Welcome to my brain. Kinda squishy in here, isn't it?

Bouncy waves on the Cove.

Posted June 14, 2016 | Buffy Significant Other, Kayaking, Mountain, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Videos, Water | 3 Comments

Buffy and I went kayaking both last Saturday and Sunday. We hope to be able to move our arms by midweek. Sunday, especially, the wind and waves made it harder to move in the direction we wanted to move, so more muscle power was required. Probably not a good day for a beginner, but great fun for us: beautiful and fun, exhilarating and tiring.

Waves and wave sounds, for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Click here to view the video on YouTube

And, of course, photos.

I tried to get some different angles this time. And although I don’t like taking pictures of people I don’t know and posting them without permission, I decided to live on the wild side and take a couple with people in them. What a concept!

Click on the thumbnail to see the entire photo.

IMG_1425-edited IMG_1428-edited IMG_1430-edited IMG_1441-edited IMG_1449-editedIMG_1916-edited Help getting into the kayak kayakers-enjoying-the-choppy-water

Category: Buffy Significant Other, Kayaking, Mountain, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Videos, Water

A handy tip for writers: Don’t offend your readers.

Posted June 8, 2016 | Writing | Leave a Comment

Asian EfficiencyYesterday I read the a guest post on the Asian Efficiency blog titled “Why Successful People Plan Their Lives 90 Days at a Time”.

I’ve learned a lot about productivity and time and life management from the folks at Asian Efficiency. Usually their blog posts are spot on. However, this guest post by Taylor Pearson, who writes about “business philosophies and mindsets that yield disproportionately large results” put me off.

Perhaps disproportionally.

The importance of your post’s  introduction.

Hmmph.Pearson’s post is an example of how important introductory remarks are, and how inappropriate or extreme examples can weaken the impact of the post’s content. The main points in the post are good, but they aren’t what I remembered after I read it.

What stuck in my mind after – my “take-away” – was irritation.

How to (unnecessarily) offend your readers:

Demean something personal and important to them.

“When you live in a city, you want to live in the middle of the action downtown, or way out in the country where it’s calm and relaxing. But you don’t want to get caught in suburban purgatory.”

I don’t know about you, but that remember seems guaranteed to raise the hackles of those of us who live in the suburbs and enjoy the “middle ground” between the hustle and bustle of the city and the quiet (and questionable Internet access) of a true country residence.

Use extreme examples.

“Physical items you own, like clothes and bags, are a middle-way-is-the-worst-way phenomenon as well. You typically either want really nice stuff you’ll keep for years or really cheap stuff you won’t mind throwing away.”

It’s appropriate to buy things that are of the quality you need them to be. I hardly think that Chanel and Walmart are the only choices. Often “middle-of-the-road” choices are perfectly reasonable based on one’s expectations and price ranges. Apparently the author hasn’t discovered Target, which offers many “good enough” quality items at reasonable prices.

What’s the point?

These examples were unnecessary, had the potential to offend a significant portion of its readership, and added nothing to the post. I’m not sure why they were in there, but if they hadn’t been I’d be writing about the content of the post, not the effect of a badly written introduction.

A handy tip for writers:

Edit your work.Remember that emotions are stronger than logic. If you offend your readers, they’ll remember that – not the information you are trying to convey.

Edit your work. Read your post from your target audience’s point of view. And for pete’s sake:

Don’t offend your readers before they get to the important stuff.

Category: Writing

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day: Narcissists can be harmful to your health.

Posted June 1, 2016 | Lessons I've Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | One Comment

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day, June 1st, #IfMyWoundsWereVisibleKim Saeed, life coach and founder of “Let Me Reach” (letmereach.com), announced today, “…There is a movement going around to make June 1st Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day.” Kim specializes in helping victims of narcissistic abuse go “no contact” from their abusers and rebuild their lives.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

The WikiPedia definition tells us exactly nothing:

“Narcissistic abuse is a term that emerged in the late twentieth century, and became more prominent in the early 21st century because of the works of Alice Miller and other Neo-Freudians, rejecting psychoanalysis as being similar to the poisonous pedagogies.”

