29 August, 2007

Nawlins, my nemesis for 2.5 years....

I have been watching the updates on Nawlins myself and have been teared up at times. The stories of these people are so draining and sad. I truly can't imagine living in the conditions they are knowing the horrors they are exposed to.

Murders are happening at rapid, random rates and there is no crime lab to even begin solving the crimes! It brings chills to my body, knowing I shared 2.5 years of my life there, walking those same streets and yes I was in the lower ninth ward, as white as I am... how many visitors to Nawlins have done that, more than one occasion???

I am grateful beyond belief that we moved in time, but so sad to see the city that I had such struggle with be in such state of disrepair. One never wants to see their enemy really falter and I am sad for Nawlins.

Also, my friends who are there, have been telling me the tales long before I saw the newscasts. There are 22 psychiatrists in the city, and 2 of them I know personally. They are bogged down with so much work, they are burning out and trying their best to keep up. What a terrible terrible thing to witness in this "great country" USA.

28 August, 2007

WOW Here are some real Rantings!!!

A friend of mine, who sells beauty products from a well recognized brand, always sends things for me to try and potentially purchase. I will not buy from this brand, as it does not support the type of ingredients that I am looking for to maintain health and conscious decision making. The following is what I had to say, hoping that she would learn a bit more about me.

Also some of you may ask why on earth do I live in the US, if I have such negative feelings for it. Have any of you tried to move abroad as a US citizen? It is not the easiest thing in the world do to. Trust me I have explored many ways in which this could be my reality, but at present moment I have been unsuccessful. This doesn't mean that I am not trying, trust me, it is always my first choice! At present moment I am listening to a popular Italian artist. My blood is Italian and Hungarian. This is not something one can just erase. I long for things that are not here and long for ways that are more consistent with my inner calling. This is also my path, and I am working hard to figure it out.

Here we go with my response to my beauty product friend,

My main complaint is that we are consuming harmful ingredients in almost everything we buy. It is a shame that our government is not willing to take a harder stance on how to keep us healthy. Unfortunately, most of those who know how to make better buying choices are far and few between. Those who really need the education are not getting it and reliant upon what is sanctioned by the government.

When I was in Italy, they did not sell toothpaste with Fluoride in it. They also didn’t put chemicals on their produce or inject their animals with hormones. In the land of too much excess, we demand more and more bigger and bigger so the only way to do this is to cheat nature and enhance our products chemically.

Even our approach to food storage is terrible! We use plastics that are not meant to be on our food source. But because we live in a fast paced nation, we have to rely on making meals ahead of time so we can microwave dinner throughout the week. Of course, the plastic most people use is made out of petroleum, and the microwave they use to heat it in, breaks down the plastic, depositing these particles in our food, and of course taking away all of the nutrients from the microwave process. Then there is the exposure to all of the electromagnetic rays, which we overexpose ourselves to as well. It just makes me sick to think so many families are living this way and either don’t know or don’t care.

Then there are the products we put on our bodies, well you know my stance on that. I don’t think all people are susceptible to these chemicals, but over time I do think we are over exposed unnecessarily. Additionally, I think with all of the other issues, like fluoride, plastics, pesticides, poor air quality, hormones, etc, it will impact our livelihood and overall health. Why are we so far removed from nature and its natural goodness?

This is my goal for my family, to get back to nature and try to live a more conscious existence. Making decisions that will benefit the global nature of the world and others in a humane manner; this is my true passion. I know most people think I am crazy and overboard, but my children are very healthy and rarely are sick, less the common cold around the change of seasons in the winter months. They have no cavities and are clear thinkers. This is one of the reasons why my husband and I want to move to another city. We want to find a community that supports the way in which we choose to live. It would be nice to live with pure intent and have neighbors that support this ideal.

I do think there is a deteriorated US and over time it will degenerate even more. Unfortunately, Gov. is able to disguise it from the masses with their hold on the media and the slants they choose to portray. I never really did care for America and the ideals it purports. I would much rather live in Europe. I find the humanness is more accessible and they choose to value human life more than our consumer society that claims an American dream that hardly anyone is able to attain. (Of course there is no true utopia, but I am allowed to choose the best of the worst so to speak).

