It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

It’s a Grand Night with the Grands

This morning.

Excitedly, I enjoyed the grand girls.  Rarely do they stay over on a school night.  A series of comical events took place and that’s how it came to pass… but that’s another post!

First, I need to say the eldest will graduate high school in a couple of weeks.  I was present when she was born, but my favorite baby memory was toddling as fast as she could across the living area, slamming the wall with the loudest thud! So excited that she arrived first at the wall, turned with eyes blazing and CRASH! Down came the shelf holding granny’s antique ruby cut glass goblets.

Every single piece broken and shattered.  The now 18 year old graceful beauty, stood there, frozen with the biggest smile and eyes flickering.  Trying not to panic, I said ‘great job!’, be very still”.  Poppie was about to lose it behind me.  She was barefoot.  I reached over, grabbed her up and we laughed as Poppie grabbed the broom.  Safe baby, no more ruby cut glass goblets.

Now, during her last two weeks of high school, I get a night. Like the days when her mother was small, I made school lunches. Turkey on cheese bread, veggie bag, lil cheese and freshly made fudge.  I even drew pictures on the sacks so they could tell them apart (I bet they appreciate the heck out of that embarrassment ).

The middle child is just exactly that. She agrees to second fiddle when the sleeping choices are discussed. She’s happy to wait her turn in the conversation and pleasantly lays out all her clothes for the morning. Since I’m a makeup freak, I’m her best friend right now. I have tons of makeup. She especially likes the airbrush because it’s different, but shy’s away from skin care (which is ok, for now).

The ‘little’ is all under my feet! She wants to help make fudge. She talks incessantly. She’s excited to learn to read the recipe, and I am able to help by stirring the sugar and butter, as her reach is quite short. She didn’t taste it once… not even once! She measured twice and got everything just right. A little impatient waiting for it to boil, we had time to talk about her upcoming piano recital, the STARR test tomorrow (what?) and my iPad needing charging. She was first to rise this morning and prepare for school before making her way to the kitchen to check on the fudge.

At grandma’s we always have ice cream with breakfast. We’ve done it since our now 20 year old grand was a tot. Her mother was not too sure about that, but continues to deal with the ritual.  Today’s menu includes egg taco’s, salsa (we usually have pancakes) and ice cream. What else?

https://lillmi.com
Ice cream goes with breakfast at grandma’s

Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

It’s fun to be a grandma. You don’t get days like this very often. When I do, I try to make the very best of them.  Soon (very soon) there will be two to stay over on a school night. It will never be like this again.

How excited I am to see the next phase, when I have three adult grands and six little’s. What’s your favorite grandma guilty pleasure?  At this time, while discovering my own retirement phase, it’s definitely going to be an adventure in living better! 

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More Than Just Makeup, Thoughts of the Day

Vitamin C Key?

What do these have in common:

Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, chili peppers and kale.   RIGHT! Vitamin C.

I learned that as a kid. However, I somehow thought that oranges had the most Vitamin C… now I find out there are other foods with more.  Who knew?

A half-cup of chopped or diced chili peppers delivers 107.8 mg of vitamin C. Plus, researchers from the University of Buffalo found that capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot, may help relieve joint and muscle pain, according the ABC News.   Wow! An added bonus!

One of the things I’ve found time to do in my new world of ____ “retirement”? ____ has been to read more about the things I find curious or have just taken for granted. Google is a marvelous tool.  I could stay busy for hours!

So, I spent a little time today looking up the benefits of vitamin C in skincare.  There’s tons of information available and since I’m not a scientist or vitamin C authority, I had to do a lot of reading.

Why did my interest peek? 

Because it’s the time of year in Texas that the skin fights a real battle. The sun, the wind, the chlorine, the sun. Have you ever experienced the Texas sun?  Scorching, bright and beaming. Cooking an egg out on the sidewalk is a reality. Being at that age, my skin is a little more delicate than I think it was back in my sun-thirsty days.  So, I’m out to define my summer routine to make the best of enjoying my beloved Texas sun.

Here’s what I found:

Oregon State University provides information through their Micronutrient Information Center on a variety of topics. I found this one on Vitamin C.

