Happy Valentine’s Day



Happy Valentine’s Day to all my followers.  May you and yours find the love you desire and deserve.  Art work courtesy of my little Picasso, Xavier.  

                                                                                

Winter Images: Ice Trees


Sometimes we need to take our mind off the stress of everyday life and focus on something beautiful.  Spring is around the counter, but I wanted to share a few pictures of West Virginia winters.  Winter has let its presence be known at my house the last few months.  We’ve had snow, ice and more snow.  I’m not much on the cold weather, but I have learned to enjoy mother nature’s beauty when she lays a blanket of snow and ice in my neighborhood.  I have learned to turn these type of mornings to be an opportunity to de-stress and enjoy the beauty.  

I stepped outside and found my trees layered in ice this particular morning.  They were beautiful. I could hear the sounds of crackles, drips and more crackles as the ice was melting.  It was beautiful music to my ears.  It was quite a fascinating experience.  

Rather than be angry at mother nature for causing unsafe conditions and bringing extremely cold weather upon us, I have learned to find the beauty in it.  I found these beautiful ice trees outside my door.  What are some your favorite things about winter?  

My Ancestors Discovered Johnsontown

                                                                    
                                                                       


It’s Black History Month, and I wanted to share a little of my history with you so you can get to know me better.  I’m in the midst of tracing my ancestry, and I discovered that a small town near me was discovered by my great, great, great grandmother and grandfather.  I remember going to family reunions in a town called Johnsontown, WV, but I have to admit I had no idea of the history behind it.

The town was discovered by George W. and Betty Johnson who were slaves in Pennsylvania.  In 1848, they were freed.  The slave owners brought them to Virginia where they founded Johnsontown on 12 acres of land. It is now, Johnsontown, WV.  My grandfather, my mother’s father, is a descendant.  They built several homes, a church  and a one room school house in the small community.  Before the church was built, the one room school house was used for both church and school.
                                                    
                                             


I remember attending family reunions in Johnstown.  The cook-out was Saturday and the following Sunday one of my relatives would preach at the small church shown above.  My mother’s side of the family were religious people on both sides.  They have a history of being Ministers, Bishops, Evangelists or marrying those who were.  I often wonder how my grandfather and my grandmother meet.  My grandfather who I loved dearly missed the boat on his religious calling.  He drank and raised hell every week-end God sent, but he never missed a day of work.  He taught me to care, share, work hard and play even harder.  I remember him planting a garden the size of a field to feed all of his children and grandchildren and making a career on the B and O Railroad.  My grandparents stayed married until the day my grandfather died.  My grandmother grieved herself to death, she passed away 6 months later. 
I’m proud of my heritage and wanted to share a part of my history with you.  Have you traced your ancestry?  Please share a part of your history.  Knowing who you are is a great feeling!
                                                                          
  

10 Tips to Transform Your Love Life

Relationship Reality Check:

10 Questions that Can
Transform Your Love Life

By Dr. Jacqueline Del
Rosario

Relationships
often collapse because couples are not prepared to withstand the inevitable
conflicts or even the humdrum and monotonous plateau period that’s nearly
certain to present as the years go by.  A relationship can feel more like
“boot camp” when trying to acclimate to each other’s personality differences
and habits—frustrations, tensions, and resentments that can persist well into a
long-term love affair and undermine the ability to feel happy and content. For
other couples, it’s shear boredom that can wreak havoc—if the partnership
doesn’t continue to stimulate and enrich their lives, the doldrums can be a
relationship death knell!


When
couples do not understand these are anticipated and natural events in the
course of a relationship, they may start looking for the exit
door thinking that they have made a grievous mistake. But, many people
don’t realize the extent to which their relational health and happiness is
under their own control. That power lies in one’s ability to self-assess and
foster quality communication with their partner.

With this in mind, here are 10 self-assessment questions—answers to which can
not only help a relationship survive, but also thrive so that both partners can
actualize their dreams of “happily ever after”:

1. Am I putting my
best face forward?

People dress up in their best clothes, make sure their hair is done, and put on
makeup for the outside world. Do you put forth the same effort to impress
and excite your mate? 

