Self

My Favorite Books

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Reading is something I love to do.  It is something that I haven’t done in the last year.  I know my son’s current problems have lead to me not read anymore.  I’m just too mentally spent.  I only lately seem to have time for podcasts.  I have a huge pile of books that need to be read! One of my new goals for 2019 is to get my pile of books read.

I love to read all types of books.  The following are my top five favorite books:

  1. Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King. This is an epic true story of survival when 12 merchant sailors where shipwrecked on the coast of Africa in 1812. Kidnapped and sold into slavery only a few would survive thanks to the generosity of a single stranger.
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Memoirs was a  New York Times best seller, and this book also appears on PBS’s Great American Read.  Geisha tells the story of Nitta who at a young age was sold to a Geisha house.  It follows her through her trials and tribulations to become a Geisha herself.
  3. The Land of White Death by Valerian Albanov. Another true story of survival. See a pattern here?  I love to figure out what motivates people and why they do what they do. This is a journal of crewman Valerian Albanov and how he became the only survivor of the expedition ship Saint Anna.
  4. The Gryphon and Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock. I love this whole series. It’s the combination of a great story with artwork. It’s a quick read that is really enjoyable.
  5. The Tatooed Map: A Novel by Barbara Hodgson. If you like the last recommendation you will love this novel by Barbara Hodgson.  It’s a very short read, but the combination of art and story are wonderful.  This is a great book for a creative in your life.

What are your favorite books? Are there any you are giving  for Christmas?  Let me know in the replies below.

Home

5 Things to Do to Help the Environment

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There are always so many ways to help the environment. Where do you start?  Some things seem to take a long time to do, cost so much money, or require a major life shift.  There are some things that are little things that can make a big difference.  In fact, many of these smaller things are a great way to get young children into caring for the environment.  Indirectly, many of these tips can help you save money or be more minimalistic.  It’s a win win for everyone.  Here are 5 tips you can use to up your environmental quotient.

  1. Add plants to your living space.  Plants are nature’s detoxifer.  They can help purify the air and bring the outside in.  Just adding a couple of plants to each room will help purify the air.  Then relax and enjoy.
  2. Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth.  If you brush your teeth after every meal you can use up to as much as 45 gallons of water.  Way to much waste.  Speaking of faucets, also get a leaky faucet or running toilet fixed.  It will use less water and not annoy you as much.
  3. Support politicians, musicians, companies and websites that are devoted to helping the environment.  Your support matters.
  4. Join an organization that supports environmental causes near to your heart.  It could be an international, local, state or national organization.  There are so many out there from conservative groups to radical ones.  Some are long established others address newer concerns.  Just make sure they work within the law.
  5. Share.  One of the things that I have done to help the environment and share is giving toys to other kids in the neighborhood when my son outgrows them.  They enjoy them and they continue to get use out of them.  See if you can set up a sharing circle with some of your neighbors?  It’s a great way to get new items and not have to pay new prices.  Then they don’t end up in the landfill either.

What ideas do you do to help take care of the environment?

 

 

Self

5 Self Care Ideas for December

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Holiday Season is such a busy time.  Kids have school projects coming due.  There are band concerts and chorus shows to attend.  Have you got all your baking done yet?  Then the meal planning and the visiting schedule have yet to be worked out.  Oh, and how are those resolutions coming along?  It never ends does it?  It’s easy to get overworked and stressed out on a daily basis.  I know it happens a lot to me.  I can easily forget unless I write the reminders down.

Here are five quick and easy ways to take care of yourself this month.

1. Turn off all the phones and electronic devices for an evening.  Play a board game as a family or go see the lights.  Plan something besides the norm.  We all need a change of pace once in awhile.

2.Don’t put up all your decorations.  Go through them and donate what you really don’t want or need. We were pushed into this by accident.  We adopted two cats this summer so this is their first Christmas.  We didn’t want the ornaments to be ruined so we only put on lights and ribbon.  The ribbon has already been pulled off by the cats.  Thankfully they have not tried to climb the tree yet.

3. Just say no.  You don’t need to go to your cousins house for the day after Christmas extended family celebration.  You don’t have to go to your families Christmas and then drive like a bat out of hell to your spouses family 4 hours later.  Take a holiday off.

4.Give less gifts.  Your sanity and wallet will thank you.  Does your sister really need more potholders?  I know they have kitties on them and that just screams her but let someone else get them. In my family we have this rule that once a person hits 18 they no longer get gifts.  If you are over 18 the next time you get a gift is for graduation, marriage, new home, or birth of a child.  No more holidays.

5. Have a different meal than normal.  A huge Christmas meal with all the trimmings?  I know you can make it potluck.  I just get tired of it all.  So how about a lasagna or pizza instead of ham or turkey?  It doesn’t have to be crazy!

I hope these self care ideas help.  I know they technically are not traditional self care ideas like getting a pedicure.  Sometimes you just have to cut down or not do anything as a form of self preservation.  Good luck.

 

Family

What is Dyspraxia?

