:: Moments ::

In a matter of mere moments, life changed from what I once knew well, to things I know nothing about. A dim light shine's upon the things that will only be here for a while longer, and my promise to myself is to be present while it changes instead of asking how and why, I would rather just say that I watched it happen, and that it was beautiful.


:: Things remain ::

Sometimes things remain in our lives that should have fallen off long ago, left, disappeared, gone. But, when it is in front of you, it seems to appear as if it was always meant to be... this though is an illusion that has mislead you in many ways and complicated everything, hasn't it?


:: Too much going on ::

As always. And too many things keeps me from sitting down with my thoughts and blogging. I had to sit down and write out tons of Christmas cards yet again, like I do every year, and that takes a lot of time. What have you been up to I wonder? There is always so many things going on in life isn't there? Well, take a deep breath-the holidays will be over before we know it.


:: It's that time of year again ::

I love the idea of having seasonal rituals, and Christmas as you know is no exception. In fact, there are more rituals and traditions in this month than other, which is a shame, because there is real magic around those traditions. It's a rare point in the year where we have time and opportunity to connect with those most important to us. Where we are able to show our love in person, or through thoughtful gifts and sentiments, and in turn remind ourselves how lucky we are. Add to that, some quiet reflection of the last 12 months in preparation for the New Year around the corner - it's a seasonal gift that unfortunately, only comes at this particular time of the year.


:: Running around ::

That was me. It was one of those days that was just full of errands to run. I had my lists in hand, my ice water, a super large Starbucks seasonal drink and a new audio book popped into my playlist to listen to while driving because God knows the traffic here has tripled in the last month from all of the snowbirds coming back to Florida for the winter... this afternoon, I hit all the little places I have not been able to get to lately and wander around, finding a few little treasures along the way. Then I had to get cat litter, paper plates, and stock up on some fresh fruits and vegetables. Next, I picked up the newest issue of a favorite magazine, perused a couple book stores, and then, it was over. I knew I had hit my limit of fun for the day. I was really tired. And just the thought of all the traffic and knowing it was going to take me twice as long just to get home had me rather aggravated. But, I just listened to my audio book, and all went surprisingly well! I made a large pot of vegetable soup after I arrived home, whipped up a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches, got out the veggie tray and we were in heaven! Next up: Choosing a good movie to watch a perhaps even a little popcorn! What to watch? I'll let you know what we decided on later. I can't make up my mind! Hope you have an amazing night yourself! {and, I need to find that fudge I bought today and hid somewhere} did I mention that?


:: How do you know it's winter? ::

Well now, is a very good question indeed. If you live in Florida that is, you have to really stop and think about that for a moment. This is going on my third winter here, and surprisingly, I have really adapted to my new surroundings. I feel cold when the temperature is in the low 70's. Unreal.
So, here's a little list that I put together on how I know it's the winter season. {Even if it doesn't feel like it at all}

  1. The temperature drops about 10-20 degrees.
  2. There is almost no humidity.
  3. You're keeping dozens of lip moisturizer's everywhere.
  4. The bugs are all gone!
  5. The smell of fires burning both inside and outside.
  6. The long sleeves come out. {maybe}
  7. Nail polish shades grow darker.
  8. Early mornings my feet are adorned with fuzzy slippers against the cold tile.
  9. You feel like carb loading like it's your job.
  10. Soups and lighter evening meals soothe your very soul.
  11. Leggings are back!
  12. Starbucks change their cups and offer seasonal flavors.
  13. We are enjoying hot flavorful teas on our breaks at work.
  14. Flavored creamers are in the grocery stores.
  15. The traffic is really bad {the snowbirds are returning}
And that folks, is how I know we are coming upon the Holiday season. That, and the fact that I just put down like 20 pounds of food yesterday in what we call that excuse "Thanksgiving"! Other than that, you really wouldn't know it. This is actually the time of year when we are the most active of all. In fact, the one downside of living in Florida is that there is no hibernation time the way there is when you have cold and snow and freezing temperatures. Here, winter is when we bike and hike the most, hunt, horseback ride, everything. And, if I ever want to go ice skating, I can just go to the skating rink. Nothing is missing here except the snow and the bitter cold. I can live with that.


