Saturday, October 29, 2011

Do You Wear A Mask?

Well, do you? If so you'll fit right in this Halloween weekend. I keep a couple of scaaarrrryyy masks in the closet so I'm ready! Are you planning to dress up?

Costume sales for adults now out sell costumes for children. And costumes are so elaborate now.
Do you remember whipping up Halloween costumes at home for your kids? Maybe they were a pirate, a gypsy, a mummy wrapped in toilet paper? Or a witch or a devil with a pitchfork. Easy stuff.

There are those who say we dress up to get to be somebody we are not. We get to come out of ourselves you might say. I don't agree with that. When my best girlfriend of many years ago won the neighborhood costume contest wearing a cow suit covered with udders, I don't think it said a thing in the world about her desires. Just funny.

Every day we are much more likely to wear masks that don't show. Invisible ones. We pretend we are 'happy' when we are not. We say "Fine" when someone asks how we are, when maybe "Fine" is the last thing we are. We put on our "confident" masks when we walk into a room of strangers at a party, or are being announced as today's "guest speaker". Inside we are anything but confident.

Masks are appropriate in many situations as long as we take them off and "be real" with those we are closest to. Our family and our friends want to know and interact with us as we really are, with no masks. It becomes an issue in our lives, a very real issue, when we no longer can tell the difference ourselves. When we no longer know which self is our real self, we are in trouble. When we present one self to some and another to others, we are in jeopardy of losing our authenticity.

Whew! That got a little heavy for a moment. Let's get back to Halloween. I've decided to get a Wonder Woman costume and wear it every year. I think that's pretty real for most women I know. I know it's "cute". And it's fun.

Wh0 are you going to be this year? Underneath it all, just be yourself. That is the best costume of all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today Is The Last Day

There is a huge campaign underway to make sure every soldier stationed abroad receives a letter at Thanksgiving expressing gratitude for them and their service. I just found out (!), and here in Atlanta, today is the last day to drop them off.

Here are some of the places collecting letters. Maybe there is one near you or you could forward this (or tweet) to others. Atlanta's goal is 400,000 letters!

Nashville Drop Off: i106 WNFM

Indiana Drop Off: i94 Indy's Hit Music Station

Atlanta Drop Off: Any Taco Mac Restaurant

Unfortunately the letters must be plain, without glitter and glue, popups, candy, gum...just plain letters, 8.5 x 11. And let's not throw in any political jargon. Just plain Turkey Talk. "We are thankful for you."

I know there will be many opps during the holidays to remember our men and women overseas and this is just one of them...and it is surely last minute. I got mine in this morning.

Thanks for writing and spreading the word. Forward any opps you hear of too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are You A Feral Woman?

"Blog hopping is safer than bar hopping....I think", says a favorite blogger of mine. 

That's just a sample of her humor and the uniqueness she infuses in her blog, "Go West" Feral Woman.  At first, city girl that I am, ...well maybe just suburban....I wasn't exactly sure what "feral" meant.  I knew about wild cats that multiply like ...uh, wild cats, and forage for food and warmth where they can find it.  But what is a feral woman?  Then I saw her definition:

"Feral ~ from feminine of ferus wild: having escaped from domestication and become wild..."

Don't you love that?  Who doesn't have days of wanting to 'escape from domestication and become wild.'  Reminds me of living in town as a kid and throwing a rope around my bike which made it a horse... then mounting it like I saw cowboys do on TV, and riding into the horizon over jagged cliffs and wild gunfights.

Feral Woman, is fairly recently transplanted to the timbers of Montana, and is equally at home cruising timbers in work boots or out and about in high heels.  I just know she and my friend, Karen, would click right away.  Anyway, right now she is "going through it" as they say.  Yeah, I know everyone does at one time or another but this is her time.  A gifted blog writer, she makes you feel like "you are there"... whether on their timber lands or in her 'out of the blue' hospital room.

They say humor is the best medicine, and it's a great one, but so are friends, love, caring, support, doctors,  fresh berries, and prayers.  I know she has all that going on but you can't ever have too much of that list! 
Visit Feral Woman when you can, and send some Light and love in the form of a comment. Across the miles. From heart to heart.  Be well all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Red Candy Apple Recipe

mmmmm good..................I found this years ago. I don't know where.

Calories:  Around 258.  More if you make it thick.

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
red food coloring


Mix 1st 3 ingredients in saucepan.

Put on high heat with candy thermometer positioned in center of fluid level, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the pan.

While it is boiling, thoroughly wash and dry your apples, and spear with the sticks.

Boil mixture until reaches hard crack (300ºF), then immediately add red food coloring and stir.

Quickly immediately dip the apples, twisting to cover, and set on a greased cookie sheet.

The number of apples depends on how thick you want the candy.  They are easier to eat if not too thick.

