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Monday, August 13, 2012

Words You Never Want to Hear

Today has turned into a very dark day for many here in Aggieland. It started for most of us as a normal Monday, yet lunchtime brought us reports of a gunman near campus. No details were available but many of us frantically called loved ones in this big, ‘small town’ to ensure they steered clear of the area.

My children were at home near South Knoll Elementary. While this was not around the corner from this incident, it was certainly too close to home for comfort. I made the call to keep the kids inside since the reports we were getting were not clear whether there was a gunman on the loose in the streets or really what was going on. All too soon we were given the shocking information. Several wounded, and 3 would die before the news was finally over for the day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Twi-hard Angst

The recent split of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson has garnered all types of emotions and reactions across the world wide web. Many of them seem to be angry and directed at Kristen Stewart herself. I really am wondering why anyone seems surprised with any relationship in Hollywood seemingly doomed from the start.

It is certainly not worth front page daily news as to how each one of them is coping. How do you think they are coping? She’s ashamed that she was an idiot and let her still young hormones get the best of her and get caught in the process. He’s attempting to recover from the shock of finding out someone he loves betrayed him. Reverse it different ways and it pretty much sums up tons of relationships all over the world. Nothing new to see here, move along.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Positivity Bubble

Daily mantra: Today is a day that I am wrapped in my Positivity Bubble. Nothing you can do or say will penetrate the membrane or touch me. I am immune to the drama and grumpiness of those around me. I will smile and shine my light upon those who are in the darkness, casting rays upon a path into the light. Like the lighthouse, I will be a beacon of warmth and friendship to those who are in need.

I cast out dark thoughts and focus on my dreams, taking one step closer to them every day. I call upon my positivity buddy to keep me focused on the path towards the bonfire of hope in the distance. Negativity and drama will bounce off the glass as I glow with the warmth of an undeniable lighthouse of confidence.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fast is not a Food Group ~ Proper Nutrition (Part 1)

"You are what you eat" my inner goddess admonishes me as I consume a hamburger. I sigh at her constant nagging and banish her to the far reaches of my mind. However, she is really doing her best to do me a favor. You see, our body has an amazing ability to heal itself given the proper nutrition. We have barely begun to understand what this concept truly means and what simple things we can do to ensure we stay healthy far into our golden years.

My inner goddess looks up from her research on the internet. She looks gleeful which can only mean one thing. She is fixing to lecture me on something she finds interesting. Normally I tune her out, however let’s humor her for once and see what information she has to share with us today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spam-a-lam-a-licious

Spam Defined:
vb , spams , spamming , spammed
1.
to send unsolicited electronic mail or text messages simultaneously to a number of e-mail addresses or mobile phones


Today I would like to discuss the unappetizing world of spam. I am not talking about the dubious meat product in a can either.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Refuse, Repurpose & Recycle Plastic

As featured on the Rethinking Green Radio Show on KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan/College Station, Texas


Plastic surrounds us every day. We live in a convenient society where almost every purchase involves plastic in some form. From grabbing a drink in a plastic bottle which leaves the store in a plastic bag, to storing food or other items at home, plastic is here to stay in our everyday lives. Today we want to talk about what we can do to Reuse, Refuse, Repurpose and Recycle plastic.


Some facts:
It will take a plastic bag 10 to 20 years and a plastic bottle 450 years to decompose in a landfill (Read more).

“31 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2010, representing 12.4 percent of total MSW. In 2010, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, almost 11 million tons as durable goods, such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, for example plates and cups. Only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 was recovered for recycling.”

Source EPA.gov  – these statistics are updated every 2 years so we will have new stats next year for this year 2012.”




What do the numbers on Plastic Mean and Where Can I Recycle Them?
Plastics are numbered 1 through 7. Each number stands for a different type of material. For the specific information that we discussed during the radio show about each type, what it’s commonly found in and what it can be recycled into please click here.



Plastics 1 and 2 can be picked up via your curbside recycling program in College Station if you are enrolled, or dropped off in Bryan in the drive through recycling area in the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot off of Briarcrest Drive.


