Category: Perspective

Charleston: What I Need

Charleston 1 235As I arrived home from Charleston, I realized how much I knew about myself that I did not know before which I think happens more easily when you are out of your natural habitat and must rely on yourself.  Until I went on this journey, I did not really know what I would need to be happy or to be content away from home.

  • Coffee pot –Mornings are not happy until I have my coffee and my first breakfast.  Yes, I have my first breakfast then in a couple of hours a second breakfast of yogurt and fruit.
  • Internet access- two screens would be nice. Spoiled rotten. Thank you ICC!
  • Comfortable bed- Yes, my back feels better with a firm soft mattresses. I know that is an oxymoron, but somehow there really is such a mattress.   There is a hotel in the West that had such a mattress. I wonder if they would let me go in that room and just look at the brand.
  • Places to explore or an ordinary place with interesting people – It can be a coffee shop or McDonald’s, a beach, a sports bar – not picky. It does not have to be anything elaborate.
  • Reading material – I hit the $1.00 sale at the Charleston library. Greg bought me a book, and Lori sent me a book. I also had a few of the many magazines that I subscribe to each month.
  • Box fan- This is a very important thing for the packing list.   Those girls would come in at all hours of the night, and I would only hear the front door close. Turn it on “3”, and you might could sleep through a train crossing. They were a very considerate group of girls.
  • Phone calls and text from the people I love- my support team!

I thought my needs were more complicated than this list, but thankful they are not!

I did not need half of the “stuff” I carried with me. I was amused when I started putting all of those hanging clothes in the trunk that I never wore. I mean really who wears blue jeans in Charleston in the summer- not many people. It is too hot! I will be more mindful of what I carry when I pack for heading west, and I will check out the temperature for each region.  I think my tan is going to suffer, but my Secret (deodorant) will not have to work so hard when I venture to the West.

This trip superseded all of my expectations about being in a new place for an extended period of time. It was a test, and I PASSED!  Yes, we educators always want to pass, but if I had not passed, I would have regrouped and tried again. There are some positive attributes of being a stubborn Southern girl!   I have never been away from Mississippi or my family for more than a week or maybe ten days.   I was happy hanging out with new friends; the Herald family and their friends took this MS girl in as one of their own. Lucas, Jessica, and Trey adopted me on the beach and even thought we tied, we had a good time cheering for the USA soccer team.

At one of my McDonald’s internet runs, I met a veteran of WWII, Lee Hunt who was aboard the USS Laffey in World War II   and his friend, Richard Schramm, 1SG Retired. Mr. Hunt was born on June 6, 1926. Mr. Hunt’s kindness and humility was inspiring.  I will always be thankful for the friendliness, kindness, and love of my new friends and acquaintances.

I was also happy alone on the porch reading or sitting on the beach writing. I loved the house. Notice the light blue ceiling that keeps the haints away. “Haints” are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world.

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Front of the House
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My Reading Porch
Carriage House in the back of the house.
Carriage House in the back of the house.

This does not mean that I did not miss or think of my family and friends, but with the world we live in now, technology allows you to stay in touch and communicate with all of your peeps. I talked to my girls every day just like I do when I am home, and we had a group text going at all times. There were texts and phone calls from family and friends and two great visits with Adelia and Michelle.

I can also live with other people! I have lived with my children, but for the last four years I have lived by myself. I am still (I think) an easy roommate to work with under most circumstances, and I think I showed my college roommates that a woman my age is easy to live with if she is not your mother!

I will visit Charleston again. I had a wonderful month, but now the Wild West is calling my name.

