Dec 19, 2014 - General    No Comments

My Review of Pioneer Girl

I have done it, I have read Pioneer Girl The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and it was glorious. With every word I was taken back to a time and place that was wild and unsettled, one where Americans were staking claims and surviving great odds to populate this vast land.

I have read all of the children’s books, of course, and often re-read them even now, the stories still ring true and you can feel the era coming alive. This is her original manuscript that is written in first person and leaves in more adult themes, a woman trying to steal another’s husband, tackles alcohol abuse and the roll churches played in helping settle the vast emptiness.

With every word I read, I imagined my mother sitting beside me, reading with me, she would have loved this book and how it fleshed out the original series. She would have loved hearing more about the love story between Laura and Almanzo, she would have loved hearing more about the family overcoming hardships. How I wish I could share this book with her, she used to tell me a lot of the things in the books were her own experiences growing up.

The same games, songs and a one-room school in a rural area, my beautiful, strong, smart, funny mother was raised in rural Oklahoma, in Love County to be exact. She went to school in a one-room schoolhouse; she learned a love of words that stayed with her until she passed away. She learned also learned Latin, she told me once that she went to a church revival and it was one where people began to speak in tongues. If you are not familiar with that I suggest you look it up.

She said that she had always been skeptical of that particular gift, until that evening, she said that the man who was speaking in tongues was speaking Latin! She recognized the language, she said there was no way that dirt farmer knew Latin, she said it was in that moment she knew it was a real gift. She was not skeptical after that, even though we belonged to a denomination that does not practice that, she believed.

I was sad when I got to the end of the book, it was the end of feeling my mom sitting next to me, it was if she was there for the reading then went back to Heaven. I know that people will say it was my imagination, however, I choose to believe God allows us comfort and visits, not often, just when we need them the most.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who was a fan of the original series of children’s books. I also highly recommend introducing your own children to these books, they have stood the test of time and allow us a window into the settling of America after the Civil War.

Happy reading everyone!

 

Dec 13, 2014 - General    No Comments

The Most Wonderful Time of Year?

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year, while on one hand it is the most wonderful time of the year; on the other it is the most difficult. I love it for the reason we celebrate, the birth of our Lord and Savior, the lights, the overwhelming sense of love and goodwill that permeates. I love the sights, sounds, smells, everything about it.

I hate the sense of loss, the missing people that are not here, I miss my grandparents, my great-aunt Effie, I miss my mom and dad, most of all I miss my son who never got to experience a Christmas.

I am emotional this time of year, I am not a crier, yet I cry at every Christmas themed commercial, every movie, the sappier the more tears. I abhor myself for this emotional display that is not seen any other time of the year; it is disconcerting.

This year is particularly emotional, as Elizabeth Anne has begun a new chapter in her life, which is a good thing, however, it brings a new set of emotions. I am not good with emotion; I am better with logic, yes Angie logic, but still, logic all the same.

As I put ornaments on the tree, I couldn’t help but think of when each one came to be, I have one that my mom gave Jeffrey when he was little. Yes, it’s Jeffrey’s and yes I have it, just for the record I have offered it to him and he said he likes it on my tree.

I am going to try to keep my emotions in check, I do not enjoy a good cry the way some people do, I would rather not, thank you very much. I am going to enjoy the twinkling lights, the decorations, the sights, sounds and smells without one tear this year.

I am going to celebrate the times I spent with people who are no longer here; I am going to relish the time I have with the people who are still here. I am going to enjoy spending time with my children and granddaughter, with new family members such as a son-in-law and a new granddaughter. I am going to enjoy friends, seeing their pictures of loved ones and gatherings.

I will not cry, as tears do nothing but get my face wet, it doesn’t make me miss anyone any less, it doesn’t solve world hunger or world acrimony. All they do is make my face wet. This is my mantra this year.

Dec 7, 2014 - General    No Comments

Elizabeth Anne Got Married

My hands are finally untied, I can talk about the thing I was forbidden to talk about for so long. My daughter got married! Yes, Elizabeth Anne got married Friday, December 2, 2014 at roughly 2:30 pm. It was a simple ceremony witnessed by her closest friends and family and her precious cows and chickens oh and can’t forget the donkeys; they were in attendance as well.

