Category Archives: Family

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

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.

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Universal-His Way

Originally posted on blogger 6/12/12

Today I picked up Zander from daycare and we went to Universal.  I knew we could only stay a short while because we had to get back to town for dinner and Vacation Bible School.  As an adult, when I go to a theme park I am always thinking about how I can get the most done in the short amount of time that I have. When Marty and I go we do the same, we do the most popular rides first, then gravitate towards the others and try to cram in as much as we can.

Well that is the adult way or at least my way- but Zander, as a kid, has a lot more on his mind when going to Universal. He’s almost four now and has his own ideas about what is fun!

First-the escalators and people movers.  Zander loves them.  Getting on and off is very exciting.  Then when you’re on it he just loves standing in one spot and enjoying the ride. I suggested on the people mover that we walk to go faster but no-he liked putting his arms out to keep me in one place better.

Next great thing to escalators and people movers- stone walls and metal railings.  They are great fun. He climbs on them, walks along them, and studies where they are connected.  One line was about twenty minutes long and the other two about thirty but he did not complain about the lines-he was too busy exploring.

Zander also loves music.  Most places in Seuss Landing have very catchy music.  He is always swaying or bopping to it.  Sometimes I do not even hear the music until I see him in time with it-then I hear it.

Zander is also good about recognizing distance.  He loves to say, ‘look how high we are’ or ‘we are going to go way up there’.  He will say many times, ‘we are getting so close’ even though we have only moved a foot.

He also believes in taking breaks.  I learned this walking to the car when he told me, ‘Mimi-I need a break’. So we did- an ice cream break.  He also picked a couple spots for photo shots.  He stopped and said ‘take a picture of me’-of course I obliged.

When it was time to go, we had a long walk to the car.  So we took turns.  I carried him a bit, and then he walked.  We were both exhausted and happy to see that people mover again.  This time I did not even suggest we walk- I just enjoyed the ride. We got to the car, got some fresh water and within five minutes, he was asleep. I had told Zander on the way to the car that I thought he and I should sleep on the way back home and let Thomas (stuffed cat in the car) drive.  He said no-he wanted me to.  Oh well.

I learned a lot letting him control the day a bit.  I thought cramming a lot in was the way to give him the best time-he had other ideas and his way was a lot more relaxing.

                   

 

April 16, 2015

Your Turn: What are your favorite activities with your children/grandchildren?

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Time…

Originally posted on blogger 6/8/12

Who doesn’t struggle with time management?  My friends always act like I am superwoman because I get so many things done. Obviously, I only share what I do get done-not what I don’t.  They don’t know how many times I start one project switch to another and another.  I plan to go to the computer for one minute and end up spending thirty.   I’m very organized-that’s not the issue. I have so many interests and so many things I love doing it’s hard to find time to do them all.  I’m never late for work, I always meet my deadlines or appointments but the things I want to do always come last.

I have to pull out all the stops in the summer to stay on track because I have a hard time staying on track with large open blocks of time-just my luck. There are a few tricks I do use that help me.  Maybe they’ll help someone and I hope others will share some of their tricks.

Working Backwards: This sounds strange but I came up with this because of work.  After students went home – I’d settle in to do my paperwork and such knowing that I have to leave at a particular time.  Then I would get so involved in what I was doing, totally immersed, all of a sudden I am grabbing my purse and keys and running out the door. Then I find out I’ve left without my shopping list, my journal, or the project I had planned to take home. So I started working backwards. As soon as students leave, I put everything that is going home in one area.  Then when I am ready to go, I have everything. I do this on my big errand days in the summer as well.  I put all my lists, coupons, cooler, and other items together first-with a plan of attack, before I start doing anything else. Working backwards has saved me so many times because I am constantly trying to do just one more thing!

Outlook Calendar: I use Outlook email and calendar at work and home.  I put as much as I can on there. When I add a doctor appointment, I put it on my work calendar (if within the school year), my home calendar, and my husband’s work calendar. I do the same for husband’s appointments. This way if one doesn’t look at their calendar, we can remind the other.  We know what the other is doing on a given day in case we need to schedule something. I also sync this to my iPhone.

