Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reflecting On Our Words.

My friends and I (Flygirl, Miruspeg, Octamom and AVTCoach) are embarking on this year long joint venture this month.

We are working together to create posts about our word of the year. This was inspired by the Zen in You (Caroline) where we each picked a word to inspire, motivate or direct us through the year.

This month we have decided to use a form of poetry called an acrostic to express our take on our special word. The following are our contributions to this effort:

Miruspeg from Middle Aged Ramblings

B elieve in yourself.
A llow the positive energy to flow your way.
L ook, learn, laugh and Love.
A lways allow for a few stumbles along the way.
N ever give up or stop trying.
C limb that mountain, till you reach the top.
E njoy the journey.

Octamom of Octamom(c)
xxoN a

AVTCoach from This Abundant Life

*A*tone for your hurtfulness.
*B*id farewell to judgment.
*U*tilize your mind.
*N*otice your surroundings.
*D*raw on support from friends.
*A*cknowledge* *the gifts of others.
*N*ullify negativity.
*C*reate moments of meaning.
*E*mbrace the little things.

McMgrad89 (me)
D evelop better habits of daily living.
I nform friends of my plans. They will keep me accountable.
S leep at least 7 hours a week night.
C ook 5 days a week.
I mpossible will no longer be a part of my vocabulary.
P lan weekly meals.
L eave the house on time to relieve stress.
I nactivity will not be tolerated.
N ew sneakers will be purchased immediately!
E xercise at least three days a week

Flygirl of Moments in Time

Freedom to enjoy life’s precious moments.
Acceptance of God’s plans.
Imagining the possibilities.
Trusting that my life is in God’s capable and loving hands.
Humbling myself as I relinquish control.

Joy is…

It is my prayer that each one of us moves closer toward our goal for the year. If you have not had a chance to go to Caroline and Zen in You, please do. Choose a word for growth or change. Let us know about it, too. There is strength in numbers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


There are so many different kinds of pens out there. Most people find themselves on the never ending hunt for the perfect pen.

Take this pen for example.

It came with this notebook.

Therefore, I feel some sort of moral obligation to make sure it stays attached to this book. It has a kraft paper covering, and it certainly is stout enough to hold onto, but I find the length a little too short, giving it an odd center of gravity. A pen's center of gravity determines how small or large I write. I am not a fan of small writing, but handwriting that is too large tends to make its author appear a little bit juvenile - in my humble opinion.

Other things to consider when choosing the perfect pen are color, fineness of point, smoothness of ink flow and roller vs. felt-tip. (We shall leave fountain pens out of this discussion as those who prefer them seem a bit too sophisticated for this discussion. ☺)

When I pick up most pens, I generally assume they have black ink espcially since I teach school, and all records must be completed in black ink. This is why it is always a shock, as it was with this pen, to find a color other than black. Most colored pens warn you with a similarly colored lid, "Hey, I'm red, or blue or even green!" Not this pen. It was running around completely incognito with its black plastic ends and brown kraft paper wrapping, waiting for some unsuspecting victim to pick it up to complete an official "NO WHITE OUT" document only to find out IT'S NOT BLACK - IT'S BLUE!!!

So beware fellow scribes. That pen you are about to pick up may be a wolf in sheep's clothing, bleating away, "I'm BLA-A-A-ACK, I'm BLA-A-A-ACK,' only to have you pick it up and hear it howl, "I'm BLU-U-U-UE."

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I Saw this on SassySasha's blog the other day and thought I would see what I had accomplished on this list of 100 things.

It reminded me of the movie The Bucket List which I had not seen until last night. I had avoided seeing it since it came out around the time my father was sick in the hospital.

Now this is not my bucket list, but it was interesting to read Sasha's and then mine and see what we had in common and to learn some interesting things about her too.

Please feel free to copy this to your blog and let others have a little peek into your life.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Held a praying mantis
9. Climbed a mountain
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - still working on Norwegian
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48.Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Walked in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check ☹
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published in a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a Whiner!

I know it...I can't help it, but I am making a concerted effort to stop whining in one particular area of my life and that is how far and how often I have to drive to get my children's various therapies.

