Monday, September 26, 2011

Lower Back Pain? This Could Be The Back Support You Need

Several years ago I taught a teen girl’s Sunday School class.  In that class, I built relationships with some amazing young ladies.    It is always a blessing when one of these girls contacts me and a big reason I enjoy Social Media sites such as Facebook (even though FB keeps freaking me out with changes); it reconnects people.

Recently, a girl I knew as Leigh Anne Stout contacted me through a mutual friend.  Leigh Anne Nash is now a lovely young wife and mother.  In addition, she is a Physical Therapist, a certified Pilate's rehab instructor and currently works for the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers in Georgia.   After working with hundreds of patients with both long term and recent onset back pain, Leigh Anne developed the inspiration that led to the creation of the Back Sac.  Leigh Anne was kind enough to ask me if I would be willing to do a product review and giveaway on my blog and I quickly agreed.  The timing couldn’t have been any better since I am experiencing lower back pain due to my hateful uterus.
                                                                                                 What is a Back Sac?
“The Back Sac is a unique back support cushion, designed to better support your spine in any resting position. It has been successful in relieving back and neck pain related to back injury, spinal arthritis, disc injuries, scoliosis and pregnancy!

The Back Sac’s unique design uses air to provide the perfect lumbar support whether you are sitting on your couch, at your desk, or in your car! The air travels through the Back Sac when you move, following your spinal curves, creating a dynamic support that no other back cushion can replicate!

The Back Sac creates the perfect pillow to support your neck while traveling in a car or an airplane and deflates quickly for easy transport.  It can be used to support your knees when sleeping, or your lumbar curve when performing abdominal exercises. Your school aged kids can recline against it while reading or watching TV. Because of its ability to adjust to fit all body shapes and sizes, the Back Sac can be used by anyone to improve posture and comfort!”

I was excited to receive my Back Sac and put it to use using the simple instructions included.  The Back Sac is similar to a deflated ball with an inner air bladder.   Open the Velcro enclosure, pull out the portion of the bladder with the air value and puff in a few breathes of air (it only took about three for me).   The inner bladder doesn’t need to be completely full of air and with a few tries you will soon find the fullness level you need to give you good lower back support.  Close the valve and Velcro. Presto! You have a back support cushion!  But “the Back Sac design is absolutely unique compared to other back support cushions on the market today.  Most support cushions are made to fill the spinal curves by molding to the average person’s neck or low back curve. The Back Sac acknowledges that your spinal curves are probably not average.”  For information on how it works, you can read more information at the Back Sac Website and become acquainted with Leigh Anne too.

What I personally found was great lower back support.  I habitually sit on the sofa with my laptop and prop my feet on the coffee table (I know, I know, not lady like at all).  This position sinks me into the sofa with no lower back support and I find myself moaning and groaning to get out of that position.  Not so with the Back Sac for support.  The same thing happens with my laptop in bed.  When I place the Back Sac at my spinal curve, it gives me the much needed support that a pillow cannot and I don’t become as stiff.   It also makes a great neck cushion for travel and although I haven’t tried it yet, it would probably make my neck much more comfortable if I were driving a long distance.   Hum, must test that soon!  And oh, how I wish that I had had one while pregnant with both my sons, especially during those last few weeks.

Now I have a problem.  I don’t want to give my Back Sac away.  I want to keep my Back Sac.  I cannot live without my Back Sac!  What’s this blogger to do?  I think I’m going to buy a few and give them as (it pains me to say this)…Christmas gifts.  I encourage you to do the same.  You’ll love it!

