Friday, November 27, 2015

Invite Me to One More Online Party...

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{Photo Credit: SomeEcards}

There has been a huge boom in "direct sales businesses". I guess that's a good thing for those who sell these items and rely on its income. But, why is harassing me about products and online parties a thing? I mean asking me, "Hey, Crystal! Are you interested in buying Product XYZ?" is ok. But, if I say "No." Then that should be it. 

But, when I wake up and see I have been added to several different online parties and then they have proceeded to post several messages in those parties, I am annoyed. A lot. I wasn't even invited just automatically added. 

I don't take to well to having my freedom of choice taken from me. And what is worse is that I once took myself out of one of these parties and they added me right back! I mean, really??

Now, I have some friends that do sell these various products. And those people have not all treated me this way. But, some have. And I don't want to end my friendships over a stupid party... or two... or three. 

But, I don't use ItWorks, Younique, Jamberry, Origami Owl, or anything else. That should be enough reason to not add me to online parties.

Even when I say "I'm sorry, I don't use Product XYZ and have no interest in the product", I still get invites or added.

The ItWorks complaint is completely different. There are no parties per say. But there is a bombardment of pictures and ads on facebook and instagram. Sometimes scrolling through the insane amount of posts just to see what's going on in my friends' lives is crazy. I'm your friend BECAUSE I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND. I want to hop on facebook and see your kids, your dog, even what you had for dinner. Not how ItWorks worked for random people I don't know.

I'll like your "business" pages. I'll share your name with someone who mentions they are looking for a representative for a particular item. But, that doesn't mean I want to be added to ten different parties a week and recieve hundreds of notifications before I realize I am in all these "parties". 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Hodgpodge {Vol. XIII}

1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?

There's a lot of things I wished I knew how to do. Speak Italian is one, but it's not too late for that. I wish I knew how to sing but I don't have the natural talent for that. Maybe dance? It's probably too late to learn that at my age. 

2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

Anything! I swear I hate to shop. Grocery shopping is the worst. People seem to lose all common sense when they get to the grocery store. I really prefer to shop online and even then sometimes I hate it. 

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

When I was growing up we learned about the First Thanksgiving in school and had a Thanksgiving play where half of us were pilgrims and the other half were Indians. Then on Thanksgiving, we visited family and ate a meal and spent time together. Now, I'm not sure what is learned in school about the First Thanksgiving. I home school so of course my kids learn about it. People eat a quick meal then start planning their Thanksgiving Night/Black Friday shopping plans. It has become more about buying stuff than about family. This saddens me. As for my little family, we eat the traditional meal at home, watch football/TV, and keep our butts at home until Friday night. No Thanksgiving Night/Black Friday shopping for this girl. 

4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

Hmmm.... I'm going to say Pepperoni Pizza Lunchable. Back when I was around 18 or 19 me and my best friend, the other Crystal, would buy them late at night for a snack. I guess she would remember me by that. I'm sure there is a million other things that could go here, but I am really drawing a blank. 

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

The Walking Dead. I already have the story line planned out. But, I can't write it here or someone might steal it. :) However, it would be an awesome story line, I promise!

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

I grew up on a "farm". I use quotations because it wasn't a true farm. There were no cows or pigs. My great - uncle who lived on the property did raise chickens. The extent of farming was just planting/harvesting crops. The highlight of my poor, simple, little life was getting off the school bus and then riding on the tractors/combines with my Granddaddy. My uncle and dad did the farming thing too when I was little. But by the time I was getting ready to be a teen they chose different careers. 

We have a fabulous farmers market where I live. I love shopping there. I would really like to find a local farm that has grass - fed beef and free - range chicken for a good price as well as organic produce. I would really give them business. I prefer my meats/produce this way. 

