Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Resolutions Anyone?

So, did you make a resolution waaaayyyy back in January?  I never do, but it's a very popular thing to do.  Most people don't come anywhere close to accomplishing their resolutions.  A very common resolution is to lose weight.  Did you ever go to a YMCA in January? They are packed!!!  Go back in March.  Not quite so busy is it?  Another common one, to give up smoking.  As a former smoker I can assure you this is very difficult and most people will not succeed.  Why do people give up on their resolutions?  I don't know.  I am not sure it is giving up as much as it is just plain failure.  Why do we always fail? Why do we set the bar so high?  I think we need to learn to break things down into manageable goals.
Ambition is an amazing thing, but like everything else, you have to channel it.  You can't get to the top of the mountain without putting one foot in front of the other.  You can't lose 20 pounds all at once.
Also don't make broad resolutions.  I am going to exercise more this year is probably not going to work.  How about trying, I am going to exercise once a week for the month of January, then twice a week for the month of February, and so on.  Don't try to do too much too quickly.  You will become overwhelmed and quit.  We get so motivated we burn out.  Pace yourselves people!
If you have given up and forgotten all about that resolution - you still have time.  Try again!  Don't give up!  It is never too late to start over. You still have thirty days.  How great would it feel to get to January 2011 and still be working on your resolution?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When I was a Kid...

When I was growing up there were cords on the phone.  There was no caller ID.  Microwaves were new and maybe dangerous?  You could play video games, but there was no saving, when it was off it was over!  Now I know I am showing my age here, but you already know how old I am so it doesn't really matter.
When I was a teenager if I wanted to use the phone I had to slide the phone cord under the basement door and sit in the stairwell so everyone else in the house couldn't hear me.  (So I thought) Then after about 15 minutes I would start being told to get off the phone.  Kids today have no idea.  They all have their own phones. They don't have to share with anyone and they can move around wherever they want to.  My kids are by no means an exception.  I think that it is a lot harder to monitor your kids today.  As a Mom I can't be in the kitchen making dinner and eavesdrop on my kids phone conversations to know what is going on in their life.  I can, and do however, monitor their facebook pages.
What about video games?  We used to play and play and when we got tired we would beg someone else to play  our game.  There was no saving.  If your Mom made you turn it off because it was time for dinner you had to start all over the next time you played.  You couldn't pause either.  My kids love to pause.  Its as though nothing is ever really over.  All of this leads to new terminology.  When I played tag outside, which is a foreign concept to a lot of kids these days, "time out" was the term we used to temporarily stop the game. (to tie a shoe or something)  Now they say "pause!"  The first time I heard this I laughed so hard!
I know times change, but to see and hear it happening right in front of me is an amazing thing.
I am so grateful for my family and the ability to recognize how great they are, even if they do make me say things like, "When I was a kid..."
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perpetual Negativity

Everyone has, at some time in their life, had to spend time with, or known a very negative person. People like this are such a drain on your own personal positive energy.  If you are not sure if you know anyone like this, maybe it is you?! (I hope not!) This perpetually negative individual will eventually say something like - "Something bad is going to happen soon, because everything has just been going too well for too long"  Really?  They are looking for something bad to happen!  I can not stand to be around people like this!

I try to be positive about everything.  I always try to find the silver lining.  Why do some people want to see the bad?  If you are always looking for the bad stuff, only the bad stuff will find you. Why is this such a hard concept for some people to understand?! On the off chance something good happens to come along - you will be so busy focusing on the negative stuff that you won't  even notice.  Who wants to live like this?!?!
The thing is, no matter how much positive energy you try to project, that negative energy can just wrap around you like a wet blanket and smother all your good intentions.  I try to distance myself from so much continual negativity.  This is my way of protecting myself.  This is how I protect my boundaries.

So, what do you do if you are forced to be with someone like this - at work for instance?  What I do is bombard this person with positive thoughts.  Every time they complain I say something positive.
Example - It always rains, I hate the rain!  It is so ugly out.
Respond with - But it makes the flowers grow, and think how good a nice hot bath will feel at the end of this long ugly day!
Most negative people will have something else to complain about, it is a never ending cycle with people of this sort.  They however, will not be able to stand all your positiveness and go away and leave you alone. The trick is to hold on to your happiness. It takes commitment to remain positive.  Stubbornness can come in very handy here!  The thing is - your attitude annoys them as much as theirs does you.  You will repel each other like  polarized magnets. How cool is that?!

