Monday, June 26, 2017

Being There + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

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Are you in touch with your friends and family? I mean, really in touch? Yes, we have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, texts in addition to phone calls to instantaneously get into the loop. But if someone on your Friends list needed someone and you knew it, would you be there for them? Let's go a little further. If you knew that someone wasn't really into life and wanted to actually end it all, would you be there for them, at the risk of ending that friendship? 

We've heard a lot lately about people who are more than happy to help someone else end their own life, to the point of encouraging them to do it, providing instruments of death to do the deed, or just not acting on it when they had information. Now there is debate as to whether or not these individuals should or shouldn't be charged with manslaughter.  I don't want to get into that debate other than sharing a recent story of someone who made it his business to save a friend's life, even though he didn't stand to gain personally from it and who risked his own personal success in something he enjoyed in order to do so. 

Michael Bravo, a seventeen year old high school student was in the thick of the end of his school year, with a make up math test to do and right afterwards, a soccer game for his local high school. He hadn't looked at his phone for several hours. But when he did, there were a ton of messages, all from one friend. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, was distraught, unable to handle, not many understanding people to talk to. She had taken the train from her town 30 miles away in order to talk. But since he had been tied up, he hadn't been in time to meet her. She had turned around and was heading back by the time he caught up with her. 

He told his coach that he had to leave the game, risking his player status. When he reached her, she sounded fuzzy and incoherent. She said she had taken some pills and was on her way back, that she was tired and wanted to rest her eyes. And she didn't answer after that, even though he yelled into his phone and repeatedly called. That's when he dialed 911 and told the Transit Authority what she looked like and that she was heading north on the FrontRunner train. "He described in exacting detail what his friend looked like, what she’d told him, what kind of condition she was in, that he was afraid she was trying to end her life. They needed to find her and help her."
Image - Susan Hayward
After waiting an agonizing hour, he called back again, with no news, and then he called again and again....until the transit operator yelled at him to stay off the line. Finally after 10 p.m. an agent called to tell him they had found his friend, slumped over at the end of the transit line, unresponsive but alive. They rushed her to the local hospital, then to a Regional Hospital where she was in critical condition. But with time probably would be OK.  They told him that if he hadn't called and been persistent, they wouldn't have known where to look for her. 
Michael Bravo gave up some of his time to extend the time of his friend
At first his friend was very angry at him, feeling like he had taken away an opportunity to get away from all her problems. But later, she was glad that he had interceded telling him, "Thank you, thank you, for not giving up on me." 

I hope that this can be me, that I can be there when someone really needs me. I believe the gift of life isn't one to give up over seemingly overwhelming problems and difficulties. I believe that "It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal. But that things will eventually straighten out. And there is great purpose in our struggle in life." --Boyd K. Packer

I'm sure that this girl will eventually get over the traumatic breakup of her relationship and that in future days, she will remember the friend who didn't give up on her and who gave up and risked a lot personally so she could still have her life!
Read more about this story here
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Unwelcome And Uninvited Guests + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This site uses both affiliate and non-affiliate links for reference purposes. Thank you for your support!
This morning my ears started ringing and it was so uncomfortable. It stopped me dead in my tracks and I couldn't focus on anything until, thankfully, it finally went away. I can only surmise why it started. Was someone talking about me? You never know! But more likely is that we went to the movies earlier and I think that whenever we go, my ears suffer because the volume is always so loud. Then it hit me that my husband has a constant ringing in his ears 24/7! He has tinnitus. Ugh! It stemmed from his Sony Walkman days as a teenager, with the sound as loud as he could possibly get it. He used to complain about it a lot when the ringing first started. But now, he has learned to live with the never-ending tone and it has faded into the background. Except when it gets angry and loud. Then it is torture all over again.

It made me think about other painful constants that people have in their lives. How do they live with them? Does it eventually just become normal, so that they just expect the company and walk with it throughout life, good or bad? 

I wonder about the people who have lived in prison camps. How do they have the will to survive the daily routine of interrogation, torture, and starvation? Yet many of them do survive and come out living as normally as one could ever hope, having lived under such circumstances!

What about the lost girls who were abducted when they were just young teenagers and kept for over a decade by a depraved sociopath. There were so many victims of this sickened man. It is amazing how one person can turn so evil, when others make the most out of a bad  situation and can still lead productive lives. Somehow the victims came out of this ordeal as shining examples of survival, love, and strength. How did they do it? 

