WHAT HAVE I GONE AND DONE?

04/30/2012

WHAT HAVE I GONE AND DONE?

I must say that I think that sometimes I live life a little too much on the edge. In addition to the other blog I posted about not trying things on, well it brings something else to mind.

The day of my wedding, we all had our dresses and all the guys had their linen pants and shirts and we were all ready to rock and roll. I was getting a little stressed out because I had pretty much done everything for my entire wedding. I did everything from handmade party favors/thank you favors to the photography for our invitations to making the centerpieces. My parents disappeared due to some family circumstances mid-way through all the wedding stuff and needless to say, didn’t show up for the wedding. I will be posting a blog on that one because it is a story you WON’T believe.

So as we are getting ready, my bridesmaid Crystal was putting on her dress and asked me to zip it. I don’t think she had tried it on yet. (Remember, we don’t try things on!) I guess she got that wonderful habit from me. So she calls for me to zip her dress up and well, it wouldn’t zip. The causative factor for it not zipping was not the fact she had gained weight. The zipper was broke. What on earth were we going to do was all I could ask myself.

So she made some calls around to some of the local seamstresses and was able to get an appointment right up the road. So in the midst of her picking up our flowers, she had to run to get her dress fixed and do all of this other running, which we had not planned on having to do.

If I had it to do over, I probably would still pull the same trick but I previously said that one day something would come up for me to learn my lesson of not trying things on, so maybe this was it!

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EAT YOUR PEAS

04/29/2012

EAT YOUR PEAS!

I admit, I have been on a bit of a “fish kick” here lately. The new fish tank (well new fish) has me quite consumed. Like I have any extra time to be doing anything else :O

I had mentioned in an earlier blog about how I found out my black banded Leporinus would love peas. I tried it and it works. I honestly just witnessed it. I found out yesterday the ammonia in his tank is pretty high but Buzz has been through quite a lot so I know he will pull through. I took a water sample in for them to test and the guy who tested it said it looked like what he called “Mardi Gras” water. In theory, this means the water test shows purple, green, yellow-orange and I think the other was blue.

So I did his water change last night and am going to get him a heater for the tank so he will be much happier. They get tons of light because my upstairs where I have both tanks get so much light they recommended me closing some blinds and turning off the light on the tank. Have a tiny bit of algae bloom going on in the 65-gallon one but it will subside. The water test on it came out just about perfect, with the exception of the pH, which is common for everyone in Roanoke, Virginia.

Enjoying his new clear, less ammonic water, he looks so happy. Before heading out to dig up some dandelion “trees” that I have in my front yard, I figured it was time for Buzz’s daily dose of peas. I give them to him sometimes a couple times a day, just depending on how fast he eats them.

I know it sounds funny for a fish to be happy but when you go from eating all your neighbors to your own big tank, it is a much more ideal situation. Plus, I don’t lose my other fish babies. So when your black-banded Leporinus seems to be having a bad day, change the water and make him eat his peas!

I’M NOT TRYING IT ON

04/29/2012

I’M NOT TRYING IT ON

Now I am definitely a girl who looooves to shop. I mean LOVES to shop. Now over the past few years, I have slacked off on my wardrobe because we have been doing some upgrades to our home and I haven’t been as motivated.

I have a little story and a little confession. I HATE trying on clothes. I am one of those people that can pretty much tell if something is going to look like I would like it to, on the rack. Yes, on the rack. There have been some visits, though few and far between, that have been taken to return clothing that just didn’t work.

The amazing part to this story is the fact that I was recently married 09/10/11 (couldn’t resist the date!) and I got my bridal gown and was tickled to death with it. We had a beach theme wedding and our wedding colors were ivory, tan/beige, chocolate, cornflower and I wore royal blue wedding shoes, which by the way, I loved. Did I try on the shoes? Of course not. Did I try on the dress? Well absolutely not! I ordered it online.

The downside to this? Well now that I have terrified anyone and everyone probably out there getting married with such a crazy idea, for those who have this idea, make sure if you order it online that you give it plenty of time. I got it in time and everything was fine because I ordered it early enough. However, when I was putting the order in, it was the last one they had in my size. Scary stuff.

Now the bridesmaids’ dresses, they were all done online, too. Those were extenuating circumstances because I had a friend going through a real tough time strapped for cash and lived almost an hour away, another one that lived in Charleston and my close friend, we just were on opposite schedules. Everything worked out beautifully EXCEPT we almost didn’t get the dresses in time. They were literally having to call the other stores in the U.S. and have them shipped to a location where they could be picked up. One of them we even had to overnight but in the long run, it all turned out okay. I happened to be lucky and have some pretty laid-back bridesmaids, too. They weren’t worried about trying anything on with me or whatever, so it just suited the situation.

