About Me

About Me

Linda Bartosik...
First steps of a beginning writer. Follow me on my journey. Read More...

My newest book now available on Amazon!

My newest book now available on Amazon!

Many treasures lie under the sea, but will Alistar find the one that will make ‘The Perfect Birthday Present’ for his mom? Join this adventurous little sea star and his best buddy Barnaby (a blob fish) as they travel through the beautiful deep blue sea, meeting many other creatures of the deep. When the two friends finally stumble upon the perfect present, Alistar needs to make a difficult decision, which only he can make. When he does, the little sea star learns that there are times when it is not the present that is important, but the thought behind it.

My First Cover! Now available on Amazon – Kindle & Hardcover

My First Cover! Now available on Amazon – Kindle & Hardcover

For Linda Crowley, the first day of the year had always been set aside to work on new, positive beginnings and 1970 was no different. Her husband and children were by all accounts healthy and no one even considered the terrible thought that tragedy would strike before the day was over, and life as she had known it was gone.

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My first illustrating project available on Amazon

My first illustrating project available on Amazon

Haley doesn't have a normal pet she has a goat, Ralph. He thinks he's having fun but he's causing untold trouble for Haley. Trouble seems to follow Ralph everywhere he goes only he doesn't know it. Haley's father says Ralph has to be sold!

30 Seconds to Decide

30 seconds. That’s it. 30 seconds to decide and make a new plan.

I never, ever let anything get in the way of my workouts. They happen on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. When something like an appointment, or travel, or a holiday interrupts them, I always reschedule – never skip. That’s easy to plan for. It’s the unexpected “crop ups” that could derail me.

This morning on my way to my workout I was approaching the rotary on 149 and realized I forgot something important for my work today. The rotary was coming up and I had 30 seconds to decide to go around it and go back home or continue on to the gym. In that 30 seconds I pictured my workout not happening, my day starting late, my food all messed up, and on and on… Once on the rotary I headed straight to the gym. I reasoned that the material I left home could be worked with tomorrow – even though it won’t be as quiet of a day as I’ll have today, I’ll make it work.

After my workout I was glad I made that choice. Clocking in and sipping my protein drink felt so much better than if I had hurried home, hurried back and rushed to start work. Both my body and my mind had a calm start to the day, making the quality of my work today so much better.

And so, as another day goes by, I realize it’s the small choices that add up to the big decisions that guide us on our path.

Green Food

To me, green food signifies healthy food – I always picture lettuce or broccoli. It being March, I thought I would share a green food recipe. Kale Chicken Soup. I love homemade chicken soup, but when you add kale and make it extra healthy it’s a win.

My hubby made it for me! Yum!
Here’s the recipe…enjoy!

And so, as another March goes by, settle in this St. Patty’s Day weekend, warm up with some comfort food, and think spring!

42 Days…That First Step

Today a new group is starting the Koko 42 Day Detox program. I’d like to take a moment and welcome them to the program and also commend them for taking that first step. The first step is the most important one. If you don’t venture out there by making an appointment and keeping it, your journey never starts. Good for those of you that walked in my door.

The first step in a 6 week exercise/nutrition program can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. It’s exciting to feel like you made an effort and set a process in motion. It’s daunting when you realize you committed yourself to making a huge life change in 6 weeks. 6 weeks is the length of time it takes to change old habits and adopt new ones. 6 weeks is only the training program. After the 6 weeks you will live and eat differently for the rest of your life.

I know because I did it. I have been where you are. Five years ago when I woke up weighing a weight I have never weighed in my life, I too, experienced that moment of clarity when “something must be done.” I committed to an exercise and food program and stuck with it. Today exercise and food are not even a question for me. And that is your goal.

In addition to preparing all your food for the week on the weekend, put your exercise schedule on your calendar and treat those sessions like non-negotiable appointments. Oh, and never, and I mean never, have conversations with yourself about possibly skipping the day’s session. Never. You see it on the calendar, you just go at that appointed time. If, and only if, something unavoidable interferres, you rearrange and reschedule. Never cancel. Once your body and mind get in the rhythm of exercise it will be as natural as showering and brushing your teeth. (You don’t cancel those do you? And they only take 30 minutes, too.)

