Saturday, January 21, 2017

Blank Slates: Writing the Story of Life

I usually muse about this much earlier in January and alas I did but I'm just now getting around to blogging it. Every year I am presented with the awesome reset of a new year, a blank slate in which we all have opportunities to paint the canvas of our year. Some of us start with grand resolutions that usually fade by the end of January, some of us start with One Little Word to live for the year, some of us just slip into the new year without a lot of forethought.


This year I picked Fearless for my One Little Word. It's not necessarily a word of power but rather one of confidence and resolve. In life, at times, we let our own uncertainties keep us from doing things we would really like to do, whether it's finish that novel, travel through Europe, or start a new degree.  Being fearless is not the same thing as being foolish, care and consideration are always a wise combination but it is the starting point for jumping out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.


I think the true lesson to learn in 2017 is that what we focus on is what we bring into being. So if we focus on the negatives in our lives those things will grow in stature. However if we focus on the positives and the direction we want to head then the energy of our thoughts will bring those things into being.


I'd love to hear about your blank slate, your one little word, or what you plan to write in the story of your life in 2017.



Friday, January 6, 2017

Squak Mountian

 
Squak Mountain is a 1545 acre park outside of Issaquah Washington, which is about 15 minutes from Seattle. You might perhaps recognize the name of Issaquah as the place where Ted Bundy abducted two women from Lake Sammamish Park. Yes, Washington and specifically the area around Seattle is known for its serial killers.  But that's a story for another day.
 
We headed to Squak Mountain on January 2nd, 2017 after walking the Green River Trail (think Green River Killer) the day before. We didn't intend to be on a serial killer "path", it just happens sometimes. None the less Squak Mountain was awe inspiring although certainly isolated.
 
 
The fact that we had some lingering snow made it all the more beautiful.
There were places where the green ferns were completely free of snow and other spots like in the photo above the snow glistened and sparkled like a fairy wonderland.
 
 
The isolation was both wonderful and a little spooky at the same time. The landscape was a feast for the eyes. The trail was worn but also a bit cumbersome as we maneuvered tree roots, rocks, and the occasional horse droppings.
 
 
The trees went on forever, tall and majestic.
 
 
The trail went on for miles and we encountered a few other hikers and some horseback riders but not many. As you looked around you got a very real sense that you were the last people left on earth. Alone and silent, the woods stood in testament to the wonders of creation.
 
 
We hiked for about two hours and every curve brought new beauty to absorb. A very soul lifting experience and a great way to start 2017.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July Minds Full: Top Five

As this is posting I'm on vacation, traveling the west in RV style!  I hope this finds all of you well and enjoying your summer. I used to live my life only in the summer months. Something I think people in education tend to do....but life is so much more! But my mind is full so it's time to give you a brief glimpse into what I've been thinking about.

1. Durango Colorado: Visiting a little of the west and starting at Durango.


2. Writing/Blogging: Is it an art? Is it a calling? Is it a curse?  What starts as an enjoyable adventure can at times become overwhelming and start to feel like a REAL JOB.






3. Blog Planner: If you have been reading any of my blogs you have discovered how I LOVE planners. A couple years ago I religiously kept a blog planner and then as so often happens, life just got too busy and I fell away from a great practice and a wonderful way to organize my thoughts....But I'm starting it again this month!





4. Gardens, Goodies, and Healthy Eating: Can I asked you....why do I not have a green thumb?  I love fresh veggies but growing them is just not in my realm of expertise. I start out fine with good plants, rich soil and the intention of being a real gardener and in the end my green thumb does not produce. Thank goodness for gardening friends, farmers markets and Fresh Thyme in O'Fallon Missouri.





5. Living in joy. This is something I have written about many times before and something that I think always deserves a quick reminder. Live in joy, seek good, be the light in the darkness, connect with others that also bring light into your life. We have no way of knowing the time we have, you can waste it or you can live fully.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

One Little Word 2016 Embrace

Oh one little word of the year...I've missed you! For a variety of reason I didn't really "pick" a word for 2016. I justified it by saying I would do a monthly word but that hasn't really been coming together for me.


