Archive | January 2014

The Grass is Always Greener

Image

Dateline:  January 21, 2014.  Winter Storm Janus descends from the frigid Arctic down to the Northeastern U.S.  The NY/NJ metropolitan area gets pounded with 8, 10, 12 inches of snow.  Schools close.  Businesses let their employees out early.  Supermarkets sell their last loaves of Wonder Bread and gallons of milk.  Everyone hunkers down for a long winter’s nap.  How does this make a former Jersey Girl/current Carolina transplant feel?  ENVIOUS! 

Envy is ugly.  It makes one desire what other people have.  I want snow!  Why are the northern states Mother Nature’s favorites?  We get less total yearly snow than they get in a single snowfall!  Grr!  Besides snow, you know what else I wish I had?  A vacation.  We haven’t had a real one in several years.  Everybody I know gets away on cruises, to Las Vegas, and don’t even get me started on my Disney Freak friends who go to see the mouse once or MORE every year.  Some of them even run in the marathon there.  I wish I could run a marathon.  I wish I had the body of a runner.  I want rock-hard abs, too!  And I want to eat out at great restaurants every week (and still maintain that great runner’s body I want, too).  And how about those single friends who go out all the time?  Even the ones with kids get to have a few fun nights all by themselves.  Oh, what that must be like!  Naturally, to go out to exciting places, one must have a proper wardrobe.  My clothes are so old.  I wish I could go out without my kids to buy some nice clothes to wear to a swanky restaurant with my perfect body that ran in the marathon at Disney on one of my trips that I needed so bad because it always snows in the winter!

Taking a deep, oxygenating breath!

See how ugly envy is?  It starts with a simple, “I wish” or “I want” and it grows uncontrollably like a deadly infection.  Envy infects our hearts.  It makes us forget ALL that we have.  Every person has been bestowed blessings by our Father God.  They differ from person to person.  It’s hard to remember sometimes that no one person “has it all”; no one except Jesus!

So, with that reminder, maybe it’s not so bad that I don’t have all the objects of my envious desires.  In fact, maybe somebody out there wishes they had something that I have.  Putting it all into perspective:

I don’t have nice, fashionable duds…………………. but I do have warm clothes with no holes.

I don’t have an exciting social life………………………… but I do have a fun, loving family life.

I don’t have the freedom of singlehood……………. but I do have the commitment of marriage.

I don’t have an amazing body………………………………. but I do have a generally, healthy one.

I don’t have vacations every year……………… but I do have a neighborhood pool, parks, etc.

Finally, there’s the snow envy!  I still desire to have a nice dusting of the white stuff, but when I look outside, I see nothing but a sea of green—the beautiful green lawn my wonderful husband works so hard to maintain.  See, the grass is always greener—outside my very own door; and chances are, it’s greener on your side, too!

After Language, Liquor, and Lewdness…a Quickie!

“Seven-Second Delay”
by Pamela Nogueira

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a “seven-second delay”?
Think of the over-the-top, selfish things we’d never say.

Friendships surviving.  Marriages thriving.
Feelings intact.  Non-fiction fact.

But since we don’t, we must mean what we say,
For all words are permanent without a “seven-second delay”.

Language, Liquor, and Lewdness

ImageMultiple profanities.  Flowing martinis.  Sexual descriptions.  No, I’m not describing the latest Cinemax series.  These words describe the 71st Golden Globe Awards!

All my life, I’ve loved award shows!  What will the actresses wear?  Which movies will win big?  How will the host(s) perform?  This year’s Golden Globes truly disheartened me.  The theme must have been “Language, Liquor, and Lewdness.”

Bad language ruled the night!  There were many bleeps during the festivities.  Television’s “seven second delay” got a serious workout.  Some words, however, remained unbleeped:  “masturbating,” “Yeah, B—-,” and “vagina” certainly pushed the envelope.  I was so happy my children didn’t watch it with me!

Perhaps the premium liquor poured throughout the evening contributed to the poor choice of words.  Some speculate Jaqueline Bisset was drunk when receiving her award.  Her loss for words could have just been nerves.  I will give her that.  The hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler came out on stage with drinks, as did Emma Thompson.  

