Crazyhippiemom’s Weblog

Just an urban hippie with a kid in tow, sharing a little eco-friendly, holistic info with the world.

Thought 4 The Week October 6, 2008

Word of the Week: partisan 1par.ti.san noun (Etymology: Middle French partisan, from north Italian dialect partiźan, from part part, party, from Latin part-, pars part Date: 1555)

1: a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person ; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance 2 a: a member of a body of detached light troops making forays and harassing an enemy b: a member of a guerrilla band operating within enemy lines

Leadership Quote: A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Thing To Ponder: Why is bra singular and panties plural? 

Philosophical Quote: Before enlightenment – chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment – chop wood, carry water. 

Useless Knowledge: The Sanskrit word for “war” means “desire for more cows.”  

Inspirational Quote: Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.

Motivational Push

7 Top Questions to Ask Yourself Daily

Living with purpose and passion is based upon decision. You may choose to live day after day, one after another, in a completely ordinary existence. OR you can choose to greet each day with a possibility mindset. A purposeful mindset. A Passionate mindset.

Begin each day with these questions and be amazed.

1. Why is it important for me to engage myself in my work passionately and purposefully each day?

2. How will I choose to allow my attitude effect how I address stressful situations at work today? How can I be more affective and proactive in regards to stress and attitude?

3. When am I most likely too react with the most passion and purpose today? Meeting with clients? Working on my computer? Following up on a lead? Take note of what makes your passion come alive, so you can use it to better your work performance.

4. Where within the organization am I best able to express my passion and purpose? Is it working with my peers? My supervisors? Clients? Interdepartmentally? Where physically do I perform the most purposefully?

5. With whom do I need to spend time in order to maintain balance as I pursue my passion and purpose? Within the organization, who best supports me?

6. What choices will I make today that align my purpose and passion with the tasks at hand at work?

7. Who am I called to be today as an expression of my passion for living?

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Thought 4 The Day – 09/28/08 September 29, 2008

Filed under: Family,life,mothers,motivation,Office,Uncategorized,Women — crazyhippiemom @ 6:37 am
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Word of The Day: lacunae: \lə-ˈkü-nə, –ˈkyü-\ noun a blank space or a missing part : gap : deficiency 2. a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure
 
Leadership Quote: He makes a great mistake … who supposes that authority is firmer or better established when it is founded by force than that which is welded by affection.
 
Thing To Ponder: Why is bra singular and panties plural?

Philosophical Quote: The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.
 
Useless Knowledge: Charles Lindbergh took only four sandwiches with him on his famous transatlantic flight.
 
Inspirational Quote: Hell is the knowledge of opportunity lost; the place where the man I am comes face to face with the man I might have been.

A Motivational Push
 
WHAT TIME IS IT?

There was a wealthy business owner who used to walk to his company every morning.  As was his custom he would proceed through the town and stop at the window of the jeweler’s shop.  He would wind his watch fully and reset it to the exact time on the big clock in the jeweler’s window.  He was very particular about having the right time, as he was the one to blow the steam whistle at his factory, at 5 o’clock, to signal the end of the day.



Inside the shop the jeweler recognized his frequent visitor and, although they had never spoken, was curious about this gentleman.  One day the jeweler decided to step out and greet the man.


“I notice every morning that you stop by and look in my window, but you have never come into the shop.  Is there something I can help you with?”


“No, thank you,” replied the gentleman, “I just stop by to set my watch, I know I can trust your big clock for the right time.”


“You certainly can,” said the jeweler with some pride, “That is a fine clock.”


“And tell me how do you set its time?” the gentleman inquired.


The jeweler replied, “I listen every evening, at precisely 5 o’clock, for the steam whistle at the local factory.”

 

Thought 4 The Week – 09/28/08

Filed under: Family,life,mothers,motivation,Office,Uncategorized,Women — crazyhippiemom @ 6:35 am
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Word of The Week: tetchy • \TETCH-ee\ • adjective : irritably or peevishly sensitive : touchy 
 
Leadership Quote: Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
 
Thing To Ponder: Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?
 
Philosophical Quote: How often one sees people looking far and wide for what they are holding in their hands? 

Useless Knowledge: The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.
 
Inspirational Quote: What are these tools, these techniques of suffering, these means of experiencing the pain of problems constructively that I call discipline? There are four: delaying of gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth, and balancing.
 
