November 2015 archive

Thankful

Gratitude-saying1

When you ask someone what they are thankful for, you normally get the response of family, friends, and God in different orders. If he/she has been through a serious illness then the person will add ….and my health.

I am very thankful for all of those things, but there are three things that make me smile every day!Coffee

  1. Coffee

I love coffee. I look forward to my coffee every morning. I am not a nice person until I have at least one cup. Yes, there are different levels of coffee. The smallest finest ground fresh coffee is the best to me.

group-messaging

  1. Technology

I am able to be an integral part of my daughter’s lives because of the amazing generation changing cell phone. They are my lighthouse in the sea of life.

We have a text group recently named by Kelley- *My People*, and we talk about whatever good or bad is happening to us.  With Kelley in Jackson and working horrendous hours in residency and Jade being a full time working mom with a part-time job and talking college courses, the hours in the day are stretched really thin for them, but this allows us all to stay connected.

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  1. Positive People

I love talking to positive upbeat people who have been through unbelievable hurtful bad things in their lives, but they dig deep within their soul, and they find a reason to smile every day. They do not belittle other people to avoid dealing with their own pain.   We are all in this together and not a one of us will escape alive, and karma is always a bitch, so find one thing every day to be grateful for having because in the blink of an eye, it may be gone.

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Elizabeth Gilbert said it best today(11-26-15) in her blog post:

“I learned my gratitude by having practiced its opposite (ingratitude) for so many sad years. And after years of nothing ever being quite good enough, life finally taught me this — that without gratitude, nothing is EVER gonna be quite good enough. No place will ever be the right place, nothing will ever happen the right time, no reward is ever enough, all the people around you are always the wrong people, the room is always too hot or too cold, somebody else is always having a better time than you, somebody else always has a better car than you, or a better job, or a better marriage, or better hair, or a better destiny in general…and life is basically THE SUCK. I know this from painful experience, and it’s terrible.”

I am going to strive to practice gratitude and be thankful every day! If you make only one New Year’s resolution, choose this one.a280493fd1ffbb281a30062c9f8d6bb9

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Aruba: Destinations

images (7) Aruba is one happy little island, and one of the many destinations that I want to see again!
I want to eat dinner with my feet in the ocean. I want to swim at Eagle Beach and Palm Beach.  There are many things to do that I did not do on the last visit. I want to visit Renaissance Island. One thing I do not want to do is a submarine tour. NO, NO!images (5)

Flying in to Aruba is very simple and for most it involves only one connecting flight in Atlanta. If you departed on Dec. 10 and returned home on Dec. 14, the flight would cost $677.00. I chose the best times with the least amount of wasted time.  This departure is from Memphis which is the closest major airport to me. auaar_localarea

Departure:

7:15 am – 9:39 am

Memphis (MEM) – Atlanta (ATL)
Delta 2570 · Economy Class · MD-80
1h 24m
Layover in Atlanta ATL
51m

10:30 am – 3:25 pm
Atlanta (ATL) – Aruba (AUA)
Delta 655 · Economy Class · Boeing 737

Return:
4:25 pm – 7:49 pm
Aruba (AUA) – Atlanta (ATL)
Delta 654 · Economy Class · Boeing 737
4h 24m
Layover in Atlanta ATL
51m

8:40 pm – 9:05 pm
Atlanta (ATL) – Memphis (MEM)
Delta 1422 · Economy Class · MD-80

When you arrive in Aruba, you will notice the small airport and if more than one plane arrives, customs gets a little crowded, but they do a good job of getting you thru the lines.

Will you need a car? I would say yes, so that you can tour every inch of the island.

This is with http://www.aruba-car-rental.com/. I am not sure if this is the most economical, but this is the price we have.

160-0-Pricing

Description Rate Total
Intermediate
Dec 10-Dec 14
4 day(s) @ $40.00 p/d. $160.00
Rental Fee: $160.00
Vehicle License Fee 4 day(s) @ $0.75 p/d. $3.00
Surcharge 4 day(s) @ $3.50 p/d. $14.00
Parking Charge $2.00 $2.00
Liability Insurance 4 day(s) @ $3.00 p/d. $12.00
Green Tax 4 day(s) @ $1.00 p/d. $4.00
Charges & Options: $35.00
Taxes & Fees: $23.40
Grand Total: $218.40

Accommodation
If I were going, this is where I would stay. Click on the link to see pictures.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1361757?s=M0I-QyxP

It is a cute studio. Read description below.

