November 29, 2007

TT #39

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13 of my favorite movies

1. Shrek

2. Sleeping with the enemy

3. Urban Cowboy

4. What lies beneath

5. Amityville Horror (the remake and original)

6. Austin powers, all of them

7. Queen of the damned

8. Monsters, Inc.

9. Flatliners


11.The Grudge (1 & 2)

12.Ace Ventura, Pet Detective


November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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While we are home with our families during the holiday season, lets not forget to give thanks to our soldiers, who wish they were back home as well.

November 27, 2007

Tis’ the season

Working in a hospital, I get first hand contact with all kinds of yummy colds and flu’s. Its funny, I never really had issues with germs until I started working here. Now, I find myself touching doorknobs with napkins, going thru hand sanitizer by the gallon, and washing my hands endlessly. I wanted to give you all the inside scoop on something I know first hand works for the prevention of colds and/or to lesson their shelf life in your body. There are actually 2 products that I use but the main one that I start out with is Airborne. It was created by a teacher and is all-natural. If you have been exposed to someone that is sick, start using it right away. I usually take it in the morning with vitamins but if the cold has already started, you might want to take it 2 or 3 times throughout the day. Also, Zycam is what all the pediatric nurses swear by. They have different forms of Zycam, I use the nose spray. You can actually use these products together and it will give you twice the protection. It's made from Zinc so neither one makes you feel funky from the drugs. I hope this info helps. You can find them at any drugs store.

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November 26, 2007

Beep Beep Bon Appetit'

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Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

12 servings

November 25, 2007

Solo Vacations

Have you ever thought about going on vacation alone?? Is being single stopping you from seeing all the things you've always wanted to see? I came across a website dedicated to single people who want to take a vacation and flying solo (being single) isnt a problem, that's their specialty. Meet Market Adventures offer great weekly activities, weekend getaways and a full calendar of international vacation tours for singles. I know that the majority of travel agents offer a payment plan for vacations, maybe thats an option for this company as well. I know as a single parent saving money to do anything for yourself is impossible but sometimes you just have to do it. Make the decision that this is something you want to do for yourself and then follow thru. They also offer vacations for women only. If you just need a break and arent ready to get back out on the dating scene yet, what a great way to make new friends. Its always nice to meet people that are in the same situation as you. It always nice to swap stories and experiences. It makes you feel like you're not all alone. Check it out. What do you have to lose?

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November 22, 2007

TT #38

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13 things I am giving thanks for this year

1. My children are alive and healthy.

2. My mother is in full remission from her cancer.

3. My DBF Michael, who takes good care of me.

4. Our wonderful soldiers over in Iraq.

5. I have a roof over my head.

6. There is food in the fridge and in the cupboard.

7. My Dad is here one more year to celebrate the holidays.

8. My loving family and friends that are always there for me.

9. My job.

10.That I live in the US and not someplace where I live with danger every day.

11.Celebrating Thanksgiving 3 times instead of 1…woohoo, I love Turkey.

12.My oldest is coming home for Christmas. He is in the military.

13.My blogger friends all over the world.

November 19, 2007

Hobbies for Singles

Scrap booking is great. If you have a few pictures, or boxes of them, scrap booking can be a great hobby. It combines art with family photos that you will treasure forever. It also makes a great gift for any holiday.

Maintain a fish tank. Watching aquarium fish has proven health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and relieving stress. There are so many cool fish out there. You can create your own underwater world. I’ve heard salt-water fish are a little harder to maintain but puffer fish are great. I think it’s a Finding Nemo thing.

Gardening can be a great stress reliever for many reasons, including getting you into the sunshine and fresh air and creating more beautiful surroundings to come home to each day can actually reduce your stress level. I’m not a big fan of pulling weeds but I really like to weed eat.

Photography is entertaining. My family calls me a shutterbug because I’m always the one taking the pictures at the family functions. It can be really fun though, find your style and go for it. Experiment, its all in fun anyway. Who knows, it may be a new career you never thought of.

