Book Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance (Ruth Emmie Lang)

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I looked over at Weylyn, who was still leaning out the window, blinking heavily as rain ran into his eyes. A bitter smile crossed his face, as if he knew I was watching him; as if he were answering the question that was on the tip of my tongue: Did you do this?

It all started in Holbrook, Michigan (1968) when little baby Weylyn Grey made his way into the world. It was June 29th and with his first breath came a snow storm. In just a few minutes, six inches or more had fallen and the world was changed forever.

The child turned one eye on me, then opened the other like a backward wink. His irises were molten pools of solder that had not yet set, and for a moment I thought I could see a fire behind them, keeping them liquid.

Weylyn Grey was orphaned at a young age and raised by wolves. Through extraordinary circumstances, he meets the lovely Mary Penlore and unknowingly changes the course of their lives forever. Through many trials and many unexplainable storms later, he lives many lives and meets many people. He becomes the happy owner of a magical horned pig named Merlin. Together they stop tornadoes, hurricanes and occasionally a rainstorm or two (though you won’t ever find Weylyn taking credit).

Weylyn quickly realizes the dangers he brings upon those close to him and decides it best to seclude himself, to run back to the wolves. He tried to make the best of life, tried to love but when that love came crashing down in yet another (deadly) pile of snow, he vanishes. Anyone who knew him could tell you, reader, that you hope he reappears. You hope you do not have to go through life without a Weylyn Grey in the midst of it.

As he bent down and scratched her behind the ears like she was a harmless dog, I felt a sadness more acute than anything I’d ever felt before. Weylyn Grey didn’t belong in my world. He belonged in theirs, and there was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thank you Ruth Emmie Lang, for Weylyn. Thank you for opening your mind and creating a character so real, so loveable as Weylyn that it breaks your heart knowing he’s not real.

I don’t know. I’m beginning to think maybe he is… somewhere. He’s too incredible not to be. ♥️

If you have not yet picked up this book, you really really should. It’s magical and you will never forget Weylyn or many of the others in this beautiful story.

PHOTO CREDIT: @lifeinlit (instagram)

View all my reviews

** For more book reviews, please visit my new book blog, – Enjoy! **

I never needed words then…

You are sound asleep.

You should be. You earned it. You worked hard today even though you didn’t feel well.

You followed instructions. You stacked blocks. You retrieved toys you’d thrown. You ran wild, kicking a ball and giggling along. You hugged for the joy of hugging and you cried when you bumped your head. (You were brave though. You thought hard if it actually hurt.) 

You listened when timeout became a real threat. You pushed boundaries and respected them. You asked for snacks and asked for toys. You let yourself be you and that was enough, always enough. You concentrated when she hid something under a cup and moved them around, always picking the right cup. This is not average for your age. You have no idea how smart you are.

You had no idea we were testing you for speech issues and never cared that you seemed to be behind. Why does it matter? I imagine you’d say. Look at how good I am at everything else. Isn’t that enough?
Continue reading I never needed words then…

…The Nashville Mom (part VI): The Finale

Photo Credit: Travel & Leisure

Well, here we are for the last time!

Welcome back!

To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about. And now it is coming to an end. 😦

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.

In case you have missed any, we started back on May 14th, 2018 with The Nashville Mom series. Here are all the blogs leading up to this one:

(1) – The Nashville Life through the eyes of The Nashville Wife

(2) – When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (Part I)

(3) – …The Nashville Mom (part II): a blog for Brave Women with Adult Issues

(4) – …The Nashville Mom (Part III): Dreams & Goals (embrace, prepare)

(5) – …The Nashville Mom (part IV): Advice for SAHMs in a New City

(6) – …The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.

Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part V, talking about making connections and nurturing those connections; loving ourselves and in turn loving others. We talked about how to not feel isolated and alone…

Untitled Design 5
I have been in Nashville now for 4 years this September. I still feel isolated and alone at times, especially being a SAHM. I have often wondered if this feeling will ever go away considering my personality type (aka I love to work and get out!) and I’m honestly not sure if it will.

I learned a while ago now that I had a decision to make: what made me happier? Staying at home with my son and no longer working or working (part-time or full-time) and seeing him half the time? There were obviously pros and cons and I decided to be a full-time SAHM. I chose the isolation. I chose to make that isolation as small as possible and, it seems, so have the rest of these women!

