Browsing Category

Inspiration

Gardening, Inspiration

My English Cottage Garden redux

April 28, 2015 • By

Have you ever had a vision of creating something fantastic and the final outcome only registered a “blah”?  That’s precisely what happened when I bought my house in 2001.  I had just sold my townhouse because I had a dream of living in at least my version of an English Cottage Garden oasis and 300 square feet of outdoor space wasn’t going to cut it.

I needed something larger, something that would allow me to realize my vision of what a garden that was situated in the Cotswolds would look like.  Except, the location would end up being in a sleepy little town in North West Georgia.  I can’t say exactly what drew me to a little blue and white cottage but I knew that I wanted to buy it even before the realtor pulled up to the driveway.

I knew the land that it sat on, as imperfect as it was, would be the perfect setting for achieving my dream.

It met all of my requirements: It had a basement, a deck and a front porch.  The deal breaker would always be the porch.  As a lifelong southerner, it was imperative that I had somewhere to sit and people watch.  The best part is that it sat on one acre of land.  The yard was mostly remnants of what could be termed as grass but you could tell that the former owner had tried to add her own touch to it at some point.READ MORE


Inspiration

Requiem of a burned out travel blogger

July 6, 2014 • By

You know how it feels when you’re walking down the street and you catch a glimpse of something familiar. Something that you know without a shadow of a doubt, who or what it is. Your pace quickens as you get closer, so sure that once you’ve caught up with whatever you’re chasing, you will be greeted warmly by sturdy hands embracing you because your presence was missed too.

running

I feel that way about writing. As you can see from my utter lack of recent posts, I took a long break from it in order to pursue another dream that I felt was calling me. I am so happy to have done so because I don’t ever want to live with even more regrets. I will continue with it, but I am most certain and harbor no doubt that writing is where I am meant to be.

Writing has been a part of my life for almost as long as I have been breathing. It has allowed me to encapsulate my deepest fears and most hopeful dreams safely within the realm of a collection of bound pages throughout the years.

writing

It gave life to words that I dared not utter for fear of judgment or ridicule. It was my sacred place to store all of the feelings that both haunted and elated me and I could come back to revisit them at my own choosing.

READ MORE


Inspiration

How to stop tap dancing for the world and reclaim your sanity

July 29, 2013 • By

billcosby

Are you at a point in your life where you’re constantly frazzled, burning the candle at both ends and can barely fire two synapses together because you are on emotional overload?  You’re being pulled from all sides….the boss has you on an impossible deadline and so far the only thing that you’ve managed to produce is a case of the heebie jeebies (but who can afford to be out of work in this economy?).  Your kids are convinced that you have tentacles that can extend and retract at will.  Your significant other (an otherwise bright and intelligent person) becomes befuddled when it’s time to load a dishwasher and the mere mention of housework makes them apoplectic.

The irony of it all, is that you are stressing because of someone else.  Don’t get me wrong we all have obligations, both professional and familial.  While your hands may be somewhat tied when it comes to your livelihood, it does not have to be the case anywhere else.  Unless that’s how YOU want it to be.  A lot of the pressures that we feel come from external forces.  We’re supposed to have an immaculate home, perfect robotic children, run the daily car pool like clockwork and fix seven dinners a week that would make Wolfgang Puck jealous.  We are too busy living the life that others expect, in fact, demand of us.

Luckily, there is a way to get off of the crazy train.  By giving yourself permission to orchestrate your life in a way that is meaningful to you, you can reclaim your sanity.  Here are a few tips to get you closer to that goal:READ MORE


Inspiration

When carving your path in life, make sure that you’re the sculptor

May 1, 2013 • By

change road

Everybody has a story.  Each story is a mix of varying parts of happiness, sadness, hope and regret.  It’s rare to find anyone who is completely happy with their lot in life, but the smart ones know that complaining never helps nor does it make anything better.  If they are dissatisfied with the path they’re on, they’ll strive to make changes that will take them on a different route. But some folks worry about what others might say in response to the new attitude that seems counter the way that they’ve always known them to be.

