I Am Woman, I'm a Wordsmith

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

The Right Formula November 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:47 pm

Austin_F1_start

 

 

The focus in Austin this past weekend literally and figuratively shifted from live music and college football to hair pin turns and pit crews as Formula 1 racing brought a touch of European fever to the city’s Circuit of the Americas racetrack. Creatively dubbed “How the West Was F1” this year, you might say Grand Prix racing has found a home in Texas.  It was the third year Austin hosted the U.S.’s only F1 tour stop and I was lucky enough to attend it for the first time.

 

How much do I know about racing and about cars in general?  Zilch.  Bupkus.  Zip.  I know a little about NASCAR and Indy, but my only foray into the F1 world was the 2013 movie “Rush,” which centered on the rivalry between rival drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

 

How much did I learn about it while watching Saturday’s races? Not much but it was still very interesting. You see, Formula 1 and the people who follow it make-up a culture all their own.  An intriguing and knowledgeable culture.  You don’t have to be a race aficionado or a sports fan to enjoy it all.  It’s more than a race.  It’s an event.

 

The atmosphere was electric and the pageantry was grand. A total experience, it combined the energy of a Super Bowl with the attractions of a state fair. The place was packed with foreigners too, which made me think how cool it would be to go to the Olympics. Being that it was in Austin, live music was naturally a part of it all.

 

I did learn a few things from some seasoned attendees sitting near us, including the fact that something that I totally can’t explain was done to the cars to make them not so loud and that an estimated 80 percent of attendees are in all probability foreign. Today at my gym someone mentioned that they heard today, the Monday after F1, is the busiest flight day in Austin, trumping even SXSW and ACL, two events that bring a ton of people to town but many of whom drive to the events.

 

F1 is money. Helicopters ferry guests in and out and it reportedly costs millions to own a race car, much less sponsor a team.  It’s the big leagues yet a league all its own at the same time.

 

Being that this is Austin though, things were perhaps a bit more casual then at other tour stops like Monaco or Belgium. I went expecting Kentucky Derbyish attire, but what I saw were national flags worn as capes, red Ferrari hats and shirts everywhere, and the occasional cowboy boots.   The food was just as eclectic but of course included Fletcher’s famous corny dogs.

 

It was great to walk around the carnival-like atmosphere hearing so many different languages, seeing race enthusiasts dressed in attire that screamed “I am not from the U.S.,” and to simply people watch.  The people, come to find out, are as thrilling and fascinating as the race itself!

 

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Formula 1 racing is big and is big business. Just to enter a race costs upwards of $500,000.  Formally called the Formula One World Championship, it is the highest class of single-seat auto racing sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.   The “formula”  in the name refers to a set of rules that all teams must comply with. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grand Prix events, held throughout the world on both purpose-built circuits like Austin’s and public roads.  Formula One cars race at speeds of up to 225 mph and are the fastest road course racing cars in the world. Trust me, they are fast and they are loud!

 

Europe is the sport’s traditional base but F1 has a total global television audience of approximately 527 million people. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry and its drivers boast rock star status among fans.  They are compensated well, earning the highest salary of any professional drivers, including Indy Car and NASCAR drivers.  The highest paid driver in 2010 was Fernando Alonso, who got a $40 million salary from Ferrari, a record for any driver. 

 

 COTA-logo

 

Austin’s COTA F1 track is 3.427-miles and the circuit was the first in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula One. The race appears to be getting more successful each year and increasingly popular with the locals, but its conception was controversial at the start, mainly due to cost and a general  unfamiliarity with the concept.  Still, the facility has fast become the city’s go-to concert venue with everyone from Jimmy Buffett to Brad Paisley entertaining sold out crowds from its glorious outdoor stage.  COTA is also home to a new X Games stop and many other racing events year round.

 

As an all-around sports fan I feel lucky to have attended the event, recommend it to others, and would probably do so again. Would I travel across the globe to see one like so many do?  Probably not.   It’s all made me long to complete a race trifecta though.  Next up:  Daytona and Indy!  Fingers crossed.  Start my engines.

 

Friday Funny October 31, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 4:57 pm

halloween_123695

Happy Halloween!

