Friday Fun Facts- Hugs,We Need ‘Em!

September 8, 2017

12731-The-Kind-Of-Hugs

This will be short and sweet. We need hugs.

Why? Check out this:

  1. It feels freaking good!
  2. Holding a hug for an extended time will boost levels of serotonin which elevates mood and happiness.
  3. They will strengthen your immune system.Big-Hearts-Deserve-Big-Hugs
  4. Oxytocin is boosted! This alleviates feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
  5. This special nurturing touch will build feelings of trust and communication.
  6. There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
  7. They lower your blood pressure, especially helpful if you are feeling anxious.download
  8. They lower your cortisol levels (stress hormone) which will enable you to sleep better.
  9. They can increase your social connections and feed your sense of belonging. This in turns amps up your sense of safety and security.
  10. Most all of this science is based on a really good hug for at least 20 seconds!
  11. They trigger an increase in dopamine! Low levels of dopamine are linked to Parkinson’s and depression.This is your PLEASURE hormone. Go get a fix!

There are even more reasons to give and get good hugs, more than I can include here. With the craziness of our world, the devastation of Harvey and Irma, and so many more upsetting everyday occurrences, we need a steady dose of these marvelous things. There is NO downside.2-hug

I’ll start- Sending you a virtual hug!


Harvey Will Not Win!

September 2, 2017

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“I’m not a Texan. I don’t adore the Lone Star State. I’m a transplant who’s lived in Austin for the last four years. I can’t name the state fish, I don’t understand the thing with mums at Homecoming, and I think chicken fried steak sucks. I don’t care about Friday Night Lights.

But I married into a Texas family. A Texas family with crazy deep roots. My wife is a direct descendant from the Texas Revolution. Through my marriage, I get a front row seat to all things that filter through the Texas lens. I’ve learned a lot about bluebonnets and Whataburger. I know the difference between casual allegiance with Texas colleges, what it really means to be a Longhorn, and the difference between good salsa and crap that came out of a jar.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned as an outsider looking in, it’s that there’s a sense of purpose to these people like I’ve never seen. A central passion runs through Texans unlike any other American identity. Pride percolates here. It’s something people who aren’t from Texas just can’t grasp. We may have a docile sense of civic pride for our hometowns, but nothing like this state demands of its residents.

The Texas flag flies as high as the American flag, while the state Capitol is just a smidge taller than the U.S. Capitol, because – Texas. There are Texas flags on everything. And folks all over this huge collection of miles expect a reverential obsession from those who choose to take up this address, if only for a while.

That sense of purpose and absolute unwillingness to bend in their pride is why Texas will only become stronger in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Before Texas, I spent seven years in New Orleans, a place that knows about heartbreak and flooding. To love New Orleans is to love the city. But a New Orleanian ain’t much of a Louisianan, despite them being hand in hand. They’re two different cultures. But here, even if you’re from the Panhandle or live along the Gulf of Mexico, you still adore this state and will bond together under that flag, that symbol.21192590_10213998119964673_278738989981716636_n

Typically, cities talk smack on one another, and the outlying country towns don’t want anything to do with the big cities and their completely different personalities. There are liberals and conservatives, cowboys and city slickers, white folks, brown folks, black folks and every shade in between wearing cowboy boots. This place has many stories, many sides to the dice.
Harvey took many lives. It dumped acres of water onto the streets of Houston, decimated Rockport, and flooded Galveston and cities and towns across southeast Texas. But Texas will lick its wounds. Texas will come back bigger and better, and brighter and with more Texas-ness than you can imagine. Texans cannot allow for their diamonds to go unpolished. The thought of a place in Texas where local culture dies just doesn’t feel right. There are no places where the roads are unfinished, or the buildings lie in ruins – that would go against everything these people have known their whole lives: This land is precious and it is our birthright.

…….. H-E-B and Buc-ee’s, two Texas brand giants, came to the rescue, offering shelter, food, showers, and support. Mattress Mack, a Houston mattress maven, opened his warehouses so folks could get a good night’s rest. The people here know a love that moves deeper than their sense of pride – it’s a calling of purpose.

You cannot count Texas out. There’s no other state in our union that could handle this hurricane. New York has taken its lumps. New Orleans knows what loss feels like, but this is a monster named Harvey that we’ve never seen before. Who better to challenge Harvey head-on than Texas? They’ll do it wearing an Astros cap and with a twisted smile, daring that water to take a piece of the land they love so much.”texas

Robert Dean is a writer and journalist living in Austin.


Link of the Week – Hurricane Harvey

August 29, 2017

As you may have heard, Hurricane Harvey roared ashore at Rockport, Texas on Friday, August 25th as a Category 4 storm leaving destruction and one death in the rural area. But the real nightmare didn’t come from the winds or storm surge. Not this time. The real catastrophe (not to lessen the damage to Rockport or the surrounding areas) has come by way of rain 100 miles away in Houston, Texas—9 TRILLION gallons and counting. There are predictions that some parts of the area will receive  50 inches of rain. It’s unfathomable. The entire region has had unprecedented flooding. With these numbers, it is easy to see how places that had never flooded before are now under water. River, creeks, reservoirs, levees are all cresting, overflowing at impossible heights. Thousands have had to be rescued. Thousands have lost everything.  There will likely be 40-60 billion dollars in damage.