Let’s try this again….

How can you identify a narcissist?

Narcissists don’t wear signs, so you have to identify them by their behaviors. The following list is compiled from numerous sources and is far from comprehensive. See the resources section below to get more information.

They lack empathy and become impatient with the feelings of others.
If you try to talk with them about your feelings, they’ll use every possible technique to avoid that conversation: change the subject, blame you, question the facts (or your memory), and/or imply that there’s something wrong with you for feeling the way you do. (See my recent post, “You’re not too senstive.” for more about this type of behavior.

They get impatient and restless when the topic of discussion is not about them.
They may interrupt conversations or interject unrelated comments when the topic is not of interest to them, or they may simply tune out or leave.

They believe rules don’t apply to them.
They will always cheat (with other people, on insurance claims, on taxes, whatever) whenever they think they can get away with it.

Their egos need constant feeding.
They often have a “harem” or a collection of people who will assure them how wonderful they are.

They create an image of themselves as superior to others.
They’ve always done more, done it better, gotten better service, or won more awards than the person they are with – unless they are “courting” someone whose name they can drop later to impress other people.

They post frequently on social media.
They’ll most likely post about their accomplishments, the wonderful things they do, and the wonderful people they know. They are likely to have strong opinions and brook no disagreement with them.

How do narcissists abuse people?

The characteristics and needs of a narcissist color all aspects of their relationships. Whether the narcissist is a lover, friend, parent, or boss, if you’re in a relationship with one, you’re likely to:

  • Be interrupted or ignored when you’re talking about anything other than the narcissist.
  • Have the validity of your feelings, your memory, your character, and your honesty questioned whenever something you say threatens the narcissist’s desired image or is inconvenient to the narcissist.
  • Never have an accomplishment that the narcissist can’t top.
  • Be alternately “courted” and ignored while the narcissist spends time with the other people in his collection, while the narcissist discourages you from maintaining any other relationships.
  • Be criticized for anything you say or do that is counter to the narcissist’s beliefs or image.
  • Be expected to be at the narcissist’s beck and call, without regard to what is convenient for you or what you prefer.

The degree of damage the narcissist can inflict is dependent on how emotionally connected you are to them and how much of yourself you’re willing to give up to want to maintain that connection.

What are the symptoms of narcissistic abuse?

People who have been subject to narcissistic abuse are likely to have:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble trusting their own judgment.
  • Trouble identifying their feelings, wishes, and preferences.
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Physical illnesses resulting from stress.

And that’s the (very) short list.

What can victims of narcissistic abuse do to recover?

It’s important for people who has been abused to be able to identify their abusers as narcissists, to understand the nature of the disorder, and to begin the recovery process from whatever stage they are in – whether still in the relationship or maintaining “no contact” with the abuser.

There are numerous sources of information on the Internet about narcissists, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, narcissistic abuse, and treatment programs for victims of narcissistic abuse. There are also forums for survivors, which can be helpful because, like domestic abuse, it is difficult for people who have not experienced it to understand why the vIctinus stayed in the relationship.

If you think you might have been – or are in – a narcissistic relationship, or you know someone who is, the resources below can help.


“The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates”
» sciencedirect.com

“How The Trauma of Narcissistic Abuse Changes Our World Views”
» afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com

“If You Are The Target of Narcissistic Abuse Ways to Think, Words to Say, How to Move On”
» psychologytoday.com

“5 Narcissistic Abuse Hacks – A Cheat Sheet for Decoding the Top Narcissistic Manipulations”
» letmereach.com

» “Abuse Can Be Subtle and Deadly”

Category: Lessons I've Learned, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

You’re not too sensitive.

Posted May 30, 2016 | INFJs, Lessons Learned, Things I Do NOT Say a Lot, Things I Say a Lot, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | Leave a Comment

FRAGILEDo people tell you that you are “too sensitive” when you try to talk with them about things that upset you?