Finally, there was sex talk aplenty.  At the end of the show, Amy Poehler exlaimed, “I made out with Bono!” She did jokingly lip-lock with the U2 frontman upon receiving her award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy.  The worst sexual description of the night occurred at the beginning of the broadcast–a joke about Jonah Hill’s “self love” at a pool party in The Wolf of Wall Street.  This, unfortunately, set the tone for the evening.

Perhaps I’m getting old.  Maybe it’s just being a mom.  Perchance I am truly being changed by the Holy Spirit.  While the younger me would have praised the 71st Golden Globe Awards, the mature me was bothered by it.  Fortunately, there were some bright spots in the darkness.  Jared Leto won an award after a six-year hiatus from acting to pursue music.  Jennifer Lawrence proved once again you can be a franchise heroine like Katniss Everdeen and still win awards in other films.  Leo DiCaprio looked and sounded like old Hollywood at its finest.  His acceptance speech was focused, not on his role, but that of Director Martin Scorcese.  As Ron Burgundy would say, “Stay classy, Leonardo!”

Next year, Fey and Poehler are slated to host the awards again.  Will they rise above or sink below?  Stay tuned!

Walking Around With a Tight Tummy

ImageDon’t let the title fool you! I do NOT have a tight tummy!  If you read my last two blog entries, you already know my resolution to “get healthy,” a.k.a. lose weight, and my new exercise program consists of the preparation of healthy, gluten-free meals.  I have also begun the 30 Plank Challenge and I am actually keeping up!  However, the tight tummy feeling is not from the planks, not from the twisting, turning, and reaching in the kitchen.  It comes from my stomach being tied in knots.

Do you have a child with a disability, illness, disease, or behavior that you just wish you could fix?  Me, too!  One of my sweet children has a baffling medical condition that waxes and wanes in activity.  It’s unpredictable and ever-changing.  For a mom who is constantly doing research on the internet, it is extremely frustrating.  Just when I think I’ve nailed the cause of a flare-up, BOOM; it’s shot down!  When things start to get worse, and my baby is in pain, my stomach just twists like a pretzel.  I am so uptight.  I try my hardest to be sweet and understanding.  I administer every remedy I can think of to help.  Sometimes, though, it just takes time.

I have been wanting to cry about this a lot lately.  Most of the time I can’t since I homeschool and the kids are with me pretty much 24/7.  My husband works from home, but I can’t bother him too much or bring him down while he’s trying to bring in an income.  So, my friends, today, I am crying to you through the words on the screen!  A good vent can help almost as much as a good cry.

I will officially end my pity-party here.  After all, I want to make you smile and feel good, because that makes ME feel good!   You know, God’s timing is absolutely spot-on.  When you need Him, even if you don’t seek Him, He finds you through those who believe in Him.  My sweet friend Jennifer posted something on Facebook this morning that was exactly what I needed to hear:

100% honesty— I am worn out. Just don’t feel like I can keep on going- tired of giving and doing for everyone else. Cried my eyes out this morning, I’m worn out. Then I hear “Cry Out to Jesus”. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that YOU are there for us when we just don’t feel like we can go on!!! ~~There is hope for the helpless, Rest for the weary, Love for the broken heart. There is grace and forgiveness, Mercy and healing. He’ll meet you wherever you are- Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus~~

People, we can’t do it all.  We can’t fix everything, as much as we want to.  Sometimes, we have to “Cry out to Jesus”.  So, dear Jesus, here I am!  I’m crying out to you!  Please wrap your loving arms around me while I witness, helplessly, the trials of my loved ones.

With these words, I am now feeling my abs loosen up.  I feel like my set of crunches that I never intended to do, just ended.  Oh, no!  Not again!  I just had another unintended, unconventional “workout”!

———-

“Cry Out to Jesus” is a wonderful song by Christian artists Third Day.  Check it out on YouTube!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmVxRl5bc4Y

My New Exercise Program

Image

Yes.  I admit it.  I am one of the millions of Americans who made the resolution to lose weight this year (and last year, and the year before, and the last 30 years before!).  I’m slick though!  I made the resolution under the guise of  “I want to get healthy in 2014!”  I thought, maybe, just maybe different wording would be the magic trick to actually accomplishing my resolution this year.

