If you are expecting this site to show a person whose house is spotless, with homemade meals and desert made from scratch on the table every night, the laundry always caught up, my kid always acting perfect and handmade gifts given for every holiday, then you’ve landed on the wrong site.

If you are NOT like the person mentioned above and you want to come hang out with someone who isn’t a Supermom either, then you’ve come to the right place.

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Friday, February 27, 2009


OK, today I am tackling driving.

This is such a sore subject amongst those who commute or just do a lot of driving in general. See if you can relate to this one.

You know, people who drive like idiots used to just make me angry. But now that I have had a baby I realize how angry it makes me they are jeopardizing his little brand new life. When you have a child you really start to notice how bad people's driving has become. Their disregard for others' safety and how their rudeness so affects other people's day.
Their carelessness or it's all about me attitude could at the very least ruin someone's day and at the very most take away what they and others hold most dear. The precious life of someone they love.
What's more important? Getting there first or helping to make sure you and others get there safe?

Ok, now that I have made you all melancholy again and hopefully a little ashamed over how you may have treated people on your way in this morning. Let's go over the drive most of us face every day.

When people treat me like I don't exist on the roadways it helps if I remind myself that today must be my turn to be invisible.

It amazes me of how much power one person has over a large amount of people when put behind the wheel of a vehicle. This one person has the ability to start or end someone's day very badly. Let's start by driving to work.

You're driving along, going the speed limit, and coming to full stops. You are just generally minding your own business and not bothering anyone. You're courteous when you change lanes or by signaling your turns and not cutting anyone off. You generally feel good Karma out there for the other drivers or at least indifference towards them. When out of nowhere comes this.............idiot.

At the four-way stop in your neighborhood there are certain rules that everyone must follow right? You know the rules. The first car there goes first. If two cars arrive at the same time it is the car on the right that goes first or the car going straight goes before the car turning. Everyone knows these rules, but there is always the one who thinks, the rules don't apply to them because it's all about them. So when it's your turn the other driver turns in front of you. The idiot.

Then while going past the McDonalds the next driver pulls out in front of you when there is no one behind you. Why couldn't he have waited till you got by? Because it's all about them. You steam because the idiot gets through the light, but you don't.

Then you finally get through the light that a person ran a red on. You mumble, "idiot" and glare at them as they go by wondering why they are in such a hurry. It's because it's all about them.

On the to the entrance ramp to the highway, after waiting through two traffic lights you get to finally turn on the green arrow. It's your turn, right? Not according to the oncoming driver trying to enter the same ramp. You have the green arrow, he has the yield sign, but he doesn't understand the word yield. Why? Because it's all about them.

Then while ramping on, you are supposed to be up to close to highway speed so you can safely merge into traffic. But inevitably you are stuck behind this person who thinks 40 mph is plenty fast enough to merge into 65 mph + traffic. You mumble "idiot" to yourself and decide to wait your turn to merge which of course ends up being he gets in front of the dump truck and you are stuck behind it as it flails rocks down onto the roadway which dance up to meet your car.

You laugh disgustingly as you read the sign on the back of truck that says, "Not Responsible For Objects Thrown From Road." So they are not responsible for that rock that falls off their truck and happens to bounce once on the ground before rising back up to meet your car? They are not responsible because it touched the ground first? What do they think we are? Idiots?

Ironically enough the car behind you shoots over into the lane instead of waiting his turn to merge behind you making it hard for you to slip in right behind the dump truck that is going 35 mph and is so graciously showering you with its load. You mumble "idiot" and feel alone because it's all about them.

Finally after 40 cars pass you and your paint is now chipped down to the primer, you get around the dump truck only to have your doors blown off by the multi-taskers. They apply their makeup, shave, read papers, reach for things that have fallen on the floor and of course they talk on the phone. All the while going at speeds you try and estimate. 75? 80? 85? Wow.
There is no need to rant about driving and talking on cell phones here. So many else already have. You've seen these "idiots" and have learned it's all about them.

Then things spread out, you are finally on your way and you think you might just get there on time. While you are enjoying this little illusion when of all of sudden, brake check! Everyone comes to almost a stop on the highway. Crap.

The lanes inch by ever so slowly. You see cars go from lane to lane. Now there is a law in a traffic jam. No matter what lane you are in, no matter how many times you change lanes, the other two lanes will always, and I mean always move faster than the lane you are in. The same law applies to grocery checkout lanes.
You grit your teeth as that same dump truck just now passed you in the other lane. Finally when you get up to the scene of the traffic jam you shout, "idiots!" as you pass by two people arguing over the little fender bender that has caused you to sit for the past 15 minutes dashing all hope of arriving on time. They can do it because it's all about them.

You are finally on your way and passing that dump truck yet once again. He forgot to chip your front headlight the first time you passed him, so he got it this time.