The conversation may go something like this:

Me: “I really felt hurt when you told me I was too much trouble to deal with.”
My “Victim”: “Whatever I said I don’t think I intended for you to hear it that way. I was not intending to be hurtful. But I was frustrated that it seemed we hit a point where I was doing all I could, and you were very irritated with me, too.

At this point, if I had good sense, the conversation would be over. What I said has just been judged invalid, and therefore insufficiently important (or sufficiently threatening) to talk about. The chance of the conversation ever moving past, “Why can’t you just let it go?” are somewhere between slim and none.

I am not too sensitive. I’m just trying to talk to the wrong person.

The person I want to talk to is emotionally secure and invested enough in our relationship to be able to talk with me about my feelings without getting defensive.

The person I am talking to is – for whatever reason – trying to avoid talking about what I said.

And why would I want to waste my time trying to explain anything to someone like that?


Aha!Recently two different people used exactly the same types of statements to avoid talking with me about my feelings. I had an, “Aha!” moment. I had stumbled upon the techniques that had left me wondering, “WTF?” and feeling misunderstood and invalidated for years.

Here are some ways that one person invalidates another. I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I’ve experienced most often:

  1. Questioning perception.
    In the example above, “Whatever I said,” serves the dual purpose of questioning my memory and implying that it might be wrong. If the other person is really intent on putting me (and my concerns) down to a level just below pond scum, the reply can be escalate to questioning my sanity, e.g., “I didn’t say that. Your mind must be playing tricks on you.” Either one implies that if it didn’t happen, it doesn’t need to be talked about.
  2. Denying hurtful intentions.
    If I run into your house with my car, does whether I intended to or not lessen the destruction? Nope. Certainly it’s nice to know that the person who said or did something that hurt me didn’t intend to do so. Nevertheless, good intentions – or the lack of bad ones, as in, “I was not intending to be hurtful, ” don’t change how I feel or address what I said.
  3. Assigning blame.
    “But I was frustrated,” “I was doing all I could,” and, “You were very irritated with me, too,” are all ways of avoiding a discussion about what I said. While all those things may be true, assigning blame is yet another evasive measure. “If it’s your fault, too, so we don’t have to talk about it. Right?”

The Lesson

Lesson 1: Don't try to talk to someone who doesn't want to listen.I’ve found this list to be very helpful. If I hear another of these statements – particularly in conjunction with, “You’re too sensitive,” and “Why can’t you just let it go,” I can instantly determine that this person is, for whatever reason, emotionally unavailable. The effect of this realization can be mild irritation or great pain, depending on how emotionally invested I am in the relationship, but at least now I know that’s there’s nothing wrong with me.

Unless I’m the one doing the invalidating. Then I’m the one who has some work to do.

Category: INFJs, Lessons Learned, Things I Do NOT Say a Lot, Things I Say a Lot, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life

Roanoke River sounds and scenes.

Posted May 20, 2016 | Buffy Significant Other, Videos, Welcome to My Life | Leave a Comment

Yesterday evening was the first evening in several days when it wasn’t too cool, windy, humid, or rainy for an evening walk. Buffy called me to see if I wanted to take a walk just as I started to ask him if he wanted to. We both did.

For those of you who need some soothing scenes and sounds, here you go:

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Category: Buffy Significant Other, Videos, Welcome to My Life

Have rocks, will climb. Will be photographed, too.

Posted May 16, 2016 | Buffy Significant Other, Clouds & Sunsets, Mountain, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Welcome to My Life | One Comment

Left to his own devices, Buffy comes up with some unique photographic techniques. Here are some of the most interesting ones from yesterday’s hike.

Click a photo, and a larger version will open in another window.


Climbing silhouette silhouette.02

silhouette.03 silhouette.04




“The Rock Janeson Shouldn’t Be Standing On”

Getting readyQueen of the Mountain

And a good time was had by all 🙂

Category: Buffy Significant Other, Clouds & Sunsets, Mountain, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Welcome to My Life

A cool May day, hiking, cameras, and allergy eyes.

