About Me

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I have been married to a wonderful man for 19 years. We were blessed with 2 beautiful daughters who are now teenagers. I homeschool my children and work full time outside of my home. I recently opened my Home Business

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Coupons = Savings...Should They be Treated as MONEY IN YOUR POCKET?

 COUPONS, COUPONS, COUPONS...every where you look and if you listen to a lot of conversations they are all about coupons.  In today's economic times everyone is looking for a way to save money. Every little bit helps, right?  With TLC's Extreme Couponing,
all the talk is about coupons. Clipping coupons is a hobby I started in January as way to try to save some money going out of my house.  Grocery shopping was something I hated! I hated it with a passion.  It was disheartening for me to leave the store with $100 - $150 a week being spent on groceries and very few items in my cart.  It was plain depressing. The cost of groceries and gas are steadily increasing and my income wasn't keeping up with that increase.  We had to do something different just to survive!  Not only survival for ourselves, but I have a heart that deeply desires to help others.  How can I help others if we are barely able to survive?  My answer....COUPONS!

A friend of mine introduced me to coupons.  I had tried using coupons before over the years and I truly didn't see any real savings.  Why would I think this time would be any different?  This time was different because I had someone teaching me the right way to utilize my coupons for the maximum savings!  Now, I am NO extreme couponer. I will be the 1st to admit that.  I do NOT know all of the secrets of couponing. I am learning as I go.  What I do know is that since January I have saved $1200 on my grocery bill!!

First I learned how to get more products for basically the same amount of money I was spending. I did this for quite a while.  I went from wondering if my groceries would last to the next pay check to having things in the freezer all the time.  I went from wondering how I could help someone in need to helping several people who were on fixed incomes or facing layoff.  I do not think I will ever have extra rooms filled with overflow items from stockpiling because each time I save, I look for someone to help.

I am not faulting or putting down anyone with extra rooms.  I believe they also help others from their stockpile and they can give more in bulk than I could.

Extreme Couponers

How do you do it?  How do you save so much money on coupons?  The first thing I had to do was change my thought process. I could not go into the grocery store with the same thought pattern.  I had to learn to shop differently.  Before couponing, I would look into the cabinets and decide what we needed.  I would attempt to plan my meals for the next week and go to the store.  There were times I spent more than I planned just to get what I needed.  That was depressing and took money from somewhere else it needed to go.

My friend called me and began teaching me.  She told me about some sights to go to in order to print coupons such as: WeUseCouponsKoupon Klipper, and Southern Savers.  There is also Coupons.com.
Visiting these sites allowed me to print coupons and start learning ways to save money.  Each of these sites have very valuable tips on couponing.  A couple of things I strongly encourage if you are beginning to coupon is to KNOW YOUR STORE'S COUPON POLICY and AVOID COUPON FRAUD.  If you are reading tips and something feels unethical, don't do it.  Listen to your conscience.  Most of the sites I have come across are legitimate and just want to help you save money.  Some people will do anything to save a dime.  If someone is using coupon fraud to gain extra savings it is the same as STEALING and it hurts everyone using coupons.  I also encourage you to be a courteous couponer.  Don't wipe the shelves out.  Save some for others. Everyone needs to save all the money they can, we don't have to be greedy.

Success with coupons comes just like success with anything else, you have to PLAN.  Don't be so loyal to one store that you knock yourself out of savings at another one.  Don't be so loyal to one product that you miss savings on another one.  Compare the sales at your local stores.  Look at the coupons you have available and plan your trip.  Make a list and stick to that list.  Do not go to the store hungry because you will spend more money by putting more in your cart than what is on your list.  Avoid impulse buying.  Stores put candy, magazines, and such at the check out to encourage impulse buying.  Set goals and track your savings.

full and empty shopping carts from supermarket storeIf you come to the checkout with two or more full shopping carts, your loyalty card, and an envelope full of coupons; you may want to break your order down into multiple orders to prevent the cash register from locking up on you.  Ask me how I know this one. I learned, the hard way, that cash registers operate on a spreadsheet type system.  They go by line spaces.  Once you use all of the line spaces the register locks down.

Coupons are as valuable as the cash you have in your hand.  Coupons = Dollars.  Some stores will double coupons.  I know my store will double coupons up to about 50 cents. What does this mean? If you have a coupons for 50 cents off of one item and your store doubles 50 cent coupons you are actually getting $1 off of that product. 

Couponing can equal the amount of time of a full time job.  It can be addicting!  Do not let it run your life.  You have to keep it in balance or it will take over.  It can also lead to hoarding.  These are things a lot of people do not consider or think about it, but they can happen.  Keep this in mind as you start your couponing hobby and savings.

Blessings and happy savings to all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Unplanned Trips, Going Back to School, Degrees for Life Experiences

Good afternoon. I write to you today after a wonderful, unplanned weekend trip to Cherry Grove Beach, North Myrtle Beach, SC.  Having not been to the beach in over a year, we decided to take off and go.  We rode the four hours to the beach to find most every motel booked and the ones with vacancies were closed.  We rode for several more hours looking for somewhere to stay.  We started in South Myrtle Beach.  The home of The Bowery, where the famous country music group, Alabama, got their start.  This section of beach was packed to the max with only a couple of Vacancy signs flashing and offices locked up tight.  I had never thought about the possibility of a motel office being closed.  We were exhausted after working all day and riding all night.  We rode to North Myrtle Beach.  We found one hotel with a vacancy sign...it was next door to a "gentleman's club"! No way was I staying there with my daughters!  We stopped at a Best Western which was filled to capacity.  I asked her if she could recommend any other place in the area.  It was nearly 4 A.M. at this point.  She told us to go over a few streets and see what was available there.  I am so glad we followed her advice!  Doing so led us to La Dolce Vita Villas!  The motel owner was kind enough to crawl out of bed at four in the morning and show us her last available room.  It was perfect! It slept four, so there was enough room for my husband and myself as well as the kids.  It had a private bedroom, a futon sofa/bed in the living room and a full kitchen; not a kitchenette!  Among the amenities was free wireless internet connection.  They went above and beyond to make this stay a good one!

La Dolce Vita Villas  If you are ever in the area and are looking for a great place to stay check them out!  You won't be sorry!  Do you bring your pets on vacation with you?  This is the place for you!  They are pet friendly. They do not charge extra for your pets and there aren't restrictions that you find in other places!

