Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

My favorite Christmas pic of Staci circa 2011

Merry Christmas

     This year was definitely a tough one. There were times I felt like everything was going wrong. Lots of times I could only see the bad. Since I am trying to be healthier, I figure it would be good to look at all the good that has happened this year.  So here we go 😊

·        πŸ’žStaci and I took our first plane trip to Washington D.C. where we got to hang out with friends and see the National Zoo and The Smithsonian.

·       πŸ’ž I got the puppy I have been wanting for so long 😊 My little chihuahua named Honeybee. She is totally adorable and acts completely devoted to me. She is such a treat to come home to. She is always so excited to see me and curl up with me. She makes me feel good.

·       πŸ’ž I learned to mow my own lawn LOL I know this sounds silly and not fun.  It is incredibly draining, usually because of the heat, but after it is done, I feel so accomplished.  Owning my own home is the best.  It is something tangible to show I am doing ok 😊 I love getting to decorate it inside and out.  When the flowers start blooming and the grass is thick and green, I can say “I did that”.

·       πŸ’ž I got a new to me car LOL it is little and red and very smart. So many gadgets and gizmos that I haven’t figured out yet.

·        πŸ’žWe got a raise at work to pay for all the decorating I do LOL

·       πŸ’ž I got to get annual passes to the Disney Parks and SeaWorld for both my kids and me.

·        πŸ’žI got a great visit from my brother, his granddaughter Eva, and our friend Vangie.  We got to go play at Disney together and just reconnect. He and I are closer now.  I learned he likes decorating and cooking even more than me LOL.  I am always picking his brain for recipes to try. Thanks to the above-mentioned car, we talk handsfree whenever we are both traveling somewhere LOL.

·       πŸ’ž I got a new kitten 😊 a pretty little calico named Penelope. She is still shy, but every now and then she will cuddle. 

·       πŸ’ž All of us are doing well in school. Lee even got his first college degree.  Staci is killing the 4th grade, and I made the Dean’s List again LOL.

·       πŸ’ž My neighborhood is fun. I was hoping to live in a place where holidays were celebrated, and we are. Lots of fun seeing all the decorations at Halloween and Christmas.  I can’t wait to see what this area grows into.

·        πŸ’žBest of all for the year is both my kids and I are healthy.  We did not get hit with any major illnesses. They seem happy and enjoying their lives. We have fun together and are close.

So, there are a lot of things that are good that happened this year.  Sometimes when life is hard it is challenging to see the blessings.  It is just a matter of trying to look past the negative to see the positive.  I am going to try and do that more.  I have a nice life and I need to remember that more.  So now I am off to enjoy Christmas with my kids.  We are having a low-key holiday.  No cooking, just a fruit and a veggie tray per kids request.  I did make bacon, eggs, and sausage balls (a family tradition from my Nanny). Now time for presents, coffee, and watching the Disney Christmas Parade.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Build A Bear Bake Shop at the Florida Mall

Build A Bear Bake Shop  
          I did not even know these existed a few months ago, but during our last trip to the Build A Bear Workshop Staci noticed this place under construction.  She apparently had been paying close attention to when it was finished and informed me Monday that it was open for business LOL so off we went on Tuesday to check it out.  I was a little leery about going to the mall a week before Christmas, I figured it would be super busy. It wasn’t so bad. There were the last-minute frantic shoppers, but we still managed to find a place to park.  It is easiest to park by the Crayola Experience entrance and walk in.  
          The Bake Shop is to the left, right in front of Build A Bear of course LOL.  It is a small little kiosk set up. It has four tables and a counter for the kids to make their cupcake creations.  For $12 Staci got to choose two cupcakes, two icing colors, and unlimited sprinkles.  She also got to have a drink from their cooler. I tried to get her to choose the strawberry milk, but she wanted this strawberry essence bubble water instead. Big mistake, it tasted yucky  Next time milk or juice.  They really should have plain water as an option. So back to the cupcakes.  The flavor choices were chocolate, vanilla, or confetti.  She picked confetti and vanilla.  She also chose red and blue frosting.  Here I was thinking she would choose Christmas colors LOL instead we got 4th of July.  The frosting is already in little bags to squeeze out. The tip is snipped off, so it comes out in a narrow line to decorate with.  It is just enough to cover both cupcakes. She had fun squishing the frosting out the showering them in sprinkles.  
          That is the real fun. So many sprinkles to choose from.  You get to start out with two choices, but you can trade them as many times as you want. I would have loved to use them all 😊 After she was satisfied with her creations, she decided to eat one.  She said it was yummy of course LOL.  Once she was done, we looked in the ready-made options.  
          They were cute. They had seasonal ones for sale. A chocolate one piled high with a frosting Christmas tree, a reindeer, and a hot chocolate one covered in mini-marshmallows.  I wanted one of each but refrained 
😊 There is also a small section where you can buy coffee cups and tumblers, as well as a few baking kits.  It did not take a long time to do all they had to offer, maybe 30-45 minutes.  Then the obligatory visit to Build A Bear where I managed to say now LOL. We have enough as it is.  The experience was fun, but not sure worth $12, maybe $10 would be a better deal. Plus throw in a coupon for the store LOL.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday Musings

