It’s Time


I remember the time my mom was not feeling well, she was having great abdominal pain and was sent to the hospital, where she ended up having to stay in the hospital as they needed to run a various set of test on her.  Once she was settled in and resting I had to leave and told her I would see her first thing in the morning. Well, the next morning as I was getting ready to go back to the hospital and check on her I received a call from the hospital telling me she had gone into a coma after having a cat scan. Needless to say, I was highly upset and rushed to be by her side. There had been people who have come out of a coma that had been in a coma for months and they say your hearing is the last to go, so I was hoping she could hear me as I was talking to her and even if her brain may have been dead as long as her heart was still beating I refused to allow them to unplug the machines.  So the hospital allowed me to stay in one of their private rooms so that I could be there on site and be with her whenever I felt like it. She passed away several days later.

I tell you this because I feel it is time. It’s time to start having quality conversations with loved ones again. Death is a real challenge and it tells us not to waste time. It tells us to make the time right now to tell each other that we love each other. It tells us to stop texting and tweeting every second and actually open the floodgates to real, long, heartfelt conversations with the people we love and care about. Relationships flourish when people are able to share their innermost feelings and thoughts about themselves and each other. To be fully heard by someone, in raw form, and to be adored anyhow, is what true love is. Making time for these deep connections and conversations is well worth it. It’s Time.

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend

mother's Day

#Mother’sDay, #amother’slove, #motherscomeinvariousforms, #singlemothers, #celebrate, #givinghonorandrespect

Dealing With Stress


Excessive or prolonged stress, particularly in the form of frustration, fear, or anxiety, is distress, and it leads to disease. – Gail C. Christopher

Life is not simple. We find ourselves saddled with all kinds of worries, too numerous to mention, which affect all areas of our lives, from our personal safety, to our job and financial worries, to our romantic and family relationships. Each worry, whether acknowledged or buried exacts its share of damage upon our system.

I get freaked out whenever thunderstorms of any kind are approaching. Especially if I am out and the storm has approached. However, I found my own way of combating my anxiety when this occurs. What I do is think about the bible story when Jesus was in the boat with his disciples during a bad thunderstorm and the disciples were upset that they were freaking out over the storm while Jesus was resting peacefully in the boat. They woke him and he commanded the storms to cease.  So, I turn off all lights, tv, etc., and get into bed and sleep until the storm passes and that is how I get through my stress of dealing with thunderstorms.

How do you relax your stressful moments? Why not take the time to find some way to relax, whether it be taking a bath, long hot shower, meditating, journaling, some form of arts and crafts, or exercising? When we do nothing to fortify our bodies to live and deal with stress, our bodies and minds pay the price.

#dealingwithstress, #mediation, #findingpeacewithin, #relax, #excerise, #Sydney Rae,

Let’s Go Deep!

The Eyes Are The Windows To The Soul


#lookingbeyondthesurface, #lookdeepintomysoul, #whatabeautifulsoul, #seetherealme, #theeyesarethewindowsofthesoul

11 Great Broadway Shows and Musicals to Stream Now

  Broadway has gone dark, but you can watch hit’s plays at home

westside story

West Side Story (1961)

The trendy 2020 Broadway revival is closed and Spielberg’s new movie version won’t arrive until later this year, but Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein’s Oscar-winning original film (directed by Robert Wise) will make you like to be in America. Rita Moreno steals many scenes, and Natalie Wood is terrific as the Puerto Rican Juliet of Hell’s Kitchen.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu, Starz, Verizon on Demand

Les Misérables (2012)

Hugh Jackman first hit the big time as a Broadway singer, not as the Wolverine, and he’s magnetic as the 19th-century French prisoner Jean Valjean, haunted and hunted by implacable sleuth Javert (Russell Crowe). Not everyone was wild about Anne Hathaway’s performance as factory worker Fantine, whose daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), Jean looks after. But you’ll never forget that soaring Jackman voice.

Where to watchAmazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes

hair spray

Hairspray (2007)

John Travolta outdoes himself as agoraphobic Edna Turnblad, the plus-size mother of Tracy (Nikki Blonsky), who yearns to go on Baltimore’s teen-dance TV show and winds up integrating it — to everybody’s exhilaration. Wonderful tunes, sly John Waters humor and killer performances by Christopher Walken as Mr. Turnblad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Allison Janney and Jerry Stiller. A total feel-good musical.

