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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interesting things I did not expect from the weekend

I went to Phoenix for intensive training and networking over the weekend. Interesting things I did not expect:
  • Getting checked out by two TSA agents, a restaurant worker, and an airline pilot (the you're-cute kind of checkout, not the are-those-wires-in-your-sneakers checkout)
  • Being willing to bid up to $400 on an hour with a hunky millionaire associate (hey, it included the apron and chef's hat he was wearing and a tub of a yummolicious shake formulation not yet released by the company) (and the money was for charity) (and he was hot)
  • Making awesome connections with people from across the country
  • Missing my baby's chunky thighs
  • Confirming I do not sleep well in a big hotel room by myself
  • Experiencing the weirdness of eating at a restaurant by myself
  • (BAH-LETED!)
  • Missing my husband's hugs
  • Missing out on signing up the makeup artist from my video interview into my business team by one day
  • Becoming OK with attending a large event by myself
  • Uncovering that I can make friends anywhere
  • Realizing I rock

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Special Ham

I found 4 expired square cans while I was taking inventory of my food storage. To be honest, I'm surprised they're in my house. I must have thought by the time the expiration date came about a catastrophe would have hit, and I would have traded these cans for a carton of cigarettes. (And then traded the carton for a car. Those nicotine addicts will do anything for smokes!)

Or is it Mmmm? Who can turn down Virginia Baked Ham Taste! (Note they didn't leave it at "ham.") With a name like Treet, you KNOW it's gonna be good!

I can't recall having eaten and enjoyed Spam. Yeah, I know the can says Treet, but really, who are we kidding? (Did you know I've been to the Spam Museum? There I learned that Spam got its name at a party when a guest abbreviated SPiced hAM. Get it?)

Anyway, I studied the can like a monkey discovering a can. It took some woman power and some meat juice splashing onto my neck, but I got the lid peeled off. ("Peel me open a can of meat, will ya?") (It just isn't right.)

I poked at the pinkish matter and tried to jiggle it out. I slid a knife around it and turned the can upside down. Out came a perfectly square chunk of meat. (Which part of the pig is the perfectly square part? I forgot.)

I'm a nutrition label reader, and, sometimes, I wish I was not. I was horrified to find that just eating 1/6 of this meat contained nearly the fifth of a day's worth of fat and cholesterol and 1/3 of the day's worth of salt. Unless I just wanted to suck on a flabby piece of pink, that's not counting any other ingredients I want to add to it.

I cut off approximately 1/6 of mechanically separated meat parts and then realized I had no idea what to do with this kind of food. What do I do with the other 5/6ths? What about the other 3 cans? (Side note: It was kind of disturbing how easily my butter knife went through the chunk. I've had a tougher time slicing through butter.)

I did the next logical and geometric thing. I sliced the slice of square into tiny baby squares. (Awww, cute!) Then, I threw them in a skillet and added onions and eggs.

It was ok.

What do I do with the rest of the "ham taste" product? I've already figured out I can use the juice as perfume, but I need recipes! Share your best, healthier (relatively-speaking) recipes for 90-degree-angled, compressed animal parts. I know you've got them!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baby's 1st Birthday

She is one today.

(Her conception: here.)
(Her birth: here.)

What do I love most about her?
Her smile.
It doesn't take much to receive a big smile from her. She is happiness and spreads much of it about. I love her so very much and ache at times when I think about her happy little soul embarking on her journey through this not-so-kind world. I hope she will always feel inspired to smile.

Her birthday party... well... wow... I totally... yeah.

I stayed up WAY TOO LATE the night before and then had so much difficulty waking up that morning. Baby Adhis' birthday party started at 1130am.

At 1129am:
  • the potatoes were baking in the oven
  • my husband was JUST coming home from the store getting some items I forgot the day before
  • the kitchen was in chaos (sink and counters full of dirty dishes, mixing bowls, pans)
  • the cake was chilling in the fridge from recently being finished
  • the barbecue grill was still cold and dirty
  • the streamers and balloons were sitting in a box on the kitchen table
  • my hair was disheveled in a clip and my makeup was not on
  • I was stressed out and tired

At 1130am:
  • my sister and her family arrived

At 11:31am:
  • my sister and her husband were put to work, inflating balloons, hanging streamers, and all the things that could and should have been done the day before
  • the 3-year-old niece was put to work applying stickers onto drinking cups
  • David was wiping off the grill cleaner and starting up the grill
  • I was cleaning the kitchen and putting the dog away

FORTUNATELY, and I won't say this often, everyone else was 30 minutes late, so everything looked ready to them.

