Saturday, February 25, 2017

day92: remember to relax and just let go ....

click here to see button on dazzle shop

When I let go of struggle,
 I float.

let go of struggle, relax, go with the flow ... simply this!
love, mom


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Friday, February 24, 2017

day91: WD-40 is your friend ....

'tools ...' kitchen table series, pen and ink (2017)


“Single ladies, we are not Damsels in Distress…

we are Divas that Impress!” 
Mandy Hale

Don't be a damsel in distress!! 
Know how to do things around the house and with your car.  
Be self sufficient as much as possible.  

One way I have always kept true to this idea is that I try never to travel with more than I can carry.  I always wanted to be able to move my luggage by myself.  That doesn't mean never being helped with my luggage, porters can be very helpful and do remember to tip them.  But what I do mean is that if need be, for what ever reason, that I could move myself and my luggage by myself.  Or at least I could move me and what was important by myself (I think this practice was harder when I was traveling with little ones :).

When thinking about car maintenance,  I believe it is prudent to call  AAA when you have a flat tire, but know how to do other small automotive fixes.  Learn how to fill your car's wiper fluid, how to change the wiper blades and check the oil, to name a few. I would change the headlight bulbs in our van, however the cars are getting more and more electronic making it more necessary to go to a garage for even moonier repairs, however learn to do what you can.

And lastly get to know the phenom of all household maladies ... (drumroll please): WD-40.  

This is can can be your savior in the kitchen, bathroom, garden, garage, car, basically anywhere.  
It is truly astounding how many things this little can can do.  Below is a partial list of what this oil can do.

So there are just a few suggestions to help you be a DIVA that IMPRESSES.  It is also satisfying to be able to take care of your surroundings and not need to wait to be saved!!

love, mom


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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

a toast to you ....

happy valentine's day!
Love is the 
greatest refreshment in life. 
Pablo Picasso

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

day90: Laundry, life hacks


'laundry day ...' (2017) embroidery and collage on a teabag

My theory on housework is, 
if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, 
or block the refrigerator door, let it be. 
No one else cares. Why should you? 
Erma Bombeck


It may interest you to know that this whole idea/blog/book sprang from a thought that I may be sending you off into the world without some basic knowledge of everyday things, such as laundry, shopping and other mundane activities.  And as I am nearing the end of my allotted 100 days I figured that I should begin to share some of my personal wisdom to do with housekeeping (you can stop laughing now). Even though I tend to adhere to the philosophy of Erma Bombeck (Joe H. will confirm this), I do have some tricks of the trade that I wish to pass on to you.

Today's topic: laundry
  • first of all, if you can, dry your clothes outside, on a clothesline!!! especially sheets!! The sunshine and fresh air give clean laundry the best smell, ever!! When I stayed in Holland we didn't have a dryer and each and every load was hung outside to dry and I LOVED it!!
  • wash all the elements of a set of sheets together, this way they will fade,wear or change color, if washed with some errant colored item, all at the same time. 
  • when storing a set of sheets, put all the folded parts of a set into one of the pillowcases, this way the set stay together and is doesn't take up as much space in the drawer.
  • you can take the small remnants of a bar of soap and throw it in with a load of wash for a little extra cleaning power, and then you don't need to throw out the scrap of soap. (you know me, reuse, recycle whenever possible.)
  • If you are a hurry to dry something that you just washed, first just dry that item with a few other pieces of clothing, not the entire load.  and/or if you need it dried ASAP, put the wet item in with a clean dry towel, that will help the drying to go faster.
  • If you can, stay away from dryer sheets, they seem to cause more harm to the clothes than good and isn't does sound like they are really that good for us humans! You can now get dryer balls or I love the lavender pouches and even a tennis ball will help :)
  • and lastly, a quick review of the basics: 
  1. wash similar colors together and in COLD! Cold stops colors from running. And even though you have a load of white and colors that you want to wash, and you think that nothing should run and you want to put everything in together, remember your lighter colors and whites can/will get dingy, they will start to look grayish. 
  2. Try not to do small loads, it is a waste of energy. 
  3. use warm water with whites and if you want to you can use bleach, most washers have a specific place to pour the liquid bleach so that it will be even dispersed during the washing cycle.
  4. when doing hand washing you can use the rinse cycle on the washer to get it rung-out, the washer's spin cycle is way more superior than our attempts of wringing out the excess water.
  5. be careful, as certain items should NOT be dried, like bras, athletic-wear, certain sweaters or other items that can shrink.
  6. when drying a sweater, lay it out on a clean, dry towel, as hanging it up can make it stretch and get misshapen.  
Of course there are many, many things about doing laundry but these are a few that I wanted to pass along. 