On my son's third birthday, he was not talking very much if at all. He had many ear infections and the pediatrician referred him for speech and hearing testing. After several referrals and tests, the health plan agreed to provide him with speech therapy.

Rewind. My beautiful daughter had always been a little different. At age three, she could stare straight through you. My cousin's husband scolded her in a very strong voice (loud enough to make my heart stop,) but it didn't faze her in the least. She just kept staring at him like he was the one with the problem. I didn't think much of it but noticed over the years her inability to pick up on social cues, observe personal space boundaries, handle even the slightest change in plans, and many other assorted oddities that I couldn't explain away. By the time she was 9, I had to take her to the pediatrician for my concerns. After trips to the psychiatrist and therapist, we found she was on the mild end of the autism spectrum with Asperger's Syndrome. Now I have taught a few children with Asperger's, so in the scheme of things, I have found she is not as severe as others, but it was still a condition I wanted her to have help with.

Thus began the weekly, then bi-weekly, finally monthly visits to the therapist for my daughter. Then my son began his bi-weekly visits for speech therapy. I began to complain inwardly then outwardly about having to drive the 36.2 miles from my town to the hospital, especially when gas was $4 a gallon. People were sympathetic to my "plight," so I continued my whining.

This morning, I heard a man named Jeff on the radio that made me change my tune. The station I listen to has been putting together their own little record book of things like, "Which listener has given birth to the most children?" (Octamom would have had the winner beat.) Or "Which listener has the longest commute?" This turned out to be a man who drives 3 hours and 26 minutes (according to mapquest) from home to work four days a week. What would possess a person to do such a thing, you might ask? Well I heard the most touching thing ever. Jeff worked for the State of Texas for many years when he had a daughter with special needs. In 1999, he moved to Azle, TX to be nearer to his daughter's healthcare provider at Cook Children's Hospital. He only had 10 years until retirement (which in the Texas system is a good deal.) So for the past ten years he has driven three and a half hours each way to work and back just so his daughter can have the best care possible for her special needs. I can't imagine the dedication it would take to make this commute one year, let alone 10 years. He certainly deserves to be recognized even if it is just on a local radio show's website.

I wish Jeff well and will continue to use his daily pilgrimage as a reminder that there are bigger problems out there than my having to drive a measly 36.2 miles to have my children's needs taken care of.

Thank you Jeff for giving me a much needed reality check.


Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.

~ Gary Zukav ~

Monday, January 12, 2009

How am I Doing?

Just a short post to look at my goal of Cooking 5 days a week.

  • Saturday 1/10 - Sliders (mini burgers)
  • Sunday 1/11 - Chicken Noodle Soup (had enough leftovers for two lunches)
  • Monday 1/12 - Rice and Polish Sausages w/ Beans is slated for tonight.
  • Tuesday 1/13 - Spaghetti (using ground turkey for the meat)
  • Wednesday and Thursday I am not usually home, but if I start thinking now, I could make a crock pot meal.
  • Friday is still up in the air.

Okay, I am off to look up crock pot meals and to get my menu planned for next week, too.

(Yes, Peggy. I have made a list.)

Post Note: I found a nice site to plan my meals for a week, get recipes and add the necessary ingredients to a saved shopping list. Wednesday is now broccoli stuffed baked potatoes and Thursday is "Pigs in a Blanket" because I can prepare the "Pigs" ahead of time and store them in the fridge until I get home for a quick meal with James and they will stay warm in the toaster oven until Gary and Caitlin get home from dance. Then I can run off to dance myself. That's the plan for now.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


What does that word mean?

1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.
3. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.
4. A systematic method to obtain obedience.
5. Discipline aims at the removal of bad habits and the substitution of good ones, especially those of order, regularity, and obedience.
6. Training to act in accordance with established rules; accustoming to systematic and regular action; drill.

How does that fit into my life?
Definitions 1-4 are more in fitting with my daily life at school, but I am currently working on definition #5 - removing bad habits and substituting them with good ones.

