29 August 2014

This week

 Hello! I thought I would do a Friday post today. This is me sitting outside after being so sick with a cold which turned into bronchitis, which turned to pneumonia. Seven weeks later and I am finally back to the land of the living. I still cough when taking a deep breath and get tired easy, but my color is just about back, and my hair is flatironed so that's a positive step! Thank you to those that have prayed for me.
 Starbucks began selling their PSL early this year (August 25th instead of September 1st). I cannot bring myself to purchase one quite yet. If it's 90 degrees outside there is no wanting of pumpkin. I'll let you know when I finally succumb to it's powers. Oh, and I don't get the latte, I order an iced coffee with the pumpkin syrup. That way I get less milk and more coffee. Plus, it's $1 cheaper. Frugality and caffeine addiction fixed!
Now, Labor Day is on Monday, so if you want to wear your white, then you'd best do it this weekend. It's disappointing seeing the Southern ladies that have thrown this tradition out the window. I'll wear pink, but I won't wear white pants, purse, or shoes until Easter 2015 after Monday. Here is the official what to wear after Labor Day list from Southern Living.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe Labor Day. We are having our place painted next week so I will spend the next few days sorting through things for Goodwill/Consignment. I hope to go to the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta this weekend to check out the Brooks Brothers and Vineyard Vine's outlet sales for my husband to find a few things for his next few trips. We'll see how much energy I have to spend on shopping after my clear out. Anyhoo, I'll "see" ya next week!

