It’s hard when people you love are going through a difficult time. And this isn’t about me, but I’m fair to bursting with relief and gratitude.

My very dear friend (30+ years dear) was diagnosed earlier this year with Stage 4 stomach cancer, and given 6-12 mos life expectancy. She has been going through chemo, and still has about 3 mos to go, but today her doctor called her with some results.

The biopsies are negative. The chemo is working.

Good news is really nice. 🙂 xoxox ❤

Posted in Friends, Memorials, Soap, Sorrow


People inspire me.  A lot of soapers find amazing inspiration in nature, and lots of other things, but I’ve found that for me, it’s people. 

imageOne of the people I knew was Minaxi.  Maybe you had the good fortune of knowing her too.  She knew a lot of people!  We didn’t talk as much as I would have liked.  She ended up gravitating toward Instagram and wasn’t blogging as much anymore.  (Her family has taken down her blog but her IG is still up if you’d like to see her pictures.)  I miss her.  More than I can say. 

Minaxi exuded a lot of joy, no matter what might be going on for her.  One of her favorite tags was #PinkPositiveLight, because pink was her favorite color and she believed in being a positive light.  It suited her.  🙂

I made a soap in her honor.  I scented it with Pink Magnolia Blossom.  I was going to look for a cotton candy fragrance but when I saw that Pink Magnolia, I knew that was the perfect choice for a soap for Minaxi.  It’s light and sweet and delicate. 

I didn’t get to put in the swirls like I was hoping as the soap started setting up on me much sooner than I expected, but I think it turned out okay.  I hope she would have liked it. 


Minaxi and her husband Vishnu left the world way too soon, but they will always remain in my heart. 

Requiescat in Pace.

Love, Vanessa

Posted in Friends, Personal, Thankfulness


My schedule for my Thankfulness posts is the 2nd Thursday of the month, not on Tuesdays.  But that day … well, it’s hard sometimes to write something on thankfulness when your heart is heavy.  That’s probably the best time to though, isn’t it? 

I have a friend, a dear friend of 30 years (wow!) who’s going through a divorce.  I met her not too long after I met my ex, because my ex and her husband went to high school together.  She and her husband chose Team Vanessa when I got divorced, and since we lived much closer than we do now, they were able to help me a lot – giving me a place to crash, food to eat after my ex cleaned out the accounts, that sort of thing.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her.  She never wavered in her support of me.  As my ex’s true nature became more and more exposed, she realized all I’d kept silent about during my marriage, out of shame and embarrassment, and some misplaced sense of honor.  She stood by me when even my blood relatives decided they liked my ex better than they liked me. 

Blood makes you related.  Loyalty makes you family.

When my friend and her husband were going through some marital difficulties a few years ago, I tried to be supportive of her, and their marriage, because I knew she was hopeful that things would be resolved, and after a time, they pretty much were. 

Or so it seemed. 

For all intents and purposes, their marriage has been in a steady state of decline for the last 10-15 years and she never really told me how bad things were getting until after the fact.

Why do we do that?  Why do we hide the state of things like that?  I know, I know, it’s a rhetorical question.  *heavysigh*

It brings up so many hard memories.  Things I thought, hoped, I’d forgotten.  She’ll tell me something her husband did and I’ll say, “Oh yeah, I remember when my ex did that too.”  It’s re-living some really difficult moments.  Sometimes I think I should write it all down, all the memories, so that I really will forget.  I never seem to remember anything once I write it down.  The paper remembers so my brain doesn’t have to anymore.  That’s my theory anyway.

I think the thing that hurts the most is that her husband has been behaving in pretty much the same fashion as my ex did.  And it hurts because I would never ever wish that kind of situation on anyone, least of all someone I care about.  At least she knows that I know exactly what she’s going through.  Small comfort, that. 

So now she is going to the home of another friend of hers, to crash.  I am thankful she has that friend, that place to go.  I wish it could be me but if it can’t, I’m glad she has someplace. 