For the same reason that pencils have erasers, you can decide to change anything about your life that doesn’t mesh with the person that you presently see yourself as…..or even want to be. Even though a pencil can erase, you can still see the vestiges of what was underneath.

It doesn’t negate what has gone on before; it just allows you to move beyond it….to clean the slate…..to redirect your path.  You can change the storyline; remembering that just because it happened doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a rewrite.READ MORE


Inspiration

Where I am likely to vacation (i.e., run for my dear, sweet life) when the Zombie Apocalypse finally hits….

April 8, 2013 • By

Today marks the beginning of a three part series that breaks down the choices one has in selecting accommodations for vacations or holidays. We will begin with our most economical offerings and work our way to the more expensive options. I decided to write about something a little different (and fun!) today. Perhaps, I am going through withdrawal symptoms given that The Walking Dead is on hiatus until October 14th and this allows me to work through my pain. Say what you will, this Zombie Apocalypse thing has people talking and to some degree, I think some are looking forward to the possibility of it happening.  So I decided to run with the idea.  What would I do, should such an unspeakable horror occur?  Keep reading to find out.

zombie1 zombie2 zombie3 zombie4
zombie5

Hey,buddy! I don’t think you get a say in that.

To the untrained eye, it seemed like the Canadian Provincial government had their priorities straight.    However, closer examination yields that like most governments, they have broken their promise.  Small wonder that Governments rarely survive such a catastrophe!  Which one you ask?  The Zombie Apocalypse which could totally happen, by the way! Ask the CDC!

I think there’s a great possibility that people could wake up one day with a thirst for someone else’s flesh and brain matter. Before you laugh, have you seen the way our own (American) Congress has been acting up lately?  Scary, huh?   Or………. I could be watching too many episodes of The Walking Dead.   So, there’s that.

It’s strange that no one has been able to explain why people would start feeding on one another.   I am going to have to take a guess at what may have happened and say it was an environmental disaster (or maybe sabotage?) that rendered the populace into zombies and spared a select few.  Naturally the assumption is that I will be amongst the latter or this exercise is a complete waste of our time.READ MORE


Inspiration

Not all those who wander are lost

October 11, 2012 • By

racism

There are certain unpleasant truths in life.  Racism is one of them because it refuses to die a natural death and can and will live on forever into eternity if left unchecked.  Many would have us believe that it’s unfashionable or gauche to declare this fact.  I suppose it’s because it’s uncomfortable for them to acknowledge it and it’s easier to either to deny or ignore the damage that it causes to the ones it’s aimed at and the one who doing the aiming.  As long as it is marginalized and not dealt with forthrightly, it will continue.  But it doesn’t have to.

A travel blogger friend of mine was relating how she’s constantly refused taxi service in Indonesia.  Of course, there will be the requisite declarations about how difficult everyone has it.  It’s one thing to suffer from the mere state of being human.  It’s another to suffer because of preconceived notions about your status as a human being.

There is an old saying, “Your blues ain’t like mine”.  It’s not meant to minimize anyone’s personal journey.  It is meant to illustrate the difficulty and the ridiculousness of being made to pay for a deficit that exists only in the mind of the person holding false truths about someone.  I’ve always felt that I can’t make everyone love me, nor would I want to.  But I  refuse to tolerate blatant disrespect that I’ve never earned.  This same friend has been notified by her broker that the owner doesn’t want black people living in the apartment that she’s paid for six months in advance.

 “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

READ MORE


Inspiration

The heart wants what the heart wants

August 30, 2012 • By

desolate-forestWhat a familiar refrain, it’s romantic and decisive; but what if it didn’t matter? What if some things are simply out of your reach no matter how much you desire it? I’m the biggest proponent of going out into the world to fight for what you want, but there are times when fighting, no matter how valiant, is useless.

