Saturday, January 28, 2012

What Will Spring Bring???

Hi everyone!

As most of the country asks "what happened to winter," I cannot help but get excited about spring!!!  My fall last march forced me to by pass all of the projects I had planned outside for the spring and summer.  This year, since I have already declared that 2012 WILL be my BEST year EVER, I have projects to catch up on.

So as I look at my grandmother's empty potting bench, in desperate need of love & care, I am excited to think of all the potential this diamond in the rough holds!!

After all, with empty pots to fill and young plants just waiting to bring their beautiful flowers into this world, isn't our outside world just an extension of our world inside our house???
 I know that these beauties are going in my "Moonlight Garden".  I read about these once and having been dying to put one in, sooooo...  I started two years ago by putting in white crape myrtles and this year I will add these white hydrangeas and other white flowering plants.  Since my back yard is set up in such a way that one star lit nights it is like sitting in an amphitheater, the white flowers will glow in the moonlight...hence the name "Moonlight Garden."

This site on moonlight gardens is a WONDERFUL source for finding plants that will allow you to create this same  effect in your own yard!!!  For me, it is a way to bring peace and clam into my sometimes fast paced and crazy life!!

 As I make all of these internal and external changes in my life, I'll keep sharing.  Who knows, if I can plant one seed of hope into someone's life, then my work here is done!!  :D

Friday, January 27, 2012

Duh...BIG Red Truck!!!

Hi everyone!

Well now that the weekend is here I have a chance to sit back and relate to some of the events of my short work week.  Even though I am not a blond, there have been times in my life when I have had blond moments...but then, who hasn't - right???!!!  Thank goodness I can laugh at myself though and learn from my times!!  :D

Since I have written lately about all the positive changes I am making in my life, but also sharing the obstacles that I sometimes encounter, I think a good many of you will relate as I post tonight.

I once heard a blond joke where the blond finds her house is on fire.  She calls the fire department and when the fireman asks how do they get to her house, she replies "Duh...Big Red Truck!!!"
So I couldn't help but laugh this week...I mean don't all of us on the path to health all try to find ways to include more water into our day.  How many times do we just skip the water because we forgot to buy some bottled water at the store???

Then one day it happened to hit me...two of my collegues walk down the hall to the water fountain and fill up their glasses several times a day!!!  Yes, I did laugh out loud to myself!!

But then I could not help but ask the question, "how many other people do this too???"  Do you find you don't drink enough water during the day because you didn't buy some at the store???  Do you have a water fountain where you work or go to school, but just never thought about using it before???  As we start to find ways to make wiser financial decisions during these uncertain economic times, doesn't it make sense to take a glass and fill up water from the water fountain where ever we may be???  Or, if you are at a place with no water fountain, how about finding something to fill up before you leave the house and take your water with you???

So yes, making positive, healthy changes takes a little planning, but I can honestly tell you that the benefits of making the changes and the way that they will make you feel are oohhhh so worth the effort!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Be the Change You want to See

Hi everyone, 

This just seemed to be such fitting words of wisdom today - "Be the Change You want to See!!"  Words I embrace and strive to live by daily!!!

While my journey will take about a year, it is one that I know by taking one step at a time I will be able to accomplish!!  What will the end result be this time next year, well that will be just as exciting for me to see as it will be for me to share with you!!  

One thing I do know though, I will have a ball taking pictures and framing the new me so that I can show by example that it is truly possible to be the change I want to see!!!  Yes, God does Wink on New Beginnings and these days, He is winking at me with both eyes directing my path.

My change is not just physical, it is getting all areas of my life organized and in order so that I can be all that God wants me to be.  Sometimes it is so easy to spend our time taking care of everyone and every thing else, but the reality is that we can accomplish a lot more for our family and our society if we take care of ourselves first.  

It may have taken me 46 years to learn this lesson, but the way I look at this, it is better to figure this out later in life than to never figure it out at all!! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taking the Time to Tango

Hi everyone!

