Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Soldiers Christmas

Here is a poem that I receive every year and every year it touches me in the same way. Let us not forgot about the soldiers that fight for our freedom every day.

This poem was written by a Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas:

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE,
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.


I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY,
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO,
IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE.


I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.


NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES,
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.


WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT,
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.


FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.


THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.


THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED,
A TRUE CANADIAN SOLDIER.


WAS THIS THE HERO,
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?


I REALISED THE FAMILIES,
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS,
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.


SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE,
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.


THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM,
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.


I COULDN'T HELP WONDER,
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE,
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.


THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT,
A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES,
AND STARTED TO CRY.


THE SOLDIER AWAKENED,
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;


I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."


THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.


I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED,
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.


I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE,
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR,
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.


THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."


ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss - Hitmen vs. Rebels

This gave me goosebumps! This is one reason why I love Calgary so much! The spirit of giving is alive and well in Calgary. You make me proud!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Therapy Assignment #1

My therapist asked me to write about the experience this past summer that has caused this little set back in my mental health journey.  It was very difficult to do, but has helped a lot with alleviating my anxiety. I struggled with sharing this story, but I thought it was important, to not only show how physical abuse occurs, but also how verbal/emotional abuse, leave scars that can't always be seen with the naked eye.

Through my therapy I have come to realize I have been abused my entire life by my mother.  I was never spanked as a child, but I was ALWAYS verbally/emotionally abused by my mother.  This is the story of one of many experience of abuse that I suffered at the hands of my mother.

Here is what my mother had to say about this situation on Facebook.  These are her exact words “What do you do with 2 ungrateful, disrespectful daughters? Accept responsibility for the part you played in making them that way and give in to their wiles and smooth things over or take a stand? This time I chose to take a stand...lets see what happens:)"

I do not think being ungrateful or disrespectful, which we weren't, gives anyone permission to abuse another person. PERIOD.

___________________________________________________

This is my second attempt at writing about my experience with my mother on my birthday weekend.  Just a split second of thought about what happened sends me into severe anxiety.  I have not even started to write about it and I am shaking and my chest hurts.  I feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

The question that keeps going through my head is “Why?”  Why me? Why does she treat me this way? Why does she want to hurt me? Why?

It was a great birthday weekend.  I was celebrating turning 40 by having a 4 day party.  This was the second time I was spending time with my mother since we started talking again.  I had cut off all communication back when my daughter graduated from HS.  My mother, once again, was not happy with our lifestyle and started a fight and became very verbally abusive to both myself and my daughter.  As per the norm, I did not stand up to her, but my daughter did.  This did not please my mother at all, if anything it made the matter worse.  She ranted about how disrespectful my daughter was and how my parenting skills where the reason for my daughters “bad” behaviour.   I was very proud of my daughter for standing up to her and wished I had the ability to do that too.  I still fear my mother. 

3 years passed and I was going through some health difficulties and required surgery.  My mother wanted to come and take care of me for the week after my surgery.  At first, I had the usual feelings of worry, doubt & anxiety.  The last thing I needed was my mother coming and starting the usual trouble that comes with her while I am trying to recover from major surgery.  She arrived and I was pleasantly surprised, she was oddly optimistic/positive.  Had she changed? Had she gotten help?  I thought so.  After her visit I felt so good.  I told people her visit was so good for my soul. This was not what anyone expected, including myself. 

Fast forward 6 months.  My 40th Birthday.  My mother insisted she was not going to miss this milestone birthday and that she would be joining us for the weekend.  Since our last visit went so well, this was the first time I was excited to have my mother come visit. EVER.

We went out for a night of karaoke.  Things seemed to be going well, until I realized my mother was missing for most of the night.  She was at the slots.  I wasn’t going to let this damper my evening.  I discreetly asked friends to ask her to come back to the table.  This had to be done a few times in the night.  I just told myself if this is the worst of it, it wasn’t too bad.  She has a problem! I wasn’t going to dwell.  I had an amazing evening with my friends & family.

The second night was a surprise party.  The party itself was not a surprise, the theme was the surprise.  I was sent out of the house for most of the day so they could prepare.  My mother & daughter got to work.  My daughter did so much running around & I was so grateful for all that she did to make this birthday special for me. My mother was responsible for making all the food with help from others.  She was also responsible for purchasing all the alcohol for the party.  My mother was a superstar when it came to putting this party together with my daughter.  I made sure I told her this all night.  I was so happy & I made sure she knew how happy I was.  I showered love & appreciation on her all night long in private and to everyone at the party.  The guests also showed their appreciation to her.  The night was a huge success.

I am crying, anxiety level  10, shaking, really do not want to revisit this. Still hearing the question in my head, “Why?”

