Life... Health... Reviews...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A few moments of TV obsession

For the last two years - give or take - I've received a free subscription to TV Guide. When I first started getting it I was excited because I figured it would be easier deciding what I wanted to watch on the rare occasion I sat down to watch television. Since the guide doesn't list the exact channel and I never can remember which station is which, my excitement wore off.

Every once in awhile I would read an article about one of my favorite shows or check out the pictures, but it really - I'm ashamed to say - sat on the TV for a week or so then went into the recycle pile. That was when my television was working.

One day before the TV died completely,
my 4-year-old daughter snapped this pic.

Now, as I go about my day with the TV sitting there mocking me at every pass, I wonder what I am missing on my favorite shows (Law & Order: SVU; Criminal Minds; Without a Trace; Army Wives; The Closer).

A few days ago another TV guide came in the mail, and I sighed with frustration. What a waste, I thought; as if I wasn't already wasting it. I began flipping through it and noticed articles about shows that I had watched the season premieres of. My interest was peaked. Now, all of a sudden, it was important.

I found out that George died. On Grey's Anatomy, of course. I learned that Kyra Sedgwick's (you know, she plays on The Closer) husband, Kevin Bacon, is directing an upcoming show and it's one of the best ones yet. More excitement, car chases, etc.

Then Delko, one of my favorite characters on CSI: Miami, is only going to return briefly. I only spent a moment bummed about then 'cause I'm excited about Laurence Fishburne playing a professor on the CSI shows. This will be the first time that they'll be a triple crossover (between the CSI shows) as Fishburne's character delves into a nationwide human trafficking case. And, on House, the good doctor has gone complete crazy and finds himself in a mental hospital. Yup, those hallucinations from last season were just a glimpse into what was going wrong with House.

By the time I finished reading TV Guide I felt tingly all over. It was almost like I had sat down and caught up on all of the shows recorded on my DVR. I don't mind going without television because I've done TV fasts in the past, but I don't like to be forced into it. There's something refreshing about watching back-to-back episodes of House or catching up on a season of Criminal Minds.

Now that I've had my fix of television I can move on to something else. Anyone seen that book I was reading?
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Testing another paid site

I've become aware of another site that connects bloggers and advertisers. It's Link From Blog and from what I understand it's pretty new, but like most of the sites you're familiar with it is how companies are able to do blog advertising. I am still learning about it and navigating my way around so I'm not going to pass judgment or offer my opinion until I see how it works out. So far it's proven easy to use and sign up for. Communication is prompt and easy to understand. If you're interested check it out and let me know what you think.
Make money in blogosphere
LinkFromBlog - advertise with my Blog
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Adding to the blog roll

Today I added a friend to my blog roll and it dawned on me that I haven't updated the roll or mentioned it in awhile. So, I have a few assignments for you:
  1. Visit my friend Kia at Urban Paper Loft blog. She is a talented graphic artist who sells personalized stationary at Urban Paper Loft. Check her out to get a look at all of her products.
  2. If you're one of my regular blogging friends and readers, your link should be on my list. If it's not and you'd like it to be, please leave a comment and let me know. (Also, please forgive me if it's missing.)
  3. There may be some blogs that have disappeared or been abandoned, if you recognize one that is or if you happen to click through to one that is then let me know that too.
  4. Even if this is your first time here and you'd like your blog or site listed on my roll, just leave me a comment indicating your URL and I'll check it out for consideration. I'm also interested in link exchanges, so if you want to list me then let's make a deal. :)
I think that's all of your homework for now. Have a great weekend!
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Potty training success

It's official. Little Miss Anna is potty trained!

Do you remember all the dilemmas I had trying to get her trained. I even tried using the Baby Signs® Potty Training Complete Starter Kit, but my inconsistency and her stubbornness hindered the success. It's funny because she still loves the book reading the book and doing the potty training sign language and she still loves watching the DVD.

Every once in awhile she has an accident during the day (more at daycare than here) or pees on herself during the night, but she tells me when she needs to go (often with a lot of false alarms) and even tells her siblings. Every time I put a disposable training pant on her at nap or bedtime she wakes up dry, but if I don't she wets herself. So I guess that would make us about 99 percent successful.

