Why Are Our Children Dying?

 

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How many of you are getting tired of turning on the television, only to see how much violence there is in our world; in our schools? School shootings are beginning to brand our map like some sort of infectious outbreak. Many of us are scratching our heads and wondering “Why?” Others are saying “Enough is enough!” As much as I agree that enough IS enough, answering the “why” means that we have to look back and accept what we see.

I remember a life when there were no school shootings. It was a time when we were a melting pot, with an extraordinary American way of life into which we understood proudly. Parents were unquestionably in charge of their children, and if you got out of line, you got dad’s belt, not a few minutes in a “time-out” chair. When you went to school, the teacher was completely in charge, and defiance there got you the principal’s paddle and not a counseling plan and a conversation about your “feelings.” While you’re in school, you learned that you were “one of a kind” and that you were unique and of course, made by the Almighty. God was always spoken in school and not treated like a hazardous virus that needs to be disinfected and cleaned away. Then, when you got home from school and AFTER you did your homework, you had quality television and radio, board games and outdoor sports with your friends. You didn’t have video games full of horrible violence where the winning score came from how many people you killed or robbed or how much destruction you caused.

school shooting picture

Parents are failing their children. We are not teaching today’s children to be kind, respectful and considerate of other people’s feelings, empathy, accountability, manners, character and boundaries.  Instead, we are teaching them that what they have, in terms of materialistic things, is above all things. I believe we should support our children but never when they do something wrong. They should always be held accountable and unfortunately, that’s not happening.

When you recognize that things have to change, the wisest thing you can do is go back to when you know things worked.

I would REALLY love to hear your thoughts. Please share and don’t forget to subscribe and follow!

Love Day Ideas

Valentine's blog

If you’re really trying to set the mood this Valentine’s Day, you’re going to need something a little more romantic than the predictable bouquet of roses or giant teddy bear. I love this day of romance and I thought it would be a great idea to come up with some other romantic things to do on this day.

1. Hide love notes throughout your house.
2. Create a romantic dinner, at home, alone.   heart-in-hands-1475129216
3. Write “I Love You” in rose petals on your bed.
4. Share a bubble bath. Ohhh… la… la!
5. Send romantic quotes to each other throughout the day via email or texts.
6. Be lazy all day. Stay in your pajamas, order takeout and watch movies.
7. Play a game together (maybe strip poker)
8. Take out an ad in the local newspaper declaring your love.
9. Go to the spa together, for the day.
10. Find a cooking class to attend together on Valentine’s Day
11. Schedule a couple’s massage.
12. Take photos of the 2 of you together and create a collage.
13. Take a romantic walk around the neighborhood and stop at a café or bakery.
14. Call each other throughout the day just to say “I Love You”
double-heart--free-images--1715. Play romantic music and prepare his/her favorite snacks and drinks for when they get home from work.
16. Meet each other for “lunch” during work.
17. Put a sexy photo of you in his/her briefcase/purse (a little daring!)
18. If you’re a blogger, create a beautiful post to your love.
19. Build a fire and enjoy a drink and each other’s company.
20. Play “50 Questions” with each other. See how many answers you can get right!
21. Give each other a foot massage.
22. Grab some massage oil and give each other a back massages.
23. Invite friends over for a couples evening; including drinks, food and music and games.
24. Depending upon the weather, a picnic in the park/backyard
25. If you can, surprise him or her by bringing them to the very spot you met.
26. Head to a local Observatory to check out the stars.
27. You can always try for a baby on Valentine’s Day. (Ba-Da-Bing!)images
28. Bake something together. Sweets for the sweets!
29. Enjoy a nice hot shower or a bubble bath…together!
30. Grab some body paint and use each other as a canvas.
31. Create a coupon book of special things he or she can redeem.
32. Check into a local hotel for a fun evening “away.”
33. Enjoy a weekend away at a beautiful hotel or Inn!
34. Make a list of why you’re in love with each other.
35. Hire someone to cook you a romantic dinner at home
36. Treat your sweetie to a full makeover at the mall
37. Write a love poem
38. Head to a local sports event.
39. Go ice-skating and then head home to “warm-up.”
40. Make a personalized game (you could do this online!)
41. Head to a local brewery.
42. Head to a local vineyard.Red-Heart-Tree
43. Visit your local museum.
44. Sit and just chat in a cute, cozy café or bakery.
45. Write on your mirrors with lipstick “I love you!”
46. Reenact your 1st date.
47. Find a comedy show in your area.
48. Call in sick and spend the entire day together. Get to know each other again.

You don’t have to spend any money to show the one that you love, how much they mean to you.

If you have any great ideas, please share them. There might be some wunderful people who need them.

Don’t forget to subscribe! Sending love out to everyone!

