Nov

29

Slow Progression

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If you know me in my real life- then chances are you’ve seen some of the improvements we’ve made to our home over the past year. I would love to be able to say that we are done, but truth is- it’s a slow process. We get sidetracked with other projects and other things take priority, and the home improvements take the back burner.

With all that being said- there is still a LOT to be done, but progress is being made, albeit slowly, so I can’t and won’t complain. We still have painting to do, plus some painting that has been done has to be touched up due to doors hitting the wall and so forth. I’ve found some wonderful lighting at www.warehouselighting.com, plus we are now considering the idea of ceiling fans for the living room and both of the bedrooms that are used as bedrooms. There is a lot to decide, but we have time.

One thing is for certain- I definitely want to see more progress being made over the next year or so. It’s time.

Nov

29

Can you believe tomorrow is the last day of November? Don’t worry- I can’t either but I admit I’m ready for the holiday month! After a really big day of sadness on Saturday (which I have attributed to missing being home for the holidays, plus hormones), I came out the other side feeling pretty awesome and festive. After all- tis the season and all that jazz.

The reality is- despite the fact that some people think that my life is always perfect and I’m always happy- that isn’t the case. I would be lying to you and myself to pretend that was the case. I have bad days- sometimes (as in Saturday), I have really bad ones. In this case there was no rhyme or reason other than the aforementioned ones. I usually try to figure out what’s going on and when I can’t, I try to focus on all the blessings in my life (and there are many) and my mood shifts on its own. This time that didn’t happen, but rather than make it harder on myself, I gave myself the time to feel what I was feeling, went to bed that evening and the following day woke up feeling somewhat better. I felt a little like I was coming down with a bug- but I attributed that to all the toxic that was running through my veins the day before and it needed to come out in one way or the other. Sunday night I slept really well and by yesterday I felt like an entirely new person. Like “ME” again.

The lesson in this? For me- I knew that being honest with myself and my feelings was essential. I couldn’t find a specific reason behind how I was feeling, but I gave myself the time to work through whatever ‘it’ was that I couldn’t fully define and it worked itself out. I was true to what I needed and went with it. No negative attachments, it was what it was. I didn’t live there- but I went there for a little while. We all do.

You know what? It isn’t a bad thing. It’s in the darkness and coming out into the light- that we really find ourselves appreciating it even more. That was the case with me- and I continue to feel that today.

I am grateful for the life I have- and for the people in it.

What about you? What are you grateful for today?

Nov

29

Making Progress

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This morning I went out to our storage shed with the idea that I was going to browse our Christmas decorations and possibly find some inspiration as to what we would like to do for our tree this year in terms of size and decoration / theme. What happened instead, was me going down a rabbit hole of getting certain things organized out there, as I couldn’t make heads or tails of some of the boxes out there. I found several rca cables just lying on a shelf. No name, no labels, no boxes they should go in nearby. I also found some flower pots that should have been tossed last season due to cracks and so forth. Needless to say, it was a productive time in the shed, but not the same type of productivity that I’d envisioned. BUT with that being said- it’s one less thing to have to think of that I can check off my ‘to do’ list- even if I didn’t have any idea it was ‘that bad’ out there.

Do you have a space in your home or garage that seems to never stay organized?

Nov

29

A Few of My Favorite Things

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Do you ever have certain things about seasons that bring you a great deal of joy? I have a few things with Fall and Winter weather. One of my favorite things about being ‘home’ for the holidays (outside of the obvious time with family and friends), is that I love the days when it’s really cold and we have clear blue skies. I love to take that time to sit outside with a huge cup of coffee and enjoy! It’s perfect.

Here, the weather is often very cold and dreary- which doesn’t give way to the same type of euphoric feeling that the blue skies give. I don’t know what it is- but the sunshine and blue skies combined with cold- is perfect!

I’ve been EXTREMELY grateful for the fact that despite missing being ‘home’ for the holidays, the weather has been absolutely perfect- embodying all the things I love and miss about being ‘home’ in the South this time of the year.

My question to you, dear reader- What things about the season bring you joy? Not the obvious things- but the little things. The things that often are taken for granted or go unnoticed?

Nov

29

A New Sound

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Today Marcel and I were listening to a few tracks from something one of our neighbors is working on.  He gave Marcel a recording and asked for us to have a listen and give him some feedback.   I am not a fan of the type of music that he usually plays, but I have to admit that I loved the softer side to these tracks. I asked Marcel if he knew if Dave used a fxpansion, but he really had no idea. He did say that he’d ask just to satisfy my curiosity. I haven’t personally talked to Dave as of yet, but if this is a new side to his music that he’s hoping to explore, then I may just become a fan yet.

Nov

22

The Beginning of the End

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That title sounds pretty gloomy doesn’t it?    It isn’t- I assure you.    It’s the week of Thanksgiving.   It’s also the beginning of the end of November, which means that we are walking up to the door of December and preparing to knock.

This year has been a blur for me.    Seriously-   When I think back, there have been so many wonderful moments-   Seeing Ainsley and Tyler say “I DO”,   seeing Caroline and Eric build their second home in the Deep South,  seeing my favorite sibling say I do and also move into his new home.     The list goes on and on.    I have so many favorite moments when I stop and think about it, but at the same time-  it seems like 2016 was just starting and the year of “Make it Happen” was beginning.

I haven’t read my list lately-   the card that I sent to myself at the beginning of the year of things I wanted to be ‘more’ of this year.     Where I haven’t accomplished some things (being in a regular exercise routine and dropping some of the extra weight I planned to drop), at the same time I haven’t given up, I’ve learned a lot about myself along the road, plus there are other things that happened that have been beautiful.