I guess I have some experience with going through hard times and coming out on the other side not defeated, but more resilient than ever. When my boys were 9 years and 18 months respectively, they were stolen from me by their father when I had left them in his care while I was visiting a childhood friend for two days. Unbeknownst to me, he had master-minded a plan for years to do just that. They were whisked away to another state and I had no idea of their whereabouts. After divorcing me, he secretly and fraudulently obtained sole custody, so I didn't have much of a legal leg to stand on when it came to calling on law enforcement to help me. I had no idea that someone who had been so close to me could be capable of such cruelty. But I was quickly slapped into reality about that. The upheaval that it caused in my life, and in their young lives was catastrophic. Especially to my 18 month old, who was so young, and who hardly knew his father. It would take years of legal battles and our own sleuthing to first find them, then have meaningful contact with them, and eventually establish a visitation system that would enable them to at least be able to know me as their mother again. Those were really hard years and when it first happened, I came as close to not wanting to live as I ever hope to be. I had to get through the panic, grief, gnawing loneliness, the constant worry of whether they were OK. I had so many sleepless nights, so many times of waking up sobbing for my children, and when I finally did sleep, being tormented with nightmares about them and me and anything else. The first 6 months were the worst, but then I became numb and was able to carry on and go about daily life. No matter what I did, however, grief and loneliness were my constant companions. I obviously had to go on, but these were my new, very clingy friends. 
Image - John Lloyd

Fast forward over 20 years later. With the help of my husband now of almost 18 years, we found the boys, we pressed for custody. It wasn't easy, as the ex fought back hard and won, mainly because the statute of limitations had run out for domestic fraud charges (in the state where we filed, it was only 6 months!) and because once someone has custody, it's really hard to reverse that. But we were able to keep track of them, make sure they were relatively OK, have visitation, and share some vacations and special times with them. 
 
My son and I after going to India Palace Restaurant. The food was bad, but the company was amazing!

Now there are no more custody battles, no more sleepless nights, and they come and visit me often. 
It would be useless for me to hold a grudge against their father for robbing me of the chance to be my own children's mom, because that would be giving someone else power over my life. I feel like I won in the end! I have no bitter baggage that I need to carry around. It didn't happen overnight for sure, but I worked on it, and it's now a reality! 

You're at the end of this post, thanks for bearing with me as I explore thoughts and feelings on endurance. And remember, there may be certain things in your life that you may be carrying around as unwelcome and uninvited guests, but know this:  1) You can bear it because you're strong  2) Eventually it will get easier to bear because you will get even stronger and 3) Someday you'll look back and think, wow, did I really go through that? I must be really strong! And you'll have those first unwelcome guests of loneliness, drudgery, and disappointment to thank!
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)   


Friday, June 16, 2017

'Summer Beauty Musts' Cash & Product #Giveaway

Summer is so here!! Which means deck weather--sitting outside with friends and family, sipping your favorite drinks, enjoying the evening breezes after a hot day!  You want to look your best because this is the time of year when your skin and hair are the most exposed! Summer is also when your skin and hair get fried because of all the sun, sand, and surf. Treat it with care, and don't contribute to the maltreatment by using harsh products on it. The 3 areas below should be given special attention during the summer months and beyond for your best look, whatever that may be! Green Esthetics has you covered in all 3 areas!

Moisturized Skin and Hair. Pure Argan Oil is one of the very best things you can do for not only your hair, but your skin!  Green Esthetics has the very highest quality Argan Oil available, aside from actually traveling to Morocco and buying it straight from the woman at the market, who harvested it from the tree and processed it just yesterday! See a few things that I have discovered Argan Oil to be useful for here! It's surprising how many things there are!

Beautiful Eyes Start With Healthy Eyelashes. Another thing that is always desirable are long, healthy and beautiful eyelashes that don't look like they are fringes off a Persian rug! I don't understand why people are going so over the top! I get it, you went and had your eyelashes done! Yay!  But what really looks good is when you look at someone and their eyelashes are subtly enhanced and naturally thick, framing the eyes and accentuating them. The eyes are what need to be the center of focus, not the lashes! Longer Lash is an amazing and natural product that is perfect for keeping your eyelashes in perfect condition throughout the summer. And it really works, see my review!
A Gorgeous Smile. Everyone knows that a smile starts with the eyes, but it continues with white and healthy teeth. Using harsh whiteners isn't the answer because it can lead to the breakdown of the gums, enamel, and even the gut, which won't help your beauty routine! Green Esthetics has you covered with a whitening gel that gets your teeth white easily and safely! It comes with your own do-it-yourself tray! I have been using this whitener for a period of 3 months and I love it! Below is a picture of me with my husband cropped out as we took a selfie on our first bike ride of the season. I love how my smile is fairly white because I had used the whitening gel a few days before. No retouches needed!
 All 3 of these beauty musts are easily obtainable with Green Esthetics! We are partnering up to give someone a teeth whitening kit (ARV $49.99) and someone else an Argan Oil (ARV $29.95 ), plus each winner will receive a $10 Visa GC or Paypal, their choice! Enter in the Rafflecopter below and make sure you follow me on Facebook because I will have some awesome giveaways coming up this summer and I want you to be in the know! Ends on 07/07/17.