So happy her Aunt Rena and Grandpa Reno and Grandma Mike could be there, it was good to see them again and I do know that Rena is one of Elizabeth’s favorites, don’t tell the rest. Shhhhhhh, our secret.

The bride was beautiful in a simple knee length hi-low dress, it was cream-colored lace, and with the addition of cowboy boots it was perfect for the setting. She is beautiful to begin with, her friend Chelsea did her hair and makeup and she was radiant.

With the hard work of her dad’s wife, the affair was perfect and went off without a hitch. Before you can scratch your head, the wedding was on their property with the reception in their party barn. And yes, as mother of the bride I took a huge step back and allowed this to happen as she does a lot for my children, even though they were grown when she arrived on the scene.

She did an amazing job, from the food to the decorations; I honestly cannot find one fault with anything she did. Elizabeth Anne is not a planner so this took a lot of stress off of her, to which I am grateful.

Jay Renee Photography did the photos, and yes I have an in with the owner of that fine business, Jason is the son of my friend Sandi. We would NEVER have trusted anyone else with this function; he is an amazing photographer and part of our family.

I am so happy with the turnout, how many people could come on a Friday afternoon, so happy my BBFF could make it. Sad my nephew Chris could not, but understandable as his fiancé was having some medical issues. It was right he was there to take care of her; I know he was there in spirit. Sad also Miss Jan could not be there as she has known Elizabeth Anne since, well before she was born, however, she was busy taking care of her daughter who had medical issues. Which we totally understood, a mother’s children come first. That is the way it should be.

It doesn’t seem real, my baby married, it is so adult, for the life of me I can’t figure out how she even got a marriage license due to the fact she is only 5 years old. At least that is what it feels like; time went by exceedingly fast, warp speed it you will.

I feel like there is so much more I need to tell her, however, when I think about it, there is nothing left to impart, as I talk a lot and she has heard all of my words of wisdom. I say wisdom; she says insanity, tomato, potato, whatever.

I look forward to this new chapter in her life, to watch her grow even more, I look forward to our family growing with the addition of a new son-in-law and the daughter he brings with him. Nothing but goodness and mercy shall follow them all the days of their life together.

Dec 2, 2014 - General    No Comments

Musings

As many of you know I am completely fascinated by time travel, I often think about where I would go, or when I would go to. It is tempting to go to a different time period, such as the time of the Pharaohs or back to the 1800’s or even the beginnings of America. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like during Viking days, considering I am a Viking, however, logically speaking, if one could not assimilate they would be burned to the stake as a witch. Or maybe, in really ancient times, worshipped as a god, or goddess as the case may be.
There is a movie, Peggy Sue Got Married, which has a woman going back in time and inhabiting her own body as a teenager. She gets the chance to do it all over again, and she tries, she really tries to make changes. She doesn’t want to marry the person she married, then she realizes she would not have the children she has if she doesn’t. She wants to go home, back to her life, with her children.
I think about that, if I did go back and inhabit my own body at a younger age, what would I change, would I take more risks. Be more daring, travel more, not get married at 19 years of age, then I think, wait, no, I would still get married. I like the children God gave me, so that I would not go back and change.
I would take more risks, not physical risks, but emotional and personal, as far as my field of work goes. I would like to think, if I went back, and am the person I am now, just in my younger body, I would start writing sooner and put myself out there. Try and give my work to newspapers and magazines, I would have loved to have been a writer.
I am by nature a solitary person, to those who know me, they think I am outgoing and lively, however, the truth of the matter is I would be happy to never or rarely leave my home. I could live in a cave if I had all of my books, television and the internet. My children would come visit me, my granddaughter could come visit, I would be happy.
But alas, I live in the real world, I live in the here and now, not the then and there, I am firmly planted in the present. However much I would love to time travel, especially in the way past, seriously who would not want to go back and find out for themselves how the Roman myths actually started. Or see a Pharaoh crowned, see the fall of the Roman Empire, or the beginnings of a nation.
Where I would really choose to go is to Owasso in 1978, I would appreciate being there more, being with my parents, in the country, hanging with Tammi. That is where I would choose to go, if I could time travel.