Throughout my many travels and lifetime of living a cultural lifestyle, I really don’t identify with being an American at all. There were so many times I almost married overseas and was willing to give up the US. I didn’t of course due to other circumstances, but truly, I struggle with this land we call free and brave. It appears more greedy and base to me.

I know a soap box and something harsh for those who love this country. Oh well, what am I to do? I guess live the best way I am able with the knowledge I have. I rarely follow the pack, in fact, I have always led. Most of the time I have been on the outside making my own trail. I find this more fulfilling and more authentic. Harder, I know, but at least I can say I did it my way and to the best of my knowledge. Learning is a life long journey and I am driven to keep improving the decisions I make in order to create a better existence here and beyond.

If the decision is not spiritually sound, then why bother? By spiritual, I mean that, not religious. Religion has its place and serves a purpose, but spirituality is the true pursuit and we are too often misguided again, by the establishment as to their goals and not the essence of the spirit.

You know I won't be voting Republican this election!

26 August, 2007

Some Fun Fact About Me

1. What is your occupation? Alpaca Owner, Mommy, Wife, Creative Thinker, aspiring writer Renaissance Woman!
2. What color are your socks right now? None! I don’t like anything on my feet unless it is cold!
3. What are you listening to right now? Running water from the drains and the typing of my fingers
4. What was the last thing that you ate? 2 eggs, bagel with cream cheese and some yummy breakfast sausage with juice and now water. It was breakfast!
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Only if life depended on it…
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mother in law
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? YES
8 How old are you today? 35
9. Favorite drink? I like a nice wine, kahlua and cream, great decaf coffee with cream, milkshakes… YUMMMM
10. What is your favorite sport to watch? Browns Football
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes once a full dye, with auburn, YUCK!!! Then Once with a strawberry Blonde, very nice and then of course I give my natural dark blonde a lighten 3 times a year…. Using Organically based products now.
12. Pets: none
13. Favorite food? HMMM…. I love so much, sushi, fish, great Italian, Yummy crepes, chocolate
14. What was the last movie you watched? At home Color Purple at the theater, Stardust
15. What's your favorite day of the week? Friday… I was born on this day and it just has the right vibe all around.
16. How do you vent anger? Think, yell or get very clever with my word choice
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? I had this sesame street weeble wooble set that would be worth a ton right now, and then it turned to barbies
18. What is your favorite season? Fall, love the warmth of the colors and the newness of starting a new year or school and etc.
19. Hugs or kisses? Kisses then hugs
20. Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries. Cherries only when fresh!
21. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Up to them
24. Living arrangements? Not ideal, living in duplex, renting with my 3 boys….and a lot of cardboard boxes, little kitchen counter space and not all my furniture.
25. When was the last time you cried? Last night, sharing a tender moment with something very special to me
26. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, baskets, remote control toy car, purses, John’s stuff
27. Who is the friend you have known the longest that you are sending this to? Kris
28. What did you do last night? Drank a mug of tea, watched the color purple alone and loved it.
29. Favorite smells? Olive tree blossoms, they remind me of being in Rome. Sea Air, reminds me of a womb/comfort, my boys skin including John and the perfume I wore on my wedding day, Coco Channel, what a great evening that was!
30. What inspires you? Natural beauty, driven people, my friends, and spirituality.
31. What are you afraid of? Dying too soon, now that I have children
32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? cheese with mushrooms
33. Favorite dog breed? Not a pet person, so really no clue!
34. How many states have you lived in? 3 Ohio, Illinois, Georgia,
Louisiana, But also lived in 3 countries...
35. Favorite holiday? Religious Easter, Food, Christmas Eve, and warmth, Thanksgiving.

24 August, 2007

The Vacation Post



Finally, I have come around to the vacation post! My family, meaning husband, 2 sons and me, spent 8 full days in New York. We were stayed with my in laws who live right on the south shore of Long Island in East Atlantic Beach. They really live well there. They are 9 houses from the beach on a dead end street with access to a private beach. The sea air lingers and permeates your body, cleansing it with its purity.

