Sunday, June 3, 2012

I just recently watched the movie Contagion and I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to this quote but thought it was funny.

“A blog is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation”

Although my thoughts were they probably could have come up with something a little more timely since the movie came out in 2011 and blogging evoled in the late 90's.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Harmonious or Satisfying Arrangement

Tomorrow I will start watching my grandson a few days a week as it's time for my daughter-in-law to go back to work. She is struggling with going back to work. My words are of little comfort to her and she feels like her little sweet baby is going to feel like she is leaving him. That thought just broke my heart. There are so many outside pressures for mothers to be perfect that it really pisses me off. We have all these so called experts that come up with some brainy idea of how to raise children and then they put it into words and “sell it” to the millions of woman that want to fit in and be knowledgeable about raising their children. These brilliant parenting gurus frankly don’t give a dam about the middle class new mom who has to go back to work and is emotionally distraught about it because some new mothering fad has hit the market… whether it is: “Tiger Mom”, “Attachment parenting”, “Authoritarian parenting”, “Authoritative parenting”, “Indulgent parenting”, “Neglectful parenting” or “Aware parenting” or “Punishment” or even “Shared Parenting/Shared Earning.” Shall I go on? It’s a f**king miracle if anyone knows how to raise their children.

How about my theory? “Balance parenting” which simply means “has balance in the parenting” A little bit of attachment, punishment, religion, tiger mom, indulgent, aware, shared, etc. Balance is the key to most everything in life. Not an entire bag of chips but eat chips, not church every single time the doors are open but exposure to Christianity or whatever religion you believe in.

Granted we know the books and the education for new parents are important and just because we did it a certain way and we escaped death (like not wearing a seat belt) doesn’t mean it was smart. But why don’t we offer new parents the real tools they need, support and advice when asked.  Most of these parenting styles haven’t been around long enough to see the results of them. We have parenting gurus who had poor upbringing giving advice on how to parent. What makes them an authority? I think my mother should have been more around for me and revealed to me so many things in life. So does this mean I was neglected? I don’t think so. I needed braces and I was not afforded them; does that indicate neglect? No, it really indicates my mother couldn’t afford braces or didn’t know about braces. Braces in 1966 were not as affordable or common place as they are today. We cannot allow our children to feel like they don’t know how to parent by shoving idealistic styles in their faces.

Look at President Clinton as an example. I am not a fan and this is not a politic alstatement. But he was not raised in a traditional household but he was loved by his grandparents and sadly partially raised in an abusive household but he kept his focus and took the opportunity to learn and he became President of the United States. Humble beginnings… not attachment or indulgent parenting and some would say not good parenting at all, but my point is we do not know what the results of our own parenting skills will foster until our children are grown and become adults. So do not allow some unknown person to say their way is the best way. Raise your children the way you feel is best for your child; create balance in their life. If you have to work outside the home create something unique and special that works/fits for your life style. Create a morning or evening routine that your child will remember when they’re older. Do not let your past predict your future with your child. Do not say my mother never gave me candy so my kids are going to have as much candy as they want, etc. give balance a try.

BTW... I am looking forward to being a supportive and respectful grandmother (aka Gigi) to my grandson and help raise him they way his parents want. Time to button up the lips and be the help they need.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Clutter Free Thoughts

How much stuff can I live without? Most everyone has seen at least the commercials for the television show Hoarders; which we can recognize easily this situation is out of control and we can’t imagine ever living like this. And the show American Pickers an interesting show where two guys who love “picking” travel throughout the USA looking for treasures, stuff they can sell to other collectors, movie sets, or restaurant owners who need specific d├ęcor. They also expose the hoarders; although the word is never used they prefer to call the people “collectors” the people are usually so emotionally attached to their stuff they cannot sell the mess even when they need the money to survive or possible avoid their properties being seized by the local authorities. Additionally, there is a show which I like to watch called Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis. Truthfully I like the show because Jeff Lewis is so stinking sarcastic and comical I love watching the show. He also exposes hoarding and recently he was concerned he was in of his head and suggested sarcastically mind you... that the person seek professional help. Another show that I believe shows a different side of hoarding is Extreme Couponing; although I must say I think that for some people this has been a life saver and some of the extreme couponers are very generous and give to charities and help family and friends with donations; but I also see the tendencies of hoarding being uncovered. I guess the bottom line is thin between saving, collecting and hoarding…

