Learning Treat Myself With Respect

“You must focus on treating yourself with respect and loving yourself and the universe will give love and respect back to you in many various forms and experiences.”-Frank Mangano.

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I need to take a tip from my daughter and learn that I deserve to have my own respect.

When I first read the quote above, it washed over me like a tsunami. I have done a lot recently concerning the one resolution that I had concerning focusing on finishing what I start, but as far as learning to “love”, my mind has been elsewhere. As I was reading this, I realize that the reason that others do not treat me in a way that I would like to be treated is because I do not treat myself with respect.

How should I treat myself so that I can treat myself with respect? In other words, how do I treat myself with more dignity. First, I should be sitting tall and standing tall. Second, I shouldn’t allow myself to talk down at myself both in my head and aloud. I need to take better care of my body. I respect my body by eating nutritional foods and by exercising on a regular basis. I need to focus on ensuring that my hair, makeup, and clothing look nice. I deserve that kind of respect from me as much as anyone else deserves the same kind of respect. Knowing that I am worth loving by treating myself with respect, will resonate to others that I deserve their respect as well.

This Day In History As It Relates to the American Revolution

The first time the word “campus” was used to mean school grounds was in a 1774  letter written by Charles C. Beatty was written on this date regarding Princeton where he wrote:

If you recall, a similar incident occurred in Boston just a few weeks earlier. The Boston Tea Party sent the tea cargo of the merchant ships the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver into the ice cold waters of Boston Harbor of  on December 13, 1773. To show Parliament’s disapproval of colonial insurrection, they closed the Port of Boston to all trade ships. In doing so, they were sending a message to the colonists that any further misbehavior would result in further crackdowns. Rather than beating the colonists into submission however, this and related actions lead to the events of April 19, 1775 in Lexington and Concord igniting the flintlock or Brown Betty that started the American Revolution.

This week has been quite busy. I believe that I have started developing a routine that can work for me so that I can finish the writing that I have started. I have made considerable progress this week on A Coward’s Solace, my next novel in The Locket Saga. In addition, I have written two more hubs on hubpages both of them are related to a nonfiction book that I will be publishing next month called Simply Vegetable Gardening. The hubs are Up the Fence with Cucumbers and A Three Sisters’ Garden Bed

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Focusing on Finishing What I Start

Now that I am pretty back to health, I have been focusing on catching up with those things that I got behind on last week. Surprisingly, in most activities, I have not only caught up, but I also was able to proactively get ahead in some areas. Last Friday I wrote this week’s This day in History as It Relates to the American Revolution which made this week’s blogs easy to finish. After the success that I had because they were done Friday, I intend to continue to write them on Friday. All this helps me stick to my resolution to focus on finishing what I have started.

I have been making it a point to keep up with household chores by doing a few things every day. Making my bed, picking up any laundry, washing, drying, folding, and putting away a load or two of clothes every day is a lot easier for me than trying to catch up on numerous loads on Saturday morning. Rather than putting off the dishes until this morning, last night I rinsed them and put them in the dishwasher. This morning I did up the breakfast dishes. Because I didn’t need to catch up with last night’s supper dishes, I had the time to clean out the refrigerator. All this before noon. So far so good.

As far as writing goes, last night I worked on a school project that is due today and write several pages in my novel A Coward’s Solace and the articles for this week are done as well. Over the weekend I worked on two nonfiction booklets that I intend to have done by the middle of next month so that I can post them in kindle as well as in print. I haven’t done anything with Dad’s poem book in a few weeks, I put out some requests for other family members to respond to what I have written, but I haven’t heard anything back. Things seem to be moving along according to schedule, though.

This Day in History As It Relates to the American Revolution

On this day in January 29, 1777, Major General William Heath and his army of 6,000 men abandon their siege on Fort Independence, in Bronx County, New York because bitter cold and a surprise counter assault by the British and an approaching snow storm made it impossible for the poor clad colonials to continue the siege.

