Friday, February 27, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday

I know I'm going off the beaten path with this one.  My view is FROM the sky and it was on a Friday, just not today.  The host is Sue from Stay at Home Mom.  I invite you to visit her blog to see others and maybe you'll get inspired and show off your view of the sky or from the sky :-)

This picture was taken from an airplane as we were approaching the Dominican Republic.  This is my native land and I do miss my parents.  I don't remember experiencing the beauty of this island as a tourist would until this trip, well, part of this trip.  I look forward to visiting my parents real soon and maybe I'll come back with more great aerial views.  Look at the colors in the water, the darker the deeper.  I love the green accented with a ribbon of sand.  I want to be there !!  Enjoy the view!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Foodie Friday (Feb 27) - "The Spin Diva Salad"

Foodie Friday is hosted by Designs by Gollum and I learned about it from Susan at the Southern Day Dreamer. I think this is a fantastic idea and a great way to add a few more recipes to my menu. Click on the logo or the link above to see what other great foodies are ready to be cooked up or served up as in my Spin Diva salad named after my nick name because I'm a Spinning instructor and I get really hungry after a hard workout. This really fills me up and taste delicious:

This salad is one of my absolute favorites because it has everything I need to keep me satisfied for hours.

Hearts of romaine
baby spinach
yellow, orange and red bell pepper
Granny Smith apple
egg whites
mozzarella cheese
olive oil and lemon juice!!
* How much you use depends on the size of the salad.
** I often change each of these items for a similar relative, i.e. Mache instead of baby spinach; sliced grapes instead of apples; grilled salmon or chicken instead of egg white; and Feta cheese instead of mozzarella.

Vegetables, fruits, nuts, protein, dairy, and healthy fats - it's all in there!

Beautiful and Delicious! Try it and let me know if you like it the way it is or if you make changes to it, what were they? Maybe I'd like to try your version as well.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday- my back yard

Outdoor wednesday is hosted by Susan.  I love this, I am forced to look outside and share what I see with others.  AND I know I'm so late it's amazing I'm even doing this but I took some pictures yesterday for this very reason so here it goes:

These were taken from my back door.  I love taking close ups of unsuspecting little critters in my yard.

Enjoy and please visit Susan for a long list of people who posted way before me.  One of these days I'll get in on time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Venting about store clerk

Today I went to the pharmacy to pick up a few items I needed and ended with a pretty high bill.  Well, I looked at everything I needed and there was nothing I could put back that I wasn't going to pick up later somewhere else.

As I waited in line I noticed the young clerk making comments about whatever it was the person was buying and then engaging in conversation about how it was on sale last week and he should have come then, etc...

I thought--fine time to tell him and does she feel better now that he knows he paid twice as much for that items.  He obviously needs it or he would not be buying it so let the man go.

Next in line was a lady buying hair products.  The clerk had to make a comment about that too. "oh this was on sale this past weekend, buy one-get one 1/2 off," she said.  The lady looked at her and said "I wish I had known, oh well."  Again, she obviously could care less and maybe she will look in the paper next time, I don't know, who knows.  She was buying the stuff anyway.  The clerk proceeded to tell her that she once used this shampoo and conditioner and it stripped her hair and the mouse left her scalp dry and made it look like dandruff.  The lady replied with, "that's too bad, I've been using these product for a while and never had a problem." Hint Hint girly, mind your own business.

I surveyed what I was buying in anticipation of her comments: PMS relief, eye drops, rewetting drops, vitamins, diapers, wipes among other small items.  Surely she can't make many comments on my purchase.  She rings everything up and gives me my total then says "oh my God, what did you buy?!!"  She was too ignorant to see the daggers coming from my eyes to hers so she continued to comment while I scanned my card, "geezz Louise, I would rather deal with my dry eyes and bad mood then pay all that..ha ha..ha!" I failed to see the humor and her little attitude was really getting on my nerves.