For those who know, my relationship with my in laws is a work in progress and each visit is an attempt to build a better relationship. At least this is how I approach it. I have no idea on how they view time together with me.

Most of our trip was actually very pleasant. We spent 7 days on the beach, ate well, celebrated birthdays with gifts and rested! My NYC Gal Pal lives about 40 minutes away which is nice, as we were able to spend time together hanging out. Our children were also able to spend time together and make their special summer memories. There was one part of the trip that was most unpleasant. My sister in law is not a person I get on with at all. We are 2 months apart in age, she the elder, and we couldn't be more different! She is a stereo type, suffice it to say, loud, large, raspy voice, small minded, looks for the easy way out, immature, possesses no couth, unladylike, New Yorker from Long Island, baby. It is hard to be around her and her husband, who is a mirror image of her, but not as loud, unless he is drinking, then you need to watch out for when he passes out and urinates uncontrollably! Yikes, did I just put this out there in cyberspace???

I don't believe she thinks highly of me, so I guess we just walk our own different paths. It is hard to spend time with them, as there is very little to discuss, intelligently. NYC Gal Pal will agree with me on all points! Unfortunately, we were scheduled to spend almost an entire day with them at their house. To add insult to injury, we ended our time with them at a minor league baseball game. 3 hours sitting in the hot sun way out in right field. I would not consider my husband or myself sports fans. He even less so than I. I will watch and cheer on the local football team, the Browns, I know...., but I do not schedule my life around a sporting event. I also do not like watching baseball. This is one game I really do not enjoy unless I am a major league game with all the perks, free gourmet food, ice cream etc. You know the distractions to keep you from falling asleep.

Okay I know, I should have been excited to take my boys to a game, but truthfully, I already did that with the Indians, with all the perks already. Once was enough for me. My husband and I would have been quite content with catching a movie while they took the boys to watch the game. Nothing like being held captive smiling because "gawd" forbid we actually speak our minds and let them know this is like getting a root canal! My in laws are the type of people who never say the truth, but tell you what you think you want to hear. They follow the "Polite" philosophy and let others think they are doing a good thing. I just don't follow that route. I would rather maintain an honest relationship and let people know who I am and what I stand for. I also appreciate people who do the same. You know, live truthfully and honestly!

After that "gawd" awful event was over, the rest of our time was quite nice as stated before. Here are some pics to see just how happy we were!

Me and the little guy, V. Burnt my scalp that day... but it was the only burn, so not bad for such a fair lass like me!











My Beach Bums!!!! What cuties!


Making Memories with
Friends.









Interview Me Game

1. What's your ideal evening? Money is no issue, and you're not bound by the laws of time or space.
WOW! I have always wanted to take a hot air balloon at sunset and glide over the Serengeti watching the animals roam, race etc. The ideal evening includes great food, that makes your mouth dance and delight, people that I luv, soothing music that inspires the heart, conversations that transport the body, smells of olive trees like in New Orleans, the only thing that smelled nice there... and the weather is warm, breezy and perfect. I have this scene from the movie Out of Africa in my head as I think about it. But I have to admit that I have enjoyed many evenings doing things that are memorable, not normal and not near anything that reminds me of Americana.

2. You can change one thing in your life, past or present. What is it? HMMMM this is hard! I would like to take away all of the guilt I feel for my behaviours towards others. I would like to get rid of my judgments.

3. You're coming back in your next life as an animal. Which one, and why? Mermaid! Does that count?

4. What person, living or dead, real or fictional, has had the greatest impact on you? I have to say that Elvis had a huge impact on me, always has, but before that and I think always will is my sister Nicole. She is my angel and I know that she has kept me safe, very safe. Funny a person that I never shared a conversation with or who called my name ever, but so important non the less.

5. M&M's or Skittles? Organic Peanut M&Ms. I love chocolate and nuts. I really don't like candy at all, but Chocolate, well that is a different story!

Play along with me and others. Leave me a comment to Interview Me and I will send out 5 Q's to you!

Thanks Ally for making me put heart and head together!!!!

22 August, 2007

HEALTH CARE DEBACLE!