7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

Listening to my children as they learn and explore. I am always amazed on what they seem to learn on their own, the ideas they dream up, etc. I guess I have a sense of awe that I helped create these fabulous little humans and teach/guide them. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Gone With the Wind is playing on AMC today. This is my favorite movie of all time. I will definitely be watching; despite my kids not wanting to. I absolutely love this movie!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Man Behind the Blog {Vol. III}

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Once a month, I {try to} participate in a monthly link up hosted by Heavens to Betsy and According to Laura Jean. In the Man Behind the Blog link up, Chris has a chance to answer questions so that others can get to know him as well. 
1. What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?

I participated in basketball, baseball, and bowling. I continued the bowling through adulthood. 
I watched football, baseball, basketball, bowling, NASCAR, and a little hockey. I still watch most of them whenever I can. 
{Blogger Edit: I even know his favorites. ;) Football is New Orleans Saints for pro and University of Miami Hurricanes for college; baseball is Atlanta Braves; basketball is Chicago Bulls; NASCAR is Jimmie Johnson; hockey is Detroit Red Wings. I'm one of those weird women who loves to watch sports myself}
2. If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?

Saints vs Patriots in Foxboro. Saints for the win. I want to see the Saints beat the Patriots in their house just because it is the Patriots' house.
{Blogger edit: He says it'd be a blowout if he had his way, like 49 - 0.} 

3. Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?

Summer if I had to pick one. If I had to participate in an Olympic sport it would be basketball. 
{Blogger edit: We're not really Olympic people. Although I think it would be hilarious to see him participate in curling.}

4. What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?

It's gotta be pizza. 
{Blogger edit: I thought for sure he'd say chicken wings.}

5. Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?

Michael Jordan. Because he just is. 
{Blogger edit: I knew he was going to say Jordan. But all I could get out of him for the reason was literally 'Because he is'.}

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. XII}

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

The amount of kids I have. When I was younger, I wanted no more than four kids. I ended up with seven. They drive me nuts a lot but I wouldn't trade a single one for anything in the world.

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesaucebeer o'clockbrain fartbuttdialcat cafe(apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here)fat shamehangryMx (gender neutral), and skippable. 

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

I haven't heard of some of these. I'm apparently not into the new lingo. I do use awesomesauce a lot in a day. It's one of my favorite words. I've heard of brain fart, buttdial, fat shame, and hangry but don't use them often.  And I did look up fatberg; I wish I hadn't.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

I do like gravy. However, I have to come up with a Plan B for me since I can't have gluten and of course gravy is full of gluten. I love(d) mashed potatoes and gravy as well as turkey and gravy. I don't eat potatoes anymore so that isn't something I eat now.

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I need a plan and am developing a plan on moving out of here. I am sick of this place, it has gone downhill fast, and I just can't take it anymore.

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

I used to own a Monopoly game. I forget which version is was but it was a newer version. I do not have the attention span for Monopoly. I get bored after 15 minutes. I will not be playing Monopoly on November 19th. I've never been to New Jersey at all, much less Atlantic City. I have never been on a railroad. It depends where we are if the parking is free in my city. Some places are; most places aren't. Last thing I took a chance on was moving to NC. Big fail!

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning? 

Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion. I have always loved this song. It was sang at my high school graduation as a tribute to the graduates' parents.

One line of the lyrics is "I'll be forever thankful baby".

For bonus points it also has grateful in the lyrics. "I'm grateful for each day you gave me."

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

Life itself. I think the majority of people take life for granted. But, in the end we need to be grateful for each day that we have.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thanksgiving is next week. Next week! Where did the year go? It seems like it was just January. I'm cooking my usual Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. We'll probably be eating turkey and the fixins' for a couple of days just like last year. We're doing a little something different for Christmas this year because of some big changes we have in the works in life in general. But, I'll discuss that later. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

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Pancreatic Cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. 

Fact: Fourth leading cause of cancer - related death in the United States. 

Fact: Eleventh most common diagnosed cancer in men and the eighth in women. 

Fact: An estimated 48,960 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with an estimated 40,560 will die. 

Fact: 72% of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year. 