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Boxers Vs. Non-Boxers {Breakaway}

Why people become steeped into tradition is a mystery to me.   The small town where I live and the church that I rarely attend live by the mantras “this is how we’ve always done it”, “this is just how it is done”,  “this is the proper way to do it”,  etc.        Granted the familiar path is always the easiest path.  You don’t have to think about the path because you know every inch and mile.  But is it always the best path for reaching your destination?   I think not.   There are too many scenic routes which could lead us to new, more wonderful destination.   If we encounter the sameness every day, we become stale, disconnected, and ineffective to those outside the box.   But the box is so comfortable!   Neat, tidy and familiar.    With this in mind, I chose to discard my box altogether.   I did it with intent and purpose knowing the risks that I would encounter by losing my cardboard protection.   Boxed people never understand the non-boxed and they certainly never get the idea that non-boxers view boxers as stagnated conformist.  When I encounter the boxed people, they treat me like I have leprosy….unclean, unclean, unclean, because I’m living outside the confines of a neat box.  Apparently, this is a source of worry for some and enough reason for others to place me on a prayer list.    Why does this bother me?  Most people desire the prayers of others and I do too in specific areas of my life.  I share those request with only a select few people because I respect the sincerity of their hearts.   For anyone to assume they know what is going on in my life, and especially in the lives of my children and then stop one of them to say, “I am praying for your mother and she will be fine” is one of the rudest things I’ve ever heard.     What exactly are they praying about concerning me and shouldn't they have been respectful enough to speak with me first?   My son, being the gentleman that he is, thanked the person and proceeded to say, “My mother is fine, she gets what you don’t, but thank you anyway.”   God, I love that child!   Wake up sleepy small town!  Although, it’s a beautiful dream, we don’t live in Mayberry anymore for the world is indeed changing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Synopsis AKA What I Did On Summer Vacation

So yes, it's been a while since I've written in this space.  If anyone in the blog world still lands on this small bit of Internet real estate and reads my pitiful blogging attempts, well, God bless ya!
Me, hubster, boys and dog spent a few quiet days at the beach in June.  It was Oscar's first beach trip and he loved it.   Unless you're a dog lover, you can't understand how fun it is to watch your fur-baby get as excited as your children regarding vacation.  Oscar played in the water, dug in the sand, rode a golf cart, and sniffed other doggies.  We enjoyed Oscar's beach excitement as much as the beach!  Fun!
In June, I went to Type-A Parent Conference.   This is a local blogging conference held annually in beautiful, artsy downtown Asheville, NC.   There I met up with some blogger friends and had a lovely few days with like minded folks.  Fabulous, darling!  Fabulous!  If you're a blogger, consider attending Type-A at some point.   It's a relaxed setting and you'll meet some great bloggers from all over the US/Canada.  And me!
Several weeks ago I began taking a Zumba class.  Two nights per week I shake my Zumba for a hard sweaty hour.  Considering I'm the girl who failed PE in high school (seriously) I'm doing pretty well.  Furthermore, I LOVE it and can tell a big difference how I feel physically and emotionally.   It's a great stress reliever and I'm reaping a few benefits in the waist, hip and thigh area too.  I may even start lifting a few weights to help my bat-wing biceps. 
Uterus Update - Regarding my hateful's still HATEFUL!  I'll be seeing my GYN once again in September and may tell him to rip it out!  Nuff said on that topic.
I got glasses!  I've been using cheap reading glasses for over a year.  A kind friend suggested I have my eyes examined as it seems the #11 between my eyes was becoming more pronounced from all the squinting.  Thank goodness for honest friends who give it to me straight!
True Confessions:
  • I've not read one single book all summer!  I did listen to the "The Help" (Audio CD) and recently saw the movie (so good, go see it, take Kleenex for leaky eyes and wear Depends for a weak bladder).
  • Work keeps me busy, but honestly, it doesn't feel like work.  I've been at the Public Library for eleven years and still enjoy every minute!
  • My young men go back to school Monday.  College and High School, piano and guitar, youth group and basketball keep them VERY busy.   They are handsome, kind, talented and funny...but SLOBS!  I love them anyway.
And now, let me just say...if you are friends with me on already know most of this information plus more....if not, Friend me on Facebook and share the fun!
Thanks for reading, Rosie!   {Coming soon BackSac product review}

