CELEBRATE YOUR LIFE

Do we really need a reason to celebrate?  It’s standard procedure to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special holidays, so why don’t we take the time to just celebrate life?

Everyday life should be celebrated as something wonderful, awesome—even fantastic! Some live their daily life in such a ho-hum manner that they miss the opportunity to celebrate just being who they are at any given moment in time.  For some folks just waking up every day is reason enough to celebrate.

I’m one who usually celebrates life’s little moments in unexpected ways.  The Mr. never knows exactly what might happen at any given moment on any day.  It is my belief that the best picnics are often the ones that aren’t planned.  Sometimes taking time off from the normal routine to have fun and celebrate life is like going on a mini-vacation.

We all need to find ways to celebrate every single day of our life.  Why do we feel the need to wait for ‘big events’ to celebrate when so many smaller ones happen every day?  When we celebrate the small things in life we remind ourselves the importance of our existence.

You can start rewarding yourself by celebrating your personal accomplishments.  Recognizing the positive things going on in your life on a daily basis will increase your awareness of smaller reasons to celebrate each day.  You can reward yourself in small ways such as taking a much needed nap, relaxing with a nice hot bath, reading a good book, or sharing some special time with a friend or family member.

I have to admit that I have had that ‘stuck in the mud’ feeling lately.  You know, it’s like when you feel bogged down with everyday living.  There are probably several reasons for this, none of which I want to accept.  I really think perhaps the winter weather has been taking its toll on my soul.  But, I have acknowledged it and taken the necessary steps to pry my way out of the mud and stand on solid ground again.  I did this by celebrating who I am and where I am in my life’s journey.  Another step has been to realize how many friends and family I have who care about me and that I can share with in my life.  To me that is worth celebrating and something I can honestly say I do with great joy. I was out and about with one of my besties recently and we shared some insights with each other that have proven very beneficial. Sharing these insights has caused me rethink some nagging issues in my life. Good friends are good at doing that.

It’s important to set goals either daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly whichever works for you.  Always set goals that are attainable.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  When you celebrate your personal progress you create more opportunities to stay motivated.  Oprah Winfrey is quoted as saying: “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

The Mr. is my life coach/personal trainer and forever soul-mate.  I love it when we’re on one of our jaunts around the area and he finds something that he thinks will delight me. It’s usually some small item he finds that reminds him of something we’ve shared or someplace we’ve been in the past. Sometimes it’s just having him reach for my hand as we walk along a trail or that special smile when he walks through the door.  Celebrating those small moments in life seems to make the trivial things that come along just that–trivial.

 

Celebrate the special moments in your life today.  Celebrating your life, your blessings and your accomplishments is a perfect way to let yourself know just how special you really are.

 

 

A FASHION REVOLUTION

 

It’s always a pleasure to spend time with friends over dinner. Good food and conversation just seem to bind those ties of friendship together. The Mr. and I were having such a dinner the other night when the conversation turned from politics to sports. The guys began discussing the jocks that are tall and skinny vs. the ones that are thick bodied and square. I turned to my friend and commented that according to their calculations I am a box. She countered by saying she must be a rectangle.

Everything I’ve read in women’s magazines indicates that there are about six figure types for us ladies. There is the A frame aka pear or spoon; the H frame; the ruler, V frame aka cone; the oval frame aka apple and the 8 frame aka hourglass. My frame does not remotely resemble any of these figure types. As I’ve stated before I know I’m not skinny and curvaceous, but I’m really not overweight either; I just have dense tissue.  All of this just makes my head spin.  What if we’re on to something here?  This could totally revolutionize the garment industry for women.

Perhaps the six figure types could be reclassified as follows: the box frame aka square or cube; quilt frame aka rectangle; A frame aka triangle; roll frame aka cylinder, tube frame aka can; the egg/elliptic frame aka oval. We would expect the manufacturers to put new labels on their patterns and clothing. Merchandisers would have separate racks of clothes for each figure frame.

