Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oprah Finale

The last three new Oprah shows were a lovefest.  The first two shows comprised a star studded spectacular celebrating her life and the difference she has made in this world.  Her final show was a thank you to her viewers and had so many great quotes and life lessons that I had to watch it twice. She talked about how she didn't have an audience on her show at first and had to bribe people off the street to come in. Times sure did change.  Oprah says something in her connected with her audience early on that allowed her to see herself in us and us in her.  She said, "more often you taught me."  I feel her ability to find a connection with people of all races, ages, and cultures and to really listen to them is a gift. She is human like everyone else despite all of the fame and fortune.  She knows that her show was her calling and she urges everyone to find their calling.  She defines a calling as "something that lights you up and lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be and doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing."  It could be something as simple as rocking sick infants, digging ditches or giving people massages.  She encouraged viewers to embrace their life and use their life to serve the world.  "You have the power to change someones life." 

Oprah referenced a past guest who was a brain scientist and suffered from a stroke.  She couldn't speak, but she could feel the power of peoples energy when they walked into the room.  Oprah learned from the interview that, "You are responsible for your life. You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you're responsible for the energy that you bring to others."  I can be an overly sensitive person so I can relate to feeling other peoples energy both good and bad.  Unfortunately, I haven't learned how to block the bad.  On the same token, I need to be more aware of the energy that I am giving off and take responsibility for it.  Oprah also expressed the importance of the fact that everyone wants to be seen, heard and validated.  Oprah thanked her fourth grade teacher Mrs. Duncan, who was in the audience, for validating her and making her feel like she mattered.  Mrs. Duncan ought to feel pretty good about the difference she made in Oprah's life and how it has been paid forward to millions of people.

Oprah urged viewers to be still and know your inner voice.  She said the secret to the success of the show was her team and Jesus.  "Nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me."  She waits and listens for answers to every decision from God.  She said your life is always speaking to you,  first in whispers and then it gets louder the more you ignore it.  It's when she has ignored those whispers that she said she has made mistakes.  Lastly, she encouraged us to do for others what her show has done for us - connect, embrace, liberate and love.  I can't think of better advice.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tererai Trent

Oprah's first interview with Tererai was in 2009.  She said Tererai's story is her favorite of all time, " because it speaks to the power of what an individual can do and it doesn't matter where you come from."  This also happens to be one of my favorite stories because it is a story of survival, belief in oneself and the power to make your dreams come true.  Tererai is from Zimbabwe and wasn't allowed an education because she is a female.  Only her brothers were allowed to go to school.  She was married off at 11 years old to an abusive man and had three children by age 18.  In 1991, Jo Luck from Heifer International visited the village and asked the girls what their hopes and dreams were.  Tererai said she wanted to live in America and get an education.  Jo told her, "If you desire those things, it is achievable."  Tererai's mother encouraged her to write her dreams down, and she put them in a tin and buried them in the ground.  Today all of those dreams have come true.  She lives in the U.S., earned her Bachelors degree, a Masters degree and PhD.  Her dream is to now pay it forward and build schools for her village in Zimbabwe.  She had started raising funds to rebuild and Oprah surprised her by donating 1.5 million to help her build the school.   There are a lot of details which were left on how she accomplished all of this, but the odds were obviously stacked against her.  It took her two decades, but she accomplished what she set out to do.  Her story is one I don't ever want to forget.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mattie Stepanek

Oprah describes Mattie Stepanek as one of the brightest lights to ever grace her stage and the planet.  Poet, Mattie Stepanek, appeared on the Oprah show numerous times before his passing in 2004 from a rare form of muscular dystrophy.  It is impossible for me to watch a show about him without going through a box of Kleenex.  Oprah interviewed his mother Jeni on one of her favorite guests of all times shows.   Jeni has written a book about her life with Mattie called Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie Stepanek.  Jeni also suffers from muscular dystrophy and has buried all four of her children who died from the disease.  She said Mattie's spirit continues to inspire her every day.  She shared the story of how Mattie learned of Oprah.  The story brings me to tears just retelling it.  They were going into a thrift store and Jeni spied a nickle on the ground.  She told Mattie it must be his lucky day and Mattie said that means someone else is unlucky because they lost their money.  He was six years old at the time and insisted they give the nickle to the store manager because someone would be looking for it.  The manager sort of laughed and questioned what you could buy with a nickle.  Mattie's response was a gift.  The manager told him to keep it and find a gift.  He loved books and discovered one about a girl who went from rags to riches, Oprah Winfrey, and inside the cover it was marked 5 cents.  He didn't know who Oprah was, but the book caught his attention.  He read the book on the way home from the store. Later he told his mother that God put it into his heart that he and Oprah were to be together for a few years and are part of each others reason for being.  Oprah received an email from Mattie that she shares in June's O magazine.  He advised her to continue her show for 5 more years when she was thinking of quitting at her 20th season.  Thank you for sharing that advice Mattie.

Some people would have walked right past that nickle and not given it a second thought.  Mattie saw the gift in it.  I remember when I was little either my grandparents or parents would point out a penny on the ground.  Pennies were considered lucky.  I used to point them out to my kids as well, but most of the time my son would find them before me.  I need to spend more time pointing out the gifts in life.  Things in nature like a beautiful sunset, birds or funny shaped clouds.  Mattie endured a lot of hardships, but he was a positive and uplifting person. His life was short, but his messages are powerful and will live on forever.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ralph Lauren

The son of Russian immigrants, Ralph Lauren, is living the American dream.  When I hear the name Ralph Lauren I think of good quality American classics and the coveted polo shirt.  When I was in junior high Polo shirts were like the Abercrombie and Fitch clothing of today's tweens.  They were expensive and everyone wanted something with the little polo man on it including me.  Ralph Lauren says he's not about fashion, but about living.  He envisions a way of life and creates stories.  Oprah got a peek inside Ralph's ranch outside of Telluride, Colorado.  He and his wife of 46 years have created a peaceful haven for their family surrounded by gorgeous mountains.  Ralph says he puts a lot of love into everything he does just like the first tie he created which started his career in fashion design.  Ralph told Oprah he was the most proud of his family.  I thought it said a lot about his character and values considering the fact that he has built an empire. 

