Sanford & Friends

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I tend to be a workaholic-thank goodness for wild and crazy art friends to remind me to have fun! My friend  Mychele is on a roll with her creativity and is inspiring me to make time for creativity as well.

Artsy girls need to see art! Our friend Jaci suggested that we all go to Sanford to the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery when our friend Tracy Stilwell would have an exhibit there.

While this may be a bit blurry, I love this shot of myself, Mychele, and Jaci under Tracy’s eyes.

Jaci and I drove over from my home and Mychele met us there.  We all, for some reason, thought this was a small gallery but it was not! Not only were there many rooms of art but rooms where artists worked on site.  Our hostess with the mostest, Bailey, told us how the gallery was laid out and got us going on our adventure.

     

I really enjoyed one couple we met-The Abbots.  Debe  had an eclectic collection of work as did her artist husband, Kevin. They have been doing art together for thirty years I think they said!  I admit my favorites are the rooms she creates.  You can see this process on her blog at Evolution of a Painting.   Mychele and I agreed she had painted our dream room/house.  We spent a lot of time talking to Debe and Kevin-great people!

              

Of course our main mission was to see Tracy’s work so we headed to that area and enjoyed seeing her Garden Girls and fabric creations.We took several photos and left her a love note at the comment area. Tracy’s fabric creations each have their own story.  They are filled with images and details-each one takes time to see fully.

                    

We were surprised to see a small collection of work by another friend Midge Beaudoin.

Midge and Tracy have both taught classes at Art More Place in Melbourne Florida. That is how I met these two artsy gals.

This not so little gallery is very impressive and I cannot wait to go back.

While shopping in the gift area, I was thrilled to find a fused glass bird pendant. I loved it immediately , bought it, and named her Sky.  I have worn her every day since and get at least two comments a day . The artisan is Martin Cheek .

After all the fun at the gallery-we asked our hostess ,Bailey, about lunch suggestions.  She and Debe gave us lots and we ended up next door at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe. My stepdaughter-Katie, quite a connoisseur, had recently suggested this place when she heard I was going to Sanford.  When she says you MUST go there, trust it.  It was right next door and I had read on yelp that they were great at helping with gluten-free/vegetarian choices.  Turns out they had a vegetarian menu! Our server Dalton was amazing! I was very hungry and therefore overwhelmed with the extensive menu.  He helped me pick something out quickly which I great appreciated.  He described the different sausages so I could make a choice.  I admit, when selecting sides, etc I went with his favorites-and I am glad I did. Dalton helped me select a sausage plate and two sides. It was delicious! The decor in this place was German of course-loved everything about this place. Although I did not have any, it seems there were many great beers on hand.

        

After lunch we strolled just a bit more.  We found a bookstore Maya Books and Music.  Well of course I was going in! (for those of you that don’t know me personally,Maya is my poodle’s name) This bookstore was packed with stacks and stacks of books.       

Then I found Magpies. I LOVED this place!  Just a room full of unique treasures!  I found soaps, gourmet cotton candy, jewelry, clothing, and small unique home decor pieces.  Cannot wait to go back! I set up the place on yelp because it was not on there and it deserves to be seen! Don’t miss it if you are in Sanford.

      

Sanford was a beautiful town and I admit I plan to get back there as soon as I can.   Even the walls of the buildings were unusual-encrusted with memorabilia. I did not have enough time that day to explore as much as I would have liked.

Mychele taking a shot!
View down the main street-there are many side streets as well!
just one of the encrusted walls.
Another encrusted wall-I thought this was fascinating.
A shot down the other side of the main road. Everything was so beautiful!

Sanford is now one of my favorite towns for a getaway.  Who wants to go?

Mychele also wrote about our day.  See her version here!

View from the desk…

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THIS IS MY DESK!  Never judge your progress by the piles left behind.  Today Mychele was a great help as we both tried to get our blogs up and running again.

After lots of texts and a phone call, she helped me fix several things.

This very short blog is a test-to see if this automatically shares like it is supposed to.

Despite the messy desk-I have gotten tons done today.

I will not bore you with the details.

On towards progress.

That is all.

