April Rain brings May Flowers

maria-victoria-heredia-reyes-20882.jpg  It’s raining again. For most of us this can mean rushing around, trying to find your umbrella you know you placed in the closet last fall and wondering what this will do to our ever so perfect straight hair. As you run to your car in hopes maybe a sprinkle will all but grace you, now you feel the wet splash of the ground puddles hitting the hem of your pants. Wonderful. Many of us will look at the gloomy sky and feel tired, drained and somewhat depressed. Your head is shouting, “Where is the sun?”  Rest assure, the rain has a purpose.

My 11-year-old son is able to know when it is going to rain before i have even looked at the forecast or even seen a cloud in the sky. You see, he can smell Petrichor like a nose of a bloodhound. Petrichor is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. In Greek Mythology, it is derived from the word stone and means “fluid that flows in the veins of the gods.”  Of course as it starts to sprinkle, i am able to smell it but never before it occurs. 

According to Gardening Know How “there are three potential situations with water: too much, too little and, of course, just enough. If a plant’s soil has too much water, the roots can rot, and the plant can’t get enough oxygen from the soil. If there is not enough water for a plant, the nutrients it needs cannot travel through the plant. A plant cannot grow if it doesn’t have healthy roots, so the proper balance of water is key.”  This is a wonderful way to associate our relationships within our lives. There have been those relationships that are so smothering and toxic they don’t allow us to grow. They cover us with their controlling and fearful baggage so much, that our soul is unable to reach our potential. They hold us back and prevent us from expressing our true selves. Then there are the relationships that leave us feeling abandoned. Like the plants that do not have enough rain, being in a relationship that is equal to abstinence can be damaging to our heart and mind. That horrible feeling of loneliness even if they are within reach. Instead of feeling uplifted, you feel empty as if you are not worthy of their importance.

The best kind of relationship is the perfect amount of Petrichor. When we enjoy our relationship, when we feel as though we have enough water, enough love, enough value, and enough room to grow. A healthy relationship will compliment you, not complete you. You will be encouraged, and your soul will feel free to be who you are because acceptance in bountiful.

So the next time the clouds are full and the sky is crying, remember just the right amount of water, the right amount of love will allow the fluid to run through your veins. For you are deserving of even the smallest sprinkle.

-Alice
For more info on the science of Petrichor, Click Here
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I Am Tired Of Waiting

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That one person you can’t remove from your thoughts.  You make the logical decision to push away because you know it is better for your life if they are not in it. You have moved on. Or have you?

Many of us have that old flame that won’t burn out. Maybe it is a high school crush, a love from college or even an ex coworker. Please can’t you just leave my mind? I fill my life with family, work, and local events and yet you litter my dreams with your charm. I haven’t spoken to you in what seems a lifetime and when I least expect it, there you are. Unfortunately we run with the same friends so of course I see you on social media and social gatherings.  As much as I want you to disappear, I want to know you are doing alright. So I look. There you are. That smile, those lips, and the piercing eyes. Sigh.

I think about all the promises we made to each other, the laughter, the tears, the times when you listened and I poured my heart out. Most importantly I think about waiting for that phone to ring and it never did. The message you didn’t respond to and the choice where you picked her and not me.

Toxic? Maybe. Addict? Yes. You see you are like a drug. I love to hate you and hate to love you. I know in my mind what is good for my soul. Run! I tell myself. Don’t look back! This is the final time I say goodbye. Emotionally I have nothing left to give. Then you appear. I smile. I feel my heart flutter. I take a hit. After all, drugs won’t kill me. A message from you won’t kill me. Your flattery won’t kill me. I am happy again, and then just like that, you vanish. I am dying.

I am over feeling the highs and lows. I am worth more than just your bootie call. I am worth more than your emotional punching bag.  I am worth more than you can give. I am tired of waiting for my drug. I vow to stay clean and sober. I am tired of waiting for you.

-Alice

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Men, Check Yourselves

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April is testicular cancer awareness month so I wanted to take a few minutes to give you a little bit of information on the leading cancer in men for ages 15 -44. When caught early there is a 95 percent survival rate, however the key phrase being “detected early”.

There are many sources on the internet that talk about testicular cancer awareness, and site after site all mention the best way to survive this type of cancer is early detection. One source I have discovered is the “Get a Grip” campaign. The campaign talks about ways to examine yourself once a month, much the same that is recommended with women and breast cancer.

The “Get A Grip” campaign web page points out that because young men haven’t been informed or taught the importance of a self-exam, death for testicular cancer in the 15-34 age group outpaces the number of deaths from breast cancer by women in the same age group.

