Boulder, Colorado- Day #2 and 3

June and July 2015 195Boulder, Colorado- Type A Retreat -Day #2 started out with grading and enjoying my great breakfast of egg whites, fresh bread with organic blackberry jelly, an avocado and straw berries. My head was also hurting! I do not adjust well to altitude changes. This would always happen when I visited the West. The headache left around lunch yesterday, and I will be good for the rest of the trip.  I need to use saline nose drops to ward off nose bleeds from the dry heat, but that is the only concessions needed.

I finally got a shower and realized again that I did not bring a blow dryer. I have been in hotels so much that I forgot I was staying in someone’s home. I thought about buying one, but I have three at home, so no, it is what it is.

My destination was Pearl Street for the art festival. I finally made it there after a long walk. I stopped along the way and ate lunch. There are many places here like Neon Pig and KOK in Tupelo, MS,

Pearl Street Mall is unique. There were arts and craft booths everywhere.June and July 2015 199 It started to rain and there was a stairwell that was the perfect place for shelter, so many of us gathered at the stairwell. There was one young man from KY and his dog that was waiting on his friends to exit the marijuana shop. He explained the process to me. FYI- People from the South no matter where they are will talk to you!  He said you go in and show your ID then you wait. There are only so many allowed in at a time. When it is your turn, you will go in and be assisted by the clerks who are very knowledgeable. Your purchase is put in a bag with the receipt attached. The receipt should not be taken off for any reason until you get home. It reminded me of the open container laws in MS. Take it home is basically what the rule implies. As we were talking an older gentlemen walked out with this purchase, he did not obey the law and opened his chocolate chip cookies up and started munching. He said one is good… two you better be home.  The KY guy and I were speechless. The rain slowed down and I exited the stairwell. I made it about a fourth of a block, and the rain set in again. I found shelter under an awning with two girls from Austin, TX. They were also talkers and were glad to be here from the heat of TX.June and July 2015 202

I picked up a map at the visitors center
on Pearl Street, and you would think that would help but not me……. I left Pearl Street and went the wrong way, so I got my phone out and put it 1307 Arapahoe Street. I walked and walked and walked then when I got by Boulder High School it dawned on me that I live for the week at 3107 Arapahoe Street…. Really! I walked for five hours total from when I left the condo! I came back to my home and regrouped and then I realized I was really hungry. I walked downstairs to the Bistro, and I had the most amazing pizza. Fire brick oven and thin crust… Wonderful! The manager was from AL, and he talked also! He has been here for five years and has no plans to ever return to the heat of the South.June and July 2015 211

When I got up this morning, I felt it.  My foot was hurting a little bit at times. I thought my feet would be sore, but I did not expect a big blister on the bottom of my right foot. My friend, Teresa, recommended Calendula ointment; I also purchased Jasmine oil which smells so good.  I went to find that later in the day and stopped by Flat Iron Coffee, and I met a former elementary teacher who is tutoring twenty-five students and plans to open a charter school. He was young and enthusiastic and so nice. He was from NY, but he was friendly also!June and July 2015 205

Today was a day of grading and very little movement except to go to Sprouts which I love  to get foot meds and get some rest. I also finished a no brain waves flowing book that was enjoyable.June and July 2015 194

I also passed a shop that specializes in kids hair cuts. Kaden would love this place. June and July 2015 214Tomorrow bicycle rental on Pearl Street which I think will be easier on my foot and fun in the sun!June and July 2015 183

The sunsets here are beautiful. It is so good for the soul to be in a different environment and totally alone. The street flowers are beautiful.These are the shoes that hurt the feet. They were good for the first four hours! June and July 2015 208June and July 2015 193

Boulder, Colorado: Type A Retreat #1

The Boulder, Colorado- Type A Retreat began this morning.  I am sitting on a bench waiting on Green Pass to arrive eating cheese, bread, walnuts, and grapes.  I did not agree to the no carb week with my fitness girls, but because of my fit camp, I am breezing through the long airport walks with my excessive luggage.  It is hot in Denver!

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My last real solo get away ended in August when I returned from Costa Rica. I realized the days were passing, the stress was mounting, and the hamster wheel was moving faster with no slow down button visible.  If you wait on someone to go with you then you may never go! Do not wait: Go by yourself.

I did not retire to work so much, but that is where I am comfortable because of the “type A high energy control” factor that I struggle with every day. I also love Kate Spade purses.

I did what I always do before a trip. I push my body way past the healthy limit with very little sleep and marking off the freaking to do list.  I was trying to get caught up with classes and make sure the binders are ready for Indiana.   It also just happened to be my color the gray week and the Botox week. I left for the airport at 5:30 a.m.

How did I decide on Boulder?  Not sure- but I wanted to go somewhere west that was affordable with no driving that I had never been before and the Denver airport and I are very well acquainted. If driving was accessible then I would try to tour the west in five days and return home physically and emotionally shot.

