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My Red Pen!

I taught for 25 years and never meant to use my “Red Pen” for power.  Red pens are some teacher’s source of power. Not mine. I believe in put-ups versus put-downs. I’m for the underdog in every situation.  Until once when a young, immature and unprofessional administrator used the power of her “Red Pen” on my evaluation.  I mean, it wasn’t too bad. The evaluation itself had positive things to say about my work, it’s just that she got so much wrong about the dynamics of my (very challenging that year) classroom including the grade I taught!  Dear God; really???  She not only got the paraprofessional’s name wrong that was helping in my classroom; she belittled her!  What?!? No, no, no. Unacceptable!!!
Protocol is...I read over my evaluation, I set an appointment with the administrator to go over said evaluation and finally we both sign for it to be filed.  I couldn’t stop myself (or my red pen!) I tore that evaluation apart. When I was finished correcting all of the errors; names, grade level a…

The Best Compliments

Sometimes the best compliments don’t sound like compliments! Well, at least not to others anyway. I once dated a guy who told someone that inquired about why he chose me... “Not everybody just goes for looks!” He said. Ha!  At the time I was in utter shock. I mean I’ve never considered myself good looking but, but, but...didn’t he??? I get it now; since this same guy has told me I am beautiful and gorgeous for some years now; even when I don’t feel it or look it for that matter. He saw past my looks. He saw and continues to see ME!  The me who isn’t concerned with what others think but does show concern for others. I taught for 25 years and some of the best compliments come from former students that I had years and years ago telling me what a special teacher they thought I was; pure joy are those precious compliments!  I hold them close and dear. Each compliment you receive should stay in the forefront of your mind as it’s easy to recall the bad stuff but sometimes hard for us to believe th…

Chew on this....

I’m interested in learning about dietary lifestyles. I am anxiously awaiting my “How to go Vegan” packet in the mail from PETA. I won’t influence you in any way.  I’ll just suggest watching the following...
What the Health? Forks over Knives Cowspiricy (All are available on Netflix)
Have fun and be enlightened!

It’s Okay if I do it!

Do you have double standards?  I do and if you’re honest you probably do, too. I’m not talking about the kind of double standard that allows a good looking guy to hit on me but picking up the phone for HR when the less than good looking guy tries; I’m talking simple everyday stuff. Like being grossed out when I see someone spit in public but then I’ll do it when I’ve got a cold and expect people to be accepting.  I’ve recently noticed that these types of double standards can and do cause a lot of unnecessary arguments. I’m going to save you a lot of time and heartache right now by pleading with you to let this stuff go. It’s not worth it. Leaving the toilet seat up or not rinsing a dish are not reasons for breaking up.  If you love someone let the little things slide unless you’re sure it’s a deal breaker you can’t live with long term.

Be your own Emotional Pillar

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
I’m a sucker for a good romantic movie.Romantic comedies are my favorite.Who doesn’t loveWhen Harry met Sally orYou’ve Got Mail?  Just add buttered popcorn and you’ve gota perfect night!
Latelythough, I’m disturbed by the linein one ofmy favorites, Jerry McGuire.
I used to lovethe line, “You completeme”. I mean, how romantic is that?  But after much thought and life trials, I’ve come to realize only “I” can completeme.There is no one person other than yourself to counton in this world. Who knows me better than me?  People can’t mind read.When you’re hungry you eat.When you’re sad youcry.When you’re bored you do something. Howabout when you need to be loved...love yourself!  No one knows your needs like you do; no onecan…

An Easy but Yummy Recipe 🍽

Chocolate Peanut-butter Bars
INGREDIENTS 2 sticks butter (1 cup), melted1½ cups powdered sugar1 cup creamy peanut butter2 cups graham crackers, crushed½ cup creamy peanut butter1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


INSTRUCTIONS Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.Add butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and graham cracker in a large bowl. Mix to combine.Layer into the prepared pan.Add the ½ cup of peanut butter and chocolate chips to a small bowl. Microwave in 15 second intervals until fully melted.Pour onto of the peanut butter layer and smooth with a rubber spatula.Place in the refrigerator to firm up for an hour.To serve, cut into squares and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

