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Archive for February, 2012

I have figured out I have done nothing with the information I learned and talked about in my previous post Wheel of Life Tree, Part 1. I actually went back and reworked my Wheel of Life and found I am less happy in those aspects of my life than I was when I started. Needless to say, I have been slipping in working on the things I wanted to get busy on in my life. I started focusing on the wrong things the last month, such as going out with the girls a bit too often, and forgot that I had goals.

Today, I am reworking my goals. I am starting still with Home/Physical Environment and Health/Fitness. I do have a start on my Growth/Learning area of my Wheel of Life. I just paid off a debt to my school so I can resume classes once again once all of the paperwork has been handled. I only have five classes left to finish my Masters Degree, so I am completely excited about this move.

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So, I have been doing a lot of thinking this weekend. I have had some situations arise lately that have really made me think. If I were to die tomorrow or if the world suddenly ended, how would I want to remember my life? I can assure you there were both things I would and wouldn’t want to remember in my final moments that occurred this weekend.

The positive things from the weekend included a lot of family time. My cousin has been here from out-of-state so I wanted to spend as much time as possible with the family as possible. Additionally, my aunt and uncle came for the weekend. Friday was wine and dominoes night with my aunt, cousins, and the kiddos (well, the kiddos didn’t get wine, but they learned to play dominoes). Saturday was an impromptu dinner with more family. Today was dinner at Cracker Barrel and a movie. I also got to take my youngest to Barnes and Noble to get some new books, then went out and got him a Kindle Fire today for his birthday in a couple of weeks. All in all, a busy yet very fun family oriented weekend.

So, all of those things, all of those moments, I would want to remember for sure. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. My kids were so happy to have time with all the family from out-of-state, as was I, plus the family here. They felt they had the best weekend ever. Family is important to us and ours is pretty cool.

The things I wouldn’t want to remember in my final moments would be arguments and drama. No, I am not talking about family events; we had none of that. I just mean in general. When you truly care for people and even for those you don’t, arguments and drama are just not necessary and should never be ongoing. I am a pretty peaceful person for the most part and it just is not within my nature to carry on that way. I think I have said before, I am a fixer. I do not like to leave situations messy and ugly. It really bothers me to have words with another person, especially those I care about. I would much rather have everything fixed, nice and pretty if I tomorrow were the last day.

Life isn’t about what you have or who gets the last word, it is about the people you have and how you treated them. If you knew you had 24 hours left, how would you spend it? What would go through your mind? Who would you make amends? Who would you want to spend that time with? I know how I would answer each and every one of those questions. Why wait to know something may happen? I think it is time to live it out, make amends where possible and spend as much time as possible with those we care about.

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Good afternoon fellow bloggers. I am thinking today about relationships. I am not talking about just husbands/wives or boyfriends/girlfriends; but relationships in general. Have you ever really taken the time to think about the relationships you are a part of? How about what those relationships take to stay in tact? I think about these things often. I often think about how people work together toward common goals, relationships being one of those goals.

First, let me start by saying I am a fixer. I do not like anything to have gaps, holes, or issues. When I have an issue in any relationship, I want to fix it immediately. I have had to work at this as this is not always a positive trait. Some people and things need space before fixing is possible. Sometimes, patience is truly a virtue when it comes to arising issues in relationships. Sometimes, the issues require more thought for one or both parties before a fix is even possible.

Sadly, there are times the issues are too great and a fix is not a possible feature for the relationship; but that too, requires time and thought to understand. I am not a person who gives up on anyone quickly or without putting out every effort possible in shifting a damaging situation into something good, but I have had to leave some people behind and realize there was no possible fix. That being said, often I have learned a many lesson from these individuals and the situations we have been through and for that the relationship holds great value, even in closing and moving on.

What I have realized is relationships come in several forms and they all take similar elements to exist. I have friends and family that are in my close inner circle, friends I drink with, family I see only a few times per year, family I see several times per week, work friends, and so many other levels of relationships. Each of these requires communication, give and take, honesty, time, emotional energy of some sort, trust, and commitment. They may not all require each of these elements on a deeper level, but they all require them on some level.

I think what I mean to say is every relationship takes some level of work and devotion to development. If you let that go, the people involved start to grow apart and the relationship slowly dies. I have been there also.

Relationships can change as well. They may not always carry the same dynamic as they once did. Friends become lovers, lovers become friends, acquaintances become best friends, couples become separated parents, and so on. We see and experience this many times in our lives. But, it is the effort we put behind the relationship, or lack there of, that makes the difference.