I Need a Minion

Those little dudes are so awesome.  Most of the time I am very tolerant, quiet, and easy-going person.  I mind my manners both online and off but put me behind the wheel of a car and I become a whole new person, I become Gru LOL.  I have zero tolerance for stupidity on the road LOL. I just want to blow them all up. Florida drivers are notorious for being lousy drivers, so it has become a major issue.  I am even noticing it myself and cringing inside when I get upset.  I do not want Staci viewing me as an angry person, so I am working on that problem.   
Somebody recently posted on Facebook something along the lines of "you can't change how the world acts, but you can change yourself and how you react".  So, I am trying to not yell at the stupid people on the road who can't drive the speed limit, cut me off, or text on their phones while driving. LOL, I think people's license plate should be their phone number, then you could call them and tell them to get off the phone and pay attention to the road. 
So, for now I am trying to be a more tolerant driver, or at least bite my tongue more.   I am also working on how I view situations.   A person really does not know what is going on in another person's life or what they are dealing with.  So being more mindful that while I can't stop them from being stupid, I can at least stop myself from getting overly upset.  All that stress isn't good for me.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Criminal Justice Degree???

Use it or    Lose it  
           My mind that is. The women in my family seem to develop a memory issue as they age, I don’t want that. So, I try and keep my mind active.  I started college when I was 20 years old and have yet to stop LOL.  At first it was to get general education credits while I figured out what I wanted to do in life.  Then it was nursing school to get my BSN degree. That is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in case curious.  After that I started just taking classes that interested me.  
         At one point a few years ago I was in graduate school for a master’s degree in public health.  I finished all the courses, all that was left was an internship and to write a thesis paper.  I could not figure out how I was going to work full time, be a full-time mom, do a full-time internship for 3 months, plus write a 50-page thesis.  So, I never finished degree.  Plus, I could not think of a single topic I liked enough to type 50 pages on LOL I love my kids and I still could not write 50 pages on them.  So, I went back to taking classes that interested me.  
          When Lee started college, I started taking classes with him.  It was a way to bond and do stuff together.  It is fun doing assignments with him. We talked on the way to class, discussed topics together, it is great.  Starting next semester, we no longer get to do that He will be going to an actual class while I am doing online.  Valencia College won’t let Staci sit in classes quietly LOL I don’t want to hold him back from getting his degree. We just finished this semester, we both got an A in Oceanography and Intro to Criminal Justice.  This qualifies him for an Associate of Arts degree now.  Next semester he starts to focus on his paralegal degree.  He is still mulling over idea of becoming a lawyer 😊 then a Judge, so he can get his goofy mom out of trouble LOL.  
          This criminal justice class though showed me I liked the topic.  So next semester I am taking a criminology class and an ethics in criminal justice class.  Both look to be interesting. Who knows, I might end up with a degree in criminal justice LOL not giving up nursing though.  Perhaps I can find a way to combine them in the future.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I Love the Holiday Season

