5 free educational sites with printables for young children

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Yesterday I posted five of my favorite educational websites for young kids.  Below I have listed 5 of my favorite educational sites that you can print worksheets or activities for your children/grandchildren.  Although my kidds are older now, I remember the days when I was at home, ill, with kids under my feet and struggling……….A LOT……………to keep them entertained and occupied.  May those who need this find the same success.

 

http://www.kidzone.ws/

 

https://www.abcteach.com/

 

/www.education.com/worksheets/

 

http://www.dltk-kids.com/

 

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html – not everything here is free but I loved using this site.

 

Until next time………….You my dear, are a superhero!

Charities that will pick up your spring cleaning giveaways.

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Sometimes we are just not able to personally remove all of the unwanted stuff out of our home.  It is either too heavy, too big, or there is just too much to physically put in a vehicle.  So, during my last decluttering session, I went on a quest and searched for places that would be willing to come and pick up all of my discarded treasures.

The quickest pick-up date was given by Goodwill and they were willing to come to my house and take all my stuff as long as it was on the first floor and was near an exit.  Done!  I set up an appointment via computer and they showed up on time and away my stuff went.  In fact, it was so easy I had them come back for more!  It felt so invigorating and freeing to let stuff go.  Less stuff = less cleaning = more energy for other activities.  Woohoo!

The organizations below are not available for pick-up in all locations, but I have provided links below for further information.  These are not posted in any particular order and is it not an all inclusive list.   Happy Spring Cleaning!

 

General household donations:

American Kidney Fund

Goodwill

The Salvation Army

Big Brothers Big Sisters

AmVets

Vietnam Veterans of America

Disabled American Veterans – DAV

Volunteers of American

Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Arc

St. Vincent De Paul

Lupus American Household Goods Donation Program

 

Cell phone/Smart phone/Tablet

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Secure the Call

Medic Mobile

1 Million Project

 

Boat donations:

Boat Angel

Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship

Chapman School of Seamanship

Angel for Hope

 

Motor vehicles:

American Children’s Cancer Foundation

American Kidney Fund

Wheels for Wishes

Kars 4 Kids

Volunteers of America

The Arc

 

Building Materials/Cabinets/Appliances:

Habitat for Humanity

 

Don’t forget to get a receipt for tax deduction purposes.  All of the stuff you move out of your house to make it more comfortable and enjoyable is going to help others also live a better life.  A BIG win-win situation!

Until next time………….YOU are a superhero and helping others is what superheros do best!

10 things I do when I have to travel, while my stupid chronic illnesses tag along.

green and white volkswagen combi

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When I was much younger, traveling was something I looked forward to doing in my life.  I dreamed that some day I/we would have enough money to visit a few places I have always dreamed of seeing in person……..Italy, India, Cuba, Belize and the Southwest U.S.  Instead, extra money goes to pay medical bills and the thought of getting on a plane or sitting in a vehicle for a long road trip creates anxiety.  I already feel ill, being in a moving anything makes me feel worse…………every, single, time. Period.  It just sucks.

But there are times in our life when we need to go somewhere that requires being in a moving vehicle for more than a trip across town, and since teleportation isn’t a thing yet, I just have to suck it up and get through it.

So here are a few things that have made traveling more bearable for me:

  1.  I stay hydrated.  I always feel better when my body has adequate water.  Bottled is a must as tap (chlorinated) water makes me instantly ill.
  2.   I eat as healthy as possible.  Junk food makes me feel like just like that, junk.  I usually pack a cooler and bring cut up veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, grain-free tortilla chips, and some health bars.
  3.   I watch the world pass by.  Unfortunately I can’t read, look at my phone or do much of anything other than look out the window while being in a moving object.  Doing otherwise has had some bad results.
  4.   I bring my pillows and blanket with me.  I must have a wedge pillow to sleep as elevating my head at night allows me to function better the next day.  Then my own blanket to cozy up with at the end of the day allows me to sleep better.
  5.   I don’t push myself into that k(no)w zone.  You know the place of no return, when you realize that if you do anymore you won’t be able to function the next day.  I use to worry about letting others down but now, I realize that even if I am going to unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings, I won’t force my body to do things it just doesn’t want to do.  I do what I can and know I have done my best.
  6.  I do my best to take all supplements and/or medication on time.  I keep these with me as I travel so I don’t have to waste precious energy frantically searching for them at the last minute.
  7.  I bring earbuds with me so I can listen to relaxing music or a podcast when I need to focus on something other than how crappy I feel.
  8.  I pack comfortable clothing and shoes.  I know we all want to look nice but comfort is so much more important.
  9.   If I am going to be busy on the day I arrive at my destination, I always ask for early check-in.  That way I have time to relax before I need to be somewhere.
  10.    I always bring my heating pad.  That way I have something to help relieve sore muscles other than a hot shower.

 

Until next time…………..YOU are a superhero and superheros sometimes have to fly!

What makes you feel better?

red and white mouth plastic toy and food plastic toys

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When you are having a not-so-good day, or horrible day for that matter, are there things you can do to make yourself feel a bit better?  Do you have a movie, some music, a mediation or book that can instantly make you laugh, give you a sense of well-being, or help you ease your pain and discomfort?