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What is Dyspraxia?  I must admit, when I heard of this disorder I didn’t have a clue to what it meant.  When my son was diagnosed with it I started to research the meanings.  It was eye opening.  “Oh, so that’s why he does that” was always on my lips.  In this post find out the basics about Dyspraxia, and how to cope.

Dyspraxia is a neurological condition that can effect communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and organization.  In the area of communication, dyspraxia  can hinder understanding of non-verbal cues, volume control on your speaking voice, and the ability to get to know people in a group. For gross motor skills, the ability to play sports, hop and skip, or keep your balance. Organization can be hindered by an inability to be neat, plan ahead, and recall directions. Finally, fine motor skills can be cutting with a scissors, using utensils, and writing.

Dyspraxia was first listed in the US Diagnostic Manuel in 2013.  So it’s diagnosis is brand spanking new!  You may notice that many of the symptoms are also found in other diagnosis.  If you suspect Dyspraxia or another kind of neurological or psychological disorder please get your child to a licensed Psychiatrist for testing.

It can often be referred to as “clumsy child syndrome.”  My son was always tripping over his feet and falling.  Sometimes I wonder if he did it on purpose.  I guess not!  Often they cannot sit normally in a chair, can’t tell left and right, an can’t tie shoes.  It is often genetic and can effect 2-10% of the population.

I believe that the longer and more studying that is done on many of these new disorders, the more defined and quickly they will be diagnosed.  Often Autism is considered when dyspraxia  is found.  Please make sure to get diagnostic testing done.  It really helps and can force the school district to address some of your child’s needs.

I personally see a lot of myself in this diagnosis. If this had been around when I was young, I think there is a definite possibility that I would have been diagnosed as this as well.  Has anyone in your life been diagnosed with Dyspraxia?

 

 

 

Clothing

10 Fashion Terms to know.

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It’s time for the monthly installment of ten fashion terms to know. Some of them are obscure, others common knowledge.  The fashion/clothing industry never disappoints and is always evolving.  Thus, making sure I will have endless words to define for you.

Basket Handbag- Originally a term used for a bag woven from reed to resemble a basket. Now may be made from a variety of materials but still resemble a basket.

Canteen Handbag- A bag in a circle shape that has a zipper and shoulder strap. Made to resemble a canteen used to carry water in desert climates.

Carpet Bag- A bag made of a patterned heavy fabric such as carpeting or tapestry in a large style.

Change Purse-A small bag that closes by a snap clasp on a rigid frame.  Usually carried inside of a handbag to hold coins.  Also called a coin purse.

Envelope Bag- A long narrow handbag made in the shape of a letter envelope.  Often it has no handles.

Feed Bag- A bag made of a cylindrical shape of leather or canvas materials.  Made to resemble a horse feed bag.  It copies the round flat bottom and top handles.

Knapsack-A bag made of heavy fabric, square shaped, with webbing that forms a handle. Originally used in hiking and now used for a school bag.

Manbag- Handbag, usually a shoulder bag style, carried by men.

Newsbag- A tote bag with a seperate section on the outside to slip in a magazine or newspaper.

Saddle bags- Two soft leather bags joined to a central strap.  Originally made to throw over a horse to carry provisions.

I hope you enjoyed the handbag themed fashion terms!

 

 

 

 

 

Journaling

10 Journal Prompts for December

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Tis the season of being busy.  I went out this am to get some minor items and ended up leaving the store before purchasing.  The line at the checkout was too long!  Since Christmas is a time of a lot of running, I am keeping the prompts short and sweet this month.  Enjoy!

  1. What was your favorite Christmas gift you received as a child?  Why?  If you do not celebrate Christmas, choose another holiday or occasion you celebrate.
  2. What is your ideal Christmas meal?  Is it like the one you actually eat?
  3. What is your favorite Christmas ornament?
  4. Do you still send cards for the holidays?  Why or why not.
  5. Are there family members you wish you did not have to associate with on the holidays?  Why or why not.
  6. What is your favorite Christmas candy?
  7. How do you like your hot chocolate or apple cider?
  8. If you could just walk out on your life tomorrow, where would you go?
  9. What is one major thing you want to accomplish next year.
  10. Who do you follow on the internet that no one knows about.  Why do you follow them?
Family

Chores for kids ages 11-16

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Chores and age appropriateness.  It’s always a difficult struggle.  What can you kid do?  What should your kid do?  Why are his friends doing X,Y, Z and not your child?  Everyone is at a different spot.  Here are some ideas for chores you can start your child on between the ages of 11 and 16.

1. Do the laundry.  They can wash, sort, dry and fold.  Make sure to cover towels and bedding too.

2. Shop for groceries.  Making a list, checkout, take home and put away.

3.Iron clothing.

4. Do yard work. Can they start using the lawn mower? Hedge trimmer?

5. How about cooking?  Can they make one meal a week?

6. This is also a great time to start side jobs like babysitting and snow shoveling.

What other chores do you have for your older kids?