The bad habits are numerous and include:
  • Drive Thru Restaurants
  • Sweet tea
  • Internet Usage
  • Couch Potato Lifestyle
  • Procrastinating
  • Spending Money
  • Staying up late
The good habits I would like to replace them with:
  • Cooking at least 5 days a week
  • Drinking Water
  • Exercise
  • Reading books
  • Playing with my children
  • Sticking to my plans
  • Saving Money
  • Go to bed no later than 10 p.m. on weekdays
I enrolled in Ashley Wren's "Love Yourself in 2009" over at Scrappin' Style TV. Everyday she gives us a little activity to do to get us thinking about our year's goals. There is a whole lot more to the program, but basically it is an accountability system as well as a motivational tool.

Each day I have been writing down my thoughts and feelings about food and my activities. Ashley even has us making our own contracts based on our year's goals. I still have yet to do mine. (Go back to my bad habit of procrastination.) It will get done, just don't know when yet. :-)

Well, I am off to help my daughter fight the same habits. I'll keep you posted on my endeavors. Best wishes with yours.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reinforcements Have Arrived!

So this is what a grocery cart looks like when I am able to go to the market without worrying about my three year old running away. My refrigerator isn't going to know what to do when the vegetable bins are full of produce.

For once, I already know what I will be serving for dinner this week without including a trip through the drive-through. I can actually pack a lunch and not rely on school cafeteria "pot luck."

What has brought on this miraculous change? My husband is home! I was actually able to go to the store without making an event of it - no packing a change of clothes for a still potty training boy or playing hide and seek through the dairy section.

Before reinforcements came from the Philippines in the form of my wayward husband, I would only go to the store when we were out of milk or cereal. I would do it on the way home from school between dance classes and the picking up the youngest from daycare.

This is my first step in my journey toward a more disciplined way of living. My friends, Octamom, AVTCoach, Roban, Miruspeg and I have each chosen a word to explore as a way of life .

AVT Coach.(This Abundant Life).....Abundance
Miruspeg.(Middle Age Ramblings)........Balance
Roban (Moments in Time).......Faith and Joy

I have chosen Discipline. I will be posting at least once a month with these ladies about what role my word of empowerment is playing in my life.

At this time there are too many ways my life needs discipline to explain in this little post. I will, however make another post about it when I have more time.

If you would like to explore a word for your life instead of making a resolution this year, go to The Zen In You for more information.

Friday, January 2, 2009

This Morning

Today is the last real day of my holiday before I have to go back to work on Monday. I have a medium-sized list of things to get done today like laundry, return phone calls, go to the bank, wash my dad's truck, fix some blinds at my mother's, hang a plaque for my mother, contact the body shop....Okay, the list seems to be growing as I type. They are all doable because it is early, and I was smart and took my youngest to daycare.

I was feeling badly about making him go to "school," but I knew I wouldn't get a single thing done if I didn't. The question was how to get him there with as little fight as possible. I was certain that he wouldn't want to go in the car so early in the morning since he has figured out that nothing good comes from getting in the car at sun-up (doctor's appointments, daycare, etc.) Instead we walked to school. It is only ten minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. Of course it wasn't without complication. Three minutes from the school he told me he had to go potty. I had to convince him the school was closer to the house and that strangers wouldn't want a little boy coming into their house so early in the morning just to use their bathroom. When we got across from the school, he sat on the sidewalk and refused to walk any farther. I then had to fib and tell him I had to use the restroom and that couldn't wait any longer, so he gave into my need and crossed the street.

After I left the daycare, I realized I hadn't thought this strategy all the way through. I still had to walk home. It wasn't fun walking into the sunrise. I also forgot that I have a hidden condition that rears it ugly head when I have to exercise early in the morning. My legs break out in hives. The doctors have never been able to do anything about it other than to call it exercise induced urticaria and tell me to take antihistamines. (Duh!)

So here I sit waiting for the antihistamine to kick in so I can go on with the rest of my to-do list. Fortunately phones and computers work while seated with my feet up. I was able to write this blog while hanging on hold with the various offices I had to call today. Too bad I can't drive with my feet up. I would have finished my bank run and made it to my mother's by now.

Note to self: Buy more antihistamine if you want to start exercising for the new year.
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