Sexy fun readers!

Recently, I was invited to participate in reviewing a pair of reader glasses from http://iconeyewear.com.  I have purchased readers from another online company several times in the effort to find a pair that is not the boring colors and styles that I find in drugstores. I also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get a fun pair.  I was delighted to open the box from Vibrant Nation and find a funky, copper colored metallic frames with quality lenses.  I popped them right on my face and was more delighted with the clarity and quality feel of the glasses.  As an added thank you, they sent me a pair of updated sunglasses (not readers) for which I am quite grateful.  

Take a look at the website – http://iconeyewear.com.  If you need a pair of funky readers, this is a great place to start.

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Connecting with a grandson

Several years ago, my oldest son had a meltdown.  He was in a marriage with a young son.  He descended into a personal hell of depression and addiction.  During the first 1 1/2 years, he managed to keep his job without actually going to work.  That may have been the worst thing that could have happened to him.  He could continue his poor lifestyle choices and support those choices financially.

After living through a year of hell, my daughter-in-law moved four hours away to be closer to her sister who helps her with childcare for this precious and beautiful grandson.  I believed it to be a wise choice although it left holes in me that has taken years to heal.  I don’t know if complete healing is there although I think I’m getting close.

I am deeply  impressed with how my daughter-in-law has handled her life since then.  She bought a house, my grandson is in private school, and she has a great job.  She juggles the decisions, the finances, the discipline, and the lifestyle choices of my grandson.  He has emerged unscathed from the divorce as far as I can tell, has immersed himself in the world around him, plays sports, has very good grades.  In essence, they have made the successful transition to another life.

Last night she told me that she wants my son to be happy.  I have no relationship with this son.  This is not by my choice.  He has distanced himself from our family and that is how it needs to be for now.  I have also done my own distancing to preserve sanity in my own life and to keep the drama to a minimum.  I hope that distancing will no longer be necessary one day.  But I am so impressed with her growth.  She doesn’t harbor anger and hatred.  She wants him to be stable and have a calm life.  Much of this is because she wants that for her son – and to have a relationship with a healthy father.  Again, I’m impressed.  Having gone through a divorce with my son’s father, I never quite reached that mature point.  Perhaps I will work on it more now.

Being a grandmother brings a host of issues.  One is that I am not in charge of my grandchildren‘s lives.  I don’t get to make the choices that I did as a mother.  That took a great deal of getting used to.  I have two other grandchildren who belong to my middle son and his capable wife. Learning that I am not in charge when I used to be so terribly in charge has taken years of changing.  Now, I try to appreciate the love that these parents use in the raising of their children.  I’m getting better at it.

I’m humbled by the chance to spend time in my daughter-in-law’s home caring for my grandson.  Her willingness to allow this is the stuff of appreciation.  I’m sure this is a lesson that will continue to develop for me.

The First Day of the Year

Here it is – 2013.  The Mayans were wrong.  Wait – actually, the Mayan Calendar Doomsday Interpreters were wrong.  I imagine the Mayans are sitting somewhere around a warm campfire laughing at anyone who believed the world was ending.  Their world ended, but not ours. So what do we now do with that world?

Will you be a participant or a watcher this year?  Will I choose to do more or to sit back and watch others do the work?  I want to be hands-on involved this year.  In 2012, I took a backseat.  Some of that was necessary.  Health issues were at the forefront of my thought and action processes.  But this year, I am past most of that and plan on doing a lot more than by standing.  I am making my opinions (quietly) known on social media.  I have donated (a little) to those issues that I feel are important.  I will continue that.  It makes me feel involved.  And good.

I will write more.  That also makes me feel good.  I will begin yoga.  I need exercise and I need a change.  I will seek to prioritize and focus on people and events that are meaningful – and fun!  I need more fun!  I will work harder on allowing people to be who they are and not trying to change those I see need changing (in my opinion).  I will send more thank you’s and notes of appreciation.  I do want people to know when I feel that way.  These are not resolutions.  They are going to become habits.  Gratitude will be at the top of the list.

I want to travel more.  Not necessarily big places which take long periods of time to get there, although I’d like a couple of those.  Just get out and experience more people.  That is what the world is about to me – other people.  And to maintain my sanity, I need more people.

