Courage Darling

A couple of weeks ago my family and I took little day trip. We went to the St. Lawrence River, and visited one of the more than 1000 islands that it…has. No, no…that it holds within its banks. Yeah that sounds way cooler. Anyway…

After exploring Heart Island and the Boldt Castle, which I highly recommend if you are ever in this neck of the woods, we drove to Canada to find a place to eat dinner. We stopped in this little Canadian town called Gananoque, and ate at this quirky restaurant called “The Socialist Pig: Food for Everyone”. The food was awesome and the staff were super nice; I also highly recommend this place as well. First off, this fulfilled one of my ten hopes for the year, I believe it was number five or six, “to have been to Canada”. Check! And it added another country to my list of countries that I had gone grocery shopping in, they include; USA, Germany, Italy, Denmark, France, England, and now Canada. Neat huh?

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On the way back home, we drove past a small wooden sign on the side of the road, pretty much in the middle of nowhere that read; “Courage darling, change the world.” It was one of those, did I just see what I thought I saw?, moments. Man that sign hit me right in the fears, but I also felt that it was something that I was meant to see. It also made me wonder, who the heck put up that sign??

Courage can be a tricky thing to grab hold of because it is one of the weapons that we use against the foe known as fear. My daughter, who is nine, has been struggling with finding her courage this week. She signed up for this just for fun talent show that her school is hosting, with the belief that her friend was going to dance to a song with her. Unfortunately, her friend either backed out, forgot, or was told she couldn’t do it. Now as the first practice approaches, she wants to quit. Her reasons being that she signed up believing that her friend would do it with her, she doesn’t want to be on stage by herself, there are too many songs to choose from, everyone will laugh at “the weirdo on stage” (her exact words), and practice is a waste of time. Now she has dance experience, and has performed in six recitals, and one talent show at her other school; so lack of talent is not the issue here. Its fear.

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Last night my husband and I talked to her to encourage her, not wanting her to give up just because things did not go as planned. We told her that we know that if she did go ahead with it, that she would be great; because she always is when she takes a chance on herself. We saw the conflict on her face, not wanting to fail but also not wanting to miss out. We told her that we would stand behind whatever decision she made, but made sure that she knew that we believe that she can do this solo dance and do it well. There is one practice today and one on Thursday, she only has to go to one, so I guess we’ll see what happens; at the moment she is still undecided.

Seeing yourself in your kids can be great, but it can also be not great. I found myself being frustrated with me for having all those dumb traits that my kids are now stuck with as well. And wanting nothing more than for my kids to be better, to be stronger, to be more brave, and to have less fear than I did as kid; or even now. The kids are both too young to fully understand regret, which is something I know all too well, I guess its just one of those things that one has to experience for themselves. They are also too young to fully appreciate the non-tangible rewards that come with working hard or taking chance; they recognize them, the appreciation just is not there yet.

The road to change, or success, or dreams being fulfilled, begins with one step. It can be difficult to see the journey, until the reached destination gives you the benefit of hindsight. Every step is important and each chance taken builds up courage, determination, and bravery; which are all things used to battle against fear. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes.

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“Courage darling, change the world.”

Until next time,

The Texan

 

The Side Effects of Winter

It is still winter here in Upstate New York, even though according to the calendar spring started eight days ago. I don’t see much prove of that event from where I sit, except that the little tree next to our driveway has started to bud; which on a positive note is a step in the right direction. Now it is important that you understand that my distaste for winter goes beyond my distaste for being cold, and I do not enjoy being cold. You know I’ve had people tell me, “At least in the winter I know I can just put more clothes on.” Hmm yeah….I don’t know about you but I find no pleasure in putting on 2 jackets, 2 pairs of socks, a scarf, a hat (that covers my ears), and gloves; and yet still be cold. That makes the “at least” in their statement a little pointless don’tcha think?