Motivational Push
 
The Journey
 
One day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began
Though the voices around you
Kept shouting
Their bad advice –
Though the whole house
Began to tremble
And you felt the old tug
At your ankles “Mend my life!”
Each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
Though the wind pried
With its stiff fingers
At the very foundations,
Though their melancholy
Was terrible.

It was already late
Enough, and a wild night,
And the road full of fallen stones.
But little by little,
As you left their voices behind,
The stars began to burn
Through the sheets of clouds,
And there was a new voice,
Which you slowly recognized as your own,
That kept you company
As you strode deeper and deeper
Into the world,
Determined to do
The only thing you could do –
Determined to save
The only life you could save.

By Mary Oliver 

If you wish to receive the Thought 4 The Day (simply a daily installment of exactly the same thing), please send me a comment, including your email address (which will not be published).  Thanks.

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – Thought 4 The Week August 24, 2008

As the list of life’s stresses increases exponentially, we find ourselves consumed with finding quick fixes while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy.  Gas, food, health care and education top just about everyones’ list as culprits.  Some hypothesize about the reasons, while others determine to take action.  We look to hybrids, farmer’s markets, foreign pharmaceuticals and alternative modes of education to solve our problems and ease our minds.  It’s a different world than our parents or even their parents grew up in.  This fast paced society, calls for more money, more time, more, more, more…until you’ve given of yourself completely.  However, in the midst of it all, there must be time for a mental revival.  A time dedicated only to renewal of our minds.  A sabbath, if you will.  A time set aside for a specific thing. 

From this mode of thinking, the Thought 4 The Week was born.  I firmly believe that we must start our week, not with an empty canvas, but with a canvas containing a background of inspiration and motivation.  A background, that no matter what is painted on the canvas, the background will permeate and continually hint at the beauty beneath. 

The Thought 4 The Week contains six elements: Word of the Week, Leadership Quote of the Week, Thing To Ponder, Philosophical Quote of the Week, Useless Knowledge, and Inspirational Quote of the Week.  The contents of each of these elements are by no means original, however, when pooled together, they can foment a newness and rev you up for the week to come. 

Thought 4 The Week

Word of the Week
Ambisinister: (am-bi-SIN-uh-stuhr) adjective: Clumsy with both hands.

Leadership Quote of the Week
“If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”
Admiral Grace Hopper

Thing To Ponder
Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up every two hours? 

Philosophical Quote of the Week
“Our eyes can only see our beliefs. Our beliefs cause us to make assumptions, draw conclusions and cause confusion. Our five senses are very limiting.” White Bison

Useless Knowledge
The name of the first presidential airplane was the Sacred Cow.

Inspirational Quote of the Week
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

To subscribe to my Thought 4 The Day, which is simply a daily installment of the Thought 4 The Week, send me comment listing the email address to which you wish the Thought 4 The Day to be sent.

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – The Journey May 21, 2008

“We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey…” Author Unknown

There is a tendency, when striving toward success, to focus on the destination.  We are taught that this is the only way, the recipe, if you will, for success – envision yourself being successful and you will BE successful.  No one can dispute this tidbit of advice, for most successful people you ask will relay, almost verbatim, the exact quote, “I just saw myself being successful at __________, and within ______ years, I’m making more than I ever dreamed.”  Sound familiar? I thought so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the ‘success visionaries’.  It is good to maintain a healthy dose of mental directives when it comes to progress in life.  However, and perhaps this might impact you, most people spend so much time concerned with the goal, they overlook how they made it to the goal. 

I’ll take an ethereal/philisophical approach to this subject.  Goals we have set for ourselves or that have been set for us, are truly just markers for the next level of achievement.  The true achievement is what you must learn, apply, fail at, succeed at, and release in order to reach the goal set forth.  It is the character you build by sacrificing your time and energies for a specific purpose.  The person who starts the pursuit of the goal is rarely the same person who attains the goal.  You are different, your thoughts, your feelings, your belief about yourself.  It is in this that we can appreciate what the journey does for us.