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C

While there are tons of facts in the article, many that I don’t understand at the first reading, below are the ones that grabbed my attention:

Human studies often assess skin health by changes in depth or number of wrinkles and by the individual’s perception of skin health. Two observational studies found that higher intakes of vitamin C from the diet were associated with better skin appearance, with notable decreases in skin wrinkling (51, 52). The use of vitamin C (3-10%) in topical applications for at least 12 weeks has been shown to decrease wrinkling (21, 23, 25, 27), reduce protein fiber damage (25), decrease apparent roughness of skin (21), and increase production of collagen (26, 27). Topical vitamin C has also been shown to reverse some of the age-related structural changes in the interface between the dermis and the epidermis (22). However, the effects of topical vitamin C are not apparent in all individuals, and interestingly, one study found that individuals with high dietary intakes of vitamin C showed no or little effect of a topical administration (26).

Human studies with subjects using topically applied solutions of 0.6%-10.0% vitamin C or its synthetic derivatives have not reported adverse effects (14, 19-27).

 Topical application of vitamin C, alone or in combination with other compounds, may result in greater photoprotection than oral supplementation because of the more direct route of administration.

For years, I’ve known about the Vitamin C serum, but I had lots of products that I enjoyed and didn’t see the benefit of adding yet another. While I like the taste of fruit and veggies, I would not claim to have a high intake of Vit C.  As time moves on, I realize the collagen appears to be fading away and my smile lines are turning to somewhat finer tuned lines.  Maybe the time has come to consider the Vit C angle of skin care.

I looked at a few products that claim 20% pure… the above article and others I read stated 0.6%-10% had “not reported adverse effects”.  The price varies from $19 to $199.  I have trusted ANEW products for many years, so naturally that’s where I turned first. At a retail price of $30, it’s in the lower price range and as we all know, Avon (who features the ANEW brand) has sales on a regular basis, so I can probably catch it for less.

Here’s what Anew writes:

Vitamin C Brightening Serum is a patented formula that contains a high concentration of 10% pure Vitamin C, which protects skin from sun, pollution and other aggressors. 1 fl. oz.

https://www.youravon.com/lil
ANEW Vitamin C Serum… for Texas summer skin protection.

BENEFITS
• Skin looks smoother and clearer and even toned
• Enhances skin clarity
• Fights overall photodamage
• Improves skin tone and resiliency
• Visibly improves skin’s imperfections
• Contains vitamins C and E
• Oil-free
• Dermatologist tested
• Non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and non-acnegenic
• In 2 weeks, skin looks brighter, smoother, clearer and more even-toned*

TO USE
• Use AM and PM after cleansing as your treatment before moisturizing. Gently smooth over cleansed skin in an upward and outward motion, avoiding the eye area.

*Based on a consumer-perception study

 

It states that in 2 weeks a difference might be noticed. The University article states 12 weeks of use in their study showed results.  However, I also read that two vitamins could work together to provide more benefits and the Anew Vitamin C also contains Vitamin E.  Also, I’ll note that skin that is fresh, and exfoliated properly will receive the product better and results should be faster.

I think I’m in.  I’ll make the twelve-week commitment. Remember, the benefits can be that the skins appearance could be improved.  That sun damage I’ve experienced needs a little work. I think it’s worth the effort. Twelve weeks should protect me through the bulk of the summer. I use day cream that contains SPF (very responsible, you think?). And I’ll continue with my night time routine.  What are the steps you’ll take this summer to protect your face?

Summer is a great time in Texas. Lot’s of outdoor activities, sun and more sun. With big floppy hats, SPF protection, chili peppers and vitamin C, I’m in the mood for the summer sun and, of course, in my new world, that’s all about living better!

Blessings, It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

Happy Birthday

This was mom’s Birthday week. Had she continued to walk on this earth she’d have celebrated 86 birthdays. She was 24 when I was born and 32 when the sixth child arrived. She could sing alto in the choir, work in the school cafeteria, dance in front of the TV, create feather flowers with the neighbors, drove the get-away car while we papered houses, and we could hear her calling at 9 pm, three blocks away. I’ve been thinking a lot about her this week.

I know my mom baked birthday cakes for us every year… I just don’t remember them. Not even one. She was a cook, when she worked and I’ve seen pictures of me with siblings standing around a cake or two.

I had two childhood parties for my birthday. The first, no one but my grandmother and family came (which was a crowd). I waited for friends, but honestly, I can’t remember if I invited them. Daddy had just poured a new sidewalk next to the porch and I took great care to draw a hopscotch game for the party. I found the flattest rocks in the backyard and smoothed them with water to use as a puck. I wore red shorts and played barefoot for hours hoping they’d come. It was thirteen days before Christmas and it was an unusually warm day in Texas. My sister told me to quit waiting because we ‘had built-in friends’ and we didn’t need them to have a party. I was 10.