One more tip – take it from one who has been there – you go when you’re tired. When you are dead tired at 5 pm you don’t skip your exercise appointment and head for the couch. Your body will respond by perking up and feeling wonderful, giving you energy for an evening with your family. All this exercise and food prep may be a little chaotic at first, and that’s okay. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Tomorrow is always a new day.

And so, as another day goes by, a very important day, let’s check that calendar one more time tonight, stack the food in the fridge, and have an amazing first week. You CAN do this. Let’s go!!

You Are Not Alone

We all have things that derail us…..

As I worked out yesterday morning I thought how we are ALL in this healthy eating and exercising thing together.

Each of us lives in our own life cell, but we all have things that cause us to derail. There are the “big” life changing events that derail us, however those are not the times we need to be the most aware of our habits because we are in survival mode.  It’s the typical daily life situations that we need to walk through with a different lens and make the most of.

We are not alone. Those derailments like snowstorms keeping you cooped up and eating to many carbs, the meeting you spent days preparing for and losing sleep over, or the kids getting sick for yet another time this cold season. Those are the daily derailments we can work through together to get you back on track.

First, be gentle on yourself. Self-talk can be a motivator or a motivation killer. What you say to yourself stays in your mind and guess what?? Your self talk dictates what your body does. If you tell yourself tomorrow is a new start, your body reacts. You wake up feeling better and ready to go.

Second, reach out! The more you connect with like minded people sharing the same goal the more successful you will be.

I have a group text with my daughters that is only for healthy living motivation. It’s a safe place to share some of the “derailments” or successes for the week. Just when you think you have derailed, a positive post or success may spark a new energy and help get you back on track.

And so, as another day goes by, remember, change your thoughts, change your life!

Hello Again!

Please like my new page in the right sidebar and visit often!

It’s been a long time, blog friends! I have been away and very busy reinventing my new career. Today I would like to introduce you to it and let you know where I can be found. As the photo says, I am the manager of Koko FitClub in Centerville, here on the Cape. You know I’ve been with Koko for 6 years and have loved every minute of my work with them. Koko took a retired kindergarten teacher that was wandering around without a passion and reinvented her love for teaching into fitness coaching. Part of my new role is to use social media to share fitness motivation and healthy living with not only my Koko clients, but with you, my long time readers, too. So, today I would like to invite you to like my Koko Linda page where you will be able to once again see what I am up to. ☺️

I will be writing about and searching for topics to help change and better the lives of all my followers. And so, as another day goes by, I have written and will be writing at Koko Linda. Come visit!

January 1, 2018 – Here We Sit

I, like you, spent today taking a moment to look back on the year that was. For me, the greatest joy of 2017 was the birth of my first grandchild. It has been a year of getting to know this new human being that was never before, but now, is. Watching him develop his own personality these last 8 months has been a joy. All of you Grammies and Grandpies out there know exactly what I am talking about. Looking forward to his first birthday and his first steps is a wonderful part of 2018. 2018 also holds the wedding of our second daughter on 8-8-18. I am enjoying the year of preparation for this event. Our first daughter’s wedding in 2014 was a day we’ll always remember, and to get to do it all over again is a blessing.

Looking back on the year that was in the political realm has made me complacent. I know. I should be out there ready to “fight.” Except I lost the cause of what we are fighting for. Politically I’m tired. I don’t want to fight. I’m sick of the fact that there are “two sides.” In my humble opinion I just don’t see anything happening that is good for us and our country until there are no sides. Only when the Red and the Blue decide to become Purple will any good change come to our great land. This past year I have watched families and friendships become torn apart over the election. It’s to the point that I think “Who am I to even try to predict what the future will bring?” Only God knows that. Are the Liberals right? Are the conservatives right? Are the Christians right? Are the snowflakes right? Tell me honestly, do you know? Everyone can sit there on top of their beliefs, with their arms folded, harrumphing with a smug look on their face, thinking they have it all figured out, and guess what? You heard the saying “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” Don’t be so quick to dig in and refuse to even consider the opinions and ideas of the “other side.” The Bible clearly says, “Lean not unto thine own understanding “ and if I have learned anything over the last 7 years, it’s that I don’t understand a damn thing. Only God knows all and sees all. And with that, I tied up all things political in a tidy bandana and set it where it belongs – at the base of the cross and asked God to direct my energy in the direction that He would have it go. (I am a staunch believer in not putting energy into anything I cannot control.)

