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A Free Fall Gift For You!

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It’s the first official day of Fall and the start of one of my favorite seasons.  Well, I guess all of the seasons are my favorites for various reasons.  But there’s something about Fall that is so special to me.  The crisp air, the jeweled colored leaves, and the beginning of a new school year are all magical to me.

I enjoy sending cards because even though we are so technology driven these days and we enjoy the quick engagement and banter of texting and emails, there’s something special about getting a card in the mail.  A special paper card that we find like a treasure amidst the bills and junk mail.  At least that’s how I feel.

During the holiday season, we may receive dozens of cards which delight me.  But then what happens during the rest of the year?  Maybe we receive a birthday card, but that’s it.  Instead our mailbox is strewn with junk mail and bills.

I know for me, when I see an envelope that isn’t bill-shaped, I’m intrigued!  Someone has thought of me!  I’m delighted before I even open the envelope.  I know, you probably think I’m being silly, but that’s truly how I feel.

Above is a card from SendOutCards which is a way to send cards from your own computer, but your recipient gets a real card in the mail.  You can even attach a gift card or present as well, from the hundreds of gifts offered on the site.

If you’d like to try it, please send a card on me.  It’s fun because you can personalize the card with your own photos, your own sentiment or you can pick from the huge variety available for you!

The price for a card is cheaper than going to the store and you can send your cards from your own computer or the app on your phone whenever you wish!  I use it all the time to lift the spirits of friends, to keep in touch and to send my own holiday cards!

Making life easier and staying in touch are key!  So, if you’d like to check it out, please use the link below.  Enjoy!

Click here to send a card for free on me!

Shine On!

xo

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Sex On My Table?

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Oh my goodness.  This rental has more animal adventures than I could have ever dreamed of experiencing!  Well, here’s another one for the blog!  I hope this one brings you the mighty laugh it gave me!

I went outside to water my impatiens yesterday.  As I passed by the patio table, I saw these two bugs on my glass table.  They weren’t moving, but they were definitely connected.  I continued watering my plants, and checked back to see them again 15 minutes later.  They were still in the same position which what I’m supposing as in flagrante delicto.  At least that’s what it looked like to me!  I’m not even sure what they are.  Does anyone know?  Do you think they are having sex too?

So I took the above picture!  I wonder what this means in the spirit animal totem world?  Any entomologists out there want to share their knowledge?  I mean, are they really having sex on my patio table in full view of the world?  Well, I guess laughter is the best medicine!  By the way, 30 minutes later, they were gone – deed accomplished I guess!

I hope you got a little giggle on this Thursday morning!  It certainly gave me one!

Shine On!

xo

Universal Crumbs

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Sometimes I think the Universe drops crumbs in order to help us through this lifetime.  Lately, much synchronicity has occurred in my life.  When I viewed the events as separate, there was no obvious correlation.   But when I strung them together in the path of my life in the last few days, they fit together like perfect puzzle pieces!

It’s a wonderful feeling to know that all we need to do is to be wide awake and aware of our days and nights.  To notice is to put together the puzzle pieces and watch as our lives unfold with support, positivity and love from God and the Universe.

Notice what happens all around you!  You think of someone and poof! they call you!  You go out of your routine and poof! you find out you missed an accident!  You know what I mean, don’t you?  The Universe simply drops breadcrumbs of experiences into your path to help you along the way.  It brings to mind the Law of Attraction at work!

There are many examples that illustrate the bread crumbs that we pick up to fortify ourselves along the path of our lifetimes.  For example, yesterday I had to pick up shampoo for the children, so instead of going to the grocery store, I stopped at Rite Aid.  While walking around, I saw a display for some new nail polish for Fall.  While it’s not my usual shade (I wear pink/red/wine), this one caught my eye.  It’s Essie Brand – name is As If!  Anyway, it’s a shade of blue that just made me happy, so I bought it!  As I was painting my nails last night, I watched a movie called The Last Keepers which you can watch for free with Amazon Prime (click here!)   I loved the fact that the characters’ story began in Fall with a celebration of the Autumn Solstice.  Watching the movie reminded me of a book I put down awhile ago that I was aching to pick up when I felt moved to read again and voila!  Last night before bed, I knew that I would be reading another chapter today – which I did!  Here’s the link to the book in case you are interested.

After reading the book this morning over coffee, I was thinking about a blogger friend of mine who would like the book.  Poof!  Out of the blue (pun intended), she called me and we were able to talk about it!  One thing led to another and we caught up on our lives and even had a little healing moment between us.  It was fabulous!  It even led to a mutual friend of ours getting a much needed message that helped her as well!

So what’s my point?  When I string together all the coincidences, I get a tapestry of life that leads me in the right direction.  Has this ever happened to you?

Do you want to share a few of yours?  Please do!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Crumb

A Tentative Encounter With A Mouse

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Well, the rental home is at it again in the animal department!  YIKES!  The other day I was out in the yard and out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a little mouse dart across the patio towards the house.

