Monday, January 26, 2015

21 Day Fix for this Fixer Upper

Ok this is not New year new you. I can't stand that hashtag catchphrase that whatever.

It just so happened that I had the time energy and money at the new year to indulge in a new workout regimen . It has nothing  to do with the month. I realize I'm fat 12 months a year thank you very much.

So, why haven't I done anything before January you ask? Well I have sporadically but, you know life and stuff...

Oh and- I hate working out . I do. Judge me Idc.

I have super super ADHD throw a few more letters on there and even watching tv while on the treadmill and probably doing something on my phone makes my mind race or go numb or both and 

I. Just.Cant.

Plus for treadmill to be effective for what I need is need strapped to it for idk 19 hours a day. 19 minutes and I'm out of my mind bored . 

What I wanted was to have a 30 minute workout that works me enough that I get muscle fatigue and am glaring at anyone who dates ask me to move for the next 48 hours. I want p90x in a half hour bc there is no way I'm gettin 90 uninterrupted minutes of pain worked into a schedule homeschooling 3 kids. 

(Workouts with kids do NOT go this way. Never. And they all match! I'm lucky to find both my shoes. )


And I needed a new eating plan.

I don't eat horribly. We've tried to cut out processed food over the last year. When I say we I obviously mean I have as my husband floods the house with it- but when I cook (which is most of the cooking) I don't do processed.

However we get in jags where we have a lot of take out , and I suspect that's where the fat comes from. (And loathing of the exercise) 

So I needed some help there as well but didn't want some super Funky fad diet where I can eat strawberries on ties but thurs they'll totally wreck my glucose levels and estrogen and make my hemoglobin do soemthing it totally should NEVER do.

We did Atkins in the spring (when I say we I mean I did it and I suspect the husband got little ceasars on his way to work three times a week) . It left me grumpy and stomach achy and sluggish. You know primed to work out ��

I know some people do great with it but my body did not appreciate the fact that people have been successful on this for decades.

Nevermind if you cheat just a teensy but all hope is lost bc you go out of keeps is and then you have to work hard to go back INTO ketosis and you're all "I just wanted a slice of bread ������. It's not good .

So then one day I see my friend talking on fb how she lost 81 lbs in the past year. Yes I'm intrigued talk to me...


She did 21 day fix. A few minutes reading about  it and I'm hooked.

It's what I've been looking for- 30 minutes of workouts that makes you hurt 
And food help that doesn't consist of you never again eating anything that tastes good or a plan that completely gets thrown off if , Billy Blanks forbid, you go out on a date or GNO or feel like you want a flipping burger today bc this is America and we eat burgers. 


So, today I'll review the workout portion bc I delayed the food part for a week so I'm just finishing my first week of eating.  I have a week and a half of the workouts under my belt (not that I need a belt to hold my pants up yet) so I feel I can give proper insight.

First .

They REALLY are 30minute workouts. Not like the one well know workout mistress I bought a workout from who claimed to have a super 30 minute workout system a couple years ago only for you to find out they're like 46:37 minutes AND oh you really should do 2 a day. No.

These are 30 minutes except I noticed Pilates is 33. Lying liar who lies. But it's ok bc ... Mostly she's honest.

You will hurt you will burn you will walk funny the next day.

It's a good thing.

If I workout and I do not hurt , I'm not gonna do it again. I got in really good shape doing p90x right before I got pregnant with my third and I know without that pain I'm not going to se results . It's the thing that motivates me and pushes me to go harder. Didn't hurt today? Need to increase reps or weight. Without it I'm Just spinning my wheels.

So yes you get muscle fatigue (oh so fatigue) and that good soreness .

2. Several rounds of (3-5 usually) contains 2-3 exercises one minute intervals which you repeat once. The good news is you aren't going to be planning for five minutes straight. It will feel like you are but you aren't.

And if you hate an exercise you only have to do it twice for a total of 2 minutes and you don't see it again til next week.

3. Breaks after every exercise . So after a minute you get a 15 sec break. You can do this.

4. The countdown timer is great. I loved p90x bc not only did it have on screen a timer counting down your minutes for the entire workout but also for what you were doing right that minute. Each set was counted down. Same for 21 day fix . I can stick it out a little longer if I know I only have 20 seconds left in that particular exercise and I can push harder if I know I've only got 10 minutes left in the entire workout.