Puzzles, Crosswords, or Word Searches are fun. Engaging your mind in a puzzle can take your focus off of what’s stressing you, and develop your brainpower at the same time. I use to do word searches and time myself to see how long it took me.

Painting and drawing can be fun. Take an art class. My Aunt had no idea she was so talented until she started painting. Now, she teaches classes.

Knitting, aside from helping you create beautiful gifts for yourself and others, it also provides you an opportunity to relieve stress. The repetitive motion can get you into an experience of being content or at least provide an outlet for nervous energy.

November 17, 2007


I first became a blogger to let the world know about Supportkids, which is a company I hired to help me get child support. I stated that I wanted every single parent out there, in search of child support, to be very wary of the company you chose to help you get your money. 5 years ago I was desperate. My ex husband left the state and the DA's office wasn’t doing anything to help me get child support. I seen an advertisement on the TV for a place called Supportkids, that are based out of Texas. I didn’t read the fine print and have been paying them ever since. He owed me 45,000 at the time. When I signed the contract, I didn’t know they were going to continue to take 34% of my child support until 45,000 had been collected. I hired them in November of 2002 and they are still collecting. I recently requested a print out of how much still owed on my contract and I just received the information. According to them, they still need to receive over 12,000 of my child support to fulfill their contract. So, they have been collecting 34% of my child support since 2002 and, because of the amount I receive, they will continue to collect it until my youngest is 18. They now have direct deposit and I am getting my support in a timely manner (which was a major issue before) but good grief, the amount of money they have collected from me alone is over 33,000 dollars. I could send my son to college for that amount of money. I don’t know if there is any type of guideline for these agencies but there should be. Kudos to them for finding the deadbeat Dad's but its not for the sake of the children, its for their own profit. If you’re having problem collecting child support, think twice before you sign any contract. Don’t end up like me, 5 years later and 12,000 dollars in debt to a company that I hired to help me. Go to the DA’s office, look into other agencies, and ALWAYS read the fine print. Unfortunately, a lot of us are so desperate we will do anything. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and looking back, I would have chosen another alternative. Supportkids has done nothing besides the initial contacting of his employer with the garnishment almost 6 years ago. Since then, they get my check, take out their chunk and forward me the remaining. Maybe it’s worth it to some, but it really pisses me off.

November 16, 2007

Is grief just for death?

Grief can definitely have an effect on the type of person you choose for a relationship while you are still actively grieving the loss of a previous relationship. Many people do not realize they are grieving when a relationship ends, which actually places them at risk of choosing dangerously while being impaired by their grief. Some people assume that grief is related only if your partner has recently died and if you are currently still saddened by the loss. But actually grieving occurs when any relationship ends—whether it is anticipated, desired, prepared for, or not. The longer the relationship existed, the longer the grief normally takes. Some people should seek counseling because they are not sure what happened, what will happen, and what’s next. When you are coming out of a relationship, you are in pain even if you aren’t acknowledging it or if you were the one that planned for it to end. When you are hurting, that is not the best state of mind for decision making. When issues of the previous relationship are not resolved, many people go on to choose someone just like the person in the relationship they ended. Subconsciously they are trying to work out those relationship issues but with a new person, instead of the one they just left. Many people jump from one relationship to the next to avoid being alone. Alone does not necessarily have to mean loneliness. Some people don’t really care about the quality of the next relationship they only desire to avoid the feelings of the lost relationship. These are issues for the person to work out with a counselor because people who cannot be alone are at a significant risk of choosing anyone to avoid being alone. The baggage we carry from the last relationship has the ability to impact current and future relationships. Ideally, none of us want to hurt new relationships with our old relationship issues that are unresolved. That’s why time off can help us get some distance so we can assess the good and bad things of the relationship, our part in it, the types of people who we tend to select and whether we need to make some changes. These insights do not happen overnight or even within a few weeks. You might need a few counseling sessions to work out your anger, fear, or look deeper at your selection patterns. In other words, the type of men you are attracted to. The longer you wait, the more you can work on yourself in between relationships, the better chances you have of bringing a more healthy self to the next relationship and be able to spot potential bad dating choices.