If you cannot tell, I have been thinking a LOT lately. I think I may be in my philosophical stage right now. Follow my blogs long enough and you will realize I work in stages; sometimes I lean more toward humor and sarcasm, but I often slip into this deep thought stage. Thank goodness I finally have an outlet for it.

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I have not been doing much blogging lately. I am WAY behind on reading my favorite bloggers stuff as well as updating my own. I have been keeping pretty busy lately and just have not been able to sit down to write something decent. Well, this probably will not be something decent, but I felt a sense of responsibility to write.

Mardi Gras float

Mardi Gras float (Photo credit: Chasqui (Luis Tamayo))

As most everyone knows, this week included Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. So, like so many other towns and cities, we had a Mardi Gras celebration where I live. I did partake in the festivities for which I paid greatly for at work yesterday. After two hours of sleep, I felt like the walking dead. Anyway, the parade was pretty cool and the street party I am sure was as well. We decided it was safer inside the bar in a more controlled environment (pretty sad when you believe the bar is both more safe and more controlled). A good judgement call on our part I might add as a man was accidentally stabbed in the street party (an event we missed thankfully). Thankfully, we met some pretty cool folks and had a drama-free fun evening.

However, I got to thinking I do not know any of the history behind Fat Tuesday; so I decided to put some research in. What I found out in researching Fat Tuesday is that it is an event that stems from the Christian calendar. With Lent approaching its beginnings Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras is the party and last glutenous hurrah so to speak before Lent and fasting begin. Mardi Gras also signifies the end of a 6-week celebration known as Carnival. Carnival begins January 6th, which is 12 days past Christmas to celebrate the Wise Men who bestowed baby Jesus with gifts. This beginning of Carnival is known as Epiphany and is celebrated with the king cake. The king cake is decorated in purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.

English: King cake purchased from Rouses in Ho...

Image via Wikipedia

It is reported that Mardi Gras was first celebrated back in the late 1700′s by French settlers in the territory that later became Louisiana. When the Spanish controlled the land, they prohibited the celebrations to continue; but in mid-1800′s the celebrations were able to pick back up and have been continued as part of tradition in New Orleans since.

I have never made it to the real Mardi Gras and this was my first experience in our local party, but I honestly enjoyed reading on the history and background. There is so much more to it than what I was able to share in the time I had to finish this today. I hope all enjoyed the read :)

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I started writing today’s blog about Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, but I decided to leave that for another night. I had a phone conversation with a good friend that really got me thinking about some things and I felt the need to write about them. I am thinking tonight about changes.

We know often people change throughout life and often people have a tendency to see change as a bad thing; but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing all too often. Sometimes change can start as something bad, but end up as something good. I think what I mean to say here is it all depends on what you do with change and how you interpret it.

For instance, I have been going through many changes lately. I started writing this blog, which is a huge change in my life. This has been a very positive experience for me. I really enjoy getting sharing my perspective and creative energy with others. Some people may love what I have written and some may hate something I have written; but either way, I have an opportunity to make someone feel something or maybe get them thinking in a way they hadn’t before reading what I have written. That, in itself is an amazing opportunity.

Another change that has recently taken place personally is I have started developing more of a life. Granted, I realize I have been going in a direction I had not intended. I have been overindulging in developing a night life and have been going out far too often lately. Something I plan to change and cut back on. I need to balance more and look at my Wheel of Life Tree a bit more to engage with that balance. However, I have learned some pretty important things in the process of developing a night life. I have met some very interesting people, aside from the creeps and losers of course, that made me think about various perspectives in different ways. Some have made me appreciate my own life much more and some have made me want to strive to be able to give off as much positive energy as they gave me.

For instance, last night, I met someone who just oozed positive energy and you could feel it throughout the entire table. Someone who can infect an entire group with that much positive energy is definitely a rare gem in the world and worth knowing if even for a few hours. However, I hope I am lucky enough to cross paths with such a person more often because there is definitely an important lesson to learn from such an individual.

Most importantly, change is important. Whether good or bad, there are lessons to be learned through even the smallest change. What is important is realizing there are lessons presenting themselves to further develop you as an individual. That’s my two cents for the evening.

How has change impacted you? How has a positive change affected you? How has a negative change turned positive or influenced you? Just things to think about. You can comment and share if you would like.

Consider the two following quotes regarding change for a moment:

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are with what you can become.” – Unknown

Now go and make a positive impact in someone’s life, start a positive change in a new way. Night all.

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Ask Dr. V: I’m In Love with My Cousin! | Lifescript.com.

I absolutely LOVE this site. Thank you Lifescript for leading me to even more material to write about. I simply could not pass this one up.