5. Autumn Calabrese- she's cute but she can motivate you. I don't find her annoying yet  but I do hate her at times. She's well aware bc she keeps saying "hate me today love me tomorrow" (which my 7 year old will remind me if autumn herself doesn't manage to say it right after I yell at her ) I usually hate her a little bit more tomorrow bc that is when the soreness really hits and oh hey too bad bc this is a 7 day a week workout program so nope don't rest those sore muscles .

She motivates without making you feel like the  fatty fatty boombilatty your grumpy potato chip craving comfy couch eyeing brain is telling you that you are.
She's not too chipper but just enough . I respond well to her . She doesn't drive me batty which is easy to do when I'm already annoyed by working out. 

You WILL hate her, though , whether it's because of her propensity to make you plank right after a push-up set. (Really no I can't ) or bc she's ridiculously in shape and has too many muscles on her abs and you just want to punch her bc it doesn't matter if she workouts out all the time - that isn't fair.  Or bc you hurt but you don't get a break and her active recovery days are just as muscle exhausting and painful as the active active days. You will hate her. But she promises you eventually will love her. I will keep you posted on that...
Or bc she looks amazing in workout gear��


6. Points out proper form not as explicitly as I felt p90x did but enough that I subconsciously correct as she mentions things. 

7. You really do hurt and it really does work.  My muscles are already stronger and look Better though probably only to me.  I am more aware of my body on week two and feel my muscles engaging - large and small groups - in my workouts now. 

8. The program is designed in a specific order for you to exhaust a muscle group and then it rests for a few days. So while you don't have a day off from exercise you aren't over exerting anything or in excess pain. Except abs. They don't get a day off.

9. Optional ab workout - it's 10 minutes add it on whenever you'd like.
Bc NO BREAKS FOR YOU ABS! I blame Britney Spears - her hit me video signaled Americas ab obsession. 


10. Plenty of modifications for when you're just starting out. Don't pretend you're Tony Horton- your brand new out of the box cross trainers give you away.  You're starting an exercise journey don't try to jump to the end. Do the modified version, grab a smaller weight, alternate arms or legs instead of working both at the same time- just don't quit. There's plenty of mods to the workout so you can push through at whatever level you're at. 

Except on planks (there is a mod but sometimes it's not enough) on planks I think it's perfectly acceptable to occasionally fall on your face. And atay there til she announces last ten seconds. And then. Then you push up into full plank like you did it all along and finish the rep like a boss ��

So this was an overview of the emote workout plan. I'm going to do a follow up and give a little detail on each days DVD - not too much detail just what to expect what I like, what I loathe.

I get zero anything for this review- I'm just writing it bc it's so hard believing online reviews , for myself I prefer knowing a real person in my real life to get their perspective and so I'm sharing mine.

People who know me know I don't sugar coat and I'm not easily impressed so when I recommend something you can know I like it.

And I do like this - so far. I feel like I will see results and feel like thirty minutes a day is something I can commit to.

I do some days do treadmill and zumba in addition so all my fitness isn't based only on this workout but it  is the workout I'm relying on for muscle tone and really the brunt of my workout.

I'll also cover the food portion bc it is a big part of this. Usually when I get a workout system I ignore the nutrition book they send but this is a system that is designed to be both workout and eating habits. It's easy and takes most of the thinking out of your hands. Fill container- eat. Boom done.

Losing weight doesn't HAVE to be sucky or a process of spinning your wheels or one step ahead two steps back. I really think this system is going to work for me long term. 

If you want to order- my beach body coach is great . You can order under her in the challenge packs and get your shakeology with it, if you want to do them with your workout . 



Saturday, November 1, 2014

I hear those sleigh bells jingling- Already?

So it's Nov 1 which means Americans are now firmly divided into 2 camps:

Early Christmas preppers or Touch Not Thanksgivings hallowed season nor tread on thy turkey's feathers followers.

I've noticed a trend the last few years - and no it isn't that stores put out Christmas tress earlier and earlier.

It's the facebook shaming of anyone who doesn't feel Christmas needs to "wait it's turn " until the last piece of pumpkin pie has been shoved into the overfilled belly of a football watching, loosened belt man.

