shoes…Shoes…..SHOES!!!

If the saying, “A new pair of shoes can change your life.” is true. Than my life just changed! Image

I had been drooling over these shoes for awhile but they are by Iron Fist which mean they were anywhere from $50-$60 dollars. A few weeks ago before leaving my job, when we knew I was leaving I happened upon these glorious shoes for…get this….$20!!!! So he told me to quit drooling and get them, as a treat for the years of hard work I had put in at the job I was now leaving. I have been waiting on these to arrive for several weeks now…..

My new babies arrived today!!!

I know, I know. I’m all about prepping, and back 2 basics but that does not mean I’m not still a woman and suddenly forgot about beauty, or fashion. C’mon now I was the first teenager in my town to wear the knee high boots I saw on MTV  even though I got made fun of, and when everyone else starting wearing them 2 years later, I laughed and moved onto a new trend.

Shoes are my weakness, even though I refuse to pay full price, I still love them. I love shopping for them, I love looking at them, I love wearing them. Admit it, shoes can change your entire outfit, they can brighten your day and boost your confidence. Heels can dress up a pair of jeans, flip flops can dress down a skirt….the possibilities are endless.

My weight may change over the years, I may have a few more wrinkles than I did 10 years ago but shoes….they remain my consistent and faithful best friend 🙂 Hey I may not fit in my size 3 blue jean shorts from high school anymore but I sure in the hell can still fit in my size 8.5 Doc Martins from high school!   😉

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Emergency Evacuation Plans

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Simply put:  Does your family know what to do and where to go in the event of a major emergency?

I always prided myself on being an overly prepared person. I loved planners and organizers even as a small child. I would write birthdays in them and holidays. I went through a period of about a year at the age of 18 where I stopped using planners, my life was “Fly by the seat of my pants” and while it was probably one of the most fun years and I made TONS of memories and met lots of people it was the most CHAOTIC, DISORGANIZED year of my life. I ended the year going: “What happened to all my plans? Where did the year go?” I immediately went back to being a prepared person.

You can be the most prepared person in the world but what about your spouse? Your kids? Would they know what to do if you were not herding the cattle, so to speak? This is where emergency evacuation plans come into play. It seems kind of overwhelming at first but take a minute and think. Think about Disaster Movies, School Evacuations, you workplace evacuation plans. They all revolve around the same basic concept and the same system. You just have to take these plans and make them fit your family.

Making a Family Emergency Binder

It’s really simple and cheap actually here is what I use for mine:

Binder

Sheet Protector

Pens

Zipper Pouches

I divide mine into sections:

Family Info

Household Info

Pets

Evacuation Plan

Emergency Contacts

Phone Tree

The family information section includes 1-2 pages per family member. The pages depends on the info needed. What do I include on these pages?

Full Name

Birthday

Copy of important documents – Birth Cert, Social Security Cards, ID

Medication List – Dosage, When and Why. I also include special medication. I.E. Mama needs to eat with her blood pressure medication.

Health Conditions

Dietary Needs

The key is to include ANY and ALL information someone would need to take care of each family member.

The Pet section is the same as the Family section.

The Household Information Section would include the following:

Location of Fuse Box – Diagram of fuses

Location of Gas Shut Off and Water Shut Off Valves

Landlord/Mortgage Company Information

Copy of important documents – Deed, Lease, etc

Utility Service Information

Include location of exits, windows, layout of home, yard, garage, etc.

Emergency Contacts Section is just what it sounds like. When thinking of disaster scenarios the goal is to have a simple and efficient Emergency Contact System. The best way to do this is to have a designated person IN STATE and and a designated person OUT OF STATE. This contact is the person EVERYONE in your family would call, email, write in the event that you are separated. This contact would have everyone’s information and would be able to relay messages between you. Example:

Your husband is on business out of town with access to airline phones only.

You are shopping with the baby, access to cell phone only.

Your 8 year old is at a friend’s house, phone line goes down, access to internet only.

Your teenager is at band camp, access to pay phone.

A massive earthquake shakes your entire state sending the sate into Emergency Measures. All of you are stuck in your current locations, unable to get to each other. Phone lines in your state (if not everywhere) are going to be tied up. (Think about the phone lines on 9/11, it was hard to get through no matter where you lived.

Given that each of you has access to only one form of communication, none of which are the same. How do you contact each other? How would you know your children and husband were safe? How would they know you are safe?