“We do not care of what we have, but we cry when it is lost.” Russian Proverb

Could it be that we major in the minors?  The goal, in this scenario, being the ‘minors’.  When character is built and cultivated during a journey, the goal can truly, only be seen as the by-product.  However, in a results-driven environment, where the bottom-line is all anyone cares about, the path you took to get there is nothing more than an after-thought.  That is until another hurdle has to be jumped or deadline needs to be met.  This is when we employ the ‘path’ or ‘journey’, the lessons learned and the character built, to manage and secure that success…to meet the bottom-line.

The journey, whether a stroll in the park, a marathon, or an artist’s sketching, stretches our mind and our constitution.  The journey creates formidable strength and produces all that is needed.  Yes, the goal is celebrated, however, the journey should be revered.

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – Appreciate Me! April 30, 2008

Filed under: Family,life,mothers,motivation,Office,Uncategorized,Women — crazyhippiemom @ 1:35 pm
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Apparently this is the time of year when the Big Kahunas show appreciation to the Little Kahunas… in short, it’s Staff Appreciation week.  If your past experiences are anything like mine, you’ve come to expect the ever-so-un-impressive staff appreciation gift. You know the kind – anything with your company’s logo printed on it; $10 gift cards to, oh, say, Target (I mean really, what can a gal get at Target for $10), now a $10 Starbucks card might be cool, but still a little unimpressive.  Okay, maybe I’m asking too much, but dargone it, we get up every morning, don our sleekest business casual attire, arrive relatively on time, and work our gludius maximuses into gludius minimuses to get, yes, a $10 Target gift card, once a friggin year.  As my boss put it (and boy am I hoping he’s not reading this), in this economy, you should be happy to just get a paycheck.  Ouch!  He was right (now I really hope he’s not reading this, because admitting that he’s right opens up a whole new can of worms).  In this economy, looking for a gift that is even remotely in the triple digits, from your place of employment, from your spouse, from your kids, from anybody, is just a little much to ask.  Anyhoo, back to the appreciation thing… I was literally blown away at the lengths my company went to in order to show their staff that we were appreciated.  I mean really!  We had a lunch time movie, we received these awesome umbrellas (for when the rain comes), they even fed us (and me especially with my V/V self) each day of the week!  OMG!

All of this appreciation got me to thinking.  From my statements above, it’s clear that I expect some level of appreciation from the people and entities in my life and I risk to bet you do to.  When I considered what it is that I regard as appreciation from others, it was inevitable that I pondered my own ways of showing myself appreciation.  Do I go out and purchase a diamond trinket for myself?  Do I say “Thank you, me, for picking up those clothes on the floor”?  Do I take myself out for dinner on special occasions?  No. No. And No. Through these answers, it became evident that I don’t appreciate myself nearly as much as I should.  Do you?

As is my custom, I don’t bring up problems unless I have suggestions to fix such problems.  Here on this very page I have assembled a list of, Oh-So-Awesome ways of showing thyself the appreciation thou deserveth!  Pick one, pick them all and if you don’t find anything that suits you, think of something else and send it to me.

Ways to Appreciate Yourself

  • Comparisons are for weenies – As hot as you are, as intelligent as you are, and as funny as you friggin are, there is absolutely NO need to compare yourself to anyone in this galaxy!  Comparing yourself to others only activates insecurities within.  If you do it, stop.  If you don’t do it, don’t start.
  • Don’t fear failure – Part of appreciating yourself is trying things you are interested in.  Yes, you run the risk of failing, but you also run an even bigger risk of succeeding.  Imagine what a boost it would be for you to succeed at something you’ve never tried.  
  • Me Time – If you haven’t checked out my post on Adult Time Joys, you should do that right after you’re done here.  You’ve got to get out there and spend some time with others, enjoying yourself!  There is no better way to appreciate you, than to allow you to enjoy yourself.
  • Get a mantra going – I love these.  You can make up something like, “I appreciate me for being a great mom, for being a great cook, for being a gold-medal wife, and for being a great employee.” Just find something that speaks to the things you want to appreciate yourself for and say it, as often as you want to.
  • Check yourself out, NAKED – Oh yeah! Go ahead baby, check out that badunkadunk! Look at those curves and those legs, go ahead.  It’s all you!  Focus on the parts of your body you hate the most and find something positive to say about them.  Like for instance, that stubborn baby belly fat that still exists 12 years later, just remember how beautifully you carried your son/daughter (even if it was 12 years ago), and what a gift it was to incubate such a joy in your stomach for those months.  This little exercise should be so much fun.
  • Appreciate others – Think about the people in your life who you wish would appreciate you more (spouse, kids, parents, boss, co-workers, friends), and appreciate them.  Don’t just say nice things every now and again, but go out of your way to show them (in ways they understand) that you appreciate them.  You’ll see how soon the actions are reciprocated.  It’s karma, what goes out comes right back around.