I will end by sharing with you that I love laundromats :) 
When we lived in Brooklyn we didn't have a washer and dryer so on laundry day I would gather all the clothes, handfuls of quarters and a good book and head around the corner to the laundromat.  It was a wonderful and peaceful time, with the purring of the machines, the smell of fabric softener and the warmth of the dryers.  I would read or sketch but mostly I would people watch.  And then after my loads were washed, dried and folded I would stroll home very content, knowing that all my laundry was done.  
I never get that feeling when I do the laundry in the house.  Even though it is much more convenient to throw in a load here and a load there, I never feel as though I have ever finished doing the laundry. Just one of those funny things about your mama!!

Happy washing! 
love, mom


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

get back into the swing of things with self acceptance!!!

“I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'Well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.' If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.” 


Well you two girls are now back at school and getting into the swing of your second semester meaning I need to get back into the swing of our 100days of motherlove.  So to get us all into a proper state of mind I thought a good place to start is with these wise words from Maya Angelou, about self forgiveness and self acceptance.

Self acceptance is a wonderful and powerful place from where to live!! I believe that our society works hard to erode our sense of self and well being in many ways. Self doubt and insecurity gives others immense power over you.  These undermining principles are the basis of advertising and most marketing.  Think about most magazine publications, their success comes from selling you the idea that you are not doing something 'right' and that they can offer you a better way; a better way to look, speak, organize your home, to exercise ....  That is why there were hardly any magazines in the house when you were young and there was never a fashion magazine.  

Be aware of external messages that make you question your inner-wisdom, your true knowing and what you heart tells you.  You alone know your heart's desire and you alone can do your heart's biddings. My hope for you both is that you do not second guess yourself, and especially I pray that you don't get into the habit of constantly criticizing yourself!!

  Much of that negative inner dialogue has been handed down to you through family and environment, and for that I apologize.  But I hope that you can be aware of this internal negative thinking and reprogram it now, not years from now, which is what I am doing.  Each person is born with an inner compass that can get warped by outer forces and can lead to so much heartache and wasted energy.

So today I say to you both, that you are so wonderful!! and have so much to bring to this world!!! Please do NOT find comfort in cutting yourself down and being critical of yourselves.  Sadly the world as we know it is overflowing with critical and negative messages, coming at each one of us continually, so it is paramount that you are not also receiving these kinds of messages from yourself.  Be kind and forgiving to yourself.  Being self-critical is not a success way to motivate yourself (see day 53 if you need a reminder), it is mostly hurtful and a waste of energy.  

I say take that energy and put it into practicing self acceptance and tap into your own inner knowing and bring to the world all that you are capable of doing!!

Know that you both are amazing AF!!
love, mom





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Saturday, January 14, 2017

day89: you are what you eat, so eat simply ...

'eat your veggies ...'
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine 
or the slowest form of poison.” 



This idea of eating well and making healthy food choices is nothing new in our household, however there are a few thoughts about food that I wanted to reenforce!

First...
Stay away from anything artificial; 
artificial colors, flavors, preservatives & sweeteners.
Avoid processed foods;
bleached flour, trans fats & additives.
Steer clear of...
hormones and/or antibiotics

Sadly these rules are not so easy to follow in our society/culture.  Even if the packaging claims to be healthy, that might not be the case.  The best thing to do is to read the labels and check the ingredients, and/or stick with unprocessed food, real food, that doesn't need a label!!!