Ralph's interview inspires me to pay attention to details and evaluate how I live.  I like to cut out pictures of things I love.  I could live in the Pottery Barn catalog.  I may not have everything I desire at the current moment, but I think it's good to assess what my life looks like and how it compares to my vision.  We've had enough rain this spring that maybe an ocean will form in my backyard.  Living well isn't just about things though.  For me it's about balance, doing what I love, having loving and supportive relationships, being near nature and being grateful.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bob Greene

Oprah's good friend and weight loss coach, Bob Greene, made his last appearance on the Oprah show.  Oprah's audience was comprised of 100 ultimate viewers who've lost over 100 pounds each.  The show was full of inspirational stories and even included an 11 year old girl who lost 50 pounds. Bob said, "Weight isn't just about food. It's about managing your problems."  Bob shared his best weight loss tips which had nothing to do with food portions, the right amount of carbs and proteins or exercise.  They are three questions which get to the heart of the struggle with food.

1) Why are you overweight? What is it about your life you'd change? Do you use food to medicate because  you're not ready to address a problem or resolve an issue?

2) Why do you want to lose weight?  Is it for an event or for others?  It needs to be for you and because you want a better life for yourself.

3) Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss?

Okay, in a way there are more than three questions here.  They all require serious soul searching and may not be easy to answer, but if you can answer them you are on your way to a life long journey.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last Makeover Show

Lives have been transformed from having a makeover.  It can be more affective than any anti-aging cream on the market. I have witnessed people look 20 years younger just by getting their hair cut and colored.  People have gone from caveman to banker, frumpy to sophisticated and everything in between.  I thought Diane Von Furstenberg said it best, "a makeover is not just about the clothes, but about confidence.  It's knowing who you are and then making the best of who you are."   I have a friend who knows her body very well and what looks good on her.  She's not a size 4, but she wears styles and colors that flatter her and share something about her personality.  She knows what her style is and exudes confidence.  I am guilty of getting into a rut and wearing the same style or thing.  Once I find something I like I buy multiples of it. My friend went shopping with me this Spring to pick out a few things for my LA trip to see Oprah.  I initially wasn't comfortable with the skirt she picked out for me, but everyone else thought it was very flattering.  I continue to get compliments whenever I wear it.  While being comfortable and confident is important, sometimes it's also good to get out of your box and try a new look.  If it's not a good look for you there will always be someone to lend their constructive criticism.  Happy summer clothes shopping!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oprah's Last Hook Up's Show

Oprah's show has made dreams come true for countless people in this world.  There are many things we can do to help others in need. However, I'm always in awe of the magnitude of her capabilities and how the acts of kindness she has performed encourage others to pay it forward. She made the comment that while she would love to help everyone, that it's just not possible.  If there was a way I'm sure she would have figured it out.  Sometimes I think she has more power than the President.

The main message she wanted people to take away from the show is that good things can happen to you at any moment.  There are moments in life when it seems one bad thing happens after another.  I don't know who started the saying, things happen in 3's, but I've found it to be true at times.  First your garage door opener breaks, then the dishwasher a week later and then your just waiting for one more thing.  I try not to get stuck in that thought pattern anymore for fear of a self fulfilling prophecy.  It's easy to get stuck in a feeling of woe is me, but there is always the promise of a new day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oprah's Master Class

As Oprah's show is coming to a close, I have to remind myself that change is good. I've always thought of myself as someone who likes change, but I realize I only like it when I can control it. I can get stuck in patterns and routines and fail to see the possibilities in life.  I want to learn and grow and not be rigid in my thinking and routines.  Some routine in life is good, but not when it keeps me from experiencing new things.  I recently watched Oprah's story on her show Master Class.  She said, "Life is about growth and change.  When you are no longer doing that, that is your whisper you are supposed to be doing something else."  After producing her show for 25 years she felt it was time to move on.

I recently changed my surroundings by moving some of my furniture around. Looking at the same things in my home day after day can make me feel stuck. Call me crazy, but I like to switch things up every now and then to breathe new life into my home. I'm also working on changing my negative thought patterns.  In terms of growth I'm studying scripture with a Bible Study group which is something I thought I'd never do. I'm learning a lot and it has helped me grow spiritually. I'm also pursuing some hobbies that interest me and have taken a few classes on subjects which are new to me. This summer I plan to start drum lessons. I often wait for that perfect moment to try new things.  The thing is, there is no such thing as the perfect time.  The time is NOW.  What are you waiting for?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sarah Ferguson

I just recently went to the Princess Diana exhibit at Kansas City's Union Station with some friends.  It was interesting to get a peek into the personal life of a princess.  Our group collectively agreed that being a princess isn't the fairytale it's portrayed to be.   It is an image of glamour and worldliness, but there is also a great deal of loneliness and conformity.  I first wrote about Sarah Ferguson in June of 2010 on my blog.  She appeared on Oprah to talk about her video tape scandal.  I thought about her during Prince William's wedding.  She wasn't invited, but her two daughters attended the royal wedding.  I understand why the Queen didn't extend an invitation to her, but she had been friends with Diana since they were 14 years old.  Oprah asked her if she felt ostracized by the Royal Family and she said she didn't.  She was sad about not being there, but felt she had ostracized herself because of all her past mistakes and regrets.  Sarah said she still has a close relationship with Prince Andrew despite the scandal and that he carried a picture of her in his pocket at the wedding.

"Finding Sarah: From Royalty to the Real World" premiers June 12 on the OWN network.  Oprah showed clips of the show which chronicles her soul searching journey to get to the root of her problems.  I found it interesting that she said she had four ladies in waiting while she lived at the palace who were there for her every need.  If she dropped her handkerchief they'd pick it up.  Oprah got a big kick out of that.  I had no idea ladies in waiting still existed.  She also said she only saw Prince Andrew 40 days a year for the first five years of their marriage.  She was living in a castle, but without her prince.  Oprah said she saw that Sarah was a good person when she first interviewed her.  She made a mistake and felt she shouldn't be defined by her mistake.  Sarah consults with Dr. Phil on her show and they have an AHA moment.  She realizes she is addicted to acceptance and approval.  I see a little bit of myself in Sarah.  If someone doesn't respond to me right away I think it must be because of me.  My husband likes to remind me that contrary to my belief it's not about me.  Sarah says the best lesson she has learned so far is to take a moment.  Connect with your inner spirit.  She asks herself where are those thoughts in your head coming from?  Is it self hatred talking or the willingness to please others?  What do you feel for yourself?  I will be tuning in June 12 to learn more.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just Do It