I started thinking about what do I have that I wouldn’t want to live without. I am not talking necessities folks, like microwave, ice maker, computer, etc. I know some of you live without those luxuries but not me; okay, I could live without the microwave and I have lived without the ice maker for three years which was a stupid waste of money buying ice all the time and occasionally I have gone without my computer; like on a cruise but if the cost of getting online was cheaper on the cruise I probably wouldn’t have gone without it (LOL). What do I really have that holds emotional value? I started looking around room-by-room. In my dining room I have a couple of knick knacks I want to keep; a statue of a blue jay my mother purchased for my father, a ceramic egg my sister made for my son when he was little, a set of fine china passed down from my husband’s family and piece of artwork my dermatologist gave me after my first melanoma surgery and a small vase my son made for me when he was little (made out of an orange juice bottle, masking tape and brown magic markers). I won’t throw the vase away ever. I will leave it for him to do after I leave this fine world. Ha-ha! Other than those few things in my dining room everything else could go – I have some emotional ties with some other stuff but I could handle getting rid of the material things, emotional ties and all. Not including family photos those do not come into play in this conversation. Next I looked in my husband’s office, yea; I don’t like how the office looks so I can’t be bothered. Okay, kitchen and living room; I have five watercolor pieces of artwork which I love and have had for over eleven years but if I needed the space or the money I would get rid of them. So there’s nothing in here that I couldn’t get rid of. Bedroom, two spare rooms, foyer and closets… nothing I couldn’t get rid of. So I guess for me although I love some of my things I have pretty much a disposable furnished house.

We all know family members that wouldn’t be able to do this or say this. I don’t think they’re hoarders but they have collections or collector pieces or they save stuff from the dumpster because someone might be able to use it. I must be missing the “attachment gene” because if I have something I can sell or give away I do it… thus the disposable house. I say if you’re not willing to sell the collector items to make money then don’t collect because you’re not going to make money if you cannot sell – don’t quote the worth! Instead just admit you have collected for your own enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with having stuff you enjoy – just do not say it’s worth money if you don’t plan on selling it ever. Also, clutter is a problem so many people face. I brawl with paperwork. I despise the amount of mail I have to go through all the time. And now with the advanced level of identity theft you are forced to dispose of all the junk mail by shredding or burning, etc. It pisses me off that junk mail adds to our clutter issues or hoarder instincts. If I had money to blow I would put a stamp on all the junk mail and return it to the sender. Wouldn't that be a fun revolution to start? Hmmmmmm

 This is an excerpt from an article written in Home

“Pam Young and Peggy Jones, two women known as the Sidetracked Home Executives, explained to me that I-and probably my children and husband-- suffer from a condition known as being either "organizationally-impaired" or "domestically challenged." They believe that disorganization is genetic, and that each family usually gets one "born-organized" child. They feel that "too much clutter" is a problem that at least 60% of families face.”

The point I was trying to make is that for me I am going to work on getting rid of even more stuff. I want a clutter free environment. I want to look into any closet and see what I am looking for instantly. I vow to not purchase anything that is not needed unless I get rid of something. For example I have decided to start using dish rags instead of sponges so I will not purchase any more sponges (lame example). I have long-lived with the policy no new clothes unless old clothes are donated. Please do not wait to donate clothes you don’t wear; even the needy want to feel good about what they’re wearing. I only purchase one new pocket-book a year if needed. I do not have a typical female shoe collection. I don’t buy candles anymore and will not buy any until I am out of what I stock piled from years ago. No more buying projects unless we have a planned day for the project. I have two “projects” sitting in my hall closet and at this point I think I am going to return the junk and live without the intended projects. Good grief!!! I vow not to purchase more books until I finish reading what I have already purchased. I feel a little more de-cluttered already….


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tomorrow it’s back to carb cycling! It will require me to go through food detox and unfortunately sugar withdrawals (again!). We have enjoyed all of our company we have had since March 1st but along with all the company come lots of eating out and celebrating with food, desserts and drinks. But tomorrow it’s low carb day to kick things in gear, low sugar and low sodium intake and lots more visits to the gym. I picked up my protein supplements and liquid vitamins. Let’s do this!

