The art of the “siesta”

siesta4.jpegI love my naps…oh man I do. My whole family has taken it to a new levelartform.  My brother in law dutifully informed me he has never seen a woman take as many naps as my sister. I thought this was normal. When nature calls I answer. If I need to listen to my body I will……..ahhhhh yes…right now as I sit on the brink of doing overtime yet once again I can feel my lovely bed calling my name.

 So what is a siesta?

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noun  synonyms: nap, sleep, rest, catnap, doze; inf. forty winks, snooze. Well, definitely for this gal it is all that and then some.  Sometimes when I have the urge to nap it can be anywhere from between a half hour to 3 hours…depends on how tired I am.  Just how it is.  Even our pets (all of ours) love to take naps. I love the feeling of lying down when you are wiped out and just snoozing away. Some say it is in our blood because of my Puerto Rican heritage but how do you explain dad? Yep, he loves his naps also.  How to sleep a Siesta: To fully enjoy a siesta it is very important to have a good lunch with friends or/and relatives.1. The real siesta takes place in bed and in pyjamas, but a comfortable sofa is also fine if no bed is not available. 2. Timing is very important. A siesta should last between 15-30 minutes, no more.3. Don’t let anything disturb you. The siesta is a very serious business. Some people can’t enjoy a siesta unless the TV or radio is on. If these kind of things help you to fall asleep, use them.4. The best way to wake up from a siesta is to hear a delicate human voice. If you don’t have anybody near, remember to use an alarm clock.Tips:· Right after the siesta, a glass of water and a piece of chocolate will make your life easier.

· Disconnect all telephones!

———————————-A siesta (IPA: /siːˈɛstə/, original Spanish pronunciation IPA: [ˈsjest̪a]) is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleepis a common tradition in some countries, particulary those where the weather is warm. The word siesta is Spanish, from the Latin hora sexta – “the sixth hour” (counting from dawn, therefore noon, hence “midday rest”).The siesta is the traditional daily sleep of the Iberian peninsula and, through Spanish influence, of Latin American countries. Afternoon sleep is also a common habit in the Proshop Philippines, China, India, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Malta, the Middle East and North Africa. In these countries, the heat can be unbearable in the early afternoon, making a midday break in the comfort of one’s home ideal. However, in some countries where naps are taken, such as Northern Spain, Southern Argentina, and Chile, the climate is similar to that of Canada and Northern Europe. Besides the climate, in many countries with this habit it is common to have the largest meal of the day in the afternoon, in contrast with other countries where only a lighter lunch is taken.The original concept of a siesta was merely that of a midday break. This break was intended to allow people time to be spent with their friends and family.

Others suggest that the long length of the modern siesta dates back to the Spanish Civil War, when poverty resulted in many Spaniards working multiple jobs at irregular hours, pushing back meals to later in the afternoon and evening.1 However, this hypothesis sounds unlikely, considering that the siesta tradition is very common in Latin America and other countries with Hispanic influence, much before the Spanish Civil War.Although colonized by Portugal, being part of South America, and clearly dominated by equatorial to tropical climate, Brazil stands in glaring cultural contrast in regard to the adoption of an afternoon nap.Websites: http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/siesta/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siesta

The benefits of hot chocolate

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I loooovvvveeee to drink it late at night, especially before bedtime—curled up in my bed with my multitude of blankets watching the History Channel….. It is a whole sensory overload of yumminess…(if this is even a word)…..GOD!!! The smell, taste, warmth…ahhhh many benefits.  Scientists tote the clear-cut properties of hot chocolate—something my taste buds already knew:

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For those who want the tasty treat but also want to avoid extra sugar and dairy products that are common additives to cocoa, healthier alternatives are possible: Skim or soy milk can substitute for regular milk, while an artificial sweetener can replace the sugar.

Although you can enjoy cocoa either hot or cold, the hot version tends to trigger the release of more antioxidants than its cold counterpart, the researcher says.