There are idea people and then there are doers.  I fall into the first category. I have a billion ideas floating through my head at any given moment.  My husband is a doer.  We compliment each other and it's a good thing he's a high energy person because I'm always coming up with new projects for him to do.  Then there are people who have a nice balance of both.  Phil Knight, one of the co founders of Nike, is one of those people.  Oprah interviewed Phil (who seldom does interviews) about how he got the idea for Nike.  He was on the track team at the University of Oregon and really admired his coach, Bill Bowerman.  He wanted to work with Bill in some capacity. They both felt existing track shoes were slowing runners down and in 1972 they began manufacturing their own shoes.  Bill came up with the idea to use the imprint of his wife's waffle iron to create greater traction on their shoes.  From that point on, they never stopped trying to create better performing athletic shoes.  Bill passed away in 1999, but Phil continues to run the company.  You never know how a household appliance can be used for other purposes.  It reminds me of a column in Real Simple magazine called New Uses For Old Things.  I also get flashbacks of the television show MacGyver where he would use a paper clip to keep a bomb from detonating.

It was interesting to learn about the origin of Nike, but the thing I found the most intriguing was the story behind the LIVESTRONG yellow wristband.  The idea for the wristband was from someone at Nike who thought it would be a good way to recognize Lance Armstrong's efforts during his 6th Tour de France.  Both Phil and Lance said they looked at each other and thought it was one of the dumbest ideas they'd ever heard.  If you think about it, why would people wear a yellow piece of rubber around their arm?  I have seen people dressed to the nines and wearing them.  They have sold 80 million wristbands and are still going strong.  The lesson I got from this is, not to discount your ideas just because other people might not think their good.  It's not the LIVESTRONG band itself that makes it so great, it's the intention behind it and what it represents.  Some of the simplest ideas can turn out to be fruitful.  I follow several blogs and learned about a blog site http://www.1000awesomethings.com/
Neil Pasricha writes about the simple pleasures of everyday living- things like the smell of a bakery and finding money you didn't ever know you lost.  He has published two books of awesome things and was on the International Bestsellers List.  I personally think that's awesome.

"When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt."  -  Honore de Balzac 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Best Friends

Oprah and her best friend, Gayle King, have known each other for 35 years.  They met while working at a television station in Baltimore and have talked to each other nearly every day since the fateful night Gayle stayed at Oprah's during a snowstorm.  Gayle has appeared on the Oprah show 139 times since its debut in 1986.  Oprah's show did a flashback of all the on and off air experiences they've shared together.  Many of them were quite hilarious.  Gayle has travelled the country in search of the best burger, sandwich, pizza and cake.  I can appreciate a woman who loves food.  Some of my friends and I love to talk about food, especially when it comes to dessert.  I'm one of those ladies who loves to lunch at different places, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Nordstrom's Cafe is one of my favorite places.  I used to be envious of Oprah and Gayle's friendship.  When my kids were younger I craved that kind of friendship as a stay at home mom.  Everything is centered around your kid's schedule when they are babies and toddlers.  I used to pray for a Gayle King in my life.  My prayers were answered, and I'm blessed to have several best friends.  Oprah's audience was comprised of best friends.  They all received a trip to Miraval Spa in Tuscon.  They are a lucky bunch, but I'm also lucky in that I have been to Miraval with one of my best friends.  We actually went after seeing Oprah and Gayle's trip years ago. 

Oprah says Gayle is her rock and the kind of friend she wishes everyone had.  A best friend to me is someone who tells you the truth, and listens and supports you in good times and bad.  It's sort of like a marriage, but without the paperwork.  As children and teenagers most people have best friends, but as you get older and start a family it can be difficult to maintain ties with friends.  I remember my grandmothers best friend Sue.  I met her a few times when I was still in my single digits. My grandmother used to talk about her a lot and I could sense they shared a close bond.

Gayle said she has never been jealous of Oprah's success and has always been happy with her own life.  She feels like she has always stood in Oprah's light and never in her shadow.  If that's not a true testament to friendship I don't know what is.

Grandma and Sue

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chris Rock

Chris Rock has been a guest on the Oprah show 26 times.  He joked that he's been on Oprah more than any other man other than Steadman.  I hope I'm not offending anyone, but I did think that was funny.  It is hard to take Chris Rock seriously and I can't say I'm a huge fan, but I thought he had a few inspiring things to share.  He is currently starring in the Broadway play, "The Mother____ With the Hat."  I'll let you fill in the blanks.  I was recently in New York and saw ads for the show which looked interesting, but probably not for my 12 yr old and her friend.  He said performing on Broadway taught him he's not done and that the level of acting and preparation is much different than film work.  Oprah said performing on Broadway is a dream of hers.  He encouraged her do it and said he has learned so much and grown as an actor from the experience. 

He is 46 and talked about how sometimes people get to a certain age and they think they've done it all.  He also talked about the fact he is blessed to be in a position to try new things.  His motto is try everything and if you don't like something it's because you didn't like it not because you dismissed it.  As a parent I'm always encouraging my kids to try new things whether it be food, sports, books, clothing, or classes.  I can get consumed by daily routines and obligations and forget to take my own advice.  As I get older I still enjoy trying and learning new things, but sometimes I wonder if I'm wasting my time or I beat myself up for not sticking with something.  I have taken all sorts of classes as an adult on cooking, photography, scrapbooking, writing, meditation, etc. I've also taken tennis lessons, golf lessons, and will soon try drum lessons.  I saw an interview with Bethenny Frankel on Nate's show and she made the comment, all roads lead to Rome.  We never know where our interests will take us no matter how odd they may seem.  A good example of that is this blog.  I thought it was a crazy idea at first, but I've enjoyed reflecting on Oprah's shows and how they've brought me inspiration.  Even if no one reads my posts other than my husband and I it has gotten me into the habit of writing which I hadn't done for many years.   What is something new you'd like to try?   "Being wealthy is not about having money, it's about having options."  --Chris Rock

