Come on, Republicans, REALLY?

Posted: February 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

You won’t vote for ANYBODY President Obama picks to replace Supreme Court Justice Scalia? You want Obama to step aside, because he is in his final year? Oh, I’m sorry, I meant, during an election year?

HE HAS ALMOST ANOTHER YEAR IN OFFICE! So does that mean that EVERYBODY who plans on leaving their jobs within the year should quit working their final year?

Help me understand this ludicrous, illogical thinking, because NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE!

And yet, did it ever?

WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY are we so divisive? Look at the State of Illinois, for example. Yes, I know, it looks quite dismal. We’ve had NO BUDGET for 8 MONTHS! Why? Well, some people blame the Republicans. Some people blame the Democrats. I guess it depends on whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican. I, for one, wonder if I can use their “reasoning” to explain why I can’t pay my own bills – “I’m sorry, Creditor, I can’t pay you right now, because, well, I just haven’t been able to come up with a budget yet. I might never come up with a budget because I’m fighting with myself right now. Part of me is Republican and part of me is Democrat and I refuse to allow the other part of me to cooperate with myself.” Maybe I’d be committed, which is what I think should happen to all the people responsible for solving the budget crisis that has corroded our Illinois budget.

I don’t care about whether or not you are a Democrat or a Republican. I am neither. I am also not an Independent. I vote for the person, not for the party, BUT, this year, I’m leaning toward Democrats, because of all of the stupidity I see pouring out of the mouths of Republicans. I almost dread watching the next Republican debate. I don’t know about you, but I would like an INTELLIGENT president, not one who will fight with everybody and call everyone liars (see my Short Recap of Yesterday’s Republican Debate for more information).

WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY are we so divisive? WHY can’t we look at each other as citizens of our UNITED States instead of seeing each other as opponents?

I’M HONESTLY SICK OF THE DIVISIVENESS OF OUR COUNTRY! No wonder our kids are killing each other! They’re not bright enough yet to use words to get their meanings across so they resort to easily accessible weapons. Fortunately for them, all they have to do is watch a Republican debate and they’ll learn how to fight with words, and then, instead of killing each other, they can run for president someday where they will learn how to kill the Spirit of America. Way to go, Republicans. You have been successful with one thing, you’ve lost my vote!

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Short Recap of Yesterday’s Republican Debate

Posted: February 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

Source: Short Recap of Yesterday’s Republican Debate

Short Recap of Yesterday’s Republican Debate

Posted: February 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

You’re a LIAR!

NO – YOU’RE a LIAR!

Everything is Obama’s fault!

He’s a LIAR!

Stop picking on my family!

Whatever.

You’re LYING!

Stop it! People are going to vote for a Democrat if we can’t stop this bickering!

Michael Weatherly Leaving NCIS Leaves Some Sad

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

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For years my mother raved on and on about one of her favorite TV shows, NCIS. Finally I decided to watch it and, thank you, Mom, I was hooked from the first episode I saw. Then I found older episodes and watched all of them. I got completely caught up and to this day miss a show only occasionally and only because of family commitments.

But now, after having become completely addicted to the show, I discover that Michael Weatherly, who plays Tony DiNozzo, is leaving the show.  I am, in a word, sad. Don’t misunderstand me. I won’t stop watching NCIS, because I have grown to love almost all of the characters on the show, but Weatherly was one of my favorites and I will miss seeing his gorgeous face.

I have to admit one thing, at least I’ve been given time to prepare. At least I didn’t have to turn on the show next Fall and wonder what happened to Tony DiNozzo. But, come on! First, Cote de Pablo (who played Ziva David), and now Michael Weatherly? I didn’t have time to miss Sasha Alexander, because I saw her only in reruns, and thankfully Pauley Perrette is still there. Oh, and Mark Harmon and Sean Murray and…

But PLEASE, NCIS cast, no more! Your fans can’t take it! At least not yet.

#NCIS #MichaelWeatherly

How to Handle Stress – Positively!

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

One of the most difficult problems I’ve been unsuccessful in overcoming is the way I handle, or more appropriately, mishandle stress. I know stress is inevitable. Like you, I feel that I’ve lived through more than my share of stressful situations. Everything from dealing with sexual assaults, working for horrendous bosses, making less than I needed to make as I raised my children as a single parent, living with asthma, suffering from a bad back, getting cancer – and more – have been thrown in my path.

Though what I’ve learned about stress is simple – no matter how hard any of us try, we can NOT avoid stress – what I’ve learned just recently is that we CAN learn how to handle it. However, handling stress is NOT something I’ve ever done well. As a matter of fact, I am so bad with stress, I have allowed my belly to grow to mountainous proportions (stress contributes to belly fat, one of the most annoying consequences of my inability to deal with stress).