It's never too late to start living my word! So I'm starting today! Embrace is my word for 2016!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Minds Full: Top Five

Today I decided to share with you some of the 101 things I have been obsessed with, reflecting on and just have on my mind. This is a "light" serving of my mind because who wants to read about the "heavy" stuff right?

1. Planner (this is the obsessed with item) I've been using a Happy Planner for the last two years which is sort of a combination planner, memory keeper and just fun decorative spot. Then Michaels came out with the new Recollections line and they are sooooo pretty. Personal sized which means tiny but so easy to stick in your purse.


And just so you don't think I'm too obsessed....I bought them at the buy one get one free sale so basically ten bucks apiece! Also the pages are undated so no waste there!


I haven't finished decorating this week yet but just wanted to give you a peek as there are so many different inserts that you can really change things up!

2. Do you want to write smoothly and in vivid colors?  These are great for planners or journals. You can't tell it from the picture but these are the new GEL ink joy pens....way better than the regular ones!


3. In the News....please let's not talk politics or dead gorillas, both are sad. Instead let's talk about "TheSkimm". You can get a daily email that breaks down the latest, hottest topics (with a touch of humor) so you are always "in the know."  You will always have conversation starters if you start your day off reading TheSkimm.


4.  Celebrate. What do we have to celebrate today?

and......


Go ahead pick one or what the heck...get crazy and do BOTH today!

5. Words to Live By....I used to pick a word to live for the year and then I started doing a monthly word and now I try to find words to live by for the week.


 I'm back to blogging and so happy to do so....it frees my soul. I'll be back next week, until then be kind, be honest, and be YOU.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter


Happy Easter friends.
I wish the world was like the picture above hugs and teamwork no matter the color of your fur! 




Monday, March 14, 2016

China Lite (Shanghai)

Thursday March 12th was our first full day in Shanghai and it was a whirlwind of activity. We headed to Starbucks first for a taste of home plus a little China twist.  We had coffee and Red Bean Scones plus cheesy bread. Yum!


First stop, the wet market to see China's fresh foods and get a behind the scenes look at shopping in Shanghai.

All types of seasonings were on displayed, along with some dried fish and tiny shrimp.



The meat was openly displayed and evidently chicken feet, pigs feet, and chickens with their heads still on are all the rage!


 Dozens of kinds of rice which is weird because we were served very little rice while in China. 
It is considered a filler food and bad manners to serve it first as you should serve the "good" dishes first. 



All manner and types of vegetables, some familiar and some not so much.

Next off to a yummy lunch with drinks at Gingers by the Park. Kelsey had some yummy soup. We sat outside of the balcony as it was a lovely warm day. We had drinks with lunch and ended with dessert and tea/coffee.

Next on the agenda......Jing An Temple in Shanghai.....


This is the tower where you toss your coin up to make a wish...the higher your coin lands on the tower the closer it is to heaven and the more likely it is to come true.

We bought some incense to light and send our wishes to heaven....


 You place it on the alter...I call it an alter....I'm not sure what they call it.


This was a lovely temple with many rooms containing statues and kneeling places for meditation and prayer. We walked around for awhile and then headed to Yu Garden, another famous place in Shanghai.


Yu Garden nestled in the busy city of Shanghai is a place of beauty and quiet reflection. I loved the little trees, fish and rocks.

After Yu Garden we walked through a city market street. It was bustling with people, filled with the aromas of street vendors and colorful lanterns. We bought a lemon custard tart and also an onion pancake, both were yummy.


Street view and onion pancake

 Next up....we planned to walk along the bund while it was lite up at night but alas we ended up enjoying the view while having drinks and relaxing at a bar on the top of the Hyatt....appropriately called The Vue. So much fun and the view was breath taking,


This is an actual photo Kelsey took. It was a feast for the eyes and I kept looking and looking hardly believing it was real.

We had drinks with ice cube lights in them, so yummy and pretty too. 


Best of all the comfy patio sofa to lounge on while enjoying it all. A nice rest for our sore feet. We sat with our feet in the hot tub for a bit too and met a new friend, a young flight attendant from Swiss Air.

                                                           
                                                               What a fun fun evening!


                                   That beautiful view was the best ending to a wonderful day!