Knight’s kiss

In a fairytale world, she’s the damsel in distress and he’s the gallant knight in shining armor who comes to rescue her from the tower of the evil witch.

Enter reality –

CJ in a golden steed green bike and Pinky gallop to the sunset walk to the lift of a six-storey apartment building high medieval tower. They speak different languages. They also have different personalities. He is an introvert; she is obedient. And sweet. When asked to kiss him she obliged. Click!  goes the knight’s little professor’s very first kiss from a girl besides his mom.

ABC Wednesday

Managing My Minutes: do I really need to?

They are only minutes and we have big things that require days, months or forever to do, so do we spend hours discussing the minutes or do we just play it by ear?

Managing My Minutes: Do I Really Need To? shows why and how the minutes matter. It is when the work is great that there’s a need to pay attention to little details. In a sea of chores moms or anyone managing a home may hope the children or loved ones in the household will cooperate so things are done quickly. But that may not be always the case. You wonder why the Jones children behave better, their obedience systematic. Is there a secret trick for that?

Author Lorrie Flem points you to a law in the natural world that serves as a guide to help you understand what you might be getting wrong. It’s not magic, nor a ‘get-rich’ formula but an ‘app’ you can actually make use of. This e-book works around a concept most of us deal with whatever social roles we play – schedule. Now I usually treat schedule as routine, but as this book differentiated the two words, I am seeing how will my ‘puzzle pieces’ fit together nicely.

A recent change in my professional timetable cleared my weekday mornings. I am free Monday to Friday from dawn til midday you would reasonably think I am well on my way to chapter II of my dissertation. Quite the opposite. Being Miss Busy Doing Nothing is alarming. A section of this e-book addresses my predicament and enables me to confirm where I stand on managing my minutes.

You’ll be delighted at how ancient terms bear similarities to business / political references so familiar today. I was. With real life scenario used to analyze the foundation of getting scheduling right, it was then easy for me to nail the thesis of the book, which also provides an assurance that paying attention to the little minutes is worth it in the long run. As a sucker for value of time and effort, the idea works well with me. Find out more of what I’m talking about by reading the book. Details are here. You may want to have a look at the author’s site – Eternal Encouragement for related info.

*****

Thanks to Jen of The Happy Little Homemaker for the product photo.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Save * Share * Spend

Divorce wiped me off something I would have been entitled to. That didn’t bother me a hoot thanks to financial independence. But when the almighty ex-MIL cancelled my son’s trust fund I had to look beyond mall windows to think.

The realization that I am responsible for the loss of what is due the kiddo (we’re talking more than a few digits here) horrifies me. Add the thought of giving up fine dining and entertainment, holidays abroad, and I’m twirling a nightmare in manicured fingernails. 

The situation provides a steady supply of adrenaline as I scramble to adjust priorities hopping from one advice to another, experimenting, analyzing and trying out examples. Who wants a nightmare when life can go on nicely with some practice of what has been an option all along? Saving it is. A Yahoo Finance article shows readers how to live well on $40,000 a year. It looks feasible and motivated me to set a financial goal for CJ that will teach him how to spend, share and save money.

Three S’s – save, share, spend: two in water canisters and one in a cookie can. We upgrade to proper jars or milk cans later. I will be giving CJ $10 a week =  4 dollars to save, 3 to share and 3 to spend.  

Things are about to change for my Little Professor. He will earn his money by doing chores. It’s time to appreciate hard work that goes with money acquisition. This is all new to him, and to me as well. But I’m eager to execute the plan. If he wants things badly enough then he will have to sort out schoolwork regularly and take violin lessons.

Times indeed have changed. When I was my kiddo’s age I was forced to take up piano lessons without pay. Now he is getting paid for doing things he is supposed to do anyway. But since the goal is to teach him about money, this means will be an exception.

If all goes well, i.e. this money management runs smoothly and CJ does well in his job on top of the trust fund I set up for him myself to make up for the one canceled by his grandma, he will be like little Ava in that Yahoo article that inspired this plan, ‘wealthy in more ways than a fat bank account can show.’

A dehydrated swimmer

Dehydration

Dehydration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a new-to-me vocabulary: osmolality, which means measures of dehydration that trainers and coaches regularly check among their athletes along with gravity.

Ever heard of a dehydrated swimmer? A blind optometrist just whisked through. Samuel Taylor Coleridge too. “Water, water everywhere… and not a drop to drink.”

Swimming is a sport reported to be more likely to put athletes in danger of dehydration. Yes, the awareness exists: swimmers are in the midst of water or where else could they be. But I had that somewhat ironic how. Then the sense: swimmers can’t grab a sip while performing thus they are more at risk for dehydration than other athletes. Indeed!

Christine Gerbstadt, a registered dietician and anesthesiologist explains that “if an athlete’s event is an hour long or less, they shouldn’t drink water during the competition. If it’s more than an hour, the amount of water they should drink depends on the temperature, humidity and how much they actually perspire.” She also warns that ‘athletes should not go overboard on fluids.’ “It’s actually better to be under-hydrating than taking in too much fluid.”

