Why I'm here....

Since I've always been quick with an opinion an old friend once lost and again found suggested that perhaps I should share with more people my commentary. Never being one to pass on a challenge I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years, My Least Favorite Holiday of All…

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me well that I can’t stand New Years Eve or New Years Day. Never have liked it, may never like it. Try as I might I can’t really rationally put my finger on why either. I guess to me it’s just not a holiday. So the calendar flips over to another year. We actually have a new year each of us on the day we were conceived. Yet we celebrate our birth and the calendar year, but not the conception. I guess it would be a little awkward to celebrate that though wouldn’t it? It seems to me that people take joy in watching time pass by. I guess I can’t say I am a friend of that either in that the passing of time brings the passing of my life. Yet the one thing New Years is is definitely a time to reflect. As far as years go it’s been a long one. Good on so many levels and rough on so many others. With the bad was the passing of an aunt and the struggles of a nephew. There was a loss of a friend but not through death, unless you count the last remnants of hope for this friendship that you held. There was a scare of the threat of breast cancer, only to find that the likely-hood I have it is low. To be continued in 2010 on that one I guess. There was weight loss and friendships found, but even some of those have strings that may unravel. There were good times and revelations. There was definitely a quality of growth on my own part and a desire to finally live for me. There was truth unyielding and unrelentlessness in its endeavor to be heard. So it’s been a year of changes. I guess in a campaign promise that is what we were promised; however, I doubt that is what was meant. It’s been a trying year and a year of joy all in one. For my friends and family I wish the New Year to bring you happiness and peace and joys that know no boundaries. I hope we have more found memories we make and share and I hope you all know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I carry you with me in my heart always. Happy New Year as we welcome in 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas.

No matter my mood or my problems at Christmas I always take time on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day to thank the good Lord in Heaven that he is and always shall be the true spirit and meaning of Christmas. His blessings are many although during times of hardship sometimes it is hard to see. Life is never easy for anyone. If you think it is then you need to walk a mile in those people’s shoes because no matter how good someone’s life may seem, everyone does have their own demons to deal with. This year as Christmas approaches I know my family has it’s to deal with. You’ve all watched my posts of frustration. There is a part of me that wants so badly to hate the person causing the grief in our life. I don’t truly hate her though. You see I don’t even think she’s capable of understanding that she is to blame on so many levels no matter how many shrinks she cons into saying otherwise. I really believe she needs to get some help herself and that she needs to devote herself to that. I have been telling her for a long time that her son is angry at her because he isn’t feeling loved by her and definitely doesn’t feel like he rates above his sister or his mother’s girlfriends. I have attempted to understand and not judge because I have loved this woman like a sister for a very long time and it’s hard to believe a betrayal that wounds so deeply. Your mind tries to talk you out of it, but in essence I feel betrayed. I know her son feels betrayed. I have always been sensitive and often know things about people or feelings that they have without them ever having to express them. This woman once asked me if I thought she was a good wife and mother and I avoided answering it because I didn’t want to hurt her by telling her no. Part of me wishes I had, but then that would be spiteful now wouldn’t it? There was also a part of me that hoped she was changing and that she would understand that true love is not selfish. When you love someone you want what is best for them. You don’t know the countless hours I did many shopping trips that took all day, when all I wanted to do was be home, with this woman. It was because I cared. Looking back we pretty much always did what she wanted. As I write this there is actually a small part of my heart aching and breaking at the thought that she’ll read this and be pissed because there is no way it will be read with understanding. Her son needs her to be a good mother. His dad says that is all he wants if it could happen for the happiness of his son. If she can’t devote herself to being a mother for her children’s sake then she needs to give him or them to their dad. She can see them when she likes then at her leisure and devote more time to being their mother when she’s with them. There are so many issues’ there right now and they have me frustrated. I do have some empathy in all this for that person though. Their childhood was far from good in my opinion. I also realize that I am not without my faults so I really don’t want to judge anyone. That is another reason it’s been so hard on me because I do know I have done atrocious things in my life; however, I would never put anyone before a child of mine. Hell I would never put anyone (lover that I take to the Hockey games my son use to get to go to in place of him) in front of my nephew and niece. Their needs come first. They are children. They didn’t ask to be born. They will only be small for a short period of time and they need to be allowed to have a childhood that is good. Not one with coming home to their mom after summer break for her to be in bed with some strange person she met on the internet. There are all kinds of issues here that need to be addressed, but I am only a person on the outside looking in. Legally I can’t do anything about it or trust me I would. So I am sorry if my post as of late has been somewhat a downer. I don’t mean for them to be. I really am thankful for much more than it appears. I have good friends and a good job. I have the best brother a person could ask for and a loving and caring mom and dad. I had a childhood where I was loved. I will be surrounded by loved ones all weekend and will have family and friends to ring in the New Year with. I do have a lot of blessings. I am also thankful that God sent his son so long ago for me to have the opportunity to repent and find salvation. My wish for everyone, more than getting presents, is that tomorrow and Friday you feel the love that is Christmas all around you and that you take a moment to pray for those that don’t. Tip your waiters and waitresses who have to work a little more, smile and laugh with the cashier at the store or gas station that is stuck working, be thankful for our troops who stand guard over our great nation. Thank your hospital staff’s and your zoo keepers, your firemen and your police. For all these people who work on the holiday would truly rather be with their family but they are there helping us and providing for us and seeing that our holidays are filled with every opportunity. Take a moment to thank the good Lord for the very air you breathe and the life you live, for after all this is truly the true spirit of Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Reading.... Recommendation

