Waiting for the Wizard

My son is unhappy. He’s going through one of those, I hate my job, I hate my life phases. You know…the ones that can sometimes stick around so long they become your life? Those ones. He keeps on expecting me to fix everything, or at least come up with some useful advice. I can’t, no matter how much he insists. This is something he needs to figure out on his own. I can’t do it for him. Besides which, no matter what I say, I don’t know anything; I mean “look at your life” he tells me. Why does he ask then, I’d like to know.

He’s waiting for the Wizard…the one who waves his magic wand and life is suddenly all sunshine and roses. Yeah, I know…I’ve never met this Wizard either. But I bet you anything there is some part of you that’s waiting for him. I can even imagine what he looks like. Sometimes he’s just like Gandalf; but there are other incarnations where he looks like Thor (yummy). Oh, stop that! But anyway, here we all are (or at least some of us) looking for someone else to take control and make our lives better.

Probably would be the wizard to change my life!

Probably would be the wizard to change my life!

It can take us a long time to finally figure out that no one else is going to “fix” our problems. Sorry Cinderella, but I’ve never met the Prince, either. The trick is to figure out what you can change, and what you can’t. I can’t change all my circumstances, but I can change myself. The tough thing is to decide what and how you’re going to change. Then, once you’ve figured that out, you need to take the steps required to change. That’s my advice!

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The Blizzard of 2015

Ah, a Nor’easter! How can I explain it? Luckily I had the foresight to buy another bag of birdseed and the birds are sitting all over the front porch – the railings, the floor, the steps and the bird-feeders. They’re even perching on my bucket of sand for the driveway and my log pile for the fire. So many of them. I’m afraid I’m the only one in the neighborhood who feeds them. I’ll have to go out again and replace my bag once I can get out and about, as I’m sure they’ll eat the whole 20 pound bag in just a few days.

Every time that the weather forecasters say the word “snow”, the people in my state go crazy. Yesterday when I arrived at the grocery store at 6 am to do my usual weekly shopping one day early due to the impending weather, the place was packed. And, so many items weren’t there! Empty shelves all over the place. No lettuce! No tomatoes! No peppers! No bread and milk, which of course I had figured on, but the lettuce? Usually there is always lettuce. No worries though. I simply got a few bags of spinach. There was one lonely half gallon of Almond Milk which I nabbed, and I already had most of a loaf of bread in the refrigerator at home. So, everything was cool.  I also took a ride to the most important pre-storm location on Monday; the local library. I had to get more books to see me through a possible electricity outage. Can’t do without those books!

I had already made my plans for the impending doom this past weekend. We hauled wood onto the porch and into the wood closet in the cellar. Then, I made sure we had lots of water in my emergency bottles, since if we lose electricity we lose our well. Of course we’ve got plenty of peanut butter and jelly; not to mention the piles of bananas and other fruit we always have. So, what else is there to do? Why all the insane behavior? People run around like Chicken Little whenever there is a storm predicted.

I know why, of course. First there was a wild storm in August one year (not too long ago) and we lost power for 6 days. Then there was that freak snow-storm in October and we lost power for over a week. People remember. Then, there was another storm when people in the more “wealthy” part of the state lost their power for over a week. What a hullabaloo that was.  Since then, we’ve been lucky and as far as I know the electric company is responding much more quickly now.  I think as of now we’ve gotten over 18 inches of that fluffy white stuff (going on 2 feet!).  So, that’s it, we just need to hunker down and read our books. No, as I’ve still got electricity, I’ve got to keep working on that organizing project I’ve got going on. Oh yes, I’ll just get on that!  How exciting!  No, now that I’ve uncovered one car and two trucks, I think that hot chocolate is the order of the day!

The Importance of Being Organized

Okay, so one of my goals for 2015 was to get my checkbook up-to-date. This process actually took me a week-and-a-half working at 30 minutes a day Mondays through Fridays. So, guess what I found when I worked through my checks, deposits and automatic withdrawals? Not surprisingly I found a problem. I was actually surprised that it was just one. But, one that cost me about $400.00. I had called to cancel one of the many trucks that we insure, since my son had sold it; and I had called and cancelled in September. But then, unknown to me, since I didn’t even remotely look at my statement and check my automatic withdrawals, the insurance company made a mistake and put that truck back on my insurance in October. So, there I was paying an additional amount on a vehicle that we didn’t even own. And, this went on from October to January. All because I simply filed my statements and didn’t look at them.

I’ve since called the insurance company, spoke to a very upset customer service representative, and have had the issue resolved. I now pay less than half what I did before, since I also subtracted my wonderful, very old Montero from the policy because we scrapped it and I turned in the license plates a week ago.

So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, being organized means more than simply filing away your bank statements. It also means looking at your bank statements and checking to make sure that you’ve got everything right down to a “T”. Okay, lesson learned. I’ll never again just open the statements and place them in the file thinking, oh what an organized person I am, I’m just so good!

Being organized means knowing just what the heck is going on in your house and finances. You would think that I would have learned that lesson by now, but apparently I’m an extremely slow learner. Well, on to organizing the kitchen this week. Wonder what lesson I’ll learn in there? Most likely that I’ve got multiples of my spices and extracts lurking in the cupboards.

Things I Learned About Myself by Gaming

I’m not an obsessive gamer, but I do have some games that I play. The first game I ever played was Fable, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, but not obsessively. Then I started to play Skyrim and hoo-hah did I like that. Recently my son bought me my own X-Box One and so far I’ve only played Ryse Son of Rome and Destiny. Between the two, my favorite is Destiny. Just like Skyrim, Destiny lets you roam around the game. Skyrim is more open play and you can go anywhere. Destiny lets you re-do the various plot lines and patrol Earth, the Moon, Venus and Mars. There is a lot of fun to be had, and, hours to be “wasted”.

