Week 4 of 52 – Soul Searching

Well, now, let’s see.  What’s been goin’ on?  For one thing, I’m a slacker.  I know this.  I was supposed to post on Sunday, and here it is Tuesday.  Sorry ’bout that.  I’ve been doing a little soul searching.  That’s the first thing on my list.

Trying to figure out lots of things.  What do I want to do with my blog?  Where do I want to take it?  What do I want to do with me?  Who am I?  What do I want?  How can I make a difference?  How can I serve others?  What is something small that I can do to change the world?  I do believe that every person can make a difference.  And I do believe each one of us was placed on this earth to make a difference, to have an impact on the world.  We all have a purpose, a gift, a talent.  Some of us have more than one.  Some of us have no idea what our gifts or talents are.  Some of us are working in our purpose and not even knowing it.  So, this is one thing I’ve been up to.  Soul searching.  Checking out Marianne Williamson’s website and blog.  Checking out Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.  Checking out Joel Osteen.  thedailylove.com/.  www.marieforleo.com/.  gabbyb.tv/

And I’m checking out A Course in Miracles at http://acim.org/index.html  Today was my first lesson.  Kind o’ wierd, I’ll say, but I’m tryin’ it out anyway.  Just trying to make some shifts in my life, my spiritual life, and find deeper meaning to it all.  I want to get Marianne Williamson’s book ‘A Return to Love’, and see how I react to that.  I’m looking to make many positive changes in my life and my family will benefit from this, as I will.

I did ok last week.  I mean, I went two whole days without cussing!  I cannot believe it!  I’m surprised I made it one day, but two?  There’s hope for me yet.  I know, I’ll get thru a whole week, one of these days.  That’s the goal anyway.  If that gosh-darned, dead-blasted road rage would just stay under control.  ;)  But anyway, kudos to me for two days.

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One of my goals is to eat at 10 new restaurants in 1001 days, but I’ve changed it to 10 new ones each year.  Now, Cock of the Walk is not new to me or Mama, but it was new to Hallie.  Her reaction when we drove up to the restaurant was like, “This is where we’re eating?!”  Funny, because all I could remember about the restaurant that I liked was the pickled onions, so I wasn’t really looking that forward to it, either.  Mama really wanted Hallie to experience it.

We sit down to the table, and the only main dishes on the menu are (a) fish, and (b) chicken.  You could nearly see the steam coming out of Hallie’s ears.  She wanted to leave immediately.  “This is it?  This is the menu?  This is all they have?  Seriously!”  Oh, bless her.  Each entree comes with hush puppies, french fries, pickled onions and mexican cornbread, with which they flip in the air out of a cast iron skillet.  Then, you can add turnip greens and french fried dill pickles, and I think there’s something else you can add, but we were cool with just those add ons.

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I’ll just let you imagine her disgust once the waitress sat down our tin pie plates and tin cups of lemonade.  One sip of that lemonade, though, and she was pretty much sold.  She would not try the pickled onions, as she’s not a fan of onions to begin with, nor any kind of cornbread, except sweet cornbread muffins.  They brought the ginormous platter of chicken and fries and her eyes were popping out.  One bite of the chicken, and she was a fan.

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We all left full as a tick, and had left overs for days.  Afterwards, we walked outside along the water, watched a gentleman fish, and we said our hellos to all the hungry seagulls, praying for some promise of a measly piece of morsel.

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I think next week, we’ll try another place, that’s new to all of us.

Still training for the 5K, although I hit a speed bump and I’m slackin’ on that, as well.  Went four days last week of no training and now I’m suffering.  Yesterday, was simply exhausted from fighting off some head cold or some sort of pressure in my noggin – no doubt related to our CRAZY weather.  And yeah, you guessed it, another day skipped.

Anywho, just stoppin’ by for an update and let ya know what’s been goin’ on in my strange world.  Oh, been writing, of course.  Gotten a good bit of inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien, as usual, and some very enlightening and colorful dreams!  Thank you, God, and subconscious mind!!