So to prove my point - negative energy draws negative energy and positive energy draws positive energy, try it out with someone who is opposite of you and see if you repel each other? I bet you will!
Thanks for playing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Produce Relationship Action

Did you ever notice how one bad action can produce another one?  Of course you have.  Or, maybe you haven't.  I was talking with a friend today about relationships, and she was telling me how lately her husband is always in the garage building things he sells on the side. While she loves the money this brings in, she is spending an awful lot of time alone, which is causing her to feel abandoned.  So now whenever her husband goes to the garage, she has a snide comment to make.  He however, thinks he is doing this great thing making extra money for Christmas, and he has NO idea how abandoned she is feeling.  Probably because she hasn't told him either.  (Ladies, Men can NOT read our minds!)  Her inability to thank him for all the hard work he is doing, coupled with the, now rather frequent, snippy little sidebars are providing him with the foundation to feel vastly under-appreciated. The pressure builds as they each continue to suffer silently in there own agony.  Thus allowing their frustration and feelings to drive them farther and farther apart.  He is staying in the garage just to avoid her snide comments. This produces in her more and more feelings of loneliness.  Until... Someone snaps under the pressure at something trivial.  For this couple it was simply that he took her out to dinner and she did not say "thank you".  They did not speak for two whole days! I don't know anyone who has not had a similar experience in a relationship.
She did not understand this so, I explained it like this - If you get up every Friday and eat a big breakfast, when you get to work and someone has donuts - you don't really notice or care because, you're not hungry.  So one Friday you get up and you think Oh it's Friday, donut day!  I will skip breakfast at home and eat a donut at work.  Only the person who ALWAYS brings the donuts doesn't come to work.  What's that you say?  NO DONUTS?!? BUT THERE IS ALWAYS DONUTS ON FRIDAY AND I SKIPPED BREAKFAST!!!
You only cared because you were hungry and you weren't getting what you needed.
So - her spouse is so hungry for appreciation that he notices every time he doesn't get it.  And she is feeling so abandoned and alone that she doesn't have anything nice to say when he is around.
My advice... did you ever notice how one good action can produce another one?  Be the grown-up.  Show a lot of appreciation until he really feels it.  This will probably motivate him to want to reciprocate your sentiment.  If she tells him she appreciates him, he will begin to feel validated.  Then he will probably in turn want to spend more time with her and - TA DA - she will not feel so alone.  He may even ask her if she minds before he goes to the garage, which my guess is, she won't, because all she ever really wanted was for him to notice her to begin with.
That is my relationship advice for the day!  Until next time...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe Anyone?

One month after surgery and I am trying to get back to normal.  I am much more tired than I anticipated and apologize for being away so long.  I will keep trying to post regularly, but no promises right now.  So, for something different I thought I would share with you a recipe that I created the other day...ENJOY!

Grown-up Macaroni and Cheese

This will fill a  9 x12 baking dish
1lb whole wheat macaroni                                          1 lb hamburger
1 Tbsp horseradish                                                    2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup finely chopped onion                                     6 Tbsp margarine or butter
approx. 1/2 cup flour                                                 2-3 cups of milk
1 tsp salt                                                                    1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 block Velveeta type cheese (I cut into cubes for easy melting)
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Boil macaroni.  Drain, rinse, and place in  baking dish.  Fry the hamburger with the horseradish.  Drain off the grease and mix it into macaroni.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Once the onions are cooked, gradually whisk in the flour until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Turn heat down to low.  Stir in the mustard and milk. Gradually increase the heat.  As sauce to heat up, stir in the cheeses.  After the cheese melts, pour it over the macaroni and meat. Mix well and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Everyone at my house enjoyed this a lot!

Things I may add to this recipe next time..
I thought that possibly placing tomato wedges around the edges of the pan would sweeten this up a bit, and make it look pretty.  Another idea of something to add for a little extra kick would be a couple of banana peppers fried in with the hamburger.