It's gone from people lamenting early decorators ( who wants to decorate in snow and ice , maybe they're just practical) to an all out facebook shame war with people "taking back Thanksgiving" by declaring all those eager for Christmas as buying Into the material consumer side of the holiday forgetting the spirit of the season and also being the most ungrateful lot because " they're skipping over the holiday of thanks for the holiday of getting".


I'm going to fire the first shot in this war right now.

First: Thanksgiving is mostly taken care of in the celebrating form in early fall. Around here people are putting fall decorations out in August now which sets me into a whirlwind of emotion. For me fall = winter is coming = the sads bc I hate being cold.

So people have been decorated for weeks or months prior to thanksgiving - what's there to do?

2. It's a day about eating turkey- again, what is there to do except for a couple days before . Maybe you spend the month in therapy in preparations for family battles that will rage during stuffing consumption but that's an entirely different post.

There is just not much to do for Thanksgivng in terms of celebration.

3.  It's kind of a made up holiday. Hate to burst bubbles but your history teacher was a lying liar who lies. Thanksgiving didn't go down at all like you learned as you made paper pilgrim and Indian hats . Also, it's not been a standing tradition since pilgrim days.

Abraham Lincoln instituted it as a day of thanksgiving after all the country had been through in the Civil War.

For that I can endorse it.

Now on to dismissing all the anti "early Christmas" brouhaha.

1. No. It's not too early for Christmas things to be out.

Retailers put stuff out a SEASON AHEAD. Don't believe me? Christmas costs will be on sale Jan and feb the coldest months of the year clearing them out and swim suits will be hitting the floor. 

Backpacks and back to school junk come out just a couple weeks after kids get out of school for the summer.

It's the same for Christmas! After Fourth of July, fall stuff is out and after September the Christmas stuff arrives.

It's not some premeditated anti thankfulness campaign- it's how stores operate. They can't help that fall is jam packed with holiday goodness. They aren't going to wait until the end of November to put out things for a holiday that's less than a month away. 

Go eat a turkey leg and calm the heck down.

2. People decorate early bc they don't like frostbite or falling off icu roofs. That's it. 

3.  Three - four weeks isn't long enough to celebrate the awesomeness of Christmas. There are a million great Christmas songs , people have to listen to them all and so some who are very dedicated to the cause have to begin earlier than others. They can't fit them in any other way.

And there's too much rich tradition and fun surrounding Christmas to jam it all squarely in December. It's a beautiful holiday that brings joy and happiness and so why stifle that? So much fun to be had who cares if people start in nov? Basically you've been celebrating Thanksgiving stuff all fall already with fall decorations so why can't Christmas cut Into nov?

4. Really Christians- (bc that's who I usually see making the "people aren't grateful posts") - Really? You're going to balk and complain and name call about people being excited about a holiday centered on your Saviors birth? Let's step back take a seat and rethink that move. 

Even if some people "don't get it" it's an amazing time of year where goodwill to men is displayed, people are happier kinder (except in Walmart) and it's a time where the name of Jesus is displayed and on more lips than any other time of year. It's also a time where people are more likelu to stumble into a church and hear about this once newborn King.

Let's lay off the Christmas celebration bashing this year ok?

I just can't abide the whole these people aren't grateful argument this year- at all. I'm probably going to find need to comment so I'll just be dropping this blog link on y'all's fb posts when you decide to declare Christmas enthusiasts the most ungrateful lot . 

How can people who love to listen to sub par music (sorry while I'm defending you, I'm not wholly into Christmas music) about jingling bells and holly filled with happiness and joy be ungrateful? It seems to me theyve got it and are grateful for the proper things while those fierce turkey defenders grumbling against those who don't celebrate as they do need to take a page from their page and just enjoy - whatever holiday you choose. And for how long. 

So Christmas enthusiasts , Halloween is over, deck the halls, jingle your bells and fa la la la to your hearts content. And if someone says  you aren't a thankful person bc you aren't celebrating thanksgiving alone for the whole of nov- sing a little louder and throw tinsel at them. 

And a side note- if you're local to me and want to really celebrate Thankfulness this thanksgiving season by helping someone instead of just grinching out the Christmas fanatics- MSG me. One of my fb friends started a Thanksgiving blessing program where numerous community families get full thanksgiving meals. I can get you info to help!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pigs in Pearls

I haven't posted in forever . June 23rd to be exact but in various fb postings I've nearly had a blog post written, so why not weigh in via blog by way of copy paste.