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November 15, 2007

TT #37

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13 inspirational quotes

1. "It matters not Who you love, Where you love, Why you love, When you love, Or how you love, It matters only that you love." John Lennon.

2. "Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?" Frank Scully.

3. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage." Lao Tzu.

4. "Many people think that by hoarding money they are gaining safety for themselves. If money is your ONLY hope for independence, you will never have it.The only real security that a person can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. Without these qualities, money is practically useless." Henry Ford.

5. "One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing." Morris L. West.

6. "One thing we can do is make the choice to view the world in a healthy way.We can choose to see the world as safe with only moments of danger rather than seeing the world as dangerous with only moments of safety." Deepak Chopra.

7. "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Robert Frost.

8. "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." Ronald E. Osborn.

9. "It’s best not to get too excited or too depressed by the ups and downs of life." Dalai Lama.

10. "He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment." Meister Eckhart.

11. "The bird of paradise alights only on the hand that does not grasp." John Berry.

12. "Mastery does not come from dabbling. We have to be prepared to pay the price. We need to have the sustained enthusiasm that motivates us to give our best." Eknath Easwaran.

13. Genius is only the power of making continuous efforts." Elbert Hubbard.

November 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Dont let the Holidays get you down

In my opinion, if you ask any woman married, single or divorced about the holidays, you may find most women want to ‘divorce’ themselves from the madness, the stress, family drama, shopping and the preparation that goes with it. For divorced women, the holiday season can be even more of a headache with heartache included due to awkward family situations. It’s always harder the first year after a divorce. There is more often than not a sense of loss, especially if you have been married for any length of time and the “norm” was to go to HIS family’s house for Thanksgiving, Christmas Breakfast, or News Years Eve. The kids generally keep the same tradition, maybe some modifications if you have moved or if court orders specify something different, but usually they follow thru with the other parents family and there is no need for adapting to anything different other than one parent is missing. If divorced women are alone without family and friends, they should get out of the house and volunteer to help others that are less fortunate. By giving a little of yourself, it may help clear your mind and offer some perspective on your situation. Don’t shy away from invitations from friends and married couples. The important thing is to avoid being alone, which may lead to depression. If an opportunity presents itself to hop on a plane or get in the car to visit someone, do it. While it might not be a traditional way to spend the holidays, there is nothing wrong with change. Think of it as a new adventure and make the most of newly acquired free time. You can get thru this next month and a half, just have the right attitude and don’t let things get you down. I found that wrapping presents is a great way to relieve stress and help you get into the spirit of things. Even if its hard, try staying positive for the kids. It’s not their fault that we got divorced and all kids love Christmas. You’re only human, I know, but remember happiness is a state of mind. Think positive and do your best to make the most of any situation.