Most of the people I talk to say they enjoy reading a lot more during the winter months when they can’t enjoy the great outdoors. I like reading late at night before going to bed mostly. Either way I found the Argeneau Series of books by Lynsay Sands most enjoyable. My favorite book due to its great sense of humor was by far was book number seven, “The Accidental Vampire”. The humorous storey of a woman who became a vampire but had absolutely no clue how she got to be one. The great thing about this series is it really doesn’t matter what order you read the books in. They are a compilation of the family Argeneau and how each of them finds their mate and the adventure that takes them there. Heck if you look at the list they weren’t even written in the sequence of events as they unfolded. There are twelve books in all and each is sure to thrill you. My second favorite in the series is, “The Immortal Hunter”. I did so enjoy each and every one of these books and yes I have them should anyone want to borrow them. Of course you must agree to give them back. I can’t wait for the next in the series to come out either. It comes out in January. I’m getting excited. Here you have it though… this is my suggested reading for a little light winter reading. Romance and humor are hard to beat I would say.

  1. A Quick Bite (November 2005)

  2. Love Bites (January 2004)

  3. Single White Vampire (September 2003)

  4. Tall, Dark & Hungry (July 2004)

  5. A Bite to Remember (July 2006)

  6. Bite Me If You Can (February 2007)

  7. The Accidental Vampire (January 2008)

  8. Vampires Are Forever (February 2008)

  9. Vampire Interrupted (March 2008)

  10. The Rogue Hunter (September 2008)

  11. The Immortal Hunter (March 2009)

  12. The Renegade Hunter (September 2009)

Friday, December 18, 2009

An Acquired Taste...

