Have you ever pulled up to a red light and tried to avoid eye contact with a person holding a cardboard sign that read, “Need Help,” or “Hungry” or “Homeless?” I am embarrassed to say that I have. How do you handle this situation?
I’ll be brutally honest with you, I was not proud of myself when I would look the other way, avoided eye contact or pretended I was changing channels on the radio. As I drove past the people I would feel a sting in my spirit that said, “What’s the matter with you ~ you have more than enough to share?” However, I just did not know what to do. I knew it was not in the best interest of the person to hand money to them, yet it was not in their best interest to pretend they did not exist either. In fact, pretending they did not exist was the worst possible thing I could do.
Several months ago, I was given two common-sense suggestions:
1.) Keep $5.00 McDonald’s gift cards in your car.
2.) Keep a lunch bag in your car that has non-perishable food items in it. Examples might include breakfast bars, peanuts, crackers, etc. . .
Do you have suggestions of ways to respond honorably to those who need help?
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
( Mother Teresa)
Everyone’s talking about it – did you feel the earth move yesterday? Where were you when the windows rattled and ground shook? This was probably a once in a lifetime event for most people living on the East Coast, according to experts.
Below you will find several interesting links about earthquakes.
Distance vs Intensity Map (Select “Zoom Out” Map)
Where were you? I was driving yesterday and did not notice it, but my husband was home and he said the blinds began to shake and the house creaked. He thought, perhaps it was a big gust of wind and decided to walk outside. Many of our neighbors were outside, all saying . . . “What the heck was that?”
Democrats said yesterday’s earthquake was clearly Bush’s fault, while Republicans said the earthquake was the result of our founding father’s rolling over in their graves. (author unknown)
It has slipped up on me the Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon. It seems like only yesterday I signed on and started my first training. In the sweep of mid-August: back to school, last minute vacations and multiple events, my training had slipped to the side-lines.
As they say “It’s the journey not the destination,” and the most amazing part of my training regime has been seeing what my body can actually do-feeling my pulse, listening to my breath, understanding the mechanics of the human body and its amazing abilities. I have been surprised over and over again about what my body could actually accomplish, setting small goals, reaching them and pushing past what I thought was my limit.
I injured my ankle three weeks ago during a training run on the treadmill, I ran hard and fast then did a spin class, later to realize I had some sort o sprain or possibly a small stress fracture in my left ankle. The pain, unfortunately, has not subsided. I initially felt defeated when I realized I would not be able to reach my personal goal of swimming, biking and running the whole triathlon with no walking and no break. With my ankle injury it was just not a possibility. But if this process has taught me anything it’s how to listen to my body, take care of it, and understand its strengths and limitations. After a lot of thought, I decided to play it safe and walk/jog the running portion of the race instead of risking greater injury.
I wake up before my alarm at six am-my heart pounding. “The race starts in two hours,” I think and jump out of bed to get dressed and gather all my gear.
I drive across town music blaring loudly trying to pump myself up for the race. I pull up at the Gateway YMCA to a sea of cars and people buzzing through the parking lot, bikes in hand, buckets of gear. I am immediately overwhelmed by the number of athletes, over 600 total, and it hits me hard. “This is it! You are here, with all these women about to race and compete for something you have all been working towards for months.”
My stomach begins to grow queasy as I set up my bike in the transition area and look at the large start and finish line gates we are to run through surrounded by balloons and crowds of people. “This is really a big deal. I really have to finish this race; people are here to cheer me on.”
I get in line to get my race chip that records my time, and a sweet lady with a fat sharpie marks me up, my race number, 574, on both thighs and right arm, my initials on my left bicep, my age on my calf. I watch as women of all shapes and sizes swarm around me doing the same thing, nervous smiles, tense giggles, and before I know it we are lining up for the swim.
Now this is the hardest part, the waiting. Since there are over 600 participants in the race, we must wait in line to enter the pool, racers are released every fifteen seconds to begin a maze of lanes that comes out to be 225 meters. I realize it’s not about who crosses the finish line first, but who has the best time.
My stomach is in knots as the adrenaline and anxiousness pump through my veins. I want to jump in line and get it started, but I know I must wait my turn. Deep breaths and meditative thoughts I remind myself. I chat with some of the women beside me in line. We share are trepidation and anticipation.
Before I know it I am jumping in the water. It feels natural and right. I move fluidly trying to remember to pace myself. Women swim all around me and what training has not prepared me for is this community of people, this movement of one together, the motivation it gives you to have women pushing themselves and competing it in front of, behind and beside you.
Suddenly, I am pushing off the wall into a back stroke on my last lap. I jog out of the pool to applause; I am overwhelmed with the number of people waiting outside the pool area to cheer us on. My husband’s sweet smile greets me. “You’re doing great baby! Keep it up!” His encouraging words of love and support are invaluable.