Thanks to their free wireless internet, I was able to check in on my school work. That's right, I said school work. I completed my first full week of classes last week. I am working on an Associate of Arts Degree in Psychology.  I am very excited to be returning to school. I chose to go to the University of Phoenix because their credits are transferable to other schools.  My experience with them so far has been nothing but good!  I feel they have a system that puts their students on the road to success!

This brings me to my next topic....Getting degrees for life experiences.  I was surprised when I first heard about this today, but it is something that you can truly do.  Someone came into my office today. We were discussing returning to school, the benefits it will offer you, the dedication and work involved with school work, etc.  He mentioned someone that he knows who went to the site below and got his degree.

Affordable Degrees

It isn't buying a degree, although, I must admit that this is the first thought that came to my mind as I looked into it.  They are simply giving you class credit for the work and other experiences you have met in life.  There may be some classes required if your experience doesn't equal the requirements for the degree program.  It is much cheaper than returning to the classroom and you have your degree in about 14 business days.  This is interesting. I must admit it's not something I know a lot about. I am still looking into it.  I am enjoying my classes, so I can't even say it is something I would do...but the opportunity is there for others who may be interested.  These degrees come from an accredited school and the state recognizes and honors these degrees [at least SC does].  Do you know anyone who has gotten a degree this way?  What are your thoughts and opinions on earning a degree through life experiences rather than a classroom only setting?

I can hardly wait to hear from you all!  Please do comment as this is a  Do Follow Blog!



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week of Savings

Good afternoon!  I am writing to you this evening from my front patio.  I was blessed with a beautiful table for my patio.  It is so nice to sit out here and feel the breeze and listen to the crickets and the frogs...aahh the country life.

For about six months now I have been trying to find ways to save money. I started couponing back in January.  This has been a learning experience for me but one that I welcome! I mean, who doesn't like FREE stuff and saving money?

  I never realized just how much you can save using coupons!  Just this week alone I saved about $150 on my grocery bill, almost half of what I spent.  I am not as good as the ones on TLC's Extreme Couponing, but I am working my way there!  Check out some of my "LIKES" on my FACEBOOK page.  There are too many too mention them all, but check them out for ways to save on your grocery bill too!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Trying Times...Hope Always There!!

This week has been a very hard week for me.  I watched childhood friends bury their oldest son.  Such a tragic loss of a young life, and then I faced  some trying times in my own family.  I won't go into the details but I will say this, there was a time this week when I thought this burden was too heavy and I just couldn't do it any more.  My heart was shattered into a million pieces and I didn't know if it could ever be put together again.  I have buried two children, and this pain I was experiencing was just as devastating to me as those losses. 

I knew there were people praying for me. Some knew what we were going through, others didn't but still prayed.  It was through the power of their prayer and their wise council which helped to turn things around for me.  Have the circumstances changed? No, not completely, but that's OK, because MY OUTLOOK on it has changed! What I thought was hopeless wasn't.  When I cried out to God that this load was too heavy and I couldn't carry it anymore...He heard my cry!  He carried this load.


He showed me that there is still HOPE!  He renewed my strength, my very spirit.  When I was overwhelmed, He calmed me.  When my spirit was troubled, He calmed the storming sea inside of me and brought me peace which surpasses all understanding.

We have a long way to go before we will be on the other side of this, but it will be OK!  We do not have to go through it alone. He is there to carry us through it all.

Friend, when your world is collapsing around you cry out to Jesus to lighten your load.  You have your life, you have your family.  Pull them close to you and thank God for the gift they are!  When someone tries to destroy your family, fight for them!  Let the world outside know that no matter what they are YOUR GIFT FROM GOD and you will not take them for granted and you will not sit back quietly and watch them be hurt.  Hang on tight to those blessings and know that you aren't alone in what you are facing!  Many others have walked a mile in your shoes. They understand how devastating this is to you and they are there to help you.  Don't lose site of the light at the end of the tunnel. It may be dimmed by the tears and the hurts, but it is there!  Pick yourself up, be willing to see the TRUTH even when it hurts, and decide to walk in that truth.

It was through the prayers that went up for me this week that I was able to see that light getting brighter and brighter.  The power of these prayers have shown me that the hurt was dimming my eyes.  Hurt is like a big bunch of briars in the wilderness.  They snag you and can hold you hostage.  Don't hang on to those hurts.  Release them.  As you do, they, too, will turn you loose.  You will walk out with scrapes and bruises, scratches and some scars, but YOU WILL WALK OUT into the LIGHT of LOVE and the arms of your family.

I pray that you will listen to the video below and find the hope buried in you!  Nothing is so big we can't overcome it. We can't do it alone, but we don't have too!  God is there to help us, and He puts family and friends in our lives to help us.  SEARCH FOR YOUR HOPE!  IT'S THERE!

Blessings to you all!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Heart of A Mother Exposed to Horrific Loss

She sits there in her chair.  It's as if she is in a world of her own.  There are people all around her, each one tries to comfort her with a hug and a kind word. No one really knows what to say.  Many cannot begin to understand what she must be going through.  How tragic this is. She has just lost her child. How do you bring comfort in these situations?

The writers, producers, and Sally Field did an excellent job in Steel Magnolias letting the world see what a mother feels when she loses her child.  The rush of emotions all at once. The anger, the lack of answers to the many questions that rush through your head!

This is every mother's worse nightmare.  The 1st few days you are just numb.  The people are surrounding you and you know they are there....then, just as quickly as they came, they are gone.  The funeral is over and so are the visits, the phone calls.  Life goes back to normal for every one except you.  Life can never be normal for you again, because your beloved child has been taken from you.

You have to learn how to live again.  Most people give you a few weeks then they start to think, say things like, "You should be over this by now."  Don't listen to them.  It only makes you angrier.  You don't "get over" something like this.  You do, however, learn to accept it one day at a time.  As I have said in earlier posts, one day at a time is the only way to get through this. One baby step at a time. You will have good days and bad ones and for a while it feels like more bad than good.  But eventually, you realize you are living.  Life is never the same, but it is OK to be happy.  Your child would want you to be happy, be the mom they remember.  Don't try to go through this alone.  Get help! Ask for help!  There are many support groups, there are many people who have faced your tragedy and survived and are there to help you survive.  Lean on them!  That's why God has placed them in your path.