A formal plan, I have not; but it always starts with food.  I’m talking REAL food, healthy food, gluten-free food.  I started doing the Paleo lifestyle last year after going to the doctor about losing weight and scalp psoriasis.  My doctor, affectionately known to all as “Dr. Wiggy” suggested going Paleo.  I threw myself into it and actually lost 16 pounds—slowly.  Then, the Christmas season came, I got lax, gained a few back, and now it’s time to get serious!

An organized person, I am not.  I know, to make it work, I’ve GOT to plan out my meals.  Oh, and the kiddies and the hubby are eating this way, too!  (I will let them have gluten-free tortilla chips and the like).  So, on New Year’s Eve, I put pen to paper, coffee to lips, and planned out every meal for the first week of the year.  Then, I came up with a list of things to do the night before to make the next day go smoothly.  This is healthy eating, so there will be actual cooking going on!

An exercise enthusiast, I feel not.  I decided to do a 30-day Plank Challenge after seeing a friend post it on Facebook.  The first two days consisted of doing a 20-second plank.  I figured, I could do anything for 20 seconds.  Then, at the end of the 30 days, I will be able to hold it for 4 minutes!!!  I am thinking positive here.  Eventually, I want to go back to the Urban Rebounding and Walking Away The Pounds days of old.  For now, I will focus more on getting the eating part right—I tend to excel in that area!

A full-time kitchen worker, I dreamed not.  Yesterday and today, we ate wonderful, delicious, amazing home-cooked Paleo/Gluten-Free meals; thus, I haven’t sat down much!  Between the slicing, dicing, juilienning (is that a word?), and washing, drying, and putting away of everything that was used, I got a workout!  I was on my feet, twisting, turning, and bending.  I had to reach high for the bottle of sage.  I flexed my biceps as I stirred the pot of Broc-Cauli Chowder.  By the time I sat down to eat, I ate slowly.  I was happy to sit my tired legs down and didn’t want to get back up just to clean and prepare for the next meal.

But you know what?  I really, really enjoyed the food!  Real food is so delicious.  Living in a processed Frankenfood world, we forget how food should actually taste.  My family absolutely ranted and raved and begged me to spoil them again with Spaghetti Squash Bolognese in the very near future.  In just two short days, I feel so good, so alert, so strong.  Who knew my new exercise program would be cooking healthy meals?

Ciao (or Chow!) for now!
Pamela

———-

Broc-Cauli Chowder and Spaghetti Squash Bolognese both come from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC.

Just Doing It in 2014!

As the popular Nike tagline goes, “Just Do It” has been ringing in my ears for quite some time.  However, today that ringing sounds like it is coming from the Liberty Bell!  There’s something so wonderful about the dawn of a new year.  It brings motivation, inspiration, and hopefully after all of those Christmas cookies, perspiration!  So, without further adieu, I bring you my very first blog entry!

I love to communicate!  I have a B.A. in Speech Communications.  I’ve been a computer systems trainer.  I’ve edited a corporate division newsletter.  I’ve done voiceovers.  I homeschool and teach in a small co-op.  Yet the thing that qualifies me most to embark on a web log journey–I was the youngest child in my family!  I could NEVER get a word in edgewise!  I still feel that familiar irritation when I’m gathered around family and I can’t say what I want!  Hmmm.  If only I had Facebook, Twitter, or a blog to communicate without interruption my deepest, most relevant thoughts back in the 70s and 80s!

Yours truly has attempted to narrow the focus of the Pamela’s Pulpit into one of the following categories:  homeschooling, motherhood, politics, faith, or humor.  I decided to go with–all of them!  After all, I cannot deny my Type B personality!  I’m all over the place!

Well, now that we’re friends, sit back, relax, grab a hot beverage (or one that comes in a bottle–I won’t judge!), and hopefully your humble servant will inform, enlighten, infuriate, or entertain you in some small way.

Ciao for now!
Pamela

This entry was posted on January 1, 2014. 8 Comments