive perspective constantly produce beauty inside and out!

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Once again, thank you kindred spirits for all you do! You truly are treasures from another world.

~ Christiana


The Abandoned Field

Hello dearest Kindred Spirits!
I’m doing this post in honor of Melanie, who encouraged me to do a post about my morning walks in my quaint and rugged town.

I found this abandoned field (it’s not fully just a field, but that’s what I call it) not too far from my house about a year ago, near the elementary school that is in the middle of Devore, my hometown. I walked there yesterday morning with the family dog, Champ. He is my main focus when I take pictures with my iPhone on our walks — he is the absolutely best model! I don’t consider myself a photographer (maybe some day I’ll pursue it), but rather an iPhone shutterbug. And some of you know, I do use the hashtag #withalicemyiphone on my Instagram page for all my somewhat efforts in artistic capturing. This field has been a big inspiration for me! It does not yet have a name and maybe after you ladies grab some tea and soak in this beauty of creation, you could give some ideas on what I should call it?

Yesterday morning started off later than I had wished, but I decided to tell Champ that we were going for a walk and he could have cared less what time of the day it was, he was just so excited to even go. It has been awhile since I’ve last seen the abandoned field.

The shooting in San Bernardino has been in small moments a lot for me to take in, especially since I had been only ten minutes away in a library when the scene occurred. It can be so easy to let such terrible tragedy cast dark shadows on one’s spirit, but I’m learning to remind myself that God already has my days numbered and being anxious is not going to help me any, that He has a whole beautiful world ready for me still to see and enjoy no matter how crazy the world has become. So I made a choice to do just that.

I have been so sick over this summer and part of the fall, as I explained in my last post — read here. Thankfully, I’m feeling so much better and stronger. However, the setback didn’t allow me to do my walks with Champ because where we live there is huge steep hills and windy roads, plus high altitude. It’s at the most three miles to the abandoned field, but it can take a lot out of you especially if you have been sick like me for so long. It was way overdue that I gave it a visit and I have been building my strength slowly to get to this morning.

This street winds around until it takes me to the field. I love this barn on the hill — I always imagine that on Christmas baby Jesus is born here.

It was quite a windy day but it seemed to carry with it reassuring peace and encouragement, as it carried away my anxiety that I didn’t even know strongly existed. I was so rejuvenated to be out amongst my town’s trees, fences, houses and barns, dogs barking hello, and the street that always leads me without fail to my favorite field.

Getting closer to the abandoned field!

What is so wonderful about this field that when I come to visit it always keeps its purity of newness — I always see, find, and learn something new about it every time! And it’s not big at all, just a couple of acres. As we got to the field across the street, Champ was already pulling at the leash to cross. He knew exactly where we were going.

Once we got there, it felt like home. I let Champ off his leash and he trotted around happy. After breathing it all in, I got my iPhone out to capture it — part of my way in enjoying the details that I don’t always pay attention to with the naked eye. Champ always gets dragged into posing for me for a few minutes, but he’s is so good at it that I just can’t let him not do it.

Champ with a sour face, waiting for my que to model for the capture. Modeling is hard work.

The results — moments like these captured just makes me all giddy. Isn’t Champ a pro or what?

I feel like Pocahontus with Grandmotherwillow with these gorgeous trees.

 The real field part of the abandoned field is near its neighbors who grow and sell live Christmas trees. They also have a field behind it, which is the part that shares a fence with the abandoned field, that holds a pair of extremely friendly donkeys and a rude llama and alpaca.

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 This was taken the day I first met these cuties. Those ears, eyes, and soft nose… Ahhhh! They melt my heart.

There are many other lovely creatures neighboring by. Since I take care of some of the town’s animals when people go on vacation, I get to meet some cuties. Just last week I took care of this lovely girl, Blueberry.

Last month I took care of this beautiful mare. I have been giving care to her and the other barn full of horses she lives with for some years. When I use to have my own horse, I use to ride over during the days I was assigned. I really enjoy this side work.