The party ended, all the guests were gone and my daughter & boyfriend were in bed for the night.  It was just my mother and I still up.  We were discussing the party in the kitchen & how grateful I was for the evening.  I guess I was not showing my gratitude in the way my mother wanted, I do not know, but she started going on a rant about respect & how she wasn’t feeling it from me.  I was shocked.  She grabbed me by the wrists and demanded that I respect her. I told her not to put her hands on me like that.  She was scaring me.  We started to argue about how you have to earn respect it isn’t something you are entitled to.  She DEMANDED respect & believed she was entitled to it.  She grabbed me by the wrists and pushed me, I fell, and I fell hard. Hard enough where there is now a hole in my wall the size of my body.  I started to cry, I could not believe what was happening.  At this time my daughter & her boyfriend woke up and came out and stepped in between my mother & I.  All hell broke loose.  It is all such a blur, everything happened so fast.  My mother, somehow, got my daughter up against the wall by her throat.  I thought she was going to kill her.  I went into protective mode and got my mother up against the wall by her throat, and asked her how it felt.  She kept threatening me to hit her.  “Come on hit me, hit me”.  I put my fist up to her face knowing I could never hit her, I could never hit anyone, put I wanted to so bad, how dare she put her hands on my daughter.  I backed off.  She continued to go on her rant about respect and was jumping around like a mad woman.  Melissa & Ryan asked me to sit down and stay out of it as they tried to calm my mother down.  I sat shaking & crying in the chair as I watched them “try” to calm her down, but she just continued to attack them both verbally & physically.  Enough was enough, Ryan called the police.

Everything to this point felt like a dream or nightmare.  It couldn’t be real. How could a mother do something like this to their own child? Why was my mother doing this to me? Why was she so angry? Nothing is ever good enough for her.  I did not respect her good enough.  I did not show my gratitude good enough.  I did not raise my daughter good enough.  My house wasn’t good enough.  My job wasn’t good enough.  I felt, if she had a choice, she would want a different daughter, a daughter that was good enough. 

The police finally arrived, and not a minute too soon.  The officer did what he was suppose to do and got the details on what had gone done.  Ryan, Melissa & I were all calm at this point but my mother was still ranting about herself, saying things like “Do you know who I am?” “I have a PHD” .. the officer asked her many times to calm down, go to bed and suggested we all talk about it in the morning.  She was having none of it.  She then jumped in the officer’s face, it happened so quick, he grabbed her arm & threw her to the ground & slapped the handcuffs on her.  Holy fuck, was this happening, I only see this shit on TV.  Once again I was shocked and could not believe what I was seeing.  My own mother being arrested. 

The officer hauled her off to his car.  We had to make sure he knew that my mother was donating her kidney on the following Thursday & required her meds while she was in JAIL.   My mother should not even had been drinking due to this surgery on Thursday.  She was taken to jail.

After she was gone we all took pictures of our wounds.  I had bruises all over my wrists, my daughter had bruises on her neck and Ryan had scratches all over his body.  Why did we take pictures?  I do not know.  For proof maybe, because how could anyone believe all of this.  I could barely believe it.  I sure didn’t take the pictures for memories.  All I want to do is forget this ever happened.  Im ashamed & embarrassed that this happened.  How much of her behaviour is a reflection of myself?  This isn’t me, but could it be? 

Now that she was gone, the guilt set in.  OH MY GOD, I just sent my mother to jail.  What kind of daughter am I? I called all the family back home to let them know what happened & that I had no idea what was going to happen with her next.  Was she going to be ok for the kidney surgery on Thursday? This kidney was going to save my uncle’s life...what had I done by sending my mother to jail? 

My family back home reassured me that everything would be ok.  That this was not the first time this had happened with my mother.  WTF?  This has happened before? She had mentioned to me that she had been in the drunk tank due to research she was doing with the native gangs in Winnipeg.  This was not true, I was told.  My family was very angry that she was drinking when she knew it was detrimental that she didn’t drink before the surgery.  What was she thinking? This could ruin the chances of my uncle surviving.
I spent the good part of the morning trying to find my mother to ensure that she was ok and that, wherever she was, that they were aware of her upcoming surgery and her need for her meds.  I had no luck.  Due to confidentiality purposes they were not allowed to release any information.  I continued to feel so much guilt.  Was I going to responsible for the failure of my uncle’s kidney transplant? Why didn’t I stop my mom from drinking? That is an easy answer; you can’t stop my mom from doing ANYTHING.  Regardless, the guilt keeps on building.

Time seemed to stand still while I waited for my mother to return.  I had no idea how long she would be held in jail.  I have never had to deal with this before, I had no idea how things work in the justice system.   The waiting was killing me, the guilt was unbearable, anxiety was extreme.  My mind was racing.  Would she even come back here? How was she going to react?  Was there going to be another fight?  Would she even talk to me? I was so scared.  I felt like I was a child waiting for the parent to get home knowing you were going to be in trouble for something.  All I wanted to do is hide.

My mother finally returned to the house.  She came to my bedroom immediately.  She knocked at the door, I was going to pretend to be sleeping.  She called out my name, I responded and got up and unlocked the door, terrified.  She hugged me instantly and said she was so sorry & that she loved me.  I was confused.   That was it.  That is all she said.  She then when to the guest room & rested.  I locked myself my room for the rest of the evening.  She was still going to be here tomorrow.  You could feel the tension in the air.  My daughter stayed in her room the entire time she was here, avoiding her.  I wanted to avoid her too, but it wasn’t possible. 