I suppose one might say that I am an acquired taste. At least this is what I have been told. My nature is one that is extremely blatant in nature. I don’t like to hurt people and would never intentionally try, unless they were attempting to hurt me, but I am afraid that sometimes my unencumbered shamelessness and my straight talk can come off a bit aloof. I recently went to a party at a very expensive home. Now I loved the house and I enjoyed the company of the occupants. I am very happy for them that they are doing so well and can live so comfortably. For anyone who knows me though, you know I don’t judge people for what they do or don’t have. I have friends from all walks of life and I like to look at what is inside a person, not at what is on the outside. As long as I have enough money to pay my bills I am happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be wealthy just like anyone else. It’s just that I know money doesn’t buy happiness and it’s something I can take or leave. So at this party I was myself. I’m sure to some of the party goer’s delight (at least that is what they told me) and to some of their dismay. I like to have fun and I will joke or tease about anything. I like to think of myself as a free spirit. I wasn’t always this way. Years gone by I would have been the shy girl in the corner. I would have been the one who would have clung to the host because I knew him and no one else. I would never have dreamed of talking so easily to people I had never met. I’ve lived a lot in my forty-two years though and I’ve learned life is short. Way to short to care what others think of you for being who you are. Truth is I know with my inhibitions I could probably make a priest blush. It took me a long time to get that comfortable with myself. So at this party I went to I was me completely. I met a lot of great people there. I loved most of them to pieces for the most part. They were warm and welcoming and laughed and talked, all but one. Now I still have nothing against this one; however, anyone who knows me knows you don’t attack my friends and you don’t try to make me feel like I should bow down to an alter in front of you because you feel you’re better than me. It’s like cornering a wild animal. If you do it, my friends will attest you better buckle up because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. So, as you can imagine this person did both of these things, not just one. Can you imagine someone you’ve seen maybe a dozen times in your life and haven’t seen for over a decade, someone who was never involved in your life and was never your friend picking apart what you do for a living? What about imagining this person pounding you with questions about a friend and that friend’s daughter? What if they go one step further and not only try to drill you with questions but make snide nasty remarks about those people? Would you stand there and take it? I’m guessing a few would stop to consider the person is close to the hosts. I maybe should have, but it’s just not in me. My first instinct is to strike out and let that person know I don’t feel they are in any form or fashion any better than I and that I don’t appreciate their attack on my demeanor, my style or my friends. Looking back I probably just should have ignored them, but then where is the fun in that? It got me to thinking about something I always think about though. Why is it that some people so judgmental based on looks and money and power? Some of my favorite people in the whole world have no money or power and to me the better looking a person is on the inside the better they look outside. I guess I should stop wondering, after all I have been blessed with a multitude of friends who love me just the way I am. They don’t try to change me and they definitely don’t require that I have a ton of money and a proper attitude. So once again I will tell all my family and friends how blessed I am to have you over this holiday season. My family and friends are what give me hope, make me laugh and help me to appreciate life. I understand sometimes its not easy being my friend, but I love you for it. I do understand that after all I really am an acquired taste on so many levels. Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Humor Among Holiday Shoppers... at least for me

This past Friday as I was in the back magazine isle of Target and trying to stay out of the multiple, mostly grumpy shoppers, I found myself ease dropping for fun. Two women started down the isle I was in. Right behind me and the magazines is the "young adult" books. Things like "Harry Potter" or "The Vampire Diaries" can be found there. These two women were most likely sisters from the looks of them and one was petite but tall, while the other was short and frumpy (my code for she could push a meal or two back every now and then). I was listening to these two talk of the Christmas lists they had from their loved ones of their wants or needs. The shorter lady said her daughter had written down that she wanted the "True Blood" series of books but she must have misprinted it because surely she meant these. I looked around to see what she was looking at. The woman goes these say "Blue Blood". I'm sure these are them. I said excuse me ladies but there is a book series called "True Blood", by Charlaine Harris, but you won't find them in the young adult book section as they are probably not appropriate for young minds. The shorter lady looks at me and goes, "why is that?" I said because they are fairly explicit and filled with sex. The lady looked like I had mooned her. She goes "Oh, my. Maybe I shouldn't buy that for my daughter." Now these two women looked like they were somewhere in their fifties, but perhaps they didn't age well. Who knows. So I asked the lady, well how old is your daughter? She looked at me and said "She's twenty-one." I, being that I am bad, said "well I'm sure she knows all about sex by now then." But wait... without skipping a beat the lady that was with her goes: "Hell the way she looks I'm sure she's done it lots and could give lessons." The shorter lady was mortified to say the least and I had to choke back a laugh. Some how this did help my Friday Christmas spirit find it's place though. I hope it helped yours... gotta love a true story.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2007 and Now...

Then 2007 with my friend Chris

Two months ago and twenty pounds more than I currently weigh...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diet's (Food Choices) 101!

