Carolee Contemplates

I'm always contemplating something. Sometimes I write serious things, sometimes it's just a little bit funny! I hope you enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Carolee's Weird Tips to a Happier Life.

People are always asking me how I stay so upbeat, even when at times my world may seem to be crashing down around me. I decided I would share 5 things that help keep me happy. I know some people have extreme trauma and sadness. They may need a bit more help than Carolee's Weird Tips to a Happier Life. But it's worth a try.

Now some of this stuff is Christian-y. If you are a non-believer, Skip #1 if you wish. I still love you. No pressure.

#1 - My Christianity

Yes, I'm a believer. It's ok if you're not.


I LOVE listening to KLove or something similar. KLove plays contemporary Christian music, the kind that get's you dancing! I try to keep it on as much as possible around my house and in my car to keep my positivity up. If I'm feeling down and KLove isn't on, I turn it on. Almost immediately, I feel better. And yes, sometimes I dance around my house just because...because I can!

Even the rapper Toby Mac has some tunes on KLove! Check him out on YouTube...awesome!

I strive - yes strive (because I'm human and get distracted) to read my devotional and at least the Proverb of the Day every day (Proverbs 1 on the first of the month; Proverbs 2 on the second day of the month.)

I talk to Jesus all day. If I'm going somewhere and I'm anxious I ask for his comfort. I pray for others. Sometimes I pray for the strength to make it through another day. I remember that I am loved and I am beautiful in his eyes.

My church. That is where my second family is. My friends who have the same values and beliefs as me.


#2-My animals. With 3 dogs, a cockatiel and 4 parakeets, I have plenty of company, even when I'm alone. My birds love KLove, too. They seem to have favorite songs! They have extremely noisy gab fests every morning, again in the middle of the day and at night. Sometimes my Cockatiel will get bored and start whistling at me....like a guy would to a sexy lady. How could I not be happy with an admirer like that? Oh, and I get totally weird and try teaching them Jingle Bells and Peter Cottontail. I swear now and then I hear a line or two of Jingle Bells!


#3- My home I have almost 3 acres, about half of it is woods. And a HUGE pond at the bottom of the woods. With so much nature, how can I net feel happy?


I'm decorating my home the way I want. The picture below is my little office space in my bedroom. I have signs that I like, bible scriptures, inspirational words/quotes. I put whatever I want on my walls that inspires me. I don't care if anyone else likes it. I do.


I do have an office but it's getting a fresh make-over at the moment.


#4- Other people- I like other people. I seem to be able to tell a lot about a person upon first meeting them. I am an Empath and love to help others by making them happy and helping them to succeed. I love little kids, especially newborns - Kindergarten (where they learn to be heathens. Ha-ha). I get a kick out of watching them learn. And the stuff they say!



#5- Positivity- In Books, TV, radio.....stay away from negativity! Try to consider others feelings. Try not to take anything personally.



That's about it. I declare joy and happiness through my activities all day long.



To learn other ways to bring joy into your life, check out my life coaching page at www.coachingwithcarolee.com

Ask for a free consultation.

Monday, October 31, 2016

In search of the "Big Break"

We all know people that have had problems in the past. Maybe they got into legal trouble at one time, or have been addicted to drugs. They've paid their dues and are now ready to get out there and take life by storm!

I know quite a few myself. They WANT to live a good, honest, hard-working life now. But the odds are against them. They often lose hope and go right back to the only life they know. It's so terribly sad.

Back in the day, if you were looking for a job, you would walk into an establishment and fill out a paper application. The first person you met was the receptionist or Administrative Assistant. Maybe the business owner themselves if it's just a small business.

First impressions mean everything. You can bet the receptionist ran right to the big guy and told him how you were dressed and if you had funky jewelry or rainbow colored hair. If you were kind and polite and smiled or not. The first impression can be the deciding factor whether you get that interview or not.