So fellas, please take a few minutes to do a little research on testicular cancer, a few minutes of reading may just save your life, besides the longer us men live, the longer we get to stick and around and be a thorn in the sides of women.

For more information, Click Here

-Pragma

A Day Without Men

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Recently we have seen a new fad where people want the rest of us to know what your day would be like if there were no immigrants, or what if all women stopped doing what they do on a daily basis. I can’t tell if these people are trying to make a point or if they think this is a form of punishment to anyone who is not an immigrant or a female. So I took a few minutes to think about, what about a day with no men, how would that play out?

Before I dive into this dark twisted and demented idea of a world with no men for a day, I wanted to point out a few things I observed because, well, I am a man. In regards to this whole no immigrants for a day, aren’t most of us in the United States some shape or form an immigrant? Can’t most of us trace our roots back to an ancestor who migrated to this country? I mean even the Native Americans, or American Indians as some people call them, migrated to this land. Sure they were here before most of us or before our ancestors, but at some point in time even they migrated to this land. So a day without immigrants means we ALL get to go home for the day.

Now on to this entire no women for a day thing, isn’t that mostly how things were 100 years ago? Wasn’t there a time when women stayed home and tended to the house duties and tended to our young while men were out working, hunting or gathering food for their families? Heck it wasn’t all that long ago women didn’t even have the right to vote and women were seen as a second class citizen. Let’s be upfront here, women have come a long ways over the past 100 years, they have and continue to fight hard to be considered equal to men and to have the same rights afforded to them. Is a day without women really the best way to celebrate all that women have achieved over the past 100 years? If all women stopped working, sure it would be a huge inconvenience to the rest of us, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would simply cast them back one hundred years into what they all have fought to overcome.

Finally, A Day Without Men. Do you know how many men would love just one day with no responsibility? Think of all the things a man could do. He could go fishing with his buddies, go to the bar, take a nap, read a book, or even see a movie. Maybe he could take his kids for a bike ride, or finally complete that wood project he has been putting off for so long. Now what about the work force for that day? Ask yourself, how many jobs are there where there are a higher percentage of men than there are women? What about if all the firefighters, police officers, paramedics, doctors, sanitation workers, military members, store clerks were all too just go home for the day? Sure there are women in those jobs as well, but for every 1 woman firefighter how many men firefighters are there? Would women firefighters be able to handle all of the emergencies with such short staffing levels due to all of the men going home for the day? In our local department, there are on average 100 male firefighters to 3 female firefighters.

In closing my point is this, maybe instead of all this women are better than men, or immigrants are better than non-immigrants, maybe we can reflect on our past, reflect on how far we have all come towards improving humanity, and lets continue to work together as humans and ditch all these labels. Do we have some hurdles to still overcome, sure, but let’s work towards finding a positive solution and all work together not against each other.

Peace, love and happiness – Pragma

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Extramarital Affairs: It’s not what you think.

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Extramarital Affairs: It’s not what you think.

A week ago I was blessed to join my husband at a marriage conference. Family Life brought “A Weekend to Remember” to our city. Of course I didn’t look at this so much as something we needed, but as just an excuse to get away from reality for a few days. I knew many friends who have attended this same conference and if my memory serves me, I also attended twenty years ago with my first husband. (Well, that didn’t turn out so good) I messaged my husband and sent him the link. He said, “book it.” So became the daunting trial of finding a babysitter for the weekend, booking the hotel room, budgeting for our “date night” and purchasing tickets.

Friday afternoon came, and of course we were running behind. Dropped off the 4yr with grandpa, packed clothes and headed to the hotel. It was a beautiful room with a king size comfortable bed. Thoughts crossed my mind of just sleeping for a whole weekend, besides we didn’t need to go to the conference, our marriage is wonderful. We didn’t even unpack. Back out into the cold we went. As we found our seats in the grand ballroom of the Hilton, I noticed the age range of over 200 people. From newlyweds through retirement, we were all there to learn. Our workbooks were handed out, and so it began.

During our first evening, Family Life spoke on “Why Marriage Fails.”  Extramarital Affairs: An extramarital affair is an escape from reality or a search for fulfillment outside of marriage. Well, I knew this. Did I pay all this money to learn about cheating? We didn’t have this in our marriage, can we move on?

