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Monday, October 20, 2014

are your moods swinging?

Women Speak

I remember when I went through puberty how often my moods changed. One minute I was on top of the world and the next it was as if my life was over. For the next 37 years I noticed that my moods were often governed by my menstrual cycle. Next came menopause, which I liked to refer to as reverse puberty. Now that I am long past menopause I wonder why my moods can't just be rosy all of the time.

If you read my last post you know that I have been feeling moody and uninspired. I know that part of it is my current environment (living in less than an ideal situation away from my children and grandchildren), financial insecurity, and health problems. However, these aren't exactly new problems and so I often wonder why sometimes I cope less well than at other times. 

I know you are probably thinking to yourself, isn't Laura a counselor? Well yes I am, but we counselors have difficulties, too and we often go to see other counselors to help us. So I am going to go and talk about it to another professional, which is what I would advise you to do. Mood changes can be a symptom of other underlying conditions, either mental, physical, or both. They can also be a side effect of certain medications. In my case I think this is part of the problem as my ennui, so to speak, seemed to increase after they upped a medication I take. 

I've noticed, in many of your comments, that there are some of you who also are feeling uninspired and experiencing more depression. There is definitely an increase in depression during the fall and winter. Many people start to feel melancholy when the days shorten. For me as for many others, who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, mid winter is an especially difficult time due to the lack of sunlight. I am aware of this and so I take steps to get more light at that time. 

The bottom line here is to be aware of your moods, don't be afraid to talk about them, and please seek professional help if you find you have new or worsening depression. 

Today I want us to talk about our moods. What do you notice about them? Are your moods changing as you get older? What do you do for yourself when you feel depressed or uninspired?

The nights and mornings sure are cooler, so grab a warm cup of coffee or tea and let's chat.

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keep going

A Snippet of Inspiration

Each Monday is devoted to a snippet of inspiration because a little rain falls in everyone's life.

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to use for inspiration this morning, as I have been feeling quite uninspired. My get up and go seems to have gotten up and gone.

It seemed more like Melancholy Monday, or Moody Monday, or Meditative Monday. Then I reread my first line. A little rain falls in everyone's life, and I am no exception. Often it seems like a torrential downpour, but that is when we all need the inspiration that much more.

So I looked around for a quote that would fit not only how I am feeling at the moment, but that will hopefully provide you with a little inspiration, too.

That's when I came across this.

Perfect, because I don't know about you, but I have no desire to stay where I am.

Hope you have a perfectly inspired day, and don't forget to stop back this evening for Women Speak.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

5 Reasons Why your Business or Blog Needs a WD My Cloud EX2

When I was growing up I remember that anytime something new came out my parents would say it was the best thing since sliced bread.

That brings me back to my post of a few days ago. You may remember that I was hacked and among other things Blogger shut my blog down due to suspicious activity. My first thought of course was "what if I have lost my entire blog" because naturally I didn't have it stored anywhere. 

That is when the technology gods smiled down on me, because almost simultaneously WD, a Western Digital Company, sponsored today's blog post by providing me with a My Cloud EX2 to use and review. 

When they first contacted me I was looking over my shoulder to see if they were talking to someone else. I mean I am not a technology wizard. There are days when I am doing well to tie my shoelaces, but that is the beauty of it. If I can use this then pretty much anyone can and I am thinking that having my own private cloud storage is a really good thing.

Here are some reasons that I personally need the My Cloud and why you might need one too for your home office/personal use.

1) Backing up your blog. There is nothing worse that that terrible feeling of thinking you have lost years of posts with no way to retrieve them. I don't trust backing them up on my computer, which leads into reason number two.

2) Backing up your laptop. My old laptop bit the dust a couple of months ago. Trying to retrieve anything from it is like dragging a ball and chain down an old dusty road in 100 degree weather. What if that is the only place my blog is backed up. I'll be parched and sunburned before I can even find it.

3) Backing up your tablet or phone. My daughter lost her Iphone a couple of weeks ago and along with it went a lot of photos of her precious children. That is heartbreaking for any of us, but My Cloud EX2 has mobile apps for both IOs and Android devices. That brings me to reason number four.

4) Protecting your photos and videos. Like my daughter, I recently lost some of my photos when my old phone died. Yes, I had transferred most of them to my computer. You know, the computer that also bit the dust. So they are in there somewhere but it isn't going to be easy getting them.

5) Less stress and worry. This is probably one of the most important reasons for me. I am definitely into doing things that will lead me away from stress, and the WD My Cloud EX2 will do that for me and my business. I am feeling more serene by the minute. 


MAP is $199.99 USD for the diskless My Cloud EX2.

  • Windows 8.1 or earlier, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP (32 bit) SP 3 operating systems
  • Mac OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion or Snow Leopard operating systems
  • DLNA/UPnP devices for streaming
  • Router with Internet connection
Package Includes
  • Personal cloud storage
  • Ethernet cable
  • AC adapter
  • Quick install guide
  • Assembly kit (included in 0 TB/diskless model)

There is so much more to know about this wonderful product, but I will leave all of the techy stuff to the experts. If you would like to learn more or purchase your own, head on over to the My Cloud EX2 site.

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I need home office help

Today I am working on a project for tomorrow's post that is requiring me to clean off my desk. I know, pretty radical, huh! I am very tempted to just take my arm and sweep it all into a big basket. Although that might work for some photo taking, it is not going to solve the continuing problem I have with a very small work space. I know that I can't get it done immediately, but I have been looking at what other people have done with their small home office spaces.

