Monday, May 28, 2012

The Three Day Rule

It has been awhile since last I blogged. Almost two weeks to be exact. I am sitting outside in MO and enjoying my last night here. I am watching a hummingbird sip from a feeder and listening to the sounds that can only be heard in a rural setting. The birds are chirping in the muggy heat  and the evening sky holds a haze which is a mixture of burning and humidity. The breeze from the day has settled into stillness and for the first time in a awhile....I am alone with my thoughts. This trip has definitely been one for the record books.

My boys and I are our own kind of crazy. We have our routines and we have our non-routines! You take us on the road and you have a special kind of crazy that not everyone (even family) knows how to take. Mind you...we are aware of our craziness and we are also aware that moving in on others for several days is a lot to handle. We try our hardest to be respectful and helpful and always show our "traveling" manners but sometimes the crazy just seeps out.

When my dear sweet husband was alive...he was full of words of wisdom. Like any adoring wife....I ignored most of them or rolled my eyes...but as time has passed, some of those words have proven to ring true. One of Tim's favorite things to pass along to all who would listen and also something he lived by matter how close you were to someone outside your immediate family (be it family or friends) if you were going to go visiting....there should always be a "three day rule." The three day rule was based on the number of days you should stay with others. It went like this: The first day everyone is happy and excited to see each other and everyone gets along great. Day two is still fairly comfortable but when someone eats someone elses cookie, leaves their stuff in the wrong place or leaves all the work for the host or hostess.....the smiles get strained. By day three...the host/hostess wants their house back and the visitors are longing for home and in order to keep the friendship/kinship in tact.....there just should NOT be a day four.

In all our years together....I don't believe Tim, I and the kids ever stayed with family or friends longer than three days and always by day three....home looked really good. Apparently though.....with age...I have lost my mind! I decided that I really needed a break and that a few extra days would not hurt when visiting. Boy was I wrong! Now don't get me wrong. I don't really blame anyone here. It was just poor judgment on my part as my family's craziness is not really that much fun in a long term setting. Add to that, poor David still healing from his surgery and not feeling the best and it set the stage for some interesting times.

Looking back at our stay and pulling only the good from it, I have to say that was good. Z got some great fishing time in with his uncle, David got attention from Grandma and all sorts of aunts, uncles and cousins and I got some time where I didn't feel I had to do it all by myself. I also learned a lot about myself, the choices I make and the way I tend to handle situations. I was sick most of my trip this time (allergies apparently attacked me the minute I crossed the KS/MO border) and I am sure my temperament left much to be desired. Add to that the fact that David woke up anywhere from 6-8 times a night...causing me sleep deprivation.... and the fact that my mouth filter is all but non-existent and this trip ended up proving the tremendous resiliency of the entire family.

The truth is...we have a really great MO family. Even through the allergic haze, the sleepless delirium and my less than stellar moments, the trip has ended with with us all still speaking (I think!) and an invitation to come back at the end of June for David's next appointment.Trust me...that could have gone a completely different way.

So as the sun fully sets, the yard lights begin to flicker on and the lightening bugs begin to dot the air, I realize that I will miss these nights. The nights of sitting up til midnight in the yard just visiting; the nights of playing washer toss with family and the nights of just enjoying the peacefulness that is rural MO.

We know we always have a home here (temporary though it maybe), but next time for everyone sake....I think we will simply go back to the three day rule and keep everyone's sanity in tact!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spoil Me at Wheatland Acupuncture and Massage

So when I like something....I usually talk about it. However....when I LOVE something I usually blog about it! That is what I am doing today. I am blogging about my love of a new find. Well...actually old find.  For those of you who are should feel lucky...very lucky in fact. And for those of you that live far away from our little section of the should feel very jealous.