I’ll see you in my dreams…

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I had my dream Friday night and wrote the post first thing Saturday morning.

What a dream I had last night-it was so real and entwined with real events of the day!  In the dream-I had two essential oil events scheduled-as I do today.  One was a one on one with Tricia.  The other was a rollerball class with Jessica in the afternoon.  In the dream I looked outside and saw TONS of people walking in my backyard.  There was a table there and they were sitting down. There were other people sitting in chairs. I saw some adults I recognized-Arminta, Teri, Holly, Ana, Sara, Annette, and Dawn.  Then I saw tons of young adults (20-30 years old) that I did not know.

I said to Marty-I must have messed up and posted a class today and not remembered.  Call Tricia and tell her I will get with her later.  So I went to the table (Teri was at the head facing me)  and asked them how many thought I always had my act together (I am accused of this all the time but those that do know me-know what an airhead I can be). They all raised their hands.  Then I laughed and said well this is a great example of how grandly I can mess up because  I don’t know why you are here! They laughed and Teri told me it was a teacher thing.  Something about my name being pulled at a school event.  All the people there were my grown students and some of their parents!  I walked around and could talk to many of the grown students I had in the past. They all looked great, were happy, thanked me and gave me hugs.  It was the most wonderful dream.

Whenever I have a dream that is so real-I wonder what triggered it. I retired December 2013 so it has been a while since I have taught. I was at a small business event the previous night.  I saw a former intern of Sandy Robinson’s there-Jennifer Blank.  She teaches at Royal Charter.  I saw two former students-sons of Lori Grodecky.  One is 18 and graduating this year-the other in 5th grade with straight As.  Former student Amy McPherson was at last night’s event with her mom.  She is in college-to be a teacher. I met a new friend at the event and when I told her I was a retired teacher-she asked if I missed it.  I told her I missed the students, working with parents and the teachers but that teaching was a grueling job.

Last week I saw Odean at Cinemaworld. It was the second time I saw him there and he always gives me a hug. I enjoy seeing Troy Parsons at Pollo Tropical. There is nothing more rewarding for a teacher than to see his/her students out in public being adults.  We all like to think we had something to do with their success.

It is so funny when I see a student, I sometimes cannot remember their name-but I remember them. When I tell them who I am they are amazed I remembered them.  I can always tell them a story-like how I called Troy’s sister Baby Bear after a school show she participated in. It is amazing how many of them tell me they were sorry they were a bad kid.  I tell them they were not a bad kid-they just sometimes made bad choices or had bad behavior.

Students do not realize how much teachers care.  Sure-we are on the back-working towards excellence all the time. Sounds corny-like a school mission statement-but it is TRUE.  I told a student once when he accused me of picking on him-that I cared about him too much to let him be a fool. That if I didn’t care-I would just let him keep going in that wrong direction.Many kids thanked me when they left Jupiter or when I saw them years later-for being tough on them and not letting them continue their bad behavior. I never felt that grades were everything when it came to teaching.  I cared about those kids as if they were mine.  I wanted them to be respectable people that could independently take care of themselves as they grew.  There are some students I still worry about and pray for. They pop in my mind all the time-I wonder where they are and if they are ok.

I do not know why but when I woke up I had to get this all down.  I am friends with some former students on Facebook that I was close to in school. To see them grown, working, raising children-is very exciting.  Teachers are unique people.  Teaching is one of the most difficult professions because we can never leave it at work-either we are bringing work home or we are bringing our student stories home-thinking about them, worrying about them, praying for them. Many teachers’ sanity and diligence is fed by the one note they may get a year from a parent or student-telling them they have made a difference.

This is not the first dream I have had about students.  I had them every year at the beginning of the school year and throughout the summer.  I may have been off work in the summer-but I was still working on projects and worrying about kids.


As tough as teaching is-we try to remember and focus on the good things and not on the things that break our heart-the kid moved out of state when he was just making progress, when you are told to stop your afternoon club unless you can prove it improves scores, and when the kids beg you not to leave in the middle of the school year. Like Marty said though-there will always be those kids, you will always have a reason not to leave. We agreed it was time.