2. Am I still
growing?

You must come to a relationship, willing to continuously improve who you are so
that your relationship can continue to evolve. Consider trying new things
together.  Exploration
and adventure can go a long way to keeping things fresh and appealing and will
help you understand and appreciate who your partner is today. Continue to date
and experience new things as a couple. 

3. Am I continuing to
invest the time and effort to maintain a strong foundation?
All good things take
work, and both parties must roll up their sleeves and commit to doing their
part to add value to the union. This includes continually stoking the flames of
passion.  Are
you as proactive or even adventuresome in the bedroom, or are you relegated to
business as usual? Break the routine here and watch the magic ensue. 

4. What are the
anchors in my relationship?
What are the things that keep you rooted and
well-connected with your partner?  Why are you together in the first
place? Identifying and nurturing similar values, goals, and expectancies in
your relationship are fundamental and will help you endure during the tough
times. 

5. How can I help
improve our communication style?
It is essential to learn how each party in
the partnership prefers to communicate. 
 You must then make the conscious effort to deliver and receive
messages from your mate according to their personal style, which may differ
from yours. Knowing when and how to disseminate information is a key
relationship skill that can be a saving grace unto itself. And, during an
argument, always fight fair and with respect—no name calling, no degrading one
another, and no using your tongue as a weapon of mass destruction. 

6. What unmet
expectations do we each have that need to be addressed?
Unfortunately, unmet
expectations are often not shared and, instead, they can fester within and
result in resentment and bitterness. How can you expect your mate to meet your
expectations if you don’t voice them? 
It’s unfair of you to feel that your partner “should know” or be able to
decipher passive aggressive cues that something is wrong.  Met
expectations equal relational bliss, so be honest with what you need from your
partner for a real chance that those needs will be met, or even exceeded. 

7. What emotional
triggers might be adversely affecting my current relationship?
Triggers link back
to past traumas and can hinder the way we respond to or even perceive
present day issues.  Were you lied to or
cheated on in the past? It doesn’t mean you cannot trust your current mate. Did
your past partner drink too much? It doesn’t mean this partner can’t enjoy a
cocktail responsibly. Put your old baggage aside and experience your current
partner on their own merits and actions.

8. Do I stop, look, and listen? Take
the time to listen to and validate your mate. Couples often decrease their talk
time once they have been together awhile and feel comfortable. Keep the
channels of communication open—chatter about the day’s events, current events,
family matters and similar. It bonds the heart and abates the feeling of
growing apart.
Should a concern be expressed along the way, it’s
imperative to hear your mate and try to empathize with how they feel.

9. Do I allow outside
interference?
 There is a reason “interference” is a penalty
in most sports. It is because someone is getting involved where and when they
do not have a right. This can result in focusing on the wrong issues and
reinforcing dangerous and emotional conclusions that can be detrimental to your
relationship. Your partner may also be very angry to find out that others are
now involved in your private life. Instead, go directly to your partner to
resolve relationship problems. However, if things are critical and seemingly
out of both of your control, qualified assistance can come from marriage
coaches and counselors who are there to help get the dialogue between the two
of you on the right track.

10. Do I have a maintenance plan? Are you still doing what you did to get your mate? Do you
know exactly why your mate should or would want to stay with you in the months
and years ahead? What emotional benefits do you offer your mate that others
don’t? Take the time to assess what your virtues are and even ask your mate to
cite favorite qualities about you. Then, make a concerted effort to foster
these qualities to not only ensure interest remains, but also maximize the
caliber of that interest.

“America’s Marriage
Coach” Jacqueline Del Rosario is
President and CEO of Recapturing the Vision International, an organization
dedicated to promoting healthy marriages and family strengthening. Also a
published author, speaker, and nationally regarded media personality, Dr. Del
Rosario has been a certified pre and post-marital counselor for more than 20
years. Her cutting-edge series, Marriage Solutions and The Marital
Constitution™, help couples successfully work through problems and find
healthy solutions. She has two children and currently resides in Miami, Florida
with her husband of over 20 years. Dr. Del Rosario may be reached online at
www.DrJacquie.com.
I will be interviewing Dr. Rosario.  Stay tuned for my interview post. 