Several years ago when I was working out like I was suppose to....I had the privilege of having a personal trainer for awhile. This particular trainer, Shelly Callahan was great at her job....but I would have jumped through burning hoops for this girl....because when the workout was over.....she always finished up with a massage. Usually it was arms and back, sometimes legs depending on what we worked on that day and I never left but what I didn't feel 100 times better than when I started. Not only did this girl give the best massage I had ever had (and she only had about a 10 minute time span to do it in), but she was also one of the most impressively busy young women that I knew. She was going to school, doing personal training and also working at a doctors office as a massage therapist. I was so impressed with both her massages and her knowledge about the body, what was good, what was not and the natural remedies that she talked about that I even went to her school during clinic hours and had both massages and acupuncture (which actually helped my headaches).

After a while, time passed, life took over and I had a hiatus on working out and eventually her life became too busy for her to continue with personal training. We never lost touch though as we had become facebook friends. She would order the occasional cheesecake from me and I would follow her life progress from graduating to finding her place in the working world. Last week she posted on facebook about the opening of her new business Wheatland Acupuncture and Massage located at 1721 E. Osage, Suite 320 Derby, KS. She is doing massage therapy and acupuncture right across the street from my doctors office in Derby. I was over the moon. I immediately called her up and made an appointment to go. I figured after the last few months and sleeping on metal every body deserved it. I sprang for an hour long massage session which she was running a sale on and I awaited anxiously for this day to come.

I have been dealing with a pinched nerve in my back for a while now along with left side pain due to how I lift and hold David. As she worked on my back I could feel her work on and release those spots. It was amazing. However....the best part was when she worked on my feet. Don't laugh! I normally can't stand for anyone to rub my feet but that was part of today's massage so I tried not to flinch. It took me about 5 seconds to realize that this might possibly be the best part of any massage I had ever had. As I mumbled some remark about "how great it felt," she commented that we carry everything in our feet. It makes perfect sense. We are on them all the time and I knew from the little bit about reflexology that I had read, that the nerves in our feet can control everything from migraines to back aches. Trust me...if you have never had a massage therapist rub your is a must try!

The hour flew by and even with my cell phone ringing off the wall while I was there (have to keep it close by in case David's school calls) I was a relaxed pile of mush when she finished. It was the best "me time" gift I had given myself in a long time. I asked Shelly about how busy she was and she said she was getting very busy. She is busy enough that I decided not to wait and went ahead and booked another one in a month. Sometimes we (especially women) get so busy that we forget to take care of ourselves. I know that a massage seems to some like an extravagance that is hard to work into the budget, but trust me....if you can come away after an hour feeling as good as I is well worth every penny. Today is the first day in literally years that I haven't had the tingling in my back from the pinched nerve. I have no idea where it went or how she did it....I just know she did it. I actually feel energetic and this is even after me being sick all weekend.

And as I said....Shelly doesn't just do massage. She also does acupuncture. For anyone who is me, I was too. If it hadn't been Shelly talking to me about it....I probably never would have tried it. She worked on me twice and after she was literally months before I had another migraine. The acupuncture is painless and yet there is some kind of healing power behind it. It does work. If you have chronic pain, migraines and I believe even certain allergies(don't quote me on that though)....acupuncture can help.

So today was a wonderful experience and I am thrilled to be able to support a small up and coming business. So for graduation, a late Mother's Day gift, Father's Day, Birthday or just a "spoil me" day.....give Shelly a call and book an appointment. Trust will NOT be sorry!

Wheatland Acupuncture and Massage
Shelly Callahan

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Night of Nostalgia

It is 7 a.m. on a Saturday. I have no place to be, no cheesecakes to get out and nothing I really need to do and yet here I am....wide awake. I have been up since around 6ish. Did I mention that I didn't go to sleep until around 2 a.m.? Yeah....something has gone horribly wrong in my sleep patterns. Ah assured that I will likely fall asleep while doing something dangerously important later on today. It all evens out. At any rate...why waste good awake hours? Thus I blog.

I was up so late last night because we did something as a family that was kind of cool. Before I spill the beans (those of you on facebook already know what we did last night), let me say that this summer I have a summer bucket list of sorts. I actually hate the term bucket list as its intent is something I would rather not think about. But in terms of my is things to accomplish before summer 2012 ends. I refuse to let this be another summer where all we do is sit around and try to avoid the heat and get on each others nerves. So our summer bucket list has begun.