I was gently reminded of that fact on the eve of my birthday earlier this week; that just because an opportunity presents itself doesn’t mean that it will end favorably. Realizing that fact is probably the most pertinent; otherwise, you will allow yourself to drift into a state of delusion.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”
– Khalil Gibran

READ MORE


Inspiration

Whatever their motive, never let anyone steal your joy of traveling

August 4, 2012 • By

despair

Something interesting happened within the confines of a majority black travel forum that I’m a member of.  One of the members shared how her boss’ countenance changed when he overheard where she would be going on vacation.   She regretted that he had heard the exchange almost immediately.   As a result, she posed this question to the group: “Do you tell your employer  or coworkers where you are going or just that you are talking said day off?”

I was a little surprised by the avalanche of responses that not only said “No” but were adamant about it. The commentary ranged from:

“It’s none of their business”


“My boss is jealous that I can do what he can’t do at his salary to “I don’t hide my travels but I don’t go out of my way to share”


“My boss knows how much I make so he’s going to try to figure out how I can afford a vacation outside the country”


“I rarely tell them”


“When I was in corporate America, I wouldn’t tell anyone”


“Not anymore, people think I’m made of money when they hear about it and like to make snide remarks”

READ MORE


Inspiration

There is nothing to fear, but fear itself

July 31, 2012 • By
This is the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Yay!!! I made it! I thought it would be a good idea to end my journey with a travel related article. It’s about a dear friend of mine who shall remain nameless who wants to travel but is afraid to. There’s so many things that you want to say to encourage….but I didn’t want to think too much about it. I will just speak from the heart and hope that she hears it.

dreamkillers

I have a friend who really wants to travel internationally, but she can’t bring herself to do it. She told me that she is afraid to travel across a body of water and the long plane trip won’t be a picnic either. I can sympathize that both issues can be disconcerting, but it should not be a deal breaker. Traveling, while it is fun and wonderful, can be challenging. It will be a challenge for my friend, but I know her deep desire to conquer that fear is why she reads my blog for encouragement.

The most difficult thing about meeting a challenge is taking the first step. She’s done that, so she’s ahead of the game. She’s flown domestically which would always be my first suggestion to conquer that fear. Take baby steps all the while realizing that this will probably be one of the hardest things in your life that you will do and then resolve that you will do it. It will take equal parts bravery and planning but it can be done. We are all faced with things that are uncomfortable…… hell……. unfathomable to conceive of doing. However, we must remind ourselves that in order for great things to happen to us, we have to be willing to receive it…to allow it to happen. Resistance is the antithesis to receiving it. Stop pushing away things that could potentially change your life for the better.READ MORE


Inspiration

A psalm for my soldier

July 30, 2012 • By
Note
We’re down to the wire! Two days left of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. A few years ago, I wrote this on the day that several soldiers were killed during a mission in Iraq. I started to think about the families that they left behind who would never have another chance to say, “I love you”. They would never have another opportunity to say the untold number of things that they wished they could have shared. I wrote this from the point of view of a loved one entrusting the life of her soldier into the hands of the military. This is how I would feel if I had to say goodbye.

goodbye-small

 

My smile flew away the moment you kissed me goodbye and walked through the gate.

It waited patiently for you to come sit beside and hold it within the warmth of the hollow of your hands and safeguard it ’til you reached your destination.

I remembered that you had the good sense not to look back because you knew that you would see the jumbled, emotional mess you’d be leaving behind.

We didn’t talk about the almost month of Sundays when we would be separated by an ocean or two, instead we talked about what we’d do the moment our eyes caressed one another again.

We marveled about how we’d sit down and discuss the ‘must-haves’ for the new house that would accommodate the things a sentimental fool like me couldn’t bear to part with.

You never complained because you knew how difficult it was for me to let go of things near and dear to my heart.

We spoke of wishes and hopes and dreams and gave no power to the underlying fear that went unspoken, but certainly felt.

Be safe, my love. I pray that you will come back to me; if not whole in body, then in mind and spirit.

But should God decide that He needs you more, know that my heart will be forever waiting for you on the other side.