October 26, 2011

Sunshine On my Shoulders...Soon!

I can't believe October is almost a memory! So much has happened in the last few months, it's hard to believe I am the same person. The biggest news also happens to be the biggest life change I've ever had...yes, even bigger than picking up and moving to Pennsylvania! OK, hold on tight, there's a lot to tell!

My husband official finished school at the end of September with his Associates of Specialized Technology degree in Bio-medical Equipment Repair! He thoroughly enjoyed his internship with DaVita and really wanted to go after a position with that company, so he put out his resume at the beginning of October and we crossed our fingers.

October 11th came out of nowhere and we were celebrating our third wedding anniversary before we knew it! Animal lovers that we are, we headed to the Erie Zoo for the day, but before we left the house, Rob's phone rang. It was DaVita! He chatted a moment or three and when he got off the phone, he had the biggest smile on his face! They had scheduled an interview for the following day for a position with their company. Of course, besides spending the day together, there wasn't a better way we could have though of to celebrate our anniversary!

Fast forward to today and we are packing our lives into boxes to move once again. Why? Well, Rob has been hired for a position with DaVita and we are ecstatic! I can't pack fast enough either. I have enjoyed Pennsylvania while I have been here, but I have missed my beloved South something awful. The thing I have missed the most (besides my family and friends, of course) is the ocean. We moved here in February of 2010 and I have seen the ocean exactly once during that time...and for only about thirty minutes. That? is unacceptable. Unacceptable I say!

But all that is about to change, because the position Rob was hired for is in beautiful, sunny Florida! We will be moving close enough to Orlando to smell the non-stop fun, and I am super excited. Not only will we be close enough to enjoy the touristy theme parks for a weekend if we choose...THERE'S AN IKEA!!! (Yeah, I'm a shameless Ikea lover, so what?)

The down side is that we aren't very close to any of our parents or siblings, but I'm trying to remind myself that there are a lot of families in that situation. For goodness sake, think of the traveling military families go through. I'm sure we will be just fine. I am super excited that I will be within about two hours or so of my Florida family members...people I next-to-never get the chance to see! I've got a lot of catching up to do!

So, I suppose that's it. It's been a whirlwind few weeks, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. The final pages of this chapter of our lives are here, and I can't wait to see what the next chapter will bring!
The beautiful beach I was lucky enough to see last October in Florida...A year is too long to go without the ocean!

August 2, 2011

For Today, August 3rd

Wow, is it really August? Already? I just can't believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was taking down the Christmas decorations and making sure I had plenty of blankets out to buffer against the cold wind blowing in through the cracks in this old house. Summer seems to have flown right past me this year! Sure, it's still plenty warm enough outside here in Pennsylvania, but the way this year is flying by, it'll be cold again before I know it. I mean really...there are only four months until December! That sort of puts things into perspective...

So much has happened in the past few week, and I have definitely been super slack about getting around to my personal passions. I know life sometimes gets demanding, but I feel so out of touch lately with myself. I really can't wait for the tides of life to leave something new in the sand at my feet. I can feel things coming! My hubby graduated last month! It seemed so far away last year, when we picked up everything and moved to Pennsylvania for him to return to school. Now, I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. He's starting his internship in the coming days, and after that, we have the whole world ahead of us. There's no telling where we could end up since he will be looking for a position in his new field. It has been difficult not to hope that we can return to my beloved South Carolina. Pennsylvania is beautiful, but it certainly hasn't been home. One thing I learned from my first-ever huge move was that I am Southern to the core...and always will be. I know our future location will be up in the air, but I can't help but hope I land somewhere near home. Hopefully near the ocean.

It feels good to get back to writing for myself again. I have missed this outlet, and I am resolving right now to make more time for it, which means making more time for myself. The best way I could think of to start is by sharing a Daybook entry! I love The Simple Woman's Daybook. Doing an entry really helps you slow down, take a moment, and really be present in the here and now...

Outside my window... the sun is coming and going. Mostly going. We certainly need some rain around here though, so bring on the showers!

