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Thursday, January 31, 2013

True Love

A while back I said I would write a post about True Love and I thought that would be the perfect topic for today’s post. Since today is our 22nd Anniversary, it seems appropriate. 

Of course I have opinions about what True Love is, and isn’t.

First, I do not believe in “soul mates.” I do believe in Kindred Spirits, the kind that are spoken of in the “Anne” books. I do believe there are people we just “click” with and friendship is born and lasts. I have friends that I still feel emotionally close to although we hardly ever talk in person. There actually aren’t a lot of people that I am in touch with personally anymore. I can’t hear well enough to talk on the phone too much and I am kind of consumed with my life as a mother, 
wife, daughter, church member, etc… Anyway, that’s not what I’m really talking about anyway. I’m talking about Romantic Love. The kind of True Love they talk about in The Princess Bride

I do not believe True Love is ever one-sided. To be True it must be shared. The other’s feelings, hopes, dreams and concerns become more important than your own yet you are always allowed to be yourself. True Love is to love unconditionally. Not to be abused (because that would never be True Love) or to be betrayed, but to be cherished by both people. True Love is that which continues to grow after the passion has died. True Love is love that lasts beyond the baby breeding years, the hard-working-no-money years, the retirement years and even beyond our mortal years.

True Love does not mean you never fight. People who feel True Love actually do fight because they know it won’t break them.

True Love can die. Like a plant, if it is not fed it will die. How do you feed it? With kind words, thoughtful actions and constant forgiveness. Constant forgiveness.

I believe Superman and I have True Love. I did not believe in True Love until I met him. However, I also know that we have had to fight for our relationship. Fight anyone who tries to come between us, even each other.

I do not think it’s easy to find True Love, or to keep it, but I do think it takes persistence, a strong will (aka stubbornness) and diligence to keep it alive. I am not always on my game… and neither is he. I am aware that we have something special and it makes me sad that others don’t have the same. I do think everyone can find it… and surprisingly I think it will come when you are not looking. I also think that you might find it and one or the other will not endure and it can be lost.

In a year, or five, I might come back to this blog post and tell you how it died or how it has continued to thrive but for now I can tell you that my husband and I have True Love and we appreciate what we have. We appreciate each other.

Finally, whenever I think of True Love I think of this song by Don Williams.

True Love

Adam and Eve on a Saturday night
That's when the trouble started
She said Adam let's go for a bite
She led him through the garden
And ever since then we tried to make sense of this
mystery emotion
But we might as well try to count the stars in the sky
or those raindrops in the ocean

Well you know its true love
Deeper than deep
Hotter than a fire
Well itsa harder to find and its harder to keep
Its the thing we most desire

I was alone for so many nights
I really started to wonder
If I had run outa chances to find
A spell I could fall under
Then you walked in like an Elvis film
you were singing Love Me Tender
I was a hypnotized by your blue eyes
and the next thing I remember

And there is true love in a waking eye
and the sweet perfume that lingers
And itsa I love you on a new tattoo
and that diamond on her finger

Its the true love we most desire

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Downton Abbey........... to Buffy?

Yes, I have eclectic taste. Especially with my stories. I have a pretty broad range of things I like to read and view including period pieces (Anthony Hopkins is the King, and Colin Firth is my honey-babe) as well as my Zombies (which I have discussed, at length)... 

Emma Thompson and  Sir Anthony Hopkins
The Remains of the Day
Colin Firth
Pride and Prejudice
Anyway, this is why Downton Abbey was recommended to me. I don't remember who recommended it, might have been my aunt, but anyway, I absorbed it. I love it. I have been anxiously waiting for the next series (that's what the British call "seasons") to begin and have not been disappointed. Well, not in production or costume or dialogue but the story is starting to depress me... Actually, I suppose the Titanic sinking, a miscarriage and a war should have been enough to divert me from the first few episodes, but no. This season has been a doozy!

I buy my Downton Abbey episodes (as I do The Walking Dead) via because we still don't have regular TV. I believe it is available via PBS but since I can't do that I buy them. I tried viewing them on my phone (because the desktop and the laptop are more than three minutes old so they are too slow!) but it sucked so I buy them. It's worth it.Yesterday I discovered that ALL the Season 3 episodes were available. 
Really? Really! So... I watched them.
All of them.
And now I'm sad.


If you haven't seen the latest episode than stop now (unless you don't care, then keep reading).

I don't mind too much when a character dies on a show, sometimes I do but sometimes you are prepared and think Oh well, bummer. This time it was awful, horrible and heartbreaking. One of the most beloved, nicest and most human characters, Sybil, Lady Sybil or Mrs. Branson, if you will, died after giving birth to her baby girl. Ugh.


Lady Sybil in the latest fashion.
It continues to be a tearjerker even after having seen a few more episodes. Her husband is lost. Her mother will never stop grieving (hello! Go read my last week's worth of Blogs!!!!) and the Grandmother steps out of her stolid British "stiff-upper-lip" -ness to give some heartfelt words of comfort to her son (gotta love Maggie Smith!) and my heart just broke. Three episodes of breaking.
Then they did it again.
I don't want to say more. 

I knew before I watched it what was going to happen but I didn't know. You know what I mean?

Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey
That's how I felt about Lady Sybil too, I knew she was going to die in childbirth (because I cannot not read the Spoilers, I just can't) but seeing it was completely different. That's what I love about movies and TV. You can know the story but when you see it, even if it's a book that's been butchered by the TV/Movie industry, it's still a vision (someone's vision) of that story and that fascinates me. This is why I love adaptations! 