The Space

“Just 50 yards from the Caribbean Sea, with world-famous restaurants literally at walking distance on the same road (Flying Fishbone, Zeerover), this cottage offers stunning sea views from your front porch.

The cottage features a king-size bed, air conditioning, bathroom with toilet, sink and shower, gas oven, microwave, toaster, kitchen block, kitchen utensils, fridge and a roofed front porch.

A great place to stay for two adults! With a public pier just on the other side of the road where you can sit at the Caribbean Sea and watch the sun set, or take a swim, or a sun bath. Nearby, on walking distance, is Santo Largo, a sandy public beach.

The cottage offers everything you need to cook your own food, and nearby supermarkets have everything in stock that you might need.

The cottage is situated in Savaneta, a quiet village on the south coast of Aruba, away from the busy hotel area. Free wireless internet is available at the premises. The cottage is on walking distance from the bus stop on the main road from Oranjestad to San Nicolas. But carrental and taxi’s are also readily available.

The studio is a charming little house, providing everything you need, for a fraction of the lodging prices on this happy Caribbean island!

P.S. for safe acces to the water at various places please bring along water shoes.

P.P.S. the fixed price throughout the year of 60 dollars per night includes all government taxes.” (copied from airbnb.com description)

What more could you want?? The cost would be $280.00 for a week. I would stay longer but for our “pretend” trip, we will only stay four nights. images (6)

There is a grocery store close  and great restaurants, so I think a budget of  $100.00 a day for food and drinks will suffice.

Airfare: $677.00
Airport Parking: $45.00
Accommodations: $280.00
Rental Car: $218.40
Food and Entertainment:  $500.00

Total: $1, 720.04

Before I booked, I would start looking at cheaper days to fly. If you could cut this expense then the trip could be affordable.

One option for a great vacation is definitely Aruba.aruba -1

Travel UnorganiZation

images (1)Travel unorganization makes me crazy in all aspects of my life, but it really stresses me out when it involves travel. It is a part of my control problem- I know that but I want to control the time and make it flow as smooth as possible. Does this suck some of the fun away? Well maybe… and one day I am going to get in the car and just drive with no itinerary, no printed directions, no reservations and no list of coffee shops along the way… one day, but until then this is a list that will help you plan your next trip.

  1. Destination: To make this decision you need to know yourself. Think back to the best vacation that you have ever had. Where did you go? What did you do?

You cannot duplicate an experience which is why I strive to live in the moment, but a destination that you know you will love is not a bad choice. I try to go some places I have been before, but then I try to visit at least one place a year that I have never been before.What is the length of time you can spend on this holiday? This is an important question.

  1. Money: How much money can I spend on this trip? Set an amount and figure out if it is feasible. Miscellaneous costs such as will always be added. Tips, etc.
  1. Transportation- Will I fly? What is the price of the ticket? Will I drive? How many tanks of gas will the trip require?

If I fly, will I need to rent a car? Will a taxi be needed from the airport to hotel and back to airport? Always consider how much driving you will do when you get there. Will I cruise? If so, you can eliminate some cost such as renting a car.images (2)

  1. Accommodations: This requires some major research. Check the prices of all hotels, bed and breakfasts, and look at my favorite place: Airbnb.com. Some have had success at VRBO.

If you book a hotel, the hotel will hold your debit card and it may take a few days for the charges to be correct. I recommend using a credit card for travel. The credit card companies are easier to deal with when you have lost a card and charges are made to your card by the stolen party.

  1. Food: Budget for three meals a day and how much money you plan to spend on each. Alcohol should also be figured in if you drink and also late night snacks. If it is an all-inclusive hotel or a cruise, then figure in the tip for all service providers.
  1. Entertainment: How will you entertain yourself while you are away? One of the reasons the beach is a cheaper favorite destination for me is that I can go to the beach for most of the day and be entertained. It was a life saver when my girls were small, and the budget was very tight. (My sweet girls thought the beach was the only option for vacation for several years.)images (3)

If you book a hotel, the hotel will hold your debit card and it may take a few days for the charges to be correct. I recommend using a credit card for travel. The credit card companies are easier to deal with when you lose a card and charges are made to your card by the stolen party.

This will help you get started with successful planning an organized trip.

What should I pack? What else do I need to know before my departure? Tune in tomorrow…72a26e11ffae2f4732e28d16c484124f

Fit Camp

Be the best version of you Lori and I were walking one day in the park, and we saw a group of ladies working out. Lori walked over and talked to Casey Sanders for a few minutes, and we decided to try Fit Camp.