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Uterus Hates Me

For the past year I have been battling uterine fibroids.  Uterine fibroids are hateful, non-malignant tumors that grow within the uterine wall.   I have eight of these bizarre things growing inside me.   EIGHT!    You can read about the symptoms of uterine fibroids from the Mayo Clinic and let me just say I have every freaking symptom listed (plus a few that the good old Mayo is not aware of yet) including, but not limited to, bitchiness and murderous thoughts of family members.  On most days the world is a giant chalk board and humanity is scraping their fingers down it all day long.   Does that paint a clear portrait of how irritable I am?   I am told if I can live with these body growths until after menopause, they usually shrink and symptoms decrease.  I am also told the average age for menopause is fifty-one.  I'll be forty-six on my birthday.  That's five years people!   My GYN has given me a few options:  (A)  Try birth-control pills for a few months; (B) Endometrial ablation wherein they burn the endometrial walls; (C) Partial hysterectomy (taking out the uterus but leaving the cervix and ovaries).   I'm on my second round of birth-control pills and thus far have seen no improvement.  In fact, some of my symptoms are worse.    I've heard from some that the ablation procedure works well for a few months but risks involved with this procedure (though rare) are serious.  A partial hysterectomy initially sounded appealing until I began reading on the topic and the sexual side effects that the procedure can cause.  I'm getting old, but am not dead.  I still enjoy my sexuality so ripping out something that might change that appeals not to me!

Dear readers do you have any experience with this problem?  If so, would you please share your experience here with me?   I value the opinions and experiences of other women (men too if your wife, mother, sister, girlfriend, etc. has gone through something similar).  I'm also open to holistic procedures if you have experience in that area.   Any thoughts are welcome.

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Water For Elephants

I recently read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The book was published in 2006 and has crossed my path many times via the circulation desk at the library. After seeing the movie trailer and thinking it was a potential theater experience, I decided to read the book. Having not read Fiction in well over a year, I was skeptical.

Water for Elephants is not a literary masterpiece but for me it held true entertainment value (more on this in a moment) and painted a visual that I will not soon forget. Few Fiction books do this for me anymore so I was delighted to find myself caught up in the story line and eagerly anticipating my nightly reading. I was sad to see it end, but I must say, the ending was marvelous!

Jacob Jankowski is a ninety or ninety-three year old man (he can’t remember which) in a nursing home recalling memories of himself as a young man during the Depression. For three months he travels with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth as the veterinarian to their menagerie. Some of the language is crude and graphic scenes linger in the mind; however, I think one should expect this when reading details of life on a circus train. Most scenes, though, are tender and clearly show the heart of a young man and an aged man on a passionate journey. I am hoping the movie is fractionally as good.

Circus life has always fascinated me and this is likely why the movie trailer caught my eye. Upon doing some book review research and hearing only good things regarding the book, I decided to give it a read and am so glad I did. For me, it brought back memories of a time in my life (1983-1984) when I applied for and was accepted by the Ringling Brothers Clown College in Sarasota, Florida. Yes, you read that correctly! I have attended the Ringling Brothers Circus no less than eight times in my life as a child, youth, young adult, adult or parent. The most memorable time being front row center ring with tight robe walkers balancing precariously over my head and muzzled dancing bears within a few inches of my knees. I’ve seen greats like Gunther Gable Williams, Lou Jacobs and Bello Nock. I made a complete idiot of myself at one performance by stepping into a folding seat in front of me and getting my ankle trapped in a vise like grip, nearly fainting from the pain and cracking my ankle bone in the process. I will always be mesmerized by the costumes, colors, lights, music, animals and performers of the circus!

So did I go to Clown College? No. Fear and parental consent kept me from pursuing that fleeting dream. But, the clown portrait above is me! Painted by my much older brother in 1985 and hanging in the children’s room at the library, it serves as a reminder of the clown I was and still am at heart. If you look closely, you can find my initials “DR” painted into the folds of the yellow neck piece. Rosie would have been a great clown name don’t you think?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Star Belly Sneetches

One of the earliest memories I recall, is going to our town's tiny library.  The children's book section in the late 60's consisted mainly of Dr. Seuss and H. A. & Margert Ray books.  I was allowed to check out two books; one always being Dr. Seuss.  The book was immediately taken home and presented to my much older brother who quickly tucked me close beside him and proceed to read me the zany rhymes produced by the author, all the while adding appropriate character dialect and proper voice inflections to make the verses come alive.   Fast forward 40 years...I now work in our town's library.  It is no longer the tiny "hole in the wall" but a thriving center of the community.  Our children's room is overflowing with fantastic books.   Dr. Seuss is still in demand and I often find myself quoting his well loved work.  Happy Birthday, Theodor Seuss Geisel!  