George Washington had given Heath orders to assault Fort Independence eleven days earlier on January 18. Washington was under attack in nearby New Jersey and believed that if Heath could defeat the British at Fort Independence, the British would be forced to divert troops from New Jersey to defend the outpost located just outside British-controlled Manhattan.Fort Independence Park Marker

The Patriots had first built Fort Independence in 1776 then burned it when they were forced to evaluate New York. The British partly rebuilt it when they took control later in the year.

A cloudburst on January 25 flooded the Bronx River making it nearly impossible for Patriot troop movement. Teh counter assault and the pending snowstorm forced retreat on January 29, 1777. The fort survived the Patriot’s attack in 1777, but when the British left the fort in 1779, they destroyed the fort.. The British partially rebuilt the fort when they took control later in the year. The fort endured the Patriots’ attack in 1777, but was destroyed again as the British left in 1779 . The city park that now exists on the site memorializes the fort on its front gates, as well as in its name.

Today the location of Fort Independence is a park in Bronx, New York.

Today the location of Fort Independence is a park in Bronx, New York.

Springfield Writers Guild, Aux Arcs, and Benjamin Franklin in Paris

I Attended my First Springfield Writer’s Guild meeting on

Saturday, January 25,2014

This past week I joined the Springfield Writer’s Guild at the Heritage Cafeteria here in Springfield, MO. I probably should have gone to the mentor hour that they had, but instead I just went to listen to this month’s speaker and to get a feel for the organization. I met one woman who doesn’t live very far from where I do. I hope to see her again next month. This month’s speaker was Joyce Ragland, Ed.D., her latest book Dread the FRED. She talked about how she used creative nonfiction to write this book and how she gathered the information that she needed to write the book.

After the speaker, they conducted the business meeting and then there was a drawing where various authors gave books as door prizes. I was one of the winners and I received a book Aux Arc Black and White of Photography of the Ozarks by Carl James. Beautiful photo book that I will cherish for many years to come. Though the photos are black and white, I can see how I will be able to use many of the pictures as writing prompts.

I was surprised how organized the guild is and how many people attended the meeting. I look forward to coming back next month and continuing to network with others who have like passions. I look forward to next month’s meeting.

This Day In History as it Relates to the American Revolution

While George Washington and his men were held up at Valley Forge, it is possible that 70-year-old Benjamin Franklin attended the premiere of Piccinni’s opera “Roland” in Paris on this date in 1778.

piccinni roland operaBut Franklin had not gone to Paris as a social outing. He had gone on a life or death mission. His own life and the life of the other patriots hinged on convincing the French to side with the Americans against the British. The French greeted him, the American celebrity with open arms and wondered what had brought this world famous scientist to their shores. What had brought him was the fact that the newly declared citizens of America had little ammunition, no money, no credit, and no common cause and that he knew that because the French were enemies with Great Britain, perhaps they would be happy to recognize and become friends with the newly self-proclaimed independent county.

Fortunately for Franklin, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been waiting for such an opportunity. They had been poised for an American revolt longer than the colonies had even considered one. If the American could convince them that the Americans were worthy English foes, they were willing to give the fledgling country a chance.

Franklin danced around the facts as well as with  French debutantes. He was able to convince the French that the British would need a 200 thousand man army to subdue the Americans. He made it sound as though the American Continental Army was not the rag tag army that it was. That it had repositioned itself to fight on indefinitely and by spring would become a strong force of 89 thousand expertly trained men. He alluded that as the British pushed into the continent, the more the countryside would push back.

The truth was, gunpowder had to be severely rationed and Washington commanded only 14 thousand barely clad, poorly fed men. If Franklin did not succeed on his mission, British would have won and the Patriot cause would have been dead along with its leadership. The diplomatic expertise that Franklin demonstrated went beyond the desperation of the circumstances, it was sheer brilliance.

When Things Happen to Disrupt My Schedule

Getting Caught Up

After a great start early in the week, the flu put me behind again in several areas, but I am still caught up in some areas.   We are on the mend, my daughter is back at school, and I am ready to play catch up and hope I can get ahead again.