Antioxidant-rich cocoa is also found in many different products including desserts, sauces, liqueurs and candy bars, which differ widely in their cocoa content. But when given a choice between getting your antioxidant fix from a cup of cocoa or a candy bar, it is better to go with the drinkable stuff, says Lee. A normal 40-gram bar of chocolate contains about 8 grams of saturated fat, compared to only 0.3 grams in an average cup of hot cocoa, he notes.

Website:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031106051159.htm

Has the mission/words of Christ been distorted?

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Personally, I think His words have been distorted.  Why else would we have all these different Christian sects, why did the Roman Catholic Church create internal upheaval since the Middle Ages?  Why are there pastors running around in Rolls Royces? I doubt seriously Jesus would condone such behavior. All you have to do is examine His teachings and realize that His words, His mission has been severely distorted throughout the ages to fit the image of man and man not fitting the image of God.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

“My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

Are you a risk taker or methodical planner?

street_speed_bump_238819_l.jpegI had a conversation regarding this topic last night and it made me think back to my own life.  I like to think I am both.  When I joined the Army I thought about it for two years (from the time I was 15) before signing on the dotted line when I was 17.

My jobs pretty much all have been research oriented such as being an Intelligence Analyst (96B) to my current employment.  I love learning new things. Since I was a child I would immerse myself in dictionaries, read the Childcraft Encyclopedias, read many many novels and loved old movies. 

A part of me feels like there is always so much to learn so I dive right into researching. ;^)

However, a part of me would love to be a daredevil…to throw caution to the wind and “dive right in.” 

Being that impulsive can scare me a little only because I don’t want to dive right in regarding major issues.  What is interesting is that people come in all shapes and sizes and this includes how they perceive their world.  Nothing wrong with that because wow, how boring it would be if everyone was the same. We are always going to have our risk takers, our methodical planners. Ahh…makes this world of ours go ’round………….

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Website:

http://www.howconference.com/downloads/handouts_2005/W-rannalletta.pdf

Living in the moment……

Do you live in the moment or do you wish your life away…always in a hurry to get to the next day, event, engagement…whatever that may be.

Sometimes I am guilty of this…then I think back on the richness of my life, thankful to have been able to experience so much.  I like to think I lived an above average existence.  One motivation for joining the Army was to do something different than those around me.  Not too many girls in my high school were keen on joining the service. I am proud that I followed through on that quest.

I also am proud of the fact I was able to visit the Middle East in 2006.  Not too many people get the opportunity to venture outside of their comfort zone (cannot blame them sometimes). But for me, for what I want out of life…to push myself—I wanted and needed to go.  Plenty of people were afraid for my safety but the funny thing was…I never felt afraid. For me traveling to Oman and UAE was a great big adventure. I soaked in the culture, the sounds, the scents. I am grateful to have been given that wonderful opportunity to visit.  Though I may never get that chance I am glad I have the memories to carry for a lifetime.

That is the key about life…find something which gives you passion, joy, a reason for living.  Doesn’t have to be so dramatic as joining the military or traveling overseas. Whatever it is that makes you feel alive, feel good on the inside and gives you strength.  I always felt that life has to be worth living. Not just a day to day existence. I know I have been caught in some serious ruts…recognizing this and pulling yourself out of it is the key.  Find a passion for life…embrace the moment, live for it..revel in your freedom….I know I can sound like a flower toting hippie at times but to be honest I would much rather live for the moment then be stuck in a dreary rut…give me these moments any given day and I will show you a happy and healthy person.

Legends of rock and roll

61n8wq9k2yl_aa240_.jpegConversation I had on English Sabla regarding Black Metal had me reminiscing to the days I used to listen to music from Black Sabbath, Ozzie, Pink Floyd, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Scorpions, Deep Purple, Aerosmith……… just to name a few. 

As stated in a previous post, a group of us would go to the vil in S. Korea for partying (especially when we were sleeping in tents for days)….but was mostly to unwind and listen to some good old American rock and roll.  When you spend a whole day taking military orders, and living in that constricting environment (which has its good and bad points) you want to unwind with a beer or two.