Other things come to mind – read more, cook more, eat more healthily.  But instead of overloading my plate so that I end up doing none of it, I’ll be selective and stick with the first group.  I’m deeply glad to see 2013 arrive here and I’m ready for the challenge.  Happy New Year to everyone!

Gratitude Journal

I’ve read more about the power of positive psychology.  When I first saw this, it seemed so old style.  Hadn’t we heard about this years and years ago?  Does it really work?  What I discovered was the ongoing new and updated research on how this works.  It is a bit more involved than when I first saw it more than two decades ago.  This has to do with habit.  Creating a positive journal that one must keep up with for 21 days.    With specific habits.

According to Shawn Anchor of TedX fame, he posits the following:

Small Changes Ripple Outward and the Power to Creating Lasting Positive Change

  • 3 Gratitudes written daily
  • Journaling
  • Exercise (8 mins a day)
  • Meditation (2 mins a day)
  • Random acts of kindness

This sounds like a plan.  This is a plan I am adapting  There have been several bloggers which I have followed this year who have focused on removing negativity from their lives.  I am inspired and will find that my focus on the positive will be my 2013 change.  I commit to beginning this year with this daily journaling exercise.  I’m excited and feel that this is a door which I can use.  Come join me.  Let’s make 2013 the year we found the positive influences in our lives.

2013 Looms

Time to be thinking about the new year and what possibilities exist there for accomplishment.  I do believe I need a new goal.  Sometimes those are more difficult to decide on than others.  In the past, I had school to get through as well as raising children and working in our business.  Those things are past now (although the business continues in capable hands).  So what shall I choose for 2013?

This is about choice, much as the rest of life is as well.  What choices will we make that will shape our destiny and our future?  Will you add a class this year?  Learn something completely new? Or is your pathway set and you are happy to be where you are?  This past year, I completed my first self-published book and my master’s thesis.  Those were rather large things for me.  Yet I know I’m much happier when pursuing a goal or a dream.

What is next on the horizon?  I will be teaching American History for the first time, so learning about it will be vital (I’m a European History major – this ought to be interesting!).    I am taking an online class in February on writing.  But, for some reason, all that feels like old goals.  “Follow Your Dream.”  I heard that again on a commercial recently, and as often as I have heard it, it reverberated for some reason.  What are those dreams? Do I still want to write?  Have I had the “writing bug” beaten out of me for a while?   How do you decide what your dreams are, and what you would like to do with the rest of your life?  I really would love to know.

2013.  Hmmmmm…

Opening up my Head and Heart to Listen

On occasion, I’m smart enough, or perhaps simply willing enough – to trust my intuition and allow the universe to lead me.  I open my mind, and let the connections that are coming my way – connections of a sort I would normally ignore or question or doubt – allow them to seep into my subconscious and even my conscious thoughts.  I just wait and listen and allow – and that can become a most amazing experience.

What am I talking about?  Recently, my awareness of and response to dogs has taken on a new level.  We have two German Shepherds.  We have had dogs throughout our married life, and I have allowed myself to get close to only two of the five that have been big parts of our lives.  Our first dog was a step-dog for me – she came with my husband.  She had been the dog of my spouse and his first wife.  They treated her like she was a child, and she acted much like a child.  Not her fault, but I resented her for it.  I couldn’t make change her, nor apparently could I change myself (the only being we can truly change), because I believed that the situation was more like me becoming a stepmother – my input was not necessary nor desired.  I was probably wrong about that as I have been about many things.  Plus I had two pre-teenage sons, a baby on the way, and a new business.  This lovely little dog wasn’t going to get much of my time or attention.  She truly was a lovely, border-collie looking dog.  Luxurious black hair, a shrill warning bark – lovely.

Later, we ended up with a Dalmatian.  I loved that dog.  He was big and beautiful, emotionally responsive, protective, and shed tons of little white Dalmatian hairs.  Then along came Champ.  Champ.  The largest, most beautiful German Shepherd I have ever known.  He had a mane like a lion.  He smelled like baby powder.  I had a difficult time getting close to Champ – for the first year, he pooped all over our house and tore down wallpaper.  I have no background in training dogs, and chose not to learn.  Stupid stupid me.  Then I had a partial hysterectomy.  Within two weeks, Champ and I became inseparable.  He was my dog, and I deeply loved him.  Of course, here comes the tragedy.  We came home one Friday afternoon and Champ was missing.  I went searching and found him.  Under our front deck… in a coma.  Champ died before we got to the emergency vet.

