Never Too Old to Learn!

In her fifties, Tomaca Govan is learning how to play the guitar.   I never wanted to be a guitar “rock star;” that’s not my goal, but I’ve always sung.  And the guitar has helped to change my ear.  It has opened music up a whole new dimension because I am hearing new sounds, new tones and new vibrations.  And vibrations because the guitar vibrates and my body vibrates with it.  It’s so cool.  I understand more deeply how music is medicine. Because everything vibrates – down to the cells and molecules in our bodies.  It we have good “vibes,” we have good health!  When our vibes are off, we’re not well.

 

I strongly suggest that anyone that ever wanted to learn how to do something new, do it!  What are you waiting for?  Circumstances may never be ideal.  If it’s in your heart to do, jump on it!

tomaca-las-vegas

Who knows?  One of these days I just might need  show lighting by Chauvet for a really big gig! Haha!  You never know what can happen when you develop talents and skills.

 

Get Rid of the Hateful Words!

 

from Tomaca Govan, Editor

 

There is constant chatter in our heads.  It’s constant.  Our minds are always talking whether we pay attention to it or not.  A lot of us are full of negativity when it comes to us and our bodies.  We are not quite satisfied with how we may look, talk, think or even act.  Recognition is the greatest motivator.  Pay attention to what you are saying about you.  Your body is the result of the collection of thoughts that you think about you.  So, if you tell yourself that I am ugly, or I am fat, then that is what you will be.

iloveme3Tell yourself today that there will be no more hateful words thought or spoken by yourself about yourself.   Turn the phrase “I am fat” into “I am beautiful.”  Turn “I hate my nose” into “I’ve got a great nose.  It functions perfectly and serves me well.”  If there is negative talk in your head, turn it around!

 

To help get rid of the negative chatter, establish this little practice daily:

Stand naked in front of the mirror.

Touch your face, tell your face it is beautiful and you love it.

Touch your shoulders and say thank you for being so strong, I love you.

Turn around and take a look at your back and say – you are so strong – I love you.

Turn back around touch your stomach, tell it is perfect and you love it.

Touch your breasts and tell them they are beautiful and you love them.

Touch your hair or your head and say you are phenomenal and gorgeous.

Do this for each part of you.  Acknowledge everything your body does and praise it, praise its functioning.  Then I-love-me2hug yourself, hold yourself.  Smile and tell you that you love you.  Tell you that you are an amazing human being and your body is an incredible, miraculous machine and you are so grateful to it.  It is your temple, the place where you live and you could not have a better place.

Anytime you catch yourself thinking something negative about you or a part of your body – catch yourself and turn it around.

For instance, say you make a mistake.  You may be inclined to tell yourself “I am so stupid!  How could I do that!”  Grab that and say instead “I made a mistake, but look at what I learned.  Now I know better for the next time.  I am grateful for the lesson.”  See how different that sounds?  That’s what you should practice to the point where positive responses are automatic.

It’s about gratitude and appreciation for who you are, what you have and the fact that you are alive.  Gratitude is everything.  A positive mindset can see the light in any dark situation, grab on to it and turn that situation completely around.

You are not “too fat.”  You are “beautiful.”

Your body will respond to the positive thoughts and act/develop accordingly.  Your confidence will increase and loveme4you will develop an inner glow and peace about yourself once you stop putting you down.  There’s enough of that outside of us always trying to get it.  But, if we get rid of our own hateful words, then we will find less of that coming from the outside.  Replace negative words with words of with love and encouragement.  Treat yourself the same way that you would treat your frustrated child or your girlfriend who is down.   Be happy about you.  Love you.  Be proud of you.  Be grateful for life and the opportunity to change and to grow.  Be grateful for the love that you have within yourself and for the love that is outside of you.

I have to add that I am not perfect, not by a long shot.  I have my issues and my own personal challenges.  But, this is something that I do and it has helped me greatly to be more positive, confident and loving to myself.  I love me!  There was a time that I could not say that.  And, I am motivated to create a better me and to enjoy life more and more.

So, you can do this.  This is something that you can do for you and as a result everyone around you will benefit.  Shine little star shine!

 

My Business Trip to Chicago

chicago-getaway

 

I recently took a trip to great old Chicago.  Among all the blah, blah, blah during the meetings all I could think about was getting a deep tissue massage which was going to be my reward after the very last meeting of the day.  Other people wanted to connect further and go get a drink and food, but that was furthest thing on my mind. I needed to spend some time with myself in a relaxing environment and so I did.

It’s been a long run for me.  Though most of my work is play, lately there’s been just too much work added into the play.  But, that’s a mindset and one that I don’t have to confront as much as I used to, but from time to time, I deal with it and have to correct myself.  I love what I do.  I love the way that I spend my time, I just wish I had more time!

This trip to Chicago was important and many things were resolved and put into place.  However, the most important thing that was resolved for me was some much needed relaxation.