I am thinking...about the future. Yeah I know, I should try not to do that so much since I tend to worry and freak out, but I can’t help it. Honestly, I am trying a new approach to it. I’m consciously making a choice to release strict plans and try to be more open to whatever the universe has coming to me.

I am thankful...for my supportive, loving husband. I don’t know how I got so lucky. He truly supports me and encourages me no matter what. If you look up perfect husband in the dictionary, you’ll find his picture. I am thankful for him every second of every day!

From the learning rooms…life is a learning room around here these days! My hubby graduated in July and I am so proud, I can’t find the words to express it. We are both learning daily that life only gets better when you are lucky enough to spend it with your best friend. I can’t imagine facing the future without him.

In the kitchen...blueberries, blueberries, and more blueberries! We can’t get enough of the amazingly huge blueberries from our local Conn’s Blueberry Farm. We’ve been three times this season to pick. It’s a good thing you aren’t literally what you eat, because we’d both have turned into giant blueberries by now! We’re going again Thursday and can’t wait!

I am wearing...yoga pants and a t-shirt. Hopefully, they will inspire me to work out more than being in jeans, hehe!

I am creating...a whole lotta nothing right now. Life got the best of me, but I plan to get back on my creative streak as soon as possible. Starting with writing, right?

I am going...to resolve to make more time for the things I love. Work, even if it is part time, feels like it has taken over around here! I have to make myself realize that my art isn’t just a hobby, it’s my passion. And, as my passion, it is just as important (if not more so) than things that might hold me back.

I am wondering...if I have the nerve to step out and risk it.

I am reading...Duma Key by Stephen King. You should be too.

I am hoping...that everything works out for the best.

I am looking forward to...what is ahead. I have a feeling September and October are going to be big around here!

I am hearing...three sleeping cats. I just love that one sort of snores and the other two purr on their exhales. A napping cat is the picture of perfect relaxation.

Around the house...chore have piled up again. Is it weird I miss doing them? I am so ready to dig in now that I have an afternoon or two free to actually spend time on our nest.

I am pondering...this quote from one of my go-to inspirational books, Fit from Within: “Forever and next weekend can take care of themselves. You take care of today.”

One of my favorite things...hearing my little Charlie Bug’s sing-song meow as she plays with her all time favorite toy - her pink milk jug ring. Yeah…she has loads of toys and her favorite is a free piece of plastic. She always gets a look of sheer bliss when she walks around the house with it in her mouth. Silly kitty…

A few plans for the rest of the week… Well, I am trying not to make too many. The general plan will be to get work done early so I can do at least one or two chores, then at least one thing for myself each day.

Picture for thought… I have had SO much going on! Here’s a storyboard of just a few things that happened in the past month!
I used an awesome Template by Allison Kimball for this layout!

Thanks for stopping by, and if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! I really appreciate your visit!

May 27, 2011

For Today...May 27th

It has been far too long since I blogged. I can't believe it, and I am going to strive to make it not be this long ever again! I have got to start taking time for me! So, the perfect way to focus and be present in the moment is the Simple Woman's Daybook. Make sure you visit the blog to participate yourself!

Outside my window...the rain has stopped, but I think it may return.

I am thinking... that being positive is the hardest thing on Earth to do most of the time. Why is that?

I am thankful for...my home and family. A lot of people have lost it all in the last few weeks and I know how blessed I am to have a roof, my family, and the things I love around me.

From the learning rooms...the end of school is drawing ever closer for my hubby. I'll be glad when he finishes because he works so hard at school and work. It's like having two full time jobs. He's burned out most of the time and I don't know how to help. I'll be very happy for the change and the new things (hopefully) coming after graduation.

From the kitchen...more coffee. Yes, that addition is hard to break! It's like a warm hug from a friend -something I could really use right now.

I am wearing...jeans and a sweatshirt. No matter how it tries, the weather can't quite shack off the cool temperatures around here! Get with the program PA weather...it is almost June!

