Thursday, February 28, 2013

Almsgiving This Lent

It's never too late to make difference. It's true, I forgot to really focus on one thing to give up for Lent. Instead of picking chocolate, or potato chips or coffee, I decided to give up my time and a little bit of my money.

How you may ask?

My getting involved with Catholic Relief and filling up my rice bowl. 

Let's see if I can break this down for you in a fun and interactive way. (The good news is, YOU can get involved too!)

I went to mass on Sunday and saw this little cardboard contraption. I could tell you had to put it together, but was not sure. It said something about Lent on the cover and I thought, "Just pick one up." 

I did, and I got home and put it together, and it turned out to be a little "rice bowl" with a slot to drop coins in. I thought to myself, "Okay, that's easy. Pick up some spare change, drop it in, and make a difference." Then I took a moment and actually read the side of the bowl:  $50 provides clean water for 500 families. $100 immunizes 157 newborns. Heck, only $25 provides health exams for 13 children. A mere $10 provides two weeks of food.

I mean... I just left the Tic Toc Room and spend $22 on dinner. I could have provided food for a month for a family overseas. 

It really puts things in perspective.

I would like for you to consider making a contribution to my little rice bowl. It's super easy!
You can either go online to Catholic Relief Services  and click on the GIVE tab. It doesn't matter that I sent you there, just do it. This isn't about getting "credit" for anything, it's about making a difference.

Or if you want to make it more personal, you may mail me a check made out to Catholic Relief Services, and I will put it in my rice bowl. You can send it to me at the museum (please put "personal" on the letter (so it does not get confused with work stuff) 340 Walnut Street, Macon, GA 31201. Attention: Nicole Abdou

Want to know where your money is going? Watch these few videos:

There are others ways to get involved. Try Fasting and living the way so many people live around the world (on limited means.) Here is a wonderful way to experience "Lent" this season:

Finally - Thank you so much for taking the time to actually watch these videos and making a contribution to such a worthy cause.

Let's talk skin.

It's almost time to pack up our sweaters, pull out the capris, and dust off the sandals. (At least in this part of the world.) We know down here that the Cherry Blossoms are scheduled to bloom in about 3 - 4 weeks and the Dogwoods will be right behind them. 

Thinking about all of this made me consider the health of my skin. When it is time to show more of it, I want to make sure I have done my due diligence during the cooler months. I may not exercise like I should, and I may say yes to the cheesecake more often than not, but my skin - I am a CRAZY woman about my skin.

From time to time I have shown the products I use on my face and body, and just like my shampoo, I like to change it up every so often, always looking for that perfect combination. For now, and where my skin and health is at, I think I have my perfect combo.

I'm going to share with you the basics I put on EVERY DAY and NIGHT. YES, I use ALL of these products. But I'm 40 (and I hope I don't look it.) I refuse to get botox. Sooo... nothing left to do but preserve what I have.

With that being said, here is my morning routine:
While in the shower, I grab my bar of Moisturizing Cetaphil Soap and apply it to the follow brush:

This little guy is soft. I bought this (by origins) and it cost a few dollars. My soap cost about 4 dollars. I typically apply the soap (by way of the brush) all over my face, neck and lips and rinse off. I feel clean. My face feels soft. No harsh chemicals or crazy methods to cleanse my face. 

Why Cetaphil Moisturizing Bar? It's gentle enough, just moisturizes enough. Cetaphil products are recommended by more dermatologists than any other brand of skin cleansers and moisturizers. After all, they’ve been carefully formulated to provide effective, gentle skin care to help your skin look and feel its best — no matter what category your skin type falls into. Makes it a winner for so many people. 

And as for the face brush - gentle exfoliation. Think of a really nice, clean, blank slate.

I also use a body brush:

I basically use this organic body butter soap with Mango, Shea and Cocoa Butters for a really nice, soft texture to my skin. The body brush helps scrap away the dead skin cells, then I fill them up with something nourishing. I pay about $4 for this soap, and you can find it online, at international shops and even my museum. There is honey and cornmeal mixed in this also. Why would that be good for my skin? Mango butter combined with shea butter gives your skin much-needed moisture and elasticity. The added effects of cocoa butter & cornmeal heal your skin, driving away scars and blemishes and helping to reverse the aging process of your skin. 

Oh.. but there is more to my morning routine. Now it's time to "seal the deal" with all of these wonderful treatments.

Okay, while still in the bathroom and at the sink, I wash my face one more time to really feel clean. I basically exfoliated in the shower, now I want to deep clean. I found something that is not expensive and makes my skin feel alive. It's the Clean & Clear Morning Burst. You would think I would keep away from the cheaper brands, but I have to tell you - I LOVE how it feels on my skin. This version is the Skin Brightening Facial Cleanser. I can honestly say that my skin has a nice little glow to it when I am finished. How does it work? It is formulated with a unique blend of caffeine, lemon and papaya and cleanses to help brighten the appearance of your skin while releasing an invigorating fruit fragrance that awakens your senses. Skin appears instantly refreshed.

After I cleanse and dry my face, I then apply the next best thing in the world. Scroll up and take a good look at Say Yes to Cucumbers. It is a soothing moisturizer with high spf to protect my skin.  What I love about it, it helps someone like me with fair skin, that happens to suffer from rosacea. Nothing terrible. Just a little redness in the cheeks when I exercise, drink wine, or whatever. This stuff has done wonders for my fine lines also!!! How does it work? Sweet almond oil is an excellent natural moisturizer that lends a soft beautiful glowing touch to your skin. Organic cucumbers are packed with rejuvenating vitamins which soothe and soften the skin, cucumbers also having cooling properties which help keep your skin supple and fresh.
Aloe vera is a highly effective, naturally gentle moisturizer that is known to refresh and soothe skin and it is 98% natural.

Finally, I add a little more "punch" to my moisturizers, especially for my forehead, which seems to have the worst sun damage. I dab a little St. Ives Collagen and Elastin moisturizer. GREAT stuff, and I would use just that, but it lacks the spf I need for my skin. How does it work? The moisturizer, with collagen elastin proteins, hydrates for visibly softer, smoother skin.

Finally - BIG NEED FOR ALL WOMEN AND MEN - Eye cream. I use this:
Obiqo! I have searched high and low for the best eye cream, and I settled on this one about a year ago. What is it and how does it work? Fragrance free Obiqo eye cream is specially formulated to nourish and smooth the delicate skin around your eye area.  A silky textured cream, enriched with anti-aging marine nutrients to firm and gently moisturise, and supported by extracts of cooling cucumber, camomile and kiwi. It's not cheap. $47 a bottle. BUT I SWEAR BY IT. I am considering purchasing more items from Obiqo because of it's incredible benefits. It's a New Zealand company that believes in using marine nutrients like:

Sea Kelp - It is rich in trace elements, minerals, vitamins and amino acids, and has been used in beauty and health treatments for many centuries. 
In their products, they use common kelp (Ecklonia Radiata) which grows in abundant undersea forests around the pristine waters of New Zealand's remote East Cape. To protect and sustain this important marine resource and habitat, harvesting is restricted to license holders, and the kelp is gathered when storms toss it ashore.  The carefully harvested kelp is rain washed and sun dried before gentle, natural treatment to produce an extract made especially for Obiqo.

They also use Sea Lavender. It is a coastal plant which grows in soils with a high salt content, and has developed a resistance to harsh environmental conditions including dehydration. Their sea lavender peptides are rich in polyphenol anti-oxidants which are known to search out and destroy free-radicals that can cause skin damage and pre-mature skin ageing. 

The sea lavender they use is farmed in France with the use of non GMO biological pest management and harvested under the supervision of the local agricultural authorities. The plant materials are certified 100% natural by ECOCERT (an international organic certification body represented both in the EU and in 70 other countries). The process to extract the peptides is natural, gentle and solvent free.

Marine Elastin Peptides contribute to skin regeneration, combating slackening, wrinkles and fine lines. Protecting the skin’s elastin is essential to maintaining the flexibility and firmness of skin. The elastin peptides also act as an anti-oxidant helping to slow skin ageing by combating oxidative stress.

Their marine elastin is extracted from by-products of managed fisheries and represent a sustainable use of marine resources. The extraction of the elastin is achieved by an enzymatic reaction without the use of solvents.

Marine Collagen Hydrolysate plays an important part in maintaining optimal skin hydration and promotes skin firmness and radiance. It also has anti-oxidant factors helping to protect the skin against environmental elements and ageing.

Their hydrolysed marine collagen, which is extracted from by-products of managed fisheries,  nourishes, regenerates and protects the skin. A product of sustainable marine resourcing, it is recovered by an enzymatic reaction without the use of solvents.

 Finally.. Hyadisine a natural marine extract obtained by fermentation of microbial marine organisms collected from the rocky shores of Douarnenez Bay.  This is an exciting new bio-active ingredient based on non GMO organisms.  The exopolysaccharides have a high water retaining capacity which encourages a long-lasting moisturizing effect and wrinkle reduction.

Then let's not forget the rest of my body. I use a wonderful lotion that I swear by:
This has made all the difference with the eczema I have on my arms. St. Ive's Replenishing with Mineral Therapy. It spells like a spa and goes on nice and thick, but not so much that you feel oily. How does it work? Fast-absorbing and non-greasy, this intense moisture treatment rejuvenates the skin by replenishing nutrients it naturally loses daily. The custom mineral blend contains the natural minerals essential for healthy skin. 

Then.. the final thing I apply BEFORE my makeup is a tinted moisturizer. Yes.. more. Don't worry, I have normal skin. Not too oily, not too dry. All of the products I have introduced do NOT leave my skin greasy. Here is what I use:

I love the "fair" Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. How does it work? These tinted moisturizers for fair to light and medium skin tones combine exclusive ACTIVE NATURALS Total Soy Complex with natural light reflecting minerals to instantly give you sheer coverage while evening skin tone and blending away imperfections. Provides natural-looking coverage. 
POSITIVELY RADIANT is a collection of facial care products uniquely formulated to target all 5 FACTORS OF RADIANCE:
• Tone
• Texture
• Brown Spots
• Dullness
• Blotchiness

Now what about night time? Of course I have a skin regime. Need to do my best to clear the canvas, right?

For starters, my feet are a bit of a problem for me. (Joys of years of dancing.. and wearing high heels.) So I have a foot spa I hook up every night. I use the following epsom salts to help soothe my tooties:
I love the Dr. Teal's products. I personally love the way my feet feel after soaking in the Cooling Peppermint foot soak.The product claims to "Revitalize and Refresh." I have to admit, I love it. 
How does it work?  You can pamper tired achy feet with Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Foot Soak. Magnesium Sulfate revitalizes your feet and refreshes your skin’s appearance. Plus, peppermint essential oil and baking soda provide a cooling sensation and help eliminate foot odor.

As far as Aromatherapy goes: Peppermint essential oil revitalizes and refreshes the senses.

I don't always take a hot bath before bed, but sometimes I do. When I do, I use another Dr. Teal's product:
Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt "Soothe & Sleep" with Lavender. LOVELY. I feel like a princess soaking away with this stuff. How does it work? As far as the Lavender goes, it relaxes the mind. As far as the Epsom Salts go - I stand by this - they are a cure all. I heard my Great Grandmother swear by them, my doc swear by them.. and I can tell you, I SWEAR by them. 

How do Epsom Salts work? Here's the bad news... have you checked your magnesium lately? Hate to break it to you, but chances are it's pretty low. Americans today have less than half the magnesium levels as those of their ancestors due to changes in diet and an increase in the consumption of fatty, sugary, and processed foods.

…so why is this a big deal?
Magnesium is a natural element essential to helping the body function. It's responsible for making your nerves and muscles work properly and for regulating the activity of 325+ enzymes. 

Magnesium prevents artery hardening and blood clots and improves the effectiveness of insulin. Less magnesium in your system means you run a higher risk of developing hyperactivity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other stress-related illnesses.

Upping your magnesium intake is as easy and inexpensive as, well…taking a bath! Research shows that soaking in Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you look better, feel better, and improves your overall health.

How does it work?
When dissolved in warm water, magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin, naturally restoring the level of magnesium in the body. While taking magnesium supplements and incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet may seem like the most obvious solution, taking an Epsom salt bath is actually the fastest and most effective approach. 

.…even better news?
Sulfate's an all-around health booster too! When taken into the body, sulfate flushes out harmful toxins, improves absorption of nutrients, and helps forms protein and brain tissue. 

Want more proof?
When working together, the two are unstoppable. Used for its healing properties for thousands of years, magnesium sulfate is a quick and time-tested solution to a variety of health problems. 

Looking to kick a lasting sickness?
By increasing your white blood cell count, improving circulation, and detoxifying the body, magnesium sulfate shortens the length of symptoms and gives your immune system a boost, helping the body fight illness and recover more quickly. 

Feeling exhausted and overwhelmed?
Magnesium is a natural stress-reliever and energy booster. It helps produce a chemical in the brain called serotonin, which works to elevate your mood and increases your ability to make it through the day by directing energy production in the cells.
By lowering both adrenaline levels and blood pressure, magnesium also reduces irritability and fosters relaxation.  As a result, your concentration sharpens, and you can finally get the good night's sleep your body craves!

Suffering from soreness or another injury?
Magnesium sulfate soothes the muscles by flushing out lactic acid. Because of its ability to draw out fluids, magnesium sulfate also effectively reduces swelling and is a quick-fix for sprains, bee stings, mosquito bites, and sunburns. 

If that doesn't convince you - I don't know what will.

Finally, let's wrap this up. Before I go to bed I use the following products to seal all of the good I did:

I use a very specific eye gel at night. 40 Carrots. It is a cooling tonic with beta hydramides to instantly de age and wake up tired looking eyes. Retinol rich skin care - Carrot and Cucumber - 
Paraben Free and Less irritating than prescription form.

I cleanse my face at night with Olay's Total Effects 7 (Revitalize.) This daily cream cleanser nourishes skin with moisture from its rich anti aging formula while it removes dirt and impurities. And it  fights 7 signs of aging. 

My night cream? ROC's Stress Repair. It fights the signs of stress-related aging by:
Unwinding wrinkles - nourishes - restores
RoC has been a leading French skincare brand for over 50 years, devoted to developing anti-aging products that guarantee visible and lasting results for healthier, younger-looking skin. Strong partnerships with dermatologists have contributed to their expertise in understanding skincare and developing clinically proven  products, which are highly effective, yet suitable for all skin types.

Clinically Proven Results:
Relaxes expression and worry lines and unwinds deep forehead tension wrinkles
Nourishes dehydrated skin
Rejuvenates the look of tired skin
Restores skin's youthful radiance

Finally, I put African Shea Butter on my body, especially my feet at night. How does it work?
Shea Butter is a natural plant extract derived from the nut of the Karite Tree, which grows throughout West Africa. The name Karite means the Tree of Life, as a result of the many important uses Shea Butter provides to the people of this region.

Pure Shea Butter has been utilized for centuries due to its amazing ability to renew, repair and protect the skin. The 100% Pure African Shea Butter I use is unique because of its high content of non-saponifiable fats, which acts as a natural skin moisturizer due to its exceptional healing properties for the skin. African Shea Butter, which is completely unrefined, organic, and extremely high in Vitamins A, E & F, enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation. Its exceptional moisturizing properties provide the skin with all the essential elements it needs for balance, elasticity and tone.

Shea Butter can be used to treat all of the following conditions: Dry Skin, Dry Hair & Scalp, Eczema, Infant Eczema, Psoriasis, Arthritis & Rheumatism, Wrinkle Prevention, Diaper Rash, Muscle Fatigue, Scar Minimization, Skin Discoloration, Stretch Mark Prevention & Minimization and as a natural shaving agent.

Note: While African Shea Butter is originally off-white, a natural dye obtained from an organic plant source is mixed together creating a golden yellow color.

I know this is A LOT of information. But I warned you - I take my skin very seriously. You can do your own research, but this is what I swear by.

PS - I do some other things to try to keep a healthier youthful skin:
I drink lots of water.
I take a multivitamin.
I eat lots of fruit.
I do not smoke. 
I ALWAYS go to bed with a clean face. 
I always exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize daily.

What is your routine?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Musings...

I felt Spring today. It's truly upon us. For the South, that means the main season of the year is just around the corner. That season is Summer. It typically "feels" like summer from April until late November. Sooo... here we go...

The good news is something wonderful happened for me today -  I actually stuck to a plan. ;-)

Well.. more than that. I took my lazy self back to mass. Now for some of my friends, that means 'going to church.'  The term "mass" means - according to an "official" answer forum:

The Mass is basically a Catholic or Anglican (Episcopalian) worship service, although sometimes the word is used to refer specifically to the Eucharist (Catholic Communion; bread and wine) because the Eucharist is the central part of the Mass. The Catholic Mass follows a liturgy, which is basically the traditional form of worship composed of song, a procession (the crucifers carry the cross to the front of the church and the priests and deacons follow after them and kiss the altar), the greeting ("May the Lord be with you!"), a corporate confession & the "Kyrie," readings from the scriptures, a homily (sermon), prayer of the faithful (everyone in the congregation prays as one; usually the priest or deacon reads off the prayer requests of the pope and bishop, saying "Let us pray to the Lord," and the congregation responds "Lord, hear our prayer," and at the end they pray silently "for the intentions we hold in our hearts"), the Lord's Prayer, The Nicene Creed, the "sign of peace" (everyone greets each other), the Eucharist, and the final trinitarian blessing. 

The word Mass comes from the phrase said by the deacon at the end of the Latin Mass "Ite, missa est" (Go you are dismissed) to which the people respond "Deo Gratias" (Thanks be to God). 

Sorry for the detailed explanation....You know when I explain things, well... I tend to make sure you actually understand what I am talking about. Okay, so I officially went to Sunday mass. I've sort of been a bad little Catholic over the past few months and totally skipping. Each Sunday morning, I wake up and say, "TODAY I will go." Then it becomes, "Okay, tonight I will go." Then  I end up saying, "Okay.. maybe next week."

So I woke up this morning and text my one and only practicing Catholic friend in town and asked when was she going to mass. It took a while for her to respond, so I debated about going at 9:30am or tonight. She finally replied and said, "I am coming out of mass right now." There was my sign. Just go. 

So I went.

I sat in the very back on the right hand side. It's always hard attending church alone. I don't care how much faith you have or how often you have been - sitting alone in a church is a VERY lonely feeling. I immediately kneel to pray before the service began. (That's something we do in the Catholic Church,) as soon as we enter, we genuflect, kneel and pray. It always nice to just have a moment with God.

I sat alone up until the very last minute. An older, very conservatively dressed gentleman sat next to me. I had to do a double take to make sure he did not have a collar on. (something a  priests would wear.)  I did not see one. 

We did not speak at all during the service, but I noticed that when the priests were reading or reciting, he was quietly reciting along with them. Again... my suspicions were raised. Finally, we got to the exchange of peace, where everyone takes a minute and gives each other some sign of peace and he grab my right hand with both of his hands and said, "God Bless you, child." I just smiled and greeted everyone else around me.

Finally we are deep into the Eucharist and yes, he was reciting everything the priest was saying. He just HAD to be a retired priest or SOMETHING. No one knows that much by themselves. 

After mass ended, and I had genuflected and started to leave he grabbed my arm and said, "I just wanted to tell you that your smile during the "Sign of Peace" just lit up the room. You are truly blessed." All I could say was, "Thank you. Thank you very much." I probably had some weird look on my face and he just walked out of the church. 


I went to the church bookstore and bought a little font for my holy water (that I keep in a bottle) and a new book, "The Mysteries of Mary." Basically a little book about her life as the mother of Jesus. 

I left mass and went to brunch alone. I wanted to go to Market City Cafe, and since my friend was unable to come, I could not come up with a good enough reason not to go. I ordered French Toast with a side of corned beef, read more on my Kindle and then left for a little grocery shopping.

I am thrilled to report that I bought the starter seeds/kit for Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Peppers, Tomatoes and Chives. I'm not sure when would be a good time to get this going, but I am definitely heading in that direction. I tend to have good luck when gardening, and I am going for another container garden. The one I had in Birmingham was super successful, so I am hoping I will have just as much success this year on my balcony. 

All in all - it's been a good day. I'm home now, checking emails, blogging, washing my comforter and sheets and I HOPE to get into the bathroom and clean the tub. Again - my LEAST favorite thing to do.

I hope each of you take a moment and reflect on those special  little moments today. My day started out good and I am so happy I went with the flow. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Though the band has been around since 2000, I know that the majority of people in my circle or in America for that matter, do not follow foreign music... so I thought I would share with you one of my favorite bands.


Yelle is a french band named after the lead singer. The band became famous in Europe after they posted an early verision of Je Veux Tu Voir on this Myspace page. That was in 2005. That song, catapulted them up the charts in France to a top five song of the year.

Their first album was called Pop Up, while their second album released in 2007 was called Safari Disco Club. (Yes, I own both.)

This band has a huge following overseas, all in non-English speaking countries. Which is a total shame America has not caught on. 

But here it is...

I want to share with you my absolute FAVORITE song by them: Je Veux Tu Voir.

So freaking catchy and adorable. I LOVE the style and hair of Yelle. (Actually.. it sort of inspired my current cut!) ;-) Though I can't pull the bangs off. ;-)

Try out another wonderful song - Comme Un Enfant:

Finally.. Safari Disco Club:

Tell me what you think!

Things I Learned This Week

Wow. One week at 40. What did I learn?

1. Naps are delicious. I actually took a nap Every.Single.Day. I feel wonderful and apparently, I needed it.

2. Heels all night + dancing = One week of leg and foot pain. 

3. I want to live at least another 40 years, I went to my General Practitioner and spent 2 hours with him, going through all of my risk factors and creating a plan of action. We will have a 3 month check up and see how things have turned around. For the FIRST TIME, I feel like I am armed with a plan. Not just a band aid for the BP. But an honest to goodness plan. I WILL be off BP meds by 45. I will NOT become a diabetic like my parents and grandparents. I WILL have a healthy BMI. It's all possible.

4. Home? Up and down.

5. Lately, a wild hair to buy a home has been sneaking in. I have NEVER wanted to buy. I need to educate myself on this process. I would love to get one of those downtown that have been renovated inside (I remember the Historic Macon people doing a presentation at Rotary.) What really stuck out to me was how INEXPENSIVE these homes were. Hmmm...

6. My bestie (I know she will laugh when she reads that I actually used the word bestie,) Telisa, got married to a wonderful Italian, by the name of Daniele. Mr. & Mrs. Asaro will have a wonderful Italian themed reception late March, outside by their lake. Rumor has it she is working on making lemon cello. (Takes about a month.) I've been working on her play list for music. Lots of Italian favorites and of course, an unlimited amount of Andrea Bocelli. *sigh*

7. I am in love with the Sookie Stackhouse series. I am such a dork. I actually bought all four seasons of True Blood on DVD. They should arrive from Amazon any day now!

8. You know what I love about living in an apartment? When packages arrive, they go to the office. Safe and I don't have to drive to the Post Office. :-)

9. My friends who really love me are the absolute best people in the world. No doubt about it. They love me, even when I am unlovable.

10. I truly racked up on Birthday gifts. I doubt I can remember everything off hand - but here is a photo!!

11. I am in love with Crunch Berry Cereal. As in Captn Crunch. Sooo bad for you. 

12. I don't drink milk. So much Crunch Berry is dry.

13. Since I changed a few blood pressure meds, I'm having some really ODD dreams. LOL

14. I want to rearrange my room. But I can't figure it all out.

15. I miss Auttie Blossom and would love to spend the weekend with her - but I am a little on the tired side. She requires attention 24/7.

16. I certainly wish Waffle House was near me. As in a block away. Sad, but I just want an omelet.

17. I'm not sure if I will get out of bed. Seriously. I'm in bed right now.

18. One chore I hate above all others? Cleaning the tub. It's a physical feat.

19. My hands go numb when I type. Carpal Tunnel??

20. One word. Coffee.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Delicious Solitude

I am spending the evening (and the weekend for that matter,) by myself. 
Almost one week into this interesting decade, and I find myself desperately needing time to just marinate in thought.

Around 3:30pm this afternoon, I grew super tired. So tired my eyes wanted to close. I am sure it is due to incredibly busy week I had, and the new meds I am on. That's right, at 40, I decided to have an official check up. I spoke with my doctor about getting healthy, not just treating the symptom. We have a plan, and that feels great.

This afternoon I came home, threw my bag on the little step stool right inside of my door (this is what short people have near kitchens,) grabbed my black faux mink blanket and curled up on my red chaise lounge. I fell asleep to programming on CW.

I woke up at 7:30, still no sign of the egyptian, so I proceeded to check out what was for rent on Since I have the Roku, I am able to watch all of my favorite shows typically on my computer, right on the TV. I rented "Beasts of the Southern Wild." I've been trying to watch this movie for a while now. I missed the chance it was shown by the Macon Film Guild at the Douglas Theater, and I also missed the chance at the Macon Film Festival. Finally saw it. AMAZING. I recommend - highly recommend.

I found the trailer for you.

While watching this magical film, I nibbled on my lunch leftovers - buffalo shrimp with blue cheese dip. 

Sipping a cup of coffee.. I transitioned to the next movie: The Great Gatsby (which I am watching as I type.) I've seen this movie 1/2 a dozen times or more, and I can never get enough. I read the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the 9th grade and fell in love. I was thrilled to hear that the Macon Arts Alliance's Taste of the Arts will be a Great Gatsby theme. How FUN!!!! I can't remember for the life of me when that will take place, but I have the PERFECT 20's inspired dress. FUN FUN FUN.

I've always had a thing for the Roaring 20s. Don't believe me? Check out my Pinterest Board:

Have you ever seen The Great Gatsby? Oh.. you don't know what you are missing.

Did you see that a NEW film is coming out for The Great Gatsby? Oh I am soooo excited. Here's the trailer for that one:


I have a nice long weekend of rest and relaxation planned. Sure, I have to do a little cleaning and sure, I need to go to the gym and grocery store. But outside of that, it's MY time. Mine all mine. No parties, no plans.. just me- my books - my movies... and that's all. :-)

Have a wonderful weekend! Hope to hear from you soon. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~Ben Williams

The little blue eyed devil above met my acquaintance back in September of 1997. He was one years old - and he was my first baby.

I graduated from college on August 27th of that same year and was hired by a television station the following Monday morning. My boyfriend of many years broke up with me two weeks before my new job started.

Talk about life changing events hitting all at the same time. New job - new apartment (living on my own literally for the very first time) and living on a shoestring budget. When I got my first official paycheck (probably the most money I had ever made in one check (sad)) I remember sitting on my used love seat in a partially furnished apartment on the "wrong" side of town and thinking.. okay.. this is it. THIS is my life. I am alone, I have a degree, I have a job.. now what?

I decided to pay a trip to the "pound." Yes, not the Humane Society but the actual Animal Control. My intention was to look for a kitten or a small dog. I walked through the cages very slowly.. and as I round the corner I saw this dog looking at me out of the corner of his eyes. His BIG blue eyes. He looked nervous, skinny and not exactly friendly. I stood very still.

When I was a girl, we had a Siberian Husky named Pasha. Pasha ran away or was stolen when I was little. It remained my favorite dog breed.

Here I was.. standing nose to snout with the most beautiful (yet frail) Siberian Husky I had ever seen. He was clearly not a baby, I was not sure what his age was. I walked outside of the shabby cages and found a woman sitting at the desk. She was not thrilled to be there and hardly even looked up.

I said, "Hey, I would like to get the Husky. Could you tell me how old he is?"

She did not even bother to look up, "Suga, we don't know those things.. this ain't a pet store."

"Can I get the dog?"

Then in a shrill voice, heavily accented with very little education - "Mike.. there is a white girl out here wantin' one of those dawgs."

Then this guy came around the corner and asked, "Hey there. Which one do you want?"

"I would like the Husky.. I think it's a Husky."

"Ah.. that's Nanook. You sure you want him?"

"Yes, I do. Do you know anything about him?"

"Not so much. He was found, possibly abused.. he is actually scheduled to be euthanized tomorrow. "

"Is he friendly?"

"As much as he can be."

"I'll take him."

And $50 later I had a full blooded Siberian Husky (around 1 year's old.)

As soon as I got home, he seemed so nervous. He just sat perfectly straight up and apparently he was not used to laying down to sleep. (His pen was full of dogs.) He kept dozing as he sat there.  - I felt such a sadness for him. I think he could sense such a sadness and loneliness in me. I remember as soon as I was getting ready for bed, he just looked at me with these intense blue eyes - I went to my bedroom, and shut my door. It kind of freaked me out. I cracked the door and he was still sitting in the same place staring at me. I shut the door, praying to God he was not going to attack me in my sleep. LOL

A few days later, Nanook began to eat and to play. About one month later, we were inseparable - and two lost souls had found one another.

Nanook would literally sleep in my bed, with his head on a pillow next to me - and stretched out like a person. He loved his kibble & bits and eventually grew to be a strong and healthy little man dog.

One day, a new guy came into my life (my ex husband) and Nanook lost his spot on my bed.

A few years later, my ex and I got a house with a large enough backyard to put fencing. Nanook was moved outside - and this is where his depression and my worry began.

A few years later I would end up moving to Birmingham. The house we had was a garden home, and the neighborhood association would not allow us to erect a fence for the dogs. Nanook ended up moving to my parents backyard. That was September of 2005.

I came home at Thanksgiving and Christmas. May of 2006, I came home from work and took a long, hard nap on the couch. I woke up suddenly and thought about Nanook. It was an odd feeling. I immediately called my parent's home and my father answered the phone. He informed me that when he went outside to feed the dogs, Nanook came toward him.. staggering and dropped dead right in front of him.

I told him thank you for telling me. I went into my bedroom and cried.

The thing is.. Nanook was scheduled to die in September of 1997. I brought him to my home when I was alone, sad and scared. He never left my side. Then a few years later, a man comes into my life, and Nanook faithfully stood by my side, but allowed room for someone else (even though he began to withdraw a little.) Then when he went outside, and we hardly played together anymore - he withdrew even more. Then I moved to Bham to follow my ex for his job, and I left him behind.

In Christmas, I hardly spent anytime with him outside at my parent's home. It was cold. I figured by spring, my husband and I would move and bring him over, and we would reconnect. May of 2006 - he died.. without even as much as an apology from me.

I still think of him to this day. I have never replaced him. There will never be another Nanook. Never.
His last year inside the house. His healthiest and Happiest!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Waking Up.

I have got to admit, forty has not disappointed me. From a wonderful birthday party, to a fantastic Sunday brunch and touring of historical homes with out-of-town guests, to a great day at work... I'm good.

I figured a few things out over the past few days. 1. I am soooo over the bar scene. Beyond over. Though I think I knew this a while back, it was confirmed over the weekend. 2. I honestly enjoy being alone. 3. I choose love. 4. It's time for me to stop trying to make things happen that simply won't be. 5. I'm going to be okay.

Needless to say, I was a little disappointed that quite a few people who said they were coming to my birthday never came. I'm also a little perturbed a few people did not even acknowledge my day or the event. Whatever, right? These people are not my friends. Stop trying to make something happen that is simply not going to happen. We make things that are important to us a priority, and it's obvious, I am not a priority to lots of people. Why should I be? Right? I mean that with kindness.. not snippy or being bitchy. It's a fact of life, and time to move on. In the future, I will keep my little circle tight. I'm 40 now, no need to keep adding people to it.  If it happens naturally, so be it. 

I am finally finished with my super busy event schedule. Sure, we have activities planned each month, but the big stuff, at least until April, has slowed down. This is doing wonders for my stress level. I feel at peace tonight - sitting on my red chaise lounge, in my flannel pjs pants and old long sleeve "Love My Heart" AHA tshirt and comfy socks. Life is sweet, and I am trying to savor every minute of it.

I am going to restart my Rosetta stone lesson. I sort of took a few weeks break from it due to the stress and busyness of work. Now I am ready to forge ahead. I also will have more time and energy for the gym. But what is next? My Lenten reading is going slow.. but going. I hope to sign up to spend some time in the adoration chapel at church. I need to stick to my plan to do a little yoga each day. I have really been toying with the whole idea of pottery again. Who knows?

All of this may seem trivial, but remember - what else am I going to do? I live without kids or pets. My family is 30 minutes away. My parents and sister don't need me. My husband is super quiet and private and does his own thing. It's just me. Lots of time. So I read.. I write.. I watch movies.. I go to the gym.. I'm trying to learn a foreign language.. That's about it.

I think I have decided to stop attending the Macon Writer's Group. I'm not sure it is a good fit for me, though I really like everyone in the group. I'm not a traditional writer. I'm a blogger. My process is different. I need to be honest with myself - I'm never going to write a book. Or poetry. Or anything like that. I rarely follow through on anything I start. I know this about myself. I might do something for an amount of time, then I tend to just lose interest. I've done it with church. I've done it with Theater and Ballet. Flamenco and Zumba. This and that and so much more. Why stress myself out and make myself go to something that I can tell I am not of much use. I need to be of use.. and I just can't quite find my niche.


I'm sort of "waking up." Figuring a few things out. Feeling content.


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