Funny thing is, I used to think I was handling stress well despite everything that happened to me, because I thought I knew how to deal with it. I had a quick and easy remedy for handling bullies at work – I quit those jobs. Though lack of money plummeted me into pits of depression, I eventually climbed out of those pits by either moving to cheaper and cheaper abodes or taking on more jobs, which inevitably led to more stress.

Fortunately I was blissfuly unaware of how stressed I actually felt, because it showed up in areas that I never attributed to stress. For example, stress caused me to grind my teeth down to the point where my upper and lower jaw no longer met in the back of my mouth. The reason I didn’t know I was grinding my teeth, according to my dentist, was because I was probably grinding them during my sleep.

So one day, several months ago, I admitted that because of my belly fat and my jaw gap, I obviously wasn’t handling stress as well as I thought I was, so I reached out to God to give me an answer to my question, “HOW do I handle stress – in a healthy way?”

A lot us look for guidance from spiritual sources. Whether we reach out to God, the Universe, our Higher Power, our Angels, or whomever we call upon to answer our questions and to relieve us of pain, though our pleas for help and understanding may not come immediately, we eventually discover that, with patience, “Ask and you shall receive” truly works.

What doesn’t work and what isn’t helpful is hearing recommendations like, “Just breathe,” especially when you have asthma. Relax, people tell you. Meditate, some people suggest. Everybody offers a cure for stress. And so you try those techniques and you find your foot wagging in the middle of a meditation session and your heart beating at a rate so high, you fear you might have a heart attack. You can’t relax. You fidget. You have too much to do, and you can feel your energy bursting to get out of you. You want to relax. You really do, but your mind won’t let you.

Or will it? The body and mind are delicately linked and one can control the other, as evidenced in the video I recently discovered and mentioned in the following blog: How to Feel More Powerful. I have often believed that my thoughts affected my body and that what was happening to my body affected my thoughts, so knowledge of the body-mind connection helped me realize that I could also handle my stress – if only I knew how.

Knowing that the body and the mind are interlinked is only part of the solution, though. What I wanted to know was HOW do people handle stress effectively? I wanted step-by-step instructions for dealing with stress. And though I wasn’t given those exact types of instructions, I found out not only how to handle stress, but also how to understand stress and its function in my life!

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Ask often enough for help in dealing with anything important to you and something mystical happens. At least it did for me. Tired of watching everybody else seemingly handle stress so much better than I could ever hope to do, because I felt as if I was drowning in oceans of it, I wanted peace! I wanted to master my stress, too. I wanted ANSWERS and so I waited for a sign.

Thank you, God, or synchronicity, or whatever brought into my consciousness a video that helped me understand stress in a completely new way. According to the video, How to make stress your friend, conducted by Kelly McGonigal, stress hormones actually function positively – they are our body’s way of helping us rise to challenges.

The oxytocin stress hormone, for instance, motivates us to become more social. Our hearts have receptors for oxytocin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Oxytocin helps our hearts heal and recover faster from stress. Imagine that! A stress hormone that is actually beneficial!

But what I found amazing, because I’ve long believed that the reason some of us heal faster from physical – and emotional – trauma than do others, is that social contact is not only important, social contact is imperative! Oxytocin necessitates human contact. We are supposed to reach out to others! We need to realize how important loving physical connections are to our well-being. Touch is so important to our survival, in fact, that lack of it causes us to wither.

The article, How Touch Affects Your Children: The Devastating Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect explains the devastating effects of touch depravation on children, but it also applies to adults. Human touch is healing! While watching the video about stress, I learned that Human connection is the link between stress and compassion. Caring creates resilience to stress. How could something seemingly so simple take me so long to learn?

While watching the video I realized that if we look at stress more positively, which we should do because we all experience stress, we can accept stress as being our body’s healthy response to our perceived pressures and worries.

Think about people who experience emotional upsets and who hide away in their bedrooms, silently crying for help from unseen forces. Some of them decide to commit suicide because the stresses in their lives are so horrifying and injurious, they don’t know how to deal with everything life has thrown at them, and they don’t want to bother loved ones with their problems. Or maybe they made a decision they now regret because the consequences are so horrendous, they think they can’t live with the repercussions. If only somebody could help them deal with their problems. But they refuse to reach out, because they don’t want to bother people with their problems.