About to go update my 101 Things list, since I’m doing good on some things, not so hot on others.

Oh, and I also cooked some new stuff on Sunday.  I made this chicken and black bean stuff in the slow cooker and it was awesome!  Made some sweet potato casserole with fresh sweet potatoes, and I should have baked the taters another hour before using them, as parts were nice and mashy, and other parts were chunky.  Still tasted good, though.  And I didn’t manage to do the streusel topping, as I was out of pecans, so I did the marshmallows instead. Yummo!  I love it when they are cooked to where they are crunchy on the outside and goo-alicious on the inside.  Oh, baby!  Also made some cheezy mexican cornbread.  Mama and I loved that, but again, Hallie is not a cornbread fan.  Oh, and I had to season my new cast iron skillets beforehand.  That was fun.  Not.  But, the cornbread cooked lovely and came out of the skillet so easily.  I’m in love!  I think I’ll add some more cheese to that recipe, though.  You can never have too much cheese, right?  Right!  Oh, and cherry cheesecake for dessert, which is always a big hit, and not something new.  All the other stuff was.  If you are hankerin’ for some recipes, just holla, and I’ll post ‘em.

So, tell me…what’s been going on in your world?  Trying anything new?  Doing any soul searching?  What’s goin’ on with ya?

I hope y’all are having a totally terrifical Tuesday, and many positives are happening in your life today, and on the horizon tomorrow.  Always try to focus on the positive.  I do believe in what we send out comes back to us.  Make sure you send out positive energy, not just for others, but to surround yourself with love, as well.  You deserve good things.  You deserve greatness!  And you can do anything you want to, as long as you have the desire and you don’t let fear stand in your way.  I’m talking to me, too.  It’s ok to feel fear.  Just don’t let it stop you.

If you could do anything and you didn’t worry about what others thought about you, and you didn’t let fear or financial hardship get in your way, what would you do?  What would you try?  Please share.

Love you!  Make it an awesome week!  *big squishy hug*

-Carol

Week 3 of January (3 of 52 Weeks)

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We actually had a snow day last week!  Not enough to miss school or work, but still, it was nice!  Wish it had lasted longer than just through the morning, but was happy to see this white stuff all over the place.  Hopefully, we will be receiving more snow days within the months of January and February.  We haven’t seen snow like this since 2010.  We don’t get too much here in Mississippi.

I’ve been working on many different things this week:  Visualizing and/or Creative Visualization (if you are unsure what this is, I encourage you to look it up.)  For me, it’s a sort of meditation, and at the same time, it’s creating in your mind what you want for yourself, for your family, your property, whatever it may be (play it in mind like a movie):  prosperity, creative vision for writing, to stay in good health, healing physical pain or from past emotion pain, protection of loved ones and our property.  More on this later…  (Ask me for more info if you are interested.)

We’ve been training for our 5K coming up at the end of February, although not as we should.  We have fallen a bit behind, not getting on the treadmill every day that we had planned and not sticking to my less sugar diet, but I did reassess my sugar fast.  I decided I needed to eat more carbs for this training, but I should have left the cupcakes off, as well as the rich chocolatey brownie with vanilla ice cream on top, drizzled with caramel and Ghirardelli chocolate.  It sure was good, though!  And how can you not help eat the cupcakes when you baked them with your daughter?  I’m just sayin’…  *wink*wink*

I’ve been working on my vision board, which is sort of the same thing as the visualization thingy, but it’s in a place where you can see it every day and you put words that have meaning for you, now and in your very near future, and photos of what you want for yourself and your loved ones.  It’s a pretty fun project.  Very empowering.  Helps me to focus on what it is I really want for my life and to see it every day and working on it helps me to keep my eyes on the prize.

Been cleaning a little, although I need to make more time for this.  My house has the very lived in look to it.  We are not, nor ever will be, clean freaks.  I mean, we don’t live in filth and are not hoarders but we are a bit cluttered and we are working on this.  I’m trying to downsize all of our stuff and donate, throw away and organize.  Hallie is trying to help me, although we have to be in the mood to do it.  We did force ourselves to work on this yesterday when we were most definitely NOT in the mood to do it.  Felt good when we got it done, though.  Felt like we actually accomplished something.

