I’m vegan, and part Native American so tomorrow is a different day for me. I’ll still be gathering with my lovely family and eating LOTS of things, as well as concentrating on being thankful and in the moment.
No animal products, and a prayer for those who lost their lives in the “civilization” of our nation.
Here are some links on gratitude, veganism, how you can support the remaining tribesmen and women, and blessing loved ones with love and light, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re reading this, I love you and I hope your day, however you choose to spend it, is full of joy, fellowship, and delicious food.
One last thought: In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, please remember two important days that come AFTER Black Friday. The 25th is Small Business Saturday, a day to support small businesses, shop local and purchase thoughtful, sustainable gifts for loved ones. The 28th is Giving Tuesday, a day designated for supporting whatever causes you believe in, so please choose a charity near and dear to your heart and rain down love and affection (and generosity!) on them. It will come back to you tenfold.
Nosh – Red meat. Lots of ground beef with A1 (what makes me love A1 so much? I think it’s the Raisin Paste.) For Labor Day, Dad cooked ribs and barbecue and then after that we had leftovers with A1. It’s seriously delicious.
Tunes – I hate the new Taylor Swift song. I don’t meant that ironically. I don’t love it so much I hate it, or hate it so much I love it. I just hate it. At work I’ve been switching the Pandora station from Smooth Jazz to Beethoven for Studying. I love Beethoven. The channel features a variety of talented composers, and many selections remind me of attending the symphony with my grandparents. A favorite for me this time of year is, as I’ve mentioned on the blog before, Moonlight Sonata. For some reason it always makes me think of Christmas.
Wanderlust – We surprised my Dad with a trip to the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival for his birthday. It’s an annual event hosted by Callaway Gardens, but none of us had ever been. Riding in a balloon was a “bucket list” item for my dad, and I have always wanted to see the balloons up close. A fun time was had by all, though I will say that I definitely prefer having my feet firmly on the ground. Aside from the balloon rides, they also had Disney’s Up! playing in one of the auditoriums, live music and fair food, stilt walkers, and a huge Classic Car Show. It was great fun!
Fitness – Yoga, particularly head and handstands. I have a great fear of anything upside down, so this week I’ve been practicing kicking up to headstands and just being at peace with the feeling. I’m hoping to get much better at it and progress to the next yogi level. Whatever that means. I basically just made it up.
Spiritual – Christie Marie Sheldon has some great videos on YouTube on energy clearing and raising vibration. I’ve been vibrating lower and lower, as the universe has kicked me in the teeth a few times this week, so I googled and found these gems. They are insightful and inspiring, and I highly recommend.
Dreams – UPDATE ON LAST WEEK’S DREAM::: MR. DECKER IS MY FRIEND ON FACEBOOK! He was one of my favorite teachers ever and I’m so happy to be connected with him again. Also I had a dream last night that I was in some old town in Prague or perhaps Croatia. Some Eastern European city with rich history and beautiful buildings. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was there, and he asked me to dance in the street. We also had some inside joke going about me wearing a tiara, but I can’t remember why it was funny. Anyway he wasn’t Jaime from GoT, just Nikolaj and it felt very real but then I woke up. I wonder if it was one of those dreams where your spirit and someone else’s spirit meet up (astral projection) and you get to hang out for a while, and then you go home. I’m going to let myself believe this, anyway.
Photos – Balloons! Obviously. Also, my eldest son, The Dragon, just passed his High Blue Belt test at karate so like the proud and slightly overbearing mom that I am, I took about 1,000 photos of that.
TV and Film – Beautiful Creatures on NETFLIX. If you love the idea of an eccentric Jeremy Irons in a cream floor-length coat and a thick Southern accent, who may also be a warlock of some kind, you will like this movie. The film isn’t centered around his character, but he sure makes it watchable.
Between the Pages – On a recommendation, I’ve started (today!) reading a new book called The Disappearing Spoon (And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements). Available on Amazon here So far, I’d give it a 5/10 but I’m only about 17 pages in. I’m hoping the promised mischief, intrigue and charm are just around the corner.