So remember, ladies, take some time out for you.  YOU TIME!  It’s go time for you time anytime you feel you need it.  If you can’t get away here are a few ideas that cost next to nothing except a bit of your precious time:

 

tomaca-relaxtake a walk

sit outside in the beautiful sun at lunch time

go for a drive along a nice, scenic route

lock yourself in the bathroom and take a long, hot bath

nature rejuvenates – take a walk in the park or in the woods (just be safe – don’t go into isolated areas!)

sit around and watch the geese

is there a horse farm around?  – go and hang out for a while

volunteer to help out at an animal shelter – (they usually don’t like one-time deals, but ask anyway)

go visit a farm

go pick vegetables or fruit at your local farm when the season hits

go indoor wall climbing

hook up with some other ladies or the girls in the neighborhood and jump rope!!

look in the mirror, hug yourself and tell you that you love you!  (this should actually be done daily)

I like to occasionally take myself to lunch – go to a nice restaurant late and just hang out with myself writing notes and getting this organized.

go out dancing with your girlfriends – or better yet – invite them over and blast the music!

do a drop-in on a dance class and express yourself

just get loose and get funky

play dress up and get yourself all dolled up and take your picture

pretend you are being interviewed and sit and answer questions that you ask of yourself (might be some revealing things that come out about you!)

 

 

If you have your own favorite things to do, please share!

 

Setting Priorities – Backwards…

 

 

From the Editor

 

I start my day with a bang – racing out of the blocks with a full list of things that “must” get done.  I have to remind myself that I am the one who sets my own priorities and I am the one who decides what is urgent and what is not.  Quite often I find myself at the end of the day bewildered at the fact that the most important things didn’t get done.  Don’t get me wrong, a lot gets done, but I’ve got my priorities backward.

tomaca-musicI’m starting on a new journey to get deeper into music.  I need to understand the language of it, the flow of it, the taste of it and truly allow myself to BE it. I am a singer and I need to set aside more time for practicing.  I go to work – make sure I arrive early so I can get out for my 1-mile power walk and then I blaze through my tasks list throughout the day – knowing that there is never enough time in the day. But, I get quite a few things done. However, music is always at the bottom of the list because I think I’ll save that for when I get home from work.  But then, when I get home – there’s dinner, some light cleaning and conversation with my roommate. Around 7:00 pm, I’ll look wearily at my keyboard, think about my music theory lessons I need to get to and think dreamingly about my lovely yard and how I’d like to just sit and relax for a time in the evening before embarking on anything else. Then, I’ll really open my eyes and look at the house and recognize how much cleaning I would really like to get done.  I wish I had someone to clean my house – the other woman. I would welcome her and ooh and ahh about the amazing cleaning she could do for me. Nothing like dreaming….

sakar-piano Time to get to the music studies before I crash in the next couple of hours and start the day, the list and the lessons all over again.  However, tomorrow, I will put music on the top of the list.  I’ll shave and save that first hour for piano playing – then get to work, do my power walk and run down the list.  At least then I will start to accomplish more things musically.  I’ll reset my priorities from front to back, not from back to front!

The Handy Woman

 

 From the Editor

 

As women, we have to learn how to do things for our selves more.  We need to know how to do carpentry, upholstery, repair our computers, fix a broken toilet and even how to get the lawn mower to turn over when it won’t.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being “handy” and having a wide variety of skills.  It all boils down to one skill though – being able to get it done on your own.

I know a woman who fixes her own car.  The only time she goes for help is if the car has to go up on a lift and that’s only because she doesn’t have one.  She also repairs her own plumbing, hangs her own sheet rock and cooks great food.  That’s me too – only without the car fixing part… and…er.. the cooking – I’m okay with it – not great.

I was fortunate to have a dad who fixed everything and he taught all of his children that we could do the same thing.   My dad fixed cars and you would think I would have picked up on something, but I guess I chose not to.  But, I can do carpentry work, some plumbing work, know how to change the oil in my car, can hang my own sheet rock and OWN and can use professional tools like a sawzall and other types of saws, drills, and welding equipment.    Okay, with the welding stuff, I don’t do anything heavy duty.  I have a small welder and use it for jewelry and have done some pipe welding with the supervision of my brothers.  (I’ll mention that if I need welding supplies, I get them on-line.  I find the prices a little more reasonable.)

Fortunately, I have not had to deal with any men with ego problems because I’m a woman who can do what they can’t (YET).   I am happy to teach them and a lot of men are willing students.   But, it’s good to know a variety of repair things because if you ever do need to call an expert for help, you have some knowledge of what they need to do, how long it should take them and a general idea of what a fair price would be.

But, most importantly, it’s about empowering yourself, educating yourself and preparing yourself to take care of you and your household.  How do you learn?  Youtube has lessons about everything you’d ever want to know.  Some of the larger hardware stores hold in-house classes and we all have friends who know how to do a variety of things.  It’s simply a matter of asking to be taught.  Maybe even volunteer to work with a handyman (or woman) for a few days in exchange for being able to learn – ?