The following is one of my favorites.  To become as wise as a Sneetch, is a worthy goal!

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

The Sneetches ~ by Dr. Seuss

The Sneetches and Other Stories
Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”

And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.
When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and clean,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
And I’ve heard of Your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that, I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie.

I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!”
“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”

So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink.
And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.
So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?
I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

“Belly stars are no longer in style”, said McBean.
“What you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine.
This wondrous contraption will take OFF your stars
So you won’t look like Sneetches that have them on thars.”
And that handy machine working very precisely
Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about.
And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout,
“We know who is who! Now there Isn’t a doubt.
The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

Then, of course, those with stars got all frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star was frightfully bad.
Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
invited THEM into his Star-Off Machine.

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.
All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.

Off again! On again! In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,
Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach,
“They never will learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch!”

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

UPDATE!!! Veripur is Verigood

Veripur Hand Sanitizer Moisturizer 3 oz UnscentedA GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO VERIPUR!!!  Mr. Fedex arrived at my back door Saturday with a box of Veripur Hand Sanitizer courtesy Lippe Taylor.  This box of Veripur will be forwarded with my guys to Belize and put to use by a small medical clinic serving an impoverished area. {More on that later}.  Once again, thank you for your wonderful public relations!


Part of what makes blogging conferences great are the sponsors.   Sponsors help keep the cost of conferences low and they recognize the power of social media. Behind the fingers of 700 women bloggers lay vast opportunities for advertising; this ensures good swag.   I normally don't promote brands on my blog because I'm just not into that, but today I make an exception and I'm not even being compensated {although I would love to have some sample tubes to pass along...hint, hint}.

Hidden deep within the recesses of my swag bag was a magic tube of hand sanitizing lotion.   I rarely use hand sanitizers because most contain alcohol which tends to dry out my hands and makes my skin peel.   I want to kill the germs people, not the top layer of epidermis.  This tube was labeled Veripur.  Upon further investigation, Veripur is a new product exclusively available at Walgreens.  Oh how I wish I had known about this product prior to entering the plagued dome.  I would have slathered my hands down with this moisturizing, germ killing product every few hours and conquered Mr. Flu.   This tube of lightly scented gold makes me believe I'm pampering my hands instead of killing nasty little germs.  Reality is, I'm doing both and that is a lovely product bonus.  Please visit the Veripur Web-Site to learn more, watch their YouTube video below, then go purchase their fabulous product.  Worth. Every. Penny.

Beyond Veripur being an exceptional product, a representative behind Veripur was a pleasure to meet also.   He mingled with the bloggers outside of the work venue to build relationships.   Because of his extrovert personality, my girl friends and I had the privilege of dining late one evening with Mr. David Binkowski and a few other fabulous people.  A funny guy, a good sport, and a joy to be around, David is the real deal when it comes to digital marketing. Thanks, David, for making the Beverlies feel special and for entertaining us with your wit and charm.  You Rock!

(Photo by Jenny Lawrence Viars)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Portrait of Love

The doorbell rang. She wasn’t expecting anyone.

Pensively she peaked out the window. A smile curved her lips.

Opening the door she forced back the tears.

He tipped his derby hat. Always the gentleman.
“My dear, these are for you.”

Pink starlight lilies were her favorite. Not red roses. He remembered.

“I was thinking of you and thought these might brighten your day, my love.”

She invited him into their home and took the flowers from his wrinkled hand.

She admired their beauty and placed them in a vase.

She slipped her arms around his waist and buried her face in his neck.

After fifty-three years, his scent still brought her peace.