Posted May 15, 2016 | Beloved Friend, Clouds & Sunsets, Hiking, Mountain, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Welcome to My Life | Leave a Comment

Today was a cool day for May, but Buffy and I decided it wasn’t too cold to go hiking. It was windy and 48 degrees on North Mountain when we got there. Probably a few degrees warmer after our hike, but we got pretty warmed up walking up and down to the rocks at the top of the first overlook.

And, as you can see from our photos, it was well worth the trip.

Click on a photo and a larger version will open in a new window.

Buffy on the Trail

Buffy: Forest phase.


Buffy catches me in a natural frame.

Wildflower PARTY!

Wildflower PARTY!


These look like honeysuckle and smell divine.

Buffy: Photo geek.

Buffy: Photo geek phase.

Taking a picture of Buffy.

Taking a picture of the photographer.

The spine of the mountain.

The spine of the mountain.

The view from the top of North Mountain

The payoff.

I am tired.

I am tired…


…which gave Stripey an excuse to make me
pet her. Poor me ;-)

I rather enjoyed the cat-petting and nap afterward, too.

The pollen? Let’s just say that I ended our adventure with “allergy eyes,” and Benadryl is my friend.

Category: Beloved Friend, Clouds & Sunsets, Hiking, Mountain, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Welcome to My Life

Every time her wind chimes tinkle, Cammie’s love-friend gets a * twinkle *

Posted May 14, 2016 | Cats, Today I'm Grateful for..., Videos | One Comment

I apologize. That title was uncalled for.


Many anipals who go OTRB become angels. Cammie became a star.

As the wind was blowing through Cammie’s memorial wind chimes today, I thought of how her star shines down from Over the Rainbow Bridge to bless her loved ones, as well as anybody, any bunny, or any other furry animal who needs heavenly blessings.

Cammie's chimes in the kitchen of my basement apartment.Her wind chime hangs in my back kitchen window now, as it did in my previous basement apartment home, but the chimes get to play in the wind a lot more often here on the second floor. They have a prettier view, too.

Cammie's love-friend, Pepe Cat

Cammie’s love-friend, Pepe-Cat

Whenever I hear the breeze blowing through the chimes, I think of Cammie’s Twitter love-friend Pepe and his Mama Nancy who had the wind chimes engraved and sent to me from the online shop she and her husband used to have.

The wind has been blowing a lot recently, so I finally decided to do a short video so you could hear them, too. (I apologize for the vertical orientation, but they’re vertical, fer pete’s sake.)

Be sure to turn the volume on to your speakers so you can hear Cammie sending extra blessings to you, too.

If you’re reading this in an email, click here to view the video on YouTube.

Category: Cats, Today I'm Grateful for..., Videos

Kayaking and disaster movies, camera phones, and Phun with Photoshop.

Posted May 10, 2016 | Clouds & Sunsets, Kayaking, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Welcome to My Life | One Comment

A Choppy Day on the Water

Shelley Winters did her own stunts.
Brave lady.

I went kayaking last Sunday. The wind was up, the air was comfortably cool, and the water was choppy. I swear I paddled “uphill” in every direction. Fickle spring wind.

At one point I had visions of the original version of The Poseidon Adventure, with me as Shelley Winters crawling from the bottom of the boat to the top to escape, but it never got anywhere near that bad.

Camera Phone on the Water
Sung to the tune of Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water

Rowing "uphill" was fun, but tiring. It took us an hour to get here - the halfway point - from the pier, and only 15 minutes to get back.

Interesting that this photo was taken two years ago to the day from the one below was taken by Dan Smith. It was my first venture onto the cove, and I paddled “uphill” that day, too, but only one way.

For the last couple of years I’ve had a kayaking partner who used a real camera and wasn’t afraid to take it out paddling. That’s where many of the photos of me kayaking came from.