Surely one of these days, I will have a situation happen where “I’m not trying it on” is going to be a disturbing factor in that it could end up being a regret. In the meantime, I’m sticking with my gut thought and will pick it off the rack and head on home and put my new clothes on and be a happy girl.

JUST FEELS LIKE HOME

04/28/2012

JUST FEELS LIKE HOME

I didn’t move around much as a child so I guess that is why when something finally feels like home, I’m settled.

I had always said as a little girl that I couldn’t WAIT until I was 18 and that I was moving out. I constantly told my mother this and she would reply, “Let me know and I will help you pack your bags”. I had a good home life and didn’t want for anything. I wasn’t really a “brat” but my parents made sure I had most of what I wanted. They taught me good ethics and how to work for what I wanted, also.

So off to college at the ripe age of 18 (barely) and in a new world. I went to a private college locally so I didn’t HAVE to move. I met my first roommate in college, however and she thought it would be a great idea for us to get a place to live together. I fell for it. Stupid me.

We had an awesome place that was huge. We only paid a little over $400 a month and definitely got our money’s worth. Time went on and I realized way after the fact that I had moved out too soon. I was young and dumb and didn’t make the best decisions. Plus, I had gotten an insurance settlement which was way too much for an 18-year-old to have.

My roommate of five years then gave me about a month’s notice saying she was going to be moving back home, which was miles and miles away. I at that point didn’t want a roommate and wasn’t going to have one. I then had a co-worker’s son who had the same precise situation happen and needed a roommate so I gave in. He ended up hitting my car and denying he did it, despite the burgundy paint on his truck bumper. But that’s another story. Needless to say, he wasn’t my roommate very long.

I then had one more roommate and then decided I was completely done with roommates. I am a really outgoing person and LOVE people but just not living with them. I liked having a place that if I cleaned it, it stayed clean. She moved out and my landlord then informed me (after living there 6 years, I think) that she was selling the place and was giving me my notice to vacate. I was devastated because it had become “home” for me. I then relocated, still on my own and lived there even longer than the place before. I had awesome neighbors and loved living there but then I got stuck with a not-so-pleasant downstairs neighbor and that made the situation not quite the one I wanted to be in.

I then met my now-husband and we got a place together, got engaged, then married. We now live in a home that just today I was thinking…”this just feels like home”. Everything has its place. Everything has come together. We have pretty much all we need. When it “just feels like home”, you know you are in the right place and in my case, with the right person. =)

GOOD POINT

GOOD POINT

04/27/2012

Time and time again I have seen advertisements on why today’s children are obese. I was sitting here watching HBO and there was a commercial about some program coming on discussing children and obesity. Then, as I am doing my usual social media addiction work, I find something someone shared that totally makes sense.

Sure there are reasons why anyone struggles with obesity. Could be health problems, depression, chemical imbalances, lots of things. The post that was shared though was based on something that cannot be argued.

Let’s face it…kids don’t have a lot of money usually unless their parents are just handing it out left and right. I came from a family where I worked for my money. I had my first job when I was 16 and worked since. I bought every car I have owned, despite the first one I only paid $700.00 for. I am thankful for this because I have learned to appreciate things so much more.

I try to avoid fast food myself at all costs because I have struggled with my own weight. Seems everything I try doesn’t work. Avoiding fast food has been a big help, though. As you look at the menu these days, the salads on a menu are $5-6, while you can get a burger combo or even just a burger for a buck. Not only is fast food convenient but the worst things for you are the cheapest. Now this makes total sense because you shouldn’t have to pay for garbage that you are putting in your body but a kid could eat four times having a dollar burger than having a healthy salad.

A lot of blame goes to the parents for letting their children eat whatever they want. While I am sure a lot of that goes on, there are way more evident reasons for children making the decisions they do. When I was a kid, I didn’t like salads so probably no matter what price they were, I wouldn’t have bought one anyway. Back in those days though, salads weren’t usually something you could order at a fast food restaurant.

So this all boils down to is it really a child’s fault for their obesity? I feel that there are some poor decisions that are made by children sure and their parents and whoever else is to blame. I can so see the reasoning behind any child that would make a decision to go a cheaper route for a meal, especially if, to them, it achieves the same thing.