25 August 2014

Mrs. Stewart's thoughts on age


My Nana celebrated her 95th birthday last month. (Nana is on the left, her sister, Aunt Alpha, is on the right.) Aunt Alma was recently diagnosed with cancer and only hasa few months to live. My aunt Peggy took Nana to see her last week. Are they not the cutest?! Nana has never used hair dye and it is a beautiful dark blonde as it was when I was growing up.
I want to live to be in my 90's like Nana, Muzzie, and some of their siblings. So, I was pleased to find Living the Good Long Life by Martha Stewart at my local library. There are so many good tips. Mrs. Stewart is 73 years old and does not look it at all. She claims to never have had plastic surgery, but I'm not sure about botox. She says that because of the steps she takes in the book, she looks and feels 30 years younger than her age. I thought I would share a few here without breaking any copyright laws.
  • Healthy Eating "I believe in eating real food. And by real, I don't mean something that passes for food, that's been processed and preserved until it no longer resembles the beautiful, organic bounty that nature gives us. I grow much of what I eat because I love to have a garden. But even when I'm food shopping or eating out, the same principle applies: quality and purity matter." Adopt a Blue Zone Diet (Mediterranean).
  • Healthy Fitness "I exercise for an hour every single morning. It's as if I've signed a contract with myself to wake up and get on the treadmill and lift weights. It's nonnegotiable. Do I always feel like workingout early in the morning? No. Much of the time I'd rather read a book or return e-mail. But I do it. All that gym work enables me to lead as active a life as possible. I cycle, I hike, I garden, I ride horseback. I take walks almost every day."
  • Healthy Brain "My college history professor once told me: 'There are no good young historians.' I don't know if I believed him at the time, but I have come to realize he was right! Whether it's physiological or just the accummulation of life experience, I think differently now. My process includes more lateral thinking, more synthesizing of different points of view, and more judgment that comes from a larger store of experience and the wisdom of years. I always encourage others to be prepared. if you often feel as if you don't remember names or can't recall current events or an interesting book you just read, studying up before a party or a meeting is a good idea, because you will have all the facts at your fingertips. you have to work to be a better teacher or conversationalist. But if you do so, people will be impressed by the scope of your knowledge, and your conversations will be more intriguing. Achieving that level of discipline isn't easy. There's so much coming at us every day, from the media we consume to the people we encounter. As we get older, we're more easily distractible, and we're less able to shut it out. I know that when too much input, there's less output from my mind. People say I have a great memory-that I never forget anything. If that's true, it's because I work at it."
  • Healthy Outlook "I rarely think about how old I am or how old anyone else is-age is just a number. What matters most to me is how engaged, curious, and interesting a person is. I've watched certain people age and admired their approach. Take my friend David Rockefeller. He's 97, but you would never know it because he is so full of ideas. His closest associates are fifty years his junior and, as a result, his conversation and interests have stayed totally relevant and modern. Similarly, record producer Clive Davis bucks the limitations of age-he hangs out with rap stars, which is admittedly unusual for someone of his generation, but I think that by understanding their langugage and their poetry, he is totally in tune with those who are probably two generations younger...The hallmark of successful aging is getting what you want out of life and doing the things you love to do regardless of age. Whether we are 20 or 80, life can be meaningful, purposeful, and beautiful as long as we have the right guidance and the right solutions to make it so. It's never too early to start and never too late to begin."
  • Healthy Living Every Day "Taking a preventive approach to health is vital to a good, long life. In 2007 I tore my labrum, the fibrous cartilage in the hip socket, while doing frog pose in yoga. After the injury I remember feeling horrible. I tried acupuncture, heat, a cortisone injection, and painkillers. I had to make a decision, and I had to concede that I really was limping-I could see it in my television segments. So I interviewed doctors and had the operation (hip replacement).Within three days I was walking again and back at work. I did everything I could to recover, and worked through physical therapy every day...since the toll of being less mobile is far worse overall than the risks associated with certain surgeries."
  • Healthy Looks "I'm determined to succeed at aging gracefully. I always say, 'It's never too early or too late to start.' I know that age should not be an obstacle, but I don't always believe it when I look in the mirror. If I see a crow's foot, I put cream on it. If I look tired, I pat cucumber or witch hazel under my eyes. As we age, we have to keep at it on a regular basis; prevention, upkeep, and improvement are a vital part of an ongoing healthy lifestyle. I believe that true beauty really is inherent, and comes from character and strength. The women I think are the most attractive are both confident and interesting, but they also take care of themselves." Her book has her skincare and make up routines.
  • Healthy Home "Your home should be a reflection of how you want to live-right now, and for the next phase of your life. It needs to have a good layout for your changing physical needs, and offer you a sense of security and calm. It's a place to think, do, make, and enjoy. When you get down to it, we need only a few of our creature comforts to live well-for me, that means having plenty of room to entertain, good light so I can read in bed, and sufficient space for all my animals. Although I'm fortunate to have more than one home, the truth is that my ideal home will someday probably be one large room with a kitchen attached. Day to day I live, write, and create in my kitchen and crafts room, because these are areas of a home that are most inviting to me. Think about how you can focus on the essential spaces in your own house and make them the best they can be. Happiness doesn't come from wanting to be somewhere else. Happiness comes from finding beauty and stimulation in your everyday surroundings."
  • Healthy Living into the Future "I believe in preventive health and I try to live according to its principles. I know that the more vigilant I am about my care today, the healthier I'll be tomorrow. It requires discipline in making good choices each and every day: Do I reach for that pat of butter? Do I exercise or watch a movie? But you just learn to ask, Should I or shouldn't I?"
  • Healthy Caring "My maternal and paternal families never sent an elder to a "home." There was quarters for "Grandma." But we were lucky, with longevity on our side, with good health and strong physiques. And we were a large enough family to be able to share time with the grandparents, to be inclusive and accommodating." This chapter discusses what steps need to be taken to care for elderly parents/family members.
  • "Up until the very end of her life, my mother, Big Martha, paid attention to the details of her daily life: she wrote down her appointments, she faithfully went to her hairstylist and colorist, she put out an outfit to wear each day, she got dressed up every week to go to church. She kept her driver's license current so that she would be able to drive her friends to church or doctor's appointments. I think staying up with these little things made a big difference in how long she lived and how well she lived. She felt competent, needed, and vital. It kept her optimism and spirits up, which in turn reinforced her motivation to care for herself. That's a big lesson: no one is going to do it for you; you are in control of how you live every day."
This is a very "Martha" book. It is full of useful information to enrich your life. I wanted to keep this list so instead of just photocopying pages, I thought y'all may enjoy what I've shared. The best chapter in my opinion is not the healthy looking chapter, but the healthy mind chapter. She mentions reading, learning new technologies, healthy outlook, and so much more. It's a good book at the very least to check out at your library and take notes as this is just her summaries in each chapter, not specifics.

19 August 2014

Francophilian

photo from my Pinterest
I suggest listening to Carla Bruni Pandora station while reading.