What a lot of people don’t understand is that people who truly love us will NOT be bothered by our calls for help. (I placed the emphasis on truly because some people who pretend to love us tend to disappear when we need them.) By reaching out to others, by making valuable personal connections with trusted friends and family members, we handle stress more competently by being with the people we love. Talking to them on the phone or connecting with them through Skype or FaceTime is one way of connecting, especially if distance separates us from the people we love, but what we really need is human contact – hugs, holding, and human touch.

Another message Kelly imparted was to go after what creates meaning in our lives and trust that we can handle any stress that results from our decisions. How many of us work in jobs we hate and spend 40 hours a week working in conditions that add mountains of stress to our already stressed lives? Do our contributions matter? More importantly, does what we do matter to us? When it comes to the workplace, we are all replaceable. So feeling that what we do matters is important to our well-being.

Also, stepping out of ourselves and giving to others truly does reap its own rewards, and you don’t need money to give. Want your life to have meaning? Learn how to give. Read What Can I Do For You vs. What Can You Do For Me to find out what I discovered about the meaning of giving.

If you don’t already know what your purpose is, giving might lead you down the path to discovery. Also finding meaning and purpose alleviates some of our negative stressors and though we can’t avoid stress (some stressors, such as having a baby, getting married, or starting a new job, are considered positive stressors), we can learn how to handle stress better. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to understand the role stress plays in our lives?

Are you ready to alleviate your stress by recognizing its function in your life? Are you ready to reach out to the people you love so you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy heart? If so, do yourself a favor and watch this video:

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

 

Near the end of Summer 2016, I’ll be moving from my rented 2 bedroom townhouse to live in 2 rooms with one of my daughters, her husband, and their daughter to care for their new baby. I don’t mind moving. I love change. But I wondered, would my furniture fit in the space I would be living?

I have a large l-shaped couch, a glider with an ottoman, lots of book stands, a large TV stand, and a shelf unit. I’ll be bringing a queen-sized bed, two 8-bin storage units (one serves as my dresser) and LOTS of shelves (for my crafts). I’ll have to rent a storage unit for my California King bed, my kitchen table and chair, and all my kitchenware.

UrbanBarnIcovia

What I didn’t want was to switch furniture around on moving day, so you can imagine my delight when I came across Urban Barn at Icovia. All I needed was the room dimensions and the size of each piece of furniture. With that information I could play with plans Icovia supplies on its site. I’m not affiliated with Urban Barn or Icovia and I am not getting paid by them to advertise for them. I just wanted to share this fun design plan with everyone who wants to see what their furniture would look like if they moved it around.

Interested? Check out Urban Barn on Icovia!

#RoomDesign

Latest blogs from this author include the following:

My X’s Worst Nightmare Me at 19 for mannequin dream

What Can I Do For You vs. What Can You Do For Me? DoForYouDoForMe

Babies Born to Drug Abusers or Alcohol Drinkers DrinkingSmokingPregnantWoman

You’re All Going to Hell! AllGoingToHell

Cruelest TV Show EVER CruelestTVShowEver

Latest PayPal Scam Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 6.07.56 AM

Baby Item Recall – Has the Item You Purchased or Borrowed Been Recalled? KeepingBabySafe

A Week With Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Monsters BadGuyMonsters

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To make my experience feel real, and to hold myself accountable when I win the Powerball, I’ve decided to list the things I’m interested in doing with the money I’ll get! (How’s that for positive thinking?)

1) Set up a dental organization to help people who can’t afford a dentist so they can get their teeth fixed. I hope to get volunteer dentists to participate. Why is this first on my list? Because people going for jobs generally won’t get hired if they have missing or rotting teeth. For some reason, people stereotype individuals with missing or rotting teeth as being stupid.

2) Donate all of my already-made craft items (I have LOTS of them) to organizations who raise money with fundraisers.

3) Set up scholarships across the country for a select group of individuals (group yet to be determined).

4) Purchase iPads for low-income schools.

5) Open craft stores across the country for people who make items and have difficulty competing with thousands of other crafters on Etsy and other sites.

6) Pay off my bills.

7) Buy myself and my kids and grandkids that long-dreamed-of home on the lake.

As I get used to my millions, I’ll come up with more ideas, but this list is a start!

I don’t mind sharing, so if you bought a ticket, good luck to you, too!

Jared Fogle and the Creep Meter

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Fogle Bundy

One of my daughters and I were talking about the infamous former spokesman for Subway, Jared Fogel. She told me that she had always had a creepy feeling about him. Because I don’t have cable and my antenna doesn’t allow me to watch many programs (I live in a very windy town), I got to watch only a portion of the Dr. Phil show about him yesterday. The discussion will continue today, but depending on the wind factor, I probably won’t be able to watch much today either.