November 12, 2007

Something to experience with your kids

My DBF Michael and I took my 16 year old son to his first concert this weekend. We went to the Greek theater in Hollywood to see Evanescence. I may have cheated a little bit because I really wanted to see them too! It was a great show even though it was outside and 50 degrees. I didn't wear warm enough clothes as the concerts I remember from back in the day were completely different. What I recall were a bunch of hot, sweaty people with their shirts off, pushing to get to the stage and people passed out on the ground or loaded out of their mind. I went to my first concert at age 12. We went to see Blue Oyster Colt. My mother allowed me to go with my cousin and that was a mistake. He was a terrible role model, which is probably why I was adamant about being there the first time with my boys. However, times have changed a bit since then. There were no tailgate parties, no one selling knock-off jerseys in the parking lot, no people carrying signs for LSD, PCP, or Uppers. Heck, they didnt even allow smoking except in designated areas. There was only the faint hint of marijuana in the air a couple times but all in all, it went smooth and uneventful. I think, just from my point of view, its better to be with your child the first time they experience something like that. I took my oldest son to Ozzfest for his 13th birthday. Thinking back, that may have been a bit young to expose him to such an event but I was glad he was there with me instead of someone careless. I don't necessarily like the music they listen to all the time but they need to have the freedom to express themselves. Although, my oldest listened to some pretty intense rap junk that had degrading lyrics so he wasn't aloud to listen to that in my presence but we cant shelter our children from all the evils of the world. All we can do is educate them and hope they make the right decisions. Kids today are faced with so much more than we were as kids (to a point), but its nice to know that my kids didn't feel embarrassed to be at their first rock concert with their mother. That says something. I may be a single mother, but I ROCK! Dont let the complications of your life overtake your need to live. As someone once said, life is a journey, not a destination. You might even have fun.

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If it was mean't to be, it will be

Are you resisting the possibility that there may be an end to your relationship because you’re afraid of what will happen? Hanging on to something that you really need to let go of? Being worried about something that might happen is a waste of energy. The more you resist the end of the relationship, the greater your fear can become. The more your fear increases, so does the chance of your nightmare coming true (or so they say). Almost like pushing it to the edge simply by predicting it. You become threatened and hang on even more, hoping and praying that what you're thinking wont come true. This in turn can push your partner further away. The fear that is holding on to you needs to be fed in order to create more power and control in your life so you need to do the opposite of resisting. You don’t want to be perceived as needy. “What will be, will be” as my mother always said, along with “This too shall pass”. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to sit around and do nothing. You just have to be willing to accept it. Letting go is strictly a state of mind. I know your heart is involved but you need to listen to your head too. The right state of mind can remove the anxiety and fear so that you can see what is going on and what needs to be done. Sometimes diversion thru hobbies, work, sports (whatever makes you happy), will keep your mind busy and help you to separate yourself enough to deal with what’s happening a little at a time and to sort thru it all. Take it one day at a time but be real with yourself. What is the worst thing that could happen? Why have you become so dependent on someone else that the fear of being alone is controlling your life? In your heart, be willing to lose your spouse. However, in your actions, do things to create an environment where he or she will think twice about leaving, if that’s what you really want. The moment you accept the situation and are willing to lose your partner, fear loses its power. The tunnel vision disappears and you become able to interact in a way that creates a loving and livable environment. To let go of your resistance and to restore your peace of mind, be willing for your life to be however it is and however it may become. Let go of your demands and expectations for how your life should be and make peace with the way your life is. Set yourself free inside. Then take whatever action you need to make yourself happy. If you and your partner want to work things out, that’s great, if it doesn’t work out that way, know that you will survive. I believe in fate, and truly, what was meant to be will be.

November 11, 2007

November 10, 2007

From Zero to fight in 60 seconds

It can happen in an instant, you’re talking about something and it turns into an argument. It is often so quick and the reaction so intense that you both can lose sight of what happened and how it happened. And yet, conflict can and does erupt when differences between people in a relationship are ignored, not accepted, or resolved without mutual respect. Under these circumstances, one or both people may believe the difference or the conflict discredits personal integrity. Women are usually the ones that like to talk things thru and resolve them whereas men will turn themselves off or walk away. That can send the message that you don’t care enough to work thru the problem. Men are more likely to walk away because of the confrontation factor but sometimes its better to stand your ground and vocalize your side of the story, so to speak. When it gets heated or you become upset quickly, that may be a sign that you are not prepared to discuss your differences in a rational way. It’s better if things are escalating fast to find a way to stop the arguing until you both have calmed down. Agree on a signal beforehand or intervene by saying something like, “I cant talk to you about this right now. I’m pretty mad and may say something that I don’t mean.” I have the tendency to get really quiet when I am upset. I use to be a lose cannon that would go off on a rant when something made me mad. If I’ve learned nothing from the failed relationships in my past, I have learned its better to take a time out and evaluate the situation. I will usually avoid the discussion until I am ready to discuss it and then I try to talk about it in a rational manner. However, I am female and our rationale doesn’t always prove to be the best, depending on the topic and the time of the month. Sometimes if you find a quiet place, preferably another space, to focus on calming down, it can make all the difference in the world. Resolution of the situation begins with each person recognizing that there is a problem and they agree, at some point, to either agree or disagree. A little conflict is good for any relationship. Although, some differences are an ongoing threat to the relationship and require one or both people to change behavior before any effective work on the relationship can be accomplished. Physical and sexual abuse, substance dependence, and lying, are conditions that can make it dangerous, if not impossible, for each person to enter into and improve their relationship because they need to be willing to participate in the resolution. Communication is a key thing in any relationship, without it, things can go from great to bad very quickly. If you love the person, do what it takes to make them feel at peace. Walking away without things being resolved does more damage than good.

