Family Hike: A Slice of Life Post

 

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post. I fear this last weekend is going to be our last weekend of nice weather. It has turned windy and chilly here in Michigan and I’m anticipating cold weather in the days to come.

I’m glad we took advantage of our nice weather and got out onto the hiking trail. We went as a family and it was nice creating a memory with the kidlets. We went in the early evening before dinner. The sun rested, near the horizon, a fiery orange ball in the clear sky. We traveled along the path enjoying the peacefulness of the forest.

Photo credit: Christian Arballo via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

There was no humidity and very few bugs. A perfect time for a hike. We stepped along the sandy trail planning one of our trips for next summer. There were a few mountain bikers whizzing past, but for the most part we were undisturbed.

It was a nice way to end the weekend.

My boys gave me a hard time, though, claiming they didn’t want to go on the hike. They wanted to play their video games, but I insisted. We needed some family time, and they enjoyed our walk even though they’ll never admit it to me. How do I know?

They laughed and giggled as they climbed the trees along the path.

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They also asked for a bedtime story that night. They haven’t asked for one of those in a long time, not since they were little. Sniff. Maybe they’re not in such a hurry to grow up after all.🙂

It was a great weekend of memories and I look forward to making more.🙂 How about you? Did you make any memories this weekend? Please share! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you’d like to check out other Slice of Life Posts click here.

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Let’s End the Mom Wars

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the Mom Wars. You know what they are, where Moms become competitive with each other over mothering. Whenever I see it I groan. It drives me absolutely nuts.

Photo credit: hans s via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

I remember talking to one parent in particular. My kids weren’t friends with her kids, but we’d end up running into each other at the park and we’d compare notes. For example, what movie my kids liked and what one they didn’t. She’d tell me what play areas were good and which ones weren’t and so on. However, each time we parted, I felt frustrated and I wasn’t sure why. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So the next time we talked, I paid attention to what was going on, and I noticed that every time I shared an experience that I enjoyed, she had one that was better. It was like we were competing over how many play dates we’d taken our kids on that week or who took their kids to the best zoo. I tested this hypothesis out a number of times and came up with the same conclusion. It got so bad I had to take my kids to a different park just to avoid her. I was afraid, afraid she’d run me off the path with her stroller, or push me down when I was occupied with the merry-go-round. You just don’t know about people these days.😉

Photo credit: donnierayjones via Visual hunt / CC BY

I began to see it everywhere, this underlying competitiveness. Where did we get the idea that there was only one way to parent and that our way was the only way to do it? I mean every mom is the best mom they can be to their kids, right? Instead of being competitive we should be supportive.

What Mom wouldn’t give twenty minutes of alone time during the day? We should become collaborative instead of competitive. I mean if we banded together, think about how less stressed we’d be. It really does take a village to raise kids these days.

Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg via Visual Hunt / CC BY

I see this nasty competition among women over everything.  I see it in the young girls and older generations. It’s as if we believe that there’s only this one man, this one job, or this one friend that’s available. And to be fair sometimes that’s the way it is, but not all the time.

To achieve this mutual support, we need to first accept and love ourselves just as we are. I believe this is the key right here. Because if we can accept and love ourselves just as we are, then we give permission for the other moms to do the same thing. We are all individuals and there is more than one way to achieve our goal of raising healthy, well-adjusted kids.

We should start by organizing mom clubs, where we take turns watching each other’s kids or band together and organize awesome play dates. We’d have one rule. We couldn’t compare ourselves to the others. We could offer suggestions to solve problems, but that’s it.

Photo credit: amanda.venner via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

I’ve heard whisperings that there are clubs like this already in existence, but I don’t know where they are or how they’re organized. Do you belong to one of these clubs? How is it working for you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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An Author Visit: A Slice of Life Post

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life Post and I wanted to share with you my inspiration for writing. It’s the kids. Last week I had an Author visit at a local school. I presented to a fourth grade class, and they were so excited to learn about writing and what it takes to write a book.

I wasn’t there long before I was infected by their boundless enthusiasm. Their hands waved frantically as they squirmed, waiting for me to call on them.They had so many questions.

How many books had I written?

Which book was my first one?

Which one was my favorite?

Who was my favorite character?

 

On and on it went. I loved their enthusiasm. They were so sweet and they asked such good questions.

 

The kids are the reason I keep writing. I love hearing stories about how my books have turned a reluctant reader on to reading. It warms my heart and it’s incredible to be able to reach these kids in such a positive way. These kids also inspire me. Their enthusiasm and ability to believe that all things are possible is infectious.I needed a big dose of that last week.