RAISING FISH BABIES

RAISING FISH BABIES

I am not too sure how many people out there have fish tanks. BIG fish tanks. I happen to have bought a 65 gallon freshwater fish tank from one of my old bosses a few years ago. While I understood that fish tanks are quite a bit of work, I just could picture myself sitting on the couch, gazing at the fish, not realizing the work that would be involved.

The tank started out as a saltwater tank and was later converted to freshwater. It is absolutely beautiful and amazingly crafted but I sorta let it get out of hand. I had Pearl, Liberty, Favre (in favor of my husband’s football team at the time), Tigger, Clementine, Sucka (the pleco), Jaws and Buzz. Sadly, all of them were eaten by Buzz. I don’t remember all of the species but Tigger was a clown loach and Jaws, Liberty and Favre were all Australian Rainbows. I miss them terribly and it broke my heart because I thought it was me that was killing them and then Buzz was just eating them to rid the remains, as that is what some fish do.

I have since read that Buzz can be very aggressive. He is a black-banded Leporinus. I finally watched as the last fish disappeared (Sucka) and Buzz would peck away at him. I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do but finally one morning I woke and Sucka was gone, leaving nothing but Buzz and this huge tank.

I then later went and got more fish and went through the norm of getting them adapted to a new tank. Again, all fish were devoured. I again thought it was something I was doing wrong. When I bought the fish, I also incorporated some new plastic plants (I don’t like the real ones) and the green from them infested the water. In other words, they “faded”. I had the water checked and other than it looking fluorescent green, it was just fine.

I recently went to the pet store, this past Sunday and explained my story. I had found some baby rabbits that the mother had deserted and tried to nurse them and had them in their own 10-gallon aquarium, without the water, of course. So I had a spare aquarium in our storage building that I had no use for, at the time. The guy at the pet store suggested to give Buzz his own tank, since it seemed that he wanted to be alone and he had been trying to express that, sadly.

So I did the conversion over to Buzz’s new tank and he loves it. I also found out in doing some research on Buzz that he would probably LOVE cooked peas to eat. So I figured he was tired of eating other fish and why not give him something he would prefer? I have tried the cooked peas (just in a can) and he loves them, just as I had been advised.

In the meantime, I also got five new babies…I got a Redwag, a Dalmatian Molly (I named Dr. Spot), a Guppy, a Platy and a Von Rio Tetra. I soaked the plastic plants in warm salt water, which helped to get rid of the rest of the green fading and also salt water washed the gravel to bleach everything without harsh chemicals. I have to add some salt to the water anyway and the pet store said I would be fine as long as I washed everything afterward really well.

I now have five new swimming fishies that are soooo happy! I have sat here on the couch now for hours just watching them swim. Talk about relaxation!! It has been several years since I have seen such active fish! I will be getting some more new babies in about a month after the tank cycles enough and to make sure the water stays in good condition. In a few weeks, I will have Glass Cats (which are totally awesome see-through fish!), a Lemon Tetra, a Black Phantom Tetra, a Head and Tail Light Tetra, Neon Tetras, a Pleco and a Red Eye Tetra. I may end up adding more later but that will be the complete set-up here soon! Stay tuned for their progress!!

HOW’S THE WEATHER?

04/26/2012

 

HOW’S THE WEATHER

 

Well, I will tell you how the weather is!  It’s rainy, dreary, yucky and it’s causing my head to hurt.  The weather has always made me headache prone.  How’s that for weather?  Anyone else feel the same?

 

I have always been subject to headaches and usually the bad kind.  Yep, you got it…MIGRAINES.  I have been through years of medicines that didn’t work and years of pain.  I have found a few things that work (for me, at least) and figured they were worth talking about.

 

Have I found some of this along my terrible road of migraines?  Yes.  However, I couldn’t even begin to tell you where I may have found it but I will try to let you know what I found on my own by trial and error.

 

I once was told to make a very small, very strong cup of coffee.  Let’s face it, caffeine of any sort can make a migraine worse.  Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t.  For the most part, it didn’t.  I tried all the heavily caffeinated drinks (the yellow/green ones) and that didn’t seem to help things let up, either.  Despite the fact there are medicines out there that have caffeine in them, apparently this just isn’t the road for me.  I am allergic to Acetaminophen too, so that limited me on what I could take without dying.  I ended up in the ER once and don’t wish to go through that again. 

