Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Freshen Up!

Through one of my blogging buddies blogs (see the mini pics on the left), I found a contest to win a new Blogger Template!  I'm hoping to update my blog site to be a bit brighter and lighter and have some nice features.  Wish me luck - it's a random drawing, so I'm crossing my fingers.  Some of the templates I like are:

 Duma     Smashing   

 Aspire     Made in Spain    

Birdie's Good Life     Magic Paper

  What do you think?

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Bike

Today I picked up my bike from Marty's Bike Shop.  Two unfortunate incidents occurred last year that put the bike out of commission: flattening of the tires and an attempt to steal it.  When it was stolen, it was ridden down the block and then dumped in a neighbor's yard because the tires were flat.  Now there is a new wheel and it's tuned up and ready to go. 


With my Cateye bike computer, I can keep track of ... my bike riding (as soon as I learn how to use it!).  I also found a great site for logging everything I do: figuring out mileage of my rides, looking at maps - it works for walks and hikes, too.  MapMyRide will even find riders in your area!  It's almost as fun as riding!  So far, I've been taking easy rides.  Slight hills are work for me right now.  Trips down the street to the drugstore, etc. are now made on my bike.  I will save drops of gas by the gallon! 

If you are thinking about or just want to read about riding, my inspiration came from Zen Habits: Commuting by Bike. (one of my favorite blogs).  Happy Trails!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Rule of Four

I'm working on my thoughts about the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, posted recently on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This post is about the Fourth Truth. From Alex's blog:

4. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas. For some, childhood was pleasant, almost idyllic. But for others, when there has been serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse it is important to recognize this and process this with a trained professional. No matter your past, change is the essence of life. In order to move forward in life we need to learn to live in the present.

This one hit closest to home for me.  How long can a situation that existed 30 years ago haunt someone?  Oh, about 30 years or so.  A professional can guide the process of recognizing past traumas.  To recognize is to identify the event(s).  This is different than describing - most of us know what happened to us.  In order to explain our past, we need to look at it through the eyes of an observer.  Why?  Because our vision is clouded by memories and stuck on rewind, playing the same tape over and over without alteration.  There are many other facets and by looking at them, we start to break up our tape.  Once the past is recognized, we are supposed to process it.  (put it in the blender and hit whip)

Progress; passage: the process of time; events now in process. To gain an understanding or acceptance of; come to terms with: processed the traumatic event in therapy.

An example: Mom has schizoaffective and bipolar disorders.  She has been hospitalized and medicated, received shock treatments and therapy, attempted suicide numerous times and spent days if not weeks in deep depression, locking herself in her room.  We were kids.  I was the oldest.  Sometimes she was manic, staying up all night playing the piano or rearranging the furniture.  On other manic occasions, she would go out drinking and playing cards (for money).  I remember feeding her, calling an ambulance when (and only if) she was unconscious, having holiday meals in the psych ward, seeing her restrained with leather straps, trying to take care of the four of us kids when she couldn't and having babysitters, nannies and grandma come before I was old enough.  I grew up picturing her funeral.  Every day.  For the next 30 years or so.  My psychologist pointed out many things that never entered my mind such as mom being extremely manipulative.  My dad would tell me that there was nothing I could do, releasing me from the burden of the responsibility I felt to make everything better.  A self-help book said that people learn good coping skills (as well as poor) growing up in an unhealthy environment.  When I began to hold on to ideas such as these, my mental recording that had been stuck on the previous description started to break up.  Just when I noticed that I was feeling better....

After living on her own and being stabilized as much as possible, mom fell and eventually had to stay in a nursing home.  When I go to see her, she is angry and says many of the things I heard as a child:  you kids don't care about me; I don't want to live anymore; I'm in so much pain, etc.  This took me back so fast, I physically felt the rush to the past.  Only this time, I wasn't a child who didn't understand.  Now I see much more and know that things will not change and that I should not feel guilty.  What I know and what I feel are quite different.  But this time, I know how to get help processing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Truth #3

I ran across the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This post is about the Third Truth. From Alex's blog:

3. It is difficult to remove by logic an idea not placed there by logic in the first place. By nature, we are emotional creatures. Often we live and react based on feelings, not logic. Feelings are wonderful, but when we become tied to a particular thought or belief we tend to ignore the fact that change might be necessary. If a negative behavior is driven by an emotion, then we must find a way to still satisfy the emotional need while putting an end to the destructive behavior.

Have you ever had an idea, feeling, past hurt, resentment, envy or emotion that you just couldn't shake?  Are you still mad about something?  Is your reaction to an event or person different than the reaction of others?  A very common example is former significant others.  For example, because you hate/hated the fact that your ex did _________, you dislike anyone else who _________.  Envy creates ideas that are not logical.  My ex would not visit a BrandX gas station because I had had a boyfriend that owned a BrandX gas station.  Now realize that we crossed the country a few times and he refused to stop and get gas there no matter what.  That's an extreme example, but to test your logic, try it on someone else.  Picture a friend having the same negative behavior that you experience based on your logic.  Seems silly, doesn't it? 

