I’m now a cat person.

Angel kitty

Growing up, we always had dogs. My parents got me a Siberian Husky named Niki before I was even born because “all little boys need a dog.” (I was supposed to be Christopher Todd.) Then I had a toy poodle named Chocolate. There was a playful Cockapoo named Chuckie (named after a cute boy at school, not the psycho killer movie character) that was born on Christmas and died on Easter. (True story.) Then of course, I had my beloved Sophia from 1999 – 2016. #RIP

Italian GreyhoundSince Sophia died last year, I tried another dog, but he didn’t like the children, so I found him another home. I resigned myself to be pet-less for the time being.

Then just before Christmas, something sparked me to want to get Madison a cat. Anthony, Kennedy and Madison had cats before, but I never did. One, because I was a dog person; and two, because I was highly allergic. But I had been getting allergy shots for quite a while and had already overcome so many environmental allergies, I thought maybe my cat allergy would be gone too. Plus Anthony reassured me that cats are super easy to potty train. I was skeptical, but then saw a precious kitten on Facebook and knew she was the one. Two weeks before Christmas, Angel became part of the family. And Anthony was right — she used the litter box right away.

Angel kitty

Right away, Maya started asking for her own cat — since Angel is technically Madison’s cat. I put her off as long as I could, not sure she would be as responsible as Madison is. Anthony said that we probably should get another one (if we were going to add another one) while Angel was still young so they would get along. So two weeks ago, we brought home Thunder, this adorable little boy.

Thunder kitty

Angel was not happy — she hissed and stalked him that entire first day. Luckily he was quick and tiny, and could hide in safety from Angel. But by day two, they were playing and fighting like brothers and sisters do. They really seem to enjoy each other now. Here they are this morning…

cats

I really like this new kitty, Thunder. He is such a little snuggle-bug. And I think his beard looks like Anthony’s.

So it’s official — I’m a cat person now.

Vision Board for 2017

vision board

I’m a visual person, so vision boards are helpful to keep me focused on my goals. I did a vision board a couple of years ago and liked it, so I decided to do another one this year.

I wrote earlier this month about my word for 2017: PURPOSE. This year, my goal is to be more present with my family, to simplify my life, and to live out my purpose.

I’m off to a good start so far. I resigned from my government job last month. It was good paying, but not fulfilling to me mentally or creatively. Now I’m working for less money, but in a job that feels like it was created just for me. And it’s just down the street from my kids’ school, so lunch dates can be much more frequent.

vision boardMy vision board process is simple: thumb through old magazines and cut out any word or photo that speaks to me. Then I lay them all out on my dining table and start with the most important words first. With a glue stick, I then apply them to a piece of poster board. (I went with half a sheet of poster board this year — again SIMPLIFY.) vision board

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”(?Philippians? ?2?:?13?)

Some focus words for me this year include: love, family, hope, saving, travel, speak truth, nourish, balance, what matters now, dream and powerful — just to name a few.

I’m excited about what 2017 holds for me and my family.

Do you make a vision board? What is your focus or goal this year?

 

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Word for 2017

Happy 2017! I adore New Year’s Day and the possibilities that lie ahead, putting behind me the mistakes and disappointments of last year, and focusing on the present. Several of my friends pick a focus word for the year, so I decided that I would do that also. It goes along with my vision board (coming in a future post).

My 2017 word is PURPOSE.

What is your word for 2017? Comment below.

Let’s make this year the best ever!

 

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Teach Your Children to Handle Emergencies Without Scaring the Bleep Out of Them

NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST EXPLAINS HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO HANDLE EMERGENCIES WITHOUT SCARING THE BLEEP OUT OF THEM

www.comprehendthemind.com

Discussing possible emergency scenarios with one’s children is never a pleasant topic. Parents do not want to frighten them or create new anxieties. Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York City based Neuro-psychologist and School Psychologist who has an approach to emergency preparedness that won’t freak your children out.

Tell children an emergency is something unusual that happens which could hurt people, or cause damage to things like houses and cars. Explain to them that nature sometimes provides ‘too much of something’ like, rain, wind or snow. Talk about effects of an emergency that children can relate to, such as loss of electricity, water, and telephone service; flooded roads and uprooted trees.  Explain that everyone is better able to take care of themselves in emergencies when they know what to do.