          Are fun.  My brother and I grew up with just our mom, I have no idea how she did it. Looking back now, knowing what I do, I am amazed at how well she hid things from us. She loved us 😊 She hid the fact that we were poor. My brother and I did not know that, we were happy. We had what we needed, I never felt that we lacked anything, it was a great childhood.  Plus, we always had the best holidays.  My mom knew how to decorate beautifully.  The Christmas tree was always so gorgeous.  The only thing missing was a house. We always lived in apartments, even once a trailer.  So, when I bought this house last year it was a big thing 😊 I could not wait to decorate it for the holidays.  I thought I was a bit much in the decorating until this neighborhood LOL it is like National Lampoons Christmas around here.  About 70% of the homes in this community are all decorated, and on my street alone I would say 90% decorated. I am not talking just a few lights, I am talking airplanes can see us in the sky LOL it is great.  I thought Halloween was impressive with all the decorations put up by the neighbors. Plus, we had lots of trick or treaters. I was so proud of my new little community. Then Thanksgiving rolled around, and Christmas exploded all over the community.  There are huge blow up characters everywhere, lights strung up on houses, lights projected onto houses, lights in the trees and bushes, grapevine reindeer galore, music playing from dΓ©cor, plus lots of Disney decorations scattered about.  There is even one house done up in LED lights, I think. They have them programmed for show.  We walked over there and were mesmerized. The front porch was like a projection screen with the lights. They formed realistic animals and a fireplace.  It kept changing to music!!!  It was awesome.   Staci and I watched for about 10 minutes LOL.  I am so happy I was able to buy a home in this community, and even more so that I am on the street that really gets into a holiday 😊 My son is already plotting what to do next year for decorations LOL so if anybody is in the Kissimmee area and wants to see lights or trick or treat next year, let me know and I will give you name of my neighborhood 😊

The video is one I sent my brother to show off my decorations this year :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

S.A.D. but fighting it :)

Good Morning 
It is all bright and sunny today, which makes me feel a whole lot better.  I love the rain, but cold and rain do not mix.  That is why I moved away from places where it was cold and dreary in the winter.  If it is going to be chilly at least have the sun shining.  After the past few days of dark clouds I was so happy to see sunshine when I woke up.  I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) which is depression linked to the changes in the season, generally because of lack of sunlight.  Light therapy is a treatment for it.  I looked it up and the signs/symptoms are:

·         Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
·         Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
·         Having low energy
·         Having problems with sleeping
·         Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
·         Feeling sluggish or agitated
·         Having difficulty concentrating
·         Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
·         Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
No worries about the thoughts of death or suicide, I have kids to live for 😊, but I do get the other ones.  So, I try and find me some sunshine when I can, get outside, and adding in the regular exercise (yep I did 30 min of cardio this morning before coffee).  According to Mayo Clinic you can also take medication, but I did that years ago and hated it.  Doctor gave me Zoloft to take daily and I always felt like I was in the clouds and not in a good way.  I had no feelings good or bad. Thankfully Florida has more sunny days than gloomy.  That is one of the perks of living here.  So currently waiting for my mini me (Staci) to wake up so we can figure out something to do. Disney is out of the equation since we downgraded to weekday passes which blocks out school holidays. We figured we would not want to go on those days any way. Not really warm enough to wander around SeaWorld, the chill keeps the animals in their dens. Maybe Disney Springs 😊 We can look at Christmas Tree Trail again and do the Stitch’s Scavenger Hunt.  We have done it past two years and it is fun. So, time for 2nd cup of coffee and making a bit more noise to rattle Staci out of bed. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Vitamins Are Now More Important Than Ever