That’s OK. I got the gist of the conversation yesterday, and what I learned not only repulsed me, but also scared me, because I know Jared is not the only predator out there hunting vulnerable children. Though audiences everywhere will appear to be abhorred by what they see and hear, many of them are online themselves, luring unsuspecting victims into their lair.

I was 17 when a nice-looking and extremely polite man approached me in a parking lot behind Sears where I worked after school. My creep meter teetered past the “RUN” end of the spectrum, but I was taught to always respect my elders, and though he was only 22 at the time, he was still an adult. You can read the story here: The Ghost of Ted Bundy Still Haunts Me.

You’re probably wondering if my point in bringing up Ted Bundy is to compare the serial killer to Jared Fogle, who, as far as we know, has never killed anyone. So let me make something clear. Whether a predator kills a child, a teenager, or an adult, or kills that child’s, teenager’s, or adult’s spirit makes no difference.  Predators seek pleasure at the expense of unwilling victims. They ruin lives. They cause fear. They don’t care. Significant in their minds is their own pleasure.

So how does a predator find pleasure in sexually exploiting a child? They enjoy feeling powerful, and they delude themselves into believing that by exerting power over a vulnerable child, they have shown how much control and power they have – when in reality they are so weak in mind and spirit that the only way they can feel any control over their own lives is by taking control of other helpless, defenseless little beings.

Why are our children so vulnerable? Why haven’t we taught them how to rely on their own intuitions? We teach them to be suspicious of everyone, so how can they tell the difference between a friendly neighbor who offers support and a terrifying uncle who sneaks into his niece’s or nephew’s bed at night?

We need to teach our children how to pay attention to their own “creep meters,” and explain to them that when they feel the hairs rise on the backs of their necks or on their arms, if they feel scared – at all – for ANY reason, they should trust their feelings.

What works for one child may not work for another, so we need to take advantage of every resource available to us that will help us help our children. Here is one free download that might help – You Are The Boss of Your Body!

Let’s work together to help our kids feel strong and powerful so they won’t appear vulnerable to predators, who take any vulnerability as an invitation to pounce.

CBC MIB Ad

Remember the Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty Four”? I never thought I’d get to that age, but here I am. Still alive!

In my working years, I had jobs I hated that didn’t pay me enough to support my kids – and I had jobs I loved that didn’t pay me enough to support myself, let alone my kids. Still, though I lived at, and sometimes below, the poverty level, I made it through, longing always for retirement.

Ah, retirement. How nice it would be to sit on a front porch overlooking a lake. How inspired I would feel as I looked out upon my lake, sipping a cup of coffee while I wrote and crocheted all day long. How lovely I would feel to melt into relaxation mode and, whenever I felt sleepy, napped in the luxurious comfort of a warm soft blanket.

Um, no! Not there yet. I can’t nap – ever, unless my day brings me to the brink of exhaustion. I still have too much energy to slow down. I don’t want to sit on a front porch gazing across the lake all day long, at least not every day. I don’t have a lake outside my yard anyway. And I still don’t have enough money to support myself. Yes, in that respect, I’m like a lot of other 64-year-olds.

But my youngest daughter pays me to care for a few of my grandkids, and I sell a couple of things now and then at her consignment boutique, so I’m getting by.

Getting by. Wow! Could I be more complacent? No! You know why? Something shook me to my core about a week and a half ago. Something woke me out of my well-I’m-getting-closer-to-death-anyway numbness, and prompted me to get out of myself and try again to make some money, And, because it would be MY business, a business I would enjoy running, I felt renewed energy!

So what was it that prompted me to begin the business I had earlier tried, but that had failed to work for me? POTATOES! Yes, potatoes. I caught the last few minutes of the September 24th Steve Harvey show that showed an entrepreneur who came up with the idea of sending potatoes with anonymous messages. The kid who came up with the idea said he made $20,000 last month SENDING POTATOES WITH MESSAGES WRITTEN ON THEM!

Sorry if I seem infuriated, but I was. Why did HIS idea work and mine failed? 

Time to reassess my current situation (lack of money). Sitting on my laptop are messages I wrote back in the 70s when I wanted to start my own greeting card company. I sent those message to a hundred different greeting card companies and NOBODY wanted them. The reason, they stated (those who responded with more than a rejection post card, that is), was that no market existed for what I was writing.

“I KNOW!” I wanted to scream, “I’M CREATING THE MARKET!” Back in the 70s, all that existed on shelves were lovey-dovey sweet messages. You wouldn’t find sarcastic cards anywhere.