Any way....last night I gave my kids a first in their life time and we did something that I myself had not done in probably 30 years. Curious? Well be jealous because last night we went to the drive-in!!!!! It was just like I remembered in many ways with a few changes here and there. I remember as a kid up by the screen they had swings and a little playground for kids. That is no more. Also no more are the metal speakers you used to have to place on your window to hear the movie. While the speakers still remain on their stands they are used more as a sound system for music and announcements before the movie. Now in order to hear the tune your radio dial to a certain fm frequency and viola....sound!!! The cool thing about this is....if you get chilly you don't have to leave a window down in order to hear. You can roll those windows up, be toasty and still hear the movie. Ain't technology grand?!

I have been trying to get to the drive-in for years with my kids. It seems like every year though...something (usually life) happened and before I got turned was closed for the season. I refused to allow that to happen this year. I mean after all...who are quickly becoming extinct and we are fortunate to still have one. Before we know it....the Starlite could go the way of Dragging Douglas or Joyland (Wichita references) and once again my kids would have missed out on a piece of my youth that I would have loved to have shared with them.

When I was young...the Wichita area was full of drive-ins and being a kid growing up in the late 60's, 70's and 80's it is what we did in the summer time first with our families and later on with our friends. I remember as a really young kid, us kids would get in our pajamas and mom would always make egg salad sandwiches. Don't ask me why egg salad but apparently to my mom....egg salad was drive-in food as we never had it otherwise. Anyway, we would take pillows, blankets and our drive-in food and head out to one of the many drive-ins Wichita had to offer. When I was really young we would always go to the Meadowlark were I saw such greats as The Jungle Book and Goldfinger.....and as I got older we usually went to the Landmark (now the Starlite) because of location.

As a teenager, many a summer Friday and/or Saturday night was spent at the drive-in. Truck loads and car loads of teenagers with blankets and lawn chairs hanging out and seldom actually watching the big screen. It was a right of passage to go from sitting in the folks station wagon and watching to sitting in the bed of a truck with your friends watching, socializing and yes.....making out to whatever the latest drive-in flick was.

After high seemed like one by one the drive-ins began going dark. Families were no longer doing such family things and for teens....the mall and arcades replaced the the drive-in dinosaurs. It was a national tragedy happening right before our eyes and no one realized it.

I am not sure when it happened but one day Wichita went from having six or seven drive-ins all over the city to just one. I was raising kids and from time to time I would think about the drive-in but then you would hear the rumors that going wasn't really safe. I kept hearing about gangs hanging out there and it all being a bunch of wild teens and as a young family....that wasn't how we wanted to spend a Friday night.

Jump ahead to the last few years and more and more people I know have been talking about going to the drive-in. Every year come March, our radio stations begin the jingle "Starlite drive-in brings you more. Dial 524-2424." And each time I heard the catchy little diddy the impulse to throw on my jammies and make some egg salad became a little stronger. Finally...Thursday I decided that we were long past due and if we didn't do it now...this summer like every other one would be here and gone and no drive-in.

I have to say that as we pulled up...I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. First of said that the gates open at 7:30 p.m. We got there about 7:15 and there were already lines of cars waiting to get in. Way to go Wichita!!!! I like that one....... we are supporting the last drive-in in the area and two that families and kids are coming back to this type of entertainment. Once is still a two screen theater so we had our choice of which set of movies we wanted to see. Driving in I have to say that I was transported back in time a bit. Drive-ins just have that certain feel about them and as we searched the rows to find that "sweet" parking spot, you could see families....lots of families pulling out the lawn chairs and the blankets getting their pajama clad kids settled in for an evening of good old family entertainment. Through the dormant yet still working speakers the frequency was tuned into some great music and people played catch, visited and walked back and forth to the snack bar waiting for it to get dark and the movie to begin. There were no gangs (that I could see), no wild teens (possibly because they have a strict no alcohol rule and the rows are monitored) and the grounds were neat and clean. Z went to the snack bar and he said that too was clean and the restrooms were surprisingly clean too. I couldn't help but think to myself that this is a piece of Americana that should NEVER be allowed to die away.

