Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another best kept secret.....

I've always had pretty good skin....but this winter has really played havoc on me and my skin. I started getting dry patches on my legs close to my ankles. I hate this. When I lay in bed at night I can feel the roughness and it drives me insane. So I decided to utilize the Internet and see what I could find to fix this problem.

In the course of 5 months I have used so many different products that say they will fix dry skin ("guaranteed"......HA). I have paid as much as $40 for 1.5 oz. of product. Now I realize I could have even gone higher and found products twice that price, but I simply refuse to spend that kind of money.

Low and behold I came across an old stand-by that I used 10 years ago and had forgotten about. I didn't have ultra dry skin back then or it would have left a bigger impression on me and I surely would have remembered it. This is the best kept secret for sure. Queen Helene's Cocoa Butter Cream. I bought it at Wacky-mart back then for about $4 for a HUGE jar.....15 ounces. I just replenished my supply by going through and it was $5.79 with free shipping. Still a bargain. But the main thing is that IT WORKS. It works, it works, it works. I may have to use it every night for a while....maybe forever....but it works.

So, I'm all about saving money and therefore am passing this info on to you who may also suffer from dry skin. I am in no way getting paid to tell you about this.....its just my own observation. This is not fancy cream, it doesn't smell like French perfume....but it works and that's all anyone really wants. Try it, I know you'll like it Keeping yourself up doesn't have to be expensive.

Now.....on another note. I watched Avatar last night. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I did not have the 3-D version and I still enjoyed it. To think this came out of the imaginations of so many people.....I am amazed. I think this is suitable for kids over 10, even though there is some battle going on. There's no nudity and I don't think there is any profanity.....I got so wrapped up in the film...if there was, it slipped by me. I will watch it again this weekend with my family. Its really very good if you like this kind of movie (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, ....fantasy type movies).

Friday, April 16, 2010

I cried yesterday.....

I cried because I just don't understand. Nothing will ever make me understand cruelty. I cannot understand mean-spirited people.....what makes them can one find happiness in making someone else sad.

A couple posts ago I wrote about my journeys through Blogdom and the many different emotions I feel while on those excursions. I've been reading this one certain blog for quite some time now and she is one of the most awesome women I've come across. This is the woman who brings me down to earth when I'm feeling sorry for myself.....when I'm the guest of honor at my own pity party and I feel neglected or whiney over something that has really no substance at all. The Nie Nie Dialogues is written by Stephanie Neilson, a woman who was, along with her husband and a pilot, involved in a plane crash. The pilot was killed but Nie Nie and her husband survived with burns over large areas of their bodies. Nie Nie, I believe, had them over 80% of her body. She does not look the same as she did before that fateful crash, but inside, she's the same loving wife and mother and she's beautiful.

She's been through countless surgeries and is in constant pain. Her faith in God and the love for her family gives her strength. She is brave beyond words. She finds joy in almost everything.

Yesterday in her post she writes an open letter to a cruel woman who has apparently been sending her mean and hateful emails. Since she didn't divulge the complete content, I am guessing it was about Nie Nie going to the beauty shop recently to get her hair fixed and nails polished. Apparently this mean-spirited woman thought she was spending donated money for that. I'm not sure but all I do know is that it was mean and it was unnecessary. And the post implies that she is sending these types of emails frequently. It hurt Nie Nie and it was uncalled for. If I could have driven over there and carefully....oh so carefully....given her a hug and told her how much she is respected and loved, I would have done so. But Nie Nie answered her questions with class and dignity because that's just the kind of person she is.

How can someone be so cruel? Unfortunately, there are a lot of them out there who take delight in doing cruel things. It takes the kindness of hundreds to wipe out the cruel deed of just one person. Do they think of that as power? I can only pity them. I know that eventually they will experience the cruelty themselves....brought full circle. In the meantime, lovely people like Nie Nie have souls that shine amid all their challenges and this cruel woman cannot extinguish that light. To say Nie Nie is admired and loved is an understatement and I just hope that she can block out this unnecessary hurt and keep remembering that. I would recommend all of you go read her story. She's even been on Oprah!

In the meantime, don't forget to do your Random Act of Kindness. The smallest gesture is ever appreciated by those in need. When you look in the mirror do you like WHO you see? If not, then make some changes until you're happy with you and I'm not talking about physical beauty either.....but you knew that, didn't you? Big hugs.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Armchair Critic....some movies

I've been looking at some movies here recently and have read two books so I will give you my opinions.

New Moon....second of the Twilight series. I'm not a fan. I got the first movie out of curiosity because I did not read any of the books. I didn't care for the first movie that much, finding too many mistakes in it (which is a past-time of mine....looking for errors that the directors should find. ) Anyway I got the first movie and it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good either. My granddaughter, however, loved it. So I got the second movie for her more than anything. It was even worse than the first one. Actually, this one made the first one seem excellent by comparison. They leave you totally hanging at the end....making it a movie with no ending. A shameless promotion to keep buying their movies to find out what's next. It's reminiscent of a TV soap opera. My advice is not to waste your money. However, they are so popular.....I can't understand exactly why....but their popularity seems to hold.

