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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reading Speed Test Results

My score was 408. This means I could read the following books with the times in hours that follow their titles.

Fascinating huh? The good thing is I have read a lot of them. The rest of them I am not interested in. 

I will underline the ones I have or want to fully read.

Lord of the rings 19 Hours

Catch 22 - 7 Hours

1984 - 3.5 Hours

Grapes of Wrath 7 Hours

Fountain head 13 Hours

The Last of the Mohicans 6 Hours

A Tale of Two Cities 5.5 Hours

Huckleberry Fin 4.5 Hours

Wuthering Heights 4.5 Hours

To Kill A Mockingbird 4 Hours
Catcher in the Rye 3 Hours

The Color Purple 3 Hours

All Quite On the Western Front 2.5 Hours

Lord of the Flies 2.5 Hours

Slaughterhouse 2 Hours

Alice In Wonderland 1 Hour

The Wizard of Oz 1.5 Hours

The war of the worlds 2.5 Hours

The Bible in less than 40 Hours

War & Peace 24 Hours

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Headline Touches Home

Ever have one of those days? One where you know things are just going to be weird? Yesterday was one for me. I just had no idea how weird.

I set it up weird to start with. I went to bed with my alarm set wonky. My clock is set too fast and I set it to get me up early. I probably had 40 min when it went off. 

I hit off and snoozed for 60. When I woke up and turned on the radio I could hear the program I usually hear as I am leaving the house and knew that was the time.

So it was 10 to 8am. I have an 8 am class that I totally blanked on attending last week. Two in a row epic fails. I was thinking how is this not Monday? 

Everything seemed to move in slow motion. A few more odd things happened before I could get to school and in class. I took a moment to sit and contemplate whether or not these were signs to alter my day. 

When I left the building after class I got lost. Not really but I took a wrong exit which had me all turned around and out of my way. I wanted to just head home but I needed to visit the grocery store.

I came home and my daughter was not feeling well. She made it to her afternoon class and back. Then just when it seemed we might have a quiet night she burst into my bedroom.
Her complaint was about her glitching phone. It won’t charge, it won’t hold a charge, it will not stay on…yada yada yada. Teen phones take a lot of abuse.

Around 5pm I turned on KCRA 3 as usual. There was a lone tow truck on an empty highway with a reporter trying to explain the scene.

I saw the scandal going on in San Francisco with the sheriff accused of public domestic abuse from months ago now moving forward. How did I miss news of this?

No idea. Never the less things were about to get very serious around here very fast. My daughter burst back in still having phone issues but able to tell me “Mom that tow truck driver was D a step family friend.”

Uh Oh

She took my phone and we plugged mine into the lap top as she had me scroll back the Uverse recorder to get more details from the news bit about the accident. By the time we did that it was 6pm and time to revisit the headline issue.

She began to help alert the rest of the step family and then she burst into my room one more time now in tears.

"Mom, he didn’t make it" she wailed!

She had been making plans to join her step mother and step sisters at the hospital with the victims family. She went to keep her step mother company. Her step sisters have little kids to watch and care for.

She took my phone and spent the night with the step family. Her Facebook was updated a of times. (I have no idea how she does that) If you want to reach me you have to know her # because I have her phone still.
Yes it is acting wonky. When I put the laptop in hibernate it read 99% charged. When I awoke it said 88%.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Honor Your Beauty Now

I was in a public bathroom a few years ago where I overheard a beautiful young vibrant woman bemoaning her body shape. Now to be honest she might have been carrying a few extra pounds in a healthy North American kind of way.

Still she was as I mentioned young and vibrant looking. Her body shape appeared to be the pear. She had long dark hair, fair skin and the inches of height I envy at 5ft2.5 with a heeled shoe.

I would not have called her fat or unattractive. She had a spring in her step, a fun laugh, a sly smile, friends and hobbies. I knew all of that because of our association outside of the bathroom.

Having just that much of a connection to her before this bathroom incident I went up to her as she stared in the mirror with friends. Darn us skinny minis I do not think there was another pear in the room with us.

I told this young woman I saw her beauty both inside and out.

I asked her if the other women in her family regardless of weight also appeared to share her shape. She nodded that they did. 

I told her body shapes are beautiful and the biggest thing is to learn to dress with your best foot forward and play up your assets.

Further I told her if she was really feeling dumpy or frumpy especially concerning the way she had been eating or failing to work out there were simple fixes for that.