:: Happy Weekend ::


:: Surprised ::

You bet I was. This week the temperature took a big dip. I woke up yesterday morning, and I was just freezing! Last weekend I felt like I could finally open up the windows and call it done with the air conditioning and it was great! A little warm yet in the afternoon, but really nice in the mornings and at night. Then last night happened. When I woke up it was like 57 degrees in the house! I grabbed my slippers of course, and my big heavy sweater, closed a few windows, and thought what is this? Yes, even in Florida it can get cold. by afternoon I was myself again. It climbed to the mid 70's which was perfect. And last night was not nearly so cold (thank goodness) and I just realized that today I gained an extra hour! Whoo-whoo! Nice. Today is going to be a really good day! I'm still wearing a sweater this morning with my coffee, but, it's not too bad. I can't believe how I have gotten so used to living in 90 degree weather, where even the mid 70's can feel cool...


:: Happy Weekend! ::


:: Find some nature ::

And then you just know.

It's time to go outside.

Outside, without any devices.
Outside, untethered.
Outside, to catch what's been missing.

Whenever I leave, 
I leave the loud and ridiculousness.
and fill the void with real life. 
That's where I find the real me. 
Nothing but the sounds of nature.
Nothing will heal you faster.


:: Craving that comfort ::

Summer time brings
fresh, juicy wares.
But, when the temperatures
begins to tumble
that's when I begin 
craving comfort.
something homemade.
something warm.
and so I find myself at this time
positioned by the stove.
transforming fresh ingredients.
into a dish I can't help but savor.
apple fritters.

this morning,
I feasted on--
farm fresh fried eggs.
home-grown home-fries.
thick, delicious bacon
crusty, buttered toast
and of course,
fresh orange juice
after all,
this is Florida.


:: Still staying goodbye to Summer ::


when the nights start getting cooler.
and the sky turns a few shades darker.

the best and only thing to do.
is meet your friends on the beach.

and watch as the sun sets.
all while munching on
coconut shrimp and fries
and drowning
 all that deliciousness

with a cold glass 
of sweet southern tea

the very act of it
is the final love letter to summer.
and the first leap into fall.


:: Time for a list ::

I so need a grateful list this week, whew! As always, each day seemed endless. but, by Friday it feels like it just flew by, filled with so many appointments, to do's, chores, and activities. As always. Things like this never change of course, life is busy, always. I love that I have complete control over my days, what I do, things I complete, places I go, time spent with myself and my thoughts, and on and on. That's why I feel so very grateful. We are so lucky. We really are. That we can make every day a great day, fill it with work, family, lovely things, beautiful moments, good food, and great conversations. It's all in the attitude. Smile. A lot. Let your happiness spill over into every moment, of your everyday. It's infectious. It affects everyone around you and allows them to join in happy moments with you, and they in turn carry on the same feelings throughout their day as well. It works. It really does. Fill your day with happy. Compliment the people around you, love your moments.

This week I am so grateful for:

  1. my home
  2. the sunshine
  3. the people I work with
  4. my iPod, and all the old songs I've saved on it
  5. talking to old friends
  6. good food, made at home
  7. my brother, and his family
  8. fresh brewed coffee
  9. my comfortable, wonderful bed


:: Who I am today ::

I am…

a flip-flop kind of girl
dependant on my morning cup of coffee
actually more of a loner
a total conservative thinker
both a cat and a dog person
a medium length hair girl
an avid reader
happily married
forever tan
a water drinker
a napper
a lover of Christ
 into wholesome  food
a master parallel parker (LOL)
still working on my 365 project this year
a gemini


