Friday, March 30, 2012

If You Win The Lottery Tonight

There is a BIG Lottery drawing tonight!  Estimated winnings are $640 million!  I mean, really, does anyone need that much?  Of course, it's not about need is it.  Money you need doesn't come from a lottery.  Usually you work for your bread and butter, to cover your bases, to make the rent.  We don't count on winning the lottery to survive.

Everyone is talking about this one.  They're talking about whether or not they are going to buy a ticket,  how much they're going to spend, and what they'll do if they win.  Here are some comments I have heard today.
  • "You can't win if you don't buy a ticket."
  • "You have a 600 times greater chance of getting struck by lightening today than winning tonight." I'm sure it's even more dramatic by now.
  • "I'm going to buy a beach house if I win."
  • "I'm buying a Harley."
  • "I'm making my kids rich."
  • "I'm getting a Corvette."
  • "You have the same chance of winning whether you buy one ticket or 100."  What do you think about that statement?
  • "I'm buying a state of the art health club and everyone can come free."
  • "I'm spending $1000 on tickets."  Ouch.
  • "If God wants me to win, I don't need to buy but one ticket."
  • "If I win, you won't see me again."
And on and on it goes.  What fun, exciting energy all this anticipation is bringing!  It's so much better than news of a shooting by a neighborhood watch guy or gas prices continuing to go up.  It's fun to hear everyone dreaming out loud.  Dreaming big.  "Just what if...?"  I bet you've done it before too.  "If I win, I am going to...."

So have fun with it.  Buy a ticket if you're willing to stand in line.  Wish the winner(s) the best.  It's a lot more fun than paying taxes and, of course, the government will get a large chunk of the money.  They must be excited!

Are you buying?  I am.  Just one ticket.....if the line isn't too long.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm off to the Cherry Blossom Festival today.  I grew up in Macon and lived there until I was 21.  My parents lived there all of their married life.  It is a large enough city and is spread out all over rather than concentrated like Manhattan.  Even so, it's hard to go there, especially with my mother, and not see people you know from back in the day.  
One of Macon's finest, Bill Fickling, gave almost 200,000 seedling to the city and had them planted "everywhere".  It's hard to ride around Macon with your eyes open and not to see Cherry trees.  In addition he planted acres and acres of Yoshino Cherry trees on his a breathtaking view for all who drive past.

So today I am going "home", taking my 92 year old mother with me.  We will see all the old places, eat wherever and whatever she wants and feast our eyes on the blossoms.  The big arts show downtown will be the highlight of my day!

Everything in Macon is pink this week.  Bows, door decorations, and mailbox toppers.  Even French poodles are dyes pink for the week.  Poor things.  

Have fun wherever you are...and just like these Cherry trees, "Bloom where you are planted."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quiz: Eat This OR That?

Don't you just love this book?  I do.  Sometimes we think we're making the best choice in foods but then find out  we're not.  A milkshake lover like me learns to choose a low fat chocolate milk at McDonald's and save myself 500 calories over most sugary shakes out there.  Eat the best choice and avoid the other.

But if two options are both good choices, it's even harder to be in the know and choose the best of the best.  I went to a Health Care Screening at the hospital last week.  Things I got checked:  my feet, my bone density, my cholesterol, my blood pressure, and my sugar levels.  All free.  I knew most of them already, but I am really weird and I find informative things like that entertaining.  Anyway, I stole some info from the hospital sponsoring the screening, and they stole it from Runner's World, September 2010.  So here goes.  And I'll spare you the details and make it short.

Which is better? 
Strawberries or Blueberries?
Chicken Breast or Turkey Breast?
Peanut Butter or Almond Butter?
Spinach or Kale?
Cow's Milk or Goat's Milk?
Wheat Bread or Rye Bread?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil?

Blueberries, especially wild ones, more antioxidants
Turkey, has more protein, iron, and selenium
Almond Butter, has more calcium and magnesium, better fats
Kale, more Vit C, A, and K
Goat's Milk, more of a lot of things
100% Rye Bread, has more fiber
Olive Oil, has more anti-inflammatories

So there you have it.  I really want to try goat's milk but I'm just not sure I can get there.  Have you tried it?  Do you like it?  Is it good with cereal?  Report in!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Your Favorite Photos

If you happen to be online and read this today you can take advantage of a fun deal.  Go to the Walgreen's site  and then to their photo section.  You do have to register the first time but it's really quick.  Then pick out your favorite two photos from your computer.  You can order two 8X10s for  You tell them the store where you'd like to pick them up.  I guess I'm assuming everyone lives near a Walgreen! (they will mail them for .99)

You then place the two orders separately with these two passwords.  FREEONE.   And 1PRINT.  You click on 8x10 of each photo... and they are totally free.  Pop them in a frame you probably already have and surprise someone with a cool little gift.  I just finished ordering mine.  These are the two photos I chose.
My husband and son.  They will love this.  It's good of both of them.