I found a great loft apartment in downtown Boulder using Airbnb.com.  This is my second great experience with Airbnb. I did look at apartments in Italy, but the plane fare was $2,000.00, so I decided to put that on hold for a little while.June and July 2015 181

June and July 2015 179Green Pass Shuttle was an awesome way to travel from the airport to Boulder. They pick you up at the airport and drop you off at the address on your reservation.

When I arrived this very sweet couple, Jason and Bella, greeted me and showed me the loft, and they were very kind and hospitable. He was from Texas, so the conversation went to his love of fried catfish.  Jason and Bella are members of the Planet Mish Mash Band. Check out their videos: “Green Light” is my favorite. http://www.planetmishmash.com/videos/

The loft is so perfect. It is homey and small and so not cluttered up with unnecessary stuff. I have been inspired again to declutter, and I have a clearer vision of what to do as far as furniture and things for my house.  I loved the foyer and sitting area of this building.June and July 2015 186

June and July 2015 184After unpacking, I made the long walk to Whole Foods and to the wine store. Using the app on my phone to the closest grocery store did not cross my mind. The contents of the fridge clearly shows the man who lives here when he is in this country has a very healthy diet. I think most people that live in Boulder do.June and July 2015 174

June and July 2015 175I stayed in tonight to rest up for Saturday with awesome food and wine and this view. The temperature is in the low 60’s. It is wonderful. I am glad I brought a sweatshirt.  June and July 2015 183

Thank you Lori for your encouragement and the positive light that you shed on my life! You are always encouraging me to go, to do, and to be thankful for my blessed life.

12 Things to Share

  - March 18, 2014 at 08:00AMCompfight 语录 图说  

12 Things to Share is  my first post in a long while, and my writing soul is not happy because I love to share, but I have been too busy working and play and planning  (so that I can travel later) to write very much. I need to re-prioritize my life again which I think happens to us all on a regular basis or it should. I am happy that I recognize that, so we will see what life unfolds.
What I have written is in notebooks and scraps of paper on planes or late at night and needs serious revision. (Yes, I need to re-think this and write more because it soothes my soul and allows my small spark of creativity to flow.)

  1. If you are packing for two trips simultaneously, make sure you put the right things in the right suitcase.

The contact cases that I have mentioned before are the most wonderful liquid traveling accessories for flying. I use the cases for liquid make up, moisturizer, retina A, toothpaste, etc… I can do the quart flying limit with a little space left over by using the hotels shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

  1. Michigan and Indiana people are very nice, kind and hospitable. (Their ancestral lines must be Southern or either our folks came from the North.)
    Great places I have eaten in these cities:

South Bend, Indiana: Rocco’s Pizza
Battle Creek, MI: Clara’s on the River, Malia’s, Addington Hills Café
St. Joseph, MI: The Boulevard Inn &Bistro

The Michigan shoreline is beautiful, and I have only seen one area. I hope to see more soon.  

  1. Ole Miss is everywhere– planes, meetings, airports!
    Tailgating family is family even though you may only spend seven Saturdays a year together. We will miss Ms. Peg’s laughter, hugs, chess squares and smiles so much this year.

    We will miss you, Ms. Peg.

    We will miss you, Ms. Peg.

  2. The history of Notre Dame is impressive, and the dome is unbelievable. Touchdown Jesus was pretty awesome also. The three Notre Dame Football players that I met were nice, polite and respectful guys.
    sun sets on a win Glenn Simmons via Compfight
  1. I am thankful for the disappointments and failures and the successes that led me to where I am today!
  1. Gigi Land is a happy land. When my grandson reaches for me or when he sees me and his eyes twinkle, it makes the heart happy. How do little ones know where “their bread is buttered”? Unconditional love is such a rare and precious thing.IMG_2899
  1. I love being the passenger on a motorcycle. I will not or should not ever be the driver, and my friends are saying, “No, you should not.”More Bikes Lester Public Library via Compfight
  1. To be physically fit, I must have a trainer/coach. I am unable to push myself beyond my comfort zone. It may go back to the eight years of basketball or track when someone told me to run this amount, and I knew I could not stop, but I need someone to tell me what I am going to do. The warm-up in Fit Camp would be my entire work out if I was in charge. I have never felt better! It makes me feel strong and confident and not just physically- it makes me feel mentally stronger.  The participants also make it great. There is no judgement, and there is no negativity: it is a positive part of everyone’s day. If one participant can do 50 burpees and I can do 15, it is ok.

Food Prep is the key as Casey our wonder woman trainer tells us!  Having almonds, beef jerky and cauliflower with me on a driving trips helps.  Convenience stores and fast food restaurants are bad places to fuel your body.IMG_2979

Stop at a grocery store and buy fruit when you are traveling. Do not forget the fork like I did one time. Watermelon is messy in the car.