Nov 15, 2014 - General    No Comments

Victoria’s Secret Thoughts

I have to speak out about this, it has been bugging me for the longest time, there is currently uproar about an ad. Yes, an advertisement. Victoria’s Secret posted an ad that said The Perfect “Body”; please note they put the word body in parenthesis. The reason being, they were talking about their lingerie line called Body by Victoria, I know this because I buy from that line.

Everyone blasted them saying oh you’re giving girls a self-esteem issue, number one, why are young girls looking at this, it is an ad aimed at adult women. B) It is their line; it was not a comment on women making themselves thinner. And lastly, really, with all of the things that are going on in this country this is what you choose to get upset about?

I find no fault in their advertisement, it did not make me want to binge and purge or become anorexic to fit into the body size of the ad. It did not make me want to slit my wrists because I am not that size and do not look like the women in the photo. It did remind me it is time to go in and get fitted for new bras, as I love that particular line they sell.

As an adult, if your self-esteem is so low that a simple ad makes you feel bad, you seriously need to seek help. Not sarcasm, not a joke, get some help, there are other things that need to make you lose sleep and feel bad. Children starving in our own country is one, a government that foists things upon the public that are not constitutional is another, these are just two things.

I am shocked that so much vitriol was thrown at Victoria’s Secret over this; did no one see the quotation marks? Does no one know about the different lines they carry and the names of them? This is like the time everyone was on the whole make Barbie fat bandwagon.

Everyone knows Victoria’s Secret models are thin, and busty and beautiful, and air brushed to the heavens in ads. They starve themselves for the runway show; they do whatever they have to do to maintain weight that is their choice in their chosen field of employment. Oh wait, what was the key word there, choice, these girls and women have made a choice, to be models. Not only models, but Victoria’s Secret models, that takes it to a whole new level because you will be modeling things that leave the majority of your body seen. Seen to be taken apart bit by bit by the public, and if these models were not flawless, heaven help them, because the backlash would be worse than the one for that simple ad.

People love to spew hate, and with the advent of the Internet, that hate is rampant due to the face that people believe they are anonymous. They spout whatever they can to get attention, it is insanity.

Leave the models alone, leave Victoria’s Secret alone, learn to read an ad, and leave Barbie alone. I for one, do not base my self-esteem on the images of others, if you are truly worried about your daughters, teach them to read, to think, to explore their world. That will give them self-esteem, self-awareness and a thought process that goes beyond the superficial.

Nov 14, 2014 - General    No Comments

Hello World, I’ve Missed You

Woke up to the best surprise, the last episode of Smallville, the one where Clark Kent flies and is in full Superman suit. Chloe reading the comic to her son and it ends with Clark opening his shirt getting ready to fly off to save the day. Full orchestra accompaniment. Greatness, it was a great ending to a great series, I have said it before, I’ll say it again, the CW just knows how to get DC heroes right. The writing, the casting, the directing all comes together in one beautiful show, they did it with Smallville and are now doing it with Arrow and Flash.

Well, I decided to give protein bars another try, this time Quest bars, thanks to my new friend Sallie Ann, who loaned me $2.50 to get one at Fitness Together, I tried the double chocolate one. Upon Vincent’s suggestion I microwaved it for a few seconds. Woweeee, I was ready to whoop it up! This bar rocks, it was a breakfast treat, I had it with my bulletproof coffee and thought I had literally died and gone to heaven. Combine this taste bonanza with a Friday off and well, you can imagine my euphoria.

I will be adding yoga to my routine on Wednesday, one night a week, and they have upped the cardio sessions. I will now be doing 45 minutes of cardio twice a week instead of 30 minutes. I seriously hope I survive, this past Thursday I literally thought Vincent was trying to do us in. Man oh man, that was a toughie, but I survived, I do believe we all did! So yay us!