As I was pulling the cake out of the fridge, I accidentally made sure to smash the back of it against a refrigerator shelf.

One of the things I loved most about her birthday party was watching Baby Dhis get distracted from digging into the mass confection before her by spontaneous singing in the room.


Next year, I will be wiser about the time I spend in preparation for her celebration. I am just thankful that this year she didn't know what a pony was.

1. Were you married at the time of the birth?
Yes, for 7 years. We just wanted to remove all suspicion that we married because of a premarital pregnancy.
2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant?
I knew I was going to be pregnant a couple minutes before I got pregnant, so my reaction was "What? Really? Am I ready to do this?"
3. How old were you?
32 when I got pregnant
4. How did you find out you were pregnant?
I had an overwhelming tingly, burning sensation from head to toe.
5. Who did you tell first?
Dave, but he didn't realize I was telling him. He thought I was just having a melt-down and rambling. I told him straight out a couple of weeks later.
6. Did you want to find out the sex?
We already knew the baby was a girl.
7. Due date:
May 24th
8. Did you deliver child early or late?
On May 26th (Memorial Day in 2008)
9. Did you have morning sickness?
Nausea but no vomiting
10. What did you crave?
ice cream, gummy worms, Doritos
11. Who irritated you the most?
The baby. She kept making me nauseous, making my back hurt and my feet swell.
Other than that, I wasn't really irritated by anyone.
12. What is her birth order?
First birthchild
13. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy?
30-35 lbs, but everyone kept telling me how little I looked. My pants knew better.
14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy?
In the first trimester, I bled for a few weeks but it turned out to be benign.
15. Where did you give birth to your child?
Orem, UT
16. How many hours were you in labor?
I don't know because I didn't feel "in labor" until I went to the hospital to get the OK to soak in my tub. I think I was in blissful denial.
17. Who drove you to the hospital?
18. Who watched?
David. I watched in a mirror; I'm not sure if the doctor did. He may have been texting someone at the time.
19. Did you take medicine to ease the pain?
I did but wish I hadn't. She would have been born earlier into the hospital stay.
20. How much did she weigh?
6lbs 9oz
21. Why did you name her the name you picked?
Her first name means "new" and her middle name is "guide" or "compass." She will be a leader in her generation.
22. Who was the first person you called?
I don't remember. I was just chillin'.
23. Who were your first visitors?
My parents visited before her birth and then came back with pizza after the birth. Hooray for food!

Happy Birthday, Baby Adhis!
I love you so very, very much!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Things that people make

(I wrote this on May 20th but its publishing was pre-empted by a special birthday.)

(Wow- exactly a year ago I had a similar idea to this post. Coincidence?
Here is last year's post when I mentioned some neighbors who peddle goods.)

I was just thinking of friends who make things. Check out their handy work!



Sarah of Thinnerware is an inventor, magic mom, and artist. She creates these curvaceous dishes. Dinnerware with a secret code in the design!


Heidi's Hair Bows

Heidi of Heidi's Crafts is a funny woman, reluctant runner, and crafty crafter. Among many things, she makes these little girl hair bows.


Blue Bijou

Sarah of Blue Bijou is a jewelry designer, flamenco dancer, and model. She creates classic and unique jewelry pieces.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Someone cute

(click for enlarged cuteness)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sugar List

This information was passed on to me back in 2002 when I was visiting a holistic medical center in Rosarito, Mexico and just came across it again yesterday while cleaning out my nightstand.

The list is of conclusions from different studies; therefore some of the items on the list sound repetitive since several studies came to the same findings. I originally included the references and footnotes but deleted them to cut the length of the post. Even if it was condensed to only 50 studies, the list is still compelling enough to reconsider my sugar consumption.

Keep in mind that this is in reference to excessive sugar consumption. Also keep in mind that one may be having excessive sugar amounts if they are not aware how much of their non-sweet foods contain sugar.

I am not perfect (I know that comes as a great shock to many of you), but I do not let that deter me from the ongoing quest to become a better steward to my mind, spirit, body, and relationships.