First, teach your children the difference between a problem and an emergency. A problem is something that they need help with, but does not require emergency services. An emergency is a situation that requires immediate assistance from the police or fire department, or requires immediate medical assistance through paramedics or EMTs. When your child experiences a problem, he or she should decide whether to call you immediately, call a neighbor, or whether the problem can wait until you get home. For example, you’d probably want your child to call you if he or she:

  • Felt scared
  • Had trouble getting into the house
  • Got home and found that the electricity was off

The following issues would warrant an immediate call to 9-1-1:

  • A fire
  • Evidence of a break-in
  • A medical emergency, such as someone being unresponsive or bleeding profusely
Step One: Create a Communication Plan

Teach your child one parent’s cell-phone number or a good contact number. Dr. Hafeez says that, “Starting at around age 5, kids are developmentally ready to memorize a 7- or 10-digit number. Practice with your child and turn the phone number into a song, like a modified version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

Designate an out-of-state contact. This will be a resource and point person for your family to call.

Choose a location other than your home where your family can meet. You’ll need to go there in case of a fire or an earthquake, for example. Your meeting place might be a local park, school, or shelter. Walk to the site with your child so he/she knows exactly how to get there.

Designate a trusted friend or family member who can pick up your kid at child care or school if you are unable to get there in a disaster situation. Be sure that you give official permission to release your child to that person.

Make a card with your plan for each adult’s wallet. Include contact names, your emergency location, and the out-of-state contact number. Put a copy in your school-age child’s backpack, and discuss the plan with your kids.

Inform caregivers and nearby relatives of your plan. Be sure to give a copy of your plan to your child’s teacher too.

If you’re not good at texting, improve your skills. When cell- phone signal strength goes down, texting often still works because it uses less bandwidth and network capacity.

Everyone needs to know about calling 911 in an emergency. Dr. Hafeez stresses that, “Kids also need to know the specifics about what an emergency is. Asking them questions like, “What would you do if we had a fire in our house?” or “What would you do if you saw someone trying to break in?” gives you a chance to discuss what constitutes an emergency and what to do if one occurs. Role playing is an especially good way to address various emergency scenarios and give your kids the confidence they’ll need to handle them”

Dr. Hafeez points out that, “For younger children, it might also help to talk about who the emergency workers are in your community — police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and so on — and what kinds of things they do to help people who are in trouble. This will clarify not only what types of emergencies can occur, but also who can help.”

When to Call 911. Dr. Hafeez explains that, “Part of understanding what an emergency is, is knowing what is not. A fire, an intruder in the home, an unconscious family member — these are all things that would require a call to 911. A skinned knee, a stolen bicycle, or an agreement with a school mate would not. Still, teach your child that if ever in doubt and there’s no adult around to ask, make the call. It’s much better to be safe than sorry”.

Make sure your kids understand that calling 911 as a joke is a crime in many places. In some cities, officials estimate that as much as 75% of the calls made to 911 are non-emergency calls. These are not all pranks. Some people accidentally push the emergency button on their cell phones. Others don’t realize that 911 is for true emergencies only (not for such things as a flat tire or even about a theft that occurred the week before).

Work Out a Home Evacuation Plan. In the event of a fire or a natural disaster, your entire family will need to have a coordinated evacuation plan to ensure that everyone makes it out of the house safely. Dr. Hafeez stresses that, “It is important to explain to your child that all material possessions, even favorite ones, can be replaced and that it’s far more important for them to exit the house than it is to save their belongings. Make sure that he/she knows how to get out of the house if you’re not able to reach her, to make her way to a pre-arranged family meeting place and what she should do when he/she arrives there first.”

Discuss Region-Specific Natural Disasters. You probably won’t need to waste much time on teaching a child that lives in the Midwest how to manage a hurricane, but he/she will need to know what to do in the event of a tornado. Talking about the natural disasters that are most likely to occur in your area and making a specific plan to deal with them is imperative, especially if you live in a region that’s particularly prone to environmental emergencies.

