Slave to Diet Mountain Dew No More

Did you know you don’t actually need to drink water?  You will not die of dehydration if you only drink soda – it’s a bit embarrassing that I know this, but I do from experience.  I could go chain and lockmonths without drinking any water at all, surviving on Diet Mountain Dew and maybe a glass of milk here and there.  I didn’t die.  No crazy health scares either.  But I had a fabulous vacation planned out of the country and knew I wouldn’t be able to easily find my drug of choice (Dt. Dew).  Had to give it up like I had so many times before.  This time, I wisely found a crutch to use to help me.  Sure, water would have been the wise choice but that has failed me in the past and I’ve returned to Diet Dew. Insert a new obsession with tea!

I started drinking hot tea using tea bags.  This was back in August of 2012. It was nice; plus it was socially acceptable especially in the morning where my soda habit always got weird looks.  For Christmas, I asked for real tea tools to take the plunge into the real world of tea with loose leaves and all.  This was so very sophisticated for me:-)  Love this!  So many options leave taste boredom in the dust.  Yet, it always has a familiar taste to it even when it’s an entirely new-to-me tea.

So, a couple days ago I was having a high-stress day and my husband told me to leave.  So dramatic, huh?  Actually he was being very sweet knowing my kids were driving me crazy so he was giving me a break.  I went to a tea shop (Tea Source) to grab a new tea.  I really wanted to have a seat, read my book and try a flight of tea.  I basically chickened out.  What?  I purchased some leaves and left, but still don’t understand why I didn’t also buy a flight and sit down — I had my Kindle Fire with me and was in the middle of a great read plus my husband had given me the OK to be out for as long as I needed.

Self analysis time:-) (And yes, I have an issue with using too many emoticons…sorry!)

Did I not want to be alone in public?  Probably not the case..while I was in the mood to talk to people that day, I am always fine being alone, especially with a book in hand.  I’m a bit of an introvert, so this is a natural state for me.

Was I feeling insecure?  Maybe…I’ve never actually had more than a sample of tea in public.  Is there a protocol for tea drinking that I don’t know about?  I like my tea sweetened, but is that taboo in the “tea world”? I am a grown-ass woman – why in the world would I even care about this!?! I think I do though.  This might be my answer.  Wow…so silly of me:-)

Well, despite my insecurity, the tea I bought (Breakfast Assam) is fabulous!

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The Devil in Pew Number Seven

I really wanted to like The Devil in Pew Number Seven. Both of the author’s parents clearly had an incredibly strong faith in God as do both her and her brother. The author’s mother was The devil in pew number seven_shot and killed in front of her and her father was shot twice but survived only to die later a very broken man.  Her family was tormented by a disgruntled community member over several years, which included several homemade bombs detonating outside their home. Her baby brother was miraculously uninjured during one of these bombings.  And then, the climax of the story if you will — she forgives both the family tormentor and the man who murdered her mother (2 different men)!  What a great example of how to truly live out Christian values — I love that and aspire to be that type of person.

Unfortunately, the book itself leaves much to be desired.  It drags on and on and on and on.  While there was a lot that happened to her family, it really wasn’t enough for a regular length book, so it feels like a ton of repetition.  Snoozer!  I did push through and finished and am glad I did because the best part of the book was the afterwards stuff (which might not be in the original print…not sure on that).  In this part, she talks about meeting her mother’s killer after he is released from jail on Dr. Phil.  That part of the book was exciting, fresh and new.

Status:  TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

Note:  I have a “really complicated” rating system.  The status at the bottom of a review will be one of the three following rankings:

1. Recommend — I recommend reading this book.

2. Take It or Leave It — this book had both good and bad qualities.  I wouldn’t recommend it, but it wasn’t entirely bad.

3. Thumbs Down — I do not recommend reading this book.

Dying To Be Me

booksI just read the book Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani.  Super interesting story, granted I’m a bit fascinated by Near Death Experiences.  This woman has cancer, which in and of itself is common.  However, she should have died (and kind of did thus her NDE) — many of her organs shut down.  They don’t come back under normal circumstances, but hers did!  Amazing!

Her take on life post-NDE becomes kind of New Age-like, believing we are all part of the whole, and the whole is love and ultimately borders on what I normally consider to be a bit wack-a-do.  Despite this, I still really enjoyed this book!  What I love is her new outlook on life — she no longer has fear or anxiety about the everyday matters of life.  She has deep compassion for all people, even those whom most of us want to despise.  Instead, she sees that their wrong actions (including some actions I’d deem evil) as confirmation of a broken person in need of love and compassion.  This life view, along with her remarkable story of healing along with an NDE, is super inspiring.  To top it off, she shares her story and new take on life in a completely judgement-free manner.

