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ryhpeZ irollaV
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Haha. My mom sent me this pic today.
This was from Girl Scout Camp; early '90s.
Check out my awesome perm.

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Netflix haz memes.

This is where Netflix stopped He Man today. Lmao
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I've been doing all of this reading and watching documentaries on happiness and joy lately.
Which led to the same about kindness and compassion...
Which refreshed my interest in Buddhism (Tibetan specifically)...
And my re-realization that my personal life philosophy and moral code aligns almost perfectly with Buddhism.

So I found a Tibetan Buddhist temple relatively near me (as well as temples of many different sects - I'm a little surprised), and I'm going to start going to their classes and stuff soon.

I'm sort of nervous/excited. Nervous because I'm been really introverted and socially anxious for a long time now - but I'm trying to get over it.

Also:

Here are the results of weeks of extensive reading and documentary watching I've been doing:

People's levels of happiness increases as their income increases... But only up to about $70,000 (USD)
After that, no matter how high the $$ goes, the happiness level doesn't go higher.

This is part of the larger picture which shows that once people's basic needs are met - food, shelter, safety, etc... Their happiness level isn't dependant on money or stuff (as a matter of fact, more stuff tends to make people less happy). After basic needs are met happiness is mostly dependant on the following things:

1. Getting plenty of exercise
2. Meditating (specifically on compassion and kindness)
3. Having variety in your day to day life
4. Counting your "blessings" daily.
5. Being true to yourself
6. Calming/relaxation techniques/ moving past adversity quickly
7. Being kind, empathetic, compassionate, and understanding of others
8. Connecting, cooperating, and socializing with others
9. Trying to make others happy
10. Helping others/ the world (Social service/ volunteer work)

And...Genetics. 
Studies are showing that some people, literally, have a greater capacity to be happy than others and that may be the biggest single contributor to people's happiness level.
And it all has to do with...
You guessed it...
Dopamine and serotonin

Which is not to say that if your baseline is not-so-happy you can't be happy, it just means you need to put more effort into the other stuff on the list.


Atari: "Mom, I've been practicing my meditation"
Me: "Oh, really, that's great."
Atari: "Want to know how long I meditate for now?"
Me: "Of course"
Atari: "NINE WHOLE SECONDS!"
Me: "NICE!"

LMAO

And now for another episode of: Vallori has really effing weird dreams.

Last night I had this dream in which my daughters and I we're staying/living in some kind of commune type place.
We were in the cafeteria and my eldest came up to this woman and stole one of her taquitos while I was talking to the woman.

Then my daughter and I went to some carnival, but it only had a couple of rides; the zipper, the gravitron, and the hammer. And it only had one game - skee ball.
So we went to play skee ball but when the balls came down it wasn't just those wooden balls. It was a bunch of different balls and round objects of different types and sizes. Beach balls, basket balls, baseballs, watermelons, oranges... Obviously some of these items wouldn't fit under the little net thing - so the game was totally unwinnable.
And while we were there my daughter stole some food from one of the carnival workers while he was distracted.

I tried to talk to her about her food theft, but she was completely unconcerned about it and said "I can't help myself, it's just how I am"

After the carnival we went back to the commune and I went to the cafeteria and told the woman how my daughter seemed to have a problem with stealing food and the woman said "yes, I noticed when you guys asked if you could bring a peach in, you actually brought TWO peaches; and she looked at me sternly.
So I said "no, no, my daughter stole one of your taquitos while you were watching TV" and the lady said "oh, yeah, I was wondering where that went. Well, don't worry about that, teenagers do those sorts of things." And I was like "no, they really don't, and I don't know how to get her to stop".
The woman insisted it was just a teen thing.

Then I went over to the kitchen of the sleeping area where people were hanging out and the husband of a friend of mine handed me a baby, about the size of a one month old - or smaller, and asked me to go put her to bed. I went to put her bed, but when I tried to lay her down she would wiggle all over the place and end up at the foot or head of the bed- and because I was told to put her in the top bunk of a bunk bed I was really worried she would fall off the bed. Also, the baby could talk, which did not strike me as unusual at all.
I finally gave up trying to put the baby in bed, and took her back to my friend's husband who told me she did that all the time, and you had to swaddle her to keep her in one place. He said he'd take care of her, but first he wanted my daughter to put some frosting on the thing he was making, and then try a bite.

The thing he was making was a cake inside a pie. It was like...Pie crust, layer of cake, layer of crust, layer of cake, top crust, and frosting. - apparently it was pretty good.

And then I woke up.



And since the cake/pie combo was clearly the most important part of the dream, here are some recipes I found when trying to see if this combo existed anywhere outside of my dreams:

http://www.today.com/recipes/cherpumple-t60376

https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/cookie-cake-pie/0e845fcb-bcca-4c75-84cc-ad06385d37b8

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We tried it.
Our cat stood outside the "box" and tried pulling the tape off the floor. Lmao.

It did quickly attract the younger kids, though, as soon as they saw it they stood in it and said "What's this box for!?" 

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I did some of those DNA swab kits to find out what my dogs actually are.
Now I'm soooooo anxious for the results.
It's supposed to take around 3 weeks. Gah.

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4/18/17
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8 of our butterflies hatched! 
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4/17/17
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