Your heart is shattered into a million pieces...but there is HOPE...one day at a time!


PS - Here is a free gift from one mom who has lost a child to another.  May you find peace which surpasses all understanding in this gift!  Grief, How Do You Deal With It?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SSSSHHHHH! It's a Secret! They Call it Love

The topic I have chosen to write on today can be considered by some to be taboo. It disturbs many people and from my experiences is not one that many people care to think about. Some may find this topic offensive, and if you are one who does, then please use your right not to read it.  However, I feel deep in my spirit that it is one that must be looked at and discussed. We must learn the warning signs and take steps to save ourselves, our children, and our friends.  My topic of choice today is ABUSE!

Abuse comes in many shapes and sizes and forms. Not all abuse leaves bruises on the skin for others to see.  It is harder to detect because there are no outside bruises, but it is abuse still the same! It is EMOTIONAL/VERBAL ABUSE!  It is JUST AS DANGEROUS as physical abuse and can lead to physical abuse!  What is Emotional/verbal abuse? It is your partner doing everything he/she can to retain control over you! It is a form of manipulation that TEARS YOU DOWN! It breaks your self esteem, isolates you from your family and your friend. It is I love you one minute, and we're through the next and it's always YOUR FAULT in his/her eyes. They almost never accept responsibility for their own actions. Even if they apologize, they finish their apology with you made me do it!  They brainwash you into thinking that your family,friends, and co-workers are your enemy and that they are the only person you have to turn to.

It is a cycle which HAS TO BE BROKEN! It is so rampant among teens, and carries on throughout adult life. If ignored, with no intervention, it can lead to DEATH!  I'm not trying to scare you, just open the eyes of everyone around! For too long, people have sat back and kept their mouths shut. They've not spoken out, then when their friends end up dead, they have to live with the regret of being quiet.

Here are some statistics for us to look at:

Dating Abuse Statistics
Adolescents and adults are often unaware how regularly dating abuse occurs.

  • 1 in 11 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating abuse (CDC 2006).
  • 1 in 4 adolescents reports verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse each year (Foshee et al. 1996; Avery-Leaf et al. 1997).
  • 1 in 5 adolescents reports being a victim of emotional abuse (Halpern et al. 2001).
  • 1 in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner (Silverman et al. 2001).
  • Dating abuse occurs more frequently among black students (13.9%) than among Hispanic (9.3%) or white (7.0%) students (CDC 2006).
  • 72% of eighth and ninth graders reportedly “date” (Foshee et al. 1996); by the time they are in high school, 54% of students report dating abuse among their peers (Jafe et al. 1992).
Adolescents in Abusive Relationship Are at Risk for Health Problems
Adolescents and adults often don’t make the link between dating abuse and poor health.
  • 70% of girls and 52% of boys who are abused report an injury from an abusive relationship. (Foshee 1996).
  • 8% of boys and 9% of girls have been to an emergency room for an injury received from a dating partner(Foshee 1996).
  • Victims of dating abuse are not only at increased risk for injury, they are also more likely to engage in binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fights, and currently sexual activity (CDC 2006).
  • Rates of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use are more than twice as high in girls who report physical or sexual dating abuse than in girls who report no abuse (Plichta 1996).
  • Dating abuse is associated with unhealthy sexual behaviors that can lead to unintended pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, and HIV infections (Silverman et al. 2001).
  • Abusive dating experiences during adolescence may disrupt normal development of self-esteem and body image (Ackard and Neumark-Sztainer 2002).
  • Adolescents in abusive relationships often carry these unhealthy patterns of abuse into future relationships (Smith et al. 2003).
These statistics were found at CDC: Division of Violence Prevention.

Emotional abuse, which may include:

  • Name-calling, shouting, teasing, or bullying
  • Use of intimidation
  • Use of demeaning or derogatory language
  • Insults or rumors
  • Threats or accusations
  • Jealousy or possessiveness
  • Humiliation
  • Withdrawal of attention
  • Withholding of information
  • Deliberately doing something to make a dating partner feel diminished or embarrassed
  • Controlling behavior, such as dictating what a dating partner can wear
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Texting or instant messaging (IMing) excessively
  • Monitoring e-mail or a profile on a social networking site


Technology and Teen Dating Violence

Teen using a computer
Because teens are well connected through today's technology, cell phones and the Internet have become tools of dating violence through which emotional abuse and sexual violence can occur. More than 80% of adolescents own at least one form of new media technology (e.g., computer, cell phone)1 and they are using this technology with increasing frequency to text, IM, e-mail, blog, and access social networking websites.
Using technology to threaten, harass, or bully a peer is called electronic aggression, and a significant majority of parents are completely unaware that technology such as this poses a risk for teens.

Highlights from the research indicate that2:
  • 9% to 35% of young people say they have been the victim of electronic aggression.
  • A 50% increase in electronic aggression occurred between the years 2000 and 2005.
  • Electronic aggression victims are significantly more likely to use drugs and alcohol, receive school detentions or suspension, skip school, experience in-person aggression, have emotional distress, and have relationship problems with their parents.
  • Victimization occurs through all forms of technology: 25% in a chat room, 23% on a website, 67% with instant messaging, 25% through an email, 16% with a text message.
Consequences of electronic aggression:
  • Electronic messages—good and bad—retain a sense of "permanence." They can be saved and forwarded, and uploaded images cannot be fully deleted.
  • Teens may not realize the farther reaching consequences of posting information or images online.


Recognizing Risk Factors

Dating violence is not about love—it is about power and control. Dating violence involves a pattern of behaviors that one partner uses to try to control the other. These behaviors may include physical and sexual violence and emotional abuse.

Violence is a choice

Perpetrators of violence may feel insecure or uncertain about themselves or their lives, so they may use power and control in their relationships to make themselves feel better. But no matter what excuses perpetrators make to themselves or their dating partners for their behaviors, violence is still their choice.
The following factors may contribute to someone becoming a perpetrator of dating violence:
  • Believing that it is okay to use threats or violence to get their way or to express frustration or anger
  • Problems managing one's anger or frustration
  • Hanging out with violent peers
  • Having low self-esteem and depression
  • Not having parental supervision and support
  • Witnessing violence at home or in the community

If you are the one being abused, GET OUT NOW! Don't let it escalate any further. There are people that can help you!  If it is a friend or loved one that is being abused, don't ignore it! When they try to push you away [and they will because the abused tries to isolate them], stay right there! Report anything you see to their parents or authorities if necessary...but do all that you can to help this person you love!  Don't allow them to become another statistic and don't feel you can't help! You can. Speak up!

