New Life

Meaningful Right Relationships

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While reading the ever so long Facebook news feed, I came across one of my favorite blog sites. Hello giggles. It was a site I picked up from a friend and from following some celebrities and while there are some ridiculous stories on there–a lot of it is serious take about the nerdy things I find fun.

So the other day, this article came up. It is a short piece about how Harry Potter and JK Rowling managed to find a way to show how one can have a meaningful friendship with someone of the opposite sex. I guess several Harry Potter fans wanted Harry & Hermione to get together instead of Ron & Hermione.  I will not spoil the article, but I think it is significant to see the claim the article title makes.

My generation originally wanted to categorize things. That men and women, if together, could only be together for one thing: sex. Our culture still expects this by making women confirm to clothing standards and such.  And if you were not together “as a couple” or “doing it,” the it made no sense. In fact, Christian groups even supported this, by using it as the excuse to divide men and women at church. But as my generation matures (which has come a lot slower than previous generations i’m sad to say), we have come to realize through the stories we love can demonstrate a right relationship with the opposite sex can exist. And some other churches are catching on providing healthy places for everyone to grow together and so younger generations have a positive example.


So let’s look at Harry and Hermoine. Harry is “the boy who lived,” the special one yet the completely depressed and struggling one. He is orphaned with abusive family and psychology could have clinged to anyone (most likely Cho at first) but then realizes his connection with Ginnie and their relationship blossoms.  However, Hermione is the intelligent woman, the brains and yet support of two boys as they grow into adults facing (excuse the language), the ultimate craziest and crapiest situation. She is the girl you take home. The one everyone tells how perfect she is but cannot find a boyfriend.  She’s almost “one of the guys.” It leaves room for all kinds of drama between the three friends.

But notice how Rowling wrote it.  She does not create drama or push Hermione into a corner or Ron or Harry out of the group.  It takes all three to make it to the end, all three to stand and fight against evil and when it is all done, it is only then after they have worked together that they in a right manner choose their heart’s desire in a true friend based relationship. So for Ron and Hermoine it was each other and for Harry?-it was Ron’s sister Ginnie. Life moves on, grew out of the tragedy and all of them were kept together by the bound of their friendship.

Fast forward to today–the Disney channel show Girl meets World. It shows how a group of friends (Riley, Myla, Lucas and Farkle) does not require dating. Trust me–Riley and Lucas were almost there but they realized that maybe being friends first is more important and they would see where it goes.  In fact there is a whole entire episode dedicated to showing that a relationship isn’t necessary for being together.  Farkle goes outside the group and brought in a friend (Spackle) who is growing because of the group’s dynamic even though she wants to be in a relationship with Farkle.


So as our generations moved forward, I hope this growing trend towards meaningful friendships before romantic and sexual relationships continues to grow. It will not only teach our children how to understand their emotions before acting, but hopefully build better support systems to defeat and Devils and monsters of their day.

The Downfalls of a Renaissance Woman

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Years ago a good friend described me as “the epitome of a modern Renaissance woman.” It was meant as a compliment to show how amazing I was at learning a lot of different and unrelated topics. Deep inside me i have this crazy desire to always want to learn more, to seek out more, to try new things and to be involved. It is a unique pespective in this modern world of specialization but as the years go by–I have realized the downside of wanting to know everything.

First — it is very easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed. I cannot tell you how many times I just want to scream and cry it all out for a day because I couldn’t get something completed.  I feel like my house is always a mess because i have books, gifts, and computers strung out everywhere, all related to things I want to study or understand.  It took me years to understand that hobbies and interests do not mean a straight line to completion.  Let’s add in that I’m a very passionate person–so when I get involved or interested in a topic, its usually full force. For example, right now my interest is writing. I have tried to make sure I write all ideas that come to mind down so I have my computer, my iPad and phone always within arms reach in addition to a couple physical journals and at least write some words each day (taking up time.) Now-this is a good habit of a writer but there is a huge part of me that wants to get something published. This writing “dream” has lasted since last year and while I have 3-4 book ideas, a couple short stories, I have only until recently set up my writing blog (phoenix-spirit.com) and established my writing identity. And it doesn’t equate to a career change.

