Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mission: THRIVE I


2010 Goals

To thrive, I need to feel fit. I need to feel connected to kindred spirits. I need to be close to my family. I need to enjoy my marriage. I need to create. And, most of all, I need to be close to my Creator.

This year, I want to move to the next level in all of those areas. For many of my needs, there is no objective measure . They are subjective... subject to my interpretation.
I have the freedom to choose. I am going to start simple. I hope to dig deeper and work harder as we go along... but, for now... for today... this is it.

For the month of January 2010 I commit to:
  • MOVE five days a week.
  • Sit with God five days a week.
  • Pay attention to five things a day that make me smile... that I am grateful for... write 'em down... SEEK those things, if necessary!
  • Read the rest of How We Choose to be Happy
  • Keep this Mission: THRIVE working for one more month
  • Keep my intention focused on thriving
Seems simple enough.

I'll be reporting back on how this goes.


This is my first attempt at a McLinky List. Amanda, you will just love the fact that I am having to use the html version. =)

This list will stay open until January 15, 2010. Please feel free to join at any time. I will be doing the Mission: THRIVE the last Thursday of every month. Twelve times we can check in and see how each of us are doing on our missions to THRIVE.

I am excited to see a progress of souls seeking to make it to the next level. Some of you may already be thriving... Some may be just trying to climb out of the pit... For all of us, there is a next level... Join us this year... Let's make it better than it has been.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Intention


For the past three years, I've been swimming in a little pond of grief... fluctuating between denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I lost my Dad, my youth (actually happened awhile ago... just now facing that), my period, our dog, and, in many ways, my daughter and grandson. I've given up on some "dreams" or "ideals" of family and friendships. I've drifted from God. I've let my health level fall. Now, don't let this sound like my life is all pitiful. It is, most certainly, not. I am very blessed and enjoy a good life with a wonderful husband. I just haven't been thriving in the way that I have enjoyed in the past. I have struggled... with the grief. I'm ready to move on.


I think I am to a place of acceptance (something in me just rejected that... that's a little worrisome).


I could list a million things that I "should" work on. I need to lose weight, get my cholesterol lower, organize my closets, clean out the cluttered laundry room, organize my desk, work in the yard, get the house power washed, finish the living room make-over, mail thank you notes, etc... etc... But, I need goals to hit closer to the center. Goals to bring joy to every day living. Tammy from Timeless and Tattered made this comment earlier on my blog: I want to make my life mean more. Not just the big picture but I want to see the worth in the small things. I want to do more things with my family - not planned big events but just "live" with my family. Enjoy the moments. I want to breathe them in so as not to let all the good stuff slip away. Basically to quote Tim McGraw- I want to live like there is no tomorrow- EVERY DAY. tammy


I bought a book last year entitled How We Choose To Be Happy by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks. According to their studies: there are nine choices that happy people make; the biochemistry of healthy people and happy people is close to the same; and, we can all improve on our level of contentment, capability and centeredness.


The first of these nine choices is: "Intention --the active desire and commitment to be happy and the decision to consciously choose attitudes and behaviors that lead to happiness over unhappiness." That's where I am. I have an intent to THRIVE.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mission: THRIVE

Thursday, I'm kicking off the Mission: THRIVE. Between now and then, I am going to be doing some introspection and consideration of goals I am going to set for this coming year. I haven't done resolutions in years... but, I am ready to set some goals; to choose my direction; to move toward something instead of drifting along. I am always struck by the saying that: to not choose, you are choosing. So true.

I am going to investigate the "Mr. Linky" gadget so that if any of you would like to join me, you can. I would love to have some company, some encouragement, some accountability, some fresh insights. What do you think it will take for you to thrive? How do you see thriving? What do you have to let go of, embrace, change, move through? I imagine that thriving will have a different look for everyone of us. Our lives are different; we are different. But, we are alot alike, too. Be thinking. Check back Thursday for Mission: THRIVE.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heading back to Virginia...



Santa came to see Little Man at Noni and Pop-Pop's this year!! He didn't really get what all the big deal was about this time. Still, Christmas was so special with him around.



Our annual porch steps shot...




Little Man, with Mom and Dad, modeling his Penguin Pal.



Sweet little angel about to take a nap...



And, so very sad for Noni... loading up for his trip home... It is empty here without my Little Man and his folks. They accidentally left a burp cloth behind... I keep breathing in his little scent and crying... and breathing in his little scent and crying... but, I am only going to give myself one day to mope. One day to whine and feel sorry for myself. Then I'm starting to work on the thriving plan... I have so very much to be grateful for. I am so blessed to have my family. Even if some of them are far away, we have a deep love for each other and a great joy in spending time together... that is so very much to be grateful for. So very much. And, that is what I am going to focus on!! (After I have whined today... ) ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Penguin Pal


Just finished this little penguin toboggan in the nick of time to get it wrapped and under the tree for Little Man!