November 9, 2007

Divorce…did you know?

No matter what the circumstances are, receiving a Petition for Divorce (or dissolution) is no laughing matter. From this point going forward the legal process of your divorce has begun. As the non-filing spouse (respondent or defendant) in your case you are required, by law, to formally respond to the Petition within a specified amount of time (which is clearly stated on the summons). Should you fail to or elect not to formally respond, you will be in default, which means the court may proceed with the divorce without your participation and consent. If you are contemplating not responding, think twice, because you typically do not get a second chance.

Here are a few reasons you should thing about in regards to filing a response:

1. You must file a response to participate in your divorce
2. If you do not file a response, the judge may award your spouse all of his or her requests in the Petition.
3. Your response will let the court know what you agree and disagree with.
4. Your response will let your spouse know what you agree and disagree with.
5. Your response will set the stage for negotiation and hopefully lead to settlement.

My ex husband did not show up for the divorce hearing. He couldn’t get the day off work. I got everything I wanted and then some. I requested a specific amount for child support and the judge actually rose what I was requesting. He also wanted to give me alimony but I declined. We didn’t hire lawyers because together we really didn’t have much accept our kids and he wasn’t fighting for custody so it went really smoothly and in my favor. Not responding is the worst thing you can do. You can’t stop a person from wanting a divorce by not signing, you do nothing but hurt yourself. If you have any questions, there are paralegal services that can help or legal aide in some states that charge by your income. Legal mumbo-jumbo can be confusing. Know your rights.

November 7, 2007

TT #36

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13 things that I loved about my birthday

1. My new IPOD that my DBF Michael got me.

2. Having sex.

3. The gift certificate my Mom got me.

4. Having the people I love sing Happy Birthday to me.

5. Eggs Laguna for Sunday brunch.

6. Knowing how many people love me.

7. 2 birthday cakes that were yellow with chocolate frosting.

8. Tacos

9. Getting birthday wishes from all of my blogger friends.

10. Knowing that Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away and that means 4 days off.

11. That my mother got to share it with me and is in complete remission from her cancer.

12. Getting a massage.

13. My new outfit that fits perfect, how does my Mom do it without knowing the size??

November 6, 2007

Blog of the month award.

My very good friend emmyrose gave me the blog of the month award.

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Thank you so much for not only reading my blog, but chosing it for such an honored award. I am deeply touched.

Wordless Wednesday

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Did you fall in love with a cheater?

A cheating person can only hide their cheating ways for so long before the lies get out of control and they get caught. The longer a person cheats, the higher probability their partner will find out. In this busy day and age, it is difficult to carry on more than one relationship. However, with inventions like the Internet, accessibility to willing partners has become easier than ever. There are various ways to tell if your partner is cheating. If they exhibit any of the following signs, it may be time to take a closer look:

He/she spends less time with you. They usually, but not always, use the excuse of working long hours, extra meetings and dinners or other unexplained functions so he/she will have time with the “other” person.