She went out the next day and bought food for a birthday feast & a cake.  This wasn't going to make it better.  What was she thinking? Were we suppose to be grateful for this food, after what you just did to us? Nothing else had been said about anything at this point.  This was going to be a long Monday.  She wasn’t expected to leave until the next day.  Thank goodness I had to work the next day, gave me a good excuse to go to bed early & not have to see her off the next day.  The conversation was limited all day, we even ate dinner in separate rooms.  It really felt like the calm before the storm.  Boy was I right about this.

Went to work the next day, happy to be out of the house and away from the constant reminders of what went down on the weekend.  Shortly after I arrived at work I received an email from my mother.  She was asking for all the money back that she put into my party due the lack of respect we all had towards her.  WTF? She said she was sorry she had to do this and that she loved me but she felt I did not deserve anything she did for me over the weekend & that Melissa was so disrespectful and did not spend the money she gave her on the right things for the party.  None of this was true. Once again, I wasn’t good enough for her.  I was so angry at this point.  I did not even bother to respond to her email.  I was done.  Time to cut her off for good.  I could no longer allow these kinds of relations in my life, even if it is my mother.   I felt I was so happy, stable & well balanced in my life that I could not risk having someone like her in my life causing any kind of unhealthy reaction from me.  She was never going to change.  I cannot control her behaviour but I can control allowing her behaviour in my life.

I stayed focused at work for the entire week until the day of the kidney transplant came.  It had only been 3 days since my mother left & the last thing I wanted to do was think about her in any way.  I did what I probably shouldn’t have did, ignored the negative feelings I was having, and focused on the good in my life, the things I was grateful for.  The problem with this, we all know, is that those negative feelings don’t go away just because you choose not to think about them.
Once she was alright, it really hit home.  The events up to this day had really left me feeling unstable emotionally.  I couldn’t close my eyes without visioning the abuse I went through.  I would wake up from nightmares of my mother abusing me to the point of near death.  I would have nightmares that I killed my mother in self defense.  The nightmares became bad enough where I would not sleep for days.  All the horrible things she ever said or did to me growing up all started to flood back. I needed help, my life was falling apart, spiraling out of control and I had no idea what to do.  Well I knew what to do, I had to see my doctor and see her fast.
 
I thought I was strong enough to get through this by myself.  Due to the major depression I suffered from a few years back,  I thought I had learned the skills to better help me cope with situations like this.  I was wrong.  I did not feel as out of control as I did back in the dark days of my depression, but I definitely was not in a place where I was capable of helping myself get through this.  I knew I needed help and I got the help as soon as I could.

The journey is very painful, sometimes unbearable, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, but also see the long road before it.  This too will pass.

__________________________________________________
Having to relive the experience was difficult, but rereading this assignment a few times, really help alleviate the anxiety.  My next assignment is to write a letter to my mother telling her how she has made me feel my entire life, with no intent of ever sending it.  This assignment is going to be much harder than this one was.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"I Believe"

My father shared this with me via email this weekend. It made me reflect & reevaluate my current state of being. Most of this is common sense, but most of us still need to be reminded of these things.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

_____________________________

 A lot of wisdom here

This will take about 2 minutes of your time, but it is a lifetime of information.
 
A Birth Certificate shows that we were born
A Death Certificate shows that we died

Pictures show that we lived!


Have a seat.   Relax . . . And read this slowly.
 

 
I Believe... That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
It doesn't mean they do love each other.


 

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends
If we understand that friends change.


 
I Believe.... That no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.


 
I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe... That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.


 
I Believe.... That it's taking me a long time
To become the person I want to be.


 

I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.


 
I Believe.... That you can keep going long after you think you can't.


 
I Believe....
That we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.


 
I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs
to be done, regardless of the consequences.

 


I Believe.....
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing
and have the best time.

 
I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down
will be the ones to help you get back up.


 
I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry,
I have the right to be angry. But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.


 
I Believe.... That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them and less to do with  how many
birthdays you've celebrated.


 

I Believe.... That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.


 
I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn't stop for your grief.


 
I Believe....
That our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are, But, we are responsible for who we become.


 
I Believe... That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life Forever.


 
I Believe....
Two people can look at the exact same thing,
and see something totally different.


 
I Believe... That your life can be changed in a matter of hours
By people who don't even know you.


 
I Believe.....
That even when you think you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.


 
I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

 
I Believe... That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

 


 
'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything they have.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Struggles With My Mind - Part 2

After rereading my last post, I realized it was a little misleading with when my journey with depression started.  When I stated that it began 3 years ago, it was the darkest of dark point of my depression that began.  Rock bottom.

Depression has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember.  I lost a relative to suicide at a very young age.  I saw struggles with mental health issues in my family growing up.  I had my own struggles in my teen years with a couple suicide attempts of my own.

