"I am alive and kicking"

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Monday, August 29, 2016

A Howling Good Time

Okay, so last week we had a good laugh about our dog, shortly after National Dog Day.
Gus is a barker. He barks at walkers, bicyclists, cars driving by, Derek coming home from work, the cats, and so on.
But now he is a howler.
Until this year, Gus has never howled, and we find it hilarious.
I hope you enjoy this photo as much as we enjoy goofy little Gus howling.
Have a good Monday!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hip Hip Hooray for School!

Thank GOD school is back in session here in South Dakota.
While Jacob is a fantastic kid, and is usually pretty self-sufficient, he was getting bored with riding his bike and hoping the neighbor kid was out and able to play.
Needless to say, we pretty much shared a low five when I dropped him off at his first day of first grade on Wednesday and went our separate ways.
He told me this morning (proudly), "Mom, I didn't even cry on my first day of first grade!"
He then proceeded to take two crosswalks on his own (with help from the crossing guard) and walk into school by himself. He had lots of practice for three-quarters of the year last year, but this was the first time crossing both roads on his own!
For your enjoyment today, I'll share the few pictures for which he so graciously posed on Wednesday.
Have a great weekend!

Jacob ready to leave home bound for his first day of first grade. (Photo by Anna Jauhola)

Jacob outside his school. He added the coat because it was a bit nippy. (photo by Anna Jauhola)

Jacob with one of his besties, Steven (my bestie's kiddo). (photo by Anna Jauhola)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Is Earth flat? Let me tell you ....

Far be it for me to judge others' belief systems, but I found one this morning that is so off the wall, I had to share.
Now, I'm always up for a good conspiracy theory -- the moon landing was faked; aliens established humans on earth; the government is poisoning our water with fluoride.
But, Earth is flat? The sun is a concave disk? Antarctica is actually a big ice wall keeping the water on Earth's flat surface? Hmmm ....
That's a little far-fetched.
However, there are thousands of people out there who believe in this theory and dispute facts like gravity and magnetism. They are called Flat Earthers, or followers of The Flat Earth Society -- a real society.
And they would say I'm brainwashed, or perhaps a paid government employee spewing propaganda.

A screenshot of the post that led me to read more about Flat Earthers.
Unless these guys can absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt PROVE to me that Earth is not a sphere and that we live under a large dome like in The Truman Show, I think I'll continue to live the "lie" as they call it.
Computer graphics and photo clarity are becoming quite astonishing, which leads me to believe there are satellites in space (and that space exists) taking pictures of our spherical Earth. However, Flat Earthers believe there is no space and that we all live under a dome. They believe the moon landing was faked after NASA found out they could not launch a rocket into space, because there was no space. So rather than owning up that the Earth is flat, Flat Earthers believe NASA faked the moon landing to cover up their mistake.
This might beg the question, why would the government and NASA pretend they took pictures of Earth from space in 1947, long before the moon landing, if it didn't really happen? What did they have to prove 22 years before men landed on the moon? What did they have to hide? Among many other question, I'm sure.
This is one of my favorite conspiracy theories in a long time.
To say the earth does not move through space, but rather is stationary, is so ridiculous I have a very difficult time believing it. And to say gravity doesn't exist and things "just drop" is so odd.
It would be funny, though, if I lived to see the day a Flat Earther launched a weather balloon that actually hit the dome and recorded that we have lived a lie for hundreds of years.
I would then fully believe the moon landing was fake, aliens established not only humans on Earth but possibly the odd flat Earth itself, and that the government is poisoning me with fluoride.
In the meantime, I'll remain a brainwashed slave of the government (that's sarcasm) and stick with Einstein in saying (quite judgingly): "Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not so sure about the universe."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Atomic Age design was off the wall

This morning, as I perused Facebook, I came upon a strange picture of an "Atomic Age" vanity.
My brain was still a bit foggy so I had to look closer at it and realized, "Hey! That's from the 1950s!"
I've often dreamed of living in the 1950s for the simplicity of the times, but now I want to live in the 1950s for the ridiculously fun furniture and accessories! And of course to view everyone's anxiety about aliens and Russians.
Anyway, this is the picture I saw this morning:

Wouldn't this be fun!?
Then I thought, where did this crazy type of design come from? Everything is made at odd angles and in fantastical colors.
According to an article in a magazine called Humanities, the futuristic style of furniture and accessories was organic.