Fast forward to today. Everything is done via Internet. Leaving home is not required. Just sit on the laptop in your jammies, hair in a messy bun and fill out applications. You may never get that opportunity to leave a good first impression. Your application could be thrown out of the mix in the matter of minutes.

If an applicant has ever been incarcerated or addicted to drugs and tells the truth on their application, they will most likely be eliminated from the hopefuls because of certain "buzzwords" the software has picked up on.

Questions such as "Have you ever been convicted of a crime" (some say felony) are loaded questions.

If you have been convicted of a crime, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Tell the truth and your application is eliminated. Lie and you will most likely be found out at some point. If you explain the truth during your interview, chances are you will be thought of as a liar. Unless you're extremely lucky and are talking to someone with a kind and compassionate heart.

Same goes for addiction.  If you were a non-working addict, or spent significant time in rehab, how do you explain the lapse in employment? Again, the chances are that the software is going to pick up on certain buzzwords such as "addict", "rehab" if you do explain, or pick up on the blank spaces (a no-no on applications) and throw your application out.

Another loaded question: Do you have reliable transportation?

Probably not.

For one reason or another, applicants may not have a car or a license. They may have lost their license due to unpaid fines, back child support (how do you pay when in jail?), sold their car for drugs, their car was impounded, yadda, yadda.

The point is, they have to depend on others, if they even have anyone to depend on. That principal goes against the tough love theory and it borders on co-dependency. But they need the help to eventually become independent.

So where do they find this help? Granted, there are services that teach you how do write a resume, how to fill out an application, etc. They might even be able to help you smooth over those non- working months or even years.

But it's not going to help with software picking up on certain words, and it's not going to get them from point A to point B. Around here, the cost to take a bus from town to the city is quite expensive and can really eat up some time. Where does a new employee get money for a bus?

But that is putting the cart before the horse. They need the job first, which for many feels overwhelmingly impossible.

There has to be a way but how?

For those of you trying to make positive changes in your life, I challenge you to get out there and meet some new, positive people. Be proactive! The more people you know, the higher your chances for a "Big Break."

Some ideas

Of course, if you are without wheels you will have to stay within your community.

Attend church (you might have to try a couple to see where you fit in)

Take a class in something you're interested in. It could be for education purposes or pleasure.

Volunteer- it gets you out there, you can learn some new skills, and you will have something AWESOME to add to your resume.

Reach out........you can always try writing a letter to a business asking for a chance to work for them. Be honest and sincere. Let them know you are willing to start at the bottom, as long as you know there are opportunities to prove yourself and move up.

And for the rest of us

Do you own a business (I'm NOT talking Direct Sales here) and if so, would you be willing to take a chance on someone in one of the above situations? To be an employer, mentor and a friend?

Let's band together and help encourage and support those who are trying to get their life together.

Are you in?

P.S. I've never been in jail nor rehab but I know people going through this very situation. And honestly, I am a bit as well. I'm in my 50's and have some lapses in employment - playing wife and mother. Its tough to rebuild!



Saturday, October 29, 2016

How can you help mend a broken world?

There's no denying it - the world is full of challenges. These days more than ever we are seeing divorce and broken families, financial struggles, and an ever increasing number of deaths due to overdose and suicide. No one is going to escape challenges in life.

Some challenges can be overcome, but some will always be there. We need to adjust our minds, hearts and souls to accommodate changes. But that is much easier said than done.

Oftentimes we feel alone in our struggles, like no one has been there, that no one understands.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone has a story - or several - that could be used to lift someone up. Your words could save a life!

I believe the main thing God wants us to do is to love and encourage others.

What is your story?

Have you been through a divorce? Maybe you can help someone else navigate through the process?

Are you a former/recovering addict and made it through the process to sobriety? Can you help others by sharing your story and giving an encouraging word?

Did you raise a prodigal child? Maybe you can help a parent who feels hopeless.

Have you lost a spouse? Experienced a serious financial setback? Do you have a handicapped child? Are you caring for an aging parent? Have you survived physical, mental, emotional or sexual abuse?