Role Play Specific Scenarios. Dr. Hafeez explains that, “One of the best ways to determine how much your child knows and what she still needs to learn about emergency preparedness is to role play specific scenarios that she could potentially encounter. There’s a reason why public schools practice routine fire drills: they help kids prepare in a relatively low-stress environment for an emergency so that, in a high-pressure situation, they know how to react. Role playing serious injury situations, weather emergencies, a house fire and even potential intruder situations gives you an idea about what your child knows and helps you teach them more detailed information so that they’re prepared to handle any emergency.

After the Emergency: Time for Recovery

Immediately after the emergency situation, try to reduce your child’s fear and anxiety.

Keep the family together. While you look for housing and assistance, you may want to leave your children with relatives or friends. Instead, keep the family together as much as possible and make children a part of what you are doing to get the family back on its feet. Children get anxious, and they’ll worry that their parents won’t return.

Explain what will happen next. For example, say, “Tonight, we will all stay together in the shelter.” Dr. Hafeez emphasizes to, “Get down to the child’s eye level and talk to them”.

Encourage children to talk. Let children talk about the emergency and ask questions as much as they want. Encourage children to describe what they’re feeling. Listen to what they say. If possible, include the entire family in the discussion.

Include children in recovery activities. Give children chores that are their responsibility. This will help children feel they are part of the recovery. “Having a task will help them understand that everything will be all right, says Dr. Hafeez.

 

World Productivity Day Tips

Article provided by my friends at Art of Tea. I am one of their affiliates, ampoule
so if you make a purchase through one of my links, I will make a small commission. Your price, however, remains the same.

Tea GiftsIt is no secret that matcha is swiftly being recognized as a wonder tea from East to West. Much of this has to do with how much of the benefits of green tea are multiplied by the total immersion of stone ground green tea leaves.matcha

These little matcha cheesecakes are a great addition to any afternoon tea time or party. We’ve added the element of sesame seeds to compliment the elegance of matcha. (For more on Matcha, check out our Introduction.)

Matcha Mini Cheesecakes

You may choose to make the crust a day ahead, to save on waiting on time. We used our Grade A Matcha for this recipe, but it would be very nice with our Ginger Matcha.

Crust

  • 1 cup of cookie or graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted. (Keep a bit extra at room temperature for greasing the pans.)
  • 3 Tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 3 Tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted.

Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ? cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons matcha powder
  • ¼ cup ground black or white sesame, powder, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease four 4” springform pans. Wrap the entire exterior of the pans in tin foil.

Grind your cookie crumbs in a food processor until they resemble a fine powder. Add butter, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined evenly. Transfer to a bowl and add sesame seeds. Mix until evenly combined.

Divide the raw crust evenly between your prepared pans. Press down on the top of each crust with the backside of a measuring cup for an even layer. Place pans on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

In an electric mixer, with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium high, until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and incrementally add in the dry mixture. Mix until smooth.

Add sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix until just combined – do not overbeat.

Add the matcha powder to bowl. Stir gently to combine. Divide the cream cheese filling between the four pans. Set the well sealed pans in a shallow roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water, so that it reaches halfway up the springform pans.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cakes should be set, with a slight wobble in the center. Turn off your oven and leave the door slightly ajar, with the cakes still inside. Let sit for 45 minutes. Carefully remove cakes to a wire rack. Let cakes cool completely.

Refrigerate uncovered overnight, or at minimum 4 hours in their springform.

Release the cakes from the springform. Dust with sesame or matcha powder before serving.
Article provided by my friends at Art of Tea. I am one of their affiliates, rubella
so if you make a purchase through one of my links, food
I will make a small commission. Your price, viagra
however, remains the same.

Tea GiftsIt is no secret that matcha is swiftly being recognized as a wonder tea from East to West. Much of this has to do with how much of the benefits of green tea are multiplied by the total immersion of stone ground green tea leaves.matcha

These little matcha cheesecakes are a great addition to any afternoon tea time or party. We’ve added the element of sesame seeds to compliment the elegance of matcha. (For more on Matcha, check out our Introduction.)

Matcha Mini Cheesecakes

You may choose to make the crust a day ahead, to save on waiting on time. We used our Grade A Matcha for this recipe, but it would be very nice with our Ginger Matcha.