One of my favorite things is how the abandoned field always looks different! This was taken a year ago and look how orange the surroundings are! This year the colors are more a bright yellow.

So this is where I love to walk to, my lovely abandoned field. Yet, it really isn’t abandoned since I come visit and hope to do a lot more of it. On the way back, I was sure I would be exhausted. I reached home a little tired but not even close to exhaustion! It was a great feeling. Sharing with you this beautiful place and a small part of my life encourages me to take none of it for granted. I cannot wait to visit soon, with Champ excitedly by me.

~ Christiana


A Journey to Health

Have any of you been through a season where you felt like you were constantly ill?

That was me this past summer. It was probably because I was way too busy and never allowed myself some time of resting to recover. Also, I never took the time to see what nature had to offer in healing. I never gave health a top priority in my life.

I just had my surgery earlier this week, which would have never been possible unless my health had risen to the level of wellness I am today. I knew this ahead of time and was very concerned a few weeks before that I would have to cancel the long awaited appointment with my doctor. However, my friend, Jessica, invited me to stay with her and her family to attend a Young Living Essential Oils meeting and day of learning. I am so glad I went! Not only did I learn so much about the joy of being healthy and how I can receive natural nourishment through what God made in so many beautiful plants and trees, but Jessica even gave me two of my very own essential oils!! Now, I am a proud owner of Lavender and Lemon essential oils. She gave me a firm stepping stone towards a priority in my health.

Natalie’s letter to me was filled with the scent of Ylang Ylang last month, and it also grew my desire to learn about essential oils! I find it so wonderful that she is doing Aromatherapy.

Lavender and Lemon essential oils.
Lavender and Lemon essential oils.

In a course of one week, I began to feel better than I had in a long time! After Jessica placed various oils on me to help my breathing be easier when I was staying with her, I drank three drops of lemon in water every day and used a drop of lavender on my legs and feet every night. The yucky stuff stuck down in my chest, that I wasn’t able to cough up before, finally was removed, while the lavender helped me fall right asleep with no restless leg syndrome issues — I was able to catch up on good sleep!

Lemon essential oil benefits are calming, ant-infection, detoxifying, stress reducing, and many others.
Lemon essential oil benefits are calming, ant-infection, detoxifying, stress reducing, and many others.
Lavender essential oil benefits are eliminating nervous tension, relieving pain, enhancing blood circulation, and many others.
Lavender essential oil benefits are eliminating nervous tension, relieving pain, enhancing blood circulation, and many others.

Soon I began to want this lovely lavender on my skin with my coconut and almond oil. My Grandma works for Blue Diamond Almonds and gives me a constant supply of almond oil. Apparently, I have her skin type because we both use to get extremely chapped hands during the autumn season. Yet, ever since we have been using almond oil, we haven’t had a problem.

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These oils have changed my health drastically in different ways.

I thought I would share with you ladies three concoctions I have perfected over time or recently for my skin! Adding the lavender recently to two of them has just made the perfect finishing touch. I went in for my surgery smelling of the beautiful scents of nature! They have made a world of difference for my skin, so I wanted to share the love.

I found these lovely glass jars at Target for $1 each! Aren't they just charming?
I found these lovely glass jars at Target for $1 each! Aren’t they just charming?

Apple Cider Toner:

Apple Cider Toner
                         Apple Cider Toner

This one is super easy — just two ingredients!

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Water

Now, it is important that it is organic and unfiltered vinegar because you want those healthy enzymes. Just add into your bottle a small amount of vinegar and a ratio of 1:1 of water, so 50% water and 50% vinegar. Add more water if you have sensitive skin, like me.

Then apply a small amount to a cotton ball and spread it over your clean face or other spots on your skin that need some clearing from blotches. Only do this a couple times a week. Keep it at room temperature.

Coconut Face Moisturizer:

Coconut Face Moisturizer
                      Coconut Face Moisturizer

I have been using this very simple recipe for some time and it seriously has done wonders with my face, and adding the lavender just blew my world. Makes me smell soooo good, too!