So after all the gut-wrenching drama I decide to turn to my other current fetish (nobody else in the house is as captivated as I am); Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I did not watch this show when it came out. I am watching it now after years of being told how good the writing is, what a genius Joss Whedon is and how fantastic the rapport of the actors, etc. etc. etc. And, okay, fine, I'm completely HOOKED!

I watched most of season 2 yesterday and more gut wrenching.

Sarah Michelle Gellar absolutely NAILS the pain of adolescent love. True love. 
Freaking Killer.
AND she had to make a huge HUGE decision, that was completely heartbreaking for her character.

++++Spoiler Alert++++

(This only gets a little notice because it's an old show.)

Poor Buffy has to kill her True Love, Angel. His "alter-ego" aka his "soul-less" self, opens the vortex to Hell and the only way to close it is with his blood. However, just as he opens it, Buffy's friends are successful in giving back Angel's soul so when she has to kill him he is his "good" self. It's horrible.

I had to stop watching but I'm feeling the pull of Buffy. I need to see him come back from Hell. (He does come back, I already read it on Wikepedia-lol-because I cannot stand the suspense!) I need to feel the closure.


In the meantime, I am freaking out about money WITH the means to make money and NOT doing it.

So today I scribble out my Blog and hope you find something here that you connect with. 

My emotions are all over the place and I am, per usual, venting through my viewing choices.

If you haven't seen Downton Abbey or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.... I do recommend both, even though they seem contradictory. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I think this picture is self-explanatory.
Know who you are and be you.
Because You are Beautiful!

Monday, January 28, 2013

When Parenting is Hard

Talking about my brothers and grief, life and death, made me think of another thing that has changed me. 


I don't think you can really appreciate or understand your own parents until you become one. I still remember the first time I called my mom about something my first child did, something snotty. My mother laughed. And I couldn't blame her. My first child, Sunshine, had a mind of her own and strong will, just like her Mama. There wasn't much my mom could say except that parents wishes that their children be cursed with children like them does come true! 

Parenting has helped me forgive my parents for their weaknesses and faults (they have faults?) and help me truly grasp how much they just might love me. I'm not sure if it's possible for my parents to love me as much as I love my kids, or even as much as I love them (my parents)! I can say that my real understanding of what they have done, choices they made, things they said, priorities they made has really hit me as my children reach each new phase of their lives.

It's kind of mind-blowing, actually.

I realize that not everyone is as lucky as I am to have both parents alive and still together. As a matter of fact I think that's unusual these days, which is also sad. I also think that many people still believe that their parents are unforgivable and maybe they are, I do believe there are some things a parent can do that cannot be forgiven but maybe understood better. 

However, all that being said, there are some things that have helped me understand my parents, especially my mother, more from my own experiences as a mother.

Particularly that of parenting a special needs child.

Truly, having a child that demands so much of you physically, emotionally and spiritually is a challenge and one that you cannot comprehend. Even when you go through it you wonder how you are surviving! My mother had a special needs child, probably Autistic, but we never knew. My brother Bryan was never officially diagnosed with anything specific. His appearance was different than the rest of us and that could have been a genetic issue, much like my Crackle, that we never discovered. At the time of his death, (1992) DNA and genetic coding were not done in a general basis. I'm not even sure they thought to even look at that or see it as a possibility. 

My own experience with Crackle has been quite the learning curve. Every day is a struggle and a challenge. While my parents did not have the behavior (violence & abuse) that I deal with on a daily basis, they did have the school struggles, including bullying and ostracism. Heartbreaking.

Also, they struggled, as I do, with worrying about my child's future. Am I doing enough? Is there more that can be done to help him help himself? Will therapy and medication alone give him a normal enough life? Will he ever be truly independent? These are things I worry about and I know my parents did as well.

I also worry that I don't love him enough. 

I have grieved over the child and adult he will never be. That is its own kind of grief.

People with all "normal" kids have no idea how we feel. Just as I don't truly understand some of the trials they go through. We all have our own garbage.

I would never trade my Crackle or my brother Bryan for a different "normal" child. They brought and bring a unique and special challenge and love to my life.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Death is the New Birth Part 2

I believe in life after death. Mostly, I believe that our essence is something that can neither be created or made. Our lifesource is an energy form that has existed for as long as things have been in existence, so who knows how long that is… infinity? I do not believe our “souls” have a beginning or an end.

Is that strange?

I also don’t believe that God “created” the Earth from nothing. I believe something existed and He merely “organized” it into something with a power that we cannot explain or completely understand, I call it Priesthood; or the power of God given to man. I also believe that all these things can be explained via science. This is why miracles can be dismissed because sometimes there is an explanation; God has to follow laws, after all. I do not believe that science has all the answers. I do not believe that all theories are Truth, they are what they say they are; theories. When something becomes Truth then the behavior of God can be explained, thus we see an absence of a belief in miracles.

Faith is that leap between being able to prove something with science and believing in miracles. I believe in miracles.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Unfortunately, we are a product of our “creation” in that we are mortal and thus subject to the frailties of mortality; illness, injury, death.  Why do people get cancer? Some of the answers are in the environment or in our personal behavior or choices. Others are stamped in our DNA as part of our creation. This is why some people are born with predispositions to be addicts, unhealthy or other genetically linked weaknesses. God did not “create” us this way, our ancestors “created” us, on some levels. I also believe that some of our characteristics come with us.