My Anxiety Is A Burden

anxiety

For so many years, I’ve felt like a burden because of my anxiety. I find myself saying “I’m sorry” a lot and most times, I don’t exactly know what I’m sorry for. I think it’s because I feel as though I carry a great deal of excess baggage. I don’t want to put anyone out because of my anxiety and the person that I am. And I especially don’t want the people who I love and care for to judge me but don’t have control of that. I don’t want to continue to say that I’m sorry, but honestly, I am. I’ve heard how unreasonable it is that I worry about certain things and I have been told on many instances that I need to stop worrying. If only it were that easy.

Sometimes, I wonder if anyone genuinely believes that I enjoy worrying or that I enjoy when my stomach is in knots or that my mind and heart can’t stop racing. Please understand that if I could flip a switch and turn off the anxiety, I would, but I’m not wired that way. With my anxiety comes sensitivity. I am a very fragile person, no matter what people may think of me. The way in which you use your words are not taken lightly by me. Anxiety is real and it’s painful. It’s numbing and it’s a great big ball of fear, scrambled thoughts and worry. When I am in an anxious state, I can’t think straight and I fixate on things. When I say fixate, I mean obsess and over think. I keep things to myself because it’s easier for me to deal with. I manage to come to the worst conclusions in most situations or stress over things that may not even be real or happening. The worst part is not being able to shut these feeling down. But, please know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I love with everything that I have.

Anxiety doesn’t come with a guide. It can hit me anytime or anywhere and leave me a jumbled mess. When I am in an anxious state, I can’t hear your words because the thoughts in my head are so much louder. They get away from me and many times I talk over people. I have many worries and fears, which makes things worse for me. If you tell me you’re going to do something, then please do it. I may drive you crazy by asking you 4 or 5 times just to make sure. I know it can be extremely frustrating for you but it’s what I need to feel secure and less anxious. I just need to feel like I have some sort of control of my mind.

My anxiety is a battle but my anxiety doesn’t define me. It’s a huge aspect of my life and I have accepted that. I am who I am and even though I am riddled with anxiety, I believe that I can still make a difference. Just hug me. Just sit with me. Just be there for me.

A Letter To My Mother

 

broken heart

To the Mother who couldn’t love her daughter and the Family who allowed it:

I grew up knowing that there was something wrong between us. The tension in the air and that mean look you always managed to give. I spent my childhood seeing my friends have amazing, loving relationships with their mothers, and then there was you and me. We never really spoke because you chose to yell instead. We never did anything together because you were too busy pawning me off on all of our family members. You were the mother and I was the child. Soon, we became strangers and I had no other choice but to figure things out on my own.

As I grew older, I began to understand why you didn’t love me with a love most mothers had for their child: I was your mistake. I was the one thing in your life that reminded you of all the mistakes in your past, including my father. I was a reminder to all the sadness and hate you felt. I just wanted to let you know, because of your hatred towards me, I hated myself. Because of your lack of being a caring mother, you always managed to put me in bad situations where I was harmed and abused in ways you couldn’t imagine. There was no point in telling you because I knew you didn’t care.

As a growing adult, there were times when I had flashbacks of scenes from my childhood. I heard echoes of your voice reminding me of the hurtful and hateful things you would say. Every day I would hate myself. Every day I would feel more and more worthless. Every day I felt like I didn’t matter. Every day I was faced with figuring things out for myself. I had to learn how to survive on my own. During this time, I noticed something. I noticed your eyes staring back at me, glaring, judging, and full of hate, shame, and anger. I noticed that I saw you in my reflection, and I closed my eyes, refusing to become you.

I wish I could say that you made me stronger and that you have made me independent or that you have been my motivation. I also wish I could say that I am done hating you but I know that I’m not. I will say that I managed to be a better parent than you were. Of course I have made many mistakes but I was never given a good example and again, I had to figure it out all by myself. I will never allow myself to let my children hate themselves because of how I treat them. I promise to be my children’s best friend and put them over anything or anyone. I promise to be everything you weren’t. The sad part is that I was holding on my mother-in-law’s hand in the hospital when my children were born instead of yours. My children will lack a grandmother. I will lack a mother’s guidance and wisdom.

I have found many people in my life who love me and care for me without question. I have found people who accept my mistakes and love me though all my poor decisions from the past. I have found who my true family is and I will continue to live my life without you. I will try to stop imagining what it would be like to have you.

I am not motherless, I just don’t have you. I have amazing people in my life to share myself with, I just don’t have you. I am growing and becoming a wonderful adult that a mother would be proud of, I just don’t have you. I never really had you, and I never will.