If you are a parent-I hope this will help you see your children’s teachers a little different and maybe you will take a moment to think of your own. Know that the phone calls and notes you get about your child are because the teacher cares.  If they did not-they would just not bother. Keeping in touch with parents is a LOT of work.l  If you are a former student, know that myself and others at Jupiter-we always wanted great things for you.  And for my former students and others going into education..GOD BLESS YOU! If I can help in any way-I will.  We need new teachers that have a passion for the children like my peers did. I am in tears as I write this-because I do miss teaching and I do miss the kids. Last night’s dream was so real.  I wish I really could see so many of my students again. I have boxes of letters from them I will never throw away.  I am glad I am still somewhat local so I can run into them here and there.

I am sure the things I speak of here are not unique to me. Many teachers feel these things.

Thank you for listening to my rant and GOD BLESS THE TEACHERS!

To see or not to see…

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I just saw the movie The Shack and it has really impacted me… I’m really going to try not to have any spoilers. I’m not going to argue with you about how I feel about this movie so please don’t try to argue with me. There are people I admire on Facebook that have already stated that The Shack is not biblically correct and that you shouldn’t go to see it and that it is not scripture , etc. I respect your feelings on that.

I read the book The Shack years ago. Now if you know me at all you know I read many books-sometimes as many as four in a week. And I will tell you right now – I read books for entertainment. I read them to learn as well but for me-well learning is entertaining! I’ll read them, know if I loved it or had certain feelings about the book but don’t ask me about the details. I read the Chronicles of Narnia over twenty times, all seven volumes but there is still a lot I can’t tell you except that I loved every minute. But there is something I do remember about the book The Shack-I hated it. I don’t know why right now but I do remember I was angry. I think it’s because it did not give me a resolution that I wanted.

I do remember as I was reading it I was wondering when something was going to happen that would make me like this book because at the time there was a lot of hoopla about it. Everybody was saying it was life-changing you should read it. So I kept reading. I kept waiting for something miraculous to happen and for me it didn’t. I do remember though that there were a couple sentences that blew my mind and stopped me in my tracks. I don’t remember what they were-I probably wrote them in my journal or something.  I do remember thinking that even though I was angry about the book and I didn’t like a lot of it-those few sentences were worth everything

When I started to see the previews it was weird but that little bit of anger started kicking back up again…I hated that book -I can’t believe they made a movie out of it! But as I watched the previews I admit I was drawn to it and a couple people I trusted and cared about and are similar to me in some ways had gone to see the movie and they liked it.  I decided to give it a chance.

So how did I feel about it? I loved this movie. I didn’t like it a lot, I didn’t think it was pretty decent,  I LOVED this movie. And for those people that think I shouldn’t have even gone to see it because of my beliefs-I am a big moviegoer and I don’t go depending on what my belief system is. I go to be entertained or to learn something. I am a thinker-no matter what movie I go to, it is going to make me think and there will be a lesson.

Anything that is discussing my God and belief systems-I’m interested. I enjoy learning about how other people think and feel. I will tell you that I love this movie because it touched me in many ways. I’m a believer yet something in this movie touched me and really helped open up things that maybe were closed off. My God is an awesome God and I have total belief that there are going to be people that will go to this movie that are not believers that may be touched in some way.

Please don’t write me notes about how I shouldn’t have gone or how I’m being silly thinking that it could touch people.  I don’t know everything, but some things I know for sure.

GOD can take any thing you think is “bad” and make it work for good if He chooses.

GOD reaches people in different ways-some of which others may not understand.

GOD appears to people differently because people are different.

GOD is much more powerful than any movie.

If you feel it is in conflict with your Christian beliefs to see The Shack-I hope you will reconsider.  Certainly you know that with your strong faith, a movie is not going to compromise your beliefs. Ask God to give you insight on what you could learn from the movie.  I loved the movie so much-I’ve decided to read the book again.


As humans we are in different places emotionally day by day.  I may have totally different feelings about the book if I read it now.

I was so filled with emotion as I left the movie-I just had to get these words down.  I sat in my car using dragon dictation until I got everything out that was running in my brain.  None of it seems really profound-but…that’s ok.  If you saw The Shack…I would LOVE to hear what you thought about it.  I would love to get some discussion going.