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Go With The Flow

Sometimes I'll look at the description of what Oprah's show is going to be about and think to myself, I don't know how that's going to inspire me?  That was the case with this show about a 61 year old woman who gave birth to her grandchild through IVF (in vitro ferilization).  Her daughter Sara was having difficulty getting pregnant so she went through IVF.  Sara got pregnant with twin boys and wound up losing them after going into premature labor.  She went through the procedure again and miscarried a second time.  The experience caused Sara to have post traumatic stress disorder.  Her mother Kris was newly retired and doing some soul searching.  Kris and her friend were walking one day when her friend told her about a post menopausal woman who had a baby.  They joked about it at first and then she decided to go home and do some research on the subject.  Kris's daughter is a life coach and Kris had put together a vision board. She got the inspiration while studying her board one day.  She felt intuitively led to offer to carry her daughters baby even though she was already 10 years into menopause.  I wrote about vision boards in my April 1, 2010 post.  It is amazing what ideas and realities can transpire from putting one together.  It is as simple as cutting and pasting pictures and words (two things that I love to do) that you're drawn toward. 

Kris talked about how a random conversation ultimately led her to the idea of helping her daughter.  Oprah made the comment that "the voice of God comes in many forms."  Kris had been riding her bike and getting in shape before the idea came to her to carry her daughter's child.  She later realized God was preparing her.  Kris gave birth to her healthy grandson on February 9, 2011.  I used to think everything was a coincidence, but now I tend to see things in my life as a sign and recognize the synchronicity of them.  Oprah asked Kris if she would go through the experience again.  She said she has no intention of doing it again, but two years ago she also had no intention of going through childbirth again.  Kris said she is open and no doors are closed.  I thought to myself what a great way to live.  I can go through life resisting and giving excuses as to why I can't do something or I can be open to the flow of life and be inspired.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Hollywood Director, Tom Shadyac, talked about his new documentary "I AM".   The title gets it's name from the original utterance of God, I Am.   The three key concepts of the movie that he wanted to share are:

1) The entire human race is connected.
2) We are all hardwired to cooperate- not to compete.
3) If you don't do what your heart wants you to do it can destroy you.

Tom lived an extravagant lifestyle and was a multimillionaire yet he realized he wasn't happy despite all of his outwardly success-the accolades, fancy cars, beautiful homes, etc.  Based on societies standards he should be not just happy, but ecstatic.  He felt unsettled and started to do some soul searching.  It seems a lot of people have been doing this lately including myself.  In 2007 he had a bike accident and suffered from post-  concussion syndrome.  He was in severe pain and unable to work for awhile.  After facing near death he decided to research what's wrong with our world and what can we do.  The movie I AM explores this question.  Oprah began the show by saying its purpose was to get people to start having a conversation in their own families about what they value and not to try and change peoples belief systems. 

Tom went from a 17,000 square foot mansion to a mobile home.  It looked like a nice mobile home, but was meager compared to what he lived in before.  His purpose wasn't to say we should all give up our worldly possessions, but to ask what is true for you and is enough.  Tom says, these days he tries to just take what he needs and no more.  All of our paths are different.  I live in a 3,200 square foot home with a finished basement.   I sometimes think it would be nice to have a bigger closet, bathroom, garage, kitchen, bedroom, etc.  We can afford to move to a bigger home, but we don't really need it. Our house is plenty big enough for the four of us. I'd rather save up for a small home on the beach.  It is easy to get caught up in what society says we should want- a bigger home, nicer car etc., but you have to ask yourself if that is true for you.  I think Tom's experience is a good example of how money doesn't buy happiness, it has to come from within.  What money can do though is provide options.  Not everyone has the option to take time off of work, but we can all find some time to do a little soul searching even if it's in the shower or car. 

Tom also talked about societies obsession with celebrities.  Our culture celebrates people for doing absolutely nothing.  Reality television has taken this to a whole new level, Jersey Shore comes to mind.  Tom talked about how we need to start seeing people as equal.  A celebrity is no better than anyone else.  I had an AHA moment about this when I attended Oprah's After Oscar Party show in Los Angeles.  I realized I tend to put some celebrities on a pedestal, namely Oprah and John Travolta. I spent a lot of time searching faces in LA just to see if I'd get a glimpse of someone famous.  What a waste of time and energy.  It took getting sick, being cold, hungry and exhausted for me to realize this.  After the show I refused to stand in another line to take the bus back to the parking lot so we walked over to the Renaissance hotel which is connected to the Kodak theater.  My husband and I decided to sit for a minute and get a drink of water.  Carson Kressley walked into the hotel (granted he's not an A list celebrity), but I was not about to get up from my chair and ask for a picture unless Jesus himself walked through the door. It's nice to admire people for their talents. I'm not saying I still wouldn't have my picture taken with a celebrity if the opportunity presented itself, but I put it into perspective now.  "I AM" is playing in select theaters now, and I am going to see it if it's showing near me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Saturday Night Live

Former Saturday Night Live Alumni Tina Fey, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Dana Carvey, and Tracy Morgan talked about their experiences working on the show.  Lorne Michaels is the mastermind behind SNL which first aired in 1975.  There have been so many great characters on the show over the years.  Many of the comedians and actors who've appeared on the show have moved on to have successful careers in show business.  I didn't particulary gain any thought provoking insight from the show.  What it did remind me of is the importance of laughter, especially during tough times.  Tracy Morgan said one of his memories as a kid was of his Dad watching the show after he'd gotten back from Vietnam and it was one of the first times he saw him laugh after the war.  Laughter is one of those free gifts in life.  I went to a SNL party this past Fall and had a blast.  Everone was in character and our hosts encouraged us to do a little skit.  I was reminded of some of my favorite characters from the past like Pat, Hans and Franz and Father Guido Sarducci.  Linda Richman from Coffee Talk was a favorite of mine.  Feel free to laugh!

Our hosts the Coneheads

Linda Richman

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shirely MacLaine

Where do you begin when Oprah's guest is Hollywood Legend, Shirley MacLaine?  Shirley touched on so many topics:  2012, her new book "I'm Over All That", UFO's, energy, meditation, reincarnation, her open marriage and famous costars and several other beliefs.  She has lived a very full life and has been criticized for her beliefs and outspoken nature.  I've always thought she was a little out there, but she is someone who is very intuitive.  Shirley said she has always felt very comfortable being alone and with herself.  She spends a lot of time meditating and getting in touch with the divine power within her.  Over the last two years I have learned how important it is to really take time to be still.  My favorite time of day is in the morning after everyone has left the house and before my day has started.  I write in my journal, and I try to listen to what my heart is telling me.  It sounds simple, but it can be a very hard thing to do when you have an active imagination and your mind is full of non-stop chatter. 