The food you eat is what fuels your body and what you eat or don't eat will influence all aspects of your life, from your day to day activities to the quality and duration of your lifetime!!
Your choice of diet will affect you in a myriad of ways; certain foods can make you calm or jumpy, focused or distracted, smarter or not, energized or tired, and the list can go on and on.
And as much as I could write for pages and pages about nutrition and healthy choices, I am going to list a few things here that I believe are very important and which I want to emphasize:

1. stay away from all foods labeled 'diet', 'fat-free' and 'sugar-free'!!
 these labels mean that something that natural has been taken out AND something manmade has been added to compensate for what was removed!!! And these additives are foreign to our bodies and can cause more problems and issues when the body attempts to digest it.
It is now known that the additives that are added to make foods fat-free are not digestible and can deadly effects on the body.  I want to stress the importance from staying away from sugar substitutes, especially for you two. When you were both little if you had anything 'sugar-free' you would get stomach aches!! and the really scary thing is sometimes it does even say 'sugar-free' but if you look at the ingredients, there is no sugar, but there would be one of these: aspartame, sucralose, neotame or saccharin.

2. eat and use REAL food
(this is along the same lines as rule #1) Eat REAL food and cook with REAL food!!!
Use real sugar (you don't need to eat loads of sugar but I believe real sugar is better than a sugar substitute) Eat real butter, real ice cream.  Or if you are going to choose a substitute make sure it is a natural substitute,
that it comes from a natural plant!! and NOT a chemical plant!!! 

3. try to eat whole foods, not processed foods
the more 'processed' a food is the more of its natural goodness is lost.  The best thing to do is eat 'whole foods':
 foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed
Remember that whatever process that your food has endured, such as bleaching flour so it is white, that food is going to bring that process into your body. 
 It is the same with coffee filters!! Buy unbleached coffee filters, there is no difference except that the bleached filters most likely will add bleach to your coffee!!! 

4. what you put in your body is what your body uses ...
so if you put junk your body, your body only has junk to help it do all the amazing things that your body does!!! and it is truly amazing when you think of it ... breathing, moving, thinking, feeling ...

5. don't always trust expiration dates
I know you aren't going to take my word on this so I am quote some experts:



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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

day88: to apologize or not to apologize, that is the question ...



Accept everything about yourself - 
I mean everything, 
You are you and that is the beginning and the end - 
no apologies, no regrets. 
Henry A. Kissinger


There are times when it is good and appropriate to say you are sorry, 
but be mindful with your 'sorry's as women tend to apologize A LOT!! 
a lot more than is even justified.
 Studies show that woman/girls are programed to say 'sorry' when something goes wrong, 
even when they had nothing to do with the wrong-doing?!? This tendency to readily apologize is definitely a gender specific trait.  Just take note during the day, woman will apologize way more than men?!?! And many times for things that the woman has no control over?!?!?

This position of accepting blame will affect the energy of the situation, make people feel more comfortable,  but it is unfavorable for the apologizer.  So be especially mindful in a business or negotiating situation and do not say sorry unless it is really warranted!

Then there are situations where you 
SHOULD NOT/NEED NOT
be apologetic!!! 
 I have listed some of them above, but the many idea is 
NEVER apologize for who you are!
(p.s. I did NOT make-up 'don't apologize for a messy home', other lists did say 'messy house' but I think you should not need to apologize if you home/your place of comfort is messy :)

Don't apologize for what you dream, desire and pursue!!
Don't say you're sorry because you do something well, 
example: apologizing for doing well on a paper or exam?!?
Also DON'T make excuses for doing something well!!
It is a proven fact that women tend to down play for their successes, to claim it was luck, or the help from co-workers!?!  
It is hard for a majority of women to take a compliment! 
And again this can be a hinderance to a woman in a business situation.  

So, OWN YOUR SUCCESSES, 
accept praise and don't apologize for doing something well.
OWN who you are!!! 
with all your talents and imperfections.
&
NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A 
BEAUTIFUL AND FLAWED HUMAN!!! 

and as I first said, there are times and places to say you are sorry, 
and here is a beautiful apology from one of my favorite poets, 
William Carlos Williams.
enjoy
love, mom

This is Just to Say 

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold” 

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Monday, January 9, 2017

day 87: practice kindness, we need it now more than ever!!!

strata: strength ... mixed media on wood
“My wish for you is that you continue. 
Continue to be who and how you are, 
to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.”