He/she isn’t as affectionate as they use to be. Your sex life is almost non-existent because of their other commitments. They dont want to cuddle, watch a movie, hold hands or do many of the touchy things he/she used to. I know, with the father of my children(my second husband), our sex life went from daily to weekly overnight. We were together for 7 years. Of course, I didn’t find out about what he was doing until well after I left him. In hindsight, it was pretty clear. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it.

He/she changes their physical appearance. They may start buying new clothes, get their hair cut in a new hairstyle or begin working out because he/she wants to be attractive to the other person in their life.

Changes in their car. The passenger seat in the car has been moved or there is an unknown hair on the car seat. Perhaps the radio station is on an irregular station because that’s what the other person likes.

A cheater may become more short-tempered because of the guilty feelings as a result of the infidelity. Things that usually did not bother him/her suddenly start bothering them. They can frequently become defensive when questioned about their whereabouts. They may turn it around to accuse you of being insecure, possessive or snoopy.

He/she may smell of perfume, smoke or alcohol, especially if he/she hasn’t had time to change after meeting with the other person. I know this sounds cliché but its true.

Cell phone changes. He/she wont leave their telephone turned on when he/she is with you because his/her other woman may call them. He/she may leave the room to have a telephone conversation or say strange things after he/she picks up a message from their lover. Watch for calls in the middle of the night. If you have access to their telephone bill, check it closely. Look for repeated unknown numbers, times and durations.

Computer usage changes. He/she may utilize a computer to seek out partners or communicate with them. If your partner is on the computer for long periods of time at night and then closes the door so you won’t see them, he/she may be communicating or chatting with their love interest.

He may also have changes in spending habits. You can tell if your partner is cheating if he is suddenly always broke. It's because he is spending all of their money on the other person. This is more common with men, which is why I left out the "SHE" factor. Watch whether he is paying with cash and making more frequent ATM withdrawals to cover his paper trail. Check any receipts, bill’s or stubs that you may have access to.

Once you know if your partner is cheating or not, make sure you have a plan of action that you will take after you accuse them. You need to decide whether it’s time for you to move on or whether this relationship may be worth a second chance. Without evidence, they are just idol threats and accusations. He/she can turn it around to try and make you look like a fool...don't fall for it. Go into battle armed!

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November 5, 2007

The hardest thing about dating….

I would have to say, the hardest thing about dating is breaking the ice. When you go thru dating sites, which I recommend, it makes it a little easier but it can be tedious. You ask the same questions and answer the same questions over and over again. However, you get very good and creative with your screening process. If you put enough info on your profile, like what you are looking for and what you don’t like, that weeds out the riff-raff. Usually, but not always. Sometimes you wonder if they even read the small print or if they look at the pics and just respond. Considering men are more visual than anything, that might be the case a lot of time. You can also take into consideration that maybe he doesn’t know how to read (I'm kidding) and just move on from there. If the guy doesnt take the time to find out what you want, that can also tell you that he may be self centered. Some guys have a sick sense of humor or are just perverts that are looking for sex. You can usually spot them in the first couple of sentences. I would delete them and report them to the website if their response to your profile was really bad (sick and twisted). Ignoring them works sometimes, but if he is a persistent pervert, you may need to take the next step. Then there is the first date. If you have been talking via e-mail or phone, it makes it a lot easier because you have something to talk about. You know a little about their world and they know a little about you. If you have never talked, that can be a little more challenging but doable. Dating can be fun. You meet a lot of different people and sometimes try new things. I know after a break up or divorce, you tend to be a little gun shy. My suggestion to you is, don’t be. It’s just like riding a bike and if nothing else, you can make a new friend if the there is no sexual connection. Dating can make you feel sexy and desirable so put yourself out there. It also gives you a good excuse to hit the sales rack at the mall for a new outfit. Ladies (and guys), Mr. and/or Mrs. Right is not going to come knocking on your door. Just do it and have fun!!