In this world of social media, it's not hard to reach out to someone. Sometimes it even affords a "safety net"...sometimes it's hard to talk face to face, but online a person may be willing to open up and share.

I call myself an Unprofessional Counselor. I have a couple of people I help out by listening, giving some advice and just encouraging them.

Here's an example:

I made a comment on a post one of my kids made on Facebook. I don't even remember now what it was about. Fathers. Abortion. Something.

A friend of my child messaged me and asked if I was _____mother. I said yes. He had seen my comment. He started telling me about what was going on with him. He went to a party, lost control of his senses and slept with a girl there. Come to find out, she got pregnant. They aren't dating, it was just something that happened.

She wanted to get an abortion. He wanted her to have the baby and he would raise it. He's got a good job and the good intentions. Something many young men don't have.

He contacted a lawyer but it appears he really has no rights, as it is her body and if she doesn't want to carry and deliver the baby, she doesn't have to.

I talked with him a little, encouraged him and told him I would pray for him. That was a month or two ago.

I thought of him the other day and messaged to see what was going on. Unfortunately, she went ahead with her plans. So another baby was murdered unnecessarily.

He is moving forth the best he can. He's being promoted at work. I encouraged him to keep on working on himself, and one day someone with the same values and beliefs will come along when he least suspects it.

When we were done talking, he thanked me for asking. He said NO ONE had inquired! Are you kidding me? Wow!

That saddens me!

That is just ONE example of how a few words can brighten someone's day and make them feel cared about.

So, I'm going to encourage everyone to help mend this broken world by opening the book of your life and sharing a story with someone in need.

Feel free to share your story in the comments!

Friday, October 28, 2016

New Beginnings

I'm really trying to get back into this writing thing. Ideas fly through my mind at random times. When I try to sit down and write, I'm having one little problem. I hate to sit still. Until I get in the groove. But I have so many other things going on, that when I can sit, I sit in bed. And read or watch TV....so how to switch that to writing.

I need to find a way to keep my mind alert, not dumbed down and quieted down for the night.

Something I've been putting a lot of time into lately is talking with God, asking for his help and guidance. For Signs and Wonders. lol



Here's what I mean. I've worked a part-time job for about a year now. I needed to fill some time after giving up a relationship that consumed me, and I needed more cash flow for everything I have planned - get bills paid off A.S.A.P., do a zillion dollars worth of improvements on my house, vacations!

This part-time job was awesome in November, December, then part of January. Then the hours started dropping. And dropping. Retail!

I temporarily got back in my previous relationship, but nothing had changed. I had to say good-bye.

I dealt with the crappy hours and sold my tea on the side. Then the hours kept getting crappier.  I needed to stay busy and forget my fragmented heart. And I needed the cash.

So I talked a lot to God and asked what to do. To show me.

And he showed me signs!

Years ago, I wanted to start a library at my church. My daughter often went to youth group with some friends at another church. I knew that church had a library. I called the church and they hooked me up with Mrs. (Nancy) Abbott, who ran the library. Nancy invited me to her church and we talked at length about her journey starting a library.

Come to find out, she was an ABBOTT as in Abbott Farms. I had been there on school field trips with my kids a few times. Cool little place.

After that talk, I sent her a Thank You card, and she send me a nice little card as well.

I've been out to the farm a few times in the years since that visit with Nancy. I buy my local honey there. Never ran into Nancy on my visits.

So fast forward to this summer. I'm asking God what I should do. Quit my current job and look for another? Work 2 jobs?

I happened to be out of honey and had told myself a couple of times that I needed to get to Abbotts farms to get honey.

Around that time, I just happened to find the card from Mrs. Abbott. I thought that was a funny coincidence. Until....I opened Facebook and saw an ad (their newsletter) for Abbott Farms. They were hiring for tour guides for field trips. Temporary position until around the end of October.