Below is a pic with me and the kids. Look at those happy faces!

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Me and all those awesome fourth graders!

 

Not only did I have an awesome day during my author visit, but the next day I received all of these Thank you cards (see the pic below). So, this one event had a positive effect on two whole days and that positive feeling extended throughout the week. It has become a wonderful memory for me.🙂

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Thanks for letting me share my author visit with all of you. This event was the highlight of my week and I enjoyed it immensely. If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click here.

If you’d like to check out the books these smiling faces were so excited about, click here. (It was the Super Spies series we were talking about.🙂 ).

What was your favorite day last week? What occurred that made you smile? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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Dealing with Condescending Buttheads: A Public Service Announcement

 

Hello everyone.  I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about dealing with people who annoy or irritate us. You know who they are, they’re either closet bullies or condescending buttheads. I don’t know about you, but I run into them everywhere, at work, at the grocery store, and on the highway. (Don’t even get me started about the highway.)

Anyway, I met some friends for lunch the other day and we got to chatting about someone who had annoyed Earlene (names have been changed to protect the innocent). I piped up and said, “Let’s toilet paper her house.”

Everyone laughed. They thought I was kidding, but I wasn’t.😉

Photo credit: jafosei via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

I miss those days when I could suggest a form of retribution and everyone would be like: “Yeah. Let’s do it!” We’d all jump in the car and run to our homes and sneak out a couple of rolls of toilet paper each. Our parents had no clue. That’s a good thing.

Photo credit: anokarina via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Now, we’re older and supposedly more mature. We’re supposed to turn the other cheek. That’s hard to do when someone is consistently nasty and we have to be around them all the time, for example, a co-worker, or even worse, a boss. That’s when things get dicey. How do we stand up for ourselves without crossing the line into insubordination?

I say toilet paper their house. Yes. Go for it. You can’t get caught, though, so you have to scheme, and scheme, and scheme some more. You must come up with an awesome plan.

It’s not an act of vandalism. It’s not even illegal. It might be considered littering…I’m not sure…so make sure you don’t get caught.

You’re not damaging anything and you’ll feel better afterward. Trust me, you will. There’s something about running into that person after the big event and they’re like all frantically gesturing. “Oh my God. Did you hear? Someone TP’d our house!”

And you. You’re cool as a cucumber. “Oh, I didn’t hear. Was it a big mess?”

“Yes! It took us an hour to clean it up!”

It’ll be hard to keep from bursting out laughing at this point because they have no clue who did this, but you do.This is an awesome feeling. Trust me, I know. Don’t ask how I know. I just do and let’s leave it at that.

Photo credit: Rusty Stewart via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

In my opinion, Maturity is overrated. Did you know depression affects 19 million Americans? That means almost 10% of our population is depressed at any given point in the year. At some point in their lives, depression will affect 10-25% of women and 5-12% of men. Depression has been called the “common cold” of mental illness.

I bet if we stopped taking it on the chin and started toilet papering the homes of bullies and buttheads these numbers would decrease dramatically.

The point I’m trying to make is that we need to stop being passive. If TPing is too radical for you, all you have to do is call the person out on their bad behavior. You can do this by using “I” messages.

 

I feel disrespected when you use that tone of voice. . . . . . .

I feel bullied…

 

But if those “I” messages don’t work…there’s always toilet paper. Some people may say this is “passive-aggressive” behavior, but who cares what they think! After all, we’re done being people pleasers, too. Just sayin’🙂

This has been another PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. How do you handle it when you’re dealing with a bully or a butthead? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

 

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Slice of Life post.  I thought I’d share with you one of my most favorite poems. Reading it always seems to calm me for some reason and I needed it today.🙂 So here it is.

 

Desiderata

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

 

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9/11 Fifteen Years Later

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. Today is the anniversary of the horrific day in our history of the Nine Eleven terrorist attack. Do you know where you were when you first learned about it?

 

Photo credit: wstera2 via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

I know where I was. I was driving to work, listening to the radio. The song ended and the announcer spoke and told everyone a plane had collided with the North Tower. Then at 9:03 AM the South Tower was hit.

 

Photo via Visual hunt

I arrived at work to find that many of my co-workers didn’t know what was going on, but it wasn’t long before the word spread through the building.  I remember calling the guy I was dating at the time and telling him about the situation. I remember our conversation and the way he told me he had to go because his boss was making some kind of announcement. I remember what I was wearing that day. I think that’s kind of weird, but hey what can I say.