The funny thing is, or maybe it isn't funny, but not once did I ever hear the word "depression" until 3 years ago, when I was diagnosed "officially".  It was only when I was diagnosed that I realized I had been suffering from depression for a very, very long time.  All the years that had gone by with unresolved issues within me.

When I started to deal with these issues from over 2 decades it became too much for me.  It was unbearable, I couldn't breath, I couldn't move and it just kept getting deeper and deeper and darker and darker.  It was the worst feeling I had ever felt in my life.  Unstable. Out of control. Hopeless.

I sit here today and marvel at how strong I really am to have been able to come out of that dark place on the other side a much better, happy, positive & grateful person.  Yes, Im struggling with the darkness right now, but I have every bit of confidence that...THIS TOO WILL PASS.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Struggles With My Mind

As I sit her staring at this blank screen, I'm wondering, what should I say, do I need to say anything...I should say something...I feel the need to say something. Those who know me very well know I have recently gone through a very traumatizing experience in my life, an experience that struck me to my core.  I'm not going to get into the gory details of the events, as the details are not relevant to why I am sharing this.

It is no secret that I have suffered from depression in the past.  I'm hesitant using the words "in the past" as I think this is a disease that you suffer with your entire life.  My journey with depression started 3 years ago, and let me tell you the first 2 years were the darkest days of my entire life.

If you ask the people that have met me in the last year they would tell you there was no way this positive, uplifting & grateful person was/is depressed. It was a long journey, with a lot of tears, anger, shame, and the biggest part of my depression was blame. I learned to let go of things that held no purpose or meaning in my present.  I read some great books that helped me find the correct path for my mental health journey. As of 3 weeks ago I would have told you I was the happiest, most well balanced, grateful person in the entire world.


How can one event demolish all that worked hard to build? I thought I was stronger. I thought I had gained the skills to be able to cope with whatever came my way.  I was wrong.  This event was so traumatizing that I am having great difficulty sleeping, waking up from nightmares, scared to close my eyes, so just remain awake.  I tried to fill my time with constant activity for days to keep my mind off of it..didn't help. The images are still there.

I have spoken with a therapist, it helps to talk about it.  I thought I had talked about it enough over the last 3 weeks, that I had gained some strength from it, until today, my next appointment, and my anxiety level rapidly increased. I'm so torn at this point.  I want to talk about it so I can get past it..but I'm sick of talking about it and want to just get past it.  It is exhausting.

The strength and knowledge I have learned from my journey so far with my depression is best described in a quote I often use, "This too will pass".  Even the happiest people have moments of sadness.  A moment of sadness is upon me..I'm glad I had the skills to be aware of warning signs in myself with my mental health. As I have no idea where I would be right now if this happened to me 3 years ago.

I just wanted to share with everyone that people who suffer with depression struggle on an ongoing basis.  Dealing with depression isn't like shutting a light off, it just doesn't go away. Some aren't as lucky as me to be able to know the power you have over your own thoughts.  I have learned this from these recent events..even though you function in a happy, health, grateful manner doesn't mean you aren't susceptible to the dark side of depression every now and then.  Although, I have found out I am not as strong as I thought I was, I am confident that the skills I have acquired from my journey with depression that I will be bouncing back from these events sooner than later.

Lots of Love
Miss Candy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Comical, Cynical Cartoon About Marriage: I Guess You'll Do

A friend of mine shared this with me on Facebook, and ofcourse, I had to share it with you. Seems pretty accurate of what I think some woman out there have going on in there head.  Not my head. LOL.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How To Be Alone by Tanya Davis

A good friend of mine, Lonnie Taylor, shared this with me on Twitter & Facebook.  As soon as I pressed play I was mesmerized by the words and I felt like I didn't blink for 4:35, the length of this poem. It touched me so much, of course, I had to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Lots of Love xoxoxo

Finnegan The Squirrel

Debby Cantlon, who plans to release Finnegan, 
the young squirrel, 
back into the wild, 
bottle-fed the infant squirrel after 
it was brought to her house.
When Cantlon took in the tiny creature 
and began caring for him,she found herself with 
an unlikely nurse's aide: her pregnant
Papillion, Mademoiselle Giselle. 
 
Finnegan was resting in a nest 
in a cage just days before Giselle
was due to deliver her puppies.
Cantlon and her husband watched as 
the dog dragged the squirrel's
cage twice to her own bedside 
before she gave birth.
Cantlon was concerned, yet ultimately 
decided to allow the
squirrel out and the inter-species 
bonding began. 
 
Finnegan rides a puppy mosh pit of sorts, 
burrowing in for warmth
after feeding, eventually working his 
way beneath his new litter mates. 
 
Two days after giving birth, 
mama dog Giselle allowed Finnegan
to nurse; family photos and a 
videotape show her encouraging
him to suckle alongside her litter 
of five pups.
 
Now, Finnegan mostly uses a bottle, 
but still snuggles with his
'siblings' in a mosh pit of puppies, 
rolling atop their bodies
and sinking in deeply for a nap.
 
Finnegan and his new litter mates, 
five Papillion puppies,
get along together as if they were meant to.
 