Organizing – same as the cleaning.  Please see above.

Writing – Oh, so much fun!  I’ve been making more time for this and have been working on a pretty cool story (sci-fi/fantasy/adventure).  I’ve got to make a few trips to the library during the weeks ahead to do a bit of research on a couple of subjects.  Very nice to have found some inspiration.  Of course, when I read most anything written by Tolkien or watch any of those types of movies, based on the story, I find inspiration.

I’ve not being spending much time for photo taking this week, although I got some great shots of our snow day.  And I am planning on taking some family shots with the tripod this upcoming weekend, and probably the surrounding areas of where we shoot.

I’m about to go update my 101 things list.  I have been actively working on some of these items, and need to get my rear in gear on some of those I’ve fallen behind on.

Hallie and I have been working on Girl Scout stuff, selling Girl Scout cookies, working in her Journey Book, etc.   She’s not feelin’ it too much right now, though.  Last year, we were all about it, sellin’ those cookies, gettin’ out there, doing stuff, working on GS things, and she’s not showing a whole lot of interest in it lately.

Haven’t been cooking many new recipes except one in particular, which turned out rather well.  Everyone seemed to like it.

Focusing on God’s words having power.  His words are living things and when you say them, they have power.  When you feel them and believe them, they have power.  Sort of the same thing about what you say about yourself.  When you say, “I need to lose weight.  I wish I looked better.  I’m so painfully shy.”  These words have power of negativity and they break you down and make you feel more of this negativity.

When you say, “I am beautiful.  I am thin and healthy.  It’s so great to buy everything we need.  I feel so great.  I have some really good friends, and I am confident”, these words have power of positivity.  I do believe we are what we say we are.  When we send out positive vibes, they come back to us times ten.  Same thing with the negative stuff.

I’m not what you would consider a religious person.  We don’t go to church every Sunday, and I don’t feel you have to go to church to have a strong relationship with God/Jesus.  It’s not about a place you go to.  Not to me.  But I do try to study The Bible with Hallie and learn more about it.  And practice it.  And study books related to The Bible.

I encourage you to watch The Secret.  The Secret holds the same principles that The Bible talks about.  Of course, The Secret doesn’t actually refer to The Bible or God, but The Bible has the same teachings in it that The Secret does.  The Secret just makes it seem more accessible and understandable – more interactive.  Not saying The Secret is better.  Nothing can ever replace The Bible.  Just saying The Secret can help you to become focused and inspired to actively pursue what it is you want for yourself.

I hope y’all have had a great week!  I hope all of you have accomplished some things you set for yourself for the month.  You still have a few days left to get something done.  What’s going on in your world?  Anything new?  Feeling inspired?  Uninspired?  Too much on your plate and you are left feeling overwhelmed?  Let me know.

Y’all have an awesome week!  Make it a great one!  Do something this month to make January memorable, even if it’s just for one day.  Will you be able to look back in a year and remember something awesome you accomplished one day during January?  Did you start something this month that’s just the beginning of something amazing!  Even if you feel it’s small, tell me about it.  Let me cheer you on!  You can start something today!

Love you!  *squish*  ;)

-Carol

Where is the Sun?

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Long week.  I suppose I feel this way, because it’s been raining for what seems like every day of the week.  Hardly no sun, and oh, how I miss the sun.  I do love dark stormy skies and rain.  Just not every day.

Well, what have we been up to…  I got a wild hair and decided I would cross something off my bucket list.  I decided to do a 5K.  Crazy, right?!  It gives me motivation to get my rear in gear, lose a bit of weight, and get a bit more fit.  So, I jumped on the treadmill and started training.  I somehow talked Hallie and Mama into joining in with me.  Cool, huh?  So, they jumped on the treadmill, too.  30 minutes a day, running and walking, with a couple of rest days per week.  Only, we had a little more rest, since we started at the middle of the week, plus had Buddy in the livingroom, where the treadmill is, because of all the storms and rain.  He would not let us get on the treadmill.  It’s kind of loud anyway, and we didn’t want to excite him too much.  We’ll be back on that treadmill today.