Despite the fact that I have had a set back this week, because I have built in free time in my schedule so that when emergencies happen, I don’t end up getting overwhelmed by the fact that I am behind, I simply use what would have been free time as the time that I use to catch up. Not only does this work for illness, but for other emergencies such as an unexpected deadline that forces me to drop everything to focus on that. It also works for things that are not emergencies but are also important like attending my daughter’s school events.

This Day in History

artillery to BostonJan 24,1776 Henry Knox arrived at Cambridge, Massachusetts with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga. In 1775 Fort Ticonderoga was used by the British as a communication and supply link between New York and Canada. On May 10, 1775, Green Mountain Boys led  by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold demanded surrender of the fort. Once the fort was captured, Henry Knox transported most the confiscated cannons and other armaments to Boston which arrived on this date in 1776. These cannon were used in ending the British Siege of Boston when they fortified Dorchester Heights. With the threat from the cannon on Dorchester Heights, the British evacuated Boston in March 1776.

Despite the Fact that I was ill this week, I still managed to get the two hubs on hubpages done.

If you think that being patriotic is flag waving and simply thanking a veteran for his or her service, you might want to see what our founding fathers believed constituted–

What Does it Mean to Be a Patriot?

If you are a writer, and you’re having trouble taking the time to sit down to write, perhaps it has less to do with finding the time as it does knowing what it is that you intend to write. If you knew you could get started in fifteen minutes or less, would you stop procrastinating and start writing?

Five Ways to Avoid Procrastination in Writing

Most of my writing on A Coward’s Solace the third book in The Locket Saga in the past week was done over the weekend. I hope to get even more done this week. Haven’t read the first two books in the Locket Saga? What are you waiting for?  Check them out by clicking here!

Dealing with the Flu

The Flu Has Invaded Our Home

It started Monday. My daughter wasn’t feeling well. I took her temperature several times and found that it ranged between 99-101 degrees Fahrenheit. That first day I didn’t give her anything for the fever. My theory with fevers, especially low grade fevers like the one she has is not to treat it. My feeling is that she has generally good health and if I allow the fever to take its course, her immune system will become better at fighting infection. I wasn’t too worried about her eating because again, I feel that there is a good reason not to eat when you’re not hungry when you are ill. I did however, made certain that she drank as much fluid as possible.

Yesterday it was my turn to get sick. I started by sneezing and coughing and had muscle aches all over my body. I had that taste in my mouth that tells me I am not up to par and I also felt as though I didn’t have any energy. I slept all day yesterday, but my temperature was within normal range until this morning when it went up to over 100 degrees F. I’m just glad that I had the second part of this post done earlier in the week. Now if I can just get caught up again with my novel writing. I am a couple of days behind on my word count.

This Day in History

January 22, 1690 – Iroquois tribes renewed allegiance to British against French.

iroquois-indians-5The waterways around the Great Lakes were strategic highways to the interior of the Northeast in the American colonial period. Both the French and British conducted expeditions and raised forts to defend their claims on the area. The conflicts between the French and the British increased after 1664, when the British captured the colony of New Amsterdam from the Dutch and were driven out in 1675. The Iroquois were the native inhabitants of the land. Because the French were more prevalent, the Iroquois sided with the British to curb French expansion into the territory. The Algonquins who had been displaced by the British colonies on the coast sided with the French. Until 1690, the British minimized direct contact with the French; all conflicts appeared to be struggles between the French and the Iroquois. The Iroquois fought against the Americans during the Revolutionary War. The British maintained alliance with the Iroquois until the end of the American Revolution.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Organizing My Computer Space

me_on_the_laptopThis weekend, I rid my inbox of of the thousands of emails. I followed the organizing program of schedule, delete or delegate. I didn’t delegate anything, but I did delete a lot and there were a few that because I had kept them for a reason, I took the time in my schedule to view them and to do what ever it was I needed to do with them before I either deleted those as well. Some I stored them in an email folder. Others I took the information that I wanted from them and cut and pasted information into a word document folder. The videos I watched took notes and then deleted the email. I also cleared out my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday folders some of which contained information dating back to August.