I believe that we lived before we were born. At some point in the eternities a loving father (and mother) gave us a spiritual body. It probably looked similar to what our bodies look like now but without flesh, bone or blood. Our essence, our “energy” was changed to a thinking, functioning, intelligent being. We made friends. We had families. We made choices. We wanted bodies so we agreed to this plan to come to this alternate sphere (as opposed to a parallel universe) to gain our bodies and live in mortality. 

So dying, in a sense, is going back home.

When I read The Message (and reviewed here) I was struck by the beauty of the idea of seeing and being with family again. Being with loved ones. I believe they are busy doing things. Doing things for us, doing things for others that have gone before. I believe they are happy. I believe that death, funerals, the celebratory process is more about the survivors than about those that have gone on. We are left to cope and adjust the new normal that is thrust upon us.

I have experienced this traumatic unexpected loss of loved ones as well as losing someone who was sick and expected to pass. Either way is difficult. Admittedly it is more difficult to accept and move on from someone who dies in a tragic or unanticipated way but both are difficult. Both are losses that make you ache. Not because you are surprised but because you are still the one left behind.

There is some comfort in the idea of someone dying and believing they are happy, in a beautiful place and continuing to live a productive life. However, they are not with us and that is the trial. That is the difficult part. It’s not about worrying if they are happy, not for me, it’s about missing them. It’s about not being able to introduce my children. It’s about missing that relationship. Missing the person just because you miss them.

I look forward to death. I am not seeking my death but I am not afraid. I have people on the other side I want to see. What I don’t want to do is cause someone here any pain, but I suppose unless I completely withdraw from society, someone will be sad when I pass. If I am loved, I will be missed. And I want to be loved. I believe I am loved. So I’m not ready to go yet, but I have no fear.

If someday you read this and I have passed on you can know that I am happy. I am happy to be with my brothers, my grandmother, my friends, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law… and so many others that I miss dearly. I look forward to the day when we can all live together in our Heavenly Home and experience the next phase of our existence.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Death is the New Birth, Part 1

Recently I attended a funeral for a baby. Definitely not my favorite thing to do but it ended up being a good experience for me and one that I will hold in my heart. Death brings sadness; sadness to those who loved those who are gone. I once read that the measure of our grief can be equal to the measure of our love. I don’t know if that’s true but I know grief is not something you just “get over,” or “move on” from in a day, a year, a decade or even a lifetime. Even if you believe in life after death, as I do, it still hurts, it still aches and it still occasionally makes me angry. 

Why do I know about grief? I do not claim to have a monopoly on crap happening to me because I believe anyone who has lost a child is beyond my capacity of hurt. However, that being said, I have lost siblings and there is a unique ache to that kind of loss that is akin to losing a child, although not as great, in my opinion. I have also not lost a beloved spouse or parent (yet) but I do know that I can survive those losses because I survived that one. Even if I don’t want to, I will survive.

I was moved to make a gift for my friends that lost their beloved child. I made them a plaque that reads, “Because someone we love is in Heaven; We have a little bit of Heaven in our Home.”

There is a story behind this saying and I’m going to share that today. 

I have five brothers: G, M, me, B, G2, J. (G2 is the one I write with). We have had our ups and downs as most siblings do, but I love them all, they are part of me, we share DNA and I know if I ever needed anything they would be there for me, and I for them.

22 years ago this week I married the love of my life. We had a good first year, even with all the awkward adjustments that come with newly-weddery.

The summer after we married, my family went on a trip to a dude ranch in Colorado. It was an “entire family” event and all my brothers, their spouses (two, G & M) and children (four grandkids & one on the way) met and enjoyed a week with horses, nature and majestic views. M's wife, who was expecting, had a high-risk pregnancy and almost wasn’t able to come but her doctor cleared her just for that trip. She spent most of that pregnancy on bedrest but was able to enjoy the trip painting and relaxing rather than riding horses and whatnot. We had a wonderful time and it ended up being one of the best family memories we would ever have, but we didn’t know that at the time.

In October of 1991, my sister-in-law was due and the doctor released her from bedrest. As they were leaving the doctor and going to lunch to celebrate, they were hit by a car turning left in front of them. My sister-in-law nearly died and her baby was born emergency C-section and my brother was devastated, freaking out. My sister-in-law ended up with multiple injuries and by the time she was able to leave the hospital she was still in a wheelchair because of her crushed foot.

The baby was born under duress but she was healthy. They were all home for just a few short weeks when one night in early December the baby stopped breathing. My sister-in-law was trained in CPR but it was no use. It was determined that their sweet baby girl died at just six-weeks-old from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a determination that has no answers or relief. We were all devastated.

The family gathered to their home in Provo, Utah for the funeral. A song was shared called, “An Early Goodbye,” written by Janice Kapp Perry on the death of her infant son many years before.