They clung to each other and cried only for a moment.

“I still miss him so much,” she said. “As do I, love. As do I,” he replied.

He stroked her gray hair.

Twenty years ago their son had died. Already twenty years.

His gesture of love was different every year.

Always tender. Always meaningful.

“I love you, my dear, even more than last year,” he whispered.

“I love you too and even more next year,” she whispered back.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

What I Learned @#Blissdom 2011 and Other Odd Facts {All In Good Fun}

It is no secret that I recently spent four bliss-filled days in Nashville, TN, at Blissdom 2011, the premiere blogging conference of the Southeast. This event was truly an incredible experience and an amazing opportunity to learn about the blogging community.

I am a people observer by nature. I have never attended any event where the main attraction held my attention for a long period of time. My senses always drift to those around me. I am neither an extrovert nor an introvert. My personality lays somewhere between the two (I am an INFJ on the Myer-Briggs chart if that tells you anything) I am in the tiny one-percent. An oddball. Because of this, my observations at Blissdom and what I gained from the experience is probably a wide gulf from another’s perspective. This post is meant to neither inflate nor deflate any particular group. These are simply my observations. Maybe I should have studied Sociology in college rather than Computer Science.

Reading Rosie’s Blogger Personality Assessment

Diva bloggers are the obvious power group. They walk into a room and demand attention by their actions. They are the “everybody look at me and take in my awesomeness” women and just know the world is a better place because they exist and honestly it probably does. They are confident, classy, stars who deserve R E S P E C T for their work. This group can sometimes be annoying but they usually make me smile.

Wannabe Diva bloggers are a temperamental group. They wannbe divas badly, so they pout, stomp their feet and get angry if you do not recognize or acknowledge their “not quite there yet awesomeness.” Easily insulted, this group seems to be living in a high school cheerleading daze. It is fun to mess with them and pretend you have never heard of them.

Faith bloggers are lovely. They are usually dressed and groomed neatly and appear very organized. Easily spotted due to their pious aura, they travel in groups of the same species rarely speaking to anyone who may appear unholy due to their hair style or clothing choice. Do not turn your back on a faith bloggers lest you be crucified.

Edgy bloggers are easy to spot. They are hip, funny, colorful, opinionated, loud and adventuresome to be around. Fun group. {Note: Faith bloggers and Edgy bloggers do not mix well}.

Niche bloggers include coupon queens, green living, foodie, brand pushing, decorating, solely focused savvy business mommy bloggers. They talk fast, know their elevator pitch, and are extremely rehearsed sales people. If you are not a morning person, try not to get cornered by a niche blogger. You will find yourself skulking to a quiet corner to suck your thumb after the encounter.

No-Niche bloggers can relate to everyone. You will find them a funny and well read; sloppy and finely dressed; unorganized and skillful, home makers and highly educated group. There may actually be a Diva in the group, but she will appear incognito and you will instantly bond. No-Nichers are women of Faith but not self-righteous; Edgy but not uncouth.

Newbie bloggers are easy to spot. Look for the deer-in-the-headlight gaze. You will feel protective of these lambs and want to pull them away from the slaughter-house (Wannabe Divas) as quickly as possible. If a No-Niche blogger can rescue a Newbie early enough, they can have a great influence and possibly lead her away from Niche blogging. I mean, does the world really need another toilet paper blogger?

Under these definitions, I would be classified as a No-Niche Edgy Faith Blogger (NNEFB).

While the above is meant to be humorous, I can truthfully say that blogging is a common denominator and a great thing. The power of words can bring hundreds of women together, form solid friendships and gradually create a new community. It is the power of women-kind. Our ability to cry, curse, sing, dance, mourn, celebrate, hug, accept and scorn one another creates energy unlike any other. I feel loved, accepted and understood when I am in their midst.