For me winter is when my vitamin D levels tank, and I experience the lovely symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. If you search for this particular ailment, also known as seasonal depression, on Pinterest you can find some neat infographics and even a little S.A.D. humor, if you can believe it; because laughter is indeed the best medicine. Here is an example:

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In my case, the effects of winter don’t get too bad until about early to mid February, March being the worst; which stinks because my birthday is in March. The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, as I experience them, are as follows:

  1. No energy and/or lack of interest in…things and stuff.

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2. Resting disappointment face, brought on by looking out the window or having to go outside.

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3. Justifying extra snacks and baking stuff, because I’ve been cold and miserable for like three months, with no end in sight.

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There is also being super tired all the time, muscle weakness, and having trouble focusing; which is also a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. But I couldn’t find a good picture that I liked to go with those.

Now there are things that I am doing to try to cushion the blow of winter, being deficient in vitamin D, and having an extreme case of the winter blues. And if you struggle with this ailment as well, I encourage you to give them a try, now I know that they can’t take the place of warmth and sunshine; but they do help.

  1. I work out
  2. I lie in sun with my cat, when it does come out.
  3. I take a vitamin D supplement every morning.
  4. I drink lots of water.
  5. I find things that make me smile everyday.

Stay strong friends spring will get here, it may be taking longer than we would like, but it will get here. In the meantime, I hope that this man’s adorable smile will brighten your day.

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Until next time,

The Texan

P.S. I started a Twitter account! If you would like you can follow me at @TheTexan5, “I Write A Little”.

Spring Has Sprung??

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I heard through the grapevine that yesterday was the first day of spring, I would say that that is boulder-dash! Because from where I sit it doesn’t look or feel much like spring, it looks and feels very much like winter. Boo winter!! Lets take a gander at what the day after the first day of spring looks like in this neck of the woods.

Lovely is not? As you can imagine I am not terribly pleased by this lack of change in the season, allow me to walk you through the stages of my winter grief…

Step 1: Mild sadness

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Step 2: Disgust

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Step 3: Grumpiness

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Step 4: Hostility

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Step 5: Humor covered displeasure

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Step 6: Ugh…

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Spring? Spring? Where for art thou spring? Do make haste, the Texan is chilly…and well all of the above. For now I will leave you with my favorite bit of spring related humor. It was one of the first things I pinned on Pinterest when I started my account back in…2012 I think it was, and still gets me every time I see it.

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Until next time,

The Texan

 

Fitting in Fitness

Greetings from New York, the state in which the governor has declared a state of emergency because of snow. Emergency snow, y’all! I mean it is directed more to the city and Long Island, but I still fall under the umbrella, and I still don’t like it. It is crazy cold, it looks like a snow globe outside, and school got released early, its just winter displaying, once again, why it sucks. I feel like Batman in the Lego Movie when he’s in Cloud Cuckoo Land, except he’s outside and its winter and he says this instead..

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I planned out this post a few days ago, you know before the blizzard of the century decade showed up at my door step. And it does have a little bit to do with winter, being cold and hopes for the new year. So I figured I would just go with it. I will begin by introducing you to my Pilates lady. Her name is Lara Hudson, she’s really encouraging and helped to create a realistic workout for beginners such as myself. This is the DVD that I use..

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I understand that committing to working out on regular basis can be difficult, believe me I’ve fallen off the wagon plenty of times, but this year I have decided to make fewer excuses and do more things that may be challenging but are for my own good.

Now I present my reasons why I fit in fitness:

#1: I am a student working on a degree that requires a lot of writing, a blogger, and an aspiring writer. If I don’t get up and move I’ll find myself slowly becoming part of the couch.

#2. I can join in the toast with one of these people. 007

Even though I don’t go to the gym, I just do Pilates in my living room, its the same idea.

#3. Bucky’s legs and goal to look awesome in yoga pants

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#4. Its fun feeling like a bad a- oh wait I don’t want to use foul language. Its fun feeling like a bad buuttt…woman…thing. Hmm. Oh I got one, tough girl, we’ll just go with tough girl.

#5. Being able to appreciate fitness related humor such as..

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and..

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I’ve made it to 16 earth downs, every day!

#6. It gets cold in my house in the afternoon, working out is a practical and beneficial way to get the blood pumping…and not be cold…at least for a little while.