Remember, that whatever you do, your children are apt to follow.  They certainly watch us.  So, even if we think they are not paying attention, they are and remember that you are their greatest source of inspiration.  If you set a good example, you are also teaching them at the same time.  So, ladies, if you’re not handy, there’s nothing wrong with gettin’ handy!

 

 

 

 

The Essence of the Kitchen

 

 

By Tomaca

What room in your home is the most important or the key pivotal room for the family?  Some people would say it’s the living room or family room.  In my home, it’s the kitchen.

The living room used to be called the “parlor” in old English times.  The name changed over time to the “living room.”  Maybe you call it the family room.  But, it’s the place generally where families hang out and watch television or entertain company.  However, the kitchen is the focal point of some homes.  Hopefully our busy lifestyles have not interrupted family meals in the kitchen too much and your family still does that.

When I grew up my parents made everyone sit down together at meal times.  After eating, everyone was assigned a task ranging from scraping the dishes, to putting away food, to washing, drying and putting away the dishes.  The lucky person got the easiest assignment of feeding the dogs.  I remember that as being something really easy and it was nice to make the dogs happy.  Just like people, they were excited about meal time!

The whole process of my siblings and I being in the kitchen all working together was really fun.  You get a feeling from being around your family that is hard to describe except to say that there’s no place like home  and there’s no feeling like that feeling inside you.

With ten kids and a full-time jobs, both my parents were really busy.  But, there were many times that my mom would be preparing meals and that was the time I could just sit in the kitchen to be with her and to chat while she worked.  It was such a cherished time for me.   When my children were young, especially my daughter, who is the oldest, we were always in the kitchen where she would read to me as I cooked.  We spent many weekends in the kitchen baking and designing sugar cookies and other goodies.  The kitchen was the homework spot.  Everyone would sit there and do their homework so they could all help each other.  Of course, that changed when they got older.  They migrated to their own bedrooms.

I don’t drink coffee, but to this day I love the smell.  It reminds me of my father.  Every morning the house was filled with the aroma of his coffee which of course is made, where else?  In the kitchen.

So for me, the kitchen is not just about food, but it’s about connecting with family and individuals by gaining more understanding about who they are, how they feel, what their day was like, etc.  through conversation, not so much through food.  Though my children are grown, the kitchen is still the room where I would entertain.   Not necessarily to eat food, but to sit in a comforting place to have great conversations without the distraction and noise of the television.

I like a nice open kitchen for that reason.  There’s room for everyone.  Someone can sit at the countertop/island or at the table and of course the pets are never far behind because they hope food is going to appear and they’ll be given treats in addition to being petted.

The “homey” feeling in the kitchen is important to me as is the decor.  Windows, a sliding glass door leading to a deck, nice cabinets with decorative cabinet knobs, my organic herbs growing in the pots and always fresh fruit on the table.    And some open space.  I like the kitchen to be a little on the large side so you can walk around freely even with the table, chairs and fridge, etc.  Plus, all the animals turn the kitchen into their lounge whenever people are in there.  There’s always the hope of food hitting the floor!  Yes, they are spoiled, they get lots of treats and hugs and most of all are welcome in the kitchen just like people!

 

What’s your favorite room in the home?

School Starts Soon!

 

Submitted by Tomaca

Is it too soon to think school about at the end of July?  Don’t you want to enjoy the rest of the summer without the thoughts of the back to school scenario?  The stores have already started pushing the purchase of school supplies.  Kind of like how they push Christmas shopping on us in October – before Halloween.

But maybe it’s not too early for those who want to be fully prepared.  If you have a tight budget, you need to spread out the purchase of clothes over a period of time.  If your children attend schools that require them to wear uniforms, you are better off than most because the need (or perceived need by your child) for the style and variety is not there.  A sturdy pair of shoes and sneakers are always needed.  But of course, nowadays kids are conditioned to desire diversity.  The endless commercials by the stores condition and program those young minds (and our older minds) to need, to desire, to want.  We live beyond our means to project that are not real.  They are crafted and fashioned by an industry who is programming us to spend, spend, spend.

What about cell phones?  How many children do you have, how many of them have cell phones and how much does it all cost? Hasn’t all of this spending gotten out of hand?  If it’s a problem for you, how do you deal with it?

I guess I am painting a negative picture.  But, education in itself is a wonderful thing.  Learning, reading, studying, growing – this is beautiful.  The gaining of knowledge is the beginning of the development of wisdom.  Learned people excel in a lot of areas of their life.  Younger children learn facts in school.  As they get older and they begin to learn and develop thinking, processing and reasoning skills.  One of the benefits of college is that it helps you to develop these skills.

A friend of mine recently acquired her master’s degree and said that no one will tell her just anything ever again.  Knowledge is power.  Education is power.  Children who are not looking forward to school need to understand these things.  Education is essential.