I looked around and I saw couples of all ages, families of all sizes ($10 a car load) and teens hanging out. No one got unruly, no one got loud and everyone really seemed to enjoy the movie. While I can't speak for the other screen....on our side it was packed and the snack bar appeared to do a very healthy business. Z I think really enjoyed it and David with his legs propped up and his seat reclined never made a sound other than the occasional "uh oh" or "yee haw!"

We saw The Avengers (that was the first movie) and all of us loved it. It was a great first time drive-in movie, but I am old. One was all I could make it through and being that I forgot to bring Davids night time seizure meds....we made it an early night in drive-in terms. Z assured me though that this was definitely something he would like to do again before summers end and I couldn't help but smile knowing that we had marked something off our summer bucket list and had a really good time as a family in the process.

As I drove home last night, my mind went back to my drive-in experiences. I remembered walking those rows many a time, Berty losing a contact in the rocks and never finding it and my car stalling at the gate when it was time for people to leave. I remembered snuggling in the back of a truck, making numerous trips to the snack bar to see if there were any cute guys and us girls crowding each other out for mirror space in the bathroom. Those were the good old days and apparently I am not the only one that thinks so as there seems to be a resurgence of drive-in nostalgia going on. Finally.....there is actually something that time has not taken away....that I can share with my kids!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Can You Say....Same Sex Marriage Manipulation?

So this week I wasn't sure whether to be amused, appalled or completely insulted as I watched Mr. Obama make his speech about same-sex marriage. I could actually only watch a brief bit of it as apparently my son David is not an Obama supporter and he screamed and cried until I turned the TV back to Spongebob. And there you have it....apparently at my house we would likely vote for Spongebob as president over the other possible candidates...that is if he were running! Fortunately, Spongebob is too smart for any of that....but I once again digress.

Mr. O's new found love for the gay community has been all over the news, the web, facebook and the streets. Halleluiah....the president loves the gays! To that I have to say....REALLY????? As I asked on facebook...has anyone looked at a calendar recently? That's right it's election thirty and Mr. O is campaigning his hind quarters off. Thus we have our new found administrative love affair with all things gay including same sex marriage. Does anyone else smell a manipulative rat???? How is it that in 2008 this same man claimed his belief was that marriage was defined by a man and a woman and when don't ask don't tell first came up.....Mr. O didn't want to talk about it and skirted the issue for as long as he could. Suddenly though...half way through an election year, he is now a full on supporter of gay marriage. Hmmmm! Sounds awfully coincidental to me.

Two things come to mind with all of this. First of all....if this is an actual 360 switch then who else but me is scared? After all...we are talking about someone who holds the highest office in the country and he is THAT wishy washy. I mean gay marriage or don't support gay marriage but for pete sake pick a side and don't wait until it is time to try and get re-elected to start waving your rainbow flag. That kind of reeks of desperation...and if this man is this indecisive about such a huge issue that effects so many people....then what else is he going to take back? It is not his first indecisive stand and it should make us all wonder about his qualifications and how he will be if this country ever really needs a leader.

The other thing that comes to mind and this is what I think is closer to what is actually going on is.....Mr. O needs votes! How do you get votes? Make someone happy and they will like you. If they like you...they will more than likely vote for you. It is simple grade school playground dynamics. The gay vote is a big one and many have been fighting for the right to marry for a very long time. Now they are backed by the president! Or are they? I can't help but wonder if anyone but myself sees the manipulation here. Why isn't the gay community furious? Why aren't they insulted beyond belief? These people have fought for years for this and now it is being used as a bribe. Mr. O obviously thinks these people are not smart enough to see what he is doing which is a slap in the face to the community as a whole and to the efforts they have made thus far. And is anyone worried that since this man is so wishy washy that if he found he could get a bigger vote by not supporting them he might change his mind on the subject yet again? If we have learned anything from his four years in office it is that nothing is impossible if you choose to make your own rules!