I like taking photos with my camera-phone. I think I take more photos with it than I make phone calls. But I don’t like to “take the plunge” – so to speak – of taking it out on the water. I can take photos from the shore, though, and I’m not big into selfies so I take photos of the scenery. It’s prettier than I am, anyway.

Phun with Photoshop

Sometimes the photos come out well. Other times, not so much. Here is one photo from my jaunt on Sunday. The first is right off the camera “roll.” The second was, shall we say, “tinkered with” in Photoshop Elements.

Carvins Cove photo, pre-Photoshop.

BEFORE: The original shot, completely unedited.
Cove courtesy of Roanoke City, mountains courtesy of
Mother Nature. Power lines courtesy of AEP.

Carvins Cove by way of an iPhone 6s and Photoshop Elements

AFTER: Phun with Photoshop.

Okay, Ansel Adams I’m not, but I had fun going kayaking and phun editing the picture in Photoshop to make it a bit more visually interesting. You might have a preference for the original version, but I had fun with both. Two “funs” for the price of one? What a deal!

Category: Clouds & Sunsets, Kayaking, Photos & Photo Galleries, Skies, Welcome to My Life

Hiking amongst the unidentified flora of Mill Mountain.

Posted April 24, 2016 | Beloved Friend, Hiking, Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life | 3 Comments

Foliage and SkyMy beloved friend Buffy and I decided that while kayaking would be nice, the weather today was better for hiking. We headed for Mill Mountain.

Like many of the people I’ve hiked with, Buffy has a real camera with real lenses and real accessories. I have the camera in my iPhone. We enjoyed taking photos with our respective devices. By mutual but unspoken agreement, we declared our hike a “selfie-free” zone.

We ended up walking darn near every trail around the mountain. That wasn’t the plan, but it’s what happens when you say, “Let’s go take a hike!” without taking the time to find a map of the trails.

And though tired when we returned, we had a wonderful time on the mountain and in each other’s company.

I take a picture of Buffy taking a picture.

Buffy takes a picture with his “real” camera. I take a photo of him with my iPhone. Go figure.

Buffy admires the foliage

Buffy admires the “foilage” sans camera. See the “Plant Identification” section below.

Buffy sneaks a shot of me when I'm not looking

Buffy sneaks a shot of me when I’m not looking.

Plant Identification, Anyone?

Both Buffy’s mother and my maternal grandmother had “green thumbs.” Not only did neither of us inherit that characteristic, but neither have our abilities to identify plants been – shall we say – fully developed.

Can you help us out? If you can identify any of the plants from the photos below, please leave that information in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know, but it isn’t easy to look up plants names from photos on Google.

I hope they’re working on that.

What kind of pine is this?

Buffy took a photo of this tree so he could figure out what kind of pine has lumpy bark like this. Any ideas?

Buffy's Triffid

Buffy liked the color of this plant. It looked like a triffid to me, so I kept a safe distance away.

Red Bush

So, what is this pretty red-leafed bush? It almost looks fall-like.

Pretty Purple Flowers

I’m sure these pretty purple flowers have a name other than “helicopter flowers.” Do you know what it is?

Category: Beloved Friend, Hiking, Photos & Photo Galleries, Welcome to My Life

keep looking »
  • Why am I here?

    Janeson Keeley June 13, 2016. Photo by Jeri Layne.

    You'd think that with all the time I spend working on the computer, I'd pick another way to spend my time. Alas, that is not the case. I've noticed - in my advancing age - that my brain is getting full. Since I don't want to take the chance of forgetting anything interesting (if only to myself), I thought it might be nice to have a place to offload the stories and minutiae that are filling it up so I can make room for more stuff.

    Since you've found your way here, I hope that you find something that's interesting to you, too.

    Friend Me on FacebookConnect with me on Google+ Follow me on Pinterest Follow Me On Twitter
    Check out my new blog Insights from the Outside Insights from the Outside

    SPECIAL BONUS CODE Reading my stories here gives you a pass on having to hear them in person. Use code word BLOG to activate 🙂