There is pain in an early good bye.
There are so many dreams you set aside.
So many memories to cause you pain, so many plans to change.
There is pain in an early goodbye.
There are so many times you question why,
so many feelings you must deny, so many tears you cry.
There are so many things I wanted to say,
so many reasons I hoped you could stay.
I loved you completely I have no regrets, but I just wasn't ready yet.
So i'll cry a little bit,
and I'll die a little bit and I'll try with all my heart to make some sense of it.
And there's only one power to lean upon,
there's only one reason that I can go on.
I believe in the wisdom of God.
He ruleth the seasons, he fails us not.
This kind of sorrow he too has known.
I do not walk alone.
There is nothing, and noone to blame.
And there's no use in thinking what might have been.
I would have kept you through life's short span, but God had a different plan.
So I'll pray for the day when sorrow will cease,
pray for the day when I know perfect peace.
I'll find courage to make it somehow, but I'm feeling so lonely now.
So I'll cry a little bit,
then I'll try a little bit and I'll trust in God above to make some sense if it.
Then my eye will be single to one bright star,
to live my life worthy to be where you are.
But today it's not easy, today I may cry,
so if you see a tear in my eye, it's the pain of an early goodbye. 

It was a memorable yet heartbreaking time for my brother, his family and anyone who loved and cared about them. This happened just a few weeks before Christmas.

We all gathered at my parents for the holiday, my brother, M, and his wife and their two other children stayed with her family. Two days after Christmas is my mother’s birthday and we gathered again and went out to dinner. The holidays were still tinged with the grief we all shared at the loss of this precious angel but reveled in the time we spent together knowing that separation could come at any time. 

A few days later the boys planned a day trip on my father’s sailboat. My two older brothers, G & M, were seasoned sailors, M actually sailed competitively with our uncle on occasion. G, M, B, my husband and his father set sail on a Saturday morning and headed toward the Channel Islands. When they didn’t return on time we began to worry but not too much because they could be easily distracted and lose track of time.

Around 6:00 PM there was a phone call to my parents home. I answered it (my mother and I had gone shopping together that day and I was to meet my husband at their home) and it was the Coast Guard asking for my mother. We were informed that two of our party were missing and the rest would be home soon (the Coast Guard was forcing them to go home, even though there were still two in the party missing).

My older brother Monte and my younger brother, Bryan were missing.

I was afraid but imagined them sitting on a beach laughing at us over our concern and worry. As it turned out we had much to worry about. The next morning we headed out on hired boats to search for them. We had so many people that we filled two boats for a search party. However, unknown to me, Channel Islands is basically a rock sticking out of the water, a sheer cliff and my brothers had no shore to be laughing on.

We found my younger brother drowned at the mouth of the cave they were attempting to enter. They believe an underwater surge sent their dinghy to the roof of the cave, knocked them out and tossed them into the frigid winter water. The brother we found, Bryan, was wearing a life vest. Monte was not and we never found him.

My sister-in-law lost her baby and her spouse in a month, to the date. We lost two sons, two brothers, two uncles, two nephews, two cousins and an innocent baby. It was almost too much. The grief was overwhelming. The pain was extreme. There are no words to describe what I felt, let alone what I knew my parents and sister-in-law were going through.

My sister-in-law is the most courageous person I know. Not only did she stay strong (it was difficult, but she did it) but she became a beacon of light for others. She raised her two other children, lived and worked on her own all these years. Both children are amazing adults with lives and beginnings of families of their own. The presence of their father and sister have always been in their lives because my sister-in-law refused to allow their memories to be forgotten. Regardless of her personal pain and emotional trauma she started leading grief groups and helping others.

She is truly one of my heroes.

My mother has this saying up in her house. They saw it at my sister-in-law’s home and got one for themselves. When I heard of my friends loss I needed them to have that constant reminder that, “Because someone we love is in Heaven; We have a little bit of Heaven in our Home.”

That’s why I made it for them.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fabulous, Soon Fit

This week I did a three day juice fast. I made myself three to six juices a day from fresh fruits and vegetables. Monday was a holiday and we went to the California Science Center (which was wonderful, by the way, and if you haven't been and live close, I recommend it!) so I waited to begin until Tuesday. 

Along with spinach we bought green apples, celery, cucumbers, mangoes, pears, oranges and lemons. I couldn't find ginger or kale so I had to do without. I think my favorite flavors are cucumber (it can go in anything!) and celery. Cucumbers have a lot more juice than you might think, and celery adds a lot of flavor. 
One day I made a parsley, cucumber celery juice and that wasn't as good as the ones with apples or pears or mangoes. The mangoes were delicious! The fruit didn't even have to be completely ripe, just enough to have good flavor. Mostly, I am proud of myself for doing it!

I read this week about how exercise might not help Fibromyalgia patience until they've been exercising six months. Six. Months. Boo. I also read that using resistance bands is the best way for Fibro peeps to do toning exercising. So I bought a Long Resistance tube to use. Not really sure how to use it but it will be a learning curve. I need to get over my Fear of pain from exercising. 

I am still living on Excedrin and Advil. I am hoping that juicing will help my body to heal some and I can ease off the OTC medicines. I still have not renewed my Gabapentin prescription but it would be nice if I didn't have to! 

I am feeling positive and hopeful. It's been a while since I have felt this good. It's been almost a year since my last bout with Shingles when this physical hell started. I still think I'm suffering from something related to that, more than a segue to Fibromyalgia. I don't know how to find that out but I'm doing my own research, of course.

I know things will get better. I'm feeling an inner peace I haven't felt in a while.
That's a good thing... Actually, that's a Fabulous thing!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


When I see a beautiful pink sky in the morning it makes me very happy. I still don't really know what it means... Red sky in the morning... but I love the way it looks. It just makes me smile.

I love pink. I don't even know why, I just do.

I created a board on Pinterest that I fill with pictures of beautiful pink things. I look at it sometimes when I'm feeling stressed or sad. It cheers me up. Maybe it's the brightness or I just see it as a cheerful color. The other color that makes me happy is yellow.