I change quickly and mount my bike. I tackle the first gargantuan hill at the start of the bike route. I am shocked by how much the slightest words of encouragement from a bystander or a volunteer keep me going. Their cheers make it possible, give me the motivation I needed to peddle on as I gasp for air. I chug up the hills and speed down on my trek road bike. It is in this moment the exhilaration, the thrill of this race courses through my veins.
I zip over the bike finish after eight miles “Two down, one to go,” I coach myself. The running- the hardest part lies just ahead. My mind says I should be falling over from exhaustion, but my body pounds the pavement -at this point running on pure adrenaline.
As I run/walk the final leg of this race I notice how women all around me are encouraging each other. This is the best part of this race, the support and encouragement I feel from other participants, not a cut-throat competitive edge, but a community of woman empowering each other to accomplish their goals. I could not count the number of times I saw other racers yell or fist pump a, “You can do it!” to a passing participant. It is this fellowship of kindred spirits, hopeful hearts and motivated mindsets that makes this race so special.
I may never run a triathlon again, or I may do ten. But no matter what other journeys or challenges lay ahead, I now know my mind and body are capable of accomplishing seemingly insurmountable goals.
Could it get any easier? This week I stumbled onto the best fruit smoothie of the summer. Below is my secret recipe and now what I need from you is your recommendation for the best ice crushing, smoothie making blender. (Please do not say the Vitamix 5200 or Blendtec Total Blender because most people cannot afford a $500.00 blender.)\
The Special Recipe
½ ripe banana (fresh)
5 – 6 blueberries (frozen)
4 strawberries (fresh)
4 bing cherries (frozen)
You may need to add a little water or give it a kick with a splash of Diet Mt. Dew!
1. Always use one or two pieces of fresh fruit because it will blend better.
2. If you must use all frozen fruit, set it out of the freezer about 15 minutes.
3. Buy fruit every week; freeze whatever is not eaten in the first few days.
Freezing fruit for smoothies is simple:
1. Rinse the fruit.
2. Let the fruit dry.
3. Place fruit on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about an hour or until frozen.
4. Place frozen fruit in a freezer bag.
5. When freezing bananas cut in 1 ½ – 2 inch slices
If there’s one thing most people hate, it’s getting pictures taken. Right up there with hanging in the dressing room trying on bathing suits, getting my picture taken is such a wonderful joy. So when asked, to get a Headshot for my bio, I cringed wondering if I could go through existing pictures and choose from there. After sending too many pictures that didn’t work, I bit the bullet and called and made an appointment with Claudia of the Portrait Gallery!
The Portrait Gallery is located on James Rd in Clemmons, a beautiful white building. Inside is a very comfortable studio, pictures on the wall show Claudia’s talent with children and families. Beautiful black and whites, great pictures of children. The only thing making me nervous was the large camera and a stool sitting in front of it. Claudia immediately put me at ease.
“Don’t worry, just have a seat and we’ll knock this out in a few minutes.” She’s looking at what I’m wearing and talking to me about white or black, we both decide that the black with work best and she asks what’s my good side.
“Hmmm, I have the Aargh eye on this side,” I say pointing to my right side.
“Aargh eye?” She asks taking a few test shots.
“Yup, when I smile this eye likes to close. My kids say I look like a pirate saying AARGH!”
Claudia laughs, “Don’t worry, just relax and we’ll try to keep you from looking like a pirate.”
Did you know that for Headshots, she’s got to be up high, with you looking up at her? Claudia has me lean forward, look up at her turning my head to my good side. “This probably feels wierd, but it’s the best way to get a great shot!”
After 10 minutes we’re done, and I’m amazed at how easy the process was! We go to a computer and she shows me 15 pictures she’s taken, the start out really good! When we get to my other side, we’re both laughing at some of the wierd smiles and of course my AARGH eye! Immediately we decide that we’ll stick with my better side.
We go through the pictures, narrow it down to three then pick one out of the three. Claudia agrees and says, “I’ll touch it up a little bit, and you’re done!”
All in all, it took about 30 minutes, and the result was something that even I was amazed with! Claudia made me feel comfortable and with the resulting picture made me feel beautiful! If you’re needing some pictures, headshot or not, think about Claudia and The Portrait Gallery – professional and FUN!
The official count:
7 pencil boxes
56 glue sticks
40 packs of crayons
10 packs of markers
24 packs of colored pencils
18 packs of paper
22 pairs of scissors
20 packs of erasers
7 binder pouches
6 packs of index cards
2 boxes of Kleenex
These supplies will go to children who need them, getting ready to start the school year right! So many kids don’t have the right tools to get the most out of school and we WANT TO HELP! If you couldn’t make Girls Nite Out AND want to donate Supplies you STILL CAN! Collection boxes are sitting at these businesses:
Simply Sterling on Stratford Road
Grassroots Salon on Robinhood Road
Big Shotz Tavern Clemmons
LET’S FILL THE BOOKBAGS!!