So, to give a rundown of the advice columnist article, this is about woman who has fallen in love with her cousin (as if you couldn’t tell by the article name). The first time was 20 years prior to the writing of the request for advice, when they were kids, and the second I am assuming had happened somewhere near March of last year when this was published. The earlier encounter went friendship, relationship, sex, and love. Then, over the writer’s father’s funeral, they realized they still had the same feelings and are lost as what to do as the family would be devastated and would have zero understanding. Umm…duh!

Okay, so these are first cousins. Even if you can give way to young, dumb, and stupid for the first fiasco; even later in life when they should have a grasp on the complete wrongness of this situation, they are still looking to make a go of it. I am all for you can’t help who your heart chooses, but at some point, when it comes to bearing children with higher possibilities of birth defect and possible legal issues depending on what state they live in, the head should probably take over. Thankfully, the expert who responded to the letter gave very sound advice and said stop this before it goes any further.

To be a responsible blogger, I decided to research this topic a bit further and came across a website, Cousin Couples, an obviously pro cousin couple site. There are 26 states in the U.S. that will allow first cousin marriages. All European countries, Canada, and Mexico will allow first cousin marriages. Non-related couples have a 2-3% chance of bearing a child with a birth defect, while first cousin couples are at a 4-6% chance risk. The estimation is at 20% worldwide of first cousin marriages and 80% historically. Both Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin married first cousins. Franklin Roosevelt was married to a cousin, however she was not a first cousin.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), has a list of states allowing, not allowing, and allowing under special circumstances. The list is as follows:

Cousin marriage legal

First cousin marriage prohibited

Allowed under certain circumstances

Alabama

Alaska

California

Colorado

Connecticut

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Maryland

Massachusetts

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina*

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Vermont

Virginia

Arkansas

Delaware

Idaho

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

South Dakota

Texas

Washington

West Virginia

Wyoming

Arizona

Illinois

Indiana

Maine

Utah

Wisconsin

First cousin marriage is allowed in these states under the following circumstances:

Arizona- if both are 65 or older, or one is unable to reproduce.

Illinois- if both are 50 or older, or one is unable to reproduce.

Indiana- if both are at least 65.

Maine- if couple obtains a physician’s certificate of genetic counseling.

Utah- if both are 65 or older, or if both are 55 or older and one is unable to reproduce.

Wisconsin- if the woman is 55 or older, or one is unable to reproduce.

*

North Carolina- First cousin marriage is legal. Double cousin marriage is prohibited

I looked up double cousin marriage also, because I was unsure what that meant, and basically found it was something like this:

Two sisters marry brothers, one couple gives birth to a boy and the other to a girl. The offspring cannot grow up and get married as they are double cousins.

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Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. I have always wondered what it would be like to write and deliver an acceptance speech, so I am excited to proceed further.

I started this blog as a creative outlet. My original intent was to write about various aspects of my life and growth. I then found there were things that amused me and I could add some witty comments along the way poking at those odd situations or idiotic articles you find so often. I have found more creativity than I knew I had. I also have found the blog community to be inspiring and full of amazing people with really amazing perspectives. I found I could have a voice, share it and maybe amuse more than just myself along the way. Thank you to all that have read and/or followed along.

First, I want to thank thefutureofhope for gracing me with the honor of four awards: The Sunshine Award, Candle Lighter Award, Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award and Liebster Award. Yes, I am taking all four, thank you very much. Chrystalyn, you are an amazing blogger and I have enjoyed reading your outlook on various things in life and your stories are simply amazing. I must say The Countdown to the Worst Holiday: Valentine’s Day and Hi! I’m Crazy! were my favorites! Not to mention, as I have been starting my blogging journey you have been very supportive and inspire me to continue writing. Thank you so much. Without the awards, I still knew you were an awesome ally.

Now, for the awards and requirements.

The Sunshine, Candle Lighter, and Liebster Awards State the following:

  • Act like a God among bloggers (write a post)
  • Give your Acceptance and Thank you speech  for the one whom blessed you with the honor. (See above)
  • Give the cream of your crop the award as well
  • Post awards on your blog if accepted

The Sparkly Ten Commandments are:

  • Give Thanks
  • Answer Ten Questions with Honesty
  • Pass it on to Ten Other Bloggers.
  1. Describe yourself in seven words: Dependable, loyal, procrastinator, optimistic, hard-working, strong, and kind 
  2. What keeps you up at night? Oh, so many things. When I try to sleep, I think my brain goes on overdrive. Mostly my children and thinking through my next day and the week’s schedule.
  3. Whom would you like to be? Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I am already pretty happy with me and who I am. I don’t think I would want to be anyone else honestly.
  4.  What are you wearing now? Ripped up blue jeans and a t-shirt. Gotta love weekends =)
  5. What scares you?  Creeps and losers (duh)
  6. What are the best and worst things about blogging? Honestly, I love blogging. I really enjoy the ability to share my thoughts and have a creative outlet. I am pretty new to this, but the community seems pretty great. Reading other people’s views on life and seeing all of the undiscovered creativity out there is really pretty awesome. I think the worse thing is that I don’t always have time to get on here and keep up.
  7. What was the last website you looked at? Ummm…LOL…probably Facebook, but I am not sure. I have not been online much this weekend so far.
  8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Honestly, I would probably think through things more before sharing some of my thoughts. Otherwise, I think I am pretty awesome as is. LOL. I am not conceited but I am happy with me.
  9.  Slankets, yes or no? WTH is a Slanket??? Hold on, googling now! Holy crap! There is an official website! Where have I been that I have missed something called a Slanket? I am getting ready to look, but the current pic in my head is a Slinky mixed with a blanket; which looks pretty funny and scary I might add. My official answer is nope.
  10. Tell us something about the person who nominated you. I do not actually know Chrystalyn well, but I can say she has been very supportive of my blog and a huge inspiration for me. Her blogging skills are amazing and if you have not yet read thefutureofhope, you better get your butt in gear because you are missing some great stuff! 
Now…to get on with the fun stuff, I get to nominate my faves that I think deserve the honor of the awards. As I said, I have not been on here long (OMG, it has been nearly 3 weeks now! Time flies), but I have found some pretty amazing people who have real skills. I am not sure if any of you already have these awards, but regardless they deserve the recognition. You can choose one or all four. Have fun folks. For those of you not reading, check these guys out! BTW, this is in no particular order and I think you are all equally awesome in your own ways :)
  1. Girl on the Contrary
  2. Fit Body Now
  3. I’m Not Famous and Neither Are You
  4. dampsquid
  5. pithypants
  6. The Dissemination of Thought
  7. frugalistablogdotcom
  8. cONTEMPORARY mUSINGS
  9. peaceful controversy
  10. jessseeker

So, it took me two days to write this. I discovered I had the toughest time with the questions and figuring out how to add the links to the other people’s pages. The link thing was frustrating, but I eventually had that light bulb moment where it all made sense. I want to say thanks again for the awards. I have really enjoyed the blog experience thus far and had never expected to have the opportunity to write an acceptance speech. I was totally stoked to write it though. Thanks again :)

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I realized I have been slacking on my blog this week.  I am working on some slightly educational mythology pieces, but I figured I should throw some daily stuff in here as well. So, my loyal readers, here is my daily rant. I will warn you, we had girls night out last night in celebration of my cousin arriving for vacation, so this may or may not make sense.

I have decided yesterday and today are both deemed Asshole Day. I normally am not one to curse in my blog, but I simply cannot help it as there is just no better term to fit. I am not sure if it is anger over poorly chosen Valentine’s Day gifts or what; but it seems the world is filled with extreme assholes these two days. I was hopeful yesterday would be the only Asshole Day, but it seemed to spill over into today.

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Cupid, aka Eros, has long history.

In honor of Valentine’s Day yesterday, I decided to dig a little deeper into the history of Cupid. I am thinking this week will be now devoted to gods and goddesses. I love mythology, so I am pretty excited about the topic!

English: Amor stringing his bow, Roman copy af...

Image via Wikipedia

Today, we know Cupid as a little chubby, winged boyish figure. However, Cupid has been much more than the little dude we now know. In the Roman era, his name was indeed Cupid, but he also was known previously as Eros to the Greeks.

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Valentine’s Day — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts.

As we embark upon today’s Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do a little historical research. My Valentines are ages 8 and 13, my sons. I wanted to give them not only cards and candy, but a little history on the holiday as well. I can nearly hear the grumbled “gee, thanks mom and oh, how interesting (in full sarcastic praise)” as I type. Yes, boys, you are welcome.

Buster Brown Valentine postcard by Richard Fel...

Image via Wikipedia

Who is St. Valentine anyway? There are at least three martyred saints recognized by the Catholic Church, the names ranging from Valentine to Valentinus. The actual origin of St. Valentine seems to remain mystery. However, nearly all accounts of this historical mystery figure peg him as a hero and a romantic. Valentine’s death has been narrowed down to have occurred near A.D. 270.

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