Let me start by saying my blood pressure has to be high right now, due to the fact that I have just been on the phone with over 6 different people the past hour! Why is our health care such a farce? I mean, we pay for health insurance, we go to the doctor when it is necessary, not frivolously, and we expect the insurance, we pay for, to pay for the appropriate contribution. Is this too much to ask for? How about the actual doctor or medical facility's responsibility, shouldn't they bill the insurance company?

I had two services performed at one facility. The first in Jan of this year and the second in March of this year. The second service was billed to my insurance. The first was not billed. Instead of contacting me, they sent that bill directly to a collections agency, that did not notify me of any missed billing until JUNE!!! This was the first time I realized something was messed up.

It seems that the collections agency is not able to bill insurance only the facility of service. The facility is unwilling to bill, because the account doesn't belong to them anymore, it is the collections agency's. I mean what the F*%$#%$#%^!!!!!

Twice I was hung up on already and I still have no resolution. Instead I have to wait for the manager of the billing department to call me back... I have a suspicion that won't happen!

So living in the land of the free, how free are we? How wonderful is our health care? Anyone see SICKO yet? I have not, but did listen to several interviews with Michael Moore and realize that I really and truly like this man's approach and drive. Why is this country so backwards with simple things? Is it because of the almight dollar? We do live in Babylon... watch! It fell.

20 August, 2007

First there was the fair...



Mommy and her boys after a long evening of smelly farm animals, icky, gooey, bad for you ingredient fair "fare" and carnival rides.








Here is one of those carnival rides; they appear to be having a blast!












Here are some of the smelly farm animals... boy oh boy does that stench pack a wallop!

09 August, 2007

Almost There!

We are almost done with the laundry! I have two more baskets to fold and then we will pack today. I also want to clean the bathrooms today. Tomorrow with be the de-hair day for me. Anyone else out there, waxing their own body?

I have been doing this for some time now, the bikini area, the underarms, and the eyebrows. I have to say, the smooth skin is worth all the pain. I don't like the bikini area that much and have a lot of false starts, but eventually I get it into my head the sooner I yank on that strip, the sooner it will be over!

I have gone to the salon for these more delicate parts and I must say they do a great job, but the cost associated with these trips is just not something I am able to afford these days. DARN!

We leave tomorrow and I am very excited. I think there is something to be said about smelling salty air. I am not much for going into the ocean, too many scary things inside of it for me. Growing up near a great lake, I am accustomed to fresh water, no irritated eyes or bad aftertaste, no fear of the random shark either. I have learned the helicopters patrolling the shore line are also looking for shark sitings. Yikes, and they said it was all in my head!

The salty air, however is divine. I love it and the warm sun and lazy attitude. So for a week, I will just kick back, lounge around de-haired and loving it!

07 August, 2007

Getting Ready

We are cleaning house this week. It is such a task to organize toys! Why do all the toys have to come in such little pieces? Of course when the children want to play with a particular toy, the pieces aren't there and so they discard and move onto another mess. UGH!

We are preparing for a vacation of sorts. Every summer we usually take a week and go to New York and stay with my in laws. They live practically on the beach, so it is a nice respite away from the hum drum of everyday life. The boys are taken care of mostly, leaving my hubbie and I to sleep in, lounge around, lay on the beach, soak in the sun and salty air. It is a nice week, usually.

Today our goal is to organize all the toys. Tomorrow is laundry day, Thursday is clean bathrooms and pack day. In between, we are cleaning the floors and changing bed linens. I do like coming home to a clean house after a vacation. We also do laundry while in New York, so there is not much cleaning to do when we return home and that makes for a nice vacation.

My posts may be little or non existent until we return. I wish all a nice week and peace!

03 August, 2007

Angels


Okay not to be outdone, but my oldest son told me the other day with a giggle, "Mommy I hear the angels talking"! I asked him what they were saying and he replied "It is a buzzing sound in my ear", as he giggled.

I try and foster his connection to things unseen and spiritual. I strongly believe in things that are not humanely proved or known, but felt and understood. It was a great moment to have him come to me with confidence and share his giggle moment with the angels.