Fact: The only major cancer with a 5 year survival rate of 7%

Fact: By 2020, it is estimated that pancreatic cancer will bypass Colorectal and Breast cancer to become the second leading cause of cancer - related death. 

Pancreatic cancer impacted my life in a way that ripped my heart out. To see the post I wrote last year, click HERE. I hope and pray that advancements will be made in diagnosing and treating this horrible disease. 

There are no early detection methods for pancreatic cancer. There are no proven biomarkers, or clues in the blood or other fluids to indicate the presence of a tumor. 

Most patients are diagnosed in the late stage of the cancer. More than half are diagnosed once the disease has spread to other locations in the body. Only 9% are diagnosed when the cancer is only in the pancreas. 

For the most part, the cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown. There are a few risk factors (family history, smoking, obesity), however more research on these factors is needed. 

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

* Abdominal or back pain
* weight loss
* jaundice
* loss of appetite
* nausea

This post is not sponsored. I was not approached by anyone to do it. This is something I do every year in memory of my grandfather. 

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{© Crystal @ The Italian Bella Diaries, 2000}

This was my granddaddy in 2000. Just four years later he would be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and pass away from it all within a month and a half. 

For more information on the disease or to volunteer visit HERE

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Never Forget Where You Came From...

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{Photo from Wikipedia}

"Never forget where you came from."

I hear this said all the time.

But, truth be told. I want to forget where I came from. I come from a small town, city, depends on the year we're talking about. But, in all honesty, I hate it. When I was younger and in high school, I kept saying "I'll live here forever. This is who I am."

I left there seven years ago. And you know what? I learned that place is toxic. That place is like a leech sucking everything out of you. I couldn't see it until I was out. It's like you're brainwashed while you're there.

Do I miss my family? Absolutely! Do I miss my friends? Yes! But, do I want to live there? Not in a million years.

Recently something happened back home that I watched unfold on the ultimate dirty laundry site - Facebook. I was appalled by the situation. I was saddened by the way the situation was handled. But, it all reminded me why I left there.

These days when I meet new people and they ask where I'm from, I never answer "Franklin, Virginia." My answer is usually "Houma, Louisiana." I claim another place as where I'm from.

I was once the one who said that I hope that people never forget where they came from when they became famous. But sometimes when I look at my own hometown, I understand why some do choose to forget. I know that the majority of the time I choose to forget.

Maybe it's not always healthy to associate yourself with where you come from. And maybe if it comes down to someone being mentally healthy by associating themselves to some other place, then maybe that's what they should do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. XI}

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?

Veterans Day is a day to honor and salute all the veterans of the armed forces. I honor and respect them for what they have done because the military life is not one that I could live. The veterans that have defended all of us so that we can live the way we do deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. 

2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?

The Patriot. I very rarely like movies with war plots, but I did like this one.

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{Photo from Amazon}

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?

No, I have not gotten the flu shot. I will not get it. I have never gotten a flu shot. I have had what I thought was the minor flu but I don't know for sure. I do not discuss vaccinations here on the blog. 

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?

This is one thing that irritates me. I am a Thanksgiving person. I don't mind a small section of a store having Christmas things so that people can buy things, but I am a supporter of one holiday at a time. And I prefer Thanksgiving over the commercialization of Christmas. So, I would prefer to  celebrate Thanksgiving before I have Christmas shoved down my throat. As for the Starbucks cups - I don't drink Starbucks so it makes no difference in my life. 

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?

Snakes and spiders. I hate both and they terrify me to no end. 

6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?

Not really. I am more creative in writing than building things. As for the last thing I built, I helped my kids build these jets at Home Depot last weekend. 

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{© Crystal @ The Italian Bella Diaries, 2015}

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

My kids. They drive me absolutely insane most days, but they are the best thing I ever did and they bring beauty into my life every single day. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am so ready to move. I would love to move away from where I am altogether but what I really want right now is to  move out of the building I am currently in. It is driving me crazy, affects my mood, and depresses me. Come on January so I can start looking to get out!