Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Can Die A Happy Woman

No, I do not have any terminal disease. I should hopefully be around for quite some time. But something hit me today. I could be taken from this Earth and be happy with my life and for a few reasons.

I have birthed and semi-raised my children. I would like to give them a few more years if possible. I have a happy marriage. I see so many relationships that are nowhere near what ours is...I feel for these people.

But the creme de la creme of my life was seeing Barbra Streisand in October of 2006. It had been my life's dream to see her before I die. And I have. I first saw her in the movie A Star is Born, with Kris Kristofferson. I was hooked. I was about 14 years old at the time, but I knew I was looking at a woman to be reckoned with. She had her stuff together. Little did I know what she had done before I had been introduced to her. She had a following to be rivaled by many, but duplicated by few.

She was the quintessential...everything. She could act, direct, produce, and lest we forget, sing. Long gone are the days of real singers. Names like Judy Garland, Kate Smith, Ethel Merman. The likes of Streisand was a dying breed. No longer were singers belting them out. They were being synthesized and drowned out with special effects in the movie world. Show me a woman who can sing acapella and I will show you a real singer.

When I saw her in the arena I thought I was going to die. Tears came to my eyes as she began going through songs I knew word for word. The goosebumps never left my arms. We had tickets in the nosebleed section, but thanks to modern technology, and via big screen TV's, I was able to get a much better view of her than if I had been seated on the floor section. The price of the tickets were almost equal to my mortgage, but, to me at east, it was totally worth it.

Everyone has an idol they look up to and Streisand is mine. You hear all the rumors that she is the equivalent of a female dog, but if a man were to do what she has done in Hollywood, he would be praised. She has been ridiculed and scorned. And, she has been shunned when it comes to the Oscars. You ever want to see an un-Streaisand movie? Rent Nuts. This is not for the kiddies to see. Very adult themed, but what a performance, and yet, she was overlooked.

To each their own, but this woman inspires me and moves me to depths I can never begin to describe. She is versatile and can fill any role demanded of her. Try watching Meet the Fockers. Again, not for the kiddies, but oh so funny. When I am down or just need some calmness in my life, I just pop in one of her CDs and I am good to go. The rest of the world gets washed away and all is good.

So for all of you who have not been introduced to her, all I can say is Hello Gorgeous!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

By Merriam-Webster's Definition

Reduce: to diminish in size, amount, extent, or number

Reuse: to use again especially in a different way or after reclaiming or repossessing

Recycle: to pass again through a series of changes or treatments

Sounds simple enough, right? Well not so fast. In the big scope of things, we go in a certain order and there is a reason...there is always a reason. But hear me out. Reuse comes before recycle, and here is the reasoning. When you reuse something you will save some, if not all of the energy that went into it's making. For instance. You have a wagon that is on its way out or the children no longer use. Why not turn it into a planter. The wire hangers (I will refrain from my Mommy Dearest moment) can be returned back to the dry cleaners. Empty food cans can become pots for plants. How retro is that?

Some simple stupid ways to reduce. How about checking out a book from the library. Some libraries even have a table with withdrawn books at a fraction of the cost. Flea Markets, Garage Sales are great ways to get books on to your shelf with no extra energy wasted.

How about renting movies from the video store instead of purchasing them. Same goes for music. Buy them used or download.

Old clothes can go to consignment shops or donated to charities. Let someone else enjoy the fabrics you once did.

Plastic bags. Do you really need all those bags? I highly doubt it. I have been bringing my reusable canvas bags with me for a while now. I used them mostly at the grocery store, but I have taken to bringing them to every store I visit. The produce stand, the mall, or better yet, I just tell them I do not need a bag. Do you really need a bag for your CD/DVD? When you are going right to your car? Yeah, I thought so. You will get funny looks, so either you ignore them and keep going or you tell them the truth and by explaining yourself, you may get someone else to have their light bulb go on.

You have a treasure trove of items for crafts siting around your home. How about empty bottles, boxes being used in an art project? Old T-shirts can go for the cleaning box, or a dogs pull toy. Finished up plastic containers can be used to house small items, such as rubber bands, paper clips, buttons, nut and bolts, the list goes on.

And the ever useful Internet. Ever heard of Free Cycle? Then you need to get out more. It is there goal to reduce, reuse and recycle. And it's all for free. Give them a check out. they stared out in 2003 and have now grown to over 3,700 communities.

I hope I have given you some food for thought. I say this always, will you do every single thing I post about? I doubt it, but if you walk away with one piece of inspiration, then I have done my job. So go and do the three R's, and I ain't talking about Reading, Riting and Rethmatic.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


When was the last time you say in silence. I am not talking quiet time. I am talking dead on silence. If you have to sit and think about it, then trust me, it has been far too long.