Most of my life I have been an Anglophile to the core. I love British television shows, Laura Ashley, the accent, and subscribed to Majesty and Royalty. At the age of 14, I went to England, which seemed to satisfy me somewhat. I'll still read Miss Read; watch every single British show I can find; and drool over Prince George. That being said, there has always been a small part of me that is Francophilian to the core! With today being Coco Chanel's birthday, it's the perfect day to discuss this love of her country. 

My cousin Karyn and her parents (a paternal aunt and uncle) went on a European holiday when Karyn was in middle school (I was in upper elementary). Karyn came back in total love of France. She regaled me with all of it's charms and my heart slowly began to open up to the thought of not marrying Prince Edward (Queen Elizabeth's youngest son) and seeing the Eiffel Tower and eating macarons from Laudree. Karyn later went to France as a foreign exchange student in high school then back as an au pair in college, where she majored in French and Art History. She is currently working on her senior thesis in the doctorate program and living with a fella in the seventh ardissment (I believe that's what she said) in Paris. Karyn came for Muz's funeral in June and I saw her in the perfect French girl outfit and told my husband that for my 40th birthday I want to go to Paris and Rome. It's a few years away and I hope that it comes true! 

In the meantime, I email with Karyn and read books, articles, and blogs of those that live in France. Oh, and before I forget, Chocolat is currently free with Amazon Prime. I fast forward through a few of the scenes and I don't care for the mysticism, but it's such an enchanting movie. Here are a few of my favorite Franco blogs:

Anna just left the west coast a few weeks ago and is living with her husband and 3 children in France for a few years.
Carol is a watercolor artist and would paint Parisian scenes she would find on her bi-annual trips to Paris. Finally, after visiting a few times a year she finally moved a few years ago to live out her dream of being an artist in Paris.
Vicki is an Australian that lives on an olive tree farm in Provence...how magical does that sound?!
Another Anna, whom is a pen pal of mine, went to Paris and shared her journey here, here, here, here , here, here and here.
Audrey has the best Paris pictures.

These are all of the ones at the top of my head. If you have any French blogs then please let me know. I've considered starting my Francophile Fridays once again, but as I'm still down with pneumonia I think I'll wait until I know for certain that I'll keep up with it.

All pictures are from my Francophile board on Pinterest. 

J'espère que vous avez une bonne journée! Revenez bientôt! (I hope you have a good day! Come back soon!)

18 August 2014

Today is always difficult...

 

Today my husband and I went to visit our son's gravesite. I rarely talk about feelings or personal things, but I feel I need to talk about Nathaniel today, his tenth birthday.

The saying that unless you've walked in another person's shoes then you don't know how they feel is applicable in this instance. My youngest son was 5 when I became pregnant. I had had a misscarriage 2 years prior and I kind of thought I'd have another one as I had been on a blood thinner when I became pregnant. I stopped it at 4-5 weeks and we hoped it wouldn't cause damage as it had with my first miscarriage. I had such severe morning sickness that I wouldn't worry, but did some until I got through the first trimester. Then my husband and other 3 children were estatic! A new baby! We went to the ultrasound at 18 weeks and he was perfect. I'll be honest, I had kind of hoped for a girl so we would have 2 boys and 2 girls, but I knew before going in that this pregnancy was just like my first but with less junk food. With Bry I ate horribly. I was only 20 so I didn't really know that the Krispy Kreme and Pepsi for breakfast, Big Mac and fries for lunch, and Totino's pizza for supper wasn't exactly the best nourishment. It was what I wanted and being I was so sick I did it. With Nathaniel, I ate eggs and toast, salads, and just overall healthy foods the entire pregnancy. We were doing well until around 32 weeks when I noticed a decrease in activity. I was going for weekly ultrasounds and they would have me drink cold water to "wake him up". I kept telling the doctors that I wasn't feeling him. I was 34 weeks when they said that if he doesn't perk up then they will induce me at 36 weeks, which is when Bry was born as I had pre-eclampsia. I went back at 35 weeks and he had passed.

I was so angry, sad, and felt so much guilt. Why didn't I force the doctors to take him out? Why didn't I speak up for him more? The autopsy report showed a blood clot on his side of the placenta. The little guy had my blood clotting disorder. The high risk obstetrician should have known to give me baby asprin and my little baby boy would have lived. They also should have put me in the hospital for more monitoring. However, it's done. He's in heaven. God is playing with him and I'm so beyond grateful for knowing that someday I will see him.