My husband's family minus my two sons and the Connecticut and Chicago groups.  

Walgreens runs great photo specials like this all the time and it's so easy once you're set up.  Today only.  Have fun.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Accidental Bestseller

"The best way to have a friend is to be one."

Looking for a book to get lost in?  This one is about women's dreams and goals, women's issues, and women's secrets.  The characters are everyday women leading everyday lives and pursuing their common interest of writing.  Then the bottom falls out and one of the women sees her life fall apart.  As her three friends rush to her side they all eventually "get real" with each other, and secrets, long hidden, flow from each of them.


Are you and I so fortunate to have our BFFs come to our aide, make us food, hold our hand, pull us back to life?  Would we even let them know if we needed them???  Remember people cannot help us if they don't know we need help.   Even the main character of this book retreated and tried to hide away. Would we drop everything and show up for a friend in monumental ways?  

Although people may have hundreds of Facebook or Twitter friends, they say we are "lucky" if we have 5 real friends in the world.  Do you?

This is a fun book to read. You can probably find it at your library if you enjoy reading women's fiction and stories about friendship. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

What I Love About The Queen

I don't know too much about Queen Elizabeth II except she has been Queen for my entire lifetime.

When I saw "The King's Speech" and saw little Elizabeth, daughter of the King, playing on the floor with her sister, she was just like other little girls... except maybe even then, a little more proper.  Her destiny was already cast.  She would be Queen and she has been for over 60 years....always staid and proper.  The movie "The Queen" let us in on her love of Nature and how she likes driving herself around the property in a bumpy old truck...which I am sure isn't old.

But she knows how to dress up.  She should, she's had a lot of practice.  What I really love about her is how she wears color.  Even though I love color, I hold back when I comes to my clothes. I might wear a touch of color, maybe a jacket or scarf as an accent, but never all over like she does.  Always head to toe in blazing color.

Love these looks!

Some even say her decor subtly flatters her as well.  I wouldn't doubt that was well thought out.

Enough of our stylish black and grey fashions.  Next time we go clothes shopping, let's not hold back.  Remember the Queen!  Long live the Queen!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

America Has Changed

Lately many people are concerned that America is no longer the country it once was.  And I say, of course it isn't.

When America was first born it was a place of survival.  As we approached and inhabited this new land, we encountered the Indians (who were here first),  illness, extreme weather, and shortage of food. That's how "America was" in the beginning.  Immigration had begun, I guess you could say, and the land began to be populated.

War came and went.  War with Indians, war with Spain, war with the Redcoats, and finally war with each other.  

Time passed, America entered the Industrial Revolution and the days were ripe with discovery.  Think it up, build it, produce it.  Anyone could invent something. This new world was wide open.

We finally let women vote, decided alcohol was not totally evil after all, and fought a couple more really big wars.  When they were over, our soldiers came home, built homes, and had families.  Moms all stayed home, cooked family dinners, raised children, and most everyone went to church on Sundays and Wednesday nights.  But eventually birth control pills changed the world, sexuality loosened up, moms went to work, found their voice and their rights.  

And sexuality continued to loosen up more and more and more and more.  Church changed from two days a week to 24/7 streaming on laptops and cable TV.  Fewer family dinners, more eating out and latchkey kids.  The Information Age bombarded us with more than we ever needed to know...but isn't it fun.....and maybe more bizarreness and images than we ever needed  to see.

No doubt you like some of the changes but not all of them.  The "bad changes" are no one person's fault.  Not President Obama, not President Bush, not President Clinton either.  No one gets all the blame or all the praise. 

So yes, America has changed.  Yes, America will never be the same.  It never has stayed the same.  Why would we think we could put our kickstands down now...and just keep it the same because we "like it this way".   It's up to each of us to make our little sphere as good as we can make it.  To deal with the changes and help each other along the way.  But let's not think that blaming and shaming will help.  It won't.  We live in a dynamic country, a dynamic world.   The only constant, they say, is change. Change what is around you for the better.  Teach your children to do the same.  And don't lament change.  Work with it and know it is as normal as breathing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

4 Ways To Sleep Better

If you watched Dr. Oz last week, you don't need to read this.  He is always telling us about strange sounding supplements and natural remedies to make us better.  They probably work, but if you bought all of them, your cabinets would bulge with a scramble of solutions.  

However, these four  tips of his are just easy stuff anyone can do, ... and sleep better.  Better sleep=better mood=safer driving=better metabolism=easier weight loss and on and on.  If you sleep better, everything is better.