Second– you do know a lot more than the average person. I have actually had to work on remembering this. I have had to learn what silent patience is because all i want to do is talk about the extensive history of a subject or about my multiple experiences the issue. It’s extremely difficult for me to just listen, take in someone else’s experience or insights about it and move on. I’m not egotistical, truly. I just get excited about knowledge. Yes-I know how to listen to opinions. I applaud that…having one’s opinion. I’m talking more about facts and history and such.

Other problems I run into is that I am not good at any one thing but good with all things. You ask me to do something–if I don’t know how to do it I will probably go figure it out myself. It took some time for me to adjust to cooperate life when I first got my job at AAA because I was used to doing things. (What-we have a tech support? We have facilities to move things? I’m so confused.) When my mom passed away and I was responsible for doing stuff around the house it was extremely hard to accept sometimes calling to fix sprinklers or even to ask Shawn to get me a drink (personal issues related to BOTH of these.) I also do not want to ever, EVER settle, despite having dreamed about my wedding since I was a kid and played college in the neighborhood with my other friends and having about 20  5-year plans.  Honestly, I contemplating getting into planning and design because ideas run through my head all the time (hence the writing.)  I thrive on change, on dramatic difference. Hey-I’m coining this term! Right now my mind struggles with the idea of wanting to move, find something new to do and new types of energy. I also run the risk all the time of being stopped dead in my tracks, of learning what it means to digest something and think about it.

By the way, if think ‘my kiddong, here is a list of things I’ve learned: I have a MA in theology with a biblical studies emphasis. I have an associated in general insurance (AINS) for work and serve as an arbitrator as well as one of the techs/systems people in the office. Add in I decently play almost every woodwind instrument minus bassoon, I own a piano, clarinet and flute for fun and cannot survive without my vocal chords. I also draw and paint a little (as in own paints, brushes and canvases along with colored pencils, crayons and pens), have got certified in dog training, own multiple pets, have a BA in History (which I love), on my own free will tried and still trying to learn German while know parts of Spanish after taking seminary studies in Greek and Hebrew (biblical-which you could leave me in.) I’m a liberal arts masterpiece with science and tech starting to creep in.

Well, time works through things and who knows–maybe I’ll win the some award and be able to retire for doing so much 🙂 (j/k)

Going local

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Being from California and having gone to school in the Midwest, I have had the very unique experience of having access to locally grown products. I am a huge supporter of the local business, will pay extra to enjoy something I know was handmade or conjured nearby and am trying to find ways to support the local economy. 

So I thought I would share some of finds in my new local area of Rancho Cucamonga:

1) Breweries: there are two breweries in Rancho near our house and they serve different kinds of beer so I can enjoy each location equally. Plus no one needs an excuse to drink more beer 😉 Rancho also is the home of CA’s first winery…yes, look it up, Napa’s got it all wrong- we were here first. (Joseph Fillipi.)

2) farmers market: one day I will make it but Terre Vista near my house has a Saturday market, which is unique. And the garden shopping mall has one on Thursdays that includes a local bakery.

3) local business: I meet someone at one do the brewery who not only makes natural soaps and lotions but she buys dog food locally from Redlands residence that sells grain free/healthy dog food for less than Petco or Petsmart.  And he wants to do this as a business model–sell to local feed stores and pet stores. And the cost is cheaper to support a local guy. Can’t beat that, right?

4) Local restaurants: I did try to eat at the local places more in Orange County, but Rancho Cucamonga has several more options than Anaheim. Including a high quality diner walking distance from our house. While a fast restaurant and a major chain are good every once and a while, I really love the couple pizza places (including Sam Biaggo’s) and local dives better. 

  
5) Rancho has a community garden. Grant it I have issues with the way community garden is organized, choosing to not support this feels wrong. 

6) The local courts and community offices are not in a downtown area that no one travels to. They are actually very assessable from Classic Route 66. By the way–the history of the area is par none. And doesn’t including eliminate orange groves to fill in a mouse house 😉 I can go to jury duty 5 minutes away (which is a good thing), and when I had to file a police report, i didn’t have to go to an unsafe area of town to do it. The county offices are also available nearby because we’re in a more populated area. 

7) mountain towns: Rancho is near big bear, mountain high, and mount baldy. We’re also a short drive from Yucaipa for apple picking and closer to Vegas and downtown LA without having to take the dreaded 5 north. In fact, we can go to universal studios in less than an hour. Pleasantly fun even though I am a Orange County never go to Los Angeles if I can help it person. 