It has been a life changer for me. I need a coach and support to be able to stick with a physical workout. This may go back to my track and basketball days of long ago, but I need a schedule.

The things I love about Fitcamp:

  • Motivates and inspires you to be the best that you can be, and everyone’s “best” is different. You are never judged in any way. I may do five burpees, and my neighbor beside may do twenty, but that is ok if it is the best that you can do. We are there to improve ourselves not to compare our progress by looking at someone else.
  • Always a different routine- there is no time for boredom! Casey is a professional who knows how to plan the workout that we need on that given day.
  • It is always challenging because you are competing against time and yourself.
  • Friendships and support: I miss boot camp when I am out of town because I miss that wonderful post workout happy, and I miss my friends.Fitcamp -1
  • Set schedule: I work out at the same time every day Monday through Thursday, but there are several great times to choose from if your schedule needs more flexibility.
  • You feel stronger mentally and physically. This camp has allowed me to love and accept my body. When you have been physically active most of your life and you get older, you will notice things are not quite where they are supposed to be and that is ok with me if I am making an effort to be the best that I can be.
  • My diet has changed. I try to eat healthier. The meal suggestions that are e-mailed to us help. Also hearing other people talk about what they are doing to be healthier or to lose weight. Read the ingredients on the back of what you buy. It will scare you a little.
  • At home work outs are also sent to your e-mail (I have not been successful at that… I need Casey and the girls.)

I am in the best shape of my life since high school- 32 years ago. I feel that I am doing something instead of whining about how I feel or how I look.  I have lost four inches which results in no back fat over the top of my jeans. Some of my jeans and panties get a little baggy after a few hours of wear now, but that is ok with me!

I hope to improve, but that will take dedication from me to do workouts on the weekends and work on my diet more!  eat good and feel good

Join us or join something if you cannot make a commitment to exercise or if you are unable to motivate and push yourself. What we do in warm up would have been my entire exercise routine, and I would have stopped not realizing that I could do so much more!

Be kind to yourself and give yourself one hour a day! I wish

Mama Gat

Mama Gat 019

Mama Gat was born in 1924 and given the name of Maxie Mavaline George. She was known by some as just Susie.  She was one of eleven children born in the harsh year of 1924. She married at the age of fourteen to Milford Gatlin, and she had three children: my dad-James (Jim), Robert, and Sue. Papa was a veteran of World War II, and she learned at a young age to be a strong independent woman.

She was such an amazing hard working woman that I do not know where to start.  She would work at the factory all day then come home and pick vegetables from her garden and prepare them to be canned or put in the freezer. The vegetable soup and the green beans were my favorites.  For many years we went to her house for Sunday dinner. I appreciate that so much more now than I did then. She would work all week and then all day Saturday doing something like going to the sales or Ripley or Wren or making flowers to have extra money, and I think she did enjoy her Saturday work because she was doing something she wanted to do, and then she would be in the kitchen from early Sunday morning until lunch. We would eat, help her clean the kitchen a little, and then visit for a short time and go home.  Never thinking that she really did not get to visit with us very much, but she did love to see the smile on our faces when we took that first bite of those fried apple pies, chocolate pie, or that homemade chocolate pudding.

Mama Gat 007    She would come to Daddy’s to spend the weekend or go to my sister’s house for a visit, and she would bring her own pots and pans because they cooked exactly like she wanted them to cook the food. It would take a little while to unload the van.Mama Gat 002

I see her in every part of my house from the beautiful quilts she made each of the Gatlin clan to the beautiful round end table she gave me.  Mama Gat 009 I also now have some of her other furniture. When she came to my house and I did not have the right sweet tea glasses then that is what I got for Christmas that year. Mama paid attention when she visited, and she knew exactly what I needed. She always wrapped our presents, and I think that is where Sue gets her love of beautifully wrapping each present.Mama Gat 010Mama Gat 012

She would babysit for me when the girls were small, and I needed to go somewhere through the week. She would let them “fix” her hair even if she had just left the beauty shop. She loved to travel and go, and we enjoyed seeing her able to relax and enjoy herself.  Mama was very independent, and sometimes we would lose her. Sue would start calling the family and her friends and eventually Sue would track her down. She was always there to listen when I needed to talk. She did not say much but when she did, you needed to listen. She called me Liz in honor of Elizabeth Taylor after my second divorce.  I tried to reassure that I would never catch up with Elizabeth Taylor.

I see some part of her in many of the family members: her nose, eyes, her work ethic which she instilled in each of her children and they passed it on to their children and then we passed it on to ours, her crafty side, her my way is best- so there is no point in arguing, and her love of family and friends.