Liberate Your Art Swap 2016

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I was so thankful to participate in the Liberate Your Art Swap again this year.

Why? This swap encourages me to make art and share.  I am involved in many swaps and do a lot of artsy activities through online classes and through Art More Place in town. At Art More Place, I learned that anything creative is art and it has helped me accept my work-no matter what. I have learned because of the swaps, to take pictures of my art.  While I am my worse critic, by stepping away from my piece for a while, and then taking a photo-the piece takes on a while new look.

After taking pictures of my art, I collect those photos and other photos(usually nature-and definitely art) I love in a folder and order postcards.  Now I have art to share!

It is wonderful to see other people’s art and connect to people around the world.  I often visit their blogs and/or write to them.

As luck would have it, I am staying at a home far from my own watching some pups and do not have the cards with me!

I had the husband send me pics of the four he could find.  I will add them here and more information about the senders later.

I love the painting of the girl and the city.  I can relate to them both.  I love the Oregon postcard-we were in Washington several years ago but never made it to Oregon.  Lastly, the bird is great.  I am greatly attracted to birds and fascinated with them. I always am amazed how the postcards I get seem to be picked just for me!

Postcard1            Postcard2

Postcard4           Postcard5

I actually don’t remember all the cards I sent-but this is a favorite.  This was actually the size of a playing card and created for the Inspirational Card Swap. I loved this little one so much I took a picture to save it forever.

LilBoyBlue

As I have participated in swaps, I have encouraged others to as well.  Many have found joy participating.  Maybe you should give it a try?  I am glad to help and/or answer questions  I admit it may seem scary at first but once you jump in-it’s wonderful!

Do something creative for yourself today!

Visit the Blog Hop and meet others that participated in this swap.

This video is great too!

Florida Blog Con 2015

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I was invited by my friend Mychele to the Florida Blog Conference. I knew little about the conference but I know going anywhere with Mychele is fun. I’m writing in my mind constantly but it’s sometimes a struggle to get it down on paper. I have a blog that Mychele helped me set up and I want to blog more and I know I have a lot to learn. First thing I was impressed with was the organizer Bess Auer. I had an issue with my ticket and I emailed her and she took care of it immediately with kindness and a sense of humor. Also the price was so reasonable I couldn’t see any reason not to go! The topics all sounded interesting-so it was a go.

Mychele suggested we go VIP-pay a little more but we get to go to the Blue Man Event the night before. What a great show-we had a great time. We talked to the woman next to us and asked her what she blogged about.  She admitted she did not blog much but she loved this conference because she met the most interesting people.  Mychele and I instantly felt like we were at home. Our only regret is that we were not able to meet up with the Facebook group. That’s something we’d like to do better at next time.

The next morning we checked in as VIPs we got a special bag with cool stuff in it-I had no idea that would happen. Then we also had preferred seating wherever we went. Full Sail was a wonderful venue for this event-no worries about losing power with plug ins easily available.  The innovative un keynote was a blast-plugging in to our phones and following prompts.

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We were spoiled at this conference.  Water was available whenever we needed it.  The Florida Milk Council provided yogurt parfaits in the morning.  Later there was chocolate milk and cookies as well as adorable cow flash drives. 

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Tijuana Flats served a fantastic lunch-complete with pink wraps for breast cancer. Our VIP status provided us a shortcut to the lunch line.

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I love how interactive the conference was-right from the beginning with the interactive un keynote.  With Adam Avitable, we did quick edits and sent them with a tweet. Each speaker had lots of valuable information to share: tips and tricks, apps, and lessons learned.  The vendors were great as they were new to me and were generous with pictures and freebies. I love my new Mieroglyph bracelet with a verse I needed to hear,  “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

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Izea was generous with freebies as was the Better Business Bureau.

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I learned so much at the conference I am still digesting the information, but a few things I know for sure.

I plan to attend next year-I have been to many conferences and I have never been treated as well for such a reasonable cost.

My biggest takeaways?

