Screw the Lemons!!


 

Screw the lemons!

Please NOTE:

This post was made & saved as a draft back when life was hunky-fucking-dory and there were no black clouds looming on my horizon.  I think it is a nice post with a nice message, so I am putting it out there.  However, in my world the shit has hit the proverbial fan and I am bordering on suicidal-not to mention the fact that I am bawling like a cow & smelling like one too.  The explanation to that will come in my next post.  For now, enjoy these earlier, happier days! On to………

SCREW THE LEMONS!!

We’ve all heard “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!!”.  Overall, it’s great advice and I am a staunch proponent of making the best of the hand we’re dealt. However, there’s a problem with the actual application; when one is mired in a rotten lemon pile, it’s pretty damned hard to mobilize the squeezer.

With that being said, I AM in lemonade land right now.  Life is good for me and things are going my way in all directions right now.  Why am I posting this then?  Because life is about cycles.  If one is on top of the heap now then it is reasonable to anticipate settling downward.  As a non-physics major I can’t spout the formula but I’m sure it’s one of the universal laws of the universe or something like that.

My take-away message?  Plan ahead, stay prepared, be humble, be positive, pay it forward because we only have two choices: we can hide out or help out.  Ride the wave of good times, just be prepared for when the tide goes out. 

Lessons of Time


LESSON OF TIME
When a bird is alive…it eats ants.
When a bird is dead … Ants eat the bird.

Time and circumstances can change at any time!

Don’t devalue or hurt anyone in life.
You may be powerful today but remember time is more powerful than you!!

One tree makes a million match sticks, but when the time comes…
Only one match stick is needed to burn a million trees!

So be good and do good!

Author Unknown

Anita Wood owns this beautiful image!

Common Sense from Mayo Clinic, part I


Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease

Changing your eating habits can be tough. Start with these eight strategies to kick-start your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

1. Control your portion size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories, fat and cholesterol than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs. Keep track of the number of servings you eat — and use proper serving sizes — to help control your portions. Eating more of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and less of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods, can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.

A serving size is a specific amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces or pieces. For example, one serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. A serving of meat, fish or chicken is 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Judging serving size is a learned skill. You may need to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you’re comfortable with your judgment.

2. Eat more vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.

Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredient, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.

Fruits and vegetables to choose Fruits and vegetables to avoid
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Low-sodium canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in juice or water
  • Coconut
  • Vegetables with creamy sauces
  • Fried or breaded vegetables
  • Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
  • Frozen fruit with sugar added

3. Select whole grains

Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain couscous, quinoa or barley.

Another easy way to add whole grains to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal.

Grain products to choose Grain products to limit or avoid
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread
  • High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more of fiber in a serving
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat (kasha)
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
  • Ground flaxseed
  • White, refined flour
  • White bread
  • Muffins
  • Frozen waffles
  • Corn bread
  • Doughnuts
  • Biscuits
  • Quick breads
  • Granola bars
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Egg noodles
  • Buttered popcorn
  • High-fat snack crackers

4. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol

Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat and cholesterol to include in a heart-healthy diet:

Type of fat Recommendation
Saturated fat Less than 7% of your total daily calories, or less than 14 g of saturated fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet
Trans fat Less than 1% of your total daily calories, or less than 2 g of trans fat if you follow a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet
Cholesterol Less than 300 mg a day for healthy adults; less than 200 mg a day for adults with high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol or those who are taking cholesterol-lowering medication

The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine and shortening — you add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat.

You can also use low-fat substitutions when possible for a heart-healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.

You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, crackers and chips. Many of these snacks — even those labeled “reduced fat” — may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.

When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.

Fats to choose Fats to limit
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Margarine that’s free of trans fats
  • Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Gravy
  • Cream sauce
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
  • Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils

Putting On The Brakes….


I’ve felt it creeping up for a couple weeks……. More fatigue, less energy, aching, nausea, no appetite &

Taking it easy….

headaches…. So I’ve been backing off things and taking it easier, hoping to avert a miserable exacerbation.  The joint pain & southern discomfort started yesterday, while I was (of all things) leading a meeting.  No, I did NOT have to run from the room, thank goodness.