You finally make it to your exit. You get over in your "exit only" lane in plenty of time and who do you meet there? Two types of people. The first type are those who either can't or refuse to read road signs that say, "exit only". They wait till the striped lines are outside their door to dash over back onto the highway. You mumble, "idiot" in harmony with the other driver in the car on the highway they just cut off. You both know it's all about them.

The second type, well do you have to ask? They are the line jumpers. You know the ones that feel they are given the birthright of not having to wait their turn in line. They would never jump in front of you in line at the grocery or atm, because they know they would get pounded, but they have no problem darting in at the last second with no turn signal and come to an abrupt stop two feet in front of your bumper. They know better to look in the mirror at your glaring face and moving lips that are mouthing the word, "idiot". They don't because it's all about them. And oh by the way, they of course get through the light at the end of the exit and you don't.

Once through the light and back onto regular streets you notice a looming presence in your rear view mirror. It's the tailgater. You are going 5 mph OVER the speed limit! What is their problem you shout internally? You can't go faster than the car in front of you and you know they can see that. So why do they feel the need to ride your backside? I want use another description, but of course I can't.

You so want to jam on the brakes to teach them a lesson, but you realize this "idiot" has kids in the car with them. So you choose to take the high road and don't. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for that one. You deserve it. You are smarter than they are. Because this time it's all about the kids they have in the car and not all about them.

By the way, did you know that the majority of people who tailgate me are women? I would say about 99% of them are. I wonder why? Is it because they think it's all about them?
So idiots, I mean people, back off, because next time if I see it's just you in the car I may not be so nice. You just may end up having my rear bumper become your hood ornament.

Finally, once you get to turn into work and realize you just might make it right on time only to find the place you have parked in everyday since the beginning of time is taken over by the boss's new boss. You know the one that just graduated college last week, makes more money than you could ever hope for and drives a car that costs almost as your first house. It's all about them remember.
This change in routine requires you to park a 1000 feet away dashing all hope of arriving on time. When asked by your supervisor about your tardiness in front of his new boss you angrily describe the car that took your "spot" but not before you realize it's the new boss's ride and say, "The idiot". Oops.

Guess what? It's only Monday and you get to repeat it all over again on your way home.

You know, when asked most people think they are above average drivers.
The idiots.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Children's Bill Of Rights

This was sent to me a long time ago and I stumbled upon it this morning.
This is for those who have teenagers or have already raised teenagers, or have children who will soon be teenagers or those who will be parents someday OR ANYONE WHO'D JUST GET A LAUGH!
It is very funny and I know it's something my parents would have said to me if I had tried something like this with them.
I do hope though it's a conversation I never have to have with my son!

Children's Bill Of Rights

My son came home from school one day,
With a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough,
To put me in my place.

"Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today,
The 'Children's Bill of Rights.'

It says I need not clean my room,
Don't have to cut my hair
No one can tell me what to think,
Or speak, or what to wear.

I have freedom from religion,
And regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head,
And I sure don't have to pray.

I can wear earrings if I want,
And pierce my tongue & nose.
I can read & watch just what I like,
Get tattoos from head to toe.

And if you ever spank me,
I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges,
With the marks on my behind.

Don't you ever touch me,
My body's only for my use,
Not for your hugs and kisses,
that's just more child abuse.

Don't preach about your morals,
Like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control,
And it's illegal too!

Mom, I have these children's rights,
So you can't influence me,
Or I'll call Children's Services Division,
Better known as C.S.D."

Mom's Reply and Thoughts

Of course my first instinct was
To toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson
Made me think a little more.

I mulled it over carefully,
I couldn't let this go.
A smile
crept upon my face,
he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping
At the local Goodwill Store.
I told him, "Pick out all you want,
there's shirts & pants galore.

I've called and checked with C.S.D.
Who said they didn't care
If I bought you K-Mart shoes
Instead of those Nike Airs.

I've canceled that appointment
To take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. Is unconcerned
So I'll decide what's best."

I said "No time to stop and eat,
Or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn
To make your own sack lunch.

Just save the raging appetite,
And wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions,
A favorite dish of mine."

He asked "Can I please rent a movie,
To watch on my VCR?"
"Sorry, but I sold your TV,
For new tires on my car.

I also rented out your room,
You'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. Requires
Just a roof over your head.

Your clothing won't be trendy now,
I'll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get,
Will buy me something neat.

I'm selling off your jet ski,
Dirt-bike & roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights',
It's in effect today!

Hey hot shot, are you crying,
Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out,
Instead of C.S.D.?"

MOM (Mean Old Mother.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is there anything more annoying than growing out your bangs?

I mean what the heck do you do with them when they get too long, fall into your eyes and make your eyelids and nose itch? You end up scratching off all your eyeliner and eye shadow because they are tickling you eyelids. Or you worry that you think someone will think you have a fetish with your nose or think you are picking your nose because the hair tickling your nose makes you scratch it constantly. Funny how we start to get paranoid over things like that.