I will be honest here....since obviously the president isn't. I really don't know where I stand on gay marriage. I believe I lean toward the fact that love is love and finding true love with whoever you find it with is wonderful and should be celebrated. Many will be angry with my saying this and tell me that the bible condemns homosexuality and gay marriage. Maybe it does...but this is where I personally stand on the subject. I was brought up in a small community where homosexuality was looked on as bad, a sin and even a disease. Still....I grew up with kids that where gay and their lives were miserable because they had to spend their time trying to be something they were not. They had to be the vision of "normal" that society believed in and not who they really were. This damaged a lot of lives and even entire families. What I took from all of this is: Why would anyone choose to be gay in a world where they are humiliated, ridiculed and ostracized? They wouldn't. It is not a choice. It is the way God (my God) made them.That being said...I don't want to know what anyone else does in the privacy of their own home. I don't want to see half naked people tossing their sexuality (gay or straight) in my face while marching down a street. I find it much easier to accept that which is not shoved down my throat and/or forced on me. Basically....I won't shove my heterosexuality (and all that implies) in your face if you keep your homosexuality (and all that implies) out of mine.

And as for my thinking on the morality and the religious connotations of all of this....I follow the Ten Commandments. They were put forth by God and given to Moses. They are timeless and fit into any society. They speak of lying, killing and coveting....but no where does it say you should not love because of sex, color or creed. And if we are going back to the bible and picking out bits and pieces that suit our about we go to 1 Corinthians 13:13 Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love. It doesn't give criteria for just says "love!" 

So my final thoughts? If you believe in same sex marriage and you have fought for it...then be leery. Be very leery. What is being offered by Mr. O is not camaraderie or acceptance. What is being offered is manipulation and with this administration....that which is given can obviously be just as quickly taken away. Please remember that come November.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ode to a New Bed

My back is sore
My neck is tight
I can't do this
Not one more night
The head is achy
The shoulders in pain
Another night on that mattress
and I'll be sporting a cane.
Yeah...I'm dragging it out
My poetry head
Because in case you're wondering.....
I need a new bed!

Sorry folks...that's all I got today! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Cheating Game

The other day when I put a call out for blog ideas I received ideas not only from facebook and the blog comments but I also got a few fb messages and an email or two. Some were silly, some were off the cuff and some where a little more serious. So far...I have decided to do all that have been offered. I am really wanting to stretch my ability to write on a multitude of subjects and today's is quite the subject. I am going to write about one of the more serious topics offered me. I received an email on this topic and I found the email to be every bit as interesting as the topic. I chose this topic as it is one that I myself have had experience with, both growing up and in my adult life and I found the content of the email intriguing. Before I is an excerpt from said email:

"Please use 'cheating' as one of your topics......... I don't know why people cheat. I have seen it happen to many of my friends but I was really shocked when it happened to us. My relationship is not perfect but then whose is? It has lasted many years tho and I do not now or have I ever regretted my choice in choosing who I am spending my life with. Things are really good for us except for the fact that there is cheating going on. It has been going on for many years and it is now a cycle that seems to be uncapable of breaking. I think we both know what is going on and I think we both know that the other knows. It is unspoken so far but I feel that one day it will all come out and our lives will crumble. We have kids and I know our kids think we are one of the few in tact families still around. I will tell you that I know the cheating has not occurred with only one person. It is not a "love affair" situation. That is why I am confused. There have been numerous affairs over the years and there has been no time table for when they happen or when they end. There have even been overlapping affairs and funny enough we have been able to maintain love and respect for each other through it all. This is assuming that we both know what I think we both know and that what I think we both know is happening. Okay any way, could you please tell me what you think about all of this? Could you please tell me how you feel about cheating? I am not looking for you to fix this only to put it into perspective. Maybe we will both read this together and it will open up a conversation. Please though tell me how you feel about cheating and at the same time you can use it as one of your topics."