Cooking with herbs is quite flavorful, not to mention very healthy. I have always assumed that using herbs was expensive and complicated ~ I was very wrong! About six weeks ago I began growing Sweet Basil in my sunroom window and I have found many simple ways to use this wonderful herb.
In the grocery store I found a small basil plant, so I decided to purchase it as opposed to buying a small bunch of fresh basil. I left the plant in the little plastic container and placed it in a glass bowl. I have been harvesting leaves several times a week using them in a variety of simple ways. The cost of one small living plant in the grocery store is about the same as buying one bunch of fresh herbs.
Simple, easy ways to use Fresh Basil
• Sandwiches: Using fresh basil leaves turns an ordinary sandwich into a gourmet delight! Place fresh basil leaves on any sandwich that has slices of tomato on it.
• Pizzas: Put basil leaves on veggie pizzas or tomato and cheese pizzas.
• Salads: Try adding torn basil leaves to any pasta salad or traditional garden salads.
• Italian dishes: Add torn basil leaves to the top of your favorite Italian dishes just before serving.
Do you have any suggestions for using fresh basil?
Most that know me, know that I cannot find my way out of a paper bag….so the invention of the GPS was a very welcome addition to my travels, saving me a lot of time so I thought. I went to visit my sister in St. Michaels and was trying to get back to Baltimore so I plugged in Baltimore and let the GPS do its magic to find me there.
I’m driving, and driving then start wondering when I’ve moved from major roads to very minor roads, my GPS still confident that it will get me where I am going.
“This isn’t the way I used to get there?” I talk to the air.
“Turn right on Ma N Pa Drive and follow for 8 tenths of a mile,” the GPS replies.
“But this is a gravel road,” I say as I kick up dust from the rental car.
“Turn right on RedNeck Lane then make an immediate left into Hatfield Family Lane,” the GPS replies confidently.
I take all these back roads wondering if I am going the right way, when I come out of the woods and right up to a dead end and WATER! “Take the Oxford Ferry,” my GPS states.
“What?” I look at a very old man standing at a small boat waving to me looking like, “well come on?”
“Take the Oxford Ferry,” the GPS says again.
“This isn’t the right way,” I whine to no one, the man still waving me on. Finally he gets frustrated and walks up to me. “Are you taking the Ferry?” He asks, I can almost feel the GPS saying, “That’s what I TOLD HER to do.”
“I’m trying to get to Baltimore,” I reply looking at the boat.
“What?” He looks at me like I’m crazy.
“Will this take me to Baltimore?” I ask.
“I don’t know…..” He replies looking at the car that just pulled up behind me, she’s looking more confident that me.
“My GPS said it would,” I hold up the GPS screen it is confident in its route pointing the way.
He looks at it, “Looks like it will, there’s someone waiting behind you, are you taking the ferry?”
“Can I turn around?” Looking at the wooden bridge to the ferry, pretty tight looks like I am pretty committed.
“Take the Oxford Ferry,” the GPS repeats, I almost catch myself saying, “Shaddup!”
“Ummm, not really, you’re in the lane to take the ferry, and someone’s waiting….” The captain of the boat is looking out his window like, “What in the hell is going on?”
“Take the Oxford Ferry,” the GPS repeats itself, I’m waiting for it to add “you idiot” to the line.
So I take the oxford ferry (11 dollars later) then follow the GPS through a beautiful small town along a bunch of other roads and back onto my highway and into more familiar territory. It was a surprise but fun byway, probably picked by the GPS because it knew I needed to slow down and enjoy the sights. Or I made a wrong turn and the GPs thought, “Oh she wants to take the scenic route……” Either way sometimes life can throw in a detour, rather than getting upset go with it and enjoy the ride!
Ever had the GPS take you totally off track…in a good way?
In response to the price increase on Netflix, I suggest that we share our favorite Live Streaming series on Netflix. Below are three series that my husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed this year.
• Heartland: Is a wonderful, feel-good series for the entire family. This CBC series is based on two sisters, their grandfather and their Horse farm.
• Lost: When Lost was on T.V., it just did not catch my attention. However, my husband and I enjoyed the series on Netflix, perhaps the continuity of watching the series helped us understand it. (I would not recommend this for children ~ The Smoke Monster might keep the kids awake and although the violence is minimal, I do not think this is a family friendly series. If I am being honest, it scared me a little!)
• Monarch of the Glen: I will admit it is a little silly and somewhat slow in the beginning but after a few episodes, my husband and I were hooked. This is a BBT production and it is wonderful for the entire family.
When my husband and I looked at the price increases for Netflix, we decided we could certainly live without the mail portion of the plan. If we want to see a more current movie, we will go back to using Redbox periodically.
Does anyone have a Netflix, live-streaming series you would recommend?
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