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November 4, 2007

Crockpots…a single parents best friend

I have never been a fan of cooking. Not now or ever. I have scrambled home after a hard day at work and did my best to throw together a nutritional dinner for my kids with little to no effort but it always turned in to a bigger presentation than I really had the energy for. UNTIL, I mastered the Crockpot. My mother bought one for me when I first went out on my own but I never appreciated it until I had 2 little mouths depending on me to feed them the minute I walked thru the door. Heck, my kids still ask me what’s for dinner and when. Although, my youngest son is a little more independent that my oldest son (who is now out on his own) but when he comes home for holidays, that’s the first thing out of his mouth. My mother instructed me to buy a timer and just plug the Crockpot in to that before I leave for work..Easy!! I put frozen meat in the pot along with water, salsa, BBQ sauce (depending on what I am making), the veggies on the bottom and VOILA!! As soon as you walk in the door, it smells like dinner is ready. If you are having something on the side, it’s a piece of cake to whip it up because the main course is already done. They have a few Crockpot recipe books out there with wonderful ideas, but I’m telling you as the voice of experience, you need to invest in one of these wonderful easy to use gadgets. They are a single mothers best friend and cost little to nothing. You can even freeze what you don’t use. I make everything from chili verde, ham hawks and beans, stew, shredded beef for burritos and salsa chicken in mine. You can make spaghetti sauce and regular chili too. If you have never experienced one of these fabulous machines, I suggest you go to your local Walmart and purchase yourself one as an early Christmas present. You wont be sorry.

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November 3, 2007

Which age child is the hardest to raise??

That is a difficult question to answer. I became a single mother when I had a 1 and 4 year old. Not to mention, the 1 year old had ADHD. I couldn’t go to sleep unless he was already sleeping because he would get up, after I went to bed, and turn on all the lights, TV, and open the fridge. He even took my iron out and burned my carpet once. Then there was the fact that I couldn’t take them anywhere because it was always a big deal. They would fight, Brad wouldn’t sit still, having to take everything but the kitchen sink whenever you went anywhere. That was tough. My youngest didn’t sleep thru the night until he was 18 months old. From ages 5 to 12, I don’t remember any real significant problems except in school. I think all of Brads teachers had me on quick dial and I got calls on a regular basis but there wasn’t any problems at home. I took my kids everywhere,well almost everywhere, because babysitters were hard to come by. My oldest son was an angel. He never gave me guff, he always did what he was told, and he helped with his little brother without being told to do so. He was very protective of him. Then he turned 16. He always did exceptional in school. He started hanging out with the wrong kids and getting into drinking and drugs. I went thru lying, drugs, alcohol, sneaking out, getting arrested, suspension from school, and psycho girlfriends. Although, his grades never fell, which I thought was funny. My youngest just turned 16 this month and it, so far, has been a very different experience. It is a constant battle regarding his grades but everything else has been fairly easy. He doesn’t care what his peers think, he has no desire (so far) to experiment, he is home on Friday and Saturday nights, and he loves video and computer games. I guess, in looking back, my oldest was easier as a child/baby and my youngest has made the teen years a little more bearable. So, the answer to the question of which age is more difficult?? I would have to say the early years and the teen years. From 5 to 12 was a piece of cake. That’s 7 years out of 18 that were not as trying. It would have been easier having 2 people to deal with the issues rather than one but Im not complaining. I have great kids, not perfect but definitely human.

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November 2, 2007

Why do we stay?