I had such fun knitting this little guy!!! I cannot wait to see it on Little Man... I'm thinking it may be a bit big... but, then again... maybe not! He grows SO much between times that I get to see him.



Now that the fun knitting is over... back to the afghan that I started (to go with the new color scheme)... and may have jumped in over my head. The line in the pattern book is this: "Repeat after me: I can do this! And, you can, too!" No lie. That is verbatum. We'll see.




It is supposed to end up 54 inches long... man, I have a long way to go! And, it is a booger (at least for me)! Well, I have used up all my spare lunch moments playing on this blog. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love, peace, joy, comfort and fun! And, food! ;-) Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Run


Just got home from a nice wintery night's run. I loved coming home to the lights... kind of like my own personal lighted runway (no pun intended... or well, okay, maybe it was intended... lol... I do amuse easily). My dear friend, Troy, had another birthday today. We try to start those celebrations with a morning run. I didn't make the early venture. But, it turned out to be a fine night for a birthday run. The air was heavy and wet. Very quiet. Only soft footfalls and rainfall. Christmas lights. And, I swear... the sound of jingle bells... Happy Birthday, Troy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Striving to Thrive...



I'm feelin' a bit overwhelmed. I jumped off into the "change the decor" mode... and, the full implications of that are hitting home. Truth is, it's not just the decor that I'm working to change. There are some things I need to change about my life.



While I've been clicking along on these little projects, I've been thinking about the subjects of surviving, striving and thriving. I'm a big believer in thriving. I do belive life throws us some curves... some bumps in the road... some roadblocks... and, sometimes, even a few dead ends. We may have to work to keep putting one foot in front of the other while we survive these times.



Sooner or later, we get our feet back under ourselves... then, it becomes a choice... to continue to just get by... to survive. Or, to choose to thrive. When we choose to thrive, it requires striving sometimes... Striving to make the changes, do the deeds, dig deeper, move ahead.



Whatever the effort involved in the striving... it's always worth it when we are finally thriving...
So, the question is: What would it take in your life for you to thrive? What is it taking? I am thinking after the first of the year we need to have a day we post about this... a Thriving Day... a Striving to Thrive Day... We could encourage each other. Have some accountability. Hmmmm... Well, that's what I've been thinking while I've been clicking away... Any takers???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Inspiration Pieces



After a really tough week... Tess getting really sick again... knowing it was time to let go... Getting the call from my favorite painter on Thursday morning 15 minutes before I was leaving for a meeting that he could get to my living room and dining room NOW, if I wanted. I wanted. What I didn't want was to have to decide on colors without time to really live with samples on the wall for a day or two. Sleepless nights. Two of 'em.



I thought it was going to be in January before he could get to me... Temperatures of 24 degrees stopped the exterior painting on the job they were doing... leaving me a shot to squeeze in... I took it. After one disastrous choice of Silver Sage, which ended up looking like Frankenstein on my ceiling, it is done. Ultimately I chose a color that flew in the face of every bit of advice I solicited. I like it. BIG change... but, it is time for that in my life... LOTS of work to do on making this new color/look complete... but, I love a good challenge... and, I think I've got one!

Today, I found these two mercury glass urns in a 75% off sale!!! I was sooooooooo excited to find them! They are PERFECT inspiration pieces for my new look... They are perfect inspiration pieces for me... Unexpected... Just Right... Almost a Gift... Love 'em!!




The Bungalow 's a changin'...
It was sure quiet coming home to no little greeter tonight... We miss you, Tess.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tess



We said Goodbye to Tess today.



It's never easy letting go...



We will miss her...



Thank you for all the joy you gave us...



I hope you rest well sweet Tessie... just as you used to piled up in our bed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Hunter: The Teacher


Sunrise in West Texas.

Warning: further photos may be offensive to some.

We are just back from our Thanksgiving trip. This year it was Zack, my son, Evan, my beloved, and I who loaded up and drove five and a half hours due west to my Mom's for the family gathering. I have three brothers and a sister... so, as you can imagine, it is quite a gathering. We ate LOTS of great food Mom and my sister, Melanie, had worked all week to prepare. We laughed and ribbed each other unmercifully. We played Spinner, worked puzzles, solved the world's problems and discussed recipes. We enjoyed lots of hugs. Lots of hugs.

The story I am going to tell is about a teacher... a hunter... my son. Zack is a hunter to the core. He will get up at the wee-est hours of the morning to get to the perfect spot. It is a rare event for him to come home empty handed.

From the time he was four, he would don his little life jacket and take a cup of frozen corn to fish ALL day at the pond near our house. We'd have to take him lunch or he would go without... whether the fish were biting or not. That kind of focus has not waned. He hunts and fishes... whatever is in season. He harvests his game and makes no waste. He abhors those who only kill for the fun of it. He lives by an unwritten code and honor system. He is a crack shot with honed instincts... he is a survivalist.