But what do you do when those stupid pieces of hair are too short to tuck behind your ear?
I have ended up pulling them back and securing them on top of my head with a hair clip. You know what kind of clip I'm talking about? The cute new type that is little. I think they made them for children's hair since they don't hold much. I know it looks dorky, but what else can I do? I have tried the stylish barrettes and pulling them over to the side only to have half of them not make it and fall out and straight down. I mean come on I'm 40 not 15! Nothing looks "cute" on me anymore.

These clips are really hard to use because they are small. I can't tell you how many times I have sent one flying across the room as I try to squeeze the ends together to get it to open wide enough to encompass all the hair I want it to hold. Then only to have that stupid clip fly out of my hands, bounce off the mirror, bounce in the sink a few times and go right down the drain that the stopper is out of because you broke it the last time you tried to get your earring out you dropped.

Now you are still holding your stupid bangs back against the top of your head as you stare down the sink drain looking at the shiny plastic staring back up at you. You try and decide what is more important at the moment, securing your bangs back out of your eyes or fishing the clip out of the drain before someone spits toothpaste all over it. You decide your bangs are more important because of two reasons. One, you can't see with them down in your eyes anyway and two, if you have to deal with them one minute longer you are just going to pull them out by the roots. Then if you do that you'll be too upset to do any drain fishing because you now look like a dork that got into a freak accident.

So now you find yourself fishing through the mess of hair stuff in the drawer looking for another clip all the while still holding back your bangs against the top of your head. After you have managed to drop on the floor a ponytail holder, two bobby pins (No, don't use them you will REALLY look dorky if you do) and a comb you finally find one clip left. A dusty one and not in the most flattering of colors. You sigh as you try again. Once you have the clip in you fight back a tear as you look at how dorky you think you look in the mirror. Then you notice the hair isn't laying quite right as it enters the clip. Do you dare try it again? Oh, and now you're late for work. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How Well Does Your Baby Sleep?

Wow, what a loaded question to ask a sleep deprived parent.

My munchkin is turning 1 year old soon and we are back to night awakenings yet once again.
Just when you thought you could finally get a full night’s rest, wham! In comes teething.

He’s been teething for months, but he’s really having a time now. Hence the night wakings. So in I go, one, two even the occasional three times a night to sooth him and help him fall back to sleep. These episodes don’t last long, but they sure can take a toll on your energy level the next day, can’t they? Is the Zombie, unkempt look still in style?

Of course some people say I am spoiling my baby by not letting him “cry it out”. They tell me to ignore him and he’ll learn. I can’t think of too many more things other than physical abuse that can be more cruel than ignoring your child.

I thought I was the only one in the world who didn’t believe in letting a baby scream by himself in his crib in order to “teach” him to learn to sooth himself and go back to sleep on his own. It just felt wrong. It’s nice to read that others share the same feeling and is being backed up by health professionals.

There is a great article by Dr. Sears on how babies sleep and why they wake so often especially in the early months. Their waking is nature’s way of helping to ensure their survival.
Click here for that article. I highly recommend reading this article regardless of your opinion as it helps explain babies sleep patterns.

I am reminded of the one story I heard about a mother who believed it was wrong to let her baby cry by herself, but after countless nights of frequent waking she let someone convince her to let her baby “cry it out”. That night she ignored her baby’ cries. The baby died of SIDS that night. Her cries went unanswered forever. I can’t imagine the guilt and anguish that mother felt to find her baby dead the next morning. I know myself I don’t think I could have gone on living. I vowed right then and there not to let anyone else tell me how to handle my baby if I feel it is wrong.

Now of course I’m not saying that all babies will die of SIDS if you let them cry it out. Many parents do and their children do learn to sleep eventually. But at what the cost? I never want my baby to feel abandoned, to feel unwanted or unloved. And isn’t that what they feel when they are left to handle things themselves at too young of an age? Wouldn’t you if you were sad, hurt, scared and you cried out to a loved one only to be ignored?

Babies don’t understand why they wake up anymore than we do. They just know they are awake, alone, uncomfortable and scared. They may be hungry or hot or cold or in pain. If we leave them alone and never answer their cries what does it really teach them? It teaches them they are unimportant, that they can’t trust anyone especially their mother to comfort them, to protect them. It teaches them to self sooth, maybe, but it also means that the world is a scary place.

Research has proven over and over that babies who are comforted when they cry no matter what time of day do not grow up clingy and dependent like some think, but quite the contrary. They grow up happy, independent and self assured for they know they have someone in their life they can count on to be there if they need them. This gives them the confidence to go boldly forward into that big world. And isn’t that our goal as parents? To raise happy, healthy, kind and self assured children.