Stop at a grocery store and buy fruit when you are traveling. Do not forget the fork like I did one time. Watermelon is messy in the car.

  1. Doing a good deed makes you feel good! Remember to Pay It Forward!
  1. I do not like yard work anymore and that is ok. I had rather work more and pay someone to do it. I want my flowers to look beautiful, but I do not want to pull the grass out between the flowers.
  1. House renovation project #47 was a success. It is amazing what new doors, light switches, and a new coat of paint and new cabinet doors will do for your home.I mixed three old paints and came up with the color in my living area and kitchen. It was perfect: I think it was divine intervention.IMG_2713IMG_2934IMG_2737
    The decorating is another story; I was not given that gene. It is very much like fashion to me. You were blessed with it or you were not.
    What do I keep? What do I give away? What do I buy? How do I utilize what I have?  I have been looking at the collection of “do not wants and do not know what to do with” for a month… Maybe this week.

Caution: I wanted new paint, new doors and light switches and electrical outlets then I looked at my horrible white enamel cabinets with a red thing down the front. They had to go!  There is a domino effect… I want to do this, so now I want to do this… Add money to the projected cost when you are financing a renovation, but oh, it is so worth it.

Now for #48- the big den—the football watching party room! This will be next.

  1. Read Four Friends by Robyn Carr. It sheds a new light on friendships and menopause!

Have a great week!

When In NOLA

NOLA 2-26-15 008When in NOLA, the Big Easy, the great city of New Orleans, there are so many things to do. I visit every time I can, and there are so many things I have not seen. It is a city that becomes a part of you one trip at a time.  It reminds me of Charleston and New York… I know that is a strange combination. This great city and time with your oldest daughter and friends- what could be better?

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The weather was a deciding factor in my departure time. Winter decided to laugh in the face of my cute little buttercups in the yard, and winter is still laughing.

We arrived in New Orleans after dark, and our hotel was off the main track, but we found it quickly. It was adorable. We stayed at the Chateau Hotel on Chartres Street. It is at the corner of Chartres and St. Phillip. It is in an amazing location two blocks from Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and the Old French Market.  You enter in the lobby and then you go outside to get to your room. The key is an old big key not a little swipe card. The rooms are small, but the rooms have so much character. A continental breakfast is delivered to your room. It is like being on a cruise. You choose what you want, and it is delivered. It is a part of your hotel room fee.   Everyone was friendly and very helpful. Check out is 1:00 which really helps when you have a late conference date. NOLA 2-26-15 010NOLA 2-26-15 005

NOLA 2-26-15 003                           http://www.chateauneworleans.com/

We ventured out and ate at one of my favorite brunch places- the Ruby Slipper on Magazine. It was wonderful as usual. http://www.therubyslippercafe.net/

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The wind tunnel on Canal Street is for real. When you walked down a side street, it was so much warmer.

I have been able to curb my clothes purchases that I do not need since retirement and honestly, my primary wardrobe is sweat pants and a sweat shirt, but I still battle my shoe obsessions. As we walked around, we found an unusual show store. I did not buy anything, but these shoes were the real deal!  SHOE.BE.DO! – An Addiction           http://www.shoebedousa.com/

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Great boots on sale on the website. Click on SALE.

 

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We finished the day with beignets and great coffee at Café Du Monde. It is still amazing to me that your coffee is served two ways: Coffee Black or Au Lait and that you can order beignets or beignets. They come in orders of three with an abundant amount of powdered sugar.  http://www.cafedumonde.com/

Dinner at Café Pontalba was very good. The hotel manager told us that this was where the locals ate. The gumbo and sea food platter were very good. http://www.neworleansrestaurants.com/cafe_pontalba/

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Later we went to Bourbon to hear the great bands, to view the unique sites and visit with other people presenting at the many medical conferences this weekend.

We had a lazy day as Kelley prepared for the conference. We drove out to Audubon Park and looked at the park and the beautiful campus of Loyola.  The one ways streets tormented me, but we finally made it to the InterContinental hotel on St. Charles Avenue, and we found wonderful parking right beside the hotel with a very kind attendant.

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Kelley looked beautiful and confident as she prepared for the presentation.  NOLA 2-26-15 041

Mardi Gras King Cake flavored ice cream or vodka

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Girls + travel = Lots of stuff

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Thank you, New Orleans Firefighters!

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A trip to New Orleans is always a good idea!

Next up: Florence, Jackson, and the Cereal Capital of the World

Florence: SA Day

Florence 023DT FLorenceHow do you celebrate Singles Awareness Day? Go to Florence – no, not Italy- Alabama!  I started pondering this question, and I decided to do what I love to do best which is go to a different city and see new things and meet new people. Florence, AL, would be a fun quick trip.  I had been to Florence one other time in a conflicting September a few years back with a friend celebrating her birthday and Fall Single Awareness Day, so I had seen some of downtown.  My first thought was my second home Destin, but that needs to be a longer trip.

