Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Really Good Book Series--

I have never been much of a reader. I do like to read for information, for example, when I was pregnant, I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy. When our first born had colic, I read everything I could get my hands on about colic. I think you get the message.

Lately, I've been reading a series of books--The Great and Terrible--by Chris Stewart. I just started the sixth and final book in the series--Clear As The Moon. These are very fast moving books about the last days. On Amazon.com under Product Description the book is described as follows, "The nuclear explosion over Washington D.C. and the subsequent EMP attack have left a decapitated government and 300 million helpless citizens. In the ensuing chaos, a dark and powerful cartel steps forward to claim power. The Constitution of the United States hangs in the balance as the eternal struggle between good and evil spreads through the government. After Sara Brighton agrees to help a shadow government rise to power, Sara and Bono are sent on the most dangerous military mission of their lives. Azadeh agrees to guide them through the mountains of Iran as they seek for the key that could save the world. Struggling against overwhelming odds, they realize the most important lesson of their time: Faith is the only thing that matters as the final day draws near."

Other reviews describe the books as "powerful", and "thought provoking." One reader said that they weren't sure if something like this could really happen, but it really gets one thinking about the last days. Personally, I had a hard time putting these books down. That's a lot coming from me, because, like I said, I've never been much of a reader. I am so glad I had all six of them, because if I had to wait, for the next one to come out, I would have been really tict.

The first book, The Brothers, actually starts out during the pre-existance. The second book, Where Angels Fall, continues during Earth life, as do the rest of the books in the series. Well, I really need to go, because I hear a book calling me. Hopefully, I will be able to find time this weekend to finish. I sure hope it has a good ending...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The other day I was making my daily smoothie, and my blender died. Actually, I noticed that the glass was chipped and had a large crack running down the side. Of course, no one did it. Well, this gave me the excuse to look into getting me a smoothie maker. I never really used the blender except to make smoothies, and it was taking up a large area on my counter top (which I hate). I found one on QVC, and decided to order it. I was so excited when it came. I opened it, cleaned it, and immediately made me a smoothie (it had been days since I had one). It was so yummy. I would like share my recipe with you--

1 cup frozen fruit (Any combo, but I don't like the frozen rasberries, blackberries, etc. because of all the seeds. I usually use strawberries, mangos, peaches, mixed fruit, etc. You can also throw in a 1/2 banana and lower the fruit to 1/2 cup frozen fruit)

1/2 cup orange juice OR pineapple juice

1 packet splenda

1 capful vanilla

Blend and enjoy. If the smoothie is too thick, I add about 1/2 cup water. You can also add milk or yogurt instead of the water, but this will add extra calories. If you are on LA Weightloss, this would count as 3 fruits, and if you add the dairy, 3 fruits and 1 dairy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sixteen and Driving

Yesterday was my third child's 16th birthday. Yes, we went to get his drivers license, and yes, he is now a full fledged driver EEEEK!! Don't get me wrong, he is a very good driver, he's just young and inexperienced. The guy that gave him the drivers test said he did real well, and that he could not find anything to mark him off for. It is more that I worry about the other driver. One has to be a defensive driver, and with inexperience, you really don't have that.

As of this afternoon, when he is on our insurance, he will be able to take off for the wild blue yonder. We have told him, though, that that is not necessarily going to happen. He knows that there are still restrictions. In the state of Louisiana, the only restriction one has as a young, new driver is they can't drive without a parent between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am (because of curfew). In other states we've lived in, the new driver cannot drive with other kids in the car for a time. That is what we told him--probably 6 months. More crashes happen when a bunch of kids are in the car and the driver is distracted.

As a parent the most difficult thing, by far, is when my kids start driving. I just hope and pray for their safety. I want them to be a safe driver, and I want all of us to be safe drivers, because now it is not only me driving down the road, but MY child driving down the road too. Let us all be safe, smart and polite drivers....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How I Spent My Valentines

For more than four months, I have had a nagging cough. It hangs around constantly, and then subsides a little...making me think it is going away. Then, a few days later, the cough is back in a bad way. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to go to the doctor. I HATE going to the doctor. I already know what he is going to say, and it just seems to be a waste of time (and money since we have a huge deductible). You see, I tend to get this cough every year, and it is usually during the cold weather after I have been exposed to cigarette smoke. I actually have two other friends fighting the same thing, and their cough is from the same thing--cigarette smoke (and none of us are smokers).

Last Friday, I finally went to the doctor. He told me it was from allergies. He told me that is why I have "those shiners." Well, I was born with those black eyes. I am very fair, and in the winter when I have no color in my face, they really show up. The only thing I have an allergy of are drugs. There is nothing constant that bothers me (except maybe cigarette smoke--which is not constant, because I'm not around it a lot).

The doctor put me on a couple of inhalers, and Septra. I started taking all this Friday afternoon. By Wednesday, I was having a low grade fever and aches and pains. I thought, "Oh great, I'm getting the flu now." Thursday, I was a little better once I was up and going, but by early that evening, I was running a fever and felt horrible. I went to bed at 6 and stayed in bed til 10 then next day. When I woke up I was running a pretty solid fever and still had my aches and pains.

Since Valentines Day was coming up, I had planned on having a nice dinner for my boys (the two sons who are still at home and my dear husband). Their favorite dinner is lasagna and they all love cheery cheesecake, so that was on the menu too. Fortunantly, on Thursday I had put the meal together, and all I had to do Friday is put the Lasagna and veggies is the oven to cook and set the table. Earlier in the week, I had put together place settings, and planned on what candles, centerpieces, etc. We went ahead and had our nice dinner, but as soon as it was done, back to bed I went.