I am still plugging along, learning to eat the right foods; the right combination of healthy fats, protein and carbs, it is an ongoing process. However, I am confident I will be able to conquer this thing that I have been battling since I was a child.

A date is fast approaching that I look forward to with happiness and joy and a little sadness. I can’t say what right now, I will afterwards, it is a joyous thing and I wish I could write about it now, however I am sworn to secrecy.

Well, I am done today folks, I am getting out of this chair, cleaning, then grocery shopping, then picking up my amazing granddaughter. Then family dinner, meatloaf tonight, with homemade gluten free bread, crescent rolls for the kids, mashed potatoes and salad. However for me, it will be meatloaf, plain potatoes with olive oil and salad. No bread, that is the devil, no devil on my plate, happy Friday everyone!

 

Nov 2, 2014 - General    No Comments

Bullet Proof Coffee

I love coffee, there, I’ve said it, everyone knows it, and all should know how unhappy I was during the thirty day cleanse. No dairy, no cream in my coffee, when I was able to add it back in, it made me sick. I was betrayed by the very thing I loved, what to do now was the big question.

The coconut creamer and the almond creamer just didn’t do it for me, then someone posted on Facebook about the bulletproof coffee. What is this I asked, I must know, well it is Kerrygold butter and something called MCT oil, however I don’t know what that is so left it out. I put the butter and the coffee in my bullet to blend it, the recipe said a blender, I am not getting that thing out when I have this on the counter. It was so amazingly good! The next go around I added honey and cinnamon, I will never look back, the best coffee I have ever had.

I highly recommend it, if you are a coffee lover and like the taste of the coffee without the flavored creamers, you will be a fan instantly.

Halloween was awesome, Tess went as Cleopatra and she was adorable, after she went out to get her candy she handed out mine. It was an easy family dinner, pizza, which I did not have, Gladys’ stories of her experience with pizza has me scared to try it.

Yesterday was glorious, I woke up to have my awesome coffee, got caught up on my DVR’d things and then Costco and grocery store. Last night of course was spent with Dr Who, an episode that left me breathless! I will not go on, in case anyone has not seen it, I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that it was a spectacular episode, can hardly wait for the season ender next week.

Today will be spent with Tess, shopping for her fall wardrobe, very excited about that! Love that little girl and getting to spend time with her, she is nothing short of amazing.

I hope everyone has a great week; I am still working out at Fitness Together and staying off of almost all dairy, exception being the Kerrygold in my coffee. Staying off of grains and sugars as well. I weigh in next week and will be measured again; I know it won’t be as dramatic as the first month, however I am sure it is a loss!

Oct 25, 2014 - General    No Comments

A Few Things

So, a couple of things this week are on my mind, first up is a tech support kind of issue. I know a lot of people are not as technically minded as I am, and mine is really a learned behavior, learned knowledge based on wanting a paycheck. As I have said before I am more nerdy than geeky, however I have a few tips for those who are less technically minded than those in tech support.

Number 1, when you call in and tell your tech support person that you cannot connect to the internet and they ask you what lights are light on the modem and what color are they, do not answer the top three. These lights are labeled, we understand if you might need to turn on a light and get a closer look. The lettering is small, however it is there, in the major telecommunications corporation I work for, we have no less than 7 modems floating around out there. The fronts are all different, please get your glasses, turn on a light and look the next time you are asked. This will save you and me some frustrated minutes; with me telling you I NEED you to read which ones are lit. Oh and please don’t forget the color of the lights, red or green, or blank. Remember red is bad, green is good.

B) If all devices in your home (i.e. laptop, tablet, smart phone) can connect to the internet except for one, the issue is on your side, not ours. You can do several things to see what is going on with the device, power cycling it is always a good start. Simply turn the thing off, wait ten seconds then turn it back on, if it does not connect and is not giving you an error, please contact the manufacturer of the device.

III) Take some time and learn about the devices in your home that connect to the Internet. Be it computers, tablets or even smart televisions, these are the things you own and it would behoove you to learn about them.