Today I’m resting, taking my medications on my “head it off at the pass” schedule (like a good girl) and looking forward to a few days of Ensure & other liquids…..  Listening to my body helps me stay on top of the curve–most times, at least.  For now, I’m remaining hopeful & proactive!

From: PICK YOUR BRAIN


Shared from PICK YOUR BRAIN’s page.  Nothing helps us be more successful than a well designed plan combined with an open mind.  Read on…..

FIVE WAYS TO LIVE A DRAMA FREE LIFE:

Drama sucks.

Not “dramas” as in movies, TV shows, plays, etc that are serious in tone, but rather “drama” as in the petty ridiculous conflicts that get blown way out of proportion for no reason at all.

Urban Dictionary has my favorite definition of this kind of drama: “making a big deal over something unnecessarily.”

We’d like to believe that petty social drama ends the day we leave high school, but sadly, this is not the case. No matter how old they are, people can still find ways of adding unnecessary conflict to their relationships, be they at work, at home, or with friends.

This is truly a shame, because drama increases stress, ruins relationships, and eats away at that one precious commodity none of us can afford to waste: time.

If you want to stress less, have better relationships, and make the most of the limited time you have on earth, I would highly suggest you eliminate as much of the drama from your life as you can.  Here are 5 things you can do to live “drama free”:

 

Make No Assumptions

Assumptions are where drama starts. Somebody does something that bothers you, and then you run off and start making assumptions about why they did it.

What you observe someone doing is fact. If that bother you, then you need to deal with it. The moment you start making assumptions about their reasons, motives, or inner dialog is the moment you move out of the realm of rational thought and into the world of unnecessary stress.

You have no way of truly knowing what a person is thinking or why they do the things they do. Catch yourself when you start making those assumptions; if you want to live drama free, let those assumptions go and simply resolve to deal with the observable behavior.

Don’t Believe the Grapevine

Problems tend to increase exponentially with each additional person who is added to the communication chain. If I hear you say something, I can be pretty sure of what I heard. If Sandy tells me that John told Jane that Steve heard Sheila say something, chances are that the story you are hearing bears little resemblance to the actual truth.

Each additional person alters the story to some degree. They may remember things differently. They may add in emotion of verbiage that wasn’t there before. They may just be flat out wrong.

If you hear something through the grapevine, it might be worth investigating. But if you work yourself up into a lather based on third, fourth, and fifth party communication, then you are just feeding the drama monster.

Don’t get sucked into this. Skip the grapevine and go straight for the horse’s mouth. It will save time and cut the drama factor way down…

Be Direct

Drama is simply a byproduct of people’s inability to communicate like logical, rational adults. This is why it is so prevalent in highs school. This is also why it should be 100% unacceptable in the adult world.

If you have a problem with someone, talk to them about it. If you believe that someone has a problem with you, talk to them about it. Direct conversations nip drama in the bud. This is not to say that direct conversations make all problems go away, but they will help you cut through the nonsense and deal with the real issue.

Relationship challenges begin and are compounded by passive aggressive behavior and indirect communication. If you want to cut out the drama, be willing to have those “crucial conversations.”

Be the Bigger Person

Fighting fire with fire is good if you are trying to control a raging wilderness inferno. It’s not so good if you are trying to eliminate needless petty conflicts from your life.

When you find yourself the victim of some small offense, your first instinct may be to respond in kind. While this may feel good for a moment, it usually just escalates the situation and makes everything worse. If you truly want to live drama free, then you need to be willing to be the bigger person and let things go.

You don’t need to get in the last word, you don’t need to “one up” the other person, and you certainly don’t need to make them pay for wronging you. Just let it go, and watch the drama flow away.

Avoid Drama Queens

After you have made sure that you are not creating the drama yourself, the best way to keep your life drama free is to eliminate the drama queens (or kings!) from your life.

This is easy when you meet new people or are dealing with someone you aren’t very close to. Once you realize they are “drama prone,” minimize (or if you can, eliminate) the interactions you have with them.

