Can One Fall Off The Earth?

No, I suppose one cannot fall off the Earth, although my friends out there have probably been assuming I did.  I have not forgotten you guys nor have I forgotten the blog.  I have been self employed since May, working simultaneously for three jobs and between 30 to 45 hours a week, give or take.  Not much time for anything fun, except work, although we did take a lovely vacation to Gatlinburg and Chattanooga, Tennessee, for which I’ll be updating you with photos very soon.  Trying to make time to spend with family, albeit not nearly enough.  Not getting any time to spend with friends, except maybe a couple of hours a month.  Just wanted to update you and let you know that I’m working on a plan to increase income while decreasing work hours.  I’ll let you know how that one goes.  ;)

I will try to make some time to return emails to my buddies who have emailed me, and will try to make the time this upcoming weekend to do an actual blog post about our goings on as of late.  So sorry I have not been current and posting as I know I should.  It is still important to me and I will try to get better at updating regularly.

I know.  Excuses…  Excuses…

P1130155

Oh, and while you wait, and since you have been so patient with me, I will reward you with one of my latest photos.  These are Fennec Foxes.  These are some of the cutest furry creatures I have ever seen!  If any of you have ever read the Skippyjon Jones books, he might come to mind when you look at these sweet babies!!  I’m in my 40s and still read those funny books!!!  Of course, I got them when Hallie was little and we read them together (while, of course, using our Spanish Baby Hero voices) and they were so gut-busting hilarious, any time I need some laughter, I go read one out loud, and yes, using my Spanish Baby Hero voice.

I hope and trust that all of you are doing fantastically well.  Love ya!!  *smooch*  ;)

-Carol

My 101 Things in 1001 Days

P1020943

My 101 Things in 1001 Days (about 2 years and 9 months)
Tuesday – January 1, 2013 thru Thursday, September 29, 2015

Go here (these are just a few) and get yourself some ideas if you need some:
http://101goalsin1001days.com/
http://sarsm.wordpress.com/take-part/
http://dayzeroproject.com/

Goal and (Deadline) Updated May 13, 2013

Health, Wellness & Fitness
1) Fit into my size 5 jeans, or at least a 7 (Spring / Summer 2013) – In progress
2) Get back into martial arts
3) Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night - Failed
4) Take our vitamins every day – Failed
5) Get at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise six days per week (some/1001)
6) Eat at least one good source of protein every day – In progress (133/1001)
7) Get one or more massages
8) Eat no sugary food for a week

Outdoors
9) Grow Spring food plants in the garden (Pre-Spring /Spring 2013)
10) Grow Summer food plants in the garden (Spring /Summer 2013)
11) Grow Fall food plants in the garden (Summer /Fall 2013)
12) Grow strawberries (Spring /Summer 2013)
13) Grow corn (Spring /Summer 2013)
14) Grow tomatoes (Spring /Summer 2013)
15) Plant flowers / flowering plants in the side yards (Spring 2013)
16) Plant flowering trees in the back yard (Early Fall 2013)
17) Clean out, till, trim and prep garden when cooler (Winter /Spring 2013) In progress

Home
18) Decorate the living room’s bare walls (Winter 2013)
19) Decorate my bedroom’s bare walls (Winter 2013)
20) Repaint Hallie’s bedroom (Spring /Summer 2013)
21) Repaint bathroom (Spring /Summer 2013)
22) Repaint my home office (Spring /Summer 2013)
23) Make my office organized, well-decorated, comfy place of inspiration
(organized Jan 2013/ painted & decorated Spring 2013) – In progress
24) Recaulk areas around windows throughout house and kitchen sink (Jan 2013)
25) Find perfect curtains & rods for livingroom, buy and install (Jan /Feb 2013) – Completed (2/26)
26) Clean out and organize my office closet (Jan 2013)
27) Purchase more comfortable couch (Jan/ Feb 2013)
28) Purchase more comfortable rocker/ recliner (Feb/ Mar 2013) – changing this to a loveseat
29) Have plumber fix leaky outside faucet (Jan/ Feb 2013) – Completed (2/15)
30) Clean out and organize kitchen cabinets and pantry (Jan 2013)
31) Clearcoat the kitchen table (Jan /Spring 2013)
32) Have handyman put phone outlet in home office (Jan /Feb 2013)
33) Have handyman change all 2 prong outlets to 3 prong outlets (Jan/ Feb 2013)
34) Have carpenter & electrician reroute breakers and enlarge bedroom closet access
(Spring/ Summer 2013)
35) De-clutter 2 rooms of my house–hopefully permanently – Completed (2/2) Hoping this lasts…
36) Learn how to re-finish wooden tables and re-finish my kitchen table
37) Downsize the stuff in our house – In progress