Consistency, authenticity, and professionalism matter.  Hashtags make a difference and podcasting is something I need to start now! There is so much more…

Thank you to Bess Auer for organizing such an informative event. I wondered at first if I even had a a right to go but quick felt accepted and truly spoiled for the day!

I purposely did not read other recaps so mine would not be influenced…now I need to go see what everyone else said!

Phone Blogging?

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Today my artsy friend Kim  did a blog post from her phone. What a great idea!  I am out and about a lot so if I could blog from my phone this would save me some time! It may not be useful for all posts but certainly for some.  So of course I had to do a test run.

The first picture below is inspired by my friend Mychele and by Kim. Mychele inspired me by bringing Derwent  Intense Blocks when we recently went to a conference together and I got to try them.  I have many art supplies and I love them all but these were particularly exciting to me . I love them and was able to finish this piece using them. Kim inspired/encouraged me because I’ve been struggling with wanting to do an art journal but not knowing how to start. Do I paint every day and then add words later do I do words and then paint.  Kim let me know there are really no rules that I could do what works for me. And then she shared a couple things that she did and it really made me want to jump in.

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This is a picture of the dining room today.  My friend came over on Tuesday and we painted together . I plan to work here a little more before I clean up.

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This is the piece I worked on. I have already changed a few things and have a few more changes in mind.

 

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And this is my view right now.

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Husband called to see if I had eaten yet-nope.  

Had I had taken my shower yet (he was concerned about the water pressure), nope.

Now that I have tried out this blogging by phone-I should move on.

Thanks for being part of my learning adventure.

Your Turn: Did someone recently inspire you to do something new? Please share!

 

 

 

Just Do It-Vision Boards, Habits and Making a Plan..

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The phrase “Just Do It” is famous.  It is supposed to inspire us to get over all obstacles and get it done.  Easy words to say-not so easy to put into practice.

I am a person of many interests and activities (those that know me will agree). To some, I have a lot of adventures and get a lot done.  I do, but for me I am consistently frustrated with doing the things that I should do.  Not the should dos like housework-the should dos that I WANT to do and are good for me but I am not consistent.

At the beginning of the year I took a great Vision Board Class at Decide Differently I had to choose one word for the year.  I chose Deliberate.  I chose that word because I wanted to be deliberate on how I chose to spend my time/money/resources.  I did not want time to get away from me-wasted in front of the television or rescuing pets on Facebook. I wanted to be mindful of financial resources-using the library first instead of just buying the book. Tithe on a regular basis (God has blessed me with so much), and to think about my resources.  If I have things I do not need/use-give them to someone who does need them or can use them.

VisionBoard

I realized at vision board class that things will not get done unless there is a plan to get it done. Thank you Shakti Sutriasa for such a great class. At the bottom of my board I have dream it-plan it-do it. That made sense to me.  I can say I want to walk weekly-but what’s the plan? I also realized that if I wanted to make more time for something, I had to take time from something else.  So I made a more-less chart. It made so much sense. This list has helped me to see my time as something I CAN manipulate to some degree.  Below are some things I struggled with and the plan I used to resolve it.

more-less

Writing: I love writing but was not getting it done. My excuse-my journal was too big and I never had it with me. So I switched to a Moleskin.  Now it is with me all the time.   I use it to write the plan for the day (rather than on scraps of paper) and as a diary. I saw a video called The Bullet Journal. While I have not adapted everything, some parts have been very useful to me-like the index. I now carry my journal everywhere and a lot is getting written-all because of a plan. The moleskin for Jan/Feb of this year has more than my whole journal last year. After I filled the moleskin I bought s set of three pretty little notebooks and am using them now. Thanks Mychele for telling me about the Bullet Journal Video!

moleskin    index  notebook


Supplements: I love my doTERRA supplements.  When I take them, I have more energy, my body systems are more efficient and I eat less (Slim & Sassy). I KNOW this, yet days would go by when I was not taking them.  I would put them in a little carrier to take on my days out (to take at lunch) and then I would not do it. A couple days in I would wonder why I was dragging, all clogged up, and eating junk food.  My husband is  amazing taking them-morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime. My friend Sandie Bowen finally told me her trick.  She never packs them to take out for the day-she puts them in a bowl on the counter.  Then they are there every time she walks by.  If she doesn’t see it and act-her husband reminds her.  This has helped a lot-a pretty bowl by my coffee maker. Thanks to Sandie & Marty for helping me get a plan in place.