What if you had a great support system of people who loved you no matter what? Who loved you even if you made mistakes and always made you feel loved and wanted? Wouldn’t you feel more confident to pursue your dreams, to try new things, to boldly go forward into the world knowing that no matter what happened you had a safety net of love to fall back on? Don’t we want our children to feel that way and to teach their children the same? I do.

I can’t tell you how to raise your child. I can only tell you how I will try to raise mine and what I am NOT willing to do just because many other people do.

My advice is in all situations follow your own instincts. You have instincts for a reason. Don’t ignore them.

Disney Store Recalls Toy Tool Sets Due to Choking Hazard

Another "Made in China" toy is being recalled.

The Playhouse Disney “Handy Manny” Toy Tool Sets

There are parts that can become seperated and cause a choking hazard.

Here is the link to the recall with the full description of the toy.


If you have this toy please be sure to return it as soon as possible.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Grocery Game

I had my first Grocery Game experience and it went really well.
I saved $21.00 my first try.
If you haven’t heard of the Grocery Game then click here

If you want to sign up, please use me mailto::jmail45678@yahoo.com as a referral, as for every three referrals I get free subscriptions.

What is the Grocery Game?

It’s a way to match sales and coupons together for maximum savings. Have you ever heard of people saving 50% or more off of their grocery bills each month? This is how they do it. They buy groceries when they are at their lowest price and also use lots of coupons. You only buy items you have coupons for that are on sale. That way you maximize your savings. If the item isn’t on sale at that time even if I have a coupon for it I usually won’t buy it then. I’ll wait till it goes on sale and buy it then. The problem with that is I may miss the sale.

When I had heard about how sale cycles work, I would spend countless amounts of time trying to figure what’s on sale between Kroger’s and Meier’s, look at their fliers, look at my coupons, then spend tons of time looking at shelve tags and trying to figure amount of savings, if it was worth it, etc. I spent so much time doing this and it was so aggravating, because inevitably there would be sales on items not listed in the weekly circular I had coupons for at home.

This service does all the work for you and they are so affordable! It’s really great because they give you the regular price for that item, the current sale price, the coupon that the Sunday paper has and the price you pay then. It does all the work for you! You can get 1 month trial for $1, if you want to try it, too. Just please use me mailto::jmail45678@yahoo.com as a referral.

After your trial, the price is only $10 every 2 months for your favorite grocery store. That comes to $1.25 a week. My first visit to the store paid for two months worth! You just put in your zip code and pick from a list of stores in your area.

What does this service offer?
They match up the sale, closeout items and coupons from the paper each week and tell you when you buy your products. They also categorize them by Free (time to buy), Rock Bottom (meaning it is time to stockpile) and items that are on sale and you can buy if you absolutely need them.

The way they track these sales is a 12 week cycle. This means, they know the rock bottom prices tend to cycle through every 3 months. So you stockpile and buy enough to last you about that long, if you can. This may mean, a decent sale is going on, BUT if it is not the rock bottom price, the Grocery Game won't tell you to stockpile.This is very helpful in making sure you get the lowest prices possible.

Now, from what I have heard when you first start, you may not see as much savings as those that have been using the program for awhile. They say it takes at least 2 to 3 months before you begin seeing the savings for your family.

Apparently, when you first start, you can buy the products from the Grocery Game list, BUT you will still need to be buying products you personally need ( because you aren't stockpiled ) and will not be saving as much on those products. But, once you have your stockpile established, you buy primarily from your list and nothing else. Then, you are saving 50% or more every time you go to the store.

Now the first time I saved a bunch because I had already went earlier in the week and bought most of the staples using coupons of course. When I went this last time I only bought what I chose form the grocery game list of sale items I had good coupons for. It took me only 20 minutes and $40.00 worth of groceries cost me $20.00!!! The money saved was great, but the time it saved me was priceless!

You have to try them out and see for yourself. Give it at least three months and be sure to track your savings so you can see how much it is saving you. Not to mention the time. I am using an excel spreadsheet to track how I am saving money. You can use whatever method works for you, just be sure to write the savings down and then let me know how much you are saving!

Happy Saving!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Natural Opportunity

Shaklee offers the perfect opportunity for moms (and dads) who want to design their own lives, earning an income while making the world a better place.
Click here to find out why Shaklee is the Natural Opportunity -- for Moms, Dads and Everyone.»

Why Do I Take Shaklee Supplements?

Many people have asked why I take vitamin supplements and why Shaklee’s.

The reason I take vitamin supplements is because even though I try and eat right, it is near impossible. The guideline is to follow the Food Guide Pyramid. The food guide pyramid is good to follow, but extremely hard to follow on an everyday basis. Why? Well, I’m a realist. Trying to find fresh, organic whole foods in the Midwest in the middle of winter that has all the nutrients I need is virtually impossible. Even if I could, I doubt I could afford it. I try and buy fresh, organic food when I can and when it’s on sale, but I can’t do so every day. It’s just too expensive.