Loving pink does not make me weak. It might make me girly but I'm okay with that. 

What makes you happy?
What cheers you up?
Is there a song, a color or something that brings you joy?
Tell me... 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review: Eloisa James "A Wild Pursuit"

A Wild Pursuit (Duchess Quartet #3)

by Eloisa James

Published by Avon Books, 2009.

Paperback, 402 pages.

Listed $6.99, I borrowed it from the Library.

Book Description

It is whispered behind the fans of London's dowagers and in the corners of fashionable ballrooms that scandal follows willfully wild Lady Beatrix Lennox wherever she goes.

Three years before, the debutante created a sensation by being found in a distinctly compromising position. Now, the ton has branded her as unmarriageable, her family has called her a vixen, and Beatrix sees no reason not to go after what -- and who -- she wishes.

And she wants Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, the handsome Earl of Spade. Beatrix, with her brazen suggestions and irresistibly sensuous allure, couldn't be more different from the earl's ideal future bride. Yet Beatrix brings out a wildness in the earl he has tried to deny far too long. Still, he's not about to play love's game by Lady Beatrix's rules. She may be used to being on top in affairs of the heart, but that will soon change.

Book Review

Every time I read the next book in this series I like it better than the one before. This volume ties up the knots created in books one and two, particularly with Lady Rawlings. Also, we get to see the cousin of Book 1s hero that we met briefly, Stephen Fairfax-Lacy. As usual I like the ladies Eloisa James creates and writes about. It turns out they are like us; real, emotional, insecure, fearful. Their parents say and do things to them that are inappropriate and damaging just like our parents did to us. For me, these books are akin to Susan Elizabeth Phillips in the emotional sense even though the setting is early 19th century. 

Beatrix Lennox has been misunderstood and branded her whole life. A father that neither loved nor cherished her and a self-esteem of a twig set her up for social disaster. She had enough self-respect not to become a pity-bride but not enough to understand the full implications of her actions. Typical teen angst on a serious Social Scene that we moderns can barely fathom. (Maybe the Brits, but Americans? Not likely.)
Fairfax-Lacy discusses enough dissatisfaction with the political process to sound believable. Tiresome Enclosure Acts and Corn Laws were giving him headaches and he was tired of fighting for the little-guy with no reward. I could see that (and I learned a few things, to boot). 

A little more sexual than I usually read but not erotica by any means. The emotional pull was definitely the strength of this story. Seeing people's points of view change believably through seeing for themselves rather than making a judgment call based on gossip alone was satisfying. 

I am looking forward to the next in this series, Your Wicked Ways, where we finally learn the outcome of poor Helene Holland whose presence has been in all four books.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Suzanne Somers

Whether you know her from Three's Company, Step by Step, the Thighmaster or her latest foray into health and beauty, she's persistent if not eloquent.

She made her battle with breast cancer public, which I found admirable. I read her autobiography and while I might not have agreed with all her life choices I certainly understood them. 

And, you have to admit she still looks pretty damn good.

Oh, I'm sure she's had work done, but I still find her fascinating. 

The fact that she got Oprah and Dr. Christiane Northrup as backup on her whole bioidentical hormone bandwagon says something. I tend to listen to some of it, you can dismiss some things but it makes sense to at least see what she has to say and what Dr. Northrup thinks. They might surprise you.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spontaneous Parenting

A personal joke... Sometimes it feels that way, that I'm parenting on the fly, but really, it's not like the kids come with instruction manuals. And even if they did they're probably printed in some other language.

Part of the reason I get criticized for my parenting is because I am a strong advocated for independence. It is important to me for my children to know how to take care of themselves. It appears, to some however, that I am just ignoring them. I suppose that might be how it looks but truthfully I am aware of them I just might not be reacting the way some feel I should. 

Good thing they are my kids and not theirs. 

I do believe that my lack of interaction sometimes creates more of a headache than it should, for example when my kids make their own snacks or we have a YOYO for dinner night; the kitchen 90% of the time ends up in disaster. Then I get mad.

So tell me why I create the monsters then get mad when they behave like monsters? Obviously, I like to be angry, right? No. I want them to be accountable and responsible. I then have to be sure they understand the importance of picking up after themselves.

Yeah. Right.

Anyone else have teenagers that clean their own dishes or load a dishwasher correctly? If you do then Kudos to you because mine don't. Well, occasionally they do, but for the most part they look at me as if they've never seen dish soap or a scrubbie. 

And don't even get me started on the bathrooms. Ugh.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I'm not talking about Charity like giving or getting things for free but the kind that means love.

1 Corinthians 13 says (this is the New Kings James version);

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there aretongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Just think if we truly loved others. World peace could be achieved. We could stop finger-pointing and accept people the way they are. We can learn to love and accept others, even ourselves, unconditionally.

What a thought.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Homework, meh.

Most of the day yesterday was spent on my homework. Blah. It's Computer Technology in the Classroom and the class is okay (actually better than the other TED --Teacher EDucation) classes I've had but the homework was stumping me. I stopped so we could go grocery shopping and when I came back I was able to leap the hurdle that was blocking me. 

But ugh.

I didn't get it finished so I have to work some more on it today. When I get too tired to keep a coherent thought in my head it's time to stop. 