As I was leaving I just said this:  "You're too young to understand what is like to provide for a family of six.  You're lucky you only have to spend money on yourself."  I smiled kindly, no really, I was kind.  I left the store thinking, what right does she have to question what I spend or how much I buy or even why.  That is not her business and she should really focus on providing good customer service and not on making comments about what people buy.

My guess is she's having financial troubles and sees everyone else spending money on something she either can't or wouldn't purchase.  I don't have a full time job and I do have to be thrifty but there are some things you need to have or WANT and if you can afford to get it then by all means, go for it!!

Enough ranting, now I'm going to have a nice day not feeling moody or bloated! :-)  I sure wish I had some Oreo cookies right about now.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Look for the rainbow

Rainbow Birds by Mike Jones

Yesterday was one of those days I wish I had just stayed home wrapped in a blanket with the phone turned off.  It seems everything was going to go wrong and it didn't help that I felt particularly irritable to begin with.

After completing my household chores, you know the usual stuff (vacuum, dusting, taking out trash and decluttering yet another small area of the house) I felt things were going well.  I had a swim lesson later that day, a date with my husband later in the evening, one kid was gone with grandma, the other was busy "cleaning" her room and the little ones were being angels.

Then the phone rang.  It was a dear elderly lady I sometimes help with a ride to the doctors, the groceries, pharmacy, etc.  Her name is Shirley.  Shirley loves to talk, probably because she spends most of her days alone in her house.  She is not allowed to drive, has had one too many surgeries and has more stories under her hat than I can handle. 

She hasn't called in a while and sometimes I feel guilty if I don't call to check on her but I do have a family keeping me quite busy so it is hard to get on the phone for an hour for yet another story. Anyway, she called because she needed a ride to the grocery store.  You have to understand that taking Shirley anywhere means I'll be spending the rest of my day at her beck and call.  I do have plans for my Saturday, can I make this all happen?  I had my doubts, however, I couldn't imagine that poor old woman whose kids choose not to help even though they live within 45 minutes, go without food.  So I called her back and offered to drop her off at the base commissary and she could shop while I ran some errands.  This was a good plan, I jus new it was.

I picked her up with plenty of time for her to cash her check.  No, apparently not.  It took her 22 minutes to cash the darn thing.  I was beginning to doubt my decision to help her.  I dropped her off at the commissary and went on to my swim lesson but I was too late so that didn't happen.  That's OK.  Just means I wont have to do my hair later when I go on my date. I decided she should be done with her shopping, about an hour and a half later so it was time to go pick her up.  
I was going on a military installion when the gate guard said "I can't read your tags, you'll have to go get a pass."  Are you friggin kidding me, I thought. "Well that's clearly a nine," I said. "Sorry, I can't see it, it could be an eight or a six, I don't know."  You're an idiot, I thought again. "Well, umm, even if it was an eight or a six, we are currently in month number two." Logic was a bit too much for this guard and the fact that I proved her wrong wasn't helping either.  She quickly called the other guards and they all escorted me to the office where I could get a day pass.  Once there I realized I didn't have the most current insurance card nor did I have my updated drivers license.  The guard said "let me call my manager," I said, that's OK.  I'll go home and get my husband car.  I quickly left that site driving down the wrong way on a one way road witht he guards chasing me down.  I think they realized it was pointless to add more salt in my wounds and let me go.

Well, now I'm worried that Shirley has been waiting outside the store for over 30 minutes and I'm making her wait.  I felt terrible.  Second time around I get on base without problems.  I did not see her outside so I thought maybe she waited inside.  As I cruise the isles up and down looking for Shirley I finally run into her in isle 10.  We have 12 isles.  WOW, 2.5 hours and she's only on isle 10.  

I stood at the end of the isle and laughed at myself, my day, my thoughts about all that happened were all over the place.  I rushed everywhere, I became irritated, angry, almost in tears and in the end, all was well.  I even got my own shopping done. I figure I could get mine done while she made her way through the last two isles.  Sure enough, we left the store at the same time.