No! Family Life went on to explain that Extramarital Affairs take many different forms:

  • Activities Affairs-running to soccer practice, dance class, karate, band, scouts, gym, or football.
  • Materialism Affair-buying more shoes, clothes, art, books, tools, music, cars, or a house.
  • Career Affair-overtime, business trips, luncheons, meetings, or volunteering for projects.
  • Family Affair-children come first, pets come first, or your own parents (in-laws) come first.
  • Fantasy Affair-pornography, 900 numbers, Tinder, Ashley Madison accounts, or prostitution.
  • Love Affair-mistress, old high school flame, co-worker, neighbor, or close friend.

You see, we are seduced by our culture into believing that we deserve complete fulfillment and perfect happiness. (workbook)  This caught my attention. What i realized in my marriage, was we did need this conference. We were allowing multiple affairs to take place within our family. Myself alone am guilty of the Activities Affair and Career Affair. Many times I’m not aware of the needs within my home. I live with some non-communicators, which makes it difficult for me to be mindful of my affairs. I employ you, please bring to light these possible threats and correct them. If this correction does not take place, your marriage will ultimately end up in isolation.

-Alice

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For more information on Family Life Weekend To Remember: Click Here

 

Best Friends

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Best Friends

As I was running into work today, I texted my best friend “I Miss You”.  Four hours later when I finally retrieved to the bathroom, I looked at my phone. A reply, “Me Too. I need a break from my kids”.  I knew it was too late in the evening to send a text responding to her assumed overwhelming urge to pull her hair out. The sad thing is this is a new normal. You see, I miss my best friend. She too has a family and a full house of children tugging at her heart strings. You would think my best friend lived far away, maybe even in another state. No, she lives only a 15 min drive from my home. She stays home to raise her three young boys and a baby girl, while I work full time while trying to raise my own children who are all almost self-sufficient. We both have a husband who works full time, we both love sushi, drinks, dancing, going to the salon, watching movies, traveling and sleeping. And yet our lives are consumed not with these loves, but with diapers, home school, natural parenting, debates, shower-less days, under eye circles, eye rolling, teeth gritting, and feelings of non-privacy. (If I could just pee by myself with no one knocking at the bathroom door.)

Did life really replace my best friend? Did life really replace me? From a young age I was the “mother”. I lived on my own during my teenage years and was a young mother also. I never knew what it was like to be taken care of until I met my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I love caring for others and it even defines who I am in my employment. But what if I stopped for a moment and took care of myself. Is self-care selfish? Surely I would feel this way. Maybe what my best friend and I needed was just some self-care.

Karyl McBride, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist advises, “Self-care is about taking good care of our own feelings so we don’t project them onto others, act badly, or cause problems in relationships. Being in touch with our own feelings and embracing them is the healthiest thing we can do.”  To me, this makes sense. Will it be difficult? Yes. I am assuming the children will complain about not spending time with them. I am assuming time will be difficult to find while either our husbands or a sitter watches the children. And then there is the money. Do I really need to spend money to bring myself self-care? I am going to have to convince myself not to try to solve problems during my self-care, but to look within and get to know me. What to do? Something free…let’s see, go sit and eat my lunch at a park. No, I will be thinking about how the kids would love being here. Go sit down by the lake and watch the waves. No, I might be tempted to jump in and not come back. Shopping, no, that’s money spent and little ones birthday is coming up. Sleep. That actually sounds wonderful, but I think defeats the purpose of looking within my soul.

Maybe my best friend will have an idea. I am thinking a glass of wine and Earthing should do the trick. I miss my best friend, but I also miss me.

-Alice

How do you self-care? Tell us by commenting below.

For more info:

Earthing: click here

Self-Care: click here

 

Hot Toddy

Gone are the days of Grandma telling you to “Feed a Cold and Starve a Fever”.  But one of the old notions of treating a sore throat is preparing a Hot Toddy.

What is a Hot Toddy you say?  It is a mixture of hot whisky, water and honey. Of course there are many different ways to add flavor and healing elements to this concoction.

Recently I came across an amazing Tennessee Apple Pie moonshine by Short Mountain Distillery, thanks to my good friend Kirk in Nashville. My husband announced he was getting sick and could not quit coughing. So as any good wife would do, I gave him some moonshine. (of course alone would have made him cough more)

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Hot Toddy it was.  Bringing to boil in a sauce pan:  (you may also add cloves or cinnamon for taste)

1/4 cup of Apple Pie Moonshine.

1/8 cup of lemon juice

1/4  cup of raw honey

Once it is brought to boil, remove from heat and pour into a cup of hot water.

Sip and enjoy. Now, my husband felt better and didn’t cough all night. Whether it was the herbal cure or the alcohol content we will never know. It did work though and he slept like a baby…wait, i mean a dad.

-Alice

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