I get to go to the mountains twice in one week!  Last weekend was our annual Leaf Trip.  It never gets old and the leaves seem to get prettier every year.  The mountains are awesome and represent Power and Might to me.  Their magnitude and majesty, whatever the season, awes me in the same way as the ocean.  If I want to "see God" I can stand and watch the tide roll in over my feet, or gaze at mountain ranges that just astound me.  No matter what is going on in my life that seems so huge, these two natural phenomenon  just keep on "being".  They are always there in their magnificence.

This post was just going to be about having a candy apple in the fall.  But now I realize it's not so much the's going to the mountains to get the apple.  Grocery store won't do.  It's not the same.  So today I'm taking an apple barn trip with two of my favorite aunts to "experience fall"...the views, the food, the festivals, the colors, and yes, the apples.

Monday, October 24, 2011

He Said What?

We all have things we remember our parents or others saying to us when we were young and impressionable.  They said a lot of things, of course, but some of them seem to stick more than others.  My Grandfather, Horace Cromer, always said,

"Haste makes waste."

   So many times I've heard his words ringing in my ears when something went wrong because I was in such a hurry. 

Maya Angelou, U.S. Poet Laureate, spoke at the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter (I love him and her).  She's also very well known as Oprah's mentor and her "chosen mother figure", recognized for the wisdom she has gained over the years.  Her grandmother left her with a saying too.  Blogger Being Me includes this quote on her sidebar, from Maya's grandmother. 

".... change everything you don't like about your life. But when you come to a thing you can't change, then change the way you think about it. You'll see it new, and maybe a new way to change it."

I don't know that we need to watch our every word, because it is not the ones we carefully craft that often make the biggest impact.  It is the way we live that speaks for us, and yes, some of our words stick that would probably surprise us.  I guess it
 boils down to just being the best person we can and letting it go at that.

Enjoy the day!  It is so beautiful outside here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hindsight or Kindsight

Maybe you have heard the word "Kindsight" before but I never have, until yesterday.  I read it in a newsletter I get from Tricia Molloy and it caught my attention.  I just love the word!   Although my mantra is, "The best is yet to come", I still look back occasionally.  We all do.  Back there we can all find good stuff and the not-so-good stuff that makes up life.  Some days we would love to live over again, and others......."Please God, No!" 

Next time you find yourself "looking back" at one of your least favorite times, be kind to yourself.  Take a big dose of Kindsight along with your Hindsight.  Hang on to this.

View Your Life with Kindsight.

Stop Beating Yourself Up

About Things from Your Past.

Instead of Slapping Your Forehead and Asking:

"What Was I Thinking?"

Breathe and Ask Yourself the Kinder Question:

"What Was I Learning?"

~Karen Salmansohn~


Monday, October 17, 2011

Dyslexia Awareness Month

It seems that every cause has its day, or its month.  A time in the spotlight when they seek to inform others about something very dear to them.  I learned from Debra Ann Elliot's blog, Words Are Timeless, that this month is time to focus on Dyslexia.  Since dyslexia is a type of learning disability, I decided to pull out a post I wrote a couple of years ago.  Maybe it will help shed some light on this subject.  So here goes. 

Learning disabilities are all over the place! In reality, according to the Natl Inst of Health, about 1 out of 7 of us has them. What the heck is a learning disability anyway? Technically, it is the label applied when a student does not perform at a level consistent with his ability (based on testing) after all extenuating circumstances have been ruled out. In other words, the student is smart and still has a terrible time at school! Many things cause students to “way under perform”. Drug use, family problems, insomnia, frequent moving, death in the family, changing schools frequently, parent in Iraq, divorce, boyfriend breakup, pregnancy and on and on and on.

When a student consistently performs way under what is expected based on his IQ, and none of the above factors are present, it is suspected the student may have a learning disability.  At this point the school will order screening. If this shows a "large" enough difference between his IQ and his actual performance/grades/achievement, further testing will be ordered. If the difference is not “large enough” the school system will not test them. The size of this difference varies among the states. I believe it is 50% in NY if it has not changed recently.

Every student who is under performing does not have a learning disability.  In short, LD students are smart. They must have average, or higher, intelligence in order for the performance to vary enough from their ability to qualify as LD. Whew! If an individual has a low IQ he will struggle in school and he will have lower grades, but he will not have a learning disability. LD is very socially acceptable and often parents, especially affluent ones, want the LD label for their kids. They want the extra services and modifications that the LD student is entitled to. Other parents feel that being in Special Education is a stigma and do not want it.

We hear many famous people had/have a learning disability, such as Susan Boyle, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, and Gen. Patton and President George Washington. Most certainly all of them did not. What we really know is that they all had trouble in school, for some reason, even though they were extremely brilliant in other areas.

