Friday, October 23

Making my own schedule

I have been working on my own for awhile now taking pictures. I love taking pictures. It's fun to just capture Life as it is. No direction just letting it move as it does daily.  Here are a few pieces of my art.
I'm in heaven when I'm at the beach it's a strong calling. I took the family to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful in every way possible. The way the light hit the water as the sky opens up.

I simply adore my family! I think this will be our Christmas card picture. It's a classic everything in the picture is working. The light hitting the water everyone is smiling. My family is the object of my affection. I love to make them the center of most of my pictures. 

My hubby is stunning in this picture I was able to capture of him. He is not a picture kind of person but I think he is getting use to me taking his pictures all the time. Please tell me what you think. 

Thursday, October 22

It takes one step

All it takes is one step to change your life. One step towards the future may seem like a long distance to travel. It's not don't let your mind take over your body. I had a girlfriend ask me what I was doing to change my body. It's a good thing we are friends because I was like "What was I fat before?" We couldn't help but laugh. She was meaning you can see I have tone down and built muscle.

It takes a lot of will power. I fall off my band wagon ever now and then. I don't and won't let myself feel bad about it. It happens as long as it's not ever day. It's a lifestyle a person has to choose. It's something that you have to keep up on in order to move forward just like anything else in life. If you want to get better at making your body great. It will take sweat,tears and time.
My workout this morning went a little something like this.

6 Rounds of the following

40 walking Lunges

35 Jump Squats

15 Triceps Dips

20 Pushups

35 Crunches

By the end of this workout I thought I was going to puke. I looked like I just step out of the shower because I was sweating so bad. My back and knees hurt. I could barley get up off the floor. I even thought about just sleeping there in my sweat until the next day. Then I heard a little voice say " Good Morning Mama!" It sucks working out but I get a sense of enjoyment out of it. I think people need to realize that working out is a small very small part in getting fit. What goes in your mouth the rest of the day is what counts. Once you switch from pop to water give up that process food to fresh veggies. You will see a significant change in your body alone. Make a small change like get a book about eating. Try new things out don't be afraid of food. Eat to fuel your body. Think about what you will get out of your meal to nourish your body. Changing the way you think is the hardest part. Change that and your body will follow.  Good Luck Don't Give Up on Yourself.

Wednesday, October 21

Something to think about

I received an email from a wonder person telling  me how much they love reading my blog. What caught me off guard was asking me a question about who do I see as a female financial role model.

This picture says it all about my Grandma I call her Nana along with all the grand kids and many great grand kids in my family. She is the strongest woman I know with a heart of gold and no matter her size she means business.  She a catholic. She is the only person who can cuss you out without using any cuss words. She will say whats on her mind with NO filter at all. She will replace them with food and body parts. Like "Kiss my big toe" along with something something bologna sandwich. Leaving you think what the hell just happen did she just call me out or did she ask me to lunch? Either way she loves you always wants to see you do your best. Nana would always and still put her two hands up and tell us " With these two hands is the only way I made it work for my family." She worked as a housekeeper at Oakwood Hospital for many years. My grandfather supported her with every breath he took. She kept him and the family in line. All her bills are paid on time months in advance. At one time in my grandparents small model home she had all of her five children and their children living with them. I guess it was the way the cookie fell. Hard times hit all of us in the family I was in middle school. We went poor all at the same time. My Nana kept us all sane during those few months from October to January. My Mom, Aunts and Uncle all manged to get on their feet together. It was absolutely insane how everyone was on edge with everyone. Their was my Nana keeping the peace with food. She is always trying to feed someone. She never gives up. Hardly ever complains about anything. If you did wrong trust me Nana will let you know how she disapproves of your actions. There are so many people connected to our family not by blood but because she took them in. She made them family. She let my Grandfather make mistakes then fix them later. Most importantly she let him be a man, husband and father all on his own terms. She will never pry in your life instead will give you hints about maybe going into a different light. She is my role model in many ways. She keeps things paid as I said above. She doesn't like owing people anything. She has an huge ego for sure. She will rather do it herself no matter what it is. If you wanted something in Life she made sure you knew you had to work for it. She doesn't take shit from anyone. Then again she did grow up in Detroit! You had to be strong. Growing up for her was not always easy in her day. Her childhood had a few bumps and bruises along the way. Heartaches came after she married the man of her dreams my Papa with a miscarry and her house being burnt to the ground. They picked up the pieces to move forward. Nana was pregnant for six years back to back. I come from a large family with lots of problems. Then again with any family who doesn't have a few crazies daredevils among them. Nana is a beautiful , intelligent ,strong amazing woman. I'm glad I have picked up a few of her traits along the way. She is part of who I choose to be today. Nana is unbelievably funny at times without even trying to be. She has over 240 pairs of socks. That I of course bought her. One year it was either her birthday or Christmas I can't remember. I asked her what she wanted. She said socks. Of all things socks is what she wanted. I remember it made her as happy as a child in a candy store. It's the simple things in life that makes her happy. I know that is why I love Life the way I do.
 I believe my strength comes from her with my smart mouth sometimes. I can't help it! However it does bug the crap out of my husband. My Nana has been a huge role model in my life for the simple fact she had five kids and all her bills are paid on time. Took care of all of them making it work in difficult times while keeping her head high. She always had a roof over her families head food in their belly's and clothes on their backs. She looked at life as a big playground that she had control of. It also helped that she has one tool to help to manage her money from Personal Capital's retirement planner.  It never matter how much money she had as long as you where happy. I think I will also look into Personal Capital maybe you should too.