Michelle Marie Jones

Are any of my wunderful readers have issues with your family? How do you deal with it? I would love to know. Don’t forget to hit follow. I will follow you back!

How About An Experiment?

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We all know that it’s important to accept and love who you are, it’s also significant when you want to make changes to improve yourself. There’s nothing wrong with working to enhance particular areas of your life. So, ask yourself, what can you do today that will help you to become a better person.

Just for fun, let’s imagine that you woke up tomorrow with the belief that you owe your life the very best you have to offer!

How would your day look?

How would it sound?

Visualize living like that for just one day! How do you think it would feel?

Now, I’d like to suggest that you make up your mind, right here and now, to actually do this tomorrow – just as an experiment. You don’t have to say anything to anyone, you don’t have to recruit others to do it with you and you don’t need to make a big deal out of it.  Just wake up with the attitude that no matter what happens throughout the day, you are going to give your life the very best you have to offer! You are going to live your life in a way that makes you want to be a better person.

You never know, this new attitude could actually change everything!

(Seriously, once you try this please come back and tell me about your amazing day by posting in the comments section.) I would love to hear from you! Let us know what you did to improve yourself and if it worked. Don’t forget to subscribe.

I Got A New Toy

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a serious fan of cooking and baking. It is a true passion of mine and I would like to think that I’m pretty good at it. I love buying kitchen gadgets and cookware of all sorts and nothing makes me more happy than when I find something that truly works like “they” say. Are any of you wunderful readers familiar with Air Fryerindexs? If not, an Air Fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food. A mechanical fan circulates the hot air around the food at high-speed, cooking the food, which then produces a nice crispy layer. I literally just heard about Air Fryers about 2 months ago and really wasn’t that interested or impressed until I read that no oil is needed for this small appliance, making it a healthier choice when cooking foods you would normally fry in oil. With all that being said and after receiving some Amazon gift cards for Christmas, I decided to purchase one.

Now, I thought this was going to be an easy process by simply purchasing one and that’s it. That wasn’t the case at all because there are literally hundreds of these Air Fryers on Amazon, to choose from. I had no idea what I was looking for or what kind to purchase. There were every brand name available and at every price point. The lowest was $49.97 by Della and the highest priced was $564.79 by Balakie. I knew I wanted something that was moderately priced because I didn’t know how they worked or if I was going to even like it. After reading SO MANY reviews and watching SO MANY videos, I finally narrowed it down to the ZENY 7 in 1 1500W 3.7 Quart Electric Air Fryer w/ Touch Screen  for $65.99 (Below, you will find the link to Amazon, to purchase your own). I received my new toy a few days later and when I opened the box, I was immediately intimidated by it. It looked like some futuristic pod in a scientific movie. My husband will tell you that I have no patience and I never read the directions on anything. I feel the best way to learn how to use something is to play around with it and that’s exactly what I did.

I happened to have 2 packages of raw chicken wings and thought that would be the first thing that I was going to try cooking. A little side note: using salt, pepper, and a dusting of baking powder will make your wings super crispy…just saying. Anyway, there is a pre-programmed setting for chicken which is 400 degrees for 20 minutes. My husband and I were really skeptical and we were waiting with anticipation, only to be pleasantly surprised by how brown and crispy they turned out and let’s not forget about the taste…ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!!!! I went on to make some french fries and frozen taquitos (You can even make a steak and make some cake). Everything was turning out amazingly well. The machine itself, doesn’t make any noise and the clean up is extremely easy because nothing sticks to it. The Air Fryer is a little big and if you have a small kitchen and little counter space, it can take up some room and of course you need to have somewhere to store it. Other than that, I am one happy camper. It is one of the best purchases I have made in a very long time and I look forward to using every chance I get.

Do any of my wunderful readers, own an Air Fryer? If so, tell me what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Don’t forget to subscribe!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078489JMD/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Let’s Play A Game

nintendo 2017When it comes to my history with video games, owning a Super Nintendo changed my life. That era of gaming, and specifically my time with that console, transformed me into a kid who likes video games into a full-blown gaming enthusiast (at least for me and anything Nintendo related). While growing up, my first memory of a video game console, was the Atari 2600. I never personally owned one but I vividly remember playing Pong, Space Invaders, Breakout and Combat at various friend’s houses. And of course, let’s not forget playing Pacman, Mrs. Pacman, Donkey Kong and Centipede in every Arcade and restaurant available. I miss those days. The times were so simple and so much fun and today’s kids will never get to experience. Trust me, there is a point to all of this.