Well, it's more like that makes her 99 percent successful because we wouldn't have the training success if she didn't get it into her mind that she was going to start using the potty.

Good luck to everyone who is still in the training process or those who haven't reached it yet. And, if you're already pass it: Isn't it great not to have to spend money on training pants and diapers? That's a big relief!
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Looking at the Sky on Friday

This is what I see when I step out onto my front stoop, move a little to the right and peer up to the left over the roof of my house. There are quite a bit of trees surrounding me.


Want more sky photos? Visit Crazy Working Mom.

Photobucket
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Four books worth reading

On the Woman's Bookshelf

I am so excited that I've had the chance to read some really entertaining and well-written books lately. I've recently finished three novels and perused a very timely and educational book about life insurance. Reading is one of my passions, which I always desire to share with you.

The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leiknes
This is unlike any book I've ever chosen to read. This is what a portion of the promotional material said about the book: "Audiences love [Lucy Burns] with and charisma, especially when she talks about her lead character, whose fascinating job is 'facilitator to hell,' and whose boss is really the devil himself."

"Huh?" I thought. I had to read it again. Then I chuckled. My next thought was, "Are they serious?"

I kept reading about the book and knew I had to review a copy. The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns is an entertaining, quick read that's filled with just enough humor, a definite plot and great writing to keep readers engaged from the first page until the last. I really wanted to know if Lucy Burns (don't you just love that name?) succeeds at her mission. And, yes, she really is a facilitator to hell.

This is a great book to read while waiting in the doctor's office or taking a moment for yourself. And for the aspiring authors take some motivation from the author and plow through to get your novel complete. When she was pregnant with her first son she realized motherhood was getting close and she had a little time left to realize her novel-writing dream. She wrote throughout her pregnancy and finished it on maternity leave.

Published in June by Bancroft Press, "The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns" has to be on your must-read list.

Resurrecting Midnight by Eric Jerome Dickey
When Dickey's new book arrived in my mailbox I did a little dance. Dickey is one of my favorite authors and I've been waiting to see what has been going on with International assassin Gideon since I put the last book down. Resurrecting Midnight is filled with action (enough to make your heart race), drama (more than enough to scare you) and passion (I definitely felt some tingles) - all of which are reasons why I never pass up the chance to read a book by this New York Times Bestselling author.

This novel continues the story of Gideon who killed for the first time when he was 7 years old. It was a single shot to the head of a man who was trying to kill the woman Gideon knew as his mother. What he later learns is the evil man was his father. Killing him changed Gideon forever.

When we were last in Gideon's world he almost died in Antigua while on a mission that went very bad. Now he's involved in a dangerous assignment with folks he doesn't trust using his skills to obtain a briefcase that contains a part of a larger puzzle. It's one exciting action scene after another. Once again, Dickey doesn't disappoint.

Resurrecting Midnight (Dutton/Penguin Group) hits the shelves on August 25 and you must order your copy right away.

Questions and Answers on Life Insurance: The Life Insurance Toolbook
by Anthony Steuer, CLU
I chose to share this book with It's a woman's world readers because it covers a topic that many of us have questions about and something we need to know about. Written by a life insurance guru, this 464-page comprehensive guide to life insurance answers every question you've ever wanted to know.

Since this book isn't one you may sit down and read from cover to cover, I took the liberty of getting some information directly from the author:

"Probably the biggest issue for consumers & advisers is choosing the right type of insurance," Steuer explained. "A lot of people end up with insurance that's more than they need. Example, a whole life policy with a premium that's five to 10 times what they could pay for a term insurance policy that would better fit their needs. Another timely point is choosing a company - some of the companies have had a rough time through this economic downturn."

For individuals who are 40 years or older with children and no life insurance, Steuer offered this advice: "They still need it and shouldn't put if off. If they do their homework and stick with term life, which is what most people need, it's not that expensive. A good step would, of course, be to buy my book." This statement, which was shared via email, was followed by LOL. (See, even insurance gurus have a sense of humor.)