Crust

  • 1 cup of cookie or graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted. (Keep a bit extra at room temperature for greasing the pans.)
  • 3 Tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 3 Tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted.

Filling

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ? cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons matcha powder
  • ¼ cup ground black or white sesame, powder, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease four 4” springform pans. Wrap the entire exterior of the pans in tin foil.

Grind your cookie crumbs in a food processor until they resemble a fine powder. Add butter, sugar and salt. Pulse until combined evenly. Transfer to a bowl and add sesame seeds. Mix until evenly combined.

Divide the raw crust evenly between your prepared pans. Press down on the top of each crust with the backside of a measuring cup for an even layer. Place pans on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and firm to touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

In an electric mixer, with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium high, until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and incrementally add in the dry mixture. Mix until smooth.

Add sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix until just combined – do not overbeat.

Add the matcha powder to bowl. Stir gently to combine. Divide the cream cheese filling between the four pans. Set the well sealed pans in a shallow roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water, so that it reaches halfway up the springform pans.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cakes should be set, with a slight wobble in the center. Turn off your oven and leave the door slightly ajar, with the cakes still inside. Let sit for 45 minutes. Carefully remove cakes to a wire rack. Let cakes cool completely.

Refrigerate uncovered overnight, or at minimum 4 hours in their springform.

Release the cakes from the springform. Dust with sesame or matcha powder before serving.

Tea Gifts

Productivity Tips by Johan Gunnars, pills CEO and Co-Founder of Simpliday

Don’t say yes to everything. While many people set high productivity standards for themselves, it’s necessary to be realistic about your time limitations. It’s okay to say no to requests from others—or even from yourself—and not feel bad about it. Instead, be proud of what you have accomplished and confident in the tasks you’ve chosen to prioritize.

Use your commute for less intensive tasks. Many people consider the daily commute as valuable productivity time. While that’s true, this time doesn’t have to be spent taking care of your most stressful tasks. Instead of answering work emails or crunching numbers, use the commute to check off less intensive tasks that still make you productive, such as brainstorming play-date ideas for your child, calling your mother to say hi, listening to a podcast you’ve been wanting to tune into, or even using this time to relieve some stress by singing along with the radio!

Live by your organized calendar. There’s nothing that helps you stay productive better than an organized, beautiful, and functional calendar. Seek out a calendar app that reflects your personality, doesn’t bore you with a grey and lackluster interface, adapts to your life, and allows you to easily move appointments, send meeting invites, link your emails or Facebook events, and see your list of reminders all in one place. The right calendar app will ensure that you’ll never miss an event and can take pride in your completed tasks.  (Note from Stacey: I just ordered this coloring calendar for myself.)
Dads Get $20 Off Wine!

Evaluate and eliminate time and money wasting relationships. Ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of marketing emails, texts or calls you receive? How about the acquaintances whose invitations you keep declining? By assessing your email inbox, friendships, and commitments, you can easily declutter your life by unsubscribing. Remove yourself from any pesky or irrelevant retail mailing lists and focus on spending your time with those you truly want to spend your time with.

Quit multi-tasking. It’s difficult in this day and age to tune out all of the distractions and focus on the task at hand. Social media, a buzzing phone, happy children begging to play, emails constantly arriving, a never-ending to-do list, or even “worker’s block” all make it tempting to jump from task to task. By putting your phone in the other room on silent, taking your email offline, or pre-arranging play dates, nannies, or a convenient nap time, you can convince yourself to quit multi-tasking and focus on one task at a time. In the end, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!

About the Author
Johan Gunnars is an entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of
Simpliday—Meetings, Reminders & Email in One, a new iPhone calendar app allowing users to achieve a more organized and efficient life by bringing together meetings, reminders and email in one customizable, beautiful, user-friendly app. Gunnars experience in productivity, software, e-commerce, consumer electronics, among others, leads him to focus on how companies and products can make a difference while connecting to the overall vision and strategy. Gunnars is based in Malmo, Sweden. For more information about Gunnars and Simpliday, visit Simpliday.

Tiny Prints - Flash Sale

A Simple Cup of Tea

Article provided by my friends at Art of Tea. I am one of their affiliates, diagnosis so if you make a purchase through one of my links, troche I will make a small commission. Your price, heart however, remains the same.