Where to watchNetflix, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Fandango Now, Verizon on Demand

Deathtrap (1982)

Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyan Cannon have a blast in the witty Broadway hit thriller about a Broadway playwright (Caine) whose career tanks, so he decides to steal a masterful play by his ex-student (Reeve) — who, unfortunately, he’d have to kill — while his excitable wife (Cannon, a genius comedian) freaks out. You won’t outguess it, and the characters are richer than any of Agatha Christie’s.

Where to watchAmazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu

Amadeus (1984)

  1. Murray Abraham became a star (and earned one of this smash hit’s eight Oscars) playing Salieri, the composer who bitterly resents the childish, vulgar Mozart (Tom Hulce) for his superior musical gift. So he impersonates a patron and hires Mozart to write the exhausting Requiem — destroying his life. Get the director’s cut if you can — it’s got 20 extra exquisite minutes.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Verizon On Demand, Vudu

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Christopher Hampton’s stage smash was so popular that it inspired two movie versions, but this one is even better than 1989’s Valmont, which stars Annette Bening and Colin Firth. Glenn Close is unbeatable as a gorgeous, horrid 18th-century noblewoman who wants to get even with her boyfriend (Keanu Reeves) for acquiring a new squeeze, Cécile (Uma Thurman). So she plots with her jaded ex (lizardlike John Malkovich) to have him seduce and ruin the virginal Cécile — and also do the same to Michelle Pfeiffer’s virtuous Madame de Tourvel, just for the mind-game fun of it. A nasty treat.

Where to watch: HBO on Demand, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu

Cabaret (1972)

It’s hard to say who deserved their Oscar most in this classic musical set in a Berlin nightclub circa 1930: director Bob Fosse, whose choreography captures the decadent, Nazi-menaced period atmosphere; Liza Minnelli, whose amoral chanteuse is as cinematically riveting as anything her mother Judy Garland ever played; or Joel Grey, whose creepy master of ceremonies role will chill you to the bone.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu, Microsoft, Verizon on Demand

Dreamgirls (2006)

If you haven’t heard Jennifer Hudson belt out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going,” you haven’t lived. In a musical very loosely inspired by the Supremes, she’s the singer who loses her boyfriend (Jamie Foxx) and her place onstage to the skinnier, prettier, Diana Ross-ish Beyoncé Knowles. Eddie Murphy came back to stardom as James “Thunder” Early, the James Brown-like star the girls back up.

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, TNT, TBS, Fandango Now, Vudu

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

The much-missed Rick Moranis is hilarious as a Skid Row flower shop owner who acquires a man-eating plant named Audrey II. Steve Martin is even better as a sadistic dentist. Besides wonderful tunes and menacing Muppets, this musical boasts an amazing cast: Bill Murray, Jim Belushi, John Candy and Vincent Gardenia (no relation to Audrey II).

Where to watch: Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu, Verizon on Demand

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Tim Burton’s macabre comic imagination made him ideal to direct Sondheim’s musical masterpiece about a homicidal 19th-century London barber with no repeat customers. Johnny Depp proves he can sing as the shell-shocked killer, as can Helena Bonham Carter as the baker who adores him — and loves his effect on the quality of her meat pies. (If you crave better singing, the best versions of Sweeney Todd are available on Blu-ray and DVD: the Broadway production with Angela Lansbury and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert, with Patti LuPone and Neil Patrick Harris.)

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu

Chicago (2002)

If you liked Renée Zellweger in Judy, she sings a lot better as boyfriend-murdering Roxie Hart, who bonds behind bars with an even better singer, Catherine Zeta-Jones as husband-murdering vaudevillian Velma Kelly. Richard Gere started out on the musical stage, and he’s tops as Roxie’s slick lawyer. Queen Latifah is better yet as their cunning warden, and John C. Reilly has the most affecting tune, “Mr. Cellophane.”

Where to watchNetflix, Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Fandango Now, Vudu, Verizon on Demand #Broadwayyourway, #musicalclassics,

Calories Burned by Household Chores

These days with everyone having to work from home and children having to home school it’s easy to snack all day when the kitchen is only steps away from your work stations.  However, you can burn calories as you do chores around the house or in the yard. House or yard work can boost your metabolism and help manage your weight.