This weekend yet another Christian controversy erupted in media. 

People sent me links. I ignored - weary of all things on this topic and Christian controversy in the media in general. 

But it kept popping up so I read a bit about Hillsong Church and their stance/not stance on homosexuality and gay marriage.

I feel they're being railroaded on both side- the media and of course the ever ready to pounce and cannibalize, modern church.

I've yet to read a transcript of what transpired- what I've seen is a blog post excoriating Hillsong by taking partial phrases and expounding on those with the authors own perceptions by what this silence just may mean  and the clarification follow ups given by Brian Houston of Hillsong.

First, I'm sooo tired about talking about homosexuality. Politically , religiously, culturally- I'm spent.

I don't agree with it- it's a sin, and it sounds like Hillsong agrees. 

Im struggling with why as Christians we are putting so much weight on this sin, in particular.  I do feel there's a huge difference between slipping up and sinning occasionally while trying to live a sanctified life and living in that sin, in this case actively engaged in a gay lifestyle and not fighting those sinful desires.

But there are Christians living in so many sins, yet we keep shining a light on this particular one.

I get it that the gay community Is being forceful and pushing agendas politically. I think the church should have a voice in the direction our culture is headed - always.

But I've started to wonder at what point are we ceasing to be Gods witnesses on earth speaking his message of love and turning into political activists ourselves?

I'm not sure how we get the gay community to listen to a message of God's love for them when they're just hearing shouts of condemnation.

I've kind of done a 180. I've been in churches where you just hear sermons about all the sins in the world constantly and it leads to judging everyone. All the time. Just looking for signs that someone has fallen or is struggling and pouncing.

I'm not sure what good that does. And if Christians have a hard time dealing with that from the inside , how are those on the outside supposed to feel welcome amidst that?

I'm not saying water down the gospel or deny that something is a sin when it clearly is- I think the church just needs find the right balance again where we are the compass that points to true north without battering people along the way.

I think *think* that is what Hillsong was trying to do.  Show them Jesus' love and let that do the saving. We tell everyone else come as you are- how about  the gays? 

  Love and let Jesus do the work.

A side note on the origin of the controversy: this came about by Hillsongs Houston declining to say ANYTHING. He felt it wasn't the correct forum. He chose to use Jesus not hashing it out in public as his foundation for this silence.

The self appointed spokespeople for the church took that as a few things:

1. He was using the oft repeated and never correct excuse that if Jesus didn't mention it it's not a sin.

That doesn't mean it's not a sin and that wasn't what he was doing anyway.

2.  He won't speak on it and therefore he clearly is in favor of homosexuality not being a sin and for gay marriage.

Nope.
Not even close.

Can we just please stop this silence is condoning bull? 

Sometimes it's wise to 
Keep. Your. Mouth. Shut.

Perhaps Houston not making a definitive statement for Hillsong in that forum doesn't necessarily mean equivocation, maybe it was wisdom. 

It never goes well for anyone when they speak out about homosexuality to the press. The media is just looking for something to twist into something ugly. 

Ie. Phil Robertson . He called about ten sins sin in his interview with rolling stone but what did they come away with- "PHIL ROBERTSON IS HOMOPHOBIC AND SAYS JESUS HATES GAY YALL!"

The media just wants to set people of faith up to show that we are an outdated hater of all things. We are closed minded intolerant unloving people .  No matter what Hillsongs stance was it would have been twisted to be explosive news on one side or the other. Damage would be done.

It's probably best not to fall into to
those traps because it isn't going to accomplish what you intend anyway. 

The Bible says 
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."
(Matthew 7:6)

Maybe just maybe Brian Houston's wisdom was telling him this was a case of pig pearls. 

And it was best to keep his mouth shut. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

Moms Life Mondays

So I'm trying to get back to blogging and instituting a recurring installment Mom's Life Monday.

Lets be real : it only marginally keeps me on track and only temporarily, but people seem to enjoy my kids stories and my sleep deprived brain doesn't retain enough of them on its own so it helps me as well.


I sit here with an incapacitated Layla as close as she can get without becoming part of me.

Earlier today, playing on the trampoline (the death trap of childrens' play equipment) she landed wrong and "twisted my weg bc my knee didn't want to work"

She came in carried by a sister howling in misery.

Real tears flowed and I don't doubt she was indeed injured.