With people you are close to, have a long history with, or are related to, or who are genuinely good people who’s one major flaw is their tendency to make a big deal over nothing, you don’t have to cut them out of your life altogether. Just acknowledge that quality about them and, when they start acting up, don’t get sucked into their “drama vortex.”

We are functions of our environment. To live drama free, get as many drama creators out of your life as possible.

You may never be able to eliminate all the drama from your life, but with just a little bit of focus and discipline you can certainly minimize how much you have in your life. It’s well worth doing – the less drama you have in your life, the room you have for fun, joy and great relationships!

***
Avish Parashar is the Motivational Smart Ass. As a speaker and on his blog, Avish makes people laugh while sharing with them simple ideas to make their lives easier and more successful. To read more of his ridiculous rantings on self improvement, watch videos of him in action, and download the free “How to Think Quick” MP3, visit his Motivational Humor Blog at http://www.MotivationalSmartAss.com

Mood for the Night


Lovin’ this & wanted to share:

 

Rights & Choices


Can you tell me what’s wrong with this very popular picture traveling around on Facebook?  On the surface, it sounds like a very live-and-let-live approach to life.  Think it through though…

First, not all of these things should be lumped together as “rights”.  Given the spectrum of the list, it’s like comparing apples, horse shoes & Volkswagens.  Also, factor in the reality that a large subset of society routinely chooses the  easy, fun & hedonistic option over the smart considerate  one, no matter WHAT the better option is ~OR~ the impact on others.

Gay marriages, guns , abortions & sex fall into a different area than smoking, alcohol & drugs & they shouldn’t be lumped together.

Regarding rights, I definitely have the right to NOT be subjected to second-hand smoke–one person’s right ends when it negatively impacts the right of another.  Alcohol is fine, in moderation & in an appropriate manner & setting.  With that being said, I have the right to drive without getting hit by a drunk driver, or go to the mall without being accosted by a drunk.  Regarding drugs:  I have the right to NOT be jacked by someone tweaked out on meth.  I also have the right to NOT have my home broken into by some drug-seeking individual whose concept of rights & boundaries have been blurred by addiction or substances.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down???

Happy Mother’s Day!


Hello!  This Mother’s day I have a couple of notable “firsts”:

1.  This is my first Mother’s day as a Grandmother–totally cool!  I babysit each weekend and this morning at 3:30 am, her little head popped up over the crib rail and yelled “Hi!!”  Way too cute!

2.  This is the first Mother’s day that BOTH of my kids have been clean, sober, out of jail, out of treatment, living successfully on their own and gainfully employed, both at the same time!!!  I even received a dozen roses from them in an assortment of beautiful colors.  After I woke from the sudden, dead faint that struck me, I made sure I thanked them both.  Wow!

My daughter in law also surprised me with some awesome beauty/hair products that were COMPLETELY unexpected (but MUCH needed). What an sweet, considerate thing to do!  She’s working, going to school, keeping up a home for Peanut & running herself ragged.  What a great group of youngin’s.

Wishing each of you a happy, peaceful Mother’s day!  Thanks for stopping by.

Simple Living Pledge


I found the simple living pledge at Kanelstrand: Simple Living for Human Beings  and think it’s a fantastic idea!  I’m mired in a house full of unnecessary stuff and it’s choking the life & spirit right out of me.  Honestly,  I had started a post titled Drowning in Success, which was based on my accumulation o’ crap.  No I’m not a hoarder but it’s not for lack of desire….  Here’s the information on the simple living pledge.  Check out the link above to take the pledge yourself!