Quote of the Week

Each week I will be posting one or two of my favorite quotes.  I hope they will inspire you as much as they inspire me:  


“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway
                                                                              

Chicken Soup for the Soul – From Lemons to Lemonade Book Give Away

Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade
You’ve heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons… make lemonade!” One of my favorite Chicken Soup for the Soul books has turned out to be, Lemons to LemonadeAs a Soup-er Blogger for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Blog Network, I wanted to share some of the great books that I’ve had the opportunity to review and this book is one of them.  I’m a lover of quotes, inspirational stories, anything that will motivate me or teach me a lesson in some form. 
This book has 101 stories that are powerful and will help you turn a bad situation into something positive.  We all encounter challenges, heartbreak, tragedy, death and some days just struggle to find the strength to get through the day.  You will find a story in this book that will inspire you to move forward.  I found a story that touched every area of my life:  family, career, health, relationships, and finances.  The authors of the story range from teens to adults.
If you’re looking for inspiration, add this book to your reading list.  My challenge is to read a story each day, meditate on the story and learn the lesson.  As a mother, grandmother, leader, manager, and mentor, I’ll allowing this book to inspire me on my journey.   
Mother 2 Mother is giving away 1 copy of Lemons to Lemonade to one of our lucky readers.  We want you to be inspired too.   Here’s how you can win:
Mandatory:
Additional Entries:
  • Tweet this give away – Add 5 additional entries (Can tweet daily)
  • Follow Mother 2 Mother Blog( On the right) – 5 additional entries
  • Comment on any post – 5 additional entries
This contest will end March 7, 2014 at mid-night.  The contest is open to US Citizens and Canada residents 18 or older. The winner will be notified by email and selected by Random.org.  Invalid email addresses will be disqualified and another winner drawn.  The book will be sent directly to the winner from the sponsor. 
Note:  I have been compensated with a copy of the book for review; however, my opinion of the product is my own. 


My On-line Dating Experience

on-line dating

Would you join an on-line dating site?  Dating sites are everywhere.  There’s e-Harmony, Black People Meet, Christian Singles, Match.com, Single Parent Love and the list goes on.  Lets face it, so many things have changed.  Social media has changed the way we live our life.  We meet friends on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.  Why not a dating site.  Balancing life as a single parent, maintaining a full time job, maintaining a home, getting the kids to soccer, football, or ballet leaves little time for a social life.  It can actually leave you exhausted. 

Single parents or non-parents are turning to on-line dating.  Mainly singles who aren’t interested in going to bars or clubs or are finding it difficult to meet someone on their level are curling up with a glass of wine and their laptop and experimenting on-line.  There are many who are shy or have been out of the dating scene for some time and they are unsure of how to connect to another person who feel comfortable in the confines of their home.  There are many reasons singles are heading to on-line dating sites.  There have been many successful connections.  One of my co-workers met her now husband on line. 

I decided to experiment with on-line dating.  I’m past the bar and club scenes, I so decided WTH.  When joining, you’re required to set-up a profile. Of course it helps to add a picture, an up to date picture.  I followed the instructions and waited for the fun to begin.  You’re billed monthly for your membership and can access the site whenever you choose.  You can IM with other members and receive emails.  If or when comfortable, you can exchange phone numbers or agree to meet for a date.  I met several men, I’ll take you through my experience with each. 

The first man who expressed interest lived in my town.  We spent time getting to know each other on line, but I gave up on him after a week.   Getting to know him was like pulling teeth.    He revealed little about himself, and most of his conversation revolved around sex or sexual positions.  Now I’m all for good sex, but not while I’m getting to know you the first week.  Good-bye pervert! 



Next, I met someone who seem promising.  He lived about an hour away and we had great conversations via the phone for about a month.  We agreed to meet.  When I arrived it was clear that he had been drinking, I could smell the alcohol when we shook hands. This wasn’t someone who had a few at the bar waiting for my arrival.  I think he soaked in it the night before.  Did I mention he showed up at our meeting with 2 golf buddies.  Two immediate turn offs for me.  At this point in my life, I’m not interested in a grown man who still sucks the bottle.  Secondly, if you’re not man enough to go out on a date without a chaperon, you’re not man enough to be with me.  I left and stopped accepting his calls.   