Love, simply put, he makes my heart melt!



My youngest is so matter of fact. Tonight as I was tucking him into bed, I asked him "Who is your mommy"? He said, "you"! A couple of questions later, I asked again the same question and his response was "You already said that"! I know something so small, but my heart melts, as he looks into my eyes and I realize how lucky I am to be his mother.

I have been a mommy now for over 5 years, but I still have moments where I think this must be a dream. How on earth did this happen and who are these amazing little creatures that cling to me?

01 August, 2007

Financial Abundance Come to Me!

Okay, I admit to watching The Secret. I actually found the message to be one of value. When you take away the editing magic, the message is clear and succinct with many themes throughout all time. Our values, attitudes and thoughts play a large role in who we are. Almost all major religions mention this idea as well, however it is mostly in the framework of prayer and being humble to accept the challenge of life and God's calling.

I want to put out in the universe, the following: Financial Independence was a subject I struggled with. However, through pain and poverty, I have realized the lesson and accept Financial Abundance now in my life. I no longer dwell on the "D" work, but put my thoughts out to Financial Abundance. I have cleared out my balances, cleared out my mind and focus on how to best use my Financial Abundance to make the world a better place.

This is my intention.

Holistic Beauty Products

I have been on a search for natural, organic minded beauty and skin care products. In my past, I used to spend a fair amount of money on cosmetics. The idea of makeup as art is one I embrace. My face and others' faces were my canvases. I have to say, I am pretty good at applying make up and have a good eye for make up trends. This is not to say, everyday, I look like a beauty queen. My artistic expressions have been relegated to special occasions and such. Who has the time to apply the perfect liquid eyeliner while changing a diaper full of mashed up poop?

My policy on purchasing beauty products is as follows: once I have used up a current product, I will replace it with a healthier option, such as one that is organic or made solely out of natural products. (Note: the USA does not allow for beauty products to be labeled organic, as that label is only reserved for food products. The Beauty Industry is still trying to gain this distinction, but I believe it is still being discussed here in the USA).

The problem with this quest, I found, is that once you figure out what is good for you, the rules change and you realize the item you thought was good, included an ingredient that is potentially harmful. So I offer this list of products as an option knowing all too well, the industry is busy working on newer, better, holistic options all the time.

Here are some of my favorites that are not only a quality product but are a great value. They don't contain parabens or sulfates.

Gabriel Mascara - typically sells for 15 dollars. Doesn't clump!
Alba Sea Moss Moisturizer - typically sells around 15 dollars, love the smell!
Alba Sun Screen - Typically sells under 10 dollars, great smell!
Bare Escentuals - Prices comparable to department store products. I use the foundation, blush, eyeshadow etc. One dislike, traveling really reeks havoc on the powder and it goes all over the place. Looking for a better alternative, but I do like the colors and how it makes my face look and feel, flawless.
Giovanni Hair Care and Body Lotion - I have used their hand lotion and love it! The hair care line was used on me at my salon. It smells wonderfully fresh and I plan on purchasing it, when I finish with my Pureology products. I love Pureology smells, but alas they contain parabens.. ugh.
Zoya Nail Polish - They are trying to do the right thing, even though nail polish is hard to make right. I heard that OPI is rethinking their ingredient list and will be providing an improved products. Look forward to that!

Like I stated, I just wanted to share. I know it is hard to remember all the "dos and don'ts", but at least this is a starting point. As I come across better choices for the everyday items, I will share those too! Spread the word!

Ugly Monster Disappered, La La!

Yeah the ugly monster has left the building! (One this you should note about me, I am a huge Elvis Presley fan. Elvis's death was a defining moment in my childhood. When I heard the announcement in our old mint green metallic pick up truck, I turned to my mother and asked her if he died like my sister did. She responded yes and I asked how come, because he is a cartoon and they don't die. Up until this point, I thought all things on the TV were not real, but cartoons. It was then I realized the difference between real and not real on TV. I also realized that I really liked Elvis and knew he was in Heaven like my sister was. What a huge moment for a young girl to have). So yes the ugly monster has indeed, "Left the Building".

We are all happy once again to live in the land of la la.