Travel & Family Vacations
38) Go back to Chattanooga, Tennessee
39) Go back to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (Oct/ Nov 2013)
40) Go back to Disney in Orlando (Nov /Dec 2013)
41) Visit Harry Potter Themepark at Universal Studios (Nov/ Dec 2013)
42) Set reservations for Disney in Nov/ Dec (plane tickets, dining) (May/ Jun 2013)
43) Go to Hawaii
44) Go to Paris

Other Structures Around Home
45) Clean out and organize barn (Spring/ Summer 2013)
46) Clean out and organize shop (Spring/ Summer 2013)
47) Clean out and organize storage room (Winter/ Spring 2013)

Family Time
48) Spend one-on-one quality time twice a week with Hallie (tv is not quality time) – In progress
49) Try at least one new recipe per week – In Progress (5/1001) – The lentil soup is fabulous!!!
50) Have 10 family picnics
51) Try 10 new restaurants – In progress (does it count if it’s new to Hallie, but not me?)
Cock of the Walk was pretty good. The chicken. I’m not a fried fish fan. I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.  Restaurant was new to Hallie, not me.
Outback Steakhouse – only thing good was the salad (Blue Cheese Wedge). The food wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t good enough to ever go back. Service was ok. The so-called steak made us sad. It was tiny, skinny, not juicy, sort of bland. 1 out of 5 stars. I went to OS several years ago and it was better back then.  Restaurant was new to Hallie, not me.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – AWESOME!  Fall of the bone ribs!  The turkey is awesome.  The barbecue baked beans totally rock!  The baked potato casserole is downright tasty!  We will be eating there again.  And inexpensive.
52) Go fruit picking
53) Stargaze and look for shooting stars

Computer, Photography, Drawing, Writing, Ancestry
54) Clean out my various email inboxes and folders (2013) – In Progress
55) Unsubscribe from emails I never read (2013) – In Progress
56) Edit, save, and organize photos on flashdrives, and label all (Winter/ Spring 2013) – In Progress
57) Post at least once a week to my ‘adjusting your focus’ blog (52 weeks thingy) – Failed
58) Write creatively for at least 15-30 minutes per day every day of the week – In progress (some/1001)
59) Post at least once a month to my ‘time for chow’ blog – (should have done that with The Cock of the Walk one, eh?) – Failed
60) Update my photo website at least once per month – Failed
61) Check my photo website email and main personal email account daily – In progress (most/1001)
62) Send and track 200 photo queries to magazines, stock sites and publications
63) Post at least once a week to my ‘become more me’ blog – (I’m thinking of just sticking to one blog.  Trying to simplify.) – Failed
64) Check my friend’s blogs at least once per week – In progress
65) Create an Excel spreadsheet for my business expenses and income for 2013
66) Track and document my business deductions and receipts for 2013
67) Send & track 200 writing queries (2013)
68) Compile 1st draft of my book – In progress
69) Publish my book
70) Learn about the settings on my camera and use them – In progress
71) Resubscribe to ancestry.com (could also go under Money)
72) Resume drawing: sketch some of my favorite subjects – In progress…  Not all progress is good, though…
73) Submit something to a writing contest
74) Take at least 30 photos per month of favorite family members, pets, our homes, our land, and different sorts of things – In progress
75) Finish weeding through my bookmarks
76) Scan in all unscanned photos
77) Print out all unprinted photos
78) Update all my lists

Reading
79) Read one book a week (Jan thru Dec 2013) – In progress (perhaps I should change to one book every 2 weeks…   Re-reading The Hobbit (read before as a child)
Read The Prayer of Jabez (1/143 weeks)
Also reading Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

80) Read 30 literature classics – In Progress

81) Re-read all of the Harry Potter books in a row

Learning & Education
82) Relearn the constellations and teach them to Hallie
83) Learn the basics of French
84) Learn how to can tomatoes

Personal & Misc
85) Update will
86) Write three things I’m grateful for every day – In progress (most days, so probably 80/1001) I thank God every day, out loud.  Does that count?
87) Not swear for a whole week – Completed (2/14) (Made it 20 days in a row, then broke)
88) Spend a whole weekend without computer or internet access
89) Do some volunteer work
90) Dance in the rain
91) Go to the zoo
92) Go ice skating
93) Complete the 5000 Question Survey
94) Complete “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind” – Completed 01/11/13 YEAH BABY!!!!  BOOYAH!

