Ultimate Blog Challenge

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Our Halloween started bright and early. My costume took some extra work in the form of my husband yanking corset strings at 6 am. My daughter was up around 6:15. She got dressed in her Belle costume while I put my makeup on. Then we fixed her hair in the classic Belle bun and then put in hot rollers to achieve the nice curly hair in the back. 7 am we were all ready and on our way in the lovely pouring down rain to school and work. Below is my wonderful daughter in her Belle costume that still fits her from Disney. They were to dress as their favorite book character so this was her creative way to use the dress for school.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twas the day Before Halloween…

It was the day before Halloween and parents everywhere are rushing around, trying to prepare. Last minute costume touches, school Halloween party preparations, and life in general have us all running all different directions.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

World Stroke Day is Today

Today, October 29, 2013 is World Stroke Day. Stats say one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime. If you are that one in six, you may not survive it depending on what kind it is and where you are when it happens.

Imagine your life today. You can drive, walk, communicate, do just about anything you can think of. Now imagine you are trapped inside your own body, unable to move, unable to communicate, unable to do any of those things you are used to doing? You know what you want to say, you know what you want to do but you cannot do any of those things at all. You cannot reach out and touch your loved ones or talk to them anymore because you are frozen or simply cannot remember how to do the simplest things. Can you imagine one of your loved ones in this situation? Watching them struggle, knowing it is hard. Knowing you cannot do anything but try to help and guess at what they want to say or do until they can communicate? Watching them try to move or communicate and seeing the frustration in their face and the tension as they struggle to get the simplest thing across?

Don’t Stop Believing …

Today was another typical Monday at work. It was another day where I typically really wanted to sleep another hour or so before having to get up. The day hummed right along and everything was normal until that text a little after 4 pm.

Text: Mom could we go out to eat. My pizza got burned by accident. Jonathan

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Do Not RUN

For those who know me, and I mean really know me, they know I am simply not a runner. Running never has, nor will ever be a sport that I indulge in or really attempt in earnest. It is at best monotonous and I always hurt far more in so many more areas after I run than any other exercise I ever do.

When I joined the gym, I worked with a trainer. I loved it. It was motivating and I had a great time going. The scheduling eventually with family and kid stuff made it almost impossible to meet as his schedule filled up. However, there was one day that he wanted me to get my heart rate up in between exercises. His favorite go to machine was the rowing machine for increasing heart rate. Someone just happened to be on the machine. He groaned then got all happy as he decided what I was going to do instead.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Drat that Alarm Clock!

There is absolutely no way that is the alarm already. I know I just laid down and set that stupid thing before I went to bed. Oh man, it is far to chilly to get out of bed as cold as it is just reaching out to smack the alarm clock off. Can I just take five more minutes? Just 5 more minutes to work up the courage to slink out of bed and dash for the shower.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Business Brings us Innovation

There are so many deserving small businesses out there that are all providing necessary products and services. I think the case could be made that there is no true, solid way to pick one above any of the rest because each one is technically best at what they uniquely provide.

Look at all the technological advances and products that we have in the marketplace now. Most businesses at one time started out as a small Mom and Pop type enterprise with just a few people until they grew to become a large corporation. Some businesses, especially local ones, stay small and local and are perfectly happy to keep taking care of their local community one person and one day at a time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Successful Methodology of Chores

The other day I came home from work and found when I went to go empty the dryer that the clothes were still sitting there wet. The dryer sheet was laying on top like I had just tossed it in there. That sinking feeling hit my chest and I sighed as I closed the dryer and started it, realizing I was going to be at least an hour behind on that evening chore.

I have realized that if I do not do things the same way every single time, or if I get interrupted while I am performing a chore, then that chore invariably does not get completed properly. I endeavor to do at least one load a day of laundry starting on Wednesday or Thursday when the loads are full enough to do them. That way I don’t spend all the weekend doing laundry so we have clothes for the week. However, the scenario I came home to happens at least once if not more a week.

I will often start a chore, walk to another room to do something for said chore, see something else that needs attention and then work on that forgetting the first chore. Then I have to go attend to something else or a child yells for something that they can’t find, need or that I must do right that minute it cannot wait another second. Then I have more than one chore started and not completed. It is a vicious cycle that I cannot seem to get out from underneath on.

I have assigned certain chores to the kids now that they are older. However, I still find myself having to remind them daily to do them.  This Mom would love it if she could come home to the chores done without her having to constantly nag her loving children to complete or start their chores. I wonder if Santa would bring that to me as my present for this next year?

Do you as a busy Mom or wife have this opportunity? How do you combat it and what do you have in place strategy wise to ensure the chores get completed, start to finish day in and day out?