Tech – Debating this week the iPhone vs. the Android. My dad got an iPhone and he hates it. I like my iPhone, though at first I thought I’d never learn everything or get used to it. My husband has an Android phone, though, and swears by it. So which is better? Livewire breaks it down.
Summer is winding down, and Fall is on the way! I’m completely indifferent to Pumpkin Spice, but so excited about the cooler (less humid) weather. Here’s what’s going on with me this week:
Menu – Semi-homemade chicken salad. I use a rotisserie chicken from Fresh Market or Publix, shred the meat with a fork. Add mayo (Duke’s, obviously), mustard, chopped spinach and onion. My secret ingredient? A little pickle juice and some chopped up hamburger dill chips. Eaten over some blue corn chips, it’s currently my favorite thing.
Tunes – Heard a new song by Jack Garratt called Water, and it took my breath away. The Revivalists, who I love, are coming to the Tabernacle in Atlanta and I’m really hoping to get to this show!
Wanderlust – Disney is almost paid for! I’ve moved on to buying our shirts and silly fun things for the trip. Next is the beach, hopefully Gulf Shores, before it gets too cold. In the meantime, we’ve been going to Callaway for day trips with the kids, and it’s a terrific way to get the beach vibes without all the time in the car and other hassle.
**Shopping** – I don’t normally include news about purchases here, but I bought some rad new workout gear at Target. I bought cute leggings, a sports bra, and a tank top, all for about $30. They have an amazing clearance going on right now as Summer apparel gives way to chunky sweaters and pumpkin everything.
Fitness – I’ve been reading about Buti Yoga, and there’s a local gym that offers free classes on certain Saturdays so I’m talking myself into trying it. According to MapMyRun I’ve run about 80 miles since I started running outside, which is GREAT. I know I have a long way to go, but 80 miles is 8,000 calories and lots and lots of power gains in my legs! I feel good about it.
Spiritual – Everything is circular, not linear. I keep thinking about the phrase “Everything comes full circle”. I have believed for a long time, and still believe, that all things are connected, but now I am starting to see that the connections tend to be circular, in that our understanding of them has a beginning (confusion/noticing/wonder), a middle (generally when something happens again, or we experience deja vu), and and end (light-bulb moment, connection is made, we see the result).
Dreams – My 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Decker, was a guidance counselor and he hugged me and talked to me about what was bothering me. Rather benign dream, but nice to see he’s doing well.
Photos – Aside from kids and beach, mostly horoscope screenshots. Nothing new here.
TV and Film – To The Bone on Netflix. SEE IT. SEE IT NOW. Also lots of Chopped on Food Network, Cooks vs. Cons, and Beat Bobby Flay. What can I say, I like food.
Between the Pages – Still nothing. I’m in desperate need of a new good book.
Tech – Perusing podcasts this week, and learning to use SnapChat to actually chat instead of just playing with the filters. I both like and dislike that the conversation disappears so quickly. I am considering buying a MacBook, but I have always been a computer user so I’m afraid I’ll hate it. Thoughts?
Eats: Fluids! No, it’s not a new diet. It’s the stomach flu!No kidding, everyone in the house was sick this week so I indulged in such delicacies as Lemon Lime Gatorade, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and Fruit Punch Gatorade.
Pandora: Celtic music is my jam. This week I’ve been listening to a lot of it. This is possibly because I watched Braveheart a few times while I was sick (as one does), but I’ve always had an affinity for the fiddles and bawdy lyrics. If you haven’t before, search “Celtic” in Pandora, choose “Station” and give it a listen. I bet you’ll be doing an Irish jig in no time.
Michael Flatley – Irish Jigger Extraordinaire
Wanderlust: Nothing new to report, sadly. It’s a dream of mine to go to a film festival, though, and I might be close to making that happen. Fingers crossed!
Workouts: Because of the sickness, all I managed were Gatorade curls and sleep. I will say, though, that the sleep was glorious. Also, my older son is a blue belt in karate right now and I get a “kick” out of watching him practice!
