Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Did you ever have on of those weeks when you wonder why is this
 stuff happening to me, my friends, my family? Woe is me! Such a fine place to be in, don't you think. I want to get unstuck, and I am not sure how. Now part of my reason is I just had a birthday and that always sends me into a tailspin. I don't mind getting older, really. I seldom even think about it until the week before. Then it looms large in my thinking process. This year it is particularly challenging me.

Friday I took some me time and went to my favorite spa www.theroomorganic and with the help of Julie, Angie and Yajaida felt pampered with a massage, facial and manicure. These three helped me today and I thank them. I must admit that I have a great experience every time I go there. Everyone is marvelous. The atmosphere is soothing. You can relax and let them do their job.

I left feeling much better. I also realized that instead of focusing on the good, I had gotten caught up in the frustrations of the day. Yea, bad stuff happens, and can drag us down to the miry clay, if you let it. That is seldom, if ever, a good choice. But this too shall pass away. We are moving along our life path. It is up to us where we put our focus.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I started blogging a couple of years ago, I enjoyed it, but it does take time,and I became very busy as a tax professional from January through April. Once you lose the momentum it is hard to get it back. Well, I am back. Things have changed in my life. I am excited about some of them, and scared about others. This blog is now going to be about facing the challenges.

My husband Roger has had a kidney problem for several years .  Until recently things remained stable and he did things his own way. The last visit to the doctor he was told that he was close to the point of needing dialysis. He has chosen not to go the way of dialysis. I have learned that when he makes up his mind, there is little I can to to change it. As a Christian, I do pray for him and believe that God can intervene.

Well, I believe that He is. Since then, Roger has started juicing, whereas before he made milkshakes to help with his headaches, he began using juicing and moved away from ice cream made with  milk to shakes made with coconut milk and Rice Dream ice creams. He then emptied most of the junk food out of the refrigerator and stated that we were no longer going to eat foods with GMO (genetically modified organisms) when we had control over it. He also found Youngevity.com. They offer a food supplement with 90 essential nutrients. He has been on the program (his way) for two weeks now. The good news is that he had had fewer headaches and less episodes of gastric reflux.

After seeing these changes in him, I decided to order the Healthy Body Start Package from Youngevity.com  for myself after listening to several YouTube videos about them. I tried it today for the first time. I do not know what will happen in the future, however I do feel encouraged that we are headed in the right direction. So I will be telling our story as we progress in The Way of the Tortoise, slowly and surely along the way.

Thank you for reading my post. The Way of the Tortoise.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Do You Do When Life Just Feels Like It Is Too Much?

While I like to stay busy, sometimes I get to be too busy. These last two weeks were like that. I found myself getting frustrated, depressed and ready to just quit everything. Did you ever have one of those weeks. There is a saying "And this too shall pass". Sure enough I am coming out of this busyness on the other side.

The hardest part of being so busy is not having the time to focus, to plan, and just plain enjoy yourself. We really do need to learn to smell the flowers along the way. Usually this happens for me because of demands on my time by other people. However this time, it was caused mainly by an increased teaching schedule. I teach taxes and had a six hour class on a Saturday and a midterm study session with another class on Sunday. Both needed to be done. 

In the process, I asked myself, what could I have done differently?
How could I have managed my time better? It seems that as long as we are alive and doing, we need to think about how we manage our time. I tend to get caught up in doing things and forget about the managing aspect of it. There is so much I would like to do, but I need to look at my priorities. Ouch. Sometimes, that is a painful experience. Why? Well, for me,  it is anyway. I want to help people, to do things and sometimes the time lines seem to get entangled. 

What I learned in all of this is I need to make sure I get enough rest. Since I frequently have trouble sleeping, that can be a challenge, but I have found that there are things I can do to help me relax. I love to read, and enjoy computer games and listening to music. When I get too busy, I have learned to make sure I have time to do these before I go to bed. It actually helps me sleep. 

I have also learned to say "no" to others as well as myself. I can't do everything. I have to pick and chose. I may not like it, but that is the way it is. 

Getting the scheduled events in, because they are scheduled, is not the problem. It is getting those things done that are unscheduled. So, I am finding that those too need to be scheduled at a time that will allow me to get them done. Sounds simple, doesn't it. But it is not. Other things keep getting in the way. But truth be told, I enjoy being busy, I just don't enjoy being frustrated because I can't get something done. But we do learn.