Five years later, the second party was great! I had begged to have one at night.  I was a member of the drill team, student council and choir at school, youth choir, Sunday School, and the Girl’s Auxiliary at church.  I had close friends who lived near, or whose parents would drive them. Our home was tiny. Mom moved all the furniture around to give us a dance floor. My brother loaned me his black light posters and stereo. My sisters helped remove the pictures from the walls and hang the posters.  In retrospect, I can’t believe she let us go to such redecorating lengths. We bought records that I loved with the money Grandpa gave me and my friends brought some, too. We had chips, dips and rice treats, Dr Pepper and Birthday Cake… it was store bought and decorated. I thought it was the best! We danced, laughed and the crowd spilled out to the front yard where a few innocent kisses were stolen while we whispered secrets to each other.

After most of the kids left, mom took my two stay-over guests and I out to play a little more. We gathered the pink toilet paper and blessed some unsuspecting acquaintances with being popular! It was an honor to be ‘papered’, ya know. Mom had a great arm… she could throw that roll over the highest tree or roof. I can still hear Daddy now… ‘Peggy, you’re going to pay the fine if you get caught’.  She just smiled as we went out the door. We drove down the main city streets, vacant and inviting at midnight in the suburbs. She slows the car just enough to let the lights turn red. Someone yells ‘Chinese Fire Drill’ and everyone jumps out and must circle the car, and jump back in before the light changed. Giggles, trips and falls… after three or four of those, we were worn out and ready for sleep on the pallets prepared for us while we were gone. It was a wonderful Saturday night and Sunday morning was church day and we couldn’t possibly be late! First… off to our friends to help clean the yard! We wanted to stay friends … and we wanted their Dad to welcome us again! So up early… lots to do!

When I turned 40, Mom and Daddy drove 45 minutes to decorate the door of my downtown business with a big handmade sign (Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty), placed a baby picture ad in my town’s weekly paper and delivered a home baked cake to my office. I arrived at work to find that sign and knew it was her doing. I was so glad they took time away from the daily fishing trip to join me for lunch. It was a great party.

Mom knew how to have a great party. Not the fancy kind with pretty glasses and silver, but the kind that touched you where it counted. In your heart.

My mother taught and lived this: everyone matters. It wasn’t some slogan, it was real.  All six of us knew we mattered. Everything is not perfect when the family is large and simple. What matters is that she and Daddy grew a family and it is beautiful. Mom was the heart of our family and taught us to remember that the heart matters when it’s about living better!

Airess Adventures, Growing the Business, Products!

Beginning Airess

Rose Gold Luminess Legend
Luminess Airess Legend Airbrush System in Rose Gold, two foundations, blush and LOVE in Customer Kit.

This is where it starts… the Legend System and your matching foundation.  There are several compressor choices, and you may choose your favorite from the website. I happen to have chosen the Rose Gold, as I’m terribly obsessed with Rose Gold over the last year or so.  I’ve bought rose gold jewelry,  a rose gold cell phone and case, even my eye glasses have rose gold on the tips!  So, the Rose Gold was a natural pick for me.

Just look at it!  It’s compact, beautiful and looks like it lives up to it’s name “LEGEND”… right?   The Customer kit arrives at your door within about 2 weeks or less and contains two foundations, based on your complexion… Fair, Medium, Warm, Tan and Deep. They currently include LOVE, which is a beautiful illuminizer and blush.  Everything you need.  The 4 in 1 Silk formula contains primer, foundation, moisturizer and concealer.  When my young clients use it, it is the perfect formula for great coverage and a beautifully, natural long lasting application.

Being in my 60’s, my skin tends to be a bit dry, so extra moisturizers make me feel better about the look. I also use another primer made for my skin type. Then, the 4 in 1 looks great!  Now, the Mystic formula foundation was created for dry skin. So, sometimes I use it. The shades are so similar I can move from one formula to the other seamlessly. Ha! I love experimenting with the foundation so much, I’ve even added a couple drops of Ultra formula since it is a heavier coverage.  (I have freckles!).