Tuesday, October 20

Helen Young Guest Blogger for today

Think Healthy: Cut Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
When you become a mom, nothing is more important than looking after your own health, as well as your children’s. Your kids need you to be as healthy and strong as you can possibly be, so that you can be the best parent you can possibly be. One of the biggest healthcare scares and issues currently facing moms in the United States is the risk of breast cancer: the most common form of cancer in the US, breast cancer will affect 12% of women in the United States during their lifetime. (1)
Whilst death rates from breast cancer have been in decline from 1989, due to improved treatments and an increase in early diagnosis, breast cancer is still a scary condition and one that should be taken seriously, particularly in women who are using hormonal contraception or have experienced their menopause. It is possible to cut your risk of developing breast cancer, [2] and remaining as healthy as possible for your family. After all, we all know that busy moms with households to run just don’t have the time to stop and be sick! Here are a few hints and tips for cutting your risk of developing breast cancer:
Consider the Amount of Body Weight You Carry
Losing weight is hard work, and when you’re busy focusing on parenting, it can seem almost impossible to focus on your diet and exercise as well. But reducing the amount of body weight you have isn’t simply about looking and feeling better: it can also cut your risk of developing breast cancer as well. [3] Women who carry excess body weight tend to produce more, and have higher levels of, oestrogen: the more fat cells you have in your body the most oestrogen you will have circulating in your body.  [4]
The more oestrogen you have in your body the more likely you are to develop breast cancer, so one of the key ways that you can cut your breast cancer risk is to keep your body weight down. That can be easier said than done, but there are a few simple changes that you can make that will really make a difference: give up the elevator, and always choose to take the stairs instead. Cut down on the amount of sugary and fatty foods you consume, and run around your yard with your kids. If your struggling to lose weight, then simply maintaining your body weight could help make the difference.
Quit Smoking and Cut Down Your Alcohol Intake
There are hundreds of reasons why smoking really is a bad idea, but smoking tobacco also increases your risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, in women, your chance of developing breast cancer will increase by almost a fifth if you are a regular smoker. [5] Giving up tobacco can be difficult, but your doctor’s office will be able to provide help and support if you’re keen to break the habit and improve your health but don’t feel you can quit without support.
Reducing your alcohol intake is also a great way to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer: that glass of wine or two once the kids are in bed may help you to unwind but it isn’t good for your health! There is a huge and confirmed link between drinking alcohol and incidences of cancer, particularly breast cancer. One in five (21.6%) of all alcohol-related deaths are due to cancer [6] with alcoholics having a much higher cancer incidence rate than non-drinkers of similar age and social status. Whilst drinking the occasional glass of wine or cocktail won’t do you any harm at all, if you are a regular alcohol drinker, particularly if you generally drink on a daily basis, then cutting back could definitely cut your cancer risk, as well as having other benefits for your health.
Further Reading
[1] “What are the key statistics about breast cancer”, Cancer.org
[2] “8 ways to effectively cut your risk of breast cancer”, KM
[3] “Five ways you can cut your risk of breast cancer”, Stop Cancer Fund
[4]”Obesity and cancer risk”, The National Cancer Institute
[5] “Smoking increases breast cancer risk in older women by almost a fifth”, The Guardian