So this is my list for how to appreciate oneself.  If you find there are more ways, please, by all means, send me a comment and tell us all about it.

 

 

Make Your Ends Meet – Money Saving Ideas April 26, 2008

If things continue going the way they have been, we’ll be sitting around in a few years saying, “Remember when gas was $4.00 a gallon? Ah, those were the good old days.”  But until we make that inevitable statement, we’ve got to find ways to put a lid on that siphon attached to our wallets.  There used to be a time when I didn’t mind paying a high price for the things my family needed.  Nowadays, I find myself averaging if we can go another week without running out of toilet paper (just picture that one); or negotiating between shampoo and shower gel (I got the shower gel and used it as shampoo as well as body wash).  Bottom line – times are tough and money is tight!  

It became evident that the stress of my financial situation was overpowering my usually rational thought  process, when I nearly beat my farmer’s market grocer with a stalk of celery after he told me it was $3.00 a bunch.  It was time for an intervention.  Like I said, times are tough, and people get crazy when times are tough.  I have instead decided to implement a few money saving tricks into my lifestyle, that have so far been working and keeping me from an assault & battery charge.

  1. Public Transportation – I’ll admit it.  I drove a MEGA gas guzzler and every time I put my foot on the peddle, I could feel my wallet shudder, not to mention the emissions!  So, I parked that sucker and opted in to the transportation reimbursement program offered at my job.  They pay for parking or bus passes.  I evaluated my situation – gas was a significant drain on my finances (upwards of $400/mth) so utilizing public transpo really did the trick for me.  It also gave me some extra sleep time on the way to work.  
  2. Farmer’s Market – Oh the joys of NOT having to pay almost $50.00 for one bag of groceries.  I always carry only $40.00 with me to the market.  With this $40.00, I get the following items: 2 bags of raw almonds, a week’s supply of broccoli, celery, spinach, cauliflower and carrots.  I also get some flowers (they usually die within the week), a week’s supply of pears, apples and grapes.  Then, I pick up lunch – yes, without exceeding that $40.00.  Obviously, for a person like me (Vegetarian/Vegan), the farmer’s market is like heaven, but looking at the cost of meat these days, you might want to consider becoming V/V.
  3. Buy in Bulk – I’m pretty much a minimalist, but when it comes to kids, you’ve got to have their stuff on hand, otherwise you’re screwed.  I started using an online baby store called Diapers.com, where I can buy just about anything for my son and have it mailed directly to my door.  Hooray, they just launched their ‘green section’, this is the area in which they’ve assembled all of the eco-friendly products for tree-huggers like me.  After comparing calculations for buying in bulk or otherwise, I realized that I’ve been saving about $5.00 per purchase.  Also, if I spend over $50.00 (which I ALWAYS do – have you seen the price of diapers lately?), I get free shipping.  

As another means of trying to save, I subscribe to an online newsletter called Dollarstretcher. com.  The ezine is filled with helpful hints (sent in by real people) to get you on the saving track.  I’ve scoured several of the installments I’ve received over the past months and have reprinted them here.  Check them out and if the shoe fits, by all means, try that sucker on.