I thought I would take a moment just to share a little of what I have learned over my journey to losing weight and getting healthy. I get asked a lot how I’m doing it. It’s not a magical pill (although wouldn’t that be nice). I am doing it the good old fashioned way of exercise and diet. I walked during the summer about forty to sixty miles a week. As it’s gotten colder I’m down between twenty and thirty, but I have added more on the home front for doing exercise bike, weight training, WII and sit ups and leg lifts. I figure adding the extra will help balance the not getting to walk as much as I would like. I also have added more time on my feet and less time on the sofa watching the “boob tube”. I only watch about an hour of television a day now and sometimes not even that. I do read quiet a bit, but I work it so that I do it after exercise or will riding the exercise bike. I even find more excuses to get up and move around at work. Sitting for hours on end just isn’t happening with me anymore. As for the diet end of it, I know there are several to choose from. The way I chose to approach it was to work with my doctor and discuss my own health concerns and the best approach. I believe everyone should do this when dieting and don’t just ask them for a diet list. You know if you do that they are going to give you something you will never follow. If you actually tell your doctor ahead of time so he can plan on allowing time and then actually tell him what you like and what you need you can work it out with him. For me the chose of diets was easy. I started having blood pressure issues. Blood pressure is directly affected by sodium in foods, so the doctor suggested I work with a dietician and learn about sodium in foods and how it affects the body. My goal that was set was to attempt to take in no more than 1200 to 1500 mg of sodium in any given day. Me, being who I am set my goal at 1000 mg a day rather than what they gave me. You see I know from personal experience how easy it is to say a little over won’t hurt, so by setting it to 1000 if I hit 1200 I was still ok. I actually kept a log at first and I read labels of everything I bought to check the sodium content. At first calories and carbohydrates didn’t matter. I needed to learn about sodium first. I also started going on line and checking fast food menu’s and nutrition charts prior to going out to get my meals as well. I sort of became fixated on sodium. I started using non-salted butter in my cooking and I even bought low sodium foods to stock. Until I did all this I didn’t’ realize that even a bag of carrots has sodium in them. Did you realize that a 12oz can of diet coke has 50 mg of sodium in it? How about this? Did you realize that a single Reese’s cup has 210 mg of sodium? When you are only allowing yourself 1200 mg of sodium a day it doesn’t take long to add up. I started telling myself that once I hit my sodium count for the day, no matter what it was or when then I was done. I might eat an apple or something (of which yes still has sodium) but I would eat very little if anything after I hit my allotted sodium for the day. I started feeling better within a couple of days. It amazed me. I also added more water to my diet because water helps remove sodium from the body. Before I realized it I had lost sixty pounds. That was the first leg of my getting off the weight. After that diet started me I added the walking an exercise and the rest as they say is history. I thought I would give you some interesting facts and figures in here though too. I found I had a lot of misconceptions about the foods out there and what was healthiest for me and what wasn’t. So I am going to give you some restaurant choices and lets see which ones you would pick for healthy and which ones not.

Which one is the better choice: Two hamburgers and a small fry from McDonalds or a Taco Bell Chipotle Steak Taco Salad from Taco Bell?