The thing about using the airbrush system with Luminess Airess,..there is a 30 day color match guarantee.  That means, if the shades you initially chose aren’t perfect, a customer can call the Airess office and ask for another shade. They’ll send it right out.

When a customer purchases from an Airess, they can depend on a personal consultant to assist with color and formula choices. The consultant can also recommend skin care options, like the Bamboo Polish Facial Exfoliant or the Rose Gold Vitality Peel Off Mask (of course). It’s fresh fragrance and exfoliating cleansing is beneficial for all  skin types.  There are so many beautiful choices of eye shadows, lipsticks and beauty essentials, the website is a great place to spend some quality time dreaming.

The Luminess Legend is so easy to use.  The stylus has this perfect tip that assures the makeup is applied where you intend.  With sweeping circles, about 4″ from the face, the foundation self levels and perfectly covers the skin.  Flawless, is not an exaggeration. With a little practice, flawless foundation coverage will be the norm. No more worries about makeup lines, heavy blobs or missed areas.  An accompanying DVD and YouTube video’s are available to help the newest users become experts in a short period.  It took me less than a week, using it daily, to feel normal and able to be out the door in less than 10 minutes.

Imagine! Only 16 total drops of makeup on my face, Forever Reign lip stain in TAME, beautiful neutral eye shadows from the Nude and Naughty Pallet and I’m out the door in ten!  How much time do you spend preparing your great look for the day?

I challenge you to take the seven day challenge!  I did!

Try it today. There are payment options available. A thirty day trial, and color match guarantee.  Use the product for seven days in a row and experience the beautiful flawless look of Luminess.  See if the airbrush makeup is for you! Contact me for more information or drop in at our Facebook page Airess Adventures. I’d love to help!

Blessings, It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

Mesmerizing Dreams

Chocolate, wine, fresh strawberries, long hot baths, walks by a quiet stream, and camp fires: mesmerizing.

Don’t you just get lost when you stare at a fire? It’s like you can see the future or hear a voice from the past, even see what the accomplished dream can look like!

What would your fire say to you?  Do you hear negative bits or do you hear “I think I can…” or do you silently plan for a successful project, meeting or birthday party?

 

the flames of the campfire can bring to light, the future!
Gathering around the campfire can be the start of something new!

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Mesmerizing moments are important to have as they allow you to dream a dream of future fulfillment.  Can you see yourself in the fire, dressed up in that special dress or successfully performing a cool yoga move?  Visualizing is a good way to grow.  Grow your dreams, find a path to your dreams, discover the next step to your dreams.

Are you working on feeling fit and therefore, looking your best? Visualize the “you” you’re working to reveal. Eating right, exercising, spending positive moments with yourself is a step in the right direction.

I visualize myself playing with my youngest grandson. He’s almost old enough to pull in a tiny bream, like his mother did when she was about four. She got so excited she nearly fell in the stream and her alert auntie grabbed her by the pants waist just in time to help her fly back to the bank… fish still on the hook!

I have three years to make that dream come true.  I can see the little guy snapping the minnow on the hook, just the way my daddy showed me. I can see him wiping his hands on his shorts and standing impatiently on his short little legs while the minnow swims about fiercely trying to find somewhere to go. Poor minnow.

Hopefully, my grand boy won’t give up, but find a comfy spot to sit (not in the ants, mom, I promise) and watch the water. And listen to the birds. And take notice of the clouds and their shapes. And get excited when the bream grabs the hook and startles him to jump and yank the hook while it “sets” in the fish’s mouth for the ride in to the bank.  It may seem primitive, but children need to learn where the food comes from.  Fishing is a good start.  Cleaning can be a bit much, depending on the child.   We froze his mother’s first fish… in a plastic bag of water, and kept it in our freezer until she came home with a husband!

Once caught, the fish is no longer the pet in the bowl, but the animal that provides nutrition.  Who knows if he will even like to eat fish. I bet he will love to catch fish… most children do. And it’s a new skill to learn and enjoy. I’m hoping I’ll be the one to teach him. Just to hedge my dreams, I sent him a plastic play pole with a magnetic fish for the pool. He can practice.  As my visual continues,  I can see his smile in the fire. It’s a look of accomplishment!

Back to the fire.  I like to visualize new projects in order to find the next step. Or think about what the room might look like if I moved the furniture.  Watching the flames dance about and enjoying the warmth of a cozy fire gives magic to the dreams.  When we were younger, we added detergent boxes to the fire for color.   Dreams need color.