That was 8 hours ago and anytime she puts weight on it she cries still.

She hobbles slower than Tim Conways worlds oldest man character when we ask her to do things.

But the funny thing is- she will hobble on it when asked to do something.

If she gets up to go somewhere though on her own the minute she makes contact with the floor she screams and cries like its broken.

 Its not. 
Its not even swollen.
 Or red. 
Or anything.

Tony keeps telling her shes fine, but I feel the need to give her the benefit of the doubt. She's only 3 after all and we can't know for sure whats she feeling. She can't describe it to me other than

 "its not so bad that I have to go to the dr mommy. Its just good enough that I can stay here at home. Ow."

She milks things. Alot.

So I was feeling quite confident that when the pain went away as soon as My Little Pony Friendship is Magic appeared on the screen that she was ok.

But still 8 hours later when she cries when she puts weight on it I got worried. 

When I had to carry her to the bathroom bc she just.couldn't. make. it. on her own, I inspected.

Not able to decide between injury or knobby knees I carried her like a tiny infant up to her daddy for a second opinion.

Of course he immediately declared her fine. But I wasnt sure. After  all I had to force her to put weight on it even on our super soft bed to show him how much it still hurt.

Until, I walked out from getting her pajamas and she was standing on the footboard of my bed holding the top of it and one foot in a square each (it is kind of like a grid looking of open squares ) on hard solid wood in a way that had to put pressure directly on that knee.

So yes, she is a huge FAKER.  And she is also a better actress than most of young Hollywood. 

I need to get her an agent.

I don't doubt she hurts some, but not to the degree that these tears indicate.

Now the problem is - I don't know how they got this way.

All three to an extent are so dramatic about pain. 

So bad so that I never know if theyre bad enough for a dr trip. 

We almost Never go to the dr. but I always am in limbo with them because they seem to be in dire straits. 

But its so frequent now that were I a neglectful parent I would ignore every complaint. But im not so I keep a close eye on them and analyze everything. Its exhausting. Its either that or get a punch pass for frequent vistis at the dr office but I"m sure you don't get anything good. Probably just a sample of ointment or something as your prize.

We've never indulged them when hurt. Obviously we cared for them but we always try to be non plussed when inured.

Oh you fell off the chair because immediately after I turned my back after I told you to sit still you stood up and your lips bleeding? Heres a wet papertowel dab that blood we have to go. 

Layla has averaged 2 bloody lips per year of her life. She's the hardest to control.

We haven't helicoptored them. We let them play as kids. 

I remember when Laci was 1 we had a friend with a 4 year old over. Laci was expertly climbing the ladder and faux rock wall to her swing set while I stood at a safe but not overshadowing distance and the 4 year olds mom had wrapped herself around the childs waist like a fleshy safety net whispering be careful be careful be careful the whole way.

Now the ladder has like four rungs, we werent in a tree house, so even if they did fall they'd have to try and fall in a way to really get injured.

They ride a four wheeler and have a trampoline. We don't baby them.

And still they always put on oscar award winning performances for minor injuries.

I thought we'd saved ourselves from t his by playing off injury and sickeness from the start.

Unfortunately, we were just blessed with three actresses who see every scratch as *their* moment.

Or every time theyre to clean their room as a chance to hone their acting skills.

You'd think with Ella that room cleaning was the same as a big  mac to someone with a poorly functioning  gallbladder . She 20 minutes in comes down hunched over, eyes shimmering with the begining of tears and declares stomach pain.

Not buying it. I'm on to you . All of you.

Unless it involves the stupid trampoline. Then I'm probably carrying you on my back like a little hobbit backpack for three days.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

...Until Justice Runs Down Like Waters and Righteousness Like a Mighty Stream... MLK

While we've been in Atlanta we've been trying to sight see on weekends.

Our second weekend here we visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and the Martin Luther King Jr Center.

Its our last night in Atlanta and since I packed away all the sewing stuff I get a break from Frozen etsy orders and decided to write a blog about that weekend, since I'd planned to blog more while I was here but got busy with etsy.

I didn't realize today was the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act so it was an appropriate coincidence that I am blogging about our time visiting the moving exhibits honoring MLK.