Stunned into silence (lucky for him because I can scream really LOUD!), I stood there unable to move.  Thank goodness he hadn’t run near me, but when he heard me take a step around the corner to see where he had gone, he froze in place.

We stared at each other for a good two minutes at only a three feet apart in distance.  I was thinking Aww, he’s cute!  Look at those ears – I wonder if the other mice refer to him as the Dumbo of mice!  They are so big!  Or am I imagining it?  Oh gosh, what’s he going to do?  Will he run at me and somehow run up my pants leg?  And he was probably thinking, Where in the world did she come from?  Oh no!  Where shall I go?

We were motionless, just staring at each other and I have to admit, I didn’t know what to do or how to stop the standoff.  I mean, I’m not a rodent fan, but he was cute.  Cute outside the house, yes!  But in the house, no way!  So I did what any other woman would do:

I picked up my foot and stomped it in place on the concrete.  You know, enough to scare him, but not to hurt him.  Just to get him to feel the earthquake (to him) vibration so that he’d skedaddle.  Lucky for me, he ran away and back to where he’d come from initially.  However, I felt badly because he must have been so scared that he wasn’t looking where he was going.  I heard a thump so I think he must have run into garage wall as he was scurrying away.

But yuck!  A mouse!  I wonder if he’s another one of my spirit animal totems?  Do you think I should look it up?

Shine On!

xo

via Daily Prompt: Tentative

Parenting The School Year

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Dear Parents,

As a former teacher, parent and even student, I’m here to give you some suggestions for the coming school year.  Yesterday I told you about how I gave an A at the beginning of the year and asked my students to keep it.  Today I want to remind you how to parent the school year better.  You can tune me out now, I understand.  But if you stick around and keep reading, maybe something will resonate with you.

While I’m giving your child an A, a fresh start for the school year, it helps if you do this as well at home.  Everyone deserves a fresh beginning of the school year and if your child has had tough school years in the past, now is not the time to remind them of their past failures.  Now is the time to encourage them that this is a new year and a clean slate on which to begin again.

Let me reiterate that important message:

This is a new school year!  Encourage your child! 

Elevate the possibilities in their head that this can be a good year because it can!

I hate parent/teacher meetings when you tell me, in front of your teenagers, all of their faults.  Time and again, I’ve heard, He’s lazy.  He doesn’t do his work.  I’m always telling him to go to bed earlier.  That’s why he’s tired, because he’s playing those video games, etc.  He’s not like me.  I was an A student.  I work so I can’t watch him all the time or make him study at this age.  He needs to want to do it.  My gosh, doesn’t anyone teach them how to study?  Back in my day….And so on and so forth…you get the picture, right?

Do you ever think to look at your child who stands there listening either belligerently or with his head hanging down with embarrassment or maybe even a mixture of both?  How do you think he feels after your tirade?

Because I’m standing there listening to a stressed parent whose guilt and myopic view is plain to see.  All I want to do is hug you and to assure you that with a few tweaks, you can begin to heal the relationship with your child.  Because I’ve seen what happens when the divide between parent/child increases.  The wounds grow deeper until there’s little left to mend a relationship.

I know you’re frustrated with how things are going with your child at school.  I know you are overworked and upset.  I know you don’t really mean all that you just said, but that you are at your wits end and you don’t know what you can do to change it for your child.  I know that you’re not telling me how ugly the atmosphere can feel at home and how you feel like you’ve failed as a parent.  I know.  It happens.  They’re called teenagers for a reason.  Don’t you remember being a teenager too?

Let’s look on the bright side.  A new school year means you get a fresh start too!  Enjoy the clean slate and all it brings to your family unit!  Elevate the expectations – share meals more often, take time to chat with your children one on one, be open and listen (keep your judgments to yourself), hug your child and tell them something nice everyday.

I have never met a child who didn’t want a good relationship with their parents.  Funny thing is, parents often tell me that the kid has rejected them, but it’s the other way around usually.  When you don’t act like you care or you put work or other responsibilities as a priority consistently above your child, then that builds resentment.  Innately your child wants to love and be loved by you.  They want that connection.  But when you break it due to other commitments or choosing another child over him, or only criticizing him and putting him down instead of elevating him or complimenting him, you are at fault.  I’m sorry.   Under typical circumstances, you are the one at fault and I’m willing to tell you.  Not to hurt you, but to help you to get your act together this school year and be the parent he deserves you to be and you deserve to be.

Carve out some time with your children.  Clearly list your expectations and what they can expect from you.  There is not always a dictatorship in parenting.  Sometimes a democracy works really well too and it doesn’t lessen your power.  It actually increases the power of the family unit!  More on that tomorrow in case you’re interested.

Shine On!

xo

Thanks Daily Post for the ELEVATE prompt today!

 

 

Educate Your Children For The First Day Of School

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The start of the school year always puts a smile on my face.  Even as a former teacher for many years, the excitement in a brand new year filled with possibility and positivity brings joy to me in so many ways.