:: Give each day it's due ::

Giving each day it's due. What does that mean? We all know how fast things can change. How very precious every moment is because it can be taken away- all of it- at any time. And without any prior notice. We all know that our days are numbered. Even though it is an unpleasant idea, it is the truth. None of us are getting out of here alive. Not the best of thoughts, I know. But what I really want to emphasize to you is how important each and every day actually is. I know that waking up each morning and going to work, and all the mundane things that we go about doing everyday can make one day run into the next day, into the next. I call it everydayness. Don't fall into it. I'll write more on making each day special later, but for now, think about it. You're in control of your days. It's up to you to make each day special. Because each day is. What can you do, to make your days special? I mean each and every day special. Think about that. Then act on it. Don't let your day go by without anything special in it. No matter how small. It matters. Fill your day with good things and wonders.


:: Everyday is a good day ::

Most of the time, I am in complete awe of the world that daily moves around me. A hundred times a day I fall in love with the trees, the flowers, all the nature around me, and with the ever changing but constant sky above me. My heart soars with delight over these senses, for the sights and the smells, the tastes and the sounds-the feelings of existence. To be alive is a wonderful thing. Even in my darkest of days, even in moments of uncertainty, it is amazing to be a living, breathing person on this planet. It is amazing to feel joy, happiness, pain, hope-all of it. Everyday. It is good to be alive folks.


:: Stinkin thinkin ::

Do you ever feel as if you are waiting for something big to happen? I think that I always am, and the truth about it is that big things have been happening to me throughout all my life, but I'm sort of just now realizing that, and I have become quite dependent on those things to help guide me, to move me further on down the road,  My thoughts while I try to keep them in the moment, race in several directions all the time. It's only when I'm capturing something with the lens that I feel totally captivated by the moment. It's really hard to have my talking be what I am actually thinking, and what I'm thinking to be what I am actually doing. How about you?


:: What's so great about today? ::

Lemon in my water, working up a good sweat, a cool pool, blogging for a little while, applying that beautiful orange nail polish, starting a new book I can't wait to devour, journaling a little bit, watching a good movie, new pens, a fresh and delicious veggie tray, wearing my chunky necklace I've taken to wearing almost every day, and listening to a darned good sermon. What's making your Sunday great?


:: Pure frustration ::

What do you do to dissolve overwhelming feelings of pure anger and frustration? Recently, I had such a day. Feelings of frustration, real anger, disappointment, and resentment were running rampant through me throughout the whole day. I was anxious, stressed, and at times subject to fits of crying. And shamelessly, I let it go on and on, unable to alleviate these feelings most of the whole day.

In retrospect, I'm thinking to myself, what could I have done? What should I have done to change this? I would love some advice on this one. I'm not sure, but I really feel like a back up plan is definitely needed here. I allowed my emotions to get the better of me, and I'm reminded of how the kids behave on a really bad day. That was me. Shameless. 


:: Good Words ::

As some of you may know, I love writing real notes and letters to friends far away. I know, I could just pick up the phone and call them at any time, or text them, and I do, but, a private, heartfelt, note found in the mailbox tends to slow one down. Peruse over the special words written just for them. Read, and re-read the words, smile, laugh... remember. It's so much more intent, personal, and private. Words I'm loving to use now: brilliant, grounded, excellent, beleaguered, conflate, plethora, unravel, wherewithal. What, are you're favorite words lately?


:: Why, oh, why do I do this? ::

Have you ever sacrificed your coveted eight hours of sleep for some free "me" time? You know what I mean, that book you just can't put down till you finish it, or hunched over my laptop, reading, clicking away, blogging... and then, before you know it - it's two hours before you have to get up.  It is morning basically. Knowing how tired I am going to be going throughout my day, at work, and on and on, but, does that stop me? No, but I've been doing much better recently which is a good thing. Just takes some intelligent negotiations with my dark side I guess. But, schedules are important, and as a matter of fact, I plan on keeping mine. With or without enough sleep.