*side note: I am not saying anything regarding whether or not deciding to choose isolation verses working is right or wrong. There IS no right or wrong. Everyone has to decide for themselves and for their family what is best. 🙂 

So how does one that chooses this way of life in Nashville (or ANY city really) go about making the isolation smaller?

Let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this. Let’s finish out the last of this series by creating a community and helping each other to grow out of our loneliness.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #6

 “What did you do to make Nashville feel like home?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I loved Nashville from the beginning, so that wasn’t hard.  I don’t know that I did anything super specific, other than just get out and enjoy the city- Cheekwood, the zoo, The Frist, whatever.  Nashville has SO much to offer!

Bonus: One other thing, although you didn’t ask- get financial ducks in a row.  Starting out a music career isn’t as financially stable as a lot of other jobs, and sometimes requires some financial investment.  The last thing you need in a new town with a brand new career is money fights.  Get your debt under control, have some savings in the bank, and talk OFTEN about your money, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.”

– Martyne Palmer

“Still in the process. We are currently renting a hotel room until we find jobs and housing.”

– Heather Abbott Burback

“I’m not sure it’ll ever be “home” but it’s a good place for now. It’s inexpensive, quality of life is better because we have more disposable income. It’s cheaper here to pursue our dreams and save then move somewhere we really love then struggle somewhere else financially and never be fulfilled.”

– Allison Klein

“Again. Friends. They are my family now.”

My follow up question: Did you guys explore the city together? Find new places to hang out with each other? It’s so much easier with someone else, isn’t it? lol

“We have done quite a bit of exploring. We mostly go where other people recommend. We actually ended up moving to Mount Juliet because my husband tours with Charlie Daniels often. He’s pretty much the only person we knew before moving here so that’s why we chose this particular town. Charlie lives here, too. We love it here so much. We never imagined that Nashville would be where we settle down. But even if something happened and Scott stopped playing music for some reason, I’m pretty sure we would stay..”

– Vicki Mason Brown

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.  I have found one SAHM that lives in my area so we can schedule play dates. I would love more SAHM friends but with working and watching my little guy I am pretty complete having the one friend to call on days that we are home alone all day.  We go to the Cornerstone indoor playground about once a week and occasionally on the weekends we find other activities.

I absolutely love Nashville! My husband is much happier here and is finally finding the musician connections he has always wanted.  We feel like people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle and that it is treated more like a career and less like a hobby.  Since my husband is much happier and I have found my own small place here we are truly happy.  We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

In conclusion, it is definitely hard to get settled but its totally worth it.  You have the same issues in any city with making friends and adjusting to being a couple with a child but if the ultimate goal is music you can find your place and make your own happiness!”

– Jamie Angsten 




Copy of ...people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle that it is treated more like a career less like a hobby.To those that are married or in a relationship, I feel like when either of you are getting to do something you love and like Jamie said, it’s taken seriously, that in and of itself creates community. Because there are so many others doing the same thing and wanting to always be around others who share their passion. You can actually find that connection, that lack of isolation, in the passion of your significant other. Basically what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t have to be in your circle that you find your isolation getting smaller. You can unite with those in someone else’s circle to find that connection, too.

Even better? You can find life and friendship and communion in BOTH circles.

Untitled Design 9.png



To the ladies who helped me with this blog, it has been an HONOR sharing your thoughts. This has been a fantastic project for me and I really hope it’s reached others as well.

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!


Photo Credit: Working Mother



I am in counseling and I am Okay. I am Okay and I am in counseling. There’s no right or wrong in that.

Okay. To jump RIGHT IN…

I have been going to counseling for quite a while now. I had an 8 month break (mostly due to Eric touring) and have recently gone back again. I won’t sugar coat it – it’s hard but it’s so incredibly rewarding, refreshing & it’s a game changer. I’m going to write a future blog post about why I’m going but today? I just wanted to touch on my session… So here goes…

Yesterday I paid someone to make me cry and here is what i learned:

(1) I am okay. Just me. The way I am.

Untitled Design 6.png

Please note: this is not me saying you are HEALTHY just the way you are. But YOU…just you (your personality, your quirks… what makes you “you”)

…You are OKAY! You are not a bad, terrible person.

It is important for us to strive to be the healthiest version of “you” that you can be

(I think if I type “you” one more time, my computer might blow up.)

I would not recommend thinking along the lines of “well, i’m okay. Just me the way I am, like you said” and leave it at that. Like I said, You ARE okay but its not good for anyone to stay where they’re at, especially if you’re not emotionally healthy. With that, however, you don’t want to obsess about constantly being a “better version” of yourself because that can lead to thinking the current you isn’t enough. *sigh* It can get out of hand very quickly. Did that even make sense? Well anyways…

(2) I am my own person. I am not a replica of anyone.