It’s ironic that I would still site not putting energy into things I cannot control in this post, because on January 3 last year in a post I made a big deal out of that very same thing – it was kind of my 2017 resolution. I guess I kept it because despite the riotous year it’s been, it’s actually been my most peaceful and calm one simply because I lived by that one principal. It’s time to think about 2018 and the only word that comes to mind is joy. Find the joy in everything. It’s 11 degrees out and I found joy in the cold breath I drew coming out of the house. I found joy in how my body felt after today’s workout. I found joy in the shower and clean pj’s I put on when we got home from the gym. And I certainly found joy in the nap I took in my chair, with the sun streaming in – cats and dogs get this.

And so, yes, as another year begins to creep by, for 2018, joy is the word. I resolve to find joy everyday in all things that cross my path. This new year I resolve to learn the lesson of joy as well as I learned the lesson of energy. Happy New Year my friends, may your 2018 be filled with joy, and may you find and savor each joyous moment.

Grammy

No, I don’t mean the musical award, but yes, I do mean an award! There is nothing like having your child have a child. Nothing. Friends of mine who have already experienced this tried to tell me. I would smile and say I couldn’t wait, but I didn’t actually feel it – yet. You can’t really feel something until it happens to you. My daughter became pregnant with our first grandchild last fall. It was hard to wrap our heads around. We always chased this kid through life and the thought of her doing that to a kid was out of our realm of thinking. I’d be rich if I could have a dollar for everytime we talked about our “baby having a baby.” For eight months I waited for the “rush” of feeling. It wasn’t happening. Then the morning she was being induced and I was texting her, I broke down and cried. It hit all at once.

We left early for NY and got there in plenty of time. Sitting in the hospital room, not knowing how this was all going to go down, was the most frightening moment since HER birth. We went back to the hotel and made dinner. By 10 pm we still hadn’t heard anything. I went to bed in anticipation of getting some rest for a long night ahead. Good decision. Her husband called at midnight and said there hasn’t been much action since we were there at noon. Then, at 1:30 am he called and said, “This is happening!” We jumped out of bed, got dressed and drove to the hospital. We got ourselves settled in the waiting room by 2 am and sat. Those were the most frightening moments of my child’s life for me because I just sat there imagining what could go wrong. I ate stale nuts out of the vending machine and would give my right arm for a cup of coffee. (Not knowing there was a 24 hour DD 4 floors below me.)

Finally, at 3:19 am we get a text from our son-in-law – “He’s out!” I laughed and cried at the same time! I was a grandparent. A few minutes later our son-in-law came out and hugged us. It was very emotional. He had to get our daughter some Gatorade and then he told us he’ll be out to get us when we could come in. So, again, we sat and waited. Finally about 40 minutes later, he came out to get us, but he needed coffee and that’s when I found out about the DD! We went to get coffee, and then headed up to see her and our new grandson.

We got to the room and there she was – our baby holding her baby. The rest is history. We spent the rest of the Easter weekend taking turns holding him. He is amazing. He eats and sleeps and loves to just be cuddled. The new parents don’t seem new at all. They care for him like they had him always. It was a joy to watch the new family.

We left on Monday to come back to the Cape. It was so great to leave knowing that they were all doing so well. Inside of me there was an emotion waiting to bubble forth. I wasn’t prepared. They sent us pics of his homecoming and his first doctor visit. On Monday I sent him a welcome home present that arrived today. My daughter sent a pic of him with the book I sent him. It was a book about unconditional love. There it was. A connection made. I looked at that pic and fell in a love such as I have never known and cannot explain to you. In that moment I was “Grammy.”

Funny. Many people asked me what I wanted to be called – Nana, Grandma, etc. I said I had no idea and would let it evolve. My daughter said we would be Grandma and Grandpa when we were in the hospital and I said fine. But when I saw him with my gift, it was from “Grammy.” I was right. It evolved. I’m Grammy. I won the ultimate award. A “Grammy.”