Monday, October 19

Nicole Brown Simpson

I recently watched The-untold-Story of OJ Simpson how he arthritis and stop taking his medicine before the trail. I do truly believe he loved Nicole like all abusers do in their own sick twisted way. This story was the first real big case of Domestic Violence in the world besides Tina Tuner and Ike. When Tina came out and told the world it wasn't ready. Then you have Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown there are so many famous people of Domestic Violence that could have had a huge impact on this subject yet they stay silent. I was really young when this trail happened. He got off because he was famous and Black. It was hard to understand that back then yet it makes sense even today. He played the system he was smart he was rich. Domestic Violence doesn't have a color. It happens to rich,poor, black ,white doesn't matter. Violence among people is wrong no matter who you are. Yes, I guess some races you can say it becomes normal. I don't choose to believe that. If you don't want something to happen you have control over it.

You just have to find that strength deep inside of you to take a stand.

Just because your parents had that life doesn't mean you have to repeat it. Know your worth it will help you. Don't let people punch you slap you call you out of your name. If a friend or family member talks to you about Domestic Violence please listen. Domestic Violence happens everyday all day long. Someone needs to be the voice to get this subject to be the hot topic and it will take someone famous to do it. As sad as that is someone needs a huge pull among society to get the talk to happen. I paid attention to Nicole Brown because my household was violent day in day out. I left when I was 16 never looked back and I still won't. I still did repeat my mothers footsteps. Only for a short time I realized that was not the life for me. That was not what I wanted. I made a choice to leave. It was the hardest choice I ever had to make. My abuser never was charged in the death of our baby. I miscarried which helped make my decision to leave. I wish I left sooner. If someone would have told me that life was wrong. Would I have listen? I'm not sure I just hope Domestic Violence Stops before everyone is lost in the past like Nicole Brown.

Sunday, October 18

October is Bubonic plague month

Bubonic plague is one of three types of bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis. Three to seven days after exposure to the bacteria flu like symptoms develop. This includes feverheadaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Occasionally the swollen lymph nodes may break open.

If you have been following my month logs we as a family study something new each month. Since this is October scary month what better to learn about the Bubonic plague.

Many don't know it but people still are infected by the plague today. 

The bacterium that is responsible for the plague can sometimes infect the blood, causing the hands, feet, nose and lips to become gangrenous and black. This form of the disease is almost always fatal if not treated with antibiotics.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday September 15,2015  that a person in that state had the bubonic plague, one of what is now 14 such cases reported nationwide in 2015

Between 1970 and 2012, the majority of human plague cases have been in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. There have been other cases, but they have been in nearby Western and Southwestern states. Still it is carried by fleas and rats. We spent our summer in New Mexico which just so happen to be a story on TV of a couple who thought they had food poison it turned out to be the BLACK DEATH.  

The difference now today it is no longer a death sentence because of modern medicine.
To think that so many people died in Europe buried in a large gave together. Is hard to swallow considering that the plague is still around. Why don't we hear about it? I wonder how the reports on TV would be? Would they even cover any story about a person with the bubonic plague today?

We live a lot cleaner then people back then which I think has a lot to do with it. If you change your eating habits and live healthier plays a large role in your health.

I won't add any more pictures like the one above. I have a weak tummy. My children however are very intrigued about this month studies. My whole purpose for learning something new each month is for knowledge for things I know my kids won't learn in school.

Saturday, October 17

No More

This story involves extreme violence and may be distressing for some readers. It has been edited for length and clarity.
You need to choose: them or me. That’s the ultimatum my abuser gave me. You can either have your friends and your family, or you can have me. I was young and in love and I chose him. And said goodbye to the next two years of my life.
I was 21 when we met, and living with my mother and my two brothers. I had tons of friends, a decent job and I took classes at night. Soon after I started dating him, my family told me they disapproved. They saw something in him that I couldn’t see. But I had this Bonnie-and-Clyde type of attitude. You guys just don’t like him because I love him, I thought. Get over it.
The first time he slapped me, I said: This is not going to be me. My mother had been a victim of domestic abuse, and I grew up in Trinidad watching her being beaten by my dad. This is not my future, I swore.
He came back with apologies and purple roses — my favorite color. I accepted the apology. I thought it meant he wasn’t going to do it again. I was wrong. Over the next month, he became more violent, punching and slapping me in private. I didn’t tell anyone about the abuse. I didn’t want them to know they were right.
One day, he got in an altercation with my brother and the cops were called. This is the moment he asked me to choose between my family or him. I felt like he loved me and he was the only person who was on my side. Everyone else was against us. So I picked him. I moved out of my family’s home and became temporarily homeless.
We lived in a motel for a week, and when the money ran out, we lived in his car. He warned me not to call my family. He said if I reached out, they would come get me and we would be separated. He said if I contacted them, it would be the end of our relationship. On top of that, I was ashamed to call my family. I felt I would be judged. Everyone warned me [about him] and I didn’t listen.
For about a month, I was homeless. He would take me to different apartments to wash up so I could go to work. I was masking all of this like it was normal. Finally I was able to save up enough money to rent a studio apartment. He would stay most days and nights there.