If anyone makes this, please let me know how it turns out.  Thanks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Repeating History

It is funny how life and what is really important never really changes all that much.  When I was a kid we used to spend every Sunday at my Grandma's.  First my Dad's Mom, where I had a lot of cousins and we would play and run around and have tons of fun. It was generally a very relaxed atmosphere with plenty of aunts and uncles and children and food.  Sometimes we played outside and sometimes we played in the basement, but we always played the entire time.  It was always loads of fun.

Then my Mom's Mom.  Here it was more formal.  Until I was ten, my sister and I were the only grandchildren.  This meant there wasn't a lot of running around and playing.  There was a lot of sitting quietly and doing a puzzle with my Granny.  The football game was always on.  We were supposed to be careful and "try not walk in front of the TV".  We always had a BIG sit down dinner, I think, at half-time.  There was always a lot of food.  Then after the game we would play games, usually cards of some sort.  It was a lot of fun because we received all the attention.  No cousins to compete with!

This weekend we had family visiting.  The entire weekend was a whirlwind of family and cooking and eating and fun.  While sitting in my Grandpa's chair and watching football on Sunday I was reminded of all those Sundays from my childhood.  The game is on, people are milling around, there is a hint of all those good food smells drifting out of the kitchen, and I am trying to quietly remind my children to "try not to walk in front of the TV".  I was literally watching history repeat itself.

The point is that nothing ever really changes, at least not what is truly important.  Family and tradition and food, things that are passed from generation to generation.  Traditions and memories, these are the things that really matter.  These are the things that I am truly thankful for.  This is what puts a smile on my face!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Day in a Nutshell

Everyday, Monday through Friday, my alarm goes off between 6:15 and 6:30am.  I get out of bed, turn on the coffee, and wake up any children who are still asleep.  Then I sit patiently drinking my coffee and hand out directions, such as, it's cold outside - wear a coat, don't forget your lunch, and do you have your homework?  These are then followed by, in a much less patient tone, hurry up, you are going to miss the bus!  Most days that is as far as it gets.  Then, while making my breakfast, I empty the dishwasher and reload it.  Somehow the sink has filled with dishes overnight.  I really wonder how that happens sometimes?  Now I put away everything the tornado's (children, mostly daughters) have left in there wake.  Dirty clothes, curling irons, make up, etc...
Time to get the clothes out of the dryer, get ready for work, and then fold all the clothes.  This is usually 2 - 3 baskets of clothes washed the night before.  Now I have about 30 minutes before I have to leave for work. This is when I read my email and catch up on Facebook, as well as, write this little blog.  8:30 - 8:40 I leave for work.   I almost always make it to work by 9:05, somehow this is acceptable to me.  I don't know why, because I HATE to be late!  Skip to end of work day...

Arrive home in time to deliver my little cheerleader to practice by 5:30.  Then I have an hour and a half to make dinner, pack lunches, eat, clean up, and then pick up my cheerleader at 7:00.  Don't forget there is homework and other directions being handed out at this time as well.  There is a reason dinner time is so hectic for most families.  It has way too much stuff going on!  So after I pick up my cheerleader and arrive back home it is close to 7:30.  Now we have to tie up any loose ends, homework and things, all while herding everyone in and out of the shower.  My husband will be calling me between 8:00 and 8:30 (this is his lunch time at work) some days this is the only communication we have, so I try really hard to be available and not distracted when he calls.  After speaking to him I take a shower and then start a load of clothes in the washer.  I usually will watch television or read until those clothes are done so I can put another load in the washer, which my Awesome Hubby will then put in the dryer when he gets home at midnight.  I usually go to bed between 9:30 and 11:00pm, just so I can get up and do it all over again tomorrow!

Keep in mind that this is how it would go if everyday was perfect, but well, YEAH RIGHT!
There is usually another child who wants dropped off or picked up, probably both, somewhere. There is occasionally the project that we have waited until the night before to do, and of course we do not have the supplies to make it happen.  So, now we are making an emergency trip to the store to purchase supplies. Any one of these things, and any other possible scenario you can imagine is likely to happen and mess up the whole process.  The thing is no matter what time I actually get to bed, I love my life and all the crazyness it brings!