I try to put my own mother in her shoes and hope that if she ever needed help from someone, that they exhibit the same kindness, patience, and give her that listening ear people need to feel like they belong.   Shirley felt happy, in good company, and got all her shopping done, regardless of how I felt before, during, and after helping her.  Some things she didn't need to know.

I missed my swim lesson, we missed our date, however, our neighbors were having a cookout and invited us all over for dinner.  It was nice and it was fun.  I realized that I need to look for the rainbow after the's there and it's beautiful!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On the college trail

Oberlin Conservatory, OH

Westminster Choir College, Rider University, NJ

James Madison University, VA

Oh my gosh, I though we would never stop traveling.  I feel like the whole month of February has come and gone and it's only the 19th.  We decided that, since I'm the control freak (so they say), that I would go with our oldest son, the Musician, on his college interviews and auditions.  In a way, I thought, this is great for me I  only have to worry about one child and he's a grown up now or "an adult" according to the law, yeah, whatever!  

Turns out there was a lot of driving, traffic, snow, long train rides, sleepless nights, and emotional stuff going on during this time.  I never had a chance to just let go. I had to be strong for him - it's what mom's do- when he felt he did poorly and needed a shoulder to let it all just go.  Well, the shoulder was there but he didn't let anything go, not to me anyway. 

I found out recently how much he felt like a failure like he would never make it and how much anxiety he had about auditioning live in front of judges and a camera.  Oh well, I was there to listen and advice but I'm also a parent, I apparently don't get it because in "my day" things were different.  Huh, I thought emotions were around "way back then." Guess I was wrong again.  Oh well, some day he'll grow up and then I'll start to be right in his eyes, or not.

Now we're done with all the college stuff and the anxiety is placed on that letter we're supposed to get stating that he is accepted into that school and even better would be if the letter told him that he will be awarded a scholarship to help pay for his education - now that would be a sweet thing.

For now, I'm glad we're done with the driving; well I'm done with the driving, he's still as driven and ambitions as ever to become the best at what he loves to do most, vocal performance.  My heart just sinks at the thought that my little boy, my first born is on his way to college.  I don't feel old enough for this --OK sometimes I do feel it but time seems to have slipped on by.

I have three more sweeties to enjoy and eventually, hopefully, go on future college trails to get them on the right track to a great future.  I have a long time before the nest is empty.  Now I'm off to take a little break while baby sleeps.  Hot yerba-mate tea sound yummy right about now!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Earth Hour- let's flip the switch together

On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m., local time, World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour -- Earth Hour -- to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate their commitment to finding solutions. Turn out. Take action. Be part of this historic event. 

Excitement is building all over the US and around the world. Here's a quick update on what's developed this week for Earth Hour:

  • More cities turning out: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, St. Louis and the Village of Homer Glen, Illinois. We've heard rumblings from Houston and Seattle as well and would also love to get Washington, DC on board. If you're a DC resident, let Mayor Fenty know you want the city to turn out!

  • Help us turn out the lights on the US Capitol Dome—write to your Senators or Member of Congress.

  • What goes on in Vegas doesn't always stay there: Earth Hour officially launched in Sin City at a press event featuring a Panda Bear and Vegas showgirls. The Strip will indeed go dark for the full 60 minutes—the only time the lights have been dimmed except briefly in 1998 in honor of Frank Sinatra's death.

  • Other city news: Chicago held its official launch event last week, with Mayor Daley again pledging his support. Next up? Nashville, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas!

  • The city of lights goes dark: Paris and 27 other French cities announced they'll take part in Earth Hour, with the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame going dark. A total of 405 cities in 74 countries have pledged to participate—double the number of countries from last year.

  • Download a very cool Shepard Fairey poster: The famed Obama-portrait artist has created a series of "Vote Earth" posters urging people to turn off their lights during Earth Hour. Available at in either the tools or media section.