I love this little space. It is definitely something that would fit in with my decor.

This is very similar to the desk that I have, and while I love it I need more storage and a way to file paper work. Right now my files are in a closet next to the desk along with many of the things I have listed in my shop. (basically crammed in)

I love the sweet cottage feel of this little space, but still no solutions for storage. Where do these people put all of their bits and bobs?

This is a great organizing solution. If I just had a bit more space.

I could definitely live with this. Now If I could just talk the apartment complex and my neighbors into letting me break through a wall to give me more space.

Oh well, back to the drawing board cleaning and purging.

Photos and their original sources can be found here.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

change a thought...change your day

I work hard to change my thoughts. There are so many days when I feel resistant to change, but I know that change is what makes us grow. When we open our thoughts up to new ideas we also open our hearts up to new ideas. So I try to listen with an open heart and an open mind. 

So many younger people think that as we age we become stuck in our thinking. I for one hope that isn't true. I believe that constantly learning new things and changing our thoughts about the things we think we do know helps to keep us young. 

I can't imagine anything more wonderful, as we age, than knowing we still have so much to learn.

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Photo credit source
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

uh oh I've been hacked and wow

So I think I will do the wow part first. I am continually amazed by social media, and how someone can just zoom up in followers so quickly (no, unfortunately not me). In the last week my daughter Katy, little publicity magnet that she is, has seen quite a little surge in her Instagram followers. It seems Instagram has a recommended user list. (don't ask me where, because I haven't found it yet) Well, Katy was place on it a couple of weeks ago and her followers have gone from about 2,500 to over 110,000. I find that incredible. Of course she deserves every bit of it and I am understandably proud once again. If you want to join in the fun you can find her at winsomehollow. To celebrate she is offering 15% off her beautiful fiber art to her followers and she is going to be having a giveaway soon. I of course seem to be lagging just slightly behind her with my 68 followers, but I am always desperate for loving more here.

Now on to the uh oh part. (as if my embarrassing amount of Instagram followers wasn't enough) It seems I have been hacked. First there was a text from my daughter Cary telling me maybe I needed to change the password on my email account because she was getting weird spam from me. Oh great. I figured it was just my Yahoo account so I quickly changed my password. Problem solved. Right??? Wrong!!!

Then the next day I noticed that I was having a problem getting on to Etsy. Thought is was an Etsy problem.

A couple of days later, when I was just getting ready to head out the door, my wonderful friend Brenda emailed me to let me know the last photo wasn't showing up in my blog post. I quickly went to have a look and when I tried to view my blog I got a message that my blog didn't exist. Must be a mistake I thought. Um no, my blog had actually been taken down by blogger because of suspicious activity. This was when full panic mode started to set in. After I stopped hyperventilating I figured out how to get in and change my password. Crisis solved, or so I thought.

Yesterday I tried to get onto my Facebook business page. An ominous warning popped up from Webroot telling me not to proceed to that page. Something about hackers were able to detect my keystrokes. Now I was starting to get really mad and I couldn't get into Facebook to change my password. I finally Googled it and was able to get it changed. PHEW!!!

Now I am wondering how the hackers got past the security system on my computer. Since it happened after I got my new Iphone I am thinking they got in that way. I need to find out how to secure my phone. Or I could just move out into the woods somewhere and live off the land. I'm beginning to think that is a much less stressful option.

In the meantime, I am busy today changing every password I can think of. If by any chance you got some terrible spammy or pornographic email from me please accept my apologies. I had nothing to do with it. Of course, if some of them had some good looking guys, please feel free to send them on back to me.

Have a wonderful spam free day, my friends.

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Credit for first photo Winsome Hollow
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Monday, October 13, 2014

toxic relationships

Women Speak

How many of you all have been involved in a toxic relationship? Raise your hand. Come on. Don't be shy. I promise not to count hands or give away your secrets. Toxic relationships aren't just romantic ones. They may be with family members, friends, or coworkers. Anyone that you have a sustained relationship with.

I think it would be safe to say that we have all encountered toxic people in our lives. They are the people that just suck the life right out of you. They make you feel angry, depressed, and just plain tired. 

I have certainly had my share of toxic relationships (maybe more than my share) and I am here to say enough is enough. So how do we recognize a toxic person, how do we avoid them, and how do we extricate ourselves if we haven't accomplished the first two things.

Toxic people are like most abusive people. They may be negative, leeches, and in most cases they turn things around so that the blame is on you. They just love to take all of your good cheer and make you feel bad. 

It is impossible to completely avoid toxic people. There are a whole lot of them out there. However, if you learn to recognize the traits of toxic people you can cut them off at the pass, so to speak, before they become entrenched in your life. 

It isn't always easy to get rid of toxic people once they have become a part of your life, but if you can it is always the healthiest thing for you to do. You may have to gradually withdraw from the relationship if it isn't possible to cut them out quickly. Of course this may be more difficult with family members, but if they are causing you real problems and you are unable to talk to them about it then you may have to avoid being with them as much as possible. If you can't sever the relationship, then I always say go back to cognitive therapy 101. Change the way you respond to them. If their behavior always makes you angry then try responding in a new way. It may throw them off so much they will try to find someone else to feed off of and you may find yourself feeling better.

So do you recognize any toxic people in your life?

I hope you will join in on the conversation. Kick back, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and lets chat.

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