Howard Gardner, author of Multiple Intelligences, says there are 7 areas of intelligence: Verbal, Mathematical, Spatial (Artistic), Musical, Bodily/Kinesthetic (Athletic), Spiritual and Naturalistic. Acknowledge your area of intelligence. Help your child find and acknowledge his. Don’t freak out if it is not the traditional academic area. Too many of us are still feeling "not good enough" because of a school experience without fully recognizing and valuing the gifts we each have.
So as many people put the focus on dyslexia this month, we have the opportunity to learn more about it.  Don't be too quick to claim it.  It is measurable.  It "shows up" in full psychological testing of how we learn.  So just because you often switch numbers or letters, consider slowing down and taking your time before putting yourself in this, or any, category.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FOOD: Blog Action Day 2011

If you are seeing blog posts about Food everywhere you go today, it is because today is Blog Action Day 2011...and the topic is Food.  What an interesting choice.  We know music is the universal language but you could say the same about food.  We all must eat.  We differ, and even disagree, on many topics including food, but even in the midst of warring, we all take time to eat everyday.  Unless we are in a starving land.

Food, and water, keep us alive.  They are the first level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right along with breathing.  We all partake.  We must. 

We decide each day what to eat based on what is available, what is good for us, what our culture eats, what we like, what we can afford, and our habits.  Everyday we hear about obesity.  We hear that today's children are more obese than ever in the history of the world.  We hear that more adults are diagnosed with diabetes than ever before, 8.3% of us with many more undiagnosed.  We also hear, almost daily, the latest research findings on what we should eat to keep us healthy, lean, and fit.

Most Americans say their health is their number one concern.  If so, why do we continue to make food choices that do not support a path to excellent health?  Why do we choose chocolate cake and ice cream when we could have angel food cake with fresh/frozen strawberries?  Why do we choose fried chicken and mashed potatoes over grilled chicken and broccoli?  And we seem to prefer white pasta with alfredo to marinara sauce over whole wheat pasta.  And deep dish pepperoni and sausage pizza rather than a pizza with thin crust, peppers, and onions.  We all have our own reasons.

Food sustains us.  It comforts us.  It heals us.  Sometimes it is our best friend.  It is the ultimate gift to prepare a meal and share it with those we love.  It is the first thing we give to the homeless.  It is how we celebrate our holidays.  We make food decisions every day that we live.

Just for today, in honor of Blog Action Day, let's choose to make conscious choices regarding what we eat and why.  Just observing ourselves, without judging ourselves, should be an interesting exercise. 

Every day is unique.  If it's your birthday, eat cake!  We have heard that a million times.  If it's Christmas, maybe some fudge!  Friday night at the football game, how about hotdogs?  And everyone says I must try Yeah Burger, and don't forget The Varsity.  So there ya go. We surely want to enjoy the day!  It's when these choices become habits that we get in trouble.  Like they say, "We make our habits, and then our habits make us."

If we stay conscious every day, not just today, and  hang on to moderation when deciding "to eat this, not that" and just how much to put into our bodies, our bodies will love us and reward us well.

Blog Action Day 2009:  Climate Change

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thoughts On Turning 64

I was going to snuggle in, sleep late...after all it's my birthday!  But, hark!  Why waste a moment of it sleeping?  So, instead, I'm sharing a moment with you.  And thank YOU for sharing it with me.  Enjoy listening to the Beatles while you read.  You will love the song!