Plastics 3 through 7 can be recycled via the following:

1)      Brazos Valley Trash Valet   www.bvtrashvalet.com  -
     979-777-8968  They offer a full array of options for individual,    businesses and multiple dwelling units here in the Brazos Valley. Please visit their website for more information and easy, convenient enrollment into their affordable program. If you prefer, you can contact them by phone as well.

2)     Brazos Valley Recycling -
          They have a Drop off location conveniently located on 
          the TAMU Campus on Adriance Lab road on West campus
          across from the vet research building. This is off of highway 60.
 


Recycling, repurposing and reusing plastic not only reduces waste in the landfills, it also reduces energy consumption as well as using fewer resources (i.e. no need for more new plastic to be produced). This in turn costs less and saves money for both businesses and the community.

Until we make it convenient everywhere to recycle so that the percentage increases of what is being recycled, we as consumers in a high paced, busy, want it now society need to be more aware of what products are packaged in and what we will do with those containers once have consumed the initial product offering. Personally, I would love to see recycling containers next to every trash can at every business and on the city streets. However, until that occurs, it will be up to us to keep reminding people of what they can do and that their choices matter.


Refuse Plastic? What do you Mean?
Be aware of what you are purchasing. Look at the packaging on products and read the labels. Purchase products that are packaged in less to begin with or are concentrated. Purchase products that are already post consumer recycled material. Refuse to take plastic shopping bags home with you and take your own bags into the store. Take your own containers to put take out food in and refuse the stryofoam containers or only eat at places that use take out containers that are either reusable or more easily biodegraded.

Stop purchasing bottled water. Purchase reusable bottles and fill them with free water. This saves you money as well. As consumers, we do have power. If we stop buying bottled water and items that are overpackaged and/or mostly water to begin with and start purchasing more concentrated and reusable items, what do you think manufacturers will start doing? Why they just might have to follow the trend of our purchases in order to stay competitive.



But I have all these plastic bags! What can I do with them?
There was a time when I was unaware you could take your own shopping bags in the store. I too had so many of these bags that I could not figure out what to do with them. I quickly decided that I had to find some use for them as my husband was complaining mightily about me keeping them. I just did not feel right in throwing them away.

Being too frugal to spend the cash on a diaper genie, I quickly realized that I could use the extra bags to stow smelly diapers and tie them off. This was much better and much  nicer on our already strained budget. I also realized I could use these bags as small trash can liners and not purchase small liners. More savings in the budget. Then I started using them as trash bags in the car. Allise suggested stowing them in a paper towel or toilet paper roll under your car seat for neatness and easy access. Plastic bags are also great to use as gloves to pick up anything you don’t want to put your hands on. Then it’s easy to dispose of as well in the now used bag.

Plastic shopping bags make excellent packing material. It is much cleaner than newspaper, which tends to rub off on your hands and items that are packed. It is more malleable than newspaper as well. I also use the bags to store packing peanuts that have come out of packages that have been shipped to me. This keeps them tidy and easy to use when I need them again.

Donate the plastic bags. Thrift stores such as Habitat Restore are always happy to receive these as donations. Our local animal shelter, Brazos Valley Animal Shelter welcomes plastic bags, newspaper and shoeboxes. They are located on Leonard Road and the donation items can be dropped off in their welcome center or they will unload them from your car for you. Check their website or call 775-5735 for more information.





Art projects for camp, school, scout or church projects with children are great ways to reuse plastic bags. Pinterest has great ideas on how to reuse plastic bags in this manner. Rugs, mats, decorative wreaths, reusable bags – truly the ideas are endless. Tearing the bags into strips encourages weaving or crocheting or both! Encourage kids to get creative with this inexpensive item for art projects. Here is a link to how a reusable shopping bag can be made: click here




What can Businesses do to Refuse, Repurpose/Reuse and Recycle?
Businesses can switch from Styrofoam with a one time purchase of plastes, cups, bowls and cutlery. Or they can encourage their employees to bring their own containers from home. Neutral Posture, where I work as a Buyer, switched over a year ago with a one time purchase of about $150. Now we have saved all the Styrofoam being disposed of and also are saving about $30o per year in not re-purchasing plates, cups, bowls and plastic cutlery.


Other ways businesses can Refuse is to be aware of what their partners are doing that service them or supply them with products. For example, other things we do are send remnant foam back to the vendor for recycling so it doesn’t go into the landfill. Many of our partners are chosen based on their cradle to grave attention for raw materials as well as ways to recycle and/or reuse any remnant product not used in the end product.


Reuse or Repurpose? What can be done?
Again being aware of what you are purchasing and how it can be Reused is the first way to Repurpose plastic. Assess anything you are tossing in the trash as to whether it could be used again and in what way. Go through your home, room by room and see it from a different viewpoint as to what can be reused creatively. There really is no end to what you can do if you are simply creative. The savings alone should be enough to give one pause as to how things can be Reused.


picture Copyright apartmenttherapy (shared from facebook)

In my various social networking, I have found the following ways to Repurpose that I found both intriguing and ingenious. As previously mentioned, I am certain Pinterest probably holds more than I can imagine. Simply Reuse an old plastic shoe over the door hanger by putting it outside and putting soil in each pouch and growing small herbs for consumption. This is great for small balconies or areas where one does not have large yard area. Use a 2 liter as a terrarium for cuttings to get them started or plants that tolerate this type of soil arrangement.





While there is a lot of information we covered this evening, it is not all encompassing. I learned several new things while doing the research for this show and realized I was not nearly as sustainable or green as I thought I was. Plastic is a constant in our lives and we should do our best to ensure it doesn’t land up in a landfill or our ocean which cycles back to us in potentially harmful ways. Allise shared some great information about this at the beginning of the show. Jenn gave us some great resources and information as well about BPA in plastic and how that is hormone disruptor. There are many other great ideas out there I’m sure that we did not cover. I welcome any information you can add to be posted in the comments as additional resources for our readers.

If we as consumers, become more aware of what we are purchasing and how it is packaged and begin to make changes in what we buy based on that, eventually manufacturers will be forced to make changes. As a Natural Products Educator, I discuss alternatives that are packaged in Refuse, Reuse and Recyclable packaging both in person and via convenient after hour online webinars (which would not interfere with employee productivity). I would welcome setting an appointment to educate your group about this and other ways to be more sustainable.

Finally, encouraging recycling containers in more accessible areas and encouraging local businesses to be more plastic Refuse, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle friendly benefits us all. Let’s keep Rethinking Green and coming up with additional ways to be more sustainable as individuals, businesses and as a community.




Thank you to KEOS FM 89.1 for letting me be a guest on their show- Rethinking Green. Please keep tuning in Wednesdays from 6-7 pm for more great information!


Additional Resources for all types of recycling here in the Brazos Valley

You can recycle medicine bottles at: Bryan Medicine Chest (979) 776-6800
(thank you to the listener who called this in to the show!)

Here is a link that talks about Eden and Natural Forest as well as several other companies that have transitioned to BPA free containers: Click here

Organic Consumers Organization site: Click here



Kathie Hitt


Monday, July 9, 2012

Klutzprone

One would think that at some point the clumsiness of one’s youth would fade with time. However, I’m finding this is not the reality of aging.

As a child and teen I was often covered in bandages and ointments of varying degrees. Scraped knees, cuts, bruises seemed to be prevalent. Being fair skinned, the rainbow of bruises from purple to green to yellow and brown were glaring on legs and arms.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Genuine Genius

My writing this week is being influenced by one event. Reluctantly, I took my kids to see Katy Perry – Part of Me. The fact that it was only offered once at 11 am not in 3D made my initial reaction purely that this was only a money making effort, with 90% of the showings being in 3D. While watching the movie, there of course were only a few moments that truly were 3D moments. However, while entering reluctantly, I left in a totally different frame of mind.

I love spending time with the kids and this was their choice to see this movie. In general, I like Katy Perry’s music so going for that wasn’t an issue at all. There were maybe 20 people total in the theater so the effect was almost like having a theater all to ourselves while we watched the movie or documentary as it probably is more likely. I see now after watching it, however, that this was more like seeing the concert as close as we could get to being there.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

9 Yr Old's Donation Artwork – Something Lovely for a Great Cause

As part of our Happy Trails First Annual Fundraiser, my daughter is offering her artwork for sale to raise funds. These 4 prints are items she did last year between February and March of 2011. She was 8 years old at the time and only had been to two art courses outside school. These are the result of her learning how to blend colors and are essentially some of her ideas that she does when not at school.

These prints will be signed by the artist on the back and numbered. There will only be 100 of each one that will be sold. Your artwork purchase will be numbered as follows x/100 with x being the number of the print in the series (2/100 etc and so on). These are printed on glossy cardstock paper so they are durable and should last for a long time especially if you frame them. The size is 8 ½ by 11 standard paper size.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Introducing: OpenBriefing.org ~ A Site to Bookmark

Today I came across what promises to be an interesting site and organization as it moves forward. They offer a unique perspective in this age of sensational journalism. I have to say it’s a welcome change from the norm which I will be watching closely. Hopefully we will see more people attempting to do the same. Maybe if more people go to get information at sites such as these, our mainstream media will get the hint.

Their mission statement is as follows: “To be the leading authority for open source intelligence assessments, independent security briefings, and insightful and timely comment on defence, security and foreign policy issues.” It is a lofty goal but one that meets with the needs of today’s society. Their goal is to keep society better informed without all the sensationalism and bias that often comes from our media outlets.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life Produces Love - A Habitat Story of the Benford Family (Part 2)

To read the first installment in this series, please click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 was a beautiful hot summer day. At 10 am the ceremony began for the groundbreaking of the new subdivision in the 900 block of east Martin Luther King Drive in Bryan, Texas. This is the new Faith subdivision for Habitat for Humanity. 24 homes will be built in this area. All the homes are scheduled to be completed by June 2014.  I was not able to attend the ceremony but I was able to speak with Melanie earlier this week.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don’t Argue with Onstar

I really should not complain much about our Isuzu Ascender. It’s a good size family car and despite how expensive it is now to fill it up, it’s been a fairly good car in the history of our cars we’ve had.

My husband, who is much more savvy in the realm of cars, tells me this vehicle is basically a GMC Envoy. Hence it is equipped with Onstar. We haven’t felt the need to pay extra for those bells and whistles so we never activated it when we bought the car used. I’ve been really content with all the extras it has, like the heated seats in winter. No real need for that in the summer. Air conditioned seats might be a tad more appropriate given our climate is warm more often than it seems cold.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Metabolic Syndrome ~ Do You Know Your Risk? (Part 1)

1 in 3 adults in the US meet the indicators for Metabolic Syndrome or Prediabetes. Metabolic Syndrome is not a disease by itself. It is however, a combination of risk factors that help predict and precede the onset of diabetes and heart disease. Prevention is much cheaper than treatment in the long run. Sadly, most people are not even aware they are at risk or already have Metabolic Syndrome. Often they are already insulin-resistant and probably Prediabetic. You probably already know someone affected right now!

More than 90,000 Americans have Metabolic Syndrome. It’s now considered a hidden epidemic. If you are over the age of 50, your chances increase to one in 2 or 50% being affected by this condition. Anyone who already has Metabolic Syndrome or Prediabetes is 5 times more likely to develop Diabetes.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

An Amazing Find ~ Our Habitat Restore

A few weeks back I visited our local Habitat Restore in Bryan, Texas. I was simply amazed at all the items they have for sale! I spent about forty five minutes there walking around the ground floor and upstairs exploring all they have. I could have spent another hour there easily. They had everything you could think of to furnish a home and then some. There might have even been a kitchen sink back in a corner that I didn’t see. This is the epitome of what a green organization does!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Invaluable Lessons of Happy Trails

Today I took my kiddos out to Happy Trails for their second set of riding lessons. They were so excited to be going. I am ecstatic to be seeing how well they are doing and watch the changes that are taking place from these lessons.

While my son had his lesson, my daughter and I started the first coat on the soon to be chicken coop mural wall. My daughter is going to do the entire mural and she’s got it all planned out in her head from the grass to the sky and sun, to the horses and chickens and flowers the mural will hold. I will post pictures as it progresses. My son and I finished the first coat while my daughter had her lesson. Below is the blank canvas the wall is now after the first coat of paint

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life Produces Love - A Habitat Story of the Benford Family (Part 1)

Melanie Benford is a remarkable woman. Her story is similar to so many of us, where we work hard to earn the things we have in our lives. She has dealt with many of life’s challenges, including the grave illness of one of her children. However, she stands firm and ready to face this next chapter in her life with courage, faith and love.

I am very excited to be able to write about the Benford’s Habitat for Humanity home. Melanie is really thrilled to be able to be able to move back into an area where she has history. Her family will be one of the first to move into the new subdivision near East MLK. The groundbreaking for the new subdivision will occur on June 6, 2012.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Bleeding Nation



It really is depressing enough to turn on the news on any given day and hear the constant debate over the economy and employment and which party is the most at fault. Reporters sensationalize the worst case scenarios and feature the doomsday news including murder and kidnapping. It’s no wonder that cable subscribers are cancelling their cable channels in lieu of internet tv such as Hulu and services like Netflix. With these at least you can watch death and destruction only when you want to instead of having to.

It’s hard to find shows like 60 Minutes which used to tell both sides of the story and had newsworthy items which featured feel good stories as well as some doom and gloom. Now our television is prevalent with ‘reality tv shows’ where people try to find love in 2 months, battle it out in exotic locales for the top spot, drive over ice in loaded down eighteen wheeler trucks, haggle with people over the value of items to pawn or hunt alligators. These shows run the gamut of our imagination. Where once “I Dream of Jeannie” or “Bewitched” tantalized us with their wacky magical hijinks, now you can tune in just about any day and time of the week and see people in all kinds of situations imaginable.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Wonderful World of Happy Trails

My children and I had the privilege of exploring a wonderful place today. We made it out to Happy Trails and the kids had their first true proper riding lesson. We also learned so many things we had no idea about prior to our trip out there.

Did you know that when you are riding a horse, you use muscles you will not use any other way? Were you aware that more blood flows through your spinal cord when riding a horse? Did you know that once you learn the gait of the horse, you can tell by any change in the gait that something might be wrong?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bewildered ~ Peace at Last on the Long Road to Healing (Part 6)

While this may be hard to read for some, it's cathartic in many ways for me having lived it. It is finally time to put it down in writing and share what I went through so many years ago. Thank you for reading and commenting. If you haven't read them already here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

I was in denial for a while after all this happened. I felt like everything was fine. He was gone and out of my life. I had no reason to be depressed or upset or angry. However, I had every right to be all those things and more. My self esteem was damaged and I had no earthly clue that I was in the most vulnerable state I’d ever been in. Even more vulnerable than the night he busted my lip and blackened my eye.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Press Release ~ Three Bryan mothers will become first time homeowners this Mother’s Day weekend

N E W S R E L E A S E

PHOTO AND INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE
Media Contact
Ryan Pierce
Director of Volunteer Experience and Communications
Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity
979.703.1895


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Three Bryan mothers will become first time homeowners this Mother’s Day weekend


(May 9, 2012 – Bryan, TX) Vera Love and two other Bryan mothers will celebrate Mother’s Day for the first time in their own homes. “That’s the biggest Mother’s Day present I could ask for,” Vera said.

Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity will dedicate three houses Saturday, May 11, new homes for Vera, Latoya Pleasant and Marjorie Gibbs. The dedication ceremonies are open to everyone and will include photo/video opportunities.

Latoya and her four children have never had a place to call home, often unsure of where they were going to live from month to month. Denise Bermudez, the financial sponsor for Latoya’s new home and a mother herself, understands the challenges Latoya faced and praised her for overcoming those difficulties. “Although living in less-than-adequate housing, in a situation that was dangerous for her children, Latoya did everything she could to create a secure, loving environment for her children. But she did not settle. She fought and she sacrificed to find a way to give her children a safe home.” Those sacrifices are finally paying off this Mother’s Day weekend.

Latoya’s new next door neighbor is also moving in this weekend. The neighbor, Marjorie Gibbs is excited about her new Habitat house, but is especially thrilled for her four children. “I love seeing the smiles on my children’s faces when we pull into our driveway,” she said. “Having their own yard is a dream come true! This is our home!”

If you drive through Angel’s Gate subdivision in Bryan on Sunday, you may notice the smell of a barbecue. It’ll be coming from Vera Love’s new house. Her children and grandchildren will all be there, enjoying Vera’s first Mother’s Day celebration.

Marjorie Gibb’s home was sponsored by the Dansby Foundation and Wells Fargo Trusts. Latoya Pleasant’s home was sponsored by Denise and Jorge Bermudez. Vera Love’s home was sponsored by Aggie Habitat. The Aggies not only provided financial backing, but joined Vera in building her home on six Saturdays.

What: Three home dedications for three local mothers
When &Where:
The Love Family - May 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM
1329 Aggie Way, Angels Gate Subdivision, Bryan


The Pleasant Family - May 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM
1212 Thompson, Bryan



The Gibbs Family - May 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM
1205 Thompson, Bryan



About Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity
Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Formed in 1989, the local affiliate is dedicated to eliminating poverty housing and making the right to simple, decent, shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income families and gives them an opportunity to work side by side with local volunteers in the construction of their homes. Once the homes are completed, families buy them at cost through zero-interest twenty to thirty-year mortgages. BCS Habitat has partnered with over 200 families impacting over 800 people over the past 21 years. For more information, please visit www.habitatbcs.org

-30-

Ryan Pierce
Director of Volunteer Experience and Communications
Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity


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119 Lake Street
Bryan, TX 77801
Phone (979) 703-1895
Fax (979) 775-7412
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bewildered ~ The Monster Won’t Let Go (Part 5)

While this may be hard to read for some, it's cathartic in many ways for me having lived it. It is finally time to put it down in writing and share what I went through so many years ago. Thank you for reading and commenting. If you haven't read them already here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Breaking up in a regular relationship is hard enough. Adding in the emotional rollercoaster of abuse into the equation and that makes it ten times as hard. As Paul Harvey was so fond of saying “and now the rest of the story.”

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Happy Trails Fundraising

Gentlemen, please consider purchasing some lovely jewelry for that special lady in your life.

Ladies consider pampering yourself with affordable jewelry.

All proceeds to benefit a great program in my local area called Happy Trails. They provide therapeutic riding lessons to people with special needs. You cannot put a price on the confidence, social and life skills this provides. Seeing the change and shy smiles emerge from people who were not smiling when they arrived makes all the difference.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Job Security ~ Peddling Illusions

Currently I’m reading a fantastic book by Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Executive. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for no nonsense common sense information and mentorship. Here is the link to the information on her book: http://barefootexecutivebook.com

I’m gleaning a lot of insight from this book and several aha moments only a few chapters in. One of them involves job security which I’ve watched evolve over the course of my lifetime. One of my grandfathers worked for Bell Telephone for most of his life. He retired and is still living off his pension and money he saved. He had probably what I would call real job security in the fact that he spent his career with this one company and they completely took care of his golden years.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Miracles and Special Angels

I had the privilege today of learning a lot from someone who runs a non-profit. I had no idea that it costs money and a lot of jumping through hoops just to establish and gain the documentation to prove a non-profit is really a non-profit.

Irregardless of this issue, the fact still remains that funding needs to occur. So what options are normal in these circumstances? Money is tight for a lot of people these days. Many non-profits have cut back to bare bones. Many exist due to the goodness of volunteers also.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bewildered – The Monster Erupts (Part 4)

While this may be hard to read for some, it's cathartic in many ways for me having lived it. It is finally time to put it down in writing and share what I went through so many years ago. Thank you for reading and commenting. If you haven't read them already here is Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

There comes a point where something happens that is so terrible, it smacks you hard into reality causing you to finally see clearly and precisely what direction you must go. This is the story of the last night, the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bewildered – The Monster Lurks (Part Three)

While this may be hard to read for some, it's cathartic in many ways for me having lived it. It is finally time to put it down in writing and share what I went through so many years ago. Thank you for reading and commenting. If you haven't read them already here is Part 1 and Part 2.


I know you are asking, why in the world didn’t you simply walk away? Why didn’t you tell someone? Friends, parents, the police? I asked myself that many times when I was finally out of the situation. I also realize clearly now why people sometimes fracture their personalities to cope with situations. Sometimes you have to become a different person because your life depends on it. Hopefully, this narrative will make it a bit clearer why people who are in abusive situations don’t simply leave.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Have You Identified Your Heroes?