  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Lavender essential oil

I use approximately a cup and a half of coconut oil, add about three drops of almond oil and three drops of lavender oil — mix together. The main thing is not adding too much almond oil, just enough to help seal the coconut and lavender into your skin. Put on your face only a dime size — a small amount goes a very long way! This can stay in cool or warm temperatures, but is best at room temperature and will last a long time either way.

Lemon Body Butter:

Lemon Body Butter
               Lemon Body Butter

This is one of my most recent of recipes and I got the idea from Pinterest. In the short time I have used it, it has shrunk my scars and lightened my stretch marks! My skin also feels noticeably softer. I surprisingly did not use my lemon essential oil for this one — you just need regular lemons.

  • Lemons
  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Lavender oil

This one is a little more tricky, because oddly every time I have made it the coconut oil amount changes. I think it has to do with the temperature. So I just start with about 1 1/2 to 2 cold lemons, juice them, and then run the juice through a fine strainer (like one you would use for tea leaves). Then I add about 1/8 cup of coconut oil for starts and then add more when I put it in the blender. My last batch called for more than a cup! Make sure the coconut oil is at its firm state before blending; if it isn’t solid, then put it in the freezer for a minute or two. Before blending, add no more than 6 drops of almond oil and about 5 drops of lavender essential oil. Make sure you have enough coconut oil to blend into the consistency of blended butter. When you are all done blending, stick it in the fridge for about half an hour.

If the room is warm, keep it in the fridge — you want to keep it as butter or it can go bad. However, during cooler days it can stay out and will last a long time when in the right temperature.

My journey to health began with a sick summer and no priority for my well-being. Now, I am going to have a healthy autumn and the highest priority for my health! Sadly, sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to finally realize you need to learn how to fly again. Even though I have altered my diet to healthier food since the beginning of summer, I am going to raise the bar higher this season. Once I recover fully from surgery, I am going to make exercise apart of my daily schedule — no more “I’m too busy.” Every day I have the beautiful choice of choosing health and I will choose it.

I hope my story encourages you and my concoctions are beneficial. Thank you to all of my Kindred Spirits for all the kind words and prayers for my recovery!!! Also, a very special thanks to my friend Jessica, who not only gave me two essential oils but also doctored me with various essential oils. ❤

I choose health today and always.
I choose health today and always.

~ Christiana

A Party for Sarah

I know Sarah’s book, A Party for Pepper, was published a little while ago now, but I finally ordered a copy and just received it this weekend. Therefore, a little party was in order.

It has been now over a half a year since I found Sarah through Instagram. It all happened when I posted a photo of my childhood teddy bear, Russ Bear, reading his mini Peter Rabbit book collection, which I had added with the hashtag #beatrixpotter. Through that hashtag she found my photo and liked it. Then I viewed her profile and fell instantly in love with her art work and beautiful style. We began commenting on each others photos, which led to a conversation (like a million comments) about are interests and what we do with creativity. It did not take long for us to realize we were kindred spirits.

Then this led me to meet Nikki, which then has accumulated to me meeting all of you lovely ladies now apart of the Kindred Spirits’ Club through Instagram and our blog!

Sarah, everyday you inspire me to follow my dreams, to be creative in my own original way, and to enjoy the small things. So here is a capture of the small party I was indeed able to throw for you, as Russ Bear and I celebrated the publication of your lovely book!

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To start this party, we had tea time on a picnic blanket inside because it is dreadfully hot outside and we have a summer cold. We got out Russ Bear’s Beatrix Potter mini-book set, Anne of Green Gables (of course), and our new addition, A Party for Pepper. I can proudly say we tried your “pink” tea recipe and love it immensely! It has become an instant favorite. Also, as you can see, Russ Bear is holding your lovely wood painting. I will cherish it forever, dear friend.

This allowed me to sit for a moment to realize how far we have all come in our own journeys. It has been less than a year, but each of us I do believe have been able to see each other grow more confident in our individual lives, as we continue to keep creating what is dear to our hearts.