Then there’s the fact I admit I don’t live like a purist. I eat refined sugar, though not as much as some. I eat red meat, though again not as much as I used to. I do try to eat right most of the time, but hey I sometimes eat a hotdog or two with chips and a pop too. In fact this morning I decided I really wanted a Mountain Dew. I was fatigued from too little sleep. No surprise then later when I nursed my son and tried to get him to lay down for a nap he didn’t want to! So see, I’m not perfect and I’m not going to “preach” to you either. I just try and do the best I can and fill in the gaps with good supplementation.

I also live in the city and not on the farm. Factor in the many other reasons and that is why I take vitamin supplements. Notice that they are called “supplements”. Vitamins are designed to supplement a good diet, not replace it. You can’t eat donuts and drink pop exclusively and expect to be healthy.

Now, the reason I take Shaklee supplements is because in my opinion they are the best. No other company can match their extensive scientific testing and research. I believe no one can match their quality control measures and their high standard of manufacturing. To learn more on how Shaklee goes above and beyond check out their Health Sciences information page.

I have come back from some pretty serious health challenges and I didn’t start to improve until I started a vitamin regimen of Shaklee’s supplements. I no longer take any pain medication and I continue to improve my health through better eating habits when I can, exercising and supplementing my diet with the best.

Everyone who has tried Shaklee’s supplements has said they noticed a dramatic improvement in their health and the way they feel. Try them for yourself and see if you don’t see a dramatic improvement. They come with a 100% money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose and good health to gain.

Monday, February 9, 2009

February Is Heart Health Month

We all know how to improve the health of our hearts....Eat right and exercise.

You know how to eat right....More fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, less refined sugar and saturated fat.

You know how to exercise and you know how to lose weight.

But did you know that there are products that can help you achieve your goals that you already know how to do?

OmegaGuard - Promotes Cardiovascular Health. Protect Your Heart Ultra Pure- Pharmaceutical Grade

Omega Guard™ pharmaceutical grade omega 3's uses a state-of-the-art, proprietary, low temperature, triple molecular distillation and purification process that concentrates natural beneficial omega 3 fatty acids and helps remove harmful contaminants including heavy metals lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, dioxins and PCBs. World's Finest Fish oil Omega Guard™ provides a full spectrum of seven natural omega 3 fatty acids -- EPA, DHA, ALA and more for cardiovascular health* and to support healthy vision, brain and joint function*.

CoQHeart - Strengthens the Heart Muscle.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supports energy production in your cells. Studies show that as we age we have less and less of it in our body. CoQ10 is especially important to heart health. A healthy heart, which never stops to rest, relies on CoQ10's energy support.* The uniqueness of Shaklee CoQHeart comes from its highly bioavailable delivery. Your body more readily accepts the softgel delivery form used in CoQHeart than it does solid powders. So you can get more out of your supplement. Also included in CoQHeart's combination of ingredients is the powerful antioxidant resveratrol - believed to be the most beneficial antioxidant compound in red wine.* CoQHeart contains 640 mcg of resveratrol, equivalent to the amount of resveratrol in one glass of red wine.

Cholesterol Regulation Complex - A Natural Approach to Cholesterol Management

Take charge of your cholesterol before it becomes a problem, with Shaklee Cholesterol Regulation Complex.* Cholesterol Regulation Complex can help you retain normal cholesterol levels, along with a low-fat diet and exercise. Its blend of natural ingredients includes a unique compound that inhibits the absorption of dietary cholesterol and has been shown to increase HDL ("good") cholesterol. And, Cholesterol Regulation Complex does not interrupt the production of coenzyme Q10, a nutrient important to heart health that helps cells produce energy.

Fiber Plan - The Fiber You Need on a "Regular" Basis.

Shaklee Fiber Plan products provide soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk to help retain normal cholesterol levels by its ability to bind cholesterol, preventing absorption.* It contains insoluble fiber as well, which promotes regularity by its ability to absorb water.

Garlic - Helps Retain Normal Blood Pressure.

Studies show that garlic promotes cardiovascular health by helping to retain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels when used as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Garlic Complex also provides the antioxidant properties of spearmint and rosemary.

You know what to do, so what are you waiting for?