All I Really Need To Know, I Learned @#Blissdom:

Share with a friend.
Smile until it hurts.
Don’t worry about your clothes.
Comfortable shoes are valuable.
Speak first.
Laugh at jokes. (Except your own)
Tweet when told.
Choose grace.
Listen more than you speak.
Give more than you take.
Hug a newbie.
Don’t jiggle another’s boobage. (Trust me)
Be salt and light.
Above all, be yourself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

All I Gained From Blissdom Was The Flu! {Hardly}

My intention was to write a recap post my first day home from Blissdom 2011. Unfortunately, on the drive home Saturday, I realized I was being attacked by the now infamous Blissdom Plague. Mr. Flu made a lovely appearance at the conference to shake everyone’s hand. He’s a gentleman that way, albeit sneaky. He knocked me off my feet, literally for the week, and I am just now able to put my thoughts together.

I wasn’t a conference newbie this year. This was a good thing because I was more oriented to the venue. Last year I traveled and stayed alone; this year, I traveled and stayed with three fabulous women bloggers. God knew I needed these ladies in my life and I am so thankful for each of them. I’m thirteen years their senior - a mother-hen figure {yeah right}! I love these ladies. Hey soul sisters…hugs and kisses from Beverly!

{I made my dress for this event and the hats belonged to Jenny's Grandmother)

The team at Blissfully Domestic coordinates an awesome conference. They are superb at their bliss and Gaylord Opryland Hotel pulled out their very best linens and silverware {that’s important in the South}. Bloggers are treated like royalty during this four day event. I cannot begin to tell you the details that went into this affair but it is safe to say it was fine-tuned in such a way, they had me believing I could wish it and it would appear. Awesomeness wrapped in awesome and topped with a layer of awesome and few awesome sprinkles. Really!

It was worth every cough, sniffle, chill and body ache and if I had to catch the flu, this was “the” place.

If you’re a blogger, put Blissdom 2012 on your bucket list!!!!!

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and PowerOpening keynote Brene’ Brown was truly an inspiration and touched on a subject that all could relate: SHAME. Sounds slightly depressing doesn’t it? Not in the least! Everyone, at some point “wants to hide their struggles and protect themselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.” We all do! In her book “I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)”, Brene’ writes, “It’s time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection - Courage to be real, the Compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the Connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives.” I bought the book, because Lord knows I need to learn the 3Cs.

by Scott Stratten UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging(text only)[Hardcover]2010
 Closing keynote was the master of Twitter himself, Scott Stratten, better known as @UnMarketing. “Stop Marketing, Start Engaging,” is his mantra. Scott’s a nice guy (we’re on a first name basis). Seriously, he’s a down-to-earth, never met a stranger, super-talented man. Funny too! I bought his book just because. It’s autographed. Did I mention he is handsome, even in pink, and can bust-a-move on the dance floor? Yep, that would be him. 

Chock-full between these two fabulous folks, were Melissa Peterman, Michelle Branch, Mat Kearney, Chris Mann and Crystal Bowersox. Talented, beautiful people there to entertain a wee little blogger like moi.

And the sponsors: ConAgra Foods, Freschetta, Quaker, Jockey, Johnson&Johnson, Gain, Intel, Blue Bunny, GE, Veripur, Tide, Kellogg’s, Hallmark, Red Lobster, Bounce...on and on and on…the swag alone was worth the flu!

But what did I really learn about my blogging bliss?

"All I Really Need To Know, I Learned At Blissdom"  ~ Coming Soon!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Two Baby Boys....God's Perfect Plan

A mother of seven children living in North Carolina....

        Lead by God decides to adopt an eighth child....

                Adoption papers filed....

Birth mother in Nevada decides to give her baby up for adoption....

        Contact and arrangements are made between the two women....

              Adoption mother flies to Nevada in December for the birth....

Beautiful baby boy is at first sight....for both mothers....

       Birth mother decides to keep her baby boy....

            Adoption mother, heartbroken, believes God has a plan....

Another baby boy born a few weeks earlier with feeding issues....

       Relinquished by birth mother for adoption....

          Placed into the arms of  his adoption mother from North Carolina....

God's plan is perfect....

      I'm blessed to know the adoption mother from North Carolina...