Wow! Intriguing....right? First let me say that I do not know the person that emailed me this. I don't even think they live in my part of the country and if I did know them....I would not be using it as a topic. Second let me say that I am not a therapist, an expert or anything close to either of those things. I am simply a woman with an opinion and that emailer and anyone else who reads this is how I am writing this. That...and it is interesting subject matter and I would like to hear other opinions too. So please feel free to comment.

Let me just say right up front......I have no idea why people cheat. I assume that there are as many reasons for cheating as there are people doing it. My first thought would be that somewhere deep inside there is unhappiness. Perhaps they married or got into a relationship too early, maybe one or both of the people in the couple changes over time or maybe they just fall out of love. To me I always thought that cheating was the beginning of the end for a today's world though and possibly even in times gone by...if the cheater is good with spreading themselves around and the one being cheated on is okay with living in denial....then the status quo seems to continue on with neither party ever rocking the boat. I guess that is okay for some, but I could not and would not do it.

The emailer made the statement "There have even been overlapping affairs and funny enough we have been able to maintain love and respect for each other through it all." As I read this I had to question that statement. They have been able to maintain love and respect for each other through it all? How is that possible? How do you love and respect someone and then cheat on them? And it doesn't sound as if it was once, but many times over.  How do you take from the person you are bound to and give someone else that intimacy and parts of yourself that only your spouse/significant other should have and still claim respect for them? In my opinion (and that is what you are asking for) that shows no respect. In shows such a lack of respect for your spouse, your relationship, your family, the person you are cheating with and most of all....yourself.

As I said...there are probably a zillion reason why someone chooses to cheat. I am also sure that there are bad marriages, open unhappiness and family issues that cause cheating, but does that justify the situation? I know too that in the new modern world....cheating happens often. I know that people even have marriages/relationships where cheating is built in, but knowing a little about human nature...I don't know how it ever works. Humans are jealous and territorial by nature and cheating always leads to destruction. Men and women may like to play the field but in most cases if the cheater found out that his/her spouse was also cheating....that simply wouldn't fly. It would be a blow to pride, self esteem and the relationship as a whole. Few cheaters feel that what is good for goose is also good for the gander. 

My suspicion is that there is more going on in this relationship and in most cheating relationships than anyone wants to admit. I totally believe that some who cheat do not see their intimacy with someone outside their relationship as loving or lasting....but merely an act in the moment. It is more a bodily function than a deeply intimate tie. Unfortunately for most of these individuals neither their partner in the relationship nor the one they are cheating with sees their intimacy in the same way. Because of this it is double whammy to the cheater if they get caught because ultimately they have hurt not one but two individuals with this act that can be called nothing less than selfish.

I also question where a cheaters head is at when they have children and cheat. If you are married and cheat and get caught, what does that do to the kids? Even if the marriage makes it through the cheating...what kind of an example is being set? Do we really want to teach our kids that cheating is okay or that being cheated on is acceptable treatment in a relationship? Do we really want them to think that breaking a trust in such a huge way should be easily forgiven and that the one cheated on somehow deserves the disrespect? These are the things that mold young people and set the path for how they will treat others in the future. The cheater is also risking their relationship with their kids when this happens as often kids remain loyal to the parent who was cheated on and seldom the cheater.

In case you haven't figure it out and are wondering...I am not a fan of cheating. I have been cheated on and trust me...coming from that place...cheating sucks! Feeling as if your best was not good enough for someone and knowing that they loved and respected you so little that they could treat your relationship like that is a difficult blow to overcome. And no...I did not stick around to be hurt again.

All this being said...I don't live inside this couples relationship or anyone elses for that matter. I don't know what goes on and as I said before...I don't know why people cheat. All I do know is that cheating is never good for anyone involved and cheaters almost always get caught. In the end someone always gets hurt and you have to ask if the fallout is really worth the game?! So is my blog and thank you for the topic.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Are Obese Women Lazy?

When you have been gone for awhile and then come is nice to know you were missed. That is how I felt after yesterdays comments on my blog. Thank you for letting me know I still have readers..... although my poor blog has been shoved to the wayside for so long. It made me smile. Between the blog comments and the facebook comments....I got some awesome ideas. Some will flow like water and others will take some time and research but all so far will be turned into blogs in the very near future.