Vacuum Carpets and Floors

Pushing your vacuum cleaner around every room in the house requires some serious calories. Vacuuming for 30 minutes zaps 99 calories if you’re 120 pounds, 124 calories if you’re 150 pounds, and 166 calories if you’re 200 pounds. Do dance moves or lunges while you push to pump up the burn.

Mow the Lawn

Using a push mower, not a riding mower, creates a decent workout. It can be a power mower, don’t worry! Mowing the lawn for 30 minutes uses about 135 calories for a 125-pound person and 200 calories for a 185-pound person. An old-school, non-powered mower requires 30 to 40 calories more per half hour.

wash car

 Wash the Car

Skip the drive-thru car wash: Fill up a bucket with soapy water and give your ride’s exterior and windows a thorough cleaning to work up a sweat. Washing the car by hand for 30 minutes burns 135 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 200 calories if you weigh 185 pounds.

Make and Change the Beds

If you have several bedrooms in your house, don’t let them stay messy. Changing the linens takes some energy. Stripping and remaking beds for 30 minutes torches 187 calories if you weigh 125.

Make and Change the Beds

If you have several bedrooms in your house, don’t let them stay messy. Changing the linens takes some energy. Stripping and remaking beds for 30 minutes torches 187 calories if you weigh 125

Make and Change the Beds

If you have several bedrooms in your house, don’t let them stay messy. Changing the linens takes some energy. Stripping and remaking beds for 30 minutes torches 187 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and a whopping 300 calories if you weigh 200 pounds.

Play With Your Children

A fun family workout is good for your body and spirit. Even if you only do a little work, 30 minutes of play time burns 120 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 178 calories if you weigh 200 pounds. Ramp up to serious horseplay, and you’ll zap 30 or more extra calories per outing.

Rake and Bag Leaves

Is your lawn littered with fallen leaves or clippings? Grab your rake! A half-hour of raking the lawn uses up 120 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 178 calories if you weigh 200 pounds. Bag the leaves, too, and you’ll double the calories you burn per session. Who needs a yard service?

Clean Up After a Meal

Everyone loves eating a home-cooked meal, but if you hit the sofa once it’s time to do the dishes, you’ll miss a great workout. 30 minutes of washing dishes by hand and cleaning up the kitchen with moderate intensity gets rid of 187 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 300 calories if you weigh 200 pounds.

Empty the Gutters

Yes, it’s easier to hire someone to climb up a ladder and clean the gunk out of your home’s rain gutters. But if you do this chore yourself, you could burn about 150 calories in 30 minutes if you weigh 125 pounds and 222 calories if you weigh 200 pounds. Install new storm windows, and you’ll double those numbers.

Walk Your Dog

Take your four-legged buddy for a stroll and you’ll both benefit. Walking for 30 minutes at just 4 miles per hour, or a 15-minute mile, chews up 135 calories if you’re 125 pounds and 200 calories if you’re 200 pounds. Rev up to 4.5 miles per hour, and you’ll burn 150 calories at 125 pounds and 222 calories at 200 pounds.

Move to a New Home and Unpack

Don’t put off unpacking your boxes after you move. Just 30 minutes’ work will burn 105 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 155 calories if you’re 200 pounds. If you cancel the movers and carry the boxes yourself, you can torch 210 calories if you’re 125 pounds, and 311 calories if you weigh 200 pounds.

Get Into the Garden

Just 30 minutes of pulling weeds cuts 139 calories for a 125-pound person and 205 calories for a 200-pound person. Plant some new trees for even more exercise: It burns 135 calories if you’re 125 pounds and 200 calories if you’re 200 pounds. Gardening is also a great way to strengthen and build muscles.

wash dishes

Pump Up the Pace

How do you know if your chores are really giving you a workout? Burn more calories by doing any activity at a pace quick enough to get your heart pumping and make you breathe harder. Do your activity for at least 10 minutes straight as well. Play upbeat music to raise your pace and stamina while you clean up or do yard work.