Yahoo Groups:  Years ago I set up a yahoo groups for coffee club- my girlfriend group.  I set it up because we were always planning activities together. When I sat down to e-mail everybody, I had to make sure I didn’t forget someone.  I love the group because when I send an e-mail out saying I want to go see a movie -everybody sees it.  When someone responds with the time they can meet, everybody sees it.  Everybody knows what’s going on.  There is also a calendar included. I can put birthday and other reminders on there for everyone.

I also have yahoo groups for my book club group. There are only seven of us and we rarely e-mail each other within the group (totally opposite of coffee club). The calendar feature for us is invaluable. We often choose our books six months in advance. I take that information home and put it all on the calendar. I can include the book title, the hostess, and hostess contact info. I set it up to remind people two weeks ahead of time and three days ahead of time. I can set up six months of info in just a few minutes and never have to think about it again. This has made my life easier. No more worries about forgetting to send a reminder.

Dragon Dictation: This is a free app on the iPhone. Right now I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting for my husband and I am speaking into my phone using the app ( I  just had to close the window so a passerby didn’t think I was crazy). When I’m done I can e-mail it, send it as a text, post to FB, or twitter. You can also copy the text and paste into any application. I most always email it to myself at home. I put Dragon Dictation e-mails in one folder until I need them. This is a great app for me as I don’t write longhand because I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery.  After a few sentences my handwriting is messy and my hand cramps. Even if I am sitting at home with other options, this is my best way to get a lot of writing down.  Once on the way to school, I composed an email to teachers and sent it to myself.  When I got to work, I pulled it up, did very little editing and sent it out.  What a timesaver! The only downfall to the app is that it does not save your information. It only records for a short time.  This blog was done in twelve sections.  I just numbered each one as I sent it. Note: Sending an email while driving is as bad as texting.  Obviously, I only do this if I am sitting in traffic.

Pampered Chef Timer: I know there are other timers out there but I like this one best. I can clip it on to go with me. If I set it for thirty minutes and it beeps-I press stop. The thirty is still there for me to press start again. I use this at home as I’m constantly getting off track-especially in the summer or when I have a huge block of time to manipulate. For all the people that say I’m amazing- if you spent one day with me I could burst your bubble quickly.  I am fragmented as I go from one thing to the other. At the end of the day, a lot of great things get done but I often feel like I’ve failed because they weren’t the things I had planned on. I may get ten things started but none of them got finished. I use the timer a couple ways.

  1. To keep from being overwhelmed: I have always found that I put things off because I think I can’t do it or it will take too long or because I don’t know where to start.  When I came home from vacation I dumped everything on the dining room table-brochures, maps, my  activity totes. Every time I saw the pile I put it off but it bothered me.  I set the timer for 30 minutes and it was done! Sometimes a daunting task is completely finished because I’m trying to beat the clock. If it’s not completely finished it is a lot less intimidating. This is a great thingsto do with kids when cleaning their room or dividing the day into work and fun.
  1. To Stay On Task: In one day, as all women know, there are too many tasks. You could spend all day on the computer doing different things and they would all be important but there are other things that need to be done. I set the timer and switch tasks: cleaning a room, answering email, cooking, doing work for my business.
  1. To have Fun: I am a workaholic in many ways. I love organizing , cleaning, and purging.  It may take me a while to get to it but when I do I am relentless and I get so involved I do not stop. I actually schedule fun time to break away.  I may take the dog for a walk, play on the computer or read (other than walking the dog I have done nothing else yet).
  1. To eat: I admit I set the timer today so I would eat breakfast and after that set it for lunch. I get so immersed in what I am doing I could go from 6am to 5pm on nothing but a cup of coffee.  This is not good for me.  I should be having small meals and drinking water all day.

Monday I was home all day and I did not use the timer.  I spent all day on the computer-no games.  I was cleaning emails, cleaning files, doing work related to many jobs that I do-all important things but there was so much more that needed done. I knew I worked hard all day but it did not look like it and in many ways I felt like I failed. Thursday I was home all day and did use the timer and accomplished more than I thought I could. I was excited and felt like I had accomplished something and it looked like I had as well.

NOTE: I believe I first heard about using a timer through Flylady.

These tricks that work for me.  I’d love to hear your comments and any tricks that you use.