Make new healthy changes.

Mentally and verbally beating ourselves up is far less motivating or result producing. What we do and eat can affect how we feel. 

If eating well from all sources of nutrients, vitamins and proteins, plus moving in some sort of activity regularly does not improve emotions and mood there might be other complex problems at work.

Usually, problems aside, eating a good meal and getting moving should add a boost to self concept and attitude each day. Making a healthy change like nixing smoking or soda for water and pure juice drinks could have a dramatic effect in even the first few days.

Exercising releases endorphins and hormones. It also ironically provides more energy over the course of a day. These are fascinating old world secrets. 

Things our ancestors knew because they experienced it without the science and technology to explain how and why it works.

I know from my own journey it was empowering to live better. When the scale was not moving and I could not see what was happening I knew what I was putting in my body had gone from non natural to natural and that had to be a positive. 

As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

Change what you say to yourself.

Change how you look at yourself. 

Find the beauty in who you are right now even if you want or need to make changes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Notes on a Scandal

I am resisting the urge to just troll around trying to turn this blog into a headline chaser. Still some issues just scream at me.

Anyone who has been reading along might know I like reality tv, some talk shows and crime drama. This leads me to local and nationwide scandal stories.

I heard about this a couple of weeks ago and it was just on Dr Phil that is how much traction is has gained since hitting the local media.

California teacher moves in with barely legal former student is the headline if you will. 

Do I mind May December relationships? No

Do I understand that marriages fail? Sure

Could this be just another ugly mother daughter break away? Maybe

Still this story just feels slimy.

My heart breaks for the teachers wife and children. I hope the young former student will wake up one morning and realize what terrible positions her boyfriend has put her in and why the nation is up in arms.

If he had made a clean break before finding a girlfriend I could have more respect for him. Even if he was still living in the marital home but maybe sleeping in a separate room. Going from a warm bed to the media hot bed just reeks. I understand the jolt of chemistry we call love in the modern era.

I was young and ridiculous once. I dated my daughter’s father in the wake of women he had hurt. They were not wives or girlfriends however. I would like to think there has always been that line. "If he will do it with you he will do it to you" over "how a man treats a woman is an indication of how he sees all women".

I am at a stage in my life where I have high expectations of anyone I would connect my life to. Not salary requirements. Instead I mean moral standards. I want a man to lead well. I want a man to make wise long term decision especially concerning me and my relationship with him.

Too many sad sob stories involve an innocent naïve girl who falls in with someone going nowhere or worse in a wrong direction. 

Still as the story plays out there are things I notice all around. Very early on I wondered where is this gals father. If an hour on Dr. Phil cannot help me get clear on what is going on with a family that is a bad sign. It is exactly how things played out. It is unraveling like an onion. 

Tonight I went and found the moms Facebook page. Among other things... it indicates that she, mom got engaged in December. Daughter turned 18 in September and the new illicit couple moved in together in recent weeks. I do not have to be a betting woman to connect the dots. It is as simple as it is complicated. 

I posted somewhere else that watching this relationship unfold must feel like watching a loved one get caught up in a cult. I joked that if this is innocent it was set up so badly it might as well be the foundation for a tell all book to finance their relationship.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Green Pie

It is almost St Patrick's Day. In case you have a party or event you want to wow some people at here is a fascinatingly interesting recipe.

Avocado Pie

1 Gram Cracker Crust
2 Avocados
1 Can sweetened Condensed milk
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice

Mix the ingredients together and pour into the crust. Chill for at least two hours and enjoy.

How can you tell if you might like this pie? If you like Key Lime Pie that might be a good indication. I do not prefer either.

When I have made this pie I could only eat a sliver. If you take it to a party I would think it would be a nice conversation piece.

It is very green. People will not be able to tell what it is you have prepared.

I think this is a good idea for the right person or as a bit of unusual fun for the holiday or when avocados are in season.

There have been other odd additives we have tried in desserts. Most work smashingly well and you cannot even tell there is something different about the dish. 

Here the difference is the dish. I always think of it when this time of year rolls around. The first time I was introduced to key lime it was March and I was working in a restaurant.

I grew up eating corned beef now and again plus other things but I had not grown up understanding the traditions of the Irish. Go figure.

Tried to make soda bread once. Either I did it wrong or that is just not my thing either. I have a picky pallet.