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Internet Addict

FinallyCreative Commons License Kenny Louie via Compfight
Yes, I am an internet addict. Is there a support group for internet addiction? When is the last time you found yourself without WiFi for your computer? Many people use only their phones and are perfectly content with that, but I want high spend internet for my computer. I like to say a lot, and I cannot do that texting. I have it on my phone at all times, but I am accustomed to being at work with two lovely screens and fast internet and at home with two lovely screens and fast internet. At this time, I have only my phone except for when I visit Greg, McDonald’s on Folly Road or Starbucks in Mount Pleasant or the wonderful Charleston Library. I am not handling this well! There are other locations within walking distance, but my laptop weighs a lot, and my back would not appreciate that walk.
I suspected this might happen when I saw a past due bill here at this beautiful old home in downtown Charleston. When I first arrived, there were four other girls, but now there are only two girls. One of the girls that moved home was in charge of the internet bill; hence, no internet at the house for the last week and a half! I have not had tv since I arrived, and I was not missing that at all. It gave me more time to read and write which are my go to time suckers. BUT no internet has sent me in a tailspin.
My part-time job as an online instructor requires hours of internet usage, and there is so much knowledge that I need to be gaining from various sources to move forward. This fuels my internet addiction and makes me want more hours of internet access.
I have discovered that as I look at future dwellings that I am not concerned with the fact of sharing a bathroom with two other people, but only does it have WiFi? If it does, how fast is it?
When I consider a cruise or a vacation location, the first thing I check is internet connections. I feel a cold sweat start to occur when it dawns on me that internet is not accessible. I have been reading Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche (Thank you, Lori-more on this wonderful book later), and I completely relate to Torre’s internet needs and the excitement she feels when she reaches a port with an internet café.

I think some of this comes from being a type A personality who wants to do a good job and wants all of those items on the to-do-list checked off. When you are an online instructor, internet accessibility is the name of the game in order to meet the needs of the students and to meet deadlines.
What do you look at every day on your computer? This is what I look at first:
• Work e-mail: answer questions and then post.
• Weather – I love Thank you, Mr. Lindsey!
• Facebook – Yes, I must see what my friends are doing especially My Vault girls, and as much as I do not like to read some of the rants and post that really should not be shared or should in my opinion only be shared on Twitter, I do enjoy reading the motivational quotes and keeping up with the moments of life that mean something to my friends.
• E-mail: I have four. Job e-mails, g-mail, and Comcast e-mail.
• Banking business: I must look occasionally at my statement to make sure that everything is as it should be. As the cartoon I read stated, “They would not steal from your account, but they might make a deposit when they saw your balance.” I am not sure why I feel the need to keep a check on this account, but there is a fear of someone getting my card number and lowering that balance.
Everyone has his/her own sites that he/she feels should be checked often:
• Sports updates- Rebel news- Daddy, Jordan, and Tyler
• Pinterest- Kelley and Jade
• Instagram- Everyone but me
• Twitter- constantly everyone but me. I have had a hard time embracing Twitter because I want to just talk and not hashtag everything, but I am making an effort.
• Travel sites and blogs- Lori
How do you handle not having internet access? I think you probably handle it better than I do!

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No Gray Hair for Me

carriage-tourI color my hair to look younger.  There will be no gray for me  Is it vanity or should we try to be as attractive as we possibly can be? Are we trying to be attractive because it makes us feel better about ourselves, or are we trying to make someone else happy? I like to think we have an obligation to look our best, but it may just be pure vanity guiding my thought process, or it could be the media who encourages us to do whatever we must do to look attractive.

Why do I color my hair? Why have I been coloring my hair since I was 30?  Well, I am genetically prone for sprouting gray hair early, and I have not exactly lived a stress free life, so when you combine those two things, I guess graying early is a given.

All of these thoughts came to my mind since my recent fall on the sidewalk on Sunday.  I had discovered it was time for a little touch up, and since most of the time I do this myself, I started the procedure.  To avoid dying my shirt, I stripped down to a sports bra and gym shorts then I applied the color.  I could not sit in the house for the thirty minutes processing time that is required, so I went out to the back porch totally forgetting about my new friends in the carriage house, but fortunately they missed the incident and did not call 911.

I was talking to my daughter, Jade,  while enjoying the breeze and then as I proceeded to walk to the front porch, I saw a horse head peeping through the driveway opening, and I knew a carriage ride was coming by the house. I could not let these tourists see a woman with gym shorts, sports bra, flip flops and a plastic cap on her head coming around the side of this beautiful antebellum home.  They would remember that sight  even if they forget what the historical guide was sharing with them, so I darted back around to the porch. I made it then I paused and let the carriage tour go by and then I started around the house again and that is when I missed the last step. I jumped up and surveyed the damage. Everything was working, but my knee was bleeding. My strong bones held together one more time, and the stretched tendons and ligaments in my ankles from my sports days just stretched, and there was no pain anywhere else. I was really lucky.  As soon as I realized no doctor’s visit was warranted, I started laughing.

Then I remembered after chemo, when I started growing my hair back. I could see the gray shining. Of course, no one else could. I tried to color the ½ hair and not only did I color my hair, but I also colored my scalp. I wish I had taken pictures of that.