I have known all of that for a long, long time... What I did not know was that he is a teacher. Evan, his bonus-dad (I HATE the step parent label), had never been hunting (during this trip, there was much laughter and ribbing about the eggs and meat coming from the grocery store wrapped and ready for Evan growing up on Long Island... as we all told tales of gathering eggs and dressing various food stuff). I listened with amusement and admiration as, on the long trip to my Mom's, Zack gave instruction to the novice hunter. His voice was patient and encouraging; his message was informative and detailed; and his enthusiasm was nothing short of contagious. Now, I might also add that he made it perfectly clear that he was getting his buck first and then he would sit with Evan to help, if necessary. Hunter before teacher. My brother, Greg was in for the hunt, too (he, also, would fall more into the novice category). Zack promised he would help them get their deer.


This is Greg, Evan, the buck, and Zack.

They came home from the first outing... Zack had his buck. He was giving lessons on field dressing and preparing for processing.



I laughed at this shot... the new age hunter... texting photos to all his hunting friends back home.


True to his word, he went back in the afternoon with Evan. And, true to his word, Evan got his first deer. There were lots of lessons in this exchange... and even more, there was a new appreciation in my heart for Zack's generosity in sharing his passion... and his patience and diligence in teaching. Good job, Son. Great shot, Honey!!
Now, my brother, Greg... story is the Burberry after-shave and Clark shoes gave him away... no deer for him this time... lol.... Love you dearly brother! You are the best! And, you put up with our ribbing with such good grace!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Gift of Time and Attention



Alex and Amanda... a.k.a Little Man and his Mom, my daughter.




I have come to believe with all my heart the greatest gift a person can give or receive is the gift of time and attention...





I just received the gift of a visit with my Little Man and his Mom. Spur of the moment... Since their move to Virginia last year, spur of the moment visits are not in the bag too frequently anymore. But, I would drop anything and run for just a short visit with these two. Amanda had meetings in Dallas Monday; I didn't see much of her, she was working, but I did have some precious time with Alex. Precious, I tell you!



He tried on his sweater for Noni and he made it look gooooood...



The very most fun was just hanging out and talking...



There was some seriously fun cooing and smiling... My cheeks just HURT from smiling so big for so long...
Now, they are safely back in Virginia... and, I am safely back in Tyler... I love and miss my Little Man and his Mom... I am most grateful for my time with them... Most grateful.
Thank you Alex and Amanda! XOXOXOX

Friday, November 20, 2009

Almost Finished...


Noni has been hard at work on a prize for Little Man.



This tiny little sweater has taught some new lessons... not only with a new pattern of stitches, new way of binding off and seaming together... but, of how to start over... how to take out and repair... how to keep going... Same ole lessons of life... just in a microcosm of knitting.




The main lesson is to not give up. That is always the main lesson.



Do the best you can... and keep moving. All I lack in finishing this is getting a zipper today and sewing that in... If that part takes as long as constructing the little garment, it may be Christmas before I am through. LOL. Just kidding... I'm planning on getting a picture of it on my Little Man this very weekend! =)
PS I left a mistake... on purpose. That was a new lesson for me, too. It wasn't easy. Imagine that.

Things are looking brighter...



Little Man has brightened my days for two weeks in a row! Last week, he sent me this beautiful bouquet with the sweetest little note...



"Happy Birthday, Noni, Sure hope you have a great day. I love you so big. Little Man XOXOXOX"




But the brightest news of all came when I found out that he would be flying to Dallas on a business trip with his Mom. He decided to skip the business and give his sweet love to his Noni all day long!! That's what I will be giving the most thanks about this Thanksgiving!!!

Thank you, Amanda. Love, Mom

Friday, November 13, 2009

One Flaw in Women


* I take no credit for the photo or the post. It was sent to me in an e-mail. I deeply appreciated it and wanted to share.

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men...

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show you how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideas.

They give moral support to their

family and friends.

Women have vital things to say

and everything to give.

However, if their is one flaw in women,

it is that they forget their worth.

* Remember your worth dear ladies... and, have a great day today!

Thank You to Ladybug From Texas



Monday evening I came home to a box on the porch. It was just full of goodies from Deb, the Ladybug from Texas! I was fortunate to have won the give-away from her Boots Were Made For Walking Party!


Deb sent a sweet note with her bundle of prizes!! Thank you so much, Deb! It was a fun party and the prizes just made my day!! Can't wait to try the Roasted Garlic Honey BBQ sauce.
Thanks again, Deb.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Update on the Historic Tyler on Tour 2010

I have fallen behind in my updates on the Historic Tyler on Tour Homes for 2010. This is an extraordinary group of homes that will be open for touring March 26-28, 2010. Hope to see you there!

The Clyde Home
3031 Old Bullard Road

Candlelight Party and Tour
The Robertson Home
322 West Fifth Street


The Huggins Home
123 East Second Street


The Carmichael Home
1208 South College Avenue


The Short Home
223 East Second Street


The Ashworth Home
1312 South Chilton Avenue

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