I asked Michelle what spa to call, and then preceded to book an appointment with Epicurean Spa, and I made reservations for the Hampton Downtown; they have an online check in that is awesome. Do not choose the Hampton Midtown by mistake. I called the wrong one first, and I was informed that Applebee’s was the only restaurant within walking distance. I knew that was not the correct Hampton.  I did check with Marriott, but there were no vacancies, and the spa was a wee bit expensive. Even though it is rated very high as far as Marriott spas, I felt confident that spa treatments are great wherever you go.

I waited late to book the spa, so I was up bright and early leaving Tupelo for my 9:00 spa time. I had a body wrap and detoxifying treatment and a skin purifying treatment and relaxing deep cleansing facial. My massage therapist was the young and beautiful Crystal Martin. She was very nice and knowledgeable about the products. I was wrapped up like a mommy with the body wrap, but I could move my fingers, and she stayed in the room with me.
Crystal said, “I sometimes leave so the client can relax”.
I said, “Oh no, you are not leaving me in here unable to move.” (I would not be a good replacement for Dakota Johnson for the second part of the Grey trilogy.)
She stayed with me the entire time and started my facial. You lie on the table all wrapped up for around 45 minutes then a warm shower is next to wash off the stuff that she applied to your entire body. It was relaxing. NO dead skin on this chick!!

When I left the spa, I headed downtown and then I decided I wanted lunch at the Marriott and changed directions. I had a fried green tomato pimento cheese sandwich with lots of bacon (reminded me of a similar sandwich at Café 212 in Tupelo, MS  http://www.cafe212tupelo.com/) and wonderful green beans with caramelized onions.  I ate outside on the covered patio, and the view was very nice. Florence 003 After lunch and a little relaxation, I headed toward downtown. The weather was warmer on Saturday, so downtown had browsers.

Florence 022 The first place I stumbled upon was the Court Street Market.  There were several things in this building, but the one place that I immediately fell in love with was The Carriage on Court. It was an open floor plan wine/cheese/ flower, etc. shop. It reminded me of New York. 

http://courtstreetmarket.org/vendors/carriage-court/ 

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I found two adorable tops at a boutique called My Favorite Things that I did buy, but I had to remind myself that there is a certain cash limit to being nice to yourself on this special weekend. I met two nice ladies (one from Virginia), and the owner was very helpful.

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Then I walked in to Jewel’s Accessories. This beautiful women with a huge smile greeted me at the door. I told her I wanted full curly blond hair like she has. This stated our warm honest conversation and our friendship. Graham is a delightful person with a huge personality. When the karma shirt is marked down, let me know. My life has been ruled by karma-some good and some bad! http://www.jewellsaccessoriesboutique.com/  Jewel
I wandered around more and found a great book at the Thrift Store down the street.

Then I went to Rosie’s to relax before heading to the hotel. Fortunately for me, Rene’ Anderson was behind the bar. She is so kind and so delightful to talk to that I ordered food and stayed longer than I had planned. She is artistic, creative and has a great thirst for knowledge and strives for a good life for her family.  Her love story made me smile for a long time.

This store has very classy traditional clothes and a cozy shop atmosphere. I loved the painting above the register.

Bill ReidFlorence 030

I finally made it to the hotel, and the check in was easy. There were no hot cookies yet, but they always have a great coffee for you, and I did walk back to the lobby when the cookies were ready. I tried a strawberry cheesecake cookie- It was so good. I was really into “be nice to Wanda” today! As I was checking in, I ran in to a friend from Tupelo celebrating Valentines’ Day with his special valentine.

I walked down to On the Rocks to watch the Ole Miss game. http://florenceontherocks.com/  I ate a great burger then I walked down to FloBama to watch the second half. Someone had told me there was an eighties band playing tonight.  They were correct, but it did not start until 10:30, so I watched the game and talked to this delightful couple who has celebrated Valentine’s Day thirty-two times together, and they still liked each other! We had a good time conversing and then the Velcro Pygmies took the stage! I do not know how to describe the outfits of the band. My first thoughts were a combination of Boy George, Richard Simmons, and Kiss. The music was really good, and they had a big stage presence. http://www.reverbnation.com/venue/flobamamusichall

Yes, I was a little shocked.

Yes, I was a little shocked.

When I Ieft the hotel earlier, I walked to On the Rocks. When I left FloBama, it was freezing, so I called a cab to go back to the hotel.