Anyway, this is but a small little party, but I hope you know that we truly are grateful for you living your dream, Sarah, because it encourages us to keep pursuing and living ours.

Again, congratulations dearest Sarah!!!

~ Christiana

The Legacy of Journalizing

Dear lovely Kindred Spirits,

It has been awhile since I have posted on our beautiful blog! Yet, I am back and super excited to dive in.

With everything being posted using our lovely hashtags on Instagram, everyone’s own personal blogs and websites, exciting pursuits in photography and writing (congratulations Sarah on the publishing of your book!!!), and with my own personal life — I wanted to encourage all of you (and myself) in the art of recording down what has been happening in each of our lives: to journalize. Now now now, hold on — before your heart does a little yelp and says, “ugh, you mean that thing we keep putting off or never do?” I want to explain what I mean by keeping a journal.

Can you believe that “journaling” is not a word? And according to WordPress, “journalize” is not correctly written either. However, I have done my research and journalize is indeed a word. It is so interesting though how I always say in common conversation the non-proper word “journaling.”

Anyway, this is so beyond the point. Journalizing! Journalizing is the point. And if we are very honest with ourselves, this is a very difficult (or at some point has been very difficult) to keep up with no matter if it is based on our lives, for events, for meetings, making lists, etc. I have even taken classes on the idea of keeping a journal or diary, and even after being fully convinced it is one of the most beautiful ways to cherish something, I still struggle in keeping up.

I see so many of you ladies with absolutely beautiful, creative lives. Some of that (or maybe all of it) is worth remembering because of reasons we do not always understand until later. Maybe you already journal or keep some sort of practice that in your own way cherishes the time passing before you, but even if you do or do not, I still want to somehow encourage you with reasons to lock in time the beauty of your lives and to do so in the easiest possible way — your own very personal method! I may be still considered “a very young person,” but through the classes I have taken, the research I have read, and my own personal experiences I am exited to share with you my thoughts!

Reasons to Journalize:

  • We easily forget — it’s true! Some of us may have an extremely good memory, but I promise that we do not as easily recall a thought or an event that was a year ago, compared to when we recorded it that same day or week of occurrence. As a kid, I had a diary that I wrote in for a very small time, but whatever memories I wrote down then is what I remember the most today.
  •  It is important to see that we in someway have grown — we all go through challenges and knowing that we grow is vital to encouraging us to grow even more. It is very easy to to skip on articulating what is going on with our lives, therefore, we do not see where we are going with an idea, situation, emotion, etc. Also, this can lead us to making the same mistake AGAIN, just because we never took the time to see where we are growing. It is hard to plant or weed in a garden when you never even step foot into the garden itself.
  • Getting those creative juices flowing — you ladies most definitely have creativity! And by even posting and sharing that, you are already journalizing and that is why I am writing this: to encourage us where and how to cherish those ideas, thoughts, events, memories, etc. in a conscience way. Journalizing can be wayyyy more fun and easier than many realize (I’ll get to that in a minute).
  • To be accountable — once a goal or dream is either displayed, written, or verbally expressed it has a higher chance of taking flight than just keeping it in our brains.
  • Words and images create ideas and ideas change the world — unless we take the time to jot down or capture that idea we can easily forget, not recognize, not build, or be unaccountable to that idea: this brings together the first four points. Everyone can impact the world one idea at a time. And that is what I have been seeing in you ladies — the creative power to do just that; in your own way, with your own dreams, by your own ideas.

Now, before I jump into ways I have personally experimented and still keep in habit with, I want to explain or remind you that journalizing is not just writing down words in a blank book about oneself. False!!!!! Yes, it can be exactly that (and that is what I personally like to do) but not all journals are formatted to that, especially in this day and age. Heck, it doesn’t even have to have words or be in a blank book! Maybe just pictures, drawings, collected materials, earthly finds, receipts — being put in a box, on a wall, as a collage in your computer or on your wall, made into a blanket. You name it! This is what is so beautiful about journalizing — you custom create it to your own beautiful self in what way you see is necessary to write or collect into a “journal.” The point I guess I am trying to make is that everyone has something they should cherish for remembrance sake, but it does not have to be done on the same subject or with the same objects as the other person.