I love to sit in front of a fire with marshmallows, chocolate, a bit of wine and maybe even some strawberries on the side. I think I may have inherited that simple joy from my grandmother.  On the last family camping trip we all made together, Granny spent much of her day gathering small sticks and twigs to keep the fire tended.  She could sit for hours around the fire, stirring it, moving the kindling in and about.  I watched her and we noticed. It was her favorite place at the campground … when she wasn’t fishing!

Sitting outside under the stars, watching the dancing flames is a perfect scenario for dreaming alone or with a loved one and a good way to continue living better!

Blessings, It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

Sunshine

 

Good Morning, Sunshine’s!

That was  my morning greeting for years.

I used it at work, often. As an office manager, when I arrived at work early in the mornings, as a part time bank teller, arriving early to unlock and check out the building so my partner and I could start the day, as a sales team  leader preparing to work a special event with my team… it was how I could express my enthusiasm for the day ahead.  natalia-luchanko-143031-unsplash

Photo by Natalia Luchanko on Unsplash

To me, the people I hang with are sunshine for my day.  Whether it’s at work, church, play or running mundane errands about town. I love hearing about their world. The new recipes, the trips to fun places, the reactions they received from something they shared, what they learned new and how they shared a bit of themselves to the world around them.  You know, like rays of light stretching into my soul to help create a better me!

It’s important to be sunshine.  I realize on someday’s the rays seem a little less fierce and a little more invisible… but they are there, just the same. Flooding the earth with light and warmth. Providing a way to see the path ahead, the trail left behind and the roads on each side ( the one’s that offer opportunity).

On the days my rays are a little dull, I find reading, jumping around on one foot or petting Trixie a good way to brighten up.  It doesn’t take a lot to get happy, if you are dreaming in that direction. Putting a smile on your face and thinking you are happy, usually works.  I like to make a list of things for which I am grateful and then expressing that gratitude. Looking up, toward the Son is a great way to start!

Here’s my list of things for which I’m grateful. Feel free to start your own, right here!

Sunshine is important in every phase of life.  We grow plants in the sun that provide food and beauty. We see the mirroring effects of the warmth hitting the cool water and feel it’s heat on our skin as we soak up every ray possible during our day out at the park or the lake. The warmth from the sun provides energy for power and physical fitness. Sunshine is our hope for a bright future.

So today, I see the sun peeking out as it’s almost daylight. The energy of the sunshine is contagious as I hear the birds begin to sing, the dog is stretching and preparing to hit the door to request permission to exit to the sun.  The morning glories are preparing to “glory” and the coffee is hot.

“Good Morning, Sunshine’!”  It’s a day to enjoy the benefits of the sun. Grab your SPF, (helps to pay my way) drink up some water and come join me on the patio.

It’s all about living better and it’s going to be a warm and beautiful day. Don’t forget to spread some sunshine.

It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

It Really Happens!

The clock on the wall says I'm late! What was planned, anyway?
Time stands still, or does it?
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

It happened.

I forgot what day it was.

Does that mean I’m really starting to feel retired?  I never thought that day would come, although I have friends who have experienced that phenomena.  Until today, I couldn’t even picture not knowing not only what day it was, but what hour and what comes next in my day… in my life!

This morning, I knew I was going to see a friend.  And, I knew I was seeing her and her mom on Thursday.  And I did that-because it’s Thursday!  But, then, somehow, I jumped to Friday and lost the balance of Thursday!

In the past I lived by, with and sometimes, for my calendar. Life was all about the planning, the scheduling and feeling all put together and in control based on a calendar of events and lots and lots (and lots) of alarms, notifications and reminder tones.  (I’m a Texan, it takes a scenic tour to get all the words in there). I was the queen of schedules.  My favorite quote to my team:  “failure to plan, is planning to fail”.  I’ve heard that quote attributed to many, but I heard it from my former boss.

I even taught my children how important it was to plan ahead. They need to feel confident going about their school days. Writing assignments in the planner, checking them off, color coding… the works.  Laying out their books the evening before, choosing clothing and cleaning off their shoes… all are ways of planning for success.

Oh! And my husband… he will pick up a heavy object and not know where he’s going to put it… in a heartbeat! PLAN AHEAD, Man!  I have kept his Dr. appointments, renewal dates and seasonal clothing changes scheduled for many years.