Ok, I’m not a doctor, but from what I’ve learned I’ll tell you which one I would choose and why. Although the salad sounds like the more sensible option because it has the word “salad” in it, I would go with the McDonald’s hamburgers and fries. Of course knowing me I would probably do just one hamburger and a small fry but that is me. Now actually you should normally stay away from red meats for the most part when dieting; however, in this scenario if these are your two options the salad is not going to be the better option on a diet. The Taco Bell Chipotle Steak Salad has 890 Calories in it. Of which there are 57 grams of fat, 11 grams saturated fats, 1700 mg of sodium, and 28 grams of protein and 70 grams of carbohydrates. Did you notice the 1700 mg of sodium? How about the 57 grams of fat? Now let’s look at the McDonald’s meal. Both hamburgers and the small fry have a combined total of 730 calories. Out of these 730 calories (which is less than the salad) there are 29 grams of fat, 8 grams saturated fat, 1200 mg of sodium, 91 grams of carbohydrates, and 27 grams of protein. I’m not advocating eating any fast food, but we all know we are going to do it from time to time. The thing to do when you’re eating out is know which options are actually the better ones when dieting. I asked a few friends to tell me different items they felt were healthy and low sodium, low calories at various restaurants. I found that many of them had the same misgivings I had. Examples: Arby’s sells a Roast Chicken Club sandwich. Almost everyone I talked to thought it would be good on a diet, but I am here to tell you I am not picking it. This sandwich has 460 Calories of which 170 are from fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 1490 mg of sodium. Now granted it’ lower on the calorie scale, but the sodium content will kill you. Sodium causes the body to retain fat and water. Just a heads up for you there in case you didn’t know. From Burger King the Tender grill garden salad comes in with 460 calories, 29 grams of fat, 31 grams of protein, 19 carbohydrates and hold on to your hat, 1450 mg of sodium. So basically eat this and you’re done for the day. Believe it or not I would eat a whopper (probably junior for me) before eating this salad. Now a full size whopper has 670 calories, 40 grams of fat, and 1020 grams of sodium. So yes I would have more fat and more calories, but then again my diet has been based around watching my sodium. If we look at the whopper jr. which is what I would probably eat then we find the following: 370 Calories, 21 grams of fat and 560 mg of sodium. This to me is the better option for me in my mind. If I go to Culvers I eat a single butter burger. Why, it fills me up and it has 346 Calories and 700 mg of sodium. Still not my chosen foods, but if I find I’m there and I’m hungry I am going to look for what I feel has the lesser sodium content. IHOP has a meal of Tilapia and steamed broccoli that only has 360 calories and 580 mg of sodium. I love it. I always have them put the hollandaise sauce on the side because I’m not a fan of it, but even if I add French fries to this meal I can still stay within my diet. There are options out there, but the first thing you need to do is arm yourself with information. PIZZA is TABU…. Sorry, it’s just the plain old facts of life. I have started only allowing myself pizza about once every six months. Two Slices of pepperoni pizza has 1600 mg of sodium in it (Pizza Hut). Not to mention a ton of empty calories and fat. How many people stop with two slices of pizza? The easiest way I think for most people to start is to just cut back periodically. I mean learn that leaving food on your plate is not a bad thing and seconds is rarely wise. Forgiving one’s self for bad days when we indulge is another as well as learning that this is a life style choice, not a diet in reality. One more tip I have for you. I have two days a week I allow myself to eat a sweet treat. Could be a couple of reases cups or a bowl of ice cream, but I don't eat sweets every day. I also have one designated day every month that I allow myself to eat anything I want without chastising myself. It gives me things to look forward to so that I know I'm not missing out. I've found I enjoy my food more and these special times off the diet mean all the more. Food tastes much better to me than it use to. Give these things a try if you will. If nothing else start reading your labels. I'm sure if you notice the sodium content on foods you are in for a huge surprise.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Learning to Love Yourself...