Women would purchase patterns according to which frame type they are.  No more having to guess what size you need and no more one size fits all. With this new classification system I would most likely fit into the box category.  I know I would be taller if my legs were longer because I’m only short from my waist down. I’d rather be a rectangle and look like a long, slender quilt instead of a cube. Cubes are so ordinary and have that thick look about them, but being a boxy-square-cube figure type just seems to fit me to a “T-Square.”

It’s been stated that we are what we eat. Most choices in the comfty looking and fitting clothes today are either frumpy or frilly which I find amusing and disgusting.  It’s been said that clothes make the person. That might mean you are what you eat and wear.

By the looks of my boxy figure I must be guilty of eating at least three square meals a day.  If we are truly what we eat, then I must be all southern comfort.  There’s nothing better in this world that a plate filled to the brim with southern comfort food. Summertime fresh veggies from the garden (or farmers market), free range chickens, fresh mountain trout, or river caught cat fish served along with some hushpuppies make my heart sing and my clothes tight.

Have you ever wondered just where hushpuppies originated? Years ago southern men would take their dogs along with them on fishing trips.  After a day of fishing, they would sit around the campfire on the river bank and fry their catch for dinner. To appease their whining, hungry dogs they would mix a batch of cornmeal with water, roll it into balls and fry along with their fish, then throw these morsels to their animals saying ‘hush puppies.’

My Grandma was a “cube” and I have her genes. One of her favorite rhymes was: “I know my heart, I know my mind, I know that I stick out behind.”  She likely heard that as she was binding those ties of friendship together over a plate of southern comfort food while discussing southern politics.

HARD KNOCKS AND SAUCERED COFFEE

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  (Scott Adams, cartoonist)  Yes, I’ve been known to make mistakes once in awhile, probably more than I want to admit.  But, everyone makes mistakes now and then.  Mistakes are so easy to make and so confusing to correct that it takes all the fun out of making one. I don’t recall keeping any mistake I ever made.  I’ve tried hiding a few, but without much success. I believe mistakes just show how human we all are.  But I suppose when we do make one, we should try to correct it (if possible) and go on with life.

My mother was a master at hiding mistakes.  Her theory was that mistakes are made so lessons can be learned.  Most of the lessons I learned from my mistakes when I was a girl came from the University of Hard Knocks.

I recall one such lesson when I was sent to clean up the kitchen.  I decided before cleaning it up I would make something so wonderfully delicious that my parents would rave about how fantastic it was.  My plan was to take the large ten pound bag of flour out of the cabinet and quietly begin creating this spectacular dish.  However, my plan went awry when the bag slipped out of my hand and landed in the middle of the floor causing it to break open sending flour all over me, the entire kitchen floor, counter tops, window sills, curtains, and the stove.

Mom called out to me to make sure everything was alright.  “Oh, yes,” I lied, “I’m just cleaning the kitchen” hoping she wouldn’t open the door and see the mess I just created.  But, she did open the door.  My first mistake was to decide that I needed to make something wonderful and not do the chore I was sent to do.  Second mistake was trying to cover up the first mistake.  That added up to two hard knocks toward my degree!

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Don’t ever try to fool your mother. It’s a no-win situation.  Mothers have powers like no other force in the world.  It’s one of those things a woman has that lies dormant until she has children.  Mothers have been known to move such things as heaven and earth and do so at the same time.

June 28, 1909 a baby girl was born in the small community of Greenwood, Arkansas.  Her parents, Andrew Jackson and Sylvana Sides Boone named her Ima Jean. Her mother passed away when she was six years old. That’s when she taught herself to sew clothes for her two older brothers, her dad and herself.  She also scrubbed their pine floors using a mop made from corn husks.

