Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To All for 2014 - Thank you

What's with  New Year's resolutions? Maybe I don't care for them because I've never kept one throughout my life.  Why not do positive small changes that are obtainable, instead? The Huff Post had a decent article regarding this.  I don't know if I'll make a contract with myself but a few things I'll be doing this year is feeding my passion more - less goof off time, showing my appreciation for someone (especially family), write something I'm grateful for each day (hope I don't bore myself with any repeats lol) and to exceed my comfort zone.  I think these are doable.

What changes are you thinking of making?

                                                             #  #  #

According to Blogger, I receive views from all over the world. I kind of have my doubts about that because their stats never seem to match each other, but in case it's true, I want to thank all of you for visiting throughout the year and wish you a peaceful, happy, and enriching new year. Here's to a new start and better respect for each other and the earth which we depend on to live.

Wünschen Ihnen ein friedliches, glückliches, neues Jahr und bereichernd.

متمنيا لكم سنة جديدة السلمية، سعيدة، ومثرية.


Ik wens u een rustig, gelukkig en verrijkende nieuwe jaar.

En vous souhaitant une nouvelle année paisible, heureux, et enrichissante.

Σας ευχόμαστε μια ειρηνική, ευτυχισμένη, και εμπλουτίζοντας το νέο έτος.

מאחל לך שנה של שלום, שמחה, ומעשירה חדשה.

आप एक शांतिपूर्ण, खुश, और समृद्ध नए साल की बधाई.

Ar mian leat go síochánta, sona, agus a shaibhriú bhliain nua.


Życząc Państwu spokojny, szczęśliwy, i wzbogacenia nowego roku.

Желаю вам мирного, счастливого и обогащения новый год.

Le deseamos una pacífica, feliz y enriquecedora año nuevo.

Yang ingin anda yang aman, gembira, dan memperkaya tahun baru.

Желимо вам мирну, срећну и обогаћујући нову годину.

Бажаю вам мирного, щасливого і збагачення новий рік.

Toivotan teille rauhallinen, onnellinen, ja rikastuttava uusi vuosi.

Note: If I didn't give my wish in your language, I apologize. The Blogger audience list only goes up to ten entries and I can remember just a few of the others. If the translation came out wrong, it's Google's fault. It's suppose to translate into Wishing you a peaceful, happy, and enriching new year.  : )  ~ Donna

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Just want to wish everyone a warm, happy, memory-filled Christmas.  Please be safe.
~ Donna

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Tips for Handling Holiday Stress

Ah yes, the Christmas season is upon us and as the hustle and bustle increases so does the stress. Most of the time we can handle it, sometimes we can't. When those times hit there are ways to combat them.  Here are a few of the several ways I found on Helpguide.org  that can be applied all through the year, not just during the holidays. 

First you must realize that "until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control".  Know what you can and can't do.  If the church choirmaster asks you if you can make ten matching halos and wings for the children's choir and you really don't have the time.  Say no.  You won't go to hell for it.  If you’re child asks you to drive him/her somewhere and you’re really swamped with other things – say no. You won't be reported to the Child Protection Agency for voicing it.

Put the most important/necessary tasks of your to-do list on top and the least at the bottom. If it has very little importance you might consider not doing it at all. 
See if you can volunteer some of the others in your family to help with some of the special cleaning, decorating and chores that are a part of "getting ready".  I make a list of everything that needs to be done. I then tell my family members to pick a chore, put their name next to it and cross it off when it’s completed.  It works in my house, maybe it will it yours.

You don't have to be an angel, so if there's something bothering you, talk it out.  Don't let it come to a boil inside until it blasts out making you sound like a shrilling grinch.

Keep things in perspective.  If something is irritating you, ask yourself will it matter in a month?  A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.  

Think of things that are positive, that includes, besides rainbows, puppies and kittens; your own good qualities and strengths such as compassion, creativity, honesty, courage, and/or loyalty, to name a few. Also try to think more positively.  If you feel everything is going wrong, think, I can get through this if I take it one step at a time. Or I’ve been through this before, I can do it again.

No one's perfect, so don't demand perfection from yourself.  Even Martha Stewart makes mistakes, though she does use the word perfect a lot.

Don't try to control those things that you can't.  You can control how you will react but some things you don't have any power over, like Uncle Joe.

Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that people function best after seven to eight hours of sleep.

Try to exercise.  It helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress—and research shows that 20 minutes each day is all that is needed to experience benefits.

And lastly do something for fun once a day.  Throw in a CD or grab your i-pod and dance until you feel a smile coming on. Put together a puzzle with your family. Go to a park and take pictures. Do something silly either by yourself or with loved ones.

Another good site for tips is the American Heart Association

Hope this helps a little bit.  Have a wonderful and hopefully calmer holiday season.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What IS Nora Roberts?

At our bi-monthly writing meeting, the discussion turned to the trials and tribulations, the angst, and the periodic hair pulling of putting together a story. Somehow the talk moseyed over to the topic of Nora Roberts. For those who don't know, Nora Roberts, with the release of Whiskey Beach in April 2013, has written two hundred and five books.  Thirty-seven of which were under her pseudonym, J.D. Robb.

"I heard she's not human," said Hanna, whose eyes were still red from her breakdown minutes before after telling us about the battle she's been having with her present work.  

She glanced around the cafe.  Her voiced lowered to barely a whisper as she leaned forward. "She's an experimental android spy made by the military. NORA is actually short for Natural Observational Robotic Agent.  But all her reports displayed such creative flair  everyone wanted to read them and were trying to sneak copies out.  Of course the military couldn't have that. "

"They tried reprogramming her, but it didn't work and decided to let her run on her own, monitoring how long she could operate before malfunctioning.  They never expected her to be this good for this long. Plus the Department of Defense gets a percentage of the book sales, so they're real happy."

"But she smokes.  She has to be real," said Mary.

"They added that for realism," replied Hanna.

"I don't think so." Mary continued, "I read Nora's an alien from a literary planet.  She has two brains that work independently from each other and has two sets of arms.  That way she can work on a couple of stories at the same time. She just picked up the smoking habit while on this planet."

"And where the hell did you read that?" asked Cyndi, whose voice whipped with disdain.

"From a reputable newspaper."    

"Yeah, well I wouldn't call The Backdoor Inquisitor a professional journalistic paper."

"I didn't say I read. . ."  

"Oh come on.  I  know you grab that rag every time you go shopping and that bit of info is just their speed."

Mary's fingers tugged at the buttons  of her blouse.

"Okay ladies, let's calm it down here," Keira, always the peacemaker of the group, said as she flipped her hands up in a crossing guard gesture to stop them. 

"You're both wrong," said Tawny.  "She has eight clones tucked away in a remote cabin, each turning out a different story.  Nora, herself, only writes one book every three years."

Cyndi quirked an eyebrow.

"Really! I heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, who was made privy to it by her  sister-in-law, who got it from her mother, who heard it from her hairstylist, who happens to be the same person Nora uses."

"Did you breathe at all through that whole sentence?"  Cyndi stifled a chuckle.

Tawny's eyes narrowed.  Her hands, resting on her lap, clenched into fists as she drew in a deep breath  through her nose.

"Admit it ladies, we're just jealous and wish we could be as prolific," Keira threw in before more could be said.  She sighed as she gazed at the sullen faces and nodding heads, then raised her coffee cup. 

"To Nora, whatever she may be."

We lifted our cups to meet hers.  "To Nora."