From the article: "As the Machine Age waned, a new style emerged, bringing boomerang-pattern Formica and kidney-shaped coffee tables into American homes. "

I totally remember Atomic Age Formica counter tops from my high school Home Ec room. I was always intrigued by the boomerang shapes overlapping each other in an almost overwhelming design. If I recall, the background was a yellowish color and the boomerangs were outlines, like this:

Stared at this every day during 9th grade. Seriously overwhelming, but my
classmates and I did get a kick out of some of the shapes looking like the Nike symbol.
Some of my favorite interaction with Atomic Age design was at a friend's grandmother's house. Holy. Moly. So many things about that home -- to this day -- is total Atomic Age. I'm pretty sure she still has the plug-in alarm clocks that look similar to this:

This is a pretty tame design, but you see the organic-inspired shape in the
little legs under the clock. There are crazier and cooler designs out there.

She may even have a dresser or two that look like this, which I think is still a functional and classy design:

 As I scrolled through photos of Atomic Age furniture, I realized we had at least two pieces in our house growing up. One god-awful clock and an end table that looked similar to the design below, without the fancy side brackets.

I don't recall the clock much, but I know we had one similar to this a long time ago.

And then, just for fun, look at these lamps! They look like a mushroom cloud following an atomic explosion. Wild.

So. The Atomic Age of design. It was pretty neat.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Inspirational video for your Monday

Mondays are hard. 

So please enjoy this video link to a great clip on living up to your potential. 

Screen shot of Unified Soul Theory's video on YouTube.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Healing from the inside out

Infrared sauna great addition to Float Spa

Angie and Tim have done it again!
My morning began with a headache, which only increased, and once again Mitchell's Float Spa has relieved my tension.
As if Float Spa wasn't already awesome enough, owners Angie and Tim Moon have improved the town's newest hotspot with an infrared sauna.

"It has provided our clients with an opportunity to feel relaxed prior to their experience in the float pod." ~ Angie Moon

Ahhh ... I love a good sauna. Lucky I wore shorts today.
I tested out the sauna today and the experience was awesome! I've been fond of steam saunas in the past having felt amazing afterward, but this one was more comfortable and would likely fit more easily into a busy life.
The infrared sauna heats you from the inside out, Angie said.
For those of you who may not know, Float Spa opened in January. Clients float in pods filled with 10 inches of water, in which 1,000 pounds of epsom salts are disolved. You float like you are in the Dead Sea. Blissssssssssful!
Now, clients will have the opportunity to enhance their floating experience by opening their pores and relaxing their muscles prior to floating.
Angie noted several benefits the sauna provides, many of which correspond with the benefits of floating:

  • Pain relief through dilating the blood vessels.
  • Stress reduction. 
  • Improves skin through removing impurities. 
  • Lowers blood pressure by making the heart pump faster, in turn increasing blood flow.
  • Improves circulation, which is imperitive to human health and healing. 
  • Boosts immune system, helping with recovery time from injuries or illness. 
  • Weight loss by increasing heart rate and burning up to 600 calories in 30 minutes in the sauna. 
  • Detoxification of impurities from your body. 
You can read more about the sauna benefits while in the sauna! (Photo by Anna Jauhola)
OK. So some people get scared when they hear the word sauna because they think HOT. Well, yes, it gets warm, but really the infrared sauna wasn't as warm as I thought it would get.
Angie noted that traditional saunas heat the air and can reach brutal temperatures between 180 and 220 degrees Farhenheit. I've experienced a traditional Finnish sauna, and it is amazing, but I'm strange and love those types of things. However, on a regular basis, I'd much rather prefer the infrared sauna.
The infrared sauna was more like sitting outside on a 90 degree day, even though my session got up to 121 degrees!
Toward the very end of my session, it dropped two degrees.