This is where your out of state contact comes into play. Each of you can contact him/her with your various forms of communication, then he/she lets each of you know that everyone is safe and where everyone is. This person should be the most trusted person in your life because they should also have the information to call your doctor, mortgage company, etc in place of you JUST IN CASE. So you want this to be a person you can trust with your life because essentially you are not only trusting them with your life but also with personal information.

This section should also include ALL important numbers. Don’t forget to include each family member’s cell and email. It’s easy to forget things we use daily in an emergency when nerves are frayed. And I have found that just because I think I know a number, I don’t. In the age of cell phones where we don’t have to remember phone numbers, most of us don’t remember them. I can still remember phone numbers of my best friends in 5th grade but not my husbands. Sad, I know.

Include community numbers: Church, Hospital, Doctor, Jobs anything that might be important to your family.

Evacuation Plan is what your family does int he event of home evacuation. This could occur during a robbery, a fire, a tornado.

This should include:

Meet-up Location 1-2 blocks (store, neighbors house, etc)

Meet-up Location within 5 mile radius

Meet-up Location in case everyone is not home together but a town evacuation is neccessary. Where will everyone meet if they can not meet at home?

Keep it simple but you need to think of different scenarios, access to roads, what would your town do in the event of evacuation?

What each family members task is before leaving (Dad makes sure kids are in car, son makes sure pets are secure, mom performs head count, etc)

What is on the Take With You List (we will cover Bugging Out/Taking With You next week)

This should also include what to do in different scenarios: Tornado, Earthquake, Terrorist Attack, Zombies, etc. And what you plan to do in each scenario that you are worried about. Start with scenarios that will logically happen in your area. Live in LA? Start with earthquakes. Live in Tornado Alley? Start with Tornadoes. Then work your way on to each event that may happen or you want to prepare for.

Lastly is the phone tree. This is mostly for people who have made themselves part of a community. (We will cover this later) and this works just as it would in a church or school. But instead of 1 person being able to activate the phone tree. The Head of each Household would be able to activate. Each family in the community is in charge of contacting the next family.

 The Smith’s activate the tree due a nuclear reactor leak. They call The Martins. The Martins call The Baxters and so on. The point is that each family has an assigned family but in case The Martins are unreachable the Smiths would call the Baxters.

We will talk more about Community Plans in a later post.

I hope this is a good start for everyone. I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with tons of details in the first post, but in a later post I will add more family specific items. This is just a bare bones basic Evacuation Binder.

The goal is to have ALL important information easy to transport and easily accessible. This includes it being easy to use for  your babysitter and kids. You never know when they might be put in a situation to need it.

Happy Prepping!!

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Fitness Update

So in the past few days I have slightly gotten away from what I plan to post during the week. All the political agendas floating around right now put me on a train of thought I wanted to share.

So back the the basics!! Here is a health & fitness update!

Since starting this journey about 3 weeks ago I have lost 12 pounds of my goal!! And all in a healthy way! How have I done it you ask without starving myself or liposuction?

To start off with after all of the years trying to crash diet, starving myself, then giving up and eating anything I wanted I have realized a few things about myself that I had to take into consideration. No diet is going to work for everyone. what works for me may not work for my husband and what works for him may not work for my friends. No one knows your body better than you do.

After the birth of my second child I spent years with the most horrible stomach problems. True to form every month I would get so horribly sick and dehydrated that it would lay me up in bed (or vomiting over the toilet) for days. I would have to lay with a trash can between me and my night stand and sleep with my head on the night stand because these bad times were 3 times as bad as the worst morning sickness. Yes, that bad. Each month they would get worse, this would last about 6 months. Then I would get one or two months where I would get nauseous but no vomiting or dehydration. Then they would start all over, this plagued me for 6 years! It was unbearable, I have been to hospital after hospital, doctor after doctor, test after test. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. So I started paying attention to my own body for triggers or signs.

1. I noticed that after eating I would swell and my hands and face would itch.

2. If I took benadryl it eased the symptoms. But only if I took it before the symptoms or immediately after. I found this out after taking some benadryl to sleep through a bad spell because the doctor would not give me any medication to stop the vomiting.

3. I tried gluten free, worked for a couple months but then I got sick again.

4. I felt like I was 16 again when I went on the HCG diet. (Yes, I tried it. I will post more about that later.) No illness, nothing. I actually took up jogging and going to the gym I felt so great!