I remember how she loved her morning coffee. She had a habit of pouring it in the saucer to cool it before pouring it back in the cup to drink it. That’s what Southern folks call ‘saucering’ your coffee. I wish I could still share some of my life’s moments with her. But, somehow I think she probably already knows about them.  It’s those uncanny powers mothers possess– even after they are gone.

This coming Tuesday, June 28 I will “saucer” my coffee before raising my cup in memory of a special mother who is too long gone, but not forgotten. Happy Birthday, Mom.  I’m still learning some hard lessons and I still miss you.

 

 

HALLOWEEN IS SPOOKY — October 26, 2014

If you ask me everything about this year has been a little bit spooky, including the world news, politics and the economy. However, the spookiest of all is Halloween because it is the one time of year we have the opportunity to indulge and become gluttons. It’s all about the candy; those bags of candy corn, gummy worms, chocolates, etc. that contain enough sugar to send the kids into orbit. I’m sure Hershey’s and Nestle are the big winners on Halloween.
In a recent survey it was found that enough money is spent on decorations, costumes and treats for Halloween to make it the second most popular holiday in the world. Unbelievable! It seems that Halloween decorations can be awesome without being as sentimental as Christmas decorations. Plus, they aren’t too expensive or in need of special wiring, etc. although I suppose there are exceptions. Lighten up! Halloween is upon us. Yep, the ghosts and goblins will be knocking on your door this Friday, October 31.
Halloween was originally known as All Hallow Day or All Saints Day. Every year around the first of November festivals were held by the Celtics to mark the ending and beginning of an eternal cycle. When they harvested their crops and moved their livestock to closer pastures for the winter, they held festivals to sacrifice animals, fruits and vegetables.
They believed that on the night before the new year ghosts came back to damage crops and create havoc. The Druids built sacred bonfires and the Celts wore costumes to honor the dead and aid them on their journey and to keep them away from the living. Throughout the years, All Saints Day continues the ancient Celtic traditions. Today, most of our traditions associated with Halloween can be traced to the Celtic Day of the Dead.
Wearing costumes and roaming from door to door asking for treats can be traced to the first few centuries of the Christian era. It was believed that the souls of the dead were roaming about with witches, demons and fairies. Beggars went about on All Souls Eve and offered to say prayers for a family’s departed loved ones.
Thankfully, the ancient mood of Halloween has been somewhat lightened today, although the costume aspect remains a vital part of the festivities. Our society has proven that Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. Adults are known to find any excuse for a party, costume or otherwise. Halloween provides them the opportunity to take trick-or-treating to a whole new level.
Even though there are no traditional foods such as those associated with the Super Bowl or New Year’s Eve parties, Americans have become very creative in making their own ‘ghoul’ food. Now, I enjoy trying new food and tastes, but I have to admit I’m a bit squeamish at the thoughts of tasting any ghoulish foods. Dragon blood, slime soup, witch’s hair, eyeballs or blood clots just don’t appeal to my appetite. I would rather pass on such Halloween delicacies than pass out trying to swallow them.
There are those who think Halloween decorating and costuming has gone too far. I say what the heck; if I can put on a different face at least one night of the year and scare the living daylights out of a roaming ghost or witch, then I’m going for it—as long as they don’t spook me!
It’s the one day we can look the Grim Reaper in the eye, sneer and say we’ve got some partying to do. Spooky, huh?? Pass the candy bag, please.