But how do we satisfy the emotional need that drives this thought or belief?  First, identify the original event.  What feeling or thought is tied to this event?  What caused these ideas?  Let's say the event was a perceived slight and the feelings are embarrassment and hurt.  What emotional needs drive those feelings?  A need for self-esteem, comfort and understanding.  How can these needs be fulfilled in order to remove this idea?  Identifying requirements that satisfy these needs varies from individual to individual, but an example will help:

  1. A perceived slight causes feelings of embarrassment and hurt.
  2. Whenever we are in a similar situation or around the person who we feel slighted us, these negative feelings occur again.
  3. Deciding to fulfill the needs of comfort and understanding, we find something that fulfills these needs.
  4. Take a course of action which may be something like: a mantra saying "I am not who this person says I am"; a soothing activity such as a walk to clear your mind; a talk with a friend who understands; picturing an eraser clearing the idea, etc.
  5. Now decide on a new positive thought to replace the old - use it when you are reminded of the past:  "I choose to feel good about myself"; "Others' opinion or view are not my reality"; or my favorite - take the old and replace it with the opposite.

Leave a comment on how you've overcome a negative thought or behavior!  I would love to hear from you!

Monday, June 09, 2008

The 200th Post!!

Congratulations to me on my 200th post!! Umm I think this one is the 200th, but it may be the previous post. Somewhere around here! Other news: My better half has started a blog and his very first post is great! Check it out at: Right of Center Ramblings.

Nickelodeon Parents Picks

The Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library's Children's Department has been nominated for TWO Parents Picks awards: Best little kids Public Library and best big kids Public Library. Here's the info:

What does it all mean? Well, from May 19 - June 30, your business--along with all of the other ParentsConnect.com Parents' Picks Nominees--will be featured as our "top picks". All of our members will be encouraged to vote to determine who wins the official Parents Picks Awards! Visit ParentsConnect.com/ParentsPicks and select a city to see a list of the nominees.

Not only do we have a great library, but our online resources are great too. Visit the SMFPL website and check out the Children's Department! Go to ParentsConnect.com and vote - I did and so far the results show SMPFL in the lead!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

The French Bulldog

Our French Bulldog Mattie is our baby. She follows us around, sleeps with us and loves us a lot. Frenchies are ugly to the point of cute and are often mistaken for pugs for those who are not familiar with the breed. Here's a look at the colors: First is Mattie, who is brindle, then a black/white frenchie, fawn, and white.

mattiehttp://www.puppycityny.com/medium.htmhttp://www.kennels.co.uk/Utility/FrenchBulldog.htmlBruiser's Adventures in Louisiana

French Bulldogs are becoming more well-known. Martha Stewart has had hers on her show and the cover of magazines. A white frenchie costarred appeared in the movie Secondhand Lions(which I highly recommend not for that reason alone). Patty Hearst's (yes, that Patty Hearst) Frenchie won Best of Breed in 2008.

Secondhand Lions

French Bulldog Did You Know?

  • It is fairly well established that one of the ancestors of the French Bulldog is, not surprisingly, the English Bulldog (most likely one of the toy variety).
  • Two distinctive features of the French Bulldog are its bat ears and half-flat, half-domed skull.
  • Originally called the Boule-Dog Francais, though the english later scoffed at the idea of calling an English dog by a French name.
  • Had it not been for the objections of American fanciers, the bat ear of the French Bulldog would have been bred out of the breed and replaced with a rose ear, resulting in a miniaturized version of the English Bulldog.
  • The first specialty club was the French Bulldog Club of America, and fanciers gave a specialty show in the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC in 1989, the first specialty show to be held in such deluxe quarters. Receiving serious press coverage, French Bulldogs were thrust into vogue, reaching a peak in 1913 with an entry of 100 at the Westminster Kennel Club.
  • While bred primarily as pets and companions, Frenchies are remarkably intelligent and serve as good watchdogs.

From The American Kennel Club

No offense to French Bulldogs or the AKC, but Mattie is not very intelligent nor a good watchdog. She has a very limited number of things she can do and things that she knows. She will bark at unfamiliar sounds, but make fast friends with anyone who speaks kindly and will pet her. If you are thinking about adding a Frenchie to your family, please use the links in this post to see if they are for you. If so, congratulations! you are about to own one of the most cute, funny and friendly dogs. They are great lap dogs, love to play and go for walks and/or nap whenever you do - in fact, Mattie will insist on a nap if I am home during the day.

French Bulldog Link Directory

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Truth Two

I ran across the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This post is about the Second Truth. From Alex's blog:

2. We are what we do. We are not what we think, or what we feel, or what we say, we are what we do. Actions do indeed speak louder than words. If you are unhappy with a particular part of your life, take a strong look at what you are doing to be happier.