While all were in particular peeked my interest. It was put as a question. Are obese women lazy? That was the "ouch" heard round the world! But if you think about it...what a great question and what an even better way to shed some light on an issue and  get rid of some prejudice and maybe even some stereo typing. So here goes.

When I was younger (a lot younger) obesity was not as prevalent as it is today. In fact growing up...I knew very few obese kids or adults. I do believe this was in part due to the fact that both kids and adults had a less sedentary life. TV had three channels and the shows weren't all that great. There were no video games or home computers and people got up and did "things" for entertainment. Families bowled, miniature golfed and stayed active outdoors. Fast food wasn't on every corner and diets consisted more of home cooking than quick processed cooking. People were more active and I think they ate better. That being said....I still know that there were people who struggled with weight issues. Not lazy people...just normal people who simply weren't as lucky as the rest of the world.

I remember one individual in particular. At the time...this person was the heaviest person I knew. While many who were called "fat" years ago would be considered a healthy weight or a few extra pounds today...this person was obese even by today's standards. For being obese though...this person was extremely active. They danced (beautifully), bowled, swam and were always on the go. I knew this person fairly well and I was around when they ate on numerous occasions. Never did I see them eat second or third helpings but looking back...their food choices were not really stellar. They ate fast food (what was available at the time) and went for the sugary soda's and larger size meals.  I would say food choices were this persons issue and not laziness at all.

Now moving ahead to today. I am no longer a size 6 myself and I am not alone. Many of the women I know are in the same boat as I and yet I don't think there is a lazy one in the bunch. While I can't speak for them....I can say that my weight gain started after my last son was born. My body refused to cooperate and heal which eventually led me to having a hysterectomy. This threw my body into a tail spin. About the same time this was going thyroid decided to slow down and between the metabolism all but shut down. Add to all of this the fact that I was going through having a special needs child under a year old, losing my husband and losing my mother all in the same 24 month period....and I ended up with my body being both mentally and physically in turmoil.

Between the thyroid issue and the hysterectomy....I felt awful most of the time. I never quit (I had three kids at home) but what I could do lessened a great deal. My energy was zero and anything I ate seemed to turn to fat. Because I was exhausted all the time I didn't eat healthy meals and a great deal of fast and processed food became the norm at my house. It took me several years to get my hormones and my thyroid under control. By that time.....I wasn't 20 anymore and the weight didn't just fall off my body. On the contrary. It put down roots and decided it was going to stay....and multiply!

I may not dig ditches or bail hay, but I am far from lazy. My days start some times as early as 5 a.m. and often don't end until as late as 11 p.m. There are days when my rear end does not touch a seat until well after 5 p.m. My days are filled with laundry, house cleaning, taking care of David (which requires a lot of lifting) and a million other things that mothers do. Often at night my sleep is sketchy because I am up with David or waking up because I think I hear David. If activity alone was what kept a person thin....then I would be a size 2. In fact isn't.

What I have learned through the years is that in order to not necessarily stay "skinny" but to stay healthy...there has to be a balance. Laziness seldom figures into a heavy woman's issues. First of all....a healthy diet with little or no fast or processed food is a big step in the right direction. Getting fruits, veggies, protein and the right amount of fats and carbs are essential. Eating regularly......often five small meals a day is important. Many of us women who hold the weight...(because we are the opposite of lazy) make a crucial mistake. We get so busy that often we forget to eat. When you are young and your metabolism burns like rocket fuel...if you forget to eat....the weight just falls from your body. However, as we grow older and our metabolism slows to a snails pace...then if we forget to eat our body goes into starvation mode. Our body tells our brain that we may not get another meal and our brain then turns around and tells our body to start storing fat in case this happens. This is why  regular eating is so important to keep our body metabolizing properly and therefore not sending it into starvation mode.