:: All things are indeed possible ::

There are days, sometimes in fact, long stretches of days that seem to pull us away from what we are really both wanting and in fact needing to do. I just have to remember that all things are possible with God. Sometimes, we stray, but, wandering and being lost are two very different things indeed.

Sometimes it's dark. But, we know where to find the true light. Remembering that no matter what else occurs, the sun will always rise, the stars will always shine, and the beautiful serene light of God will never stop glowing within those who choose to invite it in.


:: Questions, questions... ::

Not only from friends, but online as well. What are your favorite pizza toppings? Favorite ice cream? Favorite Holiday, and on and on. I guess in a way, questions can be good. They help us at times to see what it is we enjoy most in life. Perhaps that's a lot like the lists I love to make. It helps me to discover "me" better. But, the truth is, I don't stay the same person too long. My likes and dislikes have been known to change rapidly. Then what? Just let it all go. change is normal and acceptable. Or, is it? I don't know... ask me tomorrow.



:: A whole new world ::

Making a  home in a brand new place can be difficult. It was a little difficult for me as well. I mean, let's face it, everything, I mean everything is new and very different from the home your used to and have been accustomed to for most of your life. So, I thought I would share a few things that helped me get through the newness.

1. First, find your church. The people you meet there will be wonderful and helpful, and, lasting friendships can be made here.

2. Slow down at the grocery store. Why? You can't help but notice all the unique foods found there that are normal to your new area. Try them. Incorporate them into your daily cooking. For instance, I had never eaten "greens" before, or for that matter "grits". Go for it, you won't be disappointed.

3. Find good escapes. Walking areas, trails, bike paths, learn the scents, smell the breezes, fell the heat of the temperatures, let it rain on you... love and embrace your new surroundings.

4. Search out all the bookstores in your area both private and otherwise. Visit them often, peruse their wares, find your perfect hideaway!

5. Meet strangers. Join a book club, meet people at work and get to know a little bit about them, go to your local library and start a conversation-get to know people everywhere you go.

6. Learn some history of your new town. What is it all about, what landmarks are near you? There is so much to discover there by way of history. Especially here in the south.

7. Drive through neighborhoods, soak in the landscape, stop everywhere that captures your interest. Don't worry so much about getting lost, set your GPS for home whenever you're ready.

8. Subscribe by paper on online to your local newspaper. Then you'll be aware of what is going on in your community and opportunities to meet others as well.

9. Go into locally owned stores to shop local. Get to know the shopkeepers it really helps a lot. I am a regular and our local small hardware store, and the local bakery as well, they give me great deals because I am a regular customer, I'm still working on finding my perfect coffee shop though. Sigh.

10. Get out of the house. meet your neighbors, say hello when neighbors walk by with their dogs, wave at the kids, and smile, smile, smile!


:: Balanced ::

I think the completely ordinary things that we do everyday in our homes are so important for the way we live our lives. Even more so than the simple act of doing them suggest. Finding that life balance can sometimes feel like taking two steps forward and then one step back. But I find in those simple acts they provide me with a pattern, a feeling of some accomplishment, of routine. For instance, making my bed each morning, straightening up the house, cleaning the kitchen, preparing dinner, all give me a sense of pride and accomplishment everyday even before I ever walk out the door. That's actually a big deal.

To check off each to do feels great! At times, other things may have to take priority. Self care, for instance at times may be critical, and therefore put much higher on the list of to do's, other times, other things as well, such as a family crisis of some kind. But, at the end of the day, I have learned to take some deep breaths, and remind myself, that everything can and will work itself out in time, and even better than that: there is always something wonderful just lying ahead of us. Believe it.