This week I worked more hours than usually. It is the last week of electronic filing for the tax season. As a tax professional, I worked more hours so that those clients who waited until the very last minute could get their taxes done. I guess I am not the only one with a time management problem. 

I cut back on some things, I planned some relaxation time, and by the end of the week felt better than I had in awhile. I even got some good sleep...once I got to sleep. 

So, we move on to the next week. My point in all this is we need to check ourselves every so often. Sometimes, we need to rethink our priorities at least for awhile. Life does throw us curve balls from time to time and we need to move with them. In the end, we emerge victorious...at least until the next challenge.

May you meet your challenges victoriously. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lonely Faces, Who Can They Talk To?

There are a lot of lonely people in the world. The internet in some ways may have helped people connect with others. But what about those who are not on the Internet? What about those who are living alone? Who are elderly? Who can they talk to? Where can they turn when they just want to hear another voice?

Years ago I worked for the telephone company as a long distance operator summers while I was going to school. A few times I would take a call and it would be an elderly person wanting me to call them back because they have not been getting any calls and they wanted to make sure their phone was working. Most of the time, these were older persons who were lonely, feeling isolated and just wanted someone to talk to.

I have a friend who has a mother who calls her all the time. She also calls her daughter-in-law, her grandson and his family and anyone else she can. My friend would like to get fewer calls from her mother. She got a call at one in the morning from her mom, asking what time she wanted her mother to call her to wake her up. My friend asked if I knew of any organization that would just talk to people. I know there are hot lines still in operation, but usually those are for people in crisis. I don't think her mom would call them. But she is not alone. She is housebound for the most part, has a problem walking and is on oxygen. How many others like her are out there, just want to talk to someone, to feel that they are still apart of the human race? I can only wonder.

So I am asking does anyone know of an organization that helps people who are elderly, housebound, feeling alone that could call them just to touch basis. Many of us live isolated lives. Others of us find things to do, places to go and people to see. Think about it. Is there someone that you could call, just to say hello, how are you? If so, why don't you give them a call, send them a card, connect with them in someone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Until Tuesday, a book review of sorts

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan with Bret Witter is an eye opening book. It is a book which takes us to Iraq and Afghanistan, to the streets of New York as seen by a wounded warrior with PTSD, into a prison where service dogs are being trained while helping inmates find their own humanity and into the life of Luis and his service dog Tuesday. 

This book touched me in many ways. It is a story about a man and his dog. It is not just any story. Tuesday is a golden retriever who was raised to be a service dog. In the book, we learn the steps it took to get one puppy ready to be a companion, a service dog, for someone in need of healing. Tuesday's journey was not without its frustrations. He was in a prison training program for awhile. He ended up bonding with two prisoners during his time there. They both got released. 

Luis Carlos Montalvan was a warrior serving our country in Iraq and later Afghanistan.  While I knew that these were not great places to be, I really had no understanding of what we ask our servicemen and women to undergo when we sent them there. It is a life very different from what most of us experience here in the United States. It was not just the culture of the countries, the war, but our government did not always do what was needed. He was wounded, and yet returned to combat. As a captain, he felt the responsibility for his men and his country. He continues leading today as a journalist and as a person speaking out for his country, his army and his dog.

The chapters where Luis and Tuesday bonded were great. Here are two hurting beings that grew to trust one another. Tuesday has that personality that some many golden retrievers have. He was generally a happy dog with a sense of play that just had to come out from time to time. In one of the chapters, Luis starts taking Tuesday out at night so they can play and get exercise finding an abandoned area that they could toss and catch balls. 

But there were hurdles that had to be crossed as well. And this really spoke to my heart. There appears to be a lack of understanding of  what a service dog is, and how we should treat them and their owners. Service dogs are not just for the blind. Luis was suffering of Post Stress Traumatic Disorder, as a result of his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tuesday became his anchor, that allowed him to function. Yet, he had a hard time taking a bus because the bus driver had a limited concept of what a service dog should look like. Restaurants refused to serve him because they did not understand that even with his jacket announcing him as a service dog, that he could enter their establishment. I have seen service dogs in action with persons in wheel chairs. The service they provide is invaluable. We need to educate ourselves and others about how to treat the dogs and their owners. 

In the end, Luis and Tuesday are continuing their journey. They are helping one another cope with the day to day experiences of living. They are moving on in their lives. 

As a result of reading this book, I have a greater understanding of the role of service dogs, of what our service men and women are going through in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what some of them may face when they return home to the United States. 