I share this in love!

(In addition to throwing off the body's homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. The following is a listing of some of sugar's metabolic consequences from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications.)

146 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
7. Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins.
8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
9. Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.
10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
13. Sugar may make eyes more vulnerable to age-related macular degeneration.
14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.
19. Sugar can cause premature aging.
20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
22. Sugar contributes to obesity.
23. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.
24. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
25. Sugar can cause arthritis.
26. Sugar can cause asthma.
27. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
28. Sugar can cause gallstones.
29. Sugar can cause heart disease.
30. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
31. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
32. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
33. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
34. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
35. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
36. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
37. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
38. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol) in the blood.
39. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
40. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
41. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.
42. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
43. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
44. Sugar causes food allergies.
45. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
46. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
47. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
48. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
49. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
50. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
51. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
52. Sugar can cause cataracts.
53. Sugar can cause emphysema.
54. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
55. Sugar can promote an elevation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
56. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
57. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
58. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.
59. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
60. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
61. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
62. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
63. Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
64. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.
65. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
66. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
67. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.
68. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
69. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
70. Sugar can adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.
71. Sugar can cause depression.
72. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
73. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
74. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.
75. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.
76. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to low-sugar diets.
77. A diet high in refined sugar reduces learning capacity.
78. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body's ability to handle fat and cholesterol.
79. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer's disease.
80. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.
81. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become under active and others become overactive.
82. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
83. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
84. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.
85. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
86. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.
87. Sugar slows food's travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
88. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.
89. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
90. Sugar combines with and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.
91. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.
92. Sugar is an addictive substance.
93. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
94. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
95. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
96. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
97. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
98. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
99. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
100. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
101.. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.
102. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.
103. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
104. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
105. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
106. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.
107. Sugar may induce cell death.
108. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
109. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.
110. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.
111. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
112. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
113. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia
114. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream.
115. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer.
116. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine.
117. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.
118. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
119. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.
120. The more sodas a 10 year old child consumes, the less milk he drinks.
121. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.
122. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.
123. Sugar causes constipation.
124. Sugar causes varicose veins.
125. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
126. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
127. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
128. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.
129. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.
130. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
131. Sugar can affect the brain's ability to deal with rewards and consequences.
132. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
133. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer.
134. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
135. Sugar can cause liver tumors.
136. Sugar can increase inflammatory markers in the blood stream of overweight people.
137. Sugar can lower Vitamin E levels in the blood stream.
138. Sugar can increase your appetite for all food.
139. Sugar plays a role in the etiology and the continuation of acne.
140. Too much sugar can kill your sex life.
141. Sugar saps school performance in children.
142. Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness and depression.
143. Sugar is common choice of obese individuals.
144. A linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients is associated with increasing total sugar intake.
145. High fructose consumption has been linked to liver disease.
146. Sugar adds to the risk of bladder cancer.

List by Nancy Appleton:
  • BS in Health and Nutrition from UCLA
  • PhD in Health Services from Walden University)

    Author of:
  • Lick the Sugar Habit
  • Healthy Bones: What You Should Know About Osteoporosis
  • The Curse of Louis Pasteur
  • Stopping Inflammation: Relieving the Cause of Degenerative Diseases
  • Suicide by Sugar

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Mop Day!

It's that time of year when we hunt down our mops, rinse the dust off and smear semi-clean water across our floors! Aaah.... the citrus scents, the sunshine reflecting off puddles, the tip-toe dancing through the kitchen...

I'd celebrate Mop Day more often if there was a more enjoyable way to do so, but for now, it's an annual event.

I currently have 3 tools to clean the floor:

A handled hand brush to scrub around the stove and fridge.
(Yes, this involves getting down, not James Brown style.)

A 10-year-old brush off a Resolve kit.
I stuck it to the end of an old broom handle to scrub random spots on the floor I don't want to bend over for.

A sponge mop. We bought it when we were newlyweds.

The squeeze lever gave out years ago and now flops onto the floor, so there's a slight metallic drag accompanying the squish-slop of the sponge.

I also own a Libman Wonder Mop, but I haven't used it in probably four years. While it is truly great for absorbing spills, it makes the task of cleaning task-y. The company claimed it was "the thirsty mop." It is thirsty but not so much hungry and leaves dirt on the floor.