Care for your heart, love your heart and share your heart.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Shaklee Partners With U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding in Preparation for the 2010 Games in Vancouver

Shaklee Partners With U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding in Preparation for the 2010 Games in Vancouver

PLEASANTON, Calif., Jan 26, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Shaklee Corporation, the leading natural nutrition company in the United States, is the official nutrition supplier for the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding throughout their training for the 2010 Games in Vancouver, continuing a relationship that began in 1980. Founded in 1956, Shaklee has been supporting elite athletes for decades -- more than 54 gold medals have been awarded to Shaklee-powered world-class athletes. "We currently use these products to enhance the hydration status and energy requirements of our athletes' demanding training schedules and busy lifestyles," says Troy Flanagan, Director of Sport Science for the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association, the national governing body for the U.S. ski and snowboarding teams. "Shaklee nutritional supplements are the only choice for us and are proving to be critical to our preparation for the 2010 Games!" Flanagan says Shaklee products are instrumental in allowing the teams to perform at a high level in very rigorous conditions. "U.S. Ski Team athletes travel four to five months straight each year, flying to winter conditions in many different countries throughout the world. Shaklee's NutriFeron(R) helps boost their immune systems* as they push through jet lag, drastic temperature changes, tough training, and the stress of competition," he says. The U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding use a broad assortment of Shaklee supplements, including Vitalizer for overall health and wellness, NutriFeron and Defend & Resist Complex for immune support, Cinch(R) for healthy weight management, Shaklee Performance(R) for hydration and endurance, Physique(R) for post workout recovery, Joint Health Complex for healthy joints, Joint & Muscle Pain Cream for after those grueling workouts, and many others.* Shaklee products are supported by over 90 Shaklee peer-reviewed scientific papers and are available only through Shaklee Distributors. "At the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association (USSA), we make sure that the supplements that our athletes competing in the 2010 Games are taking are extremely safe and reliable," Flanagan says. "That's why USSA athletes are only provided with Shaklee products, which are manufactured to the highest standards." Shaklee is proud to be the official nutritional sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding, a relationship that began over 29 years ago and has since provided the nutritional fuel that helped support the teams in winning 10 medals in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and is currently helping to power the ski team and snowboarders in preparation for the 2010 Games in Vancouver. About Shaklee Corporation Founded 50-plus years ago, Shaklee is a leading provider of premium-quality natural nutrition products, personal care products, environmentally friendly household products, and state-of-the-art air and water treatment systems. In 2000 Shaklee became the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral(TM) certified to totally offset its CO2 emissions, resulting in a net-zero impact on the environment. With a robust product portfolio, including over 50 patents and patents pending worldwide, Shaklee has more than 750,000 Members and Distributors worldwide and operates in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China. For more information contact your local Shaklee Independent Distributor today at http://www.shaklee.net/tobehealthy/main*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. SOURCE Shaklee Corporation

Horse Tips: Bits

When trying to choose the right bit, go for the lightest, easiest bit first.
The majority of horses, even ones with issues will respond to a light snaffle. Remember the mouth is a very sensitive place. Severe bits are not needed and should be avoided at all costs. After all, your goal is to have your horse go willingly, quietly and softly, right?

When starting horses for the first time or even when working with an older horse that has issues we need to overcome I actually prefer a side pull bridle which has no bit at all. Below is a picture of one.

When starting a young horse, I work him only in the side pull first then when he is going good I will introduce him to the snaffle. Usually just a D-ring or sometimes a full cheek snaffle which also puts pressure against the side of the mouth helping him to bend his head.

Now the bridle with the bit is worn under the side pull bridle at the same time. I do not however use the bridle with the bit’s reins. I tie them off loosely on the horn. I just want him to carry the bit in his mouth for a while and get used to it. When he is at ease with it, then I may pick up the reins, but only at the halt at first. I put pressure on only one rein and release the very moment he gives his head, even if it’s only a fraction of an inch. The idea here is reward him for “giving in” to the bit and build on it. It is very important you release the rein at the very moment he gives so he can learn the reward system. I will repeat it a few times on that side than switch to the other rein. Then pick up the side pull’s reins and work on the lesson for the day. The next lesson will have more bit work and I then build on it slowly till I am working solely with the bridle with the bit’s reins and then I no longer need the side pull.

I pretty much may do the same with the older horse unless he responds well to the snaffle. If he goes well with the snaffle then that’s where I start. I will use the side pull though if he has trouble responding to rein cues or does not give well to the bit.

Remember, the key is very small steps done in short increments rather than long, tiring lessons. Horses are like children and can absorb only so much at one time till they get overloaded and their brains shut down. Keep your lessons short and sweet and always try and end on a good note. Even if that means going back to a maneuver he knows well.
I rarely go over an hour with a lesson and most are under an hour especially when working with young horses. There have been a few exceptions to this when I am working a horse that is being stubborn, I am trying to find a good note to end on and he is unwilling to give me that. Then I will keep going to we can reach a good compromise for both sides.
It makes him feel good that he can do something that pleases you and he will remember that the next time you are ready to work. You want your horse to look forward to the next lesson, not dread it. You also want to look forward to the next lesson and not dread it yourself, right?