REMEMBERING OUR VETERANS — November 9, 2014

Wow! I really did survive Halloween and the 2014 mid-term elections. Thank goodness they are finally over, although The Mr. had a near fatal encounter on Halloween night. Seems one of the trick-or-treaters thought he was dressed as an old man. The kid called out to his dad when approaching our front door, “Look, Dad here’s an old man!” And, I replied, “Yes and he isn’t even wearing a mask!” I’m not letting him live this one down!
I never thought I would be one to welcome ordinary, stupid commercials on TV, but I am so glad the mud-slinging season is gone for now and some sense of normalcy has returned to the idiot box.
During the whole political foray I couldn’t help but think about all the men and women of the military who willingly fight so we can continue to have free elections in our country. I’m ashamed of the dark pit of character assignation our political parties have dug in order to win ‘free’ elections. Political campaigns throw ideas and language about on all venues of social media, not caring whether there is any truth to it or not, just hoping something will ‘stick’ and catch a vote or two. Our veterans deserve better than this. They don’t protect our freedoms so they can be trashed.
My ears are tired, my mind is boggled and my psyche is suffering. I’m a victim of PPCS, Post Political Campaign Syndrome. I still hear the vicious echoes in my head. I’m glad it’s over, but afraid it’s just begun. Political speeches all sound alike as do the politicians who deliver them. Hollow voices speak mindless thoughts. They say whatever they believe the voter wants to hear and when elected do whatever benefits their agenda. It is during these campaign seasons that I am insulted that voters are perceived to be naïve and stupid. We are not mindless citizens who can’t discern political-speak from truth-speak.
We’ve all seen the bumper stickers that proclaim “Freedom Isn’t Free.” Indeed! Freedom is purchased with blood, sweat and tears. It is bought on the battlefields as well as in the voting booth. Freedom is one of the greatest privileges we have in this country. It is a privilege to be free, yet we pay for it each time we vote, pay our taxes, or express an opinion regarding political or social issues.
In spite of the political squabbling I’m proud to be an American. But, my pride isn’t to be wasted on politics and politicians today. I am one proud American because of our veterans. It is because of their tenacity, valor and bravery that I was allowed to vote in this year’s mid-term elections. These men and women have shown outstanding courage in the face of danger at home and abroad. They don’t ask for much in return; just a little respect and honor. On Veterans Day, this Tuesday, November 11, we honor the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. There are many ways to give back to the more than 23 million veterans who have sacrificed so much.
To honor a special veteran today log on to https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org and make a one-time donation. Your donation will help injured warriors who are returning from war-zones and provide assistance to their families. Donate today and they will send you a free 2015 Wounded Warrior Project Landscape Calendar. Each month is marked with how your gift makes a difference in the lives of injured warriors through the WWP programs. Another option is to join the Advance Guard monthly giving program for $19 per month and receive a WWP blanket for your support.
Maya Angelou penned: “How important it is that we recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” Thank a veteran today….Hug a veteran today….Celebrate our veterans.

DRONING AND GROANING — December 14, 2014

They’re here whether we like it or not. We’re being invaded by drones. They are
flying through the sky in record numbers. Amazon has them for sale from $35.00 to $1,200 and is even considering using them for delivering orders to customers. Seriously? I really prefer to have my packages delivered to my door not misplaced somewhere in my yard,(or my neighbor’s yard or even up a tree by a drone. So, what happens if you have a tree filled yard? There would be a need for smart drones to go with our smart phones.
Making fun of drones reminds me of my dad making fun of Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio. He would be amazed at all the electronic stuff we use today. I’m sure all types of drones will be the norm someday, just as the electronic age has become the norm of today.
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around having drones zipping through the air along with our airliners. Isn’t there some rule or regulation regarding planes flying in specific air lanes? Is there a need to establish drone lanes? Some have expressed concern that we might begin seeing catastrophic happenings when planes and drones collide in the air.
On the other hand, drones have the possibility of changing our whole way of life. We would be listening to songs with titles such as, Drone River, Drone Over Miami, Dronelight Bay, Drone Shadow, Bad Drone Rising, Blue Drone of Kentucky, etc. The whole idea of replacing the moon with drones doesn’t have the same romantic allure to it.
One venue that might benefit from drones is football. Instead of having quarterbacks use drones. One team might have a couple of drones to go against a team with one superdrone.
Can’t you just visualize a drone throwing the ball down field for a touchdown?
Can you imagine Santa Claus using drones to pull his sleigh instead of reindeer? Of course, he would have to re-name them. Names like ‘Zippy’ and ‘Bonkers’ might fill the bill. Even though it would surely save him a boatload of time and energy he would have to give the reindeer their pink slips. And I’m wondering where else eight tiny reindeer could find work.
Instead of groaning and moaning about the drones, perhaps we could find more productive ways to use them. Delivering packages is ‘iffy’ as I see it. Maybe drones could be used to ‘drop’ you off at work. No more early morning traffic hassles trying to get to work. Just crank up your drone. The big topic at the water cooler could be ‘My drone is better than your drone.’ However, just because it might be larger doesn’t mean it’s smarter.
There are some folks who most likely wouldn’t cotton to the idea of having drones flying over their house. That would call for another rule or regulation. No shooting at drones. Keep your drone at home when it’s not roaming. The attorneys are just licking their chops over the possibility of lawsuits involving drones. Of course, that means more insurance.
I’m thinking if you are planning to go to college you might choose one that specializes in drones and their activities such as maintenance, insurance, safety issues, etc. You could make a fortune maintaining drones. If you’re interested in being a building contractor I see a drone in your future. Everyone will need a drone garage, maybe even a two drone garage. The possibilities are limitless. So, if you see a drone in your future, don’t moan and groan. Just grab it and roam.