As someone who has bipolar disorder, I need to remind myself that I am not what I think or feel. Thoughts and feelings become distorted by an unhealthy mind. For example:



My life sucks.My life is good and I have been blessed.
I hate this.This is not bad.
Things are hopeless.Things are never hopeless.
FearThis will not kill me.
SadnessSadness is only a symptom of depression.
DespairThere are an infinite number of things that are worse.
I am so alone.I am never alone. I have family, friends and God.
People are critical of me.I don't know what people think of me, nor should I base my happiness on others.
No one knows how I feel.Many others have depression and suffer the same feelings.

One the other side of the coin, I tend to go on about making positive changes, referring to myself as kind, honest, wise and a general all-around goody goody. Those words do not necessarily mean that's how I act. It's how I want to act. But what do I really do?? What did I do today that was kind? Did I tell the truth today or try to hide something that I don't like about myself in order to look good? Have I helped anyone using what I know? Do I use any wisdom that I think I have to build others up or put them down by pointing out what they don't know? Can I be helpful with humility? My goal: to include on my daily task list actions that back up my words.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart

I ran across the 30 Essential Truths according to Dr. Gordon Livingston, author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, on Alex Blackwell's great blog The Next 45 Years. Some of them hit very close to home. This will be a post about the First Truth. From Alex's blog:
1. If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong. We are given mental maps as children. Our parents and other adults tell us what is right and what is wrong – sometimes they don’t always get it, well, right. Now as adults, when we find the maps we have relied on for so long can get us lost, we need to recalibrate and create more reliable guides based on what we now know to be true and where we want to go.
It took me a very long time to realize that changing my map would be good for finding my way. For example, a 'good guy' according to mom was someone who bought you nice things, had money, and treated you well. The goal: have someone, be dating, get married - anything else: failure. According to dad, a brain surgeon was the best job a person could have. He often told me that I could be a brain surgeon. When I became a college student business was the best major. When he told me the facts of life, he drew two squares: one home; the other work. He drew a line from home, saying 'you go to work' then going back the same way, 'and then you go home' You go to work, go home, work, home, work...and those are the facts of life.

My map says: A 'good guy' accepts your authentic self; cares about your needs and dreams; loves you. My map says: a relationship is not a requirement for life; you are responsible for your own happiness; in order to love you must love yourself first. My map says: follow your dreams; do what you love; don't forget to have fun. I'm not as cynical or practical anymore. I can look back and see the how and why of poor choices in relationships. My map will keep changing and improving my journey. How about yours?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Planting Seeds, Growing a Blog

As you can see in my sidebar, I'm trying a few new blogger promotion tools. If you click on the RSS button, you can subscribe in a feed reader which is super easy even if you don't know anything about it. There will be some choices like Yahoo, AOL, Google for your reader. For my visitors who are AOL users, just click there. If you have iGoogle (like me, which is fun!) you can add it to either your iGoogle page or your Goggle reader. If you have problems or questions, just leave me a comment. You can subscribe to anything - it's like having your own custom magazine on your computer.
I'm trying a couple of site-sharing tools that are designed to increase traffic. The first is Entrecard. They have a free ebook to explain the card system. You can link all your blogs, advertise on other blogs, drop cards and find a lot of interesting blogs that you might not run across in your everyday surfing. If you have a blog and want to join, it is a nice community - check out the forums. Lots of people are into money making for their blogs. There are also many casual bloggers like me just trying new things.
The other is BlogUpp, just about the opposite type of blog promoting tool. One page to start using it, nothing else to do, keep track of, participate in - I will not lift another finger, which is just my style. The two mini-pages in the sidebar are websites to visit provided by BlogUpp.
One more new tool I use is del.ico.us , a social bookmark site. Instead of filling my browser bookmarks with everthing I want to save, now I can post it to del.ico.us, add tags, share, search, find new links. You can try it by clicking the link at the left and adding this post!
StumbleUpon is a fun way to find and save sites. If you do searches, you can sometimes see the icon and rating next to some of the links in your search results list. My son mentioned StumbleUpon to me a long time ago - I should have checked it out sooner.
Hit me with an questions. I'm no expert, so any help won't be too technical!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pink Floyd

Here are some real, live Pink Floyd album covers:
Use the link above to get the wallpaper!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Missing: One Gallbladder

Yesterday I had outpatient gallbladder surgery. It went very well. The last surgery I had was for a deviated septum and was not worth the pain and discomfort. My heartburn, acid reflux and nausea of the last couple of months became very annoying and I'm looking forward to having a happy gut. The endoscopy a few weeks ago was more distressing for me, but once past that, I felt fine. Because of my dad and daughter's difficulties, I was very apprehensive going in for the endoscopy, which is not like me at all. Since that was such a piece of cake, I was actually looking forward to the gallbladder surgery since I was so uncomfortable. Now I am gallbladder-less and recovering. The surgery was laparoscopic, which means the surgeon made an incision right below my bellybutton. But that's not all - oh no - there are three other incisions: one in the middle right below my sternum and two on the side around the gallbladder area. So my tummy is sore but the pain medication helps with that. I can't work or drive until I go back to the doctor in 7-10 days. Everyone at home is being very helpful - thank you to hubby, son, and the baby mamas.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Gratitude Campaign

My son-in-law is being deployed to Egypt in September for a year. He is in the Army National Guard. He and my daughter have a one year old baby (Raelynn, the sunshine of my life) who is having a birthday party tomorrow! It is a wonderful thought to thank all of our military men and women who may be spending time away from their families to help defend our families and other families around the world.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Never Again

Those words keep playing over and over in my head.  These are the words that are true.  Holocaust survivor Primo Levi:  "It has happened once, and it could all happen again."