Let's go through a typical Saturday afternoon. You are mowing the grass, clearing off the driveway with the leaf blower(whatever happened to a rake and broom?), snipping away some branches from one of your trees with a chain saw. Now, by the end of your day, your nerves are frayed from all that noise, but looky what a purdy lawn you have.

To what end are we willing to jeopardize our hearing?

What many people do not realize is, not only is it the loudness of the sound, it is the length of time that will let you know how it has impacted you and your ears. We all know that one time exposure to extremely loud noises can inflict serious damage, but it is the repeated exposure to sounds in the hazardous range.

Our sound levels are measured in db's(decibels). Here are some familiar sounds and how much they put out in the way of decibels.

40db=quiet room
60db=normal conversation
80db=busy street
100db=chain saw
120db=amplified rock music

And once the hair cells of the inner ear are destroyed, there is no getting them back. But there are ways to drown out, if you will, the noise that is out there trying to invade our space. Get yourself a white noise machine. It can block out many a sounds that are unpleasant. There is nature sounds, via a CD. Or even some soothing music. Then there is the stress issue. The more we need to hear over something or be heard over something, that cannot be a good thing. So tune out and tone down the outside world every now and then and take a break from the world that is outside and the noises that come with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008


It recently dawned on me how much water we waste. And trust me, if you looked hard enough or just paid attention to what you do with your water, you would easily see how much we waste. It hit me just recently that I let the water run when I was washing my hands. And what was that water doing while I was washing my hands? Absolutely nothing. That's my point. It was running down the drain, yeah, being what? Wasted.

That is when I did some minor research into how I could conserve water. And I now do things differently. Do I implement every single suggestion on the water conservation site? I think not. But every little bit helps. Small moves people. If everyone did one implementation think how much water we would save. And we all know we cannot live without water. Dying of thirst does not sound fun in my book.

I will give you some easy things you can do and it won't take any effort. The biggest one we are doing is saving our grey water. Mostly from the water the is running when you are heating up your shower water. We take that water and use it to flush our toilets, water the plants around the house and plants outside. I no longer let the water run when I do the dishes that cannot go into the dishwasher. I make sure that the dishwasher and washing machine are fully loaded before running them. Again, you would be surprised where you can make a difference. Ooo Ooo, My husband now washes the car on the lawn, that way we do not have to water the grass that day. See, who would have guessed.

Water Conservation Tips

And, if you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will see a link that shows you how much water we do use. It is sinful. Take a gander, and see what small little bit you can contribute to helping our planet and keep as much water on her as possible.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Die With A "T"

I have never ever dieted in my life. And I hope never to either. I do not understand how people feel the need to diet. Why not just eat right in the first place and all would be right in the world. Do not misunderstand me. I know it can be difficult to pass some things up, but I have never deprived myself in the food world, what-so-ever. If I am in the mood for a slice of cheesecake then I have it, I just do not eat 4-5 slices. I have never portioned my food, I just stop when I am full. I love what I cook because I cook what I love.

I was just telling my daughter that I think, and there is no evidence to support this, that if people ate a balanced diet (And a trip through the drive-thru does not count), then maybe, just maybe they would not crave the things that got them in an unhealthy state.

I watch people I know who are supposedly watching what they eat and trust me when I tell you they have it all wrong. They are putting microwaved, ultra-processed, high-fat, low in nutrition, if not nutritionally void food into their bodies and then wonder why they are in the shape they are in. Is anyone seeing a correlation here? Why do people keep doing what they know is harmful to their bodies?

I am not a smoker, never have been (unless you count the summer in 8th grade when I realized how flipping stupid it was to wantonly smell like an ashtray). And I drink in super-moderation and my children have seen this happen over their lifetime. We enjoy life as best as our pocketbooks will allow and do not regret a thing. I just want people to see what it is they are doing to themselves. Wake up people, get a clue. You only have one life. Why not live it to its fullest. My heart aches for people who have habits they cannot break. I do not understand that type of mentality.

And yet I hear it all the time that they do not have a choice, they do not choose to be in the condition they are in. Well I have an argument for that. I have MS and my son is autistic, "we" did not choose our illnesses. But many people choose to eat a second helping of whatever, have enough booze to get them to the point they barely remember what took place the night before, and many of them drove somewhere, or that they had to have that next fix. All those people chose to do that to themselves. My son and me did not.

Get the help, it is out there. But do not sit there and tell me you choose not to be that way. I never chose to have MS and my son certainly did not choose to be autistic. This is now turning into a rant and I did not want this. I just want people to see and know that they can make a difference, and the changes may not take place overnight. You did not get in the predicament you are in overnight it will not be fixed with a magic wand. It will be hard work, but think of the rewards at thee end of the rainbow, you can make your own pot of gold.