Practicing kindness in this mean world makes your life more pleasant and you will be surprised on how people may react to your kindness.  It is a way of life that I strive to practice.  I especially focus on being kind in frustrating and annoying situations, and I swear it makes them easier!!

There is a power in choosing to react with kindness.  However I am not suggesting that you be a doormat!! there is no reason to be kind in the face of meanness, bullying or disrespect.
But I am suggesting that during the course of the day you focus on bringing more kindness, respect and patience into our mean world.  

Kindness can be found in small acts, like holding a door open or letting someone with less stuff go ahead of you in the checkout line.  Kindness can be demonstrated on the road!! In fact SHOULD be practiced on the road.  If more drivers practiced kindness and patience, I believe that traffic on a whole would move more smoothly.  How many times is a bottleneck back-up made worse by drivers vying to be next, causing a mini stand-off until one relinquishes?!?!  To me it is a joy to let people merge without them having to force their way in.

It is also SO SO  SO important to practice self kindness!!!
Quiet those inner critics who are constantly telling you that you are not enough!!
YOU ARE ENOUGH!!! 
You are amazing and wonderful just as you are!!
Berating and criticizing yourself is wasted energy.
Think about it,  does berating and belittling helps anyone do better?!?!
I thorough believe that when you approach any issue or problem with kindness you are more successful and less spent.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

So be kind!! be kind to yourself and to this 'mean' world. 
And let's face facts we need way more kindness in this world, 
now more than ever ,with the pending swearing-in
 of the biggest and worse bully that I know! 

#bekind
love, mom


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Saturday, January 7, 2017

day 86: don't worry ...


Slow down. Calm down. 
Don't worry. Don't hurry. 
Trust the process. 
Alexandra Stoddard

simply this ~
love, mom

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Friday, January 6, 2017

day85 : knowledge is power!


"Scientia potentia est"
Sir Francis Bacon/Thomas Hobbes

This is a phrase that I remind myself often. 
My personal interpretation of this quote is a 'large picture' view.  
Of course one can interpret the quote from the perspective of eduction and 'book' smarts ... 
the more one learns the more opportunities one has.  

However I see this quote alluding to a much larger sense of 'knowledge', 
beyond the classroom and measured intelligence.  
I feel that this quote can be practiced in all areas of one's daily life.  
For me this quote refers to gathering more information, researching and learning about a subject, an issue, an decision, an opportunity and or problem!!  
For me this quote means: 
the more information one has the better decision making one can practice. 

And recently I have been saying it a lot, to myself and to your grandmother, so I figured it was a good one to share with you two. 

I find that I remind myself of this quote more often when I am tackling financial things, such as taxes, financial aid and especially during the divorce!!  I catch myself shying away from really figuring out my financial specifics, such as income, expenses, debts, etc.  I think there is a part of me that feels that if I don't really know the real figures then the reality of the figures won't be true?!?! 
That is one of those kind of crazy thoughts, because reality is reality and hiding one's head in the sand is NOT going to change ANYTHING.  
In fact it will have negative repercussions.
  
When I catch myself being sheepish about something,  I remind myself that  knowing the real situation and all the information that I can learn about that situation, will give me POWER!!
 & in this world baby, 
power is GOOD!!
And this practice applies to ALL areas of one's life, just not $$!! 

Also, it is important to remember that researching and learning about a situation is NOT making a decision.  This is what I am trying to help Gommie understand.  She is hesitating about interviewing and researching the possibility of more help for them because she thinks if she asks some questions that means someone will be living in their home next week, and that is not the case. 

So I wish to share with you this idea that learning, inquiring, researching things is a very good thing.  It will help you make better decisions and also help you not to second guess your decisions.
So , my dear-ones, go LEARN
go learn all you can!!

love, mom

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