I also had decided to do a sugar fast.  No sugar in my coffee, and I have been good about sticking to that.  No desserts or sweets, and I failed at that.  I had been doing well, but then I had bacon and bleu steak, parmesan steak fries and tomato and mozzarella salad.  I could not pass up dessert of a nice rich warm brownie with vanilla ice cream on top, drizzled with Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel.  Could you pass that up?  What’s better about eating that, is that we had 3 spoons, and Hallie and Mama shared that serving.  ;)  I’m telling you, eating that dessert was worth cheating on my sugar fast.  I have decided to give up my sugar fast since I did that.  However, I will exercise restraint on rich desserts such as what we ate.  And I will eat more fruits and juices but will try to still pull back on the sugar intake.  I do need some sugar while training for this 5K.  Carbs are important to give your bod the energy it needs to keep training and not pass out.  Still, no sugar in my coffee.  I have become accustomed to the flavor, anyhow.  I do love my java!  Thank you so much, Mama and Hallie for training with me.  It really helps me to stay motivated.

I slacked on posting to the blog yesterday, as you can see.  I had planned to do it every Sunday.  Yesterday was such a blah day.  Rain all day.  Dark clouds all day.  We had Buddy inside and we didn’t feel like doing a thing.  No energy.  Just wanted to lay around on the couch and watch movies, catch up a little on tv shows like Merlin.  LOVE that show and HATE this is the last season.  *sniff*

And I suppose that’s it.  Oh, I did so well yesterday.  Went a whole day without a bad word!  Didn’t know I could do it.  Almost made it the day before, but alas, I was in a phone conversation with a pal, and the H word fell out, and I blew it.  I was so disappointed in myself.  But glad at myself for making it yesterday.  Blew it already today.

Lilly had to go out at 2am, so I took her, and she wouldn’t do anything, yet pulled on the leash when I wanted to go back in, so I decided she really did need some relief.  Then, she decided she wanted to go back in.  RATS! I was a bit peeved.  I don’t mind getting up at 2am if one of the dogs needs to go out, but she did not.  She just wanted to go outside for no particular reason.  I did not take it well and a word slipped out.  Disappointed in myself again.  So, I’ll start again today, and hopefully can go the rest of the day without one.  I have got to get my trash mouth under control.

I guess that’s all.  Seems like there was something else, but cannot remember, as it is a Monday after all, and 5:30am and I am sleeeepy.  I’m updating my 101 Things, completed something, more stuff in progress, probably failing at a few things, but at least I have a good bit of time to accomplish.  We can always start fresh.  We don’t even have to wait until tomorrow.  We can start fresh at any given point in the day, and that’s what I’m doing.  I’m not waiting till tomorrow to start fresh.  I’m starting again NOW.  How has your week been?  Accomplishing all you have set out for yourself?  I hope so.  And if not, you can always start fresh right now.

The above photo probably looks like a black and white, but it’s not.  Full color.  That’s just to show you how completely dark and dreary it was yesterday afternoon.  Early in the afternoon.

I miss you guys.  Kind of weird not posting every day.  Have a groovilicous day and a great week!  Love ya!  *smooch*

-Carol

2013, Our Year of Jubilee

P1110804The Bible speaks many times of the blessed year.  Joel Osteen made reference of it many times when we had the honor of going to see him Friday night, and listen to his inspiring message, along with inspiring messages from his beautiful family members (mother, wife, son and daughter) and other ministers in the surrounding Jackson, Mississippi area.

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     “Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan.”  (Leviticus 25:10)
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Joel spoke about it saying in this year of Jubilee, which may only happen once in a lifetime, all debts were canceled, all slaves were set free, all servants were released, and all properties would return to the original owners.
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We can choose to have our year of Jubilee any time we wish.  All we have to do is start with hope.  From hope springs faith.  Faith turns to believing.  Believing turns to Prayers Answered, Relief, Joy, and Possibility.  For we all know, or at least we should, that “With God, all things are possible.”