I'm not a huge fan of homework but considering I'm taking all online classes I don't think I really have a choice. The thing with the TED classes is that they require several different kinds of assignments; visit a classroom, lesson plans, summaries of books... as well as participation in the online discussion boards. I don't mind those either except when I read some people's comments and think, "What were they thinking? Did we not have the same assignment?" Kind of like when the Miss Rhode Island contestant in the movie Miss Congeniality is asked to tell her perfect date and she says, "April 25th..." 


Yeah, there are all kinds out there.

This week my brother finished our book. I updated our word count and thanks to him we have reached...

Are you ready for this?

Are you sure?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Glycemic Load

I learned something new this week! I learned about Glycemic Load. The Glycemic Index has gotten a lot of attention the last decade or so but this is the first time (that I remember) hearing about Glycemic Load. Basically the Glycemic Index tells you how much a piece of food will increase you blood glucose levels while the Glycemic Load has more to do with available glucose for energy. Basically the Glycemic Load has to do more with the effect of the glycemic carbohydrate level to your body.

Wow, not sure if I can explain it but I got the difference.

So my goal is to be familiar with not only the Low Glycemic Index but the know the Glycemic Load or the impact of those carbs on my body. That seems to be how my body functions and I have to be careful of the impact of the carbs I eat.

Erm. Well. I guess I get what I'm talking about and it really excited me because I have been so confused.

I also have decided that I am going to be doing a monthly juice detox/fast. I'm planning on doing it for three days and I'm currently researching the different recipes. From what I understand I can have as much Fresh, homemade (from preferably organic) fruits and vegetables. I really like the Mean Green juice from Joe Cross but I'm looking at other juices as well. Surprisingly I really like the fresh Ginger, cucumbers and green apples in my juices. Kale? Not so much, but I know it's good for me. I also like spinach, herbs, parsley and cilantro.


I plan on doing those the first week of the month. Then going low glycemic load and watching my calorie intake.

I'm feeling much more in control and less confused about my "diet" or rather, my eating plan.

I can do this for the rest of my life.
Also, earlier today I saw a post about Fibromyalgia and exercise. Basically it said to know your body and the time cycles. Be aware of how you feel and then you can participate in a variety of exercise programs to help you. Here are the tips:

Exercise at the time of day that you feel best. For many people with fibromyalgia, this is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. But your best time may be different.Stretch. This can help warm up your muscles and minimize pain after exercise. You can stretch while lying down, standing, or sitting in a chair. Some people may find it helpful to stretch in a warm bath or shower.Take small steps. When walking, try not to swing your arms too much or take big steps. Walk on flat, even surfaces to reduce your risk of falling.Ease into strength training. For strengthening exercises, consider using elastic bands instead of weights and start with a single set of repetitions.Pace yourself. When doing stretching or strengthening exercises, alternate sides often and take a short rest between repetitions.Take breaks. Again, listen to your body. “When I was first starting, I’d rest after just a few minutes of exercise,” Matallana says. “Don’t be afraid to go as slowly as you need to.”Pamper yourself afterward. When you’re finished exercising, take a hot shower or bath.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Grattitude...Catch It!

 Awesome inspiration by New York City artist, Peter Tunney. Instead of Ad Space he started using available billboards for art and inspiration. Here is one inspirational billboard that can be seen on your way to Yankee Stadium. What a fantastic idea!

Read the story here!

Billboard seen en route to Yankee Stadium in New York City, NY.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: The Message

The Message

by Lance Richardson

Published by American Family Publications, 2000.

Paperback, 154 pages.

Listed: $12.95 (My husband gave me his copy to read that he received as a gift from our daughter.)

Book Description

On Christmas Day, 1998, Lance Richardson was involved in an accident which later left him in a comatose state for several weeks. While his body was being kept alive by medical support equipment, his spirit passed into the world beyond. In "The Message," Lance describes his experience in the world of spirits and delivers to us a message giving a greater understanding of the importance of families and the future of America. He was also taught concerning a most important principle of their society of peace, which, if followed by the people of this great nation, would rescue us from self-destruction.


Normally I don't think I would add a review of what I consider a "religious" book but the message was so good and so powerful I decided I would go ahead do a review of this book. Basically this is a retelling of a man's NDE (Near Death Experience) and his visit to the "other side." I was deeply touched by his descriptions of "heaven" (which he called "Paradise" in the "Spirit World") as they were very similar to other descriptions I have read. "I had never seen such vibrant, brilliant color," he writes (p.52). "Leaves and sprigs carried varieties of color such as crimson, gold, blazing yellows of fire, shades of green and blue, and deep blood-red." 

When you have lost a loved one in death you tend to gravitate toward stories and books that share experiences of those that have visited beyond "the Veil." Telling of meeting loved ones that have passed on brought me much comfort. I was moved to tears thinking of my loved ones in such a beautiful (and busy!) place. It made me happy. This message alone was enough but then he tells that he was taught lessons that he was supposed to bring back. He was given a reason to come back to life and share this story. 

And what is this great message?


He explains that giving service to others is Love in Action. 
"Service is the action from of loving one another. When you truly love someone, you seek to serve them. Your concerns are for their happiness and welfare." (p. 117) He further admonishes that service starts in the home, then your neighbors and community, then extended family -- or, "the brothers and sisters of our nation." 
Wow. This is great stuff!
I have said for years that we love who we serve. Basically, Mr. Richardson states that we need to cultivate a loving society. 
Peace on earth!
What a remarkably beautiful message. Seriously.