On a whim, I applied and had an interview. Through the interview, the woman found out that I worked retail. She asked if I was interested in working in their store. It was a lot more hours. You'd better believe I jumped.

It was a great job. Nice,fun family atmosphere. Great employers.

But now it's about over...boo-hoo, but I know another adventure is right around the corner.

I have a million ideas, but most need that degree and experience, all of which take time. I am 50- something. Yikes!

I know Gods got me. I see where he's using me to encourage others and lift them up. How other's look to me for advice.

I'm scared to death of what's happening in our world. So many overdoses, so many suicides!

It used to be a random thing you hear about. Now it's EVERYDAY....and it's everywhere. You may think you don't know anyone that uses pills or heroin but it's everywhere. It could be your child, your parent, a police officer, a teacher. It does not discriminate.

I happened to walk into a conversation the other day between 3 ladies I know in a kinda-sorta way. They were talking about heroin. The one lady was talking about some relative who wiped out the parents bank account to feed his habit.

The second lady said, "Oh yeah, our son did that to us."

I knew the third one had a boyfriend in rehab.

And I know one or two close people who are addicts, recovering.

Sad that 4 out of 4 of us RANDOM ladies all had a story to tell.

So I wonder how I can help in this area.

Is this a career or a spiritual calling?

Too much to think about. That's why I leave it to God.

I just watch for the signs and wonders....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Angel from Heaven? Or bum?

Do you believe in angels? Have you ever seen one? I may have...

Read on......decide for yourself!


Shortly after the separation from my husband, I moved back to my home state of New York. I secured a job at a commercial bakery, working 3rd shift.

One night, Old Man Winter decided to show his stuff. The wind was whipping around so hard that the snow  looked like a swirling, whirling tornado. The howling was deafening. The road surface was slick, and the normally 3-lane highway was reduced down to just one.

Slowly but steadily, I plowed forth, all the while praying, "Please Lord, help me to see. Please Lord, help me to see..."

I had been looking for something, anything to help make my crazy life make sense. Kelly, a  friend at work,  had told me about a church that he and his wife started attending.

The next Sunday, I tried it. I loved it! It was kid friendly, had a fantastic worship team and a wonderful, humorous pastor. They had taught me to pray for what I needed in life and at that moment, I needed good vision!

Suddenly, through the dizzying snow a dark figure emerged. It looked like an alien walking down the middle of the highway! I felt as if I were in a sci-fi movie.

I swerved to avoid hitting the "thing". Hitting a patch of ice, my car skidded into a snowbank. The hood of the car was submerged in snow up to the windshield.

A kindly gentleman stopped to make sure I was alright. When I questioned him about the figure in the road, he said it was a man! We were both mystified! Why would a man be walking down an interstate in the middle of a snowstorm?

Out of nowhere a police officer stopped by. We explained the situation, and the officer took off to look for the man. He returned a few minutes later with the man.

The officer pulled me aside and told me the fellow was homeless- a bum were his words....Apparently this was not the first time this man had almost been hit.

The officer asked the bum to get in the front seat and asked if I'd mind hopping in the back while he made out my report.

I felt very strange- I had never been inside a police car before. I kept thinking everyone going by would would think I was being arrested!

The bum sat silently, content in his own little world. He stared straight ahead as the officer gave his speach about the dangers of walking down the middle of the highway.

Although the bum never looked my way, I had a strange feeling.....there was a sense of peace and calm about him.

As the officers voice droned on, my mind turned to the subject of Sunday's sermon. The message was to be kind to strangers- invite them into your home for a meal. Apparently, they may be angels send from above.

I kept getting the feeling this bum was in the middle of the road for something- maybe he was an angel and this was a test. Perhaps I was supposed to tell him about Jesus' love for us.

I could almost feel a tug-o-war... Jesus saying, "Tell him, tell him..." and Satan saying, "Shhhh....you'll sound like a Jesus freak."

My mouth wanted to speak the joy of the Lord, but my mind wouldn't let it. I kept my peace and said nothing.