Never Again

'Never again' is the rallying cry for all who believe that mankind must speak out against genocide.
Jon Corzine


Never Again

I hope that the German people will never again make the mistake of believing that because the American people are peace-loving, they will sit back hoping for peace if any nation uses force or the threat of force to acquire dominion over other peoples and other governments.
James F. Byrnes


Never Again

“The Security Council has today said that in the 21st century, the world will not tolerate genocide or crimes against humanity.”  Nicola Reindorp


Never Again

Never again should the international community’s response to these crimes be found wanting.  Rwandan President Paul Kagame


Never Again

"On occasions such as this, rhetoric comes easily. We rightly say 'never again.' But action is much harder. Since the Holocaust the world has, to its shame, failed more than once to prevent or halt genocide." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Red Cross/Burma

Never Again

“Never again must we be shy in the face of the evidence” of genocide...Bill Clinton

Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative

Never Again

We wish to remember.
But we wish to remember for a purpose, namely
to ensure that never again evil will prevail. ...
Only a world at peace, with justice for all,
can avoid repeating the mistakes and terrible crimes of the past.
.John Paul II, Yad Vashem, March 23, 2000


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Two Peas in a Pod

Two peas in a pod Began to nod

Off when Nana Sang them a song

peapodavah                            peapodrae

This little pea is Avah and this little pea is named Rae

Monday, May 05, 2008

Trauma Class

Hubby took a trauma class last week. They had cool props like wounds that squirted blood and got to practice sticking tubes down each others' noses. For example, they got to drag victims to safety:

Hubby's nose tube:

Thursday, May 01, 2008


The best meatloaf I've had is my mother-in-law's.  The recipe survived on a post-it note for about three years.  It is no longer in my recipe folder since how easy would it be to lose a 2 x 3 post-it?  For about one or two meatloaf meals, I went by memory which created somewhat non-standard results.  So I finally requested she email me the recipe again, which she promptly did and here it is!  I usually double it since the male species in my household has a nice sized meatloaf appetite.

Meatloaf with Piquant Sauce

2/3 c. dry breadcrumbs

1 c. milk

1 1/2 lb. ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 c. grated onion

1 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1/2 t. sage

Piquant Sauce

3 T. brown sugar

1/4 c. catsup

1/4 t. nutmeg

Mix meatloaf ingredients, then place piquant sauce on top.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

91.3 The Summit

The World Cafe is a great NPR music show that airs on my favorite radio station, 91.3 The Summit, from 6-8 am instead of talk, news, and other NON-music crap. It's a public radio station and plays a wide variety of music from the 70's - 90's and today. They have live streaming audio at their website - go check it out!

On the World Cafe, the host, David Dye, interviews and introduces a very wide variety of music from familiar folks like MarkKnopfler to totally eclectic and new to me groups like this one:

World Cafe, April 17, 2008 - Ranging in age from 72 to 88, the members of the
Young@Heart chorus don't let age interfere with their passion for performing youthful music. Originally formed in 1982, the group began in a housing project for the elderly in Massachusetts.
In this segment, host David Dye interviews Stephen Walker (director of Young@Heart), as well as chorus director Bob Cilman and members of the group. The film, in theaters this week, follows a chorus of elderly singers with a real passion for life.
Young@Heart's repertoire is like a set list of rock's greatest hits. The group sings songs by Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, The Clash, and OutKast.
Its debut album, Mostly Live, was recently released.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rockabye Baby Rae

Rae came over this afternoon and was kicking back watching Sesame Street. Ain't she sweet?

First baby of 2008

The first baby born in our area this year has died. His dad was babysitting. He was taken to the hospital with "severe head and bodily injuries." After 13 days in the hospital, the mother made the decision to end life support:

On Good Friday, with three generations gathered around the hospital crib of Camryn Jakeb Wilson, the 2 1/2-month-old baby's mother made the hardest decision of her life.
She and her family were told by doctors at Akron Children's Hospital that Camryn had no brain function, could not survive on his own and would be on a feeding tube the rest of his life.
So, Crystal Wilson authorized ending Camryn's life support.