I once had a neighbor see my Libman and laugh: "We call it the white man's mop!"
(Honey, if there was such a thing as a white man who mops, I would have married him.)

She insisted, "Let me go get my mop. It cleans better than anything!"

She brought back this:

The stringy hair mop.

Hello?? This is the mop we're trying to GET AWAY FROM!

All of my mops are old and there are probably better designs today of each of them. It's time to get a GOOD one. I want to be able to celebrate next year's Mop Day with grace and satisfaction.

What do you guys have and recommend?

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Found a bunch of this

in here.

Come get any time.

Beware guard ants!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Challenge: One Month Left!

You may remember the challenge I posted back in January.
Over 50 of you said, "I'll do it!"

There is only a month left before the contest ends, but it is definitely not too late! Some of our winners last year had been in the competition for only a month!

Besides the cash prizes being offered by corporate, one of my business partners has decided that he will MATCH the cash prize for anyone in my team who places in the challenge!

So, if you are a 5th place winner in your category, you receive $500 from corporate AND $500 from my partner.

If you place 2nd in your category, you receive $2,000 from corporate AND $2,000 from my partner.

What happens if you win the Grand Prize and receive $10,000 from corporate?
... YEAH!!
And then you buy me dinner!




[Posted song: "Gonna Fly Now" (Theme from 'Rocky') by Bill Conti]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Time

They'll tell ya when it's time to remove the bumpers...

Anyone think it's time to adopt this little fellow into their family?

Monday, May 11, 2009


What message did you get out of this short film?


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vonderful Velcro

My first memory of velcro is not a good one. I was in 6th grade, and my family was described as poor. My dad would say "broke, not poor. Broke is temporary. Poor is a state of mind." Either way, it wasn't rare for me to wear hand-me-downs from various kids in my ward. One of the things we never got handed down were shoes. Except for once. They were from my friend's brother, older by 3 years and heavier by many, many pounds. I got his shoes. They were electric-blue with two chunky velcro straps across the top of the foot that curled up due to much use. Ugly, blue, hand-me-down, too-big, boy sneakers.

They weren't the cool velcro Reebok hi-top shoes of the day. They were the generic kind you might find on a 43-year-old man who doesn't know how to tie shoelaces and wears brown polyester pants up to his rib cage. These shoes were certainly too big, but I still wore "them things" nearly every day.

I would not have remembered those shoes after all these years, except for one 10-second interchange in Home Ec class. I overheard Mike Mazolli ask his friend Raul Lara, my crush of the year, "what do you think of Adhis?" And cute dark-haired Raul said, "she wears ugly shoes." And that was that. My whole being was being judged on those shoes. At that age, I allowed that judgment to be my entire opinion of self. Stupid, stupid velcro. Well, and stupid electric-blue fake suede.

(Of course, as adults, we're too smart now to ever let our general opinion of ourselves be based on someone else's judgment about the cars we drive, the callings or jobs we hold, the bodies we have, and the ages we're at. Right?)

Velcro has redeemed itself over the years, and I cannot help as a mother but herald its reinvention. Velcro used to be reserved for crafts and fabric stores (and ugly blue shoes). But Vavy, look at you now!

Disposable Diapers-- Back in the day, we had sticky tape on plastic diapers. You'd smell something suspicious from the baby's bum, attempt to peel the sticky tab up only to tear the diaper to shreds. Then you'd find that baby only had gas and you had destroyed a perfectly good diaper. At this point, the options were to throw away a clean diaper or reseal the thing with duct tape. Today, because of velcro tabs, we can open and close a baby's diaper as often as we need to check it. And should we find offending matter within, we can close the diaper up, lie the baby back down, and innocently ask the husband to "check" the baby's diaper.

Baby Bibs-- In days past, we tied those things on to a squiggly, squirmy, hungry baby. Without trying to choke it. Today, because of velcro necks tabs, we can get the bib on quickly and off quickly. (Warning! Always fasten these closed before throwing in the laundry! Unless you want bibsocks, or bibdresses, or bibtowels.)

Kitchen appliances-- In days not-so-past, we shoved our electrical gadgets and their mass of wires into the pantry or allowed their cords to snake around the kitchen counter. Today, velcro ties keep the wires in place and make storing kitchen appliances easier and tangle-free. I found these in a pack of 50 (in case I decide to open a kitchen appliance store).