Lighting your Life Fire

Joe Biden recently said in an interview that we all need three things in life...Something to do, someone to love, and Something to look forward to.  Joe is a wise man.   Let’s start by tackling the first two of those.  Finding for yourself the something to do and someone to love is key to finding contentment that will hopefully last throughout your life.   Ideally, you’ll get these two right early in life. Find your soul mate and find a job that you enjoy and gives your life meaning.  Unfortunately, for many the someone to love may change from time to time throughout their lifetime, and the same goes for the something to do.  If you don’t find meaning in your job or are in an unhappy relationship you are not living the life that you are capable of.  Life will be challenging at times and often hard choices are required.  Remember life is long (hopefully) and you have decades left to live, so finding the right someone and something is essential to living that life you dream of.  Paradoxi…

I’m a Do-er!

I feel like my life could be written as a Dr. Seuss Book...”She’s a mover and a shaker, a do-er and a go-er; she can’t sit still; don’t you even know her?” If I have an idea I run with it!  I can’t sit still, it’s in my nature!  I get this from my dad.  He was always doing something. Building models, birdhouses, collaborating, designing and building the entrance sign to the neighborhood. He was on every board imaginable and was always looking for ways to help. Once, he felt the need to take on painting the red mailbox flags of their entire neighborhood. (He needed them to match.. stay tuned; OCD blog to come.) It wasn’t until he was very ill and had to spend time recovering in a local nursing home that I truly understood his “doing” as his stewardship. We were talking on the phone and he told me how much help they needed where he was recovering. He assured me once he felt better (this is when I was thankful it was a phone conversation so he couldn’t see my tears) he would be back at tha…

I’ve got to get some Sleep 😴

Do you have trouble sleeping?  Sometimes I do. Sometimes I go to bed early and wake in the night thinking, “I’ve got to get some sleep!”  The more your mind thinks about that, the more time passes and the less sleep you actually get. I’ll start thinking I have 5 hours before I have to get up which turns into 4 then 3 then eventually I’m out of sleep time.  I have a friend that says he sleeps like a baby at night because he goes to bed with a clear conscience. Perhaps this is my problem. I overthink and worry about things. That fear thing sets in again. I’m going to start following the good doctor’s advice (even though his wife and I need every sleep app, essential oil and trick in the book to sleep as of now!) and go to sleep with a clear conscience. Letting go of all my “stuff”.   I encourage you to do the same! I’ll keep you posted on my outcome. Let me know how you do, too!πŸ˜‰

Lasting Happiness

I think happiness has become a commodity in today’s society.  For example, happiness is something that advertisers say the product they are selling will lead you to.  That kind of happiness is fleeting.  Maybe buying a new pair of shoes or the newest iphone might make you happy today, but will buying “things” alone allow you to maintain that “happy” feeling? The answer my friend is a resounding NO!  I think finding “Meaning” to our lives should be our focus not “finding” a great deal such as a bigger screen TV.  Once we find meaning to our lives, a truer or more authentic and lasting happiness will automatically follow.  Let’s not think about what we can buy today to give us that temporary euphoria of a new “thing”, but what can we do today to help give our lives more meaning. 
Your life’s “Meaning”, may not be what gives my life meaning, but finding your life’s meaning is a worthy endeavor. The payoff will result in the lasting happiness we all seek.  Think about what gives meaning to…

What Others Think of you Doesn’t Matter!

Do not be concerned about what people are saying or thinking about you.  Sometimes their own anger or fear makes them judge or belittle.  I used to really care about what others thought of me. Now I’m smart enough to know it only matters what God thinks of me. To Him I’m perfect in every way. Isn’t that enough for you to overcome feelings of inferiority?  It is for me. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else yet it makes me feel better to know this truth! It makes me an equal.   I once had someone tell me that they thought I was a snot and a snob. This really took be aback  as I feel as if I’ve lived my life trying to please others, be that “yes” girl; always caring and fearing what others thought about me. Oh no!  What if that entire time EVERYONE thought I was a snot and a snob???😳😒 FEAR!!! Then, I remembered, this person who judged me is human. This person’s opinion means nothing.  Only God’s opinion matters and He reminded me I am worthy of love. Judgement only matters from our cr…

An Easy but Yummy Recipe 🍽

3-Ingredient Ice Cream Cake

This will blow your mind in easiness/deliciousness!!