A picture of Camryn:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thank You for being a Friend

The Happiness Project blog by Gretchen Rubin is wildly popular among the life and success blogosphere set. Her post on how to be a good friend has these suggestions:
Here twelve tips for how to act like a true friend:
1. Be supportive when your friend has bad news. This is perhaps the most critical duty of a friend.
2. Be supportive when your friend has good news. This is trickier; surprisingly, it’s sometimes harder to be supportive when someone gets a promotion, gets engaged, or enjoys other good fortune, than it is to be supportive when someone is going through a hard time.
3. Don’t gossip. It’s not nice. (reminder to self-see #6 and #7) Also, although it may be fun to gossip about Pat with Jean, Jean is probably going to feel wary of being your friend—you’re not trustworthy. Along the same lines…
4. Keep a secret. One of the most satisfying aspects of friendship is that it allows two people to confide in each other. Spilling secrets will destroy that. Ah, it’s so delicious to disclose a secret—but you have to resist.
5. Exchange favors. Along with the feeling of intimacy, one of the best parts of friendship is the feeling of support it provides. And while getting support is important, giving support may be even more important for boosting happiness.
6. Don’t criticize a friend’s sweetheart or spouse (or children)—and, at the other extreme, don’t flirt with a friend’s sweetheart or spouse.
7. Be kind to a friend’s children. (especially a spouse's, which I've failed at)
8. Be friendly to a friend’s friends. In fact, in a phenomenon called “triadic closure,” people tend to befriend the friends of their friends – and this is very satisfying. Friendships thrive on inter-connection, and it’s both energizing and comforting to feel that you’re building not just friendships, but a social network. ("social network" is a buzzword that somehow takes away from "friendship" in my opinion)
9. Show up. Sometimes a friend wants you to show up someplace when you’d really rather not: a wedding in Topeka; a surprise party that falls on New Year’s Eve, when you’d rather be doing something else. Recognize a command performance, and don’t miss it.
Bonus activities:
10. Remember birthdays. (I am really bad at this)
11. Be nice to their pets.
12. Help a friend think big. Nothing is more encouraging than a friend throwing out some huge goal and saying, “You should do that!” “You should write a book, you should start your own firm, you should run for office, you should join the Council on Foreign Relations.” You never know, sometimes one encouraging comment can have extraordinary effect on someone’s life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Boycott 2008 Summer Olympic Sponsors

I've sent the following message to the Worldwide Sponsors of the 2008 Olympics:
In protest of the actions of the Chinese government, I am boycotting products and services of the corporate sponsors of the 2008 Olympics.
I will stop my boycott when your company withdraws it's sponsorship or the situation in China is resolved.-- Stephanie C.
Tomorrow I'll start working on the Partners level of sponsorship.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Artifacts available!

Oh lemme at 'em!! A friend and I went to see this exhibit when it was in Akron, salivating over items for sale. Now that they are within reach...I may have to participate in the online auction.
A Ming Dynasty Spirit House

Page from a triptych of illuminated leaves

Ragamala Indian Painting

Teen realizes dream with school in Vietnam

How much of an impact can you have on your world? How far of a reach? With a good example set by her grandmother, this teen accomplishes something that reaches the other side of the world.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Indoor BMX

What could be better than an indoor BMX park to work off some cabin fever? And give you road rash? And make grown men act like teenagers. As well as really, really sore. Check out my significantly crazy other:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Happiness Project

I'm participating in Happiness: The Group Writing Project You can too! Visit Alex Shalman's blog by clicking the link, answer the questions on your blog and your blog will be listed on Alex's which is a lot more famous. This could be good - great even! So here goes!

The Questions
How do you define happiness?
Happiness is being pleased with your present circumstances; enjoying family, friends, and activities; managing stress well; having a sense of well-being. I also believe that having something to look forward to and setting personal goals contributes to happiness.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?
My childhood happiness = 5 because of my mother's mental illness. She is bipolar, so growing up she had periods of mania, depression, and normalcy. Because of her instability and behavior, my parents divorced which contributed to my unhappiness.
My happiness now = 8 because of remarriage to a wonderful guy, a great standard of living, travel, and a better ability to cope with stress.

What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)
I love my (part-time) job at the library. Routine gives me a sense of well-being. I enjoy being an early riser and having a bit of time to myself first thing in the morning. I use an afternoon nap to 'reset' my mood since I seem to drop off in the afternoon.

What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?
Stress can take away from my happiness, especially worrying about my family. Severe illness and death in the family have been recent things that have impacted my happiness. I've used counseling and support to cope with these events. To lessen the impact of the types of things that take away from my happiness, I try to redirect my thoughts, count my blessings, distance myself from negativity if possible, and take a break from high stress situations if I can. If a situation is within my control, I can choose to remove the stress by fixing the problem or removing myself from the situation.

What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?
I plan on setting goals that focus on things that I enjoy. I have applied to graduate school because I love learning. My husband and I look forward to our retirement (or semi-retirement). I love spending time with my grand-babies and look forward to doing things with them as they grow.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Zen Habits

I've started signing up to RSS feeds. After a short time now, I need to go through and weed or will do nothing but read feeds. At the top of my must read list right now is Zen Habits. It's like I can't escape this blog! No wonder it won the Best Performancing Blog Award for 2007. If you'd like to get caught up quick, I recommend buying the new e-book the Zen Habits Handbook for Life.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Punk Covers Folk

My punk rock son pointed out various errors in this post, so look for a revised one in the future

California Dreaming/The Mamas and the Papas covered by NOFX and Pennywise and . . .