“I realized I could have died in that apartment and no one would have known.”

Once we had our own space, the abuse accelerated. Punching, kicking, strangling. Often for hours. He would say: You know how much I love you, right? Your family doesn’t love you like I love you. Where are they right now? They aren’t looking after you like I am. In my mind, I thought I could handle the abuse, I’d be fine. Mentally, you become so messed up that you start to think you are part of the problem.
We stayed together for two years, and I fell out of contact with everyone who was important to me. I wasn’t on speaking terms with my family. I lost touch with my friends. I dropped out of school because it caused too many problems for me to be around other people. He used to pick me up from class. If I was standing near a man — even a security guard — when he arrived, there would be trouble. It was easier not to go.
Work was the only time I was allowed to be out of his sight, but even then, he would constantly call me or show up randomly. If he called and I didn’t answer the phone, he would go crazy. He was jealous of my co-workers. He’d question the length of my dresses when I got dressed for work. Why I was wearing a particular pair of underwear that day. The accusations were never-ending.
One night he beat me so bad I thought I might die. He held a knife over my neck and threatened to kill me. He pummeled me for five hours, punching and kicking and strangling me. He would stop and then start again. Then he just fell asleep, because he was tired.
I felt like something had been broken inside, physically and emotionally. As he slept, I crawled out of bed and took a cab to the emergency room. It was the first time I’d ever sought help.
There, alone in the ER, I hit my breaking point. I realized I could have died in that apartment and no one would have known, because I had no contact with my mother or my brothers, or even my best friend. I was completely isolated.
After I was released from the hospital, I went home and had my locks changed. I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. He eventually called me asking to see me. I said no, that we were done for good. He didn't like that.
One night, he tried to break into my apartment. He was banging and I could feel his body pressing on my door. He was attempting to pry it open with a crowbar. I tried to call the police on my landline, but he had preemptively cut my telephone line in the basement. I believe he had every intention to kill me. Luckily, I had a prepaid phone stowed away. My hands shook as I unwrapped it to call 911. Once he heard me talking to dispatch, he took off. When the cops arrived, I was too scared to open the door.
After that, the stalking began. He would leave derogatory notes on my car:Anybody who fucks Lovern knows that I had her first, they are getting leftovers. I filed a restraining order.
Once he was out of my life, I was ready to restart it. The first person I told about the abuse was my best friend. She was dumbfounded, and she encouraged me to tell my mom. That was a difficult call.
Two years had passed. I was so far removed. I thought I was going to be shamed and judged. She had been worried about me for so long. It was hard to open up about what I had experienced. But together, we started the work of rebuilding our relationship. Over time, my extended family found out what happened. They never asked me about it — they just understood. I was welcomed back without question at Thanksgivings and family get-togethers. I was no longer alone.
Re-entering public life took some getting used to, after such extreme isolation. For a long time, I didn’t trust myself to look guys in the eye, especially men who were talking to me. I would hear his voice. No one is going to love you how I love you, he’d say. No one is going to want you like I want you.
But my own voice got louder the longer I was away from him, and in time I started to be myself again. The smiley-faced social butterfly I once was started to re-emerge. It was OK to make eye contact with strangers, to have dinner with friends, to dress the way I saw fit, to not have to be on the clock constantly.
Looking back, I wish I had sought help — if not from family and friends, then from someone else. I now know that no matter how it feels, you are never alone. You can break free if you trust yourself.
Lovern Gordon, 36, Brockton, Massachusetts

Friday, October 16

Small deeds make a huge impact

The other day we went grocery shopping Justin started collecting carts. Taking them back into the store. This summer we ran into a lot of people hitchhiking standing outside stores that we ended up giving money to. There is a hotel that is run down and left to rot away near our house. My son asked if we could buy it to let the homeless live there. His thought is they could pay rent by up keeping the place. He wants to do things that would make a person smile. It's a great idea I'm not sure if we are able to do that right now. I will be checking into it. It's definitely a good thought to keep in mind. He is collecting dog and cat food right now for the shelter we donate to. He loves animals. 