Another thing I have always wanted to do is to schedule a block of time for myself that I would use differently every day-Monday writing, Tuesday beading, etc. But I have not gotten that far yet. Has anyone done this?

April 16, 2015

Your Turn: What are the favorite things you use to help with time management? Please share-as I know many struggle with this!

 

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For the Love of Maya

Originally posted on Blogger 6/6/12

In March of 1996, my beloved cat Theo went outside and never came back. I will write a story about him another time.  I searched for months-put ads in the paper etc., but no luck.

My husband is tough, but he does not do well when I am sad.  First of all-I never really am.  In the worst of circumstances, my happiness is within and I am always happy. (Psalms 33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.)  During my time of grieving, he suggested we get a dog.  I had said many times that I wanted one.  If it was up to Marty, we would not have pets but he knew this was important to me.  Having to choose, I think he would be more of a dog person than a cat person.  He suggested I get a small dog-one I could hold as Theo was always on my lap.

 

I talked to my daughter Megan-a Veterinarian Technician about what kind of small dog I should get.  She said a poodle.  My response was not positive.  I didn’t want a poodle-they are too foo foo.  I always liked big working dogs.  Megan responded by saying that poodles do not shed, they are very smart, and poodles she had seen at the animal clinic where she worked had been wonderful. She also said that I did not have to get a foo foo haircut.  I have to admit-that sounded good. I looked online and found out about Coastal Poodle Rescue (CPR) and I liked the way they worked.  They would come and interview you and when you choose a poodle, you had time to see if it worked.  They always want their poodles back should there be an issue.

 

I wanted a black poodle.  I knew poodles had runny eyes and I thought it would not show as much on a black poodle. It also had to be female.  I started to look online.  One day Lin called me from CPR and said she had a dog that my work well for us.  It was a white female and she lived in Ft. Lauderdale.  Marty drove me down there and Ellie (her formal name) had dark drainage streaks under her eyes.  She was a little messy (due for a grooming). She gave us the evil eye and growled at both of us for the first ten minutes we were there. We went outside and she did stop growling.  Marty at one point just picked her up.  She did not snap at him and she just laid her head on his shoulder.  Down in the grass again, I laughed as she jumped around like a bunny and chased a palm frond. I could see she was happy and silly. We decided to give it a try.  I picked her up and she snuggled me all the whole way home.

I won’t say things have always been perfect.  I had not owned a dog in a long time so I had some relearning to do.  I will tell you though that from the minute I have brought her home, she has been a constant source of joy for me.

Because she is little, I always feel like I have a puppy. Who doesn’t like puppies?  I remember Lin from CPR calling to check on me and I was laughing because Maya is always being silly. She picks up toys and throws them in the air and then goes to get them and does it again.  She prances lightly on her little feet and hops around like a bunny-just like when I met her.  She has the smallest brown eyes that hook you early on and her face is full of expression. I love her dearly and love her more each day!  She still is a pup with issues-most of them are funny tho and can make up another whole story.

I was so sad to lose my Theo, but am thankful to a God who can take a sad time and allow for a blessing. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

This started as story about Maya nd my Grandson….oh well.  On to another post…

April 16, 2015

2013-10-05 18.22.56

Your turn:

Share something about a beloved pet.  Feel free to post a picture.

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I want a parade…

Originally posted on blogger 6/5/12

That’s right- you heard me, I want parade.  My good friend Donna told me that once when it was a friend’s birthday, her family had a parade for her.  Now I don’t know all the details but I am sure there were people, maybe signs, and maybe songs.

I want a parade for my birthday not because I deserve it or because I am better than anyone else. I would love to think that someone thinks I’m that extraordinary.  I would love to know that someone thinks I am so special that they would spend time together and do that for me.

I want to be a person that can make a difference in somebody’s life.  I want to feel like I can’t be replaced and that I’m everything to someone or somebody.  I want to feel that I’d be terribly missed (if I decide to run away with my beads, my books, and my dog). I want to be that person.  I want a parade.

Anyone else?

April 16, 2015

I must post an update! On October 6, 2013 my family threw me a surprise before 60 BD party. I had no idea.  My husband kind of put the daughter in charge but many others chipped in too.  My house was a mess when I left for church but my sister Daun and Megan took care of that.  Mychele came form Groveland with favorite cupcakes and may came with beautiful gifts and sentiments.  Ok-it was BETTER than a parade!  I will never forget it!