Comments and/or questions Welcome!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Witness Protection Program: Blanket Police

As the darkness gets longer and the days grow cooler, I often find myself snuggled into bed. When the alarm rings and I stick a toe out to test the air, I tend to snatch it back quickly shivering slightly since the air is colder than my warm toasty covers. So I can very well relate to the picture above and allow the blanket police to keep me behind blanket bars as long as they would like.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Possible Solar Technology

I came across an article that really intrigued me the other day about some new solar technology and I wanted to share it. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Basically the article talks about how windows or our glass of the future could have solar panels in them and generate electricity. Think about how many office buildings downtown with all that glass in them, if they had these type of windows, how much energy could they generate? A lot more than the extra cost of the windows. Glass with this type of technology added only add 10% to the glass cost.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wanted: Derby Girls

Several months back I liked the local roller derby girls page. I loved skating as a girl and I have been toying with the idea of finding skates and exercising with something that I always loved to do. This week, the Brazos Valley Derby Girls posted that they are always looking for skaters of any level and volunteers. All one has to do is contact them for more information.

I seized my chance. I messaged them on their facebook page. I am going to go out there on Sunday and see what it’s all about. My family’s response? See how that went below.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Itching Hour

It never ever fails that when I end up outside, I end up mosquito food. I detest Off spray but end up using it quite often to keep from being one big mosquito bite. I know I am not the only one to suffer this consequence, but it is frustrating nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mentors Shape Our Lives

I reflect on my life today and think about those who have influenced me. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and appear throughout your life. Some of these people are direct influences and some indirectly influence and shape you into the person you become. In my reflections, I am realizing that many of these people were true mentors, even if I was not aware of this at the time they were in my life.

Many of my teachers and those who were in the school system were mentors to me. I looked up to many of my teachers and loved to learn. All of my band directors were mentors and there were those teachers we loved and those teachers we despised. However, I learned much from both those I loved and those I despised. They mentored me to bring out the best in myself.

There have been people at work who took me under their wing. Carol was my first mentor at work and she taught me so much more than just things related to housewares and Wal-Mart. If you but listen and pay attention to what the people you surround yourself with say and do, you can learn so much. Be wise about who you choose to surround yourself with.

I have found mentors in all areas of my life. Some are older and wiser, some are younger and have unique insight into things that made me pause and realize my views needed to change. Some of my mentors started as friends and continue on that way, being a good second set of eyes and ears and a welcome double check to what my gut tells me is right and true.

Last but not least, is my new Dream Manager and mentor. I am eagerly anticipating the wisdom and hope that this is the start of another lengthy mentoring period in my life.

Everyone you come into contact with is a potential mentor in your life. You just have to be open to the possibilities. Be aware and learn from each person you interact with and you will enrich your life and probably theirs as well.

Do you recognize those who have mentored you? Have you ever sought out a mentor? Please share your experience. 

Comments and/or questions are Welcome. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quiet Please, for the Love of Everything and Anything (Fill in the Blank)

There is a reason I trek to the weekly grocery store run by myself. Alone. With no one else at all and in silence I go around the store and get the groceries in an orderly fashion.

I often smile at other people and I often help others by answering questions. People will ask where something is or wonder aloud and since I shop there every week I point them where they need to go.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Capturing Feelings ~ Time in a Bottle

I was fortunate on a past weekend to have been able to attend a beautiful wedding. Not only was it in a gorgeous spot outdoors but it was a dear friend as well. The wedding was held under the Century Tree on the Texas A&M University campus. This spot is a magical spot where many have proposed. It is a beautiful tree and the wedding was just as beautiful as the setting.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ischemic Strokes ~ What are They Exactly?

My Dad had an Ischemic Stroke on Thursday, October 10, 2013. This of course prompted me to go find out all I can about this type of stroke. I have a lot of information that I have found out about this illness that I will share in several blogs. 

First, do you know what the warning signs of a stroke are? Learning this information can save a life. A stroke can happen suddenly so knowing these signs tell you when to call 9.1.1. It is important to get help quickly because the quicker the person having a stroke gets to the hospital for care, the sooner they are treated. That can mean all the difference in their recovery as I can personally attest to with my Dad's progress.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

Our family was turned upside down on it's head yesterday (10/10/13) by my Dad's stroke. I am the oldest sibling of 3 and we all came to the hospital from different directions as quickly as we could. My Dad was super lucky that he was not by himself when this occurred or we would be talking about a totally different outcome today.