Stand Up, Add Movement

Even standing more instead of sitting all day will increase your NEAT levels. Walk short distances whenever you can to add steps to your daily count and burn a few calories. If you take the bus, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Little movements can add up to more NEAT overall., #exercisewhileinside, #bustingcalories, #moveyourbody

Everything You Need to Know About Rescheduling Your Wedding

cakeWe’re all hurting in this current state of affairs, but if you have a wedding planned in the next few weeks or months, you might find yourself dealing with your own set of special challenges that are putting a damper on what is supposed to be an otherwise magical time. On March 16, the CDC recommended limiting gatherings to less than 10 people, which has caused for cancellation of plenty of mass gatherings throughout the world, including weddings, in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Giselle Smith, owner, planner, and designer of Lovely Leaves in Elizabethtown, Kentucky has a decade of experience in the wedding industry acknowledges that, right now, the field is struggling. Smith stated in a phone interview to me that, “we’ve never really had anything to this degree happen before.” Smith has been reaching out to her clients to help them navigate this difficult time and has plans in place to find structure and solution amidst the chaos. If you’ve found yourself in a similar predicament of attempting to deal with wedding cancellation disappointment while mobilizing toward rescheduling for the future, read on for Smith’s tips for how to conquer this time of uncertainty:

First things first: consider hiring a wedding planner.

Disclaimer: I’m not planning a wedding right now and I’m definitely not replanning one either. But I can say, sympathetically, that both sound incredibly overwhelming. If you’re rescheduling a wedding that you’ve already worked diligently to plan, you’re going to have to be doing a lot of back and forth with vendors to try to coordinate a new date, and you might not be taking into consideration all of the odds and ends that have to be sorted out as well. If you’re feeling anxious and would like some guidance, Smith suggested hiring a wedding planner who has experience with the industry, can anticipate what needs to be done in terms of cancellations and rescheduling, and has a good relationship with plenty of vendors to make rescheduling less difficult. 

 Step one: reach out to your vendors.

When I asked Smith about the first thing that needs to be done if you’re thinking of canceling or rescheduling your wedding, she didn’t hesitate. “Reach out to your vendors … sit down, pull together a list of all of the businesses, and email everyone at once with one single email. CC it so that your vendors can connect with each other,” she recommended. 

She acknowledged that this especially applies to vendors who are responsible for supplying perishable goods like food or florals. “Once it’s ordered, it’s a loss for both you and the vendors,” she stated.

Step two: contact your guests.

If your invites have already gone out, Smith suggests “individually contacting your guests” to make them aware and to allow them the courtesy of adjusting their travel plans. Don’t assume that your guests know that you’ll be canceling your wedding. You simply don’t want Aunt Judy (who probably should be practicing distancing but loves you so much she wouldn’t miss your wedding for the world) showing up to your door from West Virginia on the date of when your wedding was supposed to be. “If you haven’t sent out your invites yet, a single social media post would suffice,” she stated.

Step three: be flexible with rescheduling.

“Thursday is the new Saturday,” Smith exclaimed. Looking forward to a new date, it can be helpful for both vendors and guests to choose a day that is less sought after, outside of a Friday or a Saturday. “In recent years, I’ve seen more weddings happening on Thursdays and Sundays … a weekday shouldn’t be ruled out, especially given recent events,” Smith stated. This can be a bit of a loop-hole for you to keep the vendors you originally wanted and to honor your deposits without having to reschedule for Friday or Saturday availability that, realistically, might not exist until 2021 or later.

Step four: look into wedding insurance.

Moving forward Smith explained that it might not be a bad idea to look into wedding insurance. One of her partners in the industry discussed with her that some states require wedding insurance, which has softened the pandemic-related financial blow for brides and vendors alike. “For those who have had to cancel so far, the insurance companies have protected their deposits.” Given recent events, investing in some sort of security seems like a sound plan to explore.

Step five: take a deep breath.

“I think that practicing acceptance right now is huge,” Smith stated. “Take a deep breath and step back. You’re going to be married to your spouse for the rest of your life. As important as your wedding is, realize it’s just one day of your marriage. Roll with the punches. Be compassionate to your vendors—this is their livelihood,” she acknowledged. “Everyone’s going through something right now, so let’s go through it together.” 

 Consider elopement.

If you’re looking to scale back without canceling or losing your deposits, Smith stated that you could always “redirect your vendors” to a small elopement-style gathering. “Utilize your photographer, your dress, your flowers, and your caterer and you can still have a beautiful, intimate experience,” she stated., #weddingbells, #reschedulingawedding, #herecomesthebride, #weddingplanner

Life’s Situations

life's situations, #keepthefaith, #betterdaysarecoming, #believe, #thingswillgetbetter, #raindon’tlastforever

Happy Friday!

happy friday, #madeitthroughanotherweeksafeandhealthy, #happyfridayya’ll

10 Ways To Have Family Fun While Having To Stay Home

Staying "in" for the day? Play some classic and/or favorite board games: UpWords, Life, Scrabble, Monopoly, Blokus, Ticket to Ride, Skip-Bo, Rummikub, Settlers of Catan, Apples to Apples    rv, rving, rver, road trip, Cruise America, board games in the rvThe world finds itself in the throes of a pandemic. If there’s one thing that most experts agree on when it comes to the best way to stay safe from the COVID-19 virus, it’s that we should all try to stay home as much as possible.