Planning ahead is important, but I think now that I don’t work away from home,  I must master living in my moments. Learning to NOT live by the calendar is a task that I think will require planning! Don’t laugh… it’s true.  It takes 21 days, they say, to break a habit. But do I really want to?

Today, I missed an important appointment because I forgot it was Thursday.  Can my calendar remind me at mid day what the actual day is? Maybe I really have given up living by the calendar… I did lose track of the day, didn’t I?

Maybe I need a new morning routine that is tweaked to remind me of the day of the week.   After my morning routine, I could place orders (yes, I still sell a bit) on Monday, take photos every Tuesday, demonstrate on Wednesday’s, visit local parks or businesses on Thursday, laundry on Friday, batch cook on Saturday? Sundays are traditional, I never forget them.  I could still use a calendar for birthdays…  yes, and special events.

I guess my new goal in my discovery process will be to find the happy medium in planning.  Not being run by the calendar, but running the calendar.  The notifications will need to stay, but maybe I won’t need quite as many.

So, I’ll plan to plan minimally. I’ll be successful, I bet… because it’s about living better.

I hope the rest of your Friday is great! (wink, wink)

Blessings, It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

By Heart

He called.  The mailman that was introduced to me today, called. 

That’s what I wrote in my journal on May 30, 1986.

We talked for hours.

I put the little’s to bed and enjoyed a real conversation with a man – for hours! Not flirty, but real live and meaningful conversing.  We talked about cuts and scrapes and the garden and fishing and dancing and who knows what else.  We talked about his daughters and my two little ones. We talked about our small town, the cars, the churches. You name it, I think we covered it.  It was a heart centered conversation.

Fast forward 30+ years later and we just finished talking about the yard and maybe going fishing and we enjoyed a short dance after dinner.  I love dancing in the kitchen, don’t you?

We married in 1988.  Our first Christmas we started our first tradition. Dancing in the kitchen to music from the Victrola.  He received it as a birthday gift when he was 9 and through the years, we’ve acquired a few more records and a whole cup of needles.  Some people don’t appreciate them anymore. No electricity required, they are loud and scratchy. The voices of those recordings are innocent, some untrained, but delightful.   We play the records on Christmas eve after service and dance in the kitchen.  We’ve done it for 30 years now.

dancing in the kitchn
Home in the kitchen is the very best place to dance.
Photo by Claire Brear on Unsplash (thanks Claire!)

We know each others steps by heart. Really, by heart.  I can sense his movement and feel his breath as he holds me close and takes the lead. He securely holds my hand in his. He’s been doing it for years.  I trust his steps. When he spins me out and under his arm, I land in the perfect place to take the next step.  He smiles, I hum.  Sometimes we laugh out loud or bump into the counter or frig. Always holding on to each other.  Really, it’s by heart.

Sometimes, it’s hard for him to lead now.  Sometimes he needs me to lead a conversation or make a decision or drive the car in traffic.

He never needs me to lead the dance. We’ve got this heart stuff down pat. It’s how we live better.  And I love it that way.

It's About Living Better, More Than Just Makeup

Brighten the Gray!

It’s a dull day!

The spring weather brings excitement, and not always the best kind, in Texas.  Last year it was tornadoes everywhere and so much hurt and loss. This year, so far, it’s rain.  Gloomy rain on my part of the earth… and lack of rain on the other part of the state.  I think people who live in small states don’t always fathom the incredible size of Texas.  We can have all types of weather in one state at any given time.  The old saying “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes,” is often true and you could really add… “just drive 100 miles… it will change”.

Today, though, is dull.  It’s cloudy, and gray outdoors.  My attitude tends to follow.  I feel cozy in the winter when the fire is roaring, open and free when the sun is out and air is warm, and dull when it’s gray, cold and rainy in April.

So, here’s the routine to bust out of the dull hum-drums.

WATER… lots of it.  Room temp and ice cold. With infused fruit and just plain. With ice cubes of frozen fruit and warmed with herbal tea. With lemon slices and cucumbers.  WATER!

Fresh fruit for breakfast. Served cool and maybe on a bed of cheese or some yogurt for dipping.  Maybe in a shake!  I’m looking for glow and shine here!

A  break for my conversation with father God and jotting some notes or completing a discovery task.  Briefly sketching out my day “wants” with my “musts”.  Adapting them to the weather.

Mental note: chocolate is great on dull days!  So are pj’s and a popcorn!  However, eating healthy will certainly help cure a gray days dull! Lots of people take vitamins to restore their shine and glow.  Take this vitamin quiz to get a better idea of which supplements are good for you.

Another good way to send the dull-drums packing is to play music.  I love to play the old standards. Piano playing is therapeutic for me.  Sometimes I turn up the volume and  listen to upbeat pop or old rock, dancing with the broom while I attempt to focus on sweeping!  Singing along and dancing energetically is a great way to brighten your day.

ahdiat-fanada-381637-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Ahdiat Fanada on Unsplash

My granddaughter can’t wait for rain! She grabs her green frog boots and splashes every puddle. One foot, then two. It’s a favorite rainy day activity… removing any gloom in that home on a gray day! We could do that, too!  You are never to old to splash!

Whatever you do on a gray day… don’t give in.

Turn on the lights, make up your face and glow! Call an old friend and renew that acquaintance, save some blooms before they drown and arrange them where you can enjoy the nature.  Cook a great meal and open the perfect bottle of wine!

It’s about living better... and it’s up to you!

 

Growing the Business, It's About Living Better, Thoughts of the Day

FORWARD Moving

Every step is worth the effort
Sometimes it takes a little work to move forward, but it’s worth every step!

I love this picture.  I found it several years ago, online.  I think it was a plaque for sale on some site.

It was a tough few months at work and there were serious issues at home and I was beyond understanding any of it because I couldn’t focus on either.  Sleepless nights ensued and a short temper was the gift my sweet hubs endured.  My health started to decline. Not eating correctly, joint pain and my hair even started thinning.

It’s what happens, if you live long enough and you aren’t prepared.

If we live long enough, life will find a way to get complicated and it seems like it will do it in several ways at the same time.  Being tired and stressed muddy’s the water, so to speak.  It makes it hard to realize the real truth of the situation.  Our personal well-being influences our understanding of the issues at hand and sometimes builds them tougher than they really are.

What I learned was to just keep moving and it will be understood later… or not. Either way, when we just accept what we cannot change, we can move forward faster and more peacefully.  No time wasting… just positive movement to FORWARD.

Unless you can’t see which way is forward.

I have many ways of discovering where my Forward is… lots of contemplation and dreaming, writing in my journal, list making, reading, and daily conversation with the one that knows my personal future already.

Yep, a daily conversation with God helps me safely spill all my doubts, fears, gratefulness, appreciation, guilt, willingness, concerns and oh! so much more. A conversation has to be two ways. So after the talk, save time for the listening. He is open to you talking first, but He needs you to listen, too.

After that conversation, it’s time to do the work.  The work may appear in the form of listening, reading, researching, trying something new, spending time with loved ones and helping others.  It’s amazing what can happen when I’m washing dishes and enjoying the nature outside my window.

These are a few easy plans for finding your path Forward.  Sometimes Forward is closer than you might think.  Taking time to do the work and have the important conversation is a peaceful way to find where you may gravitate.

Start eating right. Add vitamins to your daily routine. Cut your hair short and pamper it awhile. Spend time feeling better, physically.  Walking, play on the Wii, bowling, dancing with your love before dinner or after the children fall to sleep, swimming… anything that makes your heart happy.

Five minutes.  For five minutes take a break between dishes and the run to town.  List 5 things you’ve never taken time to do.  Are you still interested in them?  Aha! What did you learn?

Thirty minutes.  Grab some picturesque magazines and some scissors.  Quickly, choose all the pictures that appeal to you and remove them from the magazine.  Some people glue them to boards, papers or even large envelopes.  I just spread mine out on a table in order of their importance.  Are they achievable… like buying it, or planning time for it? Add it to your budget plan! Learn the skill or find a way!

Life must continue during the search for Forward, so I find spending dedicated time spans each day will help. I like the morning. For my friend, it’s after the children go to sleep. I know a man that works full time and has a large family. His Forward search is on his solitary walk after dinner.

Keeping the trip Forward in perspective, knowing in your heart it will come in time, doing the work and being open to the direction is important.

Where will you find your Forward?  In art, music, volunteering? Will you work with numbers, with people, with pets? What a world there is out there.  Just remember to take it one step at a time.

Like the picture says, ‘Someday everything will make perfect sense’.

The trip is well worth the time and effort!  Enjoy! After all, it’s about living better!