This is a book well worth reading. I highly recommend it. It is available on Kindle, in hardcover and on audio.  I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Arctic Zero, An Ice Cream Replacement, Is GREAT!

I love ice cream, but I am trying to lose weight. I am lactose intolerant and need to watch the amount of dairy products I eat. But I have found a delicious solution! It is Arctic Zero, an all natural, smooth and creamy ice cream replacement. According to the information on the product, it "can be eaten guilt free by those who want to avoid fat and calories."  It is made with "14 grams of whey protein, 8 grams of fiber and friendly to lactose intolerants." It is not only healthy it is also gluten free. A pint is only 150 calories. A serving (1/2 cup) is only 37 calories.

Arctic Zero is available in several flavors, Vanilla Maple, Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Coffee, Mint  Chocolate and Cookies and cream. Of the four I have tried, I liked the Vanilla Maple and Chocolate Peanut Butter ones the best. The consistency is more like a fudgecicle in my opinion, but I do like the taste and the consistency of this desert. It is good knowing that when I want ice cream I have a substitute that tastes good, is low calorie, gluten free and cholesterol free.

I took four containers of  Arctic Zero with me to a group of friends who meet one a month for a friendly game of Pokeno and dinner and lots of talk. Since we play for pennies no one gets rich and no one really loses more than 50 cents in an evening. I had called my hostess and asked her if I could bring a surprise. I wanted them to be taste testers for me. I took Vanilla Maple, Chocolate, Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter with me. There were eight of us all together. Everyone liked what they tasted. Roxy said that is tasted pretty good, but it was not the same smoothness as ice cream. It would do if you could not have the real thing.  Lila told her husband that he should eat it instead of ice cream to help with his diet. All together everyone enjoyed the treat. Some thought the chocolate was a bit to chocolaty. The Chocolate Peanut Butter mellows out the chocolate.

Arctic Zero has a website at www.MyArcticZero.com. I invite you to pay them a visit and learn more about this delicious treat. They have recently become available at Ralphs in California and Kroger stores in the frozen desert section.

Well, I am off to have a serving of the Vanilla Maple. Try them. I am sure you will like them. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Trip to BlogHer11 in San Diego, CA

     Last week-end I was at the BlogHer11 Conference in San Diego, California There were over 3,700 women of all ages in attendance from around the world. I met someone from Australia, Canada and across the United States. There were even a few men in attendance. One of them was a single parent who wrote a blog on being a single father. Others were supporting their spouses and at least one wrote the family blog with his spouse.  It really was an amazing collection of individuals.

     When I saw pictures of previous events and the computers around the table, I was impressed. When I got there and saw all the people who had brought their electronic devices, I got goosebumps. I was with like-minded people. I saw a lot of iPads, Apple computers, iPhones, regular laptops and a few mini's like mine. I was in a techie world. We had come with the tools to keep notes, tweet to one another, write a blog, and be a part of this great conference.

     Another thing that impressed me was the "Can Do" spirit in many of the attendees. Some were seasoned bloggers, some newbies like myself and others just waiting to get their feet wet. We were there to get connected, to learn and forge ahead to the next level. I left there knowing that we bloggers can do amazing things. We can change the world one blog at a time,

     The conference was well run. One of the things that excited me was that there was an open invitation to attend any session you wanted, to get up and go to another session if that one was not what you wanted, no questions asked. It was okay. In some of the sessions, women were seated on the floor because there were not enough chairs. Many of us with our laptops or cell phones out ready to take notes and learn. You could even text questions in the session.

     The sponsorship of the conference, the gifts, and the food were sensational. Breakfast and lunch were provided. There were booths with lots of give-aways and opportunities to learn about the sponsors products.  Blogging is becoming big business. Bloggers who want to monetize their blogs and sponsors who want to reach their readers can get together.

     I left with a lot of business cards, new acquaintances, loads of information and lots of goodies from the sponsors. I left with a renewed purpose and a sense that we are at the beginning of a new revolution in communication and working relationships. I can continue my conference attendance by watching the Virtual Conference and get in on all the sessions I wanted to attend but could not. Most of all, I am looking forward to the BlogHer12 Conference in New York. It was a great conference this year. I am glad I attended.

   The picture is a group of attendees appearing on the scene and lunch and dancing. What fun. The room was filled with excitement, like much of the convention.

Thank you for reading. I welcome any questions or comments.