We are collecting blankets , food, treats, cat litter, anything you can think of right now. 

It's not hard to make a person smile. 
Small things will make a huge difference.
We as a family try to do something for someone else everyday. We love helping people. It warms my heart that my children are now thinking on their own what to do. 
What can you do to help? 

Thursday, October 15

My Soul is free

It's been many years since I remember how you hurt me.
I used to wake up in night sweats running to my son's bedroom to make sure he is there.
Make sure he is alive.
I left so long ago but still shudder at the thought of the pain.
My flash backs seem so real at times.
How your hand hit my face.
How you took advantage of me.
Sometimes I think I see you in the shadows.
I don't talk much in fear that you will find me.
Hiding was never my strong suit yet your emails and letters still come.
You still find me on the web.

Even when I hear your name.
I have to control my breathing as a flash backs hits my brain.
I have no control when I remember something of my past.
I used to cry when they appear.

It used to bother me
It used to continue to keep me in fear.
I still don't sleep as well.
Staying up late at night checking on my son who will never know you.
He will never know the pain.
He will never see you hit me.
He will never hear your voice as you cut me down over and over.
Even if you appear he won't know you.
A lie you say for keeping him safe.
A lie I will hold to my grave.
You don't have control over me today or any day now.

My past won't control me any longer.
My past made me who I am today.
Because of you this will never happen to me again.
Because of you I found true love today.

A man who will cherish my life as his own.
A man who is a father a real father to my son.
A man who never raises his voice.
Never calls me out of my name
A man who doesn't hit me like a punching bag.
Because of you My soul is free today.

-Anonymous Writer
I just received this today thought I would share.

Wednesday, October 14

It's been awhile

I'm simply astounded by Justin's new found family he has in his wrestling team. They are a group of very talented young men in the making. They support each other. They never give up on themselves or the team. The Vipers are a family.

This is by far the cheapest sport Justin has ever played since he was four years old. The kicker is  he loves it. Which is great no matter the price of any sport. We have always encourage him to follow his heart. I just think now he has found something he really likes.

I was a little concern for Justin since he is not aggressive person by nature. He is a happy go lucky all sunshine and rainbows kind of person. He still is that way even with wrestling but I think he has found his place. I can't tell you how much that makes me happy now excited that these boys on his team are so nice. Talking to his Coach and wife the team is really a family. They look out for each other. They have help a few boys coming into the high school showing them around even sticking up for them with bullies. Most of all that just blows me away with this group of young men is they so young full of life. They won't let anyone fall. I hope they stay that way as life throws bricks in their way. I do wish more of the parents were involved with their kids life. They are really good at their craft. 

Justin did very well on his first tournament he won. 

All the boys did great. I have some learning to do since I have no idea how they keep score. Palm Bay is Saturday. We are looking forward to it win or lose I don't care as long as he has fun doing whatever he wants. If it brings a smile like the above picture I'm all for it. Even if I have to smell body odor that makes me hold my breath. 

Tuesday, October 13

Turning 5

Happy Birthday my little one you are five today. You woke up this morning singing Happy Birthday to your self. You are amazing in every way. I love your smile. Today is a big day.

We celebrated Christopher birthday last Sunday. We had an awesome turn out with 20 kids who showed up from school,T-ball practice the YMCA and story-time. He is loved by many. I'm so glad it didn't rain for our bounce house. My house is small for that many kids. He wanted all of them to stay over for a sleep over. I don't know where I would even put them. Christopher had a blast his first birthday party since we left Michigan. Up until now we have taken the kids to Disney, water parks whatever they wanted. I think he really liked having a party so much that we forgot to bring out the pinata that is filled with six pounds of candy. We are taking it to T-Ball practice tonight. My baby is growing up so fast. I love your face. You are funny, creative and just adorable. Happy Birthday!!!

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