Birthday Surprise Pictures

Your turn: what is the best birthday thing that ever happened for you?

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I want a wife…

Originally posted on Blogger 6/4/12

My husband and I watch a lot of shows that some people may find surprising: one of them is Sister Wives. Thankfully, husband admits that one wife is enough-he doesn’t need another.  Personally, however, I would LOVE a wife-for ME!

Don’t get any funny ideas- that doesn’t mean that I know longer want a husband, it just means I want a wife like me. I want someone else to worry about all these things once in a while so I can just be me.

Every day my head is swimming with all the things I have to do and all the things I want to do.  As with most cases, the things I want to do come last. I get up every day and there is wash to be done. I have to keep track of groceries so I have things to cook and pack for lunch. A quick stop at the grocery is never quick.  By the time I finish that and stop for gas and get home-it is late.  Then when I put the groceries away I have to clean the fridge a bit and organize the pantry it gets later.  Cook dinner and clean up and start thinking of the next day. By now, I just want to sit down.

This is why  I don’t get in my bead room as often as I like or write as often as I like.  I am a very organized person-that is not the issue.  I have many interests and things I like to do-oh okay-that COULD be part of the issue. I find life exciting and I want it all!!!

If someone else took on my wife brain for a day though, the things I could CREATE!!!

With summer here I am going to try and see if I can create full days with no duties so that I can spend time doing what I like to do.

Surely some time management and scheduling is needed.  I have actually come up with a few tricks that work for me. But that is another post.

In the meantime, I need to get to work!

Disclaimer: I love my husband and I love being his wife.  All my wifely duties are mainly self-imposed (being an over achiever is not fun). Being a wife is a full time job and I could easily be a stay at home wife and I would NEVER be bored.  Meanwhile, if you know a wife I could hire for a few days let me know.

 

April 16, 2015

Your turn: If you could have a wife, what would she do?

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There’s No Place Like Home…

Originally posted on Blogger 6/3/12

We just returned after a bit of a driving trip.  We started out heading to St. Louis for the wedding of someone we have been involved with for most of his life.  The wedding was beautiful.  It was also great fun to be with friends after the wedding. We decided to take in St. Louis a bit before leaving town and I am glad we did.  We visited the zoo, the botanical gardens, and a couple local restaurants before we left for our next destination. Pappy’s Smokehouse and Joey B’s On The Hill both served up wonderful food.  I give them both five stars!

Next-Kansas City. When we were invited to the wedding, I immediately begged my husband to take me back to Kansas City. I totally enjoyed the Country Club Plaza-a huge mall of sorts where you are walking outside instead of in.  Kansas City is also known for barbecue. Last time we went to Fiorelli’s Jack Stack and it was great so we wanted to go back.  On our first trip-it was closed so we went to Brio Tuscan Grill. It was wonderful and we were so glad to find it.  We enjoyed the plaza for two days and a great lunch each day.

My favorite place in Kansas City tho is Stuff. We were in Kansas City two days and my husband knew enough about I felt about this store-he took me there first thing both days. If I was to ever open a store, it would be like this.  Local artists from the area have filled this store with the most creative things I have ever seen.  You can’t go just once because you’ll miss something.  Add to that some great bubbly girls ready to help and it just can’t get any better.  You can visit them online, like them on facebook, and shop online as well.

We left Kansas City to go visit my friend Neil and his wife of two years.  They live in Alabama. We trusted our GPS to take us there and ended up on a very long back road with no hotels, food, or gas.  After a long ride we found a Hampton and met up with Neil the next day. There’s nothing like being with an old friend.  It is a very emotional experience.  As soon as you are together-the connection is as strong as ever.  This time, however, I was more interested in getting to know his wife. It did not take long for me to love her completely. I had to hold back tears many times-thankful that she is in his life and so thankful to get to know her. It was hard to leave them when we were just starting to have great fun but I also felt a great sense of peace knowing they had each other. Neil has been an important person in my life and I care for him a great deal.  There is nothing that can give you peace more than knowing someone you love dearly is living a happy life!