A couple of years later I discovered that two girls from New York (ironically, where I was living when I sent my ideas to those 100 companies) came up with the idea for Bittersweet Cards (no longer in existence from what I can tell). Their cards were similar to mine, and People Magazine showcased the two women. I remembered thinking that if I had had the money to invest in my cards, I, too, might be successful, but I didn’t and I wasn’t. As you know, those types of cards are now in existence everywhere.

Feeling like a failure, I tucked my messages away and brought them out again in the 90s.  At that time, I thought, why not roll them up, tie them up, and put them inside a bottle? But I had no marketing skills whatsoever and I had no clue about how to let anyone know about them, so I put them away again.

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THEN came the potato guy! Well, in my garage sit two bins of bottles I’ve been carrying with me from home to home wherever I move. In my cabinet I have the paper I bought to write the messages. And I thought, why not try it again? If people are willing to pay $10 for a messaged potato AND pay more for postage, I should be able to ask $14.95, offer messages that nobody will find anywhere else, and include shipping and handling in the cost.

So, at 64, I’m reinventing myself as an entrepreneur. Not all messages are sarcastic in nature, and I’ve come up with new categories for messages I haven’t found anywhere else. Interested? Please check out Crystal Butterfly Message In a Bottle.

Cowspiracy

The documentary, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014), hurt me. I mean it really hurt me – in the gut – where it matters. I hate documentaries that make so much sense I feel the need to change my life. OK, maybe I don’t HATE this documentary. Maybe it was one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen.

Because it made me think. And because it made me examine my life. Ever since the time in the late 80s when I tried to serve duck to my kids and my youngest daughter, who was 4 at the time, asked, “You want me to eat a little duck?” I’ve been haunted by eating meat and poultry.

But I kept eating it. Why? Because I wanted to eat, and I had always learned that meat was protein and that protein was necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Plus (you can’t see me right now, but I’m hanging my head in shame) I love BBQ chicken.

I tried – I really tried to eat tofu, because I’d read online that if you cooked tofu a certain way, it would taste like chicken. Not only did it not taste like chicken, it did not have anywhere near the consistency of chicken – well, unless you’re talking about rubber chickens.

Still all these years have gone by and I still want to change – not only because I believe that becoming a vegan – or at least a vegetarian – would be the right thing to do, but also because of all my health issues. Maybe if I’d been eating the right foods all along, I’d have never had asthma or allergies or arthritis or cancer.

So I’ve been researching alternatives to meat, and I came across a blog that mentioned eating nuts as a substitute. It recommended soaking the nuts for at least 2-8 hours and then placing them in a food processor. Well, I didn’t want to spend $8 on a can or bag of nuts, so I found some nuts at Dollar General and paid $4 for them, thinking that if I didn’t like the results, a $4 loss was better than an $8 loss.

In my cabinet I already had taco seasoning. In my refrigerator I had taco shells. Why not give meatless tacos a try! So I soaked the mixed nuts for several hours, threw them in the food processor, placed them on a warmed taco shell, covered them with lettuce and salsa, and, because I can’t become a vegan so quickly, I added cheese and sour cream, and you know what? I liked it better than meat tacos! Really! I loved the crunch AND the taste! Though the website recommended macadamia nuts or another type of nut (can’t remember now what kind), I decided to try the mixture, because the macadamias were too expensive.

After using the nut mixture for the tacos, since I had some left over, I thought I’d try using it in spaghetti sauce. Yum again! Hmm, maybe this vegetarian lifestyle is attainable after all!

You should know something about me before you say, oh, what a martyr she is, giving up meat! To be honest, I’ve never been fond of beef. I love(d) the taste of chicken, but I can’t chew beef well, so I usually avoid eating it anyway, unless I’m at someone’s house and that’s all they have. But now I can’t wait to try new dishes that don’t involve meat.

One drawback to the nut mixture is that I’m allergic to peanuts, but not highly allergic to them. I can still eat them without experiencing an asthma or allergy attack, so maybe now that I know I like the crunchy texture, I’ll give other nuts a try.

Now if only I can figure out a way to make some kind of vegetable taste like and have the consistency of BBQ chicken! Can anybody help?

By the way, Netflix is currently running Cowspiracy. I highly recommend that you watch the documentary, but be prepared to learn something you might never have known, and be prepared to feel – minimally, at least – guilty for contributing to the future death of our planet. Yes, anyone with a working brain will understand the common sense facts and figures spelled out in this documentary, and you’ll never look at meat the same way.

For more information about Cowspiracy, please see the following sources:

Facts on Cowspiracy: Rosenlake

How to eat foods that contain no meat: Less Meat More Plants; Beyond Meat