Money & Finance
95) Get up to date with Hallie’s college savings account
96) Pay off all debt
97) Save money for vacation
98) Save money for Christmas
99) Save $5 for every task I complete – In Progress (5/101)
100) Start a new retirement fund
101) Acquire health insurance

In progress: 22
Completed: 5
Failed: 6

I also made a new page so it’s easier to find My 101 Things in 1001 Days.

And, this completes My Project 366 – posting a photo every day of the year of 2012.

And onward to my new project – posting at least once per week (52 weeks) of accomplishing My 101 Things, and although I’m great at adding things to my To Do list and Projects list, I’m gonna try not to do that, and just complete all those tasks I’ve set for myself and just get those done.  There’s quite a bit to tackle, as you can see.  I’ve got almost 3 years to get it done, so I’m gonna work at it super duper hard, every single day.

Honestly, it’s a bit overwhelming, but not enough to strike fear into my heart, and not enough to start doubting myself.  Nope, I’ve worked on this list since July and I’ve narrowed it to those things that I feel most passionate about, at least for the next 2 to 3 years – the most important of those being Family (friends are included here), Health & Fitness, and Writing & Photography.  When I began the list, I had about 200 things I wanted to complete.  Glad the title is 101 Things.  ;)

So, at the end of this year, I would like to propose a toast:

To you, your friendship, your kindness, your inspiration, your genius, your talent, your health, your family, your happiness.

To me, my family, and all those same things.

I toast to us and all our greatest ambitions, to another year we made it through, and to this upcoming year, full of dreams, goals and anticipation.

May our new year of 2013 be filled with endless wonder, more laughter and good times than tears, more good health than sickness, and more productivity and accomplishments than failures.  Although, failures are not all bad.  They, too, have something to teach us.  And remember, if there is something you want to do, quit waiting as I have.  There is no failure in trying.  The sin is never trying at all.

God speed.  And I will be checking on each one of you and your accomplishments and in everything you try and I’ll be cheering you on!  What have you been putting off because of fear?  YOLO (You Only Live Once, or so they tell us).  GO FOR IT!!!  What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?  I believe in you.  And I believe in me.  And remember, “With God, all things are possible.”  We can do anything we put our minds to.  All it takes sometimes is adjusting your focus.  ;)

Cheers!  Drink up!

Love ya!  *smooch*

-Carol

Day 366 of My Project 366!  I really did it!  Yeah, man!  Whoop-whoop!  I CAN do anything I set my mind to!!  I AM a winner!!  I AM going to accomplish all I set out to do!!

Red and Green…and Imagining

P1020975
I was clickin’ through pictures, and I believe I may have posted this one before, but I don’t care.  The red and green remind me of Christmas.  The path and stairway look magical as if to lead to limitless magic and (to borrow words from Warehouse 13:) endless wonder.  We were already surrounded by boundless beauty, as we were in Rock City Gardens in Chattanooga, Tennessee – one of our all time favorite places.

Rock City Gardens is one of the most beautiful places on earth – right up there in the top 10.  I am such a huge fan of rocks.  Small rocks, crystals, stones.  Medium sized for sitting on, climbing.  And gynormous ones for their striking beauty, majesty, strength, and again, climbing.  Oh, did I mention how much I love to climb?  Besides that, Rock City is full of beautiful shades of green, but truly, there are all colors of the rainbow that can be found along the paths of Rock City Gardens.  Once you’ve been, you’ll want to go again and again.  It never looks the same.  It never gets boring.  It is always breathtaking.  Plus, once you get to the top of Lookout Mountain, you can see 7 states all at once.  Now, how cool is that?
P1020973
Back to magical stairways.
Mama, Hallie and I went to the movies to see The Hobbit today.  Awesome!!!!  I’m a huge sci-fi fan.  I love Lord of the Rings.  Love J. R. R. Tolkien.  Love most anything filmed in New Zealand.  And many parts of Rock City Gardens seem as mystical as those meandering paths, hills and lands traveled by Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, as well as their many traveling companions.

What can you imagine is under that cliff?  What’s at the top of the stairway?  Use that colorful imagination of yours.  What kind of story can you come up with.  Sounds fun!  I think I’ll go write!

Nighty night!  God speed!  Sleep tight!  Adventuresome dreams!

*squish*

-Carol

Go Tell It On The Mountain

that Jesus Christ is born!! He is the reason for the season, ya know? Thanks God, for sending Jesus. Thanks for Christmas – the best birthday of all.

One of my top 10 places to visit, and we have visited this place more often than any other. Chattanooga, Tennessee.