Just as the officer was finishing up my report, the tow truck arrived. My car was removed from the snowbank and deemed ok to drive.

I was late to work, but everyone was happy I was ok. When I recounted the incident to Kelly, he said, "Do you think he was an angel sent from GOD? Did you witness to him?"

When Kelly said that, I almost fell to the floor. He said exactly what I had been thinking while sitting in the back of that police car.

Over the years, I have often wondered about that man walking down the middle of the road. Was he an angel sent from heaven...or just a bum wandering around in his own little world?

And the most burning question ...did I fail the test?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Here is another article I had published in the Syracuse Family Times magazine in the April 2005 issue. Not humorous, but....

Trash Talking

Neighborhood Cleanups Mark Earth Day

My siblings and I practically drooled in expectation. Junk food and candy were reserved for long trips, and we were off to grandma's house, three hours away. We pounced on that candy, tearing off the wrappers at lightening speed. But mom was faster!

   "Give me your wrappers" she demanded, reaching her hand back from the front seat. These bits of paper were placed in her purse or coat pocket to be thrown out later in a trash can. "It's not nice to litter" she would remind us.

Mom, of course, never went so far as to found a national event, but it was that same spirit that spurred the designation of April 22 as Earth Day. Started in 1970 by American John McConnell, Earth Day remains an opportune time for parents to teach their children about the environment, share their concerns, and discuss ways the family can help.

Tidying your small corner of the world is one way to contribute. A community clean-up, whether of the local playground, park or roadside, will allow you to get more done while also getting neighbors together socially.

Begin by recruiting volunteers, and be sure to include both children and parents.

A church or fire department may be willing to donate space for an organizational meeting. Inform your neighbors of the meeting by distributing fliers, making phone calls or placing an article in the local paper.

At the meeting, set a date and time for the event. You may also want to check with your city, town, or village to see if there is an official cleanup with which you can coordinate.

Form teams and map out what areas are to be covered. Remember to address issues such as safety, including how to handle needles and broken glass. Remind parents that children need to be accompanied by an adult.

Make arrangements with a sanitation company for garbage pick-up  or ask for volunteers with trucks to transport the garbage to a landfill.

Plan on snacks and drinks to be served after the event , or ask volunteers to contribute a food item and have a potluck dinner. It will be a welcome treat after a day's work and a chance to mingle with the neighbors.

On the day of the cleanup, hand out bags and boxes to hold the garbage collected. Agree to meet back at a specified time. At that time, prepare the garbage by separating it into individual categories: glass, plastic,paper, and everything else.

Children will have the reward of seeing just how much trash has been collected. Explain to them that, while items such as cotton, rags and paper take about 6 months to decompose, while plastics and aluminum can take up to 500 years! As I often tell my kids, imagine if everyone in the world threw just one gum wrapper or soda can on the ground....

___________________________________________________________________________

Earth Day Everyday

  • Plant a tree- Paper, furniture, toothpicks, and cosmetics are just some of the 5,000 items made from trees and tree extracts. Tress also help cool the earth and air through shading and water evaporation. By giving off moisture, trees help create rain.
  • Beautify your home- chemicals in our homes and offices create health problems. Placing houseplants in a  room will absorb these chemicals and put oxygen back into the air. One potted plant per 100 square feet will clean the air in an average sized home or office.
  • Recycle old paper- Flyers, gift wrap and wall paper all make great canvas for budding artists.
  • Make a compost pile- Biodegradeable garbage such as fruit and vegetable scraps are the pile's ingredients. When it turns to compost, use it in the garden.
  • Don't litter- Be a good example.
_____________________________________________________________________

For the Kids....Make a Litter Critter!

 This craft will remind children that we share the environment with all living creatures.

You will need:

Plaster of paris
Plastic Spoons
Acrylic or all-purpose paint
paintbrushes
magnets (if desired)

Mix 1 cup of plaster of Paris according to directions on the box. Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl part of the plastic spoons and let dry.