I enjoyed lunch the next day with a friend at Ricatoni’s.  The lasagna has a delightful red sauce. It was a warm and inviting atmosphere.Postcard of Forks

Afterward lunch, we went to the remnant of an old plantation- the amazing Forks of Cypress. This is a great video of the Forks of Cypress Tour.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeTWJK-SGtw

Beams of Forks of Cypress

Beams of Forks of Cypress

Before the fire..

Before the fire.. 

small replica of FOC - Florence

small replica of FOC

Alex Haley did not live to see Queen published. This was the story of his great-great grandmother and his great- great grandfather’s family and plantation. http://www.alex-haley.com/alex_haley_queen.htm

A friend told me that I reminded him of Frost’s poem and that he knew I had “many miles to go before I sleep”.  I think he knows me well.  I think beignets will be in my future. Until next time…..
Excerpt from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

Cruise Again- Anyone?

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I would Cruise Again! Cruising is fun! No sea sickness at all but a little cotton mouth from the patch. I think it was a very calm cruise which I am sure helped with this. I also slept well except for one night when the bed was doing a little moving.  We had a room that did not have a window, and two ex-teachers accustomed to getting up early were able to sleep late. The schedule was always flexible.

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The food was great: the chocolate dessert was my favorite. The best hamburger was found on this cruise thanks to the “fixings” bar with bacon bits and mushrooms.  The atmosphere was so relaxed. What is there to fret about if you have three meals and a wonderful steward who cleaned your room and brought you breakfast if you put the card out before midnight. All you had to do was circle what you wanted.  We ordered a light breakfast—you know to tide us over until we could go to the real breakfast. Waking up to a knock on the door and then fresh coffee being placed on the counter was a treat!  The last morning we went to the formal breakfast. I would do that every morning on the next cruise. I felt like royalty.

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We had an 8:15 dinner time and after the first night, we found delightful companions to spend our dinner time with each night.  Paige Copeland and Daniel Heidrick – thanks for welcoming us to your table. The menu was enticing every night.Cruise -Jan. 14 046

One night after dinner, we enjoyed two comedians, and there was also a casino on board, a piano bar and several other places to relax.

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When we arrived in Progreso, we walked off the boat and went to the first establishment that had food, cold Coronas and the most important thing– high speed internet. We both needed to work on our online classes and communicate with the world. Adelia got a $20.00 amazing massage, and we enjoyed the three for five Coronas.

I bought a cute blue beach dress and Retina A. The dress was $25.00, and it was $20.00 for two tubes of Retina A. Bargains! The place where I bought the Retina A was named Drugs and Deli which made me laugh.  I guess the contents of the store were not that different from the old drug stores like Brent’s Drugs in the movie The Help. You could buy several different types of antibiotics, Flexeril and Ultram just to name a few. I was afraid to purchase anything like that because I thought this might not make it through Customs.   I knew Customs would not care about my wrinkle helping cream.

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Alcohol was also cheaper, but travelers must pay a tax to bring home alcohol, and carrying the alcohol safely home without breaking it would have been a hassle for me. Not worth it! While walking through Customs, potential customers were given free Tequila shots to promote the product. Beautiful and reasonably priced gold and silver jewelry was abundant. I wish I had purchased some jewelry. Adelia told me to buy souvenirs in Progreso because they were cheaper. She was correct! Some people were told to wait until they were in port in Cozumel. My cruise expert knew where was best to shop.Cruise -Jan. 14 032

Our next stop was Cozumel. We found the Three Amigos restaurant after we departed. Good food, great view and high speed wireless internet – a winning trio of offerings. After we finished working and returned our laptops to our room, we began the search for a free beach.  After taking directions from several people and walking a long way, we faced the fact that there are no free beaches in Cozumel. At this time it was around lunch, and we had to board at 3:00, so paying $40.00 for beach privileges was not a wise investment.  Adelia got another massage and then we shopped and boarded the ship.

The next day we were at sea all day, and we enjoyed the pool. There was always something going on at the pool: Hairy Chest Contest, ice sculptures, music, etc.

The day of departure there is choice of whether to put your luggage out or carry it yourself. We carried our luggage and that made it easier to depart quickly.

We rode a bus back to the airport for our 4:00 flight. Our new friend Jennifer ate lunch with us before boarding her plane back to Oklahoma. Jennifer is a house mother for a fraternity and a director at Upward Bound. She is an amazing young lady that I hope to see again soon. Adelia is a great travel companion, and I am thankful that she invited me to accompany her on this trip!

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I would cruise again, but I will always hope and pray for calm waters before each voyage!

BV - cartoon

First Cruise: Face Your Fears

Cruise - NassauCreative Commons License faungg’s photo via Compfight

My first Carnival cruise will be taking place soon. There are several reasons that I am a virgin cruiser: job and fear of being seasick again. The most important reason is because of my jobs. For the last eight years, I have needed internet access 24/7, but for the next ten weeks, I do not need internet access for every waking moment.