Also, this should not be a stressful thing! It should not bring anxiety when you do not keep up with your journalizing. If it does, stop. Try something different. And who said we had to do it daily or even weekly? For me personally, I do try to journal every few days because I write about the details in my life, but each of us are different. You may not even be focused on life details, instead you see it as more profitable to paste napkins from all the different places you have eaten from in a folder. That is still journalizing! Yes, these things take habits but it never should be just about getting that journal done — it is the reason of why you journal. That is what is important.

Okay, so I have kept a “journal” in quite a few ways. You could say Instagram is one of my favorites. Before I had social media, I use to even just make notes in my calendar for a long time about events, lists, accomplishments, ideas, goals, and dreams. Today, though, I have found that I like to write and to “talk” about my life in blank book or notepad and add in the events, lists, accomplishments, ideas goals, and dreams; mostly because I need to encourage myself by looking at how far I have come with all the hard things I have gone through. Also, I have noticed how much more creative I am when I write — writing about anything! Another thing I do is photo copy what I write to people, while matching up the letters I receive with those copies. It is like the most exciting thing to keep on record the beauty of pen-palling because it always has challenged me in the best way to grow in creativity (To all my pen-pals reading this — you have no idea how much you impact me through each letter and card. It is something I will keep the rest of my life).

This is my where I write about life in general. I add small things to tape in from time to time to help me remember memories.
This plain journal is where I write about life in general. I loved getting it completely blank, because it forces me to add my own touch while also feeling like I do not have to have “everything together” to write about my life. I add small things to tape in from time to time to help me remember memories.
I got this one for my birthday this year and so far I have been using it to write down my finished poems. Next to this leather beauty is my new desert baby! Succulent plants are the best.
Say hello to my very varied journals! Some are for trips, goals and dreams, LA experiences on set, world changing ideas, book reviews, prayers, etc.
I found this one the other day — it was a collage from  magazines my friends and I collected to put together for beauty tips. I use to be a big fan of make up in high school. I now hardly wear any these days, but it is fun to have because each of the clippings has a memory with it.
These are my character building journals I have collected over the years and still use or go back to. The journals on the bottom are the ones my church put together — they have helped me grow so much!
The little guy, on the left,  goes with me anywhere. I use it for jotting down thoughts, ideas, reminders, etc. And the Cheshire Cat holds my notes for my blog — Mornings With Alice. I don’t post very often there, because it is more of a huge summary of all my journals and what I have been learning in life. Although, I will be posting a new post very soon!
This is my journal from 2013-2014. It was through this journal I really began to see the real me, to dream big, learn that hard times can become positive, and that I am never alone. Just like the cover, I have lots of little treasures that are taped and glued on the inside and back cover.

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Book Logging

Well dearest #kindredspiritsclub, I am so excited to be apart of this beautiful group that has accumulated beautiful faces, hearts, minds, and spirits. By Sarah coming up with the idea of a blog and Nikki making it come true, while Bekah, Naoma, and I have been cheering on and excited to start, I have seen how fast you ladies make dreams happen! It is so encouraging and has enlightened me in this part of my life where my dreams seem so distant to keep persevering and even start up my own blog again. 🙂

One thing I really do treasure is my books. They are treasure boxes detailed and filled with blossoming new worlds and ideas that have been planted by minds that were once inspired by other minds before it, which thus has been miraculously handed down to us. I am sure most of you know exactly what I am talking about (let me make it simple for you, it is called bibliophilic syndrome…. I may have made that up). So to help start us off on this beautiful blog waiting to be filled with outpouring of hearts, I want to share a journal entry from my book log. It is actually the first book I logged down in my brown leather journal and I believe it is quite fitting, since it is one of those books where life lessons are learned. It put the importance of my own personal life quite clear, while washing away everything that never was worthy of my complaints and attention. The reason I started the journal was from the realization that many good books I read may never be read twice and that I might forget what I enjoyed and learned from those reads. So here I go. It is not the happiest book, but for some reason I was reminded of it when we decided to do a blog. I think that is because it is always a reminder to me that I am so fortunate to live out dreams when many never did or will. Hold onto your dreams and hopes ladies!