Then I watched The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. I hesitated with this one because I thought it was all about football and it really wasn't. I guess it was about the capacity to love more than anything. Based on an honest to God true story with actual pictures of the people involved at the ending, its a movie well worth your time. It was excellent and I can understand why Sandra Bullock won the award for this one. You won't be sorry you watched it and will want to see it again.

Next up is The Princess and the Frog. OMG.....what a delightful movie! Its just as much for adults as it is for kids. Lots of music and feel-good scenarios. The plot line is a good one too. There is one small sad part that very young kids may tear up over so use your own judgment over whether it may be too sad for your child. Its the death of a firefly, one that plays a pretty prominent part in the movie but they even turn that into a feel-good occurrence. This is another great movie.....another Disney one, of course.

Then there is Sherlock Holmes. You know Robert Downey Jr. is an excellent actor and you either love him or hate him in movies. The original Sherlock was always quite droll but never really got himself involved in anything strenuous or any kind of fighting other than using his wit and intelligence. Sherlock has been reinvented. I like this new Sherlock.....a lot. He's not only super intelligent but he can hold his own in a fight too. There are bits of humor here and there that make his character and Jude Law's Dr. Watson most likable. The movie was very good and I really liked the fact that everything was the crime was committed or how the escape was managed...etc. I think they are on to something here and I hope that many more Sherlock movies grace our screens. I don't think you'll be sorry for watching this one at all.

The last movie is an old one. I don't know how I missed this one. I had read the book but somehow managed to miss the movie. It, too, stars Sandra Bullock, along with Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Ashley Judd and Kevin Spacey. A Time To Kill. This is a powerful movie that revolves around the attempt murder and rape of a 10 yr old black girl in the deep south, Mississippi. It causes all sorts of problems as the perpetrators are two white men who are caught and must face justice for their crime. This movie is not for the younger set, obviously. It will leave you changed...... I know it will affect people differently, depending on your background and where you are from. It has a message to deliver. A powerful one. It made me cry and I'm not sorry I watched it.

The books I read are Breathless by Dean Koontz and A Dog's Life, An Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin. Breathless was just ok as far as I'm concerned. Koontz has certainly written much better books but this one was light reading and ended upbeat while basically setting itself up for more stories to come based along these same lines and/or the same characters. A Dog's Life was good. It was easy and fast reading, meant basically for the younger set (10 and up) , I'm sure. It intrigued me because it was the story of a dog's life told from her point of view, she was the narrator of the story. Anyone who is an animal lover will love this book. You can finish it in a day.

Well, that's it. Hope I was able to help you out if you were wondering about certain movies or these two books. I have pre-ordered Avatar so I will be watching that when its released. I hope its as good as I've heard that it is. Have a great up-coming week everyone. And....of course.....remember to ......Keep Smilin'!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the Land of Introspection.....

I once mentioned that I have been just about everywhere through my books. I don't travel much physically....but oh, I have been so many places on a mental level. I am a voracious reader of not just books....but magazine articles, websites, newspapers and blogs as well. Just a glance of my blog roll tells you how my interests go from one extreme to the other.

In blog reading, I have experiences that lift me up and make me emotionally misty-eyed and I also have journeys that snap me back into reality.....making me so thankful for the life I live and grateful that I don't have the challenges that some do. A lot of the blogs I read revolve around places that are so perfect to me that they seem dream-like. How I wish I could lead that sort of have the land, the home, the gorgeous views of nature.....feeling humbly at one with this wonderful planet. But just as quickly as I feel myself drowning in self-pity, I travel onto another blog and am in awe of how someone can deal with such immense challenges and still be thankful for the little blessings.

Blogdom as I call it.....has helped me grow up. Yes, even at my age I needed to stop and take some time to appreciate what is uniquely me and mine. At the age I am now I know that there are so many things I will not accomplish or possess. My desire to own a ranch is but an unfilled dream and my chances of finding my soul-mate lessen as each year passes. I've come to accept that I will only have one rocking chair on my deck as I watch the fireflies during the evening. In the past I wallowed in self-pity over some things but now I realize that this is the hand I've been dealt and its really not a bad hand. I've been given many wonderful blessings and some unforgettable friends, not to mention an interesting career and a comfortable retirement.

Do you find yourself doing this as you meander through Blogdom? Being envious on the page of one blog and then in awe of another author's courage and optimistic attitude as you travel to a different blog location. Just knowing that if you had to face such challenges, you would surely fail. Seeing all the talent whether its through photography, running a farm, a business, or raising kids while juggling a career is inspiring. The pure joy from stay at home moms radiate from their words. Yes, they're tired....but its a labor of love. Some of the things created are truly amazing. Everyone has a matter what you may think. We truly are a melting pot not just of race and spiritual and cultural beliefs but in our ability to accept the hands we've been dealt and carry on with dignity and courage......and that good old standby; a sense of humor. No one's life is perfect and if you read long enough, you find that out. Its the old "walk a mile in my shoes" philosophy.

I love taking my journeys and this is just a blanket 'thank you' to each of you for teaching this old gal that she still has some things to learn about life and about herself. A generous dose of introspection is good for the soul.