My Friday morning started at 4:30 a.m., trying to accomplish as much as possible before 7:00 a.m. when I leave the house.  As I marked each task off my “honey do list,” trying to make each second count, the title for today’s post came to mind - “Taking the Time to Tango.” 
This pictures from Wikipedia captures the essance of the tango so beautifully!!!  Sometimes our lives can be so busy that we do not stop to take the time to dance.  Not just any dance, not the last minute free style fast dance.  The tango is different, it takes practice and soul and a passion not found in other dances.  It does not just use random music you find on the radio or your ipod playlist, even the music needs careful selection.  Some might be tempted to say “who has time to dance??? I’m raising kids right now.”  STOP, stop right there…shouldn’t we teach our kids that there are times in life where they should stop, possibly restructure their lives so that they too can have time to dance???   Shouldn’t we teach them to stop and listen to the music so that they truly hear all of the instruments, not just the drums, piano, and guitars?

We have become a society that moves so fast that we have forgotten to plant roses, let alone to stop and take the time to smell them. 

So take the time this week to find your inner dance; to listen to the music with your heart and soul; and even if you are running through Wal-Mart grabbing school supplies - stop by the flowers and smell a rose or whatever your favorite flower may be….

I promise it will make you smile!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Not the Leading Lady???

Hi everyone!
It is really amazing the power that words can hold over our lives.  One of my favorite chick-flick movies is The Holiday.  This heart-warming movie contained a line that has just resonated with me as of late.  The character Arthur Abbot, played by Eli Wallach, gives Iris, played by Kate Winslet, a piece of advise in the movie that I think all women, young and old, should hear.
 Iris, in the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you're behaving like the best friend.”
So I cannot help but ponder this question.  Why is this??  Why do so many women, both young and old, think that all they are worthy of is being the “best friend”; why not the “leading lady”?  Is it because society has forgotten what a lady actually is, let alone a leading lady?  Have women forgotten that God made them to be pursued after and not to be the pursuer, so they settle for being the “best friend” instead of their Prince Charming’s “leading lady”? 
Do not let the media and the world fool you girls, yes men do want women who are strong and independent, not just ones looking for a paycheck, but they also all long for a lady. 
So where did we lose our way?  This is something that spans across all ages, economic classes, and family backgrounds.  In Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity, she points out that as women are now, more than any other time in history at a distinct disadvantage.  Though no one can argue that technology has brought amazing benefits to our lives, it has also brought with it a whole host of negative as well.  All forms of media Photoshop even the tiniest of models leaving the smallest of women feeling like there is something wrong with them. 
While whittling away at women’s self-esteem, technology has also convinced the men that the woman they want to bring home to meet momma is worthy of a spot in a Victoria Secret catalog.   Ok, admit it, who wouldn’t want to look like one of these women, but out of millions and millions of women in the world, the women that fall into this category are few and far between.
Don’t let this burst your bubble and send you looking for the Oreos, let it empower you to take some time to sit down and identify what makes you you!  Realize that in someone’s world you are "the best thing since sliced bread".  You deserve to be the leading lady and if you aren’t, then you may just be in the wrong movie.  :D  When you are in the right place, at the right time, you will be their leading lady and you will be the one they want to take home to meet momma!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finding the Calm in Chaos

Hi everyone!

WOW, what a day!!! Yesterday being our first day of classes, it was a long day for me. Needing to finish up some things though I decided to just take my work home. Funny how after being off for 4 days my son decides to finally produce the requirements for his science project. Normally not a procrastinator, this was more a case of having never done this type of assignment before…but I have to tell you, it made this tired momma feel ill just looking at what needed to be done.

Now I do have to say that even though I am divorced my ex-husband and I do work well together for our kids. These guys come first in both of our lives whether it pertains to their education or one of the sports that they are involved in. So we threw it in to high gear to help our guy.

Yes I was exhausted and I knew that helping him was going to put me way behind on my own work.  However, I also know that this sweet child will be the one that takes care of his momma when she is old which makes it worth the added effort and short term chaos.

It is funny how one little group of stapled paper/instructions can turn a productive day into instant chaos. One of my dear friends has said that some of my days are so busy; it is like I am running around with my hair on fire. Yes, it feels like that today!!!

So how do I do it, how do I find calm within this chaos? After all, we all have times in our lives when chaos swirls all around us. On this chilly morning I took a deep breath and simple prayed “Lord, I can ONLY accomplish all that needs to be done today with YOUR help. I am exhausted and cannot do this by myself.”

Maybe this is why when I read the words a friend once wrote I knew I had to put them into one of my novels.

“A kind and loving 'I need you' will make me come running no matter where I am to find you.” 

WOW!!  Having spent my entire adult life taking care of the rest of the world and calming chaos in the lives of my kids, students, family, and friends the only person that I have ever been able to call out to with a “kind and loving ‘I need you'” is the Lord.

There is an INCREDIBLE book called Falling in Love with Jesus, that basically teaches this very same thing to women.  Once we can reach a point in our lives where we realize that the only person in our lives who can truly calm our chaos is Him, that there will not be a prince charming galloping up on a white horse, then no matter what life throws our way, we can handle the chaos.

I know, I know…way too many chick flicks, but the point I’m trying to make here is this. No one is perfect and we cannot blame others for the chaos that we may encounter from time to time; nor can we expect a Prince Charming to come and calm our storms. God calmed the storm and parted the sea, not Prince Charming!! :D

However, I do think that where we as women long to have someone we can call upon when we need help along life’s journey, God longs to have us call out to Him with a “kind and loving ‘I need you’” and He too will stop whatever He is working on at the moment to help us find true calm within our soul even in the midst of chaos!!.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teachers Touch the World

Hi everyone!

As the first day of classes for this Spring 2012 semester begin, I cannot help but reflect on just how blessed that I truly am.  I cannot help but think of the words "those that can do, those who can't teach" and yet feel so sorry for those that have been misled into buying into this idea. 

True, those of us who have chosen to teach often do so, not because we cannot do, but because we want to have time to do things with our own children as well as have careers.  My kids will tell you, they would much rather us live on a budget and have me there when they get off the bus in the afternoon, than for me to work in the corporate world and never be home.  Those of us who teach are able to teach young men and women that they can in fact do what they love and make enough money to raise a family. 

My grandmother was a high school English teacher and guidance counselor.  While her salary was as humble as she, she still managed to put both my brother and myself through college.  

I do not just teach computer science, I often have students also come and ask me how to teach them to sew.  :D  What I try to always bring into my classrooms is a passion for life!  The words that I will repeat quite often this semester, "gone are the days that you have to get a degree and then just sit in a cubicle!  You can take what you love, coupled with your talents, ideas and dreams and turn these things into a rewarding and successful business because literally the sky is the limit!!"  

Two years ago I would have NEVER dreamed that computers and sewing machines would interact.  Two years ago I did not even know what a blog was.  Today not only do I have a job teaching that I LOVE, but I also have a thriving embroidery business and am now turning my love of blogging into consulting work as well.  So you see, my education in computer science has allowed me to take my love of art and sewing to a level that I would have never even imagined just a few short years ago.

So take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself "what do I want to be when I grow up???"  Yes, at 46 I am still asking myself that question!!  :D  What are your talents?  What do you love?

The most important thing is to write your ideas down.  Buy a notebook and ANY time an idea comes to mind jot it down.  You just NEVER know where you talents, hopes and dreams may lead!

While today it may be storming here in Louisiana, I want my students to believe that their truly is treasure at the end of the rainbow.  They can achieve anything that they set their mind too, but they first have to take a look in the mirror and ask themselves exactly what that might look like.

The world awaits you!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Missing Meme

Hi everyone!

On Saturday I wrote about going to my beautiful friend’s wedding.  We had been talking for weeks about her bouquet and I could not wait to see the final product.  There is a trend now among brides to make their bouquet out of brooches.  Sometimes they buy new ones and sometimes they use ones that were within their family.  As she walked down the aisle, I could not help but notice that Ashley’s bouquet was just exquisite!!!  The reception could not arrive soon enough so that I could see this masterpiece!!

One of the first things she said, as I began to snap away with my camera, was “here is a picture of Meme.”   The joy that this one particular brooch gave her was so clearly evident in her beaming face.  It was then that it brought back memories of my own Meme.  To me I am truly touched at just how deep an impact our grandparents can have on our lives. 

As I have spent the day preparing for the first day of class tomorrow, I knew that my Meme was to be my subject for today’s blog.  Being a retired English teacher, the thought of a world that writes and posts things on a blog would have probably been too much for her to comprehend.  Having grown up during the Great Depression, she would have probably considered writing for such a venue a waste of precious time.
I have no doubt though that the fact that the lessons she taught both my brother and I would make her very proud.  This was never something that the two of us longed for.  My Meme let the WORLD know how much we meant to her and how  proud she was of us.  As mischievous as we were and though she would threaten to NEVER take us to Piccadilly again, her frustration with our childish pranks would wane after she had sent us home.

So much of what I learned about life was a direct result of what this AMAZING woman instilled in to me.  “Education is something no one can take away from you,” she would always say.  This just happened to be one lesson that I carried to an extreme. :D  I also think that her passion to always read and continue to learn by playing puzzles and bridge as well as spending time with family and friends kept her young.  

She also taught me about comfort.  Meme was known for wearing comfortable shoes and not worrying if she was not the latest trend setter.  Another lesson that I have embraced.  I also think that her loving and supportive nature were the foundation for how I raise my own kids.  While there are times when I might tell my kids they are plucking my last nerve, Meme’s nature was more “grin and bear it”.  Though when Sarah was a baby and she came to visit me in German, she did tell me I had the patience of Job. :D
One of the things that I cherish the most these days was her knack of chronicling as much as possible.  For example, when she gave me this little desk she said “the young man who carried that out for me at Rosenthal, was killed in Vietnam.”  Years had passed since that young man’s death, but she would never forget him. 

The same has held true as we have gone through our mother’s things.  Mom had things from our grandmother that we had not yet seen such as war bonds from WWII and mom’s ID card from Louisiana Tech.  Each new treasure found is like a little history lesson…something that retired school teacher would have dearly loved.

Yes, I sure do miss you Meme!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

When Life Gives YOU Lemons

Hi everyone!

Well I am moving slow this morning!!!  Yesterday was such a busy, busy day that I am thrilled today is a day of rest. :D  It was almost midnight before I got into bed and yet my brain was still going; something that us creative types often find happening.  Since I had violated the one rule that most writers live by - I did not have a notebook near by - I did the next best thing and started writing the theme for today’s post in a text message.  I am nothing if not resourceful!!  :D

As I took picture after picture yesterday I decided to take a chance and have a friend take a picture of me.  I gave myself Weight Watchers for my birthday and wanted a “before” picture.  As I went through editing the pictures and came to mine “when life gives you lemons” came to mind.  Though I must admit, I could not help but giggle and say to myself “you mean when life gives you lemons and the juice splashes you in the eye”????? 

But then I had to stop and think about this again “you mean when life gives you lemons and the juice splashes you in the eye” - so what does one do, that “one“ being me in this case?????   I have a choice, let this “obstacle” like I wrote about earlier in the week bring me to a stand still or make the BEST lemonade ever.  

Being a “glass is half full” kind of woman, I am going with the lemonade!!  The BEST lemonade ever requires using basic ingredients, but knowing how to combine them in just the right way.  So I could not help but smile and say to myself “well you have all the ingredients, go make THE best lemonade EVER!!!“ 

It is funny, when I opened the door this morning, unlike earlier in the week when the cold wind was shocking, today when I opened the door the cold air was refreshing…just like lemonade…just like it feels when the cold water of life is used to wash the juice out of my eyes or your eyes!!

So embrace your BEST knowing that if you work hard enough you can have REALLY AWESOME lemonade by this time next year!! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Waiting on the Winks

  Hi everybody!

It is a cold Saturday morning, but just knowing I get to spend my afternoon and evening with dear friends makes it feel more like a warm sunny spring day.  A precious friend is getting married and so I will spend my afternoon and evening celebrating this day with her.  She will be one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen. 

As I get ready for this day I cannot help but think about Squire Rushnell’s book When God Winks on Love.

Its funny, I have given away hundreds of his books to friends and passers-by -

When God Winks;

When God Winks at You;

When God Winks on Love; and

When God Winks on New Beginnings - and yet, if God wants to tell me something about love, I do not think your normal wink would do.    He would probably have to wink with both eyes and find some way to jump up and down so that I would know it could only be Him. :D I am not trying to be disrespectful in the least.  Its just that I have seen too many people in my life time ignore winks, red flags, signs…what ever you want to call them, and walk/run down the aisle headed toward disaster.

And if you are/were one of those people, who could see the red flags, but closed your eyes and said “I do” any way…well then not wanting to make the same mistake once more could leave you in a temporary state of blindness when it comes to winks on love.

Yes, my eyes are pretty much closed tight with respect to this, but with all the other God Winks He has sent and continues to send my way, when the time is right He’ll take my blinders off. If this is your first time to hear about God Winks, then I would encourage you to check out SQuire's Facebook page and website.  Just know that God LOVES to wink and He LOVES to wink often!!


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