I texted my husband as soon as I finished this book with this simple phrase. "Wow. We need to do more."
He responded, "I know."
I highly recommend this book, however keep in mind that it is a story told from the point of view of a religious, Mormon man. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

See Beautiful

I've talked about eyebrows and eyelashes, eyes are a big deal. Probably because like my shoes, I can make my eyes pretty when I'm heavy or when I'm skinny. I was told once that I have "bedroom eyes" and while I don't really know what that means, it sounds sexy. 

One thing I have always disliked about myself is that I'm nearsighted. Terribly nearsighted. My eyesight is so bad they rejected me for radial keratotomy. I have not checked to see if I could have laser eye treatment but that might work for me... if I was brave enough. Without glasses or contacts I cannot see past my nose. 

I got my first pair of glasses when I was in 2nd grade. They were gold wire frames and they made me look smart... I guess. After that I got some trendy octogonal frames in browns and another pair in blues. Oh yeah, trendy, baby! In 7th grade I "broke" my glasses and talked my parents into getting me contact lenses. Soft lenses were all the rage (they were new) and that's what I got. I wore those until I was a junior in high school when suddenly the contacts started bothering my eyes. I looked stoned all the time, but it was my contacts... honest!

My senior year of high school I had to go back to glasses. I got a pair that were tinted bluish on top and pinkish on bottom so they "blended" with my makeup. It was interesting. Finally at the end of my senior year I had had enough and I acclimated myself to the semi-soft contacts they said my eyes could handle. A few years later we discovered they weren't semi-soft but actually hard lenses. 

Over the years I have gone back and forth between glasses and contacts. I hate glasses. Hate them! I think I look terrible. Probably partly because they make my eyes look weird. Maybe because my family told me I was "prettier" without them. I don't know but I hate them.

A few years ago I finally got the kind of contacts you sleep in and I love Love LOVE them! It's like I can see like a normal person! It's awesome! Unfortunately though I now have "old" eyes so while my nearsighted-ness is improving (really?) I now have to wear "reading glasses" OVER my contacts. So lame.

Some people look good in them, but I hate them, still, if I want to see I have to wear them.
So it is.

Monday, January 14, 2013

XXYY aka Klinefelter's Syndrome XXYY Variant.

This is what my son "Crackle" has. It should be "has" because it is just who he is.

XXYY syndrome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

48, XXYY syndrome is a sex chromosome anomaly in which males have an extra X and Y chromosome. Human cells usually contain two sex chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father. Usually, females have two X chromosomes (XX) and males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). The appearance of at least one Y chromosome with a properly functioning SRY gene makes a male. Therefore, XXYY only affects males. Males affected with XXYY syndrome have 48 chromosomes instead of the typical 46. This is why XXYY syndrome is sometimes written as 48, XXYY syndrome. It is estimated that XXYY affects one in every 18,000–40,000 male births.[1]


The first published report of a boy with a 48, XXYY karyotype was by Sylfest Muldal and Charles H. Ockey in Manchester, England in 1960.[2] It was described in a 15-year-old mentally challenged boy who showed signs of Klinefelter syndrome, however chromosome testing revealed 48, XXYY instead of the 47, XXY arrangement known to be the cause. Because of this, 48, XXYY syndrome was originally considered a variation of Klinefelter syndrome. Shared physical and medical features resulting from the presence of an extra X chromosome include tall stature, the development of testosterone deficiency in adolescence and/or adulthood (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism), and infertility. However, recent research shows some important differences in males with 48, XXYY compared to 47, XXY.[3] The most important differences result from the effects of the extra X and Y chromosome on neurodevelopment, leading to higher rates of developmental delays in early childhood, learning disability or intellectual disability, adaptive functioning (life skills) difficulties,neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorders, and psychological/behavioral problems including anxiety,depression, and mood dysregulation. Also, a larger percentage of males with XXYY have additional medical problems such as seizures, congenital elbow malformations (radioulnar synostosis), and tremor compared to males with XXY. XXYY is still considered a variation of Klinefelter syndrome by some definitions, mainly because the pathophysiology of the testicular dysfunction has not been shown to differ from 47, XXY, and the most current research does not suggest that there should be any differences in the evaluation and treatment of testosterone deficiency in 48, XXYY compared to 47, XXY.[4] However, for the psychological and behavioral symptoms of XXYY syndrome, more extensive evaluations, interventions, and supports are usually needed compared to 47, XXY due to more complex neurodevelopmental involvement. There is significant variability between individuals in the number and severity of the medical and neurodevelopmental problems associated with XXYY, and some individuals have mild symptoms while others are more significantly affected.[1]

Developmental delays
Speech impairment
Behavior outburst and mood swings
Learning disabilities
Intellectual impairment
ADHD symptoms
Autism spectrum disorders
Low muscle tone
Flat feet
Delayed sexual development
Undescended testes
Low testosterone

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Heroes & Babies

I have been feeling introspective during church and a few things have occurred to me while contemplating my goals and where I need to be on my journey.

Here are some thoughts of who and where I want to be:
Being an example of service every day. Be an example of what a "hero" is!
Helping my family serve others at least once a week.
Be mindful of those who need blessings we can provide.
Ask for inspiration on who, what and where God would have us serve.

Last Sunday I shared the story of my friend whose baby died suddenly. It is probably going to be ruled as SIDS; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and I’m devastated for her and her good husband. I attended the baby’s memorial service because I wanted them to know that I love and support them both. 