Disclaimer: Open to U.S. only!  A GAL NEEDS...received product from this sponsor to facilitate the review of this product. Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 18 or older to participate, Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 07/07/17.  Must respond within 48 hours.
After notification, winner will be asked to acknowledge their win by contacting sponsor on Social Media and letting them know of their win.
Entrants with invalid entries will be disqualified.
Sponsor, Green Esthetics, is responsible for delivery of prize package. A GAL NEEDS...is responsible for delivery of cash prize.   
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Have A Goal, Make A Plan + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


There have been so many things I want and have wanted to do in my life! The problem is that I haven't had the time, motivation or drive to see most of those desires through to completion. For instance:
  • I love to dance. I was fairly good at it at one point. I was on a dance team in high school, I learned how to do Middle Eastern Dance 12 years ago and performed a few times. My husband and I met at a dance. I would have liked to have become a professional dancer. I'm not a professional dancer. I don't dance very often at all anymore.
  • I play the violin. I was able to play in a University Orchestra. I played in the Nutcracker. I have performed on stage. I would have liked to play in a professional orchestra. I don't play in a professional orchestra and I rarely play anymore.
  • I like to write. I sometimes write on a blog. I used to be a very regular journal writer. I would like to write a book. As of yet, I have no plans as to what I would like that book to be about.
  • I love the art of cross-stitching. I learned how to cross-stitch on my own. I made several beautiful cross-stitch wall hangings. My life circumstances changed and I've never done cross-stitching again. I would love to pick it up again and do some more stitchery at some point. It's the same story with knitting and sewing!
  • I admire beautiful home furnishings, both purchased new and re-purposed. I would love to try my hand at being an interior decorator, at least for my own home. But, my home is a morass of mismatched, out-dated, yet comfortable pieces, shoved into the most convenient location and left there, most likely until we move or die!
And so it goes, with so many different things! But here is the dilemma. If I were to follow through and make actual plans and steps in order to achieve each one of these ambitions, I would most likely neglect some of the other things in my life that I deem more important. Things like stopping to enjoy the little moments that bring such pleasure to life, spending time with my family, friends, my pet, and planting flowers in the spring! Practicing my faith, doing favors and good deeds, watching my favorite shows and playing my favorite games! 

Granted, maybe it would be worth it to cease and desist my newly discovered and most favorite of games, Design Home, and actually work to design my own home rather than gain points for designing someone else's home! But then again, I do feel like I'm learning along the way! (Totally addicting, that game!)
Despite what people say, I don't believe that you can have it all! But I believe you can get exactly what you want!  I encourage you to figure out what it is that you really want more than anything else in this life, and then just go for it! Get the vision, make the plan, and do it! And don't change your mind mid-journey! Make sure that you can envision yourself  spending all kinds of time and effort to attain it, and then getting it! Be prepared to leave some other things behind on the way!
I know I have left some good things behind in my life, but I feel like I have chosen other things that are better, and that is what I am grateful to live with at this time! 
 I wish you a successful and happy journey in your quest to get just exactly what you want! What are some things that you have left behind in your life's journey? What are things that you have achieved because of making a plan?

 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Source From Whence It Came + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I got off work early the other day. As I was walking toward the main doors to the parking lot, I had a lot of things going through my head. I had a list of things I needed to do that day and I was excited to get to it. 
But then I saw Midy, one of our school trackers. I knew her from some interactions we had concerning a certain student and so we had talked briefly before. She struck me as someone who was very firm with the students, letting them know she was in charge and that they needed to respect her, even though she is petite and non-dramatic in her appearance. And I noticed that it worked! She has a lot of power in that school, to make sure that students are wearing the proper attire, not abusing electronics in the classroom, being respectful to each other and to their teachers. She is a force to be reckoned with, if you don't comply immediately with her respectful but firm request. She can take your phone away and confiscate it until your parents come pick it up, she can have you removed from campus if you are in violation of any school rules.  But she is just as quick to lend a helping hand to any student who appears sad, lonely, or depressed. The students really love her! As she walked toward me that day, she seemed relaxed and happy, with no pressing duties at hand. I said hello and asked her how her day was going. She responded positively and then I asked her what she does outside of her job.