And so, as another day goes by, I write this blog not for me, but for my little Liam so someday he’ll know how I felt about him coming into this world, how he moved into my heart, and about that important thing…I have written.

Buckle Up Buttercup!

…was my first reaction and Facebook post at 2 am Tuesday morning. After which followed a night of not going to bed. At 5 am I did a meditation and got ready for work. Needless to say, I was a mess when I arrived home at 2 pm. I climbed into my chair and slept until I felt myself coming back from what I perceived as a twilight zone. My previous post, What Do I Do Now? was my beginning of processing something as I have never seen in my lifetime.

Now, a few days later, I am much better. Thank goodness for my wonderful Facebook feed. I found so many great ideas and viewpoints to help me forge my own road ahead. (Many are leaving Facebook or staying off of it and it is a shame that their feeds are too painful and force them to do that.) Some are saying this is their “last political post” and that is sad, too. This is definitely not the time to stay quiet about how you feel.

Buttercups, we are entering a new era. We have DJT to thank for that. I'm not sure what kind of an era it is going to be, but it is going to be epic one way or another. He may just be the answer. He may be the nightmare. He may be impeached by the end of his first year. Who am I to say? I was certain Hillary was meant to save us all. The only thing I am certain of is, Buttercups, you better tighten your buckles for this ride.

Already the unrest is brewing. The Dems are eventually going to stop licking their wounds and begin the arduous task of rebuilding their party. Elizabeth Warren is coming to Washington with both barrels blazing and bringing Maggie with her. The Republicans are juggling a handful of balls they must reshape into a government that is going to preserve what they stand for and deliver what the Donald has promised us all. (If you think the Hillary supporters are causing unrest, lookout for the white middle class workers if Donald doesn't deliver – they will make these protests look like kids on a playground. )

Make no mistake, Buttercups, it on THEM. Garrison Keillor put it quite well in his Washington Post article Done. Over. He's Here. Goodbye. He's here alright, Buttercups, and now I have to find my way to deal. After days of reading and watching, I keep going back to the one line of Hillary's concession speech: “Keep an open mind and give him a chance to lead.” And out of tremendous respect for the woman I know her to be, I know she wants us to truly do that. And I will. But it's up to the Republicans to deliver on all Trump's promises. Have at it. I'm going to do yoga and take up bird watching while waiting for my cheap healthcare, excellent wages, and world peace to arrive on my doorstep in a tidy little basket.

By accepting he IS my president is not to say I accept all the horrific things he condones. It is my declaration to do my small part to make our country better and stand by it's constitution. The near rioting and the hate coming from both sides is unacceptable. That kind of behavior never accomplished anything (well, wait. There was the 60's where that behavior prevailed and changed our country forever completely smashing the “Leave It To Beaver” society we lived in. Who remembers burning their bra?) My take is that it is happening again. We are not going to by any means hold hands and sing kumbaya. Nope. Not gonna happen with the Donald piloting the plane. Hillary won the popular vote. These protest groups are not small and are not going to go away like an annoying fly. More than half of the voting public did not want Donald in the cockpit. As I told my husband, this would be a whole lot easier to accept had Donald won by a landslide. Then I would have to say the people have spoken and sit down and accept it. But for just as many people that wanted Trump, there are just that many that didn't. This has caused a deep divide such as our country has never seen and I don't see us healing it any time soon.

So, Buttercups, there you have it. Buckle up and have a great weekend – but don't go silent. If you have a voice, use it.

And so, as another day goes by, buttercups symbolize humility, neatness and childishness, which may not showcase our country today, but maybe can be a beacon for hope in the future, and …I have written.

buttercup

Oh my, … I think I started a movement! Lol!

 

 

What Do I Do Now?

Back in the eighties when I was teaching fourth grade I had a principal I admired. Everyday she inspired me to be better than I was the day before. One afternoon I walked into her office to whine about something. She looked up, with her glasses perched on her nose, and placed her hand near the floor. She said, “Linda, I don't expect down here…” then, raising her hand above her head she said, “…when I can get up here. Now go back to your children,” after which she put her head back down and continued working. I turned, and with tears stinging the edges of my eyes, I went back to my classroom. That afternoon I was a better teacher than I was in the morning.