Since this has been a long weekend with the holiday and all, I learned how to use OneNote a Microsoft program that I have had on my computer since I got it three years ago. I found this video especially informative.


This Day in History

From the Headlines of the American Revolution

David HenleyToday I have started a new section in this blog called this day in history. Because events of The Locket Saga series is currently set in the revolutionary war period, this day in history relates to the American Revolution.

On this date in 1778, the first American Court Martial began. David Henley, a Continental Army officer who served as George Washington’s intelligence officer and Prisoner of War Commandant, was Colonel of the Massachusetts. He was commander in Cambridge, Massachusetts when the troops captured at Saratoga were brought to Cambridge. General Burgoyne (captured general) brought charges of cruelty against him for how he treated British prisoners. Court Martial proceedings began against him on this date and lasted until February 25. He was exonerated. British General Burgoyne challenged him to a duel, which was to occur in Bermuda. Henley accepted the challenge, but never showed up in Bermuda. Instead,he served as the American intelligence chief.  Henley later served as the Agent for the United States Department of War for the Southwest Territory, which later became the state of Tennessee in the 1790s. Imagine if the Americans lost the revolution. How do you think things would have been different?

Now that my emails are cleared,  next weekend, I want to out the book marks that I have accumulated over the past three years. I want to go back and save the URLs to specific folders in my One Note so that when I want to look at specific topics, I will have related URLs all in one place.

Who else has been busy organizing this month? Anyone else have any good ideas on how to organize bookmarks on the computer for easy access? I would love to hear about it. What is your opinion of the new feature This Day in History, Headlines from the American Revolution. I would love to hear from you.

Networking and the Brain

Since the first of the year, I have been thinking about what I am going to do when I finish school, and this past week I have done a couple of things that will help me along the road to building my career. Monday I went to the Missouri Career Center and talked to a woman who was also a writer. She gave me some names and then she gave me some job leads. I have not followed up on any of them yet. I have been busy with school and writing. Primarily Monday will be my day for doing job searching I think.  My big issue with finding a job I am discovering has to do with the fact that I don’t have the network that I need to have here in Springfield. I need to get out and meet the people that I may want to work with. As a writer, I definitely need to make those connections.

I, also, went online to a webinar about networking and  learned about Coffee, Lunch, Coffee,  a book written by Alana Muller. She said that she create a network by having coffee with one person in the morning, lunch with another person, and then coffee with another person in the afternoon for a total of three people per day five days per week. She said that by the end of a year, she had 160 meetings and met 200 new people in that time. She said that if I was looking for work, looking for work was my job. As in a job,I should get up and get dressed as though I were going to work and then go someplace where I can work. My main focus in getting a job should be to network, that it is in meeting people that I am able to find the right connections to find the job that I want. I don’t know that I could sit down with 15 people per week every week for a year, but I imagine that it is sort of like writing on a regular basis, once you get used to doing it, it becomes less of a chore and more of a habit.

I am in the middle of a class on physiological psychology and even though it sounds like a boring, dry class, once I plowed through the anatomy information, I found the class fascinating. Our brains are truly awesome. We’ve had an exponential growth in understanding of how our brain works, but the more we learn, the more we realize that we don’t know anything. Did you know that our brains are interactive? For instance, when we feel empathy toward someone who is sad, our brains motor and sensory neurons fire in the same part of the brain as the person with whom we empathize.I finished reading the textbook this week. I have just 3 more weeks of the class.

I listened to an audio this week that told about being mindful and I then downloaded a mindfulness bell on my phone. (free app). Periodically through the day, I am using that to help me focus for a minute or so while doing everyday things. I feel as though my mind is full this week (pun intended).