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all 
get along like Finnegan and the gang?
MORAL  OF THE STORY:  Keep loving everyone . . 
even the squirrelly  ones!

Monday, July 19, 2010

BIG BANG BIG BOOM! Amazing Animation

This video was shared with by a coworker on Twitter.  Totally amazing.  A must watch.  

BIG BANG BIG BOOM:
an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life ... and how it could probably end.


BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

"Plenty of Fish" in the sea!

Plenty of Fish, the FREE online dating site was recommended to me by, no other than, my mother.  It has been a while since I explored the online dating community, almost 10 years, and boy have things changed. In the past, I have never had any luck with online dating, met alot of frogs, but none worthy of a kiss from this princess.  That has not deterred me from trying this out again.

Even if I do not meet anyone through this site, I have walked away with some insight into myself via the Chemistry & Relationship Needs assessments that you are required to take on Plenty of Fish.  These assessments are pretty accurate when it comes to what I think my needs are at this point in my life.

For those who know me well, you will agree these results are pretty accurate, I would like to share them with you and let me know how accurate you think they are.

Chemistry Test Results


Self-Confidence


As someone with high self-confidence, you feel quite comfortable interacting with other people. Indeed, you find the company of others very stimulating and enjoy meeting new people. Your relaxed demeanor in groups makes people around you comfortable too. Perhaps because you feel comfortable talking about yourself, others tend to enjoy being around you and perceive you as socially competent.

The confidence that helps you feel comfortable talking to people also spills into your own personal beliefs about yourself. Although you have several strengths, it’s likely that you also acknowledge and accept your weaknesses. But unlike some people, you take full responsibility for your actions—you rarely regret things you’ve done in the past and are not embarrassed easily.


Perhaps the defining feature that sets you apart from most people is the exceptionally high standards that you set for yourself. Your competence in social gatherings as well as at work should provide ample evidence for this. With these characteristics, it’s very likely that people come to you for advice and generally think of you as someone with leader-like qualities.

Family Orientation


As someone who is oriented to familial matters, you value the company of family-members and domestic life. If you have children already, you enjoy spending time with them very much and work hard to be a good parent. If you don’t have children, you very much desire having children in the future. And your preference for cooking and entertaining guests at home will likely ease the transition into parenthood.

You take pride in maintaining and cultivating a healthy family and work hard to achieve this. This natural tendency is easily illustrated by your preference for doing things around the house as opposed to going out to clubs and restaurants.

What really sets you apart from people that are low in family orientation is that you know how to manage your frustrations and work well on your own. This means that you are well-equipped to manage a family without letting all the work that is involved wear you down. However, as someone with strong family values, all the work that is involved in maintaining a tidy home and well-stocked kitchen might occasionally make it difficult for you to finish everything that you need to do.

Self-Control


The self-control personality dimension captures the way in which a person regulates and directs him or herself. Being low in self-control can be both good and bad. Occasionally people may be compelled to follow their intuitions and give in to their temptations, and your degree of self-control makes this likely to happen more often than not. This can be good in circumstances where being relaxed and open are important. However, in situations where it is necessary to be focused and careful, you might find that you do or say things that may be inappropriate.

As someone who exerts little control over your actions, you may find that you commit social blunders that might offend other people and get yourself in trouble. For example, if you’re given responsibility to work on a project that requires close attention to detail, you may be likely to overlook important details because you have difficulty staying focused. Consequently, you might feel more comfortable delegating such tasks to other people who are more detail oriented. Being able to recognize such characteristics in yourself and having more detail-oriented people do such tasks could be an effective way to manage your own stress level.

Low self-control may diminish your effectiveness at work. Acting too relaxed can make it difficult for you to focus on projects that require organized sequences of steps or stages. Thus, your ability to accomplish may be inconsistent. Indeed, it’s possible that you might be criticized periodically for being unreliable or unable to “stay within the lines.” Nonetheless, you may still experience many short-lived pleasures and never be thought of as boring.

Openness


As someone high in openness, you have a strong appreciation for beauty, both in art and nature. Indeed, it’s likely that you are easily absorbed in music and art, as well as natural phenomena. Another aspect of your openness is your emotional insight; that is, you probably have good access to and awareness of your own emotions.

Another aspect of the openness dimension is the tendency to think about abstract concepts and ideas. This thinking style may take the form of artistic and metaphorical use of language, and/or music composition or performance. Thus, it is likely that, either in your work or spare time, you enjoy activities that get your “creative juices” flowing.


Easygoingness


Easygoingness refers to one's ability to relax. Based on your score, you appear to “take things as they come” and enjoy having a good time. However, being high in easygoingness also has the potential to produce stress in a number of ways. For example, you may find it difficult to complete tasks thoroughly and efficiently. In this way, being high in easygoingness cannot only make your life difficult, but also the lives of the people around you. Another potential problem with being too high in easygoingness is that it can provide you with gratification in the short-term, but in the long-term provide undesirable consequences.