The third and last man that I met on-line I actually thought there was potential.  The first date went well, and there was a physical attraction.  He actually excited me, and got the juices flowing.  He seemed to have himself together financially, he had helped to raise his 3 daughters, had a beautiful home, and attended church regularly.  We had many things in common.  We both loved wine tastings, antiques, dining out and traveling.  As time went on, he began to show his true colors.  None of which I liked.  He couldn’t make a commitment if his life depended on it.  He lied, asked me for thousands of dollars and became angry when I said no.  I couldn’t believe this fool thought he was that good or I was so stupid or desperate that I would give him my hard earned money.  His love was conditional, if you let me get into your pants pockets, I’ll love you.  He was pathetic.  He even lied about  his age.  Now when you lie about your age, you will lie about anything.   I asked him if he saw stupid tattooed across my forehead or if there was a sign in my yard that said Bank of Rhonda.

My first red flag was the lying.  He couldn’t keep his stories straight.  The second red flag was the fact that his children rarely visited.  Their flights would have taken 2  hours and he lived 20 minutes from the airport.  They didn’t show up for his birthday, Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Not even a visit during the summer.   When a man who you’re not married to or living with asks you for thousands of dollars.  Run as fast as you can.  Needless to say this went nowhere fast.

After 3 strikes, I cancelled my membership.  For you ladies who are interested in on-line dating, don’t let my negative experience discourage you.  There are many ladies who have been successful.  I just didn’t have the endurance to continue meeting losers on-line.  I am thankful to say that I have met someone and not on-line.  I was introduced by a family member and it’s going great. 


As a single mother, I wanted to share my on-line experience with my readers. Not to discourage you, but to let everyone know that modern technology doesn’t always work.  Sometimes the good old fashioned way is the answer.  Have you tried on-line dating?  Let us know your experience or how you feel about the subject.  We would love to hear from.  

How To Get A Good Nights Sleep


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                                sleep tips
Do you know how to purchase a pillow?  Are you a side, back or stomach sleeper?   I’ve been purchasing pillows for years, and I never thought about how I slept while doing so.  For years my pillows have ended up on the floor by morning.  I concluded, I didn’t like them for some reason and sometime during the night I made my dislike known.  Not only where the pillows on the floor, my bed looked like a bomb hit it.  There times when I woke up, looked at the bed and asked WTH.  I obviously tossed and turned all night, which probably has been a big contributor to me waking up feeling like I had never gone to bed.  I decided to trash all of my pillows and make new purchases.  

While researching and trying to decide what kind to buy, I learned that I’ve been buying the wrong pillows.  There are pillows made specifically for side, back and stomach sleepers.  I am a side sleeper.  I’ve always purchased what was the cheapest, the end.  They always ended up as flat as a pancake, basically useless.  I checked out Web MD during my research, and the article confirmed my suspicion.  I had been purchasing the wrong pillows.   


Since I was going to redo my bed, I decided that I wanted it to be as delicious as the beds at the Marriott and Crown Plaza that I’ve stayed in during my travels.  I headed over to Bed, Bath and Beyond to check out their selection.  According to Web MD side sleepers need a firm pillow to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder.  After discussing the pillow selections with the sales representative, I decided on Laura Ashley side sleepers.  I purchased 4 firm at $20.00 bucks each.  I originally went in with the intention of purchasing Down pillows, that’s what Marriott has on their beds.  The Laura Ashley pillows felt just as good.  I do have a Down bed topper and comforter, which adds to the deliciousness of my bed. 
According to Web MD, if you are a back sleeper you need a thin pillows so your head is not thrown forward and stomach sleepers need a very thin almost flat pillow.  Stomach sleepers usually don’t need a pillow for their head, but they should use one under their stomach to avoid lower back pain.  I found the article to be very informative. 
I have a habit of sleeping on one pillow and snuggling with the other. I know you’re thinking I snuggle with my man or my husband.  I may start there, but before the night is over I’m looking for coolness and I’ve drawn a line down the middle of the bed.  Don’t cross I’m hot!  That’s another story.  Stayed tuned for my post on that experience.    