When hardened, pop the shapes out of the spoons. paint your critter as desired with eyes, ears, paws, etc..

Apply a magnet to the back, if desired.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Chaos!

It is perhaps the most dreaded experience of all. No one REALLY wants to do it, but do it they must. Yes, it is again that time of year- Christmas shopping!

You spend countless hours walking around the department stores and malls. Your legs ache. The blisters on your feet pop each time you take a step. You have writer's cramp from signing so many credit card slips. Worst of all, you've lost the family car somewhere in the vast sea of Neon's, Hyundai's and SUV's. You wonder if you are in the early stages of Alzheimer's. You must be, you've already forgotten what you just bought.

Flash forward to Christmas Eve. You stay up all night wrapping presents. You KNOW the kids are going to love them.

At 5 a.m., the kiddies wake you up. The baby gently kicks you and says, "Dadda, why you sleepin' under the twee?" You jump up and wonder- why WERE you sleeping under the tree?

You scratch your head in wonder and hear the rustling of paper. 6 year old Suzie rips a bow out of your hair.

"Yeah, and why ya wearing a bow on your head?"

The kids start begging and pleading with you, eager to open their presents. Finally, you relent.

Suzie opens her first gift- a Barbie. She opens another...a fancy car for Barbie! She's elated! Now Barbie can cruise around town, looking for a new boyfriend. It took Barbie over 40 years to kick Ken to the curb. He was a real loser, and it took her that long to figure it out.

Suzie opens another package. Clothes! Bathing suits, ball gowns, and shorts. Skin tight jeans and slinky halters that barely fit over Barbie's shapely curves. There are shoes and hair ties of every color. Barbie must look sharp. Barbies clothes cost more than Little Suzie's "back to school" ensemble.

Baby Jeffrey gets all kinds of colorful, noisy toys. The toys come in all kinds of boxes. Jeffrey immediately chucks the toys and sits in a box. "Vroom,....Vroom..." He stands up and places another box on his head. He twirls around and around in circles, making himself dizzy. He crashes into furniture and people alike, screeching out his joy. You and your better half try to get his attention.

"Jeffie, look at the car." You demonstrate how the wheels go round and round. "Vroom, Vroom! Look at Daddy!" Jeffie whizzes by in his box, "Vroom,vroom..."

"Jeffie, put the box down and play with the toys!"

Jeffie has other plans. "No, play with box."

Ever so gently, you remove the box from Jeffie's hand. You furiously grab another toy and stuff it in his hand. "But look Jeffie, look at the Bob the Builder toy!" With the precision of a professional baseball player, Jeffie throws the toy clear into the next room. It hits a coffee cup sitting on the counter, causing it to smash to the ground. Jeffie experiences a major meltdown with crying too horrible to bear. You return the box.

Suddenly, Suzie flies by. "Vroom...Vroom! She is pushing a naked Barbie around in one of Jeffies boxes.

"Suzie, where are your new Barbie clothes?" you inquire. Susie gives you a blank stare.

"Where are the Barbie clothes and the car you got for Christmas?"

"I dunno...vroom...vroom." Away she goes to enjoy the wonderful new toys- Naked Barbie's and cardboard boxes.

I am purposing a way to make Christmas more affordable for the parents, and still be fun for the kids.

Skip the Barbie Volkswagen Beetle that costs $29.99.

Forget the Barbie clothes. With each outfit (don't forget hair ties!) costing approximately $10.00 apiece, that's about $100.00 in your pocket.

Save $100.00 or more on useless stuff for Jeffie. He doesn't care about the stuffed animals, cars and other boring toys. He wants the boxes! Go to the nearest store and get him a bunch of boxes of assorted sizes. He'll be happy as a clam. Give one of the boxes to Suzie to use as a car for her dolls.

Next take the money you saved on gifts and hire a babysitter for the kids. Go out on the town.

Eat, drink and be merry. That may be the best gift yet!

Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry Christmas