Today, I don't blame myself too much anymore. I remember the days from the time I found out, the birth, and the funeral vividly as I assume I always will. I don't hurt as much anymore. Now, I just wonder...I wonder whom he would look like (He was my spitting image as an newborn), what kind of birthday cake he would want, why did God take him from us, and so much more. I'll find out some day.

I've lost a total of five babies, but as Nathan was with us longer than the others I am sadder over his loss. Every baby is special. If you've lost a child and would like to talk about it or pray, please leave a comment with an email and I will definitely email you back.

 

04 August 2014

A few thoughts


  • My hummingbird feeder has magically emptied for the second time this month, yet I have yet to see more than one hummingbird. I'm wondering if the ants that live inside of the feeder have managed to eat the nectar.
  • There's a squirrel that keeps coming to my balcony to eat the bird food that the Nuthatch keeps throwing down. It's driving me batty!
  • Someday I hope to own a Toy Poodle though it's doubtful that the poodle would help with the squirrel as they would be about the same size.
  • Though no child is actually leaving the house to go to school, I have decided that a backpack must be purchased...for myself. LL Bean is having a rare sale of 25% off of their Deluxe Bookpack and I've decided that I need one. I'm going to get navy or bright pink and have my initials monogrammed. It will primarily be for travel and library books. My last backpack came from there and lasted from high school until three years ago (10 years post college graduation) when I finally had to trash it, however I should have sent it back as they have a lifetime guarantee.
  • As I told a dear friend of mine today, I'm utilizing my slow cooker more than usual lately. Between having ear infection and bronchitis as well as it being summer in the South, not having to do much work and not turning on my oven have made this a wonderful idea. I've found most of my recipes on Pinterest.
  • Mint and strawberry infused water make drinking water palatable.
  • My stepdaughter has had her iPhone screen crack and a flat tire in the last two days. I felt sorry to see her cry. However, it's good that she's learning that being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be while still living at home.
  • Do "inspirational" posters such has #hustle actually make you want to hustle?

01 August 2014

Welcome August

When I was growing up, August meant the end of the fun. Summers spent playing kickball and Barbies with neighbors, rambles with Muzzie, listening to Papaw play the guitar on his front porch while visiting he and Nana, catching lightning bugs late into the night, Popsicles, and being carefree in general...was just about over. We typically started school around August 20-25th. So, in August, we still played kickball, but as Mother tried to get me acclimated to a school year schedule, staying out late at night was over.

However, the good part of shopping began! I've been a shopper since I was a little girl. Mother and I would go to Bacon's department store and stock up on jeans, shirts, raincoats, book bags, etc...the fall essentials even though it was still warm. I liked to wear a dress on the first day to make a good first impression on the teacher, so that was always an important buy. I liked to pick out my book bag and school supplies too. I LIVED for my Trapper Keeper and books. (I still love books!)

Since I've been sick with bronchitis and ear and sinus infections for most of July, I feel like we've been jipped out of part of our summer, but it is what it is. School begins for my son on August 11th. We are waiting to hear if he's been accepted to the online public school, but if not, he will attend public school for the first time in 4 years. It's a big change for us. I think it will be a good thing for him. Bry was home schooled from K-2nd grade then attended public school up until October of his 7th grade year. We put him in a private school for 2 years, but they didn't really have what he needed academically (The private school he would need is $25k/year). So, I home schooled him 9th and 10th with online tutoring in math and science. Going into the 11th grade, my husband and I have decided (reluctantly) to go a different route. Bry is a really sweet kid, and I hope it won't hurt his sweet spirit, but we're going to give it a shot. I work part-time from home so if public either (online or physical) doesn't work out then I'm able to homeschool again. This weekend is tax free for clothes and school supplies so we are going to do some shopping. Like I said, I love back to school shopping!

I changed the background template again. I like to do this as the seasons change. In August, the sun changes. It's still hot and humid here in Georgia throughout August, so it's not quite Autumn feeling, but in August the sun begins taking on a golden hue. Seeing the change is so exciting! Remember, "for everything there is a season" Ecclisiastes 3:1.

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