When we arrived we tried to give the kids a little background on the whole different world that people experienced just 50 years ago. Laci has always been a Civil War buff with an odd fixation from the age of 2 on Lincoln, so she was well aware of the evils of slavery that entangled our nation. However, I am not sure how much she understood the long term effects on the lives of black Americans . She does read Addy American Girl doll books, Addy is a slave who escapes to Philadelphia, so she has an idea of the struggles people faced but I don't think she grasped how long it continued.

The other two are young but Ella had many questions as we walked through exhibits. I think at their tender ages in an age where they don't distinguish people by trivial things such as skin color it has to be just absolutely bewildering why such things were perpetrated against people over something they can't control, something that doesn't matter.

As you walk into the Martin Luther King center ,its quite crowded and chaotic as they tell me it normally is. There are a few exhibits highlighting people who helped form the center and I assume exhibits that are changed out frequently because they highlight the every day person as a civil rights activist.

Once walking into the actual MLK portion, I dont if I can explain it but its quite overwhelming.

The first thing you see (and I tried to get a photo but it was crowded and I was moved so I wasn't documenting much) was a glass wall with Jim Crowe Laws inscribed on it. I tried to read some to Laci just to show that even though they had been free for nearly a hundred years, black Americans were still being treated horribly. I don't know if there is even a word for the treatment.

She didn't realize how all encompassing these laws could be over the most mundane aspects of life.

And standing in front of a 15 foot tall glass wall inscribed with these acts against humanity I too was blown away.

We all learn them in history class, but standing there under them it was just overwhelming and takes your breath away. You can almost feel the oppression just from the printed words, because there were

just. so. many.

The emotions continue as the next exhibit is a replica of the kitchen where MLK JR prayed nightly- along with videos talking about that kitchen being fire bombed. He had kids. No one cared if they died too. Unfathomable evil.

I'm guessing for space sake, you then go to the actual wagon that carried his casket through the streets of Atlanta after his service at Ebeneezer Baptist.
The lighting was different in all areas and I was too involved with the exhibits to worry about changing exposure so its a bad picture, but the blurriness gives it a  kind of ethereal look that is appropriate in a way. The white flowered cross was a top his casket. I am not sure if it is the real silk one or a replica. He may have had one of real flowers. I don't recall seeing any specification at the exhibit but the film shows the same cross on the casket in the wagon.

All of Atlanta seemed pack in the streets around the wagon. You couldn't have fit any more people on the streets as the walked four miles in the procession.

From the funeral wagon they moved into the beginning of the marches . The girls couldn't believe he was jailed for civil disobedience.

There were a lot of whys asked, and how do you really answer why a person hates someone for skin color? There's no answer but evil. And not everyone who felt that way was an evil person. I think its an important distinction.

Racism is in itself a pervasive evil but I don't think all people who were prejudiced were evil. I think it was such an ugly time and that evil had such long roots that many otherwise good people were led astray by fallacies.

I love the music South Pacific, and one of the famous songs in it says

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

There's so much truth in that. Racism like so many things is passed down through the generations and if people arent taught another way so often they continue down the same mistaken paths.

Im not saying they're not guilty of wrong doing- somewhere deep inside you have to know how wrong such a view is- I'm just saying that not all were evil - the hate, the racism they allowed to take over was in fact evil.

It's hard to explain such things to innocent minds who just see people.

And walking through the exhibits it was hard to fathom it myself as a grown adult.

The exhibits are really well done. You feel the fear they must have felt leading these marches. These were brave brave people.
The I AM a man sign always gets to me.

I just kept saying to Tony the whole time how courageous MLK had to be. And you know that intellectually, but listening to audio, seeing videos walking through staged marches- these people knew they were risking it all everytime they went out and they experienced many injustices and atrocities and they kept on.

At one march one of the keynote speakers was shot - at the rally. They didn't stop. He went to the hospital and

They. Marched. On.



Of course, we all know how the story ends.

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
He died the following day after that speech. I can't help but wonder if great figures know. Thinking of MLK and Lincoln and so many others speaking similar things immediately before they're taken from the world.

They have several videos playing at once with funeral footage, and footage of the same procession I mentioned above. Surrounding the tvs were large prints of him standing on the balcony just before he was shot, I'm sure we are familliar with those images.

It was very moving, just like the whole museum. You really just feel such a conflict of emotions the entire time: sadness, overhwhelmed, shock, hope, fear, awe. They all swirl around  you at once and you cannot help but feel the turmoil of that time period- its almost electric.

