MEMORIES❀


MEMORIES

I have flashbacks of my life constantly.
There are all sorts of images
swirling around inside my head,
bursting to the forefront of my thoughts
whenever something triggers a particular time or place.
Sometimes they surprise me just popping up
while I’m in the middle of some random activity.
Then there is the déjà vu factor that can be
a little creepy and unsettling
when I really can’t place the event.
Does that ever happen to you?

Today was one of those days when something
from over 30 years ago slid into my consciousness.
It was a beautiful and sad memory.
Is that even possible?
That memory triggered another and before I realized it,
I had stirred up memories the entire day
from that time in my life.
Although I’m sad that so much time has passed,
stepping back to reminisce about those events
is a small way for me to rejoice in a life well lived.

Of course there are uncomfortable and sometimes
regretful memories that we all have to deal with
but time passes regardless of how we live them.
Just like we try to teach our children,
we must learn from our mistakes
and move forward from them.
In doing so, our memories become
something we can rejoice in and savor.
Those are the memories that connect us
to each other and gift us with the stories
that last our lifetimes.

Today is a new day; it is beautiful and warm.
As I walk away from my keyboard,
I’ll be stepping into a perfectly unlived day.
Isn’t it ironic that while my mind
relives old events my body will be creating new ones?
I sure do hope they are all happy ones.

Now go make some wonderful memories today, my friend;
ones that make you smile when you think of them. ♡

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THE BLACKBOARD ❀

THE BLACK BOARD

Do you remember the huge over-sized black boards
from school?
I do and I also remember cleaning them,
back and forth with the erasers, from top to bottom,
removing all the scribbles, math problems,
and words of the day. Then at the end of each week,
we would wipe them down with wet sponges
giving a black sheen to the entire board.
I can see it now; standing back looking up
at that clean huge black board
and wishing I could be the first one to pick up
a knew long piece of white chalk and write on it.
Such a silly and childish memory
but one that continues to remind me
how important it is to start each day
with a fresh and clean slate.

I believe, every so often, all aspects of our lives
need a good once over with a big wet sponge.
From our homes with their many junk drawers
and over-stuffed closets, to our emotional baggage
that so often smothers our joy,
we need to allow ourselves the opportunity
to clean away the old and start fresh.
When I see a brand new tablet or journal,
words immediately begin to swirl around
inside my head.
When I open a newly organized kitchen drawer,
I imagine a new recipe that will utilize
all the tools that had been buried
under a lot of nonsense.
Or when we take on a new career,
we realize how much further we can stretch
our intelligence.

The same feeling of wonderment arises
when I meet someone new or nurture
a relationship that had been neglected.
It opens up new conversations, which in turn
enlightens my insatiable inquisitiveness
about life.
When the space around me is crowded, cluttered,
and impossible to see through,
I feel stuck and frustrated.
My daily responsibilities begin to feel
overwhelming and smothering.
I have always needed some fresh open space
to breath and feel alive.
Doesn’t everyone?

The idea here, I have found, is that looking
at a clean slate invites new ideas and
stirs something inside of me
that makes me feel young, energized, and excited.
Without it, I cease to grow
and my days simply drift by.
This, my friends, is entirely unacceptable.
So give me a set of erasers any day
and watch how shiny I can make that black board.
Then step aside
as I let my little old imagination soar! ♡

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IN THE NEWS

“UNDERCOVER COLORS” is the brainchild
of four engineering students from NC University.
After several of their closest friends
had been drugged and raped, they realized
the problem was much larger than they had ever imagined.
What could they do?
How could they stop this from happening to anyone else?

Prevention. Armed with an idea and the support
from NC’s engineering department,
they came up with a plan.
How about nail polish?
A woman could simply swirl her drink
with the tip of her finger and if the polish changes color,
the drink has been compromised.
No special equipment needed. Simply Genius!!!

This clever product is still in its trial period
but these four men are doing everything they can
to get it out to the public.
Below is a link to their Facebook page and also the
article about them in the NC Engineering Department newsletter.
It is a fascinating story indeed.
Date rape is violent and disgusting and haunts you
for the rest of your life.
I can only imagine how many young women’s lives will be
saved when this nail polish becomes available to them.
This idea is bloody genius!!!
Maybe they can create a cute little straw to swirl
in a drink for the same purpose. ☺

ARTICLE: https://news.engr.ncsu.edu/2015/10/more-than-a-nail-polish/

FB PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/undercovercolors

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BRITAIN’S INDEPENDENCE

BRITAIN HAS VOTED TO LEAVE THE EU

Wow!! It really happened!
Britain voted to leave the European Union. (EU)
This vote will have profound economical, sociological,
and political consequences until the British people
find their footing, which I believe they will.

This is the most significant and courageous decision
the people of Britain have made in generations.
I believe this vote for independence speaks volumes
about how passionately the average person wants
to separate from the political status quo.