Despite the warnings and all the preparations, it has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. There really has been no way to know how this storm would affect us. Yes, us. Your Musetrackers live in the Houston area. But Stacey and I have been lucky. We have been spared. Are families are dry. My own house is within a  1 to 2-mile radius of a significant waterway. I’m still finding it hard to believe that my house, which my yard backs up to a creek, did not flood. And yet, many of my neighbors have. As I type this, Black Hawk helicopters are flying in overhead to aid in rescues.

It is going to be a long process to rebuild. And the rain STILL hasn’t stopped.

If you feel so inclined to help victims of Harvey, please donate to The Red Cross

Or help by donating to Houston Texans football star JJ Watt’s relief fund.  https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053

You can also help by donating to The Houston Food Bank and to The Houston Humane Society.

Some before and after pics to get a perspective.

April 2017

August 2017

 


Fun Friday Facts- Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll

August 4, 2017

Hello!

This summer has passed in a whirlwind of activity. I can’t believe we are already in August and Back To School is right around the corner. I hope your summer was a ton of fun!

I love biographies and I read Eric Clapton’s. Whew- what a life. Look what I found out about other rockers-

  1. Prince and Sinead O”Connor got into a fight. He used his fists and she spit on him multiple times. He wrote her massive hit “Nothing Compares To You” but was upset when she decided to cover it because he wanted to give it to one of his female protege. Discussion turns into him berating her for cussing during interviews and she calmly told him to go f— himself. The fight was on.sinead-oconnor-1988-2
  2.  Legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector is off his rocker. Crazy. He put a loaded gun to Leonard Cohen’s head. He fired a shot in the studio while working with John Lennon. He also held the Ramones at gunpoint. He held the band captive in a locked room and while he sat at the piano, he made the band listen to him sing “Baby, I Love You”. Multiple times. Until 4:30 in the morning.

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    I kid you not. This is him in court.

  3. Izzy Stradlin, guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, had to go pee on the plane. The bathrooms were occupied so he declared, “I’m not waiting any longer.” Sooooooo, he whipped it out and peed in the galley in front of stunned passengers and attendants. His attorney’s defense? He was expressing himself……Izzy-STRADLIN-portrait-1992-billboard-650
  4. Boy George behaved badly. Surprised? In 2007 a Norwegian escort arrived at Boy George’s house for a naked photo shoot. They had some cocaine and next thing you know, Boy George accuses him of hacking his computer, handcuffs him to the wall (Wait a minute, how do you do this unless you have rings screwed in the wall so you have something to handcuff it to?) Anyway, handcuffed him and pulled out chains and beat him! What?!?!Culture-Club-on-the-set-of-the-Karma-Chameleon-video-Surrey-Boy-George
  5. In 2000, Slim Shady(Eminem) was arrested for 2 separate gun-related incidents just hours apart. Hmmm, not too smart. Each time was with an unloaded gun.1377298872_Slim_shady
  6. Marilyn Manson. Sigh. He got in trouble because he thought rubbing his junk on the head of a security guard was a good idea. He said it wasn’t sexual misconduct. The lawsuit claims that Manson grabbed the guy from behind and improperly touched him. He tried to escape but Manson continued to gyrate his hips and pubic area against his head, neck, and face. Instead of being prosecuted as a sex offender, he got disorderly conduct. Manson’s response was, “It’s a victory for art.” Really?!?!?!?download
  7. Foxy Brown loses it over hair glue. Brown was already on probation for assaulting 2 manicurists when she bought a bottle of hair glue and headed to the bathroom. After 15 minutes the owner knocked and said they were closing. Brown said, I bought this glue and I’ll do what I wanna do.” Then the door was flung open and Brown tried to squirt the glue into the owner’s eyes and knocked over a shelf of bottles while using every cuss word known to man. The cop had to use a takedown maneuver. Talk about anger management!foxy-brown
  8. Britney Spears has a few moments too. Her first marriage to a childhood friend lasted 55 hours. She had her first baby and promptly started teaching it to drive. She stopped wearing shoes in public bathrooms then shaved her head to feel normal. Outrageous behavior or just sad?britney-spears-shave-f25e4a79-ba18-4744-8878-f4d854799f2a

 


Link Of The Week- 750 Words

May 9, 2017

http://750words.com/

★ It’s fun

Every month you get a clean slate. If you write anything at all, you get 1 point. If you write 750 words or more, you get 2 points. If you write two, three or more days in a row, you get even more points. It’s fun to try to stay on streaks and the points are a way to play around with that. You can also see how others are doing points-wise if you’re at all competitive that way. How I see it, points can motivate early on, and eventually the joy of writing will kick in and you’ll be writing without any external motivation at all.

YOU’LL ALSO LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF!


Link of the Week – Oatmeal

May 2, 2017

I like snark. I’m a snarky person. People fear my snark. Naw, just kidding. They either roll their eyes, are clueless, or engage in a snark war.

So it’s no wonder that this week’s link is a bit on the snarky side. If you like snark, you might like The Oatmeal, too. It’s a silly site with comics that are fun, sometimes tasteless, and at weirdly educational.

Check out the link to the comics on grammar.  You just might learn the difference between who and whom.

http://theoatmeal.com/tag/grammar


Our Wish For You

April 14, 2017

May you and your family have a wonderful, peace filled weekend. To those that celebrate it, Happy Easter!!

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