 

Think About It Thursday October 30, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:35 pm

Hiding

It’s probably not something you’re proud of.

#HappinessProject

 

Tuesday Tip: The Real Health Threat? October 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:20 pm

Out sick

 

Everyone is talking about Ebola these days, and although the deadly virus may very well pose a massive health threat to our nation, perhaps the bigger threat is the common cold and flu. Flu season is upon us so how can you keep from catching what your co-worker has?

 

First of all, know that just because the weather gets cold does not mean you will catch a cold. Contrary to what even my mom still tells us, the temperature outside has nothing to do with the risk of getting a cold or the flu.  Not even running outside with wet hair during a snow storm will increase your chances of getting sick.  It’s true that people tend to get colds more so during the winter, but that’s mainly because we are indoors more so during the colder months of the year.  Being close and closed in with others increases the spread of germs, which increases the chances of getting sick.  It’s that simple.

 

Schools are often ground zero for those cold and flu causing germs. You can take some very simple steps, however, to decrease the odds of your kids getting sick.  Make it a habit to have your kids change clothes immediately upon returning home after a school day, which could prevent them from spreading any germs they picked up at school in your home.  It also goes without saying that they should also wash their hands as they come home.

 

Washing hands, in fact, is what many experts say is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. The cold virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours so wash them often and after touching things like public pens or pencils, keyboards, and other places that harbor viruses.  Be sure to wash in between your fingers and wash those fingertips as they are often the first point of germ contact.  Teach your kids to always “catch” their sneezes and coughs in their elbows, not their hands, and for Pete’s sake tell them to leave their noses alone!  No picking and no scratching, puh-leeze!  Do you have a thumb-sucker?  Now’s the perfect time to break that germ-spreading habit!  And, if someone is sick, stand at least three feet away from them if possible, which is how far a sneeze can travel.  Eeewww!

 

Most importantly, if your child is even a little bit sick, keep him or her home! And, the same goes for you:  don’t go to work or to any enclosed public spaces if you are sick.

 

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Starve a cold, feed a fever? Who knows for sure, but ther are some things you can eat or drink that may help prevent a cold or the duration of one.  I remember growing up we would always eat green chile when we were sick and, to this day, I believe it works.  Now I know why.  Hot peppers of many types are packed with capsaicin, a natural and effective decongestant, so anything from serranos to jalapenos will help clear your sinuses.  Garlic, oatmeal, and black tea are natural immune boosters and may also prove beneficial.  My mom taught me ears ago to chop a couple of garlic gloves into pill-size pieces, squeeze lemon juice over them, and then swallow them like pills.  The garlic will literally “sweat” the cold out of you.  It works but you probably don’t want to be near a lot of people during the process!

 

Lastly, drink plenty of liquids. It’s not uncommon for someone with a cold to get dehydrated so drink away and eat foods that contain salt (chicken soup!) because they help replace minerals your body loses due to dehydration.

 

What you shouldn’t do is rely on an antibiotic. Colds are viruses, not bacterial infections, so antibiotics are of no help.  It’s best just to let a cold run its course by eating and drinking right and getting plenty of rest.  If you do get a fever or start to feel worse after three or four days however, it’s time to call the doctor.  Colds can lead to sinus infections, pneumonia, and even bronchitis so it’s best to get them checked if symptoms don’t improve or worsen.

 

Many people rely on vitamin C, zinc, and other supplements to prevent or expedite the length of a cold. Some studies have shown that zinc may indeed decrease how long a cold lasts by one day but it’s recommended you take zinc in a lozenge form and not a nasal spray.  Vitamin C can also be beneficial but surprisingly exercise may affect its effectiveness.  One study revealed that regularly taking more than 200 mg of vitamin C per day and then exercising cuts the duration of a cold.  What?  The last thing I feel like doing when I have a cold is exercising, but maybe I need to rethink my laziness!  Still, doctors agree that if your symptoms are above the neck (runny nose, sore throat, headache) it’s okay to exercise but if you’ve got symptoms below the neck like chest congestion or bodily aches and pains, exercise is probably not a good idea.

 

I still haven’t gotten my flu shot and I know I need to. I get one every year and I’ve never gotten the flu.  Knock on wood and get in line Carla!

