Why won’t my bus pass work?

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Yesterday, I was rushing to catch the train as usual.

I scanned my train card and tried to go through the turn style. Negative, the turn style was not moving. Once again, I scanned my train card, and tried to quickly pass through the turn style. AGAIN, it was not working. The night before I had added money to my card, so WHY wasn’t it working. I scanned the card “one more time,” and the turn style would not budge.

At this point, I had to move away from the turn style. It was embarrassing, all of the busy commuters looking irritated that I was “holding up the line.”

WHAT was the PROBLEM!

I looked at my train card…  It was NOT my train card. It was my devotional card for Saint Leopoldo of Padua. I visited his shrine in Italy a few years ago. He is known as the Saint who could heal you of your illness. At his shrine, there was a room full of photos that family members had sent of loved ones that they asked Saint Leopoldo to pray and heal them. He had a small room where he would hear people’s confessions. I bought this devotional card and always carry it with me.

So, I did have to SMILE!

This was Saint Leopoldo’s CLEVER way of telling me to slow down. Time for a trip to Padua and Abano Terme. For those of you who do not know, Abano Terme has hot springs and mud baths. People go here to rest and rejuvenate.

Sometimes in life, we need a SIGN to take care of ourselves!

Thank you, Saint Leopoldo. We have a three day holiday coming up, I will rest!

Attention Bloggers, “Are your posts being HARVESTED?”

Taking articlesI was not surprised when I read Jo Hawk the Writer’s post “Attention Bloggers and Writers,” about a website that is harvesting Blogger’s posts. I encourage you to read her post, where fellow blogger, The Haunted Wordsmith, has been doing research to try and stop this copyright infringement.

Lately, I have had a variety of new Followers. While that seems great, I have gone to visit them only to find they are bogus sites. Many of them have 4 posts they created with photos that seem legit until you scroll down on their home page to see that they keep rotating those same 4 posts.

I did visit this site that The Haunted Wordsmith mentions, www.tygpress.com. I typed in my blog name with quotes around it. Sure enough, it appears like they created a specific section for my Blog’s articles. Of course, it is frustrating to see someone else creating a website based on other people’s written work without asking or telling us they are reblogging our posts.

Fighting this harvesting takes a lot of time and energy away from our main reason for Blogging, which is love of writing. Let’s see if they Blog this post!

A daisy –> He loves me, he loves me not!

Lately, I’ve noticed that family, co-workers, strangers have been temperamental and on edge. Wasn’t there an eclipse lately? I don’t know much about astrology; however, sometimes it feels like there is a strong force taking place in the Universe making people super moody and setting us up for change in our lives. It’s very powerful, we KNOW when it is at work.

This week as I was dealing with a lot of temperamental people, I had a funny thought. As they were ranting and raving about their terrible life, others giving the cold shoulder, and a few just spewing angry thoughts, a DAISY popped in my mind.

As they were going on, I imagined myself with a vase full of daisys. For each person that was being mean or rude, rather than take on their anger, I “chose” to take a daisy out of my vase. For each petal I pulled off, I would say, “I love you, I love you not… I love you, I love you not…”

I was doing this in my mind while the person was ranting and raving. I found it to be very therapeutic, because I determined that when I got to the VERY LAST petal, THAT would determine whether I kept listening to this person OR politely terminated the hurtful conversation.

It worked! For the unhelpful Home Depot guy, he landed on a “love you not petal!” I politely moved on from him. For a family member, they got lucky, the petal landed on “love you,” so I listened longer. The clerk at the DMV got a “love you,” but a few people in line got a “love you not,” they were saying such mean comments about the clerk, angry that they had to stand in line. Finally, for the neighbor, they got a “love you NOT petal.” Same old dim conversation, nothing ever uplifting – I was DONE!

It’s amazing how we can change our day around with music, exercise, soulful thinking and just a great sense of humor. I could see Seinfeld having a field day with this topic. I miss that show!

Angry people, watch out, you are not ruining my day. I have a truck load of daisy’s to deal with YOU.

5K Mud Run in 90 degree temps

Mud Run 1I did it! I survived my first 5K Mud Run in 90 degree temps. Run started at NOON hottest time of day — insane. I ran the course, did some of the obstacles, not all of them. See the medal I received.

Mud run 3Sorry, I don’t have good photos of me climbing structures, etc. I didn’t have a GoPro camera, plus at 90 degrees with face bright red from the heat, I was LUCKY to make it to the end. Seriously, I have fair skin, we don’t do well in hot weather, let alone at NOON. Picture me during the Victorian era, strolling the park with my fancy umbrella, that is where I needed to be from 12-2 pm. In Italy that is when they take a siesta.