Shirley said her biggest life lesson has been to surrender to the very sophisticated Divinity.  I understand that to mean God.  Oprah mentioned that it has also been one of her greatest lessons in life.  "When you have done all that you can do surrender to God and let it become part of the flow.  Let it go." This reminds me of the phrase if it is meant to be it will happen.  Oprah asked if she ever felt hurt by the jokes about her and I was surprised at her response.  She said she never felt particularly criticized and the jokes never bothered her.  As a matter of fact, she even helped Jay Leno write some of the jokes about her.  I'm not quite sure what to think of Shirley.  One thing I do know is she's a very spiritual person and stands firmly for what she believes in and I admire her for that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It Is What It Is

Sometimes there are simple answers to life's most puzzling questions.  I have a tendency to over think things.  I like to think there is some complex process behind people's behavior instead of just accepting it for what it is. My friends husband uses the phrase "It Is What It Is."  I was watching Oprah's interview with past talk show hosts and Oprah asked Sally Jessy Raphael, "Why the red glasses?"  She said it was because she couldn't read the teleprompter and needed glasses.  She saw an ad that gave you a pap smear and eye glasses for $19.95 and red was the only color they had.  I've always thought there was more thought involved behind those red glasses. After all, they sort of became her signature look.  Sometimes things just fall into place without any advanced thinking or planning.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Fever

Since Oprah's show has been reruns lately, I've taken a little break from my blog to work on my household to do list.  I have spring fever and the change in seasons always motivates me to change my home decor a little (or a lot) and declutter.  I like to bring my collection of shells out for the spring and summer, change some of my framed photos to coincide with the season and maybe change a pillow or two.   On the topic of pillows, I remember an old Oprah show where they talked about how you should change your bed pillow every year because of all the dust mites lurking in them.  I recently tossed my kids pillows which were well past their prime.  I can't say I get much decluttering done.  I tend to just replace one item with something else.

In this month's O Magazine Oprah says, "This I know:  More things don't make you feel more alive."  I can appreciate the fact that if you think buying something is going to make you feel more fulfilled it doesn't work.  It only makes you happy temporarily.  I do think surrounding yourself with things you love though is good for the soul.  You just have to know how to edit so you don't look like a pack rat.  I'm a very visual person and something that is the least bit off will bother me.  Maybe visual isn't the right word choice, it's more like neurotic.

Changing a few things in my home gives me a renewed outlook.  I find when I have too many things I can start to feel overwhelmed by all of my stuff.   I enjoy the creativity of decorating and love to find new uses for things.  I was raised by a mother who also constantly redecorates so I can't help it if it's in my genes.  Bring out the bunnies, throw away your old door mat and welcome spring!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oprah's After Oscar Party Show

I had the privilege (although some people may not see it that way) of attending Oprah's After Oscar Party show in Los Angeles.  It was fun, but not quite the experience I'd envisioned.  A large part of the reason was because I spent the entire night before listening to the Academy Awards show from my hotel bathroom.  I'm not sure if it was food poisoning or the stomach flu.  I will spare you all the details, but 5:30 am approached quickly and I wasn't sure I'd make it to the show.  After getting myself ready in my new outfit and high heeled sandals, my husband and I stood in line for 2 hours and froze.  The weather was in the 60's, but not at 6:30 am.   After waiting 2 hrs to get on a shuttle bus to take us to the theatre, we then stood in line again as 3,000 people made their way into the Kodak theatre.  If you watched the show you may have noticed there are 3 tiers of balconies.  We were seated in the last tier behind the spotlights.   A pair of binoculars would have been helpful.

On a more positive note, we could still see Oprah and her guests.  I love Colin Firth and was happy that the Kings Speech won.  It's a wonderful movie.  Katy Perry's performance at the end was a nice surprise even though she didn't sound her best because she'd been traveling all night.  I am thankful to have been able to attend two Oprah shows.  Seeing her show in Chicago is a much different experience because her studio only seats about 300 people.  Even though the show I attended in Chicago didn't have big name celebrities, there was a certain energy in the room.  I didn't feel that energy at the Kodak, but it may have been due to fact I didn't feel great.  Oprah wasn't feeling good either, and you could tell she just didn't have her usual energy.

This was a dream of mine and I'm glad I had the opportunity to fulfill it.  A big lesson I learned is that I need to be careful about buying into the idea or hype of things.  Television makes Los Angeles out to be this glamorous and beautiful place.  It's not, in my opinion.  The traffic was horrendous and a large part of the city is run down.  I had been there before so I already new this, but I was excited just to get away.  I was also excited about the possibility of seeing celebrities.  Other than the guests on Oprah, I saw Greyson Chance, the you tube singer, and Carson Kressley coming into a hotel.  While it is fun to see or meet someone famous it also made me question why I would wait in a crowd of people for hours on end just to get a glimpse of a celebrity.  They are human beings just like the rest of us.  They don't possess any special powers.  Once again, it all boils down to hype and my husband says I'm always caught up in it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Secret Millionaire

Oprah interviewed self-made millionaire, Dani Johnson, who was part of the new reality show Secret Millionaire.  The premise of the show is that a millionaire goes undercover and lives in an impoverished area with very little money.  While they are living there, they look for people who are making a difference in their community.  Dani grew up on welfare and had her first child at 17.  She was homeless herself at 21 and started a weight loss business from the trunk of her car.  Dani went undercover and lived in Knoxville, Tennessee with just a suitcase of clothes and $40 to last her for a week.  While living in Knoxville she met 82 year old twins Helen and Ellen who founded and run the Love Kitchen.  The Love Kitchen provides thousands of people each week with meals and also delivers meals to the home bound.  The Love Kitchen's Motto is "Everybody is God's Somebody."  They give love not only in the form of food, but also with hugs and smiles. 

These ladies are a huge inspiration.  At 82 years old they could run circles around most people.  You can tell  they have found their calling in life.  Dani said the experience helped light a fire in her to get people to get out and help one another.  You don't have to have money to help someone in need.  Helen and Ellen said their father taught them three truths which I thought were worthy of remembering. 