She was a tough lady. As a matter of fact in the summer when I went to the superintendent (we didn't have a principal – we were looking for one) to complain about my recess schedule for the upcoming year, he said, “Wait til you see the gal I hired for you – straight out of Auschwitz – recess won't be a problem anymore.” She was rough on us when she was making decisions that put the children first – she always put the children first. Not a lot of our staff liked her. I loved her. I always welcomed a challenge and those gauntlets she threw in front of me day after day caused me to grow, to learn to embrace change even if it tasted sour, and to become a better version of myself for those children. She taught me to be totally selfless in the school environment and to always put the kids needs before my own. She inspired me to get my own Masters Degree in Educational Administration so maybe someday I could do the kind of work she does.

She was only with us for maybe a year and a half before she landed a superintendent's job in a neighboring school district. I remember the day I found out she was leaving. I was stunned . I felt like I'd been sucker-punched. My stomach hurt. The next day I was home with a sick child and had a couple of good cries. What was I going to do without her? My mentor, my teacher, my muse, would be gone when we returned from Christmas break. I couldn't fathom that.

When I went back to school the next day and told her how broken I felt, she said, “Linda, please don't make me think all my work with you was in vain.” Typical response for her. Then for a moment she softened, we put our arms around each other's shoulders and walked down the hall. She whispered, “Take all we have accomplished this year and go forward with those children. I'm only a phone call away.” Then she disappeared into her office and I went to pick up my kids from art class. We have remained friends all these years.

Tuesday night I felt like that. Sucker-punched and breathless. The person I admired and fully expected to lead my country was gone in a matter of a few hours. I lay awake all night long staring at the TV until 5 am. Then I did a meditation and went to work, not sleeping at all. I shed a few private tears and asked myself “What do I do now?” Then I thought of Nellie Bush's words on that day. I will do what she taught me. I will embrace change, as bitter as it is, and I will take what Hillary taught me about not crying, not giving up, and being a strong, intelligent, independent woman that can fly in the face of anything, and I will go forward and carry that into my world. Since my days with Nellie Bush I have become the biggest proponent of change.

Hillary wants us to “give Trump a chance to lead.” I can do that. After all, we are now all on the plane with him. Hoping he fails is like wishing for the plane to crash. There are a million reasons he shouldn't be piloting in the first place, but that is not my call. I have learned over a lifetime of being inspired by women like Nellie and Hillary that you do not put your energy into things you cannot control. You find in each day something you CAN do to make people's lives better and that is where you put your energy. You become a better person and the world becomes a better place for having you in it.

And so, as another day goes by, I refuse to whine and cry and wallow in defeat or participate in bashing our new man of the hour. Like the quote below says, there is no time for that. I will use my words, my actions, and my days to bring good into the world, despite the bitter taste of this change…and I have written.

fullsizerender

 

Slim Chance of Sleep Tonight

Well, it's all but over. As bad as I feel for Hillary, I have to go with what I prayed during this whole election. I told my Lord that as much as I had my own choice, this very serious election was in His hands. The kicker was I had to promise I would accept and abide by what He decides is best for our country. That was no easy pill to swallow. You can't imagine how hard I prayed for her to be our next president, but in the next breath I had to say but I trust you Lord.

For me, this was a test of faith. How hard is it to lose? Very hard. How hard is it to embrace what took place and find the good in it? Even harder. But if you have a faith, such as I do, you do it. You realize something bigger than you is in charge and you lay down your sword and go with it.

Ok, that's the faith part. Now what really happens? What happens next? Well, what if he can't deliver on all he's promised? It truly will be the cracking apart of our government as we know it and we will see it morphing into something else. Maybe all parties will have to come together and get rid of him and that is the reason for this epic upset tonight. Maybe he really can figure out how to fix all that is wrong with us and that is the reason for this debacle tonight. In any case it's about change. As much as I would like to attribute it to a change called for by the people of our great land, it is about the change called for by God. He saw something the rest of us couldn't and it is about to play out.

And so, as another incredible day goes by, buckle up buttercup because we are in for one hell of a ride, I am truly going to try to get a few hours sleep tonight, and … I have written