  • Homemade Mixes – A great way to save time, money and eat healthier is to make your own mixes for cookies, pancakes, quick breads or anything you bake in the oven. I save the 32-ounce yogurt containers I buy and then I put a piece of masking tape on the cover to label the mix. I measure all dry ingredients into the containers (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt, etc.). I alter my recipes, substituting with healthier flours (soy, pea, whole wheat, buckwheat). Once a month, I create the mixes we’ll use for the month. It is such a time and mess saver, and we don’t use store mixes, which can get expensive.
  • Frugalize’ your gift giving – Instead of buying yet another toy that will be forgotten, give kids “gift certificates” good for lunch with dad or mom, miniature golf trip, batting cages trip, etc. Make it something your kid always wants, but you feel is a splurge.
  •  Cheap Mattress Protector – If you have a child who is toilet training or just needs a mattress protector, why not buy a shower curtain at about $2 instead of the terribly overpriced “store bought” protectors? They work extremely well with no leaks and are also fully washable.
  • Don’t buy plastic zipper bags – Don’t waste your money on food zipper bags. Many items purchased at the grocery store come in zipper type bags, including deli meats, tortillas, cheese, raisins, frozen items, etc. They can be washed and used again and again. It’s a good ideas to use an anti-bacterial spray, too.
    For items that do not have to be completely airtight, use produce bags, bread bags, cereal liners, etc. These are also great for freezing meats into smaller portions and then placing all the contents into one larger zipper bag.
  • Cheap Chips – We love to eat tortilla chips with our homemade garden salsa, but cheap chips are often greasy and unhealthy. The low-fat baked chips are way too expensive for us! So we get white or yellow corn tortillas in a package of 36 for about $1.50, cut them each into eight triangles (this can be done quickly in a stack and with a pizza cutter) and spread them on cookie sheets. I sprinkle them with water to make them crispy, add seasoned salt or whatever other seasoning we have around, and then bake them at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. These chips are very low fat, high in fiber and taste great! Best of all, they cost much less than the national brands of baked chips.
  • Shower Moisturizer – I take an inexpensive pump container of body lotion (after about half is gone) and then add some baby oil, shaking it up very well. Then after showering, while still in the tub and before toweling off, I rub it all over myself. Then I “pat dry” so that most of the lotion mixture stays on. It works as well as expensive shower moisturizers and also leaves your towels smelling great! Also, it doesn’t make the bottom of your tub slick like straight baby oil due to the much thicker consistency of the lotion.
  • Make the salad yourself – When shopping in the produce department, I usually buy bagged pre-washed salad to save time and money because it is just the right amount for a family of four. This week I compared prices and the cost of a bag of leaf lettuce was half as much and would make twice as much salad. By dividing it up after washing, we can have salad for two meals and save on the cost. Also those carrots that are “mini” are much more expensive than the carrots that need to be washed and peeled. Now we can have our greens and save some green too!
  • Free Mailing Packaging – I save the extra tough plastic-like mailing bags from packages that I receive in the mail and turn them inside out to reuse. They look like new and are free.
  • Discount Student’s Instruments – When my son was taking clarinet at school, I determined that I didn’t want to rent one and I didn’t know enough about the instrument to make a wise choice of buying one. So, I called the company that provides the rentals for the schools. They were happy to sell me a refurbished clarinet for far less than the cost of a 9 month rental. The staff there knew what the school’s requirements were, the kind of instruments the teachers wanted the kids to use, and were very forthcoming. I saved a lot of money by purchasing that used instrument on my own rather than going thru the school’s rental program.
  • Children’s Party – For your child’s next party, consider having a “book exchange” instead of gifts. Here’s how it works. Each child who attends the party brings one wrapped book (age appropriate of course). At the start of the party, all of the books are put into a bin. Then, when the party’s over, each child gets to choose a book to take home as his or her party favor. We tried this for our daughter’s fourth birthday party recently and it worked great. The parents all loved the idea because they didn’t have to worry about what to buy for a gift. And it freed us up from having to buy or make goody bags, which usually just consist of candy and/or cheap plastic toys anyway. At our party, everyone remembered to bring a book. However, I’d recommend placing two or three wrapped books in the bin yourself in case anyone forgets to bring one.
  • The Eating Out Bank – I recently started my own “Stop Eating Out” plan. I used to stop at Starbucks and get coffee and a sandwich every workday. Then at lunchtime, I drove to various fast food places for lunch. No more. I started bringing lunch, embracing the concept of small meals with the right amounts of protein, starches, veggies, and sweets for my sweet tooth. When I do this, $5 goes into the piggy bank. So I’m sort of “paying myself” to not eat out! And I think I’m eating healthier, too.
  • Homemade Non-Stick Spray -I bake a lot. Instead of buying expensive cake release or nonstick spray I make my own. It’s just equal parts of flour and shortening plus a little bit of vegetable oil to make it more spreadable. I usually use one cup of flour, one cup of shortening and two tablespoons of oil. I mix it up and store it in an airtight container. Just brush it into your pans. The results are great.

If you have any other money/time/sanity saving ideas, please leave a comment letting us know who you are and what your tip is.