Our dreams as children were filled with people that we admired. Cartoon heroes, people we saw on tv or people we were around and were very important to us. They shaped how we wanted to grow up and who we wanted to be like. In many cases, they gave us paths to follow into adulthood.

As we grow up, we seem to tend to forget who our heroes are/were. Being so busy with family and career our heroes and dreams sometimes fall behind and lay scattered behind us like dust in the wind. Once scattered, they are hard to reclaim, focus and remember.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bewildered – The Monster Lurks (Part Two)

This is Part 2 in a Series. If you would like to read Part 1 please click here.

It was 8 months before the monster appeared again. The seasons changed, a new semester came with new classes and new stresses. The first semester’s routine gave way to new schedules and I was adapting to the fact that each new semester would bring it’s own unique challenges.

The incident so long ago, had been buried deep in my subconscious. I had almost but not quite forgotten that it had even occurred. He had come up for a visit over the weekend about a month before the semester’s end. We were sitting in his car talking as he was getting ready to leave. One thing led to another and we were arguing as couples do. One minute I was sitting there in the passenger seat listening to his voice get uglier and uglier as the argument wore on. The next thing I knew I was laying across the passenger seat, my back against the door and his hands were around my throat. It happened so fast again that it took me completely by surprise.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bewildered – The Monster Lurks (Part One)

The summer before college was a whirlwind of activity. I could taste freedom. I was going to be away from home for the first time ever. It was bittersweet, scary and exhilarating all at the same time. I relished the new experiences that emerged from the newfound independence.

I met him at a summer dance at the lake. He was blue eyed, smiling and charming. He had a great sense of humor and seemed to be the perfect companion in every way. We started dating and I was worried that we would only have the summer but then ecstatic  when I realized he was attending a college within 30 minutes of where I was attending college.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life is Too Short

Every day I have random thoughts that come to me that I think, "I need to blog about that." I tend to email them to myself so that I don’t forget. I literally have at least 50 things in a folder right now. I go to the folder and whatever feels like it calls to me or needs to be written gets to be typed out. Sometimes I do research and educate people, but more often than not, I write things that happen around me that come from my heart.

Today, I went to look at all these ideas and none of them jump out at me. I keep going back to a post by a dear friend on facebook. It is a poignant and a bit melancholy post that has had me thinking all day long about how truly short life is.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

Today I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness of many strangers. The kids and I had volunteered at the Texas Trash Off which I will blog about later and post. I promised the kids a cupcake reward for being such great first time volunteers, so we were in the car on the way to Cupcake Junkie.

We rounded the bend on 29th Street after passing the Hilton hotel and happened to see an older man on a hoveround type chair in the oncoming car lane. There was another bend which would keep oncoming cars from seeing him and I was about to say this out loud when we saw him bump into the curb on accident and fall over onto the ground. There is no sidewalk on either side of this road for him to have been on instead of the road, so his fall left him off his chair on the grass and his chair sticking out into the road.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mom Down ~ Mayday Mayday!

I recently started riding a bicycle again after more than twenty years. You can read about that here. While my kids were ecstatic that we would be able to get outside on our bicycles together, there were some apparent misgivings and concern on their part.

Before we even got out of the store with the purchase, my son was already asking “Mom do you think you can remember how to ride this?” This is my kiddo that has a lot of intuition so maybe he was simply tuning into my own worry that it might take me a bit to re-learn the skills necessary. However, I really wasn’t thrilled to have the concern voiced aloud and in public no less.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rediscover the Joy of a Bicycle

Today I rediscovered the sheer joy of riding a bicycle again. Not only did we find a brand new 26” Cruiser bike in my favorite color, but it was also on sale! The frame is light aluminum and it’s purple!! It also has the larger, more comfortable seat. Now all I need is a rack or a basket on the front to carry small items and I’ll be set.

With safety in mind and of course to set an example, I did purchase a hot pink helmet as well. Now I can cycle with the kids. We did in fact get out today to the park down the street. We figured out how to use bungee cords to tie our water bottles to the handlebars which was really super handy. I know they make holders but this worked in a pinch and I thought it was a rather ingenious “MacGyver” sort of move.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Invite Your Friends, Let’s Have a Party!