I learned a lot in the few minutes of conversation we had! I learned that she has her parents living with her and that she takes care of them. That struck a chord with me, since that is what I do as well. My dad lives with us and we help him enjoy his elderly years, rather than have him live in a nursing home. Her parents are culturally rich--her dad is from Haiti and her mother is from Paris. They both speak fluent French! That explained why she speaks with an accent. I couldn't quite place where it was from before, but now it was evident.

She is married and has a very bright little girl in kindergarten, who school administrators wanted to put into 2nd grade because she is so far advanced in her reading and math. Midy declined the offer because she wants her daughter to have the social experience of kindergarten, getting along with kids her own age. 

She likes to cook both ethnic and exotic foods, which I'm sure she does amazingly well, since she has such a rich cultural heritage with both her parents. 

She talked about her parents quite a bit, revealing that her mother spanked her when she got a B in a college class and she didn't apologize for it because she wanted her to do the best of her ability and not squander the opportunity she had for education here. She also says that she believes in children doing hard work and learning how to be independent and not being spoiled with many things. Midy has taught her daughter to do many chores at home and to be very independent. 

Her dad is very happy and when he has a birthday wants cake, even though he can't have cake because he has diabetes. They make him the cake and then he simply looks at it, takes a small bite and then enjoys everyone else eating it and celebrating his birthday. He is very grateful to be living here in America. Midy says that one of his favorite quotes is "When you drink the water, don't forget where it came from." 

And the last thing that Midy told me is that she loves to stop and help others when they are in need of help on the road. It is a college town and so there are lots of chances to give people rides. She knows that in today's world that could be a bit creepy, but she assures them that she is only there to help and has actually helped quite a few students get to where they need to go, rather than walk. 

I imagine, though she didn't actually tell me, that the words of her father really did sink in. I imagine that helping where she can, even though she is very busy with her own pressing duties, is one small way that she can give back, to show she hasn't forgotten from whence her own opportunities come.
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  

Monday, April 24, 2017

To Step Away + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


 I'm a little late to the party, but I recently viewed the series 'John Adams'. This is a must-see series if you want to be entertained while getting to know a bit more under what conditions the U.S. was founded and what this lesser known 2nd president sacrificed in terms of family, hardship, and prestige. He was uncompromisingly true to his beliefs, even to the point that he probably sacrificed a 2nd term for the presidency because of it. 

His wife, Abigail, was one of the most intelligent women of that century, and was regarded as her husband's equal in terms of intelligence and judgement. He listened to her and treasured her opinions. Their relationship is regarded as one of the moving love stories of American History. Even Thomas Jefferson looked to her as an equal, one of the only women he deigned to regard as such.

The movie was produced by Tom Hanks, among others. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney both did a superb job playing, respectively, John and Abigail Adams. 

Why I Loved It

I loved the portrayal of early American life. It was accurate and even showed how dental care was almost non-existent. Both George Washington and John Adams had horrible teeth when they were older men. Even Abigail had tooth problems, as I'm sure most society did in the absence of dental care! I'm sure glad that we have access to that today!

Smallpox ran rampant in those times and Abigail was one of the first to make sure her children got vaccinations so that the dreaded disease would pass by their front door. There were certainly risks to doing it, and the way it was portrayed in the movie was very graphic, although I'm sure accurate!

There were many other depictions of early American life and for me it was fascinating to think of how far civilization has come in some ways and yet seems to have devolved in other ways. 

John Adams was honest to the point of receiving ridicule from the social circles he was sent to move in, in order to bridge diplomatic relations between the infant Republic and the  French and English monarchies. He was such an independent thinker and was able to articulate his reasoning in front of a skeptical public. In some instances he was successful and in others not so much.
Image - Ryan Schantzenbach
 Because of his unpopular stance of neutrality when much of the country was clamoring for war, he avoided a very expensive and unnecessary war which, at the time, might have broken the country financially before it even got off the ground. 


He was able to step away from the crowd, think logically about his beliefs and get his footing before coming back and becoming a strong and persuasive force for the good of the infant country. He was indeed a strong individual and was willing to sacrifice much for his beliefs. 