:: Happy Weekend ::


:: Things I love about Fall ::

There are so many things to love about this time of the year. Even living in Florida, I can think of tons of things that still make this season one of the best seasons of the year. Everything has a bit of a different feel to it, from the direction of the sun and how it falls on my home and through the windows, and even into my pool. The axis has indeed changed. The leaves are falling fast here. And there is a bit of a different feel in the air. Things become a bit cozier. There are new smells in the air. There is finally a cooler breeze occasionally, and it feels wonderful to experience it. What then, are my most favorite things about this time of the year? These mere three months that make it so special?

  • The changing colors- even in Florida it's slight, but I can travel north to see more of it.
  • Pumpkin everything!- From Starbucks new fall flavors to stews, it's a favorite!
  • Delicious desserts- With Pumpkin of course, but also apples and more... yummy stuff!
  • Cooler weather- thank goodness! Time to throw open the windows once again!
  • Better fashion- Boots, hoodies, flannels, slippers, it goes on and on...
  • Fire pits- And the wonderful nights around a beautiful warm fire with friends.
  • Arts and crafts- so many with using the offerings of fall. Acorns, pinecones...
  • Holidays- Both Halloween and Thanksgiving! Fun, and meaningful times.
  • Oktoberfest- Even if you don't drink beer, the eats are great!
  • Festivals- Of all kinds, Art, fairs, you name it, the weather is perfect for them.
  • The color orange- Wow, does it ever pop out in everything now!
  • Autumn smells- like leaves burning, pumpkin spices and cinnamon make an appearance.
  • Warm drinks- I can't wait to see this years recipes to try-so many!
  • Frost-on the ground, making the world glisten.
  • Starbucks- as I said, can't wait for the new fall flavors!
  • Scary movies- the one time of the year I'm all in! Not sure which ones this month though.
  • Updated makeup- you gotta love the new autumn looks
  • Hiking- this is it! finally cool enough for long daytime hikes!
  • Soups- This is when I love to try new recipes given to me and enjoy a simpler way of eating.
  • Nail polishes-Why are there so many to choose from? The possibilities are indeed endless.
  • Books-Time for some good mysteries! 

And that is just some that I can think of at the moment. But, it's enough to put it at the top of my list.


:: It was my favorite place ::

My favorite coffee shop.
I really miss it. And my friend who owned it.

But, I have moved far from there...
and my friend has passed away almost a year ago now.
Suddenly, and, without any warning.
I just can't seem to quite get over it.
But, I try. I know there is a reason for everything.

Still, I miss the place.
On a very old street, which adds to it's ambiance.
I miss the chalkboard menu-so beautiful.
Their delicious veggie offerings.
The sweet Vietnamese coffee.
I had a special seat. Upstairs. In the Library.
Sometimes beside a roaring fire.
Sipping slowly from my cup.
Most often, reading a great book.
Sometimes, I would sit downstairs.
Surrounded by people who didn't mind
when you broke into their conversations.
I could always breathe easy there.
It's peace. It's privacy. My friend.
Can such a place be found again?
Here, in this new place?
We shall see. Perhaps it's time.


:: Planning for Fall ::

  1. I want to paint, decorate, and completely furnish my third bedroom into a beautiful guest room.
  2. And read these four books. Here, here, here and here.
  3. And make every one of these fall recipes too.
  4. And hike here.
  5. And spend more time journaling in my Bella Grace field guide during slow, lazy mornings.
  6. And listen to my new fall playlist over and over.
  7. And see this movie with the girls, after a delicious dinner of course! How Uplifting!
  8. OH, and this movie with the kids, and this movie for my entertainment only!
  9. Oh, how I want to wear these gorgeous fall outfits
  10. Take a painting workshop here with a few friends, and try my hand at pottery & mosaic here
  11. And of course visit a beach I've never been to and check out the shells. 
  12. Try this eatery, it looks interesting... and oh so delicious-yes?
  13. I'm also looking forward to getting some new music. How about this, and this?
  14. My fall candle pic this year? Has to be this.
  15. And lastly, the fall wreath chosen for this year... this one. Hands down. beautiful.