Vincent/Don McClean covered by NOFX (Google vincent don mcclean for tons of neat sites)

Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya/traditional covered by the Dropkick Murphys

Plus here's a whole list I found while looking for links to the above. Who knew??

Charity the Internet Way

Gimundo is one of my favorite sites for Good News . . . Served Daily. Their post on Five Ways to Give without Spending a Dime is worth clicking into.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm not a big fan of bumblebees only because of the sting risk, but apparently they do much more good than harm! And who will solve the mystery of why have all the bumblebees gone?

Janet Marinelli explains how important they are on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden:

We live on a planet pollinated primarily by bees. Bees fertilize most of our
favorite flowers, and pollinate a third of the plants we eat. Bumblebees are
important pollinators of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, melons, raspberries,
blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and many other crops, and are the only
known pollinators of potatoes worldwide.

I'm not a big fan of global warming and whatever did happen to the ozone, but this seems like a legitimate problem that can be solved by those in the know. I found it interesting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Little American History

Betcha didn't know this story posted in the Devoted Intellectual. Not having visited, I didn't know and found it really interesting.

My aunt and uncle, a veteran of the Korean War, are buried there. How cool is that?

DATE OF BIRTH: 04/25/1923
DATE OF DEATH: 12/24/2004
(703) 607-8000

DATE OF BIRTH: 11/18/1918
DATE OF DEATH: 07/03/2001
(703) 607-8000

Happy President's Day and a heartfelt thank you to all of our troops.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Goodyear Blimp

The Spirit of Goodyear was floating around the other day and reminded me of the ride I was honored to have years ago when I worked at Goodyear. My ride was actually in the Spirit of Akron, retired in 1999. That gondola that you ride in underneath the blimp? About the size of a minivan. It's amazing that the filming crews and their equipment plus the pilots are crammed in there.
While working at Goodyear, we caught a rare glimps of all three blimps together in Akron out of the windows of the headquarters building.

My kids and I lived in the village close to the blimp hangar at Wingfoot Lake, so we saw the blimp flying around all the time - it was cool. When the Spirit of Goodyear was christened by Sally Ride, my son and I went to the ceremony at the blimp hangar.
Good memories.

Friday, February 15, 2008


From Pick The Brain:

The Now. Focusing yourself on what you have instead of what you don’t have. Focusing on present actions instead of future worries and past regrets. Focusing on what is.
Your Dreams. Center yourself on the direction you want to take your life. Re-reading any goals I’ve written down helps me reaffirm what I want from life instead of responding to cynicism and frustration.
Family. Center around the people you love. This may be harder to center on if you’re having conflicts with your family. But by focusing on the best part of your relationships you can center yourself on what is important to you.
Your Passions. Center around the work you love doing. Focus on your ability to create.

Have a Heart, Donate an Organ

Gretchen of the Happiness Project posted about organ donation for Valentine's Day. My son brought home a wristband for me from the Donate Life presentation they had at school.

Coincidence? I think not.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Ohio Babies

Cop's baby

Is it wrong of me to expect the police to 'serve and protect?' This cop not only killed his pregnant girlfriend (which he said was accidental?) but instead of following police procedure, disposed of the body with the help of a high school friend.

So the guy was mean, dumb and shouldn't have been a cop, let alone a boyfriend or baby-daddy. This little family story disturbs me so much more. How in the hell do you kill your baby in the microwave. What circumstances lead up to that? Somebody put that baby in the microwave, closed the door and pushed the buttons. How, how, how could that even occur to someone??

Free Travel

This sounds interesting. I may have to follow the adventure.

It reminds me of the one red paperclip guy's brother who had an adventure. Check their accomplisment here: http://hitch50.com/

Friday, February 08, 2008


Give yourself some positive self-talk by using these statements and tips from the Mayo Clinic:
Use the above link to read the entire article.

Characteristics of resilient people


I'm able to adapt to change easily.

I feel in control of my life.

I tend to bounce back after a hardship or illness.

I have close, dependable relationships.

I remain optimistic and don't give up, even if things seem hopeless.

I can think clearly and logically under pressure.

I see the humor in situations, even under stress.

I am self-confident and feel strong as a person.

I believe things happen for a reason.

I can handle uncertainty or unpleasant feelings.

I know where to turn for help.

I like challenges and feel comfortable taking the lead.

Credits: Based on the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), Connor K.M., Davidson J.R. ©2003. Adapted by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Tips to improve your resilience

Use these tips to help become more resilient:

Get connected. Build strong, positive relationships with family and friends, who can listen to your concerns and offer support. Volunteer or get involved in your community. "A sense of connectedness can sustain you in dark times," Dr. Creagan notes.

Use humor and laughter.
Remaining positive or finding humor in distressing or stressful situations doesn't mean you're in denial. Humor is a helpful coping mechanism. If you simply can't find humor in your situation, turn to other sources for a laugh, such as a funny book or movie. (When my son went through a major depression in middle school, he really got a lot of relief from renting comedies, watching comedians and even read about becoming a comedian.)