Saturday morning--Valentines Day--my DH set the table including a dozen beautiful yellow roses (my favorite) and made a nice breakfast for us all. It was really nice. I was still feeling pretty crappy, but I came to breakfast anyway. Noticing that I my skin was very itchy, I lifted my long sleeve to reveal--hives. I ran to the bathroom, and found that I was covered with hives. I had hives on my hives. By the end of the day I looked as if I had spent 2 full days without sunscreen on the beach in the Caribbean. Even my eyeballs had hives. I had to take a rain check on our Valentine dinner date that evening. I called the doc and now I am on steroids. During this time I have lost about 6 lbs. but these stupid steroids are causing me to be VERY hungry. I sure hope I don't gain it all back.

Did my cough go away? NO. Now what? Well, first thing is to get to looking normal again, and then to plan B, whatever that may be...

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Makes a Great Dancer?

My daughter is going to school at Brigham Young University and majoring in dance. Her ultimate goal would be to become a choreographer and to start a dance company for special needs children. She would like to become a dance therapist and work with special needs children, especially with the autistic community. She has always been good with children, and having two autistic cousins, she has really become interested in autism. On her journey to this great goal, she has been busy with her major. She is on the BYU International Folk Team, and will be doing some touring with the group this summer. This semester, she is taking quite a few classes, among which are Dance History, Jazz, Modern Marathon, Book of Mormon, and Anatomy (with cadavers), are just a few of the 9 classes she is taking this semester. In addition, she is working and assisting in teaching a tap class on campus...she is a VERY busy girl!!

In one of the dance classes she is taking, she has to write a paper; the subject--body image of a dancer. She sent out a request on her Facebook to her dance friends asking them, "I'm doing a paper on the body image of a dancer and what is considered beautiful and how it has changed throughout the years. I was wondering what you're opinion of beautiful is and what you consider to be the ideal dancer?" This was my answer to her--"I've been in the dance world for many, many years. When I was your age, the "perfect" dancer had long LEAN lines. I know many great dancers that had great lines, even though the dancer was not "lean." You can still have long beautiful lines even though you are not thin (just like a short person on stage can look tall). Sometimes I have seen dancers that were so thin, it was distracting. I can think of several times when I was with a group, watching a dance program, and seeing one dancer so incredibly thin, that all we could do is talk about how skinny she was, and how she looked like she might have been sick.

"Majoring in dance in the early 80"s, body fat was a great concern, and many times, dance teams would take everyone's body fat. I would see girls who looked skinny, but their body fat was on the high side, and they were encouraged to get that down. This is where many would find themselves with anorexia and bulimia. I danced with several girls that developed these problems.

Today, it seems, that the "perfect" dancer still has great lines, but also great muscle tone. They are built more like an athlete (which they are). It is great to see this. No longer do we see dance teams taking their body fat, and harping on them to loose weight. When I see a dancer with great muscle tone, I see strength, not weakness. I believe, anyone can be a great dancer, no matter what body type. I have seen a few girls who were quite heavy, who could still move quite well, and I applaud them for getting out there and moving. And, by the way, I do agree with what Cassie (someone else who replied to her question) has said, that the best dancers are the ones who dance from their heart...

This I believe, is what my daughter does. This is what makes her such a great dancer (and person). She dances from the heart...she lives from the heart...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chop, Chop

Well, I did it. I've been debating this for a long, long time, and I finally did it. Yes, I chopped off my hair...6 inches...

I've always had pretty long hair. Growing up in the 70's I had the perfect hair. Long and straight! It was pretty thick back then, too. I grew up with two sisters, and all of us had long hair. The youngest had long dark hair. It was VERY thick with TONS of body and a waves. The middle sister, she could have done a shampoo commercial! (you know the ones where they shake their heads and their hair flows forever?). It was long, blonde and had loads of body. Mine was just long and blonde...and STRAIGHT!!!! But, that was ok in the 1970's. Then came the 80's. What a nightmare for me.

I graduated from high school in 1977, and the Farrah Faucette du was in. Needless to say, mine would not do that. The day after I had my senior pictures taken, I went to the beauty shop and wacked off my hair and tried the "wing" thing. It did not look like Farrah's. My hair never grew out to the length it was in high school. I tried different things--layering, the bob, etc. Then I finally gave in to the perm. For about ten years, I had the perm. Then one day, I went to have a perm, and my hair got "fried". I never put another chemical on my hair since. I had to get it all chopped off. It had never been that short, and nor will it ever again. It was way above my shoulders...

Pretty much for the last 15 years, I have had the same thing. I would call it a long bob. Sometimes longer than other times, but, ecentially, it has been a bob, or maybe you could call it a blunt cut. Usually I would have bangs, but sometimes I would try it without the bang thing. I look much better in bangs, since I have a high forehead.

For the past few days, I have been debating on what to do. I look in the mirror and see that my hair seems straighter, thinner, and finer than ever. I think to myself, "would trimming it off help to give it better flow?" Also, everyone says that after 40, you need to have short hair. I'll be 50 this August. Hmmmm, don't think I agree with every woman having to cut their hair just because everyone says they are too old. Anywho...finally, today, I called my hairdresser. I went in, and we spoke for awhile, and she told be not to cut too much off. My hair was at the middle of my back. It was in very good condition, and I will have to say, I do have great color ( and this I have been blessed with, naturally). But, along with the great color, comes the the fact, that most natural blondes do have very fine, limp hair--that is just the nature. So, what do you do? Perm--NO WAY!! Hummm..

I told her to go ahead and do what she thought (EEEEEK!) I told myself, "it will grow out." (yea, in 100 years...). But, you know, I am happy. Yes, she cut off 6 INCHES, but actually, it looks pretty good. It is a little past my shoulders, so it is still considered a little on the long side. It looks much thicker, and flows really well. So, I will like to say, Joy (that's my hairdresser), thank you.