Art/Creativity: I was not getting anything artistic/creative done.  It made me sad-especially since I had a room filled with paint, beads, paper, and cloth. I would see my friend Mychele (who has two young children) getting all artsy and I wanted to be there! This is very much who I am and not to do it is like slow death. Every day I would intend too.  Then I would start reading email, catch up on Facebook, start some wash, do some business and before I knew it-time to make dinner. This went on for months.  Then after talking to my friend Mychele (I was talking out loud-she was listening) I came up with a motto-Mornings are Mine. I was always going to do those other things…so put my things first.  This simple thing was LIFE CHANGING! I found when I spent the morning writing, sewing, painting etc..that when it came time for the other things-I was a JOYFUL person.  Not only joyful but I seemed to be in super speed. I was not dragging through-I was efficient and I was getting things done for myself and for the family/business. I told Marty and as always, he was okay with my choice.  I didn’t realize how much until we both visited Sandie.  I said to her, “I don’t think Marty gets the ‘mornings are mine’ concept but it really has changed everything for me! Marty’s response, “Oh no honey, I get it.  I WANT you to do your art first”. Thankful for a supportive husband and artsy sister Mychele. Mychele inspires me by posting what she is up hopefully I do the same for her!

Walking: They say the simplest exercise is walking.  When I retired, Marty wanted me to make a goal for myself to walk three miles a day.  My friends though he was mean.  I knew he was caring-he knew I loved being outside, he knew I wanted to be healthy, he knew I wanted to stretch myself.  A month into retirement, I was still not walking.  Then I met my neighbor Cindy. I told her I recently retired and asked her if she was the one I saw walking all the time.  I told her I need a plan to get walking.  Her response, “I walk three miles a day.  Want to walk with me?. Just one of God’s little blessings.  Having someone to be accountable to really helps. So thankful for Cindy and what she has brought to my life.

Time Slipping: Did you ever go on the computer-intending to spend 15 minutes there and suddenly an hour hour passed? No…never! A timer is my new best friend. I will set the timer to spend so much time in an area and then move to the next.  I also think backwards.  If I have to leave the house at one, then I shower at noon, pack the to go bag 11:30, stop what I am doing at 11…etc.  This really helped.  I would often work on something till the last minute and then rush out of the house without the things I needed. Sound too regimented? You make think so-until you have that day when you cry out of joy for feeling successful!

Television: Yes I like television and I have favorite shows.  I do tape them, have not seen a commercial in forever.  Also I use television as my down time.  I have the computer set to go off at ten. Then I try and make myself sit on the couch.  I put on some serenity oil to calm me down and move towards sleep.  One thing I love though is where my desk/television are.  My desk is behind the couch where my husband sits to watch television.  I have a direct view.  Why is this important? I can sit at my desk, answer emails, write notes, or complete a project and watch a show at the same time.  I know, we are supposed to live in the moment but I am not willing to give up television completely nor am I willing to spend hours watching it while doing nothing. My next project is to set up a little writing box near my seat on the couch-so I can easily write notes during my TV time.  Real notes..instead of email. It’s a plan.

Out and About-It is amazing how a trip to the library can eat hours of my day and cost me money.  I have to get dressed etc, to go there.  More than likely I will stop somewhere else. Then I’ll get hungry and grab lunch. Next-go home and put everything away. By then-I am shot and find it difficult to be productive.  I now stack my days.  I choose days to not leave the house.  On the days I do leave, I pack several appointments/errands into the day. WOW-this was a game changer.  Sure I ‘m exhausted when I get home-but I would have been anyway.  This Wednesday I’ll make Thirty-One deliveries, meet two friends at different times at Barnes & Noble.  Thursday I will go to a class, see a friend and her new baby, meet another friend at dinner. In between I will pick up dog food and do other errands!.  This plan works and has given me more time!