Although having to stay home may sound awfully boring, it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of ways to entertain yourself without having to leave your dwelling. Below you’ll find 12 ways to have fun at home.

  1. Play Board Games, With a Twist
  2. Build Your Own Board Game –Just as most of us have a novel in us, I think a lot of people have a board game in them. If you want to build a board game, ask yourself questions like the following:
    • Which are your favorite board games?
    • What topics are you interested in?
    • Do you prefer games of strategy or games of chance?
    • What types of board games do you like (roll and move; deck-building games; area control games; and so on)?

    You have an endless number of themes to choose from. Here are some ideas:

    • If you love politics, your board game could use a presidential election as the theme.
    • For art lovers, your board game could be a trip around the best museums in the world.
    • Book lovers can use their favorite book as their theme.

    You can even build a board game to teach your kids about money, the national parks, the US presidents, an important period in history, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

  3. Try a Science Experiment
  4. Try a Science Experiment –If you want to build a homemade volcano, there are plenty of sites you can use to learn how to make a volcano, like this one.
  5. Watch a Marathon of Classic TV Shows – Three’s Company, MaMa’s Family and  The Andy Griffin Show has been on my rotation.

     6. Play Geography Jeopardy – The questions can come from many different categories, including science, literature, world history, entertainment, and so on. Your category is going to be geography. Here are some questions you could use:

    • Q: “This is the largest country in Africa.”
    • A: “What is Algeria?”
    • Q: “This country borders Spain to the West.”
    • A: “What is Portugal?”
    • Q: “This is the highest mountain in the world.”
    • A: “What is Mount Everest?”

Come up with questions by doing some research online. By the time there’s a vaccine for this virus, you’ll be a geography whiz!

   7. Create a Collage of Your Bucket List – Start off by creating your bucket list a list of all the things you want to see, do, and experience during your lifetime. Then, do the following:

  • Grab a stack of magazines and cut out any images that represent the items on your bucket list. You can also look for images online and print them out.
  • Glue your images on a piece of paper.
  • Decide if you want to draw on top, add little pieces of fabric, glue on some letters to spell out messages, and so on.

Then, start planning how you’re going to achieve your bucket list.

8. Paint RocksOf course, we have to add something artistic to a list of fun things to do at home. One idea is to paint rocks.

A lovely project to try is the Kindness Rocks Project You paint uplifting messages on rocks and leave them where others can find them (once it’s safe to venture outdoors once again). Your messages can be something like the following:

9. Start a Passion Project – As I wrote in my post on 14 Reasons to Start a Passion Project, a passion project is “an enterprise that you decide to take on—usually in your spare time–in order to gain some benefit for yourself.” These benefits include increasing your happiness, adding creativity to your life, making your life more meaningful, and even earning additional income.

Here are some ideas for passion projects:

  • Start designing a tiny house–a residential structure under 400 sq. ft.–you’ll move into someday.
  • Create an app that helps solve a problem that you and your friends are having.
  • Write a book of poetry.
  • Start a non-profit that helps solve a social problem you’re passionate about.

 10. Have a Jigsaw Puzzle Contest – I love jigsaw puzzles, and I know a lot of other people do as well. You can turn building puzzles into a fun contest (because everything is more fun if you turn it into a contest). Here’s what to do:

      • Choose a puzzle and buy one for each contestant (the same puzzle for all the players).
      • Individuals or teams try to put the puzzle together as fast as they can.
      • Whoever finishes first, wins. Alternatively, you can set a time limit and whoever has the least remaining loose pieces when the timer goes off is the winner.
      • Give the winner a prize.

#havingfunathome, #familytime, #stuckinthehouse, #gameon!, #createfuntimes,

Sinked Ships

sinked ships, #dontallowyourhearttobebitter, #don’tallowyourworriestoweighyoudown

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