Why do so many people stay in relationships that are either unhealthy or they aren’t happy?? We know its wrong, but we stay anyway. Some people will tell you it’s for the children. That is a theory I have never agreed with. I think children would be much happier with two parents living apart happily rather than together miserably. Infidelity, that word doesn’t even need anything else to accompany it in a sentence because it speaks for itself. How do you trust a man (or woman) after they have committed the ultimate crime against the relationship?? Believing them after that, to me, would be something that I could never do. And what if they do it over and over again?? A friend of mine stayed in a relationship with a man for almost 20 years and 3 children, when she knew he wasn’t loyal before they even got married. He was good looking and charming but why would you put yourself thru that?? When you’re with a man, you should feel safe and secure in your world. There should never be any doubt or mistrust when he tells you something, you should be able to believe him. And if he isn’t happy with what he has, why is he staying anyway?? Out of guilt?? How can you say you love someone and then have sex with someone else? A lot of people are blindsided, not even knowing there was a problem to begin with. And if he is the one that cheated, why would you beg him to take you back?? Do you have no self-esteem or self worth that you think this is what you deserve?? I know love is a very strong emotion. People do a lot of things in the name of love but is it worth it?? How can one person have so much control over your existence that you’re willing to do anything to have them in your world? Who are the biggest cheaters, men or women?? What you read and hear on TV always point the finger at the men. I think, women are just smarter and they don’t get caught. Men like to flaunt their triumphs, women do it for the satisfaction, not the notoriety. We like to feel desirable, and if the man you’re with doesn’t make you feel that way, it’s easy to stray to someone that does. Just my opinion, of course. Either way, I don’t justify or agree with straying outside a relationship. End it first than do what you want. It’s not fair to anyone involved if you stay married but have affairs on the side. If you ever loved the person you’re cheating on, show them the respect they deserve and do the right thing. Walk away. And if you’re the victim, you will survive. There are so many worthy people out there, to think that this is the end of your world is not reality. This too shall pass.

November 1, 2007

TT #35

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13 things single parents can do to take care of themselves

1. Take a long walk.

2. Check out a yoga video and make time to do it twice a week.

3. Read a short story that you can totally lose yourself in.

4. Daydream

5. Get a babysitter and go to a movie.

6. Smile

7. Read a magazine.

8. Sit outside and breathe fresh air.

9. Go to a park and sit on the swings with your kids.

10. Go to bed an hour early.

11. Surround yourself with pictures of the people you love and things you care about.

12. Say "Yes" to something you'd really like to do.

13. Get up fifteen minutes early so you can linger over a cup of coffee.

The Trust Factor

Trust is a hard thing to give and very easy to take away. People that think trust should just be given (teenagers are guilty of this but I am focusing on relationships) have not had the experience or have had very few experiences of trust being broken. When men ask women to simply “trust” them, it’s not that we can’t, we are just more vulnerable than men. If you want a woman to trust you, she needs something that will help develop that trust. Perhaps even a tool or gesture that she can “count on” until that trust with you is established. Thankfully this already exists and is known by every woman. What cultivates trust in a woman is a man who consistently keeps his word. Making a promise is meaningless if there is no follow through. Unfortunately, some women trust men too quickly and are stunned when their trust is broken. A woman needs to see her man fulfill his promises not just hear his pledge. Seeing is always more powerful than hearing. Over time what you see will replace most, if not all, of your concerns about their character. And to the men I say, when the woman you love sees your words lining up with your actions, trust will naturally follow. When you don’t keep your word it causes your wife/girlfriend to become fearful. From her perspective, she has entrusted you with her heart and she wants to trust you. She simply needs your help in giving you what you want. It really isn’t that complicated. Why do people make promises they cant keep?? Is it because they want to actually accomplish what they said they would or is it to temporarily fool the person they are with? Why do women believe men that have terrible track records? I think its because women are born romantics. They want to believe in the knight in shining armor theory. Who is more apt to lie, men or women?? Well, I guess we are both guilty of that. People in general should really think twice before you decide to lie to your significant other. Not only does that break the trust, it doesn’t show much for your character either. Wouldn’t it be easier to step up and tell the truth than to spin a web of lies that may later come back to bite you?? I guess that’s a question only the guilty can answer. The bottom line, trust is earned not given. If you are with someone you don’t trust, maybe you should reconsider your choice. We have the power to control our own destiny. We just have to use it.

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