           Read her story at stringbean17....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blues, Books and Blissdom

I thought after the new year I might have more motivation for my far, WRONG!   Apart from work, my days are filled with routine household activities leaving me with little inspiration to write.  I thrive on routine but not writing isn't good for my state of mind.  My thoughts become jumbled and unorganized and I can't concentrate on any task.  Maybe it is due to a decreased lack of a vital hormone or lack of Vitamin D due to sunlight deprivation.  I've been going to the tanning bed a few times per week to soak in artificial light but it doesn't seem to help my lethargy.   The cold temperature, snow covered ground and grey skies add to my unproductive state.  Life feels blue and bleak in the winter. 

I've been reading bits and pieces of non-fiction books.  I can't seem to read any fiction right now.  Two of my favorite fiction authors (Francine Rivers and Jan Karon) have new books out and I am not interested in reading either of them.  What's up with that?   Three books I am working my way through (The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin), (The Comfort Trap or, What If You're Riding a Dead Horse? by Judith Sills) and (Committed, A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert), are proving to be worth my time.  I go through stages of wanting to be aware of new ideas, not that I'll agree with them, I just want to learn.  I'm constantly looking for ways to challenge my thought pattern.   It's a complicated process that I can't explain simply because I don't fully understand it myself.   I do know that indulging in the same conversation on the same topic with the same people week after week becomes dull and annoying.  I yearn for new experiences and have found when I stifle that yearning, I begin to suffocate.  

Two weeks from today I'll be attending Blissdom '11 in Nashville, Tennessee.   Blissdom is a social-media mega conference.  I attended this conference last year by myself on a fluke not knowing anyone or what to expect.   As it turned out, I connected with some fantastic women with whom I've formed solid friendships over the last year.   This year, I'll be traveling to Nashville with Megan from Sweet Sadie Marie.  We will be meeting up with Jenny from Great Little Stories and Jessica from Notes From The Garden Spot and maybe a couple more (I've been promised less than 30 in our room) at the Opryland Hotel.  There we will join nearly 500 others to Facebook, Tweet, and Blog our way through a fabulous three days.    Scott Stratten @UnMarketing will be the opening keynote.  I'm quite excited about that as he was one of the first I began following on Twitter. He also has a great book out UnMarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging If you're a social media/blogger junkie and you've never attended a conference, I encourage you locate one and attend.   You'll find others who speak your "language" and totally get why you choose to share a part of your life to the world. 

Thanks for reading, Rosie.

Photo courtesy ttcolli

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fluff And Nonsense

Can I just say, I AM THRILLED THE HOLIDAYS ARE OVER!   I don't think there is anything that causes me more anxiety than the holidays.   From Thanksgivings until the New Year is one perpetual party.  I don't like the pressuring commercials on television or the silly Christmas songs (I Want A Hippopotmaus for Christmas ???) that are played everywhere I go.   I find myself wanting to stay home, pull the shades and cover my head until it is all over!  

Don't misunderstand...I love the concept of Thanksgiving...Gratitude to the One who deserves our Thanks; I love Christmas and its significance to the Birth of Christ.  I even like the magic of Santa Claus.  It is just all the other junk that society has allowed to creep into the celebration and the political correctness that the media believes it should impose upon me that I have come to detest.

The older I get, the more I want to simplify the season.   I didn't send out Christmas cards this year or a family newsletter.   I didn't bake myself silly because my family does not need the sugar.  I did not buy a gift for everyone I come in contact with on a daily basis.  And I chose not to feel guilty.

On the other hand, the gifts I gave, I gave out of love, not obligation.  The food that I prepared for my family was hearty and comforting to share on the bitter cold days.  I tired to keep my spirit fresh and happy (to those who allowed me).   Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't please everyone.  This shouldn't be surprising.  Everyone has their own expectations as to what the holidays should be.  I call this "visions of sugarplums".   When expectations aren't met, the let-down can be huge.  This has happened to me in the past and I think that is why I've changed my idea of what the holidays should look like for my immediate family.  Simplicity.  All the other is just fluff and nonsense.

Thanks for reading, Rosie.