Next stop-Pensacola.  Cousins John & Lil always welcome us to their home. Molly (black lab) is part of the greeting committee.  We were sorry not to see Jemima (basset hound) this time -she lived a long and happy life.  Our time with the Kings is always a great mix of fun.  This time they finally let us take them out to eat.  I also helped John set up folders on his IPad.  Lil wanted to make earrings and I was so excited to help her make earrings and a bracelet to match. I love touring the yard-blueberry bushes, vegetable garden, scuppernong grapes, pecan trees, kumquats, and much more.  One time there were baby bluebirds. We talk about family stories and try to catch up as we only see each other every couple years.  I do cry when I leave them-every time.  If I lived closer I am sure I would be with Lil several times a week.  I want to be just like her when I grow up.

I am so thankful for this trip but even more thankful to get home.  I am thankful we arrived safe.  I am thankful for all the things we have here that has made it our home. I am thrilled to see Maya (mini poodle) again and thankful for my favorite comforts of home.

Tomorrow…the projects begin.

April 16, 2015

Your turn: How do you like to travel (prefer car or plane) and what is one of your favorite places you have Been?

 

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Charm Bracelet with a Story to Tell

Originally on Blogger 6/25/11

30 Days of Creativity Day 10

I was cleaning out my cabinet where I keep my jewelry when I found a little pile of sterling charms.  I remembered that a “few ” years ago I had made a special request at Christmas.  I asked that Marty give me a sterling charm bracelet.  I then asked that the kids each get me a charm that represented them.  That year they all did just as I asked.  I am sure I was thrilled at the time and I put all the pieces in a safe place until I could get it together.

So…here it is a few years later-not put together! I gathered all the charms -some from then and some that were new and set about putting it together. Every charm had a story.

Katie gave me the comedy/tragedy charm.  Perfect.  She had always wanted to go into performing and was involved in many performances through high school.  Josh gave me the football helmet as he was playing football at the time. Here my memory gets fuzzy but after talking to Megan, we think she gave me the crystal butterfly.  She may have given me the bunny but I may need to talk to niece Rachael about that.  The stingray and dolphin were purchased when Megan and I went to Discovery Cove. The Birthday Cake may have been given to me by Marty-my birthday is Christmas Day. The Bible and Angel…not sure.  May have to talk to sister Daun on this.  It is possible my niece/nephew also gave me charms that year.  The silver charm on left bottom is from Mexico when Marty took me on the cruise.  It’s neat because it has pictures all over it of things people consider lucky.  The teacher charm…not sure.  The pearl, totem, and blue flower all came from Alaska this last year. The maple leaf I picked up in Vermont when I visited my niece.  The last two I just got this last December.  Marty gave me shopping money for Christmas and Birthday.  I got the charms free when I made a purchase.

As for the charm bracelet Marty bought me-it was in a safe place-I could not find it.  I decided to put the charms on a chain maille bracelet I had made.

My chain maille bracelet.
I arranged the charms in order-four didn’t make it!

I laid out the bracelet, then arranged the charms as I thought I would put them on. I slipped the football charm right over the clasps and to the middle-it had a very large bale and did not need a split ring. In sorting I-four charms that just didn’t seem to go. They are pictured at the top of the bracelet.

I put each charm on a split ring and then put it on the bracelet.  The work was a bit tedious but not difficult.  I did use the split ring tool most of the time to open the rings and get the charms on-then to thread it onto the bracelet.  One thing to consider when doing this is the placement of the charm on the chain.  Keep laying the bracelet flat to make sure placement is correct.  My chain maille bracelet had double links-I place charms on the bottom set of links so that it lays nicely.

After getting all the charms on I was pleased but it seemed liked it need more.  I had a necklace I bought but never wore.  While the stones were beautiful the chain was not what I wanted and I did not like the piece.  The great thing about jewelry is once you learn a few skills-nothing is wasted.  You can change/alter/embellish until you are happy.  I decided to put stones in between each charm.

I did not have a lot of space to work withbut I did not want to redo

each stone with a new headpin.

I loved the stones, but not the chain.