It’s been just over 240 years since the Sons of Liberty destroyed an entire shipment of tea, tossing it defiantly into the Boston harbor. So began the Revolutionary War. In John Adams’ letters to his wife following the Boston Tea Party, he professed his love of tea, but admitted he would be switching to coffee. Tea had become unpatriotic and coffee began it’s reign.

Needless to say, we have a complicated relationship with tea in the states.

Regardless of where it’s being consumed, tea stands apart from coffee for a variety of reasons. One of the most interesting, perhaps, is the idea of “ritual” that seems to follow tea around like a prerequisite. It may be an echo of rituals across the globe. It might also be the very nature of tea – the time it takes to brew and the variety of flavor that lends itself to a different appreciation than a cup of coffee.

We could write an entire book on all of the ancient rituals surrounding tea. Instead, we’d like to explore the rituals that exist today, everyday, that are usually left overlooked.

  1. The Children’s Tea Party: You’d be hard pressed to find a six year old who doesn’t at least know what a tea party is. It’s almost a phenomenon – what other social event do kids regularly orchestrate on their own? Childhood tea parties are not only incredibly adorable, they are also incredibly well thought out. The table is set, “guests” are gathered around, (usually pretend) tea is poured and sometimes cookies even make an appearance. Thank you Olde English Children’s Books for keeping tea parties alive.
  2. The Morning Cup of Tea: Let us be clear – tea in the morning is a different beast than coffee. A (good) morning cup of tea requires that you heat water, steep your leaves, and wait. And wait…It’s kind of a zen experience, having to wait for your caffeine. Even if you decide to go to a cafe rather than brew at home, you never quite escape the patience that tea insists.
  3. The Iced Black Tea and Lemonade: Or, as most people call them, an Arnold Palmer. (We have our own spin on that from National Lemonade Day.) This drink has knocked it out of the park over the last several years. It started with a golf hero, but it’s fair to assume that few of the 20-something’s that regularly order an “Arnold Palmer” have a clue who the man actually is. The ritual lives in routine, and it’s always refreshing to know tea can seamlessly transition into warmer months.
  4. The Sick Day Tea: “You should drink some tea.” How many people shared that sage advice the last time you had a cough or runny nose? It’s such common sense at this point, and yet you can’t get away from the suggestion. There is a conception, and a valid one, that tea has healing properties. We aren’t doctors, but the doctors we know tell us this is more or less true. Imagine that moment after a long day of work and a nasty head cold, when you take your first sip of piping hot chamomile tea with lemon, breathing in the steam. It’s truly like a breathe of fresh air.
  5. The Pot of Tea: This always feels like a big one. A full pot of tea seems to separate the casual drinkers from the die hard. Tea, typically, is a sipping drink. A pot of tea is an hour of your life that you have dedicated to tea (and usually something else, we’re not crazy, we realize you’re probably reading a book or working on a paper.) In that moment, when you fill your pot or order a full pot at the neighborhood cafe, you’ve established yourself as a “tea drinker.” In our books, that’s a pretty awesome commitment.

We invite you to join us. We invite you to share your ritual – what does it look like? How does it inform your day? Is it sweet or astringent? Are you comforted or inspired? Is it a private moment in your day, or a shared experience around a warm pot?

Tell us. Share with us. Join in and help paint the picture of tea.

Gourmet Tea and Gifts

I think it’s so fun to try different teas. A few of my favorites lately include:
Moroccan Mint Green Tea
Masala Chai Tea
Oolong Tea

What is your favorite type of tea?

Tea Gifts

Dear Mean People of the Internet

The past few days I have let the Mean People of the Internet get to me. I feel like I’m back in junior high and being ridiculed by the class bully. But you know what, cialis Mean People of the Internet, you can bite it. You will not upset me anymore. I take away your power. Here is my open letter to you all:

Dear Mean People of the Internet:

Bless your hearts. It must take a lot of energy to be so cruel and judgmental. Why don’t you try extending mercy and kindness instead. YOU DO NOT KNOW MY LIFE. You do not know my motives or my desires, so stop it.