The museum is simply done, but well done. It gets the message across- many messages.


They have  a temporary exhibit now with a mock Lincoln monument, of course,  for the I Have a Dream speech complete with a tiny reflecting pool.

The kids loved this because, like I said they love Lincoln.





















                                                          its    pretty convincing from the correct angle ;)



The Dream speech was largely forgotten until his death. Now its iconic like the Gettysburg Address.

We followed this up with a brilliant short film just detailing his early life with shots of the home. It was really interesting to listen to stories of his early years and his father's influence on him in regards to being treated like man like anyone else.

They shared a story of Martin walking with his daddy and wanting a pair of shoes in a store window.
When they tried to enter they were told they had to use the back door.

Martin, or ML as they apparently called him, didn't get his shoes that day.
He instead got a lecture by his father on how he wouldn't be told he was less of a man because of his skin color that it wasn't ok to just accept that untruth.

We took a walk across the street to the church he grew up in, his dad was a preacher, and where he later co pastored with his brother.




Its a beautiful old church all wooden inside like stepping back in history.





It was pretty amazing to stand right at the pulpit he preached from while his sermons played overhead in speakers


We just sat for the longest time. It was awe inspiring. The mix of history, his voice playing, the time transporting look of the place, like its frozen in time- I don't know I'm a history nerd I like to breathe it all in. Some people like to chase after celebrities, I like chasing history. It almost feels electric being in a place where amazing things happened.

You can also tour his home but you better get there at opening. You get tickets at the MLK JR Center (where the museum is located) its free, but limited so they assign tickets. 

 We didn't initially plan on going this day so missed out on the tour, we intended to get back over but we didn't, but Tony's training is always in ATL so we will see it sometime!
 He and Coretta are entombed on the grounds of the center in a beautiful memorial reflecting pool with fountains. It's really breathtaking. Listening to him talk about himself, I don't know how he'd feel with such a monument, but it is beautiful to behold indeed - and quite large.!

.

If you find yourself in the Atlanta area its a must do. Its fairly easy to get to and free of charge. Its a wonderful experience. If you have kids please take them. I am a firm believer the best way to learn history is to experience it. This place certainly brings to life the era Martin Luther King Jr was fighting in much better than any text book.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gold mining and face stuffing across Georgia

I love Atlanta.

We are having an amazing time.

We are here for "business", Tony is in training.

For me a vacation isn't a vacation without sand and waves or large characters, princesses and rides.

We do day trips to places that don't have those necessary things but not full on vacations, so its been nice to explore somewhere I wouldn't normally head.

As I said in my previous post, I've always wanted to go to Georgia, so its pretty cool to have an extended stay.

We home school so we are also always on the look out for fun educational things to do or just things to broaden their horizons - and mine. Pre Tony I didn't travel much at all.

Aside from touring Target daily *its 4 minutes from me how can we not* and all the Joanns of the area... I'm still working on my boutique and the Frozen slam has hit like an avalanche in orders, we have visited a few places on our list of to dos.
                                                                 this is actually Hobby Lobby
                                                                                we've been hitting it up a bit too.

Last weekend we headed up to Northern Georgia to Dahlonega Ga to the Consolidated Gold Mine .

Its about an hour north of Atlanta and was part of the original gold rush in America - before California.

This gold mine boasted a huge vein of quartz ( where there's quartz theres gold) . I believe what the tour guide said ( i saw it online too but can't find it now to confirm everything is vague that I'm finding)  was that normally a vein of quartz is about the width of a pencil and this one was 24 inches. or feet. I don't know really but the number 24 keeps popping in my head.

In any case, they mined half a million dollars worth of gold in ONE day. I don't even know how much that would be today.
                                                                         The glory hole

It is the only mine you can tour in the area and the tour really is worth seeing.

Extremely informative and the guides are also funny.

The kids learned all about rock formations, gold mining, tiny bats that actually were cute and didn't move, working conditions in a mine back then and technology advances.




         he's entertaining!









The mine companies used a lot of their profit to install a new technology in the mine - electricity. Unfortunately the wires weren't insulated so many died from running into the wires.



They also learned about the toll it took on the miners (mining itself not the electricity) how most all were deaf because of the dynamite, and died young because of all the toxic dust they inhaled - all for a dollar a day. (1.50 if you were the dynamite poker and he got paid daily because, well he may not last the week)

I believe 350 ish died in that mine, some children because boys aged about 6-10 ( 10 and up already were miners) were employed as arm tappers alerting the other miners to get in the safe area because they were about to use dynamite.