Let us all hail the frizzy self-involved invention!

What are some other vonderful uses you've discovered for velcro?

Friday, May 8, 2009

O Mama

I've been on a cleaning kick and came across this set.
Is there a woman in your life who LOVES Oprah?

I'm parting with this set just in time for Mother's Day!
These cost a whole lot (WHOLE LOT) more than what I'm offering them for, but I figure for the right person, $15 is just right for the set.

The Oprah Winfrey Show
20th Anniversary Collection (1985-2005)
for the benefit of Oprah's Angel Network

Full-Screen Format
17 hours, 14 minutes

6 DVDs full of show highlights, including the full ChristmasKindness episode.

Disc 1: The Beginning; Hearprints; The Stars, Act 1
Disc 2: Aha!; Surprise!; Home; The Stars, Act 2
Disc 3: The Interviews; Firsts; The Stars, Act 3
Disc 4: The Headlines; Makeover Hall of Fame; The Stars, Act 4
Disc 5: Weight; Books; Angels; The Stars, Act 5; Wildest Dreams, the 19th season
Disc 6: Oprah's 50th Birthday bash; ChristmasKindness; Behind the Scenes-- A Day in the Life of the Oprah Winfrey Show; Laughs!

Live Your Best Life: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration from "O, The Oprah Magazine"

Dimensions: 9½x 11¼
335 pages

$15 for both
First come, first served!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tip-toe through the tulips

Today, we walked through The Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in the cloudy drizzle of the day.

David and I are always amazed at the beauty that a grateful heart can create. I am in awe that there is inspiration all around, even on a wet, grey day.

In The Secret Garden, I ran into a friend from my previous neighborhood. Julie has gone through a lot since her last pregnancy (to say the least) and has changed a lot in appearance. She has maybe a few weeks left on this earth. (Recent story here.) She wanted a photo of her by the beautiful tulips. I am so glad I had my camera with me.

I promised Julie I'd email the photos. As I was walking out of The Secret Garden, I needed an excuse to hide my wet eyes behind the camera, so I stopped at the door and took a photo of the knob.

Baby Dhis was intrigued by the vibrant colors of the land, but as we approached her bedtime, she was "less enthralled" and "more ticked off."

I confess that even when she cries, I smile. I enjoy having her in my life. I am grateful for my very loving husband. I am comforted by a very loving God who showers me with tulips every year.

This Little Piggy

It's that time again when we are reminded to check and double-check our personal food storage and emergency plans by some impending doom blaring through the media.

This little piggy went to market...
Slowly and nonchalantly get thee to the store and stock up on water, toilet paper, and candy (preferably Twizzlers and peanut M&Ms). Drop these off at my house.

Seriously, there's no need to hoard. Remember last year when grain prices skyrocketed? I was so ticked off when I went to buy rice at the store and there was none because fellow residents had emptied the shelves. Remember, if you buy it all, your neighbor won't have any and you'll end up sharing with them anyway and you will have paid for it all!

Inventory your current storage items and plug some holes, but don't go looney or broke doing it! Acquire some filling carbs, a little bit of protein, and plenty of water. Remember the toilet paper!

This little piggy stayed home...
In case of a massive outbreak, we may be quarantined or isolated for a period of time. How long will your supplies sustain you and your family? Do you have a plan or menu on how to most effectively use your inventory? Do you have alternate methods to cook or prepare your meals? What will you do for entertainment?

This little piggy had roast beef...
What's in your stash? Will you be living on green beans and ramen? Do you have a variety of foods to eat or will you have to force yourself to swallow a granola bar for the umpteenth time? What can you add to your supply that will make riding out the storm more comfortable? What comfort foods can you intermingle with the essentials?

This little piggy had none...

Many people have been laid off for months. Would you share if your neighbors needed provisions? Do you have enough to share? All scares come to an end so consider that you will want to be able to look your friends and neighbors in the eyes when all is back to normal.

And this little piggy went "weee-weee-weee!" all the way home...
If you are prepared, you are better positioned to have a positive outlook in uncertain times. What are some things you can do to help prepare yourself emotionally and spiritually for any catastrophe? What expression will your children see on your face in the midst of calamity? Will they see fear or peace?

OK, off to the store I go to acquire water and candy. We're dangerously low on both.