For our college students, I wonder how many of them struggle to keep up with the daily homework.  Professors will say to you things like “read the chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10, and we’ll continue the discussion tomorrow.”  Or, “write 20 pages on the subject and have it done by tomorrow’s class. ”  I wonder if some of our kids would run to an on-line company for essay writing service, or download papers that are already written about the subject they have to report on.

There are programs available that check for plagiarism and they’re very accurate.  So, it’s hard to get by with not writing your own work or turning in original content.   For those of us who work full-time – in the home and outside of the home – and are taking courses, hiring a writing service might not be a bad idea.  The important thing is to understand what is being written about and to know the material of study.  I think then it’s acceptable to hire a service.

But, for now let’s enjoy August, the sun and the warmth of summer.  It’s still great beach weather and relaxation and vacations are still calling!

 

Caring for Pets Who Care for Us

 

submitted by Tomaca

My dogs, my cats, my turtles are my babies.  They are loved and they are treasured.  And – spoiled.  I can’t forget – very spoiled.  But, how else would you treat someone who loves you unconditionally no matter what?  You could come home in the most foul mood; you could be hurt and in tears, but who is there always ready to just give you love?  They are.

sarge

There’s a joke about a guy locking his wife and his dog in the garage for several hours and coming back, opening the door and the only one who is really happy to see him is his dog.  It’s funny, but, yes, it’s true, very true.

 

And, animals don’t hold grudges.  Whatever is gone is gone.  I won’t say that they forget, but when you make a mistake, they forgive you and move quickly back into the “love you” mode.

We hope that if you decide to get a pet, you will get one from a shelter.  A lot (not all) of these blessed creatures have been abused, were homeless, were hungry and scared.  Yes, even big, seemingly-scary dogs can be scared.  I remember my dad went to the pound and got two dogs.  One was a beautiful German shepherd and the other was a little “barky” mutt (my mom picked the little one).  They were wonderful animals.  Our German shepherd was named “Sarge.”  The day he came home, he urinated on the floor.  My dad went and got the mop, came back and was getting ready to mop of the mess and poor Sarge saw the mop and cringed and cried and peed some more.  It took work to get him to understand that he was safe and that no one was going to beat him anymore.  I was a little girl and seeing that just broke my heart.  To think that someone would beat and hit this wonderful dog was not understandable to me.  Sarge soon turned around and became the confident, relaxed and protective being that he was created to be.  He was also one of my best friends when I was a little girl.  He developed the most amazing calm and confidence.  We put up a big “beware of dog” sign even though Sarge was very friendly.  If he was put in a situation where he had to protect anyone in the family, I have no doubt that he would do so without hesitation.  Thankfully, none of those situations ever occurred.  So he got to relax and enjoy his life as a big, happy, lovable dog.

petbed

I’ve always been an advocate for adopting pets from shelters.  Once you do that, often you will find that animal was there waiting specifically for you!  They bond with you so quickly and will do anything – even give their lives to protect you and they love you unconditionally.

Women become their “people moms.”  They see us as one of the pack leaders and because it’s usually mom who takes care of the pets in terms of the feeding and brushing, they see us as the food givers too.

Our pets deserve the best. You want to make sure they are comfortable, they have plenty of food, water and why not take it step further and get them their very own pet bed.  If you do, they just might stay off of yours!  Not necessarily though, because there’s nothing like sleeping with a member of the pack!

We have had up to four dogs at a time.  At bedtime everyone would pile into my son’s bed.  He had to find a way to lay in the midst of the pile.  It was quite funny when you’d peak into his room and five heads would all lift up and look at you.

The cats were quite different.  They were both rescues too.  They saw the dogs as being beneath them.  The younger dogs would always want to play, but the cats would have nothing to do with it.  They’d hiss and scratch and eventually the dogs learned to leave them alone.  The cats were there first so they felt completely entitled to rule everything. The dogs would get out of their way.  The cats ( my boys) also had their own unique beds and the dogs were not allowed to get on them.  We never had to intervene, the boys handled their own business of clearing defining their territory.  The dogs came to understand very quickly where they should not tread or lay their heads.

There’s a whole dynamic when you have pets in your home.  I am so very grateful to have grown up with cats, dogs, rabbits, ducks, birds, hamsters and a host of siblings.  At this point in my life I would love to expand and have horses, chickens, cows and goats.   When my parents grew up, their parents raised their own livestock.  My mom’s stories still filter through my mind.  However, because I am a vegetarian, I would not use the animals for food.  I appreciate how animals have enhanced my life and broadened my vision and understanding of life and the psychology of how we all interact (yes, I’ve learned a lot from animals).   So moms, ladies, dads, get a shelter pet.  You might be thinking that you are saving their life, but in truth, they are saving yours.

 

I AM SUPERWOMAN!