For me, when my day is not-so-good, I can usually talk myself into a better mental state and just plough through.  But on my bad days………..not so much.  Those are the days when all the symptoms converge on my body and no matter how I spin the awfulness, I can’t shake the anxiety and sadness, let alone the physical pain.  This is when it helps me to know that someone else is thinking about me.  Do I always hear from a friend during these times?  No, not usually.  But when I do, it is a blessing beyond words.  So if you know others with a CI, send a text, a physical card through the mail, a phone call, just let them know they are not forgotten.  CIs don’t go away and “feel better soon” doesn’t work,  period.  The words may be meant with the best intentions but CI is a life long struggle and those of us with CIs appreciate every single kind thought, gesture, and prayers from others.  Small tokens of thoughtfulness can change a person’s day.

On my bad days I usually resort to lying in the dark in bed, which is so boring when you don’t want to be there.  I try to find something on Netflix or Amazon Prime but when you have been ill for so long……you have watched A LOT of movies!

If there are no movies that catch my fancy, I resort to YouTube but I have less success there.  If that doesn’t work,  I always have a few extra audio-books on hand that I purchase used at library sales just for those occasions.

 

So, what do YOU do on your bad days?

Until next time…………………YOU are a superhero, whether you feel well or not!

 

My favorite de-cluttering and cleaning book.

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I have read many many books on decluttering.  For a while, I would say it almost became a hobby of mine to search out and find books on the topic.  I would search shelf after shelf in used books stores, Goodwill stores, libraries, and occasionally websites of full-price retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Despite the numerous books that I have read, many fell very short in their benefits.  In fact, many books I read were down right disappointing.  In my very humble opinion, there was one book that stood out among the rest for readability, practicality, and relatability.

My all-time favorite decluttering book is, Clutter’s Last Stand by Don Aslett.  This book is the only decluttering book that kept me interested from beginning to the end, I didn’t want to put it down.  Mr. Aslett drew me in with his humor and casual writing style, putting me at ease with the fact that I did not have my clutter under control.  If you would be interested in checking it out, you should be able to get it through your local library in order to save money (who with CI doesn’t need to do that?).  If your local library does not carry it, many libraries will try to find a book for you through an interlibrary loan at no cost to you.  Otherwise, you may be able to find it at a used bookstore.

Until next time my friend…….happy reading…….you are a super hero!

 

..

The cleaning begins.

bloom blossom cleaning dandelion

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Congratulations!  You have decided to declutter your home and you have chosen a small area in which to begin your journey.  Now let the games begin, the game where YOU get to decide what stays and what goes.  I know, this is easier said than done, so not only is it important for you to start in a small area but I also believe it is just as important to choose an area in which you have little emotional connection to “the stuff.”  For me, this would be our work area that includes a desk, some drawers and shelves.  Because I am not emotionally attached to any of the items my choices are rather simple, I either need to keep it, pay it, file it, recycle it or throw it away.

Working in areas where you have little or no emotional connections with the items allows decisions to be made quicker and easier resulting in a smooth and gentle process.  Being able to work quickly and efficiently gets the cleaning juices flowing giving you the desire to move on and continue the beautiful work that  you have started.

………………until next time.

You are a superhero!

 

Is chronic illness simple?

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Oh my goodness NO!  Actually not just no, but hell NO!  So why in the world would I give this blog such a title?

Before I started this blog, I struggled to give it a name because once you name something it becomes real and reality can be harsh.

It has taken me years and years to accept the fact that I am chronically ill.  Just typing out that sentence makes me sick to my stomach, I don’t want this to be real, not for me and not for you.  I am tired of feeling the need to explain myself regarding why I can’t do certain things, for having to cancel outings at the last minute, for not being able to live my life the way I planned it all out in my head many years ago.  Chronic illness has taken so much away from me and I hate it, I hate the whole stupid thing and I want it to all go away and leave me alone.  Alas, that wan’t to be and I had to suck down a whole bunch of reality and accept the fact that I am simply put, chronically ill.

After I accepted the fact that I am chronically ill, I realized that I  needed to structure my life as simply as possible in the not-so-fun areas of cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands,  finances and the ability to say no, so I just may have enough energy to add some fun things into my life.  Along the way I have learned, many times the hard way, some tips that have helped me save some of that precious energy and I wanted to share it with anyone who is also struggling.  Maybe I can help just one person get a little more out of life and I know all of you have amazing tips to share too.

I know we all feel alone, but in reality there are so many of us who struggle daily with these dreaded chronic illnesses. Just remind yourself that we are not our illnesses, we are warriors and warriors simply change the world.

Until next time……………..YOU are a superhero!

 

A picture is worth a 1,000 words.

adventure attraction blur calm

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…..or maybe just a hundred or so.

Although this post has little to do with living simply with chronic illness, I wanted to write down why I chose the picture I did as the “theme” for this blog.  Yes, the picture was one of the free choices, but once I saw the photo I knew it was perfect.

In my imagination the picture creates an image of  a small farm in the late fall with a barn standing proudly next to the beautifully sunlit apple orchard.  The barn made me think of me, weather beaten, worn, tired and working hard to remain standing against all that mother nature continues to throw at me.  I look functional and I still have an important job to do but the outside looks so much stronger than what in going on inside.

The trees represent those of us with chronic illness standing so alone, yet gathered together for a common purpose.  We are bare and vulnerable to the elements without the covering of leaves and fruit and the health that others take so much for granted.  We were once bursting with the fullness of life, just like the trees in the spring and summer, but now it is autumn, with the hope that spring will come again.

It is dawn and with it comes the promise of a new day.  Each new day gives us a fresh start  with endless possibilities and hopes of a miracle.  Maybe, just maybe, this day will bring a miracle for you and for me.  Here is to new days, hopes, and dreams that just may come true.