It is my prayer that something written here today has been beneficial to you and will help you be more aware of the things taking place around us every day.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Love

A Mother's Love There are times when only a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.
Author Unknown

Praying everyone had a very special Mother's Day! I did. I got to spend in with my beautiful daughter's and their friends! I don't think they truly know how special they made this day for me!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Medicare, Medicaid, Part D Supplemental Insurance and Our Seniors....Update

When I posted this a few weeks ago I promised I would update as soon as I knew something...well, GOOD NEWS! Praise the Lord, my grandmother is being REFUNDED the premiums this insurance company took from her!  I so greatly appreciate your prayers during this time.  God heard you all!

Do Follow Blog

Good morning. I find myself a pit baffled and some what agitated with the way our senior citizens are being treated. Most of them receive a Social Security check each month and for many, this is the only source of income they have. Their Medicare premiums are deducted each month from their Social Security checks. Our government created the Medicare Part D Supplemental Insurance plans to "help" our seniors afford their medications. If the seniors have both Medicare and Medicaid the receive "extra help" covering the premiums on the Part D Supplement...and NOTHING should be taken from their SS checks to cover this particular insurance; however, many Seniors today are being scammed and stolen from by these insurance companies!

Let me give you an example of the type of "fraud" being used by these type of companies. My grandmother is a prime example. She turned 80 yrs old in January. About 25 years ago she had a stroke which affected her speech and the right side of her body.  She is not comfortable talking on the phone because of how her speech was affected. Any way, in 2006 she signed up with a particular insurance company selling the Medicare Part D coverage. Her pharmacist helped her choose a company which covered the majority of her medications. Because she was covered by both Medicare and Medicaid she qualified for the extra assistance for the premiums of the Part D coverage...meaning in short that nothing would be withheld from her SS income for these premiums. Each year by December 31st you have enroll in a Part D plan, or renew your current plan. If you do nothing, your current plan automatically renews.  This is USUALLY OK; however, sometimes the insurance companies make changes to the plan you are on. They may not cover your prescriptions any more or they may raise the premiums of your plan and start withholding money from your SS income!

This is what has been happening to my grandmother! In December she went into her pharmacy and asked about her Part D Supplement. The pharmacist told her it had been paying well and advised her not to make changes. Unfortunately, what the pharmacist did not know is that the insurance company had rate changes which would adversely affect my grandmother. She followed her pharmacist advice and made no changes to her plan. On January 1st, her insurance automatically renewed WITH THE HIGHER RATES! When her SS check was direct deposited into her checking account it was nearly $50 LESS because of this premium! She had NO knowledge they had raised the premium or that they were going to start withholding money from her check! She did not receive ANYTHING in writing, by phone, or in any form letting her know of these changes! She didn't even know that they had taken the money out of her check. She knew what her SS check was supposed to be, and that is what she wrote in her check register. She did not receive notification from the Social Security Administration that her check would be decreased by the nearly $50 each month either. Towards the end of January she received a notice from the bank that an item had been returned. The bank did pay the item, but they charged her their fee. She searched her check register and bank statement, she couldn't figure out why the item had returned. She was showing that she should have still had money in the bank. February and March were the same. She contacted me. I was verifying each item on her statement with her and when it came to her deposit I stated, "Your direct deposit was $x amount." To which, she replied, "NO, it's not. It's supposed to be $XX amount." I said, "Well, here is your problem."  I went all the way back to January and verified her deposits. Each month it was short nearly $50.

Our next stop was the Social Security Administration. We asked them WHY her checks were short each month. They informed us it was because of her Medicare Part D coverage. We asked how they could withhold funds from her checks WITHOUT her KNOWLEDGE or CONSENT! They didn't have any answers. They gave us the telephone number of the insurance company. They were NO help. She instructed them NOT to withhold any more money from her check. They continued to do so. We contacted Council on Aging. They helped her cancel this coverage and signed her up with a new plan. This insurance company is STILL withholding funds from her check!

We were told that she needed to complete a form to apply for extra assistance. I went online and found the online form and was going to help her complete this application; however, the directions for this form state in bold letters DO NOT COMPLETE THIS APPLICATION IF YOU HAVE BOTH MEDICARE AND MEDICAID BECAUSE YOU ALREADY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR EXTRA ASSISTANCE. So, we called the Department of Social Services [Medicaid office] and spoke with a case worker. She did some research and called us back. She informed us that it wasn't the Part D coverage being withheld, it was life insurance. She gave me another number to call for more answers.

I called this number and the nice lady stated she didn't think it could be life insurance. She placed me on hold and called the Governor's Office. They informed her that the only thing that can withhold from your SS check is Medicare and/or Medicare Part D Supplemental Insurance. She redirected me to Council on Aging. I spoke with another very nice lady here. She informed me that they had cancelled the insurance with the company who was withholding the money and signed her up with a different insurance carrier. This new insurance took affect May 1st. The old insurance withheld the nearly $50 again in May! She stated they would refund this amount for the May payment. I asked her about the possibility of getting the rest of the money refunded as well. She stated they probably would NOT refund this nearly $200. She said the insurance company would state that "she had coverage with them during this time". I explained to her again that grandmother did not receive any notification of premium changes or intent to withhold funds from her Social Security Income. I reminded her also that we didn't even know that they were withholding the money until the end of March and that we have been trying for 2 months to get this STOPPED and her money refunded. The Council on Aging stated they would continue to work on this and advised me to contact our Senator's office.
 I immediately contacted our Senator's office. I explained yet again what has happened. I went as far as to tell his assistant that this was nothing short of stealing! I reminded her that credit card companies, banks, finance companies, and the such have to notify you in writing of policy changes which affect you...the consumer; and told her I felt it should be the same for these Part D Supplemental insurance companies. I told her that in my mind it is a CRIME for them to rip off our Seniors who have worked hard their entire lives to live off of pennies a day and then have them stolen by companies such as this! She agreed. I also reminded her that if she or I had taken money from someone in this fashion, WE WOULD BE IN JAIL!