Artwork by http://mase0ne.deviantart.com/

Don’t we all think we’re Superwoman?

 

We keep at it until the job is done.  We work, clean, cook, do laundry, dishes, comb hair, iron clothes, drop this one here and that one there, go to work, take care of our man (emotionally and physically)…need I say more?

 

My Mom is the greatest superwoman that I know.  She had ten kids and was married to an air force officer. Because of that, she traveled all over the world and the U.S. with all those kids to keep the family together while my father was in the service.  When he retired, she started her own nursing career, which she had put on hold while he was enlisted.  She worked until she was 75 and retired from two different places.  Plus she always made sure all of us kids had what we needed.  Amazing.

 

She’s 90 now and recently was rushed to the hospital for difficulty breathing.  She has congestive heart failure and caught pneumonia which caused her lungs to fill up with fluid.  After two days in the ICU and under sedation, she woke up and pulled the respirator out – told the doctors and nurses that she didn’t need it and to get her out of ICU.  Who’s going to argue with my mom?  I mean, really.  You just don’t do that.

 

So, she spent another four days in a regular room, recuperating and healing and was sent home with oxygen.  Of course, all of her children are present and available for her every need, every whim.  We’re probably smothering her.  But, my mom being who she is, will tell us to go home whenever she’s ready.

 

90 years is a long time.  During her childhood they were still using horse and buggy carriages.  They grew their own food, put oil in the lamps so they would have light in the house, chopped wood and burned it in the wood stove to heat the house. She has come from there to here where lights come on at a flick of a switch; heat is on at the turn of a dial; internet, cell phones, apps, gadgets – food is purchased at a grocery store… She’s seen so much and adapted to every change.

 

She’s a real superwoman.  As tough as I may think I am, I know I don’t have her inner strength.  They broke the mold when that little girl came into the world. All I can do is try to follow her example.  She’s shown me the way to superwomanhood.

 

Who in your life is your superwoman example?

 

 

Please note:  art by MaseOne at http://mase0ne.deviantart.com/

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary To Us!!!

October 13, 2012.  Here we are celebrating an official year.  Though WMTS was put up in 2006, we didn’t really start packing a punch until two years ago.  Thus, we are making this our official two year anniversary.

 

We have posted a myriad of stories and interviews on so many different topics over the years.  We’ve spoken to and shared stories about women across the world.  Going forward, we are determined to keep the inspiration happening and to keep presenting our sisters and ourselves on a global scale.

 

Do you have your WMTS shirt?  Visit our gear page and get yours.  Send us your picture with your Women Move the Soul shirt.  We are an international movement of female inspiration.

 

The woman’s role in the family and in society is essential.  We are the spirit that moves, directs, guides, nurtures and gives so much love to our families, friends and people in general.  We are giving, loving, consistent, strong and full of the solid “rockness” that the world needs to turn itself around to love.

 

We thank you ever so much for reading our pages, sharing our stories and for being inspired and inspiring!  To those wonderful souls who have shared their stories, we thank you for being a light to those of us who are seeking ourselves.  We venture forward and continue on into our own greatness as powerful women who rock this world!!

 

 

 

We Want to Talk to You!

Hello Ladies.  We want to continue sharing stories of women from all over the world.  We’ve spoken to women in Africa, Russia and in several states in the U.S.

 

 

Everyone has a unique story.  Everyone experiences obstacles and finds ways to overcome them.   We are parents, sometimes single parents; we work jobs that we don’t like; we work jobs that we do like.  We have found ways to create revenue for ourselves and our families by not giving up.   We were diagnosed with an illness and that illness is no more.  We worked hard to lose weight and emerged lighter and happier.  You get the point.  We have done so many things, experienced many things, overcome many things.  Please contact us so we can share your story.

 

Perhaps we may think that our “little” experience or our “little” story is nothing.  It’s not inspirational.  You would be surprised how  someone else may view or be inspired by what you’ve done or what you’ve gone through.   It’s not bragging, it is sharing to help someone else.  If you did it, then you let someone else know that they can do it too.

 

So share the inspiration and contact us today!

 

 

 

I Refuse…

I ran into a girlfriend that I hadn’t seen in years.  It was wonderful to see her.  I didn’t say anything, but it was very sad to see that she had “left herself go.”  By that I mean all the weight she had gained.   Another friend of mine said she was on a diet and she remembered when she could eat an entire kitchen and not gain weight, but of course that is not the situation now.

 

Ladies, it is normal to get older and have your metabolism slow down.  But that just means that we need to exercise, eat healthy and in moderation.  I don’t sit down at a meal and eat until I can’t eat anymore.  I don’t overstuff myself.  I eat a lot of vegetables.  I eat fruit.  I stay away from colas.  I drink a lot of tea, hot and cold.  And, by the grace of God, I am healthy enough to exercise and move!  I walk every day, every other day.   I stretch, I dance.  I try to keep some fluidity in my body.