Ingredients:
A box of ice cream sandwiches
A tub of cool whip thawed
A bag of Heath baking pieces

Line a 9x13 pan with ice cream sandwiches. Frost with thawed cool whip. Top with Heath pieces!
Place in freezer until 15 minutes before serving!

Amazing!

My Grown-Up Christmas Wish

There is something I want for Christmas that wouldn’t cost anyone anything but could cost me everything. Do you ever wish for things and you’re not sure if they are a part of God’s plan for your life?  If His plan is not for us to know but to trust that He is working for our greater good(romans 8:28); how are we to know if we’re on the right path? I’ve said it before… I am not born again and I am no religious fanatic, but I am a firm believer in a higher power...God!  I know He has a plan; what I don’t know is how to trust I’m doing MY part. Sometimes I feel as though I’m just shaking a Magic 8 ball and trusting it’s response.  I know He is everything and He is the one I need.   I’m trusting He is leading me on the right path... We only get this one life!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Psalm 25:10

Tolerance is your gift to the world.

I play the silly Facebook quiz games and occasionally read a horoscope or two. πŸ˜‰. They mean nothing to me. It’s harmless fun!  I’ll even shake that Magic 8 ball!  It’s all in good fun.  I do not take stock in the outcome of a “ game”.   I  do, however, follow and believe in scripture.  I even subscribe to and read often alldevotion.com. It just seems to be spot on some days and leads me to look for the right verses to focus on for the day/days ahead. So, when today’s blog title came up as my God wants you to know... I was amazed at how fitting it was for my life at this time.  Slow to anger. That’s what God wants and that’s who I am. I once taught with someone who asked me why I forgave so readily and easily.  That’s simple!  He wants me to and that’s an easy one to obey! Anger towards another won’t hurt that other person anyway. For you, it will fester. Let it go! Today my devotion read as the following and I couldn’t agree more!  Thanks alldevotion!
“Angela, today God wants you to kno…

Yesterday

*I really wanted to save this post for when I do a month of song titles as blog post titles but couldn’t help this as it is so fresh in my mind in the NOW!
I was on my way to Appleton for the weekend. Big plans!  The grandgirl and I were going to have a hotel overnight and go to the Nutcracker event on Sunday! Which, by the way, was a great success!  On the way the Beatle’s song,”Yesterday” came on the radio. Love that song!  However, it always makes me a bit sad and this time was no different.   You see,  the summer just before my sophomore year, my best (hooked at the hip kind-of) friend moved from Illinois to Wisconsin. We hadn’t been friends very long; just since the summer of eighth grade, but she was “that” friend. “That” friend that understood you like no other. I simply loved and adored her in the friend sense of the word.  The day after she left that Beatles song came on and I couldn’t control the flood gates.  I had the longest cry fest I think I’d ever had up to that point in …

You Only Have One Life...Choose Wisely!

“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey.  They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” - Joubert Botha
Every person should take time to reflect on what they really want out of life.  Many want only what they think they are supposed to want. Many people spend their entire lives following the conventions of society and end up unhappy and wondering...”Is this all there is?” You must make the time to sit with yourself and really think what it is you want out of life.  Have you had big dreams, but thought that they were out of reach? What do you want to accomplish? How can you make a difference in others’ lives? 
Identifying exactly what will give your life meaning will take time and is subject to change as you grow wiser.  You have the power to change your life and really live!  Emerson said “Dare to live the life you have dreamed of for yourself.”
Step 1. Think.  Reflect. Step 2. Identify YOUR dreams. Step 3. Take action. Society is messed up!
“People may hate you for being d…

Just Trust

This week’s kick off quote is perfect for learning to “just trust”.

