Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mama NEVER said there'd be weeks like this.

It all started Friday with a call from the boy, followed by an email from his father. Then there was the 6-7 hours on the road Sunday. A phone call on Monday from a total stranger and then two more calls on Wednesday from the boy. I's all very vague. Trust me, you don't want to know. Just take my word for it...this mama needs a distraction.

So, I decided on adorable kittens. No one can think bad thoughts when looking at adorable kittens!

I'm standing my ground!

This bed is too soft. But I like too soft.

Wanna snuggle? I'm a good snuggler!

I'm a little bit afraid of the grass.

Are you talkin' to me?

Don't even think about opening my window.

Look! I have peeps!

I am the King of the Jungle!

I'm can take the picture now.

You've heard of the Cat in the Hat?
I am the Kitten in the Toboggan.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Today is FLAG DAY!

(I received this at work today.)

Flag Day is a day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag, its designers and makers. Our flag is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a proud and glorious history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans. Many people have died protecting it. It even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So raise the flag today and every day with pride!

How to Properly Display Our Flag

There is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag. The American flag should be held in the highest of regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Here are the basics on displaying the American flag:

  • The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
  • The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  • The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
  • After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land ,and "half mast" on a ship.
  • When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field , or "union", is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
  • The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
  • The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
  • Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
  • Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
  • When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.

Did you Know?

There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see. Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them. And, attend the ceremony.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Health and Fitness Update

Okay, I’ve had lots going on and I’ve been remiss in posting my health and fitness progress. So, I’ll start with this… I lost 10 pounds in May (woohoo!), but gained 1 ½ of that back the first week of June. Fortunately, I lost that 1 ½ pounds in the last week. So, I’m ten pounds down in six weeks.

It seems that I’m either doing well with my diet OR with my workouts…not both at the same time. And I’m cheating on my diet much more than I want. I’ve also been slacking on drinking my water (or PowerAde Zero, aka…PAZ) because I’ve fallen in love with McDonald’s sweet tea. NOT good for my ultimate goals.

So, tonight, I’m going through my Nutrisystem (NS) meals and deciding exactly what I’m eating every day this week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That keeps me from having to think about it when it’s time to eat. I’ll be able to just grab the next meal on the shelf. I will also restock my PAZ for the week.

I joined the local gym (The Bodyshop Gym) with a friend. We got some training from the guy in charge. He explained to us that we need to work certain muscles together and then sufficiently rest them while working other muscles. He taught us proper technique and told us to be consistent. We’ve been to the gym three times and are really enjoying it. This is what we’re working on…


Day 1 (3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise)
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
  • Wide-Grip Pull Downs
  • EZ Barbell Curls
  • Standing Calf Raises
  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
  • Low Rows
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Hip Abductor
  • Hip Adductor

Day 2 (3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise)
  • Leg Extensions
  • Shoulder Press
  • Bar Push Downs
  • Leg Curls
  • Dumbbell Lateral Fly
  • Leg Press
  • Rope Push Downs
  • Sitting Calf Raises
  • Hip Abductor
  • Hip Adductor
  • Ball Crunches

Our plan is to do each day 2-3 times a week. In addition, we’re doing Zumba two days a week and TurboKick at least once a week. (I have every other Friday off and can do TurboKick twice a week when I’m off on Friday).
You know what? Zumba makes me feel sexy. TurboKick makes me feel empowered. And weightlifting makes me feel strong. Sticking with my diet makes me feel like I have self-control. I like feeling sexy, empowered, strong, and in control.
I think I'm going to like it even more when I look the part.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

(from an email I received today)

The month of June was dedicated specially to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by determination of Pope Leo XIII (reign 1878-1903).

This devotion is rooted in the Gospel, when the Apostle Saint John rested his head on Jesus' chest to hear His heart. According to the Sovereign Pontiffs, this represents the infinitely merciful and redemptive love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the perfect union of the human and divine natures in the Savior.

As True God, Our Lord loves men with an infinite love. As True Man, He loves men with human sentiments, with a perfectly ordered sensibility. The human aspect of this divine love was expressed in Our Lord's pain and in His tears upon learning of the death of His friend, Lazarus.

His love brought Him to Lazarus' grave, where He gave the majestic command: "Lazarus, come forth!" And Lazarus was resurrected from the dead.