Learn from your experiences. Recall how you've coped with hardships in the past, either in healthy or unhealthy ways. Build on what helped you through those rough times and don't repeat actions that didn't help.

Remain hopeful and optimistic. While you can't change events, look toward the future, even if it's just a glimmer of how things might improve. Find something in each day that signals a change for the better. Expect good results.

Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. This includes participating in activities and hobbies you enjoy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well.

Accept and anticipate change. Be flexible. Try not to be so rigid that even minor changes upset you or that you become anxious in the face of uncertainty. Expecting changes to occur makes it easier to adapt to them, tolerate them and even welcome them.

Work toward goals. Do something every day that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Even small, everyday goals are important. Having goals helps direct you toward the future.

Take action. Don't just wish your problems would go away or try to ignore them. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan to do it, and then take action.

Learn new things about yourself. Review past experiences and think about how you've changed as a result. You may have gained a new appreciation for life. If you feel worse as a result of your experiences, think about what changes could help. Explore new interests, such as taking a cooking class or visiting a museum.

Think better of yourself. Be proud of yourself. Trust yourself to solve problems and make sound decisions. Nurture your self-confidence and self-esteem so that you feel strong, capable and self-reliant. This will give you a sense of control over events and situations in your life.

Maintain perspective. Don't compare your situation to that of somebody you think may be worse off. You'll probably feel guilty for being down about your own problems. Rather, look at your situation in the larger context of your own life, and of the world. Keep a long-term perspective and know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Forgetting, part duex

"Every morning is the same."

I tried to give her a synopsis of Groundhog Day and got a blank look. She didn't know who Bill Murray was.

"Nobody comes to see me."

My brother comes once a week, but she doesn't remember.

"My own sister won't come to see me."

"Mom, Aunt Linda has MS. She doesn't go anywhere. She's had it for a couple years."

"I never thought I'd end up in a nursing home. How long have I been here?"

"Over a year. You came here after your ankle surgery as a result from a fall and then had to come back for good because of your falling so you could be in a safe place."

"I hate it here."

We had parts of this conversation over and over and over. Time to gently exit.

"I'm glad I was able to come see you today. Usually I babysit my granddaughter."

"You have a granddaughter??"

"Mom, Katy got married and had a baby last year. Rob's son and his girlfriend did also and are expecting another baby soon. Don't you remember us coming at Christmas? Everyone brought their kids and babies?"

"I remember that day."

That day was very exciting for her, but we noticed that she didn't call any of us by name.

Help! I'm LOST!

Both my step-daughter and I were going to miss this week's episode of LOST. My cousin was in town and we were meeting him for dinner and she had a meeting. She said she almost rescheduled it. "I am going to have to tape Lost tomorrow night, because I have a meeting at work. I almost made them change it!"

I thought she meant the show - uh...she meant the meeting. Her reply:

And, yes, Lost is going to reschedule for me so I don't miss tonight's episode. LOL. That is funny. You make me laugh.

Oh, and have fun at dinner tonight. What time do you think you will be done? I will call Lost and make sure they don't air tonight's episode until you get home. I can identify with being scatterbrained! I laugh because I can relate!

Ah but in the end, all is not LOST because it's on TONIGHT! My step-daughter is incredible, don't you think?

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Author Tim Ferris listed "three concepts that I and others have found useful for preventing the inevitable ups and downs from becoming self-destructive thinking and behavior:"
  1. Depression is just one phase of a natural biorhythm and thus both transient and needed...
  2. How you label determines how you feel.
  3. Gratitude training can be used pre- or mid-depressive symptoms to moderate the extremes and speed the transition.

Since I have bipolar disorder IMHO he hit the nail on the head for people who are not mentally ill. Reading the plentiful comments, I ran across the Ten Greatest Lies About Bipolar Disorder on Bipolar Central:

Lie #1:
You can survive without medication.

Lie #2:
You can’t control bipolar disorder.

Lie #3:
You only need the right medication and a great psychiatrist to be stable.

Lie #4:
Bipolar disorder is not a real illness, and not that many people have it.

Lie #5:
All people who have bipolar disorder are violent.

Lie #6:
People who have bipolar disorder can’t hold down a job.

Lie #7:
There is a machine or software program to scan your body or brain and determine if you have bipolar disorder.

Lie #8:
Someone with bipolar disorder will never get better.

Lie #9:
All psychiatrists are the same and give the same quality of care.

Lie #10:
There are natural proven cures for bipolar disorder that big business is hiding.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Poem

By a great teenager I know.