All you have to do is focus on what it is you want for your life.  You declare that is what’s going to happen.  Send it to God and the universe.  And watch things happen for you!  Great things are in store for us this year!  This is going to be a year of true celebration and relief.  Relief from debt.  Relief from sickness.  Relief from worry.  Relief from depression.  What will you release today?  Will you start your year of Jubilee today?  What do you declare for your life?

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It has been a good week.  We are better, health-wise.  We still have a little ways to go before being completely well, but hey, better is always good.  It’s been this change in weather.  Dry one day.  Rain the next day or two or three.  Sort of warm and comfortable one day.  Cold and shivery the next.  The weather is playing tricks on our sinuses, and that’s no fun, but still, better is good.  I’ll take it.

Been doing well on my 101 Things list, albeit not as swell as I’d like, as I’m not accomplishing each of those daily things I’d set out to do, but still, getting them done most days of the week, so I’ll take that, too.  I can see improvements.  I can see that I’m trying and doing, so it’s a good thing.  I will accomplish all I set out to do during these next 1001 days.  I am determined.  I am stubborn and am learning follow through, and I believe in me.  I have much to do during this year, and I’m looking forward to all these things.  I’ll be updating my list online weekly.

How has your year been, thus far?  I know, we are only one week in, but, you know, much can happen in one week.  Did you set resolutions for the new year that you’ve kept?  Did you break some already?  Or did you set goals?  The great things about goals you set for the next 1001 days, or even the next 365, or the next 30, is that you still have time to accomplish those goals.  The wonderful thing about each new day is that you can begin again.  A fresh, new day, with no mistakes in it.  A day full of possibility.  Full of accomplishment.  Productivity. Or even rest.  Because we all need some of that.

Getting rest is just as important as getting things done.  What do you need in your life?  More productivity?  Or more down time?  Some rest?  Try to find balance in your life, if not during the week, then make some time for balance during your weekend.  It is great to be productive.  It is just as good to get the rest that you so desperately need.  And that is how you stay in good health.  To get your rest in.  Don’t forget to take your vitamins, drink your water and orange juice, and get plenty of fresh air and sunlight on your face.  All in moderation, though.  Don’t overdo.  Don’t forget to get some sort of exercise in, also.  Talking to me, too.

Have you made your list of 101 Things in 1001 Days?  It will help you get motivated to making some changes in your life, break some habits, and make some healthy new ones.  I will do my best to keep that list of mine updated, as to how my progress is going, or not.  ;)  I’m sure I’ll do better on some things more than others, but I will strive to accomplish all I have set for myself for these next -1001 days.

I hope you are well, and your family is well.  Take care of yourself.  Do better than that.  Celebrate yourself.  Because you are awesome!  You are beautiful, talented, smart, funny.  And you are loved.  You know, words truly have power.  Make it a point, daily, to only use good, positive words for yourself, your life, and for others.  You will be amazed at how differently you  start to see things and how differently your life will change for the better once you start making this a daily habit.  Start now.  Say it with me:

I am awesome!
I am beautiful!
I am everything I choose to be!
I am talented!
I am creative!
I am smart!
I am funny!
I am loved!
I am special!
I am happy!
I am healthy!

Does it sound or seem corny/cheesy ?  Get over that.  And get on with your declarations.  Choose your life.  Choose who you want to be.  Choose who you ARE.  It’s not for who you will be, or what you want.  It’s for who you are, and what you have – right now.  Declare it for yourself now.  And watch it all unfold. This is what it means to have faith and believe.  You believe it’s been already given, and then.  It is given.

I look forward to hearing each of your accomplishments.  Each of your declarations.  Each of your triumphs.  Each of your sweet new lives unfold for the better, because you believed, and believe every day.  Believe it.  Know it.  Live it.

Hugs and a smooch!  I love you, my leetle squishies!  ;)

-Carol