1)  There is only one father and that's the heavenly father
2)  There is one race and that's the human race 
3)  Don't take the last piece of bread from the table because someone else may come along who needs it    

We are constantly bombarded with what bad, hurtful and negative things people are doing in the world.  I'm grateful and hopeful when I hear of people like Helen and Ellen who make me proud to be part of the human race.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I know of several people who were confused about Oprah's no holds barred conversation with Relationship Expert and Spiritual Advisor, Iyanla Vanzant.  Iyanla was a regular on Oprah's show about the same time Dr. Phil appeared.  Oprah's intention was to help both of them launch their own show when the timing was right.  Meanwhile, Barbara Walters contacted Iyanla about starting her own show.  She declined Barbara's offer because she was already in talks with Harpo.  According to Iyanla she kept thinking about the offer and decided to fast and pray about it.  She met with Oprah and her producers and told them about the offer and that God told her it was time.  Two weeks later Harpo contacted Iyanla and told her she should take the other deal.  Oprah said she wasn't about to go against God.

Iyanla eventually had a show which was cancelled after one season. It wasn't at all like the vision she had created for herself.  She compromised herself and went along with what the network wanted.  Most of the Oprah show was basically the two of them clearing the air and correcting any misunderstandings.  However, I learned several lessons from this show.

1)  Even the so called experts don't always have all the answers.  I like Iyanla and think she has a lot of good things to share based on her life experiences.  We all have lessons to learn in life. She said she needed to learn how to receive.  It got me thinking about what messages I receive in my life and refuse to accept.

2)  The show was an example of how two people heard something totally different from the same conversation.  It's important to make your intentions clear.

3)  You have to heal your past in order to move forward.

4)  God has his own timing.

5)  Stay true to yourself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jennifer Hudson

Oprah's interview with singer and actress, Jennifer Hudson, was inspiring to me.  She lost 80 lbs. and looks amazing.  What was even more amazing was that she got tons of family members to join the Weight Watchers program and they lost a ton of weight combined.  Jennifer was hesitant to divulge the actual number of pounds she lost on Weight Watchers because it's not about the pounds.  It's about feeling good in your body and being healthy.  Like Oprah I was naturally curious to know the number of pounds.  Some individuals carry their weight better than others though and even a five pound weight loss looks different on people. 

Jennifer talked about how her mind still hasn't caught up with how her body looks.  I can relate to that feeling.  I went through a period from about third grade to eighth where I was very heavy.  I lost twenty pounds and went from a size 12/14 to a size 6.  Even though your body looks different, you still picture yourself as being fat.  Oprah also interviewed several supermodels this week who have perfect bodily proportions and they still find fault with themselves. 

The show didn't really delve deep into how she lost the weight.  She followed Weight Watchers program and started exercising and moving more.  I guess the point is that each individuals weight loss journey is different.   You have to be willing to do the work.  An eating plan that works for one person may not be realistic for another.  The real test will be whether if she can keep the weight off.  It has to be a lifestyle choice.  If she enjoys eating the Weight Watchers way 80% of the time then I'm sure she will.  I've been wanting to shed a few pounds, but haven't been too motivated lately. I've been cocooning most of this winter due to snowstorms.  I feel like this week there have been several signs for me to start making some changes.  First my friend told me about the Belly Fat Cure diet she's been doing.  Then she invited me to see The Hungry Girl speak at a fundraiser and then the Jennifer Hudson interview.  Call it coincidence, but I think it's a sign I better start eating better so I feel good in my clothes this summer.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hammer Time

MC Hammer is doing more than sporting parachute pants and bustin' a move these days.  He's a part of the social media craze and helps develop applications for the IPAD.  He's also a part time preacher, owns several record labels and lectures about new media at colleges and universities.  There are also a few more things I didn't name.   He talked with Oprah about having millions of dollars and then losing it all.  When Oprah asked if he would change anything from his past his answer was no.  He gave a lot of his money away to help others and would never ask for it back.  He felt like if he hadn't made certain mistakes in the past he would have never gotten to where he is now.   He referred to it as the butterfly effect.  If you change one thing it affects the outcome of everything else.  He has been married for twenty-five years and feels very blessed.  To be married for that long in Hollywood is a huge accomplishment in itself.

I've watched numerous Oprah interviews where people have made pretty big mistakes in their life.  For the most part they don't regret them.  I'm always amazed by this because I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  I hate making mistakes and when I do I have a hard time not beating myself up about it.  There are a lot of people who continually make bad choices.  I think the key is learning the lesson the mistake is there to teach you.  A life without mistakes is a life unlived.   "There's no such thing as failure.  Mistakes happen in your life to bring into focus more clearly who you really are." - Oprah

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Vegan Challenge

Oprah and 378 members of the Harpo staff went on a vegan diet for a week.  Vegans eat no meat, no dairy and no fish.  If a food item comes from an animal, they don't eat it.  Vegan expert, Kathy Freston, helped the staff get started on their program.   The reviews were pretty mixed.  Several staffers felt they had more energy and lost weight on the program and others dropped out before the week was up.  I think most of the staff agreed it made them think about where their food comes from differently.

Journalist and Food Expert, Michael Pollan, was also on the show.  He's written several books about how to become a more conscious eater.  He's not a vegan and eats meat a couple times per week, but is particular about where the meat comes from.  He is an advocate for better sanitation and animal care in processing plants.  Journalist, Lisa Ling, was able to go inside a meat processing plant and showed viewers how our meat goes from farm to table.  Fortunately, they weren't able to show the cattle being killed.  The cows are knocked unconscious so they don't feel pain and they try to keep them as calm as possible.  The death process takes a minute or two.  They showed the skin being removed and their carcasses being sawed.  They make use of every animal part.  It was very enlightening as well as disturbing to see.  I don't eat meat every day, but I enjoy a steak or hamburger every now and then.  I would like to say I changed my mind after seeing how it's processed, but I haven't.  Lisa Ling said she still eats meat as well.