I relearned that it's OK to take a moment, step back and get your head together. Before one rushes to do what everyone else is doing, it's wise to take a second and make sure it is consistent with who you are and what you really believe inside!
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

6 Easy Ways To Quickly Increase #GutHealth And Why Everyone Should!

  My stomach has always had issues. I've had to bow out of activities and parties because I've had these crazy, disabling, sharp, pains in my stomach. I thought that maybe I was experiencing the precursors to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or even Crohn's Disease, which my mom had later in life. Thankfully I figured out that the majority of my problems stem from my unhealthy stomach environment and that I am able to correct it with a few things. 

I must have given myself a good headstart at having a horrible gut environment every time I took antibiotics as a kid, and there were quite a few times! I'm sure most kids have to have at least several rounds of antibiotics to get through childhood. But I'm definitely for medicine if you need it.

Then we added insult to the injury and my little sugar addiction turned into a monster! You know you've got a sugar addiction when the sight of macaroons (or brownies, cakes, twinkies, candy, or anything sugary) makes you salivate! And when you succumb to having "just a taste", you find that, like a crack addict, you can't stop at just one. You have to go back again and again!
Somehow I managed to get it under control with only a few instances per year of falling completely off the wagon. But I do have the residual weight gain to get rid of and I wonder if that will ever happen. I think I could muster up the motivation if my husband were to promise me the car of my dreams. I'm thinking he and I should have a chat about that. I do feel that the best chance I have of losing weight is to get my gut health under control. I'm ecstatic to learn that my metabolism can be so much better if the ph balance of my stomach is alkaline and has a better ratio of good bacteria vs. bad bacteria. And how do we get that good ratio?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Feel Gratitude This #Easter Through Music #PrinceOfPeace

Music has always held a special place for me. That is why at various times I have become very determined to practice dance, violin, or piano. Never at the same time and never for long periods of time. I don't enjoy playing in public, but will if the need is desperate! I don't get paid for it, but the satisfaction is priceless when you are able to practice and perform something to the best of your ability! Last week I, along with my talented cellist and pianist friends, recorded a rendition of "The Lord Is My Shepherd", a free arrangement by Jenny Garlock.

  
I love this beautiful old hymn, words written around 1821 by James Montgomery, based on Psalm 23, and the music written around 1895 by Thomas Koschat. This unlikely collaboration made the song available to the public at around the turn of the 20th century. So when the opportunity to play the song with these awesome ladies came up, I took a fresh look at the song. Here are some of my favorite phrases within the song and what I got from them.
Image - Brent Borup, Artist
"Restores Me When Wandering" - We, like sheep, tend to wander if not led by our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, the Prince Of Peace. But He will always find us if we want Him to be our shepherd and try to find Him as well. We may be temporarily out of sight from Him, but if we cry to Him, He will hear our cries. He is the Good Shepherd!

"Redeems When Oppressed" - There are so many people who are going through horrible things. No one is exempt. But ultimately, the Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will redeem those who love Him and who will stand up and be counted. This life is so short--we are young one day and elderly the next. However, this life is not our only existence. Using our earthly collateral to make temporal gains is a risky business. We could be investing in heavenly stock, the one sure investment!

"Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear" - Why should I fear the designs of evil, when I have the ultimate guardian to help me? I need only to trust in Him and show my love for Him by keeping His commandments as best as I can. When I make mistakes, I can repent and keep trying!

"In the midst of affliction my table is spread. With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er." Even on the worst of days, I must remember how truly blessed I am and how much I owe to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ! I have been given the gift of life, I have been able to give the gift of life to my children, I have family, friends, a roof over my head, I am a citizen of a country where I have been given so many freedoms. I have food, water, shelter, and all the modern conveniences of the 21st century! The list goes on and on! We are very blessed. Is it really OK to gripe and complain after all of these amazing blessings?


The overall feeling that this song gives me is gratitude. The imagery for me is sitting by a peacefully flowing stream or river, with the clouds gently moving in the sky. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I will be feeling so grateful to the #PrinceOfPeace for all that He has done for me. I'm grateful that He rose again after taking on not only his own death but everyone's death and then conquering it by rising from a tomb! We don't ever have to look upon our deaths as a permanent thing!
"...whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day!"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Forced Perspective + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