 

If you have any unique or unusual tips on how to prevent a cold or cut one’s duration, please share!   God bless you!

 

Sunday Scripture October 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:42 pm

Be Grateful 8x10 full1

A Week’s Worth of Every Day Godly Chores

 

Sunday – “The Lord’s Day”

Lord, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into

my heart so I may spend the day with you.

 

Monday – “Wash Day”

Lord, help me wash away my selfishness and vanity

so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead

Tuesday – “Ironing Day”

Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected

 through the years so that I may see the beauty in others.

Wednesday – “Mending Day”

Lord, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.

Thursday – “Cleaning Day”

Lord, help me dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in

the secret corners of my mind and my heart.

Friday – “Shopping Day”

Lord, give me the grace to live and shop wisely

so I may purchase eternal happiness.

Saturday – “Cooking Day”

Lord, help me brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it

with the sweetness of human kindness.

May we all be grateful for the household chores we have to do, the homes for which we do them in, and the family members for whom we do them for.

 

Tuesday Tip October 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:55 pm

Happy

Your happiness depends on YOU!

 

“E” for Effort October 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:29 pm

 Make a Difference

 

Watching college football this weekend I learned something about life. I learned that even the smallest efforts matter and that the littlest things can sometimes make the biggest difference.

 

The game that taught me this wasn’t the OU-Texas battle that I attended in Dallas, but rather the Alabama-Arkansas game, which Bama won 14-13. It was a close and hard fought game but what proved to be the difference between a loss and either overtime or a tie was a blocked extra point kick by a Crimson Tide player Jonathan Allen.  It ended up being the play of the day.  No one probably imagined that Allen would wind of the hero, including Allen himself.

 

You don’t see missed extra point kicks very often and they aren’t usually a  part of the game where players “give it their all” unless the game is on the line. None of this was the case here.  At the time of the kick, the game was far from being on the line and yet Allen made that extra effort to reach just a little bit higher and essentially win the game for Bama.

 

That happens in life too. They say you should always be kinder than necessary, but maybe we should also try harder than necessary at making something good happen to or for someone else.  Those little extra efforts you make or those that others make, well, they make a difference.

 

My nephew’s fiancé always makes him a big breakfast on Sundays before they settle in for a day of NFL games. She enjoys football as much as he does and I’m sure she’d love it if sometimes he made breakfast or even went out to get it, but she takes the time to scramble those eggs and assemble those breakfast tacos herself, and it’s made a difference.  It matters to him.  He appreciates it.

 

A good friend of mine recently experienced a “flight from hell” going from Dallas to Chicago but was treated by her husband with a limo ride to her parents’ home in Indiana upon arrival. I know for a fact he didn’t enjoy spending the extra money on a limo, but his doing so mattered.  It made a difference.

 

Think about these things the next time you want to give up or not give something your 100 percent.  It truly is the little things and being willing to extend that extra “reach” for someone that makes you not only a hero of sorts, but a better person.

 

 Too late

 

It’s true that every accomplishment begins with a simple decision to try and that the difference between “try” and “triumph” is merely a little “umph,” but how often do we choose not to try our hardest or to not do something that could truly make a difference or make someone feel loved or happy?    If you find yourself constantly saying, “I just don’t have the time or energy,” consider this:

 

“Don’t’ say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein,” warns H. Jackson Brown, Jr.   You could add Jonathan Allen to that group today.

 

 Fly

 

Maybe you’re afraid of failure and maybe sometimes that’s what keeps you from going the extra mile. Maybe, like me, you don’t like change.  Whatever is holding you back, try thinking about it differently.  Don’t focus on the possibility of failure; focus on the possibility of accomplishment.  And, don’t think of it as change, think of it as something new and exciting or maybe even a new challenge.

 

“Many of life’s failures happen when we don’t realize how close we were to success when we gave up.” Thomas Edison

Turtle

Finally, like the little turtle above, think big.  Go for it.  If you stumble, make it a dance.  If you fail, learn from it.  Always shoot for the moon and the stars; even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.  Jonathan Allen reached for the stars and won.  You can too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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