She loved the Rebels, and she loved watching them play whether in person or on TV. She attended games until she was not longer able to navigate the stairs.  Mama watched football and basketball and any sport she could find to watch.

We all miss her, but she is with us in our hearts and our memories.

 

Mama Gat 021

“When someone is in your heart, they’re never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times.”  Mitch AlbomFor One More Day

 

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.”  Mitch Albom

 

“What you have done to this point cannot be undone. What you do next… It is still unwritten.”  Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

 

Online Dating

online-dating_broken-heart_58729801Online Dating seems to be the most prevalent way to meet someone in 2015. I still think knowing someone that knows them makes it easier, but if your friends do not know anyone, then online dating would be the next pathway. It does not matter the age, gender, sexual preference, or preferred activities of an individual. There is an online dating site for everyone.

Five Best Online Dating Sites
http://lifehacker.com/five-best-online-dating-sites-1594072317

eHarmony
This site was recommended by a friend. I actually paid money around $27.00. The questions were a little redundant, and the whole process of when you find a picture that you actually liked was to me unnecessary. You send questions, they send questions, you send break or makers, they send break or makers then just maybe you can message the individual.
This would eliminate anyone that is not serious about seeking a relationship and someone who thinks this should not be this much work (ME).
All of the “matches” presented to me were not matches for me. I had heard that eHarmony did a better job with matches because of the lengthy questions you complete before it begins. It could be me; Maybe, I did not do a good job of answering the questions. The matches were also very far away. I do like to travel, but four states over for a first date that you may or may not like did not sound like a smart financial decision.

Meetmindful
This is a site I stumbled upon while reading an article written by Elephant.  This site is for very spiritual people who are interested in a mindful existence.  Some interests on the profiles were meditation, self-development, and fitness as lifestyle, organic or natural foods and spirituality.  Most of the participants were very far away.

Plenty of Fish
This was a better option because it is free, and you can put a little bit of personal information in this option. You can view more locals which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Several people I know are dating someone they met on this site.  Last year, I met a guy on this site who wanted to talk about football. We never met or discussed meeting; I had someone to talk football with at least twice a week.

Tinder
 The first time I tried this in Charleston, it was a fail! I swiped the wrong way, and I got some interesting messages.   This is when it was a swipe thing and only in a limited mile radius. Now it is much better with a little heart and an X. You can insert some personal information and your educational institution. Your mile radius is much bigger now, and I do not think it is viewed as the hook up site now. It is more like a dating site.

Online-Dating-to-Offline-DatingProfile Pictures
The pictures that guys will use for their profile are unbelievable! If you are a guy read this carefully. If you are a female, ask your male friends to see their profile pictures and help them if help is needed.

If your profile picture is any of the following, change it!
This is my opinion.  Some experts do not agree.

  • A dog is licking your ear
  • Your children are in the photo
  • You are looking at a mirror and your phone is in your hand.
  • Showing your chest- really…
  • Flipping a bird to the camera – yeah, that is the man a woman would want to take home for Thanksgiving.
  • Your grandchildren are in the photo
  • A cat is in front of your face
  • No picture—a picture is worth a thousand words– remember that phrase!
  • Half a face in your picture
  • A picture where your past girlfriend or boyfriend  has been cropped out… her hair is still in the picture or his hand is still in the picture
  • Animals in the picture
  • Dead animals in the picture
  • Your truck or your boat

online-dating-red-flagsBe aware of scam artist on dating sites.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/6-red-flags-of-a-romance-scam/

  • They will tell you a long sob story. How many people are going to write you a three paragraph message or an e-mail the first time they contact you?
  • You can tell sometimes that English is not their first language.
  • They are looking for a soul mate nothing temporary.
  • The picture is too perfect. You can sometimes google the picture, and it is something chosen from a website.
  • Sometimes they use the military as a front. They are soldiers stationed in a foreign country. They would eventually ask for money to come see you.

Ask for their LinkedIn profile and their Facebook name. This usually scares them away. Be direct.
As always, research anything you consider doing and remember anyone can create a profile. I think most people are legit, but there are always a few creepy scam artists lurking.

imagesFirst meetings should be always in public places with people around and preferably at a place where people know you.

Consumer Affairs
“With an estimated 1,000 online dating sites in existence, it can be hard to sift through all the options and decide which the best site is. Being able to know how to evaluate a dating site is essential in the decision process, and it will bring you that much closer to finding a good match.”
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/dating_services/

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