I am hoping and praying other countries follow
their example and speak up against corruption,
harassment, dishonesty, and manipulation within
their governments.
Now that they have their independence,
they need to be very careful who they next vote
into office. Listen intently to their message.
Educate yourselves. Look into their past
and look beyond the political redorik that
manipulates and camoflauges their real intentions.
Preaching the words ‘hope and change’
can reverse much needed social progress and
destroy the integrity of a country.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.

I am fascinated by the brave citizens of Britain
and will be watching intently
as they rewrite their new sovereign story.
CONGRATULATIONS BRITS!!

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COMPLIMENT

COMPLIMENT ❀

There I was, in a crowded room,
not exactly sure who to talk to,
when a friend I hadn’t seen in a while,
walked up behind me, leaned in
and whispered in my ear:
“I just wanted to tell you
that I love reading your blog.”

I quickly turned to her,
gave her a quick warm hug and said
“Oh Kathy, Thank You So Much!”
I’m not sure we spoke again
the entire evening but it didn’t matter;
that quick little statement meant the world to me.
I smiled the entire evening.

Every body needs a kind word now and again.
Every Body!!
Receiving a compliment when we least expect it,
makes it all that more special.
Don’t assume someone is full of confidence and joy.
We all have difficult days; some more than others.
So when you know something good
or see something beautiful – share it.
Don’t hold those thoughts inside.
Expressing kind words can change
a person’s entire outlook
and just may be what she needs to push forward.

So, until you hear something kind,
I’m here to tell you how special you are
and that when you smile, you look beautiful! ♡

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SUMMER’S FIRST DAY 2016 ❀

SUMMER’S FIRST DAY ☼

Monday June 20, 2016 is our Summer Solstice
– the longest daylight day of the year!
It just happens to be my favorite!!
The sun rises at 4:45 AM and doesn’t fully set
until 10:34 PM at which time
our night is graced with the Full Strawberry Moon.
If you do nothing else today,
try to spend a few minutes outside;
during the daylight hours and then again
when the sun sets.
If the weather is clear where you live,
the moon promises to be brilliantly magnificent!

Beautiful nights like this one captivate me and
always lull me into a hypnotic mellow trance.
Please join me, for just a few minutes,
as we gaze upon one of the magnificent miracles
the earth offers us.
Thank you God.

~ There is a little downside to this, though.
I’ll probably not sleep a wink due to the fact that the
moonlight coming through my round-top bedroom window
will make it look like the middle of the day.
Small price to pay for such beauty!

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I WILL NOT LET IT GO ❀

I AM NOT GIVING UP

I hate to feel (or look) like a failure – at anything.
I am a very proud woman and
passionate about everything I do (even when I shouldn’t be)
so when something falls apart,
that I’ve put my heart and soul into,
I feel totally devastated.
Second-guessing and self-deprecation
becomes an endless reel of thoughts
going round and round inside my head.
It is exhausting.

Many times throughout my life,
I am faced with a choice.
Do I continue to struggle relentlessly
through a desperate situation or
do I choose a different path and call it quits?
Despite my stubborn nature, I eventually see
the writing on the wall and
it was within those heart-breaking moments of acceptance
that I realize I am not giving up – I am letting go.

When do I face the inevitable?
When I realize that:
1) I am only human,
2) I don’t have control over everything and
3) God has a different plan for me.

Many years ago, during a most devastating time in my life,
I remember my mother trying desperately to comfort me.
She was terrified for me and really didn’t have
any idea how to help me,
but what she said during a tearful phone call
changed my entire outlook.
As my frantic sobs poured through the phone,
she very calmly said to me:
“Claudia, sweetie, you’ve done all you can do.
It is in God’s hands now. Let it go and pray.”

I dried my eyes, took in a few deep breaths, and let it go.
She was right.
It all turned out exactly the way it was supposed to
and no – I never gave up – I just let go.

That was 14 years ago, and her loving words
have continued to guide me through life’s ups and downs.
I am still the same stubborn and passionate woman
that I’ve always been – except now I let God take the lead. ✞

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RICE KRISPIES ICE CREAM TREATS

These wonderful little summer treats have been
a part of my family’s summer menu ever since
I was a little girl.
Once you taste them you’ll see why they
are one of our favorite desserts – ever!
Be prepared to share the recipe with
everyone who tries them!
There are only 4 ingredients and
they are super simple to make!
Happy Summer!
(Go to my ‘tips’ page for the easy recipe.)

http://womenarewe.com/rice-krispies-ice-cream-treats-❀/

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LIFE GIVES US THREE ANSWERS ❀

Life gives us answers to our desires in three ways:

1~It says yes and you get exactly what you want.
2~It says no and something so much better happens.
3~It ignores you and makes you wait for the
right time,
right circumstance,
or the right person.

So don’t fight the inevitable.
When a relationship, either personal or professional
is impossible to make right,
it will behoove you to walk away.
The heartache you will experience leaving
will be profoundly less painful than if you
stubbornly cling to a place that continues to hurt you.

When I was much younger, facing a failing situation
brought out my tenacious fiery temper.
Despite the advice of loved ones,
I would stubbornly hold on to relationships,
both personal and professional,
until it turned into a painful mess.
When I finally walked away,
the scars were deep and excruciating.

How could I not see the overwhelming imbalance?
Looking back, the truth was always there;
relentlessly nagging at my subconscious.
I simply refused to accept the inevitable and in doing so,
I caused myself unnecessary anguish.

Thankfully, those days are long over.
It didn’t take long for me to understand
the pattern unfolding in my life.
Believing that my life’s purpose had been in play
since the day I was born,
has released me from the pressures
of always knowing the right answers and
stubbornly holding on to the wrong ones.

Faith allows me the luxury of following the path
God has laid out for me. ✞ Each day, each step,
and each interaction are part of my journey;
a journey which will inevitably cross with yours.
I hope and pray, that when it does,
we smile knowing that that moment
had been in his plan our entire lives. ♡

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AN ANGEL IN THE CHECK OUT LINE ❀

When I’m out and about passing by strangers
throughout my busy day,
I often think of the song – One of Us, by Joan Osborne.
Have you ever heard it?
It is about the possibility that God is showing himself
to the world through ordinary people,
challenging us to own up to our treatment of each other.
Would we approach a stranger differently
if we knew he or she was God?

Here are some of the lyrics:
If God had a face, what would it look like?
And would you want to see?
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
in things like heaven and in Jesus
and the saints and all the prophets?

Each day, when we leave our homes,
our focus is usually so intense that the thought
of any sort of spiritual interaction
never even enters the equation.
But over the years I have learned that
it is during these intense days
when God is with me and I become witness
to his divine grace through some
extraordinary act of kindness.
That is exactly what happened to me yesterday.

It began as a day with purpose.
I had 12 stops to make and I needed to be
organized. So with my detailed list in hand
I was on a mission.
Down the busy highway, through intersections,
in and out of parking lots,
I was focused and determined.
Next on my list – items for my Care Bags project.
I needed to make 15 bags next week
and my inventory of personal toiletry items
was running very low.
Into the store I went. The layout was very
familiar to me and within minutes
I had collected over 60 items.
Approaching the check out, I noticed a woman
unloading her very full buggy with what looked like
the makings of a huge children’s party.
I could see that she was getting worried
that her large order was holding up the line,
but with only me behind her, I told her not to worry.
With some friendly chitchat, I learned
that she was the Den Leader for a Girl Scout troop
and her purchase was for their end of year
picnic and awards ceremony.
She was expecting over 150 people.
I commended her efforts and expressed how lucky
that troop was to have such a dedicated leader.

At this point there were 4 other women in line behind me;
all of them carrying only a couple items in their arms.
Oh boy. I still hadn’t begun my purchase.
As I looked back, I apologized to them
and expressed my intentions of going as quickly as I could
when one of them questioned my odd quantity of items.
As I started loading up the conveyer belt,
I mentioned that the 20 deodorants were not for me
and that this was in fact a donation for my charity.
While trying to relieve some of the tension
with a little humor, I unwittingly peaked their interest
and they began asking questions.
As I briefly told them about the circumstances
and needs of these young girls,
I could see the look on their faces change.

One woman commended me, telling me that she
was a child of drug addicts and would have loved
a bag like this when she was younger.
Another woman shared with me her
son’s own history with drugs and yet another
wanted my phone number so she could send a donation.
Before I realized it, the Den Mother was finished,
turned and handed her email address to me.
Her Girl Scout troop is always looking
for volunteer projects and she wanted
to talk to me about a time when they could help.
Before I even realized it, my order was bagged
and the cashier announced my total of $62.10.
While I was pulling out my payment,
the lady behind me laid down
three twenty-dollar bills and some change.
I gasped. What is she doing? My mind was spinning.
How do I respond to this? I thanked her profusely
before the words became caught in my throat.
A tear ran down my face as I looked into her eyes.
There was God; standing there,
looking at me through the soft brown eyes
of a lovely middle aged woman. ✞
She told me how blessed her life was
and that paying it forward was something
she most definitely wanted to do.
We exchanged a big hug and I thanked her again.

When I was finally sitting in my car,
I was overcome with emotion.
That song “One of Us” came to me again.
What started out as a group of tired strangers,
evolved into the merging of compassionate and caring ladies -
having more in common than they initially realized.
Was God there? He most certainly was!

So to Barb, I would like to say:
Your generosity today was totally unexpected
and supplied enough products for me to fill fifteen bags.
The girls and I THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!
You represent what is truly good and holy in mankind.
I believe that God was definitely present today, Barb,
and he was showing his divine grace through you.
How lucky I was to be standing there in his/your presence.
I hope and pray, that if you ever need anything,
someone steps up and pays it forward to you.
May God continue to bless you, Barb.
Thank you!

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