Spiritual: Lots of talk about magic going on in our house this week, thanks to the Harry Potter books and Hogwarts at Universal Studios. My son and I had an interesting discussion about magic, in which he stated he didn’t realize that “real” magic existed. “Of course it does!”, I told him, hand to chest in faux dramatic fashion. I let him know the secret, as I understand it: The less a person believes in magic, the less one sees it. The more a person believes in magic, the more he or she will be able to recognize it in the world around him. He was delighted in this truth, and I was delighted to share it with him.
Dreams: Animals! I’ve had dreams about baby pandas and an avalanche of black sheep this week. I am SURE they mean something but also sure that I probably don’t want to know.
Photographing: Lots of screen shots of quotes this week. I’ve been kinda grumpy and stressed, so I keep things to help me remember nice thoughts and encouraging words.
Movies and TV: I’ve been waiting to write this portion of the blog all week! Rumor has it (and rumor actually confirmed by Vanity Fair ) that the original cast of The Karate Kid will be reuniting for a TV special! Words cannot express (at least, not any words in my limited vocabulary) the elation I experienced when I heard his news. For many reasons these films (ahem, the originals only) hold a special place in my heart. Of course, there will be a gigantic Pat Morita – sized hole in the special, but I’m hopeful that his character will be treated with honor and respect. Ralph Macchio is by all accounts quite a nice guy, and I hope this is a hit for him and Billy Zabka. I will definitely be watching!
Library: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Seriously, I’m only 2 pages in. This week I’m taking sabbatical from work (don’t worry, they know about it) so I will try and sink my teeth in and share with you guys if I catch feelings. Or start speaking Parseltongue.
Tech: Words With Friends, mis amigos. I’ve been challenged this week by friends, former English teachers, and total strangers. I’ve won, I’ve lost, I’ve pitched my fists into the air in frustration. It’s a great way to keep the mind sharp, or to get upset about how dull your mind is. It’s one or the other. Also, check out the Robin Hood App. It’s a FREE stock trading app, and it is quite user-friendly. Aptly named after the legendary outlaw who “robbed from the rich to give to the poor”, this app promises to help the “little guy” who isn’t educated on trading to build his portfolio. Does it work? I have no idea. Right now they have a promotion going and if you sign up RIGHT OVER HERE you will receive one free share of mystery stock. You can also receive free stock for any person who signs up using your link. Free stock is free money, so go get some!
One last serious note: Rest in Peace, dear Robin Williams. It’s been three years already. Your life touched me. Your death shook me. Your legacy inspires me. **If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or considering suicide, please get help. You are not alone and you are worth fighting for. You are unrepeatable. There is a magic inside you that is all your own. (D.M.Dellinger)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Magnet
My favorite picture of this brilliant, kind spirit
A La Carte: Let’s see… A lot of my focus has been on cutting out snacks and sugars. Pure Protein bars are an “old school” favorite of mine, and I’ve had one with a piece of fruit or some cherries every day this week. Also EAS AdvantEdge shakes are great. As far as ACTUAL food, sweet potatoes are life right now. Any way I can get them, especially fries.
Tunes: Elvis! That’s right, I’m tuned in to the King this week. My 7-year-old saw a book at the store and said, “Who is Elvis?”, and I knew I had done him a great disservice. So this week we’re blasting favorites like “Teddy Bear”, “Blue Christmas”, “All Shook Up”, “Viva Las Vegas”, and “Hound Dog”. I have fond memories of dancing around to Elvis in my mom’s room, and we’ve had a fun time re-creating it at our house.
Where I’m Going: I want to go somewhere new for Christmas. Well, maybe not ON the day, but for Winter. It doesn’t snow here. I’m fantasizing about somewhere white and romantic. New York? Paris? Heck, I’d even consider somewhere out west. I like to ski! Maybe Aspen? I could ski with Tom Cruise and we could discuss our mutual disdain for vitamins and how we both do our own stunts.