Dancing on the roof
Streaming down the pane
Pooling on the earth

Puddles turning to rivers
An unsteady beat
Plays an up roar crescendo
Fresh green and brown watercolors
Smudged to fill the yard

The wiper blades whip
A curtain across the wind shield
Head lights cutting the pour

Drenched through your coat
Foot prints three inches deep
Mud caked between your toes
Splashing your reflection’s face

The engine groans
Sighing from the water’s rage
The paint streaking across the black surface
Like a soaked blood stained cloth

Your head lifts, your gaze shifts
It shines and glints from across the way
Your mind in trance
Your feet wander with your eyes

Your pace quickens
The stereo blares
Trickles from the tree branches
Turn to buckets, breaking twigs

I run to the door
The tail lights turn
Tire tracks branding the street
The rain thins

Tail between your legs
Breathe, hot against the scarlet stream
Your eyes wide and awed
Heart beating with the rain

Dancing on the roof
Streaming down the pane
Pooling on the earth

Ohio Baby News

The bad news and the good news.

The span between evil and goodness is long and narrow. Being truly heroic means doing the best thing at the right time. Heroism is tested under circumstances. A person is not a hero by just thinking so, but by doing acts. I don't know if I am a hero until I am presented with a situation that requires my heroism. The good at heart would most likely be heroes. Someone who puts others before themselves would be a hero. Following the Golden Rule is heroic.

Bad people require bad thoughts, bad intentions and know before a situation presents itself how they will react. An evil person has an evil act playing in their mind over and over and when presented with an opportunity, will strike. Instead of stopping for one minute and thinking to tell someone what's going on and ask for help -- they will tear apart an innocent person's life not even caring that they're also ruining their own life.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Little Rae of Sunshine

Rae Loves Orange Soda

Katy with Rae:

The Metallica t-shirt wearing Xbox playin' baby!

And she can play ping-pong!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Forgetting

Things I forgot to take on my trip to Europe:

My new pointy-toe high-heeled boots I brought to wear with a skirt out to dinner. I had to wear slacks with my scruffy shoes.

Bathing suit - meaning no swimming for me in the heated indoor/outdoor pool.

Books to be read: The new Preston/Child book and a fantasy Snow White novel.

Guide books that I had borrowed from the library for Paris and Luxembourg so that we bought one for Paris at a used bookstore in Paris, which was kinda cool.

The scarf that I bought on my LAST trip because EVERYONE wears scarves in Europe. Hubby took a blanket from the airplane and cut it in half so that we both had scarves. He can be handy that way

Nausea medicine which I didn't need, but you never know.

And after forgetting all that, I forgot to buy chocolate to bring home!

Other than that, the trip was awesome. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What is the meaning of this?

Warning: the links in this post may be rated R

The story behind my blog name: A wife of a friend of ours has a nickname that combines 'mother' with her last name like this: Mo(ther) + Ho(the rest of her last name) to equal MoHo.
So my nickname is MoCo - I usually use MoCove for my nickname online. So MoInk is a variation of that which means Mo(re)Ink. Well, my daughter looked up Moink in the urban dictionary. I like number 1 because it could possibly replace the f-word. That would make my blog traffic tremendous, wouldn't it! Also, number 3 is good because, well, I'm a bit crazy like mentally ill crazy. But I would also say the urban dictionary crazy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Drop Kick Murphys

. . . are my new favorite punk band. They are punk meets folk, if you can believe it. They cover traditional folk! So imagine the simplicity, the purity of folk music. No drumming, just strumming. All acoustic. . . . the original unplugged versions of everything. Songs from the common folk of the world, for the common folk. Take this music and add it ALL - DRUMS, LOTS OF ELECTRIC GUITARS AND REALLY BIG REALLY LOUD SPEAKERS. Then for my favorite part - a guy who plays the bagpipes among lots of other traditional instruments. That's the Drop Kick Murphys. I love them!

Of course, I have to credit my son with turning me on to this band. He asked for their latest CD for Christmas and we've been listening to it in the car driving back and forth to school.

Thanks Chris!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

January's Travel News

At the end of this month, hubby and I are going to Europe! One week of working for him in Luxembourg will be sandwiched in between weekends in Paris. This will be our third trip - hard to believe, I know! Paris is a very famous city in France, so I'll tell you a bit about Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe nestled between Belgium, France, and Germany. (Lichtenstein is the smallest country, or principality) This small country played a mighty role in WWII and has excellent monuments and museums. General George Patton's grave is in Luxembourg.

The country is ruled by a Grand Duchy. But the most excellent place in the country and the best kept secret is the Sporthotel Leweck.

Last time we stayed there, our suite had a view of the Bourscheid Castle.

Now, how very, very fortunate am I??

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Post No. 1

. . . of the new year! For Christmas, loving hubby gave me my very own laptop! Now I have the best computer in the house. Of course, I aim to blog more often and improve my blogging skills. (not this very minute, though)

The holidays are over, the guests are gone, and there are still leftovers. We were busy here and a few of us passed around a crappy flu which I'm still trying to recover from. After we counted down to 2008 with Dick Clark, I had to go have a moment. Last year when I saw Dick Clark on TV, I was hopeful for my dad's recovery. This year was a reminder that dad is gone and I really miss him and think about him often.

Our granddaughters are wonderful, cute, funny, and we love them so much! Avah had her 1st birthday last week.