We have a clean slate today is what I used to tell my students on the first day of school.  I taught teenagers who had their own set of challenges and beliefs from past years and judgments from teachers who may or may not have understood them.  They brought their own baggage to my classroom consisting of how they were treated, what their beliefs were about their knowledge and potential and added to it all was the expectation that this year would be the same as in the past.

I obliterated all of that on the first day of class with one small sentence.

You have an A in this class as of right now and your job is to keep it. 

It was a  message that I adopted from a movie with Michelle Pfeiffer years ago called Dangerous Minds.  In the movie, she was an ex-Marine turned teacher who struggled to connect with her students in an inner city school.  Granted it was a movie, but the theme of choice in keeping the A grade worked for her and worked wonders for me as well, even though I was not teaching in an inner city.

That simple sentence and mindset worked its magic for us all!  It gave the freedom of choice to every student’s mind as to whether they wanted to keep the A gift or not.  It gave them responsibility to keep the A which is harder than to earn an A I think.  It gave them peace to know they began with an A, but the responsibility was theirs to maintain the efforts to keep the gift.

Even when the gossip was that X student was troubled or Y student was lazy or Z student was rambunctious in class, I reminded them that I did not listen, nor did I pay attention to idle stories of their past performance in school.  What was important to me (and important for them to understand) was that from this day forward, it mattered what we did together in this classroom.  I gave them my word that I would support them by what they showed me in my class.  I only focused on what they personally showed me here.  I also told them that I would stand up for them if needed in the future.

I gave and received respect and I explained that we were a family in the classroom.  We were united in learning here and respect was key as were communication, kindness and effort.

What I found was that my students rose to my expectations and exceeded them.  I had a few rowdy students whose reputations preceded them that first year of my speech.  I wasn’t sure how it would go, but they surprised me, themselves, the other students and their parents and administration by excelling in my class.  Their potential had been locked away by their past reputations and when they chose to have a clean slate, their grades, lives and reputations changed dramatically for the better!

True to my word, when one of them got in trouble outside of my classroom, I went to the principal about this particular student.  I stood up for him, showing his grades and the fact that he did his homework consistently for me (and I gave homework every night)!  He was misbehaving in other classes and not doing his work, but for me, for some reason, he worked!  When I told him what I had done, he beamed and thus began a transformation as I told him that if he could do this for me, and for himself, I expected he could do it in his other classes.  His response was that the other teachers weren’t me.  I suggested he not do it for them, but for himself.

I can happily report that he chose to change his attitude and his efforts and by the following year, his clean slate mentality was greatly improved.  He came back to see me years later to tell me how I had changed his life and he was grateful.  I hugged him and told him that it wasn’t me, it was he who chose to do it.  I simply walked the path with him as he transformed his life and began to live to his potential.

I miss teaching and making a difference in my students’ lives and feeling the difference that they made in mine.  We all have that potential and I love it when we choose to live it!

Shine On!

xo

Thanks to the daily prompt for inspiring me today!

 

 

Ants, Wasps and Mice, Oh My!

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Today’s Daily Prompt about PESTS fits my situation perfectly so I couldn’t resist!  I love Mother Nature’s creatures, but only when they are outside and not inside my home.  A few errant visitors are tolerable when I figure they could have gotten lost and wandered into my home for a short visit.  With the exception of mice, I’m not afraid of pests.  We have two cats, so we are used to things that go bump in the night. LOL

However, my new abode was sadly abandoned for a bit before the landlords entered the picture and fixed it up and then, I moved in.  I guess creatures big and small moved in when the humans moved out and it’s been a bit of a journey convincing them that the new human inhabitants are here to stay for awhile and their squatters rights have been removed.  Sadly I don’t speak mouse, ant or wasp languages so I had no way to convince them that they needed to move on.  To say it’s been frustrating and quite frankly, yucky is an understatement.

But time heals, even in pest situations and they are becoming less of a nuisance which is good for me.  No longer is my toothbrush covered in a hundred ants when I open the medicine cabinet nor is the Tupperware container filled with chocolate Lucky Charms alive with extra ant crunchies.  This is what I mean by yucky, don’t you agree?

The wasps seem to have moved away now as well which helps, but the mice, well, I think they are still hanging around unfortunately.  Sure, I’m a big fan of Minnie & Mickey Mouse, but not in my house!  Our cats are such divas that they wouldn’t know what to do if they came face to face with one.  Because they aren’t outside cats, I think they would be clueless since real mice don’t smell like the catnip mice-shaped toys that they play with at home.

It’s all a transition here – ups and downs like a roller coaster – but I can now start counting more ups than downs for which I’m grateful.  I do worry though that the mice are in the fireplace at night as the cats seem to gaze into the darkness often when it’s quiet.  So far, no mice have stepped on the glue paper which is a relief to me because honestly, if I awoke one morning to one stuck there flailing, I’m not sure I could deal with it!  YIKES!

Ok, enough about my pest situation!  I hope you have a pest free day yourselves and enjoy this lovely Saturday!

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  Those of you who are wondering, this isn’t a photo of my actual home!