Status:  RECOMMEND

Get it right SCOTUS

I have viewed so many Facebook status updates today related to the Supreme Court hearing 2 cases related to gay marriage….I have a personal rule to not engage in any political banter on Facebook so I need to get this out somewhere.  Truth be told, I am a conservative Christian and I’m sure you’ve guessed it, I believe marriage is meant for 1 man and 1 woman.  However, I believe a free people should be allowed to live their lives as they see fit (assuming they are not hurting another individual).

Now, let’s get to gay marriage.  There are 2 points I’d like to communicate.

First, marriage as recognized by the government is a form of tax code manipulation in order to influence behavior.  It does the state no good to encourage gay marriage.  Let me explain.  Marriage is a religious ceremony, historically joining one man and one woman together in a new family that typically brings children into the world.  The government has an interest in this type of arrangement because it can so EASILY bring children into the world — any man and woman that has sex can bring children into the world assuming no infertility issues.  Not all straight couples will have children, but the fact remains that they could with so little trouble. The government essentially becomes the father for children without one.  This is a tax burden that should be discouraged, not to mention all the other social and emotional issues it may bring to the fatherless child.  To avoid becoming the “father”, the government has recognized marriage via the tax code.

Now, gay couples can have children as well.  However, they need some sort of intervention via adoption or a surrogate.  In order to do this, the couple has to be stable as it’s not a quick ordeal.  They must think through their decision to have children before ever bringing a child into the world due to the difficulty of doing so.  Therefore, the government doesn’t need to encourage gay couples to get married for the sake of their potential children.

Second, it can become a slippery slope for freedom of speech.  By making gay marriage legal and “endorsed via the tax code”, it could be very difficult for someone like a pastor (or me or you) to publicly state that homosexual acts are sinful (I’m not debating whether or not they are ACTUALLY sinful here…just talking speech).   It may be hurtful to hear something like that, much like it would have been hurtful to hear that my now husband and I were “living in sin” when we lived together prior to being married.  However, just because it may hurt somebody’s feelings doesn’t mean it can’t be said — it should still be protected speech.  In addition, adoption agencies will be forced to place children into gay households EVEN if it against their religious views as some of these are run by churches and other religious organizations.  I worry that we will quickly go the route of Canada and begin making it criminal to speak out against any type of homosexual behavior.  Once we begin limiting speech in any arena, it will not stop.

But Will His Wife Thank Me?

Raising a respectful 16-year-old boy is tough…really tough.  He’s a good kid so my tendency is to let things slide.  I know that doesn’t do him any favors, so I try to remember to have humor and be creative but he needs to be punished sometimes.  Last night was one of those times (and warning – I don’t think I was creative or humorous in my punishment!).

So, his curfew is 11pm.  He knows that exceptions can be made if they are arranged sometime before curfew.  Well, he sent me a text message at 8:50pm.  I am notorious for NOT having my phone on me – a fact widely known in my family.  I did not see his text.  At 11:30pm, I finally call him to see where he is.   “Didn’t you see my text?” “Did you see a reply???? If not, you can assume no!” “I don’t see what the big deal is.” “Get home now!”  Then a few back and forth text messages as he can’t get a ride at nearly midnight so I decide to pick him up.  I refuse to let him have his way at this point since I put my stake in the ground earlier telling him he had to come home.  A warning text letting him know that I’m on my way and he had better not let me wait even 10-seconds in that driveway (15-miles away!) when I get there was sent.

Pull into the drive…one, two, three…nine, ten, eleven…fourteen, fifteen!  So, what do I do?  What any rational 37-year-old mother of 3 picking up her 16-year-old son at 12:30am would do.  I lay on the horn:-)  Not super proud.

No apology from him, no understanding that he needed to make sure a real person got his message and approved it.  Instead, he told me it wasn’t his fault I don’t carry my phone.  I tried, not very calmly, to explain how inconsiderate it was of him and that we have both a home phone and his dad has a cell phone, neither of which were tried.  His “you’re crazy” attitude is something I have no patience with and then I might become a little crazy (wow, I need to work on that!).  I decided that I should do something inconsiderate to him to help him understand….and I did.  As he watched, I withdrew him from his last golf tournament of the year.  Yikes!

Today I’m left wondering whether I’m helping to turn him into a strong, confident, thoughtful, kind, considerate man that any woman would want to call her husband or a spiteful, woman-hating man that will resent me for years to come….