You can get all your other questions answered by picking up a copy of this user-friendly guide today. In addition to Steuer's book, you can find additional on his site TonySteuer.com or check out Insurance Information Institute site at III.org. Final advice? Always do your homework.

The Unexpected Gift by Michelle Bulmer Atha & Meaghan Gonzales Wagar
The authors of The Unexpected Gift learned what it was like to put their energies into worthy causes to soothe their own heartache. These women, who were going through a divorce at the same time, took their experiences and co-authored this book that shows the real result of being selfless.

This novel is about a single mother who still deals with the pain of her divorce and encounters an 18-year-old pregnant woman who's down on her luck. The pair form a surprising friendship and teach each other that the gift of friendship can lead to a satisfying life.

Published in June by Synergy, The Unexpected Gift is a book to read for a little message, a little peace and to feel a little less lonely.

This isn't a paid post, but I am an Amazon affiliate. Would you like to buy me a cup of coffee or put a dollar or so in my gas tank? I hope the answer is yes and in the process you can get you something great to read. Click on the Amazon widget to check out the books I've talked about here or to do a little search for something you've been wanting to read.



And, while you're here, check out some other reads that are on my bookshelf.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I forgot to mention...

My health and weight loss journal

I so totally forgot to tell you that I lost the four or five pounds that I gained. Well, I guess I should say it's the four or five pounds that keeps coming and going. I think I'm at 155. It probably would stay more gone (don't say anything about my grammar!) if I would diminish my occasional emotional eating. But what fun would it be in being a girl if I couldn't sometime indulge in a little emotional and hormonal noshing?

If you're trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss then not depriving yourself is a key to success. Losing weight is a life-style change not a temporary thing. Choose a plan (whether organized or self-imposed) that will work for you. Then rock it!

There's some pretty good and exciting news that I haven't revealed. I was waiting until I actually saw it myself, but I think now would be the perfect time to tell you. (And, if you're reading this - you know who you are - this is not my attempt to take your challenge and be positive. I'm too stubborn for that. LOL) I am scheduled to be featured/mentioned in All You magazine! How cool is that?!

I answered one of the magazine's emails where they reach out to their readers to provide input. It was quite a few months ago that I replied to the email and one of the editors contacted me a few weeks ago. I provided before and after pictures along with my story of weight loss. I must admit I am pretty excited about it. One would think that as a published magazine article writer and poet (not counting my web stuff) that I would tire of seeing my name and face in print. Well, I don't. Each time is rewarding and exciting. It's a treat being on the other end of a writer's pen (keyboard?).

What's with all of the in parenthesis sidebar comments today? Like how I put that in italics?

An-t-way...

On the health side of things, I haven't been feeling that great. No surprise there since I've been pretty stressed out. Tomorrow is the MRI I told you about already and Monday I'll see the Rheumotologist. Hopefully she'll have the results of all of my tests along with recommendations and a plan of action.
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Moving checklist

You've just decided to move your family from one state to another, and you have a lot to do. The best thing to start with is making a list before the move starts.

Moving company
Boxes
Packing tape
Hand truck
Final bill payments and due dates

Besides the above there are probably quite a few other things that should go on the list including address labels with your new address on them. During a move you normally have to fill out tons of forms with your old address (use labels you already have) and your new address (won't new ones come in handy?). If you have them printed as soon as your address is finalized you'll save yourself some time and, possibly, a few sore fingers.

They don't have to be boring labels either, you can choose a design that amuses you in the attempts to alleviate some of your moving stress. At 123print.com, you can choose a flag, an empty beach, bubbles, something elegant or even your initials. Whatever you decide on it'll be a welcome sight for your new surroundings.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday's Muse: Stepping back

"This week, if you come upon a problem. Step back (or go to bed) and think things through logically. Trust in yourself to possess the knowledge you need. Trust in yourself to know when you need more knowledge and go do some research." - Heather, at Maternal Spark, wrote this in her Monday's Muse post today.