High easygoingness, even when not seriously destructive, may also diminish your effectiveness at work, for example. You may find it aversive and difficult to put in all the effort that may sometimes be needed to effectively accomplish certain tasks. For this reason, your colleagues might view you as forgetful and unfocused.

How does your personality affect your love life?



With the strong degree of self-confidence that you possess, it’s no surprise that you get along well with most people. Indeed, it’s self-confidence that allows people to feel comfortable interacting with others without feeling insecure and vulnerable. For this reason, you shouldn’t have much difficulty in romance, at least not initially. Your social skills will likely help relieve any anxiety your romantic partners might have on those first few dates. However, over time, the high standards that you have for yourself could potentially frustrate your partner.

Given how much you value family life, you probably get along best with people who share your values and beliefs. In fact, it’s likely that you maintain close connections with members of your immediate and distant family. For this reason, you would probably be most satisfied in a romantic relationship with someone who also values domestic life.

Being in a relationship with someone who enjoys going out to parties and staying-up late at night might be fun, at least initially; yet it’s likely that you will find this tiring over time. Thus, it might be easier and more satisfying for you to develop a long-lasting relationship with a person who also enjoys spending time at home and desires starting a family. On first dates, perhaps you might suggest to your partner that the two of you spend a quiet night having dinner at one of your respective homes instead of going out to a restaurant or club.

As someone who is more relaxed than most people, you likely get along with most people quite well. Chances are that your friends and colleagues perceive you as lively, fun to be with, and good-humored. When it comes to romance, you’ll likely be attracted to most people. However, your free-spirited nature might make being in a relationship with a person that is more rigid than you difficult because you might perceive the person as being too uptight and controlling.

Your openness probably makes it easy for you to respect and appreciate people that are different from you. However, when it comes to romantic relationships, your openness might make it difficult for you to tolerate people that cannot appreciate diversity as much as you. Therefore, you may be happiest in serious relationships with people that share your open-mindedness. But, your openness might occasionally cause a certain degree of dependency on your end because you may be so open that you easily adopt the preferences and habits of your partners and gradually relinquish things that make you so unique. 
    


Relationship Needs Assessment Results

Interdependence

Interdependence refers to how much you need dependency or a “couple identity” with your partner. Your answer pattens suggest that you tend not to become overly dependent on a romantic partner. People scoring like you are comfortable being singled out for praise and rewards, and their personal identity and independence from others is important to them. Therefore, it seems you need a reasonable level of independence in a relationship. This does not mean that you do not desire to be close with a partner. Indeed, when you feel close to someone, this person often becomes an important part of who you are on the inside and you probably like showing off your “couplehood” in public. However, you do not necessarily need to be constantly “joined at the hip” in order to feel connected and secure in a relationship. Bottom line: you need someone who reciprocates a strong feeling of attachment to a partner but who also respects and copes well with the fact that you benefit from a reasonable level of physical and psychological space at times.

Intimacy

Intimacy refers to the how much you need emotional closeness with your partner. You are very comfortable with being intimate and vulnerable with a partner. However, your desire for emotional closeness and security puts you at some risk for disclosing too much, too soon when a relationship is newly developing. People like you have big hearts and an impressive openness to your partner. That openness includes lessons learned from your past experiences and relationships, extending trust, believing your partner returns your feelings and devotion and being generally comfortable with surrendering yourself to a partner. In fact, you probably feel very uncomfortable – and even guilty – if there were any secrets between you and your partner. Likewise, you regard your lover as your best friend and your foremost confidant. There is typically no hesitation discussing current problems or concerns with this person. It also seems that you have realistic expectations for a committed relationship. You are willing to act on the belief that your partner’s feelings are equally as strong as yours. Therefore, you are probably not deterred in taking the risks associated with being vulnerable on all levels. Bottom line: you need someone who believes and acts on the belief that the intimacy of a relationship is sacred.

Self-efficacy

Self-Efficacy refers to your self-image, stability of mood and level of motivation. People like you are characterized by a strong self-esteem, sense of self and sense of accomplishment. Those who know you best would likely describe you as influential, patient and accepting of others – and calm, cool and collected most of the time. You are content with your personal qualities and feel you are an attractive person. Moreover, you probably have a good sense of control over the events in your life and are decisive in managing your life. In this sense, you likely do not overreact to circumstances as others might do. Rather, people in your scoring range are quite adaptable and are able to maintain a balanced perspective on situations. Additionally, you are also very influential and persuasive with others. Therefore, it is expected that family, friends and acquaintances often come to you for ideas of guidance across a range of issues. You are confident that people who are important in your life understand you, but you also tend to be comfortable not giving in to peer, family and other social pressures. Family is indeed important to you, but their expectations do not strongly influence your life. Instead, people who score like you tend to have their own well-defined ambitions and goals – and may even set specific benchmarks to monitor the progress made toward achievements. Bottom line: you need a partner who is energetic, enthusiastic and has high self-efficacy like you and will support or even participate in your personal and professional interests that feed your sense of identity and accomplishment.