When you can laugh at yourself, you can always be entertained. Laugh at yourself and forgive yourself quickly when you make mistakes. No one else keeps up with your strikes, why should you? If they do keep up with your strikes then maybe you need to eject them from your game. ( Yes, I am in baseball lingo. Hotty Toddy!)

I always said I would let my hair color be gray when I was a grandmother. Well, that will happen in September, and I have changed my mind- I will see what my natural color is when I am a great-grandmother.

This sexy girl- soon to be a grandmother- has her gray covered!

Love to all!

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Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy

Dad in NOLAA father’s love is a special gift that he bestows on his children. A man who loves his children unconditionally and teaches them to love their children unconditionally gives his children the best gift that he can give to them. This gift will carry them through life with an open and loving heart. A child will be more willing to embrace the changes and challenges of life if he/she knows that his/her parents are always in his/her corner cheering for his/her to survive, thrive, and enjoy this life.  It is unfailing support that some children are given just because they were born. It reminds me of the love of God because we did absolutely nothing to deserve it.  I know that all children do not have this love, and my heart goes out to them because I do not know what I would have done without the support and love of my Daddy and yes, when I say it, I make it two syllables!

There is a reassurance and a confidence when you know that love and support is only a phone call away. When you know that your father will not judge you for whatever road you choose to take in your life, it allows you to make choices that were what you needed or wanted at the time- granted, they may not have been the best choices, but the support was still there. I am sure for my dad at times it was like watching a slow train wreck (and may still be), but he never left my side, and he listened. I am sure there were times when he put down the phone and said, “Jane, you are not going to believe this.”

His love for his grandchildren is also the same as his love for me and my sister. They know that Pops always has their back, and he will do whatever he needs to do to help them. Their love for him is so strong.Dad- Hotty

Other things I learned from my dad:

  • A good book is a treasure and should be devoured and learned from on a daily basis. Yes, Whistle and The Godfather were read by me at a young age. (You did not know I found them in the bookcase.)  We can both escape to another time and place just give us a book. Be patient because you can talk and talk or a great show my be on tv, but we do not hear you or comprehend what is being said on the tv.
  • Education is a treasure. Not all people have had the opportunity to receive an education. It is not something that should be taken for granted. You can never be too educated, wealthy or wise!
  • Seeing different places and meeting new people enriches your life and your viewpoint of the world.  New York – my first real Italian food, Miami – the guy who brought me carnations at the airport, Europe – I was a pain in the ass, but you did not leave me over there!  The Nutcracker in Atlanta on Peach Street- Daddy worked during the day, and I played in the hotel. My love of travel began, and it is stronger now than ever which reminds me, I need to buy that lottery ticket today!
  • Being willing to take a chance to make something happen takes strength and confidence, and you took a chance many years ago to better our lives. I know now how much courage that took.
  •  The love of good food, good company, the Ole Miss Rebels- Yes, we love our team, but the people you share that love with is what makes memories. I hope they win tonight!

Dad Thanksgiving

  • The cabin- Provide a place where away from home that is like a family retreat where the doors are always open and love will abound for family, friends and our adopted family members.

As I sit here writing this on this beautiful Sunday morning in a beautiful antebellum home in downtown Charleston, I can hear the church bells ringing, and I am so thankful for all of the bumps, hills, mountains that I had to climb to get here, and I am so thankful for my daddy- the strong man in my life who has always been there for me, and I know with one phone call he will provide that one way ticket home.

I love you, Daddy, and I hope you have a wonderful day, and I hope your Father’s Day present blooms beautiful red flowers for many years.

Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy

Downtown Charleston: My Eat Pray Love Journey

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“….my shadow has not darkened the doorway of a church or a museum, nor have I looked at a guidebook. But I have wondered endlessly and aimlessly,…..”
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, page 37 .

I love living in Downtown Charleston. Yes, it has only been a little over a week, but I love everything about it. I can sit on the porch and watch the constant flux of people walking down the street, the horse and buggy tourist groups, the bicyclers, and the people walking to work.  There is an energy that you can feel.

I can start walking in any direction and see amazing architecture and pretty flower gardens. I have wondered aimlessly throughout the downtown area. I like having no plan, nowhere I have to be or no tourist site that I must visit. It is a great feeling to ask yourself, what do I want to do today when your life has been dictated for the most part by the restraints of societal responsibility.
Some times by choice, sometimes because I would walk out of a store and go the wrong way, I have toured downtown. You know sometimes left or right is tough, but you always have a fifty percent chance of making the right decision.

“My shaky sense of direction and geography mean I have explored six continents in my life with only the vaguest idea of where I am at any given time.” Page 40

As I went the wrong way when I came out of Victoria Secret (bikini looking a little old- sales staff was amazing), and walked a long way in the wrong direction, I discovered King Street Cookies.

The House Specialty  and the Georgia Peach were absolutely amazing. I sat in the big orange chair and enjoyed every bite.morris island--lighthouse 005

As I continued to walk in the wrong direction, I also found the Blue Bicycle Books which was featuring Dorthea Benton Frank’s new book Hurricane Sisters.  It was a quaint bookstore and one guy did come through pushing his bike.  Battery Park is my favorite destination, and I actually know how to get there from the house.  It is beautiful and the breeze and the sight of the harbor helps me to relax and let go.

“People ask me before I left for Italy, “Do you have friends in Rome?” and I would just shake my head no, and say, ”But I will”.   Page 42
I have made some friends, and I will make more because if you stand still long enough, I will talk to you, and I can converse on many different subjects, so changing the subject will not deter me.  I do not watch the news, and I have not watched tv or anything on the computer  since I arrived, but I can still talk or more importantly I can listen; as Lori and I have discovered, most people just need someone to listen and to allow validation to occur for his/her ideas and existence.

“Liz, you must be very polite with yourself when you are learning something new.” Page 56
I am being polite to myself and forgiving of my directional screw ups. I have no plane to catch or life threatening appointments to keep at this time, so I will learn as I go and continue to find the hidden treasures of Charleston.

As you can tell, I am re-reading Eat Pray Love. I found it under my bed when I arrived at the house.  I think that was a sign that it should be read again. My friend keeps it close to her to re-read again and again, and she is a very wise lady. There are so many parts that speak to me now and it is not only the new destination parts. The parts about life and love and spiritual presence speaks to me in a different way than it did several years ago when I first read the book. I could not relate then but I can now. Many times we are not ready for a message that we are supposed to take away from a book or from a person, but I think I am ready now for the wisdom of Elizabeth Gilbert. I would encourage you to read this book even if you have read it, read it again. Her posts on Facebook are also inspiring and insightful.

Folly Beach

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The drive over was not bad at 11:00 a.m. The highlight of my drive was this huge boat on the side of the road that someone had written a congratulatory announcement for a couple who had made their second anniversary. I applaud their enthusiasm, but really….  I had been warned that getting from downtown to Folly Beach could be hectic with traffic slowly moving, but it was a nice drive. As I drove down the main drag, there were restaurants and cute little shops on each side of the road.

I took a left and followed the crowd to a sign that said $10.00 parking. The guy in charge was an impeccable salesman. He said it was for all day and the beach was right across the road, and there were bathrooms close to the entrance. I was sold, but I looked at my skin and thought I will not be here all day!

I stopped by this bar because I have realized that carrying a cooler is a waste of enormous strength. Two Styrofoam cups of ice and two bottles of water and I am set for the day.  The bartender was really nice, and the drink concoctions at the back of the bar really caught my eye.

What concoction would you choose?
What concoction would you choose?

Public beaches are awesome for people watching, Ages range from 1 to 80, but everyone is relaxed and in a playful mood. I choose a spot behind the lifeguard station for two reasons: the firm scenery and the safety of my “stuff”.  I was entertained by the gallon jug of sunscreen that the lifeguards applied to each other over and over. I am the Sunscreen Queen, and I started to volunteer to be the sunscreen application girl, but I resisted the urge. I was rolling in SPF 50 all day!

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When you are with a group, you do not have to worry about your stuff. You can go to the bathroom, walk on the beach, or go for a swim,   but when you are alone, you must consider locale before you pick your spot. As I got situated, I realized that I had left my book and my magazines in the car. At first, it was almost a panic attack because this is the girl who reads a magazine and checks e-mail while she eats breakfast. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” I sometimes take this to the unhealthy extremes. I reverse it and never take the solitude to rejuvenate and reexamine my life. It is forge full speed ahead in the darkness! I did have pencil and paper, and I remembered from reading Virginia Woolf that this was all I needed to entertain myself.

Lunch was a turkey lunchable, yogurt, and a granola bar. Everything tastes better on the beach! There is a no alcohol law on the beaches here which was a hard concept for me to grasp. I am not a big in the day drinker, but I do think it should be an option for the beach if you follow the no glass and red solo cup rules that we enjoy during football season.

Warning: The sand will blister your feet. I was not prepared for that. I jumped up and did not put shoes on before walking. I will not do that again! Put your shoes on in South Carolina if you are at the beach and the sand is not wet. The tide goes out further during the day than I have seen at other beaches. I looked up and the lifeguards were pushing the lifeguard stand closer to the beach.

After I left the beach, I went back to Rita’s where I got the ice and ordered a Jalapeno Cilantro Margarita- Do not do that unless you like a hot spicy alcoholic drink. The bartender was a really nice lady who consoled me with a Rum Punch, and it was delicious. She answered my questions with kindness.

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After this I walked up and down the street and enjoyed the shops and the people. I was very amused by this sign. What a hard choice this would be. Do I want to go to the dentist or the liquor store?

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I was tempted to compare this beach to other beaches, but I stopped myself and realized that comparing people, places, and things does not always bring a positive outlook. Every situation, destination, or person is unique and should be valued.

“Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.”   Virginia Woolf

Charleston: One Way

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I know there is a functionality purpose for one way streets, but what is it?  When I arrived in Charleston, my gps lady, whose name is Ginger, did not understand the lay out of the city.  I finally started just turning right then left until she figured out how to get me to my summer home. The people in Charleston are friendly and always available to offer directions- which works really well for me. I think that is one reason why this city is the number one vacation destination. After ten hours of driving, I was ready to be out of the car.  Upon arrival, I met my college roommates. (No, I am not starting my doctorate. They are in college.) They are four friendly girls with very different personalities and different goals.

As I started unloading the car and climbing the stairs to my second story bedroom, I realized that I might not really need nine pair of shoes and ten pair of shorts, but thanks to my unbelievable list, I arrived with almost everything I needed. I was a hot sweaty mess after unloading the car.  The temperature and humidity is comparable to the MS temp and humidity, and the air on the second floor was not working well.

The next morning, I decided that I needed a lamp because I had no light in my room, and I needed food. Where is Wal-mart? I found it using my GPS, and it was nice to walk in a Wal-mart and be anonymous. I looked like I had been run over by a truck, but nobody noticed. When you are in your hometown if you walk down the wrong aisle, you may hear that you are the topic of the conversation.
“Oh, did you see her? She looks like she feels really bad.”
“She is letting herself go.”
If this happens to you, just laugh and think about how bored they are.


After the Wal-mart excursion, I had to work for a little while then I went downtown to eat. If you ever have the opportunity to eat a Crab Cake, Fried Green Tomato, BLT- go for it!

I am learning to navigate with the help of my gps and phone apps.  My gps lady is doing a better job now. I have also downloaded a few apps on my phone to help locate coffee shops.  I do not want to miss anything that is going on in this great city.

Today it was Sullivan’s Island with a friend. It was cloudy, but it was still a very peaceful day at the beach until the rain came. Then we had a great lunch at Morgan Creek Grills at Isle of Palms Marina:  fried oysters, crab dip, and shrimp over grits.Morgan Creek Grill MOrgan Creek Grill-2

Tonight, dinner downtown. I have a guide tonight who knows the best restaurants and how to navigate the downtown area. I am excited!
An interesting website if you want to find out more about Charleston:

I read a book by Dorthea Benton Frank that was titled Sullivan’s Island. I recommend it for your summer reading list. One of my favorite quotes from her: “The most important thing I learned is that to be truly happy, you’ve got to pay attention to that stupid inner voice we all have. It knows what you need and will drive you shit crazy until you listen to it.”
― Dorothea Benton FrankIsle of Palms

Sullivan’s Island – Click here to preview book.

The one way streets are also a metaphor for our lives. There is never one way to do something or one path that will make everyone happy. We all must find our true path and be constantly searching for the path that will allow us to be authentic and enable us to search for the end of the rainbow.

R[oy]GBCreative Commons License jDevaun via Compfight

Plenty of Fish: South Carolina Fishing

Why do we feel the need to go fishing?  Well, since creation we have been wired or programmed to need or want the opposite sex.  Take in to consideration our work ethics and family responsibilities, and you can understand why an online dating site is necessary and could be very helpful in making friends or finding dates. Yes, I think I will do some South Carolina Fishing.

You may conquer with the sword, but you are conquered by a kiss .craig via Compfight

My friend’s daughter moved to a new town and used Plenty of Fish to meet people, and there is choice of “not seeking a relationship or any kind of commitment”; I was intrigued. I also have a friend who loves this site and has a lot of fun talking to different people.  I will say of other dating sites I have researched and the different people I have talked to about online dating, this is hands down the best. It is simple and like texting a friend. Did I mention that it is FREE?

Of course, caution is always needed. Meet in a public place with your own transportation.  To establish my validity or lack of validity, this advice is coming from someone who at this time has never been on a meeting or date from an online meeting/dating site.  I have heard several success stories, but I have also heard several awkward meeting stories. I wanted to contact the examples below and offer my help with their profiles.

Notes to the male participants:

  1. No pictures of fish or any other dead animal. We do not care how big your fish was on your last fishing trip. Blood of any kind is a no-no!  We may be concerned about the size of other things like your truck but not your latest catch or kill!
  2. Chip on the shoulder immediately seen when a rant occurs in the interests and hobbies. I really hate that women have blocked you, but do not take it personally. You are not their type. Be thankful that the women did not lead you on and waste your time.
  3. Honesty -for example, if you do not like children do not reply – I like that. Time is not something that should be wasted.
  4. This is important or you would not have signed up. Take the time to let someone make a good picture of you.
  5. Fudge on the interest a little: You are a very attractive man, but most women do not like cars or racing. Insert one item that most women like to do: going to the beach, going to the mountains, etc.
  6.   Do not put a picture up where you still have your wedding ring on your finger. Use the cropping tool, darling.
  7. Proofreading needed: When you do not capitalize “I” or use periods, it is a turn off for educated women. If you want an educated woman, write a post that shows you graduated from elementary school.
  8.  Do not write too little or too much. A couple of paragraphs should get your message across. Who wants to read an essay? Save something to talk about at your first meeting.
  9.  Try not to give your reader this message: “I am looking for sex or lots of one night stands”, but also do not sound like,” I want a house keeper and available sex without putting forth a great deal of effort, and by the way, I am looking for marriage”.
  10. If you must attract a women with your success story or your expensive sports car, do you really want her?  You can mention that you are a successful ambitious person, but who needs a gold digger?

Notes to the females: Read the list above. All except #1 also applies to us.

  1. A great picture is all you need for most guys. Seriously, this is all you need. Men are visual creatures.
  2. Do not scare him away with talks of meeting the love of your life and discussing the children you want to have. This would make many men run even if it is what they are also searching for at this time.
  3. Your dream man will probably not want to go shopping or get a manicure. Expand your interest to include something you can do together.
  4.  Many are already bogged down with responsibility. Do not make him feel like he will be responsible for you. One of our needs is security, but the last thing he wants to hear may be that you want to be taken care of financially.

Read this link:  13 Things Men Think About Women But Never Say

Be honest my friends, but choose your words carefully. This truthism could be applied to our lives in everything we do.  Stay tuned for updates on Fishing in South Carolina!

GPS needed for U Turn Queen

What address do I put in? Yes, this girl needs a gps. I am directionally challenged individual; hence, I am the U turn queen of the road. A trip does not feel complete without a few U turns. Changing directions is not always a bad thing, but it can seem like it at the time.

Yes, all of this was in my office.
Yes, all of this was in my office.

As I moved my office home last week, I was astounded at all of the stuff I had in that tiny space. After I hauled it home, I put the classic books away, but many things still remain in boxes. I am sure most will be thrown away later, but I cannot do it right now. It is like discarding old pictures or old messages- it takes a little while to wrap your head and heart around it.
I slipped out of the office because I did not want hugs or tearful good byes. You spend more time with the people you work with than you do your family. They are your work family that you love and you become a silent member of their family as you hear them talk about the loves in their life on a daily basis. It is a place to escape your personal life and emerge in a professional goal oriented world.
I was one of the lucky ones to leave a job that I loved (except for the endless stacks of essays to grade) and people that I love not because I have to leave, but because I want to try a different path. Will this be the path for me, well, who knows but I had to see.

I am ready to embrace a new city, meet people, and learn more about me. I think self-reliance is a valuable teacher- (Emerson would be loving me right now.)
Finding the perfect room to rent sealed the deal for my choice of cites, and of course, the beautiful beaches and the many things to do in the city did not hurt the vote for Charleston.
How did I get here? If someone told me last summer this would be where I am right now, I would have been a little frightened, but we have strength within us that allows us to roll with the flow and chase our dreams or maybe allow us to get answers to our questions. Most of the time we keep that strength bottled because change is hard.
Ready or not Charleston, this Mississippi girl will soon be on her way! I am preparing now because besides being the U Turn Queen, I am the Queen of Planning. I have so many wonderful titles! One of the first things was the packing list, and this one is intense, but I have only my car, so I am keeping it as light as possible. Some things may get left behind, but my beach chair will be in the car.

Other necessities will be insurance cards and proper identification and of course, my passport. If someone walks up to me on the street and gives me a free trip to Bali, I want to be ready to leave!
Financial things must also be considered. I do not want to return to MS and find I have no power, no water, or Lord forbid, no internet! There is only so much you can do and then you must quiet your control tendencies and take off.
Stay tuned for more as the Queen of U Turns and the Queen of Obsessive Planning will soon land!
buisness cards 003Thank you Lori– the Queen of Creative Ideas.

Destin: The Freedom of the Ocean

Destin is my second home and the ideal destination for a quick getaway. There are many different things you can do and thousands of places to stay, but this is my ideal trip, and it can be an economical destination. Gazing at the ocean gives you a wonderful feeling of freedom.Destin 2014 029

The boardwalk has great restaurants and activities for the entire family. I have found a hotel across from the Destin Board Walk  in Destin that meets my needs and saves money. Three nights at the Village Inn in Destin  and the cost was $297.00 and when you split that three ways, you have a cheap weekend getaway.  Waffle House is in the parking lot for late nights and early mornings.
This is the only disadvantage of our location. You must drive to the beach. The two public beaches I enjoy are Fort Walton Board Walk and the public beach by Pompano Joe’s in Destin.

The gorgeous view as we ate lunch.
The gorgeous view as we ate lunch.


Our days at the beach were amazing days!  The water was beautiful, no seaweed and the temperature was perfect.  Sunscreen was sprayed very liberally because the umbrella would not work for us. (I need to invest in one of those gadgets that digs holes for the umbrella.)

My favorite eating place is Dewey Destin.  The food is always good and the waiting area is comfortable.   AJ’s is the night time destination for me because there is always a good band and the view of the harbor is beautiful.

Sunday Funday at AJ's
Sunday Funday at AJ’s

On the way home, we stopped at a delightful new restaurant called Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill in Daphne, AL. The food was good, and I had the best drink I have ever had. It was called Southern Belle.

Look at the ingredients in the Southern Belle.
Look at the ingredients in the Southern Belle.


This was my yes, I am starting a new chapter in my life trip to celebrate and to spend time with friends before my big departure next week. The best place for me to focus on my life and gain insight is while I am looking out at the immense ocean and feeling as one with the creator.  The ocean provides this feeling for many people. My tension in my shoulders started to loosen up, and I felt a sense of peace and well-being as the stress and the tears of the last three months melted away.

My moments of clarity lead me to this truth for me:
Do not give yourself away until there is nothing left of you but a hull of a person. Giving can be applied to your job, your family, and all relationships. After you reach the empty stage and everyone around you is happy but you, what do you have? A lost and bewildered individual constantly looking for fulfillment and approval. “You are enough.” Maya Angelo. You do not need another person to complete you.    Complement someone’s life but do not be his/her life and someone should not be your life. There will be disappointment if you make another person your world.  I know what you might be thinking. How can   my children not be my life or my spouse of twenty years not be my life?  They can be the great loves of your life, but they should not be your entire world. That is too much responsibility for them to carry. We are responsible for our own happiness.

Questions to ponder:
Who is loving you? Do you still take time for you? Do you make people happy and accommodate them to keep peace and to avoid conflict while your resentment and anger grows? Do you set boundaries of how much you are willing to give? When have you been asked what you want or need to be happy?
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting.”  The Lost Girls, page 346.


Oh, the t-shirts you can buy in Destin!
Oh, the t-shirts you can buy in Destin!



Great memories made!
Great memories made!

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