Questions, “Is it hard and how muddy do you get?”

It’s hard if you are not in shape and have a fear of heights. I was surprised that they didn’t have that many obstacles. You had to run the course twice to make it a 5K. Muddy, it depends on if you are rambo and embracing the mud or like me avoided the truly muddy areas and walked around. Ok, do I deserve my medal? Yes, the 90 degree heat made up for the “few” obstacles I walked around.

Mud run 2There were a few obstacles, like this one (Pixabay.com stock photo), where you see the lady climbing the wall. If it is overly muddy and there are a ton of people, why there is a chance you could fall and hurt yourself.

However, if you are looking for a quick athletic challenge versus a hard to train for triathlon, this would do it! Lots of nice fun people.

BONUS – How can you resist adding a medal to your wall of fame?!

Writing – Choosing a character’s name, go to the “Fantasy Name Generators” site

Fantasy Name Generator 1How do we come up with strong memorable character names for our stories? That’s the dilemma I was facing. Of course, I went to Google. My goal was to come up with a cute sheep name for my children’s book. Finding the right name, not easy.

My first searches were BORING. I pulled up names like “Billy Goat,” already used, “Andy,” not my idea of a cute little sheep name. Wooly, already taken. This wasn’t good. I wasn’t getting anywhere except frustrated, but I couldn’t give up.

Fantasy Name Generator 2

I kept scrolling down the search page and a miracle happened. I found a site called, “Fantasy Name Generators.” Now, we were in business. I typed in sheep names. The names this site generated were different, comical, and certainly memorable.

My happiness factor went from zero to over 200. However, as I read the name choices a different direction to my story would start to form in my mind. For example, see the name “Thunder,” I imagined my book taking a whole new direction with that name. My little “Thunder” sheep would be in a storm with an earthquake.

NO, NO, NO – I told myself, stick with the original story, THAT was not the right name, but I liked the strength in “Thunder.” Back to generating a new set of names. I clicked “Get male names,” and “Coffee, Smokey, Rowdy, Rock and Walnut” came up. Super funny. I would NEVER have imagined names like this on my own.

Fantasy Name Generator 3

I scrolled down by accident and found this “Pet / Companion Name Generators” section. NOW WHAT, do I add a pet companion for my little sheep? Again, I am a writer, my mind was all over the place (a bat, a cricket, a goat?). NO, NO, NO… I reminded myself, stick with the original story. No pet companion this time, maybe in the future.

Great site. If you need a character name, give it a try! It’s also good for generating story ideas. I’m still thinking about the name “Thunder,” there has to be a story there.

Caffeine / vitamins in a stirring stick (pureLYFT™)… Want to give it a try?

pureLYFT 1When I was in College and we needed to pull an “all nighter,” students took a pill called, “NoDoz.” The packaging for NoDoz says it is an “Alertness Aid.”

This made me think of my Dad. When we kids were on the building site and my Dad would ask us for a specific tool, if we were not fast enough, he would say in a demanding voice, “engage brain.”

Imagine this scenario, my Dad is under the sink fixing a leaky faucet (uncomfortable on the back). His four kids are standing to attention. He calls out for a wrench and we hand him a screw driver!

Yikes, now THAT was definitely an “engage brain” moment. We definitely could have used an “alertness aid” at that time.

Imagine my father’s fury at our stupidity. In our defense, we didn’t have cell phones to quickly “Google” what a wrench looked like, so he got the screw driver.

pureLYFT 2Back to the caffeine in a stick. Have you heard of this product called, “pureLYFT™?” As seen in photo, it is a stick. When you add the stick to liquid of any kind, it releases a powder of un-roasted green coffee beans, vitamins A and B complex, and a tiny bit of Stevia. You stir and drink. It’s meant to give you energy similar to a cup of coffee.

Their website mentions using the energy stick for jet lag, at the gym, Mom’s chasing children, College students, trade shows and conferences, hotels, and nightlife. I read a few reviews, one said the powder failed to completely dissolve into the drink. I have not tried it, so cannot agree or disagree.

I came across pureLYFT™ in line at the grocery store. The person in front of me was reading the box. Curious, this led me to read the box. Will I try it?

FIRST, I thought I would write about it, see what you ALL think. SECOND, make my decision on “yea,” or “nay.”

This reminds me of when “Airborne” came out. I did give it a try, especially when traveling on long flights. Did it work, I think so.

pureLYFT™ – What do you think, worth a try?