Another reason was my deep sea fishing experience twenty years ago and my para sailing adventure. There are some experiences that you never forget. Daddy thought it would be a great idea for me to go deep sea fishing with the boys, so I did. We arose at 6:00 that morning, and we hit Waffle House with a vengeance. After fried everything, we boarded the boat.

At first it was fun, I actually caught the first fish. It was a small thing, but I was quite pleased then the nausea began. After about thirty minutes, I was hanging over the side of the boat. It is safe to say that I did not want to eat at Waffle House or crave eggs and bacon for a long time.

Finally, I was able to go down in the gallows to lie down. I went to sleep and I woke up feeling better. I walked up to the steps and then I saw myself. I was literally green from the neck up –not a bright green but a pale thick green.   Then I followed Daddy’s advice and ate a few crackers and drank some soda. BIG MISTAKE! I was back hanging over the side of the boat again.

When the trip was coming to a close and we were heading in to the marina, as soon as I saw a land form and focused only on looking at the land, I immediately started feeling better.

Parasailing @ SaipanCreative Commons License

Hajime NAKANO via Compfight

The para-sailing adventure was not as traumatic as the fishing experience, but as the boat was hitting the waves, and I was going up and down in the sky like a yo-yo, I started to feel that same sick feeling as if someone is taking your stomach and throwing it around like a Frisbee.

I have decided to tackle my fear of seasickness and arm myself with a patch, Dramamine, and Phenergan. Hopefully the patch will be all I need, but just in case, I will have the other two meds to make me feel better.

I am going cruising, and I am totally clueless about what is allowed and what time you do everything, but Adelia is a seasoned veteran, and she will direct me and assist me. We travel well together, so I am ready for the adventure to begin later in the month. I will share my trip with my friends.

 Restaurant Recommendations from Recent Adventures

New Year’s Trip to Destin
790 on the Gulf Restaurant was amazing!
http://www.eatmoregumbo.com/
http://www.eatmoregumbo.com/sunday_brunch

View from the inside of 790 on the Gulf

View from the inside of 790 on the Gulf

 

View from the outside

View from the outside

 

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http://www.synergyorganiccafefwb.com/

Synergy is an all organic cafe and juice bar that focuses on using real whole foods from our local and regional farmers. The Cafe is owned by longtime Locals Amy Likins and Christian Echele who have been making wonderful healthy food on the Emerald Coast together for 13 years. Amy has a degree in Holistic Nutrition and Christian is a classically trained chef- combined they make an amazing team to bring you the freshest, best taking and good for you combinations- you will be eating healthier and loving it before you know it!

At Synergy we strive to help others find a path to health and well being by bringing about a greater sense of awareness and wholeness to all that we do. We believe the secret to a life of health and well-being is found in taking a Synergistic or Holistic approach to life with a healthy Organic Whole Foods based diet, daily exercise, and a positive mental and emotional constitution. Come have a seat at the bar and watch as our amazingly talented team create fresh masterpieces right in front of you. Every time you come into the cafe is an opportunity to learn how to make positive healthy choices for yourself and your families’ diet and lifestyle. (copied from the public website)

JB’s
Holly Springs, MS, on the square
Great service! The salmon and sweet baked potato were amazing. There was also a great salad bar with spinach—thank you!
http://jbsfamily.com/

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Chase your dreams….they will not chase you!

Rebel Football Love

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LyceumOle MissSEC Football Team love is hard to describe. It is a feeling, an emotion that is hard to explain if you are not a southerner with a team.  Football in the south is an institution that is cherished and loved by many people. I have no comprehension or tolerance for people that changes teams according to the team’s record or their affiliation with people.  I was an Ole Miss Rebel  fan in ’94 and 2004 when we were 4-7, and I will always be a fan.

For my family and most of the Ole Miss family, football means tailgating at all home games.  We started out tailgating in the circle around thirty-five years ago when it was just us and a few other people. We had a card table, a few chairs and KFC. When my girls were old enough to sit through a ballgame, they climbed the magnolia tree and played in the Circle before the game and then they were introduced to Ole Miss Football.

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I have no comprehension or tolerance for people that changes teams according to the team’s record or their affiliation with certain people.  I was a fan in ’94 and 2004 when we were 4-7, and I am a fan in 2014; I will always be a fan.Eli

Football tailgating preparation begins at least a week in advance. Deciding departure time on game day and coordinating food selection and arrival times of all parties is like coordinating a party or social event. Our location has changed due to the new parking restraints, but we have settled in at our new location. It is very convenient for Daddy and Jane, Donna and John, and Peg and Ralph to be able to back the vehicles up and unload.

We pick our crew up from wherever they can park and bring them to the tailgate.

We pick our crew up from wherever they can park and bring them to the tailgate.