If you are lucky, you'll make 64 too!  So, in celebration of that event, here are 64 things I'm sharing today.  I know it's a lot.  I'm entitled.
1.  I love getting up while it's still dark and quiet outside, at 5:30 A.M.....
2.  And I love sleeping in on a cool rainy day like today.
3.  I had caramel cake with lots of icing last favorite...2 pieces.
4.  While laughing at the funniest e-bday-card and appreciating the sweetest 12:02 A.M.!
5.  I'm treating myself with a trip to the library today to celebrate my mind...
6.  And a trip to the gym to celebrate my health...
7.  And a trip to town for lunch...
8.  And a pair of new hiking boots too.
9.  I know I'll get flowers tonight...
10.  And a card from the hubby.
11.  And possibly a balloon but I hope not.
12.  I have communed with God this morning
13.  And enjoyed thoughts of my wonderful children...
14.  And my friends...
15.  And my family.
16.  I am cherishing memories
17.  And hoping for certain, special, outrageous new ones
18.  Knowing more good is coming
19.  As God continues to work in my life.
20.  I will find someone to 'give' to today.
21.  Someone who needs a break.
22.  I will be extra generous with smiles today
23.  And prayers, and hugs.
24.  I will tip well.
25.  I will shower, fix my hair, and wear makeup all on the same day.
26.  And wear a favorite outfit.
27.  Tomorrow I will paint all day...a scene in Venice is emerging.
28.  I love this rainy day and hope for a little sun too.
29.  I'll photo the early leaf changes...the red ones especially.
30.  I think I'll make banana bread...
31.  And give most of it away.
32.  I will start a new book later today.
33.  I will call my mother who may or may not remember it's my birthday...
34.  And delight in calls from my kids who will remember.  I hope.
35.  I'll enjoy all my Facebook messages. For sure.
36.  I'll look forward to a mountain trip soon
37.  And love the leaves right here, right now.
38.  There are old friends I'd like to see
39.  To catch up and share a hug and a smile,
40.  Just like becoming friends all over again....
41.  I'm listening to the birds outside my window...
42.  And having yet another cup of coffee.
43.  I am loving life like always
44.  But maybe especially today.
45.  I am so thankful,
46.  I am still growing,
47.  I am still learning,
48.  I am happy.
49.  And yet I want more.  And that's a good thing.
50.  Not more things, just more life...
51.  Vibrant, exciting, new, adventurous life.
52.  And God says, "Right on, girl. It is all up to you."
53.  "I am with you always", He says.
54.  "I know", I say.  "And thank you."
55.  I want to stay within God's will.
56.  There is no safer place to be.
57.  And God says, "Keep flying from the nest."
58.  So I will step out, take risks (safe ones), and not be afraid.
59.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
60.  I will be strong, be happy, be centered, be restless.
61.  The world is beckoning more than when I was 25.
62.  I was so busy then.  Not so much now.
63.  I will give and grow, laugh and play, be a brighter Light, and love more.
64.  When I'm 64.

And that is TODAY!  Enjoy your day too.  We are truly reborn every day.  It just seems a little more poignant on these birthdays.  Thanks for celebrating with me!

Thanks for the birthday hug Prince William!  A friend sent me this picture of us.  How thoughtful!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just What If

"I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet." -Anonymous

This is just one line from a poem I've heard all my life.  I remember hearing it from my mom when I would complain about something.  And I remember her using it as a devotional for one of her civic or church groups.  It can be a little guilt producing but I guess, when you get right down to it, many lessons are taught that way.
Last week I met a lady with just one leg.  She lost the other one to a staph infection.  After battling staph for years, she finally just had to let it all go in order to get well.  I guess she is in her 60s...and what a spunky lady.  If she wants to go up or down steps she either holds on and hops, or she slides on her she says.  Hopping  up and down steps is very tiresome.  Try it.
She was next door to me at the beach while I was on vacation.  So what if she had only one leg.  It didn't stop her.  It didn't slow her down much.  They were in and out just like everyone else.  Going to town, out to eat, and whatever else she wanted to do.  The best thing about meeting her was her attitude.  It is almost always all about attitude isn't it.  I think we all know that down deep.  We can't always control what happens to us but we surely can control how we respond.  It may not be easy, and we may sometimes just need to have a pity party for a little while, but in time we can all choose the bright side.
If you are watching Dancing With The Stars like I am, you've met J. R. Martinez.  Iraq veteran who left for the war whole and healthy and returned struggling with intense burns from a landmine.  He had a hard time at first.  He wouldn't have been human if he had not.  But he credits his mother with helping him change his attitude....and now he is the picture of health and positivity!  He could have chosen to be sad and alone in a dark room grieving forever.  Instead he is a soap opera actor and a leading contender on DWTS.  I am just so impressed with him!  (I must admit I voted for Nancy Grace because she is from my hometown, but I may just have to vote for JR next week).

Anyway, back to the lady with one foot.  I admire her too.  She is living and loving her life.  She really liked my flip flops by the door, and complimented me on them.  I thought it was interesting that she gravitated toward shoes.  Like most people at the beach, she was barefoot.  She had red toe nail polish though.
I wondered if she got her pedicure for half price.  She would smile at that.  She was just that healthy...and I am glad I got to meet her.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On My Mind

Just a small one...
              • 250 calories
              • 6 grams fat
              • 41 carbs
              • 6 grams protein
I think that's a perfect fix for an ice cream craving at the end of the day.

What is your perfect fix at the end of the day?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Healthy Drink Of The Day

Oh my goodness, this makes a yummy drink!  Hurry before the watermelons are gone.

Summery, sweet, tart, cool, refreshing!

Strawberry Watermelon Slushy

1 cup seedless, cubed watermelon
1 cup strawberries
2 T sugar
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup crushed ice

Throw it in the blender and puree' till smooth.
Serves 1

I think I might like to try leaving out the lemon juice and adding 1 T of sugar.  Do you think it really needs the lemon juice?  I'm just not so much a fan of tart.
Still very yummy though.  Try it and let me know what you think.

And all those antioxidants just flooding your system...

I know Dr. Oz would be proud of us.