Another key component is exercise...both cardio and weights. This is where a lot of us women hurt ourselves. Because we lead such busy lives and have ourselves booked and double booked throughout the day....most of us just don't exercise. When you are busy doing for your husband, your kids, your parents, work, the school and all the other people and things you have to crowd into your life.....your needs often fall to the wayside. How do you add an extra 30 minutes to an hour to an already overfilled day? Without exercise though....we take years off our lives. We set ourselves up not only for obesity but also heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. By finding that extra hour 3-5 times a week though....we strengthen our bones and all our muscles including the heart, we take off extra weight and we speed up the slowing metabolism. We gain stamina and flexibility and in turn reverse some of the damage that our prior bad habits have caused.

Other things can lead to weight gain and obesity in women too. It is not all bad food choices and lack of exercise. As we get older sometimes our aging bodies require medicines that our younger bodies did not. Many medicines have nasty side effects such as hunger and a slowing of our already slow metabolism. Genes also play a part in weight gain with age. Sometimes we just lose out in the "great gene" department. These things make it even harder for women to obtain or maintain a healthy weight.

So do I think that obese women are lazy? As a rule....absolutely not! I think we could all stand to make better food choices and find those minutes to exercise, but obesity has many causes and seldom does a person gain a large amount of weight overnight. It usually takes a woman years of being so busy taking care of others and forgetting to take care of herself, physical issues, meds and bad food choices to become obese. It is not a case of one day she just sits down on the couch with bon bons and a TV remote and never moves again!

So for anyone out there who has the idea that obesity=laziness, try a little less judgment and a little more understanding. I am not saying there aren't people out there who are both obese and lazy....I am just saying that the two don't always walk hand in hand.

Change Afoot

Yes...I have brushed off the dust and removed the cobwebs from this blog....and I am back. I have been spending a great deal of time at Life With the Incredible Mr. David and documenting Davids experiences having cerebral palsy, having surgery and his adventure into hopefully a new world of independence and mobility! It has been exhausting, rewarding and amazing all at the same time, but he is doing well and while I will vacation over there from time to time.....this blog is my home and it is good to be back!

My experiences in the last few months have brought on new and different changes within me. Many factors in my life have influenced who I am and where I am and more importantly...where I am currently headed, but none quite as directly as my last few weeks with David. It has been a huge climb with lots of hurdles and at times.....ground lost, but ultimately with the grace of God...a new and better life for David.

In some ways, reaching these hurdles and ultimately clearing them has had personal rewards for me that I never dreamed possible. While I have no idea what the next few months will involve...I do know that I think I might finally have decided what I want to be when I grow up! I think I would really love to be a creative writing teacher!!!! Yes...this means I would have to finish my degree and the teaching world ain't (have to change my slang too) easy, but of all the things I have ever done outside raising my children.....teaching creative writing at Butler on the free college days has been one of the most fun and rewarding. I literally find that to be one of the high points of my year. I plan on going down and checking out what I have left to do to get my degree and start making plans to get where I need to be.

In the process of all of this...I have hinted around to a writer friend of mine that this might be a direction I was possibly going in. This friends words to me....."If this is your path....then write! Write often and write about many differing subjects. Write about things you know and things you have to research! Write with joy and write with passion! can't teach what you don't know and aren't passionate about." It all made sense but was also a little daunting. Basically...if I want to shape writers....I have to be in good writing shape myself. This is why I came home. 

I posted on facebook today that I need subjects. If I choose my own then there is too much chance I will short myself on some real interesting stuff that I simply wouldn't come up with on my own. If I have different people with different outlooks and ideas give me topics...then I will be more apt to stretch myself which will hone some of those dormant writing skills and hopefully make my blog a little more interesting to my readers. Feel free to throw in some ideas here  in the comments. I will consider any legitimate topic as I am trying to continually shove down my walls and think and write outside my safe and self-contained box.

So now you are up-to-date about how things are in Lisaland. There is yet again...change afoot. It is opening up new thoughts, ideas and hopefully someday in the not so distant doors of opportunity. If we don't dare to dream, to change and to move ahead....then we are bound to remain in the abyss of what might have been. (and can quote me on that!)