 

There are certain things that I’ve learned since I started gaming. In the gaming world, I don’t handle stress very well. I get too upset and worried that my avatar will die, although this is silly, because she simply re-spawns. In the real world, I handle stress with a “just take care of it” attitude. As an example, when my son was eleven and he was run over by a car, I didn’t “fall apart”, and the EMT guys let me ride in the ambulance because of my calming demeanor. (He is fine, and everything worked out.)

As an introvert, I like to solve problems and handle most things on my own. I’m pretty much a lone wolf in the gaming world also. I do have a Live Gold subscription (paid for by my kids), but rarely play with other people. In Destiny my avatar is a Hunter and that character is described as a lone wolf. So apparently that’s what I am in both worlds.

I need a storyline. Yes I do. I really enjoyed playing Ryse Son of Rome; however, you can only play a prescribed storyline. I mean really, he was gone fighting for ten years, couldn’t there be more of a storyline and we could play from that? I have re-played the game on harder levels, but I would like a bigger storyline. In real life I will make up stories about other people I see in the store, etc. Just to add a little life to the world. Storylines are important people!

Now, in Destiny the music seems to get louder the longer a Strike goes on. It gets me to the point that my hands are shaking from the adrenaline I’ve got pumping through my blood. Mostly that’s due to the music. I have to keep turning it down all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the music in Destiny, it just amps me up. In the real world music doesn’t do that to me. It must be because in real life I’m not trying to kill the Hive!

So, what I already knew about myself has been proved by my gaming experiences. I’m a lone wolf who gets amped up by music (only when gaming) who needs a story-line and must solve problems on my own! Now, stop bothering me and let me play Destiny!  Can’t wait for the Elder Scrolls Online to have free play on June 9th – I know what I’m getting for Mother’s Day!

Cheese, Is it Good for You?

I read the most insane article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/cheese-facts-keep-feeding-your-obsession_n_6488946.html?cps=gravity_2689_-7300344088162447297 that was all about why you should keep eating cheese. Not one reason had to do with any health benefit of eating cheese.

So, being me, I decided to see if I could find any health benefits to eating cheese, since so many people eat cheese so much. Some people I know even eat it at every meal every day. Once people find out that I’m vegan, one of the first things they say to me is that they can’t imagine not eating cheese ever again. That being said, I did find some interesting facts at http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/slideshow/cheese-bad-your-health.

Cheese is Made from Milk

Berkeley Wellness started off the article saying that most people eat way too much cheese, although cheese does have calcium, protein and some vitamins and minerals. Some studies done by the National Dairy Council claimed that cheese helps with weight loss, but those studies were found untrue by studies conducted by Johns Hopkins. In fact the Johns Hopkins studies found that people who ate a lot of cheese had weight problems. Other studies found a link between cheese intake and cancer; but at the same time there were studies that found no link. So, what to do?

Cheese seems to play an important part of the American diet. People love to add it to dishes, and I must admit that before I was vegan I also ate cheese. It tastes good, and it can add a lot of flavor to your meal. However, in this scientific report http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131%2814%2900062-X the consensus was that the problem is the amount of protein. We all know that cheese has a ton of protein. And it seems that the amount of protein is what causes cancer to advance.

As a former cheese eater, what do I do? Well, I could have the fake cheese, but I’ve already said that I haven’t had any processed foods since April. At first I thought that I’d miss cheese. But have you looked into how cheese comes about? I suggest that if you don’t know check out http://rense.com/general26/milk.htm. Follow the links there and also look into what the Dairy Industry doesn’t want you to know. Before checking these links out, make sure that you’re ready to know where your food comes from, since the facts and pictures are rather disturbing.
http://freefromharm.org/dairyfacts/
http://veganrabbit.com/the-issues/torture-and-infanticide-why-dairy-is-bad/

So, since I don’t eat cheese I rely on other things to make my taste buds happy. I’m a believer in Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Cumin and many other herbs and spices. I can’t say enough about garlic – how much better veggies taste with a little (or a lot) of garlic on them! So all I’m asking is that you educate yourself about how your food is “made” and where it comes from. And, take it easy on the cheese – you just might save your own life.

Motivations for the Un-motivated

It’s Monday, and I needed some help with motivation.  After spending a lazy weekend, I just don’t feel like getting anything done today.  So, if I feel this way, I’m sure that there have got to be others feeling the same way.  Here are some motivational quotes to get us all off our back ends!

So far this year I’ve gotten much better at making goals and setting steps.  Now I’ve got to dig in and continue working toward those goals by taking the steps.  It’s easy to get caught up in how I don’t seem to have gotten very far, however, I’ve gotten further than I would have if I’d done nothing!

So, this morning it’s back to the hard work of actually doing the work!

I hope that you can find the motivation and determination to make the changes that you want to, no matter how hard!

One Step in Front of the Other

To keep on with my “theme” of the week, I thought that I’d talk about overcoming adversity. Obviously the word adversity covers a lot of ground, and what one person sees as a problem to overcome, someone else can may think is negligible. That being said, each one of us usually has something that we want to overcome, solve or work through. So, I thought I’d get some uplifting quotes to help us all on our way.

As we go about our daily lives, we need to remind ourselves that live is a journey, and living is a process. We are all in the process of changing.  Let’s just try to do that in a positive way.  Help others because that is how you will help yourself.