So, here we...waiting. There is a process in everything that you do. You have to jump through this hoop and that hoop, touch your nose 3 times while rubbing your belly, stand on your head, and flip backwards...and maybe, just maybe in the end you will receive help.

Our Senator's office is mailing me forms to complete and I have to complete a statement of events and the run around we have been on...and hopefully they can help us get her money back. There are no guarantees though. If though don't, do we stop there? NO! If need be, we take a class action lawsuit on behalf of ALL Seniors! This has got to STOP!  

To All Seniors and their families: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

  3. You have a right to CANCEL this coverage and receive it from someone else!
Many pharmacies now offer "advice" on these Part D plans. The downside to this is that often they do not know about premium and policy changes. Get a copy of your medication list from your doctor or pharmacy and schedule an appointment with your Council on Age for assistance with renewing or changing your Part D coverage each year. This is for your protection! If you have questions...ASK them! The only dumb question is one not asked. If you do not understand what is being explained to you, let them know that you don't...it's hard for most people to understand these plans!

May this save someone else the headache and heartache my grandmother has been experiencing this year. I will update you once this is settled on the outcome of her ordeal.  God bless you!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Parents of Teenage Daughters

Good afternoon.  Think back to when you met your spouse and you were dating and getting to know each other, then you decided that you were truly in love. You even had a song that you felt fit your relationship.  You know...that special, mushy love song, that just made you think of your love every time you heard it. It may still remind you of those younger days when you hear it now.  One of those songs for us was "It's Your Love" by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill.

Now we have been married nearly 20 years. We were blessed with 2 beautiful daughters, who are both now in their teenage years. Boy has life changed. It's funny how the cycles of life change things, change your perspectives and their's too! Once they were tiny little bundles of joy who you never knew you could love so much; then they get mobile on their own. They are into everything and you are chasing them around. It seems that beautiful and fitting name you chose for your child becomes changed to "No-No".  Yet, no matter what they do, what they break, you still love them more than you could ever imagine. You would give your life for your child.

They grow into the school years and find a little independence from you. This is hard [harder I think on parents whose children go to public school because you send them into someone else's care].  They have to learn to deal with bullies, choosing friends wisely, and retaining the knowledge we have sent them to learn.
 Sometimes they learn things we wish they didn't, but it is still our role as parent to teach them the way they should go. Our hearts break when their's get broken, but we keep moving on. We spend many hours on our knees praying for their protection and guidance. We are all too often reminded these kids are not like the electronics of today...they don't come with an owner's manual telling you the "right" way to raise them. Sure, there are many good books out there which help. My greatest resource has been the Bible. I try looking at the things the parents in Scripture did and endured and how each of them turned to God for their guidance. This is our road map to life, and our owner's manual for raising kids. Does that mean we get it all right all the time? No! Life is a journey and sometimes we make wrong turns. This doesn't mean that we will ruin our kids, just that we learn with them.

Nearly twenty years into this, and 2 teenage daughters later, I have learned that I have loved a lot, laughed hard, and cried longer and harder than ever...but I wouldn't trade it for one second! My children are blessings to me! We have grown from the mushy love songs, into this: "Teenage Daughters" by Martina McBride:

As we enter May, I come the realization that we are preparing for graduation for my own 17 year old. What do I see?  A very independent young woman getting ready to enter the big bad world. She has been trained, and I believe she will be very successful in life. Does this mean she will monetarily be rich, not necessarily...that doesn't equal success. Her being able to stand on her own 2 feet, being free to live and love...that equals success! I don't know what the road holds for her, but I do know that I will be here to try and catch her when she falls, encourage her in whatever path she chooses, and learn that letting her leave the nest without clipping her wings isn't a bad thing....it is what God has been preparing us for in this journey called life!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Extractly Delicious!!

http://www.watkinsonline.com/ Don't forget to use Independent Associate ID:

NEW larger size is available
May 25, 2011!

Watkins has over 20 flavors of natural extracts
sure to make your favorite recipes
even more flavorful!

For the serious bakers, we now have the value size — 8 ounces — in our most popular favors!
Great value — at the price of $10.99 USD that's only $1.37 per ounce versus the 2 ounce extract at $2.50 per ounce!


 Baker's Sized Extracts   (8 oz/236 mL)
21191   Almond
21192   Butter
21194   Coconut
21195   Lemon
Regularly $10.99 USD each
Special Price $9.99 each*
21197   Pure Vanilla
Regularly $17.99 USD
Special Price $16.99 *

Your family will be delighted with these melt in your mouth truffles. Easy recipe — mix some up today!

White Chocolate Truffles 
White Chocolate Truffles


2 cups/500 mL vanilla (white chocolate) chips
1/4 cup/60 mL sour cream
1-1/2 tsp/7.5 mL Watkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 tsp/1.2 to 2.5 mL Watkins Almond Extract
Watkins Baking Cocoaand/or powdered sugar, and/or melted semi-sweet chocolate

Melt vanilla chips in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts; mix well. (If mixture begins to stiffen, return to low heat until mixture is smooth.) Refrigerate approximately 60 minutes or until mixture is firm enough to handle, stirring occasionally. Form mixture into 3/4-inch/2-cm balls. Roll in cocoa or powdered sugar, or leave plain and pipe on melted chocolate in an attractive pattern with a decorating bag. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Makes 60 truffles, one per serving.

I no longer have my e-associate account. I chose to cut this expense; however, you can still do all of your ordering online by going to http://www.watkinsonline.com/ and using Associate ID: 391569

Thank you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do Medical Professionals Listen to You?

I have been very quiet this week and I would like to explain why.  I got up Monday morning and just really didn't feel well. I thought that maybe I had a bladder infection, so I went to the doctor. I pretty much know my body and know that if I have these symptoms really all I can do is get some antibiotics and then things will get back on track.  So, I started my Monday morning out in the doctor's office. Click to view They run the normal test, wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic, and sent me on my way.  I picked up my meds, ate and took them. It was a powerful antibiotic, so I only had to take it twice a day. Took the 1st two rounds and everything seemed OK. I got up Tuesday morning expecting to be able to go to work...but something was terribly wrong. I felt worse than when I went to the doc on Monday!! I called the doctor's office back and explained how I was feeling. The receptionist transferred me to the nurse. I once again explained, "Hi, I was in the office yesterday for a bladder infection. Usually once I take 2 rounds of antibiotics I feel better. This is not the case today. I feel awful. I am worse than yesterday. I am extremely fatigued. I feel as if I have inflammation in my lower left abdominal region and I just hurt all over. I was expecting to be able to go to work this morning, but there is no way I can do that." 