  • EH for kids, too: In addition to creating teaching guides for K-12 students, we've also created a special section of the website just for young people. Check it out at, where there's information about how students can promote Earth Hour at their school or within their community.

  • And don't forget to mark your calendar...Earth Hour is March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm. Turn out. Take action.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Endorphins - the feel-good hormone

You know, when I'm feeling blue and don't know what to do I reach for...well I just go to the gym and exercise, sometimes I clean my house from top to bottom until I drop.  Why? Because I know that this feel-good hormone will be released and I will feel better in the end.  

This week I briefly shared my blue or should I say how I was feeling blue.  I have some anxiety over our potential military move, probably out of the country, this Summer.  Some anxiety over my oldest boy getting into a good school, preferably one that offers him a scholarship.  He works so hard, he deserves the best he can get.  Anyway, with him going to college and us leaving, you can imagine why stress sometimes gets the better of me.  Add to that a 15 year old girl who questions her looks daily and...oh my gosh, it's crazy.  She's just like me at that age - how scary is that.  By the way, there is a 6 year old girl and 2 year old boy in the mix but they are still in the sweet stage.

Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets.  I love my kids and love doing everything I do for them.  They truly are my world.  However, that doesn't mean I wont stress and worry about stuff.  Usually stuff I have no control over.

I generally fix that by going to the gym and getting a good workout, adjusting my diet to make sure I'm getting exactly what I need and not what I crave, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep--at least 7 hours a night.

Today, tonight, I feel like a new person and it's only Tuesday.   I have 4 more days of exercise to fit in.  I taught a Spinning(r) class on Monday, Muscle Conditioning class today, Turbo Kickboxing tomorrow and so on...That is my pill, that is my cure for mental sanity and I am happy to recommend it to anyone out there.  When you're feeling down and blue, go for a walk, a run, a swim, anything that requires your full attention and energy.  You'll see what I mean.

By the way, thanks for all the well-wishers who sent me a message of support.  I really did appreciate your sentiments. 

Take Care 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blue me...ugh!

I'm Feeling blue :-(

It could be stress, exhaustion, lack of sleep, having zero control over certain life changing events, who knows but the only thing blue here is me. It's not PMS, at least I don't think so but I need to find my trusted friend and discuss my feelings or I need to call a professional to help me put things into perspective.

I'm so out of it and out of touch from all my blogger friends---maybe that's at the root my issues and how I feel..ha ha!! But seriously, it's been a rough couple of weeks now I need to recover.

Anyway, I will look for the silver lining and know that everyday brings a new sunrise and with it a new day to be thankful for.

My blessings go out to everyone. I will let myself feel what I feel, I will let myself cry and then I will work in some happy hormones with a hard core Spinning workout at noon!!

I'm sure you'll find happier blues at Smiling Sally's blog and host of Blue Monday - go take a look.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blue Monday

It's Blue Monday -- go see Smiling Sally to participate and to visit other participants.  

I want so much to participate, visit blogs, learn, share, comment but my laptop is moving at snails pace and my PC is in the shop.  I hope to get them both fixed soon. I admit I'm having blogging withdraw.  Fortunately I was able to wait for my programs to load this morning and so here I am.

This picture was my contribution to my Astronomy Class.  I love the idea that I can look into the sky and actually recognize what I see.  I'm still learning a lot and trying to find an area with little or no light so that seeing the stars is not so difficult.  

This is also my contribution to Blue Moday which I read about on the Walnuthaven Cottage who read about at Smiling Sally.  Go check them out, they have some really great blues to show off and take a moment to visit the other blogs who participated today. This is fun!

My favorite part of this class is taking my 6 yo little girl out with me and helping her see what I see and identity planets, starts and some shooting stars as well.  

I hope to be online contributing more soon...I really miss my time with fellow bloggers but first I must get my computer back to health.