Now this was a bit tricky as each stone was on a short headpin with a loop at the top.  I did not want to redo them so I had a very short piece to work with. The little extra effort was worth it though.  I saved using my stock of headpins and I do like the way the stones are close to the chain and the charms are further away-it adds depth. I was very happy with it when I finished it.  It was nice that while I worked on this, my friend Dawn was here working on a project of her own.  Having company doing projects distracts you from the sometimes mundane parts of the process. Of course I had to add a finishing touch-I had a cool charm and added a Swarovski.  I attached this near the clasp.

 

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It’s too hot to eat and the garbage goes out tomorrow!

 

Originally posted on Blogger 6/24/11

30 Days of Creativity Day 6

Ok I’m sorry, but I think being creative in the kitchen counts for a lot. If you are the one in your home that does the cooking and meal planning then you know it is one of the most creative things we have to do-every day. I like food to be fresh but it is a real balancing trying to keep food that is fresh in the house and using it before it spoils. I feel awful when food has to be thrown out (or given to my worms) because I did not get it prepared before it spoiled.

As much as I love to cook, some times I just don’t want to.  I’ve exhausted myself with too many other tasks during the day.  Not only that, but after I cook, then I’m going to have to clean up.  My daughter got a good deal when she got married-Jake cooks and she cleans up.  I should have gotten that in writing before I got married.

I was too tired to cook. It was too hot to eat. Garbage was going out the next day and there was the chicken with a lot of meat left on it.  I knew I wanted that carcass in the garbage. The fridge was packed with food yet I did not think there was anything good to eat.  I started to pull containers out of the refrigerator to see what I could make of it.

I deboned the chicken, added clery, onion, and mayo.  My sister-in-law Mary served chicken salad once with a pinch of sugar…I have never left it out since.  I shredded the last of the lettuce onto two plates and piled the chicken salad on top.  I had four containers of hummus-one half empty.  I split that into two mini bowls and grabbed the last of the tomato basil wheat thins. I sliced up the the lastof the tomato, celery,  and cucmber that would not make it another two days.

I fixed it up pretty and served it to the husband.  He was impressed!  As for me, I added a few things to my plate that he would not like.  Lots of black olives and some hearts of palm.

The dinner was great if I do say so myself.  Lettuce, cucumber, celery, and tomato were consumed rather than thrown away (ok I admit the worms got a little bit).  One empty container of hummus was thrown out as well as the chicken carcass and an empty box of crackers.

The refrigerator was cleaner, no food was thrown in the garbage, and I felt more creative than ever!

Next time I don’t want to cook I am going to go through the pantry!

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Time Flies…

 

Originally posted on Blogger 3/1/09

   Zander at 6 mos old.

Maya                                                      Jack Jingles

 

Time flies…..Every day as I go through the day, I am constantly writing. If what was in my head went directly to paper, I surely would fill half a journal daily. Due to the fact there is no technology that scribes from brain to paper, I resort to pulling out one of my many little notebooks (I have three sitting next to my desk to go through today), and I write a few notes/lines so I can get back to it later.

So today after reading a favorite blog I follow, I decided to come here and see when I wrote last. It was almost one year ago. Sad thing is-it feels like yesterday.

A lot of great things have happened since last year. Two monumental ones come to mind. Marty’s daughter Katie gave birth to a boy August 5. He was a few months early but had to come on out as Katie was at risk. From the moment he was born, Marty insisted he was perfect-just small. I was a bit too emotional and had a hard time seeing that little being with all those tubes attached. Every time he took a breath his little body shook and small little sounds came out. I held it together until we got in the car. I am glad Marty was able to calm me rather than getting upset with me or being influenced by my collapse. As it turns out, Marty was exactly correct. Zander is now 6 mos old and he is perfect-and small. At five months old the doctor said he could sit up as well as a full term six month old. THANK GOD! Katie is a great mom and her mother, Julie, is a great grandmother. Zander will be going places…there is no doubt.

Another important event for me was getting a cat in Dec 08. Okay, I know getting a cat is not as monumental as getting a grandchild…but I have wanted a cat for years and Marty was always resistant. Although I have a dog I adore, Maya, she can not fulfill my desire to have my cat. Megan went with me to the shelter and in the end, Maya did as well. We made a great pick. Jack Jingles is AWESOME!!!

As always, time presses in as I must go get ready for the day (church, lunch, travel to Ft. Pierce). Now that I have written like this, wish I could write a few more hours. But…until next time.

 

 

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