Oprah reported that according to the USDA, we eat nearly 10 billion animals a year including 33 million cows.  I think each person has to decide what lifestyle is best for them.  I have tried BOCA burgers and they don't quite cut it for me.  I think Michael Pollan put it best, "there's nothing evil about meat and some meat in your diet is fine.  There are farms where animals lead very happy lives and have one bad day.  We need more of those."  The bottom line is to be more aware of what you're putting in your body and where it comes from.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Year To Do's

The beginning of January Oprah interviewed her team of experts on how to make 2011 a better year. I'm never quite ready to dive into my New Years resolutions on January 1.  It takes me a while to declutter and get back into a routine after the holidays.  Therefore, I tend to follow the Chinese New Year which begins February 3 this year.  The following are some of the tips I learned from watching her show.

Dr. Oz Tips
  • Get blood pressure checked yearly.  I'm already doing this because I have high blood pressure which runs in my family.  Dr. Oz explained that it's called the silent killer because most people don't realize they have it.  You could be in great shape and still have high blood pressure.  Optimal is 115/75  High is 140/90
  • Measure your waist size once a month.  Your waist should be at least half your height.
  • Weigh yourself weekly.
  • Know your cholesterol numbers HDL should be over 50 and LDL under 100
  • Know your fasting blood sugar number.  It should be 70 to 100. 
Bob Greene's tips

  • Have a realistic vision for your life.  It needs to be something you know you can achieve.
  • Convince yourself you deserve your vision.  Many people deep down feel they are unworthy of their vision.
  • Identify the barriers holding you back.  Bob explained how barriers are an aversion or something that causes discomfort which is different from an excuse.  I don't like to get up early to exercise is an excuse.
  • Break through barriers.  Examples of these would be feeling unworthy, being in a toxic relationship or an unfulfilling job.
  • Put yourself first.
Bob has a new book out called, The Life You Want.  I thought he had a great point, "Simply saying you want something does not mean your motivated."  Sometimes I think things are going to magically happen because I want them, but you have to be willing to take the steps to get there.  He also has a website http://www.thebestlife.com/ that I plan on checking out. 

I have begun the process of simplifying this year and decluttering my home.  I'm a pretty organized person, but I like my stuff.  There are certain areas like photo organization that I keep putting off which just get worse year after year.  I thought his best tip was that you have to keep flat surfaces clear including the floor. This applies to every area of your home- the kitchen, laundry room, bedroom and so on.  

I love accessories.  Adam Glassman, Creative Director for O Magazine, shared the top three must have accessories for this year.  I didn't realize any of them existed until this show.
  • the nomad scarf- a scarf which turns into a blanket (this would be great for travel)
  • chickies- a mock cami that clips onto your bra (you wear it under low cut tops)
  • boot tights- they are part tight and the bottom half is a sock
Happy Chinese New Year !

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Oprah interviewed one of my favorite actresses Goldie Hawn.  When I think of Goldie the word happy comes to mind, but there was a time when she went through a deep depression.  After being thrown into the spotlight, she experienced a lot of anxiety and would have panic attacks.  She had to learn how be happy again.  Goldie said she went to therapy for nine years and spent many years researching the topic of happiness.  Over 4,000 books have been written on the subject of happiness.  I recently purchased a book on my kindle called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It describes the year she spent researching the topic of happiness and testing what she learned.

Research has show that 50% of happiness is genetic.  Evidently we are born with a happiness set point, but you can retrain your brain to think differently.  Studies show you can increase your happiness by 40%.  I have a feeling my genetic pool doesn't have one of the higher set points.  It's not that I'm unhappy, it just seems like I'm constantly trying to be more positive.  I think it just comes more naturally to some people like my husband for instance.  I also personally think hormones have a way of wreaking havoc on your happiness.

Studies have show having 10 minutes a day of quiet time can increase happiness.  Oprah and Goldies recommendation was to take just 1 or 2 minutes throughout the day to take deep breaths and be still.  I have tried to meditate and 10 minutes can seem like 60.  I like the idea of starting with just 1 or 2 and taking deep breaths.  I found the following findings on happiness interesting.

  • The happiest jobs in America are travel agent, clergy, special education teacher and fire fighter.
  • According to Dan Buettner, author of Thrive,  belonging to a club that requires you to show up once a month is equal to the happiness of doubling your income.
  • Dan also said studies show the impact of a material possession only lasts 9 months.  However, an experience will increase happiness over time.  So if you're debating between a new pair of shoes or taking a dance class, take the class.
  • Studies show that money can buy you happiness, but only to a certain point.  When it comes to finding a job do something you love not something that will just make you a lot of money.
I have a bad habit of over thinking things.  I have a piece of art by Rodney White that hangs in my kitchen.  I think it's simple message sums up happiness the best.

We tend to seek happiness when happiness is actually a choice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oprah Behind The Scenes

Oprah gave viewers a behind the scenes look at what it takes to put her show together.  It is one of her new shows airing on the OWN network.  Let's just say it takes a village or as he liked to call them "her tribe".  I had a discussion with a good friend about the show.  She said she'd love to be a producer and to be behind the scenes executing the plan.  I thought about how I am more of an idea person, but when it comes to making ideas a reality it could take me years.  A good example of that is this blog.  I constantly have many different ideas floating around in my head and can get easily overwhelmed.  As a result, I sometimes don't get anything done because I don't know where to start.  Or on the flip side, I work on several things at once and then half way complete projects.

Working for Oprah doesn't look like a piece of cake, but her employees expressed the fact that they feel they're making a difference.  They stated they make sacrifices in their personal life, but they are passionate about their work.  They have been a part of something big and life changing for many people over the past 25 years.  The intensity and stress level of their job is high.  When you work for a cause or someone you believe in though it can make it all worthwhile.  I'm sure the job perks are pretty nice as well.  I believe the last 25 years are just a prelude of what's to come and Oprah's going to need a bigger tribe.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Oprah aired her visit Down Under last week.  I watched with mixed feelings of remorse for not being picked as an ultimate viewer and awe.  I have always wanted to visit Australia, but after watching her show it has become a higher priority on my bucket list.  Her shows gave me a greater appreciation for Australia and its people.  I too want to fly over the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and have a Barbie on the pristine sands of Whitehaven Beach.  I wouldn't mind if Chef Curtis Stone decided to cater it with his muscular bare chested crew as well.  I'd also like to visit the sacred site Uluru and go to the Sydney Opera House.