White Nurse clipartThe nurse seemed to listen to me and replied that what I was describing was "normal" for a UTI [urinary tract infection]. I explained to her that while I understood these symptoms could be "normal" for that, it wasn't normal for ME! I know my body. I know how it reacts to these treatments and besides that...I didn't have the "normal" UTI symptoms in that there was no frequency in urination nor burning...those symptoms had subsided as one might expect when treated with antibiotics. It was easy to tell that she was quickly becoming annoyed with me. What did I want or expect any way?  I was just seen on Monday and it was only Tuesday.  Didn't I know that you have to give medications time to work?

 Yes!!! I know it takes time for medication to work but SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT!! Feeling helpless and somewhat annoyed myself, I simply thanked her and hung up. She wasn't going to put a note back for the doctor, she wasn't going to have him call me, and she didn't want me to come into the office...I was on my own!

I convinced myself that maybe, just maybe she was right.  Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I returned to bed thinking maybe my body just needed a little rest.  I slept several hours.  When I awoke, I felt even worse than the 1st time I got up.  I ate and took my medication and went back to bed.  I knew something was wrong...but they weren't going to listen to me, so why call back...

My husband called to check on me. I told him I felt 10 times worse than I had on Monday and that I had called the doctor's office back, but the nurse just kept insisting that what I felt was normal. He came home from work and asked me if I wanted to go somewhere else. I couldn't even think!  My head felt like I was in a deep fog now. My critical thinking skills were gone!  Was this bad enough to be considered an emergency and go to the ER? What should I do?  What was going on with me? Why was I so fatigued, hurting all over, so thirsty and nothing would quench my thirst, and now in a fog? I called my mom and spoke with her. I told her how I was doing and all of it. She insisted I take a trip to the ER...so we did.

April 19, 2011 6:30 pm  Arrive at Emergency Department, check in.  6:45 pm, get triaged and returned to waiting area. 8:30 pm, get called back to a room. Blood work is drawn, answer more questions about my symptoms. Once again, try to explain how I feel and what is going on with me. The doctor comes into my room about an hour or so later and tells me that I'm not diabetic. That's good to know, but I didn't think I was any way.  The symptoms I was complaining about seemed to be very similar to Ketoacidosis, an illness many diabetics face where their blood sugars are too high for too long.  OK...he's ruled this out, now what?  He thinks for a little bit then decides that he needs to do a CT Scan of my kidneys. He needs to make sure there are no problems with them or my colon. OK. Let's do it...if that will explain why I feel like I feel.

It doesn't take long and they are in to take me for this scan. Another 30 minutes to an hour and the doctor is back with the results. Kidney's look great, no problems. Colon looks great, no problems.  There is a big cyst on your left ovary which could be causing abdominal pain and back pain. This is what is wrong with you.  He writes a prescription for pain medication, instructs me to continue taking the antibiotics and sends me home.  I am still very foggy, very much in pain throughout my body; not just in my abdominal and back regions; and I still know something else is very wrong...but maybe I can't accurately explain my symptoms so anyone can figure out what is wrong with me because of the fog.  I am so weak I can't sit up for much more than 5 minutes at a time and I am getting worse; but I follow the doctor's instructions and take my antibiotic. I get up Wednesday...I am so weak I can barely get out of the bed. Trying to form a complete sentence is nearly impossible, I have to think so hard about what I want to say and try to get it out of my mouth.  In my head I just keep asking, "God, what is wrong with me? Why doesn't anyone else see what I feel? How can I get them to understand what I am talking about? I am dying and I know it, and if they don't get serious about finding out what is wrong with me I will be dead!"  I popped my Toaster Strudel in the toaster, pulled it out, and made my way back to bed. Once I finished eating it I took my antibiotic.  I then took another nap. I guess this was going to be life for me...get up, eat, take medication, and go back to bed. I was too lethargic to do anything else.  I couldn't drive anywhere because I didn't have strength to get into the vehicle alone, and as "spacey" as I was I might not be able to find my way back home.  "GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!"
My husband stayed home from work with me because he was worried. He and my daughters took care of me and our home. I couldn't take it any more.  We were having a late dinner and I knew I still had to take that 2nd dose of antibiotic for the day. I decided to take a hot bath while waiting on dinner. I glanced at my medicine bottle and noticed a warning label..."MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS". I thought, "Hmmm...may cause dizziness...could it be causing the rest of these symptoms too?" Why I hadn't I thought of this sooner?

  I finished my bath.  I came into the living room with my husband and I said, "I finally know how to describe the way I feel.  I feel as if I just had surgery and I am in the recovery room and the anesthesia is finally wearing off. I think this could be from the medication! I feel DRUGGED!" I went to the internet to look up the adverse reactions to this medication!
Here is what I found:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or tarry stools; burning, numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness of the arms, hands, legs, or feet; chest pain; dark urine or unusual change in amount of urine; fainting; fever, chills, or unusual cough; hallucinations; inability to move or bear weight on a joint or tendon area; irregular heartbeat; loss of consciousness; moderate to severe sunburn; mood or mental changes (eg, new or worsening anxiety, agitation, confusion, depression, restlessness, sleeplessness); muscle pain or weakness; pain, soreness, redness, swelling, weakness, or bruising of a tendon or joint area; pale stools; persistent sore throat; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe or persistent dizziness; stomach cramps/pain; suicidal thoughts or actions; tremors; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual fatigue; vaginal yeast infection; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Everything highlighted in yellow was what I was experiencing! I skipped that 2nd dose of medication Wednesday, and by Thursday morning I could THINK! I could form complete sentences!  I honestly believe if I had taken that 2nd dose of medication Wednesday night, I would have died in my sleep. It would have been the fatal dose.  I thank God that He gave me the awareness in this massive state of confusion to figure out what was going on! I drove back to the doctor Thursday morning and he confirmed that it was severe adverse reactions to the medication! He has notated throughout my chart that I am allergic to this medication.

Now, if anyone in the medical field is reading this blog today, I have a message for you...
PLEASE! PLEASE! If one of your patients call you or come in and say that something is not right, don't just dismiss them!  LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS!! A key thing to remember, the patient KNOWS his/her body!  They know how they react to things. Do NOT treat everyone as a drug seeker or hypochondriac; 9 times out of 10, they aren't!  They are in tune with their bodies and know when something is wrong!