 

When I get lazy (and there are times that I do), the pounds start piling on rapidly.  I have to pull myself out of that funk and get moving.  I got up to 145 lbs and was very depressed about it for a bit.  But, then I smacked myself in the head and got to work.  Just from walking for 30 days, I have lost 8 lbs and am moving back down to my comfort level of 130 lbs.

 

If you are approaching or have reached middle age and the weight is piling on, get rid of it.  The older we get the more maladies try to encroach on our bodies.  If I live to be 90, I hope to stay slim,  mobile, flexible, healthy and strong.   Don’t accept yourself just any kind of way. YOU are in charge of you.  You are your own CEO!  Get moving and stay healthy.

ReDesigning OurSelves

We are in the midst of a redesign. We are seeking a more sleeker and professional look. So if you happen to visit and things seem a little awry, please bear with us because we don’t want to take the whole site down to redesign it. We prefer to edit it live so our special visitors like yourself won’t miss anything!

Be back with updates soon!

– Tomaca

I Made Homemade Syrup

I finally tried this recipe and I am banging myself upside the head for never even thinking about doing this years and years ago.  It was fantastic!  I will never, ever buy syrup again in my life!

 

SYRUP

1 c. White Sugar

1 c. Brown Sugar

1 c. Water

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. of Maple Extract (optional)

 

Mix all ingredients in a small pot, stir consistently and slowly bring to a boil.

Once it starts to boil, remove the pot from heat immediately otherwise it will boil over.

That’s it!  It’s done!  It even passed my son’s taste test.  It’s great!  You can let it cool and put on your waffles, your pancakes or whatever.  I stored what was left in the fridge and thus far we’ve been using it for the last two weeks.   Also, I did not have the maple extract and made mine without it.

————————————————————

I have been wanting to be a little more “organic” for many years.  I am finally beginning to make a slow transition to healthier foods that I make myself.  I want to get away from all the chemically-programmed foods that are sold to us in the grocery stores.   Now that I finally made syrup, the sky’s the limit!  I want to make my own ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings….and grow my own food!  2012 is my marker for further adventure in self-sustenance.

Every time I look at the ingredients on a label – any label – I am depressed about all the chemicals and high fructose corn syrup that is in everything.  You cannot escape it, unless you are buying strictly organic food, which is very expensive.  I think about all the toxins I ingest on a daily basis and that I have fed to my family… not a pleasant thought.

In my kitchen, I grow basil and parsley.  I planted tomatoes and onions, but they died off before bearing any fruit.  I also did not give them a lot of attention.  I’d walk over with my watering can once a week and let them be.  I will try again and give it a lot more effort – learn what kind of ph balance their soil needs, what’s the best light and just how much water is enough.

It’s winter where I am, but that won’t stop me from expanding my “kitchen crops.”   I feel great whenever I walk past basil and parsley in the grocery store.  “Ha ha!  I grow my own and don’t need to buy it from you,” I think to myself every time.  I’d like to be able to say that about Tomatoes, Broccoli, String Beans and Corn!  Yes!  Corn!  I’ll get there.  I promise to bring myself there to those places.  Ketchup is next on my list.

I will keep you posted and I will post recipes as I try them — and I will share what I learn about how to grow specific vegetables.   It will take me some time, but I am on my way.  Feel free to join me and feel free to share what you learn, what you do and how you do it.  Feed us!

 

 

Talking to Tomaca – WMTS Founder

Tomaca with her "babies" - 3 of her dogs

How did Women Move the Soul get started?

A conversation with an artist who said that “women move the soul; they are the life givers and creators,” among other things.  This was the inspiration and fueled the concept.  I asked him if it was okay to use his words and upon his approval, I bought the domain name.  I did that several years ago and did a little with the site, but not much because I was doing so many other things.  This year, 2011, I got focused on it and brought it to full life.

An important aspect of WMTS is that we are ALL stars.  I want people to get away from the concept and idea that the lives of celebrities are important and deserve the focus they get.  We, the regular, everyday woman deserve focus and celebration for everything that we do.  As I put in one of my editorials – at WMTS, we are not about glitz and glamour because that world is not a real one; it’s a false projection.   What we do in our lives is real.

 

How do you find the people that you interview?

In my heart and my soul I believe that we are all equal and the same.  When I meet someone, whether it’s virtually or in person, I want to know about that person and I want to find a way to connect with them on a deep level.  I am not superficial and genuinely care about other people.   If you do that and you have the opportunity to hear someone else’s story, there is always inspiration.  There is always a “wow” in there somewhere – — you accomplished that?  you overcame what?   WOW!

So that goes on and on and on.  The more you talk to people, the more you find.  And, also, there are those people who need a little encouragement or acknowledgement about what they’re doing or what they are thinking that they would like to do.  A kind word of support and sometimes a continued connection with continued encouragement is everything and means the world to people.  And, in these situations it’s not always a one-way thing.  Every time you give something, you get something back.  Also, you may think you are giving something and helping someone, but in reality, they are helping you.