(copied directly from his website 3-3-2012)

Tip #1: Place a Dinner Curfew: No Eating 2 Hours Before Bedtime
Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime since a late meal will keep your body busy digesting, making it harder to fall asleep. Also, avoid highly acidic and processed foods that can lead to indigestion or reflux and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
  • Note from me:  I am working on this one.  As a natural night eater, this is difficult for me.  I am no longer eating (very much) after 8:00-8:30.  Want to join me? 
Tip #2: Limit Time Spent on Your Cell Phone
Electric magnetic radiation from cell phones has been shown to make it harder to enter a deep sleep. Try using a land line in the bedroom if you like to talk to friends or family before you fall asleep, and also keep the phone at least 5 feet away from your bed.
  • Note from me:  If someone calls me late at night, I just ask them to call me back on the land line.  I am still antiquated enough to have one. I know people who sleep with their cell phone in the bed with them!  Don't do this!
Tip #3: Turn Down the Temperature and Put On Socks
A cool environment will help you sleep better, so turn down the thermostat to about 68 degrees. Also wear socks to bed, which will trick your body into thinking it’s hot, which forces your body’s core temperature to go down so you can sleep better.
  • Note from me:  Our thermostat goes down to 65 at night.  I like sleeping chilly so I'm glad it's "good for you".  I do start off with socks sometimes. 
Tip #4: Soak in a Salt and Soda Bath
A hot bath reduces muscle tension to help you sleep better. To create the perfect sleep-inducing bath, add 1 cup of Epsom salts, rich in muscle-soothing magnesium, and 1 cup of baking soda, which has alkaline balancing effects to soothe the skin.
  • Note from me:  I plan to try this sometimes.  I have both ingredients already...and I love baths.  
And also from me:  Melatonin works great!  All natural too.  Sleep well, friend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do You Have A Mind Toy?

I used to be a worrier.  I've experienced various stages of worrying during my lifetime ranging from all- consuming  worries to nagging worries that just camp out in the back of your mind.  As I progressed deep into adulthood, my worry patterns changed drastically.  Here is what I've learned about this subject.

1.  Worrying doesn't help.  It makes things worse.  How?  Well, it makes you a basket case, doesn't it.  Then wherever you go, you take that awfully negative energy with you.  Your friends sense it and wish it would go away.  Your family doesn't want to see it either.  They love you, and seeing you "a mess" makes them sad.  So now we have two unhappy, upset people.

2.  The more you worry, the more you have to worry about.  Ever realized that?  You've heard, "like attracts like".  And you've heard, "what you put out there is what you get back."  We all know about "cause and effect" too.    So however you look at it, the more worry you carry in your mind, the more negativity will find it's way into your day.

3.  Worrying can make things worse.  This is a lot like #1 except it involves other people's worry.  For instance, I've had times in my life when I knew my mother was worrying about me.  I was perfectly fine (in my mind's eye), but in hers I wasn't.  So, did I want to be with my mother during that time?  "No!".  Her worry made me want to go away.  It made me want to be secretive and not share.  

4.  Worrying keeps you from sleeping and ruins your day.  If you don't sleep, the next day certainly isn't your best.  If you start on the "what ifs" list during the night, you have to deal with this monster you've now created all by yourself.  Everyone else is blissfully asleep and they don't want to be bothered.

We all have to find our own way out of the worry-maze and change the habit for ourselves.  I'll share two techniques that have transformed me into an ex-worrier.

If I really have a major problem, then I deal with it.  I don't play games.  I dissect it, research it, get opinions about it from experts, see how my sister, my husband, and my friends feel about it, and take whatever action steps I can to solve it.  When I am complete, I rely on two techniques.  With little worries, I just go straight to the tools below.

1.  Find a Mind Toy.  A Mind Toy is something that brings you great joy.  Choose to think about that.  For me it seems memories work best.  That way I just enjoy wallowing in sweeter times and pleasant details.  It might be wandering the rooms of the house I grew up in and remembering the furnishings, the floor plan.  It might be my first job, or a first love, or a delightful conversation.  But it must be something I love and want to revisit.  I let it consume me ad nauseum.  

2.  Use your faith.  I can't explain this one.  I've had faith all my life.  I just haven't always "used" it as a tool.  I do now.  When worry begins to descend, I say, "God is working in my life."  Or "God is working in Tom's life."   Or whoever I happen to be slipping into concern about.  Why that simple sentence works so well now, I'm not totally sure.  Except to say that I truly believe it. I'm not saying, "Really?".  I don't need to convince myself.   I just need to remind myself. 

So, worrying begone.  It is gone.  I enjoy these tools that fly me away into forays of fantasy or blissful creation, or whatever you want to call it.  It's fun and it transports me almost instantly from potential despair into pleasure.

Are you a worrier?  How do you deal with worry it?