My heart closed.  Every dog I came near after that threatened that emotional wound.  Especially any dog we brought home.  My husband and youngest son wanted a new dog right away.  I didn’t.  We ended up with another German Shepherd, Prince, 2 months later.  It was way too soon for me.  No way I was allowing him into my heart.  Sweet Prince.  He has never forced the issue.  Then we got Bella two years later.  I think one dog often needs a playmate, especially if the owners are often away.  And what a playmate.  Bella is all energy and excitement.  Too much for me to handle.  I just wanted her away from me.  For awhile, I convinced myself I was allergic to her.  What if I am?  Allegra works well for me.

So here is the Universe knocking on my door. I’ve grown weary of reading bad fiction, and burned out on reading books that relate to my history major.  But I love to read.   A couple of months ago, I picked up a book about a woman who is part of rescue operation of boxers in New York. I was deeply touched.  Then I found Dean Koontz‘s A Big Little Life, about his dog, Trixie.  Having finished that (and cried like a baby – no, actually sobbed like a grown woman at the end), I went searching in my book shelves.  I found The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell – Learn how to communicate with your dog for willing cooperation.  I don’t know what’s going on exactly, but the universe is talking and I’m listening.  Feels very good.  I’ll see where this takes me, and I shall follow its lead.

The Android Learning Curve

So you think you want to take the leap into the next generation phone.  Yeah, okay.  Let me tell you the ups and downs and ins and outs that I’ve experienced.  You probably won’t learn from me.  We don’t do that as humans, do we?  We have to leap in and figure it out for ourselves.  Or try.  Or throw our hands in the air, screaming and cursing, and wondering wildly if we still have a grace period to return it for that mere $35 or so.  If you are determined to take the leap – and I was – then prepare.  Oh, honey, prepare.

I had a blackberry.  I was fine with it.  Did all the things I needed a phone to do.  I could get my email, send text messages, take and return phone calls.  Then our company changed vendors.  I received another blackberry, and all of a sudden, it was a blackberry dud.  Couldn’t get facebook, forget twitter (which I wasn’t doing anyway), emails might show up.  Answering it was an effort in frustration.  Could have been the new company (I found out when I changed my service that it was a reseller of a reseller.  Go figure.).  Could have been the phone itself.  But I hit a brick wall with frustration over the dang phone.

After struggling for several months, and feeling that I had been left way behind in the growth of technology, forgotten and left adrift,   I made the leap to the Android – and paying for my own service, which was a huge deal to me.  I have never paid for my own phone service (gulp – am I growing up?)

Then came the learning curve.  Damn.  Send an email.  Type (or is it called something else?), look for a send button, look up to see that two out of ten words are spelled correctly, remember to type a little higher on the “C” button or I’ll get the “space” button, backspace and correct.  Backspace and correct again.  Find the send button again.  Then try an email.  Or go to the camera. How do I change it from video to camera?  Then forward the pictures to an email address.  Apps?  Really?  What are the free ones?  Can I change them?  How do I get them on the home screen – or the other three home screens?  Once I download them, and slow the phone to a crawl, how do I get them off of the phone?

Okay, I’m purty smart.  I can go to Verizon‘s website (or AT&T, or Whomever) and find tutorials that will allow me to learn this an easier way.  And I’m learning.  I’m even beginning to like it.  Two weeks after I got it, I was going to return it.  Except I was on a cruise in the Baltic.  Not that near my store.  I think this ended up being a good thing.  My husband tells me I’m addicted.  I’m just trying to figure the thing out.  This is not a phone.  Its a computer which allows you to make phone calls.  I’m reading books on it – which has increased my book costs.  But I’m getting there slowly.  I’m even beginning to understand why people look at their phones all the time.  But I’m not addicted.

Any horror stories among the other vibrant women about learning curves?  Tell me the hardest part for you.  Be brave.