I have 3 days to use the Laura Ashley pillows, and if I’m not satisfied I can return them.  So far so good.  Are you a side, back or stomach sleeper?  Do you buy your pillows accordingly?  If not, you may want to change how you make your selections too.  Buying the right pillow can contribute to a good night’s sleep.  Who knew. 
                                                                          
                              

Plus Size Barbie


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Plus-size... or obese? A mocked-up image of a plus-size Barbie beside a traditional Barbie by Worth100 has sparked a debate about the doll's impact on female body image
Would you buy a plus size Barbie doll for your daughter?  Apparently the idea is being looked at; however, the plus size Barbie shown is drawing controversy.  Facebook group, Plus Size Modeling, generated the question “Should toy companies start making plus-sized dolls?  They have gotten 36,000 likes and 1,600 shares on the idea. 

Personally, I think it’s a great idea.  Most women are not pencil thin.  Most have curves and are proud of them.  The plus-size Barbie shown was produced by artists at Worth1000.com, not Mattel.  Mattel has not stated, to my knowledge, that they are entertaining the idea of a plus-size Barbie.   


This plus size Barbie has come under fire by many.  Many believe the image created is not how plus size women should be portrayed.  In fact, many think the Barbie shown is obese not plus size.  There is a difference.  Not all plus-size women are obese.  Did you notice that the plus-size Barbie has a triple chin and is basically three times the size of the original Barbie.    

When I first saw the doll, my response was WTH.  I am a plus size.  Yep, size 12/14W and I am comfortable in the skin that I’m in.  My goal is to be healthy and if I can accomplish that at a size 12/14, than I’m happy. I don’t have 3 chins and I’m not three times the size of a pencil thin woman.   Most of the women in my family are plus size.  My daughter however is petite.  Imagine that.

I believe in diversity and want to expose my granddaughter to a variety of doll images.  I purchase Black, Hispanic and Caucasian dolls for her.  After all, the world is made up of many people from many backgrounds in a variety of hues.  I want her to see the world for what it is and know that it’s okay to not be pencil thin.  I want her to know that women of color are beautiful, intelligent and successful.  I want her to know that not everyone looks alike, has the same shape or is the same size.  That’s the beauty of the human race.  I don’t know what genetics have in store for her, so I want her to have this knowledge at an early age. 

If a plus size Barbie is to be marketed, plus size women should be on the team while she is being developed.  I wonder who was behind the development of this doll at Worth1000.com, but more importantly who approved the final plan.  They obviously need to return to the drawing the board and take some time to learn about healthy full figure women.         

Don’t Slap My Child

A passenger accused of slapping a 2 year old toddler on a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta is sentenced to eight months in prison.  According to the mother, Jessica Bennett, Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, former president of an aircraft parts manufacturer based in Idaho was seated next to her and her son on a flight to Atlanta.  Her son became frightened upon decent and started to cry.  Hundley yelled at her to shut the “ni**** baby up.  He than slapped the toddler.  The adorable baby suffered a scratch below his eye after the assault.  

Thankfully, other passengers witnessed the assault and came to her rescue.  Passengers 12 rows up heard the racial slur.  I wonder if people were raised under rocks at times.  Ms. Bennett stated that Mr. Hundley reeked of alcohol during the flight and his speech was slurred.  According to Ms. Bennett, Mr. Hundley had been complaining about her son prior to the incident.  Earlier he had asked the stewardess about the regulations for holding children on laps.  Ms. Bennett also stated that he told her the toddler was too big to be sitting on her lap.  She said she spent most of the flight in the rear with her son, so she could stay away from Mr. Hundley. 

According to Mr. Hundley’s attorney, he was on his way to Atlanta to remove his son from life support and he was distraught.  Although I understand his pain for having to make such a heart wrenching decision, nobody has the right to slap another person,  Especially a child.     

Mr.  Hundley apologized in court for his disgraceful behavior.  He admitted that he had an alcohol problem and was attending AA meetings and had enrolled in an anger management course.  He will be spending the next 8 months behind bars, so he will have plenty of time to reflect on the incident and how he will re-enter society.  Hopefully, he will be rehabilitated and will have made peace with the death of his son . 

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail.