Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Need A Costume Change

I spend most of my weekends in the middle of the woods. No, this is not a vacation home or a rental, this is my SG's home. He lives in the cabin, in the middle of the woods, on a pond. The property is hundreds of acres of farmland, which used to be a working farm, is now a timber farm and hunting reserve. He leases his land to hunters to offset the property taxes. There is a main house, his sister's house and the cabin.

It is truly a magical place. I feel completely blown away by the beauty of this property. One pond, one lake (which he calls a pond - I call a lake, it's huge) and tons of riding trails which we use with the 4-wheeler to run the dogs.

Today, I asked SG to take the 4 wheeler out for the running of his Border Collie, Gypsy. The weather is incredible right now, and I wanted to feel the wind in my hair.

Due to the incredible amount of rain we have received over the past weeks, we ended up basically crunching through a few downed trees. Big bump here, duck under a branch there, and I got the wild idea to walk down to the big lake. Of course, he says, let's drive the 4 wheeler down. I thought it was a fine idea until I saw how far down a hill he would have to drive it. I freaked out. I asked him could we just park it and walk. He says of course, lets me off, then proceeds to drive it down there. So here I am in my $150+ gym sneakers and some cottony yoga pants and a long sleeve tshirt attempting to forge through the forest. I try stepping over stumps, ducking under branches, only to end up stuck in the middle of a bunch of thorns. But note - I took the same trail he did... but the difference is, he plowed right through this stuff.

We make it down there and lo and behold, we have to go back up. At this point, I am brushing woodland spiders and random beetles (which I could swear were those kissing-death- beetles) and trying hard to hang onto the back of the 4-wheeler. We are on such an incline, that I freak out, jump off and tear through the forest trying to make sure no other critters attack me.

SG is laughing and charging up the hill, stopping to pick me up, then slams through the bush. I'm squealing like a little kid frightened by a clown, and we finally make it up the hill and back on the nature trail. I'm looking at my clothes at this point, covered in thorny things, my hair with leaves, and a few small spiders crawling on my arm. My shoes are wet... and all I could think was, "Damn. I need to buy a whole new outfit to be out here."

I see girls wearing those duck boots, trying to look cute in the mall. You know the ones, right?

These little guys run about $119 dollars on the LL Bean website and have a waiting list around Christmas for almost 6 months. For fashion.

I need them to survive out here.

Then there is the whole flannel thing. I thought it was just for show to. (Don't laugh.) I seriously need it out here. It's cold, it's tough material, and well..

Goodness... I need a costume change.

Which sort of makes me laugh. The girl who wanted nothing more than stilettos and sky scrapers has found absolute happiness in the middle of nowhere special.

So how do you go from this :

To this:

This is going to be an interesting transition.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Busiest Week of 2016

I think it is safe to come out of hiding and write now.
Holy moly - was it a busy week, and man oh man, was I a moody chick!

But it is Friday and I am doing much better now.

Let's recap, shall we?

Last weeked was DIVINE. Well.. busy, but there were elements of divine. For one, I took Friday off. I just needed a mental health day. I could tell I was exhausted and I started getting snippy with people. My roommate Lynn  will be the first to tell you: If I'm tired, hungry, or inconvenienced, then run the other way. I was definitely tired.

Well, let me go back to earlier on Thursday.. No.. let's go back to last Wednesday. The day started off fairly well, though I was busy and knew it would be a long one, I woke up in a fairly decent mood. Had a board meeting that night with one of the organizations I serve, and did not get out to my parent's house until around 7ish. While there, my sister decided (well.. she didn't decide.. she messed up) and backed into my car. Yep. Need to have it fixed. I head home in the rain, with my family up in arms about the car insurance being in my father's name. (Not mine, my sister's...) Anyway.. that's never fun.

Then I went home to pack for my trip. But not before I made my way to the local CVB's Annual Meeting. Long.. no real mention of any of the attractions.. blah .. blah... then I went back to finish up work, to FINALLY leaving for the farm.

I got there, checked on SG's mom and then proceeded to snuggle myself in at the cabin. He and the girls arrive sometime after 6, and we all relax and chat. I fall asleep close to 9pm. I never do that. That just proves how tired I was.

On Friday, I did absolutely NOTHING. I watched tv, I read, I surfed the internet, basically nothing. It was a wonderful. I was content to just breathe. I needed it. I can't even begin to explain to you how healing it is to wake up in the middle of the woods, brew some coffee, then snuggle up in a recliner with a blanket. No sounds.. no people... no worries.
Heaven, my friends. Absolute, heaven.

I almost forgot - new pup added to the mix. Meet Scarlett. YES, she is a keeper. She is full grown, and part beagle and part... something else. She is a sweetie and we all adore her. She reminds me of my lap cat... lol

BTW - my cats are bigger than her. Seriously. 

Saturday, SG's sister invited me to her house to meet her friends from the area. I was a little apprehensive at first, not knowing what to expect. This is a small town, in the middle of no where. But I am happy to report, I was surrounded by educated, well traveled, hilarious women! All married and most between their 30s and 40s. Good to know for the future. ;-)
You know me.. never hard to make a friend. 
SG's sister is an artist and did one of those corks & canvases, sips n strokes type of parties. With cocktail in hand, we painted some beautiful trees. (BTW - she called it "Let's Get Hammered and Make Art."

Not bad for a first timer? 
I met several teachers, a nurse, and a physical therapist. Of course SG's sis's partner works for the CDC in Atlanta. (For real.. she works with ebola.) Wild yeah? Again, awesome folks.. we drank too much, we laughed just enough, and it was exactly what I needed. 

Earlier that day, SG took me to Monroe's in Americus. I adore their scramble dog. Apparently it was an Americus tradition. We also dined at the 1800 with the girls. I grabbed up a nice margarita on Friday night. 

Almost forgot, we ate some delicious gumbo at the painting party. Southerners know how to cook!

THEN.. this week. Oh bloody hell. 

Busy, Busy, Busy. I show up at work - Phones are down, checks ordered don't have the correct account number, and .. and... the annual meeting was just around the corner. Not to mention, my dad had eye surgery.

But we did it. I made it through. 

And here we are... it's Friday. I'm having lunch at work (General Tso's chicken) and wrapping up my week. 

My bags are packed and I'm ready to roll. Another weekend to soothe the soul. I wish you all a fantastic weekend. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Not Everyone's Cup of Tea

I've got 45 minutes to kill, so get ready for some dribble.

I got a kick out of this quiz I just took on Facebook. You know the ones, where they ask you some basic personality questions and then unscientifically announce what type of tree you would be, or where you should live, or who you would have been in a past life. These quizzes remind me so much of the Cosmo quizzes we all did in the 80s and 90s. (Wait.. perhaps people still do those. It's been decade since I wondered which 15 Positions Turn Him on or 8 Steps To Better Skin.)


I took one of the quizzes that dictate what kind of drink I would be. (Side note: I'm hyperactive with a dark sense of humor. I would say espresso.) However, this quiz was of the alcoholic nature. As it turns out, I was a Fine Glass of Wine. In the diagnosis, it said some complimentary things, then it had one sentence that struck that truth cord with me:

"Not everyone loves you, but those who do swear that you're the coolest thing since sliced bread. "

In one sentence, this quiz hit the nail on the head. It got to the very heart of who I am.
I've always said there are two types of people in my life: Either you love me or you hate me.

It's true! Lucky for me, I really don't care either way. (Which lends to the description, I'm sure.) I'm a take me or leave me kinda girl. As a friend I am extremely straight forward, which is great if you value honestly.... which I do. I expect and desire the same from my friends. And I can take... really I can.

Every once in a while I encounter someone who has a different idea of friendship. Not that either way is right or wrong, it just is. They typically like the "build each other up" relationship. Which, btw, I am totally going to cheer you on, which I think gives this personality type a false sense of security with me. As if it will always be rainbows and unicorns, but it is not. If you do something foolish, I'm going to call you out. If I do something foolish, I do not desire or need you to enable me any further. I want my friends to hold up a mirror and say, "Hey, you are making a big mistake." I may not always agree, but give me a few to process.

This other type of person is expecting me to validate their existence. But I don't think it is my job. I believe a real friend is, well, for lack of a better word, real. Which means... I'm not always going to be your cup of tea.

Which goes back to why most of my friends are super independent, strong women. Usually very smart, very successful, well-traveled, well-versed, and they seek the same.

What are some of your (what could be considered) hard to take attributes?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kicking It Off Right!

January has been one busy little beast of a month. So much happening, and to top it off, we are all drenched and freezing!

With that being said, I was sort of relaxing here, enjoying the endorphins from a kick ass workout, and realizing that yes, things do seem to be coming at me extra fast, but for the most part, I am checking them off the list.. one... by... one.

For instance, in this month alone (thus far,) I had 8 freelance writing articles due for two different publications. It's only the 19th. I'm getting stuff accomplished at the museum. Our Annual Meeting is Tuesday night, I joined a new board and had my training, and now I am getting ready to help promote Georgia Arts Day through the Georgia Arts Network (I'm on that board too!) Somehow, I have managed to maintain my long distance relationship, stay in touch with friends, AND make time for the gym. That's right - I did 5.8 miles on the bike today! Boom and done.

I don't call myself Wonder Woman for nuthin'.

Staying focused and getting everything in order for the year has been on my agenda. I would have written more, but I have been busy trying to pull off this thing called life, and it is taking my down time away. (Not to forget, I've gotten back to reading more than watching tv!)

What type of things have you been filling your January with?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Feeling My Age and Other Oddities

My sister turned 39 last Tuesday. Mom turned 65 this morning. Dad turns 70 on the 9th, and I'll be 43 on the 16.

Our little tribe is aging. I say this as I sit at my desk, with my leg propped up, trying to relieve the pain I feel in my left knee. Still. Who knows at this point what I did, but I kinda/sorta feel like it might be getting better. I'm working on it. Kind of like everything else you have to do when you get older... try a little harder.

Heck, everything is a little harder than it used to be. Walking up stairs, bending forward, learning new technology - I think at some point we sort of fall just a little more behind those a bit younger than us. Each year, just a little bit more.. then a little more, until we have completely aged ourselves.

I'm by no means a one-foot-in-the-grave kind of girl, but I am finding myself working harder to slow life down.

I think as a kid we simply cannot wait to grow up! There is so much to look forward to! Now, the game has changed. All of those "things" I could not wait to happen, have passed, and now I have to come up with some new challenges, or I will become one of those "waiting on death" types.

As you probably know, I like to teach myself new skills each year. This year I'm going to learn canning. Seriously. I bought this massive book from Lowe's the other day. (Why was I in Lowe's? That's a whole other story.)

I bought the complete book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. It seems to have every single recipe, every single detail of the how-to, and even a whole glossary to pick up the terminology. I figure, if I have access to a farm, might as well figure out how to make the most of it. For one, I would think that I could save money, as well as control what I put in my mouth and how much preservatives are entering my system. And finally, it will be a great hobby to learn and teach SG's girls and my niece.

Or maybe it will be a bust.

There really is no telling on whether or not I will follow through on this. But.. I'm thinking I just might give it a go.

I've done the research. Now it's time to study and give it a whirl.

What new thing do you hope to try this year?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Oscar and I Go Way Back.

I have been totally relating to old Oscar here. This entire week, I have wanted to slap the stupid right off of people's faces.

That's not a very nice thing to say is it?
Luckily for the people who have to endure me from time to time, the fog of anger is lifting. I'm simply grumpy. I'm tired. I'm a little stressed, and I am not sure about what.

We could just chalk it up to hormones.

I get Oscar's existential pain. We are blood bros. Or sisters.. or whatever.

To sound incredibly cliche, THANK GOD IT IS FRIDAY.

This week drug on and on and on... and I have been super busy. Got a lot coming up, and I like to be ahead of the game. I tend to hurry, hurry up.. then coasting into the finish line.

I'm all packed up and heading down to my SG's cabin tonight. Looking forward to a very relaxing weekend.

Apologies for the lack of posts. I'm just soooooo ornery. I saw no point in spreading my dribble.

I'll be back, and this time, I will be refreshed.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Are You Ready To Let Go?

I've been reading a lot of "self improvement" books recently. Honestly, I seem to always read self improvement books. Ever since I was 12 years old. I think my first one was "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. Honestly, that was the beginning of my personality transformation.

At 12.

For whatever reason, I have always been very curious and I am a bit of a problem solver. I had a problem, and I researched the ways to solve it. Cause and effect. Supply and demand. I was all over it.

I figured it out and it has served me well all of these years. I'm good at winning people over.

But like a fisherman, when you cast your net out there, you tend to pick up some bad fish, dead weight, fish full of mercury.

I'm a bit sentimental when it comes to experiences and memories. I like to hold on to them, regurgitate them back up and chew on them like a cow chewing cud. Nothing is more satisfying than recounting an old memory with a friend, regardless of how toxic the situation was. It's this invisible connection with another human being. You share a laugh, you nod in agreement, it suddenly becomes this secret, invisible bond between two people. It's addictive.

Sometimes I hold onto that feeling, and those people, too long. I am the queen of not losing touch with people. I have successfully reconnected or at least Facebook stalked anyone who ever made a significant impact in my life through the years. Well, except for one person. My arch nemesis in elementary school: Angela Bloodworth.

If you know her, I don't think I want to know how she turned out. I like having that one hole in my repertoire of memories and results. I'd like to think that her life turned out really gross and that she is toothless and hooked on meth.

I know.. I have such a black heart.

Then there are the other relationships. The friendships that have sort of run their course. Maybe you have different interests now, or maybe they don't have time for you, or maybe they don't (heaven forbid) like you anymore. But you hold on.

I was chatting with SG about something an old friend said recently. Now, if you are an old friend, don't assume I am talking about you. I have A LOT of old friends. Remember, I don't throw anyone away.

I was explaining a memory to him. Then, the way I always end my stories with him I ask the following question, "What do you think?"

He turns around to me and says, "I'm still not sure where this person stands with you. Are you friends or not? I thought you were done with them."

I was taken a back. He threw up my hypocrisy right to my face. I was holding on, but why?
Then it hit me- just as plain as anything - I had put them into a box, only to pull out twice a year. You know the friends... right? We all have them. You were super close or sort of close for a while, then the season drifted, and though you reach out from time to time, no real connection has reformed. But about twice a year, you pull the box out, look at the friendship, maybe even meet for lunch, all hopeful that you will re spark or rekindle the friendship, only to place it back in the closet, right next to the sequined shoes and size 5 dress you just know you will be able to wear again one day.


I'm at a quandary. (Did I use that word right?) Or perhaps.... It's a quandary.

When am I going to be able to just LET THAT SHIT GO? 

Today's meditation said:

Is there something you are holding onto that has outworn its purpose? Now is the time to let go. 
Gently let it go. be free to step into your future of joy. 


But what if I am not ready?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Confession Time

That's me. About 5 minutes ago. Not overly made up, very little makeup. I only took a blow dryer to my hair this morning. My Wonder Woman sunglasses are acting as a hair band. But I'm at work, juggling multiple projects, and actually taking 10 minutes to pound out a blog post.

I decided it is confession time. Seriously, time to just come clean with all of the things you may not realize about me.

I thought I would pull a few from various websites and pour my little heart out.
I really want to answer some tough questions, not just the "What did you want to be as a child?"
Maybe I'll learn something about myself. And maybe.. I can kill just a little bit of time before my next appointment! Let's do it!

1. What are the things that stand between you and complete happiness?
Myself. I am my own worst enemy. I put things off. I procrastinate. I come up with excuses. I'm lazy as hell. Seriously - Myself.

2. What will people say at your funeral?
I would like to think that people will share how amazing I am, but honestly, I don't know if I have that many fans. lol
I don't get a lot of feedback while I am alive, nor do I ever feel appreciated for the contributions I make now, sooo.. I am really at a lost here.
No, I'm not being coy or fishing for compliments. I mean what I say.

3. Standing at the gates of heaven, and God asks you “Why should I let you in?” What do you reply?
Because at the end of the day, I really do care. I truly try to see things from other people's perspective, and I honestly do not want to hurt anyone. That's got to count for something, right?

4. If you lost everything tomorrow, whose arms would you run into to make everything ok?
My S.G. He loves me.

5. Does this person know how much they mean to you? When was the last time you told them? Absolutely. There is no doubt our admiration for one another runs very deep.

6. If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in 30 seconds?
Stop thinking only of yourself. Stop making decisions based on what's best for you. Try for once to see the big picture and become more self aware. Show compassion and treat people the way you want to be treated. Don't judge based on race, religion, geography, economics, etc. See the person for who they are, and help make their world a little bit easier. Pay it forward.
Try harder. Be a better friend. Stop doing it for the glory. And realize, you are not as important you think you are? You ask why me? I ask, why do you think you are so special?

7. If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing?
Traveling, writing, taking pictures, volunteering.

8. If today was the last day of your life, what would you want to do? I would want to spend it with my SG, family and closest friends. Speaking to each one individually. Eating good food, drinking good drink.

9. What would you change about your life if you knew you would never die? I would not be afraid to try anything.

10. If your entire life was a movie, what title would best fit?
Destination Unknown

11. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Curious. Passionate. Witty. Energetic. Intuitive.

12. What would you do differently if you knew that no one was judging you?
Use more profanity openly. I have the mouth of a sailor. lol

13. If you could watch everything that happened in your life until now, would you enjoy it?
Probably. If nothing else, I've lived an interesting life.

14. If you could start over, what would you do differently?
I would have been smarter financially. I would have eaten better and exercised more.

15. When you’re 90 years old, what will matter most to you in the world?
Whether or not I truly lived fully, every single day.

16. Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of? What’s stopping you?
Old relationships and friendships that have run their course.
Why? I don't know. Maybe it's the romantic in me.

17. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Perhaps. Or maybe not. It depends on so many factors. Not a fan of breaking rules.

18. Do you ask enough questions, or are you happily settling for what you know already?
I am one big question.

19. How do you celebrate the things you do have in your life?
I am a big believer in celebrating the tiniest of victories. Granted, it may be for a party of one, but I believe in taking a moment and being grateful.

20. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you have done?
Absolutely not. I try to do as much as I am capable of and can afford. I like my life. A lot. I like the woman I have become. I can't wait to see how it all ends! (Well.. I can wait.. but.. you get what I am trying to say.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bone Crushing or Bone Chilling?

I'm cold. Like really, really cold.

But wait... we need the daily meditation.

Just enough guidance to let you know you are never alone. 

Okay. God is with me as I try to stay warm.

Honestly, I shouldn't complain. There are thousands of people out there sleeping under bridges, on the stoops of buildings, and in tent cities. But because I live in a house without central heat, I feel like I have a right to complain.

But I'm soooo cold.

Which leads to another problem - My joints. I'm also extremely achy, a new side effect of being in your 40s. First comes wisdom, second comes joint pain. And what is up with this knee pain I have? Ouch to the 10th degree.

I made the mistake of twisting my leg while wearing two inch booted heels on Thanksgiving. My knee has yet to recover. Honestly, I was not doing a whole lot to help it. My latest hopeful fix consists of buying this:

Glucosamine Chondroitin.
Yes, I'm trying everything. I keep it elevated while sitting (if I can,) I'm wearing a compression sleeve during the day, I take Motrin from time to time, I have yet to give up my heels, but rest assure, I ordered new shoes and they are about to arrive, and I rub Tiger Balm on it.

I'm not icing it like many have suggested. For two reasons - One, there is zero swelling, and two- see my first complaint above.

What do you do for achy bones? Stretched out tendons & ligaments? Would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Buzzing Like A Bee

Relax. You're on a journey of discovery. Let life reveal itself to you.

I thought for fun, I would start each blog post with the meditation of the day.

I sort of snorted with cynicism at today's post. Please understand, I don't always wake up inspired and enlightened. Honestly, I'm a curmudgeon at heart who is trying desperately to be a better person.

Let life reveal itself.


It is a journey.

One that feels like I am catching multiple flights to get to my destination.
And I'm only talking about today.

I woke up at 7am. There is ZERO (did you read that clearly.. I said Z-E-R-O) central heat in my sister's home. I have the following:
A rolling radiator heater. (Does basically nothing.)
Flannel sheets.
Electric blanket.

That blanket basically keeps me from slipping into hypothermia each evening. I woke up and could see smoke coming from my mouth. Fed the cats, then proceeded to take a shower in the singlest coldest room in the house.

Somehow I got myself ready and then approached the world.
With caution.
I tossed and turned last night, finally surrendering to at least 6 episodes of Sex in the City Season 2. (Not the best season.)

Somehow.. I found myself in line at Starbucks. Which happens to be in a grocery store. Because I live about 30 miles from a Starbucks proper. (That is one that has a drive thru.)

I went to pay for my $5.08 coffee (seriously,) when I realized I left my wallet in the car. I braved the freezing temps again (please note, I'd never make it up North,) then finally paid for my drink. Since I was in this store, I thought I would pop by the deli and check out their breakfast bar selection. As I am walking over there, I notice my red cup is dripping.. yes my dear friends, my over priced caffeine with sweetener was leaking out of my cup and dripping onto my mitten-ed hand.

Instead of pouring my drink into another cup, they proceeded to just give me another red cup to layer it with. This is important to remember as we proceed through the story. BTW - It's only 12:45 right now. (As I type this.)

I get to work and struggle to carry all of my shit into to the back door of the museum. I say shit, because that is what it felt like.

Wait. I need to say my mantra again.

Relax. You're on a journey of discovery. Let life reveal itself to you.


I make it to the door, only to drop the following items at least 5 times as I head down the cobble stoned walk way:
Medicine Bag
Coffee (never fell.)
Computer bag
Breakfast in a sack.
Container of soup.

Yes, yes, yes. I see the problem. None of these things were contained.

I unlock the door to the museum and drop most of everything. Again.
I unset the alarm.
I attempt to make my way upstairs.
Dropping things along the way.
By the time I get to my office, I'm worn out. Plum worn out.

I have less than 5 minutes to read a Press Release and call world reknowned violinist Robert McDuffie. I have to conduct an interview with him, via phone, while he is sipping coffee in New York.

My eyes race through the release before I call, and I take one last deep breath. Show time.

Wait.. do you know who he is?

I really am beyond blessed as a journalist. Sooo...

We chatted it up for about 30 minutes and I get all of the info I need to write a feature on his upcoming concert for Macon Magazine, then I finally shovel my cold breakfast into my mouth.

I spend the rest of the morning doing museum stuff: returning emails, checking our financials out, checking in on staff, running through my to-do list. It is all very basic stuff. Then I decide to take that final sip of my coffee.

Which happens to drip down my sweater. Remember when I mentioned the cup was placed in another cup? Well, when I turned the cup up to drain the last sliver of coldish coffee heaven, it proceeds to drip out of the second up in all of its leaky goodness.

Of course, I try to sop it up with a tissue, then proceed to spritz a little DKNY perfume over it. Now I smell like a french prostitute leaving a coffee shop. Awesome.


I'm working on two entirely different stories - 1. I have to chat it up with the director of the House of Hines about alternative bridal gowns for a magazine. 2. I have to drive to Warner Robins to interview a female body builder for a newspaper.

What a girl will do for some money. ;-)

Again.. it's only lunch time. I still have the museum to run and tons of looming deadlines for freelance projects.

Back to the meditation for the day - Relax.

You're on a journey of discovery. Let life reveal itself to you.

Okay... Let's do this...


Monday, January 4, 2016

Because I'm All About The Books, Bout The Books...

One of my biggest new year's resolutions was to read more.

I know, I know. I read a lot already.

What I am talking about is trans-formative, turn off the television, buckle down kind-of reading. Luckily, I'm doing it.

But what is Nicole reading this go around? It's so exciting, I simply have to share!

(As always, if I find some random inspiration from what I read, I'll totally share it with you guys!)

First thing I am doing is listening to an audio book on my drives to and from SG's home and back and forth to work. I'm super excited about the one book I am into right now (and I am currently on Chapter 6, just from driving into work today.) It is called:
 Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I am sooo loving it. At the end of the day, I hope to be inspired to take my life to the next level. I'm successful, I'm a good person, blah.. blah.. blah.. but what I can do is do better. This past year, I sort of checked out of the social scene. It's time to confront my fears and live louder.

So far, I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to be Miss or Mr Perfect, holds themselves back due to fear, and for those who dream more than they do.

As always, I'm going on my 10th year of reading the same morning devotional/meditational and that is:

Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. It does not matter how many years I read this, I still get something out of it. Different days speak to me more than others. Today? Go with the Flow was the theme. I needed that. Oh how I needed that!

For fun (ie, instead of turning on the TV) I am reading:

This book reads like an action adventure movie. It is so much fun and definitely a page turner. I'm looking forward to diving in tonight when I get off of work.

Then there is one more book I am reading, and typically it is at lunchtime, and it is:

Beautiful Mercy. A wonderful book reminding me to be kind and compassionate.

Good stuff.

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

That Blank Slate

I'm sitting here on the front porch swing at the cabin. I see a beautiful clear pond, the wind is cool, the crow is squawking, there is a knocking sound, perhaps a Wood pecker, and the border collie, Gypsy, is standing watch on the pier. Yes. These things are real.
Sometimes I look at my life and wonder how this all worked out? I think what I am trying to say is... I feel such incredible gratitude to God, the universe, whatever good Karma I have apparently stored up. I feel an amazing amount of peace in my life. Something that I have searched for, it seems, my entire life. No, things are not perfect. There are many, many holes that need to be filled, but those things are fixable, it just takes time and patience. All I can do is what I can do, and for that, I have peace. 

2016 has been shaping up to be another year of great change. We had a few kinks to work out on the 2nd, dog #3 (and I sincerely cannot believe this,) but the 3rd shelter dog completely attacked SG's oldest girl's bird dog. Guess what we had to do? That's right, return the dog. 

It almost feels like 3 strikes you are out. It almost seems impossible to find a good pick. We went with a breeder - angry dog. Went to a foster - angry dog. Went to the shelter - angry dog. Look - I've been adopting animals for years, always a rescue, NEVER had any problems. SG's dogs are awesome and well trained. It simply does not add up. 

That's a kink and it is totally fixable. 

January 1st, I unfortunately had to nurse a pretty bad hangover. I drank an enormous amount of wine and champagne on New Years. Had a serious blast at a truly magnificent party at a friend's house. SG and I also enjoyed spending a little time together, away from other people. It really has been the best of both worlds. 

I guess I am sort of at in a quandary. What to do? I have several books saved up to read. Currently reading an exciting Clive Cussler book called, "Plague Ship." It reads like an action adventure movie. Sort of mindless entertainment. I'm also still working on my A Year of Mercy. Though I must admit, I have sort of taken a break post advent. I'll get back to it. Now that I have a laptop, I can reinstall my Rosetta Stone and even save my photos without having to post everything on FB. 

*sigh* It's all very nice and peaceful. 

I'm still nursing my poor knee back to health. Not sure if I shared this, but I wore some high heel boots on Thanksgiving and made the mistake of walking from the main house to the cabin, and I do believe as I was going down the hill, I pulled something. Well, I did not do a good job of treating it, and one month later, I'm paying for it. I need to get back in the gym, but man oh man. 

I also went so far as to buy a mouth guard. Yes, you are looking at a class A teeth clincher. I know I am wearing down my enamel and having so many problems with my teeth. So I have decided to finally take my dentist and ENT's advice and buy one of these babies. I slept in it last night, but not without a few pangs of discomfort. I told SG, it's simply not going to work. He laughed and said, I could have told you that you would not end up wearing it. I stopped. I looked at him, and I put it back in my mouth and went to bed. (It was expensive.)

Yep, reverse psychology apparently works on me. *smh*

Well, I am fresh out of topics for you guys today, just wanted to randomly throw down my thoughts for the new year. It's a blank slate. No real plans. Hell, not even any plans for today. Just tons of relaxation and tiny bits of self healing. 

How is your year shaping up?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Page One

Happiest of New Year Greetings!

Another year has come to close, and I'd be lying if I did not say that I miss it a little. But here we are, a blank slate, and tons of adventures yet to begin.

My 2016 has basically consisted of travel, travel, travel.

My SG and I drove up to Macon yesterday from the farm and grabbed a little steak dinner at the Texas Border Grill on Houston Rd. Amazing steaks and the service is second to none. It's sort of far out and completely away from the whole downtown scene, however I felt like we needed to venture out and do something a little different. We both had the Ribeye and it was to die for!

After dinner, we stopped by a wine store and picked up a bottle of Moscato to take to my friend's home. My friend Molly was going to let us stay in her guest room on NYE night. She lives very close to the university which is very close to downtown! When we arrived she handed me a key and sort of said something about one of the door locks would be the only one that would work, and to "pull up on something." She later leaves to check out a party, while SG and begin to get ready. As we are leaving (in great spirits and ready to go to a fun party,) I hand him the key and he proceeds to lock the door. I assumed that since only one was supposed to be the one to lock, he would have to use the key and we would be good to go.

Now .. this is where it gets interesting. We are heading out and he says to me, "Hey babe, I left my jacket in the house." I told him I would meet him in the car. Then I hear him call me.
The key doesn't work.

Wait.. it does work, just not on the knob he locked.

There is no key for that one.

Anywhere. So here we are, me standing in a cocktail dress and heels, he in his suit with the tie, and I am texting my friend asking if there was another key. She tells us the only way in is for SG to climb the fence and kick in the dog door, then use his arm to unlock the back door.

Alright, unless you have been living under a rock, then you know how rainy it has been around here. Thick mud, soggy ground. He takes one of the garbage cans and climbs on top to scale this privacy fence. In his suit. He get over to the doggy door and realizes that he is going to have to get on the ground to try to reach through. Now, my guy is 6'3 and weighs in at 285 pounds, he's a big guy with really broad shoulders, built like a line backer. He has to strip down to his undies and lays on the ground (at night mind you,) and realizes he does not fit.

Molly drives back to the house, scale the fence in a sequined skirt and 3 inch heels, and shimmies through the doggie door (she is itty bitty) and unlocks the door.

Good heavens.

By the time we get to my friend Suzan and Walker's party, I make a quick beeline for the bar.

Suzan and Walker live in one of the beautiful mansions in downtown Macon. She and her husband are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I met the couple at the museum, they are big patrons of ours. She throws these legendary fancypants parties at New Year's each year, complete with DJ, open bar, and tons of food!

Needless to say, I drank entirely too much wine and of course, the champagne was flowing at midnight. We danced most of the night and had a fantastic time!

Our friend Josephine and her husband Gordon drove us back to Molly's and we cuddled up for the last night of the year.

Lots of driving today back to Albany to pick up his daughter and her new dog and reintroduce their pack to each other at the farm.

Okay, so the first day of the year is a little shaky (slight hangover) but other than that, everything is lovely. I'm snuggled up at the cabin, dressed in sweats, with my SG curled under the blanket and his dog snuggled at my feet. Not a bad start at all.

Now to just kick this headache. ;-)


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