“Anything you can’t control in life is teaching you how to let go.” ~Unknown

I’m not “ born again” and I’m not going to push religion on you just because I truly believe in a higher power.  I will tell you that although I have always believed in God, it wasn’t until recently that I learned to trust God COMPLETELY!!  I have had times in my life when I most definitely trusted but it always seemed to go by the wayside once things were better or healed or stable.  This is no longer the case for me. I have learned that trusting that God’s got this, so to speak, and always working for my greater good even when I doubt things are working in a positive direction has brought me so much peace. Now, I’ll be honest it’s hard to trust 100% of the time. Again, like most things, it’s a work in progress for me. I can tell you that when I’m stuck in fear and doubting my creator I ask for his help.  I pray this prayer...”Please help m…

An Easy but Yummy Recipe

Try not to get addicted!

Mint Chip Mock-Blizzard

A scoop of vanilla ice cream (or two!πŸ˜‰)
A splash of almond milk
3-4 ice cubes
A crushed candy cane
A handful of chocolate chips

Blend together (I used my Nutribullet) and enjoy!

Was that Really me?

Did I do that?  Did I say that?  Do you ever find yourself questioning things you’ve said or done in the past?  Even if you were only ten at that time and didn’t know better?   I do. I need to let all of that go and so do you. Just like we should live in the moment; we are who we are in the moment. Praise yourself for growth and don’t look back. Am I ashamed that I threw myself a party for my eleventh birthday? (Future blog post...stay tuned!). Absolutely! Am I ashamed that when I was 13 and was invited to eat dinner at a friend’s house I actually asked what they were having before I would commit?  Of course, I am. That is not me anymore and I was a tween for goodness sake.
I think if we would all just let go of our old junk we’d be better off!
Was that really me?  Yes!  But it’s not me anymore!

Life has no Warning Label

Life has no warning label yet we all walk around like it does at times.  Warning: there’s a homeless man that may be dangerous.  Warning: wear clean undies in case you’re in a accident.  Warning: if you drink soda in the morning you’ll get a hole in your stomach.  Warning: if you swim after you eat you’ll drown.  Warning: if you don’t eat your dinner you won’t get dessert.  Warning: sugar is bad for you and carbs will make you fat.  Warning: (you fill in the blank).  See what I mean?  These fearful stories we create in our head have got to go!! What if life has no warning label because there’s nothing to be warned about? I’m not saying don’t abide by necessary rules or use common sense. I’m just saying let’s try to get away from so much fear. 
Life has and needs no warning label.

Welcome to my Pity Party!

Ever have one of those days when everything goes wrong and the world seems to be against you for some cosmic reason you can’t seem to figure out? Whew!  Me, too!!! It happens!  Not everyTHING can go well everyTIME!  Where’s the lesson in that?  And I do   believe life throws us lessons. It’s up to us to do the learning.  When I do have days where all I want to do is pull the covers over my head and cry; I allow myself that Pity Party!  It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be disappointed with life. Just don’t let that become your life or your way of thinking.  I’ll occasionally allow myself a 15 minute cry session, giving in to the thoughts of feeling cheated or whatever the feeling.  I  never get stuck there.  I feel the feels and move on.
Sometimes it just feels good and right to cry and allow yourself a pity party. Who doesn’t love a good party!!

We’re Here to Love

We’re here to love. This is something I say often.  I could probably be quoted saying it at least once weekly.   I don’t always have the most loving feelings towards some people at some times but I try to breath and remember...we’re here to love.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all tried to remember this?  There’s so much fear, doubt, judgement, disappointment in this world. If we’d just love the world would be a much better place; don’t you think?  Love what we’re doing, love those around us, (yes, loving strangers is okay!) love when we know someone isn’t loving us back. 
It’s a work in progress. It takes effort. Let’s try to love while we’re still here!

I Love yet Loath Technology

When I’m trying to remember a history fact or need to know what song is playing on the radio I’m so glad my friend, Siri, is always with me.  I don’t suggest you use it to cheat in Trivial Pursuit, that just takes the fun out of the game and isn’t the point of playing games to have fun?  Well, if it’s a game you enjoy it is fun. There are some games out there I just can’t stand to play. And that’s okay; not every game is for everyone! Also, not a fan of paper maps. I’m so grateful for this age where google maps is ready and available to get me where I need to go or redirect me if I find myself lost. It’s comforting, actually. This is the part of technology I  love.  However, it saddened me the other day to see two girls sitting across the table from each other at the local Potbelly only paying attention to their iPhones.  I don’t mean to judge... perhaps they were looking up directions or letting their parents know their plan by checking in!  I sadly do not think this was the case. It w…

An Easy but Yummy Recipe

Do you love Pinterest?  I do.  It’s so easy to get caught up in it!  I have more pins than I’ll ever accomplish and I think that’s okay! My favorite search is...easy but yummy recipes.  I found and tried one I’d like to share and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Easy, healthy, seasonal and fun!