Mindful Eating

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Have you ever thought about what your feeling when you’re eating? About your thoughts and emotions while you chomp down on your favorite cookie or chip? I mean really, seriously thought about it.No?-me neither.

When I contacted my dietitian, she provided me some paperwork to fill out which included a food and journal to document how I feel when I’m eating. And asking what I want to eat versus what I actually eat. It’s a little different than keeping a list of items I eat so I watch the calorie intact. Some things I’ve already learned about my habits:

1) I rarely eat what I actually want. Mostly because what I want I know can be very unhealthy for me. To be honest, last week all I thought about was cake since my husband’s birthday was coming up and I couldn’t have any on my strict diet rules. So even though I know I need to eat healthier, more viable options, my mind only thought about cake half the time (cake or sweetie goodness.) Very rarely do I actually think about what I want and turn it into what I need to eat for that day. It’s happened maybe once or twice in the last week. Scary

2) Planning meals is a foreign concept to me. I grew up in a household where we cook and eat by the seats of our pants and with whatever is in the kitchen. My mom prided herself on cooking the 30 minute or less meal so we could eat as a family.  When I got older, my mom was sick and my dad had died so food eating was more difficult. I was left on my own.  And of course, college and afterwards included me sitting at home with noodles or rice & butter just so I could say I ate dinner.  I never really consider what to shop for unless I have a specific menu item planned. So I always have staples in the house (milk, eggs, drinks and smackers), but unless I make a conscious dedicated effort, I really don’t think about meals for the next day. This makes is difficult for me planning meals because I look at a menu and think “nah, I don’t feel like making that today” and skip it for grub hub (the online food ordering app.)

3) I also rarely think about what I’m feeling during eating. Lately I’ve noticed I am rarely happy, unless I’m with friends enjoying a nice meal or eating something I worked hard to make. But I’m usually tired in the morning, not awake enough to care about my emotions and have just enough energy to know I need to eat breakfast. This goes along with my less than 30 minute “getting ready” time before work. Only when I have no immediate plans in the morning do I ever take the time to fully get ready and think about my breakfast and cook it.

4) I already knew this but I can control myself the best when I’m on a schedule. When I eat breakfast & lunch, I have to eat at a certain time and its regimented. So that’s one thing less I have to plan for and for some reason, it limits my thinking. However, when I get home, because my husband many times doesn’t get home until a lot later, I am stuck waiting for dinner and don’t cook it because i want it to be fresh and by the time he gets home I just want to sit or want not go out. It’s crazy.

So hopefully this dietitian meeting (whenever it will be), will help me understand things a little more and work on timing and mindful eating. I already know in my head there are hundreds of options for eating healthy and sometimes it just takes cutting down the intake and enjoy everything slowly. I know its hard but it can be done.

One positive note: I have managed to keep up my “plane challenge” and can now hold it for 60 seconds. I can feel my ab muscles getting stronger along with getting a little sleeker in the tummy area.  😀

Dieting new style

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after many moons of struggling to eat this way or cut out something healthy I love, I am finally deciding to go to a dietitian. Many of you are probably thinking why, you know what to eat and what not to eat. You know how to read labels.” Yes, yes I do.

But eating healthy and balancing weight, insulin and sugar levels without feeling ill-pre-pared or depressed from not eating something in moderation is getting to me. I want to know how do I balance if I know I need breakfast but the only thing available is snacks in my fridge. And what is better for me? To fee better or deprive myself of something? I have these and more questions that I fee a dietitian can hep men monitor without feeling like I fail every time I eat.


For example, I went on my no car /sugar diet. And while I know it works and I fee good, I was getting extremely tired of eating eggs and bacon for breakfast every morning. So I went back to my small cereal and coconut milk. Honestly, I felt better about eating that as breakfast because I would be full until lunch. Probably is, I eat breakfast and lunch so organized and dinner so late cause I’ve trying to eat with my husband. And I am sure that contributed to my problems.


I want to be able to eat mindful. Without feeling depressed, deprived or in despair over a little ice cream or a sandwich with grilled chicken.

I know I will figure out a way! A way to be at peace with food.