A note from experts for non-athletes: you may not experience the same athletic demands for Olympians but here’s a tip for those who exercise. Weigh yourself before and after your workout. “The decrease in weight will represent the amount of lost fluid.” A pound lost needs to be replaced with 24 ounces of fluid if you want to perform well.

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What do Olympians eat?

Flanders, Netherlands

Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As media keep us updated with the London Olympics we see how athletes show power and stamina. Those medals. The hype, the awe. Do you wonder what makes all that possible? More specifically what fuels their extraordinary feats. Let’s narrow down to the dining table. If you are wondering what exactly do Olympians eat, you are not alone.

Athletes currently starring in the 2012 Olympics are said to be eating a lot.  Emphasis on “a lot” sent a memory back of my mother musing about what a boxer in her hometown eats: loads of eggs, milk and meats. Loads.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that the average, moderately active man needs 2,000 to 2,800 a day. Look at the contrast against calories consumed everyday by athletes: it’s between 8,000 and 10,000 calories per day. The business of feeding athletes for elite sports includes appropriate times for meals, a balance of percentages between carbohydrates and proteins, and how much fluid they take.

Diet advice has changed over the years with the advance of science. Ingesting the right proteins that will help repair muscles for the next competition is now added. It was  usually the normal huge steak athletes sit down to a couple of decades back. What do today’s athletes have on their plate?

That I’m no athlete but eat similar stuff almost everyday surprises me. You may be eating the same food too although Olympians spend long hours of hard training while the rest of us do not. So they have more factors to consider with their diet. They are advised to have a light meal before an event, i.e. oatmeal, banana with milk or yogurt

Athletes also have a “recovery meal,” the food they eat after an event. And the suggestion is fruit smoothie with protein powder or a turkey sandwich. So there. But what now? No steak? There must be a place for that somewhere on the platter. The honorable mentions are highlighted with notes on quantity and timing.Enhanced by Zemanta

How does sleep come?

Grandma, I don’t know how to sleep. ~ My Little Professor, two nights ago

Thus says the kiddo. And that statement intrigued me. Grandma had to pull him out of class the day before and take him to a doctor due to a stomach ache. Whatever medication the doctor gave him, he slept the rest of the day and that might well be the reason why that night he didn’t know how to sleep anymore. 

So when I checked my Shelf Awareness newsletter and found “How Does Sleep Come?” I thought I would enter the link that invites possible readers and buyers of the book to win a free ARC (Advance Reading Copy). I like what I saw although the fill-in-the-gaps form looks like the ARC is only for US residents.   Nevertheless it sounds opportune to my little guy’s sleeping predicament and I am happy to share with you some info of this lovely, new bedtime classic.

It is a picture book debut of Jeanne Blackmore, a granddaughter of Roger Duvoisin whose tradition of creating beautiful books for children is well-known among readers, reviewers, lovers of children’s books. Notice how Blackmore writes simply but poetically which makes How Does Sleep Come an ideal sleepy time tale:

“How does sleep come?” Jacob asked his Mama as he climbed into bed. Jacob’s Mama tucked the covers all around Jacob just so, and then she told him. “Sleep comes quietly. Like a snowfall that blankets a meadow on a dark starry night, and lays down a soft white canvas for rabbits to leave footprints.”

Jacob closed his eyes.
And the snow fell.
And the fog rolled in.
And the clouds drifted.
And the cat purred.
And quietly, silently, softly, peacefully, gently, Jacob fell asleep.

If you might be interested in the ARC go to this link. The book is coming in September 2012 from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

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Countryschool children

Coconut trees chime with the mountain breeze cooling this country school in a cozy town known as the ‘fruit and flower basket of South Cotabato,’ a province an hour and a half plane ride from the Philippine capital of Manila. Children were queuing up to get to their classrooms when I got in for a friendly business chat with the principal.

Cashew Fia, girl in white shirt and sneakers, far left, runs to greet CJ (little boy blue with his back to the camera) who was late for flag ceremony. They are classmates in first grade. Srifle, the Red Riding Hood holding CJ’s hand, is a girl I hired to help (the Grandma who is official guardian) look after CJ. Cheeky, my niece’s dog escorted the duo. That must be his way of saying thank you for the free breakfast I gave him that morning.

There’s a class entrance protocol that is new to me. Each child takes the teacher’s right hand to have it touch lightly on his forehead, and then give the teacher a peck on the cheek before he enters the classroom. The teacher in turn hugs each child and says words of blessing before letting him in. It is done quickly and then the children settle in comfortably on their chairs. They start the class with a song, a Bible verse and a prayer.

Almost three decades have passed since I studied briefly in this school. Corn and lemon used to grow on the front yard. A couple of my family elders have since retired from the school board. Computers now work in the offices, no more yummy ube jam in the canteen, but the christian country charm continues to warm the heart. I will always like it that way.

~ This post is shared with ABC Wednesday ~

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