It is surprising how warm the temperature is
inside the sauna. It doesn't feel
that warm! (Photo by Anna Jauhola)
My 15-minute sauna was lovely even with
the 84-degree outside temps.
(Photo by Anna Jauhola)

Instead of using steam and other ways to create heat, the infrared sauna uses infrared light. The sauna will never get above 150 degrees, Angie said, and two adults can sit in it at a time.
"It's another tool that helps relax the mind and muscles," Angie said. "In order to maximize the benefit of both therapies, we suggest at 15-minute sauna followed by a 60-minute float. The sauna opens the pores, allowing for greater absoption of magnesium, the significant healing element found in epsom salts."
Clients can also book appointments to just sit in the sauna. Try it out! It's totally awesome.

Business increasing

Since I last talked to Angie, the Float Spa has seen repeat and new clients alike. She said the spa's days are 50/50 with new and returning clients.
She and Tim still plan on becoming a fixture on Mitchell's Main Street.
"We love downtown Mitchell and see ourselves with a product that can achieve long term success," she said.
She added that clientele continues to be all ages. Many elderly or older clients book appointments in the mornings and early afternoons. Middle aged and younger clients book appointments in the afternoons and evenings.
The Float Spa has room to expand if needed, Angie said, but so far the two pods and sauna are sufficient for the business.
"We want to be a small business that helps each person and to provide a lasting effect to each client that comes through the door," Angie said.
Float Spa is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sundays. You can book appointments online.

Client comments

"I have never felt more relaxed" is one of the most common phrases Angie hears from clients after a float. 
She also hears that the float pods are much bigger than clients imagined; those afraid of the lid being closed ended up closing the lid; clients who use the sauna are much more relaxed prior to a float; and "I can't believe I fell asleep!" 
The second most common comment: "If I didn't receive this gift certificate, I would never have tried this. Thank you so much for bringing this to Mitchell.

Monday, August 8, 2016

GOAL: Working to Increase My Followers

Fun Fact: My only registered follower on Anna's Not Dead is my brother.
When I saw this, I realized it was time to make it a goal to get more followers! 
Many people are repeat readers, as far as I can tell, but it would be awesome if I could start a good list of faithful readers. 
Today, I bring you a few simple ways to follow my blog. 

Easily enough, I now have a Follow button at the very top of my homepage.
When you click Follow, if you are already logged into Google or Blogger, a pop-up page will tell you how your information will appear on my page.
If you are not logged in to Google or Blogger, it will ask you to create a FREE account, which is super easy, by the way.

Just a little ways down on the same side of the page, you can also follow me on GooglePlus.

I do have nine followers on GooglePlus already, to whom I am extremely thankful! Hope to see you there!

At the very bottom of any page on my blog, you will find a spot to enter your email address in order to get updates whenever I post a new blog. You can also send me comments or questions from the Contact Form.

So there are the simple ways you can follow Anna's Not Dead. I hope to see my numbers soar, as I'm often optimistic on a Monday. I realistically expect maybe one or two new followers every so often. Hope you have a fantastic week.
Until Thursday!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Difference Between A Dream and A Goal

A good swift kick in the butt can really create motivation.
Elite Blog Academy posts on my Facebook feed have popped up for several months now. I submitted my email to receive promotions and freebies from the founder, Ruth Soukup. Her name has appeared in my promotions email tab so often, I love seeing it show up. But when the ugly apathy monster rears its head, any mention of anyone offering tips on how to become an awesome blogger is most unwelcome.
So I ignored these emails for a while, I'm ashamed to admit, along with several other emails from other sites to which I'd subscribed.
However, the other day, on my Facebook feed Elite Blog Academy popped up once more and caught me on a good day. It advertised the Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers -- a freebie, by the way.
And I competed my workbook last night.

The Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers by Ruth Soukup is a good start to making a dent in your blogging or writing goals. (photo by Anna Jauhola)

It. Felt. Good.
Hooray for the first step!
Creating long term and short term goals is helpful, motivating and the swift kick I needed.
But that's not all the workbook offers. Not by a long shot.
Every day I see things I should be doing rather than checking Facebook or watching my lame selection of television. My laundry is woefully behind and my floors need to be swept, but that's not what I'm talking about.
My writing is suffering the worst because I become complacent and convince myself my writing isn't important enough that people will read it.
However, I know that's not true and I know I want my writing to work for me, which is where the first worksheet comes in from Soukup's workbook -- List Your Priorities.
In writing down what's important about my writing and and other important tasks in my daily life, it was interesting to see where my priorities should lie.
I was able to list my top five priorities and later in the workbook I was able to list five things I could eliminate entirely from my daily life.
My initial priorities are:

(photo by Anna Jauhola)

My husband and I have some lofty dreams, which shouldn't be as complicated as we make them. Blogging is a part of my plan to make those dreams come true.
The second worksheet pushes you to create long term and short term goals. But first, you are challenged to imagine your life five years from now as a motivator to reach the goals you set.

(photo by Anna Jauhola)
How the hell I'm going to accomplish all these is not within my grasp -- yet. But I'm confident I'll get there.

Worksheet three is oddly titled at first glance. I do not want to eat frogs. However, it comes from a great quote by Mark Twain -- "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's the best to do it first thing in the morning. Chances are, it will be the worst thing you do all day." Basically, this worksheet makes you focus on setting aside a certain amount of time each morning to work on your goals and important tasks before you do anything else.
My mornings are quite short and my only real chore is dishes right away in the moning, but I also vowed I will not look at my phone, watch the news or get ready for work until I've worked on my goals.

(photo by Anna Jauhola)

Ms. Soukup's workbook also encourages you to reset morning and evening habits. My habits are to get up in the morning, immediately make coffee and sit down to watch the news. The evening is nearly the same, except I grab a glass of water or milk and sit down to watch TV, which is ridiculous considering I have two channels.
Here are my habits I'd like to develop:

(photo by Anna Jauhola)

The final worksheet in the Goal Setting Workbook helps you define what you can do without in your life in order to make your priorities more prominent.
Here are five things I am going to work on eliminating:

(photo by Anna Jauhola)

I look at Facebook way too often, comparing my life to those whose lives seem to be rosy and trouble-free. I also check my blog stats too often, and become discouraged when I see my posts only get 40 to 50 views.
My biggest problem is making excuses as to why I don't need to write today, the biggest lie being that I won't succeed in becoming a freelancer.

Writing things down has always helped me remember stuff, like groceries, when school is out early, if I need to pick up something random from the store, and so on.
Through a little effort and persistence, Ms. Soukup's workbook will help me remember my goals, priorities and what's important.
As she says in some of her opening remarks: "The difference between a DREAM and a GOAL is often nothing more than a piece of paper." Or in my case, my hand.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Baby Steps to Better Planning, More Writing

Excuses can really take over when my brain does not want to allow me to write.
There's one now -- I'm blaming my brain for my lack of writing, lethargy and downright procrastination.

Organization, scheduling and procrastination are my weak points when it
comes to my own writing. I'm working on that. (Photo by Anna Jauhola)

I've been scouring for some advice on how to become better organized and be a more consistent writer. One of my favorite blogs is The Write Life.
Today, I read an especially reassuring blog post about why writers struggle with writer's block.
The author, Jes Gonzalez, hit a note with me with number 4 of her list of 6 Reasons You're Struggling To Overcome Writer's Block.
I have trouble making my writing a priority. I do not have a schedule for when I should sit down and either plan or just write.
It's hard to finish my day at work and then say, "Hey, now is YOUR time. Write away!" I tend to get distracted by thoughts of groceries, chores at home and so on.
Instead, I recently spoke with my boss and was able to rearrange my work schedule to focus more on my writing, so there's baby step one!
Now I need to bookmark Ms. Gonzalez's post to remind myself to not be too hard on myself, create motivations to write and to just plain write. I definitely have plenty of ideas rolling around my brain.
So here's to better planning and more writing.