I am creating...well, that's a loaded question! I have been painting and drawing, but I have also been working on the behind-the-scenes efforts of opening an Etsy shop. Why must fun things be made so difficult by taxes and licenses. So discouraging!

I am going... to take it minute by minute and one day at a time. It's all I can do.

I am reading... Duma Key by Stephen King. Wonderful so far, but it is making me more and more aware of how much I miss the ocean.

I am hoping... things won't stay this hard for much longer.

I am hearing...my new kittens making thunder upstairs. So full of energy!

Around the house...same old stuff, different day. So many chores but I put my personal stuff behind other business. Sigh...

One of my favorite things... how soft and warm Charlie and Bean (my new little girl and little boy) are when they beg to be cuddled. They've only been here a month and already I'm wrapped around their little paws.♥

A few plans for the rest of the week... see "I am going..."! I'm going to breathe and take things one day at a time.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... my sweet babies, Charlie and Bean. the story behind Charlie's name is this: we were told she was a boy, but upon further investigation when we made it home...she was definitely a girl. Charlie really has a rambunctious, tom-boy like personality, so the name still fits her very well! Bean is the sweetest momma's boy ever, with a curious streak a mile wide! They make me laugh when nothing else can. ♥
Charlie and Bean, our brand new babies...11 weeks old now!

April 7, 2011

For Today...April 7th

Outside my window...the day has faded to night and the traffic light is blinking at me from the corner.

I am wearing... torn up jeans and a tee, did more painting today!

I am thinking... how wonderful it is to have family and friends that support your dream. You know who you are, and I love you!

I am thankful for... well, see above!!

From the kitchen... hmm. Wasn't thinking about it until I read that! Now I'm hungry.

I am creating... every day. I don't have to finish the project or painting, it's the process. Creating makes me feel alive and happy. It's my drug and I love it!

I am reading... Duma Key by Stephen King. It's really making me miss the beach.

From the learning rooms...my hubby had a speech today in class! I wish I could have seen him, but I know that would make him nervous. I am SO proud of him, especially for his speech class. I can not tell you enough how much I fear/loath/avoid-at-all-costs speaking in public...or large groups of people. Ok, pretty much any social situation.

I am hoping...I can keep this train on the tracks!

I am hearing... the TV, both my and my hubby's typing. Yeah, we're that couple.

I am going...to take this one day at a time. I deserve this!

Around the house...laundry,dishes,general tidying...and creating, though I wouldn't call that a chore! 

I am remembering...to tell myself that I AM worth it, I AM valuable, and I DO deserve good things. I shouldn't be so hard to believe that stuff, right?

Quote to commit to memory... "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~Gandhi   ....and I am SO working on that!

A few plans for the week... getting some necessary things out of the way so I can get more paint on my hands and in my hair!

One of my favorite things...spending a lazy afternoon with my hubby ♥

Photo for Thought... Today was beautiful, and warm enough to go check out the lake, post-winter. Since the weather is warming up, but the water hasn't, there was an odd ring of fog surrounding town all day. It was clear and beautiful right in town, but by the lake, a defined wall of fog. We walked along the water, so I decided to take a shot or two. 
     Also, I finished a mixed media piece today that I was pretty excited about., so I'll share that too! Thanks for stopping by my blog, have a great night!
You can usually see for miles and miles, but today, you couldn't see the water until you were right up on the edge!
There's still some 'burgs in the lake, and the birds were taking advantage!
Find Magic, original mixed media (by me!) on 5x7 art board.

March 29, 2011

For Today...March 29th

     It feels so good to have a minute for myself, to sit down and round up my thoughts! I think I may have only blogged once this entire month, not counting today, and that is not OK for me. I really need to carve out more time for myself.
     I have been trying to do just that as far as my art! It feels amazing to be creatively active again on canvas, and I have big plans coming up, if I can work out the logistics. It's such an exciting time for me right now when I stop to think about it. I'm painting again, my hubby graduates in six months with his degree in Biomedical Electronics, which means we are that much closer to finding another place to move as he applies for placement in his new career...no wonder I feel so wobbly. I don't know about you, but the change of seasons, coupled with daily life occurrences,  always makes me feel like I'm in a tailspin. Meh...that could just be my weird mind at work too, though. Who knows!
     I thought this would be a great time to start my Daybook up again. you know, sometimes a list to fill out gets the creative juices flowing. It's sort of like meditating. It gives your mind something to focus on! So, with no further ado, here's my March daybook:

Outside my window...it is bright and sunny, finally! A bit misleading since it is only 26°F out today! I can't wait for warm weather...

I am wearing... torn up jeans and a tee. Getting ready to paint!

I am thinking... short term. I need to live more in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. While those close to me know, I never stop worrying, trying to just think moment to moment is getting easier all the time. 

I am thankful for... my loving, supportive husband. I can't say it enough! I'm also super proud of him for his hard work in school. My A student is really going places!

From the kitchen... coffee! French Vanilla, you are my warm and comforting friend.

I am creating... again! It feels wonderful. I have a process,which really is a moody one, but as long as I keep plodding forward in the process, I always work it out! I love mixed media, so I'm trying to get more into that realm as much as I can.

I am reading... Duma Key by Stephen King. Thought I'd give this one my free time since it's about a painter! I just finished Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster. You simply must pick up one or all of her books. She is so hilarious! Oh, and follow her blog. Do it now!

From the learning rooms... my hubby is on the cusp of his next school term! After this next term, he starts his extern-ship, and we are super duper excited about the wonderful company he will be working with! 

I am hoping...I can make my plans a reality soon. I don't want to jinx it, so no hints right now.

I am hearing... The Bold & The Beautiful. Yeah, guilty pleasure. I grew up watching that and The Young and the Restless with my mom. I like to watch them...feels like girlie time with my mom. Is that weird?

I am going...have a great day today. I will, I will, I will!

Around the house...laundry,dishes,general tidying...repeat. 

I am remembering...taking time for me is not a luxury. We all got that idea somewhere along the way, and it isn't true. Taking time for yourself is so important for your mental health. Believe me, I know!

Quote to commit to memory... "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." ~Gandi

A few plans for the week... finish up this piece on the easel and start at least one more, then just general duties about the house (made easier because we got the dryer replaced! Yay clean laundry!)

One of my favorite things...glue and paper on canvas!

Photo for Thought...I have been so excited about painting again. I've been a busy bee, so I thought I'd share. I don't really have a theme, I just paint things I love or that I feel drawn to at the moment. Anyhow, these are what I have been up to since February!
I did a portrait of a good friend's cat, Bandit, then went out on a limb with an abstract. I then painted one of my favorite places in the world, The Angel Oak in Charleston, SC.
     Thanks for stopping by today! If you want to participate in The Simple Woman's Daybook, head on over to the site and get to writing. If you don't blog, but love reading, you can read other women's daybook entries there, too. Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

March 8, 2011

Finding my Muse

     I've been so bogged down in work and running around lately. Lately meaning, as far back as I can think right now. All the while, I've been trying in earnest to be more present and mindful in each day and moment. I always seem to fall right back into worries and stress, no matter how hard I try not to. I know life comes with stress, and that a lot of it simply can't be avoided...but sometimes I feel like I am wearing concrete boots in the middle of a sea of quick sand. Have you ever felt like that?
     Thankfully, my husband is the best possible supporter I could have been blessed with. Rob never stops picking me up, dusting me off, and placing me back on which ever shelf from which I fell. He is my everything. And, he is the one that encouraged me to start painting again. I never stopped on purpose you see. It's one of those things that happen when you grow up. I just sort of never got around to it anymore. Sure, scrapbooking or baking occupy me and make me smile. Photography is fun, and I have a penchant for covering anything I can get my hands on with paper, but there's something about painting. Creating something from a blank slate.
     Maybe it's the fear I have of not liking anything I do, but I think its a combination of all of my emotional issues. I tend to implode and become still when I am stressed or scared...which is most of the time. So painting something seemed like a lost cause. Why, you know? Why start something I might hate, waste all that time or money on materials? That's just how my brain works. 
    Well, Rob doesn't see life that way. He keeps nudging and encouraging me, and so a few weeks ago he made me do something for me. That's the problem. I have an extraordinarily hard time doing something simply for me...past taking a walk or making a cup of coffee, that is. So when I had a single small pay check from my job at the restaurant, he drove me to the art store and told me to buy myself some paint. The universe had the same idea since the forty-eight tube set of acrylics was on sale for 50% off. After a mini-breakdown in the paint aisle over saving the $24 for something we needed more, Rob marched up front and paid for the paint before  I could change my mind.
    Thank God for my husband. Paint might not cure anxiety or depression, but there is definitely something to this art therapy stuff. Sure, I still have the ups and downs that come with working on the painting...pressing forward to find the piece in that blank space, but I feel so much better after I spend time doing nothing but moving colors around on that canvas. Life goes away for a while and I get to be happy in my own little world. I like that. 
     So, my point is that I have been diving into my painting again! Living here in northwest Pennsylvania and so far from my beloved ocean, I naturally gravitated toward the nautical. I like to think I have an inner mermaid, so I decided to try my hand at letting her come out. I'm pretty happy with the outcome...
     I hope you have something in your life that brings you joy, like painting. It can be anything...gardening, reading, travel. What ever it is, do it. Taking time for yourself is not a luxury, it is a requirement. One I'm learning about daily. Go find your inner mermaid...I sure am.

February 20, 2011

For Today...February 20, 2011

Outside my window...the snow has all but melted, though it is still really cold. I remember last year, we didn't have any snow past the end of February. I love to watch it snow, but right now, I am so ready for warm weather so I can head to the water's edge in my flip flops.

I am wearing... jammies. I think I have come down with the icky sinus funk going around up here.

I am thinking...random thoughts. Warm sunshine, flowers, loved ones, not wasting a moment with those we cherish. 

I am thankful for...life. No matter how hard it gets sometimes. There might be long periods of darkness or down times, but just at my lowest point, there's a break in the clouds. If even for a second, to remind me to cherish life.

From the kitchen...nothing much today. Being stuffy doesn't inspire much hunger.

I am creating...slowly. And in spurts. I did actually do some painting this month and got two pieces I am pretty happy with. I'll share a picture of one of them, made for my hubby as a Valentine gift. The other is for a project of sorts. I had posted a status on my personal Facebook about a handmade exchange. I didn't get many takers, since the catch was you then had to repost offering your handmade goodies. But I did have one commenter...and if she's reading this I don't want her to see her surprise!

Rob's gift on my easel.

I am reading... well. I started Digging Up Otis by T. Dawn Richard and You're Not Who You Think You Are by Albert Clayton Gaulden. I usually only do one book at a time, but sometimes, if they are different enough, I read two. These two aren't really that engaging...so I picked up a Jen Lancaster book at Borders here in town, and LOVE it! Bright Lights, Big Ass is too hilarious and you should go get it. NOW. And while you're at it, read Jen's Blog. it's just as hilarious!

From the learning rooms...I'm learning to give myself time. For some reason, I have this thing in my brain that I have to do a perfect, finished painting in one sitting. yeah, sometimes it takes more time! My hubby is still doing very well in his classes. I still can't believe it's been a year since he began and that he graduates in September! Right now, September feels like a lifetime away, but I know it's just right around the corner. I'm so proud of him!

I am hoping...to figure out what the heck the deal is with my hormones. It's been going on for a while, but since turning the big 3-0, it seems so much worse. 

I am hearing...a cat purring in her sleep and the best cooking show on PBS, Cooks Country!

I am going...give myself a break...I swear I will. After doing some writing work, I'm going to make a big pot of tea and cuddle up with my cat and my book for the rest of the day.

Around the house...laundry,dishes,general tidying...how does this much crap pile up so quickly?

I am remembering...Rob's grandmother, known to most of the family as Grandma Great. She passed away this past Tuesday, and the funeral was Saturday. Since we lived in South Carolina, I didn't see her much. But, the times I did, I enjoyed thoroughly! She was a vibrant spirit that never lost her childlike fun side. Her apple dumplings were out of this world, and she loved everyone she met. We were still about 4 hours away living here in North East, so we didn't see her much, but when she got sick we planned a trip to see her on Rob's next day off. She passed before then, so our last visit was the family reunion last September. I am so thankful I could call her family, and that I met and got to know such a wonderful lady. 

Quote to commit to memory... "There are two ways to live your life. One, as if nothing is a miracle. The other, as though everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstein

A few plans for the week... well, just getting well is first. I'm not what my family always called "Sick-sick". I'm that nagging, stuffy, wipe-your-nose-every-two-seconds kind of sick. So resting and lots of fluids for me. I'm sure the housework will still be here in a few days...

One of my favorite things...waking up to see my cat all snuggled up next to me. She is mommy's precious little snuggle bug!

Photo for Thought...I have to share this picture of Rob and his grandmother from our wedding. I just love the story behind it! See, after the wedding ceremony, the wedding party and the family had to gather for the posed shots before the reception. Well, Grandma Grape (as the younger kids called her) had misplaced her teeth in the flurry of getting ready at the house before the wedding. Rob's mom had told him about it...they had almost been late looking for them! Well, when it was her turn to stand and smile with Rob, he looked down and said, "I guess you found your teeth!" and she just blushed, then smacked him and said, "Oh, Robbie!" Our fabulous photographer, Brendon Sharpe, caught the moment and we cherish this photo! I thought it was a fitting memory to share in Grandma Peck's honor. She is greatly missed!

January 31, 2011

February Desktop Freebie!

It's almost February, so heeeeeeere's your freebie! I hope you enjoy it! Happy February and have a great Valentine's Day. The weather people here are calling for a "doozie of a snow storm" tonight, but I'm going to wait and see. Hopefully the power stays on, so I can tell you all about it! Enjoy your desktop and thanks for stopping by!

Remember, I only assemble the desktops. there are a lot of wonderful designers who are very generous! Read the TOU and make sure t visit them!

January 27, 2011

The Two Pots...and More Life Lessons.

     I often need a reminder to be more kind to myself. Ok, more than often! I am, according to my husband, more than a little harsh with myself most of the time. I beat myself up a lot, hold myself to extremely high (sometimes unattainable) standards, and am pretty much my Own Worst Enemy. Aren't we all a little like this? I hope I'm not the only one...but then again, I hope no one else's own-worst-enemy is as harsh as mine, either.  Because of this, I really seek encouraging, supportive things out. Whether they be friends, websites, books, art, or the like. Well, fellow blogger Fifi Flowers posted the best story the other day, and it was just the reminder I needed. I am always amazed at where and when the universe places these little bits of sunshine in my life.  I was just reading through a few blogs I follow, and there it was, just what I needed...just when I needed it. I had to share it with you! I couldn't find a place on her post to comment, so I'll thank her here for posting this story. Thanks Fifi!

The Two Pots
a story

     An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.  
     After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
     The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
     Each of us has our own unique flaws...we are all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them, and don't be afraid of your cracks.

     It's OK. I can admit... I cried a little when I finished reading it, too. How beautiful; the little cracked pot was making the world beautiful and didn't even realize it! This made me stop and think how grateful I am for the people in my life that accept me, cracks and all. It reminds me to be that sort of friend to myself. I hope I am making a difference, just like the little flawed pot. Make sure you slow down and notice the world around you today. Tomorrow too, because one day, you will realize the little things in life we try to squeeze into our busy schedules are really the big things!  