Food should be fun. Live a little try a lot of things. Now I sound like my daughter. She does not understand why she cannot get me to experiment more. The idea that I have been there and done that escapes her.

It has never been exactly a "try anything once" type but if I did certain things would definitely go in the once and only once category.

If I have to eat my vegetables maybe I will try my hand at an Irish Shepherds pie.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am Women Hear Us Roar

It is international women’s day? I do not think I have ever celebrated before.

I did so by going to the new grocery store in town. Wahoo. I even put a curl or two in my hair.

This was the high light of my week. It could be lame if I let it. Instead I am ecstatic to be alive even if that is only because my future has to look brighter than my present.

I do love this time in history. It is not as depressing or stifling or upsetting as those ranting about it would make it seem. I used to be a Rush Limbaugh style slut

Now I am reclaiming my chastity. I sowed my wild oats. Now all I want to do is settle down with a house and a husband. I just did it backwards which I hear is all the rage.

Have cat and teen girl will travel Cinderella style up through my status to a new one. It is not that I expect anyone else to take care of me. I just fully believe two are better than one and there is almost no way I could be kept down if there was anyone else to work with.

I am a strong woman. I have always dated emotionally available men. I have never been dumped neither were any able to break my heart.

These things being true I have a great love and respect for the male gender. I value their differences and what they bring to the table. I know there are chauvinists and other negatives associated with men. Still I think there is plenty of room for women to be all and do all that they really want to do. 

Without sisters, family near by or a huge circle of girlfriends I think I am missing out on what might be the best of what being a woman has to offer socially and emotionally.

Still I enjoy the soft, beautiful sides of life. I do not watch chick flicks nor do I fill up on chick lit. I wear dresses and skirts, make up and jewelry heels and cute shoes. When I do these things depends on my mood. I am just as at home in a t-shirt or tank and tennis shoes.

I like: 
Candles, incense, pantyhose, hair accessories, scarves, décor, color, flair, high pitched, laughter, giggling, heart/emotion, kittens, puppies, babies, nature, moonlight, sunsets, sunrise, art, shopping, ice cream, chocolate, money, credit, helping people, counseling & therapy, sleeping, talking, community, gathering, scents, flowers, tea, romance, clothes, cooking, baking… 
Who does not like all of these things?

I do not get: 

My nails done



My own way all of the time and that is okay.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Recycle Be Frugal

It is warmer outside than it is in my house. With all this talk about gardening it has had me outside in my tiny back yard. The only thing I am growing is the recycling collection but were you might see a mess I see potential small errand or gas money.

I can be glad that local recycle stations will take the milk cartons. Not all the sites in town will and milk is more of a staple in most homes with kids than water so that is rather sad to see them going into the garbage.

Smashing larger containers helps with storage for transport. It began to concern me that I had more than the back of the little car can hold without folding down the back seats.

Meanwhile I ran across a tweet which led me to a web site that recycles and refills ink cartridges. Suddenly recycling became today's blog post theme. 

Here is a basket of items we have out grown or no longer want:

Half a dozen jeans both short and long
Under shirts & things
3 Purses
1 Pair of sandals
Ladies skirt and jacket x2
A summer skirt & tank
Work out pants

Some of the items are nice enough to be traded in for resale others will go to one of our favorite thrift stores.

The mini tv from my bedroom is collecting dust on the stairs. I have had it for 4 years. I bought it from a yard sale. Two years ago I dropped it during a move and it messed up the picture tube. Good thing I do not watch a lot of tv from bed eh?

Finally I am ready and able to let it go. The center where I can recycle that is just a few miles away. They take all kinds of electronics, computer and even car parts etc.

To round up this little conversation about our simple frugal life the chest of drawers in my closet. I was driving home from a friends house in Elk Grove one night. I saw it on the side of the road and snagged it. It was a chore getting it into the back seat of the Mercury Tracer. 

The seats had to be compressed to get its edging under the top of the car frame and I think I had to leave the windows down or something else.

It was in fairly decent condition if not exactly perfect. I liked that it had most of its knobs, I gave it to my daughter and she decorated it…

This last year she found a bigger set of drawers with a mounted mirror at the Goodwill across the street. We bought that one and I took the smaller one. 

I gave her the master bedroom because the second bedroom in this little rental has a walk in closet. They may not be overly expensive but I like having many changes of clothes.