Pumpkin Chia (Recipe modified to serve 1)

1/4 c pecans 3/4 c pumpkin purΓ©e (I used canned) 3/4 c unsweetened almond milk 1/2 tspn cinnamon  1/2 tspn ginger 1/2 tspn nutmeg Pinch sea salt 1/8 c chia seeds
Toast pecans and add all ingredients except the chia seeds to a food processor.  (I used my NutriBullet) When blended pour in a container and add chia seeds. Refrigerate a minimum if 3 hours then enjoy!

Shout out to hungrybynature where I found my pin!

Just Chill

I used to be afraid to fly. I’m not anymore. 
As I prepared to catch my flight home today from San Diego to Illinois I was feeling pretty chill. I’d had a great week in California and was ready to hit the skies, so to speak.  As I approached the security line I noticed a little guy (not quite 2, I would guess) crying his eyes out. I couldn’t blame the little fella. His mom was no where to be seen and dad was apparently needing to take care of an issue. The little guy was left with a woman in security clothing. He was obviously not feeling very secure. Who could blame him???? I was reminded of the time our  Ryan had tubes put in his ears and as we were being discharged from the hospital, the attending nurse told me to keep the baby in her care while I was to drive the car up to collect him.   I took one look into those little eyes of my baby boy and I knew there was no way that was happening; too traumatic for the both of us!  I bundled him up and we ran to the car...together.    I’m not s…

Who Made us all Judge Judy?

Have you ever caught yourself judging others? Why do we do this?  We’re all guilty of it even if we don’t want to engage.  It’s awful.  What do we really know about a person if we have not walked that mile in their shoes? It’s easy to say someone is fat or ugly or snotty or a snob; the list can and does go on and on.  What if we didn’t judge people?  What if instead of put downs we all used put ups? I challenge you to try. If you catch yourself judging someone; flip it. For every put down let’s counter it with three put ups.  We’re here to love; do it!
Who made us all Judge Judy anyway?

It’s Always the “Little” Things

I’m in San Diego this week nannying one of my favorite Portland teams. I love and adore these two little girls like they’re my own grandgirls! They are 4 and 2 (the 2 year old being just a month older than my grandgirl!).   To laugh and play with them you would think they are much older; articulate and fun, kind and already worldly. They act the way I feel most grown-ups should act. 
Let that be a lesson to you grown ups... let loose a little, trust and have some fun.  It’s the little things...playing at the park, strolling on the beach, collecting rocks to paint, playing, “Eye Spy”, the cloud game, the silly pizza game and any other game a 4 year old can concoct! When I return to Illinois after my week here with the girls, it’s the little things I’ll miss. Their giant, tight hugs, those sweet little “never at a loss for words” voices, living room picnics and dance parties!  The fun with them never stops.  I’ll miss them so much but I’m grateful that I’ll be able to be with my grandgirl ne…

Angel is in my Name

The word Angel is in my name. Trust me, I am no angel. But...I try to be, don’t you?  Look it up. I’ll bet you do! Always trying to better myself and others, always trying to look at the bright side of a situation, always trying to be kind and helpful.  It’s exhausting really. People pleasing; being the yes girl! I challenge you to loosen the reigns a bit. I have. It’s a work in progress.  Value yourself enough to know when you’re on overload. Saying, “No” to someone or something is okay. It’s saying yes to the one person who needs and deserves your love and help the most...YOU!  If you’re like me you feel the need to be that yes person to take on what you may not have the emotional time or energy for.  Stop. Listen to your own needs. You and those around you will be better for it.  Meditation is the clearest way to figure out what needs of your own need to be met before you can meet the needs of others.  Meditation is new and challenging to me, but I love how it grounds me even when I think …