Flesh: Elliptical cross-training! I forgot how much fun the elliptical can be. The ones at my gym have a setting called “X Train Backwards”, and on this setting you go 4 minutes forward, or regular, and 4 minutes back. It’s great for working quads and hamstrings, and it’s FUN. If you know me, you know fun is a necessary component in fitness. Life is too short to have it otherwise! So if there’s an elliptical at your gym and you’ve never tried it, please do! Challenge yourself with the settings, too. I like to go to the very highest level for a minute, then turn it way back down and get high reps, and repeat. (It’s a lot like doing intervals in spin class.) Another bonus: The elliptical simulates skiing motions, so you’ll be prepared for that ski date with Tom!
Soul: I did a blog post the other day about the small eclipse this month, and already I have seen a few eery things happen (ALL good) in my life. I’m reading about the BIG eclipse that’s coming and doing my best to prepare, without stressing or planning everything. I like for things to happen organically and naturally, and not be forced.
Dreams: Both dreams I remember this week took place in my grandmother’s home. She is heavily on my mind this week, and I am supposed to go and visit her, so this is probably why. I’ve also been researching our family tree and thinking about getting some oral histories from her. One final explanation is that I miss her and her home, and the time I lived there, terribly some days.
Photographing: SCHOOL IS IN! My phone is full of photos of my big 2nd Grader.
Movies and TV: I have discovered a show for children called Pocoyo. It is available on Netflix and it is adorable. Very simply animated, and narrated by a man whose voice is quite similar to the guy from Winnie the Pooh (from the 80s), it’s the only thing my toddler will pay any attention to. Before this, he would not watch TV at all.
Library: My own book. Two years ago I wrote a book to honor my grandfather and to process some of my own grief. The end result has been sitting on my computer since, and I’ve been inspired by some writer friends to go ahead and self-publish on Amazon. The issue I’m having is that it’s full of religious/spiritual references that I’ve moved on from, and I don’t want to be a phony. I’ve attempted several different edits, but none of them feels authentic to who my grandfather was. So… I’m stuck. I’m sure it’s only temporary. The next step will be figuring out how to format from Word to e-reader, and so far I can’t even get a successful download (thanks, Firefox!)
Tech:Duolingo is my best friend. I’ve been sitting up at night becoming fluent in French, in preparation for our inevitable Paris take-over. If you want to learn a language, consider using the Duolingo App. It’s fun, free, and easy to learn. Duolingo offers a variety of languages, and the lessons are short and fun. You can track your progress, earn rewards, and share Fluency percentage with friends or even have it posted on your LinkedIn profile.
On the Menu: Pork chops in A1 marinade. This was a happy accident, as the A1 bottle fell out of the fridge and busted, and, having been raised by my grandmother, I know better than to waste food. Baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and yellow squash FTW.
Lyrical: No new music this week, looking for something fun and uplifting.
Walkabout: Chatta and Disney are on deck. Found some RT tickets to Rome for around $500/pp, so we might be saying “Ciao, Bella!” before my birthday! So exciting!
Temple: I took a much-needed rest week. This was completely unplanned. I had several symptoms of stress and over-training:
Fatigue – I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open, and even “accidentally” fell asleep a couple of times.
Weight Gain – Suddenly my weight was up 3-4 lbs, though my diet hadn’t changed.
Muscle Soreness – My legs were hurting, big time. It wasn’t just superficial pain, it was DEEP down. When I laid down, they would throb and ache.
Irritability – Emotionally, I felt so drained, and I started lashing out at people for no reason.
So, I made a decision for my health, against the advice of my ego, and I. SAT. DOWN. Difficult (and sometimes it can feel shameful) in #MomLife, but very, very necessary.
Ethereal: Listening to my August forecast on YouTube, and as always, taking lots of notes and excited to see what this month will bring. Check out my favorite reader, Kayleigh Jean, at Falcons and Pentacles.
Dreams: The only thing I remember from this week is a dream about a former teacher. Mr. Mustache was my English teacher in 8th grade, and was quite a character. I dreamed he had died, which according to this link can have several different meanings.
Photographing: Kids, Snapchat selfies, the usual.
Movies and TV: Mostly Law & Order: SVU. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure show for me. I miss Stabler, but like the new characters, too. Check it out on Netflix, or check USA channel, it’s normally running there around mid-day and afternoon.