 

To give just a small list of the medicines I have tried, here are just a few:

 

Imitrex (nose spray form, injection and tablet, also a migraine med)

Zomig (migraine med)

Vicoprofen (anti-inflammatory)

Fentanyl Citrate (normally used for breakthrough cancer pain)

Fiorinal (actually for tension headaches)

 

What did I find worked the most?  Unfortunately the Vicoprofen and Fentanyl Citrate, which are narcotics.  There are tons of bad things that come with narcotics, obviously.  Also, the fact that the Vicoprofen  is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, well, we all know what that does to your stomach.

 

So I eventually had to stop the Vicoprofen and everything else and try to find a more natural way to deal with these malicious migraines.  I started experimenting with massage to the temples, the back of the neck and manipulating pressure points.  The pain would be localized to the back of my neck, just below where the bottom of my skull is.  I’m sure there is a more technical name but the areas that are rounded at the bottom of my skull is what I would focus on. 

 

I found a temporary solution as well, that I got from one of the health food stores.  It is called “Migrastick” and a co-worker of mine from overseas had let me use it and it worked pretty well.  It is like an essential oil and has a minty fragrance.  I had read that mint teas and mint aromas could dissipate a migraine, so maybe that is why it worked so well.  You apply it to the back of your neck (it is a small roll-on tube like old-fashioned lip gloss), your temples and in between your eyebrows.  Bad thing was, I ended up breaking out from using it on my forehead and had to stop using it.

 

Oddly, I found a technique that seemed to let the pain up.  I had rolled over in my bed one day grasping at any relief I could find and I happened to push my nose up against the railing of my waterbed.  I found myself pushing the tip of my nose upward and it was letting up on the pain.  I have a deviated septum so this could explain that.  Just another odd-ball finding that I thought I would share.

 

I had read once (again I forget where) to put water in straws and freeze them and bite on them when you have a headache with your back teeth.  Failed.   To add to the failure, it really is a pain to fill those straws up because you have to cut them and then burn the ends to seal them shut trying to seal all the air out you can. 

 

I also tried acupuncture.  I was in a car wreck about 22 years ago which could explain a lot, also but someone had suggested chiropractics and my chiropractor also did acupuncture.  Again, pain relief to no avail.

 

I had also resorted to Magnesium.  I read in something my doctor gave me that low magnesium can help contribute to headaches.  I was taking pretty large doses and wasn’t really making any difference. 

 

So, still in search of what I could do to eliminate the aggravating pain.  I then tried a baggie of ice to the back of my neck and that works pretty well.  A heating pad wrapped around the top of my head worked pretty well, too.  Figuring out which one to use is the tricky part.  Usually I will know within a few minutes which I need to use. 

 

While still not happy with my results, I was out shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond and found this handy little thing that has really been a lifesaver for me.  It is made by a company called Earth Therapeutics.  It has a “loop” strap or “handle” on each end.  The tag says it is made out of 100% cotton.  The body of it is probably 2.5 inches wide and probably 2.5-3 feet long.  The fabric is super soft to the touch and feels like chenille.  One of the best things about it is you can microwave it or put it in the freezer.

 

While this worked, the results weren’t quite where I would like them to be.  So, I managed to find another goodie…a shiatsu pillow.  Now, it is quite painful but you wouldn’t believe the tension it relieves.  I can’t remember where I got it, maybe Macy’s?  It has a little heat function but there are round rotating mechanics in it that massages your neck and I tell ya, it has to be the best thing since sliced bread.

 

This may or may not help anyone out there struggling with migraines or headaches but I know what I am about to do…head to the microwave and dig out my pillow!!

 

 

PRESCRIPTION OR GENERIC?

04/24/2012

 

PRESCRIPTION OR GENERIC?

 

I will let YOU be the judge.  Tonight I had decided I was done with the allergies.  I had to run out and deliver a CD from an album shoot I had last Friday and figured it would be best to go ahead and stop by the drug store while I was out.

 

In the past, I’ve had doubts on how well a generic prescription works.  I do still feel that generics do not work quite as well as a prescription.  Is it a matter of opinion?  Yes.  It doesn’t mean enough for me to spend hours on end researching it.  However, it did spark up quite a bit of conversation tonight and thought I’d share.

 

I usually try to share whenever I find a good deal or sale or even a cool idea.  When I stopped for allergy medicine, I knew what I wanted but when I found out what price I was going to get it for, there was definitely no changing my mind.  I usually buy the CVS brand Cetirizine.  Why?  I have tried every allergy medicine known to man, pretty much.  For the past several years, the only thing I have been able to get to work and fast, has been this product.