Relationship readiness

Relationship Readiness refers to how prepared you are emotionally, psychologically and pragmatically for a committed relationship. You seem to be happy and content in your life. This is an excellent foundation for a committed relationship. In fact, most people in this scoring range have a clear vision and a sense of purpose for their life. They can connect well with others with effective relationship and dating skills, they have well defined ideas about where their life is headed and they are assertive and resourceful in meeting their goals. Therefore, you likely feel in control and are able to take charge and go after what you want in life and in a relationship. Your housekeeping is also probably in check – meaning that you do not have any negative baggage that can weigh down a relationship, like financial or legal problems or emotional, health or family issues. As such, you appear to be looking for a relationship to complement your life, not to fulfill or “complete” it. You probably have a lot to offer a partner, as long as you do not set unrealistic expectations for that person or the relationship. Bottom line: you need someone who is not looking to be taken care of, but rather who is realistic about the hard work it takes to build and maintain a stable and satisfying relationship.

Communication

Communication refers to your approach to interpersonal interactions and level of emotional intelligence. Effective communicators have strong emotional intelligence, and you seem to fit this description. It is expected that you show considerable tolerance of ambiguity and emotional expression. You are usually extremely sensitive to other’s feelings and to their body language. Those who know you well would probably describe you as patient, open and eager to listen to others. People in this scoring range are also not afraid of making or admitting to mistakes. They consistently and bravely show vulnerability to others. In fact, they are constantly aware how their behavior impacts others. You can communicate your needs and feelings honestly when someone engages you directly, and you can take the initiative and be assertive when needed. However, a defining characteristic of people in this range is that they do not rush to judgment. Rather, they pay attention, listen without jumping to conclusions and then reflect on information before responding. In a sentence, you seek both to understand others and for others to understand you. Bottom line: you need someone who is eager to give, collect and discuss information with you patiently versus communicate with you on superficial levels out of convenience.

Conflict resolution

Conflict Resolution refers to your stress management and problem solving skills. Effective conflict resolution has nine general elements: View Conflict as Positive; Address Conflict in the Proper Atmosphere; Clarify Perceptions; Note Needs, not wants; Draw on the Power of a Positive Partnership; Focus on the Future, then learn from the past; Identify Options for Mutual Gain; Develop ‘Doables’ or stepping stones to action; and Make Mutually-Beneficial Agreements. Your score indicates that you are fairly strong on all of these basic elements, except for Making Mutually-Beneficial Agreements. This suggests that you are very flexible and action-oriented when addressing problems, yet not so eager to find resolution that you settle for quick, temporary agreements. Settling on a temporary agreement is often a way of avoiding conflict, and it can lead to needs not being met. You do not seem to avoid conflict; instead you appear to evaluate the possible solutions and then actively engage your partner to work on a positive outcome for the relationship. 

Sexuality

Sexuality refers to your needs (frequency, boundaries, expressions) related to physical intimacy. Scientific models of love and attachment always include physical chemistry and sexuality. It is a crucial topic for any couple to address, because it involves issues of control and vulnerability. People at your scoring level have a firm sense of their sexual orientation, preferred sexual activities and comfort level. You like sex that is romantic, adventurous and fun, but for you sex is not a casual event. Sex has great importance in your relationship, and it is reserved for someone you love. You may think your sexual preferences would be viewed as conservative by others, but you are no prude. You are confident in your own sexual ability and are open to try various activities. In fact, you probably like to experiment actively. A defining characteristic of people in this scoring range is their willingness to be vulnerable and relinquish control in the bedroom to their partners. In other words, you are not sexually selfish – you like to focus on pleasing your partner and submitting to his/her desires. Bottom line: you need someone who regards sex as a meaningful bond between people in love and who appreciates being the center of attention in the bedroom.

Attitudes toward love

Attitudes Toward Love refers to your level of needs for romantic love and friendship love. There are two main types of love – Romantic Love and Companionate Love. Romantic Love is passionate, emotional and intense, whereas Companionate Love is a deep, affectionate attachment. People feel these two types of loves to different degrees in a relationship, and the levels of each can fluctuate over time. You scored as someone who may be best described as "a realist with a touch of hopeless romantic.” This means that you do value Romantic Love, but for you a relationship must have a strong dose of Companionate Love. Thus, people in this scoring range typically believe that differences can be overcome and lasting love can be sustained if the couple does the hard of work of consistently showing mutual understanding and accommodation. In this sense, it is likely that you believe soul mates are made, not born. Bottom line: you need someone who believes that the best kind of love grows out of a strong friendship.

Preferred Expressions of Affection

Preferred Expressions of Affection refers to your likes and dislikes for different ways a partner can express love and devotion. There are many ways in which people show affection to their loved ones: physical touch, doing favors, spending time together, giving gifts or communicating love through words. Statistically, you gave higher weighted ratings to Actions. Bottom line: You need someone who can express affection through simple or grand acts of kindness – such as helping you out around the house, running errands for you or doing favors without being asked.Out of the various modes of expressing affection, Physical Touch received lower weighted ratings from you. Bottom line: This does not necessarily mean that you neither like nor need to be touched. Rather, it suggests that you need someone who can show affection in ways other than just physical contact – such as frequent tickles, constantly holding hands, public hugs and kisses or light touches as s/he passes by.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gratitude is the Answer! Reevaulate YOU after watching this!