I witnessed an impatient Oprah get stuck on the Sydney Harbor Bridge with her ultimate viewers. They were waiting for an airplane to refuel so they could take a picture.  It is in those moments that you see  she is human like everyone else.  I have followed Oprah's recommendations for adventures in the past.  Years ago I went to Miraval Spa in Arizona and participated in the equestrian experience after seeing it on her show.  It was enlightening, but not an easy thing to do when you're afraid of horses.  That is one of the things I love about Oprah though, somehow she gets people to conquer their fears.  There were several viewers who were afraid of heights that climbed the bridge.

When asked what the biggest difference is between Australians and Americans, several people said Australians feel Americans live to work and they work to live.  I think I could get used to Australia plus,  I've always been a sucker for an accent.  If you want to learn more about the places she visited go to www.oprah.com.  There is a wealth of information and pictures of the various sites she visited.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Twist of Fate

Chris and Lori Coble told Oprah their story of losing three kids in a car accident. I'm not sure when the show originally aired, but it was a tear jerker.  Lori was stuck in traffic on a highway with her mother and three children all under the age of six.  A semi-truck going 55 mph slammed into their minivan and the only survivors were Lori and her mother.  I pray I never have to experience the pain of losing a child.  I commend people like the Coble's who share their experiences with others and how they continue to live on day by day.  I have a friend who lost a child and later wrote a book about her experience.  There are a few similarities I've heard from people who've lost a child. The first is that they had to walk through the pain to get to the other side.  Chris also said that he learned he needed to keep the lines of communication open with his wife in order to keep their marriage together.  They learned that the famous line "time heals all wounds" is a myth. According to Oprah, Dr. Phil even says, "time doesn't heal anything.  It's what you do with the time." Oprah referenced an old Dr. Phil show where they talked about how people can get focused on the day of their loved ones death instead of remembering their life.  Lori said she did that at first and then made a conscious decision to celebrate her children's lives.

No matter how hard life may seem at times, it can get better.  I hate to be a Debbie Downer (my son's favorite saying) but, there was a silver lining to this show. Almost one year to the day of their children's death, Lori gave birth to triplets.  She now has two girls and a boy which were the exact same sexes of the children she lost.  Can you say miracle?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Suze Orman's Intervention with Octomom

I first wrote about Nadya Suleman's appearance on Oprah back in April 2010.  Nadya wrote to Oprah asking for help because she was on the verge of being evicted and on the streets with 14 kids.  Oprah consulted, financial guru,  Suze Orman who spent countless hours going over Nadya's finances.  Suze knew where Nadya spent every penny and corrected her repeatedly when caught in a few lies.  It was quite the smackdown.  Who needs a polygraph when you have Suze Orman? There were three things Suze told her she needed to do right away.
  1. get rid of the three nannies - she kept one
  2. have a garage sale and get rid of all of the excess stuff
  3. go to church and pray to God like she's never prayed before
She took her advice and within a week there were major changes in her life.  She made $1,500 from her garage sale, got a job bar tending, and found a literary agent.  I thought this was a great testament to the power of prayer. 

I thought there was a good lesson revealed in this interview other than the fact that this woman should have never conceived 14 kids, which she herself admitted.  Suze talked about judgement and how it is so easy to judge others rather than look at our own lives.  How many people have additional children thinking it will solve some problem in their marriage or aren't in a financial position to afford them?  How many people fill voids in their life with things rather than kids they can't afford?  This show was a good reminder to me to not pass judgement on others no matter how crazy I may think they are.  Sometimes it's easier to point out others flaws rather than get my own life in order.  Unfortunately, it's also much more fun.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Behaviors or qualities that we complain about in other people are often the very same things we don't like about in ourselves.  I remember first hearing that while watching an Oprah show years ago.  I wish I could remember who said it.  I think it was Dr. Phil (prior to the Dr. Phil show) or it may have been Oprah herself.  My husband reminded me of this fact the other day when I was complaining about my daughter's procrastination.  I too am a huge procrastinator, but somehow it's much easier to point out in her.  There are quite a few qualities she possesses like stubbornness and the need to have the last word that I often like to attribute to my husbands side of the family.  However, if I take a good look in the mirror the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

One of my new year's resolutions is less nagging and complaining.  I haven't found them to be very affective tools over the years.  You can't change people, but you can change the way you perceive them.  Just the other day I noticed my daughter had written Lauren is AWESOME on her school binder.  She is awesome, and I hope I never forget that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Like Oprah, I've been on a winter hiatus.  I haven't had a chance to tune into some of her new programs on the OWN network, but I plan to soon.  There are a few shows like Master Class and Miracle Detectives that I'm excited to watch. 

Oprah and her friend Gayle visited Yosemite National Park awhile back pulling a pop-up camper.  It was in response to a letter they received from Shelton, a Yosemite Park Ranger, who felt that very few African Americans visit national parks.  They decided to make their presence among the Yosemite campers and it brought back memories of when I used to camp with my family as a little kid.  We too had a pop-up camper that my dad pulled behind our green station wagon.  I have a lot of fond memories of camping as well as not so fond memories. We often camped with our cousins or family friends at KOA campgrounds.  It was fun hiking through the mountains and spending quality time together away from the television and enjoying the fresh air.  Sometimes the air was damp or muggy.  I remember one particularly hot day when we were packed like sardines in a campground pool in Virginia that felt like bath water.  My Dad still likes to talk about that particular camping experience and their less than stellar amenities.   The not so good memories are often the ones you laugh most about later in life. 

We've only camped a few times with our kids and those have been with scouting events.  My Dad is sure to remind me that I need to take my kids camping.  These days I am more of a log cabin with running water type of camper than a tent camper.  I recently watched Sarah Palin's Alaska show with my daughter. It was the episode where Kate Gosselin and her kids are camping with Sarah.  It rained the entire time, Kate whined a lot of being cold and left right after the smores.  It was apparent the two had a totally different take on nature.  I appreciate the beauty, solitude and sense of awe that nature provides.  However, cold and wet are not a good combination for me no matter how beautiful the scenery is.  I guess some people like their creature comforts more than others.

I hope to have a camping adventure in 2011 (of the log cabin sort).  Please comment on any parks or camping experiences you've had that you'd recommend.  Below is a picture of my sister and I in our pop-up camper circa 1970's.