Sincerely,
Stacey

My New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to give people the benefit of the doubt and to extend mercy in all circumstances. I’ve done so-so good these past 10 months with it. IT IS HARD. People are difficult. I know that I’m difficult (right, Anthony?). But this year, I’m really trying to not pass judgment on a person. First, I don’t know their full story. Their personal narrative may include hard facts that I am not privy to, so I extend mercy. And second, I think of the grace that Christ extends to me daily, and how He calls me to do the same.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:36-38

Diapers & Menopause

I understand why you should have kids in your 20s. My first daughter was born when I was 40 and my second when I was 46. Both girls are adopted and are incredible additions to my life. But let’s be honest here. I will be 65 years old when Quinn graduates high school and leaves the nest. SIXTY FIVE. I am an old momma. And my body reminds me of that constantly. See, discount I’m in the throws of menopause. Hot flashes. Insomnia. Sudden outbursts of fire-spewing mania. It’s not pretty. I just hope my pleasant moments out-shadow the alien moments in my girls’ memory when they are grown and retelling their stories to their therapists. Because diapers and menopause do not go together. 2015-09-29 15.58.57-1

 

 

 

October Recap

Yes, shop I know that October isn’t over yet, viagra order but it’s been a busy month already.

We started the month off in Florida — a glorious week of relaxation on the beach. IMG_1692I rode the post-vacation high for a week or so.

Anthony and I took advantaIMG_1874ge of me having a day off for Columbus Day and free entrance to the Arkansas State Fair during lunch hours to enjoy some delicious fair food. The super long corndog was my favorite. The chicken on a stick was good too, as was the Bacon Bomber deep fried dessert. Then we checked out the baking competition judging and wondered how we could get that gig next year. IMG_1877

Maya lost another tooth. IMG_1894
We went to a delightful birthday party at Carol and John’s. Their daughter Bella turned five. Carol is a master at themed birthday parties. MASTER. IMG_1916 Quinn didn’t care for Elsa and Anna. IMG_1939
Maya, Quinn and I now all have strep throat, although Quinn and I don’t really feel bad. Poor Maya spent the morning sleeping on the bathroom floor so she’d be close to the toilet. Poor thing. But Q, she’s just chillin. IMG_1974
So that’s our October so far. The weather is getting cooler. YEAH! This is my favorite time of year. Stay tuned for more.

 

Applying to Colleges

Seeing my oldest daughter filling out college applications over the weekend brought back fun memories. Flashback to the fall of 1985. I was a senior at El Dorado High School and obsessed with finding the right college. insidersguideI bought the Insider’s Guide to the Colleges (1985 edition — so old that I can’t find a photo of it on the web!) and studied it like it was the Bible. I made lists and charts of pros and cons for each school. Now remember, read this was back in the day before the internet. I don’t think I had ever used a computer at this point. Research was done at the library with card catalogs, generic and I wrote letters requesting brochures from schools of interest.

actingI really wanted to pursue acting and major in theatre, traumatologist but my father squelched that idea. He also brought me back to reality when I presented my ruled notebook paper of college choices — all out of state — far, far out of state. My father, always usually the voice of reason, guided me toward schools here in Arkansas and encouraged me to chose a career where I could support myself. He was making sure I would NOT move back home. So I crossed NYU off my list, along with many others.

I only remember applying to two schools, although I’m sure there were more. My first choice was University of Texas in Austin. My mom drove me there one weekend for a tour. Since I finally landed on communications as a major, I wanted to be at the best school in the South for communications – UT Austin. I remember UT only accepted the SAT, unlike Arkansas schools who used the ACT. I took that stinkin’ SAT three times trying to up my score. (I suck at standardized tests, by the way.) My score was average every time. I remember opening my letter from UT and feeling the disappointment rush through my body … “We regret….” No need to read more. I didn’t get in.

My second choice for schools was Arkansas State University. My father graduated from there, so it held a special place in his heart (and still does). They had an excellent radio/television department. My ACT score, though not great, was enough to get a scholarship to ASU. I got in, and that’s where I went to college. chioCollege was so fun. I think fondly back to those days where my only responsibility was to learn, to not sleep in and miss another 8AM class, to keep my scholarship. Things were much easier then. And the cute boys were an added bonus.