To look this good.

Those of us that are easily swayed, we can turn into other people without ever realizing it. Losing our true self and being none-the-wiser. You are your own person. You have your own personality. You can be like others, parts of your parents and your siblings and relatives…similar to friends… but you are YOU.

If you are a “mini-me” of someone else, that is absolutely fine! Embrace that! But don’t forget that you are not them. You are still you and nothing someone has done or will do can determine who you really are. They certainly cannot determine what you can or cannot do, either.

What am I saying here? If you are just like someone else… this could be a friend or relative… and you see traits in them that you see in yourself that you don’t like.. then remember that you are not a mold. You are not confined to the way that person behaves. You…are….you. Make something of that. Be different. Be healthier. 

(3) I have to stand up for the way I feel.

Untitled Design 8.png

Basically, don’t be a people-pleaser (no matter who you’re trying to please).

Feel your feelings and express them.



You still have to think everything through. This is definitely me not “giving permission” to react and say “well she told me to express my feelings as I felt them.” Well yes, sure… but try not to react on impulse. 🙂 Trust me.. this is the pot calling the kettle black – believe you me!!!

It’s hard, but try not to lash out emotionally and then say “well you said to feel and express as they are. To not judge them and accept what you feel.” You are correct. Accept your feelings as they are… that you feel “that way” and its okay that you do. However, mull it over before reacting. Think of all the various sides. Think of other perspectives and be sure that what you feel is something that you want to share. And then if and when you’re ready to share? Be confident. THIS is you, the healthy side of you. This is how you feel and no one should judge you for that. No one should make you feel small or like you’re a bother to them because you feel that way. Speak up for yourself but with love and grace to others.

(4) I am allowed to be proud of myself.

Untitled Design 7.pngI am someone who naturally likes who I am and is proud of what I have accomplished in all aspects of life. However I am also very practical. I think in black and white with intense logical conclusions. Sometimes if I learn something and apply it, I think “well, thats just the way it is. You learn something and then you apply it.” But sometimes what I don’t see is how fast I apply it or that maybe its a very hard challenge that most people aren’t successful with. So I should be PROUD. So I am learning to affirm that in myself.

My husband – Eric Barfield – gave me a great example. It’s like how baseball players practice all their life, constantly training. So when they hit a homerun, it’s no surprise that they shrug it off like it’s no big deal, meanwhile we’re in the stands acting like we’re about to go to war, charging into battle like an amazon warrior.

So with that said, I want to say to myself…

Sarah, I am proud that you were able to overcome this life-altering….game changing challenge

(*insert evil grinning emoji* – are you dying to know what that is?!?! I’ll go into it more in another blog… stay tuned!)

(5) I am not a bad person

I am not a bad person.png
Sometimes the way we think of ourselves, the way others make us feel or the doubts we have in our abilities make us feel like we are not good people. Like we’re flawed (and we are) but that it’s all our fault and because we can’t be perfect 24/7… we are bad.

If you’re like me (an 8 on the Enneagram… again, something I’ll go into later) you feel like you can control ANYTHING (Hitler was an 8 lol). When you can’t “buck up” and fix yourself, its very, very hard. You feel like a failure and a bad person.

But. You. Are. Not….


So let me just say this: counseling is hard. You face some extremely tough emotions. But it’s far harder to live in a world where you don’t know yourself. You don’t know why you feel the way you do, you don’t know why you can’t change and you don’t know why you’re hurting. Sometimes? You don’t even KNOW you’re hurting. That is just not the way to live this life. If you can afford it, I cannot recommend counseling enough.

You are not weak if you go. You are not pathetic. You are not stupid. You are not worthless…

PS: if you try it and you don’t like it, consider trying another counselor before you give up. Not every counselor fits you! You have to try and find someone who works with you and your personality – someone who GETS you. Don’t quit…

Last & Final (very important) note:

I do not judge you if you do or do not go to counseling.
Do I think it’s wonderful? YES.
Do I think it can make you a healthier version of yourself? YES.
But I know that it can get very expensive (most will help you out and let you pay based on your income). I know that it’s very hard to get to a place where you’re willing to face your demons.

You are loved. You are cared about. With me, you are SAFE.

Have a good day, lovelies.

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? – Rumi