5. We already know I am borderline Anemic after my first birth. I have to monitor my Iron levels.

6. Since my second pregnancy I have Extreme Hypertension. (Bottom number refuses to lower)

7. Eating would also give me a headache and feel like a rock was sitting in my stomach.

8. Severe dehydration would kick in after the third month of sickness and put me in the hospital. I have been in the hospital MORE with this illness than with all three pregnancies.

9. My wonderful monthly visit from mother nature was HORRENDOUS!! Every month was like giving birth.

10. I started suffering from kidney stones a few months ago.

11. I started having severe allergic reactions to certain lotions.

There are more symptoms, but as they are not the prettiest symptoms to write about I figured if anyone wants to know because they suffer from the same things you can comment and I will privately email you.

So, needless to say I got fed up with the doctors and started doing my own research. After a lot of studying my own body and internet research we found the Evil Monster that was plaguing me:

PRESERVATIVE INTOLERANCE Those nasty little things that give food shelf life: Sodium Benzoate, Sulfates, etc.

The HCG diet is free of these, which is why I felt s good on it. These preservatives are EVERYWHERE! Beauty products, foods, drinks, etc. So let me try to explain how this works. You know the cycles of illness and getting better I talked about? Well let’s say we’re starting at the beginning of a 6 month cycle.

Month 1 – Body is free of preservatives from foods and such.

Each month thereafter, months 2-5, you are eating foods with preservatives. Your body can not digest them so they build up in your system. More and more preservatives in you with each passing month.

Month 6: Your body can not tolerate any more so you get extremely sick, dehydration, vomiting and so on. This purges your body of the preservatives. Trust me when your body is trying to rid itself of this stuff it means business.

Then your body starts a new cycle.

Finding this out was rather scary to think that for years, even decades that I had this allergy and no one knew it. It can cause you to go into Anaphylactic shock! Scary right? To think my food could have killed me, is just something we don’t think about. So I went on a preservative free diet. Buying natural foods, none of my normal beauty products (except my makeup, I couldn’t live without that). I did this for about a month to free my body of the preservatives. Then I slowly started reincorporating my favorite lotions etc. The only was to tell which ones you can tolerate without a severe reaction is to be free of preservatives first.

I have been (knock on wood) free of the monthly horrible sickness for 6 months!! My mother nature visits are more normal, I feel better, I have more energy, less headaches, etc. Now don’t get me wrong I have my vices that I love and can not give up. I still drink my wine and my whiskey. Occasionally I’ll have a beer. I have certain beauty products I refuse to do without. Cherry Coke is my form of a cigarette. So I drank one a day instead of ALL day.

Before I go out to dinner I take an anti-histamine.

My life is about picking and choosing now. I think of the preservative as a bank account. It’s hard to completely cut it out, it’s in everything. I’m still working on this part. But until then, I have a budget (what I know my body will be okay with) and use it on my favorites, such as my 1 cherry coke a day. If I go out to eat, the next day I cut out ALL preservatives. It’s about balance now until I can get to a completely natural diet.

That being said here is what I have done the past 3 weeks to lose 12 lbs. I know what affects my body now so I know how to feed it. So this has been my routine.

Breakfast: Yogurt/Coffee (yes with sugar and cream)

Lunch: Smoothie (I am going to start posting my smoothie recipes that my husband invents for me. Like his Red Velvet Smoothie…yum and guilt free.)

Supper: I eat with the family something healthy, making sure to get my meat and veggies. We all eat the same thing. This is where my cherry coke comes in to play. I have cut myself back to 6 oz at a time from 20 oz.

Snack: Yogurt and a healthy snack. (I will also post recipes for healthy snacks I eat)

I take my vitamins, yes I still eat meat. I have to eat meat because of my Iron and I love meat. I do yoga and soon will be trying to incorporate some sort of strength training and cardio.

There is no better compliment than to have your husband say, “Do I need to buy you suspenders? Your constantly adjusting your pants like they’re too big.”    🙂  🙂   🙂

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Springsteen – Eric Church

Because I’m feeling this right now.

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Makes Ya Think!

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Just Because

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In my real life I search everywhere to find you, but in my dreams you are always there with me, your hands in mine, touching the stars, flying in the sky as the moon brightens our night.

-Yara

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One Lovely Blog Award

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I am so very honored and surprised to be nominated for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ by
Grapes, Gripes & Gratitude!!

So there are five guidelines for accepting this award:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you (which I did above).

2. Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere (which you see here and on homepage).

3. Tell them seven facts about yourself (see below).

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award (see below…I got close..)

5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated

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7 Facts About Me

1. I am a very Spiritual person, I’m just not religious.

2. I am passionate about the Arts. Acting, Music, Writing, Art.

3. Jack, Jim and Morgan are my favorite men!!   😉

4. I’ve been writing short stories and songs since I was 13.

5. My children are my life but they are also The Drama Queen, Superheroes (well, in their heads they are.) The Empathetic Engineer and The Scottish Warrior.

6. My husband waited for me for several years while I chose the wrong guys to date and the wrong friends to have until I saw that he was the one still standing there when they left. The rest is history.

7. Drum rolI please……….I am terrified of ZOMBIES and PANDEMICS!!! When I say terrified I mean heart racing, body numbing, unspeakable fear. I have awoke MANY nights after a Zombie dream asking my husband to board up the windows in my home.

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The next part of the award is nominating other bloggers: Not sure I can hit 15 as I am new to this but I’ll try!

Jenny Lina Carlsdotter This lady is VERY dear to my heart! She is a very strong and independent woman, speaks several languages, has traveled the world and has worked for the UN!! ALL in her twenties!! She has loved and lost but gets back up on her feet and knows the meaning of being a true friend!! Yes this blog is in Swedish but Google Translate will take care of that problem.

Frugally Sustainable Love, love, love this blog!! Want to know how your household can be more natural and homemade? Check her out!!

Stacy Makes Scents This lady is fun and has GREAT tips on how to manage your household while getting out of debt.

Salt N Prepper This blog teaches you how to become more self sufficient while not breaking the bank! Even if you’re not a prepper this has some handy tips!

The Prairie Homestead Another self sufficient blog with great tips for the household.

Being nominated for this award made a not so great night the highlight of my day!!! I’m a dork I know. 🙂  Thank you again Grapes, Gripes & Gratitude!!

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Don’t Start the Fight, Finish It

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I was up waaaaaaaaaay to late last night as usual. Insomnia is nothing if not faithful, coming to visit me every  night.

While I was up cruising the internet I stumbled across an old friend of mine being bullied. Now I know you are probably thinking “What is she 12? She just said bullied.” But yes, you heard me right. Bullied.

This got me to thinking about my friend, and that I know from experience how hurtful this can be. I myself have been victim of cyber bullying. It is devastating to log onto the internet to find hateful and horrible things being said about you behind a screen name. The internet is supposed to be for entertainment, work, education, fun.

I remember the days that you could see your bullies face, know who the hurtful words came from and make the choice to walk away or fight back. Most times only you and a few other people, or maybe just your neighborhood knew this. We now live in a time where your bully sits behind a computer, types up his phrases behind a made up screen name and then hits enter. FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE!
This is what kids today deal with, but it is also what adults deal with.

Now I’m not trying to take away from the horrible injustice of Teen Cyber Bullying. It breaks my heart to hear about this and what it usually results in.

But I think we should also talk about when it happens to adults.I don’t like the term bullying anymore than you do. What adult in their right mind would walk up to their friends and say, “I’m being cyber bullied. Call it what you will: slander, gossip, bullying, etc. It’s all the same. There is a victim and an attacker.

Nowadays in the world of creating a persona online and saying what you want in the privacy of your own home we don’t even have the ability to confront our attackers. And in the age of technology I have seen first hand that as adults more often than not the attacker is a friend or a coworker.

Now I’m not saying we all haven’t gossiped or said hateful words, but let’s think about this for a second. What goes on the internet stays on the internet. It is like Las Vegas, everything stays there. Once the words have been said, the damage is done. Apologies and hitting the Delete button does not take away the hurt, the pain, the shame. So you know something about someone, so what if she stole your boyfriend in high school, so what if he passed you up for a promotion? THINK before you speak. EVERYONE in the world can see what you have said. What if this person’s kids logged on and saw that their mother was being called a wh** or that their father is being called a deadbeat? What if the person’s mother saw this? People lose friends over gossip and slander. People tend to believe what they read. So you have more than likely just ruined a person’s reputation and this will follow them everywhere they go because the internet is accessible by anyone that has access to a computer or phone.

Are you thinking, “I’ve never started such a thing! I’d never start rumors or gossip!” But have you spread the rumor/gossip? By telling even ONE person what you have heard or read you are spreading the gossip and in turn have helped the attacker accomplish their task. To tear the person down.