I take a photo editing class along with my class of Spec Ed students at the high school where I work. I need to monitor things like behavior while I try to learn the material so I can "assist" them. Thankfully, they were born at the turn of the century and they can pick up the various tasks on Photo Shop surprisingly easily. Not so myself, I sometimes struggle!
One thing that I caught onto pretty quickly, however, was the concept of 'Forced Perspective', using the camera to trick the mind to see something differently than what is really happening.Oh yeah, I'm an expert on forced perspective--considering I get it everywhere, and have for years now. Consider the following:

Camouflage--Animals are experts at using the art of camouflage to protect themselves from the dangerous eyes of predators.  I am amazed at chameleons and the octopus. They are wonders of nature at blending into their environment! Celebrities do the same thing! You can be sure that at San Diego Comic Comic Con there are celebrities everywhere going incognito via disguise. Unless you make a study at recognizing a certain celebrity or animal, you'll be forced into a false perspective!!!
News - I thought news was supposed to be impartial and based on fact. But, apparently, that is so pre-Vietnam War. So much of what is going on today is based on inflamatory rhetoric and intentional fact distortion. To get an accurate picture, one is now forced to rely on multiple news sources and experts. If you rely on just one source, your perspective is sure to be skewed and inaccurate!
Peoples' Lives - So many times my perspective at what I thought was the truth about someone has been shattered. I've learned long ago, for instance, to never expect any kind of permanency in Hollywood marriages! They will break up 90% of the time. When I was a teenager, I babysat for a couple, Mike and Jan, with 3 beautiful little boys. I idolized them because I thought that they had it together so much more than my own family. I felt like they were so classy, neat, clean, and beautiful. When she filed for divorce a few years later, it really shocked me. Apparently Mike was flirting around with girls as young as me and she finally had enough. It forced me to realize that things, no matter how perfect they look, often aren't what they seem.


Pinterest and Instagram Accounts - Oh those picture perfect lives! They inspire me and discourage me at the same time! I can immerse myself for inordinate amounts of time, in awe of the creativity, beauty, and picture perfect settings. Sometimes I am forced to turn off my phone and leave it so I can get something else done! Little did anyone realize, when both start-ups officially began 7 years ago, how they would explode into a collective mass public obsession! It changed the public's perspective of  how they look at potential purchases and where they look!

Fashion/Makeup/Cosmetic Surgery It is the job of the beauty industry to create looks that are designed to deceive the eye into believing someone is thinner, younger, more aesthetically pleasing than they could ever be on their own. They aren't doing their job if  the following discussion isn't forced--"was she was born with it or wasn't she"? It is amazing, to the point that just because you were born a certain gender doesn't mean that you can't be transformed to look like the opposite gender. These days, just because you were born with it, doesn't mean you can't get rid of it! The sky is the limit and it's a perspective that many welcome, while confusing and frustrating to just as many.
As for myself, I realize that I am a product of my environment and I happily go along with some views and reject others. I feel like I have wised up and developed a good sense of what is real and what is fake. But I always want to be able to step away, hit the re-set button and try to see things in a different perspective! What other examples of forced perspective can you think of?

Image - Caroline Stone
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)  
Image Credits - Mashable  imgur

Thursday, April 6, 2017

#Giveaway 4 All-Day Passes To This Is The Place Park

 
Baby Animal Season is in full swing and I'm teaming up with This Is The Place Heritage Park to give out 4 free all-day passes (Adults - $12.95, Children - $8.95)! The baby animals are just so sweet! Life is teeming and spring is in the air!
We checked out the park a week ago and it was so much fun! I can't think of a more fun and diverse place for family fun! Emigration Canyon is just above the park and you can see people trekking across with horses, dogs, or bikes! 
We especially liked shopping at the Gift Shop this time. It is packed with many unique and beautiful items, one of the largest inventories in the West! Just a couple of my favorites are shown below. Check out their 50% off section too!
Beautiful Copper Bracelets

Hilarious when you open it!

Horseback trail rides are also so much fun and right now you can score an introductory rate of 2 for the price of 1 plus $5 if you book online and put in the code SPRING! And don't forget to tell them A GAL NEEDS...sent you!

For a chance to win 4 all-day passes, enter in the Rafflecopter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Disclaimer: Open to U.S.  A GAL NEEDS...received free passes from this sponsor to facilitate the review of this venue. Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Klout nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 18 or older to participate, Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 04/20/17.  Must respond within 48 hours.
After notification, winner will be asked to acknowledge their win by contacting sponsor on Social Media and letting them know of their win.
Entrants with invalid entries will
be disqualified.
Sponsor, This Is The Place Heritage Park, is responsible for fulfillment of prize package. A GAL NEEDS...is not responsible for prize fullfillment.