“Frank McCourt has examined his ferocious childhood, walked around it, relived it, and with skill and care and generosity of heart, has transformed it into a triumphant work of art. This book will be read when all of us are gone.” ~ Pete Hamill, Irish American Magazine

I read Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt this past fall (2014). I bought it used at the little book store at the library I usually go to.

I started reading it a couple days after I got it at a lab appointment. After that I had a hard time putting it down. It is simply written, but with a splash of elegance. The style is very different, but well written.

It’s written as a novel but really is a memoir of his childhood and early years as a young poor adult trying to leave Ireland to go back to the country where he was born — America. He tells his story the way you may tell things that are matter-of-fact to you, so when something happens or is done not according to the social norm in the book, you get that hitting kick in the gut feeling of grief when you realize how normal that was to him — a very poor Irish boy. There are times you are not sure to burst out laughing or to break into tears…. I definitely had my share of both while reading this book.

The three things I took of this reading I know will never leave me: what real destitution is, what children are looking for, and why hope is so important.

I have gone to the Philippines twice now, and real destitution becomes real when you go to third world countries. However, I only stayed there for a small amount of time, not really getting to know the real destitute very personal. Frank McCourt doesn’t even hesitate to open that opportunity for you; in fact it’s more than you are willing to take at times. A father who is a drunk and hardly brings back his pay for the family to eat, a mother who is always depresses and eventually has to sell herself to a family member so they have a roof over their heads, shoes that are made out of tires, babies who have to live off of water and sugar, relatives who hate your guts, teachers who beat you, religious Catholics who shun you because you live in the scum, a reality where food is always on your mind, where living spaces are filthy and a norm, where sex is the only drive in life besides surviving, a life where many dreams that you constantly try to revive after they are shattered again and again, where one act of kindness is the only flicker to bring back your hopes.

Why did I ever believe my troubles were more than the truly destitute? God forgive me….

McCourt has a soft heart for his younger siblings. Children were the real innocence in his story and the most vulnerable to get snatched away into society’s ruthless claws of a miserable adulthood.

He takes you on a journey through the mind of his young growing mind — the questions that many children have. Adults never seem to have the patience for childlike questions, because they are questions of innocence that they themselves use to have and probably were never answered by the adults in their lives. Through a child’s eyes you see how harmful it is for an adult to just push aside that yearning child with his beautifully innocent questions. When that child finally gives up, so does the sparkle in his eyes — the hope all children have gets replaced with resentment. What a tragedy… only because the adults in his life would not take the time with patience to listen and try to answer his questions in the best way they could.

Many people know how important is is to have hope in life. If one person doesn’t have it, there is always someone else who does. Imagine though when a whole society has no hope whatsoever. Imagine growing up in that setting… there is no availability to dream, and when you try you are put down lower by your peers and especially by those who are older or above you. Your peers may for a time dream with you, but the older you get the more it is looked down upon. Why? Because dreams are no longer real — they are fairy tales.

There were a few people who McCourt met who gave him a glimpse of hope when he was growing up, which kept him going to live his dream — to go back to America. It is so easy to give up, to give in to the helpless life, but without hope life is nothing but survival. Even survival seems impossible without hope.

I believe Angela’s Ashes is a must read for all mature readers — at least once. It is not the most happy book, but it is one that all need to view life in a way that finds the innocence and cherishes it forever, and Frank McCourt portrays that beautifully.

“It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.” ~ Frank McCourt

(Sorry to display my faith here, but I wrote this verse in my journal next to my entry and I found it too beautiful not to share) Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

~ Christiana