I know on more than one occasion I have spoken of my feelings about life and living. I constantly think about the past. I am not sure if that is normal or not. I have a tendency to think it is and that as human being’s we use that as a tool to keep from repeating our mistakes. Some of us though keep repeating them if for no other reason sadism. Yep, a whole bunch of you just had your eyebrows turn upward. Do I believe some people are enticed and drawn to pain? Hell yes I do! Mostly I believe that people do it unwittingly though. Last week for me was rough on so very many levels that I am not even sure where to begin. I have known for years now that I take states of manic episodes. My emotions run either extremely happy or extremely sad. There is no middle ground for me. I worked with a therapist on that years ago though and learned how to read the signs and how to handle them for the most part. I am proud to say I do it without medication. I mean most people who are prone to manic episodes are on Zoloft or some other medication and even on the medication to me they seem far more messed up than I could ever be. For anyone who doesn’t know what one of these states is like I am going to tell you, so sit back and enjoy the ride. When these episodes, for lack of a better term, come over me there is a high energy sensation that is over my entire body. I almost feel like I could make light bulbs glow if you placed one in my hand. I feel the need to be up and about and doing something. That outlet of energy could be shopping (common and dangerous to the wallet), drinking (dangerous because in these states it helps dull things which you feel the need for – alcoholics often do this), dancing, exercise, cleaning house, or playing a sport or something. During these episodes sitting or being in one place for too long can drive me batty. My nerves feel as if someone has stepped on the last one and I just want to have fun and forget life exists. Anxiety is a big key player in this state. One to know what this feels like for us? Drink about twenty cups of coffee in an hour and not know if a loved one is going to live or not. That pretty much to me sums up the feeling. It’s tense and I would tend to believe if one didn’t know that it’s simply a chemical imbalance that you have to learn to control that you could think you were going half insane. Now every manic episode is followed by a depressed state. The manic episodes themselves can last anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks. The depressed state usually doesn’t last as long, but when that fall from manic to depressed hits look out. It’s a total feeling of worthlessness and foreboding. I can cry for no reason and at the stupidest things. Last week I was manic for the first part and during that time had some very horrible news on several fronts. The end of the week and beginning of this one left me depressed. I’m happy to say right now I’m leveled off from both. I also had the task of writing about some of my inner most thoughts on what caused my weight issues and had to let someone read it to complete the assignment so to speak. That was a tough one. Opening up completely, although it may seem otherwise because of the things I write in here, is not something easily done. There are parts of me that no one knows. I am also sure though that this web site has given my brother many insights into me that he had no clue on. You see for as open as people believe me to be, they’ve only seen shadows of which I really am and how I really feel. This too could be normal. Who am I to say what is or is not normal? I just know I have never felt like an ordinary or normal person. I chose a person who had no ties to the events of my past to read the letter I had to write. The person the counselor wanted me to have read it I couldn’t risk upsetting and the person I let read it I was afraid to lose out of my life, but felt they at least had no connection. You really have no idea how vulnerable a feeling that is to let someone read something you had to admit about yourself that you clung to in secret for years. So what is the point of all this? Simply that I must learn and have been learning to live with and love who I am. It’s something that makes us better for ourselves and for those around us. It’s something I wish we could teach our children to do well before they are adults. Why do we have so many people out there who are quick to judge and label? These people somehow make it hard for others to be who they are. What a waste of time and energy I think. So as the holiday comes up what I would wish for each of you is that you know how special you are for just being you. I would wish that you enjoy your uniqueness and love yourselves. I really do love all my friends and family with all my heart. I also hope that you know there is not a thing I would change about who any of you are. Happy Holiday’s!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nadene Slone Johnson

Nadene Slone Johnson
Born in Knott County on Mar. 30, 1950
Departed on Dec. 1, 2009 and resided in Prestonsburg, KY.
Growing up and even as an adult I knew very little of my cousin Nadene. I saw her only a handful of times; however, I had great admiration for her and the kind of person she was. Nadine took on the job of raising her brothers and sisters and to them was more than likely more of a mother than a sister. She had a heart of gold and a soul I am sure to match. She will be missed.

Name: Nadene Slone Johnson Age: 59 of: Prestonsburg, KY formerly of Knott County Date of Birth: March 30, 1950 Where: Knott CountyDate of Death: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 Where: Highlands Regional Medical Center, Prestonsburg, KentuckyFacts of Importance: Disabled Factory WorkerParents: Daughter of the late Sherman & Herma Jean SloneHusband or Wife: Wife of the late Ray Johnson Other Survivors: Two Brothers: Ernie Slone & Doug Slone both of Prestonsburg, Kentucky; Three Sisters: Vonda (Duck) Gibson of Martin, Kentucky, Wilma (Manford) Watts of Crestwood, Kentucky & Juanita (Grant) Nelson of Paintsville, Kentucky; A Host of Nieces, Nephews, Family & FriendsDeceased Relatives: Parents; Two Sisters: Belinda Vanhoose & Bonnie Slone Time and Place of Services: Friday, December 4, 2009 at 11 A.M. at Nelson Frazier Funeral Home, Hindman, KentuckyVisitation: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 6 p.m. at the funeral home with singing services each night at 7 p.m.Officiating: Orbin Slone & Robert SloneBurial: Huff Family Cemetery, Short Fork, Pippa Passes, KentuckyNELSON FRAZIER FUNERAL HOME, HINDMAN, KENTUCKYIN CHARGE OF ARRANGEMENTSwww.nelsonfrazierfuneralhome.com