Once the weather stops being junky, all. the. time, I plan to gradually add a little running into my routine. Yep should be fun, and by fun I mean pain mixed with determination, but also fun, actually more rewarding than fun. **sits in silence for a few seconds**

Any way.

If you’ll excuse me its almost workout time! But first I need to look out the window like this..

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Until next time,

The Texan

Things I’ve Learned About Snow Shoveling

I am again at a loss as far as what to write about. There have been some wintery events, for lack of a better word, this week just nothing really hands on, that would produce a “pass on” worth story. The skies were gray, its was crazy windy for a couple of days, it snowed a little bit on Friday (like 1/2 inch maybe), and the high on Saturday was like seven degrees; which also happened to be the sunniest day of the week. Unfortunately, as noted in the line above that didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Winter is just kinda boring, you can’t garden, or go on picnics, or go outside with out putting five or six layers. The good news is I haven’t picked up a snow shovel in like three weeks. Uh oh..hopefully I didn’t jinx it.

**concerned sigh**

Anyway. I have learned some things about snow shoveling since moving to New York.

1. You become very aware of the muscles and ligaments that are attached to your elbows, especially when there is a nice icy chunk that you have to pick up.

2. Its a great way to feel both hot and cold at the same time.

3. It fits in nicely with the daily workout, or can become the workout for the day; especially if digging the car out of a snow cave is involved.

4. Its a great way to get silently judged by your neighbors and anyone who drives by. Now I am sure folks from the northern states get by just fine, but I know that when it snows us Southerners stick out like a sore thumb.

5. If you have forgotten about some of your muscles, shovel two feet of snow off of a driveway; you’ll find them again.

The good news is that its March, and light at the end of the winter tunnel is visible. But when I see that the low temperature on Saturday is supposed to be zero, zero!!, it makes me want to…

givesupintexan

Come on Spring! You can do it! Show winter whose boss!

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Until next time,

The Texan

Here Goes Nothing

I must admit that I’m not really sure what to write about, mainly because winter just hasn’t been that…”wintery” this week. Not that I’m complaining! I have,mostly, no issues with a warmer week. On Wednesday it was 57, 57!, and it felt ah-mazing outside! I opened some windows, the kids got to play outside, absolutely fabulous day! However (comma) when one has a blog entitled “Winter and the Texan” it helps to be given some material in which to work with. So I thought, and I thought, while listening to my tunes which mainly consists of Breaking Benjamin songs, my favorite two are “Failure” and “Give Me A Sign”. I couldn’t really come with anything clever or terribly humorous, so I figured I would just write what ever came to mind.

So, here goes nothing.

This week was a pretty good week, I made a 97 on that Peter the Great power point I told you about; now I only have four classes to go until graduation. Yippee!! The kids didn’t have any school last week, they got to enjoy this awesome week long winter break thing, that I didn’t get when I was in school. What’s up with that? They got a lot of extra play time and game time and TV time, big bummer was their chalk drawings got washed away almost everyday because of this chorus line of rain showers we had roll through last week. At least they didn’t mind redrawing their lovely creations…too much.

Umm. Hmm. Oh, I got to go to the DMV this morning, which was super duper fun!

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No it wasn’t actually. The line was already crazy long when I got there, which was like thirty minutes after they opened, it snaked around the room in the big “J” shape. But I decided to check with the information desk first to make sure I had everything I needed. Thankfully that line wasn’t too long, although I did have to stand in front of this dude that did not smell good. Yeah..Once I got up there I found out that my husband had to be there too, because both of our names are on the papers and stuff. Which you know…its fine, and stuff..  The good news is,  I snagged some awesome deals at Kohls, so all in all not a bad morning!

Umm..lets see. I found a great recipe for gluten free banana bread on Pinterest. It was so good and super moist! Just search for “gluten free banana bread” it should be one of first ones to show up, the pin has four pictures, and is from a blog called “Gimme Delicious”. Oh! I did hear on the radio that its supposed to snow on Thursday and then drop into the 20s on Friday and Saturday. Boo.. Welp, in the meantime I’ll be enjoying a couple more days where I don’t have to put on my entire closet just go outside or have to scrape snow off of our dog’s legs when ever he comes back inside.

Well there you have it, I have just proven that just because you don’t have any ideas doesn’t mean you can’t write….something. But then again the key to writing is simply doing it, no matter what, and may even turn out better than you might expect. Excuses can pile on faster than we may realize until that’s all you can see. So what ever it is that you are working on, striving for, hoping for, keep going; because you’ll only (truly) fail if you stop.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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Oops, I almost forgot to add a picture of Sebastian Stan, that’s pretty much become standard for “Winter and the Texan”. Hold on here’s one, its not a new one, but it is my favorite; and pretty close to the face I made while listening to the weather forecast on the radio this morning.

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The Texan

Thus far in this blog I have shared with you all my thoughts on winter, and it has become rather apparent by now that the below picture summarizes fairly nicely my thoughts on winter.

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I don’t like it. You know that, I know that; so I thought with this blog post I would write about something different…me. With a little winter humor at the end, I mean it is WINTER and the Texan after all. Of course you know I am from Texas, I’m married and have two kiddos, one cat and one dog. I am history major which is why I tend to spell out my numbers, the rule in formal writing is, spell out all numbers less than one hundred. I struggle with a vitamin D deficiency, which as you can imagine adds to my distaste for winter. I also have a gluten intolerance, a sensitivity to caramel color, and can no longer drink coffee. Major bummer I know, but I replaced coffee with tea which plays in nicely with my love for British things. I spent four years living in Germany, which provided the opportunity (or just made it a lot easier) to travel to eleven countries! Here they are in no particular order: Germany, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, England, Slovenia, and Italy (to include Sicily). I’m hoping by years end I can add Canada to my list of “have been to” countries, that shouldn’t be a problem since we basically live in Canada.

I am, at present, a student at an online university and started the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, countdown to graduation! I am working on classes five and four right now, this is the last week of class number five and class number three starts on March 6th. Class number five is the History of Russia, I mentioned my Peter the Great power point last week and I think it came out rather nicely. Class number four is Sociology of Religion (S of R), and oh yes its just as horrible as it sounds. No offense to sociology/religion majors, but this class is like the “meat and potatoes” of someone’s sociology/religion degree. And here I am a lowly history major, it is not easy. (In case you are wondering, my minor is religion, which is why I have to take it.) On Friday, which was pretty awesome day for me by the way, I checked the grade book for S of R and my professor not only gave me full credit for the forum post that week but also wrote that it was “fabulous”! What! Also on Friday I jumped from ten to thirteen push-ups! What, what!!

**We interrupt this blog post to give you a little background information. On January 1st, I started a push-up challenge (as in the not on your knees variety), starting on that day with one, and added one every day. I got stuck on a few numbers, was doing five for a while, and had been stuck on ten for like a week or so. I had told my husband the day before that I hoped I could move up to eleven soon but figured I would be stuck on ten for a few days more. And he said I’m sure you’ll be doing eleven sooner than you think, boy was he ever right!**

Yeah Friday was pretty awesome, and it left me feeling pretty good about myself.

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On Saturday, we went to a birthday party for one of my daughter’s friends, and I didn’t have to spend an hour digging the car out of a snow cave and then shovel the dang driveway, thanks to warmer temperatures and sunshine. Also awesome! The party included getting to watch “The Lego Batman Movie”, one of my favorites parts was Batman’s password to get into the Batcave which was “Iron Man sucks!” So stinking funny! Because as you may have gathered I sided with Captain America. I recommend it if you have the chance.

Whoa! (notices the word count in the corner) This post has gotten rather long, I hope you will pardon my lack of brevity. But first!

Your promised winter related humor, this was me watching the dashing knight, Sir Sunshine, take down the dastardly villain, Lord Snow Cover. The best part being that Sir Sunshine took care of that half of the driveway that I did NOT shovel. Hehehe!

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Until next time,

The Texan