Everyone, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If something isn't right, you will know it! TRUST YOUR INSTINCT and DO NOT GIVE UP UNTIL SOMEONE LISTENS TO YOU!  If I had simply given up, I may be dead right now. Yes, I felt like giving up. What was the point in talking to anyone about it...they had their opinions already and didn't CHOOSE to listen and HEAR WHAT I WAS SAYING!  If I had stopped there, I wouldn't be here writing this to you tonight! I wouldn't be preparing for my daughter's birthday party tomorrow...instead, my family would be preparing for my funeral! You know your body...listen to it!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Darkness into Light

Our last post was on fighting the negativity in our lives. I have spent the morning listening to a wonderful teaching on Chabad.org. In this video Sara Esther Crispe shares with us ways to move from the Darkness in Light. This is such a wonderful teaching that I wanted to share it with you all! I pray you are blessed by it!

Please click the link below for this video and wonderful teaching.
Darkness into Light

Fighting the Negativity Around You

I have read many blogs over the last few days. A lot of these spoke of overcoming fear. They were all very good and very insightful, but fear isn't the only thing we have to face and overcome. Negativity surrounds us every day; whether it is our own or someone else's.  It doesn't matter who it belongs to...it affects each of us.

 We have to fight off this negativity.  There are times when it is easier to be negative....but that gets us NO WHERE FAST!  NONE of us have to have negative attitudes. Bad things come at all of all of the time. The truth is WE HAVE A CHOICE IN HOW WE REACT TO THOSE THINGS!  We can join the pity party or we can shake it off!

This is a Eraser Ring aiming for the wearer to erase the negativity.
How do we fight it off? How do we erase the negativity surrounding us?  How do I do it?  There are many ways to do it. Here are a few examples of some:

I was around a particularly negative person today. I must say this person never has anything good to say and I am usually stuck around this person about 8 hours a day. How do I deal with them?  I have learned how to tune them out to a degree so I can tune out the negativity. When I can't do that, I look for other ways to ward it off. Today, for instance, I walked outside. The sun was shining warmly on me and the wind was blowing very hard. [As Winnie the Pooh would say, "it was a very blustery day!"] I stood in that wind with my face turned toward heaven and I said, "Lord, allow your winds to blow over and through me and cleanse. Blow off the negativity that surrounds me this moment and help me to see the good, the blessings you have provided me. Amen." I walked back inside saying to myself, "this has been a good day and it's not going to stop here!"  What did I do? I made a conscious decision NOT to be negative in return and let one bad apple spoil it all for me. I am so thankful that I CHOSE to see my blessings and continue to have a good day!

 This has become my motto! This is one of the things that helps me survive! Negativity leads to things like depression, low self esteem, bullying, and the list goes on.  So something unpleasant happens to us.  Everything that happens to us, good or bad, does so because God allowed it to. It could be a test of our faith, something used to draw us closer to Him!  What do you choose today?

I choose to be positive and pray that my positive attitude affects someone. May it turn some one's cloudy day into one filled with sunshine and hope. We can choose our reactions and we have to realize that our REACTIONS come with consequences just as our ACTIONS do...after all....a REACTION is another ACTION.

May you be blessed this day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

J R Watkins

WatkinsOnline.com  Your road to success can begin here!

Nestled in the Mississippi River Bluff town of Winona, MN., Watkins has been America’s pioneer in natural living since 1868. As America’s original natural apothecary manufacturer, Watkins uses only the finest natural ingredients in its diverse lines of personal care, home care, remedies and organic flavorings.

Committed to being America’s most trusted natural products company, Watkins adheres strictly to the same quality standards set forth by its founder J.R. Watkins. Its J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary line of personal care contains only natural, environmentally friendly ingredients from renewable resources, avoiding chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates and more and is one of very few lines to be certified by the Natural products Association.

Natural cleaners have also been a large part of its diverse product mix as far back as 1917, when the company first launched Natural Vegetable Oil Soap made with pure vegetable oils and no animal bi-products, fillers or colors. Almost a century ago its advertisements boasted "Just pure soap, that's all"... and "Pure enough to eat!" As globally-minded as its customers, Watkins now aims to make household chores a little easier with its newest line of J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care cleaning products. Made with refreshing lemon and lavender oils and highly effective plant derived surfactants, Watkins diverse line of cleaners are safe and effective for your home and your family.

Responsible manufacturing processes are as important as its commitment to providing natural, consumable items for everyday life. By utilizing gravity- fed filling, biodegradable packing materials, as well as strict recycling programs and much more, Watkins is devoted to leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible.

Since moving from Plainview, Minnesota to Winona in 1885, Watkins has consistently been one of the largest employers in Southeastern, Minnesota. It has remained a leader and responsible contributor to not only its local community in Minnesota but also to the world at large and continues to support educational, cultural and humanitarian efforts, including the United Way, Best Buddies, The 52nd Street Project and many other non-profit organizations dedicated to making the world a better place.