So – I meet people on the internet and in person.  We also have other writers and contributors who write on other topics and about other people.  I can’t speak for how they find the people they write about that’s not so important; the important thing is that we share women’s stories and share inspiration.  We are women inspiring women!

 

What’s coming up for WMTS?  What do the readers have to look forward to in the coming new year?

Well, first of all, we invite everyone to take part in WMTS, whether it be writing for us by interviewing their own friends and/or posting their own stories – even leaving their comments on other people’s postings.  We look forward to as much participation as possible from everyone, everywhere.

We’ve added a social network component to the site and invite everyone to come on and build their profiles and start sharing with one another.  We have a forum that I would like to see being actively used also to generate conversation and inspiration!

One big thing that I would like to kick off is WMTS radio which would have original women’s music and podcasts of conversations on a variety of topics – all women for women by women.  We have so many issues that we deal with in our daily lives – children, husbands or partners, careers, financials, our bodies – an endless array of topics and issues.  We are different, but we are all the same when it comes down to those basic fundamentals.

The impact on a family is different when Mom is depressed, versus when Dad is depressed.  Women are the sun and the joy of the family.  We are the center.  So, we need to talk about all of those things that we are and that we experience.  By sharing, you help me and I help you.

We are always working on improving the look and the feel of the site.   Also improving our mobile app, expanding our stories and interviews, acquiring more writers and contributors and perspectives.

We would like to see international gatherings, meetings and summits sponsored by WMTS.  I personally would like to see us do fundraisers for certain things.  For instance, Denise’s Unstoppable story really touched me.  Here’s a woman who works part-time because she has children, who are smart and wonderful, but have medical issues and would like to go to a whale watch.  I think to go on a whale watch it’s just $40 some odd dollars for a ticket.  She would need a ticket for her and her children.  It wouldn’t take that much for all of us to send her on a whale watch if a lot of people contributed – say .50 cents or a dollar.  We’ll video tape her experience and share it with everyone as a way to say thank you.

I do a toy drive every year.  We collect new and used toys.  For the used toys, I personally make sure that everything is washed, clean, has batteries if it needs it and is working.  When they pick up the toys from us, they need a van because we collect so much.  We always turn around and say thank you to all the donors and we say thank you for bringing a smile to a child’s face who otherwise would not have one for the holiday season.  Sending Denise on a whale watch would do the same thing.

There is also a woman in Africa who wants to start a business and needs start-up capital.  She’s done her homework and has a viable idea – first of all – and a solid plan.  We could do a fundraiser and help her get started in her business and then she can turn around and help others.  This is how life should work with everyone helping everyone else.

So all that to say – gatherings, fundraisers and supporting our sisters is a part of our goals.  In five years or less, I would like to see those kinds of things happening on a regular basis.

Want Glamour & Dazzle?

Do you want a women’s site with glamour and dazzle?  Well, don’t look here.  Women Move the Soul is about Women Inspiring Women on the real level.  We’re not into razzle and dazzle.  We don’t do glamour.

 

The women that you see in magazines and in commercials are not the everyday woman.  Their weight is not realistic or even ideal.  And even after they spend hours getting their make-up done and their hair done, their photos are still air-brushed and fake.

 

We deal with real women and real women’s issues.  We refuse to pattern ourselves after other women’s magazines who project the so-called “perfect image” which is in reality more like a stick figure woman.

 

So, as the new year rolls in, we are going to stay who we are – real women inspiring real women — really!

 

– Tomaca

 

 

Make Christmas Special

We have been conditioned and trained to shop and to continuously buy new things.  If you celebrate Christmas, why not make it a different kind of Christmas by changing your gift-giving habits.  We don’t always need those new sparkly things that we have to spend money on.  All we need is a little imagination and creativity.  Here are a few suggestions.  After you read through the list, give it some thought and tap into your own creative mind and find a way to do make Christmas free or supportive of our local artisans and shops and find a way to make it fun!

 

Something old to you is always something new to someone else.

Look into your closet and pull out those clothes that you never wear.  Clean them, bag them up and give them to someone who will wear them.

Jewelry – same thing.  Go through your boxes and collections and select some nice pieces that someone else might enjoy.

Learn how to knit or crochet and make someone a nice scarf for the winter.

Sewing talent?  Aprons are always wonderful gifts for cooks and non-cooks alike.  How about the “grill master” who spends time barbecuing during the summer?  He or she would probably love something like that.

Sit down with your kids and help them make some really attractive bookmarks as stocking stuffers.

 

Give someone a coupon to do some work for them:

– This coupon entitles you to grass cutting for the entire month of July.

– This coupon means I give Mom and break and do the dishes every Friday.

You get the idea.  Don’t just give “stuff,” give of yourself, your time and your talents!

 

Get a gift certificate for a haircut at the local barbershop or hair salon.