Vitamins So today I woke up early, I didn’t want to, but the pets said otherwise.  They will come like my nose until I get up, no matter how hard I try and hide under the blankets.  I am still of a mindset to be healthier. I thought about it all day. All sorts of memes and inspirational sayings to keep me motivated.  I like having something tangible to do though, so I decided I need better vitamins.  I know most nutrients can be obtained through a healthy diet, but my diet isn’t that healthy yet. Plus, apparently women over 50 lose the ability to properly store and/or process vitamins. So, I thought I would get me some I need to maintain a healthier body. After researching these are the ones I came up with as needing now more than ever:
          Vitamin A helps fight infection and maintains healthy eyesight. Will need this to prevent driving like an old lady. Recommended dose 800 mcg.
          Calcium keeps the bones and teeth strong, so I can avoid dentures and broken hips. It also helps keep the heart beating.  Recommended dose 1,200 mg.
          Vitamin C produces collagen which holds tissues together, repairs cells, and strengthens immune system. Don’t want to get sick. Recommended dose 75 mg.
          Vitamin D help maintain strong bones. Again, do not want a broken hip. Recommended dose 400 IU.
          Iron is essential because it helps transport the oxygen to the body. Cells need O2. Not enough will lead to anemia, which lead to a frail weak old lady. Recommended dose 8 mg.
          Magnesium apparently is involved in over 300 enzyme systems that do all sorts of stuff like support immune system, produce energy, regulate blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, and the heat beating properly. All of those are important to staying out of a hospital bed. Recommended dose 310-320 mg.
          Potassium does a lot as well. It regulates fluids and is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.  It transmits nerve signals, contracts and relaxes muscles, and helps achieve a good blood pressure. No wonder we give so much of this at the hospital. Recommended dose 4,700 mg.
          Vitamin B6 is part of over 100 enzyme reactions that help the metabolism. Not enough of this can cause confusion. Definitely need more of this since I already am clueless. Recommended dose 1.5 mg.
          Vitamin B12 is found in every cell of the body. It helps the red blood cells, and most importantly, it keeps the nervous system healthy.  I must be deficient since I am always nervous.  Recommended dose 2.4 mcg.
          Vitamin E apparently decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and helps repair cell damage.  I always thought it aided memory and reduced chance of me getting Alzheimer’s. Either way it is a good one to remember to take, which I rarely do LOL. Recommended dose 8 mg.
          Omega 3 Fish Oil just sounds gross, but women over 50 need it in their diet.  It assists with metabolism, immunity, and cognition. I want to stay smart 😊 Recommended dose 1.1 g.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Today I am (shudder) Fifty Years Old

          OK it has been about a year since I blogged, it has been a rough one, more heartbreak than I ever thought I could handle. Not sure I am handling properly, but I am getting by.  Today is a day I have been dreading for a long time.  I turned 50 years old, half a century.  I know I should be thrilled that I am healthy and fifty, but it is that number that irks me.  I do not feel fifty, well sometimes I do when I first wake up LOL. My brain does not feel 50.  Most days I am the mental equivalent of my 9-year-old daughter LOL.
          For a lot of people, hitting 50 feels like a whole new beginning, me included.  I think it is a time for dreams of what could have been needing to go away and plans for what will be needing to take hold.  My kids are pretty much self sufficient in the day to day tasks.  They can handle alone time, so that leaves me with some alone time.  I like it in the mornings best. I wake up before they do and get a cup of coffee, open the windows to feel the breeze, listen to the world waking up, as I get on the laptop to see what is going on in the world today or do school work LOL. Now that I am 50, I need to make a few adjustments if I want to make it to 60, 70, and beyond…
          So today before coffee I turned on my smart TV to my YouTube channel and played TheFitness Marshall workout routines 😊 I did 30 minutes of light cardio. It was a beginning LOL one I am hoping to make into a daily habit for the next 365 days. After that came coffee and the sound of rain pouring down LOL it has been raining for hours now.  People at the theme parks must be so mad. Oh yeah before I sat down, I checked on my new little kitten.
            Her name is Penelope, but the kids are calling her Penny 😊 she is doing ok, even had a bit to eat finally.  I am hoping she will venture out of the bedroom today.  Just have to protect her from Honeybee. Yes, since last post I got my dog 😊 she is a spoiled lil chihuahua. Definitely a mama’s girl (I love it).

          So, I finally sit down, with my new mindset for being healthier, and went to SparkPeople. I really like that website. Lots of great articles on all sorts of topics, pus a wheel to spin (I love those), and a way to get points for virtual prizes LOL if I could only trade those in for something tangible LOL I would have a new car.  Anyway, the topic of course for today was FIFTY.  I plugged that in to see what popped up.  Not a lot but a few articles to make this decade the healthiest one yet.  It says this stage of life in ideal for revamping fitness and nutritional goals.  So that is what I am going to do:


πŸ’–Don’t be afraid to try something new.
πŸ’–Treat this as a lifelong commitment. Make fitness a lifestyle.
πŸ’–Train the brain, if you don’t use it you lose it.
πŸ’–Find your “why” (for me it’s my kids).
πŸ’–Add more nutrition into your diet.
πŸ’–Choose exercises that make you feel better not worse.
πŸ’–Stay mobile, get outside, act like a kid 😊

          So now I am hoping I can maintain this for 365 days LOL ok let’s just go for a week, and then 2 weeks, then a month. We will work up to a year.  I am also hoping I can get myself to blog more. Maybe I will do a series of blogs relating to being 50 LOL might as well embrace it since it isn’t going to change. Maybe I will though…