Milestones In Watkins’ 141-Year History

1868 J.R. Watkins Medical Company founded in Plainview, Minnesota. Launch of first product, Red Liniment.
1869 Introduction of Trial Mark™ bottle—America’s first money-back guarantee.
1888 First Winona Factory, 1885First Watkins factory building erected in Winona, Minnesota.
Watkins 1901 Almanac
1895 Introduction of Watkins Vanilla Extract, Black Pepper and Cinnamon.
1901 Publication of first Watkins Almanac, Home Doctor and Cook Book.
1911 Death of J.R. Watkins.
1912 Watkins Adminsitration Building, 1912 Architecturally significant administration building completed at a cost of $1.2 million.
Watkins Herb Tablets, 1922
1913 International expansion begins with branch office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1917 Watkins Vegetable Oil Soap introduced, made purely of vegetable oils with no animal bi-products, fillers or colors.  Advertisements boasted "Just pure soap, that's all"... and "Pure enough to eat!"
1920 Product line reaches 100 selections.
1922 Herb tablets (vitamins) introduced.
1928 Gold Medal Trio Watkins receives Gold Medal honors at Paris International Exposition for vanilla, black pepper, cinnamon and other pure spices.
1942 90 percent of Watkins’ production capacity dedicated to the WWII Allied effort.
1955 Bill Porter Bill Porter begins his 50-plus year career with Watkins; his story of working “door-to-door” with cerebral palsy will inspire countless news stories and a television movie.
1960 Watkins ads appear live on NBC’s “Today” show, hosted by Dave Garroway.
1978  Watkins Incorporated is acquired by Minneapolis entrepreneur Irwin L. Jacobs.
1990 Watkins quadruples in size under Jacobs’ ownership. Customer direct delivery offered.
1996 Watkins expands natural product line.
1997 Mark Jacobs named president; wellness product line is refined and expanded.
1999 Watkins counts over 350 products.
2002 Door to Door, the heartwarming TNT movie inspired by the life story of Watkins salesman, Bill Porter, debuts; wins 6 Emmy Awards, including Best Made-for-TV Movie and Best Actor (William H. Macy).
2003 Watkins celebrates 135th Anniversary.
To increase brand awareness and distribution, Watkins makes select products available through specialty retailers, grocery stores, and drugstores/pharmacies.
Watkins launches Good Tastings™ by Watkins sampling/sales program for its direct selling Associates.
2004 Watkins launches into mass retail with Vanilla and Pepper in Wal Mart. Watkins participates in sponsorship of Grand Excursion - a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the railroad that connected the East and West sides of the country. Approximately 20 boats participate in the re-enactment of the trip from Rock Island, IL to St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi.
2005 Watkins launches J.R. Watkins Apothecary line into Target stores nation-wide. Watkins forms partnership with Chinese Businessman, Wang Chao Bin, offering more than 100 products to the Chinese market. Watkins facilities in Winona, MN are added to the National Register of Historic Places.
2006 Watkins launches line of USDA Certified 100% Organic Spices in Wal Mart. 
Watkins Pure Vanilla and Watkins Organic Black Pepper is awarded the Cooking Club of America Member Tested and Recommended Seal of Approval.  Watkins launches first national print campaign since the 1960's.
2007 New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana endorses Original Liniment.
J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care line launches. 
2008 J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary line launch, along with line extension of natural, pure spices.
The Natural Products Association has granted the J.R. Watkins Natural Apothecary products the NPA Seal of Compliance.  To earn this coveted seal, products must be made out of at least 95% natural products from renewable and sustainable resources. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting Ready for Summer...and Living Naturally

Good afternoon! What a beautiful, HOT day we have here in the South today. I have been trying to decide what to plant in my garden this year.  It's getting time to think about it. I always wait until after Easter to set anything out because here in South Carolina we always have a cold snap right around then.
 Each week we go to the grocery store

and the prices are going higher and higher. What do we plan to do about it? I plan to grow as much of my own as I can and since this is a year of New Beginnings...learn all I can about canning and preserving my harvest.  I remember being a little girl and watching my grandmother can fruits and veggies and make her own jams and jellies.  I wish I had learned more about what she was doing...It's never to late to learn though and this is what I intend to do and to teach it to my children.

How do you plan to spend your summer?  Will you do any gardening and putting up your harvest? Do you have any gardening tips that you would like to share? Leave us comments. I need to learn all I can...and there may be others who enjoy learning new tips and tricks to a productive garden as well.

Do you start your seeds inside or do you plant them straight into the ground? Last year I started mine inside. I didn't want a bunch of little plastic containers to throw out into a landfill. So, what did I do? Well, I found this great tip on YouTube, and I will share it with you here. I made my starter pots from newspapers. Why do this? Well, I was able to plant the pot and all into my garden, and not hurt the environment. Call it "Green Gardening" if you will.  See the video below for the instructions on making these!

Happy Gardening!  You may want to check out some of our dips and seasonings to add that special flavor to your harvested veggies!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring in the South

Spring in the South is almost like a glimpse of heaven. About 3 years ago we purchased our property....beautiful 12 acres with a pond and a beautiful creek. I like to get out and walk the property for peace and serenity. There is nothing like sitting on the bank at the creek just listening to the water and wind as it speaks to you. Our wonderful creator speaks to us through His creations. When my spirit is troubled, I can go there and find my peace in any circumstance. I am truly blessed.

Reflections in our pond

As I was walking our property this afternoon, I came to my daughter's peach tree. She worked hard planting this tree last summer. She dug the hole, watered, and nurtured this little tree. It is still small, but she will be harvesting the fruits of her labor this year! There are several baby peaches already on her tree. How heart warming to see something your children nurtured producing fruit.

This is one way God shows us about reaping what we sow. We reap our harvest of our labors such as the peaches on the tree, but we also reap the consequences of our thoughts and actions.  When someone wrongs you, you have a choice in the reaction you will have. You have a choice to forgive them or seek vengeance on them. What will you choose? Unforgiveness leads to a heart filled with bitterness and bitterness can lead to many health issues. You can be the most health conscious person, eating right, working out, etc...but if you allow the root of bitterness to take root in your heart, it can eat you alive and cause health problems and unhappiness. Forgive to be forgiven. Release the hurt feelings and replace them with love. Bless those who curse you...you will be blessed from this! We take care of our physical bodies, now let's include our emotional and spiritual bodies.

We have to have a balance in our lives. We are made of 3 parts...body, mind, and spirit. These 3 need to have a unity, a balance to function properly. We feed our physical bodies when they are hungry...do you feed your spiritual and emotional parts?
"How do you do this"; you might ask. Well, meditating daily on the Scriptures will feed your spiritual side but what about the mind? How do you feed your mind? As we feed our spiritual and physical bodies we nurture our minds, we make great connections with people who encourage us, we absorb things like a sponge. If we are continuously around negativity we, too, can become negative. Our minds are like computers, in a sense, if we put junk in we get junk out. What we feed our minds becomes apparent to others through our actions and words. We will bear fruit just as the fruit trees do.
This picture says a lot when it says "To Produce The Fruit, Nurture the Root". We have to have a foundation, water, and nutrition just as these trees do. Ground yourself...nurture your roots...feed the proper nutrition physically, emotionally, and spiritually!

Dixie Naturals can help with the physical nutrition by offering all natural and organic products. And as you enjoy this heavenly spring and start to reap the fruits of your harvest...add some flavor to them with our seasonings and dips. We also have supplements to boost your immune system and brain power. :)

Stop by our online store today! http://www.watkinsonline.com/rsanders