This used to be all the rage. You as the amazing hostess received all kinds of freebies and perks for hosting a party in your home. The first party I attended of this nature was a Pampered Chef party back in the mid 90’s. I loved it! What was better than food, friends and learning how to use some amazing kitchen gadgets to make meals?

This was so fun as a matter of fact, I hosted my own party then used my credit to start my own Pampered Chef business. The products of course are fantastic if a little on the pricey side. However, I still have my original stoneware and gadgets I received in my kit today. I’d say that was a pretty good return on my investment of which I paid very little due to the hostess credit.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Thankless Jobs are Important Too!

My career started out as a gopher with my grandfather’s oil field business. I did whatever they told me to do and I was glad to get a paycheck. I filled in for the secretaries when they were on vacation in the summer and I ran to do all kinds of errands once I could drive. It definitely wasn’t the most glamorous job on the planet. I was so proud of my first paycheck I copied it and framed it. I’ve still got it somewhere.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Flashback ~Music Nostalgia

So today I had one of those moments. I was in the car on the way home, and normally there is absolutely nothing good on the radio. Often I am forced to change out cd’s to listen to something worthwhile. However, today I changed the channel and was instantly transported back in time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spontaneous Hugs are the Best!

Getting ready for bedtime or getting kids up and ready for school are always hectic times it seems. A Mom is not able to heave a sigh of relief until the last kiddo is kissed and tucked in or seen safely into the school.

When my kids were little, hugs were frequent every day. Children are extremely affectionate creatures if you foster that behavior. I was never so happy when I was pregnant to find an old rocking chair that I used to rock both kiddos to sleep. I remember those days fondly, in the dim light of a nightlight in a quiet room. I rocked them both to sleep, baby to toddler stage. As they got older, simply rocking and cuddling with them as their own special time with Mom are precious memories.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Teachers – Investment in Our Children’s Future

We as parents, entrust our children each day into the care of the school system. Whether the school of choice is public or private, they all have one thing in common – Teachers.

Every profession has it’s ups and downs. Every job has people that just go in for a paycheck while others work their behinds off for every penny they make. This is true universally across the board.

However, I want to take a few minutes to thank all those who are shaping the minds of our children. I think a lot of them work harder than most of us, then go home to their families where they go through the process again. They put a lot of themselves into their classrooms with their time and own money. They deal with school rules and regulations and they see things that there isn’t enough time in a day to change so they do what they can.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chamber Day 2012 - Recap of What I Learned

I had the privilege of participating as a volunteer in our local Chamber Day on Thursday, March 29, 2012. For those who are unaware, this is a day that is set aside to visit local businesses and find out what their challenges are and thank them for choosing our community to have their business in. It was a full day event, broken into 2 halves and ending with the monthly Chamber After Hours event at Allen Honda.

I learned quite a bit from the local businesses we visited. I really enjoyed being a volunteer and will do my best to participate each year. I learned a lot of things I was unaware of about the businesses I drive by every day. It was a great experience that I would urge everyone to try to participate in at least once.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

FFGTHF – Inscribed on my Piggybank

Currently I’m reading “You and Your Network” by Fred Smith. I highly recommend this book for everyone. It’s got a lot of great common sense information. I’m sure I will blog more about things I’m taking away from this book but this one tonight struck straight to my heart and I was compelled to write about it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Gas Saver Program – Great Fictitious Example

So I fill up my car with gas once a week. Currently I spend $80 to fill it up completely to the brim. I’m sure it will cost more tomorrow but that is beside the point.

You also fill up your vehicle with gas once a week. Currently you also spend $80 to fill yours up completely to the brim.
So we both drive all week and do what we normally do. However, you went to a web overview and learned about a program where you get every day fill up rewards. This program will earn you cheaper and free gas as well as other discounts on things you use regularly when you spend a certain dollar amount each month on gas. The cost to join was less than a wholesale club membership so you decided to take part in it, thinking that since you will use it so much it will be worth it. I wasn’t aware the program existed so I of course wasn’t able to take part.