Inconceivably, in contradiction to the determination of Pope Leo XIII (reign 1878-1903), a new presidential proclamation "proclaim[s] June 2010 as
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month."

The Pope determined one theme for June, the president another. As Catholics, we will always honor June as the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

And that is why we are organizing a national prayer campaign of reparation on June 11, which all are invited to join.

Below is a prayer to the Divine Savior that Catholics across America will say on Friday, June 11, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

There's no way that men can justify sin, much less find reason for pride in it. Nor can the civil authority, by means of a proclamation, transform acts, ways of being, and relationships that contradict human nature and divine Revelation, as well as the constant Magisterium of the Church, into a kind of pride for the entire nation.

What can be more offensive to the Sacred Heart of Jesus than to transform the month dedicated to Him into the month exalting unnatural sin?

It is our Catholic duty to offer special reparation to the Sacred Heart, who so loved us yet was so rejected by us, for this offense of a public and official character.

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee.

The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!

The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hope of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole Hope of mankind!

The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!

The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most generous Heart of Jesus!

The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart, model of every virtue!

The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!

The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!

The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more will we honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!

O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'll Stay by Cadia

I've said it before; I'm sure I'll say it again...

Music is vital to me.

I can define certain times in my life by songs that were important to me at the time. I use music to help me define the characters that I write about. And I have songs that I associate to the people who are close to me, usually because the words are very poignant.

A while ago, I blogged about music that defined how I felt about Jeff at different times in my life. Well, I have a new one. Between yesterday's blog and today's song, I'm sure you'll understand that Jeff continues to be a bit of a challenge for me.

Introducing "I'll Stay" by Cadia. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Downward Spiral

Downward Spiral - a string of bad decisions that tend to get progressively more serious. And unfortunately, much like going down any long slide, it's difficult to stop or even slow down, once you jump on this ride.

Someone very close to me appears to be on this downward spiral. And I'm not sure how to get him off of it. I'm sure it needs to be his idea in order for his dismount to be successful. But most of the time, I'm not even sure he realizes he's on this ride. As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes I think he enjoys the danger and uncertainty of the ride. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that he doesn't have the ability to see all that far into the future. He seems completely oblivious to the ramifications of his decisions.

I'm sure no one ends up on a downward spiral on purpose..."I think I'll slowly waste my life." It's more likely that they realize it only once it's too late..."How the heck did I get myself into this mess?!" But still, once you realize you're on a downward spiral, shouldn't the goal be to get off as soon as possible?

The Signs of a Downward Spiral

They think they have all the time in the world to fix the problem. They simply don't know that the older we get, the harder it is to recover from our issues. And worse, after years of bad decisions, obstacles are compounded. For example, being in debt by $100,000 versus $1,000.

They think they can quit any time they want they intend to enjoy this vice today. "I'll quit when I'm ready," is their mantra.

They refuse to see as fact, that which seems obvious to everyone around them. They think they have no problem and the rest of us are over-reacting.

Lack of a Foundation
They have no moral compass as a guide to tell them what's good and what's bad.

Tolerance Factor
Over time, a person needs an increasing amount of their vice (drugs, alcohol, etc.) in order to achieve the same high.

Unsuccessful Attempts to Stop a Bad Habit
They now feel hopelessness and feelings of failure. They even question if they're worth the effort.

Emotions are Stronger than Reason
Emotions tend to have the final say for many of us, but especially so for those considered out of control.

"I Don't Care Anymore."
When a person no longer cares about themselves or their future, it is very difficult to 'bring them back.' In fact, this is oftentimes the beginning of the end.

The Road to Recovery

  1. Recovery begins by realizing and admitting that there's a problem.

  2. Find and define your core values...what is right vs. what is wrong. If you don't consider the habit to be bad, you won't be able to convince yourself to stop doing it.

  3. Accept, understand, and release all negative feelings. They will continue to pull you to the dark side if you don't bring them out into the open.

  4. Make amends with everyone (including yourself) in order to release hostilities.

  5. Commit to CHOOSING GOOD over bad.

  6. Continually evaluate and correct your actions in order to stay on track. Having an accountability partner is helpful.

  7. Never consider yourself 100% healed. This will be a life-style change, not a miracle. But consider yourself in control of your own decisions.