I am thankful for my friend.  She’s a loyal friend.  A generous friend.  A true friend. 

I am thankful I am free.  Divorce is hard, but a terrible marriage is harder I think. 

I am also thankful for the marriage I have now.  It is all the more sweet because I have been on the other side. 

This is better.

I will be really thankful if my friend can find it, too.

All rights reserved by Vanessence

Posted in Friends


For Sidereal Catalyst – poetry & creative nonfiction (mostly), and anyone else who may want it.  Smile

Expressions (38)

Love, Vanessa

Posted in Birthday, Friends

Happy Birthday, Steve!

I would like to take a moment to wish my good friend Steve a Happy Birthday!

Steve, I hope your day is wonderful and filled with heaps of blessings!

Love you! 



Posted in Blogging, Friends, Personal

Infinity Dreams Award

My friend Steve, who blogs at Cry and Howl, has nominated me for an award.  It’s called the Infinity Dreams Award.  Isn’t that a cool name?  Thank you, Steve, for thinking of me!  You’re a good friend, a good man, and I’m honored to know you!  *hugs*


My job is to list 7 dreams, and 3 nominations.  For blogs that spread love, joy, and inspiration – you know, all good things – there are a few that I look to, blogs I know are going to make me smile, or be encouraged. 

I enjoy reading my friend Sparkling Red’s blog, Adventures in Sparkland, because she always has a good story or fun thing happening.  Even if it’s a trip to the mall, she makes it fun, interesting, and humorous.  No one does photo essays like Spark!

Lately I’ve been having a good time getting to know Devin, at D.K. Pope | writing (writing, writing) to make sense of this world.  I am encouraged when I read her blog.  As a young wife and mother, she’s got a great deal of common sense that’s so refreshing. 

Last but not least, I cannot fail to mention my friend Angie, who blogs at Family Love Does More | Midlife, Social Media, and Getting Stuff Done.  Now is my turn to nominate her for something!  Angie is a spot of sunshine – encouraging, looking on the bright side, kind, inspiring, and funny too. 

These ladies are worth your time, I promise.  Smile

Now, my dreams.  In a general sense, that is. 

  • Revival of the faith that spread the Gospel
  • Restoration of the principles that founded our nation
  • Rescue of the hoping-to-be-born, the homeless, the hungry, the hopeless
  • Regeneration of health and healing to my husband and myself
  • Realization of the goals we (my husband, self, and kids) have set for ourselves
  • Revelation – this one encompasses To revel, Elation, and Rejoicing.  And also knowledge.  Open-mouthed smile
  • Riches.  Who doesn’t need more money?

Those are the things I think about sometimes. 

Your turn!

All rights reserved by Vanessence

I get to go to a wedding today!  Woo!

Posted in Friends, Fun, PoeticalNess

Love In 10 Words Challenge

My blog bud, Angie, who blogs at Family Love Does More, has issued a poetry challenge.  It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything poetic, and Lord knows I need to update my poetry blog.  Maybe I’ll put this up over there!

Anyway, there are “rules” to this thing – always with the rules!  LOL  They are:

  • Write about love using only 10 lines.
  • Use the word love in every line.
  • Each line can only be (no more than) four words long.
  • Nominate others who are up for the challenge.
  • Let them know about the challenge.
  • Title the post: Love in Ten Lines
  • Include a quote about love (this can be your own).
  • You may write in any language.

I’m not going to nominate anyone, but if you are so inspired and inclined, join in! 

My submission:

Love In Ten Lines

Love hurts
Love weeps
Love kisses
Love never sleeps

Love hugs
Love grows
Love reaps
Love sows

Love because
Love does

My favorite love quote, after 1 Cor 13, is

Love is not a feeling!  Love is a verb, an action, an act of will!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s said that – I think it’s kind of a universal thing.

All rights reserved by Vanessence