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We have an intricate tailgating plan.  Daddy and Jane bring the tents, grill, chairs, food and lots of other stuff. Whoever gets there at the same time Daddy does helps with the tent. Tyler will ride down and coordinate when possible.

The Hills bring the tv and the satellite dish, the heater, food, the sides of the tents and lots of other stuff. I bring two dishes and my Cranberry Dicey Gold which is a very good mixture guaranteed to enhance your pre-game experience.  (Thank you, Michael Murphy and the Jake Owen Gold Tour for giving me the opportunity to concoct this drink.) My bring list decreased when I had to start parking at the Wesley House.   All of the other parties involved bring food and whatever else they want to bring.  It is like a family reunion every home game.  We look forward to the fellowship, laughter, and stories.2013 008

 

One interesting man who loves Ole Miss Football and was featured in a video is Mr. Glenn.  He tailgates with us for the home games, and he dislikes LSU like no one I have ever met. (It is true that many Rebels had rather beat LSU than anyone else on the schedule.)   You can count on him to bring fried chicken every week, and he will surprise you. He had champagne and cigars for us after our last home game.   He also danced after the Alabama win, but I cannot find the video on ESPN.10-28-14 camera 0192013 855

I miss this group of people after the last home game, but God willing, we will all be back next fall to spend time together and say, “Hotty Toddy”.hotty toddy

All fall  trips are scheduled for me around the Ole Miss Football off weekends and away weekends. The departure and arrival of trips planned for the fall must accommodate all game times of parties involved in the trip.  While traveling with a State fan (Lori) or a Bama fan (Michelle), game times must be taken in to account of all teams and a place chosen in said town to watch all games. You must watch and cheer your team on to victory if at all possible. I do feel that Bo could hear me this season say which receiver was open and the linebackers could hear me yell- “Stop him.”  Running toward the tv for away games also helps everyone on the team run a little faster.  We understand the importance of supporting our team even if it is just viewing the game at home.

Weddings should not be scheduled in the fall. I do not understand anyone who gets married during football season. Jordan and I watched one game on our phones with the volume down waiting on the bridal march.

Enjoy your bowl game and remember that many teams are at home wishing they were playing in a bowl game, so cheer for your team and be thankful for their hard work that made a bowl game possible for your team.Vince quote # 1Laquon

 

Of Parties, Prose and Football
 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/travel/faulkner-and-football-in-oxford-miss.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Katy Perry gave the Ole Miss mascot the best hug of his life.    http://usat.ly/1rbMkfe

Gigi’s Corner

Gigi’s Corner  at this very moment is a happy place to be!

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Stop with the flash, Mom!

What can you say about a new life being added to your life? Your life is forever changed in a good way. What is the negative to someone else to love? There is not a negative.

Kaden’s entry in to the world gave my family a new appreciation of the precious gift of life and how it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Do you ever feel like you have led a charmed life? I do and I say this after experiencing some low points: two divorces, breast cancer and other family trials. When it comes to my children, I have led a charmed life. I know that and I am so very thankful. Why has my life been so wonderful? My children are happy and healthy.

When Kaden was in NICU, this was an in your face moment of my charmed life. When your children are in pain, you are in pain and feeling helpless is a scary feeling. You have a problem, let me think about it. I will work on a solution, inform you of that possible solution, and mark that off of my to-do list. Yes, this is how my mind works. No, I cannot change it only tone it down and try to keep it under control. I could not fix this: I transgressed back to my silent mode and my old normal coping method of just keep moving and make sure everyone has clean clothes and food.
I could not fix the pain and bewilderment that my family was feeling especially Austin, Jade and Aunt Kell. This was a time when Mom could not make everything better.
We were the lucky ones. Kaden experienced a setback, but his prognosis was always good. We just had to be patient and give his little body time to rebound. What about the parents who do not have this prognosis? How do they deal? I was reminded of my friend Deanna who had premature triplets that spent so much time in NICU. Their prognosis was good also, but the time factor had to be so hard, and the setbacks so hard to cope with on a daily basis. I have a new appreciation of her inner strength and love for her children.

There is a lesson in everything that happens in our lives.
What was our lesson from this? Patience and the understanding that just because things do not happen as you thought they would does not meant that the final results will not be spectacular. Comfort from family, friends and prayer will get you through tough times. Many people love you if you will just let them in to show it.
I think this boy is going to keep us all on our toes.

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Kaden: Every day Gigi and Aunt Kell get pictures of me. Really, folks, are you not tired of seeing pics of me yet?
Gigi and Aunt Kell: No, nor will we ever be!

Cheers and Hotty Toddy!

Trash it, Share it, or Keep it

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As I began my fall decluttering, I had to formulate questions to help me to decide whether to trash it, share it or keep it?  Do you need eight Pyrex dishes? As my friend said, “Well, if you plan to cook eight casseroles you do.”  That comment made me quickly put two in the giveaway pile.  This girl does not cook very much. The thought of cooking eight casseroles made me wince and immediately think of the hours that would be spent doing something I do not want to do versus something that I do want to do!  The other six are different sizes that I might actually use. The word “might” will get you every time!

I started in the kitchen closet, and I moved everything that I will actually use to the bottom shelf: tailgating platters and Christmas platters and vases. The vases are for my flowers that I buy for myself. Kroger has wonderful discounted flowers. Why would you not enjoy roses/flowers for a week for $4.99? If there are no flowers on discount sometimes I have to do without, but most of the time I can find something. My pleasure is worth that much money. Ladies, do not wait on a man to buy you flowers. Buy them for yourself because as the commercials of yesteryear told us, “You are worth it”.

The beautiful cake platters which came from Mama Gat were sent to the top shelf as well as my coffee maker which was replaced by my wonderful Keurig Vue.  When you throw away a crock pot which has not had a lid for several years, it creates more space.

From that spot, I went to what I use for the pantry. It is really a book case by the side of the kitchen door.  The first shelf was recipe books and hundreds of torn out pages of recipes and printed out pages of recipes. If I want a recipe now, I go to Google and search for it. I do not look through all of the recipes until I find it, and I never will. Five recipe books went to charity, and the other recipes went to the garbage. I did keep a few of the recipe books that are special to me for some reason.  The other shelves are for food. The 2011 hot chocolate and the 1990 baking powder went in the garbage. It is amazing how things could pushed to the back, and you never look at them.

My meds are kept in the kitchen cabinet. As I looked at the assortment, I was amazed. When I took everything out and started looking at the bottles, I understood. Saving one pill of your antibiotics is not a smart choice.  I am not sure what I was thinking– maybe that one pill was going to make me better the next time I was sick.  I know the next time I see my friend, Amy, (after she reads this) she will say remember to take ALL of your antibiotics this time. I chunked many old prescription bottles and out of date over the counter stuff.

How fortunate am I that I have all of this? Do I need it? We all know the answer to that question. No, I do not need 70% of what I have, but Americans tend to love accumulating things that have no correlation to their happiness.

The questions below are going to aid me in my quest:
1. Would you take it with you if you moved? Do you love it enough to move it? Do you use it enough to move it?
I moved the baking powder from Lake Piomingo to Saltillo and then to Skyline. Did I ever look at the expiration date? No, it was written on the bottom. Did I ever think of the last time I used it?
Most of the time when we move, it is in a hurry. It may start out to be well planned and organized, but when it comes down to the final day, you are just throwing crap everywhere. Here is a box so rake everything out of that cabinet into a box. I do the same with cleaning. The first room gets the most love and the best dusting. By the time I get to the last room, it gets a little love and a sparse dusting.  If we do a real throw out and keep this question in mind, it will help us to dejunk our homes even if we never move.

2. Can it be replaced for less than $10.00 if you realized that you actually needed it?
My friend, Michelle, gave me this question to use. Michelle and my daughter Jade are the best people I know at throwing things away or giving things away that they do not use or like. It does not cause them pain or turmoil over making the decision to give away or throw away. Amazing!

3. Will my children want any of this stuff?
I did not realize the validity of this question or even know it was a question to consider until my mama Gat went to heaven.  It took the family (especially Sue) a long time to get everything out of the house and the shop. Mama had some wonderful beautiful things, but there was so much of it. It is also such a painful emotionally time that you are thinking of things that represent the loved one to you. The memories in our head are what validate the love and existence of our loved ones. I want to make things as easy on my kids as I can when I leave for the other side.  Also, most of the time they do not want your junk, or they have no room for it in their house that is already filled to the brim with things they do not need. You may have a special memory of it, but they do not.

4. Do I love it? Would I buy it again? Did I buy this item  just to have something to put there?
These questions really hit home for me. I do tend to buy things because something needs to go there instead of waiting to find that special thing that I would love and want to keep.Cluster is not

Most of us were instructed to be thrifty and to save for a rainy day. Our parents were also instructed by their parents that grew up during the depression with very little to do the same. I think that aids us in life, but it also hampers us because it enables us to feel justified in holding on to stuff we do not need because it is too good to throw away. Giving our discarded things to a charity helps us to feel validated and not wasteful of the bounty that we have been given.

My kitchen is now decluttered. Next week I will move to the next room…

You know  to be useful or belive

Creative Ways to Declutter   http://www.becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/

Decluttering the Kitchen        http://www.hgtv.com/homekeeping/decluttering-the-kitchen/index.html

Organizing Life with Less      http://www.organizinglifewithless.com/2014/01/live-life-you-want-to-live.html

Have a wonderful Friday!

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