Next up is more of a personal note; I am having a hard time finding clothes that are appropriate for my age. I do not feel old, so I don’t want to dress old, however, I do know my limitations and do not want to dress too young either. This is a dilemma, what happens when you are in between ages? Not ready for housecoats, but too old for low rise jeans and belly shirts. I never wore those, but still, you get the point. I don’t really like stores like Chico’s and Coldwater Creek, to me those clothes are for older, however I am older. It’s a dilemma I tell ya; I don’t want to wear orthopedic shoes and polyester pants. I’m not ready to be old, dress old, walk old, ok I talk old, the whole in my day does come out of my mouth. But the other stuff I don’t want, ever, but I know it is an eventuality.

Oct 19, 2014 - General    No Comments

Sandi

I hate October, there, I’ve said it, October is not a great month, tomorrow marks 4 years without my friend Sandi.
I know I have talked about her before, but this year seems more poignant, with so many things happening that I want to tell her about. I still have her number in my phone, with her picture.
Yesterday, the Ladies that Lunch gathered, we told stories of Sandi and laughed, such a bitter sweet time. Everyone at the table was brought together by Sandi; she brought all of us there. I wonder if she knew, if she had an inkling of how much we would need each other after she had gone home.
Her beautiful mother was with us as well, even before Sandi left us, she was our surrogate mother. She is simply amazing and it is easy to see where Sandi got her awesomeness from, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I still remember the last time I got to spend quality time with Sandi, it was at the Mary Kay Seminar in 2010, right before she passed away, I could tell that she was really sick even then. She tried to hide it, but her slight frame was even slighter, she seemed so frail, yet so strong. And there she was, standing straight and proud, she crossed the stage as the winner we all knew her to be.
A month and a half later she would be gone, we would all be left here, to miss her, to grieve and to carry on. Carry on we have, Wanda has become our new leader, we meet once a month, keeping the bond that Sandi created within us.
I will not leave you with sadness; I will leave you with a picture of her and myself, I love this picture of us.PICT0020 (2)
I miss you so much my friend, you were my mentor, my friend and my sister, all wrapped up in one little dynamo of a package.

Oct 15, 2014 - General    No Comments

What 30 Days Can Do

My first 30 days with Fitness Together is up, today as a matter of fact, and the question that comes to mind is: was it worth it?
It was, it was worth giving up processed sugar, grains and dairy for 30 days, I do miss real cream in my coffee, which I will be adding back in, not going to lie. But I don’t miss cheese as much as I thought I would, even though my diet was heavily dependent on dairy, it was not missed. I really didn’t miss bread or pasta because I really didn’t eat it that much before. I missed cereal, but that was out on two counts, sugar and grains, oh wait, three, milk.
At the end of thirty days I can do 10 pushups at a time, I can run around the building that houses Fitness Together with only having to stop once, when I first started I had to stop 4 to 5 times and it was a struggle to get around the building. I still don’t look good doing a burpee, I struggle with it, it’s not pretty, but I get it done, and they have this one exercise done with sliders called a mountain climber that I cannot do to save my life. I do a modified version, but I am working on doing the real thing.
I am finding good, fresh food to eat, I still crave sugar, especially when I go down the baking aisle in the store, I can smell the sugar. It’s literally torturous for me, however, I still crave diet coke and I have not had that in a year and a half, the addictions stay, the behavior changes.
I have lost 12 pounds so far and 10 inches, I am feeling better in my own skin, I don’t enjoy being overweight and out of shape. I don’t believe God wants us to live our lives like that, as it makes us sluggish both in body and in mind. We can’t fully achieve what He wants for us in that state; we have to be at our best. It is not easy; I will be the first to tell you, I have struggled through every one of these workout sessions. I have to stop halfway sometimes for a few seconds and gather myself and carry on. I am not the strongest in the classes, I am not the fastest, but I am getting there.
This place, Fitness Together, they don’t make you feel like a failure if you have to modify things at first to get through a workout. They do encourage you to power through and make it to the end; Gladys asked me if I had a favorite trainer. Well, I do, but I am not going to say who, they are all good, some are just stricter, which I need. Because trust me I can slack, which I do not want to do this time around.

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