Resources: Besides your friends and family, there are books and other resources that can help you.  I already mentioned The Bullet Journal.  I must now mention Gretchen Rubin. She is one of my favorite authors.  I have preordered every book she has written.  I own every book she has written in hardcopy and on audible (so I can listen again and again).  After I started writing this months ago, I received my preordered book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I ordered it not knowing much about it.  Come to find out-it’s about habits.  I LOVE this book and truly need to blog a review about it. This book reinforced thoughts I was already having.  It also gives a lot of great ideas on developing and or/breaking habits.  As I write this, I think I will plug it in again for a listen while I work in the kitchen. To me, a lot of what we struggle for to “Just do it” has to do with either making or breaking a habit.  I think you will find this book a great resource.

I could go on and on.  I do want to note a recurring theme.  I did not develop all these plans on my own.  It started with the vision board, then different people/things (Sandie, Marty, Mychele, Cindy, Bullet Journal, Gretchen Rubin) that really helped me. Being vulnerable about what you struggle with will often get you the support you need. The funny thing is-if you tell me your struggles…I can probably come up with a plan for you.  If I tell you mine, you can probably help me.  Don’t be afraid to reach out.

I will still struggle at times and get off course.  I know one thing though, using Gretchen Rubin’s Words….I am Better Than Before!

Your turn:

What struggles have you solved with a plan? Please share-it may help someone else.


What do you still struggle with? Someone may be able to help you!

God Bless you all in your endeavors.  I would love to help if I can! Feeling powerful makes me want to help others feel the same way.

Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap

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In this new life I have created since I retired form education, I have gotten involved in many artsy adventures.  I take many classes at Art More Place here in town.  I also participate in Lifebook and The Documented Life Project.  I have done many art card swaps through Facebook.

One of my most recent adventures was participating in the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap.  To participate you create postcards of your art and then swap with people around the world.  First I had to think-what is “my art”?  Well…the host of the swap assured us it could be a photograph we took or a photograph of something we created.  You could also create postcards by painting them.

I decided to use some photographs of favorite pieces I had created and use photographs I loved.  I figured while I was ordering postcards I’d order a few extra.

I created a pinterest board to make it easy to remember this swap.

This was very exciting for me-postcards, with my stuff on them!  I’d been saying lately how I would like to get back to sending real mail instead of all this internet stuff-now I could!

Choosing my postcards and mailing them to the organizer was exciting enough.  It gets more exciting when you start getting postcards from all over the world.  Then I had several people on the Liberate Your Art site do side swaps with me as well.  Not only did I get beautiful postcards, learn to liberate my art, but I got to share stamps with a young stamp collector-I got her one from the United Kingdom and one from Australia.

Sadly, it appears this swap is only once a year. This little adventure has changed how I see my art and has given me ideas!  I have beautiful shots of the beach and my grandson and other nature shots-now I can do something within them instead of them sitting on my computer. I am about to order more postcards of my work and maybe I will start my own swap or see if others would like to continue.  I must say of all the things I have done, this was one of the least intensive yet greatly rewarding.  Can’t wait to do it again! The painting at the beginning of this post is a new one I made at Art More Place and will be included in my next swap!

Thank you Kat for helping me liberate my art!

Your turn! Think of something you have created (could be a photo)-it could be a cake, something you grew, something you created.  Post a picture of it in comments (copy/paste should work).  Also, entertain the thought of making postcards of pictures/things you love!

What’s New & Good?

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What’s New & Good?

I never heard this phrase until I was in my Health Coaching class last year (more about that later).  We would meet monthly and after Kat greeted us, each person had to share what is new and good.  I like this so much-I would like to practice greeting my friends this way. So often we talk a lot and do not listen.  If we care about our friends-then knowing what is new and good is important.  I think it also allows the person you are asking to look for the good things in their life! I have seen a lot of sad things this month.Thinking about what is new and good helps me to remember that despite sadness, there are still many blessings.

Ok so I am hoping you will play with me on this. I’ll go first…

What’s New? 