So while this may be the beginning of the end of 2016-   there is so much still to encounter, plus 2017 is shaping up to be an amazing year.    Maybe the best yet.

 

 

Nov

20

I hear a lot about how ‘busy’ people are.    I’m unsure why- but it’s one of my little pet peeves-  I’ve asked myself why that is on more than one occasion and the one thing that comes to mind time and time again is because we’re all busy in various forms.    Rarely are we all the same type of busy-   after all, I’m definitely not the same kind of busy as my friends with small children, or one of my friends training for a marathon, but there is always ‘something’ to do-   somewhere to be-   and so forth.

I ran into a neighbor the other day I haven’t seen in a while-  We exchanged hellos and I asked how she was doing-    Her response was the same as it always is-   BUSY!   only this time she said it three times-   Busy Busy Busy.     I responded with, ‘Aren’t we all?’    She immediately started talking about how now it was the holiday season and things would be even crazier and busier-  etc..    so I intentionally shifted the conversation-   from the rush rush rush of being hectic- to ask her if she would be visiting her family for the holidays.    She said no- and immediately went into to how busy she was so she couldn’t make it happen for longer than 9 days so she was going to wait until she was ‘less busy’.     I smiled and wished her a good holiday season as we parted ways.

Sometimes, busy is a reason we use not to be present in our current situations.    After all- when we keep our mind busy jumping from one task to the other, we don’t have time to sit still with ourselves do we?      Before you think or even ask-  NO, I’m not referring to my neighbor, or anyone in particular-   I’m making a general observation about myself, as that’s the only person I can talk about with any authority.

When I find myself wanting to disconnect and not feel-  I make myself busy-   Busy with mental projects, physical projects, travel, baking, work, work, eating.. anything that keeps me from being ‘still’ and in the moment.    It means I’m running from something I don’t want to face.   Sometimes it’s something small-   sometimes it’s something life changing and I’ve not quite got to the point where I’m ready to create a plan-  so I avoid with busy.    It doesn’t change anything-   it just means I’m prolonging whatever it is I need to deal with.

I am not suggesting that a busy life means you’re avoiding something.    We have more to do than ever- but when we constantly NEED to be doing something, anything-   and can’t stop and really be still with ourselves without it being very uncomfortable, then something is not quite right.

How do we find balance?    We schedule it-  just like any other appointment.      Time to exercise, write, meditate, color, create.   Whatever ‘IT’ is that brings you to your center-   time that you spend with YOU.    You are the best company for yourself.    Think about what is working in your life-   what isn’t.     Don’t beat yourself up when something isn’t working the way you wanted or hoped.  Instead, be proactive in creating a new plan that may work better.    Keep trying until you start receiving the results you desire.   It may mean starting over and regrouping several times, but keep trying.

It’s something I am doing myself.    We don’t love ourselves enough.  We aren’t kind enough to ourselves.   We need to be kinder, more gentle and sometimes we do need to be tough with ourselves and force ourselves to sit and ‘be’ with no one other than ourselves.    It is the only way to learn who you really are-   what’s holding you back-  what drives you-   and what brings joy to your soul.

Everything is about finding the right balance that works for you-    and understanding that it will change as we do.  It’s fluid, like water.

During this holiday season-  I am taking extra steps to find the balance-  to reconnect with myself and stop automating through so many things in life and to intentionally NOT be busy from time to time-    Try it.   It will be hard at first, especially if you’ve got an attachment to being busy-   but once you sit with yourself for a while-  you’ll realize there is no better company than you.

 

Nov

3

Month of Gratitude

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The daylight hours are slowly getting shorter and this weekend we ‘Fall back’-  which means Winter isn’t far behind.    I admit-  this is my favorite time of the year, and today I spent a while walking through the forest taking photos of leaves, mushrooms, and anything else that caught my eye-  including my favorite canine, JJ.

I could eat soup daily for the entire rest of the year, and outside of the occasional special occasion meal, I’d probably not get tired of it.   There is something about this time of the year that brings me great joy.   Even the rain makes me smile.

It’s also the month of Thanksgiving and I’ve noticed many people, myself included making lists of gratitude in order to focus on the things we tend to take for granted in the every day.   It’s a good thing to pause, take inventory on the blessings in your life and appreciate them.

 

What are you grateful for this month?

Nov

3

Music for the Soul

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My best friends husband is a talented trumpet player. There is something about trumpet music that soothes my soul and has me forgetting about everything around me and thinking about what life would have been like back in the days when Jazz clubs were extremely popular in New Orleans. Granted, you still find them there, but not like it was ‘back in the day’. I love hearing him play or anyone who has a grasp on really playing great trumpet music. It soothes the soul. Don’t you think?

Sep

21

Leaning into Fall

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You ever have one of those days that call for comfort food? Today is one of those days for me. I don’t know what it is- but the cooler temperatures and the shorter hours of daylight seem to have me feeling like I want to slow down- to enjoy a good book- to have a little comfort food.

img_9368Since I was also cooking for my mother-in-law, who just got out of the hospital, I decided to cook some Dutch comfort food. Kale with potatoes, mashed together. The Dutch call it borenkool stampot, but I simply call it good. I tried to make mine a little healthier- as it is traditionally served with smoked sausage, so I ate mine with seasoned turkey breast and my kale ratio was much higher than the potatoes. I did add bacon, but hey- we all need to indulge on occasion, right?

I’m still squeezing the last bit out of summer though, and I’ll be making some lemon cupcakes for an upcoming ‘harvest party’ this weekend. To balance out the harvest- I am also making a Pumpkin Spice Latte cake- which I can’t wait to try- Have a great week!

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