What is Simple Living?
  • Identifying what is most important for you and eliminating everything else.
  • Freeing up time for doing what inspires you and being with the people you love.
  • Decluttering your mind, your everyday life and your virtual life.
  • Single-tasking and learning to diminish stress.
  • Striving to live frugally by wanting less and buying only what is necessary.
  • Slowing down and being actively present in the moment.
  • Living a healthy life, including cleaning your home and your body, eating, exercising and thinking.
  • Striving to be green and sustainable as much as your surroundings allow.
  • Enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
  • Simplifying your goals, tasks and expectations.
What is the Simple Living Pledge?
This is a solemn and personal promise to live a simple life in a complicated world. Simple living is the conscious act of cleaning your mind and surroundings of clutter and filling the space with the things that you value. After spending years entangled in stress, multitasking and clutter, 3 years ago my family started a conscious simplifying process in all aspects of life and now I am the first to sign the Simple Living Pledge.
Why take the pledge?
By taking the pledge you are making a conscious decision to keep your sanity in a modern life, where everyone is screaming the opposite. It has long been known that after you make up your mind, the next step to fulfilling a wish is to write it down. Signing your name and pasting the badge on your blog/website is what will serve as a reminder to slow down, relax and look for the simple truths in life even when you are tempted to forget and get back to normal. Let simple be your new normal!
Who can take the pledge?

Anyone – regardless of age, nationality or language. You don’t need to have a blog or website to sign the pledge. The only thing you need is willingness to live a better, simpler life.

Harboring a Spirit of Withoutfulness


When I was a little kid, I knew people who were always “without”.  The parents spent much of their time talking about what they did NOT have & what they could NOT do & how much money they did NOT earn/have.    In turn, the children trudged around, wallowing in withoutfulness as well.  If a well-meaning individual suggested something helpful such as “get a different job, retrain, save more, spend less, down-size” they were subjected to a sticky web of poor-me excuses as to why none of those things are possible for them and they are just pitiful victims.  Sure enough, you could feel your life force being sucked out your ear from 20 feet away…..  Holy shit Batman!  Had they put HALF the effort into “doing” that they put into NOT “doing”, they would be unstoppable forces!

My parents called it “poor mouthing”;  all I know is they (like drama magnets) sucked the life out of the universe.  All the while, I watched my parents creatively “doing”.  Not bragging about doing, or making an event out of doing…… Simply doing.  We always had plenty—OK, a more apt description would be “We always felt like we had “plenty”.  As an adult, I can look back and see we had lots of tight spots.  However, my Dad could’ve (sort of) fixed the Space Shuttle with two coat hangers and a roll of duct tape, and we shared a spirit of good fortune.  We didn’t have bad luck, we simply had creative challenges–even though it was never described that way.  Our roof leaked.  A LOT.   How great was it that we had buckets to put under it and were healthy enough to keep them emptied!  Yep, that’s the can-DO spirit!  This is NOT sarcasm:  It’s about playing the hand we’re dealt, wearing a smile.

When my kids were little, I was on public aid–welfare, food stamps, medical card, free school lunches, heating assistance–everything.  However, it was important to me that I not instill a sense of “less than” or withoutfulness in their minds and hearts.  Sometimes I had to bite my tongue, because life was tough & I sometimes felt pretty damned without–but I couldn’t stand teaching my kids that “woe is me”  is the way to be.  Sooo, I would smile and tell them “We’re budgeting for something else.  That’s why we can’t get new shoes right now.”  After all, it was the truth.  Every week, before grocery shopping, I made sure I had four extra quarters in my pocket.  Just before it was time to pay the cashier, I gave each child two quarters to get something from the gumball/toy machine at the front of the store.  They never saw me counting out food stamps.  Back in the day food stamps came in books and had to be torn out and counted, one by one.  I didn’t want to stir up a realization in their minds of what we did NOT have.

I have always been able to hone in on this spirit of withoutfulness, and while it’s a negative emotion/concept, it’s more than simple negativity.  It’s something much more destructive if it isn’t remedied.  Are any of you old enough to remember Bad Luck Schleprock from the Flintstones?  Well Wowzy, Wowzy, Woo, Woo…. That sense of NOT ENOUGHEDNESS follows these people throughout life, weighing them down like itchy, wet wool blankets draped around their souls.   You know what I’m talking about—You’ve been waited-on by THAT insurance agent, THAT clerk or THAT customer service rep…..Really, the problem isn’t a lack of resources–is it a lack of SPIRIT?  Or could it be a  lack of  CREATIVITY or a lack of GRATITUDE?   Questions for the day:

Are you making excuses instead of DOING?

Are you wearing a dank, itchy, heavy shroud of withoutfulness?

Can YOU modify your perspective today to begin throwing it OFF??

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