Happy Trails

Friday, February 6, 2009

Office Gossip

What is it with office environments?
It doesn't seem to matter where your office is or what kind of work is done in that office, the gossip issue remains the same.
It really doesn't matter whether you work with mostly women or mostly men. But I must admit women tend to be the worst. Men just have different methods.
Though there are some differences the basic issues remain the same.

Gossip. What an ugly word, but hey that is the main form of communication around the office. We all hate the gossips, but yet often times that is the only way we find out anything on what's going on. Sad as it may be, most managers are so poor at communicating to their employees that the only way anybody can find out anything is through the gossipers. This of course leads to a lot of misinformation being passed around. It may eventually get straightened out, but not till after a lot of "damage" is done.

Why have managers not learned this yet? It is human nature to want to know what's going on, especially when it comes to one's job. Isn't it amazing how fast information is spread with no regard to accuracy? And we all know someone who is especially good at it too. Every office has its main source. I mean this person is so good at passing around misinformation they should be hired by our military for propaganda purposes.

So what do we do about the negative side of gossip? You can try and ignore them, but boy is that hard. How do you ignore a constant drone? I try most of the time, but I have found that it's best to act like you are not listening, then do and process the info and assume it's wrong. What this does is it gives you a clearer picture of the type of people you work with. This can be invaluable and help you steer clear of those out to do you harm. Even still it can be taxing on your energy level so only do this with a healthy dose of coffee or Mountain Dew.

So, why not have some fun. I mean, if you can't beat them join them!
Enlist the help of a fellow coworker who feels the same way you do. Then come up with a pretty farfetched story about yourself. I mean keep it so they can't hurt your career or get you in trouble, but make it something like you found remnants of a plane crash in your back yard with markings similar to Amelia Earhart or maybe Exxon keeps calling and bugging you since you found this black liquid bubbling up in your yard.
My favorite that was actually used where I worked is that Verizon is paying you $1200 a month to rent a small piece of your land to put up a cell phone tower. Never mind that you live down in a valley, it’s going to be a taller than normal tower.

If you can think of something a little more believable, but not damaging then go for it. You must be serious in your conversation so as to make it believable enough and just loud enough for the "right" person to overhear. Make sure they hear you say that this is strictly a hush, hush deal and no one is to know. Then sit back and enjoy the fun.

It won't take long for it to come back around and it will have a new twist to it as each passer adds their own embellishments. When someone does confront you about it, you can take one of two roads. You can act upset that your "secret" is out and play more with that or you can act shocked and bewildered at who would pass such a farfetched rumor about you! This method has been known to temporarily cure some bad gossipers.
Either way, it will be a lot of fun on how twisted the story may get. Just remember to be careful so you don't get yourself fired.

One way I have also got people to stop running to me with the latest even though I have told them in the past I'm not interested in hearing the latest gossip is this. When they start just interrupt them and say this, "Hey, I would love to hear about this, but believe it or not I actually have some work that needs to get done and could you just email me what you want to tell me? Thanks!" and immediately go back to typing or walk away, whatever. If you get an email, then keep it. Label the folder "latest news from so and so". Chances are you won't get a thing and will eventually get left out of the gossip loop.

Keep in mind though, if you manage to pull yourself out of the gossip loop and you have a manager that is lousy at communicating you may just be the last to know everyone's jobs are being shipped to India!

Have Fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Infant See Program

I wanted to let you know about my experiences with the Infant See Program and the eye doctor I took him to.

I heard about the Infant See Program through the local Moms Like Me. It is a program that offers FREE eye exams for infants till one year of age.
I highly recommend you take advantage of this free program. It is important to catch any vision problems early as early detection of any eye conditions is the best way to ensure your child’s healthy vision both now and in the future.

The exam is free, short and non invasive. They have special tools designed especially for babies who of course cannot communicate how they are seeing. The exam was also fun for my little guy. The reason he had such a good time and was laughing had a lot to do with the doctor.
I took him to Dr. Michelle Staarmann of the Staarmann Family Vision Center. She was incredibly nice and made us both feel at ease. She played and talked to my son and made it fun for him. She did a through exam including looking at the back of the eye in addition to checking his vision. I highly recommend their practice even though I have never been to their office before. I assure you I will be seriously considering going there when I am due for new contacts.

The staff was nice and courteous and I had less than a three minute wait.
Can’t beat that.

Please take the time to look into the Infant See Program and Dr. Staarmann's practice. A little time invested now can mean the difference in how your child sees the world.

Oh, and by the way my son’s vision is normal with no problems detected. I feel relieved and with one less thing to worry about. That’s a nice feeling.

Take care.

Related Links:

Infant See Program

Staarmann Family Vision Center

Cincinnati Moms Like Me

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Horse Tip – You Are Your Horse’s Trainer

One thing most people who have horses forget is we are all horse trainers.

Yes, even you.
Having a horse that is well behaved is a joy isn’t it? Just like having a horse that is hard to handle is stressful.