January 20, 2011

A Lesson from a Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee

     I was in search of some quotes last night and remembered Hey! I follow The Twice Remembered Cottage! A beautiful blog full of inspiration, motivation, and...quotes! I was having fun reading through posts when one in particular caught my eye. 
     Now, I have to explain something. I feel like this year is a time of change and metamorphosis for me for some reason, and I have been antsy, almost tortured, by the fact that I don't let my creativity out to play enough. I know I have a whole galaxy of creative... oomph inside me, and I could be doing more, but fear (among other things) stops me. I like to think I'm strong, but sometimes (and I know we all do this at some point) I just want to throw up my hands, throw in the towel, and give up. I'm not quite there yet, but I've been there many times. Right now, I am just...I don't know. I think the universe is working around me and I just don't know where it's taking me right now. I feel fragile right now and in need of some motivation and inspiration to propel my creation. 
     That's where this post from The Twice Remembered Cottage comes in. I truly believe the universe puts things in front of me when I need it, and this is one of those things. This story is so simple, but it's essence is wonderful. Well here, let it speak for itself.

Carrot, Egg, and Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a 
cup of coffee the same way again.
     A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
     Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
     In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

    Turning to her daughter, she asks, "Tell me what you see."
    "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
     Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
     Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
     "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"
     Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
     Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a break-up, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
     Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
     May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.
     The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
     When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

     Isn't that beautiful? There are so many things in there that I need to be reminded of and retaught daily. I have been, and probably continue to be, all three from time to time. What this little story was put in my path to tell me was that I should strive to be the coffee. Thank goodness I will never see these three objects in the same way again. From my heart, I repeat these beautiful words: May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong,enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy. And, may we all be coffee.

January 12, 2011

For Today...First Daybook for 2011

Outside my window...it is beginning to snow again! Most people around here think I'm crazy, but I sure do love watching it snow. It makes everything so beautiful!

I am wearing... yoga pants and long sleeve tee, getting ready to tackle my Pilates!

I am thinking... a lot of different things. I think I need to do more for myself and not give everything I have to others before giving time to myself. Sounds like a late addition to the resolution list, huh?

I am thankful for... my loving, supportive husband. I can't say it enough!

From the kitchen... well, today's lunch was the last serving of my homemade pot pie, and I already want to hit up the grocery store for more pot pie supplies! I think for now though, I'll put on some coffee for a little coffee break after my workout.

I am creating... well, nothing for myself, but I am working on some Facebook and blog stuff for work. I hate code. Did I mention that? yeah...I hate code.

I am reading... a few things! I started a book for our Christmas drive, left that book at my Grandmother's, so I got a book at an outlet. Now I am reading both...Digging Up Otis by T. Dawn Richard and You're Not Who You Think You Are by Albert Clayton Gaulden. 

From the learning rooms... my hubby has started Anatomy & Physiology class, among others, and he was very scared about his first test. But I knew he could do it and...he mad an A!

I am hoping...I can keep my promise to myself to take time for my ventures.

I am hearing... Dr. Phil. Why haven't I changed the channel yet?

I am going...to do my pilates workout right after posting...I swear I will.

Around the house...laundry,dishes,general tidying...repeat. 

I am remembering...My Great Uncle Homer. My Uncle Homer passed away a few days ago and he will be laid to rest tomorrow. I just hate that I can't make it home, but my heart is with them all. My favorite memory will always be Christmas time with him. Every year, when we visited his house, he had a red bulb in his freezer. He told us Santa was going to have a harder time getting around, because he finally got Rudolph! He got me every year with that! I won't even tell you how old I was when I finally figured out the trick...He will be greatly missed.

Quote to commit to memory... "For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it's always our self we find in the sea." e.e. cummings

A few plans for the week... I have a lot of work to do actually, but I also need to get this house cleaned up. I made a deal with my hubby. I got the cutest note on my desk last week: "PLEASE don't take the tree down yet...I love it!" Well, the deal was I take the tree down when our neighbors take their down, or by the 15th or 20th. Which ever comes first. It looks like we might be going for the 20th because my husband pouts when ever i mention it!

One of my favorite things...enjoying a nice cup of coffee and watching it snow!

Photo for Thought... well, i thought I'd share a snow picture with you, since we got our share of it today!
Our front yard...nearly 8 inches! Yay!
My own little collection of snow cones, complete with holder!