Words on Pages: No books this week.
Tech: Looking for a new laptop, one that is versatile and user-friendly, but also will last a long time. I currently have a DELL, but I’m looking at the Chromebook too. Also loving my GIF keyboard by GIPHY, it’s fun and silly and easy to use.
Eats: Craving lasagna this week, and all things Italian. Think Joey from Friends – “Fried stuff with cheese!” I’m also trying to make a peach cobbler, a la Gone With the Wind. Baking is my culinary “sweet spot” (excuse the pun), so I’m expecting it to be delicious!
Tunes: Infatuated once again with Sheppard, after hearing this song on YouTube. “Keep Me Crazy” is another Sheppard favorite. I suggest creating a Pandora station centered around them. Coldplay, Chainsmokers, and Jeff Buckley because he’s eternal and if you don’t know him, you should.
Wanderlust: Disney and Chattanooga are booked! Looking at NY at Christmas or early 2018, and Vegas in the Spring for my HS Reunion.
Body: Running roads this week. Morning, afternoon, whenever I can fit it in. My right hamstring is sore, so I’ve been doing yoga, applying ice and heat, and generally going easy on myself.
Heart and Soul: Forced laughter turns into real laughter, if you do it long enough. It’s actually very good for you, and can be contagious. This is known as Laughter Yoga, or Laughter Meditation. This week I have been working on spontaneously laughing. Frustrated? Laugh. Sad? Laugh. Doing laundry with the kids? Start laughing. It leads to all kinds of pleasant things. In our house, it led to telling jokes, which evolved into an impromptu crawling-on-all-fours tickle war, an experience every family should have at least once. There’s no quicker way to raise your vibe, or to feel connected to someone, than to lie on the floor and laugh with them. Good times.
Dream News: Not much to report here. I’ve been so tired this week, and yet not sleeping well. I’m not sure there have been any dreams at all.
Photographing: Leaves, plants native to Georgia.
My Eyes are Watching: Game of Thrones, DUH. Actually didn’t watch on premiere night, but did watch the next day and without giving anything away, I’ll say my mind was blown before the intro music even started. My allegiance has been with House Stark from the beginning (except I do totally love Khal Drogo and Khaleesi). The North Remembers!
Bookshelf: I’ve only read blogs this week, especially Abundant Mama, who features a whole series for highly sensitive moms. I am currently in desperate need of book suggestions, if anyone has them. My oldest just discovered the Magic Treehouse series and he’s totally enchanted. We also picked up some Solar System flash cards from Target and they’ve been fun for the whole family. I can boast that I now know what an Eagle Nebula is. Do you?
Tech: Today I figured out how to get the “Mail” app/shortcut back on the iPhone, in the event your 15-month-old grabs the phone and deletes it like the little maniacal genius he is. See How Here. Also reading up on creating a podcast, and might have something going in this department in the next month or so.
I’ve been absent for a while, I know. Here’s a quick update:
I’m now a Brand Ambassador for Nuun Hydration and I LOVE it. I’m currently training for fitness only and varying my running surfaces more. Treadmill, road, and trail. I am also using the stair machine a few times a week to gain strength in my hamstrings and glutes. I can tell a difference after a couple of months of consistently doing this. My legs are more powerful and I can run a bit faster.
In addition to working full-time, I have a 7 year-old scientist and a 1 year-old bulldozer who share my space (and most of my food). Life in our home is CRAZY. With Summer fast approaching, I hardly have 2 minutes to myself, let alone time to write. PLEASE STAY TUNED ANYWAY! I will be launching a series of book reviews soon, so you won’t want to miss it! (And thanks for your support.)
Also on the way: A recipe series starring my son, who is an aspiring chef/astronaut/storm trooper.
Music for the day: Anything from the Revivalists Pandora station. SO good.
Book I’m reading: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.
Thought for the week: Let the fire inside you burn brighter than the fire around you.
MAKE TODAY GREAT! LEAVE ME SOME LOVE IF YOU FEEL SO INCLINED.