My favorite destinations, thus far:
Blue Ridge Mountains/ Blue Ridge Parkway/ Shenandoah Parkway, USA
Anchorage, Alaska (and the outskirts), USA
Montana, USA
Wyoming, USA
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
Norman & Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (and the outskirts), USA
Disney, Orlando, Florida, USA
Anywhere I go with Hallie and Mama
…oh, and I just have to squeeze in an 11th – Sedona, Arizona, USA

What are your top ten destinations?

You’re Always On My Mind, Chattanooga

…you’re always on my mind.  I’m so sorry to say we won’t get to see you this year.  Maybe next year, my old dear friend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have much to be thankful for!

Have a fabulous Friday, and good luck to all you Black Friday shoppers out there.  I’m sitting this one out.  Not in the mood to get rammed with a shopping cart again, by a crazy lady with a running start, nor wait in line for an hour or longer, nor deal with all the insanity that reigns on this craziest day of the year.  Nope, I’m doing most of my shopping online this year.  ;)

Happy day!  Love ya!  *smooch*

-Carol

October Photo Challenge: Wooden Fingers

At least, they look like a collection of wooden fingers.   Can you tell I love trees?

Outside Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Hope y’all have an awesome day today.  We are taking Hallie on her birthday shopping spree and to her all time favorite restaurant for lunch.  She’s sooo excited.

The weather outside is delightful!  Jacket weather, finally!  Oh my!  I want to bake, and slow cook, and write.  I’m totally inspired.  Supposed to be even chillier tomorrow!  Yea!

Please join in with the October Photo Challenge.

(1) place “October Photo Challenge” as part of your Title,

(2) link to www.adjustingyourfocus.wordpress.com, so others can join in on the fun,

(3) comment me with your post link,

(4) post a picture every day, or at least one day, showing what October means to you. Could be a harvest, delicious Autumn meal, hearty soup, eerie fog cascading over a glen, leaves falling off the trees, Halloween cookies, a Jack-o’-lantern, cute little Halloween costumes, the state fair coming to town, a special birthday, whatever is special to you during this October month.

Love y’all!  *smooch*

-Carol

Photo Friday: Reflected

Yup, I’ve posted this photo in the past, but I thought it would make a suitable entry for Photo Friday’s theme of the week.  Hope ya like it, again.  ;)

Happy Friday, y’all!  Sooooooo happy it’s Finally Friday!  Woooo-hoooo!  Here’s to hoping we all have a great one.  Cheers!  *squish*

If you’d like to join us in this entertaining weekly challenge, or see more amazing shots, check out the Photo Friday Weekly Photo Challenge:

http://www.photofriday.com/

-Carol

What I call ‘Lost City of Atlantis’.

Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Cavern Pool


This little body of water isn’t as shallow as you might think. And this precious mineral water is actually FULL of minerals, but they won’t make you feel too healthy. The water has large concentrations of magnesium, which act as a heavy duty laxative. I wouldn’t recommend drinking the water. ;)

Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Chattanooga, TN (Nov 2011)

Hope y’all had a great Monday. Mine wasn’t too bad. Sleep tight. I’m goin’ to bed early. Sleeeeeepy. *squeeze* Sweet dreams. *blowing a kiss*

-Carol

Lost City of Atlantis

At least that’s what I thought of when I saw this view.  Looks like a tiny lost city inside this awesome cavern.

Hope y’all had an amazing day!  Was up late last night and up early this morning, so I am off to bed early t’night!  Ahhhhh.  G’ night.  God speed.  Sleep tight.  Sweet dreams.

Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA) – Nov 2011

*squishy hug*  ;)

- Carol

SHARK!!!

I have about five minutes of free time.  Whoopie!!!!!!  Yee-ha!!!!  Free time!!!  So, I better hurry, huh?

Well, I was quickly skimming my digital files and this one made me smile.  She was trying to act skeeered.

To me, looks more like an ‘I’m bored, I’ll pretend to be (yawn) shocked, duh, can we go now’ expression.  Oh, and by the way, this was simply a cage in front of a shark poster.  No person nor animal was harmed during the making of this picture.  ;)

Hope y’all had an amazingly beautiful day.  Ours was great, just so stinkin’ hot!  I am NOT ready for summer.  Whaaaa!  We didn’t have winter, no spring, just skipped straight to summer.  I’m really gonna be complainin’ when real summer arrives.  Can I move back up north, please?  I do not, nor have I ever liked summers in Mississippi = sticky, sweaty, humid, thick, humid, cut the air with a knife thick.  Ya can’t breathe in it.  Ya can’t work in it.  Ya can’t do anything in it.  I prefer to stay in the air conditioning, thank you.  85 and below, please?  Preferably 70 and below.

Y’all have a lovely evening.  *hug*

Carol

Day 122 of my Project 366.