Every time you handle your horse you are training him. You are either training him to do what you want or you are training him to do what you don’t want. This is more than just when you are riding. It’s when you put his halter on, when you bring him in from the field, leading him to the barn and making him wait while you stop and talk with a friend. It’s when you are picking his feet, grooming him or entering his stall to feed and water him.

All those “little” times are training times. So try and be conscious of this every time you are handling your horse. Take advantage of these short moments to instill good manners or reinforce training already established. It is these types of “training” moments that add up. Letting him get away with bad things now also add up over time and before you know it you have a monster on your hands.

So remember, you are your horse’s trainer. Go out and evaluate his manners today. Is he behaving the way you want or are there areas that need your attention? Small steps over time add up to bigger accomplishments.

Happy Trails!

Mom Tip – “Don’t Give Up On Breastfeeding”

I have never met a mom who said she ever regretted breastfeeding. I have however, met a few moms who regretted giving up on it.

If you are a new mother and are currently experiencing problems breastfeeding of any kind such as, your baby is having trouble latching on, pain when baby is nursing, etc. get help. You can get the help you need either from a lactation consultant at the hospital you delivered at or by contacting the La Leche League. This group is dedicated to helping moms and babies with breastfeeding and there are usually local members that will be more than happy to help. You can also connect with other moms like in an IVillage breast feeding message board or through our local message board on breastfeeding Moms Like Me. Also, don’t forget to talk to friends and family and ask if they know of a woman who currently is breastfeeding or they used to when their children were babies. Sometimes just talking with another woman can be very helpful. I think you will find most women will be very helpful and understanding.

I know it can be hard, just don’t give up. You won’t regret it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Internet Overload

Ok, so you want to do some research on a subject, so you hit the Internet.
You try the general search and hit the 352 billion, 575 million, 653 thousand, 597 hundred and 2 results to your search. You think to yourself, "How could there be that many articles, opinions, websites, etc. on this?"

So you try and refine your search. You click on the few top suggestions the search engine throws up at you. You end up maybe finding a site or two that gives you enough info to wet your appetite and then it begins. The endless line of click throughs. You click here to read this article or newsbyte. Then that page has about 50 places to click on for more info or websites and so on and so on.

So you click on some and end up in places you have no idea how you got there. Your head is reeling from the information overload and you actually feel more stupid than when you began. You wish you had never started, but now you can't stop. You have now officially entered the "I am so overwhelmed" state of mind.

Ah, the saying, "Ignorance is bliss" is coming to mind. It's an old saying, one that has been around long before the invention of the Internet and computers. Who knew it would have such a strong impact in today's world? I mean, how much information do we really need? Who would have thought that you can actually get too much information on a subject? Would you have ever thought you would have wished for a time before computers?

Yet you find yourself daydreaming about what it must have been like for your parents and grandparents. Raising kids without the Internet?? Are you kidding? How ever did they do it?

What if you had a baby? What if the baby had a fever, a runny nose, began crawling, eating solids, got a diaper rash, went to school, became a teenager, graduated college, left home, had a family? I mean how did they get through life themselves and raise children to be productive members of society without the vast Internet to tell them what to do? Let me tell you, they did so pretty easily. How? They relied on their own intelligence, most had a family support network and society wasn't as judgmental as it is today.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the Internet. Well, it's more of a love/hate relationship. I do remember that we got along just fine without it before, but now that it's woven itself into our lives we can't live without it.
Have you ever met someone who doesn't use the Internet, does not own a computer or even know how to use one? I have. They are rare, definitely a dying breed. They tend to be older of course and when asked about if they saw a particular thing on the Web or maybe offer that solution to a problem they are having can be found on a particular website they scoff and say things like, "I never get on there. I don't even have a computer." You gasp as if they told you they use an outhouse in their backyard.

How do they survive? You ask yourself. Well, quite nicely. If you notice this person, is doing quite well. They seem to not be in personal debt. They have enough money to do most of what they want. They have nice, but not extravagant homes and don't lead excessive materialistic lives. They don't have the red eyes from staring at a computer all day. They tend to be in better health than most and are generally, dare I say it? Happy?!

You walk away from them just mystified. You secretly long to be like them. They are totally unaware of a whole world out there and the kicker is they don't care! You want to be like that, but you know you can't. It's too late for you.

But how do we use it and keep our sanity? How do we do research to educate ourselves without turning our brains to mush? The answer is: I don't know.
Maybe I can Google it and let you know. But then again I don't have time to send you all the links on it and you probably don't have time to click on them. Just try and wear ear plugs to keep your brains from leaking out. And take a picture of that happy, Internet unaware person and submit to the organization that publishes the endangered species list. It is doubtful your children will ever see such a person and they won't believe you if you tell them at one time you yourself was one.

Happy Computing!


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