I added 2800 words to my work in progress A Coward’s Solace, the next book in The Locket Saga. This week, I, also, wrote hubs for Hubpages. Both have a mindfulness element to them.

The Best Tips For Losing Weight Permanently

Tips for Becoming Mindful

What’s Your Hurry?

Have you ever stopped to think about the reason that we Americans are in so much of a hurry? me_on_the_laptopWhy is it that we are always in a rush to get wherever we are going? A few days ago I watched someone pass me seven times while I was on my way home from dropping my husband off at his truck. The person was stopped by the same stop lights that I was stopped at, the person definitely seemed to be in a hurry, but the hurrying wasn’t getting that person to where he or she wanted to go any more quickly than I was going. In addition, the constant passing and cutting bumper riding that the person was doing was not only endangering that individual’s health by the stress he or she was creating for him or herself, it was putting other people in the cars around that person as well. I contrasted this with myself who was in no hurry to get to where I felt no stress getting where I wanted to go, yet, I was getting there as quickly as the stressed out person was getting to wherever he or she was going.

Sometimes you just need to stop fighting the current and simply enjoy the ride.

Sometimes you just need to stop fighting the current and simply enjoy the ride.

How does this relate to either of my resolutions, to finish what I start or loving more?  It relates to how I finish what I start because it reminds me that it is important for me to plan my time properly so that I do not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to finish whatever I want to finish. In addition, it reminds me that I need to allot myself enough time to finish those items. I will get to where I want to go just as quickly and with a lot less pain if I stop to enjoy the journey as I will if I try to rush toward my next goal. It is not that important that I rush to where I want to go. It is more important that I learn to be mindful of where I am and where I want to go. This is why having decided to designate Monday, Wednesday and Friday to post blogs here on The Ugly Duckling, post hubs on Hubpages on Tuesday and Thursdays, why I am limiting my novel writing to 2800 words per week as well as why I am making simple changes in habits related to my health rather than dieting.

      One of the main habits that I want to focus on is being mindful of what I eat and drink. We Americans are so obsessed with rushing around, that we don’t take the time to enjoy what we eat or what we drink. I want to learn to stop and really enjoy the food that I am putting into my mouth. Did you ever notice that the first bite always tastes the best? Part of that has to do with the fact that we salivate in the anticipation of eating and our taste buds and our brain is prepared to set out and enjoy whatever it is that we put into our mouths. I want to be able to take the time actually  to  look at my food. I want to see the symmetry of an apple, the colors of a salad. I want to see all the bright colors of my salad, the green of the lettuce, cucumber and green onion, the creamy whiteness  of the meat, nuts, or dried beans, the redness of the tomatoes , the purpleness of cabbage the orange of carrots, and the bright colors of the fruit that I eat after the salad. I want to listen to the crunch of the vegetables as I chew, feel the tingle of the vinegar in the vinaigrette on my tongue, smell the mixture of smells from the salad, as I load each item onto my fork and put it up under my nose to put it into my mouth. Contrast this wolfing down without really tasting a bland dry fast food hamburger and bun, the same mass produced bun, pickle, catsup, onion, and mustard, and the salty cardboard fries that we have had every other time that we drove up to the drive-through window. Imagine then drinking the overly sweet drink so that we can wash the colorless, flavorless food-replacing substance that would have absolutely no flavor if it were not for the salt and sugar content.

I do not want to miss out on the simple pleasures in life. I want to enjoy the journey every step of the way and I certainly can’t do that if I am in too much of a hurry. Life is meant to enjoy, not hurry through.