It seems like yesterday, but it was fifteen years ago.

I watched a documentary about Nine Eleven last night and it was very well done. I would recommend watching it. It’s titled, “Fifteen Septembers Later.” Click the link to check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRMbFZHZa7Q

 

Photo via Visualhunt

I loved how in the time of a crisis people of this country pulled together.  For example,  after the attacks, many New Yorkers were stranded in Manhattan. A band of boats came together and rescued nearly 500,000 residents of the city. This was the biggest boatlift in the history of the United States.  There’s a documentary about it. Click the link to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOrzF7B2Kg

Ordinary men and women became heroes that day. It was amazing how everyone pulled together, forgot their petty prejudices, and helped each other out. It’s too bad it took a tragedy to pull them together.

New Yorkers weren’t the only heroes that day. After the second plane hit the South Tower, the US cancelled all flights and closed airports. Flights had to be diverted and that’s when our awesome Canadian neighbors allowed planes to land in their airports. The town of Gander took people into their homes, providing shelter and food. What an incredible thing to do. It warms my heart to see such an outpouring of generosity and love. It makes me think there’s hope for the human race after all.🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I wanted to recognize the heroic people of Nine Eleven in some way and my blog was the logical place for me to do it. If you’d like to share your thoughts on Nine Eleven, leave a comment. I ‘d love to hear from you.

 

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A Case of Paronychia: A Slice of Life Post

 

 

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Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you! I’m back with another Slice of Life Post, and today I’m talking about Paronychia. I’ve never heard of this condition until last week, but let me tell you it is not fun.

I’ve been trying to get back into shape this summer, so I’ve been running. I started out running three miles and then adding more each week. I was up to five miles when Paronychia struck.

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This is not my toe, but my toe did look similar to this.

I had just completed an awesome five mile run. I had that runner’s high that you get when you’re done. I could have run another five miles that’s how good I felt. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to overdo it. This summer has been very hot and humid, and it’d be real easy for me to give myself heat stroke or something.

 

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This is me after my five mile run, doing the Bolt move. I can’t quite pull it off like he was able to.🙂

After my run,  I came home and cleaned up. When I finally sat down, I noticed the nail on my big toe seemed bent at a weird angle. I got out the clippers and prepared to cut it.That’s when I noticed that it was a little swollen and tender. Something wasn’t right.

I continued clipping my nail and when I was done, I sat back and examined my toe. That’s when I noticed a clear liquid oozing out from under my nail. This threw me for a loop. I kept pressing on the nail until the clear liquid stopped flowing out. Then I went to bed. I figured a good night sleep would cure it.

It didn’t. I woke up with a swollen toe and more oozing. That’s when my hubby got involved. He took a look at it and claimed I had Paronychia, and my toe had to be amputated. When he left the bathroom to get the meat cleaver,  I took the opportunity to jump in the shower.

Photo credit: Ryan Christopher VanWilliams – NYC via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

He returned with the cleaver in hand, I told him I had to get to work so the amputation would have to wait until later that night.  He bought that excuse, put the cleaver down, and went to work. I know he was getting the cleaver out of love…but maybe he didn’t need to love me so much… you know.🙂

On a side note: I did ask my hubby if Misery was his favorite movie. He’s always saying he’s my Number One Fan. (Bites nails) But it isn’t, so we’re all good.🙂 He is a Stephen King fan, though…. (chews nails and paces).

Photo credit: AZRainman via Visual Hunt / CC BY

After my shower, I got dressed for work and quickly hid the meat cleaver. There was going to be no amputation because of a little toe infection, and that’s what it was. An infection of the cuticle around my toe.

I’ve never had this before, and my toe swelled up so I couldn’t wear shoes. I had to drain it each day.(I also soaked my toe in hydrogen peroxide) That clear fluid never turned to pus like the hubs said it would, though. This is important because he thinks he’s right about everything. And he usually is, which is an annoying idiosyncrasy. But hey, we’ve all got them, right.🙂

It took about a week, but the swelling has finally gone down and the oozing has stopped. The nail looks a little bruised, but for the most part it’s fine.

Why am I sharing this with all of you? To let you know if your hubby says you have Paronychia and wants to perform an amputation. It is NOT necessary. You can save your toe. You just have to wait it out, or go to the doctor and get some antibiotics. This has been a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.🙂

So, has your husband ever wanted to perform emergency surgery for you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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