Gift certificate for a dog bath or toe nail trim.  Or make a coupon to do these things yourself…

 

Get into fun with the arts and crafts –

– Draw or sew a nice design on a tshirt

– Make a necklace or earrings

– Remember popsicles?  Make a nice popsicle box for someone to store their favorite little things in.

– Cardboard boxes can be turned into great doll houses.  The crafting of the furniture, the windows, the flooring can take you on an amazing creative adventure.

– Cigar boxes are great to decorate to hold little treasures.  Stop into your local smoke shop and ask for an empty cigar box.  Sometimes they may sell them for a dollar or so, or they might be free.

 

Get the idea?  Christmas doesn’t have to cost a small fortune.  It is not wise to take on a year or two worth of debt just to go out and buy and bunch of stuff and clutter.    Get together with your girlfriends, your children, your family and talk about it.  If you can see beyond the projected commercial illusion of the Christmas holiday, you’ll be alright.  It might be difficult at first to be different, but being different is cool and gives you a sense of power when you can step outside of what’s considered “normal” and stand for your opinion.

This can be especially challenging for children because the Christmas pressure from other kids at school can be great.  But, continual conversations will help them get through it.  And, they’ll watch you and take cues from you.  It’s about breaking conditioning and it can be done.

And, if you are religious and Christmas is about the birth of Christ, then nothing else matters – does it?

At my house, I don’t do Christmas trees and lights.  I don’t have boxes of decorations that sit in storage for all but one month out of the year.  I do, however try to rescue as many poinsettias as I can.  Sounds silly, but people buy them expressly for the holiday and then throw them away.  Especially at my office.  So I will collect them, and then turn around and give them away to people at shelters or if I am sensing a little sadness in someone (even a complete stranger), I will give them a plant.  Poinsettia bushes are beautiful.  (I’m an animal and plant person anyway.)

So back to going into debt to feed the illusion of the Christmas holiday — Break the mold.  Break the chain.  Live life differently.  And if you do celebrate, Merry Christmas.

 

– Tomaca

Education is Key

I am “uneducated” in that I did not go to college and obtain a degree.  I never thought this was a big deal when I was younger.  I was busy working, providing for and taking care of my family.  As I got older and my children started leaving to live their own lives, I looked back and thought about all of the things that I did and how I could have done things better.   Not that I can change the past, but I can make things different going forward.

When I graduated high school, I was accepted into seven colleges and all the letters came with the same message.  Send us X thousands of dollars and you can come here.  Of course my parents didn’t have that kind of money and I didn’t know how to ask anyone for help.  How do I do this?  How can I make this happen?  How can I get into this college?  I ended up not going to college.  I soon was married and starting a family.

As I meet more women and learn about their backgrounds, I am so delighted to find out many have an education.  They are learned women, thus they are empowered with knowledge. This is something no one can ever take from you.  You can live your life with more consistency, awareness and a higher earning power.

So, to all of my women, my sisters – embrace those that follow you.  Connect with them beyond a superficial level.  Open your heart so you can open their minds and follow through.  Establish a bond of love and trust.  Do unto them what you would have done unto you.  Embrace them and get them to educate themselves.  Use time to your advantage.  Education is key.

 

Denise and Being Unstoppable

I was very moved by Denise’s story.  Here’s a woman who has been a caretaker for her entire life.  She’s not unlike most of us; we care for our husbands and our children often to the point of the exclusion of ourselves.  As I said in an earlier post, when all else fails, everyone turns to Mom.  We have the power, the resolve and the stamina to get things done for our families.  I read somewhere that the most powerful prayers are the prayers of Mothers.   When we ask for things or pray, there is nothing that compares to our light.  It’s shines above and beyond all others.

Then there is the old saying that “Hell hath no wrath like a woman scorned.”  Even men fear us because they know we are the world; we are power and if you get our ire up, there’s no stopping us.

I was almost 5 months pregnant with my son when my water broke.  When I got to the hospital and the doctors checked me, they suggested abortion.  They said the baby was too small to make it.  But, I had resolve.  I told them to do what they had to do because this baby was fine and everything was going to be okay.

I lay in that hospital bed for a few days waiting for the inevitable – the birth of my son.  It was just a matter of time.  When I felt him sliding out of me, I called for the doctors  and they did an emergency C-section.  They pulled him out and whisked him away.  Though I laid in a drugged stupor, I was still aware of what was going on.   His eyes were open as they removed him from me.

The following morning, the head of the pediatric ICU came to me and said “You made an excellent decision, this baby is very strong.”  All I could say is “I know.”

My prayer during that pregnancy was probably the strongest it has ever been in my entire life.  I wished this child life.  Today he is 25 and I am a proud Mom of not just him, but of my other two children.  It goes to show, don’t mess with a woman and her child.  Denise, thank you for what you do.  Thank you for being an example to the rest of us of how to be “unstoppable.”