NEW YEAR OPPORTUNITIES — December 28, 2014

The New Year is just around the corner. In a few days we’ll just be kicking 2014 down the road. It’s time to make those New Year’s Resolutions—you know, those things we really believe we should do so 2015 can be better than last year. I really don’t know what to do with the ones I made last year that didn’t make it to my ‘to do list.” Shame on me for not even remembering those I made with good intentions but never gave them a second thought.
In spite of myself, I’m going to stick my neck out again this year and resolve once again to be a better friend. Sometimes we tend to get comfortable in a friendship and begin to take that friendship for granted. Do you have special friends you want to hold close to your heart this New Year? I have been fortunate to have many friends come and go throughout my life. Some come and stay for a short time; others appear and just keep hanging in there with me.
What amazes me most about my friends, both past and present, is that they seem to pop into my life just when I think they’re either lost forever or when I feel friendless. Old friends are a valuable asset these days.
I recently received a letter from a couple who have been my friends since 1963. They have been with me through thick and thin. Their friendship has never wavered. About three years ago misfortune knocked on their door when he was diagnosed with dementia. He is now in stage four of Alzheimer’s disease. He would look at her and says, “Aren’t you my wife?” But, he can’t remember her name. He now looks at her and thinks she’s his mother. Alzheimer’s disease is robbing me of my wonderful friendship with him.
We need to pay more attention to our friends. Savor the “Ahhh” moments with them and let them know how important they are to us. By sharing a special place in our hearts with them, we can gain a better understanding of ourselves.
The same holds true as we look back at 2014. We all know it is important to seek opportunities to grow and become the person we want and should be. Often these opportunities come to us in unexpected times and places. We need to have our minds and hearts open and receptive so we can recognize these opportunities for what they are and can be for us.
Another New Year’s resolution for me this year is to close the doors of regret behind me. This new year of 2015 will surely provide greater opportunities than did 2014. I don’t need to spend my time looking back on any regrets I might have experienced. I just need to be aware of the new doors of opportunity and be ready to knock on them. Sometimes we look so long and regretfully at the closed door that we don’t see the new ones we have the opportunity to open.
A long time ago I came to the conclusion that hope, family and friends are the glue that holds our lives together. I am a very fortunate woman. I married my best friend and I resolve to strengthen that bond of friendship and love throughout this New Year. Ours is a Christmas Love. We celebrated our 27th anniversary on December 27. A Christmas Love is a love worth keeping. It offers us the gift of peace, a resounding joy, the miracle of hope and the gathering of family and belief. Happy Anniversary, Mr. I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.