 

What was so cool about it was the fact it was buy one get one free and the bottles didn’t expire until 2013.  I bought the 30-count because that was the one that was on sale and I don’t usually need that many.  So, I got home and shared on social media and I had several people asking my thoughts on generics and name brands, etc.

 

I am curious to know what others have found and if anyone out there has had as good of luck as I with the medicine.   Again, could I spend hours looking for the answers to my questions?  Sure can but I like to talk and that’s just that!  And in a nutshell, it is the generic in this allergy medicine for me!!

WHAT IS CONFIDENCE?

04/22/2012

 

WHAT IS CONFIDENCE?

 

Since I switched careers, it has been a whirlwind of confusion.  It is so hard sometimes to convey things without being overconfident.  You have to be confident in a job, no matter what it is.  If you aren’t confident, then your clients and customers can’t believe in you.  It seems these days that positivity and confidence has become so intertwined that so many things can be misinterpreted.  Whatever happened to the days when “I can and I will” was seen as positivity?  Just a simple good outlook on life?

 

Why you ask?  I guess because sometimes things in the past can leave a bad taste in your mouth.  I am so afraid these days to say a thing about anything I do because to others, it may be boastful.  To some I guess it could be annoying.  Possibly could even make people mad.

 

I giggle and think back to the days when a friend of mine would say, “Mindy, we have been friends for how long now? “  In discussing how long it had been, she would reply, “You don’t have to explain to me you aren’t being conceited.”  I guess it has become so hard to express yourself.

 

Funny thought on this that I have asked myself all my life, “if you are not happy with yourself, how can anyone else be happy with you?”  No matter what size you are, what race you are, what religion you believe, NONE of that matters.  Not even what is in that noggin of ours.  Why?  Because confidence is not about what you believe,  it’s about who you believe.  And you believe in yourself.  If you don’t, you should.

 

For a period of time, I was afraid to talk about the good things in my life for fear of how they would be interpreted and how it may seem boastful.  Hey, we all know about those people who like to make others think their life is a fairytale.  Well, mine’s no fairytale but if I am happy about it, I don’t hide it anymore.

 

I have come to realize that there are times in life where it doesn’t matter what other people think.  The people who are meant to be in your life will always be and those who don’t belong will work their way out, one way or the other.

KLEENEX TO THE RESCUE

04/21/2012

 

KLEENEX TO THE RESCUE

 

So after a sulky day of rain and having to cancel my “Spring Fling” spring photo sessions with the baby chickens, my husband and I joined some good friends for birthday celebration.  A close golf buddy of my husband’s birthday was last weekend but we all got together for him tonight to celebrate his birthday.  We had dinner at a restaurant about 20 miles from where we live.  Mac and Bob’s has been around for years but for some unknown reason, I probably have eaten there only about three or four times in my life.

 

I recently posted about the “Emotional Concoction” and this is a sequel to that post, unfortunately.  I always have had nightmares of families who adopt children and have to end up giving them back.  Well, that nightmare came true for the couple that we met up with tonight.  They recently adopted a two-year-old young boy.  Now I must say I am unclear to the precise details but definitely wasn’t going to ask tonight.

 

We sat there enjoying dinner and talking and catching up some and I asked to see pictures of the little fella because I just knew they had them.  They have four other children and are wonderful parents, so I had to see him.  I knew he would have smiles and be so happy in the pictures.  And he was!  The most precious little thing.  Big ol’ brown eyes and a huge smile on his face, enjoying every minute of life.   I was telling them how cute he was and how exciting it must be.  So his “dad” walked down to chat with us, since we were sitting at the end of the table.  He sadly informed us that he thinks that the child’s aunt is coming to take care of him and that they will be losing him.

 

I almost couldn’t make it through dinner without the Kleenex.  My eyes felt like they were flooding and my heart was just dying for them.  I cannot imagine being so attached to a child and having to have someone come and take them out of my life.  I am all for families taking care of the children but it would have to be so hard to deal with.

 

My husband and I discussed it on the way home and I had told him how I had just written my blog the other day about how sad it would be and how difficult to have someone “take” the child from the adopting parents.  I told him I just didn’t think there would be any way that I could handle it.  I can only imagine what it would be like for someone who couldn’t have babies and had to adopt.  What if it were their only child?  I can’t imagine.

 

I thought then about the possibility of maybe having one child and then adopting a second.  I don’t think it would be any easier, though, even still having a child to have around.

 

My heart breaks for the two of them.  They are such a wonderful family and this newest addition would have made things perfect.  I know there are tons of people with tons of different feelings out there.   I just was devastated when I heard the news.