I know them individually from each other and separately from their parents. He taught my kids Chemistry for a couple of years and she and I took a few college classes together. Her mother drove me to the hospital a couple of times when I was pregnant with Pop and having horrible pains (and ended up on bedrest—but that’s a different nightmare). They are a sweet, good family and do not deserve this sorrow. Unfortunately I cannot stop the Earth from turning even though I would like to and would have liked to turn it back, if I could. Doesn’t happen—well, only in the movies.

During the memorial service the father got up to talk about his infant son and shared several lessons he learned in the short time they were together. He talked about smiles and hugs, sacrifice and family. It was beautiful. Another speaker got up and shared other things about our beliefs (LDS—The Plan of Salvation) and revealed that in speaking with the couple the baby’s father commented that he wished he could relieve the suffering of those that were suffering with them. Wow! That dude is a keeper. I felt comforted in the fact that he wanted us all to be at peace as he was. I left the services feeling more at peace than I had all week. Thank you sir, you helped heal me.

That man is one of my heroes.

I serve in the nursery. I have served in the nursery before but this time is different. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in a different phase of life (my baby is ten, after all) or if I have just learned more patience over the years, but I absolutely love my nursery babies! I refer to them as “my babies” a lot of times because I truly love them as if they are family. Serving my babies brings me joy every week. When I’m not there I miss them. Their sweetness and beautiful spirits lift me up every time.

I had three babies “graduate” last week and I’m sad. One of them is actually moving away and I’m sad. I adore my babies and am happy when I get a new one. I have actually been “bending the rules” a bit and allowing the mommies to bring their babies in a little early sometimes (the beginning age is 18 months until they turn 3 years). I only have at most six at a time (even when we have visitors) and that’s doable. If you come to visit our ward and your baby comes to visit my nursery I will be happy. I love the babies.

I am so thankful for so many that inspire me to be and do better all the time. I strive to be happy and attentive when I’m with my babies because that’s why they behave so well for me. Also, I’m not extremely picky about how they behave; I just expect kindness and sharing. No hitting or biting and minimal bossing. There is some bossing. It’s fine. I love them and they love me. It’s all good.

Those babies are my heroes. 

They make me feel useful and loved.
They save me.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Several, as in over ten, years ago I was asked about collaborating on my “art” projects. I said I didn’t really collaborate because I was a writer. The panel rep then told me that Every artist collaborates; writers have to collaborate with editors, illustrators and myriad other people during the writing and publishing process. I’m not sure I believed them and have, over time, thought being a writer was ideal because I didn’t have to work with anyone else.

Yeah. Sometimes I don’t play well with others.

Then I had this brilliant idea a few months ago and shared it with my brother. It was a fantasy based storyline and I had absolutely no experience with that genre.  We talked the story through then made a plan to write it during November, National Novel Writing Month. He did awesome. He plugged out enough words so that added to my measly 10K we actually made the 50,000 word quota For The Win. He is right now finishing up the story (Book One of Three!) and we will start the rewrites and the characterization that I’m good at. He wrote most of the action sequences and together we created a new world.

How Freaking Cool Is That?

And the best part for me is that I have learned that I like to collaborate! Who knew? I sure didn’t! My brother is an AWESOME writer and I am more than happy to share the spotlight with him. It’s been an amazing experience to talk about characters and setting and plot points and then have him write it exactly the way I saw it in my head even without the input from me! Wow! I am so excited for this story to really form into something (and FINISH something) and now we are talking about collaborating on other projects.

How freaking cool is that?

Yeah, I’m a little excited. I admit it. His enthusiasm for the project gets me going and excites me to think through the ideas and work together on them. I’m still not writing like I need to be or want to be but I am excited because we are going to start the rewrites on this book and start Book Two in the next couple of months.

Keep an eye out!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Movie Review: Hungry for Change

Hungry for Change



HUNGRY FOR CHANGE exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don't want you to know about deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what's keeping you from having the body and health you deserve.


I watched this movie after reading about it on another blog I follow. I was immediately impressed with the cast because it included several people that I already admire and trust. Joe Cross of “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead,” is in it, as well as Kris Carr from, “Crazy, Sexy Cancer.” I saw a few glimpses of Dr. Andrew Weil, and quite a bit from Dr. Christiane Northrup of Oprah fame and who has helped me several health issues over the years through her writing. I found a couple of new people that I now love like Jon Gabriel and Daniel Vitalis whose stories and comments were amazing and fascinating.

What I learned: I would say that most of what they talked about I already knew but it’s good to get another reminder. I guess I shouldn’t say that I “knew” it because if that were the case why am I not following their advice? I guess I should say that I have heard it before. Avoid highly processed foods. High fructose corn syrup is bad because it is an ultra-concentrated form of sugar and our bodies simply do not know what to do with it so we store it as fat. Avoid preservatives because in certain quantities they are POISON! Beware of chemicals and other products that are put into or onto your food because our bodies (specifically our livers and pancreas) do not know how to process them. Is there anything particularly new to that information? Maybe, but not so much for me.

They all talked about juicing and the best thing they said about it was that you can concentrate good nutrients and get them in large quantities in your body through juicing. No other method allows for that kind of intense surge. Taking your vegetables in liquid form, with the fiber included allows the maximum amount of benefit to your immune system and overall health.

I gotta do this! It’s a book, it’s a movie and I’m already following my favorites on Twitter and subscribed to their blogs because I need all the help I can get!