I've read that quote about a hundred times. Okay, it was about three, but you know what I mean. And although I know the truth in that statement, the things I have been dealing with seem to prevent me from coming to conclusions or finding the solutions. It's possible that I've stopped trusting in myself.

Wow, that's a sad realization.

Is it possible that my financial and personal situation has left me feeling helpless and out of control? Definitely. When things happen and I can't stop them especially when those things have been caused by other people; it feels like I have no recourse.

So, I have to do what Heather says "think things through logically. Trust in yourself to possess the knowledge you need." I think I don't trust my own knowledge because of a decision I made seven years ago and every decision I've made since then that has contributed to my current situation.

It kind of goes along with a comment PJ left for me recently: "ok lady, it's time to pick yourself up and shake it off. seriously,..." So here is me shaking myself off. Or at least trying very hard to. Thanks Heather, PJ, FB, PJ&H, Munch, my sister K and every one of my IRL and blogging friends that refuse to let me mentally drown and give up. I'm taking a step back, assessing the situation and continuing to move forward (Yes, I took a gigantic nervous breath there)... worse case scenario, I can always move in with one of them. ;)
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Research bankruptcy options

When you have the information you need it is easier to make tough decisions. For instance, if you are in a financial bind because of the economic situation then learning about bankruptcy as an option could take a little of the stress off of you. I viewed a site today that provides all types of information about bankruptcy and how to deal with financial challenges. Whatever city you live in then you can investigate an attorney there. For instance, a Dallas bankruptcy attorney can help you if you live in that area. Taking the time to do the research before making such an important decision is essential.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

My kids need a fairy godmother...

... or maybe just a real godparent.

I envision godparents as angels. A longtime friend, caring aunt or a trusted cousin who gives your child the care, nurturing, love, guidance, fun and stuff that parents just can't, won't or shouldn't provide.

I'm sure that's what's missing from my younger children's lives.

This weekend has been really sucky for me. I could say the last two years have been, but I'm trying not to be extremely negative. I am in a bad mood, there are quite a few financial and personal problems, and my brain hurts from trying to figure everything out.

Well, just because things aren't going right for me doesn't mean my children are going to act any differently. In fact, it seems like they're even more rambunctious than usual. A godparent would/could occupy their time. All I had for them to do was a birthday party Friday evening.


One of the children in my 4-year-old daughter's class had a birthday party at a local skating rink. The kids had a ball... I - on the other hand - sat there wishing I was sitting on a rock staring at the sky. There was a little glimmer of fun somewhere down inside as my love for skating began to resurface. Of course it was extinguished by the small ugly voice that lives inside my head that said, "Skating? You don't even have money for them to play games..."

See, that's why they need a godparent.

When I woke up yesterday morning with a chip on my shoulder, a godparent would have swooped in, treated the kids to the dollar menu at a local fast food restaurant and tired them out until bedtime. Instead they were subjected to my evil eye all day. When I opened my eyes this morning and wished I could sleep 12 more hours, a godparent would have showed up with a cup of coffee (it's special 'cause I wouldn't have had to make it), gotten the children dressed, taken them to church, made sure they ate dinner and brought them home just in time for bedtime. And, if the godparent was really good, they would already be bathed, lotioned and already to snuggle in until the next morning.

Unfortunately, besides the party, all I had planned was knowing they would eat three meals and two snacks. They could watch a movie if they asked. Remember to have them clean up their toys. And... keep them from hurting themselves and each other.

I'm really not that much better when I'm in a good mood. Well, okay, my conscious won't allow me to tell that lie and some people may not realize I'm (somewhat) joking.

Seriously, it would be nice to have someone who is always there for the children and who cares a little about me as a parent (not to mention as a person). I guess I'm just having one of those moments. I wrote the following comment on Grammology's blog and it sort of explains or reveals how I'm thinking right now: "You know, I don’t think I really care about my funeral or anything surrounding it. I just want someone to turn away the people who come to my funeral who never showed up when I needed them in life. That way, there will hardly be anyone there."

Maybe I'm the one who needs the fairy godmother.
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