Couldn't yell because they were deaf and they need someone who was small enough to run quickly through the mine so young boys were the pick.




















You get to see the glory hole where they mined the largest amount and some relics of the past, the rails are still in place and some of the wagons are in the mine along with other fixtures that are original.




                                                  





   rail for a kind of trolley car
















This door was built by the London Gate company in the 1200's. Doc asked "and what were the British in the 1200's?"

A grown woman answered "our overlords"

Um no.

Correct answer: Short. so duck when you walk through.

Pretty cool gate - but sad for the dumbing down of 'Merica.




                                                      Look we're  in the Tower of London. ish


After the tour you go up and they give you a pan of dirt to sift for gold included in the cost. Its neat for the experience but you get a few flakes. Clearly not worth the cost but the tour is well worth that. From what I read many people who want to pan for gold for real go to Crisson gold mine . Price is the same for the little pans but without the tour. However apparently their big buckets you can purchase have more gold in them. Consolidated also has the larger amounts you can pan but we werent interested.







                                         If you look really closely you'll see gold.
                                                It looks like sparkly         fish food
                                                           Lots of water. Itty bitty flakes
                                                    She got the most. Can you see them?

                                                           Thinks she's going on a shopping spree.


We did however purchase a bucket of gems to grub.

That was more fun for the girls because you can feel the big rocks as you scoop them out. Just like playing in a sand box.

They did good apparently for the bucket size we got. They got some onyx, amethyst, rose quartz plus several other rocks.

Apparently the amethyst and rose quartz are typically in the next sized bucket up that also you usually get rubies in sapphires in.

Considering the appraiser knew what size bucket we had gotten by the rocks we showed her and mentioned that the few really nice rocks we got were in the larger buckets typically, they obviously seed the buckets, the more you pay the better the stones you get. But still it was fun for the kids for $15. The more precious bucket was $30 and we will do that one if we go back because we won't do the tour again nor pan for gold. They really enjoyed the gems so we'd be willing to pay more for a bigger bucket and apparently nicer stones.


                                                                      bag o rocks


They did get ones that could be cut and put in jewelery but we didn't  explore that option this trip since it was already costly. Maybe we will bring them back with us next time.


We finished the day (after a stop at an awesome outlet shopping plaza) at Tony's choice.

Big Pie in the Sky pizza in Kennesaw Georgia.

It was featured on Man V Food for a huge 11 pound pizza challenge and Tony always talks about doing a pizza challenge...




                                            She didn't get any she was too slow.


If you go here know the pizza is REALLY good and its really thin. Not horribly thin but wood fired pizza style.

Tony got a 20 " and for some reason thought that would be enough but he should have gotten a 30.

Of course we ordered a second pizza when they inhaled the first (and waited an hour for the second to come out. They are BUSY!) and so they ended up eating 40" of pizza so i guess the 30 wouldn't have been enough either.

Maybe they should do the challenge. you get one hour for 2 people to eat the challenge pizza. Its full of meats to make an 11 pound pizza. They may be able to do it...

It is very tasty and I assume we will eat there again while we are here. Its like a mile from LivviRae Lingerie - the hilarious gals from Double Divas that was on Lifetime ( i think sadly it was cancelled but Im hoping not) .  By the time we got the second pizza they had just closed so I didn't make it there so a Kennesaw trip is in order.

Like every place we've been so far it looks to have enough to merit the thirty minute trip too so may as well.

Of course our standards aren't high. We have a Walmart at home and thats about it so we are easily impressed.

Oh we also ate at the Cheesecake Factory for the first time. Okay food but great cheesecake as I am sure everyone in the world.

Like I said we have nothing in the area and I don't even know aside from 3 hours away where we'd find a Cheesecake factory, maybe Pittsburgh, but thats still 1 1/2 hours. We are deprived.


Her face sums up mine when I saw the bill. Maybe that's why we haven't gone. I mean if it was just the two of us no kids, I would eat there but $85 for so so food is cray. The cheesecake was extremely reasonably priced though . That one was $7 and enough for all 5 us to be like no you finish it please. We will definitely be getting at least some cheesecake from there while we are here.

We love Atlanta!