I can listen to a song right now from that era and be instantaneously transported 20 years. Wow, 20 years…am I getting that old?

Seriously, I think that some of the music I listen to today has lost that edge, that soul…you get copy cats or wanna be’s who think that they can match or surpass bands such as these. Maybe I am wrong…maybe the new bands out there just want to make a fresh name for this genre but I wonder.

Workout Wednesday

treadmill.jpgNot that I want to (sad) but have to.  I have to get my butt motivated for the wedding. I have all these gorgeous summery dresses I want to wear and they all call for nice arms and killer back.

But at this exact moment I just want to curl up in a painful position on my couch with blanket in hand, and suck my thumb.  Yeah…..now that makes for a nice picture.

I feel extremely bloated…nice feeling.  I overate today and my body is protesting big time. I need to quit eating with my eyes (old saying my mom had for me).

For breakfast ate a granola bar with coffee, then two donuts when the snack attack hit, (that is what did me in), then two chicken legs and a sweet potato for lunch.

Right now all I want to do is fall into a blissful coma.  I really need to get on the ball and take a multi-vitamin…something to get me out of this routine funk. It does feel like one today. Right now I could go for a siesta and sleep for at least 2 or 3 hours. Man, that would be like sooooooo nice…………my thermos is empty and if I want coffee (if I weren’t so full I would chug a thermos right this minute). 

Now I will have to trudge downstairs to the NARA cafeteria to get some and even right now my motivation is down the toliet. Nice post huh?  Just full of cheer………..I will figure something out and hopefully when I leave here this afternoon I will have the energy to punish myself at the gym.

Puerto Rico Vacations

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Gotta promote the island:

Puerto Rico beckons active travelers interested in spicing up their vacations! From hiking in a forest, to dining on the infusion of classic and delectable Caribbean cuisine, to romantic walks on a moonlit beach, virtually any type of vacation interest can be accommodated in the land of your dreams, Puerto Rico.

Both Spanish and English are the official languages, the local currency is the U.S. dollar, and no visas or passports are required to enter Puerto Rico from the United States. Mail is sent through the US Postal Service at the same rates as on the mainland.

Puerto Rico is 100 long by 35 miles wide and as a result of its geographical position in the center of the arc of the Antilles, Puerto Rico is essentially a crossroads of Hispanic and Anglo cultures. Despite it’s very diverse influx of cultures, Puerto Rico has been a part of the United States since 1898 and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917.

Since the first humans came ashore thousands of years ago, the island that is now known as Puerto Rico has sheltered Indians, Spaniards, Africans and Anglos. The Spaniards had the earliest and greatest influence to the Island at their arrival in 1493. During their 400-year tenure the Spaniards laid the bedrock of the language and culture. They built cities and towns, fortresses and churches, lighthouses and roadways. They brought slaves from Africa to work in the fields, who, in turn, contributed the spice of their culture, enriching the language, music and diets.

Close to 4 million people live on the “Island of Enchantment,” with more than a million in the greater San Juan metropolitan area alone. It is a vibrant, modern, bilingual, multicultural society, one that has been molded by Spanish, African, Indian and U.S. influences. Residents of Puerto Rico have much in common with their fellow Americans in the continental United States, yet they retain a decidedly Hispanic heritage.

The climate is as close to perfect as it can get, averaging 83°F (22.7°C) in the winter and 85°F (29.4°C) in the summer. In other words, it’s always summer! The trade winds cool the coastal towns and the temperature decreases as you go up into the higher mountains.

Puerto Rico is in the Atlantic Time Zone, but does not observe Daylight Savings Time. The island uses standard U.S. electric current. European appliances require an adapter.

There are no customs duties on articles bought in Puerto Rico and taken to the U.S. mainland. Major credit cards are accepted at most businesses, and ATMs connected to major US and international networks are easy to find.

Business hours are similar to those on the mainland, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM weekdays (the siesta has pretty much disappeared). Most stores are open Saturdays, and all of the larger towns have shopping malls that are open evenings and Sundays.

Website:

http://www.gotopuertorico.com/index.php