Changing Habits Rather Than Dieting

Saturday, I had my hair cut and colored and my daughter had her hair cut as well. It was our day out, so we went to the mall and went to The Body Shoppe and got a makeup makeover. It was so much fun. Shannon, my hairdresser and I talked about how if she was not a hairdresser she would love to have been a psychologist because a psychologist does a lot of the same things a hairdresser does, except, the hairdresser can help a girl feel better about herself. As I told Shannon and Keven, (the guy doing my makeover), I love it when I can get the instant gratification that getting my hair done and getting new makeup can make a woman feel more like a lady. I said that it certainly beat eating properly or doing exercise in making a person look better.me_on_the_laptop

Yesterday, I was working on the current college course I am taking physiological psychology and was reading the chapter on obesity and I learned some scientific information concerning why we gain weight and how to use that information to help us lose weight. Of course, the science looks at the idea that taking a pill of some sort or having some sort of surgery could be the answer, but realistically, we can learn to change our thinking, change our habits, and thereby improve our health. I’m working on an article that I will be posting tomorrow that will tell in better detail the research and how to make the necessary changes.

Essentially, I intend to begin making gradual changes rather than going on a diet. It’s too easy to sabotage a diet. For one thing, the thinking is wrong. If I told you “don’t think about a soft creamy bowl of ice cream dripping with hot fudge topping, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry, what are you going to think about? I’ll bet your mouth is even watering. (Yeah, mine too.) I can tell you that any time I have ever been on a diet, I have thought about food most of the day, every day I was on the diet. From the moment I started my diet, I agonized about how I was denying myself food. So, rather than diet, I intend to develop small habits and maintain them for a long time. Once those habits are established, I will add to those habits.

Four changes that I want to make right away would be to take a vitamin 3 times per day (recommended daily dose, 3 tablets per day), drink water (one when I awaken in the morning, one before each meal and four other times during the day), be mindful of what I am eating, and then intend to decrease my food intake by just 100 calories a day for the rest of the month. The idea is not to obsess about restricting my diet. Instead, I want to do more to add healthy changes. That’s where the vitamin and the water come in. I am simply adding small positive changes. A few little changes over a period of time can make a big difference in the long run.

This Week’s Results of My Weekly Plan

I have actually been sticking to my weekly plan this week and it has been a busy one. Despite the cold and the fact that my daughter has been home from school most of the week because of the weather, I have had a productive week.  I have been busy with a new online college course that I started. I’m taking physiological psychology and I’m off to a great start. I’ve had to read hundreds of pages in my textbook and related articles. I turned in my two papers and they have been returned to me with grades of 100% each. In addition,  yesterday I received news that in 2013 I won two Chancellor Scholarships at my university!  After this class, I will have just five more classes to finish my bachelor’s degree at Argosy University Online.

A while back I wrote a hub on hubpages called Strategies For Getting It All Done In this hub, I discussed a strategy that I use which uses the acronym SOFF which stands for Start, Organize, Focus and Finish. This works good for every task that I have. However, a lot of what I do are not simple tasks. They are projects that need more than one sitting to finish, so I have break down those projects into simple tasks that I can do at one sitting. In addition, I have learned that I am usually good at starting projects, but I am not so good at finishing, therefore, since I am finishing my formal education this year, I am using this year to finish a number of projects that have accumulated over the years as well.

To finish those projects, I have created a strategy in my plan. I have determined that I will finish as many of the projects I already have started in the past as I can. I explained how I plan to do that in the hub that I wrote yesterday called A Simple Time Management System To Help Me Finish What I Start

I have also been working on the third book in the Locket Saga  A Coward’s Solace. I am currently working on the second draft and while working on it, I took some of the research that I have been doing and wrote a hub about one of real people from history that I am including in this novel. The hub is about An Unsung Heroine-Lucy Flucker Knox

I am trying to schedule my writing for weekdays only so that I can either use the weekends for catching up on anything that I might be behind on (after all, life does happen) and to have more family time. Given the option, I could write 24/7 because I love what I do so much. However, the second part of my resolution “to love more” includes spending more time doing things with my family.

Because I need to write 2800 words per week so I can finish the second draft of A Coward’s Solace by May 1, I am writing 560 words per day Monday-Friday so that I can finish the book by the end of the year making A Coward’s Solace the third book in The Locket Saga. My first two books When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues  are available on Amazon.