For a very long time, I stopped playing video games. That is, until I met my husband. Of course, he was really into video games and knew pretty much everything about them because he had owned several gaming systems. I was out of the loop so he introduced me to Nintendo and then later Super Nintendo. I was instantly hooked. I could not get enough of Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong Country. My husband and I would literally stay up all night, having competitions, against each other. Those are some of my most fondest memories.  Donkey_Kong_Country_-_North_American_Boxart

As time went on, after several moves and having children, things get lost or misplaced, such as the Nintendo gaming system. My children are 23 and 17 and we’ve had every gaming system since the Super Nintendo and to me, nothing compares. I’m sure my wunderful readers have seen the Super Nintendo NES Classic Edition gaming console which includes 21 pre-installed games (yes, including my favorites such as Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong Country) and 2 controllers for $89. When I saw this, I got super excited and Just knew I had to have this game. Needless to say, every time a store would sell them, they would instantly sell out. Yes, Amazon and eBay would sell them but of course, for 3 and 4 times the original price. After a while, I just gave up but still wanted this game more than anything. AND THEN IT HAPPENED…on Christmas morning, I opened one of my gifts, both from my daughter and my son, and it was Super Nintendo NES Classic Edition gaming console; there in all its glory! I felt like a kid who sat on Santa’s lap only to tell him of the one and only toy they so desperately wanted. Well, I got it and I loved it and it was everything that I remembered and wanted it to be. I thought it would be a struggle to play but it all came back to me almost instantly. This is one of the best gifts I have ever received from my kids and I am truly happy. If you want a little nostalgia in your life and if you’re a Nintendo fanatic like me, this system is for you.

If you have one, please let me know what you think and if you’re just as happy as I am.

Thank you for reading and much love to all you wunderful people!

I Want To Go On A Trip

san fran         When I was 16-years-old, I went to San Francisco with my parents. I remember thinking then, while walking all over the city, that I was going to return one day. Though not being able to truly explain it, I just knew it was a city that I needed to get back to. I am 48-years-old and I never returned to that amazing city. If someone asked me what my dream vacation would be, I would have to say San Francisco, hands down. There is no other place that I would like to go.

Now, my husband and I have been together for over 30 years and he is well aware of me wanting to take this trip. Everyone I know, is aware of my love for this place. I even have a picture of The Golden Gate Bridge, above my couch (see above). And, while talking about it so much over the years, I have even convinced my husband that this too, is also a place that he would like to visit. Now, he will say that he wants to go because he wants to see me happy (so sweet, that man of mine) but I truly believe (or hope) he is just as excited. I am happy to say that we will finally be traveling there, in the next couple of months. My husband tells me that I think of the negative in every situation even if its a good thing. This is something that he is right about. I’m very concerned that San Francisco and all of its greatness is something that I made up in my head; that something I have built up and talked about for so many years, won’t be that great. All of the pictures and YouTube videos says different but its still a concern.

Has anyone taken a trip to somewhere, they thought was going to be amazing and it turned out to be less than? Please share your thoughts or comments. If you have been to San Francisco, I would love to hear about it. Much love to all of you wunderful people!

The One Thing I Regret…

Image result for dieting picturesRecently, I’ve noticed just how much weight I have actually gained, over the last several years. I noticed that I am wearing clothes to hide in, instead of clothes that I like to wear. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I was gaining weight but not to the degree as to where I am now. And yes, each year, I tell myself that this will be the year that I’m going to shed some pounds. It never happened and I finally had to figure out why I continue to keep gaining the weight. I would like to put the blame to the fact that I work too much, that I’m too busy taking care of everyone else’s needs instead of my own, not knowing what to eat or how to exercise. That’s all bullshit! The problem is that after all of that, I am tired and lazy and I really like to eat (I love my sweets and I love my Pepsi). And the worst part about it, is that any time I choose to take part in dieting and exercising, I respond very well and very quickly. What I have come to understand is that I am going to have to retrain my mind on how to do things better. The hard part is getting started. Is anyone out there having the same issues? What’s working for you and how are you losing the weight and keeping it off? I really want to know and I would love to hear from you.

Today’s Wunder Recipe

PASTA FAGILOI

Ingredients
3 Tbs plus ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 15-oz cans chick peas, drained
6 c chicken stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
8 oz ditalini or other small pasta, cooked to al dente
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino-Romano cheese, grated
Instructions
1. Heat 3 Tbs olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add carrots and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and tomato, and cook another minute. Add chick peas, chicken stock, and thyme sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Discard thyme.
2. Chop one rosemary sprig and set aside. In a large skillet, heat remaining ¼ c olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining 2 rosemary sprigs and let fry for 2 minutes. Remove rosemary, and keep olive oil warm.
3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop about ½ of the chick pea mixture into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Add chick pea puree to the olive oil in the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add pasta and 1 c of soup broth, and cook until warmed through. Add back to the rest of the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Pecorino-Romano cheese and reserved chopped rosemary