Dec 2014 I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition-

I am now a certified health coach! I completed The Science & Art of Herbalism through Rosemary Gladstar in 2003 and immediately started created herbal products to help family/friends.  Then I got involved in essential oils and I was able to replace prescriptions (for allergies & diabetes) with essential oils. Marty thought the nutrition course would round things out.  I have always been interested in natural health and this made perfect sense. My year at IIN (the course is done online) is one of the most exciting things I have done and it has greatly impacted how we eat. I now am integrating the knowledge from all three of these endeavors to live our best life and help others do the same!

In December 2013 I decided to leave education after 20 years.

I cried.  I loved my job, my students, and the people I worked with.  I felt guilty-like I was deserting them. My husband encouraged me to leave because I could not stop myself from working harder and harder and he was concerned.  We were also working with essential oils at this point and he kept teasing me-“wouldn’t it be less stressful to stay home and visit and help people?” I realized a month after leaving just how stressed I was.  I love what I do now-I love helping people find new choices.  Having been powerless in my life-it is wonderful to help others feel empowered.

I have a new great nephew!

My niece Jennifer gave birth on March 3rd.  Her and her husband have built a wonderful life for themselves and I am excited for this new chapter in their life!

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Hello my name is Debra and I hope I am improving…

My friend Mychele and I threw this phrase back and forth one day while we admitted our weaknesses. One of mine was: My name is Debra and I am addicted to signing up for art classes.  I think Mychele said “My name is Mychele and I am addicted to art supplies”.  Through all the fun tho I realize I like this phrase. We are new everyday.  So what else is new? New goals, new blog, new friends, new adventures, new ways of eating, new behaviors…too many to mention.  What I do know though is that are no new year resolutions.  I just want to move in the direction of improving…

What’s Good

I have rediscovered my creative self. 

Those that know me know I have been doing different artistic/crafty things for years.  I have a room (Zander calls it the Glitter room) filled with great supplies I was not using.  I am glad to say I have found my artsy self again.  I found a great place to encourage me at Art More Place.  We have needed  a place like this in this area for years.  Sherri does a great job at finding talented people willing to share their knowledge and bringing them to Art More Place so we can play!  I have done mosaics, acrylic on canvas, jewelry (with soldering), creative photography, sewing, mixed media, and more. I love that I can go there and go home with a project and never invest in the materials to do it again if I do not want to.  I know when I create I am happy and I am so glad to be back in the mindset of finding joy through art and creativity.

Our Grandson is Amazing!!!

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OK our kids are too.  They are all doing well and that is all a parent can ask for.  My daughter says I was a good mom but honestly I was younger then and it seems a blur.  Now I am much more grown up and having a grandchild and doing things with him is wonderful.  Zander has none of my blood in his bloodline but we are alike.  We are both a little crazy, we both love paint and glitter, we love the beach, cooking, growing things, and making things for people.  Zander is very artistic and creative.  He told me next time he comes he wants to sew. Zander was born prematurely and we are thankful that he is doing so great as you just never know.  He lives with his wonderful mom and grandma (I am Mimi) in Orlando and he is in first grade. Our adventures are just beginning.

My nephew is getting married!

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Weddings are always exciting and his future bride is beyond beautiful inside and out! I am so excited to make jewelry for this special occasion!

I am busy-but I have time-

I have always been sad when I was working and felt I needed to be somewhere else-with a sick friend/family member, helping someone in crisis.  Life goes so fast.  Mind you I am busy but there is some flexibility with this new life.  I have been able to visit my friend Mychele more often, help others with projects, and get involved a bit more.

I sleep…

Yes this is good.  For years I would go to bed  after midnight and then be up at 5:15 to go to work. I have seen statistics about not sleeping and they are VERY scary. Even if I went to bed, I could not sleep.  When I got involved with doTERRA, my husband came up with an essential oil blend that took care of that and I slept like a baby. I still have to GO to bed though.  Happy to say that now I am usually in bed by 11:00PM and the alarm goes off at 7:00 to meet my partners for a walk.

I didn’t cry today-I lost a loved one this month-a cousin near and dear to my heart. Someone I wish I could have seen and learned from every day but she lived in Pensacola. I have seen friends lose loved ones recently, and friends have lost pets near and dear to their heart. I am a crier but today is the first day I have not since the end of February. I will just be thankful for that.

So now it is your turn.  What’s new and good?

Living an empowered life…