For a 160 pound female, your carb cycling diet may look like this:
Monday: low carb, 1,150 calories, 0 to 50 grams carbs maximum
Tuesday: high carb, 1,950 calories, 243 grams of carbs maximum
Wednesday: low carb, 1,150 calories, 0 to 50 grams carbs maximum
Thursday: low carb, 1,150 calories, 0 to 50 grams carbs maximum
Friday: low carb, 1,150 calories, 0 to 50 grams carbs maximum
Saturday: high carb, 1,950 calories, 243 grams of carbs maximum
Sunday: low carb, 1,150 calories, 0 to 50 grams carbs maximum

Read more:

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Favorite Workout Songs

Sometimes you find just the right song to workout to. For me it depends on what I am doing; running, cycling, spinning or the dreaded floor exercise. I choose my music to help motivate me, keep me pushing forward, to drown out the pain or silence the sound of me gasping for air (my son says I sound like a pug when I run) or the whining like a toddler. Below is a list of my favorite songs:

Metallica: Suicide and Redemption (spinning/climbing)
Offspring: You're Gonna Go Far, Kid (running)
Eminem: Till I Collapse (spinning)
Shinedown: Diamond Eyes (spinning)
Linkin Park: Never back down (spinning)
Tantric: Down and Out (running)
Volbeat: Warrior's Call (anytime I need to drown out my thoughts)
Cranberries: Linger (floor exercise)
U2: Beautiful Day (floor exercise)
Foo Fighters: All My Life (running)
Alice in Chains: Rooster (floor exercise)
Radiohead: Creep (floor exercise)
Coldplay: Yellow (floor exercise)
Foo Fighters: Best of You (running)
Oasis: Wonderwall (spinning/climbing)
Disturbed: Stupify (running and anytime I need to drown out my thoughts)

This is a short list of my favorites. I love music and especially rock. If you have a song that you use to workout with and want to share please pass it along.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Distracted by Birds

Distracted by birds is a welcome diversion don’t you think? I was working in my yard; I am in the process of creating a butterfly garden to honor my mother’s memory. My mother left us in 2000 and as far back as I can remember my mother wore a butterfly of some kind, a brooch or earrings, ring or clothing, she adored butterflies. I love them too; they’re beautiful creatures and remind me that my mother is always around.

Still, I love watching out for birds. I am a novice and have always been happy just to see birds flying by, but a year ago my husband I purchased a weekend home to get away from the city. I tried having bird feeders at my city townhome but unfortunately it was short lived due to the urban rodents which liked the feeders too. I was so saddened when I had to take my feeders down. As soon as we purchased the property I knew I was in a more natural setting and I would have lots of birds, squirrels, armadillos, deer… you get the picture! I was in the country now and the bird feeders went up immediately, it has been wonderful getting neck aches from standing in my yard gazing for hours into the branches of the oak and cypress trees looking for birds. I hear new calls and sounds all the time; it’s delightful and relaxing, except for the neck aches.

I have seen many bluebirds on the trails while riding my bicycle and often get kidded about how easily I am distracted by birds. Many of the people I ride with are intense about their cycling and don’t find it very amusing when I point out birds when they’re seriously trying to get their ride done. When the pine warblers fly right in front of my bike, it seems like they’re trying to out race me, it’s so much fun. Birds have often been entertainment to my workouts, whether I am running and see a red shouldered hawk sitting on top of a light post or hiking and see wild turkeys crossing the trail.

After many hours of digging, pruning, planting specific flowers and host plants in my garden I needed a break. I was sitting quietly under my umbrella drinking some cold water and looking at the progress I was making and imagining how the garden will look in a year from now. I could hear the cardinals chirping and the fluttering wings of the tufted titmouse making their way to the feeders, I could hear the loud call of the red belly woodpeckers that were pecking away at the old oak trees in my yard. As I sat there a few minutes longer trying to cool down from the heat, taking a minute longer I leaned back to stretch my shoulders when I noticed this spectacular Eastern Bluebird sitting oh so quietly on a plant- hanger hook. Ah, finally, I am graced with the presence of the bluebird. I was so beat but this bluebird distracted me from my aching back and tired feet, a very welcomed distraction.