Why not break the cycle by saying, “I can’t have this conversation.” or “Check you facts before you spread rumors.” and walking away.

ANYONE can fall victim to rumors, gossip, slander, bullying. Why not focus our energy on spreading words of love and hate. Maybe the gossip is true, maybe it’s not. Whether it is or not maybe by spreading words of love you are breaking the cycle and uplifting the victim who may need to know that they should not feel shame or hurt at what is being said. Sometimes one act of kindness, one word of love and compassion can change the course of a life.

Why should these acts of kindness be reserved for people we know? Why are strangers not worthy of this? Why do we watch our friends, our neighbors and our families be ripped apart by words online while we sit behind our own screen and close the page. Never saying a word.

It is as simple as this:

  1. Don’t start it.
  2. Don’t spread it.
  3. Report it.
  4. Support the victim.

Though bullies tend to be online now and not the physical fights over milk money and lunch that we all remember. I will continue to teach my kids that bullying, gossip and hateful words and actions are wrong.

I will continue to teach my kids:

“Don’t start the fight, but finish it!”

Stop the bullying!

Categories: My Views | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing…

I’ve heard this saying all of my life. So I am taking a stand. My heart goes out to the Colorado Victims and other victims of violence but here is how I feel.

Everything going on in the US today with gun control, abortion, Chik-Fil-A, gay rights, Batman….makes my heart hurt. I really think I was born in the wrong time period sometimes….

People kill people and have been since the beginning of time, if it’s not a gun it’s a rock. If it’s not violence against gays it’s violence against women’s rights, if it’s not the holocaust against jews it’s the holocaust against Native American’s, if it’s not African American slavery it’s the slavery of children in the sex industry.

When did we stop treating people like people? We all hurt, we all bleed. Everyone is someone’s daughter or son, someone’s husband or wife, someone’s grandchild.

Maybe if we had compassion, stood together instead of fighting and loved one another we could help stop violence against gays, help the people with mental illness, rehabilitate the men that abuse their wives and children, help the victims of abuse stand on their own to stop the cycle.

When did humanity become inhumane?

Where is the focus on the mental illness that some of the criminals suffer from? Now before you say I’m stereotyping, I AM IN NO WAY SAYING ALL PEOPLE WHO SUFFER FROM MENTAL ILLNESS ARE CRIMINALS! Far from it, I know many children and adults who are diagnosed with various mental illnesses who are WONDERFUL people. People I am proud to know. But these adults took control of their lives, recognized where they needed help and did what needed to be done. These children have loving, caring parents who recognized that they are blessed with a child different than others and provided them with loving support to grow into productive young adults/adults.

What I am saying is that I have also seen first hand the suffering a person goes through when they have no help, no support and are swept under the rug because God forbid we admit that we have friends or family with severe mental illness. By severe I mean things such as schizophrenia, psychosis, extreme bi-polar disorder, etc. I have seen first hand the suffering that the loved ones of these people go through with them. The loved ones who do recognize the illness and plead for them to get help.

Where is the recognition that this goes untreated and causes such suffering that sometimes these people react, asking for help in such ways as suicide or murder? Mental Illness should NOT be a stigma, it should NOT be a stereotype, it should NOT be swept under the rug. I have seen what it does to the lives of the patient and their loved ones. I have seen that with one action all the lives involved could have been wildly different.

Where is the compassion for children with autism as they go through the school system? Where is the patience for a child with ADD/ADHD? Why are these children shoved to the side in a special class and stereotyped for the rest of their lives?

Where are the mobs of people willing to stand in line 24 hours for a new iphone when a victim of domestic violence is begging for help and often times her abuser is someone suffering from severe mental illness? I can not count the times I have heard from people. “I don’t want to get involved.” or “Well she probably deserved it.” or “She made her bed now she needs to lie in it.” I have seen cops tell women, “Well, you shouldn’t have pushed his buttons.” I have seen women lose their children to an abuser all because she took a stand and left him.

Take a stand? Okay I am taking a stand… I am taking a stand for the people who suffer from Mental Illness, I am taking a stand for the victims of Domestic Violence. I refuse to bury my head in the sand and say that mental illness should be swept under the rug, I refuse to shut my door to a woman or child that is being abused.

If you want to take a stand, take a stand and let’s bring awareness to these issues.

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Just A Thought

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