He was a good candidate for tPA which is a drug that has many side effects that can be potentially dangerous. However, in a life or death situation such as this, the benefits far outweigh the dangers. I know this saved his life and definitely his quality of life for sure. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Not What I Was Going to Write About

Wow what a day yesterday was. It was a day full of stress that I hope does not get repeated often. This will be short today as I will now have time while in a hospital waiting room to write many blog posts ahead.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink has become the color for October. Pink is everywhere. In the grocery store, in the convenience store, commercials all show pink products with portions donated to breast cancer awareness programs, even the NFL is showing their support.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Music Eras Tell Their Story

Today I was flipping through the Sirius XM channels again. I tend to keep it on the 80's on 8 since I happen to love the 80's music. The radio channels here often either all have the same song on them or are just miserable to listen to with a ton of commercials so I end up on leaving the radio on the Sirius channels. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Penpals - A Lost Art

There really is nothing better than getting a letter or card in the mail. So often we are so busy that we forget the pure joy of opening a card that someone hand-picked for you or reading a letter that was written for your eyes only.

When I was in grade school, I had a pen pal. I wish now that I had not lost touch with her. She was in another country and we exchanged many letters, learning all types of things about each other that would not have been shared otherwise. I came across some of these letters recently, filed away in an old box of school keepsakes. I re-read several of them, holding them to my heart after I finished and relishing the written words on the pages. In these letters as children, we shared our hopes and our dreams. We wondered about our futures, we wished wondrous things for each other. We talked about siblings, our family, our schools, what our future husbands might be like and many, many other subjects.


I wonder what her family looks like now, how many children she had or did not have. How her life has turned out? Was she successful? Did she become a teacher like she wanted to or did her life take her down a completely different path?

Reading her letters made me want to reach out to someone, anyone and start a new mail chain. Reach out and touch someone the way she and I touched each other and made our large worlds seem smaller in some way. We were oceans away from each other, but every time I got a letter from her the distance seemed to fall away like she was right next door.

In our electronic age, we are dehumanizing and forgetting how to simply reach out and touch someone with the caress of our written words. We are forgetting how to personalize things and make them expressly for those you care about. I often told my fiancé, now husband of almost 20 years, that I would much rather get a handwritten note from him, even just a few sentences. Something like that means so much more to me than flowers or candy or any gift he could give me. Often the best things in life cost very little. A stamp still is less than a dollar today. Stop now, today and write something to someone you love and put it in the mail to them. I promise it will make a big difference.

Questions and/or comments are welcome. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Have You Ever Struggled?

A post on facebook of a mutual friend a few days back made me stop and really think about how much of life is a struggle in some form or another. Everyone has different things that they struggle with, many on a daily basis.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sundays ~ Day of Rest

Today is Sunday, a day of rest. This is what I have heard all my life and what I have been told. I am not sure who gets to rest though. Maybe those who are watching football or catching up on their favorite books or tv shows.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Survivor’s Story, there is Hope – Domestic Violence Awareness Month October 2013

I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. It took me a long time to finally be able to say that or even type it for that matter. Why even say or type it you ask? Because it is important for those who may be in that situation now or may become victims know that people do survive. It is important that we share our stories so that others may open their own eyes and see if there is abuse in their relationships. Or even see that it is happening to a loved one. I hid it from my loved ones for years. It took me years to come to terms with what happened. Some of it was shame, some anger and some was just plainly not admitting it to myself. Sweeping it under the rug like it did not happen does not solve anything.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rainwater Harvesting: What is a Dry System?

There are a few types of Rainwater Harvesting Systems. I expect that there will be more variations as we learn more in the future. In a nutshell, a Dry Harvesting System takes water from one downspout on a partial roof area of the catchment surface. A catchment surface is most often a roof. It can be any type of roof: on a home, on a barn, an area over a bench to shield from water. Any surface that can be guttered can effectively harvest rainwater.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Due to the Government Shutdown …

Many things are being affected by the Government Shutdown. The end or the far reaches of this cannot be fathomed yet. It probably will not even be all bad.

So far I have heard both doom and gloom and rejoicing alike. Might be good to see what programs we can do without. However we are forgetting that all our government officials in office are still getting paid are they not? I have a feeling if this had all been tied to whether they got a paycheck, there would have been no shutdown.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rainwater in Toilets: Why Use Drinking Water if you Don’t Have to?

With the seemingly never ending drought here in Texas, water conservation is an important means to preserve our potable water supply. This means getting super creative with how we use water. So why are we settling for using good, clean drinking water in toilets? Since it is the norm we go about our day not even thinking that there might be an alternative.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Copacabana Memories

I remember the first time I heard Barry Manilow sing this song. I was a teenager. AM Radio was all we had and the little transistor radio that I painstakingly refilled with batteries got a lot of use. I would stay up late when I really was not supposed to. I’d sit under my covers with the radio where I could hear it and then with the earplugs when those came out.