Those of you who know me personally, know that I am very focused on being positive and grateful for everything I have.  I am not a complainer and after watching this I hope you will bring your focus back to what matters in your life, and that is everything you have, not what you don't have.  Be grateful. 

PS.  Scott thank you for sharing this video with me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

WARNING VERY GRAPHIC! Please Drive Safe

This video was shared with me by a friend on Facebook.  It is very graphic and shocking, enough so, I had to share it with you.  Please do not let your children view this video. It really shows how important a seat belt can be &  how dangerous speeding & reckless driving can be.  Please drive safe!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Holy Batman! COCONUT CRAB!

How would you like to find this on the side of your trash can!!!!!!! (or anywhere!!!!) -- Friends in Australia sent us a picture of a Coconut Crab.
This is pretty interesting.....


Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial  arthropod in the world. It is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents. It is sometimes called the robber crab because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents. The second photo gives you a good idea of how large these crabs are - a coconut crab is seeking food from a black trashcan.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Many Things Are We Missing As We Rush Through Life?

I received this in an email today and it gave me the most severe goosebumps I have ever had. To give credit where credit is due, I believe this came from the Washington Post. This really will make you stop and think.


. . . Something To Think About . . .



THE SITUATION


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in
2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station,
most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged
man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and
stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.


About 4 minutes later
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.


At 6 minutes
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.


At 10 minutes
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action
was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without
exception - forced their children to move on quickly.


At 45 minutes
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal
pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one
applauded. There was no recognition at all.



No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before,
Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100
each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro
Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social
experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.




This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we
perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?


One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians
in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of
the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Re-Releasing '2009 Top10Causes Awareness Documentary'

I am currently working on updating & uploading the '2009 Top10Causes Awareness Documentary' I created last summer on to Reactive Candy TV. For those of you who do not know, @Top10Causes was my user name on Twitter before I became @Reactive_Candy. Due to my own personal health issues I was unable to continue the work that I had planned for bringing awareness to these amazing causes.

Back in May 2009, from my @Top10Causes profile on Twitter, I sent out a request for nominations for peoples favorite cause/charity on Twitter. I received a lot of nominations & the voting occured in June 2009. In this documentary I introduce you to the 10 amazing charities that the people on Twitter voted as their Top10Causes. I am sure each of them will touch you deep in your heart, the same way they touched mine.

I am also thinking about running Top10Causes again this summer, if there is enough interest. My thoughts are to have nominations tweeted to me, and then we will vote by using hashtags. I believe in this format it will keep the voting as transparent as possible. Let me know if you are interested in me running this campaign again, and if enough are interested, I am on board to do it again in 2010.

Miss Candy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Women vs Men in the Shower

HOW TO SHOWER LIKE A WOMAN:


Take off clothing and place it in sectioned
laundry hamper according to lights and darks.

Walk to bathroom wearing long robe.
If you see husband along the way,
cover up any exposed areas.

Look at your womanly physique in the mirror --
make mental note to do more sit-ups/leg-lifts, etc.

Get in the shower. Use wash cloth, long loofah,
wide loofah and pumice stone.

Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo
with 43 added vitamins.

Wash your hair again to make sure it's clean.

Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner.

Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for
10 minutes until red.

Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut
and jaffa cake body wash.

Rinse conditioner off hair.

Shave armpits and legs.

Rinse off.

Turn off shower.

Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower.

Spray mold spots with Tilex.

Get out of shower. Dry with towel the size of a small country.

Wrap hair in super absorbent towel.

Return to bedroom wearing long robe and towel on head.
If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.



HOW TO SHOWER LIKE A MAN:

Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed
and leave them in a pile..

Walk naked to the bathroom.

If you see wife along the way, shake wiener at her
making the woo-woo sound.

Look at your manly physique in the mirror.

Admire the size of your wiener and scratch your butt.

Get in the shower. Wash your face. Wash your armpits.

Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse them off.

Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower.

Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area.

Wash your butt, leaving those coarse butt hairs stuck on the soap.

Wash your hair. Make a Shampoo Mohawk.

Pee.

Rinse off and get out of shower.

Partially dry off.

Fail to notice the water on floor because curtain was
hanging out of tub the whole time.

Admire wiener size in mirror again.

Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor,
and light and fan on.

Return to bedroom with towel around waist.

If you pass wife, pull off towel, shake wiener at her
and make the woo-woo sound again.

Throw wet towel on bed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Story of a 'REAL' Mother's Day‏

This was sent to me at work via email and had to share! Very heartwarming!

__________________________________________

Something really cute happened in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.



Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off.



Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch.



The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.



As